KissMeDeadlyT-T: This is a request from emilymai101. I did my best with it, I hope you guys, and you emilymai101, enjoy it.

-Prompt: Rating: M
Romance/Friendship with Hurt/comfort put in.
basic plot line is that sasuke was kidnapped by orochimaru but escapes and travels for weeks and weeks to get back to Naruto. When he gets back he is exhausted. Naruto helps him.
sasuke has changed and is very quiet and shy not like he used to be. total uke sasuke lol
if you could some how bring Sai into it and make him a bit of a jerk i like him but it would be fun if he like flirted with naruto and made sasuke jealous or something like that. maybe made fun of sasuke etc. hopt this helps and thanks :D

-This flamboyantly sexy person right here doesn't own Naruto or any of the sexy people in it; she just dreams of them and tortures them in FanFiction. Y'all best be jellin'. Muahaha :D

-Warning: Yaoi/shounen-ai. Don't like? Don't read. :D Or hell, read it and then try to flame me, but I'm just saying, I really love fire so no fucks will be given. :)

Read on! =D

xxXXxxXXxx

His overgrown raven black hair was plastered to his forehead, which was sticky from sweat and the humidity of the forest he was currently trudging through. The scalding heat of the midday sun seemed to pay no attention to the dark green canopy of the thick trunked trees leaves as it beat down on his sun-darkened skin. A creeper on the ground nicked his ankle and a trickle of blood rolled down onto his bare, painful foot, but he didn't notice it, too exhausted and already banged up for one little cut to make any difference. He was a ninja, strong beyond belief, but even someone as physically in shape as he would be fatigued after countless days of wandering through the forests, hiding from his kidnapper, surviving off of nothing except small berries and random streams he found.

He'd long since lost his bearings and was forging ahead aimlessly, not even sure if he'd survive to see another day, or if he'd ever get to his destination. He laughed bitterly to himself, shoving a hanging branch out of his way and ducking around a fallen tree; even dying alone in the middle of a forest or being eaten by a bear or something would be better than the hell he'd been subjected to as a kidnapee of Orochimaru. He could barely even remember most of what had happened, so horrible that his mind refused to let him revisit it in the hopes of letting him keep his sanity.

He was almost too worn out to keep going. When was the last time he'd slept? He didn't even know anymore. It could have been days, or even weeks. However, he was afraid to rest—when he did, his guard was down, and he wouldn't be able to keep up the constant chakra-hiding jutsu he had to use so that Orochimaru couldn't track him down. Every once in a while he'd need to stop for a break, but every little sound of the forest—a squirrel on a tree branch, the rustle of leaves in the breeze—had him paranoid and had his already weak mind ready to snap. He knew it was ridiculous, but he felt like he was always being watched, even though he knew he was completely alone. It was as if the forest had eyes and was holding its breath, watching the lone survivor trek blindly through the maze of wood and greenery.

It was maddening. Walking on and on, not knowing if he was getting anywhere or if he was just walking in circles or even if he was dead and his was all some sort of after-death cycle he'd be subjected to for the rest of eternity. He could barely even tell if he was still sane, and his thoughts were nothing short of twisted and terrorized. The horrors he'd been through and the stress of trying to survive was making his mind fall to pieces, bit by bit. But since he was completely isolated, how was he to know when it finally disappeared?

His movements were like those of a zombie, but he forced himself to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Right, left, right, left, come on. Keep going. His muscles protested each time, but he ignored it. He had to get back to his home. Had to. He would be safe there, and Orochimaru wouldn't be able to touch him anymore. He shuddered, and tripped over a branch, falling face first onto the muddy ground. The dirt barely clung to his already filthy skin, which was showing a lot more than usual—his clothes had been mostly lost or torn along the way, and all he had left was his tattered pair of black shorts. He didn't get up for a long time, the feeling of being off his aching feet almost like ecstasy, but then he heard something move in the thick forest somewhere to his right.

His heart started beating faster and he held his breath, scrambling up and pressing his back flat to a tree, his hand gripping the one and only kunai he'd managed to snag out of Orochimaru's lair before running away. A bead of sweat trickled down his face and he nearly started hyperventilating when the steps got closer and closer. Each little snap of a twig, shuffle of leaves and thud of feet hitting the ground made his heart pound quicker and quicker. He heard a voice and bit his lip, listening as hard as he could.

"I thought I heard something," one said, a deep voice with a very faint accent that sounded vaguely familiar. Sasuke nearly started to cry out of panic; was it Orochimaru? Had he been found? He didn't particularly believe in God, since if one existed he'd been majorly fucked over, but he found himself praying to every single one he could think of that it wasn't that snake-loving, paedophilic psychopath.

"Me too," a second voice agreed, and now Sasuke knew it was someone he recognized, but he couldn't put his finger on it. His fingers tightened around the kunai and he shut his eyes, the footsteps drawing nearer in a way that was so torturously slow.

"Do you think it was just an animal?" the second one asked, another deep voice which was obviously male.

"No. I sense someone else's chakra."

Sasuke's stomach dropped; he thought he'd been doing pretty well hiding his chakra. The voices were almost beside him now, and he tasted sweat on his upper lip, his heart in his throat.

"Why don't you use your byakugan?"

Byakugan? That sounded familiar, too; something in the faraway back of Sasuke's mind, something forgotten over the three or four years he'd been captive at Orochimaru's. The first one spoke again.

