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Pursuing Yesterday

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Her skin tingled under the stares that were threatening to rupture her skin. Pointed and sharp. Slowly and painfully. As if to discover her deepest darkest secrets that was secretly kept in the bottomless pits of her mind.

The blonde pushed her lips together in a timid gesture, displaying this gentle side in an attempt to ward off the stares and uncomfortable whispers.

Naruko mentally winced at the sudden change in her personality. She had never felt so defensive before. She had always went on and whacked her head straight into the problem and strangle it with her ideas to finally solve it.

Whenever it was with people, she'll just casually come up to them with a straight face, asking 'what the hell is your problem?' before engaging in a battle of harsh words and immature insults. She'd always come out victorious though, which had probably built the solid foundation of her confidence.

She slowly turned her focus on the priest whose eyes ran over the script as he uttered the powerful words that will signify their union.

This was it. The day she had been dreaming for, ever since her feelings for her dark-haired childhood frenemy had become too apparent and inescapable. The occasion she had replayed in her mind a million times over and over since she had fully grasped the concept of love and how she cannot just walk away from it.

"Do you, Uchiha Sasuke, take Uzumaki Naruko as your lawfully wedded wife for as long as you both shall live?" The priest recited, looking expectantly at the dark-haired man whose dark eyes seemed to take on nothing. But Naruto knew Sasuke long enough to be able to tell that in those depths, a thousand raging emotions were concealed.

Sasuke turned to her, face devoid of any expression. It was strictly professional, no hard feelings and no warmhearted sentiments.

Naruto had realized it at that moment. Everything had completely changed now.

"I do." It was cold and hard.

Sasuke wasted no second, immediately shifting his gaze into the priest after speaking. Naruko swallowed heavily. Not even a simple lingering gaze was directed unto her, every touch, every look, it was purely calculated.

"And do you Uzumaki Naruko, take Uchiha Sasuke as your lawfully wedded husband for as long as you both shall live?" The priest's lips moved up and down, the sound of his voice slowly losing itself into a low drone.

"I do." Naruko responded without a second thought. She already knew her role in this scam.

"I now pronounced you man and wife." The priest's eyes twinkled in delight as he faced the groom, the way it usually does when two lone souls join together in holy matrimony. "You may now kiss the bride."

Warm pale hands cupped her cheeks, as the hauntingly gorgeous face of her past stood in close proximity, gradually inching closer before the distance disappeared and their lips finally met. Naruko's heart pounded in her chest as she inhaled the sweet scent of the agonizingly beautiful Uchiha Sasuke, her heart aching at the familiar sensation.

She missed this.

She missed the feeling of those lips and the spark of electricity.

She missed him.

The warmth that was slowly coursing into her body from the touch of their lips evaporated in a snap as their lips separated, ending the brief kiss.

Naruko breathed shakily, blinking repeatedly to clear the fog out of her mind and regain her composure. Without even sparing a glance in her direction, Sasuke immediately took off from her side, accepting the guests' congratulations and reciprocating handshakes.

She watched, as the gloriously sculpted back retreated into the herd of pretentiously gleeful guests. Naruko's thumb nails dug into her palm as she endured the painful constriction of her heart that seemed to be an everyday occurrence since 15 years ago. She swallowed the lump in her throat, redirecting her depressing thoughts to the wedding that was in the process of ending.

Their wedding was held in a large hotel. It was an intimate ceremony, consisting of only a handful of people ranging from their families to business partners. Naruko did her best to show her enthusiasm. There was a grin plastered on her face as she wallowed in congratulations, hugging and thanking everyone for gracing the occasion with their presence.

Out of the corner of her eyes, Sasuke approached the silver-haired guard, his lips releasing a series of commands, before turning his head and catching her gaze. Naruko blinked, as if wary of the sudden attention. She blinked once more before realizing that the Uchiha Sasuke was in fact staring at her, and not just out of necessity to sustain their act ..... or is it?

Sasuke glided across the floor gracefully, both intimidating and enticing at the same time. The raven-haired man took his rightful place beside his new wife before slipping a warm pale hand against the blonde.

Naruko stiffened, shocked yet unopposed to the sudden movement.

Sasuke nodded towards the blonde-haired maiden near the silver-haired man.

Ino, Sasuke's assistant, sauntered gracefully towards the center before waiting patiently until all attention was on her. She flashed a dazzling smile, bewitching the guests who seemed intoxicated by her mere appearance. The young blonde was dressed impeccably in a glamorous purple dress, exposing a fair amount of pale skin. Her hair, which was a lot more lighter than Naruto's, were accentuated with glittering accessories. Her smile, which was perfectly performed was permanently placed on her face, coaxing everyone into watching her and only her.

"In behalf of the new Mr. and Mrs. Uchiha ..." Sasuke's assistant started to speak, as Naruko's mind wandered off until all she could hear was a low drone.

Naruko felt a tug in her hand, before looking up and watching the Uchiha's dark eyes gazing into hers. "Let's go." He uttered, pulling Naruko's hand towards the right way, as the silver-haired man followed them, leaving the guests who were now currently fixated on the beguiling assistant.

Naruko silently marveled at the feeling of Sasuke's hand on hers, savoring the familiar warmth and security it radiates. The pair, along with the accompanying guards arrived at their destination on a spacious parking lot that was obscured from everybody's vision. As soon as they were safely hidden against the stares, Naruko felt her hand turned cold and limp when Sasuke released his grip on hers. She tried to swallow the disappointment and focused her attention instead on two BMW's that were safely parked in front of them.

Sasuke dusted the invisible dirt out of his suit, primping it to perfection. He nodded towards the same masked man who seemed to accompany him everywhere. The man moved towards the silver car, opening the door.

"Go with Kakashi. He will take you to the mansion. I have some business to attend to." He stated in a tone laced with nothing before sauntering towards the black car.

Naruko felt her throat itch. She wanted to say something, to stop him from leaving. 

She wanted those burning dark eyes too look at her, even if it's just for a brief moment. 

"When will you be back?" She blurted out.

The effect was immediate, and Naruko resisted the urge to bash her skull with the largest rock in the vicinity.

Sasuke stopped abruptly, and the blonde wondered if he would explode and sneer and blame her for all that she did. If the pent up pain and frustration would become too much to handle and he would finally break.

She pondered over a hundred different scenarios in one second, though all of which reached a single conclusion. One that would have him aggressively pinning her with a glare and asking how dare she for asking. That she didn't have a right anymore. 

"I will be back late." Without even glancing back, the door closed and the engine started, but Naruko was still unable to move. Her eyes were trained on the black car, who carried her new husband away, creating more and more distance. 

Sasuke answered her.

It was different from what she had imagined, but it was worse. That wasn't supposed to be it.

She was liberated from her stupor by a discreet cough. She blinked, watching as Kakashi uncomfortably looked at everywhere but her. 

She sighed, regaining her composure and entering the car. 

Everything was her fault, yes.

But she wasn't Uzumaki Naruko for nothing.