Disclaimer - naruto belongs to someone else

By Keiji

The memory of, like another daydream, but now I've found
The ice is breaking, we're still here
your body is shaking
and it's clear

It's clear...

Naruto rubbed his foot against his leg nervously, biting his lip and looking at Sasuke from under his eyelashes. Sasuke was not looking back.

"Sasuke?" He asked nervously, resisting the urge to touch the boy, who would probably only whack him across the cafe room.

"Hn. What do you want, dobe."

"I uh..." Naruto paused and clenched his hand over his stomach under his jumper. A loud growl was emitted nonetheless. Naruto scrunched his face up and tried to stop his stomach from complaining from lack of food. This is when Sasuke would normally feed me. He shook his head. He shouldn't depend on Sasuke.

"Can we go... train...?" He asked quietly.

Sasuke took a sip of his coffee, not even bothering to look at the blonde. He gave a shrug. "Whatever," He mumbled, concentrating on whatever he was reading.

Naruto's stomach gave a loud growl again and the blonde winced. Part of him wanted to ask Sasuke to buy him some pancakes, but the request died in his throat. He felt slightly nauseous, and he was confused.

"Sasuke... was it something I said last night? That made you angry?"

Sasuke slammed his cup a little too hard on the table, shutting his eyes. Naruto's hand brushed his shoulder, making his eyes open and flicker up to glare at him.

"If you can't learn anything today, I'm afraid I'll have to change partners." He paused. Then he muttered for good measure, "...dobe."

Naruto took a step back, drooping slightly. He looked down at the floor. "S-sorry," He said quickly, feeling his eyes sting. He turned and tried to walk to the changing rooms, forcing himself not to run. He almost bumped into a table on the way, his eyesight becoming blurry.

Last night, Sasuke had just left without saying a word. It was almost as if it was all Naruto's fault, but he wasn't sure what he had done. Sasuke, the first person to acknowledge him, was now on the edge of leaving him because he was such a... dobe.

It pained Naruto to hear Sasuke say that.

He thought... that maybe they were becoming friends. Obviously, Naruto was trying to fool himself again. No one would want to make friends with him.


Naruto's breathing hitched as he gulped, looking up from the bench he was sitting on, hoping that it was Sasuke. Instead, he could just make out the rousled red hair and pale green eyes. It was Gaara. After realizing that it wasn't Sasuke, he immediately crumbled. He bit his lip and leaned down to his knee's again, letting his blond hair fall across his face in an attempt to hide his crying. It was useless as his body continued to shake.

Gaara frowned slightly, kneeling in front of Naruto and peeling away his hands, damp with tears.

"I..I... I'm useless... I-I've got to... I've got to tr-train..." He hiccupped between tears and gulps as Gaara wiped his cheeks dry. He took a few deep breaths, trying to stablize himself. He wiped his sore eyes and looked back at Gaara, looking a little more confident. "I won't give up," He managed to say, his voice still tremulous.

"If you need to talk..." Gaara offered.

Naruto shook his head. "It's just... it's just a little argument," He lied. God it wasn't even an argument. Why the hell am I crying.

He began to put his ice skates on, sniffing slightly every so often.

"Come. I'll help you ice skate," Gaara offered, his voice sounding firm. Naruto blinked at him, and with silent obediance he followed Gaara out onto the ice rink.

For a moment, he was slightly disorientated, his head dizzy from the sudden burst of tears before.

Gaara grabbed onto his arm, holding him steady.

"I'm fine," Naruto said, but allowed Gaara to keep holding on to his arm.

"For warm up, let's just do some simple excercises..." Gaara said, giving a small smile.

Naruto snorted. "Why can't we just get back to normal training?" He asked, his voice gaining it's confidence again, although his eyes were still a bit red.

"Even the proffessionals need to warm up," Gaara insisted, turning so that Naruto faced him. They each held onto each other's arms. Naruto grinned. "Skate. Backwards."

Naruto smiled quietly as Gaara began to push him backwards. It took a while for him to get used to skating backwards. It was an awesome feeling. Breathing slightly heavier, he looked up at Gaara, grinning.

"Turn," Gaara said, his voice barely audible. With a small hint of help, Naruto spun so that the back of his body was flush against Gaara's, their ice skates moving rythmically with each other. Naruto let out a small laugh.

"Don't let me crash!" He squealed slightly as Gaara manoevered them in a complex turn, spinning Naruto around again. A rush of adrenaline ran through Naruto's body.

"Alright," Gaara said, his voice next to Naruto's ear. "Trust me."

Sasuke had finished his coffee already, and Kakashi had already came and gone.

Distantly, he wondered what the dobe was doing. The dobe that so obliviously stabbed his feelings the other night without even noticing. The last Sasuke had seen him was when Naruto had rushed off to the changing room on the brink of tears.

Part of him wanted to follow, but the other part was telling him otherwise. He's just a partner. There isn't anything else to say.

Sasuke, satisfied with his resolute decision, decided to search for his partner. He supposed Naruto must've been hurt by his words earlier, but he concluded that he would just apologize to the blonde boy.

Said blonde boy just caught his eye.

Sasuke spun, looking at the ice rink as he frowned. He saw a blur of orange, and heard the distant ringing of... something he hadn't heard since he had taken Naruto as his partner. Naruto's laugh. His happy, pure laughter that rang with innocence.

He edged warily towards the ice rink. Then he saw Naruto. Naruto and that Gaara. Gaara had his arms entwined with Naruto's as they crossed the ice rink, gliding. Naruto gave another laugh as Gaara helped him do a complicated turn, then fall back into his arms.

Sasuke watched, noticing how Gaara's hand was on Naruto's front, pressing onto his stomach and bringing them closer together. Gaara leaned forward and his lips moved, making Naruto's eyes widen.

Sasuke gripped onto the banister of the ice rink, now glaring at the two skating across the rink.

Then Gaara turned Naruto around, gently pushing him into his next move... a jump. Naruto, although not the most elegant of ice skaters, suddenly showed a quality that Sasuke had not been able to find, despite after numerous training sessions. Naruto was... amazing. The way he so easily left the ice, giving a spin as he landed precisely on his left blade, gliding backwards. Although slightly shaky, it was clear he had the talent. Talent that Gaara brought out.

"Naruto," Sasuke whispered under his breath, glaring as Naruto yelled with happiness, gliding up to Gaara and engulfing him into a hug. Gaara's hand slowly moved and settled on the blonde's waist, a pleased smirk crossing his lips which failed to escape Sasuke's eyes.

"Naruto!" He said again, a little harsher and a little louder.

Naruto didn't seem to hear. He was still out on the middle of the ice rink, laughing and clinging onto Gaara, obviously delirious with happiness for doing his first jump.

Something inside Sasuke twinged, again. It was supposed to be him. Naruto was supposed to be hugging him...

He choked back the uncomfortable feeling rising in his throat and abruptly turned around. He went back into the changing rooms, opening his locker and slamming it closed again, the empty clanging of metal echoing around the hall. He went over to the bench and sat down, putting his ice skates on roughly.

"Mmm... Sasuke!" Naruto yelled, doing the best he could to run across the changing room's padded floors with ice skates. "Guess what! Guess what!"

Sasuke didn't even bother looking up, still tying his laces for his ice skates. "What, dobe," He whispered.

"I did my first jump today!" Naruto said happily. "I promise you I'll improve. Believe it!"

Sasuke finished tying his laces with a firm yank, lifting his gaze to Naruto. "I see..." He said slowly, trying to force out the words he wanted to say. That's brilliant Naruto! You were beautiful, it was great... I'm so glad for you...

Naruto nervously tapped the metal tip of his ice skates against the floor. "Humm... I just thought you'd be happy I'd improved a bit."

"Hn," Sasuke said, getting up and brushing past Naruto. "Well done," He managed to say. Naruto immediately perked up, grinning widely.

"I uh... wait..." Naruto caught back up with Sasuke, following him onto the ice rink.

