Disclaimer : I don't own anything XD

Warning : AU, high school fic drabble, shounen-ai, sappy fluff, and yeah… XD The title's cheesy… and the story is rather cutesy as well –snickers- it's to balance the too many angsty fics I've posted…

There is something that could be said about loneliness. It's a very peculiar feeling. It almost rivals love when it comes to severe complications and intensity.

Loneliness and being alone.

A person could experience loneliness, even though he's surrounded by his entire group of friends. A person could experience being alone, even though he knows that somebody out there is thinking of him.

A person could be lonely without being alone—the same way as a person could be alone without being lonely.

Those are two different things, really, they are.

However, he, Uzumaki Naruto, sixteen years old, student of Konoha High School, drop-out, class clown, prankster and outcast, feels both being alone and loneliness simultaneously—the same manner he has felt for his entire life.

But then again, much like how loneliness could be blanketed by an entire harem of worshippers, or how being sad could be drowned by a slosh of drinks, or how loneliness could be misinterpreted and ignored—love is also a strange, yet mystifying emotion, with many mysterious and unidentifiable ways of flowing.

Love, Naruto learned, could also be blanketed by an entire conversation of insults and fist-fights, could also be drowned by false anger and well-aimed jibes, could also be misinterpreted as a joke and ignored as a misplaced, fleeting interest.

After a lifetime of loneliness and being alone… it seemed fit for Uzumaki Naruto to encounter another strange emotion.

Love will come to him.

A Sasuke x Naruto fanfic:

Operation Love Match

aka Sasuke's Date Proposal to one In-Denial Naruto

He has always known that he's an outcast. He knew it, because it's been a fact that's constantly slapped to his face way too many times throughout his unlikable childhood. He accepted it reluctantly, even though he doesn't have the slightest idea as to why exactly is he hated by everybody.

That's why, when he saw Uchiha-uber cool-Sasuke, school heartthrob and genius of Konoha High School, standing stiffly in front of his weary-looking apartment door, he tried his very best to not stand there gaping at the sight with a slackened jaw.

He looked as arrogant and impassive as he does while inside class, in his Identification Card, in the pictures of school officers joyfully posted near the guidance center… he looked like he always does.

Lips pressed into a thin, stern line; eyes as dark as the starless night; blue-black hair shining enticingly even under the pale, nearly-broken light of the hallway; stance rigid and proud… he looked as normal as he could ever be.

The word "normal" would have described him perfectly, if he wasn't standing in front of the class clown's apartment—belonging to Uzumaki Naruto—while said class clown doesn't have any idea how the school heartthrob knew of his address (something that he hasn't submitted to the school records, with some help from Iruka-sensei).

"Why are you here?" Naruto asked, curiosity plainly obvious for the other to pick up on, since the blond wasn't particularly hiding his puzzled look in any form. He shifted awkwardly on his feet, suddenly too aware of the ramen cups that rolled down near his bare feet.

He felt slightly self-conscious of his house clothes—he only wore a plain shirt with some bright orange cargo shorts—since he wasn't expecting any guests. He tried hard not to stare at Sasuke's neatly-pressed school uniform, most probably because the School Council has work, even during Saturdays.

"I'm here to ask you out on a date." Sasuke mumbled simply, obsidian eyes staring evenly back at Naruto's blue ones. Despite being the 'slow thinker' that he is, Naruto didn't need to even think before he gave his answer to unexpected request.

He slammed the door shut, cutting off the image of Sasuke's impassive face staring at him with no surprise at all.

He stomped on the floor, creating an illusion that he already walked away from the door, when in reality, he was just standing on the other side, listening for Sasuke's footsteps, or even a guffaw for getting him on the joke.

It was a cool idea, despite the heartache that suddenly gripped him—but… Sasuke hasn't moved from his position in an hour already, and the blond is getting tired of standing.

He was about to open the door harshly and yell at him for standing out there when he heard steady, heavy footsteps (sounding oddly depressed) walking away. When it faded away completely, Naruto slumped on the floor, subtly ignoring the ramen cups digging painfully on his calf.

I hate you, Uchiha Sasuke.

It's annoying, to say the least. He's not in with the other guys in the class, but he's fairly sure that they are also growing annoyed with this consistent whispering rippling through the females.

He doesn't care enough to know—but it's impossible to not know, given the fact that almost everybody has been talking, whispering, giggling about it.

Uchiha Sasuke's birthday is within less than a week.

It's a fact considered mind-numbing by anybody here.

To his set of worshippers, that's the fated day when they'd throw all their love and devotion towards the arrogant teen (whether by silently praying to their self-built altars or by devoting their precious time to following Sasuke all over the campus).

To the admirers of said worshippers, that's the blasted day when all the love and affection they threw towards the members of the Sasuke-sama's Fans Club would be hurled back at them without second thought.

To those who are neutral (…or just didn't care enough to make an opinion, like Shikamaru) that's the day when the school corridors would be filled by the oh-so-melodious sounds of squealing females, heartbroken devotees, disappointed males, scheming whispers and stampede-like footsteps.

