A/N: SEEEEQQQUEEL TIME :-D YAY!!!! EVERYONE EXCITED?! -hears crickets chirp- um…. Yeah…. Guess not…. (LOL, jk) well, anyway, I'll tell you right now because reading the first sentence of this story gives it away anyway—Sasuke ain't dead. Sasuke's very much alive actually, and…. This whole thing about people being alive when they're supposed to be dead won't be explained till Chapter 6 :-( sorry…. neither will the plot begin until about Chapter 5... sorry, again... But that's besides the point, so please enjoy anyway!!!

Warning: If you have not read the original story, I'm warning you this sequel won't make any sense at some points. LOL, so read the ing original story!! It's called "Meaning to Betrayal" and it's right there, sittin' on my profile :-P

Disclaimer: I don't own any of Naruto's characters and blah blah blah. You know the crap put in a disclaimer. Oh yeah, and btw, this plot is entirely original too!! It may seem like a copy of other fanfics but the plot is really different I swear it on my life it will get different by Chapter 5 (yeah, i actually searched and searched to make sure I couldn't find a plot like this) :-D K? K. Now enjoy :-)

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Chapter 1 - Teme

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The Uchiha felt his body slowly regain consciousness as he felt the soft bed, he rested on, and the comfortable blankets, keeping him warm. Sasuke also realized his struggle to breathe properly, but at least that war was currently a side struggle, which didn't require his full attention. He witnessed all of this, but. . . he couldn't believe it. Wasn't I dead?

Before he discovered the answer to his own question, voices entered the room, and he remained unmoving with his eyes closed.

"Oh no," said a very familiar female voice.

"What?" another asked curiously. That awkwardly annoying and loud voice was familiar, too.

Sakura and Naruto! Sasuke realized.

"He's breathing strangely again," Sakura answered, and Sasuke could hear her footsteps grow closer. A cool, soft hand was placed on his brow. "His fever, at least, has lessened a little," Sakura continued as Sasuke felt the hand remove from his forehead.

Sasuke longed to open his eyes, but. . . what if it wasn't real? What if Orochimaru was still there, and simply performing a trap?

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First he pulled forward, one, minute step at a time, toward the front of his mind. Then he allowed his soul to slowly seep into his unfamiliar body. When he was completely in control, he tripped over his feet because he realized he was standing and couldn't keep the position. His mind was not use to the stress of controlling his legs.

Sasuke collapsed on the ground, hitting the back of his head on. . . something. . . he was too terrified to actually open his eyes and see what he had fallen on. A move like that could piss Orochimaru, and at the moment, that was the last item on the list he wanted to try.

But he had been deprived of sight for so long, he couldn't stand not using it when he had the chance. So instead he rubbed his hand against the tiled floor and then touched his own skin. . . it felt so. . . different, unfamiliar. Then Sasuke started to hear the regular yet irregular screams in the background, but this time, instead of grimacing, he cherished the sound. Also Sasuke's sense of smell was enhanced greater than ever before. All of that, however, did not satiate his need to see.

Even if only for a moment, he desperately needed to open his eyes. Just for one split-second, he needed to taste the little light in the room, bathe in real color that had been taken from him. . . So Sasuke opened his eyes in a quick, fluid movement.

Almost instantly, he sensed Orochimaru's presence, lurking in his mind, sneering at him. "You just had to open your eyes, didn't you?" the snake voice whispered. "Whatever will I do with you?"

Sasuke wasn't listening in the least, his eyes rapidly flickering in every corner of the dark room, every trivial marking on the wall, down to the last tiny detail.

This angered Orochimaru, and Sasuke knew he was in for something horrible.

"So, Sasuke," Orochimaru began, pushing Sasuke back into the corner of his mind with simple ease, "I have a question for you."

"What?" Sasuke snapped.

"Ooh, temper, eh?" Orochimaru's chuckle mentally reached Sasuke's thoughts.

"What is the question?" Sasuke repeated angrily.

A smirk. "Oh, yes, that. Do you still want to live?"

Sasuke suddenly saw visions of his past childhood when his brother was still. . .

Then he saw visions of his parents being killed, over and over. . . "Stop it!" he screamed, realizing Orochimaru was controlling what he saw in his mind. It was worse than what Itachi had done to him, for Orochimaru could sense what hurt Sasuke the most… they both shared the same mind, and knew each other's emotions.

"I asked you a question, Sasuke," was Orochimaru's next hiss after the flashing images ended in the shade of black. "Do you want to live?"

"I. . . don't know. . ." He felt his "imaginary body" shaking with fear.

"Answer the question, Sasuke!"

That day had seemed trivial to his emotions, but now it shook his confidence so badly that he just wanted to hide in the back of his mind as he had always done before. He had been torn, and now he felt broken all over again.

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"His breathing's gone back to normal," a voice interrupted his memories. Sakura. . . he realized.

Sasuke suddenly lost control of his breathing again, and he attempted to stabilize his uneven inhales and exhales.

He heard Naruto sigh. "There it goes again," he commented, annoyed yet sincerely worried.

Sasuke had to say something. . . he couldn't open his eyes, he just couldn't. . . but he needed to at least tell them he was awake. "Where am I?" he tried to ask wearily, but it seemed as if they hadn't heard him. . .

"This is impossible to heal," Sakura commented, ignoring his last words. "He's not having trouble breathing due to an illness. . . he just isn't breathing right. There's no way to heal something that isn't a problem. . ."

Why were they just ignoring him? Suddenly the answer struck him, and tormented him with its simplicity. . . he hadn't said anything. The Uchiha was so use to only mentally saying his thoughts to Orochimaru that it felt as if he didn't even know how to speak anymore at all.

He did try after he knew what was missing with his words, but his voice would not seem to project correctly. His only chance was to do the most dreaded task. . . open his eyes. No! Orochimaru might get angry when I open my eyes, I. . . can't. . . I might never hear Naruto's or Sakura's voices ever again. . .

"Sakura," he barely heard Naruto whispered. "I think. . . he's awake."

He heard a slight gasp, and then a soft thump as he heard knees hit the ground beside him. "Sasuke?" Sakura asked quietly. "You in there?"

The frustration was beginning to take over. He needed to answer, and with his voice in pieces, he just had to open his eyes. But. . . Sasuke hated to admit it, but he was terrified that this was all just a dream or another nasty trick of Orochimaru's. . . He thought he had matured a long time ago, but strangely enough, his fear was returning.

"Sasuke," Naruto continued for Sakura. The blonde's voice was the softest it had been in all the years Sasuke had known the boy—or rather man now. "Sasuke, Orochimaru's gone. . . you don't need to be afraid. . ."

Long ago, ever since a few days after Itachi had killed his family in front of his eyes, Sasuke had learned to hold back his tears, never allow them to soak his cheeks. But now, even with closed eyes, those tears managed to sneak out underneath his eyelids. . . he could almost feel the sympathy, emanating from the two other ninja in the room. The Uchiha couldn't believe he had decreased to a level so low as to cry in front of them, like a spoiled baby. . .

"Sasuke. . . come on," Sakura urged gently. "You need to open your eyes. Let us know you're okay. . ."

Sasuke mentally slapped himself for being so cowardly. If Orochimaru was setting another trap, Sasuke would accept it as he had learned to do a couple years before. What more could he lose? He had already lost everything once, and he had survived through it. The Uchiha knew if he was forced, he could endure it again.

Sasuke opened his eyes, gradually taking in everything around him. Sakura's cherry blossom hair, Naruto's blue, heart-warming eyes, the familiar, messy-looking room surrounding him. Sasuke calmed his excited breathing. . . no voice in the back of his head stirred up and shoved him back in his corner again. . . even though he still was scared of it at every moment, just waiting for it to seep into his thoughts like it had last time.

"Sasuke!" Naruto exclaimed happily, only to receive a whack from Sakura.

"Naruto! Stay quiet!" she scolded, and Naruto seemed to remember a piece of information as he grew silent again.

The effort to see all this and compute it in his mind was exhausting his energy. . . Energy, which he needed to breathe. Sasuke allowed the overwhelming warning to take over, and closed his eyes again. Only a little at a time, the Uchiha decided, focusing only on his sense of hearing and breathing. . . he could add the other senses later, but now he was too tired.

"Sasuke, please answer me somehow," Sakura begged. "Are you okay? Does anything hurt?"

This time he focused on actually projecting his voice so that it could be heard. "I-I'm. . . I don't feel. . . much. . ." Sasuke could hardly believe hearing his own voice in his ears without the touch of Orochimaru's cruelty, hidden within it.

Sakura sighed sadly, and whispered something to Naruto. Sasuke strained to listen, but a slight headache grew, so he merely relaxed on the soft bed. What he had said was true. Nothing below his neck could he feel. . . Sasuke wasn't sure if it was just his mind playing tricks on him, and remaining unable to feel such things, or if it was an actual injury.

He sensed someone pushing the hair out of his eyes, and opened them again to see Sakura, swiftly stroking his hair.

"Sorry, you just looked uncomfortable like that," she apologized quickly. "Um. . . I'll be right back. I've got to go see Tsunade. . . she's expecting me for training."

Sasuke was too tired to reply, so simply let her leave. After a few minutes of silence, Naruto clumsily walked over to Sasuke's side, and stared sadly at him. "Y-you can't feel anything?" he asked, not meeting the ex-ninja's eyes.

"It's been. . . a-a while s-since. . . I could," Sasuke struggled to say. "I. . . don't know. . ."

"Well, the thing is. . ." Naruto was hesitating, which was unlike him, but nevertheless, Sasuke waited for the blonde teenager to say what he was trying to say. "I think I. . ." he continued slowly. "I think I broke your spine when I was trying to save you, and it might have wrecked your spinal cord when we brought you back here. . . I'm not sure, and neither is Sakura. . . we can't get Tsunade to help because. . . well, never mind about that. I'm just glad you're back, Sasuke. . ."

