Disclaimer: I've been forgetting to do these. I really should just put a general one on the profile but...ugh effort. I do not own Naruto alrighty? Now that's cleared up, progress onto the story! Unless you were just here to read my disclaimer which is...strange...but I hope you enjoyed anyway!
There was a slowly increasing sound of thunder reverberating around the small café that twenty year old Sakura was not unaware of. Rather than reacting to the source of it she continued to sip her tea calmly.
Accompanied by a moan of frustration Ino relented in drumming her polished nails against the surface of the cheap plastic, circular table finally bringing an end to the sound. There was an audible sigh of relief from the final woman seated with them who regarded the blonde beside her with white eyes.
"Well?" Ino snapped suddenly startling Hinata into spilling her tea. Sakura slowly raised her eyebrows.
"You know what I'm asking for," She was annoyed, that much was clearly evident. "Just tell us!"
"It's just strange Sakura; last time you spoke to us you thought Sasuke hated you and now you're sitting there like nothing happened. It's like you're refusing to tell us what happened," Hinata added mopping the tea off her clothes with a napkin.
"Refusing?" Sakura raised her hands in defeat "Not at all."
"Then hurry up already," Ino's patience was wearing thin. With a labored sigh that's effect was ruined by the smirk decorating her face, Sakura began to speak again.
"Well, I guess you noticed that I was a bit worried the other day."
"You were practically in tears," Hinata paused seemingly worried about relaying a controversial rumour "You made us think Sasuke wanted 'out'." The statement was completed in a whisper.
"He had me worried for a while too," Sakura answered nodding sagely.
"So that wasn't what was wrong obviously, or you'd still be crying," Ino began loudly. Only the serious look on her pink haired friends face made her stop.
"I though you wanted to hear this; be quiet for a minute Ino."
"Alright, I'm sorry, please continue."
"Thank you." Hinata only smiled at the other two girls and listened patiently as Sakura began. "Well, it was a normal Saturday morning for me. I woke up and Sasuke was already gone-"
"Where was he?"
"Ino..." Sakura growled.
"Sorry, it was just a question," The other girl flicked her hair.
"I don't know; training or something," She shrugged.
"Alright, thank you."
Sakura cleared her throat and continued with a glare that dared the other two women to try and interrupt her again.
"So it was a normal Saturday morning and I had just woken up. I didn't have work either after my night shift so naturally I did the most obvious thing."
Sakura writhed happily under the blankets. The day was fine and a pleasant filter of sunlight shone across the walls of the room she now occupied in the Uchiha compound with its heir, her newly acquired husband.
She guessed it was late in the morning but could not bring herself to do something as arduous as turn her head to glance at the clock. Closing her eyes and letting out a contented mumble, Sakura buried her face in the pillow.
The idea of unlimited hours of sleep pleased her aching, overworked limbs. Rolling over to the side of the bed that Sasuke had already vacated she stretched happily in an attempt to occupy as much room as was humanly possible for her tiny frame.
"Wait, I still don't understand how this is going to lead to your emotional struggle; Sasuke isn't even there."
"INO!" Sakura was on her feet and looked ready to throttle her childhood rival. Hinata interrupted hurriedly trying to make peace.
"I'm sure she's getting to that bit," The other two girls turned their interest away from each other "We just need to make sure we have the details right?" Sakura settled herself back onto her seat patting down her skirt with the air of a bird smoothing its feathers.
"Thank you Hinata, exactly right." The shy girl nodded a blush staining her pale cheeks. Ino however was not one to be left out of the conversation.
"Did you notice the moment he started behaving differently?"
"No, I had no idea."
"Didn't you pick them straight away? He is your husband." The other girl looked embarrassed for the first time since they had arrived at the tea house.
The blonde smirked in triumph.
"I told you he didn't spend enough time with you! You hardly even know him!" Sakura slammed her fist on the table silencing her friend and causing Hinata to spill her tea again.
"Stop making assumptions! You haven't heard the story yet!" Ino rolled her eyes but said nothing further and a sweet smile returned to Sakura's face.
Several interruption less hours of rest later a slightly disgruntled Sakura was woken by what sounded like an earthquake downstairs. Groggily, she pulled on clothes not quite sure if they were Sasuke's or her own in the dumb stupor her peaceful sleep had left her.
