Author's Notes: I'll say it from the very start… this is not a happy fic. And it involves a mentally unstable Sasuke… So yes, you've been warned. Still, I hope you guys like it. R&R. Thanks.
Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Kishimoto.
And He Was Pleased
It took Uchiha Sasuke exactly three hours, forty-two minutes, and fifty-six seconds to completely level Konoha.
And he was pleased.
Reduced to rubble, the village had become a shadow of what it once was, its former majesty now just a faint memory.
Not quite in the pink of sanity, Sasuke thought it a wonderful idea to wander around and admire his handiwork.
Of course, he had help. Deidara – or what used to be Deidara – played quite a big role in blowing up buildings and houses. Also, another Akatsuki member, Pain, had come and weakened the village considerably just a few months prior.
Many people died in the attack, but Pain – or rather, Nagato – had deemed it proper to give the dead back their lives.
It was, Sasuke thought scathingly, rather generous of the former Akatsuki member to do so. Especially if one considered the cost of that technique… and all for what? This worthless village? Tch. What a joke.
Smugly, he kicked a pebble, sending it hurtling to a large heap of debris.
Just look where his little act of generosity got him… only months later, and his sacrifice was proved to be all for naught.
He would probably have been better off if he did his mission properly, destroying not just the infrastructure, but the people too.
Not that Sasuke was complaining, of course. At least Nagato left him with something to destroy, something to vent his anger on – and really, destroying lives was much more satisfying than just destroying mere buildings. There was this special 'fwip' that flesh made whenever he slashed or stabbed it. Buildings had more of a 'thunk' sound, quite boring. The 'fwip' was better.
So, no, he wasn't complaining. Not at all.
In fact, he could safely say that things worked out pretty nicely.
Yes, he thought as he surveyed the chaos and confusion that now ruled what was left of the village, things worked out quite nicely indeed.
The Uchiha Clan was now officially avenged.
Well, there was still Madara to worry about, but he still had time. He had lots of time.
For now, he would bask in his victory and—
—It was then that he saw it.
A flash of pink, there, a bit to the left of that spot where the pebble landed, buried under a pile of dust and cement. A familiar flash of pink.
Unable to contain an inexplicable need to know, he sauntered over to the place where he saw the slightly offensive color.
Almost gingerly, he picked off the debris one by one, slowly revealing a corpse. Gently, almost reverently, he turned the body over and brushed the dust off the face of – he was certain now – his former teammate.
It made him slightly uneasy to know that she had died in the attack. There was a faint, barely-there twinge somewhere in the region of his chest, but it was mostly negligible and he experienced no trouble in dismissing it.
Of course she would have died in the attack, Konoha-nin that she was – in fact, he should have expected it. It was only right. It was only rational.
Without thinking, he lifted the corpse unto a sitting position and placed it against the rubble. Satisfied that she – or it – would at least stay upright, he backed off a few paces and crouched.
He cocked his head to the side and looked at the hollowed out shell of the woman he would have married had he stayed in Konoha.
Oh, he knew he would have married her. There was simply nobody else. He didn't know exactly why, but he found her presence quite soothing – probably because she resembled his mother, not in looks, but in her attitude, towards him, anyway. She was quite a little hellion to the people she disliked; but to him, she was always doting and caring and nice – and that was how he liked it, selfish being that he was. He liked the special attention, basked in it, even. And he knew that, if he had never left in the first place, he would have eventually married her, built a family with her, and ultimately grew old with her.
It was a tempting idea, and he would not deny that it crossed his mind several times in the past six years, especially when things got particularly tough for him.
But of course, staying in Konoha meant staying ignorant of his brother's sacrifice – and that was simply out of the question.
Cautiously, he scooted over closer to her and brushed a strand of hair out of her face.
She was rather pretty, he supposed, not enough to be strikingly beautiful, but enough to be pleasant to look at. There was a gash in her stomach, quite obviously fatal, not the least bit grotesque – and nothing, really, compared to the other fatal injuries he had seen today. In fact, she probably had it easy, dying by such a clean stroke.
What struck him, however, was the way her expression, even in death, was contorted into one of pure sorrow.
The dried tear stains on her cheek were a dead giveaway, of course. But that wasn't all, no, it didn't even come close. Her expression was moving – beautiful, really. The way that her pain, her grief, was palpable even through the barrier of death was simply artistic.
He wondered how she died, wondered who killed her, wondered if she was – maybe, just maybe – looking at him during those very last moments, frozen, unable to believe how the boy she used to love, maybe even still loved, had come to destroy all she held dear.
The thought was simply flattering, and he easily found himself obsessing over it, turning scenario after scenario over in his head. Oh, what he would have given just to have seen her then, green eyes glazing over, adorable little mouth forming a quaint 'O' of horror.
And all because of him.
Smirking, he closed the distance between himself and the girl, and placed a chaste kiss on her forehead, noting with something akin to glee how cold it was.
He supposed he would have to talk to Kabuto, unpleasant as the prospect of talking to that freak was.
He would do it for her. He owed her that much.
Silently and slowly, he stood up, lifted the corpse, and slung it over his shoulder.
It occurred to him then that he probably was insane. The very idea was as laughable as it was undeniable. But really, there wasn't anything he could do about it.
It was the truth, pure and indisputable, as real as the rubble he was currently standing on.
It took Uchiha Sasuke exactly three minutes and two seconds to fall completely in love with Haruno Sakura.
And he was pleased.