© 2006 FastForward
Yo! What's up, all? Just a few things I felt I should note before we get started.
First, I do not speak any Japanese (sad, I know. It hurts). Therefore, I have opted to not make a fool of myself or insult any Japanese-speakers out there and have reverted to plain ol' English. That being said, there will be no suffixes to any names, and certain words have been changed to their English equivalent (as per fansubs/dubs). Hence:
Dobe - Loser (I know the equivalent in English is 'dead last' but no one says that).
Teme - Bastard and/or Asshole
Second, this is an AU. I was going to have this set in either America or even Japan, but since I don't know any layouts of universities there, nor do I know what they offer and such, I caved and this is taking place in Canada in a university I do know (UBC). They won't be going into Nationalities or anything anyway, so it doesn't matter really, I just thought I'd let you all know.
Third, I would like to thank my demented, horrifying and yet wonderful Muse, Frack. She helps me come up with the strangest ideas, and somewhat attempts to trick me into moulding the story to her own liking, which I sometimes do, to a degree. I hate to break it to you, though, Frack, but Hayate is dead and he is NOT coming back! Let it go!
Now that I've gotten all of that out of the way, I hope you enjoy the story.
Disclaimer: Naruto and its characters belong to K. Masashi. The only thing that is mine is the plot. I am making no profit from this story, so don't sue me, because you wouldn't get a heck of a lot. Thanks!
Warnings of things to come. Not right now, but eventually:
- Yaoi. If you don't like it, don't read this.
- Swearing. Loads and loads of swearing. Kiba's got a dirty mouth.
- Self mutilation. By this, I mostly mean suicide attempts and self-inflicted starvation.
- Death. Sadly, yes, people do die.
- OOC. It can't be helped sometimes, and I'm sorry. I'll try not to make them too OOC, but I know for sure Sasuke will be at times. And Genma... VERY OOC... I was having too much fun when I wrote him...
Sorry this was so long. Enjoy.
"Aw, man, grandma." Naruto Uzumaki rubbed the back of his head, staring at the letter in his hand. "You did this on purpose."
Hitomi Uzumaki smirked at her grandson, an air of innocence about her, "Whatever do you mean?"
"Don't give me that, I know you asked Tsunade to do this!" Naruto pointed his index finger at her, the letter in his hand crumpling.
Hitomi merely continued to smile. After all, it wasn't her fault Tsunade Sannin was the president of the University of British Columbia. The fact that she regarded Naruto as her own grandson certainly wasn't her fault, either. And—all right, perhaps the two having had tea and discussing the fact that they were worried about Naruto was her fault, but honestly! She loved her grandson and she wanted at least one person to get to know him before judging him. If the only way was for him to have a roommate, then so be it.
Naruto let out a groan as he rubbed his head furiously with both hands. He had enough problems at school, and he'd been looking forward to having his own room to escape the stares. He didn't mind the name calling so much anymore; it was the stares he didn't like. It felt as if people thought that staring hard enough would make him disappear. Then again, there were also the other looks—the ones of adoration. The ones of love for the man who'd once been his father. 'Once been' because he was now dead. He'd died killing a monster, saving and destroying his son's life all at once.
Naruto's father had been the famous Forensic, Arashi Uzumaki, and he'd been the saviour of the people by catching—and killing—a notorious serial killer. The serial killer ended up being his own wife, and he'd managed to barely stop her from killing Naruto before the two struck killing blows. Minako Uzumaki had died then and there from a gunshot wound to the chest. Arashi had died on his way to the hospital, clutching his two-year-old child desperately to his chest the whole way.
And so, all at once, Naruto's life had been saved and destroyed. Those who didn't love him for being the son of a hero hated him for being the son of a murderer.
And now, whenever Naruto was going to need to get away, to be alone, he wouldn't be. He'd return to his room, but there would be someone else in there. He'd have more of a chance being alone in the bathroom!
