Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, its characters, its storyline, or any related trademarks.
Warnings: A modest portion of drama, topped with crack. Comes with a large side of romance, and some suggestively sexy dressing
Moving In, Moving On
Sakura sighed and cuddled into Sasuke, who murmured sleepily and pressed a soft kiss to her crown. His heart thundered under her ear and his warm breath fluttered her hair and tickled her neck.
"You know," Sasuke murmured. "This is the fourth time you've spent the night this week. Why don't you just move in with me?"
Surprised, flattered, and very much still in the afterglow of sex, Sakura replied with an honest and wondrous, "Why not?"
It had seemed like a good idea at the time.
The next day, Sakura felt like tearing her own hair out. Sasuke, oblivious as usual (or perhaps it was a lack of empathy on his part) growled, "What's wrong now?"
"You asked me to move in with you!" Sakura said. She threw her hands up in the air, exasperated, and looked at him as if that had just explained everything.
Then she flailed just a little bit more for extra measure.
Sasuke peered at her like she was the crazy one in their relationship. He faltered slightly as he spoke. "You said yes," he said. "You said yes, didn't you?"
"Yes, I said yes, but that's not the point."
"There's a point to your unintelligible flailing?" Sasuke said, sarcasm dripping from his words.
Sakura proceeded to try and stare Sasuke down with a deadly glare (key word: try). "The point is," she hissed. "The point is: YOU LIVE WITH NARUTO!"
Sasuke seemed to consider this information with a mulish expression on his face. After a few moments, he said, "I forgot."
Sakura resumed flailing.
"You forgot that you live with Naruto? Naruto, as in our teammate, Naruto? Naruto, who is probably the most invasive friend ever? Naruto: the personal space invader? And you forgot that you share a living space with him?"
Sasuke's eyes narrowed at her suddenly. "You said yes, which means you forgot, too."
Sakura flushed and sputtered. "That's not the point!"
Sasuke pinched the bridge of his nose and exhaled deeply, nostrils flaring. "Then, what is the point, Sakura?"
Sakura just flailed hysterically like a madwoman and Sasuke dragged his palm down his face in an attempt to calm himself down before he had an aneurysm.
Something akin to sadness crept over Sakura as she surveyed the boxes in her living room. When she and Sasuke had, finally, agreed on a moving date, she had expected more, well, moving. Instead, Sasuke had arrived on her doorstep, a mostly-asleep Naruto in tow, with all of his personal belongings split between the two of them.
Now, the five boxes and single duffel that carried everything Sasuke owned were stacked neatly next to the couch.
It was kind of depressing: the idea that Sasuke's life could so easily be packed away. But, Sakura rationalized, his lack of material possessions was understandable – Sasuke had never been a materialistic guy, and, after his departure years ago, most of his and his clan's belongings had been seized or destroyed.
This was all he had left.
Sakura gazed forlornly at the boxes and wondered if Sasuke noticed how little he owned – or if he even cared.
She glanced at him – he was helping himself to a glass of water in the kitchen. He turned and saw her disheartened gaze.
"What?" he asked, gruff as always.
Sakura shrugged. "I just thought… I dunno, I thought you'd have more… stuff. It's hard to imagine that all your belongings are packed up in just this." She gestured to the relatively small stack of boxes next to her couch.
Sasuke sighed. Why was she so upset about him not having a lot of stuff? He thought she'd be happy that he didn't have much. He set his glass down and moved towards her.
"Hey," he called out softly to grab her attention.
She looked up at him and smiled weakly. When he got to her, his hand instinctively came up to rest on her arm. His thumb brushed over her skin. "What's the matter?"
Sakura stepped into him and pressed her face into his chest. She let out a heavy sigh and relaxed in to him. After a few moments, she turned her face to the side so she could speak. "Aren't you kind of sad that all you're stuff packs away so easily? That's your entire life in there, Sasuke-kun."
"Don't be annoying," Sasuke grumbled. He wrapped his arms around her and stroked her back soothingly. He had to admit, though, it was a little entertaining at how emotional Sakura was getting over such a little thing. "It's just stuff, Sakura. I'm not going to die if I lose it. Besides, you should be happy that my stuff isn't going to take up too much space."
Sakura pulled back from him slightly to look up at his face. She saw the amusement dancing in his eyes and delivered a light jab to his abdomen. Sasuke smirked.
"Well, I'm sorry for being annoying," she said.
Sasuke gave a soft snort (his equivalent of a chuckle, Sakura had learned) and let his hands drop down to her sides. "C'mon," he said, tugging at her waist. "Help me unpack."
Most of Sasuke's stuff had found their own place in her apartment (their apartment – she'd have to get used to that) quite easily, and they were down to the last box.
Sakura was seated on the floor in the living room with empty boxes scattered about. When Sasuke made no effort to open the last box and instead began cleaning up the empty boxes, Sakura deftly pulled the box into her lap.
"What's in this box?" she asked.
Sasuke paused and turned to her. He looked at the box and sighed. "That's..." He put down the empty boxes and came over to kneel next to her. He pulled the box from her and stared at it strangely for a moment. "Tch. It's just some old crap of mine. I didn't even unpack it when I lived with Naruto."
Still, he cut the tape and began to open the box, as if to reassure himself that the contents were all still there.
Sakura watched anxiously and wondered at Sasuke's strange behaviour. His hands shook as he began to reveal the contents inside. She wanted to reach out, to comfort him, but something deep inside her told her not to interrupt him – that this was something he had to do for himself.
As Sasuke revealed the contents, she understood his unreadable eyes and tight jaw. Inside was his framed photo of Team 7, his old, scratched head, and other old belongings. Everything inside was a reminder of his past life.
Sasuke's arm snapped forward and grabbed an item lodged in the bottom of the box, upending all the contents on top of it. As he pulled it out, Sakura realized exactly what it was.
It was a photo album, and the uchiwa imprinted on the spine left no doubt that it belonged to the Uchiha family – to Sasuke's family.
Sakura watched Sasuke worriedly as his fingers dug into the worn leather cover of the book.
"Do you want to look at it?" She asked quietly, hesitantly.
He swallowed thickly. "I…" his hands began to shake once more and he seemed to recoil. His head turned towards her while his arm whipped to the side, dumping the photo album out of his line of vision. "No, I don't want to," he said.
Despite his words, she knew that Sasuke did want to look at it, that he did want to be able to revisit his past without reawakening old demons. She knew that one day he'd like to be able to look at the pictures of his family and remember the good, too, not just the bad, and she was going to support that journey – that emotional healing – no matter what.
He rested his head in the crook of her neck and Sakura sighed. She ran her fingers through his hair. "Maybe another day?" she said.
Sasuke exhaled heavily, shuddered, and did not respond. Instead, he pressed his face against her throat and laid tentative kisses there in an attempt to distract himself. Sakura let her hands slide affectionately across his back – she could feel the tension in him that made his whole body tremble. She slid her hands up to his neck and tried to soothe the taut cords of muscles there.
She slid her fingers into his hair, and shifted her head so she could press kisses down his jaw.
He sighed shakily and met her lips with his.
"Maybe another day," he finally agreed when the kiss ended. "But not today."
Sakura smiled and lifted her hand up, brushed Sasuke's bangs from his face. "Okay," she murmured.
She could see the tension leave his body at her words, could feel his relief at her acceptance – her understanding. He leaned back into her and drew her towards him. He started kissing up her neck and jaw, and his fingers played with the hem of her shirt. She giggled when his hair tickled her cheek.
When his lips reached her ear, he whispered, "So, how sturdy is the kitchen table?"