Sasuke cracked open one eye slowly, and then quickly shut it. He lay in the same position in bed for a couple more moments before cursing and throwing back the covers, wishing he owned curtains for the godforsaken pieces of glass.
It was too early in the morning for even his tastes, and he could barely get any sleep. Almost all night he had been tossing and turning, rolling Naruto's idiotic idea around until it didn't make any sense. Then again, when did it—or Naruto, for that matter—make any sense?
Never. That's when.
"Rise and shine, gorgeous! It is your lucky and incredibly great day today!" Naruto sang as he sashayed into Sasuke's bedroom, ripping open the windows and breathing in the brisk air. Turning around with a blinding grin he learned (unfortunately) from Rock Lee, Naruto declared, "We are getting you out of that pitiful sack you call a bed!"
Sasuke blinked blearily before glancing at his mattress. "What's wrong with it, stupid?"
Naruto fish-eyed him. "What's wrong with it? What's wrong with it? I'll tell you what's wrong, beef-brains! It's too small!"
"That's it? Good grief, I'm going back to bed." Sasuke stuffed his head back under the pillow, hiding his bloodshot eyes from the bright light that reflected from the windows and Naruto's teeth.
"Aww, you're no fun, Sasuke. Especially in the morning." Naruto danced over to the bed, undeterred, and hauled the limp shinobi from his comfort zone. "We're off!"
Sasuke yawned, too tired to argue or snap back. "Where to?"
"The shower, of course! You smell like you rolled around in the mud last night!"
"…remind me who wanted to have an extra training session an hour before midnight?"
"Ooh! I know! Meeee!"
"Exactly. Remind me again why I agreed to get out of bed just five hours later on my vacation to sneak into the women's hot springs to spy on a woman."
Naruto laughed sheepishly, raking his hand through his dizzyingly blonde hair. "That would be me again. Boy, I'm something, aren't I? Don't worry about it; I've recruited help for you!" Sasuke stopped moving, causing Naruto to trip.
"Help?" he parroted, his brow furrowing slowly.
"Uh…yeah. Help. Kami knows that you, the male 20-year-old virgin, can't sneak into the springs without getting caught."
"I'm 21 in exactly 2 days and an hour. Big deal. You're not much older than me, Naruto."
"Two weeks is a big deal!(*) I'm actually older than The Uchiha Sasuke! Ain't that a hoot?"
"And more idiotic, too. Now get your ass out of my apartment before I throw it out of this window. How did you get in here anyways?" Sasuke blinked. "Damn. Remind me soon to get my spare key from you back."
"I'll give it back if you get into the shower now. We're running late! All the guys should be there soon!"
Another blink, a heartbeat, and a '…what?' later, Sasuke found himself drowning in his shower.
"I'm awake! I'm awake! Get out of my bathroom! Haven't you ever heard of decency?"
Sasuke sighed, shutting the door. "Sometimes I wonder how you ever got to be in-line for the Hokage title." Ignoring the indignant screeching and grunts, Sasuke then proceeded to shower, in which the author will not go into any detail. Instead, you will find yourself at the entrance of the women's hot springs. (Not in them, you curious little monkey. I will provide a gutter for your minds to roll around in later. )
Now, outside of the hot springs, a group of women were chatting. The group consisted of our favorite little Konoha kunoichi: heiress of the Hyuuga clan and not-so-weak-anymore Hyuuga Hinata; current sister-in-law to Hinata the infamous Weapons Mistress Tenten—married to the stoic bastard Neji (gee, I wonder how she did that. I'll have to make a note to ask her); the impressive and brilliant Sand kunoichi, elder sister of the Sand Siblings, Sabaku Temari; the apprentice of the prestigious Godaime and Head Medic Haruno Sakura; and finally we come to her childhood friend Yamanaka Ino, right hand man—er, woman, sorry—to Morino Ibiki in the Torture-Interrogations unit and proud owner of the Yamanaka store, ever-famous for their flowers.
Why are these impressive ladies standing in front of the hot springs, you ask?
Great question! I don't know. Let's listen and find out, shall we?
So we come closer to the gabbing females to listen to their conversation, and find out they're debating on whether to go in or not.
"C'mon, you guys, it'll be fun!" Sakura proclaimed, hooking arms with Hinata. "The last time Ino and I went together it was relaxing, and god knows you need to relax. Look, I promise that it'll be empty."
"And you can wear a towel, of course," Ino rolled her eyes, "although I myself prefer to go in with just my beautiful skin." Hinata, ever the bashful one, immediately turned an alarming shade of magenta from the collar up.
Tenten coughed lightly into her fist. "Yes, well, we'll wear towels—some people actually have modesty."
Ino dismissed this comment with the wave of her manicured hand. "Come, come, children, let us spent quality girl-time in the delightful hot springs." She and Sakura then pushed the other two inside, chattering about this and that as they went.
The doors slammed shut rather ominously.
Moments later, mortified shrieks and thumps could be heard from inside.
The following silence was yawning.
Seconds later, in a whirlwind of leaves that came out of nowhere, a mass of men appeared. In the middle of them was a squirming young man with piercing onyx eyes and a face to die for. This was our young boy, Uchiha Sasuke. Who seemed to be suffocating in Neji's robes, which was used to gag him (Neji was not happy at this).
"Well, we're here!" Naruto chirped, ever the optimistic one. He paid no heed to the freezingly hostile stares boring into his head—he felt at least one of those a day—instead beckoning them forward into the men's doorway.
"This is it, men. This is your time to prove your manliness—yield your courage in the face of danger and meet it head on! You can do it! Believe it!" Naruto flashed his best rendition of Lee's smile, complete with the wink and thumb's-up sign.
He was met with the chirping of crickets and blank faces.
The breeze that blew by in the loud silence seemed to waver his resolve, and he wilted slightly. With a sigh, Aburame Shino led the way, and the rest followed silently.
Naruto brightened. "Well, at least they went in!" And then he bounced in after them, humming as he went.
"See, isn't this relaxing?" Ino let out a joyous laugh, sinking in deeper until she was submerged to her chin. She snuck a sly glance at the stiff brunettes of the group.
"I-I-I-It is very relaxing Ino-san!" Hinata replied, back ram-rod straight, eyes unblinkingly forward. She still had a petrified air around her.
Tenten wasn't much better, but was slightly comforted in the fact that she managed to keep the Devilish Duo away from her towel. Hinata wasn't so successful (being surprisingly prone to tickling), and was currently hiding as best as she could in the steamiest part of the hot spring.
"Well, at least it's empty in here." She said, looking around.
"Told you, didn't I?" Sakura grinned, pinning her pink hair up. A splashing on the other side of the fence alerted her of new activity. "Well, on this side, at least."
Hinata stiffened even more.
"C-c-c-company?" Her face drained of any color, and she swayed dangerously.
"Hinata!" Tenten dove to catch her friend, who had begun to slip into the water. "Are you all right?"
Hinata's eyes were swirling. "Ehh?"
"Here, let's get you out before the steam addles your brain. Let's see, where's your towel?" Tenten glanced around before her gaze settled on Sakura and Ino, sitting side by side, looking positively not-innocent.
"Okay, guys. Where's Hinata's towel?"
"Hm, I don't know." Ino said. She turned to her friend. "Do you, Sakura?"
Sakura shrugged, looking clueless. "Nope—no idea."
Tenten sighed. "I guess…I'll have to give her mine. I can't just let her walk around naked." And with great reluctance did the Weapons Mistress loosen her towel's knot, securing it instead on Hinata's limp form.
"That's the way, Tenten!" Ino cheered. "Show off your boobs! Be a woman!"
Ino immediately shrank back in fright as Tenten turned a scary expression on her. "Eep!"
The boys sat in a stoic silence for a long time. Sasuke, Neji, Shino, Sai, and Shikamaru sat perfectly still, not bothering to waste any ('troublesome') energy. Kiba, Kankurou, and Naruto shifted impatiently.
"Well?" he hissed, plopping a steaming towel on top of his head. "What are you waiting for, chicken-butt?"
"What do you think, dickless?" Sai inquired, smiling amiably.
"GARGH!!" Naruto roared, swiveling to face the artist. "LET ME CLEAR THIS UP ONCE AND FOR ALL! I HAVE A PENIS, ALRIGHT?!? SO STOP CALLING ME 'DICKLESS' YOU ASSHOLE!!"
The silence was deafening.
Overhead, a lone crow cawed. 'Baka…baka…baka…'
"…I see." Sai said slowly, the creepily wide smile still stamped on his pale face.
Naruto lowered his fist slowly. "So you finally understand?"
Sai shook his head. "Oh, no. I meant literally."
"Ack!" Naruto sunk deep into the water, turning a deep crimson. "S-stop saying weird things, bastard! I'm straight, damn you!"
A slow, smug smirk crept onto Neji's face. "Oh, we believe you, Naruto. You'll have to convince your…other audience that."
"Uh, yeah." Kiba stuck a finger in an ear and winced. "I mean, it's not as if we're in open air right next to the women's baths, stupid. If we're all deaf then they heard you just fine."
"G-guh…" Naruto slumped over. "Not again."
"Enough," Sasuke sighed, "you probably just blew my chances so I'll wait until a more beneficial day comes up. Besides, I have to report to Tsunade-sama soon."
"Oh no you don't, buddy." Kankurou, despite being not much bigger than the Uchiha himself, easily tugged him back in. "You're not truly a man unless you do this."
"You too, Kankurou?" Sasuke groaned. He turned an eye to Shino, who was soaking in the corner of the hot springs. "Shino, you wouldn't mind helping me out, would you?"
Sasuke sighed. "I thought as much."
"Don't worry, buddy," Kiba gave the young man a quick thump on the back for good luck. "If you get caught then just smile at them."
Sasuke had a hard time comprehending this. "I have to smile at them when they'd probably want to kick my ass to the other side of Konoha and back? How is that supposed to help my situation?"
"Oh, I'm quite sure they don't want to kick your ass," Naruto said cheerfully.
The blond was swiftly whapped on the back of the head.
"Stop being such a sissy, dobe. Take it like the man you said you were."
"Yes, Naruto-kun," Sai intoned, "although you needn't make a fuss—we're already aware that you are indeed of the male species."
Naruto blanched, the color draining from his face, before turning an unhealthy shade of magenta. "…You…"
"Okay, guys, let's let Uchiha do his thing, alright?" Kankurou interrupted.
"Incompetent oaf." Every pair of eyes swiveled to Shino, who was barely distinguishable from the steam. He shrugged.
"I can't believe all of you ganged up on me." Naruto sulked in a dark corner.
"Hey, Uchiha," Shikamaru muttered, sidling up to the Uchiha, "you seriously sure about this? Because I am not about to come and save your ass when you get caught."
Sasuke raised an eyebrow coolly. "Don't you mean 'if' I get caught?"
"Nah. I meant what I said." Shikamaru shrugged nonchalantly. "Eh, whatever. It happens the first try, buddy, so don't try to let it get to you."
"I am not about to get caught staring at naked women like a pervert," Sasuke muttered back at him.
"Yeah? Well, tell that to them when they look up and see a guy watching them bathe. Who knows, you might save yourself from getting too many broken bones."
"Broken bones?" He was immediately wary, ears honing in on the faint voices coming from the other side of the bamboo fence.
"Yeah," Shikamaru sighed, sinking lower. "Maybe you haven't heard it yet, but those voices definitely belong to four of the scariest girls in the village."
"A-aa. Who would that be?"
"Tch. Sakura, Temari, Tenten, and Ino, of course." The tactician said, shaking his head. "Last time I was dragged into a mess like this, Temari only broke my finger. But listen, bones aren't the only things that'll get broken here, Uchiha."
"You want any pride walkin' out of here then you better leave now."
"'s true." Kiba nodded. "It's unfortunate that those aforementioned ladies are currently here. It's your lucky day, Uchiha. You get to deal with four dangerous women and another whose cousin will have your head on a platter if you so much as think of thinking of anything indecent."
For the first time, Uchiha Sasuke felt a drop of cold sweat roll down his neck.
A splash and innocent laughter rose up from the other side, but to all of the men in the hot springs it was an ominous warning.
"W-well," Naruto gulped, "g-good luck, teme. We'll be hopin' for you back at the hospital."
Slowly, the men filed out somberly, throwing apologetic and pitying glances over their shoulders as they went.
Finally, the doors swung shut, and Sasuke stood there ramrod straight in the center of the springs, eyes wide.
Another giggle sent him hurdling for the far side of the water, clinging at the rocks. He forced himself to pry is white-knuckled fingers from the rock, muttering to himself.
"I am not afraid of some stupid girls. I am not afraid of some stupid girls. I am not afraid of some—" Sasuke clapped his hands over his mouth in shock as an unmanly squeak burst from within when he was startled by another giddy shriek from the other side of the fence.
"This will take awhile."
Author's Note: Hey all. Super sorry about the super long wait. I wasn't planning on it at all. You are awesome for keeping with me, seriously. Thanks, guys.
(*) Also, I realize now that the birthdays of Sasuke and Naruto are different than in my fic. Sasuke's is supposed to be on July 23rd and Naruto's on October 10th. However, when I was writing this I totally bypassed that fact and so…