Author's note: All right, first of all, many, many apologies for taking so long with this, even though I had promised an earlier update *winces* I had a lot of trouble with the beginning of this chapter, which is why it took me so long to finish it - well, that and the last chapter turned out to be significantly longer than the previous two *coughs* Consider this extra long chapter as my apology for taking so long!

With this, though, the story is concluded. Thank you for your support, despite the long waiting time!

Thanks to the following reviewers: Luluboo16; Meehalla; babyvfan; Guest; Guest; Ern Estine 13624; Guest; Guest; ShishiSerite; TheBeauty; yukino76; sherryfanfic1999; SehunsBae37; Sweetciel; mochiiihus; kotonamiyamazaki1; yameros

Warnings: Angst, drama, fluff, time skips, implied mature content (for full version, please visit my profile for more information), short implied references to violence

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. Kishimoto owns it.

For the last time: I hope you'll like this chapter!

Part 3

"Anything else you'd like to talk about?"

The curtains were drawn, blocking out the rain which was pitter-pattering against the windows. Four lamps provided light, casting shadows in the corners. Three of the four sky blue walls were hidden behind large bookcases, all stuffed to the brim with books, binders and oddly, some small dolphin and panda figures.

The middle of the room was occupied by two large, comfortable armchairs with a small table in between. Some blank sheets and a box of tissues were the only items on the table. The clock on the desk was ticking steadily; the rush of traffic outside muffled, reduced to mere background buzzing.

The fifteen year old stirred, pulled out of his thoughts. "Hm? What?" Naruto asked befuddled, straightening up from the slouch he had fallen into. The armchair was just so damn comfortable …

"Is there something else you'd like to talk about?" Kakashi repeated patiently, twirling his pen between his fingers as he perused the papers on his lap; his face the picture of boredom.

Or at least what was visible of his face. For some reason the older man refused to remove the mouth mask he wore every time Naruto met him for his bi weekly session.

Two years ago Naruto had started his sessions with psychologist Kakashi, who apparently was a family friend of the Uchiha. He hadn't wanted to go at first. It was bad enough he had ADHD and had to take medicine for it – only one pill each day, though, after they had discovered one was enough to get him through the day – but to visit a psychologist on top of that?

Naruto had hated it.

But Mama Mikoto had been relentless, refusing to give him a way out after she had caught him in the middle of a panic attack one too many times. It wasn't as if he had panic attacks regularly, but years of being taunted, of feeling pushed aside and rejected, of hearing he wasn't good enough, no, sorry, can we talk to another child?, of being afraid he would be cast aside yet again if he wasn't good enough, of comparing himself to Sasuke and Itachi and fearing he would never be able to catch up to them … Those years had left their marks behind.

So Mama Mikoto had sent him to a psychologist, explaining to him that the man would help him cope with his fears and would aid him in finding out a way to deal with them.

He had refused to say a word during his first sessions. He hadn't wanted to be here at all and he wasn't going to make the job easier for the silver haired man. Kakashi hadn't been bothered by his stubborn silence, though. They had spent the sessions in silence, save for the customary question "What do you want to talk about?" at the start of each session. Curiosity killed the cat, though, and after the fourth session spent in pure silence, Naruto had asked why Kakashi wasn't trying to get him to talk.

"Because I get paid either way," had been Kakashi's laconic reply before turning his attention back to the novel he had been reading.

Naruto should have felt offended, but oddly that casual remark had made him start liking the other man. The session after that one had him slowly starting to open up towards the psychologist. He talked about all the times he had felt lonely, rejected until Sasuke had appeared and held out his hand in friendship. About how happy he had been when Mama Mikoto and Papa Fugaku adopted him.

How awkward he felt whenever people, who wouldn't have even glanced twice at him when he was a kid, now were friendly to him; the majority of them hoping to get in the good graces of Sasuke.

He told Kakashi all about how happy he was to have Sasuke as his best friend, how amazing it had been to be accepted by the other boy. How it felt like to finally belong somewhere.

Kakashi had listened to all that patiently, occasionally making notes, and then had asked about the bad stuff, the stuff that had Naruto feeling like he would suffocate, the stuff that could bring a panic attack seemingly out of nothing. The secrets he had kept locked inside of him for years, too ashamed to talk about them.

Everything had come out slowly, haltingly. He hadn't wanted to talk about it, feeling like he would only embarrass himself, but what else was he doing in a psychologist's office? He was coming here for a specific reason and it wasn't just to talk about the happy things in his life.

So he talked. About how difficult it had been, how miserable it had made him feel, to see one child after the other becoming adopted, yet nobody chose him. None of the couples had wanted him, no matter how hard he had tried to be on his best behaviour.

How difficult it had been to hide his pain underneath a grinning mask when the other children made fun of him, laughing at how easily distracted he could be, how sensei had to explain something several times sometimes because he just couldn't grasp the new concept … The way they pointed at his cheeks and called him a freak for those fox like scars …

How, even though he was incredibly happy with his new family, he sometimes had moments in which he was scared they would send him back to the orphanage if he didn't meet their expectations. The way he sometimes felt like he was less worthy than Sasuke and Itachi, because they were smarter, better than him in everything.

Rationally he knew Mama Mikoto and Papa Fugaku only expected him to do his best, but it was difficult at times to remind himself of that fact when he again returned home with lower marks than Sasuke. Sasuke and Itachi were practically genius' and it was hard for Naruto not to feel inferior next to them.

Kakashi had helped him, though. He had taught him ways to calm down – counting five things he could hear, five things he could see and then reduce the amount of things he saw and heard until he felt himself calm down - when he felt a panic attack coming up or just when stress threatened to drown him. He had made the blond write lists of the classes he was good in, like arts and sociology; lists of sports he excelled at, notably baseball, and his good qualities. That last list had given Naruto quite some trouble; it had felt odd to consider his good qualities and he had been honestly lost. Sasuke had seen him struggling and unlike the blond, he hadn't had any problems summing up Naruto's good qualities.

Seeing Sasuke easily jotting down all the blond's good qualities had made Naruto quite flustered and he had walked around with a tomato red head and a warm glow in his chest for the rest of the day.

The lists now hung right above his desk in his bedroom and every morning before he went downstairs, he was to read them and remind himself that he was good, that he wasn't worthless and not inferior compared to the other Uchiha. The lists worked better on some days than others; it was a work in progress.

He scratched at a dry fleck of blue paint on his jeans, debating whether he should say it or not. "Not … really," he answered after a bout of silence.

Kakashi cocked his head to the right, gazing knowingly at him. "You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to," he reminded the younger man. "But bottling it all up isn't good either. We talked about this before, remember?"

"I remember," Naruto muttered, casting his eyes down on his lap. Yes, he knew he shouldn't bottle things up like he used to do, but this …

This felt still too fragile, too new to talk to someone about it.

Too potentially damaging.

Silence stretched between them for a while before Kakashi nodded; his eyes crinkling with the smile he was hiding underneath his mask. "As long as you remember."

He didn't know what to do.

Forlornly he stared down at his sheet with questions about the Edo period; the letters dancing in front of his eyes. The filled in sheet needed to be handed over to the sensei in two days, but he hadn't been able to write down even one word yet.

He kept thinking of the scene he had witnessed a week ago on Valentine's Day. It wasn't like that had been the first time Sasuke had received a gift for Valentine's Day. Hell, both he and Itachi were quite popular with the girls and both boys returned with a lot of gifts each time on the day of love – not that they never got gifts outside of that day, because again, they were quite popular, but it was definitely more noticeable on Valentine's Day.

Naruto had never been really bothered by the mountain of gifts the two dark haired males received. Sure, it would have been nice to receive one of his own, but it hadn't really mattered.

