Summary: It's the final Friday of the month, which means a formal dinner at Gaara's house. And how does Naruto make a first impression? By getting smashed, of course. NaruGaa. Slashy. AU.
Warning(s): Mild cursing, perverse insinuations, and Gaara's father.
Author's Note: This very quickly devolves into borderline CRACK. It was bound to happen eventually. On that note, Happy Naruto x Gaara Fan Day, and much thanks to all who organized it!
"Can I just say how much of an honor it is to be sitting here with you all? Really, Gaara's told me so much about all of you. I feel like you're practically family."
Four pairs of skeptical eyes were trained on Naruto, who suddenly understood just where Gaara had gotten that particular look from—the look he was getting times-four at this very moment. The look which meant, simply, "Idiot." Oddly enough, Gaara was the only one not looking in his direction, his green eyes trained on the blank space in front of him as he drummed his fingers once, silently, on the tablecloth. No doubt regretting his decision to bring Naruto along.
Because while it had been, in the end, Gaara's decision, it had not been his idea. It had been his father's.
"Bring him along," his father had said, in reference to the family dinner they had once a month. "I'd like to meet him."
Humiliate him was more like it, and while Gaara was well aware of this, there was a small part of him—(he was his father's son, after all)—that wanted to subject Naruto to their devastating scrutiny. Particularly when Naruto seemed so very zealous about the whole thing.
"Meet your family? Are you kidding? I'd love to!"
"…Naruto…we are talking about my father. The man who initially disowned me when he found out I was gay."
"And? Isn't it a good sign if he invited us both over?"
Despite Gaara's attempts to convince Naruto that his father's actions were anything but a good sign, Naruto still wanted to go. So here they all were, the sixth seat finally taken on the large square table in the dining room. Gaara's father and mother occupied the end chairs, and Kankurou and Temari sat across from Naruto and Gaara. Gaara couldn't quite decide if it was good or bad that Naruto was sitting on the corner closest to his mother. Only time would tell.
The door to the kitchen swung open, and Yashamaru emerged in his flawless livery, his dirty blond hair swooped back in a modest ponytail so that not one hair was out of place. As he came to the table and began positioning the cutlery, Naruto made a very blatant double-take between the woman to his left and the man placing various glasses in front of him.
"Gaara," he said, turning to his right with a smile. "You didn't tell me your mom had a twin sister."
That was the moment when Karura choked on the water she was sipping and Yashamaru nearly dropped his tray, the silverware rattling noisily upon its surface. Again, Naruto was on the receiving end of four pairs of cynical glances—make that five, now that Yashamaru had finally regained his bearings. Gaara still wouldn't look at him. He did say, however, "Yashamaru is my uncle," his fingers drumming once, and only once, on the table.
"Uncle?" Naruto said, arching a brow. "Uncle? But how can—Oh my god." He looked around the table, sporting an apologetic grin. "I'm so sorry…for the inconvenience…I mean, please permit me to…apologize, or…Yeah. I'll be quiet now."
After an awkward silence of roughly three minutes, the salads were brought in and everyone could finally pretend that they were too busy eating to have to talk to one another.
"So, dad," Kankurou said between mouthfuls, "how has business been? Were you able to close that deal you've been working on?"
The man who, in Naruto's fascinated opinion, looked just like a grown-up Gaara with hair the color of dry blood, sat his fork down and pressed his fingertips together very contemplative-like. "Terrible. Just terrible," he said. "I work with a bunch of low-life fools who can't do anything. I have an entire staff at my command, and yet I feel like I'm the only one doing anything. It's absurd."
"Things seemed to be going better last time we spoke."
"Yes, well, you can never predict the stupidity of the common worker. Their worthlessness knows no bounds. Regarding the deal, I've very nearly finished with all of that. I just need to draw up some of the final papers, and I can finally be done with that utter waste of my time."
To Naruto's shock, Temari said, "I don't know how you remain so patient, dad. It's commendable." Even more terrifying was the degree of seriousness with which she said it.
The two siblings then went on at length about the various projects they were working on while their father provided slender nods of appreciation. Temari, the eldest child, was spearheading three major assignments and already had five successful business ventures under her belt, which was more than a little intimidating considering she was only twenty-four. Kankurou was more of an architect than a businessman, but he was already responsible for the resurrections of three malls and two skyscrapers—again, an impressive resume for a young man of only twenty-two years.
During the course of the conversation, Yashamaru brought in a bottle of white wine, gingerly filling each of the crystal flutes. Naruto was the only one who said "Thank you," again earning him the evil eye from several at the table. His first sip was a long one.
"And what about you, Mr. Uzumaki?" said Gaara's father, folding his hands on the table. His eyes were flat, unreadable, and certainly not warm.
"Please, call me Naruto," Naruto said.
"Very well, then—Naruto…what is it exactly that you do?"
"I've told you, father," Gaara said, speaking up for the first time since correcting the Yashamaru/Karura incident. "Naruto is a student like me."
"And what is it that he studies?" He never once broke his eye contact with Naruto, who took another long sip from the glass that Yashamaru was quick to refill.
Kankurou tilted his head to the side. "Art?" He turned toward Temari. "You can study art?"
Temari buttered her roll and sighed. "You can if you don't want a job."
Naruto's sudden laugh pulled all eyes in the room toward him. "You've sure got that right. But yes, I am studying art, and I love it. Me, I think it's important to do what you love, even if it might not earn you the most money."
"Sounds stupid to me," Kankurou said. "How can you be happy without money?"
His father smirked. "Son, simple people are happy with a simple life. It's something you can't really understand, coming from such a privileged background—"
"Father, please," Gaara said.
"No, it's okay," Naruto smiled. "He's right. I am happy with a simple life." In one quick swig, he finished his second glass of wine, and, like clockwork, Yashamaru was there to refill it.
"Permit me to ask, Naruto, because I am a little bit curious," said Gaara's father, wearing an expression of curiosity that was only mildly demented. "You want to be an artist, right?"
"That's right." Naruto took another swig from his glass, which Yashamaru eventually topped off. "Well, actually, I'd like to say I am an artist right now. What I want to be is a successful artist."
"Very well. Might I ask what sort of income you're making?"
"Income?" Naruto repeated, looking perplexed. "More like outcome. Or does that make sense? Either way, sir, I'm in debt."
Gaara noted the slight slur that accompanied his pronunciation of the word "Sir." Not exactly a good sign. Gripping the seat of his chair, he asked, "Father, what are you getting at?"
The sadistic grin he received was definitely not a good sign. "Son, I merely wish to try and understand, if I can, how this—this boy plans on taking care of you. Because, as it stands, I am…concerned—"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Naruto interposed, "no need to be concerned, Pops," so that Gaara could finally confirm that Naruto really was drunk, and very much so, it seemed. He passed a hand over his face as the blond guzzled yet another glass. "Thanks, Yashi-chan," he began waving the crystal-ware around as he spoke. "Now, as I was saying, Gaara and I, it's not like that between us."
"It's not?" Temari and Kankurou asked simultaneously.
"What? Oh…wait, no, oh, it's definitely like that. I mean, he and I…we are definitely…well, you know…" He made a crude gesture with his hands.
"Okay, so that came out wrong. But we are definitely dating. It's just not a case of me taking care of him."
Gaara's father narrowed his gaze. "So you expect my son to take care of you, then? See to all of your whimsical needs?"
"No," Naruto sighed, throwing his head back theatrically. "What I mean is that our relationship is not one in which one of us takes care of the other. We both take care of each other." Gaara looked over at him momentarily, before letting his gaze fall back down to his plate. "Sure, I don't have any money right now, but that'll change. I'm a student, I'm supposed to be poor. One day, I won't be anymore, and I'll be able to really contribute financially to this relationship, and then I can laugh at you behind your back."
"What?—Oh my god, did I just say that out loud?" Turning toward Gaara in genuine panic, he whispered, "I just said that out loud, didn't I? Uh oh…" Gaara ignored him. "Gaara. Gaara, your dad's looking at me crazily, Gaara. Gaara, his crazy eyes! He's gonna kill me tonight in my sleep! Gaara!"
Whereas Naruto had started out whispering, his voice had steadily risen to the point that he was yelling, and everyone in the room, Gaara included, this time, was now looking at him like he had completely lost it.
"Somebody's drunk," Kankurou muttered audibly.
"Who?" Naruto asked.
"Father," said Gaara, standing, "if you would excuse Naruto and me—"
"No," he replied, a look of disgust and satisfaction on his face that Gaara knew so well, having been on the receiving end of it so many times. "You will stay. I want to get to know the boy who's ruined your future, the one you've thrown everything away for."
Gripping the tablecloth, Gaara sat back down, relieved when Yashamaru came in carrying the actual entrees. Maybe if Naruto had food in front of him, he wouldn't act so unhinged. He knew Naruto was nervous, but really, this was getting out of hand, and—
"Stop refilling his glass, Yashamaru," Gaara said sternly.
Yashamaru paused and glanced at him, stopping just long enough to fill the glass once more before stepping back.
"Oh my god," Naruto said, picking up his plate and bringing it close to his face. "I hope this tastes as good as it looks. Yashi-chan, did you make this? You did, didn't you, you little rascal? Yeah, I'm onto you, mister." As soon as he took a bite, he started moaning so that Gaara began chewing, but only for a short moment, on his thumb nail. This was a nervous habit that he was rarely driven to do. It disturbed him greatly that he was already doing it now. "De-frickin'-licious. Declicious! Oh yeah, baby. Mmmmmmmmmmmm—"
Naruto nodded his compliance, but Gaara recognized the twinkle in his blue eyes: Mischief. Nevertheless, he did seem to exhibit good behavior after that, cutting into his steak and eating it with a contented air about him. Gaara just hoped that the food would absorb the excessive amount of alcohol that was currently fueling his idiocy.
"You know," Naruto said, sitting back in his chair and looking around. Again, six pairs of eyes were on him. "This is a beautiful house. Really. I just love it."
Gaara's father looked doubtful. "Yes, well, it cost close to ten million dollars to construct it. It had better be beautiful."
Naruto's jaw dropped. "Ten million?"
"That is what I said."
"Where in the world…did you get ten…million…doll hairs?"
Gaara's father glanced at Gaara then, as if he expected him to know what was going on, which, of course, he did. But he wasn't about to say anything. It was one of Naruto's inside jokes that revolved around that fact that "dollars" and "doll hairs" sounded pretty much the same when spoken rather quickly. In other words, it was pointless, and a joke that his father would neither understand nor appreciate.
"What do you mean?" continued his father, clearly becoming irritated. Gaara couldn't help but think that such irritation was well past due. "I worked for my money. How else do you think I can afford all of this? I know you're not well off, but I didn't think you were stupid—"
"Yeah…That's right," Naruto pointed his fork at the man who seemed to take great offense in regard to the gesture. "You work in some hotshot company, right? What's your position?" And then he began giggling, his words broken up by the sounds. "I…don't mean as in sex position. Okay? Let me just clarify that right now. I mean your position in the company. I don't wanna know your positions, although…you seem…like a mercenary man."
It was deathly silent—until Kankurou burst into raucous laughter. Another omen. "Who the hell is this kid?" he asked. "He's fucking hilarious!"
"Don't encourage him, Kankurou." Temari had a very weird look on her face. "Gaara, I really must ask…How did the two of you meet?
Gaara prepared to answer before finding Naruto's hand clapped over his mouth. "It's a delightful story," the blond grinned. "Can I tell it, Gaara? I'm gonna tell it. You see, I had been out with friends at this party, when who walks past but the very God of Love himself—Gaara. He looked absolutely amazing with his red hair and green eyes, wearing these tight jeans that just made his ass look so—"
"Forget I asked."
"Anyway, long story short, we got drunk and ended up sleeping together. Of course, I don't remember how the sex was or anything—not that night, at least; though it's great any other time, let me tell you—"
"—but when I woke up, there he was, all nestled up in my arms, and I don't know. Everything was exactly as it should have been. It was like love at first sight or something. Well, I guess it'd be love at seventh sight or other, since I had already seen so much of him by that time—"
"Okay," Temari said tersely. "Got it. Don't need to hear anything else."
"Temari-san, I don't plan on cheating on Gaara."
"What the hell are you suggesting?"
"Don't be jealous. You'll find someone else."
"Shut the hell up! Like I'd ever even be remotely attracted to you. Shut up, Kankurou," she spat, when her brother began laughing again.
Gaara pried Naruto's hand off his mouth and sent a death glare in his direction. "Naruto, seriously," he whispered, still imbuing his softened voice with severity. "Calm down." Naruto's response was to kiss him full on the lips, deeply, to his father's immediate horror.
"You…are…stunning," Naruto said, pulling back with a playful grin and straightening Gaara's necktie. "Can I have a pen?"
Gaara tried his best to maintain something even related to composure. "Will you be quiet?"
So Gaara signaled Yashamaru over, who was able to procure a pen, and, thank the gods, that finally shut Naruto up. He sat and drew on his cloth napkin with all the enthusiasm of a small child, even sticking his tongue out when he made a mistake.
"Well," said Gaara's father, folding his hands on the table, "this night has certainly been…interesting." He looked pleased, as if he had proven a point.
"Yes," said Temari.
