Title: The Art of Transformation
Chapter 1: Replacement Technique
Disclaimer: I can only imagine how messed all Naruto characters would be if I owned them.
Warnings: Angst, sort of. Yaoi, sort of. OOC most likely.
Pairings: I'm not even sure. But probably mostly SasuNaru, SakuSasu. Or something? I'm trying to be sneaky.
Summary: "And like that - pinned to the table by his weight, hearing soft murmurs of someone else's name against a skin that isn't mine - I come to a decision. I don't think I can do this anymore."
The first time it happened, Sasuke was drunk.
I wish that weren't the case, but he was quite clearly not himself. I wasn't sure who he was anymore, and it didn't seem like he did, either.
He'd only just returned to Konoha. The retrieval operation had been surprisingly simple, though for years before that, the village artisan's hands had been covered with a perpetual layer of dust. Every month, it seemed that more names of those who tried to find him were carved into the obelisk. Many were sent to retrieve him, and many of those had failed in the most final way.
Sasuke's return took place in a surprisingly calm manner. We'd been waiting for a list of casualties, and were almost shocked when the party appeared, completely intact, with a dark figure in their midst who seemed both alien and familiar.
It wasn't until a few weeks had passed that we learned of Itachi's death. Sasuke was back for good. We weren't sure whether to be relieved or more afraid.
He was placed under house arrest by Hokage, and after he was released from that, indefinite probation. Sasuke was lucky it had only come to that. After years of following Orochimaru, and of doing so many unsavory things in order to finally take Itachi down, Sasuke had been a hairsbreadth away from a death-sentence.
However, in the council's and Hokage's mind, the Uchiha bloodline was valuable to the village. Hokage was taking a calculated risk. If Sasuke was allowed to settle, if he lived to pass on the power of his bloodline, it would add to the future strength of Konoha. Sasuke was the seed of power, and as such, he was precious. The Hokage limited his movements, and arranged that he be given only the most basic of missions when Konoha's usual working force was stretched thin. He was under strict supervision, and had to remain in the village, reporting any of his movements to the Anbu chief.
If he broke even the smallest of these rules, the Hokage's firm look had made it clear what would happen.
Anyway, Sasuke had just gotten back, and he was drunk that night. Shikamaru and I had dragged him out with us. Well, I guess I did the dragging - Shikamaru just happened to be there, and I didn't really want to go into the Uchiha mansion by myself to get him. We were determined to show Sasuke that everything was the same, even though we knew it could never be. Sasuke was different when he got back - he was a killer. We were all ninja, but he had killed the people of his own village, and made good on his oath to destroy the last of his blood. He seemed closed, and honestly, sort of creepy. However, he couldn't hide the fact that he was, on some level, happy to be back.
Maybe the others couldn't, but some of us could forgive him. Perhaps forgiveness shouldn't have come so easily to me, it was hard to break old attachments. He was part of the team. He had killed so many members of others' teams, but it was hard to think about that when he was back and alive and so damned quiet, like everything that mattered to him was gone. He was. . . he'd always been part of our team, quiet and always kind of pissed off, and now it was easy for me to pretend that he was just irritated with something when that shadow passed over his face. That maybe I'd done something to annoy him like I always used to do, rather than the fact that he was stumbling under the weight of memories I could only speculate about.
We had been drinking because we really couldn't think of anything else to do. Sasuke and bowling just didn't seem to work, and the sake stand was right there. Sasuke was already half-loaded anyway, and it seemed like we should catch up somehow. Shikamaru was called away at some point - probably to pick up some tampons for Ino, because he is so whipped like that. We wandered the streets for a while, and eventually we found ourselves sitting on the couch in my apartment, since his ancestral home was still dusty, broken, and vandalized during his long absence.
In the dark, he had leaned close, smelling of liquor, and kissed me.
I'd always, always wanted that.
So, I kissed him back, hardly daring to believe that it was happening, and it was almost unsurprising when he pulled back. He licked his lips, and I could see them shining wet in the dark.
"That form. . . that jutsu. Do it," he said.
He sucked my earlobe into his mouth, and I was not thinking very clearly.
"Transform," he husked. "You know, the sexy no jutsu that. . ." he paused, and inhaled just enough to expel the next word. "Please."
What was left of my mind reeled at the request. I was insulted, almost. . . and then, I just didn't care anymore. It was funny how he always did that to me - switched my brain off until all I could do was react. And I guess on some level I'd always suspected. . . but it didn't matter to me. At the time, I was too far gone to care, and too drunk on those cold, cold lips. He was back. So. . . I did, both because I wanted to see how far this would go, and because I was scared he'd leave again if I didn't.
It seemed strange to me. He'd never seemed too interested in that form before, but if that was all it took, it seemed like a small price to pay.
I didn't quite get it, then.
So I did. He lost his hands in that long blonde hair, and licked the markings on those cheeks. He buried his face between those thighs, and then buried his body there.
It hurt alot, that first time. After that, I had to adjust the transformation a bit. Not much, just enough so it wasn't so uncomfortable. Sasuke can be a little rough. It's not intentional - he just loses control.
Now, it's become a bizarre routine. I almost can't imagine what the things we do would feel like if he didn't pull on those pigtails, or suckle those high, round breasts. I can't imagine how it would feel in my natural body.
Because. . . he's never really fucking me. I should say making love, because that's what it is to him. The name spills from his red mouth in stilted syllables. His eyes blaze with blood when he comes. He always fights the sharingan's emergence, because it forces him to see through my jutsu, and to really see what we're doing. The truth hurts.
Sometimes, I return from a mission to find him waiting. He doesn't have much to do these days; he just trains, and wanders in the woods on his own, thinking. Hokage doesn't give Sasuke missions often - and never, ever solo ones. Sasuke is still paying for his treason, and will probably always be paying for it.
Hokage won't even look at him if they pass in the street. The fact that he's an Uchiha makes him valuable, but it doesn't change the fact that he did something unforgivable.
So, sometimes, Sasuke shows up in my apartment. He usually brings ramen cups, which we eat together, neither of us really enjoying it. The food isn't the point, anyway.
The first time he brought them, he threw the cups into the corner when we were done. "Don't," he said quietly when I moved to pick them up. "Leave them."
And, I guess. . . that was when I knew, beyond a glimmer of doubt, what was going on.
But that didn't mean I could stop.
Tonight, he just showed up again, with those damned noodle cups. I poked at the noodles for a second, watching them slowly reconstitute into something resembling actual food.
"Not exactly like the real thing, is it?" I ask dully, before I avoid those black, knowing eyes. I may accuse, but I'm just as guilty.
I know I should turn him away, but this body betrays me every time.
Oh, gods. He's deep inside me. I'm bent over the kitchen table, and the edge is digging into my elbows, but I can't bring myself to care. He's got one of his fists wrapped in one of the long pigtails, and pulls back on it. He sinks his teeth into my shoulder as he drives deep. I can feel the sweat on his skin, the damp heat of his breath.
This whole place smells like sex and stale ramen, and gods, I'm almost there.
He lets out a hoarse, feral growl. Then, he's coming, hips jerking violently against me. He's whimpering, almost crying into the long, blonde hair that isn't really mine.
But that doesn't matter. I come anyway, feeling the hot, sticky wetness running down my inner thigh. He rests his cheek gently against my back. He wraps his arms tightly around my waist, and pants against my skin.
It took some time before I could maintain the jutsu through my orgasm. That disgust that appeared on his face the few times I failed to was a powerful motivator. His look of shame. The hurried way he would leave afterwards.
"Mmn," he murmurs against my shoulder. I can feel it, he's getting hungry again, swelling inside me.
He is never fully satisfied this way. It's like drinking water when you're starving.
And like that - pinned to the table by his weight, hearing soft murmurs of someone else's name against a skin that isn't mine - I come to a decision.
I don't think I can do this anymore.
As I swim in self-hatred, I think to myself that maybe this time, I'll give him what he really wants. He's never asked for it, because I wouldn't be able to pretend anymore if we did it his way. It's a strange sort of kindness.
This arrangement only works if we can both pretend.
I press him backwards and then pull myself off his sex with a wince. He turns, leaning back and propping himself up on the table on the heels of his hands, eyes closed.
I drop to my knees. He's still a little dazed, and lets out a plaintive gasp as I take him in my mouth and suck him in slowly, feeling his slick length slide between my lips.
That's when he looks down. I just stare up at him, trailing my tongue up the underside, and I can feel the moment he registers the spiky blond hair and the muscled, male body, because he twitches into iron hardness against my tongue.
Sasuke's fingers curl into my hair as I swallow him down, and he's staring at me as though I'll disappear, with a look of stunned joy on his face. Then, words start to spill from him in a mad, muted rush.
"Oh god, Naruto," he whispers tightly. "Please just. . . oh god. Please. . ."
He slowly pulls free of me. Then, turning with an almost drunken stumble, Sasuke bends submissively, offering himself. I look at the long, pale lines of his muscled body in shock, lingering at the dark hair clinging to his nape, and the firm muscle of his back, tensed in anticipation.
Then, I'm the one doing the fucking for once. I made it big, but that's justice for you.
Sasuke claws at the floor, begging for more, so it seems he doesn't mind.
