Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto

She Won't

by CabbitWeasel 1 review

A reflection of everything she won't do when it comes to that lost soul she can't help but love unconditionally. Vague relation to Three Levels and its sequel.

Category: Naruto - Rating: G - Genres: Angst,Drama - Characters: Sakura - Published: 2016-07-18 - 2655 words - Complete

---She won't…forget him---

At fourteen Sakura had accepted that Sasuke wasn't coming back anytime soon.

At fourteen Sakura had been undergoing strict tutelage under Konoha's Hokage: Tsunade for just over a year.

At fourteen, Sakura's heart was tired of keeping Sasuke close, so close the more she kept him in her thoughts the more her naive little heart shattered.

It was his birthday today. Sakura had been so withdrawn into her studies that she had nearly forgotten until she looked at her calendar this morning to see what her shishou had in store for her. Before, when team seven had been together, before Sakura understood she couldn't continue to act the way she did. Even before she found herself all alone without even a teacher to show her what being a kuniochi was all about, team seven had been together to celebrate. Kakashi and her two team mates had met at her window that night that seemed so long ago and said they should all have a small party to make their grumpy teammate cheer up. Sakura, of course, wanting nothing more than to see Sasuke happy jumped at the chance. She had even planned a special packed meal for everyone.

The awkward team went on a night picnic on the field atop the Hokage Mountain. Sakura made sure to slice up plenty of tomato's for her picky teammate.

When she opened the box and looked up to see a Sasuke that looked just the slightest surprised her heart swelled. She had made him happy she just knew it. Because Sakura always watched Sasuke, because maybe she didn't quite have that over barring crush on him any more…but he was still a teammate she cared for deeply.

This year though, Sakura decided not to go out. No one was there anymore to celebrate; no one was there to bother about it or even care. Naruto left somewhere with Jiriya and Kakashi-sensei…he stopped going to the bridge their team would meet up at for training.

So she stopped too.

Instead, the young kuniochi in training bent her knees and leaned onto her bedroom floor; she reached under her bed and pulled out a box from its silly hiding place.

She broke the little lock on it easily now. She lost the key last year and simply hadn't had the heart to break it open. It was precious to her, or, at least it was. Inside there was a little notebook. It was blue with daisies on the cover.

Her diary.

There was a small collection of photos, all of them a collection of team seven plus Sasuke. He looked annoyed in most of them. That was ok though, she knew he didn't like taking photos and she had gone ahead and did so anyways.

The only photo's of team seven all together. There were only around 5 of them.

The camera that took the pictures was also inside. It had been a disposable camera her mother had given her on Girls Day. It no longer worked obviously, but at thirteen it still held sentimental value.

A scratched Konoha headband.

Setting down the photo's and camera gently, the pink haired girl reached into the box. Already she could feel her throat constrict as a lump formed, eyes squeezed tightly shut and she swallowed hard. Opening this box of treasures was hard, however, she needed to do this, needed to see before she did what she decided the moment she saw the date.

The morning sun that seeped through her sheer curtains warmed her face as she held back a strangled sob she knew that wanted an escape. She took one long, heavy breath through her nose since open her mouth would have been a bad idea. Then, the girl placed her belongings back into the box and stood. Only then did she breath out, open her eyes, and left her home and entered the backyard.

Even though her chest was tight and she had to continuously swallow down the lump in her throat Sakura knew it was time to let go. She just knew that if she let every little thing that she had that reminded her of her once whole team she would feel lighter. No more nightmares of those days and missions where she wasn't Sakura the teammate, but Sakura the burden. No more avoiding a stupid stone bench because it was where she made her last stand and failed. No more looking up at the entrance to the village and seeing Naruto and so many others of the Rookie Nine leaving; when Naruto said she couldn't go with them to get Sasuke back because it was dangerous.

With a sharp cry, the kuniochi threw the metal box into the earth, she watched it bend, and the lid was forced open. It lay in a shallow crater, everything inside peeked through the bent lid.

