EDIT 1/3/14: This was initially going to be a series of one-shots but I decided to make it just one instead. Also, this wasn't written in reference to the manga anything so it doesn't really have a proper time or place in the Naruto timeline.

As always, constructive criticism is always, always appreciated.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Seeing her again was both searing and soothing: fire on the skin, salve on the burn. How had he left before; torn himself away just to endure time and existence until he could climb though her window again? She stood at the vanity with her back tensed—waiting. A glimmer of shoulder peeked through her robe; teasing, calling. Years had changed nothing: her beauty never waned, his desire never wavered.

"Hello Sakura." How her skin prickled at his whisper. Beautiful skin—glowing warmly; sweetly scented. It felt just as warm under his fingers, tasted just as sweet under his tongue. How had he ever left? Sakura, Sakura, Sakura.

"Hello." She never said much. Hardly anything at all. Like the first night. His lips hovered delicately over the sliver of exposed skin. Her satin robe slipped further at his finger's coaxing.

Smirking, he watched as she instinctively tightened her grip on the fabric, concealing herself from him. A soft pink grazed her cheeks. That's how she had been in the beginning; demure and delicate. Eventually, he and time had stripped her of both. "Have you changed your mind?"

The rose hue intensified. "No. I…couldn't help it.", she whispered, reluctantly loosening her hold.

"I'll finish quickly."

Kisses trailed down her neck. Lies. How could he ever finish quickly with her? When every minute spent away from her arms dragged past gruelingly slow, how could he not prolong this moment? How could he not revel in her presence, her scent, her touch, her blushing twisting body under his? A pull on the sash and she was exposed.

It was amusing to watch her struggle, trying to command her desperate hands to keep still by her side. Endearing almost, the way her entire being quivered under his gaze as if her willowy frame couldn't support the strain of his presence. He might have loved her for it if he had been capable.

Perfect. Every inch. Every dimple and scar and wrinkle: glorious. He missed her. He waited every single minute of every damn day for this—this display of beauty, this homage to desire, this reminder of what he wanted—what he could never have. There was a throbbing in his chest where his heart used to be.

Sakura, Sakura, Sakura.

Her lip trembled under his scrutiny. It was always the same: he nearly felt guilty as he carried her to the bed with her scarlet-brushed face and tightly clenched fists. He always nearly succumbed to the feeling at the sound of her strangled whimpers. But once their lips touched, there was no room for guilt— not when her cries set him ablaze and her hands tore at his control.

She always cried after. She had slept with the enemy. He never said a word. As she shuddered under the gravity of the situation, he watched the curtains breathe and the trees sway. And later, when sleep claimed her, and whispered mumblings of his name escaped her lips, he'd cry too. Because the dream was ending. And he'd awaken in his bed, alone. And eat his meals, alone. And travel through Konoha's destitute streets, alone. And stand in the graveyard, alone. He reread the inscription. Had she died happy, carrying on this illicit relation with him? Had she felt the weight of his hand on the blade that killed her? He wondered as he waited—waited desperately for night to fall so he could be with her again, immersing himself in the memory of that first night when she was reluctant and he was relentless. The air had her scent; her fingers were the breeze. Her name felt smooth under his fingers. He should have saved her. Somehow.

There was no greater haven than his bed, beckoning him to fall into his haunting memories, into her arms. His eyes closed and he was there at her window; breathing—alive.

Seeing her again was both searing and soothing: fire on the skin, salve on the burn. How had he left before?

Thoughts? Review!