Friends, Ramen and Insults

Written by Randa-Chan 2009



- A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out -

Walter Winchell

I've been called a lot of names by a lot of different people – demon and monster being the more commonly used but no surprises there. Idiot is also another big one and I know what you're thinking and you'd be wrong. I don't get called an idiot a lot by other people. Okay, it sounds like a lot but really, the one who calls me an idiot and a hundred other degrading names that often is me.

Yeah me, because what kind of a friend fails to save his friend?

What kind of a friend isn't there for him when he needs me the most?

Well that'd be me.

It's true he's faster than me, more stubborn then me and seemingly out of reach but that isn't an excuse. He knows I'll never hate him, he knows I'll always be there for him. He just chooses not to listen and it's my fault for not convincing him to.

It sounds like I'm being hard on myself but if I never was then I wouldn't have gotten where I am today. Doing this to myself has meant that I've been able to survive and do things I never would have thought possible.

It's the anniversary today, marking my first year in office. It's ironic that it's also the anniversary of the break up of my team. I was so depressed a year ago when they had the ceremony. Tsunade-baa-chan actually thought I was sick or something and I guess in a way I was.

I couldn't stop thinking about him. Those bleeding eyes of his followed me wherever I went, staring at me as if they can see right through me.

It was so stupid. I was finally achieving my greatest dream that day and it was in that moment that I realised it'd never been what I'd truly wanted. It still wasn't. All these years I'd thought I craved the recognition of the village but in the end, I'd only wanted it from one person and I was still waiting for it.

"Dobe." That's all I needed to hear and it's be enough.

I snorted in disgust and pushed the old memories away. This year I wasn't going to think about it. I'd been the Hokage of Konoha for a year today and I was bloody well going to live it up starting with a bowl (or six) at Ichiruka's and then a visit to the hospital to annoy a particular someone.

That decided, I pushed my chair back from my desk. I didn't even bother to straighten the papers lying haphazardly all over the place. I walked around the desk and almost made it to the door. My hand was just reaching out to grasp the doorknob when suddenly it sprang open and only a lucky, ungainly leap backwards saved my handsome face from becoming flatter than if I'd just been run over by Chouji's Meat Tank technique.

"Hokage-sama! You can not leave the building!" proclaimed the ANBU who'd nearly flattened me.

Though his face was hidden behind a ridiculous turtle mask, I knew that stance with the pointed finger anywhere and that kind of yelling could only belong to one of two people in Konoha.

"Geez Fuzzy Brows!" I complained. "Next time why don't you kill me and what do ya mean I can't leave? I'm the Hokage! I can do whatever I want."

"And you have an excellent point Naruto-sama," agreed Rock Lee sagely. "However even a Hokage has responsibilities."

I resisted the urge to screw my face up and glare like I would have when I was a kid. Who the hell made Lee an ANBU again? Oh yeah – bloody Sai, that's who! The next time I laid eyes on the ANBU second in command I was going to give him the lowest, meanest mission I could find. How about catching that flee bag Tora? Yeah that sounded perfect!

"Lee, for the last time – it's Naruto. Sama me one more time and I'll Rasengan you into next week!" I threatened. "And another thing, it's Sunday. Even a Hokage gets a day of rest and I'm going out."

I stepped past him, stubbornly ignoring his protests and shut the door. Ah the silence!

I left the Hokage tower, humming happily because it felt good to be outside in the sunshine and even when I sensed Lee following another minute or so later, he didn't dare to try and stop me. Some days it was good to be the boss I thought with smug satisfaction.

I got lucky when I arrived at Ichiruka's. The mid day lunch rush had just wound down and I found myself slipping onto a stool and being the only person in the entire place. The old man gave me an extra big bowl and put it down to my anniversary of my first year in office.

A lot of people think I like ramen because it was cheap when I was a kid and I got used to the taste but that's not the case at all. I actually really like the stuff. Yeah – genuinely like it! I don't know whether it's some weird family inheritance (apparently my Dad loved it too) but whatever the case, I'm gonna keep coming to Ichiruka's until the day I die just for the stuff.

After eight bowls even I can't get another mouthful in but it's been the best meal I've had in an age and my stomach lets me know it. It's grossly full but got that funny contented feeling to it.

I pay old man Ichiruka and then take my leave and wander up the street towards the hospital. There aren't too many people around at this time of day so I don't really get stopped and if I do it's not for long. Lee is still doggedly tailing me but it's easy enough to ignore him so long as he doesn't get excited over anything.

The hospital, as always, is hectic. There never seems to be a moment of peace in the place. An inquiry with the nurse at the front desk informs me that Baa-chan is in theatre – again. No surprises there. She still works like a horse and at her age too. That stubborn old woman stepped down from being Hokage for me only to take a position at the hospital as one of the head staff and keep working just as much as always. If it were me I'd be taking a much needed rest and either annoying the younger generation or making up stupid poetry or something to pass the time.

But Baa-chan isn't me and I think she actually likes being busy despite what she says. I have a suspicion it probably helps her to stay out of trouble with the debt collectors but she'll never admit it.

Still, Baa-chan wasn't actually the person I came to see and nor is it a certain green eyed ninja with a temper to match her shishou's. No, the person I've come to see has a temper just as bad at times even though he almost never exhibits it. These days however, all I can get out of him is a blank stare. I can't even get words and no amount of insults or light hearted hits just to get a reaction will earn me a response.

Sighing despondently at the thought of the one sided conversation ahead, I never the less resigned myself to thrusting my gloomy thoughts aside and just being my usual goof ball self. Sakura-chan told me it'd be the best thing to do and familiarity would help more than anything else. I trust Sakura-chan beyond anyone else I've ever known and I'll do my upmost best to keep my promise to her. He might be back physically but mentally there's still a long way to go.

I entered the long corridor on the sixth floor which is the D ward. Here the patients who need peace and quiet to rest have been placed. At the end of the hall there's a room for a single occupant. The room doesn't have a number but everyone knows exactly whose room it is.

I forget to knock but that's not unusual for me. Inside, the room looks like anything but a regular hospital room. It looks more like someone's personal bedroom and in a way, it is. There's a desk with papers littered across it under the window sill and there's a wardrobe against one wall with a chest of drawers next to it and a bed against the opposite wall. There's an old red armchair squashed in between the bed and the desk.

On the bed, Sakura-chan has fallen asleep yet again. I know she had shift last night and she must have stopped by before going home. It's not unusual to find her curled up on his bed though. In fact, it happens quite often and he doesn't seem to mind.

The 'he' in question is seated quite comfortably in the old red armchair. One hand is absently stroking Sakura's glossy pink hair and the other is turning the page of some book he's reading in his lap. It's probably one from Kakashi-sensei seeing as the Jounin has a modest collection of books at home – one I didn't even realise was there! But apparently it exists and most of them aren't Icha Icha volumes.

He looks up when I come in, dark eyes silently assessing me.

"Dobe," he says softly and for a moment I don't quite realise what's happened. Then it clicks and I screech to a halt and stare back at him. He just spoke. For the first time in two years!

I keep expecting one fine eyebrow to arch the longer I stare at him just like he always used to do but nothing happens.

"Is something wrong?" he asked after several moments.

There it is again – he spoke! I definitely didn't imagine that and then I recall Sakura's words and about acting normally.

"Teme!" I yelled happily. "You're talking!"

"I suppose I am," he agreed mildly.

0-0-0-0-0-0

- Only those who dare to fall greatly, can ever achieve greatly –

Robert F. Kennedy

I can't really remember what I'd been doing prior but I sure as hell can't forget the remainder of that night.

It was late summer and my birthday was coming up. I was looking forward to it seeing as it would be my nineteenth. Sakura had already had hers earlier in the year and Kakashi-sensei's had gone by just a few days ago.

Akatsuki had been disbanded two summers previously thanks in part to help from Suna and my village's efforts. Since then however, we hadn't heard a word about Sasuke. He'd simply vanished once again, dissipating into the air like smoke.

I was worried about him and Sakura-chan was even worse. We were still trying to get over Kakashi-sensei's death and the passing of his birthday had been like a twist of the knife in our hearts.

That particular night only a few people really knew what happened. Captain Yamoto had been representing Tsunade-baa-chan when he met with the old war hawk, Danzo. Suddenly, gliding through the window like a wraith out of the darkness emerged Uchiha Sasuke.

Yamoto had reacted rapidly but he was an instant too late to prevent what happened next.

With cold retribution in his eyes, Sasuke drove his sword through Danzo's back. He was too old to move fast enough and hadn't stood a chance.

The Captain acted quickly though and tried to subdue Sasuke. The infamous speed taught to him by Kakashi-sensei however, aided Sasuke well and he was gone in a heartbeat.

ANBU pursued and the Hokage was alerted. Tsunade-baa-chan and eight ANBU cornered Sasuke close to the Southern gate. Luckily for me, I'd been at Shikamaru's for awhile and was passing by when I just about got bowled over by Sasuke.

Once trapped, Sasuke readied himself for battle, murderous intent in his eyes. I'd never seen him quite that angry before and to see the rage directed at us was nothing short of shocking. Where Konoha was concerned, Sasuke had in the past always treated us in a neutral manner, never expressing anything other than his desire never to come back to the village.

Insults were thrown and demands were made. My old team mate had always been stronger than me and I was aware of it keenly. That's why I always tried to face him in the company of Sakura-chan because I knew that together we'd be able to defeat him. But Sakura-chan wasn't there that night and though we still mourned the loss of Kakashi-sensei, he'd long since been buried and would be of no help.

Where Tsunade learned that it had been Danzo who'd been cut down and Sasuke also informed us of the demise of the Hokage's other two advisers; a suspicion clouded the Hokage's face and she ordered us to allow her to speak to Sasuke alone. The ANBU reluctantly gave in but I refused to back off. Eventually Tsunade relented and let me remain.

Sasuke didn't change his defensive stance. He looked rather like a cornered beast – ready to attack in an instant. I could barely see the twelve year old Sasuke in him anymore. He'd been replaced by someone whose mind was in tatters and whose drive had nearly driven him to the brink. The determination was still there, unwavering before the storm but everything else was beginning to slip and if that determination didn't crack soon, Sasuke would be lost and swept away from us forever.

I didn't demand to stay out of my own determination to bring Sasuke back to us: I demanded to stay out of a desperate, choking fear that I was loosing him and if I did nothing I'd never see Sasuke again.

"So," began Tsunade. "I'm assuming you came here with the purpose in mind tonight of revenge?"

With a keen stare, we both observed as Sasuke tensed ever so slightly at her words. I didn't understand though. Revenge? Why would Sasuke still be pursuing vengeance? I knew Itachi was buried six feet under, well and truly. So who could possibly be left unless there was someone else involved?

Baa-chan had a point I realised. I'd always assumed Sasuke would come back once he'd killed his brother but when he never did and he in fact chose to replace Itachi in the Akatsuki organisation, I hadn't been able to figure it out. So what was going on?

"You know about that night, don't you?" asked Sasuke.

What night? I wondered. What was he talking about?

Tsunade tilted her blond head. "Of course. It's an S-Class secret, one I've been forbidden from revealing to you for your protection although how you discovered the truth, I don't know."

Sasuke was silent but I could feel the press of his killing intent growing. The secret (whatever it was) apparently had something to do with a night long ago and I could take a pretty good guess at exactly which night.

"Jiriya is the only other who knew and even then, only because the Third informed him. He headed our spy network as I sure you're aware and Itachi reported to him," said Tsunade.

"Eh? What?" I demanded but the Hokage shot me a quelling look and I sullenly held my tongue.

"This village has always oppressed us," said Sasuke, his voice dangerously soft and I only grew more worried. Tsunade wasn't helping – he was only getting angrier.

"Wrong," replied Tsunade flatly. "The Senju clan always has, of which the village elders were the last descendents besides myself."

"It doesn't matter," answered Sasuke and I felt a chill race up my spine. "No one else in the village did anything to stop it."

