Disclaimer: Don't own Naruto, nope. Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto and theres nothing I can do about it.
GothGurl: This idea came to me rather late on Christmas day, so it follows that this fanfic is a little late (sweatdrop) but its still holidays right? Oh well, hope you like it anyways! On with the story!
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Sasuke twitched a little as a very slushy snowball hit him in the side of the head. He didn't move as the snow slid of his face and onto the ground with a 'shlopp' sound, but his hand did move compulsively towards his weapon pack as he heard Naruto's laughter.
"HAW HAW HAW! Oh, right in the face! Did you see that Sakura! Right in the face!"
"Naruto you jerk!" Sakura scooped up her own snowball and flung it right into Naruto's open mouth. Naruto froze and dropped to the ground making choking noises. Ignoring her blonde team-mates distress, the kunoichi turned to the still twitching Sasuke. "Are you all right Sasuke-kun?"
Sasuke shrugged her off, "It was only a snowball." But Sakura continued to fawn over him and he decided to ignore her, as per usual.
The three were standing on their usual meeting bridge, waiting for the pathologically late Kakashi as they always did. The only difference now was that it happened to be snowing, and it also happened to be Christmas eve.
Naruto had finally realized he wasn't experiencing Death By Snowball and had stopped his flailing, keeping his last scrap of dignity "Geez.." he muttered, squinting around the bridge. "You'd think he'd bother to be on time just this once, the bastard..."
"You're the bastard, Naruto!" accused Sakura, throwing Naruto a dirty look. "Throwing snowballs at my poor Sasuke-kun!"
"Whatever." said Sasuke, leaning on the bridge rail with his arms crossed.
"Awwww, man this sucks!" yelled the blonde ninja, shaking his fists angrily. "When Kakashi-sensei gets here I'm gonna rip that stupid mask off his face use it as a gag and cut him up into little pieces and--!"
"Hmm, do I hear someone plotting my death?"
"KAKASHI-SENSEI!" Sakura and Naruto whirled around to face the silver-haired jounin, who was standing near the bridge with a yellow scarf and earmuffs on, looking up from his perverted book as if he had only just realised he was there. Sasuke just grunted.
"No I'm not." said Kakashi vaguely, tilting his head to the side. "What are you guys doing here?"
The three stared at him blankly, and Kakashi realized they were all in their ninja garb.
"Ohhh..I guess I forgot to tell you.." said Kakashi with a slight laugh, rubbing the back of his neck. "No lessons today! Its Christmas eve after all, I'm sure you all have better things to do then wait around here for hours."
The students stares turned into glares. Kakashi's visible eye curved into a happy anime smile.
"You guys are so cute when you're hostile!"
"Aaand, I think thats my cue to go." With that said, he disappeared in a comical 'poof' of smoke.
There was a long silence.
"Well!" said Sakura brightly. "That gives us the rest of the day to prepare for tommorow!"
"I have last-minute shopping to do." said Naruto, snapping out his fantasies of Brutal-Kakashi-Murder.
Green eyes rolled, "Naruto, only you would leave Christmas shopping til the last day!"
"I haven't started either." said Sasuke, getting up from the wall and walking in the direction of the Uchiha complex. Sakura looked briefly flustered, then put it behind her and caught up with her One True Love.
"I bet your getting me more gifts then Ino." she said loudly, smiling sweetly at him. The expression annoyed Sasuke but he imagined she thought he liked it. She never really was an observant one.
"I don't plan on getting anything for either of you." he stated simply. "Or you." he added when Naruto popped up hopefully next to him, looking for a chance to get more ramen.
Sakura tried to change the subject, "Well thats OK! I don't need presents anyways! What are you gonna do this year? Go to a party? Volunteer at a shelter? Go out with friends?"
Sasuke grunted. "Train. And maybe watch TV or something." he thought for a moment and said. "And probably lock all my doors and windows so you and Ino don't bug me. I don't need you idiotic girls bugging me all day with gifts either, so don't bother."
"Sasuke! That's not the Christmas spirit!" scolded Naruto while Sakura sulked.
"Whatever. Stop following me." and the dark-haired Uchiha brushed past his team-mates and walked alone in the snow.
The Uchiha complex was a whole separate part of the village. It was huge, but Sasuke lived there alone. It also happened to be on the far side of the village away from the meeting bridge ,so he was forced to walk through the town market to get there everyday. He scowled when he saw various people, ninja and commoners alike, rushing around buying toys and candy and hanging around with their loved ones, and being idiots in general. He didn't like this time of year, it was cold and loud and there were to many flashing lights everywhere that hurt his sensitive Uchiha eyes.
You could say that Sasuke was a bit of a Scrooge.
And it wasn't any better once he reached the huge portion of the village that had once been entirely dedicated to his clan. Needless to say, it had not been decorated by the only remaining Uchiha, Sasuke himself. It was silent.
No, he didn't plan on celebrating Christmas this year, he had better things to do as far as he was concerned. He had to train, practise being cool, train some more, think about what an idiot Naruto was, think about what a lovesick idiot Sakura was, train, and practise being sexy just to drive said lovesick idiot crazy.
No time for Yuletide joy. Nope.
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Meanwhile, Sakura and Naruto had wondered off to the Ichiraku Ramen place ("NO Naruto, this is NOT a date!") and had come across some of the other teams whose sensei's hadn't been stupid enough not to tell them they had the day off. As it turned out, Gai's team was planning on having a party that night until midnight, rather like new years. Sakura and Naruto joined them and planned with them until someone finally noticed that the third member of their three man team wasn't present.
