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13 April 2012 @ 12:02 pm
oneshot - sasukarin; 5 times Sasuke fell for Karin  
Back when I wrote 5 times Karin cried in front of Sasuke (and one time she didn't), I mentioned that I had in mind a piece following the same criteria but from Sasuke's POV - now, two years later, I've finally written it lol

Title: 5 times Sasuke fell for Karin (and the one time he realized it)
By: Kanae (Goth-Punk88 @ ff.net)
Rating: K+
Word Count: 3.466
Author's Notes: Most of it takes place during the time-skip; however, the very last vignette takes place post-series. So we're dealing with a redeemed Sasuke who no longer carries the weight of his revenge around and a Karin that has also gone through her fair share of stuff. So their behavior will, of course, be different. - There is also a line that was inspired by a RoyAi (Fullmetal Alchemist) quote ♥
five times Sasuke fell for Karin;
(and the one time he realized it)


1.


“Do you understand, Karin?”

“…Yeah.”

Her agreement is absent-minded, her voice no more than a mere mutter, and Sasuke finds his brows lightly furrowing at the girls’ disposition. Alas, he has not done more than part his lips when an all too familiar rustling catches his ears and takes his attention away from the redhead.

A snake was sliding up the trunk of a nearby tree, and as it curled and made itself comfortable on a branch, its reptile eyes squarely met Sasuke’s, its tongue darting out to hiss at him in a language of sounds that he could not understand—but that got the message across, either way.

Orochimaru wants to see you.

Sasuke’s eyes narrow with annoyance, his tongue clicking against his front teeth. “Karin,” he calls, averting his eyes from the serpent and back to the girl, who had been also watching the animal with half-interest.

“It’s fine,” she says, in reply to words that Sasuke had yet to speak—and so the boy closes his lips, evenly staring at her in silence instead. There is no surprise in his gaze; this has been happening with increasing frequency lately, and by now he has almost come to expect it—but there is a certain degree of wariness.

If he is that easy to look through, then how can he expect to fulfill his plan without raising Orochimaru’s suspicions? Karin’s acute perception made him question himself, and he did not like that. He most definitely did not like the thought of being read so aptly.

Despite that, for some reason his annoyance never directed itself at her. “I will be back. You keep practicing.”

Karin accepts his directions with a noncommittal nod, and Sasuke gives her one last look before jumping to the nearest tree, dashing past the snake that had come to deliver the message and back to the lair.

It’s been a little over two weeks since Orochimaru had taken the girl in—a little over two weeks since Sasuke had laid eyes on the redhead for the second time, this time finding her unscratched and unmoving but surrounded by death. By the corpses of those she held dear—and Sasuke, quite frankly, did not know what to make of her yet. Fact that unnerved him, because more often than not he would find himself relating to her; recognizing himself in the blankness of her stare, in the lack of drive behind the movements of her fingers. And that was no good—that was not to be allowed. Last time such a thing had happened, it had brought him Naruto—and he knew damn well how well that had turned out.

I can’t afford such distractions, he concludes to himself—even less so when more often than not, he found himself feeling mildly concerned for the girl who had lost everything, just as he had.

It’s been two weeks, and she still looked every bit as dead as she had when they found her.
.
.
.

Damn Orochimaru, Sasuke complains inwardly as he rushes back to the lake, dashing through the trees. Calling him for something so trivial, he had Kabuto for such matters; Sasuke was only there to be trained, not to

His thoughts halt at the same time his steps slow to a stop, as the lake comes into view and alongside it, Karin.

A Karin who was soaked from head to toe, but that was standing steadily right on the middle of the lake, her head raised upwards towards the sky, the rays of the sun bathing her form whole and drawing golden highlights on her vivid red hair.

Her name comes to his lips but becomes a stifled, unfinished call as the girl turns towards him and gives him a breathless, joyful grin that brought life to her eyes and steals the breath right from his lungs.

