(Day Twelve of SasuSaku Month.)
You still look the same.
The same high cheekbones, messy hair, aristocratic nose, and eyes that I would always lose myself into… You're still too beautiful to look at.
Huh. You'd probably think I was some stalker, the way I could paint your dimple in exactly the same spot whenever you smiled. But the passage of time never dulled my memories of you in that time, so long ago, back when everything was perfect. Whenever I close my eyes I could still feel the way your arms would embrace me, hear the baritone of your voice, see the smile in your lips. And when I open my eyes I'd feel that same crushing disappointment, because I know for a fact that the you of today will never be the same man I once loved yesterday.
For years and years, I've travelled the world without you by my side. No matter how much I would avoid crowded places, the ones that I knew you'd love to live in, I'd see you. Sometimes you'd be a child, all smiles and laughter, sometimes a man, tall and serious, and sometimes older, hobbling on a cane.
I never talked to you. The wound was too fresh, sewed shut bit still ready to bleed. The moment I would see you, I would immediately pack up and leave. It was, I knew, the right thing to do.
I amused myself with finding new things to do. I'd work the oddest and assorted jobs: a baker, an author, a doctor, once I was even a detective. I learned a lot of things too, because of those jobs, and sometimes I'd befriend people.
I never got too close, though. They would grow old, wither, die; it would be another goodbye for me, and it hurts. Every time someone leaves me it hurts. I don't like endings. I don't like goodbyes. I've seen too many.
I was lonely.
I became risky. I longed for human contact, for having the company of friends as opposed to the life I've lived for decades, in some out of place city that wasn't even in the map. So I came back to Konoha, the place where we were born, where we grew and learned and fell in love, where I was cursed, and the place where you died.
I've avoided Konoha ever since you left, so I am amazed to see the difference in the once small but peaceful village. It is amazing to look at the tall buildings that weren't there before, to see the people who are the descendants of our old friends.
I decided to settle down. I opened up my own clinic, quickly becoming popular among the ninjas who would prefer to avoid the hospital. Sometimes my breath would hitch when I would see a familiar mop of blonde hair and crystal blue eyes in passing, when I'd see a new generation of Nara's and Hyuuga's and Yamanaka's, but I never saw you, so I stayed.
As time passed, my clientele grew. Word of my efficiency with the healing arts spread, and although I was proud, I became wary. Whose presence would I attract? But the feeling of belongingness outweighed my fear of seeing you, and still I remained.
But I regretted my decision ever since. It was sunset, and I was closing down my clinic when I heard a commotion outside. Before I knew it, the door almost flew out of its hinges and I saw two bloody ninjas in my doorway, carrying someone between them. For a split second I am surprised to see the descendants of Naruto and Shikamaru, but my face loses all its pallor when I finally see who, exactly, were they carrying.
It is you. And even bathed by blood and sweat and other things I'd prefer not mentioning, you still look the same.
You're so bloody that it gave me a brief flashback of your death, but the yell of your teammate brings me back to the present, and I immediately order them to bring you to a spare bed, and I work my magic on you. I spend a lot of chakra even on your most insignificant cut, on the most insignificant bruise, even if it was opposed to everything I was taught for, to make up for the time when I was too inexperienced and useless while your broken and bleeding body was on my lap, drawing your last breathe.
That time, I couldn't heal you. That time, I didn't have the knowledge I have now. That time, you died.
But this time, I save you.
When your fully healed body was sleeping peacefully on the bed and I was dangerously low on chakra, I cried for the first time in centuries. It still hurt, to see you here breathing and alive. I ached to trace the features of your face, to feel your skin once again, to taste your lips - but I held back. I swore a promise to never get involved with your life because nothing good ever comes in knowing me.
A love between a human and an immortal will never be blessed. So this time… have a happy life.
Sasuke groaned, trying not to move his body because he was sore. Thankfully the room was dimly lit, so he was able to open his eyes without going blind for a minute. To his surprise, he wasn't in the hospital. There was a vague medical feel to the room he was in, but it was homey. It reminded him of the many guest rooms in the Uchiha manor: utilitarian, but obviously well cared for.
Where the hell did the Dobe bring me now?
Their mission was supposed to be a simple retrieval mission, but it seemed that everything they did would never fall according to plan. They were ambushed on the way back by a bunch of Iwa nin who still held a grudge on their Fourth Hokage. The Dobe was too preoccupied on guarding the Lazy Ass' back that he didn't see the incoming attack headed his way – so Sasuke got in the way and took the blow instead.
