Author's Note: Okay, this is way too angsty. I don't know, I guess the words just flowed a bit too much? Okay, first things first. I was crying when I watched Gerard leave Erza in episode 68 of Fairy Tail, and that inspired one of my additions. This story had been about 3,000 words before I'd watched that episode for the second time. As I wiped my tears off my face, I blared "Keep Forgetting (To Forget About You) by: JoJo, and just wrote. For the rest of it, I was listening to "Better Off This Way" by: A Day To Remember, and "A Promise" by: Dead by April. My proofreading skills are still a little lacking, but due to the reason that I didn't want to add anymore to this because it would drag on, I decided not to proofread anymore. If there are mistakes, which I can guarentee there are, I apologize. But I've gotta say, on the subject of SasuSaku, I still believe in Sasuke. And this story is proof of that. You as readers might not understand, but this is how passionate I am about this couple. Sasuke will return to Sakura. Mark my words. Sakura and I love him too much for him not to. xD Enough seriousness, I hope you enjoy this guys! And, my SasuSaku month piece is almost done, by the way...

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. There, done. Again.


One thousand birds. They roared in his left hand as I flew through the air, pulling my right fist backwards. I had to fight him. There was no other way around it. I had to kill him, defeat him in battle. Much as I didn't want to, much as I didn't want to hurt him, I had no other choice. I couldn't fight the feeling of foreboding that emanated from him, his attack that crackled upon his tense left hand. It dragged the snarling heavens from their seat in the sky toward the ground, resting them upon my shoulders. As a result, my eyes drooped.

I could feel the rage wafting through the air, the smell of the darkness rotting the insides of my nose as it burned through my pores. This toxicity, I didn't like it. My body repelled it from every cell, every inch of my skin, my heart bringing the two halves of the shield together in front of my vulnerable rib cage in an effort to protect my lungs from the impact of the decaying tempest. But the shield was lifted too late. I was already infected.

Even as we drifted toward each other, our feet gliding across the tumbling water, ripped apart from our previous clash, I could feel the poison burning from his eyes. I couldn't look away. It was like the attraction was magnetic, as if he'd ensnared my gaze within the grasp of his, the haunting look in his eyes splitting my fragile shield in half. And as I back flipped away from the broken pieces, the chirping lightning in his left hand didn't fade away.

I faced him evenly as I continued running toward him, my right fist tense and trembling as I held it out behind me. My enhanced strength wouldn't stand a chance against his blade of hatred. I wasn't strong enough to fend it off. My broken shield wouldn't be healed in time. This battle was his before it even started. But I wouldn't give up. The water rippled even further as I hauled my fist back, preparing to send it snapping forward, as he tensed the fingers on his left hand.

Chidori. One Thousand Birds.

Those thousand birds of lightning were flying toward my face, the center of my eyes. He wasn't going to hesitate. He wanted to kill me. But he didn't want this fight to last long either. As his blade of lightning inched forward, so did my fist. I flung it forward, bright blue fire dancing across the right side of my face, my jade eyes narrowing. I'd made up my mind. I was going to kill him, here, and now. I'd made up my mind. I wasn't going to pull back now. The evil smirk that danced across his face at that moment only strengthened my resolve. I wasn't going to let him fall further.

Our attacks clashed in midair, unfamiliar feelings stabbing through me. As my fist shoved against his shielded fingers, the feelings burned through my entire being, the light I'd clung so close to myself beginning to fade. Darkness flooded through my veins, carrying it through my soul, then all the way back to my heart, where the light had fled to. Onyx swam in front of my eyes, smirking, mocking, despaired onyx. I was fighting an emotionless stone wall. But then why was I feeling something?

"According to legend, if the ninja that wish to fight are of high enough level or possess enough strength, they can read each other's minds merely by exchanging blows," I jerked my head up, surprised at the sudden grip on my fist. The haunting onyx eyes swam with crimson, as his lip curled up. "So tell me, can you read what I'm thinking? Do you know what's on my mind?"

"You want to kill me," I answered simply, dropping my head. "But I don't want to kill you."

"Too bad."

A flash of metal sliced across my vision, my eyes widening as I watched the tip of it come close to the side of my face in horror. Blue lightning danced across its surface, flowing from the tightly gripped hilt, the source of it all the ignited right hand. I didn't have time to dodge. I didn't have the strength to dodge. As his darkness flowed through me, I was trapped.

