Game of Two Halves
Rating: T (will go up to M in later chapters)
Warnings: Yaoi (means boyxboy) in later chapters, so if this isn't your thing I strongly suggest you stop reading this story right now and hit the BACK-button!
Notes: A huge thank you to everyone who decided to wait for this story. :) It's been a really long time since I last wrote anything, but I hope it's been worth the wait and you enjoy this first chapter. Furthermore, since I want this to be mainly NaruSasu (Naruto=seme; Sasuke=uke), there might be some OOCness. But I think that's inevitable once you decide to write about a romantic relationship between these two. Yeah... so not happening in the manga. My English is a little rusty. Feel free to point out any mistakes, so I can correct them as soon as I can. Thank you!
Sasuke and Naruto are 17 years old in this story.
Word count for this chapter: 3,630
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of the characters.
Chapter 1: Memories of the Past
If Sasuke had known even for a second how this day was going to turn out, he would have thought twice about getting up in the morning.
As it was, he might be an antisocial person and some people even went as far as to call him a ´cold and emotionless bastard´, but there was no way in hell he would miss classes. Not that he cared about what other people thought of him. He even preferred the insults over the alternative, which was a horde of dumb and swooning fangirls. And it wasn't like he was able to predict the outcome of the day.
So, maybe he'd been doomed from the start.
The morning hadn't been half bad. The usual lectures, the same teachers, Kakashi reading another one of his erotic books while they did their work… and Naruto.
They had been friends for several years now, a friendship that had been built over time even though no one had thought it possible. In the beginning all they'd done was fight. Sometimes there hadn't even been a reason, but they'd tried to overcome the other in everything they'd done nonetheless. They'd continuously tried to surpass the other, using all means necessary- until the night Sasuke had lost his parents and together with them the last pieces of his childhood.
He couldn't remember half of it, his mind too focused on the pain and emptiness that, at the time, had threatened to consume him. All he could recall was his brother's tear-streaked face and the sensation of these familiar and strong arms cradling him against a firm chest. There had been hushed words, explaining that his parents had been in an accident and would never come back, but he'd been too shocked to take it all in. Everything that came afterwards was a blur. There'd been a funeral at some point and he could remember the pity-filled stares of the townspeople as well as their empty words and condolences. Anger had stirred inside of him with every soothing touch and well-meant offer of help. They meant nothing to him. How could they pretend to understand his pain? How could they say that they felt hurt at his parents' loss, when Sasuke just felt dead inside? The anger came easy. It was a welcome emotion after he'd felt empty for so very long and he welcomed it.
People began to avoid him after he'd snapped at more than one of them, sending his best death-glare at the rest.
It had been so very easy to be angry that he didn't even care that he was hurting the people around him. Until the day he'd tried to take his anger out on Naruto.
They'd finished another lecture and Sasuke didn't even wait for the teacher to dismiss them before he was up and out of the room. He had neither the time nor patience to deal with those annoying girls that always tried to talk to him. Taking the back entrance of the school to avoid the other students that normally used the main doors, Sasuke was only a few steps from freedom when a high-pitched voice reached his ears.
Great. Talk about the devil and he shall appear- a she-devil in this case.
Turning around without a word, he stared coldly at the pink-haired girl running in his direction. Sakura Haruno, number one fangirl and in Sasuke's opinion one of the most annoying people in the entire universe, came to a stop right in front of him. There was a blinding smile on her lips that didn't even falter when he continued to glare at her. Sasuke just wanted to go home. Maybe he could start dinner before doing his homework for today. Itachi would probably be home late again. Since their parents' death he'd been forced to work most of his free time to provide them with food and other necessary things. Sasuke would have liked to help, but no one would hire a thirteen-year-old boy. And so he'd resolved himself to at least try to help with the housework.
His thoughts were interrupted when Sakura started to talk. Really, who would be able to ignore such an ear-piercing voice?
"So, Sasuke," she started while coyly batting her eyelashes at him, "Do you wanna come over to my house today? We could do our homework together and maybe watch a movie or something."
"I'd rather not." Sasuke replied without a second thought. His eyes regarded her coldly when she pouted at him and instantly began to complain with that incredibly annoying tone of voice she seemed to think was cute.
"Oh, come on, you grouch! Have a little fun! I'll even let you pick the movie!"
Taking a deep breath, Sasuke turned to walk away, but not without one last scornful stare at the begging girl. "I'm going to say it one more time, so that even you can understand it: I am not interested in having fun with you or any of your friends. I don't want to go to your home, I don't even want to watch one of your damn movies and I definitely want nothing to do with you. You're annoying. You talk about being friends, but you know nothing about me. So why don't you go and pester someone else? I've got more important things to do."
Before he could make more than two steps away from Sakura, there was another voice cutting through the air.
"Why do you have to be such a bastard?!"
Turning back around, Sasuke watched Naruto walking towards them. His eyes were blazing with barely contained anger and his hands were balled into fists by his side.
"What's it to you, dumbass?" Sasuke replied challengingly and stood to his full height, towering several inches over Naruto. He was practically itching for a fight and for a reason to lash out.
"Stop calling me that, you bastard!" Naruto snarled and made another step in Sasuke's direction, invading his personal space and meeting his gaze dead-on. The air was charged between them. Neither of them took notice of Sakura backing off in anticipation of yet another fight and running down the corridor in the direction of the teacher's lounge to fetch help.
"I'm calling you whatever I deem fitting. And if you'd excuse me now, I don't want to waste any more time with you."
Before he could react Naruto had breached the distance between them. Sasuke's back connected painfully with the wall, but he swallowed down any sound of protest, instead waiting for Naruto to make the next move.
"Who do you think you are, you emotionless bastard?!" Naruto spat angrily and tightened his hold on Sasuke's collar. "You walk around all high and mighty, insulting people and never once stopping to consider that they could be hurt by your words! I don't care if you think you're better than us, but stop acting like a jerk! There are people here who want to help you and everything you do is to push them away. What is wrong with you? Did the death of your parents screw with your head that much?!"
Sasuke stiffened at these last words and his eyes widened for a moment in shock, before narrowing threateningly.
"What would you know?" he growled and gripped onto Naruto's arms that were still holding him against the wall. "You've never even known your parents. How would you know what it feels like to lose them?"
The grip on his collar weakened and Sasuke used the chance to free himself, stepping away from the other boy and staring down at him with pained eyes.
"You can't understand how I'm feeling, Naruto." Sasuke croaked out. "Nobody can. And it hurts so damn much to listen to their empty words and promises. One day everything was normal and next I know everything has changed. I'm never going to be able to return to being the person that I was before and every time I look at all those people around me, they're still the same. As if nothing has changed. And it hasn't- not for them at least. And every time I see the pity in their eyes I'm reminded of the things that are forever out of my reach now and everything I can think about is that I can't even remember the last time I told my parents that I love them. It's too much! And if I can't hold onto my anger... all that remains is pain and sorrow. So don't tell me how to behave! Just... don't. I can't-"
Before he could utter another word, strong arms encircled him and drew him against a warm body. Sasuke was too stunned to resist, his cheek resting against Naruto's chest. He could faintly hear the other's rapid heartbeat and the rumble of his words when he decided to break the silence. "You're right. I don't know what it means to lose your parents and I'm not going to pretend that I do."
Sasuke relaxed slightly in Naruto's hold, resting his own hands comfortably on the blonde's back and listening to the soothing sound of the other's voice.
"But you can't carry on like this. You have to let someone in again eventually. You can't distance yourself from everyone. It'll destroy you."
"There's no one left but me and my brother." Sasuke whispered brokenly. "There's no one left..."
"I am here, aren't I?" Naruto interrupted once more and pulled back slightly to look Sasuke in the eyes. His hands were still holding onto his shoulders, preventing Sasuke from retreating any further. Their eyes locked for an interminable amount of time, deep blue clashing with obsidian, before a smile formed on Naruto's lips. Sasuke's breath stuttered in his chest, but he couldn't avert his eyes from the sight. It was as if the room was suddenly brighter and the pressure in his chest, that had almost become a constant during those last couple of months, finally seemed to lessen.
Naruto's smile widened when he saw Sasuke's face softening, even though he still didn't return the smile. Not that he'd expected it.
Standing together in this corridor, the light of the day shining softly down on their entwined forms, marked the true beginning of their friendship.
And when Naruto brushed the hair out of Sasuke's face with a gentle expression and murmured a soft, "I will stay with you", without an ounce of hesitation, Sasuke had no reason to doubt him.
And to the present day Naruto had never broken his promise.
"Yo! Earth to Sasuke!"
Sasuke snapped his head up at the words, realizing that he was still sitting in his class room, even though the class was already over and everyone had left. The only ones left were him and Naruto, who was standing beside him with an amused and indulgent smile.
