Disclaimer: I do not own. Kishimoto-sama owns "Naruto".
Pairing: Naruto and Sasuke
Warning: Uhm... a bit of loooove maybe.Doesn't think it has to be warned about. Well, whatever. Read on own risk.
An umbrella for one swiftly became one for two
Seated on a bridge in the middle of a raining night wasn't his first guess the Uchiha heir would have picked for a brooding moment. He could faintly distinguish the black haired teen on the slippery bridge down the hill. The bridge itself ended mysteriously far out in the water and by the looks of it, the boy was seated with his legs dangling off the left rim. Small splashes of water, created by the miserable teen, echoed through the vacant area, hitting his ears like an unhappy tune. The grass-hill was the fine line between watching and glaring, on his part.
An umbrella protected him from the nippy rain that had cascaded the village for more than five days, even though he wasn't getting wet as the Uchiha heir he froze all the same. The sight before him sent shills down his spine, but he couldn't understand why to the fullest. Maybe it was because the heir had never shown this sort of emotion before or maybe it was because he, himself, cared about him more than he wanted to admit.
Fog had started to climb over the shore and up the hill. Making out the heir now became more difficult and the grip around the umbrella hardened. Frustration overcame him and forced him to make a decision he didn't want to make yet. Watching a down Uchiha heir like this was one in a lifetime, he wanted to know what was going to happen.
Sound coming from the bridge filled his senses like never before. He could perceive the weak sound of sighing and nails digging into wood. Feet splashing water so timidly at first made then and again furiously outbursts, killing the tense mood yet failed since it came back all to quickly. Minutes passed and pools of water gathered around his feet, forcing him to step onto the grass. The hill almost invited him to lie down and roll all the way downhill to the boy. But as wet as it was the thought disappeared as quickly as it came.
He had watched him for nearly an hour in the rain before he gave up. He had wished, deep inside, that the brooding teen would have pulled himself together and walked home. It would have made it mush easier on both parts. But as the boy still sat at the rim, after an hour, the boy with the umbrella couldn't take it anymore. He wasn't going to let a fine sparring partner go to waste due to a cold or suicide. Well, that was the motive he told himself.
Unseen and unheard he made his way down the hill. Shoes meeting wet steps made out of marble. He had once heard that workers had helped each other, a long time ago, building these steps to make it easier on both parties shipping groceries up and down the hill to waiting sailors and handlers. As the story goes on it's explained that on a rainy night an expecting woman fell due to the slippery steps and the place had since then been marked as a ghostly place. All treaty between handlers and sailors came to an abrupt halt and now only courageous children dared entering the area and bathe in the water. He, himself, had never cared about the story and it only entered his mind for the first time in years because of how easy it would have been to accidentally trip and fall. When thinking about it even more he couldn't help but think that the brooding teen seemed to be mourning. Maybe someone had sat there, mourning the pregnant woman after her death and maybe feeling such a great loss that the water seemed like an inviting way to end ones life.
The thought made him trot faster in the fog, expecting to see dark hair go underwater and the sounds to stop. A sigh escaped his lips, so quiet that it wasn't heard by anyone except himself, when he saw that the boy still sat. When shoes met wet wood a clicking sound broke the silent, making him frown at the unsuspected sound. He would have believed that the boy in the rain would have noticed, or maybe he did but didn't care. It could be considered sneaking up to him, but he didn't mean to. Taking his time, during walking closer, he waited for some kind of remark or indication that he had been noticed. Yet, nothing came.
A meter or two from the brooding teen was his queue to stop. He must have noticed, since all activity stopped. An umbrella for one swiftly became one for two as he stood beside him, looking out on the water. He couldn't think of anything else than how cold he must be. The wind was colder and harsher down here than it had been up the hill and the way the teen's clothes clutched to his wet body couldn't make it any warmer.
They had not spoken yet and the silence was breathtaking. He knew it wouldn't benefit either of them if he landed some kind of nifty remark on why he was in out in the rain, so he didn't. It had to be serious for the brooding teen to sit there, not punching him for standing so close or sharing his umbrella with him. It wouldn't help anyone if he teased him. The fact that he didn't feel like upsetting the boy further out of sheer friendship was locked up and hidden. He might say that they had a friendship, though the line between friendship and rivalry was thin. They rather thought of it as a team-mate thing, nothing fancy or deeper. Maybe they were fooling themselves, the thought made his head hurt. He shook himself out of his stupor and looked down to the boy. He looked as miserable as he had done from a great distance, but now he could see it up close.
A swift bow and one hand clasped around another one. A cold hand fell still in his, tensed and alert yet no one said anything. The umbrella-clad boy yanked the teen to his feet. He didn't protest at first, just let himself be pulled. The dry mark that was left on the bridge where he had sat was quickly covered by the falling rain. The umbrella shielded them still but a few seconds passed before the teen tried to shy away from both roof and hold. Yet, the owner of the umbrella didn't let go of his hand. Instead he pulled him closer and started walking back to the steps. He could feel the boy's objection in the way he tried to take back his hand, but he kept dragging him along. When halfway up the steps he whispered softly over his shoulder, not looking over it to see the dark look on his friend's face.