They explained their lack of Sasuke in weary voices and, in Sakura's case, mourned that poor Sasuke was 'too shy to even buy a gift for me!'
"He's going to spend Christmas all by himself in that big mansion of his?" questioned Tenten while trying to ignore a googly eyed Lee drooling over Sakura beside her and a huffy Neji wondering why he was even there.
Hinata looked down at her feet, having trouble speaking in the same viscinity of both Naruto and Neji, "T-thats so sad..he must be l-lonely..."
"Its only Sasuke, we all know he's a jerk anyway." said Shikamaru, who had his hands behind his head and was gazing out the window at the clouds. He slid down in his seat a bit when Sakura and Ino both gave him death glares.
Akamaru, who was on Kiba's shoulder wearing a little dog-sized sweater, barked a few times and Kiba laughed out loud. "That is SO true! I bet he does do that!"
No one bothered to ask.
"But still... I know he probably would like to be alone and all, but ... whose alone on Christmas?" said Sakura sadly, fiddling with her napkin and staring into her ramen as if she thought the answers to all her troubles would come bubbling up to the surface.
Across the table from her, Lee's damsel-in-distress senses were tingling. He flashed one of his blinding smiles at her that went PING! "Don't worry Sakura-san! I'm sure Sasuke-kun will come to his senses and want to spend this joyous holiday of youthfulness with you!"
'Not exactly the best thing to say in my own interests but ...' he thought, but maintained his cheerful expression.
It worked! Sakura smiled slightly back at him. "Thanks Lee-kun. I hope so."
"If it weren't for his gross eyebrows, shocking lack of fashion sense and fish eyes, he would be totally cute right now." lamented Inner-Sakura. Sakura ignored her.
- - - - - - - - - - -
The day had passed and Sasuke was fairly tired. Since it was a day off he had to train by himself in the backyard and had only just come in. It was already very dark and he could imagine that the others were already in bed waiting for Santa or something stupid like that. He was Uchiha Sasuke, he was far above Santa.
However, he was not above a good nights sleep, since sleep would have him rejuvenated for all the hard training and ignoring his annoying team-mates who would surely be harassing him tommorow. So he put on his Uchiha fan patterned pajama's and went to bed, falling asleep within half a minute. Because he's Sasuke and he's even better at sleeping then everyone else.
He had only been snoozing in the dark of his room for a few hours when a large clock he didn't know he owned chimed the hour. His eyes shot open at the repeated 'dong!' noise that rang throughout the otherwise silent mansion.
The hour was midnight, he realized after checking his little Uchiha fan alarm clock he had on his bedstand. Since when did he have a Grandfather clock? And why the HELL had that woken him up?
There was a sudden shuffle noise from his window and Sasuke jumped out of bed and struck his battle stance. He had no weapons on him at the moment so he grabbed the closest throwable thing (his pillow, with an Uchiha fan on it) and held it at arms length threateningly.
"Who's there?" he demanded, glancing around the room moving only his eyes. Why was his window open?
"A pillow? God, you're pathetic." said Neji from beside him, watching him with his pearl white eyes.
"WHAT THE --! NEJI!" Sasuke drew back and whacked Neji across the head with his weapon (the pillow) which ultimately did nothing. Neji stared at him with slight hostility.
"And YOU were the number one rookie of your year?"
"What are you doing in my house!" Sasuke was now very aware of the fact that a pair of Uchiha fan boxers were just lying there in the open. Well, its not like he EXPECTED Neji to suddenly sneak in his room at night...
Neji grunted, pretending he didn't notice the boxers, but he obviously must have with his 359 degree vision and all. "Don't ask me. I'm not sure why I bothered to come, you're a pretty hopeless case I think."
This only served to confuse our Uchiha hero more, "What?"
Neji twitched for some reason, "Well, I actually come to you with a warning tonight. The warning is for you to end your asshole ways and learn the true meaning of Christmas." The Hyuuga was looking almost disgusted with his own words.
Sasuke raised an eyebrow. "Um...how about no?"
"If you don't change your ways, your destiny could be to end up like me. Devastatingly handsome and talented, yes, but without friends and alone and an asshole." Neji crossed his arms in a huff. "I'm just going by the script here. I actually like my life. Except for the Main House, those bastards need to just die."
"Uh..huh." said Sasuke, getting more annoyed by the second. "So, are we done here?"
The other shook his head, looking as unhappy with the situation as Sasuke felt. "No, fate has not determined that. Unfortunetly for you, you're going to be visited by three ninja's tonight."
Sasuke groaned. "So two more idiots are going to be break into my house?"
"No, three. I don't count. Pay attention, you idiot." and with that he disappeared.
Sasuke stood in the middle of his room, his pillow held limply at his side, before he realized that the open window was letting the cold in and he shut it.
"Well, that was really weird." he muttered, making sure to lock the window tightly, and then walked across the room to do the same for his door.
This whole business sounded sort of familiar to him, but he didn't dwell on it and went back to bed, putting his pillow over his head. It was probably all just a dream anyway. I mean, Neji in his room preaching about the meaning of Christmas? What the hell?
Sasuke decided he must have caught stupid from Naruto and Sakura and went back to sleep.
It wasn't long before he was awoken the 'dong!' of the non-existant Grandfather clock once more, and stiffened. Was that the signal that another ninja had randomly appeared?
'Ignore it! Ignore it!'
He burrowed deeper under his covers, rationalizing with himself that it had been just a dream. The final dong of the clock rang through the mansion and left a ringing silence. Then he realized something strange. There had been twelve dongs...
He peeked out from under his covers at his Uchiha fan clock.
The hour ... was still twelve?
'Stupid thing is out of batteries...' he grumbled in his head, getting up to find some more. He needed his clock working if he was going to get up early for training tommorow!
He picked up the red and white alarm clock and walked over to his dresser with a mirrior attached and searched around the drawers for batteries. Once he found them, he looked up and glanced casually at his reflection. Then he froze at what he saw.
"NARA! GET OUT! OUT!"
He whirled around and glared at Nara Shikamaru, who had waved nonchalantly in his reflection at him. Shikamaru was slouching against Sasuke's doorframe with his arms crossed, looking thoroughly bored.
"Indoor voice please, Sasuke."
"No! I can put up with Neji, but YOU!" he shook with rage. Shikamaru's lazy
attitude annoyed him to no end. Not to mention the fact that the idiot was a Chuunin when he SO didn't deserve to be one, since Sasuke was SO much better then him!
Shikamaru shrugged. "Well, whatever. I'm the ninja of Christmas past, not that thats a big deal, but..." he was interupted.
"I already know what happened in my past, I don't need you, so go home." said Sasuke simply. He didn't know what the others were up to, but it was starting to stretch his patience.
Shikamaru looked stressed. "Trust me, I would like to go home. Do you know what time it is? But I gotta be here, even if its troublesome." He looked Sasuke up and down in amusement. "Nice pajama's, by the way."
Sasuke scowled. "Don't be a smart-ass." The Nara wouldn't understand the greatness of Uchiha patterned pajama's if he explained it to him anyway. "So, what now? You gonna drag me out the window and take me on some wild goose chase through my past in an attempt to make me feel guilty over crap I did?"
Shikamaru looked at him as if he had lobsters crawling out his ears. "Are you joking? That'd be WAY too troublesome! I have something better." he reached behind him and pulled out a big stack of videotapes (Sasuke wasn't going to ask where he had been keeping them). "Home movies!"
Sasuke crossed his arms. "Home movies of me?"
"...Nara, WHY do you have a huge stack of video tapes of me?"
"They're not mine." the chuunin sounded disgusted. "I got them from my Mom."
"Okay, why does your MOM have a huge stack of video tapes of me?"
"Because my mother is psycotic." said Shikamaru darkly. "Now c'mon, lets find your VCR and get this over with." and he turned and walked out of the room. Sasuke found himself following against his will and realised that the annoying chuunin idiot had used kagemane on him while he was distracted. 'But thats Ok, because I'm still better then him.' he comforted himself.
Moments later they were in Sasuke's dark living room and Shikamaru had popped one of the tapes into the VCR and draped himself over the couch, much to Sasuke's discontent as he was forced to sit on the floor.
What was on the tapes were basically normal family Christmas video's, except they seemed to have been shot from outside a window ("Your mom scares me." "She scares me and Dad too."). They featured both of Sasuke's parents, his father stern and his mother smiling, and a little, truth be told, adorable Sasuke running around with a Santa hat on forcing Uchiha fan patterned presents into everyones hands. There were other Uchiha's around too, all pale and dark-haired like him and chatting. Sitting on the ground watching his younger brother frollick was a quiet but smiling Itachi.
"URGE TO KILL RISING!" yelled Sasuke, staring wildly at his TV Brother.
"Restrain yourself." said Shikamaru, his voice muffled since he had buried his face in a pillow.
"MUST KILL ITACHI!" Now, it can never be proven, but rumor has it that Sasuke was frothing at the mouth by that point.
But Sasuke was prevented from destroying his own television for at that point TV Itachi seemed to have noticed the camera peeking in the window and started walking closer, causing whoever was filming to give a squeak and start to scurry away. The film then fuzzed for moment and then cut to a scene of Chouji, Shikamaru, and Ino as babies. Ino was repeatedly poking Shikamaru in the head and demanding that he gave her a 'Kwismas kiss'.
"Oh, gross." was both teen Shikamaru and baby Shikamaru's comment and the tape was turned off. The dark haired chuunin turned to the stunned Uchiha. "Learn anything?"
"Huh..where Itachi go?"
"How clever." Shikamaru whacked the other boy upside the head and received a scowl. It was ignored. "Now, see how nice and happy you were back then? Would it really kill you to be nice like that sometimes?"
Sasuke considered that. "...Yes."
Shikamaru shrugged. "Whatever, its too troublesome to argue with you. I showed you what I needed to, I'm goin' now. Keep the tapes if you want." he forced himself off of the couch and walked away at a leisurely pace. Sasuke stood up.
"Tell the other two guys not to come! I don't want any more of you guys trying to mess with my head." he growled, trying to sound as threatening as possible.
"... About the ninja of Christmas present." Shikamru turned his head and looked back at Sasuke with an almost piteous expression, "Brace yourself." and he disappeared.
"Well...I'm still better then you!" Sasuke insulted air. He got no response and was satisfied.
He trudged back up the stairs and to his room. It MUST be late by now, he'd never get any sleep at this point and he'd be exhausted for training tommorow. Then he remembered that he was Sasuke and he would still be able to kick ass no matter what.
But he checked the clock in the hall anyway and was confused. It was still midnight? Were ALL his clocks out of batteries? "Stupid." he muttered, and marched into his room and jumped straight into bed, burrowing deep under the covers. But this time, he did not sleep. As much as he hated to admit it, he was taking the Nara's warning of 'brace yourself' seriously. Who would come next?
'Doesn't matter.' he thought as the Grandfather clock chimed its ghostly tunes throughout the house once again, and he stuck his fingers in his ears. 'I'll just ignore the idiot this time, and eventually they'll go away.'
THAT plan blew up into little pieces however, when suddenly he felt the mattress underneath him turning to one side and half of it being lifted into the air, sending him tumbling head over heels out of bed. "AAUGH!" he struggled to distangle himself from his covers on the floor and wasn't at all pleased when he heard the following;
"Up and adam Sasuke-kun! This is no time to be a lump-like thing! YOUTH WAITS FOR NO ONE!"
'Oh, God, no...' thought Sasuke, closing his eyes and blocking his ears. 'Not HIM...'
But yes, him.
"What are you doing Sasuke-kun? Get off the floor! We have stuff to do! For I am Konoha's beautiful green ninja of Christmas present!" the speaker took a deep breath, then practically screamed. "I AM ROCK LEE!"
"Yes, I know..." the lump that was Sasuke mumbled, and he managed to stand up and glare at the grinning and posing boy before him. Yes, it was indeed Rock Lee, green spandex and all. He had finished his dramatic pose and and was now being his usual bouncy self, watching the disgruntled Uchiha through overly wide and naiive eyes.
He was the only person who annoyed Sasuke more then Naruto did (that was saying a lot) but he bit his tongue usually. He was fully aware that the seemingly harmless nutbar before him could pummel him into the ground very easily.
But Sasuke was still better then him.
"What," Sasuke demanded. "Is the point of telling me whats going on in the present? This is the present right now, and I don't like it. Are we done?"
"Of course not!" laughed Lee, thinking Sasuke had made a funny. "We're going to Tenten-sans party! Which YOU did not attend because you are foresaking your youth and popularness."
"I didn't even know Tenten was having a party."
"Oh.." Lee blinked, then shrugged. "Well, lets pretend what I said was right and lets go!" he tugged on Sasuke arm and tried to lead him towards the window.
"No! I'm in my pajama's you loser!" Sasuke tried to tug away, but failed utterly as he was dragged outside into the snow. Now he was cold and his clothes were wet, and he was being tugged along forcefully by a very speedy Lee.
It seemed this was just going to be one of those days.
Or nights, rather.
Sasuke didn't know where Tenten's house was, but apparently it was very far away from his since they seemed to have run through most of the village, Lee almost running over a few innocent people in his haste. Its a well known fact that the kid was inhumanly fast, and poor Sasuke was all but being dragged along behind him.
Then suddenly they skidded to a stop and Sasuke was flung face first into a pile of snow. He looked up and found his captor was peering into a window of a house and completely ignoring him.
"What are you looking at?" asked Sasuke, a little offended that he had been so easily forgotten. After all, he was SUPPOSED to be inspiring him with the Christmas spirit.
"Sakura-san." answered Lee, his voice sounding strange. Sasuke immedietly tensed.
"We're not at her house--? You're not..watching her get dressed or..!"
"W-what!" Lee faced Sasuke, turning five different shades of red and looking horrified. "No! I would never--! So dishonorable--! Its ONLY Tentens party, this is her house! Sakura-san just HAPPENS to be there!" he mumbled a few incoherencies and was too flustered to say anything more on the subject, so Sasuke took it upon himself to look in the window.
The rookie nine, the sensei's and Tenten and Neji were all hanging around in what seemed to be a large living room. Sasuke could hear everyone chatting, and Christmas music playing. Naruto was harassing Sakura with mistletoe and she was (strangely enough) laughing and trying to dodge. Kakashi was talking to Kurenai while Gai was bouncing around next to him, no doubt demanding an egg-nog drinking contest or something. Kurenai had a smile on her face and her arm was curled around Asuma's, who was looking very pleased with himself. Shikamaru had passed out on the couch and Ino was standing over him looking exasperated, while Chouji munched on a gingerbread man. Kiba was trying to force Akamaru into a different sweater, Hinata was watching with a fond expression and Shino adjusted his glasses every once in a while as he regarded a Martha Stewart Christmas specail on the TV. Tenten was bustling around, making sure no one had been judo chopped yet, and Neji followed her looking a little lost in an atmosphere of general happiness (which he was not used to).
Sasuke was stunned.
"They're all...getting along." he murmered, finding it a little disturbing that Sakura had not once yelled at Naruto and that Ino seemed to not even care that Sasuke wasn't there, focusing her attention on the snoring chuunin.
Lee suddenly broke into tears of joy, making Sasuke flinch. "Yes! Yes they are! Look how happy even Neji is!"
Neji didn't look happy, Sasuke thought, just less...murderous then usual.
It was disturbing. He had assumed that since he was so much better then everyone that they would be utterly lost without him. But..they weren't.
Then he realized...
He was SO much better then them that they were too stupid to even realize how hopeless they all were when he wasn't present.
Lee's expression of joy eventually quietened, and Sasuke followed his gaze to see what he was looking at. It was Sakura.
"Sakura-san looks very pretty tonight." said Lee, his voice taking on that strange quality again. "It is no wonder that Naruto-kun chases her with the mistletoe that forces the people under it to have a moment of intimacy."
Sasuke glanced sideways at him. "Umm...yeah.." Lee, apparently, had a very stilted way with the language.
Lee sighed, then threw an arm over his eyes dramatically, "OH ALAS! She does not return my adoration. I'm not sure if you know, Sasuke-kun, but she likes you very, very much."
Sasuke rolled his eyes. He knew where this conversation was going and was thoroughly irritated. "Oh yeah, I know."
"Then why do you ignore her so?" demanded Lee, sounding a little angry, and Sasuke was surprised.
He considered responding 'she's an idiot.' but he doubted the lovesick Lee would take that very well, and while Sasuke was confident he could hold his own if Lee went berzerk on him, there was still the fact that he was cold and in his pj's and wet and more then a little tired.
So he simply answered. "We're only twelve."
"I'm thirteen." said Lee brightly as if that had anything to do with anything.
'But I'm still better then you.' said Sasuke automatically in his head.
Lee looked thoughtful and Sasuke hoped they would be done soon. It annoyed him that none of his peers seemed to care that the great Uchiha Sasuke was not among them. As far as he was concerned, they should all be weeping on the ground, clutching each other in their woe.
He realized that that image was rather Lee and Gai-ish and mentally scribbled out that train of thought.
"You know.." said Lee slowly, making Sasuke glance at him in annoyance. As if Sasuke wanted to hear anything he had to say! "You really should pay better attention to your friends."
"I don't have friends." said Sasuke simply. It was true to. Naruto and Sakura just liked to bug him.
The green clothed teen missed the point spectacularly, "Well, I guess you could call Naruto more of a rival. Rivals can be friends to! But Sakura...she's a good friend." he nodded slightly and Sasuke followed his gaze.
Sakura had escaped Naruto and was now questioning someone near the door if they had seen Sasuke come in. He could tell because he recognized the way her lips formed his name in that simpering sweet way "Sasuke-KUUUN."
She was, apparently, the only one who cared he wasn't there.
Lee forced his eyes away from Sakura in the room. "This is the only place I could think of to bring you, so I suppose I'll just say.." he smiled and struck another pose, making Sasuke jerk back. "Live for today and don't forsake the present! Never waste your youth! BECAUSE YOUTH RULES!" Lee's eyes burned with his firey passion for life and he proceeded to do cartwheels around the area making random ninja sound effects and then vanished with a final grin that went PING!
Sasuke blinked and found himself back in his room. He looked around and saw that his mattress was back in its proper place rather then turned on its side as Lee had left it. The bed was even made.
This was starting to get a little weird.
He glanced at the clock on his bedside table. The hour was, as he expected, still twelve.
He was starting to hate that clock.
But the good news was that there was only one Random Ninja left, and then he could go on with his life of being a general asshole and pretending the whole thing had never happened.
But then...for some reason he kept thinking about what Lee had said. Not about the obsession with youth, because that was just stupid, but the thing with Sakura.
It wasn't that he was 'seeing her in a new light' or anything, he was still of the opinion that she was an idiot. And so was everyone else in comparison to him, with the exception perhaps of Neji and that Gaara guy. It was just that she DID spend a lot of time obsessing over him, and he couldn't help but wonder why.
Lee and Naruto were far nicer guys. Even if they weren't as good as him, they actually LIKED her. And if she found Lee too bizarre, then what was wrong with Naruto?
Sasuke stopped himself right there. He had actually just thought 'what was wrong with Naruto?'. Had he gone mad? There were a MILLION things wrong with Naruto!
'This is what comes,' he thought as he wondered towards his bathroom to dunk his head in cold water (in the hopes of clearing his thoughts), 'from a night without sleep.'
But then again, his clock kept telling him that not a minute had passed since this madness had started.
He walked back out of the bathroom with his hair damp and immedietly got to work moving heavy furniture in front of his door and window. He was determined that the final Ninja would leave him alone and he could just go to sleep. When he was finished and the interior decorating of his room was destroyed, he flung himself onto his bed and tried to catch some Z's.
And again, muffled by the sound of heavy furniture in front of the door, the Grandfather clock began its chime, letting Sasuke know that it was once again midnight for hopefully the last time.
DONG! DONG! DONG! DONG! DONG!
God, that thing was annoying. If it wasn't non-existant Sasuke would have toasted it with his Katon by now.
DONG! DONG! DONG! DONG! DONG!
Okay, so what Ninja would show up this time? There had been Neji, who warned him about all this before-hand (nice thing to do, he supposed), Shikamaru, the lazy ass ninja of Christmas Past (who had a stalker for a mother, which really explained a lot about the chuunins state of mind) and Rock Lee, the worlds most enthusiastic, and surprisingly thought provoking ninja of Christmas Present (...But Sasuke was still better then him).
So that left...
There was a muffled explosion and Sasuke sat up arubtly, staring wildly at his window.
The furniture had been flung backwards by some unseen force. Some weird substance was slithering snake-like into the room, spreading itself across the floor. The substance rose up and then faded back down, revealing a hooded figure who hadn't been there before. The dark robes were moving gently in the cold wind from the window and the slithering stuff swirled in a most sinister manner at the figures feet. Instense blue-green eyes stared at him from under the hood.
Sasuke stared back. Only one person had eyes like that and could possibly be that scary and evil. The gourd strapped on the persons back made it kind of a no-brainer to. "Gaara?" he asked.
"Yes." said Gaara simply, the stuff that Sasuke now realized was sand wrapping itself in coils around his ankles.
Sasuke decided not to make any 'I-am-Sasuke-I-am-superior' remarks just now. Even though he was. "So you're the Ninja of Christmas...Future?"
"Yes." said Gaara again. What did you expect? The Ninja Of Christmas Lint?
"Oh." was all Sasuke could say. He watched the sand, the sand was he knew was tainted in blood. He wasn't afraid of Gaara, oh no, not Sasuke. But it was the sand you had to be careful of, it had a mind of its own.
Gaara meanwhile was not watching the sand nor Sasuke. He, unlike Neji, HAD noticed the Uchiha fan boxers.
"Charming." he said, and Sasuke snapped his attention back to him and away from the sand.
"Are we going anywhere?" asked Sasuke, being careful to have just the right amount of insolence in his voice. Sasuke knew he was better then Gaara and could probably kick his ass, but he didn't have any of his weapons, OR a deathwish.
"Yes." said Gaara, then added probably just for the sake of variety. " I'm here to show you what will be if you don't change your ways." and with that, he performed a few handseals and said "Fast-forward no jutsu!"
Before Sasuke could say 'Thats not a real jutsu!' They were suddenly in a different room. It was similar to the Christmas party he had seen with Lee, but everyone was...older...and it wasn't Tenten's house. He glanced around. Future him wasn't anywhere in sight.
"I'm not here." he said blankly. And nobody seemed to care either, just like they hadn't in the present.
"No." agreed Gaara.
"Where are Sakura and Naruto?" wondered Sasuke out loud and he wandered through the crowd that couldn't see him. He saw Kakashi, who looked the same as ever, reading a book while Gai stood next to him with two cups of egg-nog, now reduced to BEGGING for an egg-nog drinking contest. Kurenai and Asuma were cuddling in a corner. Kurenai looked a little bit rounder then Sasuke remembered, and when he saw the ring on her wedding finger he suddenly realized why and shuffled away, giving them their privacy.
Shino and Kiba were sitting in front of the TV playing some sort of video game and Kiba suddenly jumped up, cheering and punching the air in his victory while Shino sat perfectly still and watched his little animated Link fall into the lava Kiba's Donkey Kong had shoved him into. Akamaru...was HUGE! Sasuke had thought he was a small couch, but the big white dog was curled up at Kiba's side as the two boys played. Hinata didn't appear to be anywhere near her team-mates.
Tenten and Neji were hovering around near a kitchen, Tenten eating a sugar cookie and Neji drinking a glass of water. Tenten hadn't changed much, but Neji's hair was shorter and he wore almost robe-like clothes, and his expression had become softer, but perhaps that was just the light. I mean, this is NEJI we're talking about!
Sasuke looked around helplessly, not sure why this was bothering him so much. Where was Naruto and Sakura? Where was HE? He saw Chouji by the snackbar stuffing himself, and Ino sitting in a chair looking thoroughly ticked off about something or other. Hell, he even saw one of Gaara's weird siblings, Kankuro, sitting near Chouji and occasionally reaching out pathetically for some food before Chouji would growl and say "Mine!" making the Sand Nin back off in fear.
"Are you looking for something?" came Gaara's voice somewhere near his ear, and Sasuke started slightly.
"Me. And my team." he answered, not looking at the hooded boy behind him. He had suddenly spotted Future Gaara walking around in a dark hall that no one else was in. Future Gaara...had a mullet. Sasuke blinked. ...Okay.
Present Gaara glanced at his future self as well and his hand reached up compulsively to his short red hair. But he only said, "I saw Naruto back there near the fireplace." He didn't mention anyone else.
'Thanks." said Sasuke. And he was about to turn and investigate before he heard what was definetly an "URK!" noise from Gaara. He turned and looked at him questioningly, but said nothing when he saw the wide-eyed crazed look of DEATH all over the Sand Nin's face. Sasuke looked in the direction Gaara was throwing doom glares at and he to froze in shock.
"GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY SISTER!" Gaara yelled, pointing accusingly.
Shikamaru and Gaara's weird female sibling, Temari, were only ten feet away and being rather...enthusiastic under some mistletoe hanging in the doorway. The way everyone else just brushed past them with amused looks on their faces suggested that they did that sort of thing often. Very often.
Sasuke suddenly realised what Ino had been looking so unhappy about.
But he had no time to dwell on why Ino had moved away from the Sakura-Sasuke-Ino triangle to the Temari-Shika-Ino triangle, because Gaara was on the warpath and his sand was thrashing around accordingly. Sasuke moved quickly away and neared the area where he thought the fireplace was, judging by the orange light.
And there Naruto was! Grinning like an idiot with his one of his arms draped around Hinata's shoulders. Hinata was blushing faintly, an interesting contrast to her pale skin and pearl white eyes. There was another boy with black hair and a short shirt there that Sasuke didn't know sitting there with a cup of tea, watching the couple with a look of mild interest.
Okay, so Naruto was here. He had a girlfriend it seemed. That meant he had gotten over Sakura. He didn't know what to make of the black-haired boy, but he knew he didn't like the blank look the boy had in his eyes, as if he wasn't really seeing what was in front of him.
Where was Sakura?
And he saw her too. She was closer to the fire then anyone else, which was why he probably hadn't noticed her before since she always wears warm colours. She always wore red.
Which contrasted nicely with Lee's green.
The two were sitting close to each other, but they weren't all snug like Hinata and Naruto (and they weren't -God forbid- as close as the Nara and Gaara's sister).
He walked over to the pair to see that Sakura was looking unhappy for some reason. Lee was leaning towards her with an expression of deep concern. Sakura's hair was shorter and more styled, but Lee hadn't changed one little bit except that he had gotten even taller then he already was (he was probably as tall as Kakashi at this point). Sakura was gazing with shiny eyes into the bright orange fire, holding a mug of something Lee had probably made for her.
Sasuke wasn't sure what to make of this scene, Sakura spent most of her life whining and yelling and being a liability in general, and therefore she was almost always unhappy. But he had never seen her so...mournful. And of course, she usually would flinch and inch away at the sight of Lee, whom she considered very 'eww'-worthy. But here he was, practically a foot away from her, and she had not yet informed him of how offensive his eyebrows were.
This was strange.
"I shouldn't be like this, I know." said Future Sakura suddenly. "Its been years...but its still.."
"Yeah, I know." said Future Lee, he looked down at the ground with his wide fishy eyes and seemed to be looking for something else to say. Eventually he came up with. "Do you still..?"
"No." said Sakura firmly. "No. I don't think I ever did. I was an idiotic, 'lovesick' little girl. Or so I thought."
"You've never been idiotic, Sakura-san." said Lee, smiling.
Sakura laughed, "Thank you, even if its not true. You're always so sweet." She smiled at Lee who looked like he could've got up and done a happy dance, if Sakura had not become solemn again a moment later. "But...I still miss him."
Lee looked away. Sasuke suddenly had an idea of who they were talking about.
Once again, Sakura seemed to be the only one who cared.
"Why would you miss him?" asked a toneless voice, and Lee, Sakura, and the invisible Sasuke turned to see the weird black haired kid standing there. He was smiling at them with his eyes squinted shut and his hands folded in front of him. A very fake looking smile. "I do not understand why you would miss a coward like him."
"Shut up, Sai! Nobody was talking to you!" yelled Naruto from his seat with Hinata.
"I'm only saying." said Sai, his fake smile never wavering, sweeping his blank gaze back to Naruto. "Its better that he's dead. He was a missing-nin, after all. He betrayed Konoha."
Sasuke blanched. Missing-nin? Betrayed Konoha? Dead?
" I said Shut Up!" Naruto growled, and he stood up. It was then that Sasuke realised there was something very, very wrong with Naruto. He wasn't moving right, there was a jerkiness and uncertainty to everything he did. 'What happened to..?'
The boy called Sai interupted his thoughts. "I do not understand. Your loyalty to Uchiha is unfathomable. You most of all." he looked upon Naruto with no expression on his face. He made a small shrug and drank some of his tea. "I will have to research this." he said as he walked away.
"You do that, you brain-less asshole!" snarled Naruto as the dark boy passed. He hobbled away from the couch and tried to sit down with Lee and Sakura, Hinata rushing over to help him. As soon as Naruto was settled, he said. "Ignore that weirdo, Sakura. He doesn't know what he's talking about."
Sakura's hands were clenched, here green eyes turned downward. "But...its all true isn't it? He did do all those horrible things, and...and YOU Naruto." her voice rose as she looked upon the blue-eyed blonde boy.
"Don't be stupid, I'm fine." said Naruto rubbing the back of his neck (even that movement alone seemed to cause him difficulty), but he didn't meet her eyes.
"No you're NOT! You can't even do C-rank missions anymore." she sniffled a bit.
"Well, thats why I'm not a ninja anymore! I LIKE my new job." said Naruto insistently, but even Sasuke could tell he was lying.
"Sasuke did that." said Sakura in a low voice, not looking at any of them. Hinata, Naruto and Lee all looked at each other helplessly, none of them able to say any words of comfort.
Gaara walked over to him. "I see you found them." he observed, looking down at the little solemn group.
"Gaara.." said Sasuke slowly. "Gaara...what did I DO..?"
"How the hell should I know? I'm still trying to figure out what was going on with my sister and that guy with the ponytail." snapped Gaara. Sasuke glanced back and noted that the two still hadn't come up for air. Poor Ino.
"They were talking about how I was a missing-nin...and how I did something to Naruto so he can't be a ninja anymore...and now I'm DEAD. And I think that emotionless guy killed me, whoever he is."
Gaara shrugged, "Sounds to me like you turned evil."
Sasuke blinked. Him? Evil? Well, Gaara was pretty evil himself so he would know about these things...
He reasoned that Future Him had probably done so to try and get to Itachi. And while that in itself didn't seem like such a bad idea, if this was the side-effects...
He'd think of some other way. Naruto had to stay a ninja, and Sakura couldn't be...like that.
"Can we go back now?" asked Sasuke, turning to find that Gaara was completely ignoring him and pointing and gibbering at Temari and Shikamaru, who were sneaking off somewhere with very evil little grins on their faces.
"NO! NO! NO! I WILL NOT EXCEPT THIS!" he yelled, still pointing. However, Future Him seemed to be thinking along the same lines, and was now following after the pair with narrowed eyes, sand slinking along behind him. Ino soon followed suit with a very similar expression. The third sand sibling, Kankuro, noticed this and rushed after all of them, hoping to prevent the Nara's murder and mass property damage.
Present Gaara composed himself. "So, shall we go?" he asked, sand coiling lazily at Sasuke's ankles.
"Yeah." said Sasuke, already making up his mind about how he was going to change all this.
"Good." Gaara then performed a few more handseals. "Rewind no Jutsu!"
And before you could say "What a lame jutsu name!" Sasuke was back in his room, in his bed. There was light coming from his window and Sasuke turned his head and saw that the hour was now seven in the morning.
