Anti-climatic: when tension builds up for a major scene, and yet falls short and lame in the end, usually beginning disappointment in it's wake. Antonyms: climax, excitement, satisfied
Excitement: a rush of enthusiasm or thrill; the feeling of enjoyment or liveliness. Antonyms: disappointment, boredom, anti-climatic
An 'anti-climatic excitement': An oxymoron implying that an event which would normally be satisfying and intense is in fact disappointing. Example: Going to your senior prom and having the unexpected occur…

A/N: Dedicated to Kythy; because of her, I got around to writing some more DB stuff. Just random oneshots; but hey, who cares, right? ;P

From: CatastrophicHeart(at)yahoo(dot)com
To: Addicted2Ramen(at)yahoo(dot)com
Subject: Senior Prom

Dear Shippuuden,

Make sure you're ready by 7:00. I'll come pick you up. And don't get too nervous… it's just a dance.

Yours truly,

Naruto Uzumaki glances once more at the e-mail displayed on his computer screen. Then he resumes getting ready, grunting as he tries to straighten the sleek orange bow tie on his dress suit. He winds his fingers up and around and through, but no matter how hard he tries, the bow continually falls flat or gets tangled into a messy knot. Disgruntled, Naruto gives up with a sharp sigh. His voice reflected his emotions, rising at the end as he curses, "'Don't get too nervous,' he says… yeah, well, I wouldn't be so nervous if I knew what the hell I was doing!"

In the mirror, he spots a red-haired teen coming down the hall with crossed arms, slowing to lean against the doorframe. "Need help?" he offers.

Smiling brightly, Naruto turns to the other boy. "You're early; you weren't supposed to pick me up until seven."

"It is seven o'clock," the poet states. He points to the digital clock across the room, and as the blonde whips around to check, sure enough the digits read 7:05.

"Dammit! I've been in here messing with this thing this whole time?" Naruto whines in complaint as the redhead walks over to him. "I haven't even put on my jacket yet!"

Gaara Sabaku, the aforementioned poet, twitches his shoulder slightly to indicate a shrug. "It's alright, we have plenty of time," he reassures the blonde. With steady fingers he takes the wrinkled orange fabric in his grasp and begins tying Naruto's bow tie. He holds back a smirk as he notices a faint blush cross the scarred face in front of him. With one last fumble and tug, the tie is in place and looking quite spiffy. "There you go."

Naruto grins at his date. "Thanks," he mutters as he moves in to give a light peck on a pale cheek. He swiftly scoops up his matching black jacket and slips it onto himself. Spinning around to face Gaara once more, he asks, "Do I look okay?"

The poet lends a teeny half-smile. "You look a bit Halloween-ish, but fine," he replies. "Are we ready to go now?"

"Not yet!" Naruto retorts as he flies passed his boyfriend to the stairs. He enters the kitchen a moment later, pulling out a clear plastic box. He holds it up. "Corsage," he reminds.

Gaara nearly laughs. Instead he smiles minutely again and takes the box from the other. He raises an nonexistent eyebrow. "Why a rose?"

"Why not a rose?" Naruto chuckles. He had bought the red flower to match Gaara's blood-red hair, and to contrast with his dark blue suit. Seriously, he says, "I thought it suit you somehow. But, uh, did you…?"

"Yes," Gaara replies immediately, as if reading his boyfriend's mind. "I remembered to get you one as well. But it's a carnation and a few other things," he adds, feeling a bit cheap suddenly. He produces from under the jacket draped over his arm a similar clear box. A festively orange flower with some tiny white ones about it's stem is shown.

Shippuuden grins wider. "Now we just pin these on and we can head out!" he sing-songs. In one fluid motion the blonde whips out the rose and bends over to pin it to Resshin's lapel.

Meanwhile, the redhead is taking out his corsage for Naruto and trying ever-so-carefully to pin it to his black jacket without sticking him with the metal. Which proves to be challenging, since Naruto keeps moving. In the end, they succeed (although Gaara's corsage appears a bit lopsided due to the angle) and head out to the car.

On the way to the school, as the hurricane laces his hands behind his head, he brings up casually, "It feels weird to know we're seniors and going to our prom. Graduation will be in a couple months…"

"And then college," the earthquake adds.

