Disclaimer: Don't own it.
The room was dark but every few minutes a flash of multicolored light swiped across the room like a stroke from a paintbrush. The acrid smell of sweat was mixed with a pungent undertone of alcohol. The whole place reeked, but still no one complained. The constant thud of the bass and high screeching of the voices filled one's ears. The light, smell, music, and touch of the people surrounding them made everybody forget who they were.
Only one in the crowd appeared to be having a bad time. He had a continuous scowl on his face and his dark eyes searched the crowd scornfully. He pushed his way through the crowd to the only corner of the room that seemed to hide from the light, even the sound was quieter there. From there he looked out at the crowd with disdain.
Something caught his eye. The lights swept across the room and a play of color filled a head of hair with dancing colors. His eyes watched the swaying hair. It seemed almost alive as it swayed and bounced with the movement of its owner. The light came again and he was enraptured with the colors that filled the dull brown hair with vibrant life.
He moved forward, but was stopped by a sudden contraction in the crowd. A new song started and the pulse of the crowd quickened to arrhythmia. He was thrown against the bar hard as a group suddenly widened. He winced and rubbed his ribs. Immediately he looked for the head of hair again, but all he could see were flailing arms. He sat down at the bar and looked at the bottles lining the wall behind it.
"Sasuke-kun," he turned and half-smiled, half-grimaced. Ino and Chouji were standing behind him. She sat and started chattering about things that Sasuke had no interest in. Chouji started chowing down on the peanuts.
He felt someone sit behind him he turned and Shikamaru was leaning over the bar heavily. "You put your hair up!" Ino gasped. "Its too hot," he replied raspily. Sasuke stared at Shikamaru. He was just about to say something when a circle of arms wrapped around his neck.
"There you are. We've been looking for you." The arms unwrapped suddenly and a girls voice grumbled something. Sakura stood next to Ino and whispered something in her ear. The blonde's eyes widened and they ran off. Naruto sat and started talking to Chouji who had finished the peanuts and was holding up the dish to get more. Sasuke looked back at Shikamaru who's chest was rising and falling dangerously fast. "Are you ok?" Shikamaru nodded and waved his hand lazily. He sat up and wiped a loose strand of sweat drenched hair away from his face.
"Chouji, I'm leaving." He stood and looked out at the creature that was the crowd warily. "I'm gonna stay here with Ino." Shikamaru nodded and started toward the crowd. He stumbled when someone bumped into him and Sasuke moved to help him. "Watch after Sakura," he called back to Naruto as he lead Shikamaru through the crowd.
"You don't have to do this, I'm fine." Shikamaru pulled away from the arm that was lightly holding his wrist as soon as they got outside. He rubbed his arm unconsciously and looked at Sasuke. "I just wanted an excuse to get out of there." His voice was harsh and he was looking down the street away from Shikamaru. "Later." He walked down the street quickly, completely ignoring the brunet he was leaving in slight shock at the door.
A few blocks later he heard the faint pitter patters of someone following him. He turned around and frowned. "What are you doing?" He glowered and stopped. "I live this way too," came Shikamaru's reply. "Did you think I was following you?" He said sharply as he walked past the irritable boy. "No." In truth he had. He waited for a few minutes before he took his turn in following the other. Finally their train ended when Shikamaru turned down a street and Sasuke continued on straight. Sasuke stopped just as he passed a tree and watched Shikamaru as he faded in the dark.
- - -
"Hnn," Sasuke groaned when he felt the jabs of pain in his ribs. The pokes stopped when he hit at the hand. He rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. "No, you have to wake up." Sasuke huddled deeper into the pillow and tried to ignore the voice, and coming pokes. "Naruto! Leave me alone!" He yelled when one poke landed on his rib and it flared up the soreness from the night before. He turned over and glared at the blond boy. "Fine, miss your meeting." Naruto threw a pillow at him and left Sasuke's room. He slammed the door causing Sasuke to flinch.
A few minutes later a disheveled Sasuke walked out of his room still tying his pants up. He rubbed at his hair trying to get it back in place, but it wouldn't settle into its normal style. "Naruto, where'd you go?" The empty room didn't say anything. He stuck his head in the bigger bedroom, but it too only replied with an empty whisper. Shrugging he went back into his room and grabbed his hat. He pulled it on and left.
The hot air pushed against his skin and he was glad he hadn't worn the shirt he had almost pulled on. He looked up at the rising sun and frowned. It was going to be hot, very hot. He watched the unfortunate people who were walking by him, their faces red and covered in sweat. He heard a loud crash and when he turned to look he barely held in a laugh. Someone had passed out onto a pile of cabbages. The vendor was screaming. "My cabbages! My cabbages!" Everyone was trying to help the person out. He snickered and continued on his way to his meeting.
- - -
"Why do you even come?" Sasuke's attention jerked up to Shikamaru who was finishing putting his hair up. He sat down across the darkened table and rubbed his head to get the bumps a little smoother.
"Not that its your business, but I'm looking for someone." Shikamaru smiled broadly. He looked out at the dance floor then back at Sasuke. "If you were out there you'd probably find them faster." A scowl crossed Sasuke's face and sat there, quite comfortable in its normal spot. "Hmm... I'm sensing something. You can't dance." A flicker of panic ran through Sasuke and Shikamaru laughed. "I thought so. That's why you're sitting here isn't it?"
"Why are you here? Shouldn't you be dancing?" Shikamaru sighed and let his head fall to the table like he had just remembered a horrible fact. "That troublesome girl said that I couldn't overdo it. I passed out today and she freaked. All she's been doing lately is complaining and bothering me." Sasuke nodded and pointed just behind Shikamaru. A loud smack was heard as Ino greeted the brunet. Laughing Sasuke nearly fell out of his chair. Shikamaru frowned and rubbed his cheek. "If you wanna learn I'll teach you. If you'll keep Ino busy. She's been nagging too much lately." Right after he made his offer he followed after Ino, probably to keep her from staying furious at him.
- - -
Sasuke was staring at an ordinary door. He had been there for ten minutes. He raised his hand to knock, but the door opened. "Jeez, I thought you would never knock." He was pulled in by Shikamaru who quickly shut the door. The room was empty, except for a couch. No table or anything, it didn't even have a window. The darker haired boy eyed Shikamaru. He was only wearing lounge pants, and looked completely comfortable. Unlike the Uchiha who was fully clothed and was beginning to suffer. "Air broke last week." Those words explained why Sasuke felt like he was being cooked. "Can you move?" Sasuke moved away from Shikamaru and watched him. He jumped up and grabbed at something, and the ceiling fell away. Or at least it appeared to. A ladder unfolded and Shikamaru started up the flimsy wooden steps. Sasuke followed, unsure of what was going on. He felt a welcomed breeze and hastened his ascent.
They were standing on the roof of the building. Shikamaru was looking down over the edge and Sasuke was taking in the view, and the cool wind. It was much cooler, even if the sun was beating down on his fair skin with a threat of burns. He heard a faint melody playing and thought it was the wind until it grew louder and he realized it was a song, one of the few slow songs he'd ever heard at the club. Shikamaru turned, he smiled then frowned only to smile again. "Can you dance at all?"
Silence followed the question. Sasuke looked out at the village and Shikamaru stared at him, trying to figure out if keeping Ino away from him was worth the effort to teach the moody boy anything, let alone dancing. A memory of her voice burned his ears and he shivered. "You're lucky, I know what I'm doing." He turned back and the music grew louder. It changed to a faster song and Sasuke jumped. Shikamaru couldn't help but laugh. "Jeez calm down."
- - -
Sasuke descended the stairs grumbling. He was already red, and knew it would get worse. He left and Shikamaru climbed down slowly. He took off his pants and went back up onto the roof. It was so much cooler up there, and the pants were just making him hot. He closed his eyes and went to sleep, leaning against a ledge.
- - -
Ino was smiling. She hadn't done anything but smile. She hadn't had anything to drink, her food, that Sasuke had ordered for her since she hadn't said anything to the waiter, laid untouched in front of her. Sasuke was leaning back against his chair. He poked at the napkin under his knife and could barely hold in how bored he was. He had expected her to at least say something. All she ever did was talk when he was around, but now when they were alone she was mute. "Ino..." The blonde girl's smile brightened in recognition. "Why don't I take you home?" Her smile slipped, but stayed. They left and Sasuke was once again alone in Ino's company. She hovered next to him, her fingers brushed his hand occasionally. He moved his hand away, smoothly brushing his hair back before putting it in his pocket. He dropped her off and she sadly went inside. He shrugged and went back to his house. A surprise awaited him at his door.
"How did it go?" Sasuke jumped and turned to Shikamaru who was sitting in the shadow next to Sasuke's door. "She didn't say a word." He pushed the door open and walked in. Shikamaru followed him in obviously tickled by the comment. "Are you serious? She hasn't shut up since I met her. Hell she even talks in her sleep." Shikamaru flopped onto the couch like he belonged there and Sasuke shut the door. "How do you know that?" A shrug in response. "She said hey, but after that she just smiled. Maybe she was in shock." Another shrug. "We still have a deal right?" A small nod. "Are you ok?" A small shake of his head and Shikamaru looked up at Sasuke. "The door to the roof is jammed. I spent the day inside. Bloody hot." He mumbled.
Sasuke frowned and went to the kitchen. He returned with a glass of ice water, mostly ice. He handed it to Shikamaru as he sat down. "Stay here then until it gets fixed. That way I don't have to go on another silent date with that girl, but your still getting something." Shikamaru smirked at the Uchiha's addressing of Ino and nodded. "Sure," he sighed and closed his eyes. "Its cool here."
- - -
"Are you made of cardboard?" Sasuke stopped moving and looked at Shikamaru who was sitting on the couch. "Shut up. I'm tired." Silence followed until Sasuke angrily hit the button for the music and resumed his cardboard movements. Snickers from the couch were luckily hidden in the heavy beat. "Dance like your fighting. I've seen you move better fighting Naruto than anything here." Shikamaru stood and closed in on Sasuke who had stopped moving. "Seriously though," his words were cut by a swinging arm.
- - -
"How'd you get that?" Ino asked. She touched the brunet's eye softly. He shrugged and pushed her hand away. Ino frowned and went back to talking to Chouji. Shikamaru sat and half listened half slept.
- - -
"We're done then?" Sasuke sat next to Shikamaru who hadn't really said anything. "Yea." He replied. "Good luck." He rested on the couch nursing a sore head, but an even more painful feeling, even he couldn't place.
- - -
Sasuke was sitting in the dark corner again. This time Naruto and Sakura were sitting with him. He was working up the courage to actually go on the floor. "Ok." Naruto and Sakura looked at each other. They smiled and Sasuke led them to the middle of the dance floor. Sasuke danced, mostly by himself but with his friends too, when he could. Naruto and Sakura were dancing closely and only had eyes for each other.
Sasuke laughed and looked around. He saw the hair and his smile dropped, but he continued to dance, if at a slower pace. His heart began to race. He looked at Naruto and Sakura, who had pretty much stopped dancing and were just swaying in each other's arms. He looked back at the hair and then ran. He didn't so much as run, but weave his way off the floor. He retreated to the dark table and collapsed to the wood.
A few minutes later he was done berating himself, but still couldn't bring himself to go back onto the floor. "What happened?" He looked up and his dark eyes widened. "N-nothing." he stuttered. He looked away from the newcomer. "Why'd you quit?" Sasuke couldn't bring himself to respond. He watched the people dancing and tried to correct his breathing. "You're wearing your hair down."
Shikamaru sat and pushed his hair back. "Yea, I always do when I'm here." A few seconds of tension passed awkwardly. "Are you ok?" "I'm leaving." Sasuke and Shikamaru looked at each other as their words ran together. The darker headed boy got up and left. A stunned look followed him.
- - -
Naruto and Sakura were standing just outside Sasuke's door. He had just finished yelling at them. Naruto yelled back and the door had closed on their faces. "Fine!" Naruto yelled and pulled Sakura away. Sasuke leaned against his door and relaxed. He couldn't get over what he had found out the night before. A knock came and he opened it hotly. "I told you I'm... fine." Shikamaru took a step back when Sasuke started yelling at him. "That's nice to know." He replied.
"I figured something out." He took a step forward and Sasuke stepped back, they repeated that until Shikamaru was inside and shutting the door. "Actually Naruto helped me figure it out." Shikamaru started walking around the room. Sasuke watched him closely. A song started.
"I never taught you to slow dance." Shikamaru looked at Sasuke and his gaze held the boy in place. Everything in him was jumping, but he didn't move. Cautiously his hands were taken. As Shikamaru drew closer all Sasuke could hear was his heartbeat and the faint melody of the song.
- - -
"You should wear your hair down more," Sasuke said softly as he trailed a finger through the soft brown hair resting on his shoulder. "I will." Shikamaru promised.
A/n: This took me like a month to finish, so if its a little... what's the word... if it doesn't flow that's why. I tried to go back, but yea... This was inspired by a friend on dA. So snaps for her.
I hope you like, and if not tell me why.