Erm, so it doesn’t have a title yet (I will very gladly take any suggestions). It’s also rather long (just under 6,000 words). Please bare with my bad writing and akljhfklajshf. 

Enjoy (hopefully snarhgjagfhg) 

Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you.

This was the mantra running through Sakura’s head as she clasped her helmet.

Fuck you Uchiha Sasuke.

And your perfect face too.

“Sakura,” Ino pleaded, her blue eyes full of desperation as she jogged alongside her friend. “I know you’re upset, but this isn’t the answer. Please can we just-”

“Go away, Ino.” Sakura snapped, brushing past the blonde as she made her way farther up the hill.

“Sakura!” “Sakura-chan!” This time there were two voices melded together. 

Sakura didn’t have to turn to know who it was that was chasing her.

Naruto stopped in front of her, winded from his sprint up the large hill. He paused to catch his breath.

“Sakura, you seriously don’t have to do this. I know Sasuke’s an ass, but he didn’t mean it, honestly-”

“Naruto,” Sakura cut him off sharply, her face serious. “It’s Sasuke. You and I both know that if he says something, he damn well means it.”

Uchiha fucking Sasuke didn’t waste his words.

Naruto followed her as she made her way to the apex of the hill, skateboard in hand. He knew that it didn’t matter what he said at this point, Sakura had a point to prove to Sasuke.

And to herself.

-x-

Naruto and Sasuke were 13 when they started skateboarding. Sasuke had gotten a skateboard for his birthday from his brother, and he had taken to it like a fish to water. He and Naruto would go out every day to the end of their street and practice. Then, when Naruto had finally saved up enough of his allowance to buy himself a board too, they took to the streets and parks in the neighbourhood, practicing their tricks and trying to out-do each other in typical Naruto and Sasuke style.

Sakura saw all of this from her bedroom window. She, Sasuke, and Naruto all lived across from each other in a small suburban neighbourhood 20 minutes outside of the Fire Country’s capital, Konoha. Sakura’s parents had moved there when she was six, because they wanted her to attend the prestigious Konoha Academy. It was there that she first met Naruto and Sasuke, who were both Academy students. Sakura, who had always been a very shy and timid child, was quite overwhelmed by the Academy. Full of rambunctious loud-mouths like Ino and Naruto, the then six year-old had Sakura wanted nothing more than to blend into the crowd, which proved to be impossible thanks to her blasted pink hair. Word spread all over the school about the new girl with the pink hair, and Sakura quickly became the target of school ground bullies who loved nothing more than to push her around and pull her hair, calling her ‘Pinky’ or ‘Forehead’ because of her abnormally large forehead.  Things got to be so bad for Sakura at school that she would come home every day in tears, much to the dismay of her parents, who had hoped that Sakura would finally be free of tormentors at Konoha Academy. It was Naruto and Ino who managed to put a stop to the bullies.

Sakura was surrounded by a crowd of bullies, spearheaded by her arch-nemesis Watanabe Ami, a purple-haired being of pure evil, and all of her crones. They were standing around Sakura, pulling her hair and taunting her about her oversized forehead. Finally one of the girls pushed her to the ground and Sakura scraped up her knee rather badly on the concrete. Sakura, who hadn’t shed a tear up until that point (she had grown rather accustomed to the torment of the playground bullies), gazed down at her new stockings – now ripped and bloodstained – and began to cry.

“Hey!”

Sakura looked up to see Naruto, who had seen everything from across the playground, running after the bullies yelling things that Sakura knew would make her mother wash her mouth out with soap for saying. She felt a tap on her shoulder.

Yamanaka Ino, the pretty blonde girl from her class was standing next to her, gazing down at her in concern.

“Are you alright?” She asked, glancing at Sakura’s now sluggishly bleeding knee.

Sakura didn’t know what to say. Here was the prettiest, most popular girl in class standing next to her talking to her like it was the most normal thing in the world. Before Sakura had the chance to respond, Naruto returned to where they were, slightly out of breath from chasing after the bullies. He was immediately in Sakura’s face, asking her questions at a mile a minute.

