You’re not Alone

anonymous submitted a promptAfter the war Sakura and Sasuke and dating and Sasuke starts having these episodes where he completely shuts down and stops sleeping and eating, disappearing from the house, wondering around in a daze. Sakura finds him near his parents graves.

A/N - Thanks so much for the prompt! I imagine Sasuke would go through side effects such as these for some time after he returns. Hope I did okay c: The title is based off of a song by Saosin!

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It is exactly three months after the war when Sasuke asks Sakura out. Sakura had sworn off initiating anything with Sasuke, and instead opted to repair their friendship, thinking that’s what he needed more than anything right now. 

But she noticed it.

The electricity that would course between them any time they sparred. Any time their faces were inches apart, her mind couldn’t focus on anything other than his lips, and the way they’d part to murmur her name with such silky precision. At first, she thought it was one sided. But after awhile  she saw his reactions too. Like, the subtle swallow anytime her fingers would brush against him during their healing sessions, or the red that dusted across the back of his neck or the tips of his ears whenever she’d smile at him warmly. 

So it should have followed that eventually, he’d ask her out. Even still, that didn’t make it any less of a shock to her. This was Sasuke, for Kami’s sake. The man she’d die for, the man she’d spent her entire life working to heal, the man who taught her how to be strong…

Sasuke.

Even though they were “going out” now, not much had changed. Even before they started dating, Sasuke would pick Sakura up from the hospital at night, saying he had nothing better to do anyway. They still sparred regularly, and went out to ramen with Naruto. Not much had changed, really. Except for when they were alone. Those times weren’t often, but when they both found time for each other, Sakura quickly found that Sasuke was trying. He allowed her to cuddle up next to him on the couch with a hot cup of tea in her hands. He allowed her to give him kisses whenever she wanted (even on the lips). And as reserved as he was, Sakura noticed him changing. The way he maneuvered his body according to hers when they were in the same room. The way he’d offer to get something for her in the cabinet if it was too high up. How he’d help her wash the dishes.

He was silent often, but Sakura always believed that actions spoke louder than words.

About a month after they started going out, Sakura noticed it.

He’d stopped eating for the past few days, and he hadn’t picked her up from the hospital at night. When she traveled to his apartment curiously, she found him training in the backyard in the early hours of the morning (ranging from 2AM until sunrise). She never confronted him though, only went back to her apartment to get some much needed rest.

But he was starting to worry her.

He had bags under his eyes, and his skin looked paler than usual. Which was really saying something. 

Sakura sighed, slurping ramen noodles as she explained the situation to Naruto. 

"I know," he answered, a rare serious expression gracing his features, "I don’t know what’s wrong with him. While you’re at the hospital I’ve been finding him wandering around the village aimlessly. He hasn’t sparred with me lately, either."

Sakura stared at her noodles in disinterest, swirling her chopsticks around the broth. “Do you think I should say anything?” she asked quietly, not sure if it was her place.

Naruto snorted. “Hell yeah, Sakura-chan. If he’s going to listen to anyone, it’s going to be you.”

Sakura rolled her eyes, “yeah right.”

After she finished her ramen, Sakura noticed she still had an hour left before she needed to return to the hospital. She decided to check up on Sasuke.

He wasn’t at his apartment though. Where could he be? 

Sakura wasn’t sure what made her think of this place, but she decided to go to the old Uchiha compound. Or, what was left of it anyway. After Pein’s attack on Konoha, much of the district had been destroyed. But perhaps…

She saw him, off in the distance. He didn’t seem to notice her yet, but her breath caught in her throat at the sight. 

Sasuke was kneeled down, facing a slab of stone that could only be one thing: a grave. She hesitantly stepped closer, worried that any abrupt movement could be harmful. His head snapped up, turning towards her swiftly. Once he saw who it was, however, he relaxed. “Sakura…” he whispered, returning his attention to the gravestone. 

Sakura knelt down beside her, bowing at the grave respectfully. “Ano…what are you doing here, Sasuke-kun?” 

He didn’t answer her right away, eyes staring intently at the words inscribed on the stone. Uchiha Fugaku…Uchiha Mikoto…

"Today is the anniversary of their death." he stated indifferently  tone devoid of emotion. 

So this is why he’d been acting like this…

Sakura brought her hand up to his shoulder and gave it a reassuring squeeze. “You’ve been worrying me. And Naruto. Why didn’t you tell me this date was coming up?”

Sasuke shrugged, brushing his fingers across the engraved words blankly. He wasn’t seeing her.

Sakura turned Sasuke’s face towards her. “Sasuke-kun,” she began seriously, eyes meeting his, “you have to understand that I’m here for you. You…you don’t have to face this stuff alone, okay? I’m here.”

"You’re…here...” he repeated slowly.

She nodded fervently, heart aching. “Yes.”

Something in Sasuke seemed to finally click, because in the next instant, her face was buried in his shoulder and she felt his strong arms wrapping around her tightly, crushing her to him. She felt his breath puff out across her throat, and was that wetness she felt? 

Relaxing into his embrace, Sakura wound her arms around him, rubbing circles on his back. “I’m here,” she reassured, kissing his forehead. “I’ll always be here.”