It's Okay

BY : Sasunarufan13
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Naruto/Sasuke
Dragon prints: 171
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto nor make profit of it. Kishimoto owns it.

Author's note: Consider this my contribution for Sasuke's birthday today! (It's still before midnight here, it's still his birthday!) More of a drabble according to my standards, but it doesn't always have to be complicated long, right?

Warnings: Sasuke's pov; canon divergent after the war; slash; touch starved Sasuke; minor angst; references to the massacre; time skips; comfort; introspection? (If it can be called that)

I hope you'll like it!

It's Okay

When one's family was slaughtered in just one night, one quickly learnt how to take care of themselves. Sasuke had been forced to learn how to rely on himself only from a rather young age, thanks to the murderous lowlifes that called themselves the Council of Konoha. After that night there was no mother awaiting his arrival with a nice dinner anymore, eager to listen to everything he had learnt that day. There was no father anymore, who he was trying desperately to impress. No big brother anymore that he looked up to and wanted to be like one day.

When he injured himself during sparring now he had to take care of himself; nobody else would. He had to remember to go to the stores on time, because if he forgot that meant going a day without food. He had to be the one to take care of his home now, unless he wanted it to fall into ruins like the rest of the compound. There was no comfort anymore to be found within the loving arms of his mother. All he could do was suck it up and push on until the next day. And the next one. And the one following that.

He watched with apathy how parents embraced their children enthusiastically when they graduated from the Academy. He felt empty when he walked past the small restaurants in Konoha, hearing families celebrate their children's success. His shoulders no longer ached with the missing presence of mother's hugs; touch, of the kind that was gentle and sweet and comforting, became alien to him.

The first time he was touched after the massacre, a touch that didn't belong to the realm of sparring and fighting, Sasuke froze up; his gaze landing on the offending hand resting on his shoulder.

Naruto was leaning over the table, listening to Kakashi as he outlined their new mission, pointing at the unfolded map to indicate their positions. In doing so, Naruto's hand had landed on Sasuke's shoulder, as if using him to brace himself. The touch was light contrary to the support it was seeking and to anyone else it might have even been unnoticeable, except Sasuke was very much aware of the warm weight on him. It rankled him, had his entire body stuck between freezing and convulsing, his mind chanting NO, NO, NO, and then it was gone.

Naruto removed his hand, started pestering Kakashi about something, seemingly unaware of what he had done as he broadly gestured in the air. Across from him Sakura was huffing and rolling her eyes; her arms firmly crossed.

"Kaka-sensei just explained everything, were you even listening?" she scoffed, which had Naruto pouting and Kakashi scratching the back of his head resigned.

Sasuke's shoulder, the one Naruto had used as support, itched the entire day and convinced that a bug had bitten him, that night he stood half-naked in front of the mirror, studying his shoulder intently. He'd expected it to see red, as if he'd suffered a burn, or filled with welts or bumps or … something. Something that would explain this odd itching feeling that had persisted the entire day.

Instead there was nothing; his shoulder looking like it always did.

It should be easy to forget, Naruto's touch. It had not even been that long on his shoulder, fleeting like the wind almost, but for some reason the memory hooked itself into his mind, unrelenting, refusing to disappear.

Perhaps it would have been easy to forget if that had been the first and last time Naruto had touched him. But it wasn't. There were the inevitable touches during sparring, of course, which didn't unsettle Sasuke that much, because one couldn't spar without touching each other at least a couple of times. But there were touches outside of sparring too: quick brushes against his arms and shoulders. Enthusiastic slaps against his back before Naruto would reign himself in. Fingers – always so warm, no matter the weather – closing around his wrist, dragging him along to Ichiraku's. A closed fist bumping against his after every successful fight.

Those touches were fleeting at first, short, never lasting too long and would be unnoticeable almost if not for Sasuke's fixation on them after not having been touched for so long. But as time passed by, Naruto grew bolder, slinging his arm around Sasuke's shoulders, or as he seemed to prefer, his neck, dragging him closely against the smaller boy's body. He had reacted as if stung by a bee the first time, hissing and ducking away from Naruto's arm immediately. Naruto had eyed him curiously, as if not aware of what he had done, but hadn't called Sasuke out on it. He had merely bounded over to Kakashi once their sensei had shown up, berating the older man for being late once again.

The second time Naruto wrapped his arm around Sasuke's neck, Sasuke was a bit more prepared. He had seen the arm coming, had felt the excitement pouring off the blond boy in waves, but curiously his body remained in place when Naruto slung his arm around him. He could feel Naruto's elbow hooked around his neck, his armpit slotting over Sasuke's shoulder, his balled fist resting across Sasuke's chest as he started blabbing about his last move which had knocked out the thief in front of them.

The weight of his arm felt paradoxically both heavy and light, warm and cold; the sensation lingering long after Naruto had lowered his arm and pulled away.

It wasn't as if he sought out Naruto's touch intentionally, because he still preferred to be on his own, rely on himself only as he had done since he'd been eight, but … Somehow the evenings following the days when Naruto would touch him one way or the other were easier on him. He could sit in his room, watch his reflection in the large window, and for that evening he would feel almost … at ease. The heavy stone clinging to his chest ever since he'd seen mother's and father's dead bodies would grow just a sliver lighter during those evenings, allowing his lungs to expand just a bit more, making breathing a little easier.

For just that evening, falling asleep would go almost as smoothly as it had done when his family had still been alive.

His clan's massacre taught him to be strong, to never show weakness, no matter what happened. If he showed weakness, it would be over for him. If he broke down, he would let the Council win and he refused to grant them that victory.

The months following Itachi's death and the horrible revelation tied to that proved to him that he could only trust himself. There was nobody else in the world he could trust still, the nations' decision to brand him as a criminal just reinforcing the fact that he was alone, that he would always be alone. He could only count on himself, could only trust his own strength to pull him through.

Then the war happened. Madara happened. Kaguya happened.

And Sasuke realised he wasn't alone after all. One person had always been there, right at his side even when he had done everything in his power to cut the last remaining ties between them.

He had done his best to get swallowed by the darkness – and he had fallen straight into the light instead.

The entire morning had been spent walking through the forest. Normally he had a purpose, a goal in mind that sent him across all corners of the world, but today was not such a day. Today the stone was back, resting heavily on his chest, and after a long moment of hesitation he heaved a huge sigh and turned around; dead twigs snapping underneath his shoes. Instead of making the long trek back, he simply opened an array and stepped through it.

He walked straight into their bedroom, blinking to adjust to the dimmed light. The curtains hadn't been drawn yet, he realised and for a couple of seconds he simply remained standing there, looking around him.

Footsteps neared the room and he turned around, his remaining arm resting limply at his side. Naruto appeared in the doorway; his eyes lightening up just a smidgen.

"I thought I felt a portal opening," he murmured and stepped into the room; his eyes roving across Sasuke's body, taking in his satchel and the cloak he had yet to divest. His eyebrows drew together. "Didn't have any success in that place?"

"Just …" Sasuke concentrated on his breathing, releasing it slowly, "My mind isn't in it today."

The answer was vacuous, almost childish, and his shoulders crept up; the first stirrings of shame brewing deep in the pit of his stomach. It was inane, feeling this way when he was already twenty-four. Idiotic after so many years of being on his own, of relying only on himself, knowing comfort was no longer available to him.

Naruto's face, however, softened with understanding and he closed the remaining distance between them, pulling Sasuke's satchel away from him. The bag was left on the floor, slumped against the end of the bed, and then Naruto's hands were back, helping him remove his cloak.

Once the cloak was gone as well, Naruto rested his hands on Sasuke's shoulders; the weight of them warm and real. His thumbs started rubbing circles, digging slightly into Sasuke's skin.

"You want to lie down?" Naruto suggested softly, keeping up the soothing movement.

For just a few seconds Sasuke's instinct was to rebel, to snap that he didn't need to be coddled, that he was fucking fine. But he didn't feel fine; his head fuzzy and heavy and everything in him longed to just give in, to stop being strong for just one day.

"It's okay," Naruto whispered; his kiss a wispy touch against Sasuke's cheek.

He smiled when Sasuke turned his head, catching his mouth in an actual kiss this time. They stood there kissing for a little while, the world bleeding away around them while Sasuke got lost in the sensation of Naruto's lips moving against his; their breath mingling.

The back of his legs bumping into something both hard and soft had him opening his eyes, tensing up before he realised Naruto had shuffled the both of them over to the bed. Their mouths parted, the sound slick and smooth, and Sasuke watched Naruto walk around the bed to the other side, sitting down to pull off his slippers. After removing his own shoes, Sasuke laid down on the bed gingerly, staring up at the ceiling. There were still cracks there, the cottage they were calling their home now still in need of some repairs, and he really should make a start on that before the ceiling would collapse. In fact he should start on the garden as well, because Naruto had been wanting to plant flowers for such a long time now and he still hadn't –

The fuzziness in his mind died down when arms wrapped firmly around his chest, pulling him into a firm, strong, warm back. Naruto tangled their legs together, one leg sliding between Sasuke's, curling around his ankle, and Sasuke watched how one of Kyuubi's chakra arms bubbled forth to grasp the sheets at the foot end of the bed. It dragged the sheets over the both of them, pulling it all the way over their shoulders. Once they were both covered, Kyuubi's chakra arm seeped back into Naruto's skin. Sasuke imagined what Kyuubi had to say about that, the use of his chakra for someone like Sasuke, and he smiled faintly. No doubt Kyuubi would have some choice words about that, but if he and Naruto were currently arguing about it, Naruto didn't let it show.

He tucked his head against the back of Sasuke's neck instead; his warm breath hitting Sasuke's skin in slow, measured exhales. His hands coaxed open Sasuke's, which he belatedly realised he had clenched into fists. As soon as his hands were open, relaxed, Naruto's fingers slotted through his own, curling around his and he rested them against Sasuke's chest. He felt like a blanket himself now, covering Sasuke almost entirely; his body heat seeping straight through the double layer of their clothes.

"It's okay," Naruto murmured, his thumb running slowly back and forth across the back of Sasuke's hand.

Sasuke closed his eyes and focused on the steady presence of the thumb caressing his hand, on the warm body curled around his own. He inhaled their combined scent clinging onto the pillow underneath his cheek.

The massacre of his clan had taught him to be strong, to never show any weakness.

Naruto was teaching him that sometimes it was okay not to be strong. It was okay to give in and seek comfort, because it didn't make him weak.

It made him human.

He pressed their hands tighter against his chest, felt Naruto curling tighter around him; a soothing humming tone filling the air between them.

The stone was gone.

The End

AN2: Sasuke deserves a good hug, okay, and who better to give that to him than Naruto?

Please leave your thoughts behind in a review; should you spot any mistakes, please point them out to me.

I hope to see you all back in my future stories! Please stay safe and take care of yourselves!



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