Genre: Reincarnation, Historical Romance, Angst, Drama, Fantasy, Supernatural

Warning: BL, lemon, yaoi

Authors Note: Reposted and re-edited for people who hunted me even through my personal fb account just so they could tell me they love the story and wanted to read it until end. You know who you are.

To my beta:

Thank you. I don't know what else to say, but knowing how busy you are with life and still manages to take time to edit this, I'm forever going to be grateful. Thanks dearest.

To my former beta's:

If you're able to read this, would you guys be so kind to send me pm so I could properly give credit to you. I lost my original documents, and I have forgotten all of your pen names already (deeply ashamed). It's been how many years since I posted here. I hope you do understand. (Huggles)

Then, Now and Forever

By: Sighcoe

Redited by: Clover71


After my older brother refused the crown and decided to be the empire's head adviser instead, I became the crown prince. And being a crown prince and the next emperor of the Elemental World was more than just a walk in the park.

The seat of the Empire could be found at the heart of the Fire Country, the Urbis of Konoha. Konoha was the core of the Empire's strength and military force, where the Uchiha Palace was also located.

Being the next emperor meant power and complete ruling; people would look up to you as if you were a 'god'. It also required an impeccable image, a source of hope and inspiration by people under you. One of the surest ways to strengthen the people's loyalty and trust though was to be politically tied with the most powerful noble of the empire, and that was what troubled me.

The four biggest and most powerful nations that held the Empire were the Fire, Water, Earth, and Wind countries. Each had eight noble lords that composed the strength of each kingdom, all serving the king of each country serving under the emperor.

I was not surprised when, at the eleventh summer of my life, my parents officially announced the engagement. I wasn't even surprised when they chose the Uzumaki-Namikaze royalty among the others – not only were they powerful elemental race, they were also supported by most of the nobles in and out of the Fire nation. Most of the treaties in my fathers' era transpired because of them, and the nobles holding enormous armies were loyal to a fault to the said family. More or less, it was a very good political understanding to solidify the emperor's seat.

Honestly, I was in agreement with the lineage – except with my fiancé. He was loud, annoying and spoke before he thought things through, but more importantly, he's a 'he'. Though this kind of relationship was never taboo in our land, I still couldn't see myself being married to a boy. For me, it just didn't make sense. How could I produce an heir if I was to marry a boy?

I've grown seeing men marry women, even though I understood that the rest of the world supported same-gender relationship – but I haven't seen one, or were they just being subtle inside the castle? Still, I was hoping to marry a female someday. Perhaps, the moment I got to become the emperor I'd have enough power to choose whomever I please.

I'd just had to endure it for a while, I thought; to make the moron understand that I wasn't going to indulge in any intimate form of relationship with him. But I didn't need to, since he appeared to be hostile with the arrangement as well. It would be good to let him know where we stood, though. I even thought that, maybe, despite his unusual loudness, we would get along more than fine.

I mean, I had known him for some time. From the first to the sixth year of my life, we were stuck growing up together. He was the only friend I knew, if I could even call it friendship, and the only one I got to play with when everyone else was busy. He left when a war broke out somewhere in the Wind country and Lord Minato needed to return to their land, only to come back to the Uchiha palace together with his family after five years. They were supposed to be ruling their own nation but father and mother insisted that they stayed at the imperial palace since they were already considered high royals of the empire. I wondered though, how they continuously looked after their people while staying here, not that it bothered me the least.

What perturbed me was the way Naruto behaved. I didn't know where the antagonistic attitude came from. Maybe from seeing each other again, or not knowing what to do or how to react with the announcement, or just plainly feeling displeasure from the situation we both couldn't escape.

A fist on my face then a sword drawn and pointed at his slender throat made the situation worse. Even when we were still toddlers, he was always the hot-tempered one – the one who couldn't control his emotions, the one who would act according to what he felt before thinking. He started it; I just needed to defend myself.

"You did not just hit His Highness, Naruto!" his mother exclaimed in surprise.

