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Saving Graces

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"I'm sorry Sasuke…" Tsunade said as she tried looking anywhere other than at the man who was breaking into pieces right before her very eyes. "I-I'll leave you two alone. Whatever your decision is you won't be going through this alone." She told him as she turned around and walked away. 'We all will be going through this together.' The woman thought as she quietly closed the door.

As she walked away her heart felt heavier and heavier with every step. How can she call herself a Sanin when she couldn't even save her own student? Did she grow weaker in the past few years of retirement or was Sakura doomed the moment that poisoned blade pierced her skin? No... Sakura was the only one who would've been able to create the antidote. Tsunade was never the kunoichi Sakura was. Even in her prime…

As Tsunade turned the corner she saw the handful of people who were waiting for news. She could see a variety of different emotions on their faces. Some held hope for a positive outcome, some showed fear and others knew that no matter how many hours or days Tsunade worked on Sakura even she couldn't save their beloved friend. All Tsunade could manage was a solemn head shake. That did it. The ones who hoped for a better outcome fell to pieces and those who knew didn't show much of a reaction. They just seemed numb.

"Sasuke?" Naruto asked. He couldn't believe this was happening he sent Sakura on a B class mission for her first one in a decade, to get her used to being in the field again. He blamed himself.

Tsunade sighed. "He is inside with her. I told him he had two options, he could decide to take her off life support or continue with care but I told him that the likelihood that Sakura would ever wake up is slim to none. Her whole system is being kept alive by the machines. It's just..." She was about to continue but she couldn't she was exhausted both physically and mentally. Working on Sakura for the past seventy-two hours took a lot out of her. Tsunade collapsed on the chair in the hallway. "I advised him that Sakura wouldn't want to be kept alive like this. Just seeing her in that state kills me…" She said slumping her shoulders, looking at the floor.

After a few moments of silence, save for the quiet tears and sighs Tsunade looked up expecting Naruto to go off on one of his passionate rants about not giving up but she could not see the blonde anywhere.

"He went to see Sasuke." Kakashi said quietly.

"Ah." She said in response.

In Sakura's room.

Sasuke was stuck, almost frozen. He's been in a trance for the past few days, ever since Naruto sent him an emergency summoning that said he was needed back and that Sakura was injured during a mission. When the Uchiha returned he expected to be greatest by his wife admonishing him for worrying and coming back when she was perfectly fine but that wasn't the case. When he returned he was ordered to go to the hospital immediately. He couldn't believe it when Shizune told him that Sakura was poisoned and they may not be able to find an antidote for her in time. He scoffed and pushed behind her and into his wife's room. What he saw shattered his being. There on the bed was his wife who looked so pale that he couldn't distinguish her skin from the bed spread of the hospital. He didn't know what to think. His first instinct was to go into avenger mode and demand to know who did this to his wife. To his Sakura. When Naruto told him that the attacker was dealt with Sasuke powerless. He didn't know how to replace his feelings. He tried to help but he had no talent in medicine. He felt utterly useless.

With each passing day Sasuke felt like his soul was getting weaker and weaker along with his wife's. He always held on to the belief that Sakura wouldn't give up, that she would keep her promise to never leave him alone. But I guess this is his punishment. He left her behind so many times but he never left her for good. He never died on her.

A few minutes after Tsunade told him that there was nothing more they could do for his wife Sasuke let the past few days of overwhelming emotion hit him all at once.

"Why…" He asked softly as he fell to his knees beside his wife's bed and held onto her cold hands. "Tch, I thought you said you would walk this path with me forever. How can you keep that promise if you die and leave me here?" He said out loud as he gritted his teeth as if she could hear him.

"Sasuke?" A voice called out to him.

The man didn't need to look up to know who it was.

Sasuke waited a moment before speaking out. "What do I do Naruto…"

It was quiet for a moment before he heard a noise beside him as Naruto grabbed a chair from the window and brought it closer to his best friends.

"I don't know…" He answered as he sat down. It was the truth. He didn't know. If it was up to him he would never pull the plug. He'd do everything to help whatever part of Sakura there was left but he wasn't her husband. He didn't have the same connection to her as Sasuke did. It wasn't his choice to bare. All he could do was lend a shoulder, act as a crutch for whatever decision the man made.

"I can't tell you what to do. You're her husband. You know parts of her that nobody else does. I'm just here so that you don't have to be alone."

Silence wafted into the room.

"Pfft."

"Hahahaha!"

"S-Sasuke… What the hell is so funny!" Naruto yelled. Crap this is it. The man finally cracked. (Again)

"Look at me…" He started trying to regain some composure. "Fourteen years of being married and I am finally playing the part of a concerned husband. Just when I have to decide whether or not to say goodbye to my wife forever… I'm such an idiot." Sasuke said with a self-deprecating smile. His voice was so soft and emotional that Naruto cringed. "I couldn't even show this level of care to my wife when she was here. What right do I have now when she's dying…"

"Sasuke…"

"Tch, I messed up Naruto… I did everything wrong. I spent more time looking for an invisible enemy when I should've been looking after my family… Why did it have to take losing Sakura to figure that out…"

"We all make mistakes, notice things too late…" Naruto said after a few moments of silence.

"It doesn't mean that we love a person any less if we are a bit late."

"I think I am a bit more than a bit late…" Sasuke scoffed.

"Sakura might not wake up Sasuke." Naruto started but had to stop because of the knot in his throat. "But Sarada is still here. She will need you more now than ever if things don't turn out right… She will need her dad and you will need her. She's the one thing that will always connect Sakura to you no matter how many years may pass…"

"N-Naruto is right…" A quiet voice spoke out from somewhere in the room. The voice sounded strained and foreign to the men. They both looked towards the door but found no one. They then looked back at each other Sasuke was about to ask what was that but when he noticed Naruto's face of utter shock looking passed him Sasuke turned around.

If Sasuke was ever speechless before this would take the cake. There on the bed she has been laying on for the past few days Sakura was staring right back at Sasuke.

"S-Sakura?" Naruto spoke.

When Sakura heard her best friend call her name she gave him the best attempt of a smile she could in her weakened state.

"H-Hai Naruto."

"S-Sakura…" Sasuke drawled out.

"H-Hi Sasuke." She said and then coughed. "Y-You shouldn't have worried so much to come home. As you see I'm fine." She smiled.

Sasuke was so stunned by what she said he couldn't think of anything else to say besides his usual greeting whenever he came home. "Tadaima." He said smiling and laughing with so much emotion as he leaned his forehead against her own.

"O-Okaeri Anata." She responded with a smile.

After recovering from the shock of seeing Sakura raise from the dead Naruto ran out to tell the others that Sakura woke up. Once hearing this Tsunade rushed passed Naruto, knocking him over and into Sakura's room but stopped short when she saw that Sasuke and Sakura was engaged in the purest embrace and act of love she's ever seen. Sakura was wrapped up in Sasuke's arms and Sasuke was holding onto Sakura was if letting go would mean losing her.

Not wanting to impose Tsunade quietly shut the door closed and stepped into the hall way.

"Well done Sakura…" She smiled. Knowing that the only was the pinkette could've woken up by herself was if Sakura willed herself to wake up. The old woman had a feeling she knew why Sakura decided to come back and she had a feeling it had to do with a certain raven-haired Uchiha.

Hey guys, I hope you enjoy this story I have a second chapter which is all about Sakura's fight to stay, and live. Please let me know in a review or a msg if you would like to see it. :D

Chao,