"And the Uchiha aren't entirely to blame?" asked Tsunade sharply. "Please! Both parties were as bad as one another and in the Third's time he did everything in his power to quell the bad feelings and he hoped one of the two clans would have enough common sense to put aside their differences and forget the past. There's a long history there that you don't know anything about. Did you know that the Uchiha clan were suspected of killing the original host of the Kyuubi and setting it upon the village? Hundreds died because of it and the village had every right to place restrictions on your clan who'd never been wholly trustworthy in the past. Your brother knew that well and respected it. He was old enough to remember the war and the Kyuubi's attack. Perhaps he was a fool to do what he did but the Third never supported it and in fact swore that you would be protected to Itachi and that the truth would never be told to you."

"LIES!" snarled Sasuke.

But Tsunade was unrelenting. "Facts! Grow up Sasuke and open your eyes. You killed your brother and it hurts because all along what motivated him was the desire for peace and not calamity like you were led to believe."

"Shut up!" shouted Sasuke. He lunged, intending to strike Tsunade but the move was so slow and clumsy; fuelled only by anger. I caught him easily and it was ridiculously straightforward to restrain him even though he struggled like a wild cat. His graceful countenance was gone and I could feel him cracking. That stony determination was wavering and there was fear seeping through my friend's trembling body.

"I won't shut up Sasuke, not until you get it through that stubborn skull of yours," snapped Tsunade relentlessly. "We're the last descendents now Sasuke. It's just you and I. Orochimaru and your brother are dead and you've just killed the elders. They had it coming I suppose, particularly Danzo but there has been enough bloodshed between our two clans. More importantly, you've suffered enough."

"You have no idea," hissed Sasuke, twisting in my grip.

"You killed him," interrupted Tsunade cruelly. Sasuke flinched like her words were a physical slap. "Admittedly it wasn't your fault and your brother chose to die to keep the truth from you but it was still by your own hand. Hurts does it? Well it should."

Sasuke smashed his foot hard against my shin but I didn't let go.

"SHUT UP!"

"GIVE UP!" Tsunade shouted back. "Stop turning your pain against the last of your precious people. Accept what happened and move on. Itachi valued peace and he wanted you to lead the way Sasuke. Your brother saw the fire of the village burning in your heart. Konoha has always mattered to you and if you destroy it, you will finally break. Kakashi knew this and warned you from the path of vengeance. Don't fail him anymore. Your life is precious to your friends who have become your new family. Don't forget your clan, remember the good things but grieve and move on. Your new family is there and will help you."

Sasuke sagged in my grip and something wet hit my hand. Was he crying?

Shocked, I tried to catch a glimpse of his face but his dark hair had fallen forward to shield it.

"Oi, Sasuke?" I asked worriedly.

I allowed us to kneel since all Sasuke's strength seemed to have left him. Tsunade caught my eye and she nodded gravely. It was up to me now. I was fairly certain I was still important to him and I needed to assure Sasuke of that. What had just been said made little to no sense to me and questions were teaming within my mind but a lot of it I could understand. Itachi had murdered his own clan on an order from the Village council. I was relieved to know the Third had condemned it. The old man had never been able to do wrong in my eyes and I hadn't wanted that image of him changed. I was quite happy that his only crime was that he was a pervert.

I squeezed Sasuke's shoulder and drew him back against me so it was more like a hug. The Sasuke I'd known had always been so strong but right now he was weaker than our first days at the academy together.

"She's telling the truth Sasuke," I said to him. "Me and Sakura-chan never abandoned you for an instant and we'll always stick by you."

Sasuke was quiet and another few drops hit my bare arms. I'd known for a long time he'd been alone, just like me but at least I'd had the old man around when I needed someone to talk to. Sasuke hadn't had anybody and he'd tried so hard to make what he thought was the right choice. Perhaps if Kakashi-sensei had had longer he would have been able to help Sasuke. Our sensei had been good like that and could be counted on when it mattered. Since his death I'd learnt just how much alike they truly were. I wished he were here. I was Sasuke's friend but Kakashi was something else. He was an older, more experienced person I supposed who would have been able to speak with the wisdom he'd learnt.