The Uchiha had listened to the entire speech, and several things clicked in his mind. One, he wasn't dead—that was always good. Two, Naruto and Sakura had wounded his body to where he might never be able to fully use it again—at least they had rescued him. . . And finally, the village didn't even know he was here—considering what Orochimaru might have done to harm the village with Sasuke's own body, the Uchiha wasn't surprised at his current state of being a fugitive, hidden in Naruto's own bedroom.

"Um. . . do you want anything to eat or something?" Naruto asked hopefully. He looked as though he needed a distraction, so Sasuke slightly nodded.

". . . Okay," he forced out.

Naruto nodded and strolled over to his kitchen and started going through the cupboards. "Do you want anything in particular, Sasuke? I have. . . well, all I really have is Ramen, but I could go get something else for you."

Sasuke looked up to see Naruto standing in the doorway, staring at him. "R-Ramen's fine," he answered slowly. He had already caused Naruto enough trouble, and he didn't want to be the cause of even more.

Naruto nodded, and returned to his cooking.

Meanwhile, Sasuke took a moment to stare around the room. Clothes were piled all over the floor, and it was obvious the blonde ninja hadn't spent time cleaning in a while. Soon the smell of warm Ramen entered the room, and Naruto appeared again with the said food.

"It's a good thing Sakura isn't here, or she'd go crazy over hand-feeding you," Naruto commented, trying to make a joke. But there was no humor at all in his voice. He sat Sasuke up—still Sasuke had no feeling below his neck, much to Naruto's worry—and began to feed him.

As time went on, the feeling in his arms and back seemed to return, relieving both Naruto and Sasuke of the worry over his spinal cord. Sasuke was able to eat on his own. He was still breathing unevenly, and Naruto kept pacing back and forth in the room, worrying Sasuke. . . Naruto usually didn't pace. . .

Finally, Sasuke just couldn't stand the silence or Naruto's pacing any longer. "Naruto. . . um. . . wh-when's Sakura coming b-back?" he managed to force out.

To Sasuke's great relief, Naruto stopped walking back and forth, and knelt next to Sasuke. "I dunno," he answered as he shrugged. "Tsunade usually keeps her training for a long time. . . it pays off too! Sakura's really strong!"

Naruto's last words shocked Sasuke to where he repeated what Naruto had said over and over in his head, testing its truth. Sakura. . . strong. . .?

Naruto noticed Sasuke's surprised features, for he grinned broadly. "Yep, she's tough, you better watch out, Sasuke-te—" Naruto cut himself off before he could complete the suffix "teme," which he had almost said out of habit.

Sasuke vaguely wondered why he didn't say it, but then remembered that Naruto wouldn't trust him. . . The Uchiha had been gone for years and had left of his own free will. Naruto was right to distrust him. . . but that didn't stop Naruto's words—or rather unsaid words—from hurting Sasuke.

Naruto seemed to notice the uncharacteristic look of grief on Sasuke's face. The blonde's blue eyes sympathized suddenly, and he looked away from Sasuke. "Ero-sannin—I mean, Jiraiya—is expecting me for training, too. . ." he explained, avoiding using Sasuke's name at all, so he wouldn't have to make the painful decision to add the suffix or not. "Will you be okay here by yourself?" Naruto asked, glancing at the Uchiha.

Sasuke nodded. "Yeah. . .yeah, I-I'm fine. . ." This time, his prolonged unfamiliarity with his voice wasn't the full cause of his stuttering.

Naruto nodded and smiled. "See you later then." He paused on his way out of the room, and glanced back. "Please don't try to go out into the public even if you can. . ." he pleaded. "Sakura and I. . . we. . . we might get in trouble."

"I'll stay right here," Sasuke promised, refusing to disobey or betray Naruto any more. I have to rebuild his trust in me. . . even if I don't deserve it, I need it. . .

Naruto truly smiled for the first time since Sasuke had opened his eyes. "Thanks, Sasuke-teme," he whispered and left abruptly after that was said.

Sasuke smiled at Naruto's usage of the suffix, but felt extremely tired all of the sudden. Giving into exhaustion, the Uchiha closed his eyes and attempted to sleep soundly. However, nightmares allowed him no peace with himself, and Sasuke regretted his decision to leave the village so many years ago. The remorse stabbed his heart as if knives themselves cut his flesh into a million pieces. Sasuke found little sleep as the hours of loneliness stretched on.

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A/N: K, this will probably (PROBABLY) be the longest chapter in the entire thing…. So I hoped you enjoyed the lengthiness while you could :-P And so…. What'd you think?! Did you like it? Slip a review on your way out if you have the time please :-) I'm not going to beg you, but it would be nice :-D not that i had problems with reviews at all with the original story :-P LOL :-)