A/N: This is my first time writing a really long SasuSaku fic. I mostly just do prompts in Tumblr. I poured my heart into this. Please be kind. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto nor the song.
Sasuke wakes up with a start in the middle of the night.
He swallows a lump in his throat before lifting up a hand through his sweat drenched hair. His heavy breathing is the only thing that could be heard in the large dark room. Closing his eyes, he concentrates on deactivating the Sharingan that he had unconsciously triggered in the middle of his fitful sleep. He swallows a lump in his throat again before taking a final calming breath and opening his eyes. His eyes widen as he looks down and sees blood in his hands. In a fit of panic, he rushed to his bathroom to wash them off.
The tap runs but there is not a taint of red in it.
He glances down at his hands and glares at them before running the tap again and resuming his furious scrubbing of the non-existent filth in them.
Why won't it come off?
There's nothing on them. You're just delusional.
No! It's there! The blood—
And he curses for no matter how much scrubbing, no matter how long the water runs, the sight of her blood on his hands just won't come off.
Sasuke leans his head on his sink's mirror jaw clenched. Get a grip, Uchiha, he berates himself. It was just a fucking nightmare.
He runs the tap once again and continues scrubbing his hands until he's satisfied.
When he returned to his bedroom, he is not surprised to find it is empty as if the tryst that night never happened. The window is left open in her haste to leave and Sasuke moves to close it before returning to bed.
He lies savouring her lingering scent in his pillows and sheets as if committing it to memory but not once did he close his eyes for fear of seeing red.
Hinata is the epitome of a blushing bride in her gorgeous gown. Naruto looked dashing in his suit and they easily looked the happiest couple in the ballroom as the groom held his bride in his arms.
Sakura watches the other couples in the dance floor as the slow song plays. Neji and Tenten are in the far off left of the dance floor whispering to each other. Tenten was giggling while Neji looked to be smiling. Shikamaru and Ino, for once, are not arguing and are actually just swaying to the music and enjoying each other's company. She sighs before downing her remaining champagne and quickly grabbing another glass from a waiter passing by.
Sasuke watches her from where he stood to the side as she downed glass after glass of liquor. The look is gone as quickly as it appeared but he didn't miss the longing in Sakura's eyes as she watches their peers on the dance floor.
He approaches her.
A smirk. A drunken smile. An unexpected invitation. And in the next minute they were gone.
He smirks as she let out a lustful moan. He lifts up a red stiletto clad leg and wraps it around his waist as he continues to ravish her neck. He manoeuvres them until they reach the privacy of his room and dumps her on his bed unceremoniously.
Clothes were strewn about and the next thing they know they are connected as one and neither knew when the other starts and the other ends. She grips his shoulders as she arches her back to him bringing them closer. She is nearing her peak and she is desperately holding on to him as he thrusts himself in her, her lips panting out the name he hasn't heard in years
She shouts his name in the darkness when she reaches release. Stars shooting behind tightly shut eyes as she enters the space between dream and reality. He follows soon after her, groaning her name like a prayer and for a moment, no one other than them exists as they rode out the effects of their release and basked into the feel of each other.
The moment is over almost as soon as it started and it's time to go back to who they really are.
There is no love in this. Something as shambolic and decidedly troublesome as the feeble emotion has no room in this sort of arrangement. It is all raw need and lust. There need not any romanticism be involved. It is pure carnal desire and they are each other's medium of release.
She is gone before the sun could rise and in the morning. When he opens his eyes, he is not surprise to see no signs of her other than her lingering scent.
Sasuke often thinks of the Sakura of their genin days.
In the privacy of his mind, Sasuke reminisces about the pink-haired girl who admired him and smiled at him and looked to him like he is the world. He does so for he no longer sees her now these days.
Because these days, the adoring looks are gone; the smile is nothing more but a slight upturn of her lips and she no longer looks at him with the same love and adoration she did before. These days she is no longer the adoring fan and he is no longer 'Sasuke-kun.'
She no longer cry as often as she did before but her smiles are always contained—guarded. He looks into her eyes and the innocence that once shone in her clear green eyes are gone. And if before she hesitates to even injure the enemy, these days she does not hesitate to kill.