She wanted to forget him. Forget every little thing about Sasuke that made him important to her. Because Sakura finally understood. After countless nights of tears and bad memories she finally realized she didn't have to take this. Sasuke didn't love her, as a teammate or anything else, he didn't love his team, or his sensei, or even his home.

He was a boy that threw away everything that could have made him happy and Sakura didn't want to care about him anymore.

Shuffling a hand into her back pocket she fished out a box of matches. She tore the first one out and let it spark to life and just stood there. Glaring down at the box of all her memories of Sasuke. A arm outstretched to the broken box and she froze.

Wide eyed and terrified at her own body for disobeying her, her arm shook, she wanted to drop the match but her hand wouldn't let her. Her already troubled face contorted into grief as she sucked in a shaky breath and dropped to her knees. Arm still outstretched and shaking as the flame burned closer to her fingers.

Just drop it. That's all she needed to do and she could move on.

The hot licks of fire suddenly found its way her first finger, she hissed and unconsciously dropped the offending match. It landed right inside of the treasure box.

The first flame she saw and Sakura was on it like lightening. So swiftly did she rip open the lid and dump the contents onto the ground. It only took her mere moments to turn on the hose set up behind her and sprays water on it with a shaky hand. She didn't care about the fire now. She just wanted her important things safe again.

She threw the hose down over her shoulder and didn't bother turning it off, her mind was focused of something far more important. By the time she had finally stopped its spread the book was mostly saved, but drenched, the photos bore holes and the corners turned to soggy ash, the camera was cracked. Sakura looked down on her hands and knees at her pathetic pile. She had been so close. So close to destroying the only things she had to remember that stupid dark haired boy whom she wanted to be happy. And she almost destroyed the only fond memories she had saved of her infamously broken team. Tears spilled over her spring green eyes and she opened her lips to let such a despairing wale out. What had she done?

Sakura gathered her treasures close to her, squeezed them close to her chest and curled up onto the ground and cried like a child. She pleaded to no one but the air to forgive her and her stupid mistake and never stopped saying she was sorry.

She won't ever do that again.

---She won't…hate him---

It was raining and she was in the restricted section in the Hokage Tower's mission logs when she found it.

Tsunade had sent her in today, sometime after her recovery from her fight with that red haired Akastuki member named Sasori. Her shishou did not appreciate her coming back so battered, thought she could have done better, nevertheless, the blond woman had still showed the pride that filled her honey colored eyes. Sakura lowered a bandaged hand to her abdomen where she had been stabbed, it still hurt, and Tsunade wasn't sure she would ever properly recover a certain function due to the angle in which she was stabbed.

But that was neither here nor there.

Tsunade wanted her to know everything they had on the Akastuki, in case she was ever forced into their company again. And that's when a file on Uchiha Itachi showed up. It was stuffed into an indiscriminate manila folder and tied with twine as if to make it look like it wasn't too important. But the name written on the front was all she needed to stare in muted shock before finally deciding to read it.

The truth hurt.

It hurt a lot and it brought horrified tears to her eyes to finally understand, even just a little what made her ex teammate tick. It took an hour to fully get through the file to learn what really happened and the sacrifices made by a little boy no older than what she was now.

Sakura set the folder down on the table she sat by and closed the secret file and tied the twin neatly around it once more. With one last tug on the twine she set her shaking hand on top and took a deep, shaky breath as she stared at the papers tied up tight. Her shoulders sagged and her usually proper sitting frame slouched so her hand could hold up her forehead.

The dark library was silent as the medic took her time easing the sobs she wanted to let loose. She needed time to recover. However, in the dim light and quite, the kunoichi glanced once more at the file her pale hand guarded. Her eyes flashed with emotion before sighing and forcing herself to her feet. Sakura grabbed the folder and clutched it to her chest as she walked the narrow aisles to find where it had been placed before.

Setting the file in place, her fingers lingered on the spine before breathing in once more. In her eyes, green shimmered with resolution.

She couldn't find it in her to hate Uchiha Itachi anymore. And she couldn't hate her teammate for not knowing the full truth of the matter.

Itachi clearly wanted Sasuke to kill him, and whether she believed that to be the right choice or not was not her call.

She just knew, that whatever happened, she wouldn't hate them for their crimes.

---She won't…let him---

She had gotten separated from Sai and Naruto during the mission. She hadn't meant to. But it had been so long since the last time she had been in Mist for anything. So getting lost in the sudden, thick fog was not something she could really fault either herself or her boys.

She stood there, in the midst of the forest just trying to feel her team mates chakura when her blood had run cold and a shadow had formed in her peripheral.

It wasn't seconds later she was jumping to dodge a storm of shuriken as the very real, very familiar signature took over all of her senses and she had to swallow the lump in her throat. And all too suddenly, the mist in that small little clearing was gone and it was just her and him.

His black eyes looked dead inside as he stared down his nose at her. She struggled to remember how to breath because it had been so long. So long since that last time she had ever caught a glimpse of him since his defection.

It scared her what she saw in him.

It scared her even more as he charged at her without another word, his sword drawn and ready to impale her.

This wasn't the Sasuke she remembered, it wasn't the Sasuke she ever wanted to meet.

She shrieked as he threw her down into the mud, his hand tight over her throat as he readied his blade. Green eyed looked on in disbelief at her ex-team mate before she shoved it aside to grasp at the wrist over her throat.

She won't let him kill her. Not until there was zero chance in bringing him back home where he belonged.

---She won't…force him---

It was an odd feeling, seeing Team Seven—the original Team Seven—in one place, together without fighting or trying to kill each other.

Sakura held the unconscious Naruto in her lap protectively as she stared into the expressionless eyes of Uchiha Sasuke as he wordlessly rubbed at the cut on her cheek that was as superficial as Ino's beauty regime.

"Why…Why did you save him?" her voice was so soft, barely a whisper as her throat constricted in her overwhelming confusion. His pale thumb stop in its actions as he turned his dark eyes to her own finally. His lips pursed as he finally seemed to express just as much confliction as she surely felt in that one moment.

"….I can't…" he mumbled before swiftly getting up, intending to escape. But she reached out and grasped at his pants leg. Sasuke tensed before slowly turning his head down towards her. She still had her eyes lowered to the ground before breathing in deeply and craning her head up to look at the young man before her in the eye.

She gave him a watery smile.

"I won't force you to come home…But please remember…we will always be on your side Sasuke-kun. You don't need to hate us."

She watched his eyes widen. It was slight, but she still knew her team mate well enough to remember his old habits.

"….Thank you…Sakura." He disappeared seconds before the rescue team found Naruto and she.

---She won't…stop loving him---

It wasn't hard. To flit back into that long ago familiar pattern of meeting at what was once the bridge where Kakashi trained them as genin, before their lives went to shit.

Naruto had made to act like nothing had changed and it was easy. Sakura, of course, still sometimes struggled, but deep down the overwhelming affection she felt for the man that came back to them trumped any awkwardness that still lingered as Sasuke was eased back into their lives.

There had been changes still though, in their relationships. Sasuke and Naruto's hadn't changed much. It was the relationship she had that seemed different.

It started out slowly and in ways she hadn't even paid attention to.

He looked at her more. She could feel it as Team Seven trained or she was walking home late from volunteer work or hospital duties. He watched her like a hawk until she would say something about it and pop out of the shadows.

It brought a strange sort of comfort to her and she tried not to let it go to her head.

And then he would give her little touches. He'd brush against her arm, or snag her hair by 'accident'. Sometimes, when she took the chance and sat just a little closer than was necessary to him, he would lean against her or let her lean against him. And not because either of them were tired.

Their courtship after the war was long and drawn out and she would admit it might have only officially started after that whole fiasco on the moon. But the amount of time it took didn't matter her, nor how he had gone about it.

Because let's face it, her Sasuke was an awkward man who did not handle social interaction well. But it was ok, not matter what he would do, she won't stop loving him.
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