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23 July 2012 @ 03:02 am
[FANFIC - HBD, SASUKE(?)] wildfire; (SK)  
now uploaded in fanfiction.net~! here; if you wish to comment but can't do so here, please feel free to review over there~!

By: Kanae (Goth-Punk88 @ ff.net)
Rating: M (some suggestive scenes, and some violence.)
Word Count: 8.810
Author's Notes: I got this plot-bunny a couple of months ago; the idea was to sit down and carefully plan it, but… well, life happened. So I decided to let it write itself instead. Posting it for Sasuke’s birthday project because, while his birthday is not the focus of this, it does get briefly mentioned (:hurr)~ Also, there are some credits, but I’ll be giving them at the end of the fic in order to not spoil anyone.
Warning: Some OOC-ness due to the fact that I'm working with future SK... among other things you will soon realize lol
Summary: It is a flame that was set ablaze by a smile. A fire that consumes everything in its wake. A wildfire that burnt them to ashes, down to their roots.

A heartbeat that awakens from the ashes.

To the stars that played with the darkness
I sang of love and burned up completely


Wildfire
by Kanae
-


It happens a hot Thursday afternoon as he goes through the tourniquets of the subway and catches a glimpse of red from the corner of his eye.

Something in his chest tightens.

He is looking back before he knows it, uncharacteristically standing still as his eyes seek the source of the red; a girl’s ponytail.

Just a girl.

Sasuke all but snorts, mildly shaking his head and turning away in wonderment.

He misses the way the girl stops, her back straightening as if bolted.

He has almost reached the escalators when someone steps in front of him, blocking his way—and he can’t help the slight widening of his eyes as he realizes who it is.

The girl.

The redhead.

“Sorry,” she says, and she is a little out of breath. Had she run to catch up with him? “Do I know you?”

An alien reply makes its way from his chest up to the tip of his tongue, but Sasuke does not recognize it—and before he can even deem it worth his time, it is gone. And all that remains is the same disinterest from before. Just a girl.

“Don’t think so,” he replies, trying to sidestep her—but the girl blocks his way again.

“No, I do know you. I mean—” Sasuke narrows his eyes, irritated, but the girl looks too caught up in her thoughts to notice, “I have dreamed of you.”

Sasuke gives her a blank stare and the girl turns a little pink. “I-I mean,” she stammers, pushing her glasses further up her nose. The gesture stirs something inside of Sasuke, and it is powerful enough to the point he almost misses her next words “I know it sounds weird, but—”

“You’re right,” Sasuke agrees, clenching his jaw and walking past her.

“Wait!” she calls, and Sasuke finds his legs answering in kind even before his name comes out of her lips. “Y—your name is… Sasuke, isn’t it? Uchiha Sasuke.”

“… So what?” his reply is brisk, and it comes out through gritted teeth. This was ridiculous; both the girl and his reactions to her. What had come over him, anyway? He has never seen this chick. Ever. “Knowing that is no feat.”

It wasn’t. More than a quarter of the city knew his family’s name. Knowing who he was simply was part of the package.

She falls quiet—and Sasuke thinks the odd conversation has come to an end.

He was severely mistaken.

“And, when you were eight…” she suddenly whispers, her voice vague, “when you were eight, your mom gave you a dinosaur-shaped toy.”

Sasuke’s eyes widen, his body freezing upright. Her voice gains momentum. “You said it was childish, and pretended to have thrown it away; but you still have it.”

It is slowly that he turns towards her, eyes narrowed and heart galloping inside his chest. “How…?”

Obsidian meets pointed red, and it is something in the calculating edge of her gaze more than her words that which turns Sasuke’s skin into gooseflesh. “…You keep it locked in a box inside your closet, just like you keep locked away that irrational fear of yours of losing them someday.”

Them. His parents. The one thing he has never told anyone—not even his brother. The one thing he has never been able to face, regardless of how much he has tried to do so.

He wants to say something—anything—but words just won’t come. He feels utterly intimidated and exposed before this stranger; before this redhead whose lips quirk up in the barest traces of a smile, her shoulders relaxing.

“Come on, there’s a café down the street, we can talk there.” She does not wait for a reply, simply reaching out and taking a hold of his sleeve—and as she pulls him towards the escalators, Sasuke feels an unexplainable sense of déjà vu.

“Let me go,” he mutters, though he can’t find it in himself to oppose any resistance. “I can walk by myself.”

She does not let go of him.

And the déjà vu only worsens.
.
.
.

“Come with me, Karin. I need you.”
“Huh?! Why should I go anywhere? I’m in charge of this place!”


.
.
.

“They started… around 3 months ago, I think,” the girl—Karin—says, after the waitress has brought them their respective orders; Sasuke, a black coffee, Karin, a cappuccino with amaretto.

“The… dreams?” he questions, and feels utterly ridiculous just by saying it.

“Yeah, the dreams,” Karin agrees, taking a sip of her coffee and giving him a pointed look over the brim of the cup. “At first they were sporadic. Just once every few nights or so, but then I started to get them every night… every single night.”

“And these… dreams, of yours. They were about me?”

“Not all of them,” she retorts thoughtfully, if not a little defensively; but then she shrugs. “But you were always there.”

“Doing what, exactly?”

“A lot of things. Fighting, mostly. You were a ninja, sometimes. Both of us were.”

“…A ninja?”

“Yeah. A very powerful one, at that. Don’t—” she warns, before Sasuke could have the chance to interrupt with a snide remark. “I know how ridiculous it sounds, but it’s the truth.”

He crosses his arms with an eye roll. “That still does not explain how you knew about the dinosaur.” Just mentioning the toy makes a wave of embarrassment wash over him, but he tries to keep at bay and not let it show.