He'd been so sure that he was going to die. Whoever healed him was good, because even though he was uncomfortable Sasuke saw that his body was unmarked, as if no battle had ever taken place. Dimly, he noted that he should pay the medic ninja a hefty sum.
Sasuke was sitting up when the door to his far left opened, and he snapped his head back to see a woman about his age, staring at him in a surprised way. She had pink hair that barely reached her shoulders, and green eyes that almost glowed in the dimly lit room.
He had an odd sense of déjà vu, then. The woman… She looked so familiar. His brain scrambled to remember that distinctive colour of hair but came out blank. Why did he feel as if he should remember her?
"Who are you?" He is the first to break the silence, and surprise flits across his features when he catches the hurt and disappointment and yearning on her eyes, before it disappeared into a mask of cool professionalism.
(All I wanted was for you to remember me.)
"I'm Sakura." She answered, her voice calm. "I healed you when your teammates barged in my clinic and I was about to close down. You're lucky they were fast; a minute slower and you would have died."
Sasuke nodded. He warily watched as she slowly approached the bed he was in, hands placed in his sight.
"May I see how you're healing?" Sakura asks, cocking an eyebrow. He nods, and he lets her come closer Her palms glows green, and she places it his forehead, his eyes, his chest. Her chakra is soothing, and something about the way it felt feels familiar to him. But Sasuke has never seen her before.
While she is concentrating, Sasuke passes the time by examining her face, trying to know why he feels as if he should know her. She looks pretty, he'd give her that. It wasn't the beauty that would immediately stand out in a crowd, but the kind of beauty that would grow on you over time.
It was her eyes that caught him though. She had tired eyes. But not tired of him, Sasuke was sure, but just tired in general, as if she was too weary to care much about… well, living. Her eyes haunted him; they looked so timeless that he wondered how old she was. The pain in those eyes was immense and spoke of having seen things greater and more terrible than Sasuke could ever imagine.
"You're healing nicely." Sakura says, and Sasuke knew that she was well aware of his scrutiny. "In fact, you could go home now. Although I'd like to tell you that you should abstain from training until after a few weeks, I have a hunch that you listen to me."
Sasuke shrugged. She was right on that account.
"But refrain from using the Sharingan in a week, though." Sakura warns, and this time she is serious. "You strained it too much in your mission so your eyes need to take a break for a while."
Sakura leaves him in the room as he got dressed, and when he is done and walks outside, he is surprised to see the bags packed on the living room. "You're leaving?"
Sakura nods, and the smile she gives him is small but real and it's so damn frustrating because he feels as if that smile has been aimed at him for so many times before that his mouth involuntary twitches. "I'm… not really needed here anymore."
Sasuke frowned. "You're a great healer, the hospital could use some help." He's wondering why he doesn't want her to go away, and why the thought of her leaving makes something inside of him twinge.
She smile turns sad, and Sasuke thinks that it doesn't suit her at all. "They'll be alright without me, Uchiha-san. And don't worry about the payment, your teammates already gave me the appropriate amount."
She is strangely distant. Why is she so aloof? She's turning around, she's leaving, and Sasuke's mouth clambers to form the words his brain is thinking. "Hey-"
"Take your time on leaving, Uchiha-san. I already told my landlady about you, so she won't think it strange you're still here."
"Wait, Sakura –"
She tenses up mid-action, her hand frozen up in the action of opening the door. Sasuke takes advantage of this, closing their distance and grasping her arm and whirling her around. The sight of glassy green eyes meets him though, and suddenly he's gaping at her.
She chokes up her last words, "Goodbye, Sasuke-kun", before vanishing in a cloud of smoke. And Sasuke stills, eyes wide, because the sight of those tears finally jars his memory.
He's dreamed about her. He remembers it vividly because in it he is dying, a crying Sakura cradling his bloodied body to her chest. She looks the same, short pink hair and green eyes, and even with her face smeared with his blood he thinks he that she is beautiful.
"Thank you, Sakura."
That would be his last words, before he would wake up and hear her anguished sobs as he took his last breathe. The dream appeared once in a while, but for the past years it disappeared so he's forgotten it - until now.
Sasuke looks for her. When he's not too busy helping his brother with the clan or doing missions with his teammates, he leaves the village and looks for her. He doesn't succeed, though.
Sakura vanishes like the smoke, and he never sees her again.
Immortal Sakura is... well, angsty. I'll leave it up to you to imagine if how exactly did she become one. Oh, and if you noticed, I mentioned what are the fandoms I'm currently in. Bonus points for those who saw.
[Day Twelve: Chasing a Dream]