In Undertones

Another random fic inspired by something out of the blue. This is totally A/U; don't hurt me, I've never done this before. It's also a strongly-implied Sasu/Naru fic, so, yay!

Disclaimer: Naruto and all of his friends do not belong to me. If they did, I'd pimp them out and make some money! Kidding. :P None of the characters, ideas, or concepts are mine (else I'd be filthy rich).

Warning: A/U, definite OOCness, and again, implied yaoi: Boy X Boy. Homophobes, shoo! Shoo!

Notes: Again, this came from nowhere. And that might be where it's headed too, but let's hope not, shall we? Part one is written from Sasuke's perspective, and part two from Naruto's. Everyone is eighteen or nineteen.

Part 1: Chapter 1

Where is it? Where IS it! I rifled through the papers on my desk, coming up with nothing. I glanced nervously along the classroom floor: still nothing. Where could that damned notebook be! The professor is talking, but I'm not paying attention—I'm looking for my lyrics. Yeah, I said lyrics. My name's Uchiha Sasuke—I'm nineteen, a sophomore in college, and a lyricist. Or so, I'm hoping to become one. It's been my life's dream, ever since I was eight…

But let's not go there.

Not in my schoolbag either. This is bad. It's one thing to know you're writing a bad song, but for someone to tell you you're writing is crap, well, that's worse. I've never been very good at it, really. Most of it comes out as poetry, my feelings on paper, and usually that's a good thing; an attribute of a successful writer. But I didn't want my "talent" discovered on the floor somewhere! I could already remember some of the words on one of my more recent attempts: 'Nothing matters except hearing you scream; Arched on the bed, moaning in ecstasy'… I can feel my face getting hot already. Oh god, I hope whoever finds that notebook just returns it without reading it!

I blink when I realize that Professor Iruka has dismissed class. People are already getting up and grabbing their stuff, talking and laughing (about me?). I try to see if anyone's taking my notebook along with them. No luck. Slowly, I get up and shove my books and papers into my backpack. More of the words are coming and I still can't stop my face from burning: 'I've always loved you best (When you're helpless)'… Oh. My. God. Just kill me now, please. Lowering my head so I didn't make eye contact with anyone, I shuffled out of the classroom and into the main stairwell. I quickly joined the swarm of students making their way down the three flights and loosened up only when I exited the building's double doors and out into the wide courtyard. Late afternoon sunlight illuminated the tall, old-fashioned building ahead of me and I started forward, squinting as the glare off the windows hit my eyes. I hate sunlight, I really do. I'm not a vampire or anything, but sunlight just reminds me of my past, and my past isn't the happiest thing to remember.

Itachi…where did you go…?

"Oy! Uchiha!"

Huh? I was sure I wasn't very popular around here. Who in god's name was calling me? I turned back to the West Building and saw a glob of orange and yellow darting in and out of the packs of lounging students. It was a guy, no older than me I guessed, with spiky golden yellow hair which clashed with my vision horribly. I had to squint at him like I did at the sunlight. Annoying…

"Uchiha!" he called again, this time waving something over his head. I felt the bottom of my stomach drop out and I could only stare at this guy in the orange windbreaker and blue jeans as he ran toward me, my notebook clenched in one hand. Oh. Shit. He stopped in front of me and doubled over, one hand gripping at his side as he panted for breath, the other—with the blue notebook—on his knee, keeping him upright. Being closer, he was brighter, and I couldn't even look at him directly. Avoiding my eyes, I shoved my hands in my pockets and waited for him to catch his breath. Eventually he did, and straightened, grinning as he handed me back my book. I took it silently, glancing down at the familiar design on the front cover: a red and white paper fan, an uchiha.

"Thanks," I mumbled, tucking it under one arm and turning around to leave.

"I wanted to give it to you in the classroom, but you were gone before I could catch you," he spoke and I stopped on obligation. If he wanted to ramble his fool head off to me, I'd let him, I just wouldn't say anything back. Well, I wasn't planning on it… "Are those your lyrics?"

I flinched and held the book closer to my side. "What's it to you?"

"I was just wondering, that was all," he said, and it sounded like he was still grinning. Does he ever stop? "I didn't read it all, it was open on the floor and I glanced at a couple of lines." I stayed quiet. Maybe he'd take the hint and go away? "They were really good." That got me.

"…what did you read?" I turned back around. I couldn't look this guy in the eyes just yet. Not until I knew what he had seen. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him adjusting a flaming red backpack on his shoulder and I winced again: Does this kid know the meaning of the word 'subtle'? "Do you remember?" He took a moment, slowly strangling me with his silence as he tried to remember.

Finally: "'Here we are at the void, between zero and infinity. Slipping, tripping; opening our arms and falling'," he recited beat for beat. I blinked, letting out the breath I didn't realize I was holding. At least it was nothing bad. "Are you a song writer?" he pressed.

"Sort of," I offered blandly.

"Sort of?" he cocked his head to one side and I could picture the smirk resting on his lips. "It's a yes or no question."

"Then, yes."

"Can I read the rest of them?"


"Why not?" he demanded, and I heard that grin slip from his face and replace itself with an exaggerated pout. "That was really good. I'd like to see the rest."

"No," I repeated, turning around again to walk back to the dorms. Unfortunately, he was going the same way.

"I won't tell anyone, I promise!" he begged.

"What part of 'no' didn't you understand?" I asked him as we entered the main building. "The 'n' or the 'o'?"

"Just one song then?" he stepped in front of me as I tried to get to the stairs. "One and I'll leave you alone."

"You swear?" I lifted an eyebrow, dodging past him and starting up.

He followed. "Oh come on, just one!"

Sighing, I rolled my eyes and moved into the second level of the rotunda, leaning against the wall by the dormitory entrance. Opening the book, I flipped through the pages, scanning them quickly (I knew all of them by heart) until I found one that wasn't too personal and I could spare being circulated around campus, and handed it to him. He took the book eagerly and brought it up to read. I closed my eyes and recited it in my head as he read it on paper:

"And I can't shake this feeling I have
That my voice goes unnoticed.
Even when I kick and scream
And even when I cry,
I seem to be invisible
To everyone but you.
Silence tells me secretly
In muted colored tones
That you're the one to teach me
How the sound goes.
I wrap my arms around you
And know I should hold tight
But the sound is too loud now
And I can't go any higher
Before I break.
Will you save me?
Sing to me with gentle tones
And maybe I'll be satisfied.
Or we can rest content in silence
Knowing what's on the other's mind;
Or does that drive you crazy?
Turn up the volume and bring down the roof,
Scream at one another in silence till throats rupture
And the blood spills
As silent as a spider
And hits the floor
As loud as a shriek.
We'll drive each other crazy
As you take the chance to speak
And I take the time to listen."

He lowers the book, and for the first time since he came up to me, I see his eyes. They're blue. Bluer than a summer sky, bluer than water, bluer than…than…

"This is really good," he said, cutting off my random eye tangent. What the hell was I thinking? But I'm looking into his eyes again and when he says "Do you mind if I read another?" I'm instantly flipping the pages to one I know is a little more dangerous to show off, but for some reason, I suddenly have the insane urge to bear my soul to this man. It's his eyes. Damn me for looking up; I knew I kept my head down for a good reason, but… I watch those eyes, those incredibly blue eyes, scan the page, read down the lines of my handwriting which is small and narrow and slanted and I wonder idly how in the hell this guy can read my chicken scratch, but now he's looking at me again and oh god I'm loosing myself in his eyes, those insanely blue eyes… He's saying something. I see his mouth moving but his voice is muted dully in my ears. I briefly notice his has three scars running along each of his round, tan cheeks, but that's all insignificant. Oh god his eyes.

"Yo, earth to Uchiha!"

I snap out of it. Thank god. "Did…you say something?" I try not to stammer, I don't think I did.

He gives me a funny look though: "I said, you're really talented. How long have you been doing this?"

"Oh, um…" I think back quickly. "A little more than ten years." He looks at me like I'm joking. I kind of wish I were, considering the circumstances under which I started writing in the first place.

"You've got a gift…Sasuke," he hesitates, looking up at me apologetically with those soulful blue eyes. So what if he just addressed me like an old friend? It didn't matter, as long as he kept looking at me…

"Thanks," is what I manage to say, when I what I really want to say is the next thing I want to write about is your eyes. But I don't. I control myself. Barely.

"Um, listen, about these lyrics…" he starts nervously and now I'm paying attention. He didn't strike me as a nervous person. "I was wondering… Well, you see, I've had this idea for a while, and…" He takes a deep breath and closes my notebook with a sharp snap, making me jump. "I want you!"

I don't think I've ever been that red before. I open my mouth to say something, but all that comes out is a breathless protest-like sound. He lifts up my book and waves it in my face. "Your lyrics," he continues. "I finally found a lyricists for my band!"

"Band…?" I finally choke out.

"Yeah! I want you to be in my band! You can write all the music! You can even sing them, if you'd like!" He thinks for a second. "Can you sing?"

"I… I've honestly never tried before," I blink. Band? Lyricist? What the fuck?

"Well, you can now!" he grins, handing me back my book. I take it silently; I'm still shocked dumb. "I wanted to be lead singer, but if you can top me, by all means!" He looks excited, and his eyes have become wild. I'm getting high off that look in his eye; it's insane. "I can play the guitar really well, if I do say so myself! So, how about it?"

My eyes are blinking, which means I'm alive. So that meant I needed to breathe. Taking in a lungful of air and letting it out in a rush, I can only stare at this blond-haired, blue-eyed glob of sunshine. And I suddenly realize that I'm no longer squinting. Am I used to him already?

"Yeah," I say, and catch myself saying it, but I do nothing about it. Why not try a band? It could be fun… "Yeah, sure."

"Excellent!" he grabs my hand and shakes it eagerly. "The name's Uzumaki! Uzumaki Naruto!"

Naruto, huh…?

"Like the fishcakes in ramen?" I lift an eyebrow.

"Oh, do shut up," he groans, but he's smiling. And to top off everything that's happened, I'm smiling with him.