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01 April 2007 @ 12:04 am
[Fic] Pondering In the Rain 1/1  
Title: Pondering In the Rain
Fandom: Naruto
Genre: Angst
Rating: Everyone
Pairings: One-sided SakuSasu.
Warnings: Drabble-y.  Takes place after Chapter 309.

Start: 12/11/06
Finish: 12/11/06
Word Count: 1,185

Note: There is an alternate, NaruSaku version of this story in the works.

Summary:
  All Sakura wanted was the answer to Sasuke's thanks, his reason for joining forces with the enemy, and his sudden indifference to her existence. Too bad some questions will always remain unanswered.  [Sakura contemplates Sasuke after her and Naruto's unsuccessful attempt to bring him back.]

Pondering In the Rain

It was pouring. Sakura did not scorn the rain though; she welcomed it. She welcomed the cold droplets that pelted her skin and relished its numbing effect; the water seemed to seep through and into her pores, drowning her inside as well as out. Tears had begun to mix with the rain, creating an odd taste of polluted saline when Sakura opened her mouth. Goosebumps had begun to line her arms and she involuntarily shivered, yet she had no desire to seek out warmth. For her, there was no shelter from the storm. What could possibly shield her from the storm of emotions that resided in her very heart?
            Sakura sighed and momentarily stopped her aimless wandering. She peeled her sopping hair off her face and looked at her surroundings. A darkened slab of gray stone caught her eye, rain jumping up and down upon it as tiny excited speckles of white. She stared at it, a deep frown forming on her face. The bench, her bench, their bench; it was the bench where everything started and ended with him. How was she to describe him? He had been a man of few words, but who held a venomous tongue that could easily dilute the spirit. He had been a man with piercing eyes as vast and unknown as the night sky. He had been a man with obsidian silk for hair and moon white skin, blemished only by a cursed, dark mark on the back of his neck. He had been a village prodigy both feared and revered for his talent. He had held an insatiable thirst, a need, for strength; it did not matter how strong he had become, but how much stronger he could get. He had been all this and more, but Sakura liked to recall when he had been a boy.
            Against her better judgment and body’s shivering protests, Sakura went and sat on the bench as memories began to flood her mind. She remembered this bench well. Absentmindedly, she gave it a pat in what could only be acknowledgment in that fact. She had held her first real conversation with him here, ironically about Naruto, a person they both seemed to despise at the time. Sakura smiled sadly as a cheery, blond man crossed her mind. She pushed the image aside when her heart gave a choked sob and refocused on the man previously preoccupying her thoughts.
            “Sasuke-kun,” she whispered into the rain. As soon as the name rolled off her tongue she found herself peering down the dismal path leading out of the village, as if looking for a specter of the man. She had begged him not to go, and when he remained firm in his decision she had begged him to take her with him. She had tried everything short of physical assault as she knew she would be no match for him. Her crying had been an annoyance that he swiftly had to render. In a flash he had been behind her, his hot breath on her ear, sending tingles up and down her spine.
            “Sakura, thank you,” he had whispered. He then promptly knocked her out and left her sprawled out on a nearby bench, the very bench which Sakura resided on now. His parting words confused her more than his departure for vengeance. He had never really been one to express gratitude in the conventional sense, which meant whatever she had done had held merit with him. She did not know, however, what it was she had done for him; vexing, yes, but not as much as the weight of sincerity in his words. It was this which probably vexed her most.
            The somber girl looked up at the crying heavens, the gray clouds ringing themselves in grief. Sad though she had been when Sasuke left the village, it paled in comparison to the sadness she felt when she was briefly reunited with him two years later. A shaky sigh left her, misting in the chilly air before depleting with the falling rain. She leaned back against the stone, wrapping her arms around herself in a vain attempt to trap body heat. Or maybe it was a subconscious way of protecting herself and her fragile heart. She tasted saline on her lips again and inwardly cursed herself and her weakness.
            Her reunion with Sasuke was not bittersweet, but bitter. He looked like Sasuke, sounded like Sasuke, and even had familiar mannerisms as Sasuke, and yet he was not him at all. If the eyes are the windows to the soul then Sasuke’s had taken flight some time ago, as the first thing Sakura had noticed about the man was his eyes. They were as piercing as ever, but they no longer held depth; there was just a black void. His movements against her and Naruto were fluid and without hesitation. His voice remained monotonous and even in everything he said; there was no hint of surprise, contempt, amusement… There was no hint of anything. These were not the only things that disturbed Sakura however. There was a man with snakelike slits for eyes and a sallow face who, while smirking at her and her companions, held Sasuke back from attacking them. She did not like the nauseating feeling she felt knowing it was this man she had to thank for her life. She loathed him; he was the one who had promised Sasuke power. He was the one who made the raven haired boy leave them. Yet, without his intervention Sakura is sure that Naruto and her would not have walked away alive; their misguided friend would have surely killed them.
            It was a terrifying and shocking conclusion to their reunion. It brought up a torrent of questions for Sakura. She kept reassessing their meeting, looking for some small clue as to Sasuke’s behavior, his sudden and irrefutable indifference to their existence. For the life of her, however, she could not find one. When she thought of him she no longer saw a smirking boy with knowing eyes, but a man without expression and fierce, black dots for seeing. It jolted her. It scared her. She felt jaded and cast aside without thought or consequence by a man she once claimed to love.
Love; the word was bitter on her tongue. Could she really consider a school-girl crush to be love? She had felt strongly for Sasuke, yes, but was labeling the bond ‘love’ appropriate? She could not come to a cohesive conclusion; questions were brooded, answers were thoughtful, but not concise enough to define. 
Perhaps it had never been love at all then. She sighed, too tired to ponder her ‘love’ crisis any further. All she wanted was the answer to Sasuke’s thanks, his reason for joining forces with the enemy, and his sudden indifference to her existence. She knew she might never receive these answers, but Sakura liked to hope. She liked to hope he would return to her, smiling and readily accepting of her questions. She grimaced.
It was apparent that she liked to dream too.

 
 
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