Edited by Skelethin.

Special thanks go to Cornuthaum, Nightelf, Typhonis, Vasey, Yasuhei, MageOhki, Aleh and TFF in general for comments and help. You know who you all are.


Chapter 1


Normal day for Team 7.

If something like that existed.


Sakura arrived first. As always. Hoping against hope that Sasuke-kun will be a little earlier so she could have a few glorious moments with him. Just the two of them. No perverted teachers, no loud morons...


Not to be, of course.

Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke arrived from the different points. In a different way (Sasuke's, of course, was cool).

Yet it was, like always, as if they... coordinated or something. At the same time. At the same moment.

"Dobe." Muttered Sasuke, walking in a purposeful, calm gait (Inner Sakura squealed as the wind blew through his hair).

"Bastard." Returned Naruto cordially, walking into the clearing with his natural (moronic) energy.

Cordial greetings between the good teammates of Team 7.

Sakura sighed only to blink.


She frowned, tapping her fingers on the tree for a second.

Something was wrong with that picture. Very wrong. As if..

'...where is Sasuke-kun's sexy 'hnn'? Or even that shrill 'Sakura-chan!' from the idiot?'



Instead of goading Sasuke, Naruto sat by the nearby tree and pulled out...

Sakura blinked.

...a note pad?

Sasuke, on the other hand, instead of his usual brooding and condescending look (one that Sakura knew very well) simply leaned on the side of the same tree Naruto was sitting by. He was looking... bored. Not condesciending, aloof or calm - just bored.

'No. Not bored but...' She blinked owlishly, taking in the lazy posture, half-lidded black eyes gazing forward, yet unseeing '...Sasuke-kun is... is... is he... relaxed?'

Inner Sakura boggled.

Outer Sakura followed.

Naruto pulled out a pencil. Bit it. Stared at the notepad (a fresh one, from what Sakura could see) with intensity that he usually reserved for her or for the possibility of learning jutsu.

Not a word spoken.

Then Naruto started to scrawl. Not furiously. Not quickly, but... It seemed almost... fluid. He looked almost serious when he wrote whatever he was writing. For a long moment, there was only silence, interrupted by the scratching of the pencil on the paper.

Sasuke, his eyes still half lidded, looked down and to the side.

He raised an eyebrow.


Naruto stopped writing.


Sasuke's eyebrow rose slowly.


Naruto sighed.


"No. Not with that. I still say left."

"Because you're fucking stubborn. I'm telling you it goes up."

Sasuke scoffed.

"Left. When the spiral arcs it-" He started., only to be interrupted by the mildly irritated Naruto.

"No. it has-"

"Yes. it goes-" Sasuke moved his hand.

"But in this case-"

"No. In this case it should be-"

"Blue?" Naruto blinked. "Oh HELL no. I'm telling you-"

"Facts are facts." Muttered Sasuke. "Stubborn. Red is only-"

"No it isn't!" Naruto tapped his notepad with a mild scowl. "If you can only see-!"

"I can." Sasuke nodded. "But I'm telling you. Left."

"Listen, just because it went ONCE in-"

Sasuke frowned.

"Not just once." He grumbled. "And you kn-"

Naruto rolled his eyes, pointing at something on the paper.

"Yes. But see. it is like-"

"...Ah." Sasuke blinded. "Now that's different. Think I can-"


"...why not?" Snapped the Uchiha. "Is it because-"

"No. No. N.O." Naruto growled. "What part of NO can't you understand, you effeminate prick?"

"But it worked!" protested Sasuke. "You saw that it-"

"Not like THAT!" snapped the blond. "See, it is all about-"

"Bullshit." Sasuke said bluntly. "Just because you use-"

"Not me. It happens every damn-"

"But what if-"

"Not even then." Naruto sighed. "Why can't you just-"

Sasuke growled, grabbing a stick, using a patch of sand to scribble something furiously on it.

Naruto's eyebrows shot up.

"See?" Sasuke said triumphantly. "If you only diffuse-"

"You get a boom. A big one." Naruto said flatly.

"No. You're not looking at it correctly." Sasuke pointed at something in the center. "See?"

Naruto blinked owlishly.

"This stuff actually... works?" He said dubiously.

Sasuke hnned.

"As in tested?" Naruto looked at the Uchiha dubiously.

"...well, theoretically..." Sasuke mumbled, looking away.

"...oh HELL no." Naruto snapped his notepad shut. "It will be like-"

"No. Not this time. If only-"

"Well, yes, but-" Naruto hesitated.

"See? I told you. You just need to-"

"Well, yeah, but what if-"

"Not happening." Sasuke snapped, clearly irritated. "It just needs-"

"Oh and here we go again." Naruto rolled his eyes. "Another-'

"Once!" Sasuke seethed, clearly pissed. "Just once! You had-"

"Just because I WORK bastard!" Naruto scowled. "I still say-"

"It can be done. It just needs-"

"You don't have-"

"But I can." Sasuke waved his hand vaguely.

"...dude..." Naruto said skeptically. "It is like... like putting jello in ramen! It won't-"

"Sure it will." Sasuke scoffed. "It is s-"

"Yeah. Suuure it is." Naruto smiled sardonically. "Just like-"

Sasuke scowled.

"Don't start with that again-!"

"... you and your fucking toys." Naruto grimaced.

Sasuke pointed at Naruto's face.

"No. Dissing. The. Sword." He said dangerously.

"Feh." Naruto scoffed. putting the notepad into his jacket. "It is not even yours to begin with."

"I will reclaim it." Sasuke said primly.

"Don't you mean 'steal'?" Naruto smirked.

"Hey. Whatever works." Sasuke shrugged philosophically. "Not like they can use it."

"Sure they can. Only-"

"I'm not starting that discussion again." Sasuke huffed.

Naruto grimaced.

"Not a word."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah... you and your fucking baby." Naruto grimaced, before frowning. "Still, this wouldn't be so..."

Sasuke blinked.

"Point." He frowned. "Cash?"

"That too." Naruto nodded thoughtfully.

"Ah." Sasuke tapped his cheek. "Do we-?"

"Yep." Naruto nodded cheerfully. "Let's kick back a little. And-"

"Right." Sasuke nodded, leaning on the tree with a sigh and running his hand through the dark bangs.

Naruto sighed.

"...don't do that, bastard."

Sasuke blinked.

"Do what?"

"That thing with your voice, and sigh and... well, you know." Naruto waved his hand vaguely. "You are effeminate enough as it is."

Sasuke raised an eyebrow, before smirking faintly.

Naruto scowled.

"...not a word."

Sasuke sighed forlornly and the air... shifted. Leaving a raven tressed, teenaged beauty in his place.

She smiled teasingly, slowly pulling her hand through her bangs daintily.

Naruto blinked.

"...you know..." he said looking at the oiroked Sasuke thoughtfully. "I don't know if to be amazed or scared how little is needed to make you into a sexy girl."

Sasuke-chan smirked.

"I know." She nodded sagely. "I'm just too sexy either way."

Sakura stared.

Naruto and Sasuke blinked at the odd noise, turning to the stupefied Sakura.

"What's with her?" Naruto muttered curiously.

Sasuke-chan shrugged, her breasts moving under the now-skimpy shirt.

Sakura fainted.

"Huh." Naruto scratched his head. "Imagine that. Only five minutes. Score!"

Sasuke blinked, looking down at her breasts.

"...you know, this can be a good knock-out jutsu if-" She mumbled, a thoughtful look in her eyes.

"I already made one." Naruto rolled is eyes.

Sasuke scowled.

"...rain on my parade, why won't you."

"I can always-"

"I'll make my own." The raven haired beauty sniffed.

"Aww, is widdle Sasuke-chan jealous?" Naruto waggled his eyebrows.

"Stuff it." Sasuke-chan huffed in a particularly feminine way, before jumping on one of the lower branches gracefully. "So?"

"Well, we will have to-"

"No. Not 'now' now."

"Ah." Naruto nodded. "Why, whatever we do every night, Sasuke-chan." Naruto nodded sagely.

Kakashi blinked owlishly.

Team 7, despite its rather... odd... members, was predictable like a clockwork. Appear late. Get yelled at. Get mission, See Sakura KO Naruto. See Sakura fawn over Sasuke. See Naruto being an idiot and Sasuke brooding.

The Team 7 patented routine.

Only Sakura was out cold, Naruto was sitting and scowling at some sort of a notepad and...

Kakashi blinked.

"Naruto, where is Sasuke?"

Naruto didn't look up form his notepad, instead just pointing upwards at the tree.

Kakashi had noticed the quite cute teenaged bombshell before, but he thought she was just one of Sasuke's fangirls. Now said bombshell was sitting on the tree, stretched like a large cat and playing with, of all things, a yo-yo.

"Yo. Bastard."

"...what?" The girl mumbled distractedly, making a particularly complicated trick with the red toy. She finished it, looking down and noticing Kakashi.

"Oh. You." She frowned, tapping her cheek, before pointing at him. "You're late." The raven-haired girl deadpanned.

It was when the yo-yo stopped moving that Kakashi noticed the familiar fan on it.

"... Sasuke?" He muttered with disbelief.

"Why are you so-" Sasuke blinked, before looking down at her bust. "Oh. Right."

A small wisp of smoke and a second later the tree had a shorter, younger and most decidedly non-female Uchiha on it.

Kakashi blinked owlishly.

'...I have a feeling it is going to be just one of those days...'


"This is a sound idea, we will have-"

"YOU will have. No." Naruto snapped. "Forget about it."

"But-" Sasuke protested.

"I am NOT going on a date with you in my Oiroke, bastard." Naruto growled. "Not even as a fangirl deterrent."

"...some friend you are." Sasuke muttered petulantly.

"Go and ask Sakura or something." Naruto waved his hand. "Or Ino. They'd be happy to help."

Sasuke threw Naruto a withering look.

Naruto blinked.

"Oh. Right." He muttered sheepishly. "Sorry."

Sasuke grunted, snagging something from the left.

"...there you are." The Uchiha muttered, holding the cat.

Naruto's grin turned from sheepish to murderous, as the blond reached for his kunai.

Sasuke frowned.

"You can't stab the cat, Naruto."

"Sure I can." Naruto said with a demented chuckle. "Watch me."

"You can't stab the damn cat."

