Disclaimer - I do not own Naruto or any of its characters and I am not making any money of these writings.

Beta'd - Again this chapter is unbeta'd so please overlook and forgive my mistakes.

ANFirst of all thank you so much by your response to the first chapter, I am humbled and in awe! I am so grateful that you liked it and that you took the extra time to tell me to continue. It meant so incredibly much to me and really inspired me to write more. I hope you like this part too. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please don't be afraid to let me know.

Please enjoy!

"Woohoo" = speech

'Woohoo' = thought

Still Standing

Part 2.

Sasuke opened his wallet and gave the cab driver a few fresh, crisp bills that looked like they'd never been folded or in use before he stepped out of the taxi without a word and slammed the car door shut behind him. His hand made Italian leather shoes hardly made a sound as the eaves walked up the familiar drive way that led to Iruka's house. Sasuke had walked up this drive way more times than he could remember but it had never felt like this before. Not even the first time he came to pick Naruto up for a date and was interrogated by a suspicious Iruka for forty minutes. Sasuke smiled at the memory before settling his features into a frown again.

Sasuke was holding on to his anger for everything he was worth, if he would let go then he would be forced to recognize the coiling, clawing, searing fear deep inside him. The Dobe had been late many, many times before but not once had he not shown up. If Sasuke only stayed angry then he didn't have to admit that something might be wrong. So therefore he bit his lip, furrowed his brow and thought about all the stupid, annoying and embarrassing shit Naruto had put him through over the years as he raised his manicured hand to knock on the worn wooden door with its peeling green paint.

Before the Uchiha's knuckles made contact with the wood it flung open and Sasuke had to jump back to avoid being hit in the face. When he looked up he was faced with a panic-stricken Iruka. The man's face was a sallow shade of grey that caused the scar across his nose to stand out like a slash of red. His usually warm brown eyes were dilated and unfocused. Iruka was clutching his white cordless phone so hard in his hand that Sasuke could hear the plastic shell protesting. The clawing monster inside Sasuke's gut awoke again and ripped at Sasuke's insides with sharp claws and poisonous words, something was wrong and the raven couldn't deny it anymore. Sasuke wanted to grab Iruka, shake him and demand that he'd tell him what was wrong and where Naruto was but his feet seemed to be stuck in place and his voice seemed to be locked inside him. Instead the two men stood there, both with dark weary eyes, just watching each other.

"H-hospital…Naruto…" Iruka finally managed to stutter out and Sasuke's blood ran cold.

"What happened?" Asked a raspy voice that Sasuke did not recognize as his own.

Iruka started to flail around the tiny hallway, looking for shoes and his coat. Sasuke realized that he wouldn't be getting any answers from the shocked brunet.

The Uchiha halted Iruka in his rummaging by placing his hands on the older man's shoulders.

"Which hospital is Naruto at?" He knew that neither of them was in any condition to drive and he needed to know where his Dobe was.

"St Anne's, they told me he's at St Anne's hospital." Iruka looked at Sasuke with wide empty eyes as the phone slipped from his fingers and hit the floor with a thump. "They'd tried to call me before but I was on the phone…I was on the phone while my baby was hurt and alone…" Tears welled up as Naruto's father broke down in a crying mess. Sasuke didn't know what to do; comforting others had never been a strong point of his. The Uchiha took out his phone and called for a taxi while he awkwardly patted Iruka on the shoulder.

A part of him wanted to scream and rage at the older man. Demand to know why he didn't have call waiting like any other normal person in this day and age and why he felt it necessary to spend his nights gossiping like a little schoolgirl…He held his tongue though, he knew that Iruka felt bad and guilty enough was it was. He also knew that this was Naruto's dad and one of the blonds' most important people…He couldn't yell at someone Naruto loved so much, because Naruto loved him Sasuke loved him too, that was just the way it was.

Sasuke sat down on the front steps while waiting for the taxi and he pulled Iruka along with him. He didn't even notice that he held the older man's hand in a tight grip as the two of them sat there in silence, waiting for the car that would bring them to Naruto.

oo—oo—oo

The cab ride had passed in a blur and Sasuke couldn't really account for how they had gotten to the hospital but here they stood in a busy, noisy hallway in front of a serious looking doctor, trying to find out news about Naruto.

Apparently the blond was still in surgery, blood loss, a punctured lung and swelling on the spine were some of the statements Iruka and Sasuke got tossed at them. None of these things made any sense to Sasuke; they were just jumbled up letters that couldn't possibly apply to his blond. Only one thing stuck in Sasuke's head…Multiple stabbings! Someone had taken a knife and driven it into Naruto again and again. Sasuke's mind was covered in a red fog just by the thought of it and his hands twitched. He wanted to fins the bastard who had done this and rip him apart! Even so the Uchiha stood docile in front of the doctor nodding as if it all was clear as glass. His face a blank mask with cold and hard eyes. Sasuke could sense that Iruka was less than pleased with his behavior but he didn't care, he was an Uchiha and Uchiha's didn't belittle themselves by getting emotional in public.

