Warning: Mature sexual content.

The days passed in Konoha as they always did with the breeze bringing forth a new era in the village. The wartime mood had lifted, and yet, Sasuke had still not returned.

It had been nearly two weeks since Bee's unexpected arrival and I had been working double shifts at the hospital to keep my mind off of him and what had happened, but the nights were still long. It was only until one morning I had overslept that something happened to interrupt the monotony of my life.

The knock at my door was abrupt and loud, as if someone had never learned any patience.


I quickly threw my hair into a damp ponytail as I ran down the stairs. Whoever it was at the door was still pounding away even as I pulled it open.

Outside was a short man with a rather old suit that seemed too big for him.

"Can I help you?" I asked, one eyebrow raised in curiosity and slight annoyance.

"Ms. Haruno?"


"I can't believe you are actually home! I've been trying to get in touch with you for weeks!" he said, his tone practically accusatory.


He huffed a little and shuffled through his briefcase which had loose papers scattered about and retrieved a document and a set of keys.

"Now," he said, "I need your signature here, and then you are all set."

My expression became more incredulous. "And what exactly am I all set for?"

He handed me the paper and a pen and bristled. Sighing, I took it and glanced over it. It was a deed.

"Look," I said. "I haven't purchased any property, there must be some kind of mistake."

"No," he said. "Our instructions were clear. Should Mr. Uchiha not have returned by now, we were to deliver the deed and keys to Sakura Haruno. That is you, correct?"

Shock set in as I read over the deed more thoroughly, finally noticing the address as the very same house that Sasuke had been looking at before his unscheduled departure.

"Yeah," I muttered. Unable to ignore his impatience, I signed the document which he then took, saying something about archiving it, and pushed the keys into my hands.

"Good day then, Ms. Haruno," he said, scampering off.

I stood there, my hair still dripping into my eyes, not sure what to do.

# # #

The next few months passed in a blur of sleepless nights and tear stained memories running through my mind. I began to wonder if Sasuke would ever return. I couldn't even bring myself to go to the house he had bought, and mysteriously left to me in his absence.

What was that even supposed to mean?

Sometimes I carried the keys with me. Sometimes I left them on the table in the kitchen. And sometimes I locked them in a chest intending to leave them there forever, because that is what it felt like would be most appropriate because he was never coming back.

Then, without reason, they would end up in my pocket again as I made my way to the hospital, but I would never go there. I would never give in to any of it. The hope that he would return and stay, the fear that he wouldn't, or the notion he actually bought this house for us. Dare I even think it?

I doubt he even knew what he was doing. That's why he wasn't here. He didn't know what he was coming back to. He was scared.

Sasuke Uchiha was a coward.

It was during one of these internal ramblings in my head that I received a call from Naruto informing me that Hinata had gone into labor. I immediately rushed to the hospital for several intense hours before a healthy little blond boy entered the world.

A few short days later, several of us had gathered at Naruto's place to welcome little Boruto. He looked so much like Naruto it was just comical. Tsunade held him adoringly as if it were her own grandchild, and Kakashi couldn't keep the little guy from constantly trying to pull his mask down. Several of us had brought little tokens for him, ninja toys and others items for him to play with. We shared the afternoon with the windows open, laughing and recalling fond memories and imagining the new ones to come. It wasn't until everyone was getting ready to leave that there was a knock at the door.

Naruto looked around suspiciously as if trying to figure out who was missing before shrugging and going to answer the door.

"Shikamaru must be back early from his mission," he said offhandedly.

But I had a pit in the bottom of my stomach.

When he opened the door, we all waited tenuously for him to greet them, but there was nothing but silence for a moment. I closed my eyes. Could it really be him?

"Sasuke-teme!" Naruto shouted. "You're late!"

My heart pounded in my chest as Sasuke came inside with Naruto. I kept my eyes firmly fixed on the floor as everyone greeted him.

"Sasuke-kun," Hinata said. "I'm glad you could come."

"Uchiha, what took you so long?" Tsunade scolded.

Kakashi laughed and said, "I'm sure he just got lost on the path of life, but here he is."

"I knew the baby should be born by now," Sasuke said. "I wanted to be here, but like Kakashi said, I got a little lost."

Sasuke handed something to Naruto which he quickly unwrapped.

