Title: Magnetic Pull
Author: Violet Garnets
Disclaimer: Masashi Kishimoto =/= Me. So I do not own Naruto.
Note: This was for yanyann, using the prompt 'aurora'. I tried to follow the request to the best of my ability, so I hope it's okay. And I also hope Naruto doesn't come across as a big dolt. Just a tad dense and stubborn ^_^ Oh, and to avoid any questions (I'm lazy), just assume that it's AU, breaking off where Shipuuden starts.
The sky was a blinding gray; the winter sun did its best to break through the mass of clouds, but to no avail. It only filtered onto the earth where the clouds were the least dense.
Down below, on a large mountain path, two figures trekked slowly. They braced themselves against the howling blizzard.
"Do you remember the last time we were this far north, Kakashi?" Naruto shouted, his voice struggling not to get lost in the icy winds.
Kakashi held up an arm, to keep the wind whipping into his eye. "What? Can't hear you!"
The blonde scoffed, and nearly choked on some snow that flew into his mouth. Someone higher up was probably punishing him for having such a big mouth. It wasn't necessarily his fault, though…
"Baa-chan! Come on, please! Just one little mission. It can even be some D-rank…"
Even if the boy was seventeen now, Tsunade never expected Uzumaki Naruto to plead for even a D-rank mission. This child was so contradictory, and therefore absolutely hopeless.
"Naruto. Do you know the number of active ANBU right now?"
"Sixty-percent lower than what it was four years ago," Naruto answered automatically.
Tsunade continued, "And do you know what's been going on lately?"
Again, the blonde male gave an immediate response. "Akatsuki has stopped all menial activities and motions toward their final goal are becoming more and more evident."
No matter that he had been doing so for a while now, the Hokage simply couldn't get over how Naruto could speak so officially when he wanted to. It was such an immense change from his rascal-type speech. But he couldn't win her over with just a business-like attitude. "I think you've just answered your own request, boy."
He huffed and pouted, shifting from stiff negotiator to little kid. Tsunade held back a smile.
"But baa-chan, I really really want to go! Plus, wouldn't it be safe for me to go? Right? I'd be way out of Akatsuki's clutch there…just for a week, please?" His bright blue eyes watered, pleading.
The Godaime scowled. She wondered when the boy (she couldn't bring herself to call him a man) learned that those sapphire eyes of his could do a number on people when he used them right*. She turned away from him, staring outwards towards the village. He did have a point… "Keep yourself safe and away from Akatsuki's eyes. Bring someone with you, so you actually have a shot of coming back alive." Of course the teen was more than capable of fending for himself, but Tsunade enjoyed tearing at the boy's ego.
Even without looking, Tsunade could describe his expression perfectly: large, happy eyes matched with an equally large smile. She couldn't help but smile herself. He was a terribly persuasive person, she had to admit. Predictably though, Naruto asked blankly, "Who should go with me?"
So that was how Naruto talked his way into a trip up to the vast mountains of Snow Country—and with Kakashi, no less. He had pondered on Sakura, but she was busy at the hospital and would've yelled at him on end for even asking in the first place. She hated the cold. Naruto attributed it to her name. The same went for Yamato. As for Sai…well, he didn't seem particularly keen on trekking through miles of snow. Everyone else was on a mission or had plans…Naruto wondered if he should be grateful Kakashi didn't have a life.
Suddenly, ocean-blue eyes looked up to see no painful, icy flakes whipping about. Sometime while he had been thinking, the snow stopped. Now it was only a fresh kind of cold, the kind he could feel fill up his lungs. Naruto sighed contentedly. Now he just needed to wait. He turned around to see Kakashi smiling at him gently with his visible eye. "Is anything wrong, sensei?"
A dark eye blinked a few times, and the expression changed to sheepishness. "Maa, maa, the cold must be making me sleepy. Old age has made me less acute, ne?"
"No," Naruto responded quickly. "Kakashi-sensei is as young as ever." His voice was serious, he knew it. Dark eye met blue ones for a moment.
Kakashi shivered a bit, then laughed. He said nothing more to further the conversation. Instead he changed the direction. "Are we almost there? I really don't want to die out here in the cold."
"It should be around…" Naruto pointed a finger to a seemingly random spot. "Here!" Sure enough was where he had been pointing. The blonde held back a sigh of relief. Good thing he hadn't gotten them lost. "See, sensei? I'm not that—HEY!"
A blur of silver was zipping towards the house—leaving one young blonde standing in the frigid cold alone.
Naruto dashed towards the cabin, fuming. He fumbled for the doorknob, and found that it was locked. "KAKASHI-SENSEI!"
"Who's there?" A muffled voice called from inside the cabin.
