OK! This is a short, little late V-day fic. A little SasuNaru fluff and maybe a little humor. Yeah… don't have much to say so… I'm shutting up now!

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of its characters. (These statements are always so damn depressing… )

The Way Things Are

The black haired boy sat forward and stared coolly ahead. His elbows were propped on the desk and his fingers intertwined in the air in front of him. His chin rested gently in the space behind his forefingers and above his dangling thumbs, so that his face was covered to just under his nose.

It was Valentine's Day and Sasuke was miserable.

From the other side of the room the blond watched his rival sitting, seemingly ignoring the chatter about the room. Girls were constantly giving him quick sideways glances before blushing, turning away and returning to giggling in their little groups. The other boys in the room glared shamelessly at Sasuke's back, envying his attention but recognizing his superiority. Through it all, Sasuke sat staring, blankly at the wall. Yes, it seemed that Sasuke was ignoring the incessant chatter that just so happened to center around him.

Naruto sneered. He knew better. He choked back a snort as Sasuke glared at a certain spot on the wall. His frown just barely creased his apathetic expression but Naruto was attuned to this blatant lack of emotion. There was emotion, Naruto had surmised. You just had to look hard enough. And right now the black haired boy was hiding a distasteful scowl behind his hands.

As time went by the little huddles of girls got closer and closer to Sasuke's desk. It was rather amusing to watch. Every once in awhile one girl was brave enough to take a couple steps towards Sasuke with chocolates or some other gift concealed behind their back. But is was never more than a few steps before they blushed crimson and scurried back to the safety of their circle of friends, shaking their heads sadly.

Without warning two girls shot in the classroom and sat either side of Sasuke. A long haired blonde, being a bit more brass leaned up against the boy and smiled a syrupy sweet smile.

"Sasuke-kun, I made something for you on our special day," she cooed in his ear. Naruto could see Sasuke's eyes darken and wondered why no one else saw these obvious gestures.

"Iie… Ino pig! Ano… Sasuke-kun I was thinking we could do something today; the two of us. It being Valentine's Day and everything," the pink haired kunoichi was slightly nervous and she tugged at her short hair as she spoke. Naruto almost felt sorry for her.

"Iie you big-headed witch! You get Sasuke all the time!"

"So? That idiot Naruto always there, so that doesn't count!"

Almost…

Sasuke continued to radiate subtle murderous intensions. Naruto rolled his eyes. Only Sasuke could pull that one off.

When Naruto couldn't take anymore he walked over to the front of Sasuke's desk. The Uchiha was trying so hard to ignore the shouting girls that he didn't notice him at all. Naruto slammed his hands down on the desk and glared at Sasuke.

"Hey, bastard!" Naruto smiled internally when the black haired boy started ever so slightly and looked up. However, only Naruto noticed. The two girls were too busy glaring up at the obnoxious blond.

Resting his head in his hands again Sasuke retorted coldly, "What is it, dobe?"

Naruto ignored the homicidal glares that were making the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. "Fight me…"

Sasuke smirked seeing his opportunity. "Why do you bother? You can't beat me dobe." Nevertheless he was already standing showing he had accepted the challenge.

Naruto grabbed him by the shirt and growled in his face, "Don't call me that…" Then he let go and bolted through the door. Sasuke smoothly launched himself over the desk with one hand and was on Naruto's heals in an instant.

Sakura and Ino just looked at each other exasperated, "Boys…"

-

In a short while, Sasuke and Naruto had reached their favorite sparring spot, and were trying to catch their breath. Naruto put one hand on his hip and smirked. "How was that for a rescue?" he panted.

"Tch, whatever," and then returning the smirk Sasuke added with painful enunciation, "dobe."

"I said, quit calling me that!" Naruto stomped.

Then Sasuke smiled for real, "Make me!" And so Naruto threw the first punch.

It was times like these that had assured Naruto that, behind the mask, Sasuke had emotions like anyone else. They were the few times that the Uchiha heir dropped his icy exterior. Part of him wanted to say it started after the incident at the bridge with Haku and Zabuza, but the rest of him knew it went back much further than that. When they had been younger and shared the same terrible plight, utter loneliness.

One day Naruto had noticed that the Uchiha, never being very social, had totally shut himself off from the world. The once snobbish child would spend hours by himself on the docks while Naruto sought the attention of his peers. Back then they never talked. There was no momentous event that brought the two together. But after awhile Naruto felt as if he knew Sasuke. Unconscientiously they had reached out to each other as fellow suffers. Stumbling in the darkness of a child's bitter suffering their hands met and clasped to each other.

A hand in the darkness, that's what they were to each other. It was a continually renewed bond that only strengthened when they became team members. They challenged and fought in perpetual repetition, but to them it was a form of looking out for the other while still maintaining their burning boyish pride. They would prove themselves to the other numerous times. The Haku confrontations, the chuunin exam, and the fight with Gaara, were all ways of saying "I'm here and I care, even if I don't show it."

So Naruto was able to glimpse these moments of raw emotion from his 'rival.' Rare moments that the majority of other people didn't even know existed. It only happened around him, because of him, for him, Naruto. And for that the blonde was glad. He was probably being a bit selfish but it didn't matter. He didn't have to be alone. It was the way things were.

-

Hours later the two sat facing each other panting, and sweating. It had been a good fight with Sasuke coming out on top but not by much. The sun was starting to disappear over the horizon and the cool evening breeze was kicking in chilling the sweat on their bodies. They said little but the silence was not uncomfortable. They sat there until the sun had long since disappeared and the stars were twinkling into existence.

Finally Naruto stood and stretched. "It's getting pretty dark. I should head on home." Sasuke only nodded and stood brushing off the back off his shorts. When he looked up Naruto was right in front of him, grinning like and idiot.

"What…?" Sasuke was cut short when he felt soft lips on his cheek.

"Happy Valentine's Day, Sasuke," the blonde smiled softly turning off in the direction of his apartment. Sasuke stood stunned for a moment. Then without a second thought he turned and half ran to catch up with his friend. When he reached him he fell into step before reaching out and holding Naruto's hand in dark. It was simply the way things were.

-

OMG I hate it… T.T Oh well I couldn't get the idea out of my head. Please critique so I don't do something stupid like this again. Yeah… REVIEW PLEASE!