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Silent Distance

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We don't talk anymore

We don't talk anymore

We don't talk anymore

Like we used to do

We don't love anymore

What was all of it for

Oh, we don't talk anymore, like we used to do...

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Naruto wondered when the ripple had started between them. Tanned fingers slowed until they hovered over the keys of his laptop, his usually vibrant eyes dulling slightly as his mind wandered. The last time they'd texted one another had been -he had to tilt his head in thought- about two years ago. The mere thought sending a pang of hurt through his chest. Life and their careers had taken them both by surprise, he remembered a time when things had been easy and simple.

He startled slightly when he noticed a tugging sensation on his sleeve. Large golden eyes blinked up at him and Naruto automatically opened his arms, the little chibi scrambled up and curled himself into a ball. “Why aren't you outside playing with everyone else Kasumi-kun?” Naruto asked as silence surrounded them, the little chibi remained silent and it reminded him of his childhood best friend. Shifting his eyes from the mop of silver hair to the window, he noticed for the first time how dark the sky had become. When he felt movement he glanced down and found now tear-filled golden eyes meeting his own, Naruto’s heart twisted slightly at the sight as a quivering bottom lip accompanied the already sad expression.

“Tsuchiya-kun pushed me and I fell on my hands and Gaara-sensei told me to come here.” Kasumi sobbed and Naruto rose from his seat, his arms tightening protectively around the small body as he moved to the door tucked between the wall and a bookshelf. He opens the door and flicks the light on, his eyes blinking at the brightness before focusing on the sink and mirror. He shifts the bundle in his arms and places the boy on the toilet seat, his attention shifting to the sink and the first-aid kit he kept there. Opening the cabinets and pulling out the large box, he sat on his haunches and began to hum softly into the room as be pulled out what he'd need.

“I bet Gaara will figure it out. Now, hold out your hands and I'll clean them before everyone else comes back inside.” Naruto said softly, his right hand palm-out while his left held a cotton-ball. Kasumi sniffed twice before doing as the blonde had asked, Naruto winced at what he saw. The chibi’s small palms were red and had a few pieces of pebbles here and there, he leaned forward and began to gently dab at the raw skin. After doing the same to the other small palm, the blonde pulled out two packs of bandages and held them up so the chibi could see. “Now, which do you want?” He asked with a smile on his lips, red-rimmed eyes blinked twice before focusing on the boxes. A pale finger pointed to the one in his right hand, chuckling softly the blonde sets the ninja-turtles box back into the kit before opening the Spongebob box. Bandages secured over the few open scrapes, the blonde slid the kit back under the sink and rose to his feet.

It was almost time now.

Reaching for the half-asleep chibi, Naruto exited the bathroom and made sure to flick the light off and close the door. Just as his eyes met the froggy clock his parents had given him, he heard the sound of pitter-pattering feet filling the hallway. He shifted his hold on Kasumi-kun and waited until his chibi’s returned to him, he smiled when a little horde of stumbling chibi’s filled his open doorway. He didn't need to say anything, his other nine chibi’s -ten with Kasumi- moved into the room and moved towards their cubbies. Shoes were set inside, the wall beside the colorful boxes with hooks soon had coats and scarves hanging from them. Naruto set Kasumi down and watched as the chibi joined his other friends as they moved as one to the little closet where their blankets and pillows were kept.

“Naruto-sensei? Can you read a story to us?” A soft voice jarred the blonde from his trance, he blinked and focused on the chibi that stood before him. Her violet hair was short and matched the violet dress she wore that day, her large grey eyes blinked up at him question. He smiled and crouched down so he was level with her, his large hand falling into her small head.

