Ah. Its been too long.

To those who are still keeping up with my story, I'm very sorry about the extremely loooong wait. This chapter is dedicated to you guys. Its been a very long two years. I sincerely hope you enjoy this chapter.


Meetings

A frame shifted underneath the covers in the early morning hours. Slowly the teen roused from his seemingly deep slumber, groaning as he did so. 'God… no.' Blue eyes blinked underneath the thick layer of warmth, as his body seemed to wake on it's own. This was an ever recurring event that happened every morning since his fever broke. Naruto unwillingly peeked out of the covers, glancing at the alarm clock, already knowing what time it was.

6:32 A.M.

The blond clenched his eyes before looking out the window, seeing the extreme early signs that the sun was nearing the horizon. The dark skies were lightened to a dark blue, majority of the stars already fading. The blond slipped back underneath the covers, relishing the warmth of his bed, wishing for more sleep but knew it was already too late.

Lately, Naruto was always waking up at least thirty to forty minutes before dawn for a reason he'd yet to figure out. He couldn't quite describe it, but it was almost as if something was just waking him. This sensation didn't alarm him, it humbled him oddly, even though in mind, the teen wanted more sleep.

Resigning himself, he sighed as he threw the covers off himself, sitting up. Idly, Naruto scratched his stomach before stretching, his arms extended over his head, popping various joints as he did so. 'That was so worth it.' Quietly, Naruto padded to his bathroom, adjacent to his bed room, stripping along the way.

The pass few days had been oddly eventful.

He hadn't noticed anything the first day, with what had happened with Sasuke and all. But later that night, he roused from his sleep, his body demanding the toilet. So as he groggily sat up and moved out of his bed, he noticed something strange. The blond remembered blinking and staring at a pile of clothes on his floor and probably would've tripped over them on his journey to the bathroom if he hadn't seen them. Nothing odd there though, but it then occurred to him that he shouldn't have been able to see it in the darkness of his room.

The blond's eyes widened when he realized each colored article of clothing was strangely highlighted in the night. His heart had started to pound as he stood, urge to pee forgotten, and quickly looked around his room, amazed.

Naruto opened his bathroom door and turned the hot water in the shower on full blast before adjusting it. That night, Naruto had walked around his apartment, looking at it as if it was his first time there.

Warm water ran down his body as he ran his fingers through his hair, gently massaging his scalp.

At first, Naruto had thought his eyes were fooling him. 'Maybe it will be different if I look outside.' He had thought, hoping that the moon was out, thus illuminating everything. As stupid as it sounded, he was willing to grab onto anything that would make sense of this. Frantically, Naruto pulled his drapes aside, looking at the outside world.

It was not so. There was even a new moon that night. 'Dear god, I can see everything!' He could see the color of each individual building, the cat down the street ripping the trash bag in the trash can, a drunk staggering down the street trying to make it home. He could see everything in great detail also. Looking at the man, he could tell he hadn't shaved in a few days, the front of his shirt was wet, probably spilt booze on himself, hell he could even tell the man's eye color! Suddenly, Naruto felt faint as he closed the curtains. His vision had been sharpened, so much that he had nocturnal vision.

In the shower, Naruto finished washing his body and proceeded to grab the shampoo. Emptying some of its contents onto his hand, he worked it into a lather in his hair. 'But that wasn't the only thing that's changed.'

When he walked away from the window, he noticed how.. heavy he was stepping. The hardwood floor resounded footsteps as it was but now, it sounded like he was almost stomping. Which was strange, cause he didn't feel as if he was walking any different. Naruto then corrected his walking, making it sound like regular walking to his ears.. but then realized he was practically in stealth. His hearing had been heightened also.

Tilting his head up, Naruto let the water hit his face before letting it run through his hair, the soap slid down his body before being sucked into the drain. The induced fever had definitely made some serious changes. His sight was never annoying but his hearing was another matter. At night, when everything is still, the blond could hear his neighbor's every move, snores, sighs and even sleep talk. The blond had lost many hours of sleep over this but still always managed to wake up before dawn, much to his dismay.

Otherwise, his senses were great. No one could sneak up on him, nothing escaped his observation and he even felt a bit more precise in his movements. After the night of this discovery, Naruto had spent most of his afternoons in Konoha, testing them. He had spared with Kiba numerous times, all of them, Naruto came out the victor, but the blond didn't feel challenged. He always had energy to spare. He always liked to end a spare dead beat and tired.

His first response was to find Sasuke but with that morning still fresh in his mind, he decided against it. Naruto still didn't know what he would tell the Uchiha. That morning had been so bizarre. All these emotions had ran through him in the second he'd kissed Sasuke; hunger, raw lust, animalistic possessiveness, and last but not least, heated arousal. Images came to mind of all the things he'd wanted to do to the Uchiha as Naruto pushed him down. Touch him, mark him, grind and rub their erections together and wanting to completely overwhelm Sasuke. Also the craziest thing was… he knew exactly how to do it. He'd never touched anyone like that in his life but he just… knew.

And it didn't help matters that their sensei had been put on a mission. He remembered the way Kakashi perched himself on his window.

"Ohayo!"

Naruto stared, obviously in a bad mood after Sasuke left. The older had just taken it upon himself to just open his window as if it was his own house.

"I thought I'd stop by and let you know that I'm leaving on a rather abrupt mission, so you three don't have to meet up in the mornings." He grinned.

The teen frowned, "H-how long?"

"A week or so," Kakashi scratched his head, "if everything goes well." His eye zoomed in on Naruto. "Problem?"

Hastily, he shook his head.

The Jounin stared for a while longer before shrugging, "Alright then, I'm stopping by Sasuke's and Sakura's before I leave to let them know. Keep training until I get back."

Naruto straightened himself, "Yes sir."

He remembered thinking 'Great.' Now that Kakashi was on a mission, seeing Sasuke any time soon wasn't set in stone. He would have to go out and actually hope to run into his teammate.

Then, on the third day, Naruto noticed something… odd.

