It was a typical morning in Konoha — where birds were chirping happily, merchants were setting up their shops, and the streets were already bustling with activity. The sun was up — bright into the sky, signalizing the beginning of yet another hot summer day.
It was in this context that Uchiha Sasuke could be found, following a certain pink-haired kunoichi as she walked the familiar road to Konoha Hospital.
"You don't love me, Sasuke-kun," she repeated for what seemed like the umpteenth time that morning, sparing him a look over her shoulder.
The nineteen-year-old scowled. "I care about you," he insisted, hands buried nonchalantly in his pockets as he easily caught up with her.
"That's also a type of love," she said, "and that's the type you're claiming to feel for me."
"What is love to you, Sakura?" he finally snapped, coming to an abrupt halt.
The pinkette also stopped, and turned to face him, one of her hands holding onto the strap of her messenger bag, the other resting on her hip as her eyes communicated the same level of exasperation Sasuke was feeling himself.
"Giving," she answered — without doubt; without hesitation.
His brows furrowed — more in annoyance than in confusion. "Why?" he demanded, taking a heavy step forward and nearly closing the distance between them.
She now had to look up to meet his eyes, but if she considered the way his larger figure towered over her to be intimidating, there was hardly a sign of that in her demeanor.
"Because you know the other will return the favor," she replied quietly.
Sasuke snapped his mouth shut, mind void of any response. His gaze slid away from hers, and he proceeded to glare at a random shop sign, unknown emotions sizzling beneath the surface of his skin.
"See?" she murmured softly after a moment spent in silence. "You don't know how to love yet. And Sasuke-kun… I don't think I can teach you."
That brought him back to his senses. "Why?"
"Because everything I've ever tried to get you to see…" she abandoned her trail of thought with a shake of her head. "We both know how all of my attempts — to anything — ended in your case. And I know it's probably really horrible of me, but I gave up on you. I still love you. I will always love you — no matter what. But I can't coddle you anymore. I can't let you do everything you want of me simply because you're Sasuke-kun. It's not the life I want for myself."
"I thought love was supposed to be about putting the other first," he muttered through clenched teeth, onyx eyes burning through her green ones.
Sakura smiled. "No," she said. "That's bull you hear in fairy-tails. Love is about putting yourself first so that you can watch over the other."
It was impossible to hold back her grin at his disgruntled expression.
"See? You still have so much to learn."
He fixed her with a mild glare then, his lean arms crossed over his chest in a manner that would have seemed intimidating, had she not known him well enough to realize that this was actually his way of sulking.
"Look…" she began, tucking strands of pink hair behind her ears. "This is something that you need to figure out on your own. I can't help you. Naruto can — maybe," she quickly added upon seeing his horrified expression, successfully stifling a laugh. "And when you have it all sorted out… If you still think that you love me, and just have a really, really weird and outlandish, Uchiha sort of way to show — and feel it… Then you can come to me."
And with one last smile, she turned on her heels and started back on the track to her destination.
"You do realize that you've just told me you'll wait for me, right?"
There was a hint of smugness in his voice that she was more than accustomed to.
She rolled her eyes. "I never said that, Sasuke-kun," she called over her shoulder.
She remained oblivious to the exasperated — half-pouting, half-glaring — look he threw at her retreating figure for the rest of the day, until she finished her shift at the hospital and found him leaning against a tree at the entrance, brooding quietly — but patiently.
I have no idea where this came from. I can be pretty weird sometimes.