The pitter patter of rain on the window seemed to echo. The clouds were dark; so dark that he could see his reflection in the window easily. He stared into his own reflection, staring into the blackness of his eyes. Sasuke could see the lifeless gaze in his eyes. His soul was left behind, with the married man from whom he was running.

The bus he was on hit a bump, causing the side of his head to smack against the window painfully. He hissed, lifting up his head to glare in the driver's direction. A snore to his left caught his attention. An old man, with hair as white as Sasuke's hair was black, was limp, his head back, mouth open slightly. With a sigh, he lifted his arm, checking the watch on his wrist for the time. Barely an hour had ticked by. Sasuke sighed again, letting his head fall back. He closed his eyes, thinking back to happier times. He could feel the corners of his lips twitching slightly, the slightest of blushes coloring his pale cheeks.

His blue eyes were bright, his tanned, scarred cheeks red from laughter. His dark, rather full lips were stretched over slightly crooked, perfectly imperfect teeth. The smile sent a shiver down Sasuke's back. It sent another wave of lustful thoughts into his brain, producing images that Sasuke was tempted to share with the blond haired man. But Naruto was married. Sasuke could see the want, the desire in his eyes. But, well, he was a moral being. It was one of the many things that had drawn the raven-haired man to him. He was so pure, so light-hearted. So damned genuine.

"Sasuke? Are you alright?"

Damn his voice. Sasuke looked into Naruto's eyes. Both of the men had serious expressions. The noise from the bar melted away, and then it was only the two of them. The rest of the world be damned.

Sasuke couldn't be sure who moved first – maybe it was a bit of both of them – but their lips touched. It was hesitant, split-second, and Naruto pulled back quickly. His beautiful blue eyes were wide, scared. But Sasuke had already had a taste, though brief as it was. "It's okay," he whispered in what he hoped was a soothing voice, before he leaned forward again.

Another bump caused his dark eyes to open as his head was yet again forced against the window. "Damn it," he hissed, the curse coming out as a reflex. He didn't notice the breastfeeding woman sending him a glare.

After rubbing his head, Sasuke looked out the window. The rain had stopped, but the sky was still dark. He could see the sun, but it was setting, bathing the sky in a dark mixture of fiery oranges and reds. The remaining dark clouds gave the sky a very depressed feeling.

Fuck, he was lonely.

The dark-haired man let out another pitiful sigh, pulling away from the window. He shifted in his seat and leaned forward, resting his forehead against the seat in front of him.

A cell phone rang. Sasuke flinched, his fingers itching to check his own phone, desperate to hear Naruto's strong, reassuring voice, or read another of his immature joke texts. Sasuke smiled again, letting out a silent breath of laughter as he rolled his eyes. Naruto was a strange man. He was… dependable, despite his maturity level – or rather, his lack thereof. Sasuke remembered his time in college, after their kiss, when he and Naruto were awkward.

Sasuke nearly jumped when he felt his cell phone vibrate in his pocket. He was writing notes, trying to keep up as the teacher rattled on. Technically, Sasuke had finished college, but he'd gone back to try something new. He wanted to learn about the human mind; how it functioned, how it stopped functioning, what sort of things caused serious issues with the human psyche.

He debated ignoring the vibration, but curiosity – and hope – spurred him on as he carefully slid the phone from his pocket. Sliding his thumb over the unlock screen, he hurriedly pulled up the message.

The message caused all functions of Sasuke's brain to stop momentarily.

From: Naruto

Ok, so, how do we do this?

Instantly, Sasuke thought about their kiss, and about the way Naruto avoided him, wouldn't even look at him. The wheels in his head turned once more. Was Naruto really asking what Sasuke thought he was asking?

With a glance up at the lecturer, Sasuke tapped on the touch screen keyboard, sending the message quickly.

In class. Do what?

He chewed on his lip, barely able to pay attention and write notes as he waited, though he already knew the answer. The next text he received, he opened hurriedly.

From: Naruto

Oh, gross! That's so boring. You're smart, Sasuke. What do you think I'm talking about?

Sasuke was no longer paying attention to the lecture, his heart racing.

I don't want to be wrong.

The response was pathetic, he admitted, but it was the truth. He knew Naruto liked his truths.

The next text didn't come until Sasuke was already packing up as the class neared its end. Although outwardly he remained calm, internally, he was panicking. Maybe he was wrong, and Naruto was grossed out by him? Maybe Naruto was angry? He knew he was being paranoid, but it was hard not to be. So when the text finally came, Sasuke did jump. And as he read the message, so did his heart.

From: Naruto

You're not wrong. I told Hinata I'll be late home because of work. I'm at your place.

Sasuke wasn't sure what he was feeling as he stared at the phone. Joyful, because Naruto wanted him. But also irritated, because Naruto was supposed to be pure and good and moral. Cheating wasn't pure or good or moral. In the end, his lust won over, and he packed his things quickly, leaving the classroom before the lecture was over.

When he got to his apartment, Naruto was waiting.

His ring was off.

It was like that for the next two years, Sasuke recalled. Naruto never wore his ring when he wanted to "spend time" with Sasuke. It was how Sasuke learned when it was okay to flirt, and when it wasn't. Naruto went through periods where he was overly hostile, claiming that Sasuke was doing awful things to his marriage. Sasuke remembered once that Naruto had even called him a demon. It hurt Sasuke more than he cared to admit.

When they fought, Naruto would shove the ring in his face, telling him that he needed to go away, because he and Hinata were married, he was happy, and they were going to start a family. The ring meant more to Naruto than the papers that claimed he and Hinata were married.

"But it doesn't mean everything," Sasuke murmured, his lids partially closed as he stared at the dirty bus floor.

He and Naruto had a wonderful two years. Sasuke was content with being the side dish, if it meant that he could have even just a small piece of Naruto. It was okay. He told himself that he was happy.

But when Hinata really did become pregnant, Sasuke realized…

Naruto was going to start a family. A family that Sasuke could never really be part of.

Naruto walked into Sasuke's apartment, and looked around with wide eyes. "Whoa. You moving out?" He looked at Sasuke, smiling slightly. "You going to move closer to me?" He laughed. Sasuke didn't find it funny, though he didn't take the joke to heart.

"I'm leaving the town," Sasuke told him in his monotone voice.

Naruto blinked his blue eyes, his smiling vanishing. He stared at Sasuke for a couple of seconds, before giving him a nervous smile and a slightly hesitant laugh. "O-oh. Are you going to go to the next county over, closer to the college, or-?"

"Let me rephrase," Sasuke interrupted, catching Naruto off-guard, "I'm leaving the state."

Naruto was silent for so long that Sasuke finished packing all of his clothes. He lifted his suitcase and brushed by Naruto, stopping only when the blond's tan hand gripped his wrist. Sasuke kept looking forward, not turning around to look at Naruto. He knew his resolve to disappear if he looked into those sad eyes. "Where will you go?" Naruto whispered.

"I don't know. I figured I'd just hop on a Greyhound and go wherever it takes me."

"What about me?" Naruto almost whined. His grip around Sasuke's wrist tightened, though it wasn't painful.

"You have Hinata," Sasuke responded evenly, keeping the emotion from his voice. "And your daughter," he added quietly.


"She loves you, Naruto," Sasuke interrupted.

Naruto whirled around, letting go of Sasuke's wrist. "I need you!" The blond yelled, his light eyebrows low over his sparkling, angry eyes.

"Your daughter needs you," Sasuke spoke calmly, evenly.

The effect was instant. Naruto's angry face melted to one of shock, then shame. He looked away from Sasuke. The raven-haired man took that time to walk by, walking calmly down the rusted stairs. He made his way across the yard in front of the apartment, until he reached a yellow cab. His heart thumped painfully. His nose tickled slightly as he felt tears beginning to well up. The cab driver opened the trunk, where Sasuke dropped his suitcase.


Both Sasuke and the driver looked up to see Naruto racing across the yard. He reached Sasuke, panting. "Sasuke, please! Don't do this!"

Sasuke could already feel his resolve breaking down. But he thought of Hinata, and how she was too fucking smart to really not know. The few times he'd met her, he'd known she knew about them. She had sharp eyes, he remembered thinking. She didn't seem angry, though. Sad. She was sad. It wasn't fair for her. And now she was pregnant, and Sasuke knew she was regretting it.

"Don't do what?" Sasuke asked quietly. "I'm trying to help you repair your family. You have a child to think about. I'm not important."

Naruto looked shocked. "Not… Not important? Sasuke, I've been sleeping with you behind my wife's back for two years! My entire life almost totally revolves around you!"

"And now, you have a kid who needs to be your world. I'm not going to come between you and your daughter," he muttered, turning away. He opened the door to the backseat of the cab. The driver looked at Naruto, then opened the door and got into the driver's seat.

Sasuke sat in his seat and pulled the door to close it. But Naruto's hand again stopped the movement from happening. "Sasuke, please! We can… I don't know, we can figure something out! Please!" Naruto's voice had risen, panic running through his body. His eyes were filled with tears. He always had been emotional, Sasuke thought. No sense of shame for his tears. Another thing Sasuke found he loved about Naruto.

"Naruto," Sasuke whispered. The blond looked up. Their eyes met. Sasuke leaned forward, much the same way he did two years ago, when he made the decision that changed both their lives. The difference, however…

Sasuke's lips gently brushed against Naruto's forehead. He placed his hands on Naruto's chest, leaned back, and pushed the blond away from the door. Before Naruto could recover, Sasuke slammed the door shut. "Lock it," he ordered the driver, who hastily obeyed.

Sasuke watched with sad eyes as Naruto tried in vain to pull the door open. Tears freely streamed down his face. He pounded on the window. "Drive," Sasuke managed to whisper, feeling his own tears threatening to spill over the brim of his lower lid.

The cab driver did as he was told, pulling away. Naruto stumbled slightly and jogged after the car a few steps. Sasuke watched from the back window as the blond stopped and stared after him, his jaw partially open. He was wearing a look of sadness, confusion, and disbelief. Tears were still streaking down his scarred cheeks.

Sasuke jumped when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He lifted his head, looking to his left, where the old man was smiling gently.

"You alright, son?" He asked quietly. Sasuke nodded dumbly. "You might want to wipe your face. A man shouldn't let others see him so broken," the old man said sternly, though gently.

Sasuke blinked, bringing a hand up to his face. His fingertips were met with something warm and wet. "Oh… Shit," he hissed, using the sleeve of his jacket to wipe off the tears. He hadn't even noticed he was crying.

"We're almost to the city," the old man told him, pointing over the seats at the larger window at the front of the bus. Sasuke looked up, looking at the bright city lights.

"Yeah…" he nodded once.

Naruto always wanted to go to the city. Sasuke looked away, staring down at the floor again. He sighed, leaning back, head falling back against the head rest. "Hey, old man," Sasuke murmured, shutting his eyes.


"What does it mean to love someone?" He asked quietly. The man was quiet for so long that Sasuke finally opened his eyes and lifted his head. The old man had a serious, but kind, expression on his face as he looked at Sasuke.

"You're young. Twenties, maybe early thirties?" Sasuke nodded. "For you, it might be painful right now. You must be… doubting someone's love right now. But, sometimes unfortunately, love is eternal. It won't always hurt, but it will always be there. I think we'll always love those we were intimate with," he smiled. "But for now, try to find something to take your mind off of it. I hear the strip club in this city is awesome!" He spoke loudly. Most of the women on the bus gave him a glare, but he didn't seem to notice.

Sasuke turned away from him, staring out the window again, frowning. He felt like a fool, if he were being honest. Naruto probably was using him.

"So, where you headed, boy?" Sasuke heard the old man ask.

Staring into his reflection, Sasuke responded, "Nowhere."