DISCLAIMER: I do not own "Naruto"
Sasuke looked at the girl walking beside him, who stared on ahead, blissfully unaware of his penetrating gaze. He'd found himself looking at her a lot lately. Not because she was overly beautiful or unbearably ugly or anything of the sort. He was simply studying her. He was calculating.
It was in Sasuke's nature to think things through—to figure out how things worked. Girls hadn't been an interesting enough subject until recently. He used to think they were all the same, but the girl beside him had proven him wrong. She seemed to do that a lot. And suddenly, he wanted to know why she wasn't like the other girls. He wanted to know how she worked. There was a time when he thought he knew who she was, but it became quite apparent that he hadn't even scratched the surface. In his attempt to figure her out, Sasuke started to acquire certain…feelings…feelings that he'd never had before. He knew exactly what he was feeling. There was no confusion or denial. It was simple. He knew and accepted that he liked her. In order to take the next step—to know her better—he would have to do the one thing he never thought he would do—ask her out on a date.
Thus the calculating and over-analyzing. Was he ready? If he took that bold step…there was no going back, not with her. Was he capable of commitment? She would require it. He couldn't break her heart—not again. He could take the safe route and smother his feelings. It would protect them both from potential hurt. Or…or he could risk everything…
She stopped and turned toward him, smiling quizzically.
"Have dinner with me."
Her eyes widened. "Really?"
"Of course," she said with a giggle and a blush.
Sasuke glanced at Sakura. She looked beautiful tonight. He'd never seen her hair styled with curls, but he liked it. She looked soft with the tendrils bouncing around her face. The dress she'd chosen to wear was a good decision, in his opinion. She didn't appear provocative or prude…simply well dressed. He liked how radiant her bare shoulders appeared in the starlight. His eyes traveled down her arm to their linked hands.
This was their fifth date over the course of three weeks. They hadn't really discussed whether they were an actual couple yet, but he didn't think the conversation was necessary. He liked being with Sakura. He enjoyed every moment of their dates and he didn't want to see anyone else. He knew she felt the same. He could confidently say that if things continued to progress, he would find himself in love with her. He didn't know if he was quite there yet, but the idea didn't seem so farfetched. His eyes stayed on their linked hands for a moment longer, when he realized it was time. It was time he kissed her.
She'd been patient and he knew that he shouldn't keep her waiting any longer. But a kiss…a kiss would change everything. There would be no going back. Once he got a taste he would want more, he was certain of it. He knew how desire worked; he felt it at that very moment. He longed to wrap her in his arms. He longed to capture her lips with his. Was he prepared for the hunger a kiss would cause? He supposed there was only one way to find out.
They reached her apartment.
Sakura's eyes darted from him to her doorknob. "I had a really great time, Sasuke-kun."
Her voice was gentle, just above a whisper. He could see the blush igniting her cheeks and he noticed the way she fiddled with her keys. She was waiting for him to act.
He smirked. "Aa."
She met his gaze almost nervously. Her lashes fluttered and his heart quickened. Her hand was still trapped by his. It was time.
"What would you say if I asked to kiss you?"
Sakura blinked bashfully. "I would say yes."
He leaned forward. "I'm going to kiss you, Sakura."
He tilted her head and pressed his lips to hers. She smelled like sunflowers.
When they parted with goodnight, Sakura leaned against her doorframe and Sasuke walked home with a satisfied smirk on his face.
Sasuke looked at his feet as he walked. It was the middle of the day and Sakura was still at the hospital. He didn't like not having her around. He felt like her presence made him better. He couldn't be so bold to say that she completed him, because really, they were individuals. He needed no one to feel complete…but she made him feel new, like he was a better person because of her. With Sakura around, he no longer felt the weight of the world rested solely on his shoulders. When she was around, he didn't have to force a smile—it came naturally. Sakura made him happy. He had gone so long without happiness that he'd almost forgot what it was like. She reminded him daily that he could be happy.
Sakura was like life and fresh air and sunshine and everything beautiful. Sasuke wanted to protect her. He wanted to make sure that she was happy. He loved her. He'd loved her for a long time now, but he was terrified of telling her. He was afraid that once he told her, he'd lose her. He was afraid he would fail her. He was afraid that she would be taken from him, just like all the others he'd loved.
Sakura made him feel strong and weak at the same time. She made him feel like he could do anything...yet she made him feel powerless. He knew that it was impossible to always be there and that meant there would always be a risk in loving her. Was he committed enough to take that risk? Was loving her worth the risk of losing her?
Sasuke looked at his feet. He didn't like that she wasn't beside him, holding his hand.
When he opened the door to Sakura's office, she was startled from her work. She immediately smiled. Sasuke approached her intently, placed both palms flat against her desk and leaned forward. She blushed.
"I-is something…wrong, Sasuke-kun?"
"No," he replied flatly. He stared at her, taking in every feature of her face. He wanted to remember her reaction forever. He was almost tempted to activate his Sharingan, but decided against it when he figured it would intimidate her.
"I love you."
Sakura's eyes widened and her mouth parted in a small gasp. Sasuke leaned forward and kissed her. When he pulled away, she was glowing.
