Disclaimer : I don't own anything.
Warning : implied yaoi and shounen-ai… bits about the seven deadly sins (uh-huh, from Full Metal Alchemist)… this is weird-ness, but it won't go away T.T;; some OOC-ness, and some alterations to the timeline (such as Sasuke returned to Konoha) but yeah.
Their dates are mostly because of food.
He had been more than dumb-founded when Akimichi Chouji asked him out, but Iruka-sensei told him to never judge anybody that quickly. He had agreed, and on that very afternoon, he had his first relationship. Nobody minded that much, since Chouji is from one of the greatest and largest clans in Konoha.
Their dates didn't involve much talking, since Naruto toned down his ranting, thinking that it wouldn't do to annoy his first boyfriend that much. Trips to Ichiraku and the nearby shops consisted most of their time together. Of course, they're ninjas, so their free time means free time of the other members of their team.
They usually saw Sakura-chan and Ino chatting with each other. Shikamaru would sometimes drop by to Ichiraku to chat with them. Sasuke-bastard, though, unfailingly appeared at each of their dates. He liked to think that it's merely coincidence.
He should have known better than thinking that their relationship would last long. Their only similarities lie on their being ninjas, and their apparent craving for food. Even then, their similarities clashed painfully. Chouji didn't like training, while he loved training, if it meant getting so much better than Sasuke, and becoming Hokage. Chouji didn't like sharing food, and they usually fought about eating.
In the end, they both saw it fit to end their un-working relationship.
Nara Shikamaru had asked him out in his typical this-is-so-troublesome manner. He had been more than surprised when that happened, but he's eager as well. Curiosity and eagerness won over the wariness from receiving the same treatment as before. He started hanging out a bit more with Shikamaru's team, though Ino's noisy and things are still a bit awkward with Chouji.
He didn't limit his talking now, though. He let himself be, as opposed to his 'control' while he was with Shikamaru's best friend. He still saw Sakura-chan chatting with Ino during the frequent lunch breaks; Sasuke still trails after them like a shadowy, invisible baby-sitter.
It annoyed him though, when Shikamaru's doing his usual cloud-watching, coupled by dozing off on the fields. He'd talk and talk, while his boyfriend (…and his best friend) would just lie still, peacefully ignoring his blabbering. Then, when Shikamaru's very sleepy, he'd snap at him, ordering him to shut up in an off-handed manner.
It made him feel as though he's not… accepted. It's as though he's not worthy to be accepted.
To make it worse, he could always sense a pair of black eyes boring at his back the whole time, not even bothering to hide his presence. It annoyed him that Sasuke's watching the entire thing… It annoyed him that Sasuke would see him being treated as though he's not worthy of the attention that he had always craved.
A month after they became boyfriends, they broke up.
It annoyed him so much. Shikamaru just yawned after he finished his tirade made of month-long frustration. It made him feel as though their 'relationship' was just nothing to the person he considered as one of his closest friends. He had confronted Shikamaru near the training grounds, and after they broke up, he saw Sasuke watching them.
"Come on, laugh at me," He challengingly said to the dark-haired teen.
To his relief, Sasuke didn't laugh at him.
"I find you interesting, Naruto."
Thathad been how he and Hyuuga-beautiful hair-Neji got together. It didn't involve any mutterings about how troublesome romance is; it didn't involve any promises of eating out. Plain and filled with the usual pride and confidence, it's as though Neji knew from the very beginning that he's going to succeed.
The shock to him, however, is much more in this case. He really could not believe that the prim-and-proper Hyuuga Neji is interested at him, especially… with inclination to romance. Heck, he didn't even notice that Neji has any preference!
His relationship with Neji is better than his first two experiences though. Neji isn't a slacker, so training consisted most of their time together. Their training is a bit… weird to him though. Neji is as silent as the rocks carved into the faces on the Hokage Mountain. Neji doesn't like trash-talking or taunts, things that he had enjoyed when he's sparring with Sasuke.
The end to their cold and silent relationship arrived when Neji had insisted him to come to a formal Family Dinner. After a quick check with the stuttering and blushing Hinata, he refused to go. Not only does the entire Hyuuga family look down at him, he doesn't know how to act amongst elders and respectable nobles.
But Neji is his boyfriend, and he's supposed to trust him.
He spent the whole three hours before the event running around like a headless chicken, hunting down people for nice kimonos… or something. He asked Neji for help, but his boyfriend simply stared hard at him, before mumbling something about 'doing this on your own'.
An hour to go before the event and he still doesn't have an outfit to wear. He sat on the steps to his apartment with a heavy sigh, his eyes gazing into the front yard. A shadow fell unto his line of sight, and he looked up, and saw his rival looking at him strangely. Sasuke's hands are carrying a rather large plastic bag.
He was about to ask (rudely, of course) Sasuke about his uninvited presence, when the plastic bag was thrust into his lap, and the Uchiha disappeared in a blink of an eye. Assuming that it meant that the bag's contents are for him (and not that Sasuke forgot something and asked him indirectly to watch the bag for him), he opened it carefully, before peering inside.
At the sight of the contents, however, a smile that threatened to split his face appeared, and he mentally screamed his heartfelt thanks for the Uchiha's treat.
He donned on the elegant, navy-blue kimono (with fiery dragon designs all over) swiftly, and he made sure that he looked presentable to be seated with the main clan members of the Hyuuga Clan. After all, Neji told him earlier that tonight would be the moment when he would announce his fiancée.
With that thrilling thought in mind, he hurried to the Hyuuga's Main House, unaware that a dark-haired person is following him.
If his boyfriend was surprised to see him not late, he didn't show it. Instead, he placed a pale hand at the center of Naruto's back, pushing the blond roughly forwards, in an attempt to keep him going.
The entire dinner is boring and tense, to him at least. He's seated to Neji's right, and he's glad to see Hinata (whew, a familiar face among a crowd of old, cocky people) positioned to Neji's left. Neji's uncle is seated on the row directly in front of them.
After the dinner, the Clan Head stood up, and everybody's necks twisted to look up at him (while the rest are seated on the floor). He smiled at their vague direction and Naruto gave him a mega-watt smile.
"Today's the formal announcement for the wedding between my nephew, Neji, and my beloved daughter, Hinata."
The smile on Naruto's face faltered. He stared disbelievingly on Neji, but the long-haired teen doesn't seem to have the intention on looking back at him. Hinata's blushing madly, but her eyes are also avoiding his.
Of all the things, he didn't expect this…
All the bland greetings of congratulations flew past him, and before he knew it, the formal dinner has already ended, and he's standing outside the Hyuuga's estate with Neji accompanying him.
"…How could you do this, Neji?" It seems that that's the only question that he could muster, despite the anger and hurt that welled up from deep inside him.
Neji, in his glorious moon-silver kimono, stared at him coolly, blank eyes the same as the ones present during training, during eating, during the dinner… "What did you expect, Naruto?"
Honestly, he doesn't know how to answer that.
"I don't have any fault in this. I told you that my fiancée would be announced tonight. Did you think… that it was you?" Neji's voice still has that oozing confidence that many females found appealing. Right now though, it sounded downright nauseous. Naruto felt weak, as though the revelation sucked out everything from him.
"Shut up, Hyuuga." A deep voice from the shadow-filled clearing, but Naruto doesn't need eyesight to recognize the highly familiar tone. It annoyed him again; once again, Sasuke's here to witness another failure in his love-life, another failure, period.
"This dobe's brain isn't too intelligent, so he probably didn't think that you were referring to Hinata." Despite the insult, he found himself smiling slightly at the irritated look that etched itself on his ex-boyfriend's face. Sasuke's footsteps stopped, and from the corner of his eye, Naruto saw him standing directly beside him.
Neji looked like he's going to fire off a scathing retort, but he stopped himself. Naruto didn't need to turn to see that the Sharingan is activated, while his teammate is showing off his Death Glare. "Good night, Naruto." He said curtly. "Uchiha." His voice is venomous, but he didn't make any other comments, as he disappeared into the night.
He was too confused to ask Sasuke about what transpired last night and Sasuke doesn't seem like he's going to start talking anytime soon, so Naruto just forgot all about it.
Sai talked to him as he was walking away from the Academy. He grinned brightly, albeit forcefully at his one-time teammate. Ever since Sasuke came back, Sai was relocated to the ANBU quarters where he belonged beforehand. That didn't mean that he doesn't show up to chat with him and Sakura-chan though.
"…I know how you could get back at that Hyuuga Neji." Naruto looked shocked, and he was about to ask how did Sai know about the thing that happened just last night, and—
"You should get a new boyfriend, and show him that you're not affected by what he did." Sai spoke this in all seriousness, but there's that strange glint on his black eyes. The dark-haired male advanced towards him, while he continued to take steps backwards.
"Sai—what are you doing?"
"I'm going to help you—" Sai's whispered sentence was cut-off, however, by a kunai aimed at his forehead. The ANBU member backed away from Naruto instantly, looking carefully around him. Naruto's about to ready himself for a fight, but he heard a distinct screeching sound, that reminded him of birds being choked to death.
True to his suspicions, a blur of black passed by him, ruffling his bangs slightly, and Sai was pushed heavily backwards, his feet creating a huge track on the ground. The screeching sound continued, and the Chidori Current whizzed loudly around the Uchiha, looking like electricity is enveloping him.
"Stay away from Naruto." The Uchiha commanded coolly, and all Naruto could do is watch the rooster-tail end of Sasuke's hair, and watch sweat dribble down from Sai's forehead. Of all the times he had seen Sai, the expression of fear only appeared when he's against Sasuke.
A wry grin twitched on Sai's lips, before he disappeared smoothly. The Chidori Current fizzled out after Sai left, and Sasuke turned to his teammate questioningly. Instead of demanding explanations, or getting mad at Sasuke's unasked-for interference, Naruto found himself to do anything else but smile.
And for some scary reason, he felt his heart flutter wildly when Sasuke smiled (even though it's just a teeny-tiny, barely-there smile) back.
His relationship with Sabaku no Gaara started two months after that encounter with Sai. The redhead had bluntly asked him to go to Sand and spend a vacation there. He was reluctant to leave Konoha, but Iruka-sensei had said that it's better to keep away from Konoha for a while. Old Lady Tsunade also supported Gaara's invitation, pointing out that it's nice to learn something from the Kazekage, such as things about leadership and all that.
He's reluctant to leave, because unlike his other failures, Sasuke is not here to watch him.
As soon as the idea came, Naruto destroyed it completely. Since when did he need Sasuke to follow him around!
And so, with a stubborn mindset and a bit of hurt (because the bastard didn't even try to support/stop his leaving; he didn't even say goodbye!), he went back to Sand with Gaara (who visited Konoha for a business thing).
The whole travel back to Sand is more than deadly boring. Gaara just stared at him with those sparkly emerald eyes—and it honestly freaked him out. He didn't say anything, and, DUH, so did Gaara.
That sums up their relationship. Gaara was too busy with work during daytime, so he's left behind on the private quarters (that didn't look any different than a medium-priced hotel room) to die from extreme heat and boredom. Gaara usually patrolled Suna at night since he's still alert and wide-awake, thanks to the Shuukaku sealed inside of him. At nights when Gaara's not patrolling, he would come to Naruto's room and stare at Naruto's trying-to-sleep figure.
A month into his vacation, he grew tired of the routine. He asked Gaara, after the Kazekage entered the room, no doubt about to stare at Naruto sleep again.
"…Why did you ask me to come here, Gaara?" He stared into Gaara's eyes, which looked startlingly creepy against the scarce moonlight.
"I have always hated you, Uzumaki Naruto." The redhead stated bluntly, but Naruto's used to people hating him, discarding him, breaking him, and this doesn't make much difference.
"I hate your strength. I hate your determination. I hate your innocence. I hate your eyes. I hate your belief in people. I hate your smile. I hate how you could control the demon inside you, while I can't. I hate your very existence, Uzumaki Naruto."
And the ugly truth came out, in the end. Despite helping Gaara in the past, despite fighting Gaara, there's still no understanding forged between them. Even though they're already friends, Gaara still hasn't learned it properly.
Since he didn't bring much things to Sand, he easily picked up his bag, and he jumped from the window (which is only six floors away from the ground), leaving the stony Kazekage behind.
He walked towards the borders of Sand, and he grinned at the person that he found standing, leaning against one of the gates. "You're such a psychic, bastard." He said his way of greeting, noticing that the guards that were supposedly guarding the gate are out-cold.
Sasuke's casual smirk is visible under the softened, pale moonlight. "It took you a long time, Naruto."
He made his way to the Hokage's Tower, intending to report his arrival and pester the Hokage senseless. The blonde welcomed him back with a mighty punch to his head, and they both chatted about the things that he missed. One month has passed, yet things seemed like nothing changed.
He heard that Sasuke suddenly disappeared right after their A-Class mission from Rain Country. Tsunade was about to re-announce Sasuke as a missing-nin, only to find out that he trailed after Naruto. It's oddly touching and it revived the butterflies flying about in his belly. It's a strange feeling, but it's not bad.
He heard eager footsteps going towards his direction, and before he could even blink, a pair of cream-colored hands wrapped snugly around his torso, and a blush rose, unbidden to his cheeks. After all, this person was his first love.
"I've missed you, Naruto!" Haruno Sakura chirped at him, green eyes filled with happiness and relief, lips stretched widely into a cheerful smile. Naruto found himself smiling back enthusiastically at his teammate and friend, totally unaware of the black-turned-crimson eyes glaring at them from the safety of the alley's shadows.
"Ah, Sakura-chan, I missed you too," Naruto said shyly, with the blush returning full-force when the pink-haired teen slipped her hand boldly into Naruto's tanned ones. She didn't even flinch when her porcelain-smooth skin met a callused-by-training palm.
"How about we have lunch together?" Sakura suggested brightly, her arms already tugging Naruto along. She seemed oblivious to the stuttering (yet pleasantly surprised) blond, but when she passed by a certain alley, her smile dimmed exponentially. The freezing glare those crimson eyes gave her is truly disheartening, but she made up her mind already. Naruto, too stunned with the way things are going, didn't mind Sakura's sudden silence.
Starting from that moment, he had been with Sakura. Kakashi-sensei, Iruka-sensei and the whole lot of his friends teased them mercilessly.
That was supposed to be his most perfect relationship. They both knew each other since their youth. They knew each other's attitudes and dreams. They both knew each other's skills.
Naruto made sure that he doesn't annoy Sakura; he doesn't get too silent either. He made sure to offer her assistance at whatever she's doing. He made sure that he walks her home from Tsunade's office. He made sure that he always tells her his missions. He made sure that he always never forgot her.
As usual, he found himself feeling Sasuke's presence at random times, but Sakura doesn't seem to notice. He should have known better than to trust Sakura's sudden change of heart. He should have known better than to immediately believe Sakura's shift in interest from Sasuke to him.
They were eating on the training grounds, the food bought by Naruto's savings since he promised a picnic to his girlfriend. Sakura looked distant and forlorn the whole time, and Naruto asked her after eating.
"I can't take this anymore, Naruto." She blurted out, her eyes hard. Naruto dropped the picnic basket to the grass-covered soil, but nobody bothered enough to notice.
"…You're breaking up with me." He stated blandly, gazing at Sakura's defiant eyes. She looked like she's hurting; that's why Naruto couldn't summon the anger that he should be rightfully feeling at the moment.
"…I never liked you romantically, Naruto." She confessed, her slim form shaking with barely-repressed sobs. She bit her lip in indecision before going on, as though she's unsure whether to continue talking or not.
"I did it because I envy you." She said in a state of absolute calm, her eyes losing the edge of defiance, replaced by almost-irrational, helpless desperation. "I want Sasuke-kun to notice ME, Naruto. But—"
She broke off, angry tears spilling out from her accusing eyes, leaving the blond more confused than before. "I don't get it—"
"…He likes you, Naruto!" She cried, chasing away the birds that rested atop the trees on the area. The blond addressed simply stared at her in disbelief, though the same fluttering of his heart occurred, and a tinge of warmth crept up his cheeks.
"Haven't you noticed!" She asked hoarsely, brokenly, collapsing to her knees from the sheer hopelessness of things for her. "He always, always stayed beside you. Even when he left us for Orochimaru… he always was with you."
And Sakura cried, and all Naruto could do is watch her, unable to provide any semblance of false comfort, and think.
He's always with you.
Sakura didn't refuse when he walked her home. She looked so sad and Naruto left hurriedly, unable to look at one of his closest friends like that. In a way, he stole Sakura's love, and it's supposed to make him feel bad. What hurts most is that… he doesn't feel bad for possessing Uchiha Sasuke's love. If the soaring feeling on his insides is any indication… he wants, no, he needs to have Sasuke's love.
"She told you," Three words that stated a fact and Naruto simply nodded. A small sigh escaped the Uchiha's lips, followed by a couple of footsteps stopping just beside him.
Standing here, leaning against the railing of the Hokage Mountain, while watching the sunset is admittedly romantic. The sky's mixture of colors symbolizes the mixed feelings surging inside the blond. He's highly aware that Sasuke's standing a few centimeters away, and—
"Why, Sasuke?" Naruto asked instead, eyes fixed on the purple chasing away the orange and yellow tints on the sky. In a few minutes' time, the sky would be completely taken over by the indigo-blackness that indicates nighttime.
"I want you all to myself. I want you. No, I need you." Sasuke told him, tone completely serious, eyes staring intently at his scarred cheek. The scarlet hues are fading away, with the orange wrapping around it comfortingly; the two colors disappeared together, and would appear together at sunrise.
"…I can live with that." Naruto said, contentedly leaning against the older male, completely disregarding the derisive snort that came out from Sasuke's lips. The night sky is completely engulfed in darkness now, and the breeze is definitely cold. The warmth that Sasuke's embrace provided, along with the tingling electricity on their lips where they touched, however, is enough to chase away any doubts, any regrets, any suspicions.
It doesn't matter that he didn't say the words I love you. After all, with Sasuke's constant trailing after him, it's a fact that's rather impossible to miss.
…It's really weird to me. Aww, poor Naru-chan. I made you heart-broken so many times O.o;; Wrath was supposed to be Itachi, but then I figured that I don't want to be causing a rift in Konoha -.-;; So I made it Gaara instead (who was supposedly Envy) and entered Sakura into the equation…
The bit about the Chidori Current is a spoiler X.x;; I just figured that Sasuke-chan would be too mad with Sai wanting to molest Naru-chan, so he'd use his more advanced attack. Oh, and Sai is a spoiler too -.-;;
Please review :) …Even if to tell me that this is… weird X.x;;