Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto

I needed a break from my other stories, so I came up with this little oneshot

Please enjoy


Sasuke looked around the surrounding walls with a bored expression. He didn't know why he bothered with the thought that anything would be different. It would never be. It would always be the same.

The walls were plain and white. That was what nagged Sasuke the worst about this place. They could have at least been a bit more creative with their color palette. He swore to himself that if he ever got himself out of this place, he would repaint every single goddamn wall.

Because white walls reminded him of hospitals. And hospitals reminded him of what he was. What he had.

Although it was fair to say that was exactly where he was now. They could mask the name all they wanted, but clinic definitely meant the same thing as hospital in Sasuke's mind.

It's so stupid, he thought in his head. They don't have to try and make this place sound better than it is. In fact, this place is a dump. All they do is house sick patients who are doomed for eternity to never recover.

Konoha's Facilitation Clinic.

His home for the past five years…

And his home for the rest of his life.


Recreation time was such a joke. At least in Sasuke's opinion. Most of the nurses thought the patients were much too fragile to do anything physical. So while there were basketballs and tennis rackets, and though the whole room was huge and big enough to run a few laps in, no one ever did. All they would get was a warning that they were straining themselves and were forced to drop whatever they were doing.

It was too damn bad that it took up a scheduled two hours of his day.

Most patients didn't mind rec time. It gave them time to socialize with their friends and talk about the day's events. But Sasuke didn't have any friends. He had had a few offers, mostly females who were attracted to his handsome looks, but all it took was a hard glare from him to have them scattering.

He was pretty sure he was simply born to be antisocial.

The real reason for not wanting to make friends was because there was a good enough chance that he could die tomorrow and not be able to say goodbye to someone he cared about. There, he concluded, was a good enough reason.

It was never good to get too attached to someone.

So, he had turned his attention back to sitting and staring. He wondered what day it was in the outside world. Since he had been here, he had sort of lost track of time, in a sense. Time didn't matter, it wasn't important, so why bother trying to keep up.

His memories slipped further. He wondered how his parents were. He even wondered about Itachi. Sure, they still visited him on occasion. But Sasuke tended to like it better when they didn't. The only thing meeting with his parents and brother did was force awkward tension. Sasuke hated that.

His family had been picture perfect from the very beginning. They were extremely wealthy, due to the fact his father owned a huge chain company. His mother was a beautiful woman and a model wife. And his brother had been a genius.

He had never been all that close to his brother. Perhaps it was the fact that everyone expected him to be just like Itachi. They expected him to get top grades, get into a prestigious collage, and work a dream job.

Sasuke supposed that had been his goal in the beginning, more for himself than for everyone else. He had worked hard. He had done everything he could to assure himself a good life. And then…

Everything had come crashing down on him.

He still remembered his mother's face when she heard the news, her eyes full of tears. His father's face hardening, not wanting to believe there was something wrong with his son. And it was the first time he had ever seen some sort of emotion through Itachi's eyes.

There had to be a cure.

Something, anything that could save him…

But there hadn't been.

And that was how he had ended up here.

In this hell hole.

All that time trying to be on the top, he laughed bitterly to himself, what a waste.

Sasuke was quite glad when the bell rang, signifying the end of rec time.


All he needed to do was get through another half hour before he could go down to the cafeteria for dinner, bring his food upstairs to his room, and hole himself in for the night.

Time for his daily check-up.

Without even bothering to knock, he pushed the door open to reveal the blonde doctor all ready and waiting for him. She gave him a smile, one that he did not return in the slightest. Not that she had expected him to.

Stripping off his shirt, he sat down and waited. The first thing she did was take his blood pressure. He watched, silently, as she wrapped the black strap around his bicep.

"So, Sasuke, how was your day?" It was the same question she asked him every day.

"Fine," was the curt reply.

After she was finished with that, she put the stethoscope to his heart and moved it along his chest, listening to the beats.

"Take a deep breath," she commanded.

Sasuke obeyed, inhaling deeply. The faster he could get this over with, the better.

She conducted another few series of tests and made a few marks on her notebook, before telling him that he was fine for the day, and that he was free to go. Sasuke reached for his shirt and began to put it back on. He had it almost through his head before the door burst open.

"Dr. Tsunade! You said you wanted to see me? Oh—er, sorry. I should have knocked."

Sasuke realized the comment was directed at the fact he was shirtless, and he quickly finished dressing, feeling somewhat exposed. Standing before him was a very attractive man. He had messy blonde spikes and tanned skin that seemed flawless, except for three whisker-like marks on each cheek.

Sasuke had never seen him before, and he thought he could possibly be another doctor. Until he noticed the wrist tag. No…was it possible?

The man before him didn't look sick at all.

In fact, he seemed to have a glow around him, almost like a warm, inviting aura. Their eyes connected for a split second, and Sasuke was pretty sure that they were the bluest he had ever seen before. The blonde put a hand behind his head sheepishly and smiled, showing off perfectly white teeth.

Something about that smile made Sasuke's breath hitch.

"It's fine, Naruto," Tsunade commented, while putting her clipboard aside. For a moment, Sasuke had practically forgotten she was even in there. She turned her attention to him. "Goodbye Sasuke, see you tomorrow."

He made his way to the door but before he could open it, a hand grabbed his wrist. Dark eyes clashed once again with those impossibly blue ones.

"Hey," the blonde's tone was gentle and soft, "sorry about just now. I really should have knocked." Sasuke hadn't thought it was a very big deal. Why did he simply insist on apologizing?

"It's fine," he replied. He was a bit surprised with how harsh his voice sounded compared to the other's.

"I'm Naruto Uzumaki," a hand reached out to shake his.

Now, Sasuke was antisocial, yes, but he wasn't rude. He reached out to shake the hand awaiting his until he caught side of the wrist tag again. Something inside him seemed to freeze. His hand dropped.

"Sasuke Uchiha," he said before leaving.


I promise I can be anyone, I can be anything

I can be anyone, anything

I promise I can be what you need


He walked slowly on his way to the cafeteria. His head still couldn't wrap around the idea that someone like Naruto could be a patient here. It just seemed so…weird. He just didn't seem like someone who deserved to be there.

Whoa, where did that come from?

Sasuke shook his head. He was thinking too much. The blonde was none of his business. What condition he had was entirely his own business.

Still…

He couldn't help but wonder if they would ever meet again.

By the time he had reached the cafeteria, there was already a somewhat long line. Taking a tray, he waited patiently for his turn. As the line progressed, Sasuke chose some salad, a small bowl of pasta, and an apple for his dinner that night.

He had never really liked the food here.

When he finally made his way out of the serving line, he was surprised to see none other than Naruto walking into the cafeteria, hands in his pockets, and whistling a tune. Sasuke averted his gaze and hoped he wouldn't be recognized, but apparently his stare had lingered a few seconds too long.

"Hey Sasuke!"

Great.

Sasuke turned to see the blonde walking toward him, smile once again plastered on his face. God that smile…something about it just seemed so…genuine. He had never seen anyone smile like that before; not in a place like this.

"What is it?" he asked, keeping his voice void of any emotion.

"Well," the blonde responded, "it's my first day here and I was wondering if you wanted to eat dinner with me. I mean, I don't really want to eat by myself and look like a complete loser." He grinned.

Sasuke stared at him blankly. You're kidding me right? He had barely even spent thirty seconds with the other boy and already he was asking him to eat with him? What was with him?

"Sorry, I'm eating my room." Alone, he wanted to add, but didn't think it was necessary.

The blonde scratched his head thoughtfully. "Oh…well, you want some company?"

"No," came the short reply.

Naruto looked at the serving line. "Man, it's gonna take forever for me to get food…hey, hey, you think they have any ramen here?" He asked hopefully.

