A/N: For Furryraree. I hope you like it, though do keep the warning I gave you in my email in mind.
Summary: And their story starts when she precociously tells him that she's Elizabeth Bennet and he's her Mr Darcy. Sasuke. Sakura. Fluff.
~ by purple phantasms
In kindergarten, he's notorious for being the type that has a personal-space bubble measuring at least half a foot in radius. As such, no one is allowed to sit next to him — that is, until Sakura comes along.
Her viridian eyes are bright and lively as she stares imploringly at Sasuke to move his bag that occupies the only free chair in the small classroom. Nothing happens for a while, and their frustrated teacher is just about to pull up another chair for the new student as she's done countless times before.
There's no need to, however, because the young girl practically shoves Sasuke's bag away and plops into the seat. The teacher waits with bated breath, knowing that something big is about to happen.
And it does, but it's not what the teacher expects, for Sasuke allows the new girl to sit beside him. Everyone else just stares, dumbfounded; they don't understand what had just happened, leading some to wonder whether there's some sort of secret convoluted backstory.
There's no such thing, and the reason is simple, really: the right person is finally here.
He has found her.
After a while, it becomes clear to him that Sakura talks quite a bit: she's no Chatty Cathy or incessant blabbermouth, but she does ramble on and on about fate and happy endings many times.
It's okay, though, because he's willing to listen — forever.
They're both six-years-old when she comes into class holding a book entitled Pride and Prejudice; she happily tells him that she's gotten through two chapters already and that she'd like to be Elizabeth Bennet, with him as Mr Darcy. Others think that she's a show-off for bringing something that thick to read when the rest of them have just finished Peter and Jane.
Sasuke thinks that she's a precocious, smart bookworm — and, not to mention, adorable.
He never tells her any of this, however, because he's still not very good at controlling his blush.
A few years pass and she suffers from her first bout of low self-esteem when a pudgy boy in class dubs her 'Huge Forehead'.
She's crying under her favourite oak tree, and he wants so much to be able to comfort her and stop the waterworks that hurt him too, but he's terribly inept when it comes to comforting people.
The Yamanaka girl isn't, however, and persuades Sakura to be proud of it. Sasuke can tell that Sakura's still a bit unsure of herself, so he slips her an anonymous note in her locker one day.
My mother has a huge forehead, and I think she's beautiful.
There are three more words that have been written in his neat print and though they've been scratched out multiple times, it's still visible.
So are you.
He wanders about aimlessly at the mass funeral for his clan, and she trails after him from a distance as she watches him tune out the rest of the world.
He's empty —
— and a small part of her dies, too.
Sasuke doesn't believe in God, but he feels like such a desperate mess that he thinks that now's a good time to start. He knows that Sakura is following him when he makes his way to the sole church in the village, but he's so tired right now that he doesn't care if anyone sees him bawling his eyes out.
Soon, he's on his knees and muttering prayers; his soft, broken voice echoes throughout the church.
In tears, he prays for his family.
It breaks her heart, and she rushes over to kneel beside him.
In tears, she prays for him.
(And someday, it will all come full circle.)
He goes through the same routine daily and tries his hardest to recreate life before his whole family was murdered; one of the first things he does is to find omurice that is as great as his deceased mother's, because his simply isn't up to par no matter how much he tries.
Seeing this, Sakura pesters her own mother to teach her how to cook this dish and presents him with her own rendition a few days later.
It doesn't taste the same, but it's delicious in its own way.
Because it's not a substitute, but an addition.
When the first anniversary of his clan's massacre rolls around, she accompanies him to the burial site and watches as he lays flowers on each tombstone.
He is rooted to the spot as he stares at the graves, and she wishes that she could help him or say something but she doesn't know how. So she slips her hand into his instead. Her fingers are warm in the cold autumn chill, and their eyes meet for one second.
The world is silent in that moment, but her unspoken words reverberate through the air:
She's got a schoolgirl crush on him and adds the suffix '-kun' to his name. No one can tell, but he's very pleased.
(And soon enough, he'll be even more pleased when he realizes that it's love.)
They're in the Land of Waves when they have what he classifies as their first real training session; Sakura aces it on her first try, upstaging both Sasuke and Naruto, as well as impressing Kakashi-sensei.
She wishes that her teacher would stop yapping on how Sasuke's clan isn't all that, because he may very well start to hate her, in her opinion.
He doesn't, of course – and never will – though he's fuming slightly on the inside because he's disappointed in himself. Mostly, however, he's pleased that she's able to effortlessly repeat her feat.
He chose well.
They're in the Forest of Death during the second stage of the Chuunin exams; she receives a multitude of merciless beatings by the ninja squad from the Land of Sound. He sees red as blood trickles down her forehead in all of its viscous, vermillion glory.
His temper is not easily ignited, but he flies off the handle instantly when the perpetrator smugly admits to hurting her.
Sasuke is blind with rage.
Black tribal-looking marks swarm over every inch of his skin, and power surges through his veins. He attacks and is about to break off the boy's arm when Sakura embraces him from behind, begging and pleading with him to stop.
He is blind –
– but for her, he tries to see.
Slowly, he reverts to his normal self.
(She is his anchor to humanity.)
He makes her cry again when he tells her that she shouldn't poke her nose into his affairs. Sasuke wonders when he became such a monster, and the promise he once made to himself as a child echoes faintly in his ears.
"I'll never hurt you."
Months have passed, and he decides to leave the village in a bid to become stronger, to hone his skills and to kill his brother.
"Take me with you," she asks of him softly, before she pours her heart out to him in a bid to plead her case.
He wishes that she wouldn't ask because, honestly, he's tired of being alone. He just can't though, because he's about to go down a dark, dark path and he can't let her be affected. And if this is to be the last time he sees her for many years, he'll be damned if he can't protect her now.
Tears stream down her face, and Sasuke wishes that she wouldn't do that either.
Because her tears don't just cloud her vision, but his too.
"You're annoying," he tells her finally, because she's making him feel in all the ways he shouldn't; so he decides to knock her unconscious, but before he does he says, "Thank you."
Before he leaves, he moves her onto a park bench and brushes his lips against her (huge) forehead.
Their story isn't over yet.
This isn't the end.
When Naruto returns with bad news from his mission to retrieve Sasuke, Sakura accepts it with a strength that many didn't think she had in her.
She trains for long, hard hours and is determined to bring him back kicking and screaming from the path of self-destruction if she has to.
She will find him.
They meet again after what seems like eons, though it has only been two years at most.
Leaves swirl around them as they gaze at each other for what seems like eternity. She breaks the pregnant pause in the air, tears brimming in her eyes and a small grimace adorning her face.
Her voice breaks as she remarks, "I found you."
Truthfully, however, she doesn't even know whom it is that she has found, because the person standing in front of her is barely recognizable.
Sasuke is just not the same.
It's all right, however, because she loves him anyway –
– past, present and future.
The next time they meet, he lifts a sword to her throat and hopes to the high heavens that she'll finally understand that he can't have her here; she needs to go home and forget about him and have a happily-ever-after with someone else.
Because he knows perfectly well that he just won't be able to provide that for her.
Someone's here to save her – he doesn't know who it is because he is only transfixed with the notion of her safety – and he lets them go without putting up much of a fight. In his heart, he prays for her to be safe, to be happy and to find another Mr Darcy.
But as Sasuke watches her be dragged away, he catches the glint of determination in Sakura's eyes and it lingers in his mind.
"I'll never leave you."
The Uchiha compound is dark, lonely and cold when he finally returns after years away; he sighs, coming home to an empty home once more.
Except that it's not as empty as he thinks it is, for there lay a single plate of food on his dining table.
