Well, this is the end! It was pretty fast paced, and I don't really like how the plot switched around a lot. But at least I didn't drag it out for 20 chapters! HA! This is the shortest WIP I've ever written D. Hooray for me. So. Thanks for reading all this, that was very nice of you! I probably won't write anything else for a long, long time. I'm focusing more on my comics than fan fiction. (Check out my homepage if you want to see it!) So enjoy this!
REVIEW PLEASE. And seriously, something more than "tht wz ttly awsom." Or "cool". It's getting really annoying. Again, thanks guys!
"...Would you like to take a ride today, little brother?"
I glanced over at him. How could he still manage to call me "little brother" after all this time? Even after ten years, and I was so very mature, he still had the audacity to call me that.
"...Will you ever grow out of that?" Kisame asked, his older voice still shrouded in amusement. Itachi grinned, and the lines under his eyes grew wider. I rolled my eyes and strolled to the limo.
I couldn't recall how many years it had truly been since I was last in Japan. I tried to keep it out of my head, and once I did, I forgot all about it. I regretted it. I wished to remember my life back in my homeland, where living was peaceful and everything was grand.
Here, not so much.
I watched as Kisame and Itachi laughed at their own jokes, Itachi being helped along by Kisame's strong sure arm around his. Their love had gone past all opposition, and yet it still remained. Itachi still took care of the company back in Japan, just from a long distance. I had become vice president, and we planned to open the bank's American chain in only a few short months. Kisame had risen to president of California's most efficient power plant, and we all lived carefree in a mansion near the heart of Los Angeles. Itachi and Kisame had yet to take anything seriously in their jobs or their relationship. Itachi had since gotten healthy enough to be seen around the city, and Kisame had once again taken the position of Itachi's faithful dog, though much less demanded. I saw something different between them that I had never seen in their love before California. It wasn't about who owned who anymore, or who loved who the most.
I, however, had yet to find anyone as compatible. After Naruto, I couldn't even think of loving someone else. It was too far-fetched, and when I saw other people with hands held and kisses on lips, I felt my heart beat a little faster. I missed that feeling.
"Hurry the fuck up."
"Shush, little brother! Hold your loose tongue!"
Kisame grinned and opened the door for Itachi and me, and got in himself. Itachi switched places with me so I was at the window. He had either done that so I could get out, or so he could sit near Kisame. I gave up and chose the latter. But his tell-tale grin said otherwise. I eyed him wearily.
"...Is there something you aren't telling me, dear brother?" I asked, a growl threatening to rear itself. Itachi shrugged, his grin, if anything, brighter.
"...I might have found something a little interesting that you might like...Right, K?"
Kisame gave a slight nod and gestured for the chauffeur to drive on. As the limousine gave a soft pull forward, I could only hope for the best. All the while, their smiles did not loosen.
"Stop the fucking car!"
My scream startled the chauffeur and he jerked to a stop. Kisame and Itachi only burst out laughing as I launched myself out of the car and onto the sidewalk, not even caring about my high positions call for composure.
The art gallery had bright neon lights shining from their crystal glass walls onto my face.
But it wasn't my only face.
The top of the large building held but one giant canvas as an introduction to the artist, one so large, that it took up a third of the tall edifice. It was with heart wrenching familiarity that I looked upon the billboard painting that was created with the black Japanese calligraphy ink and red acrylic.
There I was, my face shining down on me.
My breath was lost as I looked into the painting of me, with eyes that seemed the exact copies I see in the mirror every morning. It held more than that. They were brighter and beautiful, an adjective I was hesitant to even use for myself. And then there was the banner under my Japanese portrait.
The Artist of Japan: Naruto Uzumaki
I jerked back to look at Itachi, but he was still open mouthed and breathless from laughter. Gaining control of my heart, I slowly strolled into the gallery.
It was almost like I walked into a mirror fun house, because there wasn't a picture without my face gleaming back at me. When I entered, I felt everyone's eyes on me, as if they mistook me for one of the paintings. But I was the real thing.
They stopped to admire me, smiles on their faces. Strangers, the strange inhabitants of L.A. stopped to smile at me. I looked cautiously around the silent room, viewing me in all stances. Some were colorful, but most of them were black and white calligraphy. Over to the left of the gallery, there was a small description, so I, as quickly as I could without drawing more attention, rushed over.
--- --- --- ---
Naruto Uzumaki, the young half-Japanese artist, is known only for his reoccurring subject. The mysterious model has yet to have his name announced by Uzumaki, and it might remain forever a mystery. It is even rumored that this character is merely a work of fiction. His portrayal of this mystifying man has no boundaries as to what he can do, and is mostly drawn partaking in daily activities. Uzumaki started painting in his 2nd year of high school, and has continued until his lifelong dream of becoming famous was fulfilled.
Uzumaki stays traditional by using only calligraphy inks.
--- --- --- ---
"...My, do you look old, Sasuke."
I gave a jump and jerked around to face that voice. My heart ripped from my chest at the sight of his long-lost face.
He looked the same as he had always looked. His hair had become less messy, but was still that annoying yellow color. Blue eyes had only gotten bluer, and his tan skin had dimmed with age. He was a healthy bronze, and his grin had only gotten bigger.
"...I've never seen you in a suit before, Sasuke," he stated with a hearty chuckle, ceruleans looking me over for the first time in ten long years. It felt so new, so unfamiliar. I had nothing to say. The only thing my head could come up with was my last moment with Naruto, and all the horrifying pain it brought.
He noticed the look in my eyes, and his grin slowly disintegrated. I frowned myself, hating the way his face looked so hollow without it. His eyes dropped to the clean-cut marble floor.
"...I didn't expect you to forgive me. I'm sorry..." he trailed off. I looked up at him boldly. It wasn't I who was afraid of him; it was all in my stupid unforgiving head. I kicked by foot out and he looked up.
