Description: When a situation leads Sasuke to bring home Naruto, a fox hybrid who has a thing for his scent, what will ensue?
Warnings: Explicit adult content; hybrid!Naruto; yaoi (malexmale); rated MA. If this will offend you, do not read.
Disclaimer: The Naruto world belongs to Kishimoto. I do not make a profit from this FanFic.
Scent Of My Heart – Part 1/2
Sasuke sighed and let his head fall forward onto the desk, trying to wish away the beginnings of a nasty headache. At twenty-seven, he had been extremely successful and was currently vice president of Always Classy Entertainment (ACE) Management. From the outside, ACE appeared to be a reputable organisation hired by the wealthy to plan extremely high-class and exclusive events – which they did, and did well. This, however, was not always the reason they were hired. More often than not, ACE was hired to clean-up when things went wrong for the rich and powerful.
His older brother, Itachi, was president. He had taken over when their parents retired; indeed, he had been groomed for the position. Sasuke, on the other hand, finished high-school and made his own decision to join the ranks of the family business. He started at the bottom, as an apprentice, and had impressed everyone by progressing to the role of vice president within four years. It wasn't like he particularly liked or disliked his job, but it beat unemployment and he lived a comfortable lifestyle.
The phone on his desk began to ring and Sasuke glared at it. It was 8.45pm on a Friday night. A call this late on a Friday usually meant that there had been or were some problems with a current job. A call to him on a Friday night meant that the problems were pretty bad. He hit the loudspeaker button, and said, "Uchiha. Problem?"
There was a pause. "Hello, Mr Uchiha, sir. This is Shino Aburame. I'm one of the ACE team leaders. We have trouble." See? He knew it wasn't something good. "Basically, tonight was supposed to be a straightforward job. Hyuga family celebrating Neji Hyuga's twenty-first birthday. As organised with us, a ball was held, followed by a secondary party with light entertainment. Apparently, they didn't think the entertainment we were providing was exciting enough and hired another party," Shino said unhappily.
Sasuke swore quietly. Their jobs became harder when the clients didn't disclose information like this. "So who did they bring in? Obviously it's bad if you're calling the VP. Do I need to come down?"
"Uh, yeah, you should come down – we're at the main Hyuga banquet hall. It's pretty bad. Illegal entertainment bad. They hired Akatsuki Entertainment to organise some events that only the privileged can afford. Think hybrids."
Sasuke swore again before pausing to collect his thoughts. "Okay, okay. I'll be there in twenty minutes or so. Can you call the company lawyers? If this pulls us into court, we need to be ready." After trading a few more details, Sasuke phoned his driver, grabbed his jacket and headed for the elevator down to the parking garage. Usually, Itachi took care of these matters, but he was currently overseas on a business trip that looked like it would ensure the successful expansion of ACE to an overseas market, so it was left to Sasuke to deal with the problem.
This was going to be nasty. Akatsuki Entertainment was well known for their use of illegal entertainment, but was rarely around to be held accountable by the time the cops got involved. If ACE was seen to be connected with this it would be potentially damaging to their reputation, which would be extremely bad considering the high class clientele usually employing them for their discretion. Although they were usually employed to clean up after scandals amongst the rich and famous, offenses such as covering up the maltreatment of hybrids or illegal acts involving hybrids was punishable by prison time. As Sasuke's driver navigated the roads to the Hyuga Estate, Sasuke contemplated the involvement of the hybrids.
Fifty years ago, a scientist had been conducting some illegal experiments based in genetic engineering. Most of his experiments involved attempting to combine animal and human DNA. No-one was quite sure of his reasons, but the most popular reason cited was that he was trying to create a vaccine that would alter foetuses so that their bodies were unreceptive to human disease and therefore immune, while retaining their immunity to animal diseases. The results, at first, had been considered abominations. Although hybrid children look human for the most part, there were often animal features as well an increase in strength or agility or other such characteristics.
The doctor was arrested and taken to court, but late in the proceedings an anonymous source paid for an expensive attorney, and within weeks a spin had been put on the media stories so that the experiment was now considered a positive. Within five years, the act of creating hybrids, purchasing them from the self-proclaimed hybrid agencies and raising them as pets, servants or lovers had become a novelty amongst the rich which continued until now. The hybrids were not considered human, so they weren't afforded all the same rights, but neither were they considered animals. It was a controversial area, to say the least.
When he reached the Hyuga banquet hall, Sasuke was dismayed to find the place trashed. There were chairs, food, and broken plates and glasses littering the floor. Table cloths and curtains had been ripped and wrenched from their hangers, a couple of the very few remaining guests' sported cuts and bruises. Sasuke kneaded his forehead with his knuckles. This was not going to be an easy situation to deal with and his headache was getting worse.
