© 2008 FastForward.

So, hi guys. I'm back. Sorta. Kinda. Anyway, as per usual, my fics always start with long and tedious explanations of evilness. Which, yes, suck, but also leave me able to have no sympathy for all the people lately who've been complaining about the fact that, omg, my fics are yaoi. If you'd read the warnings, you would've noticed this -.-

First and foremost: I give you all a warning. If you liked where Blood and Tears ended, I suggest you stop reading RIGHT NOW. Right now! Don't even finish this sen–why are you still reading?! Well, guess you made your choice. But yeah, no, being totally serious, if you liked Blood and Tears' ending, pretend I never wrote this. You've been warned.

Speaking of being warned, let's list off the warnings:
- THIS IS PART THREE! Just making that clear for anyone who stumbled onto this fic. This is part THREE of three. The first is Roommates, and the second is Blood and Tears. So if you're reading this fic and not understanding, you a) didn't read the warning, and b) didn't read the first two.
- Yaoi. Yes, this is a SasuNaru fic. Nothing explicit here.
- Kiba is still here. This warning is self-explanatory if you know me and Kiba.
- Death. Yes, people are still going to die.
- Substance abuse. Remember Blood and Tears.
- Abuse. Yeah... this fic is dark. Just like the last one.
- SOME Spoilers. Yes, I read the manga. Yes, I know about who dies and who's who and everything. I appreciate people trying to correct me on it, but the thing is, I won't change anything that hasn't been seen in the anime since 60 percent of all Naruto fans only watch the anime, and therefore, I don't want to spoil them. So if you could maybe try not to put spoilers that are SUPER recent in the comments and stuff so people reading them randomly won't get spoiled, that'd be nice. I try not to have too many obvious spoilers but it's hard to avoid them altogether. If you WANT to talk to me about things that have recently happened, you're more than welcome to PM me since I'm up to date on the manga.

Yeah... I think that's it. So, yeah, enjoy. At least I don't have to emphasize how evil I am. People who've managed to make it through Blood and Tears already know -smirk- Enjoy.


Disclaimer: I am forming a team of highly dangerous individuals to join me in the abduction of certain Naruto characters from K. Masashi. I call Kiba.

Follow The Leader.

Naruto Uzumaki exhaled deeply as he shifted in bed, licking his lips in his sleep before frowning as he began to wake up. He relocated into a slightly more comfortable position before groaning, not wanting to slip out of his slumber, but a slight pain in his lower abdomen was forcing him to regain consciousness. He had to go to the bathroom, and as much as he didn't want to wake up, he was going to have to.

Opening sleepy cerulean eyes, the blond glanced around the dark room before his eyes fell on the clock. Four twenty-eight in the morning.

Naruto sighed as he started to roll over so he could get out of bed, but the arm around his waist tightened at the action, holding him firmly when he tried to get away. He smiled slightly at the protectiveness of his boyfriend.

Sasuke Uchiha had had an immense fear ever since the end of the school year that Naruto was going to leave in the middle of the night. He supposed it had to do with the fact that the year before, he'd always disappeared during the night to see Orochimaru. The blond shuddered at the mere thought, the action causing the raven to stir, opening onyx eyes.

"What's wrong?" he mumbled before inhaling deeply.

"I have to go to the bathroom," Naruto whispered.

"Thirty seconds. Door open." Sasuke released him, the blond rolling off the bed.

There was another reason Sasuke never let Naruto out of his sight for long, but it wasn't one the blond was proud of. He still wasn't entirely over his forced addiction to heroin, and he often found himself craving it. Sasuke had gotten worried when Naruto had admitted this to him, since it was very clear the blond was scared of relapsing. So, Sasuke had reassured him that until he felt he could resist, he would watch him.

Naruto walked into the bathroom, not bothering with the light as he went to the toilet and relieved himself. The fingers of his left hand moved to his stomach, rubbing against his newest scar absentmindedly, and the blond wondered how the snake Orochimaru Sannin was liking jail.

Even though he'd been an accessory to a few murders, CSIS had pardoned everything he'd done, knowing the kind of blackmail he'd been threatened with. Of course, he was going to be watched for a while—well into the new school year, they'd said—but he was relatively seen as innocent. He still felt guilty for everything that had happened, but there was no way to turn back the clock.

