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Afire Love

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Sometimes the quiet can be violent, and that was certainly the case for Sasuke Uchiha. His thoughts were his worst enemies; he could fight off any opponent, but he could not keep his subconscious from sending him daily reminders of all he needed to atone for. In his pursuit of power, he had committed awful crimes and had ruined innocent lives all for the sake of revenge. His efforts were ultimately misplaced as all he believed to be true—namely that his brother, Itachi Uchiha, was a monster in the skin of a man—came crashing down around him. The elder brother he thought to have betrayed him by killing their entire clan had actually spared him from the fate that they doomed themselves to the moment they plotted against the village that cared for them. Itachi was no less than a hero—a humble man who had a simple but passionate desire to protect his younger sibling and the home that was dear to him.

Sasuke snuffed out his brother's fire, and now his own was threatening to burn him alive; he had grown strong, far surpassing the abilities of nearly every other shinobi that occupied the five great nations, but he sacrificed his sanity—the ability to sleep at night without the weight of sin resting heavily on your chest—for the power he acquired. The one ray of hope that reached him in his darkest hour was that of a friend and rival; it was the light of Naruto Uzumaki, the number one hyperactive knucklehead ninja and jinchuriki to the Nine-Tailed Fox. If it had not been for Naruto's persistence in saving the Sharingan user from himself, he surely would have completely lost his sense of self amongst the waves of darkness that had been drowning him.

No…That was not entirely true. There was someone else who sometimes occupied Sasuke's thoughts in his time as a rogue shinobi: Sakura Haruno, his old teammate. She had been weak in their time on the same team; however, she constantly offered unconditional support to him and Naruto, and he found that he had grown accustomed to her cheering him on from the sidelines. The night he departed the village, the medical kunoichi attempted to save him from the darkness, offering to love him and even assist him in exacting his revenge. Although he could never admit it to her, he almost had a moment of weakness as she pleaded with him not to leave her behind; he craved the presence of familiarity and normality when entering the unknown, which Sakura portrayed, and he nearly accepted her offer to accompany him. Then, something happened that had become uncharacteristic of him for years: he put his old teammate's well-being before his own desires. He knew that she could not find happiness, even with him, in a world that sharply opposed everything she had become used to. He left her in Konoha, as well as many bonds he created over his time as a leaf shinobi, and continued on his path of vengeance.

Naruto and Sakura never gave up on the Sharingan user. Although he was one of their greatest enemies for years, they pursued him, never ceasing to plead with him to come home; they were so sure that their old friend belonged in the Village Hidden in the Leaves and nowhere else. For a long time, it angered Sasuke that the knucklehead ninja and the medical kunoichi boasted about how they were certain he could not find what he was looking for by joining forces with the likes of Orochimaru or by following the path of revenge. He felt as though he knew himself better than anyone else; who were they to tell him how to live? Now, as he wandered the great nations in search of information on Kaguya and protected the people of the shinobi world, he realized how flawed his thinking had been. His friends wanted nothing more than for him to live healthily and happily, and had he listened to their objections to what he was doing, he could have lived a much more fulfilling life than he was at present.

After recovering from the injuries he obtained during the Fourth Great Shinobi War, Sasuke decided to again depart the village, but this time, it had been to set out on a quest of redemption; the only thing that felt right to him was to travel the world in search of absolution while protecting the people from within the darkness that he alone had become accustomed to. A similar scene to the one that had unfolded when he left the village the first time played out again as his former comrades of Team Seven saw him off on his new journey—Sakura asked Sasuke to allow her to come with him during his travels. Once again, the Sharingan user thought it best to deny her request; there would be no true place for her in the world he was returning to, regardless of his own personal feelings on the issue.

Most presently, Sasuke found himself wandering relatively close to Konoha; he had just returned to the Land of Fire from the Land of Wind after learning of somewhere he could uncover further information on the Rabbit Goddess. As he continued to close the distance between him and Konoha, he debated on whether or not it would be in anyone's best interest for him to visit the village. Although people assured him that, despite his past actions betraying their trust, he had proven himself to be a shinobi of the leaf once more, he still felt that he was not worthy of such a privilege.

