A/N: This one was surprisingly quick to write. I hope it'll keep you waiting while I sink into the final five weeks of my CEGEP life, complete with ten-page essays and final exams. Whee!

. . .

Wasted – Chapter 16

Wake Me Up

. . .

I wake with a deep intake of oxygen, as I always do. I never notice, usually, because it's such a trivial detail of my mornings, but tonight, it comes as a relief. My eyes adjust to the neon lights, too bright overhead, and I lift my head, which had plopped backwards when I'd fallen asleep. My neck is sore, but that's what comes with sleeping while sat on a chair. Thank God for my subconscious ability to not move an inch if I'm sleeping in a situation where I shouldn't move; I really wouldn't have liked waking up leaning on someone.

My head is very woozy and I know I'm still under the influence, but at least I'm not seeing stop motion panels anymore. At least I'm not still completely terrified and convinced I'm dying. I look around me. The waiting room is even fuller than it was when I got here. I look down at my hands; they're still clutching the plastic bag I never used and my health insurance card. My hair flops down to my thighs with the movements of my head. It takes me a while to realise the elastic on my wrist could be used to tie it up, which I then do. It already feels better; the air is not as stuffy anymore. I know I didn't take my phone before leaving and I know I can't just walk somewhere, not in my state and not at this hour. Especially since I'm not entirely sure where I am in relation to the places I know I could crash at. I need to call someone.

I look around the room again and spot the public payphone. I set my sights on it, but I test my feet and legs carefully before getting up and walking over, slow as a snail on sleeping pills. I ease myself into the chair in front of the phone, fully aware that I'm acting completely wasted, which I still am, but at least I don't have the delusion of being inconspicuous. I know everyone can tell I'm not in my normal state. Then again, they either don't care or are worse off than me. Or they're asleep. The screen on the phone indicates it's 2:36 in the morning. I don't know how long I've been here or how long I've been asleep, but the last time I saw a clock, I was still making Kraft Dinner at Sai's place, and it read 7:14.

I stare at the phone and try to decide who I should call to pick me up. I can't call my parents; how on Earth am I supposed to explain this to them? I certainly can't call Ino; she'd throw a fit and shun me forever. I don't want to call Sai; I'm too scared to go back there. Besides, I don't know his number by heart. This thought sends me into a new wave of panic. I don't know anyone's number. Without my phone, I can't reach anybody I know, except my parents and that idea's already been shot down. Hell, I don't even have money on me. I basically left with nothing but my clothes and my health insurance card. Even my shoes barely made the cut.

Okay, no, calm down. There must be some sort of receptionist here. Surely you can ask her – or him, if it's a man, no discrimination – to look someone up for you. I look behind me and spot a reception desk. And thank God, there's a chair in front of it. I get up from my chair just as slowly as I got into it and waddle over to the desk, careful not to bump into anyone. I may be slow, but at least I'm walking straight. I reach the desk and plop down on the chair; a young lady greets me with a smile.

"Hello," she says. "How can I help you, honey?"

She's probably five years older than me, but I'm in no position to protest her words of social hierarchal superiority.

"Hi, um... Could you..." Come on, Sakura, you can do it, it's just words. "Could you l-look someone up for me? I don't have my phone and I can't remember his number. Maybe you have him in your system."

"Unfortunately, I'm not permitted to give out another patient's personal information. Is there another number you can call that you remember?" She asks politely.

"N-no. My parents are on vacation," fine, that's a lie. "And there's no one else close enough to come get me."

"Hm... Let me go ask my superior. Stay right here, okay, sweetie?"

I nod and watch her get up and disappear through a door behind the desk. My perception of time is still way off, so I'm not sure if it takes her ten seconds or ten minutes to come back, but she eventually does, and I think I might look like I'm falling asleep again because she calls out to me.

"Honey, are you okay?"

"Hm? Oh, yeah, sorry."

"Alright, sweetie, I got permission from the head of the hospital to give you a phone number if the name you're looking for is in the system, but beyond that, I unfortunately can't help you."

"Okay."