"We'll help you Sasuke," I murmured into his ear. "We're Team 7 and it's a promise. Believe it."

My old team mate suddenly made a soft noise and I realised he was laughing. It was sad and bitter but it was finally a response.

"Alright," he whispered.

I relaxed. That word was all I needed to hear and I looked to Baa-chan and nodded. She returned my gesture with a tight smile and then signalled to the ANBU who came back within hearing range.

"The threat from Uchiha Sasuke has been neutralised," she informed them. The ANBU seemed a little unsure but they believed their Hokage. "For the time being the village council is to be dissolved. It has come to my attention that the politics in this village need to be addressed. Please have someone deal with the three village elders and report to me in the morning."

She dismissed the ANBU and turned to look at me over Sasuke's bowed head.

"Naruto, take Sasuke to the hospital and see that Sakura takes care of him," she ordered. "Sasuke, we'll talk in the morning."

Sasuke didn't answer and the Hokage quietly left. Then it was just my friend and I.

I stilled mentally at the thought. My friend. Yeah, Sasuke was definitely my friend again and I warmed at the notion. I guess miracles do happen.

0-0-0-0-0-0

- Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure –

Jane Austen

I took Sasuke to the hospital like Baa-chan asked me to. I'll never forget the expression on Sakura-chan's face when she saw us. Sasuke still hadn't had the will to walk so I'd carried him, his head buried against my shoulder. I suddenly felt like he was my little brother or something even though Sasuke was technically older than me. He just felt so small and lost.

Our pink haired team mate was in the reception area with Ino when we came in and she promptly dropped the large vase of flowers she'd been holding. It shattered on the tiled floor and a cascade of shards, flowers and water scattered everywhere.

That night we all slept in the same room with Sasuke, even Ino. In the morning Tsunade came and talked to Sasuke but he never said a word. That was when we realised that perhaps we'd broken him. My friend's eyes were dry but they were blank.

I didn't leave the hospital for three days, scared I suppose that he was going to disappear or something. Finally Sakura-chan kicked me out and after that life kind of took on a routine. We gave Sasuke the room he has now but we never heard a word out of him.

After a couple of weeks Shikamaru showed up one afternoon with a shougi bored under one arm and a put out expression on his face.

"Where's Sasuke's room?" he asked me.

I told him and he disappeared upstairs. The played shougi for hours and then continued to do it every couple of days. Shikamaru never admitted it but I know he loves having Sasuke play him. Sasuke is the closest to being a worthy adversary. He can't defeat Shikamaru often but he manages to occasionally which is more than anyone else in the village can boast other than Shikamaru's dad. Watching them play is always interesting. Shikamaru makes lazy conversation and Sasuke's face takes on the first form of emotion in days. He plays with an intense expression and a fierce tenacity.

After that other ninja started finding the time to visit Sasuke. For awhile perhaps everyone had been afraid of him and definitely prepared to fight and kill Sasuke during the time of his defection. Now that he was back in Konoha though, it was like the old days when Sasuke was the prodigy and people were always paying him attention. He didn't react but I knew it was good for him and somewhere in that soulless expression of his, I was pretty certain he was finally starting to appreciate it.

Sakura and Ino competed over the flowers they brought him, each trying to out do the other. I didn't interfere – I valued my own life too much. Ino had the edge but Sakura cared more and it showed. When they weren't subtly trying to ignite one another's temper though, they sat on Sasuke's bed and gossiped. How he put up with it I'll never know but I'm sure he probably knows a lot of secrets by now.

Hinata's father remembered Sasuke's mother a little and recalled that Sasuke used to help her do the gardening when he was very small. So when Neji and Hinata came to visit, they took Sasuke down into the hospital gardens and worked there. Hinata usually brought lunch and she blushed a lot but that's normal. Neji was surprisingly knowledgeable about gardening and he admitted to me that he oversees the Hyuuga Compound gardens. Together the two boys dug up the soil, trimmed back the hedges and mowed the grass. After that Sasuke and Hinata both knelt in the dirt and planted hundreds of rows of flowers.

