Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth. -- Beethoven
I am acquainted with no immaterial sensuality so delightful as good acting. --Lord Byron
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.--Newton's Third Law
(You do the math)
Dedicated to Silentz. Her story Reasonable Madness made me want to write my own like it.
Naruto starred out the window of the bus, cerulean blues watching the passing scenery as he leaned his head against the window. He made a sound akin to a sigh as they stopped. He eyed a mother walking down the sidewalk with her child. The little boy was no more than five or six. A backpack hung on his shoulders as he laughed at something his mother said. She laughed back and the bus began to move again.
Someone nudged him and he looked over, arching a brow. "What?"
Sasuke's coal orbs were unreadable most of the time. His face was normally in a permanent scowl or smirk. But, they had known each other long enough that most of the time he could read his eyes. They seemed to be asking a question as he arched a brow at him in return.
"You're doing it again."
He lowered his lashes and made a face of irritation. "I am not."
He finally just shrugged and Sasuke changed the topic. "Did you look at your schedule yet?"
He sat up and nodded. "Yeah, Tsunade gave it to me yesterday after we filled out the paperwork. You?"
"Yeah, let me see it."
Naruto pulled his backpack up and began to dig about the messy pockets.
Sasuke sighed in irritation. "If you kept it organized you wouldn't loose things so easily."
"Here it is." He pulled the white slip out and offered it up between between his index and middle finger with a grin.
Sasuke rolled his eyes and grabbed it. He scanned the lines. "Seems you have lunch and and that Lit class with me."
Naruto took it back and stuffed it back into the front pocket of the black bag.
"It didn't take us too long to unpack everything," the raven haired boy said idly. "And the apartment is nice."
"It's not home."
There was a long pause from Sasuke. He said nothing, letting his friend's words hang in the air between them. He watched him, his eyes seeming to frown in sadness at whatever he was thinking about. "No, it's not."
But, just as quickly as the sad moment had begun, it went. Naruto spied a shop as they rode on, noting it wasn't too far from the school. He plastered his face and hands to the window of the bus like a child seeing something awfully amazing for the first time. "Oi, Sasuke!"
"What is it?"
He turned back to the older boy, stars in his eyes. "Ramen!" He had a look of pleading.
Sasuke placed his hand over his face. "No." Like he needed his approval. If he wanted to go stuff himself after school that was his prerogative.
"What do you mean 'no'? It's Ramen!" He shook his jet-black haired counterpart as if to childishly stress the issue. "Raaaaammmeeeen!"
Sasuke grit his teeth together. "Fine. I'll go with you. Quit acting like an idiot. People are staring."
"Eh..?" Naruto looked up over the metal railing of the bus seat in front of him. Indeed, many people on the bus were staring at them. He blushed, grinned and laughed a little while scratching the back of his head.
"We're here." Sasuke announced. He stood up, sliding his pack over his shoulder. Naruto followed after him as they stepped off the bus.
Naruto entered the third class of his day. It hadn't really been his choice or Sasuke's. They had the class because because it was the only one left in the 'language/literature' area of requirements. English Literature. And not just any English Literature. Not the kind where you read a story and wrote something about. No, the kind where you learned about the author and many other sordid details he wasn't the least bit interested in on top of the book. Not a short story, a damned book.
He moved to go take his seat, too deep in thought to notice the teacher.
He blinked as he heard a familiar voice. He turned, eyes squinting in curiosity as he held the backpack straps pulled forward over his shoulders. And then a look of frightened shock overcame his face and his opened his mouth wide. His arms seemed to move in an odd direction as he lifted a leg, fearful of the man standing behind the desk. And then he pointed, as if to say 'Aha!'. "Iruka-sensei!"
The taller man with brown hair visibly twitched. "You go to school here? In my class?"
Naruto nodded, grinning nervously. The last time he'd seen Iruka-sensei was in third grade on the last day of school. He recalled the moment with some humor. It had been funny for him, but obviously not the teacher.
Which is why he was currently in a state of pseudo fear.
He could still feel the pain in his hands from scrubbing the gymnasium every day for two weeks until the 'art' was gone from the wooden floor.
"Ah yeah, I transferred."
Iruka was not amused. "Let me see your schedule." He held out an open palm and after a moment of digging through a messy backpack--of which he wasn't surprised to see--he produced the schedule. The crumpled mess was dropped in his hand. He uncrumpled it and stared down at the lines of text. He let out a long sigh and handed it back.
