A/N: This is a fic based on the same idea that birthed Summer and Winter. So those of you who have read it, this will have similarities and differences. Basically, same concept gone a different direction. This probably isn't up to the same quality of S&W though...

Review? :D

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He is Sasuke. He is the avenger, the boy shrouded in darkness. The Uchiha emblem blazed on his back serves as a reminder to all of the horrors he has faced.

The crest on his back serves more then to warn others, it is also a scar he bears, the expectations and loneliness he carries in his heart.

Night is his companion; his domain begins at dusk, with the moon serving as his guide and the stars his silent companions. They twinkle cold and distant, mocking and cloudy. They have replaced his parents of flesh and blood, the dim stars a vague memory of happiness. He becomes a lonely wraith, a walking statue of marble white in the darkness that follows.

Legend says he used to be an heir to a prestigious clan of warriors. The story goes that they were powerful and proud, invincible. But they were not invincible to their own kind, for one night, long ago; they were all slaughtered by one of their own. Sasuke was the only survivor…

But that was because the killer was none other –

- then his beloved brother.

Once, he too had been innocent. But the trauma frosted deep inside his bones and spider webbed over his fragile heart, digging trenches of hate and despair inside him. When he slept, the cannels flowed red, and blood splattered across his face over and over like a broken record. Time couldn't dull the pain. He woke up every morning only to experience the same living nightmare.

He couldn't think, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep. He was a skeleton of a boy with the heart of a ghost.

Revenge, he found, gave him something to hold onto. It kept him going through the long days and even longer nights…

But when he finally pulled the blade out of the dead body of his brother, his purpose shattered. There was no more line of reality to hold onto. Everything had already ground itself back into dust.

In the silence, he slowly broke into shambles of ice.

It had been too long since he had felt a touch of warmth, a kind face – and the final act of retribution froze the blood in his veins. Sasuke retreated into himself, and the creeping cold that stole over his entire being began to permeate the air around him. Crystals formed in his glazed eyes, freezing irises the shade of stark, dead trees.

And so Winter was born.

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She is Sakura. She is the fire-lady, the burst of energy and youth that is expelled in sweat from the heat. The circle on her back is white against crimson, sharp in relief, like flame on skin.

Even as a child her spark was bright. She experienced constant fevers, hallucinations – and was hospitalized frequently. But those white-on-white sheets and sterile walls could not contain her. On the days she was well, she roamed the outdoors with a wild passion. Anything she did, she did with a fiery drive – sports were played in the scorching heat, drawing was done in a frenzy – she was unstoppable. She was glorious in her prime.

But it couldn't have been contained forever. Soon it became too much, she bubbled over easily with the slightest insult. She did things at impulse, not a second spared for the effects of her actions. Forethought was forgotten, regret was wasted, time was ever-ticking for her, spurring her on to do something new, travel beyond – all she did with a blaze in her wild, wild eyes. Heaven pity the fool who crossed her, for her rage was an inferno, a fright to everyone around her. Her fire was too volatile for her home, for the woods she so loved, too much even for her own body.

But instead of burning out, it burned higher. She couldn't stop it, couldn't find the thoughts or will to either. She ran herself ragged like an ignited star, scalding the land around into glowing-hot ash. The air crackled like hard whips, changing, drying, incinerating into hazy, flaming sunsets. Wherever she stepped, a pool of molten magma spurted up at her feet, scalding her feet and urging her on in her inescapable quest.

Sakura no longer suited the torching entity that flew across the plains. Over time, she became simply known…

- as Summer.

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these frozen tears that shine in the dark

weigh on me

like cursed diamonds.

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At first, there is nothing. There is only him and the cold that numbs him to everything else. It is empty. It is barren and silent and exactly the way he likes it to be.

But then there is movement. It feels imagined – the heat is a fuzzy hallucination. But it flickers at the edge of his perception – teasing, tantalizing – and he struggles to understand the movement. He has not thought or felt for countless moons, and the encroachment slowly creeps up on his conscious like a bleary dream. It is vague and awareness comes in stops and starts like the scratches on a disk – but slowly, he realizes that it rapidly growing stronger. It is coming.

He stands, and ice forms around his figure, preparing for the onslaught he hopes won't come. It would have been much better if it had never arrived, just skirted around his borders, and allowed him to sink back into lethargy…

But it is too late.

She comes in a blaze, a flaming star that sweeps through the frozen ground, making it sizzle and pop. He frowns at how easily she is melting his defenses, and calls on the snow sprites to circle a blizzard around her. She disappears, and the temperature drops back down. Another uprising crushed. He calmly moves to freeze her insides, but there is an explosion, and she flies out in all her glory, puffs of snow falling from the air like white confetti. Everything about her is vibrant and loud, and his ears hurt simply from the crackling of her scorching footsteps.

