"I'm so sorry Sakura... But I have to tell you that..." Tsunade paused painfully.
Team Seven was in Tsunade's office, receiving what they already knew to be grim news.
"W-what?" Sakura's eyes were wide. "What's happened?"
"Your parents are dead. They died in an ambush just outside of Suna. They fought bravely."
Eighteen-year-old Sakura Haruno shook her head like a little girl. "T-that can't be true! My parents are trained fighters!". She knew that didn't matter.
Tsunade sighed and reached a hand towards her sticken apprentice, but Sakura pushed her chair back and ran out of the room.
Team Seven watched Sakura go, unsure of what to do. They were all familiar with loss, but seeing as Sakura was the only one who still had live family when she originally joined Team Seven, they were completely inadequately equipped to comfort her.
Sakura walked quickly out of the Hokage tower and ran across town, tears streaming. She let her feet lead her until she found herself sitting on The Bench.
Her life seemed to revolve around benches. Her brother had left her on a bench right before he died, saying he'd come back for her. Sasuke left her on a bench when he left the first time. She had watched her parents' company leave Konoha from this bench. It all kept cycling around. She curled up on the bench and let the sobs come. She was alone.
Sasuke walked out of the Hokage tower, and made his way to The Bench. His black hair danced in the early evening breeze.
The Bench. How his life revolved around benches. Itachi would always leave him at a particular bench, then go get a treat and bring it back to his little brother. After Itachi's betrayal, Sasuke sometimes went to sleep on benches outside so he could avoid staying in the bloodstained Uchiha manor. He had left Sakura there, after knocking her out the first time he left... An action he did regret.
As Sasuke turned the corner to the road out of Konoha, he could see from there that The Bench was already occupied. Only one person in Konoha had pink hair. Sakura.
His mind went blank. Utterly blank. What could he say? She would be grieving, but he didn't know how to deal with his own grief even.
He found himself moving towards her.
Sasuke sat down on the bench, not saying anything. The two Ninja just sat in silence, listening to the sound of the wind between the buildings.
"My brother took me here when I was a kid." Sakura said quietly. "Before he was killed by bandits on his way to Wind."
"Mine took me here too. Before he killed the rest of my clan."
Sakura wiped the tears from her face, then continued.
"I'm sorry." They said simultaneously.
Before he could stop himself, Sasuke found himself reaching for her hand. He took it and gave the cold flesh a gentle squeeze. She squeezed back.
"I hurt... So bad..." Sakura choked out, sobbing. Sasuke put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her into his chest.
"I'm here." Sasuke found himself saying, more confidently than he felt. "I won't leave again."
The wind picked up, blowing some of Sakura's pink locks into his face. He inhaled, smelling her sweet scent. She smelled like cherry blossoms.
Matching his thoughts, a pink cloud began billowing down from the sky.
"Sakura. Look up." Sakura hiccuped, but followed his gaze. The spring cherry blossoms were billowing off the trees as the warm wind carried the away. They flew around the couple's head in a perfumed cloud.
"It's so pretty." Sakura said quietly. "And sad."
"Like you." Sasuke whispered. Sakura whipped her head around and he caught her cheek, bringing their lips together.
At first, the kiss was awkward. So many years of separation followed by two minutes of such unexpected intimacy made for a whirl of emotions. But ever so slightly, Sakura shifted, opening her lips ever so slightly. Sasuke took this as a sign to move forwards, kissing her harder, letting his tongue come to explore the inside of her mouth.
"Master Kakashi, think we should go give Sasuke some backup?" Naruto grunted as he hoisted Kakashi over the roof of a nearby building.
Kakashi's head poked over the roof just in time to see Sakura jump up and wrap her legs around Sasuke's hips, their lips still locked.
"I think he has it handled." Kakashi said, flushing as Sasuke began walking in the direction of Uchiha manor, still holding on tightly to the pink-haired ninja.