Alright, guys! I... am really happy. This is the last chapter of Breaking Free! This is my first story, plot bunny, and attempt at a decent ongoing piece of literature. It's been a blast! Enjoy!
Disclaimer(s): I do not own Naruto. I just don't.
Witty disclaimers are officially gone. (And just in time, too!)
thinking/talking to kyuubi
kyuubi talking in his mind
Last Chapter of B r e a k i n g F r e e...
"Kyuubi. Desist." For a moment, there was nothing but silence, until there was a voice that echoed in the clearing.
Within seconds, the fiery red tendrils of chakra were pulled back into the blond's body, disappearing out of sight. Dull red eyes slowly morphed into dull blue, Naruto's knees going weak and causing him to fall. Sasuke shot forward and caught him before he hit the ground, slowly sliding him down to sit on the burned grass.
Chapter 16 - "the Resolution" - Start.
He couldn't remember anything that had happened. The last he remembered was the rushing fear that encompassed him and then... nothing.
Naruto was warm, though. He was safe, deep inside his consciousness--and he knew it. He didn't want to leave this warmth for anything. He wanted to stay and ignore the worries of the world. This place was nice--he didn't have to think about anything, there wasn't any danger of being hurt, he just simply existed.
This place was much better than the nightmare of the real world. The world in which he was terrorized for something beyond his control. The world in which he had felt so much pain and seen so much death. It was better here, where he could forget about all that. Where he could drift in and out of nothingness and continue to exist in peace.
His tan arms wrapped around firm legs, his body curling up tightly. His hair swayed slightly in the dark liquid, his soul in a calm peace. Silence reigned in these waters, no sound audible to his ears. He could feel the warmth of the water, sense the peacefulness of the environment and see nothing but a dark void. Naruto's eyes slipped shut.
I don't ever want to leave...
Just then, a very light, almost un-noticable ripple passed through the water, caressing his skin. He pulled a frown, curling up tighter into a ball.
Another ripple swept through the fluid, pulsing around his body and whispering unheard words to him.
Ripples steadily picked up, gently jarring his body and pushing it to sway around in the water. His fingers tightened, clutching his legs seemingly closer than what was possible. The ripples gradually increased in strength, becoming more and more like underwater waves. He didn't want to leave. It wasn't fair. He liked it here. There was nothing to worry about... everything was calm and peaceful.
Naruto's mind dimly contemplated on ignoring the waves altogether when a gentle wisping buzzed in his ears. Unknowingly, he stopped all thoughts, concentrating on the noise as the ripples slowed to a stop without his realizing. He slowly released his legs, straightening out his body and peeling his eyes open. Silence ensued for a few moments before a small ripple brushed against him, a familiar voice making him stiffen.
He longed to hear the words, a side of him irritated that they were muffled beyond recognition. Within him, however, an insecurity spouted words of a different idea.
Don't listen to it... This place is safe, peaceful...
Drawing back, Naruto's eyes turned glassy. He turned away, listening to the voice within him. It was right. Here it was safe and peaceful.
He paused once more, turning to look over his shoulder into the black abyss, a bit surprised to find a small crack of light in the darkness. Don't....
This place carries safety and peace...
He turned, keeping his eyes away from the piercing brightness and intending to listen to his inner-worries.
He shook his head, turning back around to the light. He knew that voice. That voice that brought on such strong feelings and seized his heart with emotion.
This place is the only place that carries safety and peace... and happiness.
Naruto let a sad smile slip onto his face. "No," he said aloud, addressing the murmuring from deep within. "This place is merely an escape. I can do better than this. I have friends, loved ones. People who I love and people who love me. I have a chance to make something of myself, to see the world and experience millions of new things... The world isn't all sunshine and daisies, but... it does carry happiness. That is what I failed to realize--the mistake that I made... no, the mistake that we made."
Just like that, the murmuring of his insecurities was gone.
With a renewed smile, a fresh outlook, and a sense of longing, he followed that wondrously familiar voice into the light.
Only Shikamaru and Kakashi watched as Sasuke held the blond lovingly in his arms. Sakura and Karin had darted off to begin healing their fallen comrades, hoping to every possible God out there that they were still alive. Oblivious to all around him, Sasuke centered all of his attention on Naruto, brushing his palm against the scarred cheek.
A wave of pain hit him, right in the heart. The beloved boy was so wounded and beaten up... and now that he really thought about it--it wasn't just the body--it was the heart, the soul. Naruto had been through so much and he had been too self-absorbed to realize that as a child. He pulled the limp body closer to him, another wave of sorrow and guilt ravaging his heart.
