Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Author's Notes: More Sasuke angst!

oOo

Sasuke wants his heart to beat again.

He wants to close his eyes and see something beyond a body count, a dark-rimmed fog, a face fading into the wax of death. He tires of waking up in a cold sweat too much like hands, into a darkness too much like black eyes, surrounded by copycats who don't even know they're only fill-ins for greater beings (Karin, Suigetsu, Juugo, they're beginning to realize, but they don't understand). He wants rain to fall without him feeling like he's drowning in it all over again.

Pain is almost welcome now. Something that says he has blood in his veins, he has things to feel,he has more than a big empty spot where everything was and no longer is. Everything he gave up for empty victory, everything he gave up forging on past the hurt to the emptiness.

Stopping, of course, is not an option. He's in too deep, past drowning and past feeling and past all other course that could turn him back. Some part of him knows that sixteen is too young to be a shell.

But, on nights when there are fireflies sending ribbons of light out over the ripples of a lake, when the moon is clear and full, when the grass is a bed softer than feathers, when everything should be able to melt away, he wishes he could feel something for it. He wishes he could wax poetic on dew, sing a farewell, and do all those things that would make him living, breathing, human again.

But he can't bring himself to do so. Because the clan and Itachi—

He bites through his lip.

Sasuke wants his heart to beat again, so he can show it to the world and scream: "I'm still alive! I'm still here. I'm still here."

oOo

Author's Notes: Oh... poor Sasuke.

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