seasons come and seasons go but coming home to you is everlasting - Anonymous (2024)

It would be a lie to say that Naruto feels nothing when Sasuke pulls his heart out of his chest, but it is not a particularly new sensation.

There is gore and sinew dripping from Sasuke’s talons; today, he is more raven than human. Naruto smelled him coming from miles away, smelled the fight coming, and knew it was going to be a brutal one.

There is something exhilarating about an equal match, about cold fury and sharp strikes of a sword against his claws. They are both yōkai, but Sasuke is pure-blooded. He crushes Naruto’s heart under his heel. It is an ultimately symbolic gesture—he knows better than anyone that Naruto is going to regenerate.

His muscles stitch themselves back together. His blood returns from whence it came. There is still a gaping hole in the middle of his yukata, but barring the tattered fabric, Naruto looks exactly as he looked before Sasuke wrought havoc on his core.

The rewiring has him a bit off-kilter, snorting out the blood that didn’t manage to slide back into his veins.

“You’re so impatient,” Naruto drawls. His cadence is languid. Laid-back. Lazy.

This, above all things, is what inspired Sasuke to lash out at him in the first place. Just because Naruto dropped into a low crouch and beat him twice and Sasuke managed to lay him out flat on the third try thanks to his lowered defenses didn’t mean he had fallen into the vortex of Sasuke’s rage.

He used to, when he was younger. They were different, then, as desperate to be with each other as they were to be rid of each other. The first time Sasuke stabbed him through the heart, Naruto thought he was going to die of grief, mourning the loss of what he thought they had.

“Would it kill you to strike up a conversation first?” Naruto asks, breaking Sasuke’s arm clean in half. He’s just as unlikely to die as Naruto is, but Naruto is unwilling to take that chance. He scruffs Sasuke by the back of his neck, pushing him into the wall with enough force to break his nose, blood streaming down his face when Naruto pulls him back by a fistful of glossy black hair, beaming at him.

“We can do that—”

“After we exchange pleasantries,” Naruto sighs, long-suffering. “I know, I know. You can’t blame me for hoping for the best.”

Sasuke can blame him. Does blame him. Naruto, by all rights, should hate the world more than the rest of their kind. On the merit of him being a half-breed, he was considered a god by some, a ghost by others, and a demon by the vast majority.

They were born to wreak havoc and fling curses—there was nothing else to be done when their kind were often hunted for sport, backed into a corner and told that they had no right to exist. As if it was their fault, somehow, that these duties had been foisted upon them.

Unlike Naruto, Sasuke is unwilling to play the humans’ stupid little games, unwilling to schmooze his way into the good graces of people praying for their downfall. He is mean and vicious and he wants to burn their sick, sad world to the ground.

The fight drags on and on until Sasuke can fight no longer. Lifting him into the hot springs is no trouble, given the mottled batch of feathers on his back and his hollow bones. He was due for a pilgrimage to his homeland soon, due to have his fan patched. One of the few surviving tengu healers needed to reset the crook in his wings.

Naruto’s tails lash in the water as they soak, color gradually returning to Sasuke’s pale skin. He sighs deeply as he rolls his good eye open, staring up at the sky.

“Care for a drink?” Naruto asks. Conjuring up a tray with a sake set on it would be less than child’s play for a kitsune of his strength. Contrary to popular belief, having more than two tails was nigh unheard of. The blessing, or rather curse, of nine, saw to it that Naruto’s ostracization was thorough, isolating him from both halves of his lineage.

It would be easier to hate Naruto if Sasuke didn’t know that deep down, they were exactly the same. The difference was that Naruto was capable of forgiveness, capable of forgiving.

He was able to look past the cruel shackles they trapped him in, humans and yōkai alike, and he had risen above them all. He had gone on rampage once or twice in his immortal life; but then, who hadn’t?

Centuries ago, Sasuke had done worse. Part of the reason he so desperately ached for days like this was because some part of him wanted to atone for his sins. He doesn’t know what atonement looks like, if it is not death.

“Yes,” Sasuke answers eventually, moving closer. “A drink would be nice.”

They drink under the waning moonlight until Naruto’s cheeks are rosy with the alcohol in his system. He’s tan and his laughter is gregarious and the only time Sasuke feels that life is worth living is when they’re together, when Naruto speaks with so much gusto that he splashes Sasuke with water and his arms fly about in all directions.

It is Sasuke’s turn to drag Naruto inside after they’re finished imbibing, though his assistance is for aesthetic purposes more than actual need. He is expecting it when Naruto pulls him into his lap, mouthing at his nape, damp with sweat and water. “I missed you,” he murmurs and he means it.

“I wasn’t gone that long.”

“A day would be too long a time spent apart.”

Sasuke snorts. “Who did you steal that line from?”

“What? I’m not allowed to act romantic?”

Of course he is. Beyond acting romantic, he is a romantic creature at heart, filled with hopes and dreams and a relentless lust for life…among other things.

“I think I liked it better when you took up painting.”

“You said my paintings were tasteless—hey!”

Belatedly, Naruto realizes Sasuke is poking fun at him. Soft chortles fade as he kisses Sasuke’s cheek, moving slowly to his lips. For all of their earlier violence, it is a simple thing to admire Sasuke for what he is: feral and wounded, a friend who could oh-so-easily pivot back into being an enemy.

Naruto adores Sasuke’s sharp teeth and brutal talons, adores the way Sasuke pulls him flush to his chest and demands that Naruto pick up speed.

There is a push and pull to them like the draw of the ocean against the tide. They wrestle as much as they rock together, unable to part for more than a few seconds at a time.

Sasuke’s grunts are small exhalations, as much pleasure as he will allow himself to unabashedly display. It’s not much, even as Naruto works hard to bow his back. Sasuke’s skin is red, warm from their coupling.

The fact that Sasuke came back to him, that he chose this place as his home, is something that soothes Naruto on the lonely nights.

“Don’t cry,” Sasuke mutters, petting Naruto’s hair as he comes down from the high. Naruto nuzzles and licks at him even as lashes droop, sleep pulling him into its clutches.

“M’not cryin’,” is the slurred reply.

Sasuke allows the lie to pass. He wipes Naruto’s face dry, allowing Naruto to cling to him and snore in his ear, big fluffy buffoon that he is.

With a hand over Naruto’s chest, he listens to the steady thump, thump of his heartbeat. It is one thing to hold the organ in his stained hands and it is another to know it is right where it belongs, to know that Naruto entrusts him with it despite the fact that Sasuke does not deserve his confidence.

For a few days or weeks or years, Sasuke will remember what it is to be soft and fond, to be home, and then the itch in his blood will sing to him. He will leave and Naruto will welcome him back with open arms, again and again.

Seasons are strange things, but this is a good one to be in.

He closes his eyes and rests, whole but not for long.

Never for long.

seasons come and seasons go but coming home to you is everlasting - Anonymous (2024)

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