Dash General Warnings (Important, please read): This is Yaoi. If you are still here I will also add that this fic will probably contain swearing and sex and all sorts of other goodies. Still here? Well this fic might also contain no predetermined roles in respect to sexual activities. Yep, I have to add this as a warning now. But what that means is that in my stories no one is ever solely uke or seme or batman or whatever predefined roles people might expect. Or they might be but I might not know who it will be from the beginning. Sometimes one person will top, sometimes the other will depending on my mood or where the story needs to go. Sometimes it will switch mid story if I feel like it. Please do not continue if you have preferences for either character and will be upset if whoever you expect to top doesn't. Generally not even I know who will do what at the very beginning of a fic and will decide as I go along. They may not swap at all, but I like to keep my options open and I do not want to make people read multiple chapters of my fic only to dislike the sex scenes.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters. They belong to other people (you know who you are) Also, I haven't read the manga in a while or watched any anime episodes in just as long so I can't give you any sort of timeframe here. Just imagine it wherever it seems to fit. I'm also because of that not going for technical accuracy on really anything so pointing out where I screwed up a name, description or timeline will not phase me. Feel free to do it if you like, but I won't fix it cause I could not be arsed. This is purely for fun, nothing more. I was bored one afternoon and I just hope I can maybe cure somebody else's boredom for one afternoon too.
Sasuke saves Naruto from certain death but only to serve him up to the Akatsuki so he can suffer certain death at their hands instead. But first he needs to heal the battered ninja up because there is no way Sasuke is gonna carry him the whole way back himself. Sounds romantic no? Hehe sarcasm.
I Want You To Want To
It shouldn't have been such a great shock. He should have sensed something was off and now it was perhaps too late. That was what he got for leaving Karin behind. He had gotten used to her being there, being able to tell him well in advance if there was anyone close. And now that she and his other team mates were well up ahead, waiting for him patiently in the next town he hadn't been on proper guard, hadn't been paying close enough attention to his surroundings and now it may be too late to get away.
Not that he was especially worried either. The odd random shinobi coming across him didn't bother him in the slightest because he was confident in his abilities to fight them off if necessary.
He took a closer look at his surrounds with the help of sharingan and was able to discern not one but two sources of chakra. Neither were getting closer to him, neither seemed to realise he was here. He had been so tense lately it had never occurred to him that it might have just been coincidence, that the shinobi in the forest ahead were not here for him and on another mission entirely.
He was about to change his path to go around them when he noticed something interesting. Large chakra bursts were being exchanged as though the two unknown ninja were fighting. This wasn't terribly interesting, but what did interest him was that one of the ninja was commanding such a large mass of chakra. This ninja was obviously powerful and it spiked his curiosity to find out who it might be and if this person might be either useful or a threat.
He got closer to the battle all the while, watching the chakra exchange with those blood red eyes growing more and more confused by the moment. This ninja with the huge chakra reserves seemed to be losing and that was odd. Furthermore, it seemed possible that that ninja was losing through lack of skill rather than lack of power. Wild unnecessary chakra bursts were going off with apparent abandon having little focus on direction or usage.
He didn't know why, but it all seemed very familiar to Sasuke somehow. He found out why a few moments later when he got close enough to see the faces of the combatants.
Curiosity had carried him this far and he really regretted that he'd let it. It turned out his assumption was wrong. This ninja would be of no use and posed no danger as far as he was concerned.
Naruto was fighting a shinobi from the land of shadows and as Sasuke had surmised on the way over, was losing. And quite badly too.
He'd had little respect for his former team mate's abilities in the past so it didn't surprise him to learn that Naruto was having a hard time, but it did surprise him to learn just how hard a time he was having. Not even someone like Naruto could have gone all these years without improving his abilities even a little and as Sasuke watched, he found not only had Naruto apparently shown no improvement, he also appeared to have gotten worse. Even he considered that was impossible.