Karin smiles, and the gesture looks sour. “Not every dream took place in the same world, Sasuke. Those—the ones where we were shinobi, those were the firsts, and also the most recurrent. But I have seen you as you are, too. And as you were.”

“… What do you mean, exactly?” he prods with narrowed eyes.

It’s her turn to cross her arms. “Tch, you already know, don’t you? You’re smart, Sasuke. Don’t take me for a fool.”

Sasuke frowns. He didn’t like her tone, and neither did he like where she was going with this. “Reincarnations?”

Karin snaps her fingers, “Bingo.”

Sasuke snorts. “That’s ridiculous.”

“I know you don’t believe in them, Sasuke. But that doesn’t mean they do not exist.”

Stop,” Sasuke demands, his patience running thin at being lectured by a complete stranger. “Stop talking as if you know me, Karin. You don’t.”

“Actually, I do,” Karin shoots back without missing a beat, her red eyes steadily holding his even despite his threatening glare. “And from the looks of it, I know you better than you know yourself—stay there, Sasuke,” she stresses, and his glare only intensifies. He hadn’t even had the enough time to move a muscle. “I am not finished yet.”

“But I am done hearing your bullshit.”

Karin blinks at him and then promptly snorts. “The you in my dreams was nicer to be around, I’ll give you that.”

He feels insulted, but he stays. And a little smirk quirks up Karin’s lips; as expected, that smirk said.

But any comments he may have had about her arrogance promptly disappear as the redhead utters her next words.

“I know why you’re so afraid of losing your parents, someday.”

.
.
.

“Shhh” she coos, cradling his trembling form in her arms and making him sink his face on her chest. It’s her favorite new shirt and it’s getting soaked and soiled by his tears and the soot, but her heart is too busy breaking over him and his pain and her mind is too shaken by the explosion and the death—by the smell of burnt flesh, by the screaming figures of his parents and brother as they were consumed by the fire.

“Shhh, Sasuke, it will be alright,” she isn’t sure if she believes what she is saying. Not when there are tears beginning to leak from her own eyes and dripping onto his hair—not when his sobs twist her soul and worsen the despair. Why did this have to happen to them? Why did they have to—? “I promise you, it will be alright, we will get through this.”

They. Because that was all that was left, now. She was all he had left.

“We will get through this,” she repeats, because they would. They
had to.

“You’re not alone. I’m with you, Sasuke. I won’t ever leave you,”

Despite her bravado her voice breaks at the end and Sasuke clutches her shirt—holds onto her for dear life and hastily pulls her together again.

“I promise.”


.
.
.

Sasuke fists his hands to prevent them from shaking as his very soul seemed to be doing. He sets his jaw, tries to regularize his breathing and his pulse—tries to not show any signs of inward struggle.

No that it would make much of a difference, since Karin was deliberately keeping her attention elsewhere. She had barely looked at him from the moment she started to tell him all she knew—all she had seen—about his parents, and weren’t he so troubled by everything he heard, he would have realized he was thankful for her tact.

As things were, however, his brain was having troubles assimilating Karin’s words; how his parents had died over and over again. Killed by his brother (by his brother, out of all people! What kind of bullshit was that?), in an accident, in a fire—Sasuke had tuned out, then. The images such stories enticed were too vivid, too troubling—they made the hairs on his arms stand on end, made cold droplets of sweat roll down his neck.

Everything was preposterous, absolutely unbelievable—and even then he could not dismiss a word she had said, even though he desperately wanted to. Something in the way she had spoken—in the way her voice had quivered, her stare grave and set on her lap—and even more so, something in the things she had known; habits that Mikoto and Fugaku had and that no one but him and Itachi would know about, made her words all the harder to shake off.

So he aims for the next best thing—he tries to push the thought aside and latches onto another one, one that has slowly but surely been demanding his attention.

“… Where do you fit into all that?” he murmurs, and has to swallow to help ease his dry throat. “Why is it you, and not me, who is having these dreams?”

The ghost of a smile touches her lips, “I don’t know. I guess it’s because you’ve closed yourself off, again,” it fades. “You always close yourself up.”

He has really run out of patience. “Stop with the riddles, will you? Just answer!”

Karin hardens her expression, her eyes squarely meeting his own. “In that first world, I was your teammate. In the second, I was your friend. In the third, your lover.”

Sasuke cannot really help the way he feels his throat clog up, his cheeks warm. So he fakes a cough, looks away; “And this is the fourth?”

Karin shrugs, unfazed.

“I don’t know, I guess there may be more. I haven’t remembered them yet, though.” Her voice lowers, “…I don’t know if I want to, either.”

That catches his attention. “What do you mean?”

“… They weren’t always nice, Sasuke. They rarely were.”

Sasuke arches one eyebrow, curious. “What weren’t?”

For the first time since they got there, Karin squirms in her seat.

“...You.”

.
.
.

There is lighting prickling her skin and piercing her chest; it has missed her heart by an inch, a miracle improbable enough to be deliberate—but one that is a curse in disguise, for his eyes do not miss the mark.

They hit the bulls-eye dead on its center, and she feels it freeze and then wither and die, disintegrating into a worthless pile of ashes that, with every single word he says, scatter like the wind—never to be recovered again.

“Karin… the moment you were taken hostage, you became an encumbrance.”


.
.
.

She leans her head on her propped up palm, and the pair of red eyes that were fixed into his look sage and tired all of a sudden. “…But I guess it never made much of a difference.”

Sasuke hates it; having to repeat himself. But he moodily does, anyway. “What do you mean?”

Karin does not reply right away; and when she does, her voice is the softest Sasuke has heard it sound so far.

“I always ended up loving you all the same,” she admits.

Then she looks at him again, and Sasuke finds that he can’t look away.

“Always.”

.
.
.

It happens on a rainy night.

The rain had started pouring out of nowhere. What a minute ago had been a clear sky became a gray maze of plump clouds and then thick, cold droplets of rain had started to cascade down over the town.

Ever so slowly, the crowded street was left almost empty; for the exception of a few pedestrians who had been keen enough to bring an umbrella with them.

She hadn’t been.

As the traffic light begins to turn, she dashes out from under the improvised shelter of an awning only to stop dead in her tracks—in her haste, she had not realized the light included an advanced left-turn signal.

So much for not getting wet, she thinks, and it’s then that an umbrella is placed above her.

Startled, the girl flickers her gaze upward only to find a dark-haired business man casually speaking into his cellphone, his eyes focused on the traffic light ahead. Their arms are touching, the warmth of his body seeping through to hers despite the long sleeves of his expensive-looking cloak, and she finds her cheeks warming up, her heart quickening at the unexpected gesture of kindness.

The light changes and he moves ahead without hesitation, with the same kind of firm grace with which he had come to shelter her—and she is so transfixed by him that she almost forgets she is supposed to walk,
too.

When they get to the other side of the street, the business man wordlessly leads her to an awning and then parts ways with her, not once glancing at her.

But she can’t look away from him—and before she knows it her legs are moving and the rain no longer matters.

By the time he has hung up, they’re standing at the next intersection and she is soaked from head to toe.

“Hey, you! Wait!”

The business man slowly turns around, painfully so, confusion apparent on his face.

Onyx meets red and her heart skips a beat as his eyes widen ever so slightly.

“Thank you,” she breathes out jaggedly and not exactly from the chasing, “for before.”

“… It’s nothing,” he states, and though his words are nothing but an astonished murmur she hears them loud and clear over the thunders. “And it doesn’t seem to have helped much.”

Her blush worsens under his pointed look, but the hint of amusement in those deep eyes of his edges her on. “I-I know of a good café down the street. If you aren’t in a hurry, how about I invite you something while we wait for the rain to let up?”

He tilts his head to the side, long bangs falling across his face. “… Hn, down the street, you say?”

“Yeah. It’s less than a minute away,” she gulps, “so, what do you say?”

He smiles, and his whole face lights up. “I’d like that.”

By the time they place their orders, she is already in love with him.


.
.
.

He thinks that maybe he should be surprised, but the truth is that he isn’t.

Somehow, it felt like he had been waiting for it—waiting to see her walking through that door, ever since they had parted ways at that Café a little over a week ago.

“… You did this on purpose, didn’t you?”

Karin blinks innocently, a direct contrast with the amused smirk shamelessly painted across her lips. “What do you mean, Uchiha-san?”

“Drop the act,” he glares, matter-of-fact. “You knew I worked here.”

“Oh, don’t be so conceited, Sasuke,” Karin waves a hand, puts the other on her hip and sways to the side. The movement is every bit of a taunt as it is sensual, and Sasuke finds himself blushing like a preschooler as a recurrent memory slips itself uninvited into his mind again.

'Always'.

“—so not my fault you basically own the damn city,” Karin finishes, and Sasuke blinks.

“Huh?”

She deadpans. “You weren’t listening, were you?”

“I was,” he lies through gritted teeth, prodded by some unexplainable force. Damn, why did he always have to bicker with this girl?

“You are a terrible liar, Sasuke,” she remarks, and suddenly her face lights up. “Hey, did I tell you about the time I was a lie-detector and—”

He all but groans. “Stop, Karin. Don’t bring that kind of talk here, someone may hear you.”

“Pft, so what?” she huffs, crossing her arms and swaying her hips again. “It’s not like I work here, right?”

Her tone and most specially the glimmer in her eye as she looks at him told him otherwise.

Damn her.

“Talk to Nara on the second floor, he will give you your contract. And Karin—not a word to anyone about… about—” he refused to say us. There wasn’t an us. “—about what you told me. Understood?”

She does a mock salute, “Right, Uchiha-san!” and Sasuke massages his temple, wondering what had made him agree to give her the job in the first place.

As if reading his thoughts, Karin calls out to him from the door.

“Cheer up, Sasuke,” and Sasuke can catch a glimpse of her playful smirk before she closes the door behind her. “This isn’t the first time we work together, you know?”

And for some unknown reason, Sasuke finds himself blushing.

.
.
.

“I brought you the papers you requested,”

She has barely finished the sentence when he has her pressed against the door and is claiming her mouth with his own, his hands roaming across her back and then
down as she skillfully locks the door.

“Idiot,” she manages to reprimand between kisses, “what if someone sees us?”

“Who cares,” he retorts, his voice a throaty murmur that worsens the heat settled in the lower part of her abdomen, “let them watch if they want.”

“Hmmm that’s kinky,” she teases, and her blood boils as he raises his face from her belly in order to give her a roguish look.

“Any complains?”

“Yeah… stop teasing me and get on with—ahh” she moans, her nails scrapping at the door as his head gets lost inside her skirt, his hands spreading her thighs apart.

She has a mission to accomplish—but he makes her forget soon enough.


.
.
.

“I’ll have some Okonomiyaki, please.”

The waitress nods and leaves—but not without giving Sasuke a hurt look from underneath her long lashes. He hopes Karin will let it slide; so of course Karin does exactly the opposite, her slim eyebrows arched high.

“Whoa, Sasuke, That girl totally has a thing for you!”

Sasuke rolls his eyes; he was so over this subject. “Tch, she and every other employee, what else is new.”

Karin snorts, “Cocky, aren’t we? Do I need to remind you that I am one of your employees, too?”

