"It Gets Better"
(Day Nine of SasuSaku Month.)

No matter how many times she scrubbed her hands, it was still there, caked under her fingernails, lining the creases of her palms. She just wanted it to go away, but her hands were shaking too hard to hold the soap properly and finally she gave up, slamming it down and shutting off the sink, hesitating for a second before she slammed her fist into the mirror. The glass held, luckily, but the jolt that ran through her arm was enough to steady her, to make her realize she had to keep it together, at least until she got home.

Dr. Tsunade was the one who drove her home, no matter how many times she protested that it was fine, she was all right, she could make it. Her senior and mentor had insisted, saying she could pick her up the next morning and bring her back to her car, giving Sakura no other option. Tsunade, almost always stern and disciplinary, turned unexpectedly kind eyes on her as she idled in front of Sakura's house. As Sakura undid the seatbelt, she felt a hand on her shoulder, and she glanced back at the older woman questioningly. "Shishou?"

"The first time is always the hardest, Sakura. It won't always be like this."

It was probably a stupid move, but Sakura levelled her with a cold stare, almost angry. "You mean I'll stop feeling it."

"Someone like you? Never. But it'll get better. You'll see."

Sakura doesn't know how it will ever get better – how can it ever get better? - but she doesn't say anything. Instead she slams the door of her senior's car closed and almost run towards the entrance of her house.

It is already opened. Her fiancée must be home already, and when Sakura opens the door she finds Sasuke busy cooking at the kitchen, his back to her.

"Sakura, you should know better than to have instant ramen on the shelves, it's unhealthy. You're spending too much time with the Dobe, how can you even call yourself a doctor when –"

Sakura didn't even bother to reply. Instead she crashed on one of the chairs in the dining table, cradling her head while her elbows rested on her knees. It was in this position that Sasuke found her, his voice catching somewhere in his throat – it's been a long time since he saw his fiancée this devastated.

Slowly, as to not to startle her, Sasuke put the stove to low heat before approaching Sakura. He crouched down beside her, noting how her hands were gripping her hair almost painfully, as if she was trying to tear it out of its roots.

Sakura felt him holding her fist, allowing him to gently unclench them from hair and then move her head so that she is leaning against him, her head tucked under his chin. One of his hands is smoothing her hair down, while the other is held in front of them, still cradling her hands.

She vaguely noticed that her limbs are trembling.


She tries to hum, but her voice is still lodged somewhere inside of her. She settles for a nod.

"Is this blood?"

Sasuke's voice is uncharacteristically gentle as a fingertip traced her palm. Sakura's eyes zeroed in on the dried blood, and suddenly understand why Sasuke sounds worried.

"It's not mine."

Her voice hitches on the last word, but her voice is monotonous, numb. Sasuke stays silent for a moment, before standing and ushering Sakura up. He led her to the sink, and then held her hand under the running water.

Sakura watched as her fiancée washed her hands for her, silent, dull green eyes staring. It wasn't until Sasuke was finished, when the blood was gone and her hands were dry that her emotion came back.

In an instant she is sobbing: heavy, hysterical sobs that shakes her entire being. Sasuke embraces her, gently leading her on the couch and sitting them down, placing her on his lap. She wraps her arms around his neck, burying her face on his chest, and Sakura finds her voice.

"It was just a boy," she said hoarsely, shuddering and wanting to close her eyes but if she did she'd see it, and she didn't want to see that again. "His father, he was driving and he didn't know it but a bee had stung him and he suddenly had muscle spasms, the road was wet, the kid must've undone his seatbelt, he went through the windshield… the parents were fine but the boy… there was just so much blood, Sasuke, he wouldn't stop—"

She dissolved into sobs again, the confession taking a lot from her. Sasuke holds her through it all, smoothing down her hair, rubbing circles on her back, even kissing her on the top of her head and repeatedly telling her that he's so proud of her.

It was the worst day of her professional life, but somehow she gets through it all because Sasuke's here.

I really don't know if you can get muscle spasms if bitten by a bee - I didn't have the time to research on it, busy life in college and all. Hope you like it, and review please.

[Day Nine: Bugs]