Curiosity had bought him this far, he supposed indulging it a little longer wouldn't hurt. He focussed his sight wholly onto Naruto and saw the real reason for his lack of ability. His chakra was so out of balance, Sasuke was surprised he had as much control over it as he did. It was taking a monumental amount of effort on Naruto's part just to manipulate as much of it as he was without losing it altogether. But it couldn't last, whatever jutsu the other ninja had performed in order to do that to Naruto's chakra it was slowly but surely doing it's job. Naruto's chakra was draining out in waves and soon he would be nothing but a boneless unconscious heap in the grass, easy pray for his attacker.
Sasuke could care less. He watched the fight through to its inevitable conclusion, watched his old friend fall just as he'd predicted. The shadow ninja didn't finish him off. He merely picked up Naruto's unconscious body and retreated.
Sasuke stayed on after the ninja departed though. He wasn't bothered by Naruto's capture, that would be absurd. Actually it would be one less thorn in his side knowing that Naruto and the rest of the leaf ninja out to recover him would have other things to focus on for a little while. So why was he still here, watching the spot Naruto had been taking from, dwelling on the issue?
He knew the Akatsuki wanted Naruto, that must be the reason. Of course if it were up to him, he could leave right now with little to no real consideration to the dobe's fate. But now there was the Akatsuki to consider. Sasuke knew Madara needed the nine tails and the opportunity might have just presented itself to capture Naruto easily.
His team mates weren't expecting him any time soon to meet up with them, he had told them before setting out on his own that he could be gone for weeks. Right now, he felt he should follow the nine tails.
The Village Hidden in the Shadows was known to Sasuke, he'd been here on previous errands for Orochimaru. They weren't exactly allies with the Sound Village, but neither were they enemies. The shadow village actually had no real allies at all being a very small land with little to no strategic or monetary gain in it for the larger nations to consider befriending or attacking them. Not to mean that their shinobi weren't skilled either. The shinobi here, because of their complex about being of little worth as a nation went, were highly trained and very skilful. But there were so few of them to be meaningless in the grand scheme of nations.
Having nothing to fear, Sasuke entered the village and made for the leader's modest headquarters toward the centre of the little town. The leader knew Sasuke by sight having had dealings with him previously and greeted him the same as he did when Sasuke had been in his former master's employ. Not very warmly, but not hostile either.
"You can't be here on behalf of your master, rumour has it he's dead," The village leader began without the hassle welcoming small talk.
"I'm not," Sasuke replied shortly.
"Rumour also has it that you were the one that finally did the old snake in."
It took no effort for Sasuke to keep both his face and voice expressionless. These days the real effort was emoting anything other than general disgust and anger.
"Rumour, for once isn't lying. Will this be a problem?"
The leader shrugged, "I could care less. I'm not going to miss the Sound's work. So what is this about? Have you taken over?"
There was no point in lying here. Sasuke got straight to the point. "No. I witnessed the capture of a leaf shinobi by one of your jonin in the forest to the south. I wanted to know what your business was with him."
The leader unexpectedly grinned at him. "I have no idea who you could possibly mean."
The leader was playing with him to judge by the smile.
"Of course you do."
The leader shrugged again. He had little to fear from Sasuke knowing he had a leaf prisoner. Sasuke was a confident ninja, but there were probably enough shadow ninja guarding their new acquisition to kill him outright. The number of ninja in the village might have been small but they were highly skilled and Sasuke was just one man.
"Uzumaki Naruto. What of it?" The leader relied as though it mattered little.
"He's wanted by some associates of mine."
"Heh, kid must get around. I have a bounty to collect from that one. A substantial bounty I might add."
"Who's the contract with?"
"Boy, you know better than to ask that."
That was true. The leader would never give up that information. The Shadow ninja were quite often hired as bounty hunters and spies. If it got out that they were telling random rogue ninja who their clients were, work would become very scarce. Sasuke wondered briefly if the client was Madara after all but didn't give it real consideration. Madara didn't need this village to hunt for tailed beats, that's what the Akatsuki was for.
