of the Mist – A Trip to Niagara Falls
a SasuNaruSasu Short
Maid of the Mist—just in case you don't know—is the fleet of boats that allows visitors to witness the thundering beauty of Niagara Falls up close and personal… and wet. The QEW is an expressway in Canada. I know something like this happening in real life… is… erm… highly unlikely… but hey, let a girl have some fun, yes?
Naruto characters belong to Kishimoto-sensei. I just borrow them… without permission. Maid of the Mist belongs to the Maid of the Mist Corporation (USA) and the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Company Ltd (Canada).
What was so special about the Falls?
Naruto grumbled as he tried, yet again, to fix the blue, semi-transparent plastic that was supposed to serve as some sort of raincoat. No matter what he did, he couldn't get the damn thing to stay put. He wouldn't even have bothered putting it on if Sakura-chan hadn't insisted. In fact, he had half a mind to take it off right now since the wind was making him look like an oversized orange and blue balloon anyway. Forget the fact it had taken him not just a little more than ten minutes to put the thing on; and only managing to successfully to do so after Shikamaru finally got sick of watching him struggle and gave him a hand—it was getting pretty annoying.
"Oh stop fidgeting, Naruto," Ino reprimanded, unsuccessfully taming her own raincoat. "Do try to enjoy the trip?"
Naruto sighed, muttered some sort of agreement and stared at the watery mass in front of them as the Maid of the Mist made its way closer to the Horseshoe Falls. Naruto was all up for taking the weekend off. Any excuse to spend any length of time with Sakura was welcome and a weekend trip to celebrate the beginning of the summer vacation was—or at least at the time it was proposed—a very exciting idea. However, Naruto wanted to go to the arcade. Not the actual bloody Falls.
It was just water for Pete's sake. Lots of loud, moving water.
What was so exciting about that!
And to top it all off, instead of kicking some ass at the arcade, he was now standing behind a relatively large group of people all crowded around the rail at the side of the boat. Suffice it to say that Naruto was incapable of seeing anything clearly at the moment. It wasn't exactly Naruto's idea of fun. Naruto did not think the forty-five-minute wait to get on this poor excuse of a boat worth it. At all. Unfortunately, Sakura-chan had insisted they all just had to see the world-famous Falls up close. They did drive all the way here after all… what was a visit to Niagara Falls without actually going to the Falls?
As Naruto stood there, wishing with all his might that he was somewhere else, he had only one thing to say about the great Niagara Falls—it stank. Naruto couldn't exactly place a finger on it, but it most definitely stank. It was a strange, wet… putrid scent that stuck to your nose. He made a face. He honestly had to wonder what in the hell he was doing here at all. However, Naruto's ears perked up at the beautiful sound of Sakura's gleeful squeal.
Naruto smiled. Oh yeah, that was why. He grinned as he tried to make his way to the pink-haired love of his life, but only succeeded in falling flat on his butt as the boat made a sudden unexpected—albeit, it was announced—turn. Naruto cursed as he got up—God dammit! His pants were soaked!—and cursed again when he lost his balance and got jerked against the wall. Rubbing the back of his head, he mumbled. It seemed it would be rather difficult to get to Sakura with all sorts of tourists crowding around her (she'd gotten to a nice spot). Naruto groaned. It wasn't fair.
Suddenly, Ooh's and Ahh's were heard from the front of the boat. (They were approaching the Horseshoe Falls.) And then… spray. Fine, wet spray hit Naruto's face.
He shut his eyes.
Hmm… It… wasn't so bad, actually.
The spray felt pretty good.
The crowd that had originally stationed themselves at the back dispersed and started making their way to the front (and wettest) part of the boat. Naruto shrugged. Now, usually, he'd be one of the first to run off… however, the bustling crowd of ever-enthusiastic tourists did not induce too many feelings of excitement. He looked around and frowned to find Sakura no where to be seen.
He walked to the now vacant railings of the boat, letting spray cool his considerably hot head. To be honest, it was a relatively fine evening. Their group had opted to go for the last ride of the day, hoping that it would be a little less crowded. Oh how so totally wrong they (read: Sakura) were. Naruto sighed as he leaned against the railing, eyes still closed. The spray against his face felt nice—it was cool, and surprisingly not salty. Naruto had expected it to be so. He didn't really know why he thought that… maybe it was because it smelled salty.
"To the extreme left, we can see—"
Naruto tried to block out the (annoying) disembodied voice of a really sarcastic-sounding (or at least to him it sounded sarcastic) tour guide. He popped open an eye and struggled to keep it open as spray and wind attacked him mercilessly. The thundering of the Falls reverberated in his chest. He opened his other eye and turned his neck to his left. His eyes involuntarily grew wide.
Okay… so maybe… the Falls were a little impressive…
Naruto looked down. White foam and bubbles danced in the water below him, aggravated by both the boat motor and the Falls itself. In a strange way, it was mesmerizing. Naruto reached out with his left hand.
What would it feel like to touch it, he wondered. It was so…
He leaned out a bit more…
… so fascinating…
He was so close to touching it… he stepped up and leaned a little further out.
Just a little… bit more…
Sasuke sighed, leaning against the wall of the Maid of the Mist No. 4 and watching his companions (well, most of them) shout out ecstasies about being in the presence of the oh-so-wonderful Niagara. Considering the four-and-a-half hour drive along the QEW they had to get here—and who do you think drove?—it was actually quite a disappointment.
He just wanted to go home. He didn't care if it took another four and a half frigging hours.
He was not happy about staying in some cheap (-looking mind you. The actual price was still expensive—damn corporate bastards) motel.
The back of the boat began to empty as the Horseshoe Falls began to show itself. Sasuke was slightly taken aback when an unexpected gust of wind decided to hit him.
Then, spray. Merciless, wet spray… like a dog who decided to shake himself dry right in front of your newly cleaned Porsche. (Stupid dog.)
He wondered idly where all the blasted wind had come from, but all thoughts were interrupted by the merciless flapping of someone else's raincoat in his face; as if he wasn't having enough problems with his own uncontrollable one without having to see everything in blue. Damn the stupid wind.
Damn the stupid raincoats.
Sure they kept him relatively drier… but they were fucking annoying. Moving away from the crowd to avoid further damage, he made his way to the presently emptier side of the boat. His back to the water, he leaned against the railing and lazily watched the excited screaming of the more enthusiastic ones up front.
He combed his hair with his fingers and sighed. He gave up long ago trying to keep his hood intact. Honestly, he was glad they didn't fit in the upper deck. If he was as soaked as he was now… how much wetter would he have been out in the open? He shut his eyes, letting the spray cool him. He threw his head back and listened to the thundering sounds of the Falls—indeed, it was fittingly called the Home of the Thunder God. It was quite an intoxicating sound; powerful, strong… He liked it. Sasuke had to admit, he had a sort of fetish for strength.
Sasuke's eyebrows furrowed as he became aware of a different sound, invading that of the Falls'.
He popped open an eye to spot another tour boat just leaving the Horseshoe area. Taking note of the direction the boat was going, he idly concluded that it was probably from the American fleet. He was about to let his lids fall again, when something caught his eye. Leaning out, he squinted. Yup… he could see it. A blond boy, probably around his age, was leaning against the rail… rather dangerously. He smirked. The idiot. What was he trying to do anyway? He looked like a seven-year-old, fascinated with the waves or something. If he continued leaning forward like that he was going to—
Sasuke paled as he watched the blond idiot fall into the water. The sounds of the boats and the Falls drowned out the sound of what should have been a relatively loud splash. Sasuke looked around. His side of the boat was empty, much like the blond's… no one else had seen him fall over board.
"Oh shit," Sasuke cursed. "You've got to be kidding me."
He watched, frantically praying that the blond would resurface… surely he was some Olympic-level swimmer… or something.
He watched… and watched… and…
Sasuke considered his options. He could just walk away right now… not care. He was a complete stranger, after all… And he didn't know if finding one of the guides on the boat was a good idea—did any of them actually know how to swim?—besides, what would he tell them? He looked across the water again.
