No warnings (except for some cursing). Sweetness. AU university roleplay. Just a fun little piece we did where we were bound by certain rules throughout most of it.

1. Alternate turns, back and forth.

2. Only one line of dialog and/or one line of narration. Any order/length, don't have to include both.

Occasionally, we broke a rule if necessary (rare), and we wrote a few paragraphs in there when called for (like the beginning and ending turns). Mostly, however, we stuck by the rules, and it challenged us to choose our words carefully to convey the most with the least. Hope you enjoy it.

Story posted with permission from both authors.

Vulpes Vulpes, Vulpecula

naruto x sasuke

roleplayed by moiyahatake and vernajast

Konoha University was situated at the heart of Fire Country. It was far enough away from the metropolitan areas of Japan that life didn't seem to move at the speed of light (that's 299,792,458 meters per second...), but the town surrounding the renowned educational hub was beloved by the many young men and women who passed through it each year. Some were drawn to the steaming baths (average 97.7 - 99.5°F...that's something like 37°C...yes...). Others enjoyed the lack of light pollution that lent itself to stargazing (39,900,000,000,000...a lot of fucking zeroes...kilometers to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri). Uchiha Sasuke ended up here because he refused to let his parents ship him off to some "Ivy League" school in America just because they could. He had aspirations, sure...he aspired to find a nice, quiet observatory somewhere and watch the stars through a nice, big telescope. He didn't think it was too much to ask that he be allowed to do so through use of his brain and skill rather than the prestige of his family name and an education that cost one third of his inheritance and risked death by alcohol poisoning. Not to mention...he was scared of flying. (cruising altitude of 520 miles per hour at 37,000 feet...long fall...)

With a sigh and a dramatic roll of his eyes, Sasuke turned his gaze back to the book resting on the table and away from the sunset out the window. He'd been literally staring off into space.

Humming the tune to Gilligan's Island, Naruto stomped up the stairs, blue eyes scanning a slightly wrinkled list of books. "The Professor and Mary Ann..."

The dark haired student on the library's sixth floor winced with every...fucking...annoying...stomp on the stairs, and he found himself closing his eyes, grinding his teeth, and praying to whatever benevolent powers that might be for the loud person to continue up to the next floor. Who takes the stairs this far up, anyway?

"Here on Gilligan's Isle!" As soon as he was on the landing, Naruto immediately switched to whistling the tune from the very beginning and began rummaging through the many pockets of his backpack for the only pen he owned.

Realizing the sound was only getting louder and closer, Sasuke hunched his back and opened his eyes, not looking up, intent on focusing on his research and hoping that maybe...maybe...he'd be alone again soon.

Naruto stopped in his tracks, dropping his bag on the nearest table, unloading the contents in search for his missing pen and cursing under his breath.

...the fuck? It was obvious to Sasuke that this guy was going to be a pain in the ass, starting with the mumbling, which was nearly as annoying as the off-key singing had been.

"Aha! I found you!" Naruto declared and quickly crammed everything back into his bag, pen held between his teeth.

"What?" Sasuke muttered under his breath, no longer able to focus on the words of his astronomy text, but pretending in case this guy was doing it on purpose, "Your brain?"

"Es'cuse me?" Plucking the pen from his mouth, Naruto frowned down at the head of dark hair and slung his backpack over his shoulder, so very tempted to turn on his heel and smack the rude bastard in the head.

"I said, the athletic fields are at the other end of the campus, dobe." The only drawback of attending a public university: idiots like the one...standing...before him...Oh...

"Who are you calling dobe, teme?"

Sasuke's black eyes were sharply focused on the Adonis-like blond as he stretched his arms up over his head, leaning back in the chair until he heard his vertebrae snap back into place. "Tch, I know who my father is."

"I know who my dad was, asshole!" Naruto snapped the pen in half in an effort not to give into his usual impulse--hit first and ask questions later--and took a step back.

For one long held breath, the Uchiha tried to understand the broken pen, the clenched fists, the tension (...who my dad was) and then his eyes cut to the side, grazing over the long rows of science books. "I see."

"No, you don't." Naruto turned and walked away, dropping the broken pen into the first trash can he found and wiping black ink on his pant leg.

Sasuke could hear the idiot shuffling around, but chose to ignore him, turning back to his book. Serves him right.

Naruto wandered up one aisle and the next, checking his list of books and trying to make sense of the letters and numbers, smearing ink on the already wrinkled piece of paper.

