Ren-sama's Note:

Hi, there, everyone~! I have another short one-shot fan fict here that I want to share with you, guys~! Please enjoy~! ᶺoᶺ

Warning: Yaoi.

Disclaimer: Naruto is not mine.

.

It's during times like these, when the snow fell idly, that I could feel at peace. It was dark and cold outside but it was warm and cozy inside the room I was in.

I exhaled silently, my breath fogging on the glass window of the school classroom as I waited for the snow to stop. Or rather, as I continued to wish that it would ceaselessly fall for the whole night.

I could see my reflection on the glass – spiky blonde hair and wide blue eyes, sun-kissed skin and scars on both cheeks. My hand touched the part of the glass just beside my face's reflection, my fingertips tracing their way down on another person's mirror image. I could see him on the glass's reflection – spiky raven hair dangling on the chair as he faced the ceiling and slept like a log while sitting on the chair behind me. His eyes, though I could not see them now, were sharp onyx. I liked losing myself in their depths, no matter how much I tried to deny it. His body was relaxed, so unlike how he usually was. His breathing was even and calm, the direct opposite of mine.

My heart was beating so fast I felt like I was running so many laps at such a fast rate. And yet, my body remained frozen as I sat on the chair's arm and stared outside. I felt at peace because I could be with him for much longer. And yet I could also feel this terrible pain in my heart – a feeling of hopelessness and heartbreak – a feeling I knew was caused by the fact that no matter what happened or how isolated the two of us were from the rest of the world now, he would never see me as someone other than a classmate. We could never even be called friends. He was a person whom I always fought with, someone who would most likely laugh and mock me if I ever voiced these feelings out.

But even so, I wished the snow would fall more.

If the snow could fall in my heart too, then perhaps it could numb away the pain that had started eating my heart for a long, long time now. Perhaps, it could heal my barren, crumbling world and fill it with peaceful solitude so that I may never feel hurt again…

How many years had it been since I realized these feelings..? Three..? Four..? Or maybe even longer..? I could not remember anymore. In time, perhaps, I too would learn to forget and move on. But as long as I could see the snow falling down like this, then I would always remember these kinds of times – these times when I could tell myself that it's okay to look at him… it's okay to stay with him… it's okay to love him… it's okay because there were just the two of us in this world…

My heart was always cherishing him, always missing him… always crying out for him. But I would never dare move. I would never dare walk towards him and dare touch him. I would never dare tell him anything. I would simply remain frozen – like the quiet snow outside – so that the delicate balance of our relationship would not break… I feared that if I move even a single step, then both he and I could never be the same again…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It's during times like these, when the snow fell idly, that I could feel at peace. It was dark and cold outside but it was warm and cozy inside the room I was in.

My body felt relaxed and my breathing was calm but my mind was as alert as always. My eyes were closed so I could not see what he was doing at the moment. But most likely he was staring out at the window again, just like always.

I always liked it when it snowed really hard. Our houses were quite far so the two of us would often wait here in the classroom until the snow stopped. And I always wished it wouldn't. I wanted to feel his presence more. I wanted to feel that despite our differences, we could still be together like this. I wanted to… no, I needed to be with him more…

I needed to be with him so badly I couldn't stand every second of his absence… The truth was that I have loved him for a long, long time now… He didn't know any of these insane feelings of mine. He didn't know that I have harbored love for him ever since we were children. It was innocent then, this feeling… but then it grew astray to that of a friend's emotion and eventually developed into something even I couldn't control. My feelings weren't like that snow outside which fell down in idleness. Inside my heart it was always a turbulent snowstorm wanting to drown and kill me. But I didn't mind… because no matter how chaotic my feelings were… it was still a feeling filled with deep passion and sincerity. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

In all those years that I loved him, I started to notice something about this person.

He had changed a lot these past few years. Even I could see that, no, I would be the first to notice if he changed even slightly. I would notice it first because I was the person who watched him the most – his every movement, his every laugh, his every step… I was also the person who loved him the most… There was no way I wouldn't notice.

He used to pick fights with me. He used to be so full of life and energy. He used to smile and laugh from the bottom of his heart and talk about the most mundane things he could see. Now, he rarely provoked me. I could even say that he rarely talked to me. I didn't know what changed.

Did he just really mature or was it something I did..? I could not remember. I have done so many things to annoy him but he would always get over it after a fight with me.

