Naruto: This is How We Break (Sakura gen)
Genre: angst, gen
Pairing: hints of SasuSaku and NaruSaku + NaruSakuSasu
Summary: Sakura still confides in him, even when he's not there.
It’s her first miscarriage since she began taking over Tsunade’s regular patients at the clinic. Sakura washes blood and amniotic fluid from her hands, and then from the child, revealing pale bluish skin under the bright-red and pus-yellow.
Primary colours, like the nursery of the hospital, with dancing rabbits and bears on the walls.
The room is quiet now, without the nurses and the machines and the screaming of the mother. Sakura runs a soft cloth over the child’s forehead, revealing the misshapen frontal lobe. It never had a chance from the start.
After everything is clean, Sakura takes some of the moulding clay and makes two imprints: first a foot, then a hand. A blue ribbon is tied around the mould. It was a boy.
Sakura tells the mother herself, and gives her the cleaned body to hold and kiss and say goodbye to. The clay is left to harden on the table.
The nurses send Sakura home to sleep. Instead she calls Naruto and suggests going for ramen.
She meets him there, after a shower, and he greets her with a smile.
They order and he talks about his day, his last mission, the new moves he’s learned from Captain Yamato and Kakashi-sensei, the new jokes he’s heard from Kiba.
Sakura smiles back and laughs at the jokes that are funny. She smacks him for the jokes that are funnier, but completely inappropriate. She watches fondly as he fumbles in his pants for his wallet for a full fifteen minutes before remembering that he put it in his vest pocket.
When he asks about her day she says that it was fine. He claps his hands around hers before they part and she can’t turn her eyes away…her fingers look so tiny next to his.
Sakura walks home slowly.
In her own room, she strips off her clothes and crawls into bed. The picture on her dresser shows a much younger Team Seven, and Sakura stares at it a while before pulling it down under the covers with her.
She covers Naruto and Kakashi’s faces with her fingers and Sasuke glares off to the side, arms crossed, mouth set. When the tears finally come, Sakura finds it quite easy to say all the things she had wanted to say to that young mother, to the nurses, to Naruto.
She apologizes for not being good enough.
It’s silly, Sakura thinks, you’re only a picture.
But she feels a bit better.
After all, Sasuke’s seen her cry a thousand times before. She’s sure he won’t mind if she does it again, once in a while.