Finally, the stupid clock was working!
He sat up and realized he had been under the covers, which were warm like he had been there all night. His pajama's weren't wet and neither was his hair. None of his furniture was moved either.
So it had all been a dream?
"Pfft...how screwed up am I to think all that crap was real?' he looked out his window and scowled at the falling snow.
Today was Christmas day.
He sat in silence for a moment then promptly got out of bed. Dream or no dream, that last bit had freaked him out. Even if it wasn't real, he wasn't going to risk it. He was going to change his asshole ways (or at least be slightly less of one). First thing he was going to do today was go out and get something for Naruto and Sakura...and maybe even Kakashi-sensei. The stores would let him in even if it was closed.
After all, he was Uchiha Sasuke. He was just BETTER.
- - - - - - -- - - - -
The residents of Konoha were confused. The residents of Konoha were VERY confused.
Uchiha Sasuke had been demanding entrance of various stores (with his usual dignity and grace, of course) and had been buying various items that, in combination, really don't make all that much sense. Ramen and Chick Flicks and porn books?
This of course started a whole new branch of gossip concerning the famed Uchiha survivor, but Sasuke ignored it. He knew Naruto had asked for nothing but ramen and a kiss from Sakura that year, and he couldn't very well get him the kiss, now could he? Sakura just screamed chick flick and he didn't know enough about them to know which were the good ones, so he bought about six. And Kakashi was pretty much spoken for. Besides, Sasuke didn't think he knew about the spinoff book Sasuke had got him. 'With all new dirty scenes and naughty, naughty characters,' said the back of the book, and Sasuke knew Kakashi would like it.
Naruto at first looked suspicious, but then cheered and and skipped once he realized what he was holding was a giant bag of ramen.
"Neh?" said Kakashi as the book was shoved under his nose. His visible eye widened as he studied the cover and he started hopping a bit, waving one arm excitedly while the other held the book. "Oh! This..! This is...!"
"Enjoy yourself." murmered Sasuke as Kakashi thanked him fervently and opened the book to the first page, giggling.
"Sasuke-kun?" said Sakura in surprise as he plopped the pile of chick flicks next to her and stepped away, arms crossed.
"I didn't know which one you would like, so I got all of them." he stated. It really wasn't a big deal after all. The Uchiha clan had been insanely wealthy.
"Oh!" Sakura blushed and went through the pile, her smile getting bigger by the second. "I've wanted to see this one! And I saw this one in theatres, it was good! And—thank you!"
"Yeah." he said, stuffing his hands in his pockets.
Kakashi eventually left them when all gifts had been exchanged, since he had his adult friends to meet up with. The trio walked down the street, Naruto bouncing up and down and glomping Iruka when they came across him. They saw some of the other rookie nine too, all hanging around with their team mates and family if they had any.
Sasuke was startled however, when Neji, Lee, and Shikamaru all walked up to them as a group. Lee was wearing a Santa hat and had covered most of his body in Christmas lights for some strange reason that would only make sense to Lee, and was trying to convince a reluctant Shikamaru to wear a pair of reindeer antlers. Neji had his arms crossed and was ignoring his hyperactive team mate and the Nara kid he was harassing. At least Gaara wasn't with them, that would have been TOO weird.
"Oi, I thought you were staying in today?" said Shikamaru, frowning at Sasuke slightly and pushing away Lee's hand as he attempted to put the antlers on him yet again.
"He changed his mind." Sakura was smiling.
"See? I told you he would." Lee grinned his shiny white grin that made the snow around them look grey, and of course it went PING!
"What made you change your mind?' asked Neji, his hand at the side of his face, blocking the blinding flash of Lee's teeth.
"A very, very messed up dream." muttered Sasuke. Everyone gave him a blank look and he shrugged. "Nevermind. Want to go to the Ichiraku Ramen place?"
"HELL YEAH! Sasuke, you are unusually cool today!" cheered Naruto, and they all marched down the street towards their favourite restaurant, wishing a Merry Christmas to the other three ninja.
There was a silence, in which Lee tried yet again to fasten the antlers on Shikamaru's head.
"Think he suspected us?" Asked Shikamaru, swatting away Lee's hand AGAIN.
"No," said Neji. "I still can't believe you talked us into that, Lee."
"I only wish someone had told me of the joys of blackmail sooner!" said Lee.
"How'd you manage to get Gaara to help?"
"He owed me." shrugged Lee. "And he says he's going to kill you next chance he gets, Shikamaru."
"Well, whatever." Shikamaru stuffed his hands in his pockets and started to walk away. "Merry Christmas you guys."
"Yeah, you to." Neji walked away as well. Probably to find Hinata and torment her.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!" yelled Lee, before he realized he was alone. He shrugged and skipped off into the distance, looking for Sakura to wish her a Merry Christmas to.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
GothGurl: YES! ITS OVER! That was...longer then things I usually write. I'm not completely happy with it either, it seems to change tenses a few to many times and I think it was a bit repetitive, but its already late as it is so whatever!
Can you tell which pairings I like? XD Yeah, um, lots of SakuLee, SasuSaku, NaruHina, very BLATANT ShikaTema, with a little ShikaIno on the side. Does anyone else hope that happens in the series? That Ino would get all scary and possesive when Shikamaru and Temari were flirting? XD
Well, whatever, happy holidays everyone! Even though Christmas itself is over, enjoy your Winter break and have a great new year!
Please review! Its makes writing long one-shots like this worth it! XD.