Disclaimer: Not mine.

Silent Treatment
by Apple Addiction

He wasn't sure what made him say it. Maybe it was the way his body demanded peace and quiet after a long hard mission. Maybe it was just that he wasn't up to hearing another blow-by-blow account of how a new flavour was invented in Ichiraku. But most probably it was because he couldn't deal with his stupid blond lover yakking his head off right after he had recovered from another amazing session that left his body humming with satisfaction.

Sure he loved Naruto all right and he could definitely tolerate some of his less-than-desirable traits... sometimes. But Sasuke was tired. He was tired from the stubbornly-refuse-to-end mission, tired from the multiple orgasms he just had. He needs sleep. He craves it, but all of his ninja trainings and light-sleeping qualities absolutely forbid him from drifting off unless there's absolute peace and quiet. And he so does not want to hear about the new record at Ichiraku and how the dobe was the one who broke it.

However, the moment the words were out of his mouth, he quickly wished he could swallow them back in, if the profound silence that followed his declaration was any indication.

"Shut UP, Uzumaki, would you just SHUT THE FUCK UP? Can't you see I'm trying to sleep here? You're so IRRITATING and STUPID I have no FUCKING IDEA why I agreed to this. Can't you just keep quiet for once and keep that Goddamned hole close?"

The stunned expression on Naruto's face was like a slap in the face. Then hurt rose up so quickly in those impossibly blue eyes that he was just stumbling over himself trying to apologize. But somehow, the words couldn't make it past the gigantic lump in his throat.

"Naruto... I-" he managed to choke out before Naruto cut him off. Lips trembling ever so slightly, he asked quietly, "Are you serious? About what you just said?"

Sasuke looked at him uncomfortably. "Yes... No, I mean... yes about the quiet part but... No, I just... Hey wait, Naruto!" He reached out grab the leaving Naruto.

Naruto shook off his hand fiercely. "Don't touch me," he hissed. "Fine, bastard, you'll get what you wish. From now on you won't hear so much as a beep from me ." With that, he gathered up his clothes and stalked out of the room. The door fell shut with a loud slam before the Uchiha was even out of the bed.

"Fuck." Sasuke cursed as he struggled on his pants to meet the sleepless night. "Just fuck."


The next morning dawned bright and clear, rousing Sasuke from his slumber. After a long night of searching for Naruto in vain, he had finally fallen into an uneasy and guilt-ridden sleep on a conveniently placed bench. He stretched and winced as the stiff muscles protested the movements. Bullying the cramped muscles into further exertions, he quickly walked back to his house to freshen up. Team 7 no longer had to meet up after being officially dissovled when Sakura took her own batch of genins, but he still had to report to Tsunade every morning to receive ANBU missions.

Moreover, Naruto had to do the same... so he would definitely find him there. Feeling infinitely more confident, he quickened his pace.


The moment he saw Naruto at the Hokage tower, he had attempted to corner him. Naruto looked weary and drained, with dark circles beneath his eyes. Sasuke felt slightly guilty, knowing that he had been the one to cause them.


Unsurprisingly, Naruto ignored him totally. Not to be put off, Sasuke followed him. "Hey Naruto, about last night, I'm... Well, I didn't really mean... You know... Hey wait up, Naruto, I'm trying to talk here!"

Naruto did not even spare him a single glance as he walked resolutely up the stairs, as if the Uchiha heir was transparent. It was starting to seriously piss Sasuke off. Half way up the stairs, he reached out to grab Naruto's wrist.

"Naruto, dammit, would you just LISTEN to me?"

Naruto was forced to face him but his face did not show any sign of recognition. He looked at Sasuke blankly for a moment, then firmly extracted his wrist from his grip and turned to continue walking up the stairs.

"What's wrong with you, Naruto?" Sasuke demanded hotly, stepping in front to cut off Naruto's path. Without even blinking, Naruto side-stepped him easily and continued up the stairs, leaving the frustrated Uchiha alone on the stairs.


When Sasuke entered the Hokage room, it was already crowded with other Jounins and ANBUs. His eyes quickly zoomed in on bright yellow hair, whose owner was conversing amiably with none other than Hyuuga Neji. Jealousy left a bitter taste in his mouth as he quickly crossed the room to them.

