Title: The Birthday
Summary: Life as a series of constant interruptions – Sakura, Sasuke and waiting.
Disclaimer: Naruto is the property of its creators.
Theme: Special Ocassions
Prompt: Lust/Longing
Medium: Drabble
Rating: T
Warning(s): Mature Situations

Comments: First try after a long while; I hope it's all right.

The boat entered the harbor late on the day he was to disembark at Calais. Sakura tried very hard not to mind the delay. She kept her thoughts focused, fixed, on the minute details of upcoming celebration she had planned for his return: the champagne he favored was cooling in ice near their drawn hot bath, the chenille blankets he preferred – even in the languid heat of French summer – had been set out on the mattress, the sandalwood incense he claimed most calming was burning on the stand next to their bed. She imagined them, rumpled in the aftermath, and shuddered.

She had opted for intimate over ostentatious this year, a decision solidified by her desire to keep him to herself. Sasuke came home but once a month, after all, and the last month, he had been called away to see to a familial dispute. Sakura tried not to begrudge the ties that kept him bound to the opposite end of the world, and told herself that the constant disagreements were all but a natural consequence of being Uchiha – mistakes ran in the family.

Sasuke told her—in rushed letters, in hushed words, in telling silences—that she was free to leave, that he understood the frustrations that came with being the wife of an absent husband. But, Sakura knew better. It was her longing that kept her here, in the hours, the days, the weeks after each well-rehearsed departure—it was the potential dissolution of the space between them that kept her inside the house where she had learned to be lonely.

And in the hours he was here, in the hours they shared the same bed, the same quarters, the same life, the tension, the wanting, stretched so taut that it was almost unbearable – Sakura found herself wishing he would leave again, longing for the complete solitude of wanting him beside her. The solidity of him, of his body beside her, were too much for her senses. She worried, and wondered, whether she loved him and wanted him, only in theory, only in absence.

The tinny sound of the harbor bells pierced through her ruminations, and forced her sluggish body into movement. Sakura's eyes widened, and she felt her cheeks flush.

He was here again—he was here.