Warnings: Road to Ninja AU. Weird!Sasuke. Angst?
Note: I JUST REALLY WANT TO SEE THIS MOVIE. If SasuSaku actually "happens" in it, Tobi will officially become some sort of OTP shipper in my head. I mean it's his illusion! HE MADE THE OTP HAPPEN. I think. We'll see.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
"You're just an illusion. You're not real."
Sasuke tilts his head ever so slightly. He looks so serious, so much like the boy he isn't, and it hurts her to look at him. He doesn't question her or think she's crazy because he calls her Sakura-chan here and hangs on her every word. He wants nothing more than to make her happy and it terribly disturbs her. Then he smiles in that typical fashion that is apparently his but she has yet to get accustomed to. He reaches out to touch her cheek and she flinches. He notices but doesn't care. Her Sasuke would have taken offence. This Sasuke thinks it's "cute" when she acts "shy."
"You're so insistent that you're in a genjutsu," Sasuke says. His voice is smooth and velvety and Sakura stiffens further beneath his touch. "I've told you countless times that you're the only girl for me, Sakura-chan."
She can't take it anymore. "Stop that!" she hisses, slapping his hand away. She takes a step back and glares him, watching him through calculating eyes. "You're not real!"
And she's sure of it.
This world is utterly unfamiliar to her and she knows she damn well doesn't belong. The playful Sasuke, the calm Tsunade, the solemn Kakashi – none of these people are real. She knows it. It wasn't until two days after she woke up from her "coma" after a mission that had apparently gone badly that she realized how wrong everything was. Why was Sasuke playing with her hair? Why was Hinata blatantly glaring at her? Why was Ino acting so damn shy? The only person who seems normal was Naruto and now she knows why.
They're in a genjutsu.
And, despite remembering who caused it, why they did, and the circumstances that led up to the situation, and doing every possible genjutsu-breaking technique she knows, Sakura can't break free.
"You're not real," she repeats, but that's mostly for herself.
"Sure I am, Sakura-chan." He speaks so calmly and happily that it almost sickens her.
"No." She shakes her head because he isn't. Maybe if she unsettles him, the genjutsu will start to fall apart. "You're not Sasuke."
"I am Sasuke," he says. He cups her cheek and tilts her face up. "Don't I look like Sasuke?"
When she doesn't reply, he smirks. She can only scowl at him. "You don't act like Sasuke," she mumbles. "You're too nice. You talk to me and you compliment me and you act like you actually like me." She ignores the look of surprise on his face and shakes her head. "You can't be Sasuke. This world isn't right. Everything is opposite."
Her world has been flipped.
She talks mostly to herself but Sasuke can hear her mumbles. "Naruto's parents are alive. My parents not only want me to be a kunoichi, but they want me to be stronger. Your clan wasn't massacred. Ino is shy. Kiba likes cats. Hinata is confident. Tenten is an utter klutz. Shikamaru is an idiot. And you love me—"
Then it occurs to her.
Everything is opposite.
She can't help the tears that well up in her eyes, because despite the stoic power-oriented bitch she apparently is in this world, she's Sakura now and she doesn't care if she wears her heart on her sleeve. She glances at Sasuke and can tell he's come to the same conclusion she has.
"He doesn't hate you," Sasuke interrupts. He smiles at Sakura reassuringly and something twists in her gut. "Whoever you think I am or I'm not. That guy in your head – he doesn't hate you."
"You're wrong." Sakura chuckles, but there is no joy in her laughter. "He tried to kill me." She misses the way his eyes widen and his jaw clenches at her claim. "He hates me. It makes sense." She smiles at him bitterly. "Why else would you be so affectionate here, Sasuke-kun?"
The title makes him uncomfortable and Sakura can't help but take some pleasure in seeing someone who at least looks like Sasuke cringe a little.
Satisfied that he has nothing left to say, Sakura pulls away and attempts to leave. She's a few feet away when he speaks.
"Maybe you're right. Maybe I'm not real and maybe this is a world of opposites," he offers, "but why does that have to mean this other me hates you?" She turns around to see him smiling hopefully. "Why can't it just mean that while I have no problem accepting that I'm in love with you and want to be with you, he feels the same way but is taking a different approach? Maybe he's just utterly terrified of the prospect of feelings and doesn't want to do anything."
"That's stupid." Sakura frowns at how pathetic her answer is. Her expression darkens when he merely laughs at her.
"Not everything has to be the opposite. It can just be some aspects, Sakura-chan. Why can't this other version you have of me love you too?"
"Because he's real!" Sakura only realizes that she shouted when she notices any traces of amusement completely gone from his face. "He's real. You are not and there's damn well no way that he could love me—"
Then he kisses her.
She resists and tries to push him away but for the first time since she's woken up to this face that's taken on the name of her old teammate, Sasuke takes charge and doesn't bow to her whim. He wraps his arms around her and is satisfied with just holding her when she refuses to kiss him. She struggles at first, refusing to be in the arms of some stranger but gives up because maybe she's in shock and she's crying a little and despite how awful "home" is right now, that's where she wants to be. She doesn't know how to handle this so-called Sasuke whose hands on her aren't choking her, whose eyes on her tell her she's a goddess on a pedestal, not some annoying girl with no understanding of personal space, whose laughter is sweet and playful, not crazed and maniacal—
Sakura's in a world where absolutely nothing is how it should be and she can't get out, but part of her wonders if she really wants to get out at all.
NO, THIS IS NOT SOME RESPONSE TO ALL "WELL IF SASUSAKU HAPPENS IN THE MOVIE THAT MEANS THEY'LL NEVER HAPPEN IN THE MANGA SO NARUSAKU/SASUNARU/WHATEVER IS CANON" CLAIMS. NOT AT ALL. NOPE.