Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Alright guys, here's what's been going on with me recently. I've been trying to find a story that I can finish and focus all my attention on. Voulez vous and Lavender were good at the time, but for some reason I can't help but want to move on a little…not to say those won't be updated, but I'm kinda craving something else at the moment. So I've been experimenting a bit with different ideas I might like for stories. Twisted has been taken down, it wasn't really getting the reaction I wanted and in all honestly, I couldn't think of how to develop the plot, so my apologies. I suppose this story is another experiment of mine. We'll see how it all plays out.
It was a bitterly cold day. Uchiha Sasuke leaned against the truck of a thick tree in a deserted part of the forest. He let out a deep sigh, watching his breath turn into white puffs in front of him. He pulled his jacket tighter around himself. He had never liked the cold.
He had discovered this spot a while ago, and found it perfect for a person like himself. There was no one to disturb him, no animals making weird noises, with even a small stream nearby. It was quiet and overall, very good for thinking, the reason Sasuke had come out in the first place.
Knitting his eyebrows together, the corners of his mouth turned downwards, in the expression of a slight frown. Things had been going perfectly for almost three years now. He had killed both Orochimaru and Itachi, and had decided to move onto his next conquest. He had then returned to Konoha, where he found a certain blonde waiting for him. Sure, it had taken quite a bit of persuading on Sasuke's part (and a punch that had his jaw sore for nearly a week), but he finally convinced Naruto to go on a date with him.
The two had been together ever since.
Sasuke loved Naruto with all his heart. All his life, he had never really known the true feeling of love. The fangirls that chased after him and all the people of the village who admired him didn't count. After his clan had been slaughtered, he chose to believe such an emotion didn't exist. He had loved his brother…and a lot of good that did him.
But when he was with Naruto, he felt different. Whenever the blonde would flash that wide, goofy grin, or look at him with those piercing blue eyes, Sasuke's insides lit up. And it was then that he realized how much he cared for his best friend. He loved the annoying little comments he would make, he loved the determination in Naruto's face every time he announced he was going to become Hokage…
He loved waking up to the warmth of a body with hair as bright as the sun and eyes as clear as the sky.
It would be our anniversary tomorrow. That thought skittered through Sasuke's mind. Tomorrow, it would be three years exactly that they had been together. If he had known back then that Naruto and him would make it that long in a relationship, he probably would've jumped for joy.
But knowing that fact, now, he couldn't even make himself smile.
Because something wasn't right.
It had all started a few weeks ago, when Sasuke had returned from a long mission in the Mist Village. The whole thing had been rather blurred in Sasuke's mind, but he remembered thinking about Naruto and nothing else. How he couldn't wait to get back home and see his lover again…
But when Sasuke had returned to their apartment that they shared, he saw the blonde pacing back and forth, almost frantically. He couldn't even think of what was wrong. After all, he was home. They were happy. What could possibly be missing?
Sasuke had tried to ask Naruto what was the matter, but the blonde had continued his pacing, mumbling beneath his breath. After he had stopped, he seemed to be in deep thought, before muttering something Sasuke couldn't hear and heading off toward bed.
The Uchiha had watched in shock. Had Naruto just blatantly ignored the fact that he had come home?
That night, the blonde kept thrashing back and forth in bed. Sasuke tried to hold him but whenever he came close, Naruto would roll away. Finally, he gave up, rolling toward his side. He didn't know why Naruto was acting like this. It wasn't normal. He decided he would sleep on it and ask him in the morning.
When morning came, Sasuke found the blonde still fast asleep. He wanted desperately to reach out and brush those golden locks away from that slumbering face, but something in his mind held him back. He decided he would go train for a while, and when he returned, he would talk to Naruto about last night.
Sasuke trained. He punched and kicked and leapt. He had gone on a lot longer than he had originally intended and he nearly cursed out loud once he realized it was nearly noontime. Racing toward his apartment, he pulled open the door and called out Naruto's name. He got no response.
