Three times when Sasuke didn't kiss Naruto, and one time when he did
Disclaimer: I don't own, you don't sue.
Pairing: NaruSasu. Or SasuNaru. Or both. However you want to see it.
AN: One shot fic written for Kantayra because she rocks and she won the challenge, darn it. A sequel might come. Possibly. We'll see. Feedback always appreciated. Flames will be used to roast marshmallows.
ETA: OK, never mind the one shot thing. Chapter 2 is up and more will be forthcoming.
"So you're not just a loser. You're a pervert too."
Naruto shrieked and scrambled back from the bush behind which he had been crouching. Sasuke crossed his arms and glared down at him. They were supposed to be picking those damn weeds. Couldn't Naruto do his share rather than spy on the daughter of their client and her boyfriend?
"I wasn't…" Naruto stammered. "I thought I heard…" He jumped to his feet and glared back at Sasuke. "I was practicing my infiltration skills! Have you ever heard of stealth?"
Sasuke rolled his eyes. "Did you hear me sneak up on you?"
Naruto blushed brightly, the color clashing with his just as horribly bright jumper. Why he thought he could train for infiltration while wearing bright orange, Sasuke couldn't fathom.
"Of course I heard you," he claimed, lying through his teeth. "I just didn't want to make you feel bad about your skills."
"My skills," Sasuke said icily, his eyes narrowing in anger, "are a thousand times better than yours, dead last."
"Ah! You wish, bastard! You could never sneak up on me."
Sasuke struggled not to hit the idiot over the head. It would only be a waste of his time. "I just did, you—"
"Do you two plan on helping Sakura anytime soon?"
Behind Naruto, Kakashi barely glanced up from his book to look at them. With a suppressed sigh, Sasuke pushed past Naruto and returned to the cursed field they were supposed to work in. He was tired of these stupid D-rank missions that didn't teach him anything. At his age, Itachi—
He stomped on that line of thought as soon as it emerged. It never helped anything. He started pulling at the weeds with renewed vigor. The faster they were done here, the more time he would have for actual training afterwards.
"You could never sneak up on me," Naruto repeated from a few feet to his left, glancing up from his task with a cocky smile Sasuke would have loved to wipe off his face.
"Want to bet?" Sasuke said, practically growling, and immediately regretted it when Naruto's face lit up with a wide grin.
"You're on! I bet that you won't be able to sneak up on me before the end of the day. The loser treats the winner to ramen tomorrow!"
Sasuke couldn't have cared less about ramen, but an occasion to humiliate Naruto yet again was too good to pass. "Done."
For the rest of the morning, Sasuke superbly ignored Naruto, who kept an eye on him at all times. When they returned to the village, Naruto walked behind him, snickering every so often that Sasuke would lose. Sasuke continued to ignore him. That afternoon, he trained on his own as he had planned to do, and caught a glimpse of Naruto. He was hiding in a tree and observing Sasuke train, probably thinking that it would be impossible for Sasuke to sneak up on him if he knew where he was. Sasuke merely trained harder. He returned home as night was falling, Naruto following him at a distance and staying outside the house until Sasuke had turned off all the lights. Naruto was grumbling under his breath as he returned home, hands shoved deep in his pockets. Apparently, he was both convinced that Sasuke had forgotten all about their bet and unaware that he was being followed.
Sasuke posted himself on a roof across the street from Naruto's apartment and watched him have dinner then prepare for bed. He waited for a little longer after that, until snoring drifted out of the window. One jump took him across the street. As silent as though his life had depended on it, he slid in through the open window and approached the bed.
Naruto was wearing a ridiculous night hat and holding a pillow to him with both arms and legs. Snickering inwardly, Sasuke came closer. He was going to shout in his ear and teach him a lesson. What idiot left his window open and went to bed unguarded when he knew an enemy was coming? He leaned down toward Naruto's ear, but just then Naruto turned his face toward him. Taken by surprise, Sasuke moved back, but not quite fast enough. Their lips just brushed against each other. Naruto made a small moaning noise. Still as a statue, Sasuke held his breath, certain that he would wake now. Instead, Naruto flipped over onto his stomach and started snoring again. Sasuke took a step back, then another, and left the apartment the same way he had come.
The next day, when Naruto, exulting, ordered a third helping of ramen, Sasuke was still wondering if he had imagined it all, or if Naruto had really said his name when their lips had touched.
Sasuke had done it. He had won. At his feet, Naruto was unconscious, defenseless, beaten. Next to him, the scratch on Sasuke's forehead protector was a testament to how hard they had fought, but in the end all of Naruto's efforts hadn't been enough. All Sasuke needed to do was finish it. And he would. In just a minute, when he was done savoring the moment, he would. He just wasn't quite sure where the bitterness that tainted his victory came from.
Pain lanced through his body. His knees gave in and he fell, catching himself before he fell on Naruto. Just inches from him, Naruto's eyes were closed, his mouth just barely open, and he remained oblivious to the now heavy rain falling on them, oblivious to the danger, to Sasuke's pain and tears.
"You idiot," Sasuke murmured. "Why did you have to come after me?"
Naruto didn't move. Sasuke wondered whether, behind his closed eyelids, his eyes were still blood-red, or blue again. He wondered whether he still had fangs. He wondered what had happened to him, and where he had found this strange strength to fight.
He wondered also why part of him felt disappointed, almost betrayed that Naruto had not managed to stop him. He wondered why he still hadn't killed him. He had to, if he wanted to be able to kill Itachi, some day. He had to. He just didn't know if he could do it anymore, not after Naruto had said…
Very slowly, he lowered his face toward Naruto's. He tried not to think about what he was doing. This hardly was how he had imagined it, but it was his last chance. Their mouths were millimeters apart now, and he could feel Naruto's shallow breathing against his lips. If they ever met again—
Somewhere nearby, a branch cracked. Sasuke's head snapped up. He couldn't see anything, but he had no doubt someone was coming. He pushed himself to his feet and tried not to look back as he left.
The first few weeks, Sasuke had been on his guards constantly, expecting Naruto to barge into Orochimaru's lair at any time of the day or night. He had tried not to be disappointed when he hadn't come.
After four months, he had stopped waiting for him and started training twice as hard.
Six more months, and most days passed without him thinking of Konoha or anyone there.
But for almost three years, the same dream resurfaced every few nights—dream or nightmare depending on how it ended—in which he and Naruto replayed their last fight. Sometimes Naruto won, and dragged him back to the village. Sometimes, Sasuke did, and this time he finished the job. Never, though, did anyone over than Naruto show up to bring him back in his dreams, not Sakura, not Kakashi, not ANBU. That was how he knew it wasn't a dream, this time. That, and in the dream Naruto was still a kid. He wasn't anymore, Sasuke realized with a pang as he observed him. Neither of them was.
Hurtful words flung from a distance didn't seem to deter Naruto. Sasuke's only hope was to act fast, and not think of what he was doing. He jumped down and felt a thrill at being so close to him again after all this time. If only they had been alone…
He knew he wouldn't kill Naruto this time either as soon as that boy—his replacement—stopped his sword. Killing the boy, on the other hand, was more appealing with every passing second. He seemed to know too much about them; that could only mean that Naruto confided in him. The thought had fire and ice running through Sasuke's veins.
When they attacked him, he lashed out by pure reflex. Seeing red take over Naruto's eyes brought back memories along with curiosity. It wasn't a good idea to leap into his head, not when three more enemies surrounded him, but Sasuke couldn't resist. He would just take a peek, just to see why Naruto was there and maybe—
He discovered something else altogether, something that explained a lot while raising many more questions. He had wanted to be alone with Naruto, though, so he sent the demon packing without trying to get answers. When the Kyuubi warned him against killing Naruto, he almost laughed. He had known he'd regret killing him since their first real fight. That the demon would know it too however rattled him, and he leapt out again without saying another word to Naruto. He didn't care for an audience, be it in the flesh or purely in their minds.
Another time, maybe—though deep down, he hoped there wouldn't be a next time. He wasn't sure how much of him would be left, then. He wasn't sure Naruto would escape one more encounter with his life.
"So what did you think of granny Tsunade?"
From the corner of his eye, Naruto observed Sasuke, waiting for a reaction. Sasuke hadn't said a word since they had left the Fifth's office, and his expression had remained the same impassible mask Naruto had learned to hate. Even now, his only answer was a noncommittal little noise.
"She's pretty strict," Naruto continued, thinking of the conditions Tsunade had placed on Sasuke's return to the village. "But if we annoy her enough, she'll cave in, you'll see. We can't stay genin forever."
The rhythm of Sasuke's steps broke before starting again, slow and measured. Naruto expected him to ask why he was still a genin at his age. Instead, Sasuke said:
"She only forbade me to take the exam."
Naruto linked his hands behind his head. "Right. Because I'd take the exam on my own." He snorted. "It's a team thing, remember, idiot?"
"Who are you calling an idiot, dead last?"
The insult was familiar enough that Naruto wanted to smile. The tone, however, lacked…something. It was almost as though Sasuke was playing along to indulge him. The hell with that. If he didn't mean it, Naruto wasn't going to respond.
"Anyway," he continued as though Sasuke hadn't said a word, "where would be the fun in beating kids? I want at least one real opponent."
A few seconds passed before Sasuke answered, his voice perfectly blank. "It'd be interesting to see how it would end this time."
Naruto forced out a laugh that rang false to his own ears. "Without forbidden techniques you mean?"
"And without the Kyuubi."
The demon stirred inside Naruto at the mention of its name, but it didn't try to come forward. It had been strangely subdued ever since they had brought Sasuke back home, always present, of course, but observing from afar.
An owl hooted above them. Naruto looked up. The moon was high in the sky, the thick crescent giving enough light to make the street almost as clear as in daylight. It also made Sasuke's too pale skin seem to glow, attracting Naruto's eyes until he forced himself to look away. He hadn't realized it was so late. The meeting with Tsunade and those damn Elders had taken much longer than he had thought. At least the streets were deserted now, and no one was left to stare and glare at Sasuke like had happened when they had arrived in the village. Sasuke hadn't seemed to mind or even notice, but Naruto had needed to keep a tight grip on himself not to lash out at the gawking crowd.
Sasuke stopped walking as they crossed an intersection. Naruto took a couple more steps before he noticed and looked back at him.
Sasuke tilted his head toward the street on the right. "My home's that way. I'll see you tomorrow."
Naruto glanced in the direction of what had been the Uchiha compound, suddenly uncomfortable. He wished Tsunade hadn't forgotten to mention this, leaving it up to him to break the news. "Well, about that…" He scratched his head, wondering how to say it. "See, you kinda don't really have a home anymore."
He looked back at Sasuke. The difference between a blank expression and an icy one was minute, but he knew Sasuke enough to notice. Somehow, that realization made him happy, even with the flash of red coloring Sasuke's eyes for a split second.
"What does that mean, I don't have a home?"
"The Uchiha compound was… confiscated, I guess. They said you betrayed Konoha and…"
Naruto shrugged. Seconds trickled by in silence.
"I see," Sasuke said at last, back to blankness.
"We can talk to Tsunade about that too," Naruto said quickly. "And in the meantime, you can live with me."
Sasuke remained still as marble. Naruto shrugged again and tried to look bored.
"You heard her, I'm supposed to keep an eye on you. It'll be easier if I don't have to hunt you down all the time."
The ghost of a smile touched Sasuke's lips. "Finally tired of running after me?"
Naruto rolled his eyes and thrust his hands in his pockets. "There wasn't a chance in hell of that happening."
He turned on his heel and started again. After a few seconds, Sasuke had caught up with him. They didn't speak again until they had reached Naruto's apartment.
"It's small," Naruto said, apologetic, as he ushered Sasuke in and watched him look around with an unreadable expression. "I bet you're used to—"
"You haven't changed a bit," Sasuke cut in, stepping over to the dresser. He picked up the picture frame and examined it. "You still talk too much."
"At least I talk," Naruto shot back. "Unlike certain other people in here."
Sasuke put down the picture and walked back toward him. His fists closed. He frowned. Naruto tensed, instinctively preparing for yet another fight. This was exactly how Sasuke had looked at him when he had found him again, five days earlier—like Naruto was an annoying fly that kept buzzing in his face, something to get rid of. Well, Sasuke hadn't gotten rid of him then, and if he thought he would do it now, he had something else coming his way. Naruto had worked too hard to bring him back, sacrificed too much, and—
"Do you remember the Valley of the End? Our first time there?"
Naruto blinked. Was that Sasuke's subtle way to remind him he had had the opportunity to kill him?
"What about it?" he asked defiantly.
Sasuke's eyes flickered to the side before coming back to him. Naruto had become so used to the sharingan that he had forgotten how dark Sasuke's eyes were.
"You said I was like your brother."
Naruto frowned, taken aback. "I did."
"Do you still think that?"
The intensity of Sasuke's stare was beginning to unravel Naruto's composure. He forced a chuckle from his throat and sidestepped past Sasuke. A minute earlier, he had complained that Sasuke didn't talk enough, but now he wished they'd go to sleep and stop the conversation. He knelt by his bed and hunted beneath it for box of spare blankets he kept there.
