Chapter 21: To The End
"Oh..." Naruto said softly, causing both brothers to look his way and Gaara to stare up at him slightly. "Now I see..."
With all of this tension and false air, the truth had finally surfaced. So many things that the blonds eyes had been oblivious to had made themselves very clear. It was just so stupid of him to just have noticed at that very moment; he supposed Jiraiya was right when he said he never really saw what was in front of his eyes. Of course Sasuke loved Itachi, they were brothers and, from what he saw, they got along very well. But he would never have thought that love would blossom into the deeper kind, in which thoughts, feelings and emotions would be tangled and misconstrued. It was frowned upon, two boys, but two brothers was more taboo than heterosexual incest, it wasn't tolerated, but feelings could not be changed. There was something slightly ironic in this whole picture though, Sasuke who claimed that he could never really understand their relationship, who claimed that two males being seen together was dare he say wrong, but alas... he ends up being in love with his own brother.
If Naruto didn't know any better, he would swear that was hipocracy. But Sasuke was just a liar, that he made very clear.
He looked at the liar then, eyes somehow more clear than before. The blindfold finally removed from his eyes, behind the raven haired boy and his brother he could see a red head girl fidgeting with her fingers, baring a look that said 'i knew this would happen'.
"If that was the case, Sasuke, then you should have told me." He said finally, in a voice so calm and monotone that it surprised Gaara to know that Naruto could speak with such an emotion, or perhaps lack there of. "I would have happily moved myself out of the picture so you could have your precious brother all to yourself. But, silly me, I had no idea you felt that way about me. I guess I was clueless when it came to you. You make me feel like such a horrible boyfriend." His eyes closed, to force back the tears, he'd never felt so stupid in his life.
The voice that calmed him was one he didn't expect.
"You are a wonderful person Naruto. You see things that no one else even bothers to notice. Your only fault is that you trust in people, the way we should all be allowed to do. But humans are cruel and deceiving, selfish creatures. Don't blame yourself for the lies that other people force into this world." Neji entered into this little scene quietly, standing next to Naruto, smiling softly. Naruto's eyes widened.
"Neji!? B-But I thought you were pissed at me from before." He shrugged glancing at Gaara for a moment, who looked intensely pensive.
"I got over it. Besides i couldn't leave you here alone with that idiot." In the background Sasuke fumed.
"I'm sorry to break up this little touching moment you two are trying to have, but we have some unfinished business to deal with." His brother grabbed him by the back of the neck, restraining him, much like how a trainer would mellow a misbehaving dog, Sasuke tried fruitlessly to snatch away from the grip.
"Sasuke, behave yourself, you need to listen to this." Was the only thing the elder Uchiha said.
Neji smiled to himself. There was only one way that this could end, but someone would be hurt in the process, no matter what the outcome was. He prayed that it didn't hurt too bad when this was all over.
While the two siblings argued and Neji contemplated his actions, Gaara whispered into Naruto's ear. The words, quite simply, had no special meaning to them, but he felt he had to say them nonetheless. He was past due for some encouraging words.
"Neji's right you know." Naruto's eye shifted to Gaara and he smiled, not a whole welcoming smile, but a soft, sensual one that told the blond what he'd meant. "You are an amazing person, no matter what Sasuke Uchiha says or does to you. Remember when you told me we can't just let something go and expect it to be better? I think this is one of those times where nothing else matters but forgiving and forgetting..." He reassured, then was silent having nothing else to say. The thank you he expected Naruto to say was cut off when Neji spoke up suddenly.
"You are absolutely right Gaara, it's about time we forgive an forget. Right Sasuke? Naruto has Gaara now, plus us," he said, gesturing at the group that gathered closer to the blond and his partner. "Not much you can do now. What do you say? If you apologise nicely, we may even acknowledge it."
But Sasuke would not be swayed so easily. "Heh... you talk big, considering your situation, Hyuuga. You love Naruto, you should know how I feel more than anyone, right? You hurt just the same, knowing he has someone else and will never ever want you, no matter how many times you try to make yourself noticeable. You must have a little built up anger inside somewhere as well. You can't stand there and tell me that you don't feel the slightest bit of envy towards Gaara."
