Author's Note: A long fic! I'm so proud of myself.

Pairing: Sasuke/Naruto (because I'm a closet romantic sap like that).

Warning: Other than the obvious slash one, there is mention of sex (once or twice) and love.

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In Which A Haiku Is (Unfortunately) Involved

Naruto is determined to tell Sasuke the truth. It isn't that big a deal really and it wouldn't be such a problem if all of the plans that he had painstakingly come up with so far hadn't backfired so spectacularly. Naturally, the entire universe hates him.

He had gone to Kiba after a rather frustrating practice session during which Sakura (whom he had started referring to as 'The Horny Slut' in his mind) had thrown herself all over Sasuke and it had been disgusting to watch. He had made gagging motions throughout dinner and The Slut had glared at him reproachfully. Well, it had actually bordered along the lines of hatefully, but still.

Kiba had been surprisingly sympathetic about the entire thing, which was freaky because Naruto had barely said anything during the first two hours. Then Neji had shown up and had rolled his (scary) white eyes at Naruto. So, of course, Naruto had gotten angry and yelled at him until Kiba had shouted "Shut up, you idiots," and they had.

"How do you confess your feelings of love to someone you, uh, love?" Naruto had blurted out not too long afterwards in an embarrassing display of lack of self-control. Not that he had much to begin with. He still kept trying his best anyways. Neji had stared and stared and stared while Naruto had fidgeted uncomfortably and wondered why Kiba was sober on today of all days.

Kiba had made more sympathetic clucking noises, conferred with his damned dog, and declared loudly and confidently, "Love letters are the thing to do nowadays."

Naruto had nodded (in what he knew was a sage manner but Kiba vowed was stupid) and departed not long after because Neji's staring didn't seem like it was going to stop anytime soon.

So, now he was stuck on a perfectly beautiful Saturday morning in a storage closet in the basement of Konoha's library (for privacy) with a single candle for illumination. He was starting to sweat and none of books on writing love letters had seemed useful.

He cracked upon the door, crawled out carefully, and scrambled in backwards immediately. One last try and then he was going to go tell Kiba that he was MORON. Capital letters and all.

The last book was tiny, titled 'Love: Haikus and Letters' and was ancient. And it was perfect. He flipped open to page number seven because he was sentimentalist and because team seven was the reason that Naruto had fallen in love with Sasuke after all, and started writing The Letter.

Dearest Sasuke, Uchiha, Uchiha,

Thinking of you, I see poems in the air: Black eyes and smile.

Love

Naruto frowned at the letter. His handwriting was abysmal, the haiku inaccurate and there was an ink smudge on the bottom left corner, which was weird because he was right-handed. He tilted his head to look at the ceiling imploringly and banged his head on a stray nail instead. Kiba, Naruto decided, was going to contract a severe case of diarrhea that night.

The finished product was only slightly better in that the writing was legible and the haiku was accurate.

Naruto had forgotten to ask Kiba how one delivered letters of that kind to the appropriate person. So, he sulked all through their weeding session (D-class missions sucked) and hung upside down outside of Kiba's window until Kiba had noticed him ("Why didn't you just ring the doorbell?") and let him in.

"How do I deliver it?" Naruto demanded as soon as he was inside. Kiba stared at him blankly and blinked rapidly in confusion. Naruto made a frustrated noise and waved the scroll in front of Kiba's face.

"Oh. You give it to them," Kiba said in a tone that indicated that he thought that Naruto was the stupidest person alive ever for asking.

This led to some yelling on Naruto's part and a rather dramatic exit through the window and onto the roof top. He could hear Kiba muttering, but honestly, Naruto didn't care anymore because he had the best plan ever now.

Sasuke wasn't home as expected. But, that was good. It gave Naruto time to drop the scroll on Sasuke's doormat, find a nice hiding spot, and conceal his chakra. Fifteen minutes later, he had a mosquito bite on his right pinky and was seriously starting to get fidgety.

