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Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Lost

Warnings: a little angst, slight shounen-ai, OOCness

Disclaimer: I don’t own Naruto or any associated characters.

“What are you doing here?” The question wasn’t as accusative as he thought it would be. It actually seemed to be filled with more anxiety and concern than hatred. He considered that a plus.

The moon hid behind the clouds as he stepped out from behind the tree. It was no use trying to hide anymore – he had been caught. Luckily, it had been Sakura who had discovered him first. He could trust her, at least for a short while.

“I have some business to take care of,” he replied calmly, unable to look his former teammate in the eye.

There was a thick tension in the air as the girl contemplated his answer. Giving their surroundings a quick surveillance, Sakura grabbed his wrist, pulling him deeper into the forest. She stopped once they reached a familiar clearing. He forced himself to swallow, closing his eyes against the whirlpool of emotions and memories. It was much too late for regrets now.

“You have no right to be here. If anyone else had seen you, you would be dead by now!” Urgency marked her words, producing an odd calming effect on him. With a forced sigh, he carefully lowered himself to the ground, making sure the tree protected his back.

“You think I don’t know that?” His voice didn’t display any of the turmoil he felt. It had been hard enough just to return.

The brief rustling of clothing alerted him to the fact that Sakura was moving. Instinctively, he prepared for an attack only to find himself sitting face to face with the girl. She was hidden by the darkness and the wind blowing her hair across her face. Truth be told, he didn’t know if he liked that idea. The past few years had made him wary of people he couldn’t see clearly.

“Sakura-“ he started, only to be abruptly cut off.

“Don’t,” she stated coldly.

“Don’t what?” The tension was back, only worse now. Nervously, he shifted his position, ready to bolt should he need to.

“Don’t call me that. You gave up that right when you ran away. I no longer know you.” Although her voice was soft, the accusation sounded loud in his head, cutting deeply into him.

The darkness became oppressive. The air became heavy and hot and it was difficult to breathe properly. For a moment, neither of them spoke.

“I’m sorry,” Sakura whispered swiftly. “I shouldn’t have said that.”

“No, it’s okay.” He forced a smile on his face even though he knew she couldn’t see. “You’re right.”

Silence fell between them again, but this time it wasn’t so strained. After a few minutes, he cleared his throat to catch Sakura’s attention once more.

“So,” he began a little unsteadily, “how’ve you been?”

“He’s fine.”

“Mmm.” He stared at his hands for a second before her answer fully set in. “What? Who said I-“

“I know why you’re here,” she replied solemnly. He felt her gaze slide over him, as if assessing him. “You shouldn’t see him; it would only upset him.”

The wind picked up, loudly blowing through the trees and pushing the clouds aside. For the second time that night, the two old teammates were able to see each other. They stared at each other in the dim light, each noting what the trials of a few years had done to the other. Sakura had been treated much more kindly, he conceded.

“Sa-“ He stopped himself, coughing to cover his mistake. “Look, I just need to talk to him.”

Sadly, Sakura shook her head. Her hands were stretched out before her in a conciliatory manner.

“He’s never forgiven you. Only harm would come out of you seeing him again.”

Head hung in shame, he fisted his hands in his lap.

“What you did…it hurt him the most. You know better than I do what his life was like - that loneliness. And he trusted you more than anyone else! How can you even think of seeing him now? You have no idea what your leaving did!” Her words came out fast and harsh, anger from his deserting the village finally surging to the front of her emotions. “How can you even think of coming back after what you did to us?! Didn’t you even care what that would do? Or were you just too selfish to care? You have no idea what it was like; watching him suffer, try to act like nothing was wrong, pushing aside your own feelings just to make sure that he was fine. You nearly killed us - you destroyed our team!”

Choked breathing filled the air as Sakura paused.

“I haven’t forgiven you.”

He couldn’t look at her, even when she was covered by the dark. Everything she had said, everything that she had intoned had hit with an unintended deadly accuracy. Sakura’s breathing was harsh and ragged in the cool night air, each breath a stab to his gut.

“I can’t leave yet. I have to see him.”

With an awkward stiffness, Sakura stood, her gaze leveled above his head. Her hands were clenched at her sides, shaking from some unknown emotion.

“You should leave before anyone else finds you. You may not be so lucky next time to find a friend - you don’t have many of those left here.” The dull light reflected off the few tears she allowed herself to shed. “More than anything, I wish I could hate you right now.” Sad eyes stared down at him as she searched his face for something. “Why can’t I?”

Before he could say anything, Sakura took off into the forest, not once looking behind her.

“I can’t leave yet; I won’t leave until I see him,” he stated to the night. It had been a risk to come back, but he had been willing to take it if only to set things straight. More than willing.

After all, it was the least he could do.

As the moon began to descend, he finally mustered up the will to move from the clearing and finish his self-appointed goal. His presence wouldn’t go unnoticed for long. In fact, it was pure luck that he had only been spotted by Sakura; he was growing careless. And he didn’t even care.

Determined not to get caught until he found his other teammate, he slid into the shadows of the forest and began his journey to the village. However, he hadn’t gone very far until a familiar feeling jolted his senses. He nearly tripped from surprise, catching himself just before he fell out of the tree. Silently, he dropped to the ground.

His body shook with anticipation. He knew that chakra, that hidden intensity and wildness. His breathing quickened, coming to him in short gasps. Blood pounded furiously through his veins; his heartbeat sounded loud in his ears. Eternity seemed to have been caught in that one moment as he waited, searching for the person causing these feelings.

A twig snapped behind him and he turned, instinctively pulling a kunai out for use. The clouds moved, allowing the moon to peek through and provide a soft light for the moment.

His breath caught in his throat.


When had the other man gotten so near to him? Had he been that concentrated on his goal? Had Naruto excelled that much since they had last meet? Or worse…had he forgotten Naruto that much?


Dull blue eyes stared back at him, watching him without any show of emotion. Those were not the eyes that he remembered leaving behind. Had his leaving caused this much of a change? Had he really been wrong?


The other man didn’t move, didn’t speak. Naruto just stood there, looking at him with those dead eyes. This, more than Sakura’s accusations, more than the knowledge that he had deserted his own village, this show of nothingness from someone who had always just /been/…it cut deeper than anything else.


He was growing desperate. Naruto wasn’t responding to him, just looking. It was as if the other man didn’t recognize him. But this had been his reason for coming back; his reason for risking his life. To just see Naruto again and to set things straight between them.

The moon slid behind the clouds once more, covering the forest in darkness. He kept his eyes trained on Naruto, willing the other man to do something.

Nothing happened.

Without so much as a word, Naruto turned and walked away.

“Naruto!” he called out in vain, hoping that Naruto would return.

“Naruto!” He didn’t want to give up now, not when he had risked so much.

“Naruto.” No one was there to watch him fall after so many years. The night deepened, as he stood alone in the forest. With a newfound emptiness, he turned and left the forest as his teammates had done previously.

Why had he returned? He didn’t feel so sure of that answer anymore.

AN: Wow…this piece didn’t come out how I saw at all. I’d say it really sucks. But it wasn’t meant to be anything great; just an idea that hit me upside the head while I was in B&N. Saw a book with the title “You Can Never Go Home”, or something like that, and the idea just struck. If anyone’s curious, the back story is that Sasuke left with Orochimaru to gain more power, became a missing-nin and is now supposed to be killed.

As for not using his name at all…I thought it added to the story. My mind is doing odd things now that I’ve gotten into Naruto . First a second POV fic and now this. Sorry if it’s confusing.

Hmmm….please review? ;;

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