Since the fever, he had also developed a massive appetite. Naruto could easily put away three helpings of food and still have room to spare. He had ran into Sakura that day while he was at the grocery store. As soon as their eyes met, she quickly greeted him with a warm embrace and resumed with talks of his wellbeing. They'd shopped together for a while before Naruto forced his mouth to moved, asking if she'd seen Sasuke and had gotten a particular response from her.

Sakura frowned, "You haven't seen him either?"

Naruto shook his head, "I've been looking for him.." He swallowed his pride. "Do you know where he lives by any chance?"

The kunoichi shook her head, "Sorry." She sighed, "I hope everything is alright. Every now and then, I try to look for his chakra and I can't seem to find it."

During the day, the blond would do the same and check constantly for the raven's chakra. During the nights, when he'd suddenly wake, he'd do the same thing; Sasuke chakra was nowhere to be found. Sasuke was masking his chakra which meant only one thing. The Uchiha was definitely avoiding him.. and this fact puzzled Naruto.

He knew Sasuke had to be confused, especially after what happened. They had an intense make out session that might've lead to something more if his alarm hadn't snapped him out of it. He had even initiated things only to stop when things, in Sasuke's eyes, were getting heated. Guilt hit the teen in his chest remembering the confused and hurt look on Sasuke's face.

Naruto turned the shower off, standing there for a brief moment. 'I can only imagine what he's thinking.' He blinked hard before pushing the shower curtains aside, tentatively stepping onto the carpet. He quickly grabbed the towel and started drying himself. 'But.. I don't understand why he would be avoiding me.'

With Naruto, prolonged confusion only angered him. If the roles had been reversed, he would've found Sasuke that very day and demanded an explanation. He sighed at the particular thought. But Sasuke wasn't remotely like Naruto and he also wasn't trying to clear things up.

'Plus,' Naruto sighed, 'every time I think about him, I do think about finding him but I still just don't know what to say.' Blue eyes glanced upward, seeing himself in the mirror. His thoughts strayed away from the Uchiha, idly looking at his stomach. '…am I gaining weight?' He reached and pinched his side. He honestly couldn't tell. Maybe when he finally settled this with Sasuke, he'd work the nerve up to ask if he had. 'I wouldn't be surprised if I had with all the eating I've been doing.' He thought bringing to towel up one more time to catch the remaining water in his hair before tossing it into the hamper. He then padded out of the bathroom and went to his dresser, slipping on a clean pair of boxers.

Outside, the skies had brightened considerably, giving his apartment more light. Lately, Naruto didn't even use his electricity to illuminate the house. He figured his low light bill would help keep his refrigerator stocked.

As he stepped into his shorts, Naruto felt his stomach begin to quiver, an early stage of hunger. He knew all too well now that if he neglected it for too long, hunger pains would strike.

Naruto relocated himself in the kitchen, pondering lightly as he opened the frig. Quickly, he pulled out a small skillet and started frying two eggs. The added smells made his stomach quiver more, so he quickly made himself a small bowl of cereal and placed two slices of bread in the toaster. Three bites of the cereal later, he flipped the eggs over and resumed finishing the bowl.

The toast popped up, nice and golden just as he slid the eggs on a plate. Snatching one toast out of the toaster, he resumed inhaling the eggs and said toast. 'Hm… eggs over easy, just how I like them.' He licked his lips before moving to the sink and rinsing his plate off. The other slice of toast was still sitting innocently, waiting to be eaten. Naruto stated at if for a small moments. 'Hm. Wonder if I have jelly.' He honestly didn't know.

Two cabinets later, Naruto saw an unlabeled jar of jelly, place on the shelf. The teen frowned, not recognizing it. 'Where'd this come from?' he grabbed it, inspecting its contents. 'It looks homemade.'

Blue eyes widened briefly, remembering that Sasuke had brought it when he was sick.

Robotically, Naruto pulled a knife out and started spreading the jelly over the lone toast. A bite, chew and swallow later, the blond's thoughts were back on Sasuke. '…wonder what he's doing now.'

Argh! Naruto threw the toast down, 'Fuck this!' This shit had to stop! The more this went on, the more damage was being done!

'This shit stops today!' he growled, unknowing his eyes turned violet. 'We're talking this out, now!'


From a distance, Uchiha Itachi frowned. The Uchiha compound had a good piece of property owned specifically for training. It was in a good location, good being it was close to their home. All he had to do was go out the side door and walk down a slightly steep hill that over looked the grounds. He didn't visit it often, usually to see Sasuke and bring him home. Today was slightly different though. He'd noticed something was bothering his brother for the past few days. He had a slight hunch that it had to do with Naruto, since he had followed Sasuke that night.

The raven frowned remembering that night. He needed to talk to Kakashi, but since the Jounin was out, he was forced to wait till then.

The older, dressed in street clothes, ran his fingers through his hair. He decided not to tie his hair back today, so it easily came back over his shoulder. Sable eyes continued watching Sasuke train. This morning, his brother opted for target practice. Which wasn't out of the ordinary considering it was a leisure day, but it was actually Sasuke's performance that concerned him.

After seeing another throw, Itachi stuffed his hands in his pockets and trudged down the hill. 'I figured he would've talked to me about it sooner.' The older wanted to pout at his thought but decided against it. Sasuke had always shared his troubles with his older brother; Itachi was starting to wonder when that had changed.

Situating himself at the bottom and slightly behind the younger, Itachi watched more. The other was aware of his presence how and he could tell Sasuke's concentration was wavering. Some throws were good, other's not so.

Four throws after, the elder decided to speak. "Sasuke,"

The younger grunted as he threw the kunai, hitting the second outer ring. "Yes?" He responded, reaching into his pouch for another.

Itachi watched the next throw, seeing it hit the third inner ring. "Is everything alright?"

Sasuke paused, sparing Itachi a glance. "Everything is fine." He cocked his head to the side, feigning ignorance. "Why do you ask?"

