It's Not Always About Revenge

1st Person thoughts are represented in italics.

Chapter Two: A terrible loss

Kabuto smirked as he watched Kakashi and the other ninja, who he remembered was called Shikamaru, follow behind the dog that was taking them on a wild goose chase. He, himself, had been following them for over an hour, to make sure that they actually fell for his ruse. I don't think those two will be causing me any trouble. I should get back to my guests now. He turned away and headed in the direction he had come from. Kabuto laughed to himself as he thought about how close his hideout was to where he had captured Naruto. Poor Kakashi, you always get so close, but you can never catch me.

When Kabuto got back to his hideout, he walked into a naturally-hidden cave that served as his temporary home. He lived and worked here alone, because he didn't trust any of Orochimaru's former Sound ninja to not betray him. They had been in fear of their deceased leader, but the majority of them never showed any respect for Orochimaru's successor. Even though Kabuto had part of Orochimaru inside him and was more powerful than any of the other followers of the late sannin, they still didn't want to serve Kabuto and he really didn't want to trust putting his life in the hands of people like that. So he was alone. He would only use the services of other people when he absolutely had to.

He walked down to the cell and passed through a hidden door in the wall, that would only open when Kabuto's chakra touched it. His eyes widened in shock as he looked around the small room and saw that it was empty. No fucking way. He tried to sense the chakra signature of the recent occupants, forgetting for a moment that he had repressed their chakra himself. Did they somehow manage to hide themselves? Yet he knew that was impossible. Kabuto suddenly froze in shock as he sensed the Kyuubi's chakra. Impossible! That jutsu should have repressed even the demon's chakra. Kabuto quickly turned to leave the room, he was in an agitated state, thinking that his prisoners had somehow managed to escape. Then he stopped, his body still standing in the doorway, when he felt a tug on his shirt and looked down. His eyes widened in surprise.

Clinging onto his shirt was a large clawed hand that was covered with demon chakra. All of a sudden, something sped through the doorway, pulling Kabuto out of the cell with it. Kabuto looked up and saw a grinning, one-tailed, Kyuubi-cloaked Naruto. But what really pissed Kabuto off, even more, was the sight of a smirking Uchiha, whom Naruto had just let go of.

"So, Naruto-kun. It appears that you have surprised me yet again. How were you able to access the Kyuubi's chakra?"

Instead of answering right away, Naruto grabbed Kabuto and wrapped him up in his tail. "I have no idea why your jutsu didn't work on Kyuubi, but I'm glad that it didn't."

Not wanting to waste time listening to Kabuto talk, since Sasuke had had to listen to the insane man every day for the past three months, whether he wanted to or not, he looked at Naruto and said in a cold voice, "Don't talk to him, just kill him."

Kabuto sneered at the Uchiha. "Don't think this is over, Sasuke-kun. I haven't even begun to make you pay yet." Then Kabuto disappeared.

Sasuke turned and glared angrily at Naruto. "You just had to be slow about killing him, didn't you?"

Naruto's eyes glared back. His voice growled out, "You ungrateful bastard! I got us free, didn't I?!"

"You also let him get away, Na-ru-to," Sasuke said through gritted teeth, holding back the urge to clobber the blond over the head. He then realized that he was becoming as childish as Naruto, the longer he stayed around him. But he found that he really didn't care anymore. Naruto was always able to bring out the worst and the best sides of him. Even though he was angry right now, he hadn't felt this alive in a very long time.

Naruto was really pissed off that Sasuke wouldn't acknowledge that he had saved his ass. Naruto had to fight to keep from drawing on more chakra from Kyuubi, which would gain him more tails. Even though he wanted to beat the crap out of the bastard, he didn't want to kill him. So Naruto forced Kyuubi's chakra all the way back until he was no longer in the one-tailed form. "Let's get out of here, bastard."

Sasuke glared at the blond. "Hn." He turned and walked away, leaving Naruto to follow.

Naruto, not wanting to have to follow behind the bastard, after having been insulted by him, hurried up to push past him and take the lead.

Sasuke had to curb his own childish impulse that wanted to yank Naruto back and throw him to the ground. Damn dobe. Always having to be so immature. When will you ever grow up? Sasuke having completely forgotten, that just a few moments before he had thought being childish wasn't so bad, continued to grumble and complain in his head, about how annoying Naruto's childish behavior was.

