Hey, AMarionetteWithSilverStrings , I kept it as a tanto just for you, bb. (:
Last chapter, and thanks for the support, pretties!

iv: the tallest tower

"I'm sorry, Sasuke."

He stares at the white walls, jaw tense, body still aching under his civilian clothes and under all the gauze. He entertains the thought of white walls in hospitals; is their purpose to drive the patients and the visitors inside mad? Is it supposed to be calming, he wonders, because all he feels is unease and paranoia that red will stain them at any given second.

And how wickedly beautiful would thick, red blood look against these unblemished white walls?

"Very reliable sources have reported back. Remnants of ROOT were acting on desperation and attempting to fulfill Danzou's last and only wishes. They were after you, Sasuke."

His head pulses and his eyes blur. Everything hurts, like nails running down the chalkboard, like screeching in his ears. He's sweating a fever and his vision clouds more than once and he swears he can feel the bile rising up his throat. He runs a shaky hand through his hair, holding it against his clammy forehead, and gasps for air.

Sasuke slowly looks up and everything is back into focus.

He can hear the steady beep of the heart monitor.

She's lying on a hospital bed, unmoving. She's still so very pale, lips as pink as her hair. She's wrapped in gauze and his eyes glue to her chest and almost shakes out of his skin, watching it rise and fall, slowly and steadily. His eyes cloud as he thinks back at seeing her with a tantō impaled into her chest, blood coating her like second skin and looking like she was greeting death at the other side.

But she is alive.

She is alive.

Comatose, but alive.

And this is enough, he tries to say over the demons whispering in his ear. She is alive and it is enough; she is okay, and that is enough. Sakura is alive and okay, and it is enough.

He closes his eyes and leans back in his seat, lips pressed together tightly as he struggles to convince himself that this isn't his fault; but it is, isn't it? He endangered her, she almost died and it is his fault. Sasuke wonders why it's so hard to be at peace; why is it that when he thinks he is finally okay with where he is at, with who he is with, with who he is… Why is it that something ruins it?

Sasuke catches two of Sakura's fingers twitch for the first time since the attack, two and a half weeks ago, and he realizes that Sakura has not given up.

So he takes her to fingers around his own and sits there. And he waits.


I have a serious question... Would you guys like me to repost Ayurnamat Theorem up here, again?