Mask Built Off Lies

Summary: Shinobi from all around feared the Shin'en no Kitsune. People of Konoha simply saw Naruto as a troublemaking brat. How wrong they were. The jinchūriki is finding it harder to keep his 'mask' of happiness on and his team start to suspect something. Especially Sasuke.

Disclaimer: I only own my laptop…(well, among other things but not Naruto for sure)

A/N: Wow, thank-you for the reviews considering the last chapter was very short! (They make me grin like an idiot when I read them) Anyway, this one is longer, hope you enjoy~ I like angst so this story is gonna be piled with it ^^

(And a note, Namikaze Legacy is now on Semi-hiatus until my muse returns- I have part of the chapter down but am working on and off the rest, I still will be updating it but slowly.)

"S-Sasuke?" Naruto stuttered. What was he doing here? The blonde was one hundred precent sure that Iruka had told his team he had the day off because he was sick but had Kakashi-sensei forgotten and sent Sasuke to find him?

"Oi, dobe. Where were you? I went to your apartment and you weren't there so I came to ask Iruka and here you are, I mean what the heck? You have some explaining to do." His raven teammate bit out through grit teeth. 'Why did you run off yesterday?'

Naruto was about to heatedly retort when he saw Sasuke's face colour slightly as a slight blush made its way onto his cheeks. "Why are you blushing?" He demanded in the usual boisterous voice he had always used with his team. It was then he realized his semi-naked state and fought the faint red staining his tanned complexion. "Oh."

Sasuke struggled to push down the blush as he attempted to avoid is eyes straying…downward. He absently observed how his teammate seemed extremely well toned and fit, bordering on hot- Wait wait, he did not just think that.

"Teme. Get. Out. Now." The door was slammed into his face before Sasuke could react, leaving a flustered Naruto as he ran towards his room and hurriedly pulled on his clothes.

Ah. So Sasuke, being the prime shinobi example the council thought he was, was 'concerned' and worried as to why Naruto had run off after his little…calamity the day before. One thing was for sure, Naruto was not amused.

"Why did you run off yesterday dobe?" His raven-haired teammate demanded, impatient for an answer. Half of him was genuinely curious as to why the blonde had said those things but the other half was the typical Uchiha complex of 'I am an Uchiha and therefore should know everything'.

Unfortunately for him, Naruto did not appear to share the same views that having a prominent clan name gave you automatic superiority. He thought along the lines of: Suck it up you pansy I don't give a shit. (Of course, he never voiced it with that wording lest his team think it was strange he was able to use such a large word in his vocabulary if they weren't suspicious enough already.)

The blonde took a deep breath momentarily forgetting his dark-haired friend beside him. He had worked so hard to create the mask he had now, telling the truth wasn't an option.

Bringing a hand up to rub the back of his head in a sheepish movement, the jinchūriki replied in a perfectly normal tone, "Never knew you were worried about me teme! I betcha Sakura-chan's wondering where we are right now so we better hurry if not we may be later than Kakashi-sensei for once!" He inwardly cringed as his idiot persona took hold but mentally congratulated himself on the Naruto-ish language. Hopefully Sasuke would leave him alone and ask questions when they got to the team 7 training grounds.

He was right. His 'rival' simply raised an eyebrow at the vague response but conceded and the two walked on in silence. What they saw next left Sasuke gaping in a rare act of UUN (Un-Uchiha-ness) and Naruto choking on…air. For there, on the bridge, was their teacher in all his 'hip attitude'.

"Y-y-you're early!" The blonde spluttered out incoherently. Kakashi. Early. No, something had to be wrong, one never ever put those two words in the same sentence unless it was 'Kakashi is never early'. Yet the truth was obviously there in front of his eyes, the day had come, where his teacher had gotten to a team meeting earlier than him. The small voice in the back of Naruto's head reminded him that he technically had the day off and Kami knows why he was attending the meeting at all.

Their teacher simple gave his trademark 'eye-smile' before replying, "Maa maa, if you boys think 1:30 in the afternoon is early then by all means, go ahead, even though the meeting was called at 9:30. But do keep in mind for the future that I have a reputation to uphold and arriving earlier than my students is sullying it." 'And Gai will rant to me about how youthful I am becoming by arriving early to team meet-ups.' He silently added while involuntarily shivering. "Now, Naruto- I was told by a certain dolphin that you were unwell but since you have come I'll assume you'll be in good enough condition to take a mission today, and Sasuke, it was helpful of you to search for him."

At this, the silver-haired jounin's eyes took a sterner look as if about to reprimand a disobedient child. "But before that, Naruto, you owe us an explanation."

The jinchūriki bit his lip. "Sakura-chan…about yesterday I- well, it's just best to you about that incident yesterday that left me in a bad mood…" Everyone leaned in closer and the pink-haired girl felt relieved that her teammate's affectionate '-chan' had been re-added to her name.

Kakashi, however was curious as to see what caused Naruto to snap yesterday. If it had anything to with the Kyuubi then he had to inform Tsunade-sama as quickly as possible in-case Naruto's mental stability was decreasing as a side-effect of the Kyuubi seal.

