Eskimo Kisses

There was an odd ritual that Sakura and Sarada had that at first confused Sasuke but then he realized was quite familiar.

Everyday when either Sakura or Sarada came home from being outside in the cold all day they would find one another and rub their noses together. The one that had been indoors would squeal at the coldness of the other’s nose while the other would laugh at their momentary discomfort.

It had been a habit of Sakura’s when they were traveling around in the winter. Her nose would become ice cold and she would attempt to sneak up on Sasuke to press her cold nose against his face. The first time she had rubbed her nose against his he was baffled and appalled at his own embarrassment. He was fully expecting her to try and give him a kiss and she had shocked him with the feel of tiny nose pressed against his own, rubbing from side to side.

Sasuke didn’t mind the cold but there was nothing that worked like a better wake up call than Sakura’s chilled to the bone nose.

It became a weird game of “is it a kiss or is it a weird rubbing thing” between the two of them. It carried on mostly during winter when Sakura realized how Sasuke would jump slightly when she did it. Occasionally Sasuke would turn it back around on her as she would help when he would wait until she was all bundled up and warm and his skin was all icy to give her what she called an “eskimo kiss.”

It was an act he only attempted in private but it was amusing to hear Sakura yelp in shock. She would glare at him and stick out her tongue when he got his payback.

Sort of like what Sarada did now whenever his wife snuck up on her. Sarada’s cheeks would puff up and her eyebrows would pull down in a pout and she would scold her mother with a “oh, real mature Mama.”

It was sweet but sometimes Sasuke couldn’t help but feel left out. He did not regret going on his mission but he did regret all of the time he had missed out on with Sarada. She was growing up and soon enough she wouldn’t have time for “Mama” or “Papa.”

A draft came in as the door to their apartment was opened. Sarada’s voice traveled into the family room as she stated that she was home. Sasuke welcomed her home and turned his attention back to his scroll. He was sure he would hear her small feet bounding for the kitchen to make something warm to drink.

Her mother wasn’t home so there was no need to tiptoe and try to sneak up on her.

“Papa?”

Sasuke looked up, surprised to see Sarada standing right in front of him. This wasn’t part of her routine. She would usually ask if he wanted tea and head straight for the kitchen to pull out bags of his favorite green tea and her favorite black tea.

Sasuke’s eyes went wide as Sarada had bent down slightly to grind the tip of her nose against his. Her cheeks and the bridge of her nose were pink either from the cold outside or embarrassment. Possibly a combination of both.

Sasuke was too startled by the suddenness to even flinch at how cold Sarada’s nose was. He just blinked up at her as she smiled down at him mischievously.

“Want some tea, Papa?” she asked over her shoulder as she headed toward the kitchen.

“Aa, Sasuke replied, hiding his face behind his scroll, the tips of his ears having turned a light shade of red.

He smiled to himself as he continued to read. Sometimes, certain behavior was okay to pass on.

Cuddlebugs

The wind whistling outside was almost loud enough to cover the sound of Sakura’s breathing. A feat Sasuke would have thought impossible considering how closely she clung to him in the shelter of their tent.

Sasuke shifted and Sakura adjusted herself in her sleep. Sakura got cold easily and always moved closer to whatever source of warmth she could find.

The two of them use to sleep on separate bedrolls but after months of traveling and marriage those same sleeping mats now lay side by side. The space was still too small for two but husband and wife slept with tangled legs and arms thrown over waists, seeking to be as close as possible even when they were far away in the realm of dreams.

Sakura is small and provides no warmth, but there is a different sort of comfort that Sasuke finds when it comes to laying close. The rhythmic sound of soft breathing causes his mind to settle in a sort of tingling haze. It’s a sort of pleasure that was once hard to summon but is something granted to him every night now.

“Autonomous sensory meridian response,” his brilliant wife offered once with a soft smile. It was a term he had not known before but Sakura remedied that by rambling on about the topic, unintentionally causing the same tingling haze to begin on his scalp and work its way down his neck.

Sasuke shifted again and Sakura once more adjusted herself in her sleep. Always following after him even when she did not know it. Sasuke exhaled through his nose a soft laugh that wouldn’t wake her up.

Softly, gently as possible, Sasuke’s hand roamed over Sakura’s form and attended to his favorite night time habit. He lightly traced soft circles along Sakura’s lower abdomen and up the gentle slope of her belly, home to the life they created together.

Another gust of wind had Sakura whimpering in her sleep until Sasuke drew her closer. She settled with a content sigh against him.

She was the one that wanted to come to Land of Snow.

Sasuke sighed and wrapped their blankets tighter around their bodies.

Although it would have been more comfortable to sleep with Sakura’s back flushed against his front, this was his preferred way to sleep.

Side by side and facing each other, the love of both their lives safely snuggled between them.

Ashiyu

Sakura rubbed her belly and sighed.

From the window of their hotel room she could see the swirls of steam rising all over the village from the various hot springs. Such a tease for a pregnant woman.

They were crossing through Yugakure and had no difficulty securing lodging in the resort town. The city was filled with numerous hotels to satisfy the needs of tourists to the relaxing destination spot.

Although he wouldn’t admit it, Sasuke had altered their travel plans so that they could rest indoors. Sakura didn’t complain about sleeping on forest or cave floors but she couldn’t stop the way her hand would fall to her lower back and rub especially now that her pregnant belly was putting strain on her back as well.

Sakura couldn’t complain when her husband was being so accommodating. His cheeks would flush the palest of pinks and he would turn his face away with a pout that edged along the side of scowling and it was the cutest thing she had ever laid her eyes on.

I hope our kid makes that same face, she would giggle inwardly to herself every now and then.

Sakura sighed once more and dragged herself away from the window and plopped herself down on the hotel bed. The bed was fluffy and softer than anything she had ever lied on but it was no comforting hot soak.

Unfortunately it would be a while until Sakura could take a long, relaxing soak in a hot bath. Her travel weary muscles were aching and longing for the famous hot springs.

“Let’s go find something to eat.”

“I’m not hungry,” Sakura grumbled. She wasn’t in the mood to walk anymore especially considering she would be passing all of the onsens on their way to find food. Despite how hungry she was she had no intention of leaving the hotel room until it was time to check out.

A long growl from her stomach gave her away and her cheeks flushed red.

Sasuke didn’t say anything but the corners of his lips twitched upward causing Sakura to puff her cheeks out in indignation.

Instead of teasing her like he normally would have done, he took hold of her hand and gently helped her rise from the bed.

His wife had no problem roughing it but since she had become pregnant there were times she reminded him more of her genin self when she got all huffy and complained. As irritating as it had been when they were pre-pubescent brats, now it was occasionally endearing. Mostly due to the fact that when she got all huffy she had the habit of rubbing her protruding belly in a soothing manner and watching the action caused his chest to fill up with warmth.

Sakura slid the lower half of her face under the clasp of her cloak. She knew she was acting like a spoiled brat but it was completely unfair that she couldn’t relax in any onsens until after the baby was born.

It didn’t help that Sasuke insisted on going for a walk after dinner. Her swollen, achy feet wanted nothing more than to return to the hotel room where she could lie in bed and hope that Sasuke wouldn’t mind rubbing them. She was far along in her pregnancy where she couldn’t touch her own feet anymore.

“Hmm?” Sakura poked her head out of her cloak as Sasuke squeezed her hand and led her off the path to a small area. Swirls of steam rose from the ground and she squealed in delight at the sight of of the onsen foot bath.

Sasuke reached down and helped her slip out of her sandals as she steadied herself by grabbing onto his shoulders.

“Just for a little bit,” Sasuke warned. Sakura rolled her eyes at his overprotectiveness.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m the medic here, I know.”

Sakura dipped her feet into the hot water and let a dreamy sigh. The heat was so soothing.

Sakura patted the area next to her and beckoned Sasuke to join her. He stared at her, contemplating for a moment before he slipped off his own sandals and joined her.

“This is the best.”

Sakura leaned against her husband as he hummed in agreement.

“Thank you.”

“Hmm,” Sasuke hummed again, shifting his body so that he was propped against her as well.

Sakura closed her eyes in contentment and stretched out her toes. She was just getting more relaxed when Sasuke’s voice cut into her daydreaming.

“I think that’s long enough.”

“Anata!”