A/N: Hn...Yeah. This is sad. There is an added ending if you wish. I wanted both endings, so I put both up.
Where are we without our sadness, without the aching in our heart which lets us know we really still can feel? Life must be for hurt, what else could its use be. Surely not anything pleasant, nothing to make someone feel warm instead of the cold emptiness. After all, who deserved happiness anyways? Blades and the coppery smell of blood are most common here, whether from others or ones self. The blood has to be there, you are still alive, right?
Yes, you know because of the warm trickle down your cheek from the last gash you received from an enemy. The searing pain in your side and the warmth pooling there must mean you still can feel after all. That was close, you almost thought for a moment you were too empty to feel anything. It's a relief that it hurts. After crawling home to your bed, the pain already almost gone, you'll start to wonder again, won't you? You'll think maybe you can never feel anything ever again. Your heart must have blocked away that pain, the one from before. Of watching him stab that thing in you, the cold hardness of his eyes as he watched you stumble to the ground, eyes wide with shock. You cringe at that memory, your mind already putting it safely away for you to never see.
Your body aches, you must have done more than anyone else in that one day, and maybe you should even feel proud that you accomplished such a task without dying, returning to the pleased faces of those who sent you. But you can't ever die, it's not an option. It's what he wanted you to do, he wanted you to die. You can't let him win, can't let him think he's finally done what he has always wished to do. Your hands feel cold now, maybe from clenching them too tightly in the sheets as you lay there without sleep. Tonight the memory seems to want to escape again and again from its bounds, and it's difficult for you to push it away.
"Sasuke, where are we going anyways? I thought we needed to go the other way."
He didn't hear me, or at least pretended he didn't, his form continuing on ahead without waiting. I scowled at his retreating back and jogged to catch up to him, trying again to make him listen to me.
He glanced my way and blinked at me slowly, his eyes looking more distant than I was used to. I was used to his coldness, but not the lost look I saw there. It made a shiver go down my spine and a frown tug at the corners of my mouth, but I obediently followed him into the forest, because he had asked me to.
You shiver as you did then, your eyes slipping closed as you allow yourself to remember everything. It was good for you to do this every once and awhile anyways. You had to make sure you knew it was real, remember?
"Naruto, you'll never know or understand. I have to do this and there is no other option."
I stared blankly at him, I didn't understand at all. The trees rustled from the slight breeze around the two of us, and I desperately searched his eyes for what he could be thinking. But I only saw the emptiness again.
"Sasuke…I..I don't understand, what do you mean?"
He stepped up to me then, angling his head down so that our noses were touching. Those eyes stared right into mine, and I started to cry.
"You're scaring me..Sasuke what's wrong?"
His mouth seemed to almost want to smile as he leaned in and brushed our lips together. The tears warmed my cheeks as I stared into his eyes, feeling panicky. I whimpered and gasped when I felt the sharp pain right through my ribs and reached out to hold onto him to keep myself steady.
I felt warmness running down my abdomen and my stomach was beginning to wretch as I clung weakly to him. I knew what he had done to me, and I would never be able to understand how he ever could. He dropped me then, let me fall as I bled from the place he had stabbed me. He only looked at me for a moment more before turning and leaving, walking away as I stared up at a gray sky, the tears drying down my pale face.
A sound escapes your throat as you curl up in a ball, the anguished sound hidden from your arms over your face. The missions were all you had to make yourself remember what he did to you, to make you feel that exact burning from that day. You screw your eyes shut and force your mind to quiet, struggling until finally sleep claims you. That night you dream of what it was like before, of the vague memories you've almost forgotten because they seem useless to you now. They were empty after all, just like
I felt his head resting in the middle of my back, and his arms curled themselves around my stomach when he found me crying. He turned me around slowly and made me face him, although I wished more than anything I could just hide when I was like this.
"Why are you crying Naruto?"
His voice was so soft to me, so gentle, like he wanted to make sure it only washed over me. I closed my wet eyes and then opened them to find him staring straight into them, his face emotionless. If I didn't know him as well as I do, I'd say he didn't care. I sniffled and wiped at one of the stray tears on my cheek, trying to calm down before I spoke.
"I'm just lonely."
I didn't expect him to do what he did. He cared about me, but I never thought he'd love me. His mouth was soft on my face, his hands light as he brushed at my arms as if to comfort me. My eyes, I knew, must be wide from shock, and I didn't move for a long time while he caressed me. Finally I turned my head and caught his mouth, desperate as the hope swelled in my chest. He kissed me, and I trembled from the emotion I felt there, the pure feeling. I knew I wouldn't be alone anymore.
You wake up the next morning with a bitter laugh, mocking the foolish feelings your heart wants to exist. How could he have ever really loved you if he did this to you? Stabbed you and dropped you in the middle of a forest, smiling as he left you to die. Love didn't exist in this world, only sad souls and delusions meant to harm. You can remember now, see where it started to turn painful. How could you have not seen it before, seen the lies in his eyes?
"I love you."
He didn't answer me, but I knew he must. He held me again tonight like I might be gone in the morning. I couldn't get why he'd been acting this way, handling me like I was so very fragile. He'd had me sit in his lap tonight, his thrusts gentle as he held me against him. His cheeks had been wet, and I had asked him what was wrong, told him I was confused. He had only kissed me, his anguish pouring out into my very soul as I felt myself quiver and arch as he gently pushed me into my release.
He had laid me gently down that night, holding onto me and not saying anything as we fell asleep. My words went unnoticed to his deaf ears as I tried a couple more times to tell him I loved him. I cried softly as he held me, my eyes open to the darkness.
The next day you'll go to the clearing where he left you, make yourself look at the spot where he took your heart from you. He had been right, you never understood. What was there to understand? You'll go there today and not leave it anymore. You'll stay there until you forget who you are. But first, you have to tell someone you're leaving for awhile. They don't have to know you're not coming back for a long time. The tower looms over you as you climb the stairs, your eyes on your feet as you try not to stumble. You only manage a soft knock on the door, but you're heard nonetheless. All eyes turn to you as they let you in, it looks like you've interrupted something. You try to make your visit quick, mumbling about a trip you're going to be taking.
They don't seem to be listening to you, but one of them speaks to you after a moment, the others casting weary looks to one another.
You don't look until they've repeated your name a few times, and when you do finally look up, you know your eyes must look dead.
"Naruto…We've just figured something out about the day..About the day Sasuke left."
You cringe, mouth turning into a snarl. How dare they talk about that? It wasn't supposed to be talked about, it was pointless now.
"He turned himself over to the enemy and convinced them he was a part of them. That he dreamed for the same things they did."
You aren't really even listening, and you don't look at any of them as she continues to speak, feeding you with pointless information.
"They were planning to kill you Naruto. There was a group that was ready to be sent out to assassinate you. Sasuke…He.."
You look at her curiously as she seems to get emotional, and you glance around to see a few of the others with their eyes downcast, as if this was a very sad story. You swallow and look at her, making yourself listen to whatever this was.
"Sasuke convinced them that he would do it himself. That he and one other would be enough to kill you and get the job done."
Your eyes widen in horror as you finally realize what it all really was, why he cried, why he told you you'd never understand. You crumple to the floor, crying openly and stare down at your shaking hands that are clasped so tightly together you can't feel them anymore.
"Naruto, you'll never know or understand. I have to do this and there is no other option."
His partner stared down at him form the treetops, watching the scene as it unfolded. Sasuke had said to wait and watch, and he was in charge of the mission, so he obeyed and merely watched the other genius ninja at his work. To be able to kill a so called friend, to leave the village and smile about it, well, it was just amazing. His grin grew when he saw the flash of silver and the startled gasp from the kyuubi. Sasuke watched him for a moment before turning and leaving, gesturing with his hand slightly for the other to follow.
His partner never saw the tears streaming from his eyes as he clenched his fist, his heart feeling like a trapped creature being held down and tortured. He knew this was the only way to keep Naruto safe. No one would think him to still be alive if Sasuke never went back, they all thought he'd kill him easily. Naruto's eyes as he pierced him would not leave his mind, and he didn't know when it was they ever would.
You scream, startling everyone in the room. A few of them reach out to you, walking towards you with worry in their eyes. You just scream again and run the hell out, your blood pounding in your ears as you run and run, the streets blurring past you. You know where you're going, and you're not leaving there. This is not going to be a visit. You're going to curl up and die where he left you, where he was forced to leave you. A few people stare as you go past, and you know you look crazy. You must be crazy.
It comes into view as you push through the trees, exactly as it was in your memories, every tree and patch of sky overhead is the same as you've been seeing it for months. You stumble to the spot where it happened and fall there, your eyes wet and your heart broken. You place your cheek on the soft grass there and pretend it's just happened, pretend for a moment you still have the chance to stumble back up and go after him like you wanted to. You tremble as if it's cold out, even as the warm breeze passes over you.
The first one is weak and full of misery, and as you get more desperate you look up from your spot on the ground and scream again and again.
Your strangled screams echo through the forest and make the birds fly from their perches, and you scream until the sound won't even come out anymore. You sit, giving up finally, and you just stay there, staring straight ahead as the sky grows dark. You don't remember when you fall asleep, but you don't wake up until hours later, and it's pitch black. At first you're confused, you don't remember where you are. But then you swallow and feel the rawness of your throat and you know. Why did you even wake up at all, there is dead silence all around.
The silence ate away at me as I lay in the hospital bed, staring out the closed window without much feeling anywhere. My side was already healing, the doctors said the attack had missed anything vital. Surprising, Sasuke was usually so good at things like that. I'd had many visitors by this time, all stone faced and giving me useless presents and stupid words that were somehow supposed to mean everything was happy. Why couldn't he have just succeeded and killed me? It'd be so much easier than this.
You wonder now how he must have felt leaving, what it was like for him to be trapped with the enemy, always knowing the person you truly loved must hate you for what you did to them. How could he just go through things and live that way, wait for the day to come when you would die on a mission or just get so sick of it you'd kill yourself. You know you're not as strong as he is, know that he out of anyone would be able to do it. You still can't believe any of it.
The sound reaches your ears before you feel it, but you don't move because you know it would be useless. Hands grip you roughly and pull you to your feet. You wonder if maybe this is it, someone sent to find you despite Sasuke's stupid attempts at keeping you safe. You realize you're right as you feel the fist make contact to your face, connecting with a sickening thud as you stumble several feet backwards. You barely have time to take in a breath before you feel a swift kick to your gut, sending you reeling to the ground. The voice speaks, hoarse and nasty sounding.
"He thought he'd protect his little treasure and trick us, didn't he? He thought he could keep you safe and fool everyone?"
The laugh that followed sent fear shooting through every nerve in your body, and you can't believe how ironic it all is. After everything he had tried to do to save you, you were going to get killed anyways. You feel a foot push down on your neck and it hurts as it slowly cuts off your air.
"I want to watch you suffocate slowly now. Watch the life drain from those eyes of yours, little kitsune."
You stare straight ahead into the dark and grapple weakly at the pressure pushing the life from you, but it's no use, you know it's not going to do anything. You're going to die now.
"Moron, life is meant for living. You can't just sit and watch everyone else live it for you."
He was trying to look angry, I know, but it wasn't working. I could still see the caring in his eyes, and the way his mouth curved let me know he was happy. Maybe he was right, life was worth living. I couldn't just sit here and let everything waste away while I got fat on my ramen. I grinned then and tackled him to the ground, laughing as I heard the wind whoosh out of his lunges.
"Well then Sasuke, you have to live it with me."
You smile as you drop your hands to your sides, relaxing into the sleepiness that's taking over you. Lucky the last thing you'd get to think about was him and how it used to be. You were happy once, weren't you? Well it's okay then, it's alright to die now. Who knew you'd actually die happy?