First of all, it's Lee/Sakura.
Second, there are three ways I've written it...
1) Sakura looking back on her life and commenting on it. (future is like about 2-3 days forward)
2) inner thoughts at the present (italics)
oh, and the flashback of course which is all italicized. Her inner thoughts then 'look like this.'
And the most important, this was a request from lotus2490, sorry for the long wait.
Well, I was at one of Konoha's training fields last Wednesday, and it was raining. Thick rain, the kind you could draw back like velvet curtains; and the kind that spikes through the tree branches and soaks you to your underwear, messing your clothes and leaving you cold. It pounded out a dull rhythm against the grasses, accompanied by a sweeping wind that howled and cried like a baby. I guess I shouldn't have been training then, but there I was, stubbornly working away.
I had gotten up early to train, to work on my stamina and control; because I want to keep up with Naruto and the others. I'm confident in my improved abilities as a Ninja thanks to the Hokage, but Naruto and Lee have advanced greatly these past few years, and it is my intention to hold my own against those boys, for they are great ninja. Tsunade-sama and I work from dawn until nightfall on everything- medical techniques, fighting and defense, Genjutsu too. Now that Sasuke is gone I focus better on my jutsu. He's half the reason I work so damn hard, to bring him back, I mean. Naruto and I have sworn we'll drag him back to Konoha, albeit in pieces if we must, and both of us intend to keep that promise.
When I wake up each morning, and the first rays of sunlight reach my eyes, I know it's another day to work hard, to train until I drop to the ground as limp as a flower that's been deprived of all water. Red sun from the east reminds me of why I work so much, pushing the limits of my body, pushing past the stabbing aches in my thighs, stomach and chest. The nagging injuries that never seem to leave don't bother me now, because I know that I'm strong.
I put my efforts and passion into my life as a ninja not because I want Uchiha Sasuke to love me, but because I want to help make my village strong and respectable. I want people to respect me as they respect Naruto, and I also want to bring Sasuke back to the home he belongs in. I want the confidence and self assurance that Naruto has, and the compassion for others so characteristic of Lee. In short, I want to make myself something that no one ever believed I could be, because the hopes and dreams for my future are no longer to be Mrs. Uchiha.
Hah. Mrs. Uchiha.
I must sadly admit that a small part tucked deep inside of me hates Uchiha Sasuke. He left me that night without many words or a reasonable explanation; and like the fool I was, I even offered my help blindly. He's a black spot on my heart, like some disease that won't ever kill you, just take your life and twist it till it's unrecognizably mangled.
But I shouldn't talk about Sasuke like this, because I know I don't mean it. I may not be in love with him, but both Naruto and I love him as a brother and friend; and even if our concern is wasted on him, it doesn't matter. We're fully aware that it's so hard for him to love, because he only has room in his heart for seething hatred of his brother. If only he realized how much Naruto and I miss him.
Perhaps underneath, he remembers the battle with Haku and Zabuza, and when he saved Naruto's life, and all those countless other times. That was our first real mission as team Kakashi, and we all came through it alive, even though just barely.
I miss the old Sasuke.
Well, there's one moment in my mind that will always reflect the real Sasuke, the real team Kakashi. Immediately after Gai-sensei and Lee left before the Chunin exam began, we all decided together to take that test head on, no looking back; all as one. We walked through the doorway, Sasuke, me and Naruto, not knowing what we'd face and how it'd change all of our lives and take us spinning off in directions we didn't want to go. We walked through that door together, just the three of us; and we believed in each other.
I train to bring that Sasuke back, in body and spirit. That's also why I was there that Wednesday, working in the pouring rain.
Sweat poured down Sakura's thighs, arms, forehead and stomach. Her pink hair clung sickly to her face and the back of her neck, saturated with water and matted down with sweat and dirt. Smudges and scratches covered her knees and arms and legs, and her clothes were ripped in several places. Her muscles twitched spasmodically, totally worn from the grueling movements she'd put herself through for the past few hours. Her arms barely responded when she picked up kunai to practice her aim, or when she struggled with gritted teeth and a groan to complete a pushup. Her whole body began trembling underneath the deluge of the summer storm, her toned legs finally releasing as she collapsed into the mud. She breathed in heavily, and out again with a pained sigh. In, out, in, out. He chest rose and fell in a rhythm with the rain, as she calmed her mind down after over-exerting herself.
"Great, I pushed myself too far again! If only I had Naruto's stamina!" She panted, heaving for air to breathe as her heat raced like a horse running scared in a blind, wild-eyed panic at night. She felt like that horse sometimes, galloping through the blackness, just hoping to escape the nagging fears behind her that she couldn't see, and to avoid the trees in front and come out of the chase alive. Naruto was usually there to help her train, and to have lunch with her afterwards, too; but Naruto was busy with Kakashi, and didn't have time to spend with her at the present.
So, she would just have to do it herself, even if it meant working alone in the rain.
Her body began shivering and shaking from stress and the cold that penetrated her skin from the rain. Even though it was summer, the rain still bored into her and chilled her core frightfully; and when compounded with the current state of her body, she decided she'd better get inside to the warmth.
"Hah, hah, hah," she breathed. Then, a a soft swishing noise of footsteps. She sat up suddenly, alert and watchful of her surroundings. A small rustle had perked her ears up and she wasn't about to let down her guard.
"Lee!" Sakura gasped incredulously. 'What is he doing out here?'
