[SasuSaku, ficlet] Sasuke knows he feels something for Sakura. He just doesn't know why.
Sasuke had a headache.
It was one of those really annoying ones that started right behind the left eye, traveled around to throb at the bridge of his nose, and continued over to the right eye where, Sasuke was certain, some small insect was currently burrowing painfully behind the socket.
It was the kind of headache that made Sasuke dread his decision to study the scrolls he had borrowed from the Uchiha family library outside, because each ray of sunshine felt like it was stabbing directly into his forehead now.
Sasuke sighed and closed his eyes, circling his temples with his thumbs, trying to relieve the pressure. Really, the only thing that would make this day worse was if he had-
"Sasuke-kun! I didn't expect to see you here..."
Sasuke opened his eyes to find his pink-haired team mate smiling down at him, hands clasped in front of her. He frowned.
"Sakura, this isn't the best time," he said. Her smile wavered a bit at his tone.
"Are you...busy?" she asked softly, looking down that the scrolls piled in his lap.
Sasuke was about to say "yes" when he caught the shine of tears in Sakura's eyes and sucked in a breath. He really really hated it when she cried. Mostly because it made him feel guilty, and he didn't think guilt was something Avengers were supposed to feel a lot of.
He bet Itachi had never felt guilty a day in his life.
Sakura hovered anxiously over his shoulder and Sasuke hunched over his scrolls a bit, as if to shield them from view. The jutsus of the Uchihas were not really secrets, but they weren't things Sasuke wanted to broadcast around either. Especially not the scroll depicting a rather graphic vivisection.
He gestured for Sakura to sit down beside him and held back a wince when she beamed hopefully at the invitation.
"I have a headache," he explained, and, as if on cue, the throbbing behind his eyes picked up in tempo. Sasuke resisted the urge to groan and rested his head in his hands.
He froze a moment later when he felt a cool hand cup the back of his neck and rub soothingly.
"Sakura..." he said, warningly.
"Just let me try something," she pleaded. "I've been reading some medical scrolls recently and my chakra control should be good enough for me to help a bit. I know I'm not an expert or anything, but I'm usually very good at picking up techniques and--"
"Just do it."
Sakura's eyes widened and Sasuke lowered his head, just so he wouldn't have to see that terrible hope again.
"Do you mean it?" Her voice was hesitant and Sasuke felt an inexplicable wave of irritation. Of course he meant it! Did she think he was lying?
"Look, are you going to help or not?" Sasuke snapped and wanted to kick himself as soon as the words left his mouth. She was making that fake smile again and he hated it.
They sat, tense and silent for a few moments. Sasuke wondered if she would run away, but soon that cool hand was beck on his neck, sliding through the short strands of hair at the nape.
As chakra started to seep from Sakura's fingers into the tightened tendons around Sasuke's neck he mumbled the only conciliatory thing he could manage at the moment.
Sakura was silent as she sent cool streams of chakra from her fingers out and around Sasuke's head, sliding like ice chips down behind his eyes to soothe the fire there and pooling at the base of his neck, but her hands were gentle on his skin, and her breath was a pleasant warmth next to his ear and Sasuke felt something very close to peace for a few seconds.
It was a dangerous feeling.
Afterwards, Sakura kept her hand on Sasuke's neck for a few minutes longer, carding her fingers through his hair.
Sasuke, feeling rather grateful, let her do it without complaint. As long as he kept his eyes closed and as long as she didn't speak, he could pretend to be asleep.
It made things easier that way.