Chapter Four: Ninja Way
Sasuke arrived back home around half past 6, with a sigh he slammed the door to his shiny Mercedes. As he walked up to his house he could smell delicious scents coming from his kitchen. "That dobe… does he know how to cook?"
The Uchiha opened the door to his house, stepped in and did a double-take. "What the-" Sasuke caught himself in time as he scanned the living room of his house. Whoa, was it sparkling?! What the hell did the dobe use? Magic polish?! Not that Sasuke minded that his house was cleaner than before, but just… wow.
He cautiously approached the kitchen. He doubted that anything was burnt but it never hurt to be too careful. Naruto wasn't exactly one of the best cook last time. They were only around 6 years old when Naruto tried to cook by mixing Milo powder and cereal and milk together.
Milo powder and cereal never looked the same to him ever since and plain milk just made him feel like puking, though Naruto had claimed it tasted delicious.
"Yo! Sasuke! You're back!" Naruto turned around and smiled at the taller boy, "Dinner is almost ready, just got to get some stuff out of the kitchen."
Sasuke just stared at Naruto, all previous thoughts in his mind flew out when he took in the other's appearance. "Your apron is cute." He finally said with a smirk.
Naruto's face turned to the color of strawberry, he quickly yanked his stupid pink apron that had apples and cherries imprinted on it and threw it to the side. "IIt's not mine! I found it in your stupid kitchen, who knows teme, you might be the one using it."
Uchiha's do not sputter. "It was a stupid gift from my guardian."
"So you have a guardian." Naruto concluded as he lowered the fire at the stove.
"Yes, he looked after me during my younger years."
"Ahh." Sasuke watched in amusement as Naruto banged around, it was a miracle that his kitchen was still in one piece, Naruto has always been such a klutz. "Alright it's almost ready, go and sit." Naruto almost sounded demanding.
The Uchiha blinked before he nodded once and went over to the dining table and sat there stiffly. The smell of whatever Naruto was cooking was definitely tantalizing his senses. "You cook, Naruto?"
"I'm not sure myself." Naruto answered truthfully with a nervous chuckle, "I hope that this food comes out all right. You'll be the judge Sasuke."
Sasuke shrugged although he knew Naruto wouldn't see it. "It definitely smells all right to me."
"Smells can be deceiving." Naruto waved a spatula in the air warningly. "But it's done!"
Sasuke raise an eyebrow as the cute blond waltzed around and laid two bowls on the table. "Oyakodon? (chicken and egg rice bowl)"
A beaming smile was his answer before Naruto went back into the kitchen and brought out more dishes. "Mmm hmm, and yasai yaki (grilled, skewered vegetables), I hope it's alright though."
Then Naruto sat on the chair next to Sasuke and propped himself up by his elbows. "So, go ahead and try it! I'm too afraid to try it first."
Sasuke smirked a little, "Too afraid to try your own cooking?" though the smell of the yakitori don smelt amazingly good, Sasuke always loved to annoy Naruto. Looks like he may never grow out of it, even after all these years.
"Stop being a bastard and try it!" Naruto pouted, his lower lip jutting out. "I slaved over the kitchen for it."
"You sound like a bloody woman." Sasuke pointed out with a chuckle.
Something about the chuckle made Naruto nervous, like as if Sasuke never chuckled much. Taking a careful look at Sasuke, Naruto concluded that maybe he was right, maybe Sasuke wasn't the type to laugh or smile at anything. "Shut up and try it!" Naruto sat up straight and stared straight at Sasuke who didn't seem to move. "Go on!"
Sasuke split his chopsticks in two before he slowly picked up the Japanese styled rice along with chicken bits and some egg. He blew on it first softly before he put it in his mouth and chewed. Whoa…
"Not bad." Sasuke smirked and continued chewing, though he didn't mention that he never complimented anyone's cooking before. Never. "Where did you learn to cook like this?"
Naruto grinned happily before he started to dig in himself. "I don't remember. But somehow when I saw all the ingredients in the fridge, I knew I could make it. Though I also had help from one of the recipe books I found in the room."
"I have recipe books?"
The younger raised an eyebrow at Sasuke before he said slowly and precisely. "…Yes."
The Uchiha shrugged before he continued to dig in to the food. "I never check what I have in there. It probably came from my old house."
"Wow, no wonder there was so much dust there." Naruto laughed as he remembered blowing the dust off the book then continued to finish the food, taking some of the yasai yaki and munching on it.
Sasuke noticed that Naruto said 'was', "That reminds me, you cleaned the living room?"
Naruto chewed happily on his own food before he swallowed and answered, "Yep! I know it's not much, but I wanted to make sure everything was in orderly manner."
The raven blinked, since when did Naruto care about anything being in an orderly manner? Maybe he changed when he moved away. That made Sasuke's insides hurt a little, he missed Naruto so much. Sasuke himself had not changed much, still dark, cold and brooding. 'Just how much have you changed, Naruto?' Sasuke pondered to himself with an inward sigh.
Naruto didn't even to notice the awkward silence until he was done with his own meal. "Teme, what's wrong?"
Sasuke snapped out of his thoughts to see Naruto gazing worriedly at him. He felt his heart suddenly jump at those beautiful blue gems. Sasuke always had a weakness to those eyes. Quickly, he smirked instead. "Dobe, you cook and you clean, what are you? The perfect maid or wife?"
"Damn you teme!" Naruto gritted his teeth as he glared at Sasuke, blushing nonetheless. "I'm just trying to do my part because I'm staying with you. It's a promise! It's my way of… of…"
Sasuke stopped eating then and stared at Naruto. He knew what Naruto was going to say, the blond always said that since they started playing that Ninja game when they were little. Did Naruto remember?
"Of…" Naruto slowly raised his eyes to stare straight at Sasuke.
The Uchiha smiled a little at Naruto. "You remember?"
Naruto put a hand to his head suddenly feeling very dizzy, "I think… maybe just… a little…"
"Sasu-chaaaaaan!" The small boy of age 7 ran then promptly glomped the taller boy. "Did I scare you?"
Sasuke smiled at his best friend and he hugged the blond back, "Naru-chan, scare me? Pretending to be a Ninja again?"
The blond stuck his tongue out childishly, "Ninja's are st-stea-steal-th…"
"Stealthy?" Sasuke laughed softly at his best friend, even though the word stealthy is something young children would use, what could Sasuke do? He was a genius.
"It's your fault for using such hard words Sasu!" Naruto pouted cutely.
"You've been playing this game since we were 4 years old Naru, you never get bored of it?"
"Nu!" Naruto stuck out his tongue again.
Sasuke shook his head, "It won't last forever, so I suppose it's alright."
Now it was Naruto's turn to shake his head, "You're wrong Sasuke. I would always be your best friend!" then the boy grinned brightly at his best friend. "It's a promise! And I always keep my promises because it's my way of the ninja!"
"Naruto, are you okay?"
Blurry blue eyes stared at the raven through half lidded eyes, "Sasu… What happened?"
Sasuke hitched his breath, "W-What?"
"What happened?" Naruto repeated throatily before he struggled to get up.
"You fainted…" Sasuke couldn't stop himself, "You called me…?"
"Sasu-chan?" Naruto still continued to stare dazed at Sasuke before he grew more and more focused about his surroundings. "Sasuke? I just… remembered some things." Naruto grinned weakly at Sasuke, "Wow, you really are my childhood friend."
The Uchiha gave Naruto a surprised look. "What did you remember?"
"About the ninja thing… just a small part." Naruto wisely kept the last part he remembered. "Sasuke…"
"Do you have a spare notebook?"
Sasuke sighed softly. What did Naruto remember? He said he remembered a small bit about the ninja. That itself should be sufficient to see that Sasuke was indeed Naruto's childhood friend. 'Which memory could it be?' Sasuke kept asking himself but he himself knew he wouldn't know the answer. They had so many memories of their childhood days that Sasuke would never forget, or would rather die than forget.
He was just glad that Naruto had finished his own food before he fainted. He only had to carry the blond to the sofa and wait for some time before Naruto became conscious again.
"What am I going to do?" Sasuke muttered to himself, running a hand through his hair.
Looks like Naruto was done with whatever he wanted to do with the notebook. Sasuke watched Naruto run down the staircase in alarming speed. "What dobe?"
"Don't call me that, teme!" Naruto reacted automatically. "Anyway, I forgot! There's dessert."
"Dessert?" Sasuke blinked before he let himself be pushed towards the dining table once again.
The blond beamed at him once he got Sasuke seated, "Yep! To celebrate that I recalled something." Then he went inside the kitchen and it wasn't long before he came back out and put two cups on the table.
"Mango pudding?" Sasuke cocked a delicate eyebrow, "Where did that come from?"
"From your freezer." Naruto answered, staring at the other in something akin to shock.
Sasuke snorted but picked up the teaspoon. "Never knew."
"It's a good thing I checked the expiry date…" Naruto muttered as he dug into the pudding himself.
"It's weird because I don't like sweet things…" Sasuke thought about who could have put that in his freezer. Maybe it was… "I think it was… my guardian. That idiot likes to disturb me on purpose."
Naruto gave a slow nod, before he took the spoon out of his mouth. "You know, if you don't like sweet things, I can always squeeze some lemon or lime inside, it might balance the taste."
"Lemon or lime?" Sasuke repeated slowly before a small smirk graced his face. "You really are a cook."
The blond stuck out his tongue childishly, "Shut up."
"You really seem like a housewife dobe," Sasuke slowly scooped a spoon and stared at the mango pudding, "let me just get a maid outfit and you're set."
The blond hissed at him but didn't comment and proceeded to stuff his face with the pudding.
Sasuke shook his head and slowly took a few spoons, resisting the urge to cringe, "But if you know how to cook, then I think you should be alright with kids."
"Kids?" Naruto echoed with a confused blink. "What are you talking about teme?"
"My cousin is going to be staying in my house."
Blue eyes brightened at the thought of having someone else staying over. "Oh! Where will he be sleeping?"
"On the sofa." Sasuke answered easily.
Naruto gave the older boy a blank look. Maybe Sasuke's nephew was almost as old as him though part of him doubted it because Sasuke had said 'kid'. "…How old is your cousin?"
"Seven." Naruto repeated in a soft tone, wondering if he had heard wrongly. When Sasuke made no move to correct what he said, Naruto wasn't sure what to say for a moment. Very slowly, as if trying to soak in the words, Naruto asked, "You'd let your seven year old cousin sleep on the… sofa?"
"Is there anything wrong with that?" Sasuke gave Naruto a pointed look.
YES! Naruto wanted to yell in the other's face. "I can always give him the room I'm using now."
"You're a guest."
"And your cousin is not?" Naruto wanted to bang his head violently against the wall.
Sasuke shrugged and Naruto mentally corrected himself, he wanted to bang his head violently against the wall, many times.
"Why don't I clean out one of the rooms so he can sleep in it?" Naruto suggested with a strained smile at Sasuke. "I mean other than cleaning your house and making dinner, I have plenty of time."
The raven seemed in thought for a while before he gave Naruto a stiff nod, "Alright then, if you have the time."
"I'll make time for it." Naruto promised. There was no way in hell was he going to let a young seven year old boy sleep on the sofa! It just didn't feel right to him. "Then I'll find out what your cousin likes, and I'll-"
"Don't bother." Sasuke muttered once he finished the pudding, "He'll probably treat you like his servant after that."
Naruto blinked as he scooped more pudding only for it to slip off his spoon and onto the table. He stared almost trancelike at the messy spot on the table before he answered, "He would?"
Sasuke sighed and put down his spoon, "Neji comes from a wealthy family."
"Oh, so his name is Neji." Naruto nodded to himself, "Why is he coming here to stay?"
Sasuke passed Naruto his empty cup and spoon before Naruto went into the kitchen to wash the cup and spoons, "Because his school is much nearer here. You know how big Japan is, it would be hard for him to come from home to the school."
"I see," Naruto nodded as he let his soapy fingers run over the smooth surface of one cup before they stopped as he pondered silently. "Demo, if Neji-san is rich, then shouldn't Sasuke be… well, well to do?"
"I never said I wasn't." Sasuke answered evenly as he eyes were fixed at the one spot on the dining table where Naruto had accidentally dropped a scoop of his pudding.
The blond let water run over his hands over the soapy cups and utensils before shaking them dry. "Oh. Then I should be glad you don't have some huge mansion that would take me ages to clean."
The Uchiha smiled a little. "I do, I just don't live in it."
Naruto paused for a second before he resumed putting the cups and spoons back in their respective places. "Oh." He chewed thoughtfully on his lower lip before he said softly as he slowly padded back to the dining room. "Ano, Sasuke…"
Should he ask him? He should shouldn't he? Especially since they'll be living together for quite some time, it should be a good idea. "I think, I think I should know more about you." Naruto got a dry table cloth and washed it.
Sasuke looked up from the spot on the table, "Me?"
"Yep!" Naruto grinned as he settled on the chair near Sasuke, before cleaning the messy spot. "So tell me about yourself."
"There's not much to tell." Sasuke shrugged but otherwise did not reject the idea.
Naruto's grin widened.
To be continued.
Yay done! I'm more excited about this than my other stories, cause this story is slightly more planed out.
Any ideas or comments?