Summary: I hate him. I absolutely HATE him. He's a cold bastard who treats me like I'm less than nothing. I have to put up with him nearly 24 hours a day. The only thing keeping me going these days is the anonymous love letters I keep getting… SasuNaru.
Disclaimer: Naruto and related characters are copyright to Masashi Kishimoto. I am in no way affiliated with said mangaka and this fiction is purely fan-created. Et cetera, et cetera.
Contains: shounen-ai and explicit sex scenes. Also other suggestive themes, swearing, and violence.
So… hi! Welcome to Two Face. I'm writing this at the point where this story is complete, so let me point out a few things.
- First and foremost, FF dot net updated their formatting rules while this fanfiction was ongoing, thereby destroying the custom separators I had between my author's notes and the chapter body. In addition they got rid of my separators between scenes, so the fic doesn't read the way I intended. I'm working to fix this. In the meantime, apologies for having my author's notes running into the chapters themselves.
- As I do this, I'm also going through each chapter and tweaking the wording a little. If you find errors of any sort please let me know where and what – I'd rather be able to fix them than have everyone just tell me they exist.
- By virtue of having been written over two and a half years, TF is rather inconsistent in its style and quality. I can't do much to change the flaws in its plot and any loopholes, but I'm making minor changes where I can. To be perfectly honest I really dislike some of the stuff that happens at the beginning. Whether or not you agree with me is up to you.
So, without further ado, enjoy!
"I'm sorry, Naruto-kun, but I can't do that."
"There are no other dorms available, and we don't want to inconvenience anyone by making them move out."
"What if I find someone who's willing?"
"That doesn't matter. You can't switch. Besides, as someone who knows you personally, I think it's best if you remain with who you're with right now."
"Why?" I can feel my temper rising. I grit my teeth and try to beat it back. "I don't see anything positive coming out of keeping things like this."
"It'll be good for you to get to know other people," Tsunade no baa-chan says in what seems to be a patient voice – it's hard to tell because I'm angry at her. "Why are you so insistent on moving?"
Because he's a fucking bastard who doesn't know how to mind his own business. But obviously I can't say that to the principal. I try to shift the words in my mind, make them more presentable. Because I hate him? No, better not make it sound too personal. Because… he bothers me. Ugh, no. I'm not a weak tattletale. Thing is, the only reason I want to move is because of him in relation to me.
Tsunade no baa-chan takes my silence as a sign that I don't know. Geez, I thought I was easy to read. I mean, look at me. I rocket around all day grinning or laughing or yelling or pouting. Is it hard to know what I'm thinking? Tsunade no baa-chan is probably just taking it as an excuse. She says, "Well, that's settled, then. Unless you have another issue you'd like to take up with me, I'm sure you have homework, or want to catch up with your friends…"
"R…right." I clench my fists, willing myself not to burst out. I turn on my heel, stride to the door, wrench it open, step through it, and slam it shut. Damn. That was probably a bad move. But whatever, a door slam hardly amounts to a shouting match.
The guys are waiting across the hall, on the benches. They don't see me until I'm five feet away. You'd think that with my bright hair I'd be impossible to miss. I can kinda understand Kiba being out of it, because he's in my history class, and our teacher has a knack for making us space out and stay like that even after the class – which can suck, since we sometimes have history last. Shikamaru is excused too, because he's always like that. But I'd at least expect Neji or Gaara or even Sai to be a bit more attentive.
So when they finally notice me, Sai says, "Oh, there you are, Naruto-kun. I didn't notice you'd finished. So how was it?"
I shake my head. "Nothing doing."
"Isn't it too troublesome to be doing all this?" Shikamaru asks in his usual drawl. "It can't be thatbad, can it?"
They all get up and we make our way towards the exit. "You have no idea, Shikamaru," I say darkly. "He is that bad."
"He seems okay," says Gaara. "I've never heard him swear or insult anyone, or anything like that."
"That's just the problem!" I retort. "He only ever puts me down when there's no one around to hear or see him. He gets to keep up his godly reputation and still make me feel like dirt."
"Have you tried talking to him?" suggests Neji. Damn Neji. He's always being smart, logical, sensible. It's aggravating.
"D'you honestly think I'd try talking to someone when experience has taught me that the only thing I'm going to get out of a conversation with him is misery?" I'm not going to admit that the only conversations I've ever had with the bastard were started by him, and only really consisted of insults.
"Well we all know Naruto's not particularly bright—"
"You're one to talk, Kiba," I shoot at him. He grunts and looks away defiantly.
"Seriously, though," he says – avoiding the personal jab no doubt – "Neji's right. Give it a chance."
"Since when have you been one to preach?" I snap. They're supposed to support my side, not his. Some friends.
"I'm not preaching. I'm just sayin', if you can get along with him then at least you won't have to put up with his attitude or whatever after that."
I snort, but I can tell they're not going to give it up. "Fine, I'll try talking to him," I say, rolling my eyes at the words. "Don't expect anything good to come out of it, though."
We head outside, where the weather is just how I like it – a blue sky with enough clouds to entertain, a moderate sun warming my skin, and a light breeze to cool me off should it get too hot. Our usual after-school walk takes us along what we call the long path – Gaara mapped out the longest possible route without actually walking over every inch of the grounds. He said he did it one day when he was bored. The path goes along the farthest reaches of the grounds, and Gaara chose some connecting paths to follow just to lengthen the walk and make it a little more interesting.
Konoha High was built in an interesting place. It's right on the edge of the village, and a dead vertical cliff marks one of the school's boundaries. No, actually, forget vertical – it's so steep it goes past vertical and the top of the cliff is farther out than the bottom. But the weirdest thing about KH's placement is that they built it so that the river cuts through the grounds. It's narrow and shallow where we are, and bridges arch over it here and there. The long path takes us over a few of these bridges.
Classes having finished a while ago, a lot of students are already out. It's a nice day, and sitting at a desk for hours can really get to you. We stroll along at a leisurely pace, chatting about our classes, strange events, things we've heard. None of us is really interested in rumours, but we all agreed that there are definite advantages to being informed. Now Sai's telling us what Ino and Sakura were passing notes about in English class.
"And it's odd, because there was absolutely no mention of—" He stops short. I don't miss the fleeting glimpse he catches of me before continuing. "Well, you know."
"Maybe they've finally moved on," Kiba says, sounding exasperated. "God knows he isn't about to hook up within the next twenty years, and he's making it hard for the rest of us to get girls."
"Well, who knows? Maybe he's gay." The others laugh at Sai's remark. Sai's never really been into girls. Not surprising, considering what he wears most of the time.
"You gonna take a shot at him?" Kiba asks, grinning.
Shikamaru glances over, and I stare right back, trying to make it as evident as possible that I'm not amused. He sighs, then coughs and says, "I think for Naruto's sake that's not the best of ideas. Anyone up for a milkshake?"
I'm not entirely sure why, but there's a food stand in our school grounds. It moves around a lot, so you never really know where it's going to be, but Teuchi's Treats is still an awesome place. And they sell ramen. I mean, come on! Mobile ramen? Have you ever heard of anything cooler?
Anyway, there's TT (as we call it for short) right ahead of us, so we go over and get ourselves some after-school snacks. Okay, so ramen isn't really a snack food, but I'm of the belief that anything can be eaten at any time if you like it. We grab our grub and continue.
I've gotta say, this day has been pretty good. I woke up alone in the dorm this morning, aced the English test, and managed to pin the blame for talking on someone else in history. The weather's great, TT was right in our path, and everything is going just—
A foot flies up out of nowhere right in front of my ankles. I lose my balance, as well as my grip on the Styrofoam bowl of ramen, and pitch forward. Luckily we're on a dirt path, or I would have gotten pretty beat up. As it is, I can't avoid scrapes and bruises.
That voice… My temper shooting up like a geyser – or, no, let's say a volcano – I sit up and turn to face the culprit. Uchiha Sasuke glances down at me, unfaltering, unforgiving. Sorry? Sorry my ass. He wouldn't be sorry if he killed me. I scramble to my feet, glaring right back at him. We do this a lot – our staring contests are nothing short of common. His eyes are always the same: dark, cold, with a strange look I can't quite decipher, probably because it seems like the kind of emotion that requires heated passion, and that's just not a part of his system. He could be frozen in ice and it wouldn't change a thing.
"What the hell was that for?" I snap.
"My bad, I didn't see you there."
"Teme! What do you do, walk around with your eyes shut? There's no way you could have missed me! I wear orange, for god's sake!" What is it with people not noticing me? Honestly, it pisses me off…
He looks at my clothing as though I'm nothing special, just another brick in the wall. "That's not exactly something to be proud of, dobe."
I grab him by the front of his shirt, the shouts of my friends telling me to stop ringing senselessly in my ears. Even as I pull him in and lift him off his feet with a single hand, he looks down at me, totally unfazed. Could have been a pleasant chat across the table…
"Do you find enjoyment in ruining every moment of my life?" Even he can't mistake the venom in my deadly quiet voice. "Is your life goal to put me in as much misery as you can?"
"Hn." He bows his head down and the shadow of his bangs falls over his eyes. Kiba grabs my shoulder and Shikamaru pries my fingers open. I let them, and Sasuke dusts off his shirt carelessly. He continues on his path, and as he passes me he says, so quietly no one else can hear: "Don't think you can even begin to understand my motives, dobe." I turn angrily and watch his retreating back, wishing I could throw daggers with my eyes.
"Come on, Naruto." Kiba's trying to turn me around so we can keep going. I let out a long breath, then stalk off, continuing on the long path.
