"Foxlet still asleep?" Naruto asked quietly.
Sasuke closed the bedroom door behind him with a soft click. "Yes. The trip was tiring."
Naruto gave an incredulous snort. "Yeah, I'll say." He paused, breathed in. "Good. Okay... Now what the hell are you doing here."
Sasuke shrugged and stepped deeper in the little living room. The room was dark, small windows dug through stone walls two feet deep, roof low. A little claustrophobic. Sakura stood with her arms crossed against the front door, an unfamiliar silhouette with her full-length dark leggings and the Chuunin jacket she so rarely wore, her forehead protector for once in its place instead of in her hair. Naruto wore the jacket too, zipped half-closed onto a black undershirt Sasuke had never seen on him. The weather in Earth Country tended to be colder than back home.
They both looked a little drawn, a little ... not exactly unhappy. Tired. Bracing themselves, mostly.
"You weren't in danger, you said," Sakura prompted him softly.
Sasuke stepped up to the small round table Naruto was sitting at and pulled out a chair for himself. "No. There's no more danger back home than usual, as far as I know."
Sakura frowned, glancing at the window with a hint of professional paranoia. "So, here?"
Shrugging, Sasuke sat and reclined against the back of his chair. "Not that I know."
She frowned a little deeper, puzzled, vaguely annoyed at his avoidance. "So you just skipped town because...?"
For a second Sasuke almost said 'never mind' and grabbed their child and went back home. For a second only, because he'd be damned if he had bothered with all the visas and spent nine days on the road with a toddler, only to run back home with his tail between his legs.
"Naruto," he said -- body language casual, eyes totally serious.
Naruto straightened up a little, both elbows on the table, looking vaguely alarmed.
Sasuke smirked; he couldn't help it. "Will you be my concubine?"
It took the two of them a full three seconds before they erupted in 'What?!'. Sasuke let his smirk fade into a faint, entertained smile as Naruto and Sakura interrupted each other trying to demand what the hell he was on about. In the end he just pointed in silence toward the bedroom door, where their child slept. They fell silent, but they were both scowling at him.
"Sasuke, it's a poor time to make jokes," Sakura said with forced calmness.
"Yeah, it is," he agreed. "It's not a joke."
"Sure sounds like one!" Naruto replied, eyes still a little wide. "I can't figure out whether you came all the way over here just to have a laugh at my expense or if you just cracked in the two months we've been gone."
Sasuke shrugged. "Fire Country doesn't allow male concubines. Earth Country does."
"... You've cracked."
Sasuke snorted. "No, I haven't."
Sakura shook her head in bewilderment. "You came all the way here--"
"Sakura. I'm on parental leave. I have nothing to do back home apart from raising our child and attending Council meetings I don't have enough seniority to influence anyway. If I want to take a vacation, why does it matter where I go?"
She snorted and gave him a dry look. "I bet they were pleased with your reasoning."
Sasuke gave a snort. "Tsunade knows I'll come back. If she doesn't object, no one else has any grounds to."
"Wait wait wait. Did you ask the old hag for permission to -- did you tell her you --"
"Planned to ask for your hand in marriage?" Sasuke finished. He couldn't help it, he smirked again. Naruto's weariness was gone, replaced by horror. "Oh, I might have mentioned that..."
"Sasuke, you bastard!"
Sasuke's laughter came freely out, amused and vaguely fond. The twin owlish stares his lovers gave him pulled a second chuckle out of Sasuke.
God, but he'd missed them.
They must have seen it in his face, in the way his laughter died, because then Naruto's eyes softened and Sakura reached across the table to cover his hand with hers.
"... What is this about, Sasuke, really?" Sakura asked softly, her thumb rubbing against his knuckles.
He stared down at the table -- at her hand on his, at Naruto's fists. He could tell so much just watching those fists -- the tilt of the wrist, the loose clench -- uncertainty more than anger, some defensiveness, a hint of desperation.
"It's the closest we'll ever get to marriage. Seeing as how you didn't have the good taste to be born a woman, and the Konoha concubine laws only allow those cases where offspring could happen."
Naruto spluttered briefly. "What the hell. What the hell? ... the hell."
A corner of Sasuke's lip quirked up. "Eloquent."
"That'd be adultery right now."
Sakura sighed quietly, ending their half-hearted banter. "It won't be legal anyway -- not here and not back home. You're not Earth Country citizens."
Sasuke shook his head. "It's not about the paperwork. It's about the ceremony." He took a deep breath. "It's about how I haven't seen you two for two months and I won't see you two for another half year, because some fucking asshole back home has it in his head that if you two are far enough then maybe if he's lucky you'll get killed, and at the very least I'll forget you exist and his daughter can swoop in!"
Naruto stiffened. "... What?"
Sakura didn't look half as surprised, gaze cool and slightly disdainful. "Huh. So they finally accepted that you weren't divorcing me anytime soon, then?"
Sasuke muttered something unflattering under his breath. "Yeah. You're totally unsuitable to breed Uchihas with, of course, but I should be allowed my one fancy, and if I want to call you my wife it doesn't matter in the long run so long as all my descendents have the Sharingan and my name. Except Naruto is a bad influence on me, and you're enabling him, and that's why I haven't bestowed my genes on half a dozen 'acceptable young ladies' yet."
