Warning : Uhh, well; slight shounen-ai, it contains slight mature themes, there's also mild language, though frankly I really think this is only T… it has mentions of character death, Death Gods (wow, I'm so influenced by Bleach…) and… yeah XD

Disclaimer : I don't own anything.

Notes : This is a rather new genre or story style for me, so I hope to hear criticism or any form of feedback from you guys :) I've been seeing Bleach again, along with Gundam Wing reruns, and I've been, uhh, staring at Duo Maxwell for a long time :P So the inspiration for this story comes from there :D


I. White

The hospital is drowning in the color of white; the stark-white rooms show no room for specks of dirt and dust. This very room is clean, though certainly not sparkly, but still very much clean. It irritates him, because he knows how much the white-ness is hypocritical, how much horrors this room has witnessed on a regular basis, how much grief and sorrow this room has soaked up like an old, weary sponge.

The color of white has long lost appeal to him, after all.

His father, though he really isn't his father, technically speaking, is on the bed, looking deceptively peaceful. He knows how untrue that is. Iruka's lungs are heaving inside, trying to wrench free from the pounding ache he's experiencing.

His face lacks the usual smiles and cheerful facades; much like how Iruka lacks life at this precise moment. He lacks his enthusiasm, much like how Iruka lacks his warmth. Old Lady Tsunade, a friend of theirs, and a respected doctor of this hospital, tells him every single day –without fail- that Iruka will surely recover from this one, and they could all go back to their lives before this terrible blow.

He knows, however, that it's total bullshit. Yet, he also knows that the Old Hag probably had to make an uncomfortable decision between telling him the heartbreaking truth or that utter lie.

The whisker-like marks on his face look embossed, and it's above his skin, much like how Iruka is lying on the stark-white bed. The nurses come in and out at idle intervals, though he doesn't mind them. He's… still sitting on that uncomfortable, plastic, folded chair available on all hospital rooms, and he's gazing blankly at Iruka's still hands.

The white of hospital room looks cracked at some places, but he knows enough of this deceiving scheme to actually be fooled.


II. Blue

The color blue irritates him, though he likes it, on some morbid sense. He floats idly around the sterile, bland-colored hospital room, watching the young teenager cling to the presence of his beloved father.

Guardian, he corrects himself mentally with a barely-repressed snort. He doesn't quite get it, but it's not like he's supposed to question missions anyway. He overheard Itachi talking to somebody earlier –it must be Kisame- and speaking quietly about the abandoned child, now losing his beloved guardian.

Uzumaki Naruto, he remembers the name, and he's taken over by a sudden urge to test how the name rolls around his tongue. He holds it back, with impressive amounts of apathy and self-control, because, just because.

He was supposed to take the life of Umino Iruka, elementary school teacher, 34 years old, three days ago. He tries to not remember his older brother's impassive face as he reported back, saying that due to certain circumstances, Iruka is still living on the human world. Itachi's eyes have been so red at that time, and he looked at him with such distance.

"I have to kill him now," He murmurs on his normal voice, though his normal one is the voice to which hundreds of females (and irritatingly enough, some of his "victims" fell to his charming tone as well) swoon dramatically.

The blond's head snaps upwards jerkily, as though he heard somebody speak. It's impossible, of course, because he can't see, hear, touch, feel Sasuke, a Death God. He simply couldn't.

The color of blue irritates him, though it doesn't irritate him as much when he sees that color residing inside the saddened blond's eyes.


III. Red

This presence is hanging around in this room, and it's even more disturbing than when Kakashi (the super-duper pervert) is sleeping within a few inches from him that one night during a "slumber party". He feels a lingering presence, smells a fleeting scent, and sees a momentary silhouette. He ignores it, with much-needed ease, because he's here to guard Iruka until death claims him. Though, thirteen days after he has started feeling that ephemeral presence, he decides that he's had enough.

"Who are you?" He speaks above the stillness of the stark-white hospital room, and he passively notes that the air on the room feels much too thick, too stifling, and he finds himself loving the pressure on his shoulders, crawling seductively to his lungs.

"Impressive, I must say," The presence materializes fully in front of him, just across from Iruka's bed. The first thing he sees (or notices) is the pair of glowing scarlet orbs. He astonishes the Death God again by not flinching, fainting or running away from the sight of red eyes.

"Who are you?" Naruto repeats more clearly, more sternly, and Iruka doesn't even shift against the heavy, crisp-white blankets holding him down. He doesn't even twitch when the messenger of death appeared just beside him.

"How long…" The tone is testing, but not playful. "How long have you been aware?" The Death God's eyes are bland and indifferent, and his lips barely move to speak the words. Naruto feels as though the words were spoken right into his mind. He answers anyway, because this is the God of Death, this is the person who will set Iruka free from the world, and take him somewhere away from him.