Sasuke sees how Sakura has changed in the years he was gone and knows that he is to blame.
And yet there will be moments, when Sakura will just lay herself beside him with her guard completely down; where she lets herself be vulnerable even for just a while. These are the moments Sasuke cherishes the most for it's hard to come by these days.
She will show up in his house, almost always in the middle of the night, and he will let her in. He doesn't know why but he does. There are no words or hesitation. As soon as he closes the door, she crosses the room and climbs beside him on his bed clothes and all. They do not touch intimately nor do they exchange words. There are no questions asked as she lies down on her side of the bed and he reaches out to turn off the lights.
In the middle of the night, they somehow always manage to get themselves tangled with each other. He will have an arm across her waist and she will move and curl closer to his warmth.
He doesn't understand but he dares not question why.
She is gone before the sun is up and in the morning, he is left with nothing more but the fleeting image of her and the feeling of her warm body curled in his arms. Her lingering scent is still in his sheets and Sasuke stays longer in bed than he usually does.
She is a different person when it comes to these missions.
She is not the usual cheerful and quick-tempered Sakura when she's with her friends nor is she the fiery and feisty shinobi she is during battle, nor is she the confident professional medic-nin she is when treating her patients. She doesn't even act aloof or nonchalant like she usually does in his person. No, he thinks, this Sakura is more guarded, hard, and cold.
In these moments, she is a kunoichi.
He observes her as they go over last minute tactics and mission details. Watches as she nods at whatever the hell Shikamaru just said (he vaguely recalls hearing him say something about the target's preference for exotic women) before her eyes clouded over and her attention drifted away.
If it were anybody else, they wouldn't notice the tension in her body. The way her shoulders are squared rigidly with her back ramrod straight, her hands folded at her lap and her jaw clenched.
But no matter how good she is at hiding her true emotions Sasuke can see through them all.
Because he's Sasuke and she's Sakura and as much as she thinks she can read him like an open book, the same applies to her.
After all, how can he miss the turmoil in her ever expressive (greengreengreen) eyes?
He knows, recognizes them with clarity—the anger, hate, frustrations, self-disgust.
He knows. He's not alien to it after all.
But there was never any hesitation. Never fear or thoughts of absconding and there is not a trace of nerves. It is the most calm he has seen her since coming back.
Sasuke knows she's probably done this countless times before if the way the Godaime seems to almost always assign these missions to her.
And he doesn't understand why in hell she does in the first place because isn't she her apprentice? And aren't there other kunoichi for this job? And sure, he knows that it's not just Sakura, but why does all of the riskier ones assigned to just her?
But he knows her and he knows how stupidly saintly kind she is and would rather take them lest some other poor kunoichi gets the job that not even all the therapy in the world would help. And Tsunade if anything, he knows, has more faith on her student than anyone else and trusts that she'll always—always make it out alive and unscathed.
And fuck, where were they when all of these were happening? Where was Kakashi who's supposed to look after her? Where was that idiot Naruto who always swore to protect her? Where was that retard Sai to make things at least normal? Hell, where was he?
Oh, you know, just out there all doing your own thing, being the self-centered, uncaring bastards that you all really are.
So he curses and silently seethes because she always keeps it to herself like it's no one's business but hers and she might think it is but it's not.
Because they all came back and they are here now and isn't that enough?
He doesn't look at her less. He doesn't because he understands.
He watches her tie her hitae-ite tighter as her eyes steeled.
Because they are Leaf shinobi and they must be willing to sacrifice everything they can and will and are for the village.
She shows up on his door hours after they returned from their successful mission. It is late but he does not ask, just opens the door wider and lets her in.
His back is shoved to the wall as soon as the door is closed. He didn't even have enough time to wince at the impact as her hot mouth covered his, her hands clutching his shirt like a lifeline.
And he can feel the desperation in the kiss, the need, the desire to erase—forget—something only she knows.
It vaguely passes his mind that he is being used again. But he is long past the idea and he never did resent her for it.
She removes his shirt as they tumbled to his bed and he lets her do to him as she pleases.
