Rating: K+ for language, nothing else.
Summary: It was too late -- too late. NaruSasu. Angst.
Damn, I'm nervous as hell (read: I have an exam tomorrow, which will seal my untimely death). This is more pointless rambling than anything remotely worthy of a plot; I'm just writing because I might choke myself with my nervousness otherwise. In addition, I wrote this for the last line and the title.
Not a good feel fic. Review if you want, but ... I'm not expecting this to be popular. However, regardless of that, all criticism accepted.
The hands circled the cup steadfastly; the nimble fingers ran around and around the rim relentlessly. Sasuke was silent, so beautifully and eerily silent – his quietness contemplated the quiescence of his surroundings to utter perfection.
Naruto couldn't handle it anymore. He didn't know why he was still here – there was nothing for him to do anymore. But still he sat there, on the edgy seat, and watched Sasuke play with the cup in his hands: there was something tantalisingly addictive in watching Sasuke do this.
Naruto couldn't do anything else, but watch and watch and watch.
The vigour with which he'd voiced out, spilled the contents of his over-flooding agony had burnt out; he was empty, drained out and felt like he'd been hit on the head with a shovel. Everything was swimming, blurred and seemed to fade from his sight. He felt like he was dreaming, but he wasn't. A dream would have been his salvation, this was just his undoing.
The iciness of the day, the cool surface of the floor and the chill inside his heart weren't the soothing reassurances of a dream world. Nor was it hot – searingly hot enough – for this to be hell. He couldn't shake it all off or escape; he was trapped.
All was just bleak – empty. Everything was bleak, empty and meaningless; this was life – stupid, worthless and mundane life. Theatrics belonged to drama and it was only in sentimental comedies that feelings reached a high momentum. Life, on the other hand, was a farce: pointless, ugly and rarely – if ever – did virtue get rewarded.
His throat hurt, was raw and Naruto swallowed audibly – the silence was too oppressive. And Sasuke was ignoring him, which he hated – hated with the passion of a devil hell-bent on destruction.
Talk to me, he wanted to say. Tell me that you're still here, and not just another vestige from the past.
But that was futile. Sasuke, being a stubborn bastard, wouldn't talk; he wouldn't open his mouth if life itself depended upon it. And Naruto – well, he wasn't going to wait anymore. He'd waited and waited; waited for years, in hope of getting more than just half-hearted affections from Sasuke. A man could only handle that much; if you fed someone with nothing and nothing for years, you shouldn't be surprised if the nothingness became overwhelming -- so overwhelming that it finally popped in the end.
Naruto had reached a dead end. He had to get out, in order to survive and he wouldn't change his mind, unless Sasuke spoke – unless, he showed him that he cared, if only a little bit.
Sasuke was silent; his cool fingers probed the china cup carefully and he tried his best not to look at Naruto, not to observe how his features were slowly, but surely becoming more and more jaded, more distorted by sadness. Naruto was ugly when he was sad; there was something amiss in seeing a man so optimistic rendered sad and unhappy.
It was all his doing. Sasuke knew it, the knowledge of being the one person who'd hurt Naruto Uzumaki like this killed him. Killed him and ate him up from inside out; his insides were falling apart and with every second, he felt how everything was collapsing around him. The world around him was nothing, but a collected mess of dirt and shattered dreams – soon Naruto would fade away and become one with that mess. It was better like this; Sasuke wanted Naruto to begone, so that he could rot and die in his own self-constructed nightmares of self-hatred. He couldn't let Naruto suffer for him – or with him, for that matter.
Oh yes, he was quiet on the outside, but this was only a lie – a carefully constructed veil to spare Naruto any further pain.
He could feel Naruto's eyes burning onto his frame, knew that Naruto was trying to remember like this as well as he could, but -- even this -- wouldn't, couldn't move Sasuke to speak.
I'm sorry, Sasuke wanted to say. I'm sorry for not being able to be different. I'm sorry for what I am, for who I am. But I can't change.
He was doing this for Naruto because he cared. Yes, Sasuke cared -- cared more about Naruto than he'd ever be willing to admit. It wasn't just caring; it was like a fire burning inside him, consuming him like a fog and wrapping its glorious warmth about him. And that was why Sasuke cared, loved because, apart from the ghosts of his past haunting him from day and to night, Naruto was the only one who reminded him of what it meant to be alive, to be more than just an empty shell.
But he couldn't handle it, couldn't handle the pressure of being enshrouded by such warmth – Sasuke didn't deserve it. He didn't want to; being happy wasn't what he wanted to be. He didn't know if he could and he was scared (of losing again, of being confronted with pain yet again). Therefore, it was better to lose now. Better to die from heartache now than later. He'd let Naruto go, so that at least one of them would – could be – happy.
“So, I guess this is the end...won't you say something in return, at least? Sasuke, can't you just -- fuck this.”
Sasuke continued to muster the cup hidden between both of his hands; he didn't even shrug. He prayed that this would be over soon, that Naruto would finally give up
Please stop talking to me. Don't make this any harder. Just go.
Naruto heaved his chest and sighed; the shake of his head expressed more than a thousand and one accusations could have done. He was done here; there was nothing left.
“Well, forget it then. I'll go.”
Naruto rose from his seat and grabbed the bag which had been placed between his two legs; he clasped one hand tightly round the bag's straps and, with a swiftness that was both cruel and shocking in its fury, moved away from the table, away from Sasuke. He had to. Or he'd have possibly killed someone then, either himself or Sasuke. Or he would have broke down crying.
Naruto had no idea what he would have done; he only knew he had to leave.
Sasuke watched Naruto's movements with painstakingly disguised indifference – he had to keep his mask in check, lest Naruto should look at him again. He couldn't let him see. It was better like this.
But Sasuke couldn't mask his own feelings, couldn't ignore the fact that his heart was being torn open with every step Naruto took; he couldn't stop a voice inside of him repeating the same mantra over and over again; it was like the unstoppable toll of a bell.
Don't go. Stay. Stay, please. Don't go.
But the other man couldn't perceive his inner voice; he kept on walking.
Naruto only paused at the door, waiting for something – a miracle perhaps – but it never came. Naruto could distinguish the sounds of the water tap running, the low droning of the alarm clock and Sasuke's fingers tapping against the table. Otherwise, there was nothing.
It really was pointless, Naruto decided – pointless and hopeless.
Naruto closed the door with a crash behind him and never heard of the sounds of china crashing against the wall. Sasuke's patience and silence had finally broken – now, he could give vent to his feeling as much as he wanted. He started to curse, curse and swear until he felt that his tongue would fall off.
Naruto didn't hear him, though – never would.
It was over – the moment had gone by -- and the following words chanted in both of their minds:
Too late. It's too late -- too late.