title: black coffee
SasuSaku Month, Day 2.
theme: Alternate Universe
prompt: Manipulate
note: So I have another version of this, with a...happier ending? But I like the original better. If anyone wants to see the other version though, just say so and maybe I'll post it up somewhere by itself.


The woman sits across from him, pink hair held haphazardly in a messy braid, a grey scarf hiding the slim white column of her throat. A cup of coffee sits steaming in front of her. He notes that the white mug is slightly chipped on the handle, and so is her deep blue nail polish.

Sasuke nods in greeting, before turning his attention back to the book in his hands. His own cup of tea has gone cold now, but he barely notices.

He only has time to read three more sentences before the light scent of lavender invades his senses. He looks up; two fingers automatically sliding his reading glasses back up the bridge of his nose.

She is peering into his nearly empty cup, a wrinkle decorating her forehead. She is much too close.

"You should ask for a refill."

Sasuke shrugs once, before pointedly going back to his reading.

They sit in silence for another minute before he hears her intake of breath.

He does not want to do this.

"Sasuke, we need to talk." He knows without looking up that her eyes will be green and reproachful. Huge. Possibly shining with unshed tears.

She's been crying a lot lately. He knows, because he is the one responsible.

But he will not let her manipulate him into having a conversation he vehemently did not want to have, not for all the sad green eyes in the world. Not even if his hands itched to comb wayward strands of pink back from her face. Not even if she does, actually, cry.

She falls silent once more, long fingers uncurling themselves from the mug only to spread themselves on the table. He notes her movements out of the corner of his eye, watches the slim digits start tapping out an unknown melody against the peeling wood.

He will only speak to Sakura, he thinks to himself, to politely ask her to stop the drumming. He cannot concentrate, he will say, and then direct his eyes back to the text in front of him before he could be caught by her face, her expression, her voice—the familiarity in all her little gestures.

"Sasuke, I'm leaving," she says in response to his quiet request.

He freezes. Finally puts the book down.

"The café." He levels his eyes at her, taking off his glasses with deliberate movements.

She sighs, a single puff of air that ruffles her bangs. "No. Konoha. I'm leaving Konoha. I've been offered a very good position at a top ranking hospital in Suna," she slants a look at him from beneath lowered lashes, "And besides, I think…I think it'd do both of us good to spend some time apart. Maybe when I come back things can…things can go back to the way it was before."

It will never be the same, he wants to say. Not when he knew what her naked skin felt like under his hands now. Not when he could imagine perfectly the weight of her long legs locking themselves around his waist or the feel of her breasts in his palms. Not after he'd catalogued every inch of her by sight and taste and touch.
When he closes his eyes he can still recall the hushed, quiet sounds she makes under him, the exact green of her eyes as she reaches her peak. And it is then that he decides that even if he'd been the one to break her heart in the first place, he cannot, will not, lose her—

He drowns himself in the memories for a moment, and by the time he resurfaces she is already gone, a crumpled ten-dollar bill lying on top of the table.

Her cup of coffee is empty.


a/n: Sooo this will be the repository for all my week one drabbles for SSM! Day 1 is separate because it's much, much longer than any of the ficlets you'll find in here. I'll be doing this for the rest of the month too; one long oneshot per week, with the rest of the prompts relegated to drabbles. I hope everyone else is enjoying SSM as much as I am! And feedback is always loved.

Will probably edit again in the morning...