title: tequila three
pairing: SasuSaku. NaruIno.
summary: AU. SasuSaku. NaruIno. Sasuke, Sakura and a special sort of body shop. "I swear—this isn't what it looks like."
prompts: my own instability
notes: For Pinaface, who is celebrating her birthday today. I hope it's a good one, my daughter dear.
Guys, I honestly do not even know. I have long stopped questioning the things that pop into my tiny, tiny mind. I just write.
warnings: Um. There are mentions of indelicate things, like, say—sex toys. Also, obvious AU, and some OOC. Ha.
disclaimer: Naruto isn't mine. The Body Shop mentioned here is purely of my own creation and has no relation to the cosmetic shop of the same name.
"You can't make me do this," Sasuke said mutinously, for what seemed to be the tenth time.
At least, Naruto thought, sighing at his best friend's tendency towards dramatics.
"Of course not, Sasuke-teme," he said nonetheless. "But you did accept the bet you know—and you lost." He paused, to relish his victory. "Fair and square. It's only fair that you take the consequences."
"That was before you told me the terms, dead last," Sasuke said simply, leaning back in Naruto's electric yellow recliner.
"Terms, perms," Naruto said, nonchalantly. "The point is, you lost, and—"
It was at this moment that Ino walked into the room, a glass of iced tea in one hand, and a magazine in the other. She kissed Naruto without looking—so that it landed closer to his eye, rather than his cheek—and sat next to him on the loveseat.
"Did I hear you say something about perms?"
"Kind of—we were talking terms, babe"—and here, Naruto ignored Sasuke's mock-gagging at the nickname he gave Ino—"and Sasu-chan's just a little bit pissy. You know—since he lost, and everything."
Ino arched a brow, but didn't look up from her magazine. "Ah," she said absently, "is that why he's pouting?"
"I'm not pouting," came the automatic reply.
"No, you are," Naruto said helpfully. "Or well, you were when Ino said you were—now you're sulking."
"You shouldn't have made that bet with Naruto, Sasuke. You know he can handle his alcohol better. Why you thought you'd be able to finish half a bottle of Hennessey before he did is beyond me—as is why you even bought into his silly little challenge."
"Hey," Naruto said. (Petulantly, in Sasuke's humble opinion.)
"Call it a momentary lapse in judgment," Sasuke said dryly.
"You're lucky you got to the bathroom before any of that noxious vomit hit my new carpets—I would have cheerfully skewered you with my new travel-sized eyeliner pencils." Ino flipped the page, turning to an article on crocodile farms as they related toHermès.
"Babe, eyeliner's not all that sharp," Naruto offered from the sidelines.
Ino smiled patiently, by now used to Naruto's tendency to speak without thinking.
"And neither are you, darling—that was the whole point."
Sasuke waited for the insult to sink in—it seemed even Ino was wont to taking advantage of Naruto's less than capable mental faculties when it suited her—and made himself comfortable in his seat.
"Hey," Naruto said, just as he was closing his eyes. "You're supposed to be on my side, here!"
"I can't be on anyone's side until you tell me what you want Sasuke to do, cupcake."
Naruto pouted at the diminutive nickname.
"You mean beefcake, don't you?"
Ino pursed her lips in thought.
"No, I'm fairly sure I meant cupcake," she said sweetly.
Sasuke resisted the urge to roll his eyes as Naruto's chest puffed out in indignation. He knew what this exchange meant. In a few hours—hopefully, long after he was gone—they'd be going at it like rabbits in heat. Naruto and his blonde warden, Sasuke thought dryly, fought for the sole purpose of making up again.
"So," Ino continued, "what does he want you to do, Sasuke?"
"Humiliate myself," Sasuke said, giving into the urge to rub his temples.
"Yes, yes I know," Ino said, without the slightest hint of sympathy. "But how?"
"I'm having him do you a favor, babe—"
"OK, Naruto," Ino interrupted. "Once was cute. Twice—not so much. Enough with the babe. Do I look like a wee little piggy to you? And Uchiha Sasuke, if you want to walk and not limp out of this condo today, you will bite your tongue."
"It would have been too easy."