"Uhg," Naruto groans, "Don't remind me. I don't want to go to college; I'm no where near as smart as you, so I can't go to the same one. It'll suck being apart…"

Without removing his eyes from the road, Gaara inquires with a frown: "Are you that sure about me?" The poet isn't used to feeling so wanted, so needed, or so loved by someone. Sometimes his mind cannot wrap around how dedicated Naruto is to him, or how long they've been together so far and will be still one day ('until death' comes to mind). Over a year now, going on two years… and the love between them has not dwindled or faded in the least. And they're still virgins, which is a great feat for two hormonal males bonded in the strong way that Naruto and Gaara are.

Which brought an idea to Naruto's mind as he answered the question. "Hmm," he hums thoughtfully, a fox-like smirk inching it's way onto his tan face, "Maybe we don't have to be apart. I'm so sure about us –" while listening, Gaara notes that the blonde said 'us' and not 'you', as if Naruto considered them as one and not separate "– That I think we can get away with living together while each of us go to college. So long as we have both our cars and live within a good distance from both our colleges, it shouldn't be too hard. You have your job at Boarder's and I have mine at the mall, so together there should be enough money in our savings to start paying rent at a decent apartment…"

"Shippuuden," Gaara interrupts. He decidedly uses the nickname that was developed back when the two boys were e-pals in their junior-year technology class. "It's prom night and you're already planning the future. Can't you rest your mind for one night to enjoy yourself?" he mumbles to hide his inner conflicted feelings. Somehow, it embarrassed him to hear Naruto speak to him this way, acting as though they were a married couple looking to start a life together. But it also made him feel sick, his mind already cranking out reasons why living together might be a bad idea. Ever since that class ring fiasco the previous winter… The redhead shakes his memory from his head and focuses on parking in the student lot near the school.

"Bah, you're right," the other teen sighs. "I'm just a bit excited, is all. We didn't go to prom last year, and now this year we are and I kind of can't contain myself." He's smiling.

"Let's get inside," the earthquake says. He unbuckles himself and pops open the car door, watching out of the corner of his aquamarine, black-rimmed eye as Naruto does the same. Distracted for a moment by the sweet smells of the night and a mix of Naruto's cologne and deodorant, he doesn't notice as said blonde slows his pace to match and sneaks one arm around his slim waist. Gaara glances down at the hand, which currently thought it nice to snugly fit it's thumb in his belt loop.

"I hope no one spikes the punch," Naruto jokes. He glances over at Gaara, who was still a couple inches shorter than he was even after a year of opportunity to grow. Since last year, Gaara hasn't let his bangs grow back into their triangular flip over his left eye; in place of that his tattoo is displayed proudly and his bangs angle downward in spikes over his right eye. As they near the school, the blonde reaches over with his free hand to brush a stray hair or two behind Gaara's ear. "Heh," he giggles once as Gaara's cheeks flush the tiniest bit.

Even now, a year later, Resshin can't help but to get butterflies in his stomach whenever Naruto shows a sign of gentle affection like that. Mustering up his strength and forcing the blush to fade, Gaara opens the door to the gymnasium as Naruto takes his arm off his somewhat girlish waist.

A flood of upbeat dancing music storms their ears at a barely tolerable volume when they enter. The lights are dim to nothing, save for a bar of flashing, rotating rainbow lights above the DJ stand. The theme of the prom was A Night At Sea, so twinkle lights decorated the ceiling, a strip of blue and white balloons caught above their heads in a net, just waiting to fall, and along the walls it appeared at thought you were looking out of construction-paper crafted circular cruise ship windows. Even the DJ's part f the gym was decked out to be like the helm of a ship.

"Looks like Prom Committee outdid themselves," Naruto comments airily. Gaara nods briefly by his side, and takes hold of the blonde's hand with a surprising amount of force. He smiles. "Who's the nervous one now?"

"I didn't think I would be," Gaara whispers close to Naruto's ear. "But seeing all these people… it makes me feel odd."

"Why? Because we're a gay couple?" Naruto grunts. He pulls Gaara towards the music and crowd of bodies. "Don't worry about it."

"Ticket please," Kurenai says as the two boys approach a table. The art teacher smiles. "Why, if it isn't my star birdie artist," she coos. "How're you, Naruto?"

"A bit jittery, but excited," he grins in reply.

The teacher takes their tickets and winks. "Have fun, you two. And don't get crazy."

"Oh, we won't… we're angels!" the blonde says in a chipper tone. He adds an innocent look on his face for effect.

