I'm sorry for setting off your alerts when there isn't a new chapter to read—I'm working on it, but I'm kind of stuck right now—but I wanted to let you guys know that I went through the previous chapters and fixed a few things. Nothing too major of course, because I didn't want to clash with the canon I had already established. But for starters, I changed the alignment of the text so it is no longer centered; hopefully it will be easier to read now. I also added a few new dialogues, change old ones that didn't quite feel right characterization-wise anymore, and fixed a few odd-sounding lines and mistakes.

So hopefully it all floods better now.

I also wanted to thank you all for your support through the story. I am really thankful for your reviews and kind works, so hopefully what's next to come won't disappoint.

I am also thinking about hearing some ideas, to see if it helps me get over my writers block. So if there's anything in particular you want to see happening on the next chapter, write me a review and tell me about it! Who knows, it might make it to the chapter!

Like I said the first time I posted this chapter, he Dance will be the next one. And depending on my inspiration, there can be 1 or 2 chapters left. Perhaps an epilogue as well.

I know I always say there are two chapters left—I don't get that, either—but this time, I actually mean it.

So, enjoy what's left of the story!


Chapter 6

No turning back now. Let's do this!

- -


"Oi! Weren't those supposed to be blue?"

"How am I supposed to know?"

"Read the list! That's what it's there for!—Actually, don't. I was the one who wrote that list, and I'm fairly certain those should be blue"

"…Then what should I do with these?"

"Go change them, of course!" An irritated roll of the eyes, and she turns her back on the girl, who frowns dejectedly for a few seconds before going back to the storage room from where she came from. "People these days.." She complained aloud, when she was sure the girl wouldn't be able to hear her, "can't even be able to follow the simplest of instructions; green napkins instead of blue ones, jeez. Doesn't she have at least the barest sense of taste?"

"What are you complaining about now, Ino?" Inquires a mocking voice behind her. Recognizing it right away, the blonde doesn't even turn around to meet her.

"I wouldn't be complaining so much if they actually knew how to follow directions!" An aggravated roll of her eyes, and Ino lowers her tone of voice so only the two of them would be able to hear her words, "I really don't know where Tsunade-sama found these people, Sakura"

The pink-haired girl lets an un-lady-like snort abandon her lips, as she sets the basket full of arrangements—flowers, hats, small-pink-thingies—at the table besides the blonde. "Haven't you thought that perhaps the problem isn't them, but the bizarre orders you're giving them?"

Ino snorts, "As if" and an indignant shrug of one shoulder causes Sakura to chuckle softly.

"Seriously, Ino. Don't let the power get to that thick head of yours. You may be in charge, but don't get too worked-up because of that"

"Heh, look who's talking. Miss 'I'm-in-charge-of-the-mission-so-we-have-to-plan-it-with-a-month-of-anticipation' Haruno!" Ino turns sideways to shot Sakura a cocky smirk, which causes the other girl to blush with embarrassment, immediately trying to cover it by focusing her attention on the arrangement's basket. Ino pretended not to notice the crack that appeared on the table Sakura was currently leaning her hands on.

"Shut up, pig"

"The truth hurts, doesn't it, billboard-brow?"

"Whatever" Sakura rolls her eyes and waits for the blush to subside before staring at Ino from the corner of her eye. The blonde was too busy to notice though, hanging small decorations on the walls. "…So, you're going with Sasuke-kun, then?"

Ino's hand halts briefly, her eyes narrowing slightly. But then she gets a hold of herself and continues her task; "Yeah forehead, how many times do I have to tell you?"

Sakura rolls her eyes once again at her friend's picky mood, but decides against commenting about it. "I'm just having a hard time believing it, ya know? Sasuke-kun with such a pig like you"

"Oh I know the feeling all too well. I was shocked too when someone as hot as Naruto asked a forehead such as yourself to the dance" She doesn't need to turn around to know the embarrassed and offended blush covering her friend's cheeks, and thinking about it made her grin.

"Since when do you consider Naruto hot, anyway?" Sakura asked after a few seconds, her voice curiously low and choked.

"Since he grew out, developed a body and got ride of that scandalous orange suit, of course" Pausing, she turns towards Sakura and shows her a bright grin, "But do not worry, he's not my type. And besides, you two look too cute together for me to ruin it"

Sakura can't help but to smile sincerely at her, affection and gratitude shinning clearly in her green orbs—the thought of Ino finding them 'cute' together making her feel all warm inside. Getting a hold of herself, and adverting her eyes from the blonde and instead focusing her attention once again in the arrangements, Sakura once again addressed the topic she had been meaning to comment about. "Anyway, Ino-pig. Shouldn't you be happier?"

"Happier? Why? How?—There's no way I can be happy when the dance is in just a couple of hours and I'm surrounded by idiots!" the blonde threw her arms up in the air out of sheer frustration, and Sakura rolled her eyes yet again.

"Jeez, thank you for your appreciation, Ino" Her childhood friend waved a hand dismissively, and Sakura sighed, "I meant that, you're going with Sasuke-kun. The boy you have been after since forever—shouldn't you be happier?"

Ino shrugged nonchalantly, "I am. But you didn't expect me to go around jumping like a bunny of some sorts, did you?"

"Not exactly—but something like that, yeah" This time Ino is the one who rolls her eyes, and Sakura looks at her thoughtfully, "What's the matter, Ino?"

'God damnit, this forehead knows me a little too well'

Ino thought, somewhat aggravated. And knowing that she wouldn't be able to beat the bush around that subject this time, she let out a tired sigh. "It's just… it doesn't mean a thing, alright?"

The pink-haired girl blinked, without understanding Ino's point. "What do you mean?"

"To Sasuke. It doesn't mean a thing to Sasuke" Ino explained softly, doing her best to hide the hurt from her eyes and voice. "He only wants to go out with me so he can get out of this one—heck, he even asked you first—so if it doesn't mean a thing to him why should it mean anything to me?"

Ouch. Now Sakura understood very well the logic behind Ino's thinking, and she couldn't help but blame Sasuke for it—Seriously, the guy didn't know how to express himself sometimes, and he also sucked greatly at showing his feelings. Sakura spared a few seconds to thank whatever gods were up there for Naruto and his annoying but life-saving bluntness, before finally addressing Ino's point. "You're being a little too harsh, Ino. You know Sasuke-kun, even if it did mean something to him, he wouldn't be able to show it so easily"

"That's not an excuse, forehead. The point is that it doesn't mean a single thing"

"I wouldn't be too sure of that if I were you, Ino—look, I know Sasuke-kun alright? Or at least I'd like to think I do--"

"—You do"

"—Anyway, the point is that when he asked me it was different from when he asked you, Ino. He asked me because I'm his teammate, but he didn't look particularly disappointed when I told him I couldn't—instead, with you, we couldn't even name Sai because he would completely freak out"

"Sasuke doesn't freak out"

"He got all moody and psycho on us. That's the equivalent of freaking out on Sasuke-land"

Ino rolls her eyes; some part of her acknowledging the logic behind Sakura's explanation, but the cynical part of her choosing to disregard it all. "Sasuke has never liked Sai. It's as simple as that"

"—And Naruto also told me" Continued Sakura, ignoring Ino's intervention, "that Sasuke-kun spent the whole day smirking like an idiot yesterday" the Haruno smirks with satisfaction, while turning to watch Ino's reaction to that particular piece of information. The blonde, who had briefly stopped working as Sakura's words entered her ears, upon feelings the girl's eyes on her pushed away her surprise and continued hanging arrangements instead.

"That doesn't mean anything. It doesn't have to be related to me"

"Right, because he would surely be on a great mood thanks to his meeting with Tsunade-shishou" After a good roll of her eyes, Sakura sighed "Look, Ino. Think whatever you want to think, alright? I was just trying to open your eyes"

"Here is the stuff you requested. I gotta go to Tsunade-sama's office right now—remember to be at my house on time, pig! See ya later!"

"Yeah, yeah see you"

Ino sighed softly as she heard Sakura's fading footsteps. She didn't get why the pink-haired girl was insisting so much on the Sasuke-issue; it wasn't doing her any good—she spent all these years working so hard to get over him, and she had believed she had succeed.

Only for Sasuke to come and mess things up with his twisted sense of humor.

It wasn't fair at all. And she refused to dare to hope for anything only to have her hopes crushed mercilessly—it had happened way too many times already, and Ino didn't think her heart would be able to hold itself together if the Uchiha broke it once again.

She didn't want to try and wait-and-see, either.

So with a new and tired sigh, Ino once again resumed her work, planning to push away all Sasuke-related thoughts from her conflicted mind.

And so focused was she on her resolution and forgotten train of thought, that she didn't notice the figure silently approaching her and coming to a halt right behind her.

"Hello, Ino-san"

The flower she had been holding fell from her hands at the sound of his unexpected voice, her heart skipping a beat and her blue-eyes widening with surprise.

