Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Sorry this took so long, I've been dealing with a lot of stress. Jeez, I miss being a teen with no issues whatsoever. You know the usual shit; suicidal thoughts, depression, and he said-she said bullshit. I'm very thankful that I haven't done anything stupid because then I'd be leaving all of you guys without finished stories! :laughs: I hope you enjoy this chapter guys, you mean a lot to me.
Hopefully, this long chapter makes up for the long wait D:
DEDICATED TO RAY-SENPAI BECAUSE SHE'S AMAZING!
Low clouds circled the high mountains and hills everyone was hiking up, covering the thin path in a thick fog. Hinata kept to Kiba's side, holding onto his arm in fear of falling off the edge of the cliff, Naruto was chatting with Hide Zou like there wasn't a single worry in the world, Sakura was kicking pebbles down into the forest hundreds of feet below them, and Ino and Sasuke were in the back, silent. Sasuke kept his eyes shut and let his friend lead him, not too fond of heights after his death.
Sakura whispered a 'sugoi' as she kicked a few more pebbles over the ledge, scaring poor Hinata to death. The darker-haired girl clung to her boyfriend like no tomorrow, worried that Sakura's curious activity would cause the whole trail to collapse beneath them.
"P-please stop, Sakura," she whimpered pathetically, earning a kiss on the forehead from Kiba. The tan teenager looked back at his friend with a sly grin, wondering if the obnoxious female would hit the ground below faster than the stupid pebbles. He was tempted by the thought, but kept himself in check.
"Don't worry, Hinata-chaaaaan!" Naruto grinned, holding Hide Zou's hand. "Nothing'll happen, I promise. Aunt Chie wouldn't bring you up here if she thought there was any danger."
Chie nodded as she tied her shoulder-length hair back into a messy ponytail. Grass stains were on the bottom of her worn out jeans and sweat matted the hair on the back of her neck, a tan forming on her creamy skin. She led them further up the mountainous terrain until they reached a thick fog that loomed around and above five thick trees and some berry bushes.
"Here we are, kiddies," she smiled and pointed into the mist. "First one to find the onsen gets first dibs on the Ichigo Daifuku I'm going to make tonight. Don't worry, you won't fall off the cliff here."
The moment she said that, everyone but Hinata and Sasuke took off, laughing and shoving each other out of the way so they could find their target. Kiba cursed loudly when he stumbled over tree roots, only to start snickering when Ino did the same and fell hard on her behind.
Naruto couldn't hear his friends' footsteps anymore as he ran deeper into the dense fog, his grin brighter than his hair. As he sprinted as fast as possible, he found a patch where his foot didn't touch earth and his eyes widened, his lean body falling forward.
Hide Zou was taking his sweet time finding the onsen, having given up on running after he'd found himself slamming knee cap first into a old tree. Stopping in place when he heard someone shout, he turned to the left and quickly made his way in the direction it came from, finally finding the onsen hidden behind the thick fog and some tall bushes.
"Zou Zou," Naruto sputtered, coughing up the water he'd accidently inhaled when he'd fallen in. He grabbed onto his lover's ankle and was quickly pulled onto dry ground, a warm hand against his burning skin. His face was flushed from the hot water and his clothes clung to his frame.
"Are you okay?" Hide Zou asked, genuinely concerned. He looked into the blond's eyes and smiled when he saw his lover form his own quivering smile. "I'll take that as a yes."
"I fell in when I was running," Naruto explained, coughing up the rest of the little bit of water. He ran his damp arm across his closed eyes in an attempt to swipe away the water. "But I'm fine... and I found the onsen before everyone else," he grinned slightly. "I get first dibs on Aunt Chie's Ichigo Daifuku tonight!"
Hide Zou laughed and ran his calloused thumb along Naruto's wet jaw, leaning in to kiss him lightly. "You know you want to get enough to share with me..." he whispered attractively.