"Come with me." There was no answer, just a meekly sigh.
A brisk walk took them to his apartment. The rain hadn't let up and no one had thought it would. A few windows were lit with warming light, almost inviting them on their way home to knock on the door for some warmth. His own apartment looked dark and had no lamps on. If he didn't know how it looked like inside he would have thought it was abandoned. He almost smiled at the thought of his warm bed. Never letting go of the hand he had clasped in his he opened the door. Then he quickly let go of the teen and pushed him inside before him, shook the umbrella from its water and followed suit. The door shut behind him and he locked it in a reflex.
It was dark and he had problem making out the brooding teen who had yet not spoken a single word since yesterday. He turned on the lights in the small apartment and when both boys had taken off their shoes he once again pulled the boy closer. He led him firmly to the bathroom, pushed him inside and told him to shower; he would bring clothes right away. The dark haired teen did as he was told and when the door shut behind him water could soon be heard.
Clothes were brought forth and put on the floor outside the bathroom, a yell told the showering teen where they were put and the owner of the apartment started warming something to drink. He wasn't sure if he wanted to know why his friend was depressed or if he just wanted to be there for him. He wasn't planning on questioning him since when he had done it prior this night he had always ended up with a bruised cheek or something worse. If he needed to talk he would be there but nothing more and nothing less.
By the time he was done showering and had put on the baggy clothes the owner to them stood outside, offering him a cup of something steaming hot. Neither looked in each others eyes and the tension was thick. The blonde coughed.
"I forgot you didn't like sweets like hot-chocolate, would you like tee instead?" The black haired did neither answer nor look up. "I guess neither then…" he sidestepped and entered the kitchen, which was open to the whole apartment since all was in the same, big, room except for the bathroom.
It bewildered him that the heir hadn't spoken by now. Usually the teen would find something to complain about, especially about things which he had made. He frowned and poured both drinks in the sink, he wasn't feeling up to it anymore. Shuffling of feet was suddenly heard, very faint yet it was there. They headed towards the couch and stopped.
He flinched when his name was mentioned; it was said with a bitter voice, which wasn't so unusual coming from the brooding teen but it sounded dead to his ears. He shut his eyes and cleared his throat, not moving from his spot at the sink.
He waited for a reply but none came, apparently there was nothing to be said. Maybe that was Sasukes way of thanking him, but Naruto couldn't be sure. He turned around and met his eyes for the first time this night. Sasuke stood next to the couch, looking at him through sad eyes. Suddenly he felt some sort of regret taking him here; he wasn't very good at talking with Sasuke in general so what made him think that talking to a depressed one would make it easier?
He sighed deeply and looked away, rested back against the sink with his elbows supporting him. Sasuke didn't move from his spot. Naruto's cheeks flushed red when a thought entered his mind. Sasuke sure looked good in the warm light from his few lamps. He was feeling jealous all of a sudden. Sasuke always looked good; even if it was on the battlefield or if it was in his own living-room, sad and wet hair against his fair skin. He was beginning to feel angry. Sasuke didn't often falter but when he did no one gave him a hard time over it, Naruto had it different. When Sasuke was down; people wanted to help him but when he, himself, was down… then nobody even knew. He frowned and pushed himself off the counter.
"You take the bed." He didn't know why he was being so generous when he felt like doing everything else than generosity at the moment. "I'm tired so move."
He walked over to Sasuke and pushed him aside, plopped down on the comfy couch and pulled an itchy blanket over himself. "Turn off the lights on your way", he said determined and turned around so he showed his back to Sasuke.
Soon the apartment fell in darkness. Naruto opened his eyes and wondered idly if Sasuke had fallen asleep already. He rolled on his back again and crossed his arms on his chest. He wasn't really sleepy at all; he just wanted to get away from Sasukes eyes for awhile. He didn't know how to deal with them yet since he wasn't going to ask what the matter was. He listened to Sasukes movements not far from him. They sounded disturbed in some ways, because Naruto knew from experience that Sasuke moved rather little during sleep. Throughout missions he had often slept beside him or sat beside him when on firewatch. Sasuke slept like a log, but this log could easily be awoken. You just had to pretend to pose a threat and this log would fly at you and try to kill you. Naruto knew, because he had tried. He sighed, rolling his eyes.
He wasn't sure, but it felt like hour passed. He couldn't sleep but he was guessing Sasuke had fallen asleep. He sighed loudly. Suddenly he noticed that the rain had stopped. It was great, but he was sure a lot had been washed away during the period. He just hoped that the feeling of uneasiness could be washed away as well. He didn't know how to handle Sasuke in the morning. Perhaps he would be long gone when he woke up, he hoped.
All of a sudden his ears perked up. He listened intently to hear the sound again. It was a low noise, like when someone scuffs ones feet. He pretended to sleep and rolled on his side so he could glimpse at whoever was walking around. He knew it was Sasuke, but he didn't know why. Maybe he was leaving. Yet, the sound came closer and stopped where he knew his little living-room-table was. A squeaking sound pierced through the room when Sasuke sat down on it. Naruto squeezed his eyes shut and tried to breathe normally.