Without even realizing it, the blond boy's name had become a mantra, constantly falling from his lips every few seconds. He couldn't bear the thought of losing him... it would be devastating. Please don't....
Sasuke tensed when his eyes caught the twitch of a tan finger. Ebony eyes darted to Naruto's face, checking for any signs of waking. He held his breath when Naruto gave a particularly deep inhale, lips cracking open to expel the air. After a few moments, glassy blue eyes cracked open, gazing unseeingly a little past the young male's face.
"...Naruto..?" And just like that, the trance was broken.
The blond blinked once, before fixing his eyes on bottomless black orbs. There was a moment where he seemed to require his brain to start working again before he let out a hoarse, "Sasuke..?"
When Sasuke's lips melded into a small smile, Shikamaru and Kakashi blinked before glancing at each other and nodding, stepping away to go help with healing as best as they could. Sasuke didn't even notice their departure, instead keeping his eyes locked on the deep blue that he almost thought he would never see again. He let out a relieved laugh and leaned down to capture chapped lips, pulling back with a widening smile when he saw tanned features morph into shock. There was a moment when Naruto was just utterly confused until he finally cracked a smile of his own and then reached up to pull him down into another kiss.
It took two days for the others to regain consciousness and mend their wounds to the point where they could set off for home. Karin, Juugo and Suigetsu had all had a particularly enlightening conversation with Kakashi, announcing that they would go to Konoha and plead to be incorporated into their ninja ranks. Kakashi had asked Sasuke (rather cautiously) if he were to be returning with them.
The raven-haired young man, however, had been unable to keep his eyes off of Naruto, refusing to step away from his side and therefore, (by that twisted logic) had not answered. Suigetsu had merely glanced at him before his teeth were showing in a sharp smirk when he said, "Don't worry. There's no place he'd rather be." He had then burst into boisterous laughter and proceeded to tear into the fish that they had been having for dinner that night.
When it came time to leave, they had all packed up and gotten ready to go. They had started walking, but Kakashi had halted, turning around and glancing at the back of the group where Naruto and Sasuke stood unmoving. He stared at them for a moment, gauging their actions before asking the blond a silent question with his eyes.
Naruto held up one finger, to which Kakashi maintained silence before giving a sharp nod. He turned back around and headed off, leaving confused teammates to follow after him with quick glances back at their friend. Naruto waved them off, watching as they disappeared behind the trees and then turned back to Sasuke when they were alone.
"Are you sure you want to do this?"
Instantly, Sasuke knew exactly what Naruto was doing. He was being given a choice--a chance to get out of going back to Konoha. He smiled secretly to himself. That was just like Naruto. Not only that, but... because Naruto was there--because it was Naruto's home--it was now his home, too. That was it--the extent of his logic. Where Naruto was, he was going to follow.
Utter seriousness alight in his eyes, he gave a sharp nod. "Yes."
Naruto nodded, mirroring the same seriousness. His features relaxed after a bit as he sank into thought.
Sasuke blinked, curious at the outburst. Naruto sank to his knees, pulling his pack off his shoulder and digging through it. He pulled out a small vial and handed the long-forgotten item to Sasuke. He had forgotten to send it to Tsunade during the mission for analyzing.
"What is this?" Sasuke asked, feeling like he already knew the answer.
"The same thing Itachi had. I stole if off of one of his lackeys a while back. You can use this as you wish." He waved a hand in general. Sasuke took the vial and stared at it for a moment before a small smile pulled at his lips. He held it in front of himself and crushed it, the contents spilling over his hand and onto the ground, seeping into the dirt.
"Nah." He glanced at Naruto who had an eyebrow raised in his direction. "I think I'd rather keep my own eyes, no matter how blind I become." The blond merely smiled in response before he seemed to remember something.
"Hey, Sasuke. Do you think ninjas will ever stop creating and fighting wars?" Sasuke seemed to be confused for a moment before giving a simple shrug, much to the blond's dismay. "Who knows. But... we could always strive for that, right?" A wide smile stretched across Naruto's face.
"Yeah... I guess you're right. We've already broken free from the chains of our past. So let's break free from the chains of our future by battling the chains of the present." Naruto smiled and pulled him into a gentle kiss before pulling back and hopping to his feet. He chuckled at Sasuke's bewildered expression before turning in the direction where the group had disappeared. He twisted his body around and held his hand out with a smile.
"Come on, Sasuke. Let's go home."
Oh. My. God. It's finally over. It's been over a year and a half... It was my first fanfiction and testament into the yaoi world... and I am really sad. I'm not really all that proud of this work as compared to Endure and Survive, but... I still love it to death. I hope you guys enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing and creating it. Please review and give some thoughts!