Naruto laughed and pulled back, flicking his boyfriend's nose as if he were a misbehaving dog. "You're such a fatty," he teased, his cheeks still flushed from the steaming hot spring water.
"Oi! I think I see Naruto and Hide Zou over there!" Sakura's voice penetrated the peaceful banter between the two, their faces turning toward the approaching shadow that was Sakura. She emerged quickly, panting. "Y-You guys must've ran fast to get this far! ... Jeez, what happened to you?" she blinked at Naruto's 'drowned rat' look.
The blond huffed and stood, yanking off his shirt and scratching at his red chest.
"I fell in the spring because I wasn't paying attention and almost drowned," he told her, "but I did find it first, so you know what that means!"
The pink-haired female put her hands on her hips and swayed back and forth.
"Yeah, well, I don't need to eat them anyway," she said while showing off her curves. "I have a gorgeous female body to keep in shape, unlike you," she smirked darkly, "you fatty."
Naruto froze. He glanced down at his toned stomach and pinched it, able to get a hold of a small bit of skin. It definitely wasn't fat, but he couldn't help but feel a little self-conscious. He stuck his bottom lip out childishly and crossed his arms.
"He's not fat, Sakura. Teasing him isn't nice," Sasuke's voice came from behind them and all three of them jumped a foot in the air, turning sharply to see the raven leaning against a tree with his hands shoved deep in his pockets. His eyebrows were cocked, curious. "Chie-san, they're over here."
Aunt Chie came up behind him not even a second later, heaving a relieved sigh.
"I was worried I might have lost you. This part of the mountain is very wide. But congradulations on finding the onsen first," she smiled to Naruto. "But you know what I just realized? I'm fresh out of strawberries," she sighed solemnly.
"..." Naruto was speechless.
If someone would've told Sasuke that they'd be looking out over the mountains from one of the highest ones in the area, he would've said "no way" and would've skipped out on the trip. Unfortunately, the mountain viewing had been a spur of the moment thing on Kiba's behalf and Sasuke was just about to ring the dog boy's neck. He didn't have a problem hiking up a mountain because he didn't have to look down, but now that he was supposed to go with them to look out over the landscape, he could feel his fake, human heart beating in his chest.
"You okay, Sasuke?" Ino asked, rubbing her hand up and down his arm. She pulled her appendage back, though, when she noticed how cold he was. "It's supposed to snow later... you might want to put on the extra coat I brought with me."
"Yeah, because that's going to fit me," Sasuke gritted his teeth, trying his hardest not to freak out as everyone gathered around each other to glance over the ledge. His posture was stiff and he refused to budge when Ino prodded him to go up.
Her blue eyes blinked slowly, then they widened when she realized what was wrong with her friend. She bit her bottom lip and tugged him back away from everyone, rubbing his back in slow circles.
"You could've told them you were afraid of heights or something," she sighed, going in front of him and crossing her arms. "That'd be better than forcing yourself to remember your own death," she whispered so the others wouldn't hear. "I could tell them you don't feel well and take you back to Aunt Chie's house..."
Sasuke glared at the ground, his pride getting the best of him at the moment. He wondered why he'd ever wanted his human emotions back, since at the moment they were hindering him from being like everyone else. Even while somewhat alive, he was still so different from everyone.
"I can handle it--" he started, but Naruto's voice broke through and the tall blond trotted over to them, grinning like the idiot he was.
"Sasuke, Ino, you're missing the view! If you look close enough, you can see the stream that's by the main road! Come on, take a look!" he grabbed both of their wrists and tugged, earning himself a yelp from Ino and an unexpected growl from the young Uchiha.
Unfortunately, Naruto's persistent tugging brought Sasuke close enough to the edge to see down into the dense woods below. The height caused the raven to swallow and he tried his hardest not to hypervenalate. As hard as he tried, he couldn't yank his eyes away from the sight and a shiver went up his spine, the familiar image of his brother dropping him into the turbulent ocean resurfacing.