"I don't even want to live in Residence." Naruto muttered, balling up the letter and tossing it towards the bin. It sailed smoothly through the air, landing exactly in the centre of the round bin, causing the blonde to smile.
"Naruto, we've been through this." Hitomi sat down heavily, squeezing the bridge of her nose with her thumb and forefinger. She felt very light-headed.
Naruto spun around to argue and his eyes widened as they fell on his grandmother, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry, grandma." Naruto ran to her, bending down in front of her. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you."
"Oh, hush. I'm not going to break." Hitomi insisted with a weak smile.
Naruto disappeared from her side, rushing to the cabinet near the kitchen door. He opened it and pulled out various pill bottles, taking a pill from each. He returned to his grandmother's side with them and a glass of water, handing them to her.
"Thank you, Naruto." She smiled gratefully as she took the pills one by one.
"You're going to be okay, right?" Naruto whispered, watching her closely for any signs that he should call the doctor. Hitomi waved her now empty hand at him as she finished the water.
"I'm fine, I'm fine." She placed her empty glass on the table.
"See, that's why I don't want to live in Residence. You need me here to—"
"I need you to stop worrying." Hitomi put her hands on Naruto's shoulders, shaking him once. "I need you to worry about yourself, for once. All your life it's been all about me. Now, it's time for it to be all about you." She ran one hand lightly down his scarred cheek, wincing inwardly as her fingers ran over the scars. "Besides," she continued cheerfully, "you'll only be two hours away. Actually, one, the way you drive." She teased. Naruto smirked.
It was true. From Mission to UBC, it was only about two hours if the traffic wasn't bad. Then again, Naruto had a hell-on-wheels manner of driving which would allow him to make the trip home in half the time, if need be—and even if not.
"I'm just..." Naruto trailed off, returning to their initial conversation. "I don't want to be stared at all the time. I don't want to feel an aura of hatred even in my own room."
Hitomi ruffled his hair and Naruto refrained from pulling away, but let his displeasure be known by narrowing his eyes at her.
"You're a great kid, Naruto." Hitomi insisted. "It's time others realised this, too." Naruto said nothing.
Sasuke Uchiha opened the door to his dorm room, looking around in annoyance. A roommate, he thought angrily. Why the fuck do I have to have a roommate? It was a thought that entered Sasuke's head every time he opened his door, even though said roommate wasn't there yet.
Sasuke had moved in a week before because he was somewhat related to a professor at the university, thus giving him special privileges. His entire half of the room was neatly organized, but he still wished he'd been allowed to have a single room. If not for his 'episode', he probably would have gotten his single room. However, since he'd tried to commit suicide again in the last three months, his guardian had decided it would be a good idea for him to have a roommate. It was an indirect way of saying, "I'm watching you."
Sasuke sighed as he dropped his keys on the built-in shelf by the entrance, closing the door. He'd contemplated putting up some kind of separator in the room, but he couldn't be bothered. He'd just wait for his roommate to do it, and with Sasuke's talk-to-me-and-I'll-kill-you aura, he suspected it wouldn't take long.
Why the room didn't have some sort of separation, he didn't know, but he was definitely going to complain about it when the room surveys came around.
Sasuke's cell phone rang and he contemplated ignoring it, but he knew there was no point, since it would only cause the man calling to come and check on him. So, sighing, Sasuke pulled the hated technology from his pocket, flipping it open before putting it to his ear.
"How are you doing, Sasuke?" His guardian asked in his usual bored tone.
"Fine." Was Sasuke's clipped reply.
"The room okay?"
"Privacy is lacking." Sasuke grumbled.
"With you, privacy is dangerous, Sasuke."
"I said I wouldn't do it again." Sasuke replied evenly. There was a sigh.
"Sasuke, you've been telling me this for the last ten years. I don't believe you anymore, and if we didn't live so far, I would rather have you stay home. As it is, I'll have to settle being down the block."
Kakashi Hatake was Sasuke's legal guardian, and had been for the last ten years, since his older brother, Itachi—still at large—killed Sasuke's family. Sasuke's cousin Obito had been best friends with the current twenty-eight year old, and since Obito had been Sasuke's real godfather, after his unfortunate death in high school, that privilege had been passed on to Kakashi. He had been practically like family to the Uchiha's, and Sasuke was lucky Kakashi was so well liked, otherwise he would've gone to a foster family instead of Kakashi.
Of course, it hadn't been easy for Kakashi to gain custody of Sasuke, having been a month short of being nineteen at the time, but by the time the courts had started making a decision, his birthday had passed; the case was dropped, and Sasuke moved in with Kakashi.
Being a boy genius had helped Kakashi, because he was already in fourth year university when Sasuke had come into his custody, and a year later, he'd become an English professor at the same university: UBC.
During the year, Kakashi usually commuted to UBC from their home in Victoria, but that was because his classes were from eleven to seven, so he had time. With Sasuke starting classes at eight, it just wasn't an option, so Kakashi had requested housing in the professor's quarters to stay close to Sasuke.
So now, Sasuke was stuck with not only a roommate, but also his over-protective guardian living down the street.
"Can I at least get my own room?" Sasuke's grip tightened on his phone.
"No, Sasuke. I ensured you got a roommate who wouldn't bother you too much. He's supposed to keep to himself, for the most part. He gets excited and happy when he gets close to people, but knowing you, your Glare of Doom will keep him away."
"Exactly, so why bother giving me one if I'll chase him away?"
"Because it makes me feel more comfortable." Was the drawled reply.
"Hn." Sasuke walked to his desk and turned on his light. "Are we done?"
"Yeah, we're done." Sasuke hung up without another word, practically hurling his phone at the bookshelf his keys were on.
With an angered cry, he spun around and slammed his fist into the concrete wall, wincing as pain shot up his arm. He cradled his hand to his chest, small cuts slowly oozing blood.
"I hate you." He whispered, his mind flashing to an image of his brother. "I hope you're alive and well, because I'll be damned if someone kills you before I'm done with you."
Deciding to relish the silence of the dorm—which would disappear the next day—Sasuke grabbed a towel and his keys, heading to the bathroom for a shower.
"Naruto." A groan emitted from a large pile of blankets. "Naruto."
"Five more minutes." The pile of blankets shifted as the body cocooned within rolled over.
"Naruto, Jiraiya came with his pickup, and you know him. If you make him wait too long, he'll leave." Naruto sighed and began to untangle himself from his blankets. Once he was out of bed and headed for his bathroom, Hitomi closed his door to make him breakfast and, hopefully, con Jiraiya into waiting by bribing him with pancakes and coffee.
Naruto sighed as he brushed his teeth, lazily rubbing the sleep from his azure eyes. He was going to take extra long in the bathroom today, regardless of Jiraiya Sannin being there. Tsunade's perverted older brother could damn well wait while he relished his last day in his bathroom. Starting that evening, he'd be sharing one with twenty other guys. He wasn't looking forward to it.
After showering and doing all his other morning business, he pulled on jeans and an orange shirt before heading downstairs, his hair dripping and soaking his shirt collar.
"Oh, for crying out loud, how old are you?" Hitomi pulled a dishtowel off the counter and roughly dried Naruto's hair as he sat down, grunting a greeting to Jiraiya, who was reading the paper.
"Hey, brat." Jiraiya smirked, dropping the newspaper onto the table and picking up his coffee mug. "Tsunade said she ensured to put you in my Anatomy Lab."
"Joy." Naruto mumbled, taking a bite of his breakfast.
"I—was expecting more enthusiasm." Jiraiya admitted.
"He's still sore about having a roommate." Hitomi said as she frowned at Naruto's hair, attempting to flatten the wet locks, which seemed insistent on rebelling and sticking in the air.
"Aw, come on, kid. It'll be fun." Naruto ignored the old man in front of him, taking a sip of his orange juice instead.
Jiraiya sighed and shook his head. He and Tsunade had known Naruto his entire life. Jiraiya had been Naruto's father's favourite professor, and it was Jiraiya himself who'd pushed Arashi towards forensics in the first place. Jiraiya regarded Naruto as a very stubborn grandson—even though he'd prefer to admit he saw him as a son; it made him feel less old.
"Is Orochimaru on my schedule?" Naruto asked. Jiraiya winced, cursing Tsunade for not having told him. Then again, who would willingly put themselves on the receiving end of the outburst that was about to come?
Orochimaru Sannin was the final of the three siblings, and unlike Tsunade and Jiraiya, he hated Naruto. They suspected it was because he'd hated Arashi for being as successful as he'd been when Orochimaru had failed. It was a stupid sort of grudge, but then again, the youngest of the three wasn't known for his intelligence. He was mean, unfair and generally unpleasant to be around, no matter who you were. Then again, Naruto had heard a different version of why Orochimaru hated Arashi from Hitomi.
"Jiraiya?" The white-haired man looked at Hitomi as she stared at him pointedly. He was going to find out, anyway. Sighing, Jiraiya sipped his coffee before replying.
"He's teaching you Chem." He said hurriedly between sips.
Even though the two adults had been expecting it, they still winced at the cheer volume of his outburst. His orange juice had almost tipped over when he slammed his fists on the table, but it was saved by re-balancing itself. The syrup, however, did not survive the assault, and it tipped sideways on the table, oozing the thick liquid onto the tablecloth.
"He's the best in his field."
"And he'll fail me for absolutely no reason!" Naruto argued angrily.
"Tsunade wouldn't let him, honey." Hitomi ran her hands soothingly up and down Naruto's muscled arms. "She'll make sure he treats you fairly."
"Fairly my ass!"
"Language, Naruto." Hitomi hissed.
"Sorry." Naruto grumbled.
"Everything will be all right, Naruto. You'll see." Hitomi patted his shoulder lightly before beginning to clean up the mess the syrup had made. Naruto stared down into his plate, suddenly not so hungry anymore.
Sasuke didn't know whether to scream, or shoot someone. If the people in the corridor could be any louder, they would have defied the laws of sound. They were yelling, they were slamming doors, they were grunting, and complaining, and groaning, and Sasuke was going to kill them all! Granted, no one should've been in the Residence yet, but—it was eight in the morning, for crying out loud!
Sasuke rolled over and cried out as he almost fell off the bed. Grumbling curses under his breath, he shifted over towards the wall to save himself the three-foot fall to the ground. Having the beds that high was useful, yes, because it allowed for storage beneath the beds, but it was a damn safety hazard! Sasuke could easily see himself falling off the bed and splitting his head open.
Then again, the raven mused as he sat up, they wouldn't consider suicide if I did die from falling off the bed. Some kind of freak accident, maybe, but suicide wouldn't cross their minds. He then snorted, reminding himself that Kakashi would know. Then again, what would the silver-haired man do about it?
Throwing his blankets off himself, Sasuke slid to the end of the bed and jumped to the floor. He remade his bed hurriedly with military-like precision, ensuring every corner was neatly tucked in and the sheets didn't have any kinks in them. Satisfied with his work, he trudged towards his closet and pulled out a pair of jeans and a blue shirt. Pulling the clothing on, he snatched up his keys, phone and wallet, putting them into his pockets. He glanced at himself in the mirror behind the door, satisfied with the way his hair looked, despite having just woken up. He used enough gel for it to retain its shape for days on end, anyway.
Deciding he didn't want to be there when his roommate showed up, Sasuke pulled open the door and exited the room. He locked the door behind him, ignoring all the people calling out greetings to him and walked hurriedly down the corridor, ensuring he didn't brush against anyone. He flew down the stairs two at a time, avoiding all the people coming up with boxes and slammed through the front doors.
