Part1: Life

It was unmercifully hot; the sun was at full force as it beat down on the weary, unsuspecting construction workers. There was very little shade except for a small tent that had been erected next to the air conditioned trailer that only the engineers were allowed in. (1) It was unfair but it could be worse, the engineers insisted that the workers take five minuet breaks every twenty minuets, they couldn't afford to lose anyone to the sun. Only two sat in the tent at the moment, catching their breath and trying to hydrate their bodies again.

Taking the flimsy plastic cup he filled it to the top with cool water and proceeded to dump it over his long blond locks, barely held in place by a high ponytail. The water dripped down his face sending much needed tracks of relief to the overheated man. His eyes blinked showing a sliver of sky blue and then went back to their original closed position. He wore a white, sweat -drenched, wife beater, showing off his thin but muscled arms and the absolutely perfect chest.

Also he wore a pair of ripped, sun -faded jeans that fit snugly on his slender, well-developed lower body. In his hand was a white bandanna that he wore over his hair to keep it out of his eyes while he worked. The only other distinct thing about him was the six whisker like scars on his face, he himself had no idea how he had gotten them, all he knew was the he had, had them as long as he remembered.

His companion rolled his eyes from his position, laying spread eagle, on the ground, a small white puppy curled up on his chest. Wild brown hair sprung out from every direction possible, the color of his hair matched exactly the color of his clear eyes, speaking volumes about his Japanese heritage. The small dog had been a gift from his girlfriend, Hinata, she had given him to dog when his first one, Akamaru, had passed away at the ripe old age of 17, so the puppy had been dubbly named Akamaru the Second. Already the two had bonded and it was next to impossible to separate them, much like it was impossible to separate the two men.

They had been best friends since the day they had meet each other in the second grade, their hyper obnoxious personality's being a perfect fit for one another. Their friendship had lasted almost fourteen years, both now being twenty-one. Kiba worked as a construction worker part-time, working only to pay for his living expenses, while Naruto worked full-time trying to make end's meet as he shared an apartment, paid his own college tuition, and supported his little brother. Iruka, Naruto's former guardian, helped out when he could but being an English teacher at their former high school he didn't make much himself.

Naruto wasn't one to complain though, he worked hard and did the best he could, while still being a big brother and father to Konohamaru. The seven- year old absolutely adored his nii-chan and enjoyed spending every minuet with him possible, unfortunately with the work load Naruto had he usually was with Shikamaru, the other tenant of the apartment also a distant cousin who was more than willing to take care of the small boy. Opening his eyes again they flitted down to his watch, two more hours and then he had a class. Throwing the cup into the beat up old barrel, he kicked Kiba lightly in the side with his heavy work boots.

"C'mon lazy break's over"

The scruffy man glared at his friend, and much to Naruto's amusement, Akamaru followed his master's example.

"Must you ALWAYS do that!?"

An easy laugh escaped the blonde's lips as he retied the bandanna around his hair and slipped the tan work gloves back on.


Kiba only glared more reproachfully at the man as he stood up, Akamaru first jumping off of his chest and onto the small bed that had been made up for him underneath the water cooler table. Grabbing his own gloves and bandanna he tugged the gloves on as Naruto began to go back to the glittering steel high rise.

"Hey! Wait for me!"

Whiningly he started after the man, all the while trying, without much success, to tie his kerchief while walking. Let's just say Kiba was not the most coordinated person in the world when it came to walking and doing anything else. Naruto glanced back in time to see his friend trip over a non-existence obstacle and land face first in the dirt, his bandanna fluttering delicately in the air and then landing softly on his head.

With a sigh he turned on his heel and went back to his now bleeding friend, looked like another trip the emergency room, well... at least Hinata would be happy, greatly amused, but happy to see them. (2)


He moved fluidly, as if water, down the runway that streatched far out in front of him. His slender legs clothed in black pants and perfect boots with a low heel, moved through the long material of his jacket with the Chinese collar. The only color was the cream vest that layered over itself and was held together with slender pure ivory bars; otherwise he wore a black smooth turtleneck underneath it.

Dark hair fell down his back in a river of silk making the pure black eyes stand out even more; they stared ahead in a perfect gaze. His perfect features were a smooth white under the harsh lights of the runway. Lights went of at each side of him as he stopped at the end and paused for a few moments, just enough to give them a taste, before he discreetly grabbed the side of his coat and turned around the coat swirling out behind him.

The walk back was quicker than the walk to the end; soon he was in the backstage models, male and female hurrying around him in a barely controlled frenzy. Ignoring all he walked over to one of the vacant mirrors and sat down, easing out of the jacket and letting it fall on the back of the chair. Undoing the cuffs he rolled the sleeves up to his elbows and leaned on his arms gazing boredly into the mirror.