Sasuke turned, recognising the voice from the phone. A young man wearing a crisply ironed white shirt, beneath an expensive tailored suit approached him. This was the usual uniform for ACE employees. The dark glasses and earpiece also indicated that he was on one of the specialised teams used for important events, when remaining in contact with other staff members was vital. The young man held out a hand and there was only a brief hesitation before Sasuke shook it.
"Shino Aburame, I presume? So, what's the situation exactly? I'm seeing a lot of chaos here, and the fact that there are injured people wandering around…it's not a good sign." Sasuke expected a succinct answer and was rewarded right away.
"Hybrid animal fight," Shino said, distaste written all over his face. Sasuke took a deep breath and closed his eyes, gritting his teeth against the torrent of expletives running through his mind. Hybrid fighting was a recent fad. An illegal fad. Rich patrons would employ a hybrid agency to supply them with adult hybrids, which would then be put in a ring to fight one another for the entertainment of party-goers.
If a hybrid was lucky, their motivations for fighting were rewards such as a day of freedom in the city, money or other luxury items. On the other hand, if a hybrid was unlucky, their motivations to fight were to avoid beatings, starvation and other cruel punishments. Hybrid fighting rings were currently a highly prosecutable offense.
"So, what exactly happened at the fight to cause this," Sasuke waved a hand to encompass all of the disorder in the room, "extremely undesirable situation?"
"One of the hybrids, a fox hybrid I think, he…objected to being forced to fight. The moment they unlocked and opened the door to the room he was being kept in, he leapt out, ignoring the other hybrid, and attacked the people in the crowd. It pretty much caused a riot as guests tried to escape the rampaging hybrid. Eventually, two or three of the male guests grabbed the ornamental spears from the Eastern Martial Arts display case against the back wall, and managed to drive him back into the lockable warm-up room. I figured this was a problem for the higher ups in ACE and called the office straight away, and they put me through to you."
"I see," Sasuke said slowly, the crease between his eyebrows deepening as he contemplated the problem. "So, two questions. Where are the people from Akatsuki Entertainment and where are the hybrids from tonight's fight?"
"Uh, the people from AE, packed and bolted as soon as things started to go wrong, and they left all eight hybrids here for other people to deal with. The Hyuga family is willing to pay us to clean up this mess, but we only have a three hour window before the police arrive – the Hyuga family is using their resources to delay the police response. Do we take them up on it?"
"Yes, but I'm going to charge them four times the original fee and have them sign a document that states that our involvement with the situation began only after the hybrid incident. They don't sign, we pack up and leave them to deal with the consequences. Rich, arrogant fools," he said, muttering the last part. Shino looked slightly awed. ACE wasn't cheap and an increase of that much in the fee would roughly equal a total fee of two million dollars.
Within half an hour, the statement was signed as was a very large cheque and the ACE team began an emergency clean up. An hour and a half later, the room was spotless, as if nothing more than a normal social event had occurred. All signs of violence and destruction had been repaired, removed or hidden. With an hour left, all that was left to do was deal with the hybrids. Glancing around at the staff, Sasuke weighed his options before calling them into a meeting.
"Okay. The only solution that I can come up with is that since there are eight of us, each one of us takes home one of the hybrids. Once at home, you can either keep the hybrid with you or find a new agency to give them to, though not Akatsuki. You have half an hour to talk to them and to decide who will take home whom." Everyone looked taken aback for a second before they saw the advantage in the suggestion and nodded before moving over to the pack of hybrids that were huddling in the caravan they'd been brought to the party in.
Sasuke had no intention of keeping the hybrid he took home. The only reason he had allowed the members of the team to take a hybrid in was that each had gone through detailed tests to prove their good natures, honesty and to make sure their ethical standards matched those of the company. Also, ACE paid extremely well, so the staff were likely to be under no financial pressure even with a hybrid staying with them.
After settling a female ladybird hybrid into his car, Shino returned to speak one final time to Sasuke. "We've all picked a hybrid to take home and shelter…but the only one left for you to take is the violent one who attacked the guests before." Sasuke's eyebrows jumped as he realised that not only was he lumped with the violent fox hybrid; it was still locked in the warm-up room. Finally, recognising that there was no other option, he gave a brief, dismissive nod to Shino before heading inside.
All the guests had left by this point, and the only remaining people were the Hyuga's butlers who had been assigned to lock up the hall and wait for the police once the ACE people cleared out. Sasuke headed straight for the locked warm-up room and pressed his ear to the door, trying to hear whether the Fox hybrid was still moving about. Sasuke almost jumped out of his skin when a voice on the other side of the door began to speak. The voice was low and mellow, strangely relaxing.
"You know, I can hear you. I have extremely good hearing. I heard you cross the room."
"Uh…okay. Well, everyone else is gone. You're coming home with me, for the next few days at least, until some other arrangements are made." Sasuke listened carefully for a reply.
After a moment of silence, the hybrid finally replied. "And if I refuse to come peacefully?" Sasuke glared at the door. He didn't want to have to fight the hybrid on this. It was after midnight, it had been a long day and his headache was raging fiercely.
"If you refuse to come, I'll let the Hyugas sort out what to do with you, and then I'll go home, pop a couple of ibuprofen and sleep like a rock." Sasuke had no patience for games tonight. After an even longer period of silence, Sasuke finally gave up and turned to leave. He'd never personally interacted with a hybrid, though he'd seen them in the streets before. Maybe they were just difficult like this…after all, they were part animal, correct?
"Fine. I'll come. You at least smell different to the rich crowd today anyway. You can't be any worse than those bastards." Sighing wearily, Sasuke unlocked the door and cautiously opened it. He was surprised at the appearance of the hybrid that stood before him. Around twenty years of age, he stood only an inch or so shorter than Sasuke who was five foot eleven, and he was completely Sasuke's type.
The man before him wore nothing but a shabby pair of beige cargo pants. His hair was an interesting combination of golden blonde and auburn. Instead of human ears, two fox ears, tipped with black, were high on the hybrid's head adding to the illusion of height. His irises were blue with reddish brown flecks, and there were a few long whiskers sprouting from high cheekbones.
Slightly longer than normal canine teeth could be seen between his parted lips and his fingers were slightly off shape-wise, tipped with short, thick nails that looked more like claws. The final attribute marking him as hybrid was the bushy tail hanging behind him. It was long, proportionate to his body, and the white tip almost brushed the ground behind him. His lightly muscled body was tight, firm and tanned, and before he could banish it from his mind, Sasuke thought, I can see why people take hybrids as bed partners. He's kind of…beautiful, in some strange way.
Finally realising he was staring, Sasuke snapped himself out of it. Motioning for the hybrid to follow him, Sasuke headed to his car where the driver was waiting to take him home. The hybrid looked slightly suspicious and uncomfortable in the close confines of the car. Sasuke took the opportunity to study him further. He noticed with disgust that a heavy iron shackle had been welded shut around the Fox hybrid's ankle, and the blue eyes with red flecks scanned the car warily, waiting for more trouble. Feeling the focus of the raven haired man's gaze, the returned the look and broke the silence.
Sasuke started. "Huh?"
"My name. Naruto." He lifted an eyebrow, awaiting some kind of response. The two men stared at each other in silence for a moment.
"Ah. Sasuke Uchiha," said Sasuke, finally replying. "So, why do you have a shackle around your ankle? I don't remember seeing one on any of the other hybrids tonight." A vicious, satisfied smile crossed Naruto's face.
"That's because of Kabuto – the employee from AE who was organising this 'event'," he scoffed. "He knew that if I ever got close enough to him, I would have ripped his throat out with my teeth."
"Erm…" Sasuke was taken aback. That was very violent and very specific. He glanced around at the doors and realised that he was pretty much trapped back here with a potentially murderous hybrid with very long, pointy canine teeth.
Naruto gave a wry smile emphasising the aforementioned canines. "I've scared you. I'm not planning to attack you at the moment, if that's what you're worried about."
"I never said-" Sasuke started.
"You didn't have to," Naruto interrupted, wrinkling his nose. "I can smell it." Sasuke stared at the hybrid, before settling back into his seat.
"So you don't plan on attacking me. Hn. I guess that's good news then. Other than the fact that he was forcing you to fight, are there any other reasons why you would attack him and not me or the other hybrids? You also attacked the crowd in there… Not confidence inspiring."
"First of all, I'm guessing you don't know much about the hybrid…species. Just like with animals – which we are not – your blend can determine how strong or weak you are and how many non-human characteristics you get. Take me, for example, I'm considered a bad example of a hybrid. Too much fox; tends to freak people out. Then there are some like Hinata. She has ladybird in her, and it's enough to be cute without being creepy. Interesting fact, take a look at her and you will notice she has some Hyuga in her too. Not that they'll own up to it, of course."
Sasuke looked surprised, then calculating. This was some information to be tucked away for later, should the Hyuga's try to cause trouble. While it was perfectly acceptable to own a hybrid, or have one created for you, the elite using their own DNA was highly unusual and socially frowned upon. It ruined the 'purity' of the bloodline. Sasuke realised that the conversation had lapsed into silence. "Ah…so what does that have to do with the fighting?"
Naruto rolled his eyes. "I would have thought that would be obvious. In the wild, who would win – a ladybird or a fox? Well, the same applies here. I gain power from my fox, while Hinata gains grace and other elements of a ladybird. Asking me to fight Hinata is like leading an innocent sheep to be slaughtered. I won't attack my kin, especially those who can't protect themselves. And as for the crowd, those rich bastards brought us here to fight for their entertainment. I simply decided to fight them. And anyway, you should know, I only attacked those who had a chance of fighting back against me."