“Sure, Hikari-chan. What do you want me to read?” He asked, glancing at his other chibi’s as they settled into a semicircle in the middle of the room. The little chibi blinked her eyes and twisted the ears of the gray bunny she held in her hands, Naruto waited patiently and was rewarded with a bright smile. She didn't verbally say which book but she turned and ran towards the bookshelf, the little orange stool he kept for them there was nudged over. Hikari kept her hold on her favorite bunny as she scrambled up and placed a finger to the book spines, Naruto rose to his feet and moved to the rocking chair he kept beside the large windows. It had been a gift from Gaara when he'd first began teaching two years ago, he sat down and settled into it as he waited for Hikari to bring the book to him.

“This one!” Hikari cheered happily, Naruto blinked at the large book she held in her hands. He knew the cover and could read it with his eyes closed, it had been Sasuke’s favorite series and then his own as he began to read them. He took the book and watched as Hikari all but dived under her blanket, the blonde licked his lips and released a long breath.

“You sure?” He asked hesitantly, not because he didn't want to read the book but more for the fact that he wasn't sure they'd understand the complexity behind the scenes. His ten chibi’s nodded and with a shake of his head, he flipped the worn cover open and settled back into his chair. “‘Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.’” He began with a soft voice, his shoulders sagging and a small smile pulling his lips upwards.

He allowed the story to fill the silence of his classroom. His body relaxing as he kept reading, his eyes shifting to glance over the rim of the boom to check on his chibi’s. Each one was asleep and had smiles on their faces, he kept reading and allowed his mind to wander once more.

~~~~~~~

“You okay?” The soft voice seemed l to echo in the silence of the staff room. Azure eyes move away from the window as flecks of white drift through the air, they meet calm sea-green. Naruto smiles as Gaara takes the seat beside him, a matching cup of coffee in his pale hands. 

“Yeah, everyone all but collapsed when they came back inside. Kasumi is fine by the way, just a few scrapes.” he offered as Gaara took a sip from his cup, the blonde noted the way the redhead’s shoulders sagged. He took a sip of his own drink and both glanced up when the door opened once more, two familiar figures entering with quiet conversation between them.. The first made a beeline for the fridge while the second joined them at the round table with a soft smile.

“Easy nap time?” The first asked, Naruto grinned and offered a nod while Gaara remained silent. The blonde basked in the easy silence around them for a few moments, taking note of the second figure that joined them. They looked almost identical, he could see why most people immediately linked them as being twins. The first wore a simple gray long-sleeved shirt with black dress pants, his grey slippers bringing the combo together. His companion wore a lavender turtleneck with grey dress pants, her feet covered in warm black slippers. Naruto glanced down and noted his orange long-sleeved dress shirt and favorite pair of jeans, he glanced at Gaara and found the other in a white dress shift with crimson dress pants.

He sometimes wondered how both Hyuuga matched with color schemes.

“Is Kasumi-kun alright Naruto-kun? I caught a glimpse of him before Gaara approached him.” Hinata asked softly, spooning a bit of soup into her mouth. Neji blinked his lavender eyes and focused on the redhead, Naruto nodded and smiled.

“Kaito from my class pushed Kasumi from Naruto’s class during recess. He's fine and I gave Kaito a lecture and five added math problems for homework as punishment.” All three winced and the blonde felt a slight pang of remorse for the chibi, it was true he deserved it but he decided to let Gaara teach how he saw fit. His students adored him so the blonde saw no need to correct him, fifth graders should know better. He rose and turned to the sink, he was just setting his cup down when the door opened once more. Their boss stood before them with a smile on his wrinkled face, Naruto smiled happily and offered the elder a wave.

“Hello everyone, I hope everything's going alright?” Sarutobi Hiruzen asked with a smile pulling his lips upwards, everyone nodded in unison and the elder laughed softly. He wore a white sweater with a red shirt and brown pants, his feet were kept warm by white slippers. “I came to let you know that the children will be dismissed earlier than usual today. As you might have noticed a snowstorm is headed our way and I'd rather be safe than sorry, once you're done eating I ask you prepare your classes.” They offered nods and all three watched as the old man turned and headed down the hallway, Naruto stretched his arms over his head and sighed softly.  He waited until everyone finished with their lunches,  a salad for Hinata while Neji simply drank from a thermos he must have brought and Gaara finished his coffee. Soon all three were headed back to their classrooms, Naruto taking a moment of bask in the silence of his usually loud classroom.

It was time for an early wake-up call. With quiet steps he moves to the little triangle he kept by the chalkboard. Lifting up the little rod, he grins and begins to hit the triangle. His chibi’s awoke quickly enough, some shifting and burrowing under their blankets with a wrinkled nose. “Up we go chibi’s! A snowstorm is coming and we're being let out earlier. I need you up and ready!” He shouted and like magic, each little one sprung to their socked-feet. Time seemed to speed up then as Naruto guided half the class towards their shoes and coats while the other half worked on picking up the blankets and pillows. Eight minutes later found everyone dressed and eagerly jumping from foot to foot. The blonde did a final scan of his classroom before directing his chibi’s down the hall and to the main doors. He flicked the lights off and locked the door behind him as he followed, his free hand slinging his messenger bag over his shoulder. The volume that met his ears when they reached the main doors had the blonde wincing, the other teachers and their students were there and waiting. A familiar face came into view as a throat being cleared filled the chaotic lobby, Naruto grinned when he found Iruka with a clipboard in hand.

“Alright, the buses are here and I want you all to listen to me carefully. The snow is only now beginning to stick, ice however is our main concern. I want each teacher to form a ‘ring’ and guide your class to their bus, if I see one beanie-colored head out of line I'll give you cleaning duties for two days.” The warning was clear, Naruto did as untrusted and too the lead of his classes ring. He slipped out of his slippers and into his boots, placing the warm footwear in the cubbies the teachers used upon entering the building. Rising until he stood straight, he took the little gloved hand into his own and watched as his other chibi’s followed the example. The silence was thick as the blonde watched Iruka surveying each class, his usual kind brown eyes narrowed.  Once satisfied, the blonde braced himself as two other staff members moved to open the doors.

When they were pushed open the mayhem began.

Ten minutes later Naruto was practically kissing his cars steering wheel. He curled into a tight ball and grit his teeth at the shivers that raced down his spine. The heat was on full but like any car it would take a few moments to circulate through and provide actual heat. When he could finally feel the change in temperature, he sat up straight and shifted his beloved orange toyota yaris into reverse.