"And he did not just draw his sword on me, mother," Naruto spat out as though he was not the one who started it. He still glared at me with those expressive, heart-stopping blue eyes. I withdrew my sword and replaced it in its scabbard.

"I apologize for my action Lady Kushina, I shouldn't…" I started, but the lovely auburn-haired queen of the Wind Nation just shook her head and smiled at me.

The situation had been put aside, and everything went well after a few choice scolding words from both our parents.

It wasn't really bad if you looked at it in some way – Naruto Uzumaki Namikaze was very easy on the eyes. I was neither blind nor stupid to say I didn't appreciate his appearance: golden blonde hair, summery blue eyes, skin well loved by the sun, and a face every women on the land would wish to have– a perfect description of a face that could launch a thousand ships if I may say so. He was not also a total klutz despite his unassuming appearance, for he could wield his sword outstandingly, though I doubt he could outdo me or my brother or his elder brother Kyuubi, who was known as the best knight in the empire.

He could fight well, not in any least that needed help and I must admit his determination was unmatched by no one.

Time spent with each other as days became months and months became years made things easier. I had become so used to seeing him beside me that even without the 'intimate' bond engaged couples should have, I was most comfortable with him more than anyone. I could consider him my best friend, my body guard, my protector, my brother. For after all the adventures and misadventures we had been through, where sometimes he had put his life on the line for my sake saying I couldn't die for I was the future emperor, I developed a sense of unbreakable attachment to him.

Being known as already betrothed kept those silly ladies away from me as well. Yes, I preferred a female partner but it didn't mean I enjoyed unwarranted attention from women. I had yet to find the lady of my dream, and until that time came, I preferred to stick with Naruto.

When I reached the age of reasoning, I was officially crowned as the emperor. I was sixteen, and was ready to face anything. My parents left the castle and went exploring the world, claiming that it was time for them to take a long vacation.

New sets of advisers came to assist me and my brother, Itachi, and Lord Kyuubi became among my few chosen mentors.

It was also that year that Naruto had moved to my room. The standard rule, they said. Not that I minded it since we had slept together at times when we had been dragged from one incident to another. In addition, my bed was big enough to fit four overgrown men, and I honestly didn't mind sharing it with Naruto.

Half a year later I realized Naruto's feelings for me. I accepted it, though I told him I didn't feel anything for him beyond friendship, or brotherhood, perhaps.

"I want to be with a lady, maybe in the future," I said.

"Why?" he asked. Though his face remained calm, confusion swirled like wildfire on his eyes.

"Because… it's just natural. An emperor needs an heir, and you won't be able to give me one," was the most matter-of-fact answer I could offer.


"There's no 'and,' Naruto. I want to be with a lady, period," I stated quite firmly, hoping that it would be the end of the conversation.

"Because I lack things that a girl has?" was his return, every world laced with the stubbornness that was just Naruto, his brows furrowed as if he didn't get my point..

I put my quilt down and stared at him. I valued Naruto more than anything else and I never intended to lie to him. "Yes, did I not just say that?"

"Am I not enough? I'm your fiancé after all!" he said, more willful this time. My heart clenched when I saw the tears that started to gather around his eyes.

"Naruto…" I started with a sigh. "You don't have to worry, I don't foresee meeting this lady soon so don't fret over it." I've always been quiet and indifferent to everyone I knew, except to him.

"Will that make you happy?" Naruto asked, that childish innocence completely defining his youthful face.

"Yes, it will."

"Very well." His chin tilted to the side, showing he was man enough to accept the situation.

I frowned at him, picked up my quilt and told him, "It would be a century at least, I think… or more. I'm not really sure. "

"Time's never been an issue for us elementals, Sasuke," he said and I nodded in response, my eyes shifting to the parchment on my table.

True, since the moment we reached the age of reasoning, an elemental's body grew very slowly, and the stronger and more powerful our magikos were, the slower we aged. After all, Itachi was already on his early seventies yet his appearance was that of a seventeen year-old.

"I'll leave you alone," he said, his face blank but I could easily read his eyes. He was still confused and hurt. The least I could do then was to let him go and give him time

"Don't do anything stupid," I called out.

"I won't," he answered quietly before closing the door.

A few weeks later, everything fell back to normal. Twenty more years elapsed and the whole event was almost forgotten.

Naruto became busy with his duties as the Emperor's future Consort. He held diplomatic talks when I could never attend, planned activities, and performed his duties as a soldier too. When not on call, he was just always around me – we talked and argued and even fought over some little things. He never mentioned what he felt again but I knew it was still there, thus, I was very wary when it came to it.

I didn't want to hurt him any more than what I already did, that was why I tried not to give him false hopes or any signs of intimate affections beyond a friend. But, most of the time it was hard not to, since Naruto was a lovable person by nature, full of laughter and life. His ethereal look didn't help either, and his utmost loyalty and dedication to me was very endearing, that only if he was a girl, I'd have no problem falling in love with him.

When I said centuries, I believed I miscalculated. Because when we found ourselves staying in one of the small kingdoms on the north of the Water country, I met the girl, the lady I wanted to be with.

She was a lovely lady and she never acted un-lady-like when around me. It was hard to find women, noble or not, who didn't desire me, arrogance aside, though it was the truth. She was the daughter of the lowest ranking noble of the land, a poor baron, but her beauty was worth a king's ransom and that was more than a treasure Baron Haruno had.

Lady Sakura Haruno was not only beautiful but she was very sharp intellect-wise, and her fighting skill for a lady was impressive. I wanted her, and I knew she wanted me as well, but I could not hurt Naruto. I knew I warned him that something like this might occur, but I could not bear the thought that he would hate me for the rest of his life.

I invited her back to the castle and we made acquaintance. Sakura never wished to cause a problem with my engagement that was why she kept her distance as well. Naruto left us alone, though I knew besides the one time we argued because of the excessive closeness I had with her, he understood.

I had never been interested with any girls before, and Sakura was the only one that captured my attention. I had met ladies nobler than and as lovely as her in the past, but I never found anyone as interesting. I was more in awe with Naruto's golden appearance that most women appeared as plain when I looked at them. But Sakura was different, her inner traits glowed that it magnified her beauty tenfold. Still, I was able to keep myself in check because Naruto was always around, and I didn't want to cause any rift between us.

Then an unplanned opportunity came that gave me and Sakura a private time. It was during the annual Royal Expedition trip at the Red Forest of Fire country, at least a four-day ride from Konoha. It happened at the last day of the activity, late afternoon, just after we were done with our last attempt to hunt for dragons. The forest became misty and cold, and the imperial camp glowed with warm bonfire.

Soldiers huddled around the fire, servants prepared food, squires feed the horses, and others simply loitered around.

I was casually talking to Lady Sakura inside the emperor's tent when Naruto entered. The calm expression on his boyish face vanished when he saw us, his expression becoming serious as he approached me. Sakura stood from her seat and curtsied, but my fiancé just slightly looked at her, not giving her permission to be at ease. I frowned and glared at him; he glared back, challenging me with authority to show contempt of his nobility in front of the woman he knew I was attracted to.

He did not falter nor blink, just kept his eyes locked with mine even as he gave an order to Sakura to fetch his hood and sword as though she was nothing but a mere servant to do what he bade. His face remained emotionless, as jf he was waiting for me to challenge him for his clout. My jaw hardened and my fist clenched, but I did not strip him of his right to order anyone under him.

Naruto was never a mean person. For the longest time I've known him, not once had he used his position to get what he wanted. He always tried his best to treat everyone reasonably and would even stoop down so low to eat with the serfs whenever we were on a mission. Nevertheless, I understood his complete resentment of Sakura, thus I was not going to deny him the right to express what he felt.

"I'm going out on a patrol with some of the soldiers," he said, "We'll check the area to make sure everything's fine for the night."

I nodded as I watched Sakura carefully dress him with a black hooded cape around his shoulder. Her eyes were not meeting his as he had not given her permission to do so.

"It's going to rain, how long will it take you to return?" I asked. Sakura was waiting quietly a distance away from us, head still down meekly.

He shrugged his shoulders then tugged the hood over his head, covering his golden hair and framing his exquisite face.

"Be careful," I said sincerely. It was the first time in our five-day Hunting Expedition that he joined the evening scout. Not that I didn't trust his capabilities, but the Red Forest didn't just hold bandits and thieves, it also was home to numerous magical fiends that should not be underestimated.

He snorted. "I commend the forest for making you a worrier, bastard."

"Naruto…" I growled.

Sheathing his sword, he mumbled under his breath about me worrying for him for the first time, before walking completely out of the tent and giving Sakura a cold 'as you were' as he stepped out of our pergola.

Things got winded up after that. An affair with Sakura took place, until the whole castle and the rest of the towns and villages near and far Konoha heard of it. Tales spread much faster than fire that my future spouse was unwanted – undesired by the Emperor. But Naruto kept his silence, because behind those rumors, he knew firsthand what was happening inside the castle walls, knew that the rumor was true.

Concubines were not unheard of, and I opposed the breaking of engagement. No one among the nobles supported Lady Sakura to become the future Empress anyway, more so because of many complications that would arise, which I would never accept.

I refused breaking off the engagement not because of the war that might take place but because, in reality, I needed him more than I honestly admitted to myself. Even though I always shared passionate nights with Sakura, sleep evaded me until I knew that Naruto was by my side. The smell of fresh summer morning sun and jasmine always lulled me to a comfortable sleep.

My fear of warming my bed with a male ceased that night. It was the coldest night of December, the longest night of the year. Winter Solstice, that was what they called it. And it was also the first time when my heart and soul scorched with passion the same way my body did.

And I was blissful; everything was perfect. But that wonderful feeling let me overlook someone, and she was not as understanding and forgiving as Naruto. And because of that, I killed him with my own hand…

Blood soaked my tunic, my whole body shivered as I stared at his ashen face, my sword in his stomach, his glorious blue eyes dead of its spark. And my soul was wrenched from my body, and I surrendered fully just to be with him. Forever…


The Prince and the Assassin


The loud, bloody scream that echoed inside the Uchiha castle awakened every resident inside the house. Doors slammed open, footsteps echoed in the long hallway that led to one specific room – the bed chamber of the country's crown prince, Sasuke Uchiha.

Before anyone could reach it, though, the door connecting Sasuke's room with his long time personal guard's - Naruto Uzumaki Namikaze - opened. A young man with tussled golden hair and summery blue eyes emerged out of the darkness, his silky blue pajamas and his childish night cap not concealing the deadly expression in his face, a gun in a hand and narrowed eyes looking quietly around the spacious, shadowy room. When he sensed no threat, he lowered his pistol to his side, his body loosening up and the hard-hearted expression returning to its usual boyish facade.

As he opened his mouth to utter a single word, the door opened with a loud crash and Sasuke's worried parents and older brother soon came pouring into the room. Royal advisers, some servants, and soldiers gathered outside the open bedroom door with worried looks on their faces. Naruto then stepped back and kept his presence hidden in the dark.

Her Ladyship Mikoto Uchiha quickly settled beside her youngest son, who was then sitting in the middle of his black bed, face pale and cold sweat pouring from his face down to his naked upper body. Sweat glistened on his toned chest, made even more lustrous by the light of the moon that shone down the bed.

"Sasuke sweetheart, are you alright?" Mikoto asked, not knowing if she should touch her son or not. She knew what it was, the nightmare that had plagued her youngest son seven years ago. The day he turned eleven, he'd been continuously haunted by a nightmare. A dream he never discussed, not even to his psychiatrist.

But on the sixth month of the continuous frightening vision, it halted, after he met his arranged fiancée and private minder. It never occurred again.

Until now, just after his eighteenth summer two weeks ago.

Sasuke brushed his hair with his finger, eyes still trained at his silken black comforter that covered his lower half. Controlling the shiver from his body, he clenched his hand and nodded to his mother.

"Are you sure?" Itachi asked as he leaned on one of the bedposts, arms folded on his chests. As the eldest, the crown should've been his but he declined. Instead, he now worked directly under the country's Prime Minister as the Head of National Defense and Security.

