A/N: Uh-oh... I had to reupload this... ^^;

Starts out with a dying Sasuke, ends with a peek into the future. And umm... forgive the morbidity. XD

PS: reviews = cookies


His consciousness ebbed.

Memories came to him in blurry flashes, not wave-like, but more like ripples. Old faces, familiar faces, faces he barely remembered, faces he couldn't forget.

So this is it…?

This is what I've lived for in the end.

Warm coppery liquid gurgled in his throat. At first he attempted to stifle its progress as it threatened to enter his mouth, but he was weak. He knew it. He could feel life drifting away, leaving him alone and staring at the starless sky. Unable to resist it further, he allowed it to fill up his drying mouth and leave his lips, a little of the last remaining warmth he had spilling onto his porcelain skin.

Red rivulets trickled down his chin.

"Sasuke! Don't go… Sasuke…"

What was that?

A voice.

"Sasuke… Please!"

A familiar voice.

Sakura?

The memories.

I'm sorry.

A familiar face.

Sakura? Can you hear me?

I'm sorry, he tried to say. But he had no voice. The words stuck in his head, playing over and over again. Over and over, like they did before, not too long ago when he had left her crying, begging: "Don't go, Sasuke."

I'm sorry, he had tried to say. Forgive me. And then he left her lying there on the bench, alone in the cold.

But he had thanked her, hadn't he? Thanked her for all she had done for him, for all she was to him. For all she had been. She was, after all, his comrade… his friend.

It became colder.

What had he lived for, he thought. What had he achieved?

He felt himself slipping away. What could he feel?

Release, perhaps.

Freedom.

In his heart he smiled at the memory… of brothers… hand in hand. A symbol on the wall… the Uchiha crest. Mother. Father.

He would finally see them again. They would finally be a family again, whole again. He could go back to the past, to his dream.

But will they take him back?

New rivulets formed on his chin as he coughed up more blood.

No, they wouldn't take him. They wouldn't be whole again.

Nii-san. Where are you nii-san?

He was a child once more. He wanted to hear those comforting words again. He wanted to feel that gentle hand tousle his hair. Where was his brother?

He's dead, a voice told him.

You killed him.

That's right. Now he remembered. He killed him.

They could never be whole again.

"Don't die on me you bastard!"

Eyelids fluttered vaguely in response.

Who is that?

"Come back! Sasuke!"

It was a faint voice. Shaky. Tearful. Hoarse. Almost a whisper.

"Sasuke… come… back…"

Naruto.

Memories.

Too many of them. Too many to choke back the tears forming in his heart.

He remembered the sacrifices. He remembered the promises. The smiles and the tears.

His listless eyes strained in the moonlight, searching for the voice that was calling him back.

Naruto's voice.

With great effort he forced his eyes to focus.

He was tired, very tired. But he wanted to see him one last time. One last time before it was Goodbye. Forever.

"Come… back… Sasuke…"

Big blue eyes.

Eyes that outshone the bluest of skies and rivaled the clearest of oceans.

Eyes that saw right through him.

Eyes that loved.

Eyes that cared.

Eyes he trusted.

Eyes he would never, ever, forget.

…And then, there was nothing.


The child had already got tired of playing with the collection of pens. It was his first time at his father's office and he hadn't even been shown around, but only been given some pens to play with. He flicked a bright purple one across the table with his tiny fingers. It skidded across the wooden surface and fell. He pouted.

"Daddy!"

There was no response.

He flicked another pen, an old orange one that didn't even work.

It landed on his father's lap.

"Daddy!"

The man sighed and slowly tore his eyes away from his work to face his son.

The boy was silent, staring the man in the face, unblinking.

Sasuke sucked in a deep breath. "Yes, Eien?"

The boy pointed to something on the wall behind him. "Who are they Daddy?"

Sasuke turned.

Two portraits hung high above the other photographs that lined the wall of his office. They were two faces that his son was not familiar with.

Sasuke smiled.

The boy crawled over the table and put his arms around his father's shoulders. Sasuke lightly curled his fingers around his son's arms.

"Those," he replied, "are my brothers."

Eien scrutinized the portraits, his little nose scrunching to make out physical similarities. He knew that the one with the sad smile and the same sad eyes as his father's was definitely related, but the other one…? "Even the one with the yellow hair?"

"Even the one with the yellow hair."

Eien thought for a moment, finger touching his lower lip as he leant against his father's neck, still observing the portraits.

"You know Daddy…"

"Mmm?"

"I like his eyes."

Sasuke laughed.

"Yes." He tousled the boy's hair. "I like them too."