He may have been putting everyone in danger with this, but he knew that Naruto would do the same if any of them were ever in trouble. He opened the sliding door all too forcefully, all eyes on him as he briskly walked inside.

"I need all your help."

Pride and all, they can go to hell. Naruto needed his help, everyone's help. And he's ready to throw even his name at the dumps if it means he'd get to see his blonde again.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Warning: Violence and swearing. And a bit of NejiGaa.

Chapter 22: Endless Nightmare

Fugaku stood beside his table in his office, busy talking to someone with phone in hand and the other one scribbling something on a paper. He raised the paper for Itachi to read. Itachi nodded as Fugaku ordered him to contact Shikaku Nara and Jiraiya to inform them about what had happened. As his son exited the room, he saw his wife bring in a cup of coffee, nodding in appreciation as he took the cup and put it down the table.

"Are you sure he's the only one?" The eldest Uchiha asked, brows creasing as he glared at nothing in particular. He had his cousin Obito narrow down people who had connections with Madara when he was still alive, and he was told that Madara had only one apprentice that had been staying beside him all the time.

"I met him once during a business trip to Tokyo. He's like an adopted son of uncle, said he had been found in an alley or something. He had short but really red colored hair back then, and it actually matches the color of his eyes. A bit creepy." Obito added from the other line of the call.

Itachi came back into his father's office with Jiraiya in tow. Fugaku nodded and ended the call, not before expressing his gratitude towards his kind cousin. He dismissed the call and acknowledged the presence of the old guy with the long gray hair.

"I don't know how to apologi-"

"You are not to blame, Fugaku. The brat had been in turmoil; he didn't know what he's doing, and the captor took advantage of it." Jiraiya cut off as he made his way inside, straight to the laptop that Fugaku had been looking at.

They observed the surrounding of the video Kurama had sent earlier. Dark, spacious room with lots of junk tables and chairs made of metal. A huge slanted pipe that probably gave in years ago. Cracks on the bricked wall and wet floor with sounds of waterdrops in the background.

Itachi watched his father and Jiraiya talk quietly, knowing that they're trying to figure out how many abandoned buildings are there around Konoha. He thought -rather, he hoped- that it might've been a lot closer. Shikaku came with two other cops, one which Itachi recognized.


"Itachi... I heard about the incident. You okay?" A large-built man (with a skin mysteriously blue), walked in and straight to his long-time friend, observing the mast on his left slender arms with concern-filled eyes. He saw Itachi nod his head slightly with a soft smile, indicating that he's just alright. The shark-guy looked around for a bit.
"Where's your baby brother?"

Itachi smiled and nodded his head towards the laptop that his father and other three gentlemen inspects.
"He's out to make his move on his own."

"What? And you let him go?" Kisame bit in disbelief. He knows all too well how overprotective Itachi can get towards his little brother. He saw the smaller guy shrug in this comment before he replied.

"Sasuke is smart, and he isn't rash. I have faith in him that he won't go somewhere to get himself in danger." The raven's expression changed drastically from calm to fierce, glaring at the video that was playing on the screen of the laptop.
"But we have to get all hands we could just to get our youngest brother back."

Kisame had heard about the Uchiha adopting a kid near Sasuke's age and knew a bit about Naruto. After all, the blonde's case had been one of the cases his department is having for years.

"This will all end soon, Itachi. You've got to hang on. Of course, I'll also do my very best to end this." Kisame felt the urge to pat the raven's head, but held back when he noticed Mikoto bringing in a tray of coffees for the new guests.
"Good Evening."

"Oh, Kisame, dear... Thank you for coming.." Mikoto's eyes were glaced with unshed tears and they're red of crying all night. Kisame smiled gently at the woman, who smiled back and disappeared again from the room.

"This ordeal's taking its toll on everyone..." Kisame murmured. Itachi eyed his friend, then looked back at the laptop. The video had already stopped and Shikaku was pulling up another laptop, using a map to locate the areas that best described the one at the video.

It will take them long before they pinpoint where this Kurama guy brought Naruto.

The sound of water drops are the only thing he could make up as he woke up from a dreamless sleep. He would've done his usual morning routine when he wakes up, but yawning made him wince when a crack on his lips opened up; drawing blood. He could tell because he was lapping at it unconsciously. He felt a surge of pain run through his body. Why does he hurt? Why is it so dark? Wait. Where's Sasuke?

"Sa..su..." he found himself unable to form words because even his jaws are in pain. He touched the area and eyes went wide when he felt liquid there. Putting his hand in front of his face, his eyes locked their sight on a bloody hand. Panic coursed through his system. He's bleeding! No wonder why it hurt so much he can't even move. A slight shuffling of feet reminded him of where he was and what situation he's into.

"You awake, huh? Come on, don't lose consciousness on me like that... I won't be able to hear your scream of agony while I trace your body with this.." the maliscious voice of his captor echoed through the whole place and he closed his eyes as he felt the cold sensation of a metal running through his thighs.
"I can't wait to do the same to that fucker who killed my master..."

Naruto flinched. This guy wanted to hurt Fugaku the same way he's doing to him. He can't let that happen.
"N-No... Do...n't.. P-Plea-"

"Tsk tsk tsk... You don't know what I've been through all this time eversince I found out that he's gone. I lost purpose in life. I've been shunned out of the company. While that fucker... He lived in bliss. He fucking lived in luxury!" the knife that was running through Naruto's inner thigh had slightly cut through his tanned skin, drawing blood that made the blonde hiss in pain; but he didn't scream. His mind is focused on what Kurama was saying.


"Haah? What are you tryin' to say dear Naru?" Kurama blew into the tanned ears that made the blonde shiver.

"I-It's... a-an... accide..."

Even without finishing what he had been saying, Kurama figured out what he was trying to say and anger rose withing the depth of his being, slamming the knife at the side of Naruto's head.
"Don't fuck with me! He killed him! He burned him! There was no way it's an accident! That fucker and his family deserves to die! You and me will remain! You will be mine and the rest will die!"

Naruto wanted to scream. He wanted to tell this person that his revenge would be meaningless. The death of Madara was an accident, an accident caused by the victim himself. But Kurama continued being hysterical.

"That fucker doesn't have any idea what I have been all these years! Master... Only master had been kind enough to give me a shelter, showered me with attention, and gave me home. Then all of a sudden he's gone! And now he dared claim that it was a fucking accident?! Then what?! Ignore my existence again?! I've become accustomed to being alone before I met master, I began to forget the way to cope with it! What do you suggest I do with my fucking life?! Haah?!"

He's been alone since then...

Naruto willed himself to understand Kurama's frustration, to understand his pain.

Just like what I've been until I met Sasuke...

Ignoring the pain that ran through his bleeding arms, the little distance those chains could allow him made him able to gently touch Kurama's cheek; making the older guy stop being hysterical and draw his eyes towards Naruto's crystal blue ones.

"It... was... sad... ri...ght?" Naruto forced himself to form the words as the searing pain ran through his system, but he had to do this. He had to tell Kurama this, or it will be too late for the older guy. Taking several deep breaths, he continued talking while smiling gently at Kurama.

"Being alone..." another deep breath. "Is sad..." he panted as he felt his lungs tighten with lack of air. His mind is slipping into unconsciousness once again, but with mere will power, he was able to say the last bit of his speech before he finally gave in.
"I... I'll be here..." and with that, Kurama stared wide-eyed at the now sleeping blonde.

The warm hand that was stroking his cheeks fell, but he caught it and put it back where it had been; hoping that the warmth would linger much longer, not realizing that he began to weep while listening to the younger guy's words. Right then and there, he realized; Naruto had been alone all the time, just like him. And despite being kidnapped and being used to get to his evil intentions; seeking revenge, hurting him, even though he had nothing to do with it; the young blonde still had the heart to understand his pain. He still had the heart to reach out to him. What an angel he is.

The sudden urge to protect the bleeding innocent blonde in front of him washed over the red-hair, along with the regret of raising a hand against him. He removed his leather jacket and draped it over the naked form of the young blonde; at the same time, he heard the sound of metal against the ground and his head whipped to his left side. It was too late, he felt pain at the back of his head, and suddenly; something had blocked his view of the young blonde. Sasuke stood there, glaring at him as he blocked Kurama's way to Naruto with his own body.

"I won't forgive you for hurting him." the words were filled with fury that Kurama almost flinched at the tone the young raven used. Almost. He can't let this kid loose, he's the son of Fugaku after all; on top of that, he dare make some distance between himself and his Naruto. He is the one to protect the beautiful blonde.

His confusion with Naruto's words earlier changed into pure madness when he noticed that the people that surrounded him were a bunch of kids, no Uchiha Fugaku in sight.

"The fuck are you brats doing here? Where is that fucker of an Uchiha?" He scanned the area with his red-blood orbs; spotting four more brats other than Sasuke.
"How the hell did you get in here?"

A lazy-looking young man stepped forward, his eyes surprisingly hostile as he took a once over at the unconscious blonde on Sasuke's arms.
"Let's just assume that brats these days aren't stupid enough to just run in the most abandoned places here in Konoha."

Kurama's anger rose once again after the Nara's speech, but then panic overwhelmed him when he saw Sasuke run towards Shikamaru and Kiba with Naruto in his arms. He put out a knife from his pocket and ran towards the group when a blur of red flashed in front of him, and the next thing he knew his face was against the floor with his hand with the knife twisted behind him and someone was restricting his movements. For sure this fellow had done his martial arts lesson, but they're pushing their luck. Kurama used his knee to push against the floor, and whoever it was trying to restrain him probably had a body tad too small compared to his grown-up one.

Gaara fell back; Neji had been in time to avoid his red-haired companion from slamming his body against the floor. Jade-colored orbs glared at the older red-head, but then they had to get away from the knife that was currently being slashed carelessly through the air.

"You fuckers! You have no idea what you're doing! A bunch of brats won't get away with this! If you dare take Naruto away from me, I swear I'll take your heads together with the fucking Uchihas!"

A few hours earlier, Sasuke stood in front of Naruto's friends. Most of them seemed confused as to why Sasuke, of all people, would gather them like this. Because, there was no connection at all. Well, none, except Naruto.

Speaking of Naruto.

"Where is Naruto?" Sakura asked no one in particular. She had seen the tension coming from the three stoic personality in the room, namely; Gaara, Neji and Sasuke, but still cannot figure out what's going on.

Hinata had a little knowledge on what her cousin had been doing for the past few years, so she asked nervously, hands being held tight by her boyfriend, Kiba.

"D-Did something happened to N-Naruto-kun?"

Her question made Sasuke flinch, and everyone inside the room felt the tension suddenly rising.

"Seems so, huh." Neji spoke in a curt tone.

"What? What happened to Naruto?" this time, it was Kiba who asked, suddenly aware about how serious the situation was.

Gaara looked at Neji, then they both looked at Sasuke, who seemed contemplating on how to start the conversation without dragging it out further. They have no time, they needed to save Naruto fast.

After hearing about the situation, Shikamaru, who had been quiet all this time, laid out some plans that had everyone search every part of the Konoha that could match the place Sasuke described.

They had pointed several places on the map, and had been lucky enough to narrow down their search before proceeding to action.

Shikamaru would make a good cop, that's what Sasuke thought.

Kurama had gone mad as he swung the knife endlessly, making Neji and Gaara back away.

"Sasuke! Kiba! Shikamaru! We'll buy us some time, Get Naruto out of here! The police are on their way, we'll keep him here til then!" Neji screamed; picking up a piece of tube, using it against the older man's knife.

I wish we had guns.. Tsk.

Of course they weren't allowed to use those. Even though they have been working with the police for years, they're still minors, not a full-fledged official.

Sasuke and the other two did as instructed. They all know how good Neji and Gaara are on martial arts, and they really have to bring the blonde to the hospital; he was still bleeding after all.

When they emerged from the abandoned place, that's the moment the police arrived. Kisame was the first one to get off the vehicle, running his way to Sasuke; Itachi in tow. Kisame offered his arms to receive the unconscious blonde from the young raven, but Itachi walked past him and took Naruto instead.

"Nii-sa-" before Sasuke even finish his words, Itachi lightly knocked his head and scolded him sternly.

"Foolish little brother. I was sure you'd call me before rushing in, I never thought Neji would be the one to report in about the place..." collecting the blonde into the safety of his uninjured arm, Itachi sighed in relief when he noticed that none of the wounds are critical.
"Call father and tell them we'd proceed to the nearest hospital. We'll meet them there."

"That bastard is still inside with Neji and Gaara." Kiba spoke, eyeing Naruto and Itachi. Dense as he is, he failed to see the connection between the two; how can Itachi be this affectionate to the blonde anyway?

"Those two are fine young forces, but they're unarmed; we'll take care of the rest." Kisame chimed in, his hand signals the rest of the force to enter the building.
"There is only one crazy guy there! But don't let your guards down!" He shouted and heard several 'roger that' as his response.

Itachi and Sasuke along with Kiba and Shikamaru went inside one of the police cars and it sped off to the nearest hospital. They failed to hear a gunshot from inside the building followed by the screeching noise of a tire against the asphalt ground.

Fugaku's car was parked outside the emergency entrance of the Konoha Hospital with Mikoto by his side. They just received a call from Sasuke about the situation, making Mikoto tear up in relief and fear. Their kids were still in danger if they're out of their reach. Another car came from the opposite side of the street that halted in front of the hospital, and Jiraiya came into view.

"He got away!" he shouted towards Fugaku and Mikoto. Shikaku was just behind Fugaku's car with his own vehicle. He immediately used his phone to contact Kisame. The shark guy answered the phone shortly.

"He was hiding a gun, and one of the brat police were shot on the leg. He used that moment to steal one police car and is now following Itachi's. We're at their tail, but he's too fast we're afraid we'd need back-up."

Shikaku clicked his tongue as he whipped up another phone to contact the headquarters. The brats rushing in like they did made a huge impact on his plans, although it was their work to pinpoint Naruto's whereabouts. It made him nonetheless proud about his son for having a brilliant mind figuring things out several steps further than what he could come up.

Shikamaru... You cheeky brat.

Now is not the time to mentally praise his son though; a report came, saying that the criminal who went after the police car -where Itachi and the others were in- had managed to catch up and prevent them for taking Naruto. He hopped inside his vehicle to rush over the scene, Jiraiya and the Uchiha couple's car moving behind.

Earlier that evening; right when Shikamaru, Kiba, and Sasuke with Naruto in his arms had gotten away from the scene, Gaara and Neji coordinated to at least keep the captor from once again having contact with Naruto. At last, they have come as far as to face this bastard who dared messing with their favorite blonde's life. Naruto was the sole reason both young men decided to join the forces in their young age. Both of them treat Naruto as their benefactor; who changed their view in life. They had a rather negative view of their own lives and acted withdrawn; they even mocked Naruto for being stupidly enthusiastic at every particular things, but when they learned that the blonde had been struggling on his own all this time; their belief changed.

For instance, Neji; who grew up believing that his clan was the reason his father got driven to a suicidal act, had found out about Naruto's life situation when he once coincidentally overheard a talk between the school principal and his supposed to be 'mother'... Then later heard that the blonde had to transfer to another school at the next town because he had been sent back to the orphanage. That was in their fourth grade, they were children; and as any other kid who cared less about people's feelings, he mocked the young Naruto for it during his last week. And Naruto, being as young as he was, resorted to violence and struggled to beat the older brunette into the ground; along with some lines about grasping fate with your own hands and other words that doesn't usually come out from the mouth of a ten year old kid, Neji began to change his impression of the blonde and acknowledged his ideals.

Gaara, on the other hand, was the most dangerous kid in the orphanage who attacks several kids whenever he feels anxious. Having an abusive father had made its toll to the young red-head, which made him lose his trust to people. Naruto wasn't around when he was brought in, but when he came back; he had been the one who stood up against Gaara's way, making him understand that every child in the institution are his friends. Naruto was the very first friend he had ever made, an ally he can both protect and turn to when needed.

Neji and Gaara met at the orphanage, when Neji tried to visit Naruto -only to find that he's gone to yet another foster parent- and Gaara acting like an overprotective brother when he refused to let the suspicious guy inside the building.

They both learned about Naruto's life situation during their second year in middle school. For some reason, they found out that every family who took Naruto from the orphanage brought him back there again after how many months of taking care of him. The reason - the rumored curse. Neji learned from his uncle that the fire cases that happened around Konoha aren't just simple accidents, but rather, occurred on purpose. And it didn't slip the two young men's mind how coincidentally, those fires have always been around where Naruto lived with his foster parents. Someone had been seriously trying to actually kill the poor blonde.

Months later, the brunette and the red-head rushed over the Konoha police headquarters to give their own sentiments about the accidents that was happening involving Naruto's living situation, and thus, after many times trying to get the attention of the forces; they got permission to guard the blonde as secret agents. They would report consistently about Naruto's whereabouts, the people who approach him, who ever tried to adopt him, and every information they can get their hands on regarding their friend.

"Give him back to me!" Kurama cursed, and then he felt another jab on his chest when Neji roughly pushed a palm forward, making his body slam against the wall with a groan. Unfortunately, Kurama's bloody red eyes caught sight of his bag nearby. He grabbed the thing and drew out a gun, pointing it across Neji's head. Neji froze in his stance, seeing a flash of red in the corner of his eyes when Gaara ran towards them.

"Neji!" Gaara's jade eyes widened in horror when he saw Kurama about to pull the trigger and possibly kill the Hyuuga. He rushed over and pushed the brunette away. The sound of a gunshot had echoed throughout the building.

They heard several feet rustling around the room they're in, and Neji somehow heard the trained voices of the police; telling the criminal to drop the weapon and surrender. He was sure he was shot, but felt no pain. A groan behind his ear is all he needed to hear before he realized what had happened. There lying beside him was Gaara, his shoulder bleeding heavily with the gunshot he took for Neji.

"Gaara!" Neji rolled off the ground and tore off the sleeves of his shirt and put it against the wound to prevent further bleeding.
"You idiot! You shouldn't have done that!"

Gaara hissed in pain, panting, but never failed to smirk at his companion's unusually worried expression.
"You would've died if I didn't."

"Idiot!" Neji called for a medic. They heard another gunshot around the area, realizing that they had failed to restrict the criminal's movements.
"Shit! You stay here and get tended, I'll find out what's happening."

"Don't you dare get shot, Hyuuga!" Gaara shouted before coughing a little, his throat getting really dry.

Neji shot s glance at the red-head, seeing the worry lace over the usually cold expression. He smiled, and took three big steps back to where Gaara was being tended by a medic. He knelt down and used his right palm to caress Gaara's face before leaning closer, pecking him on the lips. Gaara's eyes went wide in surprise.

"I promise."

He's beyond pissed.

Kurama can't believe that he had just let the Uchiha get away unscathed. And the worst of it all was that Naruto is now with him. He saw the hate on those black orbs that flashed red with anger when their eyes met. He felt his own anger rise from his core when he recalled the way the young Uchiha possessively embraced the bleeding blonde.

He recalled the blonde's words before any of these had happened. The sincerity in those blue orbs, the hurt, the compassion. He somehow felt... connected with Naruto. He realized he wanted more of those. It felt like a reassurance that it was okay for him to exist. That he was needed by someone.

He caught sight of two police cars just right behind him and he immediately set the engine in full throttle. He had no idea where he was going, but his eyes scanned the area, hoping that he'd find his blonde again. His eyes caught on a pair of black heads, and his expression had turned feral when he recognized the Uchiha couple standing beside their sons and Naruto.

"Found ya, fuckers..."

After receiving the report about the criminal's escape, Shikaku had ordered for the rest of the police forces to meet Itachi's car halfway, in case Kurama had managed to catch up. It had only been ten minutes when they were able to meet up in the busy streets of the Konoha near Naruto and Sasuke's school.

During the ride, Naruto had woken up in Sasuke's lap, moaning and groaning in pain. He had Itachi's jacket all over his body, the jacket big enough to cover his entire body until the top of his knees. He opened his eyes, and there he saw Sasuke's worried face looking down at him, warm hand brushing gently against his cheeks. He smiled, and Sasuke did the same.

"Hey..." It was rough, but Sasuke felt warm at hearing those familiar voice he had missed for more than a few hours. God, how he loved Naruto. Sasuke shushed him as he continued caressing Naruto's cheeks gently.

"Naruto-kun, do you feel anything we should be alarmed for?" Itachi's voice erupted from somewhere near, and that's Naruto's cue to take in where he is and why it was cramped like this, not to mention the slight movement and faint sound of the engine.

"Where on our way to the hospital... You okay?" This time, it was Sasuke. His boyfriend's voice was too gentle, he almost teared in relief. The blonde's stomach chose that moment to grumble loudly, seeking attention from more than four heads inside the car. Naruto smiled.

"I think the hospital's way too far for my problem... Where are we? Can you see Ichiraku's nearby?"

A bark of laughter followed by a familiar smirk mad eits way to Naruto7s ear, and he heard his two best friend speak simultaneously.

"You never change, do you?!" Kiba barked another laugh again.

"Seriously?" Shikamaru's lazy tone chimed in.

Naruto huffed a laugh but winced when he felt pain on his abdomen,then gritted his teeth as he felt liquid run along the skin there. Sasuke's amused face went to panic again when he saw pain in Naruto's face.

"We're close, Dobe... Hang on."

A screeching noise from the police car's radio device followed by Shikaku's voice filled the car. announcing the escape of Naruto's captor. They heard Sasuke click his tongue, and Itachi started dialing on his phone. Probably, Kisame.

"He was hiding a gun, and one of the brat police were shot on the leg. He used that moment to steal one police car and is now following Itachi's. We're at their tail, but he's too fast we're afraid we'd need back-up."

"Shit. Gaara and Neji better be alright or I'll kill them both!" Kiba cursed, tension suddenly rising inside the small car.

"Sabaku and Hyuuga are smart people, they won't go down easily." Sasuke said in an unusually reassuring manner. He had intended those words for Naruto as well, so he didn't mind being misunderstood by the Nara nor the Inuzuka.

Itachi finished his call, clenching and unclenching his fists as he spouted the words with vile in them. Shikamaru and Kiba had to swallow. It is not everyday that you'd get to see the Uchiha heir get this upset, and it's freaking scary.
"We'll meet with mother and father along the way. The police car stands out too much, he'll identify us right away."

The police who was driving the car nodded, then sped up while he relay the plan to their leader.

The car stopped, then they gently helped Naruto on his feet as they met with Fugaku and Mikoto, who was with Shikaku and Jiraiya. Naruto was in Mikoto's tight embrace in no time, Fugaku and Sasuke prying her off the poor wounded blonde who had no energy to voice his pain. Jiraiya removed one of his jackets and draped it over Naruto on top of Itachi's jacket to keep the blonde from the cold. They were about to transfer to Fugaku and Mikoto's car when a screeching sound of the tire against asphalt filled the air and before they knew it, a car is rushing in towards their way.

Naruto saw Kurama's hate-filled eyes within those split-second and noticed that the car is headed towards Fugaku and Mikoto.

It was as if everyone was petrified, no one moved as they watched the car drove in closer and closer.

No one, except Naruto, who leaped forwards to push Fugaku and Mikoto away from where they stood.

He was out of energy. He didn't know what kind of miracle existed when he managed to push the couple out of the way. He thought that it might've been the adrenaline rush that drove him to act despite all the painful wounds he had. He was glad, though, that he could save his parents from danger. He had no regrets.

Sasuke stood, eyes wide in shock. It's as if everything was in slow-motion. Like, every scene had been cut into pieces of negative frames, slowly flashing in front of his eyes. But he can't move. He wasn't able to.

He watched as the car closed in, almost crashing into both his parents.

Then he saw Naruto almost fly in front of them, pushing them away from where they stood.

The car continued to run forwards, its bumper meeting Naruto's body mid-air.

He watched the body slamming against the front mirror of the car.

Rolling helplessly over the car's roof.

Slamming again at the back of the car.

And then hitting the asphalt ground like a rug.

Then it remained motionless.

Sasuke's black eyes remained focused at the remainder of what was once an energetic and bubbly blonde. Right now, that mop of blonde hair he loved is covered in red. The foolish idiot who couldn't stay in one place is now lying there, not moving. The voice that was music to his ears can no longer be heard anywhere.

"...N-Naruto?" his voice was weak, only he could hear it. His ears are ringing, the noise around is faint. He can only hear his own breathing, and he can only feel his body shaking.

"No... This can't be... Naru-"

He can feel his body moving, but his senses are weak, he didn't even feel the ground against his feet. He tried to close the distance between him and the motionless body in the middle of the street, but it seemed that it wasn't getting smaller.

"No, please.."

His voice is shaking, his fingers are cold. This is just a dream, right? It can never be real.


The distance had finally closed in, and he can see the blonde just few inches away from his feet. Blood is flowing continuously, soaking the blonde hair and the cloths that covered the tanned skin.

Sasuke shook his head, unable to take in the sight of his lover, his best friend... his Naruto, lying unconscious on the floor, bleeding. Tears welled up and then flowed down his perfect cheeks. His knees were buckling until he can't help it anymore and he fell on them, hands hovering the body in front of him, not knowing where to place them.

He had never imagined such a thing could happen in his life. He had never loved anyone before. Only Naruto. And now, that same person is in front of him, bleeding to death while he didn't know what to do but stare.

He recalled Naruto's words that day when he confessed his feelings.

"I love you..."

Those words that he held dear, that made him whole and perfect.

"I love you, Sasuke."

Oh, how he thought he could never ever hear those words from those sweet lips.

"I love you, I love you, I love you..."

And a thought crossed his mind. What if he could never hear those words again?

"No.. Just.. No..."

He clenched his fists, his nails digging into his palms but he didn't mind the pain. The pain only reminded him that all of these are real.

That Naruto is...

His Naruto is...

Without caring as to whoever might have heard him, Sasuke screamed at the top of his lungs.

Author's Note: I tried my best to portray the sadness I had in mind that I cried while typing this. I hope I was able to deliver the same emotion? If it did, then I'm glad. The end is near. Well, it will probably end on the next one, or the next to the next one, but who knows? I can't exactly tell how the story will play out, but the thing is - the climax arrived. I wanna know how you felt about this chapter, especially the last part. Was I good enough to bring out the emotion from anyone? Anyone? Hehe. And while writing the last part, I was listening to Naruto Shippuden's Ending Song #38, Pino to Ameri by Huwie Ishizaki. I just thought that it was perfect. Try it!

Thanks for reading! And feel free to say what you feel! ^^