~~~~~~~~

Finally reaching his apartment with minor difficulties, the blonde took a moment to absorb the heat within his car before turning it off. He grabbed his bag and sucked in a deep breath, mentally counting to five he opens his door and immediately regrets it. He slams his door and dashes for the stairs, his gloved fingers automatically pressing the ‘lock’ button on his car alarm. He bolts up the stairs when he reaches them and almost slips on black ice when he reaches the next flight. Never before had he hated the fact that his apartment was on the third floor quite much as he did just then. When he finally reached his floor the blonde had to pause at the top step to avoid bashing his head, his now-watering azure eyes taking in the scene with anger. The entire walkway was covered in ice and while Naruto was glad he could use the stone half-wall as support, he didn't much want to move.

Risk it or freeze your ass.  Decide now Uzumaki. He mentally chided in his mind, shaking his head he reaches for the half-wall and begins to move forward. What felt like hours later -though he knew only three minutes had pawed- Naruto stood before his apartment door. Inserting his key and all but shoving the door open, the blonde doesn't stop himself from falling face-first inside his home. He kicks the door closed and stays absolutely still in the wooden floor, he only moves when the sound of shuffling fills his ears. With a groan he lifts himself onto his hands and knees, his muscles screaming in protest as he does so. He kicks off his boots and rips his socks off right after, his whole body curling into a ball when he hears the heater kick on. Slowly getting to his bare feet the blonde removes his jacket and scarf, settling them nearly on the hanger by the door. He locks his door and steps over the genkan with a yawn parting his jaw. Reaching his living room he tosses his bag down and pauses when a glimpse of gold eyes from the far end of the couch.

