Disclaimer: Not mine. Bummer.
Summary: Itachi Uchiha has always had a sadistic streak when it came to his little brother. Now the perfect opportunity has presented itself and he just can't let it go by. He does love him after all. (SasuNaru)
Author's Note: Sorry for the delay. As I started writing this I realized that my original plan to pick up several years later wasn't going to work. The chapter would have been eighty pages long with all the things I wanted to put in it and that just wouldn't do. I suspect I'll have to revisit the DMZ in a couple of oneshots to fulfill my dream of what happens to them in the future but, in the meantime, I had to come up with something different.
I can't say I'm totally happy with it. I tried to wrap up a few loose ends and so what I have for you is the ribbon on the outside of a package. It isn't needed, but, who doesn't like to see the colorful mass of shiny ribbons on their present.
If you loved how it ended in chapter 15, maybe you should stop now. Honestly, it doesn't further the plot, there are no big reveals. It was just fun to write… mostly because 'I' wasn't ready for it to end.
Either way, thank you all so much for reading and please, enjoy.
The Demilitarized Zone
The first day that the two Vice Presidents of Uchiha Inc returned to work after attending a 'Teamwork Camp' and then… other things, the fourteenth floor celebrated its reunification and the disbandment of the Demilitarized Zone.
The party had been in full swing for a couple of hours, food, drink and laughter abundant, before a sudden eerie hush began at the elevators and spread across the floor like wild fire.
"My, my," a dark voice drawled, the sound of expensive shoes walking through the room echoing in the workers' very hearts, "What is this?"
All eyes turned to the imposing figure of Itachi Uchiha, President of Uchiha Inc to outsiders and Lord of Darkness to his employees and the nervous crowd divided until all the little duckies could be seen, wide eyed, at the buffet table.
Kiba stepped forward, or rather the other duckies took two steps back, and cleared his throat a nervous smile spreading across his face, "Hey, boss, Uchiha… sir!"
A dark eyebrow lifted. The remaining duckies took one more step back, bumping into the table. Some looked apologetic, some looked stoic and some… well, one… looked bored, but they all wanted to create some distance between themselves and personification of evil standing before them.
"We were just celebrating Naruto and Sasuke's return and, well," Kiba took a deep drink of his 'special' punch, his fingers fiddling the end of his poker dog tie, "Since they aren't trying to kill one another anymore, we figured that the DMZ wasn't necessary and so," he spread his arms wide, "Reunification!" The smile lasted for three point two seconds before the Uchiha's blank stare scared it right off.
Suddenly a half smile appeared on a pale, handsome face and several men and women in the crowd whimpered. Kiba could say he blamed them. "And, tell me… where are our guests of honor, I wonder?"
Eyes shifted, heads turned and mutters were heard. No one knew.
Itachi turned on his heel and headed back toward the elevator, "Reunification," they couldn't see the sneer but everyone heard it, "is complete. Get back to work."
After the elevator doors closed, Itachi leaned back against the wall, pale fingers running across his face and closed his eyes. He was going to have to buy a new copy machine… again.
A month after their triumphant return, Sasuke, Naruto and the duckies were scheduled to report to the main conference room with Satan for their monthly 'team collaboration meeting'.
Itachi walked off the elevator and found that he still had a hard time with the new reunified fourteenth floor. He could honestly say that he missed having the blatant division. Now everyone was so… happy. Pale lips quirked into a scowl and the path in front of him immediately cleared. The scowl deepened. Before reunification, he wouldn't have had to wait.
Upon reaching the conference room, Itachi found all eight duckies loitering around the closed door. Hinata's face was flushed crimson, Kiba and Sakura were muttering darkly under their breath and the rest of the duckies, save Shikamaru who mumbled 'troublesome' before looking at the ceiling, wouldn't meet their boss's narrowed eyes.
A dark eyebrow shot up in silent demand. Shikamaru sighed and stepped aside, "But, I wouldn't if I were you."
Itachi reached out and turned the handle, the door pushing in three seconds before the sounds coming from the room alerted Itachi to the activities on the other side. With a pale hand still holding the silver handle tightly, the eldest Uchiha saw Naruto sitting on one end of the conference table… at the President's seat, and his younger brother sitting in his chair. Naruto was bent over so that his lips could capture Sasuke's. Sasuke's hands shifted lazily over Naruto's thighs, first along the outsides before trailing slowly up the insides to the junction of his dobe's legs.
A low moan escaped Naruto's mouth and Sasuke eagerly slid Itachi's chair closer to the table, his fingers carding through blonde silk, while his lips and tongue continued to plunder the younger man's mouth.
"What the hell is this?" Itachi growled.
Naruto eep'd and Sasuke turned to glare harshly at his brother before nodding, respectfully, "Big brother… you're early."
After that day, Sasuke and Naruto were not allowed in a room together without Itachi present.
The conference room also got a new table.
To: My wayward minions
From: Lord of Darkness
Subject: Emergency Services
Every time 'someone' presses the emergency stop button in the elevator, emergency services receives an automated response from our security system. They, in turn, call the switchboard, who calls yours truly, to make sure that nothing is amiss.
They also charge the company for each false alert.
I am tired of paying that bill, boys, but mostly, I am tired of taking the goddamn stairs.
Don't press buttons. There are always openings for aspiring VP's in Suna.
President, Uchiha Inc.
Coincidentally, the elevators ran smoothly from then on.
"Hn. Dobe, when you open your mouth do you even try to say something intelligent or do you just like to see how wide you can open it?"
Naruto leaned back in his chair and smirked. An Uchiha smirk with just a twist of Uzumaki unpredictability, "Funny, teme, last night you didn't seem to mind how wide my mouth can be."
The duckies and Itachi stilled. Kiba dropped his head to the table. Oh dear god, here we go…
Sasuke leaned forward, his elbows on the conference table and his chin in his hands, "What I require from you in my bedroom and in the conference room are two different things, dumbass. Even with your bedroom mentality you should know that."
Blue eyes narrowed, "Bedroom mentality, bastard?" The words were hard and sharp, "Are you implying that I am…"
"Stupid?" Sasuke interrupted with a half smile, "No, I'm just saying that I don't mind at all when you can't form a coherent sentence under the dining room table, but here, at the conference room table, I don't think it would hurt any of us if you tried to rub those two brain cells you have together."
Naruto's fists clinched in his lap and he didn't hear Itachi clear his throat in warning, "Well, asshole, at least my vocabulary in the bedroom and the conference room differs. Yours is exactly the same… hnn… doooobbbeee."
Sasuke was over the table in a second, tackling a yelling Naruto to the ground.
Itachi had Hinata and Sakura dust off the video conferencing equipment.
Within two months of the reunification of the fourteenth floor, the Demilitarized Zone was back in effect.
Itachi was tired of hearing about secret meetings in broom closets, rendezvous in the copy room and creative uses of dairy products in the break room. That didn't even include the activities he knew his minions were up too. He was seriously considering a name change from the 'duckies' to the 'rabbits'. Horny little bastards…
The rules remained. Duckies were not allowed to cross the DMZ and Naruto and Sasuke were not allowed to step foot in it. All interactions between the two vice presidents were monitored at all times. At gatherings were both men were expected to be in attendance, Itachi still hired body guards… not to protect them from the hostile attentions of outsiders (although Itachi would be lying if he said it didn't cross his mind now and then) but to stop them from 'attending' to each other… in the bathroom, or the coat check, or under the buffet table…
"… and in the last fiscal year we bucked the ongoing trend of a downward spiral seen by many of our competitors…"
Had he been any less of a man, Sasuke might have snorted. Uchiha Inc did not follow trends. Uchiha Inc set trends, manipulated trends or annihilated trends. The end. A glance at his watch made the dark haired vice president nearly jump out of his seat. But, he was an Uchiha and instead stood slowly and spoke calmly into the speaker phone.
"I have another appointment. Send all the information you have to Sakura Hurano. Thank you."
"You're very wel…" Sasuke disconnected. He quickly shutdown his computer and yanked the black suit jacket off the back of his chair, sending it spinning on its base from the force, before stuffing his arms into the sleeves and running pale fingers through midnight spikes, resulting in a more 'fresh looking' disheveled look.
Feeling his pockets, Sasuke made sure that he had his phone and car keys before walking briskly out of the office. His secretary opened her mouth to engage him in conversation but Sasuke merely held up his hand in warning. Half way to the elevators, Sakura approached him frown firmly on her face, hands even more firmly on her hips.
"Sasuke Uchiha, it is not my job to…"
The dark glare stopped her mid-sentence and she watched while Sasuke reached forward to hit the elevator button.
"Hey, Uchiha," a voice called to him. Sasuke growled and jammed his long finger repeatedly onto the down button, "Naruto is out of the office today, but I'm sure that you know that, and I needed an authoriz…"
The doors opened and Sasuke stepped inside. If the button on the outside of the elevator felt harassed, the inside button had enough evidence to charge Sasuke with physical abuse. The doors started to slowly close and Sasuke nodded to the stunned faces of Kiba and Sakura. "Handle it yourselves, duckies, or take your issues to the devil. The choice is yours." And then Kiba and Sakura were looking at their own reflections in the polished steel.
Kiba turned to Sakura his tan face pale, "I'm good. Totally under control. You?"
An image of Itachi Uchiha holding her high heel in a death grip while he 'tenderly' explained conference room etiquette flashed through her mind. Her shiver was matched by Kiba's, "Yes, I'm good."
To: Sasuke Uchiha
From: Itachi Uchiha
Subject: The things I do for you
My precious baby brother,
In your office mail this morning you will find tickets to the Konoha Symphony Orchestra. You will notice that you have front row seats to every performance that one, Naruto Uzumaki, will be performing in.
In the past, little brother, your behavior after such performances has been less than exemplary having caused our sweet mother distress with your childish antics. I have it on very good authority that the little blonde cellist will, in fact, be coming home with you this time. I am hoping this will prevent a repeat performance of any pathetic attempts at hunger strikes.
You should know that I had Cook puree cold liver and asparagus just in case you once again need my assistance eating.
President, Uchiha Inc.
Sasuke leaned back against the wall of the elevator and ran a hand over his breast pocket, feeling the paper tickets within. The corners of his mouth tipped up slightly when the doors opened and he made his way to his car. Had anyone been able to see through the dark tented windows of his BMW, they would have seen the soft smile on his face as he pulled into traffic.
Naruto… Naruto… Naruto…
Sasuke blinked and then blinked again. Midnight black eyes scanned the bustling auditorium and found nothing… until he looked two feet down. Oh god… school field trip day.
Hundreds of little boys and girls walked in zigzagging lines behind their teachers giggling and whispering loudly. The acoustics of the room amplified the sound to near intolerable levels in the dark haired man's mind and he closed his eyes silently praying to anyone that when he opened them the tiny humans would have disappeared… or at least shut the hell up.
Dark lashes lifted and pink lips thinned… no such luck.
He moved forward, paused, waited for a class of giggling third graders, moved again, jumped out of his skin when a small female human shrieked because a boy touched her and finally flopped… with Uchiha grace… into his seat.
It wasn't long before he could feel himself boxed in on all sides and wondered if he was even going to be able to hear his dobe's performance. A brisk tug on his coat sleeve brought Sasuke's attention to a boy about the age of his niece, perhaps a year older, next to him.
"Who do you belong to?" Chocolate brown eyes blinked up and down rapidly and the smile on the boy's face showed his excitement almost as much as the small thing's inability to sit still on the maroon theater seat.
"Excuse me?" Sasuke asked and tugged his sleeve away from the gripping fingers.
"Which kid is yours?" The boy said and the smile slipped, eyes crinkling in a manner that implied he might be dealing with an idiot.
Sasuke looked around, black eyes wide, almost like he was making sure none of the little beasts were his, "None of them are mine." He said tightly and then tried staring at the curtain, a sure sign that he was done talking. The hint was missed by the small human.
"Then, why are you here, mister? Are you a teacher?"
The tugging was back and Sasuke sighed, "I came to see the performance. I know someone who is playing."
"Really?!" the little boy said excitedly, "Me too, mister. My whole class does. He came and talked to us and everything. He told us about his job. He's really cool, mister. The best of the best. He works in the really tall building downtown… the black one. Do you know that building, mister?"
Sasuke nodded and relaxed into his seat. What have you been doing dobe?
"Anyway, he talked to us about how school was important and helped us build our own high rises out of milk cartons and then he told us that he played the cello too! So, when my teacher told us we were coming, I was so excited."
The lights blinked on and off and the noise level began to drop. The little boy wiggled and had yet to release Sasuke's sleeve. Sasuke reached over and gently patted the hand until the little fingers let go and folded in his lap, "Well then, we should watch. It's about to start."
The brown mop of hair bobbed up and down and then the little boy stared spellbound as the curtain lifted, the sounds of the orchestra tuning filling the room. To the left, in first chair, sat Naruto, his head was tipped to the side while he listened intently to the sounds his bow made as he moved smoothly over Gambunta's strings. As if he sensed Sasuke's gaze, bright blue eyes shifted and looked directly into black and a small smile blossomed on the tan face like a ray of sun through a cloudy sky shining all of its glory on one small section of the earth. And then Naruto winked.
Sasuke's lips tipped up once more but his attention was pulled, quite literally, to the side. He looked down to see the small human staring intently at the blonde cellist, his brown eyes wide with wonder and excitement. "Mister! Mister, did you see? He winked at me. Naruto winked at me."
Sasuke looked up once more and Naruto's attention was on the conductor as the players positioned their bows. The dark haired man looked down at the little boy and nodded, "You are a lucky boy."
And then the concert began.
Sasuke watched while Naruto moved the bow gracefully across the strings, totally enraptured in the sounds he was drawing forth. Golden lashes fluttered over crystal blue eyes and Sasuke knew Naruto wasn't in the room with twenty classes of elementary students and he wasn't in the room with thirty other string players and maybe… maybe he wasn't even in the room with him. Naruto was enraptured with the dulcet sounds he alone created with his cello the way Sasuke knew he was enraptured with Naruto.
It had been three months since Itachi had sent them to 'teamwork hell' and sometimes Sasuke still couldn't believe all the changes that had occurred. Near deaths, Naruto, kidnappings, Naruto, fake engagements, Naruto, daring rescues, Naruto…
Sasuke smiled softly… Naruto… Naruto… Naruto…
Was there anything else? Did anything else matter? The DMZ could come and go and there would still be Naruto. Overprotective parents, evil brothers and possessive nephews and there would still be Naruto.
They never talked about Naruto moving in. It was more that he just never left after that first week when Sasuke wouldn't have let the little idiot leave unless the fire department knocked on the door and asked him to evacuate. More of Naruto's things appeared around his apartment until last month when Naruto mentioned his lease coming up over breakfast. Sasuke passed Naruto the syrup, met clear, blue eyes with a smirk and a 'hn' and Naruto officially moved in.
Black eyes focused once more on the blonde cellist on stage. His dobe looked… Sasuke paused to ponder the appropriate adjective. Naruto wore a black tux with a crisp white dress shirt and blue bow tie. He wasn't the only one, the apparel being the same for the whole orchestra, but Sasuke only saw Naruto. His golden spikes catching the theater lighting as his head moved gently back in forth. Tan fingers gripped the neck of the cello delicately and moved so gracefully they seemed to have a mind of their own. The expressions on Naruto's face flew by… from small smiles to furrowed brow to full out grin and then back again.
Sasuke couldn't say which he preferred, sitting here, in this auditorium with the whole orchestra behind his dobe the notes nearly vibrating through his body while Naruto looked… breathtaking… or when Sasuke leaned against the doorframe of Naruto's study, coffee in hand, watching the blonde clad in gray sweats and the infamous Uchiha jersey while he hummed along to the songs he played on Gambunta before looking around to grace Sasuke with smile that brought the light into blue eyes, making the young man… breathtaking.
What choice was that?
Suddenly, Sasuke blinked and the little humans were cheering and clapping. Naruto stood and bowed deeply before joining in the clapping. The curtain began to lower and Sasuke watched as the other players clapped Naruto on the shoulder and crowded around him. Sasuke's heart rate increased as the curtain dropped lower and lower and when the curtain blocked any view of his dobe, Sasuke felt like he had been cut off from the sun and plunged into darkness.
This would not do. Standing, Sasuke strode toward the exit, plans swirling in his mind.
The others had long since gone home but Naruto was still in the green room behind the stage. He fiddled with his cello before tucking him in for the night and standing slowly. Reaching his stiff arms over his head he yawned, his eyes closed and a smile came to his face, as the muscles and bones in his back realigned.
Naruto started and turned toward the noise, "Teme! Dammit, now I'm all tense again." He pouted and began moving toward the dark haired man. Two steps away, Naruto stopped and tilted his head to the side. Sasuke hadn't smiled or made any move or noise since gaining Naruto's attention. "Hey," Naruto closed the gap, tan fingers brushing against Sasuke's pale jaw before trailing up to push back ink black tresses, "Is everything okay?"
Sasuke closed his eyes and leaned against the warmth of Naruto's hand, "I want you, Naruto." For a moment Naruto's breath caught in his throat. Sasuke's voice was so soft he felt like he wasn't hearing it with his ears but rather with his heart.
Naruto smiled and felt the worry dissolve in his chest, "Well, yes, bastard, I am aware of that."
Midnight eyes opened and Naruto felt himself fall into them once more, unable to look away, unable to remember where he was and unable to bring himself to care if he ever moved again.
"I told you not today or tomorrow… do you remember?" Sasuke asked and intertwined his fingers with Naruto's, pulling the quiet blonde toward the couch against the wall.
Naruto nodded his head, "Yes, I remember. When you said that you wanted to marry me, that our engagement wasn't fake. Are you changing your mind… do you not…"
Pale lips descended, a pink tongue immediately tracing Naruto's lips and stealing the words from his month. Naruto moaned into the kiss as Sasuke's adventurous tongue darted teasingly into his mouth, tickling his gums and mapping the sweet cavern. Naruto squeezed Sasuke's fingers and jerked away, "Answer the question, bastard. Are you changing your mind?"
Dark lashes blinked over emotion filled eyes. Naruto would have immediately categorized that emotion as love, want and not just a smidgen of lust, but he couldn't be sure.
"Yes, dobe. I am changing my mind."
Naruto gasped before ripping his hand away, "I… well, no. No, I won't let you." His voice may have started out small, but by the end had a borderline threatening quality that made the littlest Uchiha smirk and wince at the tightening of tan fingers around his own, "Don't laugh at me. I'll kick your ass from here to…"
"Dobe," Sasuke leaned forward once more and placed his hands on Naruto's reddening cheeks, "You're not listening. I want you. I said not today or tomorrow… but now, I'm changing my mind. I want you to be mine. I want to plan tomorrow."
Blue eyes widened and Sasuke was fairly certain that the blonde had stopped breathing. Suddenly, Naruto relaxed against him and dropped his forehead against Sasuke's shoulder. A gentle chuckle shook the blonde's body and Sasuke placed a kiss on the golden spikes on Naruto's head.
"Sasuke Uchiha… you suck at proposals."
Sasuke pushed Naruto away from him and against the back of the couch before tilting the blonde's head backward and nuzzling the junction between the lithe tan neck and shoulder, "Hn. Regardless, I will have your answer, dobe."
Naruto gripped Sasuke's upper arms while the dark haired bastard licked and sucked, leaving a stinging bruise before he bestowed the tenderest kisses Naruto could comprehend, imagine… dream…
Lacing his fingers into Sasuke's soft, black hairs, Naruto moved Sasuke's head back, "So, what you're saying is you would like to get married sooner, rather than later."
Ignoring the tug on his hair, Sasuke leaned forward once more and invaded Naruto's smiling lips, "What I'm saying is the next time you play in front of a crowd, or speak in front of the board, I want to see my wedding ring sparkling in the lights telling everyone that you are taken…" Sasuke grabbed Naruto's thighs and shifted them both quickly so that Naruto was straddling his lap. Black eyes stared possessively into glistening blue, "So that everyone knows that you are mine."
Naruto wiggled in Sasuke's lap, smiling when Sasuke's eyes snapped shut and his breath came out in a rush, nearly forming a moan, "Well, then… I guess tomorrow has arrived."
Sasuke pulled the laughing blonde into the apartment, slamming the door and pushing Naruto against the wall. Pale hands ran down the obnoxious orange colored Hawaiian shirt before slipping underneath and dipping into the waistband of khaki shorts.
"Oh god… S'uke…" Naruto panted all laughter having left his voice while his own fingers worked frantically at Sasuke's own buttoned up shirt in a more muted blue pattern. Sasuke's lips attached to Naruto's earlobe and Sasuke nibbled before pulling back slightly to moan in Naruto's ear.
"Fuck… you still taste like coconuts…" He reached down and his hands cupped Naruto's ass before pulling him up so that tan legs circled his waist and Naruto smirked down at him.
"Hello," Naruto purred into his ear, "You must be Sasuke Uchiha. My name is Naruto Uchi…"
His introduction was cut off by a growl and Sasuke blinding maneuvered them toward the bedroom, "Won't let you…" Naruto cupped his cheeks in his hands before nibbling at Sasuke's lips and teasingly dipping his tongue into Sasuke's mouth, "Finish your name… regardless of how much…" Naruto bucked his hips, "Love it."
Sasuke lowered Naruto onto the bed and followed him immediately, sliding between his legs and licking his lips like a hungry kitten. Naruto closed his eyes and arched up into his husband's chest, the look in the bastard's eyes nearly dragging him over the edge.
"Naruto… I love…"
To: Mr and Mr Uchiha
From: Your loving big brother
Subject: Welcome Home
Welcome home. I do hope that you enjoyed your honeymoon. I'm told the islands are beautiful this time of year.
While you were gone, a situation arose at the Suna branch that required several of the executives to journey to Konoha. I considered putting them up in hotels, but then I remembered how not too long ago, Naruto was interested in the inner workings of the Suna division and offered them lodging with the two of you.
No, you don't have to thank me. Your smiles shall see me through.
President, Uchiha Inc
Sasuke and Naruto stared at the three smiling men in their doorway and re-read the note they had produced once more.
Naruto leaned into Sasuke and god help him, the blonde whimpered, "He really is the devil… isn't he?"
On the fifteenth floor of Uchiha Inc, Itachi Uchiha brought the glass of amber colored liquor to his smirking lips. In his other hand he held a silver framed picture. Naruto and Sasuke stood dressed in their wedding suits, under the green canopy of the forest behind Gai Maito's retreat. Naoki and Iyo stood in front of them laughing as the four of them waved at the camera.
Leaning back into the black leather chair, Itachi turned until he looked out on the city lights of Konoha as they illuminated the night. A deep chuckled filled the president's office.
God, it was good to be king.
Author's Ramblings: Really, sit back because I have a whole lot of nothing to chat about.
First, when I first shared the idea for DMZ with Roely, Kakashi and Iruka died in the accident. The rest of the story was about Sasuke helping Naruto through the loss… After the second chapter I couldn't do it. Roely laughed, told me she knew I wouldn't and then I had to come up with the current plot. I, for one, am much happier with this story than the original concept.
Second, although my next chaptered story is planned, I'm going to be producing several oneshots and working on finishing 'All the Small Things' before I start. Please, look out for those. Or press the 'author alert button'… just a suggestion.
And finally… MANGA SPOILER…
WTF! Honestly! Who didn't see Sasuke's revenge on the village coming? Raise your hand. If you hand is raised, lower it and slap yourself. Regardless of the brilliant repeating plot device (Madara and the First, Jiraiya and Orochimaru, now, Sasuke and Naruto) you would think after seven years of being manipulated like a puppet by his older brother, regardless of Itachi's reasons, Sasuke would be a little cautious. Uchiha genius? I think not. 'Oh, hello, Mr Madara, sir… yes, just go ahead and manipulate my every action… I don't remember the last time I thought on my own.'
Grrr… I'm done.
Thanks for reading.