Title: Through the drywall

Summary: We all need our fists to feel whole sometimes. -Team Seven, SakuHina.

Dedication: Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream. Oh my god. Heaven on earth.

Notes: This in my brain started out as canon!SasuSaku but it kinda veered away from there. I'm not sorry.

Sakura works. Her hair is long now, long and roped down her back, a twisted braid of washed out pink where cherry used to be. It would have been cut short at the jaw had she remembered, had she taken the time. But she works. At the hospital she braids it back and tucks it into a net and on her missions she clips it to her ANBU vest. On missions of the other kind, she dyes or henges it white-blonde and lets it flow like a river of yellowed bone. Soft, silky and just right to tangle fingers in, until she tangles kunai in their ribs. It is a system, and even Ino is jealous when she lets it out, or puts it up, or does something with it other than let it dangle down in a braid like a hangman's noose. But she leaves it it, doesn't cut it, doesn't style it, until the tasseled end sweeps the small of her back. She works and works and her jade eyes are dead like a shadow next to a sunbeam. Her only real friend, with eyes of moonlight, comes in the night with sleeping pills and commands to rest.

Naruto worries. Hinata runs fast as her small feet can carry her from the council, from the responsibilities they push towards her. Get married, they say, get hold of a leader who is worth something. Unlike you, their sneers insinuate, unlike your cousin was. He is Hokage-in-waiting and soon, when he takes power, he will be able to make laws, laws for freedom, but he is afraid it will not be soon enough. The people around are him breaking, and he feels his helplessness. He sees Sakura restoring the hospital, going on A-ranked solo missions, reconstructing with her massive strength, and never sleeping. He sees the light dying from her eyes. Then one day, Hinata comes with him to the hospital, and they light up like leaves in sunlight. Hinata's have steeled lately, and they look like silver mirrors instead of the old white silk, so it is no surprise to see them reflect the joy back at her. He sees that finally someone has found love that is reciprocated. He is afraid for both of them, and how the village, the Hyuuga will react, but he is happy for them. He wonders why it makes him feel so alone.

Sasuke waits. His cell is dank and dark, and he practices with the Mangekyou in the shadows until his eyes weep red. Interrogators fish for information, mostly Yamanakas with the ShinTenShin, and he tells them the stories of Madara, Itachi, Danzo, the Uchiha Massacre, and of his exploits as he traveled around hunting his brother. The looks of horror on the faces of hardened shinobi is worth the annoyance of 'sharing'. He particularly enjoys (is that even the word?) the young Yamanaka, Ino, and her reactions when she is forced to venture into his broken mind. And the strange, half-suspicious looks she sends the former ROOT Sai after. He wonders, in a vague way, if they will execute him. He's sure that they won't, since he helped kill Madara and all that, and he remembers that Konoha has always been soft. Still. His teammates, and he laughs at the word, come and visit sometimes. Naruto is lined and has aged decades in the course of years. Sakura, in an unassuming way, hates him. He sees this, and laughs again. Looks like they both got what they wanted all those years ago. They wanted him back, and he wanted broken bonds.

So...Sasuke's bit was meant not to make sense. This whole fic was designed to show just how far things have gone to hell in a handbasket for Team Seven.

Plus, Sasuke is idiotic not to see that Sakura is indeed more attractive with long hair. I dunno. I just think that now that she's proved her point by cutting it all off, she could prove a different one by letting it grow out again.

Each of the Team Seven paragraphs is two hundred words long, my first author's note is fifty, and this last one is a hundredandfive.