Author's Notes: Yes, I'm a masochist. Still 75 one-shots short on 100 Situations and I'm starting a new story. But this plot bunny would not leave me alone. I blame the music!meme on LJ, Fall Out Boy and the "Gangsa Shit" fanart by Samurai Pet on deviantart.
Of course, much love and thanks to my betas, Dark Hope Assassin and The Sometimes Hatter. If this doesn't have you curling into a little ball at the state of the English language, it's mostly thanks to them.
We might've said our goodbyes just a little soon
Robbing lips and kissing banks under this moon
Whoa oh, we're so miserable and stunning
Whoa oh, love songs for the genuine and cunning
-"The Carpal Tunnel of Love", Fall Out Boy
Best Laid Schemes
Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke were screwed up.
Alone, they didn't make sense. Together, they were chaos. Completely opposite in a way that just clashed. The first constantly wore bright orange; the second was rarely seen in anything outside of black and white. The blond was loud and boisterous; the brunet was quiet and aloof. Naruto was always laughing and grinning; Sasuke's changes of expression could only be seen with a microscope.
But there was no doubt the two were now the greatest thieves in present-day.
"How much?" Naruto asked, twiddling the car's wheel. He had been asking every five minutes for the past hour.
Instead of huffing and hitting the other man as he had before, Sasuke smirked. "How much do you think?"
Naruto scrunched his forehead, lips pouting adorably. "Ten million?"
Sasuke's smirk widened. "More."
The smile that spread across Naruto's face was absolutely gleeful. He whooped, completely ignoring the car as he grabbed Sasuke's head, pressing their lips together.
Naruto met Sasuke when he was twelve. It proved a moment neither one would forget (although Sasuke desperately wished he could). For a school assignment, the two boys had been forced to pair up. The volcano they were supposed to be constructing never got anywhere, although Naruto made a good impression of one when he blew his top. Finally fed up with the "arrogant, antisocial bastard Uchiha," Naruto punched him.
Unfortunately for him, Sasuke had taken several self-defense classes and quickly reciprocated with an expert blow to his gut. The ensuing brawl required five classmates, two teachers and much swearing to break up. While in the Nurse's office, Naruto tried to shove a pencil up Sasuke's nostril and Sasuke tried to smother Naruto with a pillow.
By the time the final bell rolled around, both boys were bruised almost beyond recognition. Naruto had a split lip, which had quickly swollen to twice its normal size. Sasuke had an admirable black circle rising around one eye. Naruto could barely close one fist as he had managed to sprain his knuckles (something he had no idea how he managed to do) while Sasuke limped slightly, favoring his left leg after a bad fall twisted his ankle under him. Both were covered in numerous small cuts and were glaring bloody murder at each other.
They were suspended for two days and had detention every day for three months.
The day they returned to school, Naruto hounded Sasuke. The dark-haired boy did everything he could to avoid him, but the blond seemed to have a sixth sense for Sasuke's location.
A second fight ensued. This time, however, they stopped before intervention was necessary, mostly due to their still healing wounds. The two boys glared at each other for a long moment before walking away.
The next day, Naruto and Sasuke sat next to each other in the classroom. They had been inseparable since. Their relationship, however, was never much like a typical friendship. They disagreed on almost everything and fought every day. Sometimes, it escalated to scuffles, but they weren't above tearing at each other with words. Naruto constantly called Sasuke out on how frigid and arrogant he could be while Sasuke seemed to delight in questioning Naruto's intelligence, or lack thereof. Both knew exactly which buttons to push to cause maximum hurt—and which ones to soothe and comfort.
Neither Sasuke nor Naruto had a family. Both were wards of the state, Naruto orphaned when he was an infant, Sasuke when he was seven. Each retained only a couple of things to remind them of their family. The blond treasured a ratty toad wallet he'd affectionately named Gama-chan and a yellowing, almost faded piece of paper where his father had written a poem by Robert Frost. The raven-haired boy never let go of a worn sash with the Uchiha family symbol and wore a necklace that had belonged to his brother. They never spoke of their past—it hurt too much to even address with themselves—but they recognized the common loneliness in one another's eyes.
It came as no surprise to those who knew them when they began living together.
They were not an official couple by any means. Sasuke made a noncommittal grunt when asked and turned away while Naruto just laughed and scratched the back of his neck, a rising blush staining his face. Neither were they public with their affection, unless you knew what to search for: Naruto's small touches, the genuine twist to Sasuke's smile, how both boys were always keenly aware of the other's location.
Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke may not have been the stereotype for love or, hell, even a healthy relationship, but there was no question the one completed the other.
And it was beyond any doubt that they would do anything to protect the other. Therefore, when Sasuke finally hit an economic low after years of fighting against his brother in court to inherit his family's estate, Naruto was there to provide the perfect solution.
"Are you on drugs?"
"Hmm?" Naruto turned to look at the black-haired man beside him, chopsticks dangling from his mouth.
"You're doing something." Sasuke grabbed Naruto's chin, peering into his face as if looking for evidence of illegal substances.
Naruto wrenched his head away with a huff. "Honestly Sasuke. Like you've never considered doing something illegal before."
Well, he probably hadn't, Naruto mused. Sasuke could be quite the prissy goody-two-shoes when he wanted to be.
Sasuke, trying to decipher how far the other's insanity spread, cocked an eyebrow. "And how did you expect us to pull this off?"
Naruto rolled his eyes. "Your brother is some big shot guard, investigator, whatever, right? So you know all about the security and how to evade it. And a few of my friends owe me big-time so it's time to call those in."
"Assuming your idea makes any sort of sense," Sasuke massaged his temples, "what would we be stealing?"
"Just a couple million," Naruto answered brightly. "Just enough to cover our debts and have enough left over to move somewhere else."
Naruto knew Sasuke was interested. Otherwise, he would not be continuing the conversation. The youngest Uchiha dismissed and ignored everything he didn't care for. Naruto knew this from experience. Jerking away from his memories of when he and Sasuke first met—and the bruises, cuts and headaches that followed—he found Sasuke's dark stare pinning him to a wall.
"And how do you expect us to do that?"
"Ame First Bank." Naruto stuck his chopsticks in his ramen, inhaling the food. It was only years of knowing the blond that allowed Sasuke to notice the faint tightening of blue eyes and the narrowing of displeasure in the ever-present grin. "I've got a contact on the inside. We can hit the bank, empty the vault and get out. Easy."
"Naruto, you're an idiot."
Success! If the brunet was attacking his intelligence, that meant he did not disagree with Naruto's argument—or, at least, didn't care to disagree. The twenty-year-old in question laid his ramen aside, sauntering to his feet.
"But I'm your idiot." He smirked and stuck his tongue inside the other's mouth.
Sasuke rolled his eyes, but did not complain.
When he finally managed to extricate himself from Naruto's grasp, Sasuke ran a hand through his hair. "I haven't agreed to this yet," he warned, attempting to stop Naruto's paroxysms of glee before they began.
"Yet," Naruto repeated cheerfully. The brunet rolled his eyes again.
"First, I want to know who we're dealing with." Sasuke kept a restraining hand on Naruto who looked about to jump him. "The plan needs to be foolproof. I get final approval of anything. And no action is taken without my say-so."
Naruto nodded too fast.
"You're not paying attention to me at all," Sasuke observed.
"Yes, I am." Naruto's hands began tugging insistently at the other man's belt.
Sasuke gave him a withering glare. Had the blond not been immune to the Uchiha glare after years of constant exposure, his libido would have suffered a very premature death. As it was, Naruto only shrugged and tried to leer convincingly. Sasuke snorted and turned away.
"Oy!" Naruto yelled indignantly. "Don't turn your back on me!" Even if the view was nice. "I am talking to you! Uchiha!"
Desperate times call for the big guns and little Naruto was crying out desperately for attention. Naruto jumped Sasuke, prompting a curse from the brunet, both men crashing against a table and Sasuke genuinely attempting to throttle Naruto. The other man quickly channeled his lover's anger into other, less bodily threatening pastimes.
Naruto's "contact" proved to be an older man with a wild appearance. Sasuke was vaguely terrified of the man's shock of white hair and promptly kicked himself mentally at the thought.
"What the hell are you doing here, brat?" The man had bellowed the moment he saw the two men on his doorstep.
"Geez, when were you planning to open the door? Were you perving off again?" Naruto frowned at him, his eyes squinting.
The man rolled his eyes, a look of long-suffering gracing his face. He turned to Sasuke. "Who are you?"
"Uchiha Sasuke," Sasuke politely introduced himself. He had long ago learned to make up for Naruto's absolute lack of manners.
"Uchiha, huh?" The man looked him up and down.
"Stop checking him out, ero-sensei." Naruto crossed his arms before his chest. Sasuke choked. The man rounded on Naruto.
"Checking him out?" he spluttered. "Only you'd be interested in that."
Sasuke felt a vein beginning to pound at his temple.
"What?! You think Sasuke's not good enough for you or something? Sasuke, strip!"
"I am not stripping, dobe!" Sasuke hissed.
At the same time, the older man had thrown his hands in front of his face. "You idiot!" he yelled. "I meant that you're the only one here interested in males! I do not need to see that!"
"Yeah, yeah." Naruto waved his hand condescendingly. The man looked two seconds away from homicide. Sasuke considered helping him. "Anyway, ero-sensei, this is Sasuke. Sasuke, this is Jiraiya."
Jiraiya grinned. "This one's dad was my apprentice. Started teaching him too so he could take ov—"
"Yeah, yeah, enough with the chatting." Naruto waved his hand again. Sasuke noticed a brief tightening of the lines around his eyes and mouth. Jiraiya apparently noticed too because he cleared his throat.
"Well, what do you want? You haven't come to see me in years and I doubt you're here now because you missed me."
Naruto smirked. "Now, old man, would I honestly show up just because I wanted something from you?"
Sasuke snorted. Jiraiya nodded to him. "Seems your little boyfriend knows you well."
Sasuke immediately frowned while Naruto stuttered, face flaming.
Jiraiya seemed to find their reaction hysterical as he bent over in a fit of laughter. "Oh, aren't you two adorable?" He wiped a stray tear from his eyes. The two younger men scowled at him.
"If you've finished laughing at us," Naruto sniffed, "we need money."
"You're not getting a cent from me." Jiraiya reacted so fast Sasuke bet the man had already known what Naruto was going to ask.
The blond rolled his eyes. "I know; I know. You've spent it all on women and alcohol."
Jiraiya waved them toward a plain brown door. Inside, Sasuke observed the smooth, paneled walls, long stacks of books and large oval table. Every available surface was draped with papers and books. Most looked of a pornographic nature.
Sasuke raised an eyebrow. Naruto shrugged. "He's a famous author."
"Surely you've heard of the Come, Come series?" Jiraiya leered.
Sasuke had. Even he who refused to even touch anything less than a classic had heard of the infamous novels.
"An old friend was constantly reading them," he said, remembering his cousin's friend. He hadn't seen the eccentric man in years and distantly recalled him saying Sasuke could approach him if he ever needed help.
Jiraiya sat in one of the chairs strewn haphazardly around the table and motioned for the other two to sit. Once they were comfortable, Jiraiya trained his dark eyes on his alleged student.
"What is it you really want, Naruto?" he asked without preamble.
"Ame." Naruto leaned back on the chair's legs, one elbow propped over the back of the seat. "I need a way to break into Ame and empty their vault."
Jiraiya shook his head. "And what do you hope to achieve, brat? Minato's dead."
"I know that," Naruto responded sharply. "But we happen to need money and legal means will get us nowhere."
"Then rob a casino. Tsunade would help you."
"Ame," Naruto repeated and there was no denying the icy blue color his eyes adopted. His voice, however, remained obnoxiously cheerful. "You can get us the date of the next cash drop. And they always carry a large bulk of money. We can get all we need in one hit."
Jiraiya glanced at Sasuke and sighed. For his part, Sasuke felt out of the loop. Why the fixation with Ame? Who was Minato? What had this old man taught Naruto? Or had started to, Sasuke corrected himself.
As he was debating, Jiraiya had leaned back, observing the ceiling. "All right," he said, lowering his gaze to meet Naruto's. "Provided I get a fifteen percent cut."
"Five," Naruto haggled.
"Oh, come on, ero-sensei, for your favorite student? Please? Five?"
"Five percent's going to be big enough."
"Then fifteen will be even better."
"Ten," Sasuke interrupted. "And a promise that we were never here."
Jiraiya smirked. "Kid, I've got an airtight alibi. But fine, I'll take it. I'll be in touch. Now get out of my house."
Naruto stilled at Sasuke's question. He tried to shrug it off, laughing nervously. "Why do you ask?"
Sasuke peeled back the covers, climbing into their bed. "Jiraiya mentioned him. Said he died."
Biting his lower lip, Naruto clambered in after him. "So?"
"So who is he?" Sasuke controlled the urge to roll his eyes.
"Someone who died."
Sasuke froze, turning to examine the man beside him. He had never heard that tone from Naruto before. Tired, with the heat of pain and the sharpness of anger.
Naruto turned to his side, away from Sasuke. If the brunet was shocked that Naruto hadn't tried to jump him, his next words floored him. "Good night, Sasuke."
It took Sasuke hours to fall asleep. Despite Naruto's silence, he knew the blond couldn't reconcile slumber either.
Naruto kept bouncing in his seat. Sasuke was about to pull over and force him out of the car to drive over him. Then put the car in reverse.
"Will you relax?" hissed Sasuke.
"Oh come on, bastard, you can't say you're not excited to meet our teammates." If Naruto's grin were any bigger it would be blinding.
Jiraiya had contacted them the night before. He had found two people to help them and had given them an address where they could meet and speak privately.
The address proved to be a strip club.
Sasuke really wanted to kill the old man.
The establishment was sufficiently big to avoid suspicion, but small enough that it passed almost unperceived. Pulling up to the front, Sasuke was greeted by a valet service. Naruto almost had to rip the keys from his hand.
"Come on, bastard." Grabbing his hand, Naruto pulled a reluctant Sasuke into the building. The Uchiha was really starting to regret ever listening to his lover, particularly when he saw Naruto's jaw hit the floor in response to the dancers.
"What are you doing?" Sasuke's tone was cold enough to freeze hell.
Naruto waved a hand at him. "Shh! You're ruining this for me."
It was a satisfied Sasuke that watched a respectable bump rise on Naruto's head. Before he could start yelling, Sasuke tugged at his arm. "Find Jiraiya and let's get out of here."
Rolling his eyes, the blond sighed. "Fine. Let's go."
The duo weaved through the pulsing crowd. Sasuke found himself on the receiving end of several gropes. The flashing lights seemed to make his patented glare less effective. He was soon pressing closer to Naruto's back, trying to avoid the braver—and drunker—in the crowd. Naruto flashed him a smile over his shoulder and he tightened his hand around Sasuke's. They headed to a staircase running parallel to the wall. A bouncer lounged at the bottom.
"We're here to meet Jiraiya!" Naruto yelled over the din. "Uzumaki and Uchiha!"
The bouncer nodded and let them through. At the top, they wound around the railway, avoiding couples and groups until they finally reached the end. Half-hidden in one of the private booths, Jiraiya was laughing. On the table in front of him were several bottles of alcohol and two scantily clad women flanked him. Sitting opposite to him was a woman with bright pink hair who looked fairly disgusted with Jiraiya's actions and a gray-haired man whose face was buried in a novel Sasuke recognized as the first in the Come, Come series.
