"I can't talk her out of it

Prompt: From thesnowtraveler She said: old high school crush - Sasuke tries to teach Naruto the art of dancing (for his wedding with Sakura) but nothing goes as expected; rating : PG (just a kiss)

Title: Unlike Dancing

Pairings: Naruto & Sasuke

Disclaimer: You know, I'm tired of these. Like they will grow to be mine with time, or something…

Length: 7400

Summary: See the prompt.

Beta: flawlessbeauti

For Carole

Unlike Dancing

"I can't talk her out of it." Sakura said through the phone line, with a thin, wailing undertone that spoke volumes about her efforts. "I'm trying my best, but you know mum – she wants this wedding to be the perfect replica of her own."

Either that or she was trying to scare him away, Naruto hadn't decided yet. There were moments, rare moments, usually involving a lot of alcohol and something expensive in his hands, when he thought that the woman might like him some day. But he was probably just too optimistic by nature, and those were nothing but false hopes.

"She hates me." Naruto said. "She's doing it to torture me."

"My mum doesn't hate you." Sakura dismissed his complained as usual. "She just has high standards to make sure I'll be happy."

Her high standards, among other things Naruto fortunately mostly didn't have to think about, was the music Sakura and Naruto will have for their wedding. She insisted on the group her friends had for their daughter's, because they knew how to play waltz, and that was, apparently, the most important thing about getting married. You have to dance with your bride in front of everybody, in some slippery shoes and tight tuxedo, so you can be happy in the future – or something like that.

Naruto sighed.

"Would dancing on the wedding make you happy?" He asked.

Sakura paused, probably thinking about it.

"Well, it would get her of my back. That would make me happy."

There was nothing to say on that, really. If they wanted the waltz, they could have it. Sakura's parents are helping them in every way they could despite the obvious dislike for him. They took on themselves many responsibilities in organizing the wedding. Naruto didn't want to appear ungrateful.

Besides, he really wanted to make Sakura happy.

"We'll have the dance then. How long can it last?"

For someone claiming not to want it just as much as he didn't, Sakura sounded way too delighted when she answered:

"You agree? Are you sure?" Well, at least she was asking, even if she didn't wait for him to answer. "Do you even know how to waltz?"

"Of course!" He saw it once, on the TV. It looked easy. You just swirl around.

"Okay." Sakura said. "Are you locking up now?"

Naruto looked up at the clock. It was five-five.

"In fifteen minutes. Then I'm going home. You'll be there?"

She said she'd be at Ino's – some wedding dress business - and closed the line.

Naruto turned around the little bakery shop he was co-owning with Iruka – a recent development Naruto was quite happy about. It was empty, as it should be at this hour, and already cleaned up, ready to be closed for the day. He couldn't find anything that needed his attention, so he set on the chair and waited.

Sasuke's bus arrived at five, so he will be here by five fifteen like always, and Naruto waited to give him the last piece of fresh bred, from the afternoon's batch. He could go home after that. It's not something he enjoyed doing; Sasuke was no more pleasant now then he was in high school, but Iruka insisted.

At five-fifteen exactly, the door opened.

Naruto felt himself grin as soon as caught the sight of Sasuke's slouching figure.

"Hey, bastard!" He said loudly, because let's be honest, the annoyed glare Sasuke would never fail to give him on the endearment was sometimes the highlight of his day. "Same as always?"

It was not really a question, for the last three and a half years they were doing this every single afternoon on the working days. Sasuke commuted on college every day, he would come back to Konoha with the same bus, at five, and stop at the bakery to buy bred for dinner. Naruto couldn't remember how they set this schedule, but they were following it for a very long time already.

Long enough for him to know that the prolonged glare meant "yes, you compete, utter moron, I would like the exact same thing as always, and if wanted to change it, I would have said so", so Naruto picked up the small package he left on the counter and took the money.

"Pleasure to do business with you, Sasuke!" He yelled, just so Sasuke would turn once more to give him a goodbye glare. It was the truth, though. The old ladies in the morning were so annoying trying to talk to him in the middle of the work, the silence was sometimes refreshing. Besides, if Sasuke opened his mouth at all, it would probably be to insult him.

Naruto sighed when the door closed and prepared to lock up. He needed to go home and figure out this waltz-dancing thing.

Iruka stayed with him the next day, for the closing. It was obvious Naruto was upset, and when Naruto was upset, they had to talk, which was needless and annoying, and made Naruto feel warm and glittery inside, all at once.

"It's the dancing, isn't it?" Iruka asked, after putting on the 'closed' sign.

"How do you know?" Naruto asked. He never told anyone. No one knew he tripped over his own legs three times yesterday, trying to copy movements from a rented movie. No one knew he had a big, painful bruise on his thigh, which is what made him snap on many different costumers today.

"I saw the movie you rented. Sakura is insisting on the waltz?"

"Her mother is insisting." Naruto almost growled. It wasn't exactly the secret he didn't like his future mother in law in turn.

"Ah." Iruka said, with understanding. "Why did you agree?"

'To make Sakura happy' was not something Naruto wanted to say aloud. So he settled on:

"I thought it would be easy." Because that was also the truth.

"Easy?" A new voice interrupted.

Naruto tensed. When did Sasuke creep in? And just how much he heard? This is embarrassing, private stuff; Sasuke had no business knowing anything about it.

"Didn't you see the 'closed' sign outside? You can't just walk in like that!" Naruto snapped.

"Naruto!" Iruka scolded him. "I'm sorry, Sasuke. He's like that all day, because he can't waltz."

He went back behind the counter to give Sasuke his bread. Naruto should have known better then that; Iruka always felt sorry for Sasuke and his brother, ignoring outright all the rumors around the town. But he was irritated; like wasn't enough everyone he cared about will see him trip over himself and fall on his wedding day, now Sasuke knew… Okay, scratch that – it's not like Sasuke talked with anyone Naruto knew. His secret is safe for now.

Sasuke glanced back at Naruto.

"Waltz?"

"For the wedding." Naruto explained.

"Hn." Sasuke answered and walked out.

Apparently, this subject was not interesting enough to hold his attention. Naruto almost felt insulted. Then he thought how he always considered wedding conversations boring; he was just upset about this because he couldn't do it, otherwise he would never talk about a thing like that when he could get away with it. It was annoying, but not Sasuke's fault he didn't understand; it's not like he ever had any problems to learn… anything…

Wait a minute!

"I'll be back!" Naruto had time to yell over his shoulder to Iruka before he ran out on the street. Sasuke was already pretty far away, so Naruto kept running to catch up. When he was just couple of meters behind, he yelled:

"Sasuke!" He kept running, though, so when Sasuke stopped abruptly and spun around, Naruto bumped right into him. More accurately, he bumped into the hand Sasuke raised to stop him. Moody asshole or not, Sasuke had some great reflexes. "You can waltz!"

"What?!" Sasuke hissed.

"So you can teach me!" Naruto continued, slightly amused at the look of not successfully suppressed horror Sasuke gave first to him, and then to the other people on the street.

"No."

"But you can waltz!" Naruto half whiled, half pouted. "I saw pictures!"

"What pictu..." Sasuke started, but stopped and fixed Naruto with one of his darker glares. "When did you see that?"

"I don't know. Back in high school at some point. I think you were doing my homework." The memory of Sasuke's home and the thing that almost happened there once squeezed unpleasantly Naruto's stomach, but he ignored it.

Sasuke's glare edged a bit more.

"And you were going through my things."

Naruto was insulted. He would never do a thing like that! Or he would never have told Sasuke he saw pictures in that case.

"No, you creep." He feigned incredulousness. "Itachi showed me. You had little blue suit and there was some girl, it was so cute…" Somewhere in the middle of talking, Naruto noticed Sasuke turned, walking away. "Hey, I'm talking here!"

Sasuke ignored him, so Naruto followed.

"Anyway, I know you know it. You can teach me."

"Take classes. Find a friend to teach you."

It was on tip of Naruto's lips to tell him 'but you're my friend' when he realized that he wasn't. They saw each other every day, and even exchanged a word or two when Sasuke was in an awfully good mood, but they were not friends; not for a long time already, if ever.

"They would laugh at me." He finally said.

"I'll laugh at you, if it will make you fuck off."

Naruto halted a little on the swearing. Sasuke was always rude and brusque, but that was the first time Naruto heard him saying something so crude. He was not about to give up, just because of that.

"I'm sure you would, if you knew how. But, you don't."

Sasuke stopped, and turned to him.

"Naruto, I was eight. Do you know how long ago that was?"

Not that long, surely. They are not that old. But, if Sasuke forgot how to dance, why doesn't he just say so? Oh, wait, he's all proud and arrogant, he wouldn't say something like that. Better to ask and try to read the reaction.

"You forgot how to dance? How's that possible? You remember everything – you even remember my birthday!"

