Disclaimer: It's all Kishimoto's. I just traumatize his characters for my own personal amusement.
Summary: Kakashi assigns Naruto and Sasuke teambuilding exercises, yet somehow they keep ending up in compromising positions. Naruto/Sasuke.
Spoilers/Warnings: Spoilers only through the Wave Country Arc. Warnings for a bit of grinding, some inappropriate teenage hormones, and lots of denial. If you're not a fan of the idea that Naruto and Sasuke are secretly gay for each other, this probably isn't the fic for you.
Author's Note: I felt the need for some lighter, early fic. This will probably turn into a series of one-shot fics once I stop being lazy and write more.
Golden eyelashes fluttered in the hour before dawn. One final moment of stillness, and then a bright blue eye opened groggily. The calm around the clearing seemed to tense, as if anticipating the chaos about to ensue and then:
"Aha! Yahoo! I did it! In your face, you smug bastard! I woke up first." A wild interpretative dance accompanied these exclamations, complete with several vigorous kicks, jumps, and fists raised in victory.
On the other side of the camp fire, a pair of dark eyes flashed open in response. "Idiot," a second voice announced perfectly calmly through the chill morning dew. "I just had the sense not to inform every enemy in the ten kilometer radius where we are."
The dance of victory came to an abrupt halt, and furious blue eyes turned on the second boy. "You conceited, arrogant… Argh! You can't even admit defeat when you're beaten!"
"Any ninja with half a brain would realize he was beaten the instant he started squawking like a chicken." The second boy was out of his sleeping bag now, too, hands clenched into fists.
The first boy stepped into the second's personal space and yelled only inches from his face, "I refuse to lose to you!"
A truly impressive display of the absolute antithesis of ninjutsu followed, wherein the two boys simultaneously tackled each other to the ground and proceeded to wrestle around in the dirt like amateurs, shouting out "jackass" and "moron" and other random insults as they did so.
The two members of the party who had been trying desperately to sleep through all the racket finally sighed and got up as well.
"Not again!" Sakura whined, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. "It's not even dawn yet."
"They certainly are…energetic," Kakashi agreed blandly, watching with some consternation as Sasuke rolled a kicking Naruto over onto one of their packs, undoubtedly crushing several necessary supplies.
"Can't you make them stop?" Sakura yawned.
Kakashi paused. "I think you should make them stop, as a test of your skills." He thought for another second and seemed to conclude to himself that this was a brilliant idea. "Yes, consider it part of your training."
Sakura glared at him. "Coward!" she accused. "You're just scared to get in between them yourself."
Kakashi's one visible eye smiled benevolently. "This is a necessary test for proper teambuilding," he lied.
Sakura growled and stalked over to where Naruto now had Sasuke pinned between his thighs and was grabbing Sasuke's shirt and shaking him as hard as he could, while screaming, "Bastard! Bastard! Bastard!" in his face.
"Knock if off!" Sakura screamed, grabbing Naruto by the back of his collar.
Unfortunately, at that moment, Sasuke decided to retaliate by shoving his palm into Naruto's face and kicking hard. The two boys tussled over again in a cloud of dust, and somewhere during the altercation, an errant hand flailed out and caught Sakura squarely in the chest, knocking her back onto the ground away from the fight.
Sakura gasped in outrage from where she sat in the dirt.
"Now they've done it…" Kakashi sighed.
"Y-You…!" Sakura's face turned a furious shade of red as she all but leapt to her feet. "You clumsy oaf!" The comment was obviously directed at Naruto, although, in all fairness, it had been impossible to tell which of the boys had hit her, amidst the scuffle.
With the manic look of a hardened murderer, Sakura grabbed the nearest blunt object – which, in this case, turned out to be the pan that stored their morning water – and flung the contents onto the two fighting boys.
Miraculously, the sudden splash of cold water was enough to stop the wild punches.
Sasuke and Naruto froze for a moment, dripping wet and still tangled in a hopeless mess, and then Sasuke had to break the peace yet again:
"Thanks for getting us all wet, dead last."
Naruto lunged, Sakura swung, and Kakashi winced as the pan collided squarely with Naruto's head, reverberating throughout the forest with a sound not unlike a large gong.
That finally did finish things, however, and both Naruto and Sasuke fell to their backs in the dirt, panting for breath. Naruto rubbed the goose egg on his temple as he did so.
