x Addiction x

x by Ebony x

Notes: I know people will find inaccurate information, and disagree with my thinking. All I ask is you read and leave a review.

I do not own Naruto

Rated T, for non-explicit mentions of sex (nothing near lemon)

xsx

Ask him, and he would've denied it. But somewhere along the line, it became blatant truth. He was addicted to her.

Some days, they would have given anything to have things as they had been before. They had been just children then, no more than twelve years old when they had become team-mates. At first, he held no interest in her whatsoever, while she harboured childish obsession of him. A crush that nearly consumed her, though unrequited, as most crushes are.

As they grew older it blended into mutual trust, though no one was exactly sure when. They became… friends? Yes, that is the best word to describe it. Friends. The juvenility of her emotion towards him slowly faded, and her presence was almost enjoyed by him, though he wouldn't have admitted it then. She stopped pestering him, yes, but never did she think less of him. She still adored him, but instead of blindness, she saw his pain with eyes wide, and with gentle hands reached out to him, coaxing him out of the shadows.

And he came. Slowly but surely, he came to her. The trust grew, blossoming in the light of dawn. A bridge was forged, one that's existence was basically denied. She was unsure, and he didn't want to care. Maybe they were afraid of breaking it. Something so fragile, that took so long to create, and they weren't even sure it was there. So easily it could be crushed. So easily they could fall…

And he fell.

The first time he kissed her, they were sixteen. He had finally come home, a different person almost. But maybe he hadn't changed at all. She forgave him; how could she do anything else? Hoping, hoping so hard he wouldn't hate her, she invited him over for dinner. She was the first one to speak to him, to smile in his presence. And for reason he wasn't quite sure of, he heard himself accept.

It had been just the two of them, silent over the meal. Conversation was vague, if at all. She wanted to listen, but he didn't have anything to say.

As he was leaving, there was only more silence, as if they were waiting for something. Standing in the doorway, their eyes met sorrowfully, and he wondered if she was still with him, waiting across the bridge. So he pulled her to him, and pressed his lips savagely onto hers, making sure she was there, that something was there. He pulled away, and stared at her; at her surprised expression, eyes wide and gleaming. She was there, and he was real.

After a few moments, he disappeared, though she could still feel him, so prevalent. She stood barely alone, dazed, dizzy in emotion she could not yet, and didn't want to name.

The first time he held her was a week from then. It had been raining hard, and the sky was made of grey. He discovered her alone on a bench, wet hot tears mixing with the bitter rain. Her day had been a failure in every sense of the word, and she couldn't handle all the things in her head. So she sat there, alone, hating that he was seeing her in such a state, her clothing and hair plastered tightly to her body as she hung her head. She hated existed. Nothing ever was good enough.

He sat down beside her, just as wet, and listened to her cry without saying anything. His face was expressionless as ever, hard and unfeeling, but it was a mask that was beginning to fall off. And it hurt him to hear her cry like that, the bridge rocking and swinging in the wind. They were still just children, children who had been stolen and forced into the bodies of adults.

So carefully he put his arm around her; his body next to hers, both cold and dripping wet, dripping regret. He told her it was okay, the paint of his mask washing away, down his face and neck. And it was not okay, but okay did not really exist for them, so they did not care. She was too busy memorizing how the moment felt, tasted, sounded. He was too captivated by her emnating warmth.

Neither saw.

The first time they had sex was sort of unexpected, to say the least. It wasn't romantic, or perfect, and could've been considered clumsy, but why judge? To them it was perfect, or as close as they could get. They couldn't see anything else in eachother but the perfect flaws and beautiful mistakes. Perhaps she loved him, and maybe he loved her. But it was hard to tell.

Their relationship had stayed hidden over the year that had passed since he returned, whatever kind of relationship it had been. Just occasionally they would meet eyes, and later would come across one another, in a park, or a spot that held memory they shared. Kisses were few and far in between. They did not tell anyone. They didn't need to. But the visits became more frequent, he would hold her longer, his lips wandered over hers more and more. He was like a ghost that came and went without pattern.

She let him.

He became intrigued by her, found himself thinking about her often. They were at a restaurant, meeting with old friends, as friends. And they were such good liars about it. He was his old self, and she was her new self. It was nearly the same, and they could nearly forget.

In any case, neither could resist the temptation of alcohol, release. At the end of the night, not quite drunk, he insisted on walking her home. To protect… to protect her from everything but his self. They were both just seventeen. So many years before that had come and gone…

He was overwhelmed by the time they reached her doorway. Leaning forward, her kissed her; a kiss flavoured, reluctant to end. She embraced him, lust, love alcohol, and he kissed her harder, infatuation, love, dizziness, and neither could let go, let it end. They shut their eyes, his hands on her skin, letting the clothes slide off. His mask cracked, unable to stand the strain.

It was a first for both. Clumsy, tangled, a bit of blood. He found pieces of himself that he had lost, still broken but healing. He had been shaped, molded, until he barely recognized himself. He was a shadow, a figment, and all he had inside were memories. And all he thought he had to hang onto was her.

He held on so tight.

Waking up next to her, he asked himself why she was so beautiful.

Eventually, it happened again. She had no protests, no qualms, welcoming him and her own longing. And still, it remained unspoken of. Only they knew. It was their secret. And they lied, covered themselves in falsehood. That bridge was theirs, and theirs alone. No other feet would tread upon it. The others didn't need to know. It was their secret.

Sometimes, he would need her. And she would need him too. Sometimes was once a month or so, for a while. Until it became twice a month, then three times a month. Then once a week, twice a week When he went off on missions, there was a dreadful emptiness. Life was normal except for those times.

It was their secret.

It went on like that until they were nearly twenty. And he found he couldn't live a day without her, seeing her, breathing her. He kept her in his mind when he couldn't. And she couldn't bring herself to pull away.

He had nothing.

She couldn't say no.

He told her he loved her, a hushed voice in the dark, words tumbling, surrounding her. And she said them back, more often than not. She believed it, the sounds so wonderful they couldn't be lies. She wanted it to be true so, so bad. Every moment spent, sex, talking, just watching eachother. Every moment was theirs.

Every moment fed his addiction. It wasn't just sex, it was her. He was addicted to her.

And the eventual happened. At twenty and a half years of age, she became pregnant. It was one of the hardest things to tell him. Even harder to look at everyone else when they found out. Yes, everyone all found out, one way or another. It just unwraveled around them, loose strings. They all smiled, politely, congradulating them and wishing them well. Naruto shook his head and laughed, saying how he should've seen it coming. His two best friends. Ino even joked about losing their war. But that was all. No one could really believe it. No one knew what else to say.

A month passed.

And he fell. He fell hard, fast far. He found himself beside a woman he loved so much it tormented him, cutting deep into his heart, deeper as he struggled. She was a drug for him.

He stared at her, and imagined leaving. What else in life was there? Without her, he was just drowning, flailing, lost in himself. Unknowingly, she became a part of him. She was innocent. She did nothing but offer love.

Love he took.

And abused.

And that morning he stared at her, stared at the finger on which he had been planning to put a ring and wondered if he could do it. He tortured himself for hours, watching her sleep. The cold moonlight danced over her naked skin, brightening as the sun rose and coloured the room, tainting her orange like stained glass. Her hair was so soft against his skin, eyes half-closed and hazy.

He stared at her, emptily, and knew he couldn't do it. She smiled at him, and whispered, 'good morning', so softly it nearly killed him.

Her heart, so fragile, was attached to him by a mear thread. He stared at her for the longest time, wondering what would happen if it were to break. If they were to fall. He reached for it, reached for her, brushing cherry coloured strands behind her ear. She watched him, his shattered mask and eyes peircing so hard into her. He opened his mouth to speak, running the thread between his fingers. And the words tumbled out and around them, hanging dead in the air. She stared, half in disbelief, as he stood, already dressed, and snapped the thread.

And they fell.

He stepped outside her house, breathing morning and nursing the wound, infected and deep, that had opened in place of where she had been. He heard her scream, trying not to know.

But she couldn't hate him, even then. She shrieked, and tore at her hair, wanting to cut it all off, to cut out her heart. But she forced herself to stand, to dress and make herself breakfast. She clenched her fist, and stared at his shadow from the window over the sink.

He wished it were raining, so he would have something to blame the wetness making itself known on his own face on.

Because maybe he didn't want to believe it, but Sasuke was addicted to Sakura.

Who was, in turn, addicted to him.

She miscarried a week after he left. Running her hands over her stomach, she wondered constantly where the good had gone. She couldn't hate him, so she convinced herself he had died. When she saw him around town or with friends, she told herself it was nothing but a distorted memory. Though she wanted nothing more than to have him back, she said nothing, did nothing. Just watching him, meeting his empty gaze, before both went on their way. Two strangers… nothing but a memory.

And there was no happy ending.

Just a lonely woman, sitting on a bench, trying to rebuild herself.

And a hollow man, somewhere.

Denying his addiction.

Fin