"Alright, Uzamaki, lets get one thing strait here; I won't tolerate any hijinks in my class. No pranks or paint on my walls. No coming in early and writing obscenities on the board. No--."
Naruto looked hurt as he interrupted. "Aw, sensei, I'm not that bad anymore."
His lips twitched. "Regardless. I will make sure you do more than scrub the floors if you so much as think of pulling anything stupid." There was a dramatic pause as he let it sink in. "Do I make myself clear, Uzamaki?"
Naruto shuffled his feet in manner very unfitting of his age as he looked down. "Yes, sensei."
He nodded. "Alright, go take a seat." And then it looked like something had dawned on him. "Wait, is your step-brother with you?"
Naruto stopped at his desk and called back. "Yeah, he should be here shortly." And then he went to unpacking his pad of paper, book and pen. When Sasuke finally came in he took a seat next to him after speaking with Iruka. And shortly after him the class began to fill with students. All them took their seats, chatting amongst themselves and laughing till the bell rang. Naruto said nothing as he doodled on his pad, waiting for class to begin.
"Alright, ladies and gentlemen, let's quiet down. We have two new students, if you haven't already noticed." He motioned to the two brothers. "Uzamaki Naruto and his step brother Uchiha Sasuke."
A few classmates looked over and smiled, but nothing was said. Some of the girls in the class sighed at the sight of Sasuke.
Figures, thought Naruto. His brother, older than him by a few months, always seemed to get the female attention. He rarely noticed himself, like now, when a few looked in his direction with a blush of curiously. No one would say he wasn't a bit dense at times.
"Today we're going to have each one of you read your report on Byron I assigned a few weeks ago. Naruto, Sasuke, we're currently studying poets from the 19th century. You've just arrived, so, just watch and listen for today. Tomorrow I'll have a new assignment and paper due in a week or so."
Naruto let out a sigh of relief and slouched in his seat. Good, one class that he didn't have to do any work in. He lucked out apparently.
One by one the students came up and gave their reports. All the while he kept doodling little people and objects on his pad. When he looked up, Sasuke was giving him a death glare. It practically screamed at to pay attention. He narrowed his eyes at his best friend, sticking out his tongue at him. But, he did turn to pay attention to the next student, muttering under his breath.
He found he couldn't stop himself from paying attention actually. Those aquamarine blues just screamed at him to pay attention. He was utterly fascinated. It took him another moment of staring stupidly to realize the person he was so enthralled with was a guy. His eyes seemed to bug out of his head.
He'd been admiring a guy.
He started to rationalize this out in his head in a purely Naruto sort of fashion. It's not his fault he had pretty eyes or nice looking red hair. It looked like a mess of flames on his head, all jutting this way and that. And his mouth. His mouth seemed quite mesmerizing.
Ah! Stop it, he told himself, placing his hands over his face rather immaturely.
Men were not mesmerizing.
So, tearing his gaze away from him, he tried to go back to doodling. To hell with Sasuke. If he glared at him again he just ignore him. Yes, because it was incredibly easy to ignore those coal eyes of doom bearing down on him like a hawk ready to kill it's prey, he mused sarcastically in his head.
When he looked down again a wave of shock overcame his features at just what he'd been drawing so nicely and nonchalantly.
A song. He's been writing a damned song. Notes and all. Words were there too.
As a side hobby he'd taken music much of his school life and somehow it's turned into more of a hobby. Even now he was taking band as an extracurricular activity at school. His instrument of choice had been his father's. Violin.
It was so unlike him, if you knew him. Violin was usually associated with people who were more... reserved and classy. Naruto was loud and rough around the edges. He didn;t go out of his way to even tell people he played.
He wasn't embarrassed about it... but no one he ever befriended even a little cared about those things. Sasuke even thought it was funny. He'd picked on him when their parents had first gotten married. Apparently, violin and music writing wasn't something most boys at five do. More importantly, writing love songs wasn't. Naruto wasn't romantic by nature. He didn't think so. But, for some reason lyrics and love always came hand and hand with him.
Which brought him to his current predicament.
There on the paper, with perfectly drawn bars, lines and notes underneath were lyrics. Lyrics about the red head who was still reading his paper. He groaned a little too loudly.
"Naruto," Iruka said. "Be quiet and pay attention."
He jolted up in his seat. "Yes, sensei." He could feel the heat of his brother's glare on him.
"Shut up," he whispered to him, as it would get that glare off his back.
Sasuke made a noise akin to 'humph' or a 'hn' as he listened.
He looked over at the red head, who at the moment, made him want to sink into a perpetual hole a die as he caught the look in his eyes. He knew he was skinning him in his mind. He had to be with that look. He grinned back as it to say 'sorry'.
The boy rolled his eyes and continued until he was finished. A few more in the class read their own. They got halfway through before it was time to go. Iruka took the rest of the papers and told them to have a good day. Naruto stuffed his things back in his backpack. Well, everything accept that paper with the beginnings of a song on it. That he stuffed in his back pocket of his jeans and ran out of the class to catch up with Sasuke.
"What is that?" Sasuke motioned to the paper on the table in a crumpled fold.
Naruto, with a cookie hanging out of his mouth rather cutely as he dug through his lunch for his drink mumbled, "Nothing."
Sasuke eyed him for a long while, like a predator trying to figure out just how to eat his meal and when to pounce. Naruto knew that look and tried to quickly reach for the paper. But, too late, he already had it.
"Give that back, moron."
Sasuke paused his unfolding of the paper and said, "I was going to give it back, but just for that I will read it."
"Oi, it's just some music I was writing in class. Give it back, Sasuke." He reached for it over the table. But his hand met with air as Sasuke pulled it back and began to read the lines silently. His face went through a series of looks that could only be described as Sasuke. Something seemed to dawn on him as he looked from the open paper to Naruto. This happened several time before he handed it back.
Naruto's face lit up as he beamed. "Really?"
"Yeah, I just have one question though." He paused and leaned in towards Naruto, his eyes looking rather inspecting of his brother. Like he was trying to see something he hadn't previously. "How long have you been gay?"
Naruto's eyes bugged out of his head and he coughed on his cookie. "I am not gay!" He hissed, hoping no one heard.
"Writing a love song about guy seems pretty gay, Naruto."
"How did you know it was about a guy?" His face looked perplexed.
He pursed his lips a moment and sat back in his chair, one arm dropped over the back of it as the other braced the boy up with a forearm on the lunch table. "You wrote it in class right?"
"The only guy in class with flaming red hair and 'aquamarine' hair is Gaara."
"Gaara?" He looked puzzled.
"You really don't pay attention do you?" He sighed, obviously irritated at his friend's lack of focus. "Gaara Sabuku. He was the one talking about the poem by Byron named 'She Walks In Beauty'." He reached for his drink and took a sip.
"Ah, I see. Well, I'm not gay." He repeated as if to reinforce the issue.
Sasuke sat there for a while, his chin resting in his hand as his eyes seemed to delve into thought. "You should give it to him."
He balked at the idea. "I should what? Are you nuts? It's bad enough I wrote it. I'm going to burn it." He reached for it on the table again, but Sasuke took it once more and smiled slightly... evilly. It was that same smile he got right before he did something that always turned out bad for his sibling. Always.
"Sasuke..." Naruto's voice sounded threatening. "Don't do it."
"Don't do what?" He said innocently.
"You know what I'm talking about, bastard. Give it back." He glared daggers.
He ignored him, standing and began to clean up his mess. "You know, I think I know where his locker is. Maybe I should--"
"No!" Naruto yelped, getting up and doing the same. As Sasuke walked off he bolted after him.
Sasuke looked over at him through curious half closed lids. "You should."
"I'm not going to give another guy a love song I wrote about him. That's gayer than writing it." They'd left lunch early so the hallways were empty.
"Chicken shit." Sasuke dared him.
"I am not." He muttered, hands digging into his pockets. And then he thought he heard him clucking. Naruto grit his teeth as the sound got louder... and louder...
"Fine! I'll do it!" He snatched the paper offered from Sasuke. If looks could kill...
"It's not like he'll know it was you. You name isn't even on it."
"Yeah, yeah... where's the locker?"
Sasuke stopped just out front of their third period class and pointed to the locker with 'Sabuku G.' on it. "That one."
Before giving it a second thought or having to further deal with Sasuke's pestering--even though he rarely did it--he slid the flat folded paper through one of the vents and hurried on to his next class.
Weeks passed by and Naruto found himself settling into a routine at school and at his apartment, which, he shared with Sasuke. The song he'd written that day long gone from his mind. Sasuke had been right, he'd had nothing to worry about. Gaara didn't know he wrote it and Naruto was safe. But, that didn't stop him from still stealing glances at the eyebrowless boy in Lit class.