“Are you alright, Sakura-chan? I can’t believe those girls!  By the way did you know you’re bleeding? Cause you’re bleedin’ all over the place. Hey, does that hurt? Oh no, are you crying? Please don’t cry, Sakura-chan!”

“Calm down, Naruto-baka,” Ino huffed, planting her hands firmly on her hips. “You’re not even giving her a chance to answer your questions!”

“Oh, right!” Naruto grinned sheepishly, scratching the back of his head. Suddenly, he registered Ino’s insult. “Oi, stop calling me baka!”

Meanwhile, Sakura had been gazing at this exchange wonderingly, unsure as to why these two were even there in the first place.  Finally, as it became clear that the two were not going to stop arguing with each other, Sakura decided to speak up.

“U-um,” she began, hiccupping slightly, “w-why did you both help me?”

Naruto and Ino looked at her as if they had forgotten that she was there in the first place. Then Naruto grinned at her brightly.

“That’s easy, Sakura-chan,” he said, offering her a hand to help her up. “We’re classmates! And we have to stick up for each other.”

Ino nodded her head. “Yeah, what the baka said. Plus, Ami and her friends are all a bunch of big meanies!”

“And they smell too!” Said Naruto loudly, hoping the girls would hear him from across the playground.

Sakura stared up at the two of them at a loss for what to say. She had never had people stick up for her before. She had barely even managed to hold a conversation with anyone her age, due to her crippling shyness. She didn’t even know how to talk to them (not that she could get a word in edgewise between the two chatterboxes).

“You’re not gonna make fun of me cause of my forehead? Or my hair?” Sakura asked nervously.

“Of course not!” Naruto said.

“Your hair is very pretty,” said Ino, smiling at her. “It reminds me of a flower. Just like your name!”

Sakura smiled.

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

-x-

Sakura never really meant to start skateboarding. Skateboarding was for boys – and it involved falling down and getting dirty and possibly even getting hurt, which Sakura especially didn’t want to do. And if she was dirty and scarred from skateboarding, it definitely wouldn’t make Sasuke like her; at least that’s what Ino said. No, she had absolutely no interest in skateboarding, she told herself.  

But, she continued to watch them from her window.

Then, when she and Ino had had a falling out at the age of 13 – when they both realized that they were in love with the same boy – Sakura found herself increasingly drawn to the act of skateboarding. She suddenly had loads of free time on her hands, and needed to do something to distract herself from the fact that she might-possibly-sort of miss her best friend. So she went out and bought herself a skateboard, and began to teach herself in secret. She didn’t want Ino or any of her other friends to find out, for fear that they would make fun of her. Plus she didn’t want the boys to know either, because they would definitely make fun of her for being so bad at it. And, as she started to develop more confidence and skill, she realized that she actually enjoyed skateboarding. It was liberating – feeling the wind whipping against her cheeks, and through her hair. Going faster than she ever had in her life, trying to do tricks; it was so much fun that Sakura grew to not mind the cuts and the bruises that were the result of many, many wipe-outs. And she also met friends through boarding. There was Tenten, who hung out with some older students at the park near the academy, and Temari from Suna, and Karin and Tayuya from the Sound Academy, who taught her a lot of really cool tricks (and may or may not have thoroughly enjoyed watching her bust ass trying to learn them).  But they helped her a lot. Meeting other girls who loved boarding as much as she did made her realize that she wasn’t weird or a freak, despite what Ino and the others may think.

She was still Sakura. She just happened to be a kick-ass skateboarder too. And she was ready to let everyone know.

Sakura stared down the slope of the hill, her jaw set in determination.

She would show everyone. She wasn’t a little girl anymore. She wasn’t weak. She could skate just as well as –if not better than – most of the guys who were currently at the bottom of the hill, looking like little multicoloured ants against the pavement.

Sakura could see Sasuke, even from this far away. She could tell him apart by his distinctly black hair, and his red jacket. His back was to her. The asshole wasn’t even looking at her.

Sakura resisted the urge to stomp her foot in frustration. Who did this asshole think he was?

Other than, you know, the love of her life.

Sakura sighed dejectedly.

