Note: The italics in parenthesis are lyrics.
And much thanks to the lovely El Gilliath for beta-ing this for me! You are awesome. And now that this is posted, I must get to school. xD

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love me plz;
soundtrack : that's okay : the hush sound

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( You were a child who was made of glass

You carried a black heart passed down from your dad )

The first time Sasuke told Naruto he loved him, Naruto cried.

It was actually quite a comical site to behold if there had been any witnesses. Of all the things – all the ways Sasuke thought Naruto would react – crying hadn't been on his list. Sure he's made fangirls cry in the past, but it was usually over something nonsensical so Sasuke never had any qualms about walking away. He never had any real experience dealing with a crying person. So what was he supposed to do with a sobbing, blond guy whom he just so happened to love?

And maybe if Naruto hadn't been too busy crying he would've noticed the way Sasuke's eyes widened in obvious shock and panic. It probably would have made him stop crying in order to laugh at the Uchiha's expression – because honestly, who's ever seen a shocked and panicked Uchiha before?

But, really, Naruto felt justified to have cried at Sasuke's confession. They had been dating for three years, and before that, having sex with no strings attached for one – so technically four years. Four years and not once did Naruto ever hear Sasuke say I love you. Not when they went to sleep. Not when they parted ways on missions. Not during heated moments of passion when such things would be declared. Not over dinner. Not when they'd sit wrapped in the same blanket on the couch, watching a movie. Not when Naruto would tackle Sasuke down whenever he came home. Not when the two would survive a particularly grueling mission together.

Not once (if somebody loved you, they'd tell you by now).

It had gotten to the point where Naruto longed to hear those words from Sasuke; craved to hear them. Because Naruto told Sasuke he loved him – plenty of times. But whenever he did, Sasuke would either stare at him with this lost expression, or kiss Naruto silly.

Either way, it left the blond confused and uncertain more often than not.

( We all turn away when you're down )


The thing is, Sasuke had always been attracted to Naruto. He knew that. He just never knew to what extent he cared for his dobe, needed his dobe, wanted his dobe. There was never a day where he didn't need to see those blue eyes or see or feel or touch Naruto…

He never realized that the extent of what he'd do for Naruto went beyond anything he ever felt before (you want to go back to where you felt safe).

He loved his family. Sasuke never particularly told his parents he loved them – never told his brother – but he told his mother one day he loved her and the next day both his parents were killed in cold blood.

( To hear your brother's laughter,
See your mother's face
Your childhood home is just down to white bones )

He killed Itachi one day and realized he loved him the next.

( and you'll never find your way back )

Everything he ever loved was taken away from him. Perhaps he felt if he didn't recognize his feelings for Naruto, Naruto would always be there for him, with him, forever, every day. But he knew by not saying anything, by keeping quiet, it was breaking Naruto's heart because Naruto thrived on love. He needed it just as much as Sasuke needed him.


( And when you're gone, will they say your name?
And when you're gone, will they love you the same?

If not, that's okay.
If not, that's okay. )


It was over something ridiculous that made Sasuke realize he loved Naruto.

Well, maybe not ridiculous, but it made Sasuke realize all the miniscule things that Naruto did that made Sasuke love him.

( You are broken and callow;

cautious and safe

You are boundless and beauty

with fright in your face )

Sasuke had been in an angry (more-so than normal) mood one morning following a mission with him and a team of ANBU. One of his men was killed in the mission and Sasuke always took his teammate's deaths personally. He saw it as a fault of his own. As a Captain, he was in charge of keeping his teammates alive, but he failed one of them. Naruto knew because he was there for the mission, there when one of their teammates died, there as Sasuke came home, detached and distant from reality – from Naruto.

They went to sleep that night with Sasuke's back to Naruto. But Naruto slept with his forehead pressed between Sasuke's shoulder blades, a silent comfort. (Until someone loves you, I'll keep you safe. But like them, I will give you away –

And when you're gone, will they say your name? )

Sasuke woke up that morning sore and cold. He threw an arm out while rolling on his back to feel Naruto's side of the bed was empty and cool, his body heat having already waned from the sheets. The fact that his dobe wasn't there when he woke up only made his mood fouler. Where had that idiot gone?

With a yawn, the Uchiha pulled himself up on the bed and sat at the edge, running his hands down his face and through his hair with a weary sigh. He got up, the muscles beneath his back, shoulders and arms flexing as he stretched – his upper torso bare as he walked out of his bedroom, clad in plain, black sweats. He ignored the chilled touch of bare feet against the wooden floor in the hallway and realized Naruto must be cooking since he could smell breakfast lingering warmly from the kitchen.