“Teme.” He breaths with a soft sigh, his eyes watching as the black siamese slowly rises from where he had been curled into a ball. The two-year old cat meowed softly and settled on his haunches when he reached Naruto, the blonde grinned happily and lifted the feline into his arms. The siamese began to purr as Naruto ran numbed fingers through its soft fur, turning and moving to his bedroom the blonde nuzzles the warn head with his nose. Sasuke had given the then five-month old kitten after having found him in the park in a cardboard box, Naruto had asked why him and the Uchiha had just shrugged and pressed the feline to his chest.

“You'd take better care of it then I would.” He had murmured as they had continued walking to where the Uchiha had been living. Naruto sets Teme down and gratefully slips out of his wet jeans and shirt, he closes his bedroom and and dives under his sheets. He relaxes and allows his eyes to drift closed, it was early and despite the storm and thick clouds he wouldn't fall asleep just yet. He feels movement and doesn't move beside to open his eyes, his cat had curled himself into a ball right beside his head.

I wonder if you even check your messages, you bastard. I've sent you pictures of him and I damn hope your proud, he didn't trust me until he was one. He thought with a frown tugging his lips downward, the blonde pushed the thoughts away and instead curled himself into a tighter ball.

A nap wouldn't be so bad.

When he came to, his eyes blinked sluggishly at the lime-green numbers from his clock. His stomach rumbled and with a huff, the blonde rose from his sheets and moved to his closet. Pulling out a worn pair of gray pajamas,  he slipped them on before exiting his room and heading for his kitchen. Moving to the stove he reaches for a pot and then turns to fill it with water from the sink, once down he sets it down and turns the stove to full blast. He adds  bit of oil to the water before moving to grab the other ingredients from the fridge and cabinets. He heard the sound of his ringtone going off just as he placed the cooked spaghetti in the drainer he’d placed in the sink, drying his hands on a dishtowel he slips out to grab his bag from the living room. Unlocking his screen he finds three missed calls from his mom and a series of texts from his friends, he re-enters his kitchen as his fingers fly across his keyboard. Once done he sets his phone down and continues with his dinner preparations, his stomach’s rumbling filling the silence as he does so.  He fills a plate and reclaims his phone as he moves to his small coffee table and couch, a soft meow pauses him as he sets his plate down. Biting his lip to keep his snort quiet, he straightens and moves back to his kitchen. A soft paw bats at his ankle as he bends to grab Teme’s dinner, he does snort then as he opens it and stands once more. Moving back into the living room he empties it in the bowl that he set up by the window, his cat offers him a narrowed-eyed glare as he begins to eat. “Just like him.” Naruto murmured as he settled and began eat, mid-way through his feast he shifted to face the balcony doors with his plate balanced on his knees.

He slept with a ball of warm fur and motor-engine sounding purr in his ears that night.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Three days later and Naruto was practically skipping to his classroom.

The blonde had jumped out of bed that morning when he’d received a call from Sarutobi, he’d squeezed Teme before ducking into his bathroom to shower.  The siamese had avoided him after that, Naruto had made sure he had food and water before he’d left his apartment. The blonde grinned as he recounted seeing three of his friends when he’d arrived twenty minutes earlier, he hadn’t meant to hug them like he had. Hinata had squeaked but returned his hug with a blush, Neji had remained stiff though he did pat his back. Gaara had all but broken his ribs with the jab he’d given the blonde before relenting, Naruto winced as he rubbed his side tenderly. He stilled when he reached his classroom, his head tilting when he noticed his open door and lack of chibi’s waiting for him in the hall. His brows furrowing in confusion he shrugs and moves to enter his classroom, azure eyes widening at the figure he finds standing with their back to the doorway.

No way.

No. 

“Teme?” He questions with a sharp twinge of his chest. He was glad none of his chibi’s had arrived yet, he felt his fingers twitching at his sides as he waited. The figure slowly turns and Naruto finds his chest tightening with each beat of his heart, when onyx eyes meet his own the blonde all but flees his classroom. Uchiha Sasuke looks the same as he had the last time Naruto had seen him, the only difference he could find was that the other looked exhausted and paler than usual. Swallowing around a lump in his throat the blonde tried to find the words he wanted to say, except he couldn’t get any air into his lungs. He watched numbly as Sasuke’s eyes blinked in slow-motion before widening slightly, the blonde suddenly found the other standing in front of him with his brows furrowed.

“Dobe.” Left his lips just as his fingers touched the blonde’s cheeks, a soft whine left his throat as the word seemed to echo in his ears. He couldn't do this, not after two years of nothing. The bastard couldn't wiggle his way into his role of best friend with a soft murmur of his usual greeting, Naruto jerked when Sasuke’s fingers pressed into the side’s of his jaw. His right hand rose and gripped the front of the brunette’s coat, his lips parting as if to take in air his lungs refused to use. He could see darkness creeping into his vision as he tried to breath, his eyes never leaving Sasuke’s as he felt his legs buckle from under him. “Dobe, breath.” He heard faintly as his knees met the carpeted floor of his classroom, the blonde shook his head and felt his chest tighten further as fear began to take him. He felt Sasuke’s fingers move to his chin and between one blink and the next, they were forehead to forehead. “Naruto.” Was spoken softly between them, Naruto whimpered softly as warm breath ghosted over his skin. Sasuke took a deep breath and the blonde instinctively mirrored the action, his eyes fluttering shut as he felt cool fingers trace his cheek.

His chest loosened its iron grip as he matched Sasuke’s breathing. When he felt slightly better, he pulled away and ignored the chill as cool air traced his face. He rose to his feet and slowly opened his eyes, he found the other on his feet as well. “You need to leave. My class will arrive-” As if on cue he heard loud shouts fill the hall, the blonde winced but didn't avert his gaze. Sasuke blinked slowly and tilted his head, the expression so similar the blonde had to fight the urge to nudge the raven.

“We need to-” He began, his voice soft and smooth as it filled the air. The blonde glanced away and bit his bottom lip, he heard a soft knock and spun on his heel. Hinata stood in the doorway, her head bent slightly to address a chibi at her side.

“Naruto-kun I came to drop everyone off after roll call- S-Sasuke-kun?” She gasped and the blonde winced at the shock in her tone, he plastered a smile on his lips and waved his chibi’s inside. They moved around a still Hinata and moved to their cubbies, the room was filled with giggles and shouts as the children settled for class. The blonde moved to the doorway and felt the other follow behind him, he settled a hand on Hinata’s shoulder and squeezed gently.

“He was just leaving. I'll see you later Hinata.” He said as he half-turned to face the brunette, Sasuke remained still and impassive. The third grade teacher ducked out and the blonde felt his shoulders relax slightly, now to get Sasuke to leave. “I don't know how you found out where I worked, but honestly I don't care. You left for two years and haven't responded to a single text, do me a favor and leave.” He bit out, his hands clenching at his sides. Neither spoke for a moment before the brunette took a step forward, Naruto stiffening when Sasuke brushed past him.

He left without a word. Then again it wasn't anything new.

~~~~~~~~~

A month later and the blonde was at his wits end. He leaned back in his swivel chair and focused on the silent figure that occupied his classroom. They had ten minutes left until recess finished and neither male had spoken. Gaara released a soft sigh and lifted his cup to his lips, he watched as the blonde bit his bottom lip.

“You've been antsy and scatter-brained since Uchiha came a month ago, care to explain why?” He questioned softly, his eyes shifting away from the blonde to focus on the window. School had been cancelled due to another storm and the only reason they were here was because both Iruka and Sarutobi had asked. Naruto blinked open his eyes and slowly sat upright, his gaze locking with calm green eyes.

“No reason, he left for two years and refused to answer any text and he suddenly appears and- dammit don't make me analyze this Gaara.” He bit out with a narrowing of his eyes, he hadn't been able to settle with knowing the other was still in Konoha. He'd asked Iruka -who was dating their High school English teacher Kakashi- how Sasuke had found him, the silver-haired male had apparently told him. He bit the inside of his cheek as he remembered how he'd shouted and then ran out of their apartment, the blonde hadn't left his home for two days after that.

“Are you going to tell him you love him?” Gaara’s voice penetrated his thoughts and the blonde felt his eyes widen. His lips parted as if to speak, only nothing came except a choked squawk. Now he'd know since sixteen that he preferred males but that didn't mean he had feelings for his best friend. Gaara tilted his head and Naruto frowned when he saw the twitch of his lips, he pointed a finger at the redhead and swallowed. 

“I don't- what made you-” The blonde stilled completely when a cool finger pressed against his lips, Gaara had risen and was watching him with furrowed brows. He forgot sometimes how the other had changed since their teen years, he wondered sometimes how beating someone up for hurting a friend made the other become your friend in return. Gaara huffed a breath and removed his finger, he turned and headed for Naruto's open doorway.

“If I lay the facts out for you, you'll get even flustered. Do me a favor Naruto, go home and take a look around your apartment. I'll see you later.” The other raises his hand in a wave before exiting the blonde's classroom, Naruto for his part was confused. Take a look around his apartment? For what purpose? He huffed a breath and reached for his cup of pumpkin-spice cappuccino. He needed to make friends that spoke more words in their sentences, he smiled in spite of himself as he took a sip. He'd never change his friends, they meant too much to him. His day wasn't over however, he had tests to grade and a stare-down with his calendar. Everyone took a week off during the school-year and so far Naruto hadn't, he loved his job and missed his chibi’s. He lifted a pen and pulled the first test forward, his shoulders rolled as he hunched forward and began.

Twenty minutes later and the blonde was locking up for the day. His jacket was annoying him and the grip on his hag kept slipping due to his gloves. The blonde finally managed to lock the door and turned on his slippered-heel to head towards the main doors. All teachers had been asked to come and finish what they could, the storm was meant to hit later and no one was sure how much snow or how long school would be canceled. With a huff the blonde reached for his black boots and slipped them on, reaching down to gather his slippers.

“Drive carefully.” Was stated from behind him, Naruto whirled and came face-to-face with Neji. The blonde didn't say anything as he watched the other replace his slippers with boots, his gaze shifting to another figure as he does the same. Gaara has his jacket and scarf on and his cell pressed to his lips, Naruto adjusts his own scarf and focuses on steadying his beating heart. Both males straightened and Naruto turned to the front door, Hinata stood there with a smile on her lips. After saying goodbye and waving until each person was inside their car, Naruto took off for home. When he reached his apartment complex he found a familiar motorcycle he hadn't seen for a few months, the blonde locked his car and quickly headed for the stairs. He paused outside his door and furrowed his brows when he noticed his lock had been picked, he sighed and pushed it open.

“Dammit Sai I told you to stop picking my lock!” He shouted as he removed his jacket and boots, his scarf following as his free hand clicked the lock into place. Receiving no answer he slipped on his slippers and moved further into his home, his steps pausing when he noticed a bag on his couch. Moving closer he peeked inside and found it filled with art supplies and a cat toy, snorting softly he turned and headed to his room. Teme was curled up on his pillow, Naruto breathed a deep breath as he all but jumped in bed. “Hey, how was your day?” He asked his cat, smiling when golden eyes blinked up at him. He curled into a ball and frowned when he heard the sound of his shower on, his nose wrinkled in annoyance as he settled and focused on Teme’s purring.

He jolted awake when warm hands locked around his wrist and a body leaned over his own. Azure eyes focused on dark ones and the blonde felt anger swell in his chest. “Hey, dickless.” Was whispered against his lips, Naruto bristled at the term and bucked his hips in an attempt to throw the other off. A chuckle is his answer and the blonde stilled when Sai leaned further downward and all but sprawled himself over Naruto. The blonde blushes when he notices the male is only covered in a towel, Sai hums softly and reaches for a blonde lock of hair.

“I should punch you.” Naruto huffs, his arms raising to push the other away. Sai allows it and both now lay side by side, Naruto blinking repeatedly to keep his eyes open. Silence fills the air and Naruto takes a moment to reflect over their friendship, he had Sai had met during senior year when Sasuke had been a fixture at his side. At first neither male had gotten along, even now the blonde knew that if both saw on another it would end with a glaring match. He huffed and sat up, his stomach’s rumbling hard to ignore now that he wasn't moving.

“I made onigini and chicken curry.” Sai offered as he followed Naruto into the hall, the blonde rolled his eyes and shoved his hands into his pockets. He relaxed when he entered his kitchen, his hands moving to a cabinet above to grab plates. Sai is grabbing a wooden spoon when Naruto turned around, soon both plates are filled and the air is filled with different scents of spices. Teme is given food as well as both settle on the couch, Sai’s bag is moved to the floor to make room.

“Make yourself at home, geez one day I'm going to get in trouble.” The blonde muttered with his eyes focused on the TV, the male beside him snorts softly.

“No you won't. Now dickless tell me what's been happening, I feel out of the loop.” Naruto offered the artist a side-long glance, his mouth filled with food. He swallows and contemplates telling the other, true they'd been friends for going on six years now but to let him know?

“Nothing much. Since college I've been teaching with Gaara, Hinata and Neji there as well. Iruka is as scary as ever and I've lived here for some odd years. You?” He asked, his other hand spooning another mouthful of curry. Silence aside from the TV surrounded them for a moment, confused now the blonde half-turns his head and finds narrowed eyes focused on him.

“So the news of Uchiha coming back and appearing at your job was a lie?” Naruto choked and felt a blush heat his cheeks, his grip on his plate nonexistent now. He licks his lips and leans forward to set his plate down on the coffee table, he watched Sai doing the same and sighs.

He begins to explain how Sasuke had appeared and the panic attack he'd had at the sight of him. He told him how he'd seen Sakura later that day because Hinata had asked him to, and about the scolding she gave him after checking his vitals. He told Sai of the visit to Iruka’s home and how he'd lost it when he found out Kakashi had let Sasuke know where he worked. During this time Teme had joined them and the blonde took comfort in stroking his fur, his words spilling freely now. He comes to a close and he finds his chest lighter, the blonde relaxes against the leather of the couch.

“So, when will you confess?” The artist asks and Naruto wants to smack him, he gives into temptation and a glare is his response. He reached for his plate and finishes the last of his food, he stands and heads for his kitchen.

“You and Gaara both, geez I don't like Sasuke.” He huffs as as he leans over the sink, he stiffens a moment later when a warm chest leans against his back. 

“You do and you know it. The fact that I've been all but naked for the past twenty minutes and haven't gotten a reaction is a felling sign.” Sai states with a chuckle underlying his words, Naruto rounds on him with a soapy sponge in hand. 

“Shove it, jerk. And please put some clothes on!” He shouts after the other as the artist bolts from the room, he returns his attention to his dishes instead of focusing on what Sai said. Sure he'd had a soft spot for Sasuke back then, they had grown up together after all. Then High school started and they were placed in different classes, and their older brothers kept taking them separate places. Then when junior year started he found out about the divorce, the blonde had stayed at the Uchiha home for a few days while their parents talked to one another. The blonde shook his head and washed the remaining soup from his hands, a long breath escaping his lips. He flipped the lights off and moved to his room, he paused to bring Teme with him as well. Sai had collapsed on his bed, thankfully in clothes now with a serene expression on his pale face. Debating for a moment he turns to his closet and tugs out a thick blanket, he'd sleep on the couch for the night.

His phone is vibrating when he reaches the living room. He ignores it as he makes his makeshift bed, Teme perched on his back as he bends forward to settle the pillows just right. Once done his cat jumps gracefully onto the sheets and curls up, Naruto reaching to grab his phone as he lips under as well. He blinks at the brightness of his screen, the blonde feels surprise race through him at what meets him.


Three New Messages

I've had it with his brooding. I've messaged you what he's had saved in his phone notepad. Night Sunshine Is the first message, Naruto nods his head at the elder Uchiha’s words. The fact that Itachi had texted him at all was a shock, the other was that Sasuke had written something and Itachi had found it.

I owe you an apology and I just can't face you for it. Dad has asked me to head to Tokyo to begin my career. I…I'll see you dobe. The blonde bit his lip hard to keep from saying anything, he opens up the last message and nearly sobs at what meets his eyes. [b]I know I haven't kept in touch and it hasn't been my intention. Itachi’s been on my back to message you and Dad has kept me from doing anything but work. I hope your doing okay[/b] Naruto let his phone drop to the rug and he curled into himself, his body curling into a tight ball. Exhaustion pulled him under and he allowed it, his body slowly relaxing as memories of the past began to fill his mind.