He could always just wait till he got to shore… tell one of the guards then. Sasuke saw a small hand surface, and sink back down. Dammit… if he waited till he got to shore, he didn't think the idiot would survive. He wasn't surfacing. At all.
Sasuke looked around and gave up trying to get someone's attention. They were nearing the Horseshoe area now and the sound of the Falls was overwhelming. Damning life, his cursed luck and freaking conscience, he took off his shoes and socks, hoping that at least Neji would notice them, and skillfully dived head first into the water.
Thank the lords he was the school's swimming team ace.
He cursed when he swallowed a mouthful of toilet flush water (not that he'd ever tasted it). Stupid. He hadn't been prepared for the pressure diving so near the Falls would bring. He struggled for a bit, and kicked hard to get deeper. When he finally regained control, he looked around, trying hard to prevent his chest from exploding. His eyes stung like a bitch.
Then, he spotted it. Orange. He thanked whoever it was who possessed the boy to wear such bright and completely ridiculous clothing. Kicking hard, he swam towards the blond, lungs burning. The idiot had already passed out and was sinking. Quickly. By the time he reached him, he wasn't sure how much longer his lungs were going to hold out.
He could feel the pressure building with every stroke he made.
He grabbed the unconscious boy from behind, using for the first time ever his life-guard training.
A few painful seconds—seconds which felt like years to Sasuke—later, he broke the surface of the water and panted for air. Looking around, he knew he was nearer to the Falls than it was safe; he was barely able to keep afloat with the white foam all around him. Then, it came crashing down on him that no one could possibly see them except from above… and from that angle—he looked up—they were just tiny dots. Panic soon formed in his gut. And the fact that his boat was about five zillion yards away did not help.
Just to his right, he spotted a small opening.
He needed somewhere to deposit his load—he looked down at the unconscious blond—or he would seriously sink and drown with the idiot. One too many minutes later, he had managed to push the boy up into the entrance—god dammit, he was frigging heavy—and had hoisted himself up as well, with much less difficulty. He looked around.
For reasons unknown to him, in here seemed a lot wetter than out there.
He looked at the blond. But, now was not the time to think about such things. He dragged the boy—now about ten million times heavier than he was in the water—further into the cave and away from the water. Much to his dismay, said boy was not rousing.
Sasuke pressed his ear onto the boy's chest.
The boy was not breathing.
"Shit," he whispered. This was not good.
He shook the boy's shoulders, and slapped his face. No reaction.
Sasuke, once again, considered his options. Well, at least he's not… ugly. He sighed.
To say that he regretted his form of action was akin to saying that the creation of the universe was a very small deal.
Naruto was vaguely aware of something warm above him.
The water was gone—the painful, hard… heavy water was gone.
Suddenly, he felt something against his lips. He furrowed his eyebrows—it tasted like… well… he wasn't so sure. It tasted almost like nothing, really… but at the same time, it tasted like… something. But what was it? And what was it do—
Naruto opened an eye and nearly died when he saw a black-haired boy leaning into him, eyes closed, hands on his chest.
He did what instinct dictated and that was to plant a nice punch into the bastard's right cheek.
"Fuck!" he heard the bastard curse as Naruto's punch sent him careening away from him.
"Help!" Naruto screamed, forgetting that he sounded embarrassingly weak. "I'm being molested! Help!"
Naruto jumped up from his uncomfortable position on the ground and raised his guard, like a boxer. He watched as the boy massaged his cheek, leaning against a rocky wall and looked at him with daggers in his eyes.
"You're alive," the black-haired boy said. "Good. Now I can kill you."
Naruto panicked. The boy did not look weak. He was pretty sure he could handle him but… he looked around.
"Where the fuck is this!"
It was wet, damp and absolutely disgusting. The stench of the Falls was magnified ten times inside this cramp, rocky… cave! Naruto's jaw dropped as he looked out what appeared to be the only entrance (and therefore, only exit). Then, realization slowly dawned on him.
He looked at the bastard again.
"I—" he remembered swallowing a shit-load of water, "You—Did you save me?"
The other boy stood up, and glared at him. "Way to go, genius."