"Since thirteen days ago," Naruto's answer moves his lips open and close at certain intervals, but the Death God doesn't look too surprised. In fact, the arctic look never leaves his pale, porcelain-like face. The blue-eyed teen has a fleeting thought that he wouldn't mind dying if this person (Angel? Demon? God? Spirit?) is sent to retrieve him from the world. At least, he'll die seeing somebody gorgeous.

"Ah," The single syllable's meant to sound understanding, but from the look on those condescending crimson eyes, Naruto knows that this person (whatever) doesn't really understand.


IV. Black

He wears an all-black attire, and the cloak feels nice, if slippery against his pale skin. The blue-eyed teen (Naruto, his mind whispers frantically) stares at him, and stares at him some more when he materializes an elegant-looking sword. He snaps his fingers and a chain appears at the middle of Umino Iruka's chest. The chain looks old and deteriorated, and he gazes calmly back at the blond.

He hasn't done this in front of anybody else. Usually, sending him on missions like this result in having plenty unnecessary deaths; as it is, he kills off the witnesses of his killings.

"What are you doing with a sword!" The blond questions him, gawking at the sight of a black-clothed man holding a glimmering sword right above his guardian's chest.

"…I'm cutting off his Soul Chain from this world, you idiot. What do you think I'm here for?" He snaps at the blond, who in turn, looks outraged at his less-than-warm response. He thinks idly, about the last time he snapped at anybody. He couldn't remember, probably because it never happened. He doesn't get mad (or snap) at anybody. He merely withdraws his sword, and gives the person (or soul, Death God, whichever works) an unending rest.

"…You're really a Death God." The awe is mixed with sorrow, and Naruto's hand is grasping Iruka's brown, weak hand.

"…You have to let go of him." He doesn't have any idea if his words or tone is comforting or gentle. Naruto seems to be comforted, though, because he smiles at him, giving him permission to go on.

Sasuke couldn't bear to let this pure, innocent teen watch him take away the life of one person dear, so he appears suddenly in front of Naruto (wedging himself between the blond and the bed's edge) and he knocks him out.

The black of his coat covers the silver glimmer of his sword, as it cuts the Soul Chain, irreversibly freeing Iruka's soul from his body bound to the living world.


V. Gray

The walls of Itachi's throne are painted gray, the cross between the hypocrisy of white and the reality of black. Sasuke stands stiffly before his older brother, his lips opening and closing to utter words that would later send fellow Death Gods to shock. His own red eyes clash against his brother's, but it doesn't bother him.

"I'm asking for a leave, Itachi," There is no affection, or anger in Sasuke's tone – just plain indifference. The enthralling feeling of freedom from the sight of those impossibly blue (betrayed, hurt, fragile, determined) eyes is hidden inside the recesses of the younger one's mind.

"…I'm assigning you to watch over Uzumaki Naruto, little brother." Itachi's eyes don't betray anything, but his words bring an uncharacteristic wave of relief towards the younger Uchiha.

Sasuke's new mission is like gray; it's a mixture between outright truth and round-about lie.


VI. Conclusion

Uzumaki Naruto is on the white-hued hospital bed, his eyes a bit tired. Tsunade –that damn Old Hag- insisted on keeping him here, even though he already said that he's really going to die soon. His heart feels like it's not going to beat anymore, and he doesn't want to keep his weary heart from pounding anymore.

His suspicions are confirmed when he sees Sasuke materialize beside him. Sasuke's face looks much similar with the one six years ago, but he also sees the lines of fatigue weaving around those proud cheekbones and the stern frame.

"Are you going to kill me?" Naruto asks softly, his heart pleasantly mild. He opens his tanned, weak arms towards the person beside him.

"I don't want to kill you," Sasuke replies gently, his tone now definitely comforting. He leans towards the human's touch, knowing that Itachi would scold him over this taboo. Death Gods are not supposed to mingle with humans.

"…I'm glad it's you," The blond murmurs against Sasuke's cheeks, not caring about the strands of spiky raven-colored hair that tickles his lips. The Death God doesn't stiffen from the action; it's like he's been expecting this all along.

Sasuke's lips brush over Naruto's in a ghost-like touch, and it's gone within a few seconds, minutes, hours, days, eternity—

The sword materializes on his trembling hands, along with Naruto's dwindling Soul Chain.

"I'm going to set you free," Sasuke mumbles to Naruto's scarred cheek, feeling the indentions on his sensitive lips. Naruto nods minutely, and Sasuke raises his sword and cuts away Naruto's soul from his physical body.

"Uzumaki Naruto," Sasuke delicately says the name, and the blond's name didn't sound so heart-wrenchingly beautiful before.

I've set you free.


OWARI

Phew, now it's done! Naruto and Sasuke not bickering (too much, at least) is odd to me, but hey, this is AU –grins- they should be able to do something aside from bickering… This is another of those "creepy fanfics", like my Never Get Away and Limits, but… -shuffles- I have a certain… liking for this type of (confusing) stories… –Now, moving on to my other updates…- :)

Reviews are highly appreciated:)