Warning: I do not own Naruto

Tsurai

Golden, orange and red stained leaves mingled with the violent swirls of snow. It caked the ground with it's chill, making slush in the streets and lining the sidewalks.

People in the village rushed about in thick cloaks and heavy boots as the wind picked up and the naked trees shook harder.

His face stung from the ice being whipped without break against it but he kept on towards her house. His coat kept his boyish features from view and concealed his thick navy hair. No one noticed he was here, a wanted criminal, a vicious threat, pushing through the snow like the others did, walking the same dusty streets that he did years ago. But it had never snowed.

Sasuke rounded the corner and he became shielded from the wind by the taller buildings. Cold white flakes danced playfully around him and for a brief moment he thought of turning back.

No. He came this far and wasn't about to run away again. Not that he regretted leaving Konoha five years ago. It was something he needed to do, but that was finished now. Even so, Sasuke knew there was no turning back. There was no way to undo what took place that night. He couldn't deny what he said the next time he saw them either, standing on the cliff, looking down towards his pitiful friends. They tried so hard to keep him from what he wanted most. They were the enemy. They were in the way.

What's done was done and there were no ways around it and he had come to terms with this. Konoha would not accept an S-class criminal back into their peaceful city knowingly. Tsunade would show no mercy on him just because of old ties. Sasuke was a young man, with bloodstained hands and a skill well beyond his years. After turning his back the way he did on this village, he could not expect to be welcomed home with open arms.

He would have to leave again, but not without seeing her first. She was his friend, devoted to him always, even after all the harsh words and death threats. Sakura was the only one able to sow a seed of doubt in his heart. To show him that maybe, just maybe, it didn't have to be like this- that there was another way...

But like everything else in his life that seemed to make so much sense now, he had chosen the difficult way to do things. His way. It was what made him strong and independent. His brother was what made him get up to train everyday, and it was her voice that seemed to whisper his regrets.

With Itachi gone, what purpose did he have? They had stopped searching for him about three years ago after he sided in an attack against Konoha with Orochimaru. After that it was finally finished with Naruto. No matter how great a bond they had, it crossed the line when he had helped to kill hundreds of people, when he had endangered Naruto's home, friends, nearly having Sakura murdered in the process.

Though he had to hear her voice, see her face just one last time. To make sure the guilt he felt sometimes was his own. That he had deserved every horrible thing that had happened to him these past five years.

Sasuke came to her door. He stood there for a moment, breathing in the chill of the air before knocking lightly.

He was met with the howling of the wind for a few moments. Before he could think to knock again, the door swung open to reveal a tall, curvy young lady. She had her long hair, piled sloppily into a bun, having stray strands of pink fall into the flawless skin of her face He felt the rush of hot air coming from inside as vivid lime eyes looked up to catch his own. Something flickered in hers for a second, before he hastily avoided her gaze. He hesitated, not really sure if he should remove his cloak and uncover his face.

"Can I help you?"she asked politely, clad in black sweatpants with bandages around one shin and gray wife beater.

"Actually, yes." Sasuke answered, ignoring her protests as he stepped inside her home.

"What the hell do you think you're-"She looked as if she were going to slug him before he pulled off his thick black hood. His long bangs framed his face, his expression unreadable.

Sakura silenced, leaving the door open behind her even as stray snow began to drift onto her carpet.

Recovering from her shock, Sakura backed away in sudden alarm. She stopped at the wall, a small, sad smile tugging at her lips when her situation fully sunk in.

"So you've come to kill me," she stated in a whisper as her face hardened with distrust. She lived alone now; over the storm, no one would hear her scream.

"Actually, I-" he regarded her seriously, a worry increasing inside him when she didn't change her expression, "I just came to see you. I can't stay."

At this, she slightly relaxed and closed the cold air out by shutting her front door, turning to look at him accusingly, "I'm tired of playing these games with you Sasuke."

He remained silent and she became angered further. She clenched her fists, digging her nails into her palms. Averting her gaze she shivered in the cold that now resided in the hall. "How dare you..." she muttered, startling him. "how dare you come back and show your face here."