Despite a desire to do anything else, black eyes tracked the blond's movements and traced the lines of his broad back as he walked away. Focus; he's no one.

Chewing his bottom lip, blue eyes searched the row of books for 'Laboratory Anatomy of the Frog and Toad by Robert B. Chiasson, Raymond Alden Underhill (1994)' and found everything from 'New Frog : My First Look at the Life Cycle of an Amphibian' (a kid's book) to 'Pictorial Anatomy of the Frog', neither of which was on his list. "Fuck."

"Language, idiot." There was a scolding quality to the deep voice that accompanied a gentle puff of breath just beside the blond's ear.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck," Naruto smirked and held up his hand, "Now give me your pen, bastard."

Curiously enough, Sasuke reached around the other man and, without a word, held up the pen that he hadn't realized was already in his grasp.

"Uh...Thank you?" Staring at the pen, Naruto realized just how close the bastard was and quickly pressed his wrinkled paper against the edge of the shelf so he could cross 'Laboratory Anatomy of the Frog and Toad' off his list.

Sasuke wanted, really wanted, to follow his instincts and tease the blond by leaning over his shoulder again and pressing him forward against the shelf because there had been a tell-tale moment of hesitation in Naruto's movements that signaled something--a something that had him raising a brow, theorizing, calculating, and most annoying of all, blushing all the way back to his seat at the table.

Naruto thrust the pen under Sasuke's nose a few minutes later. "Usually when someone says 'thank you,' the polite response is 'you're welcome', but I'll settle for a grunt."

"How about 'fuck off?'" He batted the tan hand away and hunched his shoulders again, pretending to read, realizing he should just take the book and go back to the house he shared with four other boys, all slightly less irritating than the one hovering over him.

Gritting his teeth, Naruto hastily scribbled out a note that read "Fuck you. Naruto" and threw both the pen and the note at the dark-haired pain in the ass.

Sasuke snorted softly and frowned at the paper where it had fluttered to land on his book, but when he looked up at Naruto, it was with a patented Uchiha smirk firmly in place. "How am I supposed to follow up on that rather interesting offer if you don't include your number?"

"You're a smart ass; I'm sure you can figure it out if you want it bad enough." Naruto frowned and went to collect his bag, deciding it wasn't worth the trouble to keep running in circles searching for books he wouldn't have time to read anyway.

For the most part, Sasuke ignored the blond making extra noise as he moved around the floor, but his eyes kept drifting back to the scribbled words of the irreverent note and he tapped his finger on the desktop, considering. "Naruto?"

The blond leaned around the end of the book shelf, blue eyes narrowed with suspicion at hearing his name instead of another insult. "What?"

Sasuke glanced up and met those eyes, a hint of amusement in his own, though his expression was serious as he uttered the words that seemed too loud in the quiet library: "Top or bottom?"

Naruto sucked in a breath, mouth open, prepared to answer as if he'd just been asked what his favorite color was, but growled instead, "Sasuke-teme!"

With his own name echoing off the dusty shelves and old yellow frosted windows of his beloved sixth floor, Sasuke stared owlishly at the impertinent blond, blinked several times, and glared sharply just before the chair he was sitting in fell backward and he stormed around the tables, launching himself fist-first at the idiot. "YOU ASSHOLE!"

Holding up his hands and taking a few steps back, Naruto yelled for him to stop, to wait, to let him explain, only barely managing to deflect Sasuke's fist with 'A Dictionary of Zoology' off the nearby shelf but still taking the full weight of the Uchiha against his chest, pulling several books down on top of them in an attempt to stop their fall.

One of the books bounced off of Sasuke's back, just between his shoulder blades, effectively taking the fight out of the Uchiha, though he was still pissed enough to growl, "I never told you my fucking name."

"You didn't?" Of course, Naruto knew it was way past the point where playing dumb would save his ass, but it had worked for him before so he had to try.

Sasuke glared down into clear blue eyes, ignoring their compromising position on the floor--HIS compromising position on the floor between the idiot's knees. "No."

"You're sure?" Naruto asked, trying to look convincingly confused because he wasn't sure Sasuke was ready to hear the truth, not when he was still glaring like he was.

For a few seconds, the Uchiha just...looked...at Naruto...and then, as though trying to puzzle out Naruto's thought processes was exhausting, he dropped his dark head down onto the idiot's chest. "Certain."

"Oh." Naruto smirked and quickly tried to think of another excuse now that Sasuke seemed to be calming down a bit, "Well...you do look like a Sasuke."

"Are you a stalker, or is it money that you want?" They were all of one type or the other, after all, even the tall blond ones who smelled that good.

"I don't want your money!" He shouted, trying to sit up and push Sasuke off at the same time.

But Sasuke wouldn't be moved beyond leaning up to look at the blond again, one elegant brow arched slightly higher than the other, lips twisting into an expression that more than resembled his brother Itachi--but no one had ever found the nerve to point that out. "So, a stalker, then."

"No!" Except, in a way, he was because he had been sneaking around trying to find out as much as he could about the raven-haired man with sexy eyes.

"Then what--who are you?" The dark gaze focused on Naruto promised a quick death if he didn't answer this time (average human body contains eight pints of blood...I never liked biology).

Flinching, Naruto quickly looked away, out of excuses and clearly disappointed that nothing was working out the way he'd planned, "I'm just...Naruto."

When he pouts...hn. "And 'just Na-ru-to' happened to 'just guess' my name."

"No," Naruto sighed and then fell silent again, chewing his bottom lip and trying to decide how to explain things so he wouldn't sound like a lost puppy in love, or worse, a real stalker, "I asked around."

The blond still wasn't looking at Sasuke and it was starting to piss him off, so he made as if to get to his feet, ready to finish researching, which was supposed to be his first priority. "And what did they say?"

"That...your name is Sasuke and I could find you here." He was not going to tell him what people had said about him, especially when he didn't agree with them and Sasuke would assume he did.

Sasuke rolled his eyes at the things he knew Naruto was holding back, but didn't call him on it, instead taking the opportunity to leave the blond on the floor and making his way back to his chair. "I have work to do."

"Fine. Whatever." Naruto picked up a book and slammed it down, picked it up again, trying to make an effort to clean up the mess they'd made by stacking them into a pile on the shelf before grabbing his back pack and heading for the elevator so he wouldn't have to walk past the bastard Uchiha.

Sasuke ignored Naruto, the ding of the elevator, and the slide of the opening doors as he did most things he didn't care enough to acknowledge; he had always been very good at that.

As soon the doors were closed, Naruto dropped his bag and leaned back against the wall, head thudding against the paneling, feeling more like a fool than he ever had in his entire life for thinking he would have a chance with someone like Sasuke. "Bastard."

It took an entire hour for Sasuke to admit he'd made a mistake, five minutes for him to decide he had to fucking do something, and one second for his usually stoic face to break wide open in a rare smile: his eyes had landed on a crumpled piece of white paper listing various books and the handwriting matched another far less academic note sitting beside his text book (5200 heartbeats wasted on a dobe).

////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\

Several cups of instant ramen later, Naruto jerked open his dorm room door to prevent the very annoying little freshman outside from wearing a hole in the surface with his incessant knocking only to have a pile of books shoved in his face. "What are these?"

"I dunno; some creep paid me five thousand yen just t' bring'em to ya, though." The kid shrugged, gave the taller blond a goofy, lopsided grin, and leaned around Naruto, obviously trying to see into the upperclassman's room.

Naruto narrowed his eyes and picked up the top book, reading the title 'Laboratory Anatomy of the Frog and Toad by Robert B. Chiasson, Raymond Alden Underhill (1994)'. "My book."

"Hey, hey, man, you gonna pay me, too??" A flat palm was extended toward Naruto, the grin still firmly in place.

"Get out of here before I give you a kick in the ass for your trouble, brat." Naruto smirked and gave the scrawny kid a light shove before slamming the door in his face.

Konohamaru stuck his tongue out at the door and blew a raspberry before stomping down the hallway and back to the elevators, mumbling, "Dude's almost as bitchy as that other guy."

Smiling a real smile for the first time since he'd left the library, Naruto dropped the stack of books onto his desk and grabbed his notebook. He slid into the chair, more than ready to finish his research paper and show his stupid Biology instructor that he COULD learn the information as well as anyone WITHOUT dissecting frogs. Three hours and two books later, Naruto reluctantly picked up 'Biology of Australasian Frogs and Reptiles' and began randomly flipping through the pages, not really looking for anything in particular but unwilling to stop working despite the knot in his neck or the mild headache he still had from his earlier encounter with that bastard Uchiha. In fact, the only thing keeping him from shoving everything off his desk and going to make another cup of instant ramen was his fascination for anything amphibian, especially frogs, and his desire to prove to himself that he wasn't a complete idiot. I can do this, he told himself and closed the book, noticing for the first time that there was a scrap of paper tucked between pages--presumably someone's bookmark--and, taking it curiously between two fingers, he turned it over to read "Fuck you. Naruto" in his own handwriting. And just below his name was a phone number, written in the perfect, tilted hand of a certain uptight bastard.

Across campus, Sasuke's phone suddenly vibrated at his hip, the dark notes of Holst's Mars playing against the near silence of the night and the hillside and the stars. "My number is private--who is this?"

"Hey, teme." Naruto smiled, tipping his head back against the bed to look out the open window, imagining narrowed eyes and pouting lips. "Thanks for the books."

The Uchiha scowled at first, realizing he should have guessed who was calling (population of Japan, 127,288,416...), and there was a long silence before he said simply, "Come join me."

"Join you where?" Naruto sat up so fast he was sure he'd given himself whiplash, but the pain didn't stop him from jumping up off the bed to find the pen lost amongst the research notes that were spread across his desk.

"Behind the pool; there's a hill." Sasuke pursed his lips, considering whether or not to say more, and he finally just closed his phone, working under the assumption that if Naruto really did want to see him he would make a similar effort to find him.

Stuffing his phone into his pocket, Naruto took the stairs two at a time and burst through the side door, jumping over the low wall and taking the trail through the trees; the shortest path to the Student Recreation Center.

Lying on his back in the grass, listening for footfalls while pretending not to listen, Sasuke was reminded of all of the times his mother had scolded him about grass stains and straining his eyes in the dark. That's Corvus, the crow, servant of Apollo, god of the sun...

"Ooof! Shit! Stupid gophers," Naruto complained, crouched in the grass and rubbing his elbow, eyes wide, searching, "Sasuke?"

Sasuke smirked faintly in the dark, not bothering to move. "Dobe."

"Teme." The blond smiled and quickly walked the last couple of yards in the direction of Sasuke's voice, finally managing to make out the man's form in the dark and being careful to avoid anymore holes.

Tilting his head slightly to take in the blond's profile, Sasuke grunted softly and muttered, "Sit," surprised when it came out sounding like a question.

"Wow," Naruto plopped down onto his butt and leaned back, eyes turned up towards the sky, "Why does it look like there's more stars here than back at the dorms?"

"Lights; no one uses the pool at night, so they turn them off." Any other time he would have made sure to sound condescending, but under the night sky he felt too placid to bother.

"So, if there are too many lights then you can't see the stars. That makes sense." Falling back and folding his arms under his head, Naruto decided the grass was exactly what he needed to help him cool off and his eyes strayed, having finally adjusted enough that he could make out the lines and curves of Sasuke's face.

"Mmhmm...Naruto," Sasuke paused, unaware of the eyes on him, distracted by the night sky, "You've never seen the stars like this?"

"Not like this, no." Naruto suddenly realized he was staring and forced his gaze back up to the sky, unable to wipe the smile off his face.

They sat in silence for a while until Sasuke couldn't stand it any longer, and he rolled over onto his stomach beside Naruto, pushing up on his elbows and raising a questioning brow. "Frogs. Really?"

"Yes. Frogs. They're...I don't know...fascinating." Blue eyes flicked to Sasuke's face, but now that the Uchiha was looking at him he felt his face heat up and quickly went back to stargazing.

"Hn, fascinating." Yes, this blond was certainly that.

"Yes, fascinating." Snorting, Naruto shifted onto his side, head propped up on his hand, still finding it difficult to look at Sasuke with a straight face when they weren't insulting each other.

Sasuke frowned, taking in Naruto's expression before settling his sharp gaze on blue eyes that still somehow looked blue, even in the meager starlight. "Why were you asking people about me?"

Nervously plucking at a clump of grass, Naruto knew this question would be asked eventually and he had to force himself not to look away despite the nervous knot in his gut. "I wanted...I saw you and I had to meet you."

"You and every female within a ten mile radius..." Sasuke muttered under his breath, frustrated that Naruto was just like everyone else in the end.

"Why do you have to be so fucking irritating? I'm not a fangirl!" Naruto protested, sitting up and digging his fingers into the thick soil, frustrated that he never seem say the right things when he was around the bastard.

"You were stalking me in the library, dobe."

"I wasn't stalking you, I was..." Naruto huffed and growled, tugging his own hair. "...trying to find a way to talk to you. And who would want to stalk you, anyway? You're not an easy person to like, you know? You're...irritating and...arrogant."

"You're loud and annoying, if we're going to start making a list." Anger flashed in Sasuke's eyes, but just as easily as it appeared, it was replaced by a blank gaze, nothing, and he rolled over onto his back, running a hand over his face.

"Bastard!" Naruto slammed his fist into the ground next to Sasuke's head, "If I'm so fucking annoying then why did you ask me to come out here?"

Sasuke turned his face to the side, breath ghosting over Naruto's wrist, taking in the scent of his skin. "Perhaps I'm asking myself the same question..."

Naruto leaned closer, voice low, strained, "Let me save you the trouble," and then he was moving away, not really wanting to leave things the way they were but not knowing what else he could do that wouldn't make things worse.

"Don't bother." Pale fingers wrapped tightly around Naruto's wrist, stopping him mid-stride. "It's no trouble."

"You could have fooled me." Naruto sniffed, relaxing his fist, fingers brushing warm skin.

Sasuke's dark eyes rested on their joined hands, unable to decide what it was about the blond that simultaneously pushed his buttons, pushed him away, and drew him near, as if the challenge Naruto presented elevated him to some level above the typical fangirls, as if they were equals. "Naruto?" Slowly, he sat up, leaning forward and barely touching his lips to the palm of the hand he held captive.

Whatever he had been expecting, this wasn't it, and Naruto sucked in a breath, jerking his head around to stare, wide eyed and speechless for the first time in his life.

Sasuke tilted his head up to look at Naruto's face and tightened his grip on his wrist. "You can't leave."

"Why?" Naruto whispered, captivated by Sasuke's eyes, just like the first time when he could have sworn the man moved in slow motion and had looked right through him.

Instead of answering, he just tugged on Naruto's wrist, lips turning into a pout.

Naruto wasn't very good at surrendering--always too loud, too annoying, too stubborn--but he'd had a lot of practice at compromising if it meant he could get what he wanted, and from the moment he'd seen Sasuke he'd known exactly what that was, so it didn't take much effort for him to let the man convince him to stay with that single tug.

"The people you asked, the ones who sent you to the library..." Sasuke pulled at Naruto's wrist again, gently this time, "...did they know about this place?"

Licking his bottom lip--Don't fuck this up.--Naruto leaned in closer. "You told me."

With a slight nod, Sasuke released Naruto's wrist and barely whispered, "Then, we're really alone..."

Naruto's hand hovered for a moment, indecisive, the place where Sasuke's fingers had been slowly cooling as he reached out, pushing a strand of dark hair back away from the Uchiha's face, fingertips brushing a prominent cheek bone.

"Ah, I--" Flinching away was involuntary, but expected, and Sasuke didn't apologize...though perhaps his eyes did it for him.

Naruto smiled softly and moved to sit next to Sasuke, careful not to touch him again, at least, not before he asked first, which was difficult for him because his patience ran as deep as a puddle. "Sasuke. You're not arrogant."

The Uchiha looked up at the stars and smiled faintly in the dark, still influenced by the calming effect of their presence or he would have left Naruto there on the grass long ago. "You're still annoying."

Chuckling, patience be damned, Naruto slipped his hand into Sasuke's, squeezing gently, "Teme."

The pale hand tensed, but only until Sasuke reminded himself that he'd been the one doing the holding minutes before, and then he relaxed and hesitantly shifted his hand to lace their fingers together. "Look, see those stars there..."

Stealing a glance at Sasuke's face, Naruto nodded and tipped his head a little closer, eyes following the length of his arm to where his finger was pointing to a cluster of stars.

"The Dolphin constellation," he traced it out with his fingers before moving his hand to a cluster of stars higher up in the sky, "and that faint group... Vulpecula, the fox..."

"Vulpes vulpes." He gave Sasuke an apologetic smile and leaned back in murmuring about red foxes being one of his favorite animals.

Their shoulders brushed and Sasuke was thankful for the darkness that hid his pinkening cheeks; the entire encounter was far outside his usual comfort zone. "Frogs and foxes."

"Yeah, I'm not normal, but you probably figured that out already." Naruto grinned, finding it much easier to talk to Sasuke now that he knew they had something common, even if foxes and stars weren't really related, it made sense in his own head so he didn't care.

"Normal...hn." Sasuke leaned back on his free hand and just stared at Naruto for a moment, as if coming to a decision. "Hungry?"

"Always." Naruto smiled, blushing because he hadn't meant to blurt it out. He turned to look at Sasuke, feeling as if the man really could see him and not the loud mouthed fool who always said the wrong things. Without relinquishing Sasuke's hand, he stood and pulled the dark-haired boy to his feet. "How do you feel about ramen?"