Oh my gosh, an update? Are you guys shocked? I've seemed to have acquired a sudden inspiration to really get back into this story so I hope you're all not too mad at me for how long it's been and how different this story is going to be. I promise you, it's much better than it used to be. I still cringe just thinking about what this was like when I first posted it.
Anyway! On with chapter two! This chapter was really fun for me to write, not sure why. So enjoy!
Disclaimer: Don't Own It.
Ps. Dude...chapter 482 of the manga? Come on! It makes me want to bash Sakura all over again (even though I won't). All the good points she earned have fled her. Just...dude..
Chapter Two: Read my Mind
Naruto was pissed. As predicted, he had arrived at practice to an uncomfortable intensity in the air and he couldn't help but want to blame everything on Sasuke. Sasuke hadn't even acknowledged his presence, making the situation even more uncomfortable. Naruto just decided to match the raven's indifference, hoping to maybe piss him off as much as he had pissed Naruto off. Halfway through practice, Jiraiya had the team scrimmaging and things were going horribly. Naruto, being the emotionally dramatic teen he was, refused to accept that Sasuke was a teammate he could pass to.
"Naruto! Cross it! Switch sides! Switch! Damn it, pass the ball!" Sasuke yelled in frustration just before Naruto's third attempt at scoring by himself had failed. He'd had enough. He ran at the blonde, sliding into his feet from behind. Naruto fell to the ground hard, his back colliding painfully with the earth as he let out a grunt of pain. Before he could fully recover, Sasuke had climbed on top of him, glaring furiously at him. "What's your problem!? Cut the bullshit, Naruto. If that was a game we could have lost because of you!" he yelled, frustrated at the blonde who wouldn't meet his eyes.
Jiraiya had sensed the tense air about the boys and decided Sasuke could probably handle whatever was wrong with Naruto but decided he'd help give them space. "Everyone but Sasuke and Naruto: two wind sprints and you can go." As soon as everyone had cleared the area, Jiraiya walked over to the two struggling teens. "Can you boys pleas – Naruto? What the hell happened to you?" he asked taking in the shape his player was in.
But Naruto didn't respond. His eyes were screwed shut in pain and he was too busy concentrating on just breathing. He was sure his wound had just re-opened.
"Naruto?" Sasuke questioned, the anger gone from his voice, replaced by a tone of concern, "Hey, are you ok?"
But Sasuke didn't need Naruto to answer because he saw the problem before Naruto could explain anything. A dark, quickly growing stain of blood was soaking through Naruto's white t-shirt and Sasuke quickly pulled up the shirt to see the blood soaked bandages. Sasuke almost felt relieved that he hadn't caused the injury since it had obviously been there since before practice, but it did little to ease his worry for the blonde.
"Stop it," Naruto gritted out as he attempted to pull his shirt back down.
"Naruto, what the hell happened?!" Jiraiya asked as he dropped to his knees next to the bleeding fox.
"Nothing, get off my back," he breathed as hostilely as possible while doing his best not to let his watering eyes spill any pain-filled tears.
"Nothing?! Are you frickin' stupid?! Look at yourself!" Sasuke yelled, frustrated with Naruto's need to handle everything on his own.
Naruto's breathing quickened slightly and Sasuke noticed how pale he was becoming. He was losing too much blood.
"Come on, let's get him to the hospital," Jiraiya cut in as he leaned down, lifting the blonde's head slightly with the intention of lifting him into his arms who groaned in protest, his eyes glazing as the world spun around him.
"Maybe we shouldn't move him. Maybe we should call an ambulance," he heard Sasuke suggest as his head was set back down on the grass.
He squinted his eyes, trying to focus on something, anything that might make the nausea go away and ease the dark corners pulling at the edges of his vision but fought against the pull of oblivion in vain, the heavy sensation luring him into a deep, unreachable unconsciousness.
There was sound somewhere, piercing through the thick reaches of darkness swallowing the subconscious terrain where nothing used to exist – at least not that he could remember.
One beep, followed by another, and another, and succeeded by more just like it until it was all he could hear: just one beep after another.
And suddenly there was sensation, feeling returning to his limbs and pain enveloping his being. He breathed in deeply, in an attempt to soothe it, subconsciously recognizing how the beep got faster with the more pain he was in.
Smell and light soon followed after hearing and feeling and a sterile and unpleasant scent overtook his senses while he strained to open his eyes, the light becoming stronger the further his eyes opened.