"Hey, hold the door, will you?" He ignored the blonde boy rushing towards him, turning away from his dorm, letting the door click shut behind him. "Thanks a lot, asshole." The boy muttered under his breath, but Sasuke ignored him, eying him warily. Who in their right mind wore orange, anyway?
Shoving his hands in his pockets, he headed away from Robson—his dorm—and made his way towards the street so he could head over to Kakashi's. He didn't want to see the man, really, but anything was better than staying there with all those people moving in. Besides, he'd get a decent breakfast this way.
It took him less than two minutes to reach his guardian's door and he knocked on it loudly once he'd reached it. He waited thirty seconds before a very tired Kakashi opened the door, wearing nothing more than a pair of loose drawstring pants and, of course, his mask.
"Sasuke. What are you doing here?" Kakashi asked, glancing blearily at his watch. Sasuke was surprised he even owned one based on the number of times he'd ever actually arrived anywhere on time.
"The caf is closed, and I'm hungry." Without waiting for an invitation, the eighteen year old trudged into the small apartment-like home and headed straight for the kitchen.
"Good morning to you, too." Kakashi closed the door and walked after the other boy.
He leaned against the doorframe, crossing his arms as he watched Sasuke raid his fridge before pulling out everything he'd want to make—whatever it was he was making. Kakashi honestly wasn't sure.
"Why do you still wear the mask, Kakashi?" Sasuke asked as he threw some ham into a frying pan. Kakashi winced at the hissing noise it made, but decided to answer the question rather than comment on the noise. He knew Sasuke wouldn't care, and would probably go out of his way to annoy Kakashi further.
"It's nobody's business what my face looks like, Sasuke, what does it matter whether I wear it or not?" He inquired.
"So you'll wear a mask to hide the fact that you look like you father, but you'll keep your eye exposed."
"What's wrong with my eye?" Kakashi frowned, not liking the direction this conversation was going, but he knew if he let Sasuke know this, Sasuke would push it even further.
"It's disgusting." Was Sasuke's reply.
Kakashi had never disturbed himself about his left eye. It had been like that as long as he could remember. Apparently, when he was a child, a piece of glass had fallen into his eye and scratched up his iris, turning his eye blood red. After surgery that left him with a rather nice scar, his eyesight was returned as best they could. He had to wear a contact in that eye, and the redness had reduced to just his iris, but he didn't care. He thought he looked interesting with one brown eye and one red one. It wasn't a combination one saw every day.
As for his face—that was more complicated. There was nothing wrong with the lower half of his face. In fact, most people would call Kakashi an attractive man; or, the few who'd seen his face. Sasuke himself had only seen the man's face five or six times, and he'd lived with him for ten years! It was a delicate topic, and Sasuke usually avoided bringing up the reason behind Kakashi wearing the mask. He'd ask him why he still wore it, but he would never stray into the dangerous territory of telling him it was a stupid reason. He'd done that once, and Kakashi had had him in tears for hours with the retort on his brother. Of course, Kakashi had felt guilty about it, but it had taught Sasuke early on never to talk about his mask.
The reason behind the mask had to do with his father. When Kakashi was a child, no older than seven or eight, his father had walked out on his mother. She'd been all right for a while, but when Kakashi turned twelve, he'd come home from school one day and found out she'd hung herself. He'd grown up with a foster family, whom he still kept in contact with even now, but it wasn't the same. When he'd hit sixteen, he'd started wearing the mask. He'd been sent to psychiatrists and doctors almost all over British Columbia, but none could find what was wrong with him, and why he insisted on wearing the mask. At first, they'd assumed the lower half of his face had been damaged somehow, but they soon realized it was nothing physical. It was mostly psychological. Kakashi had begun to resemble his father, and he hated that man for what he'd done to him and his mother. His foster sister had even walked into the bathroom once when he was about to attempt to hack away parts of his face. After serious counselling and another three attempts, Kakashi had finally just accepted he looked like his father. He didn't have to like it, though, which was why he continued to wear the mask. He only took it off to shave, shower, and every couple of nights. He hated having it off for even a second because he ran the risk of catching a glimpse of himself in a reflective surface. He shaved without looking in the mirror, and he avoided looking anywhere reflective in the bathroom while he showered. He didn't want the reminder.