As the Sharingan user's insecurities ate away at his mind, an image began calming his raging thoughts; Sakura came to the forefront of his musings, and with her came the remembrance of the last words he spoke to her before departing the Village Hidden in the Leaves once again: "I'll see you soon…and thank you." Why had he said such a trivial thing…? Certainly—due to his spur of the moment words—she remained waiting for him to make good of his implied promise.

Despite the fact that Sasuke recognized that there were more important matters to concern himself with, he pondered on whether or not he truly had desire to seek the medical kunoichi out. Had his words to her held any meaning whatsoever or had he just gifted her with what he knew she wished to hear? Seeking answers within himself, he found his way to the Konoha entrance gate. It seemed that the uncertainties plaguing his mind had not clouded his heart to the only home there was for him.

Walking through the crowded streets, Sasuke examined the bustling world surrounding him—parents held the hands of their children, couples enjoyed a nice dinner in various restaurants, friends enjoyed one another's company…The way the village was so alive with hope and happiness, it almost seemed as if the near catastrophic events that had taken place were only bad dreams that could be conquered by awakening.

The Sharingan user roamed aimlessly throughout the village as the sun set low in the sky, eventually winding up in front of a home he recognized to be his old teammate's. Staring at the door in front of him, he questioned his own subliminal desires. Maybe he craved the same familiarity and normality he had on his first lonely quest and was seeking that out in Sakura again. It was difficult for him to understand himself a majority of the time, so he just decided to permit his body to act as it willed with no thought on his behalf.

Sasuke reached up and knocked on the door of the medical kunoichi. It did not take long before the knob started jiggling as someone on the other end fumbled to unlock it. Swinging the door opened cheerfully, Sakura came into view; the friendly expression that was initially on her face transformed into shock at her gaze falling upon the man she loved.

"S…Sasuke? Is that really you?" Sakura questioned, stepping out into her outer doorway. The Sharingan user bowed his head slightly downward in an affirmative gesture, prompting his former teammate to continue speaking. "What are you doing here?!"

"I just happened to be in the area," Sasuke replied simply.

"Oh, I see…It's just…you've been gone for a while now, so it's a surprise to see you here…N-not that I'm not glad that you are! I just wasn't prepared for this is all! And…Sorry; I'm rambling…Would you, um…Would you like to come inside? My parents left for a mission this morning, so it'll just be me here for the night. I could make you something to eat if you're hungry or anything."

"Right. Thanks." The medical kunoichi stepped aside in order to allow the Sharingan user to make his way into the house. He scanned over his surroundings, noting a door to his left, a dining area to the front of him, and a staircase to the side of that. He swiftly removed his shoes before turning back toward his companion. She smiled gently at him before silently instructing him to take a seat at the table.

"Would you like some water, Sasuke?" Sakura inquired, already making her way over to the refrigerator.

"Sure," Sasuke answered shortly; his old teammate hurriedly fixed him a drink and handed it off to him.

"I'm, uh…glad you came when you did. I had today off, tomorrow too, so I was relaxing at home all day. I'm happy I was able to catch you while you're here." The Sharingan user had noticed that the medical kunoichi was not sporting her usual on-duty clothes; instead, she wore a pink tank top with black shorts and her hair pulled back into a messy bun. It was a surprisingly welcomed change. As Sasuke was not adding to the conversation, his companion continued speaking. "So…how's your mission been so far? You've been gone from the village for quite a while."

"I have gathered decent information on Kaguya; however, my journey is far from over," Sasuke replied, causing Sakura's expression to become sullen.

"I see…So you don't know how long you'll be away from the village when you leave again, huh…"

The Sharingan user noticed the sudden change in his old friend's voice. Unfortunately, he had never been particularly savvy with words and was not sure what an appropriate response to her sadness would be.

"You're still annoying." Sakura's eyes widened at Sasuke's sudden comment, tears forming at the base of them. "By waiting for me to return, you're doing nothing but putting yourself through unnecessary sadness."

