So, I love taking really long breaks from fandoms it seems. I'm fickle like that I suppose. I won't lie, I didn't read anything for awhile on here and in fact stopped reading the manga for nearly two years. My issue is impatience- I hated the whole week by week thing. So a couple of months ago I picked it up again and pumped out all the chapters I hadn't read, only to find that there's still a fair way left to go. How annoying. BUT. At least it brought me back to FFnet because I've certainly neglected it for some time. Over three years since I posted anything? Crazy. I feel old now.

ANYWAY. This is just a little pointless piece that I was inspired to write after reading all the stuff that has popped up on FFnet in my absence. Also I have been playing amateur driving instructor a bit recently, which is where the specific inspiration for this piece came from. My characterisation is influenced unhealthily by my obsessions at the time, which is my excuse for mentioning the boys as musically inclined. I've been totally into Glee for awhile now. So yeah. Story time!

Warnings: None, really. Tiny bit of swearing. NaruSasuNaru if you decide to take it that way. Otherwise, very tame and non-offensive.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. I own Kakashi and Sasuke plushies, but that's as close as I come.

It wasn't every day that Naruto was able to claim that he had bested Sasuke at something. Sasuke was simply an over-achiever. He was a whiz at academics, went to a school specifically for whiz kids in fact. He was blessed with an annoyingly perfect face, perfect (if not a bit eccentric) hair and perfect body (a little skinny, but that was changing gradually). He was musically adept; great at the piano, even more so at the guitar. His voice, quiet but smooth, lent itself rather well to singing, even if that was an aspect of himself he preferred to keep hidden from most.

Naruto should have had a huge inferiority complex with Sasuke, and actually had for a short while, until he had come up with numerous ways to maintain self-esteem. For one, he could nit-pick and find things wrong with the oh-so-perfect brunette. He was taller than Sasuke by about an inch, though neither of them were especially tall. For all his perfectly proportioned features, Sasuke's hands were quite large, or rather, his fingers were long, piano-playing fingers if you will. If one looked closely, one could class these things as 'cons' on the physical perfection list that girls seemed to mentally tick off in their heads upon seeing him. Not that these minor flaws (if you could even call them so) in any way deterred the female population.

Naruto had no desire to cut down Sasuke, but in the face of 'perfection', he often felt the need to validate himself by remembering that everyone has shortcomings, even if they aren't obvious or important. For example, while Sasuke moved rather gracefully, he couldn't dance. At least, not that Naruto was aware of. It had taken him awhile to learn that Sasuke was able to sing, so it wouldn't have been surprising if one day, while Naruto danced incessantly around the place, Sasuke joined in, just as he had done in the car while the blonde had been singing along with Brandon Flowers. The two had very different voices, and Naruto was a good-natured performer, so he didn't see the point in trying to compare his voice, which suited the theatre stage, with Sasuke's, which was more suited to soft rock. Sasuke had no interest in performing, anyway.

Despite the lack of ability (or interest, perhaps) to dance that Sasuke had so far exhibited in their friendship, his grace and coordination was apparent in day to day life, so it was shocking, and rather amusing to Naruto, to discover that these qualities did not carry over when he decided to teach his dark-haired companion to drive a manual car.

"You've got to feel what the car is doing. When you feel like it's pulling, kinda, when you're dropping the clutch- NOT LIKE THAT," Naruto warned as Sasuke dropped the clutch too quickly and didn't accelerate soon enough to compensate. The little red Laser stalled for what seemed like the thousandth time that night. The CD player switched off along with the car, and when Sasuke turned the key in the ignition again, he reached over to turn off the power to the music all together.

"I'm sick of the music stopping and starting. It's distracting," was his explanation, though Naruto hadn't asked him for one.

"Excuses, excuses."

Sasuke narrowed his eyes in the direction of Naruto. The cabin light was on to increase visibility for the benefit of both student and teacher, and Naruto could see he was stressing.

"I'm sorry. I'm not trying to tease you. It's just a bit funny seeing you be so completely terrible at something," Naruto said, hoping his honesty was received by the boy on his right without too much distaste. It really was funny, though. Whatever grace Sasuke had presented in the past, seemed to have flown out the window. "Now," Naruto continued. "Have a foot ready on the accelerator, but don't accelerate 'til you feel the clutch is out enough."

"I know. I'm doing that," was Sasuke's snappy reply. From the moment the car had first stalled in the dark street, Sasuke's patience had gone from plenty to virtually nothing. He had barely even seen the point in learning to drive what he considered out-dated technology. Naruto's insistence had been the only reason he had bothered. It made sense for Sasuke to learn how to drive the Laser seeing as it was the only car they had between them, Sasuke having learned for his license in a Commodore, which was an automatic and currently residing at an interstate med school where his brother was studying.

Naruto grinned and shuffled over in the passenger seat so that he could lean his head on Sasuke's shoulder. Usually when he did something like this he'd feel the slight movement of Sasuke's neck, adjusting to rest his head against the blonde mop of hair. Naruto didn't feel this happen, so he swivelled his head around a little and bit down lightly on the shoulder, grimacing at the feel of his teeth against the thick cotton that was Sasuke's hoodie.

The bite appeared to shock Sasuke slightly, and caused him to lose concentration and slip the clutch out entirely, stalling the car again. He sighed heavily, a small shake in his breath. He was cold. The demister was on and was blowing cold air through the vents (or at least it was when Sasuke wasn't stalling the car). He could see out of the windows at least, but he would have preferred warmth over vision, seeing as he wasn't exactly making much progress in moving forward, rendering vision an almost pointless luxury.

"Just breathe, Sasuke," Naruto said cheerily. The urge to be condescending was strong but he didn't give in. Stressing the boy out would make teaching much more difficult than it already was. Naruto glanced down and saw Sasuke's fingers tapping the gear stick, and he noticed the goosebumps that had formed on his hands. "Hand-break up, yeah?"

Sasuke obliged, ripping the hand-break up with a little more force than was necessary. He pulled the keys out of the ignition and tossed them onto the dashboard. Noticing Naruto's raised eyebrow and smirk caused him to shoot a glare back, before taking his feet away from the pedals and hugging his knees against his chest.

"You could just let me drive all the way to Sydney, y'know," Naruto suggested, pushing an idea he had been suggesting for a couple of weeks. "It's not that far. Googlemaps says it's about seventeen hours but I reckon we could make it less than that."

Sasuke looked at him blankly. "I told you Naruto," he said, "We're not doing that. We can just take a plane like normal people."

"I think you need to find more sense of adventure, seriously! Or are you just not up for it because you reckon you won't be able to learn manual in time?" Naruto appealed to Sasuke's competitive nature, hoping that by suggesting his lack of ability at something, he'd end up taking the challenge and doing it out of principle.

"It's just pointless. Why waste time when a plane can get us there in a few hours?"

Naruto sighed. When Sasuke's brother had suggested they come up to stay in his share-house in Sydney for a week during the school break, he had hopped online and started checking prices for flights while Naruto sat next to him and pitched the idea of a road-trip. Sasuke was all about efficiency so he had immediately shut down the idea and began entering in dates on FlightCentre. Naruto had started ranting about all the horror stories involved with various airlines that he'd heard of by watching that terrible, staged reality show about the screw ups that occur in airports, and decided that the next time it wasn't raining he would teach Sasuke stick-shift so that they could drive.

They weren't going to get very far with this tonight. Sasuke hadn't booked flights yet and that suggested to Naruto that he was at least considering the possibility of driving, so it seemed best to just leave it for the night and go somewhere to eat.

"Let's just swap seats so I can drive us somewhere that's warm and sells food, so that we can argue in comfort, yeah?" Naruto said, unbuckling his seatbelt and opening the door, shivering as an onslaught of cold air assaulted them. Sasuke grabbed the leaver underneath his seat and allowed it to slide along the railings until it was as far back as it would go. He then climbed across the interior and sat back down in the passenger seat.

Naruto opened the door to the driver's side and climbed in. He shot an amused glance at his friend who had avoided stepping outside into the cold. "You're such a pussy, Sasuke," he said, before grabbing the keys from the dashboard where they'd been thrown and putting them into the ignition.

"Fuck you."


Could totally extend this into a bigger story. I'm more of a one-shot kinda person but if the mood strikes me, perhaps I can make something of it?

Cheers for reading, guys =)