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He Stayed

By lackingwit

Romance / Drama

He Stayed

"Where is she?" The words came out as a lion's roar Loud, gravely, scraping with protective horror, worry. A lion fretting. Yes, that was it. He looked like one, as well. Dark eyes wild, expression murderous. He broke his chains without a second thought, as if they were made of nothing more than paper, and he was struggling with his captors. "Where is she?" he growled again, the words painful to anyone who heard them. "Tell me!" He snapped his wrist from one of his guards, struggling against them in worried anger. "Tell me where she is!"

He fought himself from the grip of his nameless, faceless guards, and was suddenly racing down the street. People thought him a spectacle: The sole Uchiha, racing down the streets of Konoha to where the hospital sat, a look of such heartbreaking desperation on his face. He was dangerous, and danger made for a worthy spectacle. He ran down into the hospital doors, outracing his guards, both of whom were running after him. Distantly, he thought that it was their first mistake—thinking that two guards would be enough to contain him. Presently, however, his thoughts were consumed by one single thing, one person, one face.

He looked around the lobby, eyes searching desperately for a hint of where Sakura could be. There was none. Instead, there was someone he had never expected to see outside the battlefield again: Naruto.

The blonde ninja stood up, face as solemn as Sasuke had ever seen it. He didn't even look surprised to see his ex-teammate. "She's on the first floor," he said simply, and started leading the way. Sasuke said nothing. He watched as the orange-clad ninja turned his back on him, on someone who could easily kill him if given the chance, and followed.

Naruto led him to a hospital room. It was covered in so many flowers and chocolates and teddy bears that Sasuke could barely see the pink tuff of hair in the sterile white bed. Sasuke felt himself get choked up as he saw the soft up-and-down movement of her chest, a relief that she was still alive. That his men had not killed her. Sasuke opened his mouth to ask how she was, but Naruto beat him to it. "She'll live. She'll be in a wheelchair for a few months, and on hiatus from missions for a few months after that, but she'll live and she'll be fine and she'll be Sakura," Naruto said, more to himself than to his dark-haired rival.

Sasuke held in his sigh of relief. He walked over to the crowded bed and knelt, pushing away strands of her pink hair from her soft forehead.

"I—" Naruto stopped, examined his two teammates. He walked over and knelt beside the sleeping bedridden woman. He watched as Sasuke absentmindedly grabbed hold of Sakura's limp hand, as a look of unbidden worry crossed his dark brows. He didn't know what he saw there, flickering after the dark shadow of unmistakable fury, but Naruto knew it would grow into something more if Sasuke would just let it. "You should be here when she wakes up," he said.

Sasuke looked up, hiding his surprised wide eyes with lowered brows. His thumb traced the knuckle of Sakura's.

Naruto reached out to cup Sakura's cheek, and smiled slightly when she twitched and leaned into the hand as if, even in her subconscious, she knew who held her. She knew who sat beside her on either side. "I can talk to Tsunade-baa-chan. If she says okay... Then no guards, no undercover surveillance. Just you, me, and Sakura. Until she wakes up. Then you can have your trial and..."

"How long?"

Naruto blinked. "What?"

"How long until she wakes up?" Sasuke repeated. His hand shot out to smooth a curl away from her sweaty cheek.

Naruto shrugged. "Baa-chan said a week."

There was a nod of Sasuke's head, almost too small to be seen. Naruto smiled. "I will not leave this hospital," Sasuke warned.

It didn't take the smile off Naruto's face. "I'll just leave you with Sakura, teme," he said, and stood up.

It was a second before the door clicked shut behind Sasuke and left him alone with his unconscious pink-haired ex-teammate. Sasuke stared at Sakura, studying her features: Her pert nose, round cheeks, soft skin... "I'm sorry, Sakura," he whispered, grasping her hand in his and bringing it to his lips. "I'm sorry." Her skin was soft against his lips, her knuckles scabbed.

Sasuke stayed there, holding onto Sakura's hand, until the moon had come up and the sky had darkened, until the wind chilled and the owls hooted. And then much after that. He stayed until the sun rose and fell for six days, as the moon rose and hid for six nights, as darkness blanketed the nights and the sky lightened in the day. Sasuke stayed until Sakura opened her vibrant green eyes and whispered, in a horse voice of disbelief, "Sasuke-kun?"

Sasuke stayed until he had kissed her hand when she awakened and pressed his lips to her forehead. He stayed until she smiled and hugged him. He stayed until Tsunade decided he wasn't dangerous. He stayed until Tsunade forgave him. He stayed until Sakura said, "I do." He stayed until he heard the cries of his newborn daughter. He stayed until he saw the face of his first grandchild. He stayed until he forgave himself.

And then he stayed a little longer.

This was all inspired by a post on tumblr under this URL: louisejeez-omgwat-ky . tumblr post / 44081551394 / i-see-you-lying-next-to-me-with-words-i-thought

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