There are no words and questions are not asked and Sasuke knows she'll be gone before the sun is up and he'll be left with nothing but a soft whisper of gratitude and apology and the lingering scent of cherry blossoms on his sheets.
"With all due respect, the Godaime left the hospital in my care because I am capable. I don't see what it has anything to do with my age. After all, the previous council did entrust the wiping out of a powerful clan to a thirteen-year-old boy and look where that brought us. The Godaime refuses to come out of retirement and that's that. Maybe you should consider it too Nakamura-sama. You're looking to be too frail to be playing God. He's probably waiting for you on the other side as we speak. Now, if you'll excuse me I need to go attend to more important matters such as my patients."
He follows her discreetly as she exits the council room and smirks at the uproar that followed. He almost feels sorry for Naruto for being the one left to fix the chaos but then again, he did want the job ergo he must deal with it and everything that comes with the title of Hokage.
His smirk widens as he replays her scathing remark towards the annoying council member. The not-so-subtle-hint of hers for him to hit the bucket soon was what did it. The team and the rest of Konoha 12 will have a field day once word leaks out (and it will). Kakashi will be proud. Hell, Tsunade will probably swell with pride.
He finds her pacing angrily at the top of the Hokage Mountain, a cigarette already poised to be lighted at her lips.
He walked towards the railings and waited as she lights her stick. She stops her pacing to lean her back on the railings beside him. He watches as she puffs on her cigarette and massages her temple.
She smokes now but only occasionally. He found out that she picked up the habit from Nara and they often share a stick once in a while. She does it when she's stressed, he observed; when things in the hospital are too much, before an especially difficult mission, and especially during those types of mission. He was not comfortable of the idea at first but eventually accepted that it's just one of the changes that occurred that he had no control of.
"I'm sorry about earlier."
He just watches in odd fascination as she finishes her first and immediately lights another stick. She holds the stick between her index and middle finger.
"For dragging that in there. I just—they're just—I hate them, you know? They're these—these leeches that keep on sucking up on Naruto and they don't even know shit. Why do they even have to be there? They're nothing but a bunch of—"
And it is, really. It's been years and although the pain will never subside and he sure as hell will never forgive the old coots for what they did to his family, what's done is done. He is slowly learning to let go of the past and start anew. And besides, it's not like what she said isn't true.
"Still. For what it's worth, I apologize."
He turns to her just as she averts her attention to the village below them. She is playing with her cig between her index and middle finger, the ashes slowly burning it to the hilt. He doesn't show it, but he's always been curious. When she started, how she started, why she started and just wh—
"Why do you smoke?"
The question is out before he can stop himself.
Sakura turns to him with a bemused smile before looking down at the half burned stick on her fingers. She answers with a shrug and a casual tone in her voice as if commenting on the weather.
"It relaxes me."
They never talk about it. The nights they spent together. The nights when they are both tangled up with each other, sweat clinging on their bodies, their breathing ragged. They don't talk about it, never mention it, wouldn't even think of discussing it.
Because what for? It's not like there was anything to it is there?
It's just pure, carnal, raw desire and they are each other's medium of release.
When he first returned, he had expected her to hound him about that night the soonest she can.
He wouldn't go as far as to say that he knew what to say to her because in reality, if she did ask him about it now, he still wouldn't know what to say to her. But if she did, he could confidently say that he is at least ready.
So he waited for he knows it will come eventually—inevitably.
Because that's just Sakura (or at least what he remembers of her). Sakura wants closures. Sakura wants answers and Sakura wants to understand. She always does—did.
But, alas the days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months and Sasuke realized that he had been waiting in vain. It's been a year and yet Haruno Sakura never once implied nor mentioned anything of that night.
The first time they had been alone together he was still in his room in the hospital and she came to check up on him. She entered his room quietly and gave him a minute smile that wasn't like the ones he remembers and proceeded to check up on his wounds.
The first words she spoke to him, after nearly five years were, "Your wounds are healing well."
He nods and waits expectantly for anything else but nothing comes. She proceeds to her task and just before she left she turned to him and said, "Welcome back, Sasuke-kun."
