Rating: T or PG-13 for cursing and sexual implications.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything or anyone in the Naruto universe. If I did...wow. So...many...moments. Beautiful.
Warnings: Shonen-ai. Boy on Boy. Homosexuality. G.A.Y. No sex scenes since this story will be fairly mild. Other than that, there might be a few grammatical errors, excessive cursing, and angst moments. I'll try my best to keep the characters as true to their manga/anime counterparts as possible but things will be tweaked to fit the setting.
Background Info: Everyone is in their late teens unless otherwise stated in childhood flashbacks and the occasional adult/elder. The story is based off the fairytale 'Cinderella'. If you do not know of it, I advise a quick reading of it online for the sake of knowledge. Oh, and the characters will only be from the first Naruto arc. Which means Sai, Sasori, etc. will not make an appearance. Apologies.
Summary: AU. A spin-off of the classic Cinderella story with Sasuke as a spoiled ice prince and Naruto as a shunned goose lad. Sasu/Naru.
This Way to Water
Shikamaru didn't talk very much. And when he did, it was usually a complaint of some sort which made him on the brink of being intolerable. However, as Sasuke immerged himself into the soothing cool waters of the river, his occasional advice was more than enough to keep him in the personal council. Whereas Neji offered his command over the human psyche, Shikamaru offered knowledge and expertise on almost every other subject. The young prince, though very intelligent in his own right, simply provided the authoritarian figure and the occasional royal signature to the document.
Together, all three of them were extremely successful when dealing with other countries and it showed through Kohona's booming economy and jubilant citizens. Ever since the young Uchiha had officially acquire the throne five years ago, they have yet to engage in the many pitiful wars that seemed to plague the other surrounding kingdoms.
Of course, having an elite barrage of soldiers and cunning generals at his fingertips helped;Kohona's fighting force was legendary though they hardly pursue battles.
Sasuke let out a relieved breath as the waters cascaded around his lean figure and refreshed his tense muscles. The water wasn't very deep; it only reached to the middle of his chest at the highest point. However, it was a welcomed sensation after hours of traveling beneath the heat of the sun. The air was cool and light with a faint hint of pine and earth from the surrounding forest. He didn't even mind that it had been a bright and sunny day, something he usually hated with passion. As long as he was within the shades of the thick bordering trees and the morning clouds continued to block the bulk of the sun's rays, Prince Sasuke Uchiha was dandy.
It really was too bad that there was an infamous pervert a few kilometers away from where he was that kept him from enjoying to the fullest extent. Though Sasuke wasn't definite on Kakashi's sexual preference, nor did he care, this would provide too much of an opportunity for a twisted remark at the prince's expense. Recently, the only thing keeping the silver haired bodyguard from making these as often was by reading the popular 'Icha Icha Paradise' books. The prince squirmed inwardly as he remembered a time when he had grown curious and demanded to see at some of the pages.
The nosebleed that resulted took hours to stop and the entire castle was in hysterics. Overall, it wouldn't have been too bad but the illustrations were rather detailed; which meant the Uchiha's photographic memory had kept the lucid images in his head ever since. Then there was Kakashi, smiling innocently in the corner of his bed chambers; supposedly guarding from any other attempts at his blood.
"Wanna see the best part?"
Bedridden, the prince shot him the deadliest glare he could muster but the effect was limited by the tissues clogging his nose. One of these days, he planned to tie that pervert up and burn every single orange book in a blazing inferno of glory.
With a small smirk,he wondered if Neji and Shikamaru might be feeling a little uncomfortable right now. They had the most murderous look in their eyes when the prince ordered for them to keep watch over Kakashi, ensuring a peaceful bath only for himself.
The prince shook his head of the chuckle that followed the thought and continue to float along the water. Suddenly, it came to him how serene he felt floating along the water, allowing the small currents to pass beside his skin. It felt...rather nice. And even though he was careful to stay in the shade, small peeks of light still broke through and landed gently on his body. Nice...and warm. It was a very nice feeling; one he enjoyed.
When was the last time he was this calm? This much in peace? Honestly, he couldn't' remember though he must've had many of these in his childhood. Everyone had to have good memories of being carefree as a little toddler with the loving arms of family and the caring smiles of friends. Thus, Sasuke must've had these moments also. Right?
But as the thought rose higher, he realized the silliness of his notions. True, he had them before but...those memories had taken place before his parent's murders.
Before the murderer, his very own brother Itachi, was declared king out of desperation.
And before his own hands were drenched in Itachi's blood after the overthrow as the result.
