Yeeeeah.. This was supposed to just be something short and random and not very cool to throw at Izaya but it turned into something too big to pick up and toss so.. its found a home here. And because of my lack of preparation to post here, it can and will be called 'Derp'. Its secretly like a clever contrast... or something. Someday it will have a sisterfic called 'Herp' written by Izaya and they shall be fabulous together~ *excitement*
Edito~ : The 'Herp' to this 'Derp' is out naow~! Run to it- 'Herp' by La Vita a Colori
It had started about two week ago. Something was wrong with Naruto but the doctors couldn't place it. They asked him if he'd eaten anything bad and he explained that he was probably constantly eating or drinking bad things but it had never had any effect on him before. They asked if he'd had an open wound that may have gotten infected and Kakashi had put a hand on his shoulder as he looked nervously left and right, unsure of how much he should say about how he healed. The jounin had answered 'no' for him.
At a meeting with the Hokage, Kakashi and the village leader had discussed the possibility of it being something directly linked to the Kyuubi rather than something foreign that Kyuubi couldn't fend off.
"It might be that his body is deteriorating because of the seal," said the Hokage.
But no one was really sure. Because with Naruto being 'special' it was hard to tell what form even common things would take in such a body. Naruto had sat silently in his chair while the two older ninja spoke of him as if he weren't there. He assumed his presence was something more of a formality. When they came out of the office Kakashi had smiled at him with a hand on his shoulder, the warm weight feeling unusually heavy.
"We'll have to keep an eye on you, Naruto," was all he said.
And so for the past couple of weeks that had been Team Seven's mission, keeping an eye on Naruto. At first it was just Kakashi checking in on him before bed time and in the morning when he woke up as well as sometimes once during the day. That had changed to Kakashi coming in every second day and staying all day when Naruto had gotten a fever and then to the two other members of Team Kakashi taking turns at staying with him at all times when Sakura had come to visit and found him collapsed in his kitchenette.
Naruto slept most of the time or pretended to. It was awkward when there was someone else there and your bed was in the same place as everything else. The small apartment only consisted of one big room and a bathroom. Bed, living and kitchen all in one place. Nowhere to escape, no privacy.
When Naruto was awake he stayed in bed because most days there was something wrong with his body.
When it was Kakashi's turn to watch him, the man usually sat on the window sill and read while Naruto slept or entertained himself and came bearing store bought meals.
Sakura brought books and games with her and almost always copious amounts of food her mother had made. Sakura was the best with the TLC side of things and Naruto liked it most when she was spending time with him. Some days his legs didn't work well so she made him roll his pant legs up and massaged the chakra points she knew to be there for him. She took his temperature properly and did other small things like his laundry. She did it all without complaining or lecturing him. He liked having her there even if she was only being nice to him because he was sick.
When Sasuke came they didn't really talk. This was when Naruto pretended to be asleep the most. He lay with his face turned away from the rest of the room and when it was time to take his temperature he allowed Sasuke to move his body around instead of 'waking up'. Surprisingly the young Uchiha was the most thorough when it came to caring for Naruto. Sakura did extra things for him like his legs and was certainly nicer about it, but Sasuke(while Naruto pretended to sleep) often rolled him onto his side and lifted his shirt up under his armpits. There would be a slight shift in the air that Naruto knew to be Sasuke activating his sharingan and the touch of Sasuke running his fingertips between chakra points on Naruto's bare back.
Dot to dot.
He'd check the blonde all over, rolling up his sleeves with careful hands to look at his arms, taking off his socks to check his feet. He was much more concerned with Naruto than the others. All the others could do was take his temperature and try to comfort him. Because they didn't know what was wrong.
Sasuke usually brought food with him too. Naruto didn't ask where he got it from. The raven sat at the table while they ate and then slept on the floor next to Naruto's bed. Sakura always slept on the couch on the opposite side of the room. Naruto didn't know where/if Kakashi slept.
Today, it was Sasuke's turn to watch Naruto. The boy had brought a scroll with him that he claimed Kakashi had passed onto him on the way over and Naruto was feeling pretty good so they were sitting on the bed together with it spread over the duvet. Sasuke pointed something out and Naruto nodded. They both tried to weave together the difficult combination of hand signs and muttered to each other as they attempted to decipher a character neither of them knew.
It was strange how civil they could be towards each other at times.