It was possible Sasuke found out by some freaky accident when that it was Naruto's birthday this year, when he said that fast, awkward 'happy birthday' picking up his bread and not looking at Naruto at all. But Naruto couldn't think of anyone who would tell him, so he must have some elephant-ish memory.

"I didn't…" Sasuke stopped himself in the middle of the sentence, but glare remained. "I know how to dance. I just don't want to spend time with you."

Okay, that hurt. And very much, too. Stupid bastard, this is why they were not friends; his comments always find with fascinating ease the weakness in Naruto's shell, and get through. Well, mostly that.

But Naruto had to learn, and Sasuke, even if he'd say a thing like that in his face would never waste his time to talk about Naruto to anyone, so he was the perfect choice. Besides, if he can hurt Naruto saying he doesn't want to spent time with him, then Naruto can hurt back, making sure he have to do the thing he doesn't want.

"You owe me hours." Naruto said, working hard not to show he was affected. "Days, even. For years, I wait every day for fifteen minutes for you – if we add it all together…"

"I'm paying for it." Sasuke told him, not affected.

"You're paying for bread, not for my time. And now it's the good time to…" Naruto made a little pause there – Sasuke let his gaze slip over his shoulder, and there was a small smirk forming on his lips. "…pay for that, as well." He finished but his voice was insecure on the end, and he couldn't resist. "What are you looking at?"

Behind him was just one of the bigger streets of Konoha, which was split in half by a bridge and the park.

"What kind of problems you have?" Sasuke asked, now looking back at him.

Naruto narrowed his eyes. Where did this change came from? Should be he grateful or scared? And what kind of question was that anyway?

"I don't know the steps."

"Aside from that."

Weird. How did he know? Naruto took a breath and said,

"I – trip and fall. It goes round and round, so I get dizzy."

Sasuke smiled. Naruto fought the urge to step back.

"I think we should work on your balance first."

What? What did the balance have to do with anything? And why was the bastard smiling, of all freaky things?

"My balance is fine." Naruto snapped.

"You want help?" Sasuke calmly asked. Naruto nodded, although not nearly as convinced as he was before. "Then we work on your balance first. Come on."

Sasuke started walking, brushing his shoulder against his. Naruto followed, because Iruka stayed behind and so he will close the store, and because he was frowning too deeply for his brain to find his way around the confusion.

Fifteen minutes later, Naruto was up on the bridge banister, trying to walk and not to fall over the edge – the little river was so shallow, he would break his neck if that happened. Sasuke was leaning on the opposite side of the pedestrian side of the bridge, not looking worried about what could happen if Naruto slipped.

"Your balance is horrible." He commented.

Naruto stopped to glare at him. He knew what this was about. Sasuke though he'd scare him off, so Naruto would give up on making him teach him dancing. The truth was, Naruto didn't have any choice – he didn't know anyone else who knew it, and it was too expensive and time consuming to go the city just for lessons. The more he thought about it, the more it made sense.

Also, he was slightly stubborn and would not go back on his word.

"I won't be dancing on the banister on my wedding day, you asshole." Well, just because he had to bear it didn't mean he had to be nice about it.

"No, you'll be dancing all over Sakura's white wedding shoes." Even from the distance Naruto was closing slowly, he could see Sasuke smirking. "I suggest you choose a nice blue suit to match the bruises."

Naruto gave him some finger symbols that he hoped vaguely kids down in the park couldn't see from the distance, and tried to concentrate on the walking. It took him a long time to make the first round; second one was a bit easier. Just when he thought he was getting the hang of it – that was in the middle of the fifth round somewhere – a police car stopped behind Sasuke.

Naruto was not yet close enough to hear what the tall blond policewoman asked, but he was just in time to hear Sasuke answer.

"I can't go near, he says he'll jump. You try to talk to him."

Naruto was so shocked he almost ended up in the water. That bastard!

Police officer woman crossed the barrier between the part of the bridge that was for cars and the pedestrian side. She was approaching Naruto cautiously. Naruto was too busy trying to kill Sasuke with the power of his will and his scorching glare to pay her proper attention. Sasuke was smirking back at him, with a raised eyebrow.

"Don't jump!" She said and Naruto fought the need to roll his eyes on her. If he had even a smallest death wish, her panicked voice would have made him kill himself without thinking.

"I won't." He said and jumped – on the bridge, not from it. "It was just – an exercise."

She straightened her back and blinked in confusion.

"But, that guy…" She nodded at Sasuke, who was dead serious looking at them. "He told me you're trying to kill yourself."

Well, of course he did. Sasuke would say something like that to get rid of Naruto. Fortunately, Naruto was never the one to give up easily.

"Nah," He said to the woman, and leaned closer, trying to look conspiratorial. "I just didn't want that guy to come closer. He has fleas, you know."

"Fleas?" She looked back, where Sasuke obviously couldn't hear them talking. "I don't believe you."

Naruto suppressed the sigh. Like fleas would care if the bastard was good looking or not. But then, she was female; they always melted under Sasuke's feet for some to Naruto incomprehensible reason. To convince her, he said:

"It's the dogs."

"The dogs?" She prompted, still looking suspicious.

"You know the dog shelter down town?" She nodded, even though Naruto made the thing up on the spot. "He's working there, helping puppies and stuff. And they often have fleas."

Her eyes softened.

"Oh." She said.

Naruto wanted to bang his head on the concrete under his feet. Are all females this stupid, or he just has some drastic case of bad luck so he never met a smart one – aside from Sakura?

"Well, don't exercise on the bridge or I will have to arrest you next time." Naruto nodded solemnly, and she returned to her car, avoiding coming near Sasuke in a much smaller circle then he expected. She didn't fail to give him a longing, upside-down look, though.

"Okay." Naruto said, facing Sasuke. "I improved my balance, and I'll get arrested if I try to do that again, so… Are we dancing now?"

Sasuke, who was still smirking, simply said:

"Footwork." And started walking away.

Naruto blinked at the place Sasuke was standing in just a second ago. Footwork? That doesn't mean he had to learn how to riverdance first and then how to waltz, right?

Right?

Luckily, what it meant was he just had to drag his legs in circles in knee-deep icy river water. Naruto curled his pants up so his legs were bare all the way to his thighs. It was cold, and boring, and Sasuke smirking openly was annoying, but the place they picked, the riverbank not very far from the bridge, was nice. The sun was already very low on the west, and the water looked golden and glittery.

"How long do I have to do this?" Naruto complained, more to keep the conversation flowing the out of any hope he'll get a proper answer, or mercy.

"Until you have it down pat."

"But I don't see how's this helpful."

"Hn." Sasuke said, looking like he was about to yawn. "It's helpful."

It's keeping you awake to laugh at me inside? Naruto wanted to ask. Instead he gritted his teeth, just in case Sasuke would answer, that yes, it did. He searched his mind for something else to talk about and distract him from the pneumonia that was slowly creeping in.

"Did you have to do this?"

Sasuke snapped out of from what ever he was playing in his head while watching Naruto embarrassing himself and said: "What?"

Naruto wanted, very bad, to find a bucket and use it to pour the cold water on his head.

"Did you have to drag your legs in freezing water to learn how to dance?" He forced out.

"Of course not." Sasuke answered, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. Naruto stopped in place, and glared.

"Then why do I have to do it?" He demanded.

Sasuke gave him one of those looks that make even the biggest man in the world feel like he is a bug on someone's shoe, and squashed one at that.

"You are not me."

Okay, that was it. He's dead, that horrible, arrogant little bastard!

Naruto marched all the way back to Sasuke and grabbed him on the wrists. Sasuke blinked at him, looking confused and odd and out of place, but that didn't stop Naruto. He stepped back, dragging Sasuke with him, until his feet were in the water. Sasuke finally widened his eyes in understanding, but it was too late, even though he tried to dig his feet into the ground. Naruto jerked him harder - just one more step, and…

A rather loud car siren made them both stop like that, frozen in place. After some careful looking around, they saw the police car up on the bridge and the blond cop-girl glaring down at them, and showing them with the right arm to move away from the water. Naruto laughed aloud and looked back at Sasuke who was glaring right back at the girl.

"I think she's stalking you." He said, in mock whisper.

Sasuke turned his glare at Naruto.

"Didn't you tell her I have AIDS or something?"

"Fleas, actually." Naruto said, smiling a bit on the memory of how easily she bought it. "I told her you're working in a dog shelter."

Sasuke in a dog shelter was ridiculously stupid, of course. His own dog hated him - Naruto remembered that very well – it was just one of those things that engraved themselves into your brain. Like, that Sasuke had a thing for tomatoes, and old gangster movies, or that his room was freakishly neat and always smelled like ash, as if he was burning things in there all the time.

All of that was from that short period in high school when they were almost friends but not quite, before… Just before.

Sasuke's voice jerked him out of the thought.

"I suggest you start scratching now, or she will arrest you for lying." When Naruto just blinked in response on the words and a bit too flat tone, Sasuke snapped. "Let go of me, moron!"

It took a full second for Naruto to process that, and then he jumped back, with unnecessary forcefulness, and water splattered, reaching high enough to wet his pants a little. He stared at his own hand as if they did something he had never allowed, holding Sasuke like that, of all people. Why was he even still alive, anyway?

When the curiosity finally made Naruto look up, Sasuke simply said: "Balance."

That probably had something to do with the dancing lessons; but Naruto was still somewhat traumatized by the actions of his own hands to do anything but follow.

He regretted it after just a couple of minutes, of course. Sasuke led the way deep into the park next to the river, far away from the road and the strict policewoman, behind the tall trees. There was only one bench that far, nestled in the grove and it was painted green – or it looked like it was painted green in the half-dark of the dusk.

When Sasuke stopped near that bench, Naruto had to wonder what he had in mind.

"Well, what are you waiting for?" Sasuke said, as impatiently as only a third grade teacher could be, and him.

"Um, what?"

Sasuke crossed his arms, looking like he has to do something with them or use them to strangle Naruto, which really wasn't fair, because he never said what they were doing now.

"What do you think?" Sasuke asked when Naruto failed to acknowledge danger of not understanding situation.

Naruto took a hint this time. Sasuke was really pissed off about something – but it surely couldn't have be that thing back at the river, right? If it was, then Sasuke must be one of those people who can't stand others touching them, he seems like the type. It had nothing to do with Naruto; he would react like that on anyone.

Trying not to upset Sasuke any more, Naruto tried to think what he could possibly be doing here to improve his balance. He looked around, but there was nothing special – a lamppost that was not lit yet, some grass and couple of trees. Trees…?

Oh!

After short inspection, Naruto chose the most convenient tree and started climbing. First wide branch appeared suitable for sitting, so he managed to get to it quickly. Down on the ground, Sasuke was holding his head in his hand, giving away the impression that he was either well on his way to solve some big mystery, or die from a headache.

"Sasuke?" Naruto called. When Sasuke tilted his head to look up at him, it became obvious he was just hiding the battle between amusement and annoyance on his face. "What now?"

"Why are you up there?" Sasuke asked in turn, making it sound reasonable. Everything he ever said sounded reasonable just out of his mouth, but when you think about it later, it makes much less sense. As Naruto had no time or patience to point out that he never got any instruction, and thus couldn't have know what to do, so he did what he though was most logical, he just snapped:

"Where am I supposed to be? There's nothing here!" There really was nothing where they were, but Naruto could see the bridge and the water from where he was. It was beautiful, glittering from the streetlight when the sky behind was still bright.

"On the bench!" Sasuke's voice almost startled him out of the musing.

Naruto blinked down at Sasuke's serious face.

"You want me to sit on the bench?" How was that supposed to help his balance? It would be much more helpful if he walked on the… "Oh. I'm coming there."

Naruto slid back down, now dirty and scratched as well as slightly wet from before – this just had to end up with some kind of disaster, he could feel it. To show how he doesn't need detailed instructions to do the right thing, Naruto walked to the bench without a word and climbed on the backrest.

"See?" He said. "My balance is good."

Sasuke shook his head.

"No, it's not. Try standing on one foot, arms on the sides."

Naruto did, stretching his other leg back. It was hard, he kept swaying and cursing mindlessly just under his breath.

"Close your eyes." Sasuke ordered, as if what he was doing now wasn't hard enough.

As soon as his eyelids slid down, Naruto felt his stability shattered and had to open his eyes to at least try to jump down on his legs. A hand closed around his forearm and guided him safely down, but as soon as he touched the ground, Sasuke let go.

"That's impossible!" Naruto said, watching the bench as if the poor thing was guilty he almost fell.

"I can do it." Sasuke told him calmly, though he was obviously lying – if it was possible, Naruto would have made it.

"Right." Naruto pushed as much of his disbelief in the word as he could.

Sasuke gave him a narrowed look and climbed the backrest. Retreating a bit to give him more space, Naruto rolled his eyes in the dark. What a jerk!

It turned out that Sasuke really could do it. Naruto even climbed on his toes and waved a hand in front of his eyes, but there was no reaction, aside from Sasuke snapping:

"Move away!"

Naruto moved away, but only his arm. The rest of him was still close, trying to see what the catch was. Sasuke was so still, he could have been a statue if not for light moving of his chest when he was breathing.

The temptation was just too strong; it overflowed Naruto's resistance so he reached with a single finger and poked Sasuke somewhere around the belt. Sasuke snapped his eyes open and then the both of them were falling down, Naruto first as the one closer to the ground and Sasuke right on top of him.

"Moron." Sasuke hissed near his left ear after couple of seconds of silence and some weirdly unsuccessful struggling, but Naruto couldn't understand for the life of him what was the bastard complaining about. He was lying on Naruto, who was pressed between Sasuke's weight and the earth. "Why do you keep grabbing onto me?!"

Naruto opened his mouth to tell him just how crazy he is, but then the situation registered with his brain and he closed it again. What was keeping Sasuke from standing up was apparently Naruto's arm, which was clutching the clothing of Sasuke's shirt where it was covering his back.

"Um." Naruto voiced his confusion about what his arms were up to yet again, but he couldn't make his hand let go even after some conscious orders his brain barked inside of his head. Naruto swallowed and looked up at Sasuke who was close, prompting himself next to his shoulders, looking annoyed and a bit funny in the shadow in which his face was half hidden. "I can't make my arms move."

Sasuke closed his eyes and dropped his head a bit in defeat. Naruto was just about to tell him his grip was not quite that strong and that Sasuke could probably wiggle himself out of it if he'd actually try, when there was a sound of someone clearing their throat somewhere on the left.

Naruto had to grin when he recognized the voice. Didn't this policewoman have someone else to bother, like some criminals and drunks beating their wives?

"What are the two of you doing now?" She asked, and you could hear clearly in her tone that she was not in a mood to approve of it, whatever explanation they had.

"…Exercising?" Naruto suggested. His grip had obviously weakened, because Sasuke had no problems to get up now.

The woman glared where Naruto was still sitting.

"Why were you holding him down?" She demanded.

Naruto wanted to defend himself – he had an explanation; his body just wouldn't respond for some reason – maybe he was sick - but Sasuke beat him to it, saying in a clear, cold voice:

"It's none of your business who's the bottom in this relationship."

Naruto would have been very upset with the prospect of some pretty blond girl – cop or not - considering him gay, but he was way too amused with the look of 'Oh my God, it's the end of the world' look on her face.

"Well," she said after some frantic blinking. "Well, you can't just – do things like that in the park!"

"Things like what?" Sasuke asked, enjoying himself more then it was healthy, and also risking them going into custody for real, so Naruto chipped in:

"I'm so, so sorry!" Then again, she was annoying, so… "We'll go find a bed now!"

She widened her eyes even more – how stupid a person can be? Did they look like a couple to her? And if they did, how did she dare to give Sasuke those 'let's run away together' looks?

"It doesn't have to be bed." Sasuke said, and when she let out a choked, horrified sound, as if he betrayed her somehow, added: "But it will be out of the sight and away from the children."

That didn't help. In fact, it made things worse. She finally snapped.

"If I see you two just once again tonight, I will arrest you!" She threatened and then added, as that was in question somehow: "Both of you!"

Naruto got up on his feet, cleared his pants as much as it was possible, and then looked at Sasuke, who was running this show.

"Now what?"

Sasuke picked a path and left Naruto to decide if he's going to follow or not on his own. The cop-woman took a different one, probably to get back to her car, but Naruto had no hope she'd gave up – there was no way she would before she had Sasuke behind the bars, cuffed and helpless…

Alright, where did that come from?

This dancing thing is getting to me, Naruto thought and sprinted after Sasuke, who was already far away down the path. How much time did Naruto spent thinking inappropriate thoughts, anyway?

"Sasuke? What now?" he repeated.

"I don't know. What else you have a problem with?"

Um, waltzing?

"Um, I don't know the steps." He repeated the thing he already said before.

"That's easy. We'll do it in the end. Something else?'

Naruto though about it. It's not that it was really something you can actually learn – if you can learn anything at all from Sasuke – but the worst part of the whole thing was that there will be so much people looking at him.

"I don't know. It makes me nervous we'll have to do it in front of all those people." Sasuke stopped and turned to him with a smirk on his face, so Naruto added, very forcefully, so he doesn't leave even the place for some insane doubt about it: "I will not dance on the town square, got it out of your head right now!"

Sasuke didn't look very put out by Naruto's decision.

"I was thinking – you should ask professionals for tips."

"Waltz dancers?" Naruto asked suspiciously – where were they supposed to find them? If that was so easy, he would have taken the lessons from them.