He was a lot stupider than he initially thought. Sure, he knew someone had to be pretty idiotic to actually fall off a boat like this one did… but this…? This was ridiculous, that's what this was.
He sat down, cross-legged and ignored the blond who was looking around like a lost rabbit. Touching his face, he moaned. God, that's gonna hurt tomorrow morning. He didn't deserve this. Uchiha Sasuke was a good person, wasn't he? He didn't deserve this punishment.
Suddenly, he noticed motion above him. Looking up, he saw the blond sticking his arm out.
"I'm, uhm," he said, "sorry… about that…"
Sasuke stared at the hand.
"And, uh, thanks…"
Sasuke looked him in the eye, and pointedly looked away. What did he get for risking his life to save this idiot—something he still didn't quite understand—what? A bloody punch, that's what. And he had the nerve to say, "Oops, I'm sorry…"
Of all the impertinent and…
… insolent and idiotic…
"Hey, teme," Sasuke looked up to see a glaring blond. What, now, he was mad? "I said: I'm sorry."
Sasuke rolled his eyes. "It's pretty obvious I'm ignoring you, dobe."
"What did you call me!"
"Oh, you're deaf too?"
Sasuke had to smirk. The guy was practically growing fangs in his anger. Great… he had anger management issues too. Sasuke sighed as he tried to figure out what possessed him to do something as stupid as this. It wasn't exactly like him.
"I'm trying to talk to you, teme!"
Sasuke rubbed his temple.
"Seriously, you're over-using the word. Can't you think of anything more creative than 'teme', usuratonkachi?"
The blond grabbed him by the collar, murder in his eyes. He raised an eyebrow, as if to mock him. Sasuke wasn't afraid of picking a fight with the idiot… regardless of the fact that he was still exhausted from the swim. But, like hell would he let the blond find that out. Suddenly, the blond let go of him—after causing considerable pain in Sasuke's neck area—and stalked off to the other side of the cave… which wasn't much really considering how tiny the place was.
So what he had saved him? Did the bastard have the right to act so god damn high-and-mighty? It was an accident. A reflex… How was he supposed to know he was giving him CPR? Seriously?
Naruto sighed as he sat down a few feet away from the black-haired stranger. His first kiss… gone. Taken cruelly—forget the fact it had saved his life—by a complete stranger who was… a guy. Naruto held back a moan of pain. A guy. He felt like crying.
Or puking. Either one.
It was kind of depressing actually; he'd always imagined his first kiss to be, like, with Sakura… or something. He'd always pictured it. A beach… the cooling sunset, wine, birds singing (and not squawking) in the horizon… the rays reflecting on Sakura's beautiful and flawless skin, as well as accenting her magnificent hair… her goddess-like body leaning against his as they watched boats sail away in the distance… a slug crawling along the slender stem of a rose…
Wait… say what?
Naruto shook his head. It was probably the water still gurgling inside him. Oh god… he didn't want to imagine what else he'd swallowed… like a slug crawling against… where was the toilet bowl when you needed one, freaking hell!
He looked outside again, a feeling of dread entering his stomach as he watched the darkening sky darken even further. The little light they had to begin with was slowly disappearing and making way to darkness… and he didn't think that was a good thing. They needed to get out of here. His hands flew to his shoulders. They were gonna freeze.
Oh how Naruto wanted to go home.
Sasuke sighed as he looked at the mess his phone was. Of course, it wasn't water-proof. He hadn't counted on jumping into lakes and rivers or waterfalls when he bought it. So, scratch the idea of calling for help. They just had to rely on someone from either of their parties to notice they were missing and hopefully not leave without them.
He wasn't so sure Gaara would care much… but he hoped at least Hinata, Neji's cousin, would.
Sasuke held the edge of his shirt and tried to wring it dry. Of course, he didn't succeed. Damn. The adrenaline rush was finally fading and the fact that the water was pretty damn cold and icy was starting to sink in.
Looking to his right, he saw the dobe shivering. He sighed.
"You should take at least your shirt off," he said matter-of-factly, taking his own off.
"What did you—"
Naruto stared as the black-haired boy took his shirt off.
"Argh!" he jumped. "What the fuck are you doing!"