She's getting too close. He forms a final ice barrier, a shell enclosing his entire being. But she shatters it without a thought, (his thickest ice) and charges into him, hair flaming –

-and crashes into him. Instantly, he can feel the change. Her face freezes – a mix of confusion and fury. In the next moment the image is obscured by the wall of steam that erupts between them with a hisssssss, fire against ice. She is still shockingly hot, but the fire licking her charred limbs is fading, and the mist has cleared enough for him to realize that she is plastered across his entire front. This bothers him, and he tries to push her off – but to his chagrin, he can't. They're stuck – magnetized together through polar temperatures.

Water is slipping down his chest, through the natural dips and curves of his body, and falling down onto the thawing ground with a soft plop. He's melting. He doesn't know how it's possible, because he's been full of ice for as long as he can remember. Plop. Things are stirring inside of him, foreign and troubling – with a potential to overwhelm.

He hasn't felt anything for so long that the sensation is disorientating and alien while strangely familiar all at once. As for Summer, she is blinking for the first time, she can actually hear herself think, and everything washes over her at once: the beautiful woods she burned, the plants that withered and died, the terrible burns she inflicted on other children – all done without a second thought, simply with the urge to burn, burn, burn

She cries. She cries so hard that she's clutching at Winter's frozen clothes and making hot steam screech out between her fingers, and all Winter wants to do is run far, far away where he won't have to feel anything. But her hot fingers keep him where he stands, the dripping of water disturbing and therapeutic all at once.

After a lifetime, he finally moves. By now his clothes are soaked and her skin is simply a warm black, but that doesn't stop the tentative motion – arms slowly brushing against hers until they meet at her backside. He doesn't know what he's doing, but it feels right somehow – holding someone. Comforting them. After a moment, she lifts her head, and he sees her, all charred skin and dark green eyes. There is so much pain there – pain that mirrors his own. Looking into her eyes, he feels as if he's regaining something he lost long ago.

They don't say anything, but they can feel the temperature dropping again. The sky is darkening once more, and those green green eyes of hers are slowing, becoming glazed as she continues to stare at him. The wind is picking up, and he can feel the ice creep up on his exterior once more. The only difference is that he's not alone this time. Frost is gathering on her hair, her face – the very tips of her eyelashes. Her jaw moves, but the words won't come out. There is insecurity written on her face, full of Why is this happening? Who are you? Why are you doing this for me?

are you going to leave me? – and he brushes it away with frosty fingers.

"Sleep," he murmurs. She's dying – he knows it – they both do. She's finally burned out after years of scouring the countryside, and he was the catalyst for her end.

He doesn't know what to think, what to feel. She came and awoke something in him – and before he could even register it – she began to fade away.

He can't breathe the life back into her – but he can save her, this relic that stirs something in him he can't name – he can preserve what's left of her ashy body.

He lays her down and watches her slowly turn to ice, and knows she's gone.

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It has been the longest night Winter has ever seen. He has frozen back – but there is something less harsh in the wind, less blizzards and biting cold.

He realizes one day, while pondering in the dark – he misses her. He misses the girl whose name he does not know, whose coal-black skin is a testament to the fiery temper and kindling light. He misses her for the life she gave back to him – even if for a moment.

For a long minute, he realizes he does not know what to do with himself now that he cares.

And then there's a movement, like before. Small, almost imperceptible.

Drip, drip.

He knows that sound. He runs toward the source, his ears straining for the dribbling of water:

Drip, drip.

He finds himself at the lake where he had previously sunk her frozen figure. Patiently, he waits – the sound of falling water marking time. After a couple lifetimes – or was it just a day? He can't tell – he notices that the ice on the lake is moving. No- not moving, changing. Its cracking and sloshing and something is bubbling below the surface – hot bubbles – and within seconds the ice is gone and the water is still. He stands.

There is a ripple. He focuses on its focal point and watches with cold breath as pink emerges from the depths, then a wide forehead, before smooth, clear skin – a face…with green, green eyes.

He doesn't know what to think because she is here, but she died, and now she's back with pure new skin –

Her fingertips brush his cheek. He stares, because she her touch is still hot and the beginnings of small flames are dancing up her arms. Her eyes are wild.

She takes his hand, and it burns. Frost reflexively beads over their palms, and most of the heat leaks out as warm water, dripping through their linked fingers.

What is left is a lukewarm heat, and he can feel it spread through his veins – bringing him back to clarity, feeling – warmth. The flames previously licking her limbs have died down, and her eyes have lightened into a clear, emerald green.

She tugs on their hands, and he follows her, watching the snow clear with every step, grass sprout with every breath, and he marvels at the new life emerging. This is new. This is…right.

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Without him, she is a raging inferno without goal or purpose, a wildfire. She is lost in passion and whim. Without her, he is a silent warden over the dead land. He is frozen in a never-changing statue of solitude. They have both suffered, and both devastated the land – leaving smoldering trails of fire and ice.

But it is different now. There is time for healing, for life to curl up toward the sun like an arching cat, for the water to flow in a smooth path. A time for thriving.

Alone, they bring destruction.

But together,

They are Spring.

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fin.