She looked back up into his eyes. She saw nothing in the pools of darkness there. He had used her for support in the rare occasion he needed it, she had given him everything and asked for nothing but to be near to him. Sasuke had thrown her devotion back into her face, packing up and leaving, not even giving her a second thought.

Then after, he had the nerve to fight her when she didn't let him pass, and for some sick reason left her there unconscious in the rain. And here he was, three years after that, showing up at her door saying he wanted to see her.

"Do you find toying with my feelings amusing," she asked, her voice taking on more of a menacing tone, "is that why you don't finish this now?"

She took a few steps towards him, even though no matter how close they were to each other they still felt thousands of miles away.

He had used her up, taking and taking, letting her crumble away until there was nothing left. If this is what love did to you, she should never want to feel it again.

The butterflies when he touched her, the way her heart leaped when looked at her, at this moment, didn't seem worth the terrible pain of loss, the way he broke her as quickly as he built her up. She was nothing but a pawn in his eyes to be called upon when thought most useful.

This thought made something burn inside her and in seconds her hand was coming down on him. He didn't make a move to stop her when she slapped him, the sound of her palm hitting his cheek seemed to ring in her ears.

Sasuke finally turned his gaze up to look at her as he wiped the hot blood from the corner of his mouth.

What he was expecting by coming here, he wasn't sure, but he knew it definitely was not this. She saw something when she looked at him this time, hurt, a fresh affliction mixed with guilt. And just as quickly as it had come, it was gone from his face again.

"Oh..." She breathed, pulling her hand back. He was sure to kill her now.

Sakura was startled when he spoke in a low, accusing voice, "So everything you said to me back then...was it a lie?"

He was suddenly feeling angry. She had promised to always be with him, no matter what. When he made mistakes, it was alright, because no matter what she would still be around. Once, she had told him she loved him.

Sakura was all he had left of his old life, and the only secure thing in his new one, and now, in his greatest time of need, she was turning her back on him.

It's too late, Sasuke realized feeling a swell of dread that fueled his anger. He would not be weak in front of her. It was a shame he was only seeing now that coming here was a huge mistake.

"That was a long time ago," Sakura said in her defense as her voice rised, "I've changed since then."

"And I haven't?" Sasuke cut in, irritated.

Sakura had no answer to this.

"You're words seem so useless to me now." he muttered darkly.

"Shut-up." she spat, and he noticed she was shaking. "Just shut-up!" she cried, raising her arm to strike him in a wild rage.

Everything stopped when he caught her wrist. The way he looked down on her made her limp with grief and she sagged against him in defeat. Hitting Sasuke couldn't make him hurt the way he did her and even if it did...it wasn't what she wanted.

Sakura felt tears prick at her eyes but she quickly blinked them away. This was what he wished. For her to grow attached to him, for her to beg him madly to stay or come home like the many times she had before. He even told her he couldn't stay, he wanted her to grab onto hope, only to let it slip right through her fingers and for some reason, she didn't care. She still loved him, no matter how much she hated herself for it and would let him do this to her if he wanted. As long as he was happy. Sasuke was so close to her, yet so far away and in a rush of emotion she let down her guard and cried into his chest.

Sasuke stood there with a detached expression, slowly dropping her wrist and keeping his arms at his sides, making no move to comfort her as her tears soaked through his coat and her fingers wrapped around the rough black material.

And then he heard it, as she sniffed tilting her head up to face him dead-on. The lightest whisper, the heaviest words, "I've never lied to you."

And then he broke, his resolve dissipating as he embraced her. His eyes showed a deep sadness that only misfortune could bring. Forget about me , he wanted to whisper but couldn't because he knew that if she did he wouldn't be able to live with himself even though it would be for the better.

He had to leave, but at least he would go without her hating him. He held her for what seemed much too short and before she knew it, she was watching him brush past her out the door, their eyes catching in one fateful clash, binding them forever with the unspoken.

Her dull eyes followed the hooded figure through the light of the gray sky and the swirls of snow, blowing fiercely with the autumn wind.

And then he was gone, but unlike the times he fled from her before that, she felt at peace.

FIN

Thanks for reading this was my first one-shot. How was it? Please review!