Maid of the Mist – A Trip to Niagara Falls
a SasuNaruSasu Short

Disclaimers:
Naruto characters belong to Kishimoto-sensei. StarCraft (and everything related to it) belongs to Blizzard Entertainment. Just in case you were wondering, StarCraft is a kickass—albeit, now a bit old—RTS (real-time strategy) game. You know WarCraft? Well, it's the same thing, only futuristic and it takes place in outer space. If you don't know WarCraft… forget it. Seriously.

OoO

Naruto heard a strange cracking sound, but ignored it.

Flipped a coin, huh? He didn't think that actually worked… So… what…? Heads, and he's gay; tails, and he's straight… and when he flipped it, it landed standing up? (Was that even possible?)

Interesting…

Naruto sighed. He was cold. He, being the stubborn—no, strong-willed—person that he was, still hadn't taken his shirt off.

He didn't know why, it just didn't feel right. He didn't really think there was an actual reason.

All he knew was that now… he was… cold. Really, really cold.

And because of that, a strange instinct told him not to fall asleep. He felt like it would be a bad thing if he fell asleep… falling asleep when he was this cold couldn't possibly be a good thing because… because… well… because…

Naruto yawned.

The bastard stopped talking again. Fine, he'll just keep himself company. He'll just… talk… to…

Uh… what was he saying?

But, see, he was so tired… so tired. It'd been a long day after all.

And, besides, it'd taken him ages to finally defeat Shikamaru in… uh… that game… thing…

… at that place where there were a lot of… game…

… thingies…

And, really, he was such a bastard, that… bastard. Wasn't he?

He was.

Why did he always have to, like, uh… pick on him…

He reminded him of that… that… person… who… always did the same—

Ooh… was that a slug?

A slug crawling along the slender stem of a rose

He liked slugs… that Naruto did.

Maybe.

What do you mean Zergs are cheap!

I mean exactly that, dobe

Sasuke woke up again, this time to the sound of someone pathetically shivering. It took a while for his mind to return from the sweet depths of oblivion enough so he could think straight.

Shivering and teeth-chattering meant… what, again?

Oh right. It meant that someone was cold. He wasn't shivering… so the only other person that was—

"Shit," he sat straight up, afraid of finding what he was pretty sure he would find. Turning to his right, his face paled.

"I told you to take the fucking shirt off, dobe!"

Sasuke crawled over to the idiotic blond. A once-over was enough to tell Sasuke the stupidiot was freezing, probably close to hypothermia. And, the idiot had fallen asleep. Was there another word for idiot, god dammit?

He tried to shake the blond awake, but nothing succeeded. Neither did slapping or rock-throwing.

Sasuke sighed and considered his options.

Was he going to regret doing what he figured was the only thing he could do?

However… if the idiot died on him now… what would have been the whole point of jumping off Maid of the Mist No. 4 to rescue said idiot? He looked down at the blond whose lips were turning a disturbing shade of blue and who was pitifully shaking like a leaf. (Did leaves actually "shake"? It's actually a rather interesting expression, if one thought about it… not that now was the time to be thinking of such things.)

The idiot was going to die.

Sasuke reached out and held the edge of the blond's shirt. Since he was trying to wake the idiot up, he didn't bother being careful when pulled it over his head. Hmm… nice pecs. The guy apparently kept in shape. A hand touched the strong chest and Sasuke's heart involuntarily leapt to his throat. It was as cold as ice. That, and the blond's heartbeat was steadily getting slower and slower.

He sighed once again. The idiot was getting to be a lot more troublesome than he was worth.

Which was nothing.

Anyway…first, he had to warm him up. Somehow.

Sasuke had a foreboding feeling that he was going to regret this…

Really, what had he ever done to deserve such… such… whatever it was…?

But he was going to do it, wasn't he?

Damn you, stupid conscience. Why are you always around when you're not needed? (And conveniently missing when you are?)

He gingerly lifted the blond and forced him to sit up. Sasuke heard some nonsensical mumbling coming from the idiot… but that was all. He positioned himself behind him and let the blond lean on his back, hoping that his body warmth would be somehow enough. It took a lot of willpower not to jump away from the iciness that made contact with his skin.

Shit, he was cold.

The blond's back was really, very cold. Too cold.

It was so cold… so… cold…

Naruto was teetering along that gray space—the space between consciousness and unconsciousness… he wasn't thinking straight and he couldn't move, but he was conscious enough to feel cold. That place sucked… he usually experienced it those three seconds when his opponent socked him one and he fell to the ground. Usually, he jumped right back up… but this, this one was different.

His entire body felt heavy. He was so sleepy; his eyelids wouldn't even open no matter how much he willed them to. He was so tired… and so cold… he couldn't move. He wanted to and didn't want to at the same time.

Slugs…

His life started flashing before his eyes, regardless of the fact that he saw nothing but black.

Terran—that's the race men use. Zergs are easily manipulated and utilized. Cheap.

And, what? The Terrans are more complicated? Wouldn't that make them more… uh… not practical!

You mean impractical?

Hmm… funny… why was he recalling that conversation with—

Suddenly, he started feeling something. Something that felt vaguely familiar… something like…

Warmth.

Warm? Somewhere in Naruto's lead-heavy brain, he knew that "warmth" equaled "good" in the situation he was in; and so, his body acted on what was only natural… and that was to reach for that warm something behind him…

Sasuke nearly jumped when he felt the dobe stir. For one fruitless moment, he thought the blond had come to… then he realized his mistake. Oh how cruel reality was.

Goose bumps crawled along his skin as the idiot turned around, engulfing him in an embrace of sorts, apparently (instinctively) seeking more warmth. A coarse and callused hand rested on his bare chest and Sasuke gulped.

If he were completely honest, Sasuke wasn't exactly the kind of person who totally adored physical contact of any sort—other than, you know, that undeniably nice feeling the breaking of bone brought when someone deserved a nice good kick in the nose—in fact, it would be safe to say that… well… he… despised being touched.

No, he did not have a phobia.

He had gone out with a couple of girls here and there (he was actually pretty popular at school), and he wasn't, to say the least, a virgin. But he preferred to keep physical contact to a bare minimum… particularly with guys who had sexuality issues.

Not that… he was homophobic… or anything.

And so, the way he was being held right now—well, let's just say it wasn't exactly a familiar sensation. And gosh, was he cold. It took all of Sasuke's willpower and energy not to shrink away from the icy (yet indisputably muscular) chest that now pressed against his bare back.

The Uchiha gasped when the blond's grip suddenly tightened, bringing the two of them closer together, with the idiot's face resting on the nape of Sasuke's neck. He could feel the idiot's steady, yet laboured, breathing; every time it brushed against his skin, his hair would stand on end. Sasuke gulped. He… did not like this… not one bit.

"O-oi," he ventured, "d-dobe. You alive?"

He heard a mumble that sounded remotely like Hmm… warm…

Sasuke sighed. Would he be forced to stay like this the whole night? The idiot had an iron grip.

Suddenly, he felt something wet pressing against his back. It was then that he realized the blond had crawled to his knees to get a better angle—the really strange thing was that, well, the blond was still unconscious. Looking down, he realized his own pants were soaked and the only reason he'd stopped noticing that was because his legs were numb with cold. He knew he probably should do something to remedy the situation… but… he couldn't exactly move with the way the blond was clinging on to him—and breathing on him, among other things—for dear life. Then again, he couldn't exactly let the idiot do as he pleased—

When the blond's hands started wandering, he decided that he really needed to do something about their current position.

He was not going to get felt up by an unconscious idiot, heck no.

Especially one who wasn't sure if he was gay or not.

