A/N: I did have some one-shots for the SYWBL universe planned out, and I had toyed with ever releasing them. I had finished the story, at least. But there were loose ends (where did Jin go? How is their relationship?) that I had always imagined tying up. I'm not sure if I'll make it through all the plot bunnies in my head, but I'm going to at least do some of them.
This is, as I said, set in the SYWBL universe. I'm sure they can be understood without having read it, but some of the characters, past events, and dialogue in this story will not make sense without having read it.
"You truly are…Kazedama. Only we…can be…this cruel." He stopped, coughing and choking as the blood in his throat bubbled up. "Only we…kill our own family."
She looked at him, the horror in her mind not showing on her face.
His eyes met hers, scorn, acceptance, even pride showing in his eyes.
"The blood is strong in you. You can…try to be Haruno. Try." He laughed, wet and sick noises coming from his torn chest as he mocked her, even now.
"I don't have to try. I am Haruno."
"No. You are…mine. Me. Kazedama."
The image in her mind, of a young woman with brown hair, slowly morphed. Pink began to show through, deepening to a blood red. She could see a calculated coldness enter green eyes, hardness tensing muscles through the slim body.
Someone was coming. She could feel them.
She turned, her blade striking out quickly and flashing in the sunlight. Blood flew through the air to splatter against the broken furniture in the now-destroyed living room of a once grand mansion, and the woman grinned.
The feel of satisfying the bloodlust was ecstasy, and she enjoyed the tingling thrill that swept through her bones. This was what he meant, she realized, this acceptance that she could do anything, be anything, as long as it was what she wanted.
Her aunt's hair flew in an arc as she fell backward, the look on her face torturous—
Sakura set up quickly in bed, the numerous blankets warding off the winter chill in the air flying down around her waist. She could feel her chest heaving, the cold air burning her lungs as she began to hyperventilate.
The room was dark, the only light coming through the small crack in the curtains. She could see the dresser, a chair, and shadows in the corner. She needed light, it was always the one thing that helped bring her back to reality, but the light was far away, across the room, and she didn't know the lay of the land here like she should.
A hand landed on her arm, and she shrieked, jerking to the side and almost falling off the tall western-style bed.
"Sakura?" Sasuke mumbled, still half asleep but alert.
She closed her eyes, concentrating on controlling the spasms of her diaphragm, slowly returning the rate of her breathing to something close to normal. She felt the bed shift under her as he leaned over toward the small table by his bed, and suddenly she could see a halo of red flaring light from behind her eyelids.
She opened her eyes, turning to look at him, now in the soft light of the small bedside lamp. He was obviously tired—they had come back from a long mission just the day before. His eyes were red and slitted, almost closed in his attempt to stare her down.
"It was nothing, Sasuke," she sighed, moving to lie back down and rearranging the blankets around herself.
He left the lamp on, something which caused her to shut her eyes in embarrassment, but she was grateful at the same time. She could still feel the adrenaline coursing through her body, the resistance as her blade cut through flesh—
He pulled her to him, closely, snugly wrapping her in blankets and his body. She scooted backward and sidled up against his warmth, and she felt an arm go over her stomach.
"You'll have to tell me someday. It's getting worse."
I know, she thought. I know.
But she didn't want to break the tenuous peace they had finally found in their lives by bringing up the past, and she was pretty sure he already had some idea of what was going on in her dreams.
It hadn't been so bad, at first. The dreams didn't really begin until months after she had left Niigata, and the first one she had considered a fluke, the result of too much stress with her near-death experience. But they had become a constant presence in her life soon after; at least two nights a week her sleep was disturbed by night terrors that caused her to wake up hyperventilating, screaming, even once fighting with her blankets as if her uncle was once again holding her down.
She had been able to keep it from everyone for months, but as soon as her relationship with Sasuke had moved into the 'staying the night' phase, not three months after their initial night together, she no longer could keep it hidden. Until that point the nights they were able to enjoy sleeping in the same bed were few and far between, with missions and her shifts at the hospital, and she was sufficiently able to hide them from him.
But one night…
It had been one of the worst, and it just happened to occur on a night when they were both able to actually be in the same house for longer than a few hours without something taking their attention away. He was spending the night at her apartment—much more normal than she staying at the Uchiha home he was in the middle of remodeling or the apartment he continued to keep—and she had woken up screaming, fighting, raging as the dream fought to keep her in its grip.
He had been shocked to see it, but had laid there with her and soothed her back to sleep, something she had never imagined of her stoic lover. The next morning was full of awkward conversation and finally, the unspoken resolution that he would leave it alone; she knew she was not the only one who woke up plagued by their past.
But she knew it had bothered him: she rarely slept alone after.
They had been coming more and more often lately, although she wasn't sure why. She would blame it on the stress of the mission, but it wasn't anything out of the norm, and there was no reason for it to bring up such a violent memory, especially superimposed with the fake memory of her aunt's death. Her aunt was well and alive, something she knew she would have to cement in her mind the next day with a surprise visit to her old family home.
She drifted of to sleep slowly, the images in her mind fading as his deep, even breathing and the warmth of his body worked its soothing magic on her, but the words and the voice of her dying uncle stuck in her subconscious.
"You are…mine. Me."
This is set maybe five or six months after the end of SYWBL.