"Hyuuga." The one addressed turned to give him polite nod but the greeting did nothing to attract the attention of the blond. Sasuke gritted his teeth in annoyance.

"Naruto," he said tersely. "Stop this, you've made your point." There was no effect whatsoever as he continued to smile at Neji, who had gone very quiet and was watching the pair curiously.

"Did something happen, Naruto?" he asked cautiously. Neji hadn't approved of the pair originally because he did not trust the Uchiha after the betrayal that left Naruto battered and broken. He did not think Sasuke could make Naruto happy, but after seeing exactly how blissful Naruto had been ever since they got together, he had quietly acquiesced and come to accept, even like the pair. Well, the blond part of the pair more specifically.

Naruto gave him another bright smile and shook his head. Then he turned to walk in the opposite direction of Sasuke. "I'll see you later, Neji," he said cheerfully. Neji looked between Sasuke and Naruto dubiously before nodding at Naruto.

Sasuke had enough of it. This was getting riduculous. Once again, he stepped in front to block Naruto's path and reached out to grip his shoulders. "Dobe, stop it."

He thought Naruto had relented when the blond finally looked at him. However, to his surprise, instead responding to the usual taunt, Naruto's face had simply closed up, like a book. The grin wipped itself off the face and the eyes lost their luster.

Before he could express his surprise, however, the door was thrown open and an unnatural silence descended on the group of gathered Shinobis, signalling the arrival of the Hokage. Whatever the problem was, it would have to wait till after the missions, Sasuke yielded in resignation.


"Uchiha Sasuke and Uzumaki Naruto, your mission is to deliver this highly confidential scroll to the Kazekage. Expect intense attacks from rogue nins and I want this done by today. This is an A rank mission so don't screw it up, brat."

Tsunade did not even bother to look up as she threw the scroll and the mission details at them. However, she did when she did not hear the usual outburst that accompanied the slight. To her surprise, Naruto was actually staring at her with a weird expression that she never thought she would see on his face. It was as if he had something he was dying to say but at the same time was trying very hard not to say it. After a moment of struggling, he exited the room only with a "I won't, old hag."

Tsunade gaped at his disappearing back in open-mouthed astonishment, then she snapped her mouth closed and turned to glare at the other brat. "Ok, Uchiha, what did you do?"

Sasuke tensed unconsciously under her glare. Why is it that it was he who had done something? Fine, maybe in this case he had but... He sighed at the futility of his own reasoning. "It's... long story. I"ll do something about it."

"You better," Tsunade growled. Without another word, Sasuke turned to follow Naruto. "Whatever you're going to do, include it in the mission reports." Tsunade's words trailed him out, making him see a different kind of red. Kinky fifty-year-olds....


Once outside the Hokage tower, he caught up with Naruto effortlessly. "So," he started harmlessly enough, "we're going to Sand?" Internally, he winced at the painful prosaicness. Naruto did not even bother to grace his attempt with a glance as he leapt to the nearest roof top and headed straight for the Konoha gates.

Once again, Sasuke caught up with him. He cracked his face painfully into a smile, which came out more like a constipated smirk, as he ploughed on with his one-sided conversations. "Nice weather we're having, by the way." He added lamely. When receiving no response for the umpteenth time, he gave up on his non-existent social skills altogether and they lasped into an uncomfortable silence.

Sasuke noted with no amusement at all that this was a mocking parody of what should have been the reality. Normally it would have been the blond trying to drown them both in saliva, making hypothetical and hilarious conjectures of how their mission would turn out. He would have nearly fallen off the roof by now with his loud, unnecessary and often inaccurate declarations of how he would save Sasuke's pale, sorry ass.

This silence... wasn't right. It was too thick, it was suffocating and Sasuke realised with a start that he couldn't fill it. No matter how accomplished he was as a ninja, no matter how skilled, he couldn't even fill this simple silence. And he had driven away the only one who could.


They managed to finish the mission in record time, due to Naruto's new-found quietness that prevented them from sidetracking, like they normally would. The rogues nins were disposed off with a thorough efficiency but to the Uchiha, all the fights smacked of wrongness. During every fight, Naruto would be sure to surround himself with Kage Bushins, so that the real Naruto, would be kept far far away from him.

It frustrated him to no ends.