"...I never blamed you in the first place," I whispered.
And then there was a twitch of his lips.
His grin grew back tenfold, and I could see his inner turmoil over whether to hug me or not. His hands came up to do so, but his mind beat him to it, and they dropped back to his sides. He laughed.
"...Thank you," he said, his gorgeous voice retaining its rightful place in my ears. The moment was short lived, though, as spectators began to crowd, their curious faces asking all kinds of questions.
"...Is this your model?"
"Mr. Uzumaki, I have some questions to ask you!"
"What's your name?"
I raised my eyebrows to that last question directed at me. I looked to Naruto first, and his hand waved gracefully, his grin more delightful than I had ever seen it before. I smiled myself and answered audaciously.
"...Sasuke. Sasuke Uchiha."
After a moment, mumbles of all sorts of other questions arose, and I became flustered. Naruto only chuckled loudly and pushed back the audience, promising answers later. They unwillingly did so after a short moment of rebellion, but we were alone once again.
I took the moment to memorize his newer appearance again. Maybe it was just me, but I found a newer respect in Naruto, one that came with being older, more mature. We weren't kids anymore, we weren't teenagers. We were adults, and this is how he would always look to me. He noticed my stare.
"...What are you looking at, ba...Sasuke?"
My heart clenched as he almost said it. I had missed that the most. I had missed being called that. I would hear it everyday from Kisame to Itachi, but never had I wanted it to be said so badly.
"...You...You can say it, if you want," I whispered. He nervously scratched his head and smiled.
"...Really?" I nodded. He nodded back. "...Baby."
I felt my heart twist as it beat for joy. There: He had finally said it. I let a smile fall upon my lips, and he pointed at it.
"...That's a nice smile," he said, his grin once again growing. My eyes left his from awkwardness and fell upon a painting that caught my attention. I pointed at it.
"...I remember that one. The one over your bed," I said. I felt a laugh I had no idea I could voice erupt from my vocals. He nodded happily, titling his head at it.
"...Still couldn't get the eyes on that one," he admitted, hands on his hips.
I turned to him once again. Maybe it was just the fact that I hadn't seen him in ten heartbreaking years, but I doubted I had ever seen someone so wonderful. His flat hair didn't match his ecstatic personality, but then again, he obviously grew out of it.
"...Umm..." I started, giving his attention to me, "...Kyuu-"
"Don't," he interrupted. I zipped my mouth shut, but he sighed, scratching at his nape. "...I took care of it."
"Gone," he answered, hands in his pocket, staring off into the gallery again. My heart clenched at the lack of attention. I was so glad for Kyuubi being gone. My soul gave a beat of hope; maybe we could start over, now that Kyuubi wasn't between us.
But it was no use.
Maybe it was my head, listing the reasons why I couldn't get back together with Naruto. Maybe it was my heart that hurt whenever Naruto talked, moved, or smiled. But I knew.
I knew it was just me.
We'd been through too much. There was still so much tension. We couldn't forget the past, the horrible ending that arose. We would never forget it, and it would only interfere. He would feel guilty, and I would feel defensive, the whole time. There was no way we could do it.
If only forgetting were that easy.
"...Look," I whispered nervously, my old Sasuke bursting out; the same little Sasuke that was always timid of Naruto and everything he did. "...Why don't we go get coffee or something?"
And he gave me this look. His hands pumped at his hips again, and his lips twitched to an amused smirk.
"...Ditch my own art gallery, which I've always dreamed of, for a five dollar cup of coffee with my ex-boyfriend?" he spelled out. The word ex-boyfriend stung, but I still let a strange smile on my face, mimicking his. We chuckled quietly.
"Yes," I laughed. He waited until his laughs calmed before he inhaled loudly and nodded, his beautiful face in complete bliss, grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
"...I'd like that."
And just like that, we were slowly walking to the clear crystal doors. It was hard to believe it was that easy. But I turned to him one last time, and his smile was still in play.
"...There was a reason I wanted this art show in L.A., stupid."
Instantly flustered, I stumbled in my walk and accidentally touched his hand. He immediately withdrew from me, eyeing me apologetically. But I stopped to stare him down, boney pale hands clutching at my rabid heart through my crumpled ebony suit.
"...I'm not afraid," I whispered. He nervously gazed at the floor, scratching at his nape again. I guess that had become his habit. His hands would be forever bandage-free.
"...Really?" he whispered back, still not looking. I nodded, but of course he didn't see it. I hesitantly, slowly, touched his warm tan hand, feeling my old love wash over me with my new love, combining to leave me blissful and lethargic. I held it, or really it held mine, loosely. His fingers were still so much bigger than mine, and he was still so much taller and bigger. Suddenly, I felt slightly intimidated, smaller, and weaker. But that only made me grasp his hand all the tighter, wanting to feel safe with him all over again. I wished for him to be my equivalent to Kisame. I wanted him to be my high school sweetheart, my absolute lover, and my safety. If only two of those things were up there, it was all I could ever want.
All I wanted, needed, was Naruto.
I nudged him out the door with me, and he timidly followed, his hand barely leaving his nape. I felt timid myself, but I had yet to show him.
And we walked the L.A. streets, looking back at the limo where Kisame and Itachi waved at us warmly. Naruto stayed quiet, but I told him everything was okay, and hopefully, everything would be from then on. I didn't have any promises for him, and neither he to I. It was only a little hard to hold that nostalgic hand, the one that had hurt me so badly, and the one that I loved so badly. It was confusing, and it only added to my unconditional adoration for this man. From then on, it was hard to believe I actually spent ten years away from him, that I actually lasted that long. Because now that I remembered what I was missing, I was never going to give up that easily.
An Uchiha always gets what they want.