Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
SCHOOL'S OVERRRR XD…more time to update!
EDIT: I got a review today that stated that Lavender is not my original plot, which is true. I mentioned that in the beginning of chapter 3. You can all go back and check. I clearly stated Lavender is based off a Taiwanese drama. Now there shouldn't be anymore confusion, but I did mention that fact before.
Chapter 7: Closer
Upon reaching Sasuke's apartment, Naruto slowly walked up the stairs and looked around. The place was clean and tidy, just as Sasuke had always been. Music scores were neatly arranged on shelves and a red, electric guitar rested in the corner.
"I'll be right back," Sasuke announced softly, before leaving the room.
Naruto nodded. He glanced around slowly once more. Then, on the glass table next to Sasuke's bed, he noticed something that made his eyes go wide.
The two lavender bottles.
He walked over to them and picked them up, smiling slightly. He couldn't believe his bottle had actually found Sasuke. Setting them back down gently, he made his way over to stereo resting next to the piano. There were three CDs on it. He could see a light flashing, meaning there was something inside. Lifting a finger, he lightly tapped the play button.
A solemn piano melody made its way gently throughout the room, drifting through Naruto's ears. This music…was beautiful. He didn't even notice when Sasuke returned and jumped when he felt the music stop. Glancing behind him, he saw that Sasuke had stopped the disc.
"I'm sorry, I didn't…" Naruto trailed off. Sasuke said nothing, simply handing him a towel.
"Do you write all of your own music?" Naruto asked. Again, Sasuke stood silently for a moment, before reaching for the three CDs and chucking them all in the trash.
"Hey!" Naruto exclaimed, running over and scooping them up. "Why did you do that?"
"It doesn't matter," Sasuke responded quietly. "It's not like they're worth anything to anyone."
Naruto glanced at them in his hands. "Well…if you don't want them, do you think I could have them? I think they're really nice to listen to." Sasuke merely shrugged, which Naruto took as a sign of 'ok.'
The two took a seat on Sasuke's sofa, and Naruto couldn't help but let his gaze wander to the bottles resting on the table again.
"What are you looking at?" asked Sasuke, following the blonde's eyes.
"I thought I had lost that forever," Naruto replied.
"I found it backstage after one of my concerts. I wanted to find you, but you had already left."
"So…you never did forget me then, did you?" Naruto asked brightly, and Sasuke shook his head. No, he had indeed never forgotten about his childhood friend.
It was silent again for a moment longer before Sasuke left again, returning after a few minutes with two cups of tea. He sat back down and gave one to Naruto.
"Mmm, Sasuke…are you sure your hand is alright? You don't need to go to the hospital or anything, do you?"
Sasuke let out a small laugh. Leave it to Naruto to be overly concerned as usual. "Trust me; it's not that bad. I'll heal."
Naruto returned the laugh. "Ah, that's right. You're a big superstar now, it's not like you could go to the hospital anyways. All that would do is end up on the front page of the paper tomorrow and probably spread some nasty rumor. Being famous…it'd probably be hard to establish relationships with people, yeah? No one can really share the burden of what you're going through." He turned toward the other and could feel his cheeks heating up as he was met with an intense gaze in dark eyes.
"Do you…have people you love, Naruto?" Sasuke asked quietly, his eyes never leaving the whiskered face.
"Heh, yeah of course I do! I've got Iruka, and all my friends, and…" He scratched the back of his head thoughtfully, "and lots of other people too. What about you?"
Sasuke turned away. "The people I love are no longer alive."
Naruto bit his lip. He hated seeing Sasuke look so emotionless. He tugged at his jacket sleeve. "Find another."
"What?" Sasuke looked surprised to say the least.
Naruto nodded. "Find someone else that you can love. If you lose one person, find another. There will always be someone in the world that you can love and will love you back. You just haven't found them yet…or maybe you haven't realized it."
Sasuke pondered over Naruto's words, before letting his sight fall to Naruto's hand that was still clutching onto him. He raised an eyebrow.
Seeing that, Naruto suddenly realized how awkward his gesture had seemed and retracted his hand almost as though he had been burned. The blush that had creeped on his face before and almost disappeared had now returned full force.
Sasuke's lips tugged upward in a smile, something he had been doing a lot more recently. Slowly, he reached over and took Naruto's hand in his own, entwining their fingers together.
The blonde looked up quickly, almost as though he were about to say something, before the look in Sasuke's eyes silenced him. He felt his breath hitch as lips began to lean in to his…an eternity seemed to be passing…they were only centimeters away…
A buzzing sound filled the room loudly, breaking the silence. Sasuke seemed to have come out of a daze, pulling back and removing his hand from Naruto's. The blonde sighed internally. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his cell phone.
"Naruto, why didn't you come tonight?"
It was Gaara.
"I…I wasn't feeling well today," said Naruto, desperately trying to think of a response off the top of his head. He wasn't used to lying to people and he didn't like it.
"Are you alright?" He could hear the concern in Gaara's voice and that was making him feel worse.
"Yeah, yeah. I'm fine now. Don't worry."
"So are you at home then?"
"Yeah…I'm at home. Um, I'd like to go to sleep now. So I'll talk to you later, ok?" All the while, Naruto could feel Sasuke's curious gaze on him.
"Ok. Good night then."
"Night," Naruto responded before hanging up. He put his phone away.
"Who was that?" asked Sasuke, smirking.
"No one. It's nothing," Naruto replied, not too keen on speaking about Gaara at the moment. Sasuke nodded, not wanting to push the subject. But, as he placed his arm around the warm body next to him, he was determined to finish what he started.
Naruto stiffened when he felt an arm around him, but said nothing and began to relax. His eyes widened when Sasuke began to lean in again, this time though, he actually felt soft lips press against his for a moment before pull away.
They kissed again, and this time, Naruto allowed himself to close his eyes and enjoy the feeling. He couldn't believe he was actually here kissing one of the world's biggest singers. Just as he was about to completely melt into Sasuke's arms, he felt a tightening in his chest.
Pulling himself away from the other man, he began to pant heavily, trying to stand but only managing to collapse on the floor. He felt his airway beginning to constrict, and breathing was starting to get difficult.
"Naruto!" Sasuke wrapped an arm around him quickly, "what's wrong? What's happening?" He frantically began to look around the room for his phone, thinking of dialing the paramedics.
"N-no," the blonde choked out, "j-just get my pills…they're…they're in m-my left pocket," his eyes were beginning to water and his panting was getting heavier.
Sasuke immediately dove for the pocket, digging around frantically until he found the pack of pills. Ripping open the bag, he thrust them all into Naruto's hand, who lifted them weakly to his mouth. Sasuke followed up by grabbing his glass of water and tipping it into the blonde's mouth, giving him an easier way to swallow them.
It only took a few moments for the medicine to start taking effect. Naruto's labored breathing slowly returned back to normal and he stopped grasping at his chest. Sasuke helped him up, taking him to the bedroom where he lay the blonde down gently. He finally let out his anxious breath as Naruto gave him a gentle smile.
Sasuke tucked the blankets higher around him and reached out to stroke the yellow spikes. "God, Naruto…you really scared me." It surprised him how easy it was for him to say that. He hardly expressed that much emotion to anyone ever, but it had been so easy for him to lose control upon seeing the blonde in pain.
"I'm sorry," said Naruto, quietly looking away.
Sasuke smiled. "It's ok. Just try to get some sleep now, ok?"
Naruto nodded and closed his eyes, allowing sleep to take him, all the while feeling Sasuke's fingers lightly brushing through his hair.
Sasuke had dozed off himself before a sound brought him back from sleep. Blinking, he stood up groggily and rubbed his eyes. The sound was coming from Naruto's pocket, indicating that it was his phone again.
By this time, the blonde was beginning to stir. Clear, blue eyes opened and it took him a second to connect that someone was calling him. He flipped it open.
Sasuke briefly wondered if it was the same person who had called earlier.
"Ah, I was at a friend's and I just lost track of time. I'm sorry, I'll be home soon." There was a few seconds of pause before Naruto hung up.
"Are you in trouble?" Sasuke asked.
"Eh, kinda. Iruka ended up coming home earlier than expected and he was just worried about where I was. It's not too bad, but I do have to go now."
Sasuke nodded, "I'll drive you."
"Thanks," Naruto smiled warmly.
Before they were about to leave, Sasuke went over to his table and picked up one of the lavender bottles. "Here, Naruto. It belongs to you."
The blonde's eyes softened and there was a light in his eyes that made Sasuke's stomach churn.
"Thanks again, Sasuke…for everything." He tilted his head upwards and kissed him softly on the cheek. Sasuke did everything he could to suppress his own blush that was threatening to blossom. He grabbed a tan hand.
"Come on, let's get you home."
Naruto made his way to work as quickly as he could. From the other night when he had gotten home, he was a bit emotionally drained, which led him to oversleep, which was also now why he was late.
Sneaking into the greenhouse, he spotted Neji on the computer and Lee working by the desk.
"Naruto! Where've you been?" Lee asked, looking up from his plants.
"Sorry I'm late guys, yesterday was sort of a rough day for me. I just ended up oversleeping."
"Are you feeling ok?" Neji asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine, thanks," he smiled brightly.
"Hey Neji," he whispered quietly when Lee was out of earshot, "how did the concert go?"
Neji scoffed. "Don't ask."
That's not a good sign…Neji's tone held finality, signaling that he no longer wished to discuss the topic.
The door suddenly opened and Gaara made his way inside. Naruto had to admit, he had seen his friend look better. The redhead's eyes were somewhat bloodshot and his face looked sullen. He held a stack of folders in his hand, and, without warning, let them drop on the table, starting everyone.
"What the hell?!" Both Neji and Lee exclaimed and Naruto jumped. Gaara ignored the first two and focused his attention on the blonde.
"Why are you late, Naruto?"
"I…I had a rough night," he responded, slightly nervous.
"Yeah. I bet." Gaara's tone was monotonous and his eyes seemed somewhat lifeless. Naruto thought that, from the phone call yesterday, the redhead had been ok about him missing the concert, but he was clearly mistaken.
"I…" Naruto didn't know what to say. Gaara had never acted this way before to him. Instead, he chose to stare at the ground.
"Hey," Neji pushed out of his chair angrily, "what the hell is your problem? He said he had a rough night, ok? Stop being such an asshole. You make it sound as though Naruto did something horrible to you."
"Well maybe he did," said Gaara, crossing his arms over his chest.
Neji grit his teeth. "Please, will you grow up? Stop moping around and go do something productive with your time. Don't come around here if all we're gonna get from you is this crappy attitude."
Both Naruto and Lee looked at their friend, astonished. Neji rarely lost his cool. Even Gaara seemed surprised.
"I'm sorry, Naruto," Gaara whispered quietly, before leaving the room.
"Uh…it's alright." Naruto spoke, though he knew Gaara could not hear him. He pretended to shake the whole thing off, but inside it was troubling him a little. He hated when people were upset with him. It made him feel uncomfortable.
Deciding that he should at least attempt to patch things up, he followed Gaara outside and found him sitting on the fence, gazing at the green fields that surrounded them.
"Gaara?" Naruto approached him timidly. When he was met with no response, he felt himself getting a little frustrated.
"I'm sorry, ok? It's not like I didn't go on purpose."
Green eyes flashed at him. "If you didn't want to go fine, but why would you even think to invite Neji in your place? Do you know how bad it was last night?"
"Oh…" Naruto didn't think it could have been that bad, though apparently it had been.
Gaara rested his eyes on him for a few minutes longer. Finally, he sighed. "It's fine, Naruto, forget about it. Just make sure it doesn't happen again, alright?"
"Ok! I promise," Naruto smiled, happy he was forgiven.
Gaara felt the breeze ruffle through his hair. "So what exactly happened to you last night anyways?"
Naruto sighed. He wished Gaara could just drop the subject. "Nothing…well, I mean, I wasn't feeling well…and then…ah, why am I explaining myself to you anyways? It's not like you're my mother."
He had meant that remark as a joke, but clearly Gaara didn't take it that way. His eyes seemed to harden once again. "Right…I'm not anything to you, am I?"
He gracefully stepped off the fence and returned inside, leaving a gaping Naruto behind.
Sasuke was having a bad day. From the moment he had stepped outside his apartment that morning, there were about fifteen people gracing his doorstep, with cameras and recorders in hand.
Shoving his way past all of them and not answering any questions, he barricaded himself in his car and took off, driving dangerously fast, and not knowing where the hell he was even off to.
Pulling up to a nearly deserted parking lot, he took a deep breath and steadied himself. Looking around, he saw there was only one other car close by. But he stopped as he saw who the other driver was. It was that redhead that Naruto worked with, the one that had been serving at the corporate party that other time.
What did Naruto say his name was…Gaara? Yeah I think that's it. Sasuke rolled down his window and called out to him.
Gaara shifted his eyes when he heard his name being called. Normal people probably would've been star struck at seeing the celebrity in person and so close, but Gaara merely looked at him before turning away. "Oh. It's you."
"Is Naruto around?" Sasuke asked. Gaara sent him an annoyed expression.
"No. He's working at the greenhouse. That's what most people do during the day, you know. Work."
Sasuke didn't like the way he was being spoken to but decided to ease off. This was supposed to be one of Naruto's friends.
"Well, as long as he's working, that's good."
That caught Gaara's attention.
"What do you mean by that?" he demanded.
"I mean I'm glad he's ok enough to be working, that's all." Sasuke peered at him. "Do me a favor though, and watch over him ok?"
"What the hell are you talking about?" Gaara snapped out.
Sasuke was about to strangle the other man. "Naruto just didn't feel well, alright?" He started his engine, having had enough with talking to this weirdo.
How does he know Naruto wasn't feeling well yesterday?
Gaara stood rooted to the spot, not knowing what to say or how to respond. As Sasuke pulled out of the parking lot, he threw in some parting words.
"Naruto was with me last night. He seemed to be in pretty bad shape at one point, so I just wanted to check he was doing ok."
Naruto was with me last night.
Nothing else seemed to register in his mind.
"Naruto…Naruto was with you last night?" Gaara felt all the color drain from his face.
Sasuke said nothing, simply letting a small smirk grace his handsome features, before rolling up the window and driving off.
I know it was short and I'm sorry for that but I didn't have all that much to work with for this chapter. And I know that Sasuke previously said he had a girlfriend and now he's pretty much with Naruto…it's sort of confusing. But things will be revealed later on.