Disclaimer – I don't own Naruto or any of its characters nor am I making any money off these writings.

Warnings – Manlove, talk about hospitals and deceases, not much more.


Naruto groaned when the alarm rang out the room. All he wanted was to bury his face in the pillow and fall back asleep. Once again he woke up with a pounding headache. His head hurt when he went to bed and it hurt when he woke up. It had been going on for weeks now and Naruto was sick and tired of it.

He was always tired, no matter how much he slept it always felt as if it wasn't enough. He knew that it started to show too. He had lost weight and he always had dark circles under his eyes. At first Naruto had thought that it was leftovers from the health issues he'd suffered a few months ago but that had been his stomach, why was his head hurting all the time? Maybe it was depression…No matter the cause Naruto just wanted it gone. He wanted to feel like himself again.

Sasuke was worried too. He didn't say too much but Naruto could feel it the way Sasuke held him at night and he could see it in his husband's dark eyes whenever Naruto lost his temper and snapped at him…Something that happened more and more often lately. Naruto lost his temper at the drop of a hat, his patience almost gone. Anything could set him off and even though he always felt bad afterwards the damage was already done.

Sighing deeply Naruto rolled out of bed and made his way towards the bathroom. The water in the shower was scorching hot and it felt good against his tense muscles and aching head. He washed quickly even though he wanted to linger underneath the hot spray. Work waited and Naruto almost felt sick to his stomach at the thought of eight hours of endless chatter and no way to escape it. He was paid to listen after all.

He walked over to the sink and fumbled around for his razor, he had just begun his shave when the first red drop hit the white porcelain. At first he thought that he had nicked himself but then that drop was followed by another and another. Great! Nosebleed again. He had been having nosebleeds on and off for the last week and he hated it. It was disgusting messy and did nothing to help with his headache.

Naruto had been having nosebleeds on and off all his life. Mostly in the spring and fall, his father was the same and so he didn't worry. It was all just inconvenient. He hadn't had this much of a nosebleed before, that lasted so many days in a row, maybe there was something new to add to the list of things he was allergic to. Naruto only hoped that it wasn't cats, he couldn't imagine having to get rid of his cats.

"That's it Naruto, you need to go to the hospital."

Naruto startled and did nick himself at the sound of the smooth voice of his husband. "I'm not going to the doctor Sasuke. It's just a nosebleed. You know I get those."

"Not like this." Sasuke moved forward from the doorway to wrap his arms around Naruto's naked waist. "You've been bleeding a lot lately, combined with mood swings and your headache it's making me really worried."

Naruto didn't know if he should move away or lean back against his husband's warm body. "I don't want to go Sasuke…Please. I've met enough doctors and been to the hospital enough to last me a lifetime. Let's just wait it out."

"We can't wait this out Naruto. What if it gets worse? I'm worried, please go for me. I'll go with you." Sasuke held him tighter. "Most likely it's nothing but then at least we'll know. I love you and I want you healthy and safe."

How the hell was he supposed to argue with that? Naruto could argue about most things, get out of things he found uncomfortable but he would do anything for Sasuke and when his husband asked like that then there was no way that he could refuse. "Okay Sas, I call in sick for work if you make the appointment. I want something really great when the doctor says that this was a waste of time though."

Sasuke smiled and caught his eyes in the mirror. "When he says that you can have anything you want, absolutely anything."


Naruto hated the hospital gown, hated that he had to remove all metal, even his wedding ring. He handed the plain, platinum band to Sasuke for safe keeping and jumped up on the slide. Sasuke kissed him and brushed his hair away from his face before having to move away up to the little booth on the side of the room.

Naruto didn't want this…He really didn't want this. His stomach was in knots and his head still ached. The thought of being trapped in that machine for an hour, not allowed to move…It made him twitch. Naruto was always in movement, even if it was only the wiggling of a foot or the tapping of his fingers. He didn't like being still.

He lay down and the nurses checked that everything was alright and that it was packed around him so that he couldn't move. He slid into the MRI machine and swallowed hard. Naruto listened to Pink singing about raising her glass and Nickelback was hanging out all afternoon but no music could hide the slamming and banging of the x-ray machine. He was scared…Naruto hated to admit it but he was really, really scared.

When the hour was up he felt like he couldn't breathe. As soon as he was out of the machine he had to rush to the bathroom and lock himself in a booth, just fighting not to faint. This wasn't him, Naruto wasn't weak like this and he hated each and every second of feeling like this.

Sasuke was waiting for him when he got out from the bathroom with warm arms and soft kisses. Naruto put on his wedding band with a sigh of relief and felt even better when he could get dressed again.

They got moved to a waiting area and waited, and waited and waited. Naruto was grateful that Sasuke was there with him because he really didn't think he could have done this on his own. He would have said fuck it and walked out of there.

Finally they were called and went in to the doctor's office. The doctor was sitting behind his desk and his computer screen was lit up with a picture that Naruto assumed was his brain.

"The result isn't quite what we hoped for." The doctor said and Sasuke's hand tightened around Naruto's fingers. "There is nothing definite but there is a smudge on your brain, right here." The doctor pointed towards towards the back of Naruto's brain on the screen.

"A smudge? What the fuck is a smudge?" To Naruto it sounded like a fingerprint or a piece of dirt that could be wiped away.

"A smudge or a shadow is an indication that there is something there. We can't say for sure what it is since it's so diffuse. It can be anything or nothing. There is no way to tell until we've run more tests."

"Is it dangerous?" Sasuke's tone was clipped and he was holding Naruto's hand so tightly that it was beginning to hurt.

"Again we can't say. It's not in a critical area and it's quite small but as I said we can't begin to guess before we've run more tests. I've scheduled you in for an appointment this Wednesday, we'll run more tests them." The doctor's voice was calm.

"Will I have to stay here?" Naruto nibbled on his bottom lip.

"No, no you can go home, live as usual. Just no bungee-jumping or flying and you should be fine." The doctor laughed as if he had told some grand joke but Naruto didn't find any of this funny at all.

They said their goodbyes to the doctor and Naruto was relieved when they could finally go home. The car ride was silent with both Sasuke and Naruto lost in their own thoughts.

Naruto kicked off his shoes and went into the bedroom to change, he put on sweatpants and a lose sweater that had been Sasuke's at one point but Naruto had hi-jacked it as his own. He walked out to the living room and sunk down in the couch, petting his cat that came to snuggle with him the instant he sat down. Sasuke sat down beside him and wrapped his arms around the blond.

"So a smudge huh?" Naruto tried to sound upbeat but suspected that he failed spectacularly.

"Hn." Sasuke nodded and continued to hold him.

"What do we do now?"

"I don't know Naruto, there's not much that we can do until we know more."

"But what if, what if?" Naruto couldn't finish the sentence.

"Shh," Sasuke leaned down and kissed his hair. "Whatever it is will get through it together. You married me and now you're stuck with me. We'll get through this, smudge or no smudge, everything will be okay."

"Have I told you today that I really love you?"


As long as he had Sasuke he could do this. Now he only had to wait until Wednesday, find out what the hell the deal was with this smudge and then find out a way to beat it. He could do this…