A/N: Heh, after finishing up my latest completed work, I came to a realization that I needed something new and fresh to work on. And that's when I realized that you guys had voted this one of my still unborn babies as the next one to see the daylight, so I chose to go for it. (grins)
First off, before I forget, thank you so much for all those votes! (HUUUGS) You can't even believe how many of you have showed up to give your opinion! Man, it feels good to know ya care so much. (sniffs, and offers special treats)
Heh, awkay, now about THIS fic. I already gave ya the summary, and the pairing, so… This'll be eightshot, I think, though I take the liberty to add or remove a chappy or two. (grins)
WARNINGS: YAOI (well, duh), oddness… hmm… heh, I'll add if more appear.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own anything what comes to Naruto until cows are flying in somewhere else than just movies. (sniffs, then starts bawling)
Oukey doukey, because I think I've done enough stalling already, let's get on with the show. (rubs hands together with excitement and some nervousness) 'Hope ya'll like this start out/taster.
CHAPTER 1: Prologue – It Started With Magic Tricks
New York, August 5th, 2006
In the darkness of a rather fancy hotel room, a pair of onyx eyes strayed towards a clock that'd been placed to a bedside table.
Quarter past three in the morning. No wonder he was feeling so tired.
Twenty-four years old Sasuke Uchiha's naked, pale skin almost shone in the moonlight while he pushed himself into a sitting position, then crawled out of the bed with a nearly catlike movement without making a sound. He was pleased to discover that his clothes – a dark blue shirt and black leather pants – were easy enough to find; they were scattered to the floor, exactly where they'd fallen in the heat of the night before, what felt like decades ago to him.
He had no time to waste.
His eyes shining almost red with revulsion, he turned his gaze towards the form still lay in the bed he'd just abandoned, back to him.
Fortunately his special made cocktail seemed strong enough – a few drops of it into Orochimaru's whisky, and the man had been down in less than ten minutes. Now he could only hope the older male would stay knocked down long enough…
Fortunately his hands didn't tremble while he pulled on his clothes, took his surprisingly sharp pocketknife that'd been placed to what Orochimaru had considered a safe distance, and finally grabbed a key and a key card that'd been laying around carelessly. He also didn't forget the pile of ten passports that'd been hidden into a drawer – he'd need them soon enough.
He frowned when looking towards the clock once more.
Half past three. He'd have to hurry, now.
His moves were utterly silent when he made his way to the door, then – after taking a one last, disgust filled glance towards the sleeping figure – took his exit, like a caged bird flying into freedom.
Although it sickened him, he gave the female receptionist a glance that'd please her while walking up to her. "Hello, Mr. Uchiha", she all but chirped in a voice that made his head throb. "You're up early."
He forced himself to not glare at her – pissing her off would only make things worse. "I… need to ask you a favor." He gave her the key card. "There's… a bag Mr. Takeishi left here. (1) He asked me to get it."
The receptionist seemed doubtful, chewed her lower lip. "I'm… not sure if I'm allowed to give it to you." She seemed to consider leaving. "Mr. Aihiko…"
He balled his fists. Hell no he was going to let her contact the hotel's owner – the man would notify Orochimaru in a heartbeat. "I'm sure there's no need for that." He looked at her directly to eyes. "It's not like I'm going to steal the bag or anything."
Although the woman's high-pitched laughter hurt his ears, it was a welcomed sound. He'd succeeded. "Give me one moment."
Ten minutes later he was out of the hotel and in a cool, calming fresh air outside. He discovered three people waiting for him.
There was a somewhat impatient look on his only female associate's, Karin's, face while she folded her arms. "So… It's go-time, right?"
He nodded somewhat stiffly, his mind drifting in a million places at one go. "Yes." He took a one more look at his wristwatch, readjusting the back bag he'd gotten. "We're already in a hurry." He threw the keys he'd taken from the hotel room to Karin, who caught them easily. "You, take the car and drive it somewhere it'll take Orochimaru a while to find it."
She nodded and grinned. "Sure thing. I think I know the perfect place." She then looked at him with somewhat strange eyes. "Are you going to ride with me?"
