Standing Opposite
By Lasafara

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto

It's true, you know. What Sasuke says. I don't know what it's like to lose my family. I do know what it's like to live without one.

I don't hate Sasuke. I don't think I've ever hated anyone. I wanted attention, yes, and until I graduated, I couldn't gain it. Not the attention I wanted, anyway. But I didn't know how to get that.

That's something that a family teaches a child. I've figured that much out. I'm not stupid, you know. I'm ignorant, yes, but not stupid. All those little things that growing up with a family teaches you...I don't have those.

I'd seen Sasuke before. But I hadn't found out anything about him until we became a team. When I found out that he lived alone too...There was a small connection. It grew as we trained. We got to know each other very well. There were little things that I could do to annoy him. And he discovered ways to annoy me.

We'd never admit that we were friends. We were rivals, of course. We trained together. I knew all his moves; he knew all of mine. It could have made sparring monotonous, but somehow it didn't.

As I come to care about him more, I began to wonder. I'd never had a family, but...Was this what having a family was like? Knowing that Iruka-sensei would always be there for me...I thought that had to be like a father. Was being able to depend on, and joke around with, Sasuke like having a brother? I could read his moods. Just like with Iruka-sensei, I'd learned how far to push. I'd learned when to be serious and when to laugh. And we'd both learned how to strategize and communicate with only a glance.

Now, as I stand here facing Sasuke, I refuse to lose that. I refuse to lose him. And if I have to break every bone in his body and drag him back kicking and screaming, I will. I finally have a semblance of a family. I will not lose it.

I can't lose it.


I never really meant to make friends. I'd distanced myself for a reason. I knew that any friends I made would be eventually...

So I distanced myself. The temptation wouldn't be there, if there was no friend. I didn't want to lose anyone else. It's hard to lose people. Very hard.

When I was younger, it was easier to imagine being able to kill a friend. I hadn't had any friends, then. My family, my clan were my friends. Besides, my brother had done it. So of course I could, right?

But I'd never made friends easily. I found I liked being alone. And I slowly came to the conclusion that I didn't want to kill any of the people I did talk to. So I began avoiding people altogether.

Naruto didn't let me avoid him. Eventually, I stopped trying. I let him in. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I knew that this was dangerous. But I didn't care, after a while. I wanted this friendship.

Now, I'm standing here opposite him. I've tried to crush that part of me. That part of me that is angry and hurt by what I am doing. I've only partially succeeded.

I've committed myself to this action. If I succeed, I win my freedom, my power, and my best chance to defeat Itachi and avenge my family. I can't stop now.

I hope I fail.