Disclaimer: -blinks- Disclaimer? Er… why would I disclaim the fact that Naruto owns my soul…?

Pairings: SasNar (maybe some others)

Warnings: Mature language, a character death later on, and there is going to be some hardcore YAOI, yo! There, you were warned. If you are queasy about same-sex relationships or don't like foul language, there is a back button for a reason. Thanks for stopping by, anyway, though!

1: The Transfer

Ah, joy…

Naruto wrinkled his nose and crossed his arms as he contemplated his current situation thoroughly. Sure, he would have liked to have bargained with the principal and stayed at his old school, but, all things considered, Naruto supposed he should feel incredibly lucky that the bastard of a principal 'spared' him and let him off 'easy.' The thought made him snort.

The warning bell signaled and he was jostled about as countless bodies rushed by, not really wanting to receive a detention. Naruto frowned as—by the gods, did that guy just grope him? Naruto's scowl at his 'sexual harassment' instantly faded as he realized his feet were slowly being lifted off the ground and he was being sucked in with the other students.

He frowned as he instantly dropped onto all fours—normally an unwise thing to do for a normal person in the middle of a stampede. But, admittedly, Naruto was not normal. Instead of being instantly trampled as one might have expected, he flipped, rolled, and jumped through the pairs of hustling legs and managed to get himself out of the crowd and into the greenery nearby.

He sighed from the safety of the shrubs before slowly sliding to his rear and relaxing. Geez, those idiots were that excited merely to get to class?

There was only one reason why Naruto was anywhere near a school or an 'evil education building of doom' as he so loved to call it. This, truthfully, was the tenth school he had attended. All the others he had somehow managed to get expelled for some unknown reason—Well… not entirely unknown… But, Naruto would swear to his grave that he had nothing to do with that one boy who somehow managed to have a bucket dropped on his head—How was he supposed to know the damn brat had sensitive skin and would grow a concussion as a result?—Er… Naruto had nothing to do with that incident! Or the one where he… Alright, so it was fully his fault that he decked his sensei, causing the poor man to be rushed into the ER (at least that teacher was put in stable condition almost right away, unlike other poor, unfortunate souls).

He had been expelled from his previous school for getting into a fight with that bastard after a certain button had been pushed that no one ever pushed—ever­. Naruto really couldn't be held responsible when people dug into him.

So the principal had said that while the bastard was going to live, Naruto would be expelled. There is a certain amount of times a person can be expelled before schools stop trying and flat-out reject you. Yeah, Naruto had reached that extreme. So the principal made a deal—he'd get Naruto into another school so long as it was the principal himself who picked it out. Naruto wasn't happy at all about it, but his guardians had been all for it.

So that bastard of a principal sent in an application to Konohagakure High and it—magically—got instantly accepted due to the principal's persuasion.

Just one thing everyone forgot to mention there, though, ladies and gentlemen.

Konohagakure High was one of the most prestigious schools in the area. You either had to be rich, intelligent, or both to attend the damn place. Not to mention the place was perhaps one of the strictest facilities the blond had ever seen. Ever. As in, ever in his life. You looked the wrong way at a teacher and it was possible to get expelled. Honestly, what had the principal been thinking, putting him here? Naruto gave himself a maximum of three days before something snapped and he was once again expelled.. Maybe four if he was having a good week. Well—

Actually… Naruto was going to try to stay here a little longer than that since his darling guardians lovingly threatened to lovingly kill him if he got expelled ever again. The only comforting thought that came to him was that his best friend he ever knew attended this school…

So here he was, crouching behind a dead bush as the bell rang again. So much for making an impression on his first day. He paused for a second, wondering if he really should bother going to class since he was already late. While it technically wasn't the first day of school, since it was part-way into the second semester, it was his first day, and pray hope the teachers had a little bit of mercy?

"Who the bloody hell do you think you are, waltzing in here and—"

Naruto remained unmoved as he slid the door shut and turned to face the teacher who most definitely was not showing any mercy. That is, until the teacher saw the youth's face.

"You're… the new transfer, right?" the teacher hesitantly started again after cutting off his earlier exclamation.

He grinned and stuck up a thumb in one of his 'poses.' "Uzumaki Naruto at your service."

"Well, Mr. Uzumaki, mind enlightening us as to why you're late?"

Naruto nodded soberly before clasping his hands. He really had been hoping the teacher would should him compassion and he wouldn't have to make up an excuse…

"I was hurrying to class and arrived at the gates a good twenty-five minutes ago when suddenly these girls they came out of no where, see? And they just grabbed a hold of me and lugged me away. Turns out they were stalkers—rabid, me-crazy stalkers! I had to escape their evil clutches but as it turns out that they had re-enforcements. I can't hit a girl. Ya know? And I wanted to discourage them as gently as possible—I can't help that I'm just so irresistible. So eventually I escaped and dragged my bloody ass into school despite the agony and traumatization."

"… 'Tramatization' is not a word," was the only thing the teacher told him.

Naruto crossed his arms and leaned back against the wall. "In my book it is," he replied darkly, not liking that the teacher had no sense of humor.

His sensei flinched at the tone, causing Naruto to blink in surprise. "Oi, what's up with you—?"

"Don't," the teacher interrupted sharply, his tone cracking the air like a whip, "you dare assume you can just waltz in here and do whatever you like because of who you are and what you've done."

Naruto's grin fell.

The teacher narrowed his eyes at him. "I don't like people like you thinking that they can walk all over people because you can. In case you didn't notice, Uzumaki-chan, this school is full of people who have power and money. I think you'd be best keeping your hands off them unless you don't mind getting expelled and finally put in juvie."

Well his semi-good mood had just been flushed down the toilet—right after it had been mauled bloody. He returned the man's dirty look with his own as he fought himself to remain in the classroom and not step out and skip for the day. He had promised himself he would try and change this time…

He didn't say anything. He felt like he would blurt out something he would sorely regret later if he even dared to open his mouth.

