ItaNaru for EdSpikeShessyGirl because she is so helpful, supportive, and overall awesome! Hope you like it, I tried to make it as good as possible. (But I probably failed.) ((And this goes COMPLETELY against my Naruto couples religion, so you'd better like it :D)) I'm going to make the assumption you are pretty alright with the idea of SasuHina, and I'll try to do okay with other pairings that appear in a mentioned way.

Summary: AU, ItaNaru. Perverted school kids often play a game called "Are you nervous?" You continuously ask the question while performing uncomfortable (or maybe not so uncomfortable,) actions on the other person until they answer yes, and you stop. So long as they answer no, you can continue until they crack. Itachi would have never lowered himself to the playing of such a 'childish game' - until of course, he saw someone else playing it with Naruto.

Warnings: Lemony Scented? (M.) ItaNaru. Barely, Slightly OOC Sasuke that has nothing to do with plot. AU. High school. (Yes, that's a warning. High school antics and clichés involved.) Mentioned KibaxTenten, SasuxHina and ShikaxTema. These couples also have nothing to do with the plot. A tiny bit of NejixNaru. Strong Sasu and Naru friendship because I can't let these two go off as acquaintances, even writing ItaNaru.

Note: This will be a TWOshot. It will be this chapter, and the next one. I will restrain from making this into an entire fan fiction, for I can barely update the other ones.

Disclaimer: If I really owned Naruto, Sasuke and said Uzumaki would be having hot man sex by now. Srsly.


The average sounds of a regular day of education rang through the halls. Aimless talking involving classes and grades, as well as rumors and gossips. Metal hitting metal when lockers closed, shoe taps of different tones from traveling students, and the occasional crash of books dropping and yells of over exuberant seniors. It wasn't music, but a drone he had grown use to, though he still despised it. Hell, he hated most of the things in the school, loudness included. But the thing he hated the most was the attention.

All eyes were always on him. Male and female. Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior. All school social statuses. Every head would turn when he walked by, and wouldn't turn back to its own business until he was out of eyeshot. That was only the beginning of the attention. He received love letters from anonymous and identified, boy and girl. In person requests for a "boyfriend and girlfriend-ship" were made on a daily basis. They were either ignored or met with a rejection, but theynever stopped. Not even the repeated ones.

The only people who never gave him the stares were his freshman brother Sasuke, and some of said Uchiha's freshman friends, under his warnings. Even so, most of his friends occasionally slipped. Sasuke informed him it wasn't due to attraction, but due to his dark figure. He knew it himself, just looking in a mirror, besides being so called 'attractive,' he looked intimidating, to say the least. (All male Uchiha's really did, but Sasuke was a bit of an exception. He had taken more from their mother's appearance. He was paler and dare he think it - a bit prettier. Sasuke would have shot him if he had ever said that out loud.) He certainly wasn't any better when it came to a good attitude, though. Both of them had cold, stoic, and dismissive personalities. Itachi however - yes, the Itachi Uchiha, who was like a walking sex god - was much taller, less lankier, built better, and overall, darker. Maybe the fact that his hair was longer added to the attention factor. With that, he thought for a second about cutting it short, but decided otherwise.

For even Itachi - despite his minimal, inner denial - wanted someone's attention, but only one's. The only one who - besides Sasuke - never gave him any.

It was degrading, because said person was his younger brother's best friend. "In love" wasn't exactly the right way to label it, but whatever thing he felt certainly seemed unexpected for someone like him. His name was Naruto Uzumaki, something he knew well, since Sasuke had been having play dates with the boy since Kindergarten, which were now labeled as sleepovers and hanging out.

Be it love or physical attraction, Itachi - ever since he had earned his cursed pubescent hormones, anyway - had never felt so drawn to anyone in his life. His parents had thought him mentally ill, never showing a desire for friendship and never showing attraction to any girl, but Naruto was a well kept secret. However, Naruto was clueless, for he feared if he said anything the boy would avoid him for life, considering how many conversations he and Sasuke had involving busty girls.

