Please remember that this is mostly crack. :) So if you tell me there's OOC-ness, well...DUH. And it's weird. My mind is weird, writing is weird, IT'S WEIRD.
These oneshots are all about the same subject, but they'll skip around, and they're random, and they have no specific genre. Naruto and Hinata have only just started dating, so that's partly to blame for Naruto's severe lack of knowledge.
No, never mind, I just like making him clueless because it works. :) This one focuses on Sasuke and Naruto's unconventional friendship, and I like it. But I can't make endings crack-esque, so it ends up happy again. Uncomfortable Sasuke FTW.
The Other Folder
Even as the lock clicked ominously, seconds after the slam had commenced with mockingly slow reaction, the Uchiha did not awaken from his deep sleep. Lean but muscular limbs twisted in the navy blue sheets, he remained unresponsive as his breath caught in his throat slightly. Hair barely tousled, (though enough, so, as to make one suspicious just how much sleep he had gotten that past night), he turned his face into the pillow that consequently, did not belong to him. His was on the floor in the corner, having been thrown from the bed for reasons he could only smile about now.
He did just that, smirking as he breathed deeply into the pillow.
The ANBU captain, the frigid bastard, former traitor, back from a late mission the night before, was exhausted for more than one reason. Perhaps this was the reason that he did not come to consciousness, almost as if he had simply been closing his eyes, and respond accordingly to the visitor.
That loud visitor was disrupting the peaceful sanctity of Sasuke's sleeping time.
"GAAAH, why is THAT in the middle of the floor?"
Amazingly, Sasuke still did not react. He merely exhaled and twitched. Boy, was he exhausted.
The intruder let off a string of immature, toned–down curses that his own wife had been exuding upon him lest he instill colorful profanities into their future children's vocabulary, and pouted. He set the folder he had brought with him on the table, a strange gentleness and tense air about him as he did so, as though it held something crucial, or perchance, exciting. This visitor knew the wrath he would be subjected to if he let anything happen to it.
Booted footsteps, albeit ungraceful, echoed down the wooden floors of the hallway and did not stop to pause respectfully at the threshold, nor stop the door from hitting the wall.
When the visitor realized Sasuke was asleep, he attempted to make his footfalls a bit quieter, to no avail.
A tentative step-
He didn't dare look; he didn't want to know.
A kunai. Fairly normal.
The sound of creaking bedsprings sliced through the thick air and the intruder lowered his face to Sasuke's, hovering in close proximity as the dark-haired shinobi relished his sweet sleep. His eyebrows furrowed in his semi-conscious state and the man inches from his face grinned, leaning closer.
Faint scents...stale cologne and cherries...
Sasuke groaned and turned his head toward the disturbance as his senses correctly perceived the intruder. The pout of a child awoken early by a parent graced his handsome features, and he reached back with a pale hand to touch his shoulder. He seethed. A faint slit across the blade, not terribly deep, but it had been enough to make him submit. She could be sadistic sometimes.
Locks of hair brushed his equally pale face, and someone's annoyingly loud breathing was hitting his face like a slap.
His eye opened a slit, revealing tired, glittering onyx.
Naruto grinned and stage-whispered, "GOOD MORNING, TEME!"
Naruto's grin faded as Sasuke's slightly disheveled head appeared over the opposite edge of the bed, features contorted into a dangerously intense glare. In a moment he realized just how much trouble he was in, and bounced backward off the bed hastily, hands up.
Sasuke stood. Towering damn near six foot with narrowed eyes, he twitched.
"Heh heh, um, mornin-"
"Get out." Yes, Sasuke was extremely exhausted.
"Right, sure, but I brought you-"
"Gave me a fucking heart attack, now get out."
"Hey, lucky bastard, after a night like that, you should be in a good mood-ACK!"
Naruto could barely defend himself against the terrible onslaught of a mental slap and stumbled backward, wincing from the thin slit of crimson in his friend's eyes. It didn't take much.
"Fine, I'll let you get dressed, geez," Naruto relented, rolling his eyes and stepping carefully around the clothes, pillows, and is that another kunai? The blonde wondered, eyes wide. Sasuke stalked around the edge of the bed and began shoving his friend out, as if he weren't going fast enough, but that didn't stop the unwanted visitor from running his big mouth.
"Y' know, I thought since you were gonna be a dad, you would start being all responsible and stuff, and stop screwing around in public like rabbits in heat!"
"My house isn't 'public', idiot," Sasuke hissed, pushing Naruto over the threshold. "So stop using it as such. Learn to knock!"
With that, the thoroughly annoyed Uchiha slammed the door in his face. Naruto was used to it; neither him nor Sakura were 'morning people'.
At least this time, he hadn't walked in when Sakura was home too.
"Sakura left you a note!" Naruto exclaimed the second Sasuke entered the kitchen. The former waved it around, and through slightly tumescent eyelids, the dark-haired shinobi squinted at the flawless, bright green handwriting. "Aw, she calls her sweet bastard 'Sasu-kun' now."
Growling, Sasuke snatched the paper from him, read it quickly, then folded it neatly in half and left it on the table. Naruto grinned suggestively at him; Sasuke pursed his lips, gaze wandering until it settled upon the manilla folder. Eyes narrowed, he scrutinized the foreign object and looked inquisitively at Naruto for the answer.
"Oh, oh yeah, this is what I came here for!" The blonde said excitedly. For some reason, he did not touch it, but nodded to his companion with a distinct air of dramatics. "It's Sakura-chan's megasound results!"
"Erm...Naruto, you mean ultrasound?"
Naruto raised his eyes skyward for a moment, then sweat dropped. Rubbing the back of his blonde mane with an awkward smile, he said, "Heh heh heh, uh, yeah, I knew that! Ultrasound!"
Sasuke snickered in spite of himself, then muttered a word that sounded distinctly like "catra." Then, his expression became flat. "I can't open it."
"WHY NOT?" Naruto demanded, eyes alight with obvious excitement; he wanted to know just as much as Sasuke.
A pause. "I wanted to...open it...with her," he muttered, lowering his head. For all his harsh words and frigid demeanor, he seemed to be slightly ashamed, embarrassed, or maybe he was unaccustomed to such sensitivity. "We discussed it."
"Yeah, but she probably saw the pictures already," Naruto replied.
"...The gender, though..." It seemed important to Sasuke to wait.
"Well, that's fine, then! But Sakura has to work today."
Sasuke bristled. "Why did that hag call her in?"
"Short staffed," Naruto replied amiably, grabbing a round, red fruit from the ceramic bowl in the middle of the table; he observed it for a moment. "This isn't an apple."
Sasuke rolled his eyes, then snatched the fruit from him and bit into it. "Tomato."
"Shoulda known," the blonde said. "And it's your last one, too."
"Sakura was going to shop today," Sasuke murmured as not to show a mouthful of food, savoring every drop of juice from his unconventional breakfast.
"Well, baa-chan said they'd need her 'til tonight, so you're outta luck."
He was annoyed. "She worked last night. Late."
Naruto tilted his head slightly and muttered, "That didn't stop you two from-"
"Why don't you just go shopping? After all, you're off today!" The blonde bounded from his seat as his stomach rumbled, and he began to look through the cupboards in search of nourishment. "Ah, you got any ramen?"
"Naruto, in this house, we eat actual food. Vegetables too, come to think of it."
"Well right now, you have nothing, so I say we go shopping. Hell, I'll come with ya, I have nothing else to do," Naruto supplied. He screwed up his face against the pangs of hunger, holding his belly and whining. "Come on, I'm hungry! Besides, it'll be one less thing for Sakura to do! She'll be all appreciative and stuff!"
Sasuke rolled his eyes, but stood up and stretched his tall frame to the ceiling, yawning. "Fine. But I'm not keen on playing housewife."
"Oh please, you know you're on the bottom anyway," Naruto jibed.
The blonde darted quickly out of the kitchen, letting out a strangled cry as the heavy, ceramic bowl flew mere centimeters above his head. "GAH! KIDDING! SORRY!"
Sasuke smirked and grabbed his coat from a nearby chair, calling, "Not only are you the uke in your own relationship, you submit to me too."
Grocery stores were generally crowded places, and this day held no exception, much to Sasuke's annoyance. Throw in the fact that he detested shopping for anything at any time, even with Sakura even if it was making her happy; that was damn near the only reason he would ever do it.
"Come on teme, it's not that bad," Naruto exclaimed, obviously not bothered by the people or the constant chatter. The annoying music over the speakers that was occasionally interrupted by updates on sales, which promptly sent hordes of shoppers moving through the place like a herd of buffalo. Even the fluorescent lights that made Sasuke squint and scowl. "Stop being all pissy, get a cart, and we'll get it done fast!"
Sasuke rose an eyebrow. "A cart?"
Naruto rolled his eyes and turned away, instead picking up a handled basket. "Fine. Use this instead."
Sasuke folded his arms, staring him down, hissing, "I am not carrying that."
"This is your job!"
"No, this is Sakura's job," Sasuke huffed. "I haven't been shopping since I threw someone into a display case."
"Why'd you do that?"
Sasuke mumbled something unintelligible.
"Fine, I'll carry it," Naruto proclaimed gallantly, hooking the empty basket onto his arm and striding into the nearest aisle without a glance back at the Uchiha, who shoved his hands in his pockets and trudged behind like a child dragged along clothes shopping with his mother. It felt so demeaning, and it was worse due to the fact that he had a reputation, and, whether good or bad, everyone knew him. Out of the corner of his eye, a girl no older than thirteen watched him carefully, her dark eyes drinking in his towering presence (although he was hunched in hopes of not being recognized) and cold demeanor. When her mother caught her looking, she took her by the elbow and steered her away.
Always the same. Despite the fact that it was public knowledge and more specifically, gossip, that he was married and now having a child with a woman who had quite a reputation herself, girls from ages ten and up still felt like gawking. Staring. Fantasizing. Throwing stuff in his window and forcing him to restrain his wife. Mothers disapproved, having the pleasure of knowing the painful and tainted details of his childhood and defection, and later, the murder of more than one man, including Uchiha Itachi.
Guess that didn't stop their children from craving and worshiping the 'bad boy' idol, though he was no boy; I'm fucking twenty-four and girls half my age won't leave me alone! They can go break the Hyuuga bastard's windows!
Dragging his feet, he trudged down the aisle with his impassive, bored expression set, and found Naruto reaching for, no, planting his foot on the lower shelf to climb higher to reach-
"Naruto, neither of us really eat ramen," he reminded monotonously, shaking his head as he watched the blonde climb determinedly to reach the case at the top.
"Hold this," he said, ignoring the point Sasuke had attempted to make and waving the basket around.
Arms still folded. "Didn't I say I wasn't carrying that thing?"
"But what the hell am I supposed to eat when I come over?" Naruto demanded, dropping the basket onto the floor with a clatter and swaying from his perch.
"Don't you have your own house, your own kitchen and your own woman to cook, since I know you can't?"
"But Hina-chan was on a mission and was gone before I woke up!"
"Which I suppose is the reason you didn't eat breakfast."
Naruto scowled and hung off the shelf with one hand, turning his body to Sasuke and retorting, "It's not like you make your own breakfast either! You either eat a tomato or have Sakura make it!"
"That's not the point. And quit climbing like that; this is a store, not a jungle gym."
Naruto continued to scowl and strained to reach the top shelf, becoming steadily frustrated, until a large, scarred hand appeared next to Naruto. It lifted the case of ramen with ease. Naruto tilted his head. "Huh?"
The younger shinobi looked to see Anko standing there, raising an eyebrow up at him. The young blonde let out a strangled cry as her arm shot out, roughly taking him by the collar and prying him from the shelves. "This is a store, not a jungle gym, boy!" Without further pretense, she dropped him to the tile and clapped her hands, as if ridding them of dust; her companion, Ibiki, put the case of ramen next to him on the floor.
"Ah, thanks," Naruto said sheepishly.
Anko rolled her eyes noticeably, then noticed Sasuke.
"Uchiha-san." A curt nod, a common smirk, and Ibiki echoed her with the same gesture. The aristocratic Uchiha returned their politeness only with a nod, no title, no name. Anko took the sleeve of Ibiki's overcoat and pulled him past, not willing to get into a conversation. Thankfullythe young shinobi were arguing with each other again as Naruto attempted to fit the oversize case of ramen into the rather small shopping basket, with Sasuke snapping that he was an idiot. The jounin walked on.
"That kid is weird," Anko said bluntly, once they were out of earshot.
Ibiki nodded in agreement, sighing, and muttered, "And he's our Hokage-in-training."
"Hey, teme, here's the tomatoes!"
The dark-haired shinobi turned away from the spread of fruit and continued to twist a green pipe cleaner out of boredom, tossing it over his shoulder without a thought as he made his way over to Naruto. Strangely, there was a crowd hovering near the produce displays, comprised of mainly mothers; it piqued his interest, not to mention it was disconcerting the way they watched and waited so hungrily for a reason unbeknownst to Sasuke.
"Geez, there's so many kinds," Naruto commented as Sasuke walked up, already sizing them up with his obsidian eyes. Almost eerie, the way he regarded them with unnaturally keen interest. Predatory. For minutes on end of awkward silence, Naruto watched him stalk up and down the row, picking one up and poking it, feeling it, throwing it into his other hand, and replacing it among the rest.
"C'mon, you're taking forev-"
He broke off, letting out a cry of surprise as Sasuke sunk his teeth into one of them, smirking slightly. Tasty, ambrosial. A faint trail of juice slid from his lips, down his aristocratic jaw line, and he didn't seem to mind as he calmly chewed, swallowed, and swept the mess away with the base of his thumb.
Sasuke put the bitten the fruit in his other hand and carefully lifted another from the display. Setting it gently in the basket Naruto was holding, he nodded to himself and repeated this action, choosing seven more to put in.
"Eight. Bruise them, I'll kill you. Let's go," Sasuke stated solemnly, raising the tomato to his mouth once more and beckoning the thoroughly puzzled Naruto along. Tinkling notes of music, reminiscent of the type heard in elevators, were cut short as an announcement for a sale echoed over the intercom.
"Sasuke," Naruto began, wincing as his feet were stomped on by the crowd of people they were moving against, "I think you're a sadist."
My wife's the sadist, Sasuke thought, but he did not speak this aloud and did not deny it.
"What are we looking for next?"
Sasuke heaved a sigh and looking disinterestedly at the people milling about the store, noting that there were more shoppers than before. "Aren't we done?"
"Let's just walk to the end of the aisles, then, I can tell you're not havin' fun!" Naruto accused, jostling the basket a bit too roughly for Sasuke's liking; he scowled.
Passing aisle after aisle, neither saw anything of much interest, though Naruto most likely would have found more useless items to put in the basket if Sasuke hadn't grunted and jerked his head, illustrating that he wanted to leave sooner than later. Naruto walked past an aisle, then hurriedly walked backwards to gaze in it.
Sasuke blinked. He too retraced his steps to see his former sensei, renowned shinobi, a pervert with no shame, perusing the shelves at the other end. He had come just the other night to chat with Sakura about the whole 'pregnancy' thing, which actually was not bad even it had only been a few months. Even if it was weird talking to her teacher about it, but he was like a father to them. Telling her not to worry about the early ultrasound, because Tsunade knew what she was doing and it would be beneficial in the end, but Sasuke knew part of the reason was because he liked Sakura's cooking. Of course he ended up staying for dinner.
"Hah, Kakahsi-sensei!" Naruto bounded down the aisle towards the jounin, basket swinging and Sasuke wincing as his precious tomatoes were jostled against other, in his opinion, worthless produce. He was about to follow the obnoxious blonde when he blinked again and glanced at the items on the shelves.
Despite the fact that Sasuke was generally calm; albeit annoyed, yes, but calm; he actually took two steps back with an expression of slight panic.
"SENSEI!" Naruto yelled, waving his arms up and down and bolting the rest of the way down the aisle. The gray-haired jounin seemed unperturbed, downright oblivious to what he was looking at and did not so much as hesitate to find what he was looking for and throw it carelessly into his basket. "I didn't know you came here!"
Kakakshi heaved a sigh and skipped the introduction, glancing at Sasuke at the end of the aisle, who made himself look as though he had no idea that he knew them. Unfortunately, arms folded and foot tapping and his gaze determinedly cast away, it was all too obvious.
"Ah, well, even adults need to shop once in a while," he stated blithely, patting Naruto's head like a child; the younger shinobi squirmed under his fatherly gesture and pointed at himself.
"I'm an adult too! I can drink now!"
Kakashi chuckled lightheartedly and replied, "Though you're still calling me 'sensei'." Raising his head, he raised his gloved hand in a friendly gesture to Sasuke, who glanced at him out of the corner of his eye. "Sasuke."
The Uchiha did not reply and shifted his weight nervously.
Kakashi tilted his head, asking, "What's wrong with him?"
"Oh, he's just got a pole up his ass, as usual. He hates shopping," Naruto supplied, his attention starting to wander to the unfamiliar items on the shelves. "Get over here, teme, and say hi to Kakashi-sensei!"
Kakashi placed a hand on his chest and grinned. "Ouch. Now Sasuke, I do believe that hurts. Come greet your sensei for old time's sake!"
"You were at-my-house-yesterday," Sasuke stated through gritted teeth, each word painfully staccato.
"Even so," Kakashi replied.
Naruto stomped his foot, let the basket clatter to the floor (Sasuke growled as a tomato fell onto the tile) and sprinted down the aisle, intent on making the arrogant prick move his feet and stop being antisocial. The blonde was almost blissfully unaware of the reason Sasuke was hesitant to step foot into the aisle, but the Uchiha still managed to end up in front of Kakashi, thanks to Naruto's pushing and shoving.
Hands weighing down his pockets and shoulders pressed against his neck, Sasuke stared at the floor and muttered, "Hello, Kakashi."
"Good to see you, too, Sasuke," the jounin said amiably, ruffling his former students hair. The younger man cringed. "Though I do believe it's time for me to leave."
"Bye, Kakashi-sensei!" Naruto called as Kakashi walked around to the next aisle.
And immediately distracted, Naruto's greedy hand shot out to rifle through the bottles his teacher had been perusing. "What is this stuff, anyway?"
Sasuke stared at him with an expression appropriate of a deer in the headlights, then snatched it from him and shoved it back onto the shelf. "Can we leave?"
"Not 'til I figure out what this is!"
"Naruto, put it back-"
"Hmm..." Naruto held it to his ear and shook it.
Sasuke let out a groan of frustration and glanced around warily, starting to fidget, as Naruto popped off the cap. The Uchiha's eyes were wide in surprise, embarrassment, and amazement at his utter stupidity. "Naruto!" His voice was a hiss, still low enough to not attract attention, a tinge of red rising his in his pale cheekbones.
Staring at the label, the blonde quirked his head to the side and muttered, "It has flavors..."
Sasuke snatched at the bottle but Naruto stepped back. "What's your problem? Get your own!"
"Put it back," Sasuke hissed once more.
"Listen, if you can take a bite out of food, then I can have a free sample of some soap," Naruto said dramatically, pouting and holding it away from his companion. Taking another one off the shelf, the blonde shoved it at him. "Here. This one has a different flavor!"
"That is not soap!"
"Says you," Naruto stated ruefully, pouring some into his palms and rubbing them together furiously. "I wonder why Kakashi-sensei likes this stuff."
Sasuke threw out his hands, wringing them in an almost fierce panic but was unable to speak. Red in the face and thoroughly frustrated, he grimaced as Naruto sniffed his hands.
"Doesn't really have a smell, though-HEY!"
Sasuke snatched it, clenched it in his fist and put the cap on, but Naruto grabbed another from the shelf and gave him a dirty look. "You're so selfish. Fine, have it."
"No, I don't want it!"
"Then why did you take it?"
"Naruto, stop, it's not-it's not soap...READ IT!" Sasuke burst out, the last two words pitching horribly.
Attracting a few stares.
"Fine, damn it, I will!" Naruto mumbled to himself for a moment, then muttered, "Lubricant?"
There was a long pause.
"Why does Kakashi need this stuff? He doesn't work on cars."
Sasuke covered his flushed face and mumbled something indistinct.
"It's not for...cars," Sasuke muttered in a voice barely above a whisper.
"Well then WHAT IS IT FOR?"
Anko and Ibiki rounded the corner and headed for the end of the aisle, halting their conversation but not their footsteps as the two shinobi argued, quite loudly.
"You know, you could have just asked to use it!" Naruto burst out, throwing his arms into the air and waving the bottle around. "I don't see why you have to be such an ass about it!"
Sasuke threw up his arms in exasperation also and bellowed, "I don't want to use it, that's the point! Why the hell would I need something like that?"
"I don't know what it's for, maybe you DO need it!" Naruto retorted. "You don't have to be such a prick just 'cause you know what it is and I don't!"
Anko and Ibiki walked silently past, containing any and all crude comments, if just barely, and rounded the corner without a word.
"Would you put it back on the damn shelf already?"
"Not until you tell me what it's for, why it has so many flavors, and why Kakashi bought it!"
In the next aisle, Anko and Ibiki stopped in their tracks: No less than six or seven jounin, consisting of Kakashi, (reading a book), Asuma, Gai, and Ebisu (all reading magazines), were hovering around the display. Not only that, Kurenai had one too, and Anko glanced at the sign and blinked.
"Why are you all...huddled here...in the corner?"
Asuma glanced at the proctor over his magazine and rolled his eyes at the nearby sign. "We're not allowed to walk around with this stuff."
Anko's mouth opened slightly, and she glanced at Kurenai, whom was leaning against Asuma's legs; she straightened her magazine of questionable content with a flourish, and turned the page. Gai turned his upside-down and seemed to be fairly confused at the content within, but was smiling all the same; Asuma seemed perfectly content, as did Kakashi, though the latter was giggling slightly.
"You are all so...weird," Anko muttered.
"Excuse us, Miss sadist," Kurenai murmured, turning the magazine sideways.
The proctor sneered, eyes sweeping the crowd once more, (Ebisu turned red and hid his face behind the magazine), then left Ibiki's side and stalked forward. Kurenai handed her a magazine without taking her eyes off her own, and Anko sat cross-legged upon the floor and opened it.
A moment passed in silence, aside from the occasional turning of pages. Ibiki could only stare blankly at Anko, wondering just how sane he was in comparison to the rest of them. And this was saying something, considering his profession and hobby was torture and interrogation.
None of the jounin reacted as Naruto shoved past Ibiki and stalked through the group of jounin, holding his arms over his head and blindly stumbling, Sasuke on his tail.
"I DIDN'T KNOW THAT'S WHAT IT MEANT!"
"All you had to do was read the back!" Sasuke burst out, his voice unnaturally high.
"I RUBBED IT ON MY HANDS!"
"Why didn't you listen to me?"
"WHY THE HECK DID KAKASHI-SENSEI BUY THAT?"
Said jounin looked up as Sasuke said, "He may be a pervert, but obviously he gets-"
He broke off and stared around at the small congregation of jounin. One glance at the display was all he needed to put it together, and he looked around at Ibiki in horror, who shrugged nonchalantly.
"WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ALL OF YOU?" Sasuke demanded, paling considerably and struggling to keep his voice from pitching again.
"AHA!" Naruto yelled, dramatically pointed a finger at Ebisu, who jerked in surprise; his glasses slid off his nose. "I knew you were a closet pervert!"
"Shh, I'm getting to the good part," Kakashi chastised, waving the young shinobi away.
"I'm leaving. Now," Sasuke hissed, and Kakashi grinned at him. "Freaks."
"Oh hush, Sas-U-KAY."
Sasuke turned on his heel and slammed his fist into the magazine rack, most likely condemning his sensei to every fiery hell he knew of, and Naruto couldn't stop staring at Kakashi, clearly nauseated. Turning on his heel, he caught up to Sasuke and said, "Why are you so freaked out? You and Sakura use props, for god's sake!"
"So, why did you get so much vanilla ice cream?" Naruto asked, peering into one of the many bags hanging from his arms.
Sasuke sighed heavily and muttered, "Sakura wanted it a few nights ago. Might as well have it."
"...Sakura hates vanilla."
Sigh. "I know." Damn her food cravings.
For a moment they stood in silence in front of the door. Then-
"Can you get the door Sasuke? I can't feel my arms," Naruto asked. His companion glowered at him, then shoved him aside and hit his shoulder against the door, hoping that Sakura was home. He couldn't feel his arms.
"Harder!" Naruto commanded, pushing his weight against Sasuke. "She can't hear us, and my arms HURT!"
Sasuke yelled out as Naruto's weight slammed his face against the door. "Get off me, idiot."
"Don't you have a key?"
"How would I use a key when my hands are full?"
Naruto pushed him against the door again. "Then just hit it harder until it breaks!"
"We are not breaking down the door, Naruto."
After another moment of scuffling and swearing, the door opened and they crashed to the floor. Bags hit the wood and the contents spilled in all directions, rolling fruit and smashed containers. Sasuke looked straight ahead, finding himself facing a pair of sandaled feet. Jade toenails painted and wiggling obnoxiously in his face.
He looked up to find his wife staring down at him with a partly amused, partly puzzled look. Sighing and clucking her tongue, she kneeled upon the wood and carefully placed her fingers under his chin. Lifting his face to hers and tenderly touching warm lips to his own. "Afternoon, Sasu-kun."
Footsteps sounded against the floor and Hinata poked her head in from the kitchen, eyes bright. "Sasuke-san?" She smiled. "Naruto-kun?"
Sakura pulled away and Hinata walked over to help Naruto off of Sasuke.
"Did you two...go...shopping?" The pink-haired woman inquired, taking Sasuke's hand to lift him from the floor.
"Yeah, and it was horrible!" Naruto whined. "And you won't believe what I found out!"
As Naruto immediately launched into the strange tale, Sakura left the bags on the floor and dragged Sasuke into the kitchen without a word. Shoving him into a chair without pretense, she drew one up to him and sat also. Not able to sit still.
"Can we open this now, please?" she begged, twisting her fingers nervously. "I can't stand it any longer!"
His dark eyes strayed to the manilla folder resting in the exact same place upon the table; she had not touched it in his absence, and now her eyes were widening with excitement.
"Go on," he murmured. "Open it."
"I won't do it first," she responded quickly. "Maybe you should. It's important to you."
"The child belongs to both of us, Sakura."
A tense silence fell.
She reached for it, fingers trembling, and slid it off the table-
-she let out a cry as it slipped from her grasp-
The folder hit the floor and fell open and some of the contents slid out; both of them dived from their seats in a strange, abrupt eagerness to see, to read, to know-
Sasuke grew rigid as he held up one sheaf of paper, and looked at Sakura in confusion.
She too was holding a folder.
Her breath caught; Sasuke was not breathing.
"Two?" she whispered frantically.
In an instant, both of them opened the secured folders and scattered the unnecessary papers, searching for the one page that told them details, and the seconds dragged as they read.
And after they had read it, it was over in one, unforgettable instant.
Onyx locked on jade.
In unison they switched; her fingers were still trembling.
Neither could find their voice.
Sasuke attempted to speak; "We're-"
"Two!" Sakura interjected, sounding lightheaded, breathless.
Blank stares, for seconds on end. Eyes moving from the papers, to each other and back again.
"Sakura-san, Sasuke-sa-" Hinata broke off at the sight; they were motionless, still clutching the things that had reduced them to shocked silence, not breaking that palpable, emotional stare. Naruto peered around the Hyuuga and, uncharacteristically, did not speak either.
Sakura got to her feet and her knees locked, breath catching in her throat once more, causing Hinata to rush forward and steady her. Sasuke clutched the table for support and lowered himself into a chair, looking as though he would never breathe again.
Naruto seemed worried, and broke the unnatural silence by saying, "Erm, teme?"
"Sakura," Sasuke murmured. The woman seemed almost startled at the sound of his voice, so unusually soft. So humbled. Getting to her feet, she stumbled forward and fell into his lap, burying her face into his chest as not to let her guests see her cry.
"Come, Naruto," Hinata whispered, gently tugging on his sleeve. "Tomorrow, you can ask."
The blonde remained silent, but stopped in the doorway to watch his two friends, holding each other close.
And he thought it was worth it to wait just a second more...to watch him lower his head and smile.