kaesaku: The official NaruSasu theme song has been born! Because of American Idol David Cook's popularity, his rendition of Mariah Carey's Always Be My Baby has been played for like every other hour in every other radio station. And yes, it is the ultimate NaruSasu song. And an ultimate LSS (last song syndrome)…

Thanks to the anonymous reviewers from ff – phil(lip), darkneko66 and ArcticOokami. Also to all the reviewers from aff.

Huge thanks to my beta, Simple-Minded Idiot.

This chapter is for my friend/officemate/teammate, err, ex-teammate, Albert. Straight guys who read yaoi rock.

Warnings: yaoi, NaruSasu, shit my mind is made off

Standard disclaimers apply. I don't own Naruto, The Girl Next Door, and Dashboard Confessional's Hands Down.

Chapter 3: Hands Down

"...my hopes are so high that you're kiss might kill me,

so won't you kill me,

so I die happy.."

-Hands Down, Dashboard Confessional

Headphones found its way on the head of a raven-haired boy. Charcoal eyes slid shut as the disc inside the player, signaling its start, began to turn. A pair of pale hands were on each side of the ear piece, intently listening to the song being played.

He was lying on his bed, on his stomach to be more exact, and had been there for a good twenty minutes when he felt a presence in his room. He opened an eye and turned his attention towards his door.

There, he saw his blond-haired neighbor, whose blue eyes were trained on him, leaning on the door.

The boy on the bed hooked an index finger on the headphones' strap. The action released the headphones' grasp on his head, letting it dangle on his neck.

"You know, if you want me to notice you, you could've knocked," he started, "or talked. I don't have ESP."

The other boy gasped. "Really now? I could've sworn you do!" he exclaimed in mock-surprise. "How else were you able to know that I'm standing here, Sasuke?"

Sasuke rolled his eyes while the other boy grinned.

Naruto pushed himself away from the door and strolled towards the bed.

"So, what'cha listening to?" The blond pointed to the player. "Which band? Is it cool?"

"It's not some band, idiot," Sasuke replied. "It's Spanish."

"Oh, like Enrique Iglesias?"

Dark eyes glared at him.

"Ricky Martin?"

And glared some more.

"J.Lo?"

And glared some more.

"Or her husband, Marc Anthony?"

"They're Puerto Rican!"

"Aha, so it's Marc Anthony!"

"No-- I don't-- It's not--" Sasuke stuttered.

"Sasuke, it's alright!" The other boy patted him a little too hard on the back. "Liking Marc Anthony won't get in the way of our friendship!"

The Uchiha boy mentally cringed as he realized that the other boy whose blue eyes wide and shining was completely serious. He took a deep, slow breath.

"Naruto," he said in an even voice. "I do not like Marc Anthony."

"It's cool--"

"I am not listening to his CD," he interrupted.

"But I thought--"

"I am listening to a Spanish Conversation CD."

"Oh, so--"

"I am taking this as an elective this year."

No response.

Naruto blinked, then, slowly, he nodded in understanding, his mouth forming an 'o'.

Finally, Sasuke thought. The moron finally got it.

"So then, where is your Marc Anthony collection?"

A pillow on the tanned face was the answer.

"Ow! Sasuke! I was just joking!" The blond tried to shield himself from the other boy's non-gentle pillow slaps. "Stop it! I was just joking!"

Sasuke stopped the pillow abuse but not the glaring. Although, it did crack after a nanosecond and was replaced with the two boys' laughter.

"You're a real idiot, you know that?" Sasuke said as he shook his head, his voice having a hint of affection.

Naruto laughed even harder. "And you being friends with me makes you...?"

"A bigger idiot," Sasuke promptly answered.

The two boys laughed again.

After the laughter died down, Sasuke reached for the Spanish book and the CD player, which were both left unattended on his bed, and placed them on top of his bedside table.

He froze as he noticed something. He was still smiling. Not just any smile, but that soft, gentle, genuinely happy smile that made one think of clouds, rainbows, and pink cotton candy.

