Only In Books
The sun had risen, high in the sky, the morning light faded into the noon day sun. It shone on the couple through the crack of the poorly closed curtains. They lay contented, each with a shadow of a smile floating across their faces. With her head resting heavily on the curve of his shoulder and her legs entangled through his, they breathed deeply in a soft slumber.
With a flutter of groggy eyelids, Sakura woke in a dreamlike state. The misty fog of her imaginings dispersed into what she now saw – or rather felt – as the rise and fall of Sasuke's bare chest. Lifting her head lightly, she looked around, automatically out the window, to see the sun beaming down on the land from its tall perch in the cerulean sky.
Checking her bedside clock, it read eleven minutes past twelve. Uncharacteristically later than her usual wake up time, but she couldn't care less.
Carefully resting her head back down in its place, she sighed as she snuggled closer to Sasuke's warmth. A few more minutes wouldn't hurt, she thought. It's already past midday, why rush?
She absently traced patterns onto his chest with her fingers. She didn't know what time they had finally gotten to sleep nor did she bother figuring out. It wasn't important. Blushing at the memory of their heated night, she recalled Sasuke being very good. No, more than just good…he was amazing. He had just made the word 'sex' a word that would have tingles run up her spine at the mere thought of it. Incredibly impacting.
A few moments later, in the dead silence of the room – minus Sasuke's even breathing – she heard her stomach give a soft growl of hunger. It was reasonable, she figured, considering she had totally skipped out on breakfast to snuggle up with a sexy man in bed. Who could blame her?
With a defeated sigh, she opted to manoeuvre her way through tangled limbs using the good old slow and steady method. Gently, she shuffled her legs until they broke free from under his, warily moving his hand from her waist and pushing the covers down with the greatest of care. So far so good.
She cautiously turned to get out when suddenly she felt a warm hand slide across her slim waist and rub over her taught stomach. That same arm pulled her back towards his chest so that now his breath lingered on the nape of her neck. He wiggled a little, finding the right comfort zone right before he stopped, his breath becoming regular once more.
"Sasuke," she said, laying a hand on the one that rested on her tummy, "I need to get up." She turned in his arms to face him and his radiating calm and relaxed appearance. Eyelids lazily opened to reveal solid dark eyes.
Without warning, he pushed forward to kiss her mouth for a brief second. God, she was beautiful.
"No, you don't." His hand circled her back indolently, slowly, casually.
"Yes, I do. It's past twelve. We can't stay here all day." She gasped as he rolled over on top of her with a sly glint in his eye, a grin forming.
Naruto trudged up to the doors of Libellus with a shrug in his walk from the morning chill. The thin summer shirt he wore was intended for the heated weather they were to have later that day, but apparently he hadn't thought of the usual cool mornings.
His spiked blonde hair swayed gently as he sped unsteadily, vision blurred from lack of sleep, for warmth.
With the tinkle of bells, Naruto shook the unpleasantly cold sensation, making room for the always wonderful smell of freshly brewed coffee, embracing the warmness that was always offered in the small store.
"Morning, Naruto." Ino called from high atop a ladder by a tall shelf of books near the entrance.
"Mornin'. I'm just going straight in there to grab some coffee." Normally, he wasn't a very early morning type of guy, but that day, Ino had asked him to deliver a few books downtown. And since she knew he worked down there anyway, she figured he could just take it instead of making the round trip herself. The only thing she failed to acknowledge was that he didn't start till the afternoon and that delivery had to be made that morning. Hence the frozen and tired state of being.
"Yeah, knock yourself out." She stepped up a rung to fix the disorderly set of novels.
As he made his way behind the counter, he spotted Sakura moping down the top of the coffee counters with a rag. She was bobbing her untidily tied-up mass of pink hair to an obviously catchy song plugged into her ears. The wires to her headphones swung lightly as she continued to clean, completely oblivious to his presence.
She had a glow about her, he thought as he snuck quietly around her to make his coffee. Scooting from the pile of cups to the coffee maker, she went on about her work, not noticing a single thing. She slowly began to work the music into her body and started to sway.
Taking a generous amount of coffee, Naruto slipped in two scoops of sugar. He turned, drank.
He observed her. Not only was it because she was dancing while on task but there was something about her, something different. He'd had a good look at her at the carnival and she was a stunning woman, he was sure of that. However, looking at her now, there was a different factor to her beauty. Like a glow, he figured. A radiance that he'd never seen or perhaps never noticed. But for sure, she was glowing now before him, dancing in the morning light with nothing but a loose shirt, hip-hugging jeans and an apron.
"Oh, hi." Feeling eyes on her, she looked to find the man she met at the park. Naruto if she remembered correctly. Yes, Uzumaki Naruto. "I didn't see you. How are you?" Out of courtesy, she pulled one earphone out.
"I'm good. How are you?" He saw her smile above the rim of his cup as he took another careful sip of his blazingly sweet coffee. Nothing like a shot of caffeine, sugar and a beautiful girl's smile to get the system going.
"I'm great, thanks. Although, I'm having a hard time thinking about what to get Koji for his birthday this week. Any tips, uncle Naruto?"
"Oh, right. It's little man's birthday this Thursday. Well, whatta ya know. I've gotta go present hunting for him too. Thanks for the reminder." He lifted his cup in thanks before blowing and sipping once more. "To be honest, that kid'll take anything you give him. He's got a wide range of interests for such a little boy. Though," he continued, "I think he's more into things with wheels, things that move."
"Okay, I'll keep that in mind, thanks." Going over to the sink, she rinsed the rag she held. "Little man?"
"That's what I call him. A nickname me and Sasuke came up with when he was about two, considering his short stature and all. It was kinda cute at the time. I guess it just stuck." Chuckling, he leaned onto the counter and nursed the coffee in between his hands, revelling in the warmth. "So, how was the date?"
"The date. You and Sasuke? Just over the weekend?" She gave a look of confusion. How would he know? "Oh, right. I'm his best friend. Don't worry, I don't creep around figuring out who dates who around here. I'm more of the type to come and steal coffee now and again. It's fun, you should try it."
"Ah," she nodded knowingly, "Uncle. Right. That would explain that. And I do take coffee, and for the record, it is fun."
"Agreed." He stood, bringing the cup towards his mouth. "But anyway, back to point one. You know you don't have to tell me if you don't want to, I mean it is kind of weird. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't."
But she didn't find it weird, she couldn't. In fact, she was far too happy to feel any awkwardness at all. Besides, he seemed like a kind enough guy. He always has.
She busied her hands by taking a cup for herself, undergoing the makings of her own drink. "It was nice." She answered curtly, but with her answer came the drifting curve of the lip that indicated way more than just 'nice'.
And Naruto caught it. "Nice?" He smirked into the rim as he lifted his cup.
"Fantastic." She said this time.
She turned. "Wonderful, amazing, incredible, what else can I say?" She questioned with a laugh. By now, her lips spread wide, her face bright with dreamy awe. "It was perfect. Like those days you wish you could take out of your life and loop over and over again. The flowers were a nice touch. Don't laugh." She pointed at him with stern humour. "I know I sound like a school girl. I feel like a school girl. So don't rub it in."
"You don't sound like a school girl." He snorted. "More like a teenager. Maybe around senior year. You know, all the big words. The twinkle in the eye thing was a definite school girl thing though, I've gotta say." He earned himself a smack in the arm, but she giggled nonetheless. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding." He put his hands up in defence. "In fact, that sounds sweet. What?" He dodged the swing at his arm again. "I was being honest!"
"Guys don't say sweet when they're being serious."
"We can say sweet when we're being honest."
"No, well you can't. It just doesn't seem genuine when you say it." And she smacked him again.
They laughed. Sakura thought he was very charming. His second impression was very much the same as his first in that he was funny, cute and delightful to be around. His joking manner was contagious and when he walked into a room, the place lit up and the mood always lifted. It was a special gift, she thought, one that he carried very well.
"Naruto! Package!" Ino's far cry from the ladder she stood upon echoed throughout the store, bouncing off walls and shelves to reach Naruto's ear.
"That's my cue." He took a lid and expertly fit it onto his cup. "I'll see you Thursday, yeah?"
"Right. I'll see you there. And thanks for the tip."
Displaying his broad trademark grin that had women melt at his feet, he nodded his head. "My pleasure." Cute, she thought.
"Naruto! Any day now!" Again, Ino's voice reverberated around the shop.
"I've gotta go." And he was off.
Sakura, whose own grin remained plastered on her face, shook her head and waved goodbye as he sped out the door with the small package tucked under his arm.
Lying, stomach flat with an arm propped up holding his head, Koji lazy picked at the carpet, boredom taking it's toll on his four year old system.
Four and three quarters, he liked to remind himself. He was old enough to know when his birthday was, which he knew quite well was that coming Thursday. The anticipation was agonizing. Summer always brought the possibility of yet another big birthday party, one that he really looked forward to every year. He was thinking of all the presents and his friends coming over to play. His uncle Naruto often brought lots of sweets and for the past couple of birthdays, he gave in to bringing his game system for a few hours. That was his favourite part. Although, right then, even video games couldn't bring up his mood.
Just like most work days, he had to wait at his uncle Naruto's for his father to come back home. Not able to tell the time yet, he opted to asking his uncle when he felt time take a deliberate stop in his world. All he ever got was "He'll be here soon, bud" or "Don't worry, why don't we play something?"
At the moment, Naruto sat with his legs folded under him right next to the Koji, highly concentrated in his current game. The rapid clicking and pushing of buttons resonated through the living room. There was a constant dripping in the kitchen sink that he figured was because of the broken faucet that had yet to be fixed. He could hear everything. Ah, the sounds of dullness.
"Uncle Naruto," he tugged on his shirt for the umpteenth time.
"Yeah." His game continued.
"Is daddy almost here?"
"Yeah. He'll be here soon, bud." He knew that was coming.
"But that's what you said last time."
"He won't be long. Gah! No! Are you kidding me?" Koji heard the customary sounds of defeat coming from the television. And of course, the usual rant that followed was just as expected as the angry waving of the arms. Koji sighed.
The doorbell rang.
"Yay! Daddy's here!" He shot from the floor like a spring and ran excitedly for the front door. Just like in his own home, he wasn't allowed to open the door without someone's permission. He anxiously waited by the door. "Uncle Naruto! The door!"
"I'm coming, I'm coming." He was at the door in seconds, watching Koji trot on the spot like he had to go to the bathroom really badly. Laughing, he opened the door.
"Hey, guys." Sasuke stood with his shirt folded at the cuffs to the elbows, his tie loose and his briefcase hanging from one hand at his side. He looked exhausted, but his face told differently. Underneath the fatigue, he was happy.
Koji circled his arms around his father's leg with a bright smile. "Daddy! I was so bored! Why did you take so long?"
"I just had to run late at work today, bud. I had too many things to do. But I'm here now. And I'm ready to hunt for something in the kitchen before we leave. I'm starving. By the smell of it in here," he sniffed the air, "I take it you guys had mac and cheese?" Koji nodded. "Mmm, sounds good to me."
"Yeah, just on the stove." Naruto closed the door behind him.
"You," Sasuke said with a heave as he picked up his son, "are getting heavy. Is that all you guys eat here?"
"Yup." Koji hung onto his father's neck as they made their way into the kitchen.
"That's why you're getting fat." With a poke in the stomach, the boy giggled. "And you too." He nodded towards Naruto.
"Me? Fat? Give me a break. These abs of steel are going nowhere any time soon." Naruto couldn't help but notice how happy he was. All smiles, jokes, carefree. What the hell happened on that date?
"You're the only one who would call rolls of fat abs of steel." Placing Koji on the counter, he went on the hunt for a bowl and some silverware.
"Fat. Fat." Koji began to chant as he waited, swinging his legs over the edge of the counter, giggling when catching wind of his uncle's glare.
"You little…" Dashing behind Sasuke's back, Naruto grabbed the boy and hung him over his shoulder as the boy flailed, resisting the onslaught of tickles.
"No, no! Down! Stop!" He laughed and laughed, nearly bashed in the blonde's nose with his thrashing knee.
"Whoa hey, watch the face, little man."
"Hey! You two, take it in the living room. Geez." But with a delighted scoop of his mac and cheese, Sasuke leaned and watched his son and best friend go at it, fighting to make it onto softer ground. He took a small breath and relished in the rare free feeling. Everything was brighter. The food tasted better. Even work didn't seem to bother him as much anymore. Albeit tiring, but much more tolerable.
Pouring himself a glass of water to take with him, he walked into the both of them now fighting for game controllers, each wanting first player. He chuckled as he saw his son stand, just an inch taller than his sitting uncle, and jut his elbows out, arms crossed, giving him a stern angry look that was frankly quite adorable.
"Okay, fine. You can have first player." Naruto grumbled, giving up the controller to a very satisfied Koji. "I liked second player anyway." He narrowed his eyes at his controller.
"Was that my son manhandling the man? What ever happened to being the boss, Naruto?" His shocking blue eyes glared as he stuck up the finger sourly at the cheerful Sasuke, making sure Koji couldn't see. Laughing to himself, he called out to his son. "Hey, bud."
"Hmm?" Turning, he saw his father take a seat next to him on the floor, sticking his hand out for a hi-five.
"That's my boy." With his bowl in hand and glass at his feet, Sasuke watched contently as he ate.
After a moment of game induced silence, Naruto spoke. "How was the date?"
"Good." The familiar curve of the mouth that disclosed more than was supposedly intended played across his face. Just like Sakura.
"What? That's it? God, you guys are vague."
"You and Sakura, duh."
"When did you see her? You talked to her? She was vague?" Suddenly, the conversation drew his interest.
"This morning. I was making a delivery run for Ino in exchange for some free coffee. She was there, working as usual. We talked for a bit and all she said was it was nice." He lay his controller down.
"Oh." Sasuke's interested tone lowered.
"Yeah, but you see, she had this look on her face that said more but obviously she wasn't going to say anything to me. That was like, what, the second time's she's met me? Now with you, you had the same exact face but you're not going to tell me either, which makes me curious."
"Oh." This time, his voice reflected understanding. "You're right, I'm not going to tell you. That's between me and her. And you'll never know. But good call."
Grumbling, Naruto went back to his game. "Perfect."
Koji looked up at the adults on either side of him; one in misery, one grinning broadly. Adults were so weird sometimes.
"Koji, put in the movie. I'll be down in a sec." Sasuke yelled from the second floor of his house.
After coming home from Naruto's, Sasuke thought it would be a good idea to just sit back and relax for a night. Koji was all for a movie night so, right as they got in, Sasuke put a bag of popcorn in the microwave and sped upstairs to change. At the moment, he was pulling on some comfortable grey sweats and his navy shirt, checking over his emails from work and got some left over paperwork out of the way.
With a quick sniff, he got a whiff of a strong burning stench. "Oh, shit! Popcorn."
Down the stairs, the smell strengthened. He ran into the kitchen and opened the microwave, fanned the stink away. "Whoops."
"Daddy. Come on, let's watch!"
"Yeah, I'll be right there, bud." He looked down at the bag of semi-burnt buttery goodness. "Great."
