Title: Craved
Author: Lisea18
Rating: T
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, I'm making no money from writing this

A big thanks to my Beta Eriloca!
Author's note: English is not my first language, so please forgive my mistakes.

Warning: Violence and character death.

Craved

Naruto was lying on a cold and muddy floor. It wasn't raining anymore, but it had been hours ago and the earth was still struggling to absorb all that water. It made everything so slippery and truth be told, that was the last thing Naruto needed as he dragged his exhausted body forward, always forward.

Just as that time with Gaara, he had no strength left at all. He felt broken, empty, on the verge of collapsing and sheer willpower kept him going. Good thing he never lacked that. His finger dug into the soil, his chin too, as he used all his might to move forward, inch by painful inch.

In front of him laid his best friend, his rival, his worst enemy, his goal. He was awake, looking at him with cold unfeeling eyes, but not dead eyes. Oh no, hatred fueled them and they would be bleeding red had Sasuke had the strength. Gaara had been scared that time, when Naruto crawled to him… and he had managed to touch him. Naruto was sure that he would manage to reach Sasuke, physically and mentally too. He would because he had promised, because it was his way of the ninja.

"Sasuke," he called, his head slipping on the ground and making him collapse a bit, puffing a ragged breath and spitting mud.

"Naruto," sighed Sasuke, his hand closing on his broken sword as he used it to kneel on the ground.

Tears and snot began to run down Naruto's face as Sasuke came toward him just as slowly and as painfully as him, but more gracefully. Bastard. He had touched him. Finally.

"Let me help you," murmured Sasuke as he stopped near Naruto, still kneeling, his sword holding his body up.

Naruto reached for his friend with a bloody and muddy hand and his eyes dilated in surprise as his fingers weren't caught by warm ones. He coughed and blood oozed from his lips as his blue eyes looked at Sasuke, total incomprehension making them darker.

"Why?" he choked, the sword buried deep in his lung made speaking hard.

"I'm helping you fulfill your promise, Naruto," replied Sasuke, patting the blonde's shoulder.

"My…?" Naruto couldn't finish, his eyes were already blinking close even as he fought against it.

But Sasuke understood because they had always communicated without words. Smirking, he harshly pulled his sword out, efficiently waking Naruto up enough to hear the last words he would ever hear.

"I've decided to get my name on that stone too. Hero. Hero. That's what I'll become," Sasuke reminded him, the words lacking the energy and belief Naruto had given them at the time.

Naruto remembered that very well: how Kakashi had told him they weren't normal heroes… that they were all heroes who had died while on duty. To say the truth this was the very first promise he made.

Closing his eyes with Sasuke's smirk burned into his mind he couldn't help but be happy that his rival had remembered that. Maybe in the long run the words and blows they had exchanged would reach Sasuke, but right now, Naruto needed to sleep, he would get back up later… la… ter.

Ooooo The end ooooO

Hope you enjoyed. Reviews are always appreciated.