A/N: This story… sort of hit me like a bolt of lightning. I have no idea where this came from! (sweatdrops and grins sheepishly) Perhaps this means my spark for Naruto is returning big time.

WARNINGS: general oddness deffinitely, hints of YAOI… Ya know, for once that's it. Wow! (blinks)

Awkay… (takes a deep breath) I guess it's time to kick this story going, ne? I REALLY, really hope you'll enjoy the ride!


Pink Camellias


The young man with blond, almost golden hair and life-filled blue eyes had come to visit Sasuke so many times that he'd long since lost track. Although he would've never admitted it out loud he'd gradually learned to enjoy those visits.

The others wanted to keep him locked inside four walls – those practically soundless people with white coats and sickening sterile smells were all he ever remembered seeing. Never, ever did any of them dare to mention the outside world to him. In fact no one barely talked to him at all. Before this strange young man, that was.

This man, Naruto as the blond had been quick to introduce himself… He was so very loud, so very brash and untamed, that at first Sasuke had been almost afraid of him. And the blond's clothes held so many colors that it fascinated, irritated and overwhelmed Sasuke all at once. In the beginning their personalities – souls, because Sasuke desperately wanted to believe he had one – had clashed so hard that their meetings had been more like combats than anything else. Their meetings were battles of wills, testing boundaries that were vague to both of them. But then… After two months something changed. Sasuke realized that he actually wanted to hear Naruto's tales of the outside world, to know about the lands and villages, of all those different people. He heard great love-stories, tragedies, tales of great heroes and families torn to shreds by cruel fate. Naruto told all that so well, with so much life, that Sasuke could easily picture it all right before his eyes. And eventually Naruto started bringing him pink camellias, each and every time they met.

But sometimes Naruto didn't come. The people dressed in white wouldn't answer his questions, of course, and the blond also refused to tell him a thing. ("I'm here now. Isn't that what matters?") In the end Sasuke accepted those momentary absences. After all, what other choice did he have? And Naruto came back, every single time, always bringing flowers.

One day, early in the morning perhaps, Sasuke opened his eyes when hearing the unmistakable sound of a door opening. Once again Naruto was a stark contrast against his tiny, completely white room. Although the blond appeared exhausted the man grinned faintly. "Hey. Sorry it took me this long to visit again – there was… stuff I needed to do."

Sasuke frowned, pulling his legs to his chest. Once again he noticed just how uncomfortable the white clothes those people made him wear were. "Are you alright?"

Naruto blinked twice, surprised, then created a fairly skilled warm expression. If only it'd reached his eyes… "Yeah, of course. No reason to worry about me."

Sasuke nodded, nowhere near convinced. He wanted to argue, but didn't really know what to say. It irritated him how someone as open and talkative as Naruto could shut others out so completely. Whenever Sasuke tried to dig deeper it felt like he ran into a wall of bricks.

Naruto's voice came so suddenly that he shivered. "What about you?" Those blue eyes held worry while examining him, and he couldn't help wondering why. Nothing had changed from the last time they met, right? "Are you… okay? Have you had any more episodes?"

Sasuke looked away, feeling embarrassed all of a sudden. With episodes Naruto meant certain endlessly long, absolutely terrifying moments, which sometimes stretched to hours. During those times Sasuke was pulled into some dark, strange and horrifying world that existed only in the back of his head. In that world he saw blood, darkness, so much death that it made him physically ill. He heard voices, screaming out of agony and pleading with utter despair. The worst part, however, was what he felt. All that hatred, rage, grudge… Could such feelings possibly belong to a human being? Or was that… being inside him that created those things indeed a monster, as he'd heard several people call him? It was like a parasite that gnawed his soul little by little, a demon luring inside in wait for the chance to emerge.

"Yes." Sasuke was slightly surprised to discover that the voice was his. He still couldn't look away from his lap where his hands squirmed desperately. He took a deep breath, braced himself. "I… had one, yesterday I guess."

Naruto sighed, then sat down to the floor beside him. There was a moment of silence. "You do understand by now that those episodes are nothing to be ashamed of, right?" He felt eyes on him for a fleeting second and stiffened. "You… You're unwell, now. It'll take time to heal."

Sasuke lifted his gaze, directing his eyes to where the endless white of a wall met the similar color of the ceiling. Oh how he wished for a window, for at least some sort of a solid proof that the world Naruto always told him about existed… "I'm never going to get out of here, am I? I'm too unstable, too dangerous. That's what they always say, when they think I don't hear."

Naruto was utterly still for a moment or two before brushing his hair. The gesture was completely unexpected, made Sasuke's entire body react. The blond clearly noticed because the touch disappeared. "Don't… worry about that now, 'k? Let's just take one step at a time."

Sasuke nodded numbly, feeling cold with the lack of physical contact.

His stomach knotted and he frowned when Naruto got up all of a sudden. "Are you going already?" It felt against his nature to worry over such a thing, but he couldn't help himself.

Naruto's blue eyes held a torn look when meeting his. "Sorry, but… There's a ton of urgent stuff I've gotta take care of. But I'll come back tomorrow, I swear." The man tried to grin. "Maybe I'll even tell a story then."

Giving no reaction, barely feeling at all, Sasuke watched how Naruto placed two pink camellias gently to a vase. "Did you know that pink camellias symbolice longing?" Sasuke inquired all of a sudden, stunning them both. He went on after a second, focusing his eyes on the flowers. "They gave me a book about flowers – I guess it was the only one they considered harmless enough."

It took a long moment before Naruto answered. "No. I… guess I didn't know that." With that the blond gave a wave, already turning towards the door. "See you tomorrow."

Sasuke didn't have the energy to respond in any way. Instead he closed his eyes and drifted into gray, far away from the sickening world of white.


Outside the room Naruto leaned heavily against the door and squeezed his eyes tightly shut, fighting with his all to control himself. He was Konoha's Hokage and he knew there were medics around him, looking at him. He had to be careful with where he broke down.

It was exactly six years, now. Six years since his final clash with Sasuke, since the last day of the great war. Since the Sasuke he'd once known… disappeared, died. Six years since the last time he'd seen Sasuke outside the hospital. Six years since he created the creature he'd just met, with a single poorly directed blow.

Naruto hoped, with all there was in him, that he could somehow undo his attack that'd done this to Sasuke – stolen the Uchiha's memories, whole soul. He hoped, although a tiny, stubborn part in the back of his head taunted him with claiming that this was for the best.

The best for who?, Naruto felt tempted to argue.

Sasuke Uchiha – the Sasuke Uchiha who'd come to mean the whole world to him – would never come back. That was what everyone told him. In days like this Naruto found himself wondering if he was just as lost.

"Hokage-sama." The unexpected female-voice startled him. He opened his eyes to see a teenage medic-trainee with long black hair and sharp blue eyes frowning at him. "Are you alright?"

He nodded, fighting to appear convincing. "Yes. What is it?"

The young woman pulled in sharp breath. "Your wife… She's in a labor. She needs you."

Naruto nodded stiffly, then fought with himself for a second before moving to follow the young woman.

As he left this world, Sasuke's world, to join another one Naruto couldn't help feeling like he was sliding from one illusion into another. And he realized, with mild startle, that he could no longer tell which one of them felt more real.


Owari.


Poets of the Fall – "Illusion and Dream"

Look in my eyes I'll make you see
We're drifting aimlessly
Blind in a world of make believe

Hear them sing their songs off key n' nod like they agree
Buying the needs to be discreet

I've got no hand in matters worldly
I hardly care at all
What's going on fails to concern me
'Cause I'm locked behind my wall
But you know what drives me out
Out of my mind oh

It's whatever makes you see
Makes you believe
And forget about the premonition you need to conceive
The images they sell are Illusion and Dream
In other words dishonesty

If I speak ill please, humour me
Won't rant on endlessly
Just thought I'd try to make you see

It doesn't solve a thing to dress it, in a pretty gown
A stone will not need you to guess if, you're still going to drown
So you know what drives me out
Out of my mind, oh

It's whatever makes you see, makes you believe
And forget about the premonition you need to conceive
The images they sell are Illusion & Dream
In other words dishonesty

So can you name your demon?
Understand it's scheming
I raise my glass and say "Here's to you"

Can you chase your demon?
Or will it take your freedom?
I raise my glass and say "Here's to you"

I've got no hand in matters worldly
I hardly care at all
What's going on fails to concern me
'Cause I'm locked behind my wall
But you know what drives me out
Out of my mind oh

It's whatever makes you see
Makes you believe
And forget about the premonition you need to conceive
That the images they sell are Illusion and Dream
In other words dishonesty

So whatever makes you see
Makes you believe
And forget about the premonition you need to conceive
The images they sell are Illusion and Dream
In other words dishonesty
With silence comes peace
With peace comes freedom
With freedom comes silence


A/N: So… (gulps) Was that good? Okay? Something I should get rid of immediately?

PLEASE, let me hear your thoughts! It'd mean A LOT to me. Those blue words down below are calling for you, aren't they? (nod, nod)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Maybe I'll c ya again with some other story?