To those like Uzumaki Naruto school outcast who had just been asked by the oh-so-mighty Uchiha Sasuke to a freakin' date (…of course he didn't believe the arrogant prick!) two days ago… well… uh…

Of course he didn't think Sasuke was being serious—why would he be? They're enemies at worst; they're distant classmates at best.

True, they did know each other since Naruto adamantly refused for Sasuke to be included on his group (…he was luckily paired to his long-time crush, Sakura-chan) one seatwork during the first day of their freshmen class. It resulted with Naruto and Sasuke insulting each other, with their faces mere centimeters apart since they're itching for a fist-fight.

Oh no, that wasn't the end result.

One classmate (…which mysteriously ended up being in the medical wing… and then showed up with ridiculously large sum of money the next day he attended school) accidentally leaned backwards to where Naruto was heatedly arguing with the cold-blooded bastard, and promptly shoved the shocked (and angry—don't ever forget that) blond towards the Uchiha.

He would have been thankful if he just ended up pushing Sasuke backwards as well—but no. As though to push him another notch down the social ladder (…any lower and he'd be twelve feet underground), he managed to mash their already-close faces together, and—

Guh, his first kiss was brutally stolen by some Ice Princess who thinks that he owned the world.

Again, he would have been slightly grateful if things ended at just that. But nooooo, Sakura-chan led a pack of fangirls out for his blood. They just wouldn't listen to his explanations that it was just some nasty accident.

…Of course, knowing (from his special sources; Shino has weird capabilities of knowing the most secret of all secrets) that it was also Sasuke's first kiss didn't make him happy… uhh, he didn't wear a shit-eating grin when he learned that from the silent bug-loving teen—of course not.

Since then, every time they spoke turned into spiteful (and sometimes, annoyingly pointless) arguments. So… after such long-winded re-analysis (he actually started since an hour after Sasuke finally left his apartment last Saturday)—he's still pretty sure that Sasuke and him were nowhere near friendship and were definitely still at each other's throats.

"…You've been more distracted than usual, Naruto." That was the solemn statement made by a person shrouded in shadows, effectively shocking the contemplating blond.

"WHAT!" Naruto whirled around reflexively, but relaxed when he saw the person. Then, after the moment of recognition, he flashed an accusing (…which were shaking interestingly) finger at the silent person.

"Shino! Man, you—you're so freaky!" The blond prankster-slash-outcast exclaimed (…no, no, no—unlike a girl's squeals!), the hand still determinedly pointing at his stoic friend.

"Thank you," The bug-loving teen replied enigmatically, causing Naruto to feel confused about Shino's reply. He merely accepted being a freak—he's such a… freak.

"…What's your present for Uchiha-san's birthday?" Shino casually asked, easily absorbing the way Naruto flushed pink from his neck, up to his face, then to the tips of his earlobes. Really, Naruto looked so embarrassed—the Thing that happened last Saturday was… it seemed as though Shino knew something that he didn't…

"Why would I give a present to that jerk!" Naruto asked heatedly, single-handedly proving that it's still possible for his scarred, tanned cheeks to turn a deeper pink than before.

Shino didn't even smirk at his blond friend.

After all, the rosy blush on Naruto's face answered everything.

The past few days passed by like a heavy blur, leaving one specific blond dizzy and yet thoroughly unsatisfied with the passage of time. Before he knew it, it's already Friday, July 21, 2006.

Guh, time sure flies by, whether you have fun or not.

"…Hiya, Blondie—me, Shika', Chouji and Shino would go to the arcade later—wanna come?" Kiba asked him with a toothy grin. The blond addressed thought that the grin looked nice on his friend—if a little on a daring side—but he also knew that Kiba practiced that look for weeks in order to get past Hinata's intriguingly-protective cousin (rumors said that those two would be married in the future—but they're only rumors as of now).

Loneliness, like the way the school's plain-colored corridor walls looked ready to crumble and swallow him in, with him merely staring ahead wide-eyed, uncaring. Alone, like the way students piled around the empty hallway, with squeals filling the area since this is the last school day before "Sasuke-sama's" birthday.

Loneliness, like the way his heart drummed painfully against his ribcage whenever he recalled Sasuke's face as he stood stiffly in front of his apartment door. Alone, like the way he felt when he heard Sasuke's footsteps go further and further away from his door.

Loneliness, like the way Sasuke avoided locking gazes with him whenever the two of them passed each other on their way to their classes. Alone, like the way his buddies piled around him, curiously peeking at his somber expression, and—

"I think he was dumped." Chouji stated loudly, the potato chips meeting personally with their demise with each snap of the jaw. The sound of crinkling wrapper jolted Naruto away from his not-so-happy musings. He looked up to see Shino's knowing smirk, to see Shikamaru's pained look, to see Chouji's concerned stare, to see Kiba's questioning grin.

"You're DUMPED!" Kiba howled, looking unbelievably cheerful, given that they were supposed to be friends—as in, friends as to be together being outcasts.

"…By Sakura-san, again? I'm sorry," Chouji looked contrite and sympathetic, while Shikamaru and Shino continued with their uninformative silences.

"YOU'RE DUMPED!" Kiba shrieked vociferously, proceeding to show Naruto just how much of a real friend he really is.

Naruto was too busy being sulky with his thoughts and Kiba being such a jerk; Kiba was too busy harassing the depressed-looking Naruto; Chouji was too occupied with his precious junk food; Shikamaru and Shino probably noticed, but they probably decided to not warn their blond friend.

They all didn't notice the dark shadow that was already watching them with slight interest.

Until the 'shadow' spoke, that is.

"You got dumped?" The Class President and Batch Representative asked bluntly, uncaring if he had no business with the teens' conversation, but still sounding faintly interested with the details, and didn't sound all patronizing as Kiba.

Naruto visibly flinched at the highly-familiar voice. He looked up slowly, and was mortified that his guess was correct. This is the first time they actually talked to each other ever since Sasuke showed up uninvited on his apartment last weekend. They didn't fight the whole week, which was nothing short of a miracle—but with the devilish Uchiha's birthday coming soon, nobody really noticed anyway.

Sasuke took a couple of silent steps forward, but nobody really protested, since they were either too surprised or they were already expecting such moves from the famed genius.

"…You were dumped?" Sasuke asked again, as though clarifying what he thought, as though disbelieving what he heard.

"…No." Naruto replied, not quite meeting those wonderfully-dark obsidian orbs. "I dumped yo—her."

The stress over the last word was very prominent and Sasuke just had to smirk bitterly.

"…Her?" Sasuke asked dangerously, eyes glimmering with a promise of violence if the answer wasn't to his liking.

"…I told Hinata that she's better off with Kiba." Naruto said seriously, missing Kiba's initial look of betrayal, followed by a sincere look of apology-mixed-with-gratefulness. He also missed the flash of jealousy that leaped into those starless-colored irises.

"Why did you dump her? She's obviously taken with you." Sasuke said stiffly, arms crossing defensively over his chest, mildly wrinkling the neatly-pressed uniform, looking slightly nauseated with his words.

The blond took a deep breath before speaking. "I already like someone else. I… always have." This time, Naruto shifted his azure eyes to gaze directly into coal-black orbs. A glimmer of hope reappeared inside those eyes that belonged to the possibly Most Arrogant Man to ever walk the planet.

"…I'll walk you home, Naruto." The younger Uchiha stated distantly, expression carefully blank. Naruto didn't even cast his friends another look as he barely nodded and followed Sasuke's confident strides.

"…What about the arcade…" Kiba asked, rather confused with the way things went.

"…Let's help them escape the radars of those rabid fangirls," Shino suggested with an evil look on his otherwise-stony face.

Chouji wholeheartedly nodded, aggressively licking his fingers after he finished gobbling up his pre-dinner meal. Shikamaru sighed in a long-suffering fashion, but the expectant smirk didn't leave his face.

Kiba still hasn't caught into anything, despite how strange Sasuke and Naruto acted earlier on. "Hey, guys! What about the arcade!"

Love, Naruto learned, could also be hidden by an entire barrage of needless bickering, could also be covered by angry denial and detached pursuit, could also be misapprehended as a cruel prank and unnoticed as a crazy, wrong idea.

But then, love, Naruto knew, if it's really love, would show itself through even after endless hiding and covering.

"…I hate you, teme." Naruto mumbled sleepily, lips moving to form words over a pale, chiseled chest.

"…Uh-huh," The pale one murmured, as though this was nothing new. One of his hands played idly with the ends of spiky, golden hair; the free hand snaked to hold the tan-skinned one closer to him.

"…Your fangirls would kill me for this." Naruto said sulkily, suddenly imagining Sakura's insanely-furious actions. He shuddered at the thought, causing his slightly-older lover to hold him tighter.

"I know." Sasuke simply replied, black eyes drooping close as Naruto deeply sighed and wiggled against his body.

"…You could have specified—during last Saturday you know. You could have told me that you wanted me for your birthday." Naruto said, sounding almost annoyed and affectionate and bashful at the same time. The voice sounded scarily adorable.

"…You agreed, either way." Sasuke pointed out helpfully. Even with the room's darkness, Naruto could sense the smirk that's currently covering his lover's face.

"You're such a jerk." Naruto said, even though his hands traveled to hold Sasuke closer to himself.

Love and loneliness might be two greatly different emotions, but in the end, a match was made.

We are a perfect match.


And that ends it :) Happy Birthday, Sasuke! Please try to regain your senses and go back to your beloved Naru-chan soon c",) Waa, I'm such a Sasuke-fangirl :D

I hope I did okay with Naruto's POV c",) The first part was weird—but I wanted to try that one, since it's similar to fairy tales and stuff O.o;; I might make other follow-up Sasuke's Birthday specials, but, I'll try to catch some sleep first XD

Reviews (i.e. constructive criticism, comments, suggestions, requests, challenges, ideas, etc) are welcome—very much so. Thank you for the people who continue to read and review my works! You guys are the best XD