However, it really came apart only during the meeting with the Kazekage, Gaara. Naruto had greeted him in a clipped, business-like tone instead of his usual warm and informal tone. This had immediately notified the red-head that something was wrong. Promising death, disembowelment and severe mauling to Sasuke with eyes alone (yes, Gaara is talented like that ), he had asked the blond what's wrong and if he would like to stay in Sand for a while.

While making a mighty effort to clamp down on the urge to chidori Gaara on the spot, Sasuke tried to catch Naruto's eyes, but Naruto refused to even look in his direction.

I can't believe the idiot is actually considering it, Sasuke thought bitterly as he fumed at one side. Finally, he saw Naruto smile apologetically at Gaara and replied in the negative, saying that he appreciated the concern but it wasn't necessary.

Then Gaara had said flatly. "Anything that concerns you, concerns me, Uzumaki." At that, Naruto had blushed and Sasuke just barely managed not to puke all over the floor.

"If you will excuse us, Kazekage-sama," Sasuke said through gritted teeth, "our Hokage would like us back by today." Gaara gave him an extremely icy glare and was about to reply when Naruto cut in. "Yes Gaara, we should be going. Take care of yourself."

Gaara looked at if he was going to protest but changed his mind and nodded their dismissal instead. "You too, Uzumaki, I'll see you soon."

"Not if I can help it," Sasuke muttered under his breath as he proceeded to drag Naruto out.


The trip back was even quieter as Sasuke, furious that Naruto had not rejected Gaara's advances, had also decided to ignore Naruto, neglecting that it was rather pointless as Naruto was not speaking to him in the first place. The temperature was glacier and Sasuke distinctly heard the crack of ice as he walked through the mission room, which had frozen over the minute they had stepped in. Iruka was the only one brave enough to receive the mission report from the glowering Uchiha.

"Thanks, Sasuke." Then he peered over Sasuke's shoulder at the silent Naruto and began to worry. A quiet Naruto wasn't natural. His gaze turned harsh as it returned to the one in front. "Sasuke, what did you do?"

Me again? Sasuke snorted incredulously as he turned to walk out of the room. "Dobe, I'm going for ramen. You coming?"

Iruka watched in amazement as Naruto did not rise to the taunt but instead, turned to him. "Iruka-sensei, treat me to ramen!" The grin on his face was but an echo of his former grin. Iruka cleared his throat awkwardly as he glanced at the fuming Uchiha. Was he turning purple? "Ah... Naruto, is something wrong?"

Naruto pouted and crossed his arms. "Why did everyone think there's something wrong? I'm perfectly fine. Eat ramen with me, Iruka-sensei, I'm damn hungry!"

Iruka couldn't repress a smile at his favourite student's antics. "Well, if you say so. I'd love to..." He trailed off as he felt the holes Sasuke's laser eyes had burnt. He hastily retracted his words, "but sorry Naruto, I have the night shift today."

Iruka's nervous laughter did nothing to appease Naruto's suspicious frown and he was about to argue when Kakashi waltzed into the room. Iruka immediately took this chance to change the subject.

"Kakashi-san!" He admonished, "that mission report was due two days ago!"

Kakashi only gave him a cheerful wink. "Ah sorry, Iruka-sensei, I forgot about it. Yo Sasuke, Naruto."

Ignoring Iruka's outraged sputterings, he was about to step out of room when Naruto grabbed his sleeves. "Hey Kakashi-sensei, eat ramen with me."

Kakashi paused in mid-stride and turned to glance questioningly down at his former pupil (who had only grown so much after so many years). When no explanation came forth, he turned to look at the twitching Uchiha. Then understanding slowly dawned in his eye as he took in the foaming at the mouth and the smoke from the ears. A lovers' spat! He thought happily, how exciting.


"Oji-chaaan, miso please!" Naruto's exuberance did not fool Kakashi in the least. "So Naruto," he said deceptive nonchalance, all the while keeping a careful eye on the jealous Uchiha hovering in the background. "What happened between you and Sasuke?"

Naruto scowled at him. "Nothing happened, really!" Kakashi gave a snort. "Right," he said sarcastically, turning to order one miso ramen himself. "That's why you're ignoring him and he's breathing fire down my neck." He heard Sasuke flop himself down on his other side and turned to give the boy a big grin, not that it was visible or anything. "So Sasuke, what happened between you and Naruto?"

