Can Heaven Wait?

BY : ObsidianLace
Category: Naruto AU/AR > General
Dragon prints: 855
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Here it is. My first
Naruto/Sasuke fanfiction. It's AU, a songfic, angsty, fluffy and has more sap
then a pine tree. (according to my friend Viv)

The song I used was Luther Vandross's 'Can Heaven Wait'. I strongly urge you to
listen to the song or at least look up the lyrics. It's a beautiful song.




Checking in the rearview mirror, Sasuke pulled out of his
parking spot at work. What a day. Four meetings and an irate ex-girlfriend wanting
child support. He snorted. As if the brat was his anyway. If he had a nickel
for every annoying fling of his that wanted money….well…he’d be richer then he
already was.


He looked at his clock in the dash; 7:07 was shining at him
in neon blue numbers. Not as late as he’d originally thought. Actually, he’d
gotten out fairly early. He pulled out of the garage with a nod to the security
guard on duty. The wipers came on automatically and Sasuke let out a sigh.

Wonderful, it was raining.


 I should go get
drunk or something
, he thought to himself, then at least I’ll feel
physically how I feel mentally
. The more he thought about it, the more the
idea of getting trashed appealed to him. It was Friday after all and he had the
whole weekend free. Making a decision, he made a u-turn at the light and headed
towards downtown.


His stomach chose that moment to growl, reminding him that
he hadn’t eaten anything since that quick half a sandwich at noon. He started
searching the strips on the street for something that looked appetizing.
Finally settling on a fast food place, he drove through the drive thru and
ordered something deep-fried and fattening. Ignoring the flirtatious glances of
the girl at the window, he drove off.


With a fry in his mouth, he glanced at the clock again;
7:25. He pulled out his cell and checked his e-mail at the light. Two new
messages in his inbox, both from previous flings, both looking for money. He
rolled his eyes and deleted them. As he went to toss the phone in the passenger
seat, it rang. He contemplated not picking up but then noticed the number on
the screen was Sakura’s.


“Yes.” He said into the phone.


“Sasuke?” Sakura’s voice came over the line, hesitant and a
bit breathy. She was nervous.


Sasuke frowned.


“Yes.” He said again, making sure his voice stayed level. A
nervous Sakura he wasn’t used to.


“It’s Naruto,
She paused. “He’s in a bad situation Sasuke, he’s here in the
hospital. You need to get here quickly. We….we don’t know if he’s going to make


“What happened?” Sasuke said, trying to keep his voice calm
while he made a u-turn in the middle of traffic and sped off in the direction
of Jutendo University Hospital. He was 10 minutes away from it.


“He was hit by a car on his way back from dropping off Choji
at work. God, Sasuke, he was on the phone with me when the car hit.” Her voice
wavered. She was crying silently, he knew she was. “Please hurry Sasuke. I
don’t know how long he’s going to last.”


“I’m coming, stay with him.” Sasuke slammed the phone shut
on the last of her words.


Naruto. The only good thing in his life. Was hurt, possibly
dying in the hospital. No, no it’s not possible. Naruto can not die.


Sasuke put his foot down hard on the petal when he hit the freeway;
cops be-damned. His car became a streak of blue as it pushed 100mph.


Why? Why him. Why Naruto? If anyone should be lying broken
it should be him, not Naruto. Hold on, I’m coming. Don’t you dare die on me.


Slowing down, he pulled up to the Hospital’s parking lot. He
didn’t park but drove right to the doors and hopped out, leaving his car keys
with a guard he vaguely recognized as Gai. His mind still in calm chaos, he
headed for the desk to find out which room Naruto had been placed in. Suddenly he
spotted a long blonde ponytail against purple scrubs across the lobby.


“Ino.” He called out, catching her before she got on the


Ino turned as she heard her name and nearly cried with
relief as she saw Sasuke surging towards her. 


“Thank God! I’ve been looking for you for 5 minutes. He’s
this way.” She grabbed his jacket sleeve and pulled him into the elevator.
“It’s not good Sasuke. The car was totaled and he had to be cut out of the
wreckage.” She took a deep breath as she pushed the button for the 4th
floor. The arm under her fingers trembled.


“How.” Sasuke said quietly.


