26. Replace

Naruto woke up to the pleasant feeling of something warm and wet sliding over his lips. He slowly opened his eyes finding messy spikes right in front of him, accompanied by almodn-shaped eyes, closed and a warm soft hand was snaking its way up his arm to the back of his head. Naruto smiled and lifted his head a bit, eyes closing again and opening his mouth to allow Sasuke's tongue to slide in slowly in a deep kiss.

He exhaled when the butterflies in his stomach started to move up and explode in his mind at the sensation of Sasuke's taste and velvet tongue fighting with his own over dominance in his mouth. Sasuke moaned as Naruto started to fight back and slid his hand up to the back of his head, tangling his fingers in the unruly jet black hair and pulling him closer to make the kiss as deep as they could

Naruto felt himself harden and grinned into the kiss, finding Sasuke in the same position as the muscular body slid more in top of his, his own erection digging into his thigh.

"Hm.." He moaned, his other hand moving up the other man's thigh and squeezing the firm cheeks of his ass, massaging them with his strong fingers.

Sasuke broke the kiss and looked down, the dark eyes dilated and hazed, half asleep and yet already filled with a good dose of lust in them. He didn't wait much longer and went for the tanned skin on Naruto's neck, nibbling and kissing the smooth skin under his jaw and earlobe.

Naruto took that as an invitation to kiss the pale earlobes and sucking on it, making Sasuke stop for a few seconds before he continued on the neck. He never realised ears were Sasuke's soft spot, he thought with a chuckle and deciding to pay some more attention to them.

Sasuke however had other plans and moved down to suck on one of Naruto's pink nipples, earning him a moan in disappointment from Naruto, since now he couldnt reach the soft earlobes anymore, and pleasure as the sensitive nipple was rubbed and licked.

He arched back, both hand now buried in the dark hair to keep Sasuke to the good spot, only to follow along when the head moved to the other nipple.

"Hmm.. Sasuke.." He groaned, delighted he could wake up in such a wonderful way.

"Good morning.." Sasuke whispered, turning his attention to the other nipple once more.

"Oh yeah.. good morning.. good morning.." He hissed as Sasuke bit the pink flesh slightly.

Sasuke slid his hands down Naruto's chest and to his abdomen but before he reached where Naruto had wanted him, he abruptly stopped and he got to his feet. Naruto flinched, the comfortable sweet heat that had been surrounding him was gone and replaced by a chilly cold. He shivered and opened his eyes, groaning since the feeling was like cold water had been poured over him after having soaked in a hottub for hours.

"Ahn.. Sasuke.." He whined, sitting up and rubbing his head in disappointment, trying to wake up and ignore the thought that just now had just been a dream.

Sasuke's head popped up from around the corner of the bathroom, a purple toothbrush sticking out of his mouth.

Naruto frowned.

"Do I taste that bad?" He asked the handsome young man, only earning him a smirk in reply and some words impossible to hear with the white foam in his mouth.

"What was that?" Naruto asked him, getting up himself and stretching, looking as if he was trying to reach the ceiling.

Some gurgling and spitting sounds were heard followed by the shower being turned on, steam curling around the corners of the door as heat filled the small white room.

"I said, no, you are delicious actually." Sasuke told him from somewhere inside the bathroom. "Sorry." He added with an audible chuckle.

"Argh.." Naruto groaned, sifting through his discarded clothes. "Why did you stop then? That was the best wake-up call I have ever had you know.." He sniffed one of his shirts and looked at where Sasuke's voice came from when the answer came.

"I know.." Sasuke replied, walking from one side of the bathroom to the other where the shower was, completely naked and taking extra long steps to show off his perfectly shaped muscles, head bent a little to show a seductive smile to the awed Naruto, who had dropped the shirt instantly.

"Aw Sasuke.." He started to go to the bathroom as well and lock the pretty boy up in the shower all day long with himself inside the tiny cubicle too, of course.

Sasuke had predicted he would do that and held up the palm of his hand straight in front of Naruto's face, like a silent sign to stop whatever he was doing.

"Later." He said simply, winked and then vanished in the thick cloud of steam of the hot shower.

Naruto growled and went to gather his clothes. Blasted Sasuke, he thought with a smile plastered on his face. How he hated the seducing Sasuke.. especially if he couldnt do anything about it later. And he hated it even more when he had been tempted as much as Sasuke had done just before he left to take a shower. A shower for crying out loud..

He hugged himself tightly as if he was cold. Such a nice way to wake up and he had really hoped they could go all the way again.

"It's not fair.." He muttered like a small kid.

A few minutes later Sasuke emerged from the shower, finding a still pouting Naruto on a seat near the window.

"Lets see Tsunade later on alright?" Sasuke asked as he got dressed in his usual black clothes, leaving his chuunin jacket on a chair, not considering it necessary to wear it today.

"Uhn.." Naruto replied.

Both fell into a silence, not really uncomfortable but just that they didn't feel like talking untill Naruto opened his mouth in a deep sigh before speaking again.

"Did you notice?" He asked, staring out of the window still.

"Notice what?" Sasuke replied, brushing his hair absentmindedly.

"Leafs are starting to color, fall is starting.."


"Yeah. I don't know why I didn't notice before, but suddenly it struck me how red some of the leafs were starting to become and how many were on the ground already."

"Not many people care."

"No.. and why not I wonder sometimes. When I was alone.." He sighed.

"What?" Sasuke looked up, hopeful he could find out more about Naruto's past, still covered in shrouds to him.

"Well, when I was alone in the mountains, the fall always signaled danger in one way or another." He paused. "It meant the weather was going cold and that I had to make a more permanent shelter and if I did that I would expose myself more."

"Expose? If you built a good shelter then you would be more secured I think."

"No, it wasnt like that." He paused again, sliding a hand through his blonde hair apparently thinking hard. "Aw man.."

"Just tell me."

"But what if you-"

"Just be honest alright? I've seen enough bad things in my life and I don't think what you want to see is that horrible, right?"

"Maybe not.."

"Try it."

"Well it was like this. If I settled in a place for too long then I could be found more easily and that would be very dangerous, not to mention the biting cold of the mountains in winter. You know how winter in the mountains start in September and only ends in May, there is hardly anything like fall or spring. So when the leaves fall I had to hurry to make a solid shelter. Blizzards come quickly there."

"Why didn't you leave the mountains then?" Sasuke asked him and slid a chair in front of Naruto and flopped down on it, arms crossed as a silent request to 'fess up.

"Even more dangerous."


"Aw man.. I was wanted, alright? Happy now? I was wanted, hunted and searched by virtually every nin on the loose."

Sasuke's eyes widened in partial shock. The happy go-lucky Naruto wanted?

"You must have messed up pretty bad then when you were away."

"Yes.. and no.."


Naruto sighed, wondering if he should tell Sasuke about what had happened, what he had done and what he had become. For a second he refused to do so and to keep things as they were but then again his memories were a part of him now and Sasuke had a right to know.. no matter how he would react.

"Alright." He cleared his throat. "Ever heard of Yato Ranaku?"

"Yeah, that was your name when you came here."

"No I mean, before I came here."

Sasuke thought for a few seconds before he discovered why the name had sounded so familiar when Naruto had introduced himself under that name in Konoha. He had heard it before and the longer he thought about it, the less the memory of it pleased him. As far as he could remember, the ninja called Yato had been an assassin, a very deadly and silent one who wore a name that perfectly described his way of moving and killing.

"Yes, I remember. Yato was a ruthless assassin we were all warned of a few years ago. Lee had a terrible fascination with the guy."

"You called me a myth since I wasnt able to do a Bunshin. I remember quite clear."


"I didn't pick that name for no reason.." He sighed. "I really am Yato, no matter how much I hate it."

"I don't believe you.. You can't be like that guy, not in the least." Sasuke hissed. "You were never capable to kill, let alone build up a fearful reputation like the name Yato had."

Naruto exhaled and slapped his hands on his knees, groaning faintly.

"Would you just believe me? I'm not as worthless as you think I am."

Sasuke stopped his torrent and looked at the pain that shone so brightly in Naruto's face. He knew immediately this was serious, Naruto was trying to tell him something really important and the subject was delicate enough with the blonde shinobi that he had better shut up and hear him out.

Sasuke caressed Naruto's cheek and lifted his chin, planting a featherlight kiss on the full lips, resting his forehead against Naruto's.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that."

"Just listen.. please? I have to get tell it now or I'll shut up forever and lock it so far away nobody will ever know about it again."

Sasuke nodded and leaned back again, ready to immerge himself into Naruto's history and whatever pain it brought with it, willing to take over some of the pain that Naruto still felt after all this time.

"I am Yato.. I changed my name when I was in a desert village, a few months after I left. The sun had started to scar my skin and I had only recently started to develop the jutsu I wore when I came here. You know, to control the temperature of the air a few millimetres above my skin. I had spent too much time in the desert and I was exhausted when I reached the village. The kyuubi had given me enough power to keep on going but after two weeks without water we were both so drained we had to find water. And fast."

Sasuke nodded, allowing Naruto to continue his story.

"But we never expected water to be that expensive in that village. Now that I think back to it I can easily see why, water is precious in a country that only consists of mere sand, and water is buried deep, very deep, in the ground. I had to find money to pay for it, but I had used everything up in the months prior to our arrival at.. heh.. so stupid.. at a fair where they sold some wicked masks." He chuckled, shaking his head at his stupidity at that time.

"Some guy saw me throw a fight with the owner of a store that sold water. Heh, I was so angry he wouldnt give me even one glass of water for free.. Anyway, the guy asked me if I was a ninja and I said that I was, but that I was a missing nin, having run away from my village and I never told him where I came from. He told me he had a job for me, seeing how strong I was and that he would pay me for it, enough to buy enough water for weeks.
I must have been crazy with dehydration..

I accepted it, as long as I could get water. I had to beat some guy up for him because he had stolen money. So I went over and questioned the guy, he denied everything and showed me the money he had been saving, or so he said. He refused to give it to me so I beat him up.. bad.. and took the money back to my employer who paid me a huge amount of money. I was exstatic. I had helped a man getting his money returned, I had earned a 'finders fee' and I could buy all the water in the world.

If only things worked that easily.. The next day the town was buzzing that the mayor had been beaten up and robbed. I went to get an explanation from the guy who hired me, feeling incredibly stupid to have failed to get proper information, and of course, I couldnt find the guy anywhere. I had no name to ask for, just 'the guy who hired me' and he was gone with all the money. I was sensible enough to use a cover name because well.. I didn't want people to think 'Oh, there is Uzumaki Naruto again.' and blame Konoha for what I did. Who knows, I was pretty notorious at the time."

Naruto paused and picked up a leaf that had fallen on the window ledge.

"That's how it started. I had to do more jobs sometimes to get money and pay for a certain kind of medicin, or water, or food or new shoes when mine were thrashed.."

"That's not that bad.." Sasuke softly said.

"That's what you think."


"I'm not done yet.."

"Alright. Keep talking, I'll go get us something to drink alright?"


Sasuke got up from his chair and walked to his kitchen but turned around just before he reached the fridge.

"Keep talking." He shouted when he was out of sight. "I can hear you fine."

"Alright." Naruto mumbled, taking a deep breath.

"One day I was in the mountains and I had built up a pretty heavy reputation for being very swift and silent when I had to ambush someone. I don't know, but I was always refused when I wanted to do a good job, I'm sure I didn't look very loyal to normal people.. my hair a mess and my skin scarred and tanned, so I always got asked by, oh.. who knows.. I never knew names or residences.. It never went directly and I only did it when I needed the money real bad. People started to recognise the guy called Yato and I was shunned by various villages and had to resort to hiding in the mountains untill.. Well one day.. Hm.." He hesitated.

Sasuke looked around the corner and found Naruto with his head leaning on his fists, his mind off somewhere far away and his face twisted in a painful frown. He quickly poured the glasses full with orange juice and without bothering to put the jug back into the fridge, he hurried back to the bedroom and he placed the large glass in front of Naruto, who didn't look up.

After a while, Naruto's blue eyes swiveled to outside again and Sasuke followed his gaze, tracing a fallen leaf after another.

"One day.." Naruto whispered. "I was asked to kill a village leader."

A few minutes passed. Sasuke felt tempted to ask him why, what he had done, or what had happened, but he decided to leave it till Naruto continued. If he did. Oh, he would.

"I was sick at the time, I remember having a terrible fever that wouldnt go down. I can't remember a lot afterwards. Just a huge fight and my arm was smashed by an iron pipe, shattering it. I was furious and wanted it to be over and my mind went blank. All I remember of it afterwards is blood. So.. much.. blood. My god Sasuke, so much blood. I lost my kunai and I found it in the throat of a young man in a corner, his arms broken off. I had gone with a group of other nins, four of us in all.. I remember the blood.. " He lowered his voice to a mere whisper. "So much blood.. everywhere. I had killed them all. All of them. I slit their throats and carved into their chests. I remember one of the nins laughing loudly and then everything went black. A terrible dark red black and I wished I never woke up again after what I had done."

Sasuke had dropped his glass and stared at Naruto, whose eyes had slowly started to fill with tears untill one flowed down his cheek and Naruto didn't bother to wipe it away and Sasuke wondered if he had noticed it at all.

"...I woke up. It was night. I couldnt see a thing. I could only feel cold torn-up flesh around me and slippery cold blood. I smelled blood. It was everywhere. My hands, my face, my clothes, everything was sticky with blood and I panicked. Had to get out of there as soon as I could and I found myself all alone. My kunai's were gone and all I had was my konoha headband that I had sown into my jacket and Tsunade's necklace twisted as a lace in my shoe. My money, my kunai, all of my few possessions were gone and in the distance I could hear the dogs bark and the voices of men. I knew they had betrayed me and I had to get out of there as soon as possible. I don't remember much after that, just this terrifying feeling of being chased by dogs with blood all over me and snow everywhere. My head hurt and my arm was shattered, I had to call out the kyuubi to help me get power to adjust my temperature and change my appearance and to run as fast as I could. I don't remember how far or how long I must have run, but it felt like days. Everything was cold and wet. I ended up in a cave very far away and stayed there for two weeks, trying to get the kyuubi to heal me, but it didn't work. I lost my fever partially and I got out at night to find berries and I lived off that."

Naruto shivered as if he felt the cold of that night all over again, tears streaming down his face now but he didn't blink even once, lost in his memory, staring at something unknown in the distance.

"... I'll never forget the pure hatred I felt for myself. This disgusting cursed body, covered in blood and always cold. I wanted to die sometimes, but I never did. The blood covered my clothes and at a point I ripped them off and threw them out of the cave but the bitter cold made me pull them on again. The only way to get rid of it was to find as many berries I could, buried deep beneath the snow and crush them and dye my clothes with them so they would be a purple instead of the rusty color of blood. I never got rid of the smell of the blood.. I still smell it sometimes and I don't think I'll ever lose it.

And then I had to get out and move on. I walked and walked with crudely made blades of flint and ran into a group of bandits. I was sick, the fever still hadnt gone and the wound on my arm was still open and the leaves I put on it couldnt close the wound at all. It didn't bleed or get infected, but I was too weak to have my body heal it naturally, it was too severe. The bandits gave me some food and when I told them my name they welcomed me amongst them and even gave me some of their loot, some old clothes and I could finally burn the blood-stained ones I had. My name was enough to make them respect me, or rather, my reputation. And we hunted, and I killed again and again, numb as I was and I felt like having lost the one called Naruto forever. I can never go back to who I was. I became ruthless and killed without remorse. that's when my name grew even more notorious and I became the one called Yato completely, killing without a sound. But I could only hold out so long, my arm was becoming more painful every day and I knew I had to get it treated. But Yato would never be treated. Everyone feared me. And when one bandit dared to rob me while I was sleeping I slid his throat and left the gang. I knew I was close to Konoha.

I wondered around the forest for a few days before I gave up and broke my promise and I sneaked into the village. Kakashi found me before I found him.. He knew everything as soon as I told you my name and they still let me stay.. I couldn't tell them about the kyuubi.. After all I did, after all I killed... Uhn...Uhuhn.. "

Naruto bent over, face buried in the hands on his kness when he finally gave in to his tears and he started to cry relentlessly.

Sasuke dropped to his knees and pulled Naruto into a hug, crushing him as close as he could against him.

"I killed so many people Sasuke.." He whispered through his sobs. "So many people.. Innocent, guilty, I don't remember.. I killed so many people.."

"Shh..." Sasuke patted him on the back softly, burying his nose into the thick blonde locks of Naruto. "It's alright.."

"It will never be alright... Huhn.. I.. I died that day.. I killed those men.." He sniffed loudly and gripped the black fabric of Sasuke tight, never wanting to let go. "I'm not Naruto anymore.."

"You're still Naruto.. You'll always be Naruto.." Sasuke hushed in a whisper, the intense pain of his lover now pouring into his heart when reality hit him hard. He pulled him even closer.

"Naruto is dead.. I still smell their blood.. oh god.. all that blood.. I should have died instead.."

Sasuke was hit by the severe grief and sorrow in his voice and he felt his own eyes moisten as tears made their way to his eyes. He could feel the pain Naruto had but he knew he would never know the real pain and it struck him hard that this pain was already unbearable, to hear his loved one talk in such a manner and to have gone through such a horrible thing, and he knew he could never even fathom the real pain Naruto was in. Not if the pain he felt was already so strong it overwhelmed all his senses.

"They.. shouldnt have died. I wished they had taken me.." Naruto continued. "I still wish.."

"Don't say that.. Please.. don't say that." Sasuke told him.


"Listen to me." Sasuke pushed Naruto away for a moment to look deep into the hazed blue eyes. "What you did.. What happened.. every shinobi would have done the same. You needed to survive."

"Listen!" Naruto shouted. "I killed! I shouldnt have killed! Nobody should kill! Ever!"

Sasuke chuckled even though tears welled up in the corner of his eyes.

"Hear that? that's Naruto.. Naruto never wanted to kill, but you had to. Like every other jounin that was caught, like every.. Anbu.. Nobody blames you, Naruto. You are still Naruto. Please.. believe me when I tell you this, you are still the same." He wiped a strand of bright blond hair out of Naruto's face. "You are still the same cheery obnoxious loud and positive boy I grew to love all those years ago. The only diffirence is you grew up, things happened to you. I stayed the same boring person I was then.. But I got you back now and you make me burn with a fire I have never felt before and that's what makes you Naruto. Not what you did in the past, not what will happen in the future, but who you are now. And now you are here, with me and I need you with me."


"Please, don't ever talk about wanting to die instead again." A single tear flowed down his cheek and his voice sounded forced as if he was having difficulties holding back. "I need you, now, who you are now. Naruto.."

Naruto crushed him in a tight hug, making Sasuke gasp for air.

"Stay like this, with me.." He whispered.

His whole soul screamed out for the warmth Sasuke was giving him in word and body. He wanted to soak it up and seal it into his memory and replace the cold that had been flowing through his veins for so long. He needed to replace the white of the snow by the soft white of Sasuke's skin, the blood that still seemed to linger on his hands by Sasuke's smell and the pain in his mind craved the deep voice of Sasuke to soothe it, to make the pain go away and replace it with a warmth that he could only get from the one he loved.

Naruto had started to cry again, pouring out all of his pain in a long wail that he had held back far too long. He needed Sasuke beside him now, covering him with his whole being as he opened up and bared his soul. He threw out all his feelings, sometimes shouting into nothingness and then whispering against the soft skin of Sasuke's shoulder. He slammed into the ground with his fist and bruised his fingers, only to have them kissed by the dark shinobi, like a father that kissed his hurt son's hands better. He went silent and had Sasuke talk to him, comforting him and taking away his doubts and his pain by every word the younger man said to him. Sometimes he talked and talked, about minor things, about the gruesome things that still haunted him at night. He sometimes just cried and Sasuke cried with him, taking over some of the deep hurt on his soul and as time went by and more leaves fell down, sometimes blowing into the room, Naruto slowly felt the ice on his being melt away.

In the end they both just breathed, buried in eachothers arms. Just breathing, just feeling alive and feeling the other mans chest rise and fall in an everlasting rythem as old as time.