Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Masashi Kishimoto! I own nothing! However, I do proclaim Kishimoto-sama a GOD of Manga!
A/N: I valiantly tried to be humorous for this; well, as much as I could writing in Sasuke's POV; but I'm not sure whether I pulled it off or not. Please let me know what you think? This is my first attempt at NaruSasuNaru, so please be gentle with me, I have a fragile ego as it is. However, I welcome all constructive criticism!
PART I is T rated! This COULD be read as a One-Shot! As, Part II is mostly Smut! FOREWARNING! Just In Case.
Memories of a Clone
The S-rank ninja turned purposely to face Naruto, running to catch up to him, slouched forward with a sheepish smile but also looking suspiciously excited as he waved with zeal. Sasuke took a brief moment to marvel at how much the blond Shinobi had remained the same in a world that had crumbled to the ground and then reformed itself over with the tide of War. "What, dobe?"
"Erm, I was kinda wondering if maybe I could burrow one of your clones, 'ttebayo?" Naruto laughed nervously.
Sasuke narrowed his red eyes, his Sharingan spinning as he stared at the overly jittery blond. Very suspicious.
"What do you want it for?" he questioned grudgingly.
"heh heh," Naruto hesitated and rubbed the back of his messy blond head in a nervous gesture. "Weeeeeellll," Naruto blinked his big blue eyes and then grinned and leaned in close, whispering very conspicuously, "I've got a new mission. But I can't tell you what it is, so the only way for you to know is by lending me a clone, 'ttebayo."
Sasuke stared into those sparkling eyes and felt his left cheek muscle twitch. A mission, huh? But why my clone?
"Yeah," Naruto straightened and shrugged it off, "it's a mission only I can do, but it's also something I can't do without you, buuuuuuutttttt," Naruto linked his hands behind his head and grinned up at the clear blue sky, his eyes reflecting the same brightness, "you can't know what it is."
Sasuke went rigid with indignation. "Why not?!" he demanded harshly. Although he wasn't at all surprised, he hadn't exactly been welcomed back to the Hidden Leaf with open arms, well… by anyone who wasn't Naruto that is. Even Sakura had been less then accommodating which had been mildly alarming, although reasonable since he had seriously tried to kill her more than a few times, but it was the fact that Sakura had been acting reasonable instead of her usual blindly-infatuated-self that had him fleetingly worried for her health.
Naruto winked and struck a confident 'nice-guy' pose, his strong legs spread wide drawing attention to the larger-than-life personality compressed inside that orange and black encased body, "Trust me, dattebayo!"
Sasuke glared at Naruto's unwavering stance, watching with his Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan for any guilty tells, but after a long moment Sasuke could only conclude that there was none.
"It'll be worth it, I promise." Naruto assured in his loud and overconfident voice. However lately, the persistent idiot had more than enough – than should really be possible, actually – to feed his already bursting ego and Sasuke felt himself sigh even as he gave into his curiosity, quickly making the hand sign to produce an identical clone in a dramatic puff of smoke, not giving himself time to over-analyze the simple-minded fool's suspicious behavior.
With two Sasukes glaring back at Naruto with identical expressions of displeasure, the Great Uzumaki looked about ready to leap out of his skin with excitement. The real Sasuke watched carefully as Naruto, quick as a flash, grabbed a tight hold of his grumbling clone's wrist and with a swift wave and a "See ya, teme, 'ttebayo!" he darted down the nearest ally with the Sasuke-double dragging on his heels and was gone from sight.
Sasuke stood, immobile for a long moment and waited for the reality of what he had just done to crash over him, and after a while he felt himself sneer at his own stupidity.
There is just no way that I'm not going to regret this.
He didn't even know why Naruto would have a mission on today of all days, being one of their rare days off. Rarer still for him and Naruto, for they were both on the Fifth Hokage's shit-list since the stunt they had pulled at the end of the Great Shinobi War. Never mind the fact that, incidentally, it had been because of them that the Shinobi army had managed to win the War against Madara and Obito in the end as a consequence.