The Uchiha set his lips back on its usual grim line so quick that no one would have noticed it. But someone did. And he could feel that someone's eyes on him.

He stole a quick glance to the other boy and, sure enough, blue eyes were watching him. Uchiha Sasuke was caught making the cotton candy smile, a totally un-Sasuke-like facial expression. He almost flushed in embarrassment. Almost. Because instead of seeing a teasing grin, what he saw were blue eyes that widened in surprise -- or was it something else? -- and that were hastily averted from his face and forced to focus on something as trivial as the cracks on the wall.

His head started generating appropriate assumptions to what he just witnessed, but then the loud, annoying -- and forced, definitely forced -- voice of the other boy broke through his thoughts.

"...Sasuke?"

"Huh?" was Sasuke's intelligent response.

Naruto looked suspiciously at him. "I asked you something."

The raven-haired boy racked his brain but couldn't remember what the blond asked. It was the fault of those evil assumptions, making him lose attention.

"Which is...?" he stalled as he grabbed the glass of water by his bedside table and took a sip from it.

Naruto gave him a deadpanned look. "I said I was hot..."

Water burst out from the Uchiha's mouth...

"...so I suggested we go swimming," Naruto continued, "and you just gave me a very appropriate answer."

His face was dripping with water that was sprayed from Sasuke's mouth.

It took a minute for Sasuke to react. When he finally did, he jumped from the bed to grab a towel from his drawers, tripping on his feet in the process.

"Dammit," he hissed as he rubbed his left leg with one hand while offering the towel to Naruto with another.

"Geez, bastard," the other boy said as he grabbed the towel, "you could've just said you didn't want to," he wiped his face vigorously, "...but no! You had to decline in the most dramatic way and go Old Faithful geyser on me!"

The almost-flush of Sasuke's face earlier had turned to a full-fledged one. The gods of karma, he concluded, had decided that today was the day to collect his payment for all the times he sneered, insulted, or mocked a faceless someone.

Floor, I command you to open up and swallow me whole!, he thought.

"Bastard didn't even say he's sorry..." he heard Naruto muttering.

"It was your fault for saying something stupid," Sasuke snapped back to hide his embarrassment.

Wash him up with water from your mouth then insult him, way to go.

He ignored the sarcastic comment from his brain and continued, "Besides, only an idiot like you would have failed to notice that our house doesn't exactly have a pool to swim in," he crossed his arms, "and to think that you've been hauling your ass here for the past few weeks... You blind or something, moron?"

Naruto squawked indignantly. He pointed an accusing finger at the Uchiha. "Oh sure, let's insult the guy who I just sprayed with water from my mouth!"

The Uchiha turned red at that.

"I know you don't have a pool, asshole! I meant the pool at the clubhouse!"

And he thought he couldn't get any redder.

Naruto hmph-ed and crossed his arms. "It's decided. We're going there now! And you can't say no! Not after washing my face with fresh Uchiha water!"

Approximately eighteen minutes later, the two boys found themselves in front of a padlocked clubhouse gate.

Sasuke cleared his throat. "Since the clubhouse is closed, should I go and drink more water so I can spray it on other parts of your body?"

The other boy gawked at him. "You would like that, don't you?!"

Sasuke blinked as he realized the implication of what he just said.

"I-- wha-- no--" he stuttered (again) to the blond who was stomping his way back to the orange car. "It was just a joke," the Uchiha mumbled. "A sarcastic joke." He followed the blond towards the car.

Naruto was still frowning, pouting was more like it, for not being able to go swimming. Sasuke thought it was childish. But then, the other boy seemed really excited about it. He sighed. There was nothing they could do about it.

As if on cue, the boy on the driver's seat shifted suddenly and, with an exuberant voice, yelled, "Sasuke! I got it!"

"Huh?" Again with the intelligent responses.

Naruto bounced from excitement. "I found the solution to our problem!"

"Our problem?"

The blond nodded vigorously.

At Naruto's newfound enthusiasm, Sasuke found it hard to correct the other boy that it wasn't their problem to begin with, seeing that the raven-haired boy never agreed to be part of the whole swimming advocacy. But the smile blinded him once again and he lost any intention of doing so. He just didn't have the heart to.

- o -

"Idiot, this," Sasuke emphasized, "is not our problem! It's your problem and I am not going along with your so-called solution!"

"Aww, but you just said--"

"I take it back."

The orange car was parked outside an unknown and currently uninhabited house in the far end of the village. Sasuke wanted to bang his head on the car window after hearing Naruto's back-up plan to the clubhouse swimming trip.

"Sasuke, it's fool-proof! See that," he pointed to the house. "No lights. Gates locked. It means no one's home. And that," he pointed to a slim opening on the fence at the side of the house, "will lead us to where we want to be."

"You want to be," Sasuke corrected him.

Naruto grunted. "Fine, fine. So, let's go. We're wasting precious minutes chit-chatting here."

"Trespassing is illegal in most countries," Sasuke icily said. "That includes the one we're currently living in!"

"That's why we hurry up! We sneak in, get naked, take a dip, and get out. Just like wham, bam, thank you, ma'am!"

Sasuke eyed him warily.

"...or, err, something like that. Ahehehe..." Naruto scratched the back of his neck.

"I'm not doing it."

Naruto panicked. "Bastard, you can't not do it! You promised! C'mon, please! It'll be really quick. We'll be out there before the owner finds out!"

Sasuke watched Naruto with impassive eyes but he, too, was slowly panicking in the inside.

He's doing it! He's doing the doe-eyed-pouty-lips combination! I'm not gonna say yes! I'm not gonna say yes!

"How can you be sure that they won't arrive while we're in there?"

"I'm not!" Naruto grinned. "That's what makes it exciting!"

Sasuke smacked him. "Idiot, you just said--"

The blond raised both hands in surrender. "Okay, okay. I'm not sure about that. But the good thing is that fence." He pointed to the slight opening again. "The first thing that they'll do when they arrive is to open the house lights and we'll be able to see that from the pool. We'll make a run for it once that happens."

Sasuke carefully considered what the other boy said.

The pool was in the backyard. The residents of the house would have to go inside the house through the front door, then open the lights before they could go about roaming the house. They wouldn't be able to get to the pool without announcing their presence first was what Sasuke thought when he saw the sliding glass doors adjacent to the pool. Unless they decided to sneak to the side via the dented fence...

Which is unlikely, Sasuke countered.

He turned to Naruto, his mind made up with a decision. Naruto gave him a hopeful look.

"You owe me a big one for this, Uzumaki," he said evenly.

Naruto slowly smiled. The same cotton candy smile that Sasuke had been seeing -- and doing -- a lot lately.

"I'll be ready when you collect."

The two boys nodded to each other and got out of the car, which was partly hidden in the bushes. They didn't bother locking up so it wouldn't be a hassle when it was time to escape.

They got inside smoothly. The house was definitely deserted. It was a little dark; it flitted to Sasuke's mind that it was a little after five when they left their house.

"Yahoo! Success!" Naruto exclaimed. He took off his shirt and started unbuttoning his pants.

That got Sasuke to panic.

"O-oi, what're you doing?"

"Getting naked. I did say our plan was to sneak inside, get naked, take a dip, and get out, right?" Naruto asked holding up four fingers, the thumb tucked away. "We're currently running here," he wiggled his middle finger.

"But-- swimsuit!" Sasuke sputtered.

Naruto rolled his eyes and swiftly pulled down his pants along with his underwear. Sasuke instinctively looked down. He mentally kicked himself and turned his attention to the pool.

"Time is the essence here, bastard. Just in case you forgot, we're doing an illegal thing." A tanned foot tested the pool temperature. "We can't afford changing to swimsuits and back." He pulled himself down the pool once he deemed that the temperature was okay. "Why? Is getting naked making you uncomfortable?"

"N-no," Sasuke replied.

Naruto snickered. "No need to be shy! If I recall, you've seen me naked and I've seen you naked. All on our first day."

Sasuke cringed as he remembered that incident. "I'm not shy!"

The boy in the pool snickered some more. "By all means, then."

The raven-haired boy pursed his lips. "Fine." He grabbed the hem of his shirt and noticed that blue eyes were still trained on him. "Do you mind?"

Naruto snorted but turned away from him. "I'm sorry if I was offending you," he said sarcastically. He turned back once he felt the water move, signaling Sasuke's arrival.

"All this for this," Sasuke grumbled, not meeting Naruto's eye. "I could've done this in our bathtub."

Naruto laughed. "The effect wouldn't be the same." He dipped and it took a couple of minutes before the blond head emerged again. He was on the other side of the pool, across Sasuke.

"Whatever," Sasuke said. He ignored the way his heart jumped when he saw Naruto brush the wet hair away from his face. He ignored the way his stomach fluttered when Naruto leaned back on the pool bank with his eyes shut and his visage facing the sky.

Sasuke closed his eyes and submerged himself in the water. He stayed there for as long as he could, blowing bubbles from his nose, until he couldn't take it anymore. He took in large gulps of air when he went back up.

"You okay?" Naruto asked. "You were down there for quite some time."

Sasuke grunted in reply.

"So, is the effect the same from your bathtub?"

In spite of himself, Sasuke smiled, though he didn't answer the question.

"This is the life," Naruto sighed. "You should make your parents get you guys your own pool."

"Maybe if Itachi asked, they'd say yes," Sasuke said.

Naruto laughed again. When he quieted down, Sasuke noticed the other boy's full attention on him.

"What?" he asked, feeling a bit self-conscious.

"Hmm... I was wondering..." The tanned boy pushed himself away from the pool bank and waded towards Sasuke slowly. "What's the craziest thing you've done lately?"

Despite the cool water, Sasuke felt himself heat up. He was pretty sure it reflected on his cheeks. He was just not sure whether it was from the question or from the person who asked the question, who was currently getting nearer.

"This tops the list," he answered weakly.

"That's good to know," Naruto said softly and Sasuke wondered when the other boy got in front of him.

"Would you like to make new record?" the blond asked seriously as he took another step forward.

"What..." Sasuke took a step back and felt the tiles on his back. He was cornered. There was nowhere to go, not like he would like to be in another place anyway. "...do you mean?"

Naruto glanced at his lips and he licked it self-consciously. Blue eyes met black ones.

"Sasuke...?"

His name sounded, no, felt nearer.

"Yes?"

Naruto inched closer, although they weren't that far apart to begin with. A tanned arm braced itself on one side of his head.

Sasuke's breath hitched at what was about to happen.

Naruto's face leaned closer...

Sasuke's eyes slid shut...

And the house lights switched on.

The blond backed up a bit. He lowered himself on the pool, leaving his eyes above water-level.

Sasuke, still in shock, was quite disappointed that Naruto abruptly stopped what he was supposed to do. His eyes followed Naruto's movements. It was only when Naruto was beside him, hands on the pool bank, facing the sliding glass doors, that he noticed something. The house lights were on.

"Shit!" he whispered and quickly ducked his face on the pool, leaving his eyes above water-level.

"That's quite a late reaction," Naruto dryly commented. He went back to looking at the glass door.

"Why didn't you tell me?" he hissed.

"Hey, we're both here! I assumed we both saw it when it happened," Naruto retorted. "And relax, will you? We're not seen from here. Unless she walks over to take a dip as well."

"She?" Sasuke sidled up to Naruto and slowly took a peek.

"Yeah, a she. Damn. Look at those jugs! Probably the biggest I've ever seen! And believe me, I've seen a lot!"

Naruto's comment vaguely registered in Sasuke's mind as he recognized the inhabitant of the house. His eyes widened. Of all people...

"Oh my god."

"You know her?" Naruto asked.

"Yes," Sasuke said grimly. "She's Tsunade. Our school principal." He slinked back to the pool and leaned on the tiles.

