Naruto was once again home alone. All his homework was done, so he didn't have anything to do for the rest of the day. He was tempted to call his friends and see if they weren't busy and wanted to hang out with him, but the chances of them not being busy were lower then the chances they were busy. He sighed loudly. Days like this were when he was generally with Sasuke. But now, as far as he knew, there was no one to keep him company.
He glanced over at the phone, thinking about who he could call. He already tried Gaara, but Kankuro said the red-head was with Lee for a movie. Then he tried Chouji, but he was with Shikamaru. After calling Kiba to see if he wanted to run around town and play a few pranks on unsuspecting civilians, he gave up on trying to contact someone since the brunet was hanging with his boyfriend as well.
A sigh escaped his lips as he collapsed onto the bed, his arms crossed over each other under his head as he stared at the ceiling. He chewed on the inside of his cheeks gently, the tip of his tongue running over the back of his front teeth before he gave a small click of his tongue. He turned his head to the side a little bit to stare at the computer, stack of books, and then the phone.
To call or not to call? Chances of Sasuke picking up? High in case Sasuke was expecting someone else to call. Chances of Itachi picking up? Slim to none in case he would not be there or he was just not in the mood to talk to someone.
With another sigh, Naruto sat up and went over to the desk that the phone sat upon. He knew it sounded ridiculous to even think something like this, but he could swear the phone was taunting him.
'Go ahead and call,' it taunted him. 'You know you want to. But why oh why must you be so afraid of your ex picking up? Just call. Itachi will be there.'
"Possibility he'll be there," Naruto muttered, not believing he was replying to the phone's imaginative taunting. "I am losing my mind. Talking back at a phone. Yeah, that's as bad as yelling at a malfunctioning computer."
'Fine then. I'll ring.' And it did precisely that.
"Now that's scary," Naruto muttered as he picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"Hey, Naruto!" he heard Kiba's voice greet back.
"Kiba? I thought you were with Shino."
"Well it's the weekend and it's burning hot so we talked and called the others and thought 'Hey, why not visit the beach?'. So, you all for it?"
"Yeah, I'm up for it!" Naruto eagerly replied. "Um, where we gonna meet?"
"Don't sweat it," Kiba assured pleasantly. "The movie Gaara and Lee went to ended sooner then they thought, so they're already on their way to the meeting spot. Temari and Kankuro are coming to get you. And don't worry, we didn't invite Sasuke. Not sure if you were comfortable being around him yet or not."
"Not entirely," Naruto admitted with a shrug. "They already on their way over?"
"Yeah, I talked to them before I called you," Kiba replied. "So get ready and they most likely will be there in another ten to fifteen minutes."
"Alright then. Hey, Haku coming?"
"Yeah, and get this, he's dragging Zabuza-sensei along."
"No way!" the blond gasped. "Zabuza's intimidating! How can Haku handle being around that guy all the time?"
"Beats me, but I think they're secretly dating. Haku's in his senior year, and his birthday was last month. He's legal age. But teacher-student relationships are forbidden, so if they are dating, they aren't telling anyone."
"Haku would have told us, though," Naruto pointed out. "He never keeps secrets from us."
"He's also a bit paranoid, remember? His parents did kick him out when he was dating a guy that was twenty when he was sixteen. He probably thinks we'll react the same way and call him a whore or whatever."
"We would never do that," Naruto grumbled.
"He knows that, but hey, he's paranoid. Anyway, get ready."
"Okay. See ya later, Kiba."
"See ya." The phone went dead.
'Call and invite Itachi!' the phone started to encourage.
"Now this is getting weird," Naruto muttered as he put the phone down and started to pack up for the beach.
Temari and Kankuro came and got him about ten minutes after he got off the phone with Kiba. Temari said that she got all green lights when Naruto asked how they got to his place so fast. Kankuro said she was speeding the entire time. Something told Naruto Kankuro was the one telling the truth and Temari was just telling a little white lie. He didn't know what gave it away. Probably the fact that Temari was speeding the entire time on their way to the meeting point before heading to the beach.
Naruto and Kankuro joked around the entire trip, annoying Temari to no ends, but that was the reason why they were doing it. When she snapped at them to be quiet, Naruto joked around, saying that they were brought into this world just for the sole purpose of annoying her. She hit him on the head. Eventually, after much arguing and teasing, they made it to the meeting point where everyone else was gathered. Almost everyone was there, for the exception of Sasuke and his fangirls.
Haku was resting his head on Zabuza's shoulder against the wall. Kiba was running around with something that Sai either owned or obviously wanted since the Sasuke-look-alike was chasing the dog boy. Shino was just sitting calmly at a table, watching Kiba to make sure he didn't hurt himself, like he was commonly prone to do. Not too far from him was Gaara, watching the chase with a smirk on his face, just waiting for Sai to tackle Kiba to the ground. Lee was encouraging the two. Neji was just shaking his head at the two maniacs before talking with Hinata, who was sitting next to him. Shikamaru was, no surprise, laying on the grass and looking up at the cloudy sky with Chouji sitting next to him, munching on yet another bag of chips. Tenten was sitting close to Neji and Hinata, joining into the conversation between them every now and then.
He couldn't place the reason why, but the gang just didn't feel complete without Sasuke and the two stalkers of his. Naruto shook his head slightly, casting the thought from his mind, before going over to someone to ask what Kiba was holding onto. Apparently, it was Sai's, but it did creep Naruto out about it. It was a picture of him in school taking a nap outside during lunch with his shirt sliding up his stomach. Gaara was the one that gave the details as to what the picture was.
"Oh, and like you never did the same thing?" Sai asked in a challenging tone with a smile on his face when he heard Gaara say he couldn't believe Sai had the picture at all.
"That was before I started dating Lee," Gaara pointed out. "And when I was dating Naruto."
"Wasn't that in Junior High?" Haku asked, looking over to the others.
"Yes," Naruto replied. "And Gaara, please tell me you got rid of that picture."
"I think I won't since it would be amusing to watch how Sai reacts when I tell him it's a picture of you in only a towel," Gaara said with a smirk towards Sai, who was now glaring at the red-head.
Temari came over, placing a hand on Naruto's shoulder before the blond looked at her. "Don't worry," she whispered into his ear. "He got rid of it about a month after you two broke up. He wanted to keep it, but said it would make things a little awkward between you guys if he kept it."
"Thanks for making me feel a little better," Naruto sighed with a small smile before it fell. "Wait, does Lee know that? I don't want him going overprotective and wanting to kick my ass."
"Lee isn't the jealous type, unlike some guys we know," Temari assured. "And of course he knows. The only pictures of you that Gaara has also have everyone else in the gang in them. Group pictures, see?"
"Yeah. I see."
"I demand you hand over that picture!" Sai yelled, holding his hand out like he was expecting Gaara to pull it out of his pocket.
"Demand?" Gaara repeated dangerously through clenched teeth. "I do not think you have a right to demand me of anything." Lee, who was now a professional 'Gaara is about to snap' sensing expert, wrapped his arms around Gaara's shoulders before pulling the red-head into his chest protectively, like he wasn't going to let anyone approach Gaara and wasn't going to let Gaara try and attack anyone else.
"At least Lee can handle him a lot better then I ever could," Naruto snickered as Sai backed away from the couple, snatching his picture from an unsuspecting Kiba, who was talking to Tenten about something.
"I think you handled Gaara pretty well when you two were dating," Temari said with a small shrug. "But I bet Sasuke was harder."
"Trust me, he was," Naruto laughed out.
"Hey!" Kiba yelled out. "Are we going to the beach or what?!"
"Kiba!" Naruto complained as the brunet splashed him when he surfaced from ducking a wave. "At least let me breathe!"
"You should have expected that!" Kiba yelled back at him before ducking a splash Naruto sent towards him. He surfaced with a gasp. "Hey, Naruto!" he called before the blond glared towards him. "Race you to the shore! Loser has to buy the winner an ice cream!"
"You're on!" Naruto called back before both started swimming at top speed to the welcoming warm sand of the beach. A wave picked them up before slamming them onto the sand harshly. "Ow," Naruto groaned, rolling over onto his back.
"I can see why you duck the waves," Kiba groaned next to him. "Looks like a tie."
"Then we pay for our own," Naruto suggested as he got back to his feet. "Hey, where did Haku and Zabuza go?"
"They went to get something to eat," Shikamaru replied from his spot under a large umbrella that cast a shadow over almost every part of him. The only parts of him that the sun touched were the lower parts of his legs and his feet. "Something that would actually fill them up."
