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An Improper Apology Properly Backfires

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Naruto was in a rather complicated point in his life.

On the one hand, he had finally managed to convinced his longtime friend/rival/archenemy (it was complicated) to come back home and give up his, mildly justified but mostly stupid at this point, quest for revenge.

On the other hand…well, that was just it, he currently did not have another hand, or most of the arm really, and was bleeding (rather heavily actually wow Kurama must be as bushed as he is right now) from the tattered remains of his elbow.

Moreover, to top it off his friend was very much in the same predicament, so unless someone came along and fixed that unfortunate bleeding business the last two and a half years (and change) would have been for absolutely nothing and Naruto would feel pretty darn stupid.

Thankfully, he and Sasuke were saved from that rather ignominious fate by the appearance of their mutual friend, her pink hair contrasting harshly around the burned and shattered grey of their battlefield. Their teacher a few steps behind her, keeping his distance somewhat, probably so he could see all three of them in one place and not in the process of trying to kill each other. (Which was a depressingly rare event now that Naruto thought about it.)

The experienced medic ninja went quickly to work on stemming the bleeding, her soft, lovely green healing Jutsu covering the two mangled stumps they had earned because of their final clash, muttering under her breath about having to clean up after their messes and just wanting to go home already. (Naruto could sympathize; after he and Sasuke free everyone from the genjutsu he was gonna sleep for a month

While Naruto was basking in the wonderful calming breeze that was Sakura's healing technique, he caught Sasuke looking at her through half lidded (and bruised yikes Naruto would have to apologize for that) eyes as she worked, something going soft as he did.

It made Naruto smile, knowing how Sakura felt about the black haired bastard next to him he hoped that the two of them could work things out (eventually of course, with a lot of therapy and awkward talks) and pick up from where they left off way back when they were gennin.

Just as he thought that, the battered last Uchiha turned his head slightly to face Sakura directly, visibly swallowing the dryness in his throat (or maybe it was just Naruto, fuck he could really go for some nice and warm ramen right now) before he spoke up softly, "Sakura…I…"

"Hush for now," She reprimanded without sparing him a glance, her gaze rooted to the grievous wounds of her friends, "I need to focus."

A moment passed, wind dragging around dust as Sasuke continued to hold his gaze on Sakura as she slowly and meticulously healed them before he spoke up again, "Sorry…"

Naruto smirked a bit at that, sure, that apology was a bit brief but it was a start! He was sure that once Sakura finishes with her healing the two of them could get to talking things out properly and be able to-

Wait where did the healing go?

"What was that?"

Oh no.

Sasuke was obviously just as stumped by the sudden halt of the healing Jutsu, and propped himself up on his remaining elbow to look at Sakura in mild shock, "Why did you-?"

"What," She said again, her mouth slowly working around the word until it was sharp as a knife to the back of the neck, "Did you just say, Sasuke?"

She was calm. But not just any kind of calm, Naruto knew that kind of calm. It was a calm he had heard and had been on the wrong side of many a time when he pushed old lady Tsunade a bit too far.

It was the kind of calm a person who could crush mountains in their grip displayed while they were right on the verge of being decidedly not calm.

Sasuke, obviously feeling the sudden spike in killing intent in the air but not knowing what was causing it (you idiot you fool you moron) kept going, "I…I said I was sorry…" Sakura was throwing him a blunt and blank look and for some ungodly reason he kept going, "For…everything up until now."

Sakura took a deep, deep breath, "Really now?" She said from between her teeth, a hint of amazement and an edge of what could only be blood boiling anger peeking out from behind her tone, "Are you sure about that? Everything Sasuke?"

"W-well y-yeah-"

"Because that first apology sounded kind of glib to me." She interrupted him, crossing her arms over her chest as she looked down the bridge of her nose on the man that tried to burn the world down a few hours ago but was now very much at her mercy and very well aware of it, "If I'm being honest."

Naruto was starting to hope that Kaguya was, in fact, not dead, so she could jump out of a rock and give Sakura something else to direct her sudden ire.

"So glib in fact," She continued briskly when Sauske just sat there with wide eyes and without a word, "That I can only assume that you actually only meant to apologize for the one thing."

Sasuke looked ready to climb into a hole, which was a rather odd look for a man that fought a world creating goddess not too long ago.

"So, what are you apologizing for, Sasuke?" Her mouth twisted into something between a scowl and a smirk as she spat that sentence out, "Because, frankly, you have got a lot to choose from, so you'll have to be specific."

Sasuke, somehow finding his voice, cleared his throat, "I-I…"

"Can't choose?" She asked, voice covered in rotten honey, before her face took on a decidedly fake smile, "Or maybe you're having trouble thinking of them all?" Her smile grew sharp, "That's okay, I'll just list all the ones I remember and you just stop me when I get to the one you meant."

