Disclaimer: The characters, items, places etc of Naruto are property of Masashi Kishimoto. These objects are used without permission for entertainment only, not for making money. No infringement is intended.
A little something I had written and just never got round to posting. Warnings for language and blood. Also, for the sake of one minor detail I've explained at the end note, please assume Sasuke never defected or that he came back :)
by Nanaki Lioness
Sasuke couldn't quite be certain of the order of events- there had been an ambush, he knew that much. He'd been alone which he knew was the first mistake, but he'd never had the highest opinion of working in a team anyway.
Well, he told himself as he coughed and attempted to sit up, wasn't that a pretty stupid thing to stand by?
What should have been cool, icy ground beneath him felt sticky and warm- too warm. It was winter and he was certain his back shouldn't feel almost searing like it did right then, so he attempted to turn over when sitting up failed and pursued his lips in disdain as he noticed the reason.
He was bleeding.
He was pretty sure he'd felt a kunai in his back at some point in the scuffle, but the adrenaline coursing through him had made short work of any pain he may have felt. How could such a small wound have produced so much blood, he wondered idly as he ran his hand along the crimson entrenched ground. He pressed his long fingers gently into his back, hissing as his shaky touch felt a deeper cut than expected.
Panic was an unreasonable course of action he told himself firmly as he attempted to at least turn over. Who was he for heaven's sake- Sakura? He was capable of moving!
Or not, it seemed. He resigned himself to lying there on the worn dirty floor, bleeding his existence into the cracks beneath him. Dying was not an option. Not that he was going to die from a simple kunai wound on a pathetic C rank mission because that was a ridiculous idea.
Sasuke closed his eyes, hissing in pain as he attempted to move once more. Why did it have to be Naruto? He never thought he'd have been pleased at the prospect of Sakura finding himself instead- at least she could heal him. The blond moron was probably going to panic and be as useless as a band aid would be to him right then.
Naruto was down at his side in an instance, kneeling in the thick pool of blood that had accumulated at his side. He didn't care as it seeped through the rusty coloured fabric of his knees, tainting it just like Naruto was tainting his hands by roughly pulling him over slightly and inspecting the injury.
"You moron," Sasuke hissed at him, teeth clenched in pain as he did so. "Didn't you learn basic fucking first aid? Don't move people-"
"Oh shut up," Naruto snapped at him, concern in his widening eyes as he surveyed the damage. "Sasuke, what happened?"
Sasuke wasn't going to admit to an ambush, so he stayed silent. He had more important things to focus on anyway, such as when did such a simple act as breathing become so difficult?
"You got ambushed didn't you?"
No, he still wasn't going to answer, no matter how many times the idiot asked.
Naruto exhaled, running a shaky hand through his hair. Sasuke frowned at the act- had Naruto not remembered where his hands had just been? He'd run a streak of cloying blood into the blond tresses, apparently not caring or ignorant to it.
"You are such a stubborn idiot," Naruto eventually spoke, ripping his jacket off and pressing it to Sasuke's back. Sasuke had been in the middle of opening his mouth to protest, but whatever he was going to say was lost to a sharp yelp and a murmur of pain.
"If I don't you're going to bleed to death," Naruto told him firmly, adjusting the orange fabric. "Maybe you'll remember this next time you decide to try and ditch your own teammates."
"You're hurting me," Sasuke ground out, willing to take the blow to his pride at the admittance if Naruto would just stop attempting to claw his spine out. At least, that was what it felt like- he blinked back involuntary tears of pain to the feeling, focusing once again on simply breathing in and out.
"Which part of 'you are going to die if I don't do' this are you not understanding, Sasuke?!"
Naruto was panicking. Sasuke mulled the thought over between spasms of pain- was there a reason for his teammate to react the way he was, or was he simply just being melodramatic?
"There's so much blood," Naruto whispered, his own breathing coming in gasps as terror overtook him for a moment. He took a deep breath and focused, once again moving his jacket to a less blood drenched section. "Don't you dare die on me you bastard!"
"No intention of," Sasuke ground out, grinding his fingers into the dirt so hard he was surprised they didn't start bleeding too. He was feeling so, so cold- had the temperature dropped? Naruto had taken his jacket off yet he wasn't shivering the way he had begun to.
