I'll say it all at the end (there's a whooole page of ranting down there, folks), but I'd just like to give out an enormous (and probably much-repeated by now) thank you to red-headed psychopaths wanted, because she's the genius who gave me this title, and, consequently, the idea that refused to leave until this was written. Sadly, it seems as though she's disappeared though, which sorta sucks... But kudos to her, and especially kudos to my super fantastic beta KL Lover, who actually finished this ages ago but I was too fail to update until now. My bad!
In any case, I hope you enjoy the final instalment of So He's My Boyfriend, Right!
Previous disclaimers apply.
EPILOGUE: MY LIFE IS A SHAKESPEARIAN TRAGEDY
I think back over the last two years and honestly, I can't help but laugh a little. My parents didn't take too lightly to the dumping I gave them and sent me abusive letters (well, my father did), which Naruto found infinitely amusing.
"Oh, oh, oh! Look! He said 'you will never amount to anything' and that… oh now that's just harsh. You're 'no son of mine', apparently."
"Well I sure hope I'm no son of yours."
"No, you twat, he said that."
And other times I would get the nice letters from my mother, as if she was hoping to repair whatever damage my father had done and try to coax me back over there with her apparent kindness. Of course, that kindness always ended up the same way.
"She still wants you to get a girlfriend."
"She can want all she likes; it's not going to happen."
"Too right it's not going to happen!"
But now, after two years, I'm a little sick of it, and so is he. It's only fair, really, that we at least give them one reply. Whether they like that reply or not is completely up to them.
Naruto's laughing himself stupid on my bed as he comes up with all the possible ways to make them stop writing to me and successfully proving themselves as top candidates for the World's Most Infuriating Parents. I give him a look that kindly asks him to shut up before turning back to my desk to write, pointedly ignoring anything he shouts over at me in between fits of laughter. Honestly, sometimes I wonder how on earth I'm still with that kid.
"Oi, dobe, shut up."
He snorts. "What?"
"Do you want to hear it or not?"
"Oh are you finished?"
I roll my eyes. "Obviously."
He grins stupidly and arranges himself comfortably on the bed, giving me an impatient look. I raise an eyebrow at him, shake my head with a tiny smile that just won't listen to me when I tell it to please leave, and look down at the paper in my hands to read.
"'Dear Father and Mother-'"
"Cut out the 'Dear'."
"Well you don't want to be nice to them, do you? They've hounded you for two years straight, they don't even deserve a short 'yo!'"
I shrug, conceding his point, and scratch out the offending word before continuing.
"'I have received all your letters to date and I apologise for not replying until now, however I didn't see it fit to do so.'"
Naruto giggled, cutting me off again. "Oooh, cold and formal. I like it."
"'You see, it seems as though you were displeased with my decision to remain in Konoha and continue my studies here, therefore rejecting your proposal to begin training to lead Sharingan Protection. However, judging from my obvious lack of replies, I thought you would have realised that I simply do not care. I don't want to have anything to do with the company that ruined my brother's mind, turned my father into an overbearing control freak, and my mother into a nervous, paranoid wreck. Sometimes I think Shisui is the only one with an ounce of sanity in our family.' So far so good?"
Naruto nods, giving me a strange look that makes my stomach do weird things, and patting the place next to him on my bed. Never one to refuse, I move from the chair to beside him, and continue reading with him looking on, head propped up on my shoulder.
"'I have not once regretted the decision that you so blatantly disapprove of and in all honesty I don't care about the apparent 'future plans' you had laid out for me. I've been doing excellent at school, with people who actually care about me to support me, and don't intend on turning my back on them.'"
Naruto breathes against my neck and nuzzles into my shoulder, an arm slinking around my waist. I pause, but he urges me to keep going.