A gleam of resolve seemed to appear in the medical kunoichi's green orbs as she took what the man she loved said into consideration. "You're probably right, but…" she started, bowing her head and clenching her fists at her sides. "But…it would hurt more to give up on you coming back to me…"

Sasuke stared silently at his old teammate, taking in her confession. She quivered slightly at the intensity of his gaze, but her determination did not falter. He stood from his place at the table and made his way over to where she was standing in the kitchen. Backing her up against a wall and placing a hand against it, the Sharingan user leaned in beside her and whispered, his hushed breath tickling her ear, "If you're so eager to have me, I can oblige."

"W-what do you m-mean?" Sakura stuttered, becoming flushed at the situation. Sasuke did not bother to answer; he pressed his lips against her neck and sucked lightly, causing his companion to exhale heavily. Involuntarily, she entangled her fingers in his midnight blue hair. At her positive response to his actions, he became a little more aggressive, nipping at her sensitive skin.

Having the woman who had pined after him for years squirming under his touch offered the young Uchiha a taste of the existence he had yearned for; he secretly ached for her just as much as she did for him. Trailing his right hand down her side until he was able to grip her ass, he broke the silence that had settled between them. "You're the only one who can save me from this loneliness, Sakura."

At Sasuke's words, the medical kunoichi completely succumbed to his touch. "This is probably going to sound stupid, but…I don't care whether or not you're being honest with me right now. I just…want to prove my love for you."

"Then do it," the young Uchiha coaxed, backing away from his former teammate by a couple of steps and skillfully undoing his pants. She took the hint and balanced herself on her knees, marveling at the size of his eight inch dick after it sprang free from the cloth that had previously confined it. Seemingly undeterred, she took it into her inexperienced mouth, demonstrating skill well beyond what he had originally thought she would possess. He tangled his fingers into her cherry blossom pink hair, pushing himself further into her throat and triggering her to gag. Sasuke stared expectantly at his companion, hungry with arousal but not wanting to push her passed her limits. When she met his gaze, no sign of doubt and uneasiness present in her eyes, he began fucking her face; she struggled to withstand his large cock being continuously shoved down her throat but did not attempt to push him away, obviously intent on providing him with as much pleasure as she could.

Satisfied with his assault of her face and mouth, Sasuke pulled back from Sakura, allowing her to gasp for the air that she had been deprived of. As he watched her attempt to regain her composure, his longing for her grew stronger; he had been honest with her when he told her she was the only one who could save him from the loneliness he thought he had become numb to long ago. Despite his previous indications, he did not doubt the authenticity of the love she felt for him; it was his feelings toward her that he was questioning. Did he seek out her touch because she was one of the only parts of his past that he had the courage to face or because affection for her dwelled within the depths of his heart?

Gripping the medical kunoichi's arm firmly, the Sharingan user yanked her to her feet. Confusion was evident in her eyes, but she did not question his intentions. He pulled her into him, their bodies sharing the heat of arousal. "Show me how deep your love for me runs, Sakura," he growled out lustfully before smashing his lips into hers; she passionately returned the kiss that she waited years for, reaching down and stroking the young Uchiha's dick as their tongues battled for dominance over each other's mouths. Her touch was warm around him, and he yearned to feel more of her warmth.

Sasuke broke the kiss that he and his old teammate had been sharing, earning an involuntary whine of disappointment from her. Turning her to face away from him, he pushed her against the wall and then instructed her to remove her clothing; she did as she was told with no resistance, and he followed suit, undressing swiftly. Sakura glanced over her shoulder at him, and he noticed as her gaze immediately rested on the remainder of his left arm, which had been almost completely blown off in his final confrontation with Naruto. Upon a sorrowful expression making its way onto her face, he addressed her. "It was a small price to pay in return for the crimes I committed; I should have paid for them with my life."

"Don't talk like that, Sasuke! I…I don't feel that way about it…and it hurts to hear you say things like that…So, please…stop…" Tears cascaded effortlessly down Sakura's pale skin; the Sharingan user allowed an almost undetectable grin to grace his lips at the situation.

"Pathetic," Sasuke stated as he positioned himself behind his companion, placing his dick between her thighs and moving slightly; she continued to look back at him in both sadness and desire, prompting him to continue. "…I'm pathetic for wanting someone like you so badly."

