Synopsis: In a letter, Naruto poses a simple inquiry - "What would have happened if you hadn't met me?" In response, Sasuke ruminates. And gets close to hitting on actual emotion.
Characters: Sasuke, slight Sasunaru if you squint
Naruto... let me ask you a hypothetical question. What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?
Don't hurt yourself thinking.
Hm, I will save you some time and enlighten you. It's a paradox. There is no answer that could feasibly satisfy both aspects of the premise. Basically, an unstoppable force and an immovable object cannot co-exist.
And yet here we are.
You... were interesting from the start. A failure who refused to acknowledge his glaring ineptitude. Still you persisted, and somehow, you grew.
If we hadn't met, I wouldn't have been forced to witness your infuriating drive. A drive that, though I loathe to admit it, matches my resolve indefinitely.
I want to pretend that you don't matter. I want to spit in your face, trample your skull, repudiate you entirely. I want to say, 'If we hadn't met' it wouldn't have mattered because your affect on me is nil. But. Just this once, I'll let you in on the secret. You do matter, if only because you've simply always been there. Bothering me. We worked together, we survived together, we were brothers. And now? Now you are the one force that challenges my cold immobility. You alone combat my determination to extract revenge on Konoha. You are the singular power that tries to eradicate my walls of hatred.
I left Konoha for it. I left you for it, remember? And I'd do it again.
If I hadn't met you, I wouldn't have had to clash iron with a formidable opponent. I would have run through the others, your friends, with no problem, destroyed them even, but you. You make me hesitate ever so slightly because of your inane refusal to just give it up. To give me up.
Friends. Friendship. You insist on it even though we are clearly enemies. It makes no sense. Why go so far for me? I made a choice, Naruto. I chose darkness. I chose loneliness. I chose revenge. I chose to abandon everything. I chose to be this way for there was no other choice. But still you persist, like a goddamn heat wave in the thick of summer.
You want to save me much like Itachi wanted to protect me. But Itachi's 'protection' drove me to darkness, so what will your 'salvation' bring?
My hatred is a burden. One that you told me you would bare willingly. Impossible; I won't allow it. For you see, while you cling to your bonds, I cling to my insatiable rage.
It's all I have left alongside Uchiha pride. This fact cannot be altered, so stop Naruto. Stop trying to change it before you (
Tch. If I hadn't met you. What a useless condition to consider. But let me say one thing more:
If I hadn't met you, I wouldn't have known I could become so baffled by sheer persistence. Because even though I despise you... I respect that nothing deters you. There, I said it.
I will still kill you though; I must.
To prove that my insistence on hatred can trump your insistence on compassion.
To prove that you are not an unstoppable force, because I am in fact the immovable object. The two cannot exist together. Logically, something has to give.
It will not be me.
**Inspired by and in response to Rasengan22's own story If I hadn't Met You. Acts basically as an alternate Sasuke perspective.