Naruto's face was a cross between amusement and fear.

"We have to go." Sasuke made a move to the pool steps.

Naruto grabbed a pale arm.

"Wait. We can't go yet. We need to wait for her to move away from the glass door before we make a run for it."

"But--"

"Trust me," Naruto assured him and gave him a smile.

Sasuke's panic-stricken mind betrayed him when it sent a signal to his eyes to stare at Naruto's lips, reminding him of what they were about to do earlier.

Naruto smirked, as if reading his thoughts.

"Since it seems like it'll take awhile, maybe we can continue where we left off...?

Sasuke gulped. "Yeah?"

"Is that a yeah-what or a yeah-sure?" Naruto asked in a hushed voice.

Sasuke's eyes stole a glance to the glass door before giving a reply. "You tell me."

Naruto gave him a soft smile and inched closer. But Sasuke, as excited as he was, still got bothered at the idea of kissing on his principal's swimming pool while said principal was a few feet away. His eyes darted back and forth between Naruto and the glass door.

The other boy noticed his discomfort. The soft smile faltered a little and he stopped moving towards Sasuke. The raven-haired boy noticed it, too.

"Naruto?" he called out to the boy whose head was downcast.

The blond lifted his head, smile back in place, but his eyes held an unreadable expression.

"Let's go," he nodded to Sasuke.

Sasuke wasn't sure if Naruto agreeing with him to leave was a good sign...

They quietly waded to the pool steps, picked up their discarded clothes, and dashed to the exit.

...because he sure as hell felt that, in some way, he struck out with the other boy.

On their way out, they failed to notice a blond head sticking out from the glass door.

- o -

Sasuke's friends, Chouji and Lee, spent Friday nights at Chouji's. They said it was their video game and movie night. Sasuke rarely joined them, especially these past few months because of his preparation for the scholarship speech.

Which was why it came to a surprise that someone was knocking at Chouji's door that Friday night.

"Chouji, someone's knocking," Lee said from his position in front of the TV. "Are you expecting anyone else?"

"No," he heard Chouji reply from the kitchen. "My parents aren't expecting anyone either."

Lee suddenly got an idea. His head popped from the kitchen door. "Do you think it's Sasuke?"

Chouji looked up from the salsa dip he was making. "Impossible. He's busy with the speech." He returned his attention back to the dip. "Why don't you go and check who it is?"

The taller boy gasped. "Chouji, what if it's a serial killer? How can you ask me to open the door?"

A vein throbbed on Chouji's head. "Lee, you are the best martial artist in this town. If it is a serial killer, which I doubt, you can easily kick his ass."

"I am deeply encouraged with your belief in my abilities," Lee said as he fisted his right hand and placed it on his chest.

"Goddammit, Lee! Just open the damn door!"

"Yes, sir!" he answered as he ran to the front door.

Lee opened the door widely, ready to greet (or kick) the unexpected guest. But all mental processes derailed when he saw what was in front of him.

"Hey," it said.

Before he could summon a reply, which he was sure was something that'll resemble 'ughblah', Chouji showed up behind him.

"Who is--" A clatter was heard.

Goodbye, salsa dip.

It would seem that Chouji's mental processes were headed in the same direction as Lee's.

"A little help, guys?" it asked. "I'm wet."

It was a boy who looked the same age as them, albeit a little taller. And with tanned skin that was inked in the stomach. With three scars on each side of his cheeks. With blue eyes and blond hair that was dripping with water.

It was naked.

"Aaaaahhhh!!" Both boys screamed and hurriedly closed the door.

A pale hand prevented them from doing so.

"Sasuke?!" They both exclaimed.

Sasuke emerged from the side, stifling a laugh. They turned to the other boy who was also laughing.

"You should've seen your faces," Sasuke managed to say in-between laughs.

Both boys looked at each other and back at the new arrivals. Then, they both burst out laughing.

They'd all been laughing for quite some time when the blond spoke up. "I hate to break this up, guys, but I'm getting really cold."

