Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

Prompts: 15 pairings – final entry – prompt 5, set 2: "I have to go". Inspired by the Naruto Shippuden episode…

Ouroboros: is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail and forming a circle. It has been used to represent many things over the ages, but it most generally symbolizes ideas of cyclicality, primordial unity, or the vicious circle.

Warning: SasuNaru, yaoi, shounen-ai, weirdness (?), OOC (?), some fluff :D Spoilers, like whoa D: This isn't tragedy, but it isn't happy fluffy either. You know that you're a SasuNaru fangirl if you try to distort the episodes as much as possible to make it a SasuNaru fic :P Mild lime at the last scene—I didn't rate this M because the rest of fic isn't M-ish, so please keep in mind that the last scene is citrus-flavored XD

Rushed, frantic footsteps resounded in the earth-smelling corridors. The flames that flickered around melted around Naruto's form as he ran –ran, ran, ran…- towards a destination that he wasn't sure where, but he was sure about nevertheless. It was unexplainable, but there are a lot of things that couldn't explained, and this particular person, this goal, was one of those.

Tanned hands tightly gripped the doorknob and threw the door violently open. Empty, except for some boxes and chairs. And of course, the unhealthy stench of danger and malice.

"…He's not here…" He muttered to himself, a bit disappointed and a bit relieved at the same time. He wasn't sure if he could handle being apart from the other one second more than necessary, but he was also not sure if he could handle breathing in the same space as him.

There was a loud explosion that shook the ground, and Naruto stopped. The torches shook as well, and his shadow became distorted. If he looked hard enough, he could see him there. His spiky hair looked longer in his shadow, and the yellowish-red floors could blend into the eyes of his shadow… and he'd be him.

His heartbeat drummed faster inside his ribcage, and he was fairly sure it wasn't because of his constant running. His legs dashed towards the source of the explosion, even though his mind was still reeling with shock, longing and anxiety.

Annoyingly enough, the only coherent thought in his mind was if Sasuke was wearing his present. Because he—he insisted on wearing these now-short pants, even though he disliked the fact that it doesn't cover his legs completely, even though Jiraiya frowned at him too many times about this.

Sakura-chan was already there, along with Sai, and Yamato-sensei, and they were all staring –with such accusing and betrayed eyes…- on a figure atop a pile of rocks and foundation.

For a fleeting moment, Naruto thought that the remnants of his life were like the destroyed debris that scattered around them. And he was also standing atop his broken pieces, reigning over parts of himself even though he already claimed to cut off the bonds between them.

"Naruto, huh?" His voice was impassive, but there was also that small tinge of thrill, of amusement, because he was wearing his present, after all. His heartbeat pounded even faster than before.

They were close—though not as close when they were still in the Academy, when they were still Team Seven, when they were still bickering rivals, when they ran into each other during Naruto's training with Jiraiya…

They were close to each other now, nevertheless, and it filled Naruto with an unhealthy mixture of dread and anticipation. His lips moved out of their own accord, probably voicing the only thought that filtered inside his mind ever since he could remember. Only a single thought, only a single reason, only a single person…



--Sasuke x Naruto oneshot--

Our relationship might be a chronic disease… our love might be poison… but being apart from each other, not loving each other, is death.

It was one year after Naruto left Konoha to train with Jiraiya, and while he was too preoccupied with training and becoming stronger, his mind was also constantly filled with thoughts of Sasuke.

The white-haired pervert often teased him about it—after all, dreaming about Sasuke and shouting out his name during his sleep wasn't really normal, was it?- but there were times when Jiraiya would reproach him about it. Naruto didn't like those times, because Jiraiya would then compare Sasuke to Orochimaru—and he would never allow that to happen.

July 23 was arriving quickly, and Naruto ignored Jiraiya's dubious looks at his red-punctured hands. The old hermit might not look it, but he was wise. So Naruto knew that Jiraiya knew about his endeavors about sewing something to remember Sasuke by. Sewing was clearly not his strong point, but it's not like Naruto had the chance to give this present to Sasuke anyway.

