Story: Come Home With Me

Chapter: Strangers

Author: Sarah Keller

BETA: Rasengan22

Genre: Romance/Psychological Drama

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto hence why this is a FANFIC

Warnings: hint of boyxboy, language, use of ramen as a weapon

Pairings: NaruSasuNaru

Author's note: For clarification purposes, since it isn't stated in the text. Sasuke and Naruto are 18-19 years old.

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Sasuke wasn't sure if he'd make it through the full six months. He'd been back in Konoha for only three weeks, but the constant following was already getting on his nerves. He couldn't help but draw comparisons between the ANBU following him here and Orochimaru's subordinates following him around Sound and that had been damn creepy. He was distantly amazed the constant following, the incessant watching, hadn't driven him insane. Sasuke was darkly amused when he realized that his fan club had apparently served a purpose in desensitizing him from stalkers, or rather, "guards."

He'd also have to thank his teammates for keeping the Uchiha compound from getting completely torn down. Oh yes, some of the more neglected buildings had been ordered torn down, but for the most part, everything was still where he left it. Walking through one of the shabbier parts of town, Sasuke suddenly realized he'd never seen Naruto's apartment. He vaguely recalled that it was around here somewhere, but for the life of him, he couldn't remember where. Suddenly, turning down a street, Sasuke headed for Naruto's second home, the ramen shop. And sure enough, that's where he found the blond.

Naruto must have sensed him coming up because he turned around when Sasuke walked toward him. Gulping down the noodles hanging out of his mouth, Naruto patted the stool next to his, indicating for Sasuke to sit down. Once Sasuke had complied, Naruto gave him a big grin along with one of the ramen bowls he seemed to be hoarding. Instantly, Naruto went back to eating, but after a few seconds he realized Sasuke hadn't started digging into his offered portion. Looking up at the Uchiha, Naruto noted that Sasuke was staring at the bowl with a look somewhere between horror and shock.

"It's not poisoned, teme." Naruto stated, gesturing with his chopsticks. He was only half serious. Naruto still wasn't sure where he stood with the returned prodigy, but since Sasuke had yet to go on about the whole "avenge the clan" and "must kill you for power" thing, Naruto took that as a sign of hope. Sasuke glanced up at the shorter teen and glared.

"In order to defeat that man, I have to kill you," Sasuke's glare was intense, "Not eat your dinner." Naruto gulped and the seconds ticked by as the two stared each other down. A sharp crack broke the silence as Sasuke broke his chopsticks in half. "But since its not miso, I'll let you live." And with that Sasuke started eating his noodles, the left side of his mouth twitching with a repressed grin. Once again, a few seconds ticked by as Naruto watched Sasuke eat. His eyes were glazed over as his mind tried to decipher what had just happened. And just like the snap of the chopsticks being broken apart, Naruto was back to normal.

"Holy shit! Did you just make a joke?" Naruto pointed his chopsticks at Sasuke accusingly, his eyes wide with horror. Sasuke stopped eating for the briefest of moments, giving Naruto just enough time to see him smirk. "AHHHH! You did! Holy fucking shit! You've lost your mind!" Letting out a woeful wail Naruto jumped Sasuke, sending them both to the ground. The surprised Uchiha landed with a soft grunt. Looking up at the blond that was now plastered to his chest, Sasuke had to bite his lip in order to keep from laughing. Naruto was hugging Sasuke tightly, blissfully ignoring the fact that he had ended up with an upturned bowl of ramen on his head.

"Oh poor Sasuke! His mind finally snapped after years of being lusted after by women and snake men with long tongues. When all he wanted was to be lusted after by his brother!" Naruto bemoaned. Patting the dark locks and dragging his body up Sasuke's, Naruto forced tears to come to his eyes, bringing his face within inches of the Uchiha's. Naruto tucked his face into the crook of Sasuke's neck and let out a heartfelt sob causing the dark haired teen's eyes to widen in horror. All this because I cracked one little joke! Sasuke was desperately trying to keep a blush from spreading across his features, which became that much more difficult when Naruto suddenly straddled the dark haired teen's thighs. Naruto's body shook as he continued to "sob" and hoarsely declare Sasuke insane. Grabbing a hold of Naruto's shoulders, Sasuke pushed Naruto away only to be greeted with the blond's foxy grin. That was the only warning Sasuke got before Naruto dumped another bowl of ramen on his head. The broth and noodles slid down his face and hair, some pieces slipping beneath Sasuke's dark shirt. A grand total of two seconds went by before Sasuke blew.

"NARUTO!" The boy in question jumped off and dashed for the exit, Sasuke right on his heels. The cook's angry cry landing on deafened ears as the teens took to the rooftops. Naruto's maniacal laugh carrying through the wind caused the ANBU currently on Sasuke's detail to sigh in defeat. Turning to his partner, Genma held his hand up in a fist. Once the other had done like wise they shook their fists up and down three times. Genma smirked when the other chose to change his fist by extending his pointer and middle fingers. Genma's still intact fist slammed onto the other's "scissors."

"I'll pay, you follow," Genma said pointing after the two teens. The other ANBU member grumbled but did as told while Genma jumped down to pay the ramen bill. He couldn't help but whistle as he took his merry time. He knew Naruto would "entertain" Sasuke for a while, so there was no reason to rush.

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At least Sasuke had learned where Naruto lived. The dark haired teen currently had his head under the faucet of Naruto's kitchen sink. His head was relatively clean, but he could still feel noodles under his shirt. Pulling the garment off, he watched as pieces of cooled noodles fell to the ground. He was going to need a shower when he got home. Deciding that the dobe owed him at least a shirt, Sasuke used his to dry his hair, mindful to keep the noodle stained parts from his now noodle free hair. Walking into the living room, Sasuke discovered Naruto just leaving his bathroom. The blond had on a pair of lounge pants and a towel wrapped around his head. Upon closer inspection, Sasuke noted that little bowls of ramen adorned the pants. Sasuke's snicker drew Naruto's attention.

"You owe me a shirt, dobe." Sasuke said walking past Naruto to what he assumed was the blond's bedroom. As he passed the shorter teen, Sasuke could feel the heat radiate off the other boy. Never one to over analyze relations, Sasuke chose to ignore examining the butterflies in his stomach at the not-quite contact. If he hadn't been so engrossed in shoving his way into Naruto's bedroom to find a shirt, he would have noticed the way Naruto froze as he had passed him. Naruto followed Sasuke into his bedroom and watched as the Uchiha began rummaging through his closet.

"Hold your damn horses, teme. I'll get you one." Naruto pushed Sasuke out of the way and grabbed a sky blue long-sleeve shirt out of the closet. Yanking the dirtied shirt out of Sasuke's hand, Naruto replaced it with the clean one. Sasuke watched slightly intrigued as Naruto dumped his shirt in the hamper and turned back to his closet and pulled out a simple white undershirt.

"You're going to clean it, too?" Sasuke inquired as he pulled on the shirt. Naruto looked up a bit shocked, but then shrugged.

"Like you said, I owe you. After all you didn't plan on getting attacked by ramen when you sat down." Naruto grinned and sat on his bed. Removing the towel, he shook his head to rid it of the excess water. "You must have been pretty bored to seek me out." He commented as he pulled the white shirt over his head.

"What makes you think I was bored?" Sasuke asked deciding he was just going to sit on the ground instead of joining Naruto on the bed.

The dark haired teen did use the bed to lean on though. His right shoulder ended up less then a foot away from Naruto's legs. Sasuke looked around the room intently, taking in the chest of drawers and shelves. There really wasn't much around. A few books on a shelf, no lamps or knick-knacks scattered about. The room didn't look lived in all that much and something about that perplexed the young Uchiha. He was suddenly brought out of his musings when a towel landed on his head. Sasuke jerked his head around to glare at the smiling blond who patted down the towel a few times before tossing it into the hamper across the room.

"You were bored." Naruto stated. His voice said it was fact, nothing more.

"I was bored." Sasuke agreed sighing. Naruto dropped onto the floor next to Sasuke and took a long look at the other teen.

"Sasuke . . ." Naruto began. Sasuke turned to look at the blond and noted the worried look on the boy's face. "Where do things go from here?"

"What do you mean?" Sasuke asked, his eyes darkening just a bit.

"Things aren't going to return to normal. Even though you returned here on your own two feet, that doesn't mean everything is going to be the same way it was when you left."

"I know that, dobe. Plus, as I recall, you did some heavy pushing to get me back."

"Sooo . . . where do we go from here?"

"Actually, that's why I came looking for you. I want to thank you and Sakura for helping keep the Uchiha complex mostly in one piece."

"Well, I'll be damned. From jokes to apologies. I'm seriously worried about your sanity, Sasuke."

"Like you said, things are different. You and me included. And the apology is only the start." Sasuke smirked at the blond. As stupid as Naruto could be sometimes, he knew danger when it was in front of him and he watched the Uchiha warily as the teen's smirk turned into a grin.

"As a reward for helping to maintain the Uchiha estates, I'd like to offer you one of the homes there."

One second ticked by, then five. By the time 30 seconds had gone by, Sasuke wasn't sure if Naruto was conscious anymore. Sure, the blond's eyes were open, but that didn't mean his mental processes didn't shut off from overload, either.

"You WHAT!"

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"I can't believe I agreed to this." Naruto stated flatly. He put his hands on his hips as he glared at the dark haired Uchiha that was lounging against a wall. "The least you could do is help carry things."

"I helped Sakura move in already. I'm tired." Sasuke said with a smirk.

"Which makes no sense since Sakura has super strength now." Naruto was less then pleased. Sure, he had conned a few people into helping but still. Sasuke was the one who said he was making things up to his teammates by giving them homes.

"Well, at least you can reason things out now." Sasuke's smirk grew as he shoved his hands in his pockets. "Anyways, I'm just showing my faith in your ability to stand on your own two feet now."

"Bullshit!"

"Tch, you're so troublesome, Naruto. Help out, this is your junk." Shikamaru dropped what had to be the smallest box Naruto had onto the coffee table. The lazy jounin promptly fell onto the couch and closed his eyes. Thankfully, the place came furnished. Naruto was happy to get rid of his old crap. That meant less to move but still, Sasuke could help out. It's not like the ass had anything better to do.

"Actually, I think this is the last of it," said Sakura, as she skipped through the door. The girl had been on cloud nine since Sasuke had offered her a place in the Uchiha complex. Naruto watched as the pink haired medic nin balanced three large boxes in one hand and two in the other. Pretending to ignore the fact that Shikamaru was on the couch, she dropped two of the boxes on top of him, while setting the other three on the floor. Shikamaru grunted and pushed the boxes off.

"Hey! Watch it!" Naruto yelled at Shikamaru. The lazy teen's only response was a small grunt as he crossed his feet and put his hands behind his head.

"Geez, Naruto, what are you going to do with all this space?" Sakura asked coming up to stand next to him. She looked past him into what appeared to be a room for formal entertaining.

"Don't know. It's just a place to sleep as far as I'm concerned. Sasuke's the one who picked it out." Naruto shrugged.

"Well, now we're neighbors. And since I don't want you to eat just ramen, you're going to have to come to my place a few times a week for dinner." Sakura said while swatting him on the back of the head.

"Ahhhh, Sakkuuuuurra!" Naruto complained.

"No whining, Naruto, I mean it. I'm betting part of the reason you agreed to live here is to use the private training grounds. So if you want to train more, you need to eat better."

"Yes, mama." Naruto acquiesced, earning another thump on the head. Sasuke snickered.

"Hey, you're still on probation. Don't think I am unable to make you come over to dinner, too. Just think of all the fan girls I can invite." Sakura eyed him evilly. Immediately, Sasuke's face went back to the indifferent mask, but not before he shuddered slightly.

"Ah but Sakura-san, I would be honored to share dinner with only you." Sasuke said, trying to channel all the sexiness every woman said he possessed. Apparently, though, it didn't work on her. Perhaps he was doing something wrong.

"That's not going to work on me, mister. I'm taken." Sakura declared succinctly. Granted, her eyebrow twitched ever so slightly at the seductive quality to Sasuke's voice. But Sakura had decided that she had to grow up and really look at her feelings for the Uchiha when they found him willingly serving Orochimaru. After all the thoughts on the matter, she had decided to find companionship elsewhere. It had been difficult, but Sakura had been able to find happiness in the oddest place. She wondered how Sasuke would take to Lee being a neighbor once the two of them decided on a date and got married. Humming happily, Sakura left to head back to her new house. Lee would be over soon. She had made it very clear that he was going to be helping to unpack and decorate. After all, he'd be moving in one day.

Sasuke watched Sakura leave with an odd expression on his face. He hadn't realized Sakura was involved in a relationship. Looking up at Naruto he was shocked to discover the blonde striking the nice guy pose Lee and Gai did all the time. Wait, Lee? The taijutsu master had been gone on a mission for the past month, so Sasuke hadn't seen him. Therefore, it could be a possibility. Lee and Sakura. Sasuke couldn't help but grin at the combination until he realized what that really meant. A look of pure horror crossed the young Uchiha's face, and Naruto broke down laughing.

"Yep, they've been together for about a year. I think it's more serious than Sakura lets on about. So if things go well, Lee will also be your neighbor." Sasuke started to look panicked.

"Put the poor guy out of his misery." Shikamaru spoke up from the couch. Naruto grinned before turning back to Sasuke.

"Don't worry, at least he doesn't wear the green leotard anymore." Sasuke let out a breath of relief. Naruto grinned and patted Sasuke on the back like he was comforting a child confronted with the boogeyman. Sasuke scowled and shook Naruto off.

"Have fun unpacking." Sasuke said before sauntering off. "And remember, part of the conditions in letting you live here is that you're going to help me repair the grounds and other buildings."

"Yeah, yeah. I think the hag has a mission for me tomorrow, but I'll keep up my end of the deal." Naruto waved goodbye to the dark haired teen as he went up to the couch and smacked Shikamaru on the head. "You, help me unpack or go sleep elsewhere. I'm not a fricking hotel."

As Sasuke walked out the front sliding doors, he heard Shikamaru's "so troublesome" and saw a greenish blur stop in front of Sakura's new house. The main house was directly to the right of Naruto's place, just across a small street. Directly facing Naruto's place, across the main street, was Sakura's new home. The two houses Naruto and Sakura had been given were much bigger than the average houses. But since they were so close to the main house, that wasn't surprising. They were his neighbors now. One on the right, and one on the left. Neighbors. The Uchiha complex now had life in it, instead of death.

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