“He’d just dropped off Choji and was heading home when a car
skidded on the wet road and smashed into him. His car flipped on it’s side and
hit the side of a building.” Ino didn’t tell him that she had been sitting with
Sakura while she was on the phone with him. How she’d heard the whole thing. Or
how the last thing they heard from Naruto, had been Sasuke’s name.


The elevator doors opened and they both got out. Ino took
Sasuke by the shoulder and steered him to Naruto’s room. They passed the
nurse’s station and took a left down the sterile hallway. Too soon and not soon
enough they stood outside Naruto’s door.


Ino looked at Sasuke and hesitated with her hand on the door.
Sasuke put his hand atop hers and pushed the door open. Inside, Sakura was
standing, checking the heart monitor by the bed. She glanced up at the sound of
the door opening and immediately stopped what she was doing to go over and wrap
her arms around both Sasuke and Ino. They held the teary eyed woman for a
moment till she let them go. Sakura took a deep breath and composed herself.


“He’s in a coma.” She said, tone professional. “He has a
broken leg and 4 of his ribs are almost broken in half. Multiple lacerations, a
collapsed lung, concussion and possible brain damage.” She turned and walked
back to the bed and grabbed Naruto’s chart from the end of it. “We just got him
back from surgery to set the leg and re-inflate his lung. He’s had a CAT scan
and X-rays, the final results should be here soon.” She paused, Sasuke wasn’t
even looking at her. In fact, it didn’t look as though he’d heard anything she
said. She took Ino’s arm and started to pull her from the room. “Come on, we’ll
come back when the results are here.”


“But…” Ino started. She was concerned for her friend. Sasuke
looked so pale, almost like he was going to faint. His dark nearly black eyes
were wide and confused. His entire frame radiated confusion in fact. But this
was Sasuke and Sasuke did not show emotion. Yet, there he stood, his pale
features ghostly, hands in fists by his side, looking helpless. Yes, Ino was
very concerned.


“Leave them. We’ll be right back. He just needs a minute.”
With that, Sakura pulled her from the room and quietly shut the door.


Sasuke’s mind was fully focused on the sight before him. For
a full minute he stood there looking at Naruto lying on the hospital bed.
Finally, his brain began to process what his eyes were seeing. Something just wasn’t
right. His gaze roved over the form on the bed, trying to figure it out.


 Naruto was lying on
the plain white cotton sheets of the hospital bed. A portion of the sheet was
pulled away from the bottom to accommodate the white cast being held up in traction.
Too much white. Naruto never slept on white sheets. Sasuke didn’t even think he
owned a white article of clothing.


His skin had a gray tinge, with purplish bruises surrounding
stitched up lacerations. He was pale. He wasn’t supposed to be pale. Naruto had
beautiful tan skin. Skin that always looked as if he’d just come from a long
day at the beach.


His blue eyes shouldn’t be closed. They should be open,
looking at Sasuke with amusement. Even his hair, his bright, spiky blonde hair,
was dull and lackluster. Only a small bit at the top showing over the clean
white bandage wrapped around his head.


A muted click made Sasuke’s eyes flicker to a machine by the
head of the bed. He watched the accordion shaped thing inside a plastic
container go up and down. That machine was the only thing keeping Naruto
breathing. Sasuke moved closer to the bed. He had an urge to snatch the tube
out of his mouth. That slack mouth was supposed to be laughing, talking,
calling him a workaholic, not not moving.


That was it. That’s what made the whole thing abnormal.


Naruto was never still, he was always moving. Even when
sitting quietly reading, his fingers were tapping or his foot was jerking up
and down.


Sasuke couldn’t breath. That was not his Naruto. This was
wrong. Obscene.


He fell to his knees beside the bed; head barely touching a
cool bandaged hand on the sheets. Even that was wrong. Naruto was never cold.
He was the warmest person Sasuke’d ever met. Why? Oh God why? This was wrong.
It shouldn’t be him. Not Naruto.


“It should be me.” He whispered.


He never thought that anything could happen to Naruto. Death
of the vibrant man had simply never occurred to him.




The word echoed in his mind, spinning and whirling till it
pushed all other thoughts out of his head. No. Death would not take Naruto.