Others began to drop in too, usually just to tell Sasuke what they've been up to or in Kiba's case, to boast about how strong he'd gotten. I can't help myself if Kiba shows up when I'm there. It's usually only a couple of minutes before we're squabbling like a bunch of brats.

Most of the Rookie Nine and Team Gai pop their heads in once a month or so. Iruka-sensei actually made the effort to come once in the company of Kurunei and her baby. Sakura-chan told me he reminisced about the days when everyone had still been in the academy and Kurunei firmly placed her son in Sasuke's lap much to his surprise. Apparently the Teme is good with kids though and there wasn't a hitch after that.

Six months passed and Sasuke still didn't say anything.

Konohomaru and his team become curious and visited to see what the infamous Uchiha was like. Perhaps it was only because Konohomaru is my sworn rival and I'm Sasuke's sworn rival. The visit went well enough until Konohomaru declared that Sasuke was now his rival too. I kicked him out for yelling although in truth it was because even though Sasuke didn't react, I guessed he was probably annoyed.

Around the nine month mark Tsunade told me I was to become the next Hokage. She's got big plans for me she said. I couldn't believe it and I basked in the pleasure for weeks afterwards.

The first person I told was Sasuke.

He still didn't talk but something flickered in the depths of his dark eyes. I got my first inkling that I was starting to reach him at last.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Weakness shows itself in the form of those too cowardly to care. Only a strong man can cry –

Anonymous

So, like I said, I've already mentioned how I felt the day I became Hokage. I was depressed, bloody miserable really. Sasuke couldn't leave the hospital to see the ceremony. Until his mental state was considered stable he had to remain there.

The day after I became Hokage I gave Sasuke the key to Kakashi-sensei's apartment. We hadn't been in there since he'd died but Sakura-chan and I decided Sasuke could have it once he was better. When we visited the following morning there was a stack of books on the desk. I don't know how he got past the ANBU but Sasuke went to Kakashi's and came back with a load of books. That day I was happy and the pride I felt at achieving my goal came back.

On Sasuke's birthday I took him out to the park. Sakura was off on a mission unfortunately but Sasuke and I had a good time just wandering about. We visited Ichiruka's of course and I took Sasuke back to our familiar training grounds. I forgot about the war memorial though. We didn't go close but Sasuke must have used his Sharingan to read the names. I didn't notice him doing it though.

He went over and stared at Kakashi-sensei's name for ages. It took me twenty minutes to drag him away but every morning from then on Sasuke was always there. I remember that he used to haunt the docks when we were kids. Now he haunts the Memorial Stone just like our sensei used to.

Around the eighteen month mark the Uchiha Compound burnt down in the middle of the night. I found Sasuke around dawn at the Memorial Stone. He was crying for only the second time since I'd ever met him. He looked awful for another fortnight afterwards.

Another six months went by and one morning I walked into his room to find Sakura curled up on the bed like usual and Sasuke greeting me by name.

0-0-0-0-0-0

He who never made a mistake never made a discovery –

Samuel Smiles

"Teme!" I yelled happily. "You're talking!"

"I suppose I am," he agreed mildly.

I beamed cheerfully and all the worry of the last nine years just seemed to melt away. He closed Kakashi's book and gently shook Sakura's shoulder. Slowly she woke and blinked sleepily up at Sasuke.

"Get up Sakura, Naruto's here," Sasuke said.

I watched as Sakura distinctively paused just like I had and blinked in surprise.

"Sasuke? Did you just talk?" asked Sakura.

The raven haired man's brow creased irritably. "You're annoying Sakura. Of course I did. It's not like I forgot how."

"SASUKE!"

Sakura jumped up with a happy squeal and threw her arms around his neck. Sasuke staggered but didn't fall under her weight. I caught his glare over my shoulder but still laughed uproariously anyway. Same old Sakura and same old Teme at long last it seemed.

"I really can't believe it," grinned Sakura as she drew back. "I thought you weren't ever going to come back to us Sasuke."

