Disclaimers: Don't own Naruto...*slits wrists with a cheese grater*
Pairing/s: SasuNaru, ItaDie, NejiGarr, FugaMiko, and others.
Warnings: Don't read if you can't handle 18+ material. End of story. I don't want to look up and see my story deleted. If you can't hang…DON'T READ! There will be sex…hard gay sex. Maybe even some hetero if I'm feeling up to it. Who knows? *kanye shrug*
Summary: It's been three years since Sasuke's exile, but he's back and with a plan in mind to take back what rightfully belongs to him; Naruto Uzumaki. By any means necessary. AU Highschool Yaoi
By Any Means Necessary
Chapter One: The Prodigal Son Returns
It was like he was riding on butter. Or perhaps flying on butter would have been a better analogy. But then again, it was to be expected. He was after all Uchiha Sasuke and the Uchiha's lived in nothing less than the epitome of luxury. Everything, from their clothes to their food, to the cars they drove and the privet jet that he was currently lounging in; all of it was of the highest caliber.
The white sea of clouds outside his window seemed endless. An enteral sky of blue washed out in white. There was nothing as far as his eyes could see and as he looked out the cabin window lazily, he couldn't help but recall a time when the vastness of the sky and clouds had scared him. Then, the idea of not being able to look back to the home he had left behind, and the emptiness of the new life that loomed ahead of him had shrouded him a fear so thick and tangible he often felt as if he would choke on it. But that had been some years ago when he was just a boy and as time and experience had seen fit, he was no longer that same boy. Oh no. Now, he was considered a man.
He had only been fifteen when his parents had shipped him off to London. They claimed there had been no other choice; he had caused quite a stir that even the influence of his ancestral name had not been able to remedy. The offending party had demanded retribution for the damage he had done, and in order to hush the whole event up, his parents had readily agreed upon a course of action that would sate the victims of their youngest son's rage. Within the next twenty-four hours he was boarding a plan, leaving everything behind and unable to honestly say if he would ever be coming back.
But he was back.
Or at least, he was close to being back. They had been in the air for hours, and he knew that pretty soon the sky would darken and the lights of his city would shine bright, penetrating the inky blackness of night to guide him home.
Tokyo. His eyes slid shut as Sasuke felt himself being pulled into his memories. Over the years he had found solace in them when he was feeling alone and vulnerable. For the longest time they had been all he had and he held onto them tightly; his most precious of treasures. Sitting in his dorm room alone he would close his eyes similar to how he was doing at the moment and just…remember. Remember the sounds of the city bustling around him as he walked to school, the smell of wet streets and food vendors, and the feel of a warm hand clasped tightly in his own. Always. That one memory in particular was one of his favorites.
But all that had been eons ago and while he had not allowed time to rob him of his memories, he wasn't fool enough to believe that things would be as they once were. No…time changed things, that's just what it did and he would be arriving home to the remains of three years past that he had not been apart of. He couldn't help but be curious. Would his friends, still be his friends? He had only had a couple, being standoffish and aloof by nature. There were plenty that wanted his friendship and attention, but only a few that were actually worthy his time.
He thought of Shikamaru. He was undoubtedly the laziest person Sasuke had ever met, but at the same time, also the brightest. A strange combination for a strange guy, and yet he meshed with Sasuke perfectly. Always the thinker, he acted as Sasuke's voice of reason. It had always been Shikamaru that could penetrate his stubbornness with his sarcastic reasoning and carefree attitude.
Next, there was Neji. Unlike Shikamaru, Neji and Sasuke's family ran in the same upper-class social circles. They're parents had been business partners years prior to their birth, and like other families, the idea of maintaining such an advantage bond to one another had been cemented in their friendship. Cunning, shrewd and utterly relentless, Neji had been someone with whom he could identify with, and while you would never find them trading secrets with each other like gossiping old woman, there was an invisible understanding between them. It had been the Hyuuga heir who had sheltered Sasuke when he showed up at the other boy's house bloody and upset. No questions were asked and no judgments were cast. Neji had simply stepped aside, allowing Sasuke into his home as if it had been just another normal evening.
Finally, and most importantly, there was Naruto. Where to begin? They had met in elementary school. Aside from Shikamaru, Naruto was the only other kid in the prestigious school who hadn't come from an elite family. Of course that alone wouldn't have been enough to ostracize him but combined with the common knowledge that he was a foreigner, (half American and half Japanese) an orphan, and that his adoptive father taught at their school; he didn't stand a chance. Or at least that's what everyone had thought…had wanted. But Naruto being Naruto went against social etiquette and thrived.
When people pushed, he pushed back. When they mocked him, he acted out and gave them something else to talk about. And when they tried to break him, he did nothing but grin that stupid goofy grin of his and continue to provoke their ire. He met every encounter head-on and faced down anyone who dared to challenge his right to be at their school. Sasuke had hated him at first; how could he not? He was everything Sasuke generally hated in people; loud, reckless, and had such a blatant disrespect for the way things were. He had thought he would die from old age cursing the foolish blonde's existence until the fateful day they eventually butted heads.
He wasn't sure of the precise words that were spoken that caused their violent exchange. All he could remember was the heat. Everything had been heated; their glares, their words, and eventually Naruto's fists that collided with his skin. All of it had been so hot, almost to the point of it being unbearable. A rage like no other had fallen upon him when the blonde had opened his mouth. Something along the lines of Sasuke being a 'spoiled little bastard.' The rest was lost in a haze and only the feelings of skin against skin made sense for about five minutes until some teacher had pulled them apart.
Sasuke had felt a great swell of pride at the watery blue eyes that narrowed at him from across the principal's office. For his part, Principle Sarutboi had been stunned. Sure Naruto was a trouble maker, but he would never have suspected such behavior from Fugaku Uchiha's son. Sasuke was only barely listening, instead opting to continue the glaring contest that Naruto had started while simultaneously taking in all the damage he had inflicted on his opponent. The smaller boy had a bust lip, a black eye, and the beginnings of a few bruises forming on his arms. All in all, he looked pretty roughed up, and even as his father had scolded him for his dishonorable behavior, all Sasuke could think about was the rush he felt when Naruto hit him.
After the two days of suspension had been dutifully served the youngest Uchiha heir found himself strangely excited about the prospect of going back to school and seeing his blonde nemesis again. He had lain in bed awake for hours, reliving each blow that he had given as well as received. Would they fight again? Would Naruto say anything? Perhaps, Sasuke would even be the person to start the fight first this time. He didn't know. The only thing he was certain of was the tingle he felt in the pit of stomach every time he thought of the boy. But their reunion had not been what he had anticipated.
The two days had done nothing but make the other boy look even worse than the actual day of their fight. Sasuke had watched from around the corner while the blonde had slowly walked down the hallway, cringing with each step he took. The usually vibrant and bright blue eyes there were so unlike anything he had ever seen were dull and lacked the mischievous spark that was always there. It was in that moment that Sasuke realized with some level of self-disgust, that he had done that; that he was responsible for taking away the life and spark that once flared in Uzumaki Naruto's eyes. And more importantly, he wasn't the only person who noticed it.
All day it seemed that kids were becoming bolder and trying to mess with the honey-color haired boy. The taunts were more vicious and additional people seemed to be poking fun at him. For his part, Naruto (for once) just ignored them. A curious behavior that was so unlike him, it caused more trouble to flock to him. By the time lunch hit, Sasuke was begging every god he'd ever read about to find some reason to just send the boy home. But of course his prayers were unheard and, and as he walked to his class, the yells in the hall shouting out 'fight fight fight !' made his stomach drop.
He had to push through a ring of people before finally seeing a mop of blonde hair being banged up against one of the metal lockers, and even though Naruto was biting his lip in an effort to not cry out, the yelp that erupted from his mouth was almost as bothersome to Sasuke as the tears that were running down his the weird whisker-like scared cheeks. He couldn't take it, so he did what his father and older brother had taught him to do as an Uchiha; protect what belonged to him.
That night his father had been beyond furious. For the life of him he couldn't understand why his son had deliberately disobeyed him. It wasn't like Sasuke (who craved his father's recognition most of all) to defy him once, let alone twice.
"Do you not feel any shame for what you've done? Fighting at school….twice. I did not raise my sons to brawl in hallways like hoodlums." The older Uchiha hadn't even bothered to spare his disgraceful child a glance, but the next thing that came from Sasuske's mouth made him turn around.
