A/N: I'm back, I think. I've been pretty much a ghost for months now, but drama does not reside only in fanfiction- who knew? Things have evened out a bit and I am trying to shake the cobwebs off. I have started a bunch of projects that will hopefully appear soon. Since the affirmations were overwhelming, Role Play (the series) will be making a trial run, how far it goes will depend on the reception. There are also a few non-humor fics in the horizon, some humor and maybe even one that's NOT AU! (Shocking, I know). We'll see how it all goes.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. If you say that I do, I'll sue!

For Aikage- the true winner

You'd have thought smoking was a crime that should be punishable by crucifixion. Sasuke sighed with relief as he stepped out onto the roof of his brother's apartment complex. How he had gotten suckered in to even attending this party, he'd never know; but to discover that every single person there was a tenacious non-smoker was completely ludicrous. He had made the mistake of politely offering a cigarette to Itachi's secretary when he had taken out his pack. He might as well have given her a dollar and told her to strip- the reaction that bit of kindness got him. Sasuke selected one of the darkest areas on the roof, near the ledge and started reaching for his much needed nicotine fix.

Before he had the chance to, he was derailed by the exit door crashing open. A tall blond strode out muttering to himself, using language which must have been in direct contravention of the strict moral code this building apparently upheld. It seemed all guilty parties were forced to flee to the roof sooner or later.

Sasuke watched as the man walked purposefully across the roof, not stopping until he came to the ledge. Then, to Sasuke's intense surprise, climbed onto the it and stood teetering on the edge of the building, over a hundred feet in the air. The man didn't jump just yet, opting instead to stare blankly down at the activity below. This was ridiculous; all he wanted was to have a smoke and people were ready to fling themselves off tall buildings. In an uncharacteristic moth-to-suicidal-flame moment, Sasuke emerged from the cover of the shadows.

The man was visibly startled by Sasuke's sudden appearance. Not enough to topple over the edge, however, and save Sasuke from what would be undoubtedly an unsuccessful attempt to convince him to choose life. Sasuke knew his strengths, and pointing out the bright side of things was not one of them.

"Who are you? what are you doing here?"

"I have come to collect your soul after you die." Sasuke watched blue eyes widen to almost comedic proportions.


"No, not really- are you serious?" Now it all made sense. Anyone this stupid was eventually bound to be suicidal.

The young man was obviously annoyed and offended that his gullibility issues had been so quickly discovered.

"Well, you were pretty convincing awhile ago, and you do look like death."

With black trench coat, clothes, hair and eyes, all in stark contrast to pale skin, Sasuke knew he wasn't the poster boy for California surfing. Still, comments like that were liable to get you pushed off a building before you got the opportunity to jump under your own convictions.

"I'm afraid we can't all look like we dropped out of Clown College."

Instead of looking offended in turn, the blond looked mildly amused; which begged the question, 'do mildly amused people kill themselves?'

"Why are you up here then?"

In answer to the query, Sasuke took out his pack of cigarettes and tapped the bottom. Taking one of the emerging cigarettes between his lips, he went in search of his lighter.

"You know, those things are bad for you." Came the voice of reason standing on the ledge of a ten-story building.

"Yeah, so is taking a nosedive off an apartment complex. I'm betting that one kills you quicker."

"-And second-hand smoke is dangerous to the people around you." Suicidal voice of reason didn't miss a beat in continuing his sermon.

"Not as dangerous as being squashed by a freefalling blond moron, I bet. Though I am sure you were going to do the responsible thing and yell 'look out below!' as you plunged."

Sasuke wasn't sure, but he felt instinctively that this rescue mission wasn't going as well as it could. The blond looked at him blankly for a few moments before speaking.

"I am not some suicidal nut, you know."

"No? You do a hell of an impression, I'll give you that."

Sasuke's belief in the 'dumb blond' stereotype was being strongly affirmed. Also, it appeared that the better looking the blond, the dumber they turned out- a brilliant expansion of theory. He couldn't help but wonder if it would be a blessing or a crime if the beach boy on the edge was removed from the genetic pool. Sasuke's scientific musings were interuppted by the making of a rather pertinent point.

"Not to be offensive or anything, but if you are trying to talk me down, you are pretty sucky at it."

"While you may be correct in assuming that I am trying to talk you down, who knows which side I want you to step off?"

The blond looked totally unconvinced. "No, I just think you are really bad at this."

"Look, what do you want from me? I came here for a smoke, not an intervention."

"Ah, I am sorry to put you on the spot."

He may have been imagining it, but Sasuke thought he detected a whiff of sarcasm. There was an awkward silence for a while as he contemplated his next move in this tricky situation. Sasuke felt he had done all he could do to help this troubled young man.