Stumbling down the stairs she let habit rather than clear thought lead her to the kitchen where a blond haired man was burrowing in the leftovers she had stored away the night before.
"Naruto?" He jerked upwards in shock hitting his head on the top of the fridge in the hurried attempt to stand upright.
"Sakura! You're not supposed to be awake!" He waved the piece of sushi he was holding to help make his frantic point.
"Please forgive me," She answered his desperation with a voice dripping in sarcasm.
"Sasuke threatened to kill me if I woke you up!"
"Oh really?" Sakura smiled contently at the violent way her spouse showed he cared.
"I doubt he'd be able to though, he fought badly today."
"He did?" Concern clouded her bliss "Is he okay?"
"Yeah, I told him he'd go weak if he spent so much time training with you. He'd battle harder with a kitten than risk leaving you with a scratch." The woman let her maturity drop momentarily as she strode over to hit her old team mate across the shoulder.
Sasuke chose that moment to enter and consider the two people before him his face set in its usual broody calm.
"I went for a walk and this followed me home," The dark haired man told his wife in a monotone beckoning with one hand towards Naruto. Sakura sidled her way over to Sasuke embracing him as soon as she was in arms reach. "How long have you been awake?" He asked her quietly as he gently rubbed her back.
Her face was pale from sleep and dark circles rested below her eyes while her hair was practically standing on end. She had already decided it was one of Sasuke's shirts she was wearing and that she had put it on inside out.
"I only just got up," She told him with an incredulous look thinking this was as obvious as the packet Ramen Naruto had stuffed I his pockets.
"I couldn't tell, you look beautiful."
"THERE!" Ino shouted triumphantly.
"What!" Sakura and Hinata replied simultaneously.
"It's obvious isn't it? You can tell there's something going on straight away."
"Why?" Sakura narrowed her eyes.
"The Sasuke I know would never throw around compliment s like that."
"Well, the Sasuke you know isn't the Sasuke I married then," Sakura answered indignantly with pink cheeks.
"You haven't told us why he was so disturbed yet," Her friend added while Hinata remained silent "How are we supposed to understand why you were so upset if we don't know when he started getting angsty again."
"Yes but I'm not up to there, he hasn't gotten to that stage yet. Patience Ino."
"Naruto, I thought you said you were getting a drink, not robbing us of our packaged instant meals," Naruto laughed nervously as Sasuke addressed him from over Sakura's head.
"Sorry guys, I ran out." He patted his full pockets allowing them to emit a distinct crumpling noise.
"I told him I was going to get more!" Hinata interrupted for the first time and received stares from everyone on the surrounding building. She turned scarlet. "Sorry, please go on."
"Let him have them." Sakura mumbled her words partly drowned out by a yawn. "I only buy them for when he comes around anyway."
"Thanks Sakura, I'll see you round Sasuke."
"Well, he's still saying 'Hn' can't be too much wrong yet!" Ino laughed. Sakura narrowed her eyes at her.
"I'm never going to get this finished if you two keep interrupting!"
"Sorry." They answered in unison; Hinata's completely sincere while Ino's mocked her other friend's impatience.
The other man left and Sakura walked to the fridge closing the door he had left open.
"Have you eaten breakfast yet?" Sasuke asked her.
"I need to go back into town. It's almost lunch, we could get something there. Do you have to work?"
"Not until tomorrow morning I don't," She answered turning and grinning.
"Then do you want to get ready now?"
"Ready? What ever happened to being beautiful anyway?" She teased him poking his arm "You're losing your charm."
"Just go and get changed," He ordered despite a small smile.
They were making their way into town within the hour with Sakura now more appropriately dressed in her everyday training clothes.
"So what did you need to do?"
"Pick up some more kunai."
"Oh, alright, that's fine. How about I meet you back at the Ramen stand in an hour?"
"Why?" His answer was a bit too hasty to not show his automatic suspicion "What do you have to do?" Sakura laughed off his overprotective nature.
"I'm having my hair cut," She replied waited for conformation of her earlier plans "Sasuke?"
"Meet you in an hour?" Sakura spoke slowly to tease him for his lack of attention.