"I don't know why I didn't think of that..." There was a pause, then the person said with an odd sort of calmness, "There's someone crouched behind that tree."

The footsteps drew closer and Sasuke panicked. Jumping up, he spun and pounced onto one of the people hurrying his way, the kunai at the person's throat before they could even register what happened. Sasuke was moving off pure adrenaline, his eyes crazed as he spoke for the first time in days.

"Don't move, or I'll slice your throat," he rasped.

Under the dense leaves it was dark, and he couldn't make out anything of the person he was straddling and threatening except for a white outfit and strange, faintly glowing white eyes. This struck something in his memory, but he was too tired and mentally spent to make the connection.

As the other male made a move above them, he pressed the blade further into the white neck before him, vaguely noticing dark brown, nearly black long straight hair tangled around his throat.

"You want me to kill your friend?" he stared wildly up at the person, his voice high-pitched from hysteria. He bared his teeth in an almost animalistic way, a low, guttural growl sounding deep in his throat.

There was a sudden gasp. "Oh Kami—is that you, Sasuke?"

Sasuke paused, looking up and squinting into the darkness. He hadn't heard his name spoken aloud in such a long time—it had always been things like 'slut' or 'bitch', and he almost couldn't remember his own name.

"Who are you?" he whispered, his voice cracking from dehydration.

The second person kneeled down, and Sasuke saw darkly ringed green eyes and a shock of red hair. "Gaara. Gaara of the desert. We fought in the Chunin exams. You were kicking my ass. You remember?"

The name made him uneasy. "Uh... Gaara..." he tested the name, remembering vaguely using chidori to break his ultimate defence or something like that. "I... remember..."

"We won't hurt you. Get off of Neji, let him go." The deep voice was oddly soothing, and Sasuke found himself standing up, though not dropping his guard, still paranoid. This was the first time he'd been another human in weeks, and it was all he could do not to break down crying. His knees felt weak and it was hard to stay standing.

"Is it really you?" Neji whispered, as if he was afraid to frighten Sasuke, who looked like a deer in headlights. "It's been four years..."

Sasuke backed away. "How do I know you're not Orochimaru in disguise and you're just going to take me back to your lair?" he demanded, his throat constricting as tears sprung in his eyes. He was so terrified, so paranoid, unable to believe that these people might actually be his friends and try to help him rather than beat him and torture him and rape him as everyone else had the past four years of his life. He started to hyperventilate, panic taking over him as he started crying, babbling uselessly, seeming to hold on to his sanity by a mere thread. "I don't trust you. You'll hurt me. Leave me alone." He held the knife forward, his hand shaking. "G-go away," he repeated, tears making tracks down his grimy cheeks. "You won't like me. I'm tainted. I'm not a virgin. I'm full of scars, I'm just trash, you won't like me, go away, go away, go away, go awaygoaway—!"

Neji and Gaara shared a look of horror and shock, their faces draining to a ghostly white. Gaara slowly approached him, holding his hands up. "Sasuke, relax. We won't hurt you." He grabbed Sasuke's heaving shoulders hesitantly, softly placating the delirious boy in front of him. "Put down the knife. You're going to be okay. No one is going to hurt you... in fact, we're going to help you. We'll bring you to Naruto. You remember Naruto? He's your friend. He's been looking for you since you disappeared. Do you remember him?"

Naruto? Sasuke froze, calming down just the slightest. He remembered Naruto. Sunshine, blond hair and blue eyes. "N-Naruto?" he stuttered, his body starting to tremble.

Neji spoke quietly. "We'll bring you to him, but you need to calm down. Take the kunai away from Gaara. Take a deep breath."

Sasuke found himself listening to the soothing sound of Neji's voice, his hand loosening around the kunai. It fell to the ground with an ignored, muted thump, and he breathed, "You won't take me to Orochimaru?"

"Don't worry about him. He won't ever hurt you again."

With that, Sasuke's shoulders slumped in relief, and he began crying his heart out. His weak, shaking knees finally gave out, and his wary mind shut down completely. He fell to the ground and barely felt Neji's strong arms catch him before he blacked out into a blissful, pain and terror-free sleep.

xxXXxxXXxx

When Sasuke woke up, he thought that for sure he must be dead and he was in heaven. He was lying on a cloud, it had to be—it was so soft and squishy after sleeping on the hard forest ground for weeks, and his entire body seemed to cry in joy. The pine and dirt scent of the forest was gone and replaced with a clean, fresh, almost vanilla-like scent, with the underlying smell of meat cooking, and his deprived stomach rumbled hungrily. He could hear someone humming distractedly somewhere to his left, and someone else bustling around in another room or somewhere distant.

He tried to open his eyes, but moaned weakly as pain shot through his skull, his throat like a desert. His tongue felt like a piece of sandpaper and he tried to take a deep breath, but immediately started coughing as the back of his throat felt like it was tearing. There was a gasp and the sound of wood screeching against a hardwood floor, and then suddenly there was warm-temperature water pouring into his mouth.

"He's awake!" the person watering him called excitedly, a female this time.

It wasn't cold, but even warm water felt like he was drinking a life potion, and instantly he felt a little bit of energy tingle to life in his numb, dully aching body. He again tried to open his eyes, mumbling about brightness, and then the curtains were slid shut and the room turned black.

"Naruto! Get in here, he's awake!"

"Okay okay! Kiba, look after the chicken, okay?"

A third voice grumbled. "I can't cook worth shit, man."

