Author Notes: Written for alcyonev at LJ, requested at the sasunaru_kink comm. Kink was, "Color play. Specifically red/white/black. Painting each other, contrast of blood to ANBU uniform, whatever as long as it focuses on those three colors." It was an interesting exercise.

Pairings or Characters: Naruto/Sasuke
implied m/m sex, some dark themes
Word Count:
The Sharingan can do a lot, but even it can't convince Naruto to quit.

Light in the Dark

Eyes, crimson and pained, spin round and round until Naruto pales and he feels nothing below him, around him or in him. He is hollow, the world is gone, and there's nothing but darkness and red, red, red swallowing him up.

Sasuke sits a few feet away, panting heavily and drenched in his own blood, as Naruto's body stills. His mind is lost, locked within an illusion and even with all the mighty strength of his beast and Sasuke's own exhaustion, he will be stuck more than long enough for the rogue nin to escape again. But he just sits, leaning against uncomfortable earth, absorbed in the uniform adorning his old friend.

He didn't know Naruto had joined ANBU. He didn't know a lot of things about Naruto anymore, really, but he felt he should have known about this. The remaining reason in his mind berated him for thinking so, because why does he need to tell you anything? how would he have told you? why do you care? but he is both furious and confused. The only reason he would have adorned the marble white mask, shaped in the form of a tiger's face -- apparently, Konoha had figured it a little too obvious to outfit him with a fox mask -- had to be to continue chasing Sasuke down.

How many times had he told him to give up? How many times would they have to fight, with Sasuke walking away again and again and again, until Naruto understood he wasn't coming back?

Sasuke spits out a mouthful of blood before forcing himself to stand. Every inch of him protests, but enough is enough. Stumbling forward, still carrying an air of absolute arrogance, he stops by Naruto's head and kicks the blond until he's on his back. Staring down into empty eyes, the Sharingan spins and he joins Naruto in darkness.

In the endless black, Naruto is floating. He feels nowhere and everywhere, the white of his uniform and skin the only thing that hasn't been completely engulfed by darkness. He's felt like this before, so close to the end but not close enough for Death to come for him. Suddenly Sasuke's standing in the close distance and he lets out a happy mumble.

"Sasukeeee," he grins, reaching out lazily. He figures he must be dying if Sasuke's come to visit him. Sasuke says nothing as he walks forward on emptiness, batting straining hands away when he gets close enough. "Sasuke, come home," Naruto smiles slowly, attempting once again to stretch his arms, but Sasuke narrows his eyes briefly and they're suddenly back to useless.

"Dumbass," Sasuke mumbles before his brows furrow and Naruto screams in pain. The blackness turns red as he howls and cries, Sasuke's eyes spinning relentlessly.

"Sasuke!" Naruto howls brokenly. "Sasuke, save me!"

"You idiot, don't you get it? I'm the one doing this," Sasuke shouts over Naruto's screaming. "This is what you will get if you keep coming after me. Just stop it."

The Sharingan stops and the endless red slowly fades to black. Naruto's skin has turned pink from his cries, but his uniform is still a pure, stark white in a sea of dark.

"This is the last time I will leave you alive," Sasuke whispers.

"Sasukeeee," Naruto grins, seemingly forgetting all of the pain from the past few minutes as his breathing slows, "You saved me. Sasuke, I want you to come home."

"No," Sasuke grunts, not above being childish.

"Yes," Naruto replies, suddenly forceful as arms Sasuke failed to notice are wrapping around him. "Come home with me."

Sasuke remains still, narrowing his eyes as he had before, but nothing happens. Naruto doesn't double over in pain or scream, and Sasuke is genuinely surprised. Naruto notices the sudden tensing of muscles and smiles.

"This may be your illusion, but it's still my mind, y'know. I've been practicing with Kakashi-sensei. Just for this," he explains, arms loosening as his hands fall from Sasuke's shoulders to his waist. Naruto has taken a step back, and while there is nothing but white in his eyes or skin while they are inside this genjutsu, Sasuke remembers more clearly than he should the color that normally would be there.

Sasuke isn't sure if it's Naruto reversing the jutsu as best he can from within his mind, or just the shock of being out-smarted that has him frozen. Regardless, he remains stock still as calloused fingers slowly find their way inside his shirt. His neck isn't fixed in place, he finds, and he looks down to see red trails on his own pearly-white skin where Naruto's fingers pass over.

"Do you know how close I was to giving up?" Naruto asks suddenly, fingers reaching Sasuke's nipples and the world pulses red as his own heartbeat quickens. "Everyone already has. I think I've given up a little, too, but even if I can only hope to bring you back..."

Sasuke doesn't understand what he's saying, but he's listening so intensely that when Naruto trails off he looks up sharply only to find himself being mauled by Naruto's mouth. After some initial confusion he realizes Naruto is trying to kiss him, and a sudden shiver runs up his spine, matched by another ripple of crimson around them.

"Sasuke," Naruto whispers, pulling back with lips stained the color of blood. Sasuke absently wonders if his are that color, too. "I've chased you, over four years across every country, just for a kiss. And it's not even real." He laughs, but it doesn't sound bitter and Sasuke doesn't know what to make of that.

"Sasuke," Naruto says again, leaning forward to press their foreheads together, "Let me out. I won't take you back. Just let me feel you for real."

His fingers are still tracing circles of red against Sasuke's abdomen and his mouth is right there, and Sasuke shakes his head, their bangs of black and white mixing together.

"This is real enough," he glares, and while Naruto looks disappointed, he will take what he can get. Their lips meet again in a violent kiss and the unending blackness is interrupted with spikes the color of blood.

Fingers, teeth and tongue attack Sasuke's skin, covering him almost completely in red marks the shape of Naruto's calloused hands and angry teeth. Sasuke struggles to remind himself that this isn't why he came here as Naruto grips him tight through the material of his pants, but he forgets to care as Naruto laps at his neck and brings him to ecstasy. The world around them erupts in white, and when it finally fades Naruto is floating alone.

The emptiness is black again, going on forever and ever, but all he can see is red.

"Sasukeeee," he calls, but no one appears this time. He stares blankly into nothing until the genjutsu finally breaks and he finds himself back in a world of color, alone and hard with lips the color of blood, laughter slowly bubbling out of him as he wipes away tears. Eventually he sits up, ignoring the pain of his broken ribs and the strain of his dick against his uniform, and glances to his left to see his ANBU mask smashed to pieces.

"Idiot," he chuckles, "You give me a taste and expect me to stop?"

Miles away, Sasuke spits out another mouthful of blood as he heads for the rest of his team, trying to ignore the pieces of stark white porcelain stuck to his fingers.