He couldn't sleep.

Of course that was nothing new, he hadn't been able to sleep for years now and he should be used to it by now.

Specifically about two and a half years.

Specifically he really didn't want to talk or think about it.

Two and a half goddamn years.

Maybe this time he could blame it on the heat. Wasn't it supposed to get colder in the desert after the sun had gone down? He didn't know and truth be told, at this exact moment he could really care less, all he knew that he wasn't cold.

Yet his hands were shaking, his body shivering and all he could feel was an intense, burning heat. The kind of heat that burned through his bones, the kind of heat that couldn't possibly exist and yet, there it was.

He couldn't escape it.

Because it was always there.

He was sitting but his leg still managed to shake at a nervous pace. Hands clenching and unclenching on the bright orange material that covered the shaking. He wanted to get up, he wanted to move but most importantly he wanted to fucking punch something. To pound the hell out of some unsuspecting tree until all this heat was gone -just gone- and he could finally close his eyes and find something other than rage.

The laugh was weak, harsh to his ears as it cut lowly through the silence of his sleeping comrades. It hadn't worked the last hundreds -thousands- of times he had tried it. It just was enough to drain him into a restless dozing, enough to sustain him because of who he was.

It didn't help that he dreamt.

The same dream.

Over and over and over and over and over. So many times that all he had to do was blink and it was burned within his mind again.

Cliffs.

A sky so blue that it was nearly mocking.

Blood.

Betrayal that hurt so much that was barely real.

Darkness.

Such intense black that it was beyond even night.

It had long stopped being a cold slap to the face and moved on to a set of nails -sharp so goddamn sharp- that wouldn't stop digging into him.

They were all connected.

The heat.

The dream.

Those nails.

They all belonged to him, he who must not be named. They were all his and he just wanted - the taste of blood his taste- him to take them back.

He just wanted some rest.

-----

Well... that was completely different than what I expected... apologies to Sinful Serenity... I think I rather stole parts of your style, but I just love your stuff so much! It's not really clear in the fic but this is set right before Kakashi, Sakura and Naruto reached the sand village. For the sake of this working lets say it takes more than a day to reach it from Konoha... XD Also I'm going on the assumption that it's his sixteenth... yes this is about his birthday... what you couldn't tell?

I must say that I was rather shocked when I came onto the site today and saw the massive amount of... :shudder: NaruHina and SasuSaku... :shudders again for emphasis: What has happened? And for the record I, probably along with all the SasuNaru fans out there, am very pissed at the filler episodes that the anime is showing... I am going by manga alone...

Anyways... Happy B-Day my Naruto-kun, may all your... :ahem: perhaps it would be wise not to finish that sentence...

Inspiration: Tori Amos, Tori Amos, and Tori Amos... Raspberry Swirl, A Sorta Fairytale, Cruel... I blame this on my friend's obsession leaking into me

Disclaimer: I DON'T OWN IT :sobs:

SASUNARU FOREVER!