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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Star Song

Insomnia Productions presents..

Star Song

By Clara (one of the two insomniac freaks)

It was a whole different kind of loneliness.

That was a good way to describe the way he felt every night. Lonely. So terribly, terribly lonely.

Naruto curled up around himself in his bed, eyes wide open and staring listlessly out the window. It was nighttime he felt the most alone, when everyone were in their beds, safe and sound with the knowledge that their parents would always be there to protect them. He never knew that knowledge. Hell, he was lucky enough that he even had the house he lived in then, but that was only because of the third hokage’s charity.

During the night he wished he had someone to tuck him in. It was such a futile, silly wish, and so very sophomoric, but it was still there. He wished, oh how he wished that someone was there to kiss him on the forehead and tell him to not have any nightmares, but no matter how hard he stared at the door, no one would come through.

Sighing, he rolled out of his bed and landed on his knees with a thump. He didn’t think he could handle the oppressive isolation that night. Not bothering to change from his pajamas, or to even put on his precious headgear, he left his house.

The sky was particularly clear that night, revealing the thousands of stars that filled the inky blackness. When he was younger and found he couldn’t sleep, he would always go outside and look at the stars, pretending as if they could wrap him up in their caring embrace. That maybe the stars were someone who could take away his unwanted solitude.

But they were always out of his reach.

“What are you doing out so late at night, dobe?”

“Don’t call me that.” It was reflex, really, and he didn’t put any emphasis to it. He blinked, suddenly, when he realized that someone should not be talking to him this late at night. “Eh?”

Sasuke stepped from the shadows. To Naruto’s surprise, the other boy was also still clad in his pajamas.

“..Sasuke? What the hell are you doing way out here so late? And in your pajamas!”

“You’re in your pajamas, too.”

“That’s totally different!” Naruto snapped, folding his arms over his chest. “My house is right there.” He pointed over his shoulder. “Your house is far away.”

Sasuke shrugged, moving to stand by Naruto. He looked like he wanted to put his hands in his pockets, with the way he rested his hands on his thighs, but unfortunately didn’t have any. “It didn’t cross my mind to change. Besides, I’m comfortable.”

Naruto gave him his customary slitted eye look, then snorted. “Fine, whatever. What are you doing out this far, then? And this late?”

Sasuke didn’t answer immediately. Instead, he just stared up at the sky, features abnormally pale from the star’s light. His face was relaxed, usual tenseness replaced by contemplativeness.

“I was feeling alone,” Sasuke finally said, startling Naruto. The blonde frowned; faintly disturbed at having his emotions voiced by someone who wasn’t him. “I decided to go for a walk, and ended up out here.”

Naruto finally pried his gaze away from the taller boy, turning his eyes back to the sky. Somehow, some of their comfort had disappeared. He had a feeling it was because Sasuke was there, and that comfort was transferred to him.

Does he get like that too? Does he want someone to tuck him in at night, like me? Him? No way, not him. He’s way too confident for that. And why is he sharing his emotions with me? Aren’t emotions supposed to be weak? Question after question about the normally stoic boy flooded Naruto’s mind, but they were interrupted by a soft voice.

“What about you?” Sasuke asked. “Why are you outside? It’s late.”

“Same reason,” Naruto responded, still looking up at the sky. “The stars have always comforted me. I wish I was one of them.”

Companiable silence washed over them for a long moment, as the two stared at the stars. Naruto folded his hands behind his head, a peaceful smile touching his lips.

“When I was younger, I used to think the stars would sing to me. I guess I was trying to make up for the fact that my mom never got the chance to sing me a lullaby, so I acted like the stars would. As if I deserved their attention.”

He spread his arms then, as if he could take all the stars into his entire being. Sasuke turned to look at him and smiled very slightly, cold eyes softening. There was so much to Naruto that he was only beginning to learn about, despite the several years they had been working side by side.

Naruto was one of the reasons Sasuke trained so hard. It wasn’t because he was trying to impress the boy, no; he knew he already did that even if Naruto didn’t admit it. It was because he didn’t want Naruto to surpass him. ‘Dead-last’ was a lot more powerful than people took him for, rapidly rising in both skill and intelligence. He was also Sasuke’s best rival, both striving to top the other.

He turned to look back down at Naruto and, to his very surprise, the other boy was looking at him and blushing. Well. That certainly wasn’t something he would have expected from Naruto, of all people. A girl, maybe, but not Naruto. For some reason, though, seeing Naruto blush made heat rise to his own cheeks. He almost felt like he had done something, well, inappropriate.

“What are you looking at?” he asked, a little more coldly than normal, then grimaced internally. Man, he was turning into such the jackass..

“Hey, um, don’t think I’m a freak or anything..” Naruto said, words hesitant and almost halting. “I mean, I know stars can’t sing and stuff, but I was a kid. You know?”

Sasuke stared at him for a long moment, genuinely baffled. Was that why he was blushing? The smile returned to his face, and he even chuckled lightly.

“Oi, dobe, if I were to think you were a freak, it most certainly wouldn’t be just because of that.” He put a hand on Naruto’s shoulder momentarily, before pulling it back and returning it to his side. It was such a small gesture, but more than normal.

“..Don’t call me dobe,” Naruto grumbled, but he was smiling.

There was a brief silence again, ending when Sasuke stifled a yawn with his hand. It was rather late and the walk had sapped all the energy that was keeping him awake. He wasn’t looking forward to the walk back, or the empty house that awaited him. Sighing and accepting his fate, though, he took a step back in the direction of his home.


Sasuke’s step faltered, and he turned around. “Yeah?”

“It’s late.”

“No shit.”

“Your house is kinda far.”

“Is tonight the night you’ve decided to state all the things I already know?”

“Shut up, jerk. I’m trying to invite you to spend the night.”

That, of course, effectively shut the dark haired boy up. He blinked a couple of times, then smirked.

“Yeah, why not?”

Naruto beamed, then turned around and walked back into his house, not bothering to invite Sasuke in first. Of course not. The young ninja shook his head, still smiling, and followed his friend in.

It was a whole different kind of loneliness that had a whole different kind of solution.

The next morning, Naruto woke up to an empty house. The futon he had laid out for Sasuke was folded, along with the blankets and the sheets. He wasn’t surprised, of course, since that was just the way Sasuke was.

What did surprise him, however, was the folded up piece of paper on top of the sheets. Sliding out of his bed, he picked it up and unfolded it, then smiled when he read the neat, precise words.

‘You’ll hear them when you listen hard enough.’

.:end (prologue?):.

a/n: Just a little fluff fic with no real meaning. I can't decide if I want to continue it or not. This was inspired by the third episode when Sasuke said to Sakura, ‘it’s a whole different kind of sadness’.

Oh, and since I REALLY hate short chapters, if this does become something longer this will merely be the prologue, as stated above.

Disclaimer: I’m not creative enough to think up something as wonderful as Naruto. He, and all the other characters, belongs to Kishimoto Masashi. I merely borrow them for my silly ideas.

If anyone saw that before, please don't mind the HTML screw up.. --

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