"Not quite."

…What now?

The bright pink light of the sign blinked down at Naruto as he stared up at it.

"The strip bar?" He asked incredulously, for the forth time. They were standing in an alley - not far way from the park actually, where Sasuke led the way. Naruto heard about Konoha having one of those, but he never really believed it. Now, when the kitty-girl mutant in tiny shorts and shiny bra was winking down at him, there was no place left for a doubt.

Sasuke didn't look any less entertained by his bewilderment then he was first time when he answered that.

"They won't bite you. I promise."

"I am less afraid of their evil intentions then of Sakura's anger. You know she's a nurse, right? She could kill me make it look like an accident – and she will tell all the bruises are from the falling down the…." Naruto planned to finish that sentence but once again the sign moved a bit on the wind that was becoming stronger by the minute, so he had to trail off and say instead: "The strip bar?"

"You don't have to look at them dancing. Just ask for stage fright tips."

"And they will ask for tuck-it-in-my-panties tips in turn. Right. You know if I touched any of them, even with my foot, Sakura would kill me?"

"And she would make it look like an accident. I remember – you told me. "

Naruto glanced sideways at Sasuke, wondering about the annoyance in his voice. Sasuke was looking down the street, though. His face was in a heavy night shadow as he was slightly turned away from the sign that was the only source of light in the dark side street, so Naruto couldn't see his face.

"How do you know about this place anyway?" He asked. The thought of Sasuke coming here in his free time seemed very wrong. If he couldn't get laid all the time, then who could?

"What, you don't know? My brother owns it."

Oh, that's right. One of the rumors the Uchiha brothers had attached permanently on them was that they had a strip bar – and that dancers in it were actually prostitutes. Iruka didn't believe it for a moment though, and it seems like his influence on Naruto was really big, because he never thought it was the truth, either.

"Right." Naruto laughed, pleasantly surprised Sasuke has a sense of humor. "That is one of the more popular rumors."

Sasuke turned to him, and Naruto could clearly see that there was not even a slightest waver of amusement on his face. He felt his mouth open.

Then Sasuke curved his lips up, in a twisted version of a smile.

"Then most of those rumors are the truth."

The first thing on Naruto's mind was to ask if he was really gay, but he didn't want to do that, not at all. It would give the little incident they had back in high school a new meaning, which they really didn't need.

Not that the incident was anything special – nothing really happened, just one of those looks, too close, too full of some tension and urgency most looks just before the first kiss had. Naruto panicked though, and that was the real reason Sasuke and him were never friends. The memory he was trying to keep at bay all day long now made Naruto feel somehow warm, and in a pleasant way, but he needed to talk.

He was just about to ask where they are burying the bones of all the eaten babies, when a police siren made him jump a bit in the place. The two of them locked their gazes, standing for a second frozen under the pink light. Then Sasuke closed the distance between in a strode, and Naruto lost his breath for some unimaginable reason, allowing his legs to follow the push and step back and back – and then there was wall behind him.

He closed his eyes shut and braced himself, expecting – something, but nothing came, there was just a light, warm pressure of Sasuke's hand on his chest. A breath passed, and then another one; and only then, when still there was nothing, Naruto dared to open his eyes. Sasuke was looking intently on the side where the alley was opening to the road, in the direction they heard the siren from.

It clicked.

"It's her, isn't it? Oh, God, she'll arrest me now and it's your entire fault."

"Quiet." Sasuke said. That was not exactly a reassurance, and besides, it was much more probable that if the cop-girl were stalking them, she would see Sasuke's head that was sticking behind the overloaded dumpster like a curious duck, then to hear Naruto.

"Is it her?" Naruto asked again, when it became clear Sasuke would not answer.

Sasuke tilted his head to the other side, to see better.

"I think so." He was still sticking his head, so Naruto panicked a bit – Sakura would definitely kill him if he were to be arrested in some dark alley by the back entrance of the strip club. He grabbed Sasuke's belt, which wasn't all that far as Sasuke was still keeping his hand on Naruto's chest, and jerked him closer, saying:

"I love my freedom. Please respect that, and don't get me arrested."

Surprised, Sasuke couldn't stop himself from taking a couple of small steps closer, but he managed to raise his arms in time to keep them from colliding. Naruto didn't really think that one through, so when their faces were just inches away, on the same level, he was truthfully surprised and mildly curious about his mental health.

