A one shot revolving around shortly after Naruto found Sasuke and he disappeared again. Fluff and slight angst, all wrapped in one.
Disclaimer: Sasuke and Naruto belong to their creator Masashi Kishimoto.
'Did you forget, Sasuke? 'Cos I never will.'
The sky that night had been dusty. Naruto remembered it perfectly because he'd spent all evening mapping out every star, every cloud and even following the moonbeams as they scattered their way through the trees.
His feet dangled under the branch he sat upon, each kick of his feet became weaker then the next. The hands that gripped the tree held on desperately. Bright blue eyes scanned the world above the ground, tracing patterns between each star that poked out.
Casually, one of his hands traced its fingers delicately across the bark of the branch. The rough texture was what Naruto had remembered the most, right before they'd graze familiar cold skin. Never had he needed to look over in order to slip his fingers preciously into the awaiting hand. Once the fingers had curled around his, he'd known that the feeling was set. Whatever followed would not be left as a simple grace of words.
Tonight wasn't much different. The sky was dusty but more tints of gray drifted silently across, dotting out the stars that seemed to have forgotten how to sparkle. The moon still shined brightly, frowning down at the young ninja who looked upon it so fondly.
However, no words were ever exchanged in those moments. In those hours. Those seconds always ticked by so slowly but now they seemed to have been slipping away faster then they could have enjoyed them. Naruto recalled only ever listening to the pattern of his breathing, how it rose and fell without notice of its significance. It never seemed to change either, always the same tempo, the same grace. It always whispered of life and presence, filling Naruto with the sensation of belonging right there, in those moments.
He found himself wondering if perhaps the other really had forgotten. If he'd forced away all memories or if they'd truly never meant anything when they happened. That couldn't be true though. He'd always spoken his mind, no matter how much the words he chose tore at his heart strings. If they really had never mattered .... if they really were forgotten ....
He'd always been surprised over how quiet the other could be. No matter what happened in those tranquil hours, his lips remain sealed and the only thing that ever spoke were the messages written across his face. He had been happy. He'd been peaceful. Perhaps, he had even been content to simply be. Was that why he'd always heard his own heart leap whenever he shifted, breathed or even blinked?
Curling his fingers around thin air, he couldn't help but momentarily recall the shy warmth that used to occupy that space. That tiny bit of air between his fingers and his palm. The place always left vacant, only to ever be occupied by his touch. His fondness. Dark eyes matched the vacantness of the sky above. No stars. No visible clouds. No smiling moon. It was nights such as these that always seemed to cause the memories to come creeping back.
Shifting closer to him, Sasuke remembered perfectly how it felt to have his head rest against his shoulder. The heat that always seeped through his clothing reminded him of everything the other was to him. Every single split second in time when he'd lean in and Sasuke would hold his breath. He'd forget how to inhale. How to take in his scent, his way of life and even his very presence.
Sasuke couldn't remember what the sky had looked like that night. Taking in a deep breath as he lay awake, restless with old ghosts, he let out a calm, even trail of quiet regret. Only one. Just to breath life into a love long wanting to be forgotten. Looking forward, he found himself wondering how long it had been since he'd last held the other in his gaze and meant it.
When his breathing had started to slow down and become more relaxed, Sasuke always would give him a tiny nudge. A gentle touch to send sparks coursing through his memory. Naruto would lift his head and gaze over at him, slipping a quiet smile onto his lips as he blinked in apology. It would always be right then when Sasuke would reach up to push his fingers through blond hair. From there, he'd seal each night with a single kiss. Each one pressed lightly to his lips, as innocent as it was intended to be. The touch never lasted long enough to have them wanting more. Just long enough to last the night when the next one would fill the void that followed.
Closing his eyes, Sasuke blocked out the sky and took in yet another breath. A faded image fluttered before his eyes, earning a silent smile of apology.
'Do you remember, Naruto? Because I always will.'