::Chapter 5::

Ino impatiently kicked off her thin sheet to escape its suffocation, rolling until she sat up. Even her carpet felt warm under her feet. She sighed, dropping her head in her hands, her thick blond hair sliding off her of her shoulders and spilling into her lap. Her house was so quiet but every now and then she would hear the soft muffle of a snore coming from her father's room. When she returned home, she was surprised to see him there with Choza and Shikaku playing Koi-Koi. They proudly told her how quickly and efficiently they completed their mission in record time, earning a bonus from a pleased Hokage. Which were the current bets placed in a pile in the middle of the kitchen table.

Ino had kissed them all goodnight and kept her smile plastered on her face until she reached her room. There, she threw herself on her bed, snuggling up to one of her pillows. Her eyelids felt heavy from crying earlier and her chest dully ached thinking about her Sasuke's cold glare. It made her shiver.

Like any other couple, of course they had their moment when they were displeased with one another. She had screamed at him a few times and he had given her the silent treatment when they had their tiffs. One fight in particular lasted a whole week but they always made up somehow, in some way. She was an emotional wreak during those times, not having an appetite to eat anything and not sleeping properly. Like now.

She pressed her fingers to her head in an attempt to ease her head ache and took in deep lung filling breaths to try to stop the ache in her chest. But nothing was working. She wanted to talk with her Sasuke and try and explain again, but what could she say? She was a bit confused as well. She shouldn't be feeling jealousy and anger at the other Sasuke but she did. They weren't together and he was so different than her Sasuke. They grew up in polar opposite circumstances but there was just something….

Suddenly, her body perked and she turned expectantly to her bedroom window. It slid open with silent finesse and a dark figure stepped through. Her eyes widened and she stood up sharply. "Sasuke?"

His eyes were dark, but she could see that he wasn't so angry anymore. "We need to talk."

Ino opened her mouth to say she agreed but someone knocked at her door. "Princess? You awake?" It was her dad. Her dad knew about Sasuke and that they were seeing each other but he didn't know that she and Sasuke were on more…intimate terms these days and would be extremely displeased if he found Sasuke in her room so late at night. And Sasuke would rather avoid her dad all together.

"I'm getting into the shower." She walked to the door and opened it a little to peek out. "Need anything?" She asked. He looked like he was tipsy with sake. His cheeks were pink and eyes unfocused.

"No. Just checking on you. You looked upset earlier." Even though he was borderline drunk, he always managed to pick up on her moods. He could see right through her smiles and happy words. "Anything you want to talk with me about?"

Ino gave him a soft reassuring smile. "Not really." She said. "But thank you Daddy."

Her father studied her for a bit before sighing. "Alright. I'm going to bed now."

"Night Daddy." She called out to him as he left her door, heading down the hall to his own room. Ino closed the door quietly and turned to Sasuke.

"I thought he was going to be gone for the week."

Ino shrugged. "He finished early." She murmured. She wanted to fidget under his stare but resisted.

"Come with me to my place." He said, pushing aside her curtains and turning to jump out. She followed quietly, grabbing some shoes while she made it outside into the summer night. She could make her way to his place blindfolded, she thought keeping to the familiar pathway. Leaf itself was still awake, though moving slowly in the warm heat that draped itself through the village. The sky was clear and there was only a slight breeze that touched her face.

Sasuke's apartment was dark and quiet and Ino looked curiously around for the other Sasuke. But they were alone. She placed her shoes next to the door, next to Sasuke's. For a second it struck her on how often she had seen this kind of picture in her head. Her shoes, cuddled to his. If she looked around his apartment, she would see more of her things next to his. He even gave her one of his drawers. Sasuke is a very private person, so to her that was sharing more than she ever imagined.

"What you heard in my head earlier, it's not what you think." She began, not one to tip toe around certain issues. She turned, seeing him standing just a few feet away from her with an unreadable expression.

"So I imagined your jealousy?" He asked.

