I don't even know if anyone is still reading this story. But if you are, it has finally been updated.

Chapter 2: Guilty

Present day

Nothing made sense.

He was dead, right?

There was his name, etched delicately into the dark gray tombstone.

He looked down at his pale hands.

How could he be dead?

Ok. Just think. Just think logically. He racked his brain, trying to come up with some hint—some kind of clue that would allow him to fully grasp the situation he was now in.

Everything was fine. Naruto and I had been fine. I took the mission from Tsunade to go investigate the Village Hidden in the Mist. When I came back…somehow no one can hear me and everyone thinks I'm dead.

Sasuke let out a sound of frustration. There was no fucking logical explanation for this.

The mission…

Whenever he tried to rack his brain in regards to details of the mission, the only image that came prominently to his mind was Naruto's smiling face. Despite Sasuke's best efforts, it was as though a chunk of his memory had been removed.

But why…how…the questions were endless.

Sasuke didn't know how long he remained standing in front of the grave, motionless. When he finally lifted his head up, he could see the first rays of sunlight illuminate the dark night sky. His eyes felt as though they were on fire, and he rubbed at them tiredly, wishing he could simply open them again and somehow escape this nightmare he had been put into.


The Uchiha whipped his head around quickly, a faint spark of hope lighting within him as he locked eyes with the timid ones of Hinata Hyuuga. She was dressed in all black, with the exception of a white scarf wrapped around her neck. She was in her usual, timid stance. However, Sasuke noted that she was not crying.

The spark was immediately extinguished as he realized she was staring through him, not at him.

He watched as she approached him. She stopped short of both him and his tombstone.

"I don't know why I'm doing this." She began quietly. "I know you can't hear me. I know that you're…you're…" She trailed off.

Swallowing deeply, she began again. "I have always loved Naruto. He knew…you knew…everyone knew. I thought maybe there would be hope for me if I kept waiting…if I kept trying. I stayed with him while he anguished over you while you were busy fighting for your revenge. He always had hope, always believed that you would return, even when most of us had given up. But that's Naruto for you, isn't it? He would never give up on the ones he loves."

"When you came back…I was really, truly heartbroken. Because I knew that any chance I would have with Naruto would be gone. He was angry with you, so angry. But I knew, just as everyone else did, that his anger would fade…that his love for you would overwhelm his anger." She stopped suddenly.

Sasuke looked to the ground.

He felt so empty inside.

Sasuke had never really paid the girl much attention. He had been aware of her crush on Naruto ever since they had all been in the Academy together. But he had brushed it off, placing her in the same category as Sakura in the sense that both seemed to focus most of their time on romance and not what was really important. When he had returned to Konoha, he had only ran into her a handful of times, and each time they had politely greeted each other before going their separate ways.

So why…why was she saying all these things?

Sobs began to erupt from the girl, breaking Sasuke from his train of thought. "I'm sorry…I'm so sorry," she wept quietly. "There were so many times that I wished you were dead…that I wished you never came back. I just thought you would hurt him again…make him cry again. But I was wrong. I've never seen Naruto so happy. You are the only one he wants. You—" She clapped a hand over her mouth, unable to continue.

She stood shakily, wiping her eyes delicately with her scarf. Quickly, she began to walk away, leaving Sasuke as he had been before, completely and utterly alone.

The raven ran a hand through his hair as he watched the girl go. He didn't know what to do. He didn't know where to go. He just felt so lost and confused, hating that he had no way to reach out to others, especially the one he cared most about.

He didn't want to see Naruto.

He couldn't bear to see the one he loved hurting so badly.


Sasuke froze.

That voice…

He waited, but the one that had called out to him made no move to repeat itself.

Great, he thought to himself bitterly. Now I'm hearing voices in my head.

Maybe he was actually insane.

Sasuke made his way to town, a nagging thought in his head that the voice that had said his name had sounded all too familiar, though he could not bring himself to remember why.

Sasuke walked around aimlessly. The little shop where he and Naruto had bought furniture for their apartment, the grocery store, Ichiraku ramen…everything seemed so foreign to him.

Then again, it occurred to him that everything was normal. He was what had become foreign.

He sensed footsteps approaching him and he was greeted with the sight of Iruka and Kakashi walking in his direction. Both appeared solemn—Sasuke had never seen the schoolteacher look as grave as he did now.

"I heard the mission in the Valley Hidden in the Mist was a disaster."

Iruka clenched his fist and nodded slightly. "Yes…if only we had known the extent of the danger…then Tsunade never would have…" Kakashi gently placed a hand on the other man's shoulder.

Sasuke frowned.

He had not remembered the mission being a disaster.

"How's Naruto?" Kakashi asked.

Iruka shook his head and kept his mouth shut. "I don't know if he'll ever be able to recover from this."

Sasuke bit his lip so hard he could taste the tang of blood in his mouth.

The raven wanted to scream…call out…do something.

He kept walking.

He made no regard to Iruka or Kakashi as he passed them—what was the point, it wasn't as though they could see him anyways.

Unbeknownst to the Uchiha, a dark gray eye narrowed as it glanced quickly to the spot where he had been only moments before.

"Kakashi? Is something wrong?"

Kakashi turned around, a dull but vaguely serious expression on his face.

"Nope. Not at all."

Sasuke had finally reached his destination.

The Hokage tower.

Maybe I can find some answers here.

He shoved his hands into his pockets and began to walk up the steps. When he approached the very top, he lifted his hand to knock on the door when he heard a bang come from inside.


Sasuke felt as though he had been paralyzed.

Naruto was inside?

"He's not dead!" The blonde's voice pierced the raven and shocked him. He had thought that he would never have been able to hear that voice with so much strength again.

Yes dobe, tell them! Tell them I'm alive!

"Naruto, you need to calm down," interrupted Tsunade, in an almost angry-like tone. "You are drunk and acting irrational. You need to accept this. Sasuke Uchiha is dead. He is not coming back. I will not allow my potential successor to rot away like this."

Another loud crash came from the room. Sasuke could only imagine that Naruto was either throwing things, or flipping the furniture upside down.

"B-but the body! I never saw the body!" Naruto's words were indeed slurred. Sasuke felt a pang go through him. The blonde had always loved to go out drinking with his friends. When he could, he would drag his moody lover with him—laughing boisterously no matter how small the celebration they were drinking to.

And now he was drunk for all the wrong reasons.

"The body was completely mutilated…do you really think I would put you through that, Naruto?" Tsunade's voice was soft.


More crashes could be heard, each one getting louder and louder.

Sasuke screwed his eyes shut. He had had enough.

A body suddenly brushed its way past Sasuke and the door to the Hokage's office was flung open.

"Shikamaru, restrain him."

A scuffle could be heard, and then came Naruto's indignant cries.

"Let go! Leggo Shikamaru or I swear to god I will beat the living shit out of you! Put me the fuck down!"

"Naruto please," Shikamaru grunted, his voice coming out in pants as he was forced to use his strength to control the hysterical blonde in front of him. "Please calm down."

When Naruto showed no signs of stopping his rampage, Shikamaru yelled out, "Hokage-sama!"

"Sedate him if you must."

Sasuke was not sure what was happening—he was too afraid to look inside—but after a few moments, there was silence. It appeared Shikamaru had won.


Tsunade sighed loudly. "I know, Shikamaru, I know. But do not question me. This is for his own safety. At this rate, he will seriously end up hurting himself or others around him."

There was a tense pause.

"Surely you must know how he feels," Shikamaru said quietly.

Tsunade made no response. After a moment, she dismissed him.

Sasuke watched as Shikamaru made his way out, carrying Naruto on his back. His chest ached knowing he was so close to the blonde, yet somehow so far. He silently watched the two retreat down the stairs before turning his attention to the door that had been left open.

The place was a wreck. Naruto had clearly set out to destroy almost every possible thing in the office. Glasses were broken; papers were strewn across the floor. Only the Hokage's desk remained untouched.

Tsunade sat at the desk, eyes closed.

Sasuke stepped inside just as Shizune approached the door.

"Hokage-sama! I…I heard the noise."

Tsunade made no motion to greet her. "Yes…it appears Naruto is still suffering." She let out a hollow laugh. "He blames me. He blames me for sending the Uchiha."

For the first time since he entered, Sasuke took a good look at the woman sitting in front of him. There was something strangely different about her…

Shizune gently closed the door behind her. "Hokage-sama, this is not your fault."

Once again, Tsunade said nothing.

"What…what should we do?" Shizune asked lightly.

The blonde woman let out another sigh and brought her hand to her forehead. "The matter at hand is complicated. Very complicated. It is a lot easier to allow Naruto to believe that Sasuke was killed in action while on his mission."

Sasuke's ears perked up.

What is that supposed to mean?

Tsunade continued. "He must never know the truth…if he did…"

Sasuke could feel his breath quicken. His palms began to sweat.

"The truth…" Shizune repeated slowly.

The Hokage finally opened her eyes. There was no light in them.

"Yes. That being that Sasuke Uchiha never made it to the Village Hidden in the Mist. He was killed the night he left."

Maybe you're not even human 'cause only an angel could be so unusual.

Random side note—I've been listening to a lot of Kalafina music recently. Check them out if you've never heard of them. Their voices are unreal.