So it took me a while... I apologize but I've been busy and I have a life... or so I claim haha. But here she is, the next installment! The red curtains part and you are finally able to see who Naruto's unexpected visitor is... as if you didn't already know!

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or "Stay" by Sugarland

Chapter Eleven:

"Sas..." Naruto's heart had jumped into his throat. The beating of it caused everything to seize up and nothing else could be voiced from his mouth.

"You were expecting someone?" Sasuke interjected sharply. His voice and expression clearly expressed rage.

Naruto could only stare at the raven with eyes wide with shock and confusion. He didn't know why he felt guilty as he faced the familiar visage, but he did. It shook his countenance and he was forced to avert his eyes.

Sasuke scowled. The look on Naruto's face was apparently all the explanation he needed.

"I'm surprised that you could get over me so quickly and jump on someone else." His voice was deep and aggressive, but Naruto was able to hear the jealousy within it.


Sasuke narrowed his eyes dangerously, locking with Naruto's the moment he glanced up from the particular spot on the floor.

Naruto was instantly silenced by such a fierce look. He couldn't remember a time when Sasuke's eyes held such burning rage when looking at him.

Without being invited, Sasuke let himself in, closing the door behind him. He left his coat and shoes on, however, making it obvious that he wasn't going to make himself comfortable like old times.

"How do you know he's not using you?"

Sasuke asked after a long pause of silence. By this point Sasuke had ventured over to the counters, leaving Naruto's hurt expression to be transferred to the wall. Never once had Sasuke been offered a drink from this counter. They had never eaten together here in this kitchen. And yet, Sasuke, no doubt, was greatly accustomed to the layout and the atmosphere of this simple kitchen. Every Friday he would pass through this kitchen alone after ridding himself of his shoes, jacket and other apparel he would bring inside with him.

"What?" Naruto rounded on him. The hurt on his face was replaced by astonishment. Sasuke even suggesting that as a possibility was absurd. No one could possibly use Naruto more than Sasuke had, although he would never make it a point of saying that out-loud... even though he should. "Gaara would never do that! You don't know him at all!"

"I'm only trying to be sure you didn't get involved in some scandal. Maybe he's tricking you into losing your job at the school? Or trying to take your position." The raven continued in his snide remarks, the jealousy no doubt fueling the hatred he held towards Gaara.

"Sasuke, that's ridiculous! Do you even hear yourself?" For once, Naruto wasn't going to stay silent. He was not going to sit there and idly allow Sasuke to say such horrible things as opposed to the horrible things he used to do.

"Someone needs to look out for you." Sasuke spoke nonchalantly, although he continued to speak in a scornful tone.

"Well it's certainly not you!" Naruto spat at him. The intensity behind his words were weakened, however, by the sheer disbelief that Sasuke was the one saying these things. Sasuke could never be the one to care about his well-being. Naruto had finally grown to understand this.

"Why can't it be me?" Sasuke demanded, his eyes bleeding green with resentment.

"Because you've hurt me the most!"

The passion behind his voice startled Sasuke, causing some of his malice to dissipate.

"Everything you do tears at my heart! Why can't you understand how much you've made me suffer? Why can't you see, Sasuke? I hate feeling like this because of you! It's all your fault that I can't... I can't do anything! Nothing! Even when I fool myself long enough to think I'm happy, you keep coming back!"

"I only came back here today..." Sasuke spoke, slightly confused.

"To my mind!" Naruto yelled, his anger building on Sasuke's lack of seeing beyond the literal. "I can't even kiss someone without thinking about you!"

Sasuke's expression fell blank for a moment before it was instantly filled with shock and betrayal. "You... you've kissed him?"

"Yes!" Naruto cried, both verbally and physically, as tears began to leak from his eyes, pushed out by the rising passion inside him. "I enjoyed it but you were there! You're always there! Why can't you just leave me alone? Why won't you-"

Naruto's eyes widened as he was silenced. His immediate reaction was to fight back, to escape, but he couldn't. Not only did he lack the energy and will to move away, a part of him longed for this and refused to give this opportunity up.