"Don't CARE." The blond took a step closer to the scared animal. "This fucker gave me so much grief over-"

"No. Stabbing. The. Cat." Sasuke scowled, looking at the furball. "Not this time around anyway."

Naruto blinked.

Sasuke pulled an explosive note.

"Sasuke... there are moments that you are awesome." Naruto said seriously. "Small ones, few and far in between, but they happen. This is one of them."

Sasuke smirked, before frowning.

"...what the hell do you mean small and few and far in between?"

Kakashi glared at his subordinates. Or one, to be exact.

"Naruto." He snapped.

The blond tried not to snicker at Kakashi's somewhat burned, fatigued appearance. The mask was, oddly, about the only semi-intact thing on the jounin.

Kakashi's eyes narrowed.

He knew the boy was notorious troublemaker and prankster. He had read the files, he listened to the outraged citizens... But he had never realized just how much of a troublemaker Naruto could be with his pranks. To be honest, the blond calmed down a lot after becoming part of Team 7. Now it seemed this 'calm' was just a calm before the storm.

What possessed him to tie the explosive tag to the tail of the, admittedly annoying, animal, he had no idea. But if he hadn't spotted it in time...

"Is nearly blowing your teacher up so amusing?" He asked dangerously.

Sure, he was fast. Sure, he was a jounin. He even saved the cat. And ended up eating the fringe of the explosion with his clothes and vest.

"Well, is it?" He growled, looming over Naruto.

The clothes were the minor issue, but if not for the fact that his pockets were semi-armored... His Icha Icha nearly got burnt. Nearly blown up! This was something Kakashi would not let slide.

"You had nearly blown up a target of the mission. A daimyo's wife cat, and nearly ended blowing up me." His eye narrowed.

"Hey, it's not like YOU were the target." Naruto shrugged.

"This was the target of your mission, Naruto." Kakashi said dangerously. "D-rank or not, I should fail you right now." He scowled under the mask. The blond was just NOT getting it. Obviously he had been far too lenient on the brat. Well it was time for a lesson.

"Because of the unprofessional conduct, I'm considering the mission a failure. You will be given an official demerit and are, as a whole, suspended." He said coldly.

Naruto frowned thoughtfully.

"Hey, bastard?" He turned to Sasuke. "How long does an official suspension with the demerit last?"

Sasuke scratched his chin.

"...Hmm... two weeks?" He nodded. "Yes. Something about that." He blinked. "Hey. Suspension."

"Yep." Naruto nodded cheerfully. "Free time. Legally, to boot." He grinned. "As I said, there are moments when you're just awesome."

"Well I am a genius you know." Sasuke shrugged.

"Sure, sure. Keep telling yourself that." The jinchuuriki rolled his eyes. "Come on, let's get a drink, genius. First round's on me."

Kakashi blinked owlishly.

This was... not how it was supposed to work.

Naruto should be indignant and screaming, Sasuke angry and Sakura pissed at the blond. Screaming, sulking, lesson learned and...

The jounin blinked again.

...and the two boys were walking away bickering about drinks while Sakura just stood by with a strangest expression on her face that didn't know if to settle on disbelief, surprise or just plain confusion, which was about the expression she had from the time she woke up.


"This is an OUTRAGE!"

"Calm down, moron." Sasuke muttered, hefting the large bag on his shoulder.

"I mean... this is... an OUTRAGE!" Naruto seethed, walking beside Sasuke, his own bag on the shoulder. "I want to get WASTED goddamit!"

"You will. Geez." Sasuke rolled his eyes. "And stop jumping, goddamit! Or you'll break the bottles."

"Shut up. I wanted to get wasted. To play darts, and some pool and get shitfaced and end up in some fine cleavage..." He glared at Sasuke. "And no crack about the last one."

"Hey!" Sasuke scowled. "Are you saying that I'm-"

Naruto growled.

"Not. A. Word." He snapped.

"...you wouldn't know a good pair if they KO'ed you." Sasuke sniffed haughtily.

Naruto glared at his friend.

"There are moments that you seriously freak me out, Sasuke." he said flatly.


"Anyway... this is an outrage!" Naruto kicked a pebble.

"Fuck.. we're going to get wasted either way!" Sasuke rolled his eyes. "And don't whine. We can use the props for dart throwing or whatever."

"But you don't have the pool table!" Naruto whined. "...This is so unfair." He sulked. "Who in their right mind keeps the bar CLOSED at this hour?"

"Naruto... It is ten o' clock. In the morning." Sasuke said flatly.


The Uchiha sighed.

"Just don't break the bottles, dobe."

"As if I'd waste good booze." Naruto muttered.

"Well you-"

"SHUT UP!" Naruto glared. "That was an accident!"

"An accident happening fifty eight times. In a row. Yeah." Sasuke smirked. "Some accident."

"It was in the name of science, bastard." Naruto grumbled. "Not like YOU would understand."

"There is science, and there is wasting good booze." The Uchiha said with a shrug.

"...I still say it's unfair." Naruto sulked.

"...fuck. I'll buy you that goddamn pool table!" Sasuke snapped. "Just shut up, will you?"

"Which still leaves me with no one to play with." Naruto muttered. "'Cause you can't play worth shit, even with that Sharingan of yours. You'd think that that prediction ability would help you, but noooo...!"