He had kinda been hoping after dropping his anonymous admission in the locker he would start to get over this little obsession. As it turns out, he had no such luck. Gaara kept plaguing his every thought, poking in at all the wrong times. Most often though, was during Lit class. Especially when he asked Iruka-sensei a question or read another report he'd completed to the class.
Just what was he going to do about this?
There was nothing wrong with admiring another man's face, eyes, hair, hands... voice...Shut up, Naruto, he admonished his thoughts
He's come in earlier than Sasuke today because he'd needed to speak with Iruka-sensei. The teacher had sent him an email giving the time and placed some emphasis on the face that he actually wasn't in trouble. Imagine that? Naruto not being trouble was something he only thought would happen on a cold day in hell.
He stopped by his locker and got out his first period things before heading to Iruka's classroom. When he he finally made it to the classroom he was surprised to find Gaara there was well, sitting perfectly stoic in a chair on the other side of the desk across from his teacher.
Iruka smiled brightly at him. "I'm glad you could make it, Naruto. Please, take a seat." He motioned to the vacant one next to Gaara.
Gaara glanced over at him, cold blue green depths looking peeved about something the blind hadn't even done yet. Naruto was a bit unnerved by this, but said nothing as he tore his gaze from Gaara's and looked to Iruka.
"Now, as you may or may not know, in a few months the school will be holding it's annual drama celebration. The entire month will be dedicated to different events, writers, poets, playwrights, musicians and songwriters. Each grade level has one teacher who chooses one student to write and direct a play. The winning grade level gets varying levels of prizes for the students but the winning student gets a scholarship to the university of his or her choice." Hr smiled, seeming rather happy with himself. "This year, however, we get to choose two students. One to write the play and the other to write the music for it. The competition will be a musical instead of just a play."
Iruka looked at Gaara. "I want you to write the play. And," he looked over at Naruto, "I want you to write the music. Lyrics and all."
Naruto looked flabbergasted. "Me?" He managed to squeak. "Why me?"
Iruka laughed. "I think that would be obvious, Naruto. I already spoke to your band teacher. Kakashi-sensei. He tells you have brilliant talents with reading, playing and writing music. He's never seen a student it comes any easier to. At least, that's what he told me when I requested a suggestion for the composer."
He'd had teachers tell him this before. They all said he was genius with music once they heard or saw him doing 'his thing'. But, he still hated the attention over it. To him it wasn't a huge deal. He just did it. He scratched the back of his head.
"I assume we'll be working together on this?" Gaara finally spoke.
Iruka nodded. "You'll have to, it's a musical. And it must be original on both ends. The rules are very specific about that."
Gaara nodded. "Alright. I'll do it." He seemed so mechanical about it.
"Good. and you, Naruto?" He looked over at the other boy.
Naruto sighed. This was like playing with fire. He knew that song would come back to bite him in the ass. He just knew it. If he did this Gaara would surely find out! Damnit. Still, Sasuke would kill him over something so trivial as an excuse for giving up a chance at a scholaship. Granny Tsunade too. He winced just thinking about the lecture from her. So, it was with a nervous smile he said, "Sure."
"Good. I can't tell you both how excited I am that you've agreed. We'll win for sure this year with such two brilliant minds on the job."
And then they were both leaving. Naruto close the door behind himself as Gaara walked over to his locker. Ah... that was right. It just across from the class room. With a smile on his face and skip in his step he walked over to the boy.
"Hey, I don't think we've met before today." He offered his hand to the red head.
Gaara stopped digging though his locker long enough to glance down at his hand and then up at him, before once more just going through his locker. Ignoring him.
Ouch. What was that about?
"Let's get one thing strait, Uzamaki--"
"Call me Naruto," he interrupted cheerfully.
His eyes seemed to narrow. "As I was saying, Uzamaki..." His tone was so... cold and filled with irritation. "I'm doing this because I've waited for it. And I'm not thrilled about doing it with you, or anyone else for that matter. So, do me a favor and don't get in my way."
Naruto frowned. This was not getting off on the right foot. He scratched his chin and seemed to ponder. "You could try being nicer, you know."
He slammed his locker shut and turned his glare on Naruto. "Meet me here tomorrow after last period. We'll go from there. And don't make me wait." And then he was walking off.
Naruto was somehow bothered deeply by all of this and he didn't know why. and then he recalled the music sheet he'd put in Gaara's locker. Yup, he was still in deep shit. Sasuke was going to love every minute of it.
Then again he could get lucky and Gaara might not recognize his handwriting and word style.