title: sweet supernova
summary: "I'm your favourite," he tells her quietly, and she believes it. — Sasuke/Sakura
dedication: to pie, cuz that shit is delicious.
notes1: uhm, not really planned. one-sitting thing. y'know how it goes.
notes2: pretty ooc on Sakura's part. be warned.
The relocation to Konoha doesn't go as smoothly as hoped. Boxes are lost and belongings are broken. Sakura's only just ten, then — she already knows what it feels like to lose the things you've always had, though, to have your favourite glass ornament smash or your prettiest dress torn from your hands. She's lost things before, like her mother and her home and her mind, but they were never material possessions of hers. What's broken and lost can never be fixed nor found.
She arrives late to her first day of school, knees bloodied and hair cut choppily, clad in frayed shorts and an unwashed tee-shirt because her father couldn't find her clothes in time. She's greeted with smirks and stares, and she stares back.
Sakura isn't exactly the sort who will let herself be trampled on.
Her first day concludes at three o' clock, when she slings her bag over her shoulder, and saunters towards the door. She can hear the jeers that follow her across the room — there's a group of girls in the corner who are sniggering at her boyish attire, and the trio of boys who sat behind her are wondering out loud who on Earth would name their son Sakura.
She looks back over her shoulder as she reaches the doorframe, and the little wooden classroom falls silent.
With a polite smile, Sakura offers her middle finger.
She doesn't hang around long to see the shocked faces of her classmates, but she slides the door closed behind her as she leaves. She can faintly hear the loud blonde boy from the trio yelling about how cool she is.
The next day, he approaches her and asks her to hang out with them. His name is Uzumaki Naruto.
The next day, the rude comments are not so loud.
Sakura doesn't even hear Sasuke's name until over half a year has passed.
It's Autumn — the last signs of Summer are beginning to fade, but the air is still muggy and hot, leaving sweaty patches on clothes and sticking hair to skin. The trees are no longer September's vivid green, but October's golds and gingers, warm and pretty and something of a dream.
The trio and Sakura — they're not quite a quartet — are gathered on Naruto's porch, eating ice pops and sitting in silence.
"Oi, s'the teme comin' over later?" Kiba asks, somewhat monotonously in his effort to talk with a dry throat.
"I dunno, he said," Naruto shrugs half-heartedly, stopping mid-sentence to catch the last bit of ice from the stick. "He said he would, but I doubt it. You know what he's like in heat."
Sakura stops fanning her face, and places her own lolly stick on the porch, "Who's this teme?"
Naruto and Kiba exchange glances. Shikamaru offers a lazy smirk as though to say, 'Are you really that stupid?'
"You don't wanna meet him, Sakura-chan," Naruto says politely. "He's the sort who'll make you and break you."
"Is that so…introduce me to him."
But Sakura's convincing and Naruto's a pushover, and by the end of the hour, he begrudgingly agrees.
Meeting Sasuke is far from love at first sight; she falls for him when they're sixteen.
It's just the two of them on Naruto's porch, that day — Naruto isn't home, but his house is something of a sanctuary for everyone, when they don't want to be at home or can't be at home or just need to be somewhere that isn't home. It's not a problem, Kushina loves visitors, anyway.
They don't speak much. The silence is filled by Sakura's fingers tap-tapping on the wooden decking, and the clack-clacking of her sandals on the steps beneath her feet. She's awkward and nervous today, unlike her usual bright and smiling self. It's like she's waiting for a phone call that she doesn't particularly want.
She clutches the letter in her right hand.
"Sa-Sasuke," Sakura finally manages, her voice hoarse and meek, "Can I give you something?"
"I don't like you," he replies. "Don't bother with the letter."
She sits completely still for some time, staring at his profile. He's expressionless, emotionless — it's almost like nothing's been said. Maybe it hasn't, maybe she just imagined what he said as a fear-woven delusion. After a while — maybe a minute, maybe ten — Sasuke looks at her.
"What?" There's something of a smirk on his face, arrogance incarnate. "I probably just saved you a lot of embarrassment, y'know. I know what your spelling and grammar are like, I bet that letter's full of — "
"You're a dick."
He looks almost surprised when she hits him hard across the face and runs inside to Kushina.
They spend the next three years in silence. They don't talk, unless they're on the porch, and even then, conversation is scarce, and consists of quiet greetings and the occasional, "I hate you", "I know".
It's his nineteenth birthday, in the middle of the summer, again. He's there and she's there and the others are nowhere to be seen. She arrives after he does — she hesitates for a moment, standing mid-step over him. His gaze flickers up to hers, and he jerks his head to the space beside him. Sakura almost smiles.
"Happy birthday," she takes a seat beside him, and rummages in the pocket of her shorts. She presents him with a tiny rectangular package, wrapped in newspaper and fastened with duct tape. She returns his raised eyebrow with a sheepish grin. "Sorry, didn't have time to get any wrapping paper."
Sasuke examines the parcel; on the flip side, she's scrawled "HAPPY BIRTHDAY SASUK" in red Sharpie. He's pretty sure there's an "E" on the end of that, but her handwriting's appalling.
"Thanks," he tucks it in his pocket. "I'll open it at dinner tonight with my family."
Sakura nods slowly, clasping her hands between her knees. "I'm moving away, soon."
Sasuke stops still, shoulders tensing and hands gripping one another. He looks sideways at her, and she looks back, her expression cool and collected and still almost-smiling. She lifts an eyebrow, questioning, and quirks her head to the side.
"Why?" he asks.
"Because," she replies. "I'm not going yet. I'll wait 'til the end of the year, then I'll go. I can't stay here forever, and anyway there's too much — "
Her voice breaks then, and she looks away.
He chooses not to question her any more.
December 24th is her flight out of Konoha. It's raining.
She heaves her suitcase to the front door, grunting under its weight, and leaves it on the doormat. Naruto and Kiba and Shikamaru came to say goodbye earlier before they went out for Christmas Eve drinks — her father's with his girlfriend. Sakura peers around the curtain in her living room, awaiting her cab's arrival.
There's a knock at the door.
"Sakura, let me in," she knows that voice, even over the sound of the rain. "We need to talk, alright?"
Sakura hates Sasuke a lot, but she can't leave him in the rain.
She opens the door and leans on the doorframe.
"Where are you going," he pants, looking up through sopping wet hair.
"Back home," she says quietly. "I'm going to stay with an old friend, Sai. He — " she clears her throat. " —is going to look after me."
Sasuke stands more upright, and for the first time, he seems to be showing emotion — offence? Jealousy?
"Is he a boyfriend?"
"What's it to you?" They size each other up, children fighting for their favourite toy.
Sasuke turns suddenly, stomping back into the rain, and something tells Sakura to follow him.
"Sasuke, I can't stay, not while you're here," she has to raise her voice to be heard; the drumming of water on water is deafening, and somewhere to the east, there's thunder. "I'm sick of this place, sick of this one-sided love which is actually hate because I hate you, I'm just sick of you — "
"So you're going to live with another man?"
"No. Actually, yes, yes I am! Is that a problem? Are you jealous? Tell me, Sasuke, tell me how — "
That's when he grabs her face and kisses her silly, and she kind of forgets about leaving.
"I'm your favourite," he tells her quietly, and she believes it. "You can't leave me behind."
Another favourite that she vows not to lose.
notes3: um. okay.