Pairing: Sasuke/Sakura

Genre: Romance/Drama

Song: Toxic – Britney Spears

Description: It's nowhere she should be, but everything she needs.

Their lips meet in a haze of blood and secrecy.

It isn't the first time.

He tastes like he always does; like violence and vigor, like pain and surrender, like mint and greed and starvation. She's drunk on that alone, but like any addict, she needs more, needs to feel him, taste him, memorize him. Keep this side of him all to herself and tucked away in her heart where no one else can find it, until he's ready to be found.

She doesn't speak, ever. It would ruin what they have. Sometimes, though, he does. Not really full sentences, just words. Disconnected and guttural, he murmurs against her mouth between kisses, and she can feel him inside her before he actually is.

"Sakura," he breathes, and her knees weaken, but she's a kunoichi; she doesn't fall. Instead she threads callused fingers through his messy black hair and pulls so he groans, driving his knee between her legs and forcing them apart. The heat isn't enough, the friction isn't enough, nothing is enough until they're the same. Until they're joined in their own twisted, incomprehensible, unique bond in a way he can't have with Naruto, or with Kakashi-sensei, or with his brother.

No, this is how Sakura distinguishes herself from the other people who hold sway over Uchiha Sasuke. This is how she's carved herself a niche in this life, how she has forged her own connection to Sasuke that the others can't touch. She's left her fingerprints on him, let her nails scratch possessive slashes down the skin of his muscled back, over his ribs, drew blood with her teeth so in some small, transient way, she could say she finally had his attention. Sasuke may have broken his bonds with the others, but he has this one secret. This illicit series of meetings they arrange without really arranging. No one knows.

"I won't come back," he promises against her throat, immediately kissing the skin as he tears, tears her pink medic skirt right off her hips. "You mean nothing to me." His shirt follows, helped along by her impatient hands. "My bonds are broken." He seals his lips to hers as his breathing becomes increasingly ragged.

There's no gentleness, no softspoken words of comfort or affection. But he wouldn't be Sasuke-kun if he was whispering sweet nothings in her ear, and she has loved him, loved him for far too long to let that bother her. This is Sasuke-kun. And she loves him enough to indulge her unnatural craving for him, enough to ignore the slow breaking of her heart because this isn't enough.

In the forest, on the outskirts of Fire Country, a loyal Konoha kunoichi and a rogue former Konoha shinobi meet under cover of moonlight, with no witnesses to their twisted connection but cicadas and stars. And Sakura gives herself wholly, completely, for the millionth time, to a man-boy who will never deserve her, lowers herself to standards the 12-year-old in her would have cringed at, just to get her fix.

But she takes also. Takes from him his conviction, proves that his bond, at least with her, is unbroken. And when he leaves, returns to Oto after they're both sated and spent, it's with the subtle but distinct promise that this isn't the last time.

Still connected.

He's enabling her addiction.

She fixes her skirt and smoothes her hair and returns home a day late from her solo mission. No one suspects a thing. Like all junkies, she knows how to hide it.

"You tried to kill me, Sasuke-kun," she snarls, and the once-affectionate suffix springs forward like a filthy curse. Her grip around her kunai tightens, even though the realist in her knows that despite her skill, she's no match for Sasuke. Besides Naruto, nobody is.

"You tried to kill me, too," he points out, his tone light and careless, but something dangerous smolders in his black eyes as he takes a step towards her.

When he's in front of her, she comes back to life. Ignores, for once, her raging attraction to him, her desperate need to be as close to him as possible. Instead, her knee flies up in a motion too fast for him to track, because he wasn't expecting it, and connects with his stomach. He doubles up – she's twistedly satisfied with watching him crumble for once – even as a sharp pain courses inside her, wanting, needing, demanding him.

"Annoying," he spits, and she hates that she's come to regard that as, of all things, a term of endearment. She hates that it affects her. She hates that her hatred of him isn't half as strong as her enduring love. 16, and a soldier, and nowhere near old enough or ready enough or strong enough to break this unhealthy cycle she's willingly sentenced herself to.

"You're the enemy now, Sasuke-kun," she whispers. "Naruto's gonna kill your crazy uncle. So you can get the hell out of…"

He cuts her off. He's faster than her, always has been, always will be. The next thing she knows, she's slammed on her back on the ground, his hand wrapped around her throat, tight enough to threaten but loose enough where she can breathe. He straddles her with hatred in his eyes – and something else, something she can't quite identify. Something that's eerily close to betrayal.

"You, too," he hisses, more to himself, than to her. "You would have betrayed me, too. Just like all the rest."

His fingers flex and she coughs, twisting her legs, telling herself that she's trying to buck him off when really she just wants to ease the tension that's building inside of her, aggravated by Sasuke's sudden weight and heat. The Sharingan glowing in his eyes is memorizing, intoxicatingly, hauntingly beautiful, and if this is how she is to die, looking up such a wickedly beautiful sight, then there are worse ways to go.

Sasuke is going to kill her. In her own operating tent on the eve of the most important battle of her life in this awful war. This once-friend, semi-lover, current-enemy is going to be her demise, and the worst part is, she still loves him.

"I love you," she snarls, like it's something to be ashamed of. It's her apology, for ever thinking she could be strong enough to put him out of his misery. For adding her name to the list of people Sasuke's ever cared about and had turn on him. Even if it was for her own good, even if she couldn't have done it anyway, he'd seen the deceit in her that day in the valley. He'd seen her ulterior motive, her wicked intent, her betrayal. And he'd betrayed her first and multiple times, so why does she feel guilty?

Because she needs him, and he knows it.

"I hate you," he tells her, and he means it, and she knows it. She also knows, as he kisses her roughly and she kisses him back, that hatred is scarily close to love.

The prison cells in Konoha are empty now, except for him. The footsteps from her nin-sandals echo loudly on the damp stone floors as she makes her way slowly, purposefully to his cell at the end of the row, back ramrod straight and eyes full of fire.

He sits on a thin-looking cot behind cast-iron bars, chakra seals tattooed on his wrists, dark eyes regarding her warily, but half-expectantly. He knows about her addiction, after all, knows she couldn't have kept herself away from him in a million years.

She pauses in front of his cell, grips a bar with one hand tightly, and she whispers, "You saved Naruto."

"I didn't do it for you," he says harshly. Even locked up like an animal, he still retains his arrogance, his sense of superiority. He won't bow to her, won't succumb to her, won't bend.

But he also won't break the bond between them, as evidenced by the way he watches her lick her lips. He never did; he never could. And Sakura realizes, slowly, that she is not the only one suffering from a crippling addiction.

"You're a hero," she whispers. "Sasuke-kun…you're…"

He stands up in a movement suspiciously quick for someone whose chakra is being blocked, and his fingers wrap around her hand on the bar, eyes intense even without the Sharingan blazing beautifully in their depths. He's still streaked with blood, some of it his own, some of it Naruto's, some of it hers, most of it Madara's from their penultimate battle the day before. Red soaks his wide-collared shirt relic of the Uchiha Clan, smears into his pale, scar-riddled skin and dries in his messy hair, and every inch of him is menacing, except the hesitation.

Bending, but never breaking.

"Why me?" he demands of her, angry and frustrated and something else. "Why are you…you could have anyone."

"I don't want anyone else," she says, aggravated with his supposition that she could just move on from him. Like she hasn't tried that already. Her addiction's too strong for that now. "It's always been you, Sasuke-kun. You're a hero."

"I'm a killer," he corrects her roughly, even as he kisses her through the bars. She yanks her hand free of him and seizes the wide collar of his shirt, pulls him as close to her as the prison bars will allow. "A traitor," he adds, but she ignores him. Keeps kissing him. Now that she's got her fix, she wants more. "You could have anybody, you stupid girl. That Iwa nin. That freak from Gai's team. Inuzuka, Nara, the dobe. Why me?"

"I could ask you the same question," Sakura breathes against his mouth, and for once, she feels like she's swimming, while he's the one just treading water. All of a sudden, everything makes sense to her, and he's stuck playing catch-up in an ironic, satisfying role reversal. "All the girls in the world, and you picked me."

"I did not," he snarls, even as his hands disagree, seizing her soft pink hair, and while there is frustration in every move he makes, there is also something else, something that wasn't there before. Restraint. Control. Like he cares whether or not he hurts her, unlike all the other times they've met up in the past, for sex and connection.

But Sakura sees clearly where he can't.

Sakura's a recovering addict as well, and can recognize the symptoms.

When he kisses her again, their faces brushing against ice-cold iron bars in the darkness of the Konoha prison tunnels, his bloodstained fingers tremble as they wrap around her clean ones in a shaky, hazy, tentative promise of something more. And even if he's kissed her a thousand times in the past, this is the one that Sakura chooses to remember as the first. This one, tinged with gentleness and something so uniquely Sasuke.

She isn't cured of her addiction. Neither is he.

But they don't need to be, she decides, a satisfied smile on her lips as she lets the sunlight warm her face. Not when he's still asleep, muscled arm wrapped around her waist on their enormous bed, sun streaming through the blinds and bouncing off the cream-colored walls they spent a whole Saturday painting. Green eyes admire the glittering diamond on her left hand, the way it catches the light; it's the only thing Sasuke will let her sleep in, these days. The only thing she will never take off.

What was once unhealthy is now healthy. What was once unsatisfying now is enough. She has him, he has her, they have their fixes and they have their lives.

Sasuke stirs beside her, and she feels the light stubble on his chin as it brushes her shoulder, as he kisses the corner of her mouth in a slow, lazy good morning. And she can't fight the smile as she releases the toxicity of the past, and embraces a new, healthy, beautiful feature full of promise.

Addicted and in love.

note.. trying my hand at an anthology this time around. oneshots of different pairings (y'alls know i'ma focus on sasuke/sakura, i think it's pretty obvious by now) and different genres, dark and gritty like this one but also humor and angst and romance and friendship and everything. and the kicker? each chapter's based off a different song from backstreet boys pandora. NOT A SONGFIC, THOUGH. I'll just give you the song that inspired it, you can listen to it on your own. I'm straightedge when it comes to the rules of this site. this first one? the incomparable miss britney spears and toxic.

can't stop reading xfucktheglasses, thank her for being an overall badass all over the sasu/saku fandom. holla at her work.

love y'all. let me know if you liked it :)

xoxo Daisy :)