Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN NARUTO.


Running from Mars

Naruto Uzumaki's dirty sneakers made loud slapping noises as they came into contact with the firm concreted ground. The tall scrawny teen of thirteen years was running through a neighborhood in the richer parts of town. This was what he did with his life: run.

Unlike most people, Naruto never belonged anywhere. He didn't stay in one place long enough for anywhere to be called home, whatever term you may call it. He might have when he was little, but he couldn't remember. Of course he could recall a man named Jiraiya raising him, but even then they were living on the streets. The government found him eventually and put him in a "home" which was even worse than the streets he grew up on. That was when he discovered the miracle of running.

At the time an adult had let some kids roam around outside under strict guidance. Breathing in the warm summer air made the boy snap and as soon as the gate to their "home" opened he was running. He was completely underestimated by the adults, he was underfed and barely saw daylight, how far could this kid get? Though, Naruto's newfound talent awakened the beast inside himself and could not stop until it was fully dark.

Ever since then Uzumaki has been a wanderer of some sort. He used the advantage of being a cute sickly kid by going to people's houses for some sympathy. He usually could get a meal and a bath but never would intrude so much as to sleep in someone else's home but as he got older he realized that this trick wouldn't work for much longer.

Naruto was currently sitting outside of a fast food restaurant chewing on some leftovers that someone forgot on the table. His last run was quite far and he was practically starving. His bright blond hair was dyed a more muddy brown color by the dirt, he couldn't remember the last time he had a proper wash. Suddenly a coin was tossed and ricocheted off the blond's forehead. "Buy some proper food, dobe. Get a wash while you're at it."

Naruto's bright blue eyes glared up at the offending figure. It was a boy around his age with dark black hair and an expensive outfit looking down at him with disgust. As soon as they made eye contact though, the other sniffed and walked away. "Bastard." He mumbled.

Having his tranquil mood completely ruined he gulped down the water from his bottle and made sure his sneakers were tight before running off in the direction of a neighborhood. It was a scorching summer day and the sun beat down on the back of his neck; his sweat streaked hair was bobbing in his eyes. He found his fatigued legs hitting the ground harder and harder, tonight he would try to find a kind family to take him in, maybe give him a bath. As he was about to run down the suburban streets he noticed that behind the houses was large woodlands.

The blond looked around to see if anyone was watching and streaked into the woods. He took big gulps of air in, the woods was the most exciting place to run. The terrain was much nicer and good for the impact on his legs. The shade chilled the sweat that ran down his body, his pace picked up cheerily. His thoughts began to wonder in and out, almost like he was sleeping while running. Naruto never really thought about his future, he didn't realize that he couldn't run forever. He wasn't stupid but he sure wasn't as educated as most boys his age.

Naruto barely noticed that instead of the shelter of the woods he was now in someone's back yard. A shout came from someone nearby catching the runner off guard sending him tumbling forward onto the grass. "Oh, are you okay?"

"I'm fine. I'm sorry, I was running and I completely forgot about where I was!" Naruto's face flushed in embarrassment, looking up at the older man. The man had long brown hair that was swept up in a pony tail, there was a long scar spreading across his cheeks going a long his nose.

"Don't worry about it, as long as you aren't hurt. My name is Iruka Umino, why not come in the house for a bit to cool off?" The stranger asked, he had a look of worry on his face.

"Oh, thank you! Well, my name is Naruto Uzumaki." Naruto explained as he was led into the man's house. He sat carefully on a couch, the house was very neat and nothing was out of place.

"I'll go get you a glass of cold water for you. Feel free to turn the television on, I'll be right back!" Iruka called out as he made his way for the kitchen. Naruto happily took the remote from the coffee table and pressed the power button. He couldn't remember the last time he'd seen a show. He was quickly enthralled by a soap opera.

"Here you go, Naruto." Iruka took a seat on a loveseat diagonally placed from the couch Naruto was sitting on. "I've never seen you around here before, are you new?"

"Uhm, I'm not from here really…" The blond tried to think of something to say, in all of his years he was never really asked personal questions, yet he found himself responding truthfully to them and told him everything.

"Wow, what a story!" This made Naruto's stomach drop, had he thought he made it up? "Well, why don't you stay with me until we can figure out what to do?"

Naruto was at a loss for words, never had someone been kind enough to let him stay the night. This man, practically a stranger, was offering a place to stay or a temporary home. It was an offer to completely alter his entire lifestyle which he lived in most of his life. Anyone else probably would have jumped right up and said yes to this offer but he was hesitant. Would he like having somewhere to belong to? His life was lonely, but there was a sort of comfort in his freedom.

"It's okay. You don't have to decide now. Just stay as long as you wish to until you decide." Iruka stated, apparently sensing the teen's indecision.

Tears, of gratitude, welled up in Naruto's eyes, "Thank you!" Unsure of what to do with this emotion he ran to the older man and threw his arms around him. He's never really given a hug to anyone before, he knew what it was but never was close enough with another person to do this. It was nice and warm, he felt protected.

"No, no! It's fine with me if you stay, I could use a little company around the house." Iruka smiled warmly and patted the boy on the back. "Now, let's make you at home! First, you'll need a bath, I'll go run the water real quick and set out a towel." Iruka quickly scurried off leaving the teen in the living room.

Naruto wandered around a little anxiously. There were all sorts of things in this house that he had no idea what was used for. He felt increasingly ignorant by his lack of knowledge. There was a strange machine on top of a table in a corner. It seemed extremely complicated with the different cords that ran from the back into another machine which had a smooth shiny surface that was now spitting out images across the screen every few seconds. He sat down on the chair in front of the table but as soon as his body made contact with it the chair slid back a few feet. "Whoa."

He used his feet to propel himself around the whole room, an amused expression on his face. He must have spun around the room ten more times after that when he heard laughter from behind him. "What are you doing?" Iruka asked, he came into the room to this odd sight but instead of getting angry like Naruto anticipated, he found it funny.

"Uh…How does it do that, Iruka?! I tried to sit on it and it moved!"

"It's just a chair that moves on wheels, look at the bottom of it," Iruka pointed at the wheels that caused the seat to slide around. Naruto's mouth turned into a surprised 'o' shape. "I'll show you where the bathroom is, there's everything you need in there."

Naruto was left in the bathroom, steam was surrounding the bath. He eagerly stripped off all his clothes and hopped into the tub. This was his first bath in a LONG time. The teen grew embarrassed at the dirt floating around in the tub. Without hesitation he dunked his head into the tub running his hands through his hair. Half an hour later after discovering the shampoo and soap and what they were for, there was a knock on the door. "Naruto, it's Iruka. I'm leaving some clothes outside the door for you when you're done."

Iruka hurriedly heated up some warm chicken noodle soup for the both of them. "Iruka, I'm not sure what to do with the water in there..." Naruto was there in the doorway wearing a pair of cargo shorts and a blue t-shirt, definitely an improvement from what he usually wore.

"It's okay, Naruto. I'll take care of that later. Do you like chicken noodle soup?"

Naruto's stomach growled, and he nodded eagerly. "I love that stuff!"

Iruka smiled and scooped some of the food into two bowls. "Here you go! Come sit down."

Naruto obeyed and sat down at the long table, Iruka took a seat across from him. "I hope you don't mind your clothes, I borrowed them from a neighbor's son. I'm surprised he found such normal clothes. I think we'll go out tomorrow to buy some new clothes."

The blond wasn't really sure of what to say so he simply smiled politely and nodded while slurping down his soup.

"Uhm, Naruto…I hope you don't mind but my…uh friend Kakashi invited me over to his house tomorrow. I already called him while you were taking a bath and he said it would be fine if you come along."

"Oh, I don't mind!" In fact Naruto was really eager to meet new people.

"Great, then we'll go over after we're done shopping! Sasuke will be there too so you'll have someone to hang out with!"

After they ate dinner Iruka made up Naruto a bed in a spare room for him to sleep in. Naruto was exhausted after his exciting day and immediately crashed onto the bed and immediately fell asleep. The next day Iruka woke him back up and made him eat a delicious breakfast of bacon, eggs, and hash browns.

The two of them spent most of the rest of their morning in the local mall buying different outfits. Naruto tried to get mostly bright orange or yellow shirts but Iruka scolded him forcing him to try on a variety of different clothes. After they bought their clothes they made their way to Kakashi's house.

The house wasn't that far from their own, it was a little bigger but not by much. "We're here, Naruto." The two got out of the car and made their way up to the house. Naruto was bouncing on his heals nervously. The door opened quickly and a silver haired man was standing in the doorway.

