A/N: 5 ficlets set in the same universe as the fanfic "Three Times When Sasuke Didn't Kiss Naruto".

Merry Christmas, Kantayra!

Never change

.

Three days after the big fight against Akatsuki, Sasuke got his sword back. A bit late, as he pointed out to the Hokage, but all she did was shrug and order him out of her sight.

He took the sword to the training grounds and launched himself into a series of exercises to get reacquainted with the weapon. A few feet away, Naruto was watching.

"How about you teach me to use one of those," he said after a while, stepping closer to Sasuke. "Then I'd have a new technique!"

Sasuke snorted. He could just imagine that. Naruto would probably skin himself alive without even trying. "You don't need a new technique."

Naruto crossed his arms and glared at him. "Of course I do! Akatsuki is still out there."

Sasuke rolled his eyes but didn't reply, focusing instead on sending a small charge of electricity through the blade. Let Pain come back if he dared.

"Some people have been known to run off to get new techniques," Naruto said with a pointed look at the crackling blade.

Sasuke released the jutsu and looked at Naruto flatly. "And other people are strictly forbidden to use theirs because they're as bad on the user as on the enemy."

With a grunt, Naruto looked away.

"Don't move," Sasuke warned him as he raised his blade. "Don't even breathe."

Before Naruto could ask why, Sasuke swung his blade. It sliced down the leg of Naruto's pants, cutting through the fabric without touching his skin. The next cut was just as precise, and so were the next ones. In just seconds, fabric was fluttering around Naruto, revealing tanned skin to Sasuke's appreciative stare. Naruto's eyes were wide, but he didn't move until Sasuke lowered his sword. And then he exploded.

"You asshole! What the hell is wrong with you?"

Tearing his gaze from the large cuts he had made to reveal Naruto's chest, Sasuke looked up at his face and grinned faintly. "I was tired of orange. Flesh is much nicer on you."

He never expected the punch that caught him square in the nose. Sprawled out on the ground, he could only try to stop the blood from flowing and watch Naruto stride off in a rage, clutching what was left of his clothes around him.

"I'll get you a new outfit," Sasuke called after him, but Naruto ignored him.

It wasn't until Sasuke reached the clothes store that he wondered if, maybe, he hadn't made a mistake. But surely, Naruto couldn't have believed he would hurt him. So why was he so upset?

He started looking for neutral colors, black pants, white or blue shirts that would match Naruto's eyes, but he couldn't imagine him wearing any of it, and before long he found a perfect shade of orange. He had bought it before he even knew it.

Going home, he wondered how long Naruto would remain mad at him, and whether he would have to forfeit his turn at topping to appease him.

Sasuke wished he could have said he couldn't believe it. Sadly though, he could and did believe that Naruto was that much of an idiot.

Clue number one – Naruto was doing his Valentine's Day shopping while Sasuke was with him. They had gone out to get some groceries, and while Sasuke was picking things they could live on – fruits, veggies, some energy bars for when they went on missions – Naruto was perusing the Valentine's candy aisle, completely oblivious to the glares Sasuke was throwing in his direction. Maybe a couple kunais would get his attention.

Clue number two – Naruto knew Sasuke hated Valentine's Day. They'd had a very clear and explicit discussion about it just a year earlier. Naruto couldn't possibly have forgotten, which meant he was deliberately ignoring Sasuke's wishes.

Clue number three when they got to the cashier – Naruto bought three boxes of chocolate. Sasuke hated chocolate. Naruto knew that Sasuke hated chocolate. Now he was just trying to piss Sasuke off.

Well, fuck him.

Picking up his groceries, Sasuke stormed out of the store, leaving that idiot to scramble after him. When they arrived home, he banged the door shut in Naruto's face and went into the kitchen to put the food away. He could hear Naruto in the next room, but didn't care to know what he was doing, not at all, no. Let him write all the cards he wanted. It wasn't going to get him laid anytime soon.

Naruto tried to chat him up as they had dinner, but Sasuke remained stoically silent. It didn't seem to bother Naruto, and he kept grinning like the idiot he was the entire time. He was still grinning when Sasuke announced he was going to bed, the frost in his voice making it clear that Naruto would risk his cock and balls if he got too close to him that night.

At first light, Sasuke jumped out of bed. He had spent a terrible night, and the day promised to be even worse. Stupid Valentine's Day. Stupid chocolate boxes. Stupid Naruto for leaving them in plain sight on the dinner table.

With irritation gnawing at him, Sasuke flipped open the card on the first heart-shaped box.

For Sakura-chan, from Sasuke and Naruto

Sasuke harrumphed. Idiot.

Still annoyed, he looked at the second card. This one was for Hinata. The girl was still giving Naruto Valentines even though she knew it was hopeless. Some people never changed.

Grinding his teeth together, he picked up the last, bigger box, and tugged the card free. He was going to shove it down Naruto's throat and—

For Naruto, from Sasuke-bastard

The hell?

"Oh, you shouldn't have!"

He was startled when Naruto strode in, smirking, and took the chocolate box from him. Naruto immediately opened it and threw a couple of sweets into his mouth.

"And it's my favorites, too! You're the best!"

