Disclaimer: Naruto is not mine.

Uchiha Sasuke didn't die like a sniveling coward, begging for his life. He didn't die with red eyes, wet cheeks or a swollen throat. He didn't die with snot running down his chin, or his face screwed up in fear.

He didn't die from a wound he received attempting to kill his brother. He didn't die while crushing his brother's body with his bare hands, or while watching the life drain from Itachi like water swirling down the sink. He didn't die as his brother's eyes shut for a final time, and he didn't die hearing his brother plead for his life. He didn't die with his blood pumping from the thrill of victory.

He didn't die by his own hand. He didn't kill himself out of remorse for having deserted Konoha once. He didn't kill himself to apologize for the shame he had brought upon his family name, or to ask his friends for forgiveness; they gave it to him gladly.

He didn't die like a hero, fighting for his loved ones. He didn't die soaked in sweat and stained with the enemy's blood. He didn't take a mortal blow for one of his teammates, or save anyone from death on the battlefield. He didn't die sacrificing himself in the name of honor.

He didn't die providing for his family. He didn't die working his land, or doing more than his fair share of missions. He didn't die in order for his child to live, or for his lover to be spared. He didn't die as a man, protecting everyone precious to him.

Uchiha Sasuke didn't die a glorified death for anything he believed in or fought for. He slipped away in the middle of the night, as quiet in death as he was in life.

Kakashi had fallen asleep in the chair next to Sasuke's bed, arms folded over his partner's thigh. It was only when the equipment monitoring Sasuke's heartbeat stilled that Kakashi awoke. The silence told him more than a thousand words could have.

Uchiha Sasuke died in the middle of the night, after an unsuccessful struggle with cancer.