Sasuke warily takes a closer look and realizes with a start that it's omurice.
On it is scribbled two small words in ketchup that echo throughout the house – and his heart.
And the world feels that much warmer.
For the first month or so, no one bothers to smile or talk to him, or make eye contact with him even.
No one, that is, other than her.
And then he realizes that is all that he really needs.
She works the hospital shift while he is under probation, and chides him when he comes to see her with a new injury every day. Sakura's quite sure that she's healed at least two hundred of his kitty scratches, papercuts and stubbed toes.
Sasuke never does get around to telling her that it's all done on purpose.
It takes a while, but finally, they both confess that they do hold feelings of adulation for the other; eventually, they do announce it to the world, but no one's surprised at all, to be honest.
It's been the village's worst kept secret for ages.
They're playing bridesmaid and best man for Neji and Tenten's wedding when she looks to him from across the altar. Her grin says it all.
"This will be us one day."
He cracks a small smile.
He likes that idea.
That day comes soon enough, and she's practically grinning from ear-to-ear as they say their vows.
To them, it's merely an official celebration, because truth be told, they were already married to begin with a long, long time ago.
Three years pass before they welcome their first child into the world. The boy has the green eyes of his mother and his father's jet-black hair. It's a beautiful combination; one that he sighs in relief at.
Sasuke loves his wife's pink locks, but honestly, the colour just wouldn't look good on a male.
When their first (and last) baby girl comes, she has the brightest viridian eyes that sparkle like the clear ocean and the biggest forehead that Sasuke's ever seen.
An ominous feeling settles in the pit of his stomach as he watches numerous people coo over their daughter.
He curses, finally understanding what Neji was talking about.
He's having a terrible day when he snaps at her and tells her bluntly that he doesn't need her here; Sasuke regrets the words before they even leave his mouth.
Sakura just stares at him pensively for a moment and says dismissively, "I'm here for you whether you need me or not."
He wonders what he did in a past life to deserve someone like her as his wife.
She's Elizabeth Bennet, and he's Mr Darcy. Sasuke doesn't think that he's ever going to have a British accent or sideburns; in fact, the only thing they've in common is the line 'I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words which laid the foundation…'.
Sakura's all right with the idea of not following her favourite characters' footsteps, though.
Their romance is a lot more magical, in her opinion.
They're getting on with their ages, and it's obvious that he'll be the first of the two to pass on, but not before his memories are claimed due to Alzheimer's disease. Sakura watches on as her husband slowly loses grasp of everything he knows.
The years before his death are painful, because she wants so much to help, to ease his pain, but she just can't.
There is no cure.
So she stays by his side perpetually, until he finally takes his last breath. His eyes, once so powerful and vivid with strength, look to her with weariness.
"Wait for me," she asks of him in a paper-thin voice. "Please."
He doesn't know why, but somehow he knows that this feels like déjàvu. A flicker of recognition crosses his blood-red irises, and Sasuke manages to give her one last smirk. "You're annoying," he tells her softly, as he uses his remaining strength to reach for her hand and stroke it gently. "Thank you."
Her hearts screams in the face of this farewell, and a solitary tear falls from her left eye. He gazes at her in his final moment, and an unspoken promise reverberates through the air.
"I'll find you."
Years pass before she's finally able to see him again. Throngs of strangers block her way, and she feels lost as she scans the crowds milling about for any sign of him.
It takes more than a few moments for her to spot him, but the wait is worthwhile, because when they meet, it is like life is starting all over again.
He has never been one to grin much, but his lips can't help but curve into a smile.
"I found you."
A/N: Err, I haven't read the series in a long time, so do excuse me if I made some mistakes with timing and whatnot. This was a lot harder to write, because I didn't particularly like Sakura much at the very beginning, though she did grow on me soon. And fluff is hard when these two are basically the poster children of (romantic) angst in the story. I hope I did okay. And do forgive me if there are technical errors, since I only went through this once. ^^;