And he knew that too. The sword flew up toward my neck, as his left hand gripped my trembling right one, leaving me without a good defense. I had no choice. Chakra flew into my left hand as I lifted my fingers, grabbing the edge of the sword tightly in order to thwart its path. With one flinch, I shoved it down toward the ground, lifting my fingers from the edge of the sword to punch at the man in front of me, my former teammate, one of the ones I'd give my life to save. But I wasn't intending to die at his hands now.

He dodged my cross, and staggered backwards, letting go of my right hand, lifting up his sword again, the light of Chidori flickering up and down the length of the sword. I merely back flipped once to gain distance, then came back up with another cross ready. He swung his sword forward to block it, but my enhanced strength was no match for his sword blade. Our attacks collided in midair once more, his teeth coming down on the left side of his mouth as he flinched, but my smile brought light to the scene of horror was brewing on the horizon. I'd utterly destroy him.

The desire to kill was rising inside me, the need to destroy something burning through my veins. I lifted my right hand, pulling the edge of my glove back down, chakra dancing from the tips of my fingers. I wanted to kill him. Was it because of the darkness that now flowed through my veins? Was it because the light and dark were fighting a losing battle inside me? The reason why, I wasn't exactly sure. But that didn't change the fact that I wanted to kill him.

I could see it in his eyes. He wanted to kill me just as badly. He not only wanted it, but his body craved it. He wanted to see my blood spill over his hands once he'd sliced me with that devil sword. He needed to see my trembling, dull green eyes look up at him in surprise as he slayed me. In this enclosed water filled valley topped with a swirling, angry sky, it would be the perfect place to do so. This was no longer a fight to save him from himself. I was going to destroy him.

We flew forward once again, my right fist pulling backwards as the chakra flashed once on the flat side of my knuckles as my fist cracked. His sword flew at me, slices, uppercuts, jabs, everything flew my way when we clashed next, I almost couldn't dodge it all. I cart wheeled over his slice at my torso, straightening my leg out to kick him in the face as I came down, but my foot hit nothing but water. My fist snapped forward, but his lifted sword blocked the strike. The flash of ruby in his eyes let me know that he was taking me seriously.

Sharingan. A bloodline trait passed down from generation to generation within the Uchiha clan he was born to. I'd always wanted to face its strength in battle, and now I was finally getting my chance. The catch was, he could see my moves before I could even make them. He knew what I was going to do next before I even knew myself. But despite that slight under sight, I was doing fairly well.

My left hook slammed into the side of his face, sending him flying toward the side of the enclosed lake, as I leaped up to the tree trunk closest to me. As he staggered backwards, I jumped from trunk to trunk, carefully holding chakra along the soles of my shoes as I jumped, breaking free of the last tree when I was directly in front of him. Once free of the branch I'd jumped up onto to gain height, I front flipped forward, and straightened my leg out, sending energy into the sole of my shoe.

The Sharingan flashed, my move dancing across his features as he widened his eyes before taking a step backwards, my right foot slamming into the earth in its path, where he'd once been standing. But that didn't stop me. I placed my hands on the ground and swung up my heel, tossing my bangs back with a flick of my head, freeing my sight from the hair that had blocked it.

A sharp back step saved him, as I came back up elegantly, holding my fist beside my right shoulder, my short pink hair swinging out behind me, my emerald eyes narrowed. One twitch from my opponent sent me back into battle mode again, as I surged forward, aiming crosses, hooks, jabs at him which he expertly dodged, thanks to his mirror wheel eyes that spun in front of my jade irises. It was because of these eyes that he found my weak point.

The chirping blade my eyes flashed toward sliced at my stomach, barely managing to break the red cloth shielding my torso from harm. I didn't have time to dodge it, thus the fluid, string-like droplets of blood that flowed from the left side of my stomach. I barely managed to pull the rest of my abdomen backwards to avoid the remaining duration of his slice, lightning crackling across my wound. I didn't have time to heal it. It would continue to be a hindrance to me throughout this battle. But that didn't matter. I was going to win.

I jumped forward, sending my fist toward him as if I'd never been hurt at all, his eyes widening. He didn't have time to dodge my attack this time. My fist buried itself in his diaphragm as I planted my left foot at his right ankle, and turned my face toward his ear slightly, my emerald eyes burning. The pink hair that had blocked my eyes swirled at the sides of my face, lacing through the green of my irises with shimmering cherry streaks. The strands shifted into scarlet needles as I focused on them for a split second. My desire to kill was frightening.

"HOW'S THIS?" I pushed my fist further into his abdomen, and slammed his back into the surface of the ground we were standing on, a wall of earth and rock surging upward as his back hit the dirt.

As the dust and dirt settled, I dropped my guard. "Not good enough."

"How're you-?" I swung my head around, lifting my right hand from the puff of smoke that had enclosed the supposed dead body, and swung my right hand across the air, strength thundering through it.

He flash-stepped away from my attack, the black shape that flew through the air around me dancing across my sight, taunting me. He aimed blows at me from the shadows, keeping out of my sight, leaving me hardly any time to dodge or move, let alone fling an attack back at him. Chakra surged through me, reassuring me. Despite the fact that I couldn't see him through my eyes, I could still feel him. The black sky above our heads roared, lightning as blue as the Chidori that stabbed at me relentlessly crackling across the sky above me, warning us that a severe storm was coming.

As a wall of water surged up from the lake beside me, my green eyes turned toward it, his onyx eyes, ruthless twist of a smirk, and crackling Chidori inching toward my face. Final blow. The light from my lifted fist flashed across the tip of his sword, the droplets of water that danced across my face reflecting the bright light into each pore of my body. I would end this. As my fist flew forward to block his sword, my feet gliding across the surface of the water, I knew it to be true.

As his sword flew backwards to accommodate my sudden movement, our eyes locked. Onyx and jade, two colors on opposite ends of the spectrum. Mine dwelled within the light, as did my heart, while his irises rimmed with crimson tears were the spitting image of darkness itself. But he wasn't always like that. I knew of the light within him. The soft smiles that hid his loneliness like a mask. The gentle sparkles in his eyes every time he'd looked upon me. The hesitation that trembled behind the luminous Sharingan now. He still cared for me. And the warmth that surged through my veins at that thought banished the darkness of bloodlust from my soul. I was going to save him again.

I embraced the light inside me, as the chakra around my fist brightened, my arm pulling my fist backwards for my strike. I could see the hesitation clearly in his onyx eyes now, I could feel his sadness and pain rip through my heart as I flew toward him to finish it. I wouldn't kill him. That wasn't my intention. I would save the one most precious to me. And if giving my body over to the darkness that hindered him so greatly was the way to do it, then so be it.

My pink bangs swung across the left side of my face as I flung my fist forward, his sword and my hand colliding in midair one final time. Only, I wasn't intent on blocking it fully. After all, the sword carried light better than darkness. With this, I would save him from himself. I would be the knight that protected those most precious to them. I would stand in front of him, shielded in my armor of cherry blossoms, all bloodied up and unflinchingly bare my sword to the monster that returned my gaze. I would be the one to stop the rain.

By impulse, my fist uncurled, my fingers grabbing at the edge of the sword fearlessly, the sharp, lightning enclosed edge slitting my palm as I pulled it backwards, swinging it alongside myself, the blue fire that had enclosed my right hand swirling along the edges. The sweet scent of cherry blossom danced through my nose as my strawberry colored side bangs hit my temples, my posture suddenly straight and tight. I would protect him, until my very last breath.

He widened his eyes and leaped backwards, as I sliced the sword across the air, hilt flying toward his face as I jabbed it forward. He kept his distance as I spun around, jabbing the hilt forward and slicing it across the air, my movements fluid, and seamlessly flowing from strike to strike, as if I'd been fighting with a sword my whole life, when in truth, they weren't my weapon of choice. But following my instincts, I managed to fling a barrage of sharp and quick attacks unbrokenly without being stopped.

He jumped backwards as I sliced his sword across the air one more time, gaining several feet away from me once he landed on his feet, swiftly grabbing his left arm in his right hand. My eyes didn't flinch, as I flipped the edge of the sword in my bloody hand, gripping onto the hilt tightly. I held the sword delicately in my right hand, inhaling the lingering scent of his chakra through my nose, the hauntingly familiar chakra blowing across the surface of my heart painfully. He was still there, the one I'd loved with all my heart was still there, deep inside the source of all of his power.

A lone tear slid down the right side of my face, another flowed down the left side soon after, as I began to break down with realization of what I might have to do. I tightened my grip on the hilt of the sword in my hand, and took a deep breath, my emerald eyes closing. I would save him. I wouldn't let him die; I wouldn't let him fall further.

I was the knight. I was going to protect him with everything I had. My broken shield lay in pieces in front of my crying heart, but the armor I'd cloaked myself with stood strong, as I faced him unflinchingly, my eyes opening. My light blew from my chest, the swirling radiance flying up toward the sky as the remaining brightness wove together into an aura around me. By that light, I wouldn't let him descend any further into darkness.