"Wha-?" he began hoarsely, confusion clouding his eyes which were slowly searching the pale green walls surrounding him before the realization of where he was hit him. He sat up abruptly, ripping the IV from his hand as the pulse monitor on his finger came off in the process, causing the machine next to him to flat-line as he did his best to ignore the pain flaring in his stomach.
"What are you doing–!" Sasuke began in a shocked voice before being cut off as several doctors came running into the room, under the impression that Naruto had lost his pulse, comprehension dawning on their faces as they saw the plastic lines hanging limply in his grip as he tried to get out of the bed. Apparently this happened a lot. The doctors left in a wave of relief as a young nurse approached the blonde with the necessary equipment to reinstate the IV.
"No, stop, I don't have medical insurance," Naruto stated in panic as he tried once again to get out of the hospital bed before the nurse could up his hospital bill any further by giving him any more medicine.
"Just shut up, dobe, I'll pay for it," Sasuke stated pushing the blonde back down into the bed as he weakly attempted to pull his hand away from the raven who was holding it still as he beckoned the nurse back over, assuring that he could pay the bill when the time came to pay for it. Naruto relaxed a little as the nurse asked which hand he would prefer the IV in until he pulled back his hand, suddenly asking, "Do I even need one? I'm not sick and I'm conscious now, I can take oral medication if I need it."
The nurse smiled softly at his knowledge of the necessity of an IV, shrugging her shoulders softly as she told him he didn't need one if he insisted on not having one before leaving the room after taking his vitals.
"Scared of needles, dobe?" he heard Sasuke ask, suddenly feeling empty and alone as the arrogant words hit him in a way they never really used to.
He wished Sasuke wouldn't use that tone with him. It was starting to feel so impersonal – like he was talking to just anyone, not his best friend. They were in the middle of a fight right now and Sasuke was trying to act like they weren't – like Naruto's anger didn't matter as long as Sasuke didn't feel it was mutual.
And that made Naruto angry. He felt the rage building within him and tried to cool it by ignoring the raven but Sasuke just wouldn't have that.
"I was speaking to you," he stated, clearly unaware of how each word seemed to make Naruto's chest pang with regret that only seemed to fuel his anger.
Sasuke…that asshole. He couldn't be around him right now. He didn't want to be around him right now. The truth was so much more painful now than it had ever been and Naruto knew it was because Sasuke was acting so indifferent. Maybe he wasn't feeling that way on the inside, but what Naruto really needed was to see some sort of emotion that showed Sasuke was either concerned, apologetic, or relieved that the blonde was alright: any kind of sentiment that would show him that Sasuke was acknowledging Naruto's inner turmoil with him.
So when the stubborn jerk neglected to allow those emotions to show, Naruto couldn't help but spill the impulsive and angry thoughts brewing in his mind.
"I think we should spend some time apart."
The silence that followed was almost deafening.
"What?" Sasuke asked, his voice on the edge of breaking from the strain of keeping his tone low.
But Naruto didn't respond. He knew he wouldn't be able to because the words were dying before they could even reach his throat. His eyes were steadfast on the opposite wall, a complicated look dominating his features as he pointedly avoided Sasuke's piercing gaze.
His silence alone was enough of an explanation. Sasuke could take the hint.
"Fine," the raven breathed indifferently as he stood from the chair he had been loyally sitting in for the past hour and a half. He knew the indifference alone was worse to Naruto than the anger he was feeling. Naruto loved emotion and if he wanted space then he definitely wouldn't give him what he was clearly trying to earn. Maybe Sasuke was an asshole for denying him that emotion when he so clearly needed to see it but he had his pride and, although he hated himself for it, his pride was nearly impossible for him to overcome.
Naruto watched him go, the heavy feeling in his gut leaving with the breath he let out slowly only to be replaced with regret and disappointment upon inhaling. This sucked! Everything about this sucked.
He slowly got up from the bed, feeling the stitches on his stomach gently with the tips of his fingers as he searched the room for his clothes, finding them on a shelf near the window. He pulled his soccer shorts over his boxers which he was grateful to still be wearing before slipping out of the hospital gown and pulling his shirt over his head, frowning at the blood still staining a small part of the shirt.