Mindlessly, Sasuke clenched and unclenched his fist beneath the water. Why were the memories flooding back to him after all this time? With a slight bitterness, he suddenly remembered why he had avoided being this serene. Scowling, he stood above the water and glided towards the bank where his clothes were laid out neatly on a bank of smooth rocks. His dark hair gathered in wet clumps, elegantly framing his face and the length of his neck. The stark contrast it provided along his pale skin made him look almost unworldly. Goosebumps prickled along his flesh when he began to emerge himself out of the water and collided with the cool air. Momentarily, the prince considered staying longer.
But he quickly shut the idea down. Neji or Shikamaru wouldn't appreciate the idea of staying alone with Kakashi longer than necessary and together, they were a force to be reckoned with.
Just as he was securely tightening the knot of his pants around his waist, two hands pressed against his back and pushed him forward into the water. Sputtering, he sprouted back out of the water, his skin stinging from the harsh contact. Through his clogged ears, he could hear a loud obnoxious laughter coming from the bank and immediately glared in that direction. Pissed off didn't began to describe his emotions at that instant. Who in the world dared to push him, the ruler of the most powerful kingdom in the land, in the river? Even Kakashi wouldn't dare to do such a thing.
Only a complete and utter moron would do so.
And a moron he found. A moron who's now laughing senselessly on the bank, clutching his stomach for effect.
"Ha Ha That's- Ha Ha- what you get- Ha Ha Ha- for last time, Kiba."
Kiba? Who in the hell was Kiba?
"Why you little-!" Sasuke began menacingly.
The boy, hearing the unfamiliar voice, stopped laughing and looked at him. His face first scrunched up in confusion as he took in the sight of the angry prince. Simultaneously, the Uchiha took this chance to observe the boy through glaring eyes.
He guessed he was a low-class peasant by his clothes, which were crusty with dirt and sloppily sewn up in various areas. Judging through the baggy clothes, his figure was lean and slightly muscled and his height was the same as the prince himself, give or take a few inches from the spiky hair. It was disgusting how unnaturally speckled with soil his light blond hair was; from a distance, he could've been easily mistaken as a light brunette. When was the last time this person took a bath? Sasuke turned his face slightly to the left, as if trying to avoid the onslaught of the putrid smell that the boy must've emitted at the moment. He severely hoped those buckets to the left of the boy were for a bath of some sort.
With mild interest, the Uchiha noted that the only thing not covered in dirt were the boy's eyes; they radiated with a clear bright blue color through the layers of filth on the surrounding skin. And now, they were staring back at the Uchiha with an embarrassed apologetic gaze.
"Heh, sorry for that," the boy said as he stood up and grabbed the chipped wooden buckets to his side. " I thought you were someone else." A nervous laugh followed.
Sasuke answered with a growl as he strided out of the water, weighted down with soaked clothes. The boy's eyes widened when he realized the quality and look of his garments. At this, the young Uchiha gave a smirk. For once, he was glad to wear outrageously expensive and uncomfortable outfits; it made it clear to the most dense of people his high caliber.
"Maybe next time, you should make sure before pushing people into the water," the Uchiha directed with an air of superiority. He was now fully emerged from the water for a second time and was regarding his wet clothes with distaste. "Moron."
"Don't call me a moron!" came the sharp retort. The boy's original carefree demeanor changed instantly with the insult. His eyes narrowed and his shoulders had stiffened significantly. The grips on the handle of the buckets tightened and his features held a tight frown. Sasuke glanced over at him, his smirk widening as he began to unbutton his jacket to let it dry on a nearby boulder.
"Then don't go pushing random nobles into the water," he said as his pale hands smoothed down the wrinkled article.
The boy was silent for a moment at the mention of the word 'noble' but the angry aura had definitely grown. With some difficulty, the boy stomped past the prince and dipped his buckets into the water, desperately trying to ignore the leering stare from the other man. In Kohona, it was dangerous to harass someone of noble stature but Sasuke enjoyed seeing how strained the boy's actions had become. Normally he would apathetically turn away and avoid tiresome situations but this was becoming interesting. Besides, didn't the prince deserve some revenge after the surprise dunk?
"But what can I expect," he continued, stressing an underhanded sigh, "From someone of your obvious caliber-"
Sasuke continued his remark as the boy bended down and filled the buckets with water. He couldn't see a clear view of the face but the boy was obviously having a hard time concentrating on his work. Even the unfit clothes couldn't hide how stiff the body had become.
"-must not have done well in school." The prince crossed his arms over his naked chest and leaned nonchalantly against the boulder behind him. The smirk he wore grew as he decided on a particular insult. "Am I right...dead last?"
As expected, a wooden bucket was furiously flung towards his head. Effortlessly, the ebony haired man ducked his head to the side, just enough to feel the bare brush of air rushing behind the projectile. With a bored expression, he looked back at the blond boy, who had allowed the other bucket to drop at his foot. He was visibly shaking with anger. For a moment, the prince wondered if he had taken the game too far.
"You..you...," the young peasant said between heavy breathes, jabbing a pointed finger right at the other man. His cerulean eyes was livid and his face scrunched up in a horrible scowl as he searched for a suitable name. "BASTARD!" he finally exploded, "I don't give a flying sack of crap if you're the damn king of this whole shitty planet but don't you dare call me an idiot! You stuck up prissy ass bastard!"
Except for the rushing of the river and the rustle of the tree branches, there was a noticeable silence around them after the rant. The boy, obviously pleased with the frown that crawled onto the face of the pale prince, bended down to pick up the bucket and resume his work. Not wanting to be outdone, Sasuke quickly substituted the frown with another smirk.
"I called you dead last...idiot."
With a violent cry, the blond boy lunged at the Uchiha. Never mind that he was a noble and assaulting him would land him straight to the cells. Never mind that this particular noble had already proven his fighting skills with the expertly executed dodge from before. Never mind that any normal peasant would simply walk away and avoid both punishment and pain. Even knowing all this, the boy was willing to irrationally defend his pride. Oh yes, the prince had definitely hit the mark with that 'idiot' comment.
"He really is...something.," Sasuke found himself thinking while dodging the onslaught of aimless punches and kicks. However, he quickly suppressed the thought when a fist came dangerously close to his right cheek. Encouraged by how close the last hurl had come, the boy began to pick up speed in his ducks and doges. Unbelievably, Sasuke found himself actually struggling to avoid being hit, something which he didn't approve of. It was time to end the game.
With one swift graceful motion, the prince grabbed the wrist and forearm of the other. Years of practice and instruction paid off in one dynamic move as he gathered the momentum from the boy to flip the blonde off his feet and over his head. The paler boy could see only an instant of a shocked face before sending the other into the river with a large splash.
A moment later, the peasant boy sprung up from the waves, freely sputtering obscenities.
"B...Bastard. Asshole. Damn egotistical shithead."
The Uchiha gave a chuckle before turning around and grabbing his clothes paritally dried from the rock. "Enough of this foolishness; I'm leaving. You have managed to keep me entertained so I won't-."
"I'm not your damn entertainment!"
The response was combined with another sloppy attack from behind. Caught off guard, the prince only had time to face the boy before finding himself pinned down against the pebbled bank. Automatically, a reflex had kicked in wherein Sasuke's knee jerked up towards the stomach of the other in defense. This caused a chain reaction where the blonde tried miserably to both avoid the contact and still keep the prince pinned down. Seeing an opportunity for escape in the moment of distraction, the pale boy tried to rise himself upward and push the blonde off. However, the blonde was determined and in a split second decision, decided to put all his strength into forcing Sasuke's wrist down again and buckled under the harsh knee kick he received in the stomach.
The Uchiha struggled to get up at the same time the blonde had doubled over; they're faces started to move dangerously close to one another. Both tried desperately to stop the inevitable but neither succeeded; the range was too small. The prince could only close his eyes before he felt the blonde's lips crush against his own.
He was surprised. For a loud trash-talking peasant, the other's lips were surprisingly full and soft; recently moistened and newly clean from the water. His own was just as smooth but were not as full; male royals simply did not inherit such feminine traits. But the contrast between the wet soft lips and smooth dry ones felt very different to the Uchiha.
By far, this was not his first kiss. Many diplomatic situations called for mindless flirtations with the daughters, maybe even the wife, to ensure a good standing. However, those situations were hardly pleasant. He had to force himself and used it only as the absolute last resort; afterwards he would break off the relationship after the papers were signed. Kissing was awkward for him and there was a sense of disgust when he thought about swapping saliva with another, childish though it may seem.
This kiss, however, was not disgusting. Of course the initial shock was present but it was slowly ebbing away.
And with another person. No, not just any person: a peasant. A male peasant with the intelligence of a chicken.
But if he wasn't feeling disgust...then what was he feeling at this moment? Did he...is he actually...enjoying-?
No! Absolutely not!
Sasuke didn't enjoy this kiss. He didn't like how soft the lips were and the tingling that made his knees week and his heart racing...No!
No! No! No!
He just didn't mind. That was it. But...
...why? Why was this kiss with a idiot loud-mouthed filthy peasant so different?
Was it because..th-this was...this kiss felt...
But before the muddled thoughts could be properly placed, the two abruptly pulled apart, leaving each other in a daze. In reality, it couldn't have taken up more than a few seconds but the moment seemed to have taken decades off their lives.
Widened brilliant blue eyes clashed with the Uchiha's own pitch black. They were still close enough to feel the other's irregular breathes from lips still slightly parted from the kiss. A few more seconds of stunned silence ticked by with both boys slowly absorbing what had passed between them. The whiskered boy was the first to react as he realized the questionable position they were in and quickly fell back a few meters away from the prince.
Sasuke now had a good view of the boy and wondered if it truly was the same person he had seen moments before. The same patched-up peasant clothes were right but they now clung closely to the boy's body from the water, emphasizing every twist and curve of muscle on the lean figure. Now clean, the previously soiled spiky blonde hair hung in loose wet locks over the head and beautifully framed a rounded innocent face. Before, Sasuke had guessed the boy had a darker skin through the layers of fifth but he couldn't possibly comprehend how healthy and smooth the skin was underneath. It glowed under the sun's gentle rays. But the most shocking sight were the eyes staring back at him.
Clear and vibrant azure. They simply didn't caught his attention; they demanded it with an innate intensity previously hidden by the dirt and grime. And now those eyes were widened to their fullest extent, enabling the other to see a small obscure reflection of himself in the deep pupils.
"Y-you...I-I..," stuttered the blond, pointing drastically to the prince and then to himself. "W-We...?"
"Kissed." the Uchiha finished, looking away with an embarrassed look on his face.
Another silence followed, allowing more time for the pale boy to mull things over in his head. Did he just experience some type of attraction to the other? Well, he admitted that the peasant had some nice features, however, there were plenty of other people Sasuke had seen who were just as attractive. That didn't mean anything. He shouldn't be thinking like this but the silence made it easier for his brain to mull around. These quiet little moments were getting annoying. He soon regretted those thoughts as the blue-eyed boy erupted with more energy and noise than before.
"OH CRAP." The blonde yelled forlornly, grabbing clumps of his hair and tugging at the roots in mourning. "Shit. Shit. Shit. SHIT.I-I-I can't have! Please god no!" He released his golden locks and was now wringing his hands in panic. "M-My first kiss...was with you!"
Sasuke shot him a dark look before visibly spitting (in a very dignified way) at the ground, feigning a disgust that was not entirely true. More so than the silence, he was becoming increasingly disturbed by his thoughts of the boy. "I'm sorry, was that your first kiss?" he remarked smugly, diverting the subject, "Couldn't find a girl daring enough to sacrifice her lips to you?"
The boy turned red. "Y-You shut up!" He pointed an accusing finger at the cocky boy. "I told you not to assume things about me, bastard!"
A leer and a 'hn' was the immediate and only reply.
The blonde now had his arms dropped to the side with his hands in tight fists. His eyes flashed at the pale noble and his face tinged in a dark red hue, a combination of anger and humiliation. "StuckupAssholeBastardJerkDickFuck!" he muttered under his breath, blue eyes boring into black ones.
The only reaction Sasuke allowed was a slight twitch of his left brow. "Jerk...Dick...Fuck?"
It was back to humiliation as the sexual innuendo was realized by the other. "Oi! S-Stop twisting around my words...PERVERT!"
At this, the young prince scoffed and rolled his eyes. "Who's the pervert? They were you're words to begin with."
"But you twisted them to make them sound like that!"
"How? I said it in the order you said it...idiot."
"It was the way you said it- and for the last time don't call me an idiot!"
"Hn. Then what should I call you?"
The name came with a yell that echoed through the trees and birds symbolically taking off to a more quieter resting place. The peasant, seeing that he single-handedly lost his anonymity, was now cursing himself and had a look of defeat dawning his face. Being unknown was the only flimsy protection he had from being possibly prosecuted if the noble chose to report him. He had let it slip. Sasuke allowed the smirk to grow ten fold, knowing the full power he had with the knowledge.
"Naruto...". Sasuke allowed the name to wash over his tongue, seemingly tasting it like one of his fine wines back in the castle's cellar. The name was familiar though he didn't know from where he had remembered it. Naruto lightly winced in response as he heard the cocky voice repeat his name correctly. He's getting anxious, the prince noted smugly, and rightfully so. Harassing a noble was bad enough but harassing the last surviving member of the royal family was practically suicide.