Even as the remaining chakra that rested within his body wove together into the spitting image of the devil beneath my feet, its smile mocking my vain efforts to save its master, I didn't flinch or flicker in my resolve. I'd made up my mind. I'd come to a decision, and I would stick to it. Even as the image of who the man in front of me had once been flashed in front of my eyes as my heart continued to cry, I didn't stagger. The Uchiha Sasuke I'd loved turned around, leaving me with the hollow image of the red and white symbol of his clan, the reason he was leaving evident in his boiling onyx eyes. Even as these visions threatened to break me down, I stood tall. I wouldn't stop. I would save him, even if it killed me.

The shape of his increasingly cold and dark chakra smiled and laughed in my face, the jagged, sinister smile that twisted the air behind Sasuke scorning my very existence, as it reached forward with its purple hand. Darkness threaded off the edges of its fingers as it offered me release, offered me a deal. If I sold my soul, it would bring me a swift death. If I continued to stand in front of it, then it wouldn't hold back.

These were Sasuke's thoughts. These were his feelings. These were the words that permeated the air around us with each rotting, and decaying second that passed. The blank white eyes of the devil that reached for me smiled sinisterly, as the Chidori roared in its master's hand, the same shimmering onyx of his eyes twisting the bright blue of the lightning and chakra in his hand to a dark, cold, and bitter black. He'd completely fallen. It would be next to impossible to bring him back now. But I wasn't going to succumb, as my heart reached for him behind the shield of light I'd enclosed myself with. The darkness pouring from his body wouldn't be enough to stop me. I would save him.

Sakura…Thank you…For everything…

I bit my bottom lip as his sweet voice drifted across my mind, tears flowing down the sides of my face. I didn't want to remember it. I didn't want to remember the moments and the things we shared in the distant past. Three years had gone by, and here we were, forced to do battle because of what we stood for. I loved him with every shred of my heart that screamed and cried behind the armor of trembling light, but I couldn't let him fall any further. My love wasn't enough to purify his tainted soul.

I remembered every word that he'd ever said, mean or nice, and with each lilt of his voice, or soft and gentle smile or signature glare that went with each pealing of bells that sounded in my ears, my heart broke even further. My grip on the hilt of the sword in my hand quivered, as my heart pounded against the cage I'd trapped it inside, beating at the shield of light as hard as it could, pleading with my head to let him go, to spare him.

But his voice continued spinning around in my head, as my tears flowed down the sides of my face seamlessly, the wind ruffling my pink hair gently as my lips trembled underneath the tears. The incessant rain carried the light all the way down to the earth, as the boiling storm above our heads sent a firm breeze down to the ground, urging me to move forward, to not dwell on the past. But even as my pink hair blew out behind me, giving the man in front of me a clear view of the waterfalls that cascaded down the sides of my face, I couldn't stop.

My pain was echoed in each and every one of my heavy and labored heartbeats, the blazing agony burning through my chest as I tightened my jaw, the tears ripping through the planes of my cheekbones, scalding the lines of my face with every broken breath I took through my quivering lips. I couldn't forget about him. I couldn't forget the past. I had to save him. I had to fight this fight that caused me so much pain, I had to make him see that this wasn't who he really was, that he didn't have to take this path. I had to show him that I could hold him and surround him with light. He didn't have to delve into darkness like this. I had to make him see that. And the only way to do that, was to defeat him in battle. My grip on his sword tightened, as I tensed my right arm. I wouldn't give up.

My mind was made up, as I blinked my glistening eyes, and pulled the blade backwards, holding it level at my shoulder, as my fingers on my left hand reached up, my thumb delicately resting along the edge of the bloodied sword. I narrowed my eyes, and locked my jaw, my jade irises burning. I wouldn't ever give up. I wasn't going to lose him. Not here, and definitely not now. My thumb twitched inside the blood, as I took a deep breath.

I promise, I will purge that darkness from inside of you.

Sasuke!

His head dipped downward, as if he'd received my oath, my promise of a lifetime. I'd sworn on my life that I'd bring him back, the blood on my left hand evident of that, my thumb completely soaked in it. I'd bid my blood to the nightmare that stood behind him, the shimmering hand that had reached toward me slowly retracting, excitement and bloodlust flowing into the blank white eyes of the embodiment of Sasuke's own cold and dark chakra. Behind the curtain of scarlet that blew across my narrowed jade orbs, I stood tall.

I will be the one to stop the rain.