"What's his name, peanut?" She sounds like she's speaking to a four-year-old.

"Uchiha. Uchiha Sasuke."

"Alright, let me check." She types his name in and clicks on a few things. "Yes, there he is. I'll write it down for you." She takes a post-it sticky note and writes a series of numbers, then hands it to me. I thank her and leave the desk.

I waddle back over to the payphone. Once in the chair, I pick up the receiver and dial my phone card number, another thing I'm grateful for; my mom got it for me when I was in high school, before I had a cellphone, so that it wouldn't cost me anything to make a call from a payphone. I struggle to remember the PIN, but I get it right on the first try and I exhale out of relief when the automatic message tells me to dial the number I'm trying to reach. I punch in the numbers on the post-it and when I hear the tone, I start praying for someone to pick up.

On the fourth ring, someone does. It's a woman.

"Hello?" she sounds half-asleep, which is normal, at nearly three in the morning.

"U-um... Hi, could I speak to Sasuke, please?" I ask.

There's a sigh on the other end of the line, but after a few seconds, she says "Yes, hold on." There are a few more seconds of silence, probably even a minute or two, then I hear some soft knocking, a door clicking, a groan and the woman say "It's for you." Then, a few seconds later, I hear his voice.

"Hello?" He sounds even more tired than his mother.

"Hey."

"Sakura?"

"Yeah. Sorry to wake you up."

"What's going on? Why are you calling my home phone?"

"U-um... I'm at the hospital. I don't have my phone."

"What? Why are you at the hospital?" He seems completely awake now.

"It's a long story and I'll tell you as soon as I'm out of here, I promise, but can you come pick me up?"

"It's three in the morning."

"Please."

He sighs. "I can't. I'm still drunk."

"Oh." I'm screwed.

"Wait." There's a pause. "Do you have money on you?"

"No, all I have is a plastic bag and my health insurance card."

There's another pause. "Okay, I'll send a car to pick you up."

"But I don't have any money."

"It's one of the family cars, you don't need to pay. He'll drive you straight over." Oh. I hadn't realised it would mean going to his place. I thought he'd just get me home to my apartment. "And no, it's not debatable. You're spending the night." HOW DID HE KNOW.

"Mkay."

"Get outside, it shouldn't take long."

"Okay."

"Later."

"Yeah."

I hang up, get up and walk back to the front desk. I ask the lady how to get outside. She gives me a series of indications, but my attention span is not very long at the moment, so I only remember I need to turn the next corner on my right and that at some point, there will be stairs. I thank her and take the first right, then walk in a straight line and hope for stairs. Sure enough, I get to a huge flight of stairs, which I climb down extremely slowly and carefully, holding on to the ramp for dear life. I walk through what I guess is the atrium and get to a series of double doors that lead me straight outside. Thankfully, the weather is uncharacteristically warm for late April, and the light clothes I'm wearing don't leave me freezing. There's another person outside, probably a doctor on a cigarette break. She's on her phone, but my brain doesn't register what she's talking about.

I clutch my card and my bag like a security blanket. Every few seconds, my mind wanders off and I have to pull myself back to reality, which really isn't easy when even reality seems like I'm stuck in a dream. Not a particularly pleasant or horrible dream, just a very real and very surreal one at the same time. I've virtually never been to a hospital since probably my birth. Oh, wait, no, I had some sort of infection as a child. But I was four. There, I haven't been to a hospital since I was four. It's been fifteen years.

In a matter of minutes, a black car pulls up at the curb. Since there's no one else but the lady on her phone and she doesn't seem to be waiting for anyone, I figure it's the car Sasuke sent for me. I walk over to it. The driver pulls his window down.

"Haruno Sakura?"

"Yes!"

Relief washes over me. I open the car door and slip inside, my heart bursting in my chest with elation. We drive off smoothly and I lean back against the seat, letting my eyes close and my brain take a break. The drive is too short for my liking, but I know that I'll soon be sleeping in a perfect bed that doesn't smell like weed, so I don't mind for long. Sasuke's waiting in the garage when the driver pulls up. He opens the door for me, and as soon as he takes a good look at my face, it registers on his that he knows exactly what's wrong with me. He helps me out delicately, as if I were to break if he dropped me or handled me too roughly.

