A/N: Completely random, but I was trying to put off studying organic chemistry. As always, if you feel the need please don't hesitate to give me some input.

It's been four years and still, Naruto can't stop the feeling he gets in his chest whenever he sees his best friend. That disappointment that wells up whenever he thinks about Sasuke's betrayal and subsequent plan to annihilate Konoha; the fear that threatens to choke him because he knows Sasuke has the capacity and the drive to go through with his threat; the feelings that make him want to hate and love Sasuke at the same time. It pisses him off.

"This was unexpected of you, Naruto."

He's coughing up blood and, fuck, he's so tired. After fighting Madara, maybe chasing after Sasuke was a mistake. "Is that all you have to say, you bastard?" Naruto drops to his knees and hunches over, trying to balance his weight on shaky arms.

Sasuke is unfazed. Those Sharingan eyes watch him. "It would be so easy to kill you now," Sasuke says and Naruto can hear the beginnings of Chidori, those chirping birds that promise to bring a painful death. "Should I put you out of your misery?"

Naruto laughs and collapses onto his stomach, using the last of his strength to roll himself onto his back. "After all this time, you're still an ass hole." He stares up into Sasuke's crimson eyes and grins. "Your best friend in the whole wide world is here, trying to have a decent conversation with you, and all you want to do is kill me." He coughs again and motions for Sasuke to come closer. "Sit with me, teme. I won't last much longer anyways, right?"

Sasuke debates the merits of doing as Naruto says. On the one hand he just wants to leave and forget this entire conversation, but a part of him, the sentimental part, can't forget the old them and the dreams they shared that weren't tainted with blood. So he sits, laying Kusanagi across his lap and letting out an irritated sigh.

"Your sentimentality get the better of you, eh, Sasuke?"

"I'm giving you five minutes, usuratonkachi."

Naruto sighs. "Even calling me by that name. You must really like me."

Sasuke presses down on an open wound with a kunai and Naruto lets out a hiss of pain. "We share history. Don't take this out of context."

Naruto can't help but smirk anyways. Sasuke cares. Why else would he still be there? "You can deactivate your Sharingan, you know. I can't really fight you in this condition."

"I can't," he says and adds, almost like an afterthought, "Not anymore."

"You really look like Itachi with those things."

The way Naruto says his brother's name puts him on edge; there's respect tinged with affection. "Don't talk about him with that familiarity."

Naruto, who knows him better than anyone else, notices. "You jealous, Sasuke? I mean, I'll admit, your brother was pretty h—" He doesn't get to finish his sentence because Sasuke presses on the open wound again. "Fuck! You dick!"

"Don't talk about my family. I didn't sit here to rehash that part of my past."

"So you wanted to talk about Team 7? Let me give you the lowdown: Kakashi died, you turned into a fucking traitor, I'm dying at the moment and Sakura has become a totally awesome medic kunoichi who is gonna bawl her eyes out once you take my body back to Konoha." Naruto ticks off all these things on his fingers, but the movement is too hard and he only finishes half before he lets his hand fall. Sasuke notes the bitterness in his voice and the blood pooling below and the labor in his breath. Naruto really is dying.

Sasuke sighs and brushes the bangs back from Naruto's forehead. He knows it catches his former teammate by surprise. "What makes you think I'll bring your body back to Konoha?"

Naruto grabs Sasuke's hand to bring it over his eyes. "Well you're not gonna let your old teammate's dead body just lie here are you? That'd bring bad karma."

Sasuke doesn't really give a damn about karma, good or bad. "With you finally dead it'll be easy to destroy Konoha. Maybe I could drop it off while I'm killing Tsunade." Sasuke's surprised by the intense grip on his hand. He thought Naruto was running out of strength but, staring into those Kyuubi chakra infused eyes, he knows that's not exactly the case. His fingers are crushed together in an excruciatingly painful manner, but he refuses to show weakness, especially in front of Naruto.

"No, Sasuke," Naruto manages to get onto his side, every movement a struggle to maintain balance on his right forearm. He has to get closer to eye level with Sasuke. "You have to promise—" He doesn't get to finish because his best friend laughs darkly in response.

"Promise?" Sasuke asks. "Promise what? They'd kill me if they had the chance."

Naruto shook his head. His eyes are normal again, but his skin is paler. "They know you helped in the war. Tsunade gave her word you'd be safe. You can go home—"

"Home to what?" Sasuke asks bitterly. "Whatever's in Konoha I don't need it."

"Why not?" Anger makes Naruto move forward and he crawls the short distance between him and Sasuke. "All your life you've been searching for a connection. You found it with us and you were happy, if only for a little while. What's to stop you from making another?"

"I've outgrown those bonds. I don't need others to be happy anymore."

Naruto snorts and gingerly lays back down, hissing as his back touches the ground. "Well I remember a night when you were pretty happy to have someone else."

Sasuke remembers too. He's momentarily transported back to that night in the forest when Naruto found him by chance.

Sasuke can also remember the ensuing chase and the adrenaline with which Naruto kissed him once his hands were gripping his shoulders. The first kiss was hard and Sasuke could feel himself being forced into the ground with the weight of Naruto's body on his. But the kisses grew longer and slower. Sasuke felt Naruto's hands run through his hair, frame his face and dug his blunt nails along the backs of the blonde's hands, eliciting a hiss.

Naruto pulls back. "What?"

