'Search for the answers I knew all along
I lost myself, we all fall down
Never the wiser of what I've become
Alone I stand, a broken man
All I have is one last chance
I won't turn my back on you
Take my hand, drag me down
If you fall then I will too
And I can't save what's left of you'

"Love?" his laugh echoed hollowly. "You? Love me?"

Neji said nothing, staring at the blond.

Naruto's laughter ended suddenly, his face serious, his tone even more so.
"I don't know if I can love anymore."

"I wasn't sure of that myself," Neji admitted quietly, his eyes averting for a brief moment. "But I am now. I know I can love you. And if I can love you, you surely, can love me."

"Brave words," Naruto commented, but there wasn't force behind it.
His eyes looked lost again. Their usual brightness, dark.
"I do not know..."

"Neither do I. But isn't that supposed to be half of the battle?" Neji asked wryly.

Their eyes met then. They saw each other in ways no other person had ever seen them.
Naruto saw Neji's pain, his fear of this new territory, but the surety of his actions and words.
Neji saw Naruto's torment, his pain, his sadness, he saw that love had once burned brightly, now, it merely flickered.

"For you..., I suppose I will come back...," Naruto said softly, his eyes not leaving Neji's.

A small smile graced Neji's lips then, a smile of hope, uncertainty.

Neji extended his hand to the blond. Still looking deeply into Neji's eyes, the blond took it, clasped it firmly.

"I will return with you."

"Together, we will begin a new journey," Neji affirmed with a slight nod.

Naruto nodded back, a new light in his eyes.

'Say something new
I have nothing left
I can't face the dark without you
There's nothing left to lose
The fighting never ends
I can't face the dark without you
Follow me under and pull me apart
I understand, there's nothing left
Pain so familiar and close to the heart
No more, no less, I won't forget
Come back down, save yourself
I can't find my way to you
And I can't bear to face the truth'

Together, they returned to the village. There was no welcome back, they merely transported themselves into the Hokage's office.
She looked up, slightly surprised, but she hid it well.

"Naruto?" her eyes widened at his state.

He simply nodded.

She looked to Neji and he gave a slight shake of his head. Neither would say why he had left, maybe in time, it would come out, but not then.
She nodded, accepting their silence, Neji gently took the blond's hand and transported them into his quarters at the Hyuga Compound.

Neji slept on the floor the first night, allowing Naruto to have his bed.

They spoke very little for the first few weeks. Naruto went out to the training grounds with Neji, but other than that, he never strayed far from the black haired shinobi.

One night, as they laid in darkness, Naruto spoke. "I love you Neji Hyuga."

Neji blushed brightly in the darkness but after a moment he responded, "And I love you Naruto Uzumaki."

Naruto smiled then, a ghost of his old smile, this one mixed with pain, deep pain.

Neji saw then, as he had seen over the last few weeks, Naruto was not just a failure. He was truly amazing, his time away had strengthened, quietened, and aged the blond. He was not definitely not the same boy that had left.
He realized that he too, had changed. He was very different as well.

Could past hurts be forgotten and healed? Could they love?

Time would tell.

But he believed that they could.
For once, Neji Hyuga, loved someone, truly.
For once, Naruto Uzumaki, was loved by someone, truly.
As always, a new beginning began with two unlikely people. A new beginning. A new future.

'I wanted to forgive

I'm trying to forgive
Don't leave me here again
I am with you forever, the end
Holding the hand that holds me down
I forgive you, forget you, the end
Holding the hand that holds me down
I forgive you, forget you, the end'

A/N: Definitely not how I pictured this going and ending. But that is it. The end. I hope you enjoyed it. Maybe, there will be a sequel, but I doubt it. I would like you to imagine their future. It is not for me to write. If you understand this, you are wise beyond what the vast majority of this world would ever dream.