He blinked before pointedly looking at the target. It was littered with kunai and shuriken, none of them hitting the center, which was odd, even for Sasuke.

His brother just shrugged though, "It just not my day. So what if my throwing is off." He turned facing the target. Breathing deeply, Sasuke threw another, this one hitting the second outer ring.

Itachi couldn't help but wince at the next one throw, hitting the outer most ring. "You just plain suck today. What's on your mind?"

"Nothing." Came the prompt answer, letting him know Sasuke was starting to get irritated.

The elder glared at the back of his brother's head. He then reached into his own pouch.

Sasuke sighed before raising his arm, just about to throw when a kunai whizzed past his head and sunk firmly into the middle of the target.

"Aniki…" Sasuke growled as he glanced over his shoulder. Itachi sat there innocently, his face blank but still had a hint of smugness in his eyes. The younger gritted his teeth; it didn't help the fact that his brother was further away from the target than he was. 'Bastard.' He thought, raising his arm, ready to send it flying when-

"Is this about Uzumaki-kun?"

-his fingers slipped on the weapon in mid-throw, making the younger miss the target completely and lodging it in a nearby tree.

Despite this, Itachi smirked. 'Bull's eye.' He opened his mouth to further question Sasuke when said person suddenly rounded on him.

"Will you just mind your own fucking business?" He roared, face flushed and teeth clenched in anger.

Itachi's eyes widened for a moment, honestly shocked at the raw display of emotion. 'Hm, wasn't expecting that.' He sighed, standing lazily and casually brushing himself off. "Okaa-san wants out back at the house for something." Itachi said moving forward and walking pass Sasuke, planning to go into town. But he was kind enough to murmur one thing.

"You still suck though."

Sharingan blazed, Sasuke gave a self-righteous yell, hefting a kunai at the back of Itachi's head. The elder, in turn bent forward, never faltering in stride and gracefully dodged the weapon, anger his brother even more.

"So obvious, Sasuke." Itachi said over his shoulder.

"Argh! I hate you, Itachi!"

From their home, Mikoto smiled, hearing Sasuke's declaration of 'love'. She giggled as she washed the dishes. "They get along so well."


Sarutobi silently turned the door knob as he closed the door to his office, avoiding the small click that came when securely closing the door. He then resumed tiptoeing down the hall, knowing which ways to walk to avoid his secretary. As he silently made his way down the main hall of the Hokage tower hall, his leg stepped on a loose wooden panel, making it creek lowly.

"Hokage-sama." His secretary seemed to greet; but to his ears it sounded threatening.

"O-oh," He smiled, wanting to play it off. "I didn't see you when I came in this morning. How are you?"

She gave him a long look before stacking a large amount of papers. "I'm doing fine."

"Oh well that's good to hear." The Hokage suddenly felt his brow sweat. "I was just on my way to the bathroom." He spoke evenly before making his way to the bathroom, planning to escape through the bathroom window when suddenly, his secretary threw him a ball out of left field.

"I think you deserve a good beak Hokage-sama." She gave him a sympathetic smile, "You came in early this morning and have been working four hours straight."

Sarutobi grinned, "You are too good to this old man." before walking away. "You can expect me back in two hours."

She nodded, resuming her work. "Yes sir. Please take care."

The sunlight warmed his worn skin as he stepped out the door of the Hokage tower and immediately, the old nin's stress seemed to fade with each pace he took.

Like clockwork, the further he walked from the tower, the more people smiled and waved, lifting his heart and spirits.

'Good morning Sandiame-sama!"

"Hokage-sama! How are you?"

"Sarutobi-sama!"

He sighed contently as he responded to their greetings, smiling at every one of them. He wasn't exactly headed for his lunch this afternoon, but rather walking towards a certain apartment complex. 'I haven't checked on Naruto in a long while.' Had it two, maybe three months since he had at least sat down and talked to him. The Kage wanted to always keep track of him. Hopefully he could catch him before he left his home.

The teen had always been an early riser. When Sarutobi had first taken the six year old in, Naruto always woken before him, either making breakfast or doing mild morning exercises and such. He never knew how the other did so, seeing the child go to sleep so late yet get up at the crack of dawn was beyond him. Didn't children sleep a lot? Sleeping was crucial at their age so that they could grow even more so in the future. Sarutobi remembered idly thinking about putting a sedative in Naruto's late night milk just to insure so but didn't want to risk their already fragile trust.

As he rounded the corner of the street, the apartment complex came into view just as the blond he was looking for, walked out the front door.

The old Kage immediately saw just how much Naruto had grown; shoulders were slightly wider, he was definitely taller and even his jaw line was becoming more defined. This brought a endearing smile to his face, watching fondly as the teen looked at the sky, obviously checking the time of day. Naruto looked a bit hurried. 'His hair is a tad longer than usual too.. I wonder if he even noticed.' Sarutobi indeed seen how much of a young man the teen was becoming, but then again, Naruto had always been the only kid he had actually treated as an adult.

Initially, Sarutobi had been against him living on his own. He believed children were supposed to have at least one constant adult in their life. Someone they could have in the late nights, someone that would listen to them, to understand and console them.

But there wasn't anyone that was willing to understand Uzumaki Naruto.

Though, after two years, when seven year old had looked up at him and asked if he could live on his own, insisting that he could care for himself, the old man couldn't.. didn't have the heart to say no. Naruto had never gone out of his way and asked for things. He just always took was he was given without any comments and simply said "Thank you Hokage-sama." Sarutobi grinned as he continued watching Naruto remembering how many times he had checked up on the child and overall, how much of a nuisance he must've been. Every time he had, though, the child was fine. Naruto ate well for a seven year old on his own. He had even sat and watched the blond eat steamed spinach without so much as a grimace. Hell, Sarutobi had a hard time watching because he hated the stuff and blurted out, asking if Naruto liked spinach. He got a simple answer.

"If I had parents, they would want me to eat everything on my plate."

The adult-like teen spotted him and the nin could see the look of surprise on his face. "Hokage-sama." He breathed as he walked closer.