"No. But you did raise you sons to take care of the things that belong to them," Sasuke said automatically while looking at his father's face with righteous conviction, almost daring his father to refute his claim. "I didn't do anything wrong."
"You wouldn't call fighting in school again wrong?" his father asked, trying to see how far his son would go to prove his innocence and point on the matter.
"I wouldn't call protecting someone wrong," Sasuke countered in a low uncertain voice, eyes trained on the ground again as his father studied him. He wasn't used to talking with his father in such a manner. Obedience was the family way and try as he might Sasuke couldn't remember a time when he had ever talked back to his father. The fact that his dad was actually listening to him was unsettling also. But for once, he didn't feel like he did anything wrong, and even if it meant making his father listen and understand him, he would do just that.
The Uchiha patriarch listened intently. 'Fair enough, but not enough.' It made sense, but Fugaku needed his son to understand exactly what his actions meant. "You just hurt him yourself a couple of days ago, did you not? Why would you 'protect' someone with whom you were just fighting with?"
Yes, yes Sasuke had hurt him. And Naruto had hurt him back, even though he would never admit it. So why did he protect him? They weren't friends. He wasn't sure if they had anything in common. And to top it off he was a commoner; not someone really should be associating himself with. And then it hit him…he really didn't have a reason. But, did he really need one?
'You are an Uchiha. If you want it, take it, and answer to no one but yourself.'
That was it, the answer he needed and the one his dad was waiting for him to give. "I don't have a reason," he said calmly with a smug grin on his face as he looked back up at his father, more confident than before. "And I don't need one."
Something indiscernible flashed across his father's face at that moment, and although Sasuke hadn't realized it then, as he grew up and relived that memory everyday he recognized the look for what it was. Pride. The first time his father had ever looked at him with pride. It had been a glorious moment for both father and son.
Two more days of suspension were served, and Sasuke was once again back at school. The stares he endured as he made his way down the hall for once didn't irritate him. He was used to being the center of their unwanted attention for many other reasons. But today it was different; he could see it in the cautious and apprehensive eyes of his fellow students. In less than a week their view of him had drastically changed. He went from being the silent prodigy that everyone wanted to know, to the indecipherable wild card that they all feared. Lucky for them Sasuke could have cared less. If they wanted to spend their time gossiping about Uchiha Sasuke, the new resident bad boy, they could run their mouths until their tongues fell out. He didn't care; they didn't even exist to him. All that mattered was the blonde mop of hair he saw waiting by his locker
Of all the eyes that had been looking at him, only the sky blue ones in front of him mattered. Unlike everyone else, it wasn't fear or even respect he saw staring at him. Only something he would describe as mild curiosity. The staring context lasted for only a minute before the silence became too much for Naruto. Even then his best friend lacked patience.
"I didn't need your help!" he blurted out testily. "I was going to knock his lights out before you showed up teme. So if you're looking for a 'thank you,' look somewhere else because you won't get one from me!" By the end of his tirade, Naruto's face was lightly dusted in a faint pink color that seemed out of place on a boy's face. How girly could a boy be, blushing like that?
"Shut up, dobe. I don't want your thanks," he said stoically while opening his locker and getting his books. More confusion marred the whiskered face, before a soft and hesitant voice worked up the courage to ask his next question.
"So…why'd you do it?"
Sasuke sighed. "How should I know, my body moved on its own," he said with a shrug. The smile that appeared on Naruto's face was brilliant and breathtaking.
'I'm going to make him smile like that for me more often.'
They had been best friends ever since. At least Sasuke would like to think so, but there was no sure way of knowing when you hadn't spoken to that person in three years. During his exile (that's what he liked to call it, as dramatic as that sounded) Naruto had never written, emailed, or even called. Not during the holidays, not on his birthday…never.
The first year of the silent treatment, Sasuke had simply figured Naruto was still upset...maybe even traumatized. After all, the last time they had seen each other had not been under the best of circumstances. But by the second year's end he couldn't find any plausible excuse to justify Naruto's actions, or lack thereof in this case, and the anger he felt helped push him through his last year. And know he was almost home, and he would have everything that he wanted…no matter the cost.
A cold smirk spread across Sasuke's face as he imagined the stir his arrival would cause. Only his family, Shikamaru and Neji knew and it would stay that way until he arrived back at school.