"It all started yesterday- I went to visit Baa-chan and I caught the hag drinking sake. But I saw her drooling over my ninja ID paper I had handed in (late) as it needed the seal thingo of the Hokage again. You don't know how long I spent on doing that remake of the Yondaime's photo! It took me hours and after rubbing off all the paint I have to do it again because she drooled on it! EW!" He paused to catch his breath before continuing, "That was where I lost my temper and called her a hag and she…s-she…" His lower lip quivered and eyes watered with unshed tears. Everyone was listening intently to see what happened next.

"SHE CONFISCATED MY RAMENNNNN!" He wailed unhappily as Kakashi nearly face-planted if not for his 'cool' and 'hip' attitude he had to keep up in public. But Naruto was far from over as he continued to ramble, "And what's worse was that Iruka-sensei AGREED with her and Ichiraku's refuses to sell me any for a WEEK! I guess I was just really upset and stressed because I had to go shopping." Naruto grinned to himself, now was the guilt-trip of his cleverly crafted lie. "But since we haven't been taking any missions lately I…" His voice took a softer and more forlorn tone, "I haven't been receiving the mission payments because we haven't done any missions and I spent it all on my food which ran out…"

"I'm sorry," He murmured thought he truthfully didn't feel a hint of remorse at accusing his team. "I just sorta felt that I didn't know what to do and I though Sakura wouldn't want to go on a mission because of…him sealed in my gut but then I would have to go hungry again and I didn't want that…"

A high D-rank and very well paid left team 7 in a relatively good mood as they left for the day, but seeing Naruto hurry back home all too quickly peaked his interest. Deciding not to take any chances, Sasuke headed on first before leaving for the blonde's house in order to avoid getting caught following his teammate.

Several (hundred) twisting and turning alleys and streets later and god knows how much stairs later, the Uchiha found himself at Naruto's apartment, only to find no-one in and the door locked. What occurred as strange was that the door itself held no visible locking mechanism but instead, a glowing array of seals etched around the door. Sasuke suddenly felt stupid- those weird markings were runes and seals. Fuinjutsu. On Naruto's door. Naruto knew fucking fuinjutsu.

Activating his Sharingan, he could make out some parts of the array that glowed brighter and cautiously pressed his fingertips to it simultaneously. He didn't expect the door to open but he didn't want to get electrocuted or whatever other strange things that could happen to him from the seals if they sensed he was breaking in. Applying a bit more pressure, he imbued his lighting element chakra into the tips of his fingers and cancelled out the seal. This was one of the few times he was grateful for Orochimaru teaching him how to 'hack' and breach simple security seals.

Why he was trying to gain access to his rival's house he didn't know but perhaps it was to sate his curiosity because no matter how he looked at it, Naruto's tale from before didn't sit quite right with him as Naruto-ish as it seemed. Either Naruto was telling a semi-truth or he was good at lying. Good enough to fool even Kakashi.

Gingerly pushing open the door, he navigated his way to the kitchen and opened the nearest cupboard. There was food- not hoards per say but definitely enough to keep Naruto without shopping for provisions for about a week or two. So he was lying, but why?

Crossing the small corridor he came across the only room in the apartment that he assumed was Naruto's. In obvious black ink runes and kanji were etched across the surface of the door and wall, curling and twisting over the surface in an entrancing manner. From the moment he laid his eyes upon it Sasuke knew breaking into the blonde's room that he mysteriously kept under such precaution was nigh impossible for someone of his calibre. That was, until he saw the door slightly ajar. It was evident Naruto was not aware he did not fully close his room door before going out, leaving the seal circulation incomplete and not activated. Saske cautiously pushed open the door before peering inside.

Naruto's room was eerily clean. Yet it wasn't the state of the room that irked Sasuke, it was the belongings in it. The room was bare of any belongings of a normal teenager, no magazines and rubbish with dirty clothes strewn over, a simple desk and bookshelf. Not a single book out of place and notes categorized neatly into piles- no photos, drawings or accessories in sight, simply a bleak room. He did not know how someone could bare living in a room so void of life, heck, even the sheets were perfectly folded. What caught his attention though was the porcelain mask laid neatly on the table next to the bed. The red markings coiled and wound over the surface of the white mask with visible black markings etched over the eye holes. 'A Kitsune.' Sasuke thought incredulously at why it would be there- before realization came crashing down. It was an ANBU mask. And not any mask, but the one of the famed Shin'en Kitsune.

"Sasuke?" Cerulean eyes narrowed as they locked onto the raven.

Panic was the only thing in Sasuke's head as he fumbled around for an excuse. Ok, so here he was, caught searching someone's apartment and the said person now glaring him down while being a potentially more dangerous person and possible killer. "N-Naruto, I can explain-"

"Out." The blonde grit out as a wave of killed intent washed over the apartment. "NOW!"

A/N: Dun dun dun! What happens next? REVIEW AND I WILL UPDATE FASTER! GO GO GO~! ^^