Even In Death

It wasn't supposed to happen like this….

I had been sent on a mission to recover a stolen scroll from the village that contained hidden secrets and jutsus about our people and bloodlines. It was an S-Rank mission, requiring the assistance of the Hokage; me, Naruto Uzumaki.

I watched, unable to move as I saw the most important person in my life turn to me, soaked in blood. Even through the mass of bodies between us, I could only focus on his expression of shock and horror that covered his face. His blood-red eyes turned to his familiar black as tears threatened to fall.

We had escaped with the scroll not long after, leaving with few casualties. We were not far from the village when we ran into an ambush. It seemed that we were expected by Them.

He ran to me, dropping his sword and leaving his earlier discarded mask where it lay in the mud. I looked up helplessly as he lifted my head off the ground and onto his lap. I stared at him, heart breaking as I felt his warm tears fall onto my cheek, which was growing increasingly colder. I tried to smile for him, reassure him that everything was going to be okay. I had to deny what was happening. This was another obstacle that I could push through if I didn't give up. That's how it always turned out!

I felt my own tears roll down my cheeks as I admitted to myself that this obstacle was one that could not be overcome. Kyuubi or no, this was the end to my story. My smile disappeared as the realization sank in, and I started to cry along with my secret love.

"Sasuke, I'm cold…"

I don't know how I managed to speak the words. My throat was clogged with pain, causing me to gasp as my body started shivering uncontrollably.

They left no trace of their presence that would tell us they were near. No matter how guarded we were, we could not defend ourselves quickly enough. Before we knew it, we were being attacked from all sides with no escape. By the time we managed to fight back, nearly half of our men had been critically injured or killed. As I was battling one of the enemies which launched itself at me from above, another one had sprung at me from behind a nearby tree. I quickly sliced the first one in half, but before I could place my sword in front me in a defensive position, the second one managed to cut a deep gash along the length of my upper body. It didn't take me long to realize the blade was poisoned. I stifled a pained scream as I viciously severed his head from his body. I fell on my back to the ground, witnessing Sasuke kill off the last of the enemies, and leaving him as the last man standing.

I heard Sasuke let out a sob as he removed my head from his lap and lifted me off the ground. He sat down at the base of a giant tree that wasn't too far away and held me close to his body.

He started rubbing my arms and legs in an attempt to get my blood running faster to warm me up. I knew he could tell my body was going colder from the way he started to desperately increase the speed of his arm motions. I looked up from his shoulder, only to be greeted with a sight that made me grate my teeth to keep me from sobbing in anguish. Sasuke's mouth was clamped together tightly, trying to keep back his tears while his eyes were becoming bloodshot. The eyes that I had come to love so much were filled with fear, anguish…and denial.

He knew.

And he wouldn't accept it.

"Sasuke…" He turned his gaze towards mine in answer to his whispered name. He saw in my gaze what he had been trying so hard to ignore. A sob that I had been trying so hard to hold back, burst from my chest as he started to slowly shake his head in disbelief.

"No…no…" I closed my eyes tightly, trying to stop my tears while biting my bottom lip to keep from breaking down. "Don't leave me, Naruto. Don't you dare leave me alone! You can't! You were the most important person to me, ever since we were kids!"

He started to shake me half-heartedly, trying not to injure me further. I couldn't control myself any longer and let me tears flow, hiccoughing pitifully. I kept my teary gaze locked with his own.

"Even after I left for Orochimaru, you never gave up on me! I came back because of you! You can't leave me now that I'm here! You can't abandon me! Don't leave me alone again!"

He shifted our bodies so he was able to bury his face under my chin. Despite the current circumstances, I couldn't help but let out a small smile. No matter how hard we tried, we both couldn't forget what life was like before we found each other. Although I had Iruka-sensei, he couldn't fill the place that Sasuke could.

With as much strength as I could muster, I brought my arm around Sasuke's shoulder to fall limply in the cradle of his neck. A new set of tears started to flow, dampening his blood-caked hair. He placed his head on my shoulder and drew me into a tight embrace. I knew this would be the last chance to tell him.

"I love you", I whispered softly in his ear. I heard him let out a soft cry, holding me tighter to him, "and I'm sorry." I sensed myself growing weaker as I became less and less attached to the world I loved so much.

I couldn't see him anymore.

I felt myself being lowered to the ground as Sasuke gripped my hand tightly in his. My eyes were too heavy to lift anymore. I couldn't describe how much pain I was feeling.

A thousand sword wounds couldn't compare. I felt more tears fall on my face as Sasuke spoke the words I had been waiting so long to hear.

"I love you too, usuratonkachi…" I smiled my last at hearing those words added with Sasuke's favourite pet name meant for only me. It wasn't meant as an insult, we both knew it.

I couldn't hear him anymore.

I couldn't hear what he had said after that, or if he had said anything at all. All I knew was the sensation of the light pressure of Sasuke's tear-stained lips gently lock with mine as we kissed for the first time since the incident nine years ago. My only regret was that kiss marking the close to a future we could never have.

I couldn't feel him anymore.

I cried freely as I sensed myself slipping from Sasuke's presence. I never let my smile disappear as I left my most important person, along with the only life I had ever known.


Author's Note: Okay, I usually don't like to write stories that are sad because, truthfully, I'm a wimp XD. But this was kind of a venting of a sort. Anyways, if you liked it, feel free to review or to leave some tips to make it better. If you see any mistakes, I'll fix it -nod- And special thanks to my friend Jenette for coming up with the title!

Thanks for reading!