And I liked provoking him too. I liked how he would react so easily and get into a fight with me. I liked it because he would focus his attention to me and only to me. That was the only time I would really feel happy. I know it was twisted in some way but I could not think of any other way to be with him more.

Maybe I have really done something. He wasn't the type to stay silent like this. I wanted to know what was wrong. And yet, I was scared to approach him these days because I felt that he would break at my slightest touch.

He often looked so lonely and alone even when he smiled. There were even times when I would feel that he's crying even though there weren't tears flowing down his cheeks. I know it was cowardice but I was scared to ask. I didn't want to know what it was that he's thinking. I was afraid that if I took even a single step towards him, he would take a step back and get away from me forever.

It hurt me a lot to know that no matter what I did, it would only result in hurting him. Sometimes, I would wish that my heart too would become like that of snow, endlessly piling up quietly during the night and then gone by the next day. I felt that if my heart was like that, then perhaps I wouldn't be in this much pain. I wouldn't be waiting for a time that would not come… a time when I would tell him these feelings of mine…

And so I would stay frozen like this, away from him so that he would not feel choked and yet close enough so that he wouldn't feel cold and alone. I would not dare move.

I feared that if I were to move, the fragile relationship between us would break…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

My eyes had dulled out when I saw how those white crystals thinned out outside the window. It's time to leave again.

Even though I wanted to stay a little bit more… and stare at his reflection from the glass window…

"Sasuke, the snow already stopped." I forced myself to voice out. I shifted in my position and took my bag before I looked at my classmate. "Let's go."

Sasuke's eyes slowly opened. He took his bag as he stretched, seemingly relaxed from his sleep. He yawned a little as he took the first step outside the classroom without a word. I followed him quietly.

It was always like that. The cycle was never-ending… just like the seasons… just like the snow that would fall without fail every year…

I wondered… when this cycle would end…

I let out a small hollowed smile as I stared at his broad back. I remembered how I used to stare at that same back as we walked from school to our home during this season too.

He… seemed to have grown again. We used to have the same height… the same small stature… the same cocky attitude so we didn't get along well… the same loneliness… But now, he seemed to have grown up and left me behind…

I held the urge to smile as I retraced the steps he took on the snow-filled road. His footsteps seemed larger than mine now too. And I silently enjoyed following it. I felt that somehow, even through this small thing, he and I were connected.

Before I knew it, the two of us were finally in front of our houses – which were actually facing one another. It's time to say goodbye to a wonderful evening again.

I surely hoped the snow would fall again soon…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I could feel the ache in my chest as I tried to buy time on the way home. I wanted nothing more than to be with him… to walk beside him under the coldness of the winter night… to hold his hand even for just a while and keep him warm… I could almost, almost, feel my control slipping. If it weren't for the fact that he was always walking behind me, I would have probably lost control a long time ago.

And yet, in the end, I had to remind myself that he was such an unreachable dream. His hand was not something I could ever grasp even if I were to reach out for it. It was the same for his heart too. It was really such an impossible wish… as unachievable as wanting to hold the snow in one's palm for a long time without it melting into water…

Even so, all this time, my heart kept calling out to him in silence and futility. It hurt a lot just trying to keep my emotions at bay… because I wanted nothing but to shout out my feelings for him.

If only… if only the snow would fall more… and turn even colder than this… then maybe he would end up needing even someone like me… so that he would walk towards me of his own accord and share my warmth… so that I could feel that my existence was not really so insignificant for him… and that my heart may be satisfied even for just a little while… at least… until the snow stops once more…

I could feel the ache in my chest when I finally saw the silhouettes of our houses facing one another. It was almost time to say goodbye again.

I couldn't help but take a short glance in his direction when he finally faced his house and without any further word started walking away from me just like he always did.

I stood there in the middle of the snow-filled street, looking at his back as he slowly walked farther and farther away from my grasp. I felt frozen, both by the coldness and by time. I didn't know how this started but I felt like the time to call his attention and say goodnight had long since passed. We were no longer considered friends. We were barely acquaintance anymore.

And so, I could not call out to him like I did when we were younger.