This was what he wanted to avoid. A flashback.
"What's wrong with Sasuke?"
"Yank him back, he's walking too close to the edge!" Kiba's booming voice yelled. "Sasuke, what the fuck are you doing? Trying to kill yourself?.! Get away from the ledge before you fall!"
Ino tried to go after her friend, but Aunt Chie held her back as best as she could, not wanting the young girl to end up hurt, or even worse; dead. Crystal blue eyes were filled with worry as Sasuke's chest heaved in and out rapidly as he mumbled words to himself. A sudden gust of wind blew upward from the valley at the bottom of the mountains, the whistling sound seeming like a scream for help to the raven-haired boy... His own scream for help.
Before he could fall over the ledge, a freezing cold hand wrapped around his wrist and yanked him back with enough force to slam him against the ground and cause his vision to swim. The last thing he heard before everything faded to black was Naruto's serious apologies, Ino's worried voice, and Kiba cursing up a storm while warm arms lifted him into the air.
Then everything went silent and he slipped into unconsciousness.
But not before the wind blew again...
And Sasuke could have sworn he'd heard an 'I'm sorry' from a voice he hadn't heard in years.
"I-Ino, what're you doing?" Hinata cried pathetically when the blondie snatched the unknown tape from her hands. She'd brought it on the trip with the intention of watching it and seeing what it was, but as soon as she'd told Ino that she'd randomly found it in her closet, the girl had bugged out and snatched it away.
Ino held the tape close to her, thankful that Hinata had told her what it was instead of just popping it in the VCR. If she'd done that, the whole room would have been surprised, confused, and probably aroused. Looking at the mousy girl in apology, she smiled nervously.
"Um, don't you remember what this is? I brought it over a long time ago thinking it was a recording of House... b-but it was really a school play I was in during third grade?"
Hinata blinked her pale eyes, but recognition flashed across her soft face and she laughed a little, hair bangs slipping over her eyes.
"Oh, you left that in my room? Thank goodness I didn't play it or else you would've been embarrassed," she giggled, causing a quick and relieved laugh to come from Ino. The girl sighed right afterward and stood up, avoiding Naruto's suspicious gaze from across the living room. He was sitting with Hide Zou on the arm of the couch, which was occupied by the still unconscious Sasuke.
"You never told me you had a tape like that," Naruto narrowed his eyes.
"Because it's something embarrassing that I don't like showing people," Ino replied instantly, walking past him to go upstairs and stash the tape away where no one would ever find it. "Don't bother looking for it, 'cause you'll never find it!" she laughed cheerfully.
Aunt Chie entered the room with a tray of scones that she'd made, hoping that would lighten the slightly tense mood a little. Since they'd all returned home, everyone had flopped down in the living room and mainly kept quiet in respect for Sasuke, but she knew how much it was bothering her nephew and had decided to do something to get everyone a little more cheerful again.
"I made you all some scones," she smiled kindly. "My own recipe, too."
Everyone looked over at her in excitement, all of them pretty much starving. They got up and went over to get as many of the pastries as they could, bt Naruto remained at Sasuke's side. For some reason, he couldn't get himself to leave him. He didn't know if it was from the guilt or something else... He hadn't known that the guy was afraid of heights... He could've been the reason for his friend's death...
Again... his thought echoed throughout his head and he looked down at Sasuke's pale face. Again? Why had he thought that?
"Kinpatsu, do you want one?" Hide Zou asked, coming back to sit down with him. He held out one of the buttered scones and smiled when his lover took it. "Don't blame yourself, okay? You didn't know he had a problem with heights and he's fine. Just a little bump to the head."
"I know, but I shouldn't have dragged him..." Naruto sighed, scratching at the back of his head while he took a bite of the warm treat. "I told him he was going to have fun on this trip, but look what happened. He's probably going to hate me after this."
Hide Zou chuckled, ruffling his boyfriend's hair.
"I doubt it. Don't be so negative, it gets you nowhere."
"I know, you've told me that a million times," Naruto pouted.
Aunt Chie sat the almost empty tray down on the stand by the sofa and rubbed her hands together, putting on a kind smile.
"Sasuke will be fine, so don't worry too much. Now, how about we all go out back and tend to the animals? Sakura, I know how much you love the horses."
The pink-haired college student immediately turned toward the older woman with a grin on her face and crumbs around her mouth. She'd always loved spending time with the horses and it was usually the first thing she did when visiting. Getting up off the floor, she wiped her mouth off with the back of her arm and straightened her shirt.
"I don't want to leave Sasuke here by himself," Naruto said, worried. "Something might happen..."
"He'll be just fine. He only bumped his head a little too hard, is all, "Chie smiled. "Let him rest in peace and we'll go do some work outside. Kiba, your mother should be home soon. She was supposed to be home last night, but her car broke down..."
"Of course. Leave it to Mom to forget to fill the car up with gas before going out."
Everyone got up and left reluctantly, each person glancing back at Sasuke, hoping he'd be okay. Ino and Shikamaru came downstairs while they were all leaving, the pineapple-headed male yawning and exluding himself from the little trip to the farm with the excuse of having not been able to have breakfast due to sleeping in. Ino just waved to them and mumbled an apology, saying she wanted to spend a little time with her boyfriend.
"So he fell and hit his head?" Shikamaru asked, stretching as he got himself a bowl of cereal. Ino got him the milk and he thanked her with a smile. "Is he going to be alright?"
"Yeah..." the blonde sighed, sitting down at the table and tapping her fingers on the mahogany wood. "He just needs his rest now..."
"What's bothering you?" Shikamaru sat beside his girlfriend and took a bite of his fruity cereal. "You seem a little..."
"I'm fine," the girl put on a bright smile. "I was just thinking about something... No need to worry!"
Shikamaru raised a brow while munching on his brunch.
"It's not a proper hour to be sleeping, Uchiha."
Sasuke turned at the familiar voice and saw Gaara, his face blank like it usually was. His own expression was that of confusion and wonder, curious as to why he felt awake when apparently he wasn't. He lifted up his hand and examined it, rubbing his thumb over the tips of his fingers. It felt real to him...
"You have your own special abilities and I have mine," was all the angel said before he stepped forward. As soon as he moved, the surroundings faded into black and ripples appeared under his bare feet as if he were walking on water. "I wonder what happened for you to be in a state of unconsciousness at this hour."
The raven looked down to see his own reflection in the water, then back up to meet Gaara's burning gaze.
"I was on a mountain and got too close to the edge..."
"You relived your death, didn't you?" Gaara asked, face still blank. "And the memories tried to drag you back to your death, did they not? They tried to kill you in the same way you were killed before."
"Does the same thing happen to--"
"I can't get too close to a hospital or else I'll hear the cries of my mother. But you are extremely lucky... While your memories try to drag you back to death, mine order me to bring death upon others," the words slipped from his mouth darkly. "I'll feel as if I need to kill those who were like me when I died. Infants."
Sasuke winced at the thought.
"But," Gaara started once again. "That's not what I needed to speak to you about. There is a presence that throws me off. It is close to you, but as much as I try to, I can't grasp onto its consciousness like I can everyone else's."
"It's similar to what we are... yet there's a difference. I can't seem to figure out what it is or what it's doing here, but I thought that you should know. Try to find out what it is for me."
The dark-haired male snorted.
"We're going back to the dorms tomorrow afternoon, so I won't have time. I'm sure it's just another guardian angel, like us."
Gaara only stared at him.
"We will never know, I assume," the shorter of the two stepped back and color returned to the silent world. "I will see you when you return. You may awaken now."
Sasuke's dark eyes snapped open and the bright light took him by surprise, his pupils becoming smaller and his eyes quickly going shut in reaction to the pain. He scrunched his face up, but slowly relaxed and took in the sounds around him. Ino's voice was soft in the background, as well as Shikamaru's. They were talking about an anniversary coming soon and the girl's laughter echoed painfully in his head. He felt as if he'd been hit by a truck.
How long was I out?
Sitting up slowly, he rubbed at the lump on the back of his head and memories of what had happened flashed through his mind as vividly as the memories of his death had. He could recall someone's hand yanking him back and the voice apologizing to him... The voice had been familiar, but he knew it was none of his friends'.
"Sasuke!" Ino ran into the room, interrupting his train of thought. She put her hands on his shoulders and stared at him, worried. "Lay back down, you shouldn't get up so fast! Are you okay? Does your head hurt? Do you want anything to drink or--"
"I'm fine," Sasuke cut her off, holding his hand up to stop her. "I just have a small headache, nothing to worry about."
"Y-you sure? You hit your head pretty hard..." Ino bit her bottom lip.
"Who exactly yanked me back?" the raven asked, rubbing the back of his head. "I should kick their ass."
Ino blinked, then furrowed her brows.
"Oh, well... you sort of just fell backwards. No one pulled you back..."
Sasuke turned toward her, confusion in his obsidian orbs.
"No one pulled me back? But I distinctly remember someone grabbing my wrist... Ino, if it were a ghost or anything of the sort, you would've been able to see it... but you didn't see anything?" he whispered so the approaching Shikamaru wouldn't hear.
The blonde shook her head.
"I think you're forgetting that I'm not like the rest of my family..."
Sasuke glared down at the floor. There was no way he could've imagined it, right? Holding his hand up, he examined his wrist and frowned when he didn't see any marks. Whoever had yanked him had grabbed a hold of him pretty hard; hard enough to where they should've left bruises or some form of a mark. Maybe he had imagined it...
"Where's everyone else?" he decided to change the topic, not wanting to seem like he was going crazy.
"Out on the farm," Shikamaru answered in his girlfriend's place, tossing Sasuke a bottle of tylenol. "Take two of these and the headache should go away within a few minutes."
"Thanks..." Sasuke took them and swallowed without the aid of a beverage, wincing as his head throbbed in pain. So much for having fun on the vacation. Now he had to deal with the others surrounding him like vultures to see the complete damage, as if he were a busted up car. Not only that, but he had to worry about the odd presence Gaara had spoken to him about. He'd told the red-head that it was probably just a guardian angel, but he didn't even believe himself.
Maybe what had saved him was the thing that Gaara had talked about...
"You should rest, you know. Just a little bit longer," Ino smiled, forcing her friend to lay back down. "I'll make you something to eat. Oh! I think one of Chie's scones are left! I'll heat that up for you and get you a cup of milk!" she chirped and got up quickly, scurrying off to the kitchen.
Shikamaru watched her leave, then focused on Sasuke's thoughtful expression.
"So you two used to be childhood friends?" he asked, genuinely curious. He didn't remember Ino ever speaking about someone named Sasuke. He only remembered Naruto being mentioned, yet his significant other seemed closer to the paler male than the tan one. "She never mentioned anything about you until she got back from vacation."
Sasuke snorted and crossed his arms over his chest.
"Maybe she forgot all about me?"
"Ino has the memory of an elephant," the brown-haired teen chuckled. "So I highly doubt it."
Ino returning to the living room cut off the small talk they were having, a plate with a single scone and some grapes in her one hand and a cup of milk in the other. She smiled to them and sat down on the floor, sitting Indian style while holding the plate up for her friend.
"You tell me to lay down, then you tell me to get up again," Sasuke grumbled, pushing himself up in a sitting position. As he ate, Shikamaru told him the story about how he and Ino had met in middle school and how they'd started going out in seventh grade. The raven was amazed that they'd been together for so long. How long would it have been? Almost seven years?
