Chapter 6: The Love that Binds Us

Sasuke POV

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are now descending onto the runway of Narita International Airport. I must request that you kindly put your tables and seats in the upright positions, and turn off any electronics you have turned on in the course of this flight. Thank you for flying Japan Airlines. It has been a pleasure to be your captain today."

Twenty minutes later we are inside the terminal. Since we're only allowed so much in terms of baggage, I didn't bring my wheelchair. As a result, my legs are thoroughly exhausted and screaming with pain. When Jon goes away for a few minutes and comes back with an airport-issued one, I feel like hugging him as I ease myself onto the seat.

We show our passports to the uniformed woman at the desk, and she gives us all a friendly smile.

"Enjoy your stay!" she says brightly, waving us on. "Enjoy" isn't the word I would use, but I keep that to myself and just nod my thanks.

"So where are Naruto's parents and siblings?" asks Jon. "Did they give you a location?"

"They just said they'll be on the ground floor of the terminal," I say. "Don't worry; you'll be able to spot them right away."

"Vy?" asks Fritz. "Everyone here dat I haff already seen has eizer black hair or brown hair. No offense," he says hastily when I raise an eyebrow.

"Just look for a group of blondes and redheads," I say.

"You mean over there?" says Jon, pointing.

I look, and right in the middle of the airport terminal stands Naruto's family. Right next to them are my mom and Itachi. When they see me, they all smile and wave. I wave back as we move toward them. As soon as I'm close enough, Mom comes over and pulls me to her in a hug.

"Sasuke, my baby!" she squeals, practically crushing me.

"Ouch, Mom!" I gasp as I hear my bones creak. "Mom, that hurts!"

"Oh, sorry," she says sheepishly, pulling away, only to be replaced by Naruko, who hugs even harder. Yep, I just felt something crack.

"Naruko," I sign frantically, "get off! That hurts! Did you not just hear me tell my mom that?" I emphasize my point with a sharp poke to her ribs, and she lets go, looking guilty.

"Sorry," she says. "I've just been so anxious lately…"

"Well, I don't blame you. I've been anxious too. Any word on how Naruto's doing?"

"Well, the surgery went all right," Naruko says. "Naruto's in a medically induced coma in the ICU right now, to keep his brain from swelling."

I roll my eyes.

"No medically induced coma will keep his brain from swelling," I say. "He has a huge ego."

Naruko laughs.

"God I've missed you," she says, grinning. I grin back.

"That crazy at home, hunh? Come on, are we going to the hospital or not?"

"You're so impatient," she smirks.

"Who are your friends?" asks Itachi, crossing his arms. "I think you forgot your manners, foolish little brother."

I glare at him.

"Oh, sorry," says Jon. I note that his Japanese accent, while still horrible, has improved quite a bit. "I'm Jonathan O'Connelly, and this is my boyfriend, Fritz Schneider."

"A pleasure to meet you," says Itachi in English, moving forward and shaking their hands. "May I note that your Japanese is incredibly fluent but that your accent is, to put it kindly, lacking?"

Jon turns to me and Fritz.

"Why is it that all you guys ever seem to notice is that my accent sucks?" he groans.

"It's because it sticks out like a sore thumb," I say, snickering.

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As we wind through the streets of Tokyo, everyone fills me in on details I've missed.

"Minato finally got elected to the Japanese Parliament!" says Kushina-san excitedly, hugging her husband. "It took him years to get the kind of following to run for office, but he did it!"

"Wow, that's great, Namikaze-san!" I say sincerely.

"Namikaze?" asks Jon. "I thought your boyfriend's last name was Uzumaki."

"It is," I reply. "Kushina-san kept her maiden name when she and Minato-san married, but Naruto didn't want his last name hyphenated, so when he was old enough he was given a choice, and he chose Kushina-san's last name."

"We keep telling you, you don't need to use honorific titles for us, Sasuke-chan!" whines Kushina-san. "It makes me feel old!"

I offer a shrug.

"Sorry; old habits die hard," I explain. "Besides, you guys still haven't stopped calling me 'Sasuke-chan'. I'm not a kid anymore, and it's not my fault I'm small. I'm twenty-two."

Minato-san laughs.

"So I've finally got a job!" says Kyuubi excitedly.

"Really?" I say, genuinely curious. "What is it?"

"Whatever it is, Namikaze, I bet it's got something to do with that pile of crap you call a sculpture up in your bedroom," says Itachi, smirking.

"I'd like to see you make a better one, Mr. the Stick up My Ass Automatically Makes Me an Expert Art Critic," snaps Kyuubi.

"Kyuubi!" warns Kushina-san.

"He wouldn't know art if it came up to him and fucked him in the ass with a hot glue gun!" says Naruto's older brother irritably. I laugh, and Itachi's eyes narrow in anger. "I run a new art gallery in Konoha."

"Someone please explain to me vat the hell ist going on?" asks Fritz irritably; he's the only one in this whole van who doesn't understand a word of Japanese. "I sought you vere going to be my translator, Jon!"

"Sorry," says Jon, chuckling. "Apparently Naruto's older brother is an artist, and Sasuke's older brother doesn't think highly of his artwork."

"An artist?" says Fritz interestedly. "I vould like to see his artvork."

I relay his words to Kyuubi, who grins triumphantly.

"See, asshole?" he crows.

"He said he'd like to see it," says Itachi, "not that he likes it, which I doubt he will after seeing it. Thank you, Sasuke, for inflating his already oversized ego."

"Up yours, Ice Princess," snaps Kyuubi.

The temperature drops fifty degrees as my brother sends a death glare at Naruto's older brother.

"Never," he says softly, "call me 'Ice Princess' again."

"Well then stop acting like it, Ice Princess," says Kyuubi, smirking.

I snicker.

Itachi snarls.

"You're a dead man, Namikaze."

"Cut it out, Nii-san," I say with a sigh.

"Would you sit and take it if someone called you 'Ice Princess'?" Itachi snaps.

"I do it all the time with Naruto," I say, rolling my eyes. "You learn to ignore it pretty quickly, or else come up with your own insults."

"See?" says Kyuubi. "If your younger brother can take it, then so can you! Man up, Uchiha!"

Itachi doesn't speak the rest of the way to the hospital.

X3333333333333333

"Oh my," says Jon as we walk through the door of Naruto's room in the ICU.

"Oh my" doesn't even begin to describe what I'm feeling as I wheel myself into the room and move toward the bed. I look at my fiancé in shock.

Naruto's face is mostly intact, except for a large bruise that runs from his left temple all the way to his cheek, but all of his hair has been shaved off, showing the large bandage that I assume covers an incredibly nasty gash. There are six bumps visible under the bandage, likely the sutures holding the edges of the wound together. His right arm is in a cast, as is his left ankle. An oxygen mask covers the lower half of his face, and tubes and wires have been stuck into and onto what seems to be every inch of visible skin. He looks very pale.

I gingerly touch his head, caressing it gently, and then work my way down to his chest, which has been heavily bandaged. When I touch it with nothing more than the tips of my fingers, he moans faintly, his face contorting slightly into a mask of pain.

"Oh Naruto," I murmur quietly to him, letting tears slip down my face. "Koishii…"

Naruko hugs me, and I hug her back.

"Careful," she says, "you're showing emotion, Sashke-kun."

I laugh a little.

The nurse comes in to take Naruto's temperature and measure his vital signs.

"Is there any chance I can stay the night and watch over him?" I ask her quietly.

"What is your relationship to the patient, sir?" she asks, peering at me.

"I'm his fiancé," I say quietly, looking back at Naruto.

"I'm sorry, but only immediate family members can stay," she says, as if reciting off of a notecard.

Jon grits his teeth.

"So they're engaged," he grinds out, "but he's not allowed to stay and look after his future husband?"

"I'm sorry, sir," says the nurse politely, "but only direct family members are allowed to stay."

"Well," says Minato-san calmly, walking in, "as far as we're concerned, Sasuke-chan is family."

The nurse looks nervous.

"Sir," she says, "unless they've been officially married, he's not-"

"I really don't believe you want me making a fuss to the head doctor about this," says Minato-san, his voice turning steely.

The nurse gulps.

"Y-yes, sir," she says. "I'll see to it that he gets permission to stay."

She runs out past Minato-san.

"Ugh, so much red tape," he mutters. I snort.

"Indeed."

A few minutes later, the nurse returns with a permission form.

"I'll need you to sign here," she says to Minato-san, "and for you to sign here." She nods at me and indicates the area under which Minato-san is signing.

When we've both signed the form, she leaves again. When she comes back, it's with a tag that says "Overnight visitor" in bold characters. She gives it to me, and I nod my thanks to her as I put it on my shirt.

"When we're finally married stuff like this won't be such a pain anymore," I grumble.

Fritz and Jon hug me again and then leave, closing the door gently behind them, leaving me alone with Minato and the twins.

"Do you need any help settling in for the night?" Naruko asks.

"I'd appreciate it, yeah," I sign back.

"I'll go ask the nurse for a cot," says Minato, leaving the room.

"So Naruto told us you've regained some of your ability to walk," says Naruko.

"Yeah," I say, "but only for short periods of time. At the moment my limit is fifteen minutes."

"Well that's not too bad," says Naruko encouragingly. "Last time we saw you, you couldn't even stand, so being able to walk for fifteen minutes is pretty amazing."

"I know," I say, "but the recovery is moving so slowly, and I'm tired of being in physical pain all the time."

Naruko smiles and tousles my hair.

"Since when have you been so impatient, Sasuke?"

"I don't know what you're talking about, Naruko," I say, rolling my eyes. "I've always been impatient. I'm just better at hiding it than Naruto."

"That is true," she says, laughing.

"What's true?" asks Minato, dragging in a cot.

"That Sasuke-kun is better at hiding his impatience than Naru-nii," says Naruko.

"I thought he was infinitely patient," Minato-san says with a joking wink at me. I laugh.

"I wish," I say, signing as well. "Learning how to walk again is painful and time-consuming, and it annoys me to no end."

"Well, stick to it and in a while you'll be able to dance around like you did in ninth grade," he says.

"Why does everyone keep bringing that up?" I groan as I help him and Naruko put the sheets on the roll-away cot. "I wish I hadn't signed up for that talent show…"

"If you've got a gift you shouldn't let it go to waste," says Minato-san simply.

I can feel my cheeks heating up and duck my head so they can't see the blush spreading across my face.

"Do you need any more help?" asks Minato-san when the bed is set up.

"No, thanks," I say. "I'll be fine. Thanks for getting them to let me stay the night."

"No problem," he says, smiling kindly. "Sleep well, Sasuke-chan."

"Thanks, Minato-san," I say, privately thinking that I won't be able to sleep properly until Naruto finally wakes up.

He and Naruko both hug me and then leave me alone with Naruto.

"Well, it looks like I'm allowed to stay with you for the night," I say softly to him, stroking his cheek. "I've wanted to come home and see you again for months; I just never imagined it would be under these circumstances, dobe. I'll be right back after I change into my nightclothes."

When I come back from the bathroom, I climb into bed, trying to ignore the pain in my legs, and open my laptop, pulling up my term paper. I'm not tired yet; I might as well try to get some work done.

X33333333333333333

Naruto POV

A week later…

Tick tack clackety teka clackity clack teka clackety click clackety teka clackety teka!

What the hell is that noise? If Kaoru is going through my computer again I swear I'm gonna kill him.

Screqueeeeeeeeeeeee…

Beep, beep, beep…

I try to tell Kaoru that he needs to turn off his damned cell phone, that the alarm pisses me off. I also want to tell him that he really needs to get a new mattress, that his old one is loud and pissing me off, but I can't move my lips to form the words, or my tongue. My whole body feels heavy.

'That's odd,' I think. 'This doesn't smell like my dorm… It smells more like a hospital…'

I try to open my eyes to look around, but they feel like they've been soldered shut. Internally I begin to panic. There's something wrong with my body… I only remember feeling sick and having a massive headache, and that I had a few beers with Kaoru. Maybe I'm sleeping off a hangover. That would make sense; my head hurts like a bitch. And my chest, and my leg, and my arm.

What the fuck, why would they hurt?

Just as I'm about to have a nuclear meltdown in the center of Narutoville, a soft singing begins. It's beautiful, and for one insane moment I think I've died and gone to heaven because it's so sweet.

"Wa~y down, I've been wa~y down underneath this skin, waiting to hear my name again," the person sings, and I recognize the song. It's called Swimming Home, by Evanescence. I know only one person who likes Evanescence and who also has a gorgeous singing voice…

'Sasuke…'

No way. We've still got three months to go before graduation; Sasuke shouldn't be back yet. I've got to be hallucinating, or still dreaming, or something. I try to open my eyes to stop the dream, but while I get a twitch from my eyelids this time, that's all I get.

Computer keys keep clacking, and the singing continues.

"I'm sor~ry; nothing can ho~ld me. I adore you still~, but I hear them calling, and nothing can hold me."

I now have some control over my hands, so I dig my nails into the palms of my hands, to make sure I'm not dreaming. Judging by the pain, I don't think I am dreaming, which means that Sasuke really is here.

So if Sasuke's here and this place smells like a hospital…

Something must have happened to me. I try to remember what might have happened, but I can't remember anything after the second beer I had with Kaoru. Damn him for convincing me to go drinking with him, and fuck me for being an idiot and accepting!

I try to call out to my fiancé, but my voice is almost inaudible and I gather he's got headphones on and can't hear me anyhow. I try to move my left hand toward the sound of his voice, but I can't reach very far before I meet resistance, namely a hospital bed guardrail. I make a small sound of irritation and finally pry my eyes open and turn my head to the left.

The room is dark, except for a lamp on the bedside table to my left. And there, curled up like a cat on a roll-away hospital bed and dressed in a long-sleeved nightshirt and pair of boxers that I gave him for Christmas, is Sasuke. His dark hair is tousled, and midnight blue eyes are focused intently on the screen of his laptop. He's typing like crazy, stopping occasionally only to rub sleep out of his eyes or to take a sip of black tea from the mug on the bedside table between me and him. The reading glasses he wears when he reads computer material keep sliding down the bridge of his nose, and every once in a while he'll stop and push them back up irritably, then continue typing. The sight of it is so cute and so familiar that I can't help smiling.

"Aheh heh heh," I chuckle, and then wince and clutch at my chest. That chuckle hurt quite a bit. The motion gets Sasuke's attention, and he looks over at me. He sighs, rubs his eyes, and starts to go back to whatever it is he's typing, and then he does a double-take.

For a moment we stare into each other's eyes, and then he places his laptop and his reading glasses on the bed –carefully- then gets out of bed and stands over my bed, looking down at me as if he can't believe his eyes. I can't believe my eyes either; not only is Sasuke here, but he's standing on his own two feet, something that he could barely do last summer vacation, which is the last time we saw each other in person. I smile at him.

"Hey, beautiful," I say softly. "God I missed you…"

He looks at me for another few seconds, his face a confliction of emotions, and then smacks me. Holy crap can he hit hard; my face stings, and the slap echoes throughout the room.

"You son of a bitch!" he screams at me. "You go to a bar and get buzzed, even though you had a fucking fever? You get yourself hit by a goddamn car and land yourself in the fucking hospital; you scare the living shit out of me and your parents and siblings; and you don't even apologize! You dick! I can't even fucking believe you!"

"Wha…!" I say, confused and scared. I have never seen Sasuke this riled up, or heard him swear so much.

"Don't you dare 'what' me!" he says angrily, sticking his index finger in my face. "You, Uzumaki Naruto, are an asshole! Have you any idea what you put us through! Fuck that, have you any idea what you put me through? I had no idea how badly you were hurt until I got here; that's an entire twenty-four hours I went with out any fucking news whatsoever! At one point you flatlined, and I thought I was going to lose you! Have you any fucking idea how it felt for me to have to watch them send electric shocks through your body in an attempt to revive you?"

I pull him to me in an attempt to calm him down. For a moment he fights against me, pushing on my chest, and I grit my teeth against the pain. Then he just gives up and holds me, crying like a small child.

"Don't ever do that again, you bastard!" he sobs. "Don't fucking do that to me!"

When he's quieted down a little, I push him back a little so I can look him in the eyes.

"I do know how you felt, Sasuke," I tell him quietly. "I watched the same thing happen to you in tenth grade."

Taking hold of his sleeve, I pull it up to reveal the ugly diagonal gash on his wrist, rubbing it gently. He looks ready to beat the crap out of me, but then the anger crumbles, leaving behind only fear, sorrow, guilt, and more tears.

"I'm sorry I scared you, koishii," I whisper as I hold onto him tightly. "I'm so, so, so sorry…"

X3333333333333333333

"Zo your hair, it ist naturally blond?" Fritz asks me.

"We've gone over this already," I snap. "Yes, this is my natural hair color! And I am not wearing colored contacts; my eye color is naturally light blue!"

"And your hair has alvayz grown back zis qvickly?"

"Yes, dammit, yes!"

"I know, I know, I just find it zo hard to believe," he says. "Japanese people usually have black or brown hair and black or brown eyes, like zat one." He nods at Sasuke, who is curled up beside me reading a book. "And no one zat I know grows zeir hair back zo qvickly."

"Yeah, well I heal and grow my hair back faster than anyone that I know. And 'zat one' is my fiancé, and unless you're color-blind, he has dark blue eyes, idiot," I say, rolling my eyes.

"He does?" says Jon. He tilts Sasuke's head up to look into his eyes, and my fiancé swats his hand away irritably. "You do! How did I not notice this before?"

"Maybe because you didn't pay attention before?" Sasuke responds, annoyed. "Oh my god, inviting you in while Naruto was awake was not a good idea…"

"Cheer up, Mr. Grumpy Gills," I say in my best Dory impersonation. My boyfriend turns and growls at me, but I grin innocently, and finally he just shakes his head and goes back to the book he's reading.

"You're such a kid," he says.

"But I'm also a good lay," I smirk, making him blush. "That and I can cook, whereas you can't do it to save your life. How are you going to be a good housewife to your poor Naru-kun?"

Sasuke quirks an eyebrow at the housewife statement.

"I don't care that I'm more effeminate than you, or that I'm going to be the one wearing the uchikake at our ceremony, or that I have a high-pitched scream; this is a marriage of equals, got it, Uzumaki? And I'm keeping my last name."

"Aww, look at my adorable little Sasuke-chan laying down the rules of the house before we've even gotten hitched!" I say teasingly, kissing him. "Don't worry; it would sound weird if either of us took each other's last name anyways. I don't think Uchiha Naruto or Uzumaki Sasuke would work out."

"Well, I'm glad we've figured that out," smirks Sasuke.

"I think it sounds cute!" says Jon indignantly.

"Well, you're not the one getting married," I say.

"Wish I were, though," he says, winking at Fritz, who grins and kisses his nose. I laugh.

"Just be sure you're not as dysfunctional as us," I say.

"We're not dysfunctional," Sasuke sighs.

"You're in denial," I smirk. "The reason why I say we're dysfunctional is because every time we fight we end up beating the crap out of each other or having angry sex on any and all available surfaces. Normal couples yell at each other, then take a break, then come back together to talk about their problems."

He looks miffed.

"Fine," he snaps. "So I'm a little in denial, but that kind of stuff is normal for us. Beating the crap out of each other was the way we released stress even before we started dating. And the angry sex is actually quite enjoyable."

"Well duh," I grin, "because it's me pounding your girly ass into whatever surface we happen to be so inclined to have sex on. Any kind of sex with me is enjoyable."

"You mean any surface you happen to be inclined to have sex on. I didn't agree to having sex on the kitchen table last time; you just got incredibly horny and couldn't wait until we got to the bedroom." Sasuke glowers at me. "My backside still remembers it all too well."

"I sink dat ist enough information," says Fritz, his face slightly green.

"You two aren't alone in here," adds Jon with a look of disgust.

"Oh, but if we were you can bet I'd be all over him," I say, smirking.

"Not until you're healed," Sasuke says in a tone that leaves no room for argument. "The doctor said no over-exerting yourself."

"Yeah, but he didn't say anything about you doing shit."

He looks at me incredulously.

"I suck at being seme, dobe," he says. "You know that."

"Well, you definitely suck," I say, grinning like a Cheshire cat. Sasuke blushes and hits me on my good arm with his book.

Just then the door opens. We all look up, expecting my dad or one of my other family members, or a gaggle of reporters, or a parliamentary committee. (Yes, I've had problems with those last two before because of my dad's new profession and his reputation as an avid supporter of gay marriage. He was actually the one who authored the bill that was voted into law, meaning that Sasuke and I don't have to get married out of country anymore.)

Instead I watch as Kaoru trips over his own two feet and comes sprawling into the room.

"Dude, are you seriously drunk in a hospital?" I ask, rolling my eyes.

"Actually, no," says Kaoru. "Come on, you know I'm clumsy as shit even when I don't drink."

His girlfriend Yuki comes in behind him, bearing flowers, which she sets on my bedside.

"Are you feeling any better, Naruto-kun?" she asks.

"Loads better," I say. "I wanna jump out of bed and do a happy dance because I feel so great."

Yuki giggles. Sasuke just snorts.

"If you open up your stitches I'm going to kill you," he says. "I can't go another week without getting boned. I'm already going for two."

"Tcheh, you could always ride me, you know," I say. "That doesn't involve much physical activity on my part besides getting it up."

"Ew, guys," says Kaoru. "Keep in mind that there are straight males in here –namely me- who have no desire to hear about kinky gay sex. Which somehow reminds me, is your fiancé still mad at me, Naruto?"

"Yes he is still mad at you," replies my boyfriend, not looking up from his book. "You should've noticed something was wrong and not let Naruto drink any alcohol, but you didn't, and now Naruto's in the hospital and our marriage almost got pushed back."

He says this all in a calm tone of voice, but I feel irritation radiating off of him like heat from a fire. I endeavor to change the subject.

"So Kaoru, have you brought the work I've been missing?"

"Yeah," he says, dropping a binder on the bedside table. The loud thud startles everyone.

"Holy shit," I say, picking it up and hefting it, "this is what I've been missing? And this is all the notes and diagrams, right?"

"And the list of reading material you need for your final paper," says Kaoru. "At least, according to that asshole professor of yours. He was such a dick I seriously was considering taking his ugly-ass loafers and stuffing them in his mouth. And the list of reading material is almost as long as a full-length novel. You have to put up with him every day?"

"Yep," I say. "You learn to get used to it. Besides, he's an ass, but he's a really good professor. Maybe if you'd stop complaining about your professors and changing courses just because they irritate you, and actually paid attention in class, you'd be graduating this year. Now where's the list?"

I pull the list, which is two pages long single-spaced, out of the binder. Sasuke puts down his book and looks on over my shoulder as I scan the list.

"All right, book monkey," I say, clapping my hands. "You know what to do."

"I'm not your slave!" says Kaoru indignantly.

"Well seeing as I'm here in small part because you didn't stop me from drinking, I think you owe me," I smirk. "Now go fetch, boy!"

Kaoru growls at me but snatches the list.

"How am I supposed to pay for all of them?" he snaps.

"You don't have to pay for all of them," I say. "There's something on campus that we like to call the campus bookstore and library, you know? I'm sure that you can find all of these either at the library or the bookstore. And put anything you have to buy on my campus tab and I'll pay it when I get out of this shithole. Now go forth and suffer the journalism books to multiply and come unto me, slave!"

Sasuke looks like he's trying not to burst into laughter.

"If you weren't in the hospital I'd beat your ass," Kaoru mutters.

"I didn't hear that, please repeat yourself?" I say, cocking an eyebrow.

"I said yes master," he says, walking out. Yuki follows him after bidding us goodbye.

Jonathan, who has been smirking widely since the exchange began, bursts out laughing.

"You two have the oddest friendship I've ever seen," he says.

"It's not the oddest friendship I've ever had," I say, and Sasuke smirks knowingly. "Which reminds me… When are you going back to Oxford, temee?"

My boyfriend raises an eyebrow.

"I didn't tell you, did I?" he says. "I had a teleconference with the dean of students and my professors, and they understood the situation. They send their best wishes, by the way. I got permission from them to send my final papers to them via email, and they send me notes, also via email. I'm having the rest of my things sent back here from my dorm room. And when I graduate I'm going to get my diploma in an oak picture frame via snail mail. I'm staying in Japan, dobe."

My mind is in shock. Sasuke's staying? He's not going back to England? No way…

"You're totally serious," I say. "You're not joking."

Near the window Jonathan and Fritz look just as floored by this declaration as I am.

"You're not coming back with us?" Jonathan asks forlornly, and I would feel bad for him if the happiness rising in my chest weren't rapidly blocking out any other emotions.

"But ve vill miss you too much!" says Fritz, looking like a lost puppy.

"Oh come on, guys," says Sasuke. "One, Naruto's in the hospital for at least another few weeks and I want to be here to help him out. Secondly, we've got to prep for the wedding. Third, we have to find an apartment because we can't just live in our parents' basement for the rest of our lives. And finally, we have Skype, and you guys are coming back in June for the wedding anyhow."

"Das ist true," says Fritz thoughtfully. "But ve are still going to miss you until zen."

"Well, if Jonathan feels lonely in his empty dorm room, he can always go over and sleep in your dorm room, can't he?" I say. "I mean, as far as I know you're alone in your dorm room, right?"

"Well, ja," says Fritz, "but it vould be too tempting to do oder sings besides sleeping vit him in ze room."

I laugh.

"I know that feeling," I say. "I get that feeling every time I look at Sasuke. It's not always a bad thing…"

"You're embarrassing," mutters my boyfriend in my ear, biting it and making me shiver. "Now shut up and lie there like a good little boy."

"But you know I can't be a good little boy to save my life, temee," I smirk, "even when I was a little boy."

"True enough," Sasuke laughs before returning his voice to normal register. "You know, I think I'm going to take you up on the offer to ride you."

"Right now?" I say.

"I don't care if it's in the middle of the street in the middle of rush hour, Uzumaki," he smirks at me. "Is me being here, horny as hell, and waiting to be impaled on the end of that monster you call a dick not good enough for you?"

"Okay, we get the message," says Jonathan, jumping up and pulling Fritz toward the door. "We'll visit before we leave tomorrow, when you two aren't getting ready to get freaky with the mattress dancing."

"Vot's happening?" asks Fritz in confusion as Jonathan leads him out the door.

"Three words: freaky mattress dancing."

"Oh…"

"Pure genius, Sasuke," I say when they're gone. "Way to get rid of them."

"Do you think that's the only reason I did that?" he says, eyeing me lustfully.

"Oh, you're dead serious?" I ask, grinning lasciviously. "All right then. I'm down for some us time."

"You better be," says Sasuke, "because I haven't felt your dick inside of me for almost a year and I'm tired of using an extra large dildo. So when I come out of that bathroom dressed in the costume I bought a little over four years ago –which miraculously still fits- you'd better be buck-ass naked and wanting me more than you've ever wanted anything in your life, including those Rammstein tickets I gave you last year and your precious fucking cup ramen."

"Do I detect a hint of jealousy?" I tease him.

He smirks at me.

"Shut up and start stripping, dobe."

He disappears into the bathroom, and once again I marvel that he can walk again, if not for very long. I smile and begin to strip out of my hospital clothes.

Life isn't always good to people. Sure I've had some shit happen to me. But in my opinion, life's been pretty good to me. I've got a loving and accepting family that doesn't care who I date or marry, just so long as I love them and they love me back. I've got my career pretty much laid out for me once I graduate.

And of course, I've got Sasuke. Sure we've had our fights, with each other and with others, but no matter what's happened we've always come through with our bond stronger than ever. In the short time I've been alive so far, I have never met someone so beautiful, so funny, so loving, and so determined as my soon-to-be husband. Every day I thank whoever The Mist really is for his presence in my life, for our journey from mortal enemies as six-year-olds to future spouses at age twenty-two, and for not letting us die on February 15, 2012 before we really got a chance to live.

Because if we had died we would have missed out on all of this, and some things are just too interesting to let go.

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OWARI 3

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Yeah, it be da Grand Masta Bitch all up in here, yo! What be-eth the down low, ma homies!

Sorry. I've been really bored. Well, not bored so much as tired and on too much sugar and caffeine. I've been staying up until three or four in the morning, listening to a dissonant mix of heavy metal and Lady Gaga and trying to finish a story for my friend Kei-kun as well as this one for all my readers. Let me tell you something, kiddies… Caffeine is your friend. And if it isn't, it damn well should be, because you're gonna need it.

So please tell me what you think of this story! I know, the ending was a little ambiguous, but generally speaking that's the way I like my stories to end: ambiguous, but not so ambiguous that you feel like you've been left with a huge cliffhanger, unless I'm writing a sequel, which I'm still trying to do for my vampire SasuNaruSasu story, which I now realize sucks ass but I still have to do the fucking sequel because the story is unfinished and I have terrible writer's block because the ideas are all going to better stories! (Maybe I'll cut the prequel, although that promises to be slightly better…)

Right, I'm rambling. This is also something I do when I'm on a dosage of caffeine and sugar. So I'm going to shut up, go away, and you can review! CIVILLY! (Yes I am still emphasizing that. Civil reviews are what make this author's world go 'round. I don't care if you really don't like it; civilly negative reviews, please.)

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