For La Vita a Colori! :D I had so much fun writing this prompt so I hope you'll enjoy it too! ^_^
Prompt: Angst/romance Naruto works at a coffee shop and pines after Sasuke, the angsty quiet businessman (I'm horribly cliche).
Thank you harborseal54 for the corrections! :D You're thee best!
The first time Naruto laid eyes on him, he instinctively knew that the quiet man was not like most people.
He was handsome; his alabaster skin complimented his dark, smooth dark hair and black eyes. The way he sat was conservative, ultimately proper. The way he drank his coffee was refined, his pinky up as he held the handle of the cup. It was there and then that Naruto immediately knew the man was in fact,
"His name's Uchiha Sasuke," a voice crooned, breaking Naruto's train of thought. "A business man."
Naruto turned back, meeting a pair of interested eyes that belonged to the owner of the coffee shop, Tsunade. He grinned and replied, "Who said I wanted to know his name, Granny?"
She was quick to defend herself, flicking Naruto in the forehead with her index finger. She smiled triumphantly, watching Naruto wince and grab his forehead defensively. "I'm not your Granny, you brat. If I didn't like your parents so much I would fire you."
"Oh that's not true," he said teasingly. "You know the costumers love me. Deep inside you love me too."
She hummed in agreement. "I'd love you more if you stopped staring at him like a school girl," she said, handing Naruto a burning hot coffee pot. "Go refill his cup, brat."
Naruto blew a resentful puff of air and complied. As Naruto reached the businessman, he smiled. "Hi there, would you like some more coffee?" he asked.
Naruto didn't even get a glance from this man Tsunade had called Sasuke; the businessman was too busy reading his business magazine. Instead, Naruto only got a nod as Sasuke pushed his cup away for a refill. Naruto instinctively did so, taking a step back after he was finished.
Well, he is handsome, Naruto thought. He knew if Tsunade found out, she would bellow all day about how right she was. That was the last thing Naruto needed.
Shifting away from the thoughts, Naruto pressed the tray against his chest, watching the man take a sip of his coffee. He waited. It was mostly silence between him and the man with several murmured conversations going on in the background. It was still early; seven in the morning and there were already gathering hoards of people inside of the coffee shop.
Despite the numerous people Naruto absentmindedly watched him. The man set his cup down and regarded the younger male with uninterested eyes. Naruto snapped out of his trance, taken aback by the cold stare. He raced to think of something to say.
"Ah, is there anything else I can get you?" Naruto asked nicely, straining a smile.
He peered down at his cup, shaking his head. Through the awkward silence, Naruto bit his lip, feeling embarrassed and sped away to the counter of the shop. Tsunade had been watching with an amused look, her chin rested on her palm as Naruto neared her.
"What's his problem?" he whispered, slightly dismayed. Naruto wasn't used to not being spoken to; he was so easily likable! "He didn't even say a single word to me!"
Tsunade smiled. "Oh? Well, that's because he's a mute," she answered modestly.
Naruto's eyes widened. "Are you serious?" he asked.
She laughed crudely, walking away to attend a new costumer. Naruto turned back to study Sasuke who was flipping the pages of his magazine carelessly. As Naruto watched, he tilted his blond head slightly, wondering why the pale man rejected his courtesy.
When no possible reasons came to mind, he approached the man again.
Despite being a waiter in a small coffee shop, he got along with just about anyone and everyone who walked through the door. His way of talking to people was never conventional; some might argue it was quite frank. Naruto just thought of it as being innovative.
With a tone loud enough to ring throughout the shop he asked bluntly, "Are you really a mute?"
The café went silent. Onlookers watched the scene.
Sasuke looked up, his blank eyes stared at Naruto with a strict look of indifference. Naruto bit his lip in contemplation, half-expecting some sort of response. What if he really was a mute?
When the thought hit him, Naruto flinched.
"Oh! I'm sorry! Erm, do you speak sign language—Oh! I only know how say this!" He said, gesturing foolishly to himself.
Naruto froze mid-way with his hands in the air as a sly, alluring smirk settled on the thin lips."Tch. Moron," he mumbled. Naruto's breathing stifled, staring at Sasuke as if he'd grown a third eye.
"Y-You speak!" he said shocked, jaw nearly dropping.
"Yes I do," he replied. "By the way, you just called yourself a gay turkey. You're not very proficient in sign language are you?"
Naruto let his hands drop and chuckled. "Hey, I never said I knew sign language. I don't even know where I learned that from. So, ah…you know sign language?"
He gave him a careless nod. "I know a lot of languages," he replied.
Intrigued, Naruto sat in front of him without noticing his bemused expression. "Oh, are you some company president?" he asked eagerly. Naruto caught Sasuke's hesitation and grinned.
"Why does it matter?" he asked, avoiding Naruto's expectant stare.
"I like knowing my costumers," he quickly explained. "I guess you can say I serve them best when I know more about them. I'm a good judge of character."
"I see," he murmured. Naruto waited, watching as Sasuke contemplated over answering his question. After polishing his thoughts, he replied, "I'm not a company president."
Good, Naruto thought. He'd gotten him to speak.
Now to find a topic of conversation. Naruto's eyes flickered in interest. "Well, you must be someone very important," he pressed. "By the way, my name is Uzumaki Naruto! Well, you probably already knew that because of my name tag." He laughed.
"Uchiha Sasuke," he said.
Naruto felt his heart race, excited to be going somewhere. He quickly abandoned his thoughts, leaning closer to him. "So you are a business man," he said, grinning.
This time, his head turned completely away from Naruto. "Yes," he answered solemnly. Naruto noticed the shift in his movements. He deliberately dropped the question for fear of scaring him away.
"So how old are you?" he asked. "I mean…you look my age and all."
"Twenty-one," was the simple answer.
Naruto jolted. "Hah? I'm twenty. I can't believe you're a year older than me!" he exclaimed, shocked. "Twenty-one and working for a business. You must be amazing."
Sasuke raised a brow in question, perhaps not anticipating such a compliment. Naruto felt inwardly smug at causing a different reaction of his cold façade.
Before the conversation could continue, Naruto heard a bell ringing from the front door. More costumers had arrived, forming lines at the front. He sighed, anticipating that Granny-Tsunade would call him any moment to help.
