AN: Yay, another story! Just to warn you this will probably be a shorter one, just a couple of chapters, although maybe more if it interests me. For those who don't know, this is NaruSasu and is very loosely based of the old tv show Beauty and the Beast. If you are looking for a lot of angst or dark things in a story, look elsewhere. I am a lover of all things fluffy.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. Feel free to use the plot line though.
Sasuke sighed in exhaustion as he packed up his briefcase. Three staff meetings, seventeen complaint calls, and four business meetings; all in all, it had been a ten hour day. The raven wanted nothing more than to escape the gray and tan office and sink into his nice soft bed. Never let it be said that working for his brother was easier than finding a job outside the family business; Itachi worked him like a dog just to prove that he did not favor his younger brother. The immense workload had not deterred the younger Uchiha in the slightest; he now held a position only slightly under that of his brother, who was the CEO of Sharingan Industry.
His office reflected his achievements, glittering with his many awards, achievements, and diplomas. Having graduated early and entered the workforce at the tender sage of sixteen, Sasuke, now eighteen, felt older than he had any right to. His back ached from leaning over his desk all day, his eyes watered from the strain of looking at small print contracts for hours, and his head pounded from having to deal with bigwigs demanding attention for themselves and their products during the extensive meetings.
The bottom line was that Sasuke Uchiha just wanted to go home.
Sliding on his thin suede coat, Sasuke exited his office, locking the door behind him. "Sakura, we're done for the day. Pack up and go home."
A pale pink head shot up in surprise. "B-but Sasuke! It's early; you never leave early! Are you sick?" Worried jade eyes peered up into the blank obsidian eyes in concern.
"Hn. Don't be stupid. Of course I'm not sick. The weather report this morning reported that a strong storm will be arriving this afternoon. We need to leave now or we might be stranded here overnight. And I doubt Lee would appreciate that…" The slightest hint of teasing entered his voice as the pinkette blushed brilliantly at the mention of her new boyfriend.
"Oh. Right then. Thank you Sasuke-sama!"
Sasuke waited until Sakura had packed up her work and rode down the elevator with her, parting at the front door.
Sasuke trudged down the busy streets, ducking his head to avoid the icy blasts of air that whipped at his face. He knew that it was supposed to storm, but he hadn't expected it to be this bitter…
Making a split-second decision Sasuke ducked down a back ally and moved through it quickly until it deposited him on a desolate, grimy looking street. It was an almost macabre street, but hopefully it would get him home quicker than if he had stayed on the crowded main street.
Sasuke raised his head at the sound of the grunt, spotting a group of roughly dressed men gathered in a circle ahead of him.
'Probably drunks.' Sasuke snorted derisively, shaking his head in disgust. One of them had probably passed out and the others to too stoned to realize it.
Sasuke quickened his pace at the decidedly female voice and broke into a run at the yelp that followed. Some of the group looked up at the sound of his fast approaching footsteps and bolted, leaving only four behind.
The biggest looked up and grinned as he approached, showing his yellow and black teeth in an odd type of snarl. A boy of maybe eight hung from one dirty fist, struggling weakly to get loose. A girl and another boy cowered back against the wall of one of the broken buildings, shuddering.
The wind swept Sasuke's raven hair away from his eyes, buffeting his long jacket.
"Drop him. Now." The words were spoken in an icy tone that made the wind around them seem like a tropical breeze in comparison.
The bum seemed unable to take the hint that his life was in danger. "Ooh, the little boy wants to play hero huh?" The fist loosened and released the boy, dropping him harshly on the frozen ground, causing him to cry out in pain as his wounds were agitated. "Well all right then, let's play!"
All four of the men lunged as one at the raven, hands outstretched to grab him. Ignoring the screams of "Watch out!" and "Run" from the two children against the wall, he closed his eyes and moved.
Duck… punch straight up… back kick, spin left, jump… right hook, duck… spin… jump kick… duck, duck, jump… stomp, spin kick…
Taking a deep breath, Sasuke opened his eyes and surveyed his work. All four of the men lay bloody and beaten on the ground, unconscious. The boy looked up at him with wide eyes.
"Cool…" the soft whisper was the only thing said before the battered body slumped over sideways, passing out from the pain and the shock.
Sasuke moved forward quickly, scooping the boy into his arms while avoiding his arm, which hung at an awkward angle. Obsidian eyes widened.
Sasuke finally noticed what he hadn't noticed in the heats of battle. Floppy brown dog ears were perched at the top of a messy mop of fuzzy brown hair, almost invisible behind the thick goggles on his forehead, matched by the tattered brown tail peeking our of the baggy pants, almost hidden by the oversized scarf draped around his neck.