Sasuke felt like slamming his head against the wall repeatedly. He was trying his damn hardest to sound not interested, yet the blonde still continued to talk to him. Any other person would more than likely have given up by now.

"No. They don't have ramen," he ground out.

Naruto looked absolutely crestfallen. It was the first time Sasuke had seen him with an expression other than happiness. Over fucking ramen of all things.

"Hey…I know it's not really my place to say, but it looks like you don't eat too much," the blonde's tone was once again soft and gentle, just like it had been in Tsunade's office. "You should eat a little more. Your skin is so pale."

If it had been any other person, Sasuke simply would have said 'fuck off' because any other person would have just made that statement sound condescending. But the way Naruto had said it made him sound caring, not forcing him to listen to what was best for him.

"No thanks, I'm good." Sasuke needed to leave, fast. He almost sighed out loud in irritation. "Look, I really have to get going. I'm sure you won't look like a loser eating by yourself." Sasuke really hoped that didn't sound snotty, though he was sure it did.

Turning on his heel, he began to walk to the exit of the cafeteria. He didn't know what inclined him to do so, but when he reached the door, he paused and looked back. Naruto was standing in the serving line now. And what made Sasuke's stomach turn was the fact that he was chatting with a group of people. It appeared that Naruto had said something funny, because the whole group chuckled. One girl had already latched herself on to his arm.

Watching that left Sasuke with a bitter taste in his mouth.

Of course you wouldn't look like a loser eating by yourself. You would never be by yourself. People…people want to be around you.

Naruto Uzumaki…

He was everything that Sasuke could never be.


And it's true I can't go on without you

Your smile makes me see clear

If you could only see in the mirror what I see


Sasuke flipped through the last few chapters of his book. He still had at least a hundred pages left. Normally, he could finish a book in one sitting, but tonight, his mind just hadn't been into it.

No, it had been focused on something entirely different instead.

Or someone entirely different.

Shaking his head lightly, he book-marked the page lay on his bed, reading to turn in for the night, when he heard a quiet knock at his door.

Sasuke sat upright. Who would be bothering him this late at night? He rarely had visitors during the day.

"Who is it?" he called out cautiously.

"It's me, Naruto…sorry, I didn't wake you did I?" The response was muffled by the door, but Sasuke heard it and was bewildered beyond belief.

Naruto again?

"I can leave and come back some other time if you want. Earlier if that's better." Sasuke shook his head, though he knew Naruto couldn't see him. He swiftly got to his feet and unlocked his door.

If Sasuke had found attractive during the day, it was pretty safe to say the blonde looked even better at night. With the moonlight that bathed his hair and skin, he looked almost serene and angelic.

"Here," Naruto handed him a large, wrapped napkin. Sasuke unwrapped the parcel in his hand and his eyes widened with what he saw. Inside were two bread rolls and a stack of soda crackers. He turned from staring at the food back to Naruto, who was smiling, yet again.

"I know it's not much, but all during dinner I was worried about you. I kept thinking about how little you were eating. So I just thought I'd bring you some more, you know, in case you got hungry a little later."

I was worried about you. I was worried about you. I was worried about you, Sasuke couldn't help but let those words play over and over in his head. He couldn't help but feel something warm flutter inside of him.

Naruto had been worried about him.

Naruto had brought him food.

God, Sasuke couldn't even remember the last time his own parents had said they were worried about him. And then along came this blonde stranger, who knew nothing about him, showing Sasuke that he truly was cared about.

He smiled.

He couldn't help it.

After seventeen years of being lonely and cold, he was sharing his smile with someone he had spent less than five minutes with.

Naruto's eyes perked up. "Aha! I finally got you to crack a smile! And here I was beginning to lose a little faith…"

With that, Sasuke's smile couldn't help but widen. Even if it was just a little bit.

"Would you like to come in?" Sasuke asked. He really hoped Naruto would take his offer.

"Sure, that sounds great." The blonde responded openly before moving inside while Sasuke closed the door behind him.