"Alright, I'll see you then." She pulled herself up on his shoulders so she could reach to kiss him lightly on his cheek. He didn't move or reciprocate the gesture but watched her carefully.
She took a few steps and turned again only to find him still standing observing her.
"Sasuke, I'm not going for ever," Sakura loved to patronize him when she could. Startled by her words he spun quickly on his heel and strode away in the opposite direction she was walking.
Puzzled, but mostly unaffected Sakura left.
"So that was the start of it all?" Ino questioned as she beckoned for a waitress "Or is that still normal Sasuke?"
"No, I'm pretty sure that was the start of it."
"But why?" Hinata leant across the table "I mean, what started it?"
"You'll just have to wait." Sakura told her conspiratorially.
Sakura flipped her hair marveling how the short strands shone in the sunlight. The cut had taken less time than she had thought and she would arrive at the Ramen stand early.
Turning the corner she saw it wasn't her husband inhabiting one of the stools but Naruto. She laughed and he turned around.
"Our ramen wasn't good enough for you then?" She asked as she sat down beside him.
"Packet just can't compete with the real thing." He grinned. "Sasuke didn't catch you then?"
"Was he trying too? We were supposed to meet here."
"Yeah, he said that. I saw him and decided his new kunai needed a test run. He needed you to heal him."
"WHAT?" Sakura rose in panic.
"Yeah, he was fighting worse than yesterday if that's even possible. It's okay, I only clipped him."
With an ungraceful 'thump', Sakura fell back onto her stool.
"Don't do that to me." She told her friend gravely hand resting above her pounding heart.
"You think I'd be sitting here if he was seriously hurt? Nah, he was just distracted. Probably wondering if you were alright crossing the street without him."
"Ha ha," She replied dryly.
"He'd better not think that will stop me gloating about my clear victory though."
"I don't think Sasuke would be so stupid to think that anything would stop you gloating when you think you have reason." Naruto waved at someone behind her.
"Well, if it isn't the genius, the Uchiha heir, the LOSER!" Sakura jumped up again and saw Sasuke approaching.
"Are you okay?" She asked examining for a wound of any sort even as she asked.
"The other woman, Shizune, refused to let me bleed on the walkway any longer and attended to it herself," He answered gruffly, pride obviously hurt through his display of weakness and his friend's taunts.
"Naruto, be quiet or very soon I will have your limp body to gloat over myself," She said with a sweet smile as she re-seated herself.
Sasuke joined them and Naruto was quiet as they peered at the menus. Apparently however, it couldn't last.
"THE LOSER HAS TO SHOUT MY RAMEN!"
"Wow," Hinata gapped at her "You can be scary, no wonder Naruto's afraid of you." Sakura laughed but Ino regarded her seriously.
"Truthfully Sakura, I don't understand why you were so worried. It doesn't seem that bad."
"I wasn't really worried either yet."
Sakura regarded her quietly sulking husband as they strolled without any purpose except to enjoy the sunshine. Guessing his ego was still smarting from Naruto's actions and comments at lunch she attempted her general tactic of averting his attention.
"Do you want to walk around the park?" Sakura asked her grumpy companion, beckoning to the gate on her left.
"Not really." Slightly taken aback Sakura continued nonetheless.
"I may not have another day of for a while, are you sure?"
"Well, do you want to do something else then?"
"I'd like to go home."
"I'd like to go to the park." She told him defensively hurt by his lack of interest in spending time with her.
"If we must then." He responded unkindly and began to walk again without waiting for her to catch up.
Standing stunned and upset for a moment, Sakura swallowed her feelings and hastened after him.
When she reached the quickly moving bulk of angst and rudeness, it refused to hold hands, link arms with or even walk within a few inches of its pink haired wife. Finally, with the woman pissed off beyond measure while tears formed in her eyes he stopped walking and sat himself on a bench.
"What is wrong with you?" The exasperated woman flailed her arms angrily.
"If you want to walk: walk. I'll wait here." Sakura stared at him while he pointedly looked away. He hadn't been this bluntly mean since their childhood. She seated herself beside him.
"Sasuke, if you need to tell me there's something wrong, there are ways of doing it other than acting like a complete jerk," He sighed heavily "Like talking to me."
He turned to face her properly.
"There is something I have been meaning to talk to you about for a while..."
"Go on," She nodded encouragingly.
"SAKURA!" Ino yelled from across the grass Hinata in tow.
She could almost see the walls reforming around Sasuke as his face hardened.
"If they're here I may as well go." Sasuke rose and she grasped at his hand hopelessly.
"Sasuke, don't be a bastard." He looked down at her and his face softened a little.
"Don't worry about it, there's nothing wrong," It was said in a quiet whisper as he pulled her up and gave her a quick but un reassuring hug before leaving quickly.
"SAKURA! OVER HERE!"
"Oh, we really came at a bad time. No wonder you were upset," Hinata told her apologetically reaching across the table to pat Sakura's shoulder.
"Yeah," Ino added helping herself to part of the cake they had ordered. "Those are like..." She chewed as she thought "The words of doom, especially coming from someone like Sasuke."
"Yeah," Sakura said quietly "But you two reassured me."
"You didn't actually tell us what was going on, just sniveled around for a bit."
"Thanks for putting it like that Ino. Anyway, you reassured me enough that I was willing to ignore what had happened for a while.
Sakura closed the door quietly and made her way up the long hallway. She could smell something cooking and upon entering the kitchen found Sasuke preparing what was evidently going to become their dinner.
Cooking was one of the classic symbols that he felt guilty.
She walked up and leant on his shoulder as she looked at what he was doing. He didn't respond but didn't refuse the contact either.
"Hn." He felt guilty but something was still bothering him. She held up the bag she was carrying.
"I'm going to put these away, you left them behind." He looked down noting his earlier purchase of kunai.
"Alright, thank you." She gave his arm a quick squeeze before she left.
When that task was completed, she waited in the dinning room, quietly reading until Sasuke brought out the meal.
His food was always good after living by himself for so many years but she didn't enjoy it as much as she ate in silence with only occasional moments with forced conversation.
When they had finished she helped to clear up and stood beside him, tea towel at the ready as he washed the dinner ware.
"Is there anything in particular you are going to do tonight?" She asked desperate to break the quiet.
"I was just going to go to bed."
"Oh, alright," Spirits dampened but not crushed she continued "I probably should too, work tomorrow." She smiled at him.
"Okay." He handed her a plate.
It seemed to Sakura that it took them hours to complete the washing up. The idea of bed was comforting and the moment the water had drained from the sink Sasuke had left for the shower. She remained carefully stacking away the dried plates and cutlery.
By the time she was out of her own shower and dressed in her favourite pajamas Sasuke was in bed with his back to her. Slightly disappointed he hadn't waited for her she brushed her now short again hair and slid in beside him.
He ignored her though she knew he wasn't asleep.
Taking matters into her own hands she wriggled over towards him expectantly.
No movement was made.
"So that was when I realized something was really wrong." Sakura finished somberly.
"What? What do you mean?" Ino questioned while Hinata nodded along earnestly.
"Why was that important?" The quieter of the girls added when Sakura's face scrunched up in confusion.
"Of course," Sakura's hand flew to her mouth. "You two don't know."
"Know what?" Ino asked obnoxiously.
"About our bedroom habits." The other two girls at the table reacted with shock; Ino leaned closer in interest while Hinata spilled her tea for the third time.
"I don't like where this is going," She said red faced as Sakura handed her another napkin.
"I do." Ino informed them both with a grin. Sakura glared at her.
"I don't mean it like that," she snapped blushing nearly as much as Hinata "It's just Sasuke is..."
"A closet snuggler." She lowered her voice to a scandalous whisper.
Ino burst out laughing wile Hinata used the fore mentioned napkin to smother her giggles.
"Are you serious?" Ino spluttered. Sakura smirked.
"Yep, within a few seconds of being in bed he just can't help but grab hold and smother. He used to almost give me a heart attack when he came to bed after me and I was already half asleep."
"But I've seen you two sleeping next to each other on missions and Sasuke hasn't looked even remotely snuggly." Ino inputted.
"But if my hand isn't half crushed the next morning I'll wonder if he's sick. I think he is under the impression public snuggling is unprofessional." They all laughed at this.
"Sasuke the snuggler, my god!" Ino was roaring with laughter as she tried to imagine the image of masculinity and broodiness squeezing Sakura until she couldn't breathe.
"Please Ino! I think he'd rather that information wasn't disclosed any further!"
"Alright alright," She complied but still grinned widely. Somehow Sakura felt telling them this was going to come back to haunt her in the future. "Now we have that cleared up please continue."
Time really did seem to have slowed down that night. Sakura lay painfully awake curled against her husband's unwelcoming back. She was close enough to smell the cinnamon from his hair but felt like she could be lying in another room for the warmth she was receiving.
His back moved with every breath he took and Sakura could tell he wasn't asleep. About as far from it as she was if the tensed muscles were anything to go by.
He didn't seem to realise that she was replicating his current insomnia and after a few more minutes, assuming she had fallen asleep, he pulled himself up and left. After a moment of almost frightened hesitation, Sakura followed him.
She found him slouched, almost lying position, in the lounge room taking up half of the sofa. He had rejected the main light and only the lamp gave the room an orange glow. Carefully she moved his legs and made a space for herself on the cushions.
"Why are you up?" He asked quietly.
"To find out why you are," Sakura told him bluntly, tired of the games he was playing.
"I told you it's nothing."
"Yes, that's what you told me but obviously there's something going on. If you need to tell me something," He looked over towards her "Just tell me and stop mucking around. You're only hurting me more."
He swung his legs down so he was sitting upright beside her.
"I'm sorry Sakura." She reached over and took his hand reassuringly.
"It's okay. Just tell me."
"I didn't know how to approach you about things like this..." He looked at her imploringly and she nodded for him to continue "It's just; I like your hair longer."
She dropped his hand.
"What?" She asked in shock, voice void of emotion.
"I didn't want to hurt your feelings but I wish you'd grow it out again."
She blinked at him as his face twisted guiltily.
"I can't believe you. That's why you've been glooming all day? Because I had my hair cut again?"
"I'm sorry," He said as he lowered his face again. She caught it with her hands as she slid closer. His dark eyes stared at her in confusion and she almost laughed at him but sufficed with crushing her lips against his instead.
Sasuke didn't react until, with her hands buried in his black hair, she began pulling herself as close to his chest as she could with enough force to knock him backwards into the cushions.
He pulled her back up his body until she was straddling him and her face was above his again. Her soft pink hair curtained around their faces but not nearly as well as he would have liked it too at its current length.
With his hands now behind her head and his mind slightly blurred with lust he raised his face towards her pink, slightly open mouth.
Before he could claim his target again however, Sakura turned her head letting his lips loosely brush her cheek.
"I hope you're comfortable Sasuke," She snarled glaring back down at him "Because you're sleeping here tonight." She pushed herself off his chest and stormed out making sure she slammed the bedroom door loudly enough for him to hear from where he was.
Hinata and Ino stared at their friend as she finally finished relaying her tale.
"That's it? He likes your hair long?" Hinata asked smoothing her own tresses.
"He was that worried about...that?" Ino added gaped at her.
"How did you ever find it in your heart to forgive him?"
"The next morning he tried the bad puppy routine before I went to work and I'd forgiven him by the time I'd gotten back. He just looked so pathetic. I still think he doesn't quite understand what he did wrong."
"Men," Ino said shaking her head while Hinata nodded her agreement as she pushed the remaining food crumbs around the plate before them. "So have you decided if you are going to grow your hair out or not yet?"
"Not sure, it depends on how nice Sasuke is;" She told them with a smirk "But if he ever tries anything like that again..."
"I'm having it all shaved off got that Sasuke?" She told her spouse poking his chest.
A/N: Err, kind of random ending there. Not my fault if Sasuke's a drama queen o.O
Well, I hope that was...um...Well, please review anyway. I even scare myself sometimes. Sorry about having to read those mean italics too, and the really random style of writing in this one. And if you read all this way only for the anti-climax. Infact, I'm just going to apologise about the random 'Everythingaboutthisficness'. Sorry.
I actually prefer Sakura's hair short myself but still...
Please, I'm begging of you, review but don't flame.