Disclaimer: This is massive but I still don't own Naruto!

First Choice.

If it weren't for the two contrasting skin colours an observer would never have been able to differentiate one body from the other, so closely were they intertwined as they writhed and moved against the bed sheets. Breaths came out in heavy puffs of air only to be broken by the frequent groan, gasp and whimper.

"Ah, Sasuke," the blond one moaned, thrusting himself into the mouth of the raven a top him. A pale hand splayed itself against the taut abdomen of the fair headed teen and forced aside his persistence.

"Patience, Naruto," the dark haired one responded, grinning coyly over the cock resting against his lips. "I'm just getting you ready."

Naruto laughed shortly and ran his long fingers through his lover's glossy bangs. "I was born ready."

Sasuke looked up and gave him a slow smirk. "Is that so?" he teased, eyelids fluttering closed as Naruto caressed the side of his cheek fondly.

The brunet once more merged his body with the tan one below him, arms wrapping tight around his waist and bringing him impossibly closer. As Naruto claimed top and got himself comfortable he made sure to catch Sasuke's gaze.

"I love you," he told the boy below him. With a tooth catching his bottom lip he slowly pushed himself into the heated entrance of his lover. "So much, Sasuke. So much."

Sasuke suppressed a groan as he felt Naruto completely sheath himself inside him. The feeling never failed to overwhelm him. Lying on his back with Naruto so firmly and deeply inside him, filling him, there were no words that could describe the emotions he felt playing with his heart.

"I love you too, Naruto," he said back, wide, dark eyes meeting endless blue.

Naruto smiled and started to rock his hips. Softly at first but as Sasuke began to beg for more Naruto could do nothing but comply. This was heaven. How could anything else in existence be better than they were experiencing together right there? It was unfathomable. Impossible. Immoral that anyone would want to take their pain, their pleasure and their happiness together away from them.

By the sounds Sasuke was desperately making Naruto knew he was close. Grabbing his bobbing member he began to build up a rhythm akin to the one already being maintained. Sasuke's face contorted in pleasure and Naruto beamed down at him.

"Fuck, this is all I need, Sasuke," he breathed, closing his eyes and concentrating on both jerking Sasuke off and keeping himself pounding into the tight ass below. "Who the fuck cares that we're only seventeen years old? Who the fuck can tell us we aren't going to spend the rest of our lives together?"

"Naruto!" Sasuke gasped, feeling himself on the brink of completion. In a moment of blinding white and free fall both youth's came together, cum both splattering and shooting deep inside from both spent erections.

Naruto shuddered as he pumped himself empty, the familiar feel of Sasuke's slicked passage sending an additional glow in his heart.

"I love you," Sasuke told him, pulling him down so he could rest in the crook of the blond's arms. "And we're always going to be together."

"I reckon in ten years time we'll be here, in bed together, still unable to go half an hour without one of us fucking the other," Naruto added with a grin.

Sasuke leaned across to plant a gentle kiss on Naruto's cheek. "I promise you, Naruto, that in fifty years time nothing will have changed.


12 years later ...

Naruto beamed at his son proudly as the five year old reached out his chubby hand to grab a book off of the shelf.

"This one, daddy?" he asked, turning and waving the manga in front of him.

Naruto leaned over, reached out and flipped the book to display the title. "'Little Daisuke's Adventure with the Ramen Pot', I think it's a great choice."

His blond haired, green eyed son smiled his goofy smile, a few of his teeth missing. "Mommy will like it?"

Naruto laughed and scratched the back of his neck as he stood. "Mommy doesn't understand ramen as well as us, son."

His son frowned before turning and haphazardly putting the book back on the shelf. "I'm gonna' go choose another." He pulled up his denim jeans so the bottoms didn't catch on his black Converse sneakers before running off into the adjoining aisle.

Naruto smiled to himself and again rubbed the back of his neck. He'd have to get the jeans taken up. When he'd bought them at the store he could have sworn they'd be the perfect fit. Shrugging to himself Naruto ducked into a light crouch. The manga his son had shown him had been rather hastily pushed back into the shelf. Naruto pulled it out and slipped it back into the correct slot. As he glanced across at some of the other title's a sound from the next aisle brought his gaze up. Two familiarly haunting eyes stared out at him from above the spines and Naruto froze on the spot. His heart stopped in his chest as the dark orbs assessed him quickly and a slight 'tch' rolled from the tongue. Naruto opened his mouth, a syllable forming on his lips but before he could utter a sound the eyes moved away, a pale hand interrupting Naruto's view and waving the child along.

Naruto blinked. Child? A sigh of relief left his lips. It had only been some kid. He smiled to himself and stood to his feet. What was he thinking? Of course it was only some kid. Shaking his head softly to himself Naruto tried to free his mind of the thoughts that started to surface. As he turned to head in the direction his son had taken he was forced to stop dead in his tracks. There in front of him was the child from the other aisle. He would only have been four or five, the same as Naruto's own. His skin was pale as fresh linen and the big, black eyes were framed by thick lashes and accentuated by pink, pouty lips. Black bangs skimmed across his forehead in a casual manner and his eyebrows quirked in such a painfully familiar way that Naruto felt his stomach drop and his blood pressure begin to go berserk.

The child surveyed him for a moment before asking in perfectly formed words, "what, exactly, are you looking at?" He rested a small hand on his hip and looked up at him expectantly. "Well?"

"Me?" Naruto asked dumbly. "I ... I ..., um, I-" He couldn't answer the question. A lump had formed in his throat as his brain ran through all the possibilities and extremities that had brought this child, if it was in fact the one he thought it was, before him. He was very well dressed with his dark designer jeans and dark button-up shirt. He was almost a miniature model of a boy Naruto once knew. There was no doubt as to who the child was. Although as the child rolled his eyes dramatically Naruto allowed a blossom of hope to form. Maybe the similarities were striking but not related?

The child's eyes were suddenly drawn from Naruto's own to something beyond him and left of his shoulder. A dark, heavy voice cut through the silence. "Takeo, what have I told you about talking to strangers?"

Naruto closed his eyes and almost let out a sob of frustration. His shoulders slumped and his heart rate started gaining so much momentum he was afraid it was about to careen out of his chest.

"I'm sorry, father," the child, Takeo, acquiesced and moved himself past the tall blond.

Naruto followed the movement and stilled when he finally came face to face with the speaker. "Sasuke."

He had gone to turn away, in no way interested as to who had been in between his child and himself. The brunet stopped and stared at the blond in shock. He opened his mouth and closed it again somewhat angrily. His eyes adapted a steely glint as he roughly reached for his son's hand. Taking in a quick breath he started to speak in the most pleasant tone he could muster. "Naruto. Hello."

Naruto nodded absently before gesturing to the child beside him. "I knew he must have belonged to you. As soon as I saw his eyes I knew he was yours."

Sasuke frowned and his grip on Takeo's hand tightened. "Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding but have you been watching my son?"

"Sasuke, calm down. I just met the kid before while he was in the opposite aisle."

