Rural Mentality [4/4]

Pairing: Narusasu

Rating: T or M (due to last chapter)

Disclaimer: I do not own the series Naurto, or claim any rights to the characters. The plot of this, however, is my own.

Now that I'm 25, looking back in retrospect, I realize how foolish I was as an adolescent.

It has been eight (long and lonely) years from the day I had been booted from my home in that rural community. For the last half of my junior year, I had found that I was spiraling into some strange sort of depression. I never found myself to be worthless, but I did believe that life was some sort of joke that I was left out of. After all, how could everyone be so mirthful when there were terrible things happening right outside their doors? At this point, all I wished to do be swallowed up by my bed and never face the sunlight again.

My brother, being the vigilant person he was, took notice of my abjectness almost immediately. He had been rather delicate when dealing with me as of late, seeming almost wary, like if he took one misstep I would shatter into a million little shards. College and social life (his girlfriend in particular because it was the first female that he had taken even a smidge of romantic interest in) however, took up much of his time so we rarely sat down to talk about things. Itachi was concerned, but had enough on his plate so that I was put on the back burner. I didn't really mind.

I suppose it was during my 'dark days' as I refer to them, that I became so obsessed with every sort of mathematics. As strange as it sounds, I found that numbers were easier to deal with than my life at the time; every problem had a single answer in easy-to-read, black and white text. There was no fine print, no confusion, and definitely no feelings involved- the last reason probably being why I had never divulged too deeply into literary works. Statistics soon followed, and by that summer I found myself sneaking away with my brothers business textbooks when he was looking the other way (it was not as if he minded anyways).

Senior year was uneventful. The first half was spent filing out college applications, writing essays and running off caffeinated drinks in order to stay awake. Itachi aided me in the whole process, correcting my work and shoving me off my chair whenever I fell asleep drooling on the keyboard of his laptop (he became so sick of the latter happening that he once had one of his sickening friends bring over a weasel from the animal reserve that he worked at and stuck the damn thing down my shirt). Some of the universities I applied for, I was almost positive they were out of my league. Itachi had been accepted into them, but he had practically been involved (and president of) most of the activities in his high school and had the highest G.P.A. of his graduating class. I, on the other hand, had been too busy wallowing in my depression to join anything extracurricular and my grades were while not exactly lacking, not as excellent as my brothers' either. He had just given me one of those half-smiles he does and stated that it was always better to give it a shot than to just give up.

I actually made a few friends during that final year in high school, but we drifted apart afterwards. It was nice to have people to hang around with instead of eating lunch everyday. People were much more accepting towards my sexual orientation in that school and not once did it become an issue. This was quite a relief.

Mother and father showed up when spring of that year came around in order to attend Itachi's graduation from college. Of course I had attended as well, and I have to say it was one of the most awkward and uncomfortable situations I had ever experienced. Mikoto had chosen to sit somewhat close to me- who was sitting next to some of my sibling's friends who were younger than him- and father had followed begrudgingly. They were a rather strange and rowdy bunch and had decided to bring alcohol to drink 'during the boring parts' as they had phrased it. To say it in short, the group of them had gotten absolutely smashed. When it was my brother's turn to get his diploma, they had gone ape shit. They were whooping and screaming and one (some kid in a orange mask who called himself Tobi and apparently had dissociated identity disorder) spilled their booze and popcorn all over Fugaku's head. Deidara, the friend Itachi had informed me so many years prior who shared my sexual preference, in his drunken stupor thought that it would be a bright idea to French kiss me. Exactly at the point in which my father turned to chastise Tobi.

Guess who wasn't invited to Itachi's graduation dinner that night.

Also guess whose parents also didn't show up at their high school graduation.

I wasn't surprised, per se, as father had made it rather clear that he had no intentions of being a part of my life, but it still hurt me somewhere deep inside the chambers of my heart. There had been some little sliver of hope that had stayed wedged in a crevice in my chest and had avoided the hurricane of hurt feelings that had rushed through, but it had been washed away now. Realizing your father really did not want you, and that your mother, although had nothing against you as a person, would go along with it just to stop the endless quarreling that they as a couple had been doing. It hurt much more than it fucking should have.

