101510 Hi! Long time no see! *sigh* I know, I know... Another story when I haven't updated By Your Side for months? Sorry. I'm suffering from major, major writer's block for my other stories at the moment so... Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy this one! ^^
DISCLAIMER: I only own one man - Super Junior's Lee Donghae! I dedicate this to him because it's his birthday! See my profile picture if you want to know what he looks like ^^
It was a gloomy day when I was woken up abruptly. I looked around my bedroom and wondered what woke me up. The clock on the bedside table blinked 5:13 AM. I immediately had an inkling that something ominous was bound to happen because I would never wake up before 5:30. I sat up and glared out of the window. The sky was dark; a storm was brewing on the horizon. I sighed. I was supposed to play golf with a business associate that afternoon.
I dragged myself out of bed. Again, that feeling assailed my senses. I looked at the phone on the table. I wondered if I should call him, just to check. But that would be stupid. Why would I check up on my older brother? I could not just call to ask 'hey, you alright? I'm feeling kinda weird so I decided to call'. Yeah, definitely stupid. I was sure Itachi would laugh. What time was it on his side of the world, anyway? Maybe he was still at work or on the way home. And when was the last time I called him? Six years ago. Yeah, I was being stupid.
I was in a foul mood as I strode towards my office. Employees scurried out of the way when they saw me. They were smart enough to know that I was not to be pestered with.
"Yo, teme-sama!" a cheerful voice boomed out. Except for that idiot. "Good thing you brought an umbrella. You would have been soaking wet!"
"Cancel my appointment for this afternoon," I instructed my secretary as I walked past her desk. "For obvious reason."
"Yes, Uchiha-sama," she answered promptly, ignoring the pretzel she dropped in her coffee because of my sudden appearance.
"I have a car," I told the idiot who was tailing me behind. "I don't have an umbrella, idiot."
"You don't?" Naruto asked, dropping down on the chair opposite my desk. And that was when I noticed it, as he shook his spiky, blonde head.
"You're wet!" I complained dispassionately as droplets of water stained my desk.
"Yeah!" he answered enthusiastically with his trademark grin, "I was getting some bread and juice across the street when it poured down suddenly. Stupid rain. Anyway, breakfast!"
He placed a brown paper bag on the desk. The aroma of a freshly-baked bread wafted through the air as he opened the bag. The secretary came in with my usual morning coffee.
"Will there be anything else, Uchiha-sama?" she asked.
I shook my head, "You may go."
My best friend and vice president of the KONOHA Corporation, Uzumaki Naruto, attacked his piece of bread with gusto. He looked, as always, without a care in the world. I took a sip of coffee. Everything was normal – I was in my office with my obnoxious best friend eating breakfast as per usual. Nothing was wrong. But still, I could not shake off this feeling that something significant was about to happen.
"Naruto," I muttered.
"Hmm?" he mumbled, blue eyes huge with curiosity.
"Have you ever had that feeling?"
"That feeling that keeps you preoccupied it gnaws at your insides."
"You mean like as if I'm not feeling good?"
"Something like that."
"Yeah!" he nodded in understanding. "I would feel like that sometimes."
"How do you deal with that?" I asked.
"I go to the bathroom, of course!" he responded seriously. "Believe me, you have to flush down the toilet all of your bad feelings then your insides will feel better!"
"Geesh, teme!" he exclaimed, "Relax! I was just joking! And what's up with you anyway? You're gloomier than the weather."
"Today's not a good day."
"That's what I've been telling you!" Naruto spurted all of a sudden, "I've been telling you to relax a bit coz all you ever do is work. If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't eat breakfast or lunch or dinner. I've been trying to hook you up with a nice girl so that when I left someone's here to look after you. But you never showed up to any of the blind dates I arranged for you! And look at you now! You're miserable!"
"How did we end up talking about my love life?" I asked morosely. "I was being serious earlier."
"And that was my point!" Naruto pressed on, jumping to his feet. "You're so lonely you can't even recognize a joke if it bites you in the ass!"
"I never did get any of your stupid jokes, you idiot."
"Watch who you're calling an idiot, bastard! Have you forgotten how I snagged us a deal with those Arabs?"
"Only because they were fans of your grandfather's porn novels."
"It was because of my marvellous charisma!"
"Charisma, my ass."
Yeah, it was a normal day.
Until I received the phone call, that is. It was around mid-afternoon when that person called. I was in my office, doing some paperwork when I heard my secretary's voice through the intercom.
"I told you no phone calls," I said sternly. I hated it when my orders were not followed.
"But, Uchiha-sama," came her slightly panicked voice, "he said it's an emergency. He's from America."
My whole body went rigid. "Put him through."
I picked up the receiver and heard a man ask in English, "Hello? Is this Itachi's brother?"
"Yes," I answered in a calm tone that masked the inner terror I was feeling at that moment. "This is Sasuke Uchiha."
"Hey, man. I'm really sorry," I frowned at the familiarity with which he addressed me. The caller paused for a while. And then… "Your brother's dead."