"Temari can't play worth shit either." Pointed out Sasuke. "And somehow you didn't have too much trouble with that."

"That's cuz she leans over a lot when she plays." Naruto grinned.

Sasuke stopped.

"...you know, suddenly pool has just become so much more interesting." He muttered thoughtfully.

"I told you. The game of champions, man." Naruto smirked.

Sasuke blinked.

"That's poker." He pointed out.

"Nah. Pool's better." Naruto shook his head. "I win too muchat poker. No challenge that way."

"Point." The Uchiha winced. Naruto's luck at cards wasn't just weird. It was unnatural.

He frowned thoughtfully.

"...wait. If you win every time, what about the strip-"

Naruto hummed, grinning like a loon.

"...son of a bitch!" Sasuke scowled. "You're taking me to the next one!"

"Home sweet home." Sasuke breathed, allowing the load to gently slide off his shoulder.

"Yep." Naruto nodded. "Dibs on the couch."

The raven haired boy gave his friend a sideways glance.

"Never could understand why you like that piece of shit. It is uncomfortable as hell." He muttered, reaching into the bag and rummaging through it.

"Good memories, bastard. Very good memories." Naruto smirked, only to scowl as he saw Sasuke popping a white cigarette into his mouth and lighting it with a one-seal katon.

"Oh fuck no!" Naruto glared. "You're not smoking that shit again! When the fuck did you manage to buy it anyway?"

"On the way." Sasuke shrugged, taking a long drag and letting loose a minty smoke. "Ahhh... Now that's better."

"...I hate that shit." Naruto grimaced. "Menthol cigarettes... kami... can't you smoke like a normal person, you bastard? What kind of a man smokes menthol cigs?"

"I do." Sasuke said flatly before 'shifting'. "That better, dobe-kun?" She said sweetly.

Naruto palmed his face.

"...I regret the day I taught you the Oiroke." He muttered.

"I don't." Sasuke-chan said gleefully, sashaying into the kitchen with the bags of booze and snacks. "Get your room and hurry up. I'll freeze the booze."

"Okay." Naruto took his bag, holding the few meager possessions.

"And Naruto?"

The blond turned, to see Sasuke-chan's face in a cute, quasi-homicidal version of Sasuke's normal pissed off look, the menthol cigarette hanging from her lips.

"You paint my walls orange again and I'll fucking kill you." She growled, before smiling cutely. "So don't, pretty please with a cherry on top? Cleaning up your blood would be so messy." The raven-tressed neo-girl batted her eyelashes.

Naruto shuddered.

He could use his Oiroke form shamelessly and to great effect, but Sasuke took to it all too well for his peace of mind.

"Cut the cutesy act, would you?" The blond said with a grimace. "I'm even more freaked out than usual when you do that."

"Hey, I'm the best at what I do, whatever I do." Sasuke-chan shrugged philosophically. "Genius obliges."

"...Yeah, riiiiiight." Naruto muttered, walking to 'his' room.

He had spent so much time in this place he could navigate it in his sleep, wounded and piss drunk without fail.

He knew that well. He did so more than once.

"...oh DAMN but I needed that." Naruto wiped his lips after chugging the whole bottle of beer at once. He reached for another, sitting on the windowsill lazily.

"Not half bad." Sasuke, back to his original form, muttered appreciatively, chugging his own beer. "I like the ones from Grass better, though."

"Eh. We can look for it later." Naruto shrugged. "We got time."

"Naruto... we got nothing but time." Sasuke smirked.

"Well, we got-" The blond pointed at Sasuke with his bottle, before he was cut off.

"You know what I mean."

The Uchiha swirled his beer lazily, both of the boys sitting in the companionable silence.

"Which one is it, anywyay?"

Naruto blinked.

"...you weren't keeping count?"

Sasuke looked at the blond.

"Me? I though you did!"

"Fuck no!" Naruto snapped. "You are the one with the eidetic memory and shit!"

"When I turn the Sharingan on, you moron!" Sasuke rolled his eyes. "And only to what I can see. It's not exactly that and you know it."

"Ah damn." Naruto sulked. "There goes the anniversary idea..."

"Eh. We're partying anyway." Sasuke shrugged. "So, what have you been working on for that time?"

"Remember that Rashoumon thingy?" Naruto leaned on the windowsill.

"The defensive gate summoning from the snake freak?" Sasuke nodded. "Sure."

"I've been working on a stable half-phase summoning like that, only larger and semi-permanent, without the reserve drain."

Sasuke frowned.

"But as long as the summon stays-"

"Ah, yeah. BUT!" Naruto raised a finger pointedly. "That why it is half-phase. Waste not, want not kind of a deal. And it would be made first, then the ready elements would be put together IN the seal, not sealed whole. It would allow me to summon this thing like Orochimaru does Rashoumon, but without the constant drain. Just a stable array, seal and it lights up. Elements, not the whole thing." Naruto frowned. "Oddly enough, it takes less chakra to summon several medium objects, than one big."

"Huh." Sasuke scratched his chin. "Imagine that. But it is still an inanimate summoning. It requires chakra to stay even more so than a living summon does."

"And HERE is the genius of simplicity, Sasuke." Naruto grinned. "Rashoumon is a defensive/offensive summon-"

"...how the fuck can you use a giant defensive gate offensively?" Sasuke asked with a frown.

"By summoning it on your stupid ass, for one." Naruto said flatly. "Now, before you interrupted me, Rashoumon is made to fight, to resist. Mine won't."

"Then it will fall apart with a bit of chakra thrown at it. Or physical damage." Sasuke shrugged. "Pointless."

"No. Not when you can set it to accept chakra." Naruto grinned.

"You mean it'd drain chakra?" Sasuke asked curiously.

"Drain... no." Naruto frowned thoughtfully. "More like... take it. You know, how you need to either power the summon or give it enough chakra to stay around?" Sasuke nodded. "Then imagine it reacts not only to summoners chakra, but to other sources. Can't set it to simply 'drain' though -not possible."

"...accepting non-summoner chakra... Hard. Very, very hard." Sasuke tapped his fingers on the table.

"Yeah. Why I can't do it." Naruto grimaced. "I'd need a locus. Something with really fucked up chakra-absorption ability up the wazoo, and even then I doubt it'd work."

"Still if it did... Hell. It'd be Rashoumon time's three. Or better."

"Roughly five times stronger. Maybe a little more." Naruto shrugged. "So far it's just a theory. I'm not making it as a defense anyway. It was just a distraction during the construction process anyway."

"If not for defense than what?"

"Oh don't get me wrong. It IS a defense. At its worst, without frills or bells I can, theoretically, put into it, it should be stronger than the Rashoumon by around half. I did use something more solid than simply gates."

Sasuke's eyes widened.

"...don't tell me..." He said slowly.

Naruto nodded, grinning like a loon.

"You're summoning a CASTLE?!" Sasuke said with disbelief. "Naruto, you're INSANE!"

"Not a castle." Naruto corrected. "A manor, at best. Two, three times bigger than the Rashoumon. Maybe. Little less, probably. But yeah. That's the general idea."

"Is summoning something so big even possible?" The dark haired d boy said skeptically. "I mean, chakra aside, this thing would be huge."

"Not as much as you'd think." The jinchuuriki shook his head. "It will be about... well, saw Jiraya's summon?"

"Gamabunta? Yeah."

"The size would be nearly the same. Comparable, anyway."

"Ah." Sasuke frowned. "Can this actually be done?"

"So far I managed to create a wall summoning, and something I call 'bunker summoning'." Naruto took a sip from his beer. "I'll be progressing with size and complexity until I get where I want to. Theoretically? With enough chakra and a solid array, it can be done."

"Summoning this will be a bitch, though." Sasuke grimaced. "I can't get your obsession with summons. Sure, they are nice and all, but..."

"It's because you lack imagination, bastard." Naruto chuckled. "Remind me to re-create the Seisen sometime and then you'll see what I mean."

"Whatever." Sasuke muttered, draining his beer and reaching into his bag for another one, only to blink. "...you've bought chocolate? The true blue Coral country Nugget?" he asked with reverence, withdrawing the large packet.

"Blew all my savings on that. Enjoy."

Sasuke shifted into Sasuke-chan immediately, hugging the chocolate, tears in her eyes.

"Come to mommy!" She cooed, opening the packet and gazing at the large quantities of chocolate within, her grin almost disturbingly hungry.

Within second, abandoning all pretense of dignity, Uchiha Sasuke, currently female, made like a herd of piranha with almost sublime glee.

Chocolate stood no chance against her determined, frenzied assault.

Naruto chuckled, chugging his beer.


"Hot." Agreed Sasuke. "But a little severe."

"Severe?" Naruto looked at Sasuke with indignation. "Dude... she's only cold and severe on the surface! She's hotter than the Suna desert when you get her going!"

"Feh. Pass." Sasuke shrugged. "Kurenai. Now that is a first class beauty."

"Sure. But she's dating Asuma." Naruto shrugged.

"Meh." Sasuke took a sip of his beer. "Now that is a waste. She can do better."

"Like you?" Naruto grinned.

"I wouldn't say no." Said Sasuke sagely.

"Like you didn't try." Naruto chuckled. "I remember those repeats... man, were you sulking...!"

"Ah FUCK you." Sasuke threw a cap at Naruto. "Like you were all Casanova. How many tries did it take for Sakura to even agree on a measly date again?"

Naruto grimaced.

"Please don't remind me." He muttered. "Geez... And it ended with losing virginity to Anko, of all women..." He perked up. "But that was FUCKING awesome!"

"Meh. She's hot but..." Sasuke tapped his temple. "She's got issues."

"Yeah, because we're all that sane." Naruto snorted. "We were poster children for mental fuck up even before this shit, bastard. I dare you to try to say otherwise."

Sasuke shrugged.

"So eloquent." Naruto deadpanned.

"I have no need to prattle endlessly."

"No, you'd rather commit the fucking sin of karaoke instead." The blond muttered with disgust.

"Apropos karaoke..." Sasuke frowned thoughtfully. "When does that bar open?"

"Sometime around 1800'ish."

"Five hours, then." Sasuke frowned thoughtfully. "Up to helping me with the Sharingan?"

"Do it yourself lazy bastard." Naruto reached for another beer. "This is my kickback time. I won't work unless I absolutely have to." He scratched his chin. "Speaking of work, I need to go to that nearby casino and call the roulette or something."

"Well, we can make an evening out of it." He grinned. "The set up?"

"Hell, why not." Naruto shrugged. "Just don't overdo it."

"Wuss." Sasuke smirked, before scowling as he shifted female.

"...I know that scowl..." Naruto backed a step.

"I have absolutely nothing to wear, Naruto!" Sasuke-chan exclaimed.

"Oh fuck NO I ain't taking you shopping you bastard!" The blond said angrily. "You powershop worse than any woman I know! And I hate shopping for clothes for me. No way!"

"...speaking of that, you need some clothes that are not like... that." She sniffed with disgust. "Come on."

"Hell NO you freak! Get away from me!"

"..oooh! This one is just.. so cool!" Sasuke-chan's eyes sparked at the tight black number. "Don't you think it fits me perfectly?"

"...oh please kill me now..." Naruto groaned.

Sasuke-chan frowned.

"Wuss." She sniffed.

"Don't worry, dear. Boyfriends are like that." The older woman, the saleslady, patted her on the shoulder.

Naruto stared at her with utter horror.

"Oh hell no!" He muttered, shuddering. "No, no no..."

"...One more word and I'll stab you." Sasuke-kun said sweetly, twirling a kunai.

"Stab away." Naruto said flatly.

"Feh." Sasuke-chan sniffed. "You're just jealous."

"...yeah. Jealous. Sure." Naruto rolled his eyes. "Why am I friends with you again?"

"For the same reason I'm with you. We didn't have any fucking choice." She said with a smirk.

"...shiiiiiiny..." Naruto muttered, staring at the assortment of kunai, daggers, darts, kamas, swords and other tools of the fine art of murder.

"Yeah." Sasuke nodded, again male. "This is a close to heaven as it gets." He said reverently.

"Hey. Look." Naruto picked up a long kunai, only more slender, with a longer blade. "Suna dai kunai... Niiiiice stuff. Balance... Hmm..." Naruto frowned, as he noticed a kusarigama. or rather what looked to be a kusarigama. When he walked up, he noticed that it was a long chain that was, at once time, maybe thought as kusarigama, but now didn't look like much of anything.

It looked as if somebody had tried to make a kusarigama, then decided to switch to a chain whip, and then to something that didn't look like anything Naruto had ever seen. And he had seen a lot.

"Now this... is kinda cool." The blond muttered curiously. "What is that supposed to be, I wonder?"

"Not for sale."

Naruto and Sasuke blinked, to see a brown haired girl in a simple silk shirt walking to the register as she wiped her hands off some black substance.

"Yo, Tenten!" Naruto waved. "A groovy chain you got here."

Sasuke nodded to her.

Tenten blinked.

"...do I know you?"

"Yep. Though you propably don't want to. Or wouldn't. Or didn't." Naruto frowned, looking at Sasuke. "What's the correct grammar form for that?"

"Do I look like a linguist?" Uchiha shrugged. "No freaking idea."

"Damn but you're useless." The blond muttered, shaking his head before he turned back to Tenten. "Anyway, I've been wondering about that chain there. I've been here a lot of times and didn't see it before. What's the deal with that thing? It looks damn interesting, whatever it is."

Tenten looked at the duo. The Uchiha she recognized - he came around for kunai sometimes. But the blond she had no idea about, and she had good memory for faces.

"That is not for sale." She insisted. "I don't know how that got here, but if you want a kusarigama..."

"I want to know what it is." Naruto pointed at a chain. "Come on, Tenten?" He whined, his blue eyes large and moist. "Please please please pleaseeee?"

Tenten blinked, taking a step back.

The blond suddenly looked so adorable that she had the strongest urge to rub his neck and see if he purred...

'...where had that come from?'

"But it's not for-"

"Please?" He grabbed her hand into both his. "Please, Tenten... Can't you tell me?" He asked warmly. "I'm not asking for that much... now am I?"

"Ah... well..." Tenten said, confused, feeling a brief string of warmth on her cheeks. Sure, it was corny, it was stupid but... he looked so damn sincere... "It is just... A try at a chakra weapon." She sighed sadly. "A failed one..."

"Failed?" Naruto asked curiously. "Oh I wouldn't say so... More like incomplete."

Tenten raised an eyebrow.

"And how would you know?" She said skeptically.

"I know such things." He said with a chuckle.

"He knows because he's a mad scientist wannabe who blew up more attempts at chakra weapons than a whole research division." Sasuke said lazily from his kunai-watching on the side.

"Quiet, philistine!" Naruto snapped. "Those were legitimate scientific experiments!"

"Yeah. Right." Sasuke waved his hand dismissively. "You just like to blow shit up."

"As if a pyro like you have any right to say that."

"Feh. I'm an Uchiha. Fire is in my blood." Sasuke scoffed.

"Want me to test that?" Naruto raised an eyebrow.

Sasuke froze for a second, before backing away a step.

"I am not getting involved in your fire experiments. Last time cost me my hair, my shirt and my home!"

"Wuss." Naruto smirked.

"If anybody will torch the Uchiha sector, it will be me, get it?" Sasuke glared at Naruto.

"Ah, sorry, sorry. Just a little scientific discussion." Naruto smiled charmingly at Tenten. "So... mind selling me that?"

Tenten blinked owlishly.

"...excuse me?"

"I want to buy it. I'm interested in it."

"But it's good for nothing. It is too heavy for normal a weapon and it doesn't even channel chakra like it should." Tenten said skeptically. "I have several good kusari-"

"I want this one."

"But what for?" She asked with astonishment. "It is useless."

"There is nothing that is really useless." Naruto grinned. "Only things that you didn't find use for yet. So, how about it?"

"It is going to be expensive." Tenten muttered reluctantly. "The materials alone cost a pretty penny. It is all chakra-conductive steel."

"Don't care." Naruto grinned.

"Sure. You don't need to." Sasuke glared. "And I should shell out cash for that thing... why?"

"You so don't want to go there, bastard." Naruto smiled pleasantly.

Sasuke grimaced, turning back to the kunai.

"Whatever." He muttered.

"So, would you sell it to me?" Naruto turned his bright, warm and sunny smile on Tenten.

"Well, if you want to pay for a useless thing..." Tenten nodded slowly. "Just one thing, though..."


"Mind letting go of my hands?"

"Why did you want to buy it anyway?" Sasuke muttered peering at the chain in Naruto's hands curiously.

"Why do you have your yo-yo?"

"Ah." Sasuke halted his spinning of the red, Uchiha-crest marked toy. "What happened to 'not working' though?"

"It ain't work. It's fun." Naruto grinned, tapping the long chain in the pack.

Sasuke shrugged, before halting for a second.

Naruto sighed.

"The dangerous predator, the most dangerous of beasts is about to utter its terrifying cry before it attacks." The blond intoned solemnly. "This terrifying, merciless beast's name is...


"...the fangirl."

Sasuke's eyebrow twitched and his red yo-yo turned into a crimson blur, cutting the joyful shrill in half as the chakra-enhanced string tied around its target.

Losing her balance, Ino yelped, the ground closing in fast, until a hand caught her an inch from hitting the dusty path with her face.

Sasuke snorted, snapping his beloved yo-yo back.

"Get a life, you fucking underdeveloped little pest." Sasuke scoffed, turning away.

"Hey, hey... bastard." Naruto sighed, letting the shell shocked Ino go. "She ain't that underdeveloped, you know." He raised an eyebrow. "For her age, she ain't all that bad at all."

"Shrill, cutesy, weak, pest of a hanger on." The Uchiha said flatly. "FAIL!"

"That might be just a phase." Naruto shrugged. "Besides, for her age she's quite cute and she's gonna be really hot when she's older."

"Well she isn't now." Pointed out Sasuke as they walked away.

The blond sighed.

"You can't just do that to women, you know." He chided.

"To women, no. To immature little pests? Sure I can." Sasuke said flatly. "Just watch me."

Ino sat on the ground, her eyes wide, mouth hanging open.

"... Sasuke...kun?" She muttered with confusion "...huh?"

"...I look like an idiot." Naruto muttered, tugging at his new jacket.

"Shut up, you." Sasuke-chan circled him, before nodding. "You look fine."

Naruto glared at his black jacket and loose silk pants.

"...Emo colors only..." He grimaced. "Couldn't you get me something in red, bastard?"

"Black is the universal color, you moron." Sasuke-chan rolled her eyes. "Besides, we had black on when we infiltrated that... whatever it was. You didn't complain then."

"But that was necessary for the mission." He tugged at the silk jacket again. "This is kinda..."

"Oh shut the fuck up and do what you have agreed to without whining for once." She muttered, rolling her eyes.

"Agreed to?" He protested. "You tricked me!"

"That's because you're a moron." She summed up. "Now, shut up and pay the nice lady."

"Yeah, yeah..."

"So. Clothes, some shuriken, booze, snacks, scrolls, booze, beef, booze, paint, rope, chain, dice, cards in two decks, herbs, cigarettes, chemicals... and some booze." Sasuke counted out. "Seems like it's all here."

"Well, brushes, vials and stuff also wouldn't be bad, but we can use yours." Naruto nodded. "I'd say we're all set. Time?"

"Around seven."

Naruto perked up.

"Bar's open!" He said joyfully. "Onwards, Sasuke!" He turned to the exit.

Sasuke snagged him by the orange collar.

"And where do you think you're going in that?" He asked, lighting a cigarette.

"...fuck." Naruto slumped. "You won't let me weasel out, will you?"

"Promise is a promise, Mr. 'I don't go back on my word'." Sasuke breathed out a cloud of menthol smoke. "Get the fuck dressed, dead last."

"...fuck you, bastard." Naruto grumbled.

It was a very odd thing to them both on some level.

Because, while they stopped thinking in the terms of their own 'age' a long time ago, the others still did. But they didn't care much about that. Still, the screwed up Oiroke of Naruto's, while not exactly... working right for Sasuke (save his male/female thing) left some lasting effects, if 'only' mental ones.

Like the fact that Naruto sometimes had found it hard from 'growing up' a little when he didn't pay attention. Or rather paid attention too much.

Sasuke was, at times, pissed that Naruto had that option while he had to 'cheat' with genjutsu and assorted technqiues, but if he worried about that, he'd go crazy.

"Ah, The Indigo. Pool until dawn, non-watered drinks, lonely kunoichi hotties, lower prices for ninja and the best roast with onions this side of the Fire Country." Naruto said happily. "The home away form home."

Sasuke nodded, following his friend, halting as a bouncer stopped the blond, only to retract the hand as he saw the hitai ate.

"No fights that can damage the interior. You start it? We chuck you out. You get attacked? You finish it fast, or you call the bouncers. If you can't finish it without damages, you get fined half the cost. And..." He looked at them dubiously. "You look kind of young, but if a lady says she ain't interested, then she ain't. If she is, and you've got nowhere to go, ask Makoto for a room in the hotel next door. Also, the gal-"

"-in fishnet and coat is not to be bothered unless she comes over or invites you." Naruto rolled his eyes, following on the well memorized speech "The boss won't pay for your hospital treatment if she cuts you up. Behave and you're welcome to come by anytime. Don't behave and you're out for good." He looked at the surprised bouncer. "That about it?"

The man nodded.

"Have fun. Just don't mix drinks the first time around." He smirked. "You won't like it when I'll have to get you out for vomiting."

Sasuke snorted while Naruto simply nodded.

The two young shinobi walked inside, Naruto hands in his pockets, Sasuke lighting up another menthol cigarette.

The wall of smoke, smell of alcohol, faint whiff of perfume and other assorted bar smells hit them like a wave. Neither Sasuke nor Naruto paused for even a second, instead throwing a quick glance over the patrons as they walked to the barmaid.

"What'll it be, kiddo?" Makoto was taller than most men, short haired and had a rough voice from the old injury, but she was quite nice and friendly. Well, as long as you didn't demolish her bar. As Maito Gai's ex teammate and fellow taijutsu freak, she was not to be underestimated. Every regular knew that pissing her off was a bad idea.

"Jiu for me, Ginju-shu for him." Naruto sat on the barstool. "Any tables free tonight, boss?"

Makoto raised an eyebrow at the ease that both boys showed in the bar. She got her share of freshly minted genin who wanted to try a drink or two and show off their status as adults. It usually ended up sadly, with genin either drinking him or herself into stupor with a glass or two or starting something with a chuunin or even a jounin and getting their sorry assess beat.

Sure, she had bouncers, and she could stop it herself, but this was a ninja bar. The fights rarely lasted long enough for that.

"Some." She nodded. "The one in the corner, by the lamps, another to the side. And one with the candle on."

Sasuke followed her recommendation, stopping at the round table with the candle in the center.

"We'll take it."

Makoto nodded, pouring the cups.

"Pool tables free?" Naruto took the offered drink.

"Nah. Some chuunin got them covered for the next hour or so."

"Eh. We'll wait." The blond shrugged, raising his cup.

Sasuke did the same and they toasted.

Makoto raised an eyebrow as the duo calmly sipped their alcohol with obvious relish.

"Oh HELL yeah..." Naruto sighed. "Beer is good, but jiu's where it's at." He looked at Makoto. "Can we get a bottle each, boss?"

"You got the cash, I got the goods." She smirked, only to stop as the Uchiha put the purse on the table. She raised an eyebrow slowly. "You hit some S-class nins by mistake or what?"

"Not today." Sasuke said, lighting a cigarette while Naruto chuckled.

Makoto sniffed.

"Menthol?" she asked with surprise. "What kind of a man smokes menthol?"

"I do." Sasuke said flatly.

"I tried to convince him but..." Naruto shrugged. "He's an odd duck."

"Menthol?" A nearby chuunin snorted. "Kid, if you wanna smoke so badly, do it like a man. Not like some little sissy."

Sasuke didn't bother looking at the chuunin as he sipped his sake.

"I mean... geez, spare me this shit" The chuunin sneered. Makoto looked at him warningly, but the man was too inebriated to react. "Broads smoke this"

"I'd be more of a man as a woman that you'd ever be as you are." Sasuke said in a bored tone.

"Why you little-!" The man rose from his seat, only slump back with a sudden crack.

Sasuke twirled his yo-yo lazily, before pocketing it.

The chuunin's friend, another chuunin, this time a female, reached to grab Sasuke, only to freeze as she saw a raiton tag in her cleavage.

"I wouldn't if I were you. The consequences might be quite shocking." Naruto said with a grin.

Hana forced her hands to relax.

"Good doggie. And not even too much of a bitch." Naruto got up, patting her cheek. "If she moves too rapidly..." Naruto grinned. "Well, one extra-crispy chuunin." He grinned at Hana's face. "I like the vest, by the way. Nice of you to leave it unzipped so much. Very nice view."

Makoto smirked.

"I'll have a girl with your bottles along in five. Welcome to Indigo, kid."

"...Would somebody mind taking this tag OFF me?!" Hana growled.

"What tag?" Makoto looked at her, before performing a lazy kai.

The astonished chuunin blinked as the note unraveled, leaving behind a Queen of Hearts card.

"Genjutsu, girl." Makoto shook her head. "Honestly... They give chuunin vests to anyone these days."