Summary: Naruto has spent his whole life trying to understand girls, and with the help of a bet he may finally get one. Now if only that Teme would stop confusing him!
Warning: Extremely brief NaruSaku (if you want to call it that)
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
To Catch a Girl
There were many things in life Naruto didn't understand. He didn't understand why everyone made fun of his handwriting and claimed it to be illegible. He didn't understand why adults loathed his existence. Nor did he understand why people looked nauseated whenever he told them he ate nothing but ramen.
He couldn't begin to fathom the reason behind these things, but there was one thing that went above and beyond when it came to confusing him: Girls.
"Sugar, spice, and everything nice," as people would say, and it was accurate as far as Naruto was concerned. Girls were everything nice. They could be friends, lovers, mothers, and so much more. Depending on what they did in life, they somehow gained magical powers that helped them do their job. For example a mother with kids can magically remove stains from shirts, or so Naruto was told. He had no mother, so he did not know.
While girls were everything nice there was one problem with them, and that would be the "Sugar and spice".
Spices came in many flavors, but were hardly ever sweet, unlike sugar, which was the essence of sweetness. This contradiction could be seen in every girl Naruto had ever met.
Girls want men to be honest, but they will tear off a man's head if he suggests she may have gained weight. Women will flirt with other guys, but if she catches a man that interests her flirting with someone else she will beat him to a pulp. She will blush and tell men to stop embarrassing her with their comments, and get angry when she changes her hairstyle and receives no compliments.
Girls: the walking oxymoron.
"Hey Sakura, do you want to have some ramen with me?" Naruto didn't understand women, but he had not given his pursuit for them. There were days he wanted to, and then he reminded himself how great a kiss from a girl would be.
Not like that icky one he had with Sasuke back in ninja school. He still hadn't forgiven the kid who had shoved him into Sasuke.
A sigh left Sakura's lips, and Naruto's heart fell. He read somewhere that girls loved persistent guys, but Sakura seemed to be the exception. Everyday he asked her out, and everyday she turned him down. Oh sure, she hadn't verbally rejected him yet, but that sigh told him everything he needed to know.
The sigh spoke volumes. It said, "Don't be a moron. Sakura will never go out on a date with you because she likes Sasuke. Make this easier on yourself and carve your heart out with a butter knife."
Stupid Sasuke. Naruto was a total babe magnet, but because of some strange spell placed on Sasuke, all the young females of Konoha were infatuated with him, or so Naruto told himself.
"Sorry, Naruto, but I have plans."
Plans. In other words, she was hoping Sasuke would finally agree to going out with her. It was always Sasuke.
"You sure?" He asked hopefully, knowing full well what the answer would be.
The butter knife was looking more and more appealing with each passing second.
"I need to talk to Sasuke, see ya later, Naruto," Sakura smiled and waved her goodbye.
"Bye Sakura," Naruto feigned a smile and waved back to her as if she hadn't just shattered his heart. I hope you trip and fall flat on your face, Bitch, his malicious side shouted, but he pushed it back.
Why did he have to be the good guy? Why couldn't he be the guy that chased after her and demand she go out on a date with him, or else she would find her house in flames?
Well, he could if he wanted-
No! Naruto cut off that train of thought. He was not going to extort Sakura. No matter how tempting it would be.
His eyebrow twitched in agitation.
It would feel great to burn down a house at the moment.
No! He was a protagonist. He had to act the part or else Sasuke would end up as the protagonist, and Naruto was not going to let that happen! He would walk around Konoha naked before letting Sasuke take his place as protagonist.
You know, a little voice in the back of Naruto's head spoke slyly, there is no rule saying a protagonist can't win a girl's heart by being the one to comfort her after another has rejected her.
Naruto frowned. What did comforting a rejected Sakura have to do with his love life, or lack thereof?
The voice sighed. Be the rebound man.
Naruto scowled. He was not some loser guy. He was not going to win Sakura's heart by being a rebound guy. He needed to be the leading man that makes all the girls swoon.
Shut up and do as you're told! The voice snarled. At this point your only chance is as the rebound guy.
Naruto opened his mouth to verbally protest, and then closed it. He was talking to himself again, and once again he was losing to himself in a debate. He had to be the most pathetic person on the planet! Who lost to themselves in a debate?
Letting out an exasperated breath, Naruto gave into his brain's demands and went in search of Sakura and Sasuke. Why couldn't he have had this brilliant idea on a day when they had training? It would have been so much easier if they were in the same place instead spread around the town.
"Stupid Teme," Naruto mumbled. Nothing was ever easy with Sasuke was it?
OH HOLY GHOST OF THE THIRD HOKAGE!
Naruto jumped two feet in the air. He hadn't sensed Sasuke's presence nearby. If that wasn't bad enough, Sasuke had been close enough when he spoke, that Naruto had felt Sasuke's chilling breath, causing a shiver to go up Naruto's spine.
If Sasuke had been an enemy ninja, Naruto would be dead now.
Collecting himself, Naruto spun on his heels, with his arms folded across his chest as he tried to appear intimidating. He thought he was doing a good job too until Sasuke got that smug smirk on his face.
Naruto could feel his lips curl back, and his vocal cords quiver as he gave Sasuke an animalistic growl.
It was one of the best growls Naruto had ever made when not being possessed by the kyuubi and he was proud of it. He would have run to Iruka to tell his old sensei about his achievement, but the look on Sasuke's face turned what little pride he had into a popped balloon, and Sasuke was the one holding the needle.
It was a look Naruto had grown used to seeing on Sasuke's face. To most it looked like an average smirk, but Naruto had seen it enough times to see the tiniest difference. This smirk was reserved for Naruto. Sounds sweet, right? Wrong!
The smirk had formed over time, and was used whenever Sasuke thought Naruto was being childish.
He was not a child! How dare Sasuke think that way about him!
Granted, Naruto couldn't read Sasuke's mind so he couldn't be sure if the smirk was because Sasuke thought Naruto was childish, but Naruto could feel it. His gut told him that was exactly what Sasuke was thinking and it irked him.
The smirk vanished from Sasuke's face faster than ice cream melted in the summer heat. "You already said that, Dobe."
Naruto cursed inwardly. His cheeks flushed in embarrassment, and he wanted to bang his head against something. He would not lose his composure in front of Sasuke! He rather be denied ramen for the rest of his life than let that happen.
Okay, that was an exaggeration.
"Where's Sakura?" he was on a mission, and he wasn't going to let the Uchiha distract him.
Naruto's teeth clenched and his hands balled into fists. He had asked for Sakura's location; not an annoying grunt! If Sasuke was supposed to be so smart then why didn't he answer his question? Naruto would bet money that Sasuke was really a dimwit and had managed to trick the people of Konoha into thinking he was a genius by never answering questions.
That would be strike two. If Sasuke gave him another smartass remark, he was going to tear the other boy's eyes out with his bare hands. Let's see how great the Sharingan user is without his eyes.
As if sensing Naruto's temper was about to erupt, Sasuke shrugged and finally answered Naruto's question. "I ran into her a few minutes ago."
The raging tornado in Naruto dissipated and he was left with a hole where it used to be. He was too late. If Sasuke had seen Sakura then that meant Sakura had already asked him. Sakura was used to Sasuke's rejections and within minutes she would no longer be depressed, and his window to console her would be destroyed.
He sighed in defeat. If he started searching for Sakura now, by the time he would find her she would most likely be back to her perky self.
Why couldn't he ever win?
"What are you complaining about now?" Sasuke asked, sounding bored, but a hint of annoyance lined his voice.
As if Sasuke didn't know.
Everyone knew how he felt about Sakura, and Sasuke was their teammate, and as much as it made Naruto want to vomit to think about such a thing, Sasuke was one the closest people in his life. If Sasuke ever needed his help, Naruto knew he would stop everything in a heartbeat for Sasuke.
Not that the Uchiha would ever ask for his help.
"You selfish jerk!" Naruto hissed, letting his hate filled gaze fall to his side. "Sakura loves you and you treat her like crap. I would give anything to have Sakura ask me out, and you just throw it away. She is the smartest and prettiest girl around, and she would do just about anything for you."
The bored expression was gone from Sasuke's face to be replaced with utter annoyance. He scoffed, "Don't be jealous Naruto. I have no interest in Sakura. You're only competition there is Lee."
"It's not just Sakura!" Naruto yelled, and almost slammed his hand over his mouth. He hadn't planned on saying that, but it had been bothering him for so long he couldn't contain himself. "Every girl around our age is in love with you and you don't care!"
So? So! What kind of response was that? It was a response that burned Naruto's ramen that's what it was. Sasuke was not going to get away with that kind of crap!
Naruto threw a punch at Sasuke's face, but it was caught effortlessly by the other. Blood red eyes stared angrily at Naruto, daring the blond to continue with his physical assault.
Naruto would have too, if it weren't for the bystanders circled around the two watching as the scene unfolded. He pulled back and Sasuke released his hold on Naruto's fist.
His fury had been like a raging fire, burning him from the inside and tearing away his sanity, but it had swiftly changed when Sasuke had caught his punch. The fire became frozen in a sheen of ice and he no longer felt the desire to murder Sasuke. Instead, an eerie calm settled over him.
"You know it's kind of sad," He said acting cocky and showing off his trademark vulpine grin. "Girl's must like you out of pity. How else can someone possibly like an ice prince like you?"
Sasuke's eyes narrowed, in warning, but the red tint to the normally obsidian eyes was warning enough. Naruto was on thin ice, and the only thing keeping him safe was Sasuke's patience.
"Trust me Naruto," Sasuke spat out his name in disgust. "It's not out of pity. Even if you were the last man in Konoha, no girl would come near you."
"Oh really?" Naruto challenged.
"Yes really." Sasuke was looking more irritated by the second, and Naruto swore he saw the Uchiha's eyebrow twitch in agitation.
"Then prove it!"
Sasuke smirked, but his muscles remained tensed. "And how do you want me to do that?"
How could Sasuke prove his earlier statement?
Sasuke rolled his eyes heavenward, and his muscles went lax. He no longer saw Naruto as a challenge, and Naruto was eager to make Sasuke regret letting his guard down, but suddenly he had an idea.
It was crazy. He rather eat dirt, but it was the only way to see if Sasuke was right or not. There was just the problem of Sasuke possibly refusing to do such a thing.
"Naruto?" Sasuke questioned, sensing the change in Naruto's character.
"If you are so sure about what you said earlier than prove it, and teach me how to get a girlfriend! If in a month I don't get a girlfriend then I win and you lose."
Someone up there really hated him.
Why hadn't he kept his mouth?
And why was he a magnet for messes?
Sasuke glared at Naruto, silently telling the blond one more mistake and Naruto would find himself unconscious with his body covered in blood and bruises.
Naruto folded his arms over his chest and snorted haughtily. It wasn't his fault that he spilt the tea on Sasuke. If the Uchiha hadn't been so stubborn about teaching him some place no one would see them, then they wouldn't be out in the woods, and Naruto wouldn't have jumped when he heard rustling in the bushes.
He inwardly groaned at the memory. He normally wasn't so easily startled, but something about being alone in the woods with Sasuke left him on edge.
"Do we have to practice out here?" Naruto whined. "I get that you don't want anyone to see us. I even understand that you're a prick and think I am too beneath you to be allowed in your house. But why not mine?"
Sasuke scowled as he continued to wipe the tea off his shirt.
"My apartment may be a bit small," Naruto continued, purposely ignoring Sasuke's sour mood. Honestly, didn't Sasuke ever get tired of glaring? Didn't it hurt his eyes? "But at least my apartment has a real table, which is better than this stupid rock."
Naruto pointed at the flat rock stationed between them, earning another nasty look from Sasuke. How many nasty looks did the Uchiha have? He must spend his free time making them up.
"This place will do nicely," Sasuke gritted between his teeth, and shoved the napkin he had been using to clean his shirt into his pocket. "This ensures no distractions."
No distractions? Naruto tilted his head to the side to ponder Sasuke's statement better.
Then like a bitch slap from Sakura, realization dawned on him.
If someone needed to talk to Sasuke or him, then the first place they would look would be their homes. While it was unlikely for them to have a visitor, practicing in the woods lowered the chances further distractions.
"Your dinning skills leave a lot to be desired," Sasuke mumbled, and picked up the teakettle from the makeshift table and poured Naruto another glass of tea. "And here I thought the greatest challenge would be how you speak."
Naruto clutched the teacup in his hand tightly. What did Sasuke mean by that? What was wrong with how he spoke? "Mind explaining what you mean, Teme?"
Lacing his fingers together, Sasuke slouched in his seat, rested his elbows on the "table" and placed his chin on top of his intertwined fingers. It was the classic Sasuke thinking position. To add to it, he breathed a suffering sigh. "Do you listen to yourself when you speak, Naruto?"
"No." He was too busy talking to hear himself speak.
Sasuke sighed again. "Naruto, you curse, your voice is always loud, and if you're not talking about being a shinobi you are talking about ramen."
"So?" What was so wrong with that?
"Girls hate that." Sasuke deadpanned.
What the fuck? Was Sasuke screwing with his head? He didn't curse that much. Stupid bastard. Admittedly, he was loud, but what was so bad about talking about ramen and shinobi stuff? Hell, all of the girls he knew were shinobi.
"I don't curse, damn it!' Naruto growled.
Sasuke shook his head. "You just did."
Damn Sasuke. Damn Sasuke to hell and back. No, Hell was to good for him. May all of Sasuke's fangirls corner him one day and force him to go shopping with them as they giggle and squeal about how excited they are.
"If you don't notice when you curse, then the money jar and pinching technique won't work." Sasuke thought allowed, glancing to the side.
Augh. Naruto hated the money jar and pinching technique. Iruka sensei had used those two techniques when Naruto had been a kid, and neither one worked.
"Riding you of your cursing habit may take a twenty-four hour watch."
Someone really did hate him. He was not going to be watched by Sasuke for twenty-four hours a day.
The determined look in Sasuke's eyes said differently, and Naruto knew once Sasuke decided on something there was no stopping the boy.
"Hey Sak-" A hand slammed on Naruto's mouth and he was yanked forcefully into bush by Sasuke. What was the prick's problem? He had to put up with Sasuke for two days, and just when he thought he was going to get a break from the Uchiha's strangeness he was being dragged into a bush.
He scowled and hissed as pain shot up his spine from landing too hard on his butt. Not that Sasuke cared, he was too busy giving Naruto dirty looks, and silently silencing the boy.
If Sasuke wanted him to be quiet he could have asked nicely.
"What is wrong with you?" Naruto asked as he shifted his body so less weight would be on his sore bottom. "I was just saying hello to Sakura."
"Here's a new lesson Naruto," Sasuke ignored Naruto's question. Jerk. "Until stated otherwise, you will give Sakura as minimum amount of attention as possible."
What the Hell? No way! Sakura was his friend! Sure she yelled at him and hit him on the head, but she was still his friend and teammate. He couldn't ignore her! He wouldn't be like Sasuke and hurt Sakura's feelings by ignoring her.
"Go to Hell," Naruto whispered, so no one would overhear.
Sasuke's eyes narrowed. "We still need to work on the language I see."
"Shut up! I am not going to be a jerk and hurt Sakura's feelings!"
Sasuke had the gall to look amused. Naruto wondered how amused Sasuke would look if Naruto castrated him.
Naruto's lips twitched with a smirk. He had the best mental image. The look of horror on imaginary Sasuke's face was priceless, and warmed Naruto inside.
"Trust me Naruto," Sasuke began, still smirking. "Sakura will be in too much shock to be hurt. In fact, for the first few days expect shock from her. After that she will be content."
"What makes you so sure?"
"I ignore every girl and most of them claim to love me."
Damn. Naruto couldn't argue with that. Women had to be masochists for loving to be ignored by the object of their desire.
Seeing that Naruto, for the moment, had given in to his demands, Sasuke pulled away from him, causing Naruto to go wide-eyed.
He hadn't realized Sasuke had been sitting so close to him. The last two days of Sasuke following him around and whacking him for every curse word he spoke had caused Naruto to forget about his personal bubble. At first it bothered him, but the more he complained about the lack of space, the more he cursed, and the more times Sasuke was forced to take over Naruto's space until Naruto grew tired of complaining.
How many people did Sasuke get physically close too? Now that Naruto thought about it, Sasuke wasn't one for physical contact unless in battle or absolutely necessary.
"Hn." The Uchiha grunted, turning his head away from Naruto and looking out of the bush. "Sakura is still waiting for Kakashi. Can't he be on time for once?" And with that, Sasuke stood up and began walking towards team seven's meeting spot.
"Oi! Wait Teme!" Naruto cried, jumping out the bush so fast he didn't notice the twigs and leafs that had taken residence in golden hair. "It you're going to throw someone in a bush, then at least help them out of it!"
"Sasuke!" Sakura squealed, and Naruto winced. His pride had been hit with a sucker punch. Why did Sakura always greet Sasuke first and with so much happiness and energy? Why didn't she do the same for him? He always greeted her with a smile and a cheer, but he only got a bland greeting in return.
"Hn." Sasuke ignored her and took his spot leaning against the bridge's guard.
Naruto saw Sakura's face fall, and for a brief moment he felt a tiny ounce of glee, which was instantly squashed by his guilt. He shouldn't feel happy about Sakura's sadness; he should sympathize. He knew what she was going through, so he should be comforting her, but he couldn't.
One reason was because of what Sasuke had told him to do. The second was because his ego had been bruised and he wasn't quite ready to make someone else feel happy.
"Good morning, Naruto," Sakura said politely, but her eyes did not stray from Sasuke.
Naruto nodded his head to return the greeting, but Sakura didn't see.
Seconds ticked by, and Sakura began to twitch. Slowly, her head turned towards Naruto, and she stared at him in confusion. She was waiting to hear his cheerful greeting, and it hurt him inside to know that he wouldn't be giving it to her.
Naruto looked at Sasuke, who was watching the interaction between his two teammates. Something was off about Sasuke's expression. His eyes were glimmering with thought, something that only happened when Sasuke was planning something, but his face did not hold the determination it normally did.
The Uchiha cocked his head to the side.
Naruto stared. What was Sasuke trying to say? Was there something next to Sasuke?
Naruto looked, but found nothing. His eyes locked with Sasuke's and he shrugged, silently portraying his confusion.
Sasuke rolled his eyes, but did not look irritated. Once again Sasuke cocked his head to the side, and as if Sasuke had thrown a rock at him, Naruto understood. Sasuke was offering Naruto to stand next to him.
Had the world ended?
Naruto double-checked his surroundings. Nope. There were no signs of the apocalypse. So what in the world was going on?
Numb and dumbstruck, Naruto didn't pass up the invitation.
If Sasuke only went near people when needed, then there had to be a reason behind Sasuke's offer, but as Naruto stood next to the Uchiha, Sasuke did nothing. He just stood there gazing at the sky in thought.
Sasuke wasn't the only one staring either. Sakura's jaw had dropped and her eyes were popping out of her head.
Naruto smiled sheepishly. Well, if this wasn't awkward then Naruto didn't know what was.
"But my favorite kind of ramen is-"
Naruto was cut off by Sasuke's hand being thrown over his mouth. How many times had Sasuke done this? Didn't the Uchiha ever hear about germs? Wasn't he afraid that Naruto was going to contaminate him?
Naruto glared, saying without words that Sasuke better remove his hand soon or else.
Sasuke wasn't intimidated. In fact, had Naruto imagined it, or had Sasuke pressed his hand harder against his lips just to spite Naruto?
"Idiot," Sasuke mumbled, keeping that annoying hand of his on Naruto's lips. One more minute, and Naruto would pull out his kunai and chop off that hand. "What did I tell you about talking about ramen?"
Not a moment too soon, Sasuke's hand was gone from Naruto's lips.
The first thing Naruto did was spit, and then wash away the foul taste of Sasuke's skin on his lips with the tea Sasuke had brought. Why was he still coming to the woods with Sasuke? It wasn't like Sasuke's training was helping him with girls.
"You said not to talk about it," Naruto grumbled and took another sip of tea. He still had the taste of Teme on his lips. Where's mouthwash when you need it?
"Good," Sasuke mockingly congratulated.
Naruto took great delight in envisioning Sasuke being set a flame.
"So why are you talking about it?" Sasuke demanded, no longer being a coy jerk, but a direct one.
"Well jeez," Naruto's voice dripped with sarcasm as he mimicked Sasuke's eye rolling habit. Two could play at this game. "Maybe I wouldn't talk about ramen if you would talk back. Sorry, but it's not easy talking to a wall. You say that I need to talk about other things in my life, but how can I talk about personal things when you can't even tell me what your favorite color is?"
"What does my favorite color have to do with anything?"
He was going to tear his hair out. Sasuke could understand some of the most complex things, and yet he couldn't understand what Naruto had just said, was he deaf? "I'm not going to be able to talk about my life until you talk about yours!"
There! He said it! Okay, screamed it, but it was the same thing.
And Sasuke was still giving him that same calculating look. What was so difficult about what he had said?
Then something happened that Naruto swore would never happen in his life. Sasuke actually said something personal, and not only that but…
"I like you more than Sakura."
… Sasuke had said something positive about him. Him! Naruto! The idiotic, loud, blond boy! And he was acting like it was no big deal.
"Are you sure?" Naruto blurted out, and felt embarrassed after hearing the words aloud.
Sasuke shrugged. "Yes."
"Why?" He had to know. He knew Sasuke tolerated him, and maybe somewhere deep in his icy heart, he felt some compassion for Naruto, but he never imagined Sasuke preferring him to Sakura.
Again, Sasuke shrugged. "She is too clingy, she tries too hard to impress me, she may be intelligent but not street smart, for the longest time she didn't participate in battles, and she is a hypocrite."
"What?" Naruto could agree with some of the things Sasuke said, but "hypocrite"? The word didn't suit Sakura.
Sasuke snorted in what seemed to be a combination of amusement and disbelief. "Sakura pines for me and you pine for Sakura. She hates the way I treat her, and she still treats you like I treat her."
Naruto mentally winced. His heart ached at the blow to his pride, but with it came a thought.
If Sasuke had noticed what was happening between his teammates, then was the invitation to stand next to him some form of pity? No, pity was not something Sasuke gave. Pity was beneath Sasuke, but then why did Sasuke let Naruto stand beside him? Was Naruto reading too much into this?
He had to know.
"Is that why-" He started, but his voice cracked and he had to try again. "Is that why you let me stand next you that day?"
For the first time since Naruto had met Sasuke, the Uchiha looked thoroughly off balance. His face was no longer blank, but shifting back and forth between emotions.
It wasn't until his mask of calm returned did Sasuke answer Naruto's question. "I prefer you to Sakura, and I rather have you at my side than her."
So it wasn't out of pity, but it wasn't out of friendship either. It was just because Sasuke dislike Sakura more than him. Somehow that hurt more than the thought of Sakura rejecting him.
But he wouldn't show it. Sasuke had his mask, and Naruto had his.
Smiling, Naruto laughed. "Hey, I'll tell you a secret Sasuke." He cupped a hand around his mouth and whispered to Sasuke, "You were my first friend." He didn't know why he said it, but the words slipped from his lips, easing some of the pain in his chest.
Sasuke turned his head away and grunted.
It must have been a trick of the light, but in that moment there was shine in Sasuke's cold eyes.
At first it killed Naruto to ignore Sakura, but as time went on he didn't notice her anymore. He was aware of her presence, but he gave his smiles and warm greetings to Sasuke, who would smirk and nod his head in acknowledgement. He would tell Sasuke things, and while the Uchiha would never talk back, his body language was enough for Naruto.
If Sasuke shrugged it wasn't because he was bored, but held no real concern with what was being said. When he smirked he either got an interesting mental image from the phrase, or found it amusing. If scowled he was angry, but not at Naruto.
It took a while for Naruto to notice the meaning of the scowl. He thought the scowl was a sign of dislike and annoyance towards him, but when he confronted Sasuke about it during one of their meetings, the Uchiha, surprisingly explained himself.
Most of the time Sasuke scowled, it was because Naruto was telling him about how he was yelled at or kicked out of places for no apparent reason. Very few times was it because Naruto was annoying him. Somehow ( Not even Sasuke knew how it happened), Naruto's pointless banter had become a special part of Sasuke's daily routine.
Their friendship was better than ever and the thought of Sakura was the furthest thing from Naruto's mind. So it came as a surprise to him when Sakura pulled him away from Sasuke's side and demanded to talk in private.
"Is everything okay, Naruto?" Sakura asked, her eyes echoing the worry in her voice. Her eyes were shinning with unshed tears, and Naruto felt like someone had just kicked him in the gut.
He never wanted to see Sakura cry. She was the sweetest girl he knew, even if she was also the most violent. "Everything is prefect Sakura," he tried to soothe her. He began to lift up his hands so he could physical calm her, but he stopped there. He did not know if Sakura wanted to touch him, and a part of him didn't want to either.
"Are you sure?" she asked, holding a hand over her heart and clutching it. "It's just…" She bit her bottom lip and tried to come up with the words she wanted to say. "I care about you Naruto. I know I hit you and yell at you, but I do care. You just get on my nerves sometimes, and I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. When you started to ignore me I was confused and then delighted. I felt free of your constant presence, but as it went on, I began to feel alone."
He felt like crap. He was the worst guy on earth. He didn't deserve Sakura's words.
But Sakura had more to say. "I didn't even care that Sasuke started to pay attention to you more than me."
Naruto's heart stopped. How was that possible? Sakura was obsessed with Sasuke and would hurt any girl who came near him.
"If anything, as time went by, I became jealous of Sasuke," Sakura declared, and Naruto swore he had died and gone to heaven. It was that or he had gone crazy and this was the greatest delusion ever! "You're one of my closest friends Naruto, and while you may annoy me, there is a small part of me that is always cheered up at the sight of you, because I know no matter what I do, you will accept me."
"Sakura…" What could he say? He felt so small compared to Sakura. He had tried to win her heart through deception, and had hurt her in the process. How would she react if she knew the truth behind his actions?
"Can we please go back to being friends?" Sakura asked hopefully, and Naruto knew he couldn't refuse.
He used his best vulpine smile and adjusted his Konoha headband. "Of course Sakura, but first you have to answer one question. Will you go out with me?"
What! He was either going deaf or Sakura had been replaced with a robot!
"I hear Sakura and you are going out tonight."
Oh hell! Naruto froze mid-step.
He could feel the burning glare on his back. Sasuke was standing behind him and if he tried to make an escape Sasuke would catch him. However there was one question: Why did Naruto feel the urge to run faster than a bunny on crack?
Here is a better question: Why did Sasuke sound like he was about to kill someone?
Naruto gulped and spun to face Sasuke.
He was dead. He was dead and buried. Sasuke's eyes were glowing red, and his hands were clenched into fists.
Naruto laughed nervously. "Uh, hi?"
"She treats you like trash for years, and with one apology you go crawling back to her," Sasuke hissed. "You really are an idiot."
Something snapped in Naruto. It was like the fight that initiated the current challenge between. "You should be happy! You win the bet! I managed to get a girlfriend within a month. Why do you care if the girl I chose was Sakura? Would you have been happier if I went out with Ino or Hinata?"
The look on Sasuke's face had promised death before, but at those words it promised slow agonizing torture before death. "No," he stated, venom contorting his voice.
The traces of rage ebbed away from Sasuke's face, but his eyes remained glowing blood red. A smirk played on his lips as he quickly glanced around the vacant street. Those blood red eyes locked on Naruto, and he was trapped.
Sasuke must have used his shinobi speed, because before he could blink, Sasuke was standing in front of him.
Something soft touched his lips, and he gasped.
And just like that, Sasuke was gone.
Numbly, Naruto lifted up his hand to touch his lips. It had been brief, but Naruto knew in his gut the feeling against his lips had been Sasuke's. He didn't know what to feel or think. His mind was still comprehending what had happened.
It wasn't the first time his lips had touched Sasuke's, but this time was different. He had felt something, but the contact had been too short for him to identify it.
Was it disgust or…
Naruto choked on the word.
His first date with Sakura and Naruto couldn't get his mind off the Uchiha. He was just about ready to ram his head into a brick wall if he didn't stop thinking about the other guy soon.
Everything was awkward with Sakura. Everything they said and did together felt fake. It was like they were little kids playing house, and Naruto knew he wasn't the only one who felt this way. Sakura kept fidgeting.
At least the date was almost over, which meant he would soon get his first kiss from a girl!
Naruto smiled, ignoring the weird stares he earned. Finally! He had been waiting so long and he was going to kiss a girl! To make it better, that girl was Sakura! He had never felt so excited!
"Well this is my house," Sakura mumbled. She kept her head lowered so Naruto wouldn't see the blush staining her cheeks. "So umm…"
Suddenly the excitement was gone, and it wasn't Sasuke's fault this time. Sakura's apprehension was contagious. He found himself doubting if he really wanted to kiss her. It didn't feel right.
Kissing was intimate and personal, but Sakura and him weren't intimate. They barely knew anything about each other. The only person who Naruto spoke to about personal matters was… Sasuke.
Naruto shook his head. No, he would not think about the Teme.
"I guess we should kiss?" Sakura offered.
Naruto nodded. He mustered up every ounce of determination he possessed and leaned in to kiss her.
His lips were on hers, and her on his, and that was it. There were no sparks. He didn't feel warm inside. His body didn't thrum with excitement. He didn't feel like screaming to the world that he had kissed Sakura. If anything, he wanted to pull away and forget the kiss ever happened.
They broke apart, and frowned at each other.
"Nothing," Sakura breathed.
"Ditto," Naruto nodded in agreement. "But how?"
Sakura shrugged, "Maybe it is not meant to be?"
No it wasn't fair! He felt something with Sasuke, but not with Sakura? It couldn't be! Sasuke had to have done something!
The Teme was right where Naruto expected him to be. Sasuke was waiting for him in the woods where their training sessions took place, and the smirk on his face made Naruto want to punch him.
"What the hell did you do to me!" he cut to the chase.
Sasuke stopped smirking and cocked his head to the side. His brows furrowed and he looked Naruto over. Upon finding no sign for why Naruto was upset, Sasuke stood up from his seat on the ground and moved towards the blond. "What happened?"
Naruto didn't want to be close to him. Sasuke had done something to him and he wasn't going to give Sasuke the chance to do it again. He took a step back. "Don't act surprised! You did something to me! I kissed Sakura, but nothing happened! I didn't feel anything! It was worse than the first time we kissed, because at least then I felt disgusted."
"And what about the other time?" Sasuke asked, his look calculating, and was that hope Naruto saw? No. An Uchiha would never display hope.
Naruto fumed. What did that have to do with anything? He wanted to know what Sasuke had done to him. "There was something there," he begrudgingly admitted. "But I don't know what since it happened too fast."
Sasuke smirked, but it wasn't his normal one. Within his eyes was the same light Naruto had seen when he had told Sasuke about being his first friend. It was warm and caring.
And damn it! Once again those eyes had him trapped. He cursed his luck.
Sasuke was moving towards him, but he did not run. His head was telling him to run, but his legs stayed rooted to the ground as his stomach did flip flops with anticipation. The closer Sasuke got the faster his heartbeat went and the more it became a flutter.
He would no longer be known as: Naruto Uzumaki, the knuckle headed ninja of Konoha, but known as: Naruto Uzumaki, the gay boy of Konoha. At least he could share the gay half of the title with Sasuke.
Speaking of which…
Sasuke was standing in front of him, inches away, and Naruto felt like he was going to melt or explode. Then those lips were on his and every flutter and tiny bit of warm escalated until he felt like he was drowning in a pit of fire.
It wasn't even one of those passionate make out kisses that Naruto saw in the movies, but it felt wonderful. He was on a high and it was all Sasuke's fault, but for once Naruto didn't care. It felt too good to care.
They pulled apart, and Naruto breathed a sigh. "I guess this means I win the bet."
Sasuke quirked an eyebrow in question.
Naruto mimicked Sasuke's famous smirk. "I said girlfriend, Sasuke. Not boyfriend."
Thank you for reading. I really enjoyed writing this, and I hope everyone equally enjoyed reading it. Also, here's a little fun fact about this fanfic: As I was writing certain scenes I would listen to "Contagious" by Avril Lavigne. I found it funny since the song doesn't really match the mood of the fanfic. Anyway, enough rambling from a crazy writer.