Sarutobi couldn't help but smile as a sudden burst of fondness erupted in his chest. "Naruto, it's been so long." He took a few paces forward as his hand rose, messing the already upheveled spikes. "You've grown." He stated, the corners of his eyes crinkled as his smile widened.

The younger looked at the Kage for a good while before replying. "Did you expect me to stay short forever?" Sarutobi then watched the blond frown for some unknown reason. "Is there anything I can help you with?"

The older nin mimicked the frown, sensing something off about Naruto. "No. I am your legal guardian until you're fifteen; i just wanted to check up on you." Sarutobi stated, "How have you been? Is there anything you need?"

The blond immediately shook his head. "No sir. Everything is fine."

"Then why do you look like you have a mission?" The elderly man pulled out his pipe and leisurely started packing it with tobacco. "And i know that I haven't assigned you one, considering Kakashi being away."

Naruto's eyes widened briefly before covering up his reaction. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Sarutobi gave the teen a dry look as he was about to light the pipe. "...so we're going to play this game?"

The two stared at one another before the younger sighed, "I'm just looking for someone."

The Hokage continued looking at the teen, smoke rising from his pipe.

Naruto snapped his eyes elsewhere, "There's been a misunderstanding."

"Ah." The older man grinned, "Well, at least you want to clear it up."

Naruto nodded, still standing there. "Yes, and I'd like to go looking... for that person."

"Then I guess i should let you go." Sarutobi turned around. "...do you think you can do me a favor?" The Hokage didn't have to turn around to know that Naruto was giving him an aggravating look.

His answer was silence.

"If you see my brat, tell him I'm looking for him." He looked over his shoulder, seeing a surprised look on the teen. 'What? Did he think I'd ask him something harder?'

"I.. can do that Hokage-sama." Naruto nodded, standing slightly straighter.

Sarutobi winked, "Thanks kid. Good luck with your misunderstanding." He bid the blond farewell.

'Now... what do I want to eat?'


'Its... a beautiful day.' Aquamarine eyes blinked lazily as he watched Konoha from the Hokage Mountain. The vast blue sky was littered perfectly with good patches of clouds, giving various parts of the village definite shade while the rest bathed warmly in sun. The wind also seemed to be in favor, cooling ones skin with a small breeze. 'Or maybe I can just feel it because I'm so high up.'

But he couldn't deny that Konoha was a beautiful place. The exact opposite from the barren desert of Suna.

"Gaara-sama."

The red head blinked before looking over his shoulder. A sand-nin stood behind him, rising from his deep bow.

"It is time to start looking."

Gaara blinked again, "I still don't know what I'm looking for." He went back to looking at the village. "How can you expect me to do this with so little information?"

"I apologize." The nin lowered his eyes. "But-"

"You're just here to follow me around?" The teen interrupted. "How irritating."

The older nin flinched. "I-I"

"Just talk as less as humanly possible," Gaara moved away from the edge, brushing past him. "and maybe we'll get along."

Obviously shaken, the sand-nin nodded, "As you wish, Gaara-sama.


"Sasuke-kun!"

The Uchiha gritted his teeth. God, it just wasn't his day. First Itachi, now Ino? When will it stop?

Said blond appeared next to him, beaming. "Well aren't you a sight for sore eyes." Her eyes were twinkling. "I haven't seen you in forever. How have you been?"

He instantly noticed how her attention was quickly diverting to looking around him. Obviously looking for Naruto. "Been better." Sasuke muttered. "Anything I can help you with?" Sasuke knew he was being short, but he didn't really care at the moment.

She seemed to catch his too. "No, nothing particularly. Just wanted to see your face. " the Uchiha glared, 'As if.'

"Well, you've seen it." Sasuke walked past her, dismissing her. 'Just talking to her had drastically shorten my fuse.' He was almost out of ear short when he heard the Yamanaka whisper, "Wow… what crawled up his ass."

The raven almost turned around and made a scene. Almost. 'Ugh, I need to relax.' The teen sighed, rubbing his temples. Sure he thought such a thing, but doing so was a completely different matter.

'Naruto… what are you doing right now?' Sasuke wondered hopelessly as he opened his eyes. He had never been more confused then he was at this moment. That morning, it started out so good; waking up next to Naruto was definitely the best way to start the day.

And the kissing, 'The best.' Naruto had never been that passionate before. Sasuke's back tingled at the mere thought. He had even thought they would get pass the kissing and to the groping stage. Sasuke knew his hands wanted, still wanted to touch the expanse of the golden skin.

But then the blond's alarm went off, seemingly snapping them both out of it. Sasuke remembered the arousal like nothing else and was more than happy to continue but-

"Naruto," he breathed, looking at the blond, "I love you."

Naruto's demeanor changed as he looked elsewhere. "I think you need to get going."

A pain, sharper than any kunai known, pierced his chest at the memory. He had told the blond that, so many times before, so why? Why did he react that way then?

Maybe in that moment, when Sasuke had said it, Naruto realized just what this meant to the Uchiha?

Or maybe Naruto thought that because Sasuke was getting intimate out of love, it wouldn't be right to continue?

Did that mean Naruto didn't feel anything for Sasuke?

So many questions swirled in his head, making Sasuke stop walking, his hands shaking at the fierceness of it all. He knew that he loved the blond more than Naruto cared for Sasuke.. he knew. But if he didn't care about Sasuke, even just a little bit then-

Pale hands clenched. 'I don't have the right to keep him to myself.'

The thought that Naruto didn't care for Sasuke scared the Uchiha. If their bond were to go back to a weaker one, friends to say the least, Sasuke wouldn't know what to do. He was apart of Sasuke's heart and everyday life! Hell, he was suffering the whole time since he'd last seen the blond!

"Konohamaru-kun!"

A little girl shrieked, distress evident in her voice.

"Hey asshole, put him down!"