Instead he got down to business. "What's the bounty?"
"More than you can afford now you don't have your Master's money behind you."
"You'd be wrong."
Leader's eyebrows shot up at that one. "Oh? It's still too bad. Can't let it be said that I sold off my client's bounty. That would be bad for business."
Sasuke tried not to sigh. It was all a farce. No one outside the village would know what the leader had done apart from Sasuke. He was simply digging for more money.
"I can make it more worth your while than handing him over to them," Sasuke told him bluntly. "With an added bonus. If your client isn't picky about whether they get him alive or not, I'll return him in whatever state he's in after we're done with him and you can collect your bounty twice. Once off me, and again off your client."
The leader was pretending to think this over but it was obvious his mind was already made up. "What assurance do I have that you'll return the body?"
"None. I'll make no promises but I don't think you really expected me to. If he is not returned in one state or another, you'll still have more than the bounty was worth."
"Worth potentially pissing off a client? Not hardly."
"They won't know. Not even you have a hundred percent capture rate, one less bounty wont hurt you. Besides, I should think potentially pissing off the fire country would be a worse state of affairs."
It was an unmistakable threat. And the leader started to look very angry, but Sasuke had had enough of the conversation.
"Before you decide to kill me," Sasuke warned. "Know that I'm not the only one that witnessed the event. I can convince them not to talk, but only in person," he lied smoothly.
The leader didn't look happy, but he knew he'd been cornered. The fire country was large and had a lot of ninja in comparison to the shadow country. The leader knew, with this sort of a threat, Sasuke didn't have to offer the money, but he had. And that made the decision a little easier to swallow.
""Fine, you can have him. But if anyone hears about this, anyone, I'll know who to come looking for."
Sasuke smirked at the threat. "I'll keep that in mind."
When he was lead into the cells below the shadow village headquarters the smell that assaulted his nose was possibly the worst thing he'd ever smelt in his entire life. It was a nauseous mixture of death, bodily excrement, and fear. These were the cells where they put their more dangerous captives before handing them over to whoever had paid them enough or sometimes it was where they were left to rot if the client hadn't come good with the payment.
Naruto was probably here because it was him a very steep bounty on his head and therefore they had figured that he was a dangerous one.
Sasuke found him chained to the wall, barely conscious and in such a poor condition that it was obvious now that the client didn't particularly care if he was still breathing when he was handed over.
Something in the sight of seeing his childhood companion chained up in this filth, covered in blood and wounds, half naked and obviously hurting made him angry. He didn't really understand why except for the passing thought that he'd probably feel this for anyone trapped here in these conditions.
They opened the door for him and Sasuke stepped into the cell and walked over to Naruto. The other man's head was lolling against his chest and Sasuke gripped his chin and raised his head enough to see that his eyes were open a little and though his breathing was a little heavy it was even.
Naruto's eyes opened a little wider when he focused on who was standing in front of him but Sasuke stepped in and put his lips next to Naruto's ear before he could make a sound and whispered, "If you talk to me like we're friends I will not be able to take you out of here."
Naruto didn't try to speak after that. He tried to stay still while the shackles were taken off him but faltered when he no longer had anything to hold him up anymore. Sasuke grabbed his arm to steady him.
"Do you want us to tie him up for you?" One of the guards helpfully enquired. After all they were merely transferring a prisoner, not letting one go free.
Sasuke looked at them, his eyes the color of blood. "I do not need shackles to control him."
The guard swallowed and stepped back to let the pair by.
It was impossible for Naruto to walk at the moment and Sasuke was keen to leave the village behind. So he merely slung his prisoner over his shoulder and kept walking, ignoring the painful gasps this was causing.
He wasn't verbally protesting the treatment though. The dobe probably thought he was being rescued. But when the sun started to set, the groaning got loud and it started to bother Sasuke having to listen to it.
He had always liked his errands into the Shadow Country for two reasons. One, they were a practical people and generally easy to deal with. And two, it held his favorite camping ground. It was a large clearing, almost completely surrounded by rocks and trees for privacy and a small lagoon fed by a waterfall coming down off one of the rock outcrops. In all the times he'd been here he'd never been even remotely disturbed by anyone and he figured this was a good a place as any for Naruto to recover enough so that Sasuke didn't have to carry him all the way back by himself. His back was aching with the effort of even doing it for a couple of hours, he didn't want to be doing it for the days it would take Sasuke to walk back so burdened.
Without stopping when entering the clearing, Sasuke walked across the lagoon shore to a shallow area and dumped his burden into the water with little care. Naruto made a sharp loud noise as he was dropped and gasped in pain when he hit the shallow rocky shelf. Naruto was practically lying in the water, his legs dangling off the edge of the shallow shelf he was on, fighting to keep his head up with whatever strength was left him.
Sasuke pulled off his shirt and jumped in to stand in the waist high water next to Naruto's legs. He grabbed Naruto's arm and pulled him roughly into a sitting position. With a torn piece of cloth, he set about cleaning off the blood and dirt from the other's body.
Sasuke wasn't looking at his face, but he could tell Naruto was watching him.
"What?" He said eventually, impatiently when the staring continued.
"Am I dreaming?"
Sasuke scoffed at the question. "Would you be in this much pain if you were dreaming?"
That proved to be a stumper for him and he remained quiet for at least ten more minutes.
"Why would you come for me?" Sasuke would have expected a little hope in his voice when he asked that question. Instead he heard nothing but confused shock. That bothered him for some unidentifiable reason.
"This isn't a mission of mercy."
"Didn't think so. You really are working for the Akatsuki, aren't you." It wasn't a question.
Sasuke didn't respond.
"Why are you bothering to clean me up then, if you're just gonna hand me over to get soul sucked like Gaara did?"
"Because unlike the last people that had you, I care whether you live or die."
"Really?" Naruto asked unconvinced.
"You're worthless dead. They need you alive for the ceremony. Now shut up. I may have to take care of you, but I don't have to talk to you as well."
Naruto didn't seem surprised by this news. He seemed too worn out to care either way. Sasuke was surprised though that Naruto hadn't started at him about coming back to the village with him yet.
Sasuke frowned at the various cuts and scrapes covering most of Naruto's body. He hadn't gotten most of these in the fight. Naruto's head had started to loll apparently soothed by his old friend washing his body down but Sasuke shook his leg to wake him up.
"Why did they beat you? They had you caught and captured." He asked when it looked like Naruto was awake enough to hear the question.
It still took a couple of seconds before he seemed to hear the question before Naruto smiled. Being in this kind of shape, it was unexpected to see him smile like that. Sasuke hadn't seen him smile since before he'd run away from the village.
"I woke up."
And that was apparently enough of an answer. And thinking about it, Sasuke understood. Naruto had woken up and fought back with everything he had. He would have been drained of chakra and extremely worn out, but Naruto never gave up. These more recent cuts and bruises were from the Shadow ninja attempting to beat him into submission.
That was something, maybe the only thing he'd ever really admired about Naruto, his total and complete inability to accept his own shitty fate.
And this bought him to another question. Sure he was worn and beaten but Naruto never stopped fighting. Why wasn't he trying to fight against Sasuke? He obviously knew Sasuke hadn't retrieved him from the goodness of his heart.
"And why aren't you fighting now? You know what will happen if the Akatsuki get you."
Naruto watched Sasuke for a moment before replying. "Maybe I don't think you'll really do it."
Sasuke gave him a look.
Naruto frowned. "If you know I'm lying, why aren't I tied up?"
"You won't leave," Sasuke told him with confidence that surprised him. He didn't know why he was so sure, he just was. Maybe it was because Naruto seemed to spend his entire existence running after him. Now they were together, and he wasn't being handed over to Madera just yet, what possible reason did he have to leave?
"I'm too tired," Naruto told him.
Sasuke knew he was lying again. Naruto would have to be dead not to keep fighting. But he didn't feel like pointing this out. He didn't feel like talking anymore.
Instead he continued with his ministrations, washing the blood and grime off Naruto's chest, shoulders and face. When he was done the tanned skin didn't look half as bad as he had thought it might. The injuries were bad, but there was nothing mortally wrong with him, nothing that a few days recovery wouldn't fix.
He could have sworn the injuries would be worse, he didn't understand how he'd been wrong.
If Naruto heard him he didn't take any notice. His head had begun to loll against his chest again.
Sasuke lay him back against the bank and let him sleep where he was.
The sun was starting to set and it was starting to get a little colder. Sasuke went back over to the lagoon and knelt down next to Naruto's head. He needed to wake him up so he didn't end up with a cold and thus undermining the whole getting him better idea. Naruto seemed a lot better. A lot of the minor scrapes and scratches almost seemed healed making Sasuke frown. Naruto had always been a fast healer but this was a little bizarre. After he'd inspected the worst of it went to wake him up but stopped. In true form, Naruto was snoring lightly, mouth open, and eyes squeezed shut just like he did on countless missions when Sasuke had been a part of team 7. Apparently embarrassing sleeping poses weren't a childhood habit he would grow out of.
He felt it happen before he realised he was doing it, a small, tiny half smile. When he noticed what he was doing he made an effort to frown and slapped the side of Naruto's face in order to wake him up. It was perhaps a shade harder than necessary.
Naruto coughed and woke up quite suddenly, clearly out of sorts at the violent wake up method.
"Dobe, you'll catch a cold. Get up."
When Naruto's eyes focussed on him he seemed to remember where he was and whom he was here with along with everything else that had happened today. He went from blissful ignorance to angry within a matter of moments.
"Teme," Naruto muttered. He got to his feet with Sasuke's reluctant aid and was led over to the campfire he'd made and dumped unceremoniously onto a blanket by the fire.
"You're worried about me catching a cold, but not about injuring me huh?" Naruto asked darkly.
Sasuke took a seat on a log on the other side of the fire where he was tending to some fish cooking over the flames. "A cold could last weeks. Apparently bruises for you last only hours." Sasuke said matter-of-factly. "Is it the demon chakra that heals you?"
Naruto blinked at the sudden unexpected question. "You should know I'm a fast healer."
"Never this fast. And you didn't answer the question."
"What does it matter?"
Sasuke raised a single eyebrow. "It doesn't. I'm just accustomed to getting answers when I ask questions. Usually I don't find myself having to ask them twice."
The obvious threat was there, but Naruto ignored it.
"I'm not afraid of you. Not from a coward like you."
"A coward?" Sasuke asked darkly.
"You heard me. You ran away from the village so you could get strong and kill your brother. Well, mission accomplished. But here you are still running away. I only know one kinda person that does that."
"You only think I'm running away because I'm not running back to the village. I have found a purpose that doesn't include you or your hateful village. Calling me a coward because I don't share in your dreams doesn't make me a coward. It makes me focussed."
"Well, whatever. I think you're too scared to come back. You haven't lived a single moment of your life when you aren't focussed on revenge. I don't think you'd know what to do if you didn't have that anymore. You have to have something to hate don't you?"
Sasuke didn't look at him, just flicked another twig into to fire. "You assume there is something I actually like in this world."
Naruto rolled his eyes. "Of course there is. You. Uchiha Sasuke, I think you like him a lot. So did I, once upon a time," Naruto finished quietly.
"You think I care if you hate me now?"
"I never said I hated you. I…never mind." Naruto rolled himself up in the blanket he was sitting on a put his back to the fire. Apparently their conversation was over.
This was not how Sasuke expected the conversation to go. He didn't think for one moment he would be dealing with a Naruto that just didn't seem to care about him anymore. He told himself that this should have been a relief. But somehow it wasn't.
"Why haven't you asked me to come back yet?" Sasuke asked after a moment.
"Would it make a difference if I did? Do you need to be able to tell me 'no' again that badly?" Naruto asked without turning around.
Sasuke wasn't used to feeling unwanted. It was a childish thought, but it was there all the same. It had never occurred to him that if he kept treating people as he did there would come a day when they just stopped wanting him for anything anymore. Somebody always wanted something from him. Even if it was something he didn't want to give. And he always got a small thrill from the knowledge that he didn't really need them, not really, but they needed. Apparently this had drastically changed for Naruto. He didn't want Sasuke anymore. Oh well, at least that would make things easier.
"I just wondered whatever happened to your self righteous crusade to save me from myself?" Sasuke asked scornfully.
"It seems to me that some things might not be worth saving anymore. You don't care about any bond we might have had. You decided to kill me on a whim the last time I bought it up. I had intended to drag you kicking and screaming if necessary back to the village just so you'd be home. I thought you'd be okay if you could see how people missed you and cared about you. But I know you don't care anymore and nothing will change that. Why bother?"
"It's nice to see you've come to your senses. Took you long enough."
Naruto unrolled himself from the blanket and sat up quicker than Sasuke would've thought him capable of. "I want to ask you one thing though."
"Make it quick."
"Did you ever really care about me, did you ever see us as real friends or was I just the closet thing you had that even resembled a friend?"
Sasuke gave him a sardonic half smile. "What's the matter, feeling under loved?"
"Just answer the question," Naruto growled out.
Sasuke thought this over for a moment. He honestly didn't know how to answer it. "You were the only one who ever stood up to me. Everyone else was either too scared or too besotted to do anything other than nod and smile whenever I was around. You challenged me constantly, even if you were no match for me in any way. I suppose that meant something then. Even if it sometimes meant I had to clean up your messes and save you from your own idiocy."
"Now, I think not. I would have let that Shadow Ninja take you away without a second thought if the Akatsuki didn't need you. I think it's pitiful that you spent so much time chasing after me when I hardly spared a thought for you. That is what makes us different. I will do anything to reach my goals. You would not do anything that clashed with your warped sense of morals and ideals."
"You're right. I can't believe I wasted my time like that either. You obviously aren't the person you used to be."
"You mean I'm not the person you imagined I was. I think you have this built up image in your mind of this best friend you had and projected onto me. I haven't changed Naruto, you have just come to see the real me finally."
"Maybe that's true. But if that's the case, if you are this true evil asshole that would do anything to get ahead, why not kill those men at the Northern Hideout? Yeah, I heard about that. You gave your team orders not to kill. What's up with that?"
Sasuke glared at him. "You have no idea what I have done, what I have been made to do to get where I am, to be as powerful as I am right now!"
The force of the statement obviously surprised Naruto. He watched Sasuke with a little more curiosity than the previous malice shown before.
"What you were made you do? You mean by Orochimaru?"
Sasuke was suddenly very sorry he'd lost his temper and blurted that out.
"It doesn't matter. It's done and I got what I wanted in the end."
Knowing Naruto like Sasuke did he expected him to continue pestering him. Instead he stared for a few moments longer at Sasuke before simply rolling himself back into the blanket and staring at the fire instead.
"I matters to me," he said quietly after a moment. "Well, it used to."
But Sasuke didn't respond. He began to eat his food in silence. It tasted like ash.
Good start? Meh, not too sure. It was a start anyway. Let me know if you find it interesting and I'll add more. It wasn't meant to be this long, it was only meant to be a little fluff, but hey, I suppose a little plot can't hurt either to get you in the mood.