[Proper version, Please review here] Naruto is too restless to sleep and his thoughts are centred on Sasuke, whom he hasn't seen in a year. "A soft tapping echoing through the entrance hall sna...
Originally this was a two-shot but I'm not sure if I should go on. It's up to the reviews I get whether I finish.
This isn't a song-fic but it was spawned from listening to 'Lips of an angel' by Hinder. Also my first AU. I would love some feedback.
Disclaimer: Don't own Naruto, that is Kishimoto's pleasure.
Not all stories begin with the construction of location where it is set. This is not one of them. Yet there is not much to describe, unless you have never been to a city and do not know its' characteristic sights and sounds.
As it is, this city is no different to any other, even in the darkness. The major roads and highways of the place where people called home never truly slept. Tonight began a glorious weekend and the more adventurous individuals partied at the clubs or populated the normally deserted and noiseless streets of the inner city.
The further from the heart one travelled, the less alive the rest of the suburbs seemed to be. Shrouded in shadows but for the occasional lamppost, the inhabitants of the residential areas choose the sweet oblivion of sleep.
The rumble of the infrequent traffic from the nearby highway faded as silence settled in a comfortable blanket over the neat suburban street. The octagonal clock hanging inconspicuously on the wall in an entrance hall ticked the seconds a quarter hour before midnight.
Hinata lay tucked under the warm covers, dreaming peacefully about the two men whom she loved in this life. Her expression was gentle, like it was when awake and nothing disturbed her slumber. Not even the soft rhythmic padding leaking through the chamber door that had been left ajar, letting a yellow bar of light stray across the end of the bed.
Had the quiet but confident woman been aware of the noise, a small fond smile would have graced her features as it reminded her of the love they shared.
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Naruto was restless again tonight. Somehow, for some reason, he had not been able to go to bed at his usual hour for the past few days. Tonight the blonde could not force his self to sleep as his mind was too caught up in thought of the two people he loved. His feet moved automatically over the wooden floor in a habit strangely picked up from his raven-haired best friend. Speaking of said man, Naruto's contemplation focused more heavily on their complex past.
Their first encounter was when the blue-eyed twenty-year-old began a new job at a small gourmet cafÃ© in the city. Apparently it was Sasuke's favourite place to be during the long breaks he took each work day, escaping the responsibilities shouldered as a board member of Heaven Projects. As quiet and refined as the Uchiha was, Naruto found the snippets of conversation they managed in between the blonde serving were quite enjoyable. True most of it was very mundane and often Sasuke wouldn't answer with more than a few words or noises, but the young men became good friends in what seemed no time at all.
It was a couple of months since the two seemingly opposite people had started hanging out together outside of work that Naruto began to investigate the strong feelings he had towards Sasuke. Well really it was the strange bout of jealously clawing low in his abdomen one day which kicked it all off.
The Uchiha had appeared at his usual table in the corner of the cafÃ© facing the window. Naruto finished with the customer he was with and made his way over to the raven to see if he wanted the usual. The employee was surprised when Sasuke said that he was waiting for someone and he'd order then. Naruto figured it was an important business partner because the dark haired man had always been alone before this.
The blonde was even more startled when a woman with similar appearance to Sasuke embraced him with the familiarity of a lover. He couldn't help but steal envious glances in the couple's direction while he worked, watching as the Uchiha's attitude slid from aloof businessman to affectionate - overly so - friend. Naruto was not entirely relieved once the brunette man introduced her to him as Hinata, a long time friend and ex-girlfriend.
Not being one to withhold and twist his emotions until they didn't resemble their original meanings - probably hurting him and other people in the process - Naruto came clean to whom he realised was his first male crush.
Naruto smiled unconsciously at the memory of his confession.
A light flush had washed over Sasuke's pale cheeks, an adorable reaction the blonde later relished in bringing out. Once Naruto had moved from embarrassment to nervous anticipation, the dark-eyed raven also admitted having feelings. That talk and several others like it led them into a loving relationship.
