you're not only beautiful, odette.
you're everything i want and everything i need and i'm in love with you; it's that simple.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
Sasuke dropped his car keys onto the counter and then threw himself to the sofa, groaning and ignoring the stares his friends were giving him.
Naruto looked at his friend concernedly, "Sasuke? What's wrong?"
"Where's Neji?" Sasuke asked, rolling to his back, as Kiba towered over him from behind the sofa.
"He went out to drop Tenten home," Naruto answered, peering at him, "What happened? Did you guys have a fight?"
Which was the truth; they didn't have a fight. It would have been better if they did, if she was furious at him and if she yelled at him. It would have been better if she was angry at him, so he could tell her just how sorry he was. As it was, he could only curse his own stupidity and… and God, he didn't even need to think about it anymore. He knew why they should be together, knew that they were both far, so very far, beyond just being expected, just being inevitable… and how on earth did she get another impression?
Because the answer to her question—What if our friends start breaking up? Will you say that it's inevitable for us to break up as well?—was no, and it had always been and would always be a no. He just didn't immediately see it, but even if all of their friends broke up, even if all of them lost faith in relationships and everything related, he would still want to be with her for as long as she wanted it. They might not be the catch-you-off-guard, leave-you-breathless, sweep-you-off-your-feet way; he might not realize he liked her all of a sudden, one day right out of the blue, but it didn't matter.
None of it mattered.
What mattered the most was—God, what mattered at all was that he wanted to be with her, more than anything else, even if they weren't the love-at-first-sight, wow-you're-ugly-turned-beautiful kind, even if they weren't the I-love-you-but-I-hate-you type, even if what they were didn't exactly have a rulebook yet, didn't exactly have a fairytale or a romance novel or a movie to back it up and to ensure that it would all work out in the end.
But it was a risk worth taking.
They were friends, and while friends-falling-for-each-other was an overused plot, there was never any exact same story to theirs. There would never be, because there was only one of him in this whole wide world, and he only wanted her.
Her. Sakura. The only girl in the world who could make him laugh at any given time, the only girl on earth who was able to shoot him to hell and cloud nine with one word, the only girl he liked—perhaps even loved—and wanted to be with.
And he just fucked up.
"Sasuke?" Kiba poked his shoulder, "What's wrong, man? Speak up!"
He just fucked up big time.
"I'm going to my room," he stood up abruptly and walked right into his room, slamming the door behind him and locking it, ignoring the looks Naruto and Kiba were throwing at him. They would interrogate him later, of course, and give him all kinds of useful and not-so-useful advices, for they were friends and friends did that for each other all the time, but for now…
For now he needed to think. He needed to sort it out by himself, because he owed it to her that he did and he wanted to do it for her. For now, that was all he cared about. For now, he needed time for himself, but that was okay, too.
Because to hell with everything else, he was going to make them happen.
What was the solution when you sort of kind of broke your best friend's heart?
Kiba only had one suggestion: write her a song.
"It's a romantic gesture, dude," he told Sasuke when Sasuke just looked at him dubiously, "It works with every girl I've been with. It doesn't even have to be a complete song, honestly. Just one, two verse, enough for her to break into tears and forgive you."
"It works with Ino?" Sasuke couldn't help but to ask, because hell, he couldn't imagine Ino, the queen of everything badass and the only girl who had Kiba literally begging, settling for something as simple as a song. Well, of course songs weren't… simple, but it just didn't fit her image.
"Well, Ino is special, so no," Kiba replied easily, grinning, "But the gist is basically the same. You know it, don't you? Make her happy, tell her things she wants to hear, tell her you were wrong—even if you're not, really—and spoil her. Really spoil her. It works, guaranteed."
Sasuke sighed deeply. He didn't know what possessed him to ask Kiba—dog-boy might have been an A-class playboy who wooed and charmed every girl before Ino wooed and charmed him with a flick of her hair, but Kiba's previous girlfriends were nothing like Sakura. Honestly, what was he thinking?
They were at Cloud Nine, the club they were performing for tonight. Neji and Naruto were going over their numbers, leaving Sasuke and Kiba alone to set up the instruments. Sasuke had been very, very composed—until he saw Sakura walk in with Tenten, chattering and giggling and looking happy about god-knows-what and all of a sudden, it just crossed his mind that she might not need him the way he did.
It had been a week since they last talked, and Sasuke was planning to talk to her tonight, even if he had to meet her parents and grovel. He had been prepared for that, and he distinctly remembered that he had been prepared to talk to her, too, only now it all seemed to dissolve into nothingness as soon as he saw her.
Ino arrived backstage about two minutes after that. When she saw Sasuke, she immediately jabbed a sharp nail on his arm.