"You still want to be my partner right," Sasuke asked, stopping at the edge of the ice rink, looking across the vast whiteness and not making eye contact with Naruto. He could sense Naruto stopping and looking up at him, a confused look in his blue eyes. Sasuke couldn't... couldn't let Naruto know he was jealous.

"Of course," He said, his voice becoming fainter.

"You don't want to change partners," Sasuke said, stating it as a fact now. He looked down.

"No," Naruto said quickly, sounding genuine, his voice disbelieving that Sasuke had actually said that. "You... you're one of my only friends. I mean..." Naruto shifted uneasily. "Kiba and Shino have each other, so I'm usually left out. And you were the first to acknowledge me... for me."

Sasuke shut his eyes. "Yeah... " He felt guilt seep through his words.

"Yeah," Naruto replied dumbly, scratching the back of his head. He gave a little huff. "You still haven't told me what I've done wrong."

Sasuke shrugged, opening his eyes again.

"Hey, don't you want to see my jump?" Naruto asked hopefully.

"Don't you want to go practise with... him," Sasuke said stiffly, turning back to walk to the changing rooms. He didn't feel like skating.

"But... wait Sasuke, stop!"

Sasuke halted abruptly, causing the blonde to bump onto his shoulder. Naruto stumbled a bit and gripped onto Sasuke's arm, trying not to trip.

"I... I wanted to practise with you," He said finally, in a quiet voice, a blush rapidly rising in his cheeks.

Quiet filled the air. Sasuke turned to face Naruto, his black eyes filled with doubt and hope at the same time as he looked at his dobe. My dobe. My partner. Naruto seemed to like his reaction and gave him a big grin. Yet before Sasuke could respond the rest of the ice skating team had arrived, rather noisily. The two of them avoided looking at each other as Sakura, Temari, Shikamaru and Lee came in.

Sakura spotted them both and she snickered slightly.

"I saw that pathetic jump you did, gee, what a slow learner. I bet Sasuke is really regretting he ditched me..." She laughed, before Lee grabbed her arm and dragged her off, speaking about fountain's of youth.

Naruto nibbled on his lip, letting his gaze drop as the smile slipped off his face. Sasuke touched his arm again but Naruto jerked backwards, avoiding his contact.

"Naruto... don't listen to her," Sasuke sighed, reaching out again and grabbing his arm to pull him closer. "You're the best partner I've ever had... for ages."

"Yeah but I suck," the blonde whispered. Sasuke frowned, unused to him looking depressed. He wanted his cheerful, confident dobe back. Why was it that everytime Naruto was with him, he never seemed to be happy?

"You have passion," Sasuke said reassuringly. Then a split second later a deep growl could be heard from Naruto's stomach. Naruto blushed and gripped his tummy, trying to stop the rumbling. Sasuke frowned even more. "Are you hungry?"

Naruto turned his head away, but gave a small affirmitive noise.

"I... come... you've got to eat before we practise," His breathe hitched slightly. "You want to practise your new jump."

Sasuke took Naruto's hand, feeling a little nervous himself as he led the blonde back out to the cafe.

"Pancakes?" He asked the blonde. Naruto nodded.

When Naruto sat down, he bent over and eased his ice skates off his feet, placing them on the floor where he could see them. Sasuke fought the urge to lift up his baggy jeans and examine his ankles again. He could just see the tip of Naruto's black socks peeking out from under the denim.

"And a drink? You're too skinny..." Sasuke said, at the same realizing that Naruto had worn the same jumper for the past week. "Pancakes and hot chocolate at least."

"I can go get it," Naruto said quickly, jumping to his feet. He winced slightly, rubbing his ankles together.



"Keep them plastered..." Sasuke handed him the money. "I'm just going to find Kakashi then."

He watched Naruto hobble off towards the canteen bar and slip into one of the high stools. Giving a quiet sigh, he turned and looked for Kakashi.

and um... ah i suck LOL, but i guess awkward things happen like that in real life, or at least, when i had a gf it was sort of all confusing and drama for a while... it felt automatic. and i was bored sensless... wow i wasted time. i promise the next chappie will be better

crazy going crazy

xx keiji