Connected
By Keiji

Life goes flying by the speed of sound


Pairing -
Sasuke and NarutoSummary - Naruto hardly sees life outside the four walls of his room, because of his illness. Yet, he meets someone on the internet... his first friend. His saviour, his light. Maybe... it's a start of a new life.


Iruka was not there the next morning.

His eyes simply opened, and he was awake. No struggling, no bad dreams. Instead, he laid on the soft bed, listening carefully to the silence outside of his room, feeling small shivers run up and down his cooled skin. Feeling empty.

There were footsteps, but he didn't move until the man came into the room.

It was only Genma, carrying a tray of food.

"Good morning Naruto!"

The blonde haired boy simply closed his eyes. It wasn't Iruka. Genma sighed and checked him for a moment, before leaving the tray on the table. He seemed to clink around a bit with the bowls and spoons, making sure everything was there. Then he felt a hand shake his shoulder lightly.

Naruto's eyes opened a bit and looked up distantly at Genma.

"Time to wake up," the man announced, forcing a smile onto his features. So Naruto sighed, and complied.

It felt strange, as he pulled himself out of bed.

He looked at the tray of food and then frowned, confused.

Iruka had always brought him the same breakfast every morning, despite small little differences. Sometimes a strawberry yogurt, or a vanilla one. Sometimes a croissant instead of toast, or milk instead of juice... but they were all there, exactly as how Iruka would've made his breakfast.

His heart skipped a beat, but he chose to ignore this. His head panged when he tried to think of the reason why.

"Thank you," he mumbled to Genma, noticing that the man was still standing there.

When he looked up, he realized Genma was not staring at him.

He was staring at the webcam.

"Genma-san?"

The man frowned. "Where did you get that..."

Naruto blinked, his heart pounding as he realized he was referring to the webcam sitting on top of his monitor.

"Um... that... th-that was from Iruka... so... so we could talk to each other..."

"Iruka? He gave this to you?"

"I a-asked for it..." Naruto swallowed thickly. "It's not his fault!"

Genma hesitated, and then pulled another smile over his face carefully. With an awkward chuckle he waved his hand as if to clear the situation. "Don't worry, it's no big problem... " he tapped the breakfast tray with his finger. "Don't forget breakfast, eat up!"

With a false cheeriness, the man exited the room. Click. The door was locked.

Naruto breathed in heavily again, wondering about what had just happened. What was wrong with having a webcam?

Sasuke.

Forgetting all about breakfast, he stumbled and fell onto the computer chair, quickly switching the computer on.

Impatiently, he waited for the machine to whirr slowly to life and light up. A warm glow filled his room, and he smiled as he saw the email waiting in his inbox from the Uchiha boy. Grinning, he eagerly clicked it and waited for it to open, biting his lip.

Hey dobe,

Let me know when you wake up, god knows when, so we can cam again. That is, if you have nothing else to do.

And you still owe me a photo.

Sasuke

Naruto sighed and half sunk into his chair with a stupid smile on his face, blue eyes gazing over the short email. There was just something about the way Sasuke talked and wrote which made his skin shiver, in a pleasant way. He... made him feel safe. Reassured. And at the same time panicked and excited.

For some strange reason, he just wanted to look good for Sasuke.

His heart quickened as he wondered what Sasuke thought he looked like; weird? Like a freak? He bit his lip as he tried to tame his hair with his hands, but blonde strands still popped up all over the place, like a permanent bed head. He wondered if he should wash his face or something.

He sighed. Sasuke still wanted to talk to him right? Even after seeing him twice on cam.

Gaining back his confidence, he clicked the webcam invitation and waited, heart beating.

He just wanted to see Sasuke again.


It was around 11 o clock when Sasuke received the reply from Naruto; a webcam invitation.

He couldn't help but let a grin settle on his lips. Darn it. It always happens when Naruto was around.

He clicked accept.

Within seconds, the two cam screens appeared and flickered to life.

Naruto stole his breath away, every time he saw him. Despite the dark room, his feminine features were still obvious. Pale, slim cheeks, a cute nose, and two of the bluest eyes he had ever encountered, and the soft blonde hair which framed his childish face with radiance.

The blonde was chewing on his soft lower pink lip, glancing at Sasuke's cam and then gave a small "hi". And for some strange reason, Sasuke just wanted to be there in front of him to rub his chewed pink lip and whisper hi back to him in his ear.

He swallowed. "Morning, dobe," he couldn't avoid the smile on his face. "Or should I say good afternoon, sleepyhead."

The boy pulled a cute face in protest. Sometimes, Sasuke wondered if the boy even knew how adorable he looked.

"Teme," the blonde huffed back, causing Sasuke to smirk.

Why did Naruto calling him Teme make him feel so unbelievably warm inside?

"It's almost 12."

"I can see that!" the blonde pouted.

Sasuke sighed. "You know how dark it is in your room? It's the middle of the day and it's practically pitch black in there."

Naruto stuttered for a bit, eyes glancing downwards as he seemed to fiddle with his fingers. "W-well I'm used to it."

"Come on," Sasuke coaxed, heart jolting at the thought of getting to see Naruto in better lighting. He almost felt like he was looking after a pet hamster. Naruto only scrunched his nose up reluctantly, looking at the window to his left.

"I... I guess..." He said slowly.

Slowly, the blonde stood up from the chair, as if he didn't want to do it at all. It seemed to take him a little while to move to the window that was just next to him, and he gripped onto the dark shutters tightly. Sasuke cocked an eyebrow, semi confused. He couldn't really see the shutters in the dark. Nor could he see Naruto breathing heavily against the wood.

Suddenly he heard Naruto's small voice through the cam.

"It's stuck."

Sasuke half snorted, half sighed. "Just give it a pull."

There were sounds of wood rattling against wood. "They're nailed down," was the blank reply. Naruto leaned his head against the nailed wooden shutters.

Everything seemed to pause for a second.

"...why on earth would you nail it down," Sasuke laughed hesitantly, thrown off.

Naruto looked back at the cam, a lost look in his eyes. His lips tried to form words to explain why, but he didn't know. He could tell from the look on his face. Naruto lifted his hand and slowly traced the wood, where the nails were, then breathed in deeply.

"I'm going to take them out."

Sasuke frowned. "...you don't have to... there's no need..."

Naruto was stumbling back to his chair, reaching out to grab something from his table. The sound of clinking – it was a butter knife – and then Naruto was up against the wooden shutters, looking for the nails which had been hammered in. Sasuke felt his pulse rise.

"Naruto... Naruto! Look, they must be there for a reason, anything."

Naruto only stopped for a moment. "I don't know why," he said, voice flat. "I don't get it. Why?" he whispered to himself.

Sasuke watched, helpless, as the blonde hair boy began to ram the butter knife under the nail head and try to wrench it out from the wood. The large sound of a crack and a small 'clink' meant that one had been popped out. The wooden shutters rattled again as he went for the next nail.

"L-look... who put them up? Your dad?"

Another sound of a crack and a small 'clink'. Another nail.

"I don't know."

Sasuke sat back in his chair, only able to watch as Naruto continued. His throat felt dry.

Crack. Clink.

Crack. Clink.

Suddenly, the wooden shutters spilled open by themselves, and for a moment, the whole room was bathed in clean sunlight. The cam turned bright white, before readjusting to the new light settings, and he could see the wooden shutters had popped open, finally.

Naruto was standing there, hands clenched and gripping on the window sill, and his face turned upwards to the light – Sasuke couldn't see anything but his soft blonde hair, almost golden white in the sun, and the pale smooth skin of his arms and neck.

It's beautiful...

He heard the whisper, and wondered if it was himself talking.

The cam readjusted again, and now he could see Naruto's face, and his blue eyes, squinting. Squinting as he stared up and out of the window... at the sky? A hazed, dreamy look crossed over the younger boy's features and an evident shiver ran through his body.

"It's so warm," he said finally.

Despite the confusion, Sasuke smiled.

"You look as if you've never seen the sun in your life," Sasuke joked slightly.

The blonde tore his eyes away from the view, and then suddenly frowned as he stared at the glass. Even Sasuke could see, red markings on the glass. Red, black, blue, small cracks, spray paint, little dents and words scribbled all over the glass pane.

"What's that?"

Sasuke tried to lean closer to the webcam, trying to study the words, but he couldn't make them out.

"Naruto?"


Naruto felt his hands shake slightly.

His window... it was his first time seeing the sky – no – not the first time, but the first time in such a long, long time. The blue felt like it was sucking him in, and he was covered in warmth. Warm delicious warmth from the sun.

But...

His hands shook as he read the words on the window.

Freak.

His lips trembled as he tried to decide whether to laugh or cry.

Freak – monster! Fuck off.... dried up red ink was scrawled at the top... Murderer... killer...

You don't deserve to live; etched into the glass. Long scratch marks trailed from top to bottom, littered with small cracks from the other side of the window, as if people had thrown rocks at the glass, and they had bounced off, leaving marks.

Distantly, he heard Sasuke calling his name.

He breathed in, trying to calm himself down – this was just graffiti, yes, that was it! That was what it was called on the internet... vandalism and graffiti. This was just some big silly joke or something, it probably belonged to the previous owner. Yes, that was it.

Wrenching his eyes away from the window, he stumbled back to his chair and the computer.

"You alright? –" Sasuke's voice was cut off.

Naruto tilted his head slightly. "What?"

He noticed his webcam had been lit up a significant amount. His eyes widened slightly as his own facial features sunk in. Three scorching marks on both of his cheeks, tired looking eyes and messy hair; he swallowed thickly as he lifted a finger to touch one of the marks, feeling the small indent of the scar.

He rubbed at them, uselessly, and tried to remember when he had gotten them.

Sasuke was still staring at him, eyes burning.

"I-I know," Naruto muttered. "St-stop staring at me, I know!"

The raven licked his lips to moisten them, before saying, "What?"

"I know, I'm ugly and weird, I don't care!" Naruto blurted, "Just stop looking at me like that, like... like..."

A confused look crossed Sasuke's face.

"Dobe," he finally said softly. "I could never think you look ugly or weird. You're beautiful."

The awkward words spilled from his lips, and even he looked surprised at what he had just said. And suddenly, Naruto felt his cheeks heat up at the words, and a red colour spread across his cheeks and touched the tip of his ears.

Sasuke only half smiled half smirked at this before continuing. "Your eyes make the sky jealous," he whispered.

Naruto's heart beat thudded as he blushed harder, looking downwards. All thoughts of Sasuke just toying with his mind disappeared. The look on his face was just... intense. And real. And he suddenly felt so close to him. The raven settled back in his chair, as if pleased.

"Teme," Naruto mumbled, although a smile edged on his lips. "I bet you say that to all the girls."

Sasuke snorted lightly, and then gave a small laugh.

"To be honest, I don't."

Naruto blinked, and his heart swirled. "Why not?" he asked curiously.

Sasuke frowned a bit. "Why should I."

The blonde fell silent and resumed blushing, finger tracing the edge of his desk.

"I don't like to talk to girls, really," The raven suddenly mused. His eyes were looking somewhere else.

Naruto gave him a confused look. "I thought you'd have lots of frien-"

"I do," Sasuke snapped, and then sighed. "That's not the point; the point is that all they can see in front of them is something pretty. I hate it when people look at me and want to bend over backwards to do what I want, just because of the way I look. That's why..."

"...that's why what?"

Sasuke bit his lower lip, studying him through the cam.

"What about your friends?"

Naruto stammered.

"M-my friends? I... um... my friends... they're great," he said quickly, fidgeting with the edge of his shirt.

Sasuke made a small nod, giving a somewhat saddened smile.

"I bet they are," Pause. "You're so likeable, and easy to talk to." After saying it, Sasuke suddenly sat up straight and hardened his eyes, trying to shake off the soft moment they were sharing. He turned to the sheets on his desk and started piling them up. "You're also annoying sometimes. In a nice way."

Naruto huffed and scrunched his nose up. "And you're nice sometimes, but you're still a teme."

Sasuke laughed.

"Ne, Sasuke?"


The raven smiled and looked at the blonde on the cam.

"Yeah dobe?"

The blonde pulled a face again at the nickname, then grinned back eagerly, childishly.

"Do you like me? Really?"

Sasuke stopped shuffling the papers on his desk, glancing at the pens, then the table top, then back at Naruto's soft blue eyes. They were waiting for him to respond. He felt air shift inside of his lungs as he tried to think of an answer which made sense.

He moistened his lips. "Dobe, I just said that."

"But do you think I'm... well... pretty?"

Sasuke almost choked. Naruto was blushing furiously on the webcam. Which was cute... but still!

"I..." he coughed a little. "you don't ask guy's things like that," he finally said firmly.

The blonde looked confused.

"Why not?"

"Because," he snapped, feeling uneasy. God's, why was he feeling uneasy?

"Because what?" Naruto continued, stubbornly, but tentatively, as if he really didn't understand. "It's just a simple question, do you think I'm..."

"Yes!" Sasuke wanted to slap a hand over his mouth. Damn this kid and his unintentional workings...! "What I mean to say is; it's just such a... a gay question."

Naruto's face blanked. "Gay...?"

"Yes, gay," Sasuke shot, just managing to grab his voice before he began to explain what gay was to the boy.

"Fine," the blonde finally puffed, folding his arms.

And despite the rather awkward situation, Sasuke couldn't help but think in his head how incredibly hard it was to control himself around the boy – he hardly even knew him, yet there he was, on a rollercoaster of emotions, unable to understand.

Not to mention Naruto was just so darn cute when he talked to him.

His small cam chat with the boy however, was interrupted with three sharp knocks on his bedroom door.

He jerked at the noise.

"What is it?" Naruto asked, curiously.

"The door," Sasuke muttered, "I'll be right back."

Reluctantly, he left his laptop and jumped up for the door before the person knocking on it destroyed it any further. He grabbed the handle and wrenched it open, just enough to see the face however, unwilling to let someone in his room whilst he was talking to Naruto.

"Hey, Sasuke," it was Neji, giving him a weird look. "What's wrong with you?"

Sasuke cast him a dark look. "What is it?"

"You forgot? Sakura's birthday, down at the Kimmikos..."

"I'm not going," but Neji jammed the door open with his foot as Sasuke tried to close it.

"Sorry mate, Kakashi wants you out of this room for at least two hours... says you need to get some fresh –"

"Alright," Sasuke snapped, gritting his teeth together.

Firmly shutting the door, he crossed the room back to his laptop.

His eyes softened at the sight of the cute boy who was eating a yogurt.

"Hey, Naruto,"

Naruto looked up, blushing. He set the yogurt cup down and wiped his lips quickly.

"...I've got to go out. Friend's and stuff... I'll talk to you tonight, ok?"

"O-ok,"

Sasuke gave a quick smile, delighted to have a grin back in return. A small smudge of pink yogurt was left on the boys lip, strawberry, and for a moment, he wanted to lick it off the laptop screen. Instead, he settled for a small smirk before he left.

"You got some on your lip there. Bye dobe."


Well the reviews begging me to continue kinda tipped me over the edge.

There are reasons which I didn't want to continue, which I won't spam here with :)

There were two versions to this story, but I preferred this one. It actually broke out two more clues for the next chapter

have fun.

keiji xx