Dash General Warnings (Important, please read): This is Yaoi. If you are still here I will also add that this fic will probably contain swearing and sex and all sorts of other goodies. Still here? Well this fic might also contain no predetermined roles in respect to sexual activities. Yep, I have to add this as a warning now. But what that means is that in my stories no one is ever solely uke or seme or batman or whatever predefined roles people might expect. Or they might be but I might not know who it will be from the beginning. Sometimes one person will top, sometimes the other will depending on my mood or where the story needs to go. Sometimes it will switch mid story if I feel like it. Please do not continue if you have preferences for either character and will be upset if whoever you expect to top doesn't. Generally not even I know who will do what at the very beginning of a fic and will decide as I go along. They may not swap at all, but I like to keep my options open and I do not want to make people read multiple chapters of my fic only to dislike the sex scenes.
Notes: This is a present fic done for Gaby for being my first Dashdom supporter so you can thank her and give her big praises for any enjoyment you might have reading this I hope you enjoy this too Gaby because this was after all written for you and I hope it lives up to expectations. But just remember that all presents are non refundable lol.
Summary: Naruto is dreaming about Sasuke every night. Is this a chance to make peace with his old friend before the end or something else entirely?
Disclaimer: I do not own these character even though sometimes I feel they may own me just a little bit
Dreams Aren't Real
Dreams About Frogs in Flowers
The forest was amazing, Naruto had never seen anything like it. The trees were so tall and so large that it would have taken five of his shadow clones with their hands clasped and arms outstretched to encircle some of the larger ones. There was no grass growing beneath the trees, the canopy above his head was so thick and so closely packed that very little if any real light filtered down to ground level. The only things on the forest floor were moss covered rocks and small ferns. The air smelt damp like it had just been raining.
He loved that smell. He tipped his head back and drew in a deep breath savoring it. He wore only simple white pants, no shirt and no shoes.
He opened his eyes just a little, still with his head facing toward the canopy far above his head in time to see a dark flash streak across his field of vision amongst the branches of the trees.
Peaceful moment shattered, Naruto's eyes snapped the rest of the way open and his head moved to keep the retreating black shadow in his field of view. Before it disappeared entirely Naruto ran up the tree and set off in pursuit. He didn't really know why he was chasing the shadow. He knew that it was a person and not an animal by the basic shape and movement. But the shadow was fast and Naruto could barely keep them in his view as they raced through the trees. The person was little more than a blur to Naruto, but Naruto kept after them, curious about the strange ninja who had disturbed his peaceful moment. He wasn't angry about it, just interested.
He did start to gain on the stranger after a while of chasing but he was so focused on his target that he missed a step and fell forward.
He yelled as he fell toward the ground far below him and just as he was about to hit it he…
…woke up yelling in his bed.
The sheets were twisted around him and he was sweating. When he realized it had been just a dream and he wasn't plummeting to his death after all, he breathed a little easier and grinned.
"Just a dream."
"You look terrible," Sakura commented while they were travelling through the trees on a mission later that day. It reminded Naruto a lot of his dream last night. But the trees here were small in comparison, he could see the sun filtering through the branches and he wasn't chasing a dark shadow.
The mission they were on wasn't meant to be a long mission, nor very important, and no one in the team expected to be gone for the whole day let alone overnight. All they had to do was run a message to a nearby village. It was slightly too important to leave to the messenger birds, but not important enough for the team to be taking either of their usual jonin captains. The village was close anyway so no doubt having a jonin with them would have been overkill. Team 7 would be doing this for a number of days going back and forth between the villages in the Fire nation, delivering important missives informing village heads of the need for supplies after the village had been decimated by Pain. Naruto was only a little surprised that Tsunade would use him for such a job or any of them for that matter when sending younger genin would probably suffice. When he'd brought it up though, Sakura had hit him and then reminded him that he was a genin before informing him that she would be the one leading the squad over the next couple of weeks.
"Isn't Sai a jonin or something?" Naruto had asked before realizing that Sai had never actually told them what rank he was before. Naruto just assumed that to be in Anbu you had to be a jonin.
"Tsunade-sama told me I was the best equipped to lead the team. Sai and I have already talked about this and he agrees."
"I am not much of a leader," Sai had told him, backing Sakura up. "I could not control you as well as Sakura does."
Sai had probably meant it as a compliment for Sakura, but it had been pretty insulting for Naruto.
Even if it did happen to be true.
"So mean Sakura-chan! I didn't get very good sleep last night."
"Nightmares?" Sakura asked with a surprising amount of concern.
It was weird, she had been doubly nice to him since she'd accidently poisoned him. It might have been from guilt over that, or of course it might have been residual guilt over the last confrontation he had with Sasuke which had happened at the same time. Since he had told Sasuke he would fight him and that they would both probably die because of it, she had seemed a lot more considerate towards him. Of course she still hit him a lot, but she listened to him a lot more and seemed generally more concerned over his state of mind and feelings. It was nice…but really creepy mostly.
"No, not nightmares. I was in a beautiful forest with huge trees that blocked out the sunlight, it was really cool. But then I started chasing after someone and I tripped and fell and then I woke up. It's a horrible feeling," Naruto remembered shivering, "falling in your dreams. You wake up with a jolt and your heart is pounding."
"What do you think it means?"
"What does what mean?" Naruto asked confused.
"Your dream! Don't you believe that your dreams have meaning?"
"No," Naruto responded immediately. "Dreams aren't real."
"I don't mean that they are," Sakura responded obviously irritated that Naruto wasn't seeing her point. "I just mean that a lot of people believe that dreams are a way for your subconscious mind to tell you things or work things out for you. That your dreams are trying to tell you something that you wouldn't be able to sort through on your own while you are awake."
Naruto was thoroughly confused by this point.
"What about you Sai? Do you think your dreams have meanings?" Naruto ask Sai on the other side of him.
"I don't remember having dreams."
Naruto thought about that for a moment. "You are so weird, Sai. Besides," he continued toward Sakura, "I don't think this dream could be telling me something. It was just a bunch of trees and stuff."
"Well you said you were chasing someone, right?" Sakura asked apparently keen to prove something.
"So? That wasn't really a big part of the dream anyway. It was mainly the huge trees and the falling that got me."
"It could represent a falling or rather failing need to compensate for size," Said offered. "You said the trees were oversized right?"
"What the hell is that supposed to mean!" Naruto yelled obviously understanding what Sai meant but pretending not to.
Sakura chuckled. "I don't think so. The trees were really big and maybe a little overwhelming right? Well I could see how everything is a little overwhelming for you right now considering what's been happening lately. But you aren't scared by it, you sound like you liked the forest you dreamt of. Of course, that was before you fell. Maybe Sai is on to something though, perhaps you are a little scared of missing your step and falling or in this instance, as Sai suggested, failing."
Naruto did think through what Sakura had told him even though he didn't really get most of it. It all sounded pretty far-fetched to him. Dreams were just dreams right? They didn't have to mean anything.
"So what about that dream I had that my bowl of ramen tried to eat me?" Naruto tried hoping to dissuade her from thinking she was right about this.
"Role reversal," Sakura came back after a moment of thought. "Your body is trying to tell you that you eat far too much of it."
Sakura seemed determined to prove herself right, but by this point Naruto got the impression she was reaching a little despite her confident answers and was just as determined to prove she was talking shit.
"You know Sakura-chan, I've had a few dreams about you too," Naruto told her with a smirk. "Does that mean we are destined to be together?"
"I doubt it," she replied flatly.
"But you didn't even wait to hear what they were about! In one of them you were-"
But Naruto didn't get a chance to continue because Sakura hit him mid jump. He was lucky enough to stop himself from falling in time, but he had the distinct impression that Sakura was now done trying to prove that dreams really meant something for the rest of the day.
It was almost worth being hit.
That night after they returned from the mission, Naruto was standing beneath those same trees in his dream, looking up at the branches far above his head. Enjoying the cool breeze on the bare skin of his upper body he almost missed the shadow streak over his head again. But he was a little more prepared this time, he jumped as soon as he saw it and was after the other ninja before he got too far away.
The other ninja, he could see it was a man now, was dressed similarly to Naruto in dark pants and little else. He had very pale skin and dark black hair. He looked so familiar.
The ninja seemed to know someone was chasing him this time and when Naruto got close, the ninja turned and threw something at him. Kunai! Naruto would have dodged, but he then saw the other person's face and was so surprised he couldn't move fast enough. Half dodging, half in shock Naruto hit a branch, slipped and fell again.