'Sakura?' Sasuke frowned quickly putting his thoughts aside and lengthen his strides. As he neared a fence corner, he found Sakura with two kids behind her. A head of her, some freak with make-up on his face was holding Konohamaru by the neck of his shirt, obviously choking the poor kid. One thing stood out the most though, 'He's from Suna.' His eyes narrowed at the thought. Konoha and Suna weren't on the best terms right now, but he could seriously care less.

'This guy better take a hint.' Sasuke reached near his feet, picking up some small rocks.

Sakura clenched her fist, stepping forward. "I'm warning you!" she didn't want to fight these guys due to the exams, but if it was Konohamaru, she'd gladly do so. "Put him down or-" Something flew past her head, smashing into the sand-nin's face. "Ow! Son of a bitch!"

"Put the kid down."

The rosette's green eyes brighten as she turned around. "Sasuke!"

Now that Sasuke had stepped out and was facing the nin, he could see a blond girl with four pig tails behind him. But it was her incredibly big fan that caught his attention. 'That thing must weigh a ton.' His eyes took in the material of it all, knowing it's flaps were metal. She had stepped forward, seeing that her teammate had been struck.

"Fuck you!" Clown Face, Sasuke dubbed him, spate and pointed with the other hand not holding Konohamaru. "How low of you to strike while in hiding!"

Sasuke was quick to respond. "How low of you to pick on some kid, half your size and age." He clenched his fist, grounding the rocks in his fist to fine dust. "Now be a good boy and put the kid down." He glared, "I'm in a really shitty mood today." A vein was pounding on his temple. However this ended, Sasuke felt like a fight would calm his nerves.

Konohamaru took that chance to kick his captor in the gut, startling him enough to loosen his grasp and release him. Quickly and clumsily, he ran and took refuge behind Sakura.

"Why that little fucker!" The nin gritted his teeth while soothingly rubbing his stomach with one hand while unclasping hidden shape off of his back. It hit the ground with a solid thud, letting Sasuke get an idea of its weight. He didn't quite understand what it could be since it was wrapped up.

"Kankurou, you're taking things too far." The blond kunoichi said behind him, warning him to stop but Kankurou wasn't listening though. He was just about to unwrap it when the most unexpected person showed.

In a blur of orange and yellow, a figured jump from the tree from the far right, landing softly in a crouch.

Sable eyes widened as the figure stood, revealing familiar spikes of the person who'd plagued his mind every waking minute of the day.

"Naruto." His lips breathlessly formed his love's name. His whole being screamed at him to run and embrace the blond but he clenched his fist, controlling himself. Now wasn't the time nor place for such but god! It was so hard not to!

Unexpectedly, Naruto ignored the sand-nins and turned facing his teammates. Blue made brief eye contact with Sasuke, electricity shot through him making his chest tightening, before blinking in the direction of the kids. "Konohamaru."

"Nii-san?" The brunette was still shaken but walked to the blond.

Naruto raised his hand, patting the kid's head. "Everything alright?"

Konohamaru's dark eyes flickered fearfully at the nin's behind Naruto before nodding. Naruto's gaze didn't miss a thing though but said, "Hokage-sama is looking for you."

"Oyaji! W-when did you last see him?" Konahamaru was now twiddling his fingers, a clear cut sign that he was in trouble. Naruto turned the boy around, "About fifteen minutes ago. Now go."

The younger looked up at Naruto for a long moment before nodding. "C'mon guys!" He spoke to his friends.

With their departure, Naruto once again locked eyes with his team before speaking, "Now I don't care to know what happened before I showed up," He then turned around, facing the pair. "but since the Chuunin Exams are coming up, participants aren't allowed to fight outside the exams. Reframe from doing so."

Naruto's neutral demeanor seemed to irritate the blond kunoichi. "You guy? Taking the exams?" She snickered, "Konoha doesn't have a lot to offer."

Sakura glared. "Watch your mouth."

"Don't waste your breath Sakura." Naruto ran fingers through his hair, his nose slightly in the air. "The weak are always the ones to mouth off first."

Sasuke couldn't help but smirk. "They have to compensate for something."

Naruto could swear he saw steam coming out of their ears as they fumed. Kankurou was just about to explode. "I'm tired of your shi-!"

"Enough."

The sand-nins froze, both eyes widened.

Behind them, materializing out of sand was a wavy red headed teen with extreme bags around his eyes. His skin was pale, too pale for living in the desert, with a red kanji 'ai' on the left side of his forehead. What stood out the most in Naruto's eyes was the huge gourd on his back. His aquamarine eyes were locked on Naruto, even though he spoke to his teammates. "I refuse to be disqualified because of your childishness." The gaze broke and a glare was sent their way. "We just arrived this morning and already you're being a nuisance."

The kunoichi lowered her head while the other just avoided eye contact.

Sasuke rose his brow. 'What an odd change of events.' He watched the red head's eyes drill into them before going back to Naruto. Possessiveness boiled in his chest, not once had he looked at Sakura or himself. Just Naruto. Sasuke's jaw tightened, especially when he stepped forward, towards Naruto.

When close enough, the pale teen spoke. "I apologize for their behavior." Sasuke blinked watching the interaction. "May I ask your name?"

Naruto's face was passive and gave nothing away but as he responded, the Uchiha could tell there was slight confusion in his voice. "Give me your name and I shall give you mine."

Sasuke was expecting something else entirely since Naruto's response was arrogant but instead the red head lifted his hand, offering it, almost eagerly. "Sabaku no Gaara."

The blond felt he stared at the hand for too long. Everything in his being told him not to touch the nin. It was like two positive ends of a magnet being pushed together. Naruto blinked before looking up and seeing Gaara's intense gaze. 'He's definitely watching my every expression.' But none the less, Naruto offered his name. "Uzumaki Naruto." He turned around, "C'mon, let's go." He said, talking to his teammates.

Sakura followed without question, her attention easily diverted to him. Sasuke on the other hand, was shock/happy to see Naruto but couldn't shake his attention from Gaara. 'He's paying way too much attention to what's mine.' The Uchiha knew he shouldn't be thinking that way but he couldn't shake this feeling of... being challenged. Gaara then shifted his attention to the raven, staring. There was an emotion there that he couldn't quite decipher.