"It's just something I had made for the baby," he said.

Naruto dropped the torn papers and held a miniature stuffed Kurama in his hands, all nine tails flapping furiously and laughed.

He clapped Sasuke into a tight hug and said, "He will love it! Here, come hold him. His name is Boruto."

Naruto was already taking him from Hinata and thrusting him into Sasuke's arms even as he protested. It was a surreal sight that I couldn't avoid any longer. Sasuke standing there with Naruto's child in his arms. For a moment, I swear I saw Sasuke smiling… until he looked up and met my eyes.

I looked away quickly, but no one missed it. Sasuke broke the awkward tension by saying, "Hinata, next time, try to make sure the kid looks more like you."

Everyone laughed and I took the opportunity to leave quietly.

I left the keys which had been in my pocket on the table in the kitchen.

# # #

I couldn't deny the relief I felt that Sasuke was back in the village, and after two weeks, he still hadn't left. I avoided him well, and he made no effort to seek me out, which annoyed me more than I cared to admit. My pain had become defiance, but still, I longed for an explanation. I had heard from Naruto that Sasuke had very quickly joined the ANBU Black Ops. He had been training with his team and was about to leave for his first mission for two more weeks.

I was beginning to unravel.

If I wanted to talk to him, it had to be tonight.

For the first time since we had looked at the place months ago, I went to the little house that Sasuke had purchased. My hands were shaking, and I had no idea what I was going to say, but I knew that I had to do something.

I stood outside his door for several minutes before I finally found the resolve to knock, and then waited.

I waited for what felt like hours.

He wasn't coming.

He wasn't even home.

I sat down on the steps, utterly and miserably defeated, and just exhausted of the energy it required to give a damn about Sasuke.

I went about my life—if one could even call it that—as usual. Sasuke's mission was extended, and finally, after five weeks, I noticed a light on in his house.

I had been so pathetic about his return I took a detour on my route home from work to go past his house, but not too close in case he was actually there.

It was the first time I had ever seen a light coming from the window, and I had just stopped in the middle of the street, dumbfounded.

Suddenly, I was angry.

I was angry, and I was marching up to his door, my fist pounding so hard I was breathing a little erratically. He pulled the door open with a cross look on his face that turned to shock at the sight of me.

"What are you doing here?" he asked.

I let that run through my brain a few times trying to process the words and let my anger fully develop into rage.

Did he really just dare say that to me?

"What do you mean what am I doing here?" I asked. "I wanted to see you. I came because I wanted to see you. I've wanted to see you every night for the past six weeks, but you are never here. And now that you are, you take every opportunity to get out of the village. Kakashi told me you had requested lengthy and distant missions. When are you going to stop being so damn scared?"

Sasuke had returned to his usual demeanor of stoicness, but I did see the contempt flash in his eyes. "Scared of what?"

For a second, my anger faded, and I realized that maybe he didn't even see it himself. He was such a fool.

"Of everything in this village. Seeing Naruto with a family. Being around me and knowing how I feel about you. Risking letting yourself get too close to these feelings that you hold at arm's length—Sasuke, you're going to kill us both if you keep running, because I'm never going to stop loving you."

He stared at me with that same dark look, his eyes void of emotion before stepping back and allowing me to step inside. Automatically, my manners carried me inside. I paced the living room barely noticing the décor.

I couldn't stand it anymore. He had come so close, only to shut me out again, and now, being in his presence again was nearly shattering. Tears fell freely down my skin, blurring my vision of him. My knees weakened, and I wondered if I could even keep standing anymore. Losing him again like this would be the last for me. My own heart would close off, never letting someone in again. Years of loving someone who could not receive the feelings was tiring, and despite never wanting to give up on him, I could not help but feel my feelings of love becoming frustration and anger. My eyes burned as I fought to see him there, still watching me, that stoic posture making me glare.

But as I blinked, I thought I caught something that couldn't be real. It looked for a moment, as if Sasuke… were crying.

Suddenly, my back hit the wall, and I could feel Sasuke's hand on my chest. I was breathing rapidly, my eyes wide with shock. "I'm not scared of loving you, Sakura. I'm scared of losing you."