He woke before he hit the ground once more, sitting up in bed, breathing hard and yelling a name. His name.
"Sasuke," Naruto repeated in a calmer tone.
He just sat there and breathed for a little while before a smile started at the corner of his mouth. Then it spread over the rest of his face, then he started to chuckle softly. It wasn't really a happy sort of laugh.
It wasn't bad enough that he spent most of his waking hours chasing Sasuke or trying to find Sasuke, now he was even dreaming about it. It was funny in a sad sort of way.
Maybe there was a little something to what Sakura had been talking about after all. Things that were worrying him or affecting him in real life had obviously started to intrude on his dreams as well and that was more than a little disturbing to say the least. The big forest may well represent the overwhelming feeling he was experiencing from the pressure and the situations he found himself in and his relative importance to it all. His near nakedness could mean he felt unprepared and unprotected to face it. And the falling may well be his fear of failing and what failure meant not only to him, but those around him. And all through this he was still chasing Sasuke, always a few steps behind, always failing to catch him and bring him home.
Though why Sasuke wasn't wearing a lot of clothes as well was a bit baffling. Maybe he thought Sasuke needed protection too, but he really couldn't swallow that idea. Sasuke didn't need protection and he was very capable of taking care of himself it seemed. Though, Naruto reflected picturing him in the dream, he could sure use a bit of sun.
Pushing that weird thought aside, he decided to see what Sakura made of this development and also he figured the next time he had the dream, he could be a little more prepared to face it. He knew the dream for what is was now so he wouldn't be taken by surprise again.
He may not be able to catch up to Sasuke in real life, but maybe he could stop being so tormented in his dreams too.
The next morning there was another messenger mission and another boring run through the Fire country to another boring little village. They had nothing to do but run and talk. Surprisingly, even after trying to kill him yesterday, it was Sakura who asked Naruto if he'd had the dream again.
"What makes you think I did?" Naruto asked curiously.
"Because you look terrible again. You know, if the dreams are bothering you that much I could make something up for you that would make you sleep without dreaming."
"That sounds too much like death, Sakura-chan," Naruto said distastefully.
"It is not, it's just a sleeping draught. It won't kill you."
"If you say so. But I'm okay for now, I'm not that tired."
Sakura nodded. "So was the dream the same?"
"Pretty much," Naruto admitted. "Except this time I almost caught the person I was chasing. It was Sasuke."
"You're dreaming about him?" Sai asked curiously.
"It's not surprising really," Sakura responded before Naruto could. "I did think that this shadow you were chasing might turn out to be him when you were talking about it yesterday."
She then went on to explain why he might be dreaming about chasing Sasuke, which pretty well summed up what Naruto had already thought of. But she did have a more in-depth explanation about it than he did.
"It's interesting that all of this other stuff doesn't bother you and you are all cool, calm and collected until you start chasing him and that's when you fall. I think you are more worried about failing him than you are about failing the village in the grand scheme of things."
"You think so?"
"Well it makes a sort of sense. Everything that's been thrown at you so far in life you've been able to overcome except what happened to Sasuke. You may well see it as the only time when you have really failed at anything really important."
She was possibly pushing metaphors a little too far, but it was something for him to think about.
He'd had the same kind of dream now six times consecutively and he knew with a kind of certainty that tonight would be different. They had all pretty much gone the same way as the first two but tonight he was ready for the dream. As soon as he closed his eyes and found himself in the forest Naruto went up into the trees and hid, waiting for the shadow to appear.
He was sick of falling or failing, or whatever the fuck was going on here and he was going to put a stop to apparently the only changing thing in his dreamscape. He was going to capture Sasuke.
The last four times he had tried to catch him he had failed to catch the fleeing Uchiha and he was getting sick of being left behind or falling out of the trees only to wake up in a cold sweat. He wasn't going to let that happen again so he'd come up with a new plan. Ambush!
He wasn't in the dream long when the shadow slipped across the nook where he was hiding. As quickly as a lightening strike he was up and after it. Determination drove him to be faster than his quarry and he managed to grab a hold of Sasuke's arm before the other ninja seemed to even notice he was there.
Sasuke responded in the way good training and quick reflexes allowed and turned at the touch bringing his leg around in order to kick Naruto in the head.