Soon he was drifting away. Back to a time when he was happy, when he was content, when he was able to passionately return another person's caresses, feelings and push his lips feverishly against ardent lips. He allowed himself to slip away and be transported into a state of rapture. His eyes had long before fallen shut against the cold colors of his home and quickly replaced by the blissful shades of his mind.

His body felt the hard, firmness of the wall that closed in behind him and the eagerness of the frenzied body which pinned him there. Naruto was brought to a place where nothing else but ecstasy mattered. Nothing could disturb such a wondrous feeling, such an exhilarating, euphoric sensation.

Somewhere, as the breath was exchanged, Naruto's voice began to express itself and Sasuke's hands conveyed their purpose.

"Ah..." The warmth transferred between their bodies as Sasuke's hands roamed the terrain of the blonde's torso. Soon their journey brought them beyond the hips as they found they spine and their travel was directed south.

Naruto gasped loudly as the hands slipped beneath his pants, squeezing his bare flesh tightly with a heated excitement. The firm grip pulled his body forward, causing a collision between hips and a friction between the hottest appendages of their bodies. Naruto didn't recall a passion so strong as now, however he did not dwell on this fact. It did not matter, nor did he have time. The friction increased with accelerated need and vehemence.

"Ah! Uh! Agh!" The authority of Naruto's body lost all control over his voice and it expressed itself loudly and lustfully.

As his body remained restrained against the wall, the hands which pulled him closer were no longer required in their current positioning and they were retracted in order to venture to the front of their bodies. There was a need that needed addressing. A need that strained for the other. Sasuke's hands worked nimbly to release this temptation, to give into the temptation. They unclasped the button of the blonde's pants and as he did, his voice rested upon Naruto's ear.

"I need you..." He spoke in a husky voice, no longer of this world but within a dream world of desire.

The voice echoed through Naruto's mind as he gasped, leaning back on the wall, which seemed to be the only thing really holding him upright.

The zipper was successful unzipped and as the hips of his pants were being shifted downwards, the voice which echoed through his dazed mind took heed. Those panting words awakened dormant feelings that were not present in his pleasurable world.

Disappointment, sadness, distress, grief, misery, melancholy, sorrow, defeat, failure, shame, helplessness, and despair were all emotions that he should not be feeing. Yet they were awakened. Awakened by the voice who caused both.

Naruto's blue eyes pulsed with reality and Sasuke's body was thrust off of his own.

Sasuke was left in a stupor. His mind was still thick with a lustful haze that he couldn't comprehend what had just happened. Why his body was no longer against the one it craved. Why the entrance to his desire was being zippered up by the hands which banished him. It was inconceivable.

Without thinking, Sasuke's body made to move back to it's original place pressing firmly on Naruto's body, but the blonde's arms were held up in protest.

"No, Sasuke." His breathing was heavy, as it had yet to recover from it's previous engagement, but they were firm and convincing. "This is wrong."

This jolted Sasuke back to his former frame of mind, bringing with it the eyes which vented such a horrible display of spite.

"Will your new boyfriend be jealous?" He growled, his anger being directed solely towards Naruto.

Naruto didn't bother denying the fact that Gaara was not his boyfriend and instead glared back with as much intensity, only less anger.

"Your wife might be."

Sasuke's brows furrowed in confusion. Not once had Naruto uttered something as hypocritical as that sentence.

"Growing a conscious now? You knew very well I was married."

"I was also told that you wouldn't be any longer! A year this went on, Sasuke. One year of promises! Of false confessions! Of passionate, heated, loving SEX! And yet not once did you leave your precious little wife! Not once did you give me more than one night of mind blowing, blissful sex! Not once! That's all this was! Some entertaining, weekly aired porno that you indulged in! I'm done with this!"

Sasuke stood there, dumbfounded, gazing at the fuming blonde. Never had he seen Naruto raise his voice to such an extent and speak in such a manner. A part of his ego wanted to be flattered by how Naruto expressed his true feelings about their sex, but everything was said in such a hateful, dismissive way, that he wasn't able to.

"Naruto... I... want to be with you." He spoke hesitantly, afraid the way in which he worded his sentences would provoke the blonde more.

"What makes you think that isn't what I want! I want you to be with me, Sasuke!" It felt like his heart had lodged itself in his throat. Right now was one of the only times he could ever really recall being one hundred percent sure of what he truly wanted.