Despite the fact he was battling his jaw muscles with all the will power he could muster, his mouth opened anyway—

"Back the fuck off."

—And promptly snapped shut as his cerulean orbs darted to the other side of the class, as did every other pair of astonished eyes.

Naruto gave a small sigh.

The one who had come to his defense was none other than the most feared boy in the whole school. His messy, dark hair was what Naruto remembered most about him. He always hated the color of his hair—it wasn't normal Japanese hair he had continuously told Naruto when they were younger. The dark, scar-like marks that engulfed the area around his eyes were a harsh contrast against his light skin. The distinctive thing about him that others knew him by was his bottomless, piercing eyes. Those eyes almost seemed to rip through one's mind and see straight into your soul, which seriously freaked his fellow peers and teachers out. The tattoo above his left eye—the Japanese kanji for love—was enough to make anyone crack up as the boy most definitely was anything but lovable to most people's eyes. Once again, Naruto was not normal.

"Gaara…" Naruto murmured, old memories flashing through his mind and almost-forgotten feelings flooding him.

Gaara, known as Shukaku no Gaara by those who knew him, was feared by everyone with a good reason. His unstable mind had resulted in many being hospitalized, eight of them in critical condition. The only reason Gaara was still in school was because his parents—the bastards that they were—blackmailed the press and school board to keep Gaara's 'fits' hush-hush.

It didn't take long for everyone to realize it was an early death wish to cross him or—gods forbid—piss him off.

The teacher was the one who broke the stunned silence. "G- Gaara-san… I- I'll have to ask you to- to please allow me to punish this boy wi- with the judgment he—"

"Shut the fuck up." His tone was emotionless but there was an icy chill behind the words that left the poor man stuttering like an idiot. (He hated the fact that the damn teacher had used the word 'judgment.')

"U- Uzumaki-san, please find a seat."

The blond ignored the annoying teacher. "I don't need you to help me," he sharply reprimanded the red-head.

Emerald orbs narrowed as the unstable boy scrutinized him. "I didn't see you doing anything about it," was his curt reply.

A snort. "Crazy raccoon. I can stick up for myself."

A (non existent) brow rose at that. "Really now?"

"… If I want to…" he grumbled as an afterthought.

"… You are perhaps the most idiotic creature to have ever walked on this planet."

Blue eyes turned icy as they narrowed. "What was that, you—?" Naruto took two steps toward his childhood friend…


…And he promptly tripped over his own foot.

The class seemed unsure whether to laugh at his idiocy or ask if he was okay and help him to get back on his feet. So they opted to just keep their mouths shut and make sure their future didn't involve an early demise.

It was, surprisingly, Gaara who broke the silence. "…Same old Baka no Kitsune."

"Oi!" a boy who was currently tangled up in himself cried indignantly as he managed to get himself back on his feet somehow. "I resent that remark!" Naruto broke out into a grin before shaking his head and making his way across the front of the class, walking right in front of the bastard-teacher. He stopped and went back the row that was second closest to the window and didn't stop until he was at the last desk. Twenty-two pairs of eyes watched as Naruto sat down before reaching over to his right and ruffling the short locks of Shukaku no Gaara.

They all wondered why he liked to flirt with the entity of Death so much.

There were times when he managed to convince himself that he was no where near as idiotic as everyone said he was. In those moments, he would puff up his chest and quite proudly boast about whatever accomplishment he had made that had caused his head to swell. Usually, someone gave him either light praise, a compliment in disguise, or told him to shut the hell up and act his age for once.

This was not one of those moments…

In fact, Naruto would say it was just the opposite.

"Heh heh… heh… heh… Uh… G- Gaara-chan? Long time no chat, huh? Heh heh…?"

His reply was a scowl that, had he not known the insomniac for so many years, would have had him wetting his pants and actually fearing for his life.

"So- uh- er- What have you been up to all this time, eh?"

"Four-hundred-and-seventy-four days," Gaara growled deeply.

"Yeah, um—you've been keeping track?" A cocky grin. "I didn't know you cared, bastard."

Gaara's expression didn't change. "Four-hundred-and-seventy-four fucking days," he repeated, his tone going a little more into the 'kill mode.'

"Gaara-chan…? Gomen, okay? Really."

Had he been anyone else, he would have missed the way the brilliant green eyes narrowed a fraction of a fraction of a millimeter. "Four-hundred-and-seventy-four fucking quiet days."

Naruto swallowed. "I- uh- tried to write, I swear!"

Another narrowed fraction of a fraction. "Four-hundred-and-seventy-four fucking quiet, letter-less days."

Naruto just plain frowned at this point. "Are you just going to repeat that every time you day something with a new word in it?"


Naruto threw his hands in the air in frustration and exasperation. "—And seventy-four fucking something something days! Yes, I get it. Now will you please let me explain?!"


He let out a growl. "Oh, for the love of camels! Yes, yes, four-hundred-and-seventy-four fucking something something day—"

"—seconds," Gaara finished, totally ignoring his happy-go-lucky friend.

Naruto blinked. …Oh. Okay then. Well, that worked, too.

"Kay then, here's how it went down. So I got expelled as you know, right? Well, I went to this new school that apparently had this top-notch teaching system and everyone expected my grades to rise; they really did, the bastards. So anyway, it had only been about two days since I had started the new school that I decided to write to you. And hot damn, I'm pretty proud of those letters! They were epic poems, dammit! I wrote one at least three times a month, I swear. But after a while, I realized that I wasn't getting a response form you so I checked into things… And I found that…" Naruto's face contorted with anger before he spat out the word, "Okaasan had intercepted my mail and caught the letters I wrote before they were delivered and destroyed any letter I received from you. I swear I tried, Gaara-chan, really I did!" he whined, grabbing onto the stoic boy's sleeve and looking up into those emerald eyes with a puppy pout.