It was the first time he'd made physical contact with Sasuke within his dream and he was surprised at how realistic the feel of his cool smooth skin was against his fingers. Still, it wasn't enough to put him off entirely. He ducked the kick and didn't let go of Sasuke's arm. And now because Sasuke had twisted his body around, Naruto could use that arm to his advantage. He forced it up behind Sasuke's back bent at the elbow and pushed it up far enough to really hurt. It had the intended effect though and immobilized Sasuke long enough for Naruto to talk to him.
"Sasuke, just listen to me-"
He couldn't see Sasuke's face while he was standing behind him like this, but he could feel the hate in his voice as he responded.
"No! I'm sick of you talking, trying to win me over and take me back. You never get that it will never happen! And I will not listen to you anymore, I especially don't have to listen to you here of all places!"
It was actually a bit of a rant and Naruto was painfully reminded of the last time he had tried to talk to Sasuke. It was probably the first time he had really noticed the impact all this was having on him. Sasuke's mind was beginning to crack and it had made his heart break when he realized it wasn't going to be any different in his dream. He sounded the same now: angry, unhappy, and just a little demented.
Naruto let him go quickly.
Sasuke jumped away and landed on a branch across from the one Naruto had caught him on. He crouched there and glared at Naruto apparently wary of his constant pursuer trying something else.
But Naruto's dream had become a little too realistic for his tastes. He didn't want to waste his time trying to talk to a Sasuke that wasn't real but still hated him as much as the real one did. He still had hopes for Sasuke in some small way, but he would be hard to convince. For now here, he felt it wasn't worth the effort. This Sasuke wasn't real, convincing this Sasuke to listen to him would do no good in the real world. And knowing all this and chasing Sasuke down night after night was tormenting especially considering this Sasuke hated him just as much as the real one. It was a reminder he could certainly do without. And what happened if he did try to convince this Sasuke and this Sasuke just fought back, ignored his pleas or simply tried to kill him? It might well kill his hopes for the real Sasuke.
He could even see that little crack in Sasuke's sanity reflected in his eyes. Those dark black eyes. It was too much. Naruto turned away and ran.
"I think maybe that you did something you half want to do in real life," Sakura concluded the next day while they walked down the streets of a neighboring village.
"That's not true!" Naruto exclaimed surprised at her reaction to this latest development.
Sakura and possibly even Sai, but mostly Sakura, had developed a strange sort of fascinated addiction to hearing about Naruto's latest dreams. He didn't know why, maybe she found it interesting, but maybe she just liked hearing about it because Sasuke was featured. Every day for the past week she had asked him if anything new had happened, keen to show off her apparently keen insight into his subconscious mind. She had not offered to make him the sleeping tonic again.
"I know you would never give up on him," Sakura explained further. "But you have to admit that sometimes it would be easier on you just to forget and let go."
"I could never do that."
"I know that! Aren't you listening? I know you would never give up on him, I'm merely suggesting that what happened last night could just be a reflection on some small part of your mind that wishes the whole thing would all go away, that's all. I'm not suggesting you ever would, but it's not difficult to believe that you're finding the situation between the two of you stressful to say the least."
Maybe she had a point.
It wasn't like he didn't want to see Sasuke. In his dreams he caught glimpses of him now and again and each time his heart gave a little flutter of excitement at the sight. But it was an uncontrollable reaction and he fought the urge to give chase every single time. He would never give up on his friend, never, but he refused to let himself be tortured in his sleep. So he stayed away from Sasuke night after night in the forest in his dreams deciding instead to explore his little dreamscape more and try to forget about the only other person that seemed to inhabit his little dream world.
Over at least six more nights he explored the ground, spotted lots of tiny little red-capped mushrooms with bright blue spots and ferns with green and striped bright purple leaves. He climbed the trees and found a whole new ecosystem up in the treetops. There was a whole range of animals and plants up here, but what he found most interesting was the flowers that grew all the way up here in the only place they could find water and sunlight in the otherwise dark forest underneath the canopy. Most fascinating was a flower that grew in the crooks of the tree branches, with no soil for them to grow in, the roots seemed to just wrap around the tree branches. The flowers faced upwards and were full of water. Inside the flowers, living in the water he found the tiniest little green and blue frogs. Frogs! These frogs might live their whole lives inside the flowers, in their own little world, never ever seeing anything outside the flower.
Naruto loved these flowers and he became fascinated by them.