"Wow," Naruto's eyes gazed around the room, "your place is a hell of a lot neater than mine." He threw himself onto the bed. At that point, Sasuke thought he looked so much like a little kid.

"So, how long have you been here?" Sasuke went to join Naruto on the bed.

"Five years."

Naruto cocked his head to the side. "That's quite a long time."

Sasuke shrugged. "I guess."

They both sat in silence as several minutes passed by. Sasuke reached for a roll and took a bite. It tasted pretty good. Sasuke hadn't realized how hungry he truly was. Before long, he had devoured the whole thing.

"Glad to see you're eating," Naruto commented while Sasuke reached for the second roll. "Is there any reason in particular you don't eat that much? You're not on a diet or anything are you?" He teased.

Sasuke chuckled lightly. "No, it's not that. Ever since I was little, I've just had trouble keeping food down. My stomach for some reason just can't handle it. It's not that big a deal now though."

"Is that why you're here?"

Sasuke's eyes clouded. "No."

"Then why are you—"

"I don't want to talk about it," Sasuke spoke loudly. He hated having to remember why he was in here in the first place. He wrapped his arms around his legs and drew them in close, resting his head on his knees.

Before he knew it, he felt himself being pulled into strong, warm arms. He looked up at Naruto in surprise and confusion.

"God, I'm so sorry. I'm such an insensitive asshole. I shouldn't have pried like that." Naruto tipped Sasuke's chin up with his hand. "Forgive me?"

Sasuke nodded mutely. "It's ok," he whispered. At such a close proximity, he and Naruto were practically breathing the same air. Sasuke let his eyes roam over that boldly handsome face, until they finally rested on soft, pink lips.

He wanted so badly to kiss them.

Unknowingly, he began to lean in, closer and closer…

And then those lips covered his own as Naruto had closed the distance between them. Sasuke let his tongue slip out and was surprised at how the blonde yielded to him, allowing him to explore his mouth. Naruto let out a quiet moan as Sasuke pulled out and sucked on his bottom lip before finally pulling back.

Both boys had a tinge of pink on their cheeks, Sasuke's being more evident on his fairer skin. Without even hesitating, Sasuke leaned down to rest his head on Naruto's chest, listening to his heartbeat.

The two lay like that for a while, both breathing deeply, trying to process what happened. Sasuke was in shock. He had just let his guard down, something so rare, so easily.

What is it about you, Naruto?

"I should go," Naruto finally spoke. Sasuke silently agreed. Although he didn't want the blonde to go, it was already too late and Naruto would get into a lot of trouble if he were caught on his way back.

Naruto unwrapped himself from Sasuke's embrace and kissed him once more, gently on the forehead, before walking to the door. When he turned around for one last time, his eyes sparkled.

"Sasuke…you really have a beautiful smile. You should smile more often."

And with that, he was gone.

Sasuke flopped backwards onto his bed. Slowly, he brought a hand up and traced his lips with his fingertips.

Only for you Naruto.


Tell me, tell me

What makes you think that you are invincible?

I can see it in your eyes that you're so sure

Please don't tell me that I'm the only one that's vulnerable


Weeks passed by and Sasuke found himself growing more and more attached to the blonde. Although their schedules differed, they would sometimes pass each other going from one room to the next, where they would usually sneak in a kiss or two.

And they always ate together. While they ate, they would talk. Sasuke learned that Naruto had a weird obsession with the color orange and ramen, and Naruto learned of Sasuke's past and family.

The only thing the two never talked of was what was wrong with them. Sasuke clearly didn't want to remember, and since he didn't feel like sharing, he didn't feel as though it was right to question Naruto.

One night, Sasuke stood outside the door waiting for Naruto to show up. He arrived around two minutes later…chatting with someone. It was the same girl who Sasuke had seen latch herself onto the blonde's arm the first night he was here.

"…we should hang out sometime, Naruto!"

Naruto chuckled. "Of course, Karin. How about tomorrow?"

"Ok!"