I was accepted into a stunning university, surprisingly enough (I swear Itachi had something to do with it because he was looking suspiciously calm when I received the acceptance letter), and it was no surprise I decided to major in business. During my expanse of time it took to gain my four-year diploma, I made a few friends. Suigetsu, Karin, and Juugo were all rather strange in their own way, as was I, so we got along rather well. None of them had any issue with me being gay- it really wasn't an issue for most of the country, there were just a few hick places like my home town that had any problem with it- although Karin and Suigestu are straight and I am almost sure Juugo is asexual.

Staying together when we entered the workforce wasn't our chief objective, but we all ended up in the same company nonetheless. Orochimaru, our boss and head of one of the leading corporations in producing state-of-the-art medical supplies and equipment (as we held business diplomas, it is rather obvious that we were working on the corporate side of things) was… is a rather strange individual. The man has the palest skin, thickest black hair, and these eerie golden eyes that seem to follow your ever move. All he ever seems to do- I know it is untrue- is sit behind this giant mahogany desk he has inside his office and drink some sort of beverage while watching his pet snake, Manda.

When we first started, none of us had ever seen Orochimaru. At our graduation, his right-hand man, Kaput, had shown up in order to cordially invite us to work for his boss. It was a little sketchy, as job opportunities are not usually served on a silver platters, but none of us were ones to deny. The economy had become rather messy, and employment prospects were hard to come by (plus, the salaries offered were rather insane for starting positions).

The few first weeks were enjoyable, if not a little bland. Days were usually spent chatting with interns by the water cooler (they had fabricated some of the most intricate and stunning tales of how Orochimaru shredded up former employees and fed them to Manda) or doing some sort of busywork. At night, Suigetsu, Karin, Juugo, and myself would go out for drinks and make a toast to how exceptionally it was going at work.

One day in particular, however, our schedule was altered a bit. While I still received the same amount of simple work- at least in my mind, but perhaps that's just the Uchiha in me talking- my co-workers seemed to have more dished out on their plate. I was the only one able to speak with the group that milled around the dispensers. A brunet man was explaining his theory on how the common perception of Kaput being Orochimaru's fuck toy had come to be when the man in question arrived on the scene. The rest of the group had quieted down instantly, and the speaker and scuttled off within moments in an attempt to pass the blame onto some other poor soul. Seemingly unfazed, maybe he had just become used to the gossip that traveled about because he was always personally dealing with our boss, Kabuto had just adjusted his wire framed glasses and motioned for me to follow him.

The walk and elevator ride to Orochimaru office was tedious and nerve-wracking. Neither of us spoke (myself because I'm antisocial and Kabuto because, although we are good friends now, we did not know each other then and he is rather shy) and the tension on my side seemed palpable with a knife.

I was herded into a room by the silver-haired man who quickly shut the door behind us with a soft click and took his place to the right side of Orochimaru's desk. The snake took his sweet time looking me over with his feline-esque eyes, not muttering a single word. Standing as straight and still as physically possible, I was sweating bullets during this period.

When several minutes had elapsed, the pale man had stood and slowly made his way towards me. A cold palm- much like my mothers had been, but bonier- was pressed to my cheek as Orochimaru attempted to make eye contact with me. Being the type of individual I was, I rarely partook in such an act (I was so used to the scorning glares of others that the action of avoiding such became a habit) and was busy staring out of the plate-glass windows of the office. Annoyance must have filtered across his features, or at least in his mind, because the older man used his other hand in order to tip my chin up to face him.

"Sasuke," he stated my name in a raspy voice. With his skin pressed against my own, I could smell the faint scent of fruity body wash that radiated from his flesh and clothing. "I like you."

I swallowed hard before nodding curtly and muttering a quick 'thank you, sir' in reply. Orochimaru gently pressed my chin to the left, then the right (causing my entire head to shift as a reaction). Removing his fingers, he proceeded to move both hands to rest on my suit-jacket clad shoulders.

"I very much like you Sasuke," he said with a soft- but admittedly rather creepy- smile "and I think you will do great things for my company."

Bobbing my head for a second time in our short and somewhat one-sided conversation, I watched warily as he stepped back and returned to his mahogany desk. Several sentences were exchanged with Kabuto before he returned to doing whatever he had been doing prior to our meeting. With a small hand motion, the silver-haired man directed me to exit the room and followed mere inches behind.

The trek back to my cubicle was much like the one previously taken to go to speak with Orochimaru; silent and uneventful. I was caught up in waves of confusion and Kabuto was naturally quiet. When I was back seated in my cheap swivel chair with jacket off and sleeves rolled up (I may have been freakishly clean and obsessive about self-grooming, but all of the suits I owned had been passed down to me from Itachi as I was not well-off at the time, therefore meaning they were a wee bit too large for my stature) I turned back to my escort who had yet to depart.

", it is quite rare for Orochimaru to take such an interest in an employee, especially one that is so novice. It would be in your best interest to not fall below the expectations he has set for you," he said, almost robotically. "What this foreshadows I am in no position to say, but with time you should be enlightened to just how fortunate you are."

He left following this peculiar speech, leaving a much more confused me in his wake.

Although Suitgetsu and Karin were rather concerned with my encounter with our boss when I informed them that night during drinks- Juugo always seemed to be relatively unconcerned with most subjects unless they included animals or one of his few friends being harmed in some way- but nothing much changed. I did end up receiving several promotions and Orochimaru, with Kabuto in tow, would sometimes visit me at my station and make some remark on how prodigal and remarkable I was. Other than that, it stayed the same.

It was not my performance in my profession that caused me to realize my absolute stupidity as a child and teen. What caused me to realize such was when I came to terms with my inability to move on from Naruto. Of course with the raging hormones and sexual desires of a young adult I had been involved in several one-night stands and a handful of relationships, but none of them had ever compared to the blond idiot Whenever I got with a guy, I tended to compare their characteristics with those of my previous best friend. 'He had lower morals, is more cleanly, has too much green in his eyes.' Even in my most serious that lasted over a year, I was never able to get the Uzumaki-Namikaze out of my head.

That had actually been the main reason as to why my last boyfriend had walked out. I had still been in love with somebody else. I had argued for hours with him, insisting it had been a false accusation and that there was not another soul that made my heart beat as fast or as hard as his. The man had still walked out though, and after three pints of ice cream and watching sappy movies with my brother's fiancée on the couch (she is really comes down from her usual state of hyperactivity and becomes a compassionate woman when the time calls for it) I realized I had to cease living in my glass bubble of denial. I was still in love with Naruto.

It could almost be considered common knowledge that the fates never side with me because of all of the shit that occurred in regards to my adolescence. In this case, it is no different. Seeing the blond on the street was almost improbable- he had always said the country was his home and if he was forced out of our rural little town he would just move to another- and from what I had gathered from Hitachi's conversation with our parents, the Uzumaki-Namikaze had moved from the area soon after Naruto's graduation from high school. Even if none of this were true, Naruto had seemed to hold no feelings towards individuals who shared his sex. He was as straight as a ruler.

With that in mind, along with the fact that it seemed impossible that I would ever get over the man, I came to a realization.

I would most likely die alone.

Okay, maybe that was a bit of an over-exaggeration, as I would always have my sibling, his wife, and any nieces or nephew's they would give me along with my friends who considered me part of their family. Each one would allow me to live with them in their home in a blink of an eye if I requested to do so, but it would be quite awkward (even if you love an individual to death, it is strange to have them live with your immediate family; they are almost always given the 'creepy Uncle Kyle' [1] reputation) for everyone involved. I may have become a little callous over the years, but I could not stand putting the few individuals who were truly concerned with my well being in such a situation.

With that said, having my younger relatives find me dead on the floor in a house much larger than one would or could ever need- which with the way my career had been going, looks like something I may be able to have- was almost tragic. I bet my corpse would be covered in cat fur too, because what is a lonely old man without his cats? Then nobody would want to touch it because they think I'm disgusting so they would try to get me out of there using a wheel barrow or-

Well shit.

To: Uchiha Sasuke

From: Uchiha Itachi

January 16; 17:24:04

Message: Remember dinner at 7:00 tonight. Please actually show up today; I know you consider me a nuisance a majority of the time, but I am just worried about you.

Scoffing softly to myself, I jabbed the sleep button on the top of my Smartphone and slipped it back into the pocket of my jacket. My brother wasn't fooling anyone with his text, he may have been concerned about me, but the real reason he longed for me to come over so was that he was able to slip away from his wife for a few moments. While he loved her to death- we really both did, but me in a more brotherly kind of way- the hormones from carrying their current child were driving her insane. While this did not directly affect Itachi, it caused the woman to become rather emotional and more than a little clingy. If I were around, it was much more likely she would spend time around me, giving him a desperately needed reverie.

What a con artist.

I was currently among the mass of people mobbing the streets during the daily commute home. While it was snowing (and rather hard at that), it did not deter people from walking to their residence rather than taking their cars or renting a taxi; the city was compact, so the distance between the average apartment or house and the work building was less than ten minutes. Automobiles and taxis were much more expensive, and the public transportation was rather lacking, so most just chose to walk home and save a few bucks in the process. This, of course, meant that I was rarely alone during my daily strolls.

Areas in which had an excessive density of people packed in a tiny space, like the sidewalks during this time, still made me rather antsy. In attempt to drown out all of the joyful chattering of friends or serious conversations occurring over mobile phones, I had jammed the buds of my mp3 player into my ears and proceeded to crank the volume up to a rather high level.

As was usual of my trek, my mind wandered from subject to subject. The themes of these little daydreams were never really connected (because the reason the value of the company stock increasing the last quarter and pondering why in the hell my parents had named my sibling 'weasel' of all things were probably not related), but usually were at least mildly entertaining. Today, however, I was taking it a bit more seriously.

Another one of my co-worker, whose name I cannot remember, had asked me out on a date during lunch. Typically, I immediately deny their request, knowing that it would just end up needlessly hurting both of us, but today the circumstances were a bit altered. The man had the brightest blond hair that I had gazed upon in years, and eyes with different shades of green organized in a way that made them seem almost like a shade of dark blue.

He looked like Naruto. He may not have acted like the idiotic blond boy who had been, as tacky as it sounds, the sunshine of my life as a child and teenager, but if I tilted my head a bit to the right and used my imagination a bit, the man could easily pass for him. Perhaps moving on wasn't impossible.

Many would look upon me as greedy for thinking in this way, but did it really matter? Maybe Itachi would be able to tell that I was lying- due to the fact we had lived together for years- both to myself and the other man, but my deception skills were honed well. It was be almost impossible to see to anyone else, or at least I hoped. Being a greedy son of a bitch took talent, talent I believe I possessed.

Glancing over to my left, I could see a hoard of people on the other side of the street that were packed even more tightly than those on my own. Beyond their squirming bodies, there was a playground built for the children in the area. There were few who actually lived in this part of town (it was not shabby, but not a family friendly neighborhood by any stretch of the imagination either), but the city had extra money to spend and chose to build the structure here.

Today, however, there seems to be a man of my stature, possibly a few inches taller, playing with a small child. Their forms are hard to make out, but the coat the man is wearing seems to be of an electric orange color with patches of black on the sleeves. A mop of bright blond, unruly hair rests upon his head. I furl my top lip and wrinkle my nose at his choice in fashion. Who in the hell would wear ugly crap like that? The only person I ever met with a wardrobe like that would be-

I abruptly freeze in place and feel my breath catch.

Uzumaki-Namikaze Naruto.

Quickly muttering an apology to the irritated woman who ran into my back- she was still cursing me out as I scurried away- I dodged my way through the crowd and managed to cross the street within the ten seconds that were left on the countdown of the crosswalk. My stomach churns with some sick feeling that is unable to be expressed with words; it is pleasant, yet makes nauseating at the same time. It's as if the butterflies that resided there from my youth have been mutated into creatures that claw at my insides, but soothe with some type or venom at the same time.