A soft presence made an appearance behind him, long black hair caught in a strange ponytail bun, pure white eyes, that made people often assume he was blind, and a slender body. He wore a sleek white shirt with straight leg jeans the color of burnished gold. It seemed odd to see the man in anything casual but lately he had barely seen him outside of work so he shouldn't be too surprised.

"Hello Neji"

The man nodded at him as he sat down on the next over mirror, his slender fingers intertwining with themselves as he gazed at Sasuke not blinking, not demanding, just gazing. He was not a pushy person but he had an air to him that made people think that they could be completely honest, that he would not judge them whatever they had done. The other one was not immune to that power but he was a bit more reserved,

"Hello Sasuke"

It seemed strange how long they had known each other, truly it had been over twelve years and yet at times it did seem to them that it had only been a few hours. They could be called the strong, silent types but in all truth they were just cold. They didn't enjoy surrounding themselves with people; they preferred a book to conversation anytime. Perhaps it was lonely, perhaps they didn't have anything better but they were trying now, Sasuke had a girlfriend and an adopted son, while Neji had reconnected with his cousin, finally getting over his grudge, something that Sasuke still had to do with his own family.

"How is Inari?"

A ghost of a true smile played on the perfect man's lips; his son was his favorite subject to talk about any day.

"Very well he is absolutely enthralled with second grade, especially with his teacher, Mr. Ebisu and his best friend... Kono... something."

A soft smile played on the more silent one's lips, he did enjoy hearing about the young boy, and in fact he often felt as if he were a surrogate uncle whenever Sasuke asked him to baby-sit. It may sound strange but it had been Inari who had helped him make up with his cousin, now he only hoped that he would help his father to shape up, so to speak. Otherwise Sasuke completely doted upon the boy, trying to give him the love that he had barely received in his own childhood,

"I sup-..."

He was suddenly cut off as the backstage manager gave a thirty second warning for final walk. Standing up he helped Sasuke shrug into the jacket without adding any creases and then they walked to the entrance, Sasuke standing to the left of the designer, Neji to his right. They were top models in one of the most cutthroat businesses of all time and they reveled in their power.


It was well past seven when Naruto finally turned the key in the deadbolt and pushed open the plain dark door with the worn gold numbers spelling out two and seven. The door gave way to a small entryway with various shoes, small and big, and a blue welcome mat littered on top of the soft white carpet. Shrugging out of his worn tan leather coat he hung it on one of the already over laden hooks, amidst a yellow slicker and a long black trench coat.

Pushing off the heavy boots they hit the floor with a dull thud, there was a silence in the apartment for a few moments then suddenly the sound of running feet. He turned his back to the door just in time to catch a glimpse of dark hair and big brown eyes before a heavy weight barreled into his lower body. Small, short arms clasped around his legs and squeezed tightly as Naruto had to place a hand against the wall the stay standing.


The small boy squealed happily as large hands picked him up by the armpits and strong arms pulled him up to the blonde man's chest. Excited brown eyes meet soft blue one's that sparkled with and unidentifiable emotion that surrounded the small boy with contentment and love, his big brother was finally home.

"Aren't you supposed to be in bed?"

A vigorous shaking of his head was his reply making a rich chuckle fall easily out of his mouth.

"No! Nii-san you said I didn't have to go to bed till 8:30!"

A soft smile and a hand atop of the small one's head, small legs wrapped around his waist and a strong arm behind the back.

"So I did"

Naruto walked into the living room, Konohamaru chatting excitedly about his day and his teacher Mr. Ebisu. Glancing up he smiled and nodded at Shikamaru who was sitting on the floor, his books spread out among the many multi-colored legos. The T.V. ran unobtrusively in the background with some action show about giant robots.

"Hey Shika"

The dark haired man glanced up with dark eyes that eerily reminded him of Konohamaru; it wasn't that strange considering that he was their cousin but still. His shoulder-length black hair was floating loose around his face instead of its normal ponytail. He wore a pair of gray sweats and a dark blue t-shirt that fit him nicely, as true to him he was barefoot; he usually never wore shoes unless it was absolutely necessary.

"Yo Naru"

A quick shared smile passed between them and Shikamaru's head dipped back down to his psych book, the very picture of the dedicated college student, about to snap from the pressure of midterms. Naruto turned his attention back to the bundle of energy that was currently illustrating his story with wide arm gestures. He ducked his head just in time to avoid getting hit in the face and placed the boy back on the ground.