Naruto's claws left gouges in the table as the realization hit him. "You mean they sent us away because they thought if we were gone long enough you'd forget about us? Because we're distracting you from knocking up a dozen high-born bitches?"
Sasuke nodded perfunctorily, eyes cold and very far from amused. "Basically. I assume they believed that without the two of you to distract me with your fun little perversions I'd be bored enough to do my duty."
Sakura gave a disgusted snort. "At least they're acknowledging we're a long-term toy now, I suppose."
Naruto scowled darkly for a few seconds, and then let out an explosive sigh and rubbed his brow. "At least you didn't cross three countries for a romantic gesture. That would kinda mess with my brain."
Sasuke's eyes slid away.
"...You crossed three countries for a romantic gesture?"
Sasuke took his hand back from Sakura so he could cross his arms over his chest. "It's also a political fuck-you gesture."
"You crossed three fucking countries for a romantic gesture?!"
"So fucking what?!"
They glared at each other over the table, both jumping on their feet, chairs pushed away. Sakura groaned as she watched them, holding her forehead.
"You want a romantic gesture? I'll give you one." Eyes burning, figurative hackles up, Sasuke stalked around the table. Then he shoved Naruto in the window alcove, making the blond stumble and sit down rather brutally, grabbed his face with both hands and kissed him.
He kissed him until Naruto started responding, and then he kissed him some more, tongue and teeth, until they were breathing hard in each other's mouth. He planted a hand on the cold glass to push back enough to break the kiss, and he loomed over Naruto, and glared for a second.
Then as Naruto stared up with his cheeks flushed and a totally bewildered look on his face, Sasuke picked up Naruto's hand, and brushed his lips against his knuckles.
"Marry me, asshole."
Laughter exploded out of the three of them. Naruto crumpled against Sasuke's chest, howling insults in between two laughing fits; Sakura clung to his arm and pounded her fist on his shoulder as she desperately tried to breathe. Sasuke laughed with them, eyes closed, almost silent but unable to stop.
"... That was the suckiest proposal I've ever heard in my life," Naruto said with a last chuckle. "Bastard."
Sasuke arched an eyebrow at his lover. "So you're saying no?"
"I'm saying if we woke up the baby I'm going to hurt you," Sakura threatened halfheartedly.
She went to peek through the bedroom door, still stifling chuckles. Sasuke stood still and allowed Naruto to wind an arm around his waist and tug him forward so he could rest his cheek against Sasuke's chest comfortably.
Sakura came back smiling softly, wormed her way in the narrow alcove beside Naruto. Her arm slipped around Naruto's neck; she leaned her head into Sasuke's arm when he rested it around her shoulders.
Sasuke allowed himself to unwind, for the first time in exactly two months and four days.
"... You think it'll change much, if we do that ceremony thing? I mean, if it's not legal..."
"It'll prove he's serious, at least," Sakura replied, eyes closed.
Sasuke muttered, "I don't care what they think. Not doing it for them."
"So you're doing it for me? Ooh, Sasuke-kun." Naruto fluttered his eyelashes at him. "I'm gonna hold this over your head for ever and ever."
Sasuke rolled his eyes and tugged on his hair halfheartedly. Then, since his hand was already curled against the back of Naruto's neck, he left it there.
"... Now you guys know what we need?"
Sasuke rubbed his thumb against Sakura's jaw. "Hmm?"
She wrapped a leg around his, hooking the back of his knee to tug him a little closer. "We need to find a country that allows me to have two husbands. It's a little frustrating how if I wanted Naruto to become my husband I'd have to be your widow first."
"...Yeah, I'd rather avoid that as well," Sasuke deadpanned.
Naruto let out a chuffing laugh. "Why? Mm, necrophilia."
Sakura gave him a prim, disappointed look. "Don't be silly, Naruto, he'd turn mushy too fast. We'd never find a jar big enough to pickle him properly."
Sasuke growled and tugged on pink and blond locks. "Idiots."
Sakura looked up at him, eyes shining with amused tenderness. "Yes, you're an idiot too."
Naruto lifted his head from Sasuke's chest and arched his eyebrows at her. "I thought you thought our secret macho I-love-you code was too retarded for you?"
Embarrassed, Sasuke knocked his knuckles on Naruto's head and muttered, "Hey, no saying it out loud. You're in violation."
"I'm getting the hang of it," Sakura replied to Naruto, laughing. "Though I think anything above 'silly' is much too manly for me. You big virile he-men, you."
There was a moment of silence as they held each other. The windowsill was cold, and the room itself; but they weren't.
"Hey... If I'm your concubine, then you're my what? Do I get to call you hubby too?"
Sasuke gave him a haughty look, and smirked. "I think the traditional term is master."
Naruto gave his stomach a shove. "Yeah, how about I call you my ex instead."
Then there were more kisses, and more shoves, and eventually they got to find out that Earth Country houses might be cold and dark, but Earth Country chimneys were perfectly warm and Earth Country rugs were of more than adequate thickness.
The next morning, when Sakura and Naruto had to return to the Fire Country
ambassador they were guarding, Sasuke put their child on his shoulders and went
looking for a priest.