The black-haired woman laughs and shoos them away.

It doesn't take long for Naruto's friends to find him. Sakura is the first to approach. "Foxy-kun!" she giggles wildly, and beings him into a hug. She places a kiss on his nose and giggles again. Someone's been sipping the sake…

"Hey Sakura," Naruto smiles weakly. "Are you feeling okay? You're a bit wobbly."

"I'm fantastic!" she exclaims. "Save a dance for me, won't you?" she says. And then the pinkette bounds off in the distance to meet up with Lee, who was in a lovely green and black suit, which complimented his spiked-up hair and dark eyes nicely.

"Dobe," calls a voice. Naruto and Gaara turn to see Sasuke, still in his wheelchair since the shooting with the Akatsuki.

"Teme," Naruto greets stiffly. He and Sasuke weren't really on good terms anymore. It seems nothing can repair their bind now that so much has happened between them. Even now, in their senior year of high school, they can't help but be a bit distant and less brotherly. Then again, on one end (namely Sasuke's) it never was quite the 'brotherly' love, but something else, something more.

"I'm not trying to start any bullshit," the raven-haired boy says lowly in defense. "Now's not the time or place. I came to say that both of you –" emphasis on 'both' "– Look really nice tonight. And that it's good to see you here, since you two didn't go last year."

"Neither did you, I heard," Naruto retorts.

Sasuke curtly nods. "True, but my brother made me attend this time."

Naruto wants to say, 'the same way he made you attend the Sound Academy?' but he resisted. Instead, he forces a grin and says, "Well, I'm glad you're here." Then he proceeds to drag Gaara further into the mass of dancers. Along the way Naruto saw Neji with TenTen, Kiba leading Hinata into the group, and Shino sipping punch. Chouji was chatting with Shikamaru, and Temari was next to him. "Hey, Nara!" the blonde barked over his shoulder over the music, "Aren't you only allowed to have high school-aged dates?"

"Shut up, Naruto!" Shika responded with an irritated tone.

Laughing, Naruto twirled back around to face forward. Only the first few minutes into prom and already I feel like something big is going to happen, the hurricane thinks.

"Hi, Gaara!" says a female voice. Naruto stares through the crowd to his left to try and seek out the source. He sees that cheerleader girl from his chemistry class last year, Matsuri. She knew about her old crush and his relationship choice, but she was still friendly. She approaches the two boys, her sparkling black-on-pink cocktail-cut dress brushing their pants. She looks to Naruto. "Do you care if I steal him later for a dance?" Matsuri pouts her full lips and tilts her head so her light brown hair covers one eye. "Pleeeease?"

Naruto crosses his arms. "Why should I?"

"Because I heard Sakura Haruno saying she was going to dance with you, so when she does I thought it only fair that I get to dance with Gaara."

She actually had a good point; Naruto would hate for his date to get lonely or jealous. He looks over to the paprika-haired boy in question and makes a face. "What do you want to do?"

His cool eyes connect with Naruto's and he sighs through his nose. "It's fine with me," the poet says simply. Truthfully, he didn't give a rat's tail if he danced with some fangirl for one song while Naruto danced with his best friend. It didn't affect him any; Gaara knows where his own feelings lay, and trusts Naruto with his feelings.

"Okay then," Naruto says. "You can dance with him later, but for one song, understand? After that, he's mine again." A slightly possessive smile makes it's way onto his lips, and it gives Gaara a shiver down his spine. He loved it when Naruto smiled like that; it made the redhead feel warm inside, a sort of glow that comes only when someone cares passionately about you.

Matsuri's face lit up to a whole new level of girly happiness, and she thanked him quietly before running off giggling to tell her girlfriends. The Uzumaki boy rolls his eyes at the display. Then, he shifts his gaze to Gaara, taking in for a moment how he looks under the soft lighting.

Feeling the pressure of the oceanic-blue irises, Gaara turns his head. "What?"

Tapping his foot in time with the beat, Naruto smirks. "Time to free-style it, that's what. C'mon!"

Resshin hesitates, a tad of his shy nature peeking through his carefully stoic mask. "I don't necessarily dance free-style…"

Shippuuden snorts and takes the redhead's hand. "That is such a lie," he reprimands. "I saw you dancing at Sasuke's Halloween party last year, remember?"

Gaara instantly recalls the kiss they shared then with vivid detail; enough to where his lips are left tingling. That had been the first time he actually moved his lips in response. Although it would have been an awkward sight to any onlookers… because, honestly: the Phantom of the Opera kissing Michelangelo the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtle? How ridiculous can you get? Still, it had been a wonderful kiss.

Defeated by the valid point made, he follows the body movements Naruto's offering as a start. The music sounded like 'Shake It' by Metro Station, which was both overplayed at it's time of release and during all kinds of school dances even now. If you listened closely, you could hear all the sexual innuendo threaded into the lyrics.

I'll take you home
If you don't leave me at the front door
(Leave me at the front door)
Your body's cold
But girl, we're getting so warm
And I was thinking of ways that I could get inside
(Get inside)

The blonde began by shaking side to side from his waist up, so that his shoulders bounced and his hair tossed left and ride on his head. Then he was moving forward and back, leaning towards and away from Gaara. Nervously, the redhead tried to mimic the movements, leaning forward and back with his boyfriend and attempting to shake his head with the smallest of motions.

Tonight you're falling in love
(Let me go now)
This feeling's tearing me up
(Here we go now)

As the chorus followed, Gaara gulped. Naruto's hands were on his slim hips now, trying to sway them. "Come on, Resshin, be bolder!" he laughs. "Left, right, left, right…"

Now, if she does it like this
Will you do it like that?
Now, if she touches like this
Will you touch her right back?
Now, if she moves like this
Will you move like that?
Come on…

He slides his tanned fingers up Gaara's sides to his hands, raising them above his head and curling his long, thin fingers into fists. He makes them pound at the air in rhythm, and once Gaara got the hang of it, the blonde released his hands. Then Naruto pounded his own fists in the air over his head, hitting an imaginary set of drums high (horizontal to the crown of his head) and low (horizontal to his ears).

Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it

Then he was gripping Gaara's fingers and shaking them. Gaara slowly relaxed and found himself shifting his weight on his feet in time with the beat, stepping this way and that while Naruto lead him.

The song slowed into another verse, and the blonde brought their bodies closer together.

Your lips tremble
But your eyes are in a straight stare
(In a straight stare)
We're on the bed
But your clothes are laying right there
And I was thinking of places that I could hide
(I could hide)
Tonight you're falling in love
(Let me go now)
This feeling's tearing me up
(Here we go now)

The poet sucked in his breath as Naruto smoothly ground against him, twisting and revolving around him to do the same shoulder move as before, only back-to-back. The blonde reaches behind him to pound fists with Gaara once more.

Now, if she does it like this
Will you do it like that?
Now, if she touches like this
Will you touch her right back?
Now, if she moves like this
Will you move like that?
Come on…

Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it

Gaining speed and confidence, Gaara jumped around to face his boyfriend. A small line of perspiration is starting to form around the blonde spikes, and a grin is firmly in place, causing the whisker-shaped scars to wrinkle under his eyes. Without saying a word, the redhead smiles in return and wraps his arms around Naruto's waist, shaking his hips side to side.

I saw you dancing there
I couldn't get you off my mind
But I could tell, that you could tell
That I was taking my time

But I was thinking of ways
To get you staying the night
Your body's shaking
Turn me on, so I can turn off the lights…

The chorus repeated a few times, and in that time before the song ended, Gaara could hardly calculate how much sweat was beginning to shimmer on his skin or Naruto's, or how intimate any of the dance moves they did were. Lean here, rock there, bounce out, almost-touching grind in, twist… fade in, and then, fade out.

The song ends. Gaara blinks once or twice as the next song comes on. He rarely allows himself to loosen up like that. As his eyes focus again from being closed (when did that happen?) he peers into Naruto's overly blue irises, the emotion-filled pupils drawing him closer. When it came to his hurricane, he hardly cared any longer about the distance between them (or in this case, lack thereof).

"Having fun?" Naruto grins as he stares into the panda-like black-rimmed eyes. Even on prom night Gaara hid his insomniac bruises with eyeliner.

Gaara nods in reply. He truly was enjoying himself… and it just occurred to him that he had hours left for even more fun. He nearly smiled.

"Great!" Naruto cheers over the rising music. He glances around and spots the refreshment table. Neither boy has eaten since about five or six o'clock, and neither can remember the last thing they drank. "Hungry? Thirsty?" Naruto wants to know.

To be honest, Gaara was parched. He mutters, "Thirsty; let's get a water bottle."

