Cold Day In Hell: lets call it a romance

7 Years Ago: Konohagakure

Uchiha Sasuke never lost. Since birth the boy had been touted by a genius by those outside of his clan. Always top of his class, always the first to master a new jutsu. He always had the last word, always had something witty to say, with that arrogant smirk on his perfect little face. All the girls loved him, all the boys wanted to be him, and all the adults would coo and compliment him, doting on the most promising of the young shinobi. This was all only to be expected though, he was an Uchiha after all. He was the last Uchiha.

Well, technically he wasn't the last Uchiha, not yet anyways. But he would be, he would be soon, when he was powerful enough to take down his brother. The thought of that fed the burning in his chest, it reminded him why he was standing out here, in the cold rain, why he was breathing hard, form twisted from the cursed seal, transformed into something not quite himself. That goal was the only goal in his mind, as he stared at the body by his feet.

Tanned skin was a sharp contrast to the gray stone and dirt, now damp from the rain and a little worse for wear. Sasuke pushed the small tightness in his chest away, his fist clenching and unclenching uncomfortable as the feeling still lingered, of having thrust that hand right through the boy's chest, hot blood and meat and bone parting and cracking around it. It was unnerving to say the least, but to him what was even more unnerving had come afterwards, when the wound had already knitted closed, healed over by the unbreakable spirit of that boy. He really was Sasuke's only equal, even if they could not be more opposite.

Naruto had always had softness in him, he had always had a shimmering and exuberant cloud around him, loud where the Uchiha was silent, bright where the Uchiha was dark. He was always there, empathetic and caring, fixing people's problems where Sasuke could only fight for his distance and disconnection. He had been the dead last, the dobe, bottom of the barrel, almost not graduating. But he'd pushed on, he'd fought to become what he wanted to be, not because of what he was as Sasuke had, but despite of it. That scared the Uchiha.

What scarred the dark shinobi even more was what the blond boy did to him. Those blue eyes, before they flickered closed then, had spoken volumes left unsaid. He was the Uchiha's only equal, his only real rival, his best and only friend. Those last moments all of this had shone in those eyes, and more, something deeper. There had been love there, no resentment or resignation, only anger, hurt, concern, and love and it had scared the shit out of him.

That was why, standing here above the boy, Sasuke couldn't make that final killing stroke, even though Naruto was out like a light, and it would have been so easy to snap his neck, to smother him, push him off the cliff and watch him drown. But he couldn't do any of those things, not anymore, and if he really looked inside himself he'd have to admit not ever. He sighed, turning to leave, and promising himself that he would return when he was finished, once he had no other goals, and fix what was now broken. People falling for him was not new to the Uchiha, everyone loved him, that wasn't the thing that mattered so much here, even if, in a way, it was the only thing that mattered.

Because he'd seen the love in Naruto's eyes and the twisting pain in his own chest had only gotten hotter. He knew the blonde boy on the ground behind him now was his only equal, his only real rival, and the only one he could ever love in return.

Present Day: Konohagakure

It had taken a long time after his return for Sasuke to be trusted out of protective custody, and who could blame them really? He was a powerful ninja, he didn't have many to equal him, there were few who could truly be his rival, and he had betrayed them, the village and those who had thought of themselves as his friends. In those weeks there were many faces he saw that had once been familiar, but they were all colored slightly with bitter anger at him. He supposed he deserved that really.

Though leaving was something he wouldn't let himself regret, he did regret how he had done it, and what he had left behind. The longer he stayed though the softer those faces got, the anger his old peers felt at him, and his betrayal growing weaker, diffusing in time as they slowly forgave him. He had been locked up in the Hokage tower those first three months, and they had been long and boring months to be sure.

The first one who visited him there was Sakura, her face a hard professional mask. She had been sent to look him over, as Tsunade's apprentice in the healing arts, and she had been positively icy with him when he asked after everyone else,telling the bare minimum about each one until he finally worked up his nerve to ask about Naruto. She paused then, her eyes blanked, and she smiled a frigid little smile, and only said two words.

"He's fine."

The next to visit had been Kiba, accompanied by his teammates Shino and Hinata. The boys had been nice enough, not as cold as Sakura, but equally as distant with him, but it was Hinata who had refused to speak to him until right before they'd left. She'd told him how much he'd hurt people, and some person in particular too, how everyone had been shattered when he left, how Sakura had cried and Naruto had tried his best to comfort her. There was anger in her eyes when she told him that and it made him shiver, he hadn't know Hinata was capable of that. When they were leaving, at the door she'd turned back to him, and her voice was coated with ice.

"When you get out, you'd better go visit him." He hadn't had to ask who she was talking about.

The rest of his time went by quickly, visits from everyone he used to know except the one he really wanted to see, the one he was worried most about. The boy hadn't shown up and it pissed Sasuke off a little bit but in the end he couldn't really blame him. Sasuke told himself he probably wouldn't have wanted to see him much either, if things had been reversed. He sighed, as he walked down the path, still familiar after all these years, and climbed the stairs to the blond boy's apartment. He had thought about putting it off, but he'd pushed that down, knowing he couldn't sleep right until he told his former teammate how he felt, that he was back and now he was ready, that he needed to hold him now, needed his touch like he'd denied before. He needed Naruto because without him this wasn't really home.

Sasuke had been nervous when he'd knocked at the door, once, twice in quick succession. He heard the stirring within and he almost bolted then, not sure if his pride would let him say the things he really needed to say to the only person left he could love, his only equal, his only rival. His mouth went dry when the boy answered the door, yawning and stretching, chest bare, dressed only in loose black pants. He was stunning.

"Naruto" It escaped Sasuke's mouth before he could think, low and breathy, like a sigh of relief. The blue eyes in front of him went cold, he could see the boy's body tense.

"Sasuke, why are you here?" His tone was crisp and formal, all of the relaxed grace was gone now, and in its place there was a tightly coiled discomfort, a distance he had never seen in Naruto before. Sasuke went to step forward, his first reaction a desire to hold the boy, to bring him in tightly against his own body and rock him until he relaxed, until he said everything is fine now, i missed you so much...

What he got instead was a hand on his chest, pushing him back, keeping him at arms length. He was confused, sure that Naruto would want this, want him. He looked back up into blue eyes, cloudy and storming now.

"I said what the fuck do you want?" Sasuke tried to recover, tried to figure out where he went wrong, and how he could fix it.

"I just - You didn't come to see me, I wanted to see you, I needed..." He trailed off, his mind cursing how lost he sounded. None of this was right, this wasn't how things were supposed to be.

"What Sasuke? Did you honestly expect me to waltz down there and see you after what you did? You left, you abandoned me, you abandoned all of us. Do you know how long Sakura cried after you left? She tried to stop you and all you did was throw her to the side like she didn't even matter." There were unspoken words there, behind, underneath, and ME, you left ME, even after all of that... He swallowed hard, not sure what to say. He couldn't look Naruto in the face anymore, couldn't see those eyes. The hand dropped from his chest and the boy let out a weary sigh, slumping slightly against the door frame.

"I just - Naruto..." He didn't know how to say it, couldn't make himself say it, but he knew how to show him. He surged forward then, eyes closed, and kissed him hard. He put everything into that kiss, all the words he couldn't say, all the things he wished he hadn't done, how he wished he hadn't had to hurt them, hurt HIM. The next thing he knew there was a fist connecting with his jaw and he saw Naruto standing over him, his face a stone mask again, his eyes angry, almost red now.

"Naruto?" the noise made him jump, at first he thought the words were his, he had spoken without realizing, because there was real concern there. But it had come from behind the blond boy, inside the apartment. His stomach tied itself in a tight, thick knot them, and he couldn't breathe.

Sasuke opened his mouth to speak, but he was interrupted.

"I don't fucking want to hear it, do you know how much you hurt everyone?" Then that voice spoke again, soft and low and calm, slight concern in it, and a figure appeared behind Naruto, outlined in the doorway.

"Is everything okay out here?" Sasuke's heart stopped when he saw the boy. His skin was pale, his dark hair tousled, his eyes waiting for the slight nod from the blond before darting down to look at the boy on the ground in front of them. They went cold as ice, and Sasuke could feel the physical void inside himself, painful and cold, when those strong hands touched the blond boy, falling comfortably to his hips, pressing the pale and naked chest against the tanned plains of Naruto's back. The blond sighed.

"Everythings fine Sai, it's nothing I can't handle. Go back to bed, I'll be there in a second." Sasuke's world was falling apart around him now, he could have sworn the earth was shaking, the mountains were falling, but the only thing he could hear was the soft slide of skin against skin as the boy stepped back, the brush of his lips on Naruto's shoulder even as his dark eyes never left Sasuke's face.

Blue eyes looked down on him again, and they were tired now. They swept across his shocked expression, and the boy smiled without mirth.

"What? Did you expect me to just wait around here for you? Sit on my ass pining for the one who broke my heart - and you did Sasuke, you broke my fucking heart - but I got over you, I moved on, because I'm strong, and I never forgot what was important to me."

Sasuke didn't know what to say, his mind was blank, his world still falling around him. He barely even registered the derisive snort, and shake of the blond head. Naruto closed his eyes.

"Go home Sasuke. This could have been your home once, but it isn't anymore."

With that the door was slammed, quietly, and Sasuke was left sitting on the cold concrete of the balcony wondering still what the fuck had just happened. He could hear his own heart breaking. He didn't notice himself get up, didn't register his feet pattering across the rooftops as he ran, he didn't know where he was going. All he could feel were the trails of the tears on his cheeks and the hollow left inside his chest.

A/N: Good? Bad? Ugly? read review and tell me .