The logical side of my brain is screaming at me to just turn around and go home, despite the fact that it would make me look a little insane to those who had previously viewed my spectacle. There had to be tons of blond-haired men who wore orange in the world; the chance of it being the one I oh-so desire was slim to none. Plus, even it ends up being Naruto, who is the child that he is with? What if he had gone on to get married and already had a family started? The disappointment would be suffocating.

My heart, despite being somewhat wary, seems to be ignoring the flashing red lights of my mind. It urges me to go forward because it seems to know I would regret not at least checking the scene. It would be one of the most painful things to see that he had moved on, but it would remorse is always worse than that. Besides, everything is still a 'what if' rather than a 'what is' so anything could be possible. Miracles can occur.

Besides, if worst comes to worst, I can always go to that convenience store two blocks away and purchase enough ice cream to gorge myself for the whole weekend, right?

Bursting through a small circle of teenagers- who all glare at me for intruding on whatever sketchy activity they had been partaking in- I find that I am standing in front of the recreational area. Within moments, I feel a heavy seed of disappointment germinate in my gut. Not a soul is in sight. The swings blow gently due to the wind, and a few loose snow particles fly across the ground.

Maybe I am losing it; my diluted mind has begun to spin fake mirages of my lost crush in random places around the town. Next I may see a naked azure-eyed boy in my shower or on my desk or in my car. Getting out of town for a little while may be my best bet to put an end to this, Orochimaru had offered me a high position at a location located in a more tropical area.

Suddenly, there is a small lump of that crashes into my legs and latches on as if it's life depended on it. We teeter back and forth for a few moments as I attempt to catch my balance, but straighten up immediately after.

When I place my gloved hand on what I believe to be a head, the little bundle looks up at me with the lightest shade of emerald eyes I have ever seen in my life. It had bubble-gum pink hair with thick eyebrows that cover almost a fourth of the child's forehead. It's adorable, but in a very peculiar way.

"Naoki, what in the world were you thinking boo?" a voice questions, obviously belonging to a man. It's not too squeaky, but not too deep either; a perfect pitch.

The individual from before, the one who I had spotted from twenty feet away, jogs up to us and squats down to make eye contact with the little boy. "How many times do I need to tell you not to run off like that? I mean, I can understand that you are really excited but is it really necessary to-"

My heart is pounding in my chest so hard that I'm afraid it's going to crush my ribcage and burst out of my chest. I had gotten only a mere glance at the persons face, and while his voice may have changed, those cornflower-blue eyes couldn't be mistaken for anyone else's. I had somehow gotten lucky and found the one out of a million. Naruto.

"-now I want you to apologize to the nice man that you ran into! You are so incredibly lucky he is so generous and didn't whack you like the woman you barreled into before!"

I am rather distracted by the euphoria that seemed to gush through my veins at the sudden appearance of the man, but I still watch as the child supposedly named Naoki looked up at me with glossy eyes. This occurs for few seconds before he spins on his heels and buried his face into the monstrosity that was Naruto's jacket.

The blond sighs and attempted to pry him off. "He isn't scary boo, this is very easy to do! Just look him in the eye and say-"

The Uzumaki-Namikaze lifts his head and meets my gaze with his own. There is an awkward pause in which time seems to slow down; everyone around us keeps moving, but we are just stuck. For a few moments, I am doubtful he even remembers who I am, but then a single name slips past his pink lips.


Within seconds, Naruto has me pressed to his chest, the child squeezed awkwardly in between us. A tingling feeling makes me ears ring and I can practically feel the blood rushing to my face. He pulls back only slightly in order to allow himself room to babble.