"Nope", a new male voice he knew well as his other associate's, Suigetsu's, announced, and he wasn't sure if he was comfortable with the pair of arms wrapping around his waistline. "You're coming with me, right?"
He nodded, wondering if he should punch the other to make him let go – they'd already done a lot of talking about behaviour like this in public. "There's something I need to take care of." He gave Karin and the last of his associates, Juugo, a look. "We'll meet at the airport."
The two nodded and – in Karin's case with a lot of reluctance – jumped into the silver shaded Porsche waiting nearby. The car howled while speeding off, most definitely driven by Karin.
"So…" He sincerely hoped he didn't feel Suigetsu – who'd spoken – pinch his behind while the man spoke. "We should get going, too. Didn't you say we're in a hurry?"
He nodded. Not another word was passed while they put on their helmets, and he took a seat behind Suigetsu on the man's most likely 'borrowed' motorcycle, wounding his arms around the man while they started to move fast.
His eyes darkened while he stared into the night.
They'd just robbed Orochimaru, and what's worse betrayed the man.
Things would be hectic from now on.
Seven thirty twenty-three years old Naruto Uzumaki emitted a loud groan, and hit his head to a shelf (why the hell had he attached it so low, he asked himself once again) when he was startled into wakefulness by the extremely irritating sound of his cell phone. Muttering incoherent insults at the piece of wood that'd attacked him and rubbing his throbbing head he picked up. "What?"
The extremely irritated voice of Iruka Umino – his supervisor – made him tense up completely. "You're late – again."
He gulped thickly, feeling shivers of dread.
He was already on the bottom place of the five trainees FBI had taken in. If he'd keep going like this, he could kiss his career as an agent goodbye.
He winced. "Eh… Sorry?"
There was a sigh. "Just get your ass over here, will you? You've got ten minutes."
If Iruka said anything more he'd never know, because he hung up and started to hurry. On his way he almost ran into his roommate and friend's, Kiba's, dog Akamaru. His eyebrow arched. "What's up, boy?" He ruffled the animal's fur a bit although he was already late. "Did he kick you out again?" His eyes then strayed towards the closed door of Kiba's room, and he shuddered when seeing the tiny stuffed dog that'd been attached hurriedly to it as a sign. "I see." He was beyond grateful there were no sounds coming – he didn't feel like going to work after throwing up.
Shaking off all disturbing ideas of what might've been going on in the room, he rushed into the apartment's kitchen, and opened the refrigerator's door. He winced for the second time that morning when the stench of a long since expired food slapped him across the face.
This was definitely not his day.
That thought became confirmed when he stepped right into Akamaru's urine the dog hadn't been able to hold back any longer.
When he finally rushed into one of the enormous conference rooms of the FBI's field office, Naruto was as badly out of breath as he was late.
He felt like retreating in an instant, for the situation was even worse than he'd expected. Not only was their 'top boss', as he called the man, Kakashi Hatake there along with Iruka and the four other trainees – Sakura Haruno, Shikamaru Nara, Neji Hyuuga and Gaara DeLeshi (2) – but there were also two of the office's most legendary agents, Izumo Kamizuki and Kotetsu Hagane.
Oh crap…, was all he could think of the situation.
He tried to slip in without arousing a lot of attention, but ended up hitting his foot to a garbage can that fell with an extremely loud clonk. He grinned sheepishly when eight pairs of eyes turned towards him. "Eh… Sorry I'm late."
Kakashi seemed to fight back a chuckle, a sigh or a groan. "Just sit, so we can get started."
He obeyed as kindly as a puppy, shooting a glare towards a slightly snickering Shikamaru and dodging Sakura's roll of eyes.
Quite soon the room calmed down once more. Everyone focused on Kakashi. "Now, as I was saying, we've been informed by several other field offices and international contacts that there's a highly skilled group of four thieves on the loose. Art, money, jewellery, information… Their targets vary a lot, but they're always successful, and never leave behind any tracks." The man pointed towards a depressing mountain of files. "That's their curriculum vitae so far – it's your homework for today to study what they've done so far, and try to figure out what's the next target. We need to be able to leap one step ahead of them to be able to stop them."