Sasuke replayed the scene from earlier that night in his head and realised that the fox hybrid was telling the truth. All the people who were attacked were men and women who had possessed the physical strength to fight back. Naruto, he noticed was starting to look a little tired and pale. It had been a long night after all, he thought.
They settled back into silence, only the hum of the engine for noise.
Sasuke lived in the company dorms, though as VP he wasn't subject to the same restrictions as employees living in the dorms. Where other employees were allocated a room on a floor with other people they worked for, Sasuke owned an entire floor for himself. Once he had bought the floor with his own money, he'd had it gutted and turned into something of a penthouse suite despite it being on the twenty-first floor rather than the top floor, which was the thirty-fifth. Itachi had done a similar thing in a separate company building. Keeping some space between the brothers made life much, much easier.
In the lift on the way up to his 'apartment', as he still liked to call it, he described the basic building rules to Naruto, and included some of his own personal rules in the mix as well. Naruto just nodded, lips pressed together tight and a light sheen of sweat on his body, despite being dressed in only cargo pants.
"Okay, so this is my apartment. While you are here, you can take the guest room that is directly beside mine. There are some security devices installed here, so don't attempt to steal anything, I guarantee I'll find out. You can't leave, and you can't go to other levels and-" he stopped talking as the stepped out of the lift when the hybrid began to sway before him, before collapsing on the floor of his foyer. Sasuke crouched down, alarmed by the sudden change in the hybrid who had seemed fine back at the banquet hall.
Running his hands lightly over Naruto's chest, Sasuke frowned at the heat radiating from his skin. The hybrid clearly had a high fever. After calling for the building paramedics to come up to his apartment, Sasuke began to look for any damage that would cause this kind of reaction. As he was patting along Naruto's left leg, he felt a bumpy section around Naruto's calf. He yanked the leg of Naruto's cargo pants up.
"Well, shit," he said, looking at what had once been a white t-shirt – obviously what Naruto had been wearing prior to the fight. It had been fashioned into a rough bandage and was tightly bound around the tanned leg. Blood was beginning to seep through and Sasuke decided to apply pressure rather than take a look, at least until the paramedics had checked it first. Grabbing some tea towels, he sat waiting for another thirty seconds before the medics arrived.
They hesitated in the doorway of the lift when they realised that the patient was a hybrid. Sasuke glared at them before saying sharply, "Yes, he's a hybrid, and no, it's not contagious. Get over here and do your jobs before I have you fired."
"Yes, Mr Uchiha."
Smells nice. That was the first thought that entered Naruto's head when he woke up, fuzzily wondering where he was and how he'd gotten there. Opening his eyes, just a tiny amount, he found himself in a dimly lit room on a soft bed, tucked tightly beneath a heavy doona. Turning his head slightly to the right, he saw the raven haired man, Sasuke, sleeping in a chair next to the bed. He sniffed in that direction and realised that Sasuke was the nice smell. There was damp washcloth on his forehead, so obviously Sasuke had been taking care of him.
Sasuke's watch beeped, and he stirred. Naruto watched his eyes flicker open and awareness enter them. Their eyes met and Sasuke pulled the chair closer to the bed. He raised a wrist to show Naruto the watch. "It beeps every half an hour to let me know to change the washcloth, though I think your fever may have settled now."
"Ah." Now that Sasuke was a little closer to the bed, Naruto took the opportunity to study him. He still had on his suit pants, and the expensive lavender shirt was unbuttoned at the collar exposing a sliver of porcelain white skin. Jet black hair framed a face with alluring eyes so dark that they drew your attention while you were talking to him. There were dark circles beneath his eyes that depicted his weariness.
There was a moment of silence as each man regarded the other before Sasuke broke it. "Why didn't you tell me you were wounded? It was really quite stupid to leave your leg in that condition for so long."
Naruto shrugged. "It didn't really seem important at the time. Also, I heal fast normally, so I assumed that it would be fine. No need to get doctors involved," said Naruto as he looked around the room, then threw off the cover, and climbed slowly out of bed. He looked down and noted in surprise the grey sweat pants and black t-shirt he was wearing. Must be Sasuke's; it had that nice scent to it.
Sasuke frowned hard as Naruto began to walk across the room, noting distractedly that the hybrid's ability to move silently for such a big man was pretty amazing. "Oi…where are you going? My medics wanted you to rest that leg, at least for overnight, so as not to reopen the wound." Sasuke noticed Naruto's nose twitch and suppressed a smile as he asked disbelievingly, "Did…did you just scent the air?"
