Naruto chased after Sasuke, waving his arms furiously in the air, "Oi, Sasuke!"
Sasuke didn't even pause from walking. He simply glanced over his shoulder and responded with a curt, "No, Dobe,"
"But you don't even know what I was going to ask."
"Nor do I care," Sasuke exhaled slowly, watching Naruto catch up to him.
"You teme! You're such an ass sometimes," Naruto crossed his arms over his chest and stopped moving all together.
A roll of the eyes was all he received as response from his raven haired partner. Why he put up with Naruto was a mystery to him, although Naruto always seemed to have his own ideas.
"You know you love me! You just won't admit it!"
"You just think I'm really cute. It's okay, don't be ashamed,"
"Sasuke, you don't have to be jealous because I'm stronger and better looking than you,"
A heavy sigh escaped Sasuke's lips as he realized he'd continued walking but Naruto had not, "What do you want, Naruto?"
Naruto eyes the onyx-eyed boy defensively for a minute, afraid of getting blown off. Usually he was able to convince Sasuke to do what he wanted, but it was always a struggle. They were friends, so Naruto never understood why Sasuke put up such a fight with everything.
"Let's go get some ramen!"
Sasuke rolled his eyes again, "Is there ever a time you don't want ramen?"
A hint of red brushed across Naruto's cheeks. He stuck his lower lip out indignantly and turned away from his comrade.
"Fine, let's go," Sasuke muttered, grabbing Naruto's hand and dragging him towards the ramen shop.
A grin spread across the blonde's face as he returned the grip on Sasuke's hand and bounded forwards, dragging the slightly taller male with him. Sasuke couldn't help but chuckle a little to himself. No matter what kind of a mood Naruto was in, he always wanted ramen. Sasuke would never understand why.
They reached the bar and Naruto dragged Sasuke back into a booth in the back. The waitress who worked there and knew the pair well smiled at them and waved. They both waved back (although Sasuke's wave was only half-hearted). She disappeared immediately into the back and they knew that she was preparing their usual order. Perhaps they were too predictable.
"Sasuke, I want to ask you something…" Naruto looked up at him with those big, adorable blue eyes of his.
For a moment, Sasuke sat in sheer silence. Whenever Naruto did this, it related to what Sasuke 'thought' of him or 'felt' for him. Thus far Sasuke has luckily avoided each and every question by sheer luck. Right when he would be running out of time to answer, the food would show up and Naruto would entirely forget that he had a question at all.
This time, however, it didn't look like Sasuke was going to be so lucky. He knew the average time it took for their food to be made and that left him with much too much time. He simply couldn't waste or delay that much time. He'd either have to tell Naruto that he refused to answer, or he'd have to come up with an answer and face some things that he was still denying to himself.
"Sasukeeeee," Naruto whined, his blue eyes pleading.
For a moment, the raven-haired boy cursed himself for being so weak to those eyes, "What is your question, Naruto?"
The kitsune wavered for a moment. He wasn't stupid, he was aware that Sasuke had avoided all of his questions. He'd simply let it drop until now because he didn't want to fight with his friend. However, he no longer felt like he could go without an answer. His own feelings were becoming hard to deny and he needed to know how to react.
"What do you think about me?"
"I think you're a dobe,"
Naruto glowered, "Be serious for once in your life!"
"…I wasn't aware I was ever anything but serious," Sasuke jested, raising an eyebrow.
"Stupid teme," Naruto muttered, crossing his arms again, "You know exactly what I mean."
"What, are you trying to make me tell you I love you or something like that?"
Naruto's response caught them both off guard, "Yes."
Just then, the food arrived. Quicker than usual, but Naruto couldn't be more thankful for the ramen. He quickly broke his chopsticks apart and began to devour the food. He decided to let this time be like any other. He'd eat and pretend that their conversation never happened and just figure out how to deal with this on his own. It was the safest way.
Sasuke watched, with greater interest than normal, as the blonde boy began to simply inhale his food. Mentally, he was arguing with himself. Deep, deep down, Sasuke knew he liked Naruto. Hell, he loved that kid. But he'd locked those feelings away so deep he didn't even acknowledge them himself.
Yet, Naruto's words dragged the feelings up from the very depths of his heart and forced him to focus on them. How was it that he, an Uchiha, fell for the town reject? As he watched Naruto some more he realized that it wasn't like that at all. He wasn't wrong for loving Naruto, the village was wrong for shunning him.
Couldn't they see that he was a normal boy? That he was hurt and tormented by their out casting him? Couldn't they picture him like a normal boy with normal hopes and dreams?
He could see straight through that fake smile that always covered that beautifully tanned face. He knew that behind each laugh was years of tears. Sasuke always knew exactly how Naruto was feeling and, quite frequently, it was hurt.
"Naruto," Said blonde looked up, noodles half out of his mouth and a confused expression, "I want to tell you something."
Naruto sucked the noodles into his mouth and rubbed the back of his head, "Nani?"
Thinking it was nothing important, Naruto began to take another bite of his ramen. He knew Sasuke inside and out. Sasuke never needed to tell Naruto if something was wrong and bothering him; Naruto already knew. So it was few and far between that Sasuke ever verbalized a real problem.
"…I love you,"
Naruto nearly choked on his food as the words escaped Sasuke's mouth as nothing more than a breathless whisper. His blue eyes widened as they searched those onyx ones for any sign of a lie or prank.
"You shouldn't be an outcast. You are the best person in this whole village and everyone should look up to you, not fear you." Sasuke's eyes studied the table as he spoke so quietly that he wasn't even sure his teammate could hear him.
Naruto's blue eyes softened. He'd longed to hear those words for so long. He always wanted to feel accepted.
"Sasuke…" His voice trailed off.
The raven looked up at him, finally meeting those blue eyes that could read straight into his soul. Naruto stared back for a moment. A long silence passed between them, but it wasn't uncomfortable. They didn't want or nee to say anything to each other. It was a moment of understanding between the two.
They'd never be ones to speak their true feelings out loud, and they didn't need to. They had been friends for so long (despite how much they seemed to hate each other) that they could simply sit in silence and feel like they had a whole conversation.
However, Naruto felt like he needed to say the words back. Sasuke had said them out loud, so he could, too.
"I… I love you, too,"
A small, almost invisible smile turned up the corners of Sasuke's lips. To anyone else, it wouldn't have meant anything. To Naruto, it meant the world.
They lapsed back into silence as Naruto finished his ramen, They paid for the food and left, chatting idly about some stupid topic. As they were walking, Naruto stuck out a leg to attempt to trip Sasuke. In response, Sasuke shoved him away.
"Oi, Teme! Get back here! I'll kick your ass!"
"Hah, Like you could!"
"Is that a challenge?"
"What if it is?"
The two resumed arguing and screaming at one another, but it wasn't with hatred. It was with a feeling of belonging and a sense of playfulness. They did this because, to the other, it meant love, whether or not the rest of the world could see it.