"What do you think you're doing?" Sasuke snapped, sounding angry. His breath was not angry or unpleasant, though it was warm and scented. And Sasuke was kind of glaring, but then that look melted away, replaced by the very same one they shared when they were school boys. The big metal door between Naruto's sanity and his tongue slid shut.

"Curious duck." He said in his defense. Sasuke scowled, obviously catching the reference to his peculiar haircut.

"Stupid moron." He answered. Naruto was too busy watching in fascination his mouth move, letting out more of that scented, warm air all over his face, to be properly insulted. "How did you manage to get us into this again?"

Naruto swallowed hard to get to his voice and said: "Well…"

But then Sasuke leaned in and kissed him. Which was exactly what he wanted, of course, it was undeniable at this point, but for some reason, Naruto just let his mouth fall open. Sasuke's lips were soft and moist, and there for just a brief moment. Naruto blinked – how can you miss and want back something that barely even happened, and so soon? – And then he understood Sasuke was drawing back, which was unacceptable.

His hands found their way up and in Sasuke's hair, and Naruto might have been a bit too forceful when he jerked him back, but it paid off, because Sasuke got the message and then they were kissing, this time properly. It was fast and good and somehow melancholic anyway, and when Sasuke pushed himself a bit back, Naruto was not surprised, not at all.

If figures Sasuke would take away something that pleasant from him.

"You're getting married." Sasuke said, and he was so close the words felt like he was kissing them on Naruto's skin, just on the side of his mouth.

"I know." Naruto answered, nuzzling a little Sasuke's cheek. He did know; Sakura's bright smile and hair were right there on the top of his mind. It just didn't matter right now. He tugged again on Sasuke's hair when he tried to retreat again but he was too impatient for the hesitations and thinking, so he couldn't wait; and then it was him kissing Sasuke, and oh, God, everything was just fine with the world again.

Much slower now, they were kissing in the shadows of the alley, Naruto holding onto Sasuke, and Sasuke with his hand on the wall next to Naruto's head. It was sweet, the shifting and movements so subtle, uncharacteristic for them both and still sending odd waves of warmth through his body.

The bastard couldn't let it last for long, though. He turned his head in a sudden, swift movement, leaving Naruto to feel cold and torn apart; his hand slid down, lifeless.

"Idiot." Sasuke said. Naruto had a feeling this time it could have been on his own expense. There was no time to dwell on it, because Sasuke was retreating, moving away and out of reach, probably forever.

"Where? No!" Naruto told him, wisely, in a voice he never before heard out of his mouth, much too low and pleading. Sasuke growled in response an unintelligible word what could have been 'moron' or not, but he was still retreating so Naruto reached, unfastening himself from the wall, and grabbed his shoulder.

"Married." Sasuke repeated so Naruto could understand he had a problem with that, and Naruto's grip loosened – what was he doing, anyway? He had a lovely girl he'd loved all of his life, waiting for him to marry her, so why was he in an alley behind a strip bar, kissing Sasuke, of all people?

One of them at least had some mind left, and when Sasuke gave him a look that was meant to be a glare but it came out as a helpless grimace, Naruto was grateful. It sobered him.

There was nothing else to be said or done, so Naruto went around the dumpster and down the alley without looking back. His steps were heavy in the beginning, and then they grew lighter with the distance he was making between him and the place he left Sasuke on behind, so very soon, he was turning into his street. His cell ringed, letting out parts of the old love song Sakura and Naruto considered their own as a signal.

Naruto looked at it, where big letters saying 'Sakura' were blinking. Then he pressed the button.

"Naruto? Where are you?" Familiar, cherished, voice asked.

"On my way home." He answered, praying inside Sakura would not ask for details, like he's on his way home from where?

"I was thinking, you know, about that dancing my mum insists on?" Naruto mumbled something that she fortunately took as a confirmation. "And I think I found someone to help us learn it properly."

Naruto stopped in the middle of the street and closed his eyes.

"What?" He asked, with a voice a bit trembling and a bit snappy. Sakura understood it in her own way.

"I know you told me you know it, but I thought it would be a good idea to try it together, you know?" As Naruto didn't know any more how to waltz now then he did yesterday, it was a good idea. But right now, they had other things to talk about.

"Are you home?" When Sakura confirmed, he said, "I'll be right there."

Naruto changed direction before he even managed to turn the phone off. The sooner they get this conversation over with, the better.

A/N: I'm pretty sure the prompter wanted him to actually dance, but Sasuke, the bastard, wouldn't cooperate. In order to actually finish this, I had to give up the dancing, because I just had too much problems writing it.