Ino sighed, slumping her shoulders. "No you didn't." She admitted because she was jealous of all the attention the other Sasuke was showing to Sakura and the other girls. "When I saw him flirting with those girls I did feel jealous because he looks exactly like you. When I see him I see you. If things had been different here, he could have been you and we would have never got together." Tears began to welled in her eyes. "That makes me feel so insecure and my heart aches with the thought. I find myself thinking…what can I do to make him see me more than a one night stand? What would I have to do to make him see me like you see me?"

"He's not me. We are nothing alike." Sasuke bit out, his eyes flashing angrily. Angry Sasuke she could deal with. The quiet Sasuke was a different story.

"I know!" Ino exclaimed and slowly walked to him. Easy going Sasuke was…well…easy going. He wasn't like her Sasuke at all really but… "Your lives have made you so different."

He didn't move away when she touched him which made her happy and assured her that he wasn't so angry with her anymore. Her fingers stroked his smooth face and she allowed herself to drown in his dark eyes. Eyes that were unguarded right now.

"I hear a but." He rumbled.

Ino felt herself blush at what she was about to say. It was so corny! "Whenever I touch you, or kiss you, or we make love I feel it. Sometime it's in a look you give me, or one of those little smiles you're so selfish with. I even feel it when we're just standing next to each other and there is this unexplainable moment when I'm overwhelmed by how powerful it is."

Sasuke looked confused, understandably so. She was babbling but there was no other way to explain it. "And that is?"

Ino settled her hand on his chest, right above his heart and leaned in to hear it. The strong pulse of it made her feel so warm. "Your soul." She murmured feeling that strange pull of it. It was like a purr of pure life, something you feel when the first of spring ushers in meadows of flowers. Or when she's in the labor delivery ward in the hospital and she hears the first cry of a newborn. It tugged at her, drew her in. She could feel Naruto's soul in his silly smile, Sakura's when she's in serious mode and trying fervently to save a life. Shikamaru's when he's in his special place behind his house sleeping under a bright blue sky and Choji's when he hugs her and his gentle warmth embraces her.

"You and the other Sasuke…it feels like you have the same soul. Even though he is so different from you, even though you hate the idea of you being anything like him. I find myself wondering if the other me would feel it too." She closed her eyes and slid her arms around his waist. "I wonder about a lot of things, especially when it comes to you. Every aspect of Sasuke Uchiha, even your whorey counterpart from another dimension who probably has more girls than I have shoes." She felt tension leave his body. "And I have a lot of shoes." She mused. "A lot."

"You don't have to tell me that." Sasuke said dryly and she could almost picture his smirk in play. She felt his arms encircle her shoulders and her heart pulsed with joy.

"My mind may wonder on things like soul mates and fate…all the stuff you call stupid and change the subject on whenever I bring it up…but my heart will never change—" Sasuke's sigh interrupted her and she let out a breathy giggle. "What? To sappy?"

"As long as you know." He retorted, his fingers walking down her spine. Ino put up little resistance when he began walking her backwards in the direction of his room…


Sasuke stayed in the training field just staring up into the starry night sky. It was silent, just like the morning he woke up in this alternate world. What had to happen in order for him to return to his own time? He learned that for the Sakura that traveled from his dimension it was when she had seen her parents. But what was it for him? So far the Hokage and the others didn't know but they seemed to think that it had to do with Broody Sasuke. He felt his heart sink. His fate was in the hands of someone who utterly despised him.

You're broken just like my Sasuke just in a different way… Those words still rolled around in his head. What did Ino mean by that? How the hell was he broken?

In some ways, you guys are just alike…

Sasuke snorted and slowly sat up. They were nothing alike! How could he ever become something like Dark Sasuke? Suddenly his blood turned cold and he shivered despite the warmth of the night.

Foolish little brother…

That was how he could become a monster. Witnessing his beloved Itachi slaughter their parents before him would screw him up too. He sighed and brought his knees to his chest and rested his forehead on them. He felt guilty now because he finally saw just how much importance Broody Sasuke placed on Ino.

