Buried Alive – Epilogue: The End

A/N: For realz this time! This is the actual ending of BA, there will be no more after this epilogue. I'm calling it an epilogue because it's not a real chapter because it's not full length, but there were a couple of loose ends I have to tie up before saying goodbye. I'd like to point out right here that my next fic will be a SasoDei fic, which is still in the works (please don't glomp me to death, Nychta!) and my KakaIru fic is ongoing. If you like the darkness, the SasoDei one might be for you. Just thought I'd shamelessly advertise myself right here :) So, that over, this is the real ending! Oh noes! 3rd person point of view, because *spoiler spoiler spoiler*.

This is thinking/dreaming.

This is regular story.

This is author's note.

This is title

Warnings: Alcohol consumption! I don't think I've ever had to warn for that one before. And language and implicit yaoi. No sex, because that would be highly inappropriate.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, it's Masashi Kishimoto's product, and he's making a whole lot of money off it. I'm not. Don't sue me.

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How can you think that any of this was easy?

With all the friends I've lost along the way

When this is over

We're all getting older now

And we all play a part in it

Innocence is falling

Can you hear them calling now?

But I'll be by your side until the end

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"It wasn't your fault, you know," Iruka murmured softly, rubbing a hand over Kakashi's back. Kakashi let his sake cup fall to the table with a dull thunk, and brought his elbows up to rest on the edge of the bar. The room was too warm and the sake was cheap, but Iruka was there, and that made it bearable. They weren't drinking in celebration; they were drinking to get drunk. Or at least, Kakashi was.

"Yes, it was," Kakashi looked up, single eye tracing the lines of Iruka's face. "It was all my fault. I let Sasuke sit there and cut his wrists. I didn't even try to stop him. I have no idea what came over me." A hand raked through his hair, fingers tense with stress.

"You weren't in your right mind," Iruka's soft voice said from beside him. "What could you have done? If you had brought him back, he would have killed himself some other way. I doubt Konoha would have allowed him to live, anyway. At the very least, he would have been sent away. Maybe it's for the best,"

"The best?" Kakashi said, his voice a little outraged. "The boy is in a coma, 'Ruka, and he's not waking up any time soon. I don't think he wants to wake up,"

Iruka let his hand fall from Kakashi's back to his arm, letting it travel slowly towards his hand. The bar was dark, and mostly empty. No one was here to see, and he could feel how upset Kakashi was at himself. Although he wasn't nearly as daring as the jounin when it came to semi-legal public displays of affection, it was the least he could do to comfort his lover.

"I stand by what I said. He clearly didn't want to live in a world without his brother, and now he doesn't have to. If he does wake up, then at least he'll have you," It was true, in a sense. Although most of Konoha had turned against Sasuke, Kakashi was honour-bound to protect him. Part of the unwritten laws of honour forced him to obey the dead man's wish, even if it went against his own personal morals.

"Yes, just me. And a fat lot of use I was,"

"You saved his life, 'Kashi,"

"I let him slash his wrists. I couldn't get him medical help in time to stop him nearly dying," No matter how fast he ran, no matter how frantic his calls for help, he wasn't fast enough. Sasuke was still his student, in the end. Bonds like that don't break easily.

"He's still alive, isn't he? That's better than nothing,"

"He won't be happy, and there's nothing I can do about it,"

"He doesn't really deserve to be happy, at this point,"

"How can you say that, 'Ruka? Everyone deserves to be happy. Even Sasuke," He paused, thinking. "Well, at least he had the time he did with his brother. That's some consolation. Maybe he'll get past it one day, meet a nice girl, settle down and have kids. Repopulate his clan, like he said he would. Although I don't think he really wants women," A small, drunken smile pulled at the edges of Kakashi's covered mouth. Sasuke was flamingly gay – it didn't take a genius to work that out. Normal teenage boys bought porn and talked about girls and bragged about their achievements in the fields of romance, but Sasuke…well, Sasuke was too busy for that.

It was just another thing he had missed out on. It wasn't all that funny, really.

"He's thirteen, you can't really tell at that point," Iruka pointed out. Thirteen was really a little too young, even if it was the legal age of consent in most nations. It was mostly a formality; given the short life expectancy of most ninja, learning about their own bodies and experiencing physical pleasure wasn't low on the things to do before they died. For some boys, it was a rite of passage.

"I could tell. I could tell that about you at thirteen," Kakashi's smile returned, gripping Iruka's wandering hand.

"Yes, but you're special," Iruka pouted, pushing out his lower lip and tilting his head like a child. One finger stroked his, drawing comforting lines up and down.

"I know,"

"See, you're happier already,"

"More like drunk already,"

"Same difference."

oO..Oo..oO..Oo

Bon, c'est vraiment la 'fin' cette époque.Je suis sérieux.

oO..Oo..oO..Oo

A/N: So yes, everyone is thoroughly miserable, but at least Kakashi and Iruka (maybe) live happily ever after. And maybe Sasuke wakes up, maybe not. Maybe he gets better, maybe not. It's all up in the air, which is the beauty of an open ending. It also gives me the opportunity to write a sequel if I so choose, although considering I killed off Itachi and Naruto and Sasuke is incredibly suicidally miserable and Kakashi is mentally scarred even more (but at least he has 'Ruka) it could be a challenge. Plots tend to just come to me, so if I get one then I might write it, but don't hold your breath. I hope that tied up the glaring loose end right at the end, 'what the hell? Did Kakashi just let Sasuke suicide? OMGWTF?', so no, he didn't. But Sasuke's in a coma, which isn't good. Thanks very much for reading this fic, I really enjoyed writing it for you, and thanks for all the lovely reviews, alerts and favourites. Give me a last review? I love you all :3