The bastard looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "Taking my shirt off?"
"Because… it's… wet…?"
"Look," he said, gulping. Shit, those are nice pecs. "I already have someone I like, so…"
Sasuke looked at him disbelievingly. "What?"
The idiot was looking at him with suspicion—yeah, that's right suspicion—in his eyes.
"I said," the blond gulped, "I already have someone I like, so, I can't, like—"
Sasuke's eyes grew wide.
"Besides, I don't swing that way so—"
"Wait," he interrupted. "What in the hell are you talking about?"
The blond paused and scratched the back of his head.
"I'm saying," Sasuke could taste the awkwardness in the air. "I'm not gay… so…"
Sasuke almost laughed.
Naruto jumped back a step—it was a reflex—when the black-haired stranger stood up. He had to admit, the guy really did keep in shape. Probably an athlete… and considering the debt he owed him, a swimmer. Naruto was an athlete himself, so he'd spent a fair amount of time in the weight room… however; those were some pretty damn strong-looking shoulders.
And the muscles along those arms… They weren't big or obstructive, if anything, his arms looked small and wiry. But, they were very obviously well-built. A hidden sort of strength.
Okay, originally, Naruto figured he would be able to defend himself if the psycho did anything… but, he gulped… he didn't expect the guy to be this strong. When he'd grabbed him earlier, he could've slugged him, but it wouldn't have felt right. He could feel his uneven breathing, like the guy had just finished running five miles or something.
That reminded Naruto where he was and why he was still alive.
Then again, no… what was he talking about? Of course he would be able to defeat him (if the time came and he decided to do the nasty)… he's Uzumaki Naruto for crying out loud—seventeen-year-old soon-to-be American amateur kickboxing champion. And this guy? What was he? A swimmer? Pfft…
"Hate to break it to you," the black-haired boy said, looking for a place to hang his black navy blue shirt up, "but, you're not my type."
Naruto's mind went on a reeling stop.
Wait… not his type? What?
What was he—
Oh my god! Not even a gay guy was interested in him! No wonder Sakura wouldn't look twice at him! Naruto realized his impending doom… if he couldn't even get this pervert interested or the least bit attracted to him, what hope did he have in the future of winning girls? His love life—did he even have on to begin with?—was over! (Before it even began!)
So, the idiot was retarded too.
Sasuke gave up trying to find someplace to dry his wet shirt. Damn, it's getting cold. He could not believe he'd be spending the next while—and judging with how quickly it was darkening outside, the whole night—with an idiotic retard who had gender issues among a numerous other things.
No, I am not interested in you… No, you are not my type… You want to know why?
"Hey," the blond insisted. "Why not?"
Because I'm straight, idiot.
Instead of replying, however, Sasuke merely chose to smirk. The idiot was probably torn, confused… probably in that stage where people try to figure out whether they're straight or gay… or something like that; a stage Sasuke cleared when he was eight.
Besides, even if I were gay, I wouldn't do anything to someone like you.
Not that the idiot wasn't good-looking or anything. He had to admit, he had his own charm… a cute, sort of idiotic charm. He was saying this as a completely objective judge, of course. He wasn't ignorant; he knew what was considered good-looking and what was not. For example, he knew he was relatively handsome—not that he actually cared, he was no narcissist, thank you—and he knew that was why a boat-load of girls would flirt with him constantly. Regardless of the fact that he was Asian.
Therefore, he knew for a fact that other girls would certainly be attracted to this usuratonkachi, regardless of his stupidity. Someone like… Hinata… for example, would definitely find him interesting.
Maybe Gaara, too.
But really, he was such a stupid idiot… a stupidiot.
Naruto glared. God, it was cold. The bastard was chuckling menacingly to himself now. What was he thinking? And, seriously, what was not attractive about him? I wasn't fair. Things never went his way.
Not that he'd wanted to be raped or something.
That wasn't the point.
The point was that no one loved him. It was kind of depressing.