There was a pause as Gaara returned the stare. "That was more than four seconds," he murmured simply.

Naruto wrinkled his nose at the annoying boy. "Go to hell."

It was then that the bell rang and Naruto nearly jumped six feet in the air. Immediately, he slightly opened the door of the equipment closet—the closet that Gaara had roughly shoved him in before following and closing the door behind them the moment homeroom had ended—and his blue eyes scanned the near-empty hall. He hissed when the last of the students disappeared.

"Shit, Gaara, I'm late again and I really don't need another teacher giving me a hard time—"

"Just tell him that they'll have to deal with me if they—"

Naruto shook his head quickly. "That's not going to work, Gaara, every time I come across trouble… And who says I need help?"

Gaara gave him a blank look. Without further words, the red head opened the door, left, and slammed it shut behind him.

Naruto growled before grasping the handle, planning on tackling his dearly loved friend and knocking some sense into his head. He twisted the knob and yanked on the door viciously.

"Oh, bloody, hell, Gaara—"

Apparently the door was locked from the outside.

"—Very mature, I have to say…" he grumbled before slamming himself into the thick slab of wood forcefully.

"Che. It won't even budge…"

What a wonderful reunion with his child hood friend, no?

"When I get—"


"—out of here—"


"—I swear to the gods—"


"—I'm going to skin him!"

Naruto pushed off from the ground and slammed into the door again. Bam.

With all the noise he was making, surely someone had heard him by now. There was no way they weren't hearing his loud bangs and rants. So then why was no one coming to rescue him?

Naruto gave a sigh and let his forehead slam against the door with force. This was not where he wanted to be… All he had wanted to do was attend all his classes on the first day to give the teachers the impression that he actually cared about school so that they might go a little easy on him. That was all. Despite the complete fail in his first class… But that was homeroom and who assigned anything in homeroom? Though with the way the teacher hated him, he wouldn't put it past the evil man to do something just to torture Naruto…

The blond slammed a fist into the wood and let out a low growl. Gods, how he hated that teachers judged who he was just because of his record—


Quite suddenly, Naruto was no longer leaning against the door. In fact, quite suddenly, he found himself leaning on something much more preferable—someone's chest. While this sounded incredibly perverted and wrong, Naruto could safely say that it wasn't so since it was a guy's chest—that fact was quite obvious seeing as the warm skin was flat and nicely layered with muscles that rippled slightly as the person shifted. And while that thought was wrong and could also be considered perverted, Naruto was a hundred percent sure he was not gay.

"Mind getting off?" a harsh voice demanded after almost four seconds, his tone giving a clear message that Naruto could decipher perfectly: I hate life, I hate you, I hate this school—especially that damn closet—and I despise the fact that you're currently almost laying on me so how about you get the fuck off so I can go back to my Corner of Sulk? The blond had a gift of gaining an educated guess as to what type of temperament/person someone was just from the way they spoke, the tone they used, and the words with which they spoke their thoughts. Call it a 'gift' from all the bastards that had harassed him since he had been born.

"Can we say bastard?" Naruto murmured in response as he pushed off the chest to stand on his own.

There was a snort. "Feel grateful that I decided to end your ceaseless annoying bangs and released you from this stupid closet."

Azure eyes blinked. "Oh, yeah. Thanks, man!" One of his hands went to the back of his head to scratch nervously. "I seriously would have been screwed had you not come a—"

The other heaved a sigh of exasperation. "Just shut up."

Naruto blinked at him. He had never seen this emo-guy before in the hall or in homeroom—at least he didn't think so. But he had been a little caught up with giving the teacher the dirtiest look possible, so maybe he just didn't remember him being in his first class—

His blue eyes locked onto onyx and he realized no, never before had he seen this guy. While his dark midnight-black hair was a common feature and he was a little paler than a normal person, Naruto was sure that this guy wasn't in his homeroom. There was no way anyone could meet him, see his glare of hate and doom, and forget about him, ever.

"Geez, what's your problem?" Naruto inquired as he frowned.

The raven-haired boy did not reply but instead turned and started off.

"Oi!" a certain blond cried after him indignantly. "Don't you dare just ignore me!"

The annoying sonnuvabitch didn't even acknowledge him as he continued down the hall.

"Well, at least tell me what the name of my savior is." Despite the fact that Naruto really tried to keep himself from doing so, sarcasm oozed thickly at the word 'savior.'

The raven turned the corner and vanished from his sight.

"Shit, man, you look ready to kill someone. Had a run-in one of the Seven Deadly Sins in disguise during some point of the day?"

Naruto could honestly say he did not expect anyone to talk to him if he initiated a conversation. So the fact that someone had just walked up to him and spoke a decent two sentences must have been some sort of hallucination.

So Naruto stared at the boy—

—Who, in turn, stared right back. "Something about me insult you or something?" he demanded after a few seconds.

Naruto blinked innocently. "Why are you talking to me?"

The boy snorted. "Who am I supposed to talk to? Your invisible counter-part?"

And despite the fact that Naruto had told himself that he was going to try to not interact with anyone other than Gaara for fear of a repeat of what happened at his previous school, he found that this boy shared his sense of humor and that there was no way he could keep himself from replying. "Aw, damn. You saw him? I was hoping to keep him hush-hush. Think you could keep 'im a secret for me? If the ladies find out that there's another one like me they'll swarm."

The boy broke out into maniacal laughter. He even doubled over, arms wrapped around his torso to help the ache that was forming in his stomach. "Keep him… hush-hush," he managed between laughs. "Fuck, blondie, I like you! What's your name?" No longer was he laughing, he had managed to erect himself back into an upright standing position and was grinning madly.

"Che, even the guys love me!" Naruto boasted, flexing his arms to show off muscles. "Am I just that irresistible?"

The other replied with a roll of his dark brown eyes. "Puh-leez. If there's anyone here who's irresistible it's me."

