disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Chloe. and Les.
notes: of fucking course. Naruto and Hinata finally get together in canon, and Sakura decides she should be allowed to smooch all the ladies.
notes2: smooches. porny smooches.

title: over my dead body
summary: Once upon a time, I loved her, too. — Sakura/Hinata/Naruto.






It went kind of like this:

"I can't believe you're getting married."

Hinata, in a wedding dress fit for a princess, met Sakura's gaze and smiled. "I—I can't believe it e-either."

"Long time coming, though, huh?" Sakura laughed easily. Her hands caught in the ruffled white lace of Hinata's skirt. The puffy white confection was the farthest thing from a traditional dress either woman had ever seen, but Sakura thought it somehow fit Hinata better than any traditional kimono ever could.

"I guess," Hinata murmured. She tipped her head down, bangs across half-closed eyes. Her mouth was soft and red, and the memory of that soft red mouth in another setting hit Sakura with the force of a physical blow.

She shoved the memory away.

Now was not the time to be dwelling on childhood experimentation with one's best friend.

Except, yeah, it kind of so was.

Hinata spun in her snow white dress, long hair a perfect slick of dark blue silk against the exposed skin of her shoulders. Sakura remembered a time when her friend had done the exact same thing, except they were in her bedroom, and Sakura had had license to apply her teeth to the pale expanse.

But that had been a very long time ago. Sakura had been a very different person then—and Hinata hadn't been engaged.

To Sakura's best friend, at that.

God, this was the weirdest fucking thing.

"Come on," Sakura said. "It's totally okay! You guys are going to have your whole fairytale thing and have a million disgustingly adorable children and it'll—it'll be okay!"

"Oh. It's... it's not that. I'm just so h-happy," Hinata said. She looked Sakura full in the face, pale eyes lit brilliant as moonlight off snow. "He loves me. He loves me!"

Unbidden, the bitter thought came: I loved you first.

Sakura dropped her gaze, fingers still caught in Hinata's skirt. It was easier this way.

She'd never dreamed about marriage to anyone except Sasuke, but she'd been in love enough to know what was real and what wasn't. Her best friends were in love with each other. What they had wasn't taken for granted.

Sasuke had been.

Sakura sighed. She needed a cigarette.

(And that particular vice was Karin all over. Sakura thought of sitting on Hokage mountain with a single cigarette to share as they watched the city rebuild. Karin was long gone, too.)

"...You... You'll be there, right?" Hinata asked. Her hair was loose around her face, caught in her mouth and choppy against her face—dark against light, sharp like a jagged piece of ice right below her breastbone digging into her heart.

Sakura ached inside.

"For what?"

"For—everything. You know."

Sakura thought of all the things she'd never thought to say. You're beautiful and I wish you could see it and I'm sorry that life's so short and I love you. God, I love you. She didn't think she would ever be able to say them now.

"Of course, Hinata-chan," Sakura said.

Because what else was there?

"I'll have to kill you if you hurt her," Sakura told Naruto over lunch, once day. She was sipping at a cup of bitter black tea, sticks of dango sitting on a plate in front of her in neat little rows. Naruto had been eyeing them for the past half hour, and Sakura hadn't ceded the territory yet—nor was she about to.

There was probably a metaphor in there for something, but Sakura wasn't a writer, and she didn't think about things like that.

His eyes turned to round blue marbles in his face, like he was horrified at the very thought. "I couldn't hurt Hinata-chan, Sakura-chan! That's like—that's like illegal!"

For all of thirty seconds, Sakura's heart to turned to ice.

"Besides, her dad would kill me!"

She couldn't stop the snort from escaping her. Of course Naruto was too busy being terrified of Hinata's seriously-not-scary-god-you-are-such-a-wimp father to even ever think about hurting her anyway.

Her cup rattled only a little when she set it down on the table.

"Have you even asked Uchiha-san to be your best man, yet?"

Sakura hadn't called Sasuke by his name in a long time.

She hadn't cared about him in about that long, either.

"Sakura-chan," Naruto said, and his brow creased down over his eyes. "He misses you, you know. You could at least say hello."

She folded her hands in her lap, took one deep breath, let it out slow through her nose. They'd had this conversation so many times, and they'd have it a million times more, because Sasuke was a ghost and whether he needed her or not was irrelevant (at least to her).

"I could," she said. "But I won't."

"Why not, Sakura-chan? You'd be good for him!"

And she didn't say that there was a girl with a smile like starlight who made her feel like a goddamned-stupid wreck in her guts that she'd splayed out and eaten from the inside out. She didn't say god, I could just kill you. I could just kill you!

She didn't say she was mine first, and I want her back.

Instead, Sakura just shook her head.

"I'd be about as good for him as he would for me, Naruto," she said, softly.

Her nails against the table were the only sound. He looked at her sadly, like she'd always been his only redemption—like she'd always been their only single redemption, the girl they always came back for.

Sakura brought her tea back to her lips.

They always came back for her.

It was funny, because this time, she'd left them first.

(And for a beautiful quiet girl who held the world in her hands and danced with moonlit water. How could she not?)

"You know what? It doesn't matter," Sakura said.

"Of course it matters—!"

She held up a hand to stall him. "It doesn't matter, Naruto. Just don't hurt Hinata, okay? Or I promise I will find a way to kill you and make it look like an accident. And if you think I'm kidding, you are sorely mistaken. She's my best friend."

Sakura did not make idle threats.

Especially not when it came to the only girl she loved.

