Song of the Soul
Summary: Sequel to True Voice. Naruto and Gaara have an argument, leading to things neither expected…
Warnings: YAOI. Rated M.
Hidan – 28 years old
Naruto, Itachi, Deidara, Sasori, Zetsu – 27 years old
Temari – 24 years old
Neji, Lee, Tenten, Kankuro – 23 years old
Gaara, Sasuke and the rest – 22 years old
Disclaimers: I don't own Naruto.
You don't have to read True Voice to understand this one.
This is an unexpected sequel to True Voice but I hope you enjoy it!
The shards had one hour earlier been a cup filled with coffee. Now the cup had been shattered into numerous pieces, spread around the floor, white and razor-sharp.
Uzumaki Naruto felt cold. Or perhaps it was the room that was cold. The floor was sticky with old coffee when he dragged his fingers across it. The air was still filled with tension and anger, buried deep in his clothes, had crept underneath his skin and sickened him.
He couldn't help but wonder what the hell went wrong.
One and a half hour earlier
"What do you mean, cheating?" Naruto shouted. "Why the hell would I do something idiotic like that?"
"You never go out with me these days, saying you have to do this or that!" Gaara replied and turned to look at the blonde. "I've never gotten proof of what the hell you're doing when I'm not here!"
"I'm writing, you know that," Naruto tried with. "I'm trying to finish this, and it's a lot to do. Just give me a few weeks and I'll-"
"You've had a half-year!"
"Writing a book isn't as easy as you think! I'm not as smart and fast as you, Gaara!" Naruto replied, sick of this conversation. "But I swear to you, I would never even think about cheating."
"Really? Then how come we haven't slept in the same bed for three weeks?"
"Don't just say my name and try to look pathetic. That's all you can do, isn't it?"
"What? Gaara, what are you implying?"
"That you can't do anything. Are you just living with me so I can handle all the stuff and you can just do whatever the hell you want?"
"Gaara, no!" the blonde said and grabbed his younger lover. The redhead wrenched away from his grip. "Gaara, when have I ever done that? I try to help as much as I can!"
"No, you don't! You don't do anything! I study, I work part-time, I handle the cooking, cleaning, paying the bills, everything!"
"Then tell me! Tell me, and I'll try come home earlier to fix the food! Tell me if it's too much!"
"It's been too much for a year!"
"Then why didn't you say anything earlier?" Naruto was getting desperate. Gaara's bag was by the door and it was never a good sign.
"You wouldn't listen!"
"I would listen!"
"No, you wouldn't!" Gaara screamed and threw the cup he was holding. Naruto flinched as it shattered on the floor. "That's us, Naruto. We're those shards. We're broken."
"I need time to think," the redhead said. "I'm going over to stay with my brother."
"Don't do this!"
"You know his number."
Then the door shut in Naruto's face.
Naruto slowly rose and gathered the shards he could find, and slowly sat down on the couch. He looked at the shards and said:
"No, Gaara. This isn't us… it's just my broken heart."
A tear hit one of the shards.
Gaara took every excuse he could to not think at Naruto. He spent all his free time studying, telling his friends he was busy, yes Naruto was fine, yes he was fine and no, he wasn't going out for a drink.
He was studying to become a teacher in math, and had lived with Naruto for four years. Lately he wondered if his love for the blonde had been a crush from the last shards of his childhood but each time he looked at Naruto he those thoughts vanished. He did love the blonde. He knew he did, but sometimes… it was too much. Naruto was part-time writer, part-time singer and didn't get much of the advanced stuff Gaara was doing on a daily basis. Naruto wasn't interested in it. The redhead felt sad about that from time to time but the blonde tried. He listened to Gaara's explanations, him ranting about the stupidity of some teacher's calculation and let the redhead practise on him.
They had always gone out on Fridays and Saturdays, but the last few months Naruto had told him to go alone. Gaara had accepted it the first few times but after a while he began to question it. The blonde had replied with he just got a load of inspiration for his book and wanted to focus on it. He began to pay less attention to the condition of the rooms and Gaara's needs. Naruto just sat with his book.
And now Gaara had just thrown in some shit for an excuse to get away from his lover for a time. So that was why he was now sitting at the library near his brother's home while if he had been home he would have greeted his blonde home, listening to Naruto's excited chatter about this and that in the book, or about the band or whatever.
He focused on the book again and pushed all thoughts of Naruto away. It had only been a week. Naruto would understand.
The blonde looked at the phone. Kankuro had told him Gaara was out. Gaara's phone was off. Naruto clenched a hand to his chest, gently dropping the phone to the floor. It didn't break. He wished it did.