The blonde smiled prettily as the love of her life spoke about their relationship, but her mind was too pre-occupied with what Sasuke had said earlier. She didn't want to tell him what she really saw and felt...
She looked down at her lap, closing her eyes and making an expression as if trying to get rid of a headache. Never in her life had she seen spirits or felt their presence like her little brother could... She'd always been left in the dark, away from what her entire family could do... But for the first time, she'd seen and felt something...
Sh-should I tell him...?
Gripping the bottom of her shirt, she sighed to herself.
No, she wouldn't.
Kiba grinned and popped a handful of potato chips in his mouth, munching on them loudly while talking to Hide Zou. He was talking animatedly about how they should all go to the beach sometime during their next break and get drunk, but only Kankuro was really into it. Everyone else just ignored the loud brunette's plans, even his girlfriend.
They were all on their way home and like Sasuke had expected, everyone continued to bother him about whether or not he was doing okay. He didn't know how many times he had to tell them that he was fine and didn't even have a headache anymore. It'd been an entire day since the incident, yet no one would leave him alone. All he wanted was to sit back and relax the rest of the way back to their college, but he couldn't even have that.
"Come on, guys," Ino said, noticing her friend's annoyance. "Leave him alone. He looks tired."
Sakura agreed and turned to start talking to her blonde friend, everyone else eventually following pursuit. Sasuke had never been so thankful in his life, a sigh of relief slipping through his slightly parted lips. Closing his eyes, he focused on trying to fall asleep, but could only get a picture of Gaara in his head.
Furrowing his brows, he opened his eyes back up, but only saw the colorful world he'd seen yesterday while asleep, Gaara standing there in his angelic robes.
"Uchiha, the presence is coming closer to the campus. I was able to enter its consciousness for only a moment, but I was able to see you through its eyes. If I'm correct, it's following you back here. When you arrive at the college, use your ability to stop time. I'll take things from there."
Sasuke blinked, then everything dissolved back into what it was before. Everyone was talking about going back to their classes and how they were dreading the work, while rock music was playing loudly up front where Hide Zou was tapping his thumb on the steering wheel. Kiba asked him what was so great about screaming music, but Hide Zou's only reply was leaning close to the dog boy and mouthing the words to the song in a very obnoxious manner.
"You okay? You looked really out of it for a second," Naruto commented, fiddling with the cap to a snapple he'd just had. "You sure you don't need to go to the hospital or something? You might have a concussion."
The angel sat forward, giving up on his beauty sleep. He'd just do that once he got back to his dorm room. If he was thankful for anything at the moment, it was that he didn't have a roommate. Brushing his bangs out of his face, Sasuke gave his old lover a small smile. He didn't want to worry the handsome blond.
"I was only thinking..." Sasuke started. "Hey, do you think we could go out tomorrow? Around four when everyone else is in class? I wanted to do some early Christmas shopping since it's next month and I'd like a little help."
Naruto grinned immediately, strangely eager to hang out with his new friend.
"Why invite me?"
"Because I can only go when I don't have a class and that's from four to seven. You're the only one who doesn't have a class then, either."
Nodding, the blond tossed the snapple cap in the makeshift trashbag between the two front seats and leaned back, tilting his head to the side to crack his neck. He was friends with Sasuke, sure, but Christmas shopping would give them some time to get closer. Then maybe he and the Uchiha could be close chums... or whatever.
"I might as well do a little shopping, too, since I'll be out," Naruto spoke mostly to himself.
Neither of them noticed Ino eavesdropping, a happy little smile on her face.
Gaara approached Sasuke when everyone started exiting the van in front of Ino's dorm, his crimson hair blowing around wildly in the wind. His shadowed eyes glanced back and forth from one spot of the campus to the other, as if searching for someone or something. Placing his hand on the raven's shoulder, he narrowed his eyes.
"There has been a change of plans," he muttered, ignoring the suspicious gaze of Ino. Everyone else just greeted the red-head before heading off in the direction of their own dorm rooms, yelling to each other about meeting up somewhere later for dinner. "The presence seems to have... disappeared."
Sasuke's lips pressed together in a thin line.
"It faded away once it got too close to you," Gaara replied. "I tried to speak with Kyuubi-sama about it, but Shukaku-sama wouldn't let me see him. Do you think it could be a demon?"
The raven snorted and began walking down the sidewalk, Gaara right on his heels. He tugged his luggage along, yanking when the wheel got stuck on a broken piece of the cement.
"Demons can't manifest themselves on this field, nor can spirits."
"Yet we can?" Gaara frowned. "There is no room to be narrow-minded, Uchiha."
Sasuke glared at him.
"Now go to your dorm and pay close attention to anything that seems different for the next few days," Gaara started. "The presence could still be close. Also, make sure to be careful when you go out with him on Thursday," he turned and tilted his head in the direction of Naruto's retreating back.
"How did you know I had plans with him?" Sasuke narrowed his eyes.
"My specialty covers a variety of things that have to do with the mind," the red-head's voice was monotone, his face still blank. "Now return to your dorm. I'll inform you if anything happens."
Naruto scratched at his arm absently, while looking over at the large playground on his right. He was walking side-by-side with Sasuke and for the past fifteen minutes, they'd been talking about random things that actually kept him interested. It wasn't the boring small talk he had with some of the teachers he didn't know at school, it was the kind of conversation someone would have with a loony sociology teacher.
The raven would ask him "think outside of the box" questions and he found himself actually thinking and becoming indulged in what Sasuke was saying.
"I'm not really the intellectual type, but answering these questions actually make me feel smart," the blond laughed, folding his arms behind his head as he walked. The action left Sasuke remembering when they'd walk to the store together to get groceries...
"That was the point of me asking them," Sasuke put on a smirk, shoving aside the memories, "so that you'd feel smart about yourself for a moment."
Naruto blinked, then glared over at his friend.
"Teme, you're an ass hole!"
Sasuke held back the smile he wanted to show his ex-lover.
They continued to walk down the sidewalk that went through a small park, Naruto stopping every once and a while to pet a dog that someone would walk by with. His grin was huge as he just amused himself with the simplest of things, something Sasuke had always loved about him. Though, after a while, it did become annoying since they'd only gone through half of the park in thirty minutes due to Naruto's interest in everything.
Sasuke wasn't in that much of a rush, though. He knew what was on the outskirts of the park and if it had been up to him, he would've gone out of the way to avoid the path they were going down. What was on the other side of the trees was something he dreaded and wanted to avoid at all costs, but he knew he couldn't. The best he could do would be to avoid looking at it.
"Huh, this place looks kind of familiar," Naruto mumbled when they emerged from the thick trees, a bunch of old houses coming into view. "I usually never go this way, so I wonder why... maybe I drove by here."
The raven kept his mouth closed as they passed the small neighborhood, his eyes on the ground. If he looked, he'd be thrown down memory lane. And he did not want that.
Naruto glanced around at all of the old houses, but his blue eyes stopped their wandering when they landed on a certain one toward the center. He stopped his long strides, Sasuke passing him.
"That's the house from my dream..." he whispered to himself, remebering how he'd opened that very door in order to step into the home. In his dream, he hadn't really gone inside yet and curiousity was killing him at the moment.
"Naruto, let's go," the raven growled, still walking.
"Hey... there's someone out front," the blond said, squinting so he could get a better look.
Sasuke stopped in his tracks, lifting his head and turning enough to see the outline of someone standing in his old house's yard. He was obviously male by the height and shape and his hair was black from where Sasuke could see...
The man turned and his dark eyes met Sasuke's, as if he knew he and Naruto were staring.
Sasuke's eyes widened when he saw the stranger's face, his heart hammering loudly in his chest.
Meh, not the best of quality, but I tried :pout: