Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
A/N: Neji/Sasuke goodness. YUMMY.
- - - - - -
That stupid baka and his stupid bets. Then again, if you hadn't been such a baka yourself, you wouldn't be here.
It was true. If Sasuke could just learn to not let Naruto pull him into his stupid bets, things like this would never happen. But something about that big, dumb, blond ninja wound Sasuke up, and he always ended up agreeing to stupid things. Like bets. Like bets that Naruto could actually win.
This bet had included their college midterms and the grades they would make. Sasuke was always top of his class and Naruto at the bottom. But in somehow the blond idiot had pulled off a miracle, actually topping Sasuke in their shared history class. Sasuke didn't believe it—not only did Naruto beat him, but at history—a class the required one to actually remember things. Naruto could rarely even remember to make it to class on time, much less important historical dates!
Their professor, Iruka, had even been stunned and tried to discover how Naruto had cheated. But ever willing to prove himself, Naruto had re-taken a different test on the same subject and came out with a score even higher than his previous one, proving he had actually somehow memorized the text.
Now they were here, in the place Naruto knew Sasuke would feel the most awkward and uncomfortable.
Naruto was an emcee at a gay bar, regardless of the fact that he had the hugest crush on Sakura. When Sasuke had asked him about the job, Naruto just laughed.
"I make great tips, the atmosphere is fun and I get free drinks—what's not to like? Plus, I get paid to be loud and annoying!"
Sasuke knew from experience the blond was both loud and annoying, so he couldn't argue with that logic.
It was a typical Saturday night in the gay bar, Legends, and Naruto was on stage dancing and doing his thing. The lights were low and the atmosphere was smoky, but that didn't stop Sasuke from praying no one from school saw him here. Naruto was cool and strange enough to pull it off—hell, he could care less what people thought of him. But Sasuke was always calm and reserved. People joked he was androgynous because he never dated. It wasn't that Sasuke was not interested in dating other people, it was just…he didn't feel dating had a place in his life right now. Studying was the most important thing to him.
The music was loud and sexual. Everywhere, men's bodies writhed to the beat. Normally in bed or writing a late-night paper, Sasuke had never even been in a club before, much less a gay one.
I need a drink.
Laughing to himself, he knew he wasn't normally a drinker, either. But desperate times call for desperate measures…and Sasuke was feeling increasingly desperate as each minute passed.
It didn't help that Sasuke was often described as…beautiful. He was a pretty boy, with feminine features mixing with a masculine edge. His frame was thin but cut, his blue-black hair falling shaggily into his black eyes. Yes, he was beautiful. And despite the dark lighting and smoke, it seemed several men were noticing.
Slouching and shoving his hands in his pockets, Sasuke made his way to the bar, working hard to look as uninterested as possible. But, like with the girls on campus, it seemed that the harder he looked uninterested, the more men began staring. Naruto had once told him that instead of turning people off with his attitude (what he had hoped for), he instead made himself more appealing by becoming a challenge. If that was the case, should he act interested? Sasuke didn't think so. How the hell can I just be left alone?
There was a bit of room at the bar, but it was in the middle of everything, with the dance floor directly behind him. But needing to sit down, Sasuke took it, trying to avoid the leers and cat-calls of the men around him.
"I never expected to see you here."
Sasuke looked up, his own dark eyes meeting with a pair of luminous silver ones. It was Hyuuga Neji, a boy he knew loosely from Martial Arts club. Neji was similar to him—they both tended to be quiet, stoic and good at everything they tried. And now he was here, a bartender! That, at least, Sasuke never saw coming.
"You…what are you doing here!" Sasuke had to raise his voice to be heard over the music. Neji heard, being accustomed to the nightclub, but he leaned in close to Sasuke anyway, so they wouldn't have to yell as much.
"I work here."
Sasuke pulled back a little, suddenly uncomfortable with Neji's closeness.
"So you are…?" Sasuke looked at the men around him to imply to end of his sentence.
Instead of nodding yes, Neji just burst out laughing. He had this conversation with men every night. He had just never expected to have it with Uchiha Sasuke.
"I just work here, like Naruto. The tips are incredible—it is the only way I can afford school. Am I taking advantage of a situation? Yeah, probably. But sometimes you have to do what you have to do."
Sasuke nodded at this. He understood that. After all, he was only here because he had to be—it was a matter of pride. Uchiha's did not back out. And it made sense that Neji would work here. The boy was very attractive in his own right, with long, silky brown hair and stunning eyes. No one else had those eyes, except maybe Neji's cousin Hinata. But hers never seemed as brilliant as Neji's…at least not to Sasuke. The Uchiha was sure Neji made tons of money working at a place like this.
"Do you need a drink?"
"Is it that obvious?"
Neji smiled at this—Sasuke looked sick and very out of place. "What will it be, then?"
"I don't drink much—bring me something good, that you like."
Neji nodded and went to work. Not a big drinker? Then no heavy mixed drinks. He could have given Sasuke a fruity drink, but considering how uncomfortable the Uchiha looked at the moment, a pink drink with an umbrella seemed like a poor choice. He decided to go standard—rum and coke. It was good for beginners because the coke hid the rum taste well, but effective—it didn't take many to start feeling good.
Neji slid the drink to the glower boy.
"Don't worry about the first one, its on me."
"Because from the looks of things, this is the last place you want to be right now. You look like you could use it."
It was true, so Sasuke nodded his thanks and took a sip of the drink. He did not normally drink coke, either—he cared too much for his body to drink sodas, so the drink tasted very sweet to him. Still, with the music and the leering eyes, that baka Naruto's voice in the background, egging people on…
Sasuke threw back the drink in one gulp.
"Now that is what I'm talking about!" A young man, just out of his college years by the looks of him, slid up beside Sasuke. "Can I buy you another?"
Sasuke shook his head no—he did not want to be giving off mixed signals.
"Bartender, get this boy a shot of something strong!"
Sasuke tried to protest, but another bartender had already started pouring the shot, laughing. Neji saw it and came over.
"Sasuke, if you aren't a big drinker, you should slow down. Shots can be dangerous."
"I know, he ordered it, not me."
The young man looked at Neji. "Let the boy have a little fun! He sure looks like he could use a…pick me up."
At that point some of the man's friends had sauntered over, all of them surrounding Sasuke, their bodies close to him. Uncomfortable, Sasuke picked up the shot of liquor before anyone could say anything and threw it back. It burned down his throat and he closed his eyes, trying to shut out the club and focus on the sensation of the alcohol going down his esophagus.
He could still hear them talking around him.
"What a hot man you are!"
"He really is fine!"
"Tell me, are you here with someone? Because it appears you are alone…"
"Back off, I saw him first!"
Sasuke grabbed another shot and pounded it back. He glared at the bartender and motioned for another.
"Oh, and such a tough man, too! I bet he is amazing in bed…"
Neji was worried about Sasuke. He didn't know the boy well, but he could tell he was very out of his element in the club. The men were like vulchers, prepared to take advantage of the new face. Sasuke seemed to be letting it get to him and regardless of Neji's advice, was heading down a dangerous path with the shots.
Neji motioned to his boss, who came quickly over.
"Hey—can I have off for the rest of the night? I need to take care of a friend."
His boss' eyes glimpsed over at Sasuke. He had seen situations like this before… a young new man enters, the men who were there all the time pounced on him, feeding him alcohol until one of them managed to get him home, only to have the boy wake up confused and traumatized in the morning. It wasn't, by definition, rape—the men really didn't mean for anything but fun. But for boys just coming out of the closet, the experience could ruin them for years.
"Is he even gay?"
"I'm not sure, I don't think so—but he doesn't want to be here, I know that."
Neji's boss was a bit confused as to why a boy would come to a gay bar in the first place if he wasn't gay, but he nodded his approval.
"Go ahead, Hyuuga."
By the time Neji had taken off his apron and made it back to Sasuke, the boy had thrown back two more shots. Five shots in thirty minutes…Neji knew once Sasuke stood up, it would all rush to his head. One of the men around Sasuke was laughing and pouring him another shot. Sasuke reached out for it, but Neji grabbed it first.
"Let me have this one, ok?"
Sasuke looked confused, and the man who had poured it looked irritated.
"Hey, that shot is for our new friend here—"he clapped Sasuke on the back.
Neji took a gamble, though. He reached his hand out and caressed the surprised Uchiha's cheek, making it look as though they were together.
"Sorry boys, you've had your fun. But this one is mine." He stared them down with his bold white eyes, marking Sasuke as his territory in the unspoken language of the club. There were some grumbles but the men walked off, leaving the two. Sasuke was still staring in surprise. Neji dropped his hand, hopped up onto the bar and swung his legs over. He slid off next to the Uchiha.
"Sorry, Sasu. But they were trying to get you drunk, and maybe even take advantage of you!" Neji winked at Sasuke, who was still staring. "I figured I was helping you out by chasing them away…unless you wanted their attention?"
The alcohol was beginning to work on Sasuke, but he caught the jist of the last statement. "No…thank you. I was cornered, I appreciate it. It just, you know, surprised me."
To this Neji could only smile—who wouldn't have been surprised? There were still four shots on the counter.
"I need to catch up." The Hyuuga proceeded to shoot them all back, one after the other. It made him grimace—shots were never really his thing, but he thought that maybe the evening was just turning interesting.
He turned back to the Uchiha, who was looking a little grey.
"Sasuke, lets go dance."
The boy looked at him incredulously. "Go dance? Are you serious?"
"No. I don't dance."
"I believe you. But you are about to be very, very drunk. And possibly sick. However, if you start dancing now, you might be able to sweat out a bit of the alcohol."
Sasuke thought about this for a minute. Well, considering the impact of the alcohol, a minute was actually three.
"No, I can't. It would be embarrassing."
"For who? For you? None of these men know you, so who cares? For me? I don't give a fuck. I work here. So who would make it embarrassing for you?"
It suddenly made more sense to Neji. "Is he why you are here?"
"Yes. I lost a bet to him and he dragged me here, hoping to embarrass me. So far it has been a mission success."
This made Neji laugh for the second time that night—unusual, since the boy was usually very serious.
"Sasuke, what better way to get back at Naruto than enjoying yourself here? If you go dance and have a good time, Naruto failed and did not get anything out of the bet—you will come out on top."
By this point Sasuke was a wee bit drunk, and no longer able to hide his emotions. Neji could see the wheels in Sasuke's head turning as he processed this new information. And then, the lightbulb moment.
"Great idea! It would show that dobe he can't get the best of me!"
"OK then, lets go, before the alcohol hits us both too much." The Hyuuga reached out to grab the Uchiha's hand, but Sasuke hesistated.
"But Neji—I still don't know how to dance."
"Don't worry. Most people in here suck. Besides, I'll help you, ok?" With that, Neji pulled Sasuke up, who wobbled a bit, and dragged him out in the middle of the dancefloor.
There in the middle, men crowded around, bumping and grinding. The beat was just right—fast enough for dancing, slow enough to be sexy. The DJ at the club was actually very good, Neji admitted, as he began to dance. Years of martial arts training had given him great body focus and coordination—dancing had come easily to him when he had first started at the club.
The alcohol was beginning to take effect in Neji. This was the part he loved. The careful line between buzzing and drunk, where he still had control but could let himself slip and fall into the music. Like Sasuke, he had thought he would hate the clubs and the music and the staying up late. But he had needed a job and took the first one available that fit his school schedule—bartending at Legends. Now he had worked there for a year and still loved it. Sure, he put up with a lot of shit from guys…but it was worth the cash and the experience.
Neji began to move his body, closing his eyes to find the beat. He danced smoothly, sensually but not overboard. When he opened his eyes, he found Sasuke staring at him. It felt weird to have the Uchiha's intense gaze on him, but he figured the boy was just studying his dance moves.
After a minute however, Sasuke still wasn't moving. Neji moved up close, yelling so Sasuke could hear him.
"This is the part where you start dancing!"
But Sasuke shook his head to show he couldn't hear Neji.
Neji mouthed the words slowly, carefully. "START. DANCING."
But again, Sasuke looked clueless.
Neji sighed. He gripped Sasuke by the waist and pulled the boy in, using his hands to guide the Uchiha's hips. Sasuke looked like his was going to pull back, but the alcohol must have really had a hold on him because he allowed Neji to guide him. Slowly, firmly, Neji used his hands and his own hips to show Sasuke the beat.
It didn't take long before Sasuke picked it up. Drunk as he was, Sasuke was amazing at dancing, just as he was amazing at everything else in his life.
Neji pulled back some now that he had the boy moving. They danced, moving under the shifting lights. However, after quite some time, Neji noticed Sasuke swaying dangerously. He moved in quickly, putting his arms around the boy, holding him up. Sasuke smiled at him and placed his arms around Neji's neck.
Neji wasn't sure what to do. Did Sasuke need water? To sit down? The boy helped him though by beginning to dance again, moving against Neji's body. Apparently all he had needed was someone to hold him up. It was a little surprising to Neji that even in his drunk state Sasuke was OK dancing so closely with him.
Still, he had seen it before with plenty of the other straight guys who had come into the club with friends. They started out stiff and homophobic, but by the end of the night they were in the middle of the floor, shirts off, grinding away with some gay man in leather with a toolbar moustache. The club had that kind of effect on people, allowing them to open their minds and just, well, have a good time!
As they began to move and sway together, Neji found himself surprised at how well he and Sasuke danced together. They were approximately the same height and build, making it easy to shift and shake. It was new, but Neji found that he was having fun. And from the looks of things, Sasuke was enjoying himself, too.
- - - - - - -
Sasuke was comfortable in the Hyuugas arms. His head was spinning and he could feel the other boy holding him up as they dances. Although Neji had been right—he did feel better moving—he was still drunk.
The lights were shifting around him a lot, making him dizzy, but in a good way. Despite the smoke, he could smell the other boy. It was pleasant, clean.
Sasuke smiled at Neji—if it hadn't been for the Hyuuga, he might be somewhere he really did not want to be by now. He understood Naruto had a job at the club, but pulling him in and then ditching him alone had been cold.
Sasuke looked at Neji and mouthed his words. "THANK. YOU. FOR. SAVING. ME."
Neji smiled—he understood. Being alone in any bar could be intimidating. Being alone in this bar…well, saying it was overwhelming was an understatement.
The two boys were just starting to get into it when a spotlight his the stage and Naruto's voice boomed over the music.
"IT'S GETTING LATE! LET'S SEE WHO HAS FOUND A SPECIAL SOMEONE? WHAT HOT COUPLES DO WE HAVE? WHAT OTHERS WILL REGRET THIS IN THE MORNING? WHAT LUCKY COUPLE WILL SHOW US HOW IT IS DONE?"
The crowd roared as the spotlight danced over the audience landing on a few couples. Each time it rested, the crowd would either cheer or boo. The light kept moving until…
It fell on Sasuke in Neji's arms.
- - - - - - -
A/N: This fic isn't anything serious, just a little fun. I should finish it by the end of the week. Either way, review pleeeaaaaase and let me know what you think!