A tall plastic cooler filled with ice and bottles of water lay next to the red-clothed table, and trays of snack foods like cookies and pretzels and other sweet/salty things litter the space next to the giant bowl of red punch mixed with Sprite and rainbow sherbet melting on top. Naruto tosses a water bottle to Gaara but doesn't bother to get one for himself; the punch looks pretty good. He only hoped there was no Vodka or anything poured in by some random student. He cautiously dunks the ladle in and empties it into a plastic cup. He sniffs it, and it smells like sticky-sweet strawberry Jell-o (before you chill it) and orange cream. Shrugging, the blonde takes a sip and smiles as he swallows it. It tastes deliciously fruity and a bit bubbly, and the best part? There isn't a hint of alcohol in it whatsoever.

"Wanna try this?" he asks the redhead beside him. Gaara shakes his head, preferring the water over the sugary drink. Naruto laughs. "Too bad; you're really missing out." And he downs half the cup in one gulp.

Suddenly, Gaara is bombarded by a group of girls who are reaching over him for a bottle of water, smiles on their makeup-covered faces and giggles escaping their throats. He attempts to maneuver around them, but fails miserably as they seem not to notice that he's there. A grunt leaves his mouth. "Gyuh!"

Looking over, Naruto's eyes widen. He slams down his punch and moves in to pry the group of girls apart. "Hey, get away from him!"

"Away from who?" one girl asks; a blonde, no less. She looks over and blinks her false lashes at Gaara, whom Naruto is trying to pull out of the circle. "Whoa! I totally didn't see you standing there!"

Gaara coughs, the scent of floral perfume suffocating him. The girls stand aside, murmuring apologies and giggling even more. One, Naruto hears, is saying, 'Isn't he cute?' Whether they mean him or Gaara, he doesn't know. Could be both.

"This place is a madhouse!" Naruto grumbles as he yanks Gaara away from the refreshment table and leads him back into the center of the gym. His friends are there, dancing to something that sounds like a Missy Elliott song. Colorful lights spin around them, and he sees Ino laughing with Sakura about something. "Hey guys," he says.

"Naruto, Gaara! Dance with us…" Ino giggles, coming over to pull the boys into the grinding line.

"Is grinding the only dancing people know nowadays(1)?" Gaara grumbles to himself. He gets pressed in the middle of a Sakura and Naruto sandwich, somehow the situation feeling familiar(2).

The line bounces in time with the song, which Naruto recognizes now as the old hit, 'Lose Control'. They lean forward and back, clap, and rotate to face the opposite way after a while. Gaara seems to be barely following along, and Naruto laughs because he nearly fell over and into Ino, who was in front of him presently, thanks to the shift in direction.

Uncomfortable with the way things are at the moment, Gaara tries to slip his way out of the cushion of Naruto's back and Sakura's chest. He could feel his face clouding with magenta, but it wasn't a welcomed feeling. Carefully the poet ducks out from the line and takes a couple steps back, vaguely surprised of his own grace seeing as how he should've stumbled (or even tripped) from the sheer force of the bodies that had been around him a second ago.

He watches as his ditzy boyfriend glances up, noticing that a pair of breasts met his back instead of something flatter. Naruto pans his eyes to the blotch of red in the dim lighting. His lips are pulled into a lopsided smile as he makes his way from between his two female friends and joins his earthquake. "Something wrong?"

Before Gaara can answer, Naruto can guess by the look on his face.

"Oh, right… that must've been awkward for you," he says weakly. "Sorry. My friends get carried away sometimes."

The other boy shrugs. He lifts the water bottle that had fallen from his hands and rolled across the floor. He unscrews the cap and tapes a quick sip. "It's alright. I figured prom would be like this," and he gestures around the gymnasium.

Naruto takes a fleeting look around. Everything is a bit chaotic, he'll admit, but he likes the jumpy atmosphere. "Yeah, I guess so, but I feel partial to it, y'know?"

Gaara shrugs and drinks more of his water. He's at least glad that no one seems to care about any of the couples that came to the dance together. Over the past few months, the talk had settled down and everyone treated Naruto and himself as a set, not really caring about the situation. It's like the homophobia, if there ever was any, died out in Konoha High. Including any specks of it in the teachers.

A slower song came on about ten minutes later. Sweating slightly, Naruto looks to Gaara.

