Dark trunks against pale blossoms
Life in an image.
It is night, and we sit beneath the cherry blossom tree.
Already I can see the swollen flowering buds, lying in wait for the rise of the sun so they can finally unfold their petals and reveal their beauty for the world to see. Tomorrow will be the start of their journey. Some have said that the tale of the cherry blossom is tragic. For all its beauty, for all its strength in the face of the harshest of climates, the flowers survive for little more than a week after blooming. Their loveliness is fleeting, almost heartbreakingly so.
I can't help but make the comparison between the sakura tree and the woman beside me, whose namesake is not their only similarity.
Slivers of moonlight pour through past the empty branches, pooling upon her fair, ivory skin, collecting on her pale eyelids and gentle rosy lips. The gentle breeze caresses strands of thin, pink hair, dancing like ribbons in the wind. Her eyes are open, but far away, their striking emerald colour akin to that of the lushest, greenest of leaves.
As I stare down into her unseeing gaze I know what she is thinking.
Like the blooms of the cherry blossom tree above us, Sakura does not have long to live. Perhaps I could appreciate the irony of the situation, if it wasn't so terrible. If a part of me did not break, every time I thought of it.
I was one of the first to know.
This morning, she didn't turn up to training. Usually, it is Kakashi-sensei who is late. Sometimes he has to be forcefully dragged back to the grounds before he begins his lesson. From time to time I wonder how someone as lazy as he could ever become ANBU. In any case, the dobe, Sakura and I, accordingly, had a schedule of whose turn it was to collect our teacher.
It was my turn today however it was Sakura who I had to locate.
I found her on the outskirts of town, underneath a cherry blossom tree. Her chakra was fluctuating and I quickly made my way over. Tears stained her blotched cheeks, sobs wracked her body and hands shook uncontrollably as she tried to wipe away the redness in her eyes as I approached.
My heart clenched at the sight.
I had not seen Sakura cry since we were both twelve. This shocked me. She was embarrassed, I could tell, by the show of weakness, but I didn't care. I silently sat beside her and collected her in an embrace. She stiffened slightly at my touch, but soon melted into my hold and broke down.
I don't know how long we were there, in each others arms, but soon enough Sakura sniffed and leant away from me.
She laughed; a short, sharp sound. "Sorry," she said, wiping the tears from her eyes with the back of her hand. "I got snot all over your shirt."
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.
It was so Sakura to dismiss her own thoughts and feelings in order to deal with somebody else's problems, little though they may be.
"Hn," I grunted, narrowing my eyes at her raw, red ones and waited for her to speak.
Sakura stared intently back, analysing my expression with those fierce, green eyes. Finally, she sighed and slumped back against the trunk of the tree, knowing I would not leave without answers.
"Sasuke," she began hesitantly, and I could hear the dangerous wobble in her voice. Her eyelids fluttered close and she took a deep breath to calm herself. "I am going to die."
And there it was. Five simple words which changed everything.
I know it took me a moment to digest what she had said. Sakura twisted her head away from mine to look out upon the garden, and I stared at her tangled, cerise tresses in shock. Still not facing me, my only female team mate spoke of an incurable hereditary disease, one which had run in the Haruno family for generations. It was the reason for her father's death. It was thought, though, that this illness skipped a generation so she had been ignoring the signs for a few months now, believing it was merely the flu. Not until Tsunade herself had forced her student to do the tests, did the reason for her constant state of tiredness and loss of chakra control become clear.
To tell the truth, I hardly heard what she said after 'incurable' left her lips.
I didn't believe it. Konoha had the best health facilities and physicians possible. Tsunade was a world-renown medic and Sakura herself was second to only her teacher. There have been stories of men coming back to life after their hearts had stopped beating, of women who could suddenly walk after being paraplegic for most of their lives. Children who were one blind and could now see.
Nothing was incurable.
When I told Sakura this, more forcefully than I wished, she sent me a watery smile. "That is what every medic wishes," she said simply.
I became angry then, angrier than I could have ever imagined. Furious, I began insulting her for her stupidity. How annoying she was. How could she have missed the signs? What kind of medic was she? Why did Tsunade not realise earlier? If the disease had been known for decades why wasn't a cure being looked for? Why wasn't she in the hospital? She was old enough to remember her father's death. Couldn't she see the similarities?