"Sasuke."

He felt his soul shift at his love's voice. 'I need to be with him right now. This.. can wait.' Sable eyes blinked before turning around, following the blond.

As soon as they were out of ear shot, Sakura spoke. "Geez, what was that guy's problem?" She huffed, crossing her arms. "I should've just mentioned Konohamaru-kun was Hokage-sama's grandson."

"That could've helped at the time but it might've made things worst in the end." Naruto reasoned, shoving his hands in his pockets. "It was best that you hadn't."

"What had happened anyway?" Sasuke asked, oddly curious and also wanting to maintain a front that everything was okay. He didn't want her to get any idea that things were tense between Naruto and him.

"I was only walking by really. Those three were playing and Konohamaru-kun just wasn't paying attention and ran into that guy. When things escalated, I stepped in." Sakura narrated, looking at Sasuke from around Naruto. "You arrived shortly after that, thanks by the way."

Sasuke waved it off, "It was Naruto who actually calmly settled things. I probably would've fought him."

"You still would've handled things." Sakura lightly complimented him before gasping. "Oh! I was on my way to meet Ino!" She quickly jogged ahead, stopping briefly. "We should hang out tomorrow! It feels like we haven't been together in ages!" She yelled before continuing.

A blank faced Naruto waved while Sasuke just nodded. Silence settled over them, Naruto commenting, "Mmm, it has been a while."

Sasuke quietly sighed. "Yeah, it's been a few days."

The blond nodded, resuming his walk. "I've been looking for you

The Uchiha winced, walking after the blond but not walking beside. "I've been at home."

"You mask your chakra when you're home?"

Naruto sounded mad and this alone made the Uchiha frown. "I didn't think you'd be so anxious to see me."

It was horrible to start things off like this but none the less, Sasuke wanted to talk about this. Those past days had filled his mind with so many doubts and questions and he knew that Naruto alone would hold all the answers. He was here now. They should be kissing like Sasuke wanted but he needed to control himself. He needed to know how Naruto felt about him.

"I just said you needed to go home." Naruto stopped his walk in favor of turning to the raven. Fixing his eyes on Sasuke he spoke once more, his eyes critical and calculating. "I never said 'I never want to see you'."

Sasuke felt irritation burn in the back of his throat. "Excuse me for feeling a little confused Naruto."

It was Naruto's turn to frown. "If you're so angry about it, why have you been avoiding me?"

The previous emotion faded slightly and was overshadowed by broken sadness. The way it showed on his face must've startled the blond because now, he had stepped closer. "..Sasuke?" His hands didn't seem to know what to do, almost as if he wanted to touch Sasuke but was afraid to do so. This tore at the Uchiha's heart, making him grit his teeth and clenched his fist.

"You told me to leave." Sasuke let his bangs cover his eyes as he gritted his teeth, his breath shuddering, "You told me to leave specifically after I said that I loved you."

Naruto blinked, remembering the lustful eyes of Sasuke just before his alarm went off.

"Naruto, I love you."

Damn.. it had happened that way. No wonder Sasuke was so hurt about this. Why hadn't he seen it like that? He opened his mouth to say something, anything, but the other teen beat him to it. "H-how do you feel about me. I need to know, Naruto."

"...I don't understand, why are you asking this all of a sudden?" A light blush dusted his cheeks. Sasuke had always been the one proclaiming his affections. Even before they.. started this weird thing, Sasuke had said that Naruto didn't have to say anything.

"Because that morning," Sasuke willed his voice to be steady. "you pulled this complete one-eighty on me."

The Uchiha didn't see the blond wince but heard him step closer once more. "I know- its just that-" he paused, "I didn't feel ready, it was too soo-"

"How do you feel about me?" Sasuke repeated the question. "Are you just tolerating me?"

"What?" Naruto exclaimed unbelievingly, "Of course not!" He then worked the nerve to clasp Sasuke's shoulders. "How can you even ask that?"

Sasuke finally looked up, his eyes incredibly sad. "because you still haven't answered my question." He saw the blond start sputtering but the Uchiha just shook his head. "It's alright Naruto. I know I can't make you love me but its enough for me to stay with you. I'm bothering you though so you don't have to stay with me. I don't want a relationship out of guilt and pity, not with-!"

Naruto's face was fierce now and gripped his arm tightly as he pulled them somewhere more secluded. Talking like this out in the open wouldn't do either of them any good. "N-naruto! Hey!" He pulled and weaved him and Sasuke around some trees before shoving the Uchiha up against a particular one. Immediately, Sasuke started shoving him away, cursing. "Ow, you bastard! What th-mmph!"

'Ah.' Sasuke felt his eyes lid as Naruto encircled his arms around him, trapping his hands between them. 'Dammit.. this feels good.' The kiss was gentle, lingering and almost unsure but the blond's lips were unbelievable. 'Its been too long.' Sasuke let his eyes shut, hiding his glossy eyes. It was a chaste kiss but Sasuke felt that this was their most intimate kiss yet. It was so nice to be close after so long. "Sasuke." The Uchiha felt his name against his lips. "You.. are important to me."

Sable eyes opened seeing Naruto's azure eyes at close proximity. They were so mesmerizing. Seeing such detail in the blond's irises but also seeing soft affection and hard regret, the emotions were cut off from him when Naruto sighed, closing his eyes. "I think about you every day." Arms tightened around the Uchiha's midsection. "I'm sorry that I made you feel this way."

'Shit.' Sasuke cursed mentally. 'I am not going to cry.' He tilted his head down, trying to reign his emotions. "Then why?"

After a few seconds, a hand came, tilting his head upward. What he saw was a.. clearly embarrassed Naruto. This threw Sasuke off and even puzzled him further when he spoke. "T-think you can keep a secret?"

Sasuke couldn't help but blink. "When it comes to you, of course." Where was he going with this?"