Not until now.

It would have been one thing to be jealous of Sasuke for receiving that much attention – a lot of guys were, Naruto knew. Being jealous of Sasuke would be normal.

The problem was: he was jealous of the girl. Because she had given Sasuke a gift, which he had accepted. He had thrown it away afterwards, as he always did with the gifts he received from his admirers, but still. For a moment, Naruto had stood there, witnessing his friend accepting yet another gift and found himself wishing he had been in the girl's place.

He found himself wishing he had given Sasuke a gift and that it would have been accepted by the other boy.

His head landed with a 'thump' on the desk and the sheets of paper muffled his groan of distress. It wasn't normal, right? It wasn't normal to wish to give your best friend a gift in the romantic sense. What was wrong with him?

Since when had his feelings for the black haired boy changed? He was his best friend, damn it! His male best friend. He wasn't supposed to like him like that! He had been considered a freak for years because he didn't have a normal family like the others – how would people react if they knew he liked Sasuke more than just as his friend?

How would Sasuke react if he knew that?

His stomach cramped with fear and he clamped his arm around it, feeling like he would throw up any second now. If Sasuke knew …

Naruto didn't even dare to think of the older boy's possible reaction.

He barely supressed a startled scream when a knock resounded on the door, followed by Sasuke poking his head inside.

"Knocking is usually followed by waiting for permission to enter!" he snapped at the other boy, whirling around in his chair.

Sasuke quirked an eyebrow, not appearing cowed at all. "As if you remember to wait for permission," he scoffed, leaning against the doorjamb while crossing his arms. "Besides, you're just studying."

"I could have been doing something else!" Naruto defended himself and then reddened when he realised how that might come across.

Sasuke wrinkled his nose, looking a bit disturbed, but didn't remark on it. Instead he asked, "You want to practice baseball tomorrow? The club leader cancelled the meeting."

In a fit of panic, the thought of being near Sasuke, alone for a while, being too much for him, Naruto blurted out, "Can't! I promised Gaara I would spar with him. He's got a tournament coming up, you know." He chuckled nervously, rubbing a hand over the back of his head.

Dark eyes narrowed instantly at the mention of the red haired boy and the owner of them pursed his lips. "What about now then? We can practice in the garden," he suggested.

"Ehm, no, sorry, can't tonight. Still trying to finish those questions and you know how Ibiki gets if I don't hand them in on time," the blond babbled nervously; blue eyes shifting away from Sasuke and focusing somewhere next to him on the door.

"Right," Sasuke said slowly, sounding put out as he straightened up. "I'll leave you to it then," he muttered stiffly and left before Naruto could even open his mouth.

Great, now Sasuke was pissed off.

With another, louder 'thump' his head landed back on the desk as his fingers sank down in his hair. Nothing was going his way, it seemed.

"Are you and Uchiha having a fight?" Gaara inquired tonelessly as he went through the motions to cool down after sparring for more than an hour and then training for yet another half hour.

Naruto had gone through the motions earlier, remembering all too well the first time he hadn't properly cooled down and had had sore muscles for a week. He was slumped against the wall, watching how Gaara first beat and kicked the punch ball into submission before he went through the progress of cooling down. At the green eyed boy's question, he stiffened and his head shot up, barely avoiding smacking straight into the wall behind him.

"What? No, why do you think that?"

At least not in the literal sense of the word, he supposed with a wince. He and Sasuke hadn't had a fight per se … Naruto was just, you know, a teensy tiny bit avoiding him. He knew he shouldn't do that and that it made him pathetic, but he just couldn't help it. Ever since Valentine's Day he became hyper aware of Sasuke's presence whenever he was near him – which was basically all the time considering they shared most classes together and lived in the same house. That made it difficult for Naruto to put some distance between them and try to ignore the weird squirmy sensation in his stomach; it was why he had been mostly hanging out with Gaara lately, because Gaara and Sasuke didn't particularly like each other.

Maybe it was because their similar personalities clashed, but from the moment Naruto had introduced Gaara to Sasuke, it was clear that they wouldn't be able to get along. The looks on their faces as they studied each other had been more than obvious. Naruto had met Gaara after helping him fight off some guys, who had thought it would be fun to pick on the quiet kid. Having had far too much experience with people bullying him, Naruto had almost instinctively reacted and had helped the red haired boy chase the others away. Since then they had become good friends.

Naruto wished he could say that his friends got along with each other, but he had given up after trying out a few joined outings. Sasuke and Gaara just couldn't stand each other for some reason and nothing would change that.

Their dislike for each other, however, made it currently quite easy for Naruto to avoid his best friend.

"You're spending more time with me than usual," Gaara pointed out mildly. He lowered his arms and carefully rolled his shoulders before wiping off the sweat off his face with a towel.

Naruto frowned, sitting up straighter. "You make it sound like I only go to you when I'm arguing with him," he retorted, a bit hurt that Gaara could think that. Was he that bad of a friend that the other boy thought he was just second choice?

Green eyes rolled and Gaara dropped down next to him with a sigh. He took a couple of big gulps of his water before he said, "Don't be like that, I don't think that. It's just a fact that you hang out more with Uchiha than with me – nothing wrong with that." He shrugged, sounding unbothered.

"We're not having a fight," the blond muttered and started picking at the rubber sole of his scuffed shoe.

"But there's something else going on," Gaara remarked knowingly, raising his knees and dangling the half empty bottle between them.

The younger boy grumbled put out, glancing away from that damn knowing gaze. Eugh, he had forgotten just how much Gaara noticed. Naruto was like an open book to him; no secrets, no way he could ever hide it if he was bothered by something.

Like now.

Gaara let some silence pass between them, before he knocked his shoulder against Naruto's. "You know you can tell me what's bothering you," he murmured.

Blue eyes cast a quick glance at him. His normally pale face was still flushed with exertion and flame red strands of hair were plastered against his sweaty forehead. There were damp patches on his shirt where his sweat had soaked through the cloth and he was still radiating heat. Despite that, his gaze was calm and collected, attentive when he met blue eyes.

"I don't like girls," Naruto blurted out before he could reconsider. Promptly he coloured red and it felt like his cheeks were on fire when his brain registered what had just come out of his mouth.

"Okay," Gaara said slowly, appearing a bit confused.

Well, he had already opened his stupid mouth, he might as well go on. He had screwed up either way. "ImeanIthinkIlikeboysandnotgirls," he replied rushed and squeezed his eyes tightly shut; his hands balling into fists.

This was the first time he admitted aloud that he might not be like the other guys and he was terrified of his friend's reaction. As the silence dragged on, he became more and more panicked; his chest feeling more constricted, making it harder to breathe, and his nails dug into his palms, the stinging pain barely registering in his mind.

"Did Uchiha give you hell for that?" Gaara suddenly demanded furiously; his voice echoing through the gym. "Because if he did, I'm going to beat the shit out of him! Who does he think he is, that stuck up, arrogant son of a bitch!" He shot up, his face a mask of fury, and Naruto barely managed to scramble up, snatching Gaara's wrist before the smaller boy could storm off in search of the youngest Uchiha.

"What? No! No, he didn't! He doesn't know yet!" Naruto yelled and his raised voice managed to penetrate through Gaara's haze of anger after a couple of tense seconds. The blond boy felt him relax slightly underneath his fingers and when his friend turned around, he was visibly calming down, though his eyes still sparked fiercely.

"He doesn't know?" he repeated surprised, looking taken aback.

Naruto couldn't blame him for that; he and Sasuke were best friends after all. They didn't keep secrets from each other – except Naruto was keeping one from him. A major secret even. One that could break their friendship, their bond which Naruto treasured so much; tear it apart like it was nothing but wet paper.