After finishing his thought, Sasuke pushed himself into Sakura's pussy, earning a pained but equally lustful yelp from the medical kunoichi; he groaned at the sudden warmth that being inside of her offered him. Her walls were tight around his cock, and although he would have loved to begin pounding her, he remained still as she adjusted to the entirety of his dick.

Once Sakura's pussy relaxed around him, the Sharingan user thrusted into her powerfully, leading her to put her hands against the wall in order to maintain her balance; with her steadying herself, Sasuke did not hold back and rammed into her time and time again, hitting the far reaches of her inner walls. Her moans of pleasure became shrieks of ecstasy as his movements quickened with increasing force behind them.

Sasuke could feel himself reaching his breaking point, and he assumed his former teammate was coming close to hers too, as her pussy was tightening around him and her screams had become cries filled with the longing to release the tension that had manifested in her stomach. Realizing how close they were to climaxing, he gripped her hair and jerked her head back, leaning in close to her ear once more. "Are you sure that you want to keep waiting for me to return?"

"For this…I'll wait for as long…as I have to," Sakura forced out through labored breaths. Satisfied with her answer, the young Uchiha thrusted into her as hard as he could; she screamed his name, her pussy tensing with her orgasm and bringing him to his own climax. Pushing his cock to the furthest point inside of her that it could reach, he released himself into her, unable to stifle a moan of her name as he did so.

Sasuke rested his head on his companion's back, her legs trembling and threatening to give out. He slowly pulled himself out of her, some of his cum leaking out as he did, and brushed his lips against her smooth skin. They lingered in their position for a moment or two, both of them having gained their own sense of fulfillment from their affairs.

Sakura glanced over her shoulder at Sasuke, and he immediately recognized the look in her green orbs; they held the same sorrow and hope that they had the day he left the village in search of power. She had made love to him believing that he would abandon her shortly afterward.

"Why do you do this, Sakura?" the Sharingan user questioned, more to himself than to his old friend.

"Do what…?" Sakura asked in return.

"Put yourself through this pain."

"B-Because…Because I love you."

"If love means torturing yourself, then you're better off without it."

"You're wrong!" the medical kunoichi shouted, twirling around to face Sasuke. "A part of love is sacrifice, and if you would rather be out traveling the world than be with me, then…then I won't try to stop you! I'll just hope that you know that you have a home to come back to whenever you feel like it…"

"My quest for redemption keeps me from being where I would rather be," the young Uchiha stated coolly. "However, I am here tonight. Let's both focus on that."

Sakura stared, shocked, at Sasuke; after processing his words, she lurched forward and wrapped him in an embrace, her body rising and falling with silent sobs. "I'm so glad you're home, Sasuke…Even if it's just for tonight…"

Love was torture, and Sasuke could not understand why the medical kunoichi still held so tightly to it; yet, as the warmth of her unclad figure radiated against his own, her reasoning held little importance to him; he felt the familiarity and the normality that he had craved for so long.

The Sharingan user could not remain with Sakura; it was a reality that she had come to accept somewhere along the way, and to his surprise, this pained him more than her pleading with him to stay ever had. It was the sacrifice that she chose to make.

Sasuke could not offer Sakura any comforting words, but he saw a strength and determination in her that led him to believe she did not need them to make it through the days she would have to spend without him. Her definition of love led her to find contentment in her loneliness, allowing her to wait for the man she cared for to return to her.

The two former Team Seven members spent the night in each other's company, a luxury that they had never previously enjoyed. A comfortable silence remained between them before they drifted off into a slumber; for the first time in what felt like an eternity, Sasuke was not haunted by nightmares and the memories that usually plagued his mind. Upon leaving the following morning, he repeated to Sakura that he would see her again soon, both of them understanding that 'soon' was no more than a placeholder. He could not promise her that he would be back at any specific time, but that was part of the beauty of the bond that they had established somewhere along the shit-storm called life—time apart did not mean drifting apart; they always knew they would see each other again when the time was right, and maybe, just maybe, that's what love truly was—

An unspoken promise that distance would do nothing but fan the ever-raging flames that had ignited between a man who sinned and a cherry blossom who, slowly but surely, helped him to start blooming anew.