Sasuke brushed it off, thinking his lover had gone to see the Hokage or even went out with one of his friends for lunch. Deciding he didn't have anything better to do, he sat on the couch, awaiting Naruto's return.
Noon turned to afternoon.
Afternoon turned to night.
And still no sign of the blonde.
Around eleven o'clock at night, when Sasuke had dozed off a bit, the door opened and Naruto stepped in. Sasuke blinked his eyes open at the sound and took in the appearance of his lover, who, in all honestly, looked like crap. His eyes were watery and red, his hair limp and damp, and his nose sniffling every now and then.
Once again, Sasuke was shocked. Naruto had definitely been the more emotional one between the two of them, but even Sasuke couldn't remember the last time he had found the blonde crying. No, Naruto didn't ever really cry. He would get worked up, yell, argue some, stomp away angrily, but the Uchiha never remembered seeing him cry.
"What happened, Naruto?" He had asked softly, not wanting to scare the boy. The blonde turned to him, eyes still wet.
"Sasuke," he croaked out, voice cracking in the process.
"Naruto…I'm here. Please...tell me what's wrong." Sasuke inquired, voice not changing from its gentle tone.
Naruto said nothing this time. Instead, he dropped to his knees and fell to the floor, crying out Sasuke's name hysterically, tears pouring out of his eyes. Alarmed, Sasuke looked on, not sure of what to do. Naruto had never acted like this before. He didn't know how to react. He wanted nothing more than to wrap his arms around the boy and comfort him, but something…something inside was stopping him.
So, Sasuke looked on, his heart clenching and twisting painfully to see his lover crying so hard. Finally, after some time, the cries turned to whimpers, and then to nothing at all. Naruto picked himself up and walked slowly to their bedroom, closing the door slowly in the process.
Sasuke, still stunned, shook his head and got up after a few moments, heading behind the blonde. When he got to their room, he found Naruto already asleep with a few tears still leaking out the corners of his eyes.
Sasuke watched him all night long.
When morning came, he, again, tried to ask Naruto what was wrong. The blonde hadn't given him much of a response, something that sounded somewhat like a grunt. Sasuke took it that Naruto didn't want to talk about it again. Maybe it was something so bad the blonde didn't even want to remember it. So Sasuke chose not to pry. He chose to respect his lover's privacy and give him the space he deserved.
But days turned to weeks and Sasuke felt himself losing the connection he had shared with Naruto. The blonde had turned so distant, so fast, that Sasuke didn't have an idea what was going on or how to handle it.
Which led him to where he was now. He had still never figured out what had made Naruto so upset that night or why he was closing himself off to Sasuke. Raking his hand through his choppy, black hair, he decided it was time he talked to Naruto's friends to try and figure out what was wrong with him.
If there was one thing he had noticed though…
It was the fact that Naruto no longer smiled.
After some searching, he found Sakura in the village cemetery, placing down a bouquet of pink flowers in front of a tombstone. Sasuke approached her, though the girl did not turn around to face him.
What the hell would Sakura be doing in a place like this? He assumed she was putting flowers down for a member of her family that might've passed away recently.
"Sakura," he called out to her.
"Hello Sasuke," she responded quietly.
Before he could say another word, he sensed another presence behind him and looked to see Kiba standing in front of him, hands in his pockets. He saw Sakura turn around to face the two of them, and Sasuke could've sworn he saw a single teardrop fall from her eye. But if it was there, it had only been there for a split second, and before he could blink, it had vanished.
"Hi Kiba," Sakura greeted. Sasuke noticed her voice had changed to one that was more cheerful sounding than the one she had greeted him with.
"Hey," he nodded in her direction.
For a second, none of the three spoke. Sasuke had only come to try and see if Sakura knew what was wrong with Naruto. He and Kiba rarely talked ever, which might explain the lack of greeting he received from the Inuzuka. Finally, he saw Kiba shift ever so slight, almost…uncomfortably.
"You here again?" he asked, clearly directed at Sakura.
The pink-haired girl nodded, gaze shifting toward a different direction. "I'm usually here every day. Or at least I try. I mean…it's the least I can do."