I hear him thank the driver, but my brain shuts down after. I don't even know how I got into Sasuke's bed. I know it's his because it smells like him and it relaxes me. My hair feels wet. Maybe he made me take a shower. If he did, it was a good idea; I would've felt bad to smear puke on his sheets. I know he's put me in different clothes, because I'm now wearing soft pants and a t-shirt, whereas I was wearing shorts and a tank top at the hospital. I feel him climb into bed behind me. He scoots over close to me, puts an arm around my midriff and pulls me tightly against his chest.

I don't protest. I don't even mind. Not tonight. Not after what happened. And certainly not when it feels so good. He slips his other arm under my pillow and I rearrange my head to rest it on his arm. The one around my torso moves to get my hair out of his face, which makes me giggle. Probably because of my current state of mind. Or because I'm so incredibly happy to be here. He hears me and pulls me even closer, into an actual embrace, his arm back around me. I slip my fingers through the ones on my stomach and clutch his hand as tightly as he's holding me, and I grip the arm under my neck and around my shoulders with my other hand, to signify that I welcome and appreciate the gesture. Our legs entwine, as naturally as if we'd been sleeping in the same bed for years. He gives me a kiss on the back of my head, loosens his grip – but only a little – and we eventually fall asleep.

I've never been this comfortable.

. . .

When I wake up, it's still sort of dark outside. I'm facing Sasuke, my nose pressed into his chest. He breathes into my hair. Our legs are still entwined and he's still holding onto me, but now I too have an arm draped around his torso. My other arm is between us. It takes me a minute to understand what's nudging against my hand. I should be put off or mortified, but I must admit that I missed this. I used to wake up like this almost every day a few months ago. Besides, it amuses me. I remember what would happen when he woke me up in the middle of the night or in the early hours of the morning, pressing his erection against my back or my thigh through his underwear, or when I woke him up because I couldn't sleep. Once you get past morning breath, wake up sex is seriously the best there is. Especially with Sasuke.

I look up at him and I realise he's awake too. He gives me a kiss on the forehead and exhales through his nose onto my hair. The hand at the end of the arm under my head brushes up and down my back, my shoulder and my arm. The other one is at my waist, slips over my hips, grabs my hand and presses it further against his groin. He mustn't be that conscious yet, because it's not a habit of his to force me into anything. Oh, sure, I've stroked him before, but I'm not really warm to the idea of doing it this morning. I just want him to hold me, to kiss me, to make love to me simply and softly, like we've never done before. Like I've never done before.

The logical side of me doesn't really understand why I would want to have sex after last night, but the emotional side of me is craving it and very convincing. I pull my hand away from Sasuke's junk and whisper a small "Sorry". He pulls me closer against him and sighs "It's okay" into my hair.

"I want you," I whisper against his chest, holding him tighter too. No need to deny it. I wouldn't have called him in the first place if I didn't. "But I don't really want to–"

"It's okay," he repeats. "I wasn't thinking."

"You were thinking with your dick," I giggle. He chuckles.

"Indeed. You've figured me out."

"Men are all the same."

"Women are too."

"Hm... We're crazy bitches."

"Yep. And we're horny bastards."

"Exactly."

He chuckles again. I turn my face to his, looking at his lips instead of his eyes. We're so close, his nose is nudging my cheek. I inch closer and he does too and eventually, softly, softly, our lips touch. We barely move them at first, just brushing them over each other's, then he really presses his against mine and it's like we never stopped seeing each other. I know exactly how his lips move, how to move mine against them. The months with Sai have done nothing to my muscle memory. I slip an arm around his neck, he hauls me up so that one of my legs hooks over his hip all on its own. One of his hands slips under my shirt, warm against the skin of my back, sending a delicious shiver through my entire body, all the way down to my toes.

