disclaimer: not mine
dedication: to my little brother, who requested I write a shikasaku oneshot for him 3
notes: i wrote this story because (again) sakura is awesome and sasuke is an ass right now and needs to get his rear end in gear, kick madara's booty and go back to sakura before she dumps his sorry ass like last week's dinner. i also wrote it because stupid kishimoto reduced kickass!sakura back to whiny!baby!sakura and i really hated that, and ALSO because sakura deserves some love and Shikamaru is awesome.

also, the title is a bit of a play on sasuke's character – an icy bastard that, in this story, is actually rather warm ;)

title: the warmth of the winter

summary:you never know what you have until she's gone. AU, one-sided sasusaku at different points, eventual shikasaku




She can't do it.

She's prepared and planned and ironed out every last detail, down to what she would say to him as he took his last breath. Her plan had been foolproof, with every variable and possibility taken into account and planned around.

Every last one, but the fact that when it all came down to it, she won't be able to kill him.

Sakura watches Sasuke with blank green eyes, subconsciously cataloguing every last detail of him, down to the injuries and the way he leans slightly to his left, indicating some form of pain on his right side, most likely originating from his arm, the source of his powerful Chidori and lightning attacks.

His eyes are wild and wide as blood leaks from his right socket. His laugh – high, cold and completely insane – echoes around the canyon, bouncing off the waters and rippling in her very being like shockwaves from an earthquake. He's gone mad – utterly, irrevocably mad.

She frowns as he laughs harder at Kakashi's attempts to chastise him. The sound is grating on her nerves, shredding them to fine dust to lay with the ashes of her heart in the bottom of her soul. Sakura just wants him to shut up, to let her think and try to make sense of the jumble of feelings inside of her, but he just won't stop.

She opens her mouth without thinking, without pausing to analyze the repercussions of her actions. Her words, however, have the desired effect.

"Shut up, Sasuke."

He falls silent, more from delirious, incredulous disbelief that she dare tell him to shut up than from actual compliance.

She snaps her green eyes up to meet his, fully aware that he can knock her out with one pulse of chakra to activate his deadly blood-line ability, but quite honestly, she is too damn pissed to give a flying fuck. "My head hurts, and you're voice is making it worse; shut up and let me think."

He sneers at her, curling his lips like a savage beast, and bares his teeth at her. "You think I give a fuck about you?"

"No," she replies icily, "I know for a fact you don't give a fuck."

Sasuke growls, "Then why –"

"Shut up," she tells him again, "You're annoying."

Now Kakashi is staring at her in surprise too. Neither of them ever expected Sakura – poor little Sakura – to tell the so-called love of her love that he is annoying (even if he is a murdering, psychotic bastard), but Sakura doesn't care. She's pissed because Sasuke and her stupid, dead heart – really, hadn't she killed it a long time ago? – foiled her plans and ruined everything.

She hates when her plans are ruined.

Naruto's arrival is a blessing, because Sasuke is beginning to look murderous again, and Sakura knows she's his next target. She remains quiet, like a good little girl while the big boys talk and almost manages to calm down, but when Naruto speaks of how he and Sasuke will die the next time they fight; she loses her temper all over again.

"Like hell you will," she growls, stalking up to Naruto and yanking him around to face her. "You don't get to be all noble this time, dumbass – you played that card against Pein a while back. If you're going to kick Sasuke's ass next time you guys fight, then I'm going to be there too."

"Sakura-chan," Naruto says softly, but Sakura's on a role and cuts him off.

"No. I'm not getting left behind again. You and me and Kakashi, we're all that's left of Team Seven. If we go down fighting, we go down together and we definitely take that fucker," she spits in Sasuke's direction, who stares back at her stonily, "With us. Am I clear?"

"Sakura –"

"Am. I. Clear?"

Naruto sighs and bows his head. "Yeah, Sakura-chan."

She releases him, and turns just as Madara – the psychotic ass that messed up Sasuke's already fragile mind – melts with Sasuke into nothing and vanishes.

At the present time, Sakura is pissed and annoyed and frustrated and snarls viciously how she's glad he's gone.

It isn't until that night, when she's sitting alone with Naruto on the old bridge that held so many memories, that she admits she lied, and that she misses Sasuke like she's missing part of her heart. Naruto quirks his mouth up in a half smile, and wraps her small body in his.