Honestly, he found it weird as he gave it more thought, since even though he hadn't killed anyone, he'd been there and had aided in the deaths of countless people. Then again, movies and shows often had accessories let off when it was a matter of life and death. He supposed it could've been seen as some form of self-defence—well, in this case, more in the defence of others. It didn't mean he was happy with what he did, though. He felt he deserved jail.


Naruto jumped a mile high before turning to the door, Sasuke standing sleepily in the doorway. Naruto had exceeded his thirty seconds.

"Sorry." He finished up and went to the sink, washing his hands. "I was—reminiscing." The blond's eyes went dead and Sasuke sighed, knowing what it meant.

The Uchiha walked up behind his boyfriend, wrapping his arms around his waist and kissing his right shoulder. Naruto looked up into the mirror, seeing Sasuke's lips as they fell onto his skin, the other's eyes closed, as if he was savouring Naruto's taste. The blond had to smile.

"It's all in the past," Sasuke whispered before moving up to the blond's neck, kissing all the marks he'd left on the tanned skin. "You never have to think about it again."

"I can't not think about it," Naruto insisted.

Sasuke sighed, knowing it was going to be one of those nights for Naruto. His guilt often drowned him, sending him into hysterical tears that would take Sasuke hours to calm him down from. He always panicked about becoming like his mother. It made him feel better knowing that Minako Uzumaki had at least not been able to kill his father, and she wasn't the one who'd injured him, but she was still a murderer.

The two had spent many sleepless nights near the end of second year around exam time, but Sasuke didn't mind. Anything to make Naruto feel better was worth it. Now, the blond still got upset, but he rarely broke down anymore, which Sasuke was grateful for. He always felt so useless when Naruto had one of his breakdowns.

Sasuke shifted, releasing the blond's waist so he could rub the other's arms. "Do you want to go for a swim or something?"


"A walk, then? To clear your head?"

Naruto thought about it for a few seconds, watching as the water flowed over his hands before falling into the sink and going down the drain.


"Okay." Sasuke kissed his shoulder again before pulling away, heading back into the blond's room. He pulled on a pair of sweatpants over his boxers and grabbed one of his random shirts off the ground, yanking it over his head as Naruto exited the bathroom. He had been wearing sweatpants to bed, so he merely pulled on a shirt. It was too warm out right now for sweaters.

Sasuke grabbed his set of keys to Naruto's house, the blond's probably buried under a pile of clothes or something, since he hadn't really been leaving the house.

The Uchiha had been taking summer courses since the beginning of the summer to earn the missed credits he needed in order to get third year status, like all of his friends. Kiba Inuzuka was staying with them at Naruto's since he hadn't wanted to go home for the summer, so he watched the blond while Sasuke was out.

"You ready?" the Uchiha asked.

"Yeah." Naruto headed for the door, Sasuke following him. "Should we leave a note for Kiba?" The blond lowered his voice as they walked down the corridor.

"He won't be up until late, probably, so I don't think we need to worry," was the raven's reply as he took Naruto's hand, squeezing it reassuringly as they began descending the stairs.

The two made their way outside, Sasuke locking the door behind them. The night was warm, and fairly humid. Sasuke knew his shirt would be sticking to him in a few minutes, but he ignored that fact as he and Naruto walked up towards the road. He wondered how far they would walk tonight. Their last walk had taken them to the highway that led into Vancouver.

It had taken them almost three hours to walk there and back.

Naruto shoved his hands in his pockets, staring at his feet as he walked, not saying a word. Sasuke just waited, knowing the blond would speak when he was ready; when he knew what he wanted to say.

"How..." Naruto trailed off, frowning, but it looked like a pained frown. "How—can you forgive me?"

Sasuke almost faltered in his steps, stunned. Okay... topic we've never come across before...

"What do you mean? How can I not?" Sasuke asked with a kind smile. He ran one hand down Naruto's arm, causing the other to pull his hand out of his pocket. Sasuke took it in his and squeezed tightly. "You protected me, even though it was killing you inside. You did unspeakable things just to protect me and all our other friends. How could any of us not forgive you?"

"I killed people, Sasuke," Naruto whispered.

"You didn't kill them, you closed off their exits, there's a difference." The raven narrowed his eyes.

"I still didn't save them."

"You had no choice." Sasuke stopped and grabbed Naruto's shoulders, turning the blond to face him. "Naruto, you are not a bad person, all right? You did what you thought you had to do in order to protect those you cared about. And think about it this way, if you'd said no to helping—helping, Naruto, not killing—then there's no telling how many of us would've died. For every person you refused to help them with, they could've killed four, five, six of us. You don't know to what lengths they would have gone to get you to cooperate."

"But why?" Naruto was looking at the floor, a far off look in his eyes. Sasuke was losing him. "Why me? Why did they want me so badly? It can't just have been because I was Minako Uzumaki's son."

"Why not? She was a—" Sasuke cut himself off before sighing, pulling Naruto to himself and hugging him. "Please forget about it, Naruto. Who cares what their goal was, it doesn't matter anymore. They lost. We won." He smiled a little. "It's like a really, really bad horror movie where you can already tell who's gonna live and who's not."

"Like House of Wax," Naruto whispered against the other's chest.

Both of them laughed, Sasuke shaking his head. "Yeah, like that. Fuck, that movie was terrible."

He rubbed slowly at the blond's back, the other shaking slightly due to his laughter. It felt good to see him like this. It was hard, sometimes, since Sasuke didn't know how to help him. Kiba did a better job at cheering Naruto up—but Sasuke insisted it was because the brunette was an idiot. He could fall down the stairs and it would make his boyfriend happy. Hell, that would make him happy. Kiba injuring himself was always funny.

Sasuke heard footsteps coming up behind them, Naruto tensing immediately, but it was easy to see the suit in the darkness. The CSIS agent stopped a few steps away from them, his hands in his pockets and his eyes locked on Naruto.

"Tch." Sasuke turned to continue walking, taking the blond's hand tightly in his own and practically pulling him away.

A part of him was angry and wanted to kick the shit out of the man who was following them only six or seven feet behind, but another part of him understood the necessity. Still, he could give them a little breathing room; this was a private conversation!

"How do you think you did on your finals?" Naruto asked in a low voice, obviously wanting to change the subject. Sasuke went along with it.

"I hope I did all right. If not, I'll still be a second year and I'll have to re-take a whole bunch of courses." He made a face at the mere thought.

Despite the fact that things had gone wrong for him since first year in terms of schooling, Sasuke had to admit that he'd still managed to do considerably well. Being in a coma for half a year, and then having amnesia for another half a year, the fact that these courses in the summer would raise him up to third year status, provided he passed, was somewhat of an achievement, in his opinion.

This meant only two more years of university, and then he and Naruto could—well, do something other than go to school. He grinned to himself, wondering what kind of job he could get where sick days were unlimited. The more sick days he could get, the more sex he could have with his cute little blond boyfriend.


"Hm?" Sasuke turned to Naruto, who was regarding him with a concerned expression.

"What are you thinking about that has you smirking like that?"

"Nothing." The raven grinned.

"Sure, that's real convincing." Rolling his eyes, the blond turned away from Sasuke, looking around at the scenery as they passed it.

The two continued on in silence, the only sounds around them being the wind blowing and the persistent steps coming from behind them. They reached the main road that would lead out into Abbotsford when Naruto finally stopped, turning around so they could head back home.

"It's weird, isn't it?" He asked as the wind picked up a bit, ruffling their hair.

"What is?"

Naruto said nothing for a few seconds, then glanced up at the cloudless sky, a frown marring his features.

"I can't help but feel this is the calm before the storm."

The sound of clatter from downstairs caused Sasuke's head to jerk up off the pillow, bleary eyes cracking open before he let it fall back down, moaning slightly. He vaguely wondered what time it was and opened one eye again to check the clock, closing it again. It was just past eleven in the morning. Great...

Inhaling deeply, one hand reached out, seeking his boyfriend. He found no one, and opened his eyes again, lifting his head. The space beside him was empty.

How the heck did Naruto leave without me waking up? Sasuke rubbed his eyes with one hand, the other running over the blond's side of the bed. It was still warm, so he hadn't been up for long. The raven rolled onto his back, sitting up and stretching before reaching down to grab his sweat pants. Pulling them on, he walked towards the bathroom, pushing the door open. No one.

Letting out a yawn, he shuffled to the bedroom door, opening it while running his hand up backwards at the back of his head to make his hair stick up more. He reached the bottom of the stairs and turned to the kitchen, hearing Kiba and Naruto laughing. He entered the room and blinked.

