Summary: Sasuke was back. Everything was supposed to be great right? Well then why was the team falling apart?
Warnings: SasuNaruSasu Yaoi
Disclaimer: Don't own Naruto
Beneath the Anger
It was a beautiful day. The sky was blue, the sun was shining brightly, hardly a cloud dotted the sky. Poor Shikamaru wouldn't have much to watch on this day. The air had just a hint of fall crispness. It was a perfect day for training. Unfortunately training was the last thing on the minds of one team in particular. The sound at the Team Kakashi training ground was unmistakable.
"Teme!" Naruto growled as he ran forward again with a powerful punch aimed at a pale expressionless face.
Sasuke caught the fist with a hand and kicked out. Naruto twisted his body around and sent an elbow towards his back connecting right between the shoulder blades.
Sasuke growled and threw a punch at the tanned face. Naruto bent back but Sasuke spun into a kick tripping the blonde so he fell on the dirt. Naruto was right back up and glared at the Uchiha. Both of them were breathing hard. At an unknown signal they both ran forward again.
Sasuke had been back in the village for almost a year now. He had killed Itachi, but passed out from the blood loss and chakra exhaustion. Before anyone else could get a hold of him, Naruto found him and put him on his back to take him home just like he'd promised. After being stuck in the hospital for a week recovering, Sasuke went before the council for a hearing. His punishment was solitary confinement in his home for six months with anbu presence at all hours, nothing but D rank missions for a year and unable to take the chuunin exams for two years. It was practically a slap on the wrist for someone who had betrayed the village and joined up with one of the village's biggest enemies. Most people figured it was because of Naruto's influence with the Hokage.
They were wrong.
Naruto knew the truth. He just wasn't willing to share it.
Everyone figured Team Kakashi, formerly known as Team 7, would finally be back to normal.
Again, they were wrong.
Team Kakashi was on the verge of imploding. If anyone thought Naruto and Sasuke fought before, it was nothing compared to now. It wasn't a rivalry anymore.
It was vicious.
It was angry.
It was bloody.
It was almost hate in its purest form.
Kakashi had resorted to keeping the two on opposite ends of the training area just to keep peace. For as soon as the two got within five feet of each other, war broke out.
No one knew what had happened. And no one knew how to fix it.
Unfortunately, Kakashi wasn't around today. He was at a meeting with the hokage, so Sakura was stuck alone on the sidelines watching the two males of her team pound each other relentlessly. At the tender age of 12 she had learned never to get in between her teammate's battles. It took almost getting destroyed by a chidori and a rasengan to learn that getting between the two was hazardous to her health. She'd also learned that screaming for them to stop was a waste of her lungs and throat. They didn't listen.
And so she watched with tears in her eyes as the punches flew and the blood flowed.
The two ran forward and the jutsus collided sending a shockwave of power over the landscape before they were pushed to opposite sides of the clearing. The only reason Sakura remained standing was by the force of her chakra alone. She was thankful for the shockwave actually. She had wanted to leave and find someone to stop them, but she was too afraid to leave the two lest they kill each other before she returned. Hopefully this would alert someone that could come and stop them.
Both males stood on shaky legs trying to catch a second, or was it a third, wind. Their clothes were dirty, bloody and ripped. Yet somehow Sasuke still looked like royalty while Naruto looked like a dirty vagrant. And it irked the blonde. With a burst of adrenaline, he ran forward yelling, a rasengan forming again in his hand, this time adding the element of wind. Sasuke saw it and ran toward him preparing another chidori. Sakura saw what Naruto was doing and she couldn't help it. She screamed at the top of her lungs, closing her eyes not wanting to see the outcome.
A few seconds went by and nothing happened. When she finally got the courage to open her eyes, she breathed a sigh of relief, thanking Kami. Kakashi had stopped Sasuke...Yamato had stopped Naruto.
Naruto growled, eyes red and slitted due to the Kyuubi, and struggled against the wooden bonds that held him prisoner. "Let go of me dammit!"
Sasuke was silent but no less demonstrative in trying to get out of the wires Kakashi had wrapped around him, sharingan spinning wildly.
Kakashi sighed and looked at his two male charges. Then he turned his head to the left to see Sakura's tearstained face. He really had no idea what to do about the three anymore. Becoming an ANBU again wasn't looking like such a bad option these days. "Sakura, why don't you go home for a while? We'll take care of things here."
"Don't worry, we'll be fine." Sakura hesitantly nodded and walked away. She turned once more to look at her struggling teammates before running off. She didn't know if she could take anymore. They meant too much to her. The two boys, had become her family. And they were falling apart...again.
Kakashi watched the distraught young woman leave. When she was out of sight, he nodded to Yamato and the two disappeared with their younger charges.
Tsunade leaned forward with her elbows on her desk and glared at the males in her office. She had more important things to worry about than these two again. "What happened this time?"
