Disclaimer: Naruto is drawn and written by a fantastically splendid, wonderfully cute, and very talented manga artist Masashi Kishimoto. (Obviously, I don't own it.) On top of that, I don't own the terrific song, Give You Back by Vertical Horizon, which I listened to over and over while writing this chapter.
Story Prompt: After almost ten years, Sasuke returns to Konoha to fulfill the promise he made with Naruto. But what if Naruto isn't waiting for him anymore? What if Naruto moved on - completely? After all, does love really last forever? SasuNaru.
Chapter One Rating: PG13 (for language and sexual relationship)
My E-mail: rosesareblue at ymail dot com (Write me with any comments or suggestions. Remember, there's nothing like feedback that improves an author's moral/writing)
Give You Back
A SasuNaru Fanfiction
I need to know if you were real
'Cause I've been known to get it wrong
Give You Back by Vertical Horizon
Chapter One: Forgetting
The child was absolutely stunning.
He stood, slightly shorter than the boys surrounding him, but there was no way you could possibly overlook him – not even in this large crowd. His glossy blue-black hair was very messy but somehow managed to frame his ivory-white face in all casual elegance. He stood, feet wide apart, shoulders thrown back, with a familiar cocky grin playing on his smooth pink lips. Suddenly, he laughed loudly at something one of his friends said and the feral grin that lingered on his face made denial impossible –
Everything about him made denial impossible.
The silent watcher took in every heartrending detail and allowed it to relentlessly smash all hope he'd managed clutch on to, so preciously, so desperately, all these years. The silky curve of the ivory neck, the strong angle of the chin, the smooth arc of the lithe body, the silly carefree grin, the stupid way that the boy threw his arms about in speech, the healthy grow that radiated from his youthful beauty, the way that the child's booming voice managed to be heard even over the roar of the crowd, how every other sentence ended in an accented '-dattebayo!'
That moment, the Uchiha's intent look attracted the boy's gaze. The child stilled and tilted around to face the raven-haired man. And Sasuke took in a sharp, husky breath.
This last detail confirmed the whole painful truth.
The child was staring at Sasuke with gorgeous, impossibly blue eyes.
The child was staring at Sasuke with Naruto's eyes.
And Sasuke realized he was too late. Much, much too late.
"Dad! Dad!" Uzumaki Amoto pounded down the corridors to the Hokage's office. Rounding the corner too quickly, the hardly poised child skidded into the wall. However, the mighty crash that issued did nothing to deter the black haired boy's enthusiasm. Quickly peeling himself from the (cracked) plaster, Amoto bounded for the closed doors when they were suddenly slammed open.
A dark-haired jounin frantically raced out of the room, crying at the top of his lungs in a hysteric manner, "Naruto-sama! Naruto-sama!"
"Konohamaru nii-chan!" Amoto jerked to a stop and his mouth split into a recognizing grin upon seeing his father's unofficial secretary. "I need to talk to dad cos there's this – "
"I need to talk to your father!" Konohamaru roared, the sound nearly knocking the little boy off his feet. "We have an urgent message from the Kazekage and your father – your father – " The young man sank to his knees and all but bawled.
Question marks flashing around his ivory face, Amoto peered in through the thick wooden doors of the Hokage's office. Behind the huge piles of unfinished paperwork on the desk, he could see a blonde scarecrow with an extremely goofy smile painted on wearing the Hokage's hat. On the red and white brim, a sloppily handwritten note was taped on. It read:
I'm taking a breather. A short one. (Maybe?)
If anyone asks, just pretend I'm here. Okie?
(I'll bring you back something tasty, I swear!)
Amoto's eyebrow twitched in disbelief as one exasperated phrase echoed loudly in his mind.
Amoto called out, kicking off his shoes as he entered the sprawling mansion. The brunette raced down the long hallway into the dining room. As expected, a plate filled with freshly baked cookies along with a cool glass of milk waited for him on the clean table. The first cookie was already in the boy's mouth when the slim woman, wiping her white hands on her apron, walked out of the kitchen to greet her son.
"Okaeri." Hyuuga Hinata smiled at Amoto and, eyeing the untouched glass of milk with amusement, said, "How was your day at the academy?"
