Author: Mask of Mirage

Rating: M

Comments:I was not intending to start a new story due to the arrival of school. And, boy did it arrive. It seems I have more homework this year. Happy, happy, joy, joy. I've kind of always wanted to write an AU modern fic but was not sure what direction to go in.

I've read so many brilliant Naruto AU's that I was apprehensive to jump into the main stream without knowing what I was doing. I tried to step up my writing skills in this fic because I have grown in English classes and it was about time some proof started to show for all my hard work. I hope this actually goes somewhere and I won't get too bogged down in schoolwork that this fic actually seems like a burden of sorts. But, then again, we can only wait and see.

Mood Song: Apologize by One Republic

Warning: This is an yaoi/shonen ai fic. Surely, if you're reading, that must mean you have been a member of this site for some time and know what this means so I see no point in warning you when you obviously saw the pairing at the beginning.

Chapter One: Concussion and a Friend

The number nine bus lurched forward causing Itachi's briefcase to slide to the floor from the seat next to him. He sighed heavily, bending to retrieve the black bag. Out of simple boredom, he studied the other occupants on the bus, few that they may be. Other than himself and the driver, there was an elderly lady with a walker at the front, her bright blue and purple muumuu spilling out over the edge of her seat. Directly across from him was a woman in her mid-thirties who often reprimanded you two young sons to "sit down and be quiet or no candy later." He noticed her fingers habitually clutched at the hem of her shirt.

Sitting at the very back, deaf to everything but his mP3 player, was a young man, around Itachi's age. He studied this one longer, curiosity getting the better of him. The boy had long blond hair, which he kept in a ponytail at the top of his head, all but a quarter of which that hung over his left eye. He was clad in a plain black hoodie, camo pants and black combat boots better fit for war than the bus.

Sighing once more when the bus lurched again, he clutched his briefcase on his lap to prevent it from falling. He hated public transportation. It was noisy, usually crowded and smelled like god-knows-what. Yeah, he would trade this for his little yellow Mitsubishi Eclipse with its soft black, leather interior and purring engine any day. Problem was, he had promised his younger brother Sasuke and Sasuke's recently acquired driver's license that they could borrow his car for the day; followed up with a stern lecture on if anything happened to his "baby", a certain person would be missing a very important bodily functioning asset. I.e. 'little Sasuke.'

As Lady Luck would have it, the day he decided to rent out his car was the same day Uchiha Corporations decided to hold their biggest meeting; a meeting Itachi was going to be late to if the traffic on the freeway didn't pick up anytime soon. This was a very important job for him as he was the youngest employee, at 22, and having a boss like his father didn't actually earn him any respect in the workplace. This meeting would determine his status and show to all those little, rich boys he was, by far, smarter than they and a hell of a lot richer. He was also hoping for a promotion from daddy dearest; mainly a position closer to his father because if there was anything Itachi would want more was to take over the business and fire his father's sorry ass.

Fugaku Uchiha was a corporate mogul, known for depleting wages at whim and a past history in illegal conspiracies. In Itachi's opinion, he would be a better company president by a long shot. But all this was never going to happen in the bus he was occupying didn't reach speeds above twenty!

As if on cue, the bus picked up speed…and rear-ended the car in front of it, who suddenly decided to brake. The force of the impact pitched Itachi forward, causing him to hit his head sharply on the edge of the seat in front of him. He was then thrown back into the seat rather roughly, his hand pressed to his forehead. He felt something warm and sticky beneath his fingertips and when he brought his hand down to see they were covered in blood. Itachi swallowed convulsively, his stomach heaving in uncontrollable spasms. The two young boys across from him were crying, confused and scared by the situation. He forced himself to take a few deep breaths to try to calm his queasy stomach.

'This is ridiculous,' he thought,' I'm an Uchiha. I cannot faint at the sight of my own blood.'

He heard a voice speaking to the driver at the front of the bus. It was the blond boy. "There's no damage to us, let's get going, un," he yelled, somewhat impatiently.

"I can't kid," the driver reasoned, "state law requires me to stay put when there's an accident."

"That's bullshit, I'm going to be late for class!"

"Go sit back down before I have the police make you!"

The boy huffed in impatience and Itachi felt him stalk past him. "Hey, are you alright; you're bleeding pretty bad, un?"

Itachi groaned in response and felt himself topple sideways into the aisle, the thick black blanket of unconsciousness sweeping over him. "Shit," he heard the stranger mutter, a strong pair of arms holding him up.

Itachi winced and blinked open his eyes as fingers tied off a piece of gauze secured around his forehead. His skull throbbed painfully, a sharp headache already making itself known in his frontal lobe.

"Good, you're awake," he heard a familiar voice say. "What day is it, un?"

Itachi swallowed the lump in his throat and spoke hoarsely. "Tuesday, March 12th."

"And you're how old, un?"


"Are you sure?"

"Yes, of course. Why are you asking me all this?" Itachi questioned, irritated. He finally managed his eyes to focus on the person above him and was shocked to see a large orb of cobalt blue. Aside from Naruto, Sasuke's best and long-time friend, Itachi had never seen eyes so beautiful, so captivating, so blue.

"Chill out dude, just making sure you don't have a concussion."

Itachi sat up slowly and rested against the arm of the seat. The bus was empty, save Itachi and the blond boy. "Where did everyone go?" he questioned, straining his neck to see out of the large windows.

"A transport came and took the old lady and the family; there wasn't enough room for us so they're sending another." He smirked and gestured outside the bus. "Driver has his hands full with the other guy's insurance agency, un."

"Damn, what time is it?" Itachi suddenly demanded, instantly straightening up.

"Uh, 10:47," the boy replied after a quick glance at his watch. Itachi slammed his hand down on the seat in an agitated manner, causing the younger male to flinch slightly. "What the hell's your problem all of a sudden, un?"

"Oh nothing, just that I missed the most crucial meeting of my entire career," Itachi replied, running a hand nervously through his hair. On second thought, he held it out to the blond, waiting for it to be grasped. "Sorry, I'm Itachi Uchiha," he continued, flashing a smile.

The boy eyed his hand and shook hesitantly. "Deidara."

Itachi raised an eyebrow at the missing surname but if this Deidara kid didn't want to give it, that was perfectly acceptable. "I didn't know they allowed children to ride public transit without an adult?" he teased.

"Ha ha, very funny, un. I'll be 20 in September," Deidara replied dryly.

Itachi glanced over him once more, realizing on closer inspection he wasn't as young as he first appeared.

"And you're not the only one late for something important either. I had a final to take in Criminal Justice."

"You don't look like you'd want to be a lawyer. In fact, you resemble some of those they prosecute," Itachi said with a smirk.

Suddenly, Deidara broke out in laughter, holding a hand to his ribcage. "You're just like all the other rich preppies: judging people by how they look, un."

"Wait, I didn't mean to imply…," Itachi tried to say but was cut off.

"Hey look. It's fine; besides you were right." He waved his arms in a bowing manner. "Meet your cliché teenage delinquent, un!"

Itachi gawked openly at the boy's audacity; this kid was really something. He was about to open his mouth to reply when he was interrupted by a loud honking outside. A beat-up Oldsmobile was parked parallel to the bus, a middle-aged redheaded man leaned out the driver's side.

"Yo, Deidara, get your skinny ass out here and lets go!"

Hopping to his feet, the blond boy rushed to the bus door. "My ride's here, nice talking to you, un!"

And he was gone, with a squeal of tires and a cloud of acrid smoke. Itachi watched the retreating form of the car till it disappeared under the overpass. Outside he could hear the bus driver still arguing with the driver of the car.

"What do you mean your insurance agency won't cover bus collisions? It's a damn vehicle just like the rest of them!?"

Glancing around the now-empty bus, he spotted a tattered green army bag shoved beneath the bench seat at the back. Picking it up, he opened the outer flap and read the nametag.


West and 23rd

Bldg. 4 Apt. 6D

Itachi smiled. Seemed like he was going to be seeing a certain blunt, sarcastic individual once more.

Ending Note: How's that for a first chapter? Feedback is welcomed and will be eaten with a side of Laffy Taffy. Feed me, I'm hungry.

Mask of Mirage