Sasuke did nothing to him except for watching and Naruto grew impatient after a few minutes. He opened his eyes slowly and could see the slight contour of Sasuke's body. He didn't move, Sasuke didn't move and neither spoke. What did he want?
"Didn't know I was so appealing to you that you had to watch me secretly in the dark", Naruto said cynically but didn't move from his spot. He both saw and heard Sasuke flinch.
"I didn't know you were awake." A dark voice sliced through the eerie apartment.
"Does it matter? You're watching me, that's the problem."
"Is it a crime to watch you?"
Then it fell silent for a long time. Neither moved nor talked. Suddenly Sasuke's voice could be heard again, almost scaring Naruto.
"Should I quit?"
Naruto raised a brow in the dark. "Quit what? Watching me? Well… it's kind of creepy…"
"Should I stop being a ninja, idiot?"
Naruto almost choked. "What?! Why would you? Apparently I'm not the stupid one!"
He could hear Sasuke sigh. "Maybe…"
"What about… you know…"
"I'm too weak", Sasuke coughed suddenly, startling Naruto. "I get a cold easily and break. A ninja like that should reconsider."
Naruto stared into dark. "Bullshit. Is that why you were out there? Testing if you would get sick?" He didn't get an answer. "You're human damn it, of course you would get sick. It's freezing out there."
"Humans are weak", Sasuke growled.
"Well, what's the problem? Everyone is human… more or less", he filled in quietly.
"You're not, and if I'm not stronger than you then I have no chance killing him."
"Is that why you were watching me? Trying to find some hidden agenda behind my power?"
"No… not really. Felt like watching that's all." Sasuke answered timidly.
"You could have just asked, because I have nothing." Naruto ignored Sasukes prior statement.
"If you have nothing, then why are you so strong?" he cried loudly as if he'd needed to get some aggression out of his system. "You got something I don't, and it's not only because of the nine tailed! It's something else!"
Naruto couldn't tell if Sasuke was angry or sad. All he knew was that it was stupid. "Sasuke, for once it's you and not me who should stop comparing us. You're just upset, you're not seeing things straight… go to bed again."
"Why are you so persistent? You're acting weird…" Naruto was beginning to feel worried.
"I- I'm… cold."
"Well, get a blanket then… and stop watching me."
"On the inside. I feel colder than usual. I'm drained. Hate is a heavy burden to carry and I'm sick of it. I can't live on hate anymore, I'm giving it up. I thought I would've die tonight, I even accepted it but you came. I don't understand why you led me away, but you did… But now, when I don't live for hate anymore… I have nothing except for…"
"Me", Naruto filled in involuntarily and quickly clasped a hand over his mouth.
It became as quiet as before. Naruto regretted his words but couldn't take them back. Something in the back of his mind ranted about how he wished Sasuke would say it was so, that he was wanted and needed.
"Sort of…", Sasuke suddenly answered and Naruto held his breath. "I only have you, and you have everything already. I'm just a watcher, wishing for some room. I feel ridiculous right now…"
His heart was beginning to race, however, he found himself extending his hand. He didn't know what he was doing and was going to pull it back but a shaking hand could suddenly be found in his. His heart jolted. Sasukes hand in his felt rather right, and nice. His hand fitted exactly inside his own as if it what meant. His anger was swiftly replaced by affection. The same concern that had flooded his heart at the bridge filled him again and he smiled heartily. The smile continued to grace the blondes face as he pulled the hand closer, forcing Sasuke to get up and walk. When Sasukes knees bumped into the edge of the couch he pulled him down even further.
"Is there enough room?"
Naruto smiled at the face before him. "We'll have to make room."
Soon the boys could be found in a tight embrace on a small couch. Naruto could not have imagined that the strong Sasuke would be the same brooding boy he saw on the bridge that night and the one he now had in his arms, snuggling into his neck and sprawled over his body to fit. He had his arms tightly wrapped around Sasuke and the other had his around Naruto's torso, holding onto his shirt. The morning was coming soon and neither of them had gotten any sleep, but it really didn't matter now. Their legs were intertwined and Naruto chuckled when he felt Sasuke's toes playing with his under the itchy blanket.
"Naruto…", he whispered onto Naruto's sensitive flesh next to his ear. Naruto felt a shill making its way down his spine and smiled.
"Yeah?" he asked and rubbed a hand up and down Sasuke's back.
"Thank you, for bringing me back."
"My pleasure. I would miss you if you went away, you know."
"That's good to know." Sasuke smiled against his neck. "Would you mind doing something for me?"
Naruto blushed. "Depends on what you're thinking about."
Sasuke smirked and ran a finger along Narutos jaw-line.
"By a new umbrella… yellow rubber ducks belong in the bathroom, not on an umbrella. It's ridiculous."
If you like, you can review. That would make my day.
/ Tsuki no Kitsune