I’d like to think Sakura’s first birthday on their travels might have gone something like this:
It hasn’t been too long since they’ve started their travels—maybe a few months or so. The day before, they’d arrived in some moderately sized village whose name isn’t important to remember, and decided to stay there for a while; to take rest, stock up, explore, and help around.
Sakura wakes in the morning a little later than usual, which surprises her, since she remembers asking Sasuke to wake her up when he wanted to leave to buy some food. She gets out of bed, changes into day clothes, and makes her way to the kitchen only to find Sasuke there, setting up breakfast on the table, apparently just done cooking.
“Sasuke-kun,” Sakura greets, a bit startled. “Good morning.”
Sasuke only nods. “Morning. I made breakfast.”
Though not exactly a rare occurrence, this still makes her smile—because she’s quite sure she knows the reasoning behind this.
“So you did.” She pauses, and smiles wider, an edge of teasing to it. “And you let me sleep in, too. Didn’t I ask you to wake me?”
Taking a seat at the table, Sasuke merely shrugs like it is nothing, but the way he avoids her gaze makes her think maybe he’s a bit embarrassed.
“There wasn’t much that we needed to buy, so I figured I might just go alone.”
Sakura simply hums at this, but there’s that knowing look in her eyes, and she thinks Sasuke sees it when he fleetingly glances at her. But, she says nothing, only murmurs an affectionate thanks and sits to eat her own breakfast (one she remembers telling Sasuke she quite favored, not too long ago).
But his particular behavior doesn’t end there. They head off in town afterwards, and he accompanies her every step of the way, even when she heads out to shop for herself. At some point, she tries to tell him that he doesn’t need to feel like he needs to stay, that he can go to the stores he likes instead of tailing behind her into ones she knows he’s not interested in. But Sasuke stays, and he never complains, prompting another knowing smile to her lips. He even pays for her lunch when they head out to eat, later.
Then, he takes her to the Hanami festival. At this point, Sakura doesn’t question him anymore; she knows with certainty why he’s acting so especially nice. They stay there for hours, visiting food stands and trying out game platforms (well—Sakura did), watching the pretty pink trees blooming in full; and though it is crowded, with girls trying to pester him after his good looks, Sasuke never scowls, never looks surly. It ends up making one of the very best birthdays of her life.
When they retreat from the festival, they take the long way back to the inn. Sakura has an armful of prizes she’s won for herself, and in her free hand, she holds a stick of syrup coated dango (which he paid for, again), chewing on it thoughtfully. She’s happier than she’s been in a long while, and in the moment, she thinks it can’t really get better than this.
But Sasuke proves her wrong as they stop by a small wooden bridge overlooking a river surrounded by beautiful cherry blossom trees, pretty pink petals fluttering in the wind, as he says, “I do have a gift for you, you know.”
Sakura’s green, green eyes turn towards him and widen, and she swallows her bite of food with a blooming blush. “You do?”
Sasuke nods almost imperceptibly, and she thinks she sees him swallow, but she can’t be too sure.
She opens her mouth to ask what he’s gotten her, before he suddenly leans down and presses his mouth to hers with achingly gentle pressure, lone hand gripping her shoulder to anchor her in place.
He pulls away before she can fully realize what’s happened, but doesn’t put much space back between them, the ghost of a smile tugging at his lips. His eyes soften when she reaches to touch her lips with her free hand (which has dropped the dango she’d been holding, she now realizes).
The tug of his lips becomes more insistent, and he taps her forehead with two fingers—the gesture heavy with affection. “Happy birthday, Sakura,” he says.
“S-Sasuke-kun! You made me drop my dango!”
“…I’ll get you a new one.”
Who am I kidding this is too fluffy to have really happened….
Person A is a heavy reader. Person B isn’t. Person A usually reads the stories to Person B when they need to calm down, from what it is, Person A never asks. Person B often falls asleep to the stories from Person A’s mouth, and can never stay up long enough to finish the stories, so all they know is the (mostly) happy beginnings, and never the ends.
