NaruSasu Alternate Universes

role reversal (Valley of the End)

"I lost my mother too!" he screams. "I lost my parents. Stop saying I don't understand!"

"Your parents died traitors," the other boy snarls.

He flinches, shakes his head. "You think that means it doesn't count? They were still my parents! They still -- they loved me." And he loves them too, he always will, except he doesn't think he'll stop resenting them anytime soon either. At least he's not utterly alone. "They were doing what they thought was right," he says, more quietly.

Naruto laughs. There are tears in his eyes but his teeth are bared. "Yeah? My mom did what she thought was right too. You know? She saved the village at the Chuunin exam! And then a bunch of psycho bastards grabbed her and tore her open to get her demon out, and no one did anything about it. No one cared. No one's doing anything now! Justice -- justice for her -- and the others, they could be protected, but oh, our jinchuuriki is already lost, it's pointless, don't bother--"

Between 'family' and 'like family' the space is paper thin and yet whole worlds of difference press in the gap, and he can't lie to himself loud enough to pretend that if it were Itachi who had been thrown to the wolves he would not be in the exact same place.

"Come home," Sasuke says quietly - quietly, because he already knows Naruto won't listen.