disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to coketalk. again. fuck, but do i love her.
notes: for sasusaku_month on LJ. prompt was dreams/nightmare under post-canon.

title: burying the hatchet
summary: You took this too far. — Sasuke/Sakura.






Sakura spent her time arguing with Sasuke's shadow.

They talked circles around each other (only not really). In the dying dusklight, sitting up on top of the Hokage monument in the setting sun, they were barely alive. Sakura swung her legs over the edge of Minato's forehead and drew pictures in the sky.

"Shikamaru taught me that," she told him.


"About drawing. The clouds have stories or something like that. I dunno."

It was quiet and Sakura shivered at the dark, familiar feeling of Sasuke's presence at her side. It had been a long time since she'd been normal or sane or even happy, but sometimes she wondered if maybe Sasuke wasn't making it worse.

(He couldn't have been making it better; he was Sasuke.

Sasuke didn't do things like better.

And Sakura had learned a long time ago that fixing herself was something she couldn't rely on anyone else for.)

So they sat together, a slip of a girl and a shadow of a boy, and watched the sun sink beneath the horizon. The light felt like acid on her skin, and Sakura wondered about how the world just wasn't plunged into darkness when the sun was gone.

And how instead, the sky was painted crimson and cerise and ebony-blue and other pretentious colours before the moon rose.

"So what now?" she asked, and he shrugged.

He would probably leave, again.

After everything, he would probably leave again. Sakura didn't begrudge him of it, because if she was in a position to leave, she just might do it. Konoha was too silent without its tricksters and its gamblers and its bars, and all of those things were still trapped in the aftermath of a war and a half.

Sakura was so tired.

And she was going to be tired for the rest of her life. She'd be cleaning up after Naruto. After a Hokage Naruto.

(Sakura didn't even want to contemplate the kind of mental power that that was going to take.)

She would have given anything to sleep, but the only person (shadow—Sasuke wasn't really a person, anymore. He was empty and it was sad but Sakura didn't miss him because he was still there) around to sleep on was Sasuke.

And she was sure that he wouldn't appreciate the gesture.

Sasuke might have appreciated the silence, but not the sleep. Sasuke did not appreciate sleep.

Maybe nightmares.

Sakura had them, too.

Only Sakura was too tired to dream, and nightmares took more effort—her mind didn't want to bring up the faces of the dead any more than she herself did.

Sometimes she couldn't help herself, though, and it was rivers of lava and a beaten little girl with wide green eyes that might have been her innocence who danced along the corners of Sakura's nighttime visions.

And how her hands looked dipped in thick blood, as she tried to stitch someone's chest back together but the sick thing was that faceless someone morphed and suddenly it was Naruto or Kakashi or Sai that was bleeding out, and she couldn't save them and—

It was never Sasuke, though.

Sakura shot a glance at him through lowered lashes.

Her shadow-boy.

She had a sunshine and a ghost and a grizzly bear. She didn't have a shadow.

Well, sort of.

"They're going to be rebuilding for years. I don't know if anything will ever be… the same," Sakura said, staring far away towards where the sun had gone down beyond the horizon.

Sasuke said nothing.

"Do you ever wonder why the world doesn't just turn totally dark when the sun goes down? Why there's extra light—why there's even colour. Why is there colour? I don't get it," she continued. "I never get it."

She could feel him shrugging at her. His shoulders moved up and down as he breathed.

Maybe he didn't get it, either.

Maybe no one got it.

(And wasn't that just as ironic? And wasn't that just as sick?)

"Maybe I should go," Sakura murmured, and moved to pull herself away from the sharp edge of the monument. The fall was a long, long way down; the crack-your-skull-bleed-out-all-over-the-ground kind of long-way-down.

The sound of reconstruction was loud in her ears—louder than his silence and his lack of response. Anything was louder than that. Everything was louder than that.

It should have hurt.

It didn't.

And he was looking at her, with an eyebrow raised and Sakura froze in place because who would move when Uchiha Sasuke was staring at them like that? It was a survival instinct, Sakura thought distantly. If you don't move, maybe the predator is stupid enough to forget you're there.

But Sasuke wasn't stupid, and even a shadow of himself was smarter than he had any right to be.

There was three inches between their hands. He dragged his thumb along her knuckles and Sakura felt calluses and scars and was that regret?

(Couldn't have been. She was just imagining things, again.)

"What are you doing?" she asked.

Being tired was so easy. Not caring was so easy.

Why couldn't Sasuke be easy?

"Convincing you to stay," he replied, voice low, subdued.

"It's not working," she told him.

But she didn't move.

And maybe she would never move. Maybe they would sit there in the dying sunlight together, forever, trying to make right the things that still haunted them both. Maybe he would always hate and she would always save. Maybe they would be awful and broken and twisted together, and maybe they would never be okay.

But somehow, that was alright.

Absolution felt like the rock beneath her and the pounding of hammers in the distance.

Sakura leaned against Sasuke's shoulder, and slept.






notes2: please don't favourite without leaving a review. :)