Sasuke stood there, deep in thought. Who could mean that much to Sakura that she would be visiting their grave every day? He hadn't really stayed in contact that much with her these past couple of years either. They had been close, but he didn't go out of his way really to talk to her.
Again, before Sasuke could butt in, Kiba interrupted.
"I'm worried about him."
Sasuke's breath caught in his throat. They're talking about Naruto. Both of them are his friends…they have to have noticed how strange he's been acting recently.
Sakura nodded. "I know…I am too."
Kiba dug his hands deeper into his pockets. "I mean I don't even know what I'm supposed to tell him. Sorry for your loss? No, that wouldn't even begin to cover it. He's just always been so…happy. I can't stand to see him like this." There was a pause. "I—I can't believe he's actually gone."
Sasuke's eyes widened. Why was whatever Kiba was talking about not making any sense to him?
Where had he been when all this had happened?Naruto…suffered a loss?
It would make sense of course. That must've been the reason Naruto had been so worked up and distant these past couple of weeks. The only thing that Sasuke couldn't place was why the blonde chose not to tell him this.
"What loss? Who's gone?" He asked, panic lacing his voice.
The other two shifted away, not meeting his gaze. At this, the Uchiha became angered. Kiba and Sakura weren't helping him at all. In fact…it was almost like they were avoiding him. Avoiding him…
Just like Naruto.
"What the hell is going on?!" Sasuke let out, his voice rising steadily in volume.
"L-let's not talk about it, ok?" Sakura flashed a cheerful grin. It was clear she was trying to control herself and not burst out in tears at any moment.
"Argh, I'm sick of it! I want to talk about it! Especially with Naruto! He can't just keep this stuff bundled up inside of him, it'll eat him up! He's one of my best friends Sakura, I can't—"
"Stop! Please…stop." Her eyes flashed frantically toward Sasuke. "I'm one of his best friends too Kiba. It hurts. I—I know it does. I just…can't talk about it. Not yet. It's too soon." Quickly getting up to her feet, she wiped her eyes for a split second.
"I have to get going. My mother will be expecting me home soon. I'll see you around Kiba, ok?" Not waiting around for a response, she began to dash off. Then, as if remembering something, she stopped and turned her head over her shoulder.
Kiba simply shook his head as he watched her leave. Sasuke looked at the troubled expression on the dog-boy's face.
"Kiba—", he began.
"Man, I just don't know what to do anymore! Sakura can pretend things are ok, but they're not! Naruto…" his voice lowered. "Naruto…he's not ok. He's already stopped smiling. Pretty soon…" He trailed off.
Sasuke felt his chest constrict a little.
"I think I'll visit him tonight…see how he's doing." He turned around, before turning right back. He was quiet for a long moment.
And with that, he walked off as well, leaving Sasuke alone in the cemetery, more confused than ever.
It was late by the time Sasuke returned home. Making his way into his apartment, he could hear voices coming from his bedroom. They were quiet at first, but then one became increasingly louder, while another turned into whimpers.
Immediately Sasuke recognized the two as Kiba and Naruto.
Slowly, he made his way to the bedroom, leaning in as the door was slightly ajar. He had never really been one for eavesdropping, but he felt that this time, it was for something important and he should listen in. Kiba's back was blocking his view of Naruto, but from the sound and urgency in Kiba's voice, he could tell something wasn't right.
"Naruto, stop it! You can't keep doing shit like this! You're scaring the hell out of all of us!" Sasuke saw Kiba trying to wrestle something out of the blonde's hand and when he pulled it away, the Uchiha felt his jaw drop.
Naruto was taking pills.
"I just wanna die, Kiba. There's no point in living anymore." Sasuke saw Naruto try to reach for the pills Kiba was keeping out of his reach.
Sasuke felt cold fear flood through his body.Why was Naruto trying to kill himself?
"Fuck it Naruto! You're stronger than this! I know it! What happened to your dream of becoming Hokage?! You can't just give that up! You have to live, Naruto! You have to live because I know that you've been the light for so many people's eyes. You have such a good heart…and you've helped so many people. Me, Neji, Gaara—"
"Sasuke," the blonde interrupted.