Naruto hesitated before leaning in, tickling Sasuke's ear with his words. "When it comes to you," his voice was wavering as if his will was being drained to utter such words. "I always lose control."

Once more, the Uchiha had a flash of the Wave Country, seeing Naruto throw Haku's limp form to the ground. Another kiss was placed on his lips and through the contact, Sasuke could feel them tremble. "..and it scares me sometimes."

'Scares..?' Sasuke frowned repeating the blond's words just moments ago. "Naruto, I don't understand." He leaned back, making eye contact.

Just by looking at the other, Sasuke could tell he was having trouble just forming the words. "You've always had this- like some kind of... effect on me." A sigh. "Before, certain things that you'd say would piss me off and I'd automatically say what came first to mind."

Sasuke pouted, still remembering some of the things that were said when he was still demanding friendship. The blond had been cruel with his words but now they were like a distant dream. Those words didn't matter anymore.

"And now.." Naruto coughed into his hand, looking elsewhere. "I still feel the same except for now.. I react without thinking."

Sasuke blinked processing the words. 'He does care.' A warm feeling settled over him. "Its alright though because its the same for me."

"But.." Naruto was struggling again. "I'm not use to it."

Sasuke blinked once more, "So that morning when-"

"I just reacted.. kinda violently." Naruto winced, obviously remembering.

'Well, I wouldn't say violently, passionately yes.' Sasuke smiled. "I like the way you," He paused, using Naruto's words. "reacted though."

"I could tell." Naruto was blunt and Sasuke took it like a punch in the gut. "But because you did, it really didn't help matters."

"Mmm.." Sasuke let himself enjoy the this feeling of happiness, leaning forward and resting his head on Naruto's shoulder." Care to explain?"

The raven felt the other tense and for a split second he was going to be pushed away and denied a response but then he heard a sigh. "I wanted to," the next part was whispered in his ear. "devour you."

An electric current ran up Sasuke's spine and arousal struck like a mallet. 'Fuck! I wish I could've recorded that!' He pulled back once more, feeling he couldn't get enough of the blond's facial expressions. Naruto was now red and simply refused to make eye contact, no matter how much Sasuke tried. 'He is so cute today.' Sasuke moved his arms, fiercely hugging the other's neck. "Then devour me until there is nothing left." He placed a small kiss to the lobe, "I'm all yours anyway.

He heard Naruto's sharp breath and the arms around his waist tightened. "Sasuke." He said warningly. "Don't."

Sasuke grinned against the blond's cheek, "I missed you." He confessed, feeling so light. "Incredibly."

"Then don't ever avoid me." Naruto smirked.

The Uchiha pulled away, pecking his lips. "Don't ever push me away then."

"Hn." There was an 'almost' smile on Naruto's lips. "Deal."


The two spent the rest of the day together at their leisure. They never actually had a conversation, just little yes or no questions. Right now, words seemed to be bothersome. All Sasuke wanted to do was just be near the other. The past few days of wanting to see Naruto were behind him but a tingle of longing was still there. At the moment, they were in a dense area in the training grounds were the forest canopy opened up to a partly cloudy sky. Lying on his back next to the blond, Sasuke breathed deeply. 'I feel so calm.' He briefly closed his eyes, enjoying the sun.

When everything was still enough, Sasuke strained his ears to hear Naruto's quiet breathing; this made him smile. He opened his eyes and gave into the urge to look at the blond, taking in his full figure. From head to toe, sable eyes took everything in; from long legs to broadening shoulders, Sasuke could seriously see small changes in Naruto. 'Did he have a growth spurt?' He thought, comparing their height when they were standing. At the time, he hadn't paid any attention but the thought of Naruto being taller than him didn't sit well. He wanted to always be as tall as the blond.

Unconsciously, Sasuke started frowning but as he started looking at the tanned skin of the other's neck, it slowly melted away. He didn't want to spoil the calm mood they had now with such little things. Right now, looking at Naruto's neck made the Uchiha want to mark it. 'Would he let me?' Sasuke blinked imagining a blemish there, a small mark of ownership. 'I wonder how everyone would react just seeing it.'

Naruto lay very still, aware of Sasuke's eyes. It had surprised him that Sasuke hadn't come closer considering they hadn't been this close in four days. He was actually convinced that Sasuke would insist on cuddling for that fact. 'Wonder how long he'll sit this out.' He thought, almost smirking. He knew though, that it was only a matter of time and that Sasuke wouldn't be able to resist much longer. Just as he thought so, a warm hand tenderly smoothed along his cheek before moving upward and weaving though his hair. 'Fifteen minutes. Impressive.' Naruto opened his eyes and he was met with the image of a needy teenager leaning over him. They stared for a moment before Sasuke started his decent 'This is for him.' Naruto thought, keeping his hands still. 'I won't take control at all.'

Surprisingly, the kiss started off as slow savory and lingering pecks that seemed to melt him. They started on the lips, trailing upwards kissing his eyes, ears, brow before mapping downward; cheeks jaw, neck and even suckling on Naruto's Adam's apple.

"Naruto."

The blond opened his eyes, absently wondering when he had closed them, and looked at Sasuke with curiosity. "Hn?"

"I love you." His eyes watched Sasuke's lips move. "And even though you're right here." He buried his face in the crook of Naruto's neck, "I'm still missing you."

The other blinked. He almost repeated that he didn't understand but suddenly realized something. With the monthly visits with meeting the stranger, of course he missed the man when he wasn't there. But when Naruto was with him, he realized just exactly how much he missed him. 'Just because the person you miss is in front of you, doesn't mean you stop missing them.' A rare smile forming his lips as his hand came up, threading though blue-black hair.

Sasuke was currently inhaling deeply, wanting to imprint Naruto's scent in his mind when soothing fingers combed through his hair. He went to pull back and look at the blond only to have his hitai-ate pulled down and over his eyes. "Naru-?"

Lips brushed teasingly against his own; the Uchiha breath caught.