"Oh my god, Uchiha Sasuke it is really you! I thought you were gone forever, and like, I- I really miss you man! Where have you been, why didn't you ever try to contact me? I guess it would be kind of hard, seeing as you didn't have a cell phone for awhile there, I assume you have one now, and I got a new number awhile after you left, but still! Oh my god, I can't believe we actually ran into each other, this is so amazing! Like I said before, I really missed you, how have you been? I-I I'm rambling here but I'm so happy you don't even know, and you know wha-"

"Mom!" the child wrapped in Naruto's squeals, thrusting his chubby arms outwards towards the playground. Both of us adults glance over to see a slim woman with hair the same shade as the toddler, looking around rather confused before turning towards the sound of what I assume to be her child. Naoki squirms in the blond's arms in attempt to get down and run to his mother.

Naruto seems to be rather displeased by the turn of events and scowls slightly. "Jeez, boo can't you wait a few seconds?" He grunts- something that makes a small shiver run up my spine- and fails in repositioning the pinkette.

With a sigh, he turns to address me. "Hey, princess- you don't care if I call you that do you, the stick hasn't gotten shoved up your ass any farther has it- I'm going to go give him back to his ma. Wait here. Don't go anywhere; I promise I will be right back, and then we can go to dinner or somethin' okay?"

I nod dubiously as he removes his hand and backs away slowly, not breaking our gaze. He shoots me one of those smiles that used to- still makes my heart melt as he turns and jogs over to the woman now only a few feet away.

Even if that female does end up being his wife, it will be okay. Just being in Naruto's life will be enough to keep me feeling alive and happy.

We end up going to a ramen place for dinner (he had allowed me to choose, as he did not know the neighborhood well) as I could easily recall the fact that his favorite food was such. A waitress led us to a rather secluded location despite the fact it was busy, and took our orders soon after. We chatted until our food arrived, catching up on major events in our lives and how our families- in my case just Itachi and his wife- had been doing.

Naruto is in his last year of veterinarian school currently, having moved (temporarily) to the city to attend one of the best schools for the profession. It had been his dream since childhood, and he was willing to give up a few years of living in the country to become the best doctor for pets he could be.

I meekly explain my strange addiction to business that came to light during the last year of high school, and my current job. The Uzumaki-Namikaze laughs and tells me I have a job perfect for a bastard like myself, to which I just grumble and flick a packet of salt at him. When I come to my strange relationship with Orochimaru, however, his mood seems to darken a little. He warns me to be careful of, in his words 'creeps who prey on their pretty little employees to relieve sexual tension,' and I can't help but be a little flustered. For a whole five minutes after I have to repeat the phrase 'it's only platonic' in order to stop the butterflies (which had somehow returned to normal from their mutated state) that crash into the lining of my stomach.

Our food arrives and we fall into a comfortable silence. He seems to be inhaling his noodles, while I just stir them around in my coral-colored bowl with my chopsticks- I feel as if I may vomit if I eat anything from nerves.

"So, Naoki is a cute little one," I murmur softly, bringing up a topic that had been stabbing at my brain since we had met a few hours prior. Although I had somewhat accepted the idea that I no longer had a chance with the blond due to his wife and child, I was still rather curious as to their history.

Naruto looks up at me, noodles hanging out of his mouth and his grins slightly. "Yeah, the little boo is pretty great. A little on the wild side and kind of hard to control at times, but I love him a ton! He's got a real strong arm, just like his mom Sakura!"

I take a sip out of my glass of water before questioning him about how he and the woman had met.

"Ah, she and I went to college together before we split off and went to our specialty schools, she's a doctor ya' know," he responds, taking another bite and swallowing. "She was a senior when I was just a mere freshman, but we hit it off right away due to our friendship with our one professor Hatake Kakashi. We used to have so much hangin' out together in his apartment. Both of us, Sakura and I didn't have much money, but Kakashi said if we cooked for him he would buy the groceries and let us eat too. I wasn't a good chef, but Sakura was so I usually just pretended to help so I could eat too; neither ever said anything."

I nod slowly as he took a big gulp of his water. "So then when did you guys tie the knot, before or after your graduated from regular college?"

