Ren-sama's Note:

Thank you for the wonderful reviews, everyone! Your words give me so much inspiration and energy to work on this fict~! ˆoˆ

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Chapter 13

I yawned as I walked on the pathway towards my classroom. It's just Monday morning and I already feel like wanting a holiday. I feel exhausted for some reason. No, I feel exhausted for a reason. Sasuke went home late yesterday and Aniki and I started sparring after that. We didn't stop until it was time for dinner and by then I was too exhausted to even change clothes.

The wind is still cold even though the sun is already rising, adding to the drowsy atmosphere. Even the hustle of leaves on the trees beside the pathway sounds very calming, as if wanting to lull me to sleep even more.

And so, in my exhaustion and drowsiness, I didn't realize that a person was already walking in front of me. It was too late when I noticed and the person didn't seem like he noticed me either so we kind of bumped onto one another. The impact was enough to throw me off balance and I would've immediately fallen down the ground if it weren't for the strong hand that pulled my arm, keeping me upright.

I blinked as I looked at the person in front of me and the first thing that I noticed was the white magatama dangling on his ears and the short and fiery red hair that he has. Then I noticed the absence of eyebrows as well as the cool tattoo on his forehead. I furrowed my eyebrows since I'm certain I already saw him somewhere somehow.

"You're not looking where you're going, are you?" The words that came out of his mouth were spoken with coldness and I actually felt stunned. I looked at him fully now and I finally remembered him as the silent male whom I saw in one of my classes.

"S-Sorry." I apologized as I tried to pry his tight hand off my arm. His hold on me stings. But alas, it feels more awkward now since he's not letting go at all.

"Gaara." Someone with equally cold voice called behind the redhead and both of us looked at the familiar voice. I'd recognize that arrogant way of addressing people anywhere.

"Sasuke." Gaara finally let go of me and bowed a little to Sasuke. Neji was beside him, glaring at me with those gray eyes of his. Jugo and Suigetsu don't seem interested in me or Gaara as they keep on talking to themselves. There was also a redheaded female with glasses on Sasuke's other side who seemed to be ogling the bastard while drooling. I actually find her creepier than Sai.

Sasuke's eyes shifted from Gaara to me before he arched an eyebrow, silently asking me what's going on. Or so I think. I don't really know what's going on anymore. All I want is an ounce of sleep. Really, just a second of sleep is enough.

"Good morning, Naru-chan!" Sai appeared behind Sasuke and smiled at me with that fake smile of his again. I immediately scowled at him. "I heard from Sasuke that we have a new group member from now on. Could that person be you?" At that, all the other group members stopped talking to themselves, glaring at me, and/or ogling Sasuke. They all looked at me with narrowed eyes, as if inspecting my very core if I'm worth standing beside their Sasuke-sama.

I can see that Sai was just trying to make me more annoyed right now, meaning he didn't mean what he just said. I think Sasuke didn't actually tell his minions who that person was. Or did he? I immediately glared at Sasuke, silently asking him if he really told everyone that I'm now part of his group. I haven't agreed yet! Yes, 'yet' is the root word there.

"Sasuke-sama, is that true?" The female asked Sasuke with disbelief in her voice. It seems they really don't know anything. And now that I think about it, she's the sole person in Sasuke's group that calls the bastard with the honorific '-sama'.

"Naruto!" I heard the call of my friends from behind me. Kiba was the first one to arrive and he immediately glared at Sasuke, obviously misinterpreting the situation. Shikamaru came after him then Chouji. The three of them are right behind me, ready to strike given the opportunity and chance.

"Are you alright?" Chouji asked with deep worry and I saw how Sasuke almost rolled his eyes. I would've laughed if it weren't for the fact that my friends are really worried about me right now.

I immediately looked at them over my shoulder and smiled. "I'm fine. I just bumped into Sabaku-san." I saw Gaara furrowed his shaved eyebrows at that, obviously thinking how the hell I knew of his name. He doesn't know that sitting in the middle of Ino and Sakura for one hour in Math class can result to knowing almost everyone in campus. Those two can talk about everyone in Konoha Gakuen in just the span of an hour. Imagine sitting in their midst five hours a week, excluding my other classes where they are also my classmates.

Shikamaru immediately narrowed his eyes at me and I already know what that meant. He's trying to observe if I'm lying again. Sasuke's other subordinates are also looking at me with deep curiosity now and I want to fidget in my position. There are also other students who stopped thinking there would be a fight or just want to ogle Sasuke. I sighed at them all. "Really, I'm fine. At least for now." I told Shikamaru.

"Don't worry. We'll never hurt Naru-chan." Sai interrupted us and I glared at him again. How the hell did he come up with that annoying nickname anyway?

"Hn." Sasuke started to walk towards me and everybody's attention immediately shifted to him. I can even see some teachers watching us now. Ugh. All I want is a good sleep and now this. I can feel that everyone is anticipating a fight to break out. Even my friends think like that. After all, Sasuke did challenge me to a fight just last week. And technically, this is our first meeting inside campus after that.

They just want to see two students in detention, don't they? Or maybe some of them actually forgot that we can't fight right now since next week is the Sentouki Tournament.

I stiffened when the bastard stopped right in front of me and looked at me with that cool and composed gaze of his, though I can see that he's barely holding his smirk. "I think this is the right time to tell this to everyone." He spoke with a matter-of-fact expression before he looked at everyone, including his subordinates and my friends. He then continued with a voice filled with clarity and authority. "Everyone, I want to inform you that starting from this day," I shuddered when he cupped my cheek with one hand and looked at me seriously, as if devouring me alive. "Naruto Namikaze is already mine. Anyone who dares harm him or touch him in any way will never be forgiven by me." And I can actually feel the threat in his words.

My eyes actually widened like a saucer, and I know everyone's eyes did too. I gaped at him just as he looked at me with that smug expression of his. My cheeks immediately started to feel flushed. I heard some gasps of surprise and some squeals and giggles in the background and I know they misinterpreted the meaning, just like how I would have too if I didn't know what exactly he meant.

You bastard! I don't care if you want to tell everyone that I am now your subordinate, even if I didn't agree to that, but I don't want you telling them that I'm yours! And in that kind of way too! Are you insane!? Idiot!? Or are you just really messