Here's an old Naruto Sasuke one shot. No yaoi.

"Give me your hand!" Naruto reached for as far as he could, blue eyes full of worry and fear. The wind howled on the God-forsaken cliff where nothing grew. Madara was dead. There was no easy way to say how, but Madara's immortality just seemed to run out with Naruto's last attack, leaving Sasuke to fend for himself, after falling. A stupid move on his part, he thought, but it really wasn't his entire fault. Naruto had played a part in this as well.

Sasuke was heavily injured, much more than Naruto. It took every ounce of his strength to keep from falling and he was slipping....slipping....

"Sasuke!" Naruto yelled once again, urgency in his voice. "Grab on!"

Conflict rose within Sasuke. Should he grab Naruto's hand and be taken back to Konoha? Or should he let go, and die an avenger? Normally, because of his pride, he would have chosen the latter, but something made him think, something made him remember his brothers' dying wish.

Naruto didn't want his friend to die. He'd originally planned on dying along with him, but now....there was still a chance....

Both parties knew that if Sasuke grabbed Naruto's hand, they'd both be heading back to Konoha. It showed that Sasuke still trusted Naruto, and how Naruto still cared...but that was what made Sasuke so uneasy, so...afraid.

Naruto was ready to simply start yelling at him. He couldn't stand the look in Sasuke's eyes- so much hate, so much sadness, so much hurt- and yet he could see a little bit of life left in them, a tiny sliver of light... Why couldn't Sasuke just give in?

The jinchuriki could remember all of the times Sasuke called him, "idiot" or, "loser" and the one time he called him, "chicken". Why was Sasuke his friend? When did he form that bond with him?


Because he was the only one who understood.

He was the only one who knew what it was like to be truly alone.

Both of their families were taken from them without so much as a word. They had always saved each other- and Sakura too, of course- without thinking about it. They were so close that Naruto would've helped Sasuke kill Itachi if he'd known where he was.

Lightning flashed in the sky and rain started to fall, making the air a little cooler, but not releasing both boys from the tension.

Sasuke didn't take his eyes off of Naruto. Why was it so hard to make up his mind? Hadn't he severed those bonds between himself and Naruto? The family he lost was replaced by Team 7...why had he grown so attached to them? And when he severed those bonds, Naruto simply seemed to reattach them and knot them, making them harder to cut than before.

"Stop being such a baka and take my hand!" Naruto yelled angrily over the wind, blue eyes blazing, blonde hair so soaking wet it covered his eyes from time to time.

Sasuke started to slip then, his strength deserting him. "Naruto..." He looked straight into his former- no, his best friend's eyes, knowing he was going to fall. "I.....I'm sor-"

The rock gave way and Sasuke fell backwards. "SASUKE!" Naruto's voice was filled with pain. wouldn't end this way...

He jumped after Sasuke.

Sasuke's eyes widened. He...was he...trying to save him? Or, was he planning on dying with him? But that would mean he wouldn't fulfill his goal...wouldn’t become Hokage...

His eyes stung- not because of his Sharingan, Itachi's eyes having taken care of it- and a few tears sprayed down his cheek, despite his best efforts to keep them in. "Naruto...." He muttered, the first genuine smile in a long time spreading onto his face, “You really idiot..."

Something caught Sasuke then, and blue eyes blazed into his. "You're....not dying....that jerk...." Naruto panted.

Sasuke stared at him in disbelief. He'd saved them both?! And just when he thought....He didn't know what to say.

"Now....I'm taking you Konoha....and you're NOT going to destroy it...." Naruto collapsed beside Sasuke, a weak smile on his face.

Sasuke stared up in the sky, not saying anything. He was fine with it...even though he knew he was doomed to be executed as soon as he returned. It didn't matter now. Nothing really mattered now. All of that revenge...nothing. He realized it then. Why...had he been so foolish?

"And you're going to apologize!" Naruto growled, still weak.

Sasuke had to chuckle at this. "Whatever...loser..."


"Moron." It was like they were before. Both boys sighed.

"You put me through hell...." Naruto complained.

"Good. You deserved it...I told you...not to come after me..." Sasuke's eyelids lowered. He hadn't slept in so many days...and the injuries made it worse.

"Just shut up and rest Sasuke-teme. We're heading to the morning...." With that, Naruto passed out.

For once, Sasuke listened. He passed out as well, but before he did, he could've sworn he saw Itachi standing over him, then smile a little. He closed his eyes, smiling a bit, then was glad Naruto wasn't awake. If he was, he would've heard Sasuke say, for the first and maybe last time in his life;