A soft, relieved smile graced Sasuke's lips, melting Naruto's anger and forcing him to glance away. He couldn't bare to meet those precious eyes or see that beautiful smile. It killed him.

"But I can't be with you." He murmured, nearly under his breath but loud enough to travel the distance to Sasuke's ears.

The smile shattered and fell as though Naruto had thrown a rock at an image in the mirror.


"This is wrong. Doing this is wrong right now and it's been wrong for a year."

"But you said it felt-"

"I know how it felt!" Naruto yelled, the tension within himself growing stronger. It was painful to have admitted everything he had, but he knew what he needed to do more than anything now.

"Then why?" Sasuke shot back. "Why don't you want to-"

"I never said that!" Naruto growled. "I want to be with you! But we can't! Can't isn't the same as-"

"I know that!"

"Why can't you understand?"

"Maybe I don't want to understand!"

Naruto glared as the raven twisted his words around on him.

"Well you're damn well gonna have to!"

Sasuke faltered at the swear word. Naruto rarely ever cursed.

"Why do I have to?" Sasuke spoke through gritted teeth, attempting to control his voice and calm himself. "It's not hurting her..."

Naruto wasn't surprised that Sasuke had understood his reasoning well, but that didn't increase or decrease his irritation.

"She doesn't know about this."

"It doesn't matter! If she ever found out it would kill her!"

"So you're threatening me?"

Naruto stared at him, bewildered. "Why the hell would I ever do that? I'm just speaking out of experience! If she had to suffer the knowledge that her lover was always leaving her for someone else it would be the most painful thing in her life!"

The once silent tears reawakened and sprang forth from Naruto's red and tired eyes.

"Everyday I suffered! You left me and didn't even care! All you left me for a week was false promises and self-loathing! Every single day I blamed myself for allowing myself to stay with you and suffer. Now I know that it's your fault too, but only to a certain extent. It's my fault for not leaving earlier than I did. But I left! I gave this up and still I'm suffering! Why do you have this hold over me! Why can't you go away forever? I can't accept this as normal! You need to leave! I'm through with your constant mind games! The next time you want to venture outside of that closet go find someone else!"

Naruto's face was colored with anger. He wasn't sad. There was not a single drop of pity left for the man he loved.

Sasuke locked his jaw and stared him down, hoping to provoke him into saying something else. To change his mind or leap into his arms. Something that would calm him down but Naruto stood strong and stubborn.

"Leave my home, Sasuke." He spoke calmly but threateningly. He was not joking around anymore and there was no way Sasuke could make up for this.

Sasuke moved towards the door but not once did he remove his gaze from Naruto's. Their eyes were locked until the moment Sasuke had shut the door loudly behind him.

Naruto continued standing there, his eyes still looking that the last place where they had been connected to his former lover's.

He didn't even hear Sasuke start up his car, drive out of the driveway or down the highway but once he felt that his presence was completely gone, Naruto was able to breath. His eyes found their way to the floor, as did his fatigued body.

For an hour he sat with his hands holding his head as he attempted to register everything that had happened. His body was confused, shaking and apparently going into some sort of withdraw. His mind was puzzled, caught between three different worlds, one of ecstasy, one of hurt and anger and the other of the present. Nothing made sense to him for a very long time.

Eventually, however, he managed to lift himself up from the floor and transport himself into his bedroom where he collapsed on his bed. There he fell asleep without having the energy of crawling under his blankets or setting his alarm clock.

"Naruto. Naruto! Naruto, wake up!"

The blonde felt his body being shaken gently. Not on its own accord as it had been doing the night before, but by an external force.

He groaned, attempting to turn over but he was pulled back and shaken more harshly.

Slowly his eyes pried themselves apart, which was a feat all to itself, for his eyelids had felt as though they'd been glued together with carpenter's glue.

Naruto's vision took longer than he wished to adjust. The person who was disturbing his not-so-peaceful slumber was probably concerned with the fact that Naruto's cerulean eyes were open, but he had yet to acknowledge his intruder.

