Because I'm Here Now

BY : Sasunarufan13
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Naruto/Sasuke
Dragon prints: 842
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto nor make profit of it. Kishimoto owns it.

Author's note: Something I whipped up to celebrate Sasuke's birthday today. No idea what I was thinking, but I hope you'll still like it.

Warnings: Sasuke's pov; established relationship; implied mature content; a bit of drama; set after the war, but doesn't follow epilogue; some fluff

I hope you'll like it!


Because I'm Here Now

"HOW MANY TIMES DO I NEED TO TELL YOU: I DON'T NEED YOUR FUCKING PROTECTION! I CAN HANDLE A FIGHT ON MY OWN, YOU ARSEHOLE!"

The words bounced between the walls violently, echoing through the space, lingering long after they had been shouted.

"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK I DID WHEN YOU WERE GONE, HUH?!"

Rapid footsteps on the staircase, the steps groaning dangerously underneath the assault, and then a door slammed shut upstairs; the force behind it so great it made the walls of the house tremble lightly. Somewhere in the house a picture fell and shattered apart on the ground.

The man left in the hallway stood motionless for a moment before a tired sigh escaped him. He ran a hand over his face; when he lowered it, it was smeared red and he stared at it for a few seconds before carelessly wiping it off on his shirt.

Slowly, his left side screaming in protest with every step he took now that the adrenaline had ran its course, he made his way deeper into the house. He left his katana against the wall next to the small bookcase, containing several scrolls. When he turned around, his eyes caught sight of some small shards glinting in the dying sunlight and he hobbled his way towards it.

As he had suspected: it was the picture frame that had fallen off the wall just now. Gingerly he bent down, grinding his teeth when pain flared up again, and picked up the frame, turning it around, even though he knew which picture exactly it contained.

It was one of them together, taking around a year ago when they had been celebrating his birthday. They were both sitting underneath a tree; well, he had been sitting, the other one had fallen asleep with his head on his lap having inhibited too much alcohol at once. He hadn't even been aware Sai had taken a picture of them until the man had given him the photo a couple of weeks later.

He placed the frame on the small table, making a mental note to both replace the broken frame and hang it back up on the wall, before looking around listlessly. It had become quiet upstairs, but he knew from prior experience that it wasn't safe yet. Talking to the younger man now would only lead to a new fight and he wasn't in the mood for that.

He should take care of the injuries he had sustained during their fight with the rebels – one of the wounds on his back was still bleeding a bit; the warm liquid sluggishly sliding down his skin – but he suddenly found himself too restless for that. After another moment of debating, he turned around and left the living room. Stuffing his feet back into his shoes, he silently left the house, pulling the door shut behind him. He didn't bother locking it; they lived rather deep in the forest, barely anyone came near this place.

Even if someone came by, robbing the place would be the stupidest thing they could do, especially with the blond still pissed off.

He had one destination in his mind and he made his way to it, ignoring the way his injuries throbbed or the way his clothes stuck to the edges of some wounds, tugging at them painfully.

The setting sun painted the trees and bushes with scarlet red, deep rose and light purple but in the distance there was the threatening noise of thunder rolling and the sky was turning darker than usual, signifying a storm was approaching.

He didn't pay the incoming storm any mind and continued his trek through the trees; the chittering birds and the rodents fussing underneath the bushes his only companions.


Twenty minutes later he found himself in a small clearing in the forest. The trees formed a nearly perfect circle around the field, acting as some kind of natural guardian. The grass here was no longer the deep green it had been a month ago; autumn was nearing and nature knew it.

He didn't care about the grass or the little clusters of flowers dotted all over the field, though. His aim was the dark grey slab of stone standing upright in the middle of the field, acting like some kind of beacon for him. He strode towards it, trampling the grass underneath his shoes, and halted right in front of it; a bit out of breath as if he had run instead of walked.

His eyes traced over the inscription etched into the stone; one he knew by heart by now.

Uchiha Itachi

Older Brother and Protector

Your Duty Is Done; Rest Peacefully

Abruptly the strength in his legs disappeared and he dropped down on the ground, reaching out with his hand to trace the grooves each sign had left behind.

It had all been thanks to Naruto that Itachi had got a tombstone. He didn't know exactly how Naruto had done it, but after weeks of badgering the Council, of having meeting after meeting with the Hokage, a tombstone had been made for Itachi.

He knew the Council hadn't wanted any kind of remembrance for Itachi made. He was a victim of their ruthlessness, proof that they had no mercy for anyone who was different, who could pose opposition towards them.

He was the memory of their darkest sins and none of them had wanted to be reminded of that.

Whatever Naruto had told them, though – it might have even been a threat knowing how fierce the blond had been lobbying for recognition for Itachi – it had made them give in.

A month after Naruto's victory, Itachi's tombstone had been ready.

