Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto in any way or form.

A/N(2012): This fic is so amazingly reviewed that I really wanted to make it worth all your comments by rewriting it with the best of my ability!

They looked at him with hate in their eyes. Naruto did his best to mirror this reality. It was all he saw and all he knew. So when they glared, he glared. When they hated, he hated them back.

"I hate you all."

But it did not make the pain in his chest lessen.

Sandaime had no hate, but he had no time either. His hours were being eaten by other responsibilities, people in need of his leadership and international policies to which he was obligated to take part in. He was an old man and very aware that he was running out of time in so many ways that in the end all he had left was pity.

And it was a pity that a village does not consist of one child alone, and that one villager could not be forced to mind that one child alone.

Such a pity it was just how tightly his hands were bound by schedules and how very tired his old age made him feel.

And what a pity it was indeed that he never got to see the aftermath of the poor decision he made as he crouched next to the child to ask him if he wanted to learn a trick to feel less lonely.

"I can teach you to summon clones of yourself. That way you'll always have company," he told the child while having the gall to smile like he meant it with nothing but best of intentions.

Such an easy way out. Such a poor, lazy solution.

But the child nodded and wiped the corners of his eyes raw to get rid of the tears he'd cried over the years. And so he learned, triumphed and seemed so genuinely happy that Sandaime left the matter be.

"We hate them all."

And his new friends nodded in agreement.

"Sakura? Can I ask you something?"

"What?" Sakura gritted out, annoyed beyond belief.

"About kissing. How is it done?"

The mention of kissing within such close proximity of Sasuke seemed to trigger a chemical reaction inside Sakura's teenage body and she could do little else besides squeal and blush. Soon enough she would get there.

"Well, you just press your lips against the one you like and… go from there, I guess."

"That's all?"

Irritated that Naruto was so close to discovering her lack of experience, she threw a nasty glare at him.

"No. You can add tongue in it too."

"Tongue? What good would it do?"

If he kept questioning her any further she might not seem as knowledgeable as she liked to appear, so she decided to end their conversation right then and there.

"What does it matter? It's not like anyone would want to kiss you anyway."

To her disappointment Naruto's smile stayed in place, unaffected.

All children are curious. According to Iruka he was nearing a certain age. Naruto himself had not noticed anything special about his approaching increase in years which he had managed to live. Everything was the same, nothing had changed.

Still, Iruka held his curiosity as well as his attention.

"You'll start to see girls in a different light."

Naruto did not seem understand this.

"How exactly?"

"Well, you find their figures nicer to look at and seek their attention… and maybe ask them out on dates and… kiss…"

For the life of him, Iruka couldn't make himself act less embarrassed while talking about the matter. Sure, Naruto was a bit slow of a learner and didn't have the social circles where things like these spread like fire from kid to kid while their parents weren't listening. But surely he had been affected by biology on some animalistic level that had made him wonder.

So it was only Iruka's duty as a teacher and some sort of a makeshift father to assure Naruto that everything happening to him was completely normal.

Only that it wasn't.

"Look at me."

A pair of blue eyes looked at him.

"Kiss me."

The lips felt familiar against his. Warm and safe and full of trust. The other him moved in closer, adding to the pressure to increase the heat. Naruto felt his eyes fall shut and without his vision he could feel so much more. He could feel the movements, small attempts to breathe and growing need to feel so much more.

Their lips parted and a tongue forced its way into his mouth, the other dominating while the other submitted. It mattered little when it made him feel so indescribably wanted, so overwhelmed that he could do nothing but fall back in anticipation when the other pushed him down.

Their voices echoed in their room and between the kisses that left him breathless and breathes that left him without kisses, Naruto understood just how wrong Iruka had been.

This was the only thing natural to him.

"So how did you like it?"

Jiraiya's expression was that of an old man with many a perversion.

"It was pure smut from page one."

"Of course it was! Don't tell me you weren't interested in it the slightest."

Naruto shut his teacher's latest supposed masterpiece with an unimpressed sigh.