Sasuke turned around and wondered if the blond's legs were as numb as his… the blond probably had it worse since he'd been freezing a better part of the evening. He sighed and cursed his good nature.

He roughly freed his arms from the blond's grip—not without a little difficultly and vainly hoping he would wake up—and unzipped his soaked jeans, sliding them off his numb legs. Turning around, he held the blond so he wouldn't hit his head on the hard, rocky ground—though, admittedly, that would have felt really nice to do—and used his right hand to do the same to him. He tossed the idiot's jeans next to his and looping his elbows under the blond's armpits, Sasuke maneuvered the blond and himself so that the idiot was leaning his back against Sasuke's chest and his head was resting on his right shoulder; no more breathing against his neck and definitely no more touching. He almost breathed a sigh of relief.

Sasuke's hands rested on the ground behind him to help him balance against the weight that was now against him—a weight he wasn't familiar with, and he tentatively rubbed his legs against the blond's icy cold ones, hoping the friction would bring some warmth… to both parties. His ministrations were not in vain, and eventually even Sasuke could feel the benefits of sharing body warmth with the blond. The idiot wasn't so icy anymore, at least… and this was the best he could do with the lack of blankets.

I'm telling you, man, Zergs are so totally the way to go.

You're only saying that because you're stupiddobe

Naruto's consciousness slowly returned from hovering between the void, and with it came his senses. His eyes blinked open—he could see darkness, absolute darkness. Then, he could smell the putrid scent of the cave—ah, right. He was in a cave—and hear the raging sound of the undying falls… and feel… a steady heartbeat—his?—beating against… his back?—Nope, not his… wait a minute. Naruto blinked into the night again. Huh?

After a while, he realized he could smell something else as well—something… different. And he heard something else, too… the sound of someone breathing… someone nearby. As in, right against his left ear.

His eyes eventually adjusted to the darkness and he realized that he wasn't alone.

He paled when he looked down and discovered his state of undress… and the fact that his legs were currently tangled up with someone else's. He gulped, afraid of what he would find if he turned his head. He was leaning on something warm and a little too soft to be rock, and he wasn't entirely sure he wanted to know what it was.

Hey! Isn't that… uh… rebundant… or something?

It's redundantusuratonkachi. Didn't think you'd notice.

Sasuke woke when the idiot suddenly moved. It was a slight movement, barely noticeable… but still a movement. In his currently rather embarrassing position, every slight movement made by the blond—from his originally laboured breathing, to suddenly erratic heartbeat—was noticeable.

Sasuke chose not to move, well aware of what must be going though the idiot's (perverted) mind right about now…

Admittedly, the whole thing was a little awkward, to say the least. But it was for survival, for heaven's sake. Survival.

If the stupidiot began thinking indecent thoughts and started being all—

He felt the blond fidget. Sasuke sighed.

Oh dear, it was going to be a long night.

"Wh-what did you do to me?" was all Naruto could say. In fact, it was really a mere whisper.

Uzumaki Naruto, for the very first time in his life, was terrified.

He felt the black-haired boy sigh again.

"What do you mean, what?"

"You know exactly what I'm talking about," Naruto retorted, starting to get mad, "you pervert."

He felt the other boy chuckle, "You're the only one around here who's thinking… anything."

Naruto felt himself blush. Well, it was a blush as far as men go.

And Naruto was a man, and this boy was a man. And… really… the position they were in… it was just not normal for men.

"Who's the real pervert?"

Naruto really wanted to sock the bastard one.

Yup, Sasuke knew it.

The idiot was thinking dirty thoughts already. It was almost ridiculous really.

He sighed. It was going to be a long, long night.

Naruto tried to wring himself free. To say he was freaked out, was… well… an understatement beyond understatements.

"Stop moving, dobe," the black-haired boy hissed, his breath touching his skin and making his heart race—why, Naruto wasn't sure. He figured it was due to anger and complete resentment. Yeah, that must be it. "And really, try to get some sleep."