'Always'.

Against his better judgment, he can feel all too easily the way his cheeks start to warm up. What was up with him and blushing around this girl? He was never like this, ever.

“Whatever,” he ends up taking the easy way out. Sitting across from him, Karin pouts, leans her chin on her hand and lazily waves a finger in his face.

“You really are no fun, Sasuke.”

“Forget about that, Karin. You said you would tell me more about—”

“Right, right,” she sighs, and her faked annoyance swiftly gives way to a leer. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see you so interested in us, but it wouldn’t hurt to focus on the current us.”

Karin.”

.
.
.

“This is enough for today, thank you for your cooperation, Karin,” she knows better than to give weight to his agreeable words. The way he doesn’t even look at her, too busy being transfixed by her blood instead, says everything she needs to know.

So she recoils when he reaches out to bandage her—scowls, sidesteps him and stumbles her way out of the room, hating herself for the numbness in her legs.

He is the first thing she sees when she comes out of the room.

He is leaning against the wall, arms crossed against his chest—and then her knees give up and he is draping her arm around his neck and helping her walk, revealing the bandages held in his hands.

“…I can walk by myself, Sasuke,” she lies, but he does not let go and she lets herself lean a little closer. Close enough to feel the dampness in his side. She looks down and finds blood—and then she is glaring at him from behind her half-lidded eyes.

“Idiot,” she hisses, and means it. “You are hurt, let me—”

“You can’t heal anyone in your current state, Karin,” came his reply, calm and even despite the open wound in his side, and Karin hates the fact that he is right.

“…You should’ve gone to bandage yourself, Sasuke. I don’t need you to babysit me,” she says faintly, both embarrassed and touched at once.

To her surprise, Sasuke snorts.

“What?” she snaps.

“Nothing,” he says, and he is smirking. “Just, you’re the last person I want to hear that from, Karin.”

She frowns, but her cheeks go red. She has a feeling she knows where he is going with this. “Tch, what is that supposed to mean?”

He looks down at her from the corner of his eye, his smirk softening around the edges. “…I wonder.”

And despite her blood loss, her blush only deepens.


.
.
.

“Would you like more tea, Karin-chan?”

Sasuke can’t hold back an eye-roll as Karin politely declines; this was the fifth time in a row, and he didn’t know what surprised him more—Karin’s sudden faultless manners, or the lengths to which his mother was going to please her. Hell, one would think it was the redhead’s birthday rather than his.

“Don’t be like that, little brother,” the voice comes from behind him, and is accompanied by a hand that affectionately ruffles his hair. “You know it’s not often that mother gets to attend a girl.”

Sasuke huffs, halfheartedly batting his brother’s hands away. “I know that—moreover, when will you stop treating me like a child, Itachi?”

“Probably when you stop acting like one,” chimes in a female voice, and Sasuke sends her an airy look as Itachi chuckles behind him. He was definitely starting to regret having brought her along; what had he been thinking?

He does not get to say it aloud however, as Karin is now looking at Itachi with curious eyes. “Don’t tell me this is Sasuke’s first time bringing a girl home?”

Great. So she had been listening in, huh? He should have guessed.

“Not quite,” Itachi replies, but Sasuke’s triumphant smirk is short-lived as his brother adds, “But almost.”

“Brother!” he reproaches, causing the older boy to chuckle again and Karin to smirk widely.

“You’re unbelievable, Sasuke; I mean, I knew you were an unsocial prude, but almost no girlfriends? Seriously?”

He glares, mortified to feel the by-now familiar sensation of his cheeks heating up. “Shut up, Karin.”

“I would say that more than that, what is so remarkable is that this is the first time he brings home a girl who isn’t his girlfriend.” Itachi comments, his tone kind but knowing—and as Karin looks away from the older Uchiha and towards Sasuke, giving him a look that seemed to be clearly flaunting a oh, is that so? Sasuke airily looks away.

Damn you, brother.

“Hn, I don’t know what Itachi is talking about.”

A twinkling laughter resounds through the room, effectively cutting the argument short; and the three of them turn only to find Mikoto standing by the doorway, a tray of biscuits in her hands and a happy beam in her beautiful face.

“It seems you three are having fun,” she merrily observes, graciously moving to leave the tray on the tea-table. “I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen Sasuke enjoy himself this much.”

Despite his better judgment, Sasuke can feel himself blushing. “Who said I’m enjoying myself?”

But his indignant mutter remains promptly ignored as Mikoto takes Karin’s hands in hers and gives her a glowing smile. “You’re good for my son, Karin-chan.”

For a moment, the room is submerged in silence—even Karin herself is rendered speechless, and while in any other circumstance Sasuke would have reveled in seeing the girl this flustered—widened eyes, a pink hue in her cheeks—the truth is this time, it only adds to his own awkwardness.

“… Mother, you just met her,” he lamely ends up saying once he has found his voice, but he sounds more astonished than reproaching; and Mikoto rewards him with a thoughtful smile before setting her gaze back on Karin.

“I know, dear. But, somehow… it feels like you two have known each other for a long time.”

Itachi says nothing—but the way in which he warmly squeezes Sasuke’s shoulder is eloquent enough.

Wordlessly, Sasuke and Karin seek each other’s eyes across the room—and he wishes he wasn’t aware of the way he was slowly starting to mirror her smile.

.
.
.

“It’s so stupid,” she assesses, looking at the field with apparent disinterest, “I mean, running like idiots after a ball, really? Pft, where’s the fun in that?”

