Note: This fic is a bit rougher than my usual, in terms of language and style. I just wanted to let the thoughts flow out onto paper. Yes, it's short. That keeps it intense. Enjoy, or not. And wow, I never thought I would end so many sentences with prepositions. That keeps it from sounding affected, in my opinion.

Someone to Drink With by ACM a.k.a. Annie May

Throughout the course of his life, Naruto had wanted many things. There were the simple things, such as an abundant supply of ramen. There were the more complex things, such as love, Sakura and Sasuke. There were the more important things, such as acceptance and the title of Hokage. Tonight, as Naruto lay in the grass, there was only one thing he wanted, the most trivial thing which had become the most important thing.

Naruto wanted someone to drink with. The wind bit at his face as he leaned backward to look at the stars. Clouds began to obscure his view. Fucking clouds. And fuck those little cups. Naruto was taking sake straight out of the bottle now, staring up at the stars he could no longer see.

What the hell was Naruto doing anyway? This wasn't like him. He was the happy-go-lucky one who loved his friends more than anything. He was always there to save them and he gave it his all. But sometimes it was just so damn tiring. And the isolation was killing him. Erosennin was only so much company. Sure he was a decent teacher and in some strange, nameless way, he cared for Naruto, but he was no substitute for the company of others Naruto's age. Why the hell had he decided to come out here? He had allowed the curse to become his sickness, his uniqueness to become his distance. This was such a mistake. He had finally found what he wanted most in life: friendship, acceptance. This mattered even more than the attainment of his goals as a ninja, which had previously served as a substitute for his true, unattainable desire. But he had found it and he left it behind!

Naruto slammed the bottle down into the grass beside him with an unsatisfyingly soft thud followed by an uncomfortable splash over his right hand.

'That's it,' Naruto thought. He was determined to burn through those clouds by staring as hard as he could. They just had to show up now. 'I CAME OUT HERE FOR STARS!'

Naruto wanted to stand up now. He wanted to run all the way back to Konoha, or until he collapsed, whichever happened first. He wanted to feel his chest tearing and his feet bleeding. He wanted to scream at the top of his lungs until he ran out of air and crash into trees and break himself in every possible way.

But he knew he couldn't do any of that now. He lay back on the ground, slamming his head into it much harder than he had intended. That was good. Naruto closed his eyes.

Really, he just wanted someone to drink with.