~~~~~~~~~

Three days passed and with it both Sai and Naruto were practically bouncing off the walls. Teme had given up on them and had hidden in the room, the blonde couldn't blame him really. That afternoon found both men sitting on the couch, sheets filled with drawings laid out before them on the coffee table. Apparently Sai had a project and was just now starting, Naruto was helping by putting them in order for the portfolio.

“You couldn't have done this before now? You had a month, what the hell!” He snarled as he stacked another to the pile Sai had separated from the rest, the artist made no sound other than a huff.

“Oh, hush. I just have to set these in order and make it look like I give a damn, truthfully the job is amazing it's just my boss I dislike.” He mutters softly as he reaches for another drawing, the blonde automatically taking it. By the time six came around Naruto was exhausted and sick of looking at drawings. Sai sighted and rose with a wince, his pale hands collecting the other papers that still decorated the table. The portfolio was finished and with it Sai’s visit, Naruto rose and stretched his arms over his head.

“Want something before you go?” He asks as he moves to the kitchen, the soft footfalls that followed told him that Sai was behind him. He doesn't get an answer aside from a hand on his head, the blonde blinks but doesn't push it off.

“I'm set, I'll be off now. Later dickless” The other offers before he hears Sai’s footsteps moving to the door, then silence as the door closed with a soft click. The blonde sighed and leaned against his refrigerator, the hum of the engine soothing him as he basks in the silence. The knock that came what felt like moments later had the blonde jolting as if slapped, he turned and moved to open it.

The air left him at who he sees on the opposite side of his door. Sasuke looked impassive as he did annoyed, Naruto moved aside and let him in without a word. He watched dumbly as the other removed his shoes and then coat, the way he seemed at ease when Naruto wasn't sure what was happening. He found his voice when Sasuke moved as if to further enter his home, he reached forward and stilled when his fingers met Sasuke’s wrist. “H-hey what the hell are you-” His words left him as he found his back pinned to his front door,his wrists held in a firm but gentle grip.

Sasuke’s lips descended on his own and cool fingers moved to touch his jaw. Naruto remained still for a second before shuddering and responding. Their lips danced over one another as unspoken words passed between them, Naruto's arms reaching up to encircle Sasuke’s shoulders. They hadn't talked for two years, and yet that didn't seem to matter at that moment. The whole that had been his heart seemed to sore as the kiss continued, neither pulling away even though oxygen was becoming an issue.

They didn't need to speak.

They understood one another with silence.