Hello! I'm alive. I've been rping a lot with a few friends and that usually leaves me with little time to write. I skipped June, so I'll be working on another chapter for July. This one is shorter than most, but I hope you all enjoy it anyways. You know the warnings by now.
Previously on Oh Christmas Tree:
The words had been said. Sasuke knew he couldn't take any of it back now. The plan was set in motion and there was no way to stop it now.
Sasuke paused at the familiar door. He hesitated as he looked over their apartment one last time and sighed. Sasuke tapped his fingers on the door before him. Naruto was in the theatre room they'd both enjoyed so much. Sasuke had decided to leave all they'd bought together behind, so Naruto could continue to enjoy it. He took a small step towards it and finally opened the door.
Naruto looked up from the book he was reading. He guiltily closed it and slid it behind himself even though Sasuke had already seen it.
"I'm taking off." Sasuke said and released the door handle. "I'll- I'll see you around, Naruto." He said calmly.
Naruto stood up and nodded. He picked up the book and held it out for Sasuke to take. It was his favorite and Naruto knew that.
Sasuke gave a small smile. "Keep it." He said and placed his hand over Naruto's grip on the book. "You might learn something." He said teasingly for the first time in months.
Naruto smiled hesitantly. It wasn't big, but there was compassion and love in his eyes. "I will." He said quietly and to his ears his voice sounded rough. He looked at Sasuke and licked his bottom lip unconsciously. "Take care of yourself." Naruto said after his eyes drifted from Sasuke's lips to his eyes once more.
Sasuke gave a small chuckle. "I'll be on the other side of town. I won't be far." He said, but knew the distance between them wasn't physical. Even while living together after the break up the distance had existed and had been obviously felt.
Naruto nodded. "Yeah, not far." He repeated and took a tiny step forward. "Let me-" kiss you, Naruto's eyes were glistening as they gathered tears that caught on his nearly invisible bottom eyelashes. He hesitated and the tears finally spilled over when Sasuke took him roughly about his waist and pulled him close for a kiss.
Sasuke cursed himself as his lips finally met Naruto's. He felt the thick hot tears on his face. They were replied to with equally fat tears as he kissed Naruto like he hadn't in so long. He closed his eyes and felt Naruto's free hand wrap about his shoulders while the book was pressed tightly between them. Sasuke touched the back of Naruto's head and held his waist tight.
Sasuke savored the taste and the feel of the other's kiss. He was certain to never forget it. Sasuke heard Naruto's soft moan and relished in the sound. He turned his head and bit Naruto's tongue playfully before the kiss ended.
Naruto was the first one to pull away. He stopped the kiss as gently as he could. Their lips stuck and slowly separated, so they were breathing the same air and their foreheads touched. "Don't do this to me." Naruto said quietly and hoarsely with an edge of desperation in his voice.
Sasuke nodded. "I'm sorry." He said and touched Naruto's cheek, which had been thinning since the break up, gently. He gave him one last lingering kiss on his lips. "I'm sorry." Sasuke said again before leaving the room and Naruto behind before he changed his mind.
Naruto stood still until he heard the two doors shut and knew Sasuke was gone. He sat down on the carpet again and opened the well worn paperback book. He smiled and cried as he traced the words that were pressed firmly onto the border of the page. 'Naruto loves Sasuke' was written in ink and pressed deeply enough for the impression to transcend through several pages..
Naruto chuckled through the tears and remembered how mad Sasuke had been when he'd written in his precious book. He wanted that night again. His punishment had been memorable and even in sadness it brought Naruto a small smile as he thought of it.
None of the memories he had were bad and Naruto was thankful for that. He only had those to live on now that Sasuke was gone. He closed the book and smelled the worn edges of the pages before laying down with it and falling asleep to dream of better times.
It was hot, a rare night for the middle of November. The stars were clearly visible and the new moon made the world seem like a darker place. Naruto was sitting on the roof staring out over the village. The small flickering lights everywhere had slowly disappeared since he'd first taken a seat up there. He didn't know how long it'd been by then. He just knew that most of Konoha was sleeping while he spent yet another sleepless night alone.
Naruto felt like he couldn't heal. His heart was broken and he wanted nothing more than to have a little comfort. The last few weeks without Sasuke had been torture. Naruto's eyes drifted over the lights and he knew the one that was calling him. He wanted somebody, anybody, to tell him he was worth being loved.
Naruto made up his mind and jumped from the roof. He walked his way to the Hyuuga complex without thinking about it twice.
Sasuke sat awake in his new bedroom. It was plain and only held the basic necessities. It looked just as it had when he was a prisoner of Konoha. He looked over the many scrolls countless times. His eyes were starting to hurt and the glasses weren't helping much that night as he'd dropped them and angry scratches now marked the glass.
He rubbed at his eyes and told himself the mission had to be a success. There were things that needed to be accomplished and he was part of the team assigned to get them done. He couldn't fail now, not when so much was at stake. Sasuke put his glasses back on and turned on another lamp to help him read. He'd have to talk to Tsunade soon about another pair and prescription.
Neji was surprised when his bedroom door opened and somebody slipped inside. Their chakra was being concealed and he could tell by their quiet movements they were ninja. Neji grabbed his kunai and held it tight in his hand. Then he heard a familiar voice.