Naruto let out a short bark of laughter. "Hot damn, I never though I'd meet another me! I must know your name!"

The boy gave him an amused smirk before replying, "Nuh-uh, I asked first. Common courtesy."

The blond's bottom lip jutted out slightly before he suddenly grinned and said, "You're lucky I really want to know your name—Naruto at your service. And you?"

"Kiba Inuzuka, of course. Who else?"

Naruto snorted. "Sorry, your invisible counterpart was telling me your name was more along the lines of 'I'm an ass'."

Kiba frowned at that. "Yeah, yeah, I hear ya. Geez, you're annoying."

His reply was a dry look. "You do realize that since we're so much alike that you're basically insulting yourself?"

"Like fucking hell!"

Naruto crossed his arms and nodded. "Yes, indeed."

Brown eyes narrowed dangerously. "I changed my mind. You are not worth my time," he growled, also crossing his arms.

"Pfft. Give it up, Kiba, no one can beat me at my game when it comes to stubbornness."

Kiba smirked. "Guess we're going to find out, aren't we?"

Their eyes locked and some passerby said that no matter what anyone else may have said otherwise, they knew they saw an electric spark flare between the two.

"Give up," Naruto advised. "No one can beat me at this. I'm just that great."

A snort. "You kidding me? I used to do this shit all the time when I was younger. This is a piece of cake!"

"Riiiiiight, and I'm the class president," the blond immediately retaliated.

Kiba made a face, making sure not to break their eyes contact. "Thank the gods you're not. That guy is a bastard."

"Eh?" Naruto blinked, a little confused.

"The class president," Kiba clarified.

"Well—who is it?" Curiosity started to gnaw at Naruto and when Kiba didn't answer right away, he started shifted from foot to foot, growing a little antsy.

Kiba yawned and momentarily his eyes closed for a second as tears blurred his vision. "He's just a bastard."

"Ha! I win! See? Told ya no one could beat me at my own game!" Naruto cried triumphantly, jabbing a finger at Kiba who in turn scowled.

"Look, blondie—"

"You're holding up the lunch line," a voice informed them.

Naruto looked around Kiba's shoulder to see just who it was that addressed them and Kiba broke out into a grin. "Shino, my man! Where've ya been? I haven't seen you in forever!"

"… We had class together not more than fifteen minutes ago," was Shino's reply.

"But man, you need to know that us brothers have to be together at all times!" Kiba explained.

Shino made no reply but instead looked at Naruto—well, it was hard to tell where exactly he was looking with his sunglasses, but his head was aimed at Naruto. They both took the time to examine each other and the blond felt that the Shino guy dressed a little weird… He was sporting a light shirt that had a high collar that successfully hid the bottom half of his face. His sunglasses hid his eyes from view and Naruto frowned. That was weird… Though he had dealt with worse. Namely a certain semi-ex-psychopath red-head.

"I see Kiba has not thought of making any introductions, so I'll do so myself. I'm Shino Aburame."

"Naruto," he replied a little sheepishly, idly scratching the back of his head.

"Please forgive anything this stupid idiot has put into your head. I swear he… occasionally thinks."

Kiba gave Shino what was supposed to be a withering glare. "I resent that! For your information, I passed all my classes last quarter!"

Shino didn't even bother to reply to him but instead refocused on Naruto. "You're new here, right? A transfer," he added in clarification.

"Yep," was Naruto's simple reply as he gave a sort of innocent grin and folded his arms behind his head. "First day here."

"And you're already jumping him?" Shino scolded Kiba. "I thought I made you promise to leave the innocent as they are. Not everyone has the brain capacity to put up with you."

Kiba scowled at his friend before nearly pouting. "Not in front of new people. I thought I told you this already."

"Feel free to hit him whenever you he goes into idiot mode, and also, if you need him to shut up, weird as this may sound, if you scratch right behind his left ear—"

"Oi! It was a complete fluke that you found out! And you promised you wouldn't tell anyone!" Kiba roared.

Naruto slowly looked between Shino and Kiba. "What are you talking about?"

"Nothing!" Kiba cried as Shino decided that he was in a Kiba-torturing mood.

"You see, if you scratch the area behind Kiba's left ear—"

"The line!" Kiba hurriedly interjected, pointing in front of them where there was a huge gap. "We better move up in line or everyone will get mad at us."

"You didn't care about it a few seconds ago," Shino calmly told him despite the fact his tone told Kiba he was no where near done with the torture.

"What about his left ear?" Naruto asked, glancing at the dog-boy in confusion.

"As I was saying," Shino tried once again, lowering his voice so that the object of their conversation wouldn't hear them. "If you scratch him right behind his left ear, he actually acts like a dog and falls to the floor."

"How is that like a dog?" Naruto looked thoroughly confused.

"He goes onto his back," he said, acting like the simple phrase explained it all.

A slender blond brow rose in question.

"And his leg goes nuts."

Alright, that made Naruto's eyebrows shoot straight up. "What?"

The other shrugged. "If you don't believe me, just sneak up on him and see for yourself. Everyone's gone around you two in the lunch line. So there's no one to see which means the chances of him killing you are slightly slimmer."

Naruto blinked before thinking it over. His life or the possibility of seeing Kiba act like a dog… Sometimes life was full of some hard choices…

But there was no doubt the prankster within him was itching to try this one out. So, he stepped up to Kiba and lightly started rubbing at the back of his left ear. Immediately, the other boy froze, every muscle in his body going rigid as a small sensation entered him. Kiba tried, he really tried, to keep himself from leaning into the touch.

He failed quite miserably.

Kiba was leaning up against Naruto's fingers. It was then that Naruto started scratching the apparently sensitive skin. Kiba's knees promptly gave out and he slowly fell to the floor. He looked to be in pure bliss as he rubbed against the touch.

The blond promptly snatched his hand away and started cracking up. "Oh—my gods!" he managed. "It—it works!"

Kiba was not amused. Once he had regained his dignity, he jumped to his feet and glared vehemently at Naruto. "I hate you," was his simple retaliation.

Naruto shrugged and grinned. "Yeah, yeah, Dog Boy. I hear ya, too."

"And you!" he growled at Shino. "All I have to say is if you wake up tomorrow dead, it so wasn't me."

Shino didn't react in the slightest as he grabbed a tray and turned the lunch lady. "I don't think you realize the impossibility of that, so I am going to choose not to say anything in response."

"Oh, ha ha, asshole," the dog boy growled in response.

"Uh… what the hell… is that?" Naruto murmured.

"Today's special," the lady told him in response, flipping the page in her novel.

"…Which is…?"

The lady's dark eyes flicked up to him and she shrugged before giving her attention back to her book. "I just pulled it out and put it in a pot, kid. Why don't you buy it and see?"

"How much does is cost?" Naruto almost regretted asking.

"I think nine-fifty." (1)

"Holy shit!" he exclaimed. "You pay that much to die?! Holy hell, woman, do you take pleasure in seeing us poor guys die as we choke on the bile that shit forces to rise in our throats?"

The lady gave him a look, not sure what he just said before shaking her head and deciding to ignore them.

"I'm going hungry," Naruto muttered, throwing the tray down.

"Tch; me, too," Kiba agreed.

The three walked away from the kitchen area and they stopped before the sets of tables. Naruto nervously bit his lip as he snuck a glance at Kiba and Shino. He had hoped to sit with Gaara, but he also now wanted to sit with the two new semi-friends… And as much as he would have liked to sit with them all together, he had a feeling it wouldn't work out that well…

"So… where shall we sit?" Kiba finally broke the silence.

But Naruto always liked to dance with Death.

"Hey, you two… Wanna sit with someone else, too?"

Kiba shot him a look. "Who would that be?"


Naruto swore he heard crickets then.

Kiba's eyes widened and the muscles in his jaw suddenly became lax. Shino didn't look to have had any reaction, but Naruto couldn't really tell since he couldn't see the guy's face.

After several long seconds, the dog-boy finally found his voice. "Gaara?" he echoed dumbly, not sure how else to react. "Chan?"

Naruto blinked, thoroughly perplexed, and titled his head slightly. "Yeah. You know—Gaara? About my height, though a little shorter, red hair, green eyes, odd tattoo over his left eye, an insomniac—"

"I know who he is, but what I want to know is if you know who he is." Brown eyes studied him for second, mentally questioning his sanity.

Naruto sighed. "Of course I do. Just trust me on this one, okay?"

He received a look that told him: I don't trust mental people.

Deciding not to waste his breath, Naruto shrugged. "Then I'll see you later?"

"Dude, you're crazy if you think Gaa—"

Naruto cut him off. "Tch; no worries. Later."

Without further ado, Naruto promptly started off for the other end of the cafeteria. It was sort of hard to hear anything in the room with everyone talking at once, so Naruto couldn't hear whether or not Kiba called out to him or not.

Though he would never, ever admit it, he was slightly surprised to note that he got several approval whistles from near-by girls and two even called for him to join him. Had he not already planned on where he was sitting, he just might have considered accepting the offer. But he didn't. Instead, he made his way to the very end of the large cafeteria and came to a stop in front of the emptiest table in the whole room. Only one boy sat at the table that could comfortably seat twelve.

It was pretty obvious who that boy was.


Naruto plopped down across from him loudly before slouching in his seat. "I'm still pissed at you," he informed the red-head simply.

And suddenly, it wasn't so hard to hear anything.

In fact, it was dead silent.

Gaara rolled his eyes over to Naruto before narrowing them slightly. "Isn't that my line?"

"You have nothing to be pissed about, asshole." Naruto never was one for using pretty, flowery words.

Mossy green eyes darkened to a lovely emerald color as irritation grew. "Don't you dare tell me I have nothing to be pissed about," he returned in a deadly calm and stoic voice.

"Give me one good reason why you should be upset," the blond challenged. "And you can't say 'four-hundred-and-seventy-four fucking something something days,' got it?"

"Four-hundred-and-seventy-four fucking awful lonely times I thought I was abandoned," Gaara replied, not missing a beat.

Naruto, excited that Gaara had ignored his condition once the word 'four' had been said, had jumped to his feet, triumphant pose in place, only to freeze as he realized just what his best friend had said. He couldn't reply right away but when he did it was perhaps the most intelligent thing he'd ever said. "Wait—What?"

Narrowed eyes informed him that Gaara was not repeating himself.

"I'm sorry!" the blond exclaimed, holding his hands out in defense. "I swear I tried! I already told you this!"

Gaara leaned back, crossing his arms. "What reason do you have to be pissed at me?" he asked, changing the subject. Naruto mentally sighed. That was Gaara's way of—grudgingly—saying that it was forgiven. Then the blond remembered just what his oh-so-wonderful redhead had done to him that morning. A scowl came across his features.

"What the hell are you doing, wondering why? You know why, asshole. You locked me in a closet. Please tell me that you actually had an intelligent reason behind it?"

"You deserved it."

And then the redhead pulled put his bento lunch and another container before grabbing his chopsticks.

"You know what—?!" The blue-eyed boy promptly cut himself off as he took in the extra container Gaara had pulled out. "…Is that, uh…?" Naruto was too entranced by it to finish his question.

"Hn," came the hummed response as the other picked at some rice.

Naruto broke out into a grin. "Oh, gods, Gaara, I love you!" he exclaimed, diving for the container.

His hands, however, were met with the cold wood. He blinked in surprise before glaring and turning to Gaara.

"… Give it," he growled.

Gaara, had he been several years younger, would have rolled his eyes. "I made it, I packed it, I carried it around all day; give me one reason why I should."

There was a long pause before a grin spread across his face. "… Because you lub me?"

He received a scowl. "Try again."

"… Because you owe me for torturing me and locking me away in a closet?"

Naruto would've sworn the red-head rolled his eyes. "And again."

"… Because you don't like it and aren't going to eat it and thus will have to carry it around all day if you don't hand it over?"

This time he earned a glare, too. "Once more."

"… Because you miss me and know I'm going to get it one way or another?"

Gaara just plain sighed at that one, his expression remaining the same. "I'm giving you one more chance."

"… Because I'm sorry?"

Gaara thought about it for a second before carelessly tossing the container randomly. Naruto let out an indignant squeak before he leapt on top of the table and jumped off it higher into the air, grabbing the container and even doing a flip before his feet touched the ground again.

Several cheers and whistles sounded throughout the room and Naruto turned, a little confused, before giving a sheepish grin. Gaara, on the other hand, was not as amused. He did not like the fact that most everyone had been watching the whole ting from the moment the blond came over—he hated nosey people—and as such, sent out his 'Glare of Promised Pain,' making sure to scan the whole room. Every single person froze under his gaze and promptly began having heated conversations with whoever was sitting closest to them, whether or not they knew the person.

Naruto shot the boy a disapproving look. "There's no need to act so meanly."

"You prefer them gawking like idiots?"

Naruto gave him a small glare and mumbled some curses. Of course he didn't, but that didn't mean he wanted Gaara giving them silent threats.

Instead of wasting his breath on trying—note the word trying—to give an intelligent reply, Naruto snatched the pair of chopsticks out of the other's hands before jumping over the table, plopping back into his seat, and ripped the lid off the container. His eyes were instantly greeted by delicious looking ramen. Miso ramen, to make matters better.

"I would like to have those back," Gaara informed him darkly. Anyone else would have labeled his glare as a 'Glare of Death,' but Naruto automatically knew that it was, in fact, the 'Glare to Cover the Fact that Gaara was Indignant and did not want Anyone Knowing.' That long title had long been shortened to the 'Indignant Glare,' not to be confused with the 'Glare of Indignance,' which was, surprisingly, much different.

"Tch," was all the blond said as he shoved a huge bite of noodles into his mouth and slurped them down noisily.

"I'll give you four seconds," the green-eyed boy warned, his tone growing a sharp edge.

Naruto didn't reply for a few seconds as he enjoyed another slurp-y bite of the gods-sent noodles. Finally, he snorted. "All you ever do is pick at your food, anyway, so I'll give them back when I finish."

Gaara's glare turned a little heated. "You have just two seconds remain—"

"Done!" the blond chirped merrily, tossing the 'sticks back to him and slamming the empty bowl on the table.

Gaara didn't reply but merely caught the utensils in the air and started to poke through his rice again.

Naruto resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "But seriously, Gaara-chan, when you left me in the closet, there was this guy who came and let me out."

"Really now?" Gaara's tone was dry.

The bond gave him a look in return. "Be serious here. I want to ask you something. The guy who let me out—he was… I don't know… It's not something I can put into words," Naruto struggled to say.

Gaara didn't look intrigued in the least. "Did you ask his name?"

"He wouldn't tell me," Naruto whined.

Gaara gave him a look that clearly translated as: What?

"He wouldn't! I even asked! The bastard just walked away looking like he was the best thing this world has ever seen since ramen!"

Gaara stiffened ever so slightly at that. But Naruto, having mastered reading Gaara-waves, instantly shut up and cast the boy a curious glance. "What is it?"

"Did he have dark hair?"

Naruto was slightly confused, but non-the-less answered. "Yeah… It kinds looked like a duck butt, actually. Why—Gaara what's wrong?" he asked after seeing the murderous look that had formed on the other's face.

"Lunch is almost over. Let me see your schedule."

Naruto complied and started shuffling for his bag before hading him the paper. After looking it over, Gaara murmured, "We have no morning classes together, but after lunch, we have them all together."

Naruto blinked, surprised, before giving an ear-splitting grin. "Really? Man, that's great. That means I can actually attend classes! Yeah, man, thanks to you, I was late for second period so I just skipped… And then I got lost and by the time I found my third period room, it was time for fourth period… And then I just got all frustrated so I skipped all the classes I had left and just waited for lunch."

Gaara gave him a dark look. "You are an idiot. Just follow me for the rest of the day… And don't say anything to anyone else—especially the bastard who let you out of the closet." (2)

Naruto gave him a confused look. "… Why?"

Emerald eyes briefly shut. "Just don't do it. You'll understand soon enough."

The blond still looked lost. "Right; okay, I guess."

Gaara didn't say anything more on that topic but instead closed his bento box—Naruto noted that almost nothing was eaten from it—shoved it away somewhere, and stood up. "Come on; we're heading to class."

"Wha—?" He was cut off by the bell and everyone else put their lunches away and started off. "How the hell did you know the bell was going to ring?" he asked, blinking.

"It rings at the same time every day; it's called routine."

Naruto scowled at him as they went through the cafeteria's doors. He sometimes hated how realistic Gaara was.

Naruto followed Gaara into the classroom but stopped once he was through the door to look around at his new classmates while the red-head continued to the far end of the room and took his seat.

There were a lot of people in this class and the blond was a little awed at the variety. While they were all rich bastards and thus dressed in the latest fashion, Naruto could tell that no two people were exactly the same—though they all had that air around them that said Oh, I'm so much better than you—and he found he liked that a little.

Until the one kid in the front noticed him, that is.

"Tch, dude, you gonna sit or are you going to stand up there all day? I don't mind if you stand; gives me a close target to aim shit at."

Naruto decided to ignore him at looked back to Gaara. His heart sunk when he realized that there were no seats around him that were not taken—he also couldn't help but notice everyone who sat around him were slightly jumpy and kept giving the red-head nervous glances, like they expected him to jump at any second and attack them.

Asses, the blond snorted. Gaara was nothing like that and they would know that if they got passed his reputation and got to know him.

But back to the problem at hand… Naruto was seat-less and he wasn't able to sit near Gaara. His eyes scanned the room and he found an empty desk. A grin spread across his face and he took a few steps towards it before he saw just who was sitting right next to the empty seat—

—And his grin fell off instantly. It was right next to the bastard that had kindly let him out of the closet. Please be sure to note the sarcasm.

Gaara noticed his friend's expression and followed the blond's gaze. Upon seeing just what had upset him, the red-head's expression went murderous. The object of the duo's anger looked over at Gaara and smirked in a condescending manner.

It was then that Gaara reacted.

He turned to the kid that was next to him and gave him a dark look. The kid edged back, ready to flee if need be.


The guy blinked at the simple statement. "W- What?"

Mossy green eyes narrowed dangerously and the guy yelped before scrambling out of the chair and—after a quick glance around the room—took the seat that Naruto had been grudgingly walking over to.

The blond blinked in confusion as the poor guy dived into the seat and clung to it like it was some sort of life support. He cast a curious glance to Gaara and frowned when he saw the empty desk next to the red-head, promptly putting two and two together.


Naruto glowered as he crossed his arms. "No," he replied tersely.

The whole class froze as the boy very obviously rebelled against what had to be the scariest thing anyone had every come across. They all told themselves that they were not going to buy a full dozen of roses for the guy's funeral since he did ask for it, but opted that one was enough. No one was going to miss him.

Gaara remained impassive as he stared at the idiotic blond. "Sit," he repeated, emphasizing the word a little more this time.

"No," Naruto also repeated, his tone an exact copy of Gaara's as he, too, emphasized his statement slightly.

There was a silence as the two stared each other down and one or two of the fellow classmates claimed they were talking with their eyes or something.

It was Gaara who broke the silence. "Why ever not?"

"Wasn't he just sitting there?" Naruto thrust his thumb in the direction of the boy who jerked in reply and started to vehemently shake his head at the oblivious blond.

"What of it?"

Naruto growled. "Gaara," he hissed, "act your age."

As if to prove the point that he was mature and was going to get what he wanted—in a mature way, mind you—he stood up, made his way over to the blond, and promptly picked him up bridal style. He ignored his friend's thrashing as he walked over to the empty desk, deposited the blond unceremoniously, and promptly took his seat again.

Naruto sputtered indignantly before leaping back onto his feet like the desk was made of fire or something.

"What the hell was that?" he shrieked before promptly whirling and scanning the room for any unoccupied seats. He found one that was nearly on the other side of the room and crossed his arms huffily and made his way over to it.

Gaara, not to be discouraged, simply stood up, went over to the desk next to the blond, glared at the girl who was in the seat, and sat down once the annoying woman had left in a hurry.

Naruto—surprisingly (sarcasm)—wasn't amused in the least. "Will you stop it—?"

Naruto was cut off by someone else.

"One would think you got the hint that he didn't want to be bothered by you."

Gaara's eyes darkened to an emerald color and turned dangerous as they traveled over to the very person Gaara had told Naruto not to talk to. The quiet conversations slowly died as a tense silence enveloped the room.

"Uchiha," Gaara acknowledged indifferently.

"Sabaku," the raven replied with the same tone.

"Uchiha," Gaara said again, his tone still indifferent.

"Sabaku," the dark haired boy—Uchiha?—repeated.

"Uzumaki," the blond piped up, not missing a beat.

Two pairs of eyes turned to him, one showing no emotions and the other amused.

"What?" Naruto defended. "I thought it was my turn."

"What did I tell you?" Gaara told him a little coldly, not liking the fact that the blond hadn't listened to him.

"Since when have I listened to you?" he growled in reply.

Gaara nearly snorted. How true that was.

"Besides," Naruto continued, "I don't want you getting in trouble my first day here. You could get expelled. And we both know I don't want to be that sort of influence."

Gaara grumbled about stupid blonds before turning back to the Uchiha. "I won't get expelled," he explained simply.

"Unless you do something you just might regret later," the raven nearly purred.

Naruto turned his glare to the cocky boy that he guessed had the surname of Uchiha. "You," he hissed. "You're not helping—shut up!"

Almost every girl pinned him with an animalistic glare as they realized just who he had told to shut up.

Naruto ignored them. "How about you two sit down, shut up and—"

"We'll begin class," a bright and chirpy voice informed them as the bell rang.

"Precisely," Naruto agreed, nodding, before whirling. "Ne?"

A teacher who had longer dark hair tied up in a ponytail—a ponytail that stuck straight out in a way that just had to be defying gravity, Naruto noted—was grinning merrily at him. "You're the new transfer, am I correct?"

Naruto mutely nodded.

The teacher crossed his arms. "In that case, I'm mightily disappointed in you. I heard that you skipped every class except homeroom—and that you even made a scene in that class. And particular reasons why?"

Naruto pointed to Gaara and dryly replied, "Him."

The teacher cast the red-head a curious look. "Sabaku? Is that true?"

Gaara didn't reply but crossed his arms and looked up to the ceiling.

The teacher turned to Naruto for an answer instead. "What did he do?"

Naruto threw his hands into the air. "Don't get me wrong—I do love the ass—but sometimes—Rrg, I swear he has no maturity."

Brown eyes blinked at him questioningly.

Naruto sighed and rolled his eyes. "Long story," he muttered.

Deciding to let it slide for now, the teacher gave a jovial chuckle and said, "I'm Iruka-sensei. Since you're new, mind making an introduction?"

Naruto stood, looked around, and grinned. "Naruto Uzumaki—you better believe it!"

Gaara would have sighed at the introduction had he not been expecting it.

So Naruto figured that there was some sort of personal tension between that Uchiha figure and Gaara. Really, he did. He even had a little guess as to the depth of their… 'friendship.'

Nothing could've told him just how much the two hated each other more than the evil looks and snide comments. Oh, and the fact that they were almost constantly at each other's throats and were always looking for a reason to fight.

Naruto was ready to castrate them both by the end of the class.

Iruka had given a small lesson and handed out a small two-person project—Gaara had not verbally told Naruto they were partners, but he gave a glare to anyone who came too close to the blond and Naruto just knew that they would be working together due to the eleven year friendship they shared. Afterwards, the young teacher said that was all he had planned, so the rest of the period was a commons.

It was like allowing lions to freely explore a lamb's cage.

In other words, Murphy's Law just made a grand appearance—anything that could go wrong, went wrong.

The moment Iruka gave a small wave, saying he would be back in a few, and left, Naruto knew nothing good was going to happen. A tense silence formed. It was so charged with little particles of electricity, the blond thought he was going to go insane—or get electrocuted. After twenty-one seconds, Naruto felt ready to kill himself, just to stop the suspense. He couldn't stand having to wait for something to happen.

"Dammit!" he swore. "What the hell do you two have against each other, anyway?" All he wanted was to have a nice year with his best friend. He didn't want his friend constantly glaring and glowering at some bastard.

Neither of the two replied.

"The hell?!" he sputtered. "Gaara, dearest, don't you dare ignore me!"

Mossy eyes flicked over to him. "I wouldn't dream of doing anything of the sort, sweety."

Naruto twitched at term of endearment. When they had been young, it had simply been a show of affection, but as they got older, it was merely a way to piss the other off. "Glad to know we're on the same page, toots."

And Gaara gave him a look. "…Toots?" he echoed.

The blond gave a sheepish grin. "It was either that or pumpkin."

"… How about we stop this childish game, little one?"

Naruto shrugged. "I will when you will, hon."

"Then stop and I will follow suit, foxy."

He would have like to deck the other. "I didn't know you remembered that, koi."

He was pinned with a glare. "Same goes to you, pumpkin."

Oh, that— Naruto mentally growled before giving a too-sweet grin. "I could go at this all day, mate."

"I don't think I'd mind that in the least, Na- ru- to."

… Alright… Gaara's mouth hadn't moved. So either he would make a wonderful ventriloquist or he hadn't spoken. Naruto voted for the second option, which meant—Hold the phone…

That voice sounds familiar! Naruto realized before turning to look into the back of the room. His eyes locked onto onyx and he felt his insides go numb.

"Leave him the fuck alone," the red-head hissed, suddenly right beside the blond.

Said blond blinked, very confused, before shifting his gaze between the Uchiha and Gaara a few times. Upon seeing they were both giving each other a death glare—only thing different about the raven's was that he looked a little smug about something—Naruto gave a defeated sigh. "Geez, you two couldn't go three seconds without leaping for the other's throat, could you?"

"I don't leap for anyone's throat, dobe," the raven remarked.

Naruto was ready to make a smart remark on the 'dobe' that the bastard had thrown in, but instead turned to Gaara. "I see why you two are always fighting."

The blond received a dry look. "You are merely easy to rile up," the other commented.

"Oi!" he snarled. "I am not—"

"See my point?"

The blue-eyed boy froze and his breath takingly cobalt eyes widened as he realized his friend was right before they narrowed and he ground out, "I repeat: I am not easy to rile up. I am cool and collected. I am ice. I could beat you at your own game of death glare matches."

Gaara actually snorted. "I highly doubt it."

"Ah!" Naruto cried, leaping to his feet. "A challenge? I accept!"

Gaara stared for a grand total of seven seconds before he shook his head. "You are making a fool of yourself."

The blond crossed his arms cockily. "You just can't beat me."

The red-head would have snorted again had he not restrained himself from doing so. "You wouldn't last more than a minute before you got bored and lost."

"You wanna see just how long I'd last?" Naruto challenged.

The green-eyed boy gave a small exasperated sigh. "No, I don't. Baka."

"Oi!" the blond cried. "I resent that!"

"You're doing a fine job of convincing me otherwise," Gaara commented.

Naruto snorted before turning his attention back to the raven Uchiha for a second. Upon seeing that Gaara's focus was no longer on the dark-haired bastard, Naruto mentally patted himself on the back. But when his azure eyes lock with those bottomless onyx orbs, Naruto felt all the breath being stolen from him, leaving a sharp twinge in his chest. A slow smirk spread across those amazingly pink lips. It was a smirk that told Naruto Let the games begin, then.

He decided he didn't like that look.

Neither did Gaara, apparently. "Leave him the fuck alone," he growled again.

"My, my, what colorful language you have. I didn't do anything to him," the raven retaliated, his tone as unemotional as ever and slightly bored even.

Gaara was about to retaliate when Naruto cut in. "I don't believe we have been properly introduced," he called to the raven.

The dark eyes were upon him once again and another smirk was born. "Uchiha; Uchiha Sasuke." The blond could tell from his tone that he was supposed to have one of those "Ah-hah!" moments complete with the light bulb above his head sparking to life as he made the connection of the name to someone important. The blond made no such connection, however. He was now attending a school where everyone was at least a millionaire—excluding himself—so he didn't think it much mattered.

"And I'm Uzumaki Naruto. And now that we've been introduced, leave us the hell alone, Sasuke-teme."

It wasn't what anyone would call a proper greeting for the start of a friendship.

"Same to you, dobe," Sasuke replied, looking like he was resisting the urge to roll his eyes or smirk at the new nickname.

But who said anything about friendship?

(1) Nine-fifty (American dollars): equivalent of about 1,050 yen (That's expensive in both currencies)

(2) …Did you all get a certain not-so-innocent thought in your head when you read that? xD


Well, there's the beginning of my first Naruto fic, so drop me a comment, ja? Merci beaucoup! The chapters are most probably going to be long—sorry? XD

And "Toxicum" is "toxic" or "poison" in Latin.

Anyhoo, please be so kinda as to drop off a comment, ne?