Naruto, finally finding his footing, figuratively speaking, propped himself up as well to try and stop this disaster before it goes any further, only to be stopped by a small pebble hitting the side of his head.

He snapped his head to where the rock came from to see his teacher motioning for him to stay quiet while he held up a sign that read, "Don't stop her now, it's just getting good!"

He loved Kakashi dearly, but Naruto was starting to think he was not the best teacher.

"Let's see…" Sakura started, counting off fingers, "Are you apologizing for…leaving the village to join a notorious villain? Who tried to destroy our village a few weeks before?" She said mildly, staring Sasuke straight in the eye as she recounted the event that, arguably, started this whole mess, "Which, in case you didn't know, nearly costed the lives of five of our friends when they were sent to get you back, not including Naruto."

She pointed at the aforementioned blond with a distracted gesture of a thumb, which afforded him an opportunity to speak "Speaking of me almost dying!" He lifted his half healed, and still bleeding, arm stump into view, "Could you, maybe, have this conversation after you heal us?"

"Be quiet Naruto," Sakura muttered under her breath, making Naruto shrink where he sat, "Sasuke and I are having a conversation, you aren't involved."

To tell the truth Naruto felt pretty involved, but thought better of voicing that opinion for fear that Sakura would hear it and make him completely involved.   

"What else…" Sakura continued lightly, slowly counting off another finger, "What else…oh yes!" She smiled now, fake and thin and overly cheerful, a smile that grew more and more strained as she continued to speak, "Or maybe you're talking about the time that, after me and Naruto looked for you for a whole two years, the first thing you did when you saw us again was try and stab Naruto through the back?"

Sasuke was looking rather sheepish at this point, to put it mildly, but still managed to try and get a word in edge wise, "Well, you see-"

"Or maybe a while after that! When we, again, didn't see you for months and you show up out of nowhere and try and kill every world leader in the Kage Summit?"

"To be fair," Naruto spoke up meakly again, his better judgement losing to blood lose, "He was only trying to kill Danzo."

"Along with anyone who got in his way which included the Raikage and Garra," Sakura actually deemed it worthy to glance at Naruto this time for that comment and the half look she gave him made him regret many life decisions, "Now, again, be quiet Naruto."  

Naruto merely nodded as he accepted that this train wreck was happening and all he could do was steer as clear as he could manage.

"Or, going back to when we were younger, are you talking about the time you and Naruto fought on the hospital roof?" She was actually starting to heat up, her face going a bit red from anger and her hands beginning to gesture along with her speech, "A fight which only happened because you…what? Where having inferiority crises towards your brother? Towards Naruto, what?"

 Sasuke shrunk back from Sakura as she went on, his face a mixture of frustration and shock.

"Going back to the Kage Summit again, are you apologizing for trying to kill Naruto, again, for the third damn time?" She was baring her teeth at this point, poking a finger in his chest as she went on, "Or for trying to choke me to death? Or for swearing you'll destroy the leaf village and kill everyone in it for a, admittedly short sighted and heartless, decision made to stop a civil war, made by a handful of people, over 10 fucking years ago?"

Kakashi spoke up from behind, "Despite his brother wanting him not to!"

Sakura turned to point at the older shinobi, "Despite his brother wanting him not to thank you sensei!" She turned back to Sasuke, eye blazing with unrestrained anger, "Or maybe this is about something a bit more recent?" She actually managed to look angry and morose all at once as she really started getting into it, "Like when, a few hours ago, after we somehow managed to survive a whole damn war and fight and beat a literal goddess the first thing, the first damned thing out of your mouth is wanting to kill the Five Kage!" She threw her arms up into the air in sheer astonishment, "Again! Like we've all learned absolutely nothing!"

Sasuke's face twisted a bit, a flare of anger, or desperation who knows, making him straighten up as she yelled at him, "Sakura listen-"

"No YOU listen!" She poked his chest again, hard, bringing herself to eye level with him, "Because there's one more thing you might want to apologize for! Specifically when I, for some stupid reason, after everything you've done to the village, to Naruto, to me, I still give you a chance, and I still say that I love you after all this time and everything that's happened…" She stops and her lower lip trembles and Naruto thinks he sees Sasuke panic, and then she glares, "…And what do you do?"

Sasuke has the common decency to look ashamed, reaching out with his remaining hand towards her, "Sakura…I-"

She slaps it away as she damn near snarls at him, "And what do you fucking do!? You put me through a genjutsu that involves you shoving a hand through my chest so I would faint and not be able to stop you two morons from doing-" She glares down at their two bloody stumps one more time before pointing furiously at them, "-This to yourselves!"