Sasuke frowned and glared at his brother. "It's just a dream," he hissed.

"Right, a dream. And with your scream, you could've awakened the dead," Itachi pointed out, his mouth in a thin line.

"Itachi, that's enough." Mikoto warned, pulling herself up after giving her youngest son a quick kiss on his temple.

"Fine," Itachi answered blandly. "Little brother's probably stressed, getting to university next week and all. Honestly, college can really be a hassle especially when you're going to be on your own in another country."

"He's not going to be on his own, Naruto's going to be there with him. And Sakura as well," Fugaku added, his voice firm but warm.

"Well, I'm going back to sleep." And with that, Itachi left the room just after he dismissed the crowd gathered in the hall. Mikoto and Fugaku followed behind, with a request for Naruto to stay with Sasuke for the night.

When the door closed and the sound of lock clicked, the sudden quietude became eerie and only the soft breathing of the room's occupants could be heard. Naruto stepped out from the shadow and sauntered towards the window seat, settling himself on the cushion and laying his handgun on the side. His golden hair glowed as the pale moonlight cast a light from behind him, soaking his body with ethereal glimmer from the moon that passed the glass wall of window.

The tic-toc of the wall clock became deafening when neither of the two refused to break the silence. For seven years sticking with each other - twenty four-seven - the two learned how to read each other's gesture. They knew when to keep quiet, to give comfort, to be a friend. When to be professional, distant, and calculating. When to touch, be passionate, and loving. Though one of them only knew when to love and accept nothing in return.

The shifting of the bed sheets impinged through the stillness, a soft thud of footsteps following, stopping as a pair of white feet stood in front of the blonde. Naruto slowly looked up, his eyes trailing on the black sleeping pants up to the powerful toned torso and into a pair of smoldering black eyes on a sinfully handsome face.

His flaxen brow furrowed, anxiety etched on his face. "Are you really fine, Sasuke?"

Instead of answering, the raven-haired boy pulled Naruto to him. Sturdy arms encircled the blonde's narrow waist, red lips crushing on surprised pink ones. It was a hungry, desperate kiss and, when broken, the smaller of the two had his lips swollen from the ravage exchange.

"The hell bast – "Naruto started, trying to free himself from the deathly grip. If he wanted, he could've easily gotten loose, but hell will freeze first before he hurt Sasuke.

"Relieve me, I want to forget," Sasuke whispered on the blonde's ear, and then slowly nipped small kisses down his lover's jaw and neck.

Naruto wanted to say no, wanted to tell Sasuke that they should stop, but he could not. As much as his mind rejected the idea, his body and heart desired what was to come. Even in pretense, he could make believe that Sasuke loved him. The last time they had been together was on Sasuke's eighteenth birthday, and he had decided back then that was the last. He could no longer play the part of the raven's sexual reliever– a role he had enjoyed for three years without regret. Sasuke was his first and was hoping to be his last even though that hope would not come true, for the person he loved the most was in love with a person that deserved everything Sasuke had.

Naruto cursed himself, bit his lips, closed his eyes, and accepted what his body and heart were screaming for.

Clothes were discarded on the floor, moans of pleasure echoing inside the quiet room. Bodies moved together in fluid grace, tanned body arching, love marks appearing on porcelain skin, a sound of utter bliss upon climax, a whimper of names, soft pants, and tangled limbs.

Sasuke's breathing started to even while still sprawled on top of his best friend, his face resting on the blonde's shoulder. From there he could still smell that unique Naruto scent of wild jasmine on summer days. A more calm expression graced his face, his dreams altogether forgotten. As always, only the blonde teen could satisfy him to an insane level. Orgasms were always mind-numbing and their touches were as hot and electrifying as those described by romantic novels his mother loved to read.

-Then, Now and Forever 1-

Naruto was not his first, it was Sakura. He was a very young and hormonal teen then. And he loved Sakura very much.