"I know."




That final fight doesn't come for a long while.

Naruto and Sakura are eighteen by the time they run across Sasuke again, on the battlefield between Madara's army and the Joint Shinobi Army. Kakashi isn't with them, but that's fine with Sakura because however much she misses Sasuke, she still has a score to settle with him.

Naruto and Sasuke fight first, exchanging blows in a flurry of movements and roars as chakra flares across the battlefield. Not content to sit and wait, Sakura launches herself into the fray, shattering the ground and working expertly with Naruto to back Sasuke against the stone cliff in the Valley of the End.

He watches them warily, and Sakura feels black liquid rage rising in her, threatening to consume her like fire. With effort, she soothes it and pushes it back into the dark recesses of her being, drawing on happier memories and her professional mask formed by years working in Konoha Hospital and then on the battlefield. Naruto, Kyuubified and oozing malevolent red chakra, snarls a deep rumbling bass that vibrates in her chest.

They attack as one, and the fight is over before Sakura can really comprehend it.

Sasuke is subdued, bound tightly in ropes and dragged forcibly back to Konoha, bloody, gagged and a prisoner of war. Privately, Sakura can't help but think that Sasuke didn't really put up much of a fight towards the end, but she'd never tell that to him.

She and Naruto drop Sasuke off at the interrogation center, handing him over to the more than capable Ino, who glares icily at her former obsession and tightens her hand cruelly on his shoulder. Sasuke either doesn't notice, or doesn't care.

Naruto gives Sasuke a painful smile, so fake it makes Sakura wince. "Don't worry," he says, all false bright cheer and hard, glass edges –because war does that to people; it changes them, even the unchangeable Naruto -, "I convinced Tsunade-baa-chan that you were emotionally compromised and psychologically unstable when you defected, and your fragile state after the loss of your brother and the unearthing of the truth to your family's death made you more malleable to outside stimulants and therefore unaccountable for your actions."

Sasuke stares at Naruto like he can't quite figure out what happened to the sixteen year-old idiot went; the blonde who smiled and laughed and had the vocabulary of a ten year old. Naruto gives Sasuke another tight smile, and goes to say something more when a Chuunin comes up, panting and out of breath.

"General Uzumaki, Lieutenant Haruno," the teen snaps off a smart salute, which Sakura and Naruto return.

"At ease, Cadet," Sakura says, ignoring the burning of Sasuke's gaze in her back. "Report."

"Mission details from Lady Hokage," he replies, handing a scroll over to Naruto, who snaps it open and reads quickly with Sakura hovering over his shoulder. "She needs you and Lieutenant Haruno in the fourth quadrant; they've lost a lot of men, sir, and they desperately need your tactics and Haruno-san's medical expertise. General Nara is on his way now, and should arrive at 0400 hours tomorrow."

"Thank you, Cadet. Dismissed," Naruto says, still perusing the scroll.

He and Sakura finish reading as the Cadet scampers off, and turn to Sasuke and Ino. The blonde girl looks worried as she briefly embraces Sakura and Naruto. "Be safe," she says. "Quadrant four is in the thick of the fighting."

"We're always safe," Sakura replies, and Ino laughs shakily.

"Just…just come back, you here?" she warns, and Naruto drapes an arm casually over Sakura's shoulder.

"She's my best Lieutenant," he smiles, "I won't let anything happen to her, Ino. I promise."

Ino nods steps back and salutes her superiors, who salute back and go to leave. Naruto pauses, turns back to Sasuke and claps a hand on his uninjured shoulder. "Just…co-operate with them, yeah?" he says. "It'll make your life easier, and mine. I don't want to be worrying about you in the middle of a battle when I'm trying to keep my men alive. Promise me you'll co-operate."

Sasuke stares at him and Sakura gently rests a hand on Sasuke's other shoulder – he looks so alone and broken and this is war, she doesn't have time to be angry because he's homehomehome back with her now and she wishes she didn't feel so happy about that but she does – and looks at him seriously. "Promise us. Please."

There is silence. And then…

"I promise."

Naruto and Sakura grin as one at Sasuke and turn away. Sakura can't help but glance over her shoulder one last time, at the broken angel standing beside the delicate, most talented torture and interrogation specialist that Konoha has ever seen, before she takes to the roof-tops and is gone.




In confinement, Sasuke dreams.

He dreams of a girl and a boy. He can never see their faces, because their backs are always to him. All he knows is that they are – achingly – familiar and he tries to run after them but he can never catch up. It feels like he isn't moving at all, as if he's bound in chains, rooted to the spot.

He calls out to them, but they never hear him. They just keep walking away, growing smaller and smaller, heedless to his cries that are soon lost on the wind that roars up around him.

They vanish completely, and the world is awash in blood and the screams of dying men and women. He's on a battlefield now, standing in a field of rotting corpses, their blood soaking his feet and staining his pale skin red.

He sees them, standing in front of him, and he tries to run towards them, but the bodies of his parents and his family grab on to him and hold him back, their cold hands burning him like icy fire.

"Wait!" he cries. "Wait! Don't go!"

But no matter what he does, they just keep walking away.

Sasuke has this dream often in the weeks spent in T&I, and no matter what he does, they never turn.

They just keep walking away.




The war ends on Sakura's twenty-first birthday. She returns from the fourth quadrant tired, hard but triumphant. They have won their freedom, but paid with their lives.

The first thing she and Naruto do, after receiving awards for their bravery and dedication to the protection of the freedom of the shinobi countries, is visit Sasuke. He had been confined to his clan's estates for the duration of his arrest a year before, and Sakura thinks that Naruto was quite smart in hiring some genin to clean the place up every month after he – abandoned deserted forgot forsook leftleftleft them Naruto her – leaves.

She walks up the front steps and knocks on the door, adjusting her robes slightly. She and Naruto are in their formal wear, all of it black: ANBU long sleeve shirt, combat pants, shinobi sandals' and bandages. They both wear robes of pure white with red flames dancing along the hems; it flutters around her ankles and keeps off the chill of the encroaching fall.

After a few moments, Sasuke opens the door and stares at them. Sakura smiles and ignores the fluttering of her heart at the sight of him so casual in a t-shirt and track pants. "Can we come in?" she asks softly.

Sasuke lets his eyes travel over their frames: over the subtly tense way they stand, prepared to react to the slightest evidence of a threat, over the shadows under their eyes and the scar that curves down Sakura's cheek and under her jawbone.

He nods. Naruto grins and takes a hand out of his pocket to clap it on Sasuke's shoulder as he passes him, completely missing or ignoring the barest flicker of surprise at the scars that mar Naruto's tan flesh.

Sakura smiles wider, pulling at the scar on her cheek when she hears Naruto's excited cry of, "Kakashi! I didn't know you were here too!"

She moves to pass Sasuke, but pauses beside him. He remains staring ahead, but she can feel the slight tensing of his muscles as she lightly touches his shoulder. "It's…nice to see you well, Sasuke," she tells him honestly, before following Naruto's voice deeper into the kitchen.

Sasuke quietly shuts the door behind her, and tries to ignore the fact that the – love – usual emotion in her voice is gone, and in its place is quiet friendship.




They are training one day, all of Team Seven together again. The sun is high in the sky and the bite of winter has set in. A fine layer of snow dusts the ground, and Sakura can see her breath in front of her when she exhales. Winter is her favourite season, and it doesn't often snow in Konoha, so she thinks this is a blessing.

It is an accident. Sasuke and Naruto train nearby while Sakura practices her regular hand-to-hand combat (without chakra) with Kakashi. There is little warning – Naruto screams because he can see his nightmares coming true as she fallsfallsfalls like an angel with her winds clipped to the soft snow and all he can see is marshy swampland and blood as red as the sunset staining her like sin – and Sakura barely raises her arms before she is assailed in pain.

She falls to the ground, arms angry and blistering as burns set in. She doesn't cry, but sets about healing herself immediately. In a few minutes, all that she has left of the angry burns are a lingering pain in her arms and new, pink skin.

Naruto kneels beside her, face white and blue eyes wide as he sees something Sakura can barely remember. His hands are clenched, and blood drips softly from crescent wounds on his palms. Uncurling his fingers, she heals the cuts and hugs him, whispering, "I'm here. I'm fine."

Sasuke stands a few feet away, stone still. He doesn't blink, doesn't move until Naruto stands up and smiles at him – a shadow of his former smile and it tastes bitter so so bitter in his mouth lie ashes in the wind – and says, "Ready to go again?"