"Sir, I have something for you," Naruto said, looking up from his napkin with a small smile. "I know I haven't made the best impression, but I wanted to show my gratitude for this lovely dinner. So, here…Please." He held up the folded napkin, which Gaara hesitantly took and passed to his father.
"What is it?" the older man asked.
"It's a picture of you," he said sincerely, looking almost embarrassed. "I know I haven't really known you for that long, but I think it really encapsulates who you are as a person, and—most of all—as Gaara's father."
Some of the skepticism dissipated as Gaara's father unfolded the napkin. And then his face just blanked—Gaara had never seen his father do that—before turning very red.
"Well," Kankurou said, "let's see."
The last thing anyone expected to see on the napkin was a huge cartoon penis. But there it was, in all its inky glory, with a goofy grimace on its head. Temari's jaw dropped, and Kankurou nearly choked on the piece of bread he was munching. Even Yashamaru, typically stone-faced, nearly lost his eyes, they were bugging out of his face so much. And Karura, dear Karura, who had not said a word the entire night, exploded into a fit of laughter that bordered on hysterical.
"I don't think I did you justice," Naruto said, placing a hand over his heart like some kind of proud parent.
"You think this is funny?" Gaara's father asked as he crushed the napkin, letting it drop to the floor. That one action alone silenced the room.
"Oh, no, sir," Naruto said, his head shaking emphatically. "I think this is funny—" And with no warning at all, he pulled off his shirt and started twirling it around his head and singing an off-pitch song about how nothing and no one was ever going to break him and Gaara apart—"certainly no penis-man!" That's when Gaara quietly pressed his face into his hands and gave up. It was also when Gaara's father stood up from the table, the chair legs rattling as he threw it aside.
"No—Wait, sir!" Naruto yelled. "Please—For real this time!"
"What?" Gaara's father growled.
The door leading into the dining room had never been slammed so hard upon someone's departure.
Naruto was pretty much out of control at that point, so Gaara enlisted Kankurou and Yashamaru's help in getting him upstairs to the spare bedroom. At first, Naruto was content to sing. But then, he started saying, "Penis. Peeeeenis? Hey, where'd Mr. Penis go? Penis! PENIS!" And while Kankurou thought it was outright uproarious, Yashamaru and Gaara clearly did not. They ended up having to gag him with his own shirt so that only his muffled sounds echoed throughout the long halls until he finally, finally wore himself out and hung limply in their arms.
When Naruto woke up the next day, he was clearly out of sorts. And his head hurt—like hell. And where on earth was his shirt?
"So. You're finally awake."
Naruto sat up quickly, grabbing his head and screwing his eyes shut at the pain which seemed to wrack his very brain. "Gaara?" he nearly moaned. "Christ, my head hurts. What happened?"
A small pressure on the bed to his right meant that Gaara had sat down beside him. "You don't remember?"
"No." He paused. "Well…I remember meeting everyone…and eating salads, and talking and drinking and oh-my-god-no."
"Oh. My. God. No." He pulled the blanket over his head. "That was a dream. Tell me it was all a dream."
"Which part? You discussing my father's sex positions, or you giving him a portrait of a penis?"
"Nooooooo," he wailed, melodramatic as ever. "And did I really….my shirt…I—"
"Stripped at the dinner table? Yes." Naruto fell back on the bed, covering his face. "Oh, and let's not forget about how you tried to have sex with me when we dragged you up here. In front of Yashamaru and Kankurou."
"Oh my god—oh my god."
"Yes, well," Gaara sighed, drumming his fingers once on the comforter, "it's done now. There's no going back."
Naruto was suddenly sitting upright, clasping Gaara's hands in his own. "I'm so sorry! It's just, your father, he—he made me so mad the way he talked about you, and even to you."
"I understand, Naruto."
"I mean, I knew I couldn't just—I just thought if I drank a little, I would be numb enough to make it through the night without making a fool of myself."
"You certainly accomplished that," said Gaara, dryly.
"Oh, Gaara, I'm so sorry!" Leaning down, he kissed the backs of both of Gaara's hands. Gaara watched him with an indecipherable expression. "Just please don't be mad. I love you so much, and I swear I'll make it up to you, and—"
"Mad?" Gaara interrupted. "Who said I was mad?"
Naruto was clearly confused. "But…aren't you? After all the stuff I did?"
"Are you kidding?" There was just the barest trace of a smirk on his face. Definitely not a good sign. "I've never seen my father so out of sorts, never mind the rest of the family. You're coming with me again next month."
cheers: the end