The coliseum was tense with excitement. The spectators chatted about why it was open on a day not dedicated to gladiatorial games. They didn't know what had been going on behind the palace walls; couldn't know for they were only average roman citizens, not senators or in the inner circle of the emperor.
The emperor, he knew and he hated it. Looking at the stadium from his seat at the center of the coliseum, sitting next to his wife and surrounded by his councilmen and guards it took everything for him not to jump up and scream at this to all stop.
But he couldn't . . . he was the emperor of the greatest empire ever. He had to be an emperor before anything else.
Before being a friend and a lover. Before even just being Naruto.
He heard the crowd roar as the gates to the gladiator rooms were opened and watched with trepidation as a lone figure walked out.
He was beautiful, even in the crude armour that gladiators wore, even cruder since it was not fit to him. Naruto could see bruises marring his pale skin and felt anger rise in his chest at how Sasuke had been mistreated. He pushed it down, that didn't matter given what was coming next. After all this wasn't a gladiator battle. . .it was a death sentence.
Even as he watched the gates on the other side of the arena opened and a dozen roman centurions pored out. That caused the crowd to quiet a bit, but only long enough to watch Sasuke draw his sword before they went into frenzy of bloodlust.
Naruto hated them, these people that took joy in the deaths of others. The death of the one he loved most.
He felt his wife Sakura take his hand, squeezing it comfortingly. She too had enjoyed the company of Sasuke, the foreign slave brought to Naruto as a birthday gift over a year ago. Now they both sat watching as that very same slave was put to death because of the greed of men.
Naruto's senators had seen the love Naruto had for Sasuke and devised the plot to accuse him of an assassination that they themselves had committed. Naruto had no proof though and so he was given no choice but to sentence Sasuke to death. It hurt that Sasuke had been so calm about it, so understanding.
Even now he stood there, in the center of the coliseum his head tilted down as he waited for the signal to start. Then just as the gong was rung he looked up at Naruto; his dark eyes shinning with tears. And mouthed I love you, as the first of the centurions came at him.
And Naruto felt his heart shatter all over again.
A/N: MY first ever Naruto fanfiction and it came about from a poll I did about what sort of Naruto fanfics I'd like to see more of. I chose historical ones and someone mentioned Naruto as a Roman emperor and thus this was born.