Sasuke would be lying to himself if he said he would be able to sleep in the position he was in.

But, hell… he wasn't about to let the boy go. He was too warm.

"Don't… do anything… to me…" was what the blond said.

"Like," the black-haired boy scoffed, "I'm interested in someone like you?"

Naruto cursed, fighting back his growing blush and hating himself for wanting to stay spooned to the bastard like he was now.

He had to admit, though he detested the fact.

It was rather warm.

But like hell was he ever going to fall asleep.

Like… hell was he… going to—

OoO

"Naruto!"

Someone was calling his name.

"Oh my god!" it wasn't stopping—leave him alone… he was sleepy!—"Naruto! Wake up!"

Naruto slowly became aware of someone shaking him awake.

Won't be online for a while, dobe. Go bother someone else while I'm gone.

"Sa-Sasuke!"

Naruto sat up, eyes wide, breathing hard. What… the…

"Oh!" Sakura embraced him, tears in her eyes. "Naruto! We were so worried about you! When you suddenly vanished yesterday and when you weren't at the hotel… we didn't know what to do!"

"Sa-Sakura?"

Ino, who was standing nearby, next to Shikamaru, regarded Naruto. "Sasuke? Was that his name?"

Naruto blinked. "Who?"

"The guy who saved you, of course."

"What?"

Shikamaru stared. "Don't tell me you don't even know his name. Not that Ino has to even know—she has no pure intentions. But you, at the very least, could thank him for saving your life."

Naruto blinked. Saved his li—

And it all came rushing back… the black-haired boy… the…

Naruto gasped.

"Naruto!" Sakura looked concerned. "Are you okay? You're all red! Oh my god! What if you have a fever! I can't believe you slept in your wet clothes!" As expected from an intern at the local hospital.

He looked down, still blushing, only to be completely surprised to find that he was fully clothed; a state in which he did not have any memory of being in…

"Ha!" Ino was saying, though Naruto wasn't really paying attention—he had other things rushing through his head. "I don't have pure intentions? How about Sakura's blatant flirting with that lifeguard person?"

"Kakashi and I were just talking, seriously, Ino."

"Kakashi? First name basis already?"

"He's too old for me."

"You were doing enough flirting on your own, Ino," Shikamaru interjected. "Was it really difficult to tell that the black-haired guy was uninterested?"

"Pfft," Ino huffed. "At least I didn't flirt with someone who could possibly be old enough to be my father. Did you see all that white hair, for crying out loud!"

"I think he just dyed it," Sakura pointed out.

"That's still gross."

"He's better than that fuzzy-eyebrowed dude from that Canadian's group, though," Kiba said, walking over to the group, Shino right behind. Looking at Naruto, he raised an eyebrow. "You still alive there, foxy?"

Naruto looked up. "Canadian?"

Kiba laughed. "Yeah, that surly, black-haired guy—"

"—the guy who saved your life, and the guy Ino couldn't seem to stop ogling," Shikamaru completed Kiba's sentence.

"You're one to talk," Ino seemed to have had it. "The way you and that blonde were going at it… it almost felt like there was chemistry. God forbid."

"Temari is too troublesome of a woman for me, Ino."

"Ah," she said, looking irritated. "You're only going out with me because I'm less 'troublesome'?"

Naruto ignored the two squabbling lovers and turned his attention towards Kiba. "That Canadian guy… where is he?"

Kiba blinked. "You don't know his name?"

Naruto looked away, "No."

"Damn," Kiba laughed. "I wanted to ask him for his name to thank him, but figured I might as well ask you… since… you know… the guy looked pretty anal."

Naruto ignored Kiba's choice of words.

"Where is he?" He needed to talk to him. Naruto wanted to talk to him.

"Gone, of course."

Naruto blinked. He suddenly didn't feel very good.