That old hag, and since it didn't look like the Fifth was going to forgive them anytime soon they had to cherish every second of reprieve they managed to salvage from her own fucked-up form of punishment (ahem, torture. Cough).
The original members of Team 7 – Sai was thankfully busy and even though the artist had played a big part in Sasuke's successful re-integration into the Village, Sasuke really couldn't stand him – had all agreed to meet for lunch at the newest ramen bar that had opened six weeks previously and had been approved of by many of their friends. Well, Naruto's friends, Sasuke was still struggling to give a shit about anyone other than the boisterous idiot who never learned how to quit. Not that Sasuke had ever cared about much even before he had discovered that his brother was not a psychotic-nail polish wearing-sadistic-massacrer, at least not by choice anyway. And considering how yesterday, Naruto had been the most insistent upon their "friendly" gathering, it pissed Sasuke off that much more that the only reason he had agreed to attend the stupid lunch in the first place had just dumped him for a "secret mission".
Sasuke cringed inwardly at the feeling of abandonment settling uncomfortably within his gut, and he took a deep breath as he tried to reason with himself that, whatever Naruto's mission involved it shouldn't keep him away too long. He hadn't even been heading towards the surrounding forest; he'd merely dragged his cloned double deeper into the village instead. Perhaps, Naruto will even be done before the ramen bar could get too crowded, and then he would find out just what Naruto's secret mission had entailed.
He'd find out anyway, as soon as he released his clone. Or Naruto allowed it to be killed because he was careless, or the egoistical loser used it as a decoy, which unfortunately was very likely and Sasuke wouldn't appreciate it if that was indeed what the idiot had in mind. He just hoped that Naruto knew better then to dare do anything to endanger Sasuke's don't-fuck-with-me image.
Sasuke knew the Uchiha name would forever be feared but frankly, he much preferred to have the circulating horror stories told throughout the ages concerning the last Uchiha heir, and the raining terror of the bloodline Sharingan then to have his family's name be completely erased from history. To be forgotten, much like the Leaf Village Elders waited eagerly in the shadows for him to slip up, patiently anticipating him falling back on his vengeful nature so they had cause to enforce his banishment from the Village, his erase from their history on to the Leaf and their people.
Enforce on to Naruto.
However, Sasuke had no intention of giving in to anyone else's ideals of how he should live out his life, not anymore. He would never again be so easily manipulated by hatred, not now that Naruto had literally beaten the will to keep on living into his very being.
With a decisive shake of his dark head, Sasuke turned and began walking towards the ominous Ramen Bar as he deliberately pushed all thoughts of his blond savior out of his disturbingly preoccupied mind.
As Sasuke entered, he instantly counted seven people sitting at the bar; two were already slurping huge bowls of steamed noodles, swimming amongst various fried meals and vegetables in the corner. The other five, the largest cluster of people, he noted with a grimace, had Kakashi and Sakura among them, which meant they were, regrettably, not alone. Team 8's, Inuzuka, Aburame and Hinata-sama sat, (in that order), at the of end of the bar beside his team mates as they sipped at their pre-ordered drinks and, apparently, shared laughs over conversation that Sasuke was absolutely certain would bore him to tears if he actually made the effort to listen in.
Feeling a headache already beginning to pluck at his temples, Sasuke tried to reframe from silently praying for whatever Higher Being would listen to grant him the miraculous appearance of his solid, loud and flamboyant shield against these exact kinds of situations. The worst kind of evil, in Sasuke's resolute opinion, in all his eighteen years of experience had always been socializing. He'd very much like to just call it a day and head gratefully back to the peaceful solitude of his new flat; however, he knew that Naruto would be on his case for the next long, long while if he didn't at least make the effort to try out the food before bailing.
So, it was with a particularly foul curse to Naruto's name that he strode over to the chattering Shinobi and paused as they suddenly quieted to look over their shoulders at his arrival. Their reactions to his appearance were hilariously predicable; or rather it would have been hilarious if it hadn't of been so incredibly boring.