The first thing he had ever noticed, even when he was too young to have such hormonal feelings, was how adorable Naruto was. He was a little short, even for a freshman, but his physique was perfect, not too muscular, but not lanky or thin. His skin was darker, like someone who had a permanent tanning salon effect, and his hair was a complete - and as far as he was concerned, natural - golden blonde.

Naruto was…Sexy. To put it lightly. Itachi was a senior, and therefore had his share of fantasies, despite his reputation. He had frequent (and embarrassing, at first,) wet dreams about the boy, and even lost it at Sasuke and his sleepovers. Thoughts like, he's sleeping. In my house. Often overtook Itachi's brain. Yes. He really, really, really wanted into the blonde's pants, but at the same time had a phobia of scaring the poor blonde, and would do nothing of the sort until he had declared his affection. If that ever actually happened.

But what really struck him, and would probably strike any sane human being who ever saw him for the first time, were his beautiful azure eyes. It was like they were pools of water with a mixture of millions of tones of blue, most prominent being sapphire, or cobalt.

Itachi mentally sighed, for he had automatic exterior control, and would never do such a thing. He didn't even smirk - just another trademark of his family line - like Sasuke did. He was always a blank, but he had been told by his mother he often looked a little livid since his slate eyes always appeared to be fiery, no matter what rare expression was on his face. His internal sigh was a sign to stop thinking, just in time to avoid being - internally, mind you - depressed.

It was lunch break now, and he often skipped eating and stayed somewhere quiet to study and avoid the hustle and bustle, but he had skipped breakfast this morning, and decided food was in favor. He hated the busy lunchroom as well, in which every student had the same lunch in at the same time. It was packed.

The tight, sardine like packaging of the room today was enough to make him skip the nourishment. Instead, he glided past the line for food - while trying to avoid both apprehensive and affectionate orbs - and towards the exit of the vast space, when something familiar caught his eyes. First it was the inky back view spikes of his brothers hair, and his gaze moved right just slightly to see a mess of blonde. The gods must have given him luck.

He moved carefully towards the front of them instead of behind, but avoided their gazes. He only got close enough to see and hear what was happening, and so he - most importantly - could see the lovely Uzumaki's face.

As he had observed previously, his little brother was on one side of Naruto, and an unknown boy with long bronze hair was on the other side. A few other boys sat near them, and he could identify one as Shikamaru, but none of the rest. He rested one elbow on the table, held chin in his hand to hide his mouth, and observed intently as the conversation unfolded.

"So!?" Naruto cried, leaning towards the annoyed raven beside him. He looked like a toddler on Christmas, clasping his hands together in front of him in a pleading manner. Everyone else looked similar, but not nearly as exited. "What did you tell her?"

Sasuke brushed his bangs out of his face. "What do you think I told her?" Naruto stared expectantly, clueless, while everyone else rolled their eyes, already knowing the answer. Sasuke sighed, exasperated. "I told her no, obviously."

"Wah?" Naruto's face darkened sadly. His emotions changed like a pregnant woman's, from exited to on the verge of tears to angry enough to rip your head off within minutes - and sometimes seconds. "But Sakura - "

"Is a crazy, obsessive, attention seeking type. I know you're after her and just trying to make her happy by suggesting me, but you'd never admit it out loud." The Uchiha smirked and the others snickered.

"Shut up, I do not! She's my friend, is all." But his voice was definite, without a hint of shaking or hesitation. Everyone shrugged a bit. "I mean, think about Ino, Shikamaru. You'd never date her, but you'd still jump in front of her to stop a bullet!"

Shikamaru mumbled something incoherently, along the lines of, "Well, maybe not a bullet -"

"Then who do you like? We already know Sasuke's got the hots for Hinata," Kiba paused, taking in Sasuke's 'I-am-going-to-kill-you-dead' glare, "I'm for Tenten, and Shikamaru wants that chick from the match up high school, Temari," He also got a worthy stare from the lazy boy, "But we never hear a thing from you, Naru-chan."

"Don't call me that!" Naruto whined, visibly pouting. "It isn't your business."

