So, here is my second story. Lets see what you think...Read and review.

(Has been revised because grammer was killing me)

Always There

Chapter 1: Lunch Meeting

With the sun setting behind him, Sasuke limped into his house. He'd just come back from a mission, and he'd picked up a few souvenirs for his troubles. The pain in his leg wasn't bothering him as much as the sore, scratchy feeling in his throat.

I can't be getting sick.

The thought bothered him more than his leg and throat combined.

He stumbled into the shower, letting the hot water run over his leg. It was helping, a little. The steam also seemed to be easing his throat. He surprised himself when he got out, realizing he had taken an extremely long shower.

Sasuke toweled off and got dressed, then collapsed onto his bed. He felt very tired, suddenly. He was fast asleep in less than a minute.


"Naruto," Sakura said, "How do you know he's back?"

"I saw him walking in." The blonde said.

"How'd he look?"

"He was limping. Other than that, I don't know. I was across the road in a shop, so I didn't get a really good look at him."

The door to Sasukes house gave an eerie creak as they opened it.

Naruto shrugged. "Besides. Sasuke won't care."

Sakura grunted.

"That wasn't very feminine."

She frowned.

"You honestly think he won't care if you go snooping around his house?"

Naruto's lips twitched into a smile.

"I do it all the time."

Sakura stared at him.

"And you aren't dead yet…" She said wonderingly.

They were walking through the long dark halls when Naruto pushed open a door. He didn't knock or anything, but just pushed it open. She felt a burst of warm, moist air hit her skin.

"See? He's home. He took a shower. That means he's probably getting ready to sleep, if he isn't sleeping already."

Sakura frowned again as Naruto began to lead her to the other boys bedroom.

"Are you some sort of stalker?" She asked, completely serious.

"No! I'm surprised that you don't know exactly where we're going. You're more of a stalker than I ever could be. And yet, you get into his house and have no idea where you're going."

"This is the first time I've been to Sasuke's house!"

"Right," he sounded doubtful.

Sakura was blushing madly. Luckily, Naruto couldn't see her face in the gloom. She had known where Sasuke lived for a long time. And she had come to his house. But she'd never managed to summon the courage to make it through the front door.

Naruto stopped in front of a door, pushing it open, slowly. Sakura peered in, looking about. Naruto was peeking over her shoulder. She glanced at him.

"You look like someone's going to hit you."

Naruto grinned. "After Sasuke started to be nicer to everyone, he got a little lazy, if you don't remember. You and Kakashi Sensei always sent me over here to make sure he was on his way. The first time I stuck my head in his room, he chucked an alarm clock at me."

Sakura frowned. "I'd never have guessed he wasn't a morning person."

"Oh no. Its just when he's waking up. He's fine once he gets out of bed and moves around a little. Before that though…" He shook his head. "Yeah, it's not fun."

There was a low moan, followed by the sound of a bed creaking from somewhere in the room.

"Can't you talk to each other about me in some other place?" Said Sasuke's sleepy voice. "Why are you here?"

Sakura pushed Naruto in front of her, using him as a shield from anything the drowsy teen could throw at them.

"It was his idea!"

Naruto scowled over his shoulder at her, then moved his hand toward the wall, hitting the light switch. Sasuke groaned, turning over to bury his head in his arms, effectively shielding his eyes from the light.

"We wanted to see how you were doing after your mission. So, how are you feeling?"

Without moving, the dark haired boy answered. "Like killing you."

Naruto snorted. "For real."

"Exactly." Naruto waited for him to continue. He eventually caved in. "I'm tired. Now will you leave me alone?"

"Only if you agree to come to out to lunch with everyone tomorrow afternoon."

"Fine. Now go!"

"I'll come and get you tomorrow, if you-"

"Out!" Sasuke was nearly shouting.

Sakura was surprised. She'd never heard him raise his voice before. Naruto turned off the light, hurrying out.

"Now he'll start throwing things." He explained.

"I didn't know you two knew each other so well." Sakura said once they were outside the Uchiha's home. "You two always acted like you hated each other."

"I'd hope we'd know each other pretty well."

Sakura looked at him strangely.

Naruto, seeing this expression, defensively said, "We're best friends!"

She nodded. "Right."

Naruto rolled his eyes, so she decided to change the topic, slightly.

"Do you think he'll show up tomorrow?"

Naruto looked at her curiously. "Why wouldn't he?"

"Well, he was barely awake just now, and he's probably already sleeping. I thought it was possible he wouldn't even remember talking to us."

Naruto shrugged.

"I don't know. I'll stop by and wake him up, like I tried to tell him. Then I'll drag him along, kicking and screaming, if I have to." Naruto looked a little thoughtful. "Although he probably wouldn't lower himself to that." Naruto smiled at her. "I'll make sure he's there, don't worry."


Sasuke turned over. He heard the sound of birds chirping and the bustling of people completing their morning activities. He breathed in deeply, consequentially launching himself into a fit of coughs. He was getting sick.

I hate this!

He sat up slowly, wincing. His leg was stiff, and it hurt, along with a multitude of other cuts and bruises. And, to top it all off, he felt the dull throb of a tiny, extremely annoying headache. It was one of those ones that would make the room feel like it was rebelling against you. Like a much more mild, yet permanent, head rush.

After he managed to overcome this spinning sensation, Sasuke stood, testing his leg. It would hold, but it hurt.

He desperately wanted to drop back onto his bed and go to sleep. But he had to get going soon. It was almost nine, according to his clock. And 'meeting for lunch' always started at eleven and lasted however long everyone could stand for.

So, he started making his bed. It was something he did out of reflex, every morning. When he finished, he usually was awake enough to not drop back to sleep. Limping to the other side of his bed, he tripped on something, and fell, sprawling on his belly. When he looked up, he was a little surprised to see Naruto standing over him. He looked at the blonde in slight agitation before crying out:

"What's with you always being in my house?!"

Naruto shrugged.

"Nothing. I just stopped by to make sure you remembered to come meet everyone." With that, Naruto turned and walked out.

Sasuke remained lying on the ground, staring at the door, before he buried his head into his arms.

This is the closest I'm getting to going back to bed.

After this miserable thought, he pushed himself to his feet and finished his morning chores.

He left his house early, with the hope that he could get to the clearing everyone met in before everyone arrived and find a place to curl up and sleep. A twenty minute walk later, and he was there. He spied a tree not far away and walked to it, where he sat, resting against it. Just as he closed his eyes, he heard voices calling to him.

"Just like an Uchiha to be early!"

He groaned, opening his eyes. Everyone was walking toward him.

Are they really early?

He realized Kiba was still talking to him, but the dog-lover was speaking too quickly for him to understand. He closed his eyes again, hoping they would think he hadn't heard them.

The voice stopped, then it chuckled.

"I think he's sleeping." Kiba sounded amused. "Isn't he cute when he's sleeping?" He was now laughing uncontrollably at what he'd said. It took all of Sasukes willpower to not jump up and attack the brunette. He reasoned that it would betray his act, so he managed. Barely.

Someone grabbed his shoulder, shaking him lightly. He let his eyes flutter open, breathing in deeply, like he'd just been woken up. He fought down a cough, hoping no one saw the tears that formed in his eyes as his throat made him pay for this action. Sakura was crouching next to him, looking concerned.

"Still tired?"

He nodded.

"I don't think anyone would mind if you went home." She looked toward the group, who all shook their heads, saying it didn't bother them.

"I dragged myself out here, I might as well stay." He closed his eyes for a moment, then looked back at the group. "Uh, if I do fall asleep leave me be until just before you leave. Then wake me up. But don't just walk away and leave me sleeping here."

Sakura smiled, nodding as she stood up. He stood as well, forcing himself to stay straight and still as his body decided it wanted to act dizzy and sway.

"Have you seen Naruto?" Sakura asked, turning back to him.

"He stopped at my house a little while ago for literally two seconds." The others looked at him, waiting for him to continue. "He told me not to forget to come."

They all nodded.

"Okay, he'll be here soon, then."

They all looked a little concerned as he limped after them, going to the center of the clearing. Ino asked him where he'd gotten his very pronounced limp. He just told her that it was from his mission, but didn't go into any detail. They didn't press it anymore, but they were still looking at him, so he told them it wasn't as bad as it looked. They accepted this, and continued whatever conversations they had been having before.

Too bad it was a flat out lie.

Sasuke was staring longingly at the shade cast by the tree he'd been under twenty minutes before. He desperately wanted to go back to sitting against it. Or, better yet, to curl up under it, and fall asleep. He was so fixed on this, he didn't hear anyone sneaking up behind him.

A pair of strong arms wrapped around his neck from behind him, which caused him to utter an extremely girly squeak. He grabbed one of the arms hugging him, his face turning bright red as everyone stopped speaking to stare at him. He heard a familiar giggling over his head.

"Naruto! What the heck are you doing? Let…me…" He had started gasping for breath, trying to fight back another coughing fit.

But, unfortunately, it didn't work this time. He exploded into a series of coughs, and Naruto removed his arms, worried. The teen was on his knees next to him in a second, one hand on his shoulder as the attack subsided. Naruto had his head tilted, looking at Sasuke's face.

"I wasn't holding you that hard. Wait," The blonde peered into his eyes, and he knew there was a slightly spacey look in them as he encountered a bout of dizziness. "Sasuke! You're sick! Why aren't you home, in bed?"

Sasuke's hands clenched, fingers tangling in the grass.

"I'll be fine." He said calmly, although he was seething below the surface. He wasn't mad at Naruto, but at the fact that he was, indeed, getting sick.

Uchihas didn't get sick.

Naruto looked annoyed at him, slight anger in his voice when he spoke. He looked as though he wanted to hit him over the head, but figured he shouldn't. He settled for pushing him.

"You stupid, stubborn idiot! Go home!"

"I'll be fine!" Sasuke insisted.

"Go home!" Naruto stood, trying to pull Sasuke to his feet. He pulled his legs under him so he wouldn't fall flat on his face when Naruto let go of him.

Unfortunately, he was not having a good day today.

His bad leg decided it didn't like this choice.

He cried out in pain, leaning toward Naruto. His hands grabbed the orange fabric of the other boys jacket. Naruto made a surprised sound, but Sasuke couldn't see the expression on his face, because he'd closed his eyes.

When he opened his eyes, he found they were lying on the ground, Naruto having lost his balance. Sasuke's blush returned when he realized he was lying on top of Naruto, his head resting under the other boys chin. His dark eyes met Naruto's, wide in surprise. He was glad to see he wasn't the only one blushing. The group of people behind them erupted into laughter.

Sasuke hurriedly pushed himself up, away from Naruto, but dropped back against his chest with another cry of pain.

Now his wrist hurt!

Naruto sat up, holding him until he managed to get himself seated.

"Gee! You two, I swear!" Kiba was laughing.

"Only this happens to you two." Shikamaru said shaking his head. "Do you like each other or something?"

He made no further comment after receiving an Uchiha death glare.

Sasuke turned away from the hysterical group, nursing his throbbing wrist and wounded pride. He closed his eyes, breath catching, then becoming quicker. He was starting to feel extremely dizzy. This was nothing like what he'd felt earlier.

Naruto was about to join the group in laughter, when he glanced at Sasuke. For a second, he thought he was sulking, but then he saw his friend was much paler than usual. And he was breathing too hard. Almost unconsciously, it seemed, he pulled his legs up to his chest, burying his face in his knees and wrapping his arms tightly around his legs.

"Hey," Naruto said, reaching out and grabbing his friends arm. "Hey!" The laughter stopped as the others saw what was happening. Unfocused dark eyes cast about for the person who had grabbed his arm. Then, Sasuke collapsed into Naruto's waiting arms.

So? What do you think? Is it any good? I hope you think so. It can only get better. It is almost complete in its handwritten version. The second chapter is called 'Ten Years', and I should have it up by next Sunday, if all goes according to plan.