Aw thanks so much for getting back to me Alicia! If you don't mind, may I request Sasuke absentmindedly playing with Sakura's short hair, and when she asks what he's doing, he just says that he really loves her hair, thus making Sakura realize that he never really cared for long her (only her's) :) thank you!
Sorry this took so long, I am slower than next year’s Christmas lately. Dx
Sasuke likes Sakura best when she’s sleeping, when the last vestiges of innocence still cling to her eyelashes and the echoes of carefree laughter long left behind in childhood still hover between her parted lips.
During the long nights when he can’t sleep, he unconsciously anticipates the way her arms will seek him out, the way her hands will curl around his abdomen as if to never let him go. He needs the way her head comes to rest against his heart, and he syncs its beating with the tempo of the rising and falling of her chest.
This is how he relearns to breathe, one heartbeat at a time. The sight of her sleeping face eases the iron bands around his lungs, and he remembers how it feels to flex the corners of his mouth in something other than a scowl. He takes deep breaths, uncomfortable with the sensation after living so long as a steel coil of tension.
As the full moon waxes in the inky night sky, he hesitantly lifts his remaining hand. Lighter than the touch of a feather, he brushes at the pink tendrils of hair that have fallen to rest across her lips. He pauses as a puff of her breath blows the strands to the side, then tentatively curls the stray lock around his forefinger.
Even diluted by the moon’s light, Sakura’s hair still reminds him of spring, of genin days, and days where he might have been something close to happy.
He lets the strands unravel from his blood-stained finger, he is not fit to touch her. And yet, here she lies across his chest, exposed and vulnerable in her sleep. The significance of this trust sends a searing ache through his chest, and this time he allows his hand to sift through her soft tresses, coming to rest at the back of her neck.
His breath catches in his throat as she shifts in her sleep, but she soon settles back into easy slumber. His fingers return to weaving in and out of her hair, shorter now than it was when they were younger.
He doesn’t recall the exact moment of its severance, only the bruises on her face that accompanied it and the black fire burning through his veins at the sight. His fist clenches in a mass of pink, and he releases it in a panic as Sakura winces in her sleep.
He does recall the way her hair used to hang down her back like a bright beacon, beckoning him onward whenever he acted as rear guard on missions.
She used to be so proud and conscientious of her mane, and Sasuke smirks to himself as he considers the difference between then and now. Now, while her hair is just as soft and luxuriant, it gets shoved harshly out of her face and thrown haphazardly into a tail behind her head.
Sasuke likes to tug on it when she comes home from the hospital, likes to see the exasperation in her eyes as he releases her signature feature from its confines, noting the way it falls to frame her face. To distract her from his fascination, he’ll smirk at her and poke her forehead.
Lost in thought, fingertips gently massing her scalp of their own accord, he is startled to find apple-green eyes blinking hazily at him.
“Saskun…wha’re you doin’?” she slurs sleepily.
Sasuke shakes his head, smiling to himself. She’s so damn beautiful, even when she’s incoherent. “Nothing, go back to sleep.”
But Sakura frowns. “Tha’ doesn’t feel like nothin’,” she mumbles, “it feels good.”
On a whim, Sasuke curls a large section of carnation pink around several fingers and lifts it to his lips. Blearily, Sakura watches him in fascination.
“My hair’s too short,” she grumbles.
Sasuke snorts lightly, a gust of air that scatters the strands of her hair everywhere. “It is not. It suits you.”
Her frown turns into a scowl as her eyelids flutter shut again. “But you like long hair.”
His eyes are rolling, even if she can’t see it. “Sakura, I like your hair.”
To prove his point, he leans over and lightly kisses the crown of her head. She looks up at him, confused. “But when we were younger-”
“When we were younger I was a little shit, and you listened to the opinion of girls that I still have yet to give the time of day.”
Sasuke lies back with a satisfied expression, watching the wheels turn behind her eyes. After a minute, he sees it start to fall into place for her.
“So,” she starts slowly, “you don’t mind that my hair is short?”
He shakes his head, a smile playing at his lips. “No. I like it better this way. But if you wanted to grow it out, I would like that too.”
Sakura’s face scrunches in confusion. “Okay. But it’s still pink.”
He sighs. “So?”
“So pink is so…I don’t know. Girly.”
He takes her chin between his fingers, forcing her gaze to his. “Sakura. It’s not girly, it’s you. And I. Like. It.”
The disbelief finally clears from her expression, and she stretches out so she can kiss him lightly. Mischieviously, she reaches up to ruffle his unruly spikes.
“I like yours too, Sasuke-kun.”