"Oh? So it is someone. Come on, Naru." Shikamaru prodded.

Naruto grumbled and said nothing, and Sasuke stared threateningly into the other's eyes. He knew when his best friend wanted to drop subject, (and Hell, he knew exactly who he liked, but refused to tell that person for fear of hurting Naruto's feelings,) and if everyone else didn't comply, they'd be feeling it in the morning. Naruto was super sensitive, and Sasuke was protective of that fact.

"Hey, that reminds me," Kiba tried to change subject, for he had been beaten up by Sasuke before. "Have you guys heard about the Seniors game, 'Are you Nervous?'?" Kiba's eyes glistened, and his inner pervert could be read like a book.

"We're all freshman." Sasuke stated bluntly, already knowing about the uncomfortable game. "Besides that, there aren't any girls here." This line caused the others to get interested.

"But we could just mess around, and see how much the guys here can handle without getting flustered." Kiba replied, gaze turning towards Naruto for just a moment, and then back at the angry Sasuke.

"What game?" Shikamaru nodded, leaning over the table to listen.

"You pick a victim, and you pick someone else. The person tries to - you know…get into the other one's business while asking continuously, 'are you nervous?' and so long as the victim answers no, they can keep going until the person cracks and says yes, and they stop. Kissing isn't allowed." Kiba explained excitedly, already imagining how long each of his friends could withstand the sexual torture.

"I'll do it." Neji, the bronze haired boy that Itachi had vaguely identified earlier, finally spoke. Heads turned his direction, all but Sasuke who began growling, as if he had already predicted the future.

Naruto had a ridiculously large crush on his older brother, and Sasuke knew his brother wanted into the blonde's pants, but that was what was keeping him away from hooking them up. Naruto strictly believed in relationships based on love and admiration, not lust or desire. He didn't want Naruto to be torn apart if he discovered that's all Itachi wanted him for, and furthermore, he wanted them to find out on their own. (Despite knowing Naruto would be pissed at him for keeping it a secret later, if it ever worked out between the two.)

But no, he was growling now, and everyone else at the table looked apprehensive because Neji wasn't exactly liked. He was a junior whom they had known for a long time, and stuck around for one reason. Naruto. Sasuke knew even more, directly from Neji, that he was attracted to Naruto in the same way his elder brother was.

"Neji," Kiba paused like he wanted to think of something to say. "Want to be the victim? Or - "

"I wouldn't want to be the victim, no." He said casually, a small smile on his face. "But I'd be willing to test how long someone could go without getting 'nervous,' if you need an open candidate."

Naruto was still curled in a verbal defensive stance, but glanced up at this knowledge. The unknowing Shikamaru, all in good fun and without meaning to cause any harm, called Naruto out. "We all know how easily agitated Naruto gets. I bet you couldn't last long, eh, Blondie?"

"Sh-shut up! I could so! I could last for as long as I needed to, and a guy's advances wouldn't bother me." His last words were a little weak, but his expression was still determined. Sasuke's orbs were now knowing and sad, and he rested his chin on his hand - much like his older brother was doing. He wouldn't give his best friends secret away, even if it meant being molested by Neji for the purpose of a twisted "game."

Kiba was grinning now, ignoring Sasuke. "Okay," He nodded Neji on. "I'll watch for the supervisors." Sasuke mumbled something about brainless perverts and tried to avert his eyes to his other side. Naruto gulped, bit his lip, straightened up, and prepared for the torture.

Itachi's fist was clenched and he was fighting to keep his face tranquill, keep from yelling, and keep himself from getting up and killing -for he was sure he could - this boy Neji, considering he had his hands all over the squirming Naruto, and it was pissing him off to no end. He felt a need to break something suddenly, his usually calm temperament gone. He was sure he had never been this infuriated in his life. At some point, a girl he somewhat knew from being her lab partner came up behind him and asked if everything was all right, and he had to restrain from yanking her head off.

It started with just the boy's arm around his precious Naruto's shoulders, and Naruto's somewhat calm, "No." Heads had turned at the actions, but they immediately ignored it hearing the questioning, knowing it was just a juvenile form of entertainment. Itachi watched as Sasuke got up and left, no one stopping him.

Next, Neji's hands fixated themselves at Naruto's hips, and he pressed his face against his throat, which was followed by Naruto's slight squeak of, "No." Itachi couldn't catch the "Are you nervous?" part, only Naruto's replies. That Asshole must have been whispering.

Itachi was sure he had stood up now, but he couldn't tell entirely, seeing as all of his attention was focused on one focal point, which were Neji's movements and Naruto's reactions. One overly wrong move from Neji, and Itachi was sure his self control would break. His torture would be slow and painful, if Itachi could help it. The bronze headed boy trailed one hand down Naruto's torso, and the other hand slipped behind him, Itachi already knowing what he had done. "Yes!" Naruto shrieked, and Itachi almost relaxed, but not fully - not until Neji had completely let go, following the regulations.

"You aren't very good at the game." Shikamaru stated to Naruto dully, staring in a slight astonishment at Neji, and not at who he was speaking to.

Naruto had immediately gotten up, following Sasuke's suit - Especially after seeing the unsatisfied grin on Neji's features. He had left his food, and hadn't bothered trashing it - much less eating it.

He tried to locate the Uchiha, but everything was too congested, and he eventually gave up. Sasuke had advised him before that Neji was bad news, but he hadn't believed him. Even if it was just a game, Neji had volunteered himself, and he acted like it was the real thing. Act or not an act, Naruto wasn't comfortable with the thought of the play.

Even after giving up on finding his raven friend, he did spot an Uchiha, just not one he had intended on seeing. Tables across from where he had just been, and now gazing right at him, Itachi sat completely still, and Naruto froze in place, averting his eyes from the man.

But even as his eyes were torn away, he imagined Sasuke's older brother's looks. He held liquid steel eyes that looked bloody red in the exact right light, paired with long, past his shoulders ebony hair that was constantly tied back. He was two feet taller than he was, maybe. He was built broader and toned much better. He'd only seen him without a shirt a few times, but he couldn't even begin to think of anything else uncovered without squealing.

He felt ashamed, though, and had a "just-like-everyone-else" feeling. In his own consciousness, it seemed he was just like every other freshman who admired the dark Uchiha from far away, based on both looks and nature. The only solace from this was that Naruto - in a sense - had known Itachi since he was four years old, via Sasuke. He knew Itachi better than just the quiet, sexy, attention grabbing Uchiha that he was to most everyone else. Itachi - when applicable - was intelligent and relaxed, had a long, withstanding temperament, and to certain people - was very sweet and sociable, contrary to the shock of anyone else. Naruto knew all of these things he loved about him, but he wasn't sure as to why he labeled his feelings how he did. Sasuke was all of those things to him, (With the exception, he had a very short fuse,) and was just as great looking as his brother. But with Sasuke, it was friendship bond that wouldn't be the same if it turned into anything more. Something greater than what they had would ruin their relationship. With Itachi, he couldn't explain. Why wasn't he just a friend like Sasuke? Still they say, the ones who can't explain to themselves why they love someone so much are still in love.

Discreetly, Naruto's eyes moved back to Itachi, then he turned fully back to facing him, forcefully holding his mouth closed for fear of gaping. One of the Uchiha's hands were up near his face, and three of his fingers were beckoning for him to come over. Craaap! Naruto shook his head rapidly and tried to compose himself. All he had to do was act natural. It wasn't like he hadn't spoken face to face with him before.

But he wasn't exactly relaxed enough, considering someone had groped him within the past two minutes - among other things.

Another realization crashed into him. He saw that whole thing! Was that why he wanted to talk to him? Wait, about what?

Naruto abruptly shut up his intrapersonal conscious and walked as smoothly as possible - which wasn't smooth at all - towards the Uchiha. He knew if he hadn't, he could have stood in that spot and pondered for much too long. Besides that, he didn't want to keep Itachi waiting, or make him wonder why he was just standing there with a look of concealed shock on his face with no signs of moving.

