How to Break a Mask

Author: Kinomi Akai

Disclaimer: If I owned Naruto, the characters would probably be a lot less badass and a lot more into each other. Seeeeexually.

Summary: An incident at the festival on Oct. 10th reveals that there is a lot that everyone doesn't know about Naruto. Smart!Naruto, Sasunaru/Narusasu, Rated M to be safe

Pairings: Sasunaru/Narusasu, mentions of KakaIru.

Warnings: Shonen-ai, yaoi, boy x boy, whatever to want to call it.

Author's Note:

"Blah" – talking

'blah' – thinking

'blah' – Kyuubi talking

Last time:

The Uchiha's last thought before he fell asleep was of Naruto's unguarded stare of complete bliss as they lay on the floor together. Had he been awake longer, he might have been startled at how far he would go to see that look again.

Chapter 12: The Bedroom

Naruto woke at daybreak, a side effect of having not only gone to bed early, but also having taken a nap the day before. It took him a moment to realize he was in the same bed as when he woke up yesterday: Sasuke's bed. He debated trying to fall asleep again, but the sun peeked through the blinds to hit his face, and the smell of Sasuke was suddenly overwhelmingly prominent, and he knew it was useless to even close his eyes. He yawned as he swung his legs over the edge of the bed, leaning against the wall as the previous day's events flashed through his mind. He blushed.

'Oh no. Now I'm going to have to listen to you babble on about how attractive the Uchiha is, aren't I?' Kyuubi groaned.

Naruto blushed, but fought back. 'So says the fox that was yelling at me to jump him all of yesterday.'

'I've been yelling at you to jump him for far longer, you've just been to oblivious to notice.'

Before Naruto could respond, Kyuubi continued.

'Speaking of jumping Sasuke Uchiha , you should go jump Sasuke Uchiha.' Naruto's eye twitched. 'He must be awfully lonely in a big bed all by himself. You should share it with him. It would really be doing him a favour, sharing your body heat and all that-'

'Kyuubi, if you don't shut up this second, I will bash my head into the wall until I knock both of us out.'

'Such violence!' Naruto growled. 'Alright, alright.'

With the sudden silence, and now being slightly more awake, Naruto's mind began racing. He wondered why he had completely disregarded the option of Sasuke being straight, and gone right to the possibility to Sasuke liking Naruto in that way.

'Because if he was straight he wouldn't be a virgin right now.'

'Kyuubi!' Naruto hissed at the fox.

'I'm not going to shut up if you're thinking stupid thoughts. He had half of Konoha's female population offering to bare his children at a moments notice. If he had any sexual drive whatsoever towards women, he would have had at least one girlfriend. Honestly.'

'I haven't had a girlfriend.'

'That's because you're as straight as your Rasengan. Which is a sphere.'

'Yes, thank you, I got the joke.'

'Come on, kit. I've been alive for thousands of years. I know what flirting is, and he was doing it.'

In the other room, the object of their conversation woke with a loud gasp. His breathing came in loud pants, and he was almost drenched with sweat. He screwed his eyes shut and flopped back down onto the bed with a groan. His dream had been horribly, tauntingly, brilliantly realistic. Enough so that his body had been certainly convinced, and had redirected his blood flow down to a certain nether region. Sasuke grabbed at his face and tried desperately to ignore the throbbing below, but his closed eyes only allowed his dream to replay itself in beautiful tanned, golden-haired flashes.

Sasuke slammed his fist into the bed.

'I need a shower,' he thought desperately, as he dragged himself out of the bed. 'A cold, cold shower.'

Naruto jumped slightly when he heard the shower turn on.

'Sasuke's awake.' He thought to himself.

'And naked. And wet. Why are you still in this room?'

Naruto closed his eyes and tried to calm his breathing. 'Kyuubi. Shut up. Now.'

'I bet the showers are big enough for two. Your loss, kit.'

Naruto let a long breath hiss out between his clenched teeth. He was going to go mad by the end of this, he just knew it.

Kyuubi was pretty much the reason for his habit of jumping into situations running off emotions alone. The fox was more than willing to push Naruto, especially when it came to subconscious desires. In the back of his mind, he knew that she was only looking out for him; she only pushed him to do what would make him happy, even if he didn't agree with the decision at the time.