They both stopped short of the entrance, where Sasuke was silently fuming. How dare she!

"How about you go save us a spot in line, Karin. I'll be there soon." The girl happily nodded before taking off. Naruto then turned to Sasuke and wrapped his arms around him. He frowned slightly when Sasuke didn't return the gesture.

"What's wrong?" He asked.

"That's what's wrong," he pointed angrily to the back of the girl who had just walked away. "I don't like her," he said stiffly.

"Karin? She seems like a nice—"

"No. She's not."

"Aw, come on Sasuke, just give her a chance. I'm sure—"

"Naruto!"

The blonde blinked at him, clearly oblivious to what he was getting at.

"I just don't like how she looks at you…I mean isn't it clear she likes you?"

The bulb seemed to go off in Naruto's head.

And just like that, he burst out laughing.

That only seemed to make Sasuke's anger mount. He folded his arms across his chest. "Stop laughing! How is that funny? You know it's true!"

Naruto wrapped his arms tighter around the body he was holding. "I'm sorry, it's just…do you hear how you sound right now? Just like an overly-jealous, overly-possesive boyfriend."

Sasuke pondered those words. Oh god, I do. He blanched.

"But if it really bothers you that much, I won't hang out with her tomorrow," said Naruto apologetically.

Sasuke sighed in defeat. "No. It's fine. I guess I just got a little carried away. You're free to hang out with whoever you want."

All the anger Sasuke had been harboring immediately vanished as Naruto nuzzled his neck affectionately.

"Eat fast, ok? There's somewhere I want to take you."

Sasuke nodded and let himself be dragged inside by Naruto. After both finishing dinner in record time, he allowed himself to be dragged back out. Naruto continued to drag him, until they reached one of the back doors.

"Naruto, where are you taking me?" Sasuke asked as the blonde pushed the door open and cool air brushed across Sasuke's face.

Sasuke couldn't even remember the last time he had been outside. It was technically "forbidden," although he wasn't surprised that didn't stop Naruto. The blonde had told him he had always been a rule breaker.

They walked for a couple of minutes before coming to a stop in a small clearing, next to a glistening pond. The area was surrounded by large shrubs, so it was practically invisible to someone passing by.

"I found this place a couple days ago. Pretty neat, huh?" said Naruto as he plopped himself down on the grass, taking Sasuke along with him.

Sasuke had never really been a fan of nature, but there was an air of peace around the area they were in. He relaxed in Naruto's arms.

There was a comfortable silence, both just enjoying the other's company.

"Naruto?"

"Mm?"

"How do you do it?" Sasuke asked softly.

"Do what exactly?"

Sasuke stroked a tan arm aimlessly. "Be happy…all the time."

Naruto ruffled the dark locks beneath him. "I don't know, I guess it's just who I am."

"You want to know my first impression of you?" Sasuke continued without waiting for a response. "I just thought of you as some moron with a stupid smile that he used way too much. How could someone even smile that much, being in a place like this? I don't know what you did or how you did it, Naruto, but something about you just drew me in. You were like the light in the dark, dreary hospital. It fascinated me. You just seemed so…genuine. It was something I haven't experienced in so long. Hell, I don't even know if I've ever experienced it."

"I guess all I wanted to say was…you confuse me. You made me fall for you so hard and so fast. It's kind of scary …I just feel so comfortable around you, like I can talk about anything."

"I'm glad that's how you feel, Sasuke," said Naruto warmly.

Sasuke shut his eyes tight. Naruto was such a good person. He could…

He could tell him.

"Naruto."

"Yeah?"

"I have a hole in my heart." It came out much weaker than he had intended.

Before Sasuke could say another word, lips pressed against his own lightly, only for a moment, before pulling away.

"Thank you for telling me, Sasuke." Naruto pet his hair, running his fingers through the ebony locks, as if telling him it was ok, and that he understood. Sasuke was glad Naruto hadn't said "I'm sorry."

He didn't know how long he they stayed like that, but soon, his eyes began to droop closed.

He was tired.

And before he drifted off to sleep, he heard Naruto whisper, "Sometimes it's easier to be happy and pretend everything's ok than to have to face the truth."

Sasuke wasn't sure…but he was pretty sure Naruto was speaking more to himself than him.


"Sasuke," Naruto suddenly asked one day, "if you had the chance to know when you would die, would you take it?"

Sasuke sat upright and looked at the blonde, who was currently sitting across from him. It was rec time and although they didn't share the same time, Naruto had snuck over to see him.

"What kind of stupid question is that?" Though his voice held no malice.

"I don't know," Naruto looked at the ground. "I mean, I was just wondering. I think I would. Because then you would know how much time you had left and you could spend each day doing all the things you wanted to do."

"I wouldn't want to know," Sasuke scoffed. "Then what would you do? Dread the days that count down to the end of your life? It will happen when it happens."

Naruto stared at him. "Hm, maybe you're right."

Sasuke arched an eyebrow at him. "Why are we talking about death anyways?"

Unnoticed by Sasuke, a flicker of pain flashed through Naruto's eyes momentarily. But it was gone as quickly as it had come.

"Never mind. Forget I said anything."


And your slow shaking fingertips show

That you're scared like me, so

Let's pretend we're alone

And I know you may be scared

And I know we're unprepared

But I don't care


It was about a month later. Sasuke and Naruto were in their secret spot again, with Naruto's mouth attached to Sasuke's and a knee being thrusted against his groin.

"Ah, god, Sasuke," Naruto broke away with a moan.

"Naruto," Sasuke's own voice was breathy as well, "do you want to do this?"

When the nod came, Sasuke couldn't help himself. He kissed Naruto with passion, hands roaming down that beautiful body. Naruto was very responsive and moaned loudly when Sasuke moved downwards and bit at the junction between his neck and shoulder.

Clothes came off, carelessly tossed to the side. It was all such a blur Sasuke didn't even know whether that had been him or Naruto. When that bare, tanned chest came into view, he quickly latched himself onto any piece of skin he could find, kissing and licking. He sucked a pink nipple into his mouth, while his fingers toyed with the other. Above him, he could hear Naruto groaning.

Going down further, he trailed kissing all along the other boy's abdomen, wanting more than anything to worship the blonde. This was his thank-you to him for all he had done.

Catching sight of Naruto's erection, Sasuke couldn't help but think the other was truly beautiful. He wrapped a hand around it, gently but firmly, and gave it a few experimental strokes.

"Ah! God—Sasuke!"

Smirking, Sasuke leaned down, his tongue darting out to swipe at the pre-cum at the tip. He took a quick breath before taking the whole head in his mouth, and he slowly worked his mouth around it, taking it in inch by inch.

"Fuck!"

Sasuke used his other hand to tenderly fondle Naruto's sac, drawing another heavy moan from the blonde. Retracting his hand, he brought it close to Naruto's mouth. The other seemed to get the message because the next thing he knew, his fingers were being enveloped into a warm, wet mouth.

Sasuke felt a moan rising through his own throat as each finger was lavished and coated, which in turn caused Naruto to moan as the vibration went straight to his shaft.

When he felt they were sufficiently wet, Sasuke removed them and trailed them downwards, going behind Naruto's balls, until he found the puckered entrance. He circled one digit around—before pushing in.

"Nnn…Sasuke…" Naruto's cheeks were flushed and his hair was damp with sweat. He let out a slight grunt of pain when a second finger was added and the scissoring motion began. Sasuke apologized as best he could by sucking harder on the shaft.

After a third finger had been used, Sasuke slipped his mouth off of Naruto who groaned in disappointment. The blonde spread his legs as wide as he could, offering Sasuke more room to work with. Sasuke kissed an inner thigh gently before lining himself up.

"If it hurts too much, let me know—I'll stop." He didn't want to hurt Naruto, though the only response he received was another grunt and something that sounded suspiciously like "just do it."

