Can't breathe. Lungs are on fire. Can't breathe. I'm freezing.

Black water surrounded him like oblivion, trying to drag him lower away from the oxygen he desperately needed. His head hurt. Had someone hit him?

Can't move. Can't breathe. Water too cold.

He looked up, the water continuing to pull him farther away from the sky. Familiar violet eyes stared back, emotion completely erased from his expression. He tried to reach up, to say something, water filled his mouth instead of his voice.

Why won't he help me?

He watched a smirk spread across Suigetsu's lips. "I told you I wouldn't let you love anyone else."

What does he mean?

He watched Suigetsu walk away, the water stealing his vision. Darkness surrounded him and filled him, fire burned in his chest.

Is he really going to let me die?

He let the water take him lower, giving in to its murderous intent. He couldn't feel his heart beating anymore.

Not breathing.


"Ugh…" Drowsy onyx eyes fluttered open, wincing at the bright lights. Sasuke tried to recall where he was, he could hear something beeping quickly somewhere off to his right. He swallowed dryly, confusion clouding his mind. What happened? He couldn't remember anything, bits and pieces of certain memories flashed past the backs of his eyes. "Hey… Glad to see you're awake." A soft, relieved voice sent a wave of calmness through him. He recognized it. He looked up, warm blue eyes meeting his. Naruto was sitting beside him in a chair facing the bed he was lying in. Bed?

"Where am I?" Sasuke murmured, not having the energy to make his voice any louder. He still felt tired, though he didn't feel that ache in his chest. "You're in the hospital. How do you feel?" Sasuke's eyebrows furrowed in confusion, trying to recall what happened. "You passed out yesterday. An ambulance brought you to the hospital, they said you're going to be okay and it wasn't serious. Itachi is talking to the doctor outside." Sasuke turned his head to look at the clock hanging on the wall, it read nine o' clock in the morning.

"Sasuke…" The raven looked at Naruto when his name was called. He looked worried, making Sasuke go on edge. Naruto's eyes searched him for a minute. "Have you been eating anything?" Sasuke inhaled slowly, his memory returning full force. He'd been with Naruto yesterday when the pain hit him again, he'd fainted. He blinked, his mind going completely blank. He couldn't think of a lie to tell Naruto.

He slowly shook his head, expecting a barrage of questions and chastisement. He was caught off guard when Naruto reached up, taking his hand in an almost reassuring manner. Sasuke looked at him in confusion, but Naruto didn't look pitying or even disgusted. Sasuke was unsure what to say, so he didn't. He didn't pull his hand away from Naruto's, even though he knew he should have. It was an innocent gesture, so he knew he wasn't doing anything wrong, and he felt calmer. As if he wasn't completely alone.

He looked up when the door opened, a male doctor and Itachi walked inside. Itachi looked surprised before utter relief came over his expression. He walked beside the bed, kissing Sasuke on the temple. "How do you feel, otouto?" He asked, eyes concerned. Sasuke felt a bit bad then, for worrying Itachi and making him miss work. "Fine, just tired." He replied shortly, looking towards the doctor when he began to speak. "You can leave soon if you feel like you can walk and function normally. We've given you an I.V. and you are rehydrated. You need to begin eating properly and healthily, to give your body the nutrients it needs." He told Sasuke, voice firm though his eyes remained understanding.

Sasuke nodded, not flinching as the needle was taken from his arm and a bandage put on. Needles didn't hurt nearly as much as they did when he was little, he wondered why that was. He was given privacy so he could redress, he sluggishly did so, finding himself vaguely nervous about going home. In the hospital he knew he was relatively safe, but at home he would have to deal with Suigetsu. What was worse is Itachi was going to be home, which only created more tension.

He walked out of the room, Naruto was leaning against the wall and Itachi was signing papers at the reception desk. He felt weak, but it wasn't horrible and he could walk just fine. He noticed Naruto walked close to him, but he probably should have expected the blonde to be worried about him fainting again. They stopped at the desk, Sasuke leaned against it with a quiet sigh. He wanted to sleep, but he knew Itachi was going to practically force him to eat something when they got home. He wasn't going to argue, he hadn't purposely meant to starve his body. He'd only…forgotten to eat. That was the only thing he could say.

He jumped slightly when a woman spoke almost right beside him. "Naruto, are you ready?" He looked up as a woman walked up to them, she had pink hair and was wearing nurse scrubs. Naruto nodded, giving her his usual bright grin. "Yeah, thanks for the ride. Oh, Sasuke, this is my friend Sakura." Sasuke nodded at her politely, she gave him a friendly smile. "Hello. I hope you're feeling better." She said, causing him to wonder if she knew he'd been sick or just assumed so because he was in the hospital. "I'll start the car." She told Naruto, walking out.

Naruto turned back to Sasuke, chuckling lightly at his confused expression. "She was the nurse that did your tests and everything, she's been working here for about a year." Sasuke nodded his understanding. "I'll see you later, all right? Take care." Naruto followed after Sakura, leaving Sasuke with his thoughts. He was startled when someone placed a hand on his shoulder, quickly turning around. "You've been incredibly jumpy lately." Itachi commented with raised brows. "Well, sneaking up on someone is going to make them jump." Sasuke said dryly, causing Itachi to chuckle. "I suppose so. We can leave now, the doctor wants you to rest today." Sasuke nodded absentmindedly, walking with Itachi to the parking lot and getting into his car.

As soon as they pulled out of the hospital, the storm hit.

"Sasuke, why haven't you been eating?" Itachi's voice wasn't angry, but Sasuke could tell he was at least confused, perhaps exasperated. He would be too, considering Itachi had enough to deal with without him causing more problems. Sasuke didn't answer for a moment, because he couldn't think of one. He wasn't sure why he hadn't eaten, honestly. "I just didn't." He knew the second the words had left his lips that was the wrong answer. Itachi glanced at him, not giving him any signs of what he was thinking.

"Sasuke… What's wrong?" The younger disliked the tone Itachi had. It was determined. "Nothing is wrong, I've just been busy and never got hungry." It was partially true, he hadn't felt hunger in almost a week. "Otouto, don't lie to me. We both know you've been acting differently. You don't just stop getting hungry or forget to eat." Sasuke clenched his hands into fists, not once looking at his brother. "I said nothing was wrong. Drop it." Even he knew his tone was harsh, but he was sick of being questioned. Itachi sighed slowly, shaking his head. He pulled into their driveway, but locked the door so Sasuke couldn't get out. Sasuke on reflex turned and gave Itachi a hateful look.

"I'm your brother, Sasuke. If something is wrong you know you can tell me." Sasuke hated that. He hated when Itachi acted like he was a parent and could protect him and make everything better. He couldn't make problems go away. "I'm fine. Now let it go." Itachi didn't react to the icy tone, but he sighed and unlocked the door, letting Sasuke out. The younger stormed out and into the house, instinctively heading to his room; he stopped before going upstairs, cursing under his breath before changing his mind and going into the kitchen. He opened the cabinet and took out some rice, putting it in a pot with water to cook. He didn't look at Itachi as the elder walked into the kitchen. He felt guilt nibbling at his heart, but he internally slapped it away.

If he was ever going to get Itachi to leave him alone then he had to be cold. He couldn't let Itachi inside the walls anymore. He put the rice in a bowl when it was done, nibbling slowly. After the first bite he realized how hungry he really was, practically inhaling the rest, he washed the dishes and retreated to his room. He picked up a book, hoping to waste the day reading. He had nothing else to do, really.

He jumped when someone knocked at the door downstairs, nearly dropping the book. He tried to listen carefully, biting his lip as he heard Itachi open it. He could recognize Suigetsu's voice, but couldn't decipher the words spoken. Itachi sounded annoyed, closing the door a minute later. After a few seconds it became apparent Itachi hadn't let him in and Sasuke released a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding. He had to live in fear to protect himself and his brother. A voice in the back of his mind tried to bother him, he shut it down; but he always heard it echo.

You're not really living anymore.


AUTHORESS NOTE:

I don't care that it's not interesting, I had to put up a chapter and just can't think. And no, Sakura isn't in love with Sasuke in this story, I've different ideas for her.

So I'm not an expert on eating problems therefore I did a bit of research to learn certain symptoms of not eating. I wasn't sure anyone noticed since they hadn't commented on it, but without being overtly obvious I did say Sasuke had been telling people he wasn't hungry and I was trying to loop in symptoms of not getting the nutrition the body needs. But to clear something up; he isn't anorexic, no, I don't mean for that to be a part of the story. I have reasons behind that.

Also wasn't gonna have a lot of Naruto this chapter but I had a… Really twisted dream about the Narutoverse last night and am having serious moments of bad déjà vu with both Itachi and Naruto but I wanted some sweetness in the story to clear up that nightmare.