He stared at the TV, the noise on just to try making him focus. The many notes and his laptop were in front of him. He wasn't interested in writing. Writing had been a joy when the redhead was there. Now Naruto couldn't get anything out.
He had managed to finish the week's novel for the newspaper he was working for but just barely. He had done it for the last two years, and used his own days for inspiration.
But how did you write anything fun when your life suddenly turned miserable? The novels had always been light and a good bit of humour in them, but this week's had nothing fun in it. He had sent them already to the newspaper, didn't care whether they liked it or not.
He still felt cold. Or perhaps the room was not warm enough.
"Hey, Gaara, long time no see!"
He groaned as Sakura and Ino sat down by him.
"What do you want?" he growled at both of them.
"Oh, little Gaara-chan has gotten meaner since we last saw him!" Sakura awed.
"Shut it and drop dead," Gaara said and downed the whiskey.
"Who walked over your grave?" a smooth, deep voice said behind him.
"Fuck, what part of 'leave me alone' didn't you guys get?" he asked.
"We never listen to you anyway," Sasuke said and draped an arm around him. "How's Naruto?"
"If I have to answer that question one more fucking time, I'm gonna kill someone."
"Not in my bar," Tenten said sternly.
"I'll go outside," Gaara said.
"That's fine," she agreed. "Now, what do you want?" She directed this to the three newly arrivals.
"Whiskey," Sasuke said.
"Some wine will be fine for me and Sakura," Ino said. "So what brings you here on a Thursday, Gaara?"
"Too much dust in the library," the redhead replied. "Another one."
"You've had three already," Tenten said.
"Yeah, so? I got the money."
"Alright… just don't get too drunk."
Gaara felt his heart clench. That, and a laugh, was always Naruto's comment when they went out. He suddenly wanted to hit the woman but refrained.
He looked down as the three seated themselves around him. It had been some years, but the three didn't seem to have changed. Was he the only one who had? It was not that the three were singles; Sakura was together with a guy named Lee, Ino got hooked up with Shikamaru and Sasuke had met Neji's younger cousin Hinata and was love-struck. The girl was shy and timid, but she was getting bolder with Sasuke's help. Neji was moaning the raven-haired man was rubbing off on her.
"Gaara, seriously, you look like shit," Sasuke said. Prick, Gaara thought but no real heat in it. "What's wrong?"
Enough was enough.
"What, you've never had an argument with Hinata?" he asked and gulped down his fourth glass. He winced as he slammed the empty glass down.
"You got into a fight with Naruto?" Sakura asked.
"An argument," Gaara said. "No big deal, just need to sort my thoughts out."
"You know he's sensitive," Sasuke said. "You've made sure someone's with him?"
"God, he's not a baby! If he wants someone to come, he has a phone!"
"No need to get angry."
Gaara growled at that and looked at his glass. Was he angry? He did not know. He wrapped his arms around himself.
For some reason, he felt cold.
Itachi wasn't sure what to expect as he opened the door, but this made even him stop and stare.
There were papers everywhere. He crouched down and took up a few. Notes. Pages. Naruto's unfinished book. Itachi took off his shoes and began to gather them up, calling out:
There was no answer.
"Fucking hell it's hot in here," he swore quietly and set the papers on the table in the living room. "Naruto?"
"In here." Bedroom.
The Uchiha walked over and opened the door. He stopped in his tracks.
Naruto had always had long hair, and it was always clean. He was a clean-freak when it came to his hair. But now… it was tangled and dirty. Naruto didn't seem to notice. It was hot in the bedroom as well, and Itachi took off his jacket.
"Naruto, it's fucking hot in here," he said. "Can't we pull down the heaters a bit?"
"Hot?" Naruto echoed. "I'm cold."
"There's no way you can be cold in this heat. Are you sick?"
"Can you die when someone breaks your heart?"
Itachi sat down on the bed, swallowed. Naruto looked at him, his eyes much darker than they used to be.
"Why did you do that with the papers?" he asked.
"I got angry," the blonde said. "It's the stupid book's fault anyway."
"Yeah, that Gaara left."
"Left? He didn't say that."
"You met him? How is he?" Naruto grabbed onto his shoulders, his hands were so cold. Itachi took the hands in his own and replied:
"Sasuke did. He called me and told me to check on you. How long since he left?"
"Over a week," the blonde whispered. "I can't focus on anything, I've tried, I've really tried, I cleaned, I did everything, I called and wanted to speak to him but he's never home and I… I just can't."