However, the prince would never care enough to send someone to the dungeons simply for an insult (though they were few and far between) and he honestly didn't want to start the habit with the young hot-blooded boy. But, teasing the blonde and inciting the over dramatic reactions was entertaining. The Uchiha couldn't help but to seize the opportunity to further his 'asshole-ness'.
"You know...if you want this entire thing to be forgotten..." the prince said slowly, purposely drawing out each syllable, "Kneel to me and admit my superiority." Onyx eyes curved in amusement as he finished the order.
"What!" The blonde's head cocked up sharply, his forehead wrinkled with indignation. "I won't ever bow-"
"Well then, Naruto, I hope you enjoy the next month in the cells."
A silence. The Uchiha noted that the boy's shoulder had slouched a little, his eyes held an almost hopeless gaze. It doesn't suit him, the prince thought but held his ground. Maybe he did cross the line with the last request but it was too late to take it back now. The boy had appeared to be more contemplative. Was he seriously going to bow to him? Any reasonable person could see that as the right course of action if they want to avoid imprisonment but for some reason, a sense of disappointment unfolded within the pale boy at the prospect.
After a minute passed, the blonde finally spoke. His previously hopeless appearance dissolved and replaced with a feral grin.
"I don't care what happens to me...I won't ever bow to someone like you," Naruto paused and spitted at his feet to emphasize his hatred for the other, "Ever." His eyes never left Sasuke's face, to fully soak in his reaction if there was one. When none was to be found, the blonde continued in his renewed confidence. The rich color of his eyes dancing within their pupils. "You're not better than me. No matter what those other suck ups say, you're not."
Black eyes narrowed in his direction but, for the first time, Naruto simply held a determined gaze before turning away. The peasant boy now redirected his focus in gathering the wooden buckets he had came with. Without a second glance back at the Uchiha, he calmly filled the buckets with water; one after the other.
"I bleed and sweat for what I have, no matter how little I get. You didn't."
"I earn people's respect for me, even if I don't get all of it. You didn't."
"And...I'm going to make my life better. I'm going to die trying even if I don't succeed in the end."
Sasuke didn't know how to respond to this. It was much easier to respond to the boy's usual crude taunts than the previous statements; they reached a part of the prince that wasn't meant to be disturbed. He watched as the boy, carrying the wooden buckets in either hand, turned and looked at him with a mischievous smile that didn't meet the serious blue eyes. The Uchiha, hypnotized by the sudden change of demeanor, watched as Naruto started to make his way onto the beaten dirt path. At the edge of the forest, the whiskered boy suddenly stopped but didn't look back as he said his next sentence.
"I think...I know I'm better than you. I'm better than anyone who's just born with what they have."
His head turned slightly to the side, a newfound satisfied smirk on his face. Sasuke had his head turned away with a small frown on his face, choosing not to respond.
"Because, I know I deserve every good thing I have. Bye, bastard."
In the end, the Uchiha found himself standing near the river, a disgusted look on his face as he stared out at the path the boy had been walking on. After a few moments of quiet contemplation, the prince began to walk upstream and towards his other comrades, a deep scowl on his face as he picked up the partially-dried clothes that found themselves on the ground. His thoughts were muddled; a complete opposite of his usually reposed self.
After gathering and rechecking for lost articles, he stomped off; all the while, the name 'Naruto' echoed through his head, refusing to be forgotten. Cursing his perfect memory, Sasuke could recite almost every word the boy had said, especially the last few lines and in the same voice. As if that wasn't enough, they'll be accompanied by a mass of replayed images of blonde hair, blue eyes, and a wide grin planted on tanned skin. And finally, the last and most disturbing memory of all would of the kiss.
Unaware, he darted his tongue over his lips and relived the moment of contact. Two adjectives immediately came to his mind that had previously escaped him.
Nice and warm.
-to be continued-
Wow, what can I say but to apologize for the late update but this chapter was alot longer than what I usually right. And I wanted to make sure their first meeting would be nice. 8'D
Also, one of my reviewers had mentioned Gaara as a possible lover rival in the relationship. Its an interesting idea but I'm not sure if I should include it or not. I already have a plot partially thought out of and Gaara is included but he plays more a secondary character with a strong friendship with Naruto, though it doesn't go any deeper than that. D: And to another, thanks for the offer for a beta but I already accepted another offer for a beta. Tis much appreciated anywho.
Thank you for all the other reviews so far! -hugs-
Btw, next chapter, and likely for the rest of the story, I'll be typing in first person point of view. It'll go alot faster for me that way and more enjoyable for me as a writer.