Summary: We stopped being together, the day we stopped talking. Angst.
Author's Notes: All feedback appreciated. My – whatever they are worth – insights are posted at the bottom. Of course, you may skip it, unless you are really interested. They're lengthier than usual, and a bit more personal. That's why I put them at the end.
I think we stopped being together, the day we stopped talking.
No, I got that wrong. We didn't stop talking with each other, you see. We just stopped talking to each other. Now, there's a difference between talking with and talking to each other. You don't have to be an anal-retentive linguistics freak to figure that one out.
Normally, it's me who's supposed to be the silent one. After all, I'm Sasuke, the one who only talks when he's about to deliver another hitting blow to a person's ego. And he's never told me, but I always knew that I've always hit him right there where it hurts the most.
I'm not blind. I can see how hurtful remarks hurt him. He's like an open-book. Or he used to be. Recently, it's like – I don't know – it's like whatever I say doesn't affect him anymore.
“Naruto, you eat like a pig.”
It's so lame. I know it is. But in the past – when was that? -- he'd have exploded. Now, he just stops eating, sends me a quizzical look over the table, and then shakes his head impatiently.
“Anything else, Sasuke? Can I continue eating now?”
I don't say anything else, and he continues to eat. I don't have anything else left to say because it's no longer relevant, is it?
Naruto used to talk a lot to me. Either in bed, after another round of exhausting and messy (always sweaty and smelly) sex. He'd talk about utter rubbish, like the weather he'd had during his missions, or how Sakura-chan had once again whopped him on his head after he'd asked her if she'd gained weight or how Lee was now sporting a new suit and thinking of growing a moustache --
You used to say so much, Naruto. So much.
I'd always pretend not to listen, but I did. Naruto's talk, no matter how annoying or mundane, was a welcome noise. It made this -- it made us- feel real.
I don't whether we are real anymore.
I'm on top this time. We've always switched, seeing how this kept and keeps the sex interesting and versatile.
It's not pretty. It's fast, and Naruto's urging me to go faster, and I obey, mostly because it's the only thing that I seem to be able to do right. And he's communicating with me.
He says harder, I do it harder. He says faster, and I do it faster. He tells me not to stop, and I don't stop. And when he yells my name out, I feel that – for that one second – everything is like it used to be. Nothing is changed, and we're still fine.
But are we really fine, Naruto?
“Naruto?” I break the silence, after it's over (and it's over way too soon).
“What?” he asks irritably, and I nearly cringe. He's never been that angry before. I don't understand. Why is he that angry? I'm not doing anything wrong. I just asked a simple question. It's not like it's wrong to ask.
Biting my lips, I gather courage or better said, try to ignore the age-old voice of hypocritical pride in my head. It's not wrong to do this. It's not against the rules to try to make conversation. I'm not making myself pathetic.
If only, if only, this didn't feel so pathetic.
“How was your day?”
I miss you. Tell me what's going on in your head. I miss being part of your life.
“What do you mean by that?”
I hate how I sound like a child. But I just need to hear him talk. I need to hear him say anything other than a monosyllabic response for once.
A sigh -- a long and irritated sigh.
“Sasuke... you know how my days are,” he says in a bored tone, as if we'd been through this five-hundred times before. As if being here with me, in this bed and having this conversation is like walking through a boiling hot desert. He's tired. He's grown tired of me. Has he really grown tired of me?
I grind my upper teeth against my lower lips for a second, and can feel my throat going dry. It hurts – somewhere, I can feel pain building up, but I don't know where. It could be my stomach, my chest or my heart. I'm not sure. It hurts so much that it makes me quite sick.
No, I don't. Not anymore. I don't know how you are days are anymore.
Of course, I don't say that. In the end, I don't say anything at all, but roll around and face the wall because the wall is more responsive than he is.
“I want to sleep, Sasuke. Good night.”
And then, there's only silence, which is only broken occasionally by Naruto's heavy breathing. He doesn't snore, and, for once, I wish he did.
The fucking silence hovering over this – over us – is way too oppressive.
I can't breathe. I can't breathe.
At breakfast, Naruto was always the chattiest. He'd talk about the prospects of the day, what he'd do to show Tsunade that he was worthy Hokage to be, and how he'd cook some extra special ramen in the afternoon – just to convince me that it isn't utter shit.
Now, we're just sitting here, and the only sounds he makes are the sounds that everyone makes when eating. I ask a question from time to time, and he nods or shakes his head. When he raises to go, I speak again (it's strange how I am always doing the talking now, isn't it?).
Do you still love me?
I don't know if you still love me, and I need to know. I need to know. I have to-- damn it.
I love you, but it kills me, if you don't love me anymore. I can't – I can't – work without you.
But ... I can't keep on going like this either.
When did you stop loving me?
He doesn't even turn around. He used to turn around in the past.
“Don't forget to buy some milk.”
“Okay. Anything else?” he asks in a curt tone, and I can tell that he's rolling his eyes. He's grown so tired of all this that he can't even bear listening to me.
I want to smash something. Preferably him. I want to crush him against the wall, just to garner another reaction out of him.
I want him to talk, to speak to me, damn it!
But then again, I don't want him to speak (because then it really will be over).
I know, it's only a matter of time. He'll say those three words. Well, technically four, but I'm not sure if the contraction counts. But I won't give him that satisfaction. Because, even if he's Naruto Uzumaki, I'm still Sasuke Uchiha. Maybe I should say them first.
Let's break up. You don't have to be with me, if you hate me so much.
But not yet, not yet. I can be patient still and wait.
“No, I don't need anything, Naruto.”
Additional Notes of Fail (you can really skip this, unless you're interested in knowing how my mind operates):
I know that few of you probably liked this piece. It's another of these vague angst pieces that I seem to excel at writing (or not, depending on how you view it).
But the truth is writing this hurt so hard because there's a great deal of truth in this. I've been through these awkward silences – awful silences, really – where you start saying utterly dumb and trite things just to fill out the silence, and not have to bear the gloom, the really oppressive – and it's really heavy and stifling – weight of silence.
Because, you know? Silence is the worst thing out there, silence – the not talking to each other – part is the first sign that something has irretrievably broken, that the other person just doesn't care anymore, and if the other person doesn't care, you're left alone.
I immediately think of this one quote in Steinbeck's “Of Mice and Men” where Crooks tells Lennie what it means to be lonely, and why men need to talk to each other (because if a man can't talk to someone else, he'll go crazy otherwise). Hmm, I'd urge you to read “Of Mice and Men” for that single speech. It's one of the most devastatingly honest things I've ever read (and it's beautiful in its raw, nearly grotesque honesty).
If I were only a bit of a talented writer, I'd manage to do the same. But I know I haven't.