Lost in Translation
Hey, to anyone who reads my fics! I wish I could say I'm sorry that I haven't posted any updates in several months, but I've been too obsessed with my favourite show - The Chaser's War On Everything, for anybody not in Australia (look it up) - to do much else. I have been writing, just never finishing any chapters. Took me a few weeks to write this, and damn, it feels good to finish something that's not my School Certificate.
So, the basics: Naruto AU oneshot. SasuNaru. Disclaimed. I apologise for using German twice, but it was necessary for me to use another language, and I prefer to use one I know. Other than that, I'm sure you can figure out the rest for yourself!
The main shopping strip was a buzz of hasty locals, persistent salesmen and awed tourists, and sitting peacefully in an outdoor café Sasuke Uchiha read the Berlin Sonntag Zeitung.
Ignoring the commotion around him, he scanned the paper for any major news about the German branch of the Uchiha company. His company, which he inherited when he was only fifteen. He had spent the last month scouring Europe for any problems with any of the European branches, and found it ironic that he had visited places like Paris and Rome and didn't have time to see any attractions.
But by far the most irritating part of this trip was that wherever he went, girls flocked to him. He was like a very pissed off magnet. Eventually it became such a problem that the only way he could avoid them was to wear a hood that cast a shadow over his face. It stopped anyone from recognising the-head-of-that-international-company-who's-only-twenty-and-oh-my-god-he's-so-gorgeous.
Which was the only reason he was able to sit in a café without being ambushed by anyone worse than a waiter.
Or so he thought before someone literally ran into him.
Sasuke was just sitting, reading, when from somewhere in front of him came a strangled yell of, "Shit!" The last thing he saw before being more or less tackled to the ground was a blur of blonde hair. His head hit the pavement and he cried out from the impact.
There was a moment's silence, then Sasuke's attacker scrambled off him. "Holy shit! I'm sorry, really, I – I tripped on the stairs! I didn't mean to – "
"Es tut mir Leid. Ich spreche nur Deutsch," Sasuke said automatically, grimacing as he sat up. He knew the basics of a lot of European languages, and regularly told people he couldn't speak their language just to avoid them. With some shock, he realised the stranger spoke in Japanese, his own native tongue.
The guy blinked. "Oh. I don't really know German, but I guess you don't understand what I'm saying."
Sasuke didn't bother correcting him, hoping the clumsy idiot would go away. He didn't even really look at the tourist closely. Why the hell was he in Berlin anyway if he couldn't speak German?
"I bet you're wondering why I'm here when I can't speak the language," the blonde said, startling Sasuke for a moment, before laughing. "And I can't even explain why because you can't understand me!"
Sasuke felt his eye twitch. Leave.
But the idiot didn't leave. No, he went right on babbling in Japanese.
"Well, I'm going to tell you anyway! I'm from Japan and finished school two years ago, then went to university, and I just finished a preliminary course! So as a reward, my friend Shikamaru bought us both a ticket straight here!"
Even though he was making no effort to listen, Sasuke suppressed a rare chuckle. There had been a Shikamaru at his high school, but he was so lazy that he'd hardly bother leaving his house, let alone the country.
"Well, I kinda forced him to come too, really. All he did was pay for it." The blonde grinned. "He's sleeping in the hotel room right now."
Sasuke kept his face impassive, but his suspicion was roused. Sure, there were probably a million Shikamarus in Japan and most of them were probably lazy, but he still had to wonder. Without drawing back his hood, he looked at the young man opposite him carefully.
His eyes widened as he recognised him as Naruto Uzumaki, number one clown of his high school.
Two years had changed his appearance, but he was still recognisable, obviously. Sasuke just hadn't realised before because Naruto looked older. Even up until his late teens Naruto had looked childish, but now…
Now he wanted the idiot to go away more than ever.
More than likely, if Naruto recognised him he would yell out, "Sasuke Uchiha!" And then half the block would see him as well. Sasuke's hood didn't make him completely invisible.
Come on, Naruto, leave. Why the hell are you talking to someone who said they only speak German?