Thankfully, the fearsome nine-tailed demon fox kept quiet as Naruto took his own shower. After a moment's deliberation, he unashamedly used Sasuke's shampoo. It wasn't his fault they hadn't gone back for his things.

'Okay, well, maybe it was.' He thought, eyeing yesterday's clothes with a frown. They weren't exactly clean.

As if sensing his thoughts, there was a knock on the bathroom door.

"Naruto?" Sasuke's muffled voice came through the wood. "You there?"

"Ah, yeah," Naruto stumbled over to the door and opened it a crack, twisting his body so it wasn't seen. "What's up?" His answer was overly casual, due to him trying his best to ignore the fact that he was talking to Sasuke while having a grand total of no clothes on.

"I put a change of clothes for you out here. I assume you don't have one."

"Ah, yeah, you're right." Naruto laughed sheepishly.

"Idiot." Sasuke smirked at him before he turned away. "I'll be in the living room."

"Okay, Sasuke-teme," Naruto mumbled as he dried himself off. Hearing a door close, he opened the bathroom door and peeked out. The coast was clear.

Sasuke let his back thump against the door to his room. He was so screwed.

He had barely gotten the slightest glimpse of Naruto. The boy had talked to him at an awkward angle, obviously so he couldn't see the rest of him.

Obviously because the other boy had been naked.

Sasuke put his head in his hands, hopelessly trying to push away the images of glistening tanned skin, water running down his neck. He couldn't let himself think of where that water would be dripping to next. He couldn't. But his thoughts weren't obeying him, and his mind started to wander back to the dream he had, but with a bed being replaced by a shower. He swallowed, and yelped as the door he was leaning against opened.

He tumbled backwards, but instead of landing on the wooden floor, a warm body broke his fall.

"What the hell, teme?" Naruto said, quickly pulling himself out from under the other boy before his body had the chance to react the way he knew it wanted to.

"Tch," Sasuke stood, letting his bangs obscure his reddening face. "Not my fault you change at hyper-speed." He mumbled.

"Aw," Naruto grinned as they started to walk down the hall. "Finally admitting that I'm faster than you, teme?"

"As if," Sasuke scoffed. "Dobe."

"By the way," a sudden thought appeared in Naruto's mind. "When do we start going on actual missions again?"

"Probably soon. But it's the slow season right now; you know that. It's mostly D-rank missions that are filed, and Hokage-sama knows our time is better spent training than doing those worthless things."

Naruto smiled at the pride that coloured Sasuke's voice.

"Are we meeting with Kakashi-sensei today, then?"

Sasuke glanced over at him. "If you want. What would you like for breakfast?"

"Um," Naruto blushed at the attention. "I'm okay with whatever you want..."

Sasuke sighed at the awkward sort of atmosphere between them. It was too early in the morning for any conversation that wasn't forced, it seemed.

They ate in silence, before mutually deciding to go get some training done. It was then that Sasuke voiced a thought that had been bothering him, perhaps longer than he knew.


The blonde boy spared him a sideways glance. "Yeah?"

"Have you...I mean, with everything you've been hiding...ah," Sasuke rubbed at his face in annoyance.

Naruto seemed to guess at his thoughts. "I haven't been faking my skills during training, if that's what you mean."

"Ah," Sasuke seemed slightly relieved at the answer, but he didn't feel completely satisfied.

Naruto looked at him for a moment, while Sasuke waited patiently for him to continue.

"I've...faked losses before. During spars, I mean." He agitatedly ran his hand through golden strands. "And I'm not really as clumsy as I make myself out to be."

"You've lost against me on purpose?" There was a note in Sasuke's voice that betrayed his emotion. However, he didn't seem to be completely surprised.

Naruto decided to throw caution to the wind.

"Yeah, but you kind of knew that already, didn't you?"

The blatant honestly made Sasuke stop walking and stare at the blonde-haired boy.

"It's not like I did it often." Naruto backpedalled slightly. "They were wins I wouldn't have gotten normally anyway. Sometimes you were angry. You're distracted when you're angry. And I didn't really want to be the guy you chose to take out your anger on, you know?"

The sheepish grin was back again, and Sasuke felt a pang of shame thrum through his body.

"I haven't been like that for a while, Naruto."

The grin faltered, and sky blue eyes looked at him seriously. "I know. And I've trusted you more than that for a while, too. That's why I haven't done that in a really long time."

Sasuke blinked.

"You trust me?"

Naruto's eyebrows rose. "Did you, or did you not, just spend the last month fighting for my sake?"

Sasuke suddenly glared at him. "I don't want your trust as payment, Naruto."

Naruto rolled his eyes. "I know that, teme. Don't start putting words in my mouth!" He paused, crossed his arms, and looked away. "I trust you more than anyone else. You should know that."

But Sasuke wasn't content with that.

"Considering you don't trust anyone else at all, I'm not sure how I should take that."

"You are such a bastard!" Naruto breathed in exasperation, turning on his heel and striding closer until he was glaring directly into grey eyes. "Why on earth would I agree to live with you if I didn't trust you? That's a rhetorical question, asshole, don't answer it."

A tanned finger poked Sasuke's chest, hard.

"Stop being stupid. That's supposed to be my job. Now shut up and listen to me. Hiding a part of myself didn't make our friendship any less real. You are my best friend; that never changed. Every mission we take together, I trust you with my life. Every day for the past month, I've trusted you with my wellbeing. Every honest confession I've made so far, I've trusted you with my sanity. I trust you, okay?"

"But not enough to promise to tell me if anything like that ever happens again." The words were out before Sasuke could stop them, and Naruto sighed.

"That's not a question of trust, Sasuke. I'm still getting used to all of...this." He gestured his head to indicate their surroundings. Sasuke was quiet, and Naruto's eyes narrowed in determination.

"Okay. You know what?" He said, stepping away and crossing his arms. "We still need to get my stuff, right?"

Sasuke blinked at the change in topic. "Hn."

"Then come on, teme. Keep up with me!" And with that, Naruto abruptly turned on his heel, and was running in the other direction. Sasuke had no choice but to follow.

By the time Naruto randomly stopped in the middle of a forest, Sasuke was fairly confused. His pride, however, kept him from speaking up.

Naruto was leaning down, seemingly searching the ground for something. He stopped beside a tree, which looked exactly the same as every other tree in Sasuke's opinion, and knelt down. Sasuke saw Naruto make a hand seal and suddenly he was holding two scrolls that hadn't been there before.

"What are those?" The Uchiha asked.

Naruto grinned up at him. "Some of my things. This is one of my super secret hiding places. No telling!" He said with a wink.

Sasuke felt a part of him become warm, and he fought a smile as he finally understood. Naruto was trusting him with something he hadn't trusted anyone else with. He walked over to the blonde boy and studied the ground below him in silent question.

"See here?" Naruto pointed at a section of the ground that was almost completely covered by a tree root. Sasuke leant in, studying the area Naruto was indicating.

"Ah," he said as he spotted the remarkably small markings. "A storage seal."

"Yeah!" And without any warning, Naruto promptly turned on his feet to whack the leaning boy on the head with the scroll. No one could ever doubt the blonde ninja had speed.

"Ow!" Sasuke said, more in surprise than actual hurt. His backwards flinch at the hit caused him to loose balance, falling on his butt. "What was that for, dobe?" He growled.

Naruto's grin was mischievous, but there was a glint of something serious in his eyes. "That, you teme, was for doubting my trust in you."

Sasuke blinked.

Naruto stood and held out a hand. "We have to get more than just this. Let's go."

And, for once, Sasuke allowed himself to be pulled to his feet by the blonde boy. The simple action spoke louder than any words from Sasuke could have, at that point.

Despite the fact that both Sasuke and Naruto prided themselves in their speed as ninjas, and the two made a remarkable team, it was far past lunchtime when they finally finished bringing Naruto's things to Sasuke's house. Sasuke was absolutely burning with curiosity to see what was in the storage scrolls, especially the ones that were being kept with Naruto's frog summons, but he held his tongue as they ate. Naruto had shown him enough of his life today; he didn't want to push him.

"Oi, teme, want to help me unpack?"

No amount of torture that could get Sasuke to admit how excited he felt as soon as he comprehended those words. It took every fiber of his being to fight from grinning so wide, it would rival Naruto's biggest smile. But the blonde boy seemed to realize how happy he had made the raven, because he had no qualms about grinning like an idiot.

Attempting to save his pride, Sasuke made a comment about how of course Naruto, being an idiot, needed help for the simplest of tasks. Naruto only visible reaction was his grin quirking more to the left side, which immediately put Sasuke on his guard. He had been around Naruto long enough to recognize when the blonde was feeling mischievous.

"Maybe I just want you around me more, hm?"

Now that sounded suspiciously like flirting. Sasuke diligently refused to move his gaze from the scroll he was holding as he tried to suppress the heat rushing to his cheeks. He didn't trust himself enough to answer.

Surprisingly, most of the items Naruto had hidden away were regular, everyday things. There were some pictures, mainly of team seven, but some also of Naruto and Iruka or Jiraiya. There was clothing, some non-perishable food...honestly, Sasuke was a bit disappointed. A part of him had expected some secret jutsus or high class information that Naruto had access to. That same part of him wondered if the Jinchuuriki had brought him to the less important areas in an attempt to appease him, while secretly hiding the things that actually meant anything to him away from Sasuke.

"Kind of anticlimactic, isn't it?" Naruto's quiet voice broke his voice, but those aquamarine eyes weren't looking at him.

"What is?" Sasuke asked, even though he had a good idea of what Naruto was talking about.

"I've hidden away all these random things. Were you expecting something more?" Naruto turned to Sasuke, amused. The pale boy took a moment to appreciate how flattering the expression was on the scarred face.

"A little," he admitted, quietly.

Naruto gave him a brilliant smile.

"I don't really have access to important scrolls; at least, not for an extended period of time. I can borrow them, but I can't keep them. It's probably the same for you, isn't it?" He continued, without waiting for an answer. "Baa-chan is pretty fair when it comes to these things. All of your scrolls are mainly passed down through the parents didn't pass down anything like that to me. So this is my stuff."

Sasuke nodded his understanding, trying to pretend that hadn't been on his mind. Naruto could read him so well, it was becoming a bit creepy.

"How long have you been hiding your possessions away?" Sasuke didn't look at him as he asked, afraid that Naruto would get defensive and close off again. He could feel the blue eyes staring at him with such intensity that Sasuke thought he might burn a hole in his skull.

"Why did you give up on your revenge?" Naruto finally countered.

Sasuke made a startled noise. Anger started to well up in him, but he screwed his eyes shut and forced it back down. He wasn't prying; he was asking for something personal in exchange. It was only fair.

Sasuke forced his jaw to unclench, and let his eyes rest on Naruto. Somehow, the sight of no hostility, only hesitant curiosity in the tanned boy calmed him enough to speak.

"I didn't. Not really," He looked down at his pale hands, willing them not to fidget. Uchihas didn't fidget. "I don't know how I'd react if I saw him again. But I won't let it rule my life anymore. Not after..."

He trailed off, and Naruto came closer, putting a hand on his shoulder. He didn't need to recount how he had almost betrayed Konoha. Orochimaru's cursed seal hadn't only impacted his chakra; it had also impacted his mind. It fed on his hatred and amplified it, using it to slowly warp his mind. Thinking back, his own thoughts terrified him. He had almost been willing to kill Naruto for power. He had been slowly convincing himself that the Mangekyou was the only way he could defeat his brother. The thought that Konoha was weak and he needed to get out, much like his brother had, in order to gain true power had poisoned his mind and he had accepted it as truth. It was an absolute miracle that Jiraiya, the seal master and Orochimaru's old teammate, had recognized the symptoms for what they were.

Perhaps one day he would defeat his brother, but he refused to follow in his footsteps in order to do so.

"Nine." Naruto's voice broke him out of his thoughts.

"What?" He asked, looking into blue eyes that were bright with emotion.

"I've been hiding my things since I was nine."

Sasuke put in hand on Naruto's shoulder in acquiescence, and Naruto turned to give him a soft smile. They worked to move Naruto in properly in comfortable silence until the sun went down.

A/N: So school has officially started. I managed to finish chapter 13 already, but 14 hasn't been started, so you'll probably have to wait a bit for that. I'm sorry! I'll start being really busy soon. I hope I'll be able to keep writing, at least a little, during the school year, but I can't make any promises.

In better news, the story's moving along now! Just wait 'till you get to the next chapter, you're in for a nice surprise..hehehe. Now for the new question. With the way the story has been going, would you be satisfied with a few limes, or would you like to see a full out lemon before the story ends?

Till next time!

- Kinomi