Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto and Co. and therefore I do not make money from playing with them like they are my own personal and rather naughty action figures.

Summary: Happy NaruSasu Day! Just a quick drabble with sick!Sasuke and worried!Naruto because it's just so cliché it's fun.

Author's Note: Something quick to celebrate my favorite boys.

Just Practicing

Dr. Naruto Uzumaki knew something was wrong when his colleague and mentor, Iruka Umino, opened the door, a surgical mask held to his face, and asked if he might take over. The man's tone was pleasant but his brown eyes were tight with concern and Naruto felt the first trickle of fear race up his spine. He introduced Iruka and politely excused himself before stepping into the hallway.

From her desk, Hinata, his receptionist, smiled softly when she saw him, but her attention was held by the discussion she was having on the phone. Naruto heard the words 'reschedule' and 'family emergency' and the trickle of fear became a deluge.

He took two steps toward the desk when his office manager stepped out of her office.

"Naruto, come into my…" she began but Naruto shook his head, swallowing down what felt like white hot shards of glass.

"What's going on, Sakura?"

Sakura held his insistent gaze for a moment before wrapping a strong arm around his and steering him toward his office. "Mikoto called. Sasuke has been admitted to the hospital in Wave." As she talked, she released his arm, leaving him standing dumbly in the middle of the office while she gathered his coat, wallet, and phone. "She and Mr. Uchiha were about to catch a flight out of Snow so she couldn't talk to you personally."

Naruto ran a hand over the back of his neck and tried to reconcile the last three minutes of his life. Sasuke was in the hospital. Hours away from him. Hinata was rescheduling his patients and, finally, Fugaku Uchiha was on his way home from his second honeymoon. A honeymoon he had said he wouldn't leave unless someone was dying. Granted, Sasuke had assured Naruto he was joking but Naruto still got shivers from the way the elder man's voice had dipped and his eyes had narrowed over his scotch glass.

"Sasuke," Naruto began and Sakura stopped beside him. "Is he, I mean…"

Sakura sighed and handed him with belongings, helping him slip on his coat. "She didn't have time to say much. He was alive and the doctors were still in with him. I'm sorry. Apparently he was taken by an ambulance from his hotel room."

"I just talked to him this morning before work. He was getting ready to head to a meeting." Naruto tried to remember anything that would have given away that something was wrong with Sasuke. But Naruto had done most of the talking, per Sasuke's request, and although some things had 'come up' on Naruto's end, Sasuke's health hadn't been one of them.

Hinata stood as they exited the office and met them at the office doors. "Naruto, I rescheduled your appointments and Iruka is confident that Kakashi can step in for you, as well. Take all the time you need."

Naruto nodded. "Thanks, Hinata. Thank you." He absently pulled his phone out of his pocket. "Okay, thanks," he said again and felt torn between wanting to run out of the office or stay right here and pretend everything was as it should be. Patients to see and Sasuke on a plane home that evening. "I need tickets."

Hinata startled him by wrapping him in her arms, holding him tight. After a moment, he held her back, pressing his face into her hair.

"It's going to be okay," he assured her and she chuckled softly, releasing him.

"That's what I'm supposed to say, Naruto. Don't worry about the tickets. The Uchiha jet is waiting for you."

Naruto blinked. "Really?"

She nodded and pushed him toward the door. "Yes, Itachi Uchiha is holding it for you."

"Oh," Naruto said and smiled weakly at Sakura and Hinata before pressing the elevator button. "Oh god."


Juugo, the Uchiha's butler, met Naruto at the entrance and immediately escorted him to the private gate reserved for the Uchihas use. The engines were already running and a young flight attendant ushered him forward and into his seat. Naruto buckled as the plane began to move and with a deep breath, looked at the man sitting across from him.

Itachi Uchiha's black eyes regarded him coolly, his elbow resting on one of the armrests as his palm cupped his chin.

"You look like shit, lover boy."

Naruto's lip curled and he tightened his belt angrily. "Don't call me that, asshole."

Itachi's mouth pulled into a smirk but it didn't hold any of the sadistic glee Naruto normally associated with Sasuke's older brother and his insistence for calling Naruto ridiculous nicknames. In fact, upon closer inspection, Itachi's hair was sliding from its tie as if Itachi had been running his hand over his hair and his eyes were tired… worried.

Naruto viciously scrubbed his hands through his own hair, uncaring of the consequences. "What have you heard?" he asked quietly and Itachi nodded tightly at the change in subject.

"He was admitted to the hospital with a severe kidney infection. The hotel attendants were called by the patrons in the room next to Sasuke because he was screaming."

Naruto's throat tightened and if he didn't know any better he would have swore Itachi had punched him in the stomach. The idea of Sasuke alone and in that much pain… He curled forward, forcing himself to breathe, and closed his eyes. "I was on the phone with him this morning. He must have felt something. Why didn't he say any…"

Itachi's dry chuckle cut him off. "When Sasuke was eight, he walked on a broken ankle for two days without telling anyone because he didn't want to disappoint my mother by cutting our walking tour of the Vatican short."

Naruto swallowed and looked out the window. The clouds were like fluffy, white pillows. Naruto wiped a hand over his forehead and looked back at Itachi. "But why didn't he tell me? He was in pain. I… that stupid, fucking bastard."

"I won't know anything else until we arrive." Itachi ran his fingers over his hair, the only sign of his internal frustration. "So much could go wrong." T

Naruto watched him drink from his water and stare out the window. "Hey," he said and Itachi immediately looked at him, the shadows of his dark thoughts swirling in his eyes. "He's going to be fine," Naruto said harshly, "Or I'll kill him."

Itachi smiled, a true smile, but only for a moment before it took on its natural and more sinister curl. "Ah, lover boy, we'll make an Uchiha of you yet."

Naruto didn't respond and leaned his head back, shutting his eyes. "He's going to be fine," he whispered again and thought about smooth pale skin, soft black hair, and heated midnight eyes.


Upon landing, Itachi and Naruto immediately headed for the hospital. After a brief discussion with the doctor, they were taken to Sasuke's room.

Sasuke lay shivering on the white sheets, a blue blanket pulled over his chest and tucked under his arms ensuring that the numerous wires, cords, and tubes weren't tugged or jostled in anyway. Itachi walked to the edge of the bed and ran his fingers through Sasuke's sweat drenched bangs. "Foolish little brother," he whispered and then lifted his head, meeting Naruto's eyes who had stopped just inside the door. "He's fine." A cool statement, but Naruto knew in Uchiha those two words were akin to a Hallmark card filled with flowery pose of support and sympathy.

Naruto nodded and stepped farther into the room until he stood next to Itachi. Almost without conscience thought his hand found Sasuke's, their fingers lacing, and his thumb brushed over Sasuke's pale knuckles. "I know," he sighed, hardly a whisper, and then startled when Itachi's hand landed on his shoulder, squeezing gently.

"I leave him in your capable hands."

Naruto turned and looked at Itachi with wide eyes. "Wait. Stay. He's your…"

Itachi smiled. "Brother. Yes, I know. I would like to meet my mother and father at the airport, fill them in on his condition." Itachi's fingers squeezed once more and his hand dropped, coming to his tie and adjusting it until it was perfect once again. "He's my brother, but it's what he is to you that matters."

Itachi nodded his goodbye and Naruto found himself alone in the room. Without releasing Sasuke's hand, he moved a chair closer to the bed and sat heavily into it. "You stupid, stupid bastard," he whispered and leaned back his free hand over his eyes while he finally breathed a sigh of relief.

Naruto wasn't aware of how much time had passed until a strained voice whispered, "Why are you here?"

Naruto's head snapped up so quickly he heard an ominous cracking and groaned. "Sasuke!" he whispered loudly and Sasuke stared back at him expressionlessly. With a grin Naruto continued, "You're awake."

One black eyebrow arched. "Yes."

"How do you feel?" Naruto asked. He scooted the chair closer and rested his hand on Sasuke's head, brushing through his hair.

Sasuke licked his dry lips and his eyes narrowed in concentration. "Like shit. Why are you here?"

Naruto continued the gentle movements and bit his lower lip. "I guess I'm practicing."

Two tired blinks. "Practicing?"

Naruto tried to release Sasuke's hand, but Sasuke's weak hold tightened in protest. "Let me get you something to drink, okay?" Sasuke didn't let go and continued to stare at Naruto, waiting for his answer. Naruto sighed and instead moved the hand combing Sasuke's hair to awkwardly reach for the water glass beside the bed. "I'm practicing the 'in sickness and in health' bit." He held the straw close to Sasuke's mouth and smiled when Sasuke took a small sip. "What the fuck were you thinking? How long did you ignore this? The doctor said you were mere minutes from kidney failure, among other things. You were in pain this morning, you had to be, why didn't you tell me?"

"What could you have done?" Sasuke snapped.

"I would have asked what was wrong and…"

"You're a dentist," Sasuke interrupted.

"Fuck you, Sasuke. I still know more than you, obviously! I know that pain means something and isn't just a trifle nuisance to be dealt with whenever the fuck you can be fucked…" Naruto didn't mean to raise his voice and immediately snapped his mouth shut. "I'm sorry, I don't want to fight. I was worried. You.. you have no idea."

Sasuke's blank eyes stared at him before he turned his head enough that he was looking at the ceiling. "I just wanted…" he said softly but his words died out. For a moment Naruto was sure he had slipped back to sleep but Sasuke's fingers squeezed his own. "Wanted to come home."

"Sasuke," Naruto said, shaking his head. "You scared me. You fucking scared me. And Itachi and your parents."

"They aren't?"

"Yeah, Itachi went to pick them up."

Sasuke closed his eyes tight and let out a soft groan. "I didn't mean…"

"Shhh, bastard. We all know." Naruto's fingers found their way back into Sasuke's hair and he leaned forward, pressing their foreheads together before whispering, "We all know you're an attention whore."

A smallest chuckle turned into a sharp gasp of pain. Naruto stood, trying to pull his hand free of Sasuke's to get help but Sasuke shook his head, slowly opening his eyes. "No, stay."

Naruto sat, but didn't relax, watching Sasuke's every move for signs of pain.

"The doctor talked to you?" Sasuke asked and Naruto couldn't help but smile.

"Well, at first he pulled the 'not immediate family' card but then your brother did that thing with his eyebrow…" Naruto attempted a poor imitation followed by an exaggerate shiver of fear. "And suddenly the doctor was very forthcoming."

Sasuke gave Naruto a weak smile. "Is that what you are practicing for, idiot. To be my immediate family."

"I am, bastard. Didn't you hear? I have my 'promise to love' badge and today I've secured the 'in sickness and health' badge. Really? What's left?"

"Honor and obey," Sasuke said and then curled into himself, a moan of pain that cut to Naruto's core escaping his lips. "N-Naruto," he gasped and Naruto ripped his hand free, slamming his hand over the nurse's call button.

Within minutes, the nurse had upped Sasuke's pain medication and added another blanket to his bed. "Call me if you need anything else," she said to Naruto before leaving.

Sasuke's hand twitched in Naruto's direction and Naruto immediately grabbed it. "Where were we?" Sasuke just blinked weary eyes, but Naruto hadn't expected more. "Okay, the promise to honor I'm cool with, but obey? We might have to tweak that. Love… check. Honor… check. Seriously take your ideas into consideration… check."

Even in his drugged state, Sasuke's arched eyebrow spoke volumes.

Naruto chuckled. "Well, we'll leave that up for debate."

"You're not asking me to marry you," Sasuke spoke slowly, concentrating on each word. "Are you?"

Naruto rubbed his neck, a shy grin on his face. "Since this is just practicing, hypothetical at best, would you say yes?"

Sasuke head shook back and forth lazily, his black hair sticking to the white linen. "No."

"What?" Naruto said and he sat back in his chair.

"Hmm," Sasuke hummed and licked his lips. "Can't. S-surprise."

"What surprise?"

"Worked it all out. Wanted to get home and take you 'way." Sasuke's eyelashes blinked like they were moving through molasses. "Time off. Iruka. And 'Kashi."

"You got me time off at work?"

"Hn. To the mountains. You know. Mount… mount…"

"Mt. Summit. You sappy bastard," Naruto laughed. "Where we met?"

"Hmmm." Sasuke's eyes didn't open. "Ask you there. No more… practice."

Naruto brought Sasuke's hand to his mouth and kissed his knuckles. "Til death do us part," he whispered against Sasuke's skin and received a squeeze in response.

"Not nearly long 'nough," Sasuke whispered and then his breathing evened out and Naruto was left looking over his relaxed features.

"Bastard," he sighed and then leaned back into his chair. "Going to make an Uzumaki out of you yet."