We stay like that, kissing and holding, for such a long time that the sun is completely risen when our lips part. Not for long, however, because they only do part while he takes my shirt off. Still as slowly, as carefully. He doesn't play around with my chest like he sometimes used to do. He holds me close, preferring the feel of my skin on his. Still kissing me, he rolls on top and settles between my legs. I feel his erection through his underwear and my pyjama pants (which are technically his). He nudges me with it, like he used to do. I giggle. I missed that too. He chuckles against my lips.

He sits up on his heels and slowly, slowly, pulls the pants off my legs. I haven't shaved in a little while, but he doesn't seem to mind. He bends down to kiss me again, then leans away and reaches into his bedside table drawer, presumably for a condom. While he takes his underwear off and puts the condom on, I take a minute to relish in the fact that I'm not at all doubting or second-guessing what we're doing. I don't care about Sai, I don't care that I'm cheating or that I'm doing this after the horrific night I had; I want Sasuke and he wants me and that's all that matters right this second.

He climbs back on top of me, hooks my legs around his hips and slowly, slowly, slips inside of me. It's been so long (our drunken night three weeks ago doesn't count) that it actually hurts a little when he does. It takes me a few seconds to stretch around him, but his slow movements give me time to adjust. He towers over me, his hands on either side of my head. Mine are on his forearms and I give them a squeeze when the pain subsides. And he starts to move.

It's slow and deliberate, but not the infuriating kind of slow I've been getting from Sai since the beginning of our relationship. And with Sasuke, I feel everything. The only sounds I make are breathy moans, sighs with my barely audible voice at the end with every thrust he makes, because it's so soft, so sweet. He slips his arms under my shoulders and holds himself against me, tightly, like last night. He kisses my shoulder, my collarbone, the top of my breasts, my throat, my lips. Especially my lips.

His pace accelerates a little, but barely; he still keeps it sweet. He readjusts himself over me, to make it feel even better. I can feel the spring tightening in the pit of my stomach and my moans start to actually sound like moans. I hear him breathe in my ear and warmth spreads through my chest. He kisses me again, more urgently. I like kissing him. His lips aren't too full like Sai's or too thin like so many other men's. He doesn't open his mouth too much, and he doesn't overuse his tongue. Our teeth nearly never collide and we know exactly when to pull away from each other and when to come back for more.

My nails scrape the skin of his back as I slide my hands up to his head, into his hair. I keep his head to mine, pulling his mouth down harder on mine. While it's still slow, it's not just sweet anymore; it's heated, passionate. But not dirty. It feels better than any other time I've had sex, with him or with Sai or with anyone else I've slept with. Sasuke's thrusts are slow, yes, but powerful, and he fills me up completely. His body flush against mine makes me feel safe, at ease. He deliberately tries to make me understand how much he cares, how much he wants me, and no matter how cheesy it sounds, I feel like I'm soaring through the sky and flying to the stars.

... Okay, too much cheese. Nevermind.

He quickens his pace a little again, but whispers in my ear "Do you want to turn around?" Normally, when he asked me that, I used to get excited because it felt dirty, because I felt dominated. But today, I know it's because he wants to make me come, and of course I'll say yes. I don't actually say it, I simply nod, but he stops his thrusts, pulls out of me and gives me space to turn onto my stomach. I raise my hips a little so he can slip back into me, and before he starts to move again, he sets us up so I'm not dominated as much as simply under him, only on my stomach instead of my back. I don't feel like a whore on her knees, putting her ass up. His chest is against my back and my legs are propped up on his thighs.

He starts to move again and in the new position, he hits my spot with more accuracy. Actual screams escape my lips now, screams that I'm not forcing out, and the spring in my stomach gets even tighter. I feel my release inching closer. Sasuke nudges my hair away with his nose, then his lips are on my shoulders and the nape of my neck. I rest my head on my forearms, clutching the sheets like a lifeline. Sasuke stops for a second to pull the covers back over us, then resumes his movement inside of me.

I get closer and closer and my screams get higher and louder, and Sasuke goes faster and harder, and... and... and...

I let out a strangled cry as my orgasm washes through me. The wind is knocked out of my lungs again and all my limbs tremble. I clench around him until he lets out a grunt and stops moving. He stays there for a while, catching his breath, then pulls out. He lies next to me, both of us panting. I look him in the eyes and I can't help my smile.

He smiles too, leans over to me and kisses me again, then gets off the bed and peels his condom off. I retrieve my shirt, slip it on and walk out of his room to the bathroom. It had become a routine of ours, him throwing his condom out, me rushing to the bathroom to avoid infection, back when we were a regular thing. I get to the bathroom, not even bothering to turn on the light because of the bright, sunny weather outside the window. I sit on the toilet, do my business, then walk up to the sink to wash my hands. I look myself over in the mirror; the view amuses me.

My lips are bright pink and slightly swollen, there are red splotches on my throat (and upon pulling the collar of the shirt down, there are some on my chest as well), my hair is all messed up and I look absolutely radiant. Seriously, I'm glowing. I smile at myself, unable to resist. I still have my elastic on my wrist, so I braid my hair and tie it with it. I walk out of the bathroom and head back into Sasuke's room. He's already lying on his bed, under his covers. He pats the spot next to him, inviting me over. I take a glance at his alarm clock. It reads 8:47.

"I missed an hour of class."

"You're not going to school today."

"But finals are almost here."

"I don't care. You were at the hospital last night."

"But–"

"Get in here." I do as he says, not really in the mood to argue or go to school. "We're staying in. We're gonna have breakfast and you're gonna tell me what happened."

I snuggle up to him and he pulls me tightly against his chest.

"And then, we're gonna talk about what happens now," he finishes.

"Not yet."

"Not yet."

"Later."

"Yes, later."

"Okay."

"If and when you want to."

"Mkay."

He goes silent. His breathing rocks me and in a matter of minutes, I feel myself slipping back out of consciousness.

. . .

In my apartment or at my parents' house, I very often eat in my room, on my bed. It's not very sanitary, but I compensate by rarely sleeping there. Sasuke, however, thought it would be a good idea to go down to get breakfast and bring it back up to his room to eat in his bed while watching a movie on his laptop. The two goofs that we are ran down in our underwear (well, I had a shirt on, but still) and grabbed everything we could from the table, which oddly enough was still set, despite it being past noon. I suspect Sasuke had something to do with it, but oh well. I also wonder how come no one saw us, but I guess everyone's being responsible citizens of the world, unlike us, and gone to work.

So I'm now trying my best not to drop anything on his sheets or sprinkle too many crumbs around me. Harry's curled up between Sasuke and me, purring away like a particularly content motorised boat engine. We're watching his dragon twin fly around on the screen and I can tell this is precisely what my system needs right now; tranquility, food and an animated movie about Vikings and dragons.

The movie finishes with Sasuke and I standing on his bed, passing Harry around, pretending he can fly. Thank God that cat has no more claws, because otherwise our arms would've turned into flesh scratch poles, but I worry he might still murder us in our sleep. He meows at the top of his lungs and tries to bite us, but we throw him between each other too fast for him to reach any target. It's twenty minutes before we let the poor creature go, after which he promptly flees from the room, which he will make a point of avoiding for the next twenty-four hours.

Sasuke and I plop down on his mattress, laughing like the childish buffoons we are. As we grow tired again, our laughter dies down, but my brain is saturated with endorphins and I let myself lean against Sasuke, feeling once more completely at ease. He rests his head on top of mine, then there are a few minutes of silence and I become aware that if there's one opportune moment to tell him what got me to call him from the hospital at nearly three in the morning, this is the one.

"So, um... About last night," I start. He says nothing, so I continue. "You know, um... You know about Sai, right?" He says nothing but I feel him nod against my head. I didn't specify the "boyfriend" part, it wouldn't have been very sensible. "Well, I was at his place and we... Well, he initiated me a while ago, before we got together. We decided to make a bucket."

I'm hoping he knows what I mean by "bucket". His lack of reaction implies that he does. I continue my story. Sai and I decided to make a bucket, which we did every once in a while instead of a simple joint because it's simpler use. So he got his stash, which he stored in a little painted box hidden in one of his kitchen cupboards. When he opened the box, there was a half-smoked joint with the rest of the weed. He told me two of his friends had come over previously and smoked with him. Assuming the joint only contained the weed he'd bought, he emptied it in the box. First mistake.

He gathered it and made a bucket with it. He lit it, took a swig out of it, then handed it to me. I put it to my mouth, snapped the Zippo on and took a long swig. A very long one. Second mistake. He asked me to go make Kraft Dinner while he set up a movie, which I did while I waited for the weed to take effect. I'd barely put the bowl in the microwave (to this, Sasuke scoffed "You make Kraft Dinner in the microwave?") before it kicked in. Already, the rapidity of the hit seemed abnormal, which worried me. I went into the living room, where Sai was, and told him of it. Third mistake. He said he too thought it was weird. Fourth mistake.

My heart, already beating fast because of the drugs, only got faster, which made me sweat. I went on with making the Kraft Dinner, but I knew something was wrong, and the more I thought about it, the scarier it got. I separated the noodles into two bowls and brought one to Sai. I sat next to him with mine. I barely took three bites, which was not normal munchies behaviour. Noticing this was another mistake. Number five.

I don't remember falling asleep, but I remember waking up to an intense sense of déjà vu. Every sentence that was uttered on TV, I felt I'd already heard it. I told Sai this, then suddenly realised it was impossible, since he'd specifically chosen a movie I'd never seen, and I seriously felt like I already knew every single word by heart. And the sense of déjà vu wasn't leaving. You know how it feels like your stomach drops? Well, mine felt like that, but three times per second, which only added to my panic. I noticed my tongue felt like a big lump of cheese and I couldn't feel my teeth anymore. More panic. And then I opened my eyes. Sixth mistake.

Everything I saw, every movement, either of my eyes or of something on the screen, was like stop-motion animation of thousands of cardboard cut-outs and plasticine shapes. I looked around frantically, hoping it would go away, but to my utter terror, it only got worse. Not only was it what I saw that got turned into incessant stop-motion, it was my thoughts too. I couldn't even take refuge it my mind, in my imagination to wait for the storm to pass. Even my thoughts were affected. I told Sai this. He paused the movie, got up and pulled me to the bathroom, where he made me splash water in my face. That's when I got a good look at my face. Seventh mistake.

I was grey. And not just vaguely livid or pale, actually green-tinted grey. I looked like death, with my slack jaw (I wanted to avoid eating my cheese tongue) and my red eyes. I looked nauseous, but I didn't feel it. Sai guided me out and sat me on his bed, then told me to try to sleep. I lay down and closed my eyes, but it only made things worse. I figured if I could fall asleep, I'd lose most of consciousness, so it wouldn't be so bad, but I couldn't calm down long enough to fall asleep. I was always jolted awake by something, like a noise, a disturbing thought or my own restless legs that would jerk for no reason, as if they were constantly coursed through with adrenaline. Which I guess they were, considering my state of absolute panic. Accepting my inability to sleep, I called out to Sai. He walked into the room slowly, calmly. I told him I couldn't sleep. He seemed to ponder the issue for a few seconds, then said "I can't help you" and walked out.

I got up to chase after him. How insensitive of him, I thought, to leave me while I've lost all control on consciousness. Because that was the worst part; I could not differentiate what was real and what wasn't. Everything felt like I was in a dream, but I knew I was awake, mostly because I could not stop my brain from reminding me over and over that I was under the influence and that everything, right at that moment, was not normal. Which was utterly terrifying.

And that's when I asked him to call an ambulance for me. Which, at first, he refused to do. He said the police would also show up and take him in for possession, and he simple couldn't risk that, not with his foster father. I remember staring at him, through my constant twitching and trembling, with all the disgust I could muster. At that point, I was convinced I was overdosing (although, granted, you can't overdose on weed), and all he was going to do about was make sure his ass was safe! Then I remember hitting him, which I think got him to call, probably just to get me out of his apartment.

