:This fanfiction was also posted by me over at fanfiction.net. I had a difficult time writing this... partly because it was my first fanfic with Sasuke and Sakura as the main pairing, also because this story takes place in an Alternate Universe, away from the anime's storyline. Although, I did use the whole Uchiha massacre story here as well.:
Lips parted slightly at the sight of her face caked with dried blood, sheer terror etched on her features and eyes the size of plates as she shook in the corner, taking shallow breaths and losing grasp of herself. Her hair was a messy crown adorning her head, matted and dull, much unlike the vibrant pink color that he remembered her having… while her arms, once smooth and flawless were covered in gashes, both shallow and deep, hurting more and more as the rain pelted mercilessly against her skin.
“Sakura.” He said, taking a hesitant step towards her, eyes widening a fraction as she cringed away from him and clutched the sides of her head.
The girl muttered incoherently, rocking back and forth on her heels and desperately blocking out the voice of whomever was speaking. Her mind was plagued with unwanted memories of the last few hours. Memories that stabbed her to the core and shook every fiber of her being. Choking her. Torturing her. Memories of walls that were stained in blood, of fire that burned everything within its reach and of bodies riddled with unmerciful bullets.
Bodies of her friends.
Of her family.
Of her home.
She was never one to wince at the sight of blood. As far as anyone was concerned she was used to it. It was part of her profession… her lifestyle. The smell of rust and salt was always present on her hands no matter how much she tried to wash it all away. To her, it served as a constant reminder of what she was and what she had done for almost half of her life. Killing, murder, slaughter, whichever you prefer to call it. It all meant the same anyway.
It was never soft cushiony beds, or delectable food, or shiny BMW’s. It was always guns, knives and blood, and an oath that almost always compelled her to take lives. She existed in a world full of strife and conspiracy and conflict, after all. It was expected.
It was necessary.
Because they needed to protect each other, they said.
Because others were out to get them, they said.
She didn’t care whether she got into fights, or tainted herself with so much sin. As long as she would be with them, the people she cared about the most, she would be fine. She realized that a long time ago.
But now, now that everything was taken away from her, she knew she was beaten. She’d lost the battle that she was never meant to win.
Her bottle green eyes were dull and misty, filled with a shade of emptiness that he had never seen before. A pain resided there. It was familiar and in so many ways… similar to the pain he kept in his own black heart. He was aware of the sadness slowly seeping in, sinking its spiteful fangs deep within her, corrupting her mind and her soul, destroying her slowly. It was ruthless and cruel.
He knew the feeling.
He approached still, gun held firmly in his hand. His pale face was illuminated by the faint light of a streetlamp, flickering in and out of the impending darkness. His dark hair, dripping wet and his mouth pursed in a thin line.
She was the enemy, he reminded himself. But he could not look away from her face. He was aware of what had happened, of what had taken place. A brutal slaughter that had left the girl traumatized and alone with no one to turn to and no place to call home.
And it was all his fault.
“Sasuke.” She managed to croak out as she tilted her head upwards to face him. Her expression became unreadable as he came to a stop in front of her. “You killed them.”
The weapon fell from his shaking hand and clattered on the cobbled floor. He stared and for some reason he felt sympathetic. Guilty. Ashamed. Because he had robbed her of everything she had. Of her irreplaceable treasures… just as his own brother had robbed him of his mother and father… of his kin, his hopes, his dreams and his innocence as a child. He was that same disgusting monster that killed because he felt like he had to. He was the same filthy traitor that stabbed his friends in the back. The traitor that put a gun to his best friend’s head.
He was guilty.
But he was not going to be Itachi. He was not going to leave this girl alone to fend for herself, to live on revenge and hatred, wasting her entire life blinded by the desire to kill. He was not going to let her become like him. Broken and corrupt, tainted with debauchery that he thought to be unforgivable and utterly inexcusable. She was too good for that. And despite her crimes, in his mind, she was still pure. Not as foul as she thought herself to be.
He knelt in front of her and turned her head to face him. “Sakura.” He said again, his voice cracking slightly as he touched her face, wiping the shade of red that marred her features.
She stared, unable to comprehend his actions. Unable to understand his motives for doing such things to her. He had no reason to keep her alive... Or did he? Did he want her to suffer on memories? Did he want her to be haunted by the faces of those she loved, screaming and crying in agony as they bled and burned?
“We live by a code, Sasuke.” She said, looking into his obsidian eyes and seeing what seemed to be… self-reproach. “Kill me. Or do you think I‘m still not worth your bullet?” A weak smile and a mirthless chuckle.
“I won’t kill you.” He bowed his head and looked down at the girl’s hands, trying to ignore the silent tears that slid down her face, almost indiscernible because of the downpour.
“I… I don’t know.” He replied and pulled her to him, not hearing her gasp softly as he brought her into his embrace.
She stayed in his arms while she cried.
Her hands fisted his shirt while she buried her face in his chest, blaming him over and over. Strings of accusations poured from her mouth between strangled sobs and countless profanities. She wanted to hit him, hit him hard like she always wanted to when he’d left them before. She wanted to kill him, to have his blood oozing between her fingers as she lodged a knife in his throat, the warmth of it satisfying her, quenching her thirst for retribution.
But she couldn’t. No matter how much she hated, she couldn’t. And time and time again she cursed herself because of her weakness. Because of her inability to hurt the man that betrayed them despite all the love and affection they had unconditionally given him.
“I’m alone because of you.” Her muffled voice came.
Despite his insults and demeaning, despite his giving her the cold shoulder and treating her like trash… despite him killing everyone else she held dear... Why wasn’t she able to hate him enough to kill him?
Sasuke clenched his eyes shut as he held her. He heard every word, every accusation that dripped with enough malice to pierce holes through his chest. But he didn’t care. It would take time and effort to make her trust, to make her forgive, to make her forget… but he would be patient. He owed her that much.
“Sakura, you’re not alone. You will never be.” He said in a hushed tone as he wrapped his arms around her protectively, assurance evident in his words.
“Because I will be with you.”