“I did it!” Karin calls out, an uncharacteristic display of candor that was more in tune with the girl he had come across four months ago than with the carcass he had found two weeks ago.

“Heh, I can see that.” Sasuke assesses, and it is only then that he realizes he is smirking.

Karin was a fast learner.


2.


“Why are you with Orochimaru, Sasuke?” Karin inquires one evening as they eat in silence, one of those rare occasions where neither Orochimaru nor Kabuto were around to intrude.

Sasuke does not raise his eyes from his plate, the reply coming to him entirely too easy, “To become more powerful.”

“What for?” Karin asks this time, tilting her head to the side. Sasuke’s eyes do flicker towards her then, and he finds the redhead frowning and giving him a curious look. “You don’t look like the kind of guy who would willingly stick with Orochimaru to grow more powerful, just for the kicks.”

There Karin went again. Inwardly, Sasuke sighs. Karin was becoming more and more straight-forward as time passed; and that, coupled with her uncanny perception and sharp tongue, was proving to be a dangerous combination.

Slowly but surely, Sasuke was beginning to learn that there was no point in keeping things from the redhead.

“I seek the power to kill one man,” he states, and cannot really help the way his hold on the chopsticks tightens a fraction as that name rolls out his tongue. “Uchiha Itachi.”

Karin blinks, “Uchiha…?”

“Yes. Uchiha Itachi, my older brother,” he reveals, steadily. “My traitorous, murderous bastard of a brother.”

Silence envelops the table, and when Sasuke raises his face and gazes into her eyes Karin holds them there. To his surprise, Karin did not look startled or disgusted—if anything, the Karin returning his stare looked resolute, reliable, imperious; and Sasuke finds himself incapable of looking away.

When Karin speaks, no whys come out of her lips. “Do you know where to find him?”

She asks, and it is slowly that Sasuke shakes his head—a negative. Karin’s gaze sets, then; her eyes boring into his, without hesitation.

“Then it’s settled; I will help you.”

Sasuke parts his lips, but it is a futile gesture—one that draws a tight-lipped, but reassuring smile on Karin’s lips.

I will help you, her silence seemed to be repeating through her gaze—and everything falls into place.


3.


“Karin,” he calls, but receives no reply.

He had come back from a job Orochimaru had asked him to do only to find the lair submerged in silence; an eerie, unnatural silence that made discomfort settle and nest inside of his gut.

There’s something wrong here, that he knows, but he does not know what—and that puts him on edge. Even more so, because—

Karin!”

The redhead was nowhere to be found. Sasuke does not think Orochimaru would dispose of her, not when she was shaping up to be such a valuable asset—but the man was as unpredictable as he was twisted, and Sasuke had a bad feeling. He has had a bad feeling from the moment Orochimaru sent him out while placing a bony hand on Karin’s shoulder, the girl obviously struggling with herself to not squirm under his touch.

I’ll be fine, her eyes had seemed to affirm, wordlessly commanding him to leave, and though unconvinced, Sasuke had left. But now—it seemed his instincts had been right, after all.

“Karin!” He tries again, and while he receives no reply from the redhead, another voice chimes in her stead.

“My, Sasuke-kun, why the ruckus?” Kabuto questions, and Sasuke turns only to find the silver-haired man standing at the entrance of one of the rooms employed for human experimentation. Sasuke is about to rudely dismiss the man’s intervention—Kabuto was always more trouble than he was worth, and he never shut up—when his eyes take in the droplets of blood splattered across his gray sleeves, and cautious—suspicious—his gaze slides back to the man’s black eyes only to notice the weird glint possessing them.

Sasuke’s back stiffens, his features contorting in a vicious frown. “Where is Karin?”

“Oh, you’re looking for her?” Kabuto says, feigning ignorance—playing the fool in a way Sasuke has grown to despise. His act creaks however as the man cannot hold back the smirk that begins to curve his lips; “You should’ve said so before, Sasuke-kun!”

Sasuke is roughly pushing past him and into the room even before Kabuto can have the pleasure of saying she is inside—only to come to a halt as his eyes land on the stretcher disposed on the center of the room; the stretcher upon which sat a redhead, her back turned towards Sasuke.

“Karin,” he calls, and again the girl remains silent. It is while feeling a strong, wild sense of foreboding that Sasuke circles the stretcher—and the more he saw, the more his eyes widened with agitation.

Karin was hurriedly buttoning up her shirt—trying to prevent Sasuke from realizing what had just been done to her. But her unexposed skin conveys the message just fine—the bloodied, tattered mess her left forearm had become, chunks of skin cleanly torn off and revealing nothing but a raw, red maze underneath and—and

The bite marks. There were two, three, four bite marks tracing Karin’s arm from her wrist up to her elbow, and—Sasuke’s insides turn into stone.

There was a bite mark cruelly and roughly carved on the side of Karin’s neck.

Sasuke sees red and the tomoe start to spin inside his sharingan, his cursed seal reacting and burning at his neck, asking for Kabuto’s blood.

“Wait!”

Karin calls, reaching out and grabbing a hold of his wrist before Sasuke could leave the room. He darts his sharingan to her only briefly, anger making his head throb. “Let go, Karin.” He commands through a hiss, but Karin does not bulge; if anything, her hold strengthens, her eyes narrowing.

“Get a hold of yourself, Sasuke! You will be playing right into his game if you attack him!”

The thought of satisfying Kabuto or not mattered little to Sasuke now, even less so as he saw the way Karin’s arm—the one with careless teeth marks carved all over—trembled as she held his wrist. “Let go of me, Karin!” He snarls, but Karin does not back down.

“I don’t need you to defend me, Sasuke!” Karin growls, and her words make Sasuke stop, surprise taking over his features and mixing in with the blind rage. “I’m not some useless little girl who needs you to play knight in shining armor, so drop the act!”

That—defending her, it had not been his intention. Sasuke did not wish to defend anyone but his Clan’s honor, the honorable memory they had left behind; that was the only thing he cared about enough to defend. The one and only.

His sharigan melts into obsidian once again as his cursed seal stops aching. He had not wished to defend Karin—he had not. Seeing her reduced to a test subject at the mercy of a man like Kabuto made Sasuke feel indignant, was all. Especially when he had left her in such a state.

“… What did he do to you, Karin?” Sasuke asks after a long moment of silence, and it is only then that Karin lets go of his wrist and reaches out for the gauze and bandages lying on the surgeon’s table by the stretcher.

“W-well… it seems I heal really fast,” she begins to explain, and Sasuke bites back the no shit that had made its way to his tongue. That much was something they both knew well; it was hard not to notice it when wounds that took weeks to fade for Sasuke were gone in mere days when it came to the redhead. “Apparently, this… regenerative ability of mine’s is related to my chakra. Kabuto wondered if it could be used to heal others aside from myself, and… it turns out that it can.”

Sasuke frowns faintly, “How?”

Karin’s silence confirms his thoughts even before her voice does. “By letting others suck on my chakra. Kabuto made it so that it would be possible through… biting me.”

The redhead raises her eyes then, meeting Sasuke’s head on and wordlessly daring him to react the way he had before—the unspoken warning helps Sasuke keep his anger under control, but it coils inside of him, cold and dangerous—he knew well just why Orochimaru wanted Karin to heal in such a fashion. “…They will use you, Karin.”

Karin does not flinch at the way Sasuke spits his words, gritted through his teeth; instead, she smiles. “I know.”

Sasuke can only stare, flabbergasted at the serenity present in Karin’s smile—and his surprise morphs and serves as threshold to something entirely different as Karin looks away, her bangs hiding her eyes from his view.

“But this ability is now mine. And... it will help whomever I work with, once Orochimaru is gone.”

