Isn't chalk so fun? I used to like drawing all over our driveway with sidewalk chalk, when I was younger.

Despite my lazy-bumming, I managed to post this. Just another thing to cross off my to do list, although I still have plenty left on that list. Ugh. I've been too lethargic for the past few days. Anyway, instead of paying attention to my complaints about things that should be getting done not getting done, read & review.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Naruto.


Chalk Graffiti


(It starts with the driveway of a house.)

It's a respectable neighborhood for the wealthy. Lawns trimmed to perfection are kept fresh green by the timer-set sprinklers embedded in the grass. Fancy schmancy cars are parked in a perfectly aligned manner in their respective garages. Windows allow slight glimpses into the world of the rich and powerful, where most things are hidden behind locked doors otherwise. And every house on the block has the same driveway. Simple, gray concrete driveways not meant for little children jump roping, the occasional leaky water hose, or vivid chalk murals.

During the night, the neighborhood is silent, stars twinkle, the odd window here and there still blazes with yellow light. The twelfth house down from the stop sign, on the right side, is chosen at random. Who lives here? This question and ones similar to it pester the artist as he gets to work.

Five minutes into his project, the light flickers on in an upstairs window. He pauses, waits with bated breath. After a moment, the window turns dark once more. For the hundredth time that night, he wonders who the occupants of this home are. It is approximately ten more minutes before he turns and flees into the shadows that reach out to claim him.

‡ ‡ ‡

Pale, sunrise light streams in through the crack in the curtain. Dark eyes flutter open. There is a muffled groan, bed sheets rustling, feet hitting the carpeted floor. It's sometime just after six. He's woken up before the set time on the alarm clock again. With a sigh, Sasuke drags himself out of bed. He parts the curtains, blinking in the fresh glow of sun. Yawning, he turns away from the pretty, watercolor pinks and oranges to go about completing morning rituals.

It's faintly chilly when he steps out of the house to bring in the newspaper. As usual it's resting just below the porch steps. Sasuke barely notices it today. Instead, his eyes are drawn to the huge words scrawled across their driveway. Can you feel the sun?

He lifts his head up towards the sky. Of course he can feel the sun. It shines brilliantly as it rises above the horizon, ribbons of warm colors trailing in its wake. But somehow, as he stares at the bold red words, he cannot help but think that there is some deeper meaning there. "What is that?" a harsh, crisp voice behind him inquires.

His father brushes by brusquely to more closely examine the vandalism. It's chalk. Fugaku stalks back inside. The maid bustles out a moment later, grabs the hose, turns it on with a low, disgruntled mutter about delinquents. Water sprays from the green-snake hose, washing away the words. Sasuke walks back into the house with the newspaper.

‡ ‡ ‡

Much to Fugaku's annoyance, this vandal returns. Not once, not twice, but three times. Sasuke remains quiet at the dinner table when his father speaks of the defacement with distaste. Mikoto and Itachi join him in his silence. Mikoto, because she has learned that the best way to placate her husband is to simply listen quietly. Itachi, because he just doesn't care. And Sasuke—well, he doesn't speak for fear that the words that have been chalked onto their driveway will come tumbling out of his mouth. These words have been revolving around on spin cycle in his head for the past few days without showing any sign of going away.

I want to hear pretty birds sing.

Blindfolds are kind of stupid, aren't they?

There's a peice of me in these words. (What sort of person can't spell piece correctly? Really.)

For the most part, it seemed as though the words were just being pulled out of thin air. Then, why is it that he can't help but derive little wisps of understanding from them?

‡ ‡ ‡

When the artist returns for the fourth night in a row, that same upstairs window is open. With his attention focused so intently on the window, he isn't aware of where he's stepping. He trips over the recycling bin sitting at the curb. It's a loud, glass bottles clinking, papers crunching noise that brings someone to the open window. In the dark, he can just barely discern the pale figure framed in the window. He holds his breath as he slowly picks himself up off the ground. The figure doesn't move.

So he shrugs and goes about writing another message. Green chalk this time. Who are you?

That's not what he wanted to write. He rubs his fingers over the letters (talk about touching your thoughts). The only thing he manages to do is smudge them a little. Oh, well. He decides to leave it be. Curious eyes follow him as he vanishes into the night.

‡ ‡ ‡

You can hardly expect someone to be sitting on the porch steps, waiting for you with a cup of coffee, if you've been defacing their driveway every single night for the past five nights. However, with life you must also expect the unexpected. "I'm Sasuke," the boy greets him.

It's the answer to yesterday's question. The artist smiles. "I'm Naruto," he returns the greeting, extending a hand. Sasuke stares down at the outstretched hand for a long moment before shoving the mug into it.

He seems embarrassed to be out here. And it's not just because he's out here in only his boxers and a thin, black t-shirt. Naruto takes a sip of the coffee. It's still warm, and he wonders how many times the other boy reheated it. "Thanks," he says cheerfully, setting the mug down on the first step. "I'll finish it when I'm done."

In fascination, Sasuke watches as Naruto begins to write something else. No, not writing this time. Drawing. His mouth moves all the while. Dark eyes takes in the way his lips form the words he speaks. His lips seem soft. Sasuke looks away, only half-listening to the bright voice filling the silence. "And, voilà, a beautiful mural. For your viewing pleasure," the blond announces with a flourishing gesticulation. "What do you think?"

Now depicted on his driveway, in a rainbow of chalk colors, is a delightful portrait of angels. Angels in all their pure, white-winged, haloed glory. Sasuke snorts. "Angels don't exist."

"You want me to give them demonic eyes and horns, then?" Naruto shoots back, scowling.

"At least it would make them more realistic," Sasuke growls, fisting his hands on his hips.

"You think so?" the blond asks, actually considering the idea now. He supposes that the other boy is right. Those angels look too perfect for their own good. And perfection is overrated, in his opinion.

At the silent nod that comes in reply, Naruto makes the alterations. Then, at the bottom of his mural, he adds a caption. "Perfection is a ridiculous ideal," Sasuke reads aloud.

The dark-haired boy's lips pull up in a genuine smile. For a teenage boy that can't remember the 'i before e' spelling rule, Naruto certainly has a deep understanding of the world. Sasuke pats the blond on the shoulder. "Nice work."

‡ ‡ ‡

Despite issues with homework, Naruto usually meanders to the Uchiha household sometime throughout the night.

And Sasuke is usually waiting for him on the porch steps. During these nights, they find out a lot about each other. For one, they're both fourteen and looking for something more than what is being offered to them. Naruto is not satisfied with spreading profound messages through word of mouth or the Internet, so he uses chalk and concrete instead. Sasuke is not satisfied with the pressure forcing its weight on his shoulders or with people in general, so he absorbs the blond's words.

When the maid rinses the words away every morning, Sasuke tries not to watch. It claws a small hole out of him, seeing those significant little phrases being washed away. So he slumps at the kitchen counter with his breakfast, scowling.

"He barely even looks at what he's having hosed away," he complains to Naruto one night.

"He's just one of those people that don't understand," the blond responds, shrugging his shoulder nonchalantly. A grin tugs at the corners of his lips. He likes how fervent Sasuke gets about this. It's a nice change from his usual, indifferent demeanor.

"Parents suck," Sasuke grumbles, crossing his arms.

"I wouldn't know. I've never known my real parents. Iruka's my only family. And sometimes baa-chan, when she's not being evil."

The other boy doesn't know how to reply to this at first. Words of comfort have never come all that easily to him, you see. After a moment of contemplation, Sasuke says this: "Well, you've got me now too, haven't you?"

To his surprise, the blond throws his arms sloppily around him. Not quite recovering from his shock, Sasuke awkwardly returns the hug as best he knows how. At least he knows he chose the perfect words to say.

‡ ‡ ‡

"You're my best friend, did you know that Sasuke?"

"I figured as much."

"Am I your best friend too?"

"I'm not inclined to answer that."

"Aw, I am!"

"Shut up."

‡ ‡ ‡

More often than not, the two boys get into heated disagreements about nothing important in particular. For example, they constantly argue over the supremacy of superheroes. Naruto is very much convinced that his favorite super heroes really do exist in their own parallel universe. Sasuke readily stomps all over that delusion.

Tonight, this usual disagreement had gotten slightly out of hand. It was turning vehement, with lots of shoving and lots of indignant snarling. In the middle of all this pointless quarreling, a very exasperated Naruto finally just shut down the disagreement with a kiss. It comes totally out of the blue and stuns the both of them. The blond boy pulls away, eyes as wide as crop circles cut in cornfields, lips tingling. Awkward silence ensues.

"What was that?" Sasuke broke the silence, appearing faintly dazed. Naruto did, indeed, have very soft lips.

"That was a kiss," he swallowed nervously. "I think."

Then, a whisper, "I…you…um…let's…uh…try again…"

Naruto inches forward, leans in, captures full lips with his own. Sasuke feels his inside go all gooey as he kisses back. Their actions are dreadfully shy. But that's only natural. They're teenage boys who are at that age. They have little experience with things like this. All they know, for now, is the awkward nervousness of their nice, warm kiss.

‡ ‡ ‡

After many, many more attempts, they seem to have gotten the kissing thing down. It's certainly not as strange or as hesitant as it was at first. They seem to be enjoying themselves, if their prolonged make-out sessions are any proof of that.

Naruto is just only discovering the great uses of the tongue when Sasuke hears something. Lights flicker on downstairs. Scrambling hurriedly away from the blond boy, he shoves him into some nearby bushes just as the front door opens. There is an ominous creak. Dark eyes stare up at the intimidating figure that is his father, hoping to high heaven that the man finds nothing of suspicion to interrogate him about. "What are you doing out here?"

"I…I…I just…" he searches desperately for some kind of excuse.

"Never mind. Just get inside," Fugaku says curtly, too busy scanning the area warily to spare his son little more than a quick glance.

Hanging his head, Sasuke shuffles inside. His hearts is hammering uncontrollably. He doesn't have to look back to see that his father is turning the hose. The only thing he can do is walk back to bed, tucking Naruto's words in the back of his mind.

Your kisses are warm things I wish I could keep forever.

‡ ‡ ‡

Although it makes neither one of them very happy, Sasuke advises Naruto to stay away from his house for awhile. Those nights when the blond boy is staying low, insomnia refuses him access to the land of slumber. It's too quiet. It's too dark. His sun is hiding behind the clouds.

‡ ‡ ‡

The driveway of the twelfth house on the right side has been turned into a practically breathing mural that bursts with vibrant color. There's a huge heart in the center. Inside it, there's a giant message:


Standing just to the side, Naruto throws rocks at an upstairs window. Soon it is opened and Sasuke sticks his head out. He takes in the multitude of chalk colors, the blond waving exuberantly at him from down below, the quickened thumping of his heart. And he laughs. That stupid blond—he always has to tell the whole world, doesn't he?