It was all Naruto’s fault, really. He was the one that had introduced her to Sasuke in the first place. Although Naruto had no way of knowing that Sakura would fall head over heels for Sasuke upon first sight. Neither had Sakura, who at six years old still thought that all boys (other than her Daddy) were icky and had never had a crush on a boy in her life. But there was something about Uchiha Sasuke that immediately told Sakura that this boy was special. She felt drawn to him. So she started joining him and Naruto as they would play together after school. Naruto was elated – he loved making friends and could never have enough playmates. Sasuke, on the other hand, was a little more reticent; he had learned to be naturally distrustful of girls, due to the fact that they were constantly chasing him around at school and trying to kiss him. But he eventually warmed up to her, through both her and Naruto’s efforts. The three of them became fast friends, and would play together every day after school. Sakura couldn’t have been any happier. She had never had friends like Naruto and Sasuke before, and while she loved Ino-chan and Hinata-chan, they never wanted to do anything fun like play Ninjas and Bandits, or make mud-pies, like she did with Naruto and Sasuke.

But, unfortunately with time (and puberty), the three of them grew apart. Sakura became closer to Ino and the other girls her age, becoming more interested in makeup and boy bands than she was in playing in the dirt with Naruto and Sasuke. They would show up at her door and ask her to come and play with them outside, and she would come up with some excuse as to why she couldn’t join them.

Oh, sorry, Ino is going to call, so I need to stay close to the phone.

I’m supposed to help my mother with supper.

I have piano lessons.

Finally, Sakura stopped answering the door all-together, choosing instead to hide in her bedroom and ignore the ringing of the doorbell.

After a few times, Naruto and Sasuke got the hint.

They stopped coming over.

-x-

It wasn’t that unusual for girls to show up at the skatepark. In fact, there was usually a group of them who crowded along the sidelines gossiping and watching their crushes or boyfriends as they skated.

But girls showing up with skateboards?

Girls by the name of Haruno Sakura?

Unheard of.

Sakura could feel the stares burning into her as she made her way through the park. As she passed by the picnic tables full of girls from her school, including Ino and Ami (who sneered when she set eyes on Sakura), she heard the sound of muttering and muffled laughter.

She resisted the urge to roll her eyes. If this had been six year old Sakura, she probably would have curled up in a ball and cried at the idea of people making fun of her.

But this was 15 year old Sakura, and she was so beyond caring about the opinions of air-heads like Watanabe Ami.

As she got closer to the group of boys surrounding the edge of the park, she caught sight of Naruto and Sasuke goofing around with some other guys from the Academy. She felt her heart leap in her chest at the sight of Sasuke. His spiky black hair was windswept and falling in his eyes, and he looked so perfect that for a minute Sakura couldn’t help but stare at him, wondering whether his hair really was as soft as it looked. Then she caught sight of Sasuke’s self-titled fan club (Ami and her lackeys) closing in on him and turned away in disgust. Sakura didn’t want to have to watch Ami throw herself all over Sasuke.  She had better things to do. Like skate. Or vomit.

Sakura went about her business quietly, approaching the least crowded part of the park – which happened to be the side farthest away from Naruto and Sasuke, thankfully. She had no interest in getting run over by a bunch of hot-headed idiots trying to perform tricks that were far beyond their level. She pulled on her gloves, and gave one last tug to her laces before hopping on her board, and descending into the bowl.

From there it was all about the rhythm.

Rise.

Fall.

Right.

Jump.

Land.

Left.

Turn.

Trick.

She was so lost in her own little world that she didn’t even hear the way the noise – laughter and conversation - around her seemed to slowly disappear. She was coming to the top of the stairs now. She was going jump it. She’d only ever successfully landed this trick once before; the rest of her attempts having ended in pain and embarrassment. But this time she knew she was ready. She could do it. She sank down in preparation; she could feel the way her heart was pounding in her chest with excitement and adrenaline.

Wait.

Wait.

Now.  She tensed her muscles and jumped, momentarily suspended with nothing under her feet but air. This is where she had messed up every other time. She had reached the height of the trick and panicked, then tried to overcompensate, which ended nastily every time (with a nice face full of stairs).

But not this time.

