old A/N: Hey look, I continued to write immediately following the posting of the previous chapter…even though I can barely keep my eyes open and I have a midnight shift tomorrow… why do I write and post fanfiction again?
new A/N: I have decided that this will be the last chapter. There was supposed to be another one after this but... yeah... Like I said, I really, and I mean REALLY started to hate this one. Plus, I can't find my notes. (unsurprising really, I wrote them 3 years ago when I was at UBC. I moved back home and have remodelled my room twice since...)
Summary: Uhh…they talk about what happened? Damn ooc and sappy.
Warnings: umm…slight OOC since I haven't watched Naruto more than a couple of episodes. Ideas and characters come from fanfics, twisted, I know. Slight yaoi.
Disclaimer: I'm about $15,000 in debt. No joke. What do you think, hmm?
This is dedicated to Akira Nishikawa because she was the first to review the last chapter, and was so understanding when I said I didn't want to finish! Enjoy!
"Yo, Sasuke." No response. He tried again. "Sasuke." The boy's hand twitched at the mention of his first name and Neji, feeling heartened, continued. "I'm sorry."
There was a brief silence, and Neji started getting nervous despite himself. He had no idea why he had suddenly blurted that out. Yes, he was sorry and wanted to apologize, just not out of the blue like that! And he had started out far too casually for such an apology. He hadn't even looked the other teen in the face as he spoke! Well, Sasuke's eyes were closed, and couldn't see anyway, but it was the principle of the matter.
"What was that Hyuuga?" Neji swallowed. Apparently Sasuke had a bit of a sadistic streak, making him swallow his pride and repeat himself. He knew damn well that Sasuke had heard him. Try as he might, Sasuke could never totally ignore someone he didn't trust, that was a fatal error, and as much as it hurt Neji to admit it, right now, Sasuke didn't trust him. He took a deep breath and steeled his nerves.
"I'm sorry, Sasuke." Good, he had said that par without a stutter. "I'm sorry I followed you home. I didn't realize it was such a…umm…" damn, he was stuck. "I was just curious! I didn't mean to hurt you!"
"Why did you follow me?" Neji cocked his head to one side. He was still seated cross-legged beside the smaller male, though he had turned his upper torso to face his companion, Sasuke was still maintaining his seat, not even opening his eyes.
"Well, I was curious." Neji reasoned out. "No-one knew were you lived. At first I was curious, then I wondered why you didn't want anyone else to know."
"Well, since it was so obvious, why did you insist on stalking me-"
"I wasn't stalking you!"
"-when you knew I wanted to be left alone. I thought you could control your curiosity better, Hyuuga. If I don't volunteer information, don't pry."
"We're shinobi," Neji pointed out wryly. "We never volunteer any information. About anything." Sasuke opened his eyes, turning his head to lock eyes with the other brunette.
"Huh…you have a point. But if my own cell didn't know, my sensei didn't know, did you really think that you had a right to know?" Neji looked away, not wanting to meet cold ebony orbs full of righteous fury. "Why the hell do you guys want to know so badly anyway?"
"You mean aside from the practical reasons?" Neji shot back. Sasuke rolled his eyes.
"I can just as easily, if not more so, go to them. They all live nearer Konoha centre, I live on the outskirts, I'm actually doing them a favour."
"What if you were sick or wounded? What if that thing finally collapses down on top of you?"
"So what?" Sasuke asked nonchalantly. "I can take care of myself, I have since I was 8."
"Why is it so hard to believe that people actually care about you!" Neji exploded, jumping to his feet. Sasuke leapt up too, moving back in the face of his anger, but Neji didn't notice. "I know you don't want to acknowledge it Sasuke, but people do care for you! Your team-mates, Sakura and Naruto, Kakashi, hell, the whole Rookie Nine! Gai, Lee Ten-Ten and myself, we all worry!" Sasuke blinked, surprised out of his stupor.
"Neji…you…worry about me?"
"Of course, why the hell not!"
"Well, why would you worry about me?" Neji froze up at the question. "You guys aren't in my cell, you weren't in my class, we only met during the Chuunin exam, and I'd hardly call our first meeting a good one."
"Though it was memorable." Neji noted, lips twitching slightly at the memory.
"You're dodging the question, Hyuuga."
"Back to 'Hyuuga' already?" Neji complained. Sasuke didn't rise to the bait, they both knew Neji was stalling. He sighed, "I don't know why I care, alright?" Sasuke raised a single eyebrow in a way that creepily reminded Neji of Kakashi. "You're a good opponent Sasuke, and a better ally. The past week, I was even tempted to call us friends." He looked up, once again locking eyes with the younger teen. "Why do you stay in that house Sasuke?"
Sasuke sighed, running a hand distractedly through his hair. He knew Neji was sincere, which actually kinda scared him. He knew this would happen once people found out where he lived, hence the reason he avoided mentioning it at all. Sighing again, he stepped back to his previous position by the pond and flopped down, giving a half-hearted wave to indicate that Neji join him. The long-haired brunette did so, his eyes never leaving the tired face to the raven, scrutinising his every move.
"This is why I never told anyone." Sasuke stated in a flat voice. "I knew they'd all act like you. Well, probably worse, considering. Why do you all have such huge issues with me living in that house?" He tilted his head towards Neji, looking at the other out of the corner of his eye. Neji sat back slightly, considering his answer.
"Well," he began, his voice unsure, "I think it' because we don't understand why you would want to live in that house. I mean, it's in ruins for starters, it looks like it could collapse any second. And, it's where…umm…" Glancing at Sasuke, he swallowed, unsure of how to proceed without tearing open old wounds. Sasuke motioned that he should continue, and Neji reluctantly did so. Knowing that anything he said was bound to hurt the Uchiha, Neji decided to be up front and honest. "It's where your brother killed everyone. I couldn't imagine returning there, day after day. I would see the massacre over and over again. I hated hearing about it, even my Uncle was disturbed after he investigated it. I wouldn't want to be constantly reminded of all that death. At the very least it would depress me…actually, it depresses and saddens me to just talk about it. Sasuke, it can't be good for your mental and psychological health, staying there all the time!"
"That's where you're wrong, Neji."
"You and everyone else." Sasuke unfolded himself from the lotus position he had unconsciously adopted as he had sat down. Stretching his legs out he leaned back on his hands, tilting up his face to the mid-day sun. Idly, he marvelled at the fact that he and Neji had sat for over 3 hours in such a tense atmosphere. Acutely aware of the face that Neji's eyes had never left him, he took a deep breath and prepared himself to tell Neji what he had never even sated out loud.
"You do realize how incredibly cheesy that conversation was? Among other things?"
"…it never happened."
*** *** ***
Gai smiled brightly at the two teams waiting for their sensei at the bridge. The six teens stared at him, stared to his left, then stared back at the smiling man. Naruto began rubbing his eyes furiously as Sakura continued to stare, along with Neji, Ten-Ten and Lee, the latter's mouth slightly open. Sasuke looked, blinked, looked again, then rolled up his fore-arm protectors to reveal his wrist watch. He looked at it, blinked, checked it again, before undoing it and holding it up to his ear to ensure that it was working. Once satisfied that it was, he strapped it back on his arm and turned on his heel.
"Hey, Sasuke! Where are you going?"
"To write my will." The brunette deadpanned. "It's gotta be the end of the World if Kakashi is on time."
"Is it really that surprising?" the copynin complained to no-one in particular.
A/N: Uhh, yeah… if it appeared choppy, that's cos it was. I wrote down some random lines I thought I should have them use, then couldn't work up to it and just threw them in there. I'm really sorry to all you guys who like this story. I should work harder on it, to show my respect to everyone who reads, reviews, favs and alerts this, but I honestly can't work around it. It's hard to write something you hate. I'm doing what I can, but it's already veered off track to what I originally planned…
And having said that, as I previously mentioned, this is the end. Thank You to all the readers and reviewers who have stayed with me up till now (not sure why, but thank you nevertheless.) I do apologize to everyone for the slow updates, the total lack of enthusiasm and interest and the terrible, terrible ending. I just felt that I had to finish it.
Once again, Thank You and goodbye!