"Man, I thought I lost you there for a second." Resting his hands on Sasuke's desk, Naruto leaned forwards until they were eye to eye. Sasuke's breath stuttered for a second at their proximity, but he didn't let it show and just rolled his eyes.
"Hn. Don't be stupid. I was just thinking about something."
"Must have been something pretty important." Naruto said and poked his finger at Sasuke's cheek. "I've rarely seen you daydreaming before and never once during lectures." Swatting the blonde's finger away, Sasuke picked up his notes and slid them into his bag. "Well, it's not my fault that the lesson was so boring. Besides, I already knew most of the things the teacher was talking about."
"Don't be so cocky, you bastard." Naruto laughed and wrapped one of his arms around Sasuke's shoulder as they walked out of the room.
"I'm just stating the truth." Sasuke replied matter-of-factly, looking down to hide the growing blush on his cheeks. He was used to Naruto touching him like this. The extroverted boy could never keep his hands to himself and really, it had never been a problem for Sasuke. Well, that is until he'd realized that the feelings he harboured for Naruto far exceeded those of normal friendship. It had been a slow process, sneaking up on him, but when he'd finally realized the change it had been too late. Not that there was anything that he could have done to prevent it. Naruto was like a force of nature and before he knew it Sasuke had already been swept away.
"We should go to my house." Naruto continued with his usual blinding smile directed at Sasuke and the dark-haired boy fought the urge to smile back. "I've got this new movie you wanted to see."
Sasuke grunted in affirmation and tightened the hold he had on his bag. Naruto only laughed at the typical response and crossed his arms behind his head after removing them from the other's shoulders. Sasuke ignored the pang he felt in his chest at the loss of contact. When did he turn into such a girl? Damn it, he really needed to get a grip and fast. He was an Uchiha, damn it!
"It's Friday. Do you want to stay the night?" Naruto asked suddenly and stopped in front of Sasuke's locker. He thought for a moment before turning the dial and pulling the metal door open. "Yeah, why not."
"Great." Naruto beamed. "You can call your brother from my place. You've still got some of your things over at my apartment from the last time you stayed the night, so I don't think you will need anything else from home."
"I just love these complex talks we have." the blonde said jokingly and pushed open the school gate, holding it open for Sasuke. But just as they were about to start the ten-minute-walk to Naruto's place there was a high-pitched call of Sasuke's name that made his hair stand on end.
For a moment he thought about ignoring her and making a break for it, but Naruto had already turned around to greet the pink-haired girl.
"Hey, Sakura! What's wrong?"
Completely ignoring the blonde, Sakura made her way over to them until she stood directly in front of Sasuke. The dark-haired boy frowned at the way she treated Naruto. Couldn't she at least return the greeting?
"I need to talk to you." Sakura said with a flirtatious smile, twirling a strand of her hair around a finger.
Sasuke's frown deepened. "So talk. And make it quick."
"Privately." Sakura stressed with one look at Naruto, before returning her attention to Sasuke once again. He was just about to tell her to leave him alone when Naruto clapped him on the shoulder with a forced smile. "It's alright, Sasuke. I'm just gonna wait for you at home. Come over whenever."
"Great!" Sakura chirped and grabbed onto Sasuke's arm, dragging him away from the school entrance without giving him time to collect himself. Too perplexed to react immediately, Sasuke could only throw one last look at Naruto's retreating form over his shoulder before they rounded a corner. There was no one else around, and Sasuke felt immediately uneasy. If there was a person you shouldn't be alone with, it was Sakura. Not that she was dangerous or anything, but once she started talking there was simply no stopping her. Furthermore, she was someone who used any means necessary to achieve her goals, no matter if someone else was harmed in the process.
"What did you want to talk about that is so important that you couldn't say it in front of Naruto?" Sasuke finally asked when he was fed up with the prolonged silence, yanking his arm out of Sakura's grip and fixing her with an impatient stare.
The pink-haired girl regarded him for a moment before she leaned slightly forward into his personal space.
"Go out with me."
"What?" Sasuke snorted with an eye-roll. "You've got to be kidding me."
"I'm serious, Sasuke." the girl said with a mischievous smile, crossing her arms behind her back and rocking back and forth on her feet. "You're one of the most popular boys in this school, and since I'm obviously one of the most attractive girls it's only logical for us to be together, don't you think? It's not as if you have a girlfriend. It's a win-win situation."
"How is this even anywhere near a win-win scenario? There are a thousand things I'd rather do than pose as your damn boyfriend! Ask someone who's interested in shallow girls like you."
There was a moment of silence between them before Sakura shrugged nonchalantly.
"As you wish. But you should consider the consequences of your refusal to go out with me."
Bridging the gap between their bodies until they were mere inches apart, Sakura cocked her head. "Oh, I don't know. Maybe I'll let slip some embarrassing details about your past."
"Oh right, because you know me that well." Sasuke sneered. "You don't know anything about me, and if you really want to stoop this low, I'm not stopping you. But after all the lies you've already told, I don't think there's anyone willing to believe even a word you say."
"Nonetheless, I think there are some interesting facts the others would really like to know. Humans are such fickle beings. They believe what they want to believe, whether it's the truth or not."
"Just leave me the hell alone!" Sasuke snarled. He'd had enough. "Keep your empty threats to yourself. I'm done here. Don't even think about following me." With this he turned around and was about to walk away, when Sakura's next words made his feet, along with his heart, stop.
"Or what? Are you going to kill me too, now that I'm in your way?"
Sasuke's heart was beating a mile a minute. However, he couldn't let her know that she'd hit a nerve with her comment, so he took a breath and schooled his features into a look of nonchalance, before turning back around to face her.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Oh, sure you do!" Sakura replied with a gleeful laugh. "Did you really think you could cover up something like this? It was a piece of cake to find out everything I needed to know. I just had to dig deep enough. So, here's your choice: You'll either go out with me or I'm going to tell everyone about your past and the horrible things you've done. What do you say?"
Sasuke suddenly felt nauseous. His thoughts were spinning as he tried to find a way out of this entire mess. Nobody could know about his past, at least not about this special part of it. They wouldn't understand... no one would. They'd be shocked and disgusted, and Sasuke was certain that they'd cast him out. He would lose everything he held dear. His home. His friends. Naruto.
"I... I still can't go out with you."
"And why's that?" Sakura asked with furrowed eyebrows. "I think I made myself pretty clear, didn't I?"
"Yes, you did." Sasuke said, balling his hands into fists to stop them from shaking.
"Then where's the problem?"
There was only one thing he could say, and he prayed that it would work.
"I can't go out with you... because," no turning back now,"I'm not... interested in girls at all."
There was a moment of stunned silence, before the pink-haired girl broke out into hysterical laughter.
"Are you done?" Sasuke grumbled when several minutes had passed and she still couldn't seem to calm down. Wiping tears from her eyes, Sakura continued to chuckle for some seconds. When she finally looked up again, her face was red.
"Well, that would explain why you've never had a girlfriend. But how can I be sure that you aren't just telling me this, so that I'll leave you alone?"
She didn't even know how close to the truth she was, and Sasuke would be damned if he messed up his only chance to get out of this farce.
"I'm not lying. I'll admit that it's taken some time for me to find out where my preferences lie, but thanks to someone special I finally figured it out." Well, that wasn't a lie. After all, it had been due to Naruto that he'd begun to consider himself anything else than totally straight. Before he could stop himself, the next words already tumbled out of his mouth. "We've been together for some time now."
"I see." Sakura replied with a smug smile. "If that's really the case I have a suggestion for you. In the course of this week I'm going to send you the time and place of our next meeting, and I expect you to bring your boyfriend." Here she let out another small chuckle. "If you are able to convince me that you're really gay and in a relationship with someone else, I'm going to leave you alone and never ask you to go out with me again."
That sounded really too great to be true.
"However," she continued and Sasuke barely suppressed an exasperated sigh, "if I find out that you lied to me, your little secret will spread faster than you can blink. And now that we've made everything clear, I'm going to go home. Have a nice day!" With this she flashed him another one of her sugary sweet smiles and hurried in the direction of the school gate, leaving a dumbfounded Sasuke behind.
Staring at the ground in deep thought for a moment longer, Sasuke finally began to make his way towards Naruto's home.
He needed someone who would pretend to be his boyfriend, and there was only one person he was willing to ask for something like this.
To be continued...
Well, that chapter got pretty long, but I hope you liked it. :)
I apologize to all Sakura fans out there that I made her one of the bad guys in this story, but it's necessary to get everything rolling.
Please leave a little review in the box below! I would be really thankful for any kind of support.
See you soon... hopefully :)