"Is that all you can say?" Sasuke asks. The blonde presses his hips down and Sasuke can distinctly feel how hard Naruto is against his pelvis. He lets out a hiss of his own. "Get off."

He smirks. "Is that all you can say? I'll do it with pleasure."

Sasuke hates having his words thrown back in his face. "Get off on your own. I don't want to deal with you tonight."

Naruto ignores him and runs his hand down Sasuke's body, past the roped belt he wears, and brushes the visible hard on Sasuke is currently wearing. His touch is purposefully light and he feels Sasuke shiver in response. He leans down and puts his lips against Sasuke's ear. "Just once. I mean, why not? It's not like you and I don't know."

"No, I don't know," Sasuke replies, purposely playing the fool, something he normally never does. He is both pissed and horny thanks to Naruto. He wonders when his former teammate became such a pervert. He can feel Naruto's breath against his ear, hot and doing strange things to his body.

Naruto knows he'll regret this later, but he does it anyway. "Listen, because I'll only say it once, Sasuke. Are you ready?" Sasuke isn't ready because he knows what's coming. But Naruto was never one to wait. "I love you," he breathes, the words quiet in the forest but loud in Sasuke's ear.

And suddenly Sasuke is done fighting, because he knows this is inevitable. Because his body wouldn't be reacting like this if he didn't like it. Because he knows he cares about Naruto too. Maybe not love, but as close to love as Uchiha Sasuke could get.

Naruto is unnerved by Sasuke's silence. He pulls away from Sasuke's ear and brushes the bangs away from Sasuke's face. "Hey, did you hear me or what?"

"I did."


"And nothing. I'm not resisting, am I?"

That's all the encouragement Naruto needs. He kisses Sasuke again and this time Sasuke responds, allowing Naruto's tongue to find purchase in his mouth and allowing himself to run his hands through the blonde's hair. It had grown longer since he'd last seen him, the ends framing his face attractively and making him resemble the fourth Hokage more.

Naruto is thrilled by Sasuke's decision to actively participate and rolls his hips against his. The telltale gasp against his mouth tells him Sasuke likes it and thrills him even more. He moves from the raven haired boy's lips to his neck and places chaste kisses against his throat. Sasuke can't pretend he doesn't like it and grips Naruto's shoulders, his nails digging into Naruto's uniform.

Naruto whispers, "Let go for a second," into Sasuke's ear and he does warily. The blonde hastily unties the rope at Sasuke's waist and, with Sasuke's help, his shirt is eased over his shoulders. Naruto grins foxily. "My turn now."

Sasuke knows how this works. He quickly unbuttons the front of Naruto's jonin vest and forces the material down his arms. He pulls on the mesh shirt Naruto wears underneath until it rips and all of Naruto's chest is exposed. "Satisfied?" he asks.

Naruto responds with a kiss over the left side of Sasuke's chest, right over his heart. "Very. Lets continue."

What happened next comes to Sasuke in bursts of ecstasy. He remembers breathing Naruto's name against the blonde's throat as he crushes his body against his, eyes shut tight when he comes in Naruto's hand the first time. Sasuke remembers Naruto's moan as he kisses and runs his nails down the blonde's body, making him crazy with want until Naruto forcefully grabs his shoulder and tells him not to play around anymore.

But most of all he remembers after. How he stared at Naruto while he slept and wondered how it had come to this. When had they grown up so much? And when had everything fallen apart.

Sasuke is brought back to reality by Naruto's bloody cough. "I was happy that one night. Is that what you want me to say? I don't expect it to ever happen again."

Naruto sighs. "Why? Because I won't be around anymore?"


It is a simple reply, but it rocks Naruto to the core. It is probably the most honest response he has ever received from Sasuke. Even if it's not explicitly stated, Sasuke loves him and Naruto is happy.

"I told you I'd only say this once, but I lied. I love you, Sasuke."

Sasuke closes his eyes and murmurs, "I know. I know."

Naruto can feel his eyes grow heavy and he feels lethargic. "I don't want to die," he whispers, closing his eyes. "I don't want to die."

Sasuke allows himself to admit another truth to Naruto: "I don't want you to die either."

"I never told Sakura-chan I was sorry for betraying her."

This is a surprise to Sasuke. "When did you do that?"

"When I fell in love with you." Naruto opens his eyes in time to see Sasuke roll his eyes. "I'm serious you ass hole . . ." He closes his eyes again and he breathes shallower, feeling his lungs fighting for each intake of air. "Hurry up and say it."

Sasuke dislikes being ordered to do anything, even by someone who's dying. "It?"

Naruto doesn't have enough strength in him to be disappointed. "That you love me. I want to hear it before I die . . ."

Sasuke is stubborn, but he's not an idiot. He knows this is the last time he'll see Naruto. He caresses Naruto's face, something he didn't even do when they made love. "Look at me when I'm talking to you, dobe."

The nickname is what stirs Naruto enough to open his eyes. "Yes, teme?"

Sasuke devours Naruto's face with his eyes, making note of every mark and the way his hair is messy and beautiful. "I love you," he says, grasping Naruto's face with more force than necessary. "Remember that."

Naruto lets out a short sigh. "Yeah . . . I will . . ."

Sasuke can sense people moving swiftly through the forest bordering the open ground where they are. He stands and takes one last looks at Naruto before he leaves, knowing the others are Konoha ninja who will take him back to the village.

Despite Naruto's wishes, Sasuke is never going back to Konoha. Without Naruto, there's no reason to.

A/N: The end.