It was a simple slab of stone, the edges smooth and rounded; no other decoration except for the inscription in the middle of it. There had been no need for extra decoration; Itachi wouldn't have wanted that.

He had elected to put the stone here, in the middle of the forest, instead of letting it join the graves of the other Uchiha. Itachi had loved their family, but he had been an outliner too, straddling the edge between the Uchiha and the outside world. It hadn't felt right to let him rest with the others.

So here his stone stood now; a place where his older brother could finally rest in peace.

"I fucked up again," Sasuke said quietly, pulling his hand away. Bitterness twisted the corners of his mouth as he continued, "Not that that comes as a surprise, huh?"

The leaves rustled in the wind.

"I know it pisses him off," he continued and balled his hand into a fist, pressing it against his thigh. "And I don't want to make him angry, but … I can't help it."

He let out a helpless chuckle. "I'm aware that he'll heal – faster than me – and that the Kyuubi won't let anything bad happen to him, but I just can't … stand the thought of him getting hurt."

If Itachi was here, he'd probably smile sardonically, remind his foolish little brother of the risks that were attached to what they did and Sasuke huffed.

"I just don't want to see him hurt; that isn't so strange, is it? He thinks I don't see him as my equal, that I still think he's weaker than I am and how could he think that? He is my equal, will always be it. There's nobody else."

He's better than me.

It was a thought that regularly popped up in his mind. Naruto had a strength, an unwavering faith that Sasuke didn't have. When Sasuke had been ready to embrace the darkness, let it swallow him up and consume him whole, Naruto had fought against it, never even giving it an inch. He was stronger than Sasuke, always had been even if he himself didn't believe that.

The only other person Sasuke had known in his life that carried that same type of strength had been Itachi. Both his brother and Naruto had always walked in front of him, coaxing him to catch up.

When Sasuke had faltered, Naruto had been there, reaching out with his hand time and time again, no matter what Sasuke said or did.

He'd do it again in a heartbeat, Sasuke knew. That was just how Naruto was. No matter how many times Sasuke would stumble or fall, Naruto would be there for him.

People would say he didn't deserve that; Sasuke would agree with them. Naruto, however, thought he did deserve it and that was enough for the lone Uchiha survivor.

If he had Naruto, nothing else mattered.

"I can't lose him, nii-san," he said quietly. "He's all I have left."

He remained sitting there for a long time. Not even twitching when the first raindrop hit his fist and slid down, leaving a cold trail behind. After that first drop, more followed until the rain beat down with a steady rhythm; the sound of it the only one disturbing the silence blanketing the forest.

He stirred only when he became aware of a second presence in the field, watching him silently. It didn't take long for the other one to approach him and a warm hand settled down on his left shoulder.

"Let's go home," Naruto murmured and he waited until Sasuke had risen up to grab his hand.

He held a firm grip on Sasuke's hand all the way back to their house, but not a word was said between them until the door closed. Only then did Naruto turn around to look at him; he pursed his lips slightly as he took in the sodden through clothes.

He reached out with his hand and touched Sasuke's right temple, brushing his fingers briefly against it before he dropped his hand again. "Let's get you cleaned up," he suggested, tugging the older man gently towards the stairs. "You didn't clean those injuries yet, did you?"

Silently Sasuke shook his head.

"If you don't watch out, you're going to die from an infection," Naruto muttered darkly and ushered Sasuke into the small bathroom.

He helped the dark haired man remove his wet clothes, dropping them down on the floor carelessly. He disappeared briefly into the corridor and when he returned he held out a soft towel to Sasuke. After the towel was wrapped around his waist, Naruto pushed him down on the toilet seat; the pinched look on his face a clear sign he wasn't about to tolerate any protest.

The blond left the bathroom once more. This time it took him a bit longer to return and when he did, he was carrying a first aid kit. Normally they would have Tsunade or Sakura attend to their injuries, but neither man was in the mood to go to Konoha now.

Naruto plopped down on the edge of the bathtub in front of him and opened the white case. Holding out a bottle of disinfectant and some white cloth, he said softly, "This is going to sting."

Soon the familiar burning sensation started as the disinfectant started doing its job, cleaning his wounds, making sure nothing that shouldn't be there was left behind. One by one, wet pieces of cloth were dropped to the floor; each one dirty with grime and blood until the last piece fell, still completely white, signalling his wounds were cleaned.

It was when Naruto was wrapping some bandages around the larger and deeper wounds, bringing him even closer to the injured man than he had been before, that Sasuke found his voice again. "I'm sorry."

Naruto paused, his fingers lingering on Sasuke's left side, pressing the bandage against the pale skin. With a sigh he leant back, but kept his hand against Sasuke's side. "I shouldn't have yelled at you or said those things," Naruto murmured; his thumb stroking back and forth across the bandage. "That was uncalled for. But Sasuke, you can't keep pushing me out of the way every time. I know what I'm doing; I know how to fight. I don't need your protection."

"I know." Sasuke looked down, watching the small puddles on the white tiles. Rain was still streaming down; a steady drumming noise on the roof.

"Then why do you keep doing it?" Naruto asked quietly. "I didn't notice it at the start, but you do this every time when a fight starts to become more serious. I'm not helpless, Sasuke. I don't need you to look out for me."

"But I want to," Sasuke said and looked up, catching blue eyes, darkened with fatigue and frustration. "I know you're not helpless, I know you can hold your own, but … I can't lose you, Naruto. Not after …" He abruptly stopped talking, but the look of comprehension flitting across a tanned face told him his unspoken words had been heard nonetheless.

Not after years of not being with you.

They had lost so much time, so many years, because of how misguided Sasuke had become, how lost he had let himself become in the darkness. He didn't want to lose another second.

"I can't lose you either, bastard," Naruto said, reaching forwards to cup his face. "I get wanting to protect me, because I want to protect you too. But I heal fast, you don't. I can take a lot of hits."

Dark eyes narrowed. "I can take a lot of hits too."

"So not the point, you arsehole," Naruto huffed, squishing his cheeks before his hands relaxed and cupped Sasuke's face once more. "I can take hits that might kill other people. That might injure you too much. You can't expect me to just stand there and watch you take the brunt of the fight, that's not how it works, that's not how we work, you idiot. We're a team, remember? We fight alongside each other."

His hand reached out and circled around Naruto's wrist, tightened around it. "I remember," Sasuke murmured and hesitated before admitting, "I can't help it. You're all I have, usuratonkachi. If I lose you, I don't think I'll be able to go on." He took a shuddering breath; his chest hurting at even the idea of losing Naruto one day.

Naruto brought their foreheads together; his hands slipping down to rest on Sasuke's hips. "You think I'll be able to go on without you?" he asked; his warm breath hitting Sasuke's mouth. "I wouldn't. I fought for you for all those years, I'm not about to let you go that easily. So it would be goddamn peachy if you would stop doing this shit! You're going to make me go prematurely grey, you arsehole, and that's not something Kurama can prevent!"

The last bit came out in a growl and blue eyes flashed. Sasuke huffed out a laugh, feeling strangely light all of a sudden.

"I love you," he sighed, resting his hand on Naruto's thigh.

Cerulean blue eyes narrowed slightly and Naruto huffed, pulling away. "I love you too. Now sit still, I'm not done wrapping those bandages yet!"

"Don't turn me into a mummy, usuratonkachi."

"Shut up, you bastard! See if I do anything nice for you again!"


That night, they made love slowly.

As Naruto moved on top of him, his muscles clenching and relaxing with every upwards and downwards thrust, Sasuke drank in the sight of him. His blond hair glinted in the silver moonlight; his blue eyes burned as they gazed at Sasuke. His pupils had expanded so much that it nearly swallowed the blue colour completely. Sometimes, when a particular thrust hit the sensitive spot deep within him in just the right way, his eyes would flash red; Kyuubi's influence leaking out a bit. Even the seal on his stomach would flare a bit, as if Naruto was on the verge of entering Kyuubi Chakra Mode.

Sasuke never minded seeing those eyes change colour nor was bothered by how close the other man came to entering Kyuubi Chakra Mode; it only made him hungry for more, smug that he was the one who could cause the Jinchuuriki to lose control, and he lunged upwards, catching Naruto's mouth in a deep kiss.

Hands clenched down on his shoulders, nails digging into his skin, as Naruto rode him faster, harder; the both of them chasing after their climax.

When it found them, Sasuke saw white and his name was gasped against his lips before he crushed their mouths together. They rode out their climax together, collapsing on the bed afterwards.

For a while nothing but their panting filled the air, as their heaving chests tried to catch as much breath as possible.

Sasuke turned his head when Naruto entwined their fingers, letting their hands rest between them on the mattress. "What?" he murmured, breathing out slowly, studying the way blue eyes glistened in the semidarkness.

"I'm here, you're here, neither of us is going away," Naruto muttered, shuffling closer to him with an exhausted sigh. "I decided long ago that you wouldn't be able to get rid of me, so you can relax."

Sasuke smiled, the warmth in his chest having nothing to do with the exertion he had put his body through just now, and closed his eyes as Naruto swung a leg over his, resting his head against Sasuke's shoulder. "Usuratonkachi."

"Bastard."

They fell asleep together like they had done every night since the end of the war.

Like they would continue to do so for the rest of their lives.

Together.

The End


AN2: Do I know what I was thinking when I wrote this? Nope (no surprise there).

I hope you enjoyed this oneshot! Please leave a review behind with your thoughts!

Now I'm off to work on my other fics *flounces away*

Cuddles

Melissa



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