Konohamaru immediately ran over to the kitchen and grabbed something off of the fridge, then ran back to his brother who had collapsed on the couch like a lazy cat or a teenager spreading out across half of the comfortable thing. The small boy jumped on top of the waiting stomach, much to his brother's chagrin, and placed a paper right in front of his eyes.

Blinking he focused in on the white sheet in front of him and a smile grew on his face as a red mark, a smiley face and a number, one hundred, became apparent on the math test. He grabbed the boy and was suddenly up on his feet giving him a huge hug.

"That's amazing Konohamaru! I'm so proud of you!"

The boy laughed as he was placed underneath his brother's arm and they walked back into the kitchen.

"Now let's put that back on the fridge and see if you and Shikamaru left me any dinner."

His only response was laughter from both his brother and cousin.


It was an uncomfortable silence that prevailed over the dining room, Inari played idly with one of the crinkle cut French fries, his favorite, while glancing up on occasion at the adults that currently sat at the table. The tension in the room, mostly coming from Sakura, was so high that he could cut it with a knife, that is if he was allowed to handle anything sharper than a butter knife, but at the moment he wasn't stressing details.

He felt the urge to pull the terrycloth white hat with its bright red stripes far over his big brown eyes and the adorable freckles that littered the tan skin across his nose and cheeks. He wore a red t-shirt and a pair of khaki shorts just a tad to big, grimy sneakers dangled from the chair, laces untied and no socks, testifying to being dragged to the dinner table from the amazing mud puddle that had magically appeared during the afternoon.

Sasuke raised an eyebrow at his son, completely oblivious to the fact that his girlfriend was giving him a dark look, and placed a hand on the worn hat that went everywhere with his son, much like the tiny white dog who was currently being forced to take a bath.


The boy looked up a wide frightened expression on his face.

"I swear it was Poochi's idea to use the hose dad!"

"Your telling me your dog convinced you to spray water all over Lee's garden until it turned into mud and then told you to go and play in it?"


He couldn't help it; a rich chuckle escaped his lips and echoed through the room, much to Inari's delight. The boy slid off his chair and walked over to his father, climbed on his lap and gave him a hug trying to look as innocent as possible.

"Alright you little troublemaker I'm not going to punish you..."

The hope on the young boy's face made this only sweeter.

"... I'm going to let Lee use you to help rebuild his garden and whatever menial chores he needs done"

"But DAD!!"

Sasuke gave him a stern look that made the boy sigh in defeat.

"Yes sir"

The man pulled the boy closer to his chest giving him a warm hug of forgiveness and love.

"Now if your done with your supper, how about we go and see if your old man can still kick your butt and Soul Caliber two?"

He didn't have time to blink before Inari had jumped out of his arms and onto the floor, landing like a cat on his feet and hands, then grabbed his father's hand and dragged him out of the chair and towards the dining room doors. Sasuke laughed and let himself be led to the hallway, he was a complete pushover whenever it came to his son.

The elegant young woman watched them go, her pastel green eyes letting off a cool gaze, this always seemed to happen lately whenever she came over, Sasuke would ignore her in favor of Inari. She understood that he loved his son, who couldn't love someone as adorable as that, but she was also someone important in his life.

Sighing she ran a few slender fingers through her soft cotton candy pink hair and took a small sip of red wine. It seemed lately that Sasuke had been drifting farther and farther away from her, she didn't think it had been anything that she had done but she truly couldn't be sure.

Standing up she dusted off the simple fitted pink t-shirt and comfortable jeans she wore and followed the boy's into the living room. Oh well at least she would be entertained while she brooded over her love life.


(1) I have no idea if this is true my knowledge on such things is sadly lacking... which leads me to the question of why do I write about it? Nobody knows... seriously

(2) Hinata's a nurse at the local hospital, needless to say Kiba's been there often, in fact that's how they meet^^

Gah! Seven pages long! And no Angst!! Will wonder's never cease? Anyway not much to this chapter but it is only the first one and I wanted to establish lives and things before I jumped straight into the romance^^ *Giggles* Next up Inari and Konohamaru scheme while Naruto gets a strange offer from a strange man ^_~

Amazingly enough I have to say that writing Naruto's parts were really easy, it was that bastard Sasuke that gave me the most trouble! I swear he can never just do it the easy way it always has to be a bloodbath and two bags of highly addictive skittles at one in the morning! *sigh* Men... ^_~

Disclaimer: Sheesh, I usually always forget to put this in but, no, contrary to popular belief I do not own Naruto nor am I making any profit, except for some lovely mental images, from this fictional story

As always I'll update as soon as it's done!

Love and kisses to all my readers and reviewers!

"Whatever their future, at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man's nature and of life's potential."

~ Ayn Rand