Still, somehow, I managed to reach up and place my hand around his neck and gently tug. The only difference from before was that I was a little less dumbfounded. There was nothing in the world that could have prepared me for the onslaught of Sasuke's mouth against mine. In one moment, years of distance and cold reactions were shattered, and the sheer heat of his body was leaving trails of fire on my skin.

"I need you, Sakura," he said, his voice far more strained than I had ever recalled hearing it.

The drunken lust he had ignited within me wasn't allowing me to properly register what he was saying until he wrapped my legs around his waist, holding me there against him and the wall. My eyes widened as I felt what exactly needed me pressing deep into my abdomen. I had little time to consider it before he had ripped off my shorts, his hands touching me in such a way I had to look away from him.

"Look at me," he said.

His words were uttered with such passion I had no choice but to turn back to face him. He had me pinned beneath him already, and looking up into his dark eyes as he rubbed his fingers at my increasingly wet folds. I started to shake under his gaze as he pressed his lips to mine again. This time I was reacting instinctively. I wanted to feel every bit of him that I could. He consumed me with his kiss, his need leaving my lips bruised. I had dreamt of this moment for years, but I couldn't have imagined this. It seemed my vulnerability was working to my advantage for once. In the same extreme as all the pain he once caused me, the pleasure was far greater than I could have imagined. I was screaming into his mouth by the time he pulled his fingers out of my body.

I could hardly catch my breath, and when I opened my eyes, I saw something I hadn't seen in years. Sasuke was smirking at me. I was still wracked with shudders as he shifted my weight in his arms. His lips danced across my mouth as his hands slid up my arms, holding them over my head.

"I hope you're ready, Sakura, because I can't wait any longer," he said. I could feel his hand holding both my wrists, my legs still wrapped around his waist. Just as his words sunk in, I felt the subtle shift of his hips as he entered me.

I cried out a little, my hands tightening in his as he pressed against me harder. Never in my wildest fantasies had I imagined how big Sasuke's—

I bit my lip as he entered me further. It was completely different than when his fingers had been inside me, and he wasn't maintaining his composure like he had been. I could feel his hot breath against my ear as he tried to be gentle, and I tried hard to keep the tears from welling up at the thought of Sasuke even caring about not hurting me.

I tightened my grip on his hands and whispered, "It's okay. I can handle it, Sasu—ahh!"

Before I even finished saying his name, he had plunged inside of me, filling me to the core. I couldn't help but scream out a little at the shock of feeling him buried so deep, but it was only a momentary pain. He released my hands to hold onto me and withdrew only to bury himself inside me again. I couldn't help but be amazed at the look of utter pleasure on his face. His eyes were clenched shut as he tried to maintain enough control to not hurt me. The pain was there, but I hardly noticed because I was so entranced by him. Each stroke Sasuke made, the more my body adjusted, and the louder my cries became. As his pace became steadier, he finally began to unclench his eyes. His forehead was against mine the whole time, his bangs grazing my cheeks. Whatever I was feeling right now, I had never experienced before. I wanted him to stay with me like this forever. I had never felt such raw passion from Sasuke before, though I had seen it otherwise directed. That kind of strength had always been reserved for hate, or Naruto. Now, seeing him in such bliss had done something to me. I felt such joy at seeing him happy, even if it was fleeting, that I could be content forever.

My hands raked through his hair gripping him as he clawed at my back, pounding against me shamelessly. I'd never felt so completely helpless as I did now, and at the same time, completely safe. Desperate cries of pain and pleasure tore out of me as he claimed me. For there was no other word for what Sasuke Uchiha was doing right now.

With his final thrust, a grunt escaped his mouth as he pressed into me harder than ever. He held me there in his arms for a few moments, unable to disconnect our bodies. Finally, he pulled me from the wall, carrying me while still buried inside of me, to his couch and resting me against it as he pulled himself free.

At no point had we taken any unnecessary clothing off, and he quickly adjusted his pants. His face was covered in a sheen of sweat as mine was, and he was still breathing like he had just finished sparring. I couldn't move, and I was blushing at how exposed I still was to him.

Then, without warning, he was up, facing away from me.

"You should go," he said.

I closed my eyes and shook my head. "Sasuke…"


I sat up, sobered by his sudden cold demeanor. "You don't have to do this."