Itachi grabbed onto Naruto and pulled him flush to him. The blonde was shaking, he felt thinner. He felt weaker. Hot tears soaked Itachi's shirt but he didn't move away.
"It's going to be okay," he whispered.
Naruto shook his head. It wasn't, not until Gaara was back.
He was cold. So cold. Nothing could warm him up.
"Naruto called again today."
"I told him I would ask you to call him back," Kankuro said. "Honestly, he sounded like he had been crying."
"I told him I needed time."
"Yeah, you've had two weeks. Gaara, just call him."
"I got a test tomorrow, I have to get ready for it," the redhead said.
It was not often Kankuro raised his voice. Gaara turned and looked at his brother.
"Are you trying to make him sick?" Kankuro asked. "Trying to make him guilty?"
"No," Gaara said. "I just have a lot of things I have to do."
"And speaking to your boyfriend isn't one of them?"
"Just stay out of it."
"Then you can go and live somewhere else," the man said.
"What?" Gaara asked.
"I don't like this," Kankuro said. "You're making him feel like shit, and I'm not going to help you by letting you live here."
Naruto waited for the beep at the end of the message and then said:
"Hello, it's Naruto. I called to say I can't continue with the weekly novel, not at least now. I… I have to take some time for myself. I have some things I have to sort out. But I will call when I feel better, and I hope you're still willing to take me back. Until then, I'm very sorry."
He ended the call and felt hollow. He looked down at his notebook.
In one hour, he had only written one word. He was supposed to sing in three days with a new song, a song he had yet to write. He had planned to ask Gaara for help. Now… he didn't even feel like writing, much less performing. Singing was a joy. No. Had been a joy. Now it was a burden he did not want to carry at the moment.
"Love can break you down," he whispered. The pen moved.
He was frozen now.
Gaara still didn't know how Sasuke had managed to convince him to go out tonight. He had no idea what band was playing, what club it was, or why the raven-haired man had looked so smug.
So here he sat, with his drink, a dark cloud resting over him to ensure no one got too close. Except for a few, that was immune to his gloominess.
"Come on, cheer up!" Sasuke said.
He couldn't. Whenever he left his studies, all he thought about was Naruto. The blonde hair, those blue eyes, the heat in them as they danced together. The perfect lean body, the weight in Gaara's arms as he held Naruto close. His body ached, missed that weight.
He would call Naruto tonight. He was being a fucking idiot. Over what? Some attention from the blonde. Some attention away from that fucking book. Gaara was possessive and selfish. He had gone for how long with Naruto? Too long. He could have just said it instead of saying Naruto was cheating. Saying he wanted some more time with the blonde. Naruto would have thrown the book away and right into his lap if he just mentioned it, smothering him with kisses and making sure to remind him that the blonde had only eyes for him.
Fucking idiot. He felt like punching himself.
"Oh my god, Naruto looks really thin."
He nearly choked on his beer, and whipped his head around.
Naruto was fixing the microphone's heights, his long wonderful hair braided tightly and dark rings underneath his eyes that wasn't make-up. He was dressed in jeans and one of Gaara's sweaters, the one the blonde loved to curl up in. The necklace he wore Gaara had given Naruto when the blonde man turned 25 years old. His cheekbones were sharper, the fingers just a tad thinner than they used to be, perhaps the eyes were sunken in just the tiniest bit…
Gaara stood up from his chair.
"You knew he was coming, right?" he asked Sasuke.
"I did," Sasuke said, looking a bit nervous.
The redhead left the bar to get closer to the stage, leaving Sasuke speechless behind.
"How are you all doing?" Naruto asked, still fidgeting with the microphone. "If I just can get this fucking thing perfect…" Some laughter and he flashed them a quick smile. "Alright, we're just going to play one song for you guys before the main band's gonna make you rock."
He finished and looked at the members of the band, Fallen Angels, and they nodded back.
"This song is new," he said, "and not that very happy. So sorry if I'm going to spoil your moods. It's name is 'Many sides of Love'."
Gaara pushed himself closer as he watched his lover close his eyes for a moment, then he began:
"Love can break you down,
beat you to a pulp,
it doesn't care about what you feel.
Love in tender when it wants,
hateful when it can,
breaking at some point."
Gaara's eyes widened. Naruto still had his amazing voice, and now the tune broke the redhead's heart. He remembered the shards. That's us, Naruto. We're those shards. We're broken. No, they were not. They were not broken. But Gaara seemed to have managed to nearly break them.
"I fell for love,
drowned in it,
thought that it would work for real.
Who was I kidding?
I was broken,
I was torn apart,
I became nothing.
I was broken,
I was abandoned,
but I can't stop loving you."
Gaara closed his eyes tightly, fought against tears. Whoever tried to make him not reach Naruto tonight he would kill. He would kill, fucking kill, slaughter, tear apart, there's no fucking way I'm losing you now.
if you can hear me
I don't hate you.
if you can see me
don't mind my tears.
if you can feel me
don't cry that I'm dead.
For I've cried all tears needed."
Naruto stepped away and the crowds roared with awed shouts and screams. He walked down the stage as the song ended, intent to go home and try calling Gaara one last time.
He stopped at hearing the voice amongst the noise. It couldn't be…
He turned and Gaara laid his hands on the man's shoulders. They stared at each other for tense minutes, before the redhead dared breaking the ice.
"I'm sorry I made you cry," he said hurriedly, trying to get it all before he lost his courage. "I'm sorry for being a selfish asshole. I'm sorry for saying we're broken. I'm sorry… for everything."
Naruto hauled Gaara close, their lips pressed together, tears falling, mixing and then he said:
"Don't say you're sorry, don't say it, just tell me it's okay, we're okay, just don't say… don't say we're gone."
"We're going to be okay," Gaara whispered. "We're going to be just fine, let me take you home."
Naruto clung onto him and wept in relief.
They weren't sure how much time had passed since they entered the bedroom. Only that they were satisfied, and their bodies tired, and Gaara held Naruto close, gently wiping the tears away from the blonde's cheek.
"Gaara…" Naruto finally said. "Are you still mad at me?"
"I never was. I was just an idiot."
"I was feeling left out," Gaara said. "You were working so hard with that book, and I just had to go and open my big mouth."
"I worked too much with it?"
"No, you were great. You were really great. I just… I just blew up for no reason," Gaara whispered and kissed his lover's forehead. "I was just so stupid. I said all those things, not meaning one of them."
"I thought you did. I thought I didn't do enough. I thought… if I cleaned and made sure everything was perfect you would come back."
"It doesn't have to look perfect," Gaara said and pulled him close. "Just as long as I have you, nothing else matters. I hope you will continue on the book. I really do, and I hope you will be able to publish it. I was… I was jealous of it."
"Jealous of an unfinished book?" Naruto asked, quirking an eyebrow.
Gaara blushed but said:
"Yeah. It got so much of your attention… I felt you didn't have time for me."
"Oh Gaara," Naruto said tearfully. "We're both idiots, aren't we?"
"What do you mean?"
"I thought you left because you were finally fed up with me," the blonde said. "That you finally got sick about me never doing anything for you."
"We… really were idiots."
Naruto pulled the covers over them and Gaara gazed down at him fondly.
"But we're okay now?" the blonde asked.
"Yeah," Gaara said. "If that's what you want. I want us to be okay."
"I want that too," Naruto said. "Plus I can't cook even to save my own life."
"I know," Gaara said. Naruto felt him smile. "I'll make us an enormous breakfast tomorrow. You need to lay on weight."
"That sounds nice," Naruto said. "But you don't have to clean, I did that today."
"That's great." A pause. "I love you."
"I love you too."
"Can you do something for me?"
"Never sing that song again."
Naruto looked up at him. If he looked closely, Gaara maybe had tears in his eyes. Doesn't matter, it's okay now.
"I promise," he whispered.
Lips on his forehead, gentle, a whisper in the night:
Itachi and Sasuke let themselves into the apartment in the morning. They both crept to the bedroom and opened the door slowly.
Naruto was deep asleep, tucked into Gaara's chest and the covers bundled up around him. Gaara wore a pair of sleeping pants and a robe, had one leg over Naruto's thigh and his arms holding Naruto close. He was asleep too. Their clothes lay spread out on the floor.
"Told you," Itachi said.
"You probably saw them leave together."
"Doesn't matter, you owe me."
"Fine, let's just go before we wake them," Sasuke hissed.
When the apartment door closed, Gaara opened his eyes and smiled lightly. He looked down at his Naruto and kissed the forehead before settling down for some more sleep.
Naruto woke up groggily an hour later, felt Gaara's body close to his own and smiled. He settled back and moved his arms so he could embrace his lover's chest.
He was warm now.
Amazing what a little comment can do. I got a comment on "True Voice" that they would like a sequel and I wrote this TODAY.
Fucking hell, I can be fast when I want to. Maybe if I can be this fast on my other stories, that would be great…
Anyway, here you have it. Hope you liked!
Until another time,