Sasuke blinked, unsure what was going on there. If Naruto was making fun of him, he had the beating of his life coming his way.

Still clutching his sweets in one hand, Naruto went to dig into the ramen cabinet, pushing away cups to grab a plain brown paper bag in the back. He handed it to Sasuke with nothing more than a slight grin. Still confused, Sasuke accepted the bag. He knew what it held from touch before he even looked in.

"Do you know how hard it is to get tomatoes in February?" Naruto said, his grin wavering, when seconds had passed and Sasuke still hadn't said a word.

Carefully placing the bag on the table, Sasuke grabbed Naruto's chocolates and put them next to his tomatoes. He then dragged Naruto to bed and proceeded to give him his very deep, very sincere and very vocal thanks. Repeatedly.

"You didn't."

"Of course I did."

Sasuke glared. Naruto couldn't possibly be that moronic, could he?

"You didn't," he repeated. "You're not stupid enough—"

Naruto shoved his shoulder, now pouting. "Hey! The old woman told us to pick. So I picked."

"ANBU masks are supposed to conceal your identity," Sasuke said through clenched teeth. "What exactly are you hiding if you wear a fox mask?"

A light redness coloring his cheeks, Naruto looked away and shrugged. "It was all I could think of."

Sasuke rolled his eyes at him. "Of all animals you could have picked—"

"Name one!" Naruto cut in, crossing his arms defiantly.

Sasuke said the first thing that passed through his head. "An alligator."

Naruto's eyebrows rose, clearly not impressed. "What a wonderful choice," he said dryly. "Is that what you picked for yourself?"

It was Sasuke's turn to look away. "No."

"What did you pick?"

Sasuke mumbled his answer.

"What was that?" Naruto asked.

"I said, a raven."

Naruto laughed so hard he cried—or that might have been a result of their fight. In the end, the solution was easy enough. When they received their masks, they simply swapped them.

The front door opened, closed again, and the call rose, predictable as always.

"I'm home."

Sasuke let out a quiet grunt and did not raise his eyes from the scrolls he was studying.

"The mission went fine," Naruto said as he walked into the room. "Thanks for asking."

Sasuke snorted. His finger followed the last line on the scroll until the last kanji before he looked up and answered. "Of course it went fine. It was the most—"

His eyebrows climbed up, and he caught himself just in time before the sharingan could activate. Leaning against the wall, Naruto still had his ANBU mask in his hands. His fingers were tracing the raven features, but it wasn't his hands Sasuke was looking at. Instead, it was his hair.

His jet-black hair.

"What in the world…" Words failed him.

With a small, self-conscious grin, Naruto racked his fingers through his hair.

"It was an easy mission," Naruto said with a shrug. "But it was all about stealth. And my hair makes me stand out. You said so yourself."

Very slowly, his hands pressed flat against the table, Sasuke stood. He never looked away from Naruto's hair. "And of all the things I've said to you, this is when you decide to listen?"

It looked… it just looked wrong, Sasuke decided. There was no other word for it. He had nothing against black hair per se, of course not, but on Naruto, the effect was horrible. It seemed as though his eyes weren't as clear, suddenly, his smile not as bright.

Not that Sasuke would have said so aloud, or even admitted thinking any such thing even under the most atrocious torture.

With slow, almost painful steps, he came to stand right in front of Naruto to look at the horror more closely. He raised his hand, but couldn't bear to touch. He sniffed lightly. Even the smell was unpleasant—although that might just have been the result of a two-day mission.

"Is it permanent?" he asked with a grimace of distaste.

"Of course not. Sakura said it'd go away after a few shampoos." A hand resting lightly on Sasuke's chest, Naruto pushed him back lightly. "You'd think I murdered your favorite kitten or something. You didn't even kiss me."

The idiot even had the gall to pout. Didn't he see that Sasuke couldn't—wouldn't—kiss him until he looked like himself again?

"I don't like kittens," he muttered, and, grabbing Naruto's hand, pulled him into the bathroom. "How many shampoos did you say it'd take?"

With an exasperated sigh, Sasuke picked up the first item of clothing from the floor, threw it in the basket he held against his hip, then made his way to the next lump of fabric. He couldn't understand how Naruto had managed to make that much of a mess in just the three days it had taken Sasuke to accomplish his mission. There were dirty clothes strewn all around, the bed sheets and covers were halfway on the floor, dirty dishes were piled up in the sink, and the trashcan was overflowing with cups of instant ramen.

Sometimes, Sasuke wondered why he had ever wanted to live with the idiot. The sex was good, but it couldn't possibly be worth—

OK, it was worth the aggravation. And Naruto had better make it up to him later.

As he stopped to straighten the sheets, he found a bundle of clothes on his side of the bed. His clothes. The dirty ones that had been in the laundry basket when he had left. He made a grimace of disgust as he threw them back in the basket. They smelled. Why would Naruto—

Understanding came in a flash when he turned and found Naruto standing by the bedroom door, a cup of ramen in his hands and a vaguely guilty expression on his face.

"What?" he said defensively when Sasuke had stared at him for a little too long.

"Nothing," Sasuke replied with a slight smile. "Just… Never change, OK?"

Naruto's confused look was priceless. Humming under his breath, Sasuke finished straightening the apartment.