June: The first step to anything is realization.

"Sakura."

I turned my attention to that hypnotizing voice. My heart raced at unnatural speeds upon hearing the familiarity of my own name slip of his tongue. The sound was so good... I couldn't help myself. I smiled... in fact I beamed.

"Yes Sasuke?"

The bell had just signaled the end of our AP Calc class. Our last AP Calc class. Our last day of school. Our last day as children... possibly our last day of acknowledgment as we were about to take on the rest of our lives.

This cruel realization hit me so hard I lost my breath. I had to lean back against the desk, where I had been packing my things away before Sasuke had approached. I clutched my right arm to my chest- now cast free- my usual sign of distress. I suddenly felt dizzy and disoriented. I clutched the desk to keep myself upright.

Sasuke noticed. His brows furrowed in question and he took a step closer. His stature was fairly casual with one hand stuffed in the pocket of his dark jeans and the other lounging on the strap of his backpack. But he seemed to stiffen at the sudden ill I received. The worry in his eyes made my heart skip several beats.

"Sorry," I struggled. "I'm fine."

No, I was not fine. Why hadn't I thought about this before? All year I knew it would be our last. I knew deep down that... I may never see him again. I just refused to believe it. Before I couldn't accept it; Sasuke needed someone. He needed me. And it had taken me over half my life to realize... just after my parents died I was finally able to see that it wasn't just him. It was me too. I needed him.

But now... I hadn't prepared myself for this. What if he was about to walk out of my life forever? What if, what if what if...

While I silently sank into a hurricane of disdain, Sasuke reached deeper into his pocket and pulled out a slip of folded paper.

"You dropped this before," he stated simply. His eyes remained locked on mine sending me through all those torturous emotions I had endured for so many years. Emotions I wasn't ready to let go of yet... if I was ever ready.

The paper lapsed me from my testation. It was worn from age, and wrinkled. Perhaps ripped in some places as well. I didn't recognize it.

"I-I don't think that's-"

Sasuke huffed in annoyance, his eyes looked tempted to roll to the ceiling.

"Look I know this was in your possession before I found it. I'm just returning it to its owner. So take it, if it's not yours then I don't care what you do with it." He stated this rather calmly, but there was still a demanding bite to his tone... almost begging.

I reached out and took the slip, not once releasing his eyes. I didn't want to. I never wanted to let go of the mystery, I just-

He was walking away. His steps took him farther and farther with each passing second, and I-

I didn't do anything.

I could have said so many things. I could have told him how I felt, or at least I could have wished him luck. Not that he would want my praise or acknowledgment.

All I did was allow silent tears to brew into my eyes and fog my vision.

The folded piece of paper was like an anchor that weighed me down. It was simple and frail... so why did it feel like it was holding me back?

When I convinced myself to care enough to unfold it I found the answer.

Pink crayon.

No one should be alone-

The words Valentine's day were crossed out with blue crayon and a new word was scribbled above them.

-ever.

I didn't want to chalk up the time I wasted by gawking at the flimsy piece of paper in my hand... but it felt like more than that. It felt like my heart. Racing with happiness and breaking with misery all at the same time. The feeling was extraordinary, and I never wanted it to stop. My tears fell freely now.

My legs had a mind of their own, using the power I obtained from track to propel me through the hall and out the side doors of the school into the parking lot.

"Sasuke!"

He stopped. His posture was the same as a few moments ago when he handed me the note. I was panting slightly, frozen a few feet away from him.

He slowly turned to face me but... I closed my eyes. Catching my breath, building my courage, squeezing my eyes tight...

"Sasuke-" I swallowed. I clutched both my arms to my chest, closing myself from rejection. But I couldn't let him just walk away... he had to know, had to know, had to know.

"Sasuke I'm so in love with you I can't even stand it!" Even as tightly as I kept my eyes shut, tears still rivered over the brims and cascaded down my cheeks. "It hurts more than anything to see you so alone and sad. I would do anything and everything to make it all go away. I would do anything just for you, Sasuke!"

My breathing picked up in speed the more I pulled myself tighter. I couldn't even control what I was saying anymore. It was almost like word vomit... only it was willingly pouring out of me.

"I wouldn't care if the love between us was only one sided. You wouldn't have to do anything for me Sasuke except to be happy. As long as you wouldn't be alone then I wouldn't care if I was the only one of us who felt this way, because I need you. And whether you know or believe it or not... you need me too..."

For once since meeting my first love, I didn't want to look into his eyes. I didn't want to see the anger, the hurt, the hate... the defection.

"Ten years."

My eyes shot open and he was right there. As close as I had heard him.

"What?"

He chuckled darkly; no humor graced his silent laugh as he shoved both his hands deeper into his pockets, eyes scanning the parking lot around us. The school was empty as everyone had been in a hurry to start their summers.

"For the past ten years I've been trying to figure you out. I couldn't understand why you were so different, why I couldn't read you as easy as everyone else. There was always something about you I didn't get." His eyes met mine for a fraction of a second. It was a manner of a desperate search for answers he couldn't find... something caught in my throat.

"Haven't you ever realized we've had classes together since the second grade?"

"Of course," I choked out quickly. He snorted, a forced smirk tugged at his violet tinted lips.

"Back then I just concluded that you were the most annoying person on the face of the planet. I..." he looked as if he struggled for words now. "... hated how you could drive me to the brink of insanity with a look that, at a second glance, gave me balance again."

A pause. We looked at each other for a long time... minutes, hours, years, eternities.

"There is a saying. 'The eyes are the window to the soul.'" I waited as he held my soul at his mercy... why hesitate, I wondered. It was his, he could have it, take it, do whatever he pleased with it but... His irises tried so hard to penetrate mine. All those times I thought he could see right through me, he had only been trying in vain. But why?