Neji's smile faltered only once, when Sasuke revealed that he was in fact still in love with Naruto and everyone around them sucked in a breath of air. But it was only that one time that the Hyuuga allowed the boys words to affect him. He could handle this. He could be convincing and sincere about his next words, he knew he could, he felt it in his heart. This was the right choice, after all doesn't it mean when you love someone you want them to be happy no matter what, even if it means you have to be put on the back burner? The difference between Neji and Sasuke was he held Naruto's feelings inconsideration, had been since he met Gaara. And never, not once, did he ever feel any resentment towards the red head.
But now he had to make that clear, everyone was waiting for his reaction. Since this scene had began, more and more people began to gather, taking in all of what was happening and if Neji didn't chose his words carefully, he would have to face being compared to Sasuke Uchiha. He closed his eyes for a moment, tooka deep breath, then began to speak.
"Of course I love Naruto, now and when we where together. I'll always love him." A shrug. "He's a true friend. But just because I have these feelings for him, doesn't mean I'm gonna jeopardize his happiness. Sure I wish he had picked me... but he found someone better and I respect that. I don't hate Gaara for it, I admire him. They couldn't be more perfect for each other, actually and it makes me wonder, would we have ended up like you two? No... I'm quiet happy with our friendship, i can honestly say I have no regrets. You see Sasuke, while we have our similarities-and mind you they are only minor-the biggest difference between me and you is that I learned to hold some consideration for other peoples feelings when I started to mature, you however stayed in your adolescent stage. And I really pity you for it."
If insult had a facial expression, it would be the one Sasuke had on his face at that very moment. He looked absolutely appalled. To think that Neji had just called him adolescent and said he pitied him for it. There was no word in the dictionary he could use to describe how utterly insulted he was. He didn't need any ones pity, especially coming from someone like Neji Hyuuga. His chest puffed out and he regained some of his dignity.
"You pity me? I pity you, for living in your sad little lie. You can make up any stories you want about how much you'll just accept this, but in the end you'll want more. Take it from me, when you see something you want walk away from you and towards someone else." He looked meaningfully at his older brother, who sighed in return.
"Ok..." Itachi spoke quietly, calmly. "This has gone on long enough. Sasuke it's time for you to go home and think about all the trouble you've caused." He reached for the younger arm, but Sasuke was quick to snatch away.
"Oh you're so quick to lay your hands on me when you think I'm causing a scene. Why don't you run over there to Naruto?! Why are you wasting your time with me?!"
"That's it! I've had it with you! At first i tried to ignore it but now you've taken things way too far." Itachi had never raised his voice in all the years he had been living in Konoha, everyone was silent. "I don't have feelings for Naruto." When Sasuke attempted a snort, he gave him a look that demanded he try it. "I see him as a... little brother! How the hell do you figure I could want any type of relationship with him? When we were younger, you were the one that got all of my attention, but then you met him, and suddenly everything changed. You automatically thought that because i liked Naruto I was in love with him, but it was your own stupidity and jealousy. I treated that like a kid brother for one reason and one reason only, because he was with you, i didn't want him to hurt you. But you could not understand that." He grumbled, poking at Sasuke's forehead with two fingers.
"A brother?" Naruto spoke up finally, still digesting this new information. Itachi turned his attention over to him, Sasuke stood quiet.
"Yes, you were always like a little annoying kid brother to me Naruto. But this jealous little bastard never understood that, some kind of brother complex. And besides, I already have someone." Sasuke looked up abruptly, every ones eyes widened.
This story was getting more and more complex, thought one of the on-lookers in a nearby crowd.
"Someone else?" The younger Uchiha squeaked, crying didn't come naturally to him.
"Yes." He poked his forehead again. "Stupid silly Sasuke. Open your eyes and stop thinking it's all about you. I could never love you that way either, you are my brother after all and Uchihascest is not cool." Sasuke frowned.
"So where do we go from here?"
"Mind your business Hyuuga! I'm going home. I don't have time to deal with this." Sasuke stormed off, no one followed him. Only his brother bothered with a second look.
"Silly boy...If only he knew. Right Karin." he patted the girl on her head, who blushed slightly and nodded. "Go after him and make sure he doesn't get into anymore trouble, OK?" She nodded again, running after the ebony haired boy happily. Itachi turned back to Naruto, Neji and Gaara. "Sorry for this mess... hopefully he'll leave you two alone after this. Don't worry about what happened at the school, I'll make sure he gets what's coming to him for that."
Naruto shook his head. "No,there's no need. I just want him to leave me alone for good."
"Well you have to admit, this was pretty far to go on just a jealousy fit, ne Naruto? " He looked back at his pale eyed friend.