"Oh, of course. Come in," Chouji said as he led the way to the den. "You must be Naruto."

Naruto grinned. "The one and only. And you guys are Chouji and Lee."

"That's right," Lee chirped.

Chouji noticed that Sasule, although fully-clothed, had dripping hair as well.

"What were you two doing that got both of you wet?"

"Swimming!" Naruto answered.

Both boys looked at Sasuke. "His idea. Long story."

Everyone turned to Naruto who, incidentally, was still naked. The boy scratched the back of his neck.

"Err, Chouji, can I borrow a towel?"

The big boy smiled. "Sure." He went up to his room to get one.

"So what were you guys doing?" Sasuke asked Lee.

"Before you arrived, Chouji was preparing the food and I was scanning the channels," Lee replied. "We weren't really planning on staying cooped up here all night."

"You guys going out?"

"Yeah," Chouji answered as he descended the stairs. He threw the towel to Naruto who caught it swiftly. "We were planning on going to Neji's party."

"Oh."

The two boys looked at each other.

"Why don't you join us, Sasuke?" Lee inquired. "Since you're already out. Plus, I'm pretty sure Naruto would like to be acquainted with other people his age."

"Yeah, c'mon, Sasuke! Let's go! Party!" Naruto exclaimed.

Sasuke frowned. He didn't want Naruto to get acquainted with people his age. Add the fact that it was Hyuuga Neji's party...

"But it's Hyuuga's party..."

"So?" Chouji said. "Whoever's party it is, it has free food and free booze in it!"

"Forget the rivalry with him, Sasuke," Lee added. "Even just for a night."

Chouji nodded. "And I bet there'll be so many people that he won't even notice you." In a low voice, he muttered, "That'll spare the rest of us civilization with your glare wars."

Sasuke glared at him. Then, "Fine."

"Okay! Party!"

The four boys headed out to the Hyuuga's.

- o -

Chouji was right. There were lots of people. The party was packed. As how it was when a senior threw a party.

Music was blaring from the speakers, teenagers streamed in and out of the house with bottles of beer, some with paper cups filled with an unknown alcoholic mix. Sasuke saw faces he recognized, faces he didn't. It was like the whole school population was in there.

The boys walked inside the house where some people danced to the music, some engaged in beer-drinking contests, and some, unabashedly, made out with each other.

They reached the door that opened to the Hyuuga's enormous backyard and where most of the people stayed. In Sasuke's mind, it shouldn't be called a backyard. It should be called a vacant lot where another house could be built in. It was that big. And it had a swimming pool, much to Sasuke's irritation.

"Whoa," he heard Naruto say.

They observed the surroundings for a while before going off to different ways. Chouji headed to the booze and food area, Lee saw someone from the karate club, and that left Sasuke and Naruto. Again.

"So," he turned to the blond. "What do you want to do?"

Blue eyes glanced at the pool.

"No way."

Naruto laughed. "Just kidding. How about a drink?"

"I got it," a voice from behind replied.

Sasuke's blood ran cold as he recognized that familiar voice. He slowly turned and was face-to-face with none other than the host of the party, Hyuuga Neji.

Damn Chouji!

Neji handed a paper cup to Naruto. "My apologies, Uchiha. I only got one. Why don't you go to the kitchen and get one for yourself, hm?"

Sasuke gritted his teeth in annoyance.

"But before you do that, why don't you introduce me first to your companion?"

"You can talk, can't you? Then, do it yourself!" With that, he stomped towards the kitchen. Though he wasn't really sure where it was, as long as it took him away from the Hyuuga.

"Sasuke, wait--" Naruto started but was abruptly stopped by Neji's hand.

"It's alright. Uchiha's never been one to party," Neji said matter-of-factly. "I'm pretty sure once he gets a little booze in, he'd turn a bit sociable."

Sasuke fisted his hands at Neji's audacity to insult him while he was still within earshot. He hurriedly walked away, not bothering to hear the introductions made by the two boys.

