To End a Life

Summary: His turquoise eyes held her verdant ones for a moment and he took her small, ivory hand into his. "Sakura…are you sure about this?" In reply, she squeezed his hand, softly saying, "I have to, Gaara. It's the only way." [Gaara x Sakura] [Oneshot prize for -delicate desires]







"You Fight Me" by Breaking Benjamin

Disclaimer: Do I wish I owned Naruto. Then Orochimaru and Sakura can hook up just like I always wanted them to.

"Can we live a life of peace and happiness?
I don't think so.

No denying I am scared to lose the things I love.
I'm in control.

This is how, this is how it's going to end.
This is how, this is how it's going to end."

-You Fight Me, Breaking Benjamin

Sakura simply knew better.

She conceived that the Sasuke they once remembered was long gone, dead, buried and was replaced with a gross skeleton of him, a monster wearing his skin. And his change sickened her. So much that she was afraid Naruto would try to win him back on their side anyway and die in the process. If she had to choose between one of her teammates, Sakura would always pick the boisterous, relentless, and ramen-loving blonde ninja who had aspired to be Hokage one day. He was the one who had been for her, not Sasuke.


The said medic snapped her head up, finding herself trapped into the impregnable gaze of Sabaku no Gaara. But her expression softened and she almost looked weary as she traded stares with Gaara. "Gaara, you know I won't change my mind on the matter. Not even Naruto can do that if he realized what we were up to."

The Fifth Kazekage nodded wordlessly, his pale features perfectly blasé yet Sakura caught a flash of concern in his orbs. His turquoise eyes held her verdant ones for a moment and he took her small, ivory hand into his. "Sakura…are you sure about this?" he inquired, thumb rubbing against her skin tenderly.

In reply, she squeezed his hand, softly saying, "I have to, Gaara. It's the only way."

"I know, Sakura, I know," he murmured, dropping her hand before he cupped her chin. "I'm just worried about your safety, Sakura. The last time I saw Sasuke, he absolutely lost it. His mind is completely unhinged, he can barely tell from friend or foe. Madara is the only one he trusts now." His thumb brushed itself against her rosy, beckoning lips and a tingle rippled down the roseate-headed kuniochi's spine. Only Gaara could ever make her feel this way, to feel special, wanted, and loved. Becoming Kohona's ambassador to Suna was positively one of the best choices she had ever made–that is what eventually brought her to Gaara and their budding, romantic relationship.

Sakura placed one hand on top of Gaara's and rest her face against his soft, soothing touch. She didn't know when she would ever be in his arms again or if she would ever receive another chance. She could very well die in this mission to eliminate Sasuke and possibly Madara if the opportunity arose.

"Do you think Naruto will forgive me once he realizes our plan?" she murmured dolefully, trying to block out the image of her dear companion's pained expression once he learned of the truth, "He still thinks Sasuke can be saved…but I know in my heart he can't. I won't risk the chance of sacrificing countless of innocent Kohona denizens to Sasuke's brutal contempt just for the moment to see if he can be swayed to our side. He's too absorbed in his despisal for the Leaf Village…he wallows in blood, animus, and turpitude."

Madara has corrupted him far too much, he's gone into the brink of insanity. There is no hope for him in redemption now.

During her release of all her fears, Gaara listened to Sakura silently, only filtering his fingers through her pink rose tresses and stroked her scalp affectionately, much like a mother would do to her children if they were plagued with some great distress. When she was finished only then did he answer.

"He would be fool if he didn't forgive you, Sakura. We already know that Naruto will fight Sasuke to the death to protect Kohana and prevent himself from having to kill the Uchiha."

"And that is why I must do this," Sakura interjected, lifting her emerald eyes up to Gaara's turquoise ones, "For Naruto. For Kohona and the rest of the shinobi village." The next sentence she uttered was softer but more lucid and stronger than the previous utterances.

"For us, Gaara-kun."

After that, they didn't converse about Sasuke, Naruto, Madara, or the growing threat to Kohona. The troubled shinobi couple simply trapped themselves in a fervent, romantic enfoldment and kissed each other senselessly, like there was no tomorrow.

Truth be told, there might not be one if all didn't go as planned.

Blood covered the ground, the foliage, and the clothes of her teammates. Those tiny, carmine droplets splattered against the colorless sky, spiraling into the air. The coppery stench thoroughly reeked the battlefield but the smell barely daunted Sakura at all. Even though Naruto forbid her or Kakashi to intervene, Sakura refuse to sit by and let her best friend throw his life away.