Naruto scowled, his cheeks stained pink. "I'm hungry. I was…I mean…sometimes I can smell food. For example, right now I can tell you that your kitchen is somewhere to the right of this bedroom, and there is something with chicken in it in your fridge," he said as his stomach growled audibly, before going on with a look of challenge in his eyes, "And if I want to get out of this bed, I will. You can't stop me."
Sasuke's eyebrows going up was the only sign that he was impressed with Naruto's sense of smell. "Well, yes, there is chicken cacciatore in the fridge from yesterday night's dinner. If you want some, I can go heat it for you." Naruto nodded in response, pleased that Sasuke wasn't arguing about whether he should stay in bed or not, and followed Sasuke to the kitchen (and much to his satisfaction it was to the right of the bedroom).
Sasuke indicated that Naruto should sit behind the big, marble island bench in the centre of the kitchen on one of the raised chairs, and crossed the room to dig the chicken cacciatore out of the fridge. After heating it in the microwave, he spooned three quarters of the dish into a bowl and set it before Naruto before tipping the remainder into a smaller bowl for himself.
They ate in silence, and Sasuke popped a couple of ibuprofen tablets to take while he was near the medicine bowl that he kept on the top shelf of the pantry. He walked around the bench to take Naruto's bowl and Naruto stiffened in his seat, once again catching a whiff of the intriguing scent that came off of Sasuke. It was like no perfume or cologne he'd ever scented before, and honestly, it was turning him on.
Sasuke, of course, payed no attention to Naruto, lost in his own world of thoughts about what would need to be done tomorrow, despite the fact that it was a weekend. Dragging himself out of his thoughts, he glanced at the clock that said it was close to 5am. Realising how late – or early – it was seemed to bring all of his tiredness crashing down on him at once and he massaged his temples with his fingertips before speaking.
"I think I need to go to bed and sleep. Tomorrow, I have to go back into the office for the day, and I probably won't be back until late evening. You'll have to stay here; you're welcome to do almost whatever you like except for leaving or going through my personal things. There's a television in the den and food in the cupboards, I think there's a spare toothbrush in the medicine cabinet in my en suite which you are welcome to grab when I've gone and you get up. I'll leave my contact numbers on a piece of paper by the phone, which you don't need to answer while I'm gone, by the way, and yeah. That's all I can think of. For now."
"Right," Naruto replied, seeing that Sasuke was completely out of energy at this point and realising that there was nothing left to say that couldn't be said in the morning. "I'll take myself to the room we came from. Thanks for calling the medics."
Sasuke let a smile tug at the corner of his mouth. "Yeah. Well." There was an awkward moment as they stood looking at each other before Sasuke finally headed for the door.
Naruto stretched and let out a massive yawn. Flicking off the covers that had been wrapped around him, he gracefully rolled off of the bed and padded down the hallway to the kitchen. Opening the freezer, he sniffed and sorted through the various frozen foods, finally pulling out some pizza and turning the oven on. Glancing at the clock, he was surprised to find that it was late afternoon already.
After finishing his lunch he began to explore the house, noting the absurd level of tidiness. Everything was organised and ordered, there wasn't a single thing that could be said to be out of place. Feeling bored, he began to move the couch about in the huge living area. Smiling to himself, he moved the chairs too. Within half an hour, nothing in the room was still in its original position.
Satisfied with his efforts, he walked back towards the room he thought of as 'his'. Then a cheeky grin broke out over his face. He had the whole afternoon to himself and the whole apartment to reorganise. He set to work.
Naruto inhaled deeply, and it struck him again that something about this place just smelt great. Last night it had been Sasuke's cologne, but now he wondered if perhaps it was the smell of the apartment or a cleaning product. He'd finished moving things in the house about, now it was time to find out what cologne the raven-haired man was currently using. He entered the bedroom hesitantly, and then crossed to the bathroom quickly. It felt wrong, but he reminded himself that since he had permission to get a toothbrush from here it was technically okay.
He poked through the medicine cabinet and found a few bottles of barely used cologne that were not the scent he was looking for. He found an almost empty can of antiperspirant-deodorant and a quick sniff of that proved it was also not the scent he smelt on Sasuke and in the house. Giving up the search for the scent for the time being, he took in the rest of the medicine cabinet. There were a few more bottles of over the counter ibuprofen, a new razor, a blue toothbrush and toothpaste for sensitive teeth, a still packaged green toothbrush, a small first aid kit, a few wrapped bars of soap and nail clippers.
He grabbed the green toothbrush and finished his search of the bathroom, and yet he still couldn't identify the scent. Finally deciding it wasn't in the bathroom, he walked back into the bedroom. While he had fully intended to leave the bedroom without snooping, the scent that was driving him nuts made him halt. Maybe a little snooping wouldn't hurt.
Sasuke sat behind his desk, reading through this month's list of outgoing expenses. He was bored. Sometimes, working behind a desk all day was almost painfully boring. Add in the fact that Sasuke was not the world's most social being, and you had someone who was bored quite often. He'd always found it hard to make friends, especially since once he became focused on something – like working at ACE – he tended to shut other people out.
Sasuke's concentration was broken when he felt his cell phone vibrate against his thigh. Welcoming the break, he dug his phone from his pocket and flipped it open. His eyebrows went up in surprise as he realised what the message was about. As he'd told Naruto earlier, there were some security devices in his apartment; this was a precaution he felt necessary when living in the company dorms. The fact that the cameras were running was nothing out of the ordinary. The text message was.
There were a few cameras located in Sasuke's bedroom, but unlike the rest of the cameras, they were only activated when someone entered the bedroom while Sasuke wasn't at home, since there were a few valuables there that he really didn't want tampered with. The system in the bedroom, once activated, sent him a message with a password that allowed him to connect with the cameras remotely so that he could check-up on his bedroom (or any other part of the house, really).
Pulling his keyboard across the table, he quickly located the security camera feeds and opened a window on the monitor showing his room from four different angles. His brow furrowed as he saw the hybrid crossing the room and entering his bathroom. Sighing, he realised that Naruto must be getting the toothbrush he'd said was in the room. Dragging himself back to the work he'd been distracted, he began again to sort through it. A few minutes later, movement on the monitor caught his attention.
Glancing up, he realised that the hybrid was still in his room. The corner of Sasuke's lip tugged up in a brief grin as he realised that Naruto was doing the scenting the air thing again, his nose twitching and toothbrush clutched in hand. Fully expecting Naruto to walk back out of his room, Sasuke was shocked when Naruto crossed the room and placed the toothbrush on his bedside table. He felt a bubble of anger swelling when the hybrid crossed to his wardrobe and yanked the doors open.
Sasuke waited for the inevitable rummaging for valuables that would occur as the fox searched for things to steal. So it was even more of a surprise when it didn't happen. Naruto stood in front of the wardrobe, nose twitching. Then he stepped up to Sasuke's clothes and…appeared to be rubbing against them? Sasuke's face was a mere two inches from the monitor as he tried to discern exactly what Naruto was doing in his wardrobe.
Naruto pressed his face to the jacket hanging closest to him, inhaling deeply. Just what was this scent? It was strong in the closet and much like an animal; he wanted to cover himself in it. The urge was so powerful that for a moment he lost himself in rubbing against the clothes. The only thing that brought him back to himself was the sound of the toothbrush falling off the nightstand.
Realising that Sasuke could be home at anytime, he pulled himself away from the closet and forced towards the door. At the last minute he remembered to grab the toothbrush that he'd originally come into the room for. As soon as he pass through the door, he slammed it shut, leaning against it as he inhaled some deep breaths. What the hell was wrong with him? He'd never been this caught up in a scent before.
He wandered back into the den, flopping down on the shifted couch. Fuck. Everything in this apartment smelt vaguely of that enticing scent. He made a promise to himself to behave more humanly when Sasuke was around. Rolling on the floor and chroming a person's clothes was hardly a human trait. Well, at least not a normal human.
Eyes on the clock, Naruto didn't move from the sofa for one and a half hours until he heard the pinging sound of the lift coming to a halt, and then two sets of footsteps moving into the apartment. Standing upright, he gave the air a quick sniff, easily identifying Sasuke's scent and another scent. This person had a strange odour; they smelt of metal, oil and hybrids. A very strange combination.
"Naruto?" Sasuke's voice floated from the entrance. The footsteps of both Sasuke and the stranger soon reached the den, where Naruto was standing waiting curiously. Sasuke's eyebrows twitched as he took in the room. "What the…?" he murmured. Not a single thing was where he'd left it. Looking into the next room, he could see more furniture no longer in its original place. Hmm, was this what happened when hybrids got bored?
Meanwhile, Naruto stalked across to the pretty lady in her mid forties standing silently beside Sasuke and sniffed in her direction. The woman had long blonde hair, light golden-brown eyes the colour of whisky and an impressive bosom. Sasuke watched the two of them eye each other for a moment before deciding that introducing them was the best course of action.
"Uh, Naruto, this is Tsunade. She's my mechanic…she came to help me remove that shackle from your ankle." Naruto's ears twitched with interest.
"She doesn't smell right," he stated plainly. He was rather surprised when this evoked a grin from the woman, revealing hard white teeth and slightly longer than normal pointed canines.
"So you could tell," she chuckled. "I'm a hybrid and I work with hybrids. Funnily enough, I'm what the experiment was originally aiming to create, at least appearance wise; I'm a hybrid that can mostly pass for human unless in close proximity with other hybrids, such as yourself, Fox. Nowadays, of course, the aim is to create mixes like you that are obviously hybrid. It's more…fashionable."