He turned back to me, his eyes narrowed. "When I told you I'd be back, I never said we were getting married, Sakura. You got what you wanted. Now go."

Anger flared so much my chakra did as well. "No. You don't get to act like this anymore. Stop being afraid of a good thing. I know you want this as much as I do, so stop fighting it just because you are scared!"

"Why should I?" he yelled, his sharingan blazing all of a sudden. "You can't guarantee you'll always be here. What makes you so special?"

"Why did you buy this house, Sasuke?" I yelled.

"I had a stupid idea," he said, the mask returning.

I felt helpless. Crying was all I could do, but it seemed to trigger something within him for once.

"I don't know how to be with you, Sakura. If I get any closer…"


"I can't go through that again. If I lost you, it would unhinge me, and I would be a threat to everyone. Just so I could be with you."

"If you lost me, you would still have Naruto and Kakashi sensei, and everyone else in the village who loves you. It's a choice, Sasuke. You already feel it, why deny yourself the pleasure of it? Would you feel the pain of losing any less if you were thousands of miles away?"

"That's what I'm counting on." He moved down the hall and slammed a door. Following him, I stared at the door where he had been for several moments before I gently pulled it open only to find him still standing on the other side. I rested my hand on his back.


Relief flooded my body as he turned around, resting his forehead against mine. The feel of his lips against mine in that moment was completely foreign. Had my cries been heard? Had he actually listened to me for once? Before I could press the matter, he had lifted me in his arms and carried me back to his bed. He leaned over me, looking into my eyes and muttered, "I've wanted you like this for so long."

Sasuke kept kissing at my neck, but my interest had been piqued. "How long?"

He paused and looked at me, deciding if he really wanted to tell me or not.

"After Naruto and I fought… I almost didn't leave the village over it…" he said.

My eyes widened as what he said sunk in. "But if I'm being honest, it started after I saw you at Orochimaru's hideout. You had changed so much, but I refused to let such instincts deter me from my goal."

Sasuke made love to me after that. It wasn't the raw sex I had experienced before, but it was tender, and something I wasn't sure he was capable of. It was surreal, being with him like this, finally. We fell asleep after, and when I awoke, it was already early afternoon, and he was still sleeping. My mind was hazy from the memories of him, and the reality of being with him still, but when realization struck, it struck hard.

I sat upright so fast I woke him.

"Shit," I said.

I was supposed to be at the hospital at six this morning.

"I'm late, I'm really really late," I muttered, storming through his room and the rest of my house, putting on my clothes as I found them.

Sasuke just watched me for a moment and rolled back over and went to sleep as I bolted out the front door.

# # #

When I arrived at the emergency unit, I found Tsunade in her office slumped over, as I burst through the door.

"Tsunade-sama," I breathed, "I'm so sorry, I was—"

"Wher've you been?" she said, her eyes blurry. "Whatever… I'm going home…"

She got up and stumbled past me, grabbing my arm for support, and then left without another word.

I breathed a sigh of relief. She was so out of it, she wouldn't even remember this tomorrow.

Now that the panic was out of my mind, I began my rounds, and immediately found thoughts of last night taking over. I wish I had at least a few moments to say goodbye or… get some kind of clarity on where we were. Now I was just going to spend the next sixteen hours wondering.

And that was exactly what I did. I considered stopping at Sasuke's instead of going home, but I desperately needed a shower. I dropped everything and did just that the moment I got home, my mind still dazed thinking about him. When I went into my room to change, I noticed a single piece of paper on my pillow. Feeling anxious, I picked it up and read, "Come over tonight."

My heart pounded loudly in my chest for several moments before I dropped the note and rushed about my room, tearing through my drawers for something to wear, then reconsidering my choice about a dozen times before laundry was scattered everywhere. I was halfway to his house before I slowed down, realizing I had no idea what to say or how to act now.

Why was this so difficult? After last night, shouldn't everything be easy now?

I struggled with what my first words would be to him as I approached the back door to his kitchen, choosing not to be seen going in at such a late hour. I never did decide on anything, and wasn't even sure if I should knock. Awkwardly, I entered the back door, and wondered if I should call to him.

But it didn't matter, because he was already there.

"You came."

AN: Sorry it took so long for the update! Will be finishing this story soonish. And it's a girl! We are going to name her Emrie Adessa. :)