Sakura felt her feet meet her board just moments before landing neatly on the rail, and sliding all the way down. She was so in the zone that she almost didn’t hear the applause as she landed. She looked around, bewildered, to see that in the time that she was boarding, the whole park seemed to have assembled around the rim of the bowl, and they were all cheering for her. Some more raucously than others.

Like the 5’11 inches of big, blonde Naruto that was currently barreling toward her. 

“SAAAAAKUURAAA-CHAAAAAAAN!”

Sakura’s eyes widened. “Oh SHI-OOOMPH!”

Naruto jumped off his board. “It IS you!” He exclaimed, drawing her in for a bone-crushing hug, lifting her off the ground in his exuberance. “Oh my god, that was amazing! Since when have you been able to board? Where did you learn? Wow, Sakura-chan IS SO COOL!”

“Can’t. Breathe.” Sakura wheezed, trying (and failing) to get the blonde to release his death-grip on her. 

Finally, Naruto let her down and Sakura straightened her helmet, struggling to maintain some semblance of dignity after being glomped by the big blonde idiot.

“I had no idea you could skate like that!” Naruto said, his eyes wide with admiration.

Sakura smiled, feeling affection bubble up within her at Naruto’s response to her boarding. It wasn’t disdainful or condescending, which is what she got from most other male skateboarders. It was just acceptance. Which was the only thing she had ever wanted.

She removed her helmet and shook out her hair, trying to cool off a little after her run.  

“Thanks Naruto,” she replied, feeling her smile stretch even wider as Naruto continued to dance around her excitedly, shooting off what felt like a million questions a minute.

As they made their way out of the bowl, people kept coming up to Sakura and complimenting her on her ride. Sakura was practically glowing with happiness from it all. That was, until she reached the outermost part of the crowd.

Sasuke was standing there with his arms crossed; looking for all intents and purposes like he didn’t have a care in the world. Ami was standing next to him, batting her eyelashes and pouting in what she thought was a seductive manner, but translated more as ‘mild epileptic seizure’. When she caught sight of Sakura, her nose wrinkled in disgust, almost as if Sakura’s very presence brought with it an unpleasant odour.

“Well,” Ami drawled, sauntering over. “I’m surprised you were willing to show that massive forehead here. God knows no one here even likes you.”

The crowd around them drew in a collective breath, leaning in to catch sight of what might possibly be the cat fight to end all cat fights. Naruto stepped back uncertainly, not wanting to get in the middle of anything.

Sakura turned to leave; she had no intention of humouring Ami and her need to cause drama.

She heard Ami laugh behind her. “I’d run away too, rather than face the guy who rejected me.”

Sakura stopped dead in her tracks.

Memories, that she’d been trying to suppress for the last month and a half, came rushing back to her in a sickening wave.

She’d asked him to meet her behind the school after the last bell. Yes, it was a total cliché, but it was the most private location, and Sakura didn’t think she could stomach having to confess her love to Sasuke in front of all of their friends. Her bravery only went so far.

She paced back and forth for what felt like hours before she saw him turn around the corner.

She clasped her hands tightly in front of her, so that he wouldn’t see them shaking.

 “What is it Sakura?” He asked, stopping in front of her. “I have practice in 10 minutes and I-“

“I LOVE YOU!” She blurted out, her head bowed. “Please go out with me!”

Sasuke’s eyes widened and he took a step back. “What?”

She raised her head, and he saw for the first time that she had tears in her eyes.

“I love you, Sasuke-kun. I have since I first met you. Please go out with me. I promise that every day will be fun and we’ll be happy, I swear!” Sakura felt like her face was on fire, and she wanted nothing more than to run home and hide under her covers forever, but she knew that there was no stopping now that the words were out there. It was all or nothing.

She watched, dismayed, as Sasuke took one step back. And another.

Then he said it. Those two damn words that would haunt her for the rest of her life.

“Thank you.”

And then he was gone.

Sakura heard someone in the crowd snicker.

‘Do not look over at him Sakura. Whatever you do, DO NOT LOOK OVER.’

She took a deep breath, and turned around to face Ami.

Ami smirked at her, clearly expecting Sakura to burst into tears and run away in shame. Her expression faltered however, when Sakura just stared her down, eyes completely dry.

“What is your problem?” Sakura asked, her expression completely serious. “Do you really feel that terribly about yourself that you have to try to bring others down with you? That’s just sad.”

The crowd made an oohing sound, and Ami snarled. “Oh please. Get over yourself! Why don’t you shove that attitude right up your-“

“Only if you get over me first, Ami.” Sakura interrupted her, turning around, fully intent on leaving all of the childish drama behind her.

“Hn, one trick and you’re suddenly the queen of the world? Give me a break.”

Only this time it wasn’t Ami that spoke.

Sakura whirled around to face none other than Uchiha Sasuke himself.

“What did you just say?” She hissed, her eyes narrowed into slits.

Sasuke took a step toward her, his entire demeanour radiating condescension.

“I said,” he leaned in, practically towering over her. “Just because you landed one pathetic trick, it doesn’t mean you’re hot shit now.”

Sakura felt like someone had kicked her in the chest. She felt like all of the air had been knocked out of her lungs and that she was going to suffocate to death in the middle of this crowd.

Do not cry.

Do.

Not.

Cry.

Seeing that no reply was forth coming, Sasuke turned and began to walk away.

“Talk to me when you’ve mastered the Slope.”

 Ami spared her one final triumphant smirk before flouncing off after Sasuke. Seeing that there would be no fight today, the crowd groaned in disappointment before it slowly began to disperse until Naruto and Sakura were the only two left.

“Sakura-chan,” Naruto began, putting a hand on her shoulder.

“Don’t.”

She shrugged his hand off, before grabbing her board and walking away.

“Where are you going?” Naruto called. “Your house is the other way!”

“I’m going to prove a point!”

-x-

And that was how she had ended up here. At the top of what could possibly be the steepest hill she had ever seen in her entire life.

 She could tell by the heat of her face that she was probably still bright red, a combination of both anger and embarrassment.

How dare he.

Pathetic. He had called her pathetic. Like it wasn’t bad enough that he had broken her heart. Now he was demeaning the only thing in her life that Sakura genuinely enjoyed, and belittling her in front of her mortal enemy.

Love of her life or not, this asshole was gonna burn.  

She took a deep breath, preparing herself for what was to come. Judging by the growing crowd at the bottom of the hill, someone (either Ino or Naruto) must have passed along the message that she was going to attempt the Slope. Sakura would have laughed at the speed that news had travelled, were she not too busy trying not to vomit.

The Slope was an incredibly long and steep street, located next to the skatepark. It rarely had traffic on it, which made for a perfect hang out for local skate and longboarders. However, very few people had ever successfully ridden it from the top to the bottom and lived to tell the tale. Sakura had heard horror stories of the injuries people had received trying to skate down this hill. She shuddered at the memory.

She looked to the bottom of the hill again, staring at the back of Sasuke’s red jacket.

Failure was not an option here.

And with that thought ringing in her mind, she began her descent.

-x-

Sakura didn’t think that she had ever moved this fast in her entire life. She would have laughed with joy had all the air not been forcibly expelled from her lungs. It was the most exhilarating and terrifying thing she had ever experienced. The bottom of the hill was approaching rapidly, she was probably about halfway down now, and she was only picking up speed. She couldn’t hear anything past the roaring of wind in her ears; could barely see past the tears blurring her vision.

She kept as low to the ground as she could, trying to remember what little she knew about longboarding. It wouldn’t do to fall off her board now, seeing as how she was almost to the bottom of the hill. She began to travel in a zigzag pattern, trying to slow herself down slightly, but the board was moving too fast. Sakura felt real panic beginning to well up in her, but she tamped it down. It would do no good to panic here. It would only serve to insure that she provided Sasuke and Ami and all of the people waiting at the bottom of the hill with the most epic wipe out they had ever seen. And she wasn’t really that much of a team player.

She continued the zigzag pattern, and to her relief, she felt herself beginning to slow. She was probably a quarter of the way to the bottom now. The people at the bottom of the hill were getting larger and larger as she approached, and she was beginning to feel the reality of the situation set in.

I did it.

I just rode the Slope.

Sakura could feel herself smiling as she drew nearer to the crowd. She was still moving too fast to stop properly, so she decided that she would just continue to the bottom, past the crowd, and double back. The crowd, seeing that she had no intention of stopping parted in the middle as she blazed through. She could hear them cheering around her and she grinned victoriously as she passed Ami, flipping her off in the process.

Sakura was so busy relishing the look on Ami’s face that she didn’t see the car turning the corner until it was too late.

Dimly, she heard someone scream behind her.

-x-

There was screaming. Who was screaming? Sakura wanted to tell them to shut up, but she couldn’t manage to get her tongue and mouth to form the proper syllables. And why was there water on her face? Was it raining?

Then she heard it.

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry Sakura. Please wake up. God damnit Sakura, open your eyes!”

Sakura tried to open her eyes, and she was met with blinding light. She groaned. Did someone turn on a lamp? A shadow fell over her and she almost sighed with relief. Good, the bright light was gone. And then the shadow began to take shape. Black hair, haloed by the sunshine, and a face that was almost as familiar to her as her own. But she had never seen it like this before. Pale and distraught, his eyes wide, panicked. Wait, was he crying?

“Sakura, oh God, I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” Sasuke choked, cradling her body gently in his lap.

‘Sh, Sasuke, it’s alright.’ She wanted to say. But her mouth wouldn’t form the words. 

She tried to raise her right arm and cried out in pain at the sensation.

The left it is, she decided. Raising her left arm, she ran her hand through Sasuke’s hair, humming thoughtfully.

“Soft,” was all she managed to say before unconsciousness claimed her once more.

-x-

Everything was black.

‘This must be what death feels like.’

Sakura would have sighed with disappointment, were she able to.

When she had imagined dying, it definitely wasn’t like this. Shouldn’t death be a little more exciting? Like, black nothingness was all well and good, but for the rest of eternity? She was already bored and she’d only been dead for (what felt like) five minutes.   

Experimentally, she tried to wriggle her fingers and toes. And promptly regretted that decision.

‘Actually, on second thought, I am in far too much pain to be dead. OW.’

Sakura opened her eyes with a pained groan.

Judging by the white ceiling, and generic white walls, Sakura was willing to guess that she was in the hospital. Also the whirling, beeping machines that were currently attached to her body were kind of a dead give-away.

‘Okay, not dead. This is good.’

In her perusal of the room, Sakura had managed to miss the most noticeable thing in the room, which at that moment choose to let out a very faint well timed snore. Sakura turned her head as much as she could (oh dear god, was she wearing neck brace?) to see a very large, very much asleep Uchiha Sasuke sitting beside her bed. He was slumped over the side of the bed, his head by her hand, sleeping peacefully. Sakura gazed at his sleeping face and felt all of her residual anger melting away.

Sakura knewthat she should still be mad at him for embarrassing her and being an asshole in front of all of those people, but she was just so tired from her near-death experience (honestly, it still hadn’t even hit her yet that she’d almost died. No pun intended) that she couldn’t find it in herself to hold a grudge. Instead, she choose to run the fingers of her good hand (her right arm was in a cast from the elbow to wrist, making it quite impossible to move) through his hair softly. It was, if anything, softer than it looked; cool and silky beneath her fingers. Sakura sighed to herself, as she ran the inky black strands through her fingers. She would fall in love with a guy with nicer hair than her. Absent-mindedly, she wondered what time it was, and how she could go about getting more drugs because her arm was really starting to hurt. At the feeling of her fingers in his hair, Sasuke began to stir into wakefulness. He opened his eyes slowly and looked up at her. He looked terrible – his hair was sticking up on one side (which was partially her fault) and his eyes were bloodshot, whether it was from crying or a lack of sleep, Sakura wasn’t sure.

“You look like you’ve been hit by a car.” She joked, laughing to herself, which then caused a painful round of coughing. “Ow. Okay, no jokes.”

Sasuke stood up and handed her a cup of water, which she gulped from greedily.

“Thanks,” she said.

He nodded before sitting down again.

The uncomfortable silence stretched on between them until Sakura could no longer stand it.

