There was a time, she knew, when love had actually meant something to her. She couldn't even hold the smirk on her face for longer than a twitch as she realised that the word, and all that it stood for, hadn't really meant anything to her for some time now. Somehow, the realisation wasn't as surprising as she thought it should have been.

It felt like it had been several lifetimes since she had last felt warm from the inside out, rather than just accepting a radiant heat from an artificial, outside source. Not that she was sick, her body temperature was regular, but there was a void within her where something warm, comforting, and important had used to be. Somehow though, she couldn't bring herself to care any more.

Not now, not when she was looking down on the body of her teacher as he lay dying, and the only thing she could do was make his last moments more comfortable.

"Sakura," Kakashi rasped out, "Why is that look on your face?"

She didn't know.

"I thought Sai was the one who didn't have a soul, and I was the heartless bastard. What happened that you are looking like that all of a sudden?" he asked.

She didn't know. She wasn't sure it was all that sudden either.

"Yeah, well, you're not supposed to be able to die either, Kakashi-kun," she told him, her glowing green hands hovering over his injuries. They were the only two left, and he had protected her, so there was no one else for her to spend her energy on right now. Her face tried twitching a smirk, and failed again. What would it matter if she killed herself trying to save his life? Not a damn thing. After all, it wasn't like she had anything else left to lose.

This wasn't some sacrifice for love, not when she had forgotten what it felt like, if she ever knew in the first place. If she could save Kakashi though, then she might be able to smile at having done something worth while in her life before it snuffed out. If she gave it her all and failed, well, at least Kakashi wouldn't be dying alone.

"What are you doing Sakura?" Kakashi asked sharply when he felt more healing chakra pumping into him suddenly.

"We're all that's left of Konoha," she answered. "Either I work some miracle, or we are both going to die here today," she told him flatly.

Kakashi chuckled, only to wince in pain. "Then by all means Sakura, work a miracle."

Sakura performed jutsu after jutsu, pumped healing chakra into Kakashi's system and forced anything that could cause problems – poisons, dirt, bacteria – out. Kakashi was starting to look better, but Sakura was looking proportionately worse.

"You need to rest Sakura," Kakashi insisted, seeing that her skin was practically grey as she was healing him. "You've got me to the point where I'm usually at when I escape from the hospital, I'll be alright for a while, your miracle worked."

She shook her head. "I've got one more, I can't stop yet," she insisted, forming the seals in her hands before placing them over Kakashi's bare chest, a wave of healing chakra flowing out from her palms over Kakashi.

At last her hands slipped and Sakura slumped forward, her chakra completely exhausted and Kakashi, she knew, finally and completely restored.

He caught her as she fell.

"Sakura," he whispered into her hair as her shallow breathing mercifully evened out into that of one sleeping. "I don't deserve someone as good as you in my life," he told the sleeping young woman, cradling her against his body. She was so cold, he realised, as he wrapped her up close against him in the only blanket that wasn't completely soaked in blood or had holes burned through it.

For the first time in a very long time, Kakashi felt warmth flooding him from the inside. It was a feeling he had lost a long time ago, so long ago it was difficult for him to remember the last time it had been there, but now, as he held Sakura in his arms, at last he found that his shattered soul could remember what love was.