Just Water

Sasuke let out a deep sigh as he wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hands. Sounds of hammers banning on nails and construction men hollering orders at each other filled the empty house. If he had known that it would be so hot that day, then perhaps he would have planned this for a different day. Sasuke shook his head. He shouldn't keep making excuses to put off his task. He needed to finish all the repairs soon.

It had been a year since the war had ended, and four months since he had started to rebuild his childhood home. Sasuke was slightly ashamed that it had taken him five months to build up the courage to face the rubble that was the Uchiha compound. He'd gone through the paperwork of relinquishing claim to the other land in a dreamless state. The village had taken it as partial payment for his crimes. Sasuke didn't much care for the barren wasteland that had been left behind by Pain. He had only kept the land where his previous home had been.

After a month of pointless, endless, meetings with Konoha officials, he had finally contracted people to construct his future home. For whatever masochistic reasons, Sasuke had decided on practically the same floor plan as the original house, just adding two more rooms and reshaping the size of the old ones. The master bedroom would now be where his room had originally been.

The young Uchiha planned on moving in within a week of construction being completed. He'd come by a few days after wards and noticed that the water wasn't working in the kitchen. Using pitifully crafted excuses, Sasuke had delayed fixing the problem for another week. Sasuke wasn't sure what had finally driven him to fix the problem: Naruto's insufferable presence in the cramped apartment or his own refusal to show any type of weakness.

A particularly loud crash outside from the building of houses, businesses, etc. in what once was the Uchiha compound shook Sasuke out of his thoughtful state. He kneeled back down to be eye-level with the defying pipes. With a deep sigh, he shifted to be on his back, under the plumbing.

A few moments later, Sasuke could hear light footsteps entering the house. Sasuke had not been expecting those footfalls, and he was not strangely relieved to hear them. "Hi, Sasuke-kun," Sakura's cheerful voice rang through the empty building, blocking out the incessant noise of construction.

"Hn," Sasuke grumbled from his position below the sink.

"Naruto mentioned that you would be working here today," Sakura explained her presence, though he had not asked. He heard something being placed on the counter to his right. "I brought you some food and a cool beverage."

"You didn't have to do that," Sasuke replied automatically. She really hadn't, but that had never stopped her before.

"I know," Sakura merrily replied, unaffected by his seemingly harsh comment. Her aloofness to his attempts to appear uncaring had always irked him. Not because he truly wanted to be away from her, but because she just knew him that well. He felt her kneeling down beside him and knew that the badgering of questions would soon start. Sasuke felt something soft press against the side of his exposed stomach. His shirt had ridden up while he was working on the plumbing and Sakura had evidently opted for shorts this summer day.

The skin-on-skin contact, no matter how innocent, startled Sasuke. Before Sakura could get another word in, Sasuke made a particularly hard push on the wrench and the two pipes broke off. A gush of water hit Sasuke right in the face, choking him. Sakura let out a squeak and he heard her falling back. He pushed himself away from the on pouring water accidentally bumping into Sakura in the process. They fell, sprawled, on the now wet floor.

"Damn it," Sasuke cursed. There was no need to check the water pressure. The kitchen floor was quickly being swallowed up by the fugitive water. He grabbed Sakura by the elbow and haled them both to their feet. Making sure Sakura was steady on her feet, Sasuke started making his way back towards the sink. But the rushing water made him slip. His shinobi skills allowed him to land on his hands and the tips of his feet instead of falling face first into the pool of water. He growled in frustration. A small giggle diverted his murderous plans for the pipes back to the pink haired kunoichi behind him.

Sakura seemed to regain her composure when she saw the death glare Sasuke was sending her way. "I'll go turn off the water," Sakura promptly stated. She rushed out of the room, not wanting to deal with the temperamental Uchiha.

Sasuke took a deep breath to control his emotions and looked back at the offending water and metal. He kneelt back down and tried to force the two pieces to close together. This only succeeded in getting a constant splash of water in his face. If Sakura didn't shut off the water at that moment, he would-

The lack of water assaulting him made Sasuke lose his train of thought. He shook the water out of his eyes and focused on repairing the damage done. Another giggle from behind him caused a vein to start throbbing in his head. "What?" he growled towards her, finally fixing the pipes. He stood up and looked over at her, water dripping down to the ground.

"It's just…odd seeing you doing 'domestic' chores," Sakura explained, a light smile on her face. He gave a grunt in reply. Still extremely upset, he threw the wrench onto the counter. Sakura was startled by his harsh actions. Taking no notice of the water, Sakura crossed the room and stood in front of him. "Sasuke-kun, it's just water. I'll help clean up-"

"It's not the damn water," Sasuke grumbled. He looked away from her concerned gaze. "It's…this," he explained, gesturing around him.

Sakura, as always, understood his short and ambiguous explanation. Her worried stare turned compassionate. And try as he might he couldn't look away.

"It's okay to feel overwhelmed, Sasuke-kun," Sakura gently said. "You made this new place to be the home for your future family. Don't let the past stop you from living your life." She softly laid a hand on his cheek and Sasuke felt himself relax into her touch. "We'll get through it." She was right. They would be fine.

"Let's clean up this mess," Sasuke said. Sakura smiled brightly up at him.

"Alright, Sasuke-kun," Sakura said as she turned away, looking for some sort of cloth to dry up the water. Sasuke followed her lead, with the warmness of her touch still lingering on his skin.