The Dog Ninja did nothing more than nod in his direction before impatiently calling for the chief, no doubt Sasuke's presence already forgotten at the prospect of the much anticipated food. The Bug ninja merely turned his head back and forth, to the side then to the front again, too much mobility threatening to dislodge the beetles in his ears no doubt; he was the most boring, although admittedly not by much. Hinata-sama, timid thing that she was, smiled shyly and gave a polite little wave only to duck her head in embarrassment the next second, as if she had ever done anything to feel ashamed about.
Sakura was surprisingly the most interesting, although still incredibly predictable. Her reaction of scowling up at him before "harrumphing" like a bad-tempered horse and pointedly ignoring his existence was still a refreshing sight on her. She obviously hadn't forgiven him for his almost stabbing her in the back after her last love confession then, at least that's one less person he would be forced to communicate with.
Kakashi frowned, Sasuke could tell by the crinkles in the bridge of his nose, which, amazingly, was in fact visible between the heavy layers of navy-blue fabric; "Where's Naruto?"
Sasuke focused on the Jonin, Kakashi being his preferred choice of raconteur in present company anyway. "On a mission." he tried not to snap in annoyance, he needed to save that particular emotion for the cause, after all.
He watched the other man's expression coolly, uninterested but unable to stop himself from being watchful for anything to inform him as to what Naruto was up too. However, he was grudgingly disappointed when only confusion flickered in Kakashi's one visible eye as he looked up from his stall at the young Uchiha.
Sasuke mentally slapped that queasy disappointment further into his psyche, towards the black mass of numbness that sealed all his unwanted thoughts and memories separate from his slightly-more-sane-then-it-has-been-for-a-long-while mind, as he sighed deeply and took the available seat next to his ex-sensei.
His clearer thoughts and less-burdened memories had once drifted amongst smoke-like wisps of emotions that either, grew so heavy that they eventually gravitated towards the black void at his core or were so thin that they evaporated into nothingness. Nowadays though, Sasuke was encountering more and more emotions clouding and interfering with his thoughts, his memories and, consequently, his actions, which for Sasuke was a frightening, as well as exhilarating experience.
To rediscover all the things that he had been certain were forever ash inside him, and he knew there was only one culprit he could blame for bringing about this new indefinable feeling.
The same culprit of his growing headache and his distracted thoughts, which was only pissing him off steadily more, so much so that Sasuke calculated that by the time the Shinobi tyrant showed his grinning face again, Sasuke would be nearing ready to rip the blond ninja limb from limb whilst reprimanding him something fierce. As was his right, Sasuke knew, as the moron's favorite target for all that pent-up and boundless energy, especially when he was targeted early in the mornings.
"What are you ordering, Sasuke?" Kakashi asked him after telling the chief his own choice of flavored noodles. Dog boy and Bug boy were already slurping hungrily at their large portion of ramen.
"Mhn, miso pork, I guess." Sasuke mumbled noncommittally.
"Ah, you and Naruto have the same taste, I see." Kakashi said in amusement.
Sasuke pursed his lips, caught, determinedly fighting back the sudden heat causing his cheeks to tingle. "Well, no," he grumbled under his breath. "I don't really like ramen, so I just thought that it'd be less of a waste to order something that Naruto likes, just in case the idiot turns up later." This was the truth. That had been his exact reasoning, leaving out the fact that Sasuke was actively wishing the idiot would hurry up and arrive already.
"How is Naruto?" asked Kakashi after he had ordered for Sasuke and himself. "You said he had a mission, is it anything of importance?"
Sasuke narrowed his eyes. "He didn't say. It can't be that important, he wasn't even heading out of the village."
"Oh?" Kakashi looked at him curiously. Two steaming bowls were set in front of them and each uttered their thanks to the chief. Kakashi chewed thoughtfully (behind his mask. How remained a mystery) whilst Sasuke stared at the swimming noodles in distaste. "Wonder what could have been so urgent within the village that Naruto would give up his free time, not to mention free ramen, to carry out?"
Sasuke sighed and grimaced, fiddling absently with his chopsticks. "How should I know? Whatever it is, it had better be good, that moron made off with one of my clones for this stupid mission."
Kakashi loudly swallowed his mouthful and blinked at his recently returned teammate in astonishment. "I'm sorry? Did you just say that Naruto took one of your clones on his mission?"
Sasuke forced himself to gulp down the overly chewy, pork slice he had reluctantly put in his mouth and reached for his cup of water, indifferent to Kakashi's stunned expression. And this had absolutely nothing to do with the mask hiding his face. "Yeah. He couldn't tell me why. But I'll find out. Obviously." Sasuke felt like sulking. He had defiantly lost the taste for ramen whilst he was away. Damn it.
"And he didn't leave the village, you say?" Sasuke didn't dignify Kakashi with an answer but the Jonin was already contemplating aloud this new mystery. "Why not just take you along with him? If his mission is one that you can't know of before he has completed it, then why ask for a clone? Surely, he knows that as soon as that clone is released that you will gain all its memories?"
"He's an idiot. But he's a surprisingly wise idiot." Sasuke said bluntly. "He told me that if I wanted to know what he was up to, then I'd have to lend him a clone. That was the deal." Sasuke propped his head on his palm, utterly bored with the conversation.
Kakashi brightened, becoming enthralled with the mantra of clues coming together as to Naruto's secret mission. "Oooh, so it's a secret mission. But Naruto wants you to find out what it is after it has been accomplished? How peculiar. Surely, if it was of great importance, he'd want you to know right away? And he took your clone which is rather drastic a measure just to inform you of the details of his mission, implying that he will still be unable to tell you in person once it has been dealt with. I would be worried that he was in danger except that you said he was still within the village. Although, that could have just been another precaution to keep this mission secret by misleading you, but then that wouldn't make sense since he obviously wants you to know what's going on."
Sasuke stared at Kakashi in sarcastic bewilderment. He was becoming dizzy listening to the Jonin talk himself in circles over something this inane. Why would Sasuke waste his time trying to figure out something that he will eventually learn anyway? He was in no rush to find out what Naruto was up to, nope none at all. And if Kakashi just happened to decipher the mystery and Sasuke just happened to overhear it? Well, there was no harm in that was there?
"What's that about Naruto being on a mission?" Inuzuka's voice rudely interrupted Kakashi's speeding thoughts and Sasuke felt an impulsive need to slap him like a Hyuuga. "What's more important than his day off?" Dog-breath asked dumbly, his expression reflecting his question. He was leaning across a tight-lipped Sakura, while Sakura was pointedly not glancing in Sasuke's direction. Not that he cared.
"Not sure." Kakashi replied indulgently. "That's what we're trying to figure out."
"I hope Naruto-kun's alright." Hinata-sama's timid voice floated towards them like a feather in the breeze, as she leaned in with a worried look on her pretty face. Sasuke scowled at her, irritated with her concern.
"He'll be fine." He said brusquely, startling her. "He can take care of himself. He's entirely capable. I would have thought the War would have proven that much."
"He's right, Hinata-chan." Inuzuka put in, smiling his reassurance. "Though, he could have been less of a dick about it." He glared over at Sasuke and the ex-criminal raised his eyebrow in silent challenge. The Dog ninja growled in response.
"Down boy, I meant little by it." Sasuke said mildly and Inuzuka bared his sharp canines with obvious intent. Sasuke rolled his eyes, unfazed.
"Calm down you two." Kakashi cut into their stare-down with a distracting wave of his hand between their gazes, and two glares locked on to him instead. "Naruto is very capable. Whatever his top secret mission may be, I am confident that he will survive it."
Sasuke grunted neutrally. Not confident of anything until he finds out what that imbecile was doing with his clone.
Dog-breath snorted. "Well, whatever it is I bet I could have done it better and still have time to eat ramen with my friends." he claimed arrogantly. Sasuke rolled his eyes, again, silently wishing he had brought his katana. Kakashi wouldn't have been able to get in-between them then.
"Naruto-kun is training to be Hokage, remember?" Sakura finally put her two yen in. Her voice just as tight as her expression, clearly resisting the niggling urge to say something more off-topic and Sasuke remained patiently grateful of her newfound restraint. "He's been doing a lot of unusual missions lately. Remember the one with that sexually confused armadillo?"
Sasuke smirked into his cup of water. He and Sakura had been present when Naruto had been called away on an impromptu mission to the paradise island where Naruto had learned to control the Nine-Tails. Killerbee had summoned Naruto to help heal a boy-who-thinks-its-a-girl giant armadillo's broken heart, after Naruto had abruptly left 'it' to the mercy of the 'other' sexually confused giant mammals when Naruto had run off to War against everyone's wishes.
During the comical and yet disturbing mission which was supposedly part of Naruto's "training" to become a better Hokage, Sasuke had discovered that Bee, of the Ay and Bee tag-team brothers, happened to have taken a peculiar liking to Sasuke even after he and his team had tried (but failed) to apprehend him for the enemy before the War broke out.
All, apparently, because Sasuke had inspired the Eight-Tail Jinchuuriki's "best rhyme", although, that was debatable. Something about a kick he had delivered during that devastating battle, that hadn't even made the solid rock of a man twitch, if he remembered correctly. He could vaguely remember being utterly disturbed by the dismissal he received whilst his opponent scribbled something into a small black book.
Needless to say, Sasuke had been less pleased to see the Cloud Shinobi then he had been to see Sasuke. And, of course, Naruto had found the whole ordeal to be uproariously funny.
"Oh yeah." Inuzuka snickered, reminiscing over the finer details of that little expedition. "Man, can you believe Naruto humored that thing?"
"He humors you, doesn't he?" Sasuke voiced and frowned at his impulsiveness.
"Hey!" The heir of the Dog clan barked in anger. Predictably.
"That wasn't very nice, Sasuke." Kakashi admonished calmly, his nose stuck in an old porn book written by Naruto's deceased-master.
Sasuke sighed, although he wasn't quite sure what over, there was too many ridiculous happenings in such a short amount of time. Where the hell is Naruto?
As if in answer to his thoughts, Sasuke felt the sudden rush of memories that triggered at the release of his clone. However, a rush of a completely different kind closely accompanied it.
"OH! Aaahh!" Sasuke gasped and shuddered as shockwaves washed through him, white hot and scolding liquid. Everyone in the Ramen Bar turned to stare at him in bemusement whilst he bent over the bar, narrowly avoiding drowning in his uneaten ramen, whimpering to his absolute shame into the bar-top with his nails imbedded painfully into the grain of the stool under him.
A curious sniff and then a shaken voice that sounded vaguely like Inuzuka's, questioned uncertainly somewhere in the haze of Sasuke's periphery, "Did you just – did he just -?"
All Sasuke could do for a full minute was whimper softly as the buzzing in his head slowly quieted. Curious whispers gradually assaulted his ears in its place even as he blinked away the assorted images of slick tanned skin and deep aching need from his mind. Holly. FUCK!
"So I guess this means that you've discovered what Naruto's mission entailed?" Sasuke lifted his head unsteadily, dazed, to look to Kakashi with wide disbelieving eyes, for a long moment not understanding the knowing twinkle in that lone black eye.
"What? You don't mean -?" Sasuke blinked at Inuzuka's gawping face that was rapidly flooding as crimson as the fangs painted on his cheeks. Sasuke felt rather flustered himself.
"What? What happened? What's wrong with Sasuke?" Sakura asked with frustration clear in her voice and for the first time that night, for a long time really, she looked Sasuke dead in the eyes. Sasuke flushed with a combination of humiliation and guilt, feeling entirely out of sorts and rather violated beyond his belief. He quickly stood and wobbled his way out of the establishment, one thought clear in his mind.
I am going to KILL Naruto!
To Be Continued…
END OF 'T' RATED PART I! (part II will be 'M' rated!)
I should be adding another chapter to this short story soon. I'd like to end with some much-anticipated manly smex, however, I may lose the confidence to post it as such. (Whimpers). But in any case, I fully intend to extend this with Sasuke's confrontation with Naruto... lets see how THAT goes.
Your thoughts would be much appreciated!