Title: That's Why

Pairing: None really, but Naruto and Sasuke central. Sasunaru if you squint sideways and read between the lines, but can be taken as friendship.

Note: It's been quite awhile since I've caught up on Naruto or written, so my apologises for any incorrect facts. If you tell what's wrong and how to fix it, I'd gladly go about it! Also, I still don't own Naruto.


Looking at the picture of Team Seven on his nightstand, Naruto noticed that they all looked... happy. At that moment captured in time, it wasn't about proving to the village that he would one day be worthy of being the Hokage, or about getting vengeance for a murdered family, or even winning the love of a boy who'd forgotten what love was. It was just about the three of them and Sensei celebrating the 100th mission together as a team. That had been a good day, and even Sasuke had grudgingly smiled at one point in time. Naruto wanted to see that smile on Sasuke more often, so maybe that was the real reason why he wanted to bring Sasuke back to Konoha. He wanted them all to smile more often like that.

It wasn't that Sai wasn't a good teammate, because as weird as he could be, Sai was a good teammate. Or he was learning how to be at least. It also because Yamato wasn't a good Sensei, or that he taught them any better then Kakashi, because if anything at times he was better. But that wasn't the real Team Seven. Yamato wasn't the teacher who had taught them all the true meaning of being a team together, or been the one who had made Sasuke, Sakura and himself realize that being strong or being the best didn't mean you didn't need anyone else. But Naruto thought that maybe Sasuke hadn't learned that lesson well enough given that he'd left Konoha to learn from Orochimaru, so maybe the reason Naruto wanted to being Sasuke back was so he could teach him that lesson a little better.

It also could've been the fact that Sasuke was one of the only people who really saw Naruto as Naruto rather then a monster, but that couldn't have been it either. Every day the village was a little less cold and a little more welcoming to him. Naruto had more friends then he could even keep count of these days. People who would have his back if he needed them to and actually listen to him when he spoke. So it couldn't have been that, but there was still the fact that Sasuke was the only person Naruto had never really defeated, so it could've been that. Maybe he just wanted to teach Sasuke that you didn't have to betray your village to become stronger. Naruto had done just fine without that.

Naruto wasn't even sure he really knew who Sasuke was anymore either. Team Seven had been together for less time then it had been since Sasuke had betrayed Konoha. But then, Naruto thought that maybe he knew Sasuke better then most, despite the time that had passed since they'd been friends. Maybe it was because they were both orphans, despite their vastly different upbringings. He thought that perhaps it was more then that though, it seemed to be more that Naruto and Sasuke were just such opposites that they needed each other. Where Naruto was Sunlight and joy and energy, Sasuke was Moonlight and pensiveness and refinement. Sasuke needed Naruto to be reminded of the reasons why to enjoy life, and Naruto needed Sasuke to be reminded that it is ok somethings to say what you're really feeling rather then just pretending everything is ok all the time. Sasuke balanced out Naruto's ever-refilling mass of energy.

He wasn't really sure why Sasuke hadn't already returned anyway. He'd left Konoha to become stronger and to avenge his clan. Itachi was dead, so why hadn't Sasuke returned? But then, Sasuke seemed to have it out for the entire village now, but that didn't make sense either. Even if the council or the elders had done something stupid, it wasn't the entire village's fault. Tsunade was the Hokage now anyway, so Naruto was sure that whatever stupid thing the village had done she would explain. Why did Sasuke feel the need to punish the entire village for something a few old men had ordered? Why was Sasuke always caught up in getting vengeance anyway? Naruto thought that maybe he wanted to bring Sasuke back to explain this to him. Somebody sure needed to slap him upside the head and make Sasuke see that he was still just a pawn in other people's plans, and Naruto was pretty sure that Sasuke wouldn't like that idea.

But as Naruto stared into Sasuke's eyes from across the field, he thought that it was maybe all these reasons, and so many more. Naruto liked having Sasuke around, he enjoyed it when the two of them beat each other to pieces and liked that Sasuke was the person who pushed Naruto to be even better then anyone else thought he could be. So eventually when Sasuke did ask Naruto why after they head beaten each other down and both lay collapsed on the ground, not knowing if they'd even actually get up again, these were the reasons he said.

Sasuke had eventually turned his head and looked Naruto in his eyes. Naruto thought that maybe Sasuke had given a nod of his head, and said ok, but the blood running between his eyes made it difficult to see. That sounded like Sakura shouting their names, and looked like Kakashi's crazy hair, so Naruto just smiled.

Everything would be ok now.