Amoto grinned, "Iiien. (Spray of crumbs) Odaa Uorin Tai uotsu…"
Hinata laughed at her son's incomprehensible mumble and lightly ruffled her son's dark hair.
Outwardly, Hinata was no longer the child she used to be: She'd let her black hair grow out and it now fell silkily down her back, nearly to her hips. Her innocent girlishness had matured into an almost heavenly beauty – her large white eyes, flawless ivory skin and long black lashes only added to her already emphasized ethereality. Though she'd born a big healthy boy, her body was unfairly slender and boasted all the luscious curves of a deliciously desirable woman. The fact that Hinata was heartrendingly beautiful coupled with the fact that she was the wife of the most powerful man in Konoha granted her – though the effect was subtle and unintentional – the unquestionable aura of a woman who was untouchable, above and beyond.
But Hinata herself was very much the same as she'd always been. She was still caring, still sweet and still genuinely good-hearted. And above everything else, she was still in love with a certain blonde as much – more than – she'd been when they were twelve. The only person that rivaled the young woman's love for her husband was the child that now sat in front of her, munching on his afternoon snack.
Amoto swallowed his cookie sheepishly. Then, as if he suddenly remembering something of great importance, blurted, "Kaa-san. I saw a strange man today on my way home from the academy."
Hinata blinked. "A strange man?"
"Un!" Amoto reached for another cookie and paused before he bit into it, "He was dressed in a black robe – covering his hair and everything. Su-ooo-per suspicious."
Hinata giggled, knowing very well her son's tendency to over-exaggerate. She pushed the glass of milk a little toward her son, hinting, and asked, "How so?"
Amoto's arm shot past the milk and grabbed another cookie. The boy wrinkled his nose and said. "Well, he was staring at me – in this creepy, creepy way! Maybe he's hentai!"
Hinata pushed the milk closer, a silent appeal to her son to drink the healthy liquid, and nodded to show she was still listening carefully.
Amoto summed it up distractedly, now more interested in the cookies before him than his encounter with the supposed-hentai.
"And, er, he had red eyes – or, I think he does. I coulda sworn it was red when I first saw it, but then it looked black so I can't be sure – "
Suddenly the glass in Hinata's hand shattered in to a million pieces and milk spilled on the table. Amoto jumped up in surprise – Hinata never spilled anything – his eyes widening as he saw red splatters upon the white liquid. Blood was seeping from his mother's hand where the pieced glass had impelled into her delicate flesh.
"Kaa-san! Are ya okay!" Amoto exclaimed worriedly, "I'll get something for yer – "
But Hinata stopped her son from leaping to his feet to retrieve the ointment by grabbing his arm. Amoto stared in stark confusion at the wet, bloody hand that gripped his wrist hard to the startled desperation in the depths of his mother's creamy eyes.
"D-did you tell your father about this?" Hinata asked, her usually soft voice quaking in fear and – could it be? – rage?
"No – " Amoto blinked, a little scared at seeing his calm mother this way, "He wasn't in his office so I couldn't – "
Hinata sighed in relief, releasing her son's arm immediately. She quickly bowed her head away from Amoto's sight and, swiftly pulling out a kitchen towel from her apron, turned arduously to the task of cleaning up the mess.
"Kaa-san?" Amoto started uncertainly, staring at the back of his mother's head.
"I-I'm sorry, Amoto." Hinata's gentle voice was back and along with it her composed disposure. Now, she looked up timidly and offered her son a shaky smile. "But let's not tell father about the strange man you saw, please?"
"Why?" Amoto blurted, taken aback that his mother wanted to keep anything from his father.
Hinata shook her head slowly and gave her son a very tired smile, "Not yet."
Hinata lowered her eyes and thought, frantically.
Naruto's not ready yet…
Sasuke didn't even make a leaf whisper as he leapt effortlessly from tree branch to tree branch. The Uchiha's face was void of expression, his obsidian gaze steely. It was the mask of the perfect ninja, the front of the most dangerous tool of battle, the facade that Sasuke had mastered to a deadly art after all these years.
And now, now, it served to flawlessly hide the raven-haired man's twisting emotions – emotions that coiled liked barbed wire around his painfully pulsing heart and hurt more than anything he'd ever imagined.
Because Naruto had left him.
Naruto had left.
Sasuke swallowed thickly, his bitter mind mocking his heart for aching.