Sasuke "hn-ed" in irritation. "None of your business, Kakashi. One miso ramen." Kakashi beamed broadly at his former students, trust them to be so entertaining even after so many years. "All right then," he called out cheerfully, "I'm taking Naruto home with me for a sleepover. I'm sure you won't mind, Sasuke."

He saw Sasuke stiffen and Naruto pause in mid-bounce and had to hold back a snigger. Then Naruto turned to him in surprise, mind rapidly filling with the possiblity of finally seeing what's undernearth that mask. "Really? I can come for sleepover?" Ignoring the murderous aura emitted on his other side, he smiled gently down at Naruto. "Of course, we need to keep the… ah… teacher-student bond strong. Catch up on old times, you know." He winked for extra effect. Naruto completely missed the fact that Kakashi had never offered to catch up on old times before, ever.

Sasuke finally felt that enough was enough. He was not up to dealing with Kakashi's assholeness on top of everything else. "Naruto will not be going," he told Kakashi forcefully in a frozen tone, "he'll be otherwise occupied tonight. Oji-san, change those three ramen to takeaway please and put the bill on him. (Points to Kakashi. "Hey!" – Kakashi) Come on dobe, we're going home."

He grabbed Naruto's hand to drag him out of Ichiraku. Naruto tried to shake his hand off but his brute strength could not match up to that of the bigger Uchiha. Besides, said Uchiha was currently royally pissed, which gave him added strength. Sighing in resignation, Naruto allowed himself to be dragged back to their home.


The moment they got through the door, Sasuke slammed Naruto against the wall and tried to kiss the hell out of him. The whole day's frustration, anger and irritation at being ignored by his lover poured into the kiss. The blond had not spoken a single word to him, yet he acted to others as if there was nothing wrong. Neji, Tsunade, Gaara, Iruka, Kakashi, he treated them like normal but only to Sasuke, he had not even given a single glance. "So you just won't acknowledge me?" he snarled harshly. Still getting no response, Sasuke felt his patience rapidly reaching breaking point.

He tried to give Naruto another bruising kiss. This time, Naruto reacted and slammed a knee into his groin, at the same time delivering a punch to his face. Sasuke managed to avoid the knee quite nicely but the punch caught him squarely on the jaw. He staggered backwards, cursing at the flushed Naruto.

"Fuck Naruto, that hurt! What's wrong with you? Don't you think you're carrying this too far? If this is about yesterday, I'm…" He choked. Somehow he couldn't bring himself to say that word. Then he saw hurt and disappointment replace the anger on Naruto's face before it wiped itself blank of any emotions again. Naruto turned to walk out of the door.

In frustration, Sasuke reached out to grab Naruto, only to dodge a flying kunai. "Naruto! This is childish, this is ridiculous. Just talk to me!" Naruto threw another kunai at him. "I didn't mean what I said yesterday, all right? I'm…" Again, he trailed off. Naruto continued walking outwards as if nothing had happened.

Then Sasuke got desperate. "Naruto!" He had reached breaking point. "If you take one more step out of the door, we're over!" He saw Naruto froze. For a long time, neither of them moved. Sasuke could hear his heartbeat thundering in his ears. Then Naruto turned and walked towards him and for a moment, his heart soared with triumph, until he saw the pain and heartbreak in those sky-blue eyes. He was suddenly reminded of a fight, so long ago, when he had been younger and stupider. Naruto had had the exact same look in his eyes when he realized that Sasuke was serious about killing him.

It felt like an eternity before Naruto reached him. He nearly flinched when cold hands reached out to brush against his face. Naruto you're cold, he wanted to say. Dammit Naruto, you're not supposed to be cold. But he couldn't make a sound.

"Sasuke…" The name was breathed out with tenderness, so much more than he thought Naruto could possibly possess and he could feel his heart melting. He watched with abated breath as the blond reached up to place a chaste kiss on his still lips. "…good-bye." And the world crashed down around him.

A single word, laden with unshed tears, tears that Naruto would never, ever let himself shed. Then he was gone before Sasuke could recover from the shock.


"I don't know... dobe. My body just... moved on its own."

"Naruto... I want to fight you too."

"I don't want to see... another precious person dying in front of me again."

"You are my best friend... that's why I will break that bond."

"Naruto... why is it that no matter how hard I try, you won't let me break that bond?"

"I give in... I give up. I don't want to go anywhere... without you beside me."

"Dobe... do you want to move in with me?"

"Naruto, I... IthinkImayloveyou."


"Naruto... I love you."


Later, he would not remember that the first things he had done were to close the windows from the oncoming storm and to make tea. As personal apocalypse happened around him, these things had seemed important. Then, as he were about to ask Naruto what flavoured ramen he would like for supper, the full gravity of the situation hit him.

There would be no Naruto to answer him. No Naruto to make ramen for. No Naruto to watch the storm with. No Naruto to fight over the hot water with. No Naruto to greet him when he came home. No Naruto to wait for for dinner. No Naruto to touch. No Naruto to hold. No Naruto to kiss. No Naruto to love. No more Naruto in his life.

There was a loud crash of broken china as the teapot fell to the floor. The storm raged outside but the kitchen was quiet as he bowed over with grief.


I should be getting ready, Sasuke thought absently as he continued to stare up at his ceiling. He had finally climbed to bed after taking out his anger and sorrow on his living room last night. Now it looked like a tornado had wrecked it, he didn't dare to really look. It was bad enough thinking about it, he did not want to go out and face his reality. The Uchiha heir winced at the amount of cleaning he would have to do.

He still could not believe what he had done, what they had done. He had just broken up with Naruto. Sure, they've always had too many arguments for a peaceful couple but this time... this time it was really ridiculous. He couldn't even remember what they had been fighting about. Oh well, he could remember, but... it was still ridiculous.

Last night, he had sat in front of the mirror and practised saying those three words many times. It ended with a broken mirror and a bleeding knuckle. Another thing he would have to replace, he thought wearily. Something innate in him just revolted against the idea of admitting that he was in the wrong, against the idea of him apologizing. To Naruto much less. But at least now he could say it. Somewhat.

He wondered vaguely if he should eat something. How was he supposed to act after breaking up with someone he planned to spend the rest of his life with? The one he planned to wake up to every morning? Cry? Scream? Throw a tantrum? All of these sounded decidedly unSasuke-like. More pertinently, should he be reporting to work even? He briefly pondered work ethics versus his sanity.

To hell with Tsunade, he finally decided, ANBU won't die without him for a day. He was going to stay in bed all day and angst. At least that seemed Sasuke-like. Having made his decision, he immediately turned to darker thoughts. Sky-blue eyes, sun-kissed hair, loud but endearing voice, voice that he won't be hearing anytime soon...

Suddenly, he heard the front door opening, interrupting him mid-angst. He could scarcely believe his ears. Could it be...? But before he had time to think, the footsteps stopped. There was a pregnant pause before the swearing started. "Oh my fucking shit, what the hell happened here?" The familiar voice drifted to him and he was out of bed in an instant, nearly sobbing with relief, annoyance and amazement.

The sight that greeted him was a dumbfounded Naruto standing in the middle of the wreckage that was once their living room, holding a large bag of... was that food? His face twitched as he stood in the doorway. Was he supposed to pounce on Naruto now? Or kill him for acting as if nothing had happened.

"Naruto," he found himself asking in wonder. "What are you doing here?"

Naruto turned to him with a growl. "This is my house. Why shouldn't I be here? Teme, what the hell did you do to our living room?"

The normalcy in his reply made something in Sasuke snap. "Naruto you IDIOT! Don't you DARE act as if nothing has happened, after all the SHIT you've given me. I thought you said we're over?"

Naruto dodged his fist easily. "YOU said we're over. I didn't say anything."

He paused in his attacks to gape incredulously at Naruto. "So now it's entirely my fault?"

"I didn't say that either!" Naruto protested as he tried to find somewhere safe to put the food. "All right bastard, breakfast. I bet you didn't eat anything since last night."

Sasuke scowled darkly as he regarded Naruto through narrowed eyes. "Don't you pull that shit on me, Uzumaki. We're not done talking." He paused. "Since when did you decide to start talking to me anyway?"

Naruto's fist sent the already broken table crashing into the wall again. "Right after you fucked it up again by giving me that shitty ultimatum."