Sasuke was slightly disconcerted when Naruto moved right up to Tsunade and sniffed at her neck. It was even more disconcerting when her hand, moving in a blur, connected with Naruto's jaw and sent him reeling.
"It's not polite to get that close uninvited, Fox. At least not to people who are older and wiser than you," her tone was light, but she was looking at Naruto reproachfully as he got back to his feet.
"What are you?" he asked, a slight growl rumbling in his voice.
"Human, with a dash of cougar. Couldn't you tell, Fox?" she smirked.
"Never met a cougar before. Didn't recognise the scent," said Naruto, unfazed by the blow to his head as he moved back to where Tsunade and Sasuke waited. "You can get the shackle off?"
"Yep. I'm also going to give you a check-up. Though I mostly work as a mechanic, I also doctor injured hybrids. Mostly those who are living off the grid and don't want to get caught." This last bit of information was news to Sasuke. It had never crossed his mind that there may be an underground population of hybrids hiding from society. Naruto's ears flattened downwards when he heard the word check-up and his gaze shifted to the briefcase clutched in Tsunade's hands.
An hour later, after a few excruciatingly slow and somewhat painful attempts at removing the shackle, finally they were rewarded with a dull thunk as the thick iron hit the floor. Sweat was beaded on Tsunade's brow as she regarded the twisted shackle. "I hate to think of how they actually attached that, since it was welded shut," she paused to examine his skin, "and yet not a mark to be seen here."
"I heal quick, always have. Lucky me," replied Naruto, relief lining his voice. He stared happily at his bare ankle, the skin once hidden beneath it was left much paler than that of the surrounding skin. He glanced up at Tsunade, gave an awkward nod of thanks, and looked back to his ankle.
Tsunade looked over at Sasuke, asking politely, "May I use your kitchen or bathroom? I need to clean my hands before I examine the Fox." At this a low growl escaped Naruto's mouth and he backed away from the pair quickly.
"No examination. I don't need it. You can see I'm fine." His brows were knitted together and his teeth bared, his tail flicking restlessly behind him betraying his unease.
"Naruto," growled Tsunade in warning, her voice lowering as her patience waned. "You were one of the Akatsuki's hybrids. Sasuke told me earlier. I know for a fact that they don't vaccinate hybrids to the correct standards, nor do they treat the injured properly either. While I was removing that shackle, I could feel in your leg a place where the leg had been broken and wasn't reset properly. Before I can leave you here where you can escape into the world, I need to know that your health won't endanger the rest of the hybrid population. Sasuke, show me to your kitchen."
Naruto didn't respond, just shifted so that there was a couch between them. Sasuke moved to the doorway and indicated that Tsunade should follow him. Once in the kitchen, hands washed, she took the opportunity to educate Sasuke.
"Look, I'm not sure how familiar you are with hybrid history and the supposed reason for our creation, but the most popular reason cited is for immunity to disease. True or not, the scientist ended up doing the reverse. Hybrids must be careful because they are vulnerable to both human and animal disease. Furthermore, Akatsuki doesn't see hybrids as human and doesn't treat them as such. The reason he doesn't want to be examined is most likely due to extreme cruelty, especially if he is who I think he is."
Sasuke's frown deepened, the line between his brows becoming more pronounced. He was surprised by the information regarding hybrid vulnerability to disease, but what concerned him more at the moment was Tsunade's last words. "What do you mean 'if he is who you think he is'?" Sasuke asked, making quotation marks with his fingers in the air.
"There have been rumours," said Tsunade, choosing her words carefully, "that there is, or now was, an extremely aggressive fox hybrid with the Akatsuki group. I've heard a few stories of his exploits; in fact, he was becoming a liability and they were hoping for his death in one of the hybrid fights coming up – possibly the one you found him in. One particular thing that I confirmed just by touching his leg was a story that came to me through a racoon hybrid I treated recently."
"Mm?" Sasuke gestured for her to continue.
"Well, he told me that in an escape attempt that resulted in a broken leg for the hybrid, no medical care was given for a day or two. As you may have noticed, Naruto's healing abilities are above par? Well, by the time they came to him, his bones had begun to knit back together at an angle. The only way to fix this is to re-break and re-set the bone, and in an operation like Akatsuki…there aren't many luxuries, like anaesthesia for example." Tsunade's face and tone were grim.
Sasuke's expression was that of mild revulsion and pity. No wonder Naruto was so aggressive in his refusal of medical treatment; he had no reason to trust anyone claiming to be a part of the medical profession. In fact, it only just occurred to Sasuke that he should thank god that Naruto was passed out when the medics came to treat his leg. "So, how are you going to treat him if he's this unco-operative?"
"Well, I must warn you…if he reacts with violence, what you see in the next half hour will most certainly not pass for human behaviour, so don't freak out. Additionally, I can hear him trying to pry open the lift doors, so you may want to go stop him before he breaks them," said Tsunade, already unpacking her mini medical kit.
"Gah?" Sasuke ran into the foyer where Naruto, oblivious to anyone else in the room, was prising the doors apart. "Naruto! Stop that before you break it." Naruto turned with a jolt having not heard Sasuke enter the small room. Cautiously shifting out of Sasuke's reach, Naruto remained quiet and wary.
Sasuke, moving slowly, palms up to show he was harmless, began to circle Naruto before approaching him, forcing Naruto to walk down the hallway to the living room in order to maintain their distance. Ultimately, they ended up back where they started, Naruto standing in front of the couch with all of his attention on Sasuke, the twitch in his tail becoming more pronounced.
It then came as a shock to them both when Tsunade appeared from nowhere, flinging herself onto Naruto, forcing his arms to his sides. He snarled and bucked against Tsunade, hurling himself to the ground in an attempt to either pin her or escape. She, on the other hand, wore a look of clear determination, hanging on tightly though Sasuke was sure she'd have severe bruises later on.
When Naruto managed to sink his teeth into the soft flesh of her arm, Sasuke was certain that she would let go but much to his surprise, a look of satisfaction instead crossed her features. Moving so fast his mind didn't have time to register it, she leaned forward and sunk her teeth into the nape of Naruto's neck. And just like that the fight was over and Naruto lay limp in her arms, like she'd hit some magic button, the only sign of resistance a barely audible growl escaping between Naruto's teeth.
Without releasing Naruto from her bite, Tsunade reached down with one hand to grab a syringe full of sedatives and jabbed it into the flesh of Naruto's ass. Sasuke watched as the tension seeped out of the restrained blonde, the anxiety induced tail flicking coming to a halt.
Tsunade hoisted up the fox with relative ease, depositing him on the sofa. She and Sasuke looked at Naruto, who stared dreamily into space with an unfocused gaze.
"That hurt?" asked Sasuke, looking pointedly at the blood trickling from the bite on Tsunade's arm. She leaned over her briefcase and came away with some bandages, wrapping them tightly around the wound.
Her grin bared her pointed teeth. "Not as much as you would think. He's just a pup compared to me." She quickly administered some shots to herself, glancing at Sasuke and by way of explanation said, "Like I said before, hybrids are vulnerable to disease."
"Are you going to examine him?" Sasuke asked, the indifference of his tone masking his curiosity. He wondered exactly how one went about performing a check-up on a hybrid. Without giving an answer, Tsunade moved over to Naruto and began to look him over. After checking his teeth, feeling along his limbs to check his bones, and administering the basic shots, such as tetanus, she finally came to the wound on his calf. Pressing her nose to the wound she inhaled deeply, and Sasuke's eyebrows went up.
"Hm. His breathing and heartbeat sound good, and I can't smell an infection, which is a positive, and though you said this was stitched only yesterday, those stitches are ready to be removed. He does heal remarkably quickly." She drew out a pair of surgical scissors, snipping away the neat little stitches left by yesterday's medics. Her last act was to draw some blood to run tests on. "I'll be able to let you know the results by the end of the week. Where's he sleeping?"
Irritated, Sasuke was about to tell her to mind her own damn business when she lifted Naruto over her shoulder and indicated that she was moving him to his room to sleep off the sedatives. After dropping the sedated fox into bed and covering him over with the quilt, Tsunade let Sasuke escort her back to the lift.
"One last thing I should probably alert you to," she said slyly. "When scientists were creating us, they didn't have the aforethought to match the gender of the animal with the gender of the embryo. Though he is definitely all male, I would say that Naruto has female fox mixed into him."
"And what makes you say that?" asked Sasuke cautiously, knowing that she was enjoying this too much for his liking.
"Well other than being a young hybrid with a keen sense of smell, he smells like a fox," she paused for effect, smirking, "going into heat." She gave a light pat to his shoulder and a grin. "And there's only one person here that could be raising his interest. Good luck."
With that, she stepped onto the lift with a little wave, only adding, "I'll call you with results soon," as the doors slid shut, leaving Sasuke to ponder this fascinating piece of information. If you read into the slight smirk on his face, you could say there was very little chance of him being upset about it.
A/N: Hey guys,
So this is part one of two of an idea I've had rolling around in my brain for a while. I can honestly say I'm unsure about what the response will be to this fic xD You may have noticed that this is labelled NaruSasuNaru. It was originally going to be written as a NaruSasu, but as per a request of catiemon, I realised that NaruSasuNaru felt more right in this piece.
I don't know when part two will be complete, but I will be working on it soon. Please review if you have time; I'd love to know if you enjoyed it.