Naruto's Rasengan and Sasuke's Chidori clashed against once more, creating a rumbling, truculent explosion that led to more colossal damage and destruction. If they keep this up, the whole land will be in utter ruins. The earth could even collapse underneath them and swallow them whole.

Well, the ground could take Sasuke but not Naruto.

Sparing a quick glance over to her former teacher, Sakura fathomed Kakashi wouldn't stop her once she got going. If he did, Gaara would back her up. Unbeknownst to everyone else except for the rosette-haired medic-nin, Gaara had suppressed his chakra and cached himself in a cluster of vegetation right behind Sakura and Kakashi, poised and prepared to step in if Sakura's scheme should fail. He would also reveal himself if Naruto or Kakashi attempted to prevent Sakura from ending Sasuke's life on the spot.

Not wanting to waste another second, Sakura quickly formed a chakra scalpel and rushed forward, ignoring Kakashi's cries of protest. Schooling a resolved, firm, but impassive expression on her visage, Sakura used her free hand to punch an enormous crater into the ground, startling both males and promptly separating them from each other. Now that Naruto was no longer in danger of being caught in the middle of her deadly scheme, the roseate-haired kuniochi sprinted up to the panting Sasuke. Most of his energy and chakra had been drained but by no means was he defeated and down for the count. That's why she had to be the one to end this, not just for Naruto's sake, but everyone's sake.

"Sakura! NO!" screamed Naruto, who fathomed what exactly she was going to execute. Sasuke reached out to halt her actions but Sakura's hand was quicker. Her fingers deftly found the pressure point that would immobilize him for a few minutes yet that was all the time she would need.

Crumpling to the earthly ground, the motionless Sasuke now simply stared at her glowing hand, a humorous sneer gracing his features while a crazed gleam entered his pitiless sable orbs. "Looks like Sakura had more guts to do what you couldn't, Naruto!" he mocked, laughing satanically. Lips curling up in distaste, and a resolution to put an end to the cruel, hideous chortle and silence her ex-teammate once and for all flooded Sakura like never before, her raging emotions tantamount to a massive, fulminating tidal wave of ire and repulsion. Bringing her arm down, Sakura's hand reached forward, aiming for his heart with supernal swiftness and precision.

Her strike was straight and true.

In a matter of seconds, Sasuke's heart was now a bleeding, contorted mess of crimson matter and tissue. The young Uchiha laid sprawled amidst the soiled grass, a sanguinary hole in his chest while his blank, lackluster onyx eyes stared up at the colorless sky, his mouth opened wide in a frozen, insane laugh that had been silenced rapidly.

Turning away from the corpse, Sakura leveled her grim, placid viridian eyes with Naruto's Copenhagen blue ones. For a moment, they didn't speak. Then, after letting the Kyuubi container digest the shock and death of his greatly fallen comrade, the medic-nin spoke.

"You were right, Naruto, when you said you wouldn't kill Sasuke." She tilted her head upwards, at the sky and a faint smile grazed her lips when she saw the first rays of the sun peek out of the murky, thick grey mist. "Someone else had to do the task for you."

Pivoting around on the balls of her feet, Sakura said no more and walked back to Kakashi, who hadn't moved an inch since she took off. Gaara by then had revealed his presence and was already offering his hand out to her.

"Ready to go?" he asked once she nestled herself into his embrace, his lips roaming over hers for a few brief, glorious seconds. She nodded firmly, murmuring a soft "yes". Clutching her tightly, Gaara concentrated hard and particles of sand swirled all around them, forming a whirling, raucous shield for the couple as Gaara gradually began transporting them back to his village. Before they were completely gone, the Kazekage's last words to both Kakashi and Naruto would forever echo in their ears and minds:

"Do not blame her."

And then a couple of years later, Gaara and Sakura got hitched, started a family, and lived happily ever after. The End. (What the hell was this sentence doing above the line? I could have sworn I fixed that! Grrr....)

Haha, don't take the above sentences seriously but yes, that ending can be implied for this oneshot. Without Sasuke around to terrorize the villages, Sakura and Gaara can finally settle down, do a little dance, make a little love, and get down tonight. Whoa, whoa, I'll stop there before it turns R-rated–or M-rated in fanfiction terms.

So, anyway, this is -delicate desires's prize for winning second place in my Naruto challenge. I hoped you all enjoyed this little piece of some Gaara/Sakura love.

And I'm transmuting out. I have nothing more to say.