"I suppose."

""Come now, what else but sex runs through that teenage mind of yours, huh? Well, other than getting stronger, of course."

"You didn't include any male on male action in it."

Jiraiya's grin melted into a frown.

"Of course not. Don't tell me you're into that kind of thing."

"Not really. Just a little curious how they do it."

With his nose wrinkled to emphasise his disgust, Jiraiya could say, "Straight up the ass."

After seeing Naruto listen to his words with such a look of disinterest, later, Jiraiya could not blame himself for not knowing how much to heart his sayings were taken.

Straight up the ass hurt a lot. It hurt enough to make the other him want to disappear. In truth, it made Naruto want to disappear as well. He didn't, though. He never did no matter how much he or anyone else wished that, and neither did the tears the pain forced out of his eyes.

Yet they went on. On and on, without stopping, thrusting deeper, harder, until all there was left to do was to scream.

It didn't stop, because they didn't want it to stop. Naruto didn't want it to stop and that was how this arrangement had always worked; Naruto got what he wanted. Deeper, harder, faster. I feel you, I need you, I-

"I love you."

It was a whisper with no octaves to carry it far, but with such power in meaning that it left him choking. And if there was any echo of a warning at the back of his head that told him this to be nothing but his own wish to be told that by someone else, then he must have downed it in the chemistry that was true love as it was meant to be.

Because truly, deeply, with all his heart, he-

"I love you."

(Pitied the fools who sought after immortality even if being alive felt like this.)

"It saddens me that he had no one else to rely on. Maybe he had turned out better if he had."

Those were Iruka's words after Naruto had defeated Gaara. He didn't want it to happen, but he felt anger towards his teacher. Naruto wasn't much different from Gaara, and by saying Gaara was no good, it felt like Iruka was condemning him as well.

But Naruto didn't want to despise Iruka. He really didn't, but couldn't really help it either. Just like Gaara couldn't help being the way he was.

Just like Naruto couldn't help things turning out the way they had.

'What have you done…'

Tsunade did not look like she knew a way to react. She could curse an old, timeless man to hell and back for teaching a lonely child dangerous tricks to keep him company with. Naruto stood before her, enough years behind him to have the knowledge to understand all the things that had gone wrong with him.

And she looked at him with such desire to fix him that it almost made him turn his back to her without the intention to ever return.

There was nothing to fix. They were fine with things as they were.

"You can't love something that doesn't exist, Naruto," she told him with as much sadness as she did with disbelief.

"I told you that I love myself. Are you saying I don't exist?"

She wanted to shout at the boy, to force him out of this knot twisted from hatred, isolation and mistrust. But she could not lest she wanted for him to start taking steps away from her until he was completely out of her reach.

"You don't have to worry," Naruto grinned at her, all teeth and squinted eyes added with such normality that she would not let herself be fooled by that smile ever again.

"I wouldn't break my own heart, now would I? I'll stay loyal to myself till the end of my days. I'm happy. We're happy."

And what else was there left for her to do but to accept Naruto's words as the truth.

'Be with me when I'm alone.'

He didn't go anywhere.

'Smile at me when no one else does.'

So he did. At him and with him and for him.

'Hold me, I've never been held before.'

The embrace was warm in a way that left him shivering even though he was not cold. And the sobs that followed he wiped away not roughly with his sleeves, but gently with his lips.

'Keep the nightmares away.'

The monsters outside his window held no reign over him when two of them went to sleep, and in the morning, they would laugh at the silliness of normal dreams that were had.

"Need me."

And there lied either the best or worst part of it. The other wouldn't exist without him.

Perhaps having someone's heartbeat be constantly reliant on his whims was his twisted way of seeking justification for his own existence. Or perhaps it was a miracle that from all the hate, he had learned to truly love himself.

Be it what it may, Naruto wouldn't have it any other way.

The End

I really like to explore the darker side of the mind, don't I? o.o

Anyway! NaruNaru, you know you like it! So ship it, write it, spread it. Selfcest for the win! 8D

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