Was he a complete idiot? Of course, Naruto had left. Almost ten years since he'd left, goddammit! Mountains and rivers could completely change in ten years – much less capricious human emotion. After all this time without the kitsune by his side, only now was he realizing that Naruto might move on with his own life? After everything Sasuke'd done to hurt him, only now was he realizing that his blonde might forget him? Really fucking observant, Uchiha…
Sasuke bit his lip as the irony of his thoughts suddenly sank in.
Had he just referred to Naruto as his blonde?
Sasuke sighed, pausing in his pursuit to rest his hand on a rough bark of a particularly bushy tree. Veiled beneath the thick foliage, Sasuke closed his eyes. He'd forced the blonde away countless times but always the kitsune had returned. Always. Unfailingly. Infallibly. Again and again. Had Sasuke simply taken Naruto's devotion for granted? Maybe Sasuke had foolishly taken the fact that even though Naruto could physically leave Sasuke's side, the kitsune would never really leave him as a given? In which case, yes, Sasuke was a complete, utter, disgusting idiot.
Yet the pain in his heart could not be summed with that one reason…
Sasuke looked up at dark green leaves and, for a flittering second, his mask cracked to reveal a painfully beautifully, stunningly sorrowful smile of one who allows oneself to be graced with a pain relieving moment of utmost honesty. And in that blessed moment, Sasuke relented the real reason why he'd hung on to that invisible thread of nonexistent hope.
He had believed Naruto would never leave because Naruto had told him he wouldn't.
Because Naruto had promised.
Even now, the Uchiha could perfectly conjure up his blonde, twelve years old, grinning widely in bright boyish confidence. He'd flashed his teammates a proud thumbs-up sign and announce in a way that only Naruto could do so finally.
"I never go back on my promises! Cos that's my ninja way!"
Because keeping promises – even unfeasible, hopeless, desperate promises – was Naruto's ninja way. Naruto's nindo. And so Sasuke had believed. Believed because Sasuke believed in his blonde's nindo more than he believed in the existence of reason or doubt.
That was the real reason why Sasuke found himself trailing the flesh and blood evidence of his and Naruto's broken promise though the very existence of Naruto's son sustained all the explanations Sasuke would need – would deserve, even.
And yes, Sasuke was a complete idiot.
Sasuke glanced around briefly, activating his Sharigan to locate the presence of Naruto's son. Till now, the Uchiha had followed the boy to the Hokage tower (almost to a point that was unreasonable in his circumstance). He'd been crestfallen when he couldn't continue his pursuit of the boy in such a closely monitored building and so was more than relieved to see the child exit again quickly. The boy had headed toward the houses. Houses meant family meant…
The Uchiha's heart had ceased beating for a lengthened second, not knowing whether he anticipated or dreaded the child leading him to Naruto. But Sasuke hadn't paused to calculate it either, denying himself contemplation on the important question as he easily stalked to child past the apartments and past the individual houses. And Sasuke realized they were in a sanctioned part of town that belonged to the Hyuuga clan. The raven-haired man's black eyes narrowed as he unwillingly remembered a certain short haired girl that'd annoyingly blubbered and even more infuriatingly blushed in the presence of his Naruto when they'd been younger and felt his stomach bend and coil.
As if to confirm his doubts, he saw the boy run straight down the main street, casually saying hello to all the neighbors that offered him a respectable greeting, and enter the biggest sprawling mansion at the heart of the Hyuuga territory. Sasuke knew that it belonged to the main family of the Hyuuga clan and surmised that Naruto had actually married the direct heir to the Hyuuga power and fortune.
Yet, this was strangely ironically fitting. Sasuke thought dryly, his lips slack in a humorless grin of tired contempt. Naruto had given him up to attain all the things a person could ever desire – power, prestige, fortune, and family. Naruto had given up virtually nothing to gain almost everything. It just made so much sense – so much sense that it was hard for Sasuke to breathe.
But he promised…
Still, a small part of the raven-haired man continued to deny what was being so realistically reflected through his own cool obsidian eyes. Still Sasuke wanted to see more, know more, about what'd changed for his blonde. Changed in his blonde. As much as it hurt, he still wanted to know. He had to know.
