Naruto's eyes were closed, yet the dark seemed to have movement. A nauseating, endless spin that seemed to be sucking his organs into a spiral. He groaned, his forehead beading with sweat as he tried to wrench his eyes open. Sunlight tore through the small seam he had managed to make between his eyelids and fresh, blinding pain seared through him. "Holy fuck," he mumbled thickly, then rolled over to throw up.
After several heaves, his eyes slowly opened and took in the view of a tied purple knot covered in vomit. What the-- Sasuke?!
Now fully awake, he shot upward to take in his surroundings. He was sitting on the ground next to an unconscious Sasuke surrounded by mounds of ominous smelling trash. More like hills really, stretching up into the sky with dark jagged shadows looming beneath them.
Naruto scratched his head with a jingle. They seemed to be in some sort of disposal area. Wait, jingle? He lifted his wrist and gazed incredulously at the handcuff fastened tightly around it. He shifted and watched as the chain glittered and led his eyes to where they were connected. To Sasuke.
"What in the blue fuck is going on here?" He succeeded in standing, which lifted Sasuke's arm off the ground due to the shortness of the chain. The bastard was still out like a light, campaigning to be coma patient of the month. Naruto rubbed his still-throbbing head with his free hand and tried to think. Last thing that happened...
"I'm going to bring you home, Sasuke-teme!" I was shouting, shuriken flashing out of my hands and soaring after a very agile black-eyed ninja. Trees whipped by as I followed in close pursuit, Sasuke just a blur of motion in front of me. "All you ever do is run away!" I added, hoping to goad him into a more progressive battle.
There was barely enough time to react before the space I had just been in filled with a roar of fire. Pulling out a kunai in mid-flip, I manage to feint an instantaneous and almost invisible attack. Sparks shattered the air from the repetitively clashing daggers and---
"Ow, ow, ow!" He grouched, massaging his temples. Revisiting those recent memories had started a dull ache that gradually built into a nerve-sizzling pain in his head. What had happened? Where were they?
Shocked, he looked down to see that Sasuke had rolled onto his back and his eyes were in slits that did not look happy.
"Naruto... You have exactly ten seconds to tell me why I am handcuffed to you," he grated out through clenched teeth, "...and where I am."
"Don't command me, teme!" Naruto spat out defiantly, even though his blood had slightly iced over from the pure undiluted evil intent in the other man's words. "And even if I did know the answer to either of those questions, I wouldn't tell you now."
Sasuke pulled himself upright into a sitting position and looked around mutely. He was looking rough, parts of his arms and neck looked burned and his yukata was rent with slashes and coppery with blood. A black bruise looked like it was swelling on his jaw, and Naruto could see several thick cuts across his chest that disappeared further beneath the neckline of his clothing.
"You don't know," Sasuke repeated murderously.
"I don't," Naruto confirmed dejectedly. Then he perked up, " You look like shit, Sasuke."
Black eyes flashed over to glare heatedly. "Imbecile, you obviously haven't seen a mirror."
Naruto chuckled and grinned, running a hand through his blonde spikes. "Same old teme," he laughed. "Just a more adult, fucked up version though," he added thoughtfully.
Sasuke's eyes narrowed, his impassive face stone-still except for a slight twitch of his eyebrow. "I have no time for your bullshit bantering, Naruto. I'm going to remove this nuisance," he lifted the wrist that was handcuffed, "and leave this place."
"Fine, be my guest getting rid of the handcuffs, but you're insane if you think I'm going to just let you walk away after everything that's happened!" Naruto snapped, crossing his arms and glaring at the black haired man.
"Everything that's... happened?" He echoed, his brow furrowing as if trying to recall something, then his expression dissolved into quickly disguised pain.
"You can't remember either?" Naruto asked, surprised. "I mean, it's pretty obvious some epic-ness happened, judging from the condition we're both in. But I can't remember..."
"No matter. I will remove this absurd handcuff and be on my way," Sasuke said cooly, raising his chained and free hand to form several hand signs in quick succession. There was a quiet rustle, then the large pointed head of a snake emerged from the sleeve of his yukata to coil around his arm as it emerged. "Remove my bonds," he commanded.
Naruto shivered in disgust at seeing the enormous snake wrapping itself around his former best friend, and backed up until the chain was taut between them. "You let that thing in your clothes?" He questioned shrilly, tugging slightly on the chain to get optimum separation from Sasuke and his scaly compadre.
Sasuke looked over coldly. "It is a necessary part of this specific summoning jutsu."
Naruto snorted. "Sure. Necessary."
Deciding not to humor Naruto further, Sasuke turned his attention back to the snake that was slowly assessing the chain of the handcuffs. It then opened its mouth to reveal wicked fangs that reeked of poison, and small droplets of said poison beaded at the end of the fangs, then dripped onto the metal of the handcuffs. The poison hissed as it connected, and small curls of vapor rose.
"Cool!" Naruto exclaimed, ever-appreciative of another ninja's abilities. There was a long moment where they both stood, watching as a strong acidic poison was dripped and dripped...
"Uh, but it doesn't really look like it's doing anything," Naruto added doubtfully. "Oh wait...! Yeah, no. Thought I saw something for a second... but yeah, definitely not working."
Sasuke's eyebrow quirked irritably again. "Is your poison at full potency?" Sasuke asked the snake.
It hissed, and Sasuke seemed to take that as an affirmative. "You're dismissed."
The snake retracted back into the sleeve it had come from, it's sinuous coils first, then its large deadly head. A black gold-flecked eye seemed to watch Naruto before it fully disappeared.
Sasuke looked like he had a horrible taste in his mouth. "These are chakra-enforced. The kind Anbu use on Class A criminals or rogues. It's nearly impossible to get them off without a key."
"Without..." Naruto's arms drifted down to his sides from where they had been crossed, and his blue eyes were wide. "Fine, let's try this my way."
Sasuke's eyes widened. "Don't even think about it," he said sharply.
"Too late!" Naruto proclaimed cheerfully, his hands already blurring through the hand signs.
The dark-haired ninja hissed angrily, attempting unsuccessfully to yank his arm away as a clone popped into existence beside its creator and began building up chakra in his open palm.
"Hold still, Sasuke," Naruto warned as a ball of condensed, spinning chakra came to life in his hand. "RASENGAN!"
With a dangerous whirring sound, the turbulent chakra was slammed into the links of the handcuffs. White light shattered out from the contact point, blinding both ninjas as the rasengan wreaked havoc. They could feel the sharp bite of the edges of the wind as it lanced out around the handcuffs, cutting clothes, skin, and dirt alike.
"Stop you idiot!" Sasuke shouted. "We're going to lose our hands!"
Naruto's eyes were clenched shut from the violent wind and light, but he managed to yank his free arm back and dispel the jutsu. The roaring wind carrying dirt and debris died down, and Naruto opened his eyes to see a pissed Sasuke and an intact handcuff. The earth beneath the handcuff was scarred with slashes that created a neat crater into the ground, and his orange sleeve was tattered along with the sleeve of Sasuke's haori.
"Really?!" Naruto asked, lifting up the handcuff to inspect it. "You've got to be kidding me. It didn't do anything."
"You think?" Sasuke snapped, his black eyes full of malice. "You almost severed both our hands off. I had forgotten how much of an idiot you are."
Naruto puffed up defensively. "Hey! Your snake plan didn't work either, asshole!"
"Hmpf. At least my plan didn't have potential for fatal blood-loss."
"That snake could have bitten me!"
"All the more reason for it."
Naruto was standing, his free hand pointed angrily at Sasuke, his mouth open with a yell building in his throat, when he suddenly stopped. A smile quirked the edges of his lips, then he began laughing. It was a real, happy laugh that had him bent over chuckling, his blue eyes sparkling through the grime and blood smeared on his face.
"What?" Sasuke growled, looking disgruntled.
Naruto grinned. "Things really haven't changed, eh teme?"
"Of course they have," Sasuke deadpanned, his body language stiff and angry. "Now enough with your nostalgia. Either you shut up or I'll slice off your hand and be free of you."
Naruto rolled his eyes. "Whatever, asshole. Where are we anyways?"
They took that moment to absorb their surroundings. Naruto's earlier thoughts of it being a disposal area seemed correct. All around them were enormous, looming piles of trash that cut off areas of the sky because of their height. The air was heavy with the scent of rot and mildew, plus an unidentifiable horrible smell that seemed to be coming from all directions.
Naruto bent down and picked up a container that was crumpled at his feet. He wrinkled his nose as a brackish substance poured out as he turned it in his hands. "What is this?" He asked, puzzled. "I've never even heard of this brand. It's like alien food."
"Alien food," Sasuke repeated incredulously. "You should hear yourself right now."
"No, really." Naruto dropped the strange package on the ground, his face contorted with confusion. "Where are we?"
"Come on," Sasuke said, yanking aggressively on the handcuff so Naruto stumbled after him as he started walking. "Let's get on top of one of these piles and look from there."
Naruto scowled as he followed grudgingly. "Don't pull me like that, asshole," he griped. "I'm not a dog."
Sasuke didn't answer as he began climbing up the pile of refuse in front of him. His steps were determined and quick, and Naruto tripped clumsily after him.
"Eww," Naruto grumbled as they trudged up the steep piles of trash. "This is disgusting." Something wet oozed onto his exposed toes through his sandals, and he bit his lip to contain a manly shriek. Looking over at Sasuke, he saw that the pale man had a similar expression of horror on his face. Trash slid and crunched underfoot as they climbed, both stumbling occasionally from being uncoordinated with the handcuffs connecting them.
Then, with a sigh of relief, they reached the apex of the hill, which was slightly flattened and suitable for standing.
Naruto looked around with interest at the sight before him. He had been right; they were in the middle of some sort of dump site. Spanning out from the pile they were standing on were other towering mounds of trash, and beyond that was a fence topped with curls of barbed wire. In the distance, he could barely make out what looked like a town. He frowned and scratched his head.
"Does any of this look familiar to you, teme?" Naruto asked, looking sideways at the silent ninja.
Sasuke's dark eyes were scanning the scenery, his lips twisted down in a scowl. "No."
Naruto tilted his head and scratched under his chin, his gaze thoughtful. "How did we end up here anyways? I mean, someone must have handcuffed and ditched us."
"Maybe," Sasuke answered. Then, quietly he added, "It's so flat. Where is the forest? The hills?"
"Ehhh?" Naruto looked, peering past the high metal fence encircling the dump they were in. A road snaked its way towards the town settled near the horizon, and the land around it was a flat expanse of yellow-green grass. It wasn't anything like the area they had been in last, which Naruto vaguely remembered as being on the edge of the Sound territory. "You're right. Weird."
Sasuke turned to look at Naruto, his face extremely serious. "You can't remember anything? Not even the smallest detail?"
Naruto rubbed his head, his eyes squinting as he concentrated. "I remember fighting you... it's in flashes, but I remember going past trees and there was fire--" He hissed, shaking his head as pain splintered with white-hot intensity behind his eyes. "Ow, fuck."
"The fire was my Gōkakyū no Jutsu," Sasuke said matter-of-factly. "I remember that. There's also other parts, but they're so muddled..." He looked frustrated.
"Trying to remember is a bitch," Naruto complained, rubbing his forehead with a wince. "Plus, I'm hungry. We should go to that town, get food, and find out where we are." He wrinkled his nose. "A shower wouldn't be horrible either."
"Stop whining," Sasuke snapped. "We can't just waltz into that town without investigating first. There's also the fact that we look like we just got mauled; we'll draw too much attention."
"Oh, so what do you suggest we do? Stay in this place and live off trash?" Naruto crossed his arms, off-balancing Sasuke with the sudden tug of the chain.
"No," Sasuke said slowly, "we wait until nightfall. Then we can go."
"That's in forever!" Naruto cried in distress, dramatically throwing his arms up in the air as he yelled. Sasuke's arm was also lifted with the gesture, and his black eyes narrowed.
"It's in an hour or so, judging from the sun. And stop flailing around like that."
"I am not 'flailing'."
Sasuke looked like he honestly wanted to kill someone. "You're pulling my arm around with whatever verb you choose. Just stop it."
"How 'bout you stop commanding me around?" Naruto gave the handcuff chain a purposeful yank, causing Sasuke to step forward and catch himself. "You're such a pretentious jerk, do you know that? We're both stuck here, chained together, so you should just get over your little bitch-fit and play nice. This holier-than-thou act is getting old. "
"Maybe," Sasuke started, yanking on the handcuff so Naruto would stumble, "it's because you haven't matured a day since you turned twelve."
"Oh, really? I can't say that stick in your ass has gotten any better either, snake molester." He spit out the last word, and accented it with another pull on the handcuff.
"Snake molester? So childish, idiot." Sasuke yanked harshly on the handcuff, but this time Naruto was prepared and dug his feet in. What this created was a kind of twisted tug o' war that had them both pulling back, the chain taut between them.
"Stop pulling, dobe," Sasuke growled; his muscles flexing at the strain.
"No way! I'm not giving up, and I'm definitely not doing what you tell me."
Their eyes locked, glares matching. Sasuke looked prepared to rip off a pair of eyelids, and Naruto was dead-set on not losing.
"Who's being childish now?" Naruto taunted, leaning back on his heels and pulling. The metal cuff around his wrist bit painfully into his skin, and he winced. His hand was turning a charming shade of purple.
Sasuke was in a similar position on the other side of the trash mound they were standing on, his brow furrowed with anger. "I may actually kill you," he said conversationally.
Naruto rolled his eyes. "Isn't this a wonderful way to reunite? Death threats and handcuffs; It's pretty much a party."
"Reunite?" Sasuke scoffed. "I wouldn't call this bullshit 'reuniting', it's more like forced company."
"Huh, interesting. Well, you wanna know something?"
Naruto's only answer was a cold stare.
"Ya know that purple rope thing you wear?" A large shit-eating grin spread across the blonde's face, and his eyes sparkled with mischief.
Sasuke's eyes narrowed suspiciously. "What about it."
Naruto giggled with mirth. "Yeah, I vomited all over it."
Sasuke's eyes widened partially, and he turned his head ever-so-slowly to the side, peering down at the rope wrapped around his waist.
Naruto snorted with laughter, a laugh building to epic proportions in his chest as he watched Sasuke's face morph from stricken, to disgusted, to...
Naruto's smile faded slowly away, and the laugh that was building in his throat died along with it. He watched with alarm as black eyes snapped to red, and Sasuke's face collapsed into pure anger.
He wondered momentarily if he had gone too far. It wasn't like he had meant to throw up on the stupid bastard, he had been suffering from head trauma after all. Plus, that rope thing was pretty unnecessary. It was just like a belt right? No big deal. Naruto swallowed nervously. Even still, evoking the sharingan never brings sunshine and puppies in the first place, but putting those eyes in the hands of a pissed-off Uchiha can leave a person with missing limbs.
"You're laughing because you defiled my clothes? You think that's funny?"
Naruto recoiled a bit on the inside. The tone of Sasuke's voice was cold, dark, and dripping with menace. "Just a little," he said stupidly.
"I'm here, handcuffed to you, an incompetent moron, without any idea of where I am. But is that all?" The sharingan seemed to blaze, and the pull on the handcuff intensified. "No. I'm in a fucking dump of all places, covered in vomit. YOUR vomit."
"So that automatically makes this whole situation my fault?" Naruto asked indignantly. "And why don't you stop being a little girl? It's just some---"
Sasuke pulled back his free arm, and punched him, successfully shutting him up. It connected solidly on Naruto's right jaw, and despite himself he stumbled backwards. His foot dropped into empty space, and blue eyes widened comically.
Naruto then found himself in a brief moment of confusion and zero-gravity before he realized that he was in a dangerous diagonal position over the edge, and yes, he was going to fall. His arms attempted a sort of windmill action to gain his balance, but being chained to the asshole ninja that had helped him fall in the first place didn't really help.
It was a quick, jumbled fall down the hill of trash that jabbed and oozed beneath his tumbling body. Distantly, he could sense his arm dragging something, but his thoughts were a little distracted as he slammed onto the ground flat on his back, knocking his breath out with an "oof". Hardly a second later, before he even had the chance to suck in a ragged piece of air and open his eyes, a weight thudded bone-crushingly on his chest.
His eyes flashed open, bright with pain and surprise, to be greeted by the too-close proximity of Sasuke's face. Naruto blinked stupidly, his lungs still struggling to gulp in air with short wheezes. He could feel the lean muscle of the man on top of him, and could see the different hues of red laying behind the swirling pupils. It was strange and foreign being this close to Sasuke after so long, and he felt a random rush of heat go to his face.
"G-g-get OFF," Naruto coughed hoarsely, "I'm dying here!"
Sasuke's eyes narrowed, and suddenly a pale hand was curled around Naruto's throat. The dark-haired ninja had propped himself up with one hand, while the other choked off Naruto's windpipe. The rest of his body still laid flat against Naruto, his angled hips sharp as he moved.
"Naruto," Sasuke said flatly, his eyes full of ice.
Said ninja squirmed underneath him, his eyes wide as he made choking noises. His hands clenched the hand at his throat, fingers digging into pale flesh.
"Let's reach an understanding here. We are going into the village after sundown." His hand squeezed even tighter. "And you will, by no means, pull on the handcuff anymore. I don't have the time nor patience to deal with your childish behavior."
Sasuke released his choke hold, and Naruto dragged in a rough gasp of air.
"You asshole!" Naruto sputtered out, his eyes livid with anger and embarrassment. "Get the fuck off me!" He shoved Sasuke off and was on his feet in seconds. Sasuke bounced quickly to his feet as well and stood rigidly. "I can't believe you punched and choked me over that," he hissed disbelievingly. "Oh, I am so going to---"
Both ninjas spun around in surprise, legs tensed to either fight or flee. Their arguing and rough fighting had distracted the two of them, and Naruto berated himself for not sensing a presence approaching them. What he found when he turned didn't appear to be very threatening though, so he just stared confusedly at the scruffy man standing not 10 feet away.
The man was short, balding, and overweight. He wore a faded green uniform streaked with grime, and shoes that must have at one time been white, but were now gray and leathery like elephant hide. A patchy, bristly beard covered most of his face, but it didn't hide his suspicious eyes and hard-set mouth.
"What the hell are you two kids doing?" The man asked disbelievingly. "How did you get in here?"
Naruto gaped at the man, startled into silence. "Uhh--"
A crackle of static caused both Sasuke and Naruto to jump, and the man reached to his hip and pulled out a walkie-talkie which was spouting something unintelligible in squawks. "Repeat that?" The man asked gruffly, his eyes never leaving the pair.
He twisted a knob and the voice came through clearer. "Find the noise disturbance?"
"Yeah, Pete. Just some kids." The scruffy man's eyes ran over the two and he added, "Might be gang activity. Send some of the guys over."
He clipped the walkie-talkie back to his belt, and turned back to Naruto and Sasuke.
Naruto stared at the stocky man, his jaw open most eloquently. Sasuke was no doubt glaring, he didn't have to look over to know. "Uh, old man, we don't really know how we got in here..." He trailed off, his palms open appeasingly. "We're kind of confused ourselves."
"Really." His tone was heavy with sarcasm. "So you just looked around, and suddenly--whoops! You're in the city dump? You scavenging for shit?"
Naruto puffed up a bit."What the fuck would I want in here? It's just a bunch of weird alien trash."
The uniformed man quirked an eyebrow at Naruto's reference to aliens.
"Naruto," Sasuke said, his voice quiet. "Let's get out of here. He called reinforcements."
The blonde rolled his eyes. "I would hardly call more of these guys 'reinforcements'. Don't tell me you're worried, scaredy cat."
Sasuke's gaze turned the temperature down to freezing. "I am not scared," he spat out in honest disgust. "Having a battle and drawing attention to ourselves in an unknown place is stupid, Naruto. We should leave now and stay hidden until we know more about our situation."
"A battle? Now wait a minute," the man said gruffly. "I don't know what planet you kids are from but--"
"I thought you wanted to stay here," Naruto said sarcastically, ignoring the scruffy man and continuing to talk to Sasuke. "I mean, you seemed enthusiastic enough that you punched me in the face and strangled me."
"Obviously, we can't stay here anymore because of that guy," Sasuke snapped, jerking his head to indicate the intruder.
"Hey!" Said intruder snarled, "Listen to me when I'm--"
"I don't know, you reeeeally wanted to stay earlier..." Naruto interrupted again, his tone heavy with sarcasm. He tapped his chin and acted falsely thoughtful, and cast a considering look over at the small man. "Well, actually, he does look kind of pissed off. And getting out of this dump would be pretty fantastic."
Sasuke "Hmm"d in agreement. Or he was just making thoughtful sounds while thinking about ice cream or murder. It's hard to tell with him.
"Ha!" Naruto brightened considerably. "This is an indirect victory for Naruto! My whole plan was to leave here, and this weird man made it all happen!" He beamed.
The dump-watcher had turned an interesting shade of purple. "You think I'm gonna let the two of you waltz out of here?"
Naruto finally looked over at the man. "Actually, 'waltzing' isn't really our style. I'm more of a 'haul-ass' kinda guy."
"You talk too much," Sasuke grumbled from beside him. "Let's go."
"Okay, okay. Over the north fence?"
The garbage man's face was puffy with anger, his eyes bulging. "You little shits, there's no way you're getting out... of... here."
The scruffy man trailed off, staring dumbly at the now vacant spot the two teenagers had been. Trash swirled lazily where they had been standing, then settled again. He swiveled around in confusion, catching a blurry glimpse of two figures soaring over the fence.
He continued to gaze dumbly, then scratched his head. "Gang activity. Definitely gang activity."
A/N: It was really fun writing this, and hopefully you enjoyed reading it as well! There will be more, including explanations for what's going on and all that good stuff.
Oh, and there's this pretty awesome thing called "reviewing", which is basically where you make me incredibly happy. These reviews are like cocoa puffs for that crack bird. Or Icha Icha Paradise for Kakashi. They're tasty, and writer's love 'em. You should try it out, the link's about a centimeter under this ;)