"Uh… Where was I?" My eyes scan the page. "Oh, right. 'We graduate in a month's time and after that I might go to university, I might get a job, I might take up drugs and live on the streets - who knows? Whichever way it pans out, I have a feeling it would be a lot better if you stopped writing to me. I rejected Sharingan because I don't want anything to do with it. I signed away that possible avenue of my life two years ago and I don't want to address it ever again. And I couldn't rip Shisui's dream out from under him as you seem so intent on doing. Give him more credit; he has a brilliant mind.'"
Naruto murmurs something in my ear and I tilt my head to ask him to repeat it.
He shrugs and says again, "You're nice, that was all."
I raise an eyebrow. "'Nice'?"
He nods. "Yeah. I like it how you're sticking up for Shisui. They need to be told, and if no one else is going to, then it has to be you."
"Well, I wasn't -"
I blink. "Okay… There's only a little bit left. 'In short, my point is that no matter how hard you try, no matter what insults and/or threats you send my way, I'm staying in Konoha and doing what I want, Itachi's insanity and all. But there's one more thing I would like to point out from your numerous letters - don't tell me time and time again to go and 'find a nice girl'. I won't be doing that. Ever. I have a boyfriend and have had one since I returned from my visit to see you when Father presented his deal. His name is Uzumaki Naruto and if you don't stop pestering me about women, I will give you a detailed description of our sex life.'"
There's a long, stretched-out silence in which Naruto sits up properly to stare at me in complete bewilderment. Eventually, his mouth stretches into an impossibly wide grin and suddenly he is laughing hard, taking in sharp gulps of air as he struggles to breathe, and falling back against my pillows.
I eye him warily, smiling to myself in almost-disbelief, and put a hand on his stomach to get him to calm down. "Hey dobe, don't suffocate or anything."
But he just cuts himself off with a snort, grabs my arm and yanks me down on top of him for a breathless kiss, both of us chuckling into it as he breaks away to gasp out, "You actually put that in?"
"I was just kidding, teme!"
I shrug and kiss him again quickly, sitting back up on my knees and staring down at his happily flushed face. "Oh, I'm sorry, did you want me to take it out?" I lift up my pen and make to cross out the last paragraph, but a quick hand shoots out and rips the pen from my grasp.
Naruto breaks out into a new fit of giggles, though this is somewhat more restrained, at least, and he shakes his head. "No way! If you don't post that right now I'm going to steal all your chocolate and no, I'm not joking."
I narrow my eyes. "You wouldn't."
H e waggles his eyebrows and is positively leering at me as he says, "Oh really?"
I don't want to take my chances, because he's done it before (quite possibly the worst day of my life) and I'm already shrugging on my jacket to walk to the post box at the end of the street before he can even sit up.
Two weeks later, we get a reply.
"They still want you to get a girlfriend. In fact, they're quite interested in meeting her."
I frown and heave myself up off my bed, snatching a pen and some paper from the desk. "Well then…"
Naruto saunters up to me all too quickly and his lips are on mine before I can think what's happening. His kiss is hot and demanding and I respond immediately, forcing him to let me take over, pen and paper forgotten on the floor as I dig my fingers into his hips.
He pulls back for air and stares into my eyes as he smirks, "Well then we best make sure they've got something to read about, huh?"
I give him an answering smirk and my hands are all over his naked skin before he can so much as blink.
Mind you, the letter is written… eventually. We have a lot to write about, to say the least. Apparently my parents don't, however, because needless to say, that particular letter never warranted a reply.
Huh, funny how that happens.
When I wrote to my parents and told them that in a month's time I would be graduating, I never gave it much thought. Here I am, though, standing in a hall filled with all my friends and all their family. Their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles, cousins, even grandparents. I have Itachi, I have Itachi's boyfriend, and I have Shisui.
Shisui just stares at me with his arms folded and gives a slight nod as I meet his gaze. That seems to be the best I can hope for, but in all honestly it was enough that he even came, considering I had absolutely no forewarning whatsoever.
