This piece was written for an assignment. Clearly it wasn't Naru/Sasu then but they did inspire the characters a great deal and once I handed up the assignment I was so annoyed by how badly I'd written it (I was too sick at the time to make it as good as it should have been) I went back and fixed it up. Doubling it's size and making it a piece I'm much happier with. Please enjoy.
This is a one-shot and also my first piece of Naruto fanfiction.
"So. How have you been?" Was the casually voiced question, though for the two of them it was anything but casual. Naruto glanced at his friend curious about the question's origin and then looked away realising he was trying not to make eye contact; a struggle he had been forced to deal with throughout the entire meal so far.
It wasn't that he had anything bad to hide from his friend. At least, Naruto didn't think of it as bad, what Sasuke thought of it was an entirely different matter. It just so happened that although they had been friends for twelve years now, Naruto had come to realise over the last year that 'friendship' simply wasn't enough.
Idly he shifted the pepper shaker across the café table and decided he had to reply, however irregular the question. "Good." He stretched the word out, uncertain how 'good' could honestly equate to how he felt, but knowing the question did not warrant a proper response. He obliged Sasuke by continuing the pre-scripted conversation, even if he was unsure why it was happening, "How about you?"
"Hn." Sasuke replied, dismissively. Sometimes it was all the answer Naruto would get from his friend, even if he asked more specific questions. Sasuke was not what would be deemed a 'people person' and often he was what would be consider 'a complete prick' but that was neither here nor there.
"So…" Naruto drew out, disliking silence as much as always and knowing that, with Sasuke, it was up to him to fill that silence. It amazed him sometimes that he had fallen in love with the bastard as he'd never been particularly masochistic, but he'd been in the middle before he'd even realised it had begun.
Falling in love with long term friends – he had heard – was a stupid thing to do. If that was the case then falling in love with your same sexed heterosexual friend had to be one of the dumbest things ever, but like a fool he had.
Not that he could be blamed really, his social skills where nearly as rusty as Sasuke's, and he hadn't realised he was on the way to love until he couldn't stop thinking about the man across from him. He hadn't known that it wasn't natural to get a flutter in your chest when your best friend smiled, or to want to hold their hand when you where walking somewhere with them. They where simple codes of etiquette that had somehow escaped him all his years, and at twenty three he wasn't about to try and learn them. It was too late anyway, he was devoted.
Naruto had resolved (very quickly) that he would have to keep this whole 'in love' thing a secret – although he had never been good at secrets. But there was more than just Sasuke's sexuality holding the confession in. Naruto had known since they first met that Sasuke's parents expected grandchildren and that it would have to be Sasuke who provided them, as his only sibling was in jail and would be spending, preferably, a lifetime longer there still. Not that that really mattered, Naruto had told himself, they could always adopt… in some countries. Or find a surrogate… if either of them where capable of holding a conversation with another person for more than a minute before managing to insult them – Sasuke intentionally – Naruto completely obliviously.
Sasuke's soft laugh surprised and confused Naruto away from the task of relocating the pepper shaker, and with a quick glare Naruto demanded what his friend found so funny.
"You're such an idiot." Sasuke finally stated firmly, but a smile was curling the right side of his lips.
"Wha-?" The ineloquence, he would have blamed on his friends smile more than a response to the statement (insults being common language between them), if he had the presence of mind to blame anything at that moment. Sasuke often wiped his mind clean of logical thoughts these days.
Sasuke's smile was almost indulgent, but the cautious look to the rest of him made him seem almost… hesitant. Which was strange, because Sasuke was never hesitant. "I said: 'Will you go out to dinner with me?'." He articulated it carefully even though his voice was softer than usual.
Naruto's heart stalled, then tumbled back into action at an accelerated pace. His hands became sweaty as he reminded himself over and over that the question wasn't what he wanted it to be. Even he was not wedged so far in his daydreams to allow himself that mistake. Forcing himself to be casual he replied, "Well duh. When have I ever said no to food?" and that was true enough so he managed a grin at the man across from him even if his heart hadn't overcome the shock of hope forced down.
Sasuke didn't reply to the grin though, he seemed to be thinking, index finger tapping against the hard wooden surface of their table with a quick silent rhythm. He swallowed, "No you moron. I'm asking in the same way Gaara asked you."
"But Gaara wanted to d-" date. Gaara had wanted to date him. Naruto felt all brain functions cease in the torrid of thoughts that flooded him. His heart was demanding attention and his logic was doing everything it could to fight that pounding, desperate desire down. Naruto refused to believe what he was hearing, even if he was hearing it. He tried to make himself understand forcing words out that where almost to hard too bare, "Sasuke… are you asking me on a date?" His heart fluttered despite his best attempts to stop it from doing so and he prayed that Sasuke would say 'yes' because there was no conceivable way to deny the emotion that had made his voice tremble when asking.
For a moment there was only silence, that same long index finger tapping at the table in a rhythm Naruto could not follow. And then it stopped. "Forget it Naruto."
Sasuke's voice was calm but Naruto did not register that. Instead Naruto's brain had caught up with his heart and the realisation that Sasuke was seriously asking him out became a reality, because Sasuke only used his real name when they where being serious. His friend, his crush, his god damn reason for breathing this whole last year was asking him out! The fucken heterosexual 'must procreate for my family' Uchiha Sasuke was asking him out. It was too hard to think further though, arrested as Naruto was by the almost pout Sasuke was directing at his iced water, until it occurred to him that Sasuke was taking his response as a rejection.
Panic shot through him. "No!" He cried desperate, seeing the one chance he had at this damn relationship falling apart because he was socially inept. Then he saw the expression darken a little on his friends face and realised he had responded to his thoughts not the spoken words. More panic and he was fumbling to correct the understanding, "I mean-"
"It's fine Naruto…" Sasuke interrupted sharply, "I've got it already-" his friend tried to wave him off as he stood from the table and their forgotten meal. Ready to leave the whole moment behind.
Naruto didn't think, he lunged.
"Wait! wait!" He cried desperate, hand catching and holding the side of Sasukes retreating shirt. "I'm flustered! Flustered!" He cried, "Give me time to think." He would have kept ranting but below his grip he felt his friend pause. His panicking heart gave a shudder of relief and allowed him to relax. "Shesh you bastard." He grumbled at the taller man feeling to frayed to say anything else. It was just like Sasuke to ask him out in such a random fashion, it was just like him to have given no hints at all, and just like him to assume he had been rejected before giving the other person a chance to respond.
Sasuke turned under his hand expression carefully blank, "Flustered?"
Naruto nodded fervently, pride be damned, he would not let this go for pride.
Naruto watched as Sasuke considered, his breath coming out uneven as his frantic brain tried to find a way for everything to work; for this meeting to turn out how it should. "Not repulsed?" Was Sasukes next tentative question.
Naruto only quirked an eyebrow at that, and glanced at the hand currently latched onto his friend with a white knuckled grip. Sasuke let out an amused snort. Repulsion, they both knew, from Naruto would have been far more obvious and far more pronounced – he had never been good at hiding anything.
"You're such an idiot, moron." But there was a smile in Sasuke's expression to beguile his words.
Relief flooded Naruto, and it was so acute it send a giddy wave through him. He let go of Sasukes shirt and grinned. "Yeah but you just asked me on a date." Naruto teased. "Sasuke's dating a moron. Sasuke's dating a moron." He sang amused.
"That's a yes then?" Sasuke asked with a smirk; it was clear he knew the answer.
Naruto tried to look unamused and failed. "Yeah…" He drew out as slowly as possible. "I guess." He would have liked to play with the bastard a bit, to make him feel as uncertain as possible, but his grin would allow no other expression on his face at that moment and he honestly didn't care.
Sasuke only shook his head and turned from the table, heading for the cashier. Naruto was quick after his friend - his boyfriend - unperturbed by the rude behaviour, after all Sasuke was a bastard, nothing would change that.
"Oi, oi. I get to pick where we're going right?" Naruto begged, bouncing on his toes in excitement as Sasuke paid for their lunch. He had never been on a date before, but he was sure it was going to be amusing with Sasuke there. "Please Sasuke? Please please please?" He mock begged, knowing he would win, because Sasuke rarely could be bothered arguing over those sort of things.
"Fine." Sasuke smirked, taking his change off the cashier. "But you have to be uke."
"Yosh!" Naruto jumped in excitement thoughts going to all the places they could eat on a 'date', then he considered Sasuke's clause confused. "But… what's 'uke'?" He queried when he realised he had never heard the word before.
Sasuke only laughed in reply as he left the café, a soft pleased laugh that made Naruto forget there was even anything to ask. Instead he followed his now-boyfriend from the café, determined not to let him out of his sight until he had to.