"Sasuke, can you see me?" Without sight, Naruto's voice had so much depth. Patience, consoling and warmth all wrapped up in understanding. But the question made him frown. "No. Wha-?"

"But you know I'm here right?" A hand cupped his cheek. "Cause you can feel me."

"Uh, yeah." This conversation was confusing but it was nice being close like this. Sasuke smiled softly nuzzling Naruto's palm like a cat starved for attention. 'If only I could purr.' He'd definitely have to remind Naruto to do this more often.

The hand then disappeared, leaving Sasuke pouting. "And what about now? Can you still feel me?"

"Well, I can feel you because," Sasuke moved his hand, running it up and underneath Naruto's shirt, letting it feel the smooth skin of the blond's side. "I know you're there." He could feel the muscles tremble and twitch at his touch.

"And it should stay that way." A palm pressed onto the center of his chest, making his heart pound. "When I'm not here physically, I'm right here. Close."

Despite his heart melting, Sasuke smiled. "That's sappy."

The touch disappeared, "Well tough, that's all I have." and lips reappeared. This time, the raven took advantage, pressing Naruto down against the ground. Without sight, Sasuke was starting to get oddly aroused. He moved his hand, the one still in Naruto's shirt, to slowly trace his dusty nipple. The reaction was almost instant a soft gasp, which Sasuke swallowed up, and a small arch in Naruto's back.

"Sas-.. mmph." The Uchiha angled his mouth, wanting to consume more of Naruto's noises. His hand continued its movements, along with gently massaging the breast muscle and lightly pinching the now hardened nub. He felt Naruto's leg rise, his knee ran along Sasuke's right leg, coaxing him downward. He took the invitation, lowering himself and met Naruto's clothed and hardening erection. This time, Sasuke moaned. 'Oh.. I don't think I'll last long.' He felt his hips buck and Naruto's rolled back, both instinctually grinding with one another.

Their kiss was soon broken and Sasuke didn't make an attempt to reconnect as he discovered just how breathless he really was. Their grinding was becoming more frantic as they neared. Sasuke felt that he was even closer, even without his sight. 'I need to see him.' He pulled his hitai-ate off letting it fall to the ground. What he saw pushed him over the edge.

His blond hair was more upheveled than usual, Naruto's head was tilted back some, mouth parted in huffing pants but lidded azure eyes still watched Sasuke through the thick haze of their passion. Naruto was so flushed, more than usual, even when they spared. Sable eyes wondered downward seeing his orange shirt hiked up because of his own wandering hand but as Sasuke looked at Naruto's stomach; he watched it's muscles tense with each grind against his- 'Shit!'

"Naruto." Sasuke whispered, shuddering as he came in his pants, finalizing his grinding. Panting and still holding himself over the blond, he worked on calming his heart when-

"Argh, you fucking would!"

Sasuke willed his eyes to peel open, seeing Naruto's face pinched in frustration. "Oh.. damn." Guilt hit him as he felt Naruto's tented erection against his waning one. "Sorry.. you're just too much."

"And that's why you should've kept that damn thing over your eyes." Naruto was pissed. Seriously. But despite facing the his love's anger, Sasuke couldn't help but smirk. "C'mon, don't be mad."

An icy glare was sent his way. "Get off me."

"Nope." Sasuke then promptly and firmly grabbed Naruto's between the legs watching blue eyes widen. "How close are you?" He questioned, visually taking everything in as he knead and rubbed him.

Naruto didn't answer any questions, only proceeding to bite his knuckle and let his hips move against the Uchiha's hand. 'God..' Sasuke felt himself start reacting again. 'He is seriously too much.' He moved his hand in ways that corresponded with Naruto's reactions. Sasuke then leaned up, kissing his love, feeling more of a responds through his hand. Naruto's groin tightened considerably. "Nngh.." Sasuke consumed the moan as a surge of dominance came over him. This was one of the first times he felt this; it was always Sasuke that initiated and Naruto who always led from there.

Suddenly, Naruto arched uncontrollably and he could practically fell the release against his palm. "Mmm, hmm!" The raven grinned as he pulled back seeing Naruto panting, his eyes closed in relief. 'I definitely want to see this again.' He leaned down again kissing his cheek. "I love you. So much."

Heavy lids pulled open and caught him like a moth in a web. Expect if Sasuke was a moth, he couldn't struggle if he was caught in Naruto's web. 'I'd let him devour me.' He thought as he watched Naruto lean up and kiss him.

With the end of the kiss, Naruto spoke. "Sasuke."

"Hm?" The Uchiha felt so content.

"Get off."

Sasuke stared. "Why?"

"Cause I'm sticky.. and I don't like it." he was gently pushed back. "Now move."

He grinned and let Naruto stand. "Does this mean you're going home?"

There was a light blush on the blond's cheeks as he stood, grimacing, obviously at the cum in his own pants. "Most definitely. And you should too."

Sasuke chuckled, "And if I follow you home?"

Naruto stared before replying. "Then you'll be met with a closed door.

'Ouch.' Sasuke wanted to sulk. "Alright, fine." He stepped forward and felt his own stickiness. Ugh, home was a good idea. "I want to see you in the morning."

The blond grinned, "To train? Sure."

The Uchiha blinked, he had been thinking along the lines of other things but he guessed that was fine. "Yeah, sure. To train."

"Sounds good." Naruto seemed smug now. "I missed my training partner, so be up bright and early in the morning."

Sasuke watched Naruto walk away when an odd feeling came over him something definitely wasn't right. The blond must have something in store for him. He rose his arms above his head, "Oh well. No use in thinking about it now. I'll find out tomorrow."

TBC..


I've also noticed something. The chapter previous to this one is like.. gone! I'm here wondering wtf happened to it? If there is anyone who, somehow one way or another has it save or something (I won't ask questions) Please let me know! My computer is down so I have no way to access and re-upload it. I've been writing this chapter down in a spiral and typing it on my own time :P

Well that's it for this chapter. If there are any questions, please, feel free to ask ^^ Be kind and review!

-TheLightsShadow