Naruto just grinned obliviously. "Everyone says Shikamaru and I make a weird match. He's so lazy and I'm so active, but I guess I'd hate him if he was exactly like me."
Doesn't that tell you anything about yourself?
Why was he sitting down opposite Sasuke? Didn't the idiot know he wasn't wanted?
"But you know, everyone at my school was really different," Naruto said thoughtfully. "It's a miracle anyone became friends. Like this one guy, Kiba. He was obsessed with his dog, never went anywhere without it. Really weird. But we were still friends."
Of course, this wasn't news or remotely interesting to Sasuke, but most of all he couldn't believe that Naruto was saying all this to who he thought was a complete stranger who couldn't understand what he was saying.
"I had heaps of friends. Practically everyone liked me," he gloated.
That was true. Naruto was popular. Everyone had liked Sasuke too, but he hadn't liked them back.
"Well, except this one guy. But he was a bastard and didn't like anyone!"
Sasuke internally smirked.
"His name was Sasuke Uchiha. The school pretty-boy."
Pretty-boy? Interesting. Sasuke hadn't heard anyone call him that. The closest thing he had heard was some girl calling him 'breathtakingly stunning', and he had been turned off people ever since.
"All the girls loved him. Hell, even half the guys loved him!"
Sasuke raised his eyebrows.
"I wonder how many guys he turned."
He raised them higher.
"Is something wrong with your eye?"
Oh shit, he wasn't supposed to understand anything! He quickly returned his face to a neutral expression, which seemed to satisfy Naruto.
"Right, you don't know what I'm saying!" Naruto laughed lightheartedly for a moment before a new look came over him, one that Sasuke remembered all too well: mischief.
"So basically…I can say whatever I want to you and nobody will know!"
Sasuke unconsciously pulled his hood further over his face. It sounded as if Naruto would stay here for ages, and every second was a risk to Sasuke's privacy.
The mischief sparkled in Naruto's eyes. "I can tell you all my secrets, can't I?"
No, don't, idiot! I don't want to hear anything!
"But if I did that, it'd probably turn out like the movies, where you really can understand me."
Thank Hollywood for being right for once.
"But real life's never anything like the movies!"
Sasuke very nearly slapped a hand against his forehead.
"So what were we talking about? Oh yeah, Sasuke. All the time I knew him, all through high school, I wondered something about him."
Naruto's voice lowered. "I always wondered, what made the girls think they had a chance with him?"
What? No! Not interested.
"He kept rejecting them and they didn't even consider that he might be, well, gay or something. But I personally think the guys had a better chance with him."
Sasuke strained to keep himself from exploding. Naruto was suggesting – Naruto thought that – suspected that – what gave him that idea? He had no right to make assumptions like that! No right!
But Sasuke mentally interrogated Naruto, demanding to know who gave him that idea. He was too stupid to think it up himself.
"Ah well, maybe not. Maybe that was just wishful thinking."
No, you misunderstood what he meant.
Naruto smiled. "We were in the same class for a while, and I guess I – I don't know – liked him a little. Not just as a friend."
"What?" Sasuke yelled, then hastily covered it with a very loud fake sneeze. Naruto looked concerned, but not suspicious.
But Sasuke didn't care about his cover being blown. What was Naruto saying? He likedSasuke? He – no, it was impossible! Sasuke wouldn't accept it! It made no sense, and Naruto? That couldn't have been right!
Did that mean that Naruto was –
"It's not as if I'm gay." Again, Naruto had read his thought. "But, well, if you saw Sasuke you'd understand. With him, you don't notice if he's a guy or a girl. You can just see that he's hot."
How the hell had this happened? Sasuke had just wanted a relaxed afternoon in a café, and now he was cornered listening to an old school friend (not even friend! They never liked each other!) cluelessly telling him that he had a crush on him!
Any he couldn't get away or say anything.
Naruto grimaced. "I never did anything about it, obviously. I was the only person who didn't like him. D'you know how much my reputation would've been scarred if I did? Everyone would've hated me."
Sasuke internally frowned. Did Naruto just say the only reason he never made a move on Sasuke was because his reputation was more important? That was stupid of him. It would have been less stupid to, say, approach Sasuke in the middle of lunch one day, and ask him –
Wait, why would Sasuke care? It meant nothing to him.