Sasuke put his hand on top of the man’s lying in the bed. He
felt helpless, lost, but he’d be damned if he’d let Naruto die. He’d give
anything to trade places with him right now. Anything.


“Wake up.” He whispered to the still form on the bed.
“Please….just wake up. Take my breath so you can breathe. Take my strength;
take it all, if that’s what you need. Just please wake up.”


Sasuke stared at Naruto’s face, hoping to see something, some
flicker of a sign that he heard him. For several minutes he stayed that way,
kneeling by the bedside of his friend. The only sounds being the machines and
Sasuke’s increasingly harsh breathing.


“Tell me, tell me what is it going to take to keep you in my
life? What can I do? What do you need? Please, Naruto.” His voice cracked and
he choked out a hard sob. “I’ll give anything.”


Still no response.


Sasuke hung his head, forehead resting on the cool hand.
He’d never even told him that he loved him. He thought he’d always be there,
that there’d be time for all that later. 
He remembered all the excuses he told him, the lies, about where he went
when he was out with some woman. He never acknowledged him publicly as more
then ‘just a friend’. The only ones who knew they were lovers were Sakura and
Ino. He thought he’d had time. He was going to tell him, tell everyone, that he
loved him.


Sasuke gave a harsh laugh. Yeah right. Who was he kidding?
He would have kept on doing just what he was doing if…if this hadn’t happened.
How cliché. ‘You don’t know what you have till it’s gone.’ Shit.


But no, he’s not gone. He lifted his head and felt moisture
on his cheeks.


“Look at that Naruto. I can cry after all.” He whispered.
Guilt weighed heavy on him as he looked at Naruto’s face. He’d always teased
Sasuke on his apathy. Saying that it would take a jack hammer to crack that
frozen look on his face. God, if he’d just wake up he
would….do….say….something, anything.


“I can’t even think straight anymore. There’s no rhyme or
reason in my life with you lying here this way.”  He gave another harsh laugh. Look at me. How he’d laugh if he
could see me tearing up like a girl.
He laughed again, this time it was
softer, more amused. God, even unconscious and near death that man could make
him laugh.


It wasn’t fair. Naruto was so good to so many people. Always
going out of his way to help them. He was a Social Worker for God sake!
Sasuke’d lost count of how many kids he’s helped over the years he’d known him.
He was a good person, a wonderful person.


And Sasuke was a total ass for ever hurting him.


“Is that it? Is that what you want me to see? That I’m an
ass for hurting him.” Sasuke’s voice was soft, his face tilted up. All those
times he’d wasted going on dates with some woman he didn’t even care about,
when he could have been with Naruto.


He got a flashback of darkened blue eyes as he spouted off
some barely believable story as he broke off a meeting with him. Naruto knew,
but he never let on that he knew Sasuke was lying. Smiling, he’d let him go. It
was so clear to Sasuke now. Now that it was too late to say sorry. To late to….




He violently shook his head, making his black hair fly
around. Already on his knees, he clasped his hands together and bowed his head.


“Please God, please don’t let him die. I’ll change. I swear
it. I’ll cherish everyday I have with him if you just don’t take him from me.
He’ll never be hurt by my foolishness. I-I’ll never leave his side if d-don’t let
him l-leave mine. Please. Oh God….please. Can’t heaven wait just one
night? Just one. So I can t-tell him….talk t-to him. God p-please, please
j-just one m-more night!” Openly sobbing now, he fell the rest of the way to
the floor.




Sasuke’s eyes flew open at the unexpected voice and he
bolted upright so fast that his head spun with dizziness.


“N-Naruto?” He said incredulously; Mouth working and tears
still streaming down his face.


“No Sasuke, it’s


He swung his head from the bed to the voice coming from
behind him.


Itachi stood in the doorway. He stepped into the room and
shut the door quietly behind him.


Sasuke had been so caught up in his own emotions that he’d
never heard the door open. Even now all he could do was stare dumbly at his
brother as he crossed the room and sat heavily in a chair. They looked at each
other for a full minute, until Itachi broke the silent stare down with a sigh.
He shifted in the chair and the movement brought attention to the sling holding
his arm in place. Once Sasuke had noticed that, he began to notice other
things. Namely the stitched up scar on his brother’s forehead and the general
beat up look that he was sporting.