Itachi shortly realized Naruto was moving towards him, so he dropped his hand and loosened himself to a more friendly level. The last thing he wanted was to intimidate him or worry him away. Itachi mentally swallowed. (As usual, hiding every little action,) Naruto was much more of an eye candy closer up than he was far away.

"Hey Itachi," He had a hidden excitement on his features to top it off. "Did you want me for something?" Shoot, Naruto thought. Did that sound too obvious? Duh, of course he wanted me for something. Why else would he have called me over? Besides Obvious, totally lame. You could try to make a better impression on…

"Actually," Itachi's voice was fluid and smooth, like he had rehearsed every word, even though Naruto was sure he hadn't. Just another thing that amazed the blonde boy. His voice was just as enticing as his looks. Crisp and rich. "You know Sasuke is going to Hinata's volleyball tournament tonight." He said it like it was something apparent.

"He, um, never said anything about that. I thought we were going to…study at his - ah, your guys' place - tonight." Naruto stumbled a bit on his words. Itachi smiled just a bit. Neither of them ever studied. It was just Naruto's cutesy cover up.

"Your certainly welcome tonight, anyway." He answered. "Our father is still out on his business trip," Naruto knew this, too. Sasuke and Itachi's father always seemed to be absent. He wondered at times if the boys had grown up hardly having a father, considering how much he was out of the house. Naruto came - at the very least - once a week, and he had only been in the presence of Fugaku a handful of times. "And our Mother will be out for a few hours, as well. She mentioned this morning that she'd be working late."

Naruto's pupils dilated slightly. Alone in that huge house with Itachi? Could he do that?

Itachi saw Naruto's sudden apprehension and went on. "You could be there for when Sasuke got home, and until then, I could help you study." The smile stretched just a bit more. He thought about stressing 'study,' but decided against it. He enjoyed watching Naruto's embarrassed, jumpy reactions.

"I gu-guess I will." The blonde rapidly shook his head afterwards, something Itachi noticed he did when he had said something wrong, or was trying to clear his head. "When should I come?"

"Six, I'll have dinner."

Naruto opened his mouth to say something else, but no sound came. It probably would have been something like, 'That's okay, I don't need dinner,' or something. He wouldn't have gotten out of it anyway. He had dinner with them a lot of the time, any way. He gulped out, "Thank you…I'll see you then, okay?"

Itachi briskly nodded.

Then his hidden, mental, internal self had a heart attack and brutally died, came back to life, and repeated this process several times in the space of however many seconds it took Naruto to walk away, waving and smiling weakly.


"Excuse me?"

So there really wasn't a volleyball game. Hinata didn't even play volleyball. She was a timid, silent little thing who wouldn't be caught dead playing any sport, and was more likely to be found taking her SAT early. Maybe that's what made her good for Sasuke. They both shared scholastic intelligence, and she was a sweet, pretty girl who didn't try very hard - much less at all - for his attention like other prying females did. Naruto knew that about Hinata already, but being in front of the man of his dreams certainly hadn't done wonders on his coherent thoughts, and Itachi didn't know any better. He thought Naruto had just been a scatterbrain due to the studying lie.

Sasuke would have come home normally, and brought Naruto with him to 'study.' However, Sasuke being anywhere within a mile of the mansion was going to affect Itachi's master plan. He wanted Naruto wholly and totally alone. Was he willing to tell his brother the entire plan? Absolutely not, but he'd be willing to do almost anything to get him out of the house.

Hopefully for the entire night.

"Did you mishear me, Sasuke?" Itachi tried to play it smooth, but Sasuke had been the little brother for fourteen years, and new exactly when Itachi was messing with him or being true.

"I heard you. I think you know what part of 'don't show up at your own home tonight' bothers me. Bringing back a whore?" Sasuke drawled, just a tad teasingly. He knew better.

"Do you want the truth, or do you want a lie?"

"I would want a lie, why, exactly?"

"The truth will make you go psycho protective mode on your best friend."