But not now. The Uchiha couldn't possibly enter the main Hyuuga house to investigate if the boy was still there. Not when the child could stare at Sasuke and easily destroy him by simply possessing Naruto's eyes. So he'd have to wait. Wait until the boy left.
So Sasuke settled in the shades of the nearest thick brush to the sprawling mansion and closed his eyes. Promptly, he fell into a semi-trance between sleep and consciousness. It was something Sasuke had accustomed himself to doing whenever he rested all these years. Because in this state, he could easily slip into satisfyingly warm and gorgeously sweet pool of memories – all of which featured a beautiful blonde.
Golden hair spilled upon Sasuke's glistening white chest as Naruto arched his back, throwing his head against the bigger boy's chest. The blonde's jagged panting resounded through the night air as his thin, frantic arms jerked out aimlessly in his pain. Sasuke wrapped a firm arm around Naruto's chest, to steady the kitsune, as his free hand pressed the smaller boy's hips even closer.
Naruto's hair was flaxen in the pale moonlight and wet with perspiration. The blonde rubbed his head against the pale boy's chest as he agonizingly rocked his hip closer. A resounding groan erupted from Sasuke's lips and made the pale man thrust faster into the kitsune. Naruto shuddered in pain, his tilted head now almost banging on Sasuke's ivory chest as the blonde tried desperately to push himself closer, still closer. His slim, tan fingers clutched onto Sasuke's arm that bound his chest and his nails were drawing blood from the pale flesh. Sasuke didn't notice the pain as he arched his own body forward and Naruto would his legs with the bigger boy's to –
Sasuke's eyes flew open at the sound of the child's call and, just as quickly, his memory evaporated in the daylight. Almost, Sasuke expected to see Naruto on top of him, their limbs tangled in the usual aftermath of their lovemaking, but of course, he was alone. And Naruto wasn't here. Naruto was never here.
Drawing his lips into a stern line, Sasuke peered out of the thick brush to see the boy tripping out of front doors of the mansion. Behind him, a beautiful dark-haired woman gracefully stepped out of the doors and chided lightly, "Be careful, Amoto."
The child turned around to flash a grin at his mother and leaned up on tiptoes to plant a kiss on her cheek. "I'm gonna become the greatest shuriken master in Konoha before I come home this evening, kaa-san." He told her firmly.
The woman laughed, "That doesn't give you much time to fulfill your goal. You better hurry."
The boy flashed a thumbs-up sign and Sasuke felt his insides churn at the perfectly familiar expression. This boy was Naruto. The blood that ran in him definitely belonged to Naruto. And – Sasuke's eyes sharpened on the woman next to the child – Hyuuga Hinata.
"Practice doesn't start till I get there, kaa-san." Amoto scoffed.
"Then off with you." Hinata said gently, nudging her son forward fondly. It was the fondness of a woman who was in love with her child. It was the fondness of a woman who was in love with a life that was granted by Sasuke's Naruto. Sasuke felt explosive chakra surge inside him and he forced himself to rein in the power before he attracted every ninja around for miles.
Amoto pivoted to give another departing wave and nearly rammed his head on the courtyard doors. Hinata giggled at her son's clumsiness and, after he'd disappeared out the courtyard doors, turned back to enter the house again – to find that a man in a dark black robe was blocking her path.
Potent fear immediately grasped the young woman and made her quake on her feet for a minute in her livid apprehension. But no. She wouldn't show weakness. Not to this evil man in front of her. Not to him that nearly destroyed her Naruto.
Hinata said evenly, careful to keep the fear from her voice, "Sasuke."
The robed man reached up to jerk away the thick cloth that'd cast the obscuring shadows on his face. Hinata couldn't stop a shocked gasp, however unwilling, from escaping her lips as the sunlight timidly traced the features of the one Uchiha Sasuke. As a boy, he'd been the head of the academy and the greatest heartthrob among her peers. As a man, the very way he wore his power and his perfection was so very unrealistically, very heartrendingly beautiful.
Sasuke denied the existence of flawed imperfection.
Light trickled upon his silky, ivory cheekbones and the high bridge of his arrogant nose. Sasuke's raven hair scattered across his smooth, pale forehead and fell in front of burning black eyes. The generous robes could not fully hide the slender beauty of the glorious, lean body they wrapped. The man in front of her was the very embodiment of everything that death symbolized: deadly omnipotence, perilous beauty and unyielding commencement to everything around him to bow to his superior will.
Because Uchiha Sasuke was so powerful.And so very, very dangerous.
Hinata faltered briefly, only too humanly, and Sasuke took that pause to speak first.
"Is that your only child?" The raven-haired man's bitter voice contrasted vividly with his stoic, unmoved expression. "Or did you taint Naruto's body more than once?"
On hearing Naruto's name, the slim woman seemed to shed out of her initial shock. Not answering Sasuke's discourteous question, Hinata swallowed and summoned her strength to help her. She had to keep Sasuke from meeting Naruto. Hinata wouldn't lose. She wouldn't lose her husband to this demon. Wouldn't.
"I-I think you shouldn't be here, S-Sasuke." Hinata said quietly. "Please leave."
Sasuke's eyes opened wide in surprise, hearing so much hate dripping from the trembling woman in front of him. Sharpening his eyes into a glare, he snapped in a voice that rivaled hers. "Answer my question."
But she didn't even hear his words.
"Leave right now." Hinata hissed, her fists curling at her sides.
It wasn't Hinata's nature to hate. But this man, she did. She despised him with every essence of her soul and being. She'd never forgive him. Never ever forgive him for what he'd done and, most, what he'd almost done to her husband. He had to go. Go before Naruto came home.
"Go away!" Hinata's voice raised an octave and her furious creamy eyes met the Uchiha's black ones. "Now!"
"No." Sasuke snarled, quietly. "I need to meet Naruto."
At this, Hinata's desperation peaked and her frantic hands flew to the hoister at her waist. Instantly, Sasuke had the small woman by her wrists to stop her from reaching her weapons.
"Don't give me any more reason to kill you." The raven-haired man whispered.
"I'd rather die than trust you with Naruto again." Hinata's voice oddly retained a note of collected fortitude, of blind determination. "You don't belong here anymore, Sasuke. I'm begging you. Please – "
Sasuke froze, tearing away from the small woman and grasping a shaking hand over his left chest. It felt like his heart had exploded, hearing his voice. It was real this time. Sasuke hadn't simply imagined it. Real.
So painfully real.
Hinata's creamy eyes flew open in equal shock at the familiar voice. Naruto! But it wasn't time for him to come home yet! No! No, he shouldn't come! Naruto shouldn't – not now – not when –
"N-Naruto-kun!" Hinata cried out, frantic. "Don't come in here! I'm – "
It was too late. Hinata saw her husband's form through the door of the courtyard and felt grasping fear strangle her throat. Sasuke turned around to look upon his blonde – after all these years – and what he saw made his heart cease to beat in his chest.
He's… Lord, he's…
Naruto stood, cocking his head to one side, with the red light of the setting sun framing him in all his wonder. Over the years, his tan skin had turned into a near golden-copper hue and its smooth perfection gleamed in the pink early evening light. He'd grown slightly taller, his long legs more slender and the arms showing from beneath his robes defined with gorgeously toned muscle. His gilt blonde hair was streaked with sun-bleached colors of white gold and fell around his face with a slightly messy wildness that hinted at a dangerous sensuality that would have had all the villagers howling if they'd been described of it just a few years back. The whisker marks were still there – though now more faint against Naruto's darkened skin. Then –
Sasuke stared into Naruto's unbearably blue eyes for the first time in so very many years. Clear cerulean blue – the exact color of the heavens –
Because Naruto had – after all these years – become a god.
The raven-haired man swallowed thickly, his feet suddenly immobile in the golden-haired man's breathtaking presence. The two past rivals stared at each other for a fleeting second that seemed to last for an eternity.
And slowly, Naruto shifted to bring his long, elegant finger against his lip, pressing the tips into the tender flesh in quiet contemplation. Sasuke had been tracing the blonde's slightest movements in total concentration and now Sasuke's eyes were on the blonde's lips – lips that he'd last kissed too painstaking long-ago – lips that use to utter all the foolishness of a boy that knows too delightfully little about how love – and time – works –
After another lingering moment, Naruto spoke thickly in that voice that was startlingly and satisfyingly the same as Sasuke remembered.
"Who – "
Who are you?
A/N: All reviews and comments are welcome!