"What the fuck?" The two boys jumped, startled, one turning around while doing dishes, and the other making eggs at the stove.

"Morning." Naruto grinned.

"I know we're gay and all, but that's pushing it a little." Sasuke turned to Kiba, pointing his finger at him. "And what the hell is your excuse?"

"We're getting in touch with our feminine side." Naruto laughed, Kiba glaring at him.

The Uchiha shook his head, sitting down at the kitchen table and staring at the two boys. Both of them were wearing bright pink frilly aprons that Sasuke could only assume used to belong to Naruto's grandmother. That, or Naruto had bought them to try and give Sasuke a heart attack. It had almost kind of worked. It was terrifying seeing his lover wearing pink. It wouldn't be so bad if he was wearing just that and nothing else, Sasuke smirked.

"So, what's with the big breakfast?" he inquired.

"We're celebrating you hitting third year status." Naruto smiled, turning from his location at the stove.

"We don't know that yet."

"Yeah we do. Blondie checked your grades on your account." Kiba grinned over his shoulder. "Congrats on being one of us."

"Awesome." Sasuke sighed deeply, letting his forehead rest against the table.

He was so sick of school. It felt like all he did nowadays was go to school and do homework. He knew it wasn't true, since he'd been in a coma, and then had amnesia. But still, it felt like it. He couldn't wait to just graduate and get it all over with and get old with Naruto.

It felt weird thinking of a future with Naruto, but he honestly couldn't think of living any other way. Ever since they'd been roomed together, life without Naruto seemed—weird. And to think he'd tried to get rid of the guy.

"Whatcha thinkin' 'bout?" Naruto set a plate of eggs, bacon and toast in front of Sasuke, kissing his temple.

"You." The raven tugged at his boyfriend's wrist to pull him down, twining his hand in the other's hair and pressing his lips to Naruto's.

"Aw, guys!" Kiba exclaimed, disgusted, covering his eyes with both hands. "It's bad enough I hear you guys doing it through the wall, can you at least spare my eyes, fuck!"

"Feeling left out, Kiba?" Naruto teased when the two of them pulled apart, Sasuke picking up some bacon and chewing it slowly.

"Gross, Naruto. Seriously." Kiba groped around for another plate, his eyes still closed. The blond rolled his own before walking to the counter and shoving Kiba's plate into his hands.

"We're not kissing anymore."

"That's what you want me to think!" Kiba peeked open one eye, and upon seeing the coast was clear, he went to the table with his plate and sat down, Naruto joining a second later.

"So, here's to you, Sasuke." Kiba raised his glass of water. "Thanks for coming back in one piece."

"Liar, you didn't even miss me." Sasuke smirked, taking a sip of his own glass.

The rest of breakfast was carried out with mindless chatter about their upcoming courses, Naruto whining about how the professors were all conspiring against him, since he seemed to have the same ones yet again, save for Orochimaru, of course. That asshole was still in jail.

"You should feel loved that they all want to teach you again." Sasuke grinned, biting into his slice of toast and laughing gleefully in his head over the fact that Naruto had to put up with Genma Shiranui for yet another year.

"I wouldn't make fun of him if I were you." Kiba smirked, folding his hands together and resting his chin on them, his elbows propped on the table. "Last I checked, one of your courses is being taught by your favourite ever professor."

The raven frowned at this, taking another bite of his toast and chewing slowly as he pondered who that could be. He knew Genma was out of the picture, and he was guaranteed Kakashi Hatake, so that couldn't be what Kiba was talking about. He slowly went down the list until his chewing stopped and his eyes widened.


"He's teaching your Earth and Ocean Sciences course." Kiba grinned.

"No! No, he's not!"

"Yes, yes he is." Naruto snickered.

The raven's head hit the table so loudly, the other two boys were worried he would end up with a concussion.

"Gai Maito. Why? What have I done to deserve such torture?"

"At least the guy'll pass you for existing." Kiba laughed loudly, he and Naruto high-fiving. After all, neither of them would have to suffer through the psychotically happy professor.

Then again, in all honesty, Naruto was pretty sure he wouldn't mind spending the rest of his school year stuck with Gai. It was because of him that Sasuke had come back to him. He was the first person the raven had remembered during his amnesia, and a part of Naruto knew that that had been the beginnings of his return to who he was now.

The phone rang, causing all of them to jump, startled. Sasuke and Naruto were always jumpy nowadays, and that had kind of rubbed off on Kiba, though he had less to worry about than they did.

Standing quickly, the brunette strode across the kitchen and snatched up the phone, lowering his voice sensually.

"Hello, and thank you for calling Inuzuka's hotline of sexy lovins."

Sasuke glanced at Naruto and mouthed the brunette's last two words with a look of complete and utter disgust on his face. This sent the blond into another hysterical fit of giggles.

"If you'd like to pay for me to father your children, press one. If you'd—" The brunette cut off as the person on the other end spoke, and his face went pale. "Ts-Tsunade! Hi! I—didn't think you would be calling us... today... right now..." He laughed nervously, then frowned. "Taken my pills? I'm not on pills." He listened as she spoke more, then his eyebrows went down angrily. "What do you mean I should be?! You can't say that! You're a figure of authority, you can't demean me like that!"

Sasuke and Naruto were both laughing loudly across the kitchen, both of them having almost fallen out of their chairs when Kiba had said the president of UBC's name. Tsunade Sannin continued to belittle Kiba for a few more minutes before he grumbled that Naruto was there and handed off the phone.

"Hey, old hag, how's it going?"

"Good. I just heard about Sasuke passing all his courses. Pass along my congratulations."

"Will do," Naruto replied, wondering if that was her only reason for calling.

He could only be so lucky...

"I thought I should let you know that I've hired a new professor this year. He's going to be teaching one of your courses." The blond frowned at this.

"Okay... Was there a reason you were telling me this?"

"He's also going to be the school's new psychologist. I've made an appointment for you starting on the first day of classes."

Sputtering, Naruto's grip tightened on the phone. A psychologist?! He wasn't fucked up in the head, why had she gone and done that without his permission?!

"Tsunade, I don't—this isn't necessary."

"Naruto." Her voice was low, and dangerous. "Hitomi always asked me to look out for you when she was gone, and I feel I've been doing a piss-poor job of it recently. Too many things have happened to you, and I feel that discussing them with a professional will help. Your first appointment is September Fourth at five. Don't be late." She hung up.

Clenching his jaw, he hung up the phone, as well, leaning forward on the counter. He supposed he could understand why she was doing this, and perhaps it would help—but he couldn't talk about everything again. He couldn't talk about Itachi, and losing Sasuke—twice—and killing people. He just—he wasn't strong enough to have to talk about all of that again. Once had been more than enough. Twice had been torture. A third time, he would rather die.

"Hey." He jumped slightly, turning to look at Sasuke, the raven's hand on his shoulder. Kiba was a foot or two away, hands in his pockets. Both regarded him with concern. "What did she say?"

"She wants me to see a therapist," he muttered, then snorted. "Because that'll help solve all my problems."

"She's just looking out for you, dude." Kiba moved over beside the blond and jumped up on the counter, sitting there and looking down at the other two. "I think having you talk about it will help."

"I don't want to talk about it!" He smacked Sasuke's hand away and turned, walking to the other side of the kitchen and clenching his fists. He closed his eyes and grit his teeth before bringing his hands up to cover his ears. He could still hear Mr. Okamoto begging to be let out of the coffin, promising to pay double of what the person who'd hired them had paid. He winced.

He felt like he was never going to be able to get rid of those sounds. The ones of people screaming, crying, begging. All wanting to live. All having to die so that people Naruto loved could live. What gave him the right to choose his friends over these people?!

"Naruto!" The blond's eyes snapped open, his head jerking back slightly in shock as he was met with onyx eyes boring into his own. Sasuke looked worried. The raven's hands were on either cheek, his fingers digging almost painfully into the blond's skin.

"Are you okay?" Kiba appeared in his line of sight.

"I'm fine!" He smacked Sasuke's hands away again. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"Because you've been standing here for twenty minutes," Kiba replied in a low voice. "And you're crying."

The blond turned to him, somewhat startled, then reached up to touch his eyes. He was, indeed, crying. Shit. He rubbed his face hard with both hands, taking a deep breath, and then letting it out. Maybe Tsunade was right. He couldn't keep worrying his friends like this.

"Are you okay?"

"I'll be fine, don't worry." He looked back at them and smiled. "Come on, let's finish breakfast. It's gonna get cold."