But it didn't matter, he told himself as he glanced out the window, grateful to notice he was on the first floor as he pulled up the window. He had to get out before they could catch him and send him home with a nice fat bill as farewell. He knew the bill would probably be sent to his home but he was still going to try to run from it. Maybe they didn't catch his address from anyone while he was unconscious? And he wanted to keep it that way if that happened to be the case.
He leapt onto the window sill, easing his way down onto the ground below him, hissing slightly when his stomach stretched uncomfortably against his stitches before he was comfortably on the ground, hurrying toward the parking lot.
Shit, what time was it? He didn't have a phone or a car and no money for the bus which meant he had to walk back to the park to get his car. He could tell by how dark the sky was that it was well past the time for his shift at work and tried not to let the anxiety of knowing that get to him as he hurried back to the soccer fields, glad that this hospital was only a few blocks away from the park.
When he reached the street leading to the soccer field, he could see his bag still sitting under the bench on the side of the field and hurried through the gate leading into the open fields, kneeling down next to his bag when he had finally reached it and sifting through the contents until he saw his cell phone sitting at the bottom of the bag, the numbers 8:12 flashing in a dim blue from the screen. He furrowed his eyebrows in contempt as he sighed, picking up the phone as he slung his bag over his shoulder, taking off for his car as he dialed a number from heart into the phone.
He was already over an hour late for work. He prayed for his boss to have mercy on him.
"Black and Brew Coffee on East, this is Haku. How can I help you?" a feminine voice asked politely through the speaker of the phone.
"Haku!" the blonde greeted quickly as he unlocked his car, throwing his bag into the back seat as he climbed into the driver's seat, "Tell Sasori not to fire me! Please! I'm on my way and I have a legitimate excuse!" he explained as he pulled out of the parking lot quickly, his tires screeching slightly as the rubber wheels spun out several times in an attempt to cling to the asphalt.
He heard his feminine coworker chuckle on the other end of the line and he scowled slightly.
"I'll tell him but you know how impatient he is. Good luck with whatever excuse you have this time," Haku offered before hanging up the phone one goodbye short and leaving the blonde on the other end of the line feeling more anxious than ever. Of course he knew how impatient his boss was! It was awful working under such an intolerant man. Arriving on time was late and late was…well late was just bad news. The latest Naruto could ever remember being was four minutes late and he had been dismissed for the rest of the night for it.
He didn't want to think about what sort of punishment was waiting for him when he arrived. Hopefully being unconscious in the hospital was a good enough excuse.
Sasuke sat at the desk in his room, his chin resting in his hand and his elbow resting on the wooden surface of his study area. A notebook filled with perfectly written notes that even an architect would be proud of lay open before him but his eyes were steadfast elsewhere. He watched out the window as the clouds slowly moved in the sky above him. When did things get so fucked up? He and Naruto never fought like this and it was difficult to deal with.
He tapped his pen against the desk top absentmindedly, his heart feeling heavy as he watched the last bit of the moon's light being swallowed by a passing cloud.
He had no idea what to do about the feelings he was so clearly feeling for Naruto that Naruto was so clearly not returning.
He had hinted several times that there was something there and Naruto had only seemed to respond with disgust and shock, but never anything positive that Sasuke could go on a limb from.
Well there was that time when he had sounded interested to hear if Sasuke was gay or not but the tone in his voice sounding more as if the information could have been used against him rather than been interesting to hear about.
And thinking that Naruto would do such a thing pissed him off, even if it wasn't his real intention to sound so vexing. He wanted to get back at him and hurt Naruto in some way like Naruto had hurt him. But the thought of breaking Naruto's heart sounded worse than how satisfying he knew delivering revenge was for his own aching chest.
So he figured he'd just wait to see how this played out and would compensate for his sore heart by trying not to feel guilty about the fact that he had just left a hurt blonde carless and moneyless at the hospital to fend for himself as he tried to find a way back to the field where his car was.
But even trying to convince himself not to feel guilty over that was useless.
He was damned to an eternity for what his heart yearned for because he had to face it: he had fallen for Uzumaki Naruto and he had fallen hard, face first, chin deep, into a place he should have never treaded into.
And that was never going to change because it was far too late to turn back now.
Naruto let out the breath he'd been holding as he was shoved out of the office, the door slammed loudly behind him and his wide eyes quickly darted to meet Haku's who was staring at him questioningly.
"Well I'm not fired," the blonde began in a disbelieving tone, "But I don't think I'll ever be late for anything ever again."