Hundreds of proposals came when his father announced their intent to find him a suitable bride. It had been a custom that once a crown prince reached his eleventh year, a fiancée should be announced as well. The selection was extensive and rigid, since the chosen lady would be the next Queen. In the end, his mother chose the girl she deemed worthy of him, and to his pleasure, he and his betrothed had no problem being attracted to one another.

Amidst being popular to ladies and even some gentlemen, Sasuke never indulged himself to flirting. He disliked overzealous girls who showered him with unnecessary devotion, but he was patient enough whenever an occasion demanded for him to be sociable. After his engagement with Sakura had been announced, he was somewhat thankful when the immature advances he received before receded and he enjoyed the commitment more when his hormonal years arrived.

But what he thought was a supposedly perfect connection turned out to be a disaster. Their first was understandable but when he couldn't reach his climax properly on their following lovemaking, he became disturbed. His lover didn't seem to notice since she always came first, and would end up tired and sleepy without knowing he was still hard and aching. On their first three tries, he let it slide. But when it continued, he almost wanted to cease the act, if not, Sakura would take the initiative. From then on, making love with his fiancée became taxing when it should've been otherwise. Every single time they had sex, he would end up pleasuring himself just to get it over with.

For Sasuke, it had become stressful. Eventually, it became traumatic. He thought he was the one who had a problem – thus, swallowing his pride, he confided to his brother about it. Though Itachi was annoying most of the time, he assisted him in every way. From secret doctor appointments (which was unnecessary after all since they didn't find anything wrong medical-wise – to his relief) to forcing him to sleep with somebody else.

The people Itachi hired to sleep with him were virgins and had been thoroughly checked; eyes and hands both bound so as not to see their employer or the face of their bed partner. Itachi chose one lovely girl and an attractive boy for him. And since it was difficult for him to get hard and hot when he was not interested with the person, Itachi had forced him to take a pill to help him with that problem. Without their parents' knowledge, Sasuke tried it - for his future and for Sakura's. But just like with Sakura, he couldn't get his release.

He became frustrated to the point that he avoided Sakura for months. He felt as though he was an anomaly – a freak. However, everything changed after one night with his confidant and best friend.

He met Naruto the same time he was introduced to Sakura. He actually rejected the idea of having a personal bodyguard, one that would stay glued to his side every moment possible. He was independent by nature and hated to be on constant scrutiny. Yet, at the time when Naruto was presented to him, he let his parents' wish prevail. It' was not because he liked him the first time, but because he would be at least around someone his own age.

Despite Naruto's childlike looks and ingenuous attitude, Sasuke was aware that the boy was an A-9 – an elite group under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister for the country's security and protection. It was a group founded centuries ago when monarchial rule deteriorated and nobles supported the strongest family to lead the country behind the royal façade.

A-9 trained chosen kids from the age of six, deployed and sent as spies or killers to other countries after passing harsh trainings and horrible trials and test. They're the heart of the world's most fearful militia, trained assets that would never be a liability even in death.

For the reason that he was the future king, the Prime Minister himself handpicked the one who would serve Sasuke, someone who would put his own life on the line just to protect him. Naruto, at the age of ten – turning eleven – had been sent successfully to three spying and two assassination missions to other countries alone, including the numerous assignments he had taken with a group. The blonde was also a very close relative of the Prime Minister, and a future commander general of the A-9 once he reached his age of reasoning. Though a big loss for the elite unit, he ended up babysitting the one person that citizens of their country revered.

For the first four years, the blonde teen would disappear for a week or a month at most when special duty called. Most of the time; he stuck around and grew up with Sasuke like a normal child. School, homework, and other extracurricular activities took his time. Forming a deep bond and falling in love, though, came unplanned.

Even though Sasuke appeared to be emotionally deficient outside, he was not naïve not to discern the special feeling his best friend had. It wasn't hard for him not to notice after he became familiar with Naruto's personality for years. And he admitted as well that he had a strong feeling for the blonde assassin, yet he was still very much in-love with his fiancée. Needless to say, he was aware of Naruto's feelings and the least he could do was to respect it.