Sasuke pushed in slowly and nearly lost himself. The heat and tightness of Naruto, it was almost too much for him to handle. He heard Naruto let out a small cry and nearly stopped, before he felt hips buck against his, a sign for him to continue.

When he was fully sheathed, Sasuke gave the blonde a second to adjust. After Naruto began pushing back, Sasuke began to thrust, slowly at first.

"Ah! Faster!"

Upon hearing those words, Sasuke began a much faster pace, ramming into the body beneath him.

"R-right there! Sasuke! Harder!"

Sasuke realized what he had discovered and began aiming for that spot with every thrust. Naruto's moans grew louder and louder with each passing second. Sasuke reached between them and started fisting the blonde's cock.

"S-Sasuke, I'm c-close," Naruto whispered brokenly. And as his prostate was hit once more dead-on, he began to release, his seed coming out in long spurts between the two bodies.

"Naruto," Sasuke breathed out. He only managed to thrust another two times before he came as well, shooting every thing he had inside the body beneath him.

Exhausted, Sasuke lay his head on Naruto's chest, not caring that there was a mess between them. He didn't pull out just yet. It felt nice being inside Naruto—being one with him.

"That…was pretty amazing," said Naruto before reaching down to push Sasuke's bangs away from his face. He leaned down and they both shared a kiss, this time, one that was light and sweet.

Sasuke gazed into deep, blue eyes. Blue like the ocean.

"Naruto…I love you."

The blonde kissed Sasuke on the temple. "I love you too, Sasuke. I'm glad I met you."

Sasuke smiled before snuggling into the warm chest beneath him. Pretty soon, he was asleep.

Naruto watched the sleeping form. Sasuke looked so peaceful, so at ease. Nothing like when they first met.

He wanted Sasuke to look like that always.

Blue eyes dimmed and pain ran through them.

His gaze shifted to the dark, endless night sky.

"I'm sorry," he whispered as a single tear escaped.


For the next two days, Sasuke had not seen Naruto. He was no noticeable anywhere, he never came down for dinner. Sasuke had even checked the blonde's room, only to receive no response.

Something wasn't right.

Finally, on the third day, he decided that he had had enough. Practically storming down to Tsunade's office, he all but rammed the door down.

"Where is he?"

Tsunade looked a bit shocked at the sudden intrusion, but when she realized who it was at her door, the shock disappeared. She had expected this.

"Sasuke…"

"Tell me where he is! I know you know!" His eyes flashed.

Tsunade's eyes refused to meet his. It was only then that Sasuke's face turned from anger to horror.

"No…no! He's sicker, isn't he? What's wrong with him? Tell me!"

Tsunade looked up. Their eyes met.

"Sasuke…Naruto passed away last night."

Sasuke felt his entire body go cold. Unconsciously, he clenched a hand to his heart.

Naruto passed away.

No. No. No.

"That's impossible," he stated bluntly.

Tsunade lowered her gaze again. "I wish it wasn't true myself. He was always such a happy boy. He didn't deserve death."

"He's not dead," Sasuke whispered out loud, but the words weren't convincing, not even to him.

Naruto. His Naruto.

Gone.

"Oh…god. No…" Sasuke cradled his head in his hands, wanting to scream, lash out, do anything. But he couldn't. He seemed immobile, frozen to the spot. Tears threatened to prickle out his eyes. Three days ago Naruto had been right there, laughing, smiling, kissing him. And now…

Naruto had left him without even a goodbye.

He was so wrapped up in his own thoughts that he didn't see or hear Tsunade come close to him. She handed him a folded piece of paper.

"Naruto wanted me to give this to you…he wrote it just before he passed. I'll leave you alone." She left silently, closing the door behind her.

Sasuke stared at the paper for a moment. Then, he unfolded it and began to read.

Sasuke

I have a disease. I've been living with it all my life. It's kind of amazing I've managed to even get this far. This might sound stupid, but it's so rare that they don't even have a name for it yet. All I know is that it affects my brain and that pretty soon, my body will shut down.

I didn't tell you about it before because you didn't ask. And then, when we started to get closer, I realized I didn't want to tell you. Why should I burden you like that? I didn't come to the clinic earlier because I didn't want to be trapped here, within these walls. That wasn't the way I wanted to live. It was only when they thought it might be too dangerous for me that they put me here.

Remember that time when I asked you that if you had the chance to know when you would die, would you take it? Well, honestly, at that point, I knew how long I had left. The first day when I barged in on you in Tsunade's office, after you left, that was what she had to tell me. I was going to die today.

And I was ok with that. I mean, I figured that if I was supposed to die anyways, sooner or later didn't matter. And then I met you. And you changed everything.

You told me once that you were drawn to me somehow. Well, I was drawn to you too. I don't know what it was, but when I saw you for the first time that day, it just looked like you needed someone to care for you. And I took that job upon myself.

As the days to my death approached, I felt myself get more and more antsy. It really made me hurt inside knowing that I would have to leave you behind. You showed me something, Sasuke.

I didn't want to die.

I was selfish, god, so selfish. I knew how hard it was to create bonds with someone in this place. But I couldn't help myself. Like I said, I was somehow drawn to you. I wanted you to be mine.

That night, a few days ago, after we made love, I tried to tell you I only had a few days left. I really tried to. But then I saw the look on your face when you told me you loved me. I couldn't bare to see you hurt after you looked so happy. I wanted to spare you from the pain that night, even though I know you're hurting right now, reading this.

I really wish there could have been another way. I wish it didn't have to end like this. But...it had to happen like this.

So this is my goodbye to you. I'm an asshole for not doing it in person, I know, but, again, I couldn't stand to see your pain. I didn't want you to see someone you love perish in front of your eyes. I couldn't handle that. I wasn't strong enough. You were always the stronger one.

Please don't cry for me Sasuke. My last wish is for you to be as happy as you possibly can be, even without me by your side. Please make my wish come true.

I have no regrets about meeting you or loving you. I hope you don't regret me as well.

You'll be in my heart forever. I know we'll meet again.

Love always,

Naruto

Sasuke exhaled, shakily. He folded the letter carefully and placed it in his pocket. He thought back, remembering Naruto's question. It all seemed so long ago.

If you had the chance to know when you would die, would you take it?

Sasuke had answered no that day. But, as he sat alone in Tsunade's office, wasting the hours away, he wished more than anything that he could take it back.


It had been about six months since Naruto's death. Sasuke was recovering slowly, but making progress. He had thought about what Naruto had wanted.

His happiness.

Naruto may have been selfish, but Sasuke understood that his selfishness was rooted within deep caring.

It was all ok. He would be ok.

There was a loud knock at his door. When he opened it, he was surprised to see a nurse standing there with several large buckets of what looked like…

Paint?

"It's a new theory we're testing out. We want to see if allowing our patients to paint their walls will stimulate the creative side of their mind. And it may relieve stress as well. Plus, Dr. Tsunade said this place was in dire need of some color."

She thrust a few swatches underneath his nose. "Now pick a color."

Now, Sasuke was usually a lover of black. Or any other dark color for that matter. Bright colors like yellow and purple made his head hurt. But, this time, his hand moved swiftly over the black. He thanked the nurse and closed the door after she left.

A year ago, if he had had this opportunity, he would've gone crazy by now. He probably would've open the can and splattered huge streaks all over the wall in pure bliss. However, all he simply did was set the bucket on his desk where he stared at it momentarily.

Finally, he cracked it open.

The smell of it contrasted sharply with the stale air of the room.

He dipped a single finger in it and glanced at the stark, white wall, waiting to be used. He drew a single line. Then, he dipped his finger back in the paint and repeated the process. He continued until, at last, he stood back, satisfied with his work.

There, in orange letters, were three words.

I miss you.


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