“What the hell happened to you? Why are you even in Tokyo?”
He asked, tone sharp and angry. He was furious that he had caught him in such a
display of weakness. How dare Itachi even show his face at all after what he


“I was in a car accident. Though I’m surprised you care what
happened to me.” Itachi said blithely. “And, it’s none of your business.” He
looked Sasuke in the eyes.


“It damn well is my business! I told you I never wanted to
see you here again. You’d think after damn near killing our parents in that
fire you wouldn’t want to be seen.” Sasuke hissed at him. He stood but stayed
where he was. Itachi’s form blurred and Sasuke swiped an angry hand across his
eyes to get rid of the tears still clinging to them.


Itachi said nothing. He watched Sasuke wipe away the tears
on his face, leaving some still glittering in his eyelashes. Dark eyes took in
the tear-streaked face, messy hair and disheveled clothes. His little brother
looked like shit. He concluded that the man on the bed must mean a lot to him
for him to be so…emotional.


Sasuke struggled to pull himself together under that dark
assessing gaze. He felt like a kid again and had to stop himself from
squirming. He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths. When they stopped
being shaky, he opened them and gazed back.


“Leave.” He said, voice steady and unemotional.


A single black eyebrow rose. Itachi looked to the figure on
the bed and Sasuke moved to block his line of sight. The other eyebrow rose. Oh
yes, that man means a lot to him.


“Very well Sasuke. I was being released and thought I’d stop
in to see if he was still alive.” Itachi smirked at his brother’s confused look
and stood up. He turned and walked to the door. With a hand pushing the door
open he said, “We will not meet again.”


The door closed leaving a very confused Sasuke alone again
in the cold room. What the hell did he mean ‘stop in to see if he’s still
alive’? Did he know Naruto? Confused dark eyes rested on Naruto’s still form.


“Sasuke, I’ve got the final results of the CAT scan and
X-ray’s back.” Sakura said, coming into the room briskly and holding an x-ray
picture to the light.


All thoughts of his brother flew out of his head and he
walked over to Sakura so he could look at the X-ray with her. He silently
listened as she explained what the black splotches and fracture lines where, as
well as what the next plan of action was to take care of them. Sasuke let
himself be soothed by her confident tone.


“So you can save him?” He asked.


“We believe we can.” Sakura sighed. “It all depends on him.
On how much he’s going to fight to survive.” She gave a low chuckle. “But
knowing him, we don’t need to worry about that. He is nothing if not stubborn
as hell.” She laughed out loud when Sasuke’s worried look vanished and he gave
a chuckle of his own. Her green eyes softened and she placed a hand on his
cheek. “How are you holding up Sasuke? And don’t pull that ‘I’m fine’ crap with
me either. I know you better.”


Sasuke swallowed hard. Tears traced down the paths left by
their predecessors.


“Oh Sasuke. I know. When he first came in I felt like my
heart would bleed.” Her fingers wiped the fresh tears off his face. Secretly
she marveled at the change that Naruto’s tragedy had wrought on him. If
someone, besides Naruto, had told her that Sasuke Uchiha had cried in front of
them, she’d be checking them for brain injuries.


“He’s going to be alright.” He said, as if he just needed to
here the words spoken out loud to make them real.


“Yeah, he will be. I’m going to go get Ino and one of the
orderlies and we’re going to take him up to surgery. This time we’re going to
relieve some of the pressure I showed you from his brain. It shouldn’t take
more then a few hours. Depending on how it goes, he’ll be in a different room
afterwards. So I want you to go wait in the waiting room, ok?” She quirked an eyebrow
at him.


When he nodded, she walked away from him to the door. Right
before she got to it she paused. Her head bowed for a moment and she seemed to
be thinking.




“Sasuke, Ino thought that you didn’t need to know this but,
well, I think it would do you good to know. Naruto…when we where on the phone
with him, right before, you know.” She paused and took a steadying breath. “The
last thing we heard from him was your name. His last thoughts were for you.”
She smiled at his shocked, widened eyes. Then she walked out the door.


He went to stand back by the bedside of his friend…no…love.
His last words as that car hit had been his name. God how he loved this man.