"Chouji with them?" Kiba asked.
"Chouji discovered the snack bar," Shikamaru said with a chuckle and a smirk on his lips. "And in case you're wondering, Hinata went with Neji and Tenten to try and calm Lee down. For some stupid reason, someone gave him sake. Gaara is with Temari and Kankuro watching them. Shino is getting you an ice cream, Kiba, so you won't be so freaking hot when you got out of the water. And Sai, for some really weird reason, is attempting to make a Sand Man…anatomically correct Sand Man."
"Better stop him before he scars little kids," Naruto muttered. "Or is he doing it to annoy Gaara?"
"Probably both," Shikamaru replied with a shrug of his shoulders.
"Then I better go stop him," Naruto sighed as he looked around to try and spot Sai. When he did, he sprinted towards him, wanting to get to him before he was complete with his Sand Man. Thankfully, Sai only got as far as the head, chest, shoulders, and stomach when Naruto got to him. "Sai, what are you doing and why?" he asked, hands on his hips as he glared at the paler teen. Sai just smiled up at him.
"I'm making an anatomically correct Sand Man," Sai cheerfully said with the same creepy smile he always wore on his lips.
"Yeah, Shikamaru told me that much," Naruto pointed out, looking down at the Sand Man. For some reason, it looked close to Gaara. "You're doing this to annoy Gaara, aren't you?"
"He didn't give me the picture," Sai replied like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Naruto sighed. "Sai," he growled out through gritted teeth. "Gaara got rid of that picture a month after we broke up."
"You mean he was joking when he told me he had that picture?" Sai asked in a depressed tone, lowering his head in mock depression.
"He HAD a picture like that, but he doesn't have it anymore. Stop trying to annoy him." Sai just shrugged slightly before putting his smile back on his face and getting back to work on his Sand Man. "Did you not hear what I just said?"
"I heard you," Sai assured. "But now this is revenge for him lying to me like that." Naruto sighed in annoyance before grabbing Sai by the muscle shirt he wore and dragging him away once he was done destroying as much of the Sand Man as he could. "That wasn't very nice, Naru-chan."
Naruto dropped him onto the sand. "Sai, how many times do I have to tell you to stop calling me that?!" he asked calmly before he yelled his question at the top of his lungs.
"But I love to see you so angry," Sai cheerfully stated. "You look cute when you're mad."
"I'm not trying to be cute, Sai," Naruto growled through clenched teeth.
"Well I'll just go ahead and say it," Sai sighed. "You don't have the face for anger and glaring. You have a pouting face. A face that will remain cute no matter what you try to show that you would currently be feeling." Naruto still tried glaring at him. "You still look just as cute. No wonder you're the heart-throb uke of our school."
"And the heart-throb seme is Sasuke," Naruto grumbled, lowering his head slightly.
"And it didn't surprise anyone when you two started dating," Sai continue, wearing a smile on his face. "You won't believe how many people were thinking you and Sasuke would eventually end up getting married when you two were dating so long. But of course, you never date anyone longer than you allow yourself to."
Naruto just shrugged his shoulders slightly. "Sasuke changed from the guy I fell in love with," he lowly said. "He used to be romantic. Now he's just like most of the male population in our school." He sighed, turning his head to the side opposite of Sai. "It was a hard blow for me to break up with him, to be honest."
"Some things just aren't meant to last," Sai stated. "But now that you're single-!"
"The answer is 'no'," Naruto growled, turning his head towards the dark-haired teen next to him. He knew what Sai was about to ask him. "I'm not ready to go into another relationship just yet. And I don't want to date you, Sai. I like you, but only as a friend. Okay? Besides, you're worse than Sasuke when it comes to sexual behavior."
Sai blinked a couple times. "And how would you know that?" he asked with a charming smile.
"Sai, I know how you are," Naruto blankly stated. "I've been your friend since Junior High, you talk about penises and other perverted crap, and not to mention that I sometimes overhear people you've dated in the past talking about you. So again, you're worse than Sasuke."
"I'm much better than him," Sai defended himself.
Naruto continued staring blankly at him. "Sasuke never had one-night stands," the blond stated with a small smirk before quickening his pace to get to the others quickly, leaving Sai behind.
"So I had about twenty one-night stands," Sai muttered under his breath with a shrug, keeping his pace the way it was as he followed after Naruto. "What guy hasn't?"