kaesaku: This fic was made partly because I was a little tired of all those pervy, pedophillic, Sasuke-loving Orochimaru fics. Let's give the guy some slack. I apologize if my writing style's a bit confusing. Didn't want to write it in a conventional, chronological order, hence, the presence of the chop-chop effect. I promise, no questions will be left unanswered on the succeeding chapters. Just bear with me. Yoroshiku!
Thanks to all the anonymous reviewers from ff. I wish aff has that review reply thingy as well so I can thank all those who reviewed personally. Anyhoo, a big thanks to all of you!
Warnings: yaoi, NaruSasuNaru, weird familial relations. Unbeta-ed. My beta's a bit busy with school. I haven't heard from her for a while after I sent her my next installment for the fic The Boy Next Door. (Hope everything's okay with your studies!)
Standard disclaimers apply.
Chapter 1: The Fiancé
In Naruto's eighteen years of existence, he could proudly (or embarrassingly) say that he only got screwed over three times.
Three, official, major screw-overs that made a great impact to his life.
At four, his older brother, amidst the sunshine-y smiles and caring looks, had managed to brainwash him in believing that he wasn't a real son, but rather a stray boy picked up by their now-estranged father in a fox den while on a hunting expedition. He cried nonstop for two days.
At eight, his mother lost in a bet against that snake-uncle of his which ended with him being dressed in a frilly, girly dress while parading the village. He asked his mother why the hell he got involved in the bet in the first place. His mother punched him in the stomach. He never asked again.
At fifteen, he found out that one of his childhood friends, who incidentally was also his ex-crush, started dating their former junior high homeroom adviser. She was also fifteen back then while their adviser... twenty-four. He wondered why her parents never pressed child molestation charges.
Naruto firmly believed that bad luck came in three's. Which was why he was quite taken aback when the fourth screw-over came in his life. He was shocked, to say the least. Although after knowing who won the major role for his fourth screw-over, his surprise wore off, seeing that it's the same person who run all the other insignificant screw-overs that didn't make it to the countdown. Actually, now that he thought about it, if he added up all those minor screw-overs in the past made by that same person, Naruto was sure that he'd be making a different countdown. It would be the 'Top Ten Ways Naruto Uzumaki Got Screwed Over by the Bastard' or something.
Going back, Naruto faintly thought that since his bad-luck-comes-in-three's belief had been completely shattered because of the sudden turn of events, he would now place his fate in the hands of the East-Asian-horror-movies doctrine which was bad-luck-in-the-number-four. The number four was the symbol of death, or so they said. And in the fourth screw-over that happened to his life, Naruto found his death.
At eighteen, he got forced to marry Sasuke Uchiha.
If that wasn't death, he didn't want to know what else it could be.
- o -
In Sasuke's eighteen years of existence, he could proudly say that he was one lucky boy. But lucky seemed like an unreliable term, so he'd rather use fortunate.
He had been fortunate with his looks, his family, his education, and his wealth. Despite all of that, he only considered three major events in his life that really got him feeling fortunate.
At eight, his older, so-called genius brother snapped and destroyed the pedestal their family placed him on. All the attention was diverted to him instantly and he became the new family favorite. He gloated about it for days. No, weeks. Err, months? Oh, years. He never stopped gloating.
At twelve, his father (not daddy) decided to take him to Europe to "hone his skills and broaden his horizons". The trip was originally for his brother and he couldn't help but notice why two out of three of his major, fortunate moments involved him getting one up from his brother. Must be from all the stress/trauma he got when they were kids. Oh, well.
At fifteen, he found out that his annoying childhood friend slash ex-stalker was going out with their former junior high homeroom adviser. One psychotic, stalking fan-girl down, ten thousand to go.
Sasuke firmly believed that his being fortunate would not end with the third one. He was pushing for ten, actually, but of course, in order to do that, he had to make the fourth one come true first.
And believe it, he had been trying. He had been trying for this fourth fortunate moment to come true ever since the first one happened. Who cared if he was eight then, it was the effort that counted! It had always ended with a loud "No!", though, with a kick or two and with him always winning the fight, but with the other party still stubbornly refusing. It had always been like that on the years that followed. But Sasuke stopped pursuing the fourth fortunate moment when he turned twelve, thinking that it was most likely some childhood thing that he'd get over with. Hence, the entrance of fortunate moment number two. It wasn't until three years later that he admitted to himself that he would never get over it and so, decided to come back home and continue where he left off. Add the happening of the third fortunate moment, which was another way of saying he lost a stalker who had the potential to become a rival, and Sasuke was more determined than ever.
At eighteen, he had finally found a way to get married to Naruto Uzumaki.
It seemed like luck, err, fortune, was on his side.
- o -
"Well, well, well... if it isn't my soon-to-be-husband."
Naruto swore he saw red. Husband! Trust the bastard to turn an innocent word to something evil-sounding.
"You... you... you..!" he went on, still incoherent, as he pointed an accusing finger to the lone occupant of the room who merely raised an eyebrow at him.
"What?" the other boy prodded. "Or have you finally morphed to your true form? The 100 Stupid Naruto Uzumaki?"
Naruto growled and was tempted to lunge towards the raven-haired boy and rip his throat out if it weren't for said boy's parents residing a few doors away.
"Take that back!"
The owner of the room smirked and crossed his arms. "Which one? The husband or the 100 stupid?"
"Aaargh!" the other boy yelled and pulled his blonde hair frustratingly. "Sasuke, you jerk! This is not funny!"
And the black eyebrow was back up. "Who said I was joking?"
Naruto stomped furiously to Sasuke's direction. His hand almost grabbed the other boy's collar. He caught it in time, remembering something about Jiraiya's promise of broken limbs and bread knives. He fisted it on his side instead.
Sasuke, on the other hand, didn't even flinch. He faced Naruto head-on without as much as a blink when the tanned face invaded his personal space.
"You," Naruto started, keeping his voice in check, "...go to your parents' room and take back all the lies you said."
Sasuke snorted and turned away from him. He walked towards his bed and flopped gracefully on it.
"Now, why would I do that?"
Naruto looked like he wanted to tear out more hair. This time, it wouldn't be blonde.
"Because-!" the blonde answered loudly. "I don't know about you, but your sick sense of humor is doing damage not only to me, but to your parents as well!" He pointed at the door. "You should've seen their faces when they thought that we... that we, uh... you know..." Naruto trailed off losing some of his newfound coherence. He shook his head to clear it a bit.
"My point is," he continued a tad bit louder, "...is that you go now and tell them that none of this is true, and that it's just a stupid joke, before they announce to the world that you're having my fictional babies!"
Sasuke gave him a deadpanned look. "Do I have to repeat myself, Naruto? I told you, I wasn't joking."
Naruto hated it whenever Sasuke got stubborn like this. He would look all serious (not that he remembered a time when Sasuke didn't look serious) and have that dismissing air of superiority surrounding him.
"Look, I will even go with you when you tell them," Naruto insisted with a hint of desperation. "I promise I will laugh hard when you drop the bomb. We can even make them believe that it's a joint joke, how about that?"
"That sounds good, telling them together," Sasuke answered. "Except, we'll be leaving the joke part."
"Whyyy?!" Naruto whined. "Bastard, if you don't take it back now, they will really go thru with it! Do you really wanna get married to me?"
Sasuke's only reply was a look. Naruto hated that look. He hated that he couldn't tell whether it was a look that said 'yes' or 'no'. Not that he'd care about Sasuke's answer, anyway. It was a rhetorical question, dammit!
He closed his eyes and lifted his arms, palms facing away from him, and took a deep breath. He read somewhere that this usually helped a person to find his zen moment.
He opened blue eyes and regarded Sasuke seriously. "Sasuke, it's not yet too late. We can go there and tell them-"
"What's done is done, Naruto," the other boy interrupted. "We're going to get married, whether you like it or not."
"Which brings us back to the ultimate question of the night." Naruto answered back, his voice laced with frustrated annoyance, "Why?"
And cue Sasuke with the look.
"I mean, really, bastard, why would you wanna get married to me?" He paced the room anxiously. "i mean, c'mon! You're rich, you're smart, and as much as it pains me to say, intelligent." He stopped pacing and faced Sasuke. "Not to feed your ego, but let's face it, you're one of the best-looking guys in this town. You can get ANYONE you want! Why me?!"
It took a lot of effort on Naruto's part to spout out all those positive things about Sasuke, and yet, the other boy seemed unimpressed. Still had that stupid, impassive look on. Still had that dismissing air of superiority,
Slowly, realization dawned on the blonde as part of his last statement echoed on his mind. You can have anyone you want. Anyone. Including himself.
Before he could stop himself, a dry, humorless laugh came out from his mouth. Slight confusion was evident on the raven-haired boy's face as he furrowed his eyebrows.
"This is about that night, isn't it?" Naruto asked. He shook his head in disbelief. "I can't believe you'd go this far just to prove a point! What's next? Buy a country?"
Sasuke looked like he wanted to say something. But he opted to keep quiet and let Naruto finish his piece.
"You really are a certified asshole!"
If Sasuke was hurt by that particular statement, it didn't show.
That night was one of those rare nights where Naruto actually considered Sasuke as a friend. They hanged out like normal friends. Drinking, joking, laughing, sometimes insulting. They talked about their friends, their school, their plans for the future. And since Naruto was encouraged by Sasuke's amiable demeanor that night, he told him about his dream. About how he's planning to go abroad to follow in his brother's footsteps. They both knew that what Naruto's brother achieved was not an easy feat. He told Sasuke that he has prepared himself for it, that he would be doing his best and a lot more. Sasuke rewarded him with the same look that he gave him earlier. And when the young Uchiha boy opened his mouth, Naruto knew that the magic of friendship that night was lost.
You're never going to make it because you're not good enough was what Sasuke said.
Naruto had never felt so hurt, probably because he thought Sasuke, of all people, would tell him that he could do it. After all, as much as he hated to admit it, Sasuke was and would always be his first best friend. He felt so stupid. And so, he ignored all the other things that came out of Sasuke's mouth that night, like how Naruto should be thankful that the Uchiha family took care of his education or how Naruto shouldn't delude himself into believing that he could achieve something that big or how Naruto shouldn't forget that Sasuke Uchiha would always be far superior than him.
Naruto didn't talk back, didn't fight back, because as much as he wanted to, he knew, at some point, Sasuke was right.
That was before he found himself in this current predicament. He couldn't believe Sasuke's audacity to go to great lengths just to prove a point.
"You like doing this, huh? Dangling my life before my eyes, like it's some kind of toy that you can toss away..." Naruto fisted his hand again. "I am truly grateful for what you're family has done for me. And I will forever be. But this, you're pushing it too far, Uchiha!"
Finally, Sasuke spoke up. "If you think that this is what it's about, then you shouldn't wonder why I call you dead-last, Uzumaki."
"Don't call me that!"
Naruto didn't stop himself this time from fisting Sasuke's collar. He lifted the other boy from the bed.
"If you think that you'd get married to me and have me at your beck-and-call like some personal slave, you're mistake," the blonde said in a low voice.
"Personal slave? That's not such a bad idea," the raven-haired boy haughtily said despite being held by the other boy.
Naruto couldn't help but growl angrily at Sasuke's smug remark. He released his grip on the other boy's shirt and moved towards the door.
"We are NOT getting married. I will make sure of that. Believe it!"
And then a loud bang was heard.
- o -
Do you really wanna get married to me?
Sasuke sighed. Really, the idiot shouldn't wonder why he was called dead-last.
If he answered that question, Sasuke was sure they would be up until the morning.
The raven-haired boy walked towards the window and looked down. He saw a glimpse of blonde moving farther away from the house.
He remembered that night quite vividly. They were together, just the two of them, both of them seemingly happy and content with each other's company. They were talking with each other, smiling with each other, laughing with each other... If it were up to him, Sasuke would've frozen that moment.
Then Naruto had to tell him about that stupid dream of his. Of his plans to go abroad and work in the same company as his older brother. What Naruto's brother did was no joke. Everyone knew that. But Sasuke was sure that Naruto, with his strong sense of determination, would achieve that as well. It scared him that Naruto would soon leave this place, leave him, and be successful halfway across the world. As Naruto went on about how he was going to make his dream come true, Sasuke felt the other boy slowly slipping away.
Naruto, the eight-year-old crybaby who stood beside him and bravely told Sasuke's father that he would be responsible for Sasuke's sprained ankle which he got from climbing their elementary school's jungle gym.
Naruto, the twelve-year-old dead-last of the class who broke his own eraser in half when Sasuke forgot his while they took their junior high entrance examination.
Naruto, the fifteen-year-old dim-witted idiot who called him while he was in Europe to convince him that it was safe to return to Konoha since his number one stalked had already found love in the form of their former teacher.
And so when Naruto turned to him with those big, blue eyes full of hopeful dreams, searching for some kind of acknowledgment from his narrowed, black ones, he made up his mind. He wasn't going to let Naruto go.
He told Naruto the one thing the other boy shouldn't have to hear. Didn't deserve to hear.
You're never going to make it because you're not good enough.
A big, fat lie.
When he saw Naruto's crushed look, he felt his heart crush to pieces as well. He wanted so bad to take it back. Yet he didn't. Because he figured, a sad Naruto beside him was better than a happy Naruto who was nowhere found.
Or so he thought.
- o -
Naruto stomped angrily to the direction of his house. He was furious, so furious in fact that he was sure he needed to punch something before he could go to sleep. He kicked a discarded soda can in the middle of the road and it hit the lamp across him. Unfortunately, it bounced back to his forehead.
He rubbed the injured forehead while he struggled to open the front door. He finally opened it and once inside, kicked the door shut. Hard. The blonde muttered a string of curses involving dark-haired, conniving bastards as he maneuvered through the yet-to-be-lit house. Once he turned on the lights, he noticed an open bottle of sake and one small glass on the table.
Naruto's blue eyes widened, knowing all too well who those things belonged to. He swallowed nervously as he turned slowly, like a kid who was scared to face the monster behind him. And what a monster she was, with her inhuman strength and inhuman... breasts. Naruto cowered in fear as he now found himself face-to-face with the monster.
"How is it possible that the last one to know that you're getting married is your mother?"
"Old hag," he whispered in fear.
The monster behind him was also known as his mother.
- tbc -