Disclaimer:I don't own anything.
Warnings:Full list on the first chapter :DUnbetaed yet again :p But I really wanted to post this ASAP.
Notes:I'm continuing my updating spree :D The plot is about to get deeper, so I hope everyone is still reading this! I hope that my writing conveyed clearly their actions, but in case it was a bit hard to understand, please don't hesitate to ask me for clarification! :) The story's plot has been revised and finalized, so there'll be roughly 6 chapters to go! :D And, and! Longer chapter now, whoo!
EDIT: Okay, I edited some stuff. Haha. I really should stop writing while half-asleep 8D
Each person has his own reasons for doing what he does, for feeling what he feels, for choosing the path he takes.
A thief part of an organization of people with a similar fate to his own—manipulated by a more sinister force, doing things loathed by society, yet having only the most righteous intentions in his mind.
A detective part of an organization of people with a far different situation to his own—controlled by the one person he least expects, doing things for the betterment of society, yet having only the darkest mysteries surrounding his intentions.
The two of them couldn't be any more different from each other, yet this chase continues, as though the two of them don't even want it to end, as though they are pulling at each other, urging to catch, encouraging to chase.
But as dissimilar they might seem to be, there are some similarities scattered here and there, dully glimmering, unnoticed.
Though at this moment, there is a similarity that cannot be ignored.
—Their lips are meeting in their second embrace.
A Thief's Kiss
Chapter Three – The Two of Hearts
"SHIT, THAT HURT!"
The blond exclaimed and his face contorted into a painful grimace as his back laid flat against the unforgiving floor. Sasuke's added weight didn't help the situation; it only made things worse. Actually, Sasuke's presence instantly made things worse, especially with the way he fell to the stranger in front of him—lips mashed together in a bruising manner.
Sasuke mentally swore when he tasted a metallic-copper taste; it seemed that his teeth knocked unto his lips, splitting his skin open.
After deciding that no, the floor seems really uncomfortable, Sasuke made a move to sit up, stand up, anything to get away from this awkward situation. He kept his eyes wide open, since the darkening sky didn't offer much illumination, and his gut feeling still screamed at him that this person is the Phantom Thief that has eluded the police force for quite some time.
Sasuke started to move away by putting his palms on the floor, intending to support his weight. It seemed that the fall really impaired his judgment—something that Sasuke found out when the other male shrieked—no thanks to hard grip Sasuke wrongfully placed on the other's tanned arms.
"Sorry," Sasuke muttered noncommittally, glaring icily at the person who just shattered his eardrums within a split-second.
"Get off me," The other almost-whined, and thank goodness it was rather dark, because Sasuke could really do without seeing a pouting face.
Still, pouting or not, Sasuke felt that he should defend his actions, "I was about to get the hell away from you," and here, Sasuke fixed the male beneath him with a distasteful glance, "if only you didn't shriek like a frightened little girl."
He felt, rather than heard, the blond huffing from beneath him. "Well I'm sorry that a girl's scream stopped your movements, mister, please feel free to continue, but please do so without, I dunno, crushing my arms?"
"A shriek is different from a scream," Sasuke said smoothly, before getting up without any more trouble, voice not wavering even though he felt that the blush was still present in his face. "I felt my brain cells committing suicide with that high-pitch attack."
"It wasn't high-pitched," The other protested, ignoring the outstretched hand Sasuke so graciously offered, getting up and carefully dusting his clothes. Sasuke quirked an eyebrow in response; the other deflated slightly. "Fine, it wasn't that high-pitched."
They were both blushing, Sasuke noticed, because his eyes are really good and he can see a lot of things. The two of them looked resolute in ignoring the kiss –though whether it could really called a kiss is still debatable, because surely, kisses don't involve busting one's lip because of a clumsy fall? It was just—
"It was just an accident—and," Uchiha Sasuke and Uzumaki Naruto simultaneously blurted out, prompting their slowly-disappearing blushes to return full-force.
Sasuke supposed that it was a moment when he should feel a sliver of relief as they both regarded the unpleasant incident as an accident, but the situation felt too awkward and vulnerable and if this person really is the Phantom Thief, then would that mean that they kissed twice already and god why did he have to go kissing around his target?!
"Are you the Phantom Thief—"
"I already said I'm not, annoying bastard—"
Their words mixed and molded into each other, but the cacophony of meanings and intentions were suddenly pierced through by the shrill ringing of their phones.
"Shit," Sasuke swore, this time aloud, as he seemed to have accidentally pressed the loudspeaker button. Naruto neglected his phone and curiously watched the Uchiha, all the while stepping slowly backwards.
Kakashi's irritatingly-happy voice filled the silence of the corridor, "Sasuke-chan, I need you back here now…!"
Naruto's slow steps increased their pace, and Sasuke managed to find the 'end call' button, while briskly walking towards the escaping blond.
"I'm still not through with you," Sasuke snarled, his eyes observing the hallway in front of him, alert for any sudden movements his latest suspect might make.
Naruto laughed, sounding carefree, "Ah? Still want to kiss me some more?"
Sasuke sputtered, indignant and horrified. "That wasn't a kiss!"
"Then you can kiss me properly next time, Uchiha Sasuke-kun."
The police officer-detective gritted his teeth, as Naruto broke into a full-pledged run. "How the fuck did you know my name?"
The suspected-thief laughed that brilliant, charming laugh again. Sasuke felt his heart stop along with his feet—though the reasons were probably different. Naruto stopped moving in front of a large window. The blond probably planned to escape from the window, but they were five floors up—
The blond smiled brightly and tossed something at Sasuke. The Uchiha reflexively caught it, knowing that it was his I.D. from the texture and the weight against his palm. The other must have gotten it from him while he was shrieking—a good distraction, Sasuke must admit.
The detective put his left hand in his pocket, finding the card inside. Two seconds later, "You're Uzumaki Naruto," Sasuke said with a smirk, gauging the reaction of the person he was pursuing.
"That's my fake name," Naruto said, still with that brilliant smile, but Sasuke caught the slight twitch of those pink, slightly-bruised lips. "But wow, reading with your fingertips?" Naruto commented with unconcealed awe.
"No, dumbass, I read your uniform tag."
Naruto's blue eyes widened, and he looked down in surprise. "My uniform tag?! But I thought we don't have—"
Sasuke almost grinned, as he took out the I.D. belonging to his suspect, throwing it with deadly accuracy towards the dumbfounded blond. It would have nailed Naruto on his forehead, but the blond was agile, and was already dashing away from his pursuer.
"That was nice," Naruto remarked, sounding slightly out of breath. He leaned heavily against the lockers, the metal protesting noisily against the sudden action. Sasuke was also starting to pant; they ran from the fifth floor all the way down to the second floor, across all the classrooms.
"Only a dead-last like you wouldn't know what his own clothes look like," Sasuke retorted, feeling his hands grow clammy with sweat. His phone was ringing that annoyingly-loud ringtone again, vibrating periodically against his breast pocket, and he made a mental note to kill Kakashi with his necktie later for meddling with his cellphone.
"Well sorry for not looking at the mirror too much," Naruto said, not sounding sorry at the slightest.
It's even darker now, but Sasuke didn't want this chase to end yet, knowing that he had to report back to the headquarters. He willed his heartbeat to slow down. There was something heavy on his right-hand pocket, but he knew that at this moment, any wrong movement could end this thrilling challenge.
"Somebody else prepares clothes for you, then," Sasuke guessed, but his guesses never sound like one; instead, they sound as though it was a fact recognized by every single person on earth.
"How did you—"
Sasuke allowed himself to grin this time, because really now? "You're not very good at hiding secrets, are you, Phantom Thief?"
"First you tell me that you want to kiss me some more and now you say I'm honest? Please keep the compliments coming, Sasuke-kun."
"I didn't say those… things," The emphasis on 'things' made it seem as though the word itself was vile and filthy. Sasuke's eyes narrowed as they strived to provide himself with pinpoint-accurate vision in the midst of shadowy darkness.
"Subtext?" Naruto asked casually, and Sasuke wondered if the thief was always this painful, this annoying, and when did the two of them switch into this bantering as though it was normal anyway?
"Lots of flirty subtext," The blond furthered, and Sasuke saw the way those blue eyes sparkled mischievously, the way those eyebrows wiggled suggestively, exaggeratedly. Sasuke could feel his eyes hurting from abuse, but it was almost instinct, to use them to their full capability, to see every minute detail, even in darkness.
"You're the one flirting with me," Sasuke amended, taking a subtle step forward, feeling that heavy weight against his pocket yet again. He wondered what object was that, but he couldn't afford to focus less than a hundred percent of his concentration to the Phantom Thief. Of course there was no real proof yet, but Naruto seemed to have tired of trying to deny the accusation, anyway.
Naruto shifted into a thinking pose. "Well, what do you know. Maybe I am."
"Admitting that you're flirting kills the purpose," Sasuke argued, his mind busying itself with a countdown, his eyes trying their hardest to pinpoint the weakest area, his brain formulating the best way to capture this thief.
"I skipped the class for Flirting 101, oh-so-knowledgeable one."
Sasuke's countdown stopped and collapsed when Naruto moved—a flash of movement, way too fast, even for his valued eyes, but Sasuke saw those blue irises, those slightly-darker whisker-marks, and he immediately stretched his hands, ready to grab unto Naruto and drag him to the police station.
Instead of going for the expected left side, where the stairs going towards the ground floor are located, Naruto ran straight into Sasuke, before taking a step back and twisting in his heels to charge to the right side, effectively losing Sasuke's momentum in trying to catch him.
"To the windows?!" But there's only one floor left and what's the point of jumping out—
Sasuke's mental processes –his logic and his reasoning- all ground to a halt when Naruto called out, amidst the sounds of splintering glass, labored breaths and disbelieving gasps.
"I got accelerated to Flirting 404."
"I'm sick," Sasuke called out, placing an additional lock on his office door.
Kakashi's incessant knocks paused, as the silver-haired man called out, his cheerful voice going across the wooden door quite efficiently. "The only thing that's hurt is your ego, Sasuke-chan."
"Go to hell."
"Oh, silly me. It was your poor sensitive feelings that got bruised."
"I'm busy," Sasuke ground out, before securing another lock. After the humiliating incident this early evening, Sasuke wasted no time going back to the headquarters, intent on researching 'Uzumaki Naruto', whether it was a fake name or not.
His laptop made a beeping sound—indicative of a finished search on all of the case files available in all the international police records databases in the whole world. "Good night Kakashi," Sasuke intoned in a voice that allowed no arguments.
The younger detective made his way back to his desk, his neglected and unused gun placed atop his file folders, without even deigning to listen to Kakashi's returned sentiments for 'good luck' on his investigation. When Sasuke sat down on his plush leather chair, he was expecting loads of pages yielding the name 'Uzumaki Naruto' –birth certificates, enrollment records, high school report cards, local news clippings- but he was greeted with only one information page for his search entry.
He warily clicked on the one link, and he felt his blood run cold at the sight of the information that was presented to him.
It was an old news article, dated roughly five years ago.
And there, highlighted in red, standing out against the sea of black and white, was the search term, 'Uzumaki Naruto'.
List of Casualties: Terrorist Bombing of Konoha Metropolitan Museum.
"You revealed your name?!" Ino exclaimed loudly, her thin figure shaking in a mixture of disbelief, anger and terror.
"Were you even thinking, you idiot?" Shikamaru was panicking too, but his composure was better than the others in the room.
Shino rarely spoke, so this moment was truly an important one, for him to consider voicing out his thoughts about the matter. "We don't have enough time, Naruto-kun. Our time is almost up."
The sound of a door opening and closing broke the tense silence that settled after the brief argument. Chouji walked away from that room and went for the sofa seat beside Shikamaru. "Don't be too noisy. Haku is already resting."
"We can't screw this even more now. Haku's body is giving up already. I'm sure that the others—"
Shikamaru whacked Kiba on the head—hard. Nobody mentioned the 'others'. It was a sort-of unspoken rule in their hideout. Nobody would mention about the friends, the family members, the life they have forcibly left behind. They would finish this requirement from that bastard Orochimaru, then he would free them all from this curse. Mentioning their important people would only make them careless, would sway their concentration, would taint their dedication.
"I was thinking of making him work for us," Naruto defended himself, but Shikamaru's observant eyes saw the way the blond's chest heaved slightly faster, the way his hands occasionally drummed against his thigh, the way his blue eyes shifted away from the room Haku was in. It was a lie, Shikamaru knew, because Naruto just didn't do planning ahead and scheming. He was the type to throw himself wholeheartedly on everything he does.
Apparently, it even included fucking up their mission from Orochimaru.
"There's only six left. We've already got the first seven. We can't fail now." Shikamaru didn't mention the time limit, Haku's failing health, Tsunade-san's botched attempts at synthesizing a cure. He didn't need to—because those were the thoughts that haunted each one of them, every moment of the day.
"You were supposed to deny the police's accusations," Ino started again, slightly-chipped fingers pointing at the slouched blond, "Not admit it and say your name as well!" She took a deep breath, before continuing, "Just because you don't have anyone—"
This time, Shikamaru whacked Ino on her arm—hard. The genius strategist of their team easily ignored Ino's affronted look and cleared his throat to announce their revised game plan. "We can't let this stop us. We'll build on Naruto's very brilliant plan today."
Naruto looked surprised, before a look of comprehension dawned on his boyish face. "Shika, I—"
"You're going to continue seducing him, Naruto."
"But, I can't—"
Shikamaru plowed on, because Naruto did an irresponsible thing and this was the only way they could take to avoid Orochimaru from knowing that they somehow contacted with the police and still accomplish their mission. "And you're going to do it while we do a heist. It will seem like you're just the decoy from the real Phantom Thief and he will either be out of the picture for a while or he will be in our hands."
