Thanks to Ren and Missa for writing something so brilliant as The Eccentric Files and allowing me to write this.

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, setting, or plot.

Tough Guys Like Pink

Naruto regarded his drawing. It was a fox-demon – maybe not the kind of drawing expected from a kindergartener… but Naruto wasn't your average five-year-old – made with oranges and yellows. It looked like Big Bird. He scowled at it. He needed a scarier color… too bad he was missing half his crayons.

"Hey, Sasuke," he said, reaching over to the boy sitting beside him. "Can I borrow your red crayon—"

Twelve years later, and he still had no idea how it happened. One moment he was closing his pudgy fingers around one of the crayons that escaped from Sasuke's revered 64-crayon-box, the next he had been shoved away and out of his chair, his fist empty.

He blinked for a moment at the ceiling above him.

And then he exploded.

"What was that for, you meanie?" he shouted, leaping to his feet to glare down at Sasuke, who was clutching the crayon protectively to his chest. By now, everyone nearby was watching them. He saw, out of the corner of his eye, Hinata looking nervous, and Sakura looking curious.

"Don't touch my crayon," Sasuke said haughtily. "You're gross."

The small group around them gasped and aah-ed in surprise. "I'm telling!" shouted a small voice from the back.

Sasuke bared his teeth at Naruto, and the blond took a step back. That guy was crazy!

But now the teacher had arrived, so he couldn't fight him.

"What's going on here?" she demanded. Naruto didn't answer. Sasuke grinned so only the blond could see, then turned to the teacher with a very believable pout.

"Naruto stole my crayon!" he wailed, pointing to the boy. The teacher melted a bit at his unbelievable cuteness. His lip quivered a bit and he sniffed. "It was my favorite too. It's red, see?" He held it up for effect and unleashed his pièce de resistance. "It's so pretty; the color of your hair. I wanted to draw you…"

And that was it. She was putty in his hands.

Sasuke Uchiha, Master of Manipulation, even at age five.

"Naruto! Is this true?" she bellowed.

Naruto winced, but folded his arms across his chest with a snort, standing his ground. "No. It's crimson – says so right there."

The teacher's eye twitched. Sasuke hid a smirk.


Watching all the other kids dig into their snack while he was banned from it for the day, Naruto couldn't help but feel sorry for himself.

It was all that stupid liar Sasuke's fault. Now he was the one sitting in between Sakura and Ino and eating his cookies so smugly.

It wasn't fair!

Naruto looked down at his drawing. Since he never got the crayon, it still looked like Big Bird. Oh well. Better than Sasuke's half-finished knight. Naruto snickered. He was too stupid and mean and grumpy to be a knight. Who would even want him to save them? He'd think any princess would prefer the dragon.


Naruto's head snapped up, startled. Standing before him, smiling shyly, was the prettiest pink-haired girl he knew, Sakura.

He cleared his throat. "Yeah?" he said, trying to sound older and more mature. Sakura cocked her head, puzzled.

"Um, you looked hungry." She gestured to her cookies. "Wanna share?"

With a huge grin, Naruto accepted her offer and the two dug in, seeming not to notice Sasuke, who had just broken his last cookie, imagining it to be Naruto's head.


After snacktime, the children were allowed to return to their doodling. Several chose to play with Mr. Potato-Head instead, but many chose to draw.

Sakura was among them. She hummed to herself as she drew the long pink hair of her ninja princess.

In front of her, Sasuke turned around to stare at her. She didn't notice at first, but when she finally looked up, she nearly dropped her pink crayon.


"Sakura." He looked at her drawing. "A princess again?"

"A ninja princess," she corrected. "She can fight!" She looked through her small selection of crayons. "What color should her dress be…?" she mumbled to herself, unaware that Sasuke was listening, until he shoved a crayon under her nose.


Sakura looked up, astonished. Sasuke wasn't looking at her, but he still held the red crayon out to her.

"Sasuke—your crayon…?"

"You can use it." His face was still turned away. He sounded embarrassed.

She smiled, cheeks flaring red. "Thank you, Sasuke-kun," she sang.



When Ino saw Sakura scribbling away with the red crayon, and its possessive owner drawing with a green one, not seeming to care, she could hardly believe her eyes.

"Huh?" Sakura said when Ino whispered this to her, so Sasuke wouldn't overhear. "Oh, Sasuke-kun let me use it!"

"He did? Can I use it too?" she asked eagerly, already reaching out to touch the crayon so loved by the famous Sasuke.

Just before her fingers touched it, though, Sasuke whirled around, clamped his fingers around Sakura's elbow, and yanked her arm away from Ino's.

"Don't – touch – my – crayon," he hissed, eyes flashing red. Or so Ino thought. What a scary guy!

"How come Sakura can use it, then?" she demanded. The girl in question felt her face heat up.

"Yeah, Sasuke!" Naruto crowed from his spot a few feet away, where he had been watching the show. "Do you like her?"

"Ooooh!" squealed half the class. Then they broke out into a chant of "Sasuke likes Sakura! Sasuke likes Sakura!"

Sasuke scowled and took the crayon away from the poor girl behind him. She bit her lip, embarrassed and worried she had angered him.

Three days later, he gave her the crayon again.