Disclaimer: The characters, items, places etc of Naruto are property of Masashi Kishimoto. These objects are used without permission for entertainment only, not for making money. No infringement is intended.

Set on a 'what if Sasuke came back to the Konoha' basis, so disregard the manga/anime from The Valley of the End onwards. Set another year on, roughly, making Team 7 around fifteen.

This fic has SasuSaku and SasuNaru situations, but this is NOT intended to be romantic. That might not make sense now, but hopefully it will once you've read it. Here's my usual warning for occasional swearing and some angst, also.

Inept

By Nanaki Lioness

Yet another bright summer's day assaulted the village of Konoha, bathing it in golden rays and humid air, as it had done for the past five days. The heat-wave the village was experiencing was uncommon, yet welcomed.

And it was yet another bright summer's day that Haruno Sakura was spending locked away in the library, studying under the fifth Hokage as a medical Kunoichi. She didn't have time to sit out in the sun, baking her skin golden brown and enjoying the rare weather. She had work to do.

"Sakura."

She looked up, confused at the voice she had just heard. People rarely disturbed her when she was working, especially not the person before her.

"Sasuke," she said, smiling and putting her pen down.

Sasuke sat down opposite her, folding his arms on the table and giving Sakura such a serious look that she closed her textbook as well. Sasuke rarely spoke to her these days- or anyone, in fact. Ever since Naruto had dragged him back to Konoha, he'd withdrawn into himself.

"Sakura," he repeated sharply. "I need your help."

"Help?" She echoed. Sasuke needed her help? Sasuke never admitted he needed help. "Of course. What can I do?"

"I had two wishes, Sakura," Sasuke said, clasping his hands together. "To kill Itachi, and to revive my clan. The first has been… Taken out of my hands. The second, however, I can have something to do with."

"Oh…?" Sakura asked, disliking the slight edge in Sasuke's voice and unsure where he was headed with it.

"Yes. Help me revive my clan, Sakura."

Sakura stared at him, eyes widened in shock. Sasuke hadn't spoken to her in weeks, and when he did, he approached her casually about something so huge as though he'd simply asked her what the time was?

"Sasuke…" She said softly. "I…"

She tailed off. Three years ago, she would have jumped at the chance to be close to Sasuke. But not like this. Not close like that. That wasn't what she wanted at all.

"What is it?" Sasuke asked, impatience in his words. "Isn't that what you wanted? Didn't you chase me because you wanted me back and by your side?"

"Yes," Sakura answered. "I did, Sasuke. But… This isn't what I meant."

"You're the only one I trust to do it, Sakura," Sasuke confided. "You'd make a good mother."

Sakura blushed slightly, turning her gaze away. She wanted to feel flattered by his words, but there was a growing part of her that was feeling weary that she just couldn't push away.

"I appreciate the sentiment," she said, reaching across the table and taking one of his hands. He stiffened beneath her touch, and she smiled weakly. "But, Sasuke, I'm fifteen. So are you. I understand you want to revive your clan, but we're young. I'm not ready to settle down into a family life just yet. And I don't think you are either."

"What I think doesn't matter," Sasuke reasoned, pulling his hand away from hers. "It's something I need to do. Help me, Sakura."

Sakura shook her head slowly. "I can't," she replied. "I'm not ready for that. And even if I was…"

She paused, closing her eyes to the tears forming within them.

"What?" Sasuke prompted sharply.

"Even if I was, I wouldn't want to have a family with somebody that didn't love me," Sakura finished, opening her eyes and giving Sasuke a small smile, hoping, praying that he would understand what she was saying.

Sasuke didn't reply, sitting back in the chair, apparently deep in thought.

"And you don't love me, do you Sasuke?" She said weakly.

He didn't reply, refusing to look her in the eye.

"Do you?" She prompted again.

Sasuke stood without another word, turning and leaving the library. Sakura watched him go, feeling her throat constrict and her eyes burn. She folded her arms across her textbook, laying her head in them and sobbing quietly.

She wasn't entirely sure what she was crying for- what she had potentially given up, or the loss of Sasuke's innocence that had come with such a question.

-.-.-

Naruto was still asleep when he heard the sound of someone knocking on his front door. Yawning and stretching, he looked across to the clock on his bedside table, sighing when he realized it was nearly noon. He didn't get the chance to lie in often, as someone would usually come and retrieve him for training or studying.

He stretched again, getting out of the bed slowly. He supposed he was lucky he'd managed to sleep in so long, already.

"Alright, I'm coming!" He yelled to the incessant knocking, stalking across the front room and pulling the door open.

Sasuke stood before him, and he almost fell over.

"Sasuke!" He exclaimed. "Long time, no see! Normally I'd yell at you for getting me out of bed, but I haven't seen you in forever, so I'll let you off."

He stood to one side, letting Sasuke walk silently past him into the house.

"I'll just go and get dressed, make yourself at home."