He recognized easily the nervous, requesting look on Naruto's eyes. Something electric zaps through his limbs. Resshin smiles faintly, feeling bold. "May I have this dance?"

Shippuuden adverts his eyes. "I dunno… I'm not really that much of a slow-dancer… I have two left feet when it comes to stuff like that."

"I'm sure you're not that bad," Gaara murmurs reassuringly. He offers his pale hand.

Naruto winces visibly as if to mark how bad it's going to be. The blonde takes the offered hand, the callous on Gaara's right middle finger feeling smaller than it had. Has he been writing less poetry recently?

'Smother Me' by The Used plays, delicate like a ballroom waltz but slightly upbeat and utterly sweet. The melody flowed through the room, and soon prom goers left and right were pairing up and twirling around. Not many knew what they were doing, but they tried, and some of the more gauche couples teetered back and forth or side to side to accommodate for their lack of expertise.

Let me be the one who calls you 'baby'
All the time
Surely you can take some comfort
Knowing that you're mine
Just hold me tight
Lay by my side
And let me be the one who calls you 'baby'
All the time

Resshin, however, knew what he was doing. He brought Naruto a breath's distance away and began to sway, rotating in circles. Naruto's feet fought to keep up, his shoes rubbing roughly against Gaara's, nearly stepping on them. He bites his lower lip.

I found my place in the world
Stare at your face
For the rest of my days…
Now I can breathe, turn my insides out
And smother me
Warm and alive, I'm all over you
Would you smother me?

"You're doing fine," Gaara whispers, his breath coming cool and tickling in the blonde's ear. "Try following my lead; don't fight it as much," he advices.

Naruto chews his lip and looks into Gaara's eyes, a sigh escaping his mouth as he relaxes more. "Okay," he says.

Let me be the one who never leaves you
All alone
I hold my breath and lose the feeling that
I'm on my own
Hold me too tight, stay by my side
And let me be the one who calls you 'baby'
All the time

"Do you get the feeling we're being watched?" Naruto asks anxiously.

"You're too paranoid," Gaara says in a lame effort to mask a similar feeling of unease. He did feel like they were being watched, but he ignores it.

He doesn't say so, but Naruto almost felt like this song was about himself and the other boy in his arms. Instinctively, Shippuuden draws him nearer and rests his hand on the other's shoulder. He tries not to think about anything else but the music and the warmth, even if he's clumsily stepping over and around Gaara's feet and not moving quite as fluidly as the poet.

When I'm alone
Time goes so slow…
I need you here with me.
And how my mistakes
Have made your heart break…
Still, I need you here with me.
So, baby, I'm…
Baby, I'm here…

After some repetitive lyrics, the song comes to a close, but Gaara doesn't dare break apart from the slowly swaying embrace they've fallen into. Somehow, he knows this is what prom is supposed to be: warm and full of music, surrounded by his love and all his love's friends (which were now his own).

And color. There was also a lot of color around; brilliant dresses and snazzy suits, including a few tuxedos. It was a blend of lights, smiles, sweat and a rainbow of glitter. Better than homecoming, but worse than a normal dance.

There's a cut of music and words bursting from a microphone. "Time to name Prom King and Queen!" says a voice from the DJ booth. All eyes pan over to their principal, Tsunade. She's smirking. She gets handed a letter by the assistant principal, Shizune. Opening the card, she glances at the names written on it. "This past week you all voted, and now here we have the results! For Prom King, you chose… Kiba Inuzuka!"

Someone shouts in the student body. It takes Naruto a minute to realize that it's his brunette friend jumping in the air and running up to receive the crown and body ribbon.

"And as for your Prom Queen… Hinata Hyuuga!"

A body crashes to the floor. Kiba looks stricken and leaps off stage. He hurries to the fallen girl, who was Hinata. She fainted from surprise and embarrassment. "Hina, baby, wake up! You're Prom Queen!"

"Whuuuh?" she says weakly as she stirs into consciousness.

Kiba grins broadly and helps her to her feet, her light lavender and white dress being dusted of dirt by one of his hands. "I said, you're Prom Queen, babe. C'mon, let's go get your cheesy plastic crown and shiny ribbon." And he laughs.

Hinata erupts into a series of nervous giggles, her face flushing. "Wow, oh wow, wow…"

Tsunade is laughing. "Here you are, hun," she chuckles as she places the ribbon over the Hyuuga clan girl and plops the crown on her head. "And," she says into the mic, "You two were also elected Cutest Couple for this year's yearbook. How's that feel?"