Haku smiled in amusement, a small laugh escaping his lips as he gave the blonde an encouraging thumbs up.
"That's good tendency that you should practice regularly regardless," he replied with smiling eyes while Naruto shot him a skeptical look.
"I don't have good tendencies," Naruto reminded with a smirk as he tied his apron behind his back before grabbing his clock in card and time-stamping it next to the night's date.
"What time are you supposed to work until tonight?" the blonde asked, his eyes going soft in as a sign that he was about to ask for a favor.
"Seven, why?" the brunette teen asked, knowing exactly where this was going.
"Can I have your shift? I get off at 1:30 but I really need the extra hours. Please Haku? I'm gonna have a killer hospital bill probably waiting for me when I get home from school tomorrow," he pleaded, praying for the feminine teen to take sympathy with him.
Haku smiled, nodding once and earning a grateful sigh from the blonde, "Sure. I'll still get a good amount of hours getting off at 1:30. But don't you have school tomorrow?"
"Yeah," the blonde breathed with renewed vigor from knowing he'd so easily picked up the extra shift, "But not until eight. I'll have plenty of time to get there," he assured, turning to help a customer before he could catch the worried glint to Haku's light brown eyes.
Seven was just about the worst time to get off work. Not only was the morning coffee rush in full swing, but his co-workers kept asking for him to ring them up each time he tried to reach for his card to clock out.
It wasn't until close to seven thirty that he was finally able to slip out the back door and hurry to his car before racing off to school. He quickly parked in the first available space he found before jumping out of the driver's side and going straight to his trunk. He didn't notice as a group of his friends walked up behind him as he sifted through the items in his trunk until Kiba was right behind him, holding him in a tight hug from behind as he laughed about the small jump from shock he earned out of the blonde.
Naruto grabbed the shirt he'd been looking for when Kiba had released him before turning and swiftly punching him on the shoulder, accidently adding more than just a friendly sting when his eyes turned to the raven haired teen standing next to the dog lover.
"Ow! God, Naruto!" Kiba complained as he cradled his shoulder, unsure as to why there'd been so much animosity behind what was usually never so rough.
He turned back around, quickly changing his shirt and making sure none of them could see his bandaged stomach as he pulled the faded orange t-shirt over his head.
"Did you only just get off of work?" he heard Sasuke ask in an incredulous tone as the work shirt was thrown into the back of the car before Naruto grabbed his backpack, slinging it over his shoulder.
"Fuck you Sasuke," the blonde bit back after slamming the trunk shut, facing the raven who looked as if he were expecting the outburst and ignoring the shocked gasps from the rest of his friends who had no idea where the harsh words were coming from, "You left me at the hospital with no car and no money. Fuck you," he finished before turning and walking away, leaving a deafening silence in his wake.
"You did what? The hospital? What the hell?" Kiba asked, the confusion in his voice only growing with each word. What the hell had happened last night after practice?
"Stupid fucking moron," the raven breathed before lashing out at the blonde who was only several yards away by now, "I didn't leave you! You told me to leave!"
"That doesn't fucking matter!" the blonde snapped back, turning to glare hatefully at Sasuke as he slowly backpedaled before stopping and taking a single step forward, "I don't care that I said I needed space! I wouldn't have left if it was you!"
And then he turned, shooting one last glare at the raven haired teen before he continued walking to his first class, glad that he had at least the next hour and fifteen minutes away from him.
But first period wasn't all it cracked up to be. The moment his ass hit the chair he felt like passing out from exhaustion. Not to mention the fact that he had completely neglected to do any of his homework which earned him a nice callous scolding to top it all off.
It was second period and Sasuke watched as the blonde he was currently fighting with walked in, sitting at the first available seat and resting his head on the table in complete exhaustion. He couldn't help but feel frustrated that Naruto was able to just fall asleep so easily when he, Uchiha Sasuke, his best friend and – for the time being – worst enemy, was sitting right across the room sending out a very pissed off aura.
Wasn't Naruto just as bothered with their fight as he was? He better be upset over it. There was no way in hell that Sasuke was suffering through this fight like this whole thing was one-sided.
But then he felt his heart drop and his anger dissipate with disappointment; because it was one-sided. Maybe their friendship was as two-way as friendships came, but his feelings were absolutely one-sided and he had to keep reminding himself that it wasn't fair by any means to blame Naruto for that.
And that meant he had to apologize and quick.
It was lunch period and Kiba watched with worry laced in his eyes as Sasuke and Naruto kept shooting each other menacing but subtle hints that stated each would like nothing more than for the other to jump off a bridge and he couldn't help but wonder just what the hell had happened.
The conversation around the table sounded forced and everyone seemed affected by the tense air surrounding the two.
And finally, Sasuke seemed to have had enough.
"Outside idiot," he demanded as he slammed his fists on the table before abruptly standing, a menacing glare in place that dared Naruto to reject the rendezvous.
"Fine!" the blonde snapped back, mimicking the raven's aggressive behavior before following him out of the cafeteria, ignoring the worried eyes of each of their friends glued to their backs.
The air outside was cold and crisp, matching the air surrounding the two while Naruto turned, shooting Sasuke an expectant glare that told him to get on with whatever he wanted to talk about.
"Look," the raven began, sounding unsure and almost afraid, "I'm sorry. I know that leaving you at the hospital was pretty fucked up and I'm sorry. I'm sorry for whatever it was that I did at practice that pissed you off and I'm really sorry for the shit I said at your apartment the other night. You know I didn't mean it."
Naruto just continued to glare callously, his icy blue eyes unblinking and unsympathetic even in the face of emotion that Sasuke rarely ever showed.
He blinked, his eyes shifting away, the insensitive demeanor washing away with the breath he slowly let out.
"I need space."
Sasuke at least had the decency to look upset this time.
"Why?! What did I do?!" he asked, his voice pleading with something Naruto rarely heard.
"It's nothing you did. I just need space from you. I need to figure things out for myself," he explained softly, his eyes too afraid to meet Sasuke's.
"That's not fair. You can't just decide when you want and don't want to be friends with someone."
"Well that's your decision. If I'm not worth the wait then that's up to you."
Sasuke's eyebrows furrowed slightly and Naruto knew there were millions of questions and probably a few good insults the raven would have loved to let slip but only silence surrounded them as Naruto turned to leave, his eyes connecting with Sasuke's with one last apologetic look before he took back off for the cafeteria, leaving a stunned and puzzled Uchiha behind to wonder what went wrong.
Naruto had been right. The hospital wasted no time at all sending him a bill in the mail. It was a Friday evening after he'd been sent home by a livid Sasori who couldn't believe Naruto was trying to get so many hours on school nights. He didn't need the government after him for slave driving minors and he told Naruto that too before promptly kicking him out.
He sat at his kitchen table, his eyes reading the paper lying on the surface over and over as if hoping to change the words written there.
Hourly rate: 3,715
Transfuse at: 550 per unit at 2 units
CT Scan: 4,191
Almost twelve thousand dollars: how the hell was he going to get that much money to pay for his hospital bill? That was about how much he made a year and that included all the overtime he worked.
"I'm fucked!" he yelled to his empty kitchen as he slammed his fists on the table.
Except…there was one way he knew he could get that money, and fast. But he had promised himself that he'd give up that lifestyle the second he got a real job. However none of that mattered now that he was in over his head in debt.
He reached for the cell phone sitting on edge of the table, dialing a number out of memory before waiting for the call to go through.
"Yes?" a callous voice asked through the phone, foregoing 'hello' altogether.
"Gaara? It's Naruto," the blonde explained, his head resting in his hand.
"Naruto? Is everything alright?"
"When was the last time you talked to Yagura?" (1) he asked, ignoring the question all together.
There was a long pause in which Naruto could only sigh for himself. He could only imagine what Gaara was thinking. But Gaara should understand at least. He'd been there himself.
"Nothing. I just…I have this hospital bill and – I really need money: a lot of money," he explained in a monotonous tone, his voice sounding as tired as he felt.
There was another short pause before the teen on the other end let out a long breath.
"She's on the other line right now. But you left all this and made something of yourself I think you should reconsider before you make any rash decisions."
Naruto felt the guilt boil at the pit of his stomach as he closed his eyes, wishing he had the option of reconsidering to begin with.
"I don't need you patronizing me Gaara. I brought you into this game," he reminded, sending an unwelcoming chill down the redhead's spine. Naruto was serious.
"Don't act like what you did was a favor," the voice chided only halfheartedly, knowing that for people like him and Naruto, any kind of job that made money was a good job and anyone who taught you how to work was practically family.