"No."

Naruto frowned in confusion, seating himself at the table where Sasuke was already sitting. It seemed there was something going on, here, and that this wouldn't be a casual visit.

"What is it?" He asked.

"Why did you and Sakura chase me and bring me home?" Sasuke asked. Naruto stared at him, confused. Where had this suddenly come from?

"Because Konoha is your home," he replied. "Because you're our teammate. Because-"

"Because you love me?" Sasuke spat, interrupting. Naruto eyed him wearily.

"I had no idea you were so sentimental, Sasuke. I suppose if you want to simplify it, then yes- because we love you."

"Sakura doesn't love me."

Naruto raised an eyebrow at that. "What?"

"She doesn't love me. She refused to mother my children."

Naruto was truly, thoroughly confused at this point. He pinched his side, wanting to make sure he wasn't dreaming still.

"That's an odd way of asking her out," he said, smirking slightly, thinking it was a joke. Sasuke didn't joke, but he had no other explanation for the comment.

"I'm not interested in her," Sasuke replied coldly. "I just don't trust anyone else to mother the future Uchiha children."

"Wait," Naruto said, his eyes narrowing, protectiveness of Sakura taking over. "You actually asked her 'Sakura, mother my children?'"

Silence.

"Sasuke, you moron," Naruto spat angrily. "Of course she turned you down. That's not the way to winning a girl's heart, that's for sure."

"I told you, I don't care for winning her heart," Sasuke replied.

"Then you're a fool," Naruto replied, standing up. "Get out and go apologise to her."

"Aren't you interested in why I came to you?" Sasuke asked, standing as well and walking slowly around the table to Naruto.

"Not right now, no," Naruto replied, pointing at the front door. "Go and apologise."

"Naruto," Sasuke breathed, coming to a stop by Naruto's side. He was so close Naruto could feel the heat of his body, and he took a step sideways nervously.

"Sasuke…?"

"If I can't have her to mother my children, I don't want anyone else for that purpose," Sasuke continued, his voice low. "And that just won't do. She'll come around. I don't need to apologise to her."

He placed his hand on Naruto's arm, slowly snaking it up and to his shoulder. Naruto pulled away sharply, holding his arm, eyes narrowed in confusion.

"Sasuke, what the fuck are you doing?"

"Don't be coy," Sasuke breathed, grabbing his chin. "You said it yourself. You love me. You chased me because you love me."

Naruto stayed still, frozen, as Sasuke locked his cold, dark eyes with his.

"You and Sakura are mine," he whispered. "Sakura's going to have my children, and you're going to be my pleasure."

"Sasuke," Naruto said sharply, finally pulling himself free of Sasuke's grasp. "You're twisted."

"No," Sasuke said, shaking his head. "You don't get it. You are mine. She is mine. I have nothing else left!"

His had changed by the end of the sentence, going from cold to tight. He turned from Naruto, shaking visibly.

"Sasuke," Naruto said quietly. "We aren't yours. We're not possessions. And I know you don't have anything left, but do you want to know why?"

He grabbed Sasuke's arm, forcing him to look him in the eye.

"Because you pushed everyone away and forced yourself into solitude. That's why. Sakura probably would have accepted your proposition if you'd treated her with even an ounce of the respect she deserves."

"And what about you?" Sasuke asked.

"Me?" Naruto said, laughing sharply. "Maybe I might have, too. But not now. Even if I wanted you, I'm not going to let you 'take me'. I'm not yours, and you need to learn to stop being a possessive, jealous bastard."

He dropped Sasuke's arm roughly.

"Get out."

Sasuke pulled himself off the floor, looking up with narrowed eyes that no longer held any malice.

"I suppose… You could say I fucked this one up?" He asked softly.

"No," Naruto replied, shaking his head. "You've been fucking it up from the start. And the worst part is, you've only just realized that."

Sasuke's eyes narrowed further.

"Fine," he said sharply. "I don't need you. I don't need either of you."

He made his way across Naruto's living room pulling open the front door. He was about to step out of it when he heard Naruto's voice float across to him.

"Then why do you keep coming back to us?"

His hand trembled on the door handle, unsure of whether to go back inside and fix things, whether to go to Sakura and fix things, or whether to leave and do nothing.

After a moment, he grabbed the handle and slammed the door shut behind him. He'd do what he always did. He'd run away. He scowled, feeling ashamed of himself. He did this every time. He'd do exactly as Itachi had ordered- run, run, and cling pathetically to life.

Broken Sasuke, who would run away until he could stand it no longer, and eventually come crawling home in search of happiness.

-.-.-

Author's Note: A little idea that kept eating at me last night and stopped me from getting to sleep. It begged to be written when I woke up, so here it is.

Sasuke's probably slighter colder than I intended (if that's possible), but he's messed up, poor boy. I think we can let him off, right? XD

Reviews are welcome, and if not, I hope you at least enjoyed.