Just as he came into the living room with the bowl of popcorn and a glass of juice, he walked in on Koji sitting on the coach with the remote pointed at the screen. He knew the basic functions of the remote – play, stop, pause, menu. It was simple enough, he figured, for a four year old to get.
"Come on! It's starting!"
They both sat comfortably. Sasuke sunk into the corner, resting his back on the nook that joined the arm and back of the couch, slunk his leg along the length of it with Koji sitting snugly in the space left between the back of the couch and his father's body. The popcorn lay on Sasuke's lap, both taking handfuls at a time. They ate popcorn just about the same. Anyone watching in would find Koji a splitting image of his father in the way that he carefully scoops up popcorn and pops them two by two into his mouth, ending with a satisfied crunching and chewing.
The phone rang.
Absent-mindedly, Sasuke reached for the cordless he put next to him during movie nights and clicked it on.
"Sasuke, please don't hang—" There was a loud click off.
"I really wish I'd paid that extra for the caller ID." He said to himself, refusing to let it get to him as he sat back and continued to watch.
Moments later, it rang again.
"It's important. Don't you dare turn the phon—" Again, he hung up.
After a few minutes, he thought she'd given up.
Then it rang again. Guess not.
"Look, I don't want you calling here anymore, mom. I don't understand why you're calling but this has to stop." He kept his voice low as to not arouse any suspicion in his son.
"Sasuke, dear. I'm your mother. It shouldn't be wrong for me to call you."
"Well, it's been wrong since the day you decided to throw me out of my own house."
"Your father and I thought it was best to—"
"Right. You always knew what was best for me. But what about Mich? You threw her out and treated her like dirt. Didn't it ever occur to you that I loved her? Actually loved her? She was pregnant for goodness sake!"
"Michiko was not—"
"Don't you even think about bad mouthing her. It's been four years mom, almost five. We've gone on with our lives. We've been doing just fine without you," Sasuke sat up carefully and kept his voice dangerously quiet. "We don't need you, brother or dad. Even without Mich we're holding up. So leave us alone, yeah? We don't need this."
"No, this is not about Michiko, this is about your father. He's—"
"I don't want to hear it." Hopefully, it was the last time he would have to hang up. Koji looked at him curiously. Sasuke shook his head and gestured toward the screen. "Sorry, watch the movie."
Right when it rung, Sasuke literally thought he was going to shoot something.
"Bud, hold on. Daddy's just going to go get something. I'll be right back. It'll take two seconds, tops."
"Awe, okay." Koji visibly shrugged at the loss of the comfort his father's body provided. But nonetheless, he was drawn back into the movie, unrelentingly eating his popcorn two by two.
The endless ringing was driving Sasuke insane. "Where is that damn phone dock…there!" Immediately, he followed the cord to the plug in the wall and yanked it out. The ringing stopped. Silence, save for the television. "Thank goodness." He sighed.
Sasuke made his way back to the couch, first making sure all of the phones were unplugged, and resumed his position with his son plastered onto his torso.
Soon, he thought, Koji was going to fall asleep. Soon, he'd have to carry him back up to bed and would have to get ready for bed himself. But for now, he'd lie with his son. That's what he'll do. Share laughs, share food, share the love he had never had growing up.
Preview Chapter 8:
"Hey! Hana, how are you?" He swooped down and gave her a quick warm hug. "I see you two have gotten acquainted."
"You never told me you had a sweetheart, you naughty boy. I clearly remember you saying you loved me just yesterday, you two timing cheat."
A/N: There you have it. Definitely not worth a whole month's wait but you guys deserved an update for sure x3. Lately i've been exhausted and my brain just isn't functioning so if some of my chapters sound like long ass drabbles, that's my fault lol. So it's safe to say that some of these may just be long ass drabbles but it's Sasuke and Sakura, how can you ever go wrong with them? Reviews please and thanks you! And enjoy.