Note: This one-shot is a fic dedicated to my cousin, since I have completely forgotten of her birthday until someone mentioned it. I'm very sorry dear…Q-Q but I hope you'll forgive me for this.
It's complete fluff, just a sweet shonen-ai and it's not AU. Hope you'll enjoy. ;-)
"Ah…it's already Saturday." Murmured Naruto under his breath, he held the calendar paper up, meanwhile fixated his eyes on a huge letter of '21' and the word 'July' on top of the timetable. He glanced warily at the next odd number after the date, which was marked by a black circle.
He put the paper down a bit too carefully, glancing over his shoulder at a dark-haired man who was sitting in the table, eating breakfast with a bored look on his face. Sasuke noticed his stare, tilting his head up to look at the suddenly quiet blonde.
"What? You've got something to do today?" He asked.
Naruto was taken aback by the question, but quickly recovered. Nodding slightly, he told him, "Yeah, we're planning to have lunch together at Ichiraku's. Wanna come?"
Sasuke looked thoughtful for a moment, then shrugged his shoulder nonchalantly. "I guess not."
Naruto felt a droplet of relief slumped down his stomach with a soft dulcet, yet he a soaring disappointment rendering in the slight expression flashed on his face.
He doesn't remember, Naruto mused silently, I don't know if this is good or bad.
After a silent breakfast, Naruto bade farewell to Sasuke at the front door, telling him he might come home a bit late. The Uchiha only nodded. Walking down the sidewalk, Naruto glanced up to the ever bright sun, high and mighty above his head, sighing at the way its radiance light boiled his insides. The street lost its usual number of pedestrians; they might felt the same as Naruto. But the blonde, unfortunately, must go to the Chuunin quarter to report yesterday's mission.
He stopped in his track, glancing back at their new house and its lack of furnishing. A short moment ago, Sasuke was relieved from the Detention Facility. A year ago, Naruto finally able to bring him back, alive and sound.
There were a serial of fierce arguments between the village administration and Naruto, concerning the punishment should be placed upon the missing nin cum traitor. The elders suggested decapitating Sasuke in front of the whole village as the punishment as well a warning to the others, but Naruto and his friends had fiercely rejected the idea, he insisted to save Sasuke's life no matter the wrong he had done. All sorts of way had been tried in order to prevent death penalty.
The memory still unnerved Naruto to this day. He loathed those old farts for making things hard and ugly.
It was finally decided that Sasuke should enter the Detention Facility for a limited amount of time, to see how he behaved. If he were proved 'dangerous' the administration would send ANBU ninjas to dispose of the threat, with no exceptions. The fact that Sasuke was the last survivor of Uchiha clan didn't concern them the slightest. Naruto later knew they were the ones behind the massacre of Uchiha clan, using Itachi as their puppet.
A month ago, Sasuke finally relieved from his detention, unblemished. He could go back to his friends and live as ordinary resident. But he was still under a tight surveillance and restricted from doing missions or any kind of shinobi activity for the whole year. Because the Uchiha compound wasn't a proper place to live, Naruto suggested living together.
Two days again would be Sasuke's first birthday after things back to normal.
And it disturbed Naruto to the utmost.
Naruto took a stroll into a verdant park, buying two scoops of vanilla ice cream and resting at a bench. He glanced to his watch, 11:04 A.M., he still had some time.
The park was overwhelmed by people with their family, picnicking under the comfortable shade of trees and fresh air. The children ran everywhere, laughing and playing, their parents shouting at them to be careful. Some swam in the lake; others were eating the food they brought from home.
Naruto watched them, thinking how lucky they were.
Naruto had never had parents before, and Sasuke lost them when he was young. Although Naruto had Iruka, whom he thought the closest to a father, and Sasuke as a brother, he didn't know what Sasuke might've thought.
After his comeback, Sasuke was different from the way he was before leaving the village. He became more quiet, distant, and unsociable toward people. He almost never changed expression. He didn't talk to others the first few months after returning to Konoha. And now he only let Naruto or Sakura had conversation with him, only the ones closest to him.
Sakura often visited them to check for Sasuke's health, she said Tsunade asked for her to do it, but Naruto knew Sakura must've volunteered the job herself. Kakashi sometimes dropped in if he happened to pass-by. Their friends also visited, though Sasuke didn't talk to them.
Things gradually becoming normal, but the awkwardness between them still resided.
Naruto wanted Sasuke to feel more like home. He wanted to celebrate his birthday.
"What should I give him…?" Naruto muttered softly.
When he glanced to his watch again, it was already 11:23.
Swallowing the last vestiges of ice, Naruto stood up.
Then he walked away.
"Do you know what kind of present suitable for someone's birthday?"
Ino looked like as if she had swallowed a vine. "What? Why are you asking me?"
"Well…" Naruto scratched the back of his head nervously. "Because I think girls are more sensitive with these things."
Ino nodded understandingly, twirling the hose in her fingers. "Well…It depends on the person's taste. Usually, girls like flowers, cosmetics, clothes, jewelries, or bags as present."
