Disclaimer: I d onot own Naruto or any of the characters! But i will someday in the future!
"Ino! Are you dressed yet? If you aren't down here in five minutes I'm leaving without you." Naruto called out to his sister. They were heading for Queen Tsunade's ball. He was one of the Queen's best Captains and had been specially invited.
Ino came out in five minutes dressed in a pretty white dress of satin with little pink roses stitched onto it. Her hair was up in a bun on top of her head with little curls framing her face…she had left it unpowdered because Naruto didn't like it. He said it was too much trouble and why cover up perfectly pretty hair with white powder?
She looked at her brother's attire critically. Naruto was dressed in cream pantaloons, a white shirt and a blue coat edged in gold. It brought out his blue eyes beautifully. His neck cloth was done in the waterfall style and he had plain lace ruffles falling over his hands. Right now he was staring at her with a very annoyed expression.
"Looking beautiful be dammed. We really can't afford to be late to the Her Majesty's Ball. Come on let's get going." He ushered her into the carriage and instructed the groom to set off at a fast pace.
The ballroom was decorated with beautiful pink roses. It was crowded with nobles from all over the country…Dukes, Earls, Counts…every kind of title possible was present there. Naruto couldn't help smiling…this was the perfect opportunity for him to see Ino make a match of it. She was beautiful and he was sure there would be offers of marriage soon enough. After leaving Ino under the wing of one of the dowagers, Naruto looked around for Shikamaru, his fellow captain. The man was sitting on a couch lazily watching the nobles mingle.
"Shikamaru! There you are1 I've been looking for you all over the place. I would have thought you'd be over there dancing with some beautiful girl for once in your life!" Naruto grinned down at him boyishly. The man just sighed muttering "troublesome" under his breath as always. Naruto was about to take a seat next to him when he stopped abruptly. His jaw fell open and his eyes were glazed.
The Lady Sakura Haruno looked around, a small smile on her face. She spotted Ino her best friend from the school room. A flicker of jealousy flitted over her face when she saw the many men gathered around the blonde. At last she found the one person she was searching for. A tall, dark haired and dark eyed young man was standing near one of the balconies. Lady Sakura's eye gleamed with anticipation as she glided up to him.
"My Lord Sasuke! I am quite piqued with you, you have not yet greeted me!" she fluttered her fan flirtatiously. The man bowed and smiled charmingly.
"My apologies, my Lady. Sir Arthur here had claimed my attention for a while. I did not see you." The Earl of Andover brushed her hand with his lips. Sakura felt a tingle down her spine.
The Earl of Andover, Sasuke Uchiha was decidedly the prize of the marriage mart. He had the fortune, grace, charm and good looks. Sakura thanked god for bestowing such a gentleman upon earth. "My Lady Sakura! You look beautiful today! That pink becomes you perfectly!" Sakura turned to see Ino's blonde brother standing behind her, his adoration for her plainly etched in his face.
She bestowed a small smile upon him. The poor boy was so completely in love with her! He was very beautiful too, the sunlight to Lord Uchiha's darkness. If only he had been bestowed with a fortune to match Uchiha's she might have considered him. "Why, it's Captain Uzumaki! Pray how are you? Your sister seems very well. Are you leaving on another mission any time soon?" Sakura wanted to try her hand at making the Earl jealous.
Naruto blushed and bit his lip slightly. Lady Sakura had never been this nice to him. She usually snubbed or ignored him. "I…I'm fine my Lady. I don't have any mission's as of now, but her Majesty means to send me away again it seems."
Sakura nodded an agreement, starting to look bored. She saw the Earl looking at Naruto with interest. "Oh, how silly of me! Captain Uzumaki, may I make known to you, the Earl of Andover, Sasuke Uchiha? This, my Lord is one of the queen's best captains Naruto Uzumaki! We all have heard of how he has increased our countries treasury of course!"
Naruto looked at the dark haired man and held out his hand instead of bowing. "My Lord." the amused look in the Earl's eyes infuriated him. He could see Lady Sakura was in love with this man and couldn't help but feel jealous.
Sasuke took Naruto's hand with a smirk. "The famed Captain Uzumaki…we have met at last. I have followed all your exploits of course…our country is very indebted to you." Some how Naruto had the feeling it wasn't a compliment. The arrogant bastard was looking down his nose at him!
"Thank you my Lord." Naruto turned to Sakura knowing he was being rude. "How is your mother, my Lady? I hope she is well. Ino and I might come by tomorrow. That is if it is no trouble…"
Sakura looked at Sasuke's annoyed face and wondered if her ploy was working. "Of course you may. Come now Captain, you haven't yet asked me to dance!"
Naruto blushed once more to the roots of his hair. "Uh…yes, would you like this dance my Lady?" he led her of unaware of the Earl's piercing gaze.
Sasuke Uchiha watched the blonde captain twirl the Haruno lady around. He was very interesting, this Naruto. He smirked as he caught Lady Haruno's eye. The silly girl was trying her best to make him jealous. The Earl leaned languidly on the banister as they finished and came up to him. Sakura was claimed by Rock Lee, whom she couldn't refuse as he had a very good fortune as well as the title of Duke. That left Captain Uzumaki alone with him.
The blonde man glared at Sasuke who just smirked back at him. He felt a very small shiver run up his spine as the man looked him over amusedly. Naruto fought down a blush, maybe if they made conversation this would be a lot easier. He tried to work his mouth, but he didn't know what to talk about.
"Tell me about yourself Captain…."
Naruto stared at the dark haired Earl in confusion. "What do you want to know, Uchiha? Though why you'd be interested in a man of my…stature, I can't understand."
Sasuke smiled, showing even white teeth. "Well, you cannot deny that you're famous Uzumaki…I would like to know about the man who has sunk more than twenty five Spanish galleys in two years. You are a legend you know, why, just last week I was driving my curricle and heard a mother telling her son of your exploits. Pray, humour me…"
"I don't have much to say. I've been given a few estates in Oxford, and I have a house in Grosvenor Square. I am never in town a lot, which is why you don't see me at the ton parties. And I am trying to win Lady Sakura's favour…which you will have no doubt noticed. I have my next mission coming up next week and will be leaving on Wednesday." Naruto looked at the other man sullenly. "Will that do, my Lord?"
The Earl nodded. "Do you play cards, captain? Do you game at all?"
"I do once in a while, but I live for the sea…sailing is my life, I will not be able to settle down it seems…Lady Sakura is the only one for whom I would settle down."
The Earl smirked. "Ah, but you see, Lady Sakura will never accept you…you have neither a title nor a vast fortune. A Lady like Sakura would never be pleased with just a few estates and a house at Grosvenor square. How sad, but so true…"
Naruto jerked his head up to meet the dark eyes. The Earl gazed back into his blazing eyes emotionlessly. Naruto knew he shouldn't insult this man, but he was feeling reckless. "Shut up, bastard. You could never know what she'll accept and what she won't! Do not try to nose into my affairs!"
The Earl nodded. "You're wrong. Of course I know about the kind of person she is. She has already told me all the things she buys in a month. Even with your seafaring my dear Captain, you will go bankrupt! Well, it was nice meeting you, captain. I will take my leave now…they are calling us to supper." He gracefully walked away. Naruto couldn't take his eyes off the dark Uchiha for a few seconds, and then he shook his head and followed the man.
"Sasuke Uchiha, the Earl of Andover is a veritable bastard! To think that I help the queen, fill his hands with money makes me want to retch. I would never help him, not in a million years!" Naruto stated firmly to his friend Kiba. "He is rude, arrogant and stuck up! If I could I would pull out my pistol and blow a hole through his head!"
"As amusing as this is Naruto, my good fellow, we have to get going and check on your ship…" Kiba steered his friend out the door and into the streets. "What did the Earl say to get you into such a pucker I wonder?"
"What did he say you ask? He said that Lady Sakura would never marry me! All because, I didn't have a title or a vast fortune! If Sakura was that kind of a woman, I would not have given my heart to her!" stated the captain with dignity.
"Seems to me you believe a little too much in your judgment of character. Forgive me for saying so, but I have to agree with the Earl and say that he is a very much better judge of character." Kiba blurted before realizing what he had just done.
"WHAT? I'll call you out for this! Choose your weapon, sword or guns? Name your seconds!" Naruto thundered quite forgetting that they were fighting on one of the most prestigious streets of London.
Kiba started at him flustered. "Come now, mate. You really don't want to fight me? After all I am one of your closest friends. If I am not allowed to air my views what kind of a friend are you? You're making a scene!"
"I don't care!" Naruto glanced around and saw several people staring at him. He bowed to them in apology before dragging Kiba off to the ship.
She was a beautiful little thing the ship was! She was white with a dancing fox figurehead, and the name 'The Nine Tails'. She was named after her captain of course; everyone called Naruto, the nine tails because of his deadly fencing skills and the way he kept popping up when every Spanish soldier thought that he'd been killed. Oh yes, the captain was very famous.
"There she is, Kiba! Isn't she beautiful? I love you!" Naruto cooed to his ship. Kiba rolled his eyes.
"Uzumaki, I think we had better go get some lunch, I know you want to stay and gaze at her all day long, but I'm getting hungry!" Kiba steered his friend to their favorite inn.
Sasuke let the wind blow through his hair as he rode through the park. It irked him that he couldn't leave London and go over to Andover, the trails there were much more beautiful. He reached out and patted his horse, Flame. The stallion reared up a little, before continuing to gallop through thee trail. The Earl was the only one who dared gallop through the park, anyone else and it would be too damaging to their reputation. The park was the place the elite went to, for walks and short rides, Sasuke's horse galloping through their midst did upset them, but no one dared say anything.
No one…except Captain Uzumaki.
The blonde glared as the Earl rode past and sped to catch up; once he did he reached out and yanked the reigns out of the Earl's hands. "Forgive me for interrupting your ride my Lord, but I'd like to say a few things to you. Firstly, you would do well to look around before you gallop, upsetting a dozen people! This isn't you estate, it's a park, where most people come to relax. If I were you I'd learn to respect their feelings!" and before the Earl could say a word, he turned around and trotted back to where Ino was.
Sasuke stared after him, not knowing what to say. No one had ever talked to him that way in his life! First he'd been the youngest of his family and then he was the beautiful orphan who had to get his own way. He watched the two blondes disappear around the curve, before riding back to his house.
He removed his gloves and disappeared into the library asking not to be disturbed. After settling into his favorite armchair he tried to read a nice Greek book he'd been given by his friend the Duke, Neji Hyuuga. Unfortunately all he could think off were two glaring bright blue eyes and an angry voice. Sasuke shook his head…he'd like to get to know this Captain Uzumaki better. Right after which he would make the idiotic blonde understand that crossing Sasuke Uchiha's path was the worst thing he could've done.
A/N: how was it? It's hard writing for this era, but I have a very good plot to work on so I'm happy. If it seems to prim and proper, it'll change by the third chapter or so! Yay! My Economics exam is over! I can breathe again! Please Review.