Sasuke winced. He would have to concede the point. He took a deep breath. Well, here goes. "Naruto..."


"I'm not to repeat myself."

"What are you--"


"Wha-- Whoa." Pause. "Well fine. You know what, bastard, I am too."

He repressed a smile, a genuine smile. "I'm not sure I'm ready to forgive you."

Naruto grinned roguishly at him. "Neither am I, teme."

"Want to talk this over spar?"

Naruto sneered. "Bring it on, bastard. I always knew your punches are more articulate than your words."

"Hn. You're so going down, Uzumaki."

"Oh yeah, Uchiha? You can bet your pompous ass that I'll be kicking it."

This sound, this voice, this bickering. How could he ever think that he would be able to live without it? This time, he couldn't repress the grin.


Pure adrenaline rushed in his veins as he charged at Naruto, the heady feeling in his limbs drove him dizzy with thrill. He smirked as he spotted the tiny little mistakes Naruto had been making all their lives. Another opening on the left flank. Dodge, run, fake move, NOW!

"Oof!" Naruto went sprawling across the forest floor after Sasuke's fist drove into his stomach. Sasuke landed lightly not far from him and tried to regulate his heavy breathing. He watched warily as Naruto pushed himself up slowly.

"Teme..." Naruto looked up and wiped the small trinkle of blood from the corner of his mouth. He rushed at Sasuke with renewed determination and managed to get in a hit before being forced to retreat from Sasuke's kick. He twisted to land in a crouching position and took out a kunai.

Everytime they spar, it was addictive and Sasuke could never get enough of it. The clashing of fists, of kunais, of strength, of skills, of wills. It was their dance, their dance of allegiance to the other's mind, heart, body and soul. It was an intoxicating mix of feelings, senses, desires all sharpened to the point of a kunai. The feeling was electric.

"Tired much, Uzumaki?"

"In your dreams, Uchiha!"

With an easy smirk, Sasuke flipped to land on the other side of Naruto, trying to get in a kick, only to be blocked by Naruto's fists.

"Quite on the contrary, Naruto. In my dreams we always went on for hours."

Naruto flushed bright red and his movements faltered for a second and that second was just what Sasuke needed. In a heartbeat, Sasuke had Naruto pinned and helpless beneath him.

"That was a low blow, you bastard!" Naruto hissed angrily up at him.

"Is it now?" Sasuke regarded the flushed blond undernearth him intently as he drew slow circles in the palm he had pinned against the ground. "I'm just preparing you for real life," he leaned down to breathe in his ear, "where seduction is a viable distraction."

Naruto tried in vain to free his limbs. "Only in your twisted, libido-driven world, asshole."

"Keep talking, Uzumaki, and I'll be forced to put that mouth to better use."

Suddenly, it was as if Naruto had received a slap in the face. He winced and went limp beneath Sasuke, head turned resolutely to one side. Sasuke frowned. "What's wrong?"

Naruto took his moment of slack to push Sasuke off him and got into a defensive stance. "NOW you ask me to keep talking, Uchiha. What happened to keeping quiet?" He snarled furiously.

Sasuke groaned. "We're still on that?"

"Well, I'm sorry YOU told me to shut the fuck up!"

"And you took that as a personal invitation to act like a jerk?"

"Well, that's rich, coming from you. Sasuke you ASS! I just wanted to feel it for a day!"

"Feel what?"

"Feel the feeling of being you!"

"What are you talking--" Suddenly it hit him. The expressionless face, the silence, the cold efficiency in fighting... It made his mouth go dry.

"And the way you said it," Naruto's voice bordered on hurt now. "It sounded as if you really hated my voice. I know it may be irritating at times but you don't have to be a total ass about it, you bastard. I thought you really wanted it, the silence, so I tried to give it to you."

"Naruto, I--" but he couldn't get a word in.

"And it was just for a day, to let you have a taste of it. I've been living with your shit for years. I was planning to go back to normal the next day, pay you back for all the insults and then bully you into apologizing but you can't even do that. Is it that hard for your gigantic ego to say that you're sorry? Then you had to go and say we're over and that crap. How do you expect me to react? Return to you on bended knees? Cry pathetically and say I can't live without you? Not bloody possible!"