He was squatting on a branch staring down into the little world of frogs when he felt someone watching him. Again.
He had so far ignored the urge to chase down Sasuke and the more he ignored the urge, the more he felt Sasuke's presence around him, watching him. It was like he was testing him or teasing him to follow. But Naruto refused time and again to take the bait. Sasuke had gotten closer and closer to him every night, until this time when it seemed Sasuke's curiosity in the new uninterested Naruto overtook his need to run or stay away.
Naruto heard him land on a branch behind him but didn't look around. Half of him wanted to ignore the presence like always. Half of him wanted to break out into a big smile and turn around. Ignorance won out as well as common sense. Either way, there was no use spooking him.
After Naruto still refused to acknowledge his presence, Sasuke took a bolder step forward and joined him on the same branch. He walked up and looked down at what Naruto was so intently staring at. He still seemed poised for something though. Whether it was to fight or run, Naruto didn't know and pretended to ignore either way.
Eventually Sasuke spoke. And he didn't sound angry, didn't sound distant, actually he didn't speak in any of the same tones he'd heard from Sasuke most recently. "What are you looking at?"
Still, it was more of a demand than the nicely worded question Naruto pretended it was.
"I don't know what the flower is called, but it's amazing. See all the little frogs that live inside?"
"I see it," Sasuke told him. "I just don't see what's so great about it. You've come here the last three nights and stared at those flowers, I don't get it."
So dream Sasuke had been watching him huh?
Naruto sighed. "No, I suppose you wouldn't."
A few moments of silence passed and then surprisingly, Sasuke squatted down on the other side of the flower and took a closer look. Naruto peered across at him while trying hard to appear that he wasn't.
Sasuke's dark hair fell down over his pale face a little so it was difficult to see his entire expression, but this was the first time since they'd been kids that Naruto had been to close to Sasuke without either of them holding a weapon or trying to hurt one another. When his face wasn't twisted with anger, when his eyes weren't staring hate or crazy at him, he could see why the girls found him so handsome, more so now than when they were children. His body was healthy looking though perhaps a little on the thin side and he was so pale his skin looked like milk.
"I guess it's kind of interesting," Sasuke admitted after a moment, forcing Naruto out of his own thoughts.
"C'mon Sasuke, this is so cool."
Sasuke huffed softly, "Whatever, dobe."
For a moment it was almost like it was when they were kids. Naruto's enthusiasm for the little things and Sasuke's complete disinterest in anything that wasn't immediately useful or powerful.
He was about to try for another conversation when Sasuke abruptly stood up and left without a word. Naruto watched him go and didn't try to follow. When Sasuke was out of sight Naruto went back to looking inside the flower and the tiny little frogs.
Well it had been brief but at least it was something.
"Your dream is telling you that you try too hard. Maybe if you relax a little and let things come to you you'd have better luck in real life."
They were sitting at Ichiraku's eating lunch while Naruto told her about the latest installment of his dream. He knew that it had become an obsession for Sakura when she came over on their only day off this week and told him she would treat him to lunch at his favorite place. When he filled her in she had become excited that he had finally made contact with Sasuke in the dream and was especially curious about how he looked and sounded.
"It's just a dream," Naruto reminded her. "I know you're having fun trying to poke into my psyche and everything but you're getting way too into it."
"C'mon Naruto, how can you not find this interesting?"
"Because," Naruto started putting his weary head in his hand, "I'm too tired to find anything about this real interesting anymore Sakura-chan."
Sakura watched him for a moment with a little concern. "You've been having these dreams every night for almost two weeks. And it's not even a proper reoccurring dream exactly because you seem to have complete control of your actions in the dream and little details change every time you have it."
"What's your point?"
"It's a little weird. I've never heard of anyone having dreams like this before. The details are so intricate and realistic. And it's making you exhausted. Maybe we should get Tsunade-sama to have a look at you." She finished and Naruto noted, rather reluctantly.
"I'll be okay," Naruto told her sitting up and attempting to look alert. "It can't last forever."
Notes: Famous last words huh? So this is a little different than the norm and I hope people are enjoying it. I wasn't going to jump straight into another sasunaru fic but since this is a present and the recipient of said present wanted the pairing, how could I refuse? This will not be as long as the last one so please, review and let me know what you think. You never know, lots of reviews might mean more chapters yay!