"Thought you'd like to know," he said and then left the office.
Sasuke couldn't bring himself to look away. He sat against a tree, holding Sakura in his arms, her back to his chest, as they gazed at the stars. Well…she gazed at the stars. Her head leaned back against his shoulder and he couldn't look away from her. The serene expression on her face made him wonder what she was thinking about. Warmth radiated from her and her form in his arms comforted him. He couldn't ask for a more perfect moment. If he could, he would have a hundred more moments just like now.
No one was hunting them. No one was using them. No one was separating them. No one was depending on them. For once, all was right and perfect—absolute bliss. There was no guarantee that this would last forever. As shinobi, they knew that everything could go wrong in the blink of an eye. And that's why he knew now was the perfect time…if he could just work up the courage.
This next step in their relationship was everything. They had been together for two solid years now and, though they'd had their bumps in the road, he couldn't be happier. Well…he supposed he could be. His life could be even better if he and Sakura lived together—if she gave herself to him—but each came in time. Right now, he had a vital decision to make before the others would fall in place. This was the moment that would change everything and truly test his commitment to her. This was the moment to prove to himself that he wasn't a coward—to show Sakura that she was the only one he wanted to be with. This was the moment.
Sasuke pulled Sakura closer to his chest and kissed her lightly on the neck. She smiled. "I have something for you," he murmured.
"Mmm." She closed her eyes and sighed in comfort.
Sasuke reached into his pocket and pulled out a small box. He brought it around and kissed Sakura again, causing her to open her eyes. She went still in his arms when he opened the box to reveal a ring. He watched her closely as her eyes widened and tears gathered.
"Sakura, marry me."
She was speechless for a moment, until she smiled. "You're supposed to ask," she said. "But yes, of course I'll marry you!"
He pulled the ring out of the box and gently placed it on Sakura's finger. She laughed and, turning around, met Sasuke's lips with a passionate kiss.
As Sakura curled into him, arm across his stomach and her head resting on his shoulder, Sasuke thought about all that happened with overwhelming joy. They were married. She was his wife. He almost couldn't believe it had happened…and he was scared that once he woke in the morning, he would find it had all been a dream. So he kept his eyes open, locked on the face of his sleeping wife.
She was so beautiful. He thought about when he first saw her that morning, walking down the aisle in a slender white wedding gown, pink hair in gentle waves around her shoulders with a white rose tucked by her ear. His heart had stopped at the sight of her. She'd never looked so beautiful before. She'd smiled through the entire ceremony and hypnotized him. His eyes softened as he took her hands in his. He remembered the happiness in her voice when she said her vows, promising to always be his, always be faithful.
His heart beat so prominently in his chest and the world had faded away. It was him and her. Sasuke and Sakura. She was his world.
The minister, Kakashi, continued speaking and Sasuke heard the words and felt them reverberate through his soul as he contemplated them. He would be there during the best times, during peace and tranquility, when everything was right and perfect. He would be there in the worst times, during war and missions gone wrong, through the fights and tears, when everything was wrong and so hard. He would be there if they were rich or poor. He would be there in sickness and in in health, when she couldn't save her patients, when he got lost in the past, when they were at their most unattractive and at their worst. He would love and cherish her as she grew old…even until death.
"Do you take Haruno Sakura to be your wedded wife, to have and to hold forevermore?"
Sasuke took a breath and said clearly, "I do."
They were announced husband and wife and shared the first of many kisses that day.
Now, the satin wedding dress lay draped over a chair, the flower somewhere on the ground, and the couple in bed, finally one. The candles were dying and the night was calm, the scent of roses and sunflowers in the air. Sasuke pushed a curling strand of hair away from Sakura's face and kissed her forehead.
Sasuke sat in the hospital chair, his gaze trapped by the tiny person in his arms. She was beautiful. Brilliant green eyes and hair the color of midnight, she was the perfect combination of Sakura and his genetics. He was in awe and completely in love—and scared to death. This little treasure was his future and the first of, hopefully, many more children. He couldn't mess up with her…he had to be the perfect father. His daughter deserved only the best.
He remembered when Sakura first told him they were going to be parents; he had wondered if they were ready. They'd been married for a few years, but were they ready for a baby? He wanted one, oh, how he wanted one. But the idea made him feel like…like…such a child. He hadn't felt like that in so long. He hadn't been a child since he was eight-years-old, and yet there he was at twenty-three and feeling like he was too young. The thought seemed so far away now, as he held little Miki in his arms. He still felt too young, but he had no doubt that he and Sakura would try their very hardest to be the best parents in the world. She was worth risking everything for.
He looked up as Sakura lifted her arm for a glass of water, finally awake. He walked over to his wife and she smiled. She reached for their newborn daughter and love covered her face as the baby cooed.
Sasuke gazed at the two and smiled.
This is kouyaku.
A/N: Dearest readers, I hope you enjoyed this little oneshot. I've got more stuff coming for you, but until I get them ready for uploading, I hope this sweet story will be filling for now.
This was done for SSM and the prompt was commitment.
Thanks to wingsofmercury for being this story's beta. You rock!