Naruto chokes on his drink, turning to the side and coughing harshly into his arm before laughing a little. "Bastard, I'm not married to Sakura! She is married to this dude named Lee; I'm just Naoki's godfather! Lee is on a business trip with his mentor Might Guy here, so we all decided to come here as a little vacation!" He wipes at his eyes with the palms of his hands before grinning at me "I guess I could see how you could see it as that though, although I wouldn't understand why Anomie would have such bushy eyebrows cause' mine are definitely not that furry."

I awkwardly clear my throat and utter an apology, feeling my cheeks heat up once again. Tugging off my heavy winter coat (which I had yet to take off for a reason unknown to me) I pull down the hoodie I am wearing underneath and return to stirring absentmindedly at my ramen.

Thirty seconds passed in which I noted Naruto had stopped consuming his favorite food, and uncommon action. Glancing up, I see that his eyes are ablaze with some sort of enjoyment or excitement or… possibly passion or lust?

"You still have that old thing?" he asks, cerulean eyes never leaving my own. I glance down only to notice I am dressed in the orange hoodie he had given me back in our junior year of high school. A dab of pale pink must have dabbed my facial features again (I had honestly not even remembered that my attire for casual Friday at work had included it) because Naruto dropped his chopsticks to lean over the table and press one of his hands to my cheek.

"You know, I think you looks really nice in orange, especially when you wear something that is mine in the color orange."

I can only assume the coloring of my face deepens by a few shades because I am much too focused on the rough thumb gently rubbing against my right cheek. It is warm and the action fills me with a strange sort of pleasure.

"Is it okay if I kiss you now Sas?" he inquires, not stopping to wait for my answer as he pressed his pink lips to my own.

This kiss seems ten thousand times better than the first one we shared. For one, we are actually both contributing to it, and both of us are more experienced and the feeling of adoration is (hopefully mutual). Naruto has snaked one arm around my head in order to support my neck and pull me closer to him, making the position more comfortable for the both of us. A rough tongue had forced its way into my mouth and I can taste his pork ramen mixed with whatever soda his had ordered. His lips feel silky and soft against my own and I swear I have died and gone to heaven.

We pull away only because my phone begins to vibrate on the table, signaling the fact that I have a new message. A string of salvia connects our mouths for a few moments before Naruto swats it away with a smile. I send him an equally bright one back as I pick up the device from the table and read the text.

"Who is it from?" he asks, returning to the act of slurping at his ramen.

I roll my eyes at my brothers irate message, quickly typing a snarky reply and muttering "It's just Itachi, I was supposed to go eat dinner with him and his wife but I ran into you and didn't alert him of my change of plans."

Pausing in the act of consuming his last bite, the slightly taller male gives me a concerned look "I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to take you away from your family tonight, I know Itachi is the only one who really talks to you anymore and-"

"It's fine, really, he will get over it soon enough," I reply, reaching over the table to squeeze his hand in a comforting way. "Just finish eating your ramen idiot."

He huffs and rips his hand away, "fine, you know what bastard, I will! But not because you told me to, only because I want to."

I smirk back. "Of course Naruto."

After dinner, I insisted Naruto return to my apartment for an alcoholic beverage or two. We ended up playing the 'I have never' drinking game and partook in some rather adult-like activities

Sex with Naruto was much different than with anyone else, even if he was done while buzzed. He was so passionate in every movement and was always careful to not do anything that was not enjoyable for the both of us. I acted as if his little proclamation of love for me after we had both climaxed was nothing but annoying, but I have a feeling that he could easily see through my façade. After all, he was- has been my best friend for years.

I don't know where we will go from here, whether we will be together for forever and always, or if something will come between us. I'm not sure if we will move to the country or stay in the city. It is unclear if we will adopt children, have a surrogate mother, or if we will be happy with a grand total of zero kids.

At this moment, there are only two things I am certain of; one, I am quite content here draped over Naruto's exposed and muscles chest with his arm wrapped around my waist and his stubble poking into the side of my neck from his face. Two, I know that while we may never go back to that gravel road from our childhood again- I heard my parents actually had the things blacktopped- we do not need it either. Naruto and I have been constructing our own road, carving our own destinies since we first met. Who needs a bunch of rocks and dirt when you have a road paved with dreams, love, and friendship instead?


