(Day Twenty of SasuSaku Month.)
When he was little, Sasuke never really liked his house.
It was big, imposing, and full of dark places that seemed like it would swallow him whole if he hid there while he and his brother would play hide and seek. If possible, he would spend the whole day outside the compound and would never come back until his brother or his mother would call him for dinner. He didn't know why he hated his house so much, not until he was a bit older.
It was a house, not a home.
When the Uchiha massacre happened, Sasuke avoided the compound like the plague. The memories were too painful, too heavy to carry on the shoulders of his small self. Instead he asks the Sandaime for an apartment, and when he accidentally scalded himself because he was never taught how to cook, he doesn't say anything.
As opposed to his previous room, his quarter in Orochimaru's base is utilitarian. The desk beside his bed is completely bare, and sometimes he affords it a second look because the wooden frame bearing the photo of his old team is missing, left behind in Konoha. He doesn't think about it though, because his bonds are cut and there's nothing else that could salvage it.
When Orochimaru is dead and he has another team, Sasuke familiarizes himself once again on sleeping out in the open. Sometimes when the four of them divides task, he would pause in collecting firewood and reminisce the times of loud banter and overcooked fish and fights on lookouts – and then he'd shut his brain down because sometimes, it wasn't good to think about lost times.
After the war, Sasuke comes back to Konoha. His old apartment is gone, destroyed like every building in Konoha, so they assign him a new one and when he sleeps he tries to ignore the fact that the Anbu is guarding his every move. This time, his desk obtains its lost wooden picture frame, and his eyes would pass it every time he sleeps.
Team Seven drops by for the first time when they are finished with training, much to his consternation. Immediately upon entering, Naruto remarks that it looks like there's no one living in it, and Sakura bonks the blonde in the head while Kakashi dryly comments about tactlessness. And then they proceed to his kitchen, where the four make dinner amidst banters and witty remarks.
When Sasuke sits on the dinner table surrounded by his team, he thinks that this is the closest to a home he will ever get.
He's designated to wash the dishes with Sakura after, and with comfortable silence they work side by side. He's contemplating about the change of his once fangirl when Sakura notes how empty his house was.
Sasuke shrugs. "It's just a house."
"You still live here, though." Sakura replied, putting a soapy dish under the running water. "Personally, I think it needs a few personal touches."
"I don't need personal touches." Sasuke says, and then he has the need to remind her. "I live alone, Sakura."
"That's why we need each other." she said, voice deceivingly light. "In this world of emptiness and solitude… it seems horribly selfish to be alone. Don't you agree?"
They stare at each other then, and Sasuke can't find it in himself to give her a satisfactory reply. Sakura has something in her eyes and she's opening her mouth to say something, but Sasuke never gets to know what it is because there is a knock on his kitchen window. When he opens it, there's an Anbu asking for Sakura – someone's been injured and she's needed in the hospital.
When she's gone and all that's left is Kakashi, he and his former teacher stares after the rapidly disappearing form of Sakura and Naruto who insisted on accompanying the pinkette towards the hospital - Kakashi says in a voice that is only meant for Sasuke's ears.
"The way she looked at you… She loved you, and it was killing her."
Sasuke feels… He doesn't know how he feels. But he's angry at what Kakashi is implying that he whirls around, pinning the single eye with a glare.
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"A long time ago," the other man begins, "there was someone I—someone who was important to me." Kakashi looks away, and for a moment, he seems transported somewhere else. But after a second he comes around and stares at him, and Sasuke found himself listening.
"I thought there was time. I always thought there would be time for something more. But that's not always true. We don't get guarantees, Sasuke, and we don't get second chances."
Sasuke's eyes narrow, but before he had a chance to explode a hand plopped on the top of his head, and he could only stare as his former teacher ruffled his hair the way he did when he was still a genin, Kakashi's eye crinkling smile suddenly present.
"Keep that in mind before you lose your chance, okay?"
The small voice slowly shook him out of his light sleep, and onyx eyes blinked before meeting emerald green. Sakura smiled, gently brushing his bangs away from his face and leaning down to give him a kiss.
"Good morning." He murmured after the kiss ended, bringing a palm to the side of his wife's face and using a thumb to draw little circles on her cheek. Sasuke found himself smiling; paradise seemed within reach with Sakura in his arms.
She was his wife, stable and dependable and heart-achingly good, the woman who he had always taken for granted but who he now understood deserved so much more from him.
Sakura let out an answering smile when she saw the tilt of his lips. "Good morning."
Sasuke raised an eyebrow. "No morning sickness?"
"You were sleeping so soundly that you didn't even wake up when I dashed towards the bathroom."
"…are you alright?"
The pinkette rolled her eyes at her husband's overprotectiveness. "I can handle myself, Sasuke. As you can see, I'm in your arms and alive."
Knowing that her hormones were unpredictable, Sasuke wrapped his arm more snugly on Sakura's waist and pulled her tightly to him, peppering her shoulder with feather light kisses. She purred at the attention, making him smirk. "Just making sure my wife is fine."
Sakura shook her head, careful not to dislodge Sasuke's perch on her neck. She was about to make a witty remark when she winced, and he immediately withdrew and eyed her with concern.
"Nothing." She grimaced. "Just… The baby kicked."
Sasuke blinked. "Kicked?"
Sakura laughed at his clueless expression. She lay on her back before grasping Sasuke's hand in hers and placing it on her stomach. They waited tentatively for a few seconds, before they simultaneously smiled.
With a wife and a baby in a few months, Sasuke, for the first time in his life, finally had a home.
EXAMS ARE DONE. PARTY HARD, BITCHES.
Right. Sorry, I'm just glad I can go back to my normal sleeping patterns. Yesssss. Hectic college life is hectic. Anyway, hope you like this prompt. It's cute and doable, in my opinion, but I'd like to know what's yours.
[Day Twenty: Paradise]