"What do you mean 'you've done all you can do?' You've been talking to me for five minutes and all you've done is insult me."

The blond wouldn't know it, but that was better than Sasuke did with most people.

"How'd you know what I was thinking?" Sasuke was surprised; he could never have thought perception would have been in this guy's skill set.

"'Thinking'? You were saying it out loud, you unbelievable bastard!"

"Oh…well… right. So are you jumping or what?"


"I'm not trying to rush you or anything, but you're kind of a buzz-kill and I didn't have a buzz in the first place. Plus, I really hate indecisive people."

Blondie was stupefied. "I'm sorry if things aren't moving at your desired pace. Have I told you yet just how bad you are at this?"

"You might have mentioned it. Is it because you can't perform under pressure? I've had a couple boyfriends like that."

Correction- now the blond was stupefied.

"Or is it because you have an audience and that freaks you out?" Sasuke continued to muse. "I've had a few boyfriends like that too."

"Um, do you make it a habit of going around telling people on ledges how gay and promiscuous you are?"

"I am not promiscuous," Sasuke defended smoothly. "I'm just popular. And as a matter of fact, I do not go about telling people I'm gay, but I figure my secret is safe with you. By the time you land, I have the feeling you won't be in a tale-telling mood."

"Wow…just wow" The man seemed bemused as he once again contemplated the world below.

"At the risk of being inquisitive, I have to ask. Just what brings you up here tonight?"

"I accidentally got locked out of my apartment."

Sasuke blinked. "Not to make light of your problems, but don't you think this maybe a bit of an overreaction?"

"Not really, I do this all the time. My apartment's directly below, so I'm just going to climb down the fire escape and go in through my open window."

Sasuke deadpanned. He took a few steps backward and looked around the blond, revealing the fire escape that had been hitherto, obscured by the idiot. Sasuke could not believe this. Here he had been, pouring out heart and soul to the total moron, trying to convince him there was goodness and beauty and light in the world, and all this time, the ass was just trying to break into his own apartment. Sasuke wasn't aware of how his face looked just then, but apparently his expression was such, it was enough to bring out a wide grin from the newest bane of his existence.

"What are you looking so pissed off about? I told you I wasn't suicidal."

The look Sasuke gave him then, would have made a more sensitive soul want to jump, if for no other reason but to escape. This guy, on the other hand, did not seem to be the sensitive type.

"My name's Naruto by the way."

"Go take a flying leap." Sasuke stated as he once again went in search of his original goals, to have a cigarette and avoid the strong temptation to push grinning idiots to their doom.

"Uzumaki Naruto"

Sasuke couldn't care less if he was the tenth reincarnation of the winged god, Mercury. He finally located his lighter, but a hand closing over his prevented him from lighting up. Warmth spread through Sasuke's body at lightning speed as Naruto's sudden proximity appeared to immobilize him. Everything about the night seemed to be throwing him for a loop. He still didn't move as his pack of cigarettes was taken from him.

"I figured since you tried to save my life, I ought to try and save yours..."

Sasuke could only give a soft snort as he tried to reorganise his vapourised thoughts.

"You know… Sasuke" Naruto spoke, reading the name off the engraved lighter. "-ignoring health and taking it from a completely aesthetic point of view, it's still not the most attractive thing in the world. Besides, the smoke clings to your clothes and I hear that making out with a smoker is like licking an ashtray. Any of your performance-challenged boyfriends ever complained about that?"

Sasuke had no response for any of that. He has far too busy enjoying the electric shocks radiating from the spot where Naruto's hand still enclosed his. The blond smiled again, and Sasuke could easily imagine that smile becoming more addictive than nicotine itself. He was finally released from the spell when Naruto pulled away and headed towards the fire escape, taking his full pack of menthols with him. He was about to launch a strong protest when Naruto turned to face him as he descended down the metal rungs.

"I tend to get locked out of my apartment a lot."

"I'm inclined to believe you."

"Plus I hear these things can be pretty hard to quit, so I am guessing you might need a support system, right?"

"Right…" Sasuke echoed- interested beyond belief to see where this was going.

"So what do you say, same time same place? I do my best to help you with your cravings and you give me tips on how not to get locked out of my own home?"

"I'm not fond of hopeless cases." But he certainly loved a challenge. Naruto appeared certain that he would be seeing his newest friend again and at the appointed time.

"I'll see you next week, Uchiha Sasuke."

Sasuke watched as the last golden spike disappeared from view, taking his cigarettes him. He contemplated buying some more on his way home, but decided against it- he had been thinking of quitting anyway.

Besides, who wants to taste like an ashtray?

The End

A/N: Hope you enjoyed. Look out for my upcoming stuff!