He's been staring at her back—the curve of her hip and dip of her waist, memorizing each freckle—for hours. He doesn't recall a time when he's been this relaxed in his life—this completely unguarded. Last night was a revelation. An experience he won't be able to forget.
He never fully comprehended what the physical expression of his feelings for her would do to him.
If she owned a piece of him before, it's nothing compared to how much she has now. He's always felt inexplicably tied to her, even in the midst of the darkness, but now... Now, it's different. He's different. Whatever doubts or worries either of them may have had are gone. His feelings are forever connected to hers. He's never been more sure of anything, not even in his resolve for revenge. Even in that he wavered.
Love, it seems, is the stronger resolution. The absolute power.
Naruto was right, he thinks, then sighs at the thought. What an idiot.
A slight noise draws his focus back to her naked form. Her body rolls over and he discovers her eyes are opened and peering up at him. He takes her in anew—her flat and toned stomach, her bare chest, her hair tangled from sleep and their previous lovemaking—and for a second he wonders if it's possible to love her more.
He meets her curious gaze after a few quiet moments. "Hm?" He finds he's feeling too lazy to speak at the moment.
Her lips curl ever so much.
"Enjoying the view, dear?"
His eyes widen, and heat creeps into his face. But he's not ashamed to admit that, yes, he is mesmerized by her.
"Yes," he says simply and seriously. That wipes the grin from her face, her mouth forming a small 'o', her eyes boring into his, the beginnings of renewed heat entering them. He can't help but to reach out to palm her face, sliding his thumb across her smooth cheek. Her eyes close in response, a sigh escaping from her lips. He leans forward slowly until he can feel the soft pressure of her mouth as he brushes his lips against hers.
It's not their first kiss, nor will it be the last. But he still gets lost in it. It's still new to him—paying attention to any and every response he receives from her because of him. The hyper-awareness he has of Sakura baffles him constantly. He's known her most of his life and yet her mere presence is enough to take up the majority of his attention. He wonders if he will ever get used to her in this way.
They lose themselves for a little a while, caught up in that unspoken, tangible tether that keeps drawing them together. So later when Sakura has splayed herself across his chest, a satisfied curl on her lips, and he is near the edge of sleep, he thinks... If he had known on that day so long ago when she had begged him to stay in the village that at some point in the distant future he would end up just like this...
He might have stayed.
Then Sakura presses a kiss to chest and he blinks down at her, meeting her sparkling gaze.
"You know something, Sasuke?"
She grins at him. "I love you."
He stares at her, a deep feeling curls through him. And so he changes his mind. There's no guarantee in changing the past. He decides he'd go through it all again if it meant this is where he ends up, even if he doesn't deserve any of it.
Sakura lays her head back against his chest, not expecting him to answer. But he does anyway.
"Thank you, Sakura."