"I've seen a lot of souls Sakura. All obvious and naively given to the world. But I have never seen yours."

I wasn't able to comprehend the possibility of feeling so light but being pushed back by a force that kept me away from him. Ironically the silent pain I have felt in the past ten years that Sasuke spoke of couldn't even compare to the heart break I was receiving right now. The idea was almost comical on a sick degree. I even released a choked laugh through my tears, causing Sasuke's eyes to narrow.

"Sakura, your the only person I've ever actually explained myself to... and your laughing? You think this is some kind of joke?"

I thought about my answer... it wasn't a joke. Not to him... not to me. But whoever was hurting us like this...

"Its just that... for the longest time I never thought you were even aware of my existence. That you were the one that nobody could read. But I was always able to understand that you shut yourself away to rid the entrance of any form of pain... where I have never been so open with anyone other than you since the day I met you. Yet your the one who's been trying to read me... and I'm the one who's known you all along."

My tears and fear for the moment of his leave never retreated. I knew what Sasuke was doing and why... why he was actually expressing something. He cared... he actually cared about me let alone himself. He didn't wish pain on anyone, but he didn't believe I was what he deserved. He didn't think I was enough to save him now... because he couldn't understand why I was so different. This was his way of telling me to let go... but I couldn't.

"You haven't changed, Sakura." I pierced myself into his gaze, mentally pleading. "You're still annoying."

"Sasuke."

He sighed and turned away. My heart stammered.

No!

"Sasuke please!" I pushed myself in front of him, blocking his path, His eyes were apathetic, begging me to let it go.

He didn't want to hurt me.

But he didn't want to hurt anymore.

"I'm begging you, don't walk away! You're looking at this wrong, it doesn't have-"

"What do you want from me Sakura," he snapped. I winced in reaction but held my ground.

"I know you can read me. I'm more of an open book to you than anyone. And your scared of that. You just can't trust whether you can believe it. You are afraid that there is actually someone who truly cares about you because you have been alone for so long." He opened his mouth to protest through gritted teeth. "Don't deny it Sasuke... Because I understand...I understand everything. And it didn't just take the death of my parents for realization to hit me. Deep down I've known all along..."

His eyes melted into pools of dark abyss. His soul was a storm of disbelief, suffering, and defeat... and it broke my heart.

"Then tell me. How can you possibly make it all go away?"

His soul asked so many questions, all different...

'How can you prove it to me?'

'Why me?'

'How can I deserve you?'

'What is it about you that makes me want to trust you?'

'Why you?'

But they all meant the same thing.

How could I make the misery and solitude go away?

I only had one answer though...

"Kiss me," I whispered.

He looked at me questioningly, the look in his eyes only barely revealed a fraction of confusion amongst the whirlpool of sorrow. His gaze dug into my skin, making me wish it caused actual physical pain if it took some, if any, of that isolation away.

How he could even say that he has never seen my soul was a complete mystery to me. For so long I've practically dropped it into his lap... but if I had actually had a doubt of him not being able to read me before, then it quickly disintegrated at this very moment.

'Are you sure?'

'From the bottom of my heart.'

"Okay," he whispered back.

He was already so close, he simply towered over me a good foot. He pulled his left hand from his pocket and traced his fingers across my wrist that lay limp against my side. The feather-light touch made my stomach squirm. His other hand slowly drifted into my line of vision, the tips of his fingers brushed several strands of hair from my brow and declung some from my tear streaked cheek. A flutter sensation erupted through my chest. His hand stroked across my cheek and stopped abruptly at my jaw. My toes curled inside my sneakers.

He followed his own movements with his eyes, while I was simply content with watching every shift his soul made. All his walls had come crashing down, and Sasuke's soul was just... Sasuke. The difference was the acceptance... the allowance... the ticket I now held to his heart. Even if he were to walk away from me today, I had wiggled my way into his heart, his soul. And he would think of me, and he would know that he had never been and never will be alone.

He shifted his stance and moved his face closer. Even as I expected this, even with as much time as I had to prepare as Sasuke took his time to do the same, the exhilarating feeling wasn't merciful and shook my core to no end. It hit me full blown in the chest. My nerves bubbled up in my throat and my breath hitched and escaped me. I couldn't remember where I was, or my own name. Something plump and soft touched my lips... brushed them ever-so-lightly.

I gasped at how intensely my heart threw itself against my chest. My lips tingled at his touch, and my world started spinning. I could feel my knees buckle beneath me, but a sturdy arm quickly secured itself around my waist pulling me closer to an even sturdier figure.

I was suddenly hyper aware of Sasuke. His hand cupping my face, his arm keeping my balance, his lips gracing mine; only milliseconds away from claiming them. His chest pressed against my own... and the weight of his loneliness pushing on my shoulders as if it was its own gravity.

I would never want anything more than this moment... this is where I fit, where I belong... where I wanted to forever stay.

I simply closed my eyes, now having all the happiness in the world as Sasuke entrusted some of his burden to me. And he reacted by pressing his lips against mine with a deep passion who's existence I would never had been able to fathom of understanding until this moment.

It was a perfect moment in a life of imperfections.

It was moment of trading lonely souls to cherish and nurture to full health. A moment of solitary banishment from our hearts. A moment of opening doors instead of helplessly glancing through foggy windows.


Well? I actually worked really hard on this piece. The vocabulary is obviously ten times better at the beggining, but I was starting to lose time and I needed to finish. I would like to add an epilogue later and perhaps a seperate one shot in Sasuke's point of view. Please let me know what you guys think.

Review bitches! (Jk you guys aren't bitches.)