His blonde messy hair swayed in the cool evening breeze as the fifteen-year old walked through the highways of Konoha. His gaze was lowered, his hands buried deep in his pockets in order to keep them warm. The sun was still visible at the end of the sky, casting a warm-colored glow over the town that gradually disappeared bit by bit.
Without discontinuing his measured steps Naruto let a somber sigh pass his lips. Why was it that as soon as he became alone the dimness took over his mind completely?
It had already been five days since Sasuke had returned to Konoha. According to what Tsunade had been telling him, the Uchiha had successfully gotten his revenge and had managed to kill Itachi. How killing your older brother could bring peace to one's mind Naruto would never understand, though it was only logical he should be happy about Sasuke returning to Konaha right? Wrong.
True, it had been several meetings about whether or not Sasuke should be allowed back into the village. And of course Naruto had been on the pro-side, arguing for letting Sasuke back in with as little complications as possible. Though, the majority hadn't agreed with him.
But since Sasuke still on the papers stood written as a member of Konoha, there was no law saying he wasn't allowed back in. Though several polygraph tests had been made to ensure Sasuke wasn't deceitful, and that he didn't have any other purposes in his comeback then he claimed to. Also he was now prohibited from departing the village for at least one year's period, and half of his chakra-amount had been transferred out of him by Tsunade herself, another decision made entirely for the safety of the village. No, he wouldn't be considered trustworthy straight ahead.
All of this was truly ruthless and unfeeling, but who could blame them. Betraying your teammates in such a brutal way and be gone for three whole years without even the least significance in contacting any of them. To be honest, even Naruto couldn't set his mind into why Sasuke so suddenly decided to come back. It was all surreal.
So in the expected way to think, Naruto should have been the first person to approach Sasuke and wanting to speak to him. And the jinchuuriki had numerous times been considering it in his mind himself, yet never once found the willpower to do it. In matter of fact, Naruto had been doing everything in his way to NOT encounter with his former teammate.
True, Naruto may have dedicated the last three years of his life into searching for Sasuke and force him back… unsuccessfully. But a larger part of him was still harmed over Sasuke's betrayal, and that was probably why Naruto couldn't find it within him to come across the Uchiha. That on the other hand had been going on profitably. He had once spotted Sasuke on the other side of the street. That was now three days ago. Immediately had he started to run, an act all based on impulse. When he realized what he was doing he stopped and started blindly in front of him.
Why couldn't he find a reason to go talk to him? He couldn't even put his finger on his emotions right now, he just felt… baffled.
By now the sun had almost entirely hidden itself beyond the horizon, the larger part of the sky was now black and the soft wind was getting chilly. Small glowing stars staring to appear up in the dark atmosphere.
"Yosh!" Naruto sang out loud to himself, time to go where he always went as soon as he felt a bit down; Ichiraku Ramen. He mentally grinned as he picked up his speed a little. Lovely ramen, here I come!
The mere thought of hot boiling noodles with tasty pork made his stomach ache a bit pleasantly and Naruto increased his pace a little further as he travelled through the streets. The day he'd stop longing for ramen this intensely he would have to kill himself.
As Naruto spotted the oh so familiar roof the small eating place he had to take a ninety-degrees turn in order to reach his destination. The sudden change in direction though caused him to unpredictably collide with a well-built body, slightly taller them himself, the sudden bump stopping them both on their trails.
For a longer time none of them said even a single word. With half-wide eyes, Naruto found himself staring right up at the onyx eyes which were gazing straight back at his own. Though he had not the slightest intention to speak, Naruto's mouth hung slightly open in a dumbfounded expression. By the time the blonde came back to realization Sasuke had already become the first one to speak.
"Figured I'd run into you here."
If there was a smirk hidden behind those words, Naruto could only suspect. By now he had quickly turned his face completely in another direction, not wanting to share the uncomfortable eye contact any longer. Oh, how awkward this felt. What was he supposed to say? Something encouraging maybe, after all it'd maybe do Sasuke some good be greeted kindly. Everyone in this town more or less hated him, which was highly understandable. On the other hand, Naruto wasn't exactly on his brightest mood today. And he hadn't been for almost a week. And now that Sasuke was right in front of him, he became sulkier than ever. The gloom converted into a hazy anger as Naruto just muttered out a "Hi." that was nearly out of earshot. Sasuke plainly raising a brow at him.
"I believe you and I haven't spoken yet." The Uchiha stated.
His voice was cold. Not in the pissed off or aggravated way, no, more in a somewhat emotionless way and it slightly reminded him of the way he'd always scolded off Naruto in their earlier years together. Even though, this time it wasn't as daunting as it had been.
"Since when do you feel the urge to talk to me?" Naruto frigidly grumbled as he resolutely kept his gaze right onto the ground. From this angle he could only see Sasuke's feet and the beginning of his ankles.
"So…" Sasuke started. Naruto could feel his eyes staring at his face, almost burning holes through his skin. "You're just going to keep on disregarding me? I mean, I haven't seen you around here at all."
"Well, that's what you always longed for, isn't it?" Naruto now dared to look back into the eyes that were staring mystifying down at him. The jinchuuriki felt slightly harsh about doing this, but all pain this man had caused him was now getting to him, soon he could no longer stand to look him straight in the face anymore.
He pushed his way past Sasuke, making both of their sides to stroke against each other in an attempt to reach the ramen shop and leave Sasuke on his own. He wasn't mentally strong enough for this conversation right now. Maybe tomorrow, or in a week, just not now. But his attempt failed as Sasuke's strong fist grabbed a hold of his left upper arm.
"So what you're saying is; you're never going to speak to me again?" Sasuke mouth was dangerously close to Naruto's ear and though Naruto couldn't see Sasuke's face he could more than imagine the triggered expression he was making.
Naruto was about to snap back but interrupted himself as his stomach made a rumbling growl, craving to be fed this instant. Naruto's eyes widened as he flushed one hundred millions shades of red, and with a small chuckle Sasuke let go of his arm.
"At least let me join you for ramen."
Out of pure embarrassment, all of the previous anger now seemed to have been blown away. And without really bothering to understand why Naruto just muttered a "Fine."
They had eaten together in silence. Usually there were no happier times in Naruto's life then when he was eating his beloved ramen. Yet this time, he couldn't really enjoy the food at all. Was it uneasiness he felt? Having Sasuke right there next to him, was he nervous about it? No, why should he be…
When both of them had finished and paid for the food, Naruto left. No intention to stay with Sasuke. Yet again, his furtive effort to get rid of him failed. The raven-haired teen had followed him for about ten minutes now, walking there next to his side without saying a single word. Naruto, not feeling very positive about talking either, just sighed in his mind and continued his slow steady steps. He wanted to say something, he just didn't know what.
It did felt weird to have him back. Was this Sasuke that walked beside him really the same Sasuke that had betrayed them all so viciously just a couple of years ago? And why did he choose to walk beside him now? All the questions that Naruto could possibly think of turned his mind into a mess and without increasing any new wonders he slowly turned his head around to gaze over at the Uchiha.
The moonlight was giving a bright silver-area to his pitch-black hair, which by the way was considerably longer then the last time Naruto had saw him. He was thinner too. Yet his strong body that he'd managed to build up admirably covered up for the most of his thinness.
"Naruto." He suddenly said and caused the said boy to unintentionally stop walking, Sasuke stopping himself just a second later.
"… Were you serious about never talking to me again?"
Naruto could only stare at Sasuke's back as he recalled the question in his mind. Was he stupid or something? Even Naruto knew himself good enough to know he could never do such a thing. Especially not since Sasuke was the first and- Maybe even the best friend he'd ever had. No matter how much faith he'd lost, how much he'd screamed, and how much tears he'd cried for Sasuke he could never break the small bond that still was connecting them.
"Of course not…" Naruto honestly answered, once again turning his face towards the ground in an act of discomfiture. Luckily for him, Sasuke's didn't change his position, his back still turned against the jinchuuriki.
When Sasuke wasn't responding Naruto figured the selfish bastard was looking for a deeper answer from the blonde haired one. Might as well open up, there was no further point keeping him in ignorance.
"I may not be strong enough to forgive you straight ahead." He started sincerely and noticed that Sasuke turned around this time. He took a deep sigh and closed his eyes as he continued. "But… unlike you I'm not that vengeful or anything… And you're still my friend, no matter how badly you've treated us. So I will forgive you, eventually. If you're still being honest that is."
But lying was something Naruto knew Sasuke wasn't doing. He hadn't lied when he left Konoha; he had let them down without hiding it. So assuming he was lying now may not be foolish but Sasuke was, and probably always would be, an honest person. He was just too proud to apologize.
"So what I'm saying is, don't hold your breath but… sooner or later everything will turn out fine." At least that was what Naruto truly hoped and longed for.
Sasuke gave out a "Hmpf" that Naruto took as a smirk and he looked up again. Yep, the smirk was there alright. But it wasn't the cold smug smirk he was used to. Mo, Sasuke's eyes were unusually softened and his lips had turned into a rather sad smile.
With silent steps he approached Naruto, his deep onyx eyes looking into the shimmering blueness of Naruto's. "I understand." He whispered and stroked his hand quietly along Naruto's cheek.
Sasuke's hand was warm. Why Naruto wasn't freaking out by the touch he didn't know. Maybe he was still dizzy from chock, but by the time Sasuke had bent his head down and placed a smooth kiss on Naruto's lips, the jinchuuriki could no longer remain calm. He stumbled back fiercely as hard blush crept up on his cheeks. With eyes big as the moon right above them he once again found himself just staring at the taller man in front of him.
That smug arrogant look on Sasuke's face now reminded Naruto of all the times that bastard had made him feel inferior.
"Don't hide it, dobe. I've always known." And with those gentle words, Sasuke spun around and left.
Naruto never investigated in how much time passed by after that. It may have been ten minutes, maybe twenty, maybe even an hour. Oh what the hell, it could have been five hours without him getting any perspective of it. When the blonde one felt his legs no longer wanting to stand up, he sat down on his knees. For the third time this evening he brought his face closer to the ground. Only this time a faded smile covered his face. How slowly brought up one finger to his lips, right were Sasuke had kissed him. Of course he knew it. Everyone did. It really always had been so obvious.