[1]: 'Creepy Uncle Kyle' refers to one of those people who isn't related to the family, but everyone insists you call them 'Uncle so-and-so.' I find this strange. In this case, I guess it refers to a relative that hangs around too much too.

A/N:Yes my lovely readers, this tale has come to a close. I'm so sorry about the tacky ending. It sounded much better in my head than it looks on Word XD. Writing this not in the past was kind of difficult after the first three parts. I had to go back and change it a few times because I went back to writing in the past tense.

As for who Itachi's wife is, I really don't know. I always thought of her as an OC (despite the fact I tend to try to not use them in stories I post often because I do not usually like read about them), but I guess she can be whoever you want. Just not Sakura or Karin because they are used as other parts in this story.

I love you all once again. All the reviews and favs and alerts this got just amazes me because I honestly think it's written poorly. I'm planning on going through and editing the mistakes out at some point... just not now. THANK YOU ALL WHO READ, REVIEW, FAV, BOOKMARK, REVIEW, AND ADD TO YOUR ALERTS!

To my reviewers from last chapter (Skip if you wish):

enslavedRei- Thank you very much! This is actually part four, the epilogue is will only be written/released if the readers want it.

LovelessAddiction- Aww I'm sorry... Thank you though!

snowblinded- Thank you so very much! I just noticed how people tend to, at least where I used to live, say mean stuff all the time to people who were wealthier than everyone else, even if their parents worked super hard for it.

KaoticLoveStory- Your review made me smile (that isn't meant to sound cruel, I just am ecstatic it was sad, because honestly thought I did a terrible job is making people feel sympathetic for the character). Final chapter is up now, hope you enjoyed!

yaoi148- Thank you! Yes, poor Sasuke!

moopad- Thank you very much! I love your usename by the way, made me smile.

Nivell- Neji is a jerk in this, but i actually do like him as a character! It is messed up though.

Dragon77- Thank you! one update coming right up!

Ellisama- Sadly, I think Sasuke scared Fugaku away for good, but I have a premonition Mikoto would come back eventually. As for Neji, I never really state what happens to him, so I guess I will leave it up to the reader. I suppose if I were to write it though, I feel like Naruto would have been the one to point out the question of how he got the tape. No ItaSasu in this though XD, Itachi is straight in this I guess because I was trying to focus more on Naruto and Sasuke's relationship. Mel. Sus. I am hoping to update as soon as I get a spare moment/finish this up. I love rambling, I have a habit of doing so myself! Thank you for taking the time to write a review by the way!

Akira Nishikawa- Update given! Yes, Sasuke gets a better life now. Thank you for the review!

whointheworldwouldbelievethat- Thank you! Here is the update!

Keeper of the Times- Aw I appreciate that you took the time to read then and I'm glad you enjoy it! Thank you very much!

homogeneous catalyst- Thank you very much!

mochiusagi- Naru and Sasu met again! I hope you liked the update and thank you for reviewing!

StoriesILike- Yeah, Neji is a jerk in this! I guess I didn't write that because I was either rushing or just hadn't though of it at the time! I doubt they would have believed him anyways though, because Neji was their "homeboy" by then. Thank you for the review!

BlueOrchid13- Aww, I hope this lived up to expectations (or at least half of what was expected). Thank you for the review!

I would love you guys to drop me a review/critique on this and what you thought; it would make me extremely happy! Flames are accepted as is usual and will be used to create a fire to roast marshmallows!

I guess I will end with asking if you want an epilogue or not? I said it would have 4 parts but if you want or do not want one last chapter (most likely containing smut, unless everyone is against it) let me know! I don't want to overkill this you know?

p.s. You should look out for a new NaruSasu I'm coming out with soon! I would love if you all read it!


Edit 4/22/12: Special thanks to Hollymist to enlightening me on my mix up with Sakura! I really do appreciate when people alert me of super huge plot holes like that, so if anyone else sees one just let me know so I can fix it asap!