( And when you're gone, will they love you the same? )

Naruto was setting the table when Sasuke walked into the kitchen. Naruto was already dressed for the day – torn up blue jeans and a slightly loose white t-shirt. He was wearing orange house slippers and the pink, frilly apron Sakura had made for him that said kiss the cook. He looked up and saw Sasuke standing in the arch way and beamed.

"Mornin', bastard! Breakfast's ready!"

Sasuke just stared at him. Unperturbed, Naruto went over to the raven and ushered him to the table, pulling out a chair before forcing his stoic boyfriend to sit down. Naruto untied his apron and hung it on a hook before grabbing two plates, setting his down on his side of the table. He placed Sasuke's breakfast in front of him.

Sasuke averted his gaze to his breakfast and stared some more. It wasn't uncommon for Sasuke to see a smiling pancake staring at him for breakfast, but something about the pancake with the butter and blueberry eyes and the bacon smile made him crack.

"Naruto," Sasuke suddenly said just as Naruto fixed himself on his seat and grabbed his eating utensils. The Kyuubi-vessel didn't bother to look up as he started to cut a slice of pancake.

Because the thing is, Naruto always did little things for Sasuke. Like last night when they went to sleep, Naruto slept with his forehead pressed against Sasuke's back, and that in itself was comfort enough. And sometimes when they weren't on the same mission, Naruto would send Sasuke off with a bundle of onigiri to snack on for him and his team (if it wasn't a solo mission).

( If not, that's okay)

"Naruto," Sasuke repeated, still not touching his food.

When Sasuke needed it – when he was angry and needed an outlet for his anger – Naruto would fight him because he knew Sasuke needed it. When Sasuke needed space, he gave it to him.

"Eh?" Naruto asked unintelligently, his fork raised half-way to his mouth as he paused to stare quizzically at Sasuke.

When Naruto wasn't away on a mission, Sasuke would come home to a smiling bundle of orange and blond. I'm home, Sasuke would say, and Naruto would reply, welcome home, bastard.

"Sasuke, what --?"

"I love you."

The fork slipped from Naruto's grasp and clattered on to the table.

Naruto always told stupid jokes. He always smiled. He was always honest, always bringing joy to Sasuke's life. Sasuke might not admit it, but he looked forward to the smiling pancakes. He liked the way Naruto made food with facial expressions. He liked the way Naruto was clumsy and obnoxious and loud. He liked the way Naruto always took things head-on with unwavering determination. He liked the way whenever Naruto sneezed, it was always twice. He liked the way Naruto's hair was always messy because he never bothered to brush it after a shower. He liked that Naruto liked ramen. He liked…

Sasuke realized that Naruto hadn't said anything. Dread was starting to creep up his spine as the blond just sat there, staring at him in shock.

And then…Naruto cried.

Dread turned to panic as Sasuke's eyes widened.

( And when you're gone, will they say your name?

And when you're gone, will they love you the same? )

"Naruto --?" Sasuke got up from his seat and went over to his sobbing, blubbering boyfriend to realize his dobe was crying incoherent words as tears fell never-ending from his eyes.

"You – you—" Naruto started saying in-between hiccups. He looked up at Sasuke who gulped, but the next thing Sasuke knew, his arms were full as blond hair tickled beneath his nose. Naruto continued to cry in Sasuke's neck. "You – I didn't think – I thought – always needed… God… you – you… bastard… I hate you –"

Something in Naruto burst to the point he couldn't stop crying. He always wanted to hear Sasuke say it, always needed to hear it. And now that he did, now that Sasuke said it, it struck a chord in Naruto that started the waterworks. It wasn't that he was sad, he was far from it. All those days he thought Sasuke didn't love him – all those nights his heart beat painfully… It was a relief to Naruto.

He was happy, so, so happy.

( But you know, that's okay)

Being the emotionally stunted bastard that he was, Sasuke couldn't figure out why Naruto was saying he hated him while clinging to him tighter and tighter. Did Naruto not love him anymore?

Naruto pulled away to look up at Sasuke to see, for the first time, the panic in onyx eyes. He laughed and cried and Sasuke was left more confused than ever before.

"Sasuke…" Naruto finally said after he managed to calm himself down. He cupped Sasuke's cheeks in his hands. "I've waited four years for you to tell me that."

Panic gave way to guilt, but Naruto continued to smile, his eyes bright with understanding.

"I love you, too, bastard."

( Don't you know that's okay? )

And then there was relief and contentedness.

(But that didn't last long. Naruto started yelling at him about what an inconsiderate asshole he was, and blah blah blah, but Sasuke merely smiled at him through the lecture and beating.


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