I don't care, get someone else to do it then!" And then the door opened, and footsteps padded to his bedside. He felt a warm hand on his forehead, and then a heart-breakingly familiar voice whispered, brimming with tearful emotion, "Sasuke? Are you awake?"

Sasuke murmured something unclear, his eyes fluttering open. It was dark, but he could make out two faces looking down at him, both with tearful smiles. One had green eyes and what looked like pink hair, and the other one had blond spikes and blue eyes that struck something deep inside Sasuke. He tried to sit up, then fell back down as pain shot through his spent body.

"Where'm I?" he mumbled, reaching for the water again. The girl grabbed it and pressed the bottle to his lips, and he drank like a greedy baby.

"You're at my house, Sasuke," the boy told him, his voice choked and something wet glistening on his cheeks. "How are you feeling?"

Sasuke experimentally tried moving his limbs, but pain thrummed through him, shaking him to the bone. He shuddered and once again the smell of something cooking in the next room reached his nose. His stomach growled. "I'm hungry," he whispered. "And sore. I can't move."

The blond turned his attention to the girl. "Sakura, can you go grab some crackers? Those should be easy on his stomach for until he gets back to a normal diet." Sakura nodded and walked out of the room, leaving the door open so that a sliver of light reached Sasuke's blurred vision. His head pounded painfully and he closed his eyes once again.

"After the crackers, you can try some meat if you want. It's chicken."

Sasuke hummed. "Thanks," he said, trying to keep his voice steady, but it gave out. The bottle of water met his lips and he sipped it before trying again. "Thanks." He squinted, trying to remember who this person was, although he supposed it would help if it wasn't near black and he could actually see. "Can you turn on the light?" he asked.

The boy moved and then the room was flooded with light. Sasuke forced himself to keep his eyes open and to make them adjust to this new brightness, and was eventually able to see who the other person was. His heart made a funny jumping motion in his chest and his throat constricted painfully. "Naruto," he said weakly.

Naruto nodded, smiling even as tears slid down his whiskered cheeks. He looked like he wanted to throw his arms around the dazed Uchiha, but he refrained from doing so because of his injuries. In a tight, shaky voice he ground out, "It's been four years. Four whole years. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

Sasuke was shocked. "Why are you sorry?" he asked. "It's not your fault—"

"I looked and looked for you, but I could never find you. What happened? I mean, I heard rumours, but— which ones are true? Did Orochimaru really—" He cut himself off upon seeing the look of pure terror darken Sasuke's features and the way the fair boy shrunk into the bed, his chest starting to heave with heavy gasps. Never before had he ever seen Sasuke like this—the Uchiha used to be so strong and he never showed fear, always wearing that arrogant smirk even when he was getting his ass handed to him or being beaten nearly to death. Naruto couldn't fathom what kind of horrors Sasuke must have been through to make him become such a whimpering mass of nerves. He hastily tried to fix his mistake. "Hey, hey," he said softly, putting his hand over Sasuke's clenched fist, "it's okay. You're back in Konoha, and he'll never touch you again. I promise."

"Y-y-y—"

"Don't you remember? I don't go back on my word. That's my ninja way. I swear I'll never let Orochimaru near you ever again. Okay?"

Sasuke took a deep gulp of air, forcing himself to calm down. A few tears fell from his eyelashes, but he managed to nod unsteadily. "Okay." His stomach growled again, and he flushed, fully conscious of how pitiful and ridiculous he must look to the blond, who was the polar opposite of Sasuke. Whereas Sasuke's skin was still pale despite being under the sun for weeks, Naruto was a healthy tanned color and his cheeks were full where Sasuke's were hollowed and thin. His skin was marred with scars from beatings and the harshness of the woods and Naruto's was clear and unblemished. His blue eyes shone with life, but Sasuke's were like bottomless black pits staring out of hollow sockets. He looked down at himself, tears stinging in his eyes. He must have looked pathetic, which wasn't something he wanted to be in front of Naruto, the person he'd missed the most and the one who he'd thought of the times he'd been brutally raped or beaten to within an inch of his life— the one whose memory had helped him remain alive and not lose his mind.

"I'm sorry," he whispered hotly, cheeks burning in shame.

Naruto's eyes softened as he sensed Sasuke's embarrassment. "Hey. It's fine, I don't mind. You're really tough, Sasuke. I never gave you that, since I was too busy trying to be better than you, but you're strong. Anyone else would have broken under all those years of torture and who knows how long in the forest." He paused, smiling crookedly at Sasuke who was staring at him with wide, vulnerable eyes. "Don't be embarrassed. You're the strongest person I know to have come out of that and still be in the right mind and look good as hell."

Sasuke flushed, looking down at his thin hands. "Thanks, I guess. But I look like shit... dobe." He tested the way the nickname felt coming off of his tongue, and decided he liked it, especially because of the look of relief that flooded the blond's eyes.

"You look beautiful," Naruto said softly, his voice so full of emotion that Sasuke could almost feel it. His throat closed up and his heart started to thump hard against his ribcage, cheeks warming as he looked away to deny Naruto's words. Naruto inched the chair closer to him, the wooden legs making a loud screeching sound against the floor. He took in a breath, about to say something, when the door opened wider and Sakura walked back in. The coking meat's smell followed her in, and Sasuke felt his mouth water, even at the sight of the dry, square crackers she was handing him.