The rest of their day had been pretty uneventful. Sasuke had left for a few hours to pick up some boxes so all of them could pack their stuff back up so it would be ready—mostly, anyway—by the time Neji came at the end of the week.

They'd all tried to get rooms in Gage once again, but Tsunade had said they were too crowded since they were in high demand, and gave them the next best thing to the dorms: Fairview. Similar to Gage, they varied between four bedrooms and six with lockable doors, a living room, and a kitchen along with two bathrooms. The difference was that Fairview was comprised of townhouses, so each unit had two floors, with two rooms on the bottom floor, and two on the top.

They'd managed to harass the housing rep at Fairview enough for her to agree to get them all roomed next to each other, but only Sasuke had been able to turn on enough charm to get his way with who he would be roomed with. Everyone else was being selected at random, only Sasuke and Naruto were guaranteed to be together.

Sitting in the kitchen with his laptop, Kiba was busy checking the room arrangements while Naruto packed up some of his dishes for the unit at school, since they didn't come pre-stocked.

"Oh, sweet, the lists are up!" Kiba exclaimed gleefully, clapping his hands like a small child.

Turning away from his task, Naruto came to stand behind him, staring at the brunette's UBC account. There was an option that allowed for friends to view your room arrangements, so the list of people he saw didn't include only himself, Sasuke and Kiba, but all their other friends, as well.

"Yo, Sasuke! Rooms are up!" Kiba called out into the living room, the raven appearing in the doorway.

"Sweet, read 'em out."

"I'm not your slave, fuck," the brunette muttered, motioning him over. Rolling his eyes, the Uchiha walked up behind the other two and peered down at the screen. "Okay, as far as I can tell off the site, units 4618 and 4619 are one townhouse, and 4620 and 4621 are another townhouse. So we're all spread out in two full townhouses side by side."

"Sweet." Naruto grinned. "Guess it paid off to harass the Fairview rep."

"It looks like 4619 is a five person unit." Sasuke commented as he pointed at the picture of it. "It has an extra room at the top, it looks like."

"Who's where?" The blond reached down and hit a key to change back to the previous window to see who was housed where. "All right, 4618 has Sakura Haruno, Lee Rock, Ino Yamanaka and Chouji Akimichi," he read off.

"Lee will be happy." Kiba snorted.

"Oh hey, dude, you're roomed with Hinata!" Naruto pointed at the list for 4619, Hinata Hyuuga's name listed right beneath Kiba's.

"Sweet!" The brunette cheered, thrusting both fists in the air, and then doing a small dance in his chair.

"You've got Shino, too. And then Kankurou and Temari," the blond continued.

"Sweet! Aburame and two Sabakus! That rocks!" He continued to do a little dance.

Sasuke rolled his eyes at him, looking at the next unit, and smirking. It had paid to hit on the rep, because the only people residing in 4620 were himself and Naruto. Sure, he had Kiba next door—annoyingly enough—but they were all alone in their four-person unit. Excellent.

"How did you do that?"

"Do what?" the raven asked innocently, giving his boyfriend the most sincere expression he could manage. Naruto just gave him a look. He wasn't buying it.

"How did you get us together and alone? The girl had said she was going to pick and choose between our friends and there was no negotiating."

"Let's just say I have my ways." He smirked, looking back down at the last unit. "So considering who's in the other units, that leaves Shikamaru, Neji, Tenten and Gaara in the last one, right?"

Scanning the list, he was, indeed, correct. Shikamaru Nara would be upset to be far away from his best friend, but at least he was literally four steps away from his front door. Then again, the kid would probably be too lazy to walk that far. Chouji'd be the one heading over to Shikamaru's place.

Kiba was thankful that Hinata's cousin was at least one unit away, and with his girlfriend Tenten Tamura with him, he was pretty sure the older Hyuuga would be too preoccupied to worry about his cousin's virtue.

"I'm glad all of us are together like this." Naruto smiled. "It'll make it easier for all of us to hang out and stuff."

"Yeah, for sure. I need to get my PS3 out of storage." Kiba thrust his fists in the air. "GTA4!"

"I predict Kiba is going to fail this year." Sasuke smirked.