"Hey, don't insult her," Naruto said, punctuating his statement by pounding his clenched fist onto the coffeetable. At the act, Ino only barely managed to keep a straight face. She knew that Naruto's reaction was far more than a desire to defend her honor; he'd been itching to throw down with Sasuke since the results of their bet had been official—yet another opportunity to win bragging rights.
Ino turned her blue eyes onto her boyfriend.
"So what are you making him do?"
Naruto grinned widely.
"I'm making him return LuLu."
At the name, Ino's eyes grew wide.
"You're what," she shrieked. Without warning, she stood, upsetting the glass of iced tea and causing it to spill across the coffee table, where it soaked her abandoned magazine. At the sight, she grew only angrier.
As he heard the dulcet tones of Ino whaling on her defenseless boyfriend, Sasuke closed his eyes and began to drift off.
He'd always loved the sound of discipline in stereo.
Later, when Naruto had been given his icepack, and Ino's blush had diminished to controllable levels, Sasuke was able to pose his own question.
"What the hell is a LuLu?"
At his question, Ino's eyes narrowed in what Sasuke could only assume was annoyance. "Not that it's any of your business, but, as Naruto was so insistent that I tell you—and I don't know why, as her existence only means he's not doing it right—LuLu," Ino emphasized, "is my pink vibrator."
Sasuke felt the sudden urge to laugh, and only successfully resisted due to his many years of repressing the sound. Normally he would have been disgusted by what he referred to as "TMI-itis," but this came at the cost of Naruto's pride. For that reason, and that reason alone, he would deal with it.
From his seat next to Ino, Naruto glared balefully at him, recognizing the look in his best friend's eyes.
"I see," Sasuke said tightly, giving Naruto a faux-sympathetic look.
In response, Naruto snarled.
Ino, correctly identifying the dynamic between the two, snorted. For a moment, Sasuke considered utilizing the barb he'd prepared earlier when Ino had asked her rhetorical question, but at the last second, desisted.
He rather liked his jaw where it was.
"You two," she drawled, "are impossible. Sasuke, get that smart-ass look out of your eyes. I used it pre-Naruto—"
"Not that I asked," Sasuke said, hoping he didn't look as nauseous as he felt.
"Anyway, I'd asked Naruto to return it, because it's not big enough"—here she ignored the sound of Sasuke choking on air—"but he's made up excuses every time. I think he wants me to use it while—"
"I'm going to go return LuLu now," Sasuke said, standing up. Anything, he thought, to get away from the explanation. "If you could just…wrap it up—in ten different layers of anti-bacterial container—I'll be on my way."
As Ino went off to do his bidding, Naruto, who'd been scribbling on the back of Ino's magazine with a Sharpie marker gestured for Sasuke to read what he'd written.
"You want me to tell the shopkeeper why I'm returning it," he intoned flatly. "And to pretend that it's mine."
Naruto nodded his head gleefully. Sasuke rather hoped it would fall off.
"And record it," Ino said, as she came out of the kitchen with an oblong package, topped, oddly enough, with a silken navy-blue bow. She pushed him to the door, just as she foisted both package and, Sasuke noted in disbelief, a tape recorder into his lightly clenched fist. "And you'd better bring it—the recording and the recorder—back intact. If you don't, I'll have Naruto send your mother those pictures from our college graduation—remember, Sasuke? When you tripped over that one conveniently placed stepstool and fell right into Sai's lusciously pale arms? So lucky he was there to catch you. That was definitely a kiss for the ages, even if it was tragically cut short—"
"By my as yet unyielding disgust," Sasuke said menacingly.
Ino seemed unperturbed. "I think I remember Naruto telling me that Mikoto-san only just—"
"I'm leaving," Sasuke said tonelessly, as he shut the door behind him, cutting off Ino's explanation.
Moments after his footsteps had faded away, Ino turned to Naruto and smiled.
"I like to think we did a good deed today, don't you?"
Naruto snorted in reply, and considered the set-up.
"Yeah, maybe, " he said grudgingly.
"A good deed for that bastard, anyway. And, did you really have to hit me so hard? It's not like you were actually angry."
Ino shook her head, and reclaimed her not mostly-dried magazine.
"Oh shut up, it didn't actually hurt. I even put the note you wrote for him into the package like you asked," she said, flipping back to the crocodile article.
