Birthday Presents

Sasuke didn't care what anyone else said: finding Naruto a present was nigh impossible.

It was one day until Naruto's birthday and he still hadn't gotten anything. Mind, he should have realised that he would have trouble finding something, and left more time, but he hadn't been bothered. With training and trying to avenge his clan, there wasn't much time for buying presents. Even for his best friend.

And considering it was his best friend, he had no idea what to get him.

"Naruto's easy," Sakura said, when Sasuke told her he didn't have an idea what to get. "He's so easily amused, you can just get him anything."

But Sasuke couldn't help but think that that was only because Sakura gave it to him, and Naruto didn't have it in him to tell Sakura he didn't like it. Although, saying this, Sakura's idea this year was actually pretty good.

"I thought I'd get him some new clothes, like proper ones. He's always in that damn outfit, I thought maybe some casual wear. Maybe blue. Wouldn't that suit his eyes?"

Yes, Sasuke thought, blue would suit his eyes brilliantly, and it was a great present, and Naruto would love it, and Sasuke still didn't have a clue what to get him.

"How can you not know what to get Naruto?" Kiba asked. "Naruto is the best person ever to buy for."

"How? How in hell is he the best person ever?" Sasuke snapped in reply.

"Because he doesn't have anything. The kid only spends money on ramen, or kunai, or that orange crap he wears. Or Sakura."

It was true, years of not having any money meant that Naruto seemed to rarely actually spend his wage.

"You can get him pretty much anything," Kiba said. "I'm getting him a goldfish. He needs a pet to spend his money on, and it's always best to start small."

Inner-Sasuke sighed. A goldfish was perfect: Naruto would love it. Kiba was right, Naruto needed something to dote on, something to take care of. And that was another amazing idea that Sasuke hadn't gotten in time.

He wandered vaguely round the shops, looking at some things, picking stuff up, dismissing it, going back for a second look, dismissing it once again, realising he was never going to find Naruto a good present in time.

"I'm getting him a voucher for Ichiraku," Iruka said. "He spends enough of my money there as it is, I may as well get him a voucher for it."

Sasuke could've killed himself with how obvious that was. He'd already thought about just getting Naruto heaps of ramen, but dismissed it because he decided it was just too stupid. And besides, he didn't want to condone Naruto's unhealthy eating habits. Although Naruto would really like the voucher from Iruka.

With all these ideas running around, Sasuke began to worry that he wouldn't be able to get Naruto the best present. And he had to get Naruto the best present because, well, he was Sasuke, and Sasuke doesn't lose anything.

And besides, he was Naruto's best friend! He was meant to be the best at this! It was his duty as Naruto's closest friend to be the best present-buyer ever, and so far he was failing. He was failing bad.

"I'm getting him a Go board," Shikamaru said, when Sasuke went to ask him. "He just needs to find a way to concentrate. This could help him do that."

Genius. Another idea that was pure genius. Sasuke was getting more worried by the minute.

The problem was that everyone had thought through their ideas. Nobody was just getting him any old thing, they were getting him something that he'd really like, and would really enjoy. Which meant Sasuke had to get him the thing that he'd just enjoy the most.

"What the hell am I gonna do?" he grumbled, as he collapsed into bed, after a day of trekking miserably around Konoha. It was Naruto's birthday tomorrow, and he was going to expect a present, and Sasuke didn't have one.

Groaning, not sure of what he was going to do, Sasuke eventually dozed off.

"Here," Sakura said, as she passed Naruto the glittery, pink bag. Poking his head in, Naruto's smile suddenly spread across his face, as he reached in and pulled out the navy jeans and blue shirt. Even Sasuke had to admit they were damn cool, and would suit Naruto perfectly.

"Oh, Sakura, they're great!" he said, holding the shirt up against his chest. It was the perfect fit too. Damn.

Naruto had already opened his coupons from Iruka, as well as his tickets for a day trip to the hot springs from Kakashi. And the rest of Konoha weren't going to be delivering their presents until the party that night, which just left Sasuke to give his. And Naruto was looking at him expectantly.

"I spent ages looking, and I didn't find anything," Sasuke said. He saw the flicker of disappointment across Naruto's face, and it hurt. It really did.

"Oh, well that's okay, I mean -"

"No, I got you something," Sasuke said. And he had, early that morning - panicking over what to do - he'd searched the Uchiha mansions, and found something in an old trinket box. He'd dithered over it for a while. He didn't know whether or not he wanted to give it away. He eventually decided that he didn't mind, if it was for Naruto. "Just… I didn't buy it. I kind of already had it. So here."

He pulled it out of his pocket and dropped it into Naruto's hand. He hadn't bothered to wrap it. Naruto didn't seem to mind. He dangled it between his fingers like it were the most precious thing in the world.

"It's a necklace?"

"Yeah, I know, a bit girly," Sasuke admitted. He felt stupid now, especially with the others watching them. "Just read the inscription."

Naruto turned it over, and looked at the bag of the circular, silver pendant. On the back it said, 'brothers: as close as hands and feet'. Sasuke watched as Naruto traced his finger over it.

"Itachi got it for me," Sasuke said. He was aware that he was rambling a bit, but it was just so silent. "But I don't exactly want to be Itachi's brother anymore."

Naruto stayed quiet, staring at the pendant swung. Nobody else spoke either, and Sasuke felt stupid.

"Well say something," he snapped, eventually, and Naruto looked up, smiling.

"I've never had a brother before."

Sasuke shrugged. "I haven't really either."

Naruto smiled at that. Iruka and Sakura looked very awkward in the corner. Kakashi was grinning wider than Sasuke and Naruto together.

"Thanks," Naruto said. He slipped the necklace over his head, and tucked it under his shirt, and Sasuke knew that he'd gotten Naruto the best present, because it was the only one that would last until they die.

And he realised that he was grinning because he'd won, but he was also grinning because he'd finally gotten his family back.

For Siobhan, for being damn easy to buy for :D