Sakura watches Sasuke with sad eyes and stands up. "It wasn't your fault," she tells him. "It was an accident. I should have known better than to get too close to you guys, especially during your first training session with chakra in over a year. It was my fault Sasuke, not yours."

He nods, but she wonders if he really believes her.




That night, Sasuke has a new dream.

Sakura is burning, tied to a post on a platform. Smoke curls around her as flames lick her feet, and no matter how fast Sasuke runs, he can never get to her. He tries to cry out, but flames hiss from his lips and light the grass beneath her feet on fire.

The flames lick higher, burning away at her creamy skin and cackling like hyenas as they gorge on her. Sakura looks at him throughout it all, eyes harsh and glaring. "This is your fault," she rasps. Smoke is in her lungs and she's dying, dying, oh god no please no not her please don't die Sakura!

He runs faster and calls her name, but that just makes the flames jump higher and Sakura screams in agony, sending chills down his spine. She rages and curses him as her skin melts off and reveals charred bone and muscle underneath.

Suddenly, he hears soft humming and stops. It's his lullaby, the one his mother used to sing to him when he was young and easily frightened. He looks at Sakura and finds her whole and shining in a pyre of flames, humming his lullaby and smiling.

She blows away in the wind, a million bobbing blue-white lights that flutter and bend like the fireflies he used to catch in his backyard. He lurches forwards as the humming fades, because he doesn't want her to go, doesn't want to be alone again, please don't leave me alone.

He reaches for her and just as his fingers brush a pyrefly, he sees her in the distance, her hand in an unknown man's, walking away. His heart lurches and he runs faster, yelling for her to let go of that man and to love him again because he can change, he swears it, just pleasepleaseplease give him a second chance, please.

She hears his cries, and Sasuke feels hope as she turns and smiles gently at him. The man's face is in shadows, but the arm around Sakura's waist is loving and protective, and Sasuke doesn't know why he wants to rip the man's arm off and strangle him with it.

"It's not your fault," she tells him. "It was never your fault. But I couldn't wait forever. I love you, but I don't think it's the way you want me to anymore."

She smiles again, full of quiet remembrance and soft sadness, before she turns and walks away with the man, and Sasuke sees a ring glinting on her finger and feels his chest ache. "Wait!" he cries, and tries to tell her that he – loves her – but the words catch in his throat, and she disappears, gone forever.

He wakes up with the salty taste of tears in his mouth.




Sakura has been disappearing as of late, and Sasuke does not understand it.

She always shows up for training on time, and never leaves early, but he can see the nervous tension in her body as the clock winds down on training, and how her casual goodbyes are more hurried and less lazy. Sometimes, she arrives at training flushed and overly happy, and most times she declines Naruto's invitations to eat. She claims she has hospital work, but Sasuke knows that isn't true.

He checked once. Sakura had never signed in. Neither Naruto nor Kakashi seem concerned, and so Sasuke knows he shouldn't be either. Technically, he shouldn't be concerned even if Naruto and Kakashi are. But for some reason it bugs him and he finds himself thinking of it sometimes.

He spends a tenth of a second wondering if her family is ok, another tenth of a second wondering if she is with that Yamanaka girl, and another tenth of a second wondering if it is not any of the above, then what? But he dismisses it after those three tenths of a second and goes on with his life.

When he finds out why she disappears, he is still surprised.

He, Naruto and Kakashi spy her walking in the marketplace one day. She is holding hands with someone, and smiling with a kind of tenderness that makes Sasuke's heart ache. It reminds him of how his mother used to look at his father sometimes, when she thought no one was looking. It was the way she used to look at him, when she stopped vying for his attention in obscene ways.

But she isn't looking at him anymore. The crowd shifts slightly and he sees that Nara boy, his fingers lazily curled with hers, drawling on about something. To everyone else, he looks bored as usual, but Sasuke is good at reading people. He can see the subtle shifting of Shikamaru's body towards Sakura's, the way his hand tightens imperceptibly in Sakura's when he spots another guy looking at her, the way he smiles at her with hidden affection under the laziness, the way he looks at her, the way he holds her, the way he –

The way he kisses her.

Sasuke stops dead in the middle of the street and stares at the two lovers in the center of the road. This must be a normal occurrence, he thinks, Sakura and Nara kissing, because the people of the crowd give the two amused smiles and part around them like a river around a rock. Sasuke keeps his face blank, but inside he is astir. Something has grabbed hold of his heart and is constricting it. He tastes ashes and bitterness in his mouth, and wonders why.