Sasuke would have been inclined to agree; if only he were listening to what she was saying. Instead, he has found himself distracted from his own homework by the way the sun seemed to be lighting her hair just so—by the way her ponytail exposed the stark whiteness of the nape of her neck; by the way she absentmindedly bit on her pencil from time to time as she read, brows furrowed in confusion or eyes light up with understanding—and she would tilt her head to the side then, stick her chin out with self-satisfaction—and
Sasuke—

“Sasuke—hey, earth to Sasuke, are you listening? I was just saying that—”

But Sasuke doesn’t get to hear it, because his body is too busy being pulled to her like a moth to a flame and his brain is too busy shutting down as his lips meet hers. She freezes, and he is too much of a novice so the kiss isn’t much of a kiss—but he doesn’t quite mind.

When he leans back he finds Karin staring at him, point-blank. He figures that perhaps he should try and say something; but he doesn’t feel the need to, so he just licks the lip-gloss off his lips instead.

“Raspberries,” he states, and that seems to get Karin off her trance, because she blinks at him.

And then she is grinning.

“Had I known you would finally kiss me today, I’d have worn something less sweet.”

He can’t help but smile back. “I almost did, yesterday,” he reveals, as he carefully takes her glasses off. “And the day before that. And the one before that.”

“I know,” and her grin becomes a husky smirk as she tangles her fingers in his hair. “You’re too easy to read, Sasuke.”

“Hn, you could have helped, then,” he says, but the truth is he is too lost in her to really mind.

“Not a chance,” their noses touch and her voice lowers to a mere brush of air against his lips, “…it’s too fun to watch you squirm.”


.
.
.

“You won’t find anything better for a more reasonable price, I assure you, Uchiha-san. This is the absolute best—”

He goes on and on, but the words of the realtor start to become nothing but background noises as Sasuke’s gaze is caught by Karin’s vibrant red hair.

“Excuse me.”

Not waiting for a reply, Sasuke makes his way to the windowsill; Karin was standing in front of it, her eyes closed and her face showered by the rays of the sun filtering in through the glass. It occurs to him then that he has never seen her looking so serene—so at peace with herself and the world. So taken is he by the realization, that he does not notice he has stopped breathing until Karin’s eyes flutter open and she smiles at him.

“This house is ours, Sasuke,”

Her fingers find their way around his, and Sasuke gives them a squeeze as he nods, his expression naturally mirroring her own.

He could feel it, too.

Behind them, the realtor clears his throat but Karin cuts him short before he could get a single word out.

“We’re buying it,” she states loud and clear, and she is positively glowing.

.
.
.

She can hardly believe it.

Can hardly believe
this. That the guy she once chased down a street in the pouring rain is holding her in his arms, his head sunk in her neck as he breathes in the scent of her hair.

It seemed like something straight out of one of those dramas she used to love to ridicule and secretly watch at the same time.

Her kind businessman had turned out to be a gentleman through and through; smooth, reliable and above all, capable. He was everything she wanted in a man and then some; and to top it all off, he seemed to be as crazy about her as she was about him.

Now that she thought about it, it seemed more like something straight out from a dream rather than a mere drama. The thought makes her giggle, and she feels him smile against her neck, his arms holding her just a little bit closer so that she has to readjust her own hold around his neck.

“What’s so funny?”

She tells him; because even though the thought is childish, she has learnt that she does not have to keep anything from him. She trusted him with even the most embarrassing and ridiculous sides of her; those she wouldn’t show to anyone else.

“There’s just one thing off, though—” she observes, as an afterthought, “where’s my rival in love?”

“Nowhere,” he asserts, grave like only he could be about even the most foolish of things. “I am yours.”

The line would have sounded corny in anyone else’s lips, but in his it sounds just like it is—a statement. A truth being bluntly spoken as he caresses her cheek and looks into her eyes with the barest traces of a smile.

She has barely begun to smile back when he is sinking his face on her hair again and brushing his lips against her ear—“And you are mine.”

And he is breathing in her scent and tightly holding her in his arms—so tightly in fact that she can hardly breathe.

“S-asuke—” she chokes.

But he does not listen.


“…mine.”

.
.
.

She soundlessly sneaks behind him and leans her chin on his shoulder.

“Sewing again?”

“Not my fault you have so many clothes,” is his simple reply as he continues to work the needle and the thread, slowly-but surely creating what would be a white and red fan.

Her fingers come to play with his hair, pulling and twisting some strands of raven black; “I don’t get why you do it manually, Sasuke. Sewing machines exist just for this kind of thing, in case you forgot.”

“I told you, Karin. It’s an Uchiha tradition, it’s supposed be done manually.” His voice is as light as her warm breathing against his neck, and they remain like that—he calmly sewing, she silently watching—until she suddenly straightens.

“Where are you going?” he can’t help but ask, and hopes the way he is already missing her doesn’t seep into his voice.

“For the sewing kit,” comes her matter-of-fact reply, and surprised, Sasuke arches one eyebrow. “Since I’m becoming an Uchiha myself, I may as well learn, right?”

She shoots him a playful smirk that looks too much like a smile before leaving the room, and Sasuke cannot help the way his pulse quickens at its sight.

And he finds himself smiling at her back, like one of those love-sick fools he always used to make fun of.

But it’s just, back then—he had never thought someone could actually make him this happy.

.
.
.

“Stop doing that, Sasuke.”

“Doing what?”

“This—making me happy,” her eyes are stern as she looks at him, but he does not take her honesty as seriously as he probably should.

“Or what?”

“…Or I may fall in love with you, Uchiha.”

She is both elated and horrified to see how soft and harmless his usual menacing and intimidating smirk looks as he replies.

“… Maybe I wouldn’t mind that.”

His naked form is gone before she can gather herself enough to reply; gone to the living room of the luxury-hotel-room to call for room service—and as she hears his voice drifting over to her from the other room, Karin digs her nails into her palms.

She was alone in the room, his suitcase forgotten on a nearby chair and his laptop on the table—she knows his passwords; has the knowledge and tools to get through what she does not know, and above all, she has the time to do so.

Only a minute would be enough for a spy as skilled as herself.

By the he would come back into the room and make love to her again, it would be too late for him; and he wouldn’t suspect a thing.

She could get away with it, if she were to go through it. She
should go through it. This is what they sent her for—this is what she is getting paid for, not for screwing the target all night long.

She sighs, lays back down on the bed and thinks of his pathetic attempt at a smirk. It makes it easier to forget her duties, to forget the papers she should be revising, the documents she should be hacking into—

To forget the atrocities she would find if she did.

And, really—who would have thought that a monster like Uchiha Sasuke was capable of making a face like that?


.
.
.

Sasuke was just putting a plate aside when the sound of porcelain breaking reaches his ears.

With a start, he turns only to find Karin crouched on the ground, her feet surrounded by tiny pieces of what had just been one of her favorite sets of dishes.

“Karin,” he calls, drying his hands on his pants—and he misses the way Karin’s shoulders tense, her back stiffening. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah,” she murmurs after a moment, and Sasuke blinks. She didn’t sound alright.

“Karin,” he calls again, approaching her. “Leave that be, I’ll take care of it.”

“I told you, it’s fine.”

He frowns, concerned. “Karin—”

But the words freeze in his throat as Karin yelps and slaps away the hand he had been about to reassuringly place on her shoulder.

For a long moment, all they do is stare at each other—Sasuke staggered by Karin’s frightened eyes, by the raw fear contorting her features—and then the moment ends and Karin is standing up and taking a loud breath.

“Sorry, Sasuke—I think I’ll go and lie down for a while.”

Her voice is even, but Sasuke knows her better than that; and so he can’t bring himself to watch her as she leaves the kitchen.

He doesn’t know what he would do if he were to see that same fright reflected in her eyes again.

.
.
.

She jolts back as the lights go on and the shadows melt away into an all too familiar figure—one that is sitting on the one-man couch and that tilts his head to the side, dark bangs falling across his face and eyes as black as abysses centered on her.

“S-sasuke, what—?”

“Where were you, Karin?”

His question is smooth and steady; placid, even. Except that Karin knows him well enough; has gotten to know this side of him—this terrifying side of him, twisted and manipulative, brutally honest in order to hurt rather than to please—well enough lately. Enough to be able to see beyond and into the brewing storm.

It reeks of lighting and promises pain—it frankly terrifies her.

But she holds her ground.

“I—I was having lunch with my parents, Sasuke. They called to invite us today but you were at—”

“Liar,” he grits out, and Karin’s blood runs cold. “I called them myself. You were not with them. So,
where were you?”

It is trying to keep her voice and hands from shaking that she says the truth. “I was out with the girls, Sasuke—but we were just eating and talking! We did nothing w—”

“Then why didn’t you say so from the start, Karin?” she freezes, like a deer caught in headlights—and then lowers his eyes. Slowly, Sasuke stands. “… Do you not trust me, Karin? Do you think I do not trust you? Is that it?”

“Sasuke, I—”

“Because I do, Karin,” he is standing before her now, his hand lovingly caressing her face, his eyes warm—and though Karin knows better, her body remains as loyal to him as ever and it betrays her; closing its eyes and leaning into the touch. “I trust you, because I love you. Do you not love me, Karin?”

A part of her hates herself for how easily the answer comes forth to her lips. For how true it remains. “… I do, Sasuke.”

She hears his smile, “Good. Then, you will stop seeing them, won’t you? Those girls.”

Her eyes snap open—and the Sasuke that greets them is once again back to being rough oceans and thunderstorms. “You’re better than them, Karin.”


I want you all for myself—is what Karin hears instead, and she frowns. “Sasuke, you can’t be serious—they are my friends!”

She comes to regret her words almost immediately, as his features snap into a mad grimace and his hand shots to her wrist, grasping it tightly enough to make her yelp—“And I not enough for you, Karin?”

“I—” yes, he is—
was. Is.

And that frightens her more than he possibly could.

“—alright, Sasuke… you win.”

His features relax and his hands come to cup her cheeks again, a soft, almost child-like smile in his lips. Innocent enough to trick anyone.

Even himself.


.
.
.

The silence is deafening. The unsaid drawing knots with his vocal chords, until he decides that enough has been enough.

“Karin, about yesterday….” He trails off, figures he will give her the chance to own up to what happened by herself, rather than attempting to play the game of pretend like she has been doing all day.

She doesn’t bulge. “What?”

And perhaps that’s what worries Sasuke the most.

It takes him a few moments before he is able to gain control of the ominous feeling pooling in his stomach; the one making it hard to speak.

“Don’t try to avoid the subject, Karin. There is something you aren’t telling me, isn’t there?”

Karin’s hands pause for half a second—and then she is moving the chopsticks again, her lips curving in a mystifying smile that does not reach her eyes.

And Sasuke wants nothing more than to ask her to stop—but he is too scared to do so.

“Eat, Sasuke. It’s going to get cold.”

.
.
.

He rolls the raspberries between his fingers, memories swirling in his head.

He has always had a very good memory; and throughout his life, it has proved to be a curse more often than a blessing.

In this case, it is both at once.

A redheaded toddler pulls him along to play on the backyard; a young girl holds him as he weeps for his parents and brother; a teenager kissing the raspberry lipstick off his lips.

A girl sending him off with a sad smile, and never looking back.

Broken promises.

A call. A funeral.

And tears.

Heartbreak.

Loneliness.

…then there was nothing else.

And then there was everything all over again.

Rinse and repeat over and over; relieving both the good and the bad, but not feeling the sunlight warm nor the pain sting. It was like a movie etched on his corneas—he saw it over and over whenever he had his eyes open, whenever he had his eyes closed. And by now he has seen it enough times to know every turn, every scene—and yet he can’t stop.

He can’t stop.

He does not want to.

One of the raspberries snaps, juice rolling down his fingers—but he does nothing to clean it up.

The door creaks open.

“Uchiha-san, you have to eat.”

The nurse says, more out of habit than anything else; but he is too far away to hear—

(“I’ll see you around… Sasuke,” comes her goodbye—and then there is a whirlwind of colors and images as the roll film reels back to their beginning.)

—and it’s been a year since the patient of the room 723 has pronounced a single word.

(And a five-year old Karin is smiling.)


.
.
.

When the first rays of the sun slip through the open curtains, Sasuke awakens only to find that it was one of those rare days when Karin has woken up first.

For a blissful moment, he is ignorant; forgetful. He does not remember how weird she has been acting, does not remember the silences from the past couple of days—and so he is about to tease her about waking up so early when he realizes there was something very, very wrong—and any drowsiness is suddenly yanked from underneath him like a rug.

Karin was sitting on the bed, unnaturally straight and still; her eyes vacant and unseeing, telltale trails of dried tears on her cheeks.

For an excruciatingly long moment, Sasuke is frozen in place—at a complete loss as to what to do. This was the first time he has ever seen Karin cry, and the sight makes an ugly feeling curl up in his gut.

“Karin…” his voice is faint; a tentative call more to spur himself into motion than to reach her. “Karin, what’s wrong?”

She does not react—gives no signs of having heard him, and Sasuke is filled with a sense of foreboding so potent that it robs him of his breathing.

And then she parts her lips.

“Sasuke… I had a dream… a new one.”

Sasuke swallows; what could she have possibly seen to put her in such a state?

“Karin, I…” the redhead simply shakes her head, and to his ever-growing alarm there are fresh tears dripping from her eyes.

“Forget it, Sasuke… it’s better if you do.”

.
.
.

She chokes on a distraught sob as she gathers his body in her arms, his blood seeping into her shirt and tainting it as crimson as her hair.

“Stop it, Karin. You were not supposed to care about him—”

“And you weren’t supposed to kill him! This was
my job!” she growls, her sight blurry by unleashed tears—and despite it she can still clearly see the apathy in her coworker’s face.

It makes something in her tightly clench.

“Hn, you took too long. We couldn’t keep waiting for you to remember your roots. Did you forget you’re a spy, Karin? You’re trained for riding the world of bastards like these.”

And then he distastefully kicks him—he kicks Sasuke’s side, as if he were nothing but a sack of bones and skin—and something in her snaps.

She is taking her gun out and blowing his brains out before he has got time to even think—and as the body falls to the ground with a sick thud, Karin wipes off her tears—smearing her cheeks with Sasuke’s blood—and loads the gun again.

She can hear them coming from her, and she knows she won’t be able to escape—but that was fine.

She would take as many of them as she possibly could before going down, and—

“…we’ll meet soon, Sasuke.”

—and Sasuke had always liked souvenirs.


.
.
.

He is crudely woken up by Karin screaming his name.

Her yells are shrill and terrified; and they do not stop, no matter how much he shakes her, how much he calls out to her.

In fact—she seemed to only be getting worse.

“Sasuke, no—!”

“Karin! Karin, wake up!” he has her seized by her shoulders, but Karin trashes in his hold; so he brushes the bangs off her forehead instead, trying to soothe her nightmares with his touch. “It’s fine, I’m here, I won’t let anyone hurt—”

But his sincere promise is cut short by her terrified sob.

“N-no, Sasuke—get away from me!”

Sasuke jumps back, as if burnt. “W-what…?”

He could not believe his ears—she was frightened—of him?

He leans back; backs off the bed and steps into the cold floor, his mind whirling—and it’s then a memory sneaks into his conscious. Uninvited, and terrible with the clarity it brings him.

‘… They weren’t always nice, Sasuke. They rarely were.’
‘What weren’t?’
‘...You.’


The thought makes trepidation mercilessly grip his heart—and he can do nothing but helplessly watch as Karin twists and turns in her sleep, battling against ghosts he cannot see.

Ghosts he has started to fear, too.

.
.
.

“Karin,” he whispers affectionately, caressing her cheek with his right hand, “I need you.”

Karin swallows the knot in her throat and forces her knees to remain firm, “I—I know, so plea—”

“You’re the only one for me,” he talks over her, as if she hadn’t said a word. And Karin cannot fight the shiver that runs down her spine as something cold is pressed to her ribcage, right in between her breasts. “That’s why… I must to do this.”

“Sasuke,” her voice is hoarse, her eyes begging him to rethink this—to be reasonable. But Sasuke simply shakes his head and smiles an impossibly sad smile, his thumb tracing her bottom lip, which has started to quiver.

“I’ll see you soon… Karin.”

He says, and his words are as loud as the gunshot that follows.

And then her lifeless body is crumbling to the ground, his soon to follow.


.
.
.

“What was I doing to you?”

“… I don’t remember.”

Sasuke shuts his eyes close, his hands gripping the sheets. It would be so much easier to pretend to believe her; to pretend there was nothing wrong. To pretend he didn’t spend the whole night fighting the desperation gripping at his core as he watched her shake in her turmoil-filled sleep; longing for it to end, dreading what would happen once it did.

But he has played that game long enough.

He cannot continue to allow himself to remain blissfully unaware while she battles on her own.