Anyone could hear Shikamaru mutter "Troublesome", and even Neji paled slightly.
Kakashi went on as though the man hadn't even heard. "Our top priority is their leader. He's an important target we need to catch as soon as possible."
Naruto frowned a bit. There was something seriously wrong with the whole situation; with how agitated Kakashi and Iruka seemed to be, not to even mention the presence of two special agents… "This guy's gotta be something special if he gets you that worked up."
"He is." Kakashi's visible eye, which wasn't covered by the man's mask, revealed that there was something he didn't know yet before the man spoke. "We're suspecting that he has connections to Orochimaru. The leader may be our only chance to get a hold of him."
That immediately first silenced the room, then threw it into a chaos. Naruto felt his heart beat a lot faster than it should've.
They'd been trying to catch Orochimaru as long as he'd been in the FBI. Now, if this man – this thief – would be the key they needed to catch that bastard…
"Who?" His voice sounded tight, almost anxious. He went on once meeting Kakashi's gaze. "Who's the guy we're going after?"
Nothing in the world could've prepared him for the answer he got. "Sasuke Uchiha."
He could tell he fell utterly pale, because all strength disappeared from his muscles and he was almost sure his blood circulation stopped for a while.
Was this even real? After such a long time…
Iruka frowned when looking at him. "What's wrong? Do you know him?"
He blinked twice, still finding it hard to breathe. "I… guess I did, once."
/ The summer was hot in a tiny village called Konoha while two around ten-year-olds and best friends – Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha – played in the backyard of a orphanage.
"Now, I'm gonna show you a magic trick", Sasuke announced, taking three tiny, identical cups he'd pinched from the orphanage's kitchen, along with a single pea. "If you can guess under which cup this pea is, you'll get my ice cream today. If you're wrong, I get yours." Onyx eyes looked directly to his. "Are you in?"
The other boy immediately nodded, blue eyes shining with excitement. "Yeah! I'm so going to beat you, teme."
Sasuke made a strange sound. "We'll see about that, dobe." The boy's hands then started to move. "Now watch closely."
That he did, even leaned forward to see more clearly. In a matter of moments how fast Sasuke's hands worked mesmerized him. In the end, however, he was still sure he'd win the game.
As abruptly as the motions had started, Sasuke stopped. "Now pick one."
Grinning toothily, he placed his finger to one cup. "I know it's in there", he announced.
Sasuke nodded with an unreadable expression. "Okay. Let's see."
The raven took a hold of the cup, and moved it. He leaned even further forward – only to notice that there was nothing.
His eyes widened. "What?!"
Naruto, not believing that he could've possibly lost, flipped over every single one of the cups. The pea was nowhere to be found.
The blond immediately frowned and wrinkled his nose with distaste, folding his arms. "Hey, that was cheating! You tricked me!"
Sasuke scoffed with apparent amusement, and swatted his head rather lightly. "It's not cheating if someone's an idiot enough to buy it. Besides, I told you it's a magic trick." The boy then got up and started to head inside. "Now c'mon, before we'll be late."
It wasn't until then Naruto realized that he'd been insulted. Blue eyes flashed somewhat dangerously while he sprinted after the Uchiha. "Hey, get back here so I can kick your sorry ass!"
Like ever so often, the fight lasted for almost an hour, and ended with mild bruising and a lecture from the orphanage's leader, Tsunade.
That summer went just as usual for them. Back then they honestly thought nothing could ever separate them. And nothing did – before he arrived. /
As from when Naruto almost jumped on the files and Sasuke's group entered an airplane, the chase was on.
TBC, or does it?
1) Heh, a surname I made up for Orochimaru. (grins sheepishly)
2) Another made up surname, because I don't classify Subaku as such. Besides, there's this idea swelling inside my head that he's been adopted to America… or something. (grins like maniac) Author on a sugar rush here!
A/N: Soooo… (gulps) How was it – good, lukewarm, deletable?
As for now, thank you so much for reading! And PLEASE, send a review to let me know if you think this story should get a fighting chance or not.
Toodless for now, and until next time – with whatever story that may be!