Naruto and Kakashi have stopped a few feet ahead, and are watching him with understanding eyes. He looks away and walks quickly to catch up, hands shoved in his pockets. Naruto and Kakashi are different now then they were years ago. More aware, deadly and poised, and despite the years of absence they seem to know him better than he knows himself.

"They've been together for about a month now," says Naruto offhandedly. "But they've been dancing around each other for years. It's about damn time."

Sasuke tried to phrase his words so that he sounds disinterested, but no matter how he rearranges them, the caring won't go away so he decides, fuck it, and just asks, "Why didn't she tell me?"

There are a million unspoken things in those five words (doesn't she care about me, why did she tell you and not me, does she still hate me that much, why does she not trust me, whywhywhywhy why) and Sasuke knows Naruto knows those unspoken thoughts by the way those blue eyes narrow and the way his – scarred battle-worn injured warrior fighter protector – hands run through his bright blonde hair that does nothing to hide the scar at his temple.

Naruto never had scars before, Sasuke thinks. He never had to think about using Kyuubi's power, he just did. Now he conserves the energy, waits until the last possible moment, and unless the wound is potentially fatal, allows them to heal on their own. He is an idiot, Sasuke thinks, to not take advantage of that power.

"She didn't think you'd care," Naruto says, and privately Sasuke thinks he shouldbe right, but he isn't.

"Why don't you use the Kyuubi's power to heal yourself?" he finds himself suddenly asking. "You have limitless power. Why not use it."

Naruto stops and something in him changes, and Sasuke thinks that maybe he is not completely forgiven after all.

"Maybe I didn't want to end up like y - Itachi."

Naruto continues walking, but Sasuke stops, because he knows Naruto didn't mean to say Itachi, he meant to say –


Sasuke turns and looks back at Sakura and Shikamaru, who are walking way. Sakura is leaning in to Shikamaru's side, and he drapes an arm across her shoulder that both anchors her to him and tells the world she is mine, you hear me, minemineminemine and you'll never have her, not while I still breathe.

It isn't until many years later that Sasuke realizes the ashes and bitterness he tasted was his own personal heartbreak.




Sakura is twenty-three, and beautiful, and Sasuke thinks he might be falling in love with her.

She is still with Shikamaru, still in love with him, but still an ever present part of his team. She heals him, and sits with him sometimes when he 'broods' – her words – and brings him tomato onigiri when she knows Naruto's teasing grates on his last nerve.

It is Christmas time, and they are at Yamanaka's house for her Christmas party-slash-celebration of Naruto's inauguration to Hokage several weeks before. He stands by the wall with a drink, watching apathetically as the party-goers enjoy egg-nog, sing Christmas carols, pester Naruto – who is still in his Hokage robes, having come straight from the office - and kiss under mistletoe. He searches the crowd for her, because he has a plan, a last-ditch effort to maybe make Sakura lo –

The carolers get too loud and he leaves into the adjacent dining room, which is blessing empty. A familiar figure starts to come through the doorway to the kitchen, and he feels tiny, miniscule butterflies take root in his stomach.


She stops and smiles and he thinks she looks beautiful in a red long-sleeve shirt that plunges in a modest V-neck and a black skirt that falls to her knees and still manages to show miles of nylon-ed leg. "Hey Sasuke," she says. "Are you enjoying the party?"

He joins her under the doorway, and they face each other. Sakura falls silent at something in his face and waits. When he doesn't say anything, she opens her mouth to ask what's wrong and he reacts. Sasuke leans in and presses his lips to hers; it is his first kiss, and it is awkward, clumsy and nowhere near perfect, but he thinks he kind of likes it.

He pulls away and looks at her, and something in him breaks at the sadness in her eyes. "I love you," he tells her softly.

"I know," she replies, just as softly. "I'm sorry Sasuke."

Sasuke's heart shatters on the floor as she stands on her tiptoes and hugs him gently. It is not the hug of a lover – it is the hug of a sister, of a friend comforting another, and so his arms remain by his sides like stones.