He finished his project of sewing numerous little Uchiha symbols, with some pieces a bit wrinkled, while some stretched too tight, but Naruto was proud of the fact that he was able to finish before the clock struck twelve.

"Happy birthday, Sasuke," Naruto whispered into the stars, as he leaned heavily against the window of their room. He was grateful that Jiraiya chose to go out for the night; the blond easily ignored the way Jiraiya looked at him worriedly earlier that day.

Tears didn't fall down from his cheeks, but Naruto knew that it didn't mean anything.

…He knew he was crying inside, anyway.

Naruto was looking for his present to Sasuke. He was pretty sure that he just placed those on the bedside table—but now, they're gone. His first thought was that Jiraiya took them, so that he could make fun of his non-existent skills, but Jiraiya wasn't even here yet.

After an hour of fruitless searching, Naruto shrugged; he probably dropped them last night when he was busy counting the stars so that he could fall asleep.

Naruto looked up from his position, kneeling beside the bed. The glass windows were wide open, letting in the bright sunlight and paltry breeze.

He was pretty sure he closed the windows shut last night, too.

A few buildings away, a person with a pale top and even paler skin watched the events inside Naruto's room. Scarlet-colored eyes easily saw the distressed look on the blond's face as he searched for his painstakingly-made presents.

Held inside the person's pale fists, were small pieces of cloth—all with the Uchiha symbol sewed into them.

Naruto wanted to get stronger—because he wanted to be the Hokage, and people would acknowledge him. He wanted to be stronger—so that he would be strong enough to gain Sasuke's acknowledgement.

Sasuke noticed that Naruto was becoming stronger—and he would hear the malicious whispers of his older brother, about him being weak, about Naruto being more interesting than him. When he was still a young, naïve, smiling kid, he wanted Itachi to acknowledge him; right now, he still wanted Itachi to think he is strong, but more importantly, he just wanted Itachi dead.

But Sasuke wouldn't be strong enough—he couldn't be like, and more than his brother, if he remained with these bonds, bonds that held him tight against Naruto and the raw feelings that floated and glued them together. And so, Sasuke would go away, in hopes that by putting physical distance, those emotions would dissolve and stopped tugging at them together.

And then, Naruto would become hurt that Sasuke was ignoring him and his efforts again, though he wouldn't understand them completely, because Sasuke was a complicated person. The bonds and feelings between them wouldn't disappear—because… just because, and Naruto doesn't understand them at all, but he knew that he couldn't live without those.

So, Naruto would chase after Sasuke and become stronger to catch up to the Uchiha, and Sasuke would feel threatened by the persistent feelings, and he would want to stay with Naruto, but he would hear Itachi's words again, and he would move away…

And the vicious cycle, and it was the never-ending dance which broke their bones, punctured their hearts and chipped their thoughts—but never their feelings; if it changed, it only grew more addicting, more of a life-necessity.

It was only around a week before they would go back to Konoha. They were supposed to return two weeks ago, but Jiraiya didn't want Naruto to come back during the Festival of Kyuubi's Defeat.

At least here, in a small village away from Konoha, the people weren't celebrating that day. At least here, Naruto could celebrate his fifteenth birthday.

Time passed and now, Naruto was more subdued and more serious-looking than before. Jiraiya almost missed the rowdy child, naïve and innocent and unhurt and had no other goals other than being Hokage and impressing Sasuke.

Sasuke—Jiraiya had to admit that the Uchiha brat was better in changing –affecting, hurting, breaking- people than Orochimaru.

He didn't question the Pervert Hermit's sudden bout of generosity; because he figured out that it's a payback to all the money that Jiraiya stole from him, anyway. He bought new sets of kunai and shuriken and exploding notes and other artillery. Of course, he still indulged his ramen-loving tastes, but the fifteen-year-old Naruto knew the importance of certain things now. Unlike before, food wasn't the most necessary thing to him.

He thought about buying some new clothes before going back, but he was already tired from touring almost all the shops in the town. Plus, they still had time to look for new clothes in the next few days.

With that thought in mind, Naruto went back to their hotel room. As soon as he opened the door to his bedroom, though, his blue eyes were instantly riveted to a package that rested atop his bed. The window was open again, and the plain curtain swung around with the passing breeze.