Sakura towered above them, hands on her hips, still gripping the pan, as her anger calmed down. "Are you all right, Sasuke-kun?" she finally asked sweetly.
Naruto's expression darkened. "Him? I'm the one you hit in the head!"
"Hn." Sasuke sat up with his stoic mask back in place and casually brushed the dirt from his trousers. If it weren't for his increasingly-frequent skirmishes with Naruto, Kakashi might have been worried that the boy lacked any emotions at all.
"It looks like we need more water," Kakashi said pleasantly, deciding that now was a much better strategic time to step covertly between his two pupils. "And since you two are already dirty…" He braved where few would dare to tread and cautiously took the pan from Sakura's clenched fist before offering it up to his other two students. "We'll pack up camp while you're working on that." He smiled magnanimously.
Naruto and Sasuke eyed the proffered pan, then each other, warily. For one perfect moment, the wind could be heard whistling through the tree branches above, and then there was a lightning-quick flash of movement.
"Tch. Too slow, dead last," Sasuke called out as he snatched the pan from Kakashi's hand and ran for the river.
"You bastard! Get back here!" Naruto was right on his heels. "I'm not going to lose to you!"
The two boys disappeared into the trees, and Sakura and Kakashi watched them go, in horrified resignation that this was going to be their lives from now on. A few seconds after Naruto and Sasuke were out of their sight, a resounding crash echoed from the direction they'd vanished into, and suddenly Naruto's voice could be heard wafting through the trees:
"Haha! I got it! Now who's too slow, bas—Ouch!"
Something like a small explosion followed.
Kakashi and Sakura exchanged a nervous look.
"Maybe you should make those two work on their teambuilding skills," Sakura said, arms crossed.
Kakashi smiled sheepishly and scratched the back of his head. It wasn't a bad idea, though.
Kakashi had meant to return to Konoha before implementing his latest nefarious plan. However, in the time it took them to cook and eat breakfast, Naruto and Sasuke managed to get into a total of seventeen fights.
They'd returned, both soaking wet again, a full hour after Kakashi had sent them out. The pan of water was only a quarter full which, Kakashi was swiftly informed, was all Sasuke's fault. He was then reinformed that it was all Naruto's fault. He managed to save the remaining contents of the pan while the two boys tussled in the dirt again. After that had broken up, they'd argued over who was the lousier cook, followed by a spirited debate over who could finish breakfast faster. This quickly evolved into a newly defined contest of who could finish breakfast without eating like a pig faster. They'd then argued over who could carry the heaviest pack, followed by – fairly ridiculously since the answer was a matter of fact – who was taller. By the time they were fighting over who had the smellier feet, Kakashi couldn't take it any more.
"We need to work on teambuilding exercises," he sighed wearily.
"Hear that?" Naruto laughed. "Your teambuilding is as bad as your chakra control, you arrogant asshole."
Sasuke's eyes narrowed, and he made a fist.
"Okay, you two." Kakashi decided to step in before fight number eighteen broke out. "Here's how this will work."
Naruto and Sasuke could at least agree long enough to grace him with equally surly looks.
"Sakura-chan will put out the fire. You two, follow me."
The two boys exchanged suspicious looks and each took a step forward at the same time. Then, Naruto shoved at Sasuke's shoulder and tried to move ahead of him. Sasuke retorted with an elbow to Naruto's ribs. Immediately, Kakashi caught them each by the scruff of the neck and held them dangling a few inches off the ground.
"Follow me without fighting," he clarified.
"He started it," Naruto grumbled.
"Hn," Sasuke sulked.
That was about as good as Kakashi had hoped to get, and he dropped them back to their feet. The three of them managed to walk in blessed – if tense – peace back to the river, however. Kakashi was always grateful for small miracles.
With a practiced eye, Kakashi scanned the forest before turning to face his two students with a smile. "Are you both ready?"
Naruto perked up the way he always did at surprise training. "You better believe it!" he announced proudly. "What're we doing? Climbing more trees?"
Sasuke's glare in Naruto's direction flickered over to Kakashi for a moment out of curiosity.
"Not quite." Kakashi dug deep into one of the pockets of his vest until he found what he was looking for. "You two may want to center yourselves first."
"Ooh!" Naruto's eyes widened. "What is it? Is it a new, secret, ninja super weapon?"
