Title: Gone Away
Pairings: Sasu/Naru (sorta one-sided, sorta not)

Summary: Sasuke is spilling his heart out to the gravestone of the person he loved. (Sounds kinda cliché, doesn't it?)
Notes: It's in the first-person pov of Sasuke and it's probably OOC but that's beside the point. I'm figuring this is in the future so Sasuke's personality would've changed anyway. Oh yeah - character death, sorta. Whatever. One-shot.


            I still think a lot about you. I realize that you've been gone for almost a year now and that its not becoming of a shinobi to dwell on the past and emotions but I can't seem (and don't really want) to forget about you. I used to think about our past - what I should've done and should've said. Things you never knew but things I wanted to tell you so badly. I don't have enough courage to admit things when it comes to matters of the heart. And now I hate myself for being such a coward.

            At one time I actually resorted to fantasizing about future lives, seeing as there was nothing I want left for me in this life anymore. I imagined that I'll meet you again. And this time I'll have the courage to tell you that I love you. You'll smile just for me and I'll kiss you and show you just how much I need you. I dream of all the different futures we could have together and how they all end happily ever after. Then I'd wake up to the nightmare that is reality. Because you're not here.

            How could you even think about doing this to me? I still need you here. HERE! WITH ME! I mean, you were only 21! What happened to becoming Hokage?! Wasn't that your dream? Did you think you could just cop out? Throw in the towel? Say that's good enough and just die?! It's just - you still had so much ahead of you...how could you let yourself be killed? But I know you didn't try to die ... I'm sorry - it's just so unfair!

            But how am I supposed to deal with this? I see the members from the ANBU team that you were on and I can't help but feel a deep seething hatred for them. They're alive and you're not. And because of you, they're alive. How can they smile only eleven short months since they brought your lifeless body home? Especially knowing that it was because of their own incompetentcy that you died? Their happiness makes me want to kill them slowly and painfully. I won't though. I won't waste your sacrifice like that. You always cared too much for your own good...and now you're dead because of it.

            I didn't believe them at first you know. I mean, when they told me you were dead. Those words just didn't want to register. Naruto and dead don't belong in the same sentence. I knew it was true when I saw your body though. I couldn't see anything in your eyes. Blank. Nothing. Nada. I knew you were gone. I didn't, couldn't, cry at first; I think I was in some sort of emotional shock. I just acted the way I always did - emotionless. Everyone assumed that I was fine but I was broken on the inside. I went to your memorial service but I had to leave in the middle of it. I couldn't take people talking about you in the past tense. I went to the memorial with the names of shinobi who have died serving Konoha and saw your name freshly carved there. Something about seeing one of the people I cared about's - my most precious person's - name there made me snap and then reality started to sink in. It started as a single tear that rolled down my cheek but developed into me on my knees and sobbing into my hands. Kakashi found me and took me home before the whole village saw my emotional breakdown.

            That night was the darkest night of my entire life, I think. The night after my clan's massacre didn't even rival this. Then all I thought about was revenge, now all I could think about was suicide. Kill myself and be with you. You seem to be getting farther and farther away with each minute I stay alive. Sakura visited me then. She slapped me and reminded me that you would be disappointed in me and probably hate me if I killed myself. I knew she was right and I decided that I would stay alive for you. Amazing, ne? That even after death you can still affect me so.

            Even so, the world is so much colder now. Color has faded into shades of gray and the sunlight doesn't hold warmth the way it used to. Nothing is like it used to be now that you've gone away.

            And now here I am, visiting your grave. As I did yesterday...and the day before that...and every day since the day I accepted that you were dead. Every day I leave a yellow zinnia there. It means 'daily remembrance' - how fitting, ne? I was looking at them because they matched the color of your hair but Ino told me what they meant and I knew that this was the perfect flower to leave for you. I also leave a red rose every Thursday. That was the day that you died, right? I want you - and all of Konoha - to see that someone loved (loves) you and always will. But no matter how many flowers I leave or how many prayers I say, you can't come back to me. I have to be content with shedding tears over your headstone until death finds me.

            Sometimes I go to the little clearing in the woods where we used to relax after particularly hard days of training. Sometimes I reach up towards the sky ... to see if I could reach you maybe? I call for you sometimes, just to see if you'll answer me. But it's just a fantasy of a depressed and lonely man. I wish I could trade with you. I would have gladly died in your place you know. You still had your dream while I had already fulfilled mine. Besides, no one would have missed dark, moody me for long - not even my fangirls. Oh yeah, they would've cried and mourned but the next day they would see their boyfriends and forget all about me. But used I wonder though - would you have cried for me if I had died?

            I got my answer a while after you died - after they cleaned out your apartment. They sold your furniture and bigger things and donated the money to the academy. That was my idea - I thought that you would be happy helping the future of Konoha and Iruka as well. We kept most of your personal effects - the pictures of team 7 and the rest were split up between all of us, your ramen stash went half to Iruka and half to Chouji, Iruka also got your infamous paintbrush, your sky blue blanket with the clouds on it went to Shikamaru, all your houseplants went to Sakura and Ino, Kakashi got all of your weapons, we gave all your books to Hinata, both Lee and Neji refused to take anything but each, along with Kiba and Shino, ended up splitting your CD collection, Tsunade-sama took back her necklace, Jiraiya only took your Gama-chan but I think the only thing he keeps in it is what was in there to begin with and a picture of him and you from a while back, and Konohamaru took your goggles while the rest of the "Konohamaru Gang" took your stuffed animals. And I...I only took your pillow. It still smells like you.

            Shikamaru found your journal too and he gave it to Sakura but she gave it to me saying that I was the one who knew you best and I should have it. I decided not to read it out of respect for you but on one of my loneliest and weakest nights, I failed. I needed you, in some way, shape or form, and succumbed to my innate curiosity. I started with your last entry and only read one line before I broke into tears.

"I've come to the conclusion that I love Uchiha Sasuke."

I didn't read it anymore after that, it was too painful. I just set the journal on top of my bookshelf where I couldn't see it and it couldn't taunt me.

            And now, in the present, your death stings me more than ever. You want to know why? Last week Tsunade-sama announced her resignment to a select group of ninjas. Namely me, Kakashi, Iruka, Sakura, Jiraiya, Shikamaru, Chouji, Ino, Hinata, Kiba, Shino, Neji, Lee, TenTen, and Konohamaru. And here's the kicker - she wants me to be Hokage. At first I flat out refused - no way was I "stealing" your dream. Tsunade told me to think about it and she'd ask again in a week, which will be tomorrow. Pretty much everyone is trying to convince me to do it. The most persuasive though was Sakura.

            She came to me today and asked if I had thought about Tsunade's proposition and I responded with my usual "I'm not going to do it." She figured as much. She started to explain to me that I was the one that you trusted the most so who could possibly be better to protect the people and village you loved than me? I didn't really have an answer and the more I thought about it, I didn't trust anybody else to protect the people of Konoha the way you would have either - but myself. I cursed at her for being so conniving, but inwardly I was glad she put it in perspective for me. I wanted to become Hokage for you and your dreams for Konoha. So tomorrow, I'll accept Tsunade's offer and become Rokudaime - Konoha's Sixth Hokage.

            Thank you, Naruto. For everything you've done for me. I'll protect your beloved village with my life. And never forget - that I love you.


            Kakashi watched from the shadows as his normally silent ex-student spilled his heart out to the gravestone inscribed "Uzumaki Naruto". Kakashi usually came to the graveyard about this time every night in order to pick up one Uchiha Sasuke that had once again cried himself to sleep upon his best friend's grave. But tonight was different. Kakashi noticed Sasuke's cheeks were still wet from tears but tonight there were no new tears trickling down the young man's face.

            He witnessed as Sasuke gave a bittersweet smile and kissed Naruto's name before standing up and heading in the opposite direction of where Kakashi was hiding. A smile flitted across Kakashi's face and he hoped to the heaven's that Sasuke was coming out of the depression that he had been in since Naruto's death.

            Kakashi stood up and walked over to Naruto's grave. Crouching down, he laid a hand upon the headstone and whispered into the night "Hey Naruto? You don't know how lucky you are to have someone that loves you so much" and Kakashi disappeared in swirl of wind and chakra.

            After that night, Kakashi noticed the flowers never stopped appearing on Naruto's grave but never again did he have to pick up a cried-to-sleep Sasuke.


Just a depressing one-shot that was bugging me to get itself written. If you didn't catch it, this fic was heavily influenced by the song 'Gone Away' by the Offspring.