"You're a jerk, Uchiha Sasuke," she announced, though her eyes were twinkling, "But you're the one she chose, jerk that you are, so I give you my leave to court her. Officially."
"Is that all?" Sasuke asked, rolling his eyes.
A smile blossomed on her lips, "Make her happy, wouldn't you? She deserves it."
"I know," he replied, "I'll talk to her."
"You have five minutes," Kiba reminded him, "We're starting at eight."
"I won't be late," Sasuke said and then walked to the crowd. If his instincts were correct, she would be at the table by the window, as always, with Tenten.
And he was right. There she was, sitting with Tenten and chattering happily.
Sasuke cleared his throat, shoved his hands into his pockets, and approached. "Sakura."
Her smile froze on her face, but didn't die, "Sasuke."
"I'll go order a drink," Tenten offered, standing up, but he gestured for her to sit back down.
"Sakura, I want to talk to you," he continued, inwardly realizing for the nth time in his life that he would never be excellent with words, "We're done at nine. Will you be here until then?"
She looked at him impassively, emerald eyes glinting under the light, but she finally nodded. There could have been a tiny, tiny smile on her lips, but he wasn't sure if he actually saw it or if he imagined it. When he noticed he was staring, whatever he thought could be a smile had disappeared and she was staring back at him.
He would be discouraged if she wasn't Sakura and he wasn't Sasuke, but she was, and he was, and as it was, Sasuke didn't give up easily.
He went up to the stage thirty seconds late, his eyes searching for her in the darkness. When she locked her gaze with his, her hands on her lap, he felt a wave of relief wash over him. It was going to be fine. It was going to be better than fine, and he knew it.
So he smiled boyishly at her, picked up the microphone, and said, "Sakura? Stay. This is for you."
Because he might not be able to be as straightforward as Naruto, as smooth as Neji, or as flirtatious as Kiba, but this, Sasuke could do.
Oh yes. This, Sasuke could do perfectly.
When he started singing, his words resonated through the room, and he could have sworn that a smile blossomed on her lips.
He didn't care that he stood for more than one hour on the stage. He didn't care that the audience went wild the moment they started playing their first tune. He didn't care that the club owner gave them a thick, fat bonus and offered them a permanent slot, even if that was something they had all been waiting for since their first day.
No, all he knew and cared about was that he had to find Sakura. Now.
She was standing outside the club when he found her. Her eyes were glinting under the moonlight and he had the funniest urge to run right to her and pull her into his arms. He didn't, though, because when she turned to look at him, she looked so quiet he didn't know what would happen if he dared to do so.
"Hey," he began, "You're still here."
"You wanted me to stay," she shot back, crossing her arms. She took a step forward and then pointed a warning finger at him, a half-smile almost breaking on her lips, "So—"
"Can we go somewhere else?"
Her eyes gleamed, but she didn't move, "Why?"
"Because you wanted to celebrate your freedom," he answered simply, "and I want to do just that."
If Sakura was surprised, then she had the grace not to show it. Instead, she just nodded and followed him to his car. He was rather relieved that she didn't object to any of his plans, but then again, he was sure that she didn't… hate him, just yet. Ten minutes later, they were at the park in front of his house. Grabbing a plastic bag from the backseat, he then motioned for her to sit on the bench, before handing her the bag. Peering into it, Sakura withdrew two cans of soda and a package of sparklers.
"You actually got fireworks," she said flatly.
"I got sparklers. There's a difference," he told her, and then smirked, "Besides, you were the one who wanted to celebrate." He lit one up and handed it to her, watching as she watched the sparks fly, and then lit one for himself, before finally sitting down beside her.
"Nice performance today," commented Sakura lightly, never taking her eyes off the colorful flames alight at the end of her sparkler, "The first song is really nice."
"Thank you," Sasuke paused, "I wrote the song for you."
"Fine, we wrote the song together," he looked at her attentively, wondering how the hell she got that so quickly, for was he really that transparent? "But it was my idea and you were my inspiration. You still are, if you let me."
"Right," she rolled her eyes.
"I'm not lying," he protested.
"I know," Sakura said, "You fold your fingers when you lie."
Sasuke frowned, stepping forward to lean closer to her, "You are way too used to me."
Seemingly unaffected, she only shrugged, "We just spend too much time together, that's all," her eyes gleamed with something he couldn't identify, "It's inevitable, isn't it?"
"Is it that bad that we get along so well?" he asked, "Because sue me if I'm wrong, Sakura, but you don't seem too happy about it, and I believe you enjoy… you enjoyed what we have."