"Hey Gaara, front me five hundred so I can get supply," the blonde coaxed, the grin on his face audible in his tone, "I promise the first five-fifty I make goes to you."
"Two-fifty," the redhead compromised, the amusement ringing through his voice.
"No come on! Five hundred because you love that I'm back in business with you even if it's only for a couple months," Naruto complained, sounding indigent.
"Three hundred. I'm putting you through with Yagura, hold on," Gaara stated in a finalizing tone.
Naruto let out the breath he was holding through his nose as he waited, knowing Gaara would be explaining to the young woman on the other line that one of her best dealers was looking to get back in the game. The phone made a click and the sound of music somewhere in the background flooded through the phone speaker.
"Uzumaki Naruto my little Kyuubi bitch! I was wondering when you'd call me," the voice greeted, a wide smile apparent in her smooth and rich tone that made a vein in the blonde's forehead pulse with irritation.
"I didn't call you, I called Gaara," the fox reminded, a strain in his tone that made it obvious he was trying not to sound aggravated.
"Right, right, well either way the word is getting to me all the same and I hear you need money baby. Talk to me," the voice coaxed sounding vexing in its nature.
"I do need money," the blonde confirmed earning a soft chuckle from the other line.
"I knew you'd come back. You're too good at this game not to play. I'll front you the five hundred and you can pay me back between this sell and the next. I'll give you rock unless there's something else you wanted to sell?"
"Ah-no, no that's fine. Are you guys still at–?"
"Yes," the voice cut through him, not allowing him to speak the location, "I would usually send Killerbee and Utakata to deliver but I'd rather you come down and pick it up. I'd love to see how my little fox has grown. Gaara only has good things to say but I'd still like to see for myself," she explained in a fond tone that made Naruto's heart warm with something he had almost forgotten about. He missed his old family, even if they weren't blood related. He missed them all.
"I wouldn't take five-hundred in rock without knowing where you made it! I'm not an idiot! If someone were to let me deal 'em five-hundred on a street corner I'd stiff 'em in a second," the blonde countered, sounding incredulous to have been accused of such a naïve exchange and earning a chorus of laughter in return.
"I'm glad to hear you haven't lost that street in you," Yagura complimented when her laughter died down, "Ok brat, come see me tomorrow around seven and we'll discuss conditions. You might be cute but I still have a business to run here," she stated before hanging up one goodbye too soon.
He set the phone back down on the table, the anxiety weighing at the pit of his stomach slowly dissipating, only to be replaced with a tinge of guilt when his thoughts wondered to Sasuke.
Sasuke had saved him from all this last time. Sasuke had paid bail for him when he was arrested at thirteen and tried as an adult for possession with the intent to sell although not without letting him sit in a jail cell for three months which he knew he deserved. Sasuke had somehow influenced the coffee shop he worked at into letting him have a job when no one else would hire a criminal with a record. Sasuke had worked with him and his lawyer in attempting to get that damaged record sealed when he turned eighteen.
And he knew the second he made his first deal, he'd be throwing that all back in Sasuke's face.
But what other choice did he have? It was true that Sasuke had promised to pay his hospital bill, but didn't he get it that it wasn't exactly in his moral code to just waltz over to the raven's house, hand him the bill, and exit with nothing more than a happy wave of departure? He didn't know anyone who was that quick to demolish his pride.
And what about after high school? How was he going to pay for college? He didn't even have the money to afford a Junior College and he didn't want to spend his entire life working in a coffee shop.
He had to do this. He had to deal because there was no other option. He would just make sure to never deal to an undercover cop again. He would deal to the regulars and he wouldn't hesitate to deny supply to anyone that set off bells like that cop had all those years ago.
This time he'd be careful. He wasn't going back to jail.
1. This is the Sanbi Jinchuuriki. I know all the Jinchuuriki in the manga are like decades apart from each other and some of them, like the Sanbi Jinchuuriki, aren't even alive in the manga anymore, but that's what makes fanfiction sooo great :] Because in my skewed reality, they're all livin' in the same generation baby!
Sooo…yea! The nine Jinchuuriki are infamous crack dealers in case you didn't catch that. lol. I dunno how clear it was. Maybe it'll be more obvious when they're more involved in the plot.
And here you thought I was going around having Naruto stabbed for no good reason. See? There was a reason! I'm a sadist but there was a damn good reason for his being stabbed. The whole plot's beginning to develop now :]