The wedding was the most incredible event that Konoha had seen in a long time. The city itself hadn't had much reason to celebrate in a long time—rebuilding took more out of them all than they would like to admit.

The Hokage's wedding was an occasion as good as any to celebrate.

The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and everyone was crying. Sakura sat in the crowd, present but separate. Sasuke sat next to her and shot her tiny little looks out of the corner of his eyes.

She didn't even spare him a glance.

That was a ship that had long sailed.

All she felt was very cold.

But then it went like this:

Sakura was shaking all over and too drunk to be legal. It was okay, though, she thought, because wow, who the fuck wouldn't be drunk after watching that? It was sickening and horrible and so sweet that she thought she was going to be ill.

Supper was a blur of alcohol and Hinata's smiling red mouth and Sasuke's guilty silence and Naruto's obliviousness and wow, Sakura was so over this.

She spent of it in the bathroom, anyway, vomiting her insides into the toilet.

Cool hands on her forehead.

"Sakura-chan? Are you okay?"

"Oh my god, are you kidding me," Sakura laughed. It was a frantic pounding at the back of her eyelids, because of course Hinata Hyuuga—excuse me, Hinata Uzumaki—would be there, holding her hair back while she was sick to her stomach.

"Uh—huh, you know—I—wow, could you get Ino?" Sakura asked.

Ino would be the only one who would understand.

"I'm not going a-anywhere. You're a—a wreck," Hinata said gently. Her hands smoothed through Sakura's hair, come undone with the trembling in her limbs and her appalling lack of focus.

Sakura spat twice, wiped her mouth, and pushed Hinata away.

"Are you really doing this. Are you really actually serious," Sakura said but didn't ask. She didn't have time for questions, anymore. Didn't have the guts for it.

"Sakura-chan?" Hinata asked.

"Just—yeah, you know what. I'm okay," she said, and forced herself to smile. "I'm okay."

Except she obviously wasn't, and Hinata wasn't an idiot. Hot little hands curled around Sakura's cheeks; tipped her head up, ran over her lips, over her nose, over her eyelids.

"Sakura-chan," she said, "what happened to you?"

"Hinata-chan, just—not right now, okay?"

"No," Hinata said. "Right now. Tell me what happened? Please?"

The straw that broke the camel's back was a pair of moon-eyes in a moon-face, staring down at a bitter woman with a bitter heart. Sakura couldn't help herself. She reached up, buried her hands in Hinata's elaborate up-do, pulled down, and kissed her hard-fast and desperate. The bile was at the back of her throat, and all she could think was you say you know her, but you don't know her like I do.

This was so fucked up.

"Please, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Sakura whispered against Hinata's lips.

Hinata gasped once.

She dragged her tongue along the seam of Hinata's lips, and both were lost. Dress bunched up around her waist, Sakura's fingers found the frilled lace hem of underwear—bunched her hand in it, and tore.

"Oh my god," Hinata gasped again.

Sakura dropped to her knees, cold dirty tile beneath her, and knew she was never going to forget this. She glanced up, just once, to catch the image of Hinata splayed out for her (again, again), lipstick a messy red mess across her mouth, glaze-eyed and gorgeous and wrecked. It was the prettiest thing she'd ever seen, and she burnt it into her mind to keep forever like a photograph.

"Don't scream, Hinata-chan," Sakura said.

And she buried her face between Hinata's trembling thighs, smiling like she'd just stolen the world's greatest treasure.

(For all intents and purposes, she had.)

They sat in the bathroom for a while afterwards.

"I can't believe you still smoke," Hinata murmured.

"I can't believe we just fucked in a bathroom," Sakura replied. She took a deep drag in on the cigarette, and exhaled slowly. "We've been gone a while, you know. Your husband is probably wondering where you got to."

"…Probably," Hinata said.

"Do you care?" Sakura asked.

"I think I'm supposed to," Hinata said. Her shoulder moved, the muscles bunching slow and languid beneath her skin.

"That doesn't mean you do," Sakura said.

"That's true."

"Wow, I'm supposed to be sorry," Sakura laughed a little.

"You're not," Hinata said. It wasn't a question.

"Of course not. I love you."

"I know," Hinata said.

But she didn't say it back, and it wasn't enough. It wasn't ever going to be enough. Sakura sighed out smoke again.

"C'mon," she said. "Let's get you cleaned up. It is your wedding night, after all."

Hinata pressed her face into the side of Sakura's throat. All she said was "I'm sorry."

"Don't be," Sakura said. She pushed Hinata off, gentle, gentle, not enough to say leave me forever but to say we both have obligations and you're in love with someone else and we never should have done this.

"But I am."

"Seriously," Sakura said. "Don't."

And she helped Hinata up.

And she wiped the makeup off.

And she wiped the proof away that they'd ever been anything to each other at all. Hinata looked at her with sad-moon eyes from the bathroom door when she was decent. And Sakura loved her and loved her and loved her, endless and forever.

"Go on, then," Sakura said.

Hinata just nodded.

She disappeared out the door.

For a long time, it was quiet.

Sakura's fingers were steady as she wiped Hinata's lip-marks off her throat. It was a hard thing, a painful thing. She didn't want to—she wanted to wear them like a brand and an armour and a hope.

But Hinata loved Naruto, and that was never going to change.

Sakura was not an idealist.

For now, this would have to suffice.

She'd just never quite be whole, again.

It wasn't alright.

But nothing was.

So that was alright, too.







notes3: SO UM YEAH.