Luckily, he made it to the kitchen without getting lost. He grabbed an untouched paper cup and quickly downed it. He almost blanched at the taste. He took a deep breath to steady himself and grabbed another paper cup. He carelessly threw it to his side when he was done and wiped his lips with the back of his hand.

That was when he realized that, in a hurry to get away from the Hyuuga's oppressing presence, he forgot all about Naruto. His blond, idiot-of-a-neighbor (which, hopefully, would turn into something more) was left alone in the evil clutches of his rival.

The raven-haired boy scrambled from his position in the kitchen and hurriedly went on his quest to retrieve the blond.

He noticed that they weren't on the place where he last saw them. Black eyes scanned the crowd and finally landed near the pool where, true enough, he saw Naruto still talking (and laughing, that idiot!) with the Hyuuga.

He slowly made his way to the two but was stopped by a grip on his forearm.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you."

Sasuke glared at the hand and at the person who it belonged to.

"Aburame Shino."

The boy, who was one of Neji's friends, looked at Sasuke, his eyes hidden through sunglasses.

"Isn't it a little dark to wear those?" Sasuke scoffed.

The other boy ignored the insult, but didn't loosen the grip on his arm.

"Let go."

"Don't ruin his party."

Sasuke sneered at him. "Do I look like I give a shit about his party?"

"Leave, Uchiha."

To others, Shino was one of the intimidating guys in Neji's clique. But Sasuke didn't back down. He never backed down.

"I don't care about him or his stupid party. I came to this place with that boy," he pointed at Naruto, "and I'm leaving this place with him.

Shino's grip slowly loosened. If Sasuke could see Shino's eyes, he would've seen a look of respect with a hint of amusement in it.

"Then go and take him back."

Sasuke turned away from Shino and resumed walking towards the pair.

Hyuuga Neji.

That name had always left a bitter taste to his mouth whenever he mentioned it.

The two of them had been bitter rivals ever since he could remember. Not just the two of them, but the whole Uchiha and Hyuuga clans.

It only became worse after the Itachi incident.

Neji was his competition in everything. Grades, leadership, the scholarship speech... And now, even Naruto.

Sasuke stalked towards them, his presence giving off a murderous intent. But when he was only a few feet away from them, he stopped.

It wasn't about Neji.

He looked towards the pair again, Neji talking in-between sips and Naruto smiling, even laughing, every now and then.

Everything fell into place and Sasuke saw everything in a new light. It didn't matter if the other person was Neji or not. It didn't matter if it was his childhood rival or a nameless someone. Because, at that moment, Sasuke realized that regardless of whoever the other person might be, if Naruto gave his smile, his laugh to someone else other than him, it hurt. It hurt so bad.

The raven-haired boy crossed the few feet between them. The Hyuuga was the first to notice his presence.

"Uchiha, what took you so long? I thought--"

He placed a hand on Neji's chest and pushed him back a little. He wedged himself between the other boy and Naruto. The Hyuuga let out an indignant sound, but he was none of Sasuke's concern at the moment.

His only concern was...

Naruto raised his eyebrows inquiringly at Sasuke. Before he could voice out his question, a pale hand snaked its way to his neck and pulled him down for a kiss.

Sasuke saw blue eyes widen in surprise. They slowly slid shut after the surprise wore off.

Naruto's lips were soft and wet and nice.

Sasuke shifted closer so he could get closer to that, closer to Naruto. He felt the other boy's hands hold onto his waist, one of them slowly moving to the small of his back. He felt Naruto's teeth pulling at his lower lip, coaxing him to open up for the other boy. Sasuke willingly obliged and made way for Naruto's tongue. The raven-haired boy moaned at the sensation and raised his other hand to cup Naruto's face so he could get closer, much closer.

So close that he could taste Naruto's breath mingled with his, so close that he could feel Naruto's heart beat against his own, so close that he could see Naruto's eyes reflecting what it saw on his...

Amidst the catcalls and the cheers from the party people, Uchiha Sasuke's world narrowed to that small space between him and Uzumaki Naruto.

It was the place where he had his best, first kiss.

- tbc -