Loss

There was too much blood as Naruto dropped to his knees next to his rival. No amount of blood could come from one person, but it was just Sasuke who was hurt, just Sasuke who was…

"Kiba, go find a medic nin," Naruto muttered hoarsely as he pulled off his jacket to wrap around his teammate. Kiba nodded grimly and then was gone, bounding off through the trees back to the main battlefield. Naruto looked worriedly down at the Uchiha's face. It was paler than it normally was, and Naruto felt his stomach clench. "Sasuke?" He whispered; he felt if he spoke any louder his voice would crack. Now was not a time to be weak.

Sasuke's eyes flickered open and stared momentarily into nothingness before they focused on Naruto. The blond gave him a weak smile. "Don't worry, the medics are on their way. They'll be here soon, ok?" Naruto told the man softly, as he gently lifted him so he could wrap the jacket around his bleeding form. Sasuke coughed, and blood slipped from his mouth, running down his chin. Naruto winced as he caught sight of the gaping hole in Sasuke's back, and gently pulled Sasuke so he was resting in his arms. A flash of a memory from years earlier registered in Naruto's mind. He had held Sasuke like this before, but it had been on a bridge, and mist had surrounded them everywhere. But now they were in a forest, tall dark trees looming up all around them, and darkness settling in overhead. A cold hand brushed against Naruto's arm, and he glanced down at the man lying in his arms.

"You're shaking," Sasuke remarked coolly, albeit a bit weakly. His eyes were duller than Naruto remembered, and a pang of fear shot up Naruto's spin. "Are you that worried for me, Dobe?"

Naruto attempted a coarse laugh, but it sounded and fake even to him. "Worried about you, Teme? I have no reason to be worried. You'll bounce right back up and then I can kick your ass for getting hurt. I'm looking forward to that." The lie fell flat, but neither man commented on it. A drop of rain hit Sasuke's forehead, and the stoic ninja winced. Naruto heart gave a painful throb, and he quickly brushed his hand gently over Sasuke's smooth forehead.

"Hang on, ok Sasuke? The medics should be here really soon." He leaned down and carefully fitted his lips over Sasuke's blood coated ones like he had so many times before. There was a weak response from Sasuke, and Naruto pulled back when he felt Sasuke try to speak.

"I love you Naruto." He whispered softly. Naruto felt the tears begin to sting his eyes, but he pushed them back. It sounded almost like Sasuke was… giving up. No, that couldn't be right Sasuke never gave up. If he wouldn't give up to best friend and rival all those years ago, then he wouldn't give up now. Not to something so insignificant as death. Both of them had over come death too many times before to finally give up now.

"Hey, don't you dare die on me." Naruto growled as he gently passed a hand over Sasuke's cheek as his eyes began to drift shut. Naruto watched as Sasuke pushed his eyelids back open with some effort and took a moment to focus on Naruto before he continued. "We have a pact, remember? One doesn't die without the other, and I'm not dying, so there's no way you are now, there's no way…" His voice cracked as tears crept into eyes. "You can't leave me alone Sasuke."

"I'm sorry…" Cough, more blood spilling from in between his lips "Naruto." The light in his eyes was beginning to go out, and Naruto frantically leaned down to kiss him again.

"No! You don't get to die. You belong to me! This face," he stroked a hand down Sasuke's cheek again. "These lips," he kissed him gently. "These hands! They're all mine, and I'm not going to let you take them away from me!" Naruto laced his large fingers with Sasuke's thin, delicate ones. "You can't take your heart away from me Sasuke," he whispered "It's all I have." The tears fell, matching the rain that was now coming down in sheets, and Naruto leaned protectively over his friend to keep him dry.

Sasuke smiled softly as he attempted to keep his eyes focused on Naruto. "You're still an idiot. You have everybody else to look after you. You're not alone in anyway. And…" He struggled to lift his arm, and Naruto took it carefully, resting it on his cheek. "I'll always been in your heart." Naruto gave a mournful whine, and turned his head so he kissed Sasuke's palm.

"I don't want you to die."

A classic Sasuke smirk lit his friends face, and for a moment, Naruto sure Sasuke was going to pull through. The light was suddenly back in his eyes, and Naruto easily recognized his old childhood friend. "Life isn't fair, Naruto." And he ghosted his thumb over his lover's lips. "But I'll still…" the light was slipping again, and then fading fast and Naruto panicked, kissing him again. "I'll still be here."

The smirk slipped into a grimace of pain, and then, slowly, the charcoal eyes slipped shut. Naruto shuddered, not bothering to wipe the tears as they freely fell from his eyes. He leaned over a carefully kissed Sasuke's forehead. "I love you too, Sasuke." He whispered. A smile lit Sasuke's face, and then he was gone.

Naruto didn't bother to hold back his howl as he pulled Sasuke's head up and frantically kissed his face. He whined softly as he rocked his friend in his arms, brushing back the regal black hair from his pale face. He ignored the pounding feet that were drawing closer, and the shout of his name. He didn't hear the gasp, or feel the gentle hand on his shoulder. He wouldn't listen to Sakura's attempt at calming him through her own tears, or let Shikamaru remove Sasuke from his arms. He didn't accept the coat placed over his shoulders, or the cup of something warm given to him. Sasuke was dead, nothing else mattered.