Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night. - The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
The Konoha Christmas party was held, as it always was, in the large hall of the village school, most of the Konoha shinobi, along with their dates, packing together for a night of music, games, and fun. And, as usually occurred, Sasuke found himself standing in a corner, avoiding going out at all costs.
If he dared leave his corner - for even only a minute - it was likely that he would be caught in seconds by the females of the village, and subjected to thousands of kisses under the mistletoe. Sasuke didn't care what people thought: Christmas brought out the absolute worst in people, as was proved by Naruto, standing on the buffet table that very moment, giving a rather sexy rumba to anyone willing to watch. Which was, as it proved, a surprising amount of people.
This was exactly what he was talking about. Christmas meant alcohol, meant spectacular drunken spectacles, meant embarrassment and danger and the worst of all hangovers. Christmas meant people who never even liked each other in the first place being forced under one roof for a night of very little enjoyment, really, and far too much mistletoe. Christmas meant presents, and therefore greed. Sasuke hated it. He hated watching people exchanging parcels in the street, knowing that when he got home there'd be nobody to give him a present, and there'd be nobody for him to give a present to.
Christmas meant having to sit at home alone, because everyone else was busy. Christmas meant that shops and restaurants were closed, and Sasuke was shut off in his house for three days straight. Christmas meant that everyone was so happy that they could never understand why Sasuke wasn't. But he couldn't stand it. He couldn't stand the festive season.
The Uchiha raised his head gently to look at Iruka, who'd come up to him.
"We can't get Naruto to come down off the table."
Sasuke spared a glance at said table, to which Naruto was now on his knees atop, grinding a turkey rather flamboyantly.
"Well, we figured maybe you could try and get him to come down?"
"Please, Sasuke," Iruka pleaded. "If he carries on they're not going to let him back next year."
"And that would be such a crime?"
"He always listens to you."
Well Sasuke couldn't argue with that. For some strange reason Naruto did nearly always listen to him. Sighing, he was forced to resign. "Alright, I'll give it a go."
Moving over to the table - upon which Naruto was now doing a little jazz number - Sasuke leant nonchalantly against a chair, and looked up at his team mate.
The blond looked down, and grinned widely. "SASUKE! You've come to join me! Let's dance, baby!"
He extended a hand, which Sasuke took, and used to yank Naruto down off the table, who then stumbled onto him.
"Come on, I'll take you home."
"You know, Sasuke, sometimes you're really not fun," Naruto pouted, before an idea struck him and he smiled again. "Let's sing 'Once in Royal David's City'!"
Pulling out of Sasuke's grasp, Naruto belted at the top of his lungs, "Once in lowly Konoha village -"
"- stood a dinky ramen shop -"
"- where a hokage sat patiently -"
" - waiting for his friend's balls to drop!"
"Na - you what?"
"Naruto was that hokage sweet! Sasuke - his Christmas treat."
Sasuke glared at Naruto in a way so dark only an Uchiha could pull it off. "Are you quite done?"
Naruto winked. "Maybe. Oooooh… the weather outside is baking! But it's nothing near our love-making! And since we like it hot, let the sun shine with all it's got!"
"Come on, Uzumaki, I'm getting you home."
"But… but the second verse's about chocolate…"
But before he could begin singing anymore of his 'Let it Snow' rendition, the alcohol took over him, and he promptly fainted.
Sasuke had half-carried, half-dragged Naruto all the way from the school back to the blond's house, when he realised that unless he woke Naruto up to get his keys, they wouldn't be able to get in. Groaning, Sasuke slapped Naruto across the head.
"Where are your keys?"
"Yes. Keys. House keys. Where are they?"
Naruto looked up at Sasuke with a confused expression. "You're very pretty."
"So they tell me," he replied. "Now where do you keep your keys?"
Sasuke reached in and retrieved a key, hanging on half a dozen key-rings, rolled his eyes, and then got to opening the door. With a click the door popped open, and Sasuke turned on the lights, as he pulled himself and Naruto into the flat, before closing the door behind them.
"You smell really nice… like noodles…"
"Baka, that's just your flat."
"Oh." Naruto's flat stunk of leftover ramen, and Sasuke shuddered to think how long it'd been there. Moving through the living room and into the bedroom, Sasuke dropped Naruto down onto the bed, and leant back against a wall.
"Alright, dobe, you're home. I'll see you after Boxing Day for training - yeah?" The raven turned to leave, before he was interrupted.
"No, wait, Sasuke…"
"You may as well take your present if you're here."
Sasuke froze, and sent a backward glance at Naruto, sprawled across the bed. "My present? You got me a present?"
"Well, yeah. That's what you do at Christmas."
Sasuke frowned. "But I didn't get you anything."
"Well that doesn't matter," Naruto pulled himself into a sitting position, and reached into the drawer of his bedside table, taking out a small, wrapped gift. He tossed it at Sasuke, who stared blankly down at it. "Well go on, open it."
Gingerly, Sasuke pulled off the wrapping paper, and looked at the small present inside. There stood a round, red Christmas bauble, decorated with a picture of Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura all sparring against one another. Sasuke smiled absently at the image.
"I thought you may as well have an extra decoration for your tree."
"I don't have a tree."
"Well why not?"
Sasuke shrugged. "I don't know. Mother always used to deal with the tree. And then she'd let Itachi and me -" He cut off. "I've never bothered myself."
Naruto was leaning on his elbows now, looking up at Sasuke. Involved in conversation he seemed somehow more sober, although there was still a slur to his words. "But isn't it nice to have a tree for people to see when they come?"
Naruto frowned at him, raising an eyebrow. "Are you trying to tell me that Uchiha Sasuke spends his Christmases alone?"
Sasuke suddenly felt rather uncomfortable. He shrugged again. "Well yeah, I guess."
Naruto blinked. He'd thought Sasuke was joking. "But even I don't spend Christmas alone. And you're Uchiha Sasuke! I thought the girls would be begging to have you for their Christmas roasts!"
"People spend it with their families. Why would they invite me?"
Naruto felt overwhelmed with a sudden sense of sadness. He'd spent every year at Iruka's for most of his life. He'd always come round the week before for them to pick out the biggest tree they could fit in the teacher's house, and decorate it to the full. What would Christmas be like without these traditions?
"I'd have invited you. I just assumed…" Naruto trailed off. "Okay. Christmas Day this year you're spending it with me, at Iruka's."
"You don't have to -"
"Oh come on, he's having Kakashi this year anyway. Why can't I bring a date?"
Sasuke blushed, and then tried to hide it by turning away. "…I guess, well, I suppose, if I'm invited -"
"Brilliant. We generally try to get there for about eleven - but I'm usually there for nine anyway, so you can be early too if you like. That fine?"
"Good." Naruto beamed at him, before collapsing back onto his bed. "You can stay tonight, if you want. And then tomorrow you can take me shopping and get my Christmas present."
Sasuke snorted. "Who says I'm getting you a present?"
Naruto pouted. "But I got you one."
Sasuke sighed, and went to reply before he realised that Naruto had fallen asleep. Rolling his eyes, Sasuke grabbed the sleeping bag he always used when he stayed at Naruto's flat, and went to curl up on the sofa, only to find it cluttered with old ramen boxes. And it was too late, and he was too tired to bother cleaning them up. Instead, Sasuke went and got into the bed beside Naruto, and as his head hit the pillow he began to think that maybe Christmas wasn't so bad after all.
Merry Christmas everyone! Just a little present for my dear friend Siobhan I realise that they're ninjas and probably wouldn't celebrate Christmas... but what the hey! Christmas pudding all round! Have a nice season everyone and thanks for reading.