This is one battle he knows he'll never win... (SasukexSakura) My first short!
"What He Deserves"
It was an old memory by now, one that he would regret until his dying breath.
Thank you? It had been so inadequate. Her words that night had almost made him stay. She had come so close, closer than anyone had ever come to giving him a reason to forget revenge. But even she had not been enough, and there would not have been anything more she could have said that would have made a difference. She had bared her soul and ripped it asunder with those words, all for his sake. She had spoke those pleas that had shattered her heart; things he had never known he had always needed to hear.
And he had left anyway.
What would his life be without revenge? He couldn't imagine a life without hate at the time. It was more frightening than death. But now he understood. He was a coward who would never deserve what he had walked away from that night. She was not as important as vengeance, he had told himself that night. In the grand scheme of his life she just didn't matter.
But she does matter. She's ALWAYS mattered.
Those green eyes were on him once again, trails of wetness that had nothing to do with the rain streaked her face. Her arms were clenched around herself tightly as she cried; she was standing in that same place, he noticed. It was just as it had been the last time they had seen one another, almost. Only now it was raining. Now Naruto stood beside him with one arm wrapped around his waist, supporting the weight of the Uchiha's broken body.
And now Sasuke wasn't leaving. He had come home.
She was trembling. He couldn't bear to see her like that. Not because of him. His breath hitched oddly in his chest. He wished she would tell him that she hated him. He wished he had died in that battle. Anything so that she would be free.
Her pale arms enfolded his chest, and he was rocked gently back. He was trembling now along with her. Was it because her body was against his, shivering with a feeling that had nothing to do with the warm summer rain? Naruto's arm slipped from Sasuke's body and the dark man realized it was she who was now holding him up.
She was crying, ragged gasps tearing from her chest. He felt the fabric under her hands tighten and bunch. She wasn't going to let him go. Not this time. Her face buried into his shoulder and she was saying things that he couldn't hear clearly, though he had an idea of what those words were: things that resembled what he had last heard her cry out to him.
Things he knew he didn't deserve to hear from her. From anyone.
Footsteps. Naruto's back faded into the gloom, his shoulders hunched in a way that Sasuke had never before seen, his hands shoved into his pockets.
Naruto - who had loved Sakura since the moment he had laid eyes upon her - was going to let her go. He loved her that much. The blonde didn't deserve this either.
She should be with him. He'd never hurt her the way I have.
Muffled words cleared and warm breath brushed his neck; the physical presence of the endearments Sakura was whispering to him.
A battered hand cupped her cheek. He didn't deserve this. Pale fingers entwined in his. He didn't-
"Don't leave me again, Sasuke. I swear to do whatever you want, just don't leave me again."
Wet warmth coursed down his face. He remembered that sensation; though it had been so long that he could not remember when he had last experienced this. These were tears; his tears.
His forehead found hers; the proximity of the touch brought her familiar scent to him. His chest tightened.
"Don't..." he whispered; that single word pleading with her not to love him. Begging her not to care for him; not after all he had done to her.
"Promise me you won't go. Promise me that you'll stay with me, or that you'll take me with you if you have to go. Promise me, Sasuke."
It was such a familiar appeal. His body shook on its own now, he knew. His hands held tight to her face, her tears sliding between his fingers and into his resolve. He couldn't refuse her; not anymore.
He loved her too much.
He'd never deserve her, he knew. But Kami strike him dead this second if he'd ever hurt her again, he vowed.
He didn't know how to say the things she needed to hear. He didn't know how to tell her what he felt. He was new to this life without hate. Only one response would come to mind. Pale lips brushed pink ones, and she inhaled his words as though they were her life's breath.
"Sakura... Thank you."
I've never written a drabble before. Under a thousand words is defined as a drabble, right? I've never tried one. I'm long-winded by nature. ;) I thought to give it a go at last.
I had a little trouble with it. Sasuke isn't exactly my favorite character and I'd rather see Sakura paired with Lee or Kakashi (depending on whose story I am reading). But I made a promise and so here it is. Please tell me what you think, okay?
I'm thinking Inuyasha or Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children next. You guys pick. Which one first?
UPDATE: I've been informed that a drabble is actually 100 words or less. Oops! :P Thanks for the correction, Miriya! Anyway, this is, in fact, a short-short (short short story?), and it's still my first!