"Ah, Naruto!" Jiraiya grinned. "Perfect timing!" The woman's green eyes ran over the two men, lingering a little on Sasuke. The man beside her passed a page, never lowering the novel from his face.
"I'm sorry, babes, but can you give us a minute?" The two women pouted at Jiraiya's words, but shuffled away. Jiraiya stared longingly after them for a moment before Naruto sat beside him and bopped him on the head. Sasuke followed and was surprised to find the raucous sound of the music dimmed somewhat. It seemed the booth had noise-cancelling properties. They could host a private conversation without needing to worry about eavesdroppers.
"How many times have you read that already?" Naruto complained to the man with the book. The novel shifted.
"Maa, Naruto, you're supposed to greet an old guardian first." The book came down, revealing a single eye crinkled by a smile hidden behind a mask. An eye patch rested over his left eye.
"Kakashi?" Sasuke couldn't control his surprise.
"You two know each other?" Naruto's head whipped from Sasuke to Kakashi and back.
"He's the friend I was telling you about." Sasuke still couldn't believe his eyes. "What are you doing here?"
"Apparently, I am here to plan a robbery of several million," Kakashi replied simply, opening the book again.
"That's one less introduction!" Jiraiya interrupted cheerfully. He turned to the woman. "Sakura, this is Naruto and Sasuke. Boys, Sakura."
"You're the ones who planned this?" Sakura observed them both carefully.
"Yes, ma'am." Naruto winked. "Has anyone ever told you, you have amazing green eyes?"
"Flattery will get you nowhere," Sakura answered drily. Sasuke kicked Naruto's ankle.
"Now, let's get to business so I can get back to research." Jiraiya downed a drink as Naruto flinched and tried to hit Sasuke. "Sakura and Kakashi have already agreed to work for ten percent cuts each."
"And not a cent less," Kakashi cut in swiftly, still buried in the orange book. Naruto huffed.
"Kakashi here will be knocking out the bank's security so you two aren't fried when you approach the vault," Jiraiya continued. "Our own Sakura-chan will be keeping the clients and workers under control."
"One girl?" said Naruto unthinkingly. Immediately, he found himself staring down the barrel of a sleek gun held unflinchingly in Sakura's hands.
"I can shoot a card through its heart at 100 ft and put ten more holes in it before it touches the ground. I'm also trained in explosives and several other firearms. Don't tempt me."
As fast as the gun appeared, it disappeared from her hands. Sakura leaned lazily against the seat.
"Beautiful and dangerous." Naruto nodded. "I think I'm in love."
Sasuke's kick aimed higher. Naruto yelped.
Ignoring the fighting lovers, Jiraiya pushed the drinks aside, laying a portfolio in the newly open space. "These are the bank's blueprints. They're as recent as I could get them."
"How old?" Sasuke drummed his fingertips against the table.
"The next drop-off is in two weeks, on Thursday."
"So we'll hit Friday," said Sakura.
"Nice weekend present." Kakashi idly turned another page.
"There's also the contact information for an acquaintance of mine working in there." Jiraiya pulled out the correct sheet of paper. "He'll be helping you behind the scenes. Anything else is too troublesome, or so he says."
"So he'll leave the back door open for us," Sasuke translated, scanning the telephone and address.
"Is he getting a cut too?" Naruto frowned.
"Three percent. Anything more is 'too troublesome'," Jiraiya mimicked. "Now, I'm guessing you four need to learn a little about each other and plan this out. I'll leave you to that. So get out and ask those two lovely girls to come back."
Rolling her eyes, Sakura pushed away from the seat. Kakashi still refused to pocket the book, but it didn't seem to impair his ability to avoid any and all obstacles in his way. Naruto was practically skipping after Sasuke. While climbing down the stairs, the blond momentarily pressed against the brunet, his hand brushing Sasuke's. Sasuke understood it to be an apology and lightly pressed his fingertips in acceptance. Naruto smiled dazzlingly and took the lead, running after Sakura and Kakashi.