Of course, it wasn't Naruto's fault that his eyes were rebelling this morning, they had good reason to. However, once they adjusted to the light, the patterns, the colors, the depth, and everything else eyes were supposed to take in, Naruto felt both sorry and utterly confused.

Why on earth was this man here? Naruto had subconsciously believed he would be waking to the familiar face of his best friend, who had a knack for appearing at these particularly heart-aching times. But this time the concerned face which greeted him was far more stern than Kiba's could ever hope to become. Not to mention, his face was a great deal more flaming hair was certainly a color that disrupted the natural correction of his vision.

"Gaara?" Naruto's tired voice questioned. It was obvious he was confused but his face also refused to let anything other than exhaustion present itself.

"Are you okay, Naruto?" Gaara asked slowly and cautiously once he finally got a response from the previously unconscious man. His hands, however, which grasped his shoulders, did not retract.

"Um... yeah... I guess..." Naruto mumbled, trying to get over the fatigue which plagued his body. Although it soon dawned on him the thing that was most off about this situation. "Wait... why are you..."

"You weren't at school and you didn't call Mr. Um- Iruka. I decided to check on you." Gaara answered matter-of-factly.

"Yeah... that makes sense..." Naruto attempted to sit up in bed and was immediately assisted by Gaara, whose hands were still holding his body. Once Naruto was sitting upright, the redhead finally took his hands away. "But... what I mean... how did you get into my house?"

"You're door was unlocked." He stated simply, as though there could be no other explanation.

Naruto was glad to hear this. Sure he should be paranoid of what could have happened with his door unlocked and his body so unfit to defend itself. However, he was glad Gaara had legitimate reason, more or less, to be standing in his room without a requested entrance.

"Oh..." It was at this point that the memory of last night's activities returned to his conscious mind. He knew why he'd forgotten to lock the door. He wasn't really in the best state of mind to be concerned for his physical safety.

"You're not well, are you?" Gaara asked, although it was more of a statement if anything. Even a blind man could sense Naruto's distress.

Naruto turned his eyes aside at first. Never had he the ability, or the courage, to look someone in the eye when they possessed knowledge of his weaknesses or vulnerability. However, after a lasting silence, Naruto returned his gaze upon the redhead's visage.

With a heavy sigh, he spoke sincerely, never breaking the connection that had formed between their lines of vision. "No. No, I'm not well..."

Naruto offered a soft smile before his heart took over his body and willed his eyes to water. The blonde bit his lower lip as he sobbed, lowering his head as his tears overwhelmed him.

Without further questioning, Naruto was enveloped by a gentle embrace and was pulled close to a warm, caring body.

Naruto started as he heard a gentle rapping on the wood of his door frame. He hadn't even heard the front door open as he'd been so entranced by the endless Times New Roman font which occupied the stacks of papers on the coffee table

"Oh hey, come on in." The blonde smiled brightly to have his boyfriend's presence so near him after a long week without him being around.

The redhead moved in from the kitchen to join Naruto on the sofa, returning the blonde's sweet gaze. Before he could settle himself into a comfortable position on the couch, Naruto leaned in and kissed him passionately on the lips.

It had been a month since they'd started dating and just this past week, Gaara had to return to his home town for a family emergency. Apparently his older brother, who worked in a theatre making props and sets, was knocked unconscious by a falling set piece that was supposed to be secured in the air so that it could be brought in during certain scenes and then lifted out for the others. It was much easier and faster than wheeling it out, Gaara informed Naruto as he had been told by his brother. Luckily, Kankuro, his brother, had not been injured severely. He only suffered minor amnesia, a concussion and a few broken and sprained bones. Gaara had called and informed Naruto of this halfway through the week and he said he could have returned but he wanted to stay and help his sister, Temari, take care of their injured brother and make sure he was settled before leaving.

"I missed you." Naruto stated, smirking coyly.

Lucky for Gaara, he was used to such sudden displays of affection and was not taken off-guard.

"So did I." He smiled back, resting his hand on Naruto's thigh, massaging it gently. "More essays?"

"Yeah, the final essays were due yesterday." Naruto sighed, not enjoying the idea of grading papers when his boyfriend finally came back to him. He didn't know he could miss a person who he saw everyday for nearly a month so much when he was only gone for a week. It was strange in comparison to how much he missed a man he'd only seen once a week. Although, he couldn't, nor did he wish to, figure out which one he yearned for more. He was finished with comparison between the two men. Right now, he was happy simply loving someone who expressed their love for him.

"Are you hungry?" Naruto asked, changing the subject from the papers he desired to procrastinate at the moment. "I can make you a sandwich or something."

"No thanks, I had supper at six before arriving in town." It was currently seven thirty in the evening.

"Okay." Naruto smiled, glancing at the essays with disdain.

Gaara seemed to read Naruto's mind. "I wouldn't mind popcorn and a movie though. That is if you can take a break from-"

"Yes! I'll make the popcorn." The blonde nearly jumped up from the couch with an energetic look about his face.

Gaara chuckled softly to himself as he observed his boyfriend's hasty movements to clear the table of the crowd of papers.

"You can pick out the movie, Gaara." Naruto called to him as he brought the papers into the kitchen so he could organize them while waiting for the popcorn to pop in the microwave.

As Naruto sorted through the papers with the whirling sound of the microwave in the background and the popcorn which would soon start to pop, his redheaded boyfriend entered the kitchen and snuck up behind him. His arms snaked around the blonde's waist and he pulled their bodies close together.

"Aren't we supposed to be watching a movie?" Naruto teased as he turned around in Gaara's arms.

"You were too adorable. I couldn't resist." Gaara stated matter-of-factly.

Naruto's eyebrow rose as he grinned playfully. "Right."

Gaara smirked back in his nonchalant sort of way before closing the distance between their lips and lightly pushing the blonde back against the table.

The kiss was broken when the microwave suddenly let out three, long, loud, irritating beeps and the two were left gasping for air.

"Let's just not let the popcorn go to waste." Naruto joked before his mouth was captured once more.

The Friday morning came all too soon for the blonde who wished to stay in bed all day with his loving boyfriend. However, he was basically dragged out of bed by the redhead, who was always up on time regardless of the day, and forced into the kitchen with a promise of gourmet coffee.

Once the blonde was finally dressed he made his way into his kitchen and took over the eggs that Gaara was unsuccessfully cooking over the stove. He seriously had no idea how Gaara could ever manage on his own. The man was a disaster in the realm of food. Or rather... normal people food. Somehow he could cook odd, gross sounding food with no problem at all. However, simple eggs were a problem for him.

Gaara gratefully accepted Naruto's demand to take over the cooking of breakfast and sat at the kitchen table with the newspaper he had picked up outside before Naruto woke up.

He flipped through it as Naruto flipped the broken eggs and attempted to remove the few pieces of eggshells that accompanied them in the pan.

"Looks like there was a bar fight the other night."

"Really?" Naruto never really payed much attention to the news, it never really interested him. It only brought to him the misery of others when he could barely deal with his own. But he supposed it wasn't like that anymore.

"They say a police officer started it and is still being held in the hospital. Apparently someone was mocking his sexuality."

This sparked Naruto's interest and he had to restrain himself from turning around. He focused on the eggs instead. There was no way it could be who he was thinking about. That man was lost inside that over-sized closet of his and with the amount of baggage in there, Naruto wasn't even sure he could find his way to the door if he ever decided to come out.

"His name's Sasuke Uchiha."

The spatula and the fork Naruto had been holding in his hands fell from them, the fork landing in the pan with the eggs and the spatula on the floor.

Gaara wasn't startled but he looked up from the newspaper and observed his boyfriend suspiciously.

"Do you know him?"

"Ah..." Naruto's hands shook violently. He knew he would eventually have to confess to Gaara about his past relationship that was actually an affair and the source of his previous heartache. But he didn't think it would be evoked by something like this.

If Sasuke had been taunted in a bar about his sexuality... that must have meant that Sasuke had finally come out... did he leave his wife? Was he too late? What if he had waited just a month... just one more month and Naruto's heartache would have ended and he would have been able to live with his love in peace like he was doing now with Gaara.


Naruto turned around from the stove and gazed longingly at his current boyfriend. Gaara loved him. They were great together. Gaara had never led him on, he never toyed with his feelings, he was with him almost everyday and glad to go out with him. He enjoyed sleeping over in the same bed and waking up together. They ate together and talked and had a functional relationship that involved more than sex.