But respect petered out when he found out, that certain night – the night of Naruto's fifteenth birthday – that he could reach a mind-blowing completion with him. He thought back then that he could be with Sakura finally, only to find out later on that it was only with Naruto that he could attain it.

He knew that he had taken advantage of the other teen's emotions, that he didn't deserve any of the bliss he felt every time they did it; unfortunately, his logical mind always disregarded those thoughts when their touches became fervent and their bodies traveled to heavenly ecstasy.

-Then, Now and Forever 1-

His reverie halted when he felt something wet and warm on his cheeks. Sasuke's head moved and he planted his hands on both sides of the blonde's now crying face.

Naruto's breath was uneven as he struggled to control his sobs from escaping his lips. Chewing the inside of his mouth, he forced himself to look through his long lashes and meet Sasuke's gaze.

Heartbreaking blue eyes filled with tears stared back at Sasuke, golden hair sticking on his forehead and on the black pillow behind the blonde's head. Sasuke slowly traced the subtle marks on both of his best friend's once smooth cheeks. The scars appeared two years prior when Naruto was gone longer than a month and returned with them, acquired from his two-week detention in enemy camp.

He slept with the blonde for a good three months after that. No intimate touches were shared, only comfort any good friend or lover would do for a traumatized partner. Nights of terrible dreams, wailing of unknown injuries, petrified whimpers, and an anxious body that begged for an anchor to reality. And he held Naruto every night until those cries became whimpers and completely vanished with time. He could not understand how the blonde bore all of it; after all, he was still a child, and no matter what training he had been through, he was still young and should live his life a little more carefree than he should.

"What's wrong, Naruto?" Sasuke asked softly after placing a soft kiss on his lover's lips, as if asking for apology. "Did I hurt you?"

Naruto's head slowly shook and he gently pulled himself up, giving Sasuke a soft, lingering hug.

"I'm sorry, Sasuke," he mumbles on his lovers' ear.


"I'm sorry… I'm sorry… I'm sorry," he only murmured, even though his voice appeared strain. Then quickly he disentangled himself from Sasuke's hold, wiped Sasuke and himself off of the evidence of their passion, and donned his sleeping attire once again.

After fetching his pistol from the couch, he walked back toward the door on Sasuke's left side of the room.

"Naruto, wait," Sasuke called out, still unmoving from his position.

The blonde halted and glanced back, waiting for his ex-lover – now master's – order.

"Tell me what you're sorry for."

Turning around, Naruto bit his lower lip then took a few steps toward the prince. With a deep sigh, he stooped down and gave the love of his life a tender but firm kiss on the lips.

"I'm sorry, I can't do this anymore," he answered quietly after pulling back. But before he could step out of Sasuke's reach, the prince grasped his arm and heaved him back to him.

"What are you saying?" the prince demanded.

Freeing himself, Naruto lowered his head. "This is the last time, Sasuke. Spare me with the remaining dignity I have for myself. I love you, and I'm not ashamed to admit it, but getting intimate with someone who doesn't share my feelings is stripping me off slowly of my self-respect. You love her ladyship Sakura, yet you're being unfair to her. This has to stop, you know it. Eventually it should, and that time is now."

Sasuke frowned but he understood, nevertheless. His heart belonged to Sakura, but his body only called for Naruto. He was being selfish and a bastard, but still he couldn't imagine if any of the two would abandon him forever.

"Nothing will change, only this," Naruto murmured as he took a step back to the darkness, making his way back to his room. "My life still belongs to you, my heart and my soul. Just be kind and spare my body, Your Majesty, it's the only thing I ask."

Something within Sasuke shattered. His mouth flooded with a bitter taste and his heart unexpectedly twinged in pain. But Naruto, whatever they had done together, was his best friend first, and he would do anything in his power to grant whatever his heart desired.

"Very well."

A sad, small smile appeared on Naruto's mouth, but when he uttered the words, "Thank you, Your Majesty," tears started to flow down his cheeks all the way to the curve of his jaw. Sasuke was unaware of it, however, ignorant that he had just sealed his confidante's future.

Naruto vowed to be a full-fledged assassin the day his age of reasoning arrived.