Why couldn't he just be normal?

"No, he doesn't," he admitted in a small voice and released Gaara's wrist.

Gaara frowned. "You think he'll react badly?"

Fingers started tugging nervously at the bottom of his shirt. "I don't know," Naruto hedged, looking away. This conversation was slowly inching in a direction he didn't like and he was regretting opening his big mouth.

"Well," Gaara started reluctantly, "I – don't think he'll react that badly. He's your best friend after all."

Blue eyes squinted at him suspiciously. "A moment ago you wanted to go beat the shit out of him, because you thought he had reacted badly," he pointed out blankly.

The red haired boy scowled and waved his hand dismissively. "What was I supposed to think? Something was bothering you and it had to do with Uchiha. Then you come out to me; I figured you had told him already and his reaction was what's bothering you."

"No, I haven't told him," Naruto sighed, running a hand through his damp hair. Green eyes studied him intently and Naruto shifted underneath the gaze, feeling a bit uncomfortable. "What?"

"It'll be okay," Gaara murmured and squeezed his arm briefly. "I don't like the bastard, but he's not going to react badly when you tell him. You're still you, whether you like boys or girls or both."

"Yeah," Naruto smiled weakly, rubbing his left hand over his right arm. A bit of relief pricked through the uneasiness lingering in his stomach; at least Gaara hadn't reacted badly.

"But if he does react badly, tell me and I'll kick his arse," Gaara added helpfully, flexing his fingers.

Despite the threat aimed at his best friend, Naruto couldn't help but smile, happy to have Gaara on his side. Even after all this time, it probably wouldn't cease to surprise him to have someone on his side.

"What the hell crawled up your arse?!"

The door to Naruto's bedroom flew open, smacking straight into the wall before bouncing back. It smashed straight into the fist of an enraged Sasuke and slammed against the wall again; the wood groaning dangerously underneath the violent assault.

With a loud yelp, Naruto whirled around; his heart beating faster, like he was running a marathon. Wide eyed he stared at Sasuke and froze underneath his burning glare. Sasuke had never looked like at him like that before and the blond boy swallowed loudly; his fingers clenching around his bag which he was still holding up in the air.

"Wh-what's wrong?" he stammered, stumbling backwards until the edge of his desk dug into his lower back when Sasuke strode forwards; his eyes practically spitting fire.

He jammed his finger into Naruto's chest painfully; the pressure unrelenting even when Naruto tried to lean backwards as much as he could.

"You've got the balls to ask what's wrong?" Sasuke hissed, sounding disturbingly similar to a snake, and dark eyes narrowed.

"I …"

"How about the fact that you've been avoiding me for almost a month now!"

"I haven't been avoiding you!" Naruto protested, but even with his own ears he could hear how weak that denial was.

For a second it looked like Sasuke was ready to punch him and he flinched instinctively. That made Sasuke pause and take a step back, but his body kept trembling with suppressed anger and his glare didn't lessen even a fraction.

"Oh? So you leaving practice earlier is just my imagination then? I'm just imagining that you've suddenly become too busy with homework," Sasuke sneered, balling his hands into fists. "I'm just dreaming that you're spending all your free time with Gaara then?" he spat out the name as if it was something foul.

"I didn't meant to - "

"What, am I suddenly not good enough for you anymore? Is that it, huh? Now that you've got other friends, you're done with me?" Sasuke hissed through gritted teeth; his eyes smouldering with fury.

And pain.

Naruto's breathing hitched and he stared helplessly at the harshly breathing boy in front of him. It was as if he was looking into a mirror; how many times hadn't he feared Sasuke would be done with him once he started making new friends? People who weren't orphans, who didn't have odd scars marring their cheeks, who didn't have ADHD. Too many times to count, really.

He had never expected Sasuke to feel like that about him.

He opened his mouth, trying to explain himself without giving too much away. "That's not it, Sasuke! How could you even think that - "

"What else am I supposed to think?" Sasuke snarled and he looked so out of control at the moment that Naruto was genuinely afraid punches would start flying any second now. "So what's the fucking deal, huh? You don't need me anymore now that you've got other people? That's it, right? Well, instead of avoiding me, why don't you grow some balls and tell me that straight into my - "


The words echoed and bounced between the walls of the bedroom, ringing loudly in the silence which suddenly fell between them. His abrupt confession, coming out of the blue, was enough to make Sasuke halt his tirade and the dark haired boy gazed at him stunned, his lips parted in surprise.

Naruto stared back equally stunned, before horror slowly started to sink in, settling heavily in his stomach. Oh no, what the hell had he just done?

Oh no, no, no! He couldn't have … Did he really just …

Oh fuck.

"What?" Sasuke asked shocked; his dark eyes wide in disbelief. He was as still as a statue; only his mouth moving.

Tears started pricking blue eyes and Naruto took a shuddering breath, praying to whatever deity was up there to be merciful and not let him cry like a little kid in front of the other boy. Humiliation burned him from the inside as he choked out, "I – I like you. Not – not just as a – as a friend, but … like, more. I'm – I'm sorry, I'm just, I need to - " He didn't even try to finish his sentence as he sped past Sasuke, running out of the room before the dark haired boy could even stir.

God, he had fucked up so badly just now. So, so badly. He was such a giant idiot! Why had he even –

He sped around the corner, taking the stairs two steps at once, trying to put as much distance between him and Sasuke as he could. There was one spot in the house, a place he had stumbled upon a couple of years ago, that Sasuke didn't know about and therefore he wouldn't look for him there. He needed to be alone right now.

Of all the things he could have said, he just had to go and … A whimper escaped him and he hastily closed the door of the attic behind him, treading as quietly as possible across the room to the window half hidden behind a discarded closet. There was just enough space between the window and the closet for him and he opened the window with shaking hands, climbing through it.

This brought him on the roof, on the flat space that looked out across the garden. Perhaps this small space had been once used as a mini garden, but now it was barren with just a couple of leaves discarded in the corners, deposited there by the wind. The air was cool, tinged with a hint of rain and below there was the noise of some cars passing through the street.

Sniffling, he sank down on the roof, a couple of feet away from the window. He pulled his legs up and clasped his arms around his knees, hiding his too hot face against them.

He had just ruined everything. There was no way Sasuke would still want to be around him now, not now he knew what Naruto was really feeling for him. He was most likely disgusted now and oh god, what were Mama Mikoto and Papa Fugaku going to say?

He froze and his breathing hitched; his eyes opening to stare unseeingly at the dark blue material of his jeans. They were going to be disgusted, furious maybe. Would they kick him out? Would he have to return to the orphanage?

He finally had a family – had he just ruined everything, because he had to be a freak through and through?

He didn't know how long he sat there, swinging between humiliated and angry at himself for ruining everything. His arse was growing numb and it startled drizzling; the rain coating everything in a fine, wet sheen. He didn't care; everything was better than having to face the no doubt awkward situation indoors.

He barely managed to swallow back the scream which threatened to escape when the window suddenly opened and a dark haired head came through. For a few heart stopping seconds he thought Sasuke had found him and he stiffened, every muscle in his body locking up tightly.

At the sight of long, straight hair – longer than Sasuke's – he briefly relaxed again, because it was Itachi and not Sasuke, but then his stomach cramped up with nerves once more.

Because Itachi wasn't much better. He had completely forgotten that the older man had returned home from university a day earlier than usual. Shit, how long had he been home?

He didn't even dare to look up, keeping his eyes fixated on his knees, as the older man sat down next to him. For a moment nothing was said between them; there was the sound of leaves rustling gently as the wind played with them.

"How did you find me?" Naruto questioned, figuring it was best to get this over with as quickly as possible.

Itachi huffed amused. "You're not the only one who explored this house," he remarked calmly. "I sometimes hid up here when I played hide and seek with Sasuke. It was funny to hear him get worked up when he couldn't find me."

Any other time and Naruto would have sniggered at the mental image of a pouting Sasuke, but he couldn't even muster up a weak smile now. He felt so sick, it surprised him he hadn't started throwing up yet.

"How much did you hear?" he asked despondently, tangling his fingers together.

"Everything," the older man admitted after a pause. "I arrived an hour before you."

Well, that explained why he was just dressed in a simple blue sweater and some jeans. "Great. You're here to tell me how much of a disgusting freak I am?" Naruto asked bitterly. "Because I already know."

"Naruto-kun, look at me."

The blond boy kept his gaze stubbornly fixated on his legs, trying to ignore how warm his cheeks felt and how his eyeballs started pricking again.

"Naruto-kun, look at me."

Unwillingly Naruto responded to the sterner tone in Itachi's voice, though he kept his eyes trained on Itachi's forehead, not wanting to see what kind of emotion was lurking into those dark depths.

"Listen to me carefully: you're not disgusting and you're not a freak," Itachi told him calmly, but firmly.

Naruto snorted, looking down once more. "Yes, because it's normal to like your brother like that," he spat, more angry at himself than at the older man.

"Did you ever consider him as your brother?"

That question made him pause and he unfurled from his curled up position, staring blankly at Itachi as he ruminated about what he had just said. Well … No, actually. He had always considered Sasuke as his best friend, not ever like a brother; not even after he had been officially adopted by the Uchiha. He had kept his own last name – the last proof of his biological parents – but the papers had his last name hyphenated with that of the Uchiha. While he did consider Itachi to be some sort of older brother to him, he had never regarded Sasuke as a brother. It just … didn't fit. They weren't brothers, but best friends, no matter what the adoption papers officially stated.

"No, he's my best friend, but," Naruto swallowed, clenching his hands into fists, feeling helpless, "that doesn't mean … I – he's going to hate me now."

Itachi released a soft sigh. "He's not going to hate you, Naruto-kun."

"How would you know?!"

"Because I know my little brother. Trust me, he could never hate you. Especially not for something like this," the older man replied soothingly.

"I just wanted to be normal for once," Naruto whispered, pressing his lips tightly together, rubbing briskly over his burning eyes.

"You are normal, Naruto-kun. Don't ever let someone tell you otherwise," Itachi stated strongly.

"But Sasuke!"

"Won't think you're abnormal either, trust me."

That was easier said than done and Naruto pressed his hands between his knees, not feeling reassured by Itachi's words in the slightest. "What about Mama Mikoto and – and Papa Fugaku?"

"Their love for you doesn't depend on whether you like boys or girls," Itachi murmured; his ponytail slipping over his shoulder. "Once you're ready to tell them, you'll see. Everything will be okay, I promise."

The blond wished he had the same confidence as Itachi. Never mind the reaction of his parents – he remained utterly terrified of Sasuke's reaction, certain he had completely screwed up things between them, no matter what Itachi claimed.

Itachi seemed to sense his tension, because he hummed and suggested, "Want to get some ramen from Ichiraku's?"

Blue eyes turned to regard him suspiciously. "You don't like ramen," Naruto pointed out sullenly, knowing all too well this was an attempt to distract.

A dark eyebrow rose up. "I don't hate it either," Itachi retorted mildly. "Come on, I'll pay."

Well … Maybe ramen would be able to distract him from his thoughts for at least a little while. With a huff he stood up and steadfastly ignored the small smirk curling around Itachi's mouth.

Just because he agreed to get ramen, didn't mean everything was suddenly okay!

A couple of hours later Naruto, well, he didn't sneak back in per se, because it wasn't as if he had done something wrong, but he wasn't exactly going out of his way to find the other inhabitants either. Itachi rolled his eyes when Naruto shot upstairs before either of their parents could call out to them, but he didn't say anything to stop him and that was good enough for the blond boy. For tonight he just wanted to go to sleep and forget the mess he had created by not being able to keep his big mouth shut.

Sleep wasn't easy to find, though, and he watched the minutes tick by as he tossed around in his bed, attempting to find a good position. He found it eventually by curling up on his right side, his back towards the door, and his hair brushing against the wall. He closed his eyes and focused on his breathing, blocking out the murmur of the television downstairs and the ticking of the clock on his nightstand.

Some tree branches creaked softly right outside his window and slowly his eyelids grew heavier and his breathing evened out; the sheets feeling comfortably warm around his body. He was almost there, sleep calling out to him, reigning him in with open arms and …


Blue eyes shot open, his heart quickening its pace, and he stared unseeingly at the wall as the door opened further. There was a beam of soft yellowish light penetrating through the gap in the door for a few seconds, before darkness descended once more when the door closed again.

It could be Mama Mikoto, checking up on him, like she was wont to do sometimes. It could even be Itachi; he had done that a couple of times before too.

But no, he recognised those soft footsteps slowly making their way to his bed and he held his breath, keeping himself as still as possible, praying the other one would think he was fast asleep. His heart was beating madly in his chest, sweat pricking the back of his neck and he was hyper aware of the other one's presence in his room.

The footsteps halted right next to him and nothing happened for a moment. Naruto could feel the heavy gaze assessing his form and it took everything he had to keep breathing deeply and regular and not give in to the panic coursing madly through his veins.

A sigh sounded above him, followed by a quiet snort. "I know you're not sleeping."

Naruto stiffened, but didn't react, just squeezing his eyes tightly shut. Just please go away, he pleaded silently, his hands curling into fists underneath his sheets. Just go, please. Just for tonight. I can't talk to you now.

Naturally Sasuke had to remain his stubborn self, the bastard, and instead of being merciful and leaving, a weight, instead, settled on the bed right next to Naruto, who feared his muscles would never be the same again with how tightly he had coiled them up.

"You left before I could say something," Sasuke stated after a few seconds. A hint of frustration tainted his voice. "And after that I couldn't find you. Nii-san told me he took you out for ramen; did you sneak back in afterwards?"

Stubbornly Naruto kept silent, feeling uncomfortably hot underneath the cover all of a sudden.

"You're going to be like that? Fine, makes a nice change, I guess," Sasuke muttered and he shifted a bit; his clothes rustling softly. "Whatever you're thinking in that stupid airhead of yours – you're wrong. I don't … I don't hate you. So what if you like boys? Doesn't matter."

For some reason that was what made Naruto snap and he shot up, whirling around to face Sasuke. "That's not the point!" he hissed, scrambling around until he was sitting on his knees on the mattress, his hands clenched into fists on his thighs. "It's – I – didn't you hear what I said?! I told you I – I like you!" He nearly choked on the words; they formed a clump in his throat and humiliation burned brightly in him when the words danced around them, filling the space between them once more.

Dark eyes glinted in the faint light coming through the curtains as Sasuke turned around to face him. "I heard you," he riposted infuriatingly calm.

"Then why aren't you … Why don't you …" Naruto's lower lip trembled and he looked away, hastily blinking away hot tears which blurred his vision. Shit, he was not going to cry! Not in front of Sasuke!

"Is it really that bad to like me?" Sasuke's voice was flat, no infliction whatsoever.

Naruto growled; humiliation and frustration warring with each other. "That's not -! I – I know it's not – i-it's not right and I – I'm a fr-freak, but - "

"Am I a freak too then?"

His heart skipped a beat and he whipped his head around, staring shocked at the boy in front of him. Sasuke gazed back and while his face was utterly smooth, a blank canvas, his eyes glittered feverishly, worry lurking deeply, nearly hidden, in them.

"Sa-Sasuke," he inhaled sharply, feeling lightheaded, and there was too much going on in his head and in his chest to make sense of them, never mind untangle them.

Was Sasuke … Did he also … But who?

The elation that filled him at the thought of Sasuke being like him, liking boys too instead of girls, was quickly exchanged with trepidation as he tried to figure out how Sasuke had discovered that. Had he just realised that girls weren't interesting or –

Or had a boy made him realise that like it was the case for Naruto?

"So? Am I a freak too then?" Sasuke repeated his question; his voice still disturbingly flat, but his hands balled themselves into fists and his form was radiating tension.

"Of course not!" The denial left him fiercely and he shook his head, upset that Sasuke could even think that. Of course Sasuke wasn't a freak, he could never be one, not like …

His breath hitched and his eyes widened as he stared at Sasuke again.

The dark haired boy nodded slowly. "Exactly. If I'm not a freak, you're not one. You can be a giant idiot, but you're not a freak."

This time a couple of tears did escape and Naruto sniffled, rubbing them away hastily. The tight grip around his lungs eased up somewhat as he tentatively dared to believe that it wasn't freakish of him to like a boy. If Sasuke wasn't a freak for liking a boy, then …

Naruto couldn't be one either, right?

Could it really be that simple?

Then doubt started growing again and he cast his eyes down, fidgeting with a fold in his sheets. For Sasuke to have decided he liked boys too … Did that mean he liked someone now? And what did he think of Naruto liking him? Would … Was there even a small possibility that Sasuke liked him back? Or – his fidgeting grew worse and his cheeks warmed – was that hoping for too much?

"How, eh, how did you – fi-find out you l-like boys?" Naruto stammered, keeping his eyes trained on his lap. He was torn between wanting to know whether Sasuke was interested in someone and not wanting to know, afraid of the answer he would receive. Or maybe Sasuke didn't like anyone now and things would still be awkward between them after all, because he now knew Naruto liked him.

Panic was starting to wrap its ugly, thick tendrils around him again, making everything fuzzy, when Sasuke spoke up, his voice cleaving straight through the panic. "Because I like someone and he's definitely not a girl," he snorted.

"Oh." Naruto clasped his hands together, noting in the back of his mind how clammy they felt, and worried his lip between his teeth. Should he – but no, what if he …

"I can hear you thinking," Sasuke said dryly. "Stop it before you hurt yourself."

"Bastard," Naruto muttered, but his retort was weak and his scowl melted away before it could even form properly.

A sigh. "Just spit out whatever you want to ask, dobe," Sasuke ordered, crossing his arms.

Ah, he was afraid of the answer and didn't really want to ask, but … "Do you like someone?" Naruto blurted out before he could think twice and he winced, squeezing his eyes shut as if that would help him hide from the truth.

"Tch, you're a goddamn moron," Sasuke clucked his tongue; the sound sharp in the otherwise silent room.

Outraged Naruto raised his head – he had been serious, goddamn it, and now that bastard wasn't even taking him serious enough to give him a real answer and –

There was a cool hand untangling his own clammy ones, before fingers curled around his left ones. One second, two seconds, three seconds passed and then … Sasuke's form came closer suddenly, reducing the distance between them quickly and before Naruto could react, before he could say something or do something, they …

Dry lips brushed against his own, uncertainly, carefully. A shaky exhale of warm breath hit his chin and mouth and then Sasuke pulled back. All Naruto could do was gaze stunned back at him, his brain short quitting completely.

Had Sasuke … Had they just … Their mouths … Had they just … Kissed?!

Sasuke was the one to break their eye contact this time, appearing slightly embarrassed as he turned his head to the side. "If you hadn't been such a moron, I could have told you this earlier," he admonished him, scowling.

"But how … You never said anything," Naruto brought out perplexed, though his heart was racing mildly in his chest – and not from panic this time.

Sasuke shrugged. "I didn't think you'd be interested," he replied, a bit stiffly. "I figured that was fine, but then you started avoiding me and …" He exhaled slowly. When he continued, his voice was so soft, it got almost absorbed by the sound of the rustling branches outside. "I started wondering whether you knew somehow and that was your way of letting me know what you – thought of that."

"I would never – I – I got jealous when I saw you accepting those chocolates and I – I became confused. And then I figured out why I was jealous and I just … I didn't want to lose you as my best friend," Naruto admitted haltingly, feeling his face burn with embarrassment.

"So …" Sasuke squeezed his fingers, which Naruto realised with a start he was still holding. "We're good, right?"

"Ye-yeah, we're good," Naruto agreed roughly and swallowed, clearing his throat. "Does this – are we going out now?"

Sasuke cocked his head to the left and he sounded faintly amused when he answered, "Yeah, if you want."

The blond boy nodded vigorously; excited butterflies squirming around in his stomach. "Yeah! I want that!" he was quick to reassure; warmth glowing inside him. Then all of a sudden his mind flashed back to the short, first kiss they had shared just now and shyness fell over him. His own fingers tightened around slender digits and his cheeks grew even hotter when he asked, voice nearly inaudible, "Can we – kiss again?"

"Tch, usuratonkachi," Sasuke muttered, but then his face neared once more and their mouths touched for the second time.

Their second kiss was even better than the first one, because this time Naruto remembered to kiss back.

Their first official date was hanami. It happened a bit more than a week after their nightly confession. The cherry trees were blooming brightly, colouring the world a light pink and they held a picnic underneath one of the trees, one more secluded from the others to give themselves some privacy.

They shared several kisses and Naruto felt ridiculously giddy, but he couldn't help himself. After realising what exactly he felt for the dark haired boy, he had feared he would never have a chance with him. Sasuke was incredibly popular after all; everyone, both younger and older, vying for his attention and his affection. Yet Naruto was the one who got both and that realisation thrilled him to no end.

"What are you smiling about?" Sasuke asked, peering up at him suspiciously from where he was lying down on the picnic blanket. Some sakura petals had landed in his hair and around his head, making for quite the idyllic picture.

"Nothing much. Just glad we're here," Naruto grinned and snapped a picture of Sasuke, studying the picture carefully before deciding to make it his background – even if that sounded rather cheesy. Whatever, he was happy with Sasuke and the boy had always been ridiculously photogenetic.

"Oi, are you taking pictures of me?" Sasuke growled, his eyes flashing up, and then they were wrestling, rolling around on the blanket as Naruto cackled, keeping his phone out of Sasuke's reach.

No way was he going to give up this picture!

Naruto was a month away from his sixteenth birthday when they decided they were ready to inform their parents. Despite either of them not wanting to admit it, they were both incredibly nervous and tense, fearing the reaction they would receive.

While not exactly open about it, they hadn't kept their relationship a secret either at school and the reactions had been heavily mixed. The core of Sasuke's fangirl group had been beyond pissed, even dousing Naruto with cups of lemonade on three occasions before Sasuke had figured out who was behind it and had proceeded to verbally tear them a new one. He hadn't screamed or threatened them, but the cold look on his face and his even chillier voice had left an impression on them. When he had finished and had started tugging Naruto away from them, telling him they would get him a new uniform, Naruto had spotted several of the girls crying and looking utterly miserable and heartbroken.

Rather vindictively, Naruto had thought they had got what had been coming to them.

Some other guys had attempted to bully him for being together with Sasuke as well. They hadn't dared to target the Uchiha heir, but Naruto had been fair game for them – until they had realised they would not only be taking on Naruto, but also Gaara and Sasuke himself. Even Rock Lee had been there, announcing that nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of people who were in the spring of their youth! Whatever the hell that meant. Rock Lee was an okay guy, though, once you were able to look past the fact that he always wore a green jumpsuit, kept blabbering about the spring of youth to which Gai-sensei was all too happy to join in with, and he was even more energetic than Naruto – a feat the blond hadn't thought was possible to be honest.

Some guys had still tried to get him afterwards, but when those guys had ended up in the hospital with several injuries, word quickly had spread out that nobody was to fuck with Naruto or suffer the consequences. Gaara, especially, had delighted in letting everyone know that particular fact.

Before the people at school, Itachi had been the first one to officially know about them. It turned out that he not only had had a conversation with Naruto, but with Sasuke that day as well, and it hadn't come as a surprise to him when they told him about it a couple of days later. Of course with that support came the occasional teasing remark or even some condoms slipped into their pockets with the message to stay safe – or at least not cause a mess. That particular note had had Naruto spluttering, his face tomato red, while Sasuke had snarled and promised to get his brother back for the shit he had pulled.

Naruto's psychologist, Kakashi, knew about them too. A couple of sessions after the confession, he had commented that Naruto looked happier and the blond hadn't been able to resist and had excitedly told him about his new relationship – only belatedly realising that Kakashi might be one of those people who were against it. The older man hadn't looked perturbed or disgusted at all, though, and had merely smiled, telling Naruto he was happy for him.

"You ready?" Sasuke murmured, flicking his eyes towards the blond next to him.

Naruto took a deep breath; his hands clammy in his pockets. "Yeah, let's go," he mumbled; his legs feeling like rubber when they entered the study where both their parents were currently discussing something.

It was only Itachi's reassurance that they could crash at his place should this discussion go wrong – "But it won't, Naruto-kun, trust me. Mother and father won't mind." – that kept Naruto from bolting out of the room when Mama Mikoto looked up with a distracted smile.

"Yes, something you need?"

Blue eyes met dark ones and they shared a meaningful glance, asking each other silently whether they were truly ready.

Now or never. Naruto took a deep breath and said, "Yeah, we have something to tell you."

It turned out that Itachi – as usual – was right.

After the initial shock, Mama Mikoto had been quick to reassure them she didn't mind who they liked, as long as they were happy. Papa Fugaku had had a blank look on his face, which had worried Naruto. Mama Mikoto had always been more relaxed and less stern than her husband; if anyone would have issues with whom his sons fell in love with, it would be him. He had been raised rather traditionally after all.

Imagine both boys' utter and complete shock when Papa Fugaku had nodded and merely scolded them for not informing them about it sooner. That was quickly followed by insisting they would be careful and assuring them they could come to either him or Mama Mikoto if they had any questions.

Naruto preferred to never have that kind of conversation with either one of them again – once was more than enough, thank you very much – but he very much appreciated the sentiment.

"So you're not angry?" he asked uncertainly, studying their faces sharply. They weren't ones to lie, but in this case …

Mama Mikoto shook her head with a smile and came forwards to hug him. He had had a couple of growth spurts since he had come to live with them and at the moment his head reached a bit past her shoulder. "Oh sweetheart, we would never be angry at you for that. You like who you like and that's it. As long as you two are happy, it doesn't matter."

If some tears escaped and dampened her sweater as he hugged her back tightly, well, nobody had to know.

At seventeen years and three months old Naruto lost his virginity to Sasuke.

They had been together for almost two years at that point and while some classmates had spitefully claimed they wouldn't last, things were still great between them and that wouldn't change anytime soon.

They had been messing around for a while now; giving each other hand jobs and blowjobs, figuring out what they liked and didn't like. Sasuke loved it when Naruto spent a long time kissing his neck, but teasing his nipples did nothing for him, except bore him and pester the blond in touching him somewhere else.

Likewise Naruto was oddly ticklish in his sides and the couple of times Sasuke had accidentally grazed his hands there, he had been greeted by a kick against his legs and Naruto squirming away, trying to keep his laughter under control as he apologised to the dark haired boy.

But in those two years of being together, they hadn't gone all the way yet. At the beginning it was a matter of not feeling ready yet, but as the months passed by and they grew more comfortable around each other, it became no longer a matter of feeling ready but of finding the right moment.

Naruto didn't want their first time to be rushed, worrying that they would be caught at any moment. Sure, their parents hadn't had set any rules for them when it came to sharing the bed – they seemed to trust they were mature enough – but that didn't mean Naruto wanted to have sex while they were still in the same house.

That was just … No. Definitely, absolutely not happening.

A hotel seemed too impersonal and besides, the thought of the amount of people who had already been in that bed, doing the same thing they wanted to do … Yeah no, even with the rooms and beds being cleaned regularly, the thought of renting a room didn't sit well with him.

They could hardly use Itachi's apartment either, because … Well, that was just weird.

So that left them with trying to decide whether they would risk the chance of having sex while their parents were sleeping, but they could never decide, because they weren't ready to take the risk.

Until now.

To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Mama Mikoto and Papa Fugaku had taken off time from work to travel to Paris for three days and celebrate their anniversary there. Both being seventeen years old, their parents trusted them enough to let them stay at home alone – though Itachi had been asked to drop in every day just in case.

Still, for three whole days and three nights they had the house basically alone for themselves and the moment the front door closed behind their parents and the car started and drove away, butterflies started racing in Naruto's stomach and he swallowed; his fingers tingling.

Itachi had texted Sasuke to let him know he wouldn't show up today; something to do with his thesis still needing some work and a meeting with one of his professors. That meant they would be alone until at least tomorrow morning.

"So," Sasuke drawled, still leaning against the staircase with his arms crossed. He was wearing a loose, black sweater of which the neckline dipped low enough to give a view of his collarbones and a pair of dark jeans, which frankly Naruto loved on him, because they clung to his legs in all the right places. "You want to play some videogames?" His eyes glinted mischievously; a smirk dancing around the corners of his mouth.

Naruto huffed and strode towards him, snatching his wrist and tugging him along, up the stairs to the nearest bedroom – which was Sasuke's. "You know damn well what I want," he muttered, shoving Sasuke inside and closing the door behind them.

The other boy shrugged, looking smug. "You could have changed your mind," he pointed out lightly, remaining in the middle of the room.

"We've been waiting for this for a couple of months already," Naruto complained, stalking closer to his boyfriend. "No way am I giving up this opportunity!"

"So impatient," was all Sasuke could utter before his lips were caught in a deep kiss, a tongue slipping inside to curl around his own.

They stood there kissing for a while; their arms wrapped loosely around each other. Sasuke was still a bit taller than him, so Naruto had to tilt his head back a bit as their mouths met and separated over and over again; the slick sounds of their mouths moving the only noise in the room.

Hands landed on his hips and started pushing him back slowly. He followed, nearly stumbling a couple of times, but then the back of his legs hit the bedframe and he let himself fall down on the mattress. Somehow he managed to shuffle backwards, all the while still keeping his mouth connected to Sasuke's, and the dark eyed boy followed closely, slipping between his spread legs.

They pulled back when oxygen became a necessity and spent a moment studying each other, while their chests heaved; their warm breath mingling with each other. On an unspoken cue, they both started fumbling with their clothes, pulling off sweaters and working their way out of their jeans. Their clothes got unceremoniously dumped on the floor, joined by their socks, and then they stilled, only their underwear separating them from being completely naked.

It wasn't as if this would be the first time that they would see each other naked; they had been naked together several times before. This time was completely different, though, because they would go all the way now, no holding back anymore, and that made the air between them charged with something different than usual.