"Like we both wanna faint," Kiba jokes. "Who wouldda thunk it?"

The blonde woman shakes her head at Kiba's bad grammar. She turns to the DJ. "get the music pumping again!"

And so he does.

Slowly, things wind down. Pictures are being set up in the hallway, and everyone is getting in line to take them. Some, like Naruto's group, want to wait until the line is shorter to photograph their memories of tonight.

"This dress is beginning to bother me," Sakura complains. She tugs at the red ankle-length fabric.

"Well, I think mine looks superb," Ino comments, twirling in her ocean blue dress, which is a mix of green-blues and dark blues to match her eyes and compliment her bleach blonde hair.

"You suck, Ino," Sakura grumbles.

"And you swallow~!" the blonde responds with a laugh. Sakura hits her in the arm. "Oww! I was just kidding!"

TenTen's dark purple and yellow dress floated across the floor as Neji escorted her to the pictures out in the hall. "Hmm. Looks like they're going; should we go, too?" Naruto brings up.

Shikamaru shrugs. "Lines are troublesome. You can go. Temari and I will wait here."

Temari shrugs as well. "For once, I agree with the lazy ass."

"I resent the name-calling all the time," Shika grumbles to himself, causing Temari to laugh at his expense.

"Oh! Naruto! They're playing another slow song. Want to dance now?" Sakura pleads with her eyes. "While we wait for the pictures and whatnot…"

"Er…" Naruto begins. He glances Gaara's way, a question written across his face.

The redhead can hear Matsuri nearby, knowing she's been waiting to pounce all night. He nods his head, answering Naruto's unspoken question of, 'is it all right with you?'.

'Gunning Down Romance' by Savage Garden thrums from the speakers, which both a sad and slow song. It would've been more romantic if they played 'Truly, Madly, Deeply', so Naruto was glad that they didn't.

The music reminded Naruto an awful lot of Gaara. Especially before they were dating, when he was alone and defeated and cold-hearted to save himself any pain. And the lines, 'I'm gonna take these broken wings… and learn to fly' reminded him of their bird dreams from a while back, which he still gets on occasion. With Sakura's hand on his shoulder and waist, Naruto sighed and swayed with her, dipping her down once or twice when the music picked up. Funny how, just a few years ago, he would have loved to lower his hand on her back or her hips. Back when he used to have a crush on her like Lee did. But he felt nothing of that sort for her now; she was his best friend and rightly so. Naruto shook these thoughts and tried his best not to look over at Matsuri and Gaara, whom he knew were dancing as well right about now.

Somehow, things didn't feel right. People were cracking jokes and getting pictures done, and this dance with his best friend is nice, but to Naruto, nothing feels quite as lively as it did at first. He had thought his prom would be a lot more than this… it's almost like champagne with all the bubbles gone flat.

But it seemed a few bubbles returned, because Sakura began to cry. Startled, Naruto blinked and bents down a bit to look into her face. "Sakura-chan? What's the matter?"

She sniffled and freed her hand from his shoulder to wipe her tears, which began to smudge her eyeliner. "Listening to this song… it makes me sad," she murmurs in a slightly hoarse voice.

"Why?" the hurricane asks gently, pulling his friend closer to console her.

Sakura sighs. "I'm going to admit something to you, Naru: I'm jealous of what you and Gaara have. I'm almost jealous that I didn't get to you first, and I'm a little mad at myself for keeping my hopes on Sasuke for so long."

Speaking of the Uchiha, Naruto wondered where he went. He hasn't seen the wheelchair victim since the beginning of the night. Did he leave…?

Sakura casts her glassy orbs to the side so she didn't have to look at his handsome face. "Sorry for crying on you like this. I just… well, being a girl, I get really lonely sometimes. You know I've never dated, and look where I am! A senior at my prom and dancing with a boy, but he's only my 'best friend'. So where's my boyfriend?"

"Oh, Sakura…" Shippuuden replies gently. He plants a tiny kiss on her forehead. "I'm sure that right guy for you is right under your nose. I bet he'll spring up while you're in college."

She bites her shiny lips, still sticky from the lipstick and gloss she added to them. Sakura doesn't want to admit that she already was beginning to like someone and that it had started all the way back in the Cabin up north on Gaara's birthday the previous school year. "I hope so," she mutters, the last of her tears trialing down her face.

