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"i thought i lost you."

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The waiting seemed to go on for days in her mind, only amounting to a couple of hours in reality. Sakura tried to busy herself by tending to all the injuries the Otsutsuki’s left behind, but even then the worry refused to leave the forefront of her mind. Having not worried about him like this in years, her nerves were rollercoasters, running rapid throughout her body. It made her sick, the fear that Sasuke might not return from whatever universe he and the others hopped into. She had faith in him, she always did, and knew that he had the strength to get throughout whatever battle came his way; but there was something there poking at her conscious, repeating that he wouldn’t come back. And she hadn’t even received a proper goodbye. 

Seven hours passed before a nurse came running into the operating room. 

Haruno-san! They’ve returned!” Only the word returned registered in her brain. Glancing around at the other doctors in the room, Sakura waited until she received approving nods before dropping the tools in her hand and running in the direction of the nurse. Her feet were throbbing from having stood so long, calves screaming for her to sit down, but she couldn’t. Sasuke was back.

Bursting through the door to the rooftop, her eyes went directly to him. Although alive and breathing, Sasuke looked worn down in ways that she had not seen in years. His clothes were ripped and dirt-ridden, his body scarred and cut up. The doctor instinct in Sakura jumped to treat him, wanting to drag him by the arm downstairs into the closest examining room, but it was the wife in her that overpowered her medical urge. Before she knew it, her feet were once again pounding against the ground until she was close enough to throw herself into his embrace. They were never the couple to show affection out in the open, preferring to keep any and all loving touches hidden away in the safety of their own home, but in a moment like this, she could care less about who saw them. 

I thought I lost you,” she whispered, face buried into his broad chest. The feeling of his arm wrapping around her middle relaxed her to an extent, but not enough to keep the anxieties of earlier from spilling out her mouth. “It felt like you were gone for so long, I was so worried that you wouldn’t come ba—”

“Tch. You’ve lost faith in me haven’t you?” His voice was teasing and reassuring all in one. Sasuke wasn’t going to baby her and tell her that she didn’t need to worry, no, that wasn’t like him at all. It was his mocking attitude that would bring her back down from her heightened state of worry. 

Pulling back from his chest, Sakura flashed him a cheeky grin. It wasn’t fair, the effect he had on her. With a handful of words, he could have all her tears come to a halt and calm her rapidly beating hard. “Definitely not!”

“Sure,” he replied, tone still joking, while stepping back from her. Their public closeness had gone on for a bit too long for his liking, any longer and he would’ve begun to feel out of place and uncomfortable.

“I promise you I haven’t!” She went to punch his shoulder but held back in fear of worsening any injuries he possibly had. 

The second he went to speak again, the door behind the couple flew open and a flurry of black and red made its way over to them. A small, but firm, hand grabbed Sakura’s wrist and pulled her back against her husband. Sarada, squished between both of her parents, had tears rolling down her cheeks.

I thought I lost you, papa!” 

Sakura couldn’t help but giggle, she and her daughter were so much alike it was scary at times. 

Huffing, Sasuke enveloped his family in a one-armed hug, holding them as close to him as they possibly could. Maybe he could accept the open affection for a bit longer. 

“Does nobody in this family believe in me anymore?”