He barely even said a thank you before shoving one into his mouth, the feeling of eating something substantial besides fruit so blissful and fulfilling that he thought he could die happily right then and there. Naruto watched him with a faint, fond smile, and Sakura teetered at the door, her jade eyes tearing up and her mouth opening and closing as she searched for words.

"Sasuke," she finally blurted, and the raven looked up. She ran over to him and threw her arms around him, sobbing into his shoulder. "I'm so happy you're back," she sniffled, her voice muffled against his shoulder. He looked down at her pink head in surprise, awkwardly hugging her back.

"Sakura... me too."

She pulled away, her eyes all wet and her nose snotting and looking generally a mess. She wiped her eyes. "I have to go to work now, but I'll come visit you later, okay? Feel better." She patted his head like he was a child, but he found that he liked the familiarity. Sakura seemed like an annoying yet loving sister.

"Hey, Sakura," Naruto called as she was leaving. "Is anyone else still here?"

"Uh, yeah. Sai, Kiba, Shino... Hinata, are you there too?" Upon hearing a small yes Sakura nodded. "Hinata, Neji and Gaara are freaking out like mammas waiting to see Sasuke, and everyone else is at work or on a mission. Does Kakashi know Sasuke is back?"

Naruto shrugged as Sasuke continued to eat his crackers. "Kakashi knows everything," Naruto said evenly. "He'll most likely come around in a bit, I think he's out on a mission right now though."

"Kakashi?" Sasuke echoed. "I remember... I want to see him..."

Naruto nodded. "When he's back, I'll make sure you do."

Sakura said good-bye and left, and Naruto looked to Sasuke. "Do you think you're well enough for visitors? Everyone's been hanging around my house between missions for the past week waiting to see you. They're so worried and happy you're back, it's crazy. They've been kinda annoying, actually," Naruto laughed, and Sasuke smiled. He hadn't seen laughter in a long time, and this familiarity was making him feel so complete. He'd missed this more than anything else. He nodded.

"They can come in," he said.

Naruto called everyone in, and all at once Sasuke was bombarded with questions on his well-being, comments on how much they'd missed him, and heartfelt hugs and tears of happiness at seeing him alive and in one piece after four years of wondering if he was dead. Everyone was so loud— even the ever quiet Shino, and shy Hinata, and especially Neji and Gaara, who'd found him and had waited anxiously for him to regain consciousness for an entire week—and Sasuke felt tears well up in his eyes. He hadn't realized how much he was loved.

When everyone was gone and after a bunch of crushing hugs that had left Sasuke kind of breathless, the house fell quiet and Sasuke realized there was still someone there besides Naruto. The boy had dark hair and eyes, was almost white in complexion, and was wearing an absurd sort of belly-shirt that should be ridiculous on a boy but somehow suited him. He smiled at Sasuke, but it was a chilling, fake curve of the lips that didn't reach his eyes. A shiver went up Sasuke's spine, and he decided there was something about this guy that rubbed him the wrong way.

Naruto gave a tired, half-smile to him. "What's up, Sai?"

Sai smiled again, sending creepy vibes to Sasuke. "I just wanted to pay my regards to Sasuke and tell him that although I do not know him, I'm glad he's back. You've been such a cry-baby over him for these past years."

The words were innocent enough but something about the superior way Sai said them in made Sasuke frown. Naruto chuckled a bit. "I know. He's my best friend, though, so it's understandable."

"It's good that you made new friends, huh?" Sai asked innocently. "You would've been just fine if Sasuke had never come back, then. But," that smile again, "he's back, so everything is okay."

"Yeah," Naruto agreed, not seeming to realize how inexplicably upset Sasuke was getting. Sai's words had no meanness, but his tone... It was like he was rubbing it in Sasuke's face that Naruto had other friends and he wasn't important. Sasuke knew he wasn't Naruto's only friend, but that didn't make it sting any less; he wondered why this guy was doing this, since they'd never even met before now. Angry tears prickled at the corners of Sasuke's onyx eyes.

This time Sai spoke directly to Sasuke. "I'm so happy you're alright. Every time I hung out with Naruto— which was a lot— while you were gone, he'd gripe about you constantly. Couldn't even pay attention to me when we kissed."

Sasuke's heart involuntarily squeezed, so painfully he forgot how to breathe for a moment. They kissed? Why does that hurt so much? He opened his mouth, searching for words, but all he managed was a small wheezing sound as he somehow felt like his heart was being ripped in half. Naruto had kissed this guy?

Naruto cut in before he could say anything. "I told you to forget about that," he said shortly, his blue eyes flaring angrily. "It was an accident, Sai, and I was drunk. It didn't mean anything, so stop bringing it up."

Sai smiled his smile again. "I'm sorry. I just thought it would be good for Sasuke to know that you still had a life while he was gone."

In a fit of sudden jealousy and unable to take Sai's taunts anymore, Sasuke threw the blankets off of him and tried to get up and leave the room. However, his body still wasn't completely recovered, and he wasn't ready for the sudden jolt of pain that shot through all of his nerves and the sickening wave of nausea that washed over him. He crumpled to the ground and Naruto dove to catch him, cradling the moaning raven in his tanned arms. He looked up at Sai, his eyes hard.

"If you're going to be an ass, leave. Sasuke doesn't need this crap right now."

Sai widened his eyes innocently. "I was just—"

The nausea was still making Sasuke dizzy and his stomach jumped. He slapped a hand to his mouth and darted out of Naruto's arms, somehow managing to stay on his feet as he rushed to get to where he remembered the bathroom was. Vomit burned in his throat and his head gave another sickening spin, which made him unable to keep it down. He fell to his knees in front of the toilet bowl, retching up the crackers he'd just eaten mixed with bile, tears burning in his eyes. He heard Naruto swear and tell Sai to leave again, and then there were footsteps thudding down the hall towards him.

"Sasuke! Oh god!" Naruto scrambled over to him, his hands reaching down to pull Sasuke's long hair away from his face. "Shit, are you okay?"

Sasuke gasped in between puking his guts out. "G-go away," he sputtered, panting harshly. Tears of humiliation fell down his cheeks. "I don't want you to see me like this," he said weakly, another pang of nausea making vomit spew out of his mouth. Naruto didn't listen, just wrapped one arm around his waist and rubbed circles soothingly into his hip while the other gently held Sasuke's black hair back. He didn't seem to mind the putrid smell or the puke or seem even mildly disgusted; he simply sat there patiently and muttered comforting words as Sasuke cried and his stomach ran out of things to throw up and made him retch dry air.

Finally it stopped, and after quickly flushing the toilet, Sasuke crumpled into Naruto, breathing heavily and his shoulders wracking with dry, heavy sobs. Naruto pushed his bangs back, giving him a sad smile. "Better now?"

Sasuke's cheeks burned with shame. "Yeah," he muttered. He tried to pull away but Naruto held onto him. "Let go," Sasuke mumbled, pushing at his chest. "I'm disgusting. How can you even stand to be near me?" When he said 'disgusting' he wasn't just talking about what had just happened—he was talking about everything that he knew Naruto was able to guess had happened while he'd been helped captive. Naruto caught his meaning, but he still shook his head.

"Stop putting yourself down," he said firmly. "Nothing that happened is your fault, and just because you're... tainted, that doesn't make you disgusting. It makes you strong, because you got through it."

Sasuke's cheeks flushed a light pink and he looked down at the bathroom tiles they were curled up on. He stopped trying to pull out of Naruto's arms, though, and just relaxed into his hold. "You're just saying that to make me feel better," he grumbled, hiding his face behind his long bangs, which were well past his eyes now.

Naruto laughed a bit. "That's not true. I admire you—you're like a man of stone. I wouldn't have lasted like you did." Seeming eager to change the subject away from this one, which clearly was upsetting Sasuke even more, he stood up, holding out a hand for Sasuke. "Let's get you back in bed, okay? You should rest more."

Sasuke took the hand and allowed Naruto to guide him back to his bedroom. "I've been out for a week," he murmured. "I doubt I need any more rest." In fact, despite aching and being stiff, his muscles were twitchy and he wanted nothing more than to run around. However, he knew Naruto wouldn't let him, and plus he was aware that his body wasn't physically well enough yet for him to do much more than walk. It was still weird to actually be in a house after all that time outside, Sasuke mused while they were heading through the halls of Naruto's small apartment. As they were walking by the kitchen, he noticed a pack of mint gum thrown haphazardly onto the counter, and realized how gross his mouth tasted. He also smelt the meat, which was laying there in a pan on the oven, but his stomach churned grossly and he decided he probably shouldn't eat right now. The gum however...

"You're probably right, but—" Naruto stopped, noticing Sasuke staring at the gum. He went over and grabbed it. "You could probably use a piece, eh?"

Sasuke nodded, popping the piece Naruto handed him into his mouth. It didn't completely make the sour taste go away, but he figured it would do until he found a toothbrush. An idea occurred to him then. "...Naruto."

"Yeah?" They were back in the bedroom now, but Sasuke didn't go lay down on the bed as Naruto clearly wanted him to.

"Would you mind if I... used your bathroom?" He looked down at himself. "I feel all sticky and it's probably been at least a month since I showered last..."

At that, Naruto's face turned bright red. Sasuke stared at him questioningly, his eyebrows furrowed, and Naruto let out a nervous laugh. "Uh, well. There's this thing. You know. I..."

"I don't speak Unintelligible Sentence Fragment language, dobe."

"I...When Neji and Gaara brought you here, well, you were filthy and bleeding at a lot of places, so I... uh... I'm gonna sound like a huge creep... but..." He grimaced, looking away. "I washed you. And then put new clothes on you."

For the first time since he'd awoken, Sasuke noticed he was, in fact, wearing a dark blue V-neck long sleeved shirt and a pair of orange pants, which were a little loose on his slim hips. He flushed darkly at the idea of Naruto scrubbing his naked body clean, a weird warm feeling curling in his stomach, and felt a strange tug in his heart when he remarked that the soft clothes he was wearing held that faint vanilla-ramen-Naruto smell. Instantly he felt a little bit more comfortable, somehow, and subconsciously hugged himself, liking the idea of being so close to Naruto in a way.

"W-well," he mumbled shyly," thanks."

"I'm not a pervert, I swear..." Naruto said, laughing slightly. His cheeks were so warm and he couldn't make himself look at Sasuke, though he could see the tiny smile and pink cheeks out of the corner of his eye.

Sasuke made a huffing sound that was almost like a laugh. "Don't deny it, you've always been a pervert. How's that sexy jutsu of yours going?"

Naruto looked at him for a long moment, his eyes just a bit wider than normal. Sasuke didn't really know why Naruto was surveying him so critically, and shifted uncomfortably, his eyes drifting to the side, when Naruto finally broke into a smile. "It's going great," he answered, his eyes looking wet.

Somewhat alarmed, Sasuke tilted his head to the side. "What's wrong?"

Naruto shook his head. "It's nothing, just... I missed you so much. I just keep thinking this is all a dream and when I wake up," his smile faded to a sad frown, "I'm afraid that you'll be gone again." Before they could get into a more depressing topic, he stood suddenly from his perch on the end of his bed and grinned. "I'll get you a towel and you can shower—by yourself, this time." As he was speaking, he gestured for Sasuke to follow him, handing the Uchiha a towel from the hall closet and then leading him back to the bathroom. He flicked on the switch and started pointing. "There are extra toothbrushes in the cupboard above the sink, the toothpaste is in the drawer, and just throw your clothes in the basket in the corner there, I'll grab you some new ones for after."

He started to leave, but hesitated. "You're okay, right? You're not gonna... do anything bad, right?" He eyed the razors on the counter like he should maybe take them away.

Sasuke shook his head. "I'll be fine."

Naruto nodded quickly, laughing. "Right. Sorry, I'm just being stupid." He once again opened the door to leave, when he remembered something. "Oh yeah, and don't turn on the hot water tap too high, or it will literally raise the pressure by like ten and the head will come flying off the wall." Upon seeing Sasuke's raised eyebrow, he said, "Don't ask. I don't know why it does that either, it's just a piece of shit."

Sasuke laughed a bit. "Okay."

Naruto gave one quick head nod, doing a dorky salute and wearing a big goofy grin that made Sasuke's heart do funny things. "Alright. Okay. I should leave. Okay—I'll be in my room, so call if you need anything—try not to slip, and—"

Sasuke interrupted with another quiet laugh. "Just get out, dobe."

Naruto grinned bashfully and scampered out, clicking the door shut behind him. Sasuke sighed, squaring his shoulders, and put his towel on the counter. He stripped and threw the clothes into the hamper, as instructed; avoiding looking into the mirror because he didn't want to see the cuts and scars lacing his skin or the faded, yellowed finger-shaped bruises denting his white hips. Once he figured out how to turn on the water, he put it to his desired heat and stepped into the shower, closing his eyes and letting the hot water wash away any painful memories, replacing them with pictures of sky blue eyes, blond hair, and smiles that reminded him of sunshine.

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KissMeDeadlyT-T: Shiiiieeet. Man, that there is 5, 734 words and 12 pages, which is kinda long, but not that bad, I guess. Well, this is just me being a silly filly and making a break time if anyone wants it... Actually it's mostly because I wanna take a break from writing and ramble on about useless shit for a bit... Heheh. Well, I hope you actually made it this far, I hope it isn't too boring, and I know Sasuke is OOC, but that is how he was requested. Oh yes, and there is a lemon in this. Just putting that out there, and of course Sasuke will be uke, cos that's what emilymai101 wanted and that's how I roll, brothas. I'm ranting, heh... So! If you made it this far and aren't bored out of your mind and wanting to kill me with a pickaxe like a certain anime person I can think of *cough*RUSSIA*cough*, read on! Oh yeah and leave a review! :)

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Naruto sat on his bed, idly listening to the sound of the shower that could be heard even from across the apartment. He refolded the clothes he'd gotten for Sasuke—a pair of black sweats and a blue T-shirt—yet another time, his mind wandering all sorts of places.

Honestly, he still had a hard time believing this was real. Like he'd told Sasuke, he kept expecting the raven to suddenly disappear and leave Naruto alone and crying for his best friend again. His heart throbbed painfully at the idea of Sasuke being absent from his life again. Despite what Sai had said, that he'd still had a life and done stuff while Sasuke was gone, in reality it had just been something to distract him from the empty space that had been in his heart. At some point along those past four painful years, Naruto had realized that the love he held for Sasuke was something more than one he would have for a brother, or a best friend; it was something so powerful and intense that every day he'd been away from him, Naruto's heart had broken a little bit more. It hadn't helped thinking that Sasuke was dead...

His mind drifted off into useless thoughts that were rendered vague by his own lack of words to express them. He wanted to tell Sasuke how he felt, but he could tell how fragile he was—like he was a porcelain doll, made of the most delicate material ever, ready to shatter at the slightest thing—and didn't want to lose the small bit of the old Sasuke that had kept popping up every once in a while when they were talking. When he'd been brought in, Naruto had had no idea where Sasuke had been—but when Neji told him about Sasuke's terrified ramblings about Orochimaru, he'd known right away that the lecherous man had taken his precious Sasuke away—who knew what kind of horrible tortures Sasuke had gone through? Naruto wished he could've saved him. He wished...

Once again his thoughts became meaningless blurs of words. He sat there, trying to determine his jumbled feelings, when he heard the shower taps squeak as they were shut off. Naruto jolted out of his thoughts, hopping off of the bed. He went out into his living room, the midway between his room and the bathroom, and waited anxiously for Sasuke to come out... just to make sure he was alright. He took a seat on his couch and looked out the window, idly watching a couple of birds tweet under the sunset on his balcony. After a few moments, Sasuke walked out, the towel tied around his waist, his overgrown hair dripping wet... Naruto had to look away from the damp, scarred, cut chest, his cheeks burning. How could Sasuke manage to look so beautiful even when his body was so battered?

"Do you feel better?" he asked.

Sasuke yelped, jumping about ten feet in the air. His hand shot to grab his slipping towel and his eyes focused on Naruto. He calmed down. "I thought you were in your room," he said, his voice weak.

"I was, but I figured I'd give you some privacy so I came out here. The clothes are on the bed."

"Oh," Sasuke said quietly, and there was a sort of disappointment—one Naruto was positive he must be imagining—in his hushed voice. "Thanks."

Naruto nodded, and Sasuke drifted away. The door swung shut behind him and Naruto sighed, shutting his eyes. These feelings he had for Sasuke were really getting to be a pain—he didn't know how much longer he'd be able to stand seeing the Uchiha so reserved and meek like this. He understood it, of course, but that didn't make it suck any less. He wanted the arrogant, rude, cocky bastard, the Sasuke he'd fallen in love with.

He was torn abruptly from his musing when he heard a loud crash come from his room. "Fuck!" Sasuke's muffled voice yelled, followed by a few colourful curses. Naruto jumped up and ran to his room, throwing the door open without a second thought.

"What happened?" he demanded.

A groan from the other side of his bed, the side near the wall and window, caught his attention. He hurried over and looked between the wall and bed, unable to keep in a snicker at the sight of Sasuke rubbing his head and making a face, all tangled up in Naruto's thick blue curtains.

"Are you okay?" he asked, trying hard to keep the laughter out of his voice. Judging from the death glare he received, he didn't do a very good job.

"I'm fine," Sasuke said shortly. "I was just trying to shut the curtains so I could change, but the damned things fell..."

Naruto laughed slightly and went to help him up, when suddenly he froze, his cheeks darkening and his eyes widening. "Uh..."

Sasuke blinked. "What?" Then he looked down at himself. His face turned the same shade as a ripe tomato. The towel was still around his waist, however... it wasn't covering anything, and Naruto could see everything clearly. Sasuke quickly covered himself, dying of mortification, while Naruto just stood there gawking.

He tried to control himself, but seeing Sasuke practically naked and all tangled up in his curtains, his cheeks flushed and his eyes wide and vulnerable, wasn't making that an easy task. Sasuke was staring hard at the wall, and Naruto was positive he was going to encounter an extremely awkward situation if he didn't leave right now and do something about the hardening bulge in his pants.

Even though he knew he should leave he couldn't bring himself to stop staring. Sheesh, Sasuke was freaking sexy, even when he was all banged up. Unfortunately, the curtains and towel were now hiding the... good part, in Naruto's mind, but even just seeing Sasuke's chest had him all hot and bothered.

He didn't realize Sasuke was struggling to stand until he heard a muttered, "Oh, you have got to be kidding me."

Snapping out of it and forcing his dirty thoughts down—He's still hurt, and I shouldn't be thinking about my best friend like this! Crap, Naruto, get your mind outta the gutter!—he shakily asked, "What's wrong?"

Sasuke didn't meet his eyes and put his hand against the wall, wobbling slightly as the curtains fell around his feet. "I think I twisted my ankle," he grumbled in disgust. He tested it, putting his weight on his left foot, and then making a sour face when pain shot through the rolled joint. "Yeah, I definitely did."

He started to limp out of between the bed and Naruto awkwardly moved out of his way, uttering a weak, "Do you need help...?"

Sasuke still wouldn't look at him. "I'm fine."

Naruto swallowed. Crap. Sasuke seemed pissed. "L-look," he stuttered, "sorry for just barging in, I really should have thought before I—"

"It's okay, it's not like you've never seen me naked before..."

Naruto turned beet red, remembering that he'd admitted to washing Sasuke the other day. He hung his head. "Right," he said quietly. Attempting to be cheerful again, he piped up, "How 'bouts I go grab some ice for your ankle, then?"

"Sure."

Sasuke's voice was still clipped and Naruto gulped, scurrying out of the room like a kicked puppy. Once he was in the kitchen, he scooped some ice and put it in a sandwich bag, before wrapping a cloth around it. Was Sasuke mad at him for seeing him in such an embarrassing situation? Honestly, Naruto couldn't blame him... Sasuke was obviously still scarred from Orochimaru's actions—which he had every right to be—and he was probably still super uncomfortable around other people... and Naruto being so nosy and seeing him so personally was probably not sitting well with him. Naruto slammed his head into the wall.

"Crap," he muttered. "How can I manage to mess even this up?"

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Sasuke sat on Naruto's bed, in the borrowed clothes and rubbing at his sore ankle absently. He was frowning, like usual, but this time it wasn't because he was scared or trying to forget past experiences—it was because of how badly Naruto had reacted to seeing him naked. Had he seen the bruises on his hips? Sasuke had tried to cover them before the blond could, but... well, he supposed Naruto must have already seen them if he'd washed him.

He sighed. Would Naruto believe that he was disgusting now? He obviously didn't want that, but it was probably inevitable. Now Naruto would sit him down for a talk, tell him how tainted he was, kick him out of his house... and Sasuke would be alone again.

He blinked back tears, somewhat shocked at how much the idea of being without Naruto made his heart twang painfully. It had been what—maybe four hours since he'd woken up, and already he was used to the idea of Naruto being around. How could he handle it if Naruto left?

There was a knock on the door. "Are you dressed?" came Naruto's muffled voice.

Sasuke tried not to show his worry. "Yeah," he called back. "You can come in."

Naruto hesitantly walked in. "Oh, good. I was worried the pants wouldn't fit, but..." He sat down next to Sasuke, not too close, and handed the brunet the ice. Sasuke took it with a small thank-you and put it on his ankle, and then they settled into a heavy, uncomfortable silence.