He missed the precise moment when Sasuke showed up, but caught the sight of Sasuke entering the house. The Letter was gone.

Naruto counted to hundred and backwards, wiped his hands on his pants, and knocked on the door. He was scratching his pinky with his teeth (because they were sharper and weirdly more effective than this nails) when the door opened. Sasuke looked at him until Naruto stopped gnawing on his finger and stepped inside.

"So, uh. How's life been?" Naruto asked politely. There was no answer as usual and Naruto trailed Sasuke into the kitchen where The Letter was lying unopened next to the coffeemaker. Naruto tried and failed in his attempt to not stare at it.

"Um. Uh. Ar-are you going to open it?" Naruto said, wincing at the sudden loudness. Sasuke jerked his head once (in what may have qualified as a nod in the affirmative if Naruto was willing to be generous) and tore open the seal.

Naruto had gotten to the fifty-eight in his head when Sasuke's shoulder's started shaking and he started making muffled noises. Naruto frowned and mentally reviewed the letter in his head. He was at the stage of silent-but-deeply-traumatizing-panic when Sasuke got himself under control and cleared his throat. Naruto simply stared at him in wide-eyed panic.

"Dearest Uchiha," Sasuke suddenly read out loud, "Thinking of you, I see." He had to stop because he was gigglingagain. Giggling in amusement, Naruto realized. He had died and gone to hell. The letter was horrendous and Sasuke was never going to let him live this down, Sasuke was going to—

"—poems in the air: Black (sometimes red) eyes and a smirk." There was coughing and this was awful and he must have tortured kittens in his previous life because Sasuke was talking again.

"The idiot forgot to sign his name," Sasuke observed in an approximation of his normal voice. Naruto winced (inwardly because he wasn't going to confess anything now).

He was going to leave just as soon as he told Sasuke that, except self-control was something of an issue for him apparently because Naruto was talking too loudly again. "You don't like the poem?"

Sasuke coughed (twice), cleared his throat (once), and coughed (twice, again) before answering. "No, it's. Just, no."

Naruto nodded once and he opened his mouth to say goodbye, but he was asking why now. Life was horrible and Sasuke was a mean bastard because he was laughing at Naruto again. Although, objectively speaking, Sasuke wasn't aware of it. But. That didn't count and Naruto really needed to know why and damn it, he was going to have to learn to shut up.

"Because, it's not a Haiku," Sasuke managed to explain before he started having another coughing fit.

"Well, it is accurate," Naruto protested and promptly hated himself for it. Sasuke shrugged, cleared his throat, and asked if there was a reason Naruto was there. Naruto muttered something inaudible about training and disappeared before he could dig his grave any deeper.

He was going to kill Kiba. As soon as he nursed his broken, brushed, and cruised ego back to health, that is.

Kiba was astoundingly unhelpful, which was unsurprising considering how Naruto had unleashed large quantities of rage at him for three hours everyday after practice for an entire week. Neji's expression had been scarily unchanging each time and Naruto was now convinced that Neji was some sort of a freaky un-human.

Naruto naturally started avoiding Sasuke and Sakura, (who continued to display herself wantonly for Sasuke), and spent great amounts of time hiding out in the basement of Kakashi's apartment because his teacher was never at home and therefore couldn't spy on him. (Naruto sometimes experienced great insights and flashes of wisdom like that).

On the eleventh day after the disaster, Kiba tracked him down and bodily dragged him out from behind the broken down laundry machine in the left corner that everyone avoided because it smelt like regurgitated socks. Naruto went limp and become a dead weight until he realized that Kiba would not pick him up and would probably, literally, drag Naruto through the streets.

Neji was waiting for them and looking nonchalant, which immediately made Naruto suspicious. Kakashi appeared then and waved a cheerful "Yo" much to Naruto's consternation. Neji nodded. When Naruto started hyperventilating because he knew that Kakashi somehow knew and he knew that Kakashi knew that he somehow knew, Neji frowned at him and caught him by the pants as Naruto tried to make a run for it.

Naruto yelled, "Stop groping me, you bastard," but that only made Neji pull on his pants harder.

When Naruto looked at Kakashi imploringly, his teacher nodded sympathetically and murmured, "You know, I have a lot of experience in those areas."

Naruto's panicked mind offered images of Kakashi in lewd sexual orgies. But this time the universe loved him and let him black out from the extreme lack of oxygen.

Neji did not catch him but Kiba had gotten him to his apartment. So now Naruto had scarring mental images, a concussion, dust in awkward places, and dirty bed sheets. Kakashi, thankfully, had disappeared.

"You know, you should really shower," Kiba half-ordered. Naruto glared him into silence and turned his head the other way in a heart-warming display of childish spitefulness.

Neji came in holding up the battered haiku book. "The poem on page seven," Neji started rather hesitantly, "which I'm assuming you used, is incomplete. It was supposed to, uh, get the creativity going, so, um, the writer could make it more personalized in the next two lines." The Gods definitely hated him, Naruto decided.

"I didn't use it use it," Naruto defended. "I mean, he doesn't have golden eyes and he doesn't smile. Besides…" he trailed off into the sudden silence.

Kiba offered him a weak smile and said, "I thought you were going to confess to Sakura." Neji nodded and looked puzzled like he was trying to match a name and face to the 'he.'

Naruto had never tolerated lies (but, gossip was alright) or character defamation (unless it was gossip that didn't concern him). This meant that he was going to have to confess to two completely wrong people unless he wanted them to continue making inaccurate assumptions.

He scowled at Kiba who backed away. Neji, however, was stupid enough to say, "But, she's pretty."

"She's a horny slut," Naruto hissed, sitting up suddenly, alarmed by their shocked expressions. "Oh my god," he exclaimed in mute horror, "I can't believe you thought that I fell for that thing. She's always trying to steal Sasuke who is mine, by the way, and you would think that she would know that by now because hello, reality check, I'm his best friend. Not her. And I hope she goes bald, the vindictive bitch."

Neji's left hand twitched. Kiba did typical guy avoidance thing (more proof that Neji was weird) and stared into the corner where Naruto hid all of his deepest, darkest, dirtiest laundry, whose existence Kiba was now aware of apparently because he was looking fixedly at it with terrified wonder and he was going to ask about it anytime now. So, Naruto did the wise thing and spilled his guts for the second time that night and snapped, "Yes, that's my dirty laundry. Stop. Staring."

Neji boggled at him for an entire minute. (Naruto had thought that it was a book character thing only, but it seemed that real people did it too; then again, Neji was an un-human, so it probably didn't count).

"We could help," Neji said in way of a peace offering. Kiba was vehemently shaking his head in denial. Not that Naruto was going to accept because (a) Kiba was an idiot (b) Neji was un-human (c) there were smarter people to ask for help (like Shikamaru, who was a genius despite what Sakura claimed) and (d) Naruto was only sometimes stupid.

"Just don't tell anyone, or I'll kick your ass," Naruto threatened and he was pleased to note that they both looked a little pale because he had kicked their asses during the chounin exams not too long ago. Kiba and Neji departed soon afterwards after wishing good lucking and promising not to tell anyone.

Naruto sighed and made his way to the bathroom where he would inevitably end up entertaining mind revoltingly sugary thoughts about the paleness of Sasuke's skin, the blackness of his hair, the perfect-ness of his body, etc, etc.

Tomorrow, though, he would track down and force Shikamaru to give Naruto advice because Shikamaru was a lazy bastard and otherwise sucked like that. And, then Naruto would engage in more avoidance techniques. (It was a pity that he had to maintain a distance from the entire team seven (excluding himself although he would probably slip into a self-induced coma if Sasuke ever rejected him) because Naruto actually liked the team members). Life, contrary to all expectations, could and had become worse.

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There ends the first chapter. Reviews will be appreciated.