Naruto gently picked up the plain white paper that came with the package.

Happy birthday, dobe.

There was no signature, but Naruto knew who was the sender, anyway.

Inside the box was a set of pants and black jackets. It was a miracle that Sasuke gave him something orange—since the Uchiha often claimed before that the color was nauseating.

Naruto knew that such gestures as this could be traps—traps to capture and ensnare him fully within the Uchiha's grasp, but he didn't really care. He wanted to savor this—because, he feared that such moments would be very, very rare—or it probably won't happen again.

"…Thank you, Sasuke…"

The trees' large branches and green leaves easily hid him away from anyone's view, but with his powerful vision, he could see everything—even Naruto's sadness, even his happiness, even his hope, even his pain.

He knew that he shouldn't have given in to his selfish impulses to visit Naruto on his birthday. He knew that he shouldn't have indulged in his want to give something to the blond. It was dangerous, too dangerous, not because Orochimaru might dislike his actions, but because he was weakening himself again.

He was growing weak with each thought about Naruto, with each jolt that he felt whenever he thought about the blond, with each time he sneaked around to see his rival again. This love-hate relationship—he didn't want to act on it, even though he was already inching closer and closer to Naruto.

"…I have to go," He whispered dully to himself, but his body wouldn't budge away from the tree branch, his eyes wouldn't stray away from watching Naruto, his mind wouldn't think of any other thing aside from Naruto and Itachi.

Naruto's feelings of hope and love for him… His feelings of jealousy and love for Naruto…

These feelings were draining them both of their strength, but at the same time, these feelings were holding them steady together.

He might have cut off the bonds between them, he might have acquired the Mangekyou Sharingan, but in doing so, the bonds that kept those raw, powerful feelings were gone. And it only lead to those feelings freely floating around, seeping into him, slowly choking him and poisoning him and breathing life into him at the same time.

He hated this cycle, but he also needed this.

He hated this need for Naruto, but it was also the same thing that continued to give him life.

"We're enemies," Sasuke breathed into Naruto's sweaty neck, already covered with vicious bites—marks that screamed possession and intimacy. He felt Naruto's heartbeat speed up at those words—or was it because of his hands running frantically up and down his back?

The blond's response was to arch his back and rub their bodies more insistently—as though saying, 'and we're still doing this anyway'. Orochimaru was already starting with his preparations to take over his body, and Sasuke has been spending more and more time out of Sound. It wasn't any coincidence that out of all the times he went out of their territory, he ended up with Naruto on some random, unknown inn, with their hands clawing at each other and offering smoothing gestures—as though they were both unsure whether to love or hate each other.

"We're lovers," Sasuke whispered into Naruto's lips, just before they sank into another passionate kiss. Naruto closed his eyes, feeling a part of himself break down and another part grow warm at Sasuke's proclamation. He knew that lying to Sakura-chan, to Tsunade-baachan, to Iruka-sensei, to everybody about not seeing Sasuke since their last encounter wasn't good, but he learned that there were some things that he must do, no matter what.

True, this cycle of meeting up, doing this actions and then resorting back to being enemies was eating away at him—poisoning him fully and effectively… Sasuke was filling his thoughts, consuming him completely… But he was pretty sure that the same thing was happening to Sasuke anyway.

With the way things were progressing, they might not end up together in the end, they might kill each other.

They might not have a happy ending.

But they have each other.

And that's enough.


A/N: I wanted to describe the canon!SasuNaru story, but I feel that this story is inadequate :( The SasuNaru relationship is just… too… uhh. I'm at a loss for words. I'd like to believe they were IC, but of course, comments are very welcome :D

I'm not sure if the dates fit with the canon storyline, so please excuse those :P Written in forty minutes, including the editing, because I was inspired by Sasuke :D (All right, I admit it, I printed his picture from Shippuden and framed it :D) ...There was that little Uchiha-fan on Sasuke's back, and Naruto's pants were a bit short :l I just had to find a SasuNaru twist in those things XDXD

Please review :)