runespoor: close-ups of naruto and sakura's face as sakura looks up and breathes sasuke-kun's name; the word bubble is empty. (sasuke-kun || narusaku is all about)
[personal profile] runespoor
Title: The Liar
Characters: Sasuke, Naruto, Sakura (NaruSakuSasu-ish, NaruSasu)
Rating: PG-13
Summary: "...And I love you so much, I'm gonna let you kill me...": a confrontation between Sasuke and his old team.
Notes: This is Sasuke narrating, so as usual it's an exercise in denial and selective obliviousness. An alternate confrontation before current canon.

The first time Naruto leaves himself wide open, Sasuke dismisses as typical moron, typical Naruto; then he suspects complacency – Naruto relying on the Kyuubi to heal his wounds. And that's—doesn't he remember Sasuke's fist spearing through his chest? Naruto's always been careless, but now he's devolved to suicidal. When it happens a third time, Naruto just lunges at him, arms thrown wide like he intends to tackle Sasuke or – or hug him-- and at the last moment Sasuke's wrist twists to bury the hilt of Kusanagi in Naruto's belly, cutting his breath off and leaving him wheezing, hands on his knees.


A clatter of boots rush by, slow compared to him, pink hair and red shirt, and Sakura – green eyes fixed on Naruto – runs her hand gloved with healing chakra down Naruto's chest. Sakura's not as dense as Naruto, surely she knows he could've stopped her at any time? Instead she holds herself in profile, her whole attention focused on Naruto. Her short hair leaves her neck bare, locks brushing against her nape. Sasuke could be on her in a blink and swing his blade down on her neck, and she'd never be able to block.

Last time he saw her she attempted to kill him – he almost killed her – and she still hasn't learnt the lesson she can't let her guard down around him.

“I'm okay, Sakura-chan,” Naruto tells her. His breathing is already back to normal. Sasuke could have hit harder.

“What did we say about running ahead?”

“...That I sent you a clone when I found him?”

“Small favours,” Sakura grouches.

They're children, the both of them. Children playing at devotion. Who look at himstunnedevery time he hurts them, like they can't accept he means it. 

Slowly, Sasuke draws his blade. Orochimaru rambled a lot about sword-wielding being a form of art, that demanded respect, and grace. Load of bull, according to Sasuke. Weapons are weapons. But there's something momentous about facing his old team again, nostalgic. It lends gravitas to his arm as his blade slides out of its sheath with a steely whisper.

Naruto's breath hitches.

It seems foolishly optimistic to hope that Naruto's finally got it through his thick skull that Sasuke is dangerous.

“C'mon,” Sakura says softly, hooking her hand through Naruto's elbow, pulling them closer together. She didn't use to touch Naruto so much, Sasuke notes. It's because he's here; she takes comfort in Naruto's staunch presence.

Naruto smiles at her like he stills hurts, the moron, and his breath catches again when he turns to face Sasuke again, flush against Sakura's arm but without seeming to pay attention to her. Sasuke activates the Sharingan; he's certain Naruto should be over the hit Sasuke gave him by now. At least the two of them tense when they see the red eyes, but the Sharingan's scanning only confirms that Naruto shows no damage to explain why he's still affected. His posture (insultingly, stupidly open) betrays no sign of internal harm. He's perfectly fine, except for the tension contracting his muscles – the set of his jaw Sasuke imagines breathing against, the clench of his fists that make Sasuke want to get closer, get in his face to show Naruto can't stop him, the muscles under his jacket Sasuke know will shudder when Sasuke is against him, like that time down the cliff.

It's the same tension that runs through Sakura, the length of her thighs taut, ready to jump, her shoulders flexed with the promise one of those impressive chakra-fuelled punches, green eyes blazing, the incomprehensible curl at the corner of her lips that the Sharingan revealed.

That's him, he realizes suddenly. The catch in Naruto's breath; the shadow of a smile pulling at Sakura's lips. Those have no—no possible, no tangible cause. That's Sasuke

They're still wearing him on their bodies, like Konoha's insignia or a bad habit.

That, that annoys him so much, he speaks first. That never happens; Sasuke's always the one who's silent through all their protestations, impassive and untouchable, except for when he wants. This time, he wants.

“Aren't you going to defend yourselves?” he asks, blank.

Naruto—smiles, deep and predatory. Sasuke's skin tingles all over – anticipation for Chidori, and the memory of Kyuubi's chakra at the Valley of the End, burning.

“We're not giving you the excuse,” Sakura says, in a clear voice.

It loosens something in his chest. Relief. The evidence falling into place, even to them, that they'll fight.

Still, he has to ask.

“What do you mean?”

Not taking his eyes off them, the no.1 unpredictable Leaf-nin and this girl who never made sense to him.

This time, she smiles, grim, and Naruto answers. They're distorted reflections of each other, turned toward him.

“See you on the other side, asshole.”

What are they--

Sasuke's eyes widen. Unbidden, his weight shifts.

They dash at him. Open, exposed, their head first and their arms thrown back like running from tree to tree.

Calling his bluff. Except he's not bluffing.

He jumps back.

Evading them.

He didn't decide to do that.

He strengthens his grip on Kusanagi, frowning – scowling? – this entire situation is ridiculous.

He's glaring when they stop next to him, one on each side.

“See?” Naruto says, so fucking smug it's a wonder it doesn't shatter three years and a half of unlearned habits and Sasuke doesn't sucker-punch him on the spot. 

Putting a sword through Naruto's thorax would work, in a pinch. Maybe not for long, thanks to the Nine-Tails, but it'd be a welcome respite while it lasted.

“Why didn't you kill us just now, Sasuke-kun?” Sakura asks, in a coaxing tone. Bedside-manner. He remembers the warmth of her arms around him, the – the certainty of them, as though she was holding the world around him.

He rearranges his traits into smoothness, but he can still feel the frown, this time he knows it's a scowl.

“...My body moved on its own,” he says.

He knows before they're out of his mouth that it's the wrong words to change their mind. If he could—swallow them back--

For a moment, things still.

Sharingan slows the world down, gives the user impossible speed. Between a heartbeat and the next, Sasuke could do anything. Seconds pass that exist only to him. They belong to him. He could plunge his blade into Sakura's chest, he could bite Naruto's lips, and no-one here has the power to stop him. 

He can be gone before Naruto's shouted laugh reaches him. Before Sakura's eyelashes sweep away the mist gathering in her eyes. Before they grin at him like things have gone right.

He can turn their victory into yet another loss. 

He always has that power, over them.

Sasuke breathes.
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