"Idiot," Sasuke grumbled under his breath, but he craned his neck in anticipation as well.
Kakashi's hand emerged from his pocket to reveal…
"Huh?" Naruto's face dropped. "What is that, some kind of bracelet?"
Kakashi held up the silver band before him. It was, indeed, the size and shape of a thick arm cuff. "Yes, and no," he answered helpfully.
"What does that even mean?" Naruto scratched his head.
Sasuke just blinked in a mildly sarcastic way.
"It's a teambuilding exercise." Kakashi held the metal ring up until it glinted in the morning sunlight. Then, with a quick flick of his wrist, the ring divided into two. "Your mission," he began, twirling the rings around his fingers, "is to return to camp."
"What?" Naruto squawked, pointing his right index finger at Kakashi in accusation. "What kind of stup—?"
Before he could finish, Kakashi struck out. Sasuke managed to stiffen in response, but Naruto didn't even get a chance to react. It wouldn't have mattered anyway because before Sasuke could even move into a defensive stance, the deed was done.
"Huh?" Naruto blinked down at the silver metal band that now surrounded the wrist that had been pointed in Kakashi's direction.
"Hmm…" Sasuke glanced thoughtfully at the matching band that now graced his left wrist.
Kakashi smiled. "I'll have Sakura-chan work on genjutsu training while you two figure it out." And then, with a leap and a whoosh of air, he was gone.
Sakura let out a screech of alarm when Kakashi suddenly appeared in the middle of their campsite.
"Don't do that!" she scowled.
Kakashi smiled at her pleasantly.
"And where are Sasuke-kun and Naruto?"
"I left them to work on their own," Kakashi sighed.
Sakura's face paled. "Heaven help us all…"
As if proving that the universe itself was in agreement, at that very moment Naruto's screech of horror could be heard echoing throughout the forest.
"What on earth?" Naruto scratched his head, eyes fixed on the silver band around his wrist. "Hey, Kakashi-sensei, what is—?"
Kakashi vanished before he could even finish his question.
"Tch," Sasuke complained in annoyance, studying the band on his own arm.
"Whatever." Naruto's face broke into a wide grin. "I'll beat you back to camp!" he exclaimed.
At that moment, Sasuke's eyes switched over to Sharingan before widening in alarm. "Naruto, wait—!"
It was too late, of course. Naruto had dashed off at full speed the instant he'd made his declaration. In response the hum of chakra that had been inactive in the bands suddenly flared to life, releasing a barrage of chakra strings. They spun around the two boys in a whirlwind of activity.
"What?" Naruto froze, wide-eyed.
Sasuke tried to duck, but there were too many, and it didn't help that half the strings were emitting from the band around his own arm. The air left his lungs with a painful whoosh as a thick wire of chakra caught him squarely in the chest. A few feet away, another band caught Naruto, and both tightened in the same instant.
The two boys collided at full velocity, back-to-back, with enough force that their knees buckled.
"Ouch," Naruto winced and carefully opened one of his eyes. The electric blue chakra strings that had bound them together had thankfully vanished.
Sasuke caught his weight on his right hand and carefully forced himself back up to his feet. Halfway standing, however, he reached a stumbling block.
"What?" Still using his Sharingan, he glanced down at his left hand, which seemed to be stuck to something. "Oh, damn…" He grumbled under his breath.
"Ha! A few chakra strings are no match for Uzumaki Naruto!" Naruto announced cheerfully and leapt to his feet. "Say, wha…?"
Naruto glanced back in surprise to where his right arm was particularly unresponsive. In fact, it was particularly unresponsive in the exact same way that Sasuke's left arm was unresponsive. Naruto frowned at his errant arm, which refused to allow the cuff on his wrist to move more than a foot from the cuff on Sasuke's wrist.
"Hey, what are you trying to pull?" he glared at Sasuke suspiciously.
"Tch, dead last," Sasuke rolled his eyes. "It's the bands. The chakra strings are tying them together."
Naruto scratched his head. He couldn't see anything now, but Sasuke's eyes were a swirling mass of black and red, and if nothing else, he knew he could trust the other boy to know which end of his Sharingan was up. "But they weren't doing anything a few minutes ago," he insisted.
Sasuke fixed him with an annoyed glare like he was the most insufferably stupid individual Sasuke had ever had the displeasure of meeting. "The string got a lot shorter when you tried to run away. Which is why I told you to stop."