Senior year was going to be one hell of a ride.
Uchiha Mikoto could hardly wait another second. It had been three years since she'd last seen her baby, and the fact that he was only a few seconds away was just unbearable. Patience was normally her area of expertise, but not today. The terminal said his plane had touched down. Common sense said he'd be there in front of her soon, but it seemed time was going in slow motion.
And then, she saw him. She might not have even recognized him besides the flip in her stomach she liked to call her 'maternal instincts.' He looked so different.
It seemed like it was her lot in life to be the shortest one in her family. She was considered tall for a woman, standing at 5'7. But it seemed just like his brother and his father, Sasuke was to stand taller than her as well. His hair had grown out too. When he was younger hair in his face had been a nuisance. But his long bangs hung in his face giving a very dark and mysterious edge to her son. She didn't miss the appreciative looks both men and women gave him as he strolled toward her. Everything about him was so different, and yet so eerily familiar.
When he finally came to a halt and stood in front of her, the deep timbre of his voice almost made her jump. "Mother," he said respectfully as always while looking down at her with a little surprise barely hidden in his eyes. So he hadn't expected anyone to be there to greet him. The thought made her immensely sad, and before she could reign in her emotions as her name and social stature decreed, Mikoto was sobbing into the warm chest of her son.
'He's here. He's really here. After all this time, he's back,' she thought as she wrapped her arms around her son's waist. She really hadn't planned on breaking down like that, and in front her son that she hadn't seen in three years, no less. But she was grateful, so grateful. Grateful for him being back, grateful for the way he didn't seem to hate her (as was in his right), and grateful for the way he wrapped his arm around her shoulders, laid his head upon her's and hugged her back.
"I've missed you too Mom," he admitted softly, mumbling into her hair. Mikoto knew it was meant to comfort her, but hearing such an admission only made her cry harder. She really didn't deserve it. When the whole thing had happened, for the first time Mikoto found herself unsure of what to do. The Uchiha matriarch had often told her husband that one day something would happen that his name wouldn't be able to fix. Who knew that the day would come so soon and that it would involve her youngest son?
If anything, Mikoto had assumed the trouble would be bought upon by Fugaku himself, or at the very least by Itachi. She loved her husband, and she loved her eldest son, but she wouldn't pretend that their overbearing arrogance wouldn't bring about trouble one day. Having a prestigious name and money wouldn't always be able to fix a problem. It hadn't fixed Sasuke's.
The damage was too great, and consequences were harsh. Too harsh for a boy of only fifteen, even though a small side of her knew that if the roles had been reversed, she would have been screaming for the same retribution too.
Sending him away was undeniably the best option, but Mikoto didn't think the staying away part was necessary. It seemed wrong and unfair that her son not only had to leave, but that his return was in the hands of someone else. And Fugaku wouldn't even let her go with him. She had begged, pleaded, and even threatened divorce, but her husband would not be swayed. They needed to be together, show a united front on the choice they were making. In the end, Mikoto had watched her son board a plane and had hated herself every moment he'd been gone for letting it happen; even if she knew there was no possible way of fighting the inevitable.
A year and a half went by before Mikoto finally got some good news. The judge had deemed it suitable for Sasuke to come home. Instantly she was on the phone, trying to get in contact with her baby boy. But when she finally did (Mikoto had momentarily forgotten the time difference) Sasuke said he didn't want to come back…and her heart was broken all over again.
She couldn't imagine why he didn't want to be back to his family, friends…to her. A new wave of guilt hit her and Mikoto had fallen into a depression that not even Fugaku had been able to pull her out of. So to hear him say that he missed her, to hear him call her mom so affectionately once more, to feel him hug her as he did…it was more than she could have dared hope for.
After what seemed like a lifetime, Mikoto finally found the strength to draw back from her son. There was a wet stain on his shirt from her tears, but Sasuke didn't seem to care as he cupped her face and gently wiped away her tears with the hard pads of his thumbs. It was the same move Fugaku used to make her stop crying too. And it hit her, who Sasuke reminded her of.
'He's just like his father. He's not a kid anymore,' she thought fleetingly with a sad smile, eyeing the confident man in front of her that was once her baby boy.
"Come on," Mikoto said with a watery smile. "Let's go get something to eat. Leave your things; someone will get them." She told her limo driver to call home and notify the household that they'd be late. An hour longer with her son wouldn't hurt anyone.
Sasuke just nodded and allowed his mother to grab his hand and lead him down the street.
They walked in a comfortable silence, just enjoying the presence of one another. A few blocks down the street and Mikoto lead them into a small street vendor stall. She looked her son's face and was happy to see the recognition on it. This place had been Sasuke's favorite place to eat as a kid, and she wasn't disappointed when they sat down to order and he asked for the omurice (1), with tomatoes instead of ketchup. It was good, to know that some things hadn't changed.
As always, the food was cooked to perfection and they ate in silence. There was so much she wanted to ask him and talk about…but where to begin. Some things she was dying to know, but such big topics were best kept quiet until a better time. But the small questions seemed pretty pointless too after three years. As much as she knew about her son, she really didn't know about this man. There was only one thing she figured hadn't changed, so she would start there.
"Everyone has really missed you. Your father acts like it's been easy on him, but it really hasn't. The phone has been attached to his ear ever since you called and said you were coming back. He's been getting lots of things ready for you. And Itachi, has been driving your father insane," she continued on fondly, filling in for Sasuke's silence. "He's missed terrorizing you, so now he bothers your father." She smiled when Sasuke snorted in what she hoped was amusement.
"Even your friends have missed you. Shikamaru stops by whenever something electronic goes haywire." It had been an interesting development to see her son's laziest friend so such an interest and aptitude for technology. "And Neji stops by the house every time there's a meeting. He even escorted me to a charity auction a couple of months ago when your father and brother were away on business." She smiled at her son. "I can tell; they've missed you a lot."
"What about…Naruto?" His question wasn't unexpected, but Mikoto hadn't wanted to be the one to bring him up first. Understandably there were a lot of unspoken issues between the two boys that there hadn't been time to address when Sasuke was sent away. She knew that they hadn't spoken to each other while Sasuke had been away. Mikoto had been the only link between the two, answering questions whenever each boy inquired about the other. It was sad for her to see. Their friendship and meant to so much to each other, but after what had taken place, she couldn't have expected things to stay the same between them. Some things were just too big to be swept up under the rug. But she hoped, really hoped that they would find a way to move past the incident and move on with their lives.
Because as much as she had missed Sasuke, she knew that Naruto had missed him even more.
"He's doing good. He still comes around once a week to cook with me like we used to when you guys where kids. Remember that?" It was a pointless question because she knew her son hadn't forgotten. At some point during their friendship, Naruto expressed his love for cooking to Sasuke. Mikoto loved cooking as well and it hadn't been hard for Sasuke to convince his mother to let them cook with her once a week. It was at that moment that she realized that the friendship her son had with the blonde haired ball of energy wasn't as platonic as others might have thought.
As was typical of the Uchiha clan, her family was very possessive. It started with Fugaku. Their relationship had been rocky at best. She thought him arrogant, prideful, and completely full of himself. Their marriage had been nothing short of a sham as far as she was concerned but of course he had taken it seriously. He wouldn't leave her alone for a minute, and for someone who seemed totally aloof, he was always touching her. It irritated her. Probably because she knew he did it as way of warding off other people in public. Men couldn't even nod their head in her direction without Uchiha Fugaku doing something to show who she belonged too. But even alone in their house he was always caressing her hair, rubbing her hand, or sitting close to her. When Itachi was born it soon became apparent to Mikoto that the possessiveness was heredity.
For the longest time Itachi was loath to let her accompany him on school fieldtrips. At first she had assumed that like most boys his age, he simply didn't like being seen with is mother; it was uncool. It wasn't until she decided to come to parent night unexpectedly and had to sit with Itachi latched on to her and glowering at everyone that came within two feet of her that she started to rethink the 'uncool' hypothesis.
It was even worse when they collaborated like on her last birthday. All she wanted to do was have a nice dinner with her friends. It turned into said friends sneaking her out after dinner to some club. Words could not express the utter horror and embarrassment she felt when a man asked her to dance and Itachi came out of nowhere and said she was taken. He stayed by her side all night, a quiet looming shadow that made men avoid her like she had leprosy. Not that she was going to dance with any of them. But still, at her age it was nice to know that other men still thought she was attractive. She tried to express this to her oldest son, but to no avail. He had only shrugged before stating, "I'm just following father's orders."
Sasuke had been no different…until Naruto. Not even Neji or Shikamaru had ever been able to come over until after Naruto. So like his father and brother; Sasuke just didn't share her will. But he made an effort for Uzumaki Naruto.
Always for him.
Anything for him.
And as a mother who loved her son and wanted to see him happy (especially after the events that took place) Mikoto couldn't help but wonder if Sasuke had noticed it already. If he had pieced together what everyone else seemed to see, but he had been so painfully oblivious too.
'Do you realize yet, just how much he means to you Sasuke?'
As much as she wanted to believe that was true, it was hard to place too much faith in the idea. After all, despite her best efforts, both her sons had turned out just like their father…emotionally retarded. It had taken Fugaku forever to realize he was in love with Mikoto.
"I'm not sure what happened, why you two lost touch," she started slowly as if talking to a wild wounded animal. "But you should know, that…he missed you the most. Even more than me." The comparison gave Mikoto the reaction she was looking for. It was subtle, nothing anybody would have realized if they didn't know Sasuke the way she knew him. A split widening of the eyes, and tenseness in his shoulders eased dissipated; small things that spoke volumes.
"It would be a shame, if you're friendship ended Sasuke. I don't know how boys can fight one day, and be best friends by next week, but you two did. Your friendship is special and if he means that much to you….you should fight for him," she finished with a soft smile.
At some point during her speech, Sasuke had stopped looking at her and was now staring intently at the wall ahead of him, deep in thought. "I don't want his friendship anymore Mom," he said after a minute of silence, and Mikoto's heart sank.
"You're going to miss out on something great if you let that Uchiha pride get in the way-"
"I want more. And I'm going to have it. I'm eighteen now (2)," he said before slowly turning back to face her. The look on his face was unlike anything she had ever seen on Sasuke's face. It was cunning, dark, and filled with revengeful promise. To who the revenge was directed she couldn't tell for sure, but Mikoto was sure that Naruto was somewhere near the heart of it. This wasn't what she had in mind.
"Sasuke you know you don't have to do that. It's just a stupid tradition that your father follows, but you don't have too-"
"But I want to," he said with such finality that Mikoto didn't even try to finish her statement. She could see he was determined and that this was the path he had chosen. She could only pray that it ended up better than her own circumstance. As happy as she was with her life now, Mikoto had been on the receiving end of a traditional eighteen year old birthday wish (3), and she would not wish that upon anyone else. She had been unable to stop Itachi too. Perhaps this was heredity also. Sometimes Mikoto really hated the family she had married into.
She had suddenly lost her appetite. "We should head home," she breathed out deeply. "If that's your decision, I'm sure you're going to want to speak with your father soon." Her son nodded and placed a bill on the table before holding out his hand to his mother. Unable to do anything else she smiled sadly and allowed him to lead her into the street, down the block, and back to the limo that was dutifully awaiting them.
Before allowing her to get into the car however, Sasuke pulled Mikoto into another hug. "I know this is hard for you to allow, but it will be ok," he whispered so faintly she wasn't sure if it had been real or not. Mikoto simply nodded into the chest she had drawn into, not bothering to cover up the tears that were once again streaming down face. She had spent so much time crying, but these tears hurt the most.
Because she wasn't crying for herself anymore.
'I'm sorry I couldn't protect you from him Naruto.'
10 friggin pages! *dies*
Well you know the drill, tell me what you think. Reviews and feedback spur me on and make me write faster. And if you have any questions, ask! i love having reviews that I can respond to :)
Again, I ask you pardons on any mess ups. No beta, and all that. To ire is human!
(1) Omurice: a traditional Japanese meal that is basically fried fried put in an egg omlete and covered in ketchup.
(2) The 18th year old birthday wish is sort of a starting point for Sasuke's intentions. It isn't the main idea or theme of the story, but it is sort of a starting place so pay attention.
(3) Mikoto's life and her actions are all fueled by her own life in response to Fugaku's 18th birthday wish. More about it in the next chapter.
Next Chapter: Sasuke speaks with his father, and we learn more what this 18th birthday wish entails.