She pulls away, rests a hand briefly on his cheek, and turns to where Shikamaru stands, watching them with his hands in his pockets. Sasuke wonders if he is going to hit him, but Shikamaru merely looks at him with calm understanding and sympathy and Sasuke looks away.

He doesn't watch them walk out.




Sakura is twenty-five and getting married and Sasuke can't find it in himself to be happy.

He is standing uncomfortably in a tux and what Sakura calls a wool peacoat that falls to his knees inside the Haruno home, waiting to take Sakura to her wedding. It is December 24, and a thick layer of snow covers the ground; more flakes fall gently from the sky, and the night is crisp and beautiful.

Naruto isn't here because he is officiating the ceremony, but before Sasuke left for Sakura's, Naruto told him to relax. Sasuke can't relax. He is walking Sakura down the aisle – giving her away to Nara because her father cannot. He died during the war, fighting to protect Konoha – and nothing about that is relaxing.

Sasuke doesn't want to give her away.

She comes down the hallway from her mother's room in a long-sleeve ivory dress and a white fur cape, and he feels his breath catch in his throat. She looks radiant, and mentally he picks out the pieces of the old wedding nursery rhyme that he and Naruto helped pick out: the something old is her cape, which belonged to her mother on her wedding day. The something new is obviously her dress. The something blue is the bejewelled lily hairpiece in her hair.

And the something borrowed is Sasuke's mother's tiara.

She smiles at him and links the arm holding her bouquet through his as she gathers up her skirts in one hand. "Shall we?" she asks.

He nods and they step out into the winter night. The snow crunches underfoot as they walk, following the path of blue paper lanterns lit by the townsfolk. The wedding is in Shikamaru's favourite cloud-watching field, and Sasuke thinks nearly the entire town has showed up to watch the union of Konoha's top strategist and the Nara heir to Konoha's best lieutenant-slash-medical kunoichi, if the empty streets are anything to go by.

They reach the field in nearly no time at all, and begin walking towards where the ceremony lay, wreathed in white lights and paper lanterns and surrounded by hundreds of people. Nara stands at the alter with Naruto, who is in the ceremonial white Hokage robes.

Sasuke and Sakura reach the far end of the aisle and begin to walk down as music plays. The audience rises and Nara turns to see his fiancée. His eyes widen and Shikamaru's expression is a cross between looking like he's been struck by a boulder and looking like the luckiest guy in the world.

Sasuke envies him.

They reach the end of the aisle and Sakura turns to Sasuke. Reaching up, she kisses his cheek and whispers three words in his ear that make him freeze with shock.

"I love you."

She pulls back and gives him that soft, special smile that is just for him – Sasuke – and turns to accept her soon-to-be-husband's pro-offered hand.

Sasuke sites in a kind of daze for the rest of the ceremony, and barely remembers to stand up and clap when Sakura and Shikamaru share their first kiss as a married couple. He follows the crowd back to the reception area, where only the invited are let in, and stands awkwardly by the food as Shikamaru and Sakura dance together.

He thinks and thinks, and when Shikamaru comes over to get a drink, he walks up to him and wonders what the hell he is doing. Shikamaru looks at him, flushed, happy and yet still the calm, level strategist Konoha loves. "If you hurt her, I'll kill you." Sasuke says bluntly.

Shikamaru smiles faintly. "I would expect nothing less from you."

Sasuke nods once, sharply, and goes to leave when Sakura suddenly pulls him on the dance floor. "Dance with me?" she asks cheekily as a slow song comes on, and he wraps his hands around her waist as she hugs his neck. It is completely platonic, but Sasuke feels his heart flutter, and absently is reminded of a quote his mother told him long ago:

You never know what you have until it's gone.

He shakes off the sadness at that thought, holds Sakura a bit tighter, and commits to memory the feel of her body against his and the warmth of that clear winter night.




notes: so, there you have it. my very strange story that has been sitting on my hard-drive for weeks now. i know sasuke seems ooc and that it doesn't follow the manga, but this is AU, so i can do what I want, and in my mind, sasuke realizes, 'oh hey, she's always been there for me' yadda, yadda, yadda and falls in love with sakura, but by then it's too late and she's already gone.

sasuke's a smart guy – he'd know love for what it really is, and I think after being denied love for, what, fifteen years at that point in my story, that he'd act on it even though he knows she loves someone else. and I think, in the end, he'd still love her but he'd be strong enough to let her go.

so yes. review please?