"You're sure Sakura-chan would be open to this though? We didn't give her any warning at all."
"She's always told me she regretted that not going anywhere," Ino said. "Maybe this'll give her a leg-up." At the look of pervy glee on Naruto's face, she scowled.
Sakura was busying herself by blowing another puff of breath onto her bangs when the day's twentieth potential customer—and twelfth potential pervert—walked into the store, eyes shifting left to right every so often in a way that had long grown familiar to her. Not everyone was comfortable in an erotic body shop after all.
The man was tall, lean-hipped and broad-shouldered, with fabulously pale skin, and dark mussed hair. Not bad, she thought, wetting her lips. Oddly enough, he seemed familiar—that hairstyle was rather distinctive, what with those spiked tufts at the back, and those bangs on either side of his face…
Too bad he was probably insane.
"You do realize you're wearing a black trench coat in July, right," she asked conversationally. "And a green wool scarf, a purple fedora and…sunglasses? At least you've got that part right."
The man cleared his throat, and looked around furtively, presumably, Sakura thought, to make sure no one else was around—or, maybe to make sure he'd lost the guys in the white coats. She wasn't quite sure yet.
"I didn't want to attract any attention."
She hoped the blank look she'd pasted on her face was enough of an answer for that.
"I," she began under her breath, "am not going to touch that. Too easy." Aloud, she said, "Can I help you with something?"
Sasuke cursed inwardly at the sound of her voice. It figured that troublesome Ino would have to have bought her…entertainment from the only store in the area where their old classmate, Haruno Sakura worked—the same Haruno Sakura he'd started something with just before graduation, and had never quite gotten around to finishing. Wonders, he thought, would never cease. He hadn't figured her for the type to work in a place like this. It figured whatever deity was currently siding with Naruto wouldn't permit him to get through this little escapade with what was left of his dignity. The way things were going for him now, those remnants were going to die right along with his anonymity.
"I swear, this isn't what it looks like," Sasuke said, as he slid the bulky, hastily re-wrapped package closer to her side of the register with one hand. With the other, he reluctantly made sure that the recorder hidden in the depths of his coat pocket was turned on. He made an effort to sink into the folds of his scarf, ignoring the heat that suffused the back of his neck.
"Again," he began lowly, his cheeks tinged with the barest hint of red, as she unwrapped the package, taking care not to disassemble the bow, or tear the wrapper. After she'd set that aside, Sakura surveyed the product. At her incredulous look, Sasuke turned away. "This is really not what it looks like."
"Really," Sakura replied, her tone more than tinged with disbelief. It was, he decided, not nearly as shrill as he remembered it to be. "Because it looks like you're returning a used vibrator. Didn't do it for you, huh? Was the dial stuck? Or maybe it was it the aesthetics—the pink ridges? The sparklies? BigLove: Version Pink is one of our biggest hits—we sell out every month."
Sasuke weighed his mother's reaction to the picture of him pressed lip-to-lip with Sai, against the humiliation of admitting that a garishly-pink sex toy—which didn't even belong to him—wasn't big enough to suit his…fancy.
He was, Sasuke further decided, never making another bet with dead last Naruto ever again.
As she waited for Mystery Man to answer, Sakura pulled out a standard return form to put in the day's file. She filled in the product name, number, make and model, and tapped her pencil against the lines for Reason.
"It's not big enough."
The lead snapped.
She raised her head slowly, and stared him down. After a few moments, Sasuke began to feel uncomfortable and averted his own (still blessedly covered) eyes.
"We don't accept used products for return," she said, her nose wrinkling in barely veiled distaste. "It's unsanitary, to say the least. More than that, it's on our return policy. Do you have your copy of the receipt?" At his—ostensibly—blank look (she couldn't tell through the sunglasses), Sakura's frown only grew.
"You don't have your receipt," she deadpanned.
"I didn't think I'd need one," he responded tonelessly.
In front of him, Sakura was gaping like a fish.
"You didn't think you'd—you're trying to return a used vibrator! The hell you wouldn't need a receipt!" Almost as soon as her outburst was over, Sakura clapped a hand over her mouth, as though she couldn't quite believe that she'd said what she was (presumably) thinking, aloud.
"I apologize," she said, still flustered. "But as I've said, I can't allow you to return this item."
Sasuke eyed the pink flush on her face with rising interest. He'd never been able to turn away when someone told him he couldn't do something—a predilection, which had, admittedly, gotten him into this mess in the first place. And hell, he'd come this far—why not get what he came for?
He took off his sunglasses, and only barely caught her mouthing his name in recognition. It seemed she hadn't quite gotten around to forgetting him.
"Sasuke-kun…" The way she breathed his name aloud—light and gasping—almost made him smile.
"Sakura," he acknowledged. He hadn't forgotten her either.
She flushed red, and averted her eyes, determined to stare at anything except him.
"I, uh, didn't expect to see you here," she said, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. Her eyes were focused on the stack of DVDs behind him, arranged neatly next to the novelty items. Then, as though she remembered the matter at hand, her eyes hardened and she turned to him.
"Be that as it may," she went on, "you still can't have the refund on your…toy." She turned back to the return sheet she'd started to fill out, and tore it to pieces in front of him.
This time, Sasuke did smirk. "What happened to 'the customer is always right'?"
"That only works," Sakura said sweetly, as she swept the pieces aside, "if the customer in question is mentally fit. You're walking around with a scarf in the middle July, and that electric green fedora is definitely channeling another era, if not another planet."
"So you're branding me insane based on what—my fashion choices? Or is there something else that's bothering you?" Sasuke was not too offended—the fedora was dead-last Naruto's and the scarf as a means of disguise, he saw now, had been entirely unnecessary. Not when it was Sakura.
Besides, the fedora had hurt his eyes when he first saw it, and the scarf had been itchy. It was something of a relief to take them off. He unbuttoned the trench coat, and exhaled in quiet relief as the air from the cooling system began to do its work. He kept his ear half-open through the monologue Sakura had started on as a response to his earlier question, picking out bits and pieces at random.
"…honestly, so campy…hot-pink…return-policy….perfectly acceptable, I'm surprised that you were surprised…common sense…And seriously, you could have at least had the decency to be gay in high school—maybe then I wouldn't have spent four years mooning over you like a love-sick cow."
"Were you love-sick, Sakura? Over me?" Sasuke leaned against the counter, the smirk playing on his lips only growing more apparent when she flushed at his proximity.
"That's not the point," she said hotly. "Didn't you listen to anything I just said?"
"Only the parts that interested me," he answered truthfully.
Sakura's lips pursed. Sasuke, not wanting to be indiscreet about his staring, determinedly fixed his eyes at a point somewhere over her shoulder, and away from her pouting mouth.
"Well," she said stridently, "I'll repeat for your benefit. As the manager of this establishment, I feel it necessary to tell you that according to the terms and services of Body Shop—which you implicitly agree to when you make your purchase—a customer is ineligible to both receive a refund, and or, negotiate an exchange on used merchandise, such as your own used…"
At her pause, Sasuke did look at her.
"My used what Sakura?"
She looked at him, her eyebrows drawn together, her eyes flashing irritation, and her full lips curved in a small frown.
"You know very well what I'm referring to—ack!" The last part of her sentence turned into little more than a high-pitched squeak, as Sasuke suddenly grabbed her wrists, and pulled her closer to his side of the glass register until they were all but nose-to-nose.
"What," she asked softly, "do you think you're doing, Sasuke-kun?" Her bright green eyes were wide with surprise but she wasn't pulling away. "This is totally inappropriate, and I'm hardly going to change my mind because you're so…you're so...you. I mean, seriously, it's just—"
"Sakura," he said, his breaths falling on the seams of her lips.
"Yes," she said hesitantly.
"Shut up," he said, as he allowed their lips to touch.
Forgotten amongst the remnants of the wrapper that surrounded LuLu, was an abandoned note:
Happy Belated, you uptight bastard!
Ino told me to pack a condom in there too, but I figured
why bother, when you're going to a—well, you know. You'll get to, uh,
choose your poison, or something.
Anyway, fun with Sakura-chan—don't break too many handcuffs, 'kay?
- Naru-baby, and Ino!
- Naru-baby, and Ino!
P.S. When you get back, you can tell us who kisses better—that Sai-bastard, or Sakura-chan!
INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW.
I hope it made you smile—if only just a little—in the way you wanted to today. :)