Sasuke saw Kiba stiffen. "Sasuke too. Sasuke wants you to live on too. He wants you to find happiness and peace and do all those things you said you were going to."
At this point, the Uchiha, who had been behind the door the whole time, couldn't take it anymore. Pushing the door open, not caring if Kiba saw he had been listening in on their conversation the whole time, he took in the sight in front of him.
Naruto looked like a wreck, even worse than the last time the raven had seen him.
He probably hadn't showered in well over a week. His eyes were bloodshot, with large, dark bags underneath. He was looking pale, an extreme rarity for Naruto since the boy was naturally tan.
"Naruto," Sasuke choked out, "Dobe, please tell me what's wrong." He used the nickname he had given to the blonde on their first date. If Kiba seemed phased that Sasuke had just burst through the door, he didn't show it. Instead, he continued to coax the blonde.
"Naruto, you don't know how worried we all are about you. Me, Sakura, Iruka, everyone. Please…please stop acting like this. We want you back. We want…the real you back." At this, the blonde had dissolved into tears, burying his face into his hands. Kiba backed off, realizing there was probably nothing more that he could get through to him. Instead, he simply patted him on the back gently.
"He had already taken some pills before I got here…it shouldn't be too bad though. If I had been even a few seconds later though…" Kiba whispered out loud. Sasuke nodded. The lump in his throat was making it hard to swallow.
"Thank you Kiba."
Kiba ceased his patting. "Just…be alright, Naruto."
With that, he took his leave.
Sasuke looked at the body sitting at the table in front of him. Naruto's body was shaking with sobs. He walked over and let out a soft sight. "Dobe…what happened to you? You used to be so much stronger than this. What happened to us? Why won't you let me in anymore? You were the one that taught me to let down all my defenses…what aren't you telling me?"
While Sasuke was talking, Naruto's eyes had slipped closed further and further. The raven reached out his hand to touch one of the blondes outstretched ones. Upon nearing it, he paused midway in the air as Naruto began to speak.
"Sasuke…come back to me."
Sasuke's gaze softened. "I'm right here…I'd never leave you."
The blonde furrowed his eyebrows, though his eyes remained closed. "No…why aren't you here?"
Sasuke's hand began trembling.
"I miss you…so much."
His hand wouldn't stop shaking.
Slamming his hand down, Sasuke's entire body shook. He let out a deep exhale of air.
A sudden revelation hit him.
He clenched his fists tightly.
There was somewhere he needed to be.
Making his way across town, Sasuke ran as hard as he could. He never remembered a time when he had used this much of his energy, except maybe the fight against Itachi. It felt good to have the night air whip through his hair, but deep down, in the pit of his stomach, he felt sick.
Coming to a halt in front of the long yard, he let out a shudder.
He was here.
He looked up, locating the tombstone that he had been at earlier today.
The pink flowers were still there.
Slowly, he crept toward it, his breath hitched in his throat. A thought had been nagging him in the back of his mind…he had thought it was crazy at first, but slowly, as he thought about it more, it was starting to make more sense.
From his distance, he could clearly see the name embedded on the tombstone.
He sank to his knees.
This explained everything. Why Naruto had been so unresponsive, why he couldn't get a solid answer out of Kiba or Sakura, and why neither of them had made eye contact with him…But how is this possible?
He had thought his relationship was falling apart.
When in reality…the relationship was done to begin with.
Sasuke's mouth had gone dry, but he still managed to let out a strangled noise out of the back of his throat.
The name on the tombstone…
He was dead.
And that's the prologue.
Kind of sixth sense-ish I guess. Oh and if anyone is confused, when Sakura and Kiba were saying goodbye to him, they were actually saying goodbye to his grave…in all the situations that Sasuke's being talken to, they're not actually referring to him when answering the question…if that makes any sense…
As for how it happened this way and what will happen now, it'll all be revealed as the chapters play out.
Please review! I want to know if this is a good enough base to work with…