Sasuke and Iruka was told that the surgery wouldn't be done for a couple of hours and they were directed to a waiting area with vinyl covered chairs and snot nosed sniffling and crying children along with haggard looking parents and coughing old ladies. Onyx eyes looked around the room, taking in all the sickness and the heavy smell of hospital. This was hell, no doubt about it.

After a while of sitting and waiting Genma showed up, pulling Iruka into a tight hug. Sasuke was glad that Iruka's best friend and phone buddy had shown up, that meant that he didn't have to concentrate on the older man anymore, he could let his thoughts drift however they wanted. Sasuke hadn't called his family or any of Naruto's friends…He didn't want them there, chattering or trying to hug him and be comforting. There wasn't any comfort to be had until he had his blond in his arms again, safe and sound. People around him now would only be annoying.

Sasuke sat on his uncomfortable chair, his charcoal grey suit jacket bunched up in his lap and his white shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows. A few black strands of hair were falling into his eyes but he didn't have the energy to brush them away. The vinyl in the chair made a half squeaking half farting sound every time he moved and that had caused the raven to sit completely still for the last hour and his muscles were beginning to protest, it didn't matter though, he would take cramping muscles over humiliation any day.

By now he was supposed to be at home, making love to his blond and watching how the gold ring on his Dobe's hand glinted in the live candle light. He was supposed to drink in the moans and pleas from kiss swollen red lips and see the desire and love in brilliant blue eyes, not be here and listening to a hundred year old hag coughing up her lung for the billionth time while waiting for word if his beloved would even make it or not.

The raven was woken from his musings by a soft clearing of a throat. He looked up instantly hoping to see a doctor but instead he saw a middle aged man and woman with their hands on a girls shoulder. The girl was thin as a rail with long brown hair and huge eyes; she looked as if she was just entering her teens.

"Excuse us," The woman said. "Are you the family of Naruto Uzumaki?"

Sasuke tensed but nodded shortly and Iruka, holding Genma's hand in a death grip stopped his crying into the dirty blonds' shoulder and looked up with red rimmed eyes.

"I'm Akumo Iijima and this is my husband Haruka. We are so grateful; Mr. Uzumaki saved our daughter tonight. She was on her way from a friend's house when she was taken by two thugs and dragged towards an alley. Who knows what would have happened to our sweet baby if Mr. Uzumaki hadn't stepped forward to help. Rika here said that there were several people before Mr. Uzumaki who walked by her but no one stopped to help."

Sasuke clenched his fists underneath the jacket. Of course the Dobe had to play hero.

The girl was pale as a sheet and she looked as if she'd been crying the whole night.

"I was so scared; those men were touching me and saying all kind of strange things. Then this blond angel came and saved me…and I ran away… Please forgive me! When that horrible man finally let me go the angel told me to run and I did. I ran all the way home…My mother called the police after I told her what happened but it was too late…The angel had already been hurt." The girl dropped to her knees and started to cry loudly. "I'm so sorry!".

Iruka released Genma's hand and walked over to the girl, wrapping her arms around her and telling her that it wasn't her fault.

Sasuke was rooted to the spot, he couldn't move and he couldn't speak. Despite everything he almost chuckled at Naruto being called an angel, his blond is many things but angelic was not one of them.

The small family left after being reassured that Iruka would keep them updated on Naruto's condition. The girl had been promised by Iruka that she could come visit once Naruto was better…'If he gets better.' Sasuke thought cynically.

When the family was out of sight Sasuke released his clenched hand from under the jacket and slammed it against the armrest of the chair.

"I should never have agreed to meet him at the restaurant…I should have picked him up at home, then nothing of this would have happened." The raven said bitterly.

"You couldn't have known this would happen," Iruka said soothingly. "Besides Naruto saved that girl."

"I don't care about her!" Sasuke spat out, ignoring Iruka's shocked expression.

"I don't…I don't care. The one thing I do care about is in surgery now, fighting for his life…Nothing else in this shitty world means anything to me."

Sasuke got up from his seat and moved towards the vending machines, he wasn't hungry or thirsty but he had to get away from Iruka and Genma's accusing eyes.

After wandering the hallways for about twenty minutes Sasuke made his way back to the waiting area and saw a green clad doctor standing in front of Iruka. He hurried his steps until he got there.