"Stop joking around! If you don't let me in, I'm gonna burn this cabin down!"
There was a hearty chuckle. "Then there would be no point in being in here, would there?"
The blonde flushed darkly. Stupid sensei… "KAKASHI! OPEN THE GODDAMN DOOR!"
The door opened. Naruto took a step back, he was so surprised. For some reason, Kakashi had the same expression.
"What did you call me?"
"Huh? What are you talking about?"
The expression of surprise, almost glee, disappeared. Kakashi closed his eye and sighed. "Just get in before you let the heat out."
Naruto really didn't get what was going on. But bringing Kakashi along didn't seem like a good idea all of a sudden. But any thoughts about that disappeared when a wave of warmth washed over him. He unconsciously dropped his pack. A fire burned in the corner invitingly. Naruto jumped onto the sofa, pulled off his wet jacket, and threw it off. The heat soaked directly into his black turtleneck. Naruto sighed happily. "This place is the best. No wonder Jiraiya came up here to write sometimes."
"I still don't understand why he had a cabin in Snow Country's mountains, not to mention the highest one there is," the older man said as he closed the door and then picked up Naruto's pack, setting it aside.
"Ero-sennin said it was nice to be alone every now and then."
Kakashi joined him on the sofa, throwing off his cloak as well. Then he pulled off his mask.
For a moment, Naruto perked up in anticipation, but quickly deflated once he remembered the stupid man wasn't going to show his face so casually. Sure enough, there was a second mask underneath.
"That's interesting," the jounin muttered softly. "Were you here often?"
The blonde stretched his arms upward and yawned sleepily before replying. "Nope. Just once. Jiraiya-sensei forgot something up here and we had to get it. But he said we would come back some other time, the right time, and I would get to see something spectacular…"
"Why didn't you get Jiraiya to come up here with you?" Kakashi took a poker and tended to the fire a bit. The flames danced around, lively.
"He's busy," Naruto shrugged. "Said he was writing another porno novel."
"They're not porn," Kakashi said stiffly. "Those books are pleasant literature—"
Blue eyes narrowed and scoffed, "Pleasant literature, my ass."
"—but I'm glad you took me to see this 'spectacular' thing, whatever it is. What is it, anyway?" Dark eyes turned to look straight at Naruto, intense yet at the same time kind.
The teen's face grew warm, and it wasn't because of the fire. He turned away from Kakashi's gaze. "I-I don't know…Jiraiya just said we had to wait for night time and then go outside. He said we had to go around this time of year…"
"Oh. Well, all right. In that case, I'm going to bed."
The blonde turned his attention away from the floor and back to his companion. "What? It's not even sundown yet."
Kakashi pulled off the glove off his hand before he ran it through drying silver locks. "If we're staying up to wait for this thing, I'm going to bed now. Put out the fire if you're going to as well." He retreated into a room in the back.
Cobalt eyes simply followed his back, very confused. "Sensei is a strange one," he muttered to himself. Picking himself up from the sofa (quite grudgingly), Naruto did as he was told.
"…I'm glad you took me…"
"It wasn't really a big deal or anything," Naruto mumbled, brows furrowed together. "I just wanted to see something cool with someone—" He stopped himself from adding an adjective to the end. "Oh screw this, I'm going to sleep." He fished through his pack and grabbed what he needed. Changing quickly into comfortable clothes, he grabbed a blanket and crawled onto the sofa. The teen fell asleep with a pout, still thinking about his teacher's words.
A fish…swimming…it looked up at him… "OI!" It shouted. "Wake up!"
Naruto woke up with a jolt, colliding with something as he did so. He hissed, rubbing his forehead tenderly. When he stopped seeing stars, he realized Kakashi was doing the same thing as he was. "Oh…sorry."
The silver-haired man just looked at him, and shrugged as if to say "it happens". He turned his head towards the window. "It's pretty dark out now. Would you like to go outside now?" Kakashi held out a hand. Naruto took it gratefully.
The contact was electric.
Naruto yelped, then spluttered almost uncontrollably. He looked a bit like a rabid fox. "What's in your hands?" he asked, nearly screaming.
The other simply stared at his (still-outstretched) hand, pensive. "Ne?"
"They were…they…" Suddenly Naruto realized how ridiculous he would sound if he continued. How was he supposed to say that something sparked between their hands? "Never mind. I'll get up myself."
Hesitantly, the hand retracted. Naruto stood up and stretched, as if nothing had happened previously. "Shall we?" He ignored the blush creeping onto his face.
The Copy-ninja just smirked a bit under his mask before gesturing to the door. Naruto nearly ran out of the cabin, to avoid any further embarrassment. When he reached the little porch, the frosty winter air soothed his flushed skin. He sighed slowly, carefully. "What is wrong with me?" he whispered, closing his eyes.