After a while, Naruto's mumblings faded out and he found himself staring out the window as Sasuke continued to pour over the scroll.
Today he was feeling better. He didn't have much of a fever and his legs weren't very achy and seemed to be working ok. But he felt frail. He had been eating enough and hadn't been throwing up much since this had all began but there was something still wrong with him. It was scary because he couldn't identify how he felt with any condition he knew. He'd had little colds before but he'd never been seriously sick. It was like something inside, something in his being felt wrong and it was carrying through to his physical body. He didn't like it.
Naruto blinked and drew a shaky breath, wondering what dying felt like…
If people knew when their life was going to end… Would it be different for someone who housed a demon power? Maybe they'd just fade away.
'…deteriorating because of the seal.'
Naruto blinked again and jumped at the sound of how quiet his voice was and wondered why he had spoken.
"Naruto?" Sasuke was watching him with a strange expression and suddenly Naruto realized how ragged his breathing was. Slow but frighteningly unstable. His body was tense and his skin beneath his pajamas was coated in a film of cold sweat. He could see his knuckles all white and trembling where he clutched the duvet beneath them. Naruto laughed breathily and Sasuke reached to touch his arm.
"Oi, are you alright, do you need to lie down?" At the other boy's touch, one hand relaxed.
"I'm not… I can't…"
What am I doing? What's wrong with me?
Naruto stared as his knuckles returned to a normal colour and Sasuke shuffled cautiously closer to him, letting go of one arm and leaning over Naruto's body to take the other, sliding his hand down the other's limb until he laid his slightly larger hand over Naruto's death grip.
"Let go. It's ok, just calm down."
The other hand came away from the duvet and Sasuke let go and moved back but Naruto could still feel the other boy's eyes on him.
"What's wrong?" asked Sasuke. Naruto shook his head slightly, not knowing what he was supposed to tell Sasuke. The other hummed questioningly and the blonde's eyebrow twitched at the unusual soft, comfort in the noise.
The sudden warmth of Sasuke's hand between his shoulders made Naruto jump, stare flicking up to Sasuke who was wearing that strange face again.
His long dark bangs were hanging half in his vision. Naruto wished he would move them. Tuck them behind his ears or something.
"Oi," called Sasuke in his usual voice and Naruto jumped again.
Why am I so damn edgy?
"… Nothing's wrong…"
"That's obviously not the case, Dobe." The hand didn't move away. In fact, a thumb started sweeping back and forth in a smooth, comforting motion. Naruto shivered and jerked his arms in slow movements to cross over his belly, hanging his head slightly as he tried to smile. He was clearly freaking Sasuke out. Hell, he was freaking himself out.
"It's nothing really. I just…"
"You just?" Prompted Sasuke. The blonde glanced sideways, licking at the line of sweat across his upper lip and butterflying his eyelashes uncoordinatedly in a blink. Sasuke tilted his head sideways.
"I feel…" he began, still watching Sasuke.
Waiting for Sasuke to finish the sentence with something like 'stupid'. Waiting for the bastard to smirk and tell him he was weak. To laugh at him.
But he just kept watching with his eyebrows furrowed a little and his mouth tight, his thumb moving against Naruto's skin. Deep, black eyes peered into his face without blinking. Naruto watched them circle his features, jaw tightening at what Naruto could only imagine his own expression was like.
"Why aren't you treating me like an idiot," Naruto breathed quietly, quickly avoiding the raven's eyes when he spoke as, from his mouth, they rose back to meet his eyes. Again he waited for Sasuke's concerned act to fall apart now that he'd acknowledged the boy's unusual behavior, forgetting that it was his own actions that had started it.
"Naruto, I treat you like an idiot when you're acting like an idiot. Right now you're not being stupid. You're serious. Tell me what's wrong with you. I'm not gonna laugh if you say you're not well."
"It's nothing really…" began Naruto mechanically but by this point the distinct feeling that something was wrong was so strong that his vision was swimming with tears.
"It's nothing…" he tried to say again, looking to Sasuke whose lips popped open in surprise at Naruto's flushed cheeks and teary eyes.
"I just… s-something's wrong, Sasuke. A-and I don't know w-what." Fat tears began to roll down Naruto's cheeks before he could stop them. He clutched himself more desperately at his stomach and chest.
Inside, it was tight. Suffocating.
"S-Something's wrong. It doesn't hurt but I know, I know something's w-weird. Inside me, something's all n-nervous, I feel so an-an-anxious. I dunno what to do, w-what if I'm r-really dying? W-what does dying f-f-feel like?"
Naruto squeezed his eyes shut and doubled over, unable to control his crying even as his face burnt with shame. He couldn't even speak. The overwhelming urge to keep burbling out his fear that this, what was going on with him, was actually quite serious, to Sasuke made him sick to his stomach.
What am I doing telling Sasuke all this? What does he care? He's just pretending to care, even if he says all that stuff about only treating me like an idiot when I deserve it! He's just like the others, all smiling and being nice because I'm sick! He's never-!
"You're scared, right?" Naruto's wet breathing hitched as next to him Sasuke spoke. He bit down hard on his lip and tried to shake his head in protest. Echoes of Sasuke calling him a scaredy-cat sounded in his head.
Beneath them, the bed whined and Naruto let out a loud gasp when all at once, Sasuke's arms were pushing their way past his grip on his stomach and hooking under his armpits, lifting Naruto against his body as he knelt before him.
What was this? What was with this holding? Was it just Sasuke's body 'moving on its own' again? Moving on its own to protect. To comfort.
"You're scared, right?" asked Sasuke again somewhere behind his ear. The view of the room over Sasuke's shoulder was blurry with tears and Naruto whimpered, closing his eyes when Sasuke tightened his arms around him. He was holding onto Sasuke around his neck, fingers grappling into the shirt over Sasuke's shoulder blade.
Pathetic. He should be pushing him away.
'It's not that bad! You don't need to hug me!'
But he couldn't help wanting to cling to the other boy. He was so mortified with what was happening but Sasuke was so warm and he was holding him so securely…
"You're scared. Isn't that because you're lonely?" The boy's voice was calm and low.
Naruto made a non-descript noise that was meant to be questioning into the place where he had buried his face in Sasuke's skin. He smelt strongly of body soap and something uniquely Sasuke.
"Isn't it because everyone has been smiling and saying 'get better soon' and treating you like a normal sick person, like they understand what you're going through? Isn't it because no one gets what's happening? Aren't you anxious because you've had to smile and pretend you're normal sick too? You feel alone… right?"
Naruto said nothing. Sasuke's breathing against him was slow and even. He tried to match it but he could hear the air rattling wetly in his chest. But Sasuke didn't seem to mind. The raven leant his head sideways so that it rested against Naruto's.
"You're not dying you know. You're just run down and feel like it. Someone said something about Kyuubi and now you think you're incurable. But you're not dying. You'll live and go on missions and become Hokage and all that dumb stuff. But even so, you don't have to pretend. You don't need to act like you're smiling til the end, so for now it's ok to cry."
Again Sasuke's arms held him closer and Naruto let his body fall completely into the other's embrace.
It was so strange to hear Sasuke say such things but in a way, it made sense. Because Sasuke wasn't a complete bastard. Because right now wasn't during training or on a mission or in the middle of a fight. Because right now, they were both 'serious'.
Because Sasuke probably knew very well what it was like for people to smile at you when all you really wanted was for them to ask "how do you really feel?", even if you didn't have the strength to reply. Even if the answer didn't make sense. To have someone listen properly and then tell you, with something genuine and unpracticed in their voice, "it's going to be alright."
When Naruto woke he couldn't remember falling asleep. The curtains were closed but he could tell it was the middle of the night. His face felt cleaned of salty tears and his hair was clipped off his face with a hairpin he didn't recall owning. Next to him, all deep breath and warm sleeping body, was Sasuke snuggled under the duvet, facing Naruto. Between their bodies, Sasuke was holding his hand and the blonde wondered vaguely who had initiated such a thing… But didn't hate it.
Showing Sasuke his crying, frightened self had certainly been embarrassing. But Sasuke, in turn, had shown Naruto something he'd probably call embarrassing too. A rare, soft side to the stoic Uchiha. Although he was still blunt with his words and didn't offer any "because we're friends" or "I want to look after you"s, it was still soft. And warm. Quiet understanding.
"Sasuke," whispered Naruto to the slumbering boy beside him. When the raven didn't stir, he wriggled closer and breathed in, moving to rub his nose tenderly in Sasuke's fringe before settling his own forehead against the other's.
Booooo~ Would never happen. (Unfortunately. I love hugs D:) But SO MUCH SINCEREEEEE. I freak myself out