And they carry on from there.
Sasuke watches as the rest of their peers get on with their lives. It's amazing how the after effects of a war could really change people. He watches as they move on, build relationships, some got married and eventually settled down. He watches them while he and she—they remained the same.
Stolen kisses and secret glances and nights of pleasure spent behind closed doors and the unending pretence of indifference.
Sometimes he thinks of the possibility that nothing really changed of her sentiments to him. But then he remembers how she would look at him after every tryst, her eyes full of nothing but cold apathy, and feels foolish for even thinking that nothing has changed.
Maybe they've missed their chance. Maybe they're already too broken to even start. Maybe it's him who had done her in—who had done them in. Maybe it's him who destroyed and denied her of a chance of something good, something she rightfully deserves. Sasuke thinks that maybe they weren't cut out for it.
Or maybe it's just him. Maybe she is cut out for it, for love. Because she's Sakura and she's just the kind to just be in love. She's the kind that will want and get (because she deserves it, he thinks—he knows) romance and get married and have a family. Sakura is the kind of person who deserves that and more.
And he knows that he can't give her that.
She knows this too and yet she still comes to him and he still lets her and does the same.
Sasuke thinks that maybe words aren't just what they were good at and that maybe, when it came to love, they were just not good enough.
He is abruptly awakened when he felt her thrashing in her sleep.
Sasuke sits up and turns to her and sees her face scrunched up and she is whimpering and mumbling words he could not quite make out. He figures she's having a nightmare and shakes her to wake her up. He calls her name.
Once. Twice. Thrice.
She does not wake up and the whimpers grew louder and tears are leaking out of her eyes.
He panics. A surge of urgency shot through him.
She wakes with a start in cold sweat.
In her abrupt awakening, Sasuke found himself pinned on his bed with a kunai to his throat. She is highly alert and it takes her a moment to recognize him.
"Sasuke-kun?" she whispered, broken and tearful as her eyes softened in recognition.
He nods once and lets out a breath when she moves the kunai away. His breathe is knocked out of him, however, when she threw herself at him and buried her face on his neck. He heard a sob and felt something wet on his shoulders. It is in slight shock that he realizes that Sakura is crying.
"I-I'm sorry, Sasuke-kun. I'm so sorry. Please forgive me."
For the life of him, he doesn't know what she's apologizing for. He wraps his arms around her nonetheless and buries his face in her hair as he strokes her bare back in an attempt to soothe her.
For the first time since he came back, for the first time since they started this, Sasuke saw Sakura completely vulnerable and undone before him.
Sakura cries and Sasuke lets her saying nothing and continuing his ministrations to calm her. But then, as if realizing where she is, Sakura abruptly stopped her tears and violently wipes them away. She pushed away from him and turned to lay on her side again, bringing the blanket up to her chest with her back facing him.
"Maybe…" she trailed off before sighing "Maybe we should stop this."
And she stands up and lets the sheets fall and Sasuke turns to see her bare form being illuminated by the light of the moon through his windows. He is speechless at how ethereal and heartbreakingly beautiful Sakura looked as she stares back at him.
Tear stained and broken and oh so beautiful.
She turns away to slowly gather her clothes. This is the part where she leaves, he knows, just like all the other times. But this time he is awake before she is gone instead of waking up without a trace of her and nothing but the knowledge that she will come back again.
She is leaving. Only this time, there won't be a next time.
Sasuke could practically see her walls going up again and the steel doors to her heart closing.
He curses himself because he knows he is the reason she puts up the walls and steels her heart close.
And isn't it funny how the girl—woman who broke down his own walls and managed to get him to open up and got under his skin is now the one with the high walls and a closely guarded heart?
Sasuke did not think. Before she can even start for the door, he tugged her towards him. And in a tangled mess of limbs, he held her against him and whispered the words that are long overdue.
"I'm sorry. Please. Stay."
And in the morning he wakes up to the smell of cherry blossoms and the warmth of a body tucked securely in his arms and Sasuke thinks he can get used to this.
A/N: Read and Review! And remember, constructive criticisms are highly welcomed! :D