Prompt: Feb 13 // Two metres of snow without a shovel
For: The Valentine's Day Challenge
A/N: The prompt is the reason for the existence of this fic. I was stuck thinking about the challenge until I saw it. Also, slight tone change in my writing because I am reading Ondaatje's works again.
Warning: This fic is AU, and Sasuke and Sakura didn't really meet until they started dating, so none of that betrayal subtext is actually meant to be there.
Summary: He doesn't make it and she tries to not feel disappointed. She made the call, after all.
She spends the day cleaning. Papers are stacked carefully, stuffed neatly into drawers and shelves. He won't look there, Sakura reasons, and by the time he does, she'll probably have it all organized anyways.
Her carpet is vacuumed and she quickly dusts the tables. A soapy bucket sits beside her couch and she thinks that cleaning is a lot of work. Almost too much work.
One last load of clothes to the washer and Sakura leans against her door, glancing at her apartment. It's clean, abnormally clean, and she thinks it will take a day to mess up again.
"He's coming over," she sings, cheerfully as she folds her shirts and places them in a drawer. "He's coming over!" she chimes as she arranges her teddy bears and pillows.
This weekend will be perfect, she thinks as she tries to use the smallest space possible. She can't ruin the rooms yet.
Lying on her bed, she dreams of tomorrow.
"Hey, Sasuke-kun?" she asks, looking up at him. Her fingers are nervously splayed beside her.
"Aa." His eyes are still closed, his head leaning against the ice-blue wall. She takes that as a sign to continue.
"Well, uh..." Sakura feels a little awkward asking this. They have been dating for six months and she has yet to figure out how to ask him these things. They aren't the most important or the hardest things, but they are personal. For that, she hesitates (it could hurt and it could break her and he would not realize that).
There is a boundary between them still, a gaping one that cannot be crossed. It repels her every time she approaches it and she can never be sure of when she's grazing it or going too far.
She looks down at his arms, at his hands lanced together on her stomach. Her own hands are loosely clenching on his dark blue blanket, his bed firm beneath her. "Can you come over to my house tomorrow?" She stares at his raised knees, at his bent legs surrounding her, and continues. "For the weekend?"
His breathing slows a little, his muscles tensing lightly for a moment, before Sasuke answers. It's an unprecedented event, her inviting him to her house. Normally they meet in coffee shops and parks, at theatres and his apartment.
He's not the only one, then. There are some boundaries she puts up herself.
The medical book sits in her lap, opened to a passage on neurons and synapses. Motor neurons, she remembers, are covered in a myelin sheet. Rods help you see in the dark but do not give you colour vision.
(Is this how they are, then, shades of black and white and the grey in-between?)
She breathes in and he responds, his arms tightening around her. "Yes."
Sakura breathes out, leaning back on his chest. Maybe the boundaries are slowly fading away.
He doesn't come. It's not that surprising, considering she called him herself and cancelled the date.
At ten in the morning, Sakura opened her door to find a blank, vast whiteness. A wasteland spread itself in front of her. The snow covered everything and more flakes were falling as she stared. The wind blew harshly and soon it became a blizzard.
"Sasuke-kun?" She twirled the cord around her fingers, sitting n her bed. It was nowhere near as hard as his.
"Yes, Sakura?" There was a question in his tone, she understood now. When they started dating, she would never be able to tell the nuances in his voice, the shifts in tone that expressed his thoughts.
She swallowed, her throat a little dry when she realized what she was about to say. "Sasuke-kun, you don't need to come this weekend." He made a sound, perhaps one of questions or protest, but she plunged on. "The weather is bad."
"I can still make it, Sakura." He was confident and she almost decided to believe him.
"No, it's ok. There's a blizzard outside and it's just going to get worse." It's nice, she thought, to have someone who cares. Someone who's willing to overcome such obstacles. "It's dangerous, the snow will make it hard to drive over, and you could be in an accident! I want you to be safe. I...I don't want to lose you." She stared at the recipes, at the darkly wrapped gift. "We can do this some other weekend, it's no big deal. Safety first, right?" Smiling she closed her eyes, the bags of food on the table screaming liar to her.
Even after that call, she made a few last minute clean-ups and arranged the cook books, each of them opened to a dish she wanted to cook. The pots sat on her kitchen counter and waited patiently with her.
When the clock strikes nine, she sighs and warms some leftovers. She shouldn't be feeling like this, Sakura reminds herself. She told him not to come.
It's hard not to feel disappointed anyways.
It's not all that late in the afternoon when the doorbell rings. Blearily, dressed in slacks and a cup of hot chocolate in her hands, she walks to the door and opens it.
"Sakura," and she freezes at the sight of the white flakes peppering his hair. His breath puffs into the air, she can barely make out the sidewalk behind him, and without a second thought she lets him in.
He stands there, out of place in her apartment. Watching him dust himself off for a moment, she finally breaks the silence. "It's cold outside and dangerous! Why are you here?" She's coming off too strong, she thinks faintly, but she can't control it.
"You asked me to come." His tone comes out as though this is obvious, as though that sentence explains all.
"I cancelled!" She clenches her fist, reining in her temper. "It's dangerous! What if--" Her voice is rising, she fears, coming out harsher than she wants.
"It's Valentine's day," he answers, holding out a small box.
As if that is reason enough.
It is, though. She throws her arms around him and hugs him tightly, not minding how his arms slowly encircle her and he gently (hesitantly) puts his chin on her head. "You're so stubborn," she whispers, not missing the chuckle he gives at that.
These things take time, she knows, and eventually Sasuke will be comfortable with these small shows of affection.
Later she will give him his present and watch the small smile creep up his face. She will tease him and give him a light kiss on the cheek before heading to the kitchen. Then he'll show he's a better cook than she is, making a small joke on her burnt attempts. They will watch a movie and tonight she will fall asleep on the couch, her head on his shoulder, his arms wrapped around her waist.
For the moment, though, she holds on tightly, breathing in his cologne, and thinks that their boundary has shrunk a bit.