Disclaimer: Naruto does not belong to me.

And This is Love
by: Hime

Sakura doesn't tell Sasuke that she loves him anymore, even though she does (insanely, almost obsessively, like every girl loves her first love, since that's exactly what he is) because she's afraid that he will tell her that he doesn't love her back. Or worse, he'll lie and tell her that he does. He has learned kindness after all these years, and it shows whenever they are alone together, away from prying eyes. However, kindness is not love and love is a skill she fears he has lost. That ability was bled from him first by his brother, and anything Itachi missed, Orochimaru was sure to poison. Even with all her skills as a medic-nin, Sakura can only heal so much.

She doesn't ask if Naruto loves her, because that would be cruel when the answer is written so clearly on his face everytime he looks at her. She doesn't tell Naruto that she loves him, even though she does, because it's a different love than that she lavishes on Sasuke. She had loved Naruto like he was younger brother she had to watch over, protect and guide through life, before she loved him like a lover. There's something so deliciously wicked about sleeping with him that even though they truly are not siblings, the things they do to each other's bodies should be a taboo. She wonders if Hinata-chan and Neji-san feel this way and if that's the reason why she's pregnant with their second child in less than two years of marriage.

Sasuke doesn't know how he feels about Sakura. He knows that she wants him to love her, love the Idiot as well, but to him, love is a harsh mixture of silence and disapproval, of physical violence and mental agony, of eyes and liquid the same crimson color. It's better not to love he wants to tell her, but every time he tries, he sees the way she looks at him and the words die within his throat. Her view on love is different from his, backed by family history. The pictures she recreates contain no shades of black or rust within. Every now and then, late at night when he's nestled against her soft, warm body, he wishes he had not been born an Uchiha.

He doesn't know how he feels about Naruto as well. Most of the time he's in a state of irritation caused by the high-energy, always oblivious blonde who can never seem to shut-up. But when he's with him, Sasuke is not thinking about love and familial duty, or hate and familial duty, but on the fact that if possible, he would like to break Naruto's jaw so he can finally have some peace and quiet. Or at least, have Naruto do something much more pleasing with his mouth then eating ramen or calling him a bastard. That one thing he did that time while Sakura watched them both was pretty good.

Though Naruto loves Sakura he doesn't like it when she hovers over Sasuke, floating over his bowed head with a steady stream of chatter and questing hands. If possible, Naruto would like nothing more then her undivided attention; caresses and queries aimed only at him. Naruto loves Sakura all the time, always have and probably always will. From a young age, he had made a promise to win her heart, and if anything Naruto has always been the type to keep his promises. One of the best things he can say about their new living arrangement is that he's killing two birds with one stone.

Naruto hates Sasuke all the time except when he forgets that he does. Naruto has been alone for the majority of his life and the fact that now he has two people constantly with him gives him an almost euphoric high. He likes the fact that if he times it just right, dinner will be waiting for him when he comes home, even if it's not ramen. He likes the fact that he has Sasuke to roll his eyes with when Sakura starts blushing over the fact that her underwear gets washed along with theirs. He especially likes the fact that their bed is just a tad too small to fit three people comfortably, causing them to cling together at night to insure no one falls off. He likes it even more that no one has spoken up about buying a bigger bed. He won't admit to anyone that this living together thing is even better then the fact that he's having regular sex (with two people no less -- god, he's such a stud) because traveling with Ero-sensei has taught him that sex can be easily found and bought, but family is a much harder thing to come across. So yes, Naruto hates Sasuke all the time, except when he loves him.


don't worry, it all works out in the end