Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, or Sasuke, or any of the games/characters associated with NINTENDO SIXTY-FOOOOOUUUUUUUURRR.

Author's Notes: AU timeline, since I've been doing that automatically with fics these days without even realizing it. So basically, Sasuke never made it to Orochimaru, and due to various platonic circumstances, is currently rooming in Naruto's apartment. Whatever.

As for technology, if the 10th anime ending can have Naruto playing video games, then that's canon enough for me, dammit. Which isn't to say that this whole thing isn't utter crack any way you look at it. XD

Button Mashing

On the third day in a row that it thunderstorms, Kakashi tells them that if it rains for a fourth, they won't meet to train. Naruto flat-out whoops at the prospect of a day off, and after three days of misery, Sakura can't quite hide the look of relief that flits across her face either. Sasuke just "hn"s in annoyance and spends the rest of the day being even more irritable than usual. While even he's had just about his fill of this weather, taking vacations isn't any way to get stronger, and so the whole situation mostly just pisses him off.

When Naruto's alarm clock rings the next morning and Sasuke opens his eyes to the cold gray light of yet another day of perpetual showers, the only thing he can summon the will to do is groan. From the bed nearby, Naruto hits the 'off' button automatically, mutters something cheerfully incoherent about sleeping in, and promptly rolls over to bury his face in his pillow again.

In less than two minutes he's snoring. Sasuke yanks his own pillow over his head for a moment, and when the action fails to block out the sound, he hurls it at the sliding door leading out to the small balcony. The rain merely seems to double its efforts at pounding against the glass panes, and with a sigh of frustration, Sasuke climbs to his feet and goes to take a long shower.

By the time he's finished thoroughly overtaxing the water heater and burning three eggs in a spectacularly failed attempt to cook breakfast, Sasuke's mood has progressed from "I am disgruntled" to "I am going to maim and kill the next thing that crosses my path." Upon stumbling into the kitchen some fifteen minutes later, Naruto is greeted with a faceful of burnt toast (none of Sasuke's other breakfast attempts have fared much better than the eggs). Shouting and cursing ensues, followed by what can only be described as a particularly violent use of groceries, and a short while later Naruto stalks back out of the kitchen covered in egg shells and bits of rice and muttering darkly under his breath.

Feeling only slightly gratified, Sasuke makes a perfunctory attempt to clean up the mess before giving up and skulking back to the bedroom. From the bathroom, Naruto yells something about him being an asshole and using up all the hot water, and Sasuke seriously debates whether venturing into the torrential downpour outside might not really be more preferable to spending all day cooped up in here.

Ten minutes later, Naruto emerges from the bathroom, ducks his head in to glare at Sasuke for a few seconds, and then trudges back to the kitchen. Sasuke rolls his eyes and concentrates as hard as he can on the scroll he's reading in order to drown out the noise of Naruto making his own breakfast—instant ramen, of course—and from the sound of it, attempting to be as loud as possible in the process.

He doesn't make much progress in his reading, but nonetheless when Naruto returns to the room with a glass of milk in hand, plops onto the floor, and turns on the TV, Sasuke still glares at him as if he's interrupting something vitally important.

"What?" Naruto asks with an eyebrow raised, as if it isn't blindingly obvious. Sasuke glares at him more, then at the television set.

"Turn that off."

"Huh. Um… no." Naruto sticks his tongue out at him, and for a second Sasuke indulges in a satisfying fantasy involving his yanking the tongue right out of the idiot's mouth and choking him with it.

"I was reading."

"Then go read in the kitchen, jackass."

"I was here first."

"I was here last. What the hell are you gonna do about it?"

Sasuke answers by chucking the scroll at Naruto's face. Naruto dodges gleefully, only to be tackled to the floor the next second by Sasuke himself.

They spend the next half hour wrestling each other until the noise level finally reaches the point where one of the neighbors knocks angrily at the door. He politely informs them that if they can't keep it down, he'll be more than happy to fetch the authorities to help settle the dispute. Reluctantly, they drop it, although before closing the door, Sasuke makes a point of shooting the man a glare so vicious that he disappears back down the hall rather a lot more quickly than he'd come up it.

Stepping over the broken flowerpot and back into the bedroom, Sasuke finds Naruto rummaging around under his bed, muttering still more curses and incoherencies as he brushes his way past cobwebs and various bits of old junk. For some reason, the sight doesn't annoy Sasuke as much as it should, so he watches, bemused almost in spite of himself, until Naruto finally emerges in triumph holding a battered cardboard box.

"The hell is that?" Sasuke asks.

Naruto grins, pulling the flaps of the box open and tilting it so Sasuke can see its contents. "N64. Got it used a few years back. Real cheap, too."

The box contains a square-ish black thing that's obviously some kind of electronic toy, but Sasuke has no real clue what it is beyond that. "…A what-sixty-four?"

Naruto raises an eyebrow at him. "You know, Nintendo?" At Sasuke's blank stare, his eyebrow rises further. "Come on… Mario? Zelda? Metroid? Video games?"

Oh. Comprehension finally dawns with that last; Sasuke knows what video games are, of course. But his younger childhood days had mostly been consumed with training and studies, and in any case, his family had been far too practical to ever own a video game system. They would have considered it a waste of time. Sasuke stares again at the dusty machine in front of him, and thinks it makes perfect sense that Naruto would own one, anyway.

The boy in question continues to give his rival a very odd look, then shrugs and dumps the contents of the box out onto the floor in front of the TV. He proceeds to fumble with tangled cords and wires until he finally manages to connect the video game-thing to the television in what seems to be a vaguely logical manner. He then turns on the set again, and both boys immediately grimace as loud, buzzing static greets their ears.

Sasuke shoots Naruto a murderous glare as the other makes a high-pitched whine loud enough to be heard even over the static, and dives toward the volume control, hitting the button frantically until the sound is nothing but a dim traumatic memory. With a sigh of relief, Naruto hits the channel button and keeps his finger on the switch until the TV screen hits a blank channel. "Ha ha!"

He scrambles back under his bed, pulls out one of the many drawers he keeps stashed there, and rustles through it until he finds a plastic baggie containing a few gray things which Sasuke assumes are cartridges for the game machine. He opens it and dumps them all out to join the growing mess on the floor, then picks up a handful and spreads them out in a little row. After glancing among them for a few seconds, he selects two or three, eyes them thoughtfully, then holds them up toward Sasuke. "Which do you think? Mario Kart?"

Sasuke blinks for a moment, feeling oddly surreal and uncomfortably uncertain of what to say. "You're really going to play that thing?" he replies at last.

Naruto gives him a "duh" look. Sasuke begins to get annoyed again, although the other takes no notice. "Of course I'm gonna play! Ain't nothing else to do, and I haven't had a chance to play in ages, anyway!"

Sasuke eyes the black and gray machine disdainfully. "It's a waste of time."

"Come on, you can't tell me you never once played a video game at some point in your life," Naruto says dismissively, sounding as though he genuinely believes this. He gives Sasuke a pointed look. Feeling oddly defensive—it is just a waste of time, hardly anything to be embarrassed about—Sasuke just shrugs and sits cross-legged on the floor, nudging one of the games out of the way of his foot with a frown.

Naruto's jaw slowly drops open and he leans in toward Sasuke's face in disbelief. Sasuke narrows his eyes and bats the other's head away. "Stop that."

"…You've seriously never played any video game?" Naruto says, staring in shock.

"I told you, it's just a waste of time. Why the hell would I bother with something like that?"

"Because it's normal, and fun?" Naruto says like he is explaining something to a slow child. A moment later, he rolls his eyes and throws his hands up in an exaggerated gesture of realization. "…But of course you wouldn't ever do something like that. Never mind."

Sasuke glares at him, arms crossed. "If you're done."

Shaking his head, Naruto grabs one of the three games he'd been holding up before and jams it into the machine. "Well, that settles it, then."

A moment later, Sasuke finds himself holding one of two controllers that had been lying in a jumbled heap with the rest of the mess on the floor. He just barely manages to keep from sputtering in surprise. "What the—"

A logo flashes suddenly across the TV screen as Naruto turns on the game. A few seconds later, Sasuke's brain finally catches up with the rest of him, and he moves to smack Naruto upside the head with the gray controller. Naruto anticipates the action and dodges easily, fixing Sasuke with an impish grin. "Heh. Come on now, Sasuke, lots of missed childhood to catch up on and only a few hours to do it, you know."

Sasuke doesn't bother to hide a growl. "No."

Something unsettlingly sly and devious creeps into Naruto's expression as his grin widens. "What's the matter, Sasuke, 'fraid I'll kick your ass?"

Sasuke pauses and fights back a sudden twitch in his eye. Naruto's grin widens, again.

"It's been a real long time since I've played, after all, and never in versus mode, so I figured you'd never be scared of such an easy challenge, but hey. Guess there are some things even you can't pick up quite that fast, huh? But if you really don't—"

Sasuke cuts him off by plugging his controller into the one of the sockets in the front, the same way Naruto did with his a minute earlier. Naruto eyes him mischievously. "Heh."