And there's Itachi, in between Shisui and Kisame, and looking a little bewildered. So far I haven't seen him acknowledge Shisui once and can only hope that the forgetfulness won't wear off anytime soon. There has only been one crazy eyes incident in the last two years, and I'm not willing to make it two. Kisame, who seemingly doesn't know whether to applaud us all or turn around and drag my brother out of the hall, is looking everywhere but at either me or my brother. I wouldn't want to look at my brother either, to be honest. He's clapping a little insanely now, over his previous bewilderment in a flash, but when I think about it, I don't really feel any embarrassment. He is who he is and no amount of medication will change that.
… Plus, he's sort of entertaining to watch.
The whole year level is standing in a horseshoe shape, divided into groups based on awards received by faculty. Naruto is directly behind me in what I like to call the knuckle-headed sports section- and I do not squirm when he pinches my butt. Tenten grins at me from the opposite side of the hall among all the metal tech nerds, apparently having caught the motion, so I roll my eyes at her and move on.
Neji looks a little peeved over there with Gaara and the art kids, and I swear Sai is trying to look down the top of the girl beside him, obviously over the brief stint with Sakura that ended miserably for him and hilariously for all of us. Choji's looking proud as punch in the Food Tech group, and Ino's watching him with starry eyes in the front row, having transferred to the Hair and Beauty Institute in the city. Apparently they're together at the moment. They'd been breaking up and getting back together repeatedly since Ino moved at the end of year ten due to various reasons, most of them petty and entirely Ino's fault.
I resist the urge to roll my eyes.
Kiba's standing next to her, eyes seemingly glued to Shino in the science department, and a tiny white puppy not-so-inconspicuously hidden in his jacket. He dropped out at the same time as Ino, claiming that you didn't need school to become a dog trainer because 'you don't need to teach dogs maths', so all you needed was experience and a good reputation. He refused to listen when we tried to explain that it didn't work like that in the real world, and went ahead and did his thing anyway. He doesn't answer when we - excluding myself - ask how it's going.
I watch as the Dogboy winks at his long-time boyfriend before moving his gaze to Hinata and waving like a mad man.
She's the biggest surprise of all – no one even knew she was doing Performing Arts until the end of year production, and suddenly all those awkward half-formed excuses about needing to be somewhere after school along with all the random people she suddenly befriended made a whole lot more sense.
I smile to myself as she blushes and looks away from Kiba's attention. Still as shy as ever, but put her on a stage with lyrics in front of her and she'll blow you away. Sakura nudges an elbow into my side, grinning at me, and reaches out to squeeze my hand briefly.
'Congratulations,' she mouths.
I nod in thanks as Lee swings an arm around me from the other side, still sporting the most ridiculous haircut known to mankind, and still as energetic as ever.
"I can't believe you beat me!" he shouts into my ear over the music and applause.
I shrug, not really sure how it happened either. I chance a glance past Lee and see Haku glaring at me, looking positively livid.
Ah well, can't be helped.
Apparently my father's influence was a little too ingrained into my brain, because try as I might, martial arts was all my body wanted to do. So here I am, top in all martial arts classes and damn well proud of it. And really, Haku and I hadn't been civil for very long. Fights became a regular occurrence. So did detentions.
I feel a poke in my lower back and half-turn towards Naruto, Lee doing the same.
"Now, now," he says between us, "I don't think his ego needs to be inflated any more than it already is."
I roll my eyes. "If anyone's to blame for the size of my ego, dobe, it's you."
I hear him sigh and Sakura giggle. "I can't help it if you're too good looking for your own good."
"Neither can I, sorry."
Three identical snorts are my answer and then Tsunade is congratulating us all on our achievements. But then she confirms all our suspicions - and Shikamaru is walking somewhat awkwardly up to the stage, accepting the big award for, oh, I don't know, everything, perhaps?
University scouts will be begging at his feet.
