Fandom Category: Naruto
Pairing: Haruno Sakura/Uchiha Sasuke
Fic Title: Ripples
Rating/Warning(s): T. Violence, attempted sexual coercion (not the main couple), background abuse
Genre: Action/Adventure, AU from Ch 309 onwards.
WIP?: No, completed MC.
Why This Must Be Read: Following a botched mission, Sakura is made a slave by Sound, a position that could very well alter the future…especially concerning a certain familiar missing-nin.
Ripples is probably one of the most famous Sakura/Sasuke stories in the fandom, but I thought I would bring it up again for anyone who hasn't yet read it. Defying the unfortunate bodice-ripper tropes of the premise, Ripples is a great look at what someone with sense could have done for Sasuke, if he'd had one along. Sakura's bravery and wry sense of humour, smoothly woven into the narrative, are absolutely a joy to read, and Sasuke, for once, is very well characterised -- neither over-the-top, nor white-washed.
She shadowed Sasuke through the corridors, trying to memorise their layout for when she made her escape. When they reached a heavy door at the end of the corridor, Sakura assumed they'd reached their destination, and she was proven correct when Sasuke opened the door and entered without preamble.
Sakura strolled in behind him, a little taken aback at the size of the room. Her apartment wasn't this big!
Sasuke jerked his head in the direction of a bare corner. “You sleep there. If you want any sort of bedding, get it yourself.”
Apparently Sasuke was a bastard to everyone, including his slave. “Someone's pissy...” Sakura breathed, too low to be heard.
But she had reckoned without the stone walls that amplified sound or Sasuke's keen ears. “What was that?”
“Nothing,” Sakura denied automatically.
She doubted that Sasuke would pursue the line of inquiry – he probably considered it beneath him – and was surprised when he turned to her, black eyes sharp and seeking. She felt the urge to step back but stood her ground determinedly.
“What's your name?” he asked suddenly.
“Haru,” Sakura said.
“Last name or first name?” Sasuke interrogated.
“I don't think I want you to know,” Sakura snapped, feeling off-balance and a little nervous. What was Sasuke playing at?
Sasuke stared at the boy, half intrigued and half exasperated. Haru was either completely ignorant of his situation, or he possessed a lot more guts than Sasuke had first estimated.
Even if the defiance made him want to hit the kid, it was still a nice change from the usual brand of slaves toiling in Sound.
But Haru wasn't even paying attention to him anymore; his eyes were darting around the room in what someone less perceptive might have taken for fear. But Sasuke could see the calculation in his face – the slightly furrowed brow a sign of concentration rather than unease – and knew he was scanning the windowless room for obvious weak points or escape avenues beside the door they had just come through.
“You're already planning an escape,” Sasuke noted, just to see how Haru would react at the idea that his plans were discovered.
“Wouldn't you, in my place?” the slave snapped.