"Neji?" The soft voice called out.
Neji released the breath he'd been holding. "Naruto?" He asked confused and closed his eyes when the lights came on bright.
"P-please..." Naruto said and walked up to the bed where Neji was sitting up shirtless. Naruto didn't want to be rejected again, but he took a risk and sat on Neji's lap and rested his head on his shoulder to be held. He'd lost the strength he'd used to convince himself to come over and all he had now were the feelings Sasuke had left behind.
Neji was confused. He was certain it wasn't a dream and yet there was Naruto sitting on his bed- on him! Neji brought his arms around Naruto after putting the knife down. Naruto's body was shaking. He was crying.
Neji brushed Naruto's tangled hair with his hand and let the other take comfort in him for minutes that seemed to go on forever.
"N-neji," Naruto said as he finally looked up at him. "tell me lies." He begged. "Even if it's all a lie." He said and pouted. "Tell me that you love me." He felt no shame to beg. He had nothing more to lose. He felt like he'd already lost it all.
Neji opened his mouth. He felt his throat go dry and his lips stick slightly. He wasn't lying as he spoke. "I love you." He said. "I love you, Naruto." Neji smiled into the sudden tight embrace Naruto pulled him into. He had chosen right. It was fate and destiny letting him know, he'd chosen right.
Naruto hadn't found the courage to leave Neji's room. He didn't want to go back to his old apartment. It was small and familiar, but it felt so empty with only him there. Neji had gone to work and let Naruto stay there for as long as he wanted. He'd ordered meals be brought up for him and let Naruto do whatever he wanted for the days he was there.
Neji thought Naruto would never leave and it made him happy. He was glad to see a smiling face when he arrived home after a mission and after seeing to his students. Neji had never felt joy like that one.
"Move in with me." Neji said one day when they were having lunch in his bed.
Naruto looked up at him and smiled. "Neji, I've been living here." He said.
"I know, but leave your apartment." He said. "Just move in with me. I have no missions this weekend. Let me help you move your things in." Neji urged. "We can be together here." He said.
Naruto looked at Neji. He looked honest and he loved him. Naruto didn't feel the same way, but the love he felt from Neji made him happy and he wanted to keep feeling that way. "Okay." He said and turned his face slightly when Neji rushed forward to kiss him.
Neji pecked Naruto's cheek and didn't complain when Naruto didn't let him kiss his lips. He knew it would take some work to make Naruto fall in love with him, but with Sasuke out of the picture he had all the time in the world to make it happen.
Gaara stared at Naruto incredulously. "Please tell me you're joking." He said quietly to Naruto.
Naruto shook his head. "I'm not. I've been living with him for a few weeks now. Christmas is coming up so we're going to be spending it together." Naruto said with a small smile. "Aren't you happy for me?" He asked.
Gaara shook his head. "No." He said honestly. "I think you're making a big mistake and leading Neji on." He said. "Naruto, the man loves you. He's in love with you and you're using him to get over the man that you love." Gaara said.
Naruto looked away from Gaara's piercing stare. "I can learn to love him." He said quietly.
Gaara snorted. "You don't learn to love anybody. You fall in love. You're walking one day with some pain in your ass that talks back and irritates you to no end and then you realize that you're fucking in love with a man you hate, Naruto! You don't pick who you fall in love with." He stressed and frowned.
Naruto missed the obvious and only shook his head. "Well, Neji wants me and since nobody else does, he can have me." He said a little petulantly.
"You're doing him great harm." Gaara said. "It's not fair for you to lead him on so cruelly." Gaara said. "He doesn't deserve it." He said seriously.
Naruto looked at Gaara's frown and shrugged. "I don't think I deserve cruelty either." He said. "I just want a little comfort. Why are you making such a big deal out of it?" Naruto asked even though he knew in some part of him that he was doing something wrong, but his pain made him overlook the possible outcome.
Gaara sighed and his expression softened. "You don't deserve it and neither does Neji." Gaara said and took Naruto's hand to stop his walking. "Think about it, Naruto. Make the right choice." He said and squeezed his hand gently.
Naruto nodded. He didn't like being scolded and least of all by Gaara. He pulled his hand free and looked ahead somehow he'd led them to Sasuke's new apartment.
Gaara looked up at the apartment and saw Sasuke leaving the place with glasses in place and a book in his hand. He smirked a little. "See? Your own heart knows what you want and leads you to where you need to be." He said.
Naruto swallowed as their eyes met. He felt his heart race and for the first time in a long time he felt his stomach full of fluttering butterflies.
Sasuke saw Naruto and Gaara standing outside of his building. He met Naruto's impossibly blue eyes and gave him a slight nod in acknowledgment. He had paused his steps, but quickly picked them back up as he turned towards the park where he and Naruto had firs shared a date.
Naruto was holding his breath and didn't realize it until he breathed out when Sasuke was no longer looking at him.
Gaara patted Naruto. "Come on, Naruto. Let's get you back to the Hokage office. I think Tsunade said something about sake to celebrate the midpoint in your training." He said to snap Naruto out of his thoughts and change the subject.
"Hokage." Naruto said and nodded. "Yeah sure. Let's go." He replied, but didn't move until Sasuke was out of sight.
Thanks for reading!