"Well, it was nice talking to you," he said, standing. Before he walked away, Naruto turned and gave him one last sign, making circle motions around his face. "I know how to say that in sign language too!"
As he walked off, Sasuke smirked.
When Naruto interacted with his costumers, he rarely spoke about customary topics like the weather. Topics usually consisted of listening to their troubles, dreams, and advice as he served them coffee. It just so happened that dating was a common topic, at least when it came to Haruno Sakura and Yamanaka Ino.
"Naruto, you pervert!" Sakura yelled, slapping him across the arm.
Naruto staggered slightly, quickly catching himself before he could spill any of the coffee he was serving. Luckily, nothing fell. He handed both girls their coffee with a smile. "You didn't have to hit me that hard, Sakura!" he whined.
They giggled, disregarding Naruto's hurt expression. After suppressing their laughter, Ino sighed. The school girls peered over to the table where Sasuke sat alone, admiring him. "Wouldn't it be great to have a boyfriend as handsome as him?" Ino asked. "I bet he's the romantic type. A boyfriend who is romantic and handsome, it's almost impossible!"
Sakura's eyes dropped to her coffee, staring down at her own reflection. "The guys we know are so clueless! They think it's so romantic to take us to their baseball practice," she sighed, brushing strands of hair to the back of her ear. "I want a guy to take me out to restaurants…or even taking a walk down the beach!"
Ino clasped her hands together in excitement. "I like the sound of the beach!"
Naruto frowned, pointing a finger at himself. "Hello?" he called. "You're looking at the most romantic guy here! I'll take you girls out to the beach and a restaurant!"
The girls shot him a glare, silencing him. "It's not the same Naruto! You're gay," Sakura rebutted.
Naruto scratched his head. "Hey, hey I'm half bi-sexual. I still like girls you know!" he defended.
Ino scoffed, "How can you be one-fourth gay?"
He sneered as if the answer was obvious. "Easy. It just makes the probability of me liking a girl higher than a guy," he answered. "It's just that you pretty girls make it so difficult to go completely gay."
The girls exchanged glances before giggling uncontrollably at his attempts to flirt with them. Naruto continued to keep his grin despite the failure, and he walked back to the counter to empty the coffee pot. As he rinsed it, his eyes wandered to the corner of the store where the man sat.
He continued to read his magazine without touching the coffee Naruto had served him three hours ago. Naruto couldn't possibly understand what Sasuke was reading that took three hours; everyone else in the shop did anything but read.
A voice broke his thoughts. "Yo!"
He turned to a man that had a sluggish look, a hand in his pockets and an orange book in his free hand. It was Hatake Kakashi, a prestigious professor and a regular at the café. He liked to sit in the corner, always reading porn in the coffee shop while stealthily hiding it with a textbook.
"Kakashi," Naruto called. "You want the usual order of coffee?"
He shook his head. "Maa, I would but today I'll just have some cheesecake. Add in an extra fork too."
Naruto might have questioned the change in his order, but Kakashi stalked away from the counter before he could do so. He turned to the fridge, where they kept their infamous strawberry cheesecakes and began to slice. As he turned to walk back, he froze in his tracks.
Kakashi had taken a seat in front of Sasuke. Naruto wondered how he knew Sasuke as he approached the two of them with their order. Although tempted to look at Sasuke, Naruto forced his gaze on Kakashi, setting the plate down.
"Are you actually going to pay or should I put it on your tab?" Naruto asked, out of habit. Of course Kakashi was going to place it on his tab—
"I'll pay," the deep voice replied, reaching for his wallet. Naruto remained in place as Sasuke's hands reemerged from his pocket with a wad of bills in his wallet. He stared blankly at the bills that were being handed over to him, meeting Sasuke's dark, captivating eyes.
"Maa Naruto," Kakashi said, poking the astonished worker. "Are you going to take the money?"
Naruto's eyes dropped down to the money, his cheeks reddening. For a second, their fingers touched as he took the money. Then he turned his attention back to Kakashi, pushing back his shock. "You're a cheapskate!"
Kakashi scratched his head, smiling. "Hey, hey…I'll get it next time," he defended. Naruto didn't believe him, but he turned away to help another group of costumers that had walked in.
As he left the men, he couldn't help but overhear Sasuke say, "I hate sweets."
When dawn came, Naruto was already up and ready to head to work. It was around this time that Naruto had to be stealthy, like a ninja, to avoid waking his mother and father up. It was usually an easy task, since his parents worked enough to tire themselves out.
Once he was out of the house, he shoved his hands into his pockets and began to walk several blocks to the bus stop. His neighborhood was undoubtedly pretty, and some of his neighbors even waved to him, but he was never accustomed to it. He preferred the neighborhood where his shop was located; it was always and busy full of people.
Once he got on the bus, Naruto stared out the window, glancing over the business district and its marvelous, expensive coffee shops with their exquisite cakes. It reminded him a lot about the business man, Sasuke. He looked rich, with his formal suits and brand watch. Naruto wondered what a guy like him would be doing in his small coffee shop instead of these nice ones.
The café was anything but modest either, attracting a range of costumers from people of his age, white-collar workers, and to even simple grade-school teachers like Umino Iruka. He was a regular and he usually came to the café at eight in the morning. Naruto was especially fond of him, respecting him for his hard work with children, who badgered him like no tomorrow.
"Good morning Iruka!" he called, entering the store. Iruka was already seated, sipping on his light coffee that Tsunade had poured for him.
"Good morning," he replied tiredly. Naruto eyed the book he was reading and looked over Iruka's shoulder to try and get a glimpse of the words. The teacher quickly hid it.
"What are you reading this time?" he asked. "Oh! Is it like that last book you recommended? What was the name…um…the one with the paperboy and that editor guy?"
Iruka reddened, hushing him before the rest of the café overheard him. "No, but I'm glad you enjoyed that one," he laughed. "This one is called Lovers' Strives and Desolates. It's about two straight actors playing gay lovers in a movie." Naruto eyed him. "Iruka…you're a pervert."
The brunet twitched, annoyed at the accusation. "There's nothing perverted about it," he retorted. "It's a tragic story."
"I believe you," Naruto said honestly. He only liked to tease Iruka, figuring the school teacher needed some humor in his life.
Iruka took a drink from his cup before setting it down. "How have your parents been?" he asked. "Still working hard?"
Naruto nodded. "The corporate world is treating them good but they're always busy," he replied. "It gets lonely in a big house like ours."
Iruka's face tensed. "I can only imagine. Just don't hesitate to come over like old times," he said.
"You want me to bother you?" Naruto asked in astonishment. Iruka said nothing, only smiling as he took another sip of his coffee.
Naruto left him to his book to head back to the counter. The door opened, initiating the ring of a small bell. On impulse, he turned to greet the new arrival. "Good morning—" he cut off as his gaze met a familiar pair of eyes.
"Good morning," Sasuke replied. Naruto's lips quirked into a smile as Sasuke approached him digging into his pocket for his wallet.
"What can I get you?" he asked. "Let me guess, I'm good at this. Ah… black coffee?"
"Black coffee," he repeated.
Naruto promptly put the coffee on, waiting for it to heat up. In the meantime, he rested his chin on the palm of his hand. "So where do you work if you don't mind me asking?" Naruto asked.
"Business district nearby," he answered. Naruto waited for more information besides the obvious. Sasuke stared at him impassively without another reply. Naruto rolled his eyes at the vague answer, trying not to voice his disappointment.
"Naruto," Sasuke called, breaking Naruto's thoughts. Naruto's head cocked to the side under the scrutiny of the pale man. He struggled to keep down the warmth threatening to color his cheeks.
"Yeah?" he asked, his eager tone betraying his composed face.
Sasuke pointed behind him. "My coffee."
Naruto nearly jumped, hastily turning back to see the coffee pot steaming abundantly. He rushed to it without a moment's hesitation, burning his fingers in the process. He jerked away his fingers, biting them in attempt to soothe the burning sensation.
"Ah, sorry about that!" he said, laughing nervously as he handed the businessman his coffee.
Sasuke disregarded the incident and turned away mumbling, "It's fine."
Naruto watched as he took a seat. There wasn't really a good reason to continue eyeing him so blatantly, but he couldn't help himself. Somehow, he'd just become so fascinated with the young businessman.
One evening, Naruto was cleaning the tables and about to go home when Tsunade settled down on a stool and asked, "Do you like him, brat?"
Naruto prolonged his cleaning duties and looked over to her smirk, possibly thinking she hit the mark. He shot her a confused look and replied, "Who are you talking about?"
"Oh, don't play stupid," she said with a playful tone. "You know I'm talking about Sasuke Uchiha. I see the way you're always looking at him out of the corner of your eye—"
"I don't know what you're talking about," he cut in, going back to cleaning the tables."He's a costumer, so obviously I'm going to be looking at him to make sure if he's satisfied with our service."
"Every two minutes?" she asked teasingly.
"Yep! Every two minutes," he confirmed.
Tsunade kept smiling, almost laughing. "As much as I love it when my employees are dedicated to their work, even I can see you're putting extra effort on this man."
"Well, it would be helpful to have good reviews from a guy like that," he explained. "Maybe he'd get some of his business partners to come to the café and then we'd expand wouldn't we? I'm just thinking about the shop."
"Oh I don't believe that," she snorted softly.
His blond eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "Why?"
Tsunade walked over to him, grabbing his wrist gently to still his movements.
"Well, for one you've cleaned the table enough so that I can see my own reflection. And secondly," she began, caressing his warm cheek, "just talking about him is giving you that same flustered look you always have whenever you see him."
Naruto felt his own cheeks, astonished. Tsunade laughed softly, leaving him to his own thoughts. Naruto looked down to the table he had over-polished and realized that she was right. A red color had indeed embellished his tanned face. He slapped his forehead, hoping he didn't really look like that when Sasuke was around.
"My father owns the company I work for," Sasuke revealed one very busy day.
Naruto looked at him, speechless that he initiated a conversation. Sasuke noticed his astonishment and added, "You said I was 'amazing' for working in a business at age twenty-one. Well, that's because I work for my father's company."
Naruto blinked. That was a nearly a month ago. "You remembered that?"
Sasuke crossed his arms. "It bothered me," he replied honestly.
At this point, Naruto had never felt happier as he settled down a chair in front of him. "I'll bet your father will be really proud once you take over the company," he said.
He grunted. "Not likely," he said grimly.
"Oh? Why wouldn't he?" he asked curiously.
Sasuke's face tensed as Naruto leaned to him with interest clear in his eyes. "My older brother is the prime candidate," he responded, with revulsion in his voice. "I'm the second born, so it's only natural that he inherits the business."
Naruto rested his cheek on a fist. "So, you have an older brother. What's his name? Does he look like you? How old is he?" he asked, clearly overwhelming Sasuke.
"Do you always ask this many questions?" Sasuke demanded with furrowed brows.
"Hey, hey, my costumers are my first priority!" he recited, waving a finger close to Sasuke's eyes.
Sasuke broke out of his cold demeanor, the corners of his mouth nearly quirked into a smile from the level of amusement he'd bottled up. Naruto titled his head, eager to learn what enticed him to smile, until he heard a distinctive "Naruto!" from another table.
He looked back at Sasuke, scratching his head in apology. "Ah, looks like my priorities are calling!"
Once he was out of view, he let out a quick sigh. He was slightly relieved that the distraction happened; if it hadn't, Sasuke was sure to have seen the red tinge on his face.
"Earth to Narut-o!"
Naruto's eyes flickered at a feminine hand being waved in front of his face. "Ah," he gave her a sincere look. "Sorry about that Sakura. What were you saying?"
Sakura shot Ino a worried glance before turning back to Naruto. Ino spoke up, "You've been distracted lately. What's going on with you? Are you getting sick?" she asked, putting a hand to his forehead. Ino leaned an inch away from his face, trying to analyze him.
He stole back from the alarming interrogational looks. "I'm feeling great," he replied. When he couldn't take the growing concerned expressions, he turned away. "Um… I'll go get your order now."
Naruto could feel their eyes fixed on his back as he walked away, fully aware that he had lately been distracted a lot. It's all Granny's fault. Her and her stupid ideas, he mulled over these thoughts miserably as he entered the area behind the counter. Luckily, she'd decided to take the day off to attend a supposed coffee convention; it was really an excuse for her to go off gambling.
The ring of a bell interrupted his thoughts, pounding on his eardrums. He turned back impulsively to attend whoever had just walked in the door, and felt his stomach do a somersault. It was Sasuke, but unlike before, Naruto noticed that his face was flushed.
"Sasuke," he called. "Why are you blushing? Don't tell me you just saw a pretty girl on your way here? Or a guy?"
His teasing immediately made Sasuke shake his head. "It's nothing like that," he mumbled defensively.
"Then what?" Naruto demanded with great amusement.
Sasuke looked away before answering, "It doesn't matter." Loud laughter followed his words. Sasuke turned his attention back to the blond who was idiotically laughing loud enough to grab the attention of the other customers. "Why are you laughing?" he asked anxiously.
Naruto slapped his hands over his mouth. It took nearly five minutes for the laughter to subside. "It's nothing. You looked different just now," he said. "Embarrassed, I guess."
Sasuke looked distraught, as he rubbed the side of his head and muttered, "Just hand me my coffee."
Naruto complied, flashing him a grin. He watched as Sasuke shrugged, turning away to avoid Naruto's smug expression. "Is there anything else?" he asked, hoping the businessman wouldn't leave.
Sasuke unexpectedly stopped in his tracks. He stood in the stilled position for a minute. Naruto flashed him a confused look, wondering if he had said something wrong. Without turning, Sasuke said, "His name is Itachi." With a tone that hinted distaste, he added, "Yes, he does look like me. And he's twenty-seven."
Naruto looked at him oddly as Sasuke began walking. He held his hand out, taking Sasuke's pale wrist. "So then he must be as handsome as you!" he said in a voice noticeably higher than usual.
Sasuke looked back at him, raising a finely shaped eyebrow at him. Naruto felt vulnerable when Sasuke raked his eyes all over his body. Those dark eyes looked at Naruto like they were searching for something. After a while, Sasuke gave him an infatuating smirk.
"I suppose so," he mumbled. Then a sly expression crept across his features. "Are you that interested in me?"
It didn't take seconds to come up with the obvious answer. He really should have denied the man the satisfaction of hearing the truth. It came out like a natural habit. Naruto let his hand fall away from Sasuke and answered, "Of course!"
Naruto swept the last bits of crumbs from the floor and settled the broom into the storage room. After another twenty minutes of placing chairs on the table, cleaning the counter, and washing the coffee pots, he was finally done.
"Uwah!" Naruto bawled, stretching his tense shoulder muscles. He had never been so relieved to leave work and go home, not that anything was waiting for him there. His parents were on a business trip so he had the house all to himself for a few days.
"Make sure you lock everything up," Tsunade called out, peering back in the shop. Naruto waved her off, nonverbally telling her to get home already. She smiled through the glass and began to walk away.
He pulled his jacket on after his tasks were completed and reached into his pocket for the key to the front door of the shop. As he shut the door, cold air of the winter night hit his face. He shivered slightly and sighed, watching his own breath lingering in the air.
Naruto turned, stopping as he saw a figure standing in front of him. He smiled. "Sasuke," he announced. "What're you doing here this late? Not here for a coffee stop are you?"
Sasuke grunted. "I'm working into the night. I thought this place would be open late," he replied. "But I see that you're heading home now."
The wind blew past the two of them. Naruto hugged himself in attempt to keep out the cold, but he heard his teeth chattering as he replied, "Y-Yeah. But! Th-The shop down this block should be opened. By the way, when you go in you should greet the waiter nicely or he'll spit in your cup."
Sasuke snorted as if the task were impossible. "I'll pass then," he said. He then noticed Naruto's shivering. "Do you want a ride home?"
His mind screamed Hell yes! but Naruto shook his head instead. "N-No! I-I w-wouldn't want you t-to get in trouble at work or anything."
"I won't," Sasuke reassured. "Besides, you look like you're freezing your ass off there."
The shivering teenager couldn't help but laugh now. "Well then you should come here and warm me up!" he tantalized.
Through his laughing, he failed to notice that Sasuke took up the challenge and drew him into a tight embrace. His laughing stopped abruptly once he felt his cheek collide with a warm chest.
Naruto looked up, meeting Sasuke's enrapturing smile. "Still cold?" Sasuke asked in what Naruto's mind thought of as a tone of seduction. Naruto shook his head dumbly without saying anything. He realized that in this man's arms, the shivering really did stop.
"Good," he whispered.
In his tempting face, Naruto felt blood rushing to his face as they stood in silence in front of the coffee shop, his warm breath ghosting over Sasuke's face.
They kept this position for another minute, until without another word Naruto's toes curled upwards to Sasuke's height and he planted a kiss.
Sasuke stared at him.
"Ah, sorry…it's just that you…I…" Naruto struggled under Sasuke's intense look. "I shouldn't have done that…anyway I'll be on my way now—"
Sasuke took him by the shoulders. "Are you going to keep talking, or are you going to let me kiss you already?" he demanded.
Naruto looked up in surprise, meeting his lips for the second time. Naruto felt Sasuke deepen the kiss by forcing his tongue past his own lips, tasting the corners of his mouth. Naruto's back shivered as Sasuke's hand pressed his back tighter to his body, not from the cold, but rather in excitement. It felt even better once Sasuke began to suck on his tongue, creating a light suckling noise.
Once they separated, Sasuke raised an appraising eyebrow."You taste sweet," he informed.
Naruto scratched his head. "Oh, sorry."
Sasuke looked to the floor, red in his face. "It's fine, I like the taste," he replied, missing Naruto's shocked expression.
They both stood in another brief silence as a wave of icy breezes blew past them. Naruto hugged himself again to avoid shivering uncontrollably again. Sasuke took heed of the reaction and grabbed his wrist, leading him to an expensive silver car.
"I'll drive you home," he said. "I already took too much of your time."
Naruto was at loss for words as they entered Sasuke's car. Inside, the heater was on. He felt immediate relief as the heat enveloped his frozen skin. However, Naruto's attention was soon pulled away from this as Sasuke leaned over from the driver's seat and pulled him into another kiss, this time tentative.
His frozen hands intuitively touched the sides of Sasuke's head and in response, Sasuke took Naruto's hands into his own, pressing on them in attempt to warm them up. A feverish sensation crept its way into Naruto's head as they exchanged looks, separating from the kiss.
"Well," Naruto laughed through the moment. "I'm really warm now."
After another week, people were starting to notice.
"Two cups of dark coffee," Naruto announced happily, setting them down for Sasuke and Kakashi respectively. He watched as Kakashi struggled to find his wallet and Sasuke glared at him.
Kakashi rubbed his neck and gave Sasuke an apologetic look. "Maa, looks like I lost my wallet when I went to help that poor defenseless old lady from cars running her over in the street—"
"Bullshit," the two younger men said in unison.
Kakashi raised a brow at their seemingly rehearsed speech, and then he disregarded it as Sasuke paid for him again. Kakashi witnessed Sasuke smirk just as Naruto gave him a sly wink. Then, Naruto's fingers caressed Sasuke's hands just before taking the money.
What the heck?
The atmosphere between the three suddenly shifted into an awkward feel. Kakashi moved hesitantly out of his chair and stood. "Maa, I'm going to the bathroom," he announced, without receiving a reply. The two men were just looking at each other.
Once Kakashi got away from the scene, he noticed Naruto sit down in his seat. Then, what came next was a surprise. Naruto's foot moved against Sasuke's leg.
Kakashi's eyes widened and he thought, Not good.
Naruto woke up in his bed at the sound of a fire alarm. He threw his sheets away, nearly tripping as he sprinted out of bed and into the hallways.
"Fire?" he yelled, after peering inside their room. It was empty; the bed was made with no trace of his parents. He continued downstairs where smoke clouded. He rushed to the room and found his father, Minato coughing and his mother, Kushina opening a window. He sighed in relief.
"Good morning," Minato said nervously at his son's gaze. "Hah, I tried to make breakfast." Naruto laughed; his father was never much of a cook compared to his mother.
Kushina fanned the smoke out of the window before she felt Naruto wrap his arms around her, planting a kiss on her head. "Oh you're so affectionate this morning," she said teasingly.
"It's rare to see you guys home. I didn't even hear you guys come in last night," he said. He turned his attention to his father. "How'd you even manage to burn toast?"
Minato let the burnt toast drop into the trash can. "I was caught up in your mother's beautiful eyes," he said lamenting. "It's her fault."
She laughed and punched him softly. Minato recoiled and feigned a hurt look. "We've just been tired," she replied. "We got home an hour ago to be honest. We haven't had a chance to sleep."
Naruto's eyes widened. "Can't you guys take just one day off?" he asked desperately. "You're both the CEO's of your own company—"
Minato planted his hands on Naruto's shoulders, smiling. Naruto's speech ended abruptly; it was his father's effective tactic to calm his son down. "Business has just been growing lately, that's all." His son nodded without protest.
Kushina glanced at the clock nearby and asked, "It's getting late. Do you need a ride to work?"
Naruto eyed the burnt toast. "Sure, I ran out of money to take the bus anyway. I'll walk home today," he said.
"I'll lend you money," his father began. Naruto held a hand up before he could go on further. "Oh Naruto, you're so stubborn like your mother. Just let us give you money—"
"I work," he replied. "So there's no reason why I should be asking you guys for money. Besides, it's my fault. I put all my money into my savings without keeping some for me."
Kushina had her hands on her hips. "We're giving you money, at least for the bus ride home," she said. Naruto swallowed; unlike his father, Naruto didn't reject an offer when his mother made it. It wasn't really an offer anymore. "We understand you took this job because you want to be independent but you're only turning twenty, Naruto."
"I'm doing this to save up for college," he corrected nonchalantly. "You know I need that college degree if I want to take over the company before you guys retire."
Minato nodded, supporting his son. "We're not that old, Naruto. We have money to help you but I see what you're doing," he said. "Just like his parents, working his way up!"
Naruto beamed. "Right!"
Kushina continued to hit both of her men on their arm. They both winced and cried out in pain. "Stubborn men," she sighed.
Minato's eyes snapped suddenly. "Oh, how did we forget? We hope you don't have plans for next week," he began. "We got invited to a wedding reception on Saturday night at the Grand Hotel in the Elysium room. And then Sunday, we'll go out to celebrate your twentieth birthday!"
Naruto rolled his eyes. "I'm turning twenty. I shouldn't celebrate my birthday with my parents," he snorted. He noticed their saddened looks and quickly added, "Just kidding. Anyway, I hope we're going just to keep the company's reputation." Naruto frowned, earning another punch from his mother. He rubbed the spot that fell victim to the assault; at this rate his bruise was going to get bruises!
"This has nothing to do with business. One of my best friend's sons is finally getting married," Kushina said, clasping her hands in excitement. "That room is so beautifully decorated. It even has its own fountain."
Naruto's laughed. "Sure, I'll ask for that day off. Erm, so who are the unlucky couple getting married?"
"Do you remember Mikoto?" Kushina asked as she set several plates on the table. Naruto shook his head. "Oh, she and I used to take care of you and her sons before your father established our business. Well, one of her sons is marrying a model. Her name is Karin Sagaku."
"Her?" Naruto said. "Wow, Karin Sagaku is pretty. But I don't remember that lady…or her kids."
"Well you weren't even a year old," Minato said, offering him a fork. "You used to get along very well with those boys. They took care of you all the time."
"What were their names?" Naruto asked, taking a spoonful of scrambled eggs into his plate. His parents exchanged glances, contemplating their names.
"I think the oldest was…" Minato trailed off, lost in thought. "Itachi. Yes, that's right!" Naruto's head shot up. Itachi? Why did that name sound familiar? His father continued, "And the youngest was Sasuke. Yes, Uchiha Sasuke and Uchiha Itachi. They are both the sons of Uchiha Corporation. at the business district. They are the neighboring company for Nami-Maki."
Suddenly Minato and Kushina jumped, a sound of the metal hitting the floor caught their attention. They looked back to Naruto, with a shocked appearance.
"Who…is," his voice shook as he spoke. He swallowed hard. "Getting married?"
Kushina went to retrieve the fork as she answered, "The youngest. Sasuke is getting married."
The words took longer to settle in his brain than normal. He felt like his entire world was collapsing at that point as he stood, causing the chair to knock down. He watched his parents stare at him in bewilderment at his reaction. They mouthed words incomprehensively to him, making him feel almost alienated.
He couldn't believe it.
Sasuke was getting married?
To a woman?
Naruto's heart began to beat faster as thousands of questions ran through his head. His breathing became harder to maintain. His eyes were still wide from the shock of the news.
Why had Sasuke lied to him?
"Naruto?" his parents called.
He broke out of his horrified trance and picked up the fallen chair. "I'm going to work," he spoke softly.
"Didn't you want a ride?" Kushina asked worriedly.
Naruto went off, avoiding their concerned looks. "No thanks," he mumbled. "I think I need to take a walk."
Naruto thought it was ironic that Sasuke wasn't at the café that day.
He figured the lying bastard was with his model girlfriend, possibly fucking her brains out at this very moment. He couldn't believe everything that had happened. How could he have allowed such a man into his life? He slapped his forehead in frustration. Was this his punishment for trying to make friends all the time?
He should never have pined after Sasuke, especially because he was a businessman. Everyone knew business men in huge corporate environments were cheaters, right? Naruto felt so stupid. The more he thought of Sasuke, the angrier he became, as he forcefully scrubbed the table he was cleaning. He bit his bottom lip, suppressing the frustrating growl that wanted to escape his lips.
"What?" He demanded loudly, turning to meet Sakura and Ino. Naruto's hard stare suddenly softened. The girls had a golden brown cake in their hands, though it looked very different from the ones they sold at the café. The cake they were holding looked sloppy, almost homemade.
"We made you a cake. Your birthday is coming up," Ino offered. Sakura nodded in agreement, holding up the ugly crumb cake which probably took them hours to make. Naruto smiled despite his initial anger. He dropped the wet towel he'd been using to clean the table and wrapped his arms around Ino, planting a soft kiss on her lips. Then he went to Sakura, who had no time to react due to her shock at the sight of Naruto kissing Ino, and gave her a kiss too.
"Thank you, girls," he beamed. He took the cake. "I'm sure it'll taste great!"
"You're welcome," they both said, red in the face.
He took a fork from their table to taste it until the door bell sounded. He peered over the girl's shoulders, noticing it was Iruka who had arrived. "Iruka!" he called. "Want some cake? Sakura and Ino made it for me! Aren't they the best?"
"They certainly are," Iruka said, walking to the group. "Good morning," he said.
The girls bowed slightly to the teacher. "Good morning!" they replied.
Once Naruto cut enough pieces, he went to retrieve some plates for everyone. He grabbed one more plate when he turned around to find another person sitting at the table.
"Kakashi," he said when he returned with the plates. "You want some cake too? It's free."
"The girls made it," Iruka added, taking his plate. "It's good."
Kakashi looked troubled. He didn't want to seem like a freeloader. (Sasuke didn't count.) "Maa, alright, I guess it wouldn't hurt to have some."
Naruto watched as they all ate and talked. He noticed the girls were enthusiastic that their cake was getting complimented repeatedly by the teachers. He wondered if they would be willing to share their recipe; maybe it'd be a hit in the café.
He let his mind wander until Kakashi looked back at him with a stern look. Then, all memory of Sasuke's betrayal came back to him. That's right. Kakashi knows Sasuke better than me, Naruto thought.
Once they had all finished, Ino and Sakura left to rush to school. Iruka did the same, waving Kakashi and Naruto good-bye and running out to catch his bus. The two were left alone.
"Heading off to work late?" Naruto asked, picking up the plates left behind by the group.
Kakashi shook his head. "No. Actually, I just came to see you. There's something about Sasuke I need to tell you—"
The very name of that bastard made his stomach churn. "I know, I know. He has some pretty model for a girl, right?" he asked. "Save it. My parents already told me."
He raised a brow. "Alright. So I take it that you already knew that he knew who you were? That you are Naruto Namikaze-Uzumaki. The future successor of the Nami-Maki Corporation?"
Naruto's actions stiffened at the revelation. No one should have known that bit of information. That's why his parents had given him his mother's surname in the first place. "How did he know?" he asked.
"I'm not sure," Kakashi answered. "I used to be a friend of his father's and I'm a friend of yours too. I never thought you two would meet in these weird circumstances. It's typical of Sasuke to go into low-profile places to avoid media. I was in charge of looking after him."
"So you're not a Professor?" Naruto asked.
Everything was turning up to be a lie. Naruto sighed and asked, "Why?"
"Why did I lie about my identity?" he wondered. "Or why as in, why did Sasuke decide to use you?"
He frowned, anticipating the answer. "I did it to make sure Sasuke didn't do anything stupid while he was out of the company's sight. Looks like I did a terrible job of keeping track of him. I never realized he would do something like this to you, Naruto. I'm sorry."
For once, Naruto realized Kakashi was being sincere. He decided not to pass up this change of pace and smiled, accepting the apology. "It's okay. I'm fine," he replied.
"You sure?" Kakashi asked.
Naruto bit down his bottom lip, nodding, but he wasn't really sure.
Naruto exited the shop after another long day, sighing dejectedly into the cold air. He couldn't wait to crawl into his warm king-sized bed and have a nice long night of sleep. He had asked for a day off tomorrow, which was Saturday, the day of Sasuke's wedding reception. It wasn't like he was going to go with his parents.
He pulled his jacket tightly around his body and began to walk in the dark until he heard a car door slam closed. Naruto found the noise rather abrupt and suspicious. He picked up his pace, walking faster. From ahead, he eyed the shadows behind him, and noticed there was another shadow following. He started feeling paranoid as he noticed that the other shadow seemed to be gaining on him.
"Naruto," the person behind him called out, capturing his wrist. It was Sasuke's voice.
Naruto turned around, dislodging his hand. He felt the anger from days before suddenly explode. "You're fucking married," he growled. Sasuke narrowed his eyes at Naruto for the sudden outburst.
"Engaged," he corrected.
"W-Whatever!" Naruto shouted, backing away. "You lied to me, asshole! Why didn't you tell me you had a fiancé?"
Sasuke's hands fell to his sides. "You never asked," he replied coolly. Naruto's hands went into tight fists. He couldn't believe what he was hearing!
"Are you even gay?" he asked exasperated.
This time Sasuke rolled his eyes. "As if it wasn't obvious while I was plowing your—"
"Alright! I get it!" Naruto began, becoming too furious for words. "You! You…"
He smirked. "Me."
"Yes, me. Now what about me, moron?"
Naruto felt his blood boil. "I hate you!" he yelled. As the words escaped, he only got a dark chuckle from Sasuke. Naruto stared confusedly at him as Sasuke approached him with ease. Once the businessman got within hitting radius, Naruto lunged to hit him straight in the face.
Sasuke easily grabbed the fist in mid-air, bringing it down to his side. Naruto yelped, feeling the ground underneath him shift as Sasuke tugged him forward. His cheek collided with Sasuke's chest, and he flinched on impact. Naruto shoved his hands forward, struggling to push Sasuke away.
"Just listen," Sasuke said.
The blond head shook furiously. "No. Let go."
Sasuke's voice deepened and his face went dark. "Fine, I'll make you listen," he murmured in Naruto's ear. He hauled Naruto over his shoulders, surprising the blond. Naruto struggled to break free from his sturdy grasp until he realized that Sasuke was taking them back to his car.
Once they entered the back seat, Sasuke locked the door and stared hard at him. Naruto averted his eyes and furrowed his brow. "You might as well listen," Sasuke said. "You're not getting out until you do."
Naruto contemplated this as he straightened in his seat, scooting farther away from Sasuke. He crossed his arms like a child, but finally said, "I'm listening."
"I'm engaged," Sasuke began, only to trail off as he heard a sarcastic laugh. His face grew cautious from the unusual dry humor but he went on anyway. "My parents own Uchiha Corporation. and Itachi was supposed to take over, but he ended up backing away from the deal. So now I have to go and step in."
"What does that have to do with the fact that you're engaged?" Naruto asked quietly, scowling toward the window.
Sasuke seized Naruto's chin lightly, meeting his blue eyes embedded with anger and sadness. Naruto moved away without removing the hand from his face. "Before I bacame the successor, I had leeway as to what I could do in my private life. After Itachi left, they found out that I was…"
"Screwing a guy?" Naruto offered. Sasuke nodded grudgingly and let his hand rest on his own lap. Naruto's gaze also dropped as they sat quietly. They were both unable to speak; Naruto was attempting to digest the words in his unsettled stomach as Sasuke worried over the blond's reaction.
Naruto finally asked, "Was it arranged?"
He shook his head, unsure of the reaction. "No, I proposed to her."
Naruto smiled. "Well," he stuttered, taking in shaky breaths. "Then that's it. Congratulations on your engagement. My parents will be there but I won't. Now, mind unlocking the car doors?" He turned completely away from his seat only to be taken by surprise as Sasuke wrapped his arms around his shoulders. His head landed on the older man's chest.
Sasuke stared down at him accusingly. "This is your fault," he said.
If it weren't for his sturdy hold, Naruto would have punched him on the spot. How dare he! "What? My fault?" he exclaimed, wondering if he heard right.
Sasuke nodded, leaning closer to his face. The tip of their noses touched, making Naruto slightly dizzy from the sudden contact. "Yes, yours," Sasuke whispered. "From the moment I stepped into that shop, everything that's been happening to me has been your fault."
Naruto tried harder to wiggle his way out of his hold and exclaimed, "You asshole—"
Before Naruto could do so much as to blink, Sasuke crashed his lips on top of his, silencing him. Naruto's eyes went wide. His heart began to pound harder against his chest and his eyes closed at the natural feel. He couldn't resist Sasuke and he hated himself for it. His anger was easily cast aside with a mere kiss.
As they kissed, his hands went up to Sasuke, running them soothingly up his neck and to his dark hair. His fingers grabbed some dark locks and gripped tightly, bringing him closer to deepen their heated kiss.
In response, Sasuke ran his hands down Naruto's shirt, massaging his warm chest. Naruto jumped slightly as he felt his cold hands pinch the nubs of his nipples. They kissed for what seemed hours and without realizing it, Naruto began to moan softly.
"Do you realize," Sasuke began, sounding out of breath. "How much I tried to resist you?" Naruto's attempt to reply was replaced with more moans as he felt Sasuke kiss him greedily.
Through their longing touches and passionate kisses, Naruto managed to shift completely under Sasuke's body. Sasuke trailed his kisses to the side of Naruto's face, his fingers caressed his neck. "This is your fault," Sasuke repeated in his ear.
"Hah you bastard," Naruto mumbled. "You knew about me… about my parents."
Sasuke nodded, a seductive grin on his face, allowing a second to pause their kiss. "So what?"
Naruto pulled him down for another kiss. Sasuke welcomed the notion and held him.
"You're an asshole," Naruto said as they broke away.
Naruto laughed. "Hey Sasuke?"
Sasuke sat straight up, lending Naruto a hand to help him sit up. "Yes?"
"Does that mean you remembered who I was?" he asked.
Sasuke brushed his slick black hair away from his eyes and shrugged. "Not at first. I didn't know who you were until you told me your name. It wasn't until I asked Itachi about your last name that I remember a boy I used to play with when I was a year old. You were still a cry baby."
Naruto punched his shoulder lightly. "I was not! And how can you remember if you were only a year old at the time?"
Sasuke smirked. "I have a great memory," he replied smugly.
"Pfft. Yeah, right!"
He raised a brow and grunted, obviously unimpressed. "Did you remember who I was?"
Naruto's laughter ceased.
Then another period of silence ensued.
"I'll drive you home," Sasuke announced suddenly, reaching for the keys of his car. He left the car momentarily, leaving Naruto alone in his concerns. He decided to hold them back, forcing the words down his throat once Sasuke entered the car again.
As Sasuke concentrated on the road, Naruto stared hard at his fingers. For the duration of the ride, neither of them spoke, but Sasuke made occasional glances at the rear-view mirror, not that Naruto noticed.
When Sasuke reached his neighborhood, Naruto exited the car before he could turn to say good-bye. He began to walk away but he knew from the light being emitted from the car that Sasuke was watching him leave.
Naruto turned one more time and forced a smile, offering his blessings. A nod was the only thing that Sasuke could muster in the farewell. He turned slowly and made his way out of the streets and out of view.
Naruto had to let go of him; after all, Sasuke was going to be married.
Days passed with not an Uchiha in sight.
"Are you sure you don't want to come to the dinner reception with us?" Kushina asked, smoothing out any potential wrinkles in her black gown.
"No thanks. I told Granny I'd work today," Naruto declined, without looking away from the book he was reading.
A lighthearted chuckle came from the bathroom."I hope you don't call her that in front of her," Minato said, struggling to keep a strong knot in his necktie. Kushina noticed his great effort and quickly went to aid him.
Naruto closed the book Iruka had recommended for him and stared at his parents in awe. Though they were in their forties, they still maintained their childish attitudes. His father continued to smile as Kushina fixed his tie for him and mumbled, "Men."
His parents were garmented lavishly. His father sported a black two-button, center-vented suit with his – not surprising – yellow tie. His mother's dress complimented his attire with her knee-long dress and v-neck cami slip lining with spaghetti straps.
"You guys look great," Naruto said, once they were finished with the tie.
"Why thank you!" Kushina said, planting a quick kiss on his forehead, much to his dismay. His father patted his back, smiling sheepishly as they retrieved their coats. Naruto retreated to his room, unable to watch his parents any longer, knowing they were going to Sasuke's wedding reception.
By this time, it was fine with him. The fact that Sasuke no longer came around to the café somehow made dealing with his absence much more tolerable. The means to forget him were unfavorable, but necessary. He continued to work in the café, offering a genuine smile to everyone who came in. No one suspected that he was inwardly distraught.
"We'll see you later!" he heard his mother shout from below.
Naruto dropped to his bed once he heard the door shut. He rubbed the roots of his yellow hair, massaging his scalp thoroughly. He had nothing to do today. The truth was that Tsunade didn't even want to see him at work. It was her gift to Naruto for his birthday tomorrow, which he was reluctant to take, until she reassured him he'd still get paid. He ultimately took the offer in order to take the day off to relax.
"I should have just gone to work!" he said, frustrated at his decision.
He looked away from the ceiling, laying on his side. He stared at his pillow hard before hugging it, and eventually drifting off to sleep.
Naruto thought quite a few hours had passed when he awoke to the sound of concerned mummers downstairs. He sat up, peering over at the digital clock nearby and realizing that it was only six in the evening – he'd dozed off for a mere two hours! His parents shouldn't have come back so soon. Wedding receptions typically took all night.
He peered out of his bedroom door and into the hallway where the voices were gradually growing. He could hear the sound of female whimpers; was someone crying? He thought of his mother, but she rarely cried, especially when she had Minato with her.
Perplexed by the sudden interruption of his evening nap, Naruto made his way to the kitchen, where he spotted his parents – and more people.
A woman with dark hair sat in the middle of the table, Kushina rubbing her back as she attempted to maintain composure. Behind her, another man with a grim expression folded his arms, looking disappointed. Naruto noticed his father offering the pair some drinks, which they accepted.
"That was absolutely humiliating," the woman sighed. "First Itachi disappears and then Sasuke decides to break off the engagement that he arranged. Oh I feel so bad for Karin right now."
Naruto's heart stopped at those words. Sasuke… broke it off?
Kushina frowned. "Mikoto, she'll be fine. She's a model anyway, there will be plenty of men for her," she reassured.
"This is a disgrace," the man said, his voice rough. His eyes were squinted in anger, and almost sadness for the betrayal that befell them. "Itachi was a prodigy. Sasuke was supposed to be the second best and he does this after I told him I acknowledge him."
"Fugaku," Minato called. Naruto noticed that the tone in his father's voice was serious. "Did you ever stop to think that maybe your sons didn't want to be in the business world?"
Fugaku grunted, but Mikoto raised a hand. "Itachi did say something about traveling the world. Something about 'finding himself'. We don't even know where he is now."
"And Sasuke, for that matter," the grim man added. "He's always admired his older brother. I wouldn't be surprised if he left the country to go find his goddamned self."
Naruto instinctively felt a sudden rush. He walked swiftly out of the view of the kitchen doorway and lunged forward to his shoes that sat in front of the door steps.
"By the way," Mikoto said, wiping the last remaining tears from her eyes. "Where is Naruto? I haven't seen him in almost twenty years."
Just then, everyone heard the sound of the front door closing, and Kushina and Minato exchanged glances. Then Minato smiled. "It looks like he's on his way to go find himself."
Despite the heavy burning sensation in his chest, Naruto kept running. His legs didn't want to stop, not even to catch the bus that usually took him to work. He found it odd that he could even beat the speed of the bus and the thought of running to work every day crossed his mind.
Bringing back his focus, he turned a corner, nearly bumping into a couple holding hands. He offered an apology, but he continued to sprint even faster than before.
If he knew Sasuke, the man would be in the café, sipping his black coffee per usual, sitting at table seven, reading a business magazine. He chuckled out loud to himself as the thought occurred. His feet halted in front of the shop and he inhaled deeply before opening the door.
As on cue, the bell rang. Tsunade, who was looking bored before he strode in, looked up in surprise. "Naruto? What are you doing here? I thought I told you to take the day off today."
"You did," he replied, scanning the area for any traces of the business man. "Has Sasuke come here?"
She shook her head. "I haven't seen him all day. By the way, I'm not letting you work today so go on home already," she grumbled.
Naruto sighed heavily and turned to leave before hearing Tsunade say, "I didn't know he loved work THAT much."
Okay, so maybe he had been a little naïve to think that Sasuke would go somewhere so obvious. He didn't really think that far ahead in his little innovative plan. Most of the things he did were on impulse.
He nestled his hands into his pockets to keep them warm as he began to walk, until he suddenly heard a dark voice call out, "Moron."
Shock could have been one word to describe Naruto's initial reaction. He recoiled, meeting Sasuke's look that clearly read that Naruto's reaction met his expectations.
"S-Sasuke? Why are you here?" he asked.
"To get coffee, moron," was the simple answer.
Naruto's mind went past the insult. He nervously stammered, "I thought you…" He trailed off, speechless.
There was a light grunt. He took Naruto's wrists in his hands, reeling him closer to his body to share some body warmth. Naruto reddened as he felt the tight embrace, aware of the wandering eyes of the onlookers who passed by. Sasuke didn't seem to mind.
"S-Sasuke!" he protested.
"Are you going to keep babbling or are you going to let me kiss you?" Sasuke asked, lifting Naruto's chin up.
With every last bit of doubt gone, Naruto smiled. He threw his arms tightly around Sasuke's neck and kissed him, ignoring the stares.
Naruto grinned as they broke away. He knew that everything would be alright. He fell into step beside Sasuke and walked into the café.