My mouth opened, wanting to say something for a change. At the very least, I wanted to ask if we were still friends. But no sound came out of my mouth. He was no longer the person whom I shared friendship with. He was already the person whom I wanted to whisper words of love to. Therefore, if I were to call out his attention now, it would definitely not be to say goodnight. It would instead be to shout out what I had been harboring all this time… these pent-up feelings… this frustration… this heartache… this deep affection and love…

I was frozen and I didn't want to move. However… I felt like somehow, even when I wasn't doing anything, he was drifting farther and farther away from me every time we part ways like this. Even if I were to stay frozen in fear of destroying the weak and unstable relationship that we had, he would still leave me alone sooner or later. And thus, I wanted to at least be able to voice something out before that time comes.

"…Naruto." I found myself whispering out the name which my heart had been shouting for all this time. I waited for him to turn around but it seemed he didn't hear me. He might have been already too fed up from just hearing my voice. I feared that it was something like that.

To my surprise, however, he actually stopped walking. I felt my heart skip a beat at that – in happiness or in nervousness I didn't know. All I knew was the fact that he stopped for me, even though my voice was a mere whisper which the wind could carry away into oblivion. He… stopped for me.

Slowly, he turned around and looked at me with his sad blue gaze.

I didn't know what to say. I hadn't meant for him to hear me. But even so, I was happy.

I tried to let out a small sad smile. "Naruto," I found myself voicing a little louder. "…Is it okay… if I take a step forward?"

His eyes widened at that. I could see the confusion swimming in those orbs. And yet, I still dared approach him.

The time for jokes and lies had long since passed. I could no longer walk the same empty and cold path as I did today. I've already asked what was on my mind. Now all I had to do was act upon it. My name was Sasuke Uchiha. I would not wait for him to recover and reject me. I would take it upon myself to take the initial step. If it turns out that he would still try to walk away afterwards, then I would most likely die helplessly… falling into a pit called despair and heartbreak.

And so, I had no choice but to move forward just this once. I found myself taking a step forward… then another… and another… until I was finally right in front of him.

"S-Sasuke..?" It's been a long time since I heard him call out my name like that. It wasn't the usual detached way he would call me. This time, he sounded confused and at the same time curious.

I let my cold hands touch his pale scarred cheeks, my fingers lightly tracing their way from his fringe down to his chin. "…Goodnight." My words were like the snow tonight, blanketing my surroundings with coldness and sorrow.

I slowly leaned down to capture those slightly parted lips. The kiss I gave him was chaste and gentle. I felt his cold lips with my own just as his breath hitch at the contact. It was the most intimate act I had done to someone in my entire life. It was something so precious and yet so fleeting I felt like crying. The moment was over even before I knew it. My heart which I so heavily guarded all this time… was something I finally gave him together with the sweet feeling of my lips' warmth.

I let my hands slide to my side before I took a step backward. If ever he would try to walk away from me now, then I felt that I too… should retrace my steps and go back to where I really belonged to. And thus, I finally turned around… leaving him with the only indispensable gift I could give.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The feeling that washed over me as I stared wide-eyed into his closed eyes was something akin to deep longing and surprise. I felt my lips quiver together with my resolve. His kiss was the warmest touch I've felt in my entire life.

I thought I had finally figured him out. Now I stood in the middle of the snow-filled street, staring at his retreating back once more. The warmth of his lips was still making my own tingle in a strange sensation and the touch of his cold fingertips still lingering in my skin.

My mind was shaken and my heart was riddled with confusion. It would not even surprise me anymore if what happened was just a dream created by my mind to compensate for my deep desire to monopolize him. However, if it was real…

"S-Sasuke…" My voice echoed out the name my heart kept on calling. And before I knew it, my frozen feet had started moving on their own.

I took a step forward, and another, and another… until I found myself running towards him. If it was just my imagination, then I would like to believe and continue this dream. However, if this was real, then I would want to finally melt the ice that had frozen my heart all this time. I would want to finally walk towards him… without having to stare at his back any longer… I would like to see his face this time…

I wasn't ready to stop running just yet. It was the first time for me… to run towards him like there was no tomorrow… like it would be the last winter I could do so. And thus, I kept on running until I finally caught him.

I finally, finally caught him...

"Sasuke…" I voiced as I embraced him from behind. I let my trembling arms encircle themselves around him and my cold hands to clutch at his clothes tightly. It was all I could do to fight the fear of having him reject me. His broad back… it was the first time I was able to touch it... It was the first time I was able to feel its strength and warmth…

I was afraid to move. I was afraid of seeing his face or hearing his voice. I was afraid of his rejection. But more than that, I was afraid to die frozen cold from the lack of his touch.