Sasuke sighed softly. "I think you're over dramatising things Sakura," he grumbled.

Sakura smiled fondly at Sasuke and finally let go of him. He couldn't quit hide the flicker of relief that passed over his face from me. I smirked cheekily at him and he sent me a penetrating look, as if to say: 'shut up Dobe. You know I have a problem with people hanging off me. If you like, I could choke you to death and then you'll get the idea.'

"So Teme - "

"Sasuke," he corrected mildly but I ignored him.

"You owe me a bowl of ramen."

He looked blankly at me and I could almost see the scorn behind those dark eyes. I knew exactly what Sasuke was thinking mentally and it was something along the lines of a scoff and 'get real moron.' What he said instead however, took me by surprise.

"Well I'm not sure what it's for but if that's an order Hokage-sama…?"

Hokage-sama? I liked the sound of that – especially coming out of my rival's mouth but it didn't quite sit right for some funny reason. Maybe it was because Sasuke and 'respect your betters' just didn't go together.

I stared at him for a good minute, my eyes narrowed to suspicious slits. He stared right back, completely expressionless but that was Sasuke for you.

Finally I said, "call me that again Teme or be nice to me in any way and I'll make you run around Konoha naked."

A gasp from Sakura in the ensuring silence still wasn't enough to warn me I was in trouble.

CRACK!

Several minutes later a very irate Sakura finally calmed down enough to heal my broken jaw.

"That hurt Sakura-chan!" I whined. I couldn't help it; I might be the Hokage now but Sakura still hit me and I still whined about it afterwards.

"Baka!" glowered Sakura crossly. "Make Sasuke-kun do something like that and I'll break your legs."

Her threat was backed up with a mean glare and I knew she meant it. Sasuke just sighed and rolled his eyes at me. "Dobe."

"Teme," I replied sullenly but there was no real bite to it.

"Fine," said Sasuke. "You can buy everyone a bowl of ramen, ok?"

"Yes!" I cheered and then caught up with what he'd said. "Hey, wait a sec!"

And there was the raised eyebrow and I truly knew the Teme was back. Only Uchiha Sasuke used that look when he looked at me. It was the look that simply said: 'I'm stronger, faster, smarter and better than you in all ways. Deal with it.'

"Dense as ever I see," said Sasuke dryly. "You're the Hokage now and our clients pay you and then you give a cut from that payment to us so technically speaking, even if I pay for you, you're actually spending your own money on yourself."

I looked at him for several seconds and then with deliberate slowness, I got to my feet and brushed myself off.

"If I give money to you," I said, trying to act as aloof as only an Uchiha or a Hyuuga could, "then that means it's yours and not mine so no; you are paying for me."

That fine eyebrow hiked up another centimetre. "I'm right moron. Don't bother arguing with me."

And there went my composure. I guess I just wasn't cut out for the whole regal, practically 'king-of-the-village' thing. I grabbed Sasuke's shirt and pulled him in close, glaring angrily.

"Sasuke! I'm the Hokage damn it! Show me some respect!"

Sasuke snorted disdainfully. "It doesn't matter if you're top of the food chain or bottom Dobe. I don't respect idiots."

"SASUKE!"

"Naruto, Sasuke?" pleaded Sakura, trying to break us up. "Calm down ne? I'll buy."

"NO!" we both retorted.

"You owe me a bowl for being an arse hole!" I yelled.

"Well you owe me one for being a persistent moron!" snarled Sasuke.

BANG!

The door flew open and both of us recognised that distinctive tone.

"UZUMAKI! UCHIHA! GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOSPITAL!"

Hokage and Uchiha heir alike; we both fled the scene with Sakura hot on our tails. No one argued with Tsunade when she told you to scram. We bolted to Ichiruka's and made it in record time. Slumped in our seats, it was several minutes before I finally recovered from the fear of my imminent demise to turn to Sasuke and ask, "So? Your buy?"

"…tch. Fine."

FIN



Author's Note: There you go. This has been floating around for ages and I got bored today and decided to finish it. It's probably the first and only time I'll write in first person but hey, it was fun. Enjoy!