“Sasuke, you-“

“I’m sorry.”

Sakura stopped, gazing at Sasuke in surprise. He was staring at his hands in his lap. His back was slouched, shoulders hunched, as if he was waiting for her to berate him. He looked so un-Sasuke like, that Sakura sat there for a long time, at a loss for what to say.  

At her silence, Sasuke seemed to hunch even further, obviously taking it to mean that she didn’t accept his apology. He stood up suddenly, startling her.

“I’m sorry. I’m probably the last person you want to see right now, I can go find Naruto or Ino if you’d rather t-“

“I forgive you.”

Sasuke’s eyes whipped up to meet hers, wide with disbelief.

Sakura smiled at the expression on his face. He looked (adorably) perplexed. It was nice to see Uchiha Sasuke without his usual composure.  

“I’m not saying that what you did was right, or that it didn’t hurt my feelings, but I’ve realized that life really is too short to hold grudges against people. Again with the clichés, I know. But what I’m trying to say is that I forgive you. For everything.” Sakura took a deep breath, continuing. “And that includes not accepting my confession. I mean, maybe that was for the best? Maybe we both just need to put my confession behind us and move on with our lives-“

Sakura would probably have continued her rambling for another five or ten minutes, had it not been for Sasuke’s mouth pressed insistently against hers.

Her mind went blank.

Sasuke was kissing her.

Sasuke was kissing her.   

Her brain seemed to cease functioning, unable to process the fact that Uchiha Sasuke, the boy that she had been in love with for most of her life, was kissing her. And she wasn’t dreaming.

And she was kissing him back.

Sasuke pulled back and rested his forehead against hers, panting lightly. (Sakura couldn’t even imagine how her breathing sounded to his ears – she was sure she was panting like an asthmatic).  

His face was so close that she could see each individual eyelash as his eyes fluttered closed. She brought her left hand up and stroked the hair at the nape of his neck fondly. They stayed like that for what felt like hours, but in reality was only a few minutes. Finally, Sasuke straightened.

“Sakura, I don’t want to forget about your confession. The only part I wish I could forget was the part where I didn’t accept it right away. I was stupid. I should have never believed what Ami said. I wish I could go back and redo that moment. Do you remember when you told me that you’ve liked me since we were children?”

Sakura nodded dumbly, unable to believe what she was hearing. From Sasuke, of all people.

Seeing her nod, Sasuke continued. “You weren’t alone on that.”

“Wait,” Sakura blurted out. “You like me? You? Uchiha Sasuke? Like ME? Is this a side-effect of the drugs? Am I hallucinating right now? Maybe I really am dead and this is heaven…”

Sasuke stared at her, his face completely deadpan.

Sakura laughed nervously.

Okay, maybe not.   

Suddenly, she remembered something. “Hold on, you said that Ami told you something? What did she say?”

Sasuke had the decency to look ashamed here, scuffing his sneaker clad feet on the ground. He cleared his throat. “Well, somehow she knew that you were going to confess, and she told me that you were only using me to get closer to my brother…”

“Sasuke,” Sakura said blankly. “Your brother is gay.”

Sasuke crossed his arms and looked every bit the petulant six year old that Sakura had fallen in love with.

“I didn’t know that at the time,” He muttered.

Sakura didn’t know whether to cuss out Watanabe Ami for her stupid meddling, or laugh at the absurdity of the situation.

Instead, she yawned widely, and decided to go with the third option – go to sleep and deal with all of this in the morning. Noticing that Sakura was quickly falling back to sleep, Sasuke stood up and made to leave the room. He was stopped by a hand tugging on the back of his shirt.

“Wait,” Sakura said, her eyes already beginning to close. “Come here.”

Sasuke approached the side of the bed, leaning in when she beckoned him closer.

She pecked him lightly on the cheek. “Be here when I wake up?”

Sasuke nodded, his lips tilted slightly in a gentle smile.

Sakura sighed contentedly, settling back into the pillows as comfortably as she could.

‘I have to admit,’ Sakura thought, already drifting off to sleep. ‘When I imagined my first kiss, I definitely didn’t imagine I would be wearing a neck brace.’