A small sob drew his attention to the other two, a small redhead girl with small red kitten ears and matching tail and another boy with more tamable looking brown hair than the one currently passed out in his arms. The other boy had small horns curving out of his head and a small stub of a tail that was only just visible in his crouched position.
Sasuke motioned with his head for them to move closer. "Where's your home? I'll walk you three there."
The girls lower lip trembled dangerously for a moment before she launched herself at Sasuke, attaching to his leg with a sob. "T-t-thank y-yuooo! Hic! We were so sc-scared, we-we didn't se-see them and then they g-g-grabbed Konohamaru and we we-were so scared!"
The other by stepped forward, looking shaken but more composed than the sobbing girl. "We'd appreciate that. Um, her name is Moegi, you're holding Konohamaru, and um, I'm Udon."
"Sasuke Uchiha." Sasuke responded, gently detaching Moegi from his leg. "Lead the way."
"… And we are in an abandoned subway why?"
"This is where we live!"
"You're homeless? If that's the case we can just turn around now. I'll just take you two to my house and drop off, um-"
"Yeah, Konohamaru, off at the hospital."
"We're not homeless, we… ah, never mind, I'll show you."
Sasuke was about to retort with a 'show me what' but closed his mouth as Moegi led them around a corner and grabbed a piece of stone protruding from the wall, pulling at it fiercely. Udon joined her and together they managed to pull open the perfectly camouflaged stone door that blended into the grimy concrete wall perfectly.
"Come one! We're almost home."
Sasuke was tugged through the opening and into what looked like a brightly lit cave. Numerous tunnels branched off from the room, twisting and weaving into darkness. Before he had time to get his bearings he was whisked into one of the pitch back tunnels.
"Where are we going?"
"To see Hinata! She'll fix Konohamaru and make him all better. Take a left here. Hey, watch out!"
"Watch what? I can't see a thing." Sasuke grumbled in the direction Moegi's voice had come from. A pair of small hand grabbed him and began tugging him in the right direction.
"Really? You can't see at all? How strange!"
"What is this place?"
It was silent for a moment before Moegi answered.
"This is the Underground! It's a safe place for people like us."
"People like you?"
"Um, yeah, you know, non-humans. Demons."
Sasuke snorted. "If you're called demons then the world must have really bad eye sight. I've never seen anything more harmless looking than you three."
"We might not be that scary, but Boss sure can be."
"His real name is Naruto, but we call him Boss"
"This place was built years ago. No one knows who built it exactly though. Lady Tsunade and Lord Jiraiya are in charge now, and they sort of act like a king and queen. Except Lady Tsunade is always drinking funny smelling stuff that makes her act weird and Lord Jiraiya is always looking at women. Most women hit him when they see him."
"I'd imagine so."
"Oh, here we are!"
Sai watched quietly as the runaway brats slipped back through the door, leading a slim black haired man after them. Sai was… entranced. Soft raven black hair framed a delicate looking face as cool ebony eyes surveyed his new surroundings. Pale skin glowed softly under the artificial light; not the pasty, sickly white skin Sai had from never having seen sunlight, but pale in a health, ethereal sort of way. A slim body was hidden in the soft looking coat, framing the mans slender frame nicely.
Sai slipped away as the brats tugged the beautiful man away. 'Hm. It looks like the are moving towards the infirmary… I can work with this.'
Moving quickly, the black panther slunk through the dark tunnels until he arrived at a gently lit room. The three people already there looked up in surprise.
Tsunade was the first to speak. A deceptively young looking woman, her sharp honey brown eyes didn't miss the rapid twitching of his thick black tail, nor did her tawny lion ears fail to miss the his rapid heartbeat. She was not the Lead Medic for nothing. "Sai? Is there something wrong?"
The white haired pervert leaned forward to see him better as he wiped all emotion from his face quickly.
"Oh… is was just a message for Naruto. He said that he wanted to know when those three pipsqueaks had returned."
The golden kitsune leaned forward eagerly, soft ears quivering while his nine gold tails twitched gently behind him. "Konohamaru, Udon, and Moegi? Their back safe?"
Sai took a moment to observe the gold fox before answering. Large gold ears pricked forward to catch the slightest sound as his thick, silky looking tails waved slightly behind him. Wide blue eyes peered out from a strong jawed face, testament to the fox's stubborn nature. Three whisker marks adorned each cheek and sharp claws tipped each of his fingers. The large tan body towered over Sai, muscles rippling under the black jeans and orange t-shirt. Pure power radiated from him in waves. Sai felt a wave of hate sweep through him.