And Naruto was happy.

"Yeah. I know him." Naruto stated, a quiet smile gracing his lips.

Gaara didn't ask anymore questions that morning after Naruto informed him that he would talk to him about it later.

They left the house together, only in their separate cars, and arrived at the school together. Iruka was glad to see Gaara back and asked how his family was doing. Everything proceeded like a normal day. Except, on his lunch hour, Naruto left the school grounds in his car with the newspaper from this morning directing him.

Naruto entered the room silently. The patient laying in the bed with a bandaged leg and arm stared at him silently. It was apparent on his face that he was surprised to see him here, but he never moved or expressed any sounds of astonishment.

The blonde's eyes never left the raven as he stood there motionless and silent. It was a drawn on silence. Both refusing to be the first to speak after such a long time since their last communication... which needless to say did not end on pleasant terms.

With a soft sigh of resignation, the patient sat up as best he could in his hospital bed, not once breaking contact with those piercing blue orbs.

"Hey..." Sasuke spoke timidly, as though he was ashamed of himself. Naruto had never seen him so vulnerable, but he did not allow it to penetrate his guard, he couldn't allow himself to fall back into the raven's trap.

"Hi." He answered stoically. Sure he had been the one to visit the hospital, but it wasn't as though this was a pleasure trip.

"How are you?" Sasuke asked, his voice clearly displaying how uncertain his words were. He was unsure of what to say or how to proceed. Naruto felt somehow pleased to see this man lacking confidence for once.

"I'm doing good." Naruto spoke these words with true feelings behind them. He was actually happy and finally did not have to lie about his condition when asked how he was.

"And Gaara?" A slight bitterness crept its way into his voice.

"He's good. We're both doing good."

"Good... good..." Sasuke nodded solemnly, it was obvious that wasn't what he'd wanted to hear. The disappointment was written clearly in his face. Naruto was almost surprised that Sasuke wasn't hiding his emotions as he normally did.

Naruto stood in silence opposite the man he once loved, and probably still did. He was starting to feel impatient with the quiet and with himself for not mentioning what was truly troubling him.

"Did you come out?" He asked, shocking Sasuke even though he must have known this was how the blonde had come to find out his location.

Sasuke averted his eyes and nodded.

Naruto opened his mouth to speak but all he managed to do was hiss in some air before he fell silent. All his words were lost to him. The idea of Sasuke coming out so soon after things had been ended officially nearly killed him.

"What you said made sense..." Sasuke murmured lowly. "I was hurting Sakura, even if she didn't know about it. I've never seen her so heartbroken as she was when I told her the truth."

That line struck a cord within Naruto. "You told her-"

"That I'm gay. That's it. Nothing about you, I couldn't tell her that."

Naruto nodded, hanging his head again and biting his lower lip as Sasuke continued.

"We're getting a divorce." He said, with an almost positive ring to his voice. "I'm not going to be with her anymore."

Naruto struggled to hold back his tears. This is what he'd been waiting for, this is what he'd spent his last year dreaming about and hoping for.

"Sasuke..." Naruto began, in order to dismiss any ideas that Sasuke might have of them, but Sasuke quickly regained confidence and cut him off.

"Do you regret being with me?" Was his abrupt and astonishing question.

Naruto's blue eyes widened in shock. He'd never expected Sasuke to ask him such a question, never in his life. The raven's dark eyes penetrated his own, possessing the same amount of intensity that they had held in the past. This nostalgic experience brought the tears he'd been holding back to the surface, contrasting the smile that simultaneously appeared on his lips.

He laughed inwardly at the dread behind Sasuke's firm expression. He really did not need to think a moment about what his answer could be.

"No. I don't regret it."

"Even though I caused you so much pain?"

The surprised smile on Naruto's softened gently as the tears continued to well up in his eyes.

"I could never regret having you in my life, Sasuke. You meant the world to me... I've never been in love with anyone the way I love you."

Sasuke worried face softened at this words and it nearly looked as though he wanted to cry.

"But it's true... I've also never been hurt by anyone the way I've been hurt by you."