"Sakura! What are you doing out here! You do know it is raining right? You look totally exhausted, I must get you inside!"
Lee trotted over to her collapsed form on the muddy grass, and grabbed her hand to pull her up. His always genuine smile plastered on his face gave Sakura some heart, and she clambered up.
"Hello, Lee. I was training, I want to become the best ninja I can be, like you and Naruto." She smiled seriously at him, knowing he'd understand hard work. He trained as hard as he could every day, despite injuries that should have ended his life as a Ninja, and some just should have ended his life alone. He'd grittily struggled past more obstacles than either her or Naruto, and that meant something to her. Lee, who could only use Taijutsu, had trained every single day, every possible minute he could to make himself better; because he too wanted to be the best ninja that his body allowed.
'He works harder than me, Naruto and Sasuke put together. Not only this, but his compassion for others extends beyond that of a saint's. He cares so much about the people important to him!'
"I understand. I too understand what it means to work hard for something; but Sakura you have collapsed! Let's go back to town and get back inside before you get sick!" He grinned and stood before her, getting soaked through by the rain.
"Yes, I think that'd be a good idea. But, why were you out here Lee? I didn't see that you were training.." They began a slow walk back to town, ignoring the fact they were getting even wetter.
"I was just taking a walk, Sakura. Some days I just need to take a walk and think about things in my life."
She nodded in response. She'd done much of the same thing in the past few years.
They conversed casually about life in Konoha, and various things. The Kunoichi wasn't afraid of Lee's incredible weirdness any more. She'd grown up since the Chunin Exam, and knew there was more to life than looks, and Lee was a person that she recognized for his unshakable devotion and strength. He had indeed become an irreplaceable companion.
Time: the present
"Ah, ah AH-CHOO!"
It's now Friday, and I'm still stuck in bed because I got the freakin' FLU! Gah! Just my luck.
"Rap, rap, rap."
"Come in." Now, who could that be?
Lee creaked the door open and stepped into the apartment, holding a bowl of.. something. Whatever it is, I can't tell by it's scent, because thanks to my freakin' nose, I can't smell!
Holding the small porcelain bowl full of steaming food, he walked to her night-stand and placed the bowl on the table's surface, complete with spoon.
"Here, Sakura! I brought you some soup to help you recover. I know how it bothers you to be sick, and unable to train, and I thought this might help you feel better!"
What a sincere guy. She returned Lee's simple and content smile; there on his face because he was able to help her to feel better.
"Thank you, Lee. I'm sure it'll work wonders!" She waved at him as he quietly let himself out the door, leaving her in the peace of her bedroom.
The late morning sun slid past the curtains on her window, and warmed her feverish face. She snuggled herself comfortably under the covers, trying to forget that she couldn't train, and just relax and recover. The soft cotton sheets and plush pillows didn't help to ease her roiling mind as much as she would've liked, though.
I'm a medical ninja, dammit! Medics don't get the flu! Augh, I'm so stupid for training in the rain like that, what was I thinking?
Thoroughly ruffled, she wrestled the sheets off her body and stretched up, easing the tension in her back and arms. The soreness from a few days ago had faded into a silent, small throb, and she would've felt fighting fit, save for her alternating feverish and cold spells, plus sore throat, coughs, and sneezes..
Glancing around the room, her eyes landed on the white porcelain bowl Lee had set on her table. Silky coils of steam rose from the semi-transparent vegetable soup, and she tried in vain to catch a small whiff of it, but with no luck.
She reached over and picked up the delicate bowl, wincing from the heat it radiated. Carefully blowing on it, she waited a moment for the steaming golden liquid to cool.
I wonder.. Did he cook this himself? I didn't know Lee could cook. I wonder if it's any good.
"Well, here goes!" She half muttered taking a small sip. "Mmf!"
Shocked at it's light, yet enticing flavor, she sipped again and reveled in the soup's wonderful taste.
Quickly, Sakura could see her face shining in the bottom of the cleaned out bowl.
That tasted great! I never would have guessed Lee has such good cooking skills!
Content and full, Sakura leaned back lazily on the pillows she had propped up, and closed her eyes, letting herself slip off into a quiet sleep free from feverish tossing.
"Rap, rap rap."
A slight knock on the door stirred her sleep only a little, and she didn't awake.
The door creaked open, and Lee poked his head round the corner, and glimpsed Sakura, asleep.
"Oh," he sighed happily. I hope she is feeling better now.
Without making a sound, (Lee was a ninja after all) he crept to her bedside and collected the small bowl from the table, observing her sleeping face.
She looks so peaceful.
Lee stared at her for a few moments; the golden sun's noon rays lighting her glossy hair and the gentle curves of her chin and cheek; and a faint blush on her skin from it's warmth. She slumbered so quietly, so gently, her chest rising up and down in a slow rhythm, like a softly beating drum. Her dark eyelashes curved smoothly upwards from her closed eyelids, and Lee felt truly awed by this simple scene. A tranquil breeze fluttered through the room from the open window and brushed Sakura's hair about her face gently, and she shivered a little. After pulling up a soft blanket over her, Lee pattered out the door of her apartment, closing it behind him and leaning against it.
For a single moment, Lee cast his face down and sighed, before bringing his head back up with a set, genuine smile.
Perhaps you may never feel about me the way I feel for you, Sakura, but no matter what, know that I will always be there for the ones who are precious to me!
Thanks for reading and sorry for taking so long to right this request *bows my head*