"Hello, Iruka! Oh, this must be Naruto! My name is Kakashi Hatake, nice to meet you." The man was nice but his voice sounded as if he was bored.

"I'm Naruto Uzumaki," The blond stated awkwardly, he took a step inside his house and his eyes wandered trying to find this person named 'Sasuke'.

"Sasuke's room is upstairs. It's the first door on the right." Kakashi said as if he could read the young boy's thought and guided him to a set of stairs.

Naruto slowly made his way up the stairs and to the door. There was a sign on the door that said: Knock first. Complying with the command he raised a fist and knocked on the door three times. He could hear something faint coming from the room but there was no answer. The blond figured the other wouldn't mind him coming in so he opened the door and stepped through.

The room was painted a deep navy blue with lots of posters scattering the wall. There were several cigarette packs laying on the floor, this Naruto noted with great disgust. The room was no where as neat as Iruka's house and the smell of smoke lingered in the air. There was in a sense a lot to take in from the room causing him not to notice the fragile boy on the bed.

At first he thought it was just a lump, something left underneath the comforter forgotten, but then he could see it rise and fall rhythmically. The boy looked so small on the bed, his knees curled into his chest. There was some sort of device attached to a cord protruding from his ear; he had the feeling that that was the source of the faint noise. The boy had dark black hair with a tint of blue in his long bangs. His clothes were all black, his pants tighter than most teens Naruto saw. His shirt rode up showing the contrast of his pale skin.

Naruto quickly snapped out of his daze that somehow he got into when he entered the room. He cleared his throat loudly, hoping this would make his presence known. It worked and the dark boy jumped and quickly sat up. "Who are you?" The words were spat out fast.

"I-I'm Naruto Uzumaki…" Naruto's voice trembled and stumbled over the simple phrase. He could feel the other's dark eyes staring holes into him. He quickly looked away, shifting his weight back and forth between his legs.

"Hn. You're that disgusting boy from before aren't you?" Sasuke's voice was filled with annoyance. Naruto was startled and was tempted to just run out the door right now, but he swallowed the idea and turned the feeling into anger.

"Shut up! I'm not a 'disgusting boy'! I'm staying with Iruka. You're the one that's disgusting with all those nasty cigarette packs lying around your room!" Naruto stomped his foot, only realizing until after he did so that it was childish.

"Hn." Sasuke was now sitting on the very edge of the bed with his feet hitting the floor staring up at the blond with a very bored expression.

"Aren't you even going to introduce yourself?"

"Sasuke Uchiha."


"That's my name, stupid." This was followed by a shriek and another childish stomp.

"I know that! You're so annoying!" Naruto screeched causing the other to wince. Sasuke just smirked as if he took some sort of pleasure in angering him…which Naruto had no doubt that he did. The teen on the bed took out a strange looking device from beside him that was connected the cords that ran into his ears. This intrigued the blond and he found himself next to the other on the bed trying to get a peak as to what it was.

"Do you mind breathing on me like that, idiot?" Sasuke gave the annoying blond a glare that could kill before he went back to fidgeting with the device.

"What is it?" Naruto asked curiously, moving his hand towards the device to poke it once. His hand was immediately slapped away by the other boy.

"It's an mp3 player, stupid. Haven't you ever seen one?" Sasuke stared at the other as if he was nuts. Naruto's cheeks flushed in embarrassment and shook his head. Sasuke just rolled his eyes and took out the plug-like looking things in his ears. "These are earphones…Put them in your ears."

The blond hesitantly took the earphones into his hands unsure about what it was supposed to do. "You're completely clueless aren't you?" Sasuke huffed and grabbed the earphones again and forced Naruto to face him and placed the earpieces in.

Naruto jumped as something loud blasted into his ears. There were all sorts of instruments playing in his ears before an angry sounding man started screaming. The blond's eyes widened and he turned his head to stare at the other in shock. "It's music!" Soon the amazement wore off and a new song came on, this time it was in some sort of language that he didn't know. "What are they saying?"

Sasuke smirked and leaned back on, still looking through his mp3 player, "It's Japanese."

"It's catchy!" The blond exclaimed, he was nearly bouncing on the bed in excitement. "I want one of these!" He could have sworn that soon he would explode from the beat of the music and soon the mp3 player was ripped out of the smaller boy's hands into the blond's who was now moving around the room in a whirl.

"What the hell do you think you're doing, stupid?" Sasuke asked as he watched the other, he supposed, dance around his room. This was something completely foreign to the fragile boy. The blond was twirling around his room with the earphones twisting in tangles, though he didn't seem to care. Sasuke almost felt embarrassed for the naïve boy; though he almost laughed as the blond started flinging himself around but he caught himself just in time.

"I'm dancing!" Naruto exclaimed carelessly as the music continued to stream into his ears and mind. He wasn't exactly sure how to dance but he figured that it was something like this, moving your body carelessly. Sasuke didn't stop him, though he knew that he should to keep the idiot from breaking his expensive music player that was basically his life. There was something enthralling about the boy's energy. "Come on, Sasuke!" And at that moment, Sasuke really would have if at that moment Naruto didn't lose his balance.

In fact, Naruto didn't just lose his balance any old place it was directly in front of Sasuke. Of course the blond couldn't help where he landed, but that didn't stop the Uchiha from blaming him for the "kiss" that his clumsiness had ensued. Before either of them knew it, the moody teen had a weight pressing above him with lips on his face. Sasuke wouldn't really have called it a kiss.

Naruto's lips collided with the corner of Sasuke's causing a red blush to appear on the blond's face. Suddenly the door opened and the blond slipped off the smaller teen and fell onto the floor, music still pumping into his ears. "Naruto are you ready to go back home?" Without hesitation Naruto nodded and left without a word to Sasuke, leaving him stunned and confused.

A month later from that day and Naruto hadn't seen Sasuke since that embarrassing incident. He was awakened by Iruka getting ready for work. The past month with Iruka went by fast, the blond learned a lot since he's been with him. He found out that the device that he found when he first came was called a 'computer'. Though, his new guardian still was lost as to how to get the blond an education without him getting taken away by the government.

Iruka came into his bedroom, he was currently dressed up in a black suit. "I have a conference today; do you want to stay with Kakashi today? It's a weekend so he should be home."

"I'll be fine here," He insured the older man as he jumped out of bed and ran to the closet to find clothing. He pulled out a pair of black athletic shorts and an orange t-shirt.

"Okay, well I'm leaving now. Be careful around the house and don't open the door to anyone!" Iruka always made sure to instruct how to be safe to Naruto, who had to admit that he got annoying after the first couple times. After the brunette left, Naruto got dressed not bothering with freshening up his hair. He decided today he was going to run, something that he hasn't done since he didn't have anywhere to call home.

Naruto got on the sneakers that Iruka bought him and walked out the door. It was now the beginning of fall but the weather didn't really cool down that much. Feeling slightly guilty that he was breaking one of Iruka's rules, he began to run.

He wasn't exactly sure where he was going until he saw Kakashi's house coming into view. There was someone, unrecognizable from the distance, sprawled on the front yard carelessly. The blond's pace picked up until he could tell that the strange figure was none other than Sasuke Uchiha.

Despite the heat, Sasuke wore his usual black pants but the shirt was dark blue with some sort of logo on it. He was too busy reading a large book that he held eagerly in his hands, his eyes devouring the words on the page. To Naruto's surprise the other had a pair of glasses perched on the bridge of his nose, he would have said that the Uchiha looked rather intelligent if he hadn't noticed the cigarette hanging from his mouth.

Naruto approached the other and tried to get a peak at what he was reading. When Sasuke felt the tall boy peering over him he looked up with an angry look on his face, taking the cigarette out of his mouth and puffing smoke in his face. "What are you doing here?"

"I was running," Naruto replied lamely, he wiped the built up sweat that was threatening to fall in his eyes.

"Obviously..." Sasuke sneered. He then went back to reading his book completely ignoring the presence of the other. Naruto sighed resignedly and sat on the grass next to the other.

"What are you reading?" Naruto knew that the smaller teen wouldn't appreciate him asking questions, but he found himself ignoring it due to his curiousity.

Sasuke just sighed and shoved the cover of the book in Naruto's face deciding to avoid speaking. This only caused Naruto to give him a blank stare. "Oh come on, you can't be that stupid. You can read, can't you?" Sasuke asked harshly. When Naruto didn't say anything and looked away he sighed. "It's Great Expectations by Charles Dickens."

"Oh. That's cool, I guess. Though, I could never read it because I never learned how to read real well…" The blond didn't elaborate, thinking that the other didn't want to hear his whole life story.

"How have you never learned to read?" Sasuke asked, his curiosity was sparked by this.

"Uh, it's a long story…" Naruto tried to avoid telling it, since he was afraid it would make him more 'disgusting' in Sasuke's eyes.

"Look at the book I'm reading now, stupid. I think I can handle your 'long story'."

"Oh, uh okay…" Naruto then began telling the other about his whole life up to where Iruka took him in. "So, I can talk…Obviously, but I can't read or write very well. Are books that interesting?"

Sasuke stared at the blond for a moment before shrugging his shoulders. "Yes."

"Hey, how 'bout you teach me?! You must be really good since you read books like this!" The prospect of this idea excited him to no end, the blond found himself up on his feet and bouncing around.

"Idiot, it's not that easy to teach someone to read. It'll take a long time to get it, especially if it's someone like you," Sasuke may have said it rudely and harshly, but he didn't think it was such a bad idea. He would be dealing with something he loved to do anyways.

"Oh...So you won't teach me then?" Naruto pouted.

Sasuke huffed, knowing he was getting sucked into this. "No. I won't."

"Oh…" The blond looked down, his pout not leaving his face. "Well, how 'bout you read to me then if you can't teach me how to read?"

"Tch. Fine, if it will make you shut up."

That is how Sasuke Uchiha found himself, for the next couple months into winter, reading to the blond and teaching him how to read and write most of the days of the week. The two had become close, even though they wouldn't have noticed. The Uchiha continued to call the other stupid and other insults but that didn't obstruct the close bond they grew.

Naruto was waiting for Sasuke to get back from school so he could finish reading their latest novel, in other words Sasuke reading it aloud. The small boy finally came into the room, his cheeks red from being out in the cold. He dropped his school uniform blazer and tie on the floor before dropping onto the bed next to the blond.

Sasuke took a pack of cigarettes from the drawer next to his bed and lit one before inhaling. "Why are you here?" He didn't really need to ask that question, of course the blond came to read. He was used to the blond running all day and coming back to Kakashi's house to shower and read with him.

"I want to read! Except, I want to read to you instead of you just reading!"

"Fine," Sasuke resigned and brought down a shorter novel and tossed it to the blond. "Here, I already read it but I'll listen. You can keep it." This made Naruto extremely excited and he jumped up and embraced the smaller teen in a hug.

"Thank you!" Naruto shrieked. Sasuke tore away from the embrace glaring up at the blond. "Oh, dude Iruka told me that you can sleep over at my house tonight if you want."

Sasuke became stiff and took an extra long drag from his cigarette. "I can't."

"Kakashi said it was alright this morning! You can!" Naruto pouted and sat back down on the bed with the book in his hand. He lay back stair up at the ceiling.

"No, I can't, idiot. I don't live here, Kakashi isn't my "dad" or "guardian" or whatever the hell you call it." Sasuke huffed out a ring of smoke before sitting in the hard wood chair that was in front of his computer desk.

"What do you mean you don't live here? You're ALWAYS here. Sakura-chan even comes here for you…If this isn't your home then where is it?!"

"Yeah, well…I don't "live" here. I live with a man named Orochimaru." Sasuke said, facing the wall in front of the desk.

"No way…" This was news to Sasuke, he knew him and Kakashi had different last names but he always assumed they lived with each other. "What about this room?"

Sasuke glared at the blond, he didn't know why but those inquiring blue eyes made him spill out his whole life from his lips when he never even told Kakashi, the closest to a father figure he had. "This was just a spare room when Kakashi found me. I met him and he knew Orochimaru so he made this room for me."

"Wait, why? Why would you need to stay with Kakashi so much if you had a home?"

"I wouldn't call it my home…I come here to avoid Orochimaru, though he thinks I'm partaking in Student Council after school everyday and in the evenings with Sakura, my fake girlfriend." Sasuke explained, there were often pauses where he inhaled from his cigarette.

"Sakura-chan's not your real girlfriend!?"

"She's not. I grew up with her in school and when I was adopted by Orochimaru and discovered how revolting it was to live with him she agreed to help me get out of the house. She became my "girlfriend" in Orochimaru's eyes. Though at school I'm known as 'The Fag', so obviously they don't think she's my girlfriend."

"A fag?"

"I'm gay, Naruto. Homosexual, I like boys not girls, though adults tell me all the time that I can't possibly know this already."

Naruto's mouth gaped open, unsure of what to say to this. Honestly, he never really had time to think about being attracted to people even though he knew that since the first time he met Sasuke there was something there that did attract him. He decided to go on.

"What did Orochimaru do that makes you want to leave all the time?"

"What the hell is this, an interview? I'm done answering your questions." Sasuke turned around to send the blond a glare, before lighting another cigarette. Naruto took the hint that this was something that the Uchiha didn't really want to talk about so he just went back to staring at the ceiling.

"Are you going to read or not?"

The blond opened his mouth but just glared at the other before beginning to read from the book. Soon Sasuke grew annoyed at the hesitations and stumbling over words that he moved behind the blond to peer over his shoulder to correct him. Occasionally Naruto would hesitate, feeling the breath of the other on his shoulder and his face would turn red. He hoped and prayed that the smaller boy didn't notice anything, like his beating heart or his flushed face. After a while of stuttering and stumbling Sasuke took the book from the blond's hands and began reading it himself aloud.

Naruto stayed at Kakashi's house through dinner up till the sky fell with darkness. "Hey, Naruto I'm going to drop Sasuke off so I'll drop you off afterwards if that's alright." Actually, he was more than okay with it, he was excited to see the house that made the usually stoic teen avoid and tense.

The house they dropped Sasuke off at wasn't out of the ordinary. It was big, but it wasn't odd for a rich neighborhood. Naruto couldn't see who opened the door; the person was hidden by shadow. Sasuke gave one last look longingly at the car before disappearing in the house's darkness.

"Kakashi, what happened to Sasuke's parents?" Naruto asked curiously, thinking he deserved to know since Sasuke was his friend.

"When Sasuke was eight years old, his older brother Itachi Uchiha killed his entire family. Sasuke saw it with his own eyes. That's why he is how he is. He was put in the care of Orochimaru. I have no doubt that Itachi and Orochimaru are acquainted, I'm not sure how, but I do know that it's no coincident that Sasuke was adopted by him. Though, until I can prove anything by affording a better lawyer than he has, the only thing I can do is help him." Kakashi's face was grave, telling Naruto that he shouldn't question anymore.

A couple days later Naruto decided to run to meet Sasuke at his school. It seemed like a good idea at the time but he didn't realize what this would do to Sasuke's reputation. He ran all the way to the huge school and waited for the bell to ring. He could see Sasuke walking down the courtyard, obviously he wasn't seen yet. Other kids stayed away from him send glares, some kids brushed past him harshly though Sasuke didn't utter a word.

Naruto waved to his friend, his face splitting into a grin. "SASUKE! OVER HERE!" He screamed. Sasuke quickly made his way over, his cheeks were red but Naruto guessed it was because of the cold. "Hey, I decided to come over today instead of waiting."

"You shouldn't have," Sasuke said and he would have said more if a boy a little older than him hadn't shoved him on the ground and spat out rude words that had something to do with 'fag, boyfriend' but he learned not to listen to them.

Naruto gasped and tried to help him up but the raven refused. "Let's just go." He said and walked off leaving the blond behind to catch up.

"Sasuke, why would they do that?" Naruto asked but the Uchiha would just refuse to talk, his eyes downcast towards the ground. "Sasuke, tell me! Why do they do stuff like that?!"

Sasuke growled and grabbed Naruto's upper arm and spun him around until they were face to face. His arm went around the taller teen's neck bringing him down to his height before resting his forehead against the blond's. "Because I want this."

Just those words made the blond want to faint and his heart pump, it wasn't a love confession and no romantic kiss came after it like in those movies that Iruka bought him. It was just those words and puffs of breath that smelled faintly of cigarettes and mint against his face, warm against the cold air. Sasuke made no move to back away, his eyes not relenting from staring into the deep blues of Naruto's. The blond's eyes were darting around, his breathing coming out in short gasps of anticipation but nothing came.

It was the hand that slipped underneath his shirt that broke Naruto out of his trance. He backed away letting out a long breath. His knees shook, not quite comprehending what happened. "Let's go back, do you want to finish our book tonight?"

For once, that was the last thing that Naruto wanted to do. "Uh…No, let's watch a movie at my house..."

"Okay. You can choose the movie," Sasuke replied walking on with his hands in his pocket as if nothing happened.

Naruto popped in a movie in the DVD player and sat on the couch. Sasuke excused himself for the bathroom, forgetting about the cigarette pack and lighter he left on the coffee table. The blond put a bag of popcorn in the microwave to heat up when he came back out into the living room he noticed the cigarettes on the table. Curiously he took one out of the pack and lit it. By the time he inhaled Sasuke came back with a furious expression on his face. "Idiot, don't smoke. You'll get in trouble, these cause cancer. Are you stupid?"

Naruto shrieked, "What?! You smoke them all the time!"

"That's different." Sasuke simply said and took the cigarette out of Naruto's hands and put it in his mouth. "Plus, it will damage your running."

"Really? Oh, hey you should come running with me sometime! It'd be fun!"

"No way."

"Why not?! How about this: the day one of us have to leave town, you'll run with me."

"That doesn't even make sense."

"So you'll do it?"


Things turned back to normal after that, though Naruto never met Sasuke at school again. He became more aware about subtle brushings of the hand made by the Uchiha, but he didn't mind it other than the irregular heart beats that came afterwards.

It was spring and the two boys were virtually inseparable from each other, but one day everything changed and that promise they made found itself happening faster than they thought. Naruto was watching a cartoon on T.V. when the front door bell rang. Iruka was the one who opened the door, the blond figured it was one of his coworkers so he just turned up the volume on the T.V. "Naruto, come here!" Iruka screamed.

Standing at the door was a tall man with long white hair that was pulled back. "Jiraiya?! What are you doing here?!" Naruto shrieked.

"I came to take you back, I found a woman inside the government who can help us." Jiraiya said as he leaned against the doorway. "Can I come in?"

Iruka nodded, completely confused as to what was going on. The three sat down in the living room. "Naruto, who is this?"

"This is Jiraiya, I told you about him. He raised me when I was on the streets."

"So, Jiraiya how did you find Naruto here? And who is this woman?"

Jiraiya cleared his throat before telling his story, "Well, a couple years after Naruto was taken away I became an author." This caused a gasp to erupt from the blond. "Yes, I created a series of…books. They actually became quite popular and soon enough I had a house and could afford the things that years before I couldn't. So then I decided to find a way to allow Naruto back into 'society' without the interference of the government. I met with a woman by the name of Tsunade who'll be able to help us."

This caused an eruption of excitement between all three of them. "You mean soon I'll be able to go to school with everyone else?! I can live with Iruka?" This made Jiraiya somewhat disappointed but nevertheless he nodded.

"Though, you'll have to come with me for a while. I don't know how long it will be, maybe a year. Then once we have it straightened out I'll bring you back to Iruka!"

"Jiraiya, I know you've already done so much but could you do me a favor when we get done with this? There's this boy who lives with a man who assisted in murder, but his lawyers are in on it too, since you're rich now can you pay for a great lawyer for them?"

Jiraiya thought about it for a moment before nodding. "Of course, by the time my next book is released they'll be in court. I promise." Naruto squealed and hugged the older man. Now it was just a matter of telling Sasuke.

Naruto put off telling him for a week before he knew he couldn't avoid it any longer, Jiraiya was leaving on Sunday. So he went to Kakashi's house on Friday, but this time he didn't run. When Sasuke entered the room and saw his friend's grave face he just waited for the blond to explain himself.

"Sasuke, I'm leaving." Naruto said simply, waiting for the other's reaction. He expected a glare or maybe even an 'hn' but the raven just remained silent and got up and left the room. Completely confused he decided to just wait for Sasuke to come back. While he was waiting he snatched the other teen's mp3 player off the desk and put the earphones in his ears. He soon fell asleep with Sasuke's music playing in his ears.

Naruto woke up, something was running through his hair. He groggily looked up and saw Sasuke sitting with his back to him while his fingers were combing. "S-sasuke?" The blond asked as he started to yawn. There was no response, the hand retreated back to the Uchiha's lap. "I'm sorry, but I have to. I'll be back though. Jiraiya is taking me to see a government worker who might help. We're leaving on Sunday." Sasuke visibly flinched at the news.

"When are we running?" Sasuke asked, his voice was emotionless and vague.

"Let's go Sunday morning before Jiraiya picks me up. We'll wake up before Iruka, you can sneak out." Naruto sat up and gently pressed a hand into Sasuke's back. Something had been building up more and more as the leaving day approached and suddenly he knew what it was.

Sasuke let out a gasp as he felt arms wrapping around his waist and was pulled back into the other's chest. "I like you, Sasuke. A lot and I'll miss you so much!" He was going to say 'love' but he didn't quite know if that was the word to describe the feeling yet. Soon he was choked up and his breathing came out raggedly as tears streamed down his face.

"You're such an idiot, why are you crying? You're not the one getting left behind." Sasuke hissed.

"What? I'm not leaving you. I'm coming back, you…you…poop face!" The lack of offending insult made Sasuke's shoulders shake in a small laugh. "Hey, stop laughing at me! That's the only comeback I could find," Naruto choked out, still crying.

Their last two days together were peaceful, a lot of the time it was just Naruto watching Sasuke read. The night before Sunday they promised to meet up at five-thirty in the morning at the nearby park. They were both dressed in shorts and a t-shirt when they met up, the sun hadn't started to peak out of the clouds yet. "Let's go."

With those two words the two were running. Naruto slowed down for Sasuke. It was a silent run other than their pounding feet on the sidewalk and their panting breaths. The blond led the other into the woods that led up to Iruka's backyard but instead of heading into the yard they turned and ended up in a large farmer's field. "Where are we?" Sasuke panted as they came to a stop. The sun was coming up and the sky turned a pinkish purple color.

Sasuke collapsed on his back and stared up, Naruto was about to tell him to get up or he would have a heart attack but then he looked up and did the same thing. "Sasuke, I'll have to go soon." Naruto subtly found Sasuke's hand with his own and intertwined their fingers.

"I know." Sasuke unconsciously squeezed the blond's hand tightly, the two just laying there in quiet.

Once the sun came back out completely, the two made their way back to Iruka's house. Jiraiya was already waiting when they got back. A car was parked in front of the house and Iruka came out with several suitcases. Surprisingly Kakashi showed up too to say goodbye to the blond.

"Come on, Naruto. I want to get back by eight this evening. We need to hurry!" Jiraiya yelled out of the driver's seat of the car.

Naruto quickly hugged Iruka and Kakashi. "Thank you so much for everything. I'll see you again!" When he got to Sasuke he hesitated before pulling the shorter teen in for a hug.

Sasuke's grip tightened on the blond, his fingers digging into his shirt. When Naruto pulled away and was about to go into the car, a hand grabbed his wrist and pulled him back. "Naruto, this is yours." The raven handed him the mp3 player. "It still has all those songs you used to listen to."

"But Sasuke this is yours."

"Not anymore." Sasuke said and he shoved the device into the blond's hand before carelessly hugging the other again. "I love you, Naruto."

Once more, Naruto felt as if put under a trance and simply muttered something before jumping in the car with his face lit up red. Sasuke stared at the retreating car before he heard a scream come his way from that familiar annoying voice. "I swear to God, that I WILL come back and take you away from that creep Orochimaru!" With that Naruto Uzumaki left Sasuke's neighborhood. Of course, he had no doubt that the crazy teen that changed his life would be back.

Oh…my…Gosh. The ending was HORRIBLE. Well, I've been working on this story since 10 in the morning and it's now 1:40…Just so that I could keep my promise that this would be out on Friday. I worked so hard on this one-shot. The ending is not what I wanted it to be, at all. I got this idea when I was outside thinking about Summer running, and I decided: Hey, why don't I just right a fanfiction about someone who runs? Well, so I did. I hope you enjoyed it! There are probably A LOT of unanswered questions though in the story. Feel free to ask, because I know I did. Like: How is Naruto going to charge that mp3 player? Answer: Jiraiya is rich, he'll buy him a charger.

How come Naruto didn't get shin splints and stress fractures for running so much? I don't know…Kyuubi healed him, hah as if that makes sense.

It was very tempting to turn this into a chapter story, but I have other stories to worry about. Though, if you really want I could try. Haha, when I first tried making this the title was: To Run With an Idiot, I was so annoyed that day I guess.

Well anyways, thank you for reading!

Please leave a review! Criticisms welcome!