Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. Not even a little.
It was in the way the building had been built. The two neighbouring apartments mirrored each other perfectly, separated only by thin walls which may as well have been stacks of paper. Sounds echoed through the building and you only had to press your ear against the wall to hear your neighbour's entire conversation.
Naruto moved into Morningstar's Apartments that Tuesday. He was unusually excited because he had finally been able to move out of the orphanage and form his own life. He was only eighteen years old but Morningstar's Apartments was famous for two things: its thin walls and housing the dejected and neglected.
Sasuke had been living in Morningstar's Apartment for three years but he had only paid rent for the first two. After that, he was able to secure his apartment for three by threatening to set fire to his landlord's car.
He hadn't had a neighbour for the entire time that he had been living there so he was used to a certain amount of silence but the second he saw the blonde, he realised that his years of silence had abruptly ended.
He was quickly proved right when he found out that his new neighbour liked to sing while he did just about everything.
While Naruto moved in, he was singing. He wasn't a particularly good singer either. He was practically tone deaf. Sasuke paused in his work as irritation washed over him. He heard Naruto dragging boxes into his apartment and finally the insufferable scraping of furniture on the hardwood floors made its way through the paper thin walls.
Naruto wasn't aware of the thinness of the walls like Sasuke was. Sasuke was silent. He was the perfect neighbour but Naruto was so unknowingly imperfect that it was rude.
Sasuke watched the blonde move into the apartment from the window. He had nothing better to do then brood over the loss of his silence and glare at the man responsible. Sasuke hated him instantly. He hated his happy mood, only serving to sour his own and he hated the song Naruto was singing.
When night fell, Sasuke could hear Naruto humming the same tune in the shower. He could hear the water flow and scatter in the shower. He could hear everything that went on in Naruto's apartment. It was like he was following Naruto around with his eyes. He was so painfully aware of the man's movements beyond the wall that it was like they shared the same apartment.
And eventually, he just had enough. He stormed to the other man's apartment and slammed his fist angrily on the door.
Naruto stopped singing and opened the door, dressed in shaggy pjammas pants with no shirt. Sasuke gulped when he saw the blonde's rippling muscles that clung, taunt, to his excellent skeletal frame. His eyes trailed down and hovered over a tattoo around the other man's belly button. It was an intricate spiral pattern that burnt its way into Sasuke's mind as easily as if it had been set ablaze.
"Hello," Naruto said.
Suddenly, Sasuke remembered why he was there and his eyes snapped up, "Could you please, for sanity's sake, stop your insistent singing."
Naruto frowned, "What?"
"The walls are really thin in this building. I can hear you singing. It's annoying," Sasuke spoke slowly so he could understand.
"Sorry." Naruto said sheepishly, "hey, if the walls are so thin, how come I haven't heard anything from you. I didn't even think I had a neighbour till you knocked on my door."
"Some of us are more refined in the act of silence that others," Sasuke hissed angrily and turned around to walk away.
"Wait, what's your name?" Naruto asked.
"Sasuke. Sasuke Uchiha." He said, turning around.
"I'm Naruto," He held out a hand to shake Sasuke's.
Sasuke didn't move. He just looked at Naruto.
"I know. I heard you talking to the landlord."
"Oh," Naruto said, finally, dropping his hand when he realised that Sasuke wasn't going to shake it, "Well, it was nice to meet you," He said.
"Hn," Sasuke grunted and walked back to his apartment.
While Sasuke made himself dinner, he found that he was humming under his breath. He frowned and tried to stop but it didn't work. As he went through his nightly routine, the song in his head got louder and louder until it played, like a broken record, in the recesses of his mind.
Well after midnight, Sasuke sat in bed with his back against the wall. He couldn't sleep. The song wouldn't get out of his head. He tapped the rhythm out repeatedly on his knee.
Finally, he couldn't take it anymore.
"Naruto?" He hissed through the walls. He wasn't expecting an answer so it was a huge surprise when he heard the blonde speak, "Hello?"
"What was that song you were singing today?"
"The one you told me to stop singing?" Naruto said and Sasuke could almost see him smirk.
"Yes," Sasuke said angrily.
"It was Fur Elise," Naruto answered.
Sasuke frowned, "You were humming Beethoven?"
"Don't sound so surprised."
"Sorry. I just never thought you'd be the type of guy who would listen to Beethoven."
"What sort of guy did you think I was?" Naruto asked.
Sasuke did a shrug Naruto didn't see, "I don't know. The usual, uneducated scum that fill these apartment walls."
Naruto laughed, "Well, you're right. I'm uneducated. I only went up to Grade Nine."
"Why didn't you finish school?" Sasuke asked, not really knowing why he was so curious.
"I grew up in an orphanage and after a while, their funding was cut and they couldn't afford to send all the kids to school. I was never a really good student so I was left out. I have dyslexia and an orphanage doesn't have enough time, money or patience to deal with a handicap kid."
Sasuke frowned, "Where are your parents?"
"I don't know what happened to them. I'm guessing they died."
There was silence for a while before Naruto said, "And you? What's your story?"
"My story?" Sasuke asked.
"Yeah. Why are you here? How old are you anyway?"
Naruto laughed, "Shouldn't you still be with mommy and daddy at seventeen?"
"I should but they kicked me out." Sasuke said.
"Why did they kick you out?"
Sasuke didn't speak for a while and Naruto thought that Sasuke had fallen asleep before he spoke again,
"I kissed someone."
Naruto whistled through his teeth, "Who the hell do you have to kiss for your parents to kick you out?"
"A man," Sasuke answered simply.
Naruto paused then muttered, "Oh, sorry."
"Yeah. I was never really in to girls. They would follow me around and basically try to sell themselves to me and I wouldn't care less. It wasn't until I turned fifteen that I realised why."
Naruto laughed slightly, "I'm guessing your parents didn't want a gay son?"
Sasuke actually laughed along, "No, they did not. My family is really important, and rich. My father didn't want me to 'taint' the family name so he told me to go away and stay gone or else. I think they tell everyone that I died or went to boarding school or something."
"So you've been alone since you were fifteen?" Naruto asked.
"Pretty much. I didn't finish school either." Sasuke admitted.
"What do you do for money?"
Sasuke eyes darkened, "There are ways for a pretty, skinny gay boy to make quick cash."
Naruto didn't say anything to that. His life hadn't been a piece of cake but he'd never been forced to sell himself. He tried to imagine what it had to be like to be Sasuke Uchiha, how it must feel like to be rejected by the people who are supposed to love, how it must be like to have everything and then lose it all.
Yet, Sasuke was trying to do the same thing, putting himself in Naruto's shoes. He wondered how it felt to never have a family at all.
Eventually Sasuke sighed and said, "goodnight, Naruto."
It was soon afterwards that Sasuke realised that he couldn't speak to Naruto face to face. Whenever he physically met Naruto in the hallways or in the laundry room, all he could do was regard the other man with a cold, loathing look. It was only through the walls that Sasuke actually spoke to Naruto at all. Naruto was like his invisible roommate or a ghost that only haunted the apartment. Naruto did not exist for Sasuke when he could actually see him.
AN: Please Review.