The meaning behind her words dawns on Sasuke like a blanket, and as he assimilates it his body relaxes; his fists unclenching.

“…Let me, Karin,”

He takes the gauze from her hands and cleans her wounds himself; and while Karin does flinch, she does not utter a single complaint—and Sasuke finds his body coiling in an entirely different way as his flesh brushes hers and the weight of her stare sits comfortably on the back of his head.


4.


Sasuke crumbles to the ground with a dry thud, a surge of blood pouring out from the gaping gash in his torso and splattering to the ground with a sickening splash. He grits his teeth as he presses his hand against the wound and looks down to evaluate the damage; it was bad. A little more and he could’ve gotten a punctured lung.

“Sasuke!” calls a voice, and Karin is at his side at once, pulling her sleeve back and offering him her forearm to bite. Sasuke does not hesitate—they had done this enough times already—and this time Karin bites back her usual moan in order to lecture him through gritted teeth. “S-seriously, Sasuke! What were you thinking, charging like that?!”

“Karin’s right, Sasuke-kun,” Orochimaru agrees, his husky voice stretching every syllable and making Sasuke dizzy with disgust rather than out of blood loss, “That was quite the reckless deflection. If I had meant to kill you, you would be gone.”

“Shut… up…!” Sasuke breathes out with some effort, as Karin takes her arm back and pulls her sleeve down. “Stop… talking, and come at me… again!”

Karin lets out a surprised huh?! as Sasuke tries to stand up again, but the Uchiha pays it no heed, his eyes set on Orochimaru, who shakes his head with a smirk.

“You won’t be able to lay a finger on me in such a pitiful state, Sasuke-kun.”

“I said… shut up!” Sasuke scowls, gasping for breath still, but before he could manage to stand on his own two feet a rough pull on his arm has made him sink back to the ground. Startled and indignant, Sasuke looks up only to meet Karin’s angry red eyes.

“Are you deaf, Sasuke?! Your state is pitiful! You are totally beat up! You don’t even have much chakra left—what the hell do you think you’re doing, asking to continue?!”

Karin…” Sasuke warns, his eyes narrowing—but he cannot even finish his sentence as Karin reaches out and roughly seizes the collar of his shirt, angrily pulling him to her face.

“Don’t you dare tell me to stay out of it, Sasuke! No way in hell am I staying aside while you get yourself killed out of sheer stupidity!” Karin all but growls, those red eyes of hers smoldering with raw fury like Sasuke had never seen her sporting before, her warm breath tickling his nose with her every word, and Sasuke finds himself at a loss of words—his own anger evaporating like wind under the fire burning in her gaze and setting his own body aflame, drying up his throat.

Sasuke can distinctly hear Orochimaru chuckling, somewhere—but it sounds far, far away as Karin’s voice softens to a caress.

“… I am not letting you die on me, Sasuke. Ever.”


5.

This happened every year, but somehow it never got any easier—it never got any less painful. The pain scarred, yes; but it never quite faded. And with every memory, with every thought he gave to that fateful day, the pain only worsened.

Back when he resided in Konoha, it was downright impossible to find real quietness; even if he were to remain secluded in the compound, the echoes of villagers laughing and living would always reach him. Like mementos of what his own clan could’ve been doing had Itachi not murdered them.

Now that he is in Oto, however, silence comes only too easily. It envelops him, overwhelms him—and in it Sasuke finds no solace. At the contrary, he finds an empty echo that made loneliness soundlessly slide into every single creak of his being, settling in the beatings of his heart and in the creases of his palms.

It threatens to make Sasuke succumb to it—and it is then that Karin wordlessly takes a seat by his side and takes his hand in hers, her warm touch anchoring him down to the present and pushing away—however slightly, however briefly—the ghosts of the past who were trying to take him back with them.

“Karin,” he whispers, and if Karin notices how choked his voice is, she says nothing of it. “…Will you follow me?”