Naruto frowned. "So the more we struggle…"
"The tighter the string gets," Sasuke confirmed.
"You mean," Naruto breathed far too quietly, the calm before the storm.
Sasuke tensed in anticipation of the noise to come.
"I'm stuck with you?" Naruto's voice hit a pitch that could shatter glass. It echoed throughout the woods in a deafening cacophony that could be heard all the way back at camp.
"Ow." Sasuke rubbed at his ears. "Maybe you can make high-pitched screaming your new ninjutsu."
"Why would Kakashi-sensei do something like this?" Naruto ranted. "I didn't ask to be tied to a cold-hearted bastard!"
Sasuke snorted disdainfully. "Teambuilding," he reminded Naruto, filling that word with every fiber of cold-hearted bastardry that he could.
"Well, that's just stupid." Naruto held his wrist cuff up before his eyes, jerking Sasuke's arm along with it. "We'll just have to take them off."
"No!" Sasuke bellowed at the top of his lungs. Thankfully, this time he reacted quickly enough to stop Naruto's fingers where they'd just begun to pry under the band.
"Why not?" Naruto demanded.
"They're obviously a variant of the handcuffs used to bind captured enemy ninjas," Sasuke explained impatiently. "Which is why Kakashi was carrying them."
"Oh, obviously," Naruto exaggerated Sasuke's superior tone to the point of outright parody. "So?"
"So, there are going to be security measures against taking them off." Sasuke tried to put his left hand on his hip, but Naruto's arm tugged him back. Rather than doing an undignified wobble and trying again with his right hand, Sasuke let the whole gesture drop. "Like explosives. Or poison."
Naruto's eyes widened. "Explosives? Poison? Kakashi-sensei wouldn't do that to us, though."
Sasuke raised an imperious eyebrow.
"Okay," Naruto conceded, "so Kakashi-sensei totally would."
"Hn," Sasuke grunted in agreement.
"So what do we do? Just walk back to camp?"
Sasuke studied the bands with his Sharingan yet again. "I don't see why that wouldn't work."
"But," Sasuke interrupted, "if that's what Kakashi told us to do, there must be a catch somewhere."
"Well, do you see it?" Naruto demanded.
Sasuke's Sharingan narrowed in on the cuffs that bound them. "No," he admitted reluctantly.
Sasuke got that supremely pissy look on his face. "If you mess this up, I'm going to kill you."
Naruto laughed. "Like you could! I can kick your ass any day."
"Ngh." Sasuke glared at the forest ahead of them. "Let's just get this over with."
"You'll get no argument from me." And, with that, they set off.
Within the first twenty feet, they realized that it was a lot harder to walk in sync than they would have thought. With every step, the chakra chord that bound them got pulled in two separate directions, and they ended up tripping and staggering (on Naruto's part) and having to make quick readjustments and compensations (on Sasuke's part). Although, to anyone but Sasuke, the latter looked exactly like the former.
"Can't you even walk right?" Sasuke finally grumbled.
"Me? You're the one who can't keep his hand still for two seconds."
Naruto stuck out his tongue.
Sasuke formed a fist, and his knuckles popped in anticipation.
"Go on, I dare you," Naruto teased.
Sasuke, in a fit of irrationality that could only be provoked by one exceptionally annoying blond shinobi, went for the punch.
Instantly, the bands reacted, chakra strings flaring to life once more. One caught Sasuke's incoming punch, throwing it wildly off-course, while another wrapped around his waist, slamming him into Naruto yet again.
"Ow." Naruto gasped where the wind had been knocked from his chest with the force of their impact. "Nice job, bastard."
Sasuke scowled. "I didn't even try to hit you with my left hand," he protested, glaring at the bands on their wrists.
Naruto looked puzzled at that, as well. "That's true. And they didn't act up when we yanked on them while walking…"
Sasuke flicked the Sharingan on once more. "The string is shorter now. Only about six inches."
"So why did that happen? Are you sure you're using those Sharingan right?"
The icy glare Sasuke gave him could freeze molten lava.
"Yeesh!" Naruto held up his hands defensively. "I was just asking."
The gesture, of course, caused him to yank on Sasuke's arm. Sasuke only barely managed to catch himself before he crashed into Naruto again and sent them both face down into the dirt.
"Moron," he muttered under his breath.
Naruto rolled his eyes, but then his expression perked up. "Hey, maybe it just doesn't want you to hit me."
"It's not sentient," Sasuke retorted.
"Whatever. I was just trying to help." Naruto crossed his arms over his chest, which once again jerked Sasuke off-balance.
"Will you quit that?" Sasuke snapped.
"Sorry, Mr. I'm-So-Perfect-Because-I've-Got-Sharingan, but the rest of us have a hard time remembering there's something there when we can't see it."
"Maybe, if you've got a brain the size of a bird's…"
Naruto let out a sound that could very easily be taken for a growl. "That's it! I don't have to put up with this. I can just beat you to a pulp, and carry your sorry ass back to camp."
Sasuke snorted. "I'd like to see you try." This time he remembered to put his right hand on his hip.
"Why you…" Naruto's fists tightened, and the band on his wrist flashed blue with chakra in warning. "Uh, oops." He released his fist, and the band immediately calmed down.
"Hmm," Sasuke said thoughtfully. "It seems to react to violence of any kind. It's probably a countermeasure to keep prisoners from trying to break free."
"That's what I just said two minutes ago!" Naruto exclaimed in exasperation. "It doesn't want you to hit me."
"Well, it doesn't want you to hit me, either."
They glared into each other's eyes for a minute.
"We need to get to Kakashi-sensei and get these things off," Naruto concluded.
"Immediately," Sasuke agreed.
"And then I'm going to wipe that smug smirk off your face."
"Tch. Good luck with that after I put you in traction."
"Back to camp?"
The problem was that now the string was only half the length it had been before, and they hadn't been able to move properly even then. This time it only took three paces for them to come to a frustrated halt.
Blue eyes warily met black ones.
"You know," Naruto began hesitantly, "there's only one way I can think of to make sure we're not yanking each other around by the wrist."
The vein in Sasuke's left temple twitched. "Unfortunately," he agreed.
"If you tell anyone about this, I'll murder you," Naruto insisted.
"Tch. I'd rather die than have anyone find out."
Naruto glared. Sasuke glared. Fingers tensed and clenched before finally, reluctantly, reaching out to wrap around each other. Naruto and Sasuke both looked off to the side in embarrassment when they finally held hands.
"I really, really hate you," Sasuke grumbled under his breath.
"This is humiliating." Naruto's cheeks flushed bright red. "And: Ugh! Your hand is clammy!"
"Well, yours is sweaty." Sasuke, deprived of the power of his annoyed glare, looked furtively up into the trees. "We need to get this over with as quickly as possible."
"Right. To camp!"
What was truly frightening, of course, was just how easy it was to move as one, now that their hands were clasped together.
"Stop," Sasuke announced when they'd almost made it back to camp.
Hand-in-hand, they'd actually made the journey in only a few minutes. It probably also helped that they were both so embarrassed by the fact that they were holding hands that neither had the courage to start another fight.
They landed together in a small clearing and instantly let go of each other's hands.
"Why? We're almost there." Naruto rubbed his hand conspicuously against his pants in an effort to get that Sasuke-feel off.
Next to him, Sasuke was doing the exact same thing. "We can't just walk into camp…" He trailed off, his cheeks tingeing slightly. "You know."
Naruto's eyes widened. "Oh, right. Kakashi-sensei and Sakura-chan would see us." He gulped.
Sasuke shuddered. "Exactly."
"So we just have to walk on our own?"
"Unless you can think of a better plan." Sasuke's tone made it all too clear that he thought the odds of Naruto coming up with a better plan were roughly the same as the two of them skipping into camp, arm-in-arm, singing merrily and throwing flowers in their wake.
"Whatever, jerk. Just try not to trip me up."
"Look who's talking." Sasuke smirked.
Naruto scowled, and then came up with a perfectly wicked scheme. "Ha! Bastard, I can beat you even with your jerk ass dragging me down."
"Yeah, right." Sasuke rolled his eyes.
Naruto yanked on his cuff enough to bring his hands together for a seal. Sasuke struggled to regain his balance, but not fast enough to warn Naruto in time as well.
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!"
A half dozen Narutos appeared with six simultaneous poofs of smoke. The bands, naturally, reacted quite badly to this turn of events. While before, a small spiral of chakra strings had emerged from the bands, pulling the two boys ever closer together, now absolute chaos ensued.
Hundreds of chakra strings exploded throughout the woods, creating a massive web. The shadow clones were flung about mercilessly in maelstrom, whipping around through the air in a way that Sasuke would've found comical if one of the strings hadn't caught him across the neck, knocking the air from his throat.
He fell to his knees gasping for breath, when suddenly the mass of tangled wires tightened. Hearing the screams from all around, Sasuke looked up in horror to see that all the Narutos were flying directly at him.
The resulting impact was almost enough to make him lose consciousness, and only his determination not to pass out before Naruto kept him awake. Thankfully, the horrific moment when he was squished by seven Narutos at the same time quickly ended when the six shadow clones popped out of existence.
Sasuke wheezed miserably, not even caring that he was still leaning forward against the real Naruto.
"S-Sasuke?" Naruto's voice sounded about as traumatized as Sasuke felt.
Sasuke meant to say "yeah?" but it came out more like the sound of a tire deflating.
Luckily, Naruto was able to interpret his pain. "Remind me never to do that again."
Sasuke let out a gurgle that was meant to be "okay."
The two boys just stayed frozen in position in the clearing, panting for breath, and waited for the chakra strings to withdraw again.
"Uh… Sasuke?" Naruto repeated, sounding less winded now but still very sheepish.
"What?" Sasuke managed to choke out.
"I don't think they're going away this time." Naruto laughed nervously.
"So, uh, what do we do?"
"Get up." That, at least, was first on Sasuke's agenda. He was still on his knees from earlier, while Naruto was standing. Unfortunately, his attempt failed miserably because the chakra strings were still wrapped around him and Naruto.
"Hey!" Naruto complained when Sasuke's jostling nearly knocked him over. "Be careful."
Sasuke glared up at Naruto from navel-level. "Just try not to fall on your ass." Since standing up hadn't worked, he tried wriggling the strings loose first.
"S-Sasuke… K-Knock it off…" Naruto's eyes widened in horror.
"Hn," Sasuke grumbled.
"No, seriously! That… That…" Naruto suddenly lost his battle against himself spectacularly. "Tickles!" With that, he broke into an uproar of laughter. Feet tied together, he fell backwards, dragging Sasuke with him and giggling hysterically all the way.
Sasuke barely managed to go lax in time to prevent the chakra strings from cutting through his skin as they fell. "You idiot!" he snapped, now on top of the still-laughing Naruto. "Are you trying to break my neck?"
"S-Stop talking into my stomach," Naruto laughed some more.
Naruto started laughing even harder at the feel of that grunt against his bellybutton.
"I hate you so, so much," Sasuke muttered. He managed to turn his head to the side, his cheek pressed against Naruto's stomach, and waited.
Soon enough, Naruto managed to get a hold of himself and stop laughing. "Okay, so trying to loosen the strings is a bad idea."
"Hey, it was your idea, bastard!"
Sasuke turned his head enough to glare up at Naruto. "I'm going to try to slip out of these."
"Ha, good luck," Naruto said sarcastically.
Sasuke ignored him and dug his toes into the dirt. Because he'd already been on his knees at the time of impact, his legs were mostly free, and he was able to push against the ground for leverage. The problem was that, if he pushed up, he had to push the breadth of his shoulders through the tightest strings around Naruto's middle. Going down was faster and easier, but it also meant…
"I swear to god, if you ever tell anyone I did this…" Sasuke put every bit of venom he had into the threat and began squirming down Naruto's body.
Naruto looked a bit confused at first, but then his eyes widened when he realized where Sasuke's face was going to end up in only a few more wiggles. "Hey, hey!" he shouted in alarm.
Sasuke stopped for a second and glared. "Just shut up, so it will be over with. And then we will never, ever speak of this again."
Naruto just nodded numbly. He had to bite his tongue when Sasuke's cheek first squirmed its way over his crotch, however. "Hurry," he hissed.
"Believe me, I have no desire whatsoever to prolong this," Sasuke retorted, pressing his cheek in and pulling back with his heels yet again.
The problem was that Sasuke's voice was tickling Naruto once again, only his reaction to being tickled in this particular place was very different. "Uh… Sasuke?" he warned.
"Just a second, I'm almost do—"
Naruto's reaction sprung to attention at precisely that moment.
Both boys froze, absolutely silent, as the birds in the forest chirped happily around them.
"Uh…" Naruto finally began, face flaming red.
"Pervert!" Sasuke screeched out in abject horror, his cheeks a deep pink as well.
Not too far away, Sakura jerked up in surprise at where she could have sworn she'd just heard Sasuke scream "Pervert!" like he was being violated in the worst sort of way. "Sasuke-kun?" she whispered in alarm.
Then, her eyes narrowed. "This is part of your latest genjutsu, isn't it?" she accused the air around her. She couldn't see Kakashi through the layers of illusion that he'd spun around her, but she knew he was there. "Well, I won't fall for such an easy trick."
She moved her hands into the appropriate seals to dispel the illusion.
Kakashi let it go, simply because he didn't want to have to admit that the scream she'd heard was real. What on earth have those two idiots gotten themselves into this time? he despaired to himself.
"I did it!" Sakura announced proudly when the illusion faded and Kakashi appeared before her. "Let's try it again!"
Kakashi decided that was a good plan. Concentrating on one sane student was always less of a headache than two crazy ones.
"Ack! Get it away from me!" Sasuke flailed helplessly against the chakra strings that bound them, his face still pressed against Naruto's growing erection.
Naruto had never seen Sasuke freak out this much before. In fact, he was willing to bet that Sasuke had never freaked out this much before. "Sorry, jeez! But you know how it is. Sometimes the wind is enough to—"
"My face is not the wind!" Sasuke was struggling in earnest now, and with another good push, his face ended up pressed against Naruto's thigh, safe from the immediate danger.
"You're the one who decided it was a brilliant idea to stick your face in my crotch in the first place," Naruto grumbled. "Don't blame me when you have to face the natural result."
"That's it." Sasuke's face was by Naruto's knees now, and his right hand was finally free, so he was moving a lot faster. "I'm going to murder you." His eyes flashed madly with the Sharingan.
"Hey, pervert!" Naruto looked straight down his body and past the obvious bulge that loomed directly between their lines of sight. "Don't Sharingan me down there!"
Sasuke's cheeks pinkened again, and he wriggled out of the rest of the strings, except for those that still bound his left wrist to Naruto's right. Their mission seemingly accomplished, the strings took that moment to vanish once more, which was a good thing because it was the only way Naruto was able to move enough to stop the murderous assault upon his person.
The bands on their wrists were bound so tightly together now that the metal of the two armbands had fused into one, but Sasuke didn't have much difficulty tackling Naruto with the rest of his body in order to defend his besmirched honor.
"Ack, stop it!" Naruto complained, catching Sasuke's right fist in his free hand. He would have sworn that actual smoke puffed out of Sasuke's nose in fury. "Don't straddle me!"
Sasuke froze, the red-and-black of his Sharingan still spinning wildly, and then he suddenly leapt off of Naruto with a yell of horror. Unfortunately, he forgot that their wrists were still tied together, so he jumped back with too much force and ended up pulling Naruto back with him.
They toppled over, this time with Naruto on top.
"Get off me!" Sasuke screamed, squirming ineffectively to get his body to safety.
"Will you just calm down?" One of Sasuke's legs caught Naruto's knee, and Naruto fell, grinding their groins together. And then he froze, wide-eyed. "Y-You…!" He looked down at Sasuke in alarm when he suddenly realized just why Sasuke had been so desperate to get away. As if to confirm this fact, Sasuke tried to squirm free in a last-ditch effort, and the length of his very hard erection slid along of the full length of Naruto's. "You pervert!" Naruto accused, eyes flashing dangerously. "You're getting off on this!"
"I am not," Sasuke hissed, eyes looking shiftily to the side. "It's just like you said. Sometimes just the wind is enough to…you know…" He blushed.
Naruto relaxed and felt slightly better at that. Sure, he body had turned into a pervert when Sasuke had rubbed against him, but Sasuke's had done the exact same thing, so now they were even. This was obviously just a hormonal teenage boy thing and didn't mean anything.
"The wind's a pervert sometimes," Naruto offered in reconciliation.
"You know who else is a pervert?"
"Kakashi." Sasuke's eyes narrowed with icy malice.
Naruto frowned as well. "Hey, you're right! All this… This is all his perverted fault!"
"Exactly." Sasuke popped his knuckles again, but this time not in Naruto's direction. "Now, get off me, so we can kill him."
"Ah, right." Naruto rolled off Sasuke, pointedly ignoring that little twinge of disappointment between his legs, and they both lay on their backs in the clearing, their bodies as far apart as was possible with their wrists still linked together.
Studiously avoiding thinking about the fact that the other was doing the exact same thing, they focused on calming down their breathing, and calming down certain other things as well.
"At least it'll be easier to walk now that our bands have fused," Sasuke finally commented.
"Right," Naruto agreed. "So here's the plan."
Sasuke tilted his head up so that he could meet Naruto's eyes.
"First," Naruto ticked off on the fingers of his left hand, "we walk back to camp. Second, we get Kakashi-sensei to take off these stupid bracelets. And third, we kill him."
"Good plan," Sasuke agreed. This was no time to be thinking about how Kakashi was an experienced jounin, and they were merely rookie genin. Righteous indignation was on their side, and Kakashi would die in punishment.
"Ready?" Naruto asked.
As one, they got to their feet, filled with conviction for their new, deadly mission.
"Sasuke-kun! Naruto!" Sakura waved happily when the two boys emerged from the woods. Her smile faded when she got a better look at them, though. "What happened to you?"
Both were covered in dirt from head to toe, and their clothing was ripped and torn in narrow slices as if something thin, like a whip, had lashed into them repeatedly. Long, thin bruises and even some bleeding cuts could be seen through where the fabric had been torn. They walked together jerkily due to the fact that a silver double-band seemed to be locking their hands together. However, the most frightening change of all was that both boys wore feral expressions of rage, practically foaming at the mouth.
"I-Is this another illusion?" Sakura asked nervously.
"Back so soon!" Kakashi smiled happily. "And did you boys learn something about teambuilding?"
Sasuke's eye twitched. "Absolutely," he agreed.
Naruto's fist clenched. "Common goals. Very important."
"Ah, good," Kakashi said cheerfully. "Then let me get those restraints off of you."
As one, Naruto and Sasuke shoved their bound hands out in offering.
It only took a subtle flick of Kakashi's wrists to work around the traps and pull the cuffs off. "Now, we should be getting back to Kono—"
He was cut off by a sound not unlike steam exploding from a teakettle, and turned in surprise to where Naruto and Sasuke's eyes had both turned a dangerous red.
"Must." Sasuke began.
"Murder." Naruto continued.
"Now!" both boys screamed in unison, lunging for Kakashi.
Being an experienced jounin, of course, he yawned and easily avoided their attack. "I'm heartened to see that my adorable little students have learned to work together," he said pleasantly.
Naruto punched high from the left. Sasuke spun low and kicked from the right. Kakashi danced nimbly out of harm's way.
"The coordination of your attacks is outstanding," Kakashi continued in delight.
Sasuke lunged and tackled him around the middle. Naruto created six shadow clones, and they all began pummeling him. Kakashi watched with amusement from a nearby tree and waited for them to notice that he'd used a replacement.
Naruto froze in mid-punch. "Wait. This isn't anywhere near satisfying enough."
"You're right," Sasuke agreed, Sharingan flaring. "He's tricked us."
"Where is he?" Naruto growled.
Sasuke looked up into the tree where Kakashi was watching them. "There!"
They attacked again.
"This is just such an incredible improvement," Kakashi continued to praise them. "We'll have to do teambuilding exercises more often."
"Ahh!" Naruto screamed in outrage.
"Die!" Sasuke hissed.
"Yes," Kakashi smiled from behind his mask, "I can really feel that we've become a unified team." He dodged upwards of twenty shuriken without so much as batting an eyelash. "I'll feel much better about writing our mission report now."
Satisfied with this conclusion, Kakashi jumped down to grab his and Sasuke's packs off the ground, and headed off in the direction of Konoha. "Sakura-chan, can you take Naruto's pack as well?" he asked pleasantly. "The boys are too distracted to carry them at the moment." And then he leapt off into the trees, Naruto and Sasuke still furiously on his trail trying to kill him.
Sakura blinked and picked up her and Naruto's packs. "Boys," she concluded wearily as she hefted the double weight onto her back, "are weird." And she moved to follow after the rest of her very insane teammates.
That's all for now. Feedback is always appreciated, and thanks for reading.