"Oh, I'm not sure if you'd call them safe. Konohamaru seemed to be quite badly injured. He wasn't moving. A strange black-haired man was carrying him and the other two were with them. It looked like he was holding them captive. They were heading towards the infirmary last time I saw them…"
Sai didn't have a chance to say anything more as the sky blue eyes hardened into sheets of pure ice and Naruto jumped up, charging into the tunnels.
A small, empty smile appeared on Sai's face as he watched him go. The fox would set things up quite nicely. There was no doubt in his mind that the kitsune would set things in motion nicely. He would charge in there fists swinging and asking questions first. And when the poor beaten raven was dumped outside into the cold and wind… well, Sai would just have to be there to deliver him to warmth and safety. And the raven would be his.
Sasuke blinked as they entered a brightly lit room that smelled sharply of disinfectant and medical supplies, eyes watering from the sudden burst of light. A medical examination bed with clean white sheets took up the center of the room. Cabinets filled with medical supplies lined the wall from floor to ceiling.
Udon padded off behind a set of curtains as Sasuke set Konohamaru down carefully on the bed.
A small, dark haired blur rushed by him and began to fuss over the injured boy, checking him over. Short purplish black hair failed to conceal the pale lavender eyes or the tiny gray mouse ears protruding from her head. Small hands trembled as she gently prodded the softly groaning boy. His eyes fluttered for a moment before opening.
The girl squeaked in shock, her hands fluttering as she spun around to face him before sinking to her knees with a whimper. Sasuke ignored her in favor of Konohamaru, who was looking at him with wide eyes.
"You saved me…"
"Of course he did Konohamaru! Sasuke-kun is a true gentleman" Moegi spoke up, looking at Sasuke with pure admiration and glee. "Just like in the storybooks…"
"Forget being a gentleman, did you see him fight?" A huge grin covered Konohamaru's face as he looked up at the uncomfortable raven. "No one can beat Sasuke-niisan! How did you get so good at fighting Sasuke-niisan?"
'Brother?' Sasuke wondered, blinking down at the young boy. "I took martial arts for eight years and studied different fighting techniques with my older brother."
"Cool!" Konohamaru shouted before grimacing in pain as his injured arm was jostled.
Sasuke looked at Hinata, who had backed into a corner, her lightly furred and thin tail flicking as she watched the scene in amazement.
"Are you able to repair his arm or do I need to take him to a hospital?"
Hinata leapt up and hurried over to Konohamaru, tending to his wounds with a suddenly calm attitude. "N-no, th-that's f-fine. I c-c-can take care of h-him. B-besides, you wouldn't b-be able to f-f-find a hospital that would h-help h-him."
Sasuke raised his chin arrogantly. "There is not a hospital in the world that would refuse a Uchiha."
A shy, delighted smile crept onto Hinata's face, making it glow prettily. "W-well, there's n-no point to it anyway. H-he's all f-fixed."
She drew back to reveal a thick plaster cast on the boy's arm and multiple bandages covering all of the scrapes and abrasions.
Sasuke opened his mouth to answer before shutting it abruptly as the hairs on the back of his neck rose in warning. He spun around in time to see a golden blur blaze into the room and only just managed to dodge the fist aimed at him.
"Boss!" Konohamaru, Moegi, and Udon called out happily. They couldn't wait to introduce their boss to their beloved dark savior. Glee turned to horror as the enraged kitsune continued his attack, Sasuke only just managing to dodge the deadly swipes.
"Boss, stop!" Konohamaru yelled, jumping in front of Sasuke and swinging his cast up like a shield. Moegi ran to join him, hands fisted over her chest, and Udon quickly followed.
"Get out of the way Konohamaru," the wrathful gold fox growled, eyes locked on Sasuke's shocked face, "Move away. You don't have to be afraid of him anymore, I won't let him hurt you."
"Sasuke-niisan would never hurt me!" Konohamaru yelled, waving his good arm wildly. "He's my big brother and he saved us from some men who jumped us when we were above ground. Even when they turned on him he stayed calm and he beat them up instead."
"Yeah!" Moegi chimed in, glancing between the two anxiously, "then Sasuke-kun carried Konohamaru all the way here!"
"And he even offered to take me to the hospital if Hinata couldn't make me feel better!" Konohamaru stated proudly.
The raging fire burning in those bright blue eyes lessened throughout the speech as they gazed into cool ebony.
"I-It's true N-N-Naruto-kun. S-Sasuke-kun offered t-to take Konohamaru to the h-hospital and he's b-been nothing but polite since he g-got here," Hinata spoke up in a softly scolding tone.
Naruto was still for a moment before striding over to Sasuke briskly, stopping only inches away and ignoring the way the three children had stiffened in defense at his approach. "Why?"
Ebony eyes narrowed in annoyance. "Why what?"
Naruto gazed back calmly, refusing to be provoked. "Why did you help monsters?"
Sasuke snorted derisively before answering. "Because no child deserves to be beaten or in pain, regardless of what they look like."
Sasuke could have sworn that Naruto's eyes started to glow as he looked at him, a soft, warm- almost tender?- look entering the bright blue eyes.
"Besides, if all of you are monsters, what the hell was I asking my parents to check under the bed for when I was a toddler? Certainly not any of you!" Sasuke finished this by tilting his face up to look at the taller blond arrogantly.
Mirth bloomed in the sky blue pools as an infectious grin spread over his tan face. "Not even me?"
Sasuke rolled his eyes. "What do you take me for, a simpleton? I know that you were just protecting the kids. Actually, I approve of the way you were protecting them."
That said, Sasuke walked over to entrance of the tunnels, ignoring the awestruck look on Naruto's face and peering into the darkness. "Now, which one of you is going to help me to the entrance? I can't see a thing in these tunnels and I won't walk around in them running into walls and looking like a fool!"
Naruto led Sasuke through the tunnels carefully, keeping a clawed hand on the slim raven's waist as they maneuvered through the dark pathways. After a minute the air became lighter and they emerged into the brightly lit entrance room, continuing on to the door. Naruto pushed the door open with ease and ushered him through the doorway before closing it behind them.
"Thank you for helping me back up-" Sasuke's voice cut off as he slipped on a stair near the top of the staircase that had a pile of hardened snow on top of it. His arms waved like a windmill as he fell backwards only to land against a broad, warm chest. A muscled arm settled around his waist to brace him as he scrambled momentarily for his balance.
"Careful," A warm breath hit his ear, making him shiver as a whickered cheek rubbed against his own in what could only be called a nuzzle. "I don't want to lose you so soon after I found you."
Sasuke could only nod in stunned silence as he was ushered up the remaining stair and out into the still, snowy landscape. The storm had blown over, leaving a hauntingly white, spectral landscape. Everything in view was covered in crisp, fresh white snow and the moonlight cast gentle shadows over it.
Naruto watched carefully as Sasuke shuffled though the snow in the direction of his home, his feet leaving prints in the snow as his dark eyes focused on the path ahead, not quite managing to resist glancing back at the gold fox behind him.
Neither of them noticed the dark, angry eyes glaring at them from above.
Sasuke- A normal human, if an overachieving one. He is calm, collected, and intelligent. Black hair and matching eyes, he will be the object of Naruto's attentions.
Konohamaru- One of the hybrids, he is part dog. He has floppy brown dog ears and a brown tail with slightly long fur. Other than that, he looks the same. He looks up to Naruto as his role model and to Sasuke as an older brother.
Moegi- One of the hybrids, she is part cat. She has small red cat ears and a matching tail. She looks to Naruto as her boss and to Sasuke as her dark knight and gentleman! ^_^ (Yes, she has a bit of a crush. Not the bad kind though.) She has retractable claws.
Udon- One of the hybrids, he is part goat. He has small horns and a small brown goat tail.
Tsunade- One of the hybrids, she is part lion. She acts as the female leader and as Head Medic. She has honey colored lion ears and a lion tail. She has retractable claws and one hard punch!
Jiraiya- One of the hybrids, he is part monkey. He is the pervert you all know, love, and secretly fear seeing someone like him outside your window one day! He acts at the male leader.
Hinata- One of the hybrids, she is part mouse. She has rather small mouse ears and a mouse tail. Her fur is a soft lavender gray and she is a medic for the Underground. Her hands are also rather small, making her nimble with her work.
Sai- One of the hybrids, Sai is a black panther. He is kinda the baddie in this story. Equipped with black panther ears and tail, he desires Sasuke and is determined to get him!
Itachi- A human and Sasuke's older brother and his boss at work. He wears a suit and is protective of his younger brother. Aka: The Devil Incarnate!
Sakura- Sasuke's secretary, Sakura is hard-working and highly intelligent. She sees Sasuke as a friend who needs to be told to relax and have fun every now and then!
Naruto- One of the hybrids, he is part fox. He has large golden ears and nine thickly furred, almost fluffy tails. His whisker marks are a bit thicker than normal. He has clawed fingers and is larger than Sasuke, both in bulk and by a few inches in height. He likes Sasuke. ^_^