What happens to Team Seven when dreams die?
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor do I profit from writing this. Please, review?
Sasuke carved his name into his flesh with a pain that could never rival the ripping, stabbing agony he felt every day. Sakura carved his name into her heart with tears that could never end because they could never be enough.
Before, it never mattered that Sasuke was too proud, it never mattered that Sakura wasn’t brave enough. They had never needed to say it, because he had known. And now they kneel by the memorial stone, and by his grave, every day, trying to find the words.
“I love you,” Sasuke says suddenly, one rainy morning as they stand to leave the memorial stone. His eyes are on Naruto’s name, but his arm tightens around Sakura’s shoulders. Sakura smiles up at Sasuke, for the first time in a long time, and her fingers trace the lines of Naruto’s name, “I love you too.”
Sakura never makes it to the top ranks of medic nin, the only goal she ever had except marrying Sasuke – Naruto lived trying to make that happen. Sasuke never makes it to ANBU, the only other goal he ever had except killing Itachi – Naruto died making that happen.
Naruto had always believed that that any dream was possible, if you made it so. He died a chunin. He never reached his dream. Naruto was never called ‘Hokage’. Without him to push them forward, could they ever believe in dreams again?
They drop out of the world of shinobi altogether, staying in Konoha only for his grave.
It’s raining the day Sakura marries Sasuke, but they would never dream of being disappointed. Because it was on a rainy day he died, and it’s on rainy days that they hear the whisper of his voice.
Shikamaru walks her down the aisle, her parents lost to old age, and the one she would have wanted to give her away dead as well. It’s almost painful, thinking of him – but Kakashi-sensei was never really happy while he was alive, maybe he is now.
Sasuke smiles - despite his dearest wish to choke his best man, Lee – and kisses his bride.
Sakura laughs when Ino, her bridesmaid, catches the bouquet. Ino laughs too, because she’s already married.
She hands it to Tenten instead, who’s blushing fiercely and avoiding Neji’s gaze.
“I’m not getting married again,” Ino says, and smiles at Chouji, who’s eyeing the food eagerly.
Shino and Kiba hang around near the fringes of the group, because Kiba and Naruto had been friends, and Hinata would’ve wanted them to be there.
Iruka also lurks at the edges of the crowd, because Sasuke and Sakura were family to Naruto, and Naruto was family to Iruka. He wishes he could have done something more for them. For all of team seven, but maybe it was always too late for them.
Sasuke and Sakura decide not to repopulate the Uchiha clan. A child shouldn’t grow up with such a grim legacy, there shouldn’t be a child in so unhappy a home.
A home where the presence of another, and a feeling of loss, is felt everywhere.
It rains the day they decide this, and Sasuke thinks Naruto’s being a crybaby, but Sakura thinks it must hurt him to see them so broken, like Kakashi always was.
Because they know he cries for them. Because he’s happy for them, or sad for them, or because he’s happy that he was worth something.