He coughed as he attempted to move, earning himself a sharp glare from Naruto and another bout of pain as he once again moved the position of his jacket.
"Stop moving! I thought you were supposed to be a genius!"
"Stop panicking- you sound like a girl," Sasuke hissed at him, licking his dry lips to moisten them and tasting a familiar metallic tinge. His lower lip was throbbing slightly and he realised with a start that he'd been biting it, forcing himself to grind his teeth instead.
"Stop dying then! Idiot!"
Naruto tossed his jacket to the side in front of Sasuke's face, ripping his undershirt off instead and fixing it to the desecrated flesh. Sasuke turned his weary eyes to the now reddened jacket and blinked a few times, horror rising in him when he realised there was hardly any orange left.
"Fuck," he bit out, finally glancing up to catch Naruto's eye. He didn't seem to notice the cold despite being shirtless now, splashes of blood on his torso and stomach as he leant over Sasuke as though he wanted to shield him with his own body.
"Don't do this," Naruto near-begged him, looking down at him with wet azure eyes. "Don't die, Sasuke, please don't die..."
He turned his attention back to the wound, leaning over Sasuke's body once more and pressing himself up against him. Sasuke let him, feeling too fragile to voice a complaint. Naruto was like a furnace and he gladly accepted the heat, closing his eyes to it.
"Don't shut your eyes," Naruto snapped at him, slapping his cheek firmly to rouse him. He left a bloody handprint as he did so, leaving Sasuke to run his fingers along the smarting skin slowly. He was beginning to feel rather detached from the pain despite still whimpering- if he lived he was never going to get over that- every time Naruto moved his hands. The pain was still there but his mind was immune and he wasn't yet sure if that was good or bad.
"Kakashi!" Naruto called, arching his head up and out of Sasuke's side. "Sakura!"
His call seemed to go unheeded, leaving Naruto sobbing into his side and Sasuke wishing he had even a whisper left in him to tell him not to.
Kakashi's firm voice pulled both of them out of their bloody trance what seemed like hours later. Sasuke felt the pressure on his side and back drop as Naruto moved out of the way, Kakashi's kind hands taking over.
Sakura was at his other side, crying as she pooled chakra into her shaky hands and held them over the injury gently. Green chakra flooded him with its warmth, slowly knotting the severed arteries and damaged flesh back to its normal state. With it, the pain began to fade and Sasuke began to relax his body- he wasn't even aware he had tensed it, but it seemed logical that he might do so.
"Naruto, you did well," Kakashi spoke quietly once he was certain the situation was under control. "He'd be dead without your quick thinking. Here."
He shrugged his green jounin shirt off, handing it to Naruto who gladly clipped it on.
"Does that make me a jounin now?"
Kakashi chuckled, shaking his head slowly before turning his attention to Sasuke.
"Sasuke, can you understand me?"
Sasuke nodded, keeping his eyes closed as the chakra did its work. It was painful, though not as painful as what he had just endured.
"If you run off by yourself like that again you might not get so lucky."
Couldn't he have waited on the lecture? Sasuke simply nodded once more, scratching at the ground beneath him as Sakura shifted the chakra across to a new section of wound.
"I can't do much more," Sakura whispered, pulling her hands away. "It's better though. We need to go back to Konoha and get him proper medical attention."
Kakashi nodded, sweeping Sasuke up into his arms in one fluid movement as he stood. Sasuke growled at the indignity of being carried like a damsel in distress, resisting the urge to kick lest he re-open the wound Sakura had just tended.
He locked eyes with Naruto, who was leaning down and picking up his sodden red jacket. The eyes that stared back were subdued, yet he still held a thumb up to Sasuke. Sasuke blinked slowly, allowing himself a tiny smile. It said 'thank you, moron' and the satisfied smile he received in return said 'you're welcome, you stubborn bastard'.
Author's Note: I realised after I wrote it that Sakura wouldn't have been able to heal him pre-timeskip, hence my request at the start. My excuse is I rarely write canon these days and I simply forgot! :)
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed.