Disclaimer: The characters, items, places etc of Naruto are property of Masashi Kishimoto. These objects are used without permission for entertainment only, not for making money. No infringement is intended.
Slightly revised 17th October in anticipation of the sequel. I have tweaked Itachi's character a little, and made the occasional edit of description here and there. Nothing major at all, just some things that were annoying me :) This was one of my first ventures writing Itachi and I was no longer happy with it.
SasuNaru- this is the homosexual pairing of Naruto and Sasuke. Don't like, don't read! Also, here's an additional warning for swearing, sexual situations (eventually) and some angst. This fic is also Sasuke-centric, and deals more with emotional relationships, though there is some physical as well.
Sakura is in this fic, and I want to make something clear. I like Sakura. I won't be bashing her, or making her a bitch, or anything of the like. If you have a problem with Sakura or her attraction to Naruto for a small part of this, then by all means- press the back button.
I always base my AU fics in Japan, since the manga/show is Japanese, but for once, I'm not going to. This fic is set in England, my home country- London, more specifically. I don't actually live in London, so some of my details may be a little out. I'm recounting what I can from memory- I used to visit 2-3 times a week.
The Values of Trust and Happiness
By Nanaki Lioness
"Sasuke? Where am I?"
"The train station, Sakura."
"Hmm. Are you sure?"
Passer-bys sidestepped, casting slightly concerned glances to the young pair as they walked- or was that stumbled?- across the train station. It was late on Friday night, and the two had had plenty to drink to celebrate the coming of the weekend.
The problem was attempting to maneuver themselves back home safely, however. Sakura was certain Sasuke wouldn't have anything to drink as he usually didn't, and would act as her chaperone. She'd been sorely mistaken though, as he'd decided he was going to join her in having a few drinks.
A few drinks at a local bar had led to a few more drinks at another bar, and then another bar, and finally a nightclub. If Sakura hadn't been so intoxicated, she'd have made a comment about the fact Sasuke willingly danced with her on the dance floor. However, since she could barely stand up, let alone focus, so it had gone unsaid.
Sakura stumbled and almost went flying, her feet unable to comprehend walking in the black heels she was currently wearing. She regained her balance by grabbing Sasuke's arm, almost dragging him down with her.
"Shall we sit down?" Sasuke suggested.
"That would be good."
Sakura fell to a sit on the floor unceremoniously by the wall, Sasuke shrugging and sinking down next to her.
"What time is my train?"
Sasuke shrugged. "No idea."
"Shall we sit here and wait for it?"
Sakura leant against Sasuke's shoulder, yawning slightly. Sasuke tried to nudge her off, but apparently didn't have the energy to.
"Can't sleep here," he pointed out.
"Because you can't."
"But I'm tired," Sakura complained, shifting so she was more comfortable and leaning back against Sasuke's arm. "Just a little won't hurt will it?"
Sasuke relented, but only because he, too, was tired and didn't want to fight about it. Alcohol always made him drowsy, and it seemed it did for Sakura, too, though it could have just been the effects of still being up at two am.
"Alright. Just a little."
Sakura awoke slowly, her mind foggy and head pounding. She groaned when she realised she was lying on the cold floor of the train station, opening her eyes and shielding them from the blinding white lights all around her.
Her eyes settled on a form of a person in front of her, and she frowned. Blinking a few times to focus, she realised with a start that the person was leaning over her and had his hands on her pink skirt.
She screamed and sat up, startling Sasuke next to her awake. He glanced over at her, eyes narrowed in confusion.
"Pervert!" Sakura accused, pointing a finger at the figure, who had fallen over backwards in fright at Sakura's scream.
"No!" The person said, rapidly shaking his head. "Listen, lady, I-"
Whatever he was going to say was cut off by Sakura punching at him sharply. He dodged at the last second, eyes wide.
"Hey, listen to me, lady! Your skirt was up and I was pulling it down for you!"
Sakura stopped mid-swing of her second punch, cheeks suddenly reddening. "It was?"
"Yes," the guy confirmed, his own cheeks slightly red. "You were lying on the floor with your legs wide open and your skirt right up. You looked pretty comfortable and everything, but I couldn't let you just lie there showing your pretty pink panties off the world."
Sakura blushed harder, and Sasuke smirked slightly at her misfortune.
"Do you own any items of clothing that aren't pink?" He teased, poking her side.
Sakura glared at him, rolling up her sleeve and preparing to punch him, too.
"Uh, I'll just be going, then…" The confused guy said, looking between the two and feeling even more out of place.
"I'm sorry for punching at you," Sakura apologised to him, forgetting Sasuke for the moment. "I just got startled."
"No problem, I can imagine it was a shock."
"How about you give me your name and number, and I'll forget all about it?" Sakura cooed, now fully awake, mostly sober, and realising the blond in front of her was damned cute.
"I don't have a phone," he replied, looking awkward and scratching the back of his neck.
Sakura was taken aback. In the technological age they lived in, she was confused at the thought anyone around their age would not own a mobile phone.
"You don't own a mobile, you mean? How about a home phone, then?"
"I don't have one of those either."
Sakura looked even more confused. "Seriously?"
"I'm homeless, lady."
Sakura immediately looked guilty, shaking her head at him. "Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to offend you… What's your name?"
"Naruto," the guy shrugged in response. "And no harm done, don't worry. Now, hadn't you guys better be getting your train? The last trains are leaving around now."
"What's the time?" Sakura asked, panicked and dragging herself to her feet.
"Nearly four am."
"You missed the last train, then," Sasuke spoke up with a sigh to Sakura, pulling himself to his feet as well.
"It's not so bad here," Naruto responded. "It's pretty warm and the coffee stores open around five if it does get cold."
"You have the money for coffee?" Sakura asked thoughtlessly, before realising her mistake as Sasuke poked her in the ribs sharply.
Naruto sighed heavily. "It's okay dark-haired guy, I'm not easily offended- you didn't have to poke her. Sometimes I have the money, sometimes I don't. It's just one of those things."
Sakura looked like she wanted to ask details, but bit her tongue and rubbed her side instead. That poke had hurt, damn it.
"So you live here?" She asked instead, holding a hand to her ribs still in case Sasuke decided to poke her again.
Naruto shrugged. "Yeah. Sometimes they ask me to leave, but I come back eventually. London's a pretty vicious place after about two am, and this is one of the safer spots to be."
"Don't you have any relatives you could stay with?"
"My parents are dead and my other family disowned me," Naruto replied simply, as though he were stating the time or the weather.
"Oh," Sakura replied dumbly, not wanting to ask for any further details for fear of offending the blond. In return, he did not give any.
"Are you originally from London?" Sasuke asked, joining the conversation for the first time and nullifying the awkward silence that had formed around them.
"Yeah," Naruto replied. "I was born in Greenwich. Lived there with my parents until they, you know, and I had to move in with friends in outer London. You guys live here?"
"Yes- in Kensington," Sakura answered, a hint of pride in her voice. "I was born there, and I've been there ever since."
"Kensington's expensive," Naruto whistled. "Lucky girl. How about you?"
His gaze fell on Sasuke, who looked slightly awkward. "Mayfair."
Naruto stared at him as though he had grown a second head, but when he opened his mouth to comment, it wasn't what either of them expected.
"Mayfair? You're hardly stranded- you guys could walk there from here!"
"I can't walk that far in these shoes," Sakura replied, reaching down and prying one of the heels off her feet, grabbing Sasuke's arm for balance.
"Then why did you wear them out?" Sasuke sighed at her.
"Because they're pretty," Sakura retorted, glaring at him as she painfully put the shoe back on.
"You guys are a couple, then?" Naruto asked, looking between them, taking their behaviour towards each other as an indication that they were involved.
Sakura laughed and Sasuke looked slightly awkward, pushing his hands into his pockets and muttering something.
"Brother and sister?" Naruto tried again.
"No, we're just friends," Sakura decided to fill in, finally. "We've known each other since we were kids."
"Take your shoes off and we'll walk to my place," Sasuke told the pink haired girl after a moment. "I'd like to get some decent sleep, and that isn't going to happen if we stay here."
"Nice meeting you guys," Naruto waved, stepping away from them, seeing that as his cue to leave. "Have a safe journey home, won't you?"
He began to walk away, leaving Sakura to turn back to Sasuke, a frown on her face.
"You're going to let him walk away?" She hissed.
Sasuke looked at her, confused. "What?"
"Invite him back," Sakura hissed again.
"Why? Because you think he's cute? You know the rule, Sakura, ask permission before you bring people to my-"
"No!" Sakura interrupted. "Because he's homeless you dolt! Take him home, give him a good meal and a roof over his head for a night!"
Before Sasuke could protest further, Sakura was rushing after Naruto as fast as she could on her high heels, calling for him to stop. Sasuke sighed, shaking his head as he watched her. It seemed he wasn't going to get much of a say in this turn of events.
"I don't usually take charity beyond accepting people's spare change," Naruto said as they walked slowly from Victoria station. "But Sakura promised me she's a good cook, so how could I refuse?"
"It's nothing!" Sakura laughed, grabbing Sasuke's arm as she almost fell on a crack in the pavement.
"Take the shoes off, Sakura," Sasuke told her. "Or we'll be headed to the hospital to treat your broken neck."
"I'm not walking barefoot!" Sakura protested. "Who knows what I'll stand on?"
"Pavement," Sasuke told her dryly. "God forbid you stand on pavement."
"Stop being sarcastic with me," she told him, slapping his arm, but slipping her shoes off regardless. "If I stand on any needles or glass, I'm blaming you."
"So how did you end up living in Mayfair?" Naruto interjected quickly. "I hope you don't mind me saying so, but you're pretty young, and that's quite a high market area."
"My parents," Sasuke said, his tone of voice suggesting that was all the explanation he needed to give.
"You live with them?"
"No," Sasuke replied curtly, still choosing not to elaborate.
"They're the type of parents who think throwing money at a problem will make it go away," Sakura supplied after an uneasy moment. "Not that I'm suggesting they think Sasuke is a problem or anything," she continued hurriedly, realising how offensive her words may have sounded.
"No, it's true," Sasuke responded with a shrug. "Besides, their plan failed, since my mother keeps re-filling my bank account when she thinks my father isn't looking."
"I wish my parents would do that," Sakura lamented. "I hate my job."
"I know you do," Sasuke sighed. "You mention it all the time."
"That's because it's horrible!" Sakura protested.
"What do you do?" Naruto inquired, curious.
"I work at a woman's clothes store," Sakura told him. "I thought it would be great- you know, latest fashions and all that. But no, I have to trail around after people who clearly want me to leave them alone bleating 'are you alright, madam?', 'I'll check if we have it in your size, madam', 'no, I won't baby-sit your child while you try clothes on, madam'."
She shrugged, her rant appearing to have calmed her down slightly. "But I do get killer store discount. I guess I can't complain too much."
"What would you rather be doing?" Naruto asked, stopping abruptly as he realised both his companions had done so. Sasuke had a key in his hand and beckoned them forward with a nod of his head, heading up the small flight of stairs to the communal door of a converted house.
"Designing clothes," Sakura replied with a wistful sigh, following Sasuke up the stairs. "I could design pretty shoes that didn't kill people's feet when they went out, for a start."
She shook the shoes she was carrying by the straps ruthlessly, looking as though she was resisting the urge to throw them over her shoulder.
"Stop complaining and get in," Sasuke sighed at her, standing aside so she could pass through the door. Naruto did the same, looking slightly nervous.
They walked up a small flight of stairs quietly, aware of the time and not wanting to disturb the other residents. Sakura muttered something under her breath about her feet, causing Sasuke to roll his eyes as he led them to his front door.
Once they were inside the flat, Sakura threw the shoes to one side and sunk to the floor, holding one foot up and looking rather sorry for herself.
"I think I trod on some glass," she whined.
"Are you bleeding?" Sasuke asked.
"Well, no, but-"
"Then stop complaining, you'll be fine."
Sakura glared at him, picking herself up from the floor and following Sasuke into his lounge. She beckoned Naruto with her hand, smiling. He followed her into the spacious lounge wordlessly, glancing around and looking as though he was trying not to touch anything for fear of tainting it.
"I guess you're hungry," Sakura said rhetorically, but Naruto nodded in response anyway. "I'll make you some food. You can take a shower if you want."
"Ah- sure," Naruto stuttered, still looking around the room in amazement.
"I'll show you round," Sakura told him, smiling and brushing her fingers up his arm as she walked past him back out into the hall.
Sasuke rolled his eyes at the action, and her words. Sakura didn't notice, too busy dragging Naruto out into the hallway. It seemed her foot complaint was forgotten, too.
Once Naruto was safely in the shower, Sakura waltzed into the kitchen with a huge smile on her face. Sasuke was waiting, sitting at the table in the room with a glass of water in hand.
"He's cute," she said, a sheepish smile on her face.
"I hadn't noticed you draping yourself over him," Sasuke responded dryly.
"I brushed his arm, that's hardly draping."
"He's been living on the streets, Sakura. Your parents will be so thrilled that you 'ditched me' in favour of him."
"Who cares that he's been on the streets?" Sakura asked, opening up Sasuke's fridge and poking around in it.
"I just told you- your parents will. I don't care what you do and who you do it with."
"You're almost as over protective as they are," Sakura scolded, coming out of the fridge empty-handed. "And besides, it's probably about time we came clean with our parents about us. I can't cover for you forever."
"I'm not asking you to," Sasuke replied, putting his empty glass down.
"I'd hate to be in your position. My parents may be overprotective, but they at least accept me for who I am."
"Are you trying to pick a fight?" Sasuke snapped at her, causing her to glare at him. He was fiercely protective of his family, even if he spent most of his time complaining about them.
"What? It's true, you say it yourself! Besides, you don't know that they'd reject you."
"It's likely. My brother told them he wasn't interested in studying medicine at university and my dad practically forced him to enroll for it anyway. Having a gay son doesn't fit into their ideal family."
"But they shipped you off to London instead of forcing you to go to university for the same thing," Sakura pointed out. "That's better than what they did to Itachi."
They lapsed into silence, listening to the morning chorus of the birds outside. Light was beginning to flit through the kitchen window, announcing the arrival of morning.
"Another all nighter," Sakura sighed, standing up and busying herself in Sasuke's cupboards again. "And I don't see us getting to bed anytime soon."
"So what are you planning on cooking?" Sasuke asked, yawning and laying his arms on the table to rest his head in them.
"I don't know. What do you have?"
"I have no idea since you usually come by and cook most evenings. And you do the shopping."
"You're the only person my parents don't mind me staying with," Sakura replied. "They keep telling me to keep myself 'presentable' for you, and mum's been dropping the 'hasn't he asked you to marry him yet?' hints."
"She has?" Sasuke asked, looking up at her, startled.
"It's been nearly five years since we started 'going out'," Sakura supplied. "And we're twenty two. That's practically committed to marriage, kids and a lifelong happy partnership in mum's book. You're a suitable partner, apparently. 'We've known Sasuke all his life and so have you, and Mr. and Mrs. Uchiha are just lovely-'"
"And they have money?" Sasuke ended for her.
"Yes," Sakura agreed, looking slightly embarrassed on her parents' behalf. "That's about right. You know, you have no food here, Sasuke."
Sasuke smiled slightly at her attempt at changing the subject.
"So how's your love life?"
"Huh?" Sasuke asked, frowning. Apparently she was changing the subject again, and he hadn't been expecting it.
Sakura sat opposite him, a gleam in her eye. "Come on, I want the gossip. Last I heard you were dating that really cute brunette. What happened to him?"
Sasuke shrugged. "It just fizzled out."
"It always does with you."
"I haven't found anyone I really like yet."
"Well, don't go stealing Naruto," Sakura told him, winking at him. "I have my eye on him."
Sasuke grimaced slightly. "I don't go for blonds. You're welcome to him."
Sakura closed the cupboard she was browsing through, sighing in defeat. "Alright, you really have nothing to eat, Sasuke."
"I'm sure I can find a takeout number," Sasuke told her with a sigh, exiting the room to search the stack of menus by his phone.
As he walked out into the hallway, he nearly bumped into Naruto, who was seemingly hiding around the corner. Sasuke soon realised why- he was looking slightly embarrassed at only the towel around his waist.
"I couldn't find any bigger towels," Naruto said sheepishly, confirming Sasuke's thoughts.
Sasuke shrugged at him, hearing Sakura come up behind him to add her input about takeout. She took one look at Naruto and giggled, cheeks slightly flushed at the blond's naked, exposed torso.
"I would cook for you, but Sasuke's kitchen is rather empty," she spoke after a moment, her voice controlled. "We're going to get takeout instead. Sasuke's going to call them, aren't you Sasuke?"
Sasuke opened his mouth to retaliate that she should do it, but noticed the glare she was giving him that screamed 'leave me alone with him', so he sighed and headed into the living room, closing the door behind him with a soft click.
Sakura grinned, turning to Naruto and giving him a seductive smile. Naruto attempted to cover his chest with one arm, looking exposed.
"Don't cover up," Sakura told him, leading him back to the kitchen. "You're attractive, Naruto."
"You've known me five minutes and you're coming on to me," Naruto responded, looking bemused as he re-entered the reasonably sized kitchen, declining an invite from Sakura to join her at the table.
"If I'd seen you at a club, I'd be doing the same," Sakura responded with a shrug. "It just so happens you're here in front of me and semi-naked, so I got a head start."
Naruto smiled slightly at that, folding his arms across his chest. "I see."
"One date?" Sakura suggested, giving him a smile. "Just one? I'll pay, don't worry about that."
"I wouldn't have anything nice to wear," Naruto replied.
"I can handle that, too."
"Sakura, I said I don't take charity-"
"I'd like to," Sakura insisted. "You seem like a nice guy, you're attractive, and I'd love to go on a date with you."
Naruto still didn't look convinced- he looked slightly troubled, even.
"What? You have a girlfriend?" Sakura asked, noticing his look.
"No, I don't. Who'd want to date a homeless guy?"
Sakura raised an eyebrow at him. "Didn't I just ask you out?"
"Well, yeah, but…"
Naruto trailed off, unable to continue the sentence.
"So, is it settled?" Sakura pushed, giving him another seductive smile. "If it goes well, I could probably convince Sasuke to let you live here. I've known him since before either of us could walk. He's a really nice guy, and I know he wouldn't have a problem with it."
"I would have a problem with it," Naruto responded firmly, shaking his head. "I got myself into this mess, and I'm not going to let someone else pull me out of it."
"Do you mind me asking how?" Sakura asked gently.
Naruto shrugged, looking even more awkward. "I don't want to talk about it."
Sakura didn't push it, looking round as the kitchen door opened again, admitting Sasuke.
"Pizza should be here in about thirty minutes," he told them, leaning on the doorframe. "And I'm exhausted, so I'm going to bed."
"Want us to leave you any?" Sakura asked, sitting at the table again.
Sasuke shrugged. "Not really. Naruto, come with me, I'll get you some clothes."
Naruto followed him out of the kitchen awkwardly, covering his chest again.
"You can stay here tonight," Sasuke told Naruto, breaking the silence as they headed to Sasuke's bedroom. "I wouldn't be happy with myself sending you out onto the streets again tonight."
"Well- thanks," Naruto said quietly.
"That doesn't mean I trust you."
"I don't expect you to. You don't know me."
They walked in silence, Sasuke pushing open his bedroom door and indicating Naruto to follow him inside.
"By the way- ignore Sakura if she tries to come on to you," he warned. "She does that. She's like a dog in heat."
Naruto tried to smother his laughter at that. "She already did."
"She did?" Sasuke echoed. "I'll have her spayed, I swear."
"It's alright," Naruto told him, still chuckling slightly. "She just wanted one date, that's all."
"She's lonely," Sasuke answered bluntly. "Her parents think she and I are dating, and she's been longing for a real relationship. She won't though, because she's too kind."
"What do you mean?" Naruto asked, hovering nervously beside Sasuke as he opened a large wardrobe and started searching through it.
"She won't date anyone seriously because if she does, she has to tell her parents she and I aren't 'involved' anymore," Sasuke explained. "And if she does that, it gets back to my parents since her family and mine are friends, and that gets me in trouble."
"You'd get in trouble for not being with Sakura?" Naruto asked, confused, holding out his arms as Sasuke threw some clothes in his direction.
"Sort of," Sasuke replied, but didn't elaborate any further. He closed the door, gesturing to the clothes in Naruto's arms. "Will those be alright?"
"Oh- yeah, anything's fine," Naruto replied, looking slightly sheepish. "If I could borrow your washing machine for mine, I'd be able to give them back-"
"Keep them," Sasuke interrupted, waving a hand dismissively. "And don't give me that 'I don't take charity' stuff you mentioned earlier, I'm not going to miss an outfit from my wardrobe, trust me."
Naruto smiled at that, nodding his approval at Sasuke. "Well- thanks, Sasuke."
With that, he pulled the door closed behind him without another word, leaving Sasuke to watch the space where he had just been thoughtfully.
Author's Note: I'm back! Real life has been… Well, I'm going into details here, but let's just say it's been particularly unpleasant to me. So I sat down and threw myself into writing.
I've written quite a bit further in this, but I'm doing so much editing to the later parts I'm not going to post what I have until I'm happy I won't need to come back half a day later and make edits to the earlier parts as I keep doing XD I will edit frequently though, so updates won't be far apart for the first few chapters (and hopefully not beyond there!)