"Um, I don't think flashy things are good choice."
"Then, flowers! Any girl would love getting a big bouquet! And I will personally help you choosing the popular kinds." Ino winked to him.
"Flowers?" Naruto said, mortified. "But he's a guy—"
Naruto regretted when Ino's eyes gleamed in knowledge.
"So…it is Sasuke's birthday." She leered teasingly.
Naruto inadvertently blushed. "So what if it is?" He challenged.
"Nothing. It's just very sweet of you."
"Quit it." Naruto retorted. "Just tell me what would be good to give him."
"Well, I think flowers are still a good choice. You can express words you cannot say by giving him flowers, such as 'thank you', or 'I'm sorry', or the most common, 'I love y—"
"I know. You don't have to tell me." Naruto interrupted, blushing further.
"Suit yourself. But I recommend you give him a bouquet."
Naruto looked thoughtful. "…Flowers, huh?"
Naruto exited the Chuunin quarter after he'd submitted the report. The sun had risen to the midst of the clear cerulean sky, signaling the morning had moved to noon. Naruto wiped the sweat from his forehead with his sleeve, vaguely remembering the lunch appointment he had with Shikamaru, Chouji, and Sai.
Pulling the tight collar of his jacket, he twirled on his toes, heading to the direction of his favorite restaurant.
He thought of Ino's suggestion in his way. Choosing flowers as gift is certainly reachable and Naruto had more than enough budget, since he had gotten his hands on the last mission's payment. But he still wasn't sure.
Doesn't it seem a bit girly to give him flowers as birthday present? Naruto questioned in his mind, I don't know if Sasuke will accept it, or he might turn homicidal again because he thinks I treat him like a girl.
The thought was unnerving.
I guess I have to ask guys' opinion about this… Naruto mused as he stopped by the front entrance of Ichiraku.
"Shika…is there something you want right now?"
The genius man stared at him incredulously. "What are you getting at?"
Then he suddenly remembered the date of the day, a look of realization overtook his face. "…it's Sasuke, right?"
Naruto shushed him, glancing over his shoulder at the other two, who was busying themselves with lunch, they didn't seem to notice. Naruto sighed, nodding slightly.
"Why are you asking me?"
"Because you're a genius, Chouji only thinks of food, and Sai is a social retard. You're my best bet." Naruto retorted.
But this is troublesome…
"So, you have an idea?" The blonde asked.
"…Well." Shikamaru scratched his head, thinking.
Shikamaru began fidgeting. "Well…"
"What?" Naruto impatiently demanded.
"Can't you just buy him clothes or ninja equipment or something? This is just too troublesome…" The Nara moaned in desperation.
"I've thought of that." Naruto answered. "But I'm not sure. Price doesn't matter, I just want to make Sasuke feel glad. I want to give him something he won't forget, something meaningful…"
Naruto paused. "I don't know."
Shikamaru sighed and muttered a soft "Troublesome," under his breath.
"That's why I ask you." Naruto concluded. "So, what present will make him happy?"
Just get this over with, Shikamaru decided.
"How about this," He began.
"Asuma often bought flowers for Kurenai whenever they had a fight. I think he used it to express he was sorry, and Kurenai always forgave him in the end. My point is, the price of the present really doesn't matter. The important thing is that the meaning behind it. What is it you want to express by giving it to him, what message you wish to send, either an apology or gratitude. It's all in your intention."
Naruto was taken.
"I didn't know you can be poetic."
"I'm surprised myself." Shikamaru uttered, lighting his cigarette.
"Now that you heard the answer, you can—"
Shikamaru could never finish the sentence, because Naruto had stormed out of the restaurant in a blink of an eye.
He stared at the spot where the blonde vanished, sighing as he inhaling his smoke.
People in love were indeed troublesome.
Two days later
Lime stems were entwined in artistic way, at such complexity and beauty, while several flowers and blossoming buds of various colors and kinds mixed in harmony, sprouting their graceful petals above the entwined stems, endearing the green. The bouquet was placed in a white, long-necked ceramic vase that complimented their colors in full allure.
Sasuke watched them; face straight and unreadable. The vase and flower bouquet was magnificent, on the contrary with the ordinary wooden dining table that seemed unfitting for a place it should stood, yet that wasn't the reason of the questions Sasuke had in mind.
He glanced at the blonde, who had his back facing him. He pretended washing the dishes in the kitchenette sink; it was obvious that he didn't dare to look at Sasuke's face, foremostly, his reaction. Sasuke himself had vaguely realized what the day meant when he found the flowers in the morning. He knew that day was his 20th birthday, though he didn't really pay attention to trivial details.
Yet Sasuke hadn't say nor ask a thing about the flowers since he first saw them, so Naruto hadn't talk at all during breakfast. The silence was unbearable, at least in Naruto's side. Sasuke had little care. The Uchiha realized the blonde must've feeling desperate that he didn't say anything, but it really was because he didn't know what to say when a guy gave another guy flowers, of all things.
In the end, Sasuke decided to ask.
"…what is this?" He tonelessly inquired.
Naruto twitched in response, stealing a nervous glance over his shoulder at the Uchiha, who remained expressionless as well as unreadable. Naruto fidgeted, resuming washing the dishes.
"They are flowers, can't you see?" He responded in feigning annoyance, keeping his voice straight and low.
"Of course I can, dobe. I'm not blind. I'm asking what it is doing here." Sasuke said, touching a white petal with his fingers.
Naruto held his breath at the question, inhaling and exhaling to regain composure. "It's…it's a present. For your birthday." He managed to say.
"Hmm." Sasuke twirled the white petal between his fingers. "So today's my birthday. What's so special about it?"
Naruto gave him an incredulous stare. "What? Of course it's because you turn twenty today!"
"So? Should I be happy for adding another year into my life? Or because I'm getting old?" He uttered in low undertone, nonchalantly shrugging.
"Idiot." Naruto said, turning to the dishes again. "It's not because of 'getting old' it's about 'being born'."
"In this day you should be celebrating because today is the twentieth year after you were born, and thank your mom for giving birth to you. You should be happy." He said it softly, but loud enough to hear. Somehow he felt a feverish heat rushed up to his face.
Another silent emerged. Sasuke didn't answer, and Naruto could only hear the sound of tickling clock and the sound of his racing heart thumping in his ears. The silence was unbearable for his weak heart. Naruto was glad he had his back on Sasuke, because his face must've reddened to his ears.
Sasuke stared at Naruto's back, noticing the red shades blanketing his ears and neck. He could see his hands were shaking. Slowly, Sasuke moved his lips, "So…you're happy I was born?"
Naruto hadn't had the time to answer, as a pair of strong arms was embracing him from behind. The plate made faint noise at it slipped his loosened grip and crashed to the bottom of the sink. His body went rigid as hot breaths brushed against the nape of his neck.
"Are you happy because of my birth? Are you glad because I am here, right now, with you?" Sasuke asked in somewhat husky voice.
Naruto felt his face would explode.
Sasuke turned him around until they faced each other, staring to the two cerulean eyes. "Are you?" He demanded.
Naruto's face turned crimson. He didn't utter anything, only nodding slightly and keeping his gaze to his feet.
A hand gently trailed along his jawline to his chin, slowly lifting his face up to the Uchiha. He stared deeply at Naruto's eyes with such intensity, it made Naruto's heart rate accelerate wildly. There were tinges of emotion flashed within those dark onyx eyes.
Naruto narrowed his eyes to half-lidded as Sasuke slowly leaned in, holding his chin with his hand while his arm sneaked around Naruto's waist and brought him closer. The tickling of the clock and the beating of his heart were all Naruto could hear.
Their faces were only inches apart, when…
"Naruto! Are you home? It's me! I bring a cake!" Sakura's voice echoed throughout the room, followed by a serial of knocks in the door.
At that instant, the two halted. Naruto's eyes snapped opened in arousal, then quickly glancing at the direction of the voice.
"C-coming!" He shouted in panic, glancing back to the seemingly irritated Uchiha.
Sasuke loosened his grasp with a heavy sigh, letting the blonde wormed his way off his hold. Naruto threw him an apologetic smile, dashing to greet the waiting guest.
Sasuke watched as Naruto ran across the room with reddened eyes, shaking his head in vain attempt to shrug away the blush before meeting with Sakura. They seemed cooperating to throw a birthday party, Sasuke noticed from Sakura's utterance, and unintentionally succeeded spoiling the mood.
"Naruto," Sasuke called him when he was about to leave his line of vision. Naruto stopped on his track, glancing at Sasuke.
A smile emerged on seducing thin lips, holding a small branch of tiny white buds close to his nose. "Don't forget, my present isn't only flowers."
Naruto blushed a deep scarlet, before averting his gaze and running towards the front door.
Sasuke walked by the dining table, gazing quietly at the flowers, identifying each of them.
Red roses, daisies, red tulips, forget-me-nots, red carnations, and blue salvias.
They were all…
A sardonic chuckle escaped his mouth. "That idiot…"
A small smile kissed his lips, a light blush savoring on his pale cheeks.
Then Sasuke glanced to the white tuberoses in his hand.
"He'd better pay."
23 July, End
By Deep Flower
Red rose means 'I love you'.
Daisy means 'loyal love' and 'faith'.
Red Tulip means 'declaration of love'.
Forget-me-not means 'true love'.
Red carnation means 'my heart aches for you'.
Blue salvia means 'I think of you'
And tuberose means 'dangerous pleasure'
Note: To those who were born in September, I bid you HAPPY BIRTHDAY with much love and many kisses. Remember to kiss your mother first thing and say a thank you to her for letting you born into this world and showing all kinds of wonders of this world. Greet everyone you meet in your way, say thank you to those who bid you happy birthday with a sweet smile on your face. Forget bad things and focus on the good things at least in that day only. Keep a happy face and smile.
Happy birthday, may God bless you with health and prosperity this year.