This is a one-shot; a Christmas gift for all of you. It's completely different from my other stories. It's slower. But with everything going on with my life and my country (Egypt), I think slowing down is good for a once.
Obviously, the quotes in this one-shot are not mine. I've found them online, and thought they fitted well into the story.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The blond scuttled as the rain plummeted down from the sky, drenching him. He sniffled, cussing himself inwardly for forgetting his umbrella. He raised his collar up before pushing the door to the café, and walking inside. As expected, it was cramped.
He hissed inwardly; he wasn't about to go back outside. He stood in line, waiting to order. Long queue, but he wasn't in a hurry. He was always eager, but for once, the longer it took, the better; he was hoping a table would open up.
He liked coffee shops, especially in the winter. The warm scent of toasted beans, people huddling up inside of their coats, and lovers cuddling. It seemed just like yesterday when he was the one…
"Sir," the casher repeated.
Naruto looked up from his daydream. He smiled, "cinnamon latte."
He moved to the side of the counter waiting for his drink to be ready, when he noticed a young man sitting alone, with an empty seat next to him. So seductive… He wanted that seat so bad. He examined the dark-haired man for a second, before deciding that his gaydar was spot on. Maybe, he could flirt his butt onto that cushion. Plus, the guy wasn't half bad. In fact, he looked as if he had just walked out of GQ magazine.
With his drink in his hand, he walked towards the handsome stranger. "Is this seat empty?" He grinned.
"Hey-" Naruto paused noticing the headphones plugged in the raven's ears.
"We're getting up. You can sit here," A girl said as she stood up with her friend. Naruto nodded quickly, thanking her, before sitting down.
Sasuke dropped down his newspaper. He pulled the earplugs out, and looked around. He could've sworn, he felt someone talk to him. Well, it must've not been that important, he thought.
He reached out for his coffee. He winced when he noticed how cold it was. Once again, he got caught up reading his news, and forgot all about his drink. He put his bag onto the table to make no one confused it for a vacant one, before heading for the cashier.
Too crowded, he thought. His table was almost barricaded in with a ford of tables. "Excuse me," he mumbled to Naruto, who immediately moved his seat out of the way.
Naruto pulled his phone out of his pocket, playing with the applications, just to have something to do. He started reading some of his old messages, smiling at the memories. Suddenly, his grin disappeared. He came up his ex's messages. He turned off his phone, and stuffed it back into his pocket. Wasn't life a little cruel? He contemplated. Most people go through their lives never meeting that 'one' person, and that is indeed shameful and cruel of life. Yet, meeting that one person and then… Fuck love, he thought. He was ready for his rebound guy.
He pulled a pen out of his pocket and began to restlessly flick the cap on and off. He made room for the handsome stranger as he walked back to his table, before resuming his flicking. Suddenly, the cap flew off, and landing right under Sasuke's chair.
The Uchiha to bent down to grab it, when the guy sitting behind him reach for it, and handed it to Naruto silently. Quietly, each of them returned to whatever he was doing before.
A few minutes later, Naruto looked up from the napkin he had been drawing on. The stranger was gone, but his umbrella was left. In a flash, he grabbed it, and ran out of the door. The raven was already gone.
"Well, at least it's not raining anymore," Naruto mumbled.
He walked back inside, and tried talking to the cashier. In the amidst of the crowd, he was ignored. He wrote a note with his contact information, and left it for the cashier, only to be swept away by someone's elbow.
He walked back home, with the umbrella dangling from one hand. Once he was home, he hung it on the cliffhangers at the back of his door. He made a mental note of going back to the café to check if someone looked for it, but soon he forgot all about it.
"Someday I'll forget the color of your eyes, the sound of your voice will be unfamiliar. Someday I'll forget that I once loved you, the feelings will have faded, someday I'll forget."
A year later, Naruto scampered all over his place, putting on his shoes in a hurry. He pulled the first umbrella he reached without a second look, before running out of the apartment. Hours later, after his interview was over, he noticed the umbrella he had picked. He ogled at it for a second, trying to remember when he bought it, before deciding it wasn't worth the brainpower.