"…Sai"


"Oi! Bastard! Get up already!"

Some incoherent mumblings are the only thing Naruto gets as an answer.

"Teme! I'm talking to you!"

"….shuddup" Was what the murmur sounded like this time for the blonde, and he watched with slight exasperation how his friend turned over on his bed, placing the pillow above his head pretty much in the exact same way Naruto himself is used to do every day.

Oh, but today was different.

"Sasuke!"

"...Fuck off dobe. Leave me alone"

And with those words, Sasuke kept sleeping.

Naruto's eyebrow started twitching.

What the hell was up with Sasuke, anyway? He was normally the one to be up earlier, annoying Naruto to no end with the noises he made in the bathroom or while he was serving breakfast to himself—oh, because that was another matter that had Naruto one step away from asphyxiating the guy. Couldn't he cook for Naruto as well, damnit? He was eating his food, after all!

It may have been the not-so-suppressed anger that always came over him whenever he thought about it, or perhaps it was simple the fact that Naruto was not very patient when it came to Sasuke—hell, his patience reserve for him had completely wore out during those damn three years he spent chasing after him. But his next and brilliant curse of action didn't take long to make itself clear in his brain; and it didn't take him long to turn on his heels, and strode towards the kitchen, either.

The next time Sasuke heard steps approaching him, he also felt a rush of something cold being emptied on his head.

Needless to say, that was more than enough to get the boy to go from sleepy mood to fully-awake-and-ready-to-kill-someone mood. That someone of course, being Naruto.

"What the hell, dobe?! What do you think you're doing?!"

"What does it look like I'm doing, bastard?!" The blonde snapped back, leaning forward and pushing his face into Sasuke's personal space, not the least bit scared of the boy's killing glare and ugly scowl. "Waking you up, of course!"

Sasuke's scowl deepened, as he shook his head to get ride of the drops of water that were trying to make its way into his eyes; all the time, managing to keep his glare focused at his friend, who was leaning way too close for comfort.

None of them seemed to care about that though; they were too used to it.

"And who the hell asked you to wake me up? Are you stupid, stupid? We don't have any missions today!" Naruto's eyes only narrowed further, and he answered back, with a tone that had a slight hint of indignation edged to it.

"And who cares about missions? Don't you know what today is, you ungrateful bastard?!"

It took said bastard a good minute and a half to actually follow his friend's train of thought. And when he finally did, and understood what the ruckus was all about, he only wished even harder to stay on the bed; buried deep under the sheets, away from them all.

But there was no way he would muster his thoughts out loud, so he settled instead for an easier answer. "…Tch"

Finding some satisfaction on Sasuke's monosyllable answer, Naruto leaned back, straightening himself and folding his arms across his chest, giving the other boy a derisive thoughtful look with those blue eyes of his. "Exactly. So get on your sorry ass already and start to move. We are already late for our schedule"

At that, Sasuke couldn't help but to arch an eyebrow, "Our schedule?"

"Yes, the schedule I planed for the both of us" Was the blonde's answer, as he made his way towards the kitchen, looking over his shoulder just long enough to allow Sasuke to clearly hear his words, "You should feel honored I took the time to plan something for you, too!"

"Hn, I didn't ask for it…" The Uchiha whispered under his breath, not quite loud enough to Naruto to be able to catch it, his eyes adverting from the blonde's back and focusing instead on the night-table beside his bed.

Which allowed him to realize just what time it was.

His irritation came back and hit him full force, as he turned his head around to once again face the corridor the blonde had disappeared through.

"DOBE! Did you see just how damn early it is?!"

"What's the big deal 'bout that?! Sakura-chan and Ino-chan are up and working already!" Came his annoyed answer from the kitchen, and Sasuke couldn't help but to blink at that.

The mere mention of the blonde brought back memories that he had tried to keep at bay during the previous day as a whole; memories and questions that he knew he would have to get answers to sooner or later.

He decided it would be later, though. He shook his head once again, trying to clear any thoughts concerning the loud and pretty blonde from his mind. Drops of water flied around him with the soft action, and Sasuke kept his mind busy with cursing the other blonde that was the source of his current foul-mood.

What was it with him and blondes, anyway?

"Sasukeeee! Stop being so lazy and get your ass here! We're not going to have enough time for training if you don't hurry up!"

Training?

Sasuke's ears perked up at the word, and from the kitchen, Naruto couldn't help but chuckle with satisfaction as he could hear all too clearly the Uchiha's soft steps signaling he was finally up and making his way towards the bathroom.

"Heh, knew that would get him moving. Sasuke is too damn predictable for his own good"


After some good minutes of awkward staring and silence only slightly muffled thanks to the voices around them, Ino finally decided to speak, since it seemed that Sai was too busy with whatever was going through his mind to even give it a try.

"Shouldn't you be on your way to the mission?" She asked, disregarding what she had originally wanted to ask after deeming it as overly rude, even from her. After all, she didn't know just why Sai was there, and with what intentions.

What did the boy want to prove? If he was there to apologize, he was just wasting his time. Ino had thought enough about it, and she had already reached a conclusion without needing his presence.

So she turns her back to him, once again focusing on finishing the arrangements.

"...I don't have to leave yet. My team leaves in an hour, Ino-san" Was the boy's answer, said in that usual calm and awfully polite tone of his.

"And why did you come here? Shouldn't you be getting ready?"

"I am ready. And besides.." Sai started, watching Ino's back as she fumbled with a particularly long set of flowers. "I wanted to see how you guys were doing.."

"I see you're doing perfectly well. These decorations are lovely" And for good measure, he twists his lips into his trademark polite smile, even though the blonde wouldn't be able to see it.

"Thanks, Sai"

If he was hoping his compliments would get him anywhere though, he was clearly mistaken. And after realizing that, Sai couldn't help but sigh. It seemed that it wouldn't do him any good to try and approach the subject in an indirect way; everything with Ino was blunt and straight to the point. That was something he knew all too well.

It was one of the things that had drawn him to her, after all.

And now that he thought about it; it probably attracted Sasuke-kun, too.

The thought did nothing to lighten the pressure that was currently set upon his shoulders.

"…Ino-san?"

At hearing Sai's tentative call, Ino couldn't help but sigh, finally resigning herself to the fact that she just wouldn't be able to focus on working with the boy right there behind her. She had never been able to ignore his presence before, and from the looks of it, this wasn't the day when that particular fact would change.

"Yes, Sai?"

The boy took some moments to answer her question. What was unknown to her though, was that he was scratching his cheek in the way he liked to do so much whenever he was embarrassed or feeling nervous.

"…Would you… forgive me?"

Ino couldn't truly say that the words had taken her by surprise; but knowing the odd boy would say it was a lot different than hearing him doing so. So she found her eyes widening slightly, her back straightening.

"I.. know that what I did wasn't the right thing to do in that situation, but--"

"-It's alright, Sai"

Her own words were the ones that surprised her the most, though. They took Sai by surprise too, the boy not being able to hide the comical widen of his black eyes and his shocked expression.

"I mean," Ino hurried herself to add, finally taking a hold of her mouth before it could possibly say something she would regret later, "Of course that what you did was wrong; it was idiotic, to trade your date merely because someone gave you a hand and stopped you from falling flat on your face"

She rolls her eyes at that, and behind her, Sai starts scratching his cheek once again. "But.. it wasn't really your fault. I understand that now"

And she did.

After some minutes of being alone in her flower-shop, pondering Sai's words and actions in her mind, she didn't have a doubt that if anyone was to blame about the matter, it was no one else than Sasuke himself.

The thing was though, that she just didn't know how to feel about that.

Was there really something to blame him for?

Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, Ino focused on the task at hand.

Sai.

She would decide what to do and think about Sasuke later.

"You do?"

She couldn't help but smile at the hint of disbelief in his voice, and she allows herself to fake an overly dramatic tired sigh before turning around to meet him face to face.

"Yeah, you were just returning a favor, right?—It doesn't mean that you did things the right way, though. But I guess you'll learn those things with time"

And for good measure, she gives him her trademark grin.

He answers it back with one of his smiles, but there's not a doubt in her mind that this time he means it.

After that, talking becomes easier.


"Fuck, you stink!"

Sasuke stopped trying to dry his sweat, in order to direct a menacing glare in the blonde's direction. "Pardon me?"

"What? You're deaf now? You.Stink" Naruto placed two fingers on his nose, making a disgusted face. "I was thinking about using the bathroom first, but you need it more than me"

"What are you talking about, idiot? You stink" Sasuke smirks, "Quite literally, but metaphorically works fine, too"

Naruto has the expected reaction.

"What the hell are you trying to say, you bastard?! I kicked your ass today!"

Sasuke narrows his eyes.

"It was only a stupid training-session"

"Training-session or not, I'm still stronger than you!" Apparently remembering his old habits, the blonde stuck out his tongue at the Uchiha. Who in turn narrowed his eyes even further.

"You're an idiot"

"And you're a stinky bastard!" After a minute of glaring, Naruto grins. "And now go and take a bath, will you? We have an hour to get ready!"

Sasuke unfolds his arms, giving his friend a questioning glance. "An hour? I thought that thing was at eight?"

"Yeah, but we have to be on Sakura-chan's house at seven! Did you forget about that?"

'Then it's settled! Pick me up at Sakura's house tomorrow at seven!'

Crap, he had really forgotten. But with all the things he had in mind right now, who could blame him? There was only too much anyone's mind could handle, and even though he was an Uchiha, he was not the exception.

He resisted the urge to sigh.

"I'll be done in fifteen" He picked up the towel he had dropped and threw it at the basket where all the dirty clothes were in; then grabbed a cleaner one from the table. "And then you'll have the bathroom"

"Yeah, yeah, just hurry up! We better not be late, or Ino and Sakura-chan will have our heads!" But even though it was an awful prospect, Naruto was grinning like a dork, "Just a punch from Sakura-chan would be more than enough for that"

If he wasn't in such a hurry, Sasuke would have turned around to actually see the love-sick face he knew Naruto was making—and make fun of it, too—but as things were, he did not see anything appealing about getting his head chopped from his body thanks to Sakura's brutal strength, so he could only spare the enough time to throw his retort over his shoulder.

"You seem to be forgetting Ino's developed shintenshin. She could get you to cut your own head without even dropping a sweat"

Behind him, Naruto huffed and folded his arms above his chest. "Sakura-chan would kick her ass if she did that"

Sasuke snorted, just before closing the door behind him.

But the thickness of the wooden door wasn't able to muffle his comment.

"As if"

Naruto couldn't help but grin with satisfaction.

Who would have thought Sasuke would be so defensive of Ino, huh?


A sigh left her lips, and she took in a deep intake of breath. She couldn't understand why in the world her heart was beating so fast against her chest, when she was only at her friend's house. Her best friend's house. It wasn't as if she had to go to the dance right there and then, or if Sasuke was somewhere near.

Sasuke.

She had been trying to prevent herself from thinking about him the whole day, exactly for those reasons. The way her heartbeat seemed to become even more erratic by the mere thought of him, the way her cheeks got warmer, or the nervous chills that ran through her spine. Everything.

She shouldn't be feeling like that. She didn't have time for those things, and much less for him out of all people. She was supposed to be over all that years ago, after everything that had happened, after all his rejections.

She was supposed to focus on Sai, or someone else. Anyone but him.

Neither of them needed her stupid feelings to complicate their already weak relationship; she had worked hard to get them to where they were right now. And she didn't want to lose it just because her stupid heart decided to go back 3 years in the past.

But who could blame her?

She had done her best effort, she had been moving on so damn well… and he just had to come and twist it all. He just had to come and give her hopeless heart some tingle of hope, and that was more than enough to unlock everything she had been trying so hard to leave behind.

Damn Sasuke.

Damn him and his twisted mind! This was all his damned fault!

His damned fault for being so damn—

"Ino? What are you doing there?"

The questioning voice of her best friend makes Ino jump slightly, her heartbeat increasing even more thanks to the surprise, her hand flying to grasp her chest by reflex.

Sakura blinks for an instant, but then she smirks. Oh, she would never miss the chance to tease her a little. "Heh, I didn't know you were so easy to scare, piggy"

Her comment is enough to make Ino regain her composure, an smirk already curving the corners of her lips as she readjusts her bag on her shoulder and confidently flips her long ponytail, "I only get scared when ugly foreheads like you appear in my way, Sakura"

The pink-haired girl resists the urge to let out a growl and throw the door on Ino's face, and instead moves to the side in order to allow the blonde to enter the house, not without glaring daggers at her smirking face. "Why didn't you knock?"

"I got lost in my thoughts for a sec" She was just thinking about lying when the truth simply came out her lips. She smacked herself inwardly, for trusting Sakura so bloody much. She already knew what was coming.

"You're nervous?"

Ino takes a few seconds before turning towards her, her expression carefully masking her inner struggles.

Nervous was an understatement.

"Like hell I am. Why would I be? I'm just making Sasuke a favor, aren't I? And besides, I'm eager to hear all the compliments about my amazing fashion sense"

Sakura smirks, "Heh, you had me for a second" Her smirk contorts into a smile though, and she starts to go up the stairs. "It isn't too bad to let yourself open up, you know Ino? You may want to give it a try tonight"

Ino merely stares at her, her brow furrowed in thought. She has just a second to muse over Sakura's words though, as her voice is heard from the upper floor.

"Come on, Ino! They have to be here at any moment now!"

Ino's heart skips a beat, and she doesn't even have the enough strength left to curse herself for that.

"I'm coming, I'm coming!"

And with that she's running up the stairs.


"Which one do you think looks better, Sasuke?"

Said boy raised his head, focusing his onyx eyes on the blonde who was currently staring in front of his mirror, holding a red tie in one hand and an orange one in the other. Sasuke would have chuckled at the almost comedic seriousness in which Naruto was pondering his mundane decision, but he was too busy trying to keep his heartbeat in check.

Just why did his heart insist on skipping a beat, anyway? He could not possibly be tired from all the training, could he?

"Orange"

Was his nonchalant response, just before he returned his attention to getting his own tie to look perfectly straight. Sasuke had to admit that he would have liked to wear that red tie Naruto had more than the one he was currently wearing, but something told him that Ino would like to look in sync with him. And that something told him that he should wear something purple.

Though he had been pleasantly surprised to see just how well purple and black matched together. And how well it all contrasted with the pale tone of his skin.

And fuck, he was just starting to sound like a narcissistic girly-guy.

Thank God Naruto couldn't read his thoughts.

"Yeah, I was thinking that, too" The blonde agreed, carelessly throwing the rejected tie to one side, and now focusing on trying to actually wear the orange one.

"Then why did you ask me?"

"I just wanted to hear someone's opinion. It wasn't as if your tongue would fall out or something for helping" Sasuke was just about to answer the blonde's comment with a witty comeback of his own, when he realized that said blonde was still struggling with his tie; his tongue sticking out from one corner of his lips and everything, his brown furrowed in utmost concentration and the noticeable start of frustration.

He would have chuckled at him, consequently starting a heated argument where Naruto insisted that he had everything under control. But a quick check to his wrist-watch was more than enough to take the tempting idea out of his mind.

There was no time to waste on childish things.

Naruto's blue eyes widened with surprise as Sasuke's hands suddenly reached from behind him towards his throat. There was a second of unwanted panic, as he wondered just why in the world he hadn't noticed the black-haired boy approaching him from his reflex on the mirror—and worse than that there was another second full of chills on his spine thanks to the sudden proximity.

"O-oi! What the hell are you--?"

Was the first thing he said when he finally regained his voice, and by that time Sasuke's hands had just gotten a hold of his tie.

"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm going to fix your tie, since you seem to be such an idiot that you can't even do that"

He sees the traces of a smirk on the Uchiha's lips, and much to his horror that only adds to the sudden blush that was coloring his cheeks and to the knot that had formed on his throat. Damn, why in the world did he have to be so easily impressionable?! If Sasuke noticed his predicament he would never let him live it down, that bastard!

"I didn't need your help" He ends up muttering, adverting his eyes from the mirror, and focusing them on the nearest wall. Sasuke though, did exactly the opposite to that, finally bringing his eyes to watch their reflexes on the mirror, realizing with slight surprise Naruto's flushed expression.

For some reason or another, it almost made him smile.

"Yeah, whatever you say, dobe" A final tug, and the tie was in its correct position. Pleased, Sasuke gave a step back, allowing himself and the blonde to admire his work. He can't help but snort, "Now we won't have to be late, and lose our heads will we?"

He's turning around and walking ove to the bed to grab his jacket, when Naruto's whisper reaches his ears.

"…Thanks"

He isn't sure if Naruto intended him to hear, he isn't even sure if Naruto wants him to say anything. So for an instant, he's caught completely off guard; stopping dead in his tracks, his hand hesitating for the hint of a second and his fingers just barely brushing the soft material of his jacket.

But then the second is over, and he has made his decision. His jacket is confidently flung over his shoulder, he's striding towards the door. There are not even the barest traces of surprise or awkwardness on his features or body language.

"Let's go, dobe"

He says when he passes by his side and Naruto nods, taking a deep breath before letting a bright grin curve his lips, his hands giving a soft tug on the tie in order to make it look somewhat messy.

Exactly his style.

His grin widened, being pleased with how he looked. And a few steps ahead of him, Sasuke smirked.

"Altight teme, let's go!"

For some reason though, something quite trembled inside the Uchiha.

He refused to allow himself to accept that he was possibly being overwhelmed with anticipation.

- -


Hope there are not that many mistakes now. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

See you all in the next chapter.