"Well, I know so," Naruto replies as the song ends. "You're a beautiful girl, Sakura, and very charming. Someone will pick up on that."

She smiles weakly at him. "Thanks. That means a lot to me." She studies him for a moment, thinking of how mature he's gotten over all the years she's known him. he used to be a bratty, whiny kid, and now he was a sweet, caring man. She smiles stronger to herself.

Naruto releases her and steps back to get a better look at the pinkette. Sakura was a tough girl, but even every tough girl has her weaknesses. "Come on," he says brightly, "Let's get you some punch." He pulls a handkerchief from the pocket of his suit near the flower Gaara had bought for him. The blonde holds it up to his friend.

"Okay," she nods, her voice lighter. She rids her face of the tear trails with the offered handkerchief. She follows him to the refreshment stand and takes the cup he hands her.

Meanwhile, Gaara is struggling not to be rude to Matsuri. She seems to want to cling to him, so he's trying to hold her at arm's length while still dancing. He's also trying not to show the inner grimace he's making. If Gaara ever doubted his feelings, he didn't now; most girls, especially ones like this, did not interest him at all. He liked Naruto much, much better. He sighed with relief when the song finally ended.

Resshin spots his date heading towards him after a few minutes of searching. When they meet up, the hurricane asks if they should proceed to the prom pictures outside. "Yes, let's," the earthquake agrees.

With a flash of a camera, an image of two boys clearly happy with their lives gets printed, and subsequent to this photo a group picture is taken with everyone Naruto cares about, and most of the people Gaara cares about. Each face is smiling, surprisingly even the paprika-haired Sabaku boy, whom has a ghost of a smile on his lips but plenty of mirth in his eyes.

They had survived. They didn't get wasted, they didn't do anything stupid, they resisted the parties and pranks, danced with other people, hung out with their friends and jumped into pop a dozen balloons when they fell from the ceiling at the end.

Overall, a good senior prom that will surely be remembered all their years.

Even if Naruto slow-dances like a duck, Gaara thinks on the way home. As the car ride carried a comfortable silence, the redhead glanced over at the folder of photos in Naruto's hands.

Out of nowhere, Naruto breaks the silence. "Say, Gaara…"

"Hn?" the driver responds idly.

"Want to spend the night? Kyuubi won't be home, and…"

"Naruto!" Gaara scolds lowly.

The blonde laughs, knowing by Gaara's tone that he's blushing. "I'm joking! I totally didn't mean anything by it. But Dad really won't be home, so if you want to spend the night, we can stay up as late as you want. And I won't try anything on you, I swear." He's smirking nonetheless.

Gaara makes a stifled grunt-sigh, not sure what to do. He knew Naruto would be true to his word and not try anything frisky, and the idea of spending the night sounded warm and comforting, but…

Oh, what the hell. Why not? "Alright."



A/N: Eh heh, sorry about the NaruSaku moment, you guys. The mini KibaHina one was to be expected, but I dunno, I really wanted to write the overlyfriendlybutsweet!NaruSaku. I mean, I used to love NaruHina… but then NaruGaa took over my brain. And I (kind of) secretly (always) liked NaruSaku… even if I (always) support SasuSaku more… -gets shot-
Bah, whatever. It was cute, you have to admit! Although I think Sakura couldda been a bit OOC. But I don't care, I love the pinkette that way so long as she's not bitchy!OOC (because that's just cruel).

Footnotes? Again? Weird…

(1) "Is grinding the only dancing people know nowadays?" – Seriously. Grinding apparently is all the dancing kids at my school know how to do, and it irks me. I'm there dancing with style like my teens from my parent's times (the seventies and eighties) and they're there grinding to rap music and getting all stupid with each other. It's gross. I hate it.

(2) 'He gets pressed in the middle of a Sakura and Naruto sandwich, somehow the situation feeling familiar.' – Heh, reference to Trial Of The 'Kages by Shyanna. That fanfic is effing amazing. I wish she'd update… it's been about eight months, and I miss it terribly. D: (she writes dancing scenes a lot better than I do… but I try.) If you haven't already, read that fic for me, please. I promise you'll love it! It's very… huhu, amusing. -smirks-

Oh, and everyone please be on the lookout for another DB-related oneshot related to the boy's high school graduation! :D