"Especially him. Sasuke would've hated me even more."
'Even more'? But Sasuke had never really hated Naruto. Granted, he hated a lot of people – all the psychotic girls who chased him, for one. Naruto had been the exact opposite of them: loud, challenging, having guts enough to stand up to him. And hadn't that been why he found Naruto actually somewhat tolerable?
Sasuke felt a twinge of guilt, something extremely rare for him, and that surprised him so much that he almost said something, before his wits caught up with him and made him see sense.
"I mean, he probably would've killed me if he found out some of the things I'd been thinking."
Not interested, Sasuke said to himself, gritting his teeth. I – am – not – interested.
But what the hell kind of things would he have been thinking about me?
Naruto's face went glassy, like he was so engrossed in a memory that the present was a blur. When he spoke, even his voice was hazy. "He always had a really sharp tongue…I always wondered…that tongue must've been good."
Sasuke's instincts told him to run.
"Kissing and stuff, sure, but I mainly thought about – other things." A slight shade of red formed on Naruto's cheeks. "You know? Well, of course you don't, but…well, I'm not going to say it! Even if you can't understand me, it's still embarrassing. But now that I'm remembering it…"
Sasuke's mind point-blank refused to believe that Naruto had just licked his lips.
"Bloody hell, I wanted him. I wanted him so much and he never knew. I called him a bastard every other day, but I swear, all the time I was half a second away from grabbing him, dragging him off somewhere and – "
Naruto shivered. Sasuke was in shock. He could no longer pretend he wasn't interested, because he definitely was, and he was beginning to wonder whether or not this was having some kind of – effect – on him. Was that possible?
"But you know, that was high school. Every normal guy has a one-track mind like that in high school. Everyone's all talk and no intention of actually doing anything. Stuff is different now."
Stuff is different now – did that mean that Naruto no longer liked him 'like that'? Sasuke hoped so. Well, he didn't hope so, but – wait, he did hope so! Didn't he?
Yes. No. Yes. Yes. No. Yes.
"But now…trust me, I'd have intention of doing something. I'm not just all talk."
Sasuke's blood went cold. Or was it hot?
"God, I'd kill to see him again, just so I could – you know. Hell, I'd probably have trouble restraining myself. But if I got the chance – even if it was just in passing, I'd recognise his face anywhere."
Sasuke stiffened, then relaxed slightly. The idiot's just being cocky. If he actually knew, he would have said something.
But he did just say something!
Naruto looked shiftily from side to side, as if to make sure no one was watching. Then, much to Sasuke's horror, he leaned in so close that his breath was on Sasuke's cheek.
"I wish he was here right now," Naruto breathed, his voice low.
Perhaps it was all the things Naruto had said up till that point. Or perhaps it was the hungry way he said that last part that sent shivers down Sasuke's neck. But something in Sasuke's will snapped, and his icy mask of neutralness shattered. His face slackened. Everything just let go. He didn't even pretend not to understand Japanese.
His mouth moved to say something, and his mind was powerless to stop it. Naruto, it tried to say.
But since his brain had shut down, all that came out was a feeble, "N – N…"
Then, the feeling was gone. That oppressive heat and cold at once left, and Sasuke could think again, because Naruto had moved back away from him.
Naruto was grinning, as usual, completely unaware of the complete system malfunction he had caused in Sasuke. How did he do that? And do what? What the hell just happened?
Naruto said lightly, "Shame I'm in Germany talking to a stranger who doesn't understand a word I'm saying instead of back home talking to Sasuke." Then he pushed his chair out. He stood up.
He began to leave.
Sasuke was dumbstruck. Yes, he could think again, but he had no idea what to think. Naruto had completely blindsighted him, and now a part of him was roaring, "Follow him! Follow him!"
He waited for another part of him to argue against it.
No argument came.
So, almost involuntarily again, his body moved to get up and rush after Naruto. And this time he would speak in a language they both understood.
But had Naruto known it was him?
I'd be interested to hear the answer to that myself, actually.