The hall breaks out then and Temari's shouts of "Hell yeah!" can be heard clearly, even from all the way up front. Tsunade gives us the all-clear and suddenly everyone is tripping over their own feet to congratulate each other. I don't have to go far and in less than a second Naruto has his arms thrown around my neck and is kissing me with all the strength he can muster.
It's still as heavenly as ever and I still want to chase him for more when he breaks away, but something tells me that now is not the time, so we bump foreheads and give each other lazy smiles.
"That's it," he says.
I nod. "That's it."
"Done for good."
"Once and for all."
"Well not really. There's still university, and then we've gotta get jobs and deal with all the crap of being an adult and –"
"Thanks, Gaara," Naruto cut in. "Really."
"And there's still the after par-tay!" Ino jumps over and shouts, followed by loud cheers from the rest of the year level, rolled up certificates thrown in the air and a wild applause loud enough to bring down the roof.
After party indeed.
I'm not thinking straight. I'm not. I know I'm not. Not straight. Thinking straight. Actually quite circular at the moment.
Funny joke. You get it?
Ah, crap. I must be drunk. I offered to help clean up afterwards. Not that I'll be much help, but really, looking around at us all, I don't think anyone will be much help, least of all Sai.
The fact that he isn't even here might cause a bit of an issue.
Oh, there he is. Found him. Maybe he'll be a little more helpful now. No guarantees, though.
Wow, Lee really shouldn't drink. Ever. As comfortable as Naruto's shoulder is, having Lee beside me and no Tenten to restrain him means I'm sort of beginning to fear for my right eye.
As I jerk my head out of the way of his flailing limb for the thousandth time, I hear Naruto stifle a laugh by ducking his head down into my neck. Adjusting my position to accommodate him, I lift my drink in a farewell wave to the last couple of stragglers heading around the side of the house to leave, of course forgetting to thank Neji for putting up with them. Everyone seemed to do that, poor guy. He offers his house up for the trashing and no one can even offer him a polite word of thanks.
Perhaps I've gotten far too soft over the last couple of years and my reason for offering to help stems from the annoyance I feel on Neji's behalf. Although, with Gaara hanging off him like that I don't think he's paying much attention to anything else.
Shikamaru, officially deemed the smartest of all (finally), is looking as though he's seen better days and is sprawled on his back on the decking next to Choji – the only one who looks like he can probably keep going.
Big kid. Can take a lot.
Poor Hinata. I think Kiba had a little too much fun. She's looking particularly worse for wear on the deck chair.
I bet Shino's eyes are spinning behind his damn glasses.
Hang on, Neji's glasses. What? Neji's talking.
I force my mind away from where Naruto's hands are trying to wander along my thighs and do my best to pay attention. I think I do quite well, given the circumstances.
"You're all my closest friends, right?"
Everyone gives an affirmative shout as Gaara says, "Some closer than others."
We all laugh and Neji nods. "Yes, yes, always and forever, babe."
I wolf-whistle. Come on, you wouldn't be able to hold back either.
"Thanks, Uchiha. What I wanted to say was that even though we've graduated –"
"Except you, Kiba. Even though we're all going our own ways –"
"We're still the one group that lasted from year seven to now."
"The fact that you've all stayed behind after everyone else has pissed off just goes to show –"
"- that even though we're distant sometimes, even though we don't tell each other everything like girl scouts –"
"Naruto, Kiba – interrupt him once more and I'll hang you both from the fan by your balls."
"I was waiting for that," Sai says quietly, biting back a laugh at Gaara's monotone input.
"They're showing their youthful - ow."
"Shut up, Lee," Tenten sighs, withdrawing her hand. Oh good, she's back.
"Even though we don't always get along," Neji continues forcefully.
Naruto mumbles a very quiet, "Woo…" into my ear. I snort into my drink as Kiba and Shino smirk, apparently having heard it from their tangled mess on the armchair to our left.
"We're still us. And that won't change."
