Naruto doesn't belong to me, or it would read more like one of Kakashi's favorite smuts.

Warnings: Language (This israted M. If you can't handle it, you shouldn't be here) and yaoi (Don't flame me, I know that it's yaoi, and it's not going to change even if you ruin my day).

I wasn't always me. I was somebody else, somebody different. Then, one day, I was born again.

"Naruto, don't be a dumbass," I said, scowling. My rival was offering me a six pack of beer, and grinning like the dumbass he was. Actually, I say rival, but he's more of my best friend. Yeah, I know, it's complicated.

I had hated the annoying twit I had thought him to be, I had befriended the rival I admitted him to be, and...

"You're just scared 'cause you know I'm going to win!" The bottles clink as he waves them in my face. Pissed off – we'd been drinking together for a while already – I grabbed the neck of one, flicking off the lid with a shuriken.

I smirked and said, "You wish, I was just trying to spare you the shame of another defeat." We had competed like this before. Often. Well, always. And I always won.

Five minutes and three chugged drinks (each) later, I threw my last bottle away as Naruto was just finishing. "You see now?" I said thickly, "You can't beat me." I may have, possibly, on the outside chance, been very, very, off-my-ass drunk. Maybe.

"At least I'm better in bed!" he made a face. Absentmindedly, I tapped his jaw, making him bite his tongue. He yelled, "Ow! Son-of-a-bitch!"

"There is no way in hell, Naruto, that you could even dream of being able to outdo me at sex." Sure, we'd fucked before – it got the adrenaline out of our system after a mission. It wasn't like we were going out or anything, we were just…friends with benefits. Lots of benefits. "Why else do you always want me on top?" I started to snicker.

Naruto choked, and leapt off the couch, hands in fists. "I don't! You always wrestle me to the bed, dammit! I'm just uke because you're such an ass!"

"Well, maybe if you weren't such a weakling, things would be different," I sneered at him. That really got him mad. With a yell, he tackled me, nearly knocking the couch over, and we struggled like that for a few minutes. "I'll prove to you I'm better, Naruto." And I had pinned him on the bottom.

"How the hell…?" he looked around wildly. "Sasuke, you bastard!"

Then, for a long time, there weren't very many words. Or, at least, coherent sentences.

"Sasuke…" Naruto breathed, trapped against a wall. We had just gotten back from a dangerous mission, and I was still really pumped. As soon as we could, we'd dashed to my place and started making out before we even got through the door. I kept him from talking by stealing his lips again.

Things continued in that manner until we were outside my room. Then, through sheer force of will, Naruto pushed me off, saying, "No."

Totally nonplussed, I opened my mouth. I closed it. I said, "…What?"

"No. Not unless I get to be on top this time. I should be, at least once in my life, you know?" I could hear the warning tones, but unwisely chose to ignore them.

"Naruto…" he looked at me with pure loathing, and I felt my heart stop for a moment. Throwing caution and common sense to the wind, I continued, "You know me. I just don't do submissive."

And he flat-out punched me.

I hit the back of my head against the opposite wall in the hallway, and tasted blood where my lip had split. Suddenly, Naruto's hands were against my shoulders, and I couldn't move. When I looked at his eyes, they were strange, the way he gets only when he's beyond furious.

"What. The. Fuck. Is. Wrong. With. You." All he could get out were halting words, nearly growling under his breath. Now I started to worry. He had never been this pissed at me before.

"Naruto, calm down -" I began, but he pulled me toward him and rammed me back against the wall. Oh, yes, that one hurt, the pain blossoming from what felt like a hammer on cocaine beatingagainst my brain. I felt a rivulet of bloodmaking its waydown the back of my neck, and could barely see straight.

He pressed his face right next to my ear, and said in a harsh whisper, "I'm nice about it, and what do you do? Roll right the hell over me. No big surprise, right? And then, I try to take a stand, try to tell you I'm notexactly happy, and you try to do the same damn thing as before. So now I'm telling you; you're not going to beat me this time." He punctuated his declaration by biting my neck, mercifully taking my attention away from the blinding headache I had developed somewhere along the road.

Colors were swirling around me, and felt like I was going to be sick. "I…think…it'll have to…wait, Naruto…" I could feel myself swaying dizzily, and had the vague thought that I was probably concussed occur to me through a haze of apathy. Suddenly, the world turned off, and I was blissfully free of the pain and the surging guilt and all of the problems of real life.

What do you say after something like that happens? It had been a week, perhaps more, perhaps less, because each day without Naruto blended drably into the next. I had been released from the hospital, and we had just finished our first mission since I came back. And I was still wound up. And, as we sat across the room staring daggers at each other, I could see that Naruto was, too.

"Naruto…" I began, coming to a decision. He blinked at the sound, and looked away.

"I'm sorry, Sasuke," he mumbled, "About before, you know? I didn't mean to get carried away like I did. And you got hurt." Unconsciously, my hand lifted to finger the line of stitches that would be taken out in another day or so.

No, it's my fault for ignoring what you wanted – it was on the tip of my tongue. I just couldn't say it. Something in me, something deep down, farther than I'd ever dared to look, would not bend to admit inferiority. I felt that if I tested that thing in my heart, it either wouldn't budge, or it would break – and I couldn't imagine myself without it. My throat choked on the words, but wouldn't spit them out.

"Sasuke," finally, his eyes, so blue I thought I might drown in them, raised to meet mine, and he continued, "What do I mean to you?"

And I sensed the first warning crackas the barrier on which I had built my entire persona sstarted to break.

"Am I just your convenient…fuck buddy?"

I was barely listening, focused instead on the whispered sounds of glass with a spreading fault. This thing that I was couldn't be so easily broken, could it? It was everything I ever had been or would be, and that was that.

Naruto sighed, almost to himself, "Because you mean more to me than that."

There was a strangled sound, and it took me a moment to realize where it had come from; me. I lifted myself to my feet, and stood in front of him, across the room. There was the most innocent emotion in his eyes, as though he had always believed it impossible that he would say such things. Slowly, so slowly I thought I would die, I held out my right arm and offered my hand to him. And there was silence for three heartbeats.

With a tiny gasp, he practically flew to me, and we were kissing. We had kissed before, too many times to count, but it had never, ever been like this. He tasted sweeter than I remembered, and his tongue was that much more of a treat. As my hands rediscovered the body I thought I had known so well, we somehow made our way to my room.

And it was his turn. If this was going to work, I would have to change myself. I would have to break that thing that made me who I was. It scared me, but I didn't dare say it. And Naruto began his ministrations.

When he stretched me, there was some discomfort, but I was a shinobi – I could handle it. When I lay there, nude and vulnerable, excruciatingly aware ofevery flaw that he would find to hate me for, it was more difficult. When he entered me, nothing mattered but him, and I felt tears running down my cheeks.

"Ssh, it's alright. It hurts, I know," he murmured in my ear, as still as he could manage. I took the comfort to heart, but I knew that what was bothering me was different. There was a silent mantra at the edge of my soul, goading me not to surrender like this. I have to be strong…I have to be the strongest, it pounded. I closed my eyes and dug my fingernails into his arms, and nodded slowly for him to continue.

With every thrust, I edged closer to climax, and that voice grew smaller. There was a look in Naruto's eyes unlike anything I'd ever seen, but it wasn't bad. He was the making me go through this, the pain of destroying myself for the sake of one person, and, in a way, I hated him for it. But, he was the only one that could free me from such pain, and I buried my face in his shoulder and spoke for the first time since his confession. I said his name, again and again, trying to cover the dying mantra with my new one.

"Naruto… Naruto… Naruto…" I gasped, clutching him to me, feeling the shift of muscle beneath his skin. I was close, and he was close, and I whispered into his ear, "I love you." He tumbled over the edge, just like that, with those three words. I followed immediately on his heels, screaming it now, "I love you!"

As I flew into nirvana, I heard the sound of glass shattering all around me.

I heard a new mantra within me:

I hated the annoyance that I thought him to be, I befriended the rival that I admitted him to be, and I fell in love with the man that I discovered him to be.

And that is how I, Uchiha Sasuke, came to be born again, in the arms of my only love.
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