Author's Notes: Just a quick one-shot that came out of nowhere, as the damned things are prone to do. This is me musing. My new favourite concept: silence in solace. Enjoy. :)
He woke to the smell of dust. Every morning for the past six months, it had proven a surprising comfort to him. For so long, he'd been broken and angry, clinging to whatever he could in vain hope of escaping the monotony of his existence. Day after day, he fell into the same routine, the same rush of denial, of anger and resentment. He dwelled on what he'd lost; so much that even he was becoming frustrated by his own moodiness. The rush of excitement from controlling everything in his life was a dream long dead and after all this time, he was still as deluded as ever, no matter what he told himself. He was fate's bitch, and destiny had a twisted, sick sense of humour.
A now familiar sensation of instability coupled with the ache of his waking body reminded him he was alone and naked. The unseasonal cool air drifting in the window had woken him up early; sunrise was half an hour away.
Sasuke Uchiha rolled out of bed, fumbled around in his closet as he did when she wasn't there to help him, dressed himself methodically, and gingerly made his way out of the room. He inched toward the top of the banister, gripping the elegant statue adorning the top of the stairs, and inhaled deeply, preparing himself. The first step was always the most difficult.
The wood of the banister was rough under his calloused hands; it hadn't been polished in years, but he didn't mind really, since he was just as abrasive himself. He preferred it this way. At least he didn't have to look at it.
Sasuke made his way down the staircase, his grip on the wood firm and fleeting as he pictured it in his mind's eye; occasionally running his fingers along the well-worn wood; the only memories from this place that plagued him now were something more akin to screaming children and stern, disapproving parents. This house wasn't the home he'd grown up in of course, but the flashes of memory suited him fine: he didn't really care where they belonged, just that they still came to him. The details were a little fuzzy though.
At the base of the stairs, he paused, wondering what he thought he was doing; he wasn't hungry, thirsty, tired or bored, really. So he decided to go for a walk, knowing his self-appointed carer would find him quickly enough once she realised he was up and around. The front door was ten feet away from the foot of the internal staircase, and he remembered the hallway closet nearby had a few coats he could choose from.
But once he opened the closet, he realised there was nothing to distinguish one coat from the next. They must have been missed in the rush Sakura had pushed him in to colour code the tags. He had no idea what to do with them.
So he left his home without a coat, ignoring the ice cold goose bumps forming on his exposed skin. He held a hand out, feeling for the edge of the porch and once he found it, Sasuke managed to descend the three steps to the ground quickly.
Sasuke walked. He kept going, using childhood memories to guide his path toward the familiar, the soothing, and the secluded; a place Sakura had insisted he visit often, it seemed to spark his memories strongest, especially since the house he grew up in was destroyed in Pein's attack. But the grounds were the same, barring renovations, and he never stumbled or faltered.
The smell of the small lake on his family's property drove him on and before he knew it, the grass beneath his bare feet made way for the granite he always associated with that of seaside sand. He felt his way along the shore, not opening his eyes, not daring to look at the water now lapping at his feet. He tested the water, dipping his foot in to the toes, and scrunched up his face at the cold.
Fate was cruel; all he could do was struggle as it pulled him down, like an undercurrent, and he hated it ‒ the delusion of an Uchiha.
Sasuke sighed and found a dry patch of sand to sit down on. This place had changed too much: there was no pier, and the ground itself was more uneven, rugged, and depreciated. He couldn't hear any animals, smell the smouldering after effects of his family's Katon no jutsu, nor feel the natural rising heat that made this place the perfect spot to practise his fire jutsu when he was younger. Despite the presence of water, the humidity always used to be above average, even in the middle of the night.
In his musings and internal grumblings, he almost didn't sense the incoming chakra signal. Strawberry and vanilla wafted over him and a moment later, he could feel her against him. No words were exchanged – no words were necessary – as she got comfortable against him. He imagined she was curling her toes against the sandy shore, enjoying the rising sun.
Sakura didn't dwell on her picturesque surroundings for long. Her right hand moved with his as he directed it to the side of his face; her fingers twitched under his, gently probing his unseeing eyes with her chakra. He kept them tightly shut, perhaps defiantly, stubbornly and vainly fighting what he could never control. She would coax them open eventually, but for now, he hung onto his pride. His dignity was the only thing he had left that ever went his way anymore, despite his condition.
And that was the lie he kept telling himself every day since she saved him.
Throughout this entire exchange, Sasuke had kept resolutely facing forward. Now, he turned to face her, lifting his other hand warily; she shifted next to him as he touched the other side of her face gingerly. His forefinger traced her profile, and he took a deep breath, like he was preparing for battle. Finally, Sasuke opened his eyes, what little light he could make out piercing his eyelids with relentless cruelty. The light of the sun streamed over Sakura's face however, and she stared at him, silhouetted against the dance of light and colour.
He hissed painfully, slamming his eyes shut again as she pulled him closer to her; Sakura held him to her breast, waiting for him to try again. The pain receded from his eyes and he forced his chakra down – it was thrashing like a spoilt child. The pinkette half cradling him was patient, running her hands soothingly through his raven locks and kissing the crown of his head gently.
She murmured his name as he pulled away and Sasuke grabbed her roughly, crashing his mouth down onto hers.
His tongue played along her lips and she parted them instinctively; his grip on her tightened as he opened his eyes again. This time the light didn't hurt him. It intensified, faltered, and then simmered; all awhile, Sakura's eyes remained tightly shut. She was in the moment, her arms now around his neck, her body humming as it reacted to her lover. Sasuke pushed her gently, eliciting a familiar, arousing mewl from her.
Small waves surged toward the shoreline, cascading outward, shifting with an unseen tide, and climaxing with a loud, unexpected crash that went ignored by the lovers at its edge.
And as the morning light of the sun disappeared, Sasuke refused to close his eyes. The stream of light illuminating Sakura's body for him was the last thing he saw before the blood red light faded once more.
A/N: It's difficult to concentrate when I keep getting interrupted. Stupid, rude, privacy hating… person. Eh, whatever, it's done now. Thanks for reading, now review. ^_^