“Don’t lie to me, Karin.”

“I’m not lying, Sasuke… I can’t remember what I dreamed,” Karin whispers, and a shiver runs down his spine as she places her cold hand atop of his own; it was trembling. “…But I can remember the rest.”

He is shaking, too—and so he uncurls his fists and entwines his fingers with hers, and makes the one request that would surely change everything.

“…Tell me the truth, Karin.”

Karin takes a deep breath, and Sasuke braces himself.

.
.
.

The world seems to slow to a halt as she coughs up blood, the sword cleanly piercing her chest and stopping dangerously close to his own heart.

He can only stare, eyes wide, at the back of her head—the vibrant strands of hair tickling his face as she takes an involuntary step backward—and then there is a cold flush of liquid splaying all over his shirt as the sword is pulled out and she begins to crumble down like a leaf—

And her name leaves his lips in the form of a horrified call—one that is cut short by her strained smile.

“Idiot, I… told you… to move, Sasuke…”

“Stop talking, Karin,” he ushers, and his vision blurs. Despite it he thinks he sees her smile widening, and he cradles her closer to his chest, tries to ignore the blood seeping from her body at an alarmingly fast pace. “You need to save your strength, Sakura is c—”

“Sa…suke,” and though her voice is nothing but a dying whisper, he is rendered silent at once. “Promise me… you won’t… die.”

His teeth clatter and sink on his lip, drawing blood—and suddenly he is yelling. “
You are the idiot, Karin! Why?! Why would you do that for me? Did you forget what I did to you? I thought you said you wouldn’t! I thought you said you would—”

“—make you… regret it… I know,” her smile looks like unleashed tears. “I admit… this… wasn’t exactly… what I had… in mind.”

There is a choked sob—and he barely registers it is his own.

She does, though—and her fingertips come to softly brush away the tears from the corner of his eyes, leaving telltale traces of crimson instead.

“Don’t… all I want…ed… is for you… to smile… like that day.”

He knows at once what she means—but the memories feel light-years away; they are colored in grays and smeared with blood, and for the life of him—for the life of her—he cannot find it in himself the will to smile.

And she slips away through his hesitation like he had always slipped through her fingers.

“See ya… Sasuke.”

Her hand drops and her body goes cold, and all his lips seem to be able to do is call her name—a name accompanied by lonesome apologies and regrets that would never get either of them anywhere.

He never seems to be able to get anywhere, ever, not even when he is trying to—but if he could—if only he could do it all over again,
he—

Mere hours later, his body is the one to drop lifelessly to the ground—and it’s all over before he can realize the smile that grazes his lips.

.
.
.

A terrible silence has descended upon them.

He has retreated to the edge of the bed, his elbows sinking on his knees and his horrified face cradled in his shaking hands.

Why…?” and he does not know it, but it always seemed to come to this very question. “Why are you with me, despite all the things I’ve done to you?”

Karin watches his desolated back and has a hard time swallowing the lump in her throat, “Because… they are not you, Sasuke.”

He says nothing in response—cannot possibly wrap his mind around her words, Karin knows. And so she softly crawls to him and drapes her arms around his neck, leans her cheek on the side of his head, closes her eyes and smiles.

“And, above all…”

The smile is strained—but resolute. Serene. It says nothing and everything at once. And despite himself, Sasuke finds solace in her touch—his own hand coming to seize her own as her words carry over to him, a simple truth that at once gives him hope and clogs his throat with trepidation.

“…Above all, I want to see how this one ends.”

.
.
.

It happens a sunny morning as she trips and a bear lunges at her, its roar so deafening that she thought her head would burst before the beast would get to sink its teeth on her flesh.

Except that it doesn’t get to.

And when she puts her glasses back on, her sight is met by a smile that would carve itself on her mind and set ablaze a flame that would burn just as strongly and lastingly as the eyes of the boy she would never, ever forget.

“See ya.”



This is what I give,
A circle is complete.
Another circle spins
There's life within,
Within

end.

Oooook! Now you guys should understand what I meant by the warnings at the beginning; I tried to make each SK set of reincarnations distinctly different from each other, both in personalities, dynamics and backgrounds; so they indeed diverge from the Sasuke and Karin we're used to, as they have all grown in different environments. All the same, I tried to keep some traits of their canon personalities, so hopefully they aren't absurdly OOC.

That said~! The song used at the beginning is Kitade Nana’s Tsukihana, and the one at the end is Blue Foundation’s Bonfires. Now, onto random details about the fic~ there are five versions of SasuKarin total in the fic; the originals, and 4 pairs of reincarnations.

The format of the fic didn’t allow for me to expand and truly explain each particular set, so if you are curious about any of them drop me a comment and I’ll tell you their background and/or explain anything you may be wondering about~!

For now though, I must mention a couple of things about the 4th SK pair (aka, the most controversial - the one with cute!Karin and business man!Sasuke); their meeting (the umbrella thing) was completely inspired by a real-life story I read here; and overly-jealous-and-possessive-Sasuke was inspired by mightu’s 'Anyone's Ghost' SK AMV, here. I debated a bit about this version, because it's kind of hard to imagine a Karin who would allow Sasuke to be that way with her; but then again, this particular Karin is less headstrong than the one we know and love. So I decided to leave it as it lol Also, his overdone “I love you(s)” and cheesiness, while sincere, were meant to be creepy and manipulative; I really hope they came out that way lol

Thanks for reading! ♥
 
 
 
carpediem: IchiRuki Reading is Srs Businesschappy_bunny_15 on July 24th, 2012 04:03 pm (UTC)
This was awesome. :D
Kanaekanae_mizuhito on July 24th, 2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thank youu! ♥