He does not know why he feels the need to ask such a thing—but when Karin gives his hand a reassuring squeeze, he finds that he does not quite care about the reasons.

“If that's what you want, Sasuke… then even to hell.”

And suddenly, it gets easier to breathe.


0.


“You came,”

He says blandly, and Karin snorts.

“I told you before, didn’t I? I keep to my word.” Sasuke says nothing in turn—can find nothing to say, and so Karin snorts again and comes to stand by his side, looking over Konoha for a moment before inquiring, with mild curiosity, “Where to, from here?”

“I don’t know,” Sasuke replies, with honesty—but he finds himself feeling more at peace with the uncertainty of his future now, than he did before Karin walked in. The knowledge picks his curiosity, but he does not feel confused—and somehow it makes the corner of his lips upturn into a smile. “I guess we will find out as we go.”

Karin accepts his reply with a nod, and as a soft breeze blows past them Sasuke allows himself to look away from the village and at the girl standing by his side—her red hair had gotten longer, and her features had hardened—but she was still Karin. The same Karin whose life he saved back in the Forest of Death, the same Karin who had saved his life more times than he could count.

And right then, under the warm rays of the setting sun, Sasuke found that he thought her beautiful. It is an alien thought—but one that he knows is true given the way it seems to settle in his conscious, as if fitting in like the missing piece of a puzzle.

Karin seems to feel the weight of his gaze, because she turns to face him—and Sasuke finds a smile dancing in her lips, a knowing but happy gleam in her half-lidded red eyes.

“It’s about time,” she teases, and another piece falls into place.

“… You haven’t taken your glasses off yet,” he comments, and his words steal a laugh from Karin—the sound is light and merry and enticing, and his heart reacts to it before his mind has gotten the chance to assimilate it—spurring his hand into motion.

When his fingers come in touch with her cheek, Karin draws in a breath—but neither of them is truly taken aback by his boldness, and that is, probably, what surprises Sasuke the most.

“…Idiot,” Karin mutters fondly, clasping his hand with her own and leaning into his touch, letting her eyes shut close.

And it’s then that Sasuke understands, once and for all—what had always tied him to this girl above all others, despite his better judgment, despite his desire to remain unaware and think otherwise.

But it was impossible to deny, now—and more importantly, he no longer had the desire to do so.

“Karin…”

“I know,” Karin says, and the look in her eyes makes Sasuke feel at home.

.end



I evidently hurried the last vignette a bit; mostly because I wanted to keep it vague, and were I to write Sasuke's realization step by step it would take pages lol it's better to let you guys fill in the blanks~ but to add some context to it, Karin actually kissed Sasuke sometime before he was fully redeemed.
 
 
 
nawsomenawsome on April 13th, 2012 05:19 pm (UTC)
OMG KANAE <33333333

I love this so much, its so in character and beautiful and makes sense XD
Kanaekanae_mizuhito on April 13th, 2012 05:34 pm (UTC)
♥ thank youuu NA darling! I'm glad you found it IC!
elleloveslellelovesl on April 13th, 2012 05:22 pm (UTC)
Karin's character development in this is awesome, as long as you write Karin so awesome like this, it makes it easier to go through lack of Taka/Karin in the actual manga <3

But now I really, really want to see Kabuto die after reading number three...
Kanaekanae_mizuhito on April 13th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
Omg I'm honored and excited to hear that, haha! ♥ I'm really glad Karin's character development stood out to you, I wanted it to go hand in hand with the development of Sasuke's own feelings :hehee

Hopefully Sasuke will take care of that for us soon :kaga
(Deleted comment)
Kanaekanae_mizuhito on April 13th, 2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
Awww thank you so much, Tox! ♥ I'm happy to hear you thought the line was well-delivered, I honestly see Karin that way, too; like, she put up with a lot of things in order to become stronger, so she does not see it as losses.

Thank youuu again! ;ohpek