Sasuke's jaw fell just slightly. It had taken the length of a half heartbeat for him to put one and two together. Then his face screwed up accusingly and he snarled, "You're going to rape Naruto!? He's only a freshman! I swear if you do anything he doesn't want you to, Itachi…"

But Itachi had been rolling his eyes, he knew the reaction would come. He placed his hand on Sasuke's shoulder, which caused him to pause. "I'm inviting him over for dinner, Sasuke. If I were to do anything beyond being a good host, I would make sure he was alright with it, understand?"

Sasuke stared impassively at him for a moment. He could read Itachi like a book, if no one else could. "You watched the game, didn't you?"

"Did you see me watching?"

"No, but you were."

Silence.

"Should I shoot Neji?"

"Isn't he your lovebird's cousin?"

"Believe me, she'd understand." Sasuke involuntarily gauged Hinata's not-so-upset reaction…

"Hopefully that won't be necessary, after tonight."

"What, plan on telling Naruto you want him for a bed toy?" Sasuke's anger was more of a sad, guilty emotion that couldn't be helped. "That's all you've ever said to me, anyway. Do you really love him, Itachi? Really? Because - "

"Because what?"

Sasuke didn't say the real words, but he answered quickly enough not to provoke suspicion. "Because if you didn't, I wouldn't let you be doing this." The real words? Because Naruto loves you.

"Doing what?"

"I won't come home tonight. I'll spend the night with Kiba, or Shikamaru." Sasuke grumbled. "Just remember what I said."

"I don't need preaching from my younger brother." But Itachi knew he was right, and he wasn't sure himself if he could take Sasuke's advice. Even now, he was still confused. Sasuke trudged away and headed towards his last period class of the day.


"You're going to what?" Iruka murmured, half conscious. Poor thing. He had been working at home since his grade school students had the next few days off, but he was still working, nonetheless. The stack of papers he was grading was immense, just as it was this morning.

"I'm going to Sasuke's place to study tonight, okay?" He wasn't lying. Yet. It hurt to lie to Iruka at all, but he had a feeling he'd have to at some point for this to happen. Naruto kept his book bag on his arms to help with his case, and dashed passed their dining room table Iruka was working at and into the kitchen.

"How long will you be gone?"

"I was thinking on staying the night. Mikoto offered to take me to school in the morning," First lie. He didn't know that for sure, though knowing Mikoto, she'd be more than happy to. He had to convince Iruka this would be just like every other get-together he had with the Uchiha's, although it was far from. While pondering and waiting for Iruka's response, Naruto tried to sweeten things up - making him tea in the kitchen.

"I suppose it's alright, then, just make sure there's a parent in the building at all times. I want you supervised."

Naruto bit his lip, continuing with the preparation of the tea. There wouldn't be, at least not for awhile. He felt like he was a little too old to have to be "supervised," but he was also sure it had something to do with Itachi, or Sasuke, for that matter.

Of course Naruto had spilled to Iruka. Besides Sasuke, Iruka was the only person on earth he could talk to without being judged or hurt. Iruka had had his suspicions long enough, and he'd told him the moment he wondered. "Mikoto will be there, Fugaku is out on another trip." Of course, Naruto had only told him about the…boys. He hadn't said a thing about Itachi specifically. Be it either of the Uchiha boys that Iruka was aware of, Naruto would never be aloud to step foot into their home again.

Naruto picked up the tea, still seeping, and stumbled back into the kitchen. "Here, Ruru." He couldn't remember a time when he was without Iruka. Naruto's parents and relatives were all unknown to him, for they were murdered when he was too young to remember, much less understand their absence. Iruka had adopted - more like found him among the remains of the bloodbath, and legally took him in. Iruka had the support and advice of a father, and the worrisome, comforting spirit of a mother, so he was all Naruto ever needed for parenting. They looked nothing like the other, but anyone would have thought they got along better than most blood related parent and child.

"Thanks. I've been super busy, lately, what with the kids' school year being almost over. I can't wait until summer." Iruka dropped everything, paper and red pen, and worked on the tea. Caffeine. His saving grace.

"Yeah, lucky brats get out way before we do." Naruto murmured, but then shook his head. "Don't worry about dinner, I'm going to eat at their place. Itachi's cooking, so I want to see how it turns out." First of all, Naruto did not doubt the ability of Itachi's cooking. The guy could do anything perfectly, like he had been doing it his entire life. Second of all, it wasn't a lie.

"I was just going to go out anyway, if I ever get this done - " Iruka glared at the ominous stack, willing it to get smaller with no effect.

"Don't starve yourself, Dad." Naruto carefully and purposefully, while still holding his bag, began a beeline for the door, but not too eagerly. "I'll see you tomorrow, after school. I'll ride the bus home."

Iruka stopped noisily sipping the hot liquid, and looked up. His parental instincts had kicked in like a furnace in the winter time. "Naruto. How do you plan to get to their house?" He subtly put in the suspicion.

"Ahm…" Shit. He was planning on walking. It wasn't very far, but it still wouldn't fly with Iruka. "I was going to walk. It's not that far…" Naruto bit his lip, hoping and praying to whatever gods existed that Iruka wouldn't suggest driving him there. He'd notice the lack of Mikoto's car, and wouldn't let him go.

"It is only a few blocks," Iruka didn't sound suspicious anymore. He sounded upset, like he knew his son was lying to him. Hiding something. Naruto had never walked the distance to their house before. He had always wanted a ride, and at times even wanted Iruka to come in and hang out with the family. That wasn't normal. "You don't want a ride?"

"No," Naruto managed, straining at Iruka's voice.

"Naruto, what are you hiding?"

"I have a date," Naruto gasped out, almost immediately. He couldn't hide from Iruka. If worse came to pass, he'd call Itachi and say he couldn't come. He didn't want to veil something like this, even if it meant losing a night with someone he loved so much. "I mean, it'll be just two of us. I can't really say it's a date, but this person, I wish he did." Naruto rambled then cut himself off, waiting for a response.

Iruka was quiet for a while, and Naruto didn't dare turn around and gauge his face. Finally he choked out, "Which one?" Referring to Sasuke and Itachi.

If he had said Sasuke, things might have flown a bit easier. Sasuke had been his friend since he was a baby. Kakashi, Iruka's best friend, was Sasuke's uncle. After only one, practically accidental meeting, they had been together ever since. Falling in love with him would have seemed like the next step to Iruka, and he couldn't be blamed. Sasuke was his same age, too, which made Iruka's worries go downhill.

But it wasn't Sasuke. Sasuke would be his best friend for his entire life, and it would never falter. Itachi was something more than a friend. The mutuality wouldn't be there. It was some other human need Naruto had already only begun to experience.

"It's Itachi." Naruto bit his lip harder, and dug his fingernails into his palms. Itachi's name itself felt like ice or poison on his tongue. Something forbidden but oh so sweet.

Iruka didn't talk again.

Naruto bolted around at the too long silence, and wrapped the suddenly hurt Iruka up in a hug. Iruka didn't budge. "Dad, listen. I'm sorry." And he was. "Sasuke won't be there tonight, and Mikoto will be home a little later than usual." Naruto kept the truth as thin as possible, but tried to reassure him. Iruka stayed unmoving, and stared past Naruto's shoulder with glazed eyes.

Then he abruptly snapped out of it. "You can go."

Naruto stiffened a little, then pulled back and looked at Iruka's harsh expression. That was definitely not a good sign. "But, Iruka - "

Iruka's harsh expression dissipated, and he begged, "Don't let him hurt you. Don't let him touch you, don't let him do anything you know he isn't supposed to do. He's eighteen years old, and if I find out anything happened to you, I'll see to it he goes to jail. Kakashi is a lawyer." The sorrowful look on his face only made Naruto feel even worse, but he didn't want to do this anymore.

"Dad, can't I make my own decisions?" What a risk. Iruka had surely been expecting some kind of, "I know," or, "I promise." Iruka just stared for a moment. Naruto stepped away and turned on his heels, heading for the door. "See you tomorrow."

Iruka didn't do a thing to stop him.


:D