"Shut the hell up." Sasuke's eye twitches again. "Tell me how to play this."

Sasuke takes a determined satisfaction in figuring out the controls in almost no time at all, despite having never played before. The act of controlling something onscreen via a joystick and buttons in his hands feels extremely peculiar to him at first, but he's always been fast to pick things up, no matter how weird they are—and contrary to what Naruto may have believed, this is no exception.

The game is called Mario Kart, and features sickeningly cute little characters speeding around a track on little things with wheels. The music is disgustingly cheerful and upbeat, and the race tracks all feature bright colors and charming little obstacles. Sasuke hates the game about five seconds in.

"Hmm." Naruto gives his rival a quick deciphering glance before making a face and coming to some seemingly reluctant decision. "I guess we should start at 50cc, since you're new."

"Che. You're the one who said he was out of practice," Sasuke retaliates with a scowl.

"Yeah, yeah." Naruto moves his cursor across the character selection screen and selects an ape wearing a tie. He turns to look at Sasuke impatiently. Sasuke eyes the screen in distaste, and finally picks a green dinosaur/lizard-ish player. He regrets it almost immediately when the dinosaur makes a disturbingly cute noise, but before he can go back and change his character, Naruto moves on to the track selection screen. "And I guess we'll start with the Mushroom Cup!"

"Wait a damn second," Sasuke says before Naruto can select it. "I'm not playing anything that has the word 'mushroom' in the title. This is stupid enough as it is."

Naruto snorts, but a moment later he shrugs. "Got a point." The cursor moves to the right and a second later, Naruto has selected the Special Cup. He snickers again. Sasuke shoots him a look that pointedly asks if he has a death wish.

A moment later, the track loads onto the screen and a floating turtle appears holding a string of lights on a fishing rod. Despite himself, Sasuke shifts his attention back to the game. There is a series of beeps, and then the light flashes green. Naruto shoots off onto the raceway, as do all of the computer-controlled players, leaving Sasuke in last place as his cart spins out of control for no apparent reason at all.

Naruto laughs. "Bad start, huh?"

Sasuke grits his teeth, pushes the A button again, and finally speeds off after the rest of the pack.

Two tracks in, Sasuke has a perfect understanding of the gameplay mechanics, and is managing to stay with the top of the pack. Three tracks in, he's picked up enough from covertly watching Naruto—the idiot conveniently neglected to mention one or two vital tricks of the trade—to keep up with him. Finally, on the third lap of the third track, he rounds a corner and pulls ahead, hiding a smirk as Naruto stammers in indignation.

"Hey—!" His mouth opens as Sasuke boosts ahead further. "You drifted!" he adds as if offended.

"You did it first," he says calmly as he speeds along. He's changed his mind about the dinosaur; incessantly cute as he may be, from what Sasuke can tell, his speed seems to make up for it. He hasn't failed to notice that Naruto's monkey character doesn't accelerate as fast—

A red shell hits him out of nowhere, and said monkey zips past his cart as his dinosaur tumbles off of the track and into the water.

"Whoops," says Naruto in a tone that cheekily confirms the shell was anything but whoops.

Kakashi would be proud of him, Sasuke thinks as he refrains from throwing the controller. He hasn't murdered his teammate yet—it shows he's learned restraint. He waits as the floating turtle picks his cart out of the sea and places it back on the track.

Four tracks in, Sasuke beats Naruto cold, and this time he doesn't bother to hide his smirk.

Naruto waits until Sasuke is just going up the jump in Wario Stadium before hitting him with the lightning bolt. Sasuke is not pleased. Angrily, he rams the next item box he sees as he races to catch up, and waits for his chance at revenge. Now that he's in last place, hopefully he'll have a better chance of scoring a—

A banana.

Narrowing his eyes, Sasuke drifts his cart to the right and powerslides around a corner, then on sudden inspiration, hops over to the left and frantically tilts the joystick back and forth to build up another mini-turbo before he drifts too far off course. It works, just barely, and he gets an extra boost of speed even though he's on a straightaway. He passes green-hat guy, moves into seventh place, and drops his banana peel behind him just out of spite. Green-hat guy hits it beautifully and careens out of control, and Sasuke glances at the map on the side of the screen to see how far ahead the others are. One down, six to go.

