This is important, alright? It might not seem like it but seriously. It is.
Naruto technically doesn’t NEED the kage bunshin. Even if he sometimes uses it to play cards and shit; Naruto has friends now. He isn’t the loser who was outcast by everyone. He is basically the saviour of like, the entire shinobi world. Strangers, past enemies and teammates all look up to him and care about him. He has a lot of really good friends now.
But he’s still lonely. And you can tell that Sasuke struck a nerve because of Naruto’s reaction. If it wasn’t true he’d laugh it off or grin or say “naaah I’ve got everyone in Konoha waiting for me after this”
So why is he still lonely? Because Sasuke isn’t there.
That’s it, that’s all. Naruto needs Sasuke in his life, by his side, now and forever. Enough so that he said he would kill Sasuke and then DIE so Sasuke wouldn’t be alone in the after life. And remember when he found out Sakura was on her way to kill Sasuke and he like, fucking had a panic attack and passed out in the snow?
Naruto won’t be really and truly happy until Sasuke is back in his life.
Okay, if you don’t think that this is love, or like something that even transcends love to some higher plane of emotion you can just get the hell outta my face right now.