There is a short, appreciative, thoughtful silence while everyone suddenly realises that school really is over and we're about to make our way in the world, or something deep and meaningful like that, when –
"That's it –"
"Hey, we didn't interrupt!"
"They got you there," I smirk.
"I don't care! They're annoying!"
"We know, Gaara, we know."
"Shut up, Tenten," Naruto says with a grin.
"You're the ones being annoying!"
"Once again, Sai, your input is greatly valued."
"Screw you, Sabaku."
"That's what Neji's for!"
"Lee! Ew!" Hinata finds her voice through the slur of alcohol. "He's my cousin!"
"As much as a girl might secretly like it, we draw the line at family."
"Thank you, Ino."
Naruto grips my hand and slowly tugs me up, backing away from the ensuing mayhem, Shikamaru, Neji, Choji, and Sakura (not joining in for once) looking on with stupid drunken grins on their faces (even Neji), and sipping on what is probably going to be their last drink for the evening. Morning. Vague time of night.
I glance to the left and see two shadows disappearing back into the house.
Shino and Kiba have obviously made their escape, then.
I edge back with Naruto, both biting our lips to hold in the laughter just dying to be let out and the second Gaara turns his back to round on Lee, we go for it.
He drags me around by our joined hands and pushes through the back door, sprinting through the maze-like house until we find the front door, and fall through it together, laughing our arses off like the drunken teenagers we are. We make it around the street corner before stopping and collapsing against a fence, still laughing.
"Eighteen, graduated, and none of us have grown a day, have we?"
I grin and shake my head as he continues.
"If anything, you've gotten younger. Less mature."
"All your fault, ya bastard."
He shrugged and smiled, pushing himself of the fence and coming to stand in front of me.
"How you recover so fast all the time is entirely beyond me," I mumble as I lean towards him, hands automatically going straight for his hips to pull him in closer.
"Is that a complaint?"
I shake my head, leaning forward until our lips are almost touching. "Whatever gave you that idea?"
I feel his smile as we kiss slowly, and no matter how many times we've been together in the course of our relationship, the feeling doesn't get old. Today his lips moist and bold from all the alcohol, whereas yesterday he was tired and slow, and his lips were dry. The day before that he was hard and demanding, needing a release for his frustration at Tsunade refusing to tell him who won the Track and Field award.
But today he is content, slow but confident. Unhurried, turning my knees weak with practised ease. He somewhat reluctantly drags his lips from mine, no doubt to say something to make me want to rip his clothes off and take him right here on the footpath, but I cut across before he can say anything of the sort because I don't know if I'll be able to resist.
"We promised to help clean up."
"You promised," he corrects.
"Even so, I don't plan on ditching them to go have sex with you. Sorry."
I catch the smirk he sends my way, made all the sexier under the shadow from the streetlamp, and I know they're coming. The words that will make me want to rip his clothes off and take him right here on the footpath – oh, I wasn't expecting a knee to be involved in the process, though.
His face disappears entirely in the shadows as he leans forward again, this time bypassing my lips and kissing my neck, gradually heading up towards my ear, where he whispers my name in the sexiest voice known to man and I am powerless to stop the moan that escapes.
"Sasuke…" Oh. God. "You'd rather go back to that, where I may very well lose my balls for pissing off the redheaded panda, than come back to my house-" the thigh sliding between my legs presses a little harder, but still as teasing as the lips ghosting over my cheek "- and have wild sex?"
"With you," I add, completely pointlessly, but unable to really think of anything else to say and remain somewhat coherent.
He smirks again, and by all things holy and not so, when did he get that sexy?
"With me," he whispers. "All of me."
I close my eyes tight, fully aware that it's been well and truly over for a while now, and drop my head back against the hard wooden fence with a dull thunk.
"Which way's yours?"
There's a pause longer than it should be and I open my eyes to see him looking down the street and biting his lip, a clear sign of confusion. His hand moves from my shoulder to the back of his neck, rubbing awkwardly.
"Well… We drove and you were distracting me – oh, we'll have to pick the car up tomorrow – so I wasn't really paying attention, and it's really dark, then we sort of ran out of there and – which way did we go? I don't know. I'm a little confused –"
"Then let's walk."
He snaps his head back around to face me, a little surprised. "But –"
"We'll walk whichever way we think it is. No need to stress, we'll just go with it. We've both lived here long enough to know roughly where we're going, right?"
He nods stupidly, something I've learned he does when he doesn't really get it.
I smile to myself, reaching out for his hand and pushing off the fence to walk towards what I think is left. I'm still a little hazy, you see.
"I swear, alcohol makes us switch personalities," he says after a moment, a small smile shadowing his lips. "I'm so much more bad arse and you're more carefree, like me. Much nicer, if you ask me."
"Which I didn't."
"Nope, still an arsehole."
"It takes more than a few drinks to change that, baby."
A short silence.
"Never call me that again."
"It's not –"
"What? Not manly enough for you, baby?" I lean in at the last word, breathing into his ear in a low voice. He shivers, but says nothing, so I continue. "I like it. Just 'cos you're not a girl doesn't mean I can't call you names."
"You do call me names."
"I meant nice names."
He rolls his eyes. "You're also very annoying when you're drunk."
I give him an exaggerated sigh and drop his hand to throw my arm around his shoulders, tugging him in close and kissing his temple. "Ah, but you love me."
Defiant silence meets my confident statement.
"Go on, you know you want to say it. Say you love me!"
His arm loops around my waist and I feel his stupid grin as he presses his face into my chest (yes, I grew to be quite a bit taller than him. Awesome).
"Yeah, teme, I love you," he says quietly.
I smile and kiss the top of his head, tightening my hold on him momentarily. "Love you too, dobe." There's a short silence while we just acknowledge those words and how much they mean to us, before I do the tactful thing and break it.
"What do you think?" I ask.
"I think a lot of things."
"Well you don't really."
"I do so!"
"Like... ramen... you... kicking Sai's arse... ramen... you... ramen..."
"I can't believe ramen beat me by one."
He laughs and nuzzles his head into my chest again briefly. "And I haven't even gotten to how much I think about sex yet."
I snort. "I do hope I'm involved in that sex."
"Oh yes. Very much involved." Suddenly he hits me lightly on the chest. "Anyway! What were you asking?"
I frown a moment, trying to force my disjointed mind to think that far back, when I finally remember. "I was asking you what you thought."
"Yes," he sighs, "about what?"
"Well you know in Shakespeare?"
I frown down at him for being difficult, despite knowing he can't see it, before continuing. "Do you think our lives are more of a tragedy or a comedy?"
He's silent for a very long time and I think that maybe I shouldn't have asked that. But he looks sideways at me with a tiny frown and answers, "It's a tragedy, because in tragedies people die and in comedies people get married. We're not married, and..."
He trails off and I stop walking. I know it was the wrong thing to say, even though really, he didn't even know the guy and he was a very real danger to us. Naruto is very empathetic and doesn't really believe in sides. A person is a person to him, and no one deserves to be judged. Especially once they're gone.
He doesn't stop with me, though, and it makes a lot of sense in my hazy mind when I reach out a hand to stop him and turn him around. It makes a lot of sense in my hazy mind when I pull him into a hug and laugh softly into his hear. It doesn't make a lot of sense in my hazy mind when I chuckle out, "Maybe we could get married and turn it into a comedy, then? I'm sure you'll look stunning in a wedding dress."
He pushes away slightly and raises an eyebrow at me, but I feel the tension leave his body and see the tiniest of smiles tug at the corner of his lips, the now-faint whisker scars on his cheeks twitching slightly.
Then he hits me in the chest again, tells me I'm an idiot but he really does love me anyway, just not enough to wear a wedding dress for me, and we start moving again as I smile to myself like the idiot I feel like and the idiot I've been told I am.
Sometimes I have to really struggle to remember what he was like when we first got together, trying to compare the him of then to the confident, driven young man that he is now. Then again, it's times like these that I don't and that I feel we're still young and heading in a direction neither of us are really sure of. We're sure we love each other, we're sure we want to take that love somewhere – it's just the matter of the where which we haven't decided yet.
We've both grown a lot in the last two years together and I think it's safe to say that neither of us would re-do any of it.
Not Orochimaru, not my family, not the fights it caused – nothing.
Neji phrased it right, didn't he?
"We're still us. And that won't change."
He was a guy that drove me insane, then he was my boyfriend who drove me insane, and now he's my lover. That drives me insane.
At first I wasn't sure, but somewhere along the bumpy road we shared, I fell in love and what becomes of that love – only time will tell.
For now, though, I'll do my best to drive him as insane as he's driven me.
… Take that how you will, all you closet perverts out there.
I know you're thinking it.
Um um um OH MY GOD HOLY WHAT CHEESE AND WONDER AND HELL YES I'M FINISHED! -UNCONTROLLABLE DANCING FTW- YEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHH
On a more serious note (haha, I almost wrote 'nose'), I've learned a lot from writing these stories, especially this one, and thank freakin' God it's over! I now know that I:
- shouldn't make promises
- should write up a plan/timeline
- should stick to said plan/timeline
- should think of a plot first
- shouldn't put fanfiction before studying for exams
- shouldn't let it consume my life
- shouldn't try to do too much with a story. Ever.
- should learn to not freak out
- should take better care of my poor, battered stress-worn immune system
- and definitely shouldn't write until the small hours of the morning, get 5 hours of sleep and then fall asleep in class. That's a no-no. Though much more productive when you have a maths teacher like my old one.
Hopefully I'll take these lessons into account and not make the same mistakes again… Hah, sure. Like that's going to happen. I just think the most dissatisfying thing with this story is that I tried to do far too much with it, and got completely carried away. There was too much happening at once and it made it overwhelming and blah. It was fun coming up with stupid things for Itachi to do, and being able to put in requests from you guys – you have no idea how amusing he is to write. There could be more from insane Itachi, who knows? D
Thank you to everyone who reviewed with something constructive to say, and even those who just went "-flails-", cause I do that too XP. Thanks for all your ideas and support and whatnot, especially when I was sick and failing. They are seriously what kept me going. I know every author says that, but now I know how they feel, and it's so true!
Seirai-chan is the most awesome amazing wonderful full-of-ideas hilarious helpful reasonable anti-stress-head ever and I luff her. This story would have totally fallen in a stress-induced DISCONTINUED heap if she hadn't helped me out. –bows deeply- Thank you so much, love!
KL Lover is so insanely brilliant and made of amazing for helping me out with some difficult issues with plot consistency and beta'ing these last few chapters for me. -GIANT CUDDLES-
And guess what?! You know I said I wouldn't write a lemon, right? A full-blown lemon? Well… I lied. Again. I'm good at that. You see, there was this niggly little idea at the back of my head that wouldn't go away, so I wrote it down and it came out like the side-story, which will probably be up soonish and is titled So There Was This Party, Right, because what happened to that rockin' good time that Ino promised us for Sasuke, hm?
To top it all off, giant (and I mean really freakin' huge) thank you's to all who stuck with the story (both of them) and offered advice and general well-wishes. It seems as though I lost a whole bunch of readers - either that or they just stopped reviewing - which I guess is totally understandable because really, this story was a total monster and went for way too long. Hopefully there'll be more from me eventually, but no more multi-chapters! If I do start posting another one then someone please review/message me and send me a virtual smack on the head. Meaning whack. Meaning really enormous thumping.
I have a feeling I'm going to feel very, very lost when I change this story's status to 'complete'...
Until next time,