It was raining again. He hated rain. He walked inside of the coffee shop, before finding himself a table next to the window. He pulled out his mobile phone, and began to check his missed calls, when a semi-familiar mop of hair sat beside him.
He had seen that man before, he thought. Where? He ogled for a whole minute, before feeling self-conscious about it, and shrugging it off. He returned his attention back his smart phone before it suddenly hit him.
Sasuke flinched as he turned to look at the blond stranger shouting at him. He scanned the slim figure, only to see a familiar umbrella being waved in his face.
"You forgot it last time," Naruto elaborated.
"Last time?" Sasuke whispered.
"Yeah, last year. I tried to follow you, but you were already gone," Naruto smiled, before blushing at the other's intense gaze. "Hey, don't look at me as if I stole it."
Sasuke smiled politely. "Oh, no… Thank you for keeping it… and using it," he whispered sardonically.
Naruto handed the umbrella, smiling. "Who would've though that after a whole year… It's like those stories in the news when a child returns back to his home after being lost for fourteen years."
Sasuke bottled up his cynical comment; it was beyond him how a person could compare a lost child to a forgotten umbrella, even thought it was by Swaine Adeney Brigg. "Thank you."
Sasuke sat down, and managed to shake Naruto off, until the blond started to whisper, "Hey…"
The Uchiha turned to look at the blond, who was blushing and rubbing the back of his head, "Yes?"
"It's raining, and I don't really have any other umbrella with me. Can I borrow it? I'll return it tonight."
Sasuke picked up, and handed it to Naruto. "You can keep it."
"No, it wouldn't feel right."
Sasuke nodded, before getting out his wallet, giving Naruto his business card.
"You're an Engineer?" Naruto commented as he studied the card. "You don't happen to know to fix a busted pipe, do you?" Naruto joked, before gulping at Sasuke's glare.
"You're very intimidating," Naruto whispered. "You remind me of my ex."
Sasuke sighed. No one ever enjoys it when a stranger insists on having a conversation. He wasn't a magazine, and he wasn't a source of entertainment for bored blonds. "I have that kind of face."
"No, your face is okay."
"Thank you, I guess."
"It's a pretty face."
"Really pretty," Naruto nodded, feeling a little uncomfortable about the ambiance of their conversation; a little heavy, he thought. Shame, the other man was hot. A prick, but that was sort of his type.
"I'll take good care of your umbrella," Naruto repeated.
"I suck at this," Naruto muttered under his breath. "It's been a year."
Sasuke looked back up at Naruto, not getting what the other was saying.
"A year since I've been in a relationship. Five before that in a relationship… So, I think I forgot how it was to date or approach someone," Naruto added, stuttering and already blushing. "What I'm saying is… Hmm…"
"You want to ask me out?"
Naruto smiled, "Is that a yes?"
Sasuke hummed for a jiffy before clarifying, "I don't think so. I'm moving away next week."
"Oh," Naruto muttered, a little disappointed. "Good luck. Another city?"
"Dubai," Sasuke explained, drifting away.
"You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see, but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel."
Seven years later, Naruto chuckled out loud, as he lifted his leg with the child clinging to it. "I'm not a toy, Takumi!"
The kid ignored his father's pleadings, and the spectators' glares, and continued to cling.
"Is that the toy you wanted?" Naruto pointed away at one of the racks, trying to distract the kid. It was both fun and awkward, having a little soul cling to him.
The boy shook his head. He wasn't going to be tricked this easy. Suddenly, the boy swerved to the side and clung to someone's bag. "BBGun!"
Sasuke pulled his bag of Christmas gifts away, but paused when he noticed it was a child wanting one of the toys.
"Takumi, let the nice guy go. Very bad," Naruto ordered trying to prey the boy's fist away from the bag. He looked up at the oddly familiar stranger, "Sorry. I don't buy him any violent toys. Still, it's very rude." The last sentence was addressed at his son.
Sasuke nodded and waited for a second, until Naruto lifted the crying boy of the ground, and walked away. He then looked at his bag. Maybe he shouldn't buy his nephews violent toys either, he wondered.
"It has been said that we need just three things in life: Something to do, Something to look forward to And someone to love."
Two years later, Naruto flinched as the nurse poked his skin with the needle. He watched as the bag filled with blood slowly. But then his turned left, and glanced at his husband, donating blood on the next bed. He sighed. Maybe he was stupid to think love was eternal, he thought. Lakes dry, why wouldn't he love? Well, at least his blood could save someone's life.
Two weeks, one day, five hours, and thirty-three minutes, Sasuke laid in bed, half gone, watching as the doctors fumbled on top of him. He was losing too much blood, wasn't he? He even had the rarest of blood types; AB negative. He thought, feeling a little callous about everything. Cold. So cold.
"One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching."
Seven years later, Naruto walked through the gravestones, dressed in a pitch-black suit. He dropped down and placed a red flower. "I'm sorry. I didn't see it earlier. I overlooked it even when it was so obvious."
"Dad," the twelve year old whined. "Do we really have to come here every year?"
Naruto sighed, "I'm almost done." He had always felt guilty for missing his husband's ugly habit. If he had only noticed earlier…
The walked away, passing by a funeral. Naruto glimpsed momentarily at the crying faces. He watched as a raven haired man helped the grieving widow off the ground. The man looked so familiar.
"For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else."
Six years later, Sasuke tapped on his desk to silence the class. One student was particularly strident. A blond one. He looked very familiar. Maybe he thought his brother years later or something, he guessed.
"Takumi Uzumaki," Sasuke hissed, daring the student to make another noise.
"I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works."
Five years later, Sasuke smiled as he shook the boy's hand. He could never imagine that the insolent boy would end up the first on his class. He never had any kids, maybe that was why he switched careers and got into education. Truly, sometimes it was rewarding.
"Dad," the boy called to a blond man, the splitting image of him, to come closer. "This is Professor Uchiha."
Naruto grinned widely, shaking the professor's hand wholeheartedly. He had heard a lot about him. At first Takumi hated him, even as a faculty advisor, but things changed as semesters went by.
"If I never met you, I wouldn't like you. If I didn't like you, I wouldn't love you. If I didn't love you, I wouldn't miss you. But I did, I do, and I will."
Twelve years later, Naruto sat in the café, now under a new management, drinking his coffee. It was raining outside. He loved coffee shops in the winter, he thought.
"Mr. Uzumaki," Sasuke said.
Naruto turned to face him. He grinned, "Takumi's-"
"It's been a long time."
"It has. Are you still teaching at the university? You were his favorite professor."
"He was a good student."
Naruto chuckled, "I bet he gave you hell."
"He is unforgettable," Sasuke smiled. He had grown more tender.
"Like father like son," the Uzumaki joked.
Silence took over the atmosphere before Naruto finally spoke, "It's odd."
"I feel like I've met you more than once, but I can't remember exactly when."
"Sorry, I sound…"
"No, I get that feeling too."
"Maybe in previous life," Naruto joked.
"Pervious life? I probably just have one of those faces," Sasuke explained.
"That's probably it."
Naruto then continued, "Thank you for looking after Takumi. When he went to college, I was terrified he'd follow after his father. But then he called me and told me about the uptight professor that sat beside him for five hours in the library until he finished his final paper so he wouldn't fail the class. Thank you. You know he is having a baby soon."
"You're thinking, I've grown old, right? Tell me about it. I'm about to be a grand-father," Naruto chuckled again. "But how it feels like we're just starting?"
"Maybe, we are," Sasuke smiled. "Let me buy you another cup of coffee."
Three hours later, they stood outside the coffee shop, still shielded from the rain. "I forgot my umbrella again," Naruto whined.
Sasuke opened his, and centered it between the both of them, "We'll have to share."
""What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now."
XXXXXXX The Beginning XXXXXXXX