When I was younger, I knew forty-three girls who would give an arm, a leg, their right hip and their left eye to so much as be glanced at by the God that is more commonly (and certainly less formally) known as Uchiha Sasuke. That's just the way things were. If you were a single female you were in love with him when you were old enough to spell the word, and you spent your free time in-between lectures doodling his name all over your assignments and staring at him when you thought no on else was looking. Which was ridiculous. Everyone else was looking at him, too, so naturally the people across the room would see you looking at him.
Ah, there were so many catfights those days. I almost miss it sometimes. One girl would think that another had seen his eye twitch a millimeter in their direction, and would brag about it until they were laid flat by the next admirer in line. No one could stand anyone else gaining any ground over them, and so it went that friendships were destroyed and castles were built around one dark-haired, dark-eyed, brooding little boy.
I lost my best friend because of him. It wasn't his fault, not really; he couldn't help being born more beautiful than most girls, and he had the whole tragic, angst thing going for him. Naturally I fell in love with him just like everyone else, but being young and naive, I naturally assumed I was the only person in the world. It never crossed my mind that my best friend might harbor the same secret feelings that I did. When I think back on it, I was a really foolish little girl. We'd spend hours gushing about the boy that we liked, neither of us suspecting it was the same person, neither daring to ask the name in case it was. How foolish. To lose a best friend for a boy.
I'll admit it right now. I was a very foolish little girl. I couldn't stand the fact that my idol, the person I wanted to be, was in love with the same guy I was. When I found out, it was just too much to handle. So I told her that we couldn't be friends. I gave up the most important person in my young life for a boy who had never glanced twice in my direction.
But I'm getting off track. Now isn't the time to ruminate on broken friendships and those things. So, Uchiha Sasuke was the ultimate catch. I ended up being the lucky girl who somehow managed to be in his cell. I think God (and maybe Iruka-sensei) were smiling down on me the day we were assigned. Or perhaps it was as he told us; we were paired to balance one another out. Love Naruto and Sasuke as I do, neither of them were particularly strong in the 'think first, strategize, and then kick ass' department. They were all for skipping steps one and two. Which is good in some cases. If it were up to me, we would've died about five hundred times along our journey, simply because I was more of a healer than a fighter.
Guess that's why I'm a med-nin. Who would've thought, right? Right.
Anyway, as I was saying, if you were in the market for a husband at the tender age of thirteen, you'd have to be crazy not to be slanting glances toward Sasuke. Unless, maybe, you were Hinata, who had her eyes on another from the very beginning, but that's a whole different story. Everybody who was anybody wanted to marry him. Or, if they didn't want to marry him, they wanted to date him. Even if that was impossible, they at least wanted to be kissed by him.
I was every female's worst enemy. Actually, if I want to be technical, there were some guys who hated me for being in his cell too, but we won't even begin to go there. Personally, I was walking on cloud nine, and there wasn't anything that could bring me down.
Okay, so the stint with Orochimaru, the curse seal, and all that was pretty depressing. And for a while after he came back, he just wasn't the same. It was like getting to know him all over again, as a brand new person. Luckily for the both of us, I was in love with him, not his image (as so many others were), so I was patient. Patient, and quietly in love with him. I held his hand and guided him gently back into being the person that he is today.
It only took me sixteen years.
I'll never forget the day that we were married. It was a beautiful thing. You see, I'd never been in love with anyone else, had never even kissed anyone else, so at thirty-two, I was the epitome of a blushing bride. It was the happiest day of my life, and his too. We were married, and we moved into the Uchiha compound.
A big part of Sasuke's therapy was coming to terms with his clan's demise, and that included being able to return to the compound and visit their graves. Truthfully, I was more than surprised that he wanted to spend our married life in the compound. More than that, I was shocked when he opened it up to the village, and together, we turned the main house into a boardinghouse for shinobi.
We both know how difficult it is to go to a new place and pay exorbitant amount of money on hotel rooms. Nice as they often are, there just isn't that homey feel to them. Sasuke and I have changed that.
Oh, I didn't mention, did I? With the new peace treaties, shinobi travel freely between villages, and we've been trying to form trust and bridge gaps between different peoples. It's been working so far. There is less tension in life nowadays, and it's so interesting to be able to share and learn from other shinobi and kunoichi about their own villages. There are still problems of course, and still rogue villages, but for the most part, the world in general is a more peaceful place. Sasuke and I see a variety of people from many different places all the time, and it's been an absolute joy to raise our children in such an environment.
We have three, two boys and a daughter. Our twins have their father's hair, of course, and his eyes, but our youngest son... well, he's me. He's only three, and the light and joy of my life. I love all my children, please don't misunderstand, but I have a special place in my heart for Tohru. Especially since he's the last child I'll have.
I've never regretted a moment of my life. I think, honestly, I can say I'm the happiest woman in the village. My life isn't ideal and perfect, no, but it's wonderful to me. Oh, that was what I meant to talk about, wasn't it? Life as married to Uchiha Sasuke. While it's beautiful, it certainly isn't everything I imagined it would be when I was a little girl.
For one thing, the man sleeps like the dead and is an absolute bed-hog. He doesn't budge an inch unless I tickle the undersides of his feet, and then it's like all hell is crashing down on top of me. The man cannot stand to have his feet tickled, and if you think he moves fast when he's awake, you've never seen him try to assassinate you while sleeping. There's some sort of little internal sensor in the bottom of his foot that flips him into berserker mode. I've repaired our sliding doors more often than I care to admit, what with him flinging me through them all the time.
Don't make the mistake of thinking he gets away with that, though. Oh, he pays, all right. I won't tell you how, exactly, because that's a secret between husband and wife, but it's sufficient punishment.
While I'm on the topic of beds, he drools. Yes, Uchiha Sasuke, God in physical manifestation, a being so utterly attractive that you have to put sunglasses on to dim the glow sometimes, drools like we're going through a drought. It's disgusting, to be frank. He certainly didn't mention that when he proposed. Not that it's something that you generally bring up when you're trying to be romantic and all that, but still. There are some things a girl would like to know beforehand.
The only way to get any sleep when sharing a bed with him, is to tilt his face toward one wall and snuggle up under his arm. He takes up the entire bed by himself, and it's lucky I'm a slender woman, otherwise it wouldn't work out at all. I've woken up many times with my hair matted to my face by drool. It's not exactly the most romantic way to start your morning.
I no longer believe in dieting, by the way. Breakfast is an honored ritual in our home, and we eat big every morning. Our lighter meals come later in the day, as is custom, and thankfully, I'm a better cook than I was as a teenage girl. I am proud to announce that I no longer am able to burn water.
Sasuke eats like a pig. No slight intended to Ino, as that is her title and her title alone, but he does! I could understand after a big mission or a lot of training, but it's all the time nowadays. When he's home, that is. As a member of ANBU, Sasuke has an odd schedule, and when he leaves, it's anyone's guess how long it'll be before I see him next. But I don't mind, not really. I love him enough that I can wait for him to come back.
I have faith that he'll come home to me, always. It hasn't ever crossed my mind that he won't. Call me anything you want to, but if I constantly worried about him dying on a mission, I would be a very unhappy woman. So I choose to be as optimistic as I can, and trust my husband.
Both of us have jobs aside from running our establishment, as you can see. I work part-time at the hospital, and Sasuke is ANBU. That's why we hired other people to help us manage the boardinghouse. In the event that one of us can't be there, they're highly trained and can take care of things. And sometimes, even if we're both home, we like to take time off and just be together. No one holds that against us, and even if they did, I wouldn't care. There isn't anything wrong with spending a day free of responsibility, just being with your family and enjoying the moment.
There are plenty of things about Sasuke that, after I married him, I realized I can't stand. For one thing, when he sits down, his pants rise up above his ankles and expose a good inch of flesh. He refuses to let me buy him longer pants that would cover that, as he insists the ones he has are perfect and there's no need to change. Sasuke is very stubborn. I refuse to look at his legs while we eat or sit together.
Another thing is that he takes hour-long baths. Again, I can understand if it's after a mission or a big workout, but it's constant. He's lucky he's not so pruny that he never smooths back out again once he's done bathing. It's an ordeal every night to get him out of there and dressed, and God help me, the children have taken up his habit. By the time I get to finally take a bath and all I really want to do is soak, I'm so exhausted that I can't. It's either fall asleep in the tub and drown, or make it a quick one and dive into bed.
You can see that mom suffers the most, in the grand scheme of things.
Oh yeah. Want to know something really gross?
I'm warning you, this is sick.
Sasuke picks his teeth with his fingernails.
He thinks I don't notice when he goes into the bathroom to do it, but one night, he left the door open a crack and I saw. I think he has a deeply-rooted aversion to floss. I don't understand it. All I know is, he kisses me with that mouth that he sticks his dirty fingernails into and picks.
Don't get me wrong; he washes his hands and all that. But do you know how many bacteria are under fingernails? I'm getting the shivers just thinking about it. He kisses me with that mouth! I'm going to confront him about it one of these nights, when he leaves the door open again and I can see. That way, he'll have no way to accuse me of spying and devious, underhanded tactics.
Life isn't all bad, though. There are random moments in the day when Sasuke will just walk over to me, look at me like it's the first time he's ever seen me, and then gather me up in his arms and kiss me. I don't quite know what spurns these moments, but you'll never hear me complain. It's unexpected, sweet, wonderful. I can't think of the words to describe living with him. You never know what to expect from day to day, but at the same time, you know it's always going to be the same. Exciting, but stable. Comfortable and ever changing.
Just this morning I walked into the bedroom and found a brand new quilt spread over the bed. I have no idea when he found the time to do it, but I know for a fact that Sasuke hand-stitched the entire thing for my birthday. We were robbed not too long ago when the both of us were away, and a quilt that my mother handed down to me was taken. I was devastated.
I never would have expected him to do that. The quilt isn't perfect by any means. You can tell an amateur made it, but it's all the more precious for that fact. I've never gotten a more meaningful birthday present in my life, and tonight, when the kids are tucked away and the house is quiet, I'm going to show him just how much I love him.
But that's not the sort of thing a woman talks about where anyone else can hear. Really. What kind of person do you think I am?
Grand gestures like this aren't the reason I love him most, though. It's the little things. His expression every morning when we wake up next to each other, that sleepy, silly half-smile on his face when he says good morning. The way he'll always find a reason to walk by and touch me, be it my elbow, my hip, anything, just because he can, no matter what I'm doing. He's quiet, always has been, and is by no means a poet. I've never gotten a length, beautiful declaration of love like I dreamed of when I was small. Not the conventional kind, anyhow. But you know what?
I don't need one.
Every day, I know just how much he loves me. He doesn't even have to say a word and I know. We have that sort of beautiful, seamless relationship where half the time we don't understand one another at all, we fight, and there are days we hate each other so much that we can't stand the thought of living in the same village let alone the same house, but we do.
We do, and the simple fact that we stay together even when life isn't perfect, and we know it won't ever be, proves that our love is one that will endure.
Nothing in this world is perfect. But my life... it's beautiful for all its imperfections, don't you think?