He sat down on the wet ground and shivered. The bastard was probably right, too—great, a smartass—he could feel his soaked shirt sticking to his skin and every time a gust of wind from the Falls entered the small cave, it chilled him to the bone. But, like hell would he take his shirt off in front of a gay pervert… regardless of the fact that he wasn't interested in him (here, Naruto sniffled)… he knew real gay perverts… and really, Kiba was kind of scary whenever he was horny.
Of course, he had Shino for that… but still.
Naruto yawned. He was getting kind of tired.
"You better not sleep with that shirt on," he heard the bastard say. Naruto looked at him. "You'll die."
Naruto tried wringing his shirt dry. "No, seriously," the bastard continued. "You will." Argh… smartass.
Naruto watched as the black-haired boy used his shirt as a cushion and settled himself down on a flat—if you can even call it that, this cave thing wasn't exactly the best place to take a nap—surface of rock.
"What are you—"
"Obviously we won't be able to have a coherent conversation." Naruto could've sworn he had just been dissed.
"And I cannot contact civilization at the moment; and considering how dark it is outside, the place is probably closed. We won't hear anything from anyone until tomorrow…"
"So, what should I—"
"Try to shut up and get some sleep. I'm tired from lugging your fat ass around, and—"
"Teme, what did you say!" What was it with the bastard, why was he always picking on him, god dammit!
Why was he always making those cheap shots? Maybe because the blond's reactions were all so predictable and deliciously amusing. Ah well… after tomorrow, he'd never hear from the blond again, so it mattered not what he thought of him.
Though, he had to admit… verbally sparring like this—regardless of how victory was so one-sided—felt strangely familiar.
"Okay, look, dobe," he said, impatiently, "I'm gonna try and get some sleep… you… shut up. Okay?"
And with that, Sasuke tried his best to find a comfortable position, a feat which was near impossible and incredibly difficult.
"O-oi! Teme!" Naruto thought about getting up and shaking him. The guy just kept insulting him, honestly. But… Naruto knew he was probably exhausted. He hated to say this… but… he did owe the bastard his life. He watched the black-haired boy, his back turned against him, breathe.
He wasn't so sure he'd be able to get any sleep tonight. It was wet, damp, humid, soggy… wait, no… those all meant the same thing…
He lay down on a pointy rock and cursed. What the fucking hell… Ah well, at least he was alive, right? Besides, no matter how much of a bastard the bastard was… he was at least a decent guy.
Naruto could forgive the fact that he was gay…
No matter how scary it was.
"Anno ne, anno ne," an annoying voice interrupted the beautiful silence of the night. "Are you awake?"
Sasuke cursed. "I am now."
What was this? Daycare? He suddenly felt as if he was caring for a five-year-old. Good heavens.
"I have a question," continued the irritating voice, apparently not sensing the homicidal quality of his tone.
Sasuke didn't respond.
"Uhm," the annoying voice persisted. Sasuke moaned. Somewhere in his half-asleep mind he registered the thoughts, Must Kill Him… Must Kill Him… "What's it like being gay?"
That jerked Sasuke awake. "Wh-what!"
"I said," the idiotic voice said, slightly louder, "what's it like being gay? Like, being attracted to other guys and stuff…"
Sasuke's eyes were wide open, staring at the blackness above him. He could not believe he was having this conversation.
"I'm not gay, dammit," he said irritably. Leave him alone now, please.
There was a pause. "You… aren't?"
Sasuke sighed impatiently.
"Are you in denial or something?"
Sasuke wanted to slam his head against a rock. The blond's… not his.
"No, I'm not."
"Oh," the voice said, something resembling realization entering its tone, "so… you're bi?"
Sasuke gave up.
"Yeah, yeah," he said, turning over to his side wishing the annoying voice be gone. "That's it. I'm bisexual. Now, sleep."
"So," Argh… the voice wasn't stopping. "How'd you figure it out?"
"Figure what out?" Sasuke sighed.
"That you were into both guys and girls."
"I said," the blond insisted, probably thinking Sasuke hadn't heard him… the thought that Sasuke was ignoring him probably not entering that miniscule brain of his. "How did you—"
"I flipped a coin."
The voice wasn't saying anything… Sasuke sighed on the inside.
Ahh… finally… peace…
Sasuke knocked his head against the wall.