dedication: to my senshi sisters. for the years we poured into this, and each other.
notes: THE SHIP IS CANON AND WE ARE SAILING INTO THE SEAS OF FOREVER FUCKITY BYEEEEEEEE
title: up in our bedroom after the war
summary: A happy ending, or something like it. — Sasuke/Sakura.
It wasn't perfect.
Frankly, if it was, she wouldn't have believed it. Perfection was not something that Haruno Sakura had any experience with. She understood blood and death and destruction—she was ninja, it came with the territory—but not perfection or domestic bliss.
So it wasn't perfect. They fought a lot. It was a very quiet kind of fighting, too, a simmering just beneath her own skin that she knew reflected her boyfriend's inner turmoil. It hurt the way an old wound did—achy, a little, and got worse with the cold. It wasn't easy, and they'd been through so much…
But there were days that were worth it.
The day she woke up, Sasuke breathing slow and even at her side, was one of those days. He was staring at her, face propped against his sole hand, with a little crinkle at the corner of his mouth that might have been contentment. Something swelled in Sakura's chest like a balloon.
"Good morning," Sakura whispered.
"Morning," he murmured in reply, lips barely moving. He just kept looking at her; she might have been a puzzle or an obscure piece of art for all his scrutiny, but Sakura knew that it wasn't anything like that.
Sasuke still didn't think he deserved good things.
"We should probably get up," Sakura said, still soft in the early-morning light. There was something about very early mornings, when the sky was still grey with before-dawn and the pink of the sun was only beginning to break over the horizon, which made a person want to be quiet. Neither Sakura nor Sasuke was an exception to this rule, and so they just looked at each other for a while, pre-dawn soft and filmy outside the window. Just looked. In the silence, warm and sleepy, Sakura thought it was worth it.
It was all worth it.
Sasuke made a sound low in his throat. "Probably."
He proceeded to contradict this entirely by sliding an arm around her waist and dragging her closer to his chest, pressing his face into her hair and breathing deeply.
"This doesn't feel like getting up," Sakura told him, lips curling up just the littlest bit.
"It isn't," Sasuke said, voice muffled by the top of her head.
"I do have to get to the hospital," she said, smile growing into something sweet and real. "And you have to get to the Academy. Don't you have a class to teach?"
"Teachin' can wait," he muttered. "M'sleep an' you."
"That doesn't make sense, Sasuke-kun," Sakura laughed into his chest.
His grip tightened for a second, and then relaxed. "Hmn. Annoying."
She sighed, still smiling out of the corner of her mouth. There was affection in his voice, almost unnoticeable.
But Sakura had known the man in her bed for a long, long time. She wasn't about to miss something as important as affection, not when it was directed at her, not after everything.
"Oh," she said, soft, sudden, the realization hitting her sound in the gut. She pulled her face away from his chest long enough to look him in the face. "Oh, Sasuke-kun."
"You love me, don't you?"
He raised his head a little, dark bangs across dark eyes, a possessive little twitch to his mouth. But he didn't say anything, and he didn't deny it.
"You do," she said, a little incredulous. "You do."
"Hmn," he said again, and rolled so that he lay atop her, hips ground down and they fit, like that, two puzzle pieces finally sliding together. This wasn't sex, Sakura knew, though heat pooled low in her belly. This was—something else.
"It's okay," she said as a puff of air hit her cheek. "You don't need to say it. I know."
He kept her pinned there, lips only inches apart, and they breathed together, hearts beating in tandem.
"I love you, too, Sasuke-kun," she whispered into his skin.
He kissed her then, mouth hot and wet, and ground down. She arched into him, the long line of her back glancing off the sheets.
"Well," Sakura breathed out, voice hitching. "The hospital can probably wait. Oh—!"
The world outside kept moving, kept spinning, kept going. People still loved and hated and fucked, and though the war had wounded them, changed them, put holes all through them in neat little rows, kunai gashes in the gutters.
No, it wasn't perfect.
But with Sasuke's mouth on her pulse and the sky slowly turning pink outside the window, Sakura thought that maybe that was alright. He didn't say he loved her—hadn't said it, might not ever say it—but that was alright, too. They had this, these quiet mornings in each other's company before the rush and tumble of the real world brought them back.
Things were still healing. Konoha was still healing, and really, so was the everything else.
But they were getting there.
They were getting there.
notes2: this is a hello, a goodbye, and a heartfelt thank you, kishimoto. thank you for naruto, thank you for sasusaku, thank you for fifteen years of work.
notes3: but mostly, thank you for giving me friends. i'd never have known them without you, and living lke that would only be a half-life. so thank you, thank you, thank you.