“You better fight. If you die, I’m coming after you to drag you
back to me. You know how possessive I can be.” He whispered to him. “I love you
and you’re not getting away from me till I tell you that. Hear me?”


The heart monitor beeped loudly. It was almost like it was
responding to the question.


Ino, Sakura and an orderly that Sasuke didn’t know came into
the room and started unhooking Naruto from the various tubes and lines
connecting him to the machines. In no time, Naruto was wheeled away and Sasuke
was left alone to find his way to the waiting room.


He walked slowly out of the room, head down, thinking. The
elevator pinged down the hallway. Nurses murmured to each other and an older
lady made painstaking progress towards him on a walker. None of it was enough
to catch his attention. He needed a distraction or he was going to choke
someone in his frustration. Ok, maybe not choke someone. But he would
definitely punch something, probably the wall. Too bad his brother had left.
Now him he could punch.


As if the very thought of his brother was permission, memories
of their recent encounter flooded back into his mind.


‘I was in a car accident…’


‘…thought I’d stop in to see if he was still alive.’


‘…being released…’


And then from nowhere, Sakura’s voice.


‘The last thing we heard from him was your name.’


Oh my God.


Sasuke stopped dead in the middle of the waiting room, which
he didn’t even remember walking to, and began to hyperventilate. An older
gentleman came over to ask him what was wrong. Tried to get him to sit down and
put his head between his knees. But Sasuke’s vision had gone red and all he
heard was the same quotes over and over like a skipped recording. Suddenly, a
sharp, stinging pain brought him back to himself.


He blinked and looked thorough his hair at the person who’d
just slapped him. Shikamaru looked back at him with his hand slightly raised,
just in case he needed to slap him again to get his attention.


“Sasuke, calm down or I’ll smack you again.” He said
sharply, his normal bored facade showing true annoyance and worry.


“It was him. He hit him. And I just let him go.” Sasuke said
calmly; half to himself and half to Shikamaru. He didn’t move, didn’t even
right his head, just stared off in to the distance. “He saw him and thought it
was me in the car. He said my name. He thought it was me.”


Shikamaru was a bit confused by Sasuke’s soft ramblings. He
took his arm and led him to a couch away from the other few people in the room.
They all gave him and the distraught man a pitying look but backed off and let
them have some privacy.


“Sasuke, what are you talking about? Ino called me and told
me get up here because Naruto’d been hurt in a car wreck. Is that who you’re
talking about?” He tried to hang on to his bored tone but seeing Sasuke so
upset and distant was making him nervous. Never before had he seen Sasuke act
like this.


He didn’t get an answer from Sasuke, however. Sasuke’s skin
was looking flushed and his dark brown eyes were black with emotion.


“Hey Sasuke? Is this about Itachi? I saw him being led away
by the cops when I first arrived.”


“What!?” Sasuke’s head shot up and he stared at Shikamaru.


Shikamaru’s eyes widened and he put his hands up in a
defensive gesture.


“Yeah, he was being arrested for drunk driving. Was it….did
he hit Naruto?” His quick mind put the factors together and he looked to Sasuke
with a questioning glance.


Sasuke’s shocked and pained face was all the answer
Shikamaru needed. They sat there for a moment, Sasuke looking stunned and
Shikamaru looking tired and thoughtful. Someone turned on the TV in the corner
and the sounds of some Friday night comedy show filled the room.


“So, he’s been arrested?” Sasuke asked in a subdued but
thankfully normal tone.


“That’s what I saw.”


Shikamaru yawned and leaned back, keeping Sasuke in the
corner of his eye. The other man was thoughtful. He’d never seen him
so….expressive before. He watched as flashes of anger, pain, worry, depression
and anxiety flitted one after the other across Sasuke’s face. For two hours
neither of them moved. Shikamaru fell asleep after the first 30 minutes. Sasuke
sat and brooded. He knew that Shikamaru wasn’t lying about Itachi. If the man
said he saw him being arrested then Itachi had been arrested. Of course, Sasuke
was going to make sure that he stayed in jail for a long time. He had dirt on
his older brother that he bet his brother didn’t even know he had. He wasn’t a
young successful lawyer for nothing. He’d been keeping tabs on Itachi ever
since he’d left.