I have nothing. Nothing but her…

He lost everything in one night. Everything…anguished tears stung his eyes. How could Itachi do something like that? If the Itachi here was capable of decimating the Uchiha and ripping his soul from his body, then is his brother in his time capable of the same? Were there such dark thoughts in his mind? But he's part of Akatsuki and they help people, part of him countered. There was no one in the world who was kinder than Itachi.

I played the role of the older brother you wanted to test your capacity…No, Sasuke thought lifting his head. Itachi wasn't like that! There had to be some reason he did what he did! With that strengthened thought, he stood up. There had to be a reason he was transported here too.

He walked back to the village and hesitated at the bottom stairs of Broody Sasuke's apartment. Was he here or was he at Ino's? He had purposely wandered around for a good two hours before deciding to head back to the apartment. He was physically and emotionally drained and wanted to sleep. He dragged himself up the stairs and quietly slipped inside only to stop dead in his tracks. His whole body warmed and reacted to the muffled noises that came from Broody Sasuke's closed bedroom.

"Guess they made up." He murmured thickly to himself, now feeling awkward being there. But there was nowhere else he could go(or want to go). He debated if he should just go back to the tavern and see if those women were still there but doubted they were. It had been almost four hours since he was lured from there by Broody Sasuke. Sakura then? No, her parents were probably home and he knew she would take one look at him and know what had happened. Naruto? No way he could go there like a lost puppy.

He sighed, defeated and threw himself on the couch. Oh well, Ino's lusty moans were the best lullaby he could think of. Having had his share of nighttime activity, he could tell what kind of position she was most likely in from her muffed pants of pleasure. Face planted in the pillow with her ass up in the air, he could imagine the feel of her as he sheathed himself into her heat, hissing out a breath as he withdrew then gritting his teeth as he pushed himself back in. Sasuke clenched his eyes closed and tried to banish those thoughts from his mind before he got lost in them. The last thing he needed was for Broody Sasuke to walk out of his room while he was trying to rub one out on the couch. Embarrassing!

He thought about home, thought about his family and friends and fell into a restless sleep. The door opening woke him and he groggily blinked his eyes open. Broody Sasuke stalked from his bedroom completely naked, a fine sheen of sweat on his skin. Sasuke yawned and sat up.

Broody Sasuke paused in his steps, noticing him. "No where better to go?" He asked finally, walking into the kitchen and opening the refrigerator.

"If I had money I would go to some inn, but I don't." He muttered, looking over his counterpart a little enviously. He had scars in places Sasuke didn't and his body was tight and lean with a nice looking six pack. Sasuke himself didn't have as much…definition, but when he got back he vowed he was going to work out more. Maybe ask Choji to train him or something.

Broody Sasuke snorted with a smirk, two cold water bottles in his hand. "There's money in that bag over there." He motioned and left back into the room. Sasuke scowled, tossing a look at Broody Sasuke's battered gear bag by the door of the apartment. Should he? Sasuke gave into smiled and laid back down. Nah…

When morning finally hit, Sasuke groaned and threw his arm over his eyes to block the sunlight that filtered through the dark curtains of the living room. He was half asleep, but heard someone shuffling around. He peeked out from behind his arm to see a freshly washed Ino puttering about in the kitchen. He watched her quietly, not knowing if she knew he was awake or not. Her hair was down and she wore a plain dark blue tank top and sweats that were probably Broody Sasuke's considering how baggy they were on her. He heard the faint sound of the shower in the background.

"I know you're awake. Might as well get up and help me out here." Ino stood over him, startling him. She cocked a brow, waiting for him to do as she asked. Sasuke heaved a sigh and lifted himself from the couch. Together, they moved around the small kitchen to make breakfast. Broody Sasuke liked all the stuff he liked for breakfast he noticed in mild surprise.

"You said something last night." He began, halting her humming. She looked up from the apple she was peeling.

"I said a lot of things last night." She said, regarding him closely.

Sasuke stirred the rice porridge a little harshly than he should have, causing some to slosh over the side. "You said I was broken and that Broody Sasuke and I were alike in some ways." He muttered, grabbing a dishrag to wipe up the mess.

Ino nodded and continued to peel her apple. "You are. You guys are both…lost."

Sasuke lifted a brow, not expecting that explanation. "Lost? How am I lost?" He demanded.

"You're unhappy too." She split her apple. "When my Sasuke is with me, if feel it linger around him. I see it in his eyes. And I see the same thing in your eyes too."

Sasuke removed the porridge from the burner. "You're wrong."

Ino looked at him and under her leveled blue eyes he felt the weight of them.

"You've been with a lot of girls ne?"

He smiled cockily. "You could say that."

"Why?" He rose his brows at the question. "Are you perhaps, looking for something? For someone? Is sleeping with them the only way you think you'll find it?"

Sasuke frowned, not liking how uneasy he was beginning to feel right now. His heart was painfully thudding. "Find what?"

Ino gave him a soft patient smile and tilted her head to the side. "Love."

Something stuck to his gut and he swallowed. Love? What was she thinking? What was she saying? "I get plenty of love." He looked away. "I have my family and friends." He knew she was talking about another kind of love.

"My Sasuke was afraid at first too." She busied herself with arranging the sliced apples on the breakfast plate. "About being hurt but he took a chance with me. You go through so many girls, but you never stay with one because you don't want to get attached. I don't know what happened in your life, but someone, somewhere, somehow, hurt you."

Sasuke scoffed, shaking his mind back into place. "You think that just because you know Sasuke, you know me?"

Ino didn't flinch or back down from the harsh, sarcastic tone in his voice. "Yes. Sasuke Uchiha in any time isn't that shallow."

Sasuke looked down. "You believe that? You think all I need is love?" He asked, well, almost sneered at her. Some of the calm serenity on her face disappeared. "Tell me, has Sasuke even told you he loves you or is it something you just know?" He bit out. "How do you know he does?" He demanded. She flinched at that.

"Somethings are best expressed through actions, rather than words." Sasuke turned around and saw Broody Sasuke at the threshold of his bedroom. His skin prickled in nervousness. Damn it, how much did he hear? Ino and Broody Sasuke shared a look a long intimate look. "I love you."

Something hit him like lightning when Broody Sasuke said those words. His whole body felt numb, paralyzing in place. His head felt like it was exploding and the sound of his heart beating fervently was echoing loudly in his ears.

"Sasuke! Sasuke!" He could hear Ino's astonished cries and managed to pry his eyes open. When he did there was this curtain of golden lights in front of him. Ino was looking at him anxiously with Broody Sasuke standing in front of her watching him suspiciously. Light danced off their clothes and faces. Was this it? Was he finally going back? Was Broody Sasuke's love declaration to Ino what had done it? Why was that?

My Sasuke was afraid at first…but he took a chance…

Was it because of him getting Broody Sasuke to say those three simple words that he was going back? Or was it…

You guys are both lost…

The wet blanket of pain had lifted from him and he felt light and warm. Broody Sasuke was holding Ino, his red eyes locked on to his and he saw the answer there, in the way his fingers clenched Ino's arms, in the way she clung to his waist. The golden curtain gradually brightened until all he saw was infinite whiteness and he understood...

Ino's Sasuke wasn't lost anymore…


AN: Okay, this is not the ending but there will only be a short wrap up next chapter so don't expect it to be long like these other chapters.

Many of the reviews I received would like some kind of spin off to this story and I would be totally willing to do it. It will probably be short like this one and will have either Ino, Sasuke or both be transported to the RTN dimension.

Currently, I'm working on the sequel to 'Closer' as well as another story and some small stuff like this. I'm waiting to see what happen in the manga between Sasuke and Orochimaru so I can have some kind of sense on where the sequel will go before I post it. So far, the last three chapters have been so sad! I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read them yet but 615 kinda makes up for the heartbreaking losses. Go Hinata! NaruHina shippers rejoice!

Anyhoo, Happy New Year to all of ya'lls! 2013, a whole new year, can bring so many possibilities!

REVIEWS are like sprinkles on a cupcake! Kisses! :MUH: