Comments: I asked for random ideas to write when I feel frazzled, and Darkalbino gave me the skeleton for this little gem. I love writing! Especially humor!
"You don't understand," Naruto's eyes looked honest enough. There was a seriousness in his tone, paired with charisma, and as he clutched a glass of water in his hand, Sasuke wondered just what his friend was about to admit.
"Sasuke. I'm a ninja."
The admission was considered for a sliver of a second before one slender arm took to the air, catching the attention of a passing waitress. "Check, please."
"Sasuke!" Naruto nearly slid across the table in an effort to lasso Sasuke's arm back to its surface, his lips puckered in a less-than-convincing pout. "I'm being serious! It's normal that you wouldn't believe me. They made you forget!"
"Forget what, exactly?" And who were 'they'? Naruto's imagination was definitely on suicide watch tonight, and after a rough day of spring semester finals, Sasuke didn't have the patience for it.
Ever determined, Naruto remained flat as a pancake on the table, clutching Sasuke's hand between his own, their faces merely a foot apart. "Us!"
This exclamation brought forth several glances from surrounding tables and one extremely violent shade of rosy red to Sasuke's cheeks. "Okay, we're done."
Sasuke, using the hidden strength his slender frame disguised from the world, wiggled his way towards the booth's exit, fighting the grip Naruto still had on his wrist. The blond-haired blue-eyed college student merely slid across the table, taking its contents along with him, all before his glass of water gracefully tumbled off and assaulted an unsuspecting passer-by.
In the most obvious display of 'I've-had-this-shirt-for-five-years-but-still-feel-the-need-to-complain', the victim demanded an apology and Sasuke was released as Naruto tumbled off the table in order to give one. Naruto apologized profusely, though much too preoccupied with the fact that Sasuke had dropped some money onto the table, enough to pay for the both of them, and was now easing his way towards the entryway doors.
Without looking back, Sasuke exited the building, one last blurb of Naruto's catching his ears. "Your brother killed your family! You have to remember the village! And your eyes, they're—"
Propping the door open just before it closed, Sasuke slipped his head back in and glared. "It's an astigmatism, you moron!"
From beside Naruto, an older man asked if they were being filmed. The waiter, however, asked for Naruto to leave.
The dark-haired twenty-one year old didn't bother to respond as he deftly made haste to his car. This was the third time in one week that Naruto had tried to prove something outrageous to him, and while each attempt had been somewhat embarrassing, this had been the icing on the cake.
Two hands grabbed his bicep and yanked him back. "Don't make me fight you."
Naruto sounded oddly confident in the fighting abilities he didn't have. Sasuke, on the other hand, had been raised with martial arts as something like a religion. "Naruto, let go of me."
"I know it sounds crazy—"
Sasuke sighed and forced a thumb and forefinger to the bridge of his nose, massaging a headache that was beginning to build there. "Naruto. Two days ago, you threw a plastic staryu, a Pokémon toy, at our professor, claiming it was a 'ninja star'—"
"The closest thing to a ninja star I'll find here," Naruto interrupted, looking doubtful and depressed.
Sasuke continued. "Then, in an attempt to convince me you can clone yourself, you throw a blonde wig onto a blow up doll and got us arrested for disturbing the peace at the park."
This made Naruto smile goofily, with what Sasuke hoped was shame and indignity. Before Sasuke could decide, Naruto's expression changed into something stubborn.
"But I can clone myself!" He hunkered down to a squatting position and his hands moved methodically to form shapes—and Sasuke pulled his car keys from his pocket. One of Naruto's eyes popped open and he gaped.
"You're my best friend! You should believe me!" He pointed accusingly at Sasuke, who opened the driver's side door of his car and smacked his lips together to keep a wry comment from escaping. Instead, he tried a different approach.
"Naruto, it's Thursday. My last finals before summer are tomorrow and I'm tired. I've had a long and embarrassing week with you and I highly suggest you either get some sleep, or see a psychiatrist, or do something to get rid of this pent up energy of yours."
"After three o-clock tomorrow, if you feel the need to continue this bizarre little game of yours, I may or may not choose to participate, but for God's sake, think about what you've done."
And just like that, Sasuke was headed home, his last impression of Naruto being a pouty face that haunted his rearview mirror.
The pencil continued moving, filling in test bubbles like his life depended on it. And in all actuality, it did. If he failed any of his classes, his parents would probably kill him.
He pressed the pencil harder and the lead threatened to crack right off. There were only 20 more questions. Just 20 more and then—
"Young man, just what on Earth do you think you're doing?!"
The lead snapped and so did Sasuke's patience, especially after seeing Naruto dangling from a tree outside his lecture hall window, looking like he had something incredibly important to say.
"Sorry, uh, sir. I just needed to speak with Sasuke." Naruto scratched his head and smiled charmingly, and Sasuke's professor looked like the words needed for such a situation were lost to him.
He found them quickly enough. "Normally people use doors." The instructor crossed his arms over his chest and raised an eyebrow warily.
Sasuke, who was maniacally scribbling through the rest of his answers, heard Naruto drop clumsily from the tree, voice an 'I'm all right!", and a few seconds later recognized the sound of the side door to the building opening. His wrist felt like it was on fire as he thrust his paper into the air and bolted from his seat, trying to beat Naruto to the door to his classroom.
His teacher, however, stepped in front of him to take the paper, and also to allow the other youth inside. Sasuke mentally cringed.
"I'm sorry, professor. We'll be leaving now."
The older man had a mustache that seemed to have a life of its own. It wriggled skeptically, all before the professor asked, "I'm dying to know what was so important you climbed a tree to reveal it?"
Sasuke, for the umpteenth time this week, wished he didn't exist.
Naruto actually looked bothered too, and Sasuke had a tiny smidgeon of hope that for once his best friend would make up a good and believable lie.
"Well, you see…there are these ninja…"
"Ninja." The professor clarified.
Sasuke smacked a hand to his face.
Naruto continued. "And they're—"
Sasuke clapped a hand over his friend's mouth and apologized profusely. "He's from the drama department. He can't help himself. Goodbye, professor."
And before anyone even had a chance to blink, Sasuke had weaved them out of the classroom and into the outer hall. His adrenaline was racing and his heart was pounding and he felt like tackling Naruto to the ground and smacking some sense into him.
"You know, you look really sexy when you're all worked up," Naruto said slyly, and there was a brief moment where he didn't cross Sasuke's mind as crazy. And then the comment registered.
"I seem what? Naruto, did you get hit on the head by someone? Namely Sakura? Did she damage something up there?" Jokes aside, Sasuke was completely serious and he rapped on Naruto's head.
Naruto frowned. "You really don't know what I'm talking about, do you?"
Sasuke fought the urge to glare. "What was your first clue?"
Thinking hard for a moment, Naruto seemed to pinpoint the rhetorical question's moment in history. "Probably when you didn't try to kill me."
Sasuke, who had been prepared to quip whatever jargon Naruto's mind seemed ready to throw out, suddenly stalled. "After which disastrous event did you envision me killing you? The staryu, the blow-up doll, you interrupting my finals exam by climbing trees…"
"Last week. After I had the dream."
The last word was stated like Sasuke should have known what exactly the 'dream' was. It also sounded a bit like at any moment they were going to get mercilessly attacked by a serial killer, or pulled into a Hitchcock film.
"What are you talking about, Naruto?" Sasuke asked, raising an eyebrow. The question was born from pure curiosity. If Naruto was going insane, Sasuke at least deserved to know the cause.
Blue eyes narrowed and glanced around, like he was about to tell some sort of incredible secret. Naruto brought his hands together slowly and breathed, "My dream about the ninja."
"And me apparently being violent."
Sasuke sighed. "Did I try to kill a ninja in your dream?"
"You wanted to kill me."
Sasuke waved it off. "So? You once had a dream I was an ice cream truck driver. Does that run the risk of ever happening?"
Sasuke frowned. "Don't answer that."
"Sasuke, you were crazy and demented and killed your brother and were looking for a way to kill me."
Sasuke snorted. "Oh, that's nice." Aside from Naruto, sarcasm was Sasuke's closest friend.
The halls began to fill with students as tests were handed in and summer vacation began, so Sasuke simply took hold of Naruto's hand and led them outside. He was content to find a bit of shade from the building that remained private enough for the remainder of their discussion.
"Okay, so I tried to kill some people in your dream. Moving on. What else happened?" He crossed his arms over his chest and was surprised to see Naruto staring at him with wide eyes.
"Let me prove to you it exists. Please." It was rare that Naruto looked so intent about something he knew was irrational, and the whole moment made Sasuke feel like the bad guy…until he remembered that Naruto was under the impression he was an Asian assassin.
"Please." Cerulean eyes had never looked so pleading. Sasuke replayed the events of the past week in his mind and dutifully sighed, putting their friendship before his pride.
How could it get any worse?
"Okay. Open your eyes."
Sasuke did. And then squinted. And then frowned.
"I see your name on fabric. Taped to a bridge." Even that was an overstatement. A popular picnic spot in town featured a winding creek, complete with a miniature bridge for passing over it. Naruto had successfully taped a tattered towel across it and scribbled something around the lines of, 'The Great Naruto Bridge' as its headline.
"Yeah! Do you remember?!" Naruto sounded so full of hope that some part of Sasuke wished he did. But it could also have been the part of him that wanted to go home. He was hungry, and the most the creek had to offer were crawdads.
Sasuke furrowed his brows and studied Naruto's horrific handwriting scrawled across the tattered fabric. "I vaguely remember third grade arts and crafts."
"No, no!" Naruto leapt in front of the sign and spanned his arms as wide as they could go, and flailed a little as he tried to light a spark in Sasuke's imagination. "Imagine the bridge bigger! Longer! And with more water! And then there was this big guy who had a partner—but he looked like a girl—and you almost died! But then I got mad and turned into the fox and—"
Sasuke cinched his nose. "You turned into a fox? I thought you were a ninja."
"Not a fox. The fox. And I am a ninja. A demon fox was sealed inside of me." Naruto nodded and then waved his arm around the sign, looking much like a magician that expected the object behind his hands to turn into something miraculous and unexpected. Like logic.
"Uh-huh." Sasuke glanced around, wondering if anyone else passing through the park was listening to what Naruto was saying. So far, from the pieces of this 'dream' Naruto had told him about, Sasuke had gathered only a few for-sure facts.
1. In this dream, Naruto had impossible powers, one of which involved turning into a log for self defense.
2. Sasuke had apparently gotten tired of Naruto's shenanigans and tried to kill him.
3. After a failed assassination attempt, Sasuke had spent the curtail of his life running and hiding from Naruto, and using a special power that Sasuke was convinced was some sort of astigmatism glorification.
"I've got nothing," Sasuke said, hoping to make his friend stop admiring his handiwork on the towel. The scrawling on it could be mistaken for REDRUM at any moment, especially with the red paint Naruto used dribbling down its width. "Next clue."
Naruto frowned, but didn't give up.
Sasuke looked at the picture Naruto handed to him and wondered what on Earth had driven Naruto to staple cartoon heads over the faces of the presidents of Mount Rushmore. This time, he couldn't even begin to guess what Naruto was going to tie the clue to.
"Look familiar?!" Naruto was bubbling and leaning over Sasuke's shoulder, searching for some sparkle in those cold and contemplative eyes that some memory had clicked.
Sasuke licked his lips. "It looks like you're not feeling very patriotic today. What did Washington ever do to you? And Lincoln looks like a woman."
Naruto held up the paper and shook it before Sasuke's eyes. "They're the Hokages!"
"Ho—what?" Sasuke felt like he had been sucked into a parallel universe himself. He had once wanted to attend a Star Trek convention, merely to meet the actors. He had decided against it, however, out of fears that he would be pulled into a world he didn't recognize, with words that didn't exist and imaginations that were beyond sanctity.
Naruto had managed the same effect.
"Hokages," Naruto repeated. "The leaders of our village. They're on this mountain that overlooks the village…" Naruto saw the vacant look in Sasuke's eyes and paused, his expression suddenly turning grim.
"Nothing?" He clarified, shaking the paper a bit more, perhaps hoping magic memory sparkles would escape it and infect Sasuke.
Sasuke shook his head.
"I have one more thing that may make you remember…" he said, and Sasuke felt joy in the fact there was only one more. He took a deep breath and shrugged.
"Go for it." He couldn't wait for Naruto to move on to another fascinating flavor of the week in terms of obsessions.
Naruto crumpled the paper in his hands and threw it over his shoulder, and in a tumultuous movement, sent his lips against Sasuke's, eyes squinted shut. Sasuke panicked and suddenly felt like a hundred girls at any moment would attack Naruto for all he was worth, but the feeling faded.
Instead, he turned beet red and stepped backwards, unsure of what to say as something in his mind nagged at him for a fleeting moment before disappearing into nothing, leaving him confused and awkward.
Naruto opened one eye to gage his reaction, and through nearly pursed lips asked, "Do you remember?"
"That you're an idiot?" Sasuke wiped his lips, trying to regain the sense of manhood Naruto had stolen from him in less than one minute. "I'm going home." Turning on his heels, he stalked away.
"I'll never stop chasing you, Sasuke!" Naruto yelled to him.
Sasuke didn't have the courage to admit he wouldn't ever run.
"I need to speak with Sasuke! It's very important!" Naruto's voice echoed in the poorly lit room of Sasuke's dorm room, and his three other roommates looked skeptically at the would-be intruder.
"Uh…Sasuke…there's a…something…here to see you…" one said, his lips pulled so far down into a frown that they threatened to fall off.
"For God's sake," Sasuke said, hand caught in his hair as he stepped out of the kitchen to catch sight of Naruto in the doorway. "What are you doing?"
"I had another dream. Sasuke…I know the truth now. I'm a pirate."
Releasing a pained sigh, Sasuke remembered warmth on his lips and couldn't help but smile. As one of his roommates pulled evasive maneuvers to avoid Naruto's awful sword handling skills, Sasuke decided something.
He liked ninja better.
a/n: Haha. Oh man. *goes back to updating other things*