He had wanted a break from the stress of shinobi life. He wanted to see this thing Jiraiya said would change his life. But this trip was stressing him much more than some S-rank mission. Silly childhood crushes weren't supposed to bother him now. He was a grown man. He had stopped liking his teacher long ago. This was ridiculous.
Unexpectedly, a voice popped up from his right. "Wow…Jiraiya was right, Naruto. This is amazing…open your eyes, you twit, you're missing it all."
"I'm not a twit," Naruto quipped in response, but opened his eyes anyway.
He definitely was not prepared for what he saw.
The snow was beautiful, yes. It rested on the evergreens ever so gently, like a fine dusting of sugar. The ground was covered in endless white, lovely and pure, save for the fine imprints left by the two shinobi. But the sky…
Against a backdrop of midnight blue, green sheets of light snaked back and forth, flickering and dancing. Smaller red sheets appeared intermittently. It looked like a dance of majestic dragons across the sky.
Naruto was spellbound. This…this was more than awe-inspiring. "What is this?"
"They're called auroras, I think. I'm not quite sure. I've honestly never seen them before. They only appear in the north, according to the textbooks. Something to do with magnetic energy."
"So that's why Jiraiya said I had to come all the way up here to see it…" he murmured softly. "They're amazing."
"Gorgeous," Kakashi added. "Everything here is."
The last bit was so soft, so incredibly quiet that Naruto just barely caught it. He looked over in curiosity, hoping in the depths of his mind that he could prod Kakashi to say something, anything more. He ended up getting another surprise.
"You-you-you're not wearing your mask?"
Kakashi brought a hand up and touched his uncovered face. An expression of surprise followed. "Oh, you can see? My face was getting warm, so I took it off…" He coughed a few times. "I thought it would be too dark for you. Good eyesight you have there," he chuckled. Looking over at Naruto, his surprise returned. "Why are you smiling like that, Naruto? It's a bit scary."
"I saw Hatake Kakashi's face," he trilled in a singsong voice, sounding a tad stupid. "Kakashi's face, Kakashi's face, auroras, auroras! Man, today is a good day."
Kakashi ruffled Naruto's hair in response. When it brushed over his forehead, Naruto felt an icy chill as well as another electric current. Naruto instinctively grabbed the hand before it left his head. He pulled it downwards and towards his eyes, inspecting it closely. "Your hand is so cold."
"Or you're just hot."
"I am not!" The teen refused to let himself turn red for what seemed like the hundredth time that day. Normally, anyone who said he was hot would get a gold star, but with Kakashi…he didn't know what to do.
"Hey! You're supposed to be supportive here. When I say something negative about myself, you jump in with a positive comment." That's what Sakura said, at least, he thought to himself—not that he was comparing himself to a girl or anything.
"I am being supportive. You're not hot. I think you're pretty adorable." The tone of Kakashi's voice was light, casual.
Naruto pouted. "That's not what I meant."
Kakashi turned away for a moment, looking up at the auroras flickering. "Hmm…"
Before Naruto knew it, a large hand was pressing the back of his head against a pair of lips. It was over as soon as it started though. Kakashi pulled away quickly and backed away a bit, laughing.
Naruto touched his lips lightly, absolutely stunned. His whole body tingled, as if Kakashi's hand on his head fried his brain and nerves. "You…I…we…what…why?"
"The auroras told me to." Kakashi cackled again, sounding almost psychotic. "Shall I do it again?"
"What? Have you been drinking while I was asleep?"
"No, I'm quite serious." By the way his voice turned notches lower, Naruto believed him.
The teen wanted to take shelter from the intensity of the gaze directed at him. This…this was crazy. "Why?"
"Because I like you."
Naruto looked upwards. The lights were settling and drifted across the sky slowly, ready to fade away. Somehow it calmed him down. When he looked back at Kakashi, the man was right next to him. His breath hitched.
"Since you're not saying anything…shall I do it again?" Kakashi whispered gleefully.
Kakashi had gone crazy, Naruto decided. The cold weather had seeped into his brain and froze all of the sane parts. Or that thing Kakashi mentioned about magnetic pulls or whatever. It screwed with the man's brain. But…if Kakashi had gone crazy…well, Naruto couldn't have been unscathed either.
"No," Naruto mumbled as he leaned forwards, capturing his companion's lips.
Yes, it was definitely the magnetic energy driving them both insane.
Tee-hee. I hope you liked it. Any comments would be appreciated, thanks very much! If you spotted any grammatical/spelling errors, it'd be really appreciated if you could point them out... Thanks again.