After looking at Naruto for a few moments, Shino pointed across the lake. "He lives over there, Naruto."

OoO

Whatever, dude. I'm going away for the weekend too anyway.

Uchiha Sasuke was tired. Exhausted, even.

It had been a long weekend… a very long one, and indeed, he was glad for the summer holidays. At least now, the moment he got home, he'd be free to collapse on his warm and comfortable bed and sleep the hours away…

… hoping beyond hope that he didn't dream or remember anything… indecent.

Sasuke sighed as he continued his lonely drive along Highway 401.

He'd just finished dropping off the rest of his friends, and the carpool was broken up… each one returning to their own lives. Sasuke returning to his.

He just wanted to go home and forget about everything that happened that weekend.

Everything.

In any case, one truth he was more than well aware of was the fact that he hadn't slept (at least, not much) for the past 48 hours and driving around right now was actually a very dangerous feat considering how droopy his eyes were getting.

The Uchiha sighed. That morning had been hell. As in, quite literally. He was willing to bet his pretty little Porsche that if he were to die right now and go to hell, he'd be reliving that morning for all eternity… and he was suddenly really glad to be alive.

In fact, he had never appreciated life more than he did just then.

Naturally he hadn't managed to fall asleep after… uh, that little experience. The blond had, though. And admittedly, Sasuke couldn't blame him. The blond was the one who suffered the most—

—regardless of the fact that he had been a complete and utter idiot who was more annoying than Lee picking a fight every five seconds.

Sasuke sighed.

Anyway, that morning, as soon as light started peeking from under the horizon, he had taken the sleeping blond (who slept like a bloody log) and dressed him, after failing to wake him.

Seriously, if they were going to get rescued, like hell would Sasuke allow anyone to see either of them in such a state of undress (not that anyone would think anything had happened—after all, Sasuke was the straightest guy around); it was just a little too… embarrassing. And awkward.

But man, the dobe was freaking heavy.

And it felt just a little weird to be dressing him.

For some strange unknown reason, he couldn't help but be gentle. It felt like something would've broken if he'd woken the blond suddenly and given him a fright.

Ah, of course.

The peace.

Anyway, he hadn't felt like jumping out into the water again and so he waited near the entrance of the cave for someone, anyone, to come around. Needless to say, the sound of an approaching motorboat was really more than very welcome to the Uchiha. However, the fact that said motorboat would include people other than Hyuuga Neji and his cousin, was something he hadn't counted on.

That Yamanaka-whatever-it-was girl was rather extremely annoying; the way she'd twirl her long pale blonde hair around? What was she? In some sort of shampoo commercial?

And he found the fact that Hinata seemed a little too concerned about his blond charge just a little too much. Neji looked like he minded just a little too. Unfortunately, Hinata didn't seem to notice.

And when he thought the night before that Gaara would be interested… he was really actually half-joking…

The night before… Sasuke involuntarily shuddered.

The Night Before was something he didn't exactly want to think about.

Sort of.

OoO

Naruto stared at the blue sky in Shikamaru's car as the four of them (Ino, Sakura, Shikamaru and himself) drove home. The two lovers were up front, Ino doing her usual nagging. Though it may not really seem like it on the outside, the two of them were actually pretty close and very much in love.

The fact alone that Shikamaru was going out with anyone was proof enough that he cared very deeply for the dominating blonde. Naturally, of course, it had been Ino who had initiated the relationship… but really, that was unimportant.

Sighing, he concentrated his attentions towards the sleeping pink-haired girl beside him. Sakura had fallen into a light sleep and was leaning on his right shoulder.

Now, usually, Naruto's lower stomach would be doing summersaults by now… but… strangely enough… it wasn't.

Naruto couldn't exactly pinpoint what it was, but something definitely changed inside him. Thing was, he wasn't sure of anything anymore. Like, he wasn't sure why he desperately wanted to talk to Him. To ask Him, what in the fucking hell happened.

And how in the hell did he manage to fall asleep in that position!

After all, it wasn't… all that… comfortable… sleeping next to, or rather on… Naruto sighed in frustration.

He wasn't so sure why he didn't feel disgusted with himself either.

He wasn't so sure why he really, really felt like he wanted to punch that annoying grin off that bastard's face when, really, the bastard wasn't worth two seconds of his precious time.

He wasn't so sure why… why in the freaking god damn hell he was actually disappointed when he found out the guy lived in another country… another freaking time zone for all he knew, even.

And, he wasn't so sure why the bastard felt so… so… familiar.

In any case, all Naruto was sure of was that he wanted to go home, and he wanted to go home now.

He wanted to collapse on his orange bed and be dead to the world for the next couple of days…

You seriously talk too much, dobe. Do you not have any real friends? Leave me alone. You'll never know how I feel.

… and maybe go online.

There was someone he really had to talk to.

He didn't know why, but he felt as if an old online friend of his definitely had to hear this.

OoO

Sasuke turned his key and opened the door to his quiet apartment.

"Tadaima," he whispered to no one in particular, feeling a familiar pang when no one answered.

Dude, you talk as if you're the only one who lives alone. That hurts.

Sasuke wanted nothing more than to…

…than to…

Actually, Sasuke wasn't sure what he wanted to do.

Originally, he'd wanted to go to sleep, or rest, or something…

… but doing so would mean becoming idle for a few hours and thus submit his brain into being allowed to remember things it wasn't supposed to. He sighed. Something was definitely fucked up around here.

Walking to his room, he caught sight of the computer he'd left untouched for the past couple of days. Something resembling an idea hit him.

It's not like my family's around either.

Perhaps he could go online… and have an, admittedly, long-awaited chat with an online friend of his.

Sasuke chuckled.

Idly, he wondered what Naruto would say if he told him about this weekend's events. The guy would probably freak out. Sasuke was pretty sure he was a sort of homophobe, if the way he talked about his friends was any indication. And, though The Uchiha'd never actually seen the boy, he could pretty much imagine an oaf falling off his computer chair in shock.

It was a fairly amusing scene to imagine.

He wondered if he had blond hair just like—

Sasuke coughed, seating himself in front of his computer.

Naruto—or at least, that's what the idiot had told him his name was. Of course, no one can really be sure on the Internet anymore, can they?—was a person he met online. At a forum, actually. Sasuke's quite forgotten what it was exactly they had been discussing, but he remembered having a heated debate with the guy over the merits of Terrans and how Zergs were "definitely" much better.

The idiot wouldn't give up, no matter how wrong he was.

Then again, Sasuke had eventually come to know that that was the way he was—he'd known him for practically five years now after all… and he had to admit, he chatted with him quite a bit.

What could he say? Naruto was an interesting person.

He grinned evilly at no one in particular.

And he was a person who liked over-reacting.

Sasuke very nearly considered giving Naruto a blow-by-blow recap of what happened in that cave… (with a few added extras, of course)

… if only he weren't trying so hard to forget it.

But… he was pretty certain the boy's reaction would be beyond amusing.

OoO

Naruto sighed impatiently upon discovering that Sasuke, his online friend, was not online.

He didn't know why he was even looking for him.

Seriously. What was the point?

The guy did absolutely nothing but insult his intelligence… and for god's sake, Naruto wasn't that stupid. He could at least tell when someone was insulting him… most of the time.

Sort of.

So, why in the hell was he looking forward to talking to—

Naruto's heart skipped a beat—er, that was weird—when theAvenger­ went online.

OoO

Sasuke smiled to himself upon seeing the familiar screen name, na12uto, pop-up in greeting.

Maybe, just maybe, Sasuke should seriously consider freaking the boy out…

… Nah.

OoO

Oy! Sasuke!

Yo.

You won't believe what happened this weekend!

Owari!