AN: This is based on a RP I've been doing with a friend for several months now. She's been drawing all this beautiful fanart for it, and it made me feel useless, so I told her I'd write her little 'what-if' oneshots based upon the the roads not taken in our RP or the little things we joked about in our conversations regarding the situations we put the boys in. /AN


He knew that everyone had their own concept of beauty, that finding one person attractive didn't necessarily mean that someone else would. He suspected it was for that very reason that love was never the same for everyone. It was a unique as the sand beneath him, each grain carrying its own subtle shading of gold, some flecked with black, others near colorless. The individuality of love aside, Naruto had a hard time imagining anyone saying Sasuke wasn't a good-looking guy.

Asshole or not, he had inherited same damn fine genes.

(Which was actually a thought Naruto tried to stay away from. The idea of family sat inherent within it, of wondering just who Sasuke looked more alike - his mother or his father. And even with that, there was the matter of Itachi and the resemblances apparent in every line of their faces, the slight way their lips would hook downward at the corners when they were thinking, the coal-doused glitter when they steeled themselves against the world. So, it was a thought better left undisturbed, the proverbial dog quietly asleep. Naruto just focused on the fact that Sasuke was a damn fine specimen of man, and the fact that he kind of. . .sort of. . .really hated him for being so.)

Though, it's not like he was bad looking himself. Not as flawless, maybe, as Sasuke was but he hadn't been without his own little flock of admirers over the past few years. As if to confirm that fact for himself, he brushed his fingertips over his whiskered cheeks, traced around the corner of his eyes and settled his touch at the center of his forehead. A few wayward locks of blond brushed over the back of his hand. Naruto frowned.

He really did hate how attractive Sasuke managed to make himself sometimes. Right now, that jackass was just sleeping. Cocking his head to the side, Naruto realized that that was the problem. That was why those instincts were stirring into wakefulness, luring all sorts of wicked dreams from the depths of his subconscious. Resting like that, Sasuke looked. . . .

. . .he looked. . .

Tossing an irritated glare at the moon, Naruto stamped his foot, then made his way over to the Uchiha's sleeping figure. He lay exactly as he had placed the other boy an hour before. One arm rested neatly over his stomach, fingers curled just slightly towards his palm. Sasuke's lips were relaxed, and in that, Naruto could make out the dark red spotting on the inner curve of his lower one, where he had either taken a hit in his former fight or bitten himself during the one they had had this afternoon. It was a seductive sort of mark though. A bruising shade of red and just the slight puff of swelling. Almost as if someone else had. . .

Naruto shook his head. Not going there.

His gaze drifted over the various bandages concealing the wounds Sasuke had accrued over the last few days. He could remember each one of them, how they carved their way through Sasuke's body. Possessive in all the destructive ways he knew Sasuke himself to be. Letting out a heavy breath, Naruto stepped over the other boy's figure, straddling it. It wasn't a position he really cared for, though. The view was too distorted. Too distant for his taste, honestly. He slowly lowered himself closer until he hovered only an inch or two over Sasuke's stomach.

The more he looked at Sasuke, the more Naruto was certain that the dark loved him. But wasn't that the case? Fire burned brightest in the still of night. Reaching out tentatively, he brushed his fingers over Sasuke's shoulder, skirting around the bandages that drifted from the curve of his neck to around his bicep. The moon shone down over them unhindered, turning the white of the bindings into a silver-infused purple.

His hand drifted lower. He traced the pathways he imagined to be between each rib, followed the center road running down from sternum to bellybutton. In changing the bandages wrapped around Sasuke's torso, Naruto had been forced to witness the extent of the damage, the things Sasuke defied with every step he took. The very edges of the bruising, a punishing shade of blueblackpurple, just peeked out from beneath the topmost edges of the wrap. He touched that pool of color next, careful of the pressure applied, as though stepping into a nightmare. Unwilling to wake whatever beast lay within.

Something whispered that he had wandered too far from the known path. It was already too late, however - his wrist was in Sasuke's unforgiving grip. Naruto's eyes widened briefly in the wake of his capture.

"What are you doing?" Sasuke's tone was cold and thoroughly unamused.

It was rather like being caught pushing the button everyone had warned you not to touch. Kind of hard to deny doing it too when your finger was still on the trigger. A sheepish smile stole over his lips. Quickly withdrawing his hand from Sasuke's chest, Naruto offered a soft, embarrassed but in no way repentant chuckle. "Umm. . . .checking you over?"

"Tch. . . .pervert."