Naruto was out of surgery and was in a stable but critical condition. He was hooked to a respirator to help him breathe. They weren't sure what would happen with the swelling on Naruto's spine, they just had to wait for Naruto to wake up before they could assess the damages. The lung had been repaired and he had been given blood transfusions.

Sasuke only heard about half of what the doctor was telling him, he couldn't concentrate. The one thing he did hear was that Naruto had made it through surgery, he was still alive. Everything else paled in comparison.

The doctor said that they could see Naruto, one at a time. Sasuke let Iruka go in first because when he got in there he wasn't planning on leaving. He would stay by his Dobe's side.

The raven had no idea how long Iruka was with Naruto, time had lost its meaning. When Iruka came out he gave Sasuke a long warm hug, Sasuke couldn't hug back because he knew that if he did he would break down and he couldn't afford to do that, not yet. Iruka gave him one last squeeze and said something about talking later, Sasuke wasn't really listening. His eyes were focused on the white door at the end of the hallway and what was waiting beyond it.

oo—oo—oo

The first thing Sasuke noticed when he stepped into the room was the pale ice blue walls and he cringed. His Dobe didn't like cold colors, he wanted them warm and comforting…not like this. The second thing was the machines, beeping and whirring, connected to his blond by lots and lots of tubes. Naruto had tubes in his arms, on his hand, in his nose, mouth and even some that seemed connected to his chest.

The blankets on the bed were a pure white, the hospital shirt Naruto was wearing was white and what little skin Sasuke could spot was white.

No…no…no…no! That was all wrong! Sasuke had to keep himself from backing away from the still figure on the bed. His Naruto was warm and golden and always in motion. Not this pale lifeless doll with a machine attached to him to help him breathe. This wasn't his Dobe…It couldn't be.

Slowly, with soft hesitant steps the Uchiha closed in on the bed again. He leaned down and brushed away a lock of bright blond hair from Naruto's forehead, feeling its silkiness between his fingers. Naruto's face was stitched up and bandaged and a bluish bruise crept up over the edge of the band aids adding some morbid coloration to the otherwise stark white skin. Very carefully Sasuke bent down and pressed a feather light kiss to his Dobe's forehead, it felt hot and clammy against his lips and the raven grew even more worried than before.

Sasuke's knees felt as if they were about to give out and he almost collapsed into the white plastic chair that stood by the bed. He wanted to hold Naruto's hand but with all the tubes and needles that went into his skin he was afraid to. Naruto looked so frail and small lying there, like a broken china doll. It was wrong and it made Sasuke's anger come rushing back to him.

"You are such an idiot!" He hissed at the unmoving boy. "You had your phone in your pocket, why didn't you call the police instead of rushing ahead trying to be a hero?" You never think about your actions, always rushing into things head first. Use the tiny brain that you have."

Sasuke got up again and started to pace the room, his dark yes blazing. "Speaking of phones, what kind of moron doesn't have their boyfriend of five years listed as an emergency contact?" He whipped out his own sleek phone and held it in front of the unconscious blond.

"Look…Look! Whose name is that at the top of my contacts? YOURS! That's right, that's your fucking name. You probably haven't updated your list since Iruka programmed that god damned phone of yours, thinking that nothing would ever happen to you…You're not invincible ASSHOLE!" Sasuke was yelling now his frustrations, fear and anger looking for an outlet.

"You're such a selfish bastard! When you walked into the alley, alone and unarmed did you ever think of me?" The Uchiha's voice cracked into a squeak at the end of that sentence. "Did you even pause to consider what would become of me with you gone?"

The anger vanished again, leaving behind that hollow awful feeling of fear and helplessness again.

"I can't do this without you Naruto…You're my strength, my life, my everything. And if you ever repeat this to anyone I'll deny it to the very end…" Sasuke moved to the chair again and sat down. His hand hovering over Naruto's hand not quite touching it but close enough to feel the comforting heat that radiated from it.

"Please…Please Dobe wake up…Come back to me!" Sasuke couldn't remember the last time he had begged for anything and the words almost got stuck in his throat. He leaned down and placed his head very, very carefully on Naruto's so that he could hear the thumping of Naruto's heart. He needed that assurance that this was still his Naruto, alive and warm. Drops of water landed on the white blanket and Sasuke was surprised to find himself crying. He swiped at his eyes with the back of his hand but the tears kept coming. Finally he just let them flow while he listened to the steady ba-thumps of Naruto's heart.

"Please, please, please wake up…"

TBC

ANAnother part down. Will Naruto ever wake up and will he be okay if he does with the swelling on his spine and all? Next chapter the two druggies that attacked Naruto will be caught but guess which law firm it is that will post bail and defend them? How will Sasuke take those news? Thank you so much for reading and please review!