Disclaimer: Kishimoto owns Naruto. I just sponge for filthy reasons.

A/N: Please forgive any grammar errors. I have finally conquered write'rs block. Hooray!


CH 1

When Sasuke's not busy, he hangs out in tree tops.

Usually he's guarding the village because even when he's off duty, he's still sort of on duty. Sometimes though, more often than he likes, when he's sitting high up above the ground he's rewinding a reel in his head titled: "Failure: The Uchiha Sasuke Life Story."

It's an autobiography of sorts. If it were real, it would be the worst film ever made. The star of the show (Sasuke) isn't pleasant, the villains (Orochiperv, Madara) are especially sinister, and all the likable characters are either dead (Itachi) or missing (Naruto).

The most agonizing part is the movie has no ending. Every day when Sasuke manages to not die in his sleep, or be brutally murdered by village enemies, the tape keeps on playing and changing anew. It's more like a documentary of Sasuke's never ending suffering because being the narrator, editor, and director of this whole thing, Sasuke's bound to have a darker outlook on life being the gloomy bastard he is.

If the weather was nice, Sasuke would say it's too sunny. If he managed to snag the last bento box at the market, Sasuke would complain the rice was stale or the pickle garnish too salty. Even if the whole village of eligible kunoichi offered themselves to revive the Uchiha clan, this mighty Anbu captain would moan about having to choose one of them and then, actually having to have sex with said female.

It's safe to say Sasuke is a sourpuss, a well known fact amongst all the villagers in the village. A fact readily forgiven because of Sasuke's tragic past and overall handsomeness.

It's mostly the latter actually.

Yet even though Sasuke was devilish good looking and won almost every "Mr. Konohagakure" since he returned to the village (a competition held in secret by the women folk since the inauguration of the first Mr. K, the Shodaime), Sasuke was still spectacularly single. It was especially strange since well known fact number two; everyone knew Sasuke was itching to have little Uchiha babies. He never voiced this out loud of course. Sasuke almost never opened his mouth except to bark commands, blandly respond to non-inane questions, or complain. His baby urges were mostly observed by sharp teammates…okay Sakura, who noticed him staring creepily at her own little poop monster on many occasions. That and Ino swore she once saw Sasuke go into a baby specialty store for fun. Even if Ino didn't mention this, Sakura also knew since her stalker days that Sasuke was obsessed with clan rebuilding. The only problem was, Sasuke didn't have a girlfriend, let alone a wife, and no one actually knew if Sasuke was capable of being romantically involved with anyone. Heck, Kiba thought the Uchiha was still a virgin! Him and Chouji, Lee, Neji, Hinata, Sakura, Ino and pretty much everyone else in his circle.

The mysteries of Sasuke's private life and the way he dejected all admirers stumped Sasuke's friends and teammates. Despite his obvious biological ticking, Sasuke didn't seem to hold out for anyone. And everyone was too afraid to ask lest Sasuke drive a lightening fist through their gut.

And he would have, as Sasuke regarded what he did outside of work his business. When he was acting as a regular civilian, he would disguise himself and stay out of the public view. Sasuke was always a loner. Though he enjoyed spending time with his friends, he would much rather brood over the grievances inflicted upon on his life.

Like not having had sex for almost eight months.

At his age (twenty-three) this was almost suicide, as it is common knowledge that in world as hectic as the ninja world, young virile shinobi have to stay sane and stress free by sticking it to something every few weeks, even days for some people (Kakashi). It's the same as doing stretches before taijutsu training or eating a banana to stay regular (Kakashi's example).

Even so, Sasuke can't seem to follow through with this old piece of wisdom. Before that terrible night eight months ago Sasuke had relieved stress with numerous people since he was fifteen. It was just something to do when there were no more targets to kill…or it was raining outside. Sasuke also enjoyed it…a lot. Sasuke was a man, and like almost all men he was helpless against especially beautiful women, or even men sometimes, when they were no threat to him. His partners were more than happy to take part and Sasuke had no problem convincing them either.

Sasuke never had trouble down there…until Naruto jilted him eight months ago and Little Sasuke lost the will to procreate.

This was a real problem for Sasuke. Now instead of having sex or jerking it off in the shower to forget his miserable existence and miserable job, Sasuke had to do partake in mediation or punching walls instead. Plus with his naturally high libido, everything began to look appealing to him. This disturbed Sasuke the most, especially since he began to see Sai, the vilest person in the universe, in a newer, sexier light.

Sasuke was horrified needless to say.

He came even more recluse and spent all waking hours either working, or meditating. Kakashi, still as sharp as ever, already surmised the cause of Sasuke's increasingly anti-social behavior and was as unhelpful as ever. This former sensei lent Sasuke his prized books, introduced him to some lovely creatures, and even afforded to take care of the problem himself if Sasuke was willing.

Kakashi was lucky to escape with his life for that last suggestion.

His most recent brilliant idea was to give Sasuke "Naru Bear". It was a small plush doll, sewn in likeness to Naruto complete with orange jumpsuit and painted pink nipples.

How does Kakashi know Naruto has pink nipples? thought Sasukeas as he suspiciously eyed his grinning Sensei.

"What the hell is this?"

"I made it myself. I know what you're thinking, when did Sensei get so good at sewing right?"

"What. The. Hell. Is. This."

"Why did you make this for me?"

Kakashi waves his hand in a placating gesture.

"Mai~ Don't get so angry Sasuke. I think you know what it's for."

"…"

"There's nothing wrong with your body Sasuke."

Sasuke frowns, screwing up his face.

"You're saying it's psychological."

Kakashi smiles and begins to walk towards the window/just another door.

"If you ever need me you know where to find me."

Sasuke frowns again.

"…No I don't."

"Opps, I have to stop saying that to people. By the way, my other offer still stands if you need it Sasu-"

And with that Kakashi leapt out of sight to avoid death by electrocution by his former student.

That day Sasuke would have tossed the doll away if he wasn't so perplexed it by it. Truth be told, Sasuke had no idea what was going on with himself. After Naruto's sudden exit from his life he felt a little off. Doctors told him he was in tip top condition and there was nothing to worry about, but inside Sasuke began to feel restless, uneasy. Something was coming and he didn't know what. Sasuke hadn't felt this way since Itachi's sudden exit from his life. Not to mention Itachi's re entry back into Sasuke's life was just as wonderful.

Holding Naru Bear in the secret pocket inside his vest, Sasuke realizes it was all connected. He already suspected long ago when Naruto kissed him, and the next day when Sakura came crying to him, and the days after when he found himself hiding in tree tops just waiting, waiting, waiting.

Waiting for a sign of his return.

Wondering what was to come and wondering if he still tasted like the forest in spring.

Earthy and new and as unpredictable as Naruto always was.

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BONUS side story - In Between

Sasuke was surprised.

He had known Naruto since he was child but it seemed he didn't knew him at all. At least not all of him.

Naruto had been many things with Sasuke…teammate, friend, rival, enemy and now leader, but ever since the blond leaned in and hummed against the shell of his ear, inviting Sasuke to take a drink from his parted lips, Sasuke knew he had been wrong.

When Naruto gave himself a new name, lover, Sasuke learned new things. He learned that people were made up of many shades. What shades they chose to reveal was how they were defined by everyone else. The Naruto that only his lovers had seen up till now was being shown to Sasuke in the quiet of his room on this nameless, faceless night.

Sasuke was so intrigued; he felt each knob of his spine click down to sincerely accept the invitation.

It was slow, almost tender in sentiment. Afterwards Naruto pulled away lightly and looked up at Sasuke, an almost unreadable expression on his face. Inside, Sasuke was confused but transfixed more than anything. He began to record little details; little quirks he failed to notice before about his rival, and carve them into memory.

Naruto's face was a little rounded around the edges, as if he couldn't shake away his childishness despite the profound depth in his eyes. As Sasuke pressed himself against Naruto's smaller form and slipped a hand under his robe into the concealed slit of his pants, Sasuke noted how smooth the skin of Naruto's perfectly formed hip felt under his calloused hand. Sasuke exhaled hard into the side of a sun browned neck and heard Naruto doing the same.

Becoming ever more urgent, the pair began to stumble around, feeling in every direction for a soft landing spot and toppled onto the couch. Sasuke adjusted himself so he wasn't crushing Naruto under his weight, but lost all sense when the blond sat up, bare shoulders and all and left a satisfying mark just under his jaw making Sasuke wince and salivate at the same time.

He remembers pushing Naruto down, the tension of a tan wrist as Sasuke held it in his fist, the way Naruto's blond hair looked white gold in the moonlight, and the almost silent ring that formed at the finale as Sasuke bent down to claim it.

Sasuke doesn't remember falling asleep. He only recalls waking up alone, his arms numb from the morning chill and the empty streets of the village as he searched.

Later it was the tear tracks on Sakura's face, a room full of loyal followers, and a silent Tsunade sitting behind the Hokage desk, the hollow in her brow giving all the information Sasuke needed.

Naruto was gone.

He took nothing with him, and left nothing behind. Not even a note, just an empty hole where his presence used to be, and the words that had started it all.

"Have you ever wondered, Sasuke?"

"Because I have."