The smile that had been approaching Sasuke's lips faltered and faded away. Sorrow maintained the dark eyes that stared at the blonde, waiting for him to continue.

"I didn't think I could live without you... but I'm living now. You kept me so restrained, I had nothing but those Friday nights and now I have so much."


"I love you, Sasuke. But I couldn't wait any longer."

"I know..."

Naruto cursed inwardly at Sasuke's understanding. It was obvious what they both wanted. They both wanted to be together. But Naruto knew this was wrong. He loved this man but... right now, he had someone else who loved him and whom he cared for deeply. Gaara treated him so well. There was no way he could abandon what they had now. At the end of every single day, Naruto looked forward to all the times when he could spend with his red haired boyfriend, even if they were only marking papers together. For nearly a month, being with Gaara made him forget the hard times he'd put himself through for an entire year of his life... a whole year gone in a month.

"Do you love him?" Sasuke's voice was sad but earnest.

"Yeah... I think I do."

The raven nodded, "Just don't forget-"

"That's not going to happen." Naruto cut his old lover's sentence off with a stern yet positive voice. "I could never... nor would I allow myself to."

Sasuke half smiled to himself and Naruto just barely caught sight of it, as Sasuke's head was tilted down and to the side.

Again a silent air fell about the room as the two discreetly gazed at each other. Neither knew where to go from here.

"I'm proud of you," Naruto said, not too long after their conversation died. Before Sasuke could question the reasoning behind these words, Naruto continued. "For coming out and telling the truth."

Sasuke furrowed his eyes in thought, wondering how he should respond but not even after a second, he smirked and looked up at the blonde. "Yeah, well... my closet was lonely without you."

Naruto smiled softly at his joke.

"Besides... I couldn't keep living a lie after you were gone. You made me realize, or rather finally come to terms with, how wrong my actions were."

"I'm glad."

They smiled quietly at each other before Sasuke shifted in his bed.

"So he's treating you right?" He asked, attempting to sound nonchalant about it.

"Yeah... he is." Naruto smiled.

"Good. If ever he stops or if ever you get bored..." Sasuke trailed off, not feeling he needed to finish the sentence for either of their sakes.

Naruto gave him a small nod of the head in understanding.

Before they could lapse into yet another awkward silence, Sasuke caught Naruto's wandering attention with a signature look in his eye.

"Thanks for coming to see me, Naruto."

Every pore on Naruto's face was conflicted with the decision to be happy or to be sad. "Of course." Was all he said before turning and heading back to the door. "I'm glad we talked."

Sasuke nodded, "See you around, Naruto."

"Bye, Sasuke." Naruto waved as he exited the door and left the room in which he'd gained closure. He wiped the tears falling soundlessly down his cheeks away with his sleeve. However, he didn't find this hard anymore. He didn't want to run to his room and hid away in a taciturn manner for days. He was actually fine with how things ended and now he could go on to live happily without the memory of Sasuke looming over as a desolate shadow.

Well, thank you for reading this chapter everyone... I hope you're not too disappointed to find out that this is indeed...


The story is complete. Please review! I do appreciate the feedback.

Also... if you're like to flame, please feel free. I'm sorry if you're disappointed at the concluding coupling but... too bad haha. Tis the way it shall end... even though I'm considering the idea of writing a short sequel that I thought of when I first started this story... so you might wanna keep your eyes out for that if you enjoyed this one!

Edit: Sequel is up and running... It is called Remain. Please read if you are interested but feel free to stop the story here if you are content on the ending.

Edit 2: I am sick and tired of people telling me to change the characters in this fic (when you search) to Naruto and Gaara instead of Naruto and Sasuke. If you're unaware... the character search is asking who the two main characters are and ... in case you hadn't quite been paying attention to the story you just read... Gaara is NOT the second main character. Sasuke IS the second main character. The ENTIRE plot is about Naruto and Sasuke's relationship and Naruto's growth to gain the confidence to end it and then forgive Sasuke and gain closure to move on. I don't care if Naruto ends up with Gaara, he isn't the other main character, Sasuke is. No offense, but Deal. With. It.

Again, thank you so much for reading! I really appreciate the time you've spent reading it and I love feedback so feel free to leave me comments ^^