Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of the characters created and trademarked by Masashi Kishimoto in the Naruto universe. They belong to their respected owners. I am not making any money off of this story. I do, however, own the plot of this story. Please do not use any of the written work as shown below without my written permission.
Warnings: Coarse language, suggestive themes, genderswitch, SasuFemNaru
Paragraphs in italics- flash backs, lyrics/poems, dreams, and thoughts
It's been two weeks since they've last spoken, since they've last seen each other, since the puzzles seemed to be slowly connecting together again. They had, once again, migrated to their separate corners of the earth where life was different. They were different.
Not even a god damn text message.
In fact, he was ignoring her texts. Of course they had been on the casual side, such as: hey, how are you? To what are you up to today? And even: Wanna hang?
The sinking feeling that came with his silence was strangling her slowly with familiarity. The sudden withdrawal, the ignoring… she's lived through this before. She had lived with it for months before she finally couldn't take it anymore. Her confrontation would have been the initial spark that lead her down into this pit of despair that she was currently in and it hurt.
It hurt a fucking lot.
She should have known he would have reacted this way, should have known that he wouldn't be able to accept it.
He's never been able to handle having things not going his way.
Just like your father.
What had he expected her to do? She argued with herself, smoking by the dozen again. Did he expect for things to not change? To be the same? Of course they wouldn't be. Once you pass the point of no return there is no going back, you can only go forward.
They themselves have mutated these past few months to become different creatures. The same memories, but no longer the same person. They had no choice but to fly away from each other. It was meant to be.
She feels terrible, cradling herself because no one else would. She's dealed with this shit for too long…
She knew he was hurting just as much as she was, that he still cared, but she couldn't – no refused – to go back to how things were.
Why couldn't he see?
They'd never be the same again. No matter how much both of them wanted to.
It was gloomy today, just like yesterday and the day before that. The fresh burst of spring sunshine seemed to be overpowered by winters decay again as it no longer shone as brilliantly as it did before.
It was dying just like she was.
She had tried to go jogging but lost her nerve, the air raping her with its cold as death kiss. She had been out of breath, out of shape, out of body. She feared that she would no longer be the same again. Just this sad little girl stuck in her melodramatic world of miserable depression as heavy as chains. Chained down to the ground with him, where he refused to let her live again. To live without him.
Kyuubi having jumped onto her deteriorating body, she sighed out angrily, butting out the toxic fumes she adored so much. She began to slowly pet the fluffy kitten, letting out a hoarse laugh as he squirmed and wiggled, throwing her bouts of attitude as he attempted to settle down in the curves of her stomach. His radiating orange fur was the only happy thing in this gloomy apartment, the only thing that kept her above the sea of depression for most of the day.
Kyuubi began to purr, setting his adorable little head down out his paws as he they both were lulled to sleep.
This time she slept deeply. Deeper than she had in months. There were no dreams, no memories, no images of him or her or of childhood and family. All she saw was the black abyss that had become her friend within these past few months.
She was at peace, in a place where she could sleep… forever.
Her eyes fluttered open and she cringed out the sound of the fur ball mewing loudly at the singing birds. She must have left the window open again…
She had also skipped class… again, knowing that it would be useless as she couldn't concentrate on anything. Absolutely nothing at all.
She hated how powerless and worthless he made her feel. Just by a stupid little kiss and a glance at his tortured eyes.
How dare he, she screamed at herself, slipping out of her dirty clothes and into the scorching water of her shower.
How dare he be allowed to look so heartbroken, so shattered and deceived, as if this was all her fault?
She was the victim here; the bird that had been caged with its wings clipped so that she could never fly again.
She was beginning to pound on the wall in a fit a rage, hating herself for allowing it to go this far, 'to be friends again'. She just should have left him there like he had left her: broken, angry, mutilated and mutated; no longer being allowed to be what they once were.
You're just like your father.
She cursed herself for her forgiving and understanding nature, knowing that no matter how hard she tried to hate him, he would always come back with those haunting words:
But I only fly to you.
He was absolutely, positively, most undoubtedly a bastard. A big one at that. He should be damned to the ninth level of hell for making her feel this way, for making her suffer in silence this way. It was his entire fault. That she was smoking so much, uncaring, dead at work and ignorant of school. For god's sake, she was even beginning to neglect her poor and innocent kitten – who wanted nothing more than to be with his mistress. He had made her pathetic.
Her skin red and burning, she stepped out the shower, wiping the fogged mirror so that she could see her reflection.
Her eyes were starting to fade from being that pretty 'forget-me-not' blue to the equivalent of dead blue jays. There were bags under her eyes and her wet hair clung to her in a pathetically drooping manner rather than spiking naturally. Her skin was beginning to lose that California-like-tan that she was known for and she was becoming skinny; her muscles practically gone. God damn even her breasts seemed to fall lifelessly, as if every part of her body was in an emergency state of hopelessness.
No longer able to see herself, she whipped the mirror again, glaring at the horrid reflection.
This wasn't her… this declining sack of insignificance. Had she really become so pitiable?
Resisting the urge to punch the mirror, in a fit of self-consciousness, she wrapped herself in a large towel, hugging herself as she looked out the bathroom mirror, into the foul grey skies, keeping the heavens hostage and refusing to let the sun live. She really did wish she could fly… beyond those clouds to the blue and yellow contrast that always energized her. Always.
She just wanted to soar away.
To learn how to live again.
Groaning angrily in frustration, she stormed out of the bathroom, going straight to her cigarettes to clear her mind with his smoky haze. However, after a few puffs, she was only left irritated. She stubs it out angrily, sighing out deeply as she began to rub her temples. They weren't the same anymore.
There were no more dancing spirits, no more wings in her mind, and no more uplifting in her blood.
They were just poison.
Toxic, like the state she was living in.
Toxic, like their relationship.
Screaming in rage, she begins to dig her blunt nails in her skull hating herself for being this way.
Without him, she was without control. It was truly as if she had lost a part of herself – half of her soul as she would never be the same again. No longer was she a bird with clipped wings. She was a bird whose head had been severed, whose body was ripped into two, and whose heart continued to beat the blood, no matter how useless the act had become.
Dead things don't continue to survive.
I can't keep living – no – dying like this anymore…" she thinks to herself.
Taking in some deep breathes; she calmed herself, untangling her fingers from her knots of hair.
Maybe she's over reacting a little, she tells herself, taking in deep breathes because you can't fly unless you know how to take deep breathes.
There are many reasons as to why he hasn't contacted her in two weeks. The first thought that comes to mind is his music major. His classes probably require him to create compositions and besides that, his perfectionism. When it came to music, Sasuke was capable of pulling all-nighters with ease and also, he would completely immerse himself in his work. No one could pull him out of that state of mind once he got himself into it.
She also thinks he could have taken her "I want to take things slow" much harder to heart then what she had wanted it too.
Of course she wanted to take things slow… after all, after so many months of solitude, how could he expect for them to act as if nothing had happened?
She's been in her nest for too long and she doesn't know if she can just take that leap of faith to fly with him again. Since apparently, he only fly's to her. He's proven the span of his wings and his ability to grow. He's able to fly without her and that's what scares her. She's nothing but a scared little chick compared to his tall and elegant stature.
Scoffing in distaste, she clenches her fists at the ridiculousness of her melodrama.
Since when was she afraid of Uchiha, Sasuke?
Her dreams had come back this night.
However, she was no longer plagued with memories, desires, and sadness. They were just… strange.
She had been in a foreign place, filled with colours of blue, turquoise, and green. Suddenly she was attacked, being drowned by vultures, ravens, and hawks. They were all birds of death. They were all hunters, and they were all black.
She was drowning and yet… she didn't feel anything. She didn't feel pain, sadness, or fear. In fact, if anything, she felt comforted.
The birds had embraced her and she was no longer alone.
She had woken up late today, Kyuubi meowing louder then a banshee out of hunger. She really needed to get a large bowl and fill it with the dry cat food she had bought so he would finally stop waking her up all the time.
Stretching out, she kicked herself off of the couch, grabbing a near by elastic, and tied her hair. She then lit her morning glory and blew out, before dubbing out the cigarette again. They still hadn't changed. They were no longer as satisfying as they were before.
Instead, she makes some sweetly scented white jasmine tea and drinks the warm liquid slowly, feeling completely refreshed as she cracked open a window.
The sun was out today.
The birds were singing loudly and even the fur ball fury had decided to bask in the light rather then torment the birds. Feeling a bit of herself come back, she butted out the cigarette, got dressed and decided that maybe she'd go for a long jog today; beside the creak where the frogs would always sing and then later through the city. Maybe she'd even stop by Ichiraku Ramen and indulge in her gluttonous pleasure for what would be the first time in months.
Tying up the laces of her sneakers, she then ruffled Kyuubi's head, pressing a soft kiss to his fur before taking the time to stand and look around the dark little apartment. This place needed some changes. It was too gloomy since he left, the picture's gone and the posters and artwork having been either taken down or ripped up when she was still feral. The lack of light had paled out the colours and the plants were dead.
They had broken up in winter, but now it was spring.
A time, when you could start fresh.
She thinks she could get rid of some of the old furniture and buy some new stuff. She could even ask that bastard Sai to help her paint the walls a kind of pale orange that he could doodle some fantastic artwork on. She's ready to let go of the past and begin to live in the present.
Maybe they had broken up, maybe they had ignored each other for months, maybe Sasuke did still have strong feelings for her, and maybe she was scared to be with him again. That didn't mean that she would allow herself to wallow away. She was going to spread her wings and take that first fatal leap out of the nest.
She's flied once before, why can't she do it again?
Heading out the door, a small smile playing her lips, she burst through the complex's door with a sudden shot of energy before her smile fell, staring numbly at the sight before her.
Of course he would show up now.
Of course he would show up when she had finally forgotten about him, when she finally decided that it was time to move on and let her wings guide her again. Why did he continue to cage her this way?
Was she a pet? Only allowed to be free when the master allowed her to be so?
The first thing she took in was his appearance.
And honestly… as abnormal as it sounded…
He looked like absolute shit.
Exhausted, miserable, and desperate; his elegant grace has been stripped with the bruised discoloration under his red eyes, a hollowness to his face as his elf-like cheek bones looked sharper then daggers. His hair was wild… but in a deteriorating sense of uncertainty as his clothes looked old and she could no longer smell that spice of his cologne.
She feels as if she's looking in a mirror.
Glaring at his blood-shot eyes, the hard expression on his face, she crossed her arms over her chest.
"What is it Sasuke," she drawled, wishing she could be mean enough to spit in his face and storm off.
He's ignored her for so long… what else could he possibly want?
"Naru," he whispered with an unnatural shake in his voice, fingers twitching to touch her before returning to his side. "Come with me? Please?"
She should have sad no. Something along the lines of: Next time you wanna hang out, text me ahead of time, but at the sight of those friable, stygian, slate orbs riddled with every single shadow under the sun, she didn't know if she had iced over enough; or rather, moved on enough to break him without feeling a horrid wickedness.
She's never been able to say no to him anyways.
"Come with you where?"
"It will only be for a little while I promise."
"Where Sasuke. Tell me where you want to take me."
"Give me an hour Naru, that's all I'm asking for. Then you can decide for yourself, alright?"
She hadn't even realized that she had agreed attentively before he was tugging her down the street towards god knows where.
What did he want her to decide about?
Hand in hand, they walked down the streets of Konoha at a pace similar to that of a bird taking off. She was so stunned at the frantic speed that they were gong at that she failed to ask any questions, more curious to see for herself what the raven had planned rather than to argue with him, knowing that it would be completely and utterly futile.
She had a pretty good feeling what it was he wanted her to decide on, but how the Uchiha planned to 'woo' her was beyond her comprehension.
That sneaky bastard always had something up his sleeve.
Like breaking up.
Coming to her senses she realized that they had actually come to a halt… and in fact, the vulture like man had let go of her…
Immediately crossing her arms over her chest, she jutted her hip in an unimpressed fashion; eyebrows furrowed as he pulled out a pair of keys and opened the door slowly. Turning to her, he sighed aloud, opening the door wide open.
"Well?" he jeered impatiently, "will you come in?"
Throwing him a harsh look, she slowly walked into the condominium, eyes widening at how the Uchihas could make any place look like royalty. She remembered that Sasuke's mother was an interior designer and she also remembered how glamorous the Uchiha Manor appeared, but some how she had never been able to believe that she had been this talented.
For one, the small space was littered with glass windows that illuminated the space with radiance. There was a small staircase leading up to what she assumed would be the bedrooms as below the staircase was a gorgeous kitchen that literally sparkled. Although the floor was hardwood, there lay a gorgeous crimson Persian rug that was large enough to be centered with the white leather furniture and the enormous plasma TV.
The final piece was stationed near the back wall.
The very same tall, black piano that was practically the embodiment of Sasuke's soul and the very same one that had been her friend for so many years.
The raven began to drag her once again towards the piano, and she follows obediently without a struggle as a lost duckling follows its mother. Attentively, he sits down and shyly pulls her down beside him. Facing him, she stared at him with confusion, searching for anything; a single feather that would tell her why he was acting so strangely, so emotionally yet so coldly.
His response ran through his fingers as he avoided her gaze and began to play a slow and powerful melody.
His fingers fluttered across the keys for what seemed like hours, the deep growl of the piano smoothed out by a chirping harmony that brought the composition together beautifully, tugging the red strings of her heart closer to the severed strings of his. She could feel every single one of his emotions poured out into the complexity of the melody as he continued to play – still avoidant of her gaze.
Before she even knew what was happening, tears were leaking out of her eyes, skydiving into the unknown as if her spirit had been freed; letting go of the jealousy, of the pain, of the anger that had held her heart for almost a year. She was falling through the sky together – that first leap of faith – with him as his music carried them away to a place that only they could reach.
She had covered her mouth to suppress her sobs, her eyes darting from the trance of his long fingers moving to the seriousness of his face. His eyes refused to meet hers as he concentrated on exposing his soul to her. He's never been good with expressing his emotions and this piano was the key to unlocking not only her cage, but his as well. Maybe finally they could meet like long lost lovers and fly to each other without a care in the world.
After all, some birds mate for life. No other would ever be acceptable enough to replace them.
She hadn't even realized that he had stopped playing, the beautiful tune still replaying itself in her mind over and over again, until Sasuke began to speak in a voice hoarse with tortured whispers; still refusing to look at her.
"It's for you…" he began, his fingers still tracing the keys. "About you… I – I know that you want to take things slow, but this is how I feel." His eyes closed and his fists clenched. "This is how I'll always feel." He's being awkward and she's not surprised.
He's never exposed his true feelings this openly… this powerfully.
She can't take it anymore.
Amidst the silence, she finally lets her final wall come crashing down. She let a sob escape her briefly before controlling herself again. It was too late.
His head whipped towards her and he looks shocked at the sight of her miserable and crying form, just staring as if he didn't know what to do. Eventually, he wraps his strong arms around her, cradling her as he daringly buries her face into her hair, rocking them slowly.
"I know," his voice shakes again, "that you want to take things slow… and I'm sorry to have ignored you…" 'again" being the word he wants to finish off with.
"But I needed to let you know… that no matter what happens, I'll always feel like this about you and that will never change."
They stay like that for a while, the rocking calming her tantrum and she really does start to think that birds of a feather must flock together.
So she fists his shirt aggressively, pulling away to stare into those melanoid eyes before growling out,
"If you ever, ever fucking ignore me again and treat me like shit because something is happening in your life and 'you don't want me to worry', I'm going to fucking kill you." He dares to slowly smirk, eyes becoming hooded as he ruffles her head and leans in.
She's choking again, knowing that maybe they had indeed reconciled, but she was scared of the rapidness they were taking. Maybe she was afraid of Uchiha Sasuke, or maybe she was afraid to let him so close to her again because if things ever did get serious, she'd never want to loose him again.
To her relief, he presses a quick kiss to her forehead, calming her immediately as her fists relax and she rests her palms against his chest.
Even after every argument, no matter how intense and earth-shattering it had been, they were always able to come back to each other; to make up and to set things right again.
After all, birds of a feather flock together.
Despite how different their feathers were, their nature was, they had always belonged to each other; never letting the other go or stray too far. They had always been together.
And together, they would stay.
A/N: I apologize for the extreme lateness of this chapter as I was trying to avoid making it seem cliché and ooc to the characters. Although it is shorter then the other two chapters, I hope that I have been able to wrap this story up to everyone's liking.
Unfortunately, this is the end of Like Birds.
It was meant to be a three shot and it will stay a three shot, so I apologize to those of you thinking it would be longer. Do not fret! I don't know if I will return to this particular universe, but I always have something planned out for these two ;)
And like all my stories, the first two chapters of this story have been updated and expect this one to follow suit in about a week or so :P
Until next time!