Sasuke's thoughts about how his life came to be and what he truly wanted...


"You will be leaving?" Karin asked as Sasuke slowed his pace. It was already past noon and the shadows started to stretch away from their stance.

He nodded. "I need to do this." came his short response, his eyes still affixed on the dirt path before them.

"We can come with you… I can tell Sui-" Karin stopped as Sasuke raised his hand to silence her.

"No. I need to do this alone." He stated. Karin nodded slowly and bit her lower lip. She knew they can be of good use but it seems like Sasuke already made a decision.

They finally reached a clearing and Sasuke nudged Karin to continue.

"Where are you going? I thought that you will meet him tomorrow?" she asked. She felt a sudden drop on Sasuke's chakra reserve. It never happened if he wasn't engaged on a fight.

Karin looked at Sasuke… the handsome features were marred by the coldness in his dark eyes. Emotions that she knew used to be there were now faint memories of those who had the chance to witness them.

"I need to attend to a few things. You can find your way to the hideout from here. I will be back before sundown…" and with that, he disappeared.

Sasuke needed time to be alone. He may never have the opportunity after tomorrow.

He reached an open stream.

He liked to be alone in places like this. The bubbling of the running water somewhat calmed his senses… it sang a lullaby that soothed his puzzled mind and caressed his aching heart.

He slowly circled the area and soon came to a halt. He found a shady corner and sat down. When was the last time he had a chance to think things over? It was years ago that he could not seem to remember anymore.

He leaned over and reached for the running waters… the coldness kissed his calloused fingers… it felt wonderful… it made him feel alive… like the way he used to be…

He closed his eyes as he savored the sensation. This was one of the few things he enjoyed doing. One of the rare pleasures he now seldom gave in to. Simple things that may mean nothing to anyone, but somehow… meant the whole world to him.

He has spent almost half of his life making things complicated. Worrying over things that weren't supposed to be given much thought. He wallowed in sadness and anger… fed himself with hate. In the end, he turned into a monster. He became a depressed fool that walked the earth in a mask he created for his own sick purpose.

He became too blind to see the good around him… the care other people gave him. He took in pain and held on to his pride. He was now a nobody.

The simple truth was, Sasuke was scared.

He was afraid of so many things. But his greatest fear was losing someone special to him. He who have lost everything previously was afraid of losing the one last treasure he held deeply in his heart… Itachi.

He got a message earlier from Itachi, asking him to come and meet him.

He thought that this is what he always wanted. For years he planted in his mind that he will avenge his clan and right Itachi from his wrongs.

But in his heart, he knew they were all lies…

He was afraid to meet up with his brother. If he could follow his heart, he will not agree with the meeting. He sensed that this will be the last time his eyes will witness his brother alive. He didn't want to let go of the last thing that keeps him sane… There must be another path… there has got to be another way…

He wished life can go back the way it used to be. He knew he would have been happy, even if it meant to be only the second best… he didn't seem to mind anymore.

In fact, he didn't mind a lot of things lately…

He stopped complaining about Karin's advances and constant worrying…

He stopped minding Suigetsu's cockiness and noise altogether…

He even stopped wondering where Juugo got his un-human compassion…

He inhaled deeply and got up. He silently followed the path of the stream.

He smiled inwardly as he continued his silent trotting.

This was his life… he was the stream… following a course set upon him before he was even born.

Though there may be rocks ahead, rocks that caused a disturbance on the smoothness of his course, he knew they were not forever.

The rocks were to be expected… after all, there was no such thing as a perfect course. Without the rocks, the water cannot be filtered and tested… cannot be polished into something worthy of use.

How he wished his life can go back to being this simple. As simple as the way the water flows… that no matter how many obstacles may come, it will still find a way to go back to it's smooth course and go on with life's merry way.

How he wished he can go back to being little. What he would be willing to give to feel Itachi poke him on the forehead and smile warmly at him again.

But a lot of things have already been done. It was futile to cry over spilled milk.

Maybe there are really things that were meant to happen.

Wounds that needed to be felt in order to be awakened from the mirage.

Still there was a chance.

For as long as he was alive, there was still a flicker of hope.

For as long as someone still wished to call him a friend, he will not surrender.

There was still a chance to see the rainbow after this rain.