Wario Stadium is a rather uneven course, but in between the ramps and speed bumps there are a lot of corners, perfect for ambushing and more powersliding. Mostly the latter, since the former requires decent items and after his third banana in a row, Sasuke is convinced Naruto is somehow cheating. Nonetheless, his newly discovered back-and-forth drifting technique enables him to accelerate even faster than before, and before long he's back in third place. Then second, and then back to first, and then—and then Naruto hits him with a red shell. Of course.

Sasuke returns the favor on the third lap with a well-placed banana peel, and particularly relishes the feeling of driving past the monkey as his cart spins like a dropped penny.

He doesn't quite relish the feeling of getting hit by Naruto's spiny shell just before the finish line, though. Or the placing in fourth, for that matter.

Sasuke hits Naruto with a red shell of his own in Royal Raceway, and thinks in that moment that he's beginning to see the appeal of this game.

He makes it over the ramp, and then around the next couple of corners without incident. Then across the starting line. Just when he is starting to wonder where Naruto's retaliation is, a bolt of lightning hits his cart once again, accompanied by the other boy's gleeful shout of, "Chidori!!"

"Fuck you," Sasuke says vindictively as Naruto drives past him. Naruto laughs, and as Sasuke accelerates again he decides he's getting a little tired of losing.

Sharingan doesn't work as well as one might expect when playing a video game, but it somehow still gets the job done.

As Sasuke lands the jump in the second lap, approximately a billion miles in the lead, an appalled Naruto shoots him a cross glance, spots the crimson in his eyes, and sputters, outraged: "Did you just use the Sharingan?!"

"Maybe," says Sasuke unabashedly as he enters the final lap.


"How am I a cheater?" Sasuke says in annoyance. "You're the one using your last place to get all these stupid items."

"I'm not getting them because I'm in—I'm not in last place!!" Naruto quickly shoots him a dirty look. "I'm just luckier than you, hah!"


Sasuke hits the brakes on his cart and waits for Naruto to catch up and pass him.

"What?" Naruto mutters, confused. After a moment, he shrugs. "Dude, your funeral."

Ignoring him, Sasuke starts up again, powersliding through the next row of item boxes.

"Told you s—" Naruto begins to say as he approaches the finish line—

—only to be struck by a bolt of lightning.

Sasuke drives past, offers a shrug of his own, and says in his very most mocking tone of voice: "Chidori."

"…Fuck you."

After Sasuke comes out in first in the Grand Prix, Naruto decides it's time to switch to Battle Mode. "Need me to explain the rules to you?" he asks tauntingly, and even though he has no idea what said rules are, Sasuke just rolls his eyes and selects his character (the dinosaur again).

"Just start the damn game."

"Fine by me," Naruto agrees as he selects Bowser, the heaviest-looking character in the game, and then the first battle arena, the Big Donut.

The first thing Sasuke notes as the level loads is that this can't be a racetrack. It's too simple (the course is aptly named, as it basically is just a big doughnut shape); there wouldn't be a challenge. What's more, both he and Naruto are starting off in opposite sections of the course.

Not to mention both of them have balloons tied to their carts.

Sasuke is a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them, and it only takes a second to figure out what the object of this mode is. Item boxes everywhere, three balloons to pop… well, some things are just obvious.

He just hopes to hell lightning bolts don't apply here.

"Well, Sasuke," says Naruto gleefully as the light turns green and they start moving, "been nice knowing you." He zips off on his end of the screen, plowing into the first item box he sees, and Sasuke does the same, quickly taking in the layout and already planning, like he would in any other battle, how to use it to his advantage. Lots of walls to hide behind—but if Naruto is smart, he'll just check the map to see where Sasuke is, which kind of eliminates the point of that. Then again… that's if Naruto is smart.

Lots of item boxes as well, though, and laid out randomly enough that it would be hard to notice a fake from a distance. Filing all of this away in his mind, Sasuke waits to see what item fate decides to hand him… and of course. It's a banana. Meanwhile, Naruto is armed with three red shells.

Oh well, Sasuke thinks as he drops the banana behind a wall and hits the next item box. Game on.

Five minutes later, the arena is filled with bananas and fake item boxes (his), and red and green shells (Naruto's) taking them out one by one. Since he blindly hit the first fake item box, Naruto appears to have wised up and is now paying much closer attention. Eventually, Sasuke gives up on taking him out from a distance and decides more drastic action is needed. The next time he gets a banana bunch, he takes off toward Naruto's cart and, once in range, begins shooting them ahead of him like projectiles. It works; Naruto is unable to dodge them all and loses another balloon as Sasuke speeds back to safety.

Unfortunately, Naruto gets his payback all too soon, hitting him at last with two red shells in a row, evening the odds once again. They're down to one balloon each now, and as Naruto zips off again Sasuke decides that he needs to finish him off before he gets in another lucky shot. Taking off after him, Sasuke hits another item box, then frowns as Naruto's itemless cart suddenly turns around and shoots right towards him.

Writing it off as a typically Naruto grand kamikaze act, Sasuke simply quirks an eyebrow and waits for his item to appear. Just as it loads—a red shell, finally­—Naruto's cart rams him and disappears past as the blond pumps his fist in triumph.

Meanwhile, Sasuke's cart spins out, his final balloon floating away as Player 1 is declared the winner and the menu reappears. As Naruto pushes A, still basking in his success, all Sasuke can do is blankly wonder how the hell the other won without any items.

Brow furrowing as it hits him, he presses the B button angrily. "I'm switching my character."

"Yeah, I thought you might," Naruto grins mockingly. Sasuke doesn't dignify him with a response—cheating son of a bitch could have told him that the characters' sizes were important in Battle Mode—and selects Wario silently, because Naruto is already playing as Bowser and it'll be a cold day in hell before he ever picks the monkey.

"I call red!" Naruto shouts maniacally as he selects the Block Fortress level, and Sasuke wonders what the hell the other is on.

One epic territorial battle later (after fortifying the red and blue fortresses, the two went on to fill the yellow and green ones with booby-trap items as well before finally declaring war and trying to reclaim each other's fortresses as their own… before finally giving up and just attacking each other head-on), the two are once again tied as they enter Double Deck.

As their latest war epic rages on, Sasuke begrudgingly admits that this level isn't that bad as far as things go. It's fairly well laid-out: big enough to make things interesting but still small enough to… well, to make things interesting. There are plenty of corners to hide in and several good points to set up ambushes, Sasuke's favorite of these being the central raised platform where anyone on the main level can be easily targeted from. Of course, anyone on the center platform is also easy prey for someone sneaking up on them from the very top level, and so it isn't long before the Double Deck battle degenerates into a circular game of "Who Can Get To The Upper Level Fast Enough To Target The Other One On The Lower Level Before The One On The Lower Level Gets Back To The Upper Level To Target The One On The Lower Level."

Needless to say, this gets old rather fast.

After some random scrambling to attack each other on the ground level (both Naruto and Sasuke tire of the previous strategy at approximately the same time), the two once again change tacks and start ambushing each other from behind corners. After that, they pretty much start mixing tactics at random and trying to catch the other one off guard.

It is sometime around this point that Sasuke finally admits somewhere in the back of his mind that he is having fun, although he's quick to suppress the thought and focus once more on simply beating the crap out of his teammate.

They're playing Grand Prix mode again (they tried alternating Time Trial attempts for a while, but Sasuke won every time and Naruto quickly tired of that) some time later when there's a sound, suddenly. After a few moments they realize someone is knocking on the door.

"Naruto, Sasuke-kun. …Um, hi," Sakura says awkwardly when they greet her, and Sasuke goes off to find a towel while Naruto gladly lets her in, chattering about how happy he is to see her and how she's all wet and wow, it must really still be coming down outside.

Sasuke rejoins them in the kitchen a few moments later to find Naruto sheepishly explaining the bits of old breakfast on the walls while Sakura seemingly tries not to laugh. She graciously accepts the towel from Sasuke, smiling, and Naruto asks her if she'd like anything to drink. After politely declining, she then asks what they've been up to all day.

"Not much," Sasuke says a little too quickly, but it turns out not to matter because at the exact same moment, Naruto eagerly blurts out, "Nintendo 64, want to play?"

And at the same time that Sasuke smacks his forehead in mortification, Sakura asks, "Really, what games?" And for a moment, as that sinks in, the only thing Sasuke can do is let his jaw hang open a little.

And Naruto answers, "Mario Kart!" and Sakura's eyes light up and she says she hasn't played that in ages but she used to play at Ino's after school, and then she and Naruto are suddenly discussing favorite levels and shortcuts and characters (Naruto teases her about Princess Peach but she insists she prefers to use Mario or Luigi) and heading down to Naruto's room while Sasuke just kind of stands there and thinks, what the fuck.

Then Naruto grabs his arm and says, "Come on, bastard, we're gonna do three-player," and Sasuke shakes him off but follows anyway.

One track in, Sakura beats Naruto and Sasuke cold, and as she grins and Naruto gapes, Sasuke once again doesn't bother to hide his smirk.