disclaimer I don't own Naruto

notes It's meant to make you smile. I don't know if you did or not, but it's just something in between arcs, for me (all of us) to remember Sasuke as he once was. You know, before he became a real bastard. Maybe a little bit OOC for Sasuke. But that's okay. When you're winning money you get laid back. Been awhile since I was here in the Naruto section anyways. So don't yell because I'm rusty. And when I'm rusty I get fluffy. You have been warned. Naruto may be OOC too, because I know the kid doesn't always do this. I know it. but it's funnier this way.

timeline After the Mist Country Arc. Before Chuunin Exam arc.

pairings None. Really, really, none. Wow.

Just a Little Bonding Time

"So…" he said casually, hands stuffed into his pockets. His teammates look up at him, startled, since he was never one to initiate a conversation. "Ramen." He finishes, and watches Naruto go crazy with a look of content on his face.

"Did you just say ramen?" the boy shrieks, forgetting the pain and injuries and exhaustion he was complaining about two seconds before. "You've read my mind Sasuke-bastard! I was just in the mood for ramen, and…" the blonde's gaze strays to the gray-haired man strolling along beside him, nose buried in a book.

"Kakashi-sensei!" he calls out, chasing after him, "Treat us to ramen tonight okay?" their sensei looks up groggily from his book, blinking lazily at the boy who was suddenly in his face, despite being much shorter.

Sasuke couldn't blame him. Being assaulted by a hungry Naruto was even enough to get the Hokage to look like he was afraid.

"Sasuke-kun…" Sakura glanced at him shyly from beneath her eyelashes, and he wished that she would just get a move on and say it already.

"Yeah?" he asks, being as noncommittal as he possibly could.

"Why did you say that?" she asks quietly, a blush spreading across her cheeks.

"Say what?" he asks tonelessly, sounding as if he didn't remember and didn't care that he didn't remember.


Naruto looks up feverishly from his tirade, and then, realizing who it was that had said it, returned back to harassing the teacher. "Ne, ne, Kakashi-sensei! Even Sakura-chan wants ramen! I just heard her say it!"

Kakashi shot them a not-so-subtle look that screamed, for the love of God, save me! Which both genins promptly ignored.

"Just testing out a theory," he said casually, stretching his arms and looking at the sunset.

In the distance they could hear Naruto crow as apparently Kakashi had given in. he appeared back in front of them, dragging their teacher as if by letting him go, he might run away. Which, considering who it was, was not unlikely.

"Guess what?" he shouted excitedly, "Kakashi-sensei volunteered to treat us to ramen tonight!"

Sasuke rolled her eyes, but said nothing in reproof.

"All right!" Naruto dragged the man off. "I want miso tonight! No, barbeque! No, beef!"

he followed the two without further word, and Sakura trailed behind.

"A theory…" she murmured, for once too confused to be excited about eating with her idol.

"Ne, Sasuke-kun," she said after they had sat down. She had maneuvered a seat next to him, and was worried about how to eat without appearing fat.


"What theory were you testing out?"

He sighed disgustedly. She wasn't going to let it go. "It's not really a theory. More of a bet." His voice clearly said, don't ask anymore.

But Sakura hadn't been considered the smartest girl in their class for her ability to let things go. "A bet?"

Sasuke glared at her. She stared coolly right back at him, inwardly quivering, but really, it was his fault for telling her.

He sighed. "A couple days ago I ran into Shikamaru."

She frowned. "Shikamaru? That super-lazy kid on Ino-pig's team? I was surprised he even graduated." Her eyes glinted evilly. "I feel bad for that kid, I really do. Being on Ino's team can't be a walk in the park."

Sasuke didn't know what to say to that, so he just said, "Yeah."

But she seemed satisfied with his answer. "Then what?" a small frown appeared on her face.

"No, Naruto," Kakashi said loudly, "I will not treat you guys to drinks too."

"B-But!" the boy protested, "we worked really hard today! And-and it's not like being a genin pays a lot so I don't always have money to come here on my own!" he tried his puppy eyes, but to no avail.

"First of all," Kakashi held up a finger. "You're supposed to work hard every day. That's part of being a good ninja. Secondly," he held up a second, "How much do you think my job pays a year?" he shook his head. "Peanuts. And it's going away faster thanks to today. And it's not like my apartment has a reliable heating system either…"

Wow. Sasuke was surprised. Kakashi-sensei had issues too.

The two bickered on in the background, and Sakura leaned closer conspiratorially. "What about Shikamaru?"

"Nothing." He said automatically, force of habit, then remembering that Sakura refused to let it go, amended it with, "He looked pretty bad though."

Sakura arched an eyebrow. "Why?" their team couldn't possibly have advanced further than doing the things that they had, and Zabuza-tachi aside, it was nothing dangerous. Unless you were terrified of weeds.

"Seems he was chatting with Naruto," The distaste in his voice made it clear that he thought it would be impossible for anyone to actually chat with the force of nature that was their teammate, "and he brought up ramen. And then the baka over there immediately dragged him here and made him pay for a huge meal."

Their ramen had arrived and their teacher suddenly yelped out, "Oi! Naruto! Don't order seconds before starting on you firsts!"

"So…" Sakura's frown deepened as they broke their chopsticks.

"So he bet me and that puppy kid…Kiba that every time someone said the word ramen, Naruto would go at the nearest person with cash and mooch."

He turned to his dinner then, and for next few minutes, all that could be heard was chewing.

"Did you win any money Sasuke-kun?" she asked finally, picking away delicately at her noodles, trying for lady-like grace and failing.

They both regarded the blonde, eating with gusto and eyeing Kakashi's wallet while the other man looked traumatized.

Sasuke almost smiled. "A bit." He admitted.

Sakura shook her head. She wouldn't have believed him unless she had seen it with her own eyes.

"How does one get in on this bet?" she asks carefully, and Sasuke turns his gaze onto her.

She tries not to fidget. And fails.


And the next time they happen to meet Kurenai-san's team, Kiba is broke as well, Naruto is oblivious, and Sasuke and Sakura exchange glances. Which is as close to bonding as they get.