theme: chance meetings
for: written for the LJ sasusaku month. Done in an hour (yesterday) and super unbeta-ed, so I apologize in advance for the silliness. I was supposed to be writing for the prompt scent, but after 3k words, that became such a mess that I ended up abandoning it and doing this instead. What motivated me? HARRY FREAKING POTTER. :)
Eleven Truths & Something More
. . .
The glass shattered to the ground as her gaze landed on familiar black hair and pale skin riddled with jagged scars.
"Miss, you're going to have to pay for that."
She looked down, distracted for a moment at the colorful shards that scattered all around her feet and on Suna's soil, one sharp piece stuck on her skin. Slowly, blood flowed, graceful and red.
When she looked up, he was gone.
. . .
He was bleeding, and he wasn't supposed to be here. There was death in his eyes, and a certain vulnerability to his stance that left her gaping. Then, moving. He only uttered three words, three simple words that made her lower down her kunai, and maybe some of her defenses.
"I killed Kabuto."
Then he lost consciousness and ended up fracturing some of his bones as they hit the solid rocks.
The healing was silent, and not very easy for the most part. Exhausted and confused, Sakura spent the rest of her time sleeping in the cold bed of her motel room, still covered in blood and sweat.
When she woke up, he was gone.
. . .
Sasuke's return didn't come easy and trouble-free, as predicted. But the death of two of the most dangerous criminals in their land was something to rejoice about, and it was all thanks to this equally dangerous Uchiha survivor. So the Hokage forgave him, with only a few restrictions and punishments.
After pummeling him to the ground, Naruto welcomed him with open arms.
After a day of cold shoulder, Kakashi gave him his patented eye crinkle.
After healing him again, Sakura turned around and didn't look back.
. . .
Sometimes, when she saw Naruto and Sasuke exchanging blows and trying to outwit each other's pride, her thoughts drifted back to memories of the old team 07 – before Orochimaru, before Sai and Yamato, before Madara. It had been so peaceful back then, all so simple.
Sometimes, when she saw Sasuke watching her, she pretended those memories didn't exist, and he was just a regular boy who made no impact in her life at all.
Sometimes, she even pretended that the boy was not a man, trying to heal himself but never quite getting there.
. . .
The faint shatter of stones had her running towards the sacred place she usually never dared visit, and staring at Sasuke in the middle of the ruins, shovel in his hands and sweat on his bare back. When he saw her, he only uttered one sentence.
"I need to bury my brother's memories."
She could understand the tension running through his whole body, but she couldn't understand the need and desperation spread across his face, stark and so unlike him.
Without a word, she took the shovel from his weary, half-trembling hands, and helped him dig.
. . .
The fever came quickly and without warning.
"He refuses to go to the hospital," Naruto said, annoyance clear in his tone. "The bastard thinks he's too good for treatment!"
Equally irritated, Sakura stormed through his apartment and almost panicked when she found Sasuke on the floor, chills violently racking his body.
She alternated between cursing the wind out of him, dragging him to bed and pushing warm chakra into him until the chills died down, and he slept like a little boy – a little boy interrupted by nightmares, of which he screamed unfamiliar names, and Itachi's.
She climbed in bed with him, trying to stop the screams and whispering soothing words in his ear until the boy overcame his nightmares and dreams became non-existent.
When he woke up, she was gone.
. . .
When Naruto finally told her what Itachi had done, had really done, she locked herself inside her bedroom and tried to absorb it all – the ugly truth. In it, there was the agony of the man who did all this for his little brother, to save his life and soul.
And there was the agony of the man who was still alive to suffer the consequences, and come to grips with the betrayal.
Her trembling never stopped. She cried herself to sleep.
. . .
"I don't need your pity."
"You're not getting it. I'll never pity you, Sasuke-kun."
When she found tomatoes and strawberries on a basket at her office desk in the hospital, she knew he understood, and this was his way of apologizing.
. . .
The way his eyes widened fractionally before going back to its usual indifferent stare made her cheeks turn pink before she could stop herself.
His next words had it vanishing.
"It's nothing I've never seen before."
Rolling her eyes, Sakura hastily gathered her towel around her body, inwardly cursing her clumsiness.
She tried to ignore the odd tingle in her bones.
. . .
"I thought you said it's…nothing…you've never seen before."
If she was breathless, it was his fault for catching her eye in the middle of the party – then backing her into a secluded corner under a lonely mistletoe, and trailing kisses all over her skin. His mouth was liquid fire, and she was slowly burning.
"Sometimes I lie," he rasped against her lips.
"I want to see you. I need to see you," he said.
She understood he meant not just her body, but her whole self – the one she had hidden since his return, sharing to everyone but him. Maybe fragments slipped out, tiny little pieces that he noticed, and somehow craved.
Maybe she could blame him for that, too. But she wasn't going to.
. . .
She rode him to ecstasy, and they shattered together in a whirlwind of glitter and ember flames.
Days became weeks, and weeks became months. Naruto was the first to know – Kakashi was the second, although technically, he already knew this was bound to happen before they could even predict it.
Sai simply said it was fate, just like he read in a romance novel.
Waking up with her face next to his, Sasuke gazed on, noting the flutter of lashes, the curve of lips, the smoothness of skin riddled with healed scars and pink warmth.
There was no more leaving – and for the first time in years, he was glad and grateful and never letting go.
Their lives went on.
a/n: Thank you for reading! :D