Kakashi was snapped out of his thoughts as Sasuke placed two plates on the table, sitting down in one of the empty chairs and beginning to eat. The professor uncrossed his arms and headed towards the table, picking up the plate.
"Thanks." He said as he turned to leave.
"You sure you trust me in here with all these sharp objects?" Sasuke teased in a cold voice.
"You wouldn't have enough time to try anything stupid." Kakashi insisted as he left the room to eat in private, just like he'd done for the past ten years.
Naruto stared across the room with a frown. It was impossible. There was no way this had happened to him. But there was the proof, staring him right in the face. He, Naruto Uzumaki, the messiest, clumsiest, and dirtiest person he knew—was roomed with a neat freak.
"Tsunade's punishing me for something, I know it." He mumbled to himself. Maybe it was the water balloon I put on her chair at Christmas. Naruto winced, thoroughly convinced he was never going to be forgiven for that one.
His head whipped towards the door as he heard the lock turn and he jumped off his bed, shoving his hands in his pockets. He'd been waiting all day to meet his roommate and honestly, it was about damn time! It was pushing midnight, and they had orientation in the morning.
Naruto watched the door swing open and nearly groaned. Great. Terrific. Not only a neat freak, but an asshole, too.
Sasuke looked the blond before him up and down, standing in the doorway. It almost seemed like he was scared of catching Naruto's bad sense of fashion if he got too close. He had to admit, he was a little peeved that the one person he'd refused to hold the door for ended up being his roommate. Murphy's law.
The two boys stood where they were, both staring at one another with their hands in their pockets. Neither said a word. Generally, introductions would have happened, but Naruto was too stubborn to introduce himself after having been so rudely treated earlier that day. If there was one thing Naruto could hold forever, it was a grudge. Sasuke himself didn't much care whether or not he and his roommate got along. As long as he stayed out of Sasuke's way, to each his own.
Sasuke finally entered the room, walking to his closet and pulling it open. He reached into the first drawer within his closet and pulled out a pair of sweat-pants, also grabbing his toothbrush and toothpaste before walking back out the open door.
Naruto sniffed, annoyed. Fine, he thought. If that's how he wants to play it, suits me just fine. As long as the bastard doesn't stay up all night, and doesn't get up too early, we'll get along just fine with not getting along. Nodding to himself, he turned to his own closet and pulled out a pair of sweat-pants. Since Sasuke was in the bathroom, he stripped and pulled the pants on before dumping his jeans and boxers into his hamper. He pulled off his shirt and threw it onto the back of his desk chair. He liked that shirt, and he didn't care that he'd worn it all day. It could survive another day.
Naruto went to his computer and opened the university web-page to double check his group for the next day before logging off and climbing into bed, turning off the light on his side of the room. He rolled onto his side with his back facing the opposite side of the room and closed his eyes, ready to sleep and not caring if his roommate wasn't.
Sasuke returned seconds after Naruto had settled into bed and stared at the blonde's turned back, glaring daggers at him. So Sasuke had been in a bad mood that morning, it didn't mean Naruto had to be rude. Then again, Sasuke hadn't exactly jumped on the occasion to introduce himself. He wasn't terribly concerned about not getting along with his roommate. If he went through enough of them, maybe they'd get the hint and give him a single to stop the torture.
Throwing his things into his own hamper, the raven walked across the room to his own computer, checking the times and locations again to ensure he knew where he was going. He remembered his group, so he logged out and shut down his computer. He climbed into his bed, pulling back the covers and slipping beneath them. Turning off his own light, he turned his back on his roommate and closed his eyes for sleep.
The room was filled with tension as the two boys drifted off to sleep.
© 2006 FastForward