She Was A Wreck, But So Was He

He was detained in a prison far from home. She had learned to let go. Yet time and circumstances would let her know that he would always be her only weakness – and she, his strength.

Chapter 1: Rumors Had It

In a shinobi village, it was ironic to have rumors running through town each day - especially for classified information, and having these news spread across distances. Ironic it might sound, but rumors were each village's daily essentials.

Thus, when the rumor that the international criminal, ninja prodigy and Uchiha survivor, Uchiha Sasuke, was finally captured, the town was alive. It was a little over half a decade since the end of the Fourth Shinobi War declared by Uchiha Madara, and the Alliance were still trying to get back on their feet, for damage was extensively handed down to them.

The war's proprietor was killed, thank Kami-sama, and that sleazy Orochimaru wanna-be was sealed. But rumors had it that those who had been on the higher tier fighting Madara had gone easy with the younger Uchiha.

It was Uzumaki Naruto, the nine-tails jinchuuriki, who had fought Sasuke. And no one really knew what went on that battle, except for these two. In the end, however, like that epic confrontation in the Valley of the End, Naruto laid helpless on the granite slab, and Sasuke was nowhere in sight.

This morning, rumors had it that Uchuha Sasuke was finally caught, as he was wandering aimlessly at the Kumogakure mountains. He was alone, and surprisingly, he didn't even put up a fight. Kumo ninja said that he just looked at his captors and silently let them cuff him.

He was currently staying at the Kumo prisons, and being an international criminal, he was most likely to be detained there for a long, long time.

Was there, however, any chances of Sasuke being let off the hook? Given now that Naruto was Hokage? Slim. Villages were still wary of this criminal, and the wounds of past were so deep, they couldn't try to forget.

Though it wasn't entirely known to be true, but it was also said, according to rumors, that Sasuke looked harmless and even out of his mind. He didn't utter a word, which was actually a known fact of him, nor did he even show a sign of animosity, nor that proud air of an Uchiha. He was a completely different person, except for his hair, his eyes were even bland, as if empty.

But those were only rumors; there's no chance of it being true, was there? Haruno Sakura thought. Uchiha Sasuke could never look so helpless, could he? No, he couldn't. And Sakura went on with her day, shrugging that rumor, and the news of his capture, off.

Within that week, it was sealed. The leaders of the five villages had taken a vote. Kumo, Kirigakure and Iwagakure all voted for Uchiha Sasuke's sentence to take effect. After the war, it was decided that all international criminals, who were involved in the war, still alive and at large, would be imprisoned for at least twenty years. Only Konoha and Suna were against it.

In Kumogakure, Uchiha Sasuke would be detained, in maximum security, for the next twenty years - or less, for good behavior.

That evening, after the news, Sakura and Naruto sat quietly in her dining table. They hadn't said a word to each other. She knew he came here to apologize, for not being able to do everything in his power. That not even being a Hokage could save a friend. She felt sorry for Naruto, for he had carried this emotional burden for so long.

She had let go of Sasuke after she saw Naruto lying almost lifeless in that battlefield. She was the first one to arrive, and had seen Sasuke limping out of the scene just a few meters away. She called him out, he didn't turn. She ran to him, he stopped her even before she was halfway there.

Sakura was dead on her track, for Sasuke was just inches in front of her. They stood there for a moment, and his eyes were as sinister as she had remembered it to be. Still, she wanted to reach out and touch his face, but he touched hers first. She didn't know if it was real, but the moment his fingers met her skin, she almost cried of gentleness. That he was caressing her in what seemed like the tenderest feeling she had ever felt. But in an instant, as she looked to his swirling eyes, images of gore and death and her own torture were played heartlessly in her mind. She was killed slowly by the thrust of his sword, and each inch of her body was fried by his lightning needles.

Before he removed his hand from her cheeks and laid her to the ground, she might have imagined him whispering words she never thought she could do.

"Forget me."

And everything else that had followed was the eternal torture he had created in her mind. A part of her was still conscious, though. And the last of her sane mind was spent summoning Tsunade's slug and ordering it to heal Naruto first.

From then on, with the realization that her feelings for Sasuke had once again prioritized him, and almost left Naruto dying - even herself - she did what he asked of her.

But, with Naruto sulking in her dinner table, she thought maybe she'd do him a favor.

"Would you like to visit Sasuke in Kumo?" she reluctantly offered.

AN: Greetings! This is an entry to the SasuSaku Month in LJ. This will be a series of seven chapters, for Week Three themed Post-Canon. I'm a bit excited about this, and I hope you are too. Welcome to a new series. And, Enjoy! :3 Tell me what you think!

Don't worry, old readers, Of Waiting will still be followed through. Go check it out, too!