"Fuck!" he gasps, "Oh, god, please." He's practically keening. "Need you. . . god, Naruto, l-love you, please, more. . ."
It doesn't take long at all. I hear the sound of his seed spurting wetly onto my linoleum. I know I'm not going to be able to come like this - it's just too weird - but that isn't the point, anyway. After I pull out of him, I am not quite sure what to do.
I can't seem to stop looking at all those damned noodle-cups littering the ground.
Sasuke sure has a messed up idea of ambiance.
He's still lying on the floor five minutes after I withdraw. He's heaving with the effort of breath, skin gleaming with sweat. I figure that I should at least wait a little longer before I tell him to leave, this time for good.
I must be making some sort of movement, because he suddenly gets to his feet and launches himself at me. His movements are panicked, and I freeze momentarily, expecting an attack - but then I feel his arms wrap themselves tightly around my waist. The momentum of his lunge knocks us both back onto the floor, and he just lies on top of me for a moment, head resting on my chest.
"Naruto," he whispers. I almost forgot what form I'm in. He stares at this face for a moment, and then pulls himself up enough to kiss me, and it's. . .
He's never kissed me like that before.
"God, Naruto," he whispers again, and I think he's losing it. He's. . . he's actually crying. "Please, just. . . I'm so sorry." The words, once again, are flooding out of him like he's kept them stopped up too long. But it's too late, really too late. I can see this knowledge in his black eyes, but the red of his sharingan has faded. He can ignore reality a little while longer. I guess I can give him this at least.
One last thing, because I loved him so much, but not enough to keep doing this. Or rather, too much to keep doing this.
"Please, just. . . I'm so sorry," he begs, fingers sinking into my biceps. "Just look at me again. Just. . . just look at me. You don't have to do anything else. Just, please, see me. I can't stand this anymore. I'll never leave the village. Just LOOK at me."
Right then, watching Sasuke curl himself into a trembling, naked ball against me, all pride gone, I realize that our young Hokage didn't have to have Sasuke executed to sentence him to death.
I doubt that Hokage even knows. Despite his very young appointment, and the immense ability that grew into greatness before my eyes, no one can really contest the fact that he's not all that perceptive about this kind of thing. Naruto never even figured out that Hinata liked him.
"Hokage-sama, just look at me, please," Sasuke whispers brokenly. His hands caress my face with such love, like he's touching the most precious thing in the world with his shaking fingers. "Please, you got your dream. And now that I've done my duty, could you please. . . I hoped, when I came back. . . the only thing that got me through. . ." Sasuke hid his face against my chest, not even trying to hide his desperation any longer. "I'd do anything, if you'd just LOOK at me. . ."
That last sentiment sounds so familiar that I'm starting to cry, too, because how many times did I say that to myself? I'd have done anything, if Sasuke would just look at me. And I guess a part of me, a small and petty part, is glad he finally knows how it felt.
If only I didn't still. . .
I did try to prepare myself for this, but I didn't expect him to break down, and it all cuts far too close. "Sasuke," I mutter thickly. It's all wrong, and I don't feel the satisfaction I thought I would. "Please. . . just go. I'm sorry."
He seems to come back to himself, stiffening, and then quickly releases me. Looking down, he quickly gathers his clothes, and puts them on with movements that are jerky and awkward with humiliation. When he leaves, he doesn't hold his head as high as usual, but I'm sure when we next meet, neither of us will be willing to acknowledge what's happened between us.
Not that we ever did before, but it will be different this time. It will be over, and I will know too much.
I sit there for a while in the dark, until the cold of the evening jolts me back into awareness. With a bizarre feeling of satisfaction, I gather all those disgusting ramen cups into a big garbage bag. I will take them outside tomorrow.
When I go into the bathroom to clean myself up before bed, it is with some shock that I see myself still in Naruto's form.
Those bright blue eyes have become a bit harder with the passage of time and the weight of responsibility. The marks of power arc down over strongly angled cheekbones, and his hair is as wild as ever. Some scars are written deep into his tan skin, stretched over hard muscle that he built up over years of training.
He is beautiful.
I look at my reflection - Naruto's reflection - with a hint of pride. I've always been good at transformation; I wasn't top in the academy for nothing.
Finally, I release the jutsu, and watch my smaller body appear from the smoke. My pink hair tumbles in disarray around my pale face. I have red marks on my shoulders and neck; raw patches of skin irritated by the scrape of teeth.
I close my eyes, and think about forgiveness, and other transformations.
When I open my eyes again, I touch one of the pink patches of skin with my fingertip.
It is dark, and I will have to hide them for a while - but these marks will fade with time, as all marks do.
A/N: I rewrote this a bit to fit better with the next part. Thanks for reading.