For four years the two men were quite happy being together, falling even deeper in love until they were able to declare that their relationship would last forever without blushing madly. The wild-spiked blonde recalled the memory where they had whiled away a few hours debating the subject of love, which - funnily enough and cutely, Naruto thought now - had ended with a wonderful make-out session during a golden sunset.
Sometime during his reminiscing Naruto had stopped pacing and he suddenly frowned down at the polished floorboard he stood upon.
Sasuke and Hinata had freely revealed the reason why they separated when their blue-eyed friend asked them about it, since it was obvious to him that the pair still shared feelings. He just never thought history would repeat itself in his stronger and closer bond with the Uchiha. However, exactly like the dark haired woman, Naruto had almost had to force Sasuke into to agreeing with the blonde to ending the physically-intimate part of their relationship. That was just over two years ago.
The corner of the restless pyjama-clad man's lips lifted with a bitter sweet quirk, his beautiful cerulean eyes half closed.
If Naruto hadn't come to know Sasuke so thoroughly inside and out he would never have realised the raven was being slowly smothered. The pale-skinned romantic prankster of a lover was totally unaware of the phenomenon ever happening until the first time Hinata, and then the second time Naruto, had told him.
As ruthless and successful as his portrayal of a businessman was, the attitude of Sasuke Uchiha did a complete turnaround when it came to his precious people. The tanned blonde had literally gloried in the softness and caring that was Sasuke in love.
A soft tapping echoing through the entrance hall snapped Naruto from his sleeplessness-induced contemplation.
His brow creased in confusion, no one he knew would visit unannounced in the middle of the night. Bare feet crept along the corridor up to the door before quietly unlocking and opening the door lest he wake Hinata with the noise.
A gasp tried to escape his throat but died in the attempt. Instead the only sign of Naruto's tension was the tightening of tan fingers around the doorknob.
What little illumination from the full moon that had managed to flow under the roof of the covered porch, threw one side of the dark haired man standing in front of him into sharp relief. Azure orbs softened at the warming smile Sasuke sent his way. Naruto retreated a few steps to let him in, the Uchiha was always welcomed in Naruto and Hinata's place; they wouldn't have it any other way.
They moved into the lounge, where Naruto had turned on a couple of low lamps to see during his restless wander. The blonde man witnessed Sasuke's creamy skin glow healthily in the new light, rather than the pasty white it had been in the darkness outside. He let go of the breath he had been unconsciously holding when he saw his love so ghostlike.
Sasuke hadn't said a single word since entering, not even a simple greeting. He took time to let his dark-grey gaze sweep over the room and what could be seen beyond the archways. Naruto didn't mind the silence. This was just who Sasuke was, plus it gave the blonde some time to clear his thoughts.
His visit actually kind of confused the younger man. The Uchiha had been on a year long trip to another city for Heaven Projects to supervise an endeavour the company was backing. Naruto knew - because Sasuke had told him - that the man had come home yesterday and was constantly attending company meetings and so had not had the time for either Naruto or Hinata to drop in on him. They had scheduled to meet for lunch the day after tomorrow to celebrate his return.
The smooth voice belonging to Sasuke instantly grounded the blonde's mind. Naruto shouldn't care why the handsome man was here instead of in some meeting Sasuke said might run all night.
He replied softly. "Sasuke."
An almost inaudible sigh left the raven, which revealed that Sasuke had been anxious just before. Crystal eyes settled onto the other's slate ones, which deepened to black whenever he felt intensely.
"Sasuke, what are you doing here so late?"
"I just needed to see the people I love." His head dipped slightly fringe swinging over his eyes, missing the affectionate expression on Naruto. "Is Hinata asleep?"
"Yeah." The blonde absently waved a hand towards the bedroom door, to show they needed to keep their voices down. He didn't expect Sasuke to walk over to it though.
The raven man gently pushed the door open until his lean frame could pass easily. Naruto followed his best friend in curiosity. Sasuke padded silently to Hinata's side of the bed, watching the steady rise and fall of her body. A smile graced his lips as if remembering the good times the two dark haired people had had together.
The tips of his slender fingers lightly brushed Hinata's hair aside, exposing her forehead. With a finer grace than the Uchiha had shown previously, Sasuke bent down and placed a butterfly kiss on his first love's pale skin. The action was nostalgic, for he did that whenever he wanted to support his two precious people.
Slightly confused at Sasuke's need to reassure, Naruto stopped leaning in the doorframe and retreated to the lounge. For some reason just watching the scene brought a slight pang of pain to his chest. Sasuke reappeared a moment later, coming to stand beside the pyjama-clad blonde. The shorter man felt like melting into the other's intoxicating presence.
"I-I never stopped loving you."
Sasuke didn't say anything. He pulled Naruto into the soothing embrace they had once shared as lovers. The blue-eyed man rested his head against the raven's shoulder, soaking in the warm comfort of Sasuke's body. They stood in silence, for how many minutes Naruto didn't know, but the deepening of his love's breath indicated he was about to speak.
A faint, emotional "I'm sorry" was whispered into the spiky blonde locks. Naruto really didn't know what he was apologising for. He pulled away to look at Sasuke and was about to ask what the hell he was talking about. Slate-almost-onyx caught him in a searing gaze.
"Please remain your happy self Naruto." There was an edge to his voice but the younger man couldn't figure what it meant. "And take care of your self and Hinata for me."
Now Naruto was thoroughly puzzled. Sasuke was being as gentle as he was when the pair was in their head-over-heels-in-love relationship. "You know I will Sasuke" Naruto answered.
The raven smiled at the response, seemingly content with those words. Sasuke released the other from his hold, hands finding and cupping those tanned cheeks. Naruto's breath hitched momentarily as Sasuke gave him a deep and chaste kiss. Sasuke backed off but remained close enough for their breaths to mingle.
The voice that sounded so sweet to Naruto resounded about him in their intimacy. "I still love you Naruto." Then the warmth was gone.
His eyes must have shut at some point for Naruto opened them in time to see the person he cherished deeply disappear through the archway. The soft click of the front door closing jerked the blonde from his blissful, dazed state.
Naruto suddenly felt the waves of tiredness catching up with him. His eyelids became heavy but he managed to get into the bedroom and slip under the covers without any accidents. The residual happiness of Sasuke's visit curled around his heart and settled like a secure blanket, easing the blonde into a much needed rest.
- - -
Small hands shook his shoulders harshly, hastily trying to wake the still sleeping blonde. Naruto cracked bleary eyes and winced at the bright sunlight pouring into them from the uncovered window.
There was an urgent and distressed edge in Hinata's tone he had never heard her use before. That fact alone acted like a bucket of ice water, his mind instantly clear of sleepy haze. Naruto focused his attention on the dark haired woman's face. He was concerned to find the still wet tracks of tears down her cheeks.
"Hinata, why ar-?" He was cut off by the strong tug on his wrist.
Hinata had grabbed his arm and started dragging the man into the lounge where their television was set on the morning news. She dropped the limb she had stolen and lightly brought her arms around herself.
Naruto looked concernedly at her but Hinata just shook her head and pointedly turned to the screen. "Just watch" she said, voice barely loud enough to hear.
The droning of the news turned from background noise to actual words as the blonde concentrated on watching the article.
Naruto stared, oddly fascinated as the implications of the first sentence coupled with Hinata's interest sunk in.
"Several people were involved in a tragic accident last night."
The newsreader's voice became strangely distant to his ears but the words were crystal clear.
"A drunk driver swerved onto the other side of a major road and collided with two cars travelling in the opposite direction. The sedan of young couple Chen and Yun Hotaru was heavily side swiped in the accident and they were treated on site with minor injuries."
Naruto felt slight confusion. Sure his girlfriend was compassionate but this was not reason for the sorrow she was showing. The expectant aura Hinata gave meant the cause was still to come.
"However, the other vehicle, whose occupants were prominent members of Heaven Projects Sasuke Uchiha and Sakumo Hatake, was involved in a head-on collision with the drunk driver's car."
His lungs suddenly felt devoid of air and hands took on a slight trembling. Sasuke was hurt; his beloved raven had been hurt.
"Both business men received serious wounds to the torso and legs and were rushed to Hinokuni Hospital. Sasuke Uchiha also sustained head trauma but sadly died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital around eleven pm. Sakumo Hatake is said to be stable..."
The blonde didn't hear the rest of the newscast for his hearing had tuned out, bodily functions shutting down from extreme shock. Everything seemed so surreal to Naruto's grief stricken mind. He had only seen Sasuke in his brief visit last night after a year long absence.
Naruto began gasping in the need for oxygen as he suddenly cried, salty tears coursing down his scarred cheeks. Had Sasuke known? He was so gentle, had he known he was going to die?
The young man felt but couldn't comprehend the meaning when slim arms wrapped around his trembling form, enveloping him in warmth. The embrace was firm and comforting but also knowing and understanding the pain raking through the lovers' hearts.
Hinata held onto the distraught blonde, even when his legs refused to support his weight any more, and she let both of them slip to the soft carpet of the lounge room.
The dark haired woman knew exactly what Naruto was feeling. Though he had had a stronger bond with Sasuke than she did, Hinata had still continued to love the raven after they broke up. Nothing, not even her current happy relationship with the blonde, changed that single fact. It was true for Naruto as well. Once you loved Sasuke Uchiha and those feelings were returned then he'd stay forever in your heart.
Naruto continued to grieve within Hinata's arms as she gently rocked in a motion to calm him down. His head was tucked under her chin so tears soaked into her shirt, mingling with the ones the brunette had already shed.
Time became unimportant that day as Sasuke Uchiha's two most precious people in the world mourned the loss of a deep bond.
The crying receded eventually, the blonde man having run out of tears and the energy to shed them. No longer oblivious to everything else, he shifted to ease the soreness in his legs. Hinata helped him into a more comfortable sitting position when she felt him moving.
Naruto was left unusually coherent though exhausted in the wake of his grief. Small facts began pestering him to think and he acquiesced to the thoughts. He started with abruptness of the brunette waking him up and the expecting attitude.
The woman in question swept an observatory gaze over Naruto's face and saw that he was almost ready to talk about Sasuke's death.
"How did you know about that accident and the news article?"
Hinata could hear the trembling in his voice but decided to ignore it for the moment, sure that her own was similar. "Hatake-san's son, Kakashi-san rang early this morning. The hospital never had record for Sasuke and didn't know who to contact but Kakashi-san said he'd do it for them when they called him about his father. He told me that there were some press hanging around the hospital, apparently word got to the media before midnight."
Naruto blinked at the information. "Wait, midnight?"
"Naruto, the crash happened at eleven o'clock."
Azure eyes widened in stark confusion and realisation. He shook his head trying to make sense of his thought. But Sasuke's visit last night was after eleven, almost twelve. Naruto made sure the clocks in house were never wrong, so that was ruled out. Maybe his worry over the raven had made him dream everything that happened the night before. Deep down instincts refused to accept that, it was real, it had been too real to be a fantasy.
The blonde's love of the supernatural laid out what would seem a plausible explanation before him. His eyes glaze as he searched the memory of Sasuke. Had his love been a ghost?
"I still love you Naruto."
The warmth of those tender hands disappeared from his face. Naruto opened blue eyes to protest the retreat and in want to hold him for just a little bit longer. But he could do nothing but stare at the raven's back.
Sasuke had stopped momentarily by the arch to the hallway. Moonlight shimmered and glinted along his clothed back - where there should have been none - and flared above and beside his dark head. Naruto imagined absently that the play of light resembled feathered wings.
With one last glance back to his blonde soul mate, Sasuke's fine features shone with the strange glow gathered around his form. Then he was gone.
No, not a ghost, Naruto thought. "I always said he was an angel."