"We found the two rearranging the landscape of the training grounds with their jutsus." Kakashi replied.
The guilty culprits stood sullenly glaring at the ground. They had both been handcuffed like criminals in order to keep them away from each other. Tsunade looked the two up and down. Their clothes were practically rags. They both bled from various wounds, well Naruto's were already healing. Both were dirty from head to toe. She shook her head in disbelief. She really had no idea what to do about the two.
"Naruto? Do you have anything to say?" Naruto who had been uncharacteristically quiet in her presence, looked up at her stern face but stubbornly stayed silent. Tsunade sighed. "Sasuke?" Ok, she knew it would be wishful thinking that the monosyllabic Uchiha would be willing to say anything. But she tried anyway.
Sasuke was silent, of course.
"Look, I don't know what the problem is between you two. Truthfully I don't care anymore. But I have dealt with the two of you in here more times than I can count and it has to stop. My job is not to deal with meaningless personal squabbles. You are ninja. You are part of a team. A team which is being torn apart because of your constant fighting. And I have had just about enough from both of you. You're both supposed to be considered adults. Start acting like it!" She glared at the two of them emphasizing it with a fist slamming against her desk with enough force to crack it.
Neither young man jumped. So much for intimidation.
Tsunade spent a minute thinking of what to do. When she had finally come up with a plan, she stood up and walked around her desk to stand before the two of them. Her hands flashed through hand signs and she placed a finger against both their foreheads and whispered a few words. Both of them slumped to the floor, out cold.
Kakashi raised an eyebrow.
"Oh don't worry, their both fine, just knocked out." She looked at the young men for a moment and thought about healing them, then thought better of it. If they want to beat the crap out of each other, they can fix themselves up. "I want both of you to take them to the remotest part of the village. Yamato, build a house devoid of anything but the necessities. Place them in it with their sleeping bags, clothes and enough food to last two weeks. No weapons. Lock them up in there and seal it closed. They will either talk to each other rationally or kill each other...it's their choice. But they will resolve this, whatever it is, one way or another." Tsunade was really at her wits end. It was the only way left she could think of to deal with them. Hopefully, just maybe, this could work.
The two men nodded and were about to leave.
"Wait!" Tsunade stopped them and grabbed two sets of chakra inhibiting bracelets and placed one set on Naruto, the other set on Sasuke. "Now you're dismissed."
The four males disappeared.
Yamato and Kakashi stood in a clearing. The two knocked out genins were lying on the ground. Yamato did some hand signs. "Shichuuka no Jutsu." Wood beams swiftly emerged from the ground shape shifting to form a small one story home. Kakashi and Yamato looked at each other and nodded, lifting the two unconscious ninjas like sacks of potatoes and carried them into the ready made home. A shadow clone of Kakashi showed up moments later with all the supplies needed to last them. They left the two on the floor and departed, closing the door behind them. Kakashi then worked on placing seals on each side of the house, making sure no one could get in or out, for better or worse.
As they walked around the house Yamato couldn't help but wonder. "I don't understand them at all. Well at least not Naruto. He spent all his time training to get Sasuke back. That's all he talked about. What could've happened between the two?"
Kakashi shrugged unconcerned. "Those two have always been rivals. They've been fighting since the day they met."
"But like this? This isn't rivalry. They're on the verge of killing each other!"
Kakashi put up the last ward and the two began a slow trek back to the center of the village. "Well, I can sense some resentment on Sasuke's part. He was brought back against his will, after all."
"Well, that's understandable. But what about Naruto? He's not usually so vicious toward anyone but his enemies."
Kakashi sighed. "Ahh...Naruto. Anger, resentment, sadness, you name it he has it. I think all of it is combining to make him pretty volatile, especially with his quick temper."
"But why? You'd think he'd be happy to have him back. Instead he seems like he'd like nothing better than for the Uchiha to be gone."
"Hmm...well, they have many unresolved issues."
"The problem with both of them is that they have been alone for so long, they don't understand their emotions. Sasuke, besides being an emotionally stunted Uchiha by birthright, shut himself down emotionally after the massacre. He doesn't show any emotion, nor does he let anyone in. Naruto was probably the closest he let anyone get to him. Naruto, being an orphan, as well as the Kyuubi container, has received nothing but negative emotions from most of the village his entire life. Neither of them knows how to deal with what they're feeling."
Yamato stopped and turned to look at Kakashi directly. "Are you saying what I think you are?"
Kakashi put his hands in his pockets and blinked lazily with one eye. "That depends on what you think I'm saying.
"You think...Naruto and Sasuke..." Yamato wasn't sure enough to finish his thought.
"They say there's a thin line between love and hate."
"You really believe that's what all this is about?"
"Yep. Look, Sasuke has always avoided the female populace of fangirls like the plague. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he just about hated girls altogether. I doubt any of them would have the qualities he'd want in a relationship, if he even knew what he wanted."
"But I always thought Naruto had a thing for Sakura."
Kakashi chuckled. "Do you really believe that Naruto expended as much energy as he did training, running himself to exhaustion, practically killing himself to get to Sasuke if he didn't feel something beyond friendship? The boy was borderline obsessive about him. Sakura was the self proclaimed head of the Sasuke Uchiha fanclub and she didn't work that hard."
Yamato blinked. He still was finding this hard to believe. And yet, now that Kakashi spelled it out for him, it made a strange sort of sense. It sure explained Naruto's behavior. It definitely explained why he could go from being completely sane to a 4 tailed Kyuubi state at just the mention of the Uchiha by Orochimaru. He chuckled softly. If that was what it was, he hoped he never ended up in that kind of predicament. "I think Tsunade-sama is crazy for doing this."
"You have a better idea?"
"Well then... Besides, now they'll have no choice but to either deal with their issues or be stuck in that house forever. Those two may be stubborn, but I have a feeling after a few days of being stuck in each other's presence for 24 hours a day – and after beating each other to a pulp – they'll be ready to do whatever they have to in order to get out of there."
Sasuke woke first. He groaned softly. His head was pounding. Why was his bed suddenly so hard? He opened his eyes and looked at an unfamiliar ceiling. This wasn't his home. Besides, wasn't he just outside fighting? He sat up suddenly as he remembered what he had been doing. Too fast...his head spun and he moaned again. He was on the floor. No wonder. Once his head stopped spinning, his eyes roamed over the large room observing his surroundings. Well there wasn't much to observe...wall, wall, wall, dobe, wall, door, kitchen. Where in the world was he? And why did he have a feeling it was all the stupid dobe's fault?
It was another 20 minutes before Naruto stirred. He rolled over and groaned as he sat up, his back cracking. "Ow...my back." Why the heck was he sleeping on the floor? Wait...wasn't he training? No, fighting the teme? He looked around at the unfamiliar room and mumbled, "What the hell?" He stood up and walked through the house, which didn't take long since it was only one room, a kitchen and a bathroom. When he came back into the larger room he saw Sasuke leaning against the wall with one leg up to his chest. He glared at the dark haired male. "Che...teme. What did you do?"
Sasuke raised an eyebrow.
"Where the hell are we?"
"How should I know, idiot?"
"Teme." He growled and got up, walking to the door to try and open it, with no luck.
Sasuke sighed. "I tried that already." Naruto went to the window. Sasuke rolled his eyes
"Tried that too."
Naruto glared and was about to punch out the window, figuring Kyuubi would heal whatever damage was incurred, when he noticed his new accessories. His eyes widened. He didn't need to ask, he knew what these bracelets were.
"What the hell?"
Sakura stood before her mentor while Tsunade gulped down another sake.
"Where are they?"
Tsunade was happy for the drink. She'd need it to deal with the only sane Team Kakashi member left. She was starting to feel like a counselor instead of the hokage. "I'm sorry Sakura, I cannot tell you."
"Sakura, I know you're concerned, but this is for the best."
Sakura sat in a chair and sighed. She looked almost lost. "It wasn't supposed to be like this."
"Hm?" Tsunade looked at her student.
"We were supposed to be happy. Naruto and I would bring him back. Sasuke would come home. We would be a team again. We would all be happy again. This is all wrong." Tears began to fill and slowly slip from the green eyes.
"What happened to us Shishou? We worked so hard to get Sasuke to come back - Naruto harder than anyone. He refused to let him go. But now that he's back, it's like they hate each other. What happened to them? Why can't things be the way they were before, back when we were Team 7, when we were a real team?"
Tsunade stood and kneeled in front of the softly crying medic nin and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Sakura, the three of you are not the same people you were back then. Things will never be exactly the same. But those two, they have so many issues that need to be resolved."
"But they never tell me anything. Why can't they tell me what's wrong? I could help. I'm always the one left out."
"When you are upset and need someone to talk to, don't you usually talk to Ino?"
"Women have a tendency to want to talk to someone when they need help. Men are different. Men tend to internalize everything. Compound the fact that both Sasuke and Naruto have gotten used to being alone. Because of that, they have learned to keep everything to themselves. You and I both know that Naruto doesn't tell anyone what's usually bothering him."
"And of course, Sasuke doesn't talk to anyone." Sakura added.
"ust imagine how much has been building and building between the two over the years. Eventually it has to blow over. It's only typical that they tend to only bring it out of each other." Tsunade shook her head. "I swear if I didn't know any better..." She muttered mostly to herself, but Sakura heard her.
Tsunade thought about where her rambling had taken her and decided she better not mention her sudden suspicions.
