Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor do I make a profit from the writing of this story.
Getting It Together
"I like you"
Naruto looked up, a pencil balanced between his teeth. "Huh?"
"I said, 'I like you'," Sasuke repeated.
Naruto stared up at his friend from his position on the floor. He was confused. "I know that. We're best friends, aren't we?" he said after a pause.
Sasuke let out an exasperated sigh and let his fall back on the armrest of the couch he lay on. "That's not what I meant, moron." He combed a hand through his head in frustration.
"What else could it be? You like me, right? We're friends, so you kinda have to! And you're a friggin' asexual bastard, so it can't be that you like me that way. Haha, who's the idiot know, huh?" Naruto laughed and nudged Sasuke, as though the thought of the other boy having romantic feelings – for anyone, let alone Naruto—was ludicrous.
Sasuke's eyebrow twitched in annoyance and he barely stifled a growl. He pinned Naruto with the deadliest glare he could manage. How dare he make fun of Sasuke's admission.
Naruto felt the stare boring through him and quelled his mirth. He was beginning to feel as though something was amiss. Sasuke's miffed expression didn't fit with the idea of a friendly joke.
The bullet finally hit home.
Shit! Naruto's eyes widened. Sasuke was serious. He really did like him, in a more-than-friends way. Naruto wondered at how hard it must have been for Sasuke to say the words, considering his reticent nature. Naruto's eyes widened in horror, realizing, finally, how inconsiderate he had been. Sasuke confessed, and Naruto had brushed it off as a jest. Naruto had no doubt that he was going to be fried eggs and toast. He was breakfast.
"You—" A horrible, high-pitched squeak emerged. Naruto winced, cleared his throat, and tried again. "You serious?"
Sasuke looked away and a slight coloring dusted his cheekbones. "Hn."
Only years of knowing Sasuke let Naruto know that the sound was an affirmative. "Oh," was all he could say.
Silence pervaded the room. The homework the two boys had been working on lay forgotten.
Naruto was in shock. Sasuke Uchiha, his rival since middle school, best friend since starting high school, had bared his feelings towards him.
Naruto knew Sasuke cared for him. Sasuke was always there for Naruto, providing support without needing to be asked. He protected the blond from bullies. He'd continuously spurned the advances of Sakura Haruno— a girl Naruto once had a crush on— so as not to hurt Naruto. He comforted him when Haruno had rejected him in front of the entire school. Sasuke had helped Naruto recover from a bad break up a few months ago.
Naruto really liked Sasuke. He was Naruto's first real friend, and remained his best friend to the day. Naruto had made other, dear friends, but Sasuke would always come first to him. He tried to imagine life with Sasuke as a boyfriend. He could see them going on a date to an action flick, holding hands and whispering sweet nothings on a park bench, cutting class for a snog fest behind the school. Naruto smiled. He liked the idea of doing those things.
He came to a decision.
Sasuke snuck a look back at the blond. Naruto was prostrate on the ground, his head propped up on his hands. A maelstrom of emotions flickered behind the blue eyes. Naruto was obviously confused and trying to understand what was happening, and what course of action to take.
Sasuke took the chance to admire Naruto's body.
Naruto was muscled, but not buff. He had an excessive enthusiasm for working out. He had broad shoulders that gently tapered to narrow hips so as not to look like a deformed triangle. And orange wife beater accentuated his physique and black sweats hid the strong legs from view. Drawing his eyes back to Naruto's face, Sasuke watched the sunlight glinting on the blond hair, contrasting beautifully with skin tanned from countless hours under the sun. The bright, blue eyes were hidden beneath lowered lashes.
Naruto was gorgeous, no doubt, but that was not why Sasuke had fallen for him. Sasuke was unsure when the attraction had first manifested itself. He had never noticed Naruto until their accidental kiss in seventh grade. After that, he had developed a hate-hate relationship with the boy. Each had the astonishing talent of finding and crossing the other's limits in some of the most violent ways. Over time, their insults and slurs became teasing and the fistfights were more for fun than to actually hurt. By some incomprehensible twist of fate, the two became best friends.
Sasuke mused. The first time he felt something more towards Naruto was perhaps, when they were fourteen. Naruto had revealed to him that he liked Sakura Haruno, a girl in their class. Sasuke felt inexplicable jealousy and animosity towards the girl he did not know. He told Naruto to forget about Haruno. When Naruto came to him in tears a few weeks later, bringing tales of his humiliating rejection by the hand of the pink-haired bitch, Sasuke felt elation and hatred. He was happy that Naruto was still single, and he was angry that Haruno had hurt his friend.
When they were fifteen Naruto revealed his bisexuality to Sasuke. Sasuke felt strangely excited.
At age sixteen, Naruto agreed to date Neji Hyuuga. Hyuuga was a year older than them, and popular. He was also a notorious player. Sasuke tried to tell Naruto about the stories surrounding Hyuuga, but the blond refused to listen. He accused Sasuke of being jealous, and of trying to take control of Naruto's life. "I'm not your fucking lapdog!" Naruto had screamed at him. That had been their greatest fight since becoming friends. Naruto continued dating Hyuuga and avoided Sasuke as best as he could. Whenever the two crossed paths, Naruto treated Sasuke to a look filled with enough anger and hate that Sasuke could almost hear his heart breaking. It was during those weeks that Sasuke realized how important Naruto really was to him.
Six weeks later, Naruto caught Hyuuga passionately kissing Gaara Sabaku, the foreign exchange student. Naruto was infuriated and terribly hurt. He broke up with Hyuuga on the spot. Sasuke was surprised when Naruto showed up on his doorstep the next day and apologized. He hugged Naruto tightly, called him and idiot, and told him to listen to Sasuke once in a while.
All of this happened a few months ago. Since then, they both turned seventeen and Sasuke got his license. He also, finally, realized his feelings for Naruto. It took him a long time to come to terms with his epiphany and to build up the courage to tell Naruto. Now the truth was out, and the ball was in Naruto's court.
Sasuke waited anxiously.
Naruto looked up with a small nod to himself. His face set and a determined light in his eyes, he stood and walked to where Sasuke reclined on the couch. Sasuke looked up at him guardedly.
Naruto opened his mouth as if to say something, but no sound emerged. He frowned, shook his head, and straddled Sasuke with an unexpected grace and fluidity.
Sasuke, shocked, tried to sit up. "Naruto, wha—"
Naruto silenced him with a hand over his mouth whole the other gently pushed him down. The blond moved the hand on Sasuke's chest up to join the other in cradling his face.
"I—I don't really know how to answer." Naruto let his thumbs stroke Sasuke's high cheekbones. "I like you, Sasuke, I really do, but I don't know if it's that kind of like you mean. You're the most important person to me, and I don't want to lose you. I mean, if something happened to you, I'd—" He hesitated, and then continued speaking. "I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'll go out with you. But, I don't know if I can love you. Well, I do love you, but what I mean is , I don't know if it's the kind of love you mean, you know? And this is so weird, you know? You're, like, my best friend, so this is weird and confusing and—"
"Naruto?" Sasuke was smirking up at him. He laced his fingers through Naruto's hair and tugged lightly.
"Shut up and kiss me." Sasuke didn't wait for Naruto to reply before he connected their lips.