After a while, I felt his hands clasp my own. The tears beneath my eyes almost flowed down my cheeks when I realized he didn't push my hands away. Instead, he locked my arms with his own.

"All this time… I thought you hated me." The words he whispered afterwards were a surprise for me. "You always try to avoid me."

My grip on his uniform tightened even more as I realized why he had been really cold to me these past few years. I used to think that it was because my feelings for him were too obvious… and that he didn't want to associate with me any longer… But maybe, maybe, I was just too scared to face him… I was too scared to have him learn of my feelings so I unconsciously chose to reject his very existence instead. The ice that had settled in my heart and had frozen my entire being… didn't come from him. It was something I created on my own.

"Sorry…" I found myself whispering in return.

I let go of him when I felt him turn around. I was still unsure of a lot of things and I wasn't ready to see his expression yet. But it seemed my fear wasn't necessary after all. Even before I could react, he had already managed to lock me in a warm and tight embrace only he was capable of. And as I felt the snow in my heart finally ceasing to fall, I let myself bask in the very first spring I've had in a while.

I basked in his warmth seeping from within his body… in his scent overwhelming my senses… in his warm breath tickling my skin… in his strength dominating me, owning me… and in his feelings… his deep feelings which threatened to drown my very being…

I didn't know how I never felt it before. Maybe I was too engrossed in my own heartache that I had failed to notice his subtle care… maybe I never truly looked into his eyes before… Or maybe because he was just too good at hiding things from me…

But right now, even without exchanging words, I could clearly understand what it was that he's been trying to tell me all this time. His unfathomable longing… his undying devotion… his intense passion… his immeasurable affection… and even his fear…

His very feelings… were deeply engraved in the air I was breathing…

These feelings completely mirrored my own.

"I'm…" I closed my eyes to steel myself before I opened them once more and stared into his deep onyx orbs. "…in love with you, Sasuke." And one by one, tears which were hotter than the summer sun, tears which could melt the snow beneath my feet, started falling down my cheeks. "All this time… I'm in love with you… all this time…"

He closed his eyes and his expression softened a lot. "So I wasn't the only one after all…" He embraced me tighter and then kissed my forehead. "I'm glad I took the first step tonight."

I couldn't help but let out a chuckle when I heard that. The ice which had frozen my heart for a very long time and crippled me was finally beginning to melt. I could feel it… I could feel the warmth slowly spreading all throughout my body. With every beat my heart made and every breath I took, I could feel my feelings for Sasuke grow even further. Who knew I could still love him more than I did a few minutes ago?

"You idiot." He whispered as he inhaled my scent. It made me shiver, not from coldness but from delight. "If you feel the same, you should've said so…" He ceased from hugging me and instead used his hands to caress my cheeks. "I would have immediately responded to your feelings… I would have immediately told you… just how… in love I am with you, Naruto." His voice sounded glad and at the same time hurt.

His hands were cold and yet gentle as they touched my skin. His eyes, usually so aloof and uncaring, were in silent blaze. The intensity of his gaze prevented me from averting my eyes from his. It was such a compelling force.

The kiss that he shared with me was more passionate than before. But it was still so sweet and gentle I felt like losing myself. His tongue which darted in and out of my mouth was both eager and at the same time caring.

I clutched at his uniform tighter when we deepened the kiss. And afterwards, our lips parted a mere inch from one another. We both let out soft, ringing chuckles reverberating in the snow. We had been in love with each other all this time but we were both so scared of getting hurt… we were too prideful to admit our feelings… and perhaps we were much too used to simply gazing at one another from afar… to the point where we ended up not hurting only ourselves but each other too…

The surrounding was still barren and cold, but the two of us had finally been freed from the ice that had frozen our time all these years. To think we only found each other now… but I was not regretful. All those wasted times, we could just compensate in the future.

Perhaps it was too soon to say that I was glad the snow had ceased to fall. And maybe it was better for the snow to fall idly in my heart after all. However… I've already decided. I would not be frozen as I waited for the snow to cease anymore. I would take a step forward using my own feet before the snow could bury me once again. I would walk towards Sasuke and, no matter what comes next, I would definitely not regret it… because finally…

Finally…

Winter had finally come to an end.

.

.END.

.

Ren-sama's Note:

Thank you for reading this one-shot, everyone! Please review~! ᶺoᶺ