The brunette turned around to yell profanities at Sasuke, which the raven easily brushed off. The two argued for a while as Naruto's eyes remained glued to the computer screen. His gut twisted in both excitement and worry. He was eager to go back to school and hang out with his friends again, but at the same time, bad things always seemed to happen whenever he was on that campus. First, psychotic brothers and then crazy serial killers... he felt like something new and not so exciting was going to happen this year, too. Of course, that was ridiculous and just his fear talking, but still—he was afraid.

"I don't wanna go." He hadn't realized he'd said it aloud until he saw Kiba and Sasuke turn to him.

"Go where?"

"I don't wanna go back to UBC," he whispered. "Bad shit always happens when I go there. I think—maybe I should just drop out."

"What?" Kiba demanded, stunned.

"Naruto, don't be ridiculous." Sasuke grabbed his shoulder, forcing him to look at him. "Nothing is going to happen. I promise. This year will be different. I know things haven't really been all that stellar since the beginning of our university life, but things will be different this time. I'm awake, and I have a memory. My brother's dead, Akatsuki members are either dead or in jail, and we're all being roomed next to each other. We're going to be fine."

Naruto smiled slightly, a little reassured when Kiba let out a rather unattractive snort and shook his head. "You? Fine? Who are you kidding? This is you guys! Something always goes wrong!" He snickered, then let out a yelp of pain and grabbed at Sasuke's wrist. The raven was bending the fingers of his left hand backwards, his eyes still locked on Naruto's.

"Kiba, not helping." His eyes shifted to the brunette, pulling back one last time on his fingers, and then releasing them, Kiba wincing and cradling his hand to his chest.

"I'm just being realistic, fuck," he muttered, massaging his hand and making sure there wasn't going to be any permanent damage. Their heads all turned to the door as the doorbell rang. "See? It's the doorbell of doom, bad stuff is happening already." He stood up, stretching slightly as he checked the time, deciding he would order pizza for dinner. "If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go build myself a bomb shelter to live in for the rest of the year." He looked at Naruto and winked slightly, trying to show he was joking, though a part of him felt that this year was going to be just as chaotic as the last two.

Sasuke sighed and headed for the door, looking over his shoulder to continue speaking to the blond. "Naruto, this year there's no Itachi, and there's no Akatsuki. I promise you, nothing will go wrong."

The blond smiled and nodded, the Uchiha nodding back as he reached the door and turned the handle, pulling it open. He was taken aback slightly at the man he saw before him, finding he had a rather uncanny resemblance to Naruto's father—based on the pictures he'd seen—except his hair was a dark shade of red, and his eyes were grey.

"Can I help you?" Sasuke asked, trying to recover from his initial shock.

The man seemed a little confused, and wrung his hands together a little, checking the address, and then looking down at a piece of paper, then back up at Sasuke.

"Um, I think there's been some kind of mistake. I was—I'm looking for Naruto Uzumaki. I was told this was his residence, but obviously, I was misinformed." He looked awkward, and a little embarrassed. "I apologize." He took a step back to turn and leave, but Naruto appeared beside Sasuke in the doorway.

"No, you were right." Naruto said before Sasuke could stop him. He didn't want the blond randomly inviting people inside, considering he was still Naruto Uzumaki, and people did still like kicking the shit out of him every now and then. He supposed the blond felt safer since there were CSIS agents around. "I'm Naruto Uzumaki."

The man turned back and his eyes widened slightly as he looked at Naruto. Sasuke cocked an eyebrow as tears formed in the redheaded man's eyes and he brought one hand up to cover his mouth. He let out a little laugh, motioning Naruto with his hand.

"Wow. You're so—you're bigger than I was expecting. I, uh... wow." He laughed slightly again, Sasuke glancing at Naruto and seeing he was just as confused. At least Sasuke didn't feel left out, now. If even Naruto didn't get it, Sasuke couldn't hope to.

"Um... thanks?" The blond shot a confused glance at Sasuke, then turned back to the redheaded man. "Can I help you?"

"This is—I know this will come as a bit of a shock, but know I'm just as shocked and... wow, you're so..." He smiled and rubbed at his eyes as the tears threatened to fall. Sasuke didn't really like where this was headed, even though he wasn't sure what was going on yet.

"Who are you?" he demanded, losing his patience.

"I'm sorry, how rude of me. My name is Pein Akasaka, and Naruto..." he trailed off, then licked his lips, smiling at the blond. "Naruto, I'm your father."

Sasuke wondered how long it would take Kiba to finish that bomb shelter.

© 2008 FastForward.