Oh yeah, that man was going to pay for hurting Naruto.


Ino popped her head into the waiting area and looked around
till she spotted Sasuke in a darkened corner with a sleeping Shikamaru next to
him. She walked over and kneeled in front of them, nudging Shikamaru in the
process to wake him up.


Sasuke’s heart was in his throat. He couldn’t even get out
the question he so wanted to ask. So instead, he let the question be seen in
his pleading eyes.


Ino smiled.


He started crying, then sobbing. He clung to Ino and sobbed into
her scrub top with utter relief. The man next to him patted his back awkwardly.


He’s going to be all right. He’s going to be fine. He’s
going to live!
Sasuke was ecstatic. Naruto was going to live.


“I want to see him. Can I see him?” He asked hurriedly.


“In another half hour you can. We need to get him situated
in his new room. As soon as we do that, I’ll come get you. I promise.” Ino
said, still smiling. “Hey Shika, can you go pick up Choji? He’s still at work
and since Naruto usually drops him off and picks him up…”


“Yeah, yeah. At least I can tell him Naruto’s going to be
ok. He’d worry himself sick thinking it was his fault or something.” Shikamaru
stood up and arched his back, working out the kinks from sleeping slumped on
the couch. He walked off tossing a ‘See ya’ over his shoulder.


“Lazy.” Ino said and shook her head. “I’ll be right back
Sasuke.” She gave him a pat on his hand and left to go see to Naruto.


Sasuke watched her leave with a light heart. He felt, as
sappy as it sounds, like singing in happiness. He caught the eye of a lady
sitting near the open double doors of the room and she gave him a smile. Her
hands were working a rosary bead back and forth. She looked to be in her late
forties, with lightly graying brown hair styled short. She stood up and walked
over to Sasuke.


“I’m happy for you young man. Looks like God’s answered your
prayers.” She beamed at him.


“Yes, yes he did. The man I love is alive and going to be
fine.” Sasuke told her. He patted the spot next to him and the lady sat down.


“That’s wonderful. Have you known him long?”


“Yes, we met in middle school.” He smiled softly at her.


“Ahh, you’re just like me and my husband. Bless his soul.
He’s still in surgery right now. Been in there for nearly 3 hours.” Her tone turned
worried and her eyes flicked to the door.


“What happened, if I may ask? I don’t want to upset you if
it’s to painful to talk about.” Sasuke said.


The woman smiled at him. He could see the tracks her tears
had made through her make-up and it reminded him of his own tear-streaked face.
Never had he felt so close to a total stranger. Is this what Naruto saw when
looked around at people? Just looked around till he found a little bit of


“So polite for such a young man. He, my husband, had a heart
attack; his third one. Poor dear. He was in so much pain waiting for the
ambulance.” She wiped a stray tear from her eye.


Sasuke put his hand on the woman’s. His hand covered both of
hers and the rosary she was holding. He looked down at it and touched the
little hanging Jesus.


“Don’t worry. I’m sure he’ll be fine. Not only does he have
the best doctors working on him but he has your prayers and His love.”


The lady closed her eyes, brought his hand up to her mouth
and kissed it. Giving it a motherly pat, she released it again.


“Thank you baby. 
I’ll keep that in mind.”


Sakura watched Sasuke and Mrs. Fuji interacting from the
doorway with awe. Oh Naruto, if only you could see this. She thought.
Gathering herself, she walked over to them. Sasuke saw her coming and stood, a
hopeful look on his face.


“You can see him now. Follow me. I’ll tell you about
everything while we walk.” She said as she drew near. “ Mrs. Fuji, your husband
is being stitched up as we speak. The operation was a success. Your doctor
should be out within the hour to talk with you but I knew you’d want to know as
soon as possible.” She gave the tired looking woman a warm smile and let Sasuke
pull her from the room.


“Good bye Mrs. Fuji. I told you he would be fine.” Sasuke
said to her.


Mrs. Fuji grinned at the obviously torn man. He wanted to be
sympathetic to her but at the same time was desperate to get to his boyfriend.
He had his hand on the doctor’s arm and was inching to the door while still
looking at her and smiling distractedly.