The rest is a blur. I remember sitting on his bed when the cops and the ambulance arrived. They asked me standard questions, which I know I answered ridiculously calmly, while on the inside I was screaming for them to help me. I told them I really just wanted to fall asleep. They helped me up and out the door, letting me only put on my shoes and take my health insurance card. I was probably too far gone to think of bringing my phone or the money I'd put on the counter after, earlier that day, I'd walked through heavy rain and had to change out of me clothes to dry them.

I don't know how long the ambulance ride lasted, nor do I remember how I got into the hospital. I just remember answering more questions for a man sitting at a desk, then being told by him to sit on an observation table and he gave me something, but I didn't realise what it was right away. I just held it in my hand and stared off into the distance, still hallucinating, still terrified. And then, out of nowhere, I hurled my dinner all over the floor and a little on one of my legs. The man came back a few minutes later, cursed when he saw my puddle of partially-digested macaroni, then groaned "I gave you a bag for that", to which I responded by looking down at my hand and noticing there was indeed a plastic bag in it.

I'm guessing the man was used to these situations, because he let it go, wiped the barf off my leg, put a towel on top of the puddle on the floor and guided me into another room, where he made me lie down to take my heart rate and blood pressure. A few women came in and stuck patches all over my stomach and collarbone, with wires attached to them. I don't know how much time later, they took them off, told me my heart rate was a little too elevated (even for someone who'd been smoking up) and left me to lie there.

Again, I don't know how much time passed. I still tried to survive my too vivid imagination. Eventually, however, I felt myself leaving. That was the only way I could describe it. I became persuaded I was dying (thus, more panic). I didn't know what was happening, but I figured that as long as I was breathing, I was still alive. I started breathing in deeply, taking in as much air as I could. I could still feel myself sinking into unconsciousness, which I only motivated me more to breathe as deeply as humanly possible.

After a while, a woman came in and told me to go sit in the waiting room. I only got more scared and refused, telling her I wasn't fine, I wasn't okay enough to get up, I was still hallucinating. She answered that she needed the room for someone with an actual injury that needed to be treated, and all I was doing was lying on the table, sleeping.

And then I understood. I wasn't dying. I was falling asleep.

Somewhat reassured but still panicky, I did my best to get up and walk to the waiting room, where I could feel everyone staring at me, judging me. It was obvious what was wrong with me, if only by the smell, but I just knew every single one of them disapproved of my behaviour. I didn't feel ashamed, I felt angry. Angry that it got so bad, angry that I let myself be pulled into that situation, angry that Sai barely helped me and maybe a little angry at the woman who made me go sit in the waiting room. As I sat in my chair, arms folded, head thrown back, trying to fall asleep, I sort of missed my observation table. At least it had a mattress, and I could lie down somewhat comfortably.

Through the terror and the hallucinations, I guess I managed to fall asleep.

"I called you when I woke up. I asked the receptionist for your number. She gave me your home number."

"Which is why my mom answered."

"Yep. Good thing you made up with your parents."

"Hm."

"Although, I must say, the three weeks after you moved back here were pretty lonely."

"You spent it with your boyfriend."

I don't answer. There was a lot of bitterness in that sentence and I have a hard time wrapping my head around the reason for it. He doesn't know Sai, he's never met him. And if he's jealous... well, I don't know what to do about that. After last night, I'm not too sure if I want to go back to Sai. I know I won't be able to without feeling guilty for cheating (for the second time, I KNOW) but he was an absolute, unhelpful dick and no matter how attached I got, I won't risk ever living through something like last night ever again. The fear is still vivid and I'm not entirely unbuzzed yet. I don't ever want to be that scared again.