Sasuke was getting really uncomfortable now, but Naruto talked on, ignoring his discomfiture.

"And it hurts, you know, when you said you had no fucking idea why you agreed to this. Are you regretting getting together with me? Are you thinking it might have been better to go with some QUIET GIRL to revive your clan? Are you thinking "Gods, no! Why the hell did I even agree to go out with Naruto?" Well, are you? I bet you are. You are tired of me, aren't you, you conceited, self-inflated prick."

Naruto was now completely on autopilot and Sasuke's brain worked hard to keep up. He said WHAT?

"Whoa whoa, just hold on a minute, Naruto. I said WHAT?"

Naruto paused, looked at him for a moment then went ballistic. "I don't BELIEVE you, you nincompoopery son of a twit! (Sasuke: Naruto, impressive, very impressive, that's a 13-lettered word!) You don't even remember what you said? About having no fucking idea why you agreed to this?"

Slowly, he recalled his exact phrase. Then he winced, remembering what he had been refering to. "Gods, Naruto, you idiotic twerp-for-brains. I was talking about the sex! I was tired so I didn't know why I agreed to the sex. But I never regretted it, dobe, sex with you was always amazing. And I would never, ever regret getting together with you. You are the only reason I came back to this village in the first place. Don't you ever forget that!"

Naruto looked at him in surprise and slight embarrassment. The tension was slowly melting out of the atmosphere. Then he turned his head away. "Still, you shouldn't have said it. You deserve being yelled at by me." he said in a much smaller voice.

Sasuke sighed, walked over to him and enveloped him in a gentle hug. "You're right, Naruto, I shouldn't have said it and I deserve being yelled at. I'm... sorry."

He felt Naruto stiffen in his arms in surprise and resisted all his attempts to turn around to look at him in the face. "You said it!" He whispered in awe.

Sasuke smirked and ran his fingers through the unruly golden locks. "Well, it's much easier to say if the other party is quiet and accepting." He frowned when he heard no response. "Dobe, what's wrong?" Then he felt a tiny shudder running through his arms. "You.. aren't crying, are you?"

Naruto's voice was thick with irritation and... something else when he replied. "Don't call me that you bastard and no, I'm not. The sand just... got into my eyes."

Sasuke rolled his eyes at the overused excuse but didn't press the point. He felt so blissful and tired that he could just alseep standing up. Naruto's voice broke into his thoughts. "So what do we do now?"

"What do you want to do?"

Naruto hesitated. "Actually... I was really thinking we should go for some ramen. You know, I'm kinda hungry and we haven't exactly eaten breakfast, or dinner for that matter. You know during the entire time just now my stomach was growling? It was like starving and begging for some nourishment. I could almost hear it say, "Oi Naruto, when are you planning to finish up that bastard and give me some food?" Then I was like "Shit I must be really hungry to be hearing things from my stomach." Then-- Hey, what are you-- Stop laughing at me Sasuke! That's just creepy and I'm serious! How dare you even think about lau--"

Sasuke tilted his chin up and covered his mouth in a kiss, drowning out the rest of the tirade. It was a slow and gentle kiss and Sasuke tried to pour all his love and tenderness into the kiss. His lips moved languidly against Naruto's and his tongue brushed hesitantly across his lower lips, shyly seeking entrance, which Naruto readily gave. Then they melded into one being as his tongue strived to reach and mark every inch of Naruto's sweet cavern. He felt a jolt of excitment when Naruto's tongue brushed against his and his knees nearly buckled from the sweetness of it all. Love you, love you, love you, Naruto. And he heard the answering call, I know. Love you too, Sasuke.

They were both panting heavily when they finally broke apart for air and Sasuke leaned his forehead against Naruto's. The forest was quiet as they basked in each other's scent.

"You know," Naruto said after a moment, "that would have been a better way to shut me up."

Sasuke laughed again and his arms tightened around Naruto. "I'll remember it."


I guess relationships are a really strange thing. We get pain from it but we can't stop wanting it. Someone to fill that dreadful silence, someone to listen to your pointless ramblings, someone to yell at, someone to fight with. The path may not always be smooth but as long as we're together, I guess we'll get there. To all the lovers in the world, it is a happy day. Thanks for reading.