"I don't like that word," she scrunched her nose and looked at her feet, refusing to return his gaze, "It makes everything sound like a duty, somehow, like you have no choice but to do something in some way. It's like you're bound to it, you know? I like it better when you do have a choice, and then you… make one."
"Is this why you're afraid, Sakura?"
Sakura watched as the sparks die slowly, and then chuckled, "Are you really all that surprised that I am?" when he didn't reply, she continued, "You basically told me that you don't have any other choice but me. We're not… magnets, Sasuke. You're not bound to me, or something. Not that way. And it's like… what else is there?"
He looked at her, almost acerbically, "You know that's not what I meant."
"I don't, though," she said quietly, her face somber and strangely pensive, "That's the thing, I don't know."
"Will you believe me if I tell you the truth?"
"Will you convince me if I don't?"
He didn't miss a beat, "I'll do whatever it takes to make you believe that… that I was given a choice, Sakura. I was given a lot of choices, but I chose you."
She almost smiled, but didn't.
Sasuke looked at her, and wondered inwardly what it was that he thought he needed to say, all of those sleepless nights before. He could have sworn he had more than ten things he wanted to tell her, but all of them seemed to disappear when he saw her. That list was important to win her back, damn it.
"Look, Sakura, I—" oh, screw it, he thought, and said, "Sakura, I only want you."
"Do you honestly think I don't?" he looked at her incredulously, and when she didn't reply, continued, "Listen, you're the only person I spend most of my time with. Sakura, we've been friends for a long time. It's safe to say that we've been only friends for too long a time," he took a deep breath, "I wasn't kidding when I told you how much I felt—feel—for you."
"I know," she said.
"I mean all of what I said to you tonight, Sakura. All of it. I'll even repeat it to you again if you need convincing," Sasuke said, looking so livid for one second. He took her hand and pressed a brief kiss to the back of it, "Don't you already know the answer to your own question? I like you, more than I've ever liked anyone else my whole life. So no, Sakura, even if all of our friends break up and never get together again, we're different than them."
A chuckle escaped her lips, just audible enough for him to catch it. Slowly, he felt himself relaxing, and as he did, he only stared at her.
"It doesn't have to be complicated, Sakura," he said finally, voice low, when she only stared back in all quietness, "It doesn't have to be complicated."
Sakura watched the bright yellow flame for two, three, four seconds, and then said, "Tell me how simple it really is, then."
It sounded like a challenge. It sounded like a real challenge, and Sasuke never backed down from challenges.
"Haruno Sakura, I like you. You like me. You're everything I want and everything I need and I might even be a little bit in love with you, so—"
She really, really smiled then, and he felt all of the burden on his shoulder disappear, just like that.
"—so for as long as you want to be with me, I'll be with you. It's that simple."
"I know," Sakura repeated gently, putting the sparkler away, "I know."
"I'm sorry I ever made you think otherwise."
"Hush," she said, and he felt her hand on his, "I'm sorry I ever doubted you. I shouldn't have. Because we're different from other people, aren't we?"
"Yes," he replied, squeezing her hand, and then smirked as he leaned down to kiss the top of her head, "Now, you tell me what I want to hear."
Sakura smiled against his neck, feeling his arms circle around her waist, "Must you absolutely hear it?"
She looked up and put a tentative finger on his lips, "Uchiha Sasuke, I like you. You like me. You're everything I want and everything I need, and—" she paused, and grinned.
Hearing that, all he wanted to do was jump high in the air or grin from ear to ear like an idiot, but she was in his arms, right now, and all he never wanted to do was to let her go, so he only prompted, "And?"
"And I think I'm in love with you, too."
"Glad to know," Sasuke did grin then, "Now, that wasn't too hard, was it?"
"No," she shook her head, grinning back, "No, that wasn't hard at all."
He raised her up to his lap, his hand on the back of her head, both her hands on his shoulder, and then kissed her fully on the mouth, sealing their deal for once and for all.
Because this was it.
This was it. This was the beginning. This was their beginning, and Sasuke had a feeling that this was going to last for a very, very, very long time.
It's done. Yeah, that's the end of it! I think some parts were kinda cheesy, but to be honest, I haven't had much of a (romantic) inspiration these days, because well, IT'S NEARLY EXAMS MONTH. (IB exams, I can't wait to get you over with.) So anyway, hope you enjoyed it. Hope it didn't make you cringe. Because Ireally do think that relationships don't have to be complicated. They can be simple. In fact, there's a lot of beauty in really simple things. You just have to look, and the effort to look instead of just see is sometimes what makes it even more beautiful.
So never give up, you know. (Or something. XD)
ANYWAY, MAJOR THANKS FOR EVERYTHING. You people rock! I LOVE YOU ALL.