Sasuke's frown deepened and he glanced down at his protégé. "I see," he said eventually. Naruto felt as if he had been thrown back in time. Sasuke's disapproval towards him was something he was familiar with and although it stung Naruto felt a twinge of happiness at seeing the man one more time.

"I didn't realise you were back in town," Naruto commented casually, running his fingers against the spines of the books beside him.

"We only arrived a week ago, in time to prepare Takeo to start school," Sasuke answered. Beneath the polite tone there was a hint of annoyance. "You're still here, I see."

Naruto chuckled. "You know me, Sasuke. I never could have just left this place. It's my home."

Sasuke coughed lightly, the awkwardness of the situation beginning to make him feel uncomfortable. "Yes, well. We should be going."

"I didn't even know you had a kid," Naruto said, ignoring the comment. He couldn't walk away now, not after being apart so long.

"I have two, actually. My daughter, Hana, is turning four in the spring. Takeo is five now."

"They're nice names," Naruto said earnestly.

"What are you doing here, Naruto? Did you follow us? Did someone tell you I was moving back to Konoha?" Sasuke asked suddenly. His light shirt rustled lightly as he placed one hand on his hip. The movement was identical to the one his son had done earlier.

"What? No," Naruto replied, slightly angered by the implied statement. "I was here to buy a book, actually."

"In a children's bookstore?" Sasuke countered condescendingly. "I find that hard to believe." He sighed loudly and turned to leave, his gaze sharp as he threw a pitiful look over his shoulder. "I've been gone ten years now Naruto. Haven't you gotten over it yet? I would have thought you'd be well past stalking me in a pub-"

"Daddy!" The loud, demanding tone interrupted Sasuke and shocked him into silence. As the blond hurricane Naruto addressed as his son barrelled down the aisle he couldn't help but feel a moment's smugness. "How about this one? Mommy will like it?" He pushed the book as high as he could manage, allowing Naruto to briefly glance over the title.

"She'll love it," he assured him, patting the blond locks fondly. He reached down to scoop his son up before returning Sasuke's shocked stare. "Sasuke. I'd like you to meet my son. Minato."

"Minato," Sasuke repeated lightly, eyes roaming across to his son's warm features. "It's a fitting name," he admitted softly.

Naruto grinned lightly at the compliment. "Almost. He didn't get dad's eyes. He got his mothers." He turned his head to grin widely at his boy. "And she's very proud of that, isn't she?"

Minato nodded proudly before pointing a finger at Sasuke. "Who's he?"

Sasuke blinked before coughing lightly. "Gee, Naruto, I knew you could be rude but who did you breed with to get that attitude?"

Naruto felt his grin slip away at the insult. "Sakura, actually," he replied.

The expression on Sasuke's face was comical as the answer sunk in. "Sakura? Haruno Sakura?" He dropped his son's hand to cross his arms over his chest. "You really ended up with her?"

Minato began to squirm so Naruto let him down, expression firm as he resumed his standing position. "About eight years ago now, actually."

"Didn't take you too long, did it," Sasuke commented dryly, raising a hand and inspecting his fingernails.

Naruto scoffed. "What about you? If Takeo and Minato are the same age then you obviously weren't too far off. Though you never were one for moping," he added sarcastically. "Who is the mother, by the way? Anyone I know?"

"My wife," Sasuke corrected, "is a woman named Konan. And no, you won't know her because she would never have run in your circles." Naruto's lip curled into a scowl. "I met her in Tokyo. She's an associate of Itachi's. She had married very young and her first husband suffered from a wasting disease. He died shortly after we met. She was in dire need of some comfort and attention and I was the one who was able to help her move on. Now Konan has dedicated her life to her children, something her first husband never gave her."

"How generous of you," Naruto said snidely.

"Yes, I thought so to," Sasuke said sharply.

Both men stared each other down. Since their last encounter ten years again neither had changed much. They had grown older and a few tell tale signs of aging had begun to show on either a forehead or beside an eye. Naruto frowned and deepened his scowl as he thought about the last time he and Sasuke had spoken like this. Too long ago for him to remember.

"Orange is a terrible colour, actually." The voice cut through the silence between both adults and caused them to look across in surprise at the speaker.

Takeo and Minato had taken a seat against the shelf and were flicking through one of the picture books, each holding a side in their lap. Takeo had been the one to speak and Minato didn't look pleased at all.

"Orange is a great colour! Just ask my dad! We have matching orange shirts, too! I bet you don't have that!"

Takeo blinked at him before turning his head to Naruto. "You have matching shirts?" he asked softly. Naruto nodded and forced a small smile. "That's stupid."

"What?" Minato demanded. "Then what's your favourite colour?"

"Blue, obviously," Takeo replied, gesturing to his blue shirt. "My father likes blue also. He's not a weirdo."

"I'm not weird," Minato said angrily.

"Okay, Minato, that's enough," Naruto laughed, coming over to crouch down beside his son. "You boys are starting to sound like Sasuke and I did when we were your age."

"Hardly," Sasuke drawled. "I doubt I would ever fight over something as trivial as a colour preference. And you shouldn't either, Takeo," he added with a firm glare.

"Why? Is it so beneath the Uchiha standard?" Naruto teased. "Sasuke, when we were six I remember in the cafeteria I was given an orange bowl and you were given a green and you were so upset that everyone seemed to have their favourite colour so I went and traded my orange bowl with a blue one so that you didn't feel left out."

Takeo let out a little gasp of laughter. "Father did that?" he asked.

"He did," Naruto told him, seriously. "Your father knew what he wanted and when he didn't get it, he sulked."

"Naruto," Sasuke growled. "I would appreciate it if you didn't fill my son's head with stupid memories from your past."

"My past? It's your past too, Sasuke," Naruto reminded him.

"Nevertheless it's trivial and does him no good to know it," Sasuke argued.

"You went to school with him, daddy?" Minato asked, tugging lightly on Naruto's black sleeve.

"I did, I've known Sasuke since forever," Naruto told him. He lowered his voice, "I was even younger than you when I knew Sasuke!"

"That was like, fifty years ago!" Minato said, excited. "Wow!"

Naruto laughed, "close, son. Close."

Minato nodded. "I don't like him."

Sasuke scoffed while Naruto burst into laughter. "You just need to get used to him," he looked up at Sasuke and smiled sadly. "Then you wonder how you ever lived without him."

Sasuke grimaced and coughed. "Well, we'll be going now, Takeo."

Takeo nodded obediently and rose to his feet.

"Are we getting ice cream now, daddy?" Minato asked, Takeo and Sasuke momentarily forgotten.

"Sure, I promised you ice cream," the elder blond responded. He helped his son to his feet and put away the book he and Takeo had been flicking through.

"Can Takeo come?" Minato asked. He reached over and grabbed Takeo's hand. "I like him."

Takeo looked at him in shock before glancing across at his own father. Upon seeing then steely gaze he shook his head. "It's okay. I have to go."

Minato frowned. "No, you're coming with us to get ice cream! My daddy always has money so he can buy you one!"

"Takeo and Sasuke have to go, Minato," Naruto told him. "Come on, I'll let you order three different flavours!"

"Oh," Minato said sadly. He looked over at Takeo and waved lightly. "I just wanted to play with Takeo a bit more."

Naruto looked down at the two boys in gloom. It was impossible for them to have a friendship considering him and Sasuke's path. Maybe in a different life it would have worked out for the best. Maybe if he had never fallen in love with Sasuke. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Takeo was looking at Minato in shock. "You ... you really want me to have ice cream with you?" he asked, as if the concept was foreign to him. He pulled his lips across before glancing sheepishly at his father. "Can I, father? Just this once?"

"No," Sasuke shot back at him. "Hurry up, we're leaving."

Naruto watched as Takeo's face dropped. A wave of pity overcame him for the child. A spark of anger flickered in his heart as he frowned and glared at Sasuke. "Come on, Sasuke. Do it this once."

Sasuke narrowed his eyes and glowered. "I said no."

"They're just kids, S'uke."

Something flickered in the raven's eyes at the recognition of Naruto's pet name for him. He looked at the expectant expressions on both children's faces and sighed loudly. "Fine," he said.

"Yay!" Minato cried out, bouncing on his feet. "Let's go daddy, hurry!" he added, grabbing Naruto's hand and pulling him towards the door.

Naruto allowed the child to pull him out, all intentions of buying a book gone. Sasuke and Takeo followed after them, they too abandoning their intent to purchase.

It was a warm summer day and the sky was blue without a cloud in sight. Downtown Konoha was always spectacular on a day like this one. A large park lay across the road with the trendy stores and boutiques lining the surrounding street. The sound of children laughing crossed the street to greet them. Conversations lilted in the breeze as couples and friends brushed past the two men, unaware of the conflict between them. In shop windows women tried on clothes, men looked at jewellery and children stared wistfully at the things their parents forbade them to touch. As Takeo and Minato led the way down the paved walkway towards the ice cream store Naruto and Sasuke trailed after them, neither exchanging words nor glances. The conversation between both boys drifted back to them, the subjects ranging from believable to the impossible.

"He's definitely a son you can be proud of," Naruto remarked finally. He'd clasped his hands behind his head and was gazing up at the sky as he walked. "He sounds just like you used to."

"I could say the same for yours," Sasuke responded.

"Hardly!" Naruto laughed. "Minato's a thousand times smarter than I was. His mother is a doctor after all."

"What exactly are you doing now, anyway?" Sasuke asked.

"Writing," Naruto told him. "Jiraiya is handing over his name to me when he retires so I've been doing that pretty much since high school." He turned his eyes towards Sasuke. "You still working for your father?"

"Of course," Sasuke replied stiffly. "That's why I moved back to Konoha. The Tokyo branch of The Uchiha Group is doing well enough for me to live out here and work from the Konoha office. I'll commute a few times a year but Konan wanted to raise the children outside of the capital. Father saw best to send me here."

"If you're still going to be going back to Tokyo I don't see why you'd move back out here again," Naruto said. He turned his vision back on to the boys. "I really didn't ever think I'd see you here again."

"I never intended on coming back."

They didn't speak again until they reached the ice cream parlour. They placed their orders and once they had their sweets they moved out to the park across the road. Minato and Takeo quickly scoffed down their cones before running off to play on the jungle gym. Sasuke and Naruto took a seat on the green park bench and settled in to watch the kids play. The skyline of buildings behind them set a frame as the large tree above them occasionally let a leaf slip from its grasp and slip down to the grass below.

Naruto lapped at his mint flavoured ice cream, the sweetness coating his tongue as he swiped the muscle back and forth over the frosty treat. "You sure you didn't want one?" he asked Sasuke in between licks.

"You know I don't like sweets," Sasuke told him. "Or have you forgotten?"

"I know," Naruto replied. "I could never forget anything about you, Sasuke."

Sasuke scowled and crossed his arms. "Are you not over me yet, Naruto?"

Naruto blinked in surprise at the harsh question. "Sasuke," he started, "I'm a father now. I live with Sakura and I love her."

Sasuke raised an eyebrow. "That doesn't answer the question."

"Well are you over me?" Naruto asked angrily. He turned his head away and glared down at his ice cream. "You accuse me of being the one holding the flame but never admit that you might feel something too." He returned his gaze to Sasuke's face. "Well?"

"Like you pointed out, I'm a father and I'm married," Sasuke said.

"That doesn't answer the question either," Naruto repeated. "Do you love your wife, Sasuke?"

"Do you love Sakura?"

"We're going 'round in circles," Naruto sighed. He licked some more of his ice cream. After a time he answered the question asked of him. "And yes. I do love Sakura. She's a beautiful woman. Smart, caring and generous."

"You sound like you want to say something else," Sasuke remarked. He slung an arm behind him.

Naruto laughed and shook his head. "I'll regret saying this but," he turned his eyes on Sasuke's, "she's not you."

Sasuke snorted softly and gazed out across the park. "When was the wedding?"

"There was none," Naruto answered. He heard Sasuke turn back towards him but didn't acknowledge the gesture. "We sort of started hanging out more and more after you and I fell out and then you left for Tokyo and Sakura moved in with me and next I know she's pregnant and we're finding a house, putting down a deposit and bang, five years later here I am."

"You never thought to marry her when you knew she was carrying your child?" Sasuke asked.

Naruto made a distressed sound in the back of his throat. "I know she wants to. Fuck, I know she dreams of me proposing and having the massive wedding and the white dress with the ten bridesmaids. But I can't do it. I can't put myself through it." He shook his head, blond bangs skimming across his eyes. "Don't get me wrong, I love Sakura. I love her so much."

"You're just not in love with her," Sasuke surmised.

"Not like I was with you."


"What do you want me to say, Sasuke?" Naruto asked. "I've already said more to you than I ever thought I would. Hell, I used to imagine what I'd say to you when next we met. Nothing has gone ahead like I planned."

Sasuke opened his mouth to answer but thought better of it. Naruto continued on with his ice cream and watched as Takeo and Minato took turns in spinning the other round on the merry-go-round. A shrill beeping noise emanating from Sasuke's pocket caused the brunet to pull out his cell. He typed back a response with one thumb before slipping the object back into his pocket.

"She's having an affair," he said suddenly.

Naruto looked at him. "Who?" he asked. He roamed his eyes across the park and saw a blonde woman jogging nearby. "Her? How do you know?"

"Not her, you idiot. Konan."

"Your wife?" Naruto asked dumbly.

"Who else?" The brunet leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees. Turning a wrist over he stroked it lightly with his thumb. The motion was strangely reminiscent to Naruto, the gesture reminding him of all the times they had held hands and Sasuke's thumb had always managed to slip down and press lightly against his pulse point. He swallowed away the memory and turned his eyes to Sasuke's face. A bang of dark hair fell against his cheek, concealing his expression.

"How do you know?"

Sasuke chuckled humourlessly. "You can just tell. She comes home smelling like sex. Occasionally she's been as bold to come home with a hickey."

"Why?" Naruto asked. "I thought you said you helped her move on from her first husband? She'd have to love you, wouldn't she?"

Sasuke shrugged. "I'm sure she does, or at least did. The woman was infatuated with me."

"Well what's changed?" In the back of his mind Naruto slapped his head. Why on earth was he giving Sasuke marriage advice? He didn't want the man to be seeing one at all let alone married. The thought made him look away from the pale face of his ex-lover. No. He had moved on. He loved Sakura. He didn't need to feel anything for Sasuke anymore. He shouldn't feel anything for Sasuke anymore.

"Like I know?" Sasuke said in a bored tone.

Takeo shouted something intelligible at Minato and a response soon followed, the sound being blown away in the breeze. "Sasuke," Naruto said softly. "Are you sure Takeo is, well, um ... yours?"

"He is. And Hana. I made Konan take them for an identity test to prove they were mine."

"Wow, that's real romantic, Sasuke," Naruto said sarcastically. "What if she faked the results?"

"How, you moron? I was there to," Sasuke spat.

"Well how would I know that?" Naruto asked him. "Maybe if you weren't still as much of an asshole now as you were back when we were together Konan wouldn't be having an affair."

"Affairs," Sasuke corrected.

"Whatever," Naruto grumbled. "Maybe she's doing it to get your attention. Between the mirror, work and your father you spread yourself pretty thin. I'm surprised you have time to take your son out for an ice cream."

Sasuke turned and shot out his hand quicker than Naruto thought possible. His fingers were latched around Naruto's throat before the blond even had a chance to blink. Naruto vaguely felt his cone beginning to slip from his fingers but caught it just in time, a chill running up his hand as some of the melting dessert dribbled onto his hand.

"Shut the fuck up. You don't know me anymore, Naruto. You have no idea what the fuck goes through my mind and what I have to deal with," Sasuke growled angrily, eyes sharp and narrowed.

"I'll take that as a yes then," Naruto goaded, brows furrowed in annoyance. Sasuke's fingers tightened around his neck slightly.

"You think everything's so simple, don't you?" Sasuke sneered. "I might still be an asshole but you're as dim-witted as you were the day you begged me to take you back."

Naruto bared his teeth in anger. "What was I supposed to do, Sasuke? You dumped me over money! That isn't the nicest way to end a three and a half year relationship."

"We were seventeen, it could hardly be called a relationship," Sasuke countered. "And I did not leave you for money."

"Yes, you did! Your father found out about us and said he'd give you Itachi's position in the company if you dumped me! That and a whole fuck load of cash!"

"It wasn't a request it was an order!" Sasuke shot back at him. His voice dropped to a hoarse whisper. "You think I wanted to lose you? You think I enjoyed that I had to shut off the one person who loved me for me for some crappy position that my brother didn't want? I had to, Naruto. My father was going to disown me otherwise! It states in his will that if Itachi and I don't have children we're entitled to nothing. Nothing! I can't live a life of poverty."

"So instead you choose to break my heart and start treating me like shit?" Naruto growled. The clasp around his throat slackened as Sasuke's expression waved. His bottom lip trembled slightly, so slightly Naruto thought he might have imagined it.

"I didn't treat you like shit."

Naruto barked out a laugh of disbelief. "As if hell you didn't! You treated me like dirt, Sasuke. You moving away was probably the best thing that ever happened to me."

The fingers dug into tan skin again. "What's going on?"

Sasuke and Naruto turned their heads, eyes widening at the sight of their two sons looking at them strangely.

"What have I told you about interrupting adults when they're talking, Takeo?" Sasuke asked harshly, hand withdrawing from Naruto's neck. "I'm very disappointed in you."

Takeo's face dropped and his bottom lip quivered at the stern tone. Naruto glanced from father to son before breaking his face into a wide smile.

"It's okay, Sasuke! Kids, there was the most massive of bees on me! Sasuke had to hold me still because I kept moving around and it was going to sting me!" He looked at his shoulders. "It's gone, right, Sasuke?"

"Yes," came the flat reply.

"Great! Thanks!" He thumped a pat on Sasuke's back. "Thank God you were here; I'm allergic to bees!"

Both kids looked at them suspiciously for a moment before glancing at each other and running back to the playground.

"Thank God kids are dumb," Naruto remarked casually.

"Yours is maybe. Mine's not," Sasuke said scathingly.

The blond sighed loudly and shook his head. His ice cream had dribbled onto his fingers. Bringing his hands near his face Naruto licked up the cream onto his tongue, eyes closing in defeat. He'd never win with Sasuke. Not back then and certainly not now.

"He bought that lousy excuse."

"A one-off I assure you, unless your son's stupidity is contagious."

"Fuck off, Sasuke," Naruto muttered. He shook his head in annoyance and continued to eat his ice cream. They didn't speak again until Naruto had finished, the last piece of the cone popped into his mouth and swallowed.

"I didn't want it to end that way," Sasuke eventually said. He gestured with his hands before continuing. "I had no other choice."

"Everyone has a choice," Naruto told him flatly. "You just copped out."

"Naruto," Sasuke said softly. Naruto looked over at him, expression creased. "I miss you," the brunet told him. "Every day."

"You were the one who ended it, Sasuke," Naruto remarked. "Don't think that you can come back here and expect me to crawl after you again." Sasuke looked taken aback so Naruto chose the moment to press onward. "I loved you more than I thought possible and a part of me always will. But now I'm a father and I'm in a long term relationship and discussing what we had between us is going to do nothing."

"How can you change so quickly?" Sasuke demanded. "You said just before that you will never love Sakura the way you do me."

"Sasuke, we're never going to be together again! Fuck! No one even knew we were together in the first place!"

That was a lie. Naruto knew at least two of his friends knew about him and Sasuke. They had never made their relationship public. Sakura had never known, she had assumed he and Sasuke had had a large falling out, something that happened between close friends and couldn't be repaired. She never would have guessed they'd been sleeping together. She probably wouldn't have given Naruto a go if she had.

"I could ruin you," Sasuke sneered, thinking along the same line as Naruto. "If I tell Sakura I had you first she'll never forgive you. You've lied to her all this time."

"Sakura knows I'm bi, Sasuke," Naruto told him firmly. "Obviously now I'm with her but she knows I've fooled around. She's fine with it, she's done enough herself to not cast stones."

"She never knew we were together though," Sasuke said lightly. "I'm sure she'd love to know."

"You realise you not only dangle the fate of my relationship with my partner but with my son as well, don't you?" Naruto demanded. "You would separate me from him just so you could have me admit that I miss you?"

"So you do miss me?"

"You know I do, Sasuke. And I know now for certain that you never got over me."

"Don't be so cocky, I only said I missed you. Not that I wasn't over you."

"You didn't have to. You will always threaten another's happiness to get what you want. You'd easily have me miserable just to live life the way you want it. You've done it in the past."

"Naruto," Sasuke said again, this time leaning forward.

Naruto felt his heart start beating faster, mesmerised as Sasuke inched closer. "What are you doing?" he hissed. When Sasuke's finger caught against his top lip Naruto felt a moment of bliss. It had been years since Sasuke had touched him last. "Sasuke?"

Sasuke withdrew and displayed the drop of ice cream on the tip of his finger. Naruto swallowed as Sasuke brought it to his lips and lapped up the pearl. "You had some on your lip."

"You could have just told me," Naruto grumbled. He turned his attention away from Sasuke and to a mother with her daughter walking towards the park. Sasuke followed his gaze before clearing his throat lightly.

"Naruto, come to a hotel room with me?"

"What?" Naruto almost screeched. "Are you kidding me?"

Sasuke regarded him seriously. "Do I look like I'm joking? I'm going to get a hotel room and I want you to come with me."

Naruto rose to his feet. "No."

Sasuke stood as well and manoeuvred his body as close to Naruto as he could without touching him. "Please? Just one night, that's all I ask."

"What the fuck, Sasuke? No! No fucking way! I'm with Sakura now! You're with Konan!"

"I'm not going to let that stop me," Sasuke replied simply. "Naruto," he crooned, lowering his voice. "We never got to have break up sex. Don't you want to know what it's like to be together one last time? And know it's our last?"

"No, Sasuke," Naruto growled. Despite his answer as soon as Sasuke had proposed the motion Naruto knew he wanted it more than ever. The fact made his furious with himself. He was happy with Sakura, happy and content. But as he looked as Sasuke and watched as the normally calm features displayed alarmingly obvious signs of distress he knew he would never be more than just 'average' with the mother of his child. "I can't," he whined.

"But you want to?"

Naruto crossed his arms and looked at the ground. "I can't, Sasuke. We can't. Don't make me make a decision."

"Why not? I'm getting the room wether you come or not, Naruto. I know you'll turn up in the end."

Naruto returned his eyes to Sasuke's. "How are you so sure?"

"Because you are never indecisive about anything, you always make up your mind. The fact that you didn't ignore the comment and get up and walk away shows me you want it as much as I do." Sasuke cast a look over his shoulder. "Naruto, tell me you'll say yes?"

Naruto debated for a moment but when he made to answer he noticed the woman who had been walking towards the park was standing a few feet away and watching them very closely.

"Can I help, ma'am?" Naruto asked, ignoring Sasuke's look of annoyance.

"I'm sorry, who are you?" she replied. She tugged on her daughter's hand and moved towards Sasuke. "Are you ready to go?"

Naruto's mouth fell open as he watched Sasuke plant a light kiss on the woman's cheek and swept the little girl into a hug.

"Daddy, stop!" the girl squealed, laughing and giggling.

Sasuke obliged and straightened, "Naruto," he began. "This is my wife, Konan and my daughter, Hana."

The first feeling Naruto felt as he gazed upon Sasuke's family was revulsion. He had seen them walking over and yet he had still propositioned Naruto into going to a hotel with him? He forced his face into a smile as he turned to observe Konan properly. She was very attractive, dark hair with what looked like lilac highlights and the sexiest pair of bedroom eyes Naruto had ever seen. She was looking a Naruto with a bland expression on her face, eyes hooded as she trailed her gaze from her husband to the blond.

"Well are you, Sasuke?" she asked again, turning her back slightly towards Naruto.

"Excuse me for a moment," Sasuke told her. He moved towards Naruto and grabbed his upper arm, forcing him to turn and face towards the busy street. "There's a hotel just down the block. Come on, Naruto. Stop playing games."

"Let go of me," Naruto hissed angrily. "Your fucking family is here, Sasuke! Have you no morals?"

"I don't give a fuck about them right now," Sasuke replied in a low tone. "All I want at this moment is to be with you." He drew in a shallow breath. "I'd give away everything right now to be with you tonight."

Naruto jerked his arm out of Sasuke's grasp. "Minato!" he shouted loudly, gesturing for his son to come over. "Even if I wanted to make it, Sasuke, I can't. I have my son with me." He said this loud enough for Konan to hear though her face remained expressionless.

"That's okay, Konan can look after Minato for you."

Naruto fixed a firm glare on Sasuke. "I'm sorry, Sasuke. I don't know your wife. I'm not leaving my son with a stranger." By this time Minato had run over and was waiting beside his father expectantly.

"I really don't think our business arrangements will extend after today," Sasuke said professionally. "If you want this deal to go ahead I'd suggest you think it through."

Naruto almost snorted at the line. "Deal's off, Sasuke," he said. "Come on, Minato. I'm sure your mother is wondering where we are."

As Naruto turned to walk away Sasuke caught up with him, hand holding him steady as he lips caught on the edge of the blond's ear. "Are you sure? I need you in me so badly, Naruto. I need to feel you inside me just this one more time." He withdrew immediately, hand and lips gone so quickly though the tingling sensation of their touch remained.

Naruto stood rooted to the spot as the words sunk in. He had never heard something so sensual in his life. He swallowed awkwardly and looked down at his son. The boy was looking at him with a confused expression.

"You okay, daddy?" he asked. The words hit Naruto and sounded morphed and strange.

It was as if a sudden heat wave had overcome him. He felt as if he hadn't had a drink in years and his body was starting to sweat like he'd just run a marathon. As he battled his conscious inside him he barely heard his son repeat the question, nor Sasuke and Konan as they discussed the events of their day. The last ten years flew through Naruto's head. He'd never truly gotten over Sasuke. Despite moving on, having a child and caring for another he had never felt completely whole. The only time he had ever felt truly happy were those spent with the man behind him. A man who had left him at the drop of the hat, a man who stood with his wife and two kids just barely three feet away. His whole life Naruto had tried to put others before himself. He always endeavoured to make Sakura happy, never did wrong by her. Minato was his foremost concern as well. His son had the best in everything and more importantly had two parents who would die for him. When was the last time Naruto had done something for himself? The lack of internal response didn't surprise him.

"Sasuke," he found himself saying. "I think you're right. The deal will only be on for today." He turned slowly, his brain working in overtime as he plotted out his next move. "But I can't leave Minato with a stranger."

Sasuke nodded. "I understand."

"But I know someone who can help," Naruto told him, eyes locked.

"Good," Sasuke responded. "Konan," he added without sparing her a glance. "Naruto and I have some further business to discuss. Would you mind taking the children home? I will see you soon."

"Sasuke? When?" the woman asked, concern playing across her features. She looked at Naruto with ill disguised mistrust. "Where are you going?"

"None of your business," Sasuke told her curtly. He ignored her as he approached Naruto and stood by his side. "And please don't call; I'll be busy for the rest of the evening."

Sasuke headed off and Naruto followed after. He chanced a glance across his shoulder. Konan was standing there with both of Sasuke's children, all looking after their father with looks of helplessness on their faces. Shaking his head Naruto turned away from the sight, intent on forgetting about everyone except himself and the raven in front of him.

"Daddy, where are we going?" Minato asked, his short legs almost running to keep up with the pace of the adults. "Why can't I play with Takeo anymore?"

"Takeo's dad and I have to talk about some daddy stuff, okay?" Naruto told him. They crossed the road and turned right, Naruto taking the lead. "It will only be for a little while."

"Can I come?"

"No, son. But how about we take you to play with some puppies? Would you like that?" Naruto asked him.

"Yes!" Minato gasped, bouncing on the spot.

"Puppies?" Sasuke asked from Naruto's left.

"You'll see," Naruto replied.

They continued on down the street before turning left. About half way down sat a little shop front with "Veterinary" displayed in red writing up the top. Minato squealed in delight before running in front and pushing open the swinging glass door. Naruto glanced across at Sasuke who had raised an eyebrow lightly.

"Stay here," Naruto told him, moving to the door and placing his hand on the handle. "And stay out of sight."

"Why?" Sasuke asked, being difficult. He crossed his arms.

"Sasuke, do you want me to come or not?"

"You're going to cum whether you like it or not," Sasuke shot back quickly.

"Shut up. And do as I say," Naruto ordered before pushing open the door and entering the cool office.

Minato was waiting in the foyer, his body stretched in an attempt to hit the bell on the counter. Naruto chuckled to himself as he lightly tapped the metal, a ringing sound echoing around them. A door to the right quickly slid open and revealed Naruto's long time friend.

"Yo, man. What's up?" Kiba asked. He was wearing his white jacket and underneath a plain black polo with jeans.

"Uncle Kiba!" Minato cried out, jumping to try see the man.

Kiba's face broke into a welcoming smile as he moved from around the counter to give the youth a quick hug. "Hey kid, what's happening?"

"Daddy bought me ice cream!" Minato told him. "And then I played with Takeo and then we came here."

"Takeo?" Kiba asked, perplexed. He gave Naruto a look. "Who's that?"

"My new best friend!" Minato said proudly.

"He sure is, buddy," Naruto agreed. "Why don't you go sit over on the couch like a good boy? I have to talk with your uncle Kiba."

Minato nodded and obeyed, his little feet swinging once he was comfortably seated.

"What's going on?" Kiba asked, concerned. "Everything okay?"

"Yeah, it is. But I need to ask a favour," Naruto said in a soft voice. "Something's come up and I need you to look after Minato for a while."

"What's come up? Is Sakura okay?" Kiba asked.

"She's fine. Everyone's fine. It's not an emergency but I need you to do this for me."

"What's going on then?" Kiba asked, confused. "I'm a Vet, Naruto. Not a babysitter. Hana would kill me if she knew I was shirking my duties and looking after your son."

"No she wouldn't, she loves Minato more than me, I think," Naruto joked. "Come on, man. Just this once?"

"That's what you said last time to," Kiba reminded him. "When Sakura texted you a photo of her in lingerie and told you if you were home you'd get lucky."

Naruto blushed and rubbed the back of his neck. "Yeah, well. It's not like it this time. This is really important to me, Kiba."

Kiba sighed loudly. "Fine. I'll take him. There's a bunch of kittens out the back that were abandoned, he can help me clean them. You better be telling me where you're going though. And don't just think you ca-"

Naruto frowned as Kiba broke himself off mid-sentence. "Everything okay?" he asked.

Kiba was fixedly staring out the store windows. "I swear that guy is Uchiha Sasuke," he said out loud. He pointed. "Look!"

Naruto glared over his shoulder at Sasuke who was standing there in full view. He scowled in annoyance. He had specifically told him not to be in sight. "It is."

"Seriously? What's he doing back in Konoha? I thought he assumed he was too good for this place," Kiba chuckled. At Naruto's silence he stilled and gaped at him. "Please don't tell me you're going off with him?" he hissed angrily.

"Yeah, about that..." Naruto trailed off.

"Where? Where are you going? Have you forgotten everything that guy did to you, Naruto?"

"Truthfully? We're going to the hotel that's just around the corner."

Kiba didn't reply for a moment. "Are you fucking kidding me?" he demanded. "Naruto? Seriously? Seriously?" He shook his head and shoved his hands into his jacket pocket. "You sicken me. You're doing this behind Sakura's back too, aren't you?"

Guilt began to bubble up in Naruto's stomach as he shied away from the harsh gaze. "It's just once, Kiba. Sasuke and his family just moved back here and we just want a few hours to our-"

"Sasuke's family? So he as a wife and kids too then?" Kiba shook his head again. "No. I won't look after Minato."

"What?" Naruto demanded. "You've already said you would!"

"That was before I knew you were off to man-whore yourself out to Uchiha over there."

"Please, Kiba! Come on!"

"No!" He pulled out his hands and crossed his arms. "No, Naruto. I'm doing you a favour. You'll thank me for it later."

"Kiba," Naruto began. Desperation began to consume the guilt. He needed Sasuke. Now that he knew he wanted him nothing would sate the thought until the act happened. Didn't Kiba realise that? Sasuke was like a drug. That one touch against his lips earlier had sent him spiralling downhill into a pool of addiction and need. Without Sasuke tonight Naruto knew he would surely go crazy.

"I'm not interested, Naruto," Kiba told him firmly. He turned around and moved to stand behind the counter. "Now, unless you have a sick animal I can look at I must ask you to leave. You can't keep bothering me at work, Naruto."

"Kiba," Naruto groaned, pressing himself against the counter and extending his clasped hands out in front of you. "I'm begging you. I want this so much. And it's just this one time! It'll never happen again, I swear!"

Kiba scoffed. "If what you say is true and Sasuke has moved back to Konoha that I know that if I let you do it this once it will be a repeat act." The brunet cast a glance over at Minato to ensure the boy wasn't listening. "Naruto, he left you for money! Have you forgotten that? What words has he used to make you like this?"

"I miss him, Kiba. Every day. And he misses me too."

"No, he misses the fact that he used to have complete control over you and now that you've moved on and have a family he doesn't like it. This is just him trying to reclaim your life as his own again, Naruto."

"I don't care!" Naruto said. "I believe it what he said to me. And if you won't help I'll find someone who will."


"Is there a problem?"

Kiba frowned at the sudden intrusion. "Hello, Sasuke."

"Inuzuka," Sasuke responded in a bored tone. He took a place beside Naruto. "So what's taking so long?"

Kiba bristled. "Leave him alone, Sasuke."

"What are you? His mother?"

"I'm his best friend," Kiba snarled. "And if I let him go off with you then I'm a terrible one at that."

"Hn." Sasuke lightly touched Naruto's hip. "Well I'm going to go. Coming?"

Naruto's lips parted as he felt himself swallowed in Sasuke's eyes. "Kiba," he said turning and facing his friend. "Please?"

Kiba was silent for a minute before groaning lightly. "Fine. Fine. I'll take Minato. Better he be here than somewhere else not getting looked after." He frowned angrily at Sasuke. "If this happens again Uchiha I swear you'll regret it."

Sasuke rolled his eyes. "Sure, dog-face."

Kiba shook his head in disgust. "Naruto, you better know what the fuck you are doing," he said quietly.

"Thanks," Naruto replied. "I'll pick up Minato as soon as I'm free."

"Sure," Kiba sighed. Putting on a smile and he turned to Minato, "want to see Akamaru, Minato?"

Naruto waited until both his son and friend had disappeared out the back before taking in a breath and confronting his ex-lover. "Let's go," he said to Sasuke.

Sasuke nodded and led the way out. The sun had sunk low on the horizon and cast long shadows out before them. The day was still warm though the breeze that tickled their skin and hair had a cool bite to it. The hotel was only a few blocks down for Kiba's surgery. It was a small establishment with staff who didn't blink as Sasuke asked for the best room in the building.

"And no calls, either," he said stiffly as the girl handed over their key card.

"Enjoy your stay," she said pleasantly.

In silence they entered the elevator and rode up to the fifth floor. The doors opened with a soft ding and the two men exited.

"501," Sasuke read out turning into the corridor. There were only two rooms on the floor. "This way," he directed, motioning towards the left where a large gold-embossed sign pointed in the direction of their room.

The front door was made of a heavy wood, the colour contrasting nicely with the red and purple colours used to decorate the floor. Sasuke quickly swiped the card and a muted green light signalled their entrance was granted. The room was large and spacious. There was a sitting room with a coffee table adorned with a fruit basket as well as a large wide screen T.V on the wall. To the left led in to the bedroom. Naruto stopped in the double-door entry and leant against the frame. The bed was a king size, pillows piled high at the top and white covers dressed the arrangement. A neat purple sash sat on the edge of the bed; several of the pillows were the same colour so the result was striking. From the doorway Naruto could see into the bathroom. The bathtub was at least twice the size of his entire bathroom at home. Pristine marble made up the benches. The opulence almost made him shake his head in disgust.

"Not too shabby," he commented.

"For ¥68,000 a night you wouldn't want it to be," Sasuke said dryly as he walked past Naruto. "There's a glass of sake on the table for you."

Naruto looked over his shoulder and saw Sasuke had already opened a bottle. A cup sat waiting for him beside an empty one. When he turned to look at Sasuke again the man was beginning to unbutton his shirt. Suddenly Naruto felt awkward and embarrassed. A light blush covered his cheeks as he turned towards the table. Grabbing up his shot he flung his head back and swallowed the whole lot. The sweetness of the range coated his tongue and made him shudder lightly.

"Taste good?" a voice whispered in his ear.

The blond turned to observe the brunet beside him. "Not bad," he whispered, voice slightly hoarse.

Sasuke smirked. "Good." Sasuke raised his hands to lightly cup Naruto's face. "You look older," he commented. Before Naruto could retort he continued. "But you look exactly how I've imagined you all these years."

Naruto let a small smile cross his lips before leaning towards Sasuke and allowing the brunet to catch him in a soft kiss. They started tentatively at first, lips meeting hesitantly as they began to remember the passion and fire they had experienced together as youths. Naruto dropped the sake cup in a daze and brought his hands up to Sasuke's hips, pulling him closer against him. Their tongues met slowly and began to grind as if in slow motion. Sasuke pulled away briefly to asses Naruto's expression.

"No doubts?" he asked, huskily. "I want you to be thinking of me and only me."

Naruto felt a pang of guilt in his chest as he realised he'd not thought of Sakura once since leaving Minato with Kiba. He glanced down at his hand as he brought it round to play with Sasuke's zip. "How could I think of anything but this?" he asked softly, pulling down the metal slowly. Sasuke hissed lightly as Naruto pulled aside the material to expose the rather obvious bulge in his underwear. "You've not gotten smaller, I hope?" he joked lightly.

Sasuke scoffed and stroked a piece of blond hair as Naruto pushed the pants down to his thighs and started on his underwear. The blue gaze was fixated as the material was pushed aside and the thick cock he remembered so well was revealed before his eyes. Naruto swallowed awkwardly and tried to suppress the whine that built up in his throat. He moved his gaze back to Sasuke and glared at the arrogant smirk.

"Sasuke," he whispered, leaning his forehead against Sasuke's chin. Very slowly he extended his hand and wrapped his fingers around the arousal. Sasuke groaned softly and thrust lightly into the grip.

"Naruto?" Sasuke asked, moving his head to plant a light kiss on Naruto's temple. He moved his hands to work on the blond's own pants, fingers deftly undoing button and zipper and pushing aside both pants and boxers.

Soon both men were standing there, panting lightly as each other slowly massaged their fingers up and down their erections. Naruto closed his eyes and bit his lip, trying to suppress the emotion he felt at having Sasuke in his hands again. As Sasuke made to let go of his cock Naruto knelt to the ground, eyes seeking Sasuke's as he positioned the red and swollen head beside his lips. Taking in a deep breath Naruto tried to savour the scent and silky feel around his fingers. Unable to wait any longer he opened his mouth and pushed the erection deep in to the back of his throat. Sasuke let out a gasp of surprise and Naruto felt himself gag around the intrusion. He had not felt that sort of pressure in such a long time and his throat had lost the resistance it had learned while they were together.

Sasuke pulled away and rubbed his hand through Naruto's hair. "We have all night for foreplay," he said hoarsely. "Right now I just want to fuck you."

Naruto's heart skipped a beat at the admission. He rose to his feet and allowed Sasuke to pull him into the bedroom. They collapsed onto the large bed, erections grinding together and lips crashing. Sasuke rolled them so Naruto was on top; he freed his mouth to spit on his hand and rubbed it roughly on the blond's cock. Naruto groaned into the touch and watched with heavy lidded eyes as Sasuke parted his legs and revealed his entrance.

"If this is as good as I remember it to be then I'm all for for us coming clean and just being together," Sasuke told him, rubbing a hand across his own dick.

Naruto had just positioned himself at Sasuke's hole, he could feel the muscle quivering around his head. Yet Sasuke's words made him still. Looking down at himself, so hard and ready to thrust into the tight heat, the sort of heat that only Sasuke could give him. Yet ... he had a family. Looking to the side Naruto glanced at the window in the wall beside them. There were sheer white curtains drawn across it but you could see out the window into the night sky, the moon's shape visible in the sky.

"What's wrong?" Sasuke asked, interrupting his thoughts. He pressed himself up against Naruto.

Naruto groaned as he felt himself enter slightly. Pulling away he shook his head. "Sasuke, I have a family," he whispered. "I love Sakura and as much as I love you too and have missed you I don't think I can throw away the last eight years of my life for one night."

"Who says it has to be one night?"

"You did," Naruto reminded him, agitated. "Sasuke, I want this. I really want this. But I can't." He made to pull away but Sasuke grabbed his arm and pulled him down onto the bed.

Positions reversed Sasuke pushed open his legs and positioned his own cock in front of Naruto's hole. "Then I'll fuck you if you can't do me," he said casually.

"Sasuke," Naruto pleaded. "I think I should go." Without a further word he lightly pushed Sasuke aside and pushed himself into a sitting position.

"You're not joking, are you?" Sasuke asked from behind him.

Naruto turned around and smiled slowly over his shoulder. "No."

Sasuke shrugged. "You're making a mistake, you know," he said casually. Hugging one leg to his chest the raven glanced out the window.

"I think I'm doing the right thing. For both of us."

"If you say so," Sasuke replied, still staring out at the sky.

Naruto watched him for a moment longer before standing. Slowly he collected his clothes in silence, too afraid to speak and allowing Sasuke to convince him to stay.

"It was good to see you, though," he said as he paused in the doorway. Sasuke very slightly inclined his head but offered no parting words. Knowing that there was nothing else to say Naruto headed for the door.

"I'll be here til morning," he heard Sasuke call out. He paused at the front door and looked in the direction of the bedroom. "In case you realise you've made the wrong choice."

Naruto didn't respond. Instead he let the heavy thud of the door closing behind him say everything he needed to say.


Later that night as he sat down for dinner with his family Naruto tried to focus on the conversation. Minato was telling Sakura a story about one of the kids from his playgroup. Naruto sighed softly as he pushed around his rice. What was Sasuke doing now? Was he looking at his phone, waiting for Naruto to call? Sighing again Naruto placed his chin on his hand and put down his chopsticks. Maybe he should go back?

"Go back where?"

Naruto looked up with a start and saw Sakura and Minato looking at him oddly. "Huh?"

"You just said out loud that maybe you should go back?" Sakura told him. "Are you okay, Naruto?"

Naruto blinked before rubbing the back of his head. "Yeah, yeah. I'm fine. I'm just ... I think I need to run out for a bit, okay?"

Sakura frowned. "...okay? You know this is my only night off-call, don't you?"

"I know that," Naruto assured her. "There's just something I really need to do at the moment." As he stood Sakura made to stand as well but Naruto waved her down. "You finish eating," he told her.

"You've barely touched your meal!" she protested, pointing at the pile of food in his bowl.

"I'll eat something when I get back," Naruto told her. "Don't wait up."

He tried to conceal his anxiety as he left the dining room, grabbed his wallet and car keys and made his way back over to the hotel. Signs and lights flashed at him as he sped down the highway and roads. Pulling his car over in a nearby lot Naruto practically ran back to the hotel lobby. He slowed himself down and approached the desk with a smile. The receptionist from earlier was still working.

"Good evening," she said with no hint of recognition.

"Hi. I was with Uchiha Sasuke before and had to leave. But I'm back now, can you please phone him to let him know?"

The girl surveyed Naruto coolly. "And who are you?"

"Uzumaki Naruto, Sasuke's ... friend."

The girl raised an eyebrow at the hesitation in Naruto's tone but turned to the computer beside her and started punching in details. After a moment she frowned. "I'm sorry. It seems Uchiha-Sama checked out earlier this evening."

Naruto felt his heart stop in his chest. "Are you sure?"

"I'm positive. About four hours ago."

Naruto glanced at the clock on the wall behind her. He would have left roughly four and a half hours ago. A swell of dejection built up and crashed down on him as Naruto offered his thanks and turned on his heel to leave. As he left the warmth of the hotel lobby he couldn't help but feel a moment's desperation. What if Sasuke was still there but she lied to him? He had told him he would wait there til morning? Had he really thought Naruto wouldn't come back? As he pushed his hands into his pockets he noticed an apple roll past him. His reflexes kicked in and he grabbed for it.

"Oh, thank you for that," a voice spoke to him.

Turning with the fruit in hand Naruto saw an older shopkeeper trying to close up his shop. In one hand he was trying to close the door and in the other he had balanced some books and a bag full of groceries.

"Here, let me help you," Naruto told him, rushing forward and taking the bag from him. He held the paperwork in his other hand as the man breathed a sigh of relief.

"Thank you so much for your help, I thought I was going to lose everything!" the man said, turning and concentrating on locking the door.

"You own a jewellery shop?" Naruto asked, reading the sign above them. "Looks nice."

The man looked at him, "yes. Why? Need something before I go home?"

Naruto shook his head and grinned widely. "No, no! Thanks though!"

"You sure? A good looking guy like you, well, I'm sure you have a beautiful girlfriend back home just waiting for the day you bring her home a special something."

The smile on Naruto's face faded as he realised how true the man was. He had stopped trying to close the door altogether now and was watching Naruto with an expectant look on his face. Naruto looked back over at the hotel Sasuke and him had gone to. Why hadn't he waited? Naruto had come back for him and he wasn't even there. Had he realised he wanted Konan more than Naruto? Had he realised he didn't really love Naruto at all?

"Sir? Are you okay?"

Naruto tore his gaze away from the building and sighed softly. No. No he wasn't okay.


The house was dark and quiet when Naruto eventually got home. He slowly pushed off his shoes and padded his way to the bedroom. A small line of light shone under the doorway and frowning Naruto pushed open the door. Sakura was sitting in bed reading one of her medical journals, Minato lay sprawled beside her with his mouth wide open. Naruto felt a burst of pride as he looked at his son.

"Naruto?" Sakura asked. "You're home."

"I told you not to wait up," Naruto scolded lightly as he removed his shirt.

"I've been so worried about you. I called your phone but you didn't pick up."

"Sorry, I didn't have it with me," he told her. Crawling in to bed he laid down beside Minato, the boy mumbling something but not waking up.

"Are you okay, Naruto?"

"I'm fine," Naruto told her, staring up at the ceiling.

"Is it my job?" Sakura asked. Naruto turned his head to find his partner on the verge of tears. "Am I working too much? I try to do as much as I can but if you want more you have to tell me! I'm trying so hard Naruto! I promise!"

"Hey, hey!" Naruto said softly, moving and wrapping his arms around her. "You're fine, Sakura. You're brilliant. You're doing nothing wrong."

"I always fear you hate me for what I do and you don't want me anymore," she told him, tears wetting his shoulder.

"That's not true," Naruto argued weakly. "I love you, Sakura. In fact," he pulled away and held the woman at arm's length. "There's something I need to give you."

"Give me?" Sakura asked, wiping away tears. "Give me what?"

Reaching in to his back pocket Naruto swallowed away hesitation and pulled out the smooth velvet box he had purchased from the jeweller he had met only that night. "This," he said, popping it open and revealing the gold and diamond set ring inside.

Sakura's mouth fell open as she gracefully pulled the ring out and examined it in her palm. "Naruto ... is ... is that what I think it is?"

Naruto nodded. His heart was beating erratically, his eardrums felt as if they were to burst. She wasn't Sasuke. She would never even measure up to Sasuke.. As he watched her slip on the ring, burst in to tears and tell him over and over again 'yes, of course I'll marry you!' Naruto realised that today he had learnt something. He had learnt that he was never going to be with Sasuke and that sometimes, sometimes people need to learn how to settle with second best.

This was big and I kept getting writers block but knew what I wanted to write. I hope it came out okay?

Yeah? Sweet.

So, yes. Not a lot of sex and a lot of dialouge. Oh well, I hope you all still enjoyed it!

Advanced thanks to those who read, review and spread their love to me :D