“Go on dear. Go to him. Give him my love for me.” Mrs. Fuji
laughed. She made a shooing motion with her hand.


“Thank you.” He said gratefully and dragged Sakura from the


Sakura took the lead when they got out of the door and made
a left down the hallway to the elevators. On the way she told Sasuke about the
surgery. Using medical terms in a long-winded speech until Sasuke gave her a
‘look’. She laughed and got on the elevator.


“Basically, we were able to stop the pressure build up and
there’s going to be no permanent damage. His leg will heal and there will be
minimal scaring.” She summed up with a grin. “The best part is, he’s
conscious.” Her grin widened.


Sasuke’s breath left him and he hand to put a hand out to
steady himself when he walked off the elevator.


“That’s….oh God….that’s wonderful.” He said. He turned and
gave her a quick hug and a smile. “Thank you for saving him Sakura.”


Sakura blushed and slapped his shoulder lightly. Walking
down the hall, Sasuke started to walk faster and faster. Not quite running but
not far from it. Sakura thought he looked like a different man. She liked it,
although, it was going to take some getting used to.


Sasuke didn’t even pause at the door to Naruto’s room. He
simply read the name and walked in ahead of Sakura.


There, on the bed, surrounded by white sheets, was a tiredly
smiling Naruto. His blue eyes were open, his mouth moving, telling Ino something.
Sasuke didn’t hear whatever was being said. That was his Naruto. His wonderful,
moving, alive love. Sasuke felt tears starting again.


“Naruto.” He said wonderingly. “Naruto.”


Naruto turned his eyes to Sasuke and smiled fully.


“Sas...” Naruto coughed a bit and Ino held a cup of water to
his lips. He took a drink. “Sasuke.”


Sasuke moved to the bed, tripping on a cord because his eyes
refused to look anywhere but Naruto’s. Naruto laughed hoarsely and held out a
hand for Sasuke to take.


“Naruto. Naruto.
Sasuke repeated his name over and over; tears starting to fall
again and him not caring in the least. These were happy tears.


Sakura went over to Ino and hugged her from behind. They
shared a look and smiled at each other before turning to the two men. Sasuke
was still saying Naruto’s name softly, touching his face like he was going to
break if he pressed to hard. His tears fell freely and Naruto was trying to
soothe him. Trying to wipe the tears away but his arm was shaking from weakness
so he put it back down.


Ino heard a knock at the door and went to open it. Choji,
Shikamaru, Hinata, Neji, Kiba and Haku were all standing outside in the hall.
It had been Shikamaru who’d knocked and Ino was glad for the other’s insight.
She eased out of the door and addressed them all.


“He’s fine. Nothing permanent, though he did scare us for a
moment. He’s resting right now and he can have visitors in the morning after


Kiba tried to get Ino to let them in ‘just for a damn
minute!’ but Hinata and Haku grabbed an arm apiece and dragged him off. The
others followed them, Shikamaru whining about how troublesome it had been to
drive all the way back for nothing. Choji and Neji just sent Ino and the newly
emerged Sakura a look that said they’d pump them for information in the


“Doctor.” A nurse walked up to Sakura and handed her a
chart. “You’re needed in exam room three right away.” He said hurriedly,
already walking to the room mentioned.


“Right. Ino…stay close but give them some time.” She said
before going after the nurse.


Ino nodded to her retreating back. She went to the nurse’s
station and grabbed a rolling chair so she could sit next to the door. Pulling
the chair behind her she placed it to the side of Naruto’s door and out of the way
of anyone who might need to get down the hall in a hurry.


Inside the room, Naruto and Sasuke were looking at each
other. Sasuke was still touching Naruto’s face randomly, softly.


“Naruto.” Sasuke said softly, voice as hoarse as the other


“I know my name Sasuke. You gonna as’ me somethin’ or what?”
He said tiredly.


“I love you.”


“I knew that.” Naruto chuckled.


“I’m sorry.”


“Nothin’ to be sorry bout.”


“I love you.”


“You ‘ready said tha’” Naruto said. His brow furrowed.


“I love you.”


Naruto sighed and smiled in to Sasuke’s eyes. What he saw
there made him so happy that he wished he wasn’t so weak so he could have
hugged the other man.


“I love you too.”

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