Naruto and Sasuke had been traveling for about a couple hours when they came across a small village. Knowing that they needed to find out where they were, they went into the village and asked a random villager what the name of the village was. Naruto had never heard of it, but Sasuke had and he was able to figure out which direction Konoha was in and about how far away.

Since Kabuto hadn't bothered with robbing them of their money, the two were able to get a decent meal, Naruto actually eating enough for several people, in Sasuke's opinion. Since Sasuke had been imprisoned for three months, with Kabuto only giving him enough extra water to use for bathing once a week, which also had to be used for washing his clothes, Sasuke insisted that they also take the time to get cleaned up in the village's public bath. All in all, they had ended up spending close to two hours in the village before they left it.

After they had walked a few miles away from the village, Sasuke stated in a manner that was final, "We'll camp overnight here, then head to Konoha in the morning."

With Naruto's pride stung from having Sasuke think he could just order him around, he decided he wasn't going to just do what Sasuke said. He shook his head. "No, I'm not tired. We're going to keep going until we get to Konoha. You probably only want to camp here so you can sneak away while I'm sleeping."

Sasuke glared fiercely at the blond. "Are you saying that I will go back on my word, Naruto?"

Naruto realized he may have went too far with his accusation, but at the moment he didn't give a damn. The bastard had it coming. So he pushed it even further. Smirking maliciously at the other, he answered, "Oh, I don't know, Sasuke. It's not like you haven't run away before."

Sasuke slammed his fist into Naruto's face.

An hour later... both shinobi lay on their backs, panting for air. What was strange, or maybe it would only be strange to other people, was that they both had smiles on their faces. For Sasuke, it had been a long time since he had felt so relaxed and able to let a smile come through. He hadn't had anything to smile about really, since his Team 7 days and even then, getting a smile out of the former avenger hadn't been an easy task.

Naruto turned his head to look at his companion. He panted in between words. "Hey, bastard. I won."

Sasuke turned his head to look at the blond. A glare in his eyes, yet his smile showed that he wasn't really angry, he replied, "Dobe, you know that you'll never be able to win against me. It's just not possible."

Naruto found his happiness at being able to spar with Sasuke again, turn to anger as he heard the other man's words. His blue eyes, that looked into Sasuke's own onyx ones, were filled with angry determination and his voice was low, yet could still be clearly heard by the other, "Just wait. When I catch my breath, I'll show you again who the winner is."

Even though Sasuke hadn't spoken to him in malice, Naruto believed that his former teammate still thought he was superior to the blond. And though Naruto wanted to believe that Sasuke really would go back to Konoha with him, he couldn't help feeling insecure about their friendship, especially since he loved the bastard. Would Sasuke ever really acknowledge how strong Naruto is and did Sasuke really think of him as a friend? Was Naruto only Sasuke's friend when it was convenient to have one, not because he really cared about Naruto? He knew that he would always have an unrequited love for the bastard, but he could live with that as long as he had Sasuke in his life.

Sasuke had looked away when he realized that Naruto was still angry with him, despite the camaraderie that they both had been feeling, from halfway through their fight/spar to the end of it. Yeah, he understood that the dobe had many justifiable reasons to be angry with him. He was sure that Naruto kept thinking that Sasuke would betray him. And even for Naruto, it would be hard to forgive Sasuke for everything that he had said and done to the blond in the past. Sasuke really wanted to start a new life now and he wanted to keep his friendship with Naruto, even if he knew he didn't deserve it. Naruto doesn't hold grudges against people, unless those people hurt his precious ones. He held a grudge against Orochimaru because of me.


Sasuke looked at Naruto. "Yeah?"

"Was it Kabuto that did something to change Sakura-chan?" While Naruto had been thinking about whether or not Sasuke really cared about him, his thoughts had turned to his pink-haired friend and what had happened to her. Since it wasn't Sasuke that did it and Kabuto had kidnapped Sasuke for revenge, then it stood to reason that it was probably Kabuto that had done something to make Sakura attack Naruto. But he didn't understand why Kabuto would do that, just to get revenge on Sasuke. What was the point?

Sasuke hid his emotions behind a blank mask. He knew that Naruto cared about Sakura very much, but to lie to the dobe about this, in order to protect him, would be useless, since Naruto would find out soon anyway . "Yeah, I believe he did do something. He told me that Sakura would commit suicide."

Naruto's whole body froze in shock as he heard those words, that were spoken in such a matter of fact way by the other. But then the words fully registered in his mind, causing him to get up quickly. He yelled at the dark-haired man, who was still lying calmly on the ground, "You really are a bastard! Why didn't you tell me this earlier?! We have to get back to Konoha right now!" Naruto didn't wait for an answer from Sasuke, instead he ran off, leaving the other to stay or follow. Right now, all that mattered to Naruto, was to get to Sakura and stop her before she killed herself.

Deciding to give Naruto some time alone before following him, Sasuke waited a few minutes and then stood up, but before he could leave to follow the blond, he noticed there was a small dog sitting in front of him.

"It's been a while, Sasuke-kun."

Sasuke frowned at the grinning face of the familiar looking dog. "So, where is your master?"

"Right here."

Sasuke turned around and saw his former sensei standing a few feet away. Shikamaru was behind him, panting and bent over to catch his breath."You should have shown up five minutes earlier, Kakashi."

Kakashi stared at his former student. He and Shikamaru had wasted two hours following a false trail before they realized that they had been tricked. And then there were the two hours spent heading back to where they had started. After they had arrived back there, Pakkun had informed Kakashi that he could now sense Kyuubi's chakra and that Naruto had been near there recently. Wishing that Naruto would have just waited for them in their old location, they again had to follow Pakkun, as the dog followed the trail of the demon's chakra signature, which eventually lead, after two more hours of travel, to where they were currently standing now, in front of the very person that they had been sent on a mission to find. What luck.

"Sasuke, where is Naruto?"

Sasuke turned to run off in the direction that Naruto had headed in. He answered Kakashi as he ran away down the road. "He just left about five minutes ago! He's going back to Konoha!"

Kakashi, realizing that Sasuke wasn't trying to escape, but was instead running in the direction of Konoha, ran to catch up with him and then stayed beside him. "Oh? I find it strange that he left without you."

Shikamaru glared at their backs as he took off after them. "When I get back I'm going to tell the Hokage that it's too troublesome to send me on missions with Kakashi and Naruto. It's not like I'm really needed anyway. The damn mission is getting finished on it's own, whether I'm here or not."

Pakkun raced up to Kakashi. "It looks like you don't need me anymore, so I'm going."

Kakashi turned to smile at the dog. "I really appreciate your help, Pakkun."

The small dog snorted. "Right. I'm thinking I agree with that lazy ninja behind us. You guys are too troublesome." He gave a doggy grin and then vanished.

Kakashi laughed and then looked over at Sasuke again. "So, can you please tell me why Naruto left without you?"

Sasuke kept his eyes ahead and picked up speed. "He's off to try and save Sakura. But I think it's too late. She's probably already dead."

Kakashi grabbed Sasuke and jerked them both to a stop.

Shikamaru barely avoided running into them and after he, too, had stopped, he noticed the angry look on the silver-haired ninja's face.

"What do you mean that Sakura's probably dead?! I want you to tell me everything! Did you have anything to do with this?"

Sasuke pulled his arm from the other man's grasp and glared at him. "So, the great Kakashi didn't notice that this is all Kabuto's doing? That bastard set this all up, not me. He wants revenge for Orochimaru's death."

Kakashi forced himself to speak calmly. "Yes, we noticed he was involved. He's the one that attacked Shikamaru and Naruto, taking Naruto with him."

"He had taken me first, Kakashi. I spent three damn months locked up in a cell, and then today he all of a sudden tosses Naruto in there with me. Kabuto told me yesterday that Sakura would be dying soon by her own hand. But I didn't know that Sakura had tried to kill Naruto. I learned that from the dobe himself."

Kakashi looked back at Shikamaru. "We're going to have to hurry, but I need to send Pakkun out again. He can get to the Hokage faster than us and tell her about everything that has happened and to warn her about Sakura. I hope we're not too late."

Shikamaru nodded. He hoped so, too. He rather liked Sakura and he knew it would hurt Naruto and Ino the most, if Sakura died. Hasn't Konoha lost enough people already?

Naruto sped into the village, not bothering to stop at the gate to greet the chuunin guards, Izumo and Kotetsu. He practically flew through the streets, sometimes hopping up onto roofs in order to take the shortest path possible to the hospital. He wasn't going to stop at the Hokage's office to tell the old woman what happened, because his first priority was to make sure Sakura was still alive. When he arrived at the hospital he realized he had no idea which room Sakura would be in, so he stopped to ask the nurse at the front desk.

The nurse looked at the young man with surprise. "You haven't heard?"

"Heard what?! Just tell me what room she is in, damn it! I don't have time to waste talking with you!"

The woman glared at the blond, but forced herself to stay professional. "Young man, I'm sorry to say that she's gone."

"What do you mean gone? She's been released?"

"No, I'm sorry. What I mean is that she died. This morning, actually."

Naruto found he couldn't move. No, it can't be true. The bitch is just lying to me! "Tell me where she is, damn it! I'll search this whole damn hospital if I have to!"

The nurse stood up and said firmly. "Young man, I'm sorry if she was a friend of yours, but you need to keep your voice down. I spoke the truth. Just go home."

Naruto growled at the woman. His eyes turned red and his nails grew long.

"Naruto, come with me."

Naruto turned around quickly at the sound of the Hokage's voice.

Tsunade walked up to the blond and put her arm around him. She looked at the nurse. "Sorry about the commotion. I'll take care of this now." She used some of her strength to force Naruto to follow her away from the nurse's desk. "I want you to come with me and I'll explain everything to you, Naruto."

Naruto let himself be lead away by the Hokage. He realized that he had lost track of time when he found himself sitting in a chair in front of the old woman's desk. In his mind, his thoughts kept repeating over and over. It just wasn't possible for him to be too late to save Sakura-chan. She couldn't have died by herself. It just wasn't possible for her to be dead. He wanted to scream, to release his pain, but unlike what happened when he had thought that Gaara had died, he still couldn't let himself believe that he had lost Sakura. There was no body to see, no proof that she was gone.

Tsunade cleared her throat and tried to get the young man's attention. "Brat! Hey, idiot! Pay attention to your Hokage, will you!" When she noticed he still wasn't responding, she hit him over the head with a book that had been lying on her desk.

Naruto yelped in pain and clutched his head. He looked at the woman with a frown on his face and a whine in his voice. "Why the hell did you hit me, you old woman?!"

"Well, that got your attention, brat. You should know that there was nothing you could do, right? Something was wrong with her and there was no way to fix that."

"There was something I could do! If I had gotten back in time, she would still be alive!" Tears began to roll down his face, as the truth of Sakura's death started to sink in, but he made himself go on, burying his grief deep inside so that he could tell the Hokage who was at fault. And there would be time later to think about revenge, because Naruto was definitely going to get revenge, no matter what. "It was Kabuto, old woman. He's the one that did this to her. He used some kind of mind control jutsu on her."

"Mind control? How did you find this out?"

"Kabuto attacked me and kidnapped me. He put me in a cell with Sasuke."

Tsunade interrupted. "You found Sasuke? Where is he?"

"Let me finish, old woman!"

The Hokage hit him with another book. "Show me some respect, brat!"

"Damn it! Just listen to me! I found out from Sasuke that Kabuto had told him that Sakura-chan was going to kill herself. Kabuto wants revenge against Sasuke because of what happened to Orochimaru. He wants him to suffer by hurting his former teammates, me and Sakura-chan and probably Kakashi, too. Sakura-chan would never have tried to kill me if Kabuto hadn't done something to her."

The Hokage sat back in her chair and thought about how Kabuto could have had the chance to do this to Sakura. Did he manage to get into the village to do it? Does he have an accomplice here? Or was this done while Sakura was out on a mission?

She looked at Naruto. "You're right. Sakura wasn't the type to try to kill someone who was like a brother to her, even if it was for love. And she would only kill people if there was no other way to protect someone. She was a healer, not a murderer."

"Of course, Sakura-chan would never do anything like that!" Well, she had nearly killed him when she got angry at him over stupid things, like pranks, but never by punching a hole through his chest, just a few broken bones here or there. No, only Sasuke punched holes through his friends' chests. Naruto grimaced as he remembered the pain of that betrayal. But even though that had happened, he still loved Sasuke anyway. Because he understood why he did it. He didn't like it, but he could understand. And Naruto couldn't control his heart. His heart wouldn't let him hate Sasuke. Damn, I left Sasuke! I wonder if he'll even show up.

There was a small surge of chakra in the room and then a dog, Pakkun, showed up, sitting on the top of the Hokage's desk. He quickly told the Hokage what Kakashi had told him to say.

"We know about Sakura already, Pakkun. Find Kakashi and tell him to come straight to my office. Sakura is already dead."

Naruto flinched at hearing those words again. He still didn't want to believe it was true. Tears rolled down his face, but he forced himself to hold back the sobs that were trying their best to get out. He didn't have time to let his grief overwhelm him.

After Pakkun left, the Hokage looked at her favorite ninja and then her own eyes filled with tears. She had had all day to grieve over the loss of her former student, but seeing Naruto in so much pain was bringing back her own feelings of grief. It always hurts when you lose someone you love. We both lost Jiraiya not too long ago and now we've lost Sakura, too. There really is no way to make this easier for Naruto. He will have to get over this in time. She wiped the tears out of her eyes and then cleared her throat. "Naruto, how did you get away from Kabuto? Is he still alive?"

The blond raised his head and looked at the woman. "Kabuto had used a jutsu that drained me of chakra and caused me to lose consciousness. When I woke up I was with Sasuke. I found out that Kabuto had done the same to him, right after our battle with Uchiha Madara. Sasuke's been his prisoner all this time."

"So, how did you guys get away if you couldn't use your chakra?"

"Kabuto's jutsu only suppressed my chakra. You know how Kyuubi's chakra is almost limitless, right?"

The woman nodded and then a grin appeared on her face. "Ah! How stupid of him!" She started to laugh. "Okay, so you used Kyuubi's chakra to escape then?"

Despite the sadness and pain of losing Sakura, Naruto couldn't help but grin back at the woman. "Yeah! We couldn't go through the door, couldn't really even see it unless Kabuto came through it, and even then only Kabuto could go in and out of the room. So what I did was use a genjutsu to make it look like the room was empty. Sasuke was the one that told me how to do it. When I saw the door appear, when Kabuto was leaving the room, I released the genjutsu, grabbed Sasuke and then grabbed Kabuto before he could get out the door. I guess since I was holding on to Kabuto, I was able to get through the door. I dragged him and Sasuke out with me." Naruto then remembered how Kabuto got away from him. "But Sasuke said something that distracted me and before I could beat the crap out of Kabuto, he escaped."

"Kabuto escaped or Sasuke?"

"Kabuto! Geez, weren't you listening, old woman?!" Another book was thrown at him, but this time it hit him in the face and he fell over backwards in his chair. "Damn it, old woman! Why do you keep hitting me?!"

"Because you're an disrespectful brat. So, Kabuto escaped and now Kakashi and Shikamaru are bringing Sasuke back with them? How did you end up losing Sasuke anyway?"

Naruto got back up in his seat again, nursing his bruised nose. He glared at the woman. "I didn't lose him! The bastard was supposed to follow me back to village. He had promised me." Naruto's voice had gotten softer on the last sentence as he remembered the promise Sasuke had made him. I wonder if Kakashi had to force him to come back or did Sasuke follow along with them on his own? Naruto really wanted to know.

Tsunade stared at the blond man in sympathy. She knew how much Naruto wanted Sasuke to come back. She even suspected that Naruto's feelings for the young man ran deeper than was normal for a friend. She wasn't certain that Naruto would go as far to get back anyone else, as he has for the young Uchiha. The boy was obsessed. All of a sudden, a loud knock came from the door. "Enter!"

Naruto turned around to see who was coming in. His eyes widened as Kakashi, followed by Shikamaru and then Sasuke, walked into the room. He really came back!

"Yo!" Kakashi waved at Naruto. "Looks like you made it back in one piece."

Naruto quickly forgot his happiness at seeing Sasuke back home again, where he belonged. Naruto remembered why he had rushed back on his own. His eyes filled with tears again, but he forced himself not to bawl in front of the others, especially Sasuke.

