Prompt: After the war, the elders make an attempt on Sasuke’s life while he’s resting at the hospital. Sakura intervenes.
Old prompt, but it seemed fitting. And because I don’t think Sasuke’s intentions are evil. It’s Sakura’s expression that scares me.
As she walked down the quiet corridors, Sakura stifled a yawn while she balanced Sasuke’s breakfast tray with the other hand. She was early; he wouldn’t be up yet. But she planned it that way. Sakura couldn’t help herself, constantly checking on him in the early hours of the morning for her own accord, a pleasant reminder that it wasn’t a dream. After all these years of waiting and hoping, Sasuke was finally back in the village.
Quietly, she entered Sasuke’s room and set the tray on the bedside table. She smiled. Normally, she would have left immediately afterward, content with the mere sight of Sasuke sleeping peacefully, ignorant of her daily morning visits. But that morning, as she looked down at Sasuke, Sakura realized the few minutes she allowed herself to gaze at him weren’t enough. She wanted to stay—just a little bit longer, just a few more seconds—and that would be enough.
Without realizing it, she began to stroke Sasuke’s hair, an intimate gesture, wondering what he dreamt about, wondering if the nightmares finally stopped. And just for that moment, even if it was selfish of her, Sakura allowed herself to pretend, pretend they were lovers, pretend he’d open his eyes, look at her and say—
“Sakura. We didn’t expect you to be here.”
Snatching her hand from Sasuke, Sakura whipped around and suddenly found herself face to face with the village elders, Homura Mitokado and Koharu Utatane. She didn’t even hear them enter. Out of habit, she was about to greet them, but she stopped herself. Something was off. A knot formed in the pit of her stomach as she noticed the syringe in Mitokado’s hand.
“What,” Sakura said slowly, her eyes never leaving the syringe, moving herself to further block Sasuke from their view, “are you doing here?”
However, neither elder answered her question. They weren’t even looking at her. “Move aside, Sakura,” Homura said evenly, “This doesn’t concern you.”
She shook her head. “Not until you tell me what you’re planning to do.”
They exchanged glances, conflicted. But after a few moments, Homura nodded his head to Koharu. “We’ve come here to finish what Danzo started. We’re putting an end to the Uchiha clan once and for all,” she said calmly, as if she was merely speaking of the weather, “We just didn’t expect anyone to be here this early.” Koharu paused. “You especially.”
Sakura felt her blood run cold; her heart pound; her palms begin to sweat. “But—but why?”
“Because he’s dangerous,” Homura snapped, taking a threatening step forward.
However, Koharu held him back, her eyes saying not now. She turned to Sakura. “He’s too dangerous to keep in the village,” she said, attempting to reason with her, “And the safety of Konoha is our number one priority.”
“But Sasuke joined the alliance. He protected the village. He saved us. He—”
“He’s unpredictable,” Koharu interrupted, “We heard about that stunt he pulled on the battlefield. And despite its favorable outcome, we can’t trust him.”
Sakura glared. “You mean you can’t control him.”
Koharu pursed her lips, unable to deny the accusation, and looked at Homura, who nodded. “I think,” she said, “this conversation is over. Now, move. This is an order by the Konoha Council.”
Sakura stole a glance at Sasuke—still sleeping, still dreaming, still breathing—her thoughts drifting back to the moment when both Naruto and Sasuke came to her aid. She clenched her fists. “Order or not,” she said, returning her attention to the elders, determination in her voice, ready to accept any of the consequences, “I won’t let you harm him.”
“Sakura,” Homura said sternly, “We can forgive you for this—lapse in judgment, but if you don’t step aside, we will use force.”
It went quiet, tension in the air, both the elders and Sakura in a mental standoff. But after a few moments, Sakura sighed, her shoulders slumping forward, and took a step away from Sasuke.
"Good girl," Homura said, "We knew you’d see it our—”
However, before either Homura or Koharu could move any closer to the hospital bed, Sakura knocked Sasuke’s breakfast tray off the bedside table, the jarring sounds of glass, metal and plastic coming in contact with the floor echoing throughout the room.
Red. Sakura could see the anger on Homura and Koharu’s faces, but she didn’t care. Holding her arms wide, Sakura stood her ground, using her body as a barrier between the elders and Sasuke. “I told you,” she said, spitting out each word slowly and dangerously, “I will not let you harm him.”
Relaxing ever so slightly, Sakura bowed her head and smiled, letting out a sigh of relief. Sasuke was awake. He sounded groggy, disoriented, but awake. “Sasuke-kun,” she said, lifting her head and turning it slightly so she was looking at him through the corner of her eye. She could feel the tears begin to form, but she would not allow herself to cry. Not yet. “Listen to me very carefully.”
He sat up, his eyes travelling to the spilled contents of his tray on the floor to the elders and back to Sakura. And then he understood. “But—“