"Nothing. Don't worry Sakura, I'm sure things will work out."
It started with glares.
Battle lines had unconsciously been drawn somewhere in the middle of the room. Naruto sat on the floor on one end. Sasuke sat on the floor on the other. Even Naruto's growling stomach couldn't get him to end the glaring match. The two still looked like they'd been through hell. Although Naruto's wounds had already healed because of Kyuubi, he was still a bloody dirty mess. His favorite jacket was almost in tatters. Sasuke's surface wounds had dried, but even the regal Uchiha looked a mess.
Yet neither of them moved.
A couple of hours passed and they were still in the same positions. It was dark and only the moonlight made the room somewhat visible. After one powerful growl of his stomach, Naruto finally moved. He could be stubborn, but in the face of starvation, it fled him. He slowly got up and went to the kitchen. Hopefully whoever locked them in here left them with some food. Going through all the cabinets and the refrigerator he found that they were fully stocked. He made a sandwich and ate it quickly, then walked over to his pack and found some clothes. Grabbing them up, he went to the bathroom and closed the door. He finally saw exactly how horrible he looked in the mirror. Closing his eyes he sighed and banged the back of his head against the wall.
He was so tired...
The moment Naruto closed the door, Sasuke made a beeline for the kitchen. There was no way he'd give the dobe the satisfaction of knowing he was hungry. He looked through the refrigerator and grabbed a couple of pieces of fruit and some rice balls. He was surprised the blonde didn't scream at the lack of ramen.
Sasuke looked down at himself. He was an absolute mess. That dobe better not use up all the hot water. Maybe after he was clean and dressed he would figure out what was going on. Unfortunately, that meant possibly having to talk to the dobe. He sighed and closed his eyes rubbing his temple with his finger.
He was so tired of fighting...
Naruto stood under the hot spray with his palms against the wall, letting it massage his aching muscles while it washed off the blood and grime. He really couldn't understand what was going on with him. Why was it that every time he saw Sasuke's face it pissed him off? This was the same precious person he'd worked so hard to get to come home. But now that he was here, albeit reluctantly, everything led to them beating each other's brains out. It was like every little thing the Uchiha did or said irked him. That smirk, the way he still called him dobe like he was still superior to him. The teme still made him feel inferior. Sasuke still would not acknowledge him. He slammed his hand against the tiles. Even with all the training he'd done, he still couldn't beat him dammit.
But that wasn't really what pissed him off, if he was honest with himself.
He couldn't get the teme out of his head. For some reason, just watching him fight made him feel strange things. There was something about the way he looked...all that power encompassed in that slim build, the sweat that trailed down the pale skin...it even invaded his dreams. He didn't understand what the feeling was. But whatever it was, it was making him want to punch the teme every time he saw him just so he could get the feeling out of his head.
He turned off the knob and grabbed the towel rubbing the water out of his hair then wiping down his body. He pulled on the tshirt and sweats he found in his pack and then left the steamy bathroom behind. He ignored the Uchiha standing in the kitchen and kneeled down rolling out his sleeping bag and laying back on it, closing his eyes with a sigh.
Sasuke followed Naruto with his eyes as he walked past him and laid on his sleeping bag. The stupid dobe was ignoring him. He wasn't sure how he felt about that actually. He was going to say something, but thought better of it and grabbed his pack, taking it into the bathroom with him.
He decided to ignore the mirror altogether. He didn't need it to tell him how messed up he was. Naruto really packed a punch. He turned on the shower and groaned as the hot water ran down his body and stung his various cuts. He clenched his hands into fists. He hated this. He and his best friend had turned into worst enemies and he had no idea how to stop the downward spiral. They had to hit bottom soon.
He put his head under the water and let it run through his hair. He couldn't begin to explain what he felt. It was like every time he saw the blonde, with his incessant laughter and chatter, he wanted to knock him out. Why? He didn't even know. Maybe because it was the exact opposite of his nature. Or maybe it was because that smile looked so good on him. He just had to wipe it off of his face to make himself feel normal. To make himself forget the way his heart sped up every time the blonde smiled.
He dried off and changed into a tshirt and shorts. Then he exited the bathroom and took his place on the opposite end of the room from the blonde, rolling out his sleeping bag and lying flat on his back. Deep down somewhere in his heart, he felt a bit of niggling that might be called guilt.
Naruto didn't smile so much anymore. And he knew the fault was his own.
a/n: So, here's a new little project I came up with. It was driving me crazy and making me unable to work on my last chapter of TGILC or the new chapter of TMWW, so I wrote it down just to get it out of my head. Yes, it's another twist on something that's probably been done more than once before. This won't be long. I have in mind a three or four-shot. It's angsty and all that, but in the end it'll turn out the way we want it. Hope you like it. Please review?
Shichuuka no Jutsu - Four pillar home technique