Person A gives Person B their favourite book, one that’s been with them for a long time. The book has obvious signs of the love and importance it had on Person A’s life, but they know that it’s Person B’s favourite story.
You see, Person B might not notice, but Person A always keep a check of how long it takes for Person B to fall asleep when they’re reading a book. Sometimes it’s within the 3rd chapter, other times it’s on the 23rd. But when Person A reads this book to Person B, they notice how Person B struggles to stay awake, and is always concentrating so hard on not giving in to the slumber. Person A once asked Person B if they wanted to start from the middle of the book this time (because god forbid they say, ‘Where we left off’ because that means they’ll know when they fell asleep and that’s a conversation for a later (or never) time) but Person B always politely declines and says with the sweetest voices, “No, I want to hear your voice as much as possible.”
Person B shakily accepts the gift, and promises to give it back, but Person A declines and says, “No, you can have it. It’s yours. I know how much you love it, almost as much as I do. So here, read it, you fall asleep before the ending anyway.” And laughs it off, albeit awkwardly.
A few days pass since the gift giving, and Person B has had minimal contact with Person A. Then one day, as Person A was in the quiet corner of the library, back hunched over a book and nail biting in progress, Person B comes in and sits in front of Person A.
//“The ending haD ME SHOOK AF BRUH OAGJBAWLJRBGLKJBLEWRKJGB”//
“I understand why this book is your favourite, and I don’t want to copy you but it’s now my favourite too.” Person B says quietly as they watch Person A’s eyes scan 20 words a second. Person A nods slightly. “So I have a gift for you too.”
Person A looks up from the book and stares at a copy of the same book, looking newer and less worn, but still holding the words that made them laugh, cry, and die in a matter of 2 pages. Person B smiles, and says, “It’s my copy, I bought it the day before you gave me yours. I only read the first part, because it’s all I knew in your voice. So I could never bring myself to read the rest.” Person B laughs awkwardly.
“I mean, I don’t usually read books. But when you read them I suddenly picture myself there, in those pages, except it doesn’t feel like just pages, it feels real. My voice can’t do that, but yours can. So… When you gave me the book you had read to me over and over again, suddenly I could picture you, holding the book exactly the same way you are now, eyes scanning over the words so quickly that your voice fails to catch up, and the small hint of a smile in your voice and the sparkle in your eyes, and, believe me, I didn’t understand why people fell in love with reading but I think I’m in love with your reading. Whether it’s silent scanning of words, or quiet whispers of every second word, or when you voice the characters’ dialogue yourself to get the emotion right in your head because you haven’t heard the words said like that before, or when your reading it to me, I’m in love with you and your reading.”
Person B is blushing furiously and Person A is //dyING AF BECAUSE ERMAGHWRHGDHGAHGRHGA// still waiting, listening, knowing that this isn’t the end of what Person B wants to say.
“You’re the person people in books fall in love with,” Person B says with a quiet voice.
(Note from author: Hi, this is me coming back after ‘leaving’ this account. I actually never left and I knew a lot of people started following me AFTER i said I wouldn’t be back, so thank you! Also the words in between the // are just my mind going weird and wanting to add in something really stupid haha, love ya’ll.)
I honestly get what Emmerdale was trying to do with this Robert and Aaron story. The execution may have been sloppy or misdirected at times but the general idea was to break Robert and Aaron individually, to make them become the worst versions of themselves in order to confront their issues and then take responsibility for it and move forward.
It began with SSW where all of these issues that had been bubbling under the surface since they got back together came boiling over with the arrival of Rebecca (I will address her later).
Short version: Robert has sexuality issues and Aaron self-worth issues.
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman “I guess I am kind of a softy. But it’s probably what I learned as a kid. You know, when my father left I thought it was because of me. And then I realised that, you know, that’s just the way people are. They can make the deepest commitments to each other and even have kids and because they’re selfish and just think of their own needs they walk away from it all. That’s what I learned as a kid.”