Warnings: Sexual themes, Mpreg, angst, ooc (Hopefully minimal), language, vague and obvious spoilers for chapters 600+
Notice: This fic is currently under revision. It will be updated chapter by chapter. Things should continue to make sense, but in the event that it doesn't, I apologize and it will be fixed eventually.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, or any characters that appear in Naruto. I write for fun, not for profit.
Pairings: For now I'll only disclose Sasunaru
A Place to Call Home
Naruto wasn't sure when it had all begun. Chasing after Sasuke had been his goal for so long and Naruto couldn't figure out how it hadn't torn his life apart sooner. He had been devastated upon waking up all those years ago with the vague memories of the bastard's Chidori ripping through his flesh. It had never been about his near death though. He was disgusted that after all his hard work, after everything he felt and thought with his entire being, that it wasn't enough. He wasn't strong enough to persuade Sasuke from his revenge. The ground he gained in his pursuit of a friend appeared to be at the expense of his spirit even if he refuse to let it show.
It was obvious that he trained so hard only to fail and that it must be difficult to work for nothing. People had no idea that every unsuccessful attempt was not a blow to his ego, but to his way of life. They foolishly believed that Naruto did this for the affections of a girl, that he did this to save his friend. Naruto had believed it as well, but they were all wrong.
Naruto remembered when he realized how wrong he had been. He hadn't seen Sasuke in years, and suddenly they were standing chest to chest in Orochimaru's lair. All Naruto had to do was lean inches forward to press his body against Sasuke's. He could smell Sasuke's natural scent. It was cool and damp like freshly rained earth. He stood there facing his death and was overwhelmingly calm inside. So long as it was Sasuke's hand that stole his breath, it would somehow have been okay. Perhaps he could have given his life to make the bastard realize his mistakes. Perhaps it was his death that could snap Sasuke from his vengeful reverie. All Sasuke had to do was ask. They were foolish thoughts, but Naruto already knew himself to be a fool. It took Sai's intervention to bring Naruto back to himself. He had vowed perseverance and he had been so close to losing it simply because Sasuke was too close. It had happened too quickly. The earthy scent was gone and he was left in the familiar company of his teammates. It took a hand on his shoulder for him to tear his eyes from the spot Sasuke had previously occupied. A piece of him fell away as he and Sakura eventually turned to drag their feet home.
Naruto vaguely remembered uttering the words, "I'm sorry, I'll do better next time...there will be a next time, so cheer up Sakura." His mouth was against Sakura's shoulder and his arms loosely around her tense frame. She had shrugged it off with a nod and offered him a sad smile. Naruto plastered a familiar grin to his face and headed back to his apartment, glad to be out of Hokage tower where they had debriefed. Once settled back at home he lay on his bed. He stared up at the ceiling and recalled their failed mission. He couldn't help the stab of guilt between his ribs. Promises were often fickle things. He had recounted his promise to Sakura so often when he had believed it. He could only wish he had promised her he would never fall in love with the bastard. If only he had promised, then maybe he wouldn't know how it felt to betray Sakura. Perhaps he wouldn't know what it was like to be completely heartbroken.
When he had received the news that Orochimaru was dead, it had brought hope to Naruto that he hadn't felt since seeing Sasuke at the lair. He was positive that Sasuke would come back, because why else would he stay away? When he'd been informed otherwise, his face fell and he wasn't sure how to cope with the too familiar feeling of parts of him falling away. He kept going though. He let it be his drive. He hoped that without a serpent tongue in Sasuke's ear, maybe he'd listen to reason.
His third attempt did not fare well; Naruto was reluctant to return home thrice the failure. He rested a hand on his stomach, recalling the sensation of Sasuke's arm through his clone's stomach and felt thankful for Sasuke's brief touch.
Their fourth meeting was unexpected and unknown to anyone but the pair of them. They had been given a minor mission after the death of Itachi for reasons Naruto couldn't remember anymore. They had been in a small town, perhaps sniffing out signs for Sasuke before a full-fledged search, perhaps someone needed protecting? He couldn't be sure. During Naruto's stroll back to the inn his teammates occupied he had never imagined he'd see Sasuke stepping out of a restaurant. Naruto had been completely frozen as their eyes met. Sasuke stilled for several moments before he simply turned and walked and Naruto fell into step behind him. They were silent as they made their way to the privacy of Sasuke's room and the raven turned to him. "You know I'm going to bring Konoha to ruin," It was a confirmation and nothing else. All Naruto could do was nod with his eyes downcast. "You won't stop me," he continued and stepped in front of the blonde. "You can't," the sharpened words wounded deeply, but Naruto refused to agree.
Sasuke's hands had roughly settled on Naruto's shoulders and squeezed hard. Their second kiss wasn't any more sophisticated than their first, their teeth clicked, lips bruised and burned in a way only those who had been forever starved of affection could know. Before Naruto could think of his innocence he was bare with a quilt at his back and Sasuke between his thighs. There was nothing gentle about the pale calloused fingers that scraped along his flesh, fingers that hastily prepared him, nor the lips that burned him from the inside out. Naruto clung to the other man in desperation as Sasuke entered his body. He yanked at raven locks and his blunt nails tore through the flawless flesh of Sasuke's back. It was in desperation that Naruto cried out with when they found their release in one another. Naruto's chin rested on Sasuke's shoulder and silently hoped that his anguish went unnoticed. "Why?" he whispered, his lips against Sasuke's ear. He knew that it hadn't been love that had Sasuke between his thighs and in his arms. "It's over, why can't you just come home?" he never once raised his voice.
"Quit being a child!" Sasuke growled and tried to remove himself from where he was with his weight on top of Naruto. Dark fingers gripped him tightly and hoped to keep him. Sasuke ceased his struggles and with a heavy breath, continued "I have no home, I have nothing and will stop at nothing until Konoha is no more. They don't deserve u-…They don't deserve anything but my revenge". Naruto hadn't been sure what Sasuke was going to say, but he realized it had been the most his friend had said to him in years. "You don't know me Naruto, quit being a fool," he ended in a whisper.
When Sasuke drifted off to sleep, Naruto's eyes remained on the ceiling, his fingers gently combed through raven tresses. Naruto had known that Sasuke meant farewell in his actions, but Naruto refused to believe in it. "I know enough, bastard," he murmured softly and he too drifted off with dreams that Sasuke may one day let him know more.
Sasuke had trusted him enough to sleep knowing that Naruto would never abuse that night. That he wouldn't abuse that moment to take him home unwillingly in a rare moment of vulnerability. He trusted Naruto just as much as Naruto trusted that Sasuke would be gone when he woke. It had been dawn and when he met up with Sakura and the others at the inn he feigned a smile and an excuse as to why he had been gone.
Sakura's eyes were wide when Naruto spoke; they were the only two awake at their camp on the way back to Konoha. "I'm sorry…it sounded like you just said-"
"I'm in love with Sasuke," Naruto repeated, his eyes never strayed from the flame. He recalled that heat on his skin two nights prior. "I didn't know until," He trailed off and rested his cheek against his knee. "I didn't mean…" he couldn't put on a smile for this one. He couldn't assure Sakura that everything would be okay, not when he had already slept with the man she loved. "I understand if you hate me," Naruto said pathetically, it would have hurt to have her look at him with disregard again, but he could bare it if it was for Sasuke.
Sakura had been silent for minutes that stretched far beyond comfortable. "Naruto," It was hardly a whisper before her arms wrapped around him tightly. "We'll get through this," she murmured and he knew, from the hitch in her breath that she had been crying, but accepted whatever fate they would fall to.
Their last night had almost broken Naruto. It had been shocking to everyone but Naruto when instead of standing with the other Uchiha men, Sasuke stood with their team instead, with Naruto. He could recall the moments so clearly where the battle had nearly robbed them of their lives. He remembered their hearts weakening together. In the end they had collapsed on the battle ground, not knowing if their allies lived or died. His focus didn't break from Sasuke as he lay weakly on his back in the ruin. Sasuke was face down, breath ragged with blood caking his cheeks. "Come home..." Naruto whispered hoarsely. It took his remaining strength to reach his hand forward and try to brush the blood from Sasuke's face. His hand fell to the ground and his eyes fell shut before he could hear a reply if there had been one.
The dead and wounded were gathered a short time later and Naruto woke in a tent with Sasuke laying an arms length away from him. Sasuke hadn't been apprehended because he had been injured. Sasuke's role in their victory may have dampened the rage of others less forgiving than Naruto. Most of all, there were far too many injured and dying that needed tending to before defectors could be dealt with.
Naruto had awoken first, thanks to Kurama's speedy healing. Like many others they were afforded no more than a thin mat on the ground. When he had seen Sasuke across from him he smiled, and reached a shaking hand to grasp Sasuke's.
They would be there a week before the healthy began the long transport home with their hearts remaining heavy with every loss recorded. Naruto was almost completely healed, but under direction of the medics he was confined to this small tent with Sasuke. He had woken two days after Naruto, but said very little, and it was another two before he crawled his way over to Naruto and hovered over him as he stared down into unblinking azure. Every question Naruto had asked him went without reply over the past week, and he knew then that Sasuke was finally going to answer. It was wordless and Naruto had expected it to be. As Sasuke rid them of their clothes and pulled him into his lap he knew this was another attempt at goodbye.
Naruto clung to Sasuke's shoulders. The gentle caress of Sasuke's lips on his throat caused his brow to furrow and his knuckles to furl. "Damn you, you asshole," he whispered harshly, burying his face in Sasuke's shoulder, he couldn't face the raven this way. "I hate you," he whispered. He didn't know how much more Sasuke could take from him before Naruto had nothing left to give. Sasuke remained silent as he took the time to prepare Naruto's body with an ointment left behind, leaving the blonde shivering and shuddering in anticipation as he lined himself up. Their initial joining was silent; it was Sasuke's hands on his hips that eventually urged him to move. He hung on as the pleasure tore through him, cruelly pooling in his belly as his hips undulated, grinding hotly against Sasuke's. They rode out their orgasm together, a low growl in Sasuke's throat and a silent cry in Naruto's lest anyone hear. Naruto didn't want to let go, he slumped heavily against the Raven, his fingers pressing bruises into Sasuke's shoulder blades and he shook his head. For the first time, he wept in front of the other man. "Tell me," he whispered on the tail of a broken voice. "Tell me that this was more than attraction…please," he begged quietly into the pale column of Sasuke's throat. "That it was more than just lust," the raven was silent as he took Naruto's arms and urged him to let go and lay back. He could hardly handle those dark eyes watching him. "Please!" he had never felt this sort of desperation before, it was suffocating him and he swore he could feel his heart stilling to nothing again and again.
"In this darkness," Sasuke said softly as he stroked Naruto's messy bangs from his eyes. "You've been the only other thing I could focus on," He said and Naruto could hear the honesty in his voice.
Throwing an arm over his eyes Naruto let out a strangled noise, "Leave," he urged. When Sasuke made no move to go, he growled. "Leave! Before I tell someone!" he said and he pushed Sasuke back, shivering as the raven pulled from his body. Sasuke dressed, and Naruto could have sworn that he paused at the entrance of the tent, just for a moment before he was gone.
When Naruto finally returned home, he attempted to let Sasuke go. He let him go and felt like he had let another part of him die. He braved a smile as everyone settled back into their homes. Naruto made an attempt to pick up the life he allowed Sasuke to ruin. He went on missions, and when he was home he spent what time he could with his friends. Two months passed and he found himself with odd bouts of sickness that bent him over the toilet most nights. He remembered being frightened. It was very rare that he became ill, and after a week he sought council with Tsunade.
"Are you out of your damned mind. Just how many times did you hit your head you old bag?" Naruto growled when Tsunade tried to sit him down and tell him what was wrong. "That's not how it works, you're supposed to be a medic. You know men don't have kids, not like that!" He was angry, but she persisted.
"Only you'd manage your way around that one, brat," She said. She didn't sound angry the way she usually did. This was something maternal and everything Tsunade rarely was.
She explained to him in a lot of technical terms that he couldn't understand if he tried. She explained how each vessel had equal opportunity to conceive. It was a natural born escape route for the tailed beasts, because labour was the most vulnerable a seal could become without breaking. Kurama wasn't sealed in him though. The demon had returned to him to keep him breathing, to keep him fighting. His biology was concreted long before either of them could have known that friendship was possible.
"Do you want to keep it? There's no pressure either way," she said quietly.
Naruto looked at her before reaching up to rub at the back of his neck. "I dunno..." He said quietly.
"Take a couple of days," She said before scheduling another appointment short days later.
"Yeah..." he said before he retreated back to his apartment. There was a definite dread that came with deciding the fate of a life. People would likely doubt Naruto ever considering getting rid of it since it went against everything he stood for. Despite being shy of his 17th birthday, he was capable of thinking maturely when h needed to. He had to consider how the child might be treated as being a part of him, being a part of a vessel, a war hero, but mostly being a man. Many of the villagers cared and respected him now, but the villagers had shown a long time ago what kind of hate they were capable of. He had to consider what he might tell Sasuke. What if he didn't come back? What if he didn't want anything to do with the child? If Naruto kept it, what would he do if the Sharingan surfaced?
Naruto thought about terminating the pregnancy, but at the end his heart still ached. He didn't know how, but he loved whoever he had been blessed with. The thought of parting with it broke his heart. All that really needed figuring out was how to inform Sasuke. He had heard of sightings, but Naruto hadn't allowed himself to actually look in on him. Sasuke could be anywhere.
Finding Sasuke wasn't all that hard once Naruto finally decided to do it. It was easier than it had been in the past, but maybe Sasuke wasn't hiding as hard as he used to either. Getting out of the village would have been more difficult, but Naruto decided getting a hold of Sasuke was more important than protocol. He jut walked out the front gates and didn't go back. Everyone would be pissed with him, but they'd get over it. He had heard Sasuke was in fire country and there was no way he was going to let the opportunity slip by him.
It only took him a few days to narrow down Sasuke's location. All he had was hope that Sasuke wouldn't choose to move to a new location before he arrived. The town was small and Naruto thought briefly of their first night together and he let out a slow breath. It was eerie how similar the events were. He found Sasuke wandering the streets, and he followed quietly after him without a word. Sasuke bought him outside of the village and Naruto waited until he stopped before he opened his mouth perhaps to drop the largest news Sasuke would ever hear.
"I thought I made it clear I wasn't coming back," Sasuke growled out. Naruto didn't know why, but the hostility he felt coming off Sasuke in waves instilled fear in him. He'd never been afraid of Sasuke before. This was different, this was beginning to feel too much like Valley of the End, too much like Sasuke's last real attempt on his life.
"Sasuke, wait," Naruto started.
"Let me make this clear, moron," Sasuke said, eyes flashing red. Before Naruto could respond he was pinned to a tree with Sasuke's blade through is shoulder. Naruto's eyes were wide and he slumped back trying to force his weight to his back so he didn't slip and hurt himself further.
"S-sasuke..." he whispered. His Chakra control had been pitiful for weeks now. Another side affect of the pregnancy. He didn't think it would matter. He didn't think Sasuke could come to this. It shouldn't be fatal, not for Naruto...but maybe...
"Damn it! Why can't I..." Sasuke trailed off as he slammed his fist into the bark of the tree only inches from Naruto's face. He hunched forward, his breath heavy, "Why can't I let you go?" He growled before he yanked the blade clean from Naruto's flesh allowing the blood to seep its warmth down Naruto's chest.
"Your cla...cl—" Naruto couldn't get the words out of his mouth before he felt himself sliding down to the ground.
"I won't tell you again Naruto," Sasuke said, his voice just loud enough to understand. "I won't miss next time."
Naruto's eyes were mere slits of blue as he watched Sasuke retreat. He wondered which of them believed Sasuke's lie more. His eyes slid closed and the only thing that settled the dread in his gut was his loss of consciousness.
When Naruto's eyes opened again, Tsunade was in front of him. She was yelling at him, but he couldn't understand anything as the light flooded his vision until it hurt. His eyes fluttered slowly as she kept talking and he heard vague words like infection, critical, but ultimately he heard her say "just in time to save you both."
He made a fast decision bred from terror and relief. He could do this alone. He had always been alone anyhow. Sasuke had made it clear he was a threat, but his team had found him in time. Sasuke might have stripped him of almost everything, but he had given him the perfect foundation to rebuild and that would have to be enough.
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