"I can't do that to him, Shika!"
Another tense silence, but even Naruto knew that there was no use protesting against this. Shikamaru didn't have any choice. They all didn't have a choice.
I'm sorry, Sasuke.
"It's the only plan that will work—both short-term and long-term."
This time, there were no objections.
"Why did you call me out here?"
—Our mission objective is to get the 'Butterfly's Landing' painting from the ongoing art exhibit at the Hearthrange Museum at 2nd Street.
"I kinda missed you, Sasuke-kun."
—We will use Formation Alpha-5. All commands will be from Shikamaru. Set your communicators at wavelength set E9.
"You're not even trying to pretend that's not complete bullshit, huh…?"
—Operation will commence at 21:30 hours. Allotted time is 1 hour.
"Oh come on now, you don't have faith in your pretty face?"
—Team A will handle the security and keeping them away from the area around the target.
"It seems that you have practiced hard on how to lie."
—Team B will back-up the Phantom Thief and assist on the transport of the painting away from the scene.
"Yet, you still followed me here."
—Team C will be on the ventilation vent to administer the sleeping gas. We will need approximately thirty minutes to set-up the apparatus.
"I can get valuable evidence while playing along. See what happened last time?"
—The map of the city roads and sewage systems are here. I trust that you have memorized them already.
"Now that you brought up 'last time'… I'm interested in continuing that."
—The rendezvous point will be the underground sewage system beneath the Republic Plaza Mall. It is five minutes away from the Hearthrange Museum.
"Dobe. You really skipped Flirting 101."
—Team C and Team B will rendezvous first, but will monitor Team A's evidence clean-up. Team A is expected to arrive at the rendezvous point by 23:00 hours.
"You don't have to sound so, so, smug about it, you arrogant bastard."
—For this heist, we will not send out the warning messages that we usually send. This mission relies heavily on stealth and accuracy. Everything must be executed according to the allotted time-frame.
"Well, for your information, flirting does not include insulting me, Phantom Thief."
—The second mission's objective is to remove the threat of Uchiha Sasuke to our mission.
"I am not the Phantom Thief."
— Team D, that's you, Naruto, will meet up with Uchiha Sasuke at 21:15 hours.
"Our last encounter begs to differ."
— Lead your target away from Mission 1's area coverage and towards the alley marked in the map provided to you.
"And why do you say that?"
—Team A, B and C will arrive at the second rendezvous point to collect Team D and the second target.
"Because if I were the Phantom Thief, then who's the one doing the heist at the Hearthrange Museum?"
—For Team D, you only have to do one thing. You have to disable Uchiha Sasuke from participating in the investigation for this heist.
— Seduction is the primary method of choice, but if you fail to seduce him, use Tsunade's prepared solution.
"…I'm sorry, Sasuke."
"I'm sorry, Sasuke," He said silently, hands securing the fit of his Phantom Thief costume, eyes focused on the prone form of the police officer he drugged with Tsunade's solution.
"You don't seem very sorry though," A voice suddenly commented from behind him, and Naruto whirled around quickly, heart pounding steadily against his chest. He didn't sense the other at all, no sounds of footsteps falling, no sounds of even the whisper of breathing.
The alley assigned for his mission's execution was dark but not dirty, and if it wasn't for the passing bus with brightly-lit neon-signs, Naruto wouldn't have enough light to figure out the appearance of the sudden intruder.
And that brief moment of light was all it needed for Naruto to recognize the face of the person who appeared so suddenly before him.
Naruto felt his throat constrict. He even darted a quick look of confirmation at the person bundled beside him. His captive was still there, out cold. But then, who is this person who stood before him? The blond was overcome with feelings of bewilderment.
So much confusion, and all he could utter was:
"You look… just like Sasuke."
To Be Continued
Erm, this is a very interesting chapter for me to write; I was grinning while writing their interaction, with the fake IDs and their chase :D I hope you guys enjoyed it too! Please let me know your thoughts in reviews? PMs? Hehe :D
And. Uhh, I hope the dialogue was okay? (I'm nervous about humor and dialogue, sorry)
Pimping:I updated my other fics too! LOL And, and, I can't wait for the anime, Kuroshitsuji, because it is made of HOTNESS AND AWESOME. (My supah-speshul theory is that Sebastian is the love-child of Yoite from Nabari and Mukuro from Reborn, yes/yes?) The BL-undertones kinda killed me. OTL
PS: Join me in my rambling/fangirling about various pairings and shows and anime and mangas! I update quite often on my LJ about the weekly episodes/chapters XD