Kakashi's own eyes filled with sadness when he saw the blond fighting back his tears. Kakashi had cared about Sakura, too. But he knew that Naruto had been the closest to her, out of all of them. Naruto had cared about his female teammate for many years, he had even had a crush on her when he was younger. For all Kakashi knew, Naruto could have had a crush on her up until the very end.

The Hokage cleared her throat and looked at Shikamaru. "You're dismissed, but I expect you to hand in a report on everything that happened sometime tomorrow. I also want you to show up at the hospital in the morning, so that you can be checked out. We'll need to find out how to fix your chakra control problem."

Shikamaru nodded. He looked at Naruto and almost said something to try and comfort him, but then thought better of it. He would talk with Naruto when the blond was ready. He looked back at the Hokage and bowed. "Yes, Hokage-sama." Then he left the room.

Tsunade looked at Kakashi. "Did Uchiha Sasuke come back of his volition?"

Kakashi looked at Sasuke, then Naruto. He winked at the blond man and then looked back at the Hokage. "Yes, Hokage-sama. He had been about to follow Naruto when Shikamaru and I showed up. We delayed him a bit with our questions, but then we all three came back together."

Naruto looked at the Hokage. "He wanted to come back. He told me so. He was even planning to come back before he got kidnapped." Naruto couldn't remember if Sasuke had actually said that, but he didn't want his friend to get treated like a criminal.

Sasuke stayed silent since what Naruto said was almost the truth anyway. He had been thinking about coming back before being captured by Kabuto.

Tsunade looked at the Uchiha. "You do have people willing to stand up for you and you did kill Konoha's enemies. Even if it was for selfish reasons..."

Naruto jumped up out of his seat. "It wasn't all for selfish reasons, old woman! He could have run off after I showed up to fight that really old Uchiha bastard, since he had already killed Itachi. Instead he stayed to help me."

The Hokage glared at Naruto. "If I had another book on this desk, do you know where it would be right now, brat?" She looked at Sasuke again. "I have to discuss what is to be done about you with the elders, but because of how Naruto feels about you and how hard he has worked to bring you back, I will recommend the lightest punishment that I can. Until then, you are to stay with Kakashi and it will be his job to keep an eye on you until your punishment has been decided. Since you aren't able to use any chakra right now, then chakra suppressing restraints won't have to be used. But I am still going to try to find a way to help you, like I am with Shikamaru, to get back control of your chakra."

Sasuke nodded at the Hokage to show his acceptance of her words. "Yes, Hokage-sama."

Kakashi also nodded his head. "I'll make sure he stays out of trouble, Hokage-sama."

"You do that, Kakashi."

Naruto looked at Sasuke and then back to the Hokage. "Can I talk to him in private before he leaves with Kakashi-sensei?"

Tsunade nodded her head. "Yeah, brat. You have five minutes. You can talk to him out in the hall, until Kakashi comes out to fetch him. I want to talk to Kakashi alone anyway."

"Thanks, old woman!" He left the room and walked down the hall until he was far enough away from the Hokage's office to have privacy.

Sasuke followed him out in silence.

Naruto looked at his friend. "S-Sakura is d-dead." He had managed to get the words out even though they caused a terrible pain in his chest.

Sasuke nodded. "Kakashi's dog told us."

Naruto waited for the dark-haired man to say something more. He growled in anger when he realized Sasuke wasn't going to. "Damn it, bastard, don't you even care?! She was your teammate, too!" Naruto nearly choked on his next words, "She loved you!"

"I know it hurts you, Naruto, and I'm sorry for your sake. But do you want me to lie and say that I had the same feelings for her that you did, just to make you feel better?"

Naruto stared angrily into the other's eyes. Yeah, he knew that Sasuke never cared about Sakura the same way that Naruto had and even if he had, Sasuke wasn't the type to really show his emotions anyway. Not unless it was about his brother. But Naruto had hoped to see more emotion in the dark eyes than he was currently seeing. Not that his eyes were cold, like in the past when all Sasuke thought about was revenge, but they weren't exactly warm either.

It really hurt Naruto to see that Sasuke didn't care about Sakura's death, because Sakura had wanted to save Sasuke just as much as Naruto did. She had really been hurt when Sasuke had left them. And now she was gone forever. Even though Naruto had Sasuke back again, it wouldn't fill the void in his life that only Sakura could fill. Naruto hadn't been in love with her, but he had loved her. She had been part of his made-up family. A very important part, that was now missing.

Naruto continued to look into Sasuke's eyes. "Wasn't she at least like a sister to you? Or a really close friend?"

Sasuke had waited patiently while Naruto had stared at him with angry, searching eyes. He knew why the blond was doing it, so he had stood still, silently hoping that Naruto would just accept what Sasuke had said to him and then move on to another topic. But no, to Sasuke's displeasure, the stubborn blond only wanted to talk about Sakura and was intent on getting Sasuke to say what he wanted to hear.

Deciding it would probably be better to just pacify the blond instead of hitting him, since he was too tired to fight with him anyway, Sasuke answered. "She was a friend, but that was how I thought of her back when we were young, Naruto. We were apart for almost three years, remember? Which is a lot longer than the time we spent together as Team 7. A lot of things can change in three years."

"Why? Why did it have to change? Why did you leave us?"

Naruto's voice was so quiet and his words so heart-felt that Sasuke couldn't help but to feel sad himself.

He spoke as softly, "You already know why, Naruto."

"So, do you feel that way about me, too, Sasuke? The same way you feel about Sakura? If it was me that was dead, would you be acting the same?"

Sasuke looked deeply into blue, pleading eyes. He knew that his answers to these questions were very important to Naruto and he had to be careful about how he answered them. He didn't want to drive Naruto away. He needed his friendship with the blond. Without Naruto, he would be totally alone and he knew he couldn't survive like that. He had only managed to survive the loneliness when he was younger, because he had had to live in order to kill Itachi. But now with Itachi dead, Naruto was the only person left in his life to give him something to live for.

"No, no and no."

Naruto blinked in confusion. Huh?

Sasuke smirked, he could see that Naruto didn't understand the answers. "Three questions, three answers, moron."

Naruto glared at the other man. "I'm not a moron, bastard!" Naruto tried to remember the exact wording of the questions he had asked and when he finally remembered, he compared the answers to them. Naruto glared at Sasuke again. Why do I always have to drag everything out of this bastard?! "Explain your answers!"

It was Sasuke's turn to blink in confusion. Then a condescending smirk appeared. "Alright, I'll go slowly, so that even an idiot can understand." His smirk grew wider when Naruto growled out in anger. Insulting the dobe can be so much fun. "No, I don't feel the same for you as I felt for Sakura, which actually fits your first two questions since they were basically the same. As for the third, no, I would not feel the same if it was you that had died instead of her." And that's all you are going to get from me for now, Naruto. Sasuke turned to face Kakashi who had walked up and heard Sasuke's last words to Naruto.

"So, you two finished with your talk? I need to get back home and get Sasuke tucked in." He smirked at the deadly glare that the young Uchiha threw at him.

Naruto had his own murderous thoughts about Kakashi running through his head. Damn Kakashi for showing up now. Sasuke hadn't finished explaining what he had meant. "Not really, so can I come over to your place tomorrow morning? I still need to talk to this bastard."

Sasuke turned his glare on the blond. That's all I need. Listening to the dobe go on and on about Sakura, first thing in the morning. "I'll be too busy in the morning."

Kakashi gave the dark-haired man an evil grin. Too bad Sasuke couldn't see it under the mask. "Of course you can come over tomorrow morning, Naruto. Just not too early, okay?"

"Thanks, Kakashi-sensei! Well, bye, bastard!" Naruto turned and walked away.

When Kakashi could no longer see the blond-haired ninja, he turned to the Uchiha. "Well, Sasuke, it looks like you will have a fun day tomorrow. Ready to go nighty-night?"

Sasuke really wished he could access his chakra, because putting a chidori through Kakashi's face would make him feel really good right now. But he had to settle for giving the man the most deadliest glare he could give.

Kakashi grinned. Same old Sasuke. At least some things haven't changed.


I went ahead and posted this second chapter since I had already written it right after I wrote the first one. I won't normally be updating this fast, maybe once a week or twice a week, if I can.