Sasuke's right hand lingered on Naruto's left hip. His eyes glittered brightly when he asked, "All the way?"

Naruto swallowed, the butterflies in his stomach going wild, but he nodded. "All the way," he croaked out.

Sasuke cocked an eyebrow, but leant over towards his nightstand where he had hidden the bottle of lubrication and the package of condoms they had bought a week ago. When no protest of Naruto came, he opened the drawer and grabbed both items, dropping them next to them on the bed.

Naruto released a measured breath, taking in the items – the light blue bottle and the string of shiny, silver foil packages – sharply. Yes, he was ready and he wanted this, but he still felt a bit nervous. Realisation was sinking in that this was it, they were finally going to do this for real now, and he forced himself to take a deep breath and let it out slowly.

"Hey." Fingers tapped against his left cheek and he blinked, torn out of his thoughts. Sasuke was still sitting up, towering over Naruto, who laid flat on his back, and Sasuke pursed his lips together. "I'm here, okay. We can stop anytime you want."

Naruto furrowed his eyebrows and snaked his legs high around Sasuke's waist, thumping his foot against Sasuke's arse until the young man buckled and crumbled down with a grunt, only catching himself just on time with his elbows braced on the mattress. Dark eyes scowled down into shining blue ones.

"What the hell was that for, you idiot?" Sasuke questioned irritated, looking close to slapping Naruto upside his head.

"We can stop anytime you want too," Naruto huffed, winding his arms around Sasuke's shoulders.

Dark eyes rolled in exasperation. "The things you like to fight over," he sighed and kissed Naruto again before the blond could come up with a reply.

They shared several heated kisses, while their hands trailed over each other's chest, caressing and stroking and rubbing, while their hips started moving against each other in a lazy rhythm. It was enough to keep them both excited, but the pressure wasn't strong enough for either one of them to blow their load too soon. Still their underwear grew damp soon and the occasional moan escaped them when they lingered against each other, longer and longer each time.

Panting, Naruto brought out, "These – these need to go off." Impatiently he tugged on Sasuke's black boxers and Sasuke pulled back, breathing heavily.

"These too," Sasuke agreed, voice rough, pulling on the waistband of Naruto's own boxers and then they were scrambling to get them off, throwing them somewhere on the floor.

Now they were naked. Completely. Oh fuck.

Naruto knew it shouldn't affect him this much – they had seen each other naked a bunch of times before after all – but still for some reason his breath got punched out of him when he took in the sight of his boyfriend's slender, pale, but most importantly naked body sitting right in front of him. His member looked flushed and glistened wetly and holy crap, that would go inside of him now. Would that even fit?!

"You're thinking too hard," Sasuke scolded him, rolling his eyes, and then he was pressing against Naruto's shoulders, pushing him back down on the bed.

Blue eyes rolled back when their groins brushed against each other and a throaty groan left him, as he subconsciously pressed himself closer, closing Sasuke's thighs between his own.

"See? Just stop thinking and everything will be fine," Sasuke muttered, closing the gap between their mouths again, rolling his hips against Naruto's.

No doubt their lips would be quite swollen and red by the time they stopped, but Naruto couldn't find it in him to care about that. His entire world now was narrowed down to this: him, Sasuke, the bed, finally getting to do what they had been longing for, for the past couple of months already.

Lips started pressing open mouthed kisses on Naruto's chest; a tongue peeking out and circling around his nipples for a moment, turning them into hard nubs, before the mouth moved lower, dipping in his bellybutton briefly, which had Naruto inhaling sharply; his left leg jerking a bit.

Featherlight touches teased his groin and he whined lowly, canting his hips higher to encourage the other one to grip him tighter. The glint in those dark eyes told him he wouldn't get anything firmer and he pouted, glaring weakly at his boyfriend.

"If you're going to touch me, at least do it seriously," he complained and then his breath hitched and his nails accidentally ranked up Sasuke's back when those devious fingers slipped lower; the tips of them resting against his entrance.

"But I am touching you seriously," Sasuke smirked, breathing across dark rose, hardened nipples.

A shiver danced over the blond's spine and his legs fell open on each side of Sasuke, baring himself for the older boy. "Not serious enough yet," he muttered, glancing away embarrassed when dark eyes deepened.

"Guess I'll have to rectify that, hm?" The sound of a cap being flicked open followed his words swiftly and the hand at Naruto's arse disappeared briefly.

When blue eyes flickered towards Sasuke, the other one was coating his digits in the clear, gel like liquid. They glistened in the light and the bottle was closed by Sasuke's other hand before being pushed to the side again. Sasuke returned his attention at the boy underneath him and raised an eyebrow, lifting his fingers a bit higher in the air.

"Can I?"

Naruto nodded, opening his legs a tad wider. Sasuke adjusted his pose a bit, so that he could still reach Naruto's mouth while at the same time working his fingers inside of him. This, they had done a couple of times before, and so Naruto knew to relax his muscles when the first digit pressed against his entrance. It slipped in without too much trouble and rubbed alongside his walls. Sasuke spent some time working it in and out, loosening him slightly, as they exchanged breathless kisses, nipping and licking across each other's lips.

He exhaled slowly when a second finger was added. This was adding a bit more pressure and he wiggled around slightly, getting used to the intrusion.

Sasuke paused, pulling back from their kiss to look at him carefully. At Naruto's quick grin, he started moving his fingers again, spreading them slightly to open up the blond. The digits sank in smoothly, Naruto's body adjusting to them quickly, and for a while nothing else was heard but the quiet 'slick, slick' sounds as Sasuke moved and spread his fingers, and the wet noise of their mouths meeting again and again, accompanied by a muffled moan whenever fingertips brushed against that particular sweet spot deep inside the blond.

Naruto couldn't help but tense slightly when a third finger joined the others, the pressure increasing. They rested inside of him, not moving for the moment, while Sasuke moved his mouth from his cheek to his ear, tugging at his earlobe with his teeth, which sent a spark through Naruto's system and had him holding his breath.

"Relax," Sasuke breathed in his ear and after a moment Naruto nodded, forcing himself to relax his muscles.

It took him longer to get used to the intrusion this time, feeling oddly full, but soon he was languidly moving his hips in sync with Sasuke's fingers; sparks lighting up his nerve system every time those slender digits sank in deeper and pressed against his hidden spot. Sasuke was sucking and nibbling on a particular spot in his neck and the blond knew he would be walking around with a serious hickey for days after this.

Well, it wouldn't be the first time he had to cover his neck to appear somewhat decent.

A noise of disappointment was torn out of him when those fingers retreated and his muscles clenched around the sudden emptiness. He was breathing rapidly and he blinked, feeling hot all over.

Sasuke took his time opening the wrapper and putting the condom on. The torn wrapper was discarded next to the bed and when Sasuke looked up, Naruto noticed for the first time the flush reddening sharp cheekbones. A slick hand came to rest on his thigh, the thumb rubbing idly over his inner thigh.

"You ready?" Sasuke whispered and this time there was no hint of any teasing or challenge in his voice. He was serious now, letting the blond know there was still time to stop this if he wasn't sure.

Naruto had never been so sure before in his life as now. He stretched out his arms and locked his hands together around Sasuke's neck, pulling him down once more, letting his body cover his own.

"Yeah, I am," he breathed out and closed his eyes, pressing his mouth against Sasuke's at the same time his left leg was lifted and pressed upwards. He understood the silent hint and swung his legs upwards, wrapping them around Sasuke's hips.

He stopped breathing when Sasuke rested against his arse and panic flashed up all of a sudden. Wait, what if it wouldn't fit after all? Three fingers seemed nothing compared to this and what if he got –

"Hey, Naruto? Look at me," Sasuke demanded and any other time Naruto would snap at him, telling him not to order him around like a lackey, but this time he did what he was told and looked right into glowing, dark eyes.

"It's just us," Sasuke muttered, retaining his gaze even as he started to sink forwards, pressing himself deeper into the blond inch by inch. "Just relax. You're doing fine."

Naruto started shivering for some reason and even as he tried to relax, there was still that slight burning sensation of being stretched too wide, too quick even if Sasuke was going as slowly as he could. Then Sasuke stopped moving, his hips flush against Naruto's arse cheeks and Naruto –

Felt full. Overwhelmed. A bit lightheaded even, but that might be because he was holding his breath again, damn it. His next exhale was shaky, blue eyes wide, as he tried to adjust to the peculiar, new sensation. It felt … weird to be honest.

"You okay?" Sasuke asked, sounding strained, and his jaw was set tightly; his hands curled into fists on either side of Naruto's head. He was slightly trembling too, as if it took everything in him not to move. Which it probably did, come to think of it.

Naruto blinked, concentrating for now on keeping his breathing even. "Y-yeah, just … Feeling a bit weird," he confessed honestly. "Not – not bad, though."

"Can I – can I move?" Even as he posed the question, he rolled his hips slightly, pressing himself even deeper inside the younger man – something Naruto hadn't thought was possible.

Naruto licked his lips and wrapped his arms tightly around Sasuke's shoulders, as if they were his anchor. "Y-yeah, you can."

"Oh thank fuck," Sasuke muttered relieved and his head dropped down on Naruto's shoulders as he pulled back slowly before thrusting forwards again with a grunt. "D-don't think I'm going to last long," he admitted chagrined.

"'S fine," Naruto muttered and then his mouth dropped open and he inhaled sharply when Sasuke shifted once more and he brushed right against Naruto's sweet spot, sending bursts of pleasure through him, which overrode the slight ache building up in his lower back. "Do that again!" he demanded, latching onto the most sensitive spot in Sasuke's neck.

The dark haired boy shivered, his hips stuttering for a moment before he picked up his momentum again and started moving quicker, doing his best to keep aiming for that particular spot that had Naruto moaning in his ears and nails digging down in his shoulder blades.

Overwhelmed by the new sensations, the feeling of fullness, of feeling connected to Sasuke in this manner, of bolts of pleasure sparking through his system every time Sasuke managed to hit that spot just right … It didn't take long for the pleasure to start building up rapidly, filling his lower belly with a warm glow; warmth which steadily spread out through the rest of his body.

Sasuke snaked his tongue inside right at the same moment he thrusted forwards sharply and that was all it took. The next moment Naruto was arching his back, garbling something incomprehensible as he soaked both their stomachs; pleasure wrecking his body and white brightness filling the back of his closed eyelids.

Sasuke grunted and he started moving even faster before he suddenly stilled and buried his face in Naruto's neck, panting against the sweat slick skin as his hand clenched tightly around Naruto's hip, holding him securely against him.

They stayed connected for a little while longer as their breathing evened out and their heartrates calmed down again. Once they were no longer panting like they had just run the marathon, Sasuke pulled away, slipping out of Naruto carefully. He discarded the used condom into the bin and staggered his way back into the bed, where Naruto had shifted to the side a bit, still feeling hypersensitive. They cleaned their stomachs with a shirt they found and then they snuggled together underneath the sheets, enjoying the afterglow.

Naruto sighed contently. "That was great," he admitted, drawing slow circles around Sasuke's left hipbone.

Sasuke hummed in agreement, sounding a bit tired when he mumbled, "I agree."

"You tired?"

"I could take a nap," he admitted begrudgingly, tightening his embrace around his boyfriend.

"Me too," Naruto sighed, but not even the slight ache in his lower back was enough to put a damper on the giddiness that filled him. He and Sasuke had just had sex. And it had been way better than Naruto had dared to imagine. "I love you," he hummed, pressing a soft kiss against Sasuke's shoulder, before laying his head down on it.

"Love you too," Sasuke muttered and there were lips briefly on Naruto's forehead.

Silence descended over them and they relaxed in each other's embrace. Sleep was calling out to him – sex was surprisingly exhausting – but before he gave in, he couldn't help but ask, "We're doing this again soon, right?"

All he got was a groan, but fingers tightened around his waist and Naruto fell asleep with a grin on his face.

Naruto was twenty-two years old when he graduated as a child therapist.

The studies hadn't been easy. At times they had severely kicked his arse and there had been some moments where he had genuinely doubted himself, wondering whether he had what it took to succeed in these studies. But Sasuke had remained on his side, offering him silent – and sometimes verbal – support and somehow Naruto had managed to do it. It had taken many long nights of studying, many long days of attending classes, of writing papers and reports, of joining sessions with child therapists, of studying various methods and trying to determine which would fit better for him; exam periods which never seemed to want to end … Yes, it had been quite difficult at times, but his drive, his wish to help other children who were in a similar situation as the one he had been in, was enough to push him forwards, to get him through the gruelling hours of studying and meeting professors. He wanted to help children in need, who were troubled and needed help or guidance, and nothing was going to stop him.

And he had done it. In spite of some teachers claiming he wouldn't be able to handle the studies, that he would never succeed because his marks would never be good enough … Despite all that, he had graduated as third from his year, bursting with pride. There had also been that streak of vindictiveness, a fuck you to everyone who had ever doubted him.

Sasuke had graduated two years later, first of his year naturally, having decided to become a doctor and not work in the same company as his brother and father.

They bought their first apartment when they were twenty-five years old, having pooled some of their money together to find a good place. It was one on the fourth floor and they celebrated their first night living officially together with a lot of sex; the both of them excited at having a place of their own finally.

They loved their parents dearly, but well, there was something to be said to coming home to each other, making a home for themselves. This place was all their own and they were damn proud of it. For Naruto, though, it didn't matter where they lived, because – as cheesy and corny as it sounded – wherever Sasuke was, was home for him.

That would never change.

Gravel crunched underneath the tires as the car slowed down to a stop, parking right underneath the shade of a large cherry tree. The radio was shut off, followed by the car's motor. Seatbelts were unfastened and the two men stepped out of the car.

Naruto shielded his eyes from the sun, studying the building in front of him silently. He hadn't set foot here in twenty-five years and it felt odd to be back here now after all this time. Not bad odd, though. A good odd.

His husband of eight years walked around the car, coming to a halt next to him. He slipped his arm around Naruto's waist and regarded him with intense eyes.

"You ready for this?" Sasuke asked, looking expectantly at the blond man.

The wind carried the sound of children's laughter towards them and Naruto relaxed, a smile unfolding on his face as he linked their hands together.

"Yeah, let's do this," he said determined, anticipation lingering in the pit of his belly, and together they followed the path to the front door, passing a few discarded toys.

They were thirty-four years old now, married for eight years, and they were both ready for the next stage in their life.

Today they would expand their family.

Twenty-five years ago the Uchiha had given Naruto a family of his own. Now it was his time to give a child a family of his or her own.

The door opened and they stepped inside, ready for the next step in their lives.


Like they had been from the beginning and would be until the very end. Nothing would ever change that.

The End

AN2: So we finally reached the end of this story. I hadn't expected it to grow this long, but well, I guess I should be used to stories taking a life of their own.

Again I apologise for the long wait; it was never my intention to make you all wait so long. I hope this long chapter made up for it!

For the last time, please leave your thoughts behind in a review; should you spot any mistakes, please point them out to me.

I hope to see you all back in my future stories!



P.S. For more information about my upcoming and posted stories, please visit my profile.