Everyone is silent for the rest of the walk. I know it's my fault; I don't miss the glances they're all shooting at each other, and at me. But hell if I care. My day was going so well and I was so glad not to have to deal with a certain bastard until, at the very least, much later tonight. But he just had to be there, didn't he? I let out a roar and kick a huge rock. All I get for my trouble is a rock ten feet away and a throbbing set of toes. I stick my fingers in my hair and squeeze my eyes shut tight.
"I'm… gonna go to supper." I leave before they can say a word, cutting across the grass straight towards the school. The silence was getting awkward, and I hate making others feel bad just 'cause I'm in a bad mood. Let them finish walking in peace.
Halfway to the food court I decide I don't feel hungry. I consider a moment, then head for the dorm. With any luck it'll be empty.
I was never a lucky kind of person anyway.
The door is slightly open when I get to it, and upon seeing this I have half a mind to just leave again. There's a ton of places I could go to pass the time. But now that I've thought of this, I know I won't be able to forget about it, and I'll be all anxious until I get back. So I go inside.
"Back already, usuratonkachi?"
He's sitting at his desk reading a book as though he's been there for hours. But it hasn't been that long since the incident in the grounds, so he can't have been here more than a few minutes. I firmly ignore him, striding over to my desk, dumping my school bag, and grabbing the little key in one of the drawers.
"Taking your fan mail for a walk again?" he asks as I go back to the door, where little mailboxes are fastened (the slots are on the outside of the door). "Going to some secluded place to read it, I suppose, so you can secretly kiss it or—"
I slam the door, envelope in hand, and leave as fast as I can. What the hell? I swear that's the saddest diss I've ever heard. Not that it pisses me off any less. Sasuke gets loads of fan mail all the time – girls asking him out, girls telling him how hot he is, girls writing poems about their love – and he never reads any of it. It goes straight into the shredder. I, on the other hand, have a single secret admirer. I've kept every letter she sends me. Which adds up to a lot, because I get one every day. It started pretty recently – a few weeks, maybe a month ago – and she hasn't missed a day yet.
Sasuke would never understand. He's the all-famous ice prince, and why should he care who likes who? But for someone like me… I haven't really had people care about me until I came to this school. Iruka-sensei was the first to acknowledge me, and since then I've made some good friends. But most people still glare at me, and I can see the hate and fear in their eyes.
But let's not think about that. There is one girl who doesn't hate me. And no way am I gonna read the words from her heart in the same room as a prick whose heart was carved from a glacier in the Arctic.
There's a tree I like in the grounds. It's pretty far back, and out where most don't bother walking. It's not a particularly amazing tree, or I'm sure there would be more people. But it's just the right shape and size for me to climb and sit in. I get there, and clamber up to my favourite branch. And with my back against the trunk, I open the envelope and take out the letter. The paper is always folded exactly in three, and has a small sticker of a sun on the back. I unfold it carefully. The handwriting is smallish, neat, and flowy, the ends of letters flourishing just so and the capitals always more special than the small letters. After taking a few moments just to look at the beautiful cursive, I start to read.
How are you? Well, you can't really answer that, so I'll just say I hope you're well. I run out of things to say in a one-sided conversation, so I hope you'll forgive me for talking about myself a little.
My life is pretty good. School is no problem. The teachers all like me and my grades are fine. I've been getting a lot of letters. I always wish one of them was yours, but then I remind myself you don't know who I am. I wish I could tell you, but… for my own reasons, I just can't.
I wondered the other day if you might be tired of my letters, because I send them every single day. But then I saw you reading one (I saw the sticker on the back) so I felt much better. I'm very glad you read these. It makes me happy to know you care. Even I sometimes don't read the letters I get… But you read them, so I feel appreciated.
I really love you, Naruto. I can't describe the feeling in my heart to know you read these… I see you sometimes around the school or the grounds, and you always seem really happy. That makes me happy too.
But I've also seen you suffer. I've seen the looks people give you, heard the things they say. They say you're a monster. I know the story, and I don't want to believe it… but it's true, isn't it? When you suffer, I suffer. It hurts me to see you like that, Naruto. But I don't think you're a monster. It's not like you actually are the nine-tailed fox. You're keeping it safe, keeping us safe. And for that I think you should be a hero.
Also, I'm sorry. I know it doesn't really make sense to you right now, and I can't tell you why, but I really am sorry… Perhaps one day I can make it up to you. I'll love you forever, whether you know it or not.
I'll love you forever.
I stare a while at the last line. How long I've lived without words like that… How much I always wanted someone to say them to me when I was younger. But I had no one. And now that someone's said them to me, I desperately want to meet them, to hear these words out loud. To know the person who loves me, so I could love them back. I've realized – and it wasn't until I started getting these letters that I did so – that it isn't enough just to be loved. I'm not the kind of person who can just sit and take affection from others. I have to give it back. But I can't, not to an anonymous writer. I close my eyes, press the letter to my chest, and silently thank whoever loves me.