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Sakura is still shy, even after all these years.

She has grown into a formidable warrior, a wonderful mother, a dedicated wife. And she still blushes around him. If Sasuke were any other man, he would tease her about her bashfulness, poke fun and make it deepen. As it is, he does brush a thumb over the flush, silently pointing it out.

It is enough to make the colour deepen, make her look away, green eyes curled into a happy smile.

Sasuke thinks, not for the first time, that he doesn’t deserve her.

The smallest of things makes her happy. A letter, a small brush of his hand against hers, an affirmative hum as she discusses Sarada’s training, a quiet request for a specific meal. It is those things that make her eyes shine and her cheeks flush with pleasure.

And those are the things Sasuke can give her. He is not like Naruto, who brings bouquets of flowers to Hinata after too many nights in the office, not like Kiba, who tells anyone and everyone of his love for his wife. All Sasuke can do is the little things.

He feels guilty though.

Sakura is a beautiful woman, accomplished, well respected. And Sasuke knows that given the chance, many men would jump at the chance to try win her affection. She deserves the doting love they would give her, the kind words, flowers, presents, surprises.

She has been by his side since he was a child. And he knows that she deserves better than his silences, his distant and long months away. But he is selfish, and he can’t bear the thought of not having her in his life.

Still Sakura never expresses any discontent in her life. She still smiles at him like she did when they were children, eyes hopeful and filled with love, smile gentle and just for him. She still writes him pages upon pages of letters, still chatters happily with him when he returns, still sends him care packages and homemade scarves and hats.

It is more than he believes he deserves, after all he put her through.

“You’re think awfully hard there, honey.” She murmurs, drawing him back to himself. She smiles up at him, hand cradling his own where it rests against her cheek. Their bedroom is dim, covers rumpled from where Sakura had been brushing her hair when he had come in.

“It’s nothing.”

She tilts her head at him. There is a light to her eyes that tells him she doesn’t believe him, not one bit. But she only smiles that smile of hers, his smile and squeezes his wrist gently. “Alright.” She pulls away, sits on the bed and begins to comb through her hair again.

Sasuke watches her for a moment.

She is beautiful like this.

When she is simply Sakura. When there is no weight on her shoulders, no patients to heal, no children to soothe, no Naruto to counsel. It still stuns him sometimes, to see the woman she has grown into, still makes him pause when he thinks that out of all the men in the world, she still chose him.

She hums as she combs the short strands. His shirt is far too large on her, sleeves falling to her elbows, shoulders dwarfed in fabric. Her hair is still damp from her own shower. It is getting long, brushing her shoulders. When he had tugged on the strands earlier, she’d tucked it behind her ear, and told him she was growing it out.


She looks up, eyes curious.

He walks forward, soundless as always. He settles on the mattress, motions for her to turn. She says nothing as he takes the brush from her, only relaxes ever so slight when he begins to brush her hair for her.

Sasuke cannot give her the world, cannot give her the home she deserves. He will never be the man that shouts his love from the rooftops, the husband that comes home with flowers and chocolates, the man that showers her with presents.

But he can do this.