Sakura huffs heavily for a few moments while Sasuke just stares at her, utter shock and disbelief carved on every feature that was not already covered by a bruise. (Naruto wasn't much better having crawled a few inches away while Sakura was screaming her head off)

Eventually Sakura manages to steel her face into something resembling calm as she once again crosses her arms and glares at Sasuke, "And there you go! That's the short list!" She takes another deep breath before looking him straight in the eye, "So, what are you apologizing for Sauske?"

He visibly struggles for something to say before letting out a harsh breath and looking back at her, "I-I already said that I'm sorry! For everything!"

"Well, as I have spent the last few minutes firmly establishing," She grounded out between her teeth, "That everything is going to need a little more than a fucking sorry."

He rubs his face in frustration, "Come on Sakura, you know I'm bad at this…this…"

"This what?" She asked impatiently, a bit more anger showing on her face, "Again Sasuke, you'll have to be more specific."

"Bad with," He gestures vaguely with his one hand, his face caught between shame and frustration, "With…being open with my emotions! You know that!"

Sakura freezes.

Naruto could actually feel the temperature sink as she stared wide eyed at Sasuke (poor fool), and then he could feel it slowly climb back up as her face twists in sudden rage, whatever tenuous grip she had on her anger snapping away.

She explodes, "NO FUCKING SHIT!" Her shout echoes across the field and even makes Kakashi cup his ears from where he's sitting. She points an accusing finger at the Uchiha again, "You and your dumbass clan's emotional constipation is the biggest reason this whole dumpster fire of a situation was able to happen in the first place!" She jabs him in the chest, "And you're one the biggest of the damn matches!

Sasuke's eye twitches and he pushes her finger away with an annoyed growl, "What do you want me to say Sakura?"

She growls right back, "What do you fucking think?"

"Didn't we already establish that that is a thing I am bad at?"

Impossibly she gets even angrier, "Than try HARDER!" She covers her face with her hands and shakes her head, "Oh just forget it, I'm just yelling for the sake of it at this point, you're never going to…" She rubs her forehead as her other hand glows again with the green light of her healing jutsu, "Never mind, just…just lay back down so I can stop you two from bleeding to death."

Naruto was more than glad to do just that, crawling back into place as Sakura reaches over to continue healing him…only for Sasuke to grab the hand meant for him and disrupt her technique, Naruto was getting real tired of these two's drama.

"Sasuke what the hell-"

"I'm sorry." He says to her, ignoring Naruto entirely, his tone serious and firm, "I'm sorry for leaving to join Orochimaru, I'm sorry for nearly getting so many people killed over my obsession with getting revenge," His mouth twists slightly, "I'm sorry for trying to kill you and Naruto every time you tried and talk some sense into me."

Sakura's rage was mostly startled out of her by Sasuke grabbing her hand, but some of it came back when he wouldn't let go, and she was just so done that at this point she almost didn't want to hear him and tried to get her hand out.

But he kept going, "I'm sorry for only thinking of myself, I'm sorry for letting my selfishness and my anger cloud my judgment and make so many stupid mistakes." He drags her a bit closer to him, anger in his voice, "I'm sorry for being a rage obsessed, closed off, uncaring asshole who completely ignored the sacrifices the people around me made because I was to afraid to cope to the fact I was hurting."

Sakura was still struggling a bit, but hearing his tone made something in her slow down to listen.

"And, more than anything I'm sorry-" He stops, an unrecognizable look in his eyes as he locks gazes with Sakura, "I'm…I'm sorry for leaving you on that damn bench."

Sakura stops entirely, she's looking at Sasuke in complete shock, as if he said something she didn't expect in a million years. The rage in her face drains away completely as she and Sasuke look at each other, the latter breathing a bit heavily as he lets her go and leans back to rest his back on the rocks.

With a grunt, he says it once more, "I'm sorry…for everything…"

Sakura looks at him with a not unkind gaze, her mouth quirking up in a sad smile as she lets out a small breath, "…You better be." She rubs her hands and returns them to their previous position above the, still bleeding by the way, stumps of the two boys.

Naruto wanted to say a lot of things once it got quiet, mostly to ask when in the hell that all came from, and what bench Sasuke was talking about, but as soon as he got enough energy to speak all he said was this, "We need to wake everyone up, I need to talk to Hinata."

Sakura looked at him from the corner of her eye with a smirk, "So are you finally going to do something about what she did with Pain?"

Sasuke glanced at the two, "Pain? What did Pain do?"

"I'll explain later, so Naruto, are you?"

He was quiet for a second, "Yeah," He says eventually, "And for one more reason."

Sakura exchanged a quick look with Sasuke before looking back at Naruto, "What reason is that?"

"The last thing I wanna be is a third wheel to you two."