And Sasuke... Nothing tells me he won't vanish into thin air again. If I let him in any closer, I need to be sure he won't leave. It's almost ridiculous how much I've been thinking about him since he moved out of my apartment. The day after we rescued Harry from his parents' place, he got a call from his brother, who offered to act as a mediator between Sasuke and their parents. They discussed for a few hours and came to an agreement. If Sasuke obtains his diploma in Administration by the end of the semester, he can start to train as a stunt double in a specialised gym, all the while continuing in the Administration course in university. Depending on whether the stunt thing works out or not, he's always welcome to intern at his mother's company or start training to become an officer like his father.

The next day, he was packing up. I was clinging to Harry, threatening to hold him hostage to stop Sasuke from leaving, but I eventually got a call from Sai, and Sasuke used the distraction to take the cat away from me. Before he left, he handed me his share of rent he'd promised me, all in cash. Funny anecdote, Temari saw this and immediately assumed he was paying me for sexual favours. She blew a monumental fuse and threatened to have me evicted for prostitution, which lasted a few minutes until Sasuke's friend with the ponytail (Nara, if I recall) came in to help carry the luggage out. She immediately shut her trap and ogled at him until they were gone.

They've hooked up twice since. She's a lot more bearable now that her screw's been loosened.

But then, I had to go back to being an exemplary girlfriend and Sasuke had to go back to being an exemplary son, and so we didn't talk at all until... well, last night, actually. And I missed him. Badly. I missed having him around, getting home to him sitting on my bed, having him walk in on me while I showered. Being Sai's girlfriend suddenly seemed very, very dull. But I stuck with it, out of principle, I guess.

But now... Now, I don't want to leave. I don't want to go back. I want to stay here, leaning against Sasuke, feeling his warmth, his breath, his hands, his cat on my lap (oh, he came back). I want to turn my face to his and kiss him. Kiss him and hold him, nothing more, be in his arms and stay there forever. And then talk. About anything, just talk. He's funny when he puts his mind to it. And he's smart. And he makes me feel smart, and worthwhile, and not like I'm part of the furniture. Sure, he saved me last night, good on him. He's sort of a knight in shining armour. Without the shining armour. But I asked him to. I chose him to be the one to save me. Does that mean I trust him? Yes, completely. Does that mean I'm in love with him?

I don't know. Maybe. Probably.

But I have a boyfriend and I need to take care of that first.

"You know you can't OD on weed, right?" Sasuke asks, breaking my train of thought.

"I know. I never said I was overdosing, I just thought I was."

"Which makes no sense. You don't trip that badly either."

"I know, that's what's throwing me off. Especially since it wasn't the first time I took anything."

"Plus, you're a champion with alcohol."

I bend my armsand flex my muscles like a body builder, and make my best vocal impression of the Hulk. Sasuke laughs. I feel all warm inside. I like his laugh. It's high-pitched, unlike his chuckles, like my dad's. And my mom's, actually. But it sounds more genuine than a simple chuckle, which makes me feel proud. My jokes usually go unnoticed or unappreciated.

"But alcohol didn't prepare me for weed."

"Hm."

"I'm never smoking again."

"Right."

"I'm serious. I was way too scared. I don't want to feel that helpless again." There's a pause. "I just hope I can still drink, though."

He laughs again.

"You're shaping up to be one tremendous raging alcoholic."

"I'm glad you find that funny."

"Meh. You won't be that bad. Look at you making good choices and letting go of drugs."

"It's not like I need it. Weed is not addictive."

"It's a gateway drug."

"Why, thank you, PSA-Boy. I sure am glad you're here to remind me how my life could've spiralled out of control by way of a non-addictive, relaxant drug like pot."

"Something was up with what you smoked."

"And now, PSA-Boy turns into Captain Obvious."

"Alright, Sarcastic Wonder. I'll stop trying to help."

"Sorry. Just trying to live up to my superhero name." He says nothing. "Thank you for caring. That gives you points over Sai."

"Does that mean I win?"

"Do you see me running back to him?"

He's quiet for a few seconds.

"Good," he finally says.

I can hear the smile in his voice. Smug bastard.

. . .

A/N: There. SasuSaku. Fluff. Almost the end of the Sai arc. We got there. Happy?

Please review. Makes me feel whole.