I knew I had gone too far, but I couldn't stand it: her acceptance of her death as the inevitable.
My sharingan was flaring in response to the strength behind my emotions and I could have easily dodged the chakra infused fist which slammed into my jaw, but I didn't. I could have stopped the multitude of enraged punches which cracked my ribs and bruised my skin, but I didn't. I could have defended myself as she screamed abuse with every blow, but I didn't. I could have gotten up and walked away in the face of her tears, but I didn't.
At least she was fighting.
"How dare you!" Sakura shrieked. "How dareyou come here pretending to care? Who the hell do you think you are?"
I closed my eyes and waited for her to strike once more. Nothing came.
All I could hear were her sobs and rasps of breath as she tried to stay in control. My eyelids flickered open and I saw her crumpled on the ground, her head in her hands. Her whole body shook.
Remorse twisted my stomach, more agonizing than any physical pain.
"I am sorry," I mumbled, and I meant it.
Again I wrapped my arms around her painfully thin form, letting her rest her head on my shoulder as I placed my head upon hers. This time she didn't flinch or push me away and soon Sakura fell asleep in my embrace, exhaustion taking its toll.
Belatedly, I remembered Naruto and Kakashi waiting for us at the bridge for training but after one look at the vulnerable, slumbering woman beside me I knew I couldn't leave her. I quickly made the necessary symbols for the jutsu and sent them a vague message on the wind, something about Sakura being needed at the hospital and I wanting to train alone. Flimsy but believable.
So I stayed by her side as she slept, and now it is night.
As I have done too many times today, I turn to look at her and feel my chest constrict at the thought of her death. Already her skin is too pallid, her hair too dull, lips too pale after months of the disease slithering like poison through her system.
Although the life of a ninja is fraught with danger, Death always just around the corner and one wrong step away, this is different. There is a sense of helplessness attached to the illness invading Sakura. This is an enemy which could not be fought, which could not be defeated.
The vulnerability is infuriating.
A small groan escapes Sakura and I quickly feel her forehead. A delicate hand swats it away almost instantly and a small smile quirks up the corner of her lips.
"I'm not dead yet, idiot," she says too happily before yawning and scooting up into a sitting position.
Sakura pauses and looks up at the cherry blossom buds coating each dark branch completely. "I have a week or so left."
I can tell she has realised the bitter irony as well.
Her piercing green gaze lands upon me, the last traces of tears long since disappeared. Despite my best efforts, Sakura can read me like an open scroll.
She blinks and seems to make up her mind. Heaving herself off the ground, she flicks her head in the direction of Konoha and starts walking back.
I purse my lips, sighing inwardly, and follow her.
We soon arrive at her house. I have only been inside a select few times, but I remember it being impossibly neat, clean and organised. Sakura stops on her doorstep and looks up at me. We stand there for an immeasurable amount of time, and I soon become uncomfortable under her intense scrutiny. She is waiting for something.
"What do you want?" The words leave my lips before I have a chance to prevent them.
Her eyes flicker and a sad smile graces her lips.
I almost slap my forehead. It is obvious what she wants – what anyone would want. A chance at life. I feel foolish for asking such a question.
"Thank you Sasuke," she mumbles as she steps into her house. Before closing her door she says something so faint I am not sure she spoke at all. "I want the impossible."
Nothing is impossible.
But I am transfixed by the
petals floating past.
A/N: This is part one of a three part story. And I'm very nervous about this one because it's in first person and angst-y and descriptive =="
Sorry how it goes on a bit, I just wanted to focus on bettering my writing and what better to do that than a Sakura and Sasuke romance/angst fic? :P
Yes this is from Sasuke's perspective and yes he is OOC but let's just say for the stories sake the massacre didn't happen and he's still an antisocial bastard but he has feelings. Yes? Okay awesome :D
Anyway I didn't write these haikus but got them from this website: .. Uh, I hope that's good enough for them to not sue me?
Well anyway, reviews would be very helpful :L
Read, enjoy & review (: