Breathe

Part 1 of 2. Part 2 will be posted soon C:
SasuNaru fanfiction for ----> Mocha chan
Don't worry guys, nothing intimate happens xD

I was once told that the rain was the tears of all the people who were too scared to cry on their own. The clouds would cry for them instead, and the grey sky would reflect the sadness felt in those people’s hearts. I always thought it was ridiculous, something a fool would say to make someone feel better. Perhaps I was wrong?

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The cloak was comfortable, but much too large. I could feel it slowly escaping down my shoulders as gravity pulled it uncontrollably to the ground. The wrinkles in the red clouds were soft, but distracting all the same. Where was an iron when you needed one?

After pulling the large garment on, my eyes shot up only to face another pair of eyes. However, these ones were nothing like my own. They were coal coloured, shallow. They screamed of being tired, and expressed their discontent with light purple shadows. Still, they were barely visible. Must be nice.

“I know that it’s too big on you, Naruto,” Sasuke sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose with his hands, “but you’ll just have to make do for now. Madara is already annoyed as it is.”

“Sure,” I replied, nodding my head. I knew exactly what he meant.

Getting myself into Akatsuki was not an easy thing for me to do. Gaining the trust of those around me was never a simple task to begin with, but gaining the trust of Madara was almost impossible. I knew the only reasons he kept me around, even if he didn’t specify them aloud. As long as I was close, the nine tails was close as well. I think that was the motivation he had. Rather, I KNOW that was the motivation he had. But I wouldn’t let him get me or the Kyuubi… not yet. After all, I needed to complete at least 1 of my 2 objectives before I would let anything happen to myself. I supposed I had to start with the easiest one. In theory, at least, the easiest one.

“Hey, wake up you idiot,” Sasuke’s voice cut in, as he snapped his fingers in my face. I stumbled back, falling over a rock.

I cried, “OW! What the hell was that for?!”

“You can’t just laze around and space out all day,” he said casually, ignoring my question. “We have work to do.”

“We have work to do,” I mimicked in the most annoying tone I could. I swore I saw his eyes roll.

The cave used as the hideout for Akatsuki was extremely deep in the middle of nowhere. I couldn’t believe that Konoha had actually managed to track it down, even with all the barriers keeping it hidden from enemies. I was told to infiltrate Akatsuki and bring back information about Madara to the village. Easier said than done. And besides, that wasn’t my first priority. I knew I would get caught if it had been.

I stepped outside the rocky entrance, surrounded by kilometer after kilometer of stones and dead branches. It wasn’t a pretty sight at all. I wondered how anyone, even the notorious Akatsuki, could live in such a wasteland. No water, no trees, not even a blue sky. I knew I wouldn’t be able to survive here for long.

The smell of rain immediately filled my nose. It was a sweet, almost nostalgic aroma.

“Great,” I mumbled to Sasuke, as we began to walk through the greyish-brown dirt, “not only is it gloomy here, but now we get to trek through 30 kilometers of mud.”

Sasuke rubbed his eyes with the back of his right hand, smirking slightly. “We have to camp out too.”

I groaned. That little-

“What’s the mission anyways?” I said, instead of insulting him.

“Mission? Stop talking like we’re still in the village. It’s not something we must do for others, like those weaklings in Konoha tried to force upon us all our lives. This is something we do for OURSELVES. Believe it or not, there is personal gain in becoming a rogue ninja.”

What was he talking about? He didn’t really believe that, did he? “But –” I protested, before I heard the light tapping of footsteps diminish.

Sasuke stopped dead in his tracks, not quite looking back at me. “I’ve been meaning to ask,” he began, an ominous tone in his voice, “why you’re even here, Naruto?”

I didn’t know why there was some sort of urgency in his voice. Why he wanted to know now, so suddenly, so… randomly. He never bothered to ask when I first got there.

I had rehearsed the line a million times, ready for whoever would interrogate me. But for some reason, I couldn’t speak. He made me so nervous when he didn’t bother to look at me in the face. It was like speaking to a large black shadow, but there was no light to cast it. It was just… there.

“Why do you care?” I finally managed to say, angrily. Was this going to be too much? “It’s not like you cared about me or anyone else before. Why would you care now?”

I waited for the backlash, but nothing came. I thought I saw his fist clench, but I could bet a million ryo it was my imagination. It’s what I wanted to see.
From that point on, until the sun set, there was silence between the two of us. To keep myself from going insane, I imagined the kind of conversations I would have with Tsunade when I got back. “So, Naruto, what kind of information did you manage to scoop up?” she would say, and I would reply, with a grin, “Pretty much nothing. That idiot Sasuke doesn’t know how to talk about anything.”

Yeah, that’s how it would go. And then I’d run off to Ichiraku to get a nice, hot, piping bowl of ramen with Sakura. She would then confess her love to me, and we’d live happily ever after. Okay, maybe not the last part, but somewhere along those lines.

I heard a small grunt. Sasuke was rubbing his eyes again.

“Hey,” I muttered, catching up beside him. It was getting dark. “You okay? You’ve been scratching at your eyes all day. Are they itchy or something?”

He didn’t respond, just continued to tread along. I couldn’t see his face, the night sky shading the both of us like a blackened painting. But his eyes, those I could see. Like a cat’s, they glowed in an eerie fashion. It wasn’t natural. Not only that, but glimmers of red danced along the irises. It was strange, since there was no light, not even from the stars, for the red to reflect off of. We were walking through a smoky void.

I rushed in front of him, the oversized cloak trailing behind, and halted in front. I figured for sure he would just jump around me. To my surprise, however, he didn’t even bother, his eyelids drooping slightly. He must have been exhausted from such a long day, right?

“HELLO?” I cried again, shaking his shoulders.

Silence. It made me shudder.

Eventually, he responded, “Don’t be stupid. I’m fine. We’ve got a little more to go.”

Where were we going? Sasuke had never bothered to answer that one vital question. Then again, I never answered his vital question. At this point, it didn’t matter though. We’d gone so far away from the hideout with little explanation. He was keeping something secret, and I knew it.

I tried to decide whether to talk or not. Clearly something was on his mind, whether it was what I said earlier or not. Sasuke was so deep in his thoughts, it didn’t even seem like he was controlling where he stepped.

I let out a long sigh, pulling my fingers through my blonde hair. Considering that it was night time, it was much too hot. It felt as if the sun was beaming directly upon me, all its energy focused only on one person. How uncomfortable.

“Look, Sasuke,” my voice cut through the quiet, “I’m sorry about earlier, okay? Really sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you or anything. I wasn’t thinking.”

That’s when I heard it. It was a sound so terrifying, yet comforting at the same time. Was such a thing really possible? It scared me. It scared me a lot.

He turned to me, laughing. I knew then, at that very moment when his bottomless eyes stared me down like I was some sort of parasite, that he was insane. “Why would I be offended,” he chuckled, a twisted smile creeping across his face, “by the truth?”

There was no doubt now that he was crazy.