I read the following on a forum:
The bond between Naruto and Sasuke is NOT one-sided!
“A lot of people are saying that Naruto is a stalker. I think that’s way to harsh on Naruto. What he is is incredibly empathetic. That comes from natural personality trait, together with having felt immense suffering yourself. And Naruto has recognised Sasuke’s pain accurately.
Sasuke has never been a complete jerk. He has just talked as though he’s one most of the time. Big difference. Let me explain…
Ignoring the very recent development of turning on Kaarin (which I’m not convinced was genuine anyway – Sasuke was going to kill Sakura when he believed she was making good on his ‘test’. He didn’t expect that from her). But Sasuke, when his guard falters, shows anything from very raw, vulnerable, scared, and even empathetic. Naruto cannot handle that Sasuke is suffering, which clearly, he is. I think people overlook that too much.
An obvious theory:
Sasuke is TERRIFIED of bonds because he doesn’t want to lose them. It’s unbearably PAINFUL. If you only focused on Sasuke’s carefully schooled impassive face and words, you’d think him 1-dimensional and COLD.
But his ACTIONS are what is important.. What he CAN and CANNOT do, despite all his denial and talk. If his words were are as true as he’d like them to be, he never would have put his life on the line for Naruto on the bridge, he would have resented Naruto for being weak and let him die if it risked his life.
Even when he was ‘dying’ he was still scared for Naruto, who was in great danger. He uses the last of his strength to tell him he didn’t want to die before he killed ‘that man’. But instead of being angry about the failure of his obsessive plans, he is STILL scared for Naruto, continuing with: "You…. hand reaches up Don’t die… "
When he came back to his ridiculously-harsh-self-imposed-hatred-reality, the thought that he’d automatically saved Naruto and been happy with his decision at the time, scared the SHIT out of him. THIS began his downward spiral.
Firstly, because it made him realise that he lacked conviction. And now he knew that Naruto knew he lacked conviction. All Sasuke had based his life around was pride and revenge. Now in his head, he was a fraud. His family’s death would be gotten away with because Itachi was right, he was weak.
Secondly, and I believe worse, it rattled him that he’d formed a bond in spite of himself. He was so attached to Naruto that the threat of losing that bond had made him sacrifice his own life on the spot. Naruto was a possible source of incredible pain for him should he lose him. A constant threat when you’re all ninjas.
More proof that Sasuke can’t always walk the talk (and has a 2-sided bond with Naruto). At VoTE, not wanting to do things his brothers way as an excuse for not killing Naruto for the Mangekyou (HUGE advantage)? Rubbish (obviously). Especially when you consider that Orochimaru stopped him smiting Team 7 later on, on the basis that keeping them alive if it gained them a 1% advantage POSSIBILITY, it was worth it. What do you think Mangekyou was worth?
Further to that, at that time, why not just use ‘THAT’ technique first if he really ever intended to kill them all? He was curious about them, couldn’t stop himself having a bit of interaction with them. He swooped in to drape his arm around Naruto so quickly that everyone was shocked, and yet his painfully slow drawing of his sword to kill Naruto begged for someone to stop him. He had no intention of following his words, AGAIN!
Even now, though he recognizes Naruto is a threat, he is drawn to him and does not want to kill him.
His “Why do you care about me so much?!” I interpreted as frustration and pain that Naruto was making it so HARD on him to sever the bond. Why couldn’t Naruto turn on him like everyone else after all he has done to carefully earn it? Why can’t Naruto just make it easier for him to prove to both Naruto and himself, that the bond could be broken, so that he could go through with killing him like he hadn’t been able to before?
Sakura turned on him, it was justifiable. But Naruto just will not stop believing and seeing the good in him no matter what. For Sasuke, killing him would still be incredibly painful and wrong, and he knows it. He doesn’t want to, and now Naruto goes and makes himself synonymous with the attack… No wonder Sasuke is pissed, confused, and cracking about it. To get to Konoha he has to kill Naruto, THAT is a horribly painful conclusion for both of them, no matter how much he wants to deny it.
Also note that Sasuke talks about crushing Konoha to cleanse the Uchiha name. Naruto has done nothing but openly admit that Sasuke UCHIHA is his most important person, that he’s always wanted to know him, that he’s been in awe and that’s why he made him his rival. Naruto has the exact opposite of a crime against respecting Uchihas. His only fault is that he believes there is still good in Sasuke, and he has the misfortune to carry Kyubi needed in it’s downfall.
That face when Naruto said he is Sasuke’s friend… Anyone who knows Sasuke’s character knows that Sasuke is very good at concealing his emotions. There was no snide “Hnn…” routine. This confession left him VISIBLY shaken. There is no reason for this unless the bond was NEVER actually broken!
This bond is NOT one sided.
Also a side note about orphans. Having grown up around the corner from one (brother’s best friend), and been best friends in school with another, testing bonds CONSTANTLY seems to be a pretty big thing for these two.
Trying to force people to leave or be angry, only to feel hurt but justified in their assumption that everyone would not want them in the end… It’s sad. Just my experience."
Someone responded with:
“You don’t have to make excuses for him. I have no doubt in my mind and I wouldn’t try to play the devil’s advocate against it either, that the things Sasuke was doing in this last arc were evil. He was out for blood, and innocent blood for that matter. Even worse, he turned against his teammate. It was a horrible thing to do. If I was close to stop reading this manga at any point, I was when Sasuke ‘sacrificed’ Karin for his revenge.
But he was also out of his mind. I’m not saying he is being manipulated or anything. There are natural ways that can slam someone against the walls that separate sanity from insanity. Power is one, and Sasuke has a lot of power. That much power in combination with his goals was bound to push him though the wall.
But I honestly believe that he cared and still does care for both Karin and Sakura. Treating people doesn’t always go equivalently to how you feel about them. To compare, even that is on far smaller scale, we seem to always say the worst things to people we care about most. But this is a story where kids are trained to kill each other since they were seven years old, so it’s not something we can compare with how things are in our world.
Also, him caring for them makes what he did worse, not better.
And of course he cares about Naruto as well. The difference is, he also has respect for Naruto and in the area that is the only thing Sasuke understands these days – power-wise. Not to mention, Naruto is hitting the right buttons this time around.
Back when Naruto was trying to stop him, to change who he is, it was easy to ignore him. It’s the same with Kakashi and Sakura now – Sasuke might still have some remainings of that bond with them still in him, but they want to believe that he is something he isn’t, and when it turns out that’s wrong, they want to kill him. They matter, but that doesn’t change anything. Naruto, on the other hand, knows exactly who and what Sasuke is now. I mean, after that exchange of blows/mind reading, he has to know, right? Yet he still calls Sasuke his friend. That is what affects him, I think. He is accepted for what he is, pain and hate and all. And that changes things, because having someone who understands, or even just trying to understand, dulls the pain.
Unfortunately, being affected by someone accepting you in this case messes up with what Sasuke chose to do. He can’t afford to have second thoughts now – he doesn’t want to have them. So Naruto must die, so he wouldn’t cloud his judgment.
Sasuke is so intent on killing Naruto because Naruto matters, not because he doesn’t."