"I'm not sure it's safe to be your brother," he joked, regretting the words as soon as they passed his lips. "I think I'd rather be your teammate. And your friend."
He stood, a couple of blankets in his hands. When he turned, he found himself practically nose to nose with Sasuke. He gasped. He hadn't heard or felt him come closer.
"Friend," Sasuke repeated, nodding approvingly. "That works. It'd be too disturbing to do this if you still thought of me as a brother."
Before Naruto could ask what he meant, Sasuke moved forward, bumping into him, forcing him back against the edge of the bed.
The blankets hit the floor with barely more than a whisper. Naruto didn't notice. It was hard to notice anything when Sasuke's hand was in the center of his chest, pushing him down onto the bed with unexpected gentleness.
"What are you—"
Eyes wide and heart pounding, he watched Sasuke climb onto the bed, one knee on either side of him. Sasuke leaned down, resting on his forearms until their faces were no more than an inch apart. His eyes were gleaming. Naruto licked his lips nervously.
"What are you doing?" he squeaked.
"I told you. You talk too much."
And then, Naruto couldn't talk anymore, because firm lips were pressing against his own, gently moving and coaxing his mouth open. Above him, Sasuke's eyes had closed. Naruto blinked twice then closed his eyes as well. He swallowed hard and parted his lips, just a little, just to see what would happen. Sasuke's tongue caressed his bottom lip before sliding in to press against his tongue. Tentatively, Naruto returned the touch, pressing harder against Sasuke's tongue and following it as it retreated. Not fully aware of what he was doing, he tilted his head and deepened the kiss. Sasuke let out a little strangled sound that might have been a moan, and Naruto decided to see if he could make him moan again.
Between them, Sasuke's fingers tugged his zipper down his chest then traced the narrow expanse of skin back to Naruto's neck, pausing only briefly to circle around the pendant. Dazed, Naruto could have sworn Sasuke was using some kind of technique on him. Why else would his skin felt like it was burning everywhere Sasuke touched him, why else—
His eyes snapped open in horror. Breaking the kiss, he pushed Sasuke off him and to the side of the bed. He scrambled up to the headboard and grabbed the pillow. He held it protectively in front of him, hiding the tenting in his pants. His heart felt like it was ready to break free from his chest and his cheeks burned in embarrassment.
"Hmm. I thought you were enjoying this."
Naruto dared a glance up at Sasuke. He had sit up on the bed, his legs crossed, and was frowning. He looked mildly frustrated. Naruto's blush only deepened when his eyes slid down and despite the ample cut of his pants, it was obvious that Sasuke shared his not so little problem.
"We…you…" he stammered. "It's not—"
Lightning-fast, Sasuke reached forward and pulled the pillow from his arms before dropping it on the floor. "You did enjoy it," he said, now accusing, before Naruto could cover his erection. "So what's the problem?"
"What's… the problem?" Naruto gestured between the two of them frantically, at a loss for words. "I… You…"
Sasuke's frown only deepened. "Isn't that why you kept coming after me?"
"Of course not!" Naruto said without thinking.
Sasuke's face closed off, returning to the blank mask from earlier, but not before a flash of hurt passed through his eyes. A pang coursed through Naruto. In all those years, he had never felt as close to losing Sasuke as he now did. In all those years, he had never imagined that Sasuke could feel this way toward him. He hadn't dared to imagine it.
"I mean…" He slowly shifted forward, resting onto his hands and knees and inching down the bed back toward Sasuke. "I never thought… I just wanted you back, you know." Any closer now and he would touch Sasuke. He didn't feel quite up to it yet. "I never thought about what would happen after," he finished in a murmur.
Sasuke rolled his eyes at him. "You didn't think. Why am I not surprised, dobe?"
Naruto ignored the sarcasm, recognizing that it was nothing more than a defensive move. "Is that… Is that why you came back?"
Crossing his arms, Sasuke turned his face to the window and glared at the night. "What if it was?"
Naruto leaned forward. He pressed his lips a bit awkwardly to the corner of Sasuke's mouth. "I think… I think I'd like that."
This time, when Sasuke tried to tackle him to the bed, he was ready. Using his momentum, he rolled their bodies so that he was on top, pinning Sasuke down with his legs and arms.
"Gotcha," he said, grinning a little hesitantly.