Well here I am, with an AU oneshot, inspired by the fic 'Talk to Me', whose author's name alludes me at the moment. So yeah, the premise was inspired by that, though there are very notable differences.

I apologise for any OOC-ness. I hope I did ok -



If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.

Advice for the day ) –Naruto

Sasuke snorted silently at his phone, its screen scratched with age, glowing in the dimly lit bus. He could just see himself in it. He looked pretty fucked. At eight in the morning, he looked like he'd spent a night on the street, snorting lines.

That description held an element of truth. He had been on the street for the bulk of the night, albeit drug-free, reading and watching night creatures in the trees and on the lake. It wasn't a particularly action-packed existence, but it certainly left him feeling like he'd lived a whole life in ten hours, and all he wanted now was to sleep.

He couldn't, though. One, falling asleep on a bus was more or less asking to wake up with fewer possessions than what you fell asleep with. And two, he had to reply to Naruto's SMS.

Quoting bus tickets again?(1) Give me some -personal- advice, like how to clean yourself up before school because you were a fucking moron the night before.


Why didn't he just go home last night, instead of staying in a freaking bookshop until it closed, and spending the rest of the night looking over his shoulder, in hopes of evading malicious attacks?

Why didn't he buy himself some food before he headed off to school? He already looked pretty emaciated as it was. Habitually staying out all Sunday night on a whim probably had something to do with that.

Why, at the very least, didn't he text Naruto and tell him to come and keep him company? That way he could have had someone to talk to, instead of having to talk to himself, to remind himself that he was still awake and not just dreaming that he was being a total idiot.

That last question was easily answered by the fact that Naruto was rightly tucked up in bed last night, re-energising for the day ahead in which he too would go to school. Assuming he was Naruto. Assuming he actually went to school and wasn't some twisted old man who bought a mobile phone merely as a tool to hunt down lonely schoolboys like Sasuke.

That generally was the catch when you struck up friendships with random people in random chat rooms on random nights when everyone in the real world was being a wanker. It took half a year for Sasuke and the alleged Naruto to shed their online screen names and swap mobile numbers so as to be in more convenient contact.

When he looked at it that way, Sasuke often had to reason with himself that he wasn't being sucked in by a child sex-offender. He wasn't a child anyway. He was 16, and despite what state laws said, he was as much an adult as the next person. He lived alone, completely self-sufficient (aside from the convenience of the dole(2) that at this point he was unable to resist), and he would be damned if this Naruto character was going to get the better of him.

A vibration in his pocket, followed by a soft twinkling melody that he kept merely as an alert, and not as a personal accessory to his being, made him jump out of the day-dreaming state he'd lost himself in for just over a minute.

Clean yourself up how? What were you doing on a Sunday night that could require cleaning? You knob. –Naruto

That was a good question. Sasuke wasn't dirty. He just looked very, very tired. And in the end there wasn't much he could do about that, other than sleep. Why was he even going to school? He wasn't even in uniform. And it wasn't like he hadn't bunked off before. He typed a quick reply.

Stayed out all night in the parklands. Fucking ridiculous, I know. Not sure why I did it. Finished a few books though. –Sasuke

Flicking his black hair out of his eyes, Sasuke slid down in his seat, the double-seating arrangement that was meant for old people. 'Priority Seating is for the Elderly and People With Disabilities' said the sticker on the window, a sticker Sasuke had spent countless hours on numerous trips manipulating into other phrases.

'Riots for the Elderly and People With Disabilities.'

'Riots for the Pope with Abilities.'

And so on. Buses were full of entertainment just waiting to be discovered, he figured, and he tried everything he could to make his long trips shorter, or at least more worthwhile.

That's… you're insane, Sasuke! WTF, dude? You could have at least called me and I would have sat with you or convinced you to stay somewhere less open for homicide attempts. –Naruto

Naruto was good like that. Always offering his services as a friend. Afterwards, anyway. Sasuke very rarely told Naruto what he was going to do, rather he told him directly after he'd done it. It seemed better to do it that way, just in case Naruto wasn't 16 like him, and was actually forty-five and looking for a sweet little virgin screw, ready to stalk him through the city streets outside the bookstore simply because he'd slipped and said he was hanging out at the bookstore like a loner.

Sasuke thought these things out well.

I considered that. But what's done is done and I'm off to school. Unless you have a better idea? –Sasuke

What did he even mean by that? Sasuke didn't know if he was inviting Naruto to present him with an alternate means to spend his day, or inviting him to take advantage of him. Whatever, it was too early for this crap.

Sasuke shifted his position so that he sat, or lay rather, sideways on the seat, giving him a view of both the front and the back of the bus. In his mind, he registered that his stop was coming up, but he didn't reach up to press the STOP button. He just let it pass. No way was he going to school in his current state.

He looked around, quickly taking in that there was another five people on his bus, spread out amongst the myriad of seats in typical pedestrian fashion. Never sit with, or near someone you don't know. No reason. You just don't.

There was an old woman sitting in the priority seating across the aisle from him, looking elderly but somehow still more alive than Sasuke currently did. Six rows down, a blonde boy around his age, untangling the earphones on a green iPod, and two rows behind him, a middle-aged man in a suit, nursing a laptop case. Opposite to the man was a woman in her early twenties, talking quietly into a head set, indiscernible in her brown hair. Right at the back was a young girl, a seventh grader judging by her t-shirt, who disturbed the peace by pressing the STOP button and walking to the rear door of the bus as it pulled up at a stop, presumably to send the girl en route to the primary school down the road from Sasuke's secondary education centre.

As the bus pulled away from the stop, Sasuke let his eyes roam back to the front again, and caught the eyes of the blonde boy, who by then was fiddling with the faded keys of his silver mobile phone. It was only for a split second, as the boy had to look back down at the key pad to continue composing the message, but Sasuke detected a knowing look in his glance. The boy slipped the phone back into his pocket, and rested his elbow on the window ledge, carefully evading a piece of dried gum that paled with age and sunlight exposure.

Sasuke knew it would happen before it did, but his mind didn't quite register the possibility before he felt the vibration in his own pocket, feeling it more strongly than he had any other time during the conversation between himself and Naruto. He flipped the phone open and focused on the text, his eyes blurring over at first.

Well, you could come and sit next to me and give me an excuse to not go to school either. That could be fun. –Naruto

Of course. The quote from the bus ticket, why else would Naruto have thought to use that? And the boy was sitting behind him, and would have noticed straight away that whenever one sent a message, the other received one. Of-fucking-course.

Sasuke snapped his phone shut and turned to the blonde boy who, expectedly, was looking at him with a mischievous glimmer in his blue eyes.

"I'm right, aren't I?" said the boy, in the same pubescent timbre that Sasuke immediately matched with the words he received on his phone or computer screen, always knowing deep inside that this Naruto kid was indeed a kid and not a paedophile.

Sasuke gave a quiet chuckle and held his head in his hand shyly for a second before getting up and moving to the seat, sitting down right next to Naruto. He had barely slipped his phone into his pocket when the slightly larger boy reached over and pulled him into a quick hug. Sasuke closed his eyes, almost ready to fall asleep, and mumbled, "Nice to meet you too, Naruto."


(1)Adelaide bus tickets have quotes on the back of them. It's pretty cool.

(2)The dole is basically a Government payment given to people who are in circumstances that don't allow them to have enough money to live on. I think it's a pretty Australian-based thing. Somewhere else employs it too but I don't know where.