"Neji... I..." A hand was placed in front of his mouth to keep him from speaking. Neji shook his head. "I meant what I said. I'm happy for you and Gaara. And although I can't shut my feelings of I won't interfere with you two either. Our friendship is what I'm happy with." Gaara poked his head out from behind Naruto, he'd almost forgotten he was there.
"Are you sure?"
Neji paused, then nodded.
"Yeah, I suppose."
Naruto smiled, embracing Neji in a fierce bear hug, until Neji yelled that he couldn't breathe, then he let him go. Naruto looked questioningly over to Itachi suddenly.
"What?" He defended.
"If not me... who do you have the hots for?" Itachi laughed. "I'm serious. You said to Sasuke you had someone else, I'm asking who it was."
Seeing as the scene had finally reached its climax, the crowd finally began to disperse until all that was left was just the few that had been quarreling in the first place.
Itachi turned away and shrugged. "If you need to ask that question, I guess you should pay more attention too." As he walked, leaving a frowning Naruto behind him, Deidara and Kisame trailed behind him. When they were at as safe distance, the eldest Uchiha threw his arm around the pony tailed blond and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, not bothering to turn to see Naruto's jaw drop.
Neji laughed at his expression.
"It looks like alls well that ends well." Gaara commented, tugging at Naruto's arm.
"Meh, maybe." He looked over to Gaara. "Unless you have any skeletons in your closet that include deranged homicidal ex-boyfriends." The red head shook his head, lacing their fingers together.
"No you're the first."
Days later when Naruto and Gaara were entwined together in bed, breathing still heavy, a thought occurred in Naruto's mind. He dared to speak it, but one wrong word would ruin the mood entirely. He could still tell Gaara wasn't asleep yet, he hardly slept and when he did, it was never for long. The red head rested on his shoulder, arms around his waist.
"Mmm?" He responded, dozing off slightly.
"Can I ask you a question?"
"Why do you wear the makeup?"
He lifted up from his position on the bed, Naruto knew he should have kept his mouth shut, but he couldn' help but feel a little curious about it.
"What makeup?" Gaara inquired, paused, then pointed to his eye. "You mean this?"
"It's not makeup Naruto. I never really got any sleep, even when I was little, so the rings around my eyes got darker and darker every year. Now they won't go away."
Naruto made a face. "Why weren't you able to sleep?" The question was innocent enough, but Gaara didn't want to answer.
"Because." He looked away.
"Because what..." Naruto edged, tilting his head more to look into those green eyes. Gaara sighed.
"I use to have nightmares."
Gaara wished he would let this go, but he knew Naruto: If he wanted an answer, sooner or later he was going to get it. It didn't help that it was a personal problem that he's had to deal with since he was a baby. He didn't like this situation, he would either get laughed at or... no this was Naruto, he would most definitely get laughed at. But for the sake of his sanity, he confessed, however difficult it might have been.
"I use to dream about... a giant... raccoon."
He turned his head away, preparing for the laughter that was sure to come, but there was none. He chanced a look at the blond and what he saw was ten times worse than being laughed at.
"Awww you were afraid of raccoons? But you have them all over your notebooks." Naruto cooed, huggling and coddling the red head, he thought he was going to be sick.
Gaara tried to push away, but the blond was so much stronger than he...
"It was along time ago Naru." He still didn't let go.
"So It's still cute ...my little tanuki."
A.N. Wow... I finally made it through the final chapter... I never thought this day would come, honestly I thought this fic would be abandoned like so many others... But you guys, with your encouragements has helped me pull through. I'm sorry for all of the grief I've given you and I hope that you will stay loyal to me and continue reading my work. I tried my hardest to have a 'happy ending' what with all of the angst that's in this story. So how did I do? Please review and I promise to give a hand written full length reply... cause I feel like it. And I think people will understand me better... maybe... I am a very complex being. O.o
P.S. I'm currently working on my next story as I write this. I don't know when I';ll be posted, but stick with me and pester me about it, then I'll have it done. If you butter me up the right way I may just include a teaser in one of my next one shots or something -hint hint hint. But seriously, Wallflowers should be updated soon and I have yet to rewrite Unbreakable Hearts (for any of you that read the message). Well I'm off to think of more smut to write... and fluff and angst as well.
Take care of yourself and each other.
Until next time.
OMG!! I CAN"T BELIEVE I FORGOT!! CHECK OUT MY PICCY OF GAARA -- look on my profile for the link ... JA NE!! :3