Café au Lait
"Sai, what in hell are you doing?" Sakura snapped, whirling around.
Surprised at the sudden movement, Sai almost dropped the pencil he was gesturing with. "I was drawing on you," he answered flatly. As she twisted to look at the back of her shirt, he sighed. "Not like that. In my mind."
"What?" she faced him with a half-puzzled, half-angered expression on her face. "Why?"
Sai sighed again and tapped his pencil on the kitchen table, surveying his sketchbook and determinedly not answering. Sakura rolled her eyes and tightened her apron strings irritably. "Look, I need to get breakfast ready by the time Naruto and Sasuke come down," she explained, "so if you could stop staring at my lower back and totally freaking me out, I'd appreciate it."
He made a noncommittal 'hn', and Sakura turned around, banging the special egg-poaching pan she'd gotten for her birthday on the stovetop with a little more force than intended. Sai, Sasuke, and Naruto were her brothers and-- though she blushed to think of it-- lovers, but sometimes they could get so incredibly annoying…
She hoped against hope it wouldn't be one of those days.
Breathing deeply through her nose, the pink-haired kunoichi took four eggs from the refrigerator and placed them on the counter. She filled the egg-poacher with water and set the heat to boil it. "Sai, can you go get me some rosemary?" she asked distractedly, fiddling with the dial to turn down the heat. There was no answer, so she turned around. "S--" But he wasn't there, and only his sketchbook remained… he'd probably scampered off at the first mention of 'can you get me'.
Cursing selfish roommates, Sakura grabbed the kitchen scissors from their post in the cutting board and went outside to their herb garden. "Idiot wouldn't even know the difference between rosemary and bay leaf, anyway," she muttered mutinously to herself.
"Rosemary's not a leaf," Sai said lazily from behind her.
Sakura jumped and threw the scissors at him in reflex-- Shinobi Rule Number Two Hundred and Twenty-Eight: If in doubt, throw something pointy-- and immediately gasped when she realized what she'd done.
But not to worry: Sai had snatched the scissors by the handle out of thin air, lightning-quick, and was now pressing them gently in her hand. "Careful, Ugly, you might hurt someone."
Sakura folded the handle of the scissors tightly, squeezing out her anger till her palm started aching. "What were you doing out here?"
Sai held up his own pair of scissors. "Getting rosemary like you told me to."
Sakura decided to keep her scream of frustration inside her body-- the neighbors might call ANBU like they had last time, and she had endured more than her fair share of teasing from her fellow Black Ops members last time-- she wasn't keen to go through it again.
"Sai," she said instead through gritted teeth, "forget about the rosemary. Go back inside and set the table."
Sai shrugged. "Whatever you say, Hag," he mumbled as he walked back inside. "Just doing what she says, and she starts steaming…"
Sakura let out a deep breath and counted to ten, loosening her grip on the kitchen scissors as she knelt by the rosemary bush. There were red marks on her palm from where the plastic had cut into her flesh by the strength of her grasp. She cut a sprig of rosemary, breathing in the heady, filling scent with relish. She knew she'd gone a bit overboard on her gardening, but, hey, what else could she do with that green thumb? Plus, having the Rokudaime Hokage as one of your roommates tended to lead to extra money, and what was better to spend it on then plants?
Just helping Ino and Konoha's economy, she thought cheerfully as she snipped off another small piece of the fragrant herb. She stood, grasping the rosemary in one hand and the scissors in the other, and turned to go back into the house…
--and screamed, stabbing the person in front of her with the scissors.
"God damn it!" Sakura shrieked once she realized it was Sasuke.
The last Uchiha clan member looked at the pair of scissors sticking out of his chest, and then turned his face to Sakura in mild surprise. "I didn't realize gardening was so violent," he remarked calmly, as if getting stabbed with kitchen scissors was a completely everyday thing. "Sai was right."
"Oh, shut up," she snapped, taking out the scissors and healing the wound quickly. "It wouldn't be so violent if you guys stopped sneaking up on me. What are you doing here, anyway?"
"I came to tell you that Naruto no baka fell down the stairs again. He needs your, ah… 'medical attention'." Sasuke looked slightly amused, a sight that was both very gratifying (he smiled less than ever after he killed his brother) and extremely annoying in the present situation.
"Go back inside and watch the eggs," she commanded, shoving the bloody scissors at him, "and wash these off. Put the Canadian bacon-- the meat on the counter-- on a frying pan, toast the English muffins, and tell Sai not to kill anyone with the butter knives. I'll go take care of Naruto."
Sensing simmering anger just below the surface of her tolerance, Sasuke did as asked, even holding the door open for her in a gentlemanly and rather uncharacteristic manner as she stalked wordlessly through the house to the bottom of the stairs, where Naruto lay in a crumpled heap. Regardless of whatever pain he was feeling, he smiled that brilliant smile at her, and she blushed automatically, mentally chiding herself as she did so. "G'morning, Sakura-chan! You look beautiful today!"
Sakura thought this was a bit rich, considering she must have had steam coming from her ears, but she was grateful for the flattery nonetheless. (This was probably his strategy to cool her down, come to think of it-- he was smarter than he looked.) "What happened this time, Naruto?"
He grimaced. "I slipped. I think I broke my leg."
Sakura gave a small roar of irritation and covered her eyes with her hands, pressing the heels of her palms into her eyes till she saw stars. "Okay," she said. She knelt by him and examined his leg-- he was right, it was twisted in a bad way-- and blew her cheeks out in an exhale. "I'm going to have to set your leg. This'll hurt."
Naruto sighed in resignation. "I hate this part," he said, but he wasn't Hokage for nothing… he screwed up his face and braced himself for the pain. Sakura took his foot in her hand, put another on his shin, and shifted the bone into place. Naruto's face went slightly red, but other than that, he made no indication of the pain he'd just gone through. Quickly, Sakura molded chakra into her hands, healing the leg in under five minutes.
"Better?" she asked.
Naruto gazed at her. "Much," he said hoarsely. "The pain's even gone. Sakura-chan, you have really pretty eyes."
Sakura blushed again, mentally kicked herself, and fixed a glare on her face. "Watch it," she warned, "or I may have to break your other leg."
"Come on, Sakura-chan," he purred, "I've done worse."
Oh, how she knew…
Forcefully changing the tracks of her brain to steer away from that particular thought, Sakura stood and held out a hand to help up the Rokudaime. He took it, and she pulled him up with ease, turning to go put the eggs in--
But Naruto had an arm tight around her waist. Sakura blew her bangs from her eyes and turned to him angrily. "Naruto, I need to go put the eggs in!"
He had a mischievous look about him she definitely did not like as he called into the kitchen. "Sasuke-teme, put the eggs in!"
Sakura was about to protest hotly that Sasuke probably didn't even know what eggs were before Naruto pressed his lips to hers.
He was tall, so tall he had to bend and tilt his head down to get access to her pout of a mouth, but that didn't matter-- they'd worked around it before. Against her will, Sakura felt her succumb to the kiss-- Naruto was a master with his tongue, and the way it ran against her lower lip before he snagged it with his teeth made her shiver with pleasure. She wrapped her arms around his neck as his hands traveled down her back, from shoulder blades to the beginnings of the curve of her backside. Sakura rubbed her tongue against his and smiled into his mouth as he gave a little purr of happiness.
No, no, NO!
Abruptly, Sakura placed her hands on Naruto's broad expanse of chest and pushed him with chakra-infused fingers. He whined as she gently felt her swollen lips, her eyes spitting fire. "Aw, Sakura-chan, we were having a moment! Don't tell me you didn't like it…"
Didn't like it! Naruto knew very well the way his kisses made her feel, she could tell by the glimmer in those cerulean eyes… but Sakura smacked him over the head and turned to go back into the kitchen. She was halfway there when she realized Sai and Sasuke blocked her way, folded arms reflecting a message: you'll never make it in here.
"What the fuck was that, dobe?" Sasuke snapped to Naruto, eyes narrowed. "Taking advantage of the situation to advance your score before we could even try? Cheating."
Sakura felt a sense of trepidation as Sai grabbed her arms and forced them behind her back. "Score?" she asked angrily, kicking at Sai. "What's going on?"
"A contest," Sai answered, "on who gets the most from you."
Wrong thing to say.
"WHAT?" Sakura struggled against his grasp, and Sai had to increase his grip. "What the fuck d'you mean, 'who gets the most from me'? I am not a prostitute, you can't just force me to kiss you, or-- or do whatever you're thinking of in those sick little brains! I'm not a thing to be contested over, I'm a person, and right now I'm a HUNGRY person! Now let me go!"
Sai and Sasuke shared a look, and then Sai let go of her. Sakura hadn't even taken a step towards the kitchen doorway before two arms trapped her where she was on the wall. She was almost afraid to look, and for good reason… when she faced Sasuke, she was confronted by the waves of fierce passion she only saw directed at her, Naruto, and Sai… those knee-wobbling vibes of absolute desire that always turned her into a simpering puddle of maudlin mush.
"Sakura," he whispered in her ear, and a not fully unpleasant shiver went up her spine, "do you really want to leave?"
He gently kissed her temple, her ear, the line of her jaw… going down her neck, breathing gently over his kisses, nipping occasionally. Waves of trembling pleasure coursed through Sakura's body, but she felt incensed anew at Sai and Naruto's self-satisfied smirks. "Y-yes," she murmured, "YES, I want to leave…"
Sai appeared next to Sasuke all at once, and suddenly the hard wall on her back was replaced by Naruto's comfortable bulk. She was surrounded.
They assaulted her all at once. Naruto's warm hands got a firm but gentle grip on her waist, and he kissed her sweetly on the neck; Sasuke moved on to the other side of her face, working magic with his tongue as he lightly licked her earlobe; Sai took control of her mouth, his lips closing over Sakura's with a desire that was equally reciprocated. After that, Sai moved onto Sasuke's neck, and Naruto took advantage of this to lift Sakura's shirt over her head and gently grasp onto the cups of her bra, running his hands up and down her torso. She got goosebumps, and all of a sudden she wasn't so sure about this. The windows were open… suppose the neighbors saw?
Fuck the neighbors, Inner Sakura told her.
Sasuke took Naruto's mouth with his own, and Sai kissed the half-moons of her breasts over the bra. "B-breakfast," she muttered lamely, trying to push them all away.
As if they were one person, the three men she loved immediately turned all their affections to her. And once Sakura took off Naruto's shirt and felt his muscles ripple like water under her touch, all logical and breakfast-oriented thought promptly left the building.
Sunlight streamed through their bedroom window as Sakura stretched languidly, relaxed and happy after the bursts of pleasure she'd experienced in the past hour. Careful not to disturb anybody, she reached down and pulled her underwear back on from their respective places on the bed. Naruto stirred, but other than that nobody seemed wakened from it-- which was saying something, considering they were all lying intertwined with each other. Naruto had his head next to hers, breathing on her shoulder with his arm wrapped just below her breasts. Sai was lying below Sakura, so her head was on his chest. And Sasuke had his head on her stomach, close to her womb, which was where he always liked to be. And, for once, it felt slightly… slightly full.
Sakura almost laughed aloud in delight.
They were like puzzle pieces, fitting together in the most strange and wonderful ways. Her boys, her brothers, her loves… they didn't need to have a contest. They were her cherished things, the people most precious to her, definitely before her anti-shinobi parents, and even before Tsunade-shishou, who she loved as a surrogate mother. She would give her life for them, and she knew (or suspected, in Sasuke's case) that they would do the same for her.
They hadn't been living together in the beginning-- or, at least, not all of them together. It had been Naruto and Sakura in the very beginning, and then Sai, and then, finally, Sasuke, after he had killed his brother and they had taken him back to Konoha. He hadn't spoken to them, to anyone, at first-- he had only stared, as if trying to memorize their features, as if it wasn't what he wanted at all to be back among the people that loved him. Finally, after Naruto had tripped down the stairs for the first time, Sasuke had said, quietly, oh so quietly… he'd said 'dobe'. Hesitantly, as if his return was a soap bubble of paradise, and speaking would pop it and it would never disappear.
Naruto had hugged him, Sai had smiled slightly, and Sakura had kissed him full on the mouth, almost bursting into tears. And then Sai had gotten angry about the kiss, and she'd kissed him, too, and then Naruto wanted one, and then…
Well, and then Sasuke got a chance to rebuild the bonds he'd broken, Sakura thought wryly, a small smile adorning her face as she played with said shinobi's midnight-black hair.
At first, everyone was skeptical-- their fellow Rookie Nine had scoffed, said it would never work because Sasuke was so unpredictable, and Sai didn't feel, and Naruto was too rash, and Sakura was too, well, Sakura…
To her immense surprise, however, on the third day after they had decided to live together, her ANBU Squad Captain, Hyuuga Neji, had placed a brotherly hand on her shoulder and told her that he, for what it was worth, admired the way she tried to put them all back together again, like a child with a particularly difficult puzzle to solve.
After that, she had gone straight home and cooked a huge dinner, everybody's favorites, and had smiled at them all until they asked what was wrong with her… and then she had burst into tears, to her surprise and shame, and said that she loved them all so much, and she hoped they'd stay together forever.
And, so far, that wish had come true. There were minor tiffs like this morning's, when she had been so irritated and angry at them that she wanted to kick them out of the house-- which, actually, she'd done a couple times before-- and then there was the time when Sasuke had almost used the Mangekyou on Sai, and Naruto had had to throw him through the wall… but it didn't matter, not really, because… well, because although they were puzzle pieces that fit, they were unfinished and rough around the edges. Maybe it wasn't that they fit perfectly as it was that they really did fit beautifully… not always matching corner-for-corner or side-for-side, but well enough so that they could smooth out the creases and build bridges over tears and get over it and start anew.
On her stomach, Sasuke stirred, and she smiled as she felt the softness of his lips touch to her stomach. "Any life in there?" he asked, as he did every morning after their love-making. She understood now that it wasn't just about restoring his clan, but also about his love for her, for all of them, a love he hadn't felt safe to express for the longest and most painful time.
Sakura smiled joyously and put her hand protectively on her stomach. "I… I think so," she said with shining eyes and flushed face. And she felt an uprising of complete and utter happiness as Sasuke's face lit up-- as much as Sasuke's face could light up, anyway… He took her hands in his and kissed her on the mouth with as much emotion as he could muster.
Sakura laughed, because the movement had woken Sai and Naruto, who were looking disgruntled at being woken. "What's so exciting?" Naruto asked sleepily.
Sakura smiled so brightly and so huge she thought her face would split as she got up from the bed. "I'm going down to finish breakfast," she answered, tying a robe around her body. "This baby needs to be fed."
It took a moment for this sentence to register, but when it did, Sakura was already down the stairs, laughing and twirling at the Naruto's yell of "HOLY SHIT, YES!" and the sound of Sai's rare chuckling.
Sakura glanced at the egg poacher and went from the stove to the coffee pot; she had a feeling she'd need some caffeine for the day ahead.
She put a hand on her stomach, still smiling, and thought eagerly of the amazing life her child-- their child-- would surely have.
Another piece to add to the puzzle…
Sakura grinned, her thoughts going fleetingly to Tsunade's eminent reaction, and poured hot milk into her coffee.
Nothing like café au lait in the mornings.
Author's Note: Wow. I never thought I'd do a NaruSakuSasuSai piece, but it's oddly satisfying… and was very fun to write, very light after the darkness of Nascence. I hope you guys enjoyed it… I know I did!
And I just can't help slipping in everyone's favorite Hyuuga prodigy in there, can I?