"Sasuke—"

"Naruto—"

"Uh," Naruto said, laughing awkwardly, "you go first."

Sasuke looked down at his lap. "Are you honestly not disgusted by me?" he asked quietly, his voice barely a whisper. He didn't want to hear Naruto's answer...

Naruto made a sound of impatience. "I told you already. I don't care what happened in the past, you're still the Sasuke I know and lov—uh, yeah. I'm not disgusted by you." His voice dropped. "Quite the opposite actually," he murmured, so quietly Sasuke didn't know whether he'd imagined it or not.

"You're really not just saying that?"

Naruto turned to look him dead in the eyes. "Look, Sasuke, I'm going to be blunt. You're not disgusting. If anyone is, it's Orochimaru, for making you feel like you are. You're beautiful, and..." His voice broke, and he flushed. "I'm about to tell you something and I know you won't feel the same, but... I love you. That's why I don't care what's happened to you, I just care that you're alive, and you're here, and I can touch you again." He took Sasuke's pale hand into his, his eyes crinkling slightly as he smiled at the look of absolute shock on Sasuke's face.

"It's not a brotherly love, or even a best friend love... It's more, and when you weren't here, every day was like torture," he confessed, unable to stop the words flowing out of his mouth like a waterfall of all the feelings he'd been holding in for four years. "Sai kept saying that I had a life when you were gone, and even though I went out and did stuff, it was just to distract me from how much I missed you." He squeezed Sasuke's hand, his eyes drifting away from Sasuke's wide black ones. "I'm finally happy again, now that you're back, and even though I know you don't feel the same way, I'm happy enough just being around you." He looked back up. "So stop putting yourself down or I'll have to kick your ass and show you how perfect you are to me."

Sasuke's mind was reeling from Naruto's confession, and he honestly couldn't think of anything to say. His heart was in his throat. Naruto's voice was so sincere that Sasuke knew he was telling the truth. Naruto loves me? What was this feeling? He felt... light. Like something heavy had been taken off of his chest. Maybe the feelings he'd been having for Naruto—the need to please, to not disappoint, looking up to him because he was the only beacon of light in Sasuke's dark times—was that love?

He realized he was staring at Naruto with what was probably a completely stupid expression of shock and a strange kind of self-realization and swallowed thickly. "You...you love me?" he asked weakly, needing to hear it again to make sure his mind hadn't just made it up to make him feel less depressed.

"Yeah. Don't worry, I don't expect you to—" Naruto cut himself off when he felt a something soft and warm touch his lips. It was feather-light and for a moment he was confused, before his eyes focused and all he could see were shut, thickly lashed eyes, a red face and black eyebrows furrowed in embarrassment. His heart skipped a beat, then another, and then finally started up again, thumping erratically in his ribcage like it was trying to get out. After another moment Sasuke pulled away, his face red and his eyes not meeting Naruto's. All the blond could do was gape.

"Did you just..."

"Yes," Sasuke bit out, his face turning even darker, which seemed impossible.

Naruto touched his lips, wondering if his imagination was just going crazy. His tongue flicked along his bottom lip and he flushed upon tasting his minty toothpaste, but not from his own mouth. "Why?"

Sasuke huffed. "I don't know."

"You don't... you don't happen to feel the same... do you?"

Sasuke made a face, picking at the comforter they were sitting on. "I don't know," he repeated. "I guess. I mean, you're special to me..." He blushed again, obviously having a hard time sorting out his feelings. "You're definitely the only person I really trust right now... I guess..." He swallowed. "I guess I... like you... I think..."

Naruto couldn't believe it. Without thinking, he grinned widely and gave his signature laugh, tackling Sasuke into a huge hug. The ice went flying off the bed and landed unnoticed on the floor. Sasuke screeched and they fell back onto the bed, with Naruto's bigger body pretty much crushing Sasuke's. The Uchiha had a moment of blind panic—being pushed roughly into a bed, unable to move—but as soon as he smelt the soothing familiarity of Naruto's blond spikes brushing his cheek, he relaxed, his cheeks still feeling hot and an embarrassed look on his face.

"You're squishing me," he mumbled, burying his flaming face into Naruto's shoulder. He couldn't help but like it though...

Naruto leaned back, supporting himself on his forearms over Sasuke, looking down into his best friend's flushed, shy face. Sasuke couldn't stop his gaze from drifting down, down to those soft lips that he wanted to taste again... Naruto noticed this and grinned, scooping Sasuke up into his arms, making him yelp as he turned them around so that he was leaning against the head board with Sasuke cradled against his chest.

"I don't think you understand how much you mean to me," he said, hugging Sasuke tighter. Sasuke just flushed even more and hesitantly wrapped his arms around Naruto's chest and his legs around his waist, leaning into Naruto's hard body. A small smile, a real one, curled his lips as he buried his face in Naruto's neck, allowing himself to just be held. For the first time in years, he felt completely at peace.

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KissMeDeadlyT-T: Ugh fuck. Well I was gonna make this a oneshot, but it's getting so long... urk. Well, I'll just write the lemon later and try to post it in the next few days. Hon hon hon~ (I've been watching way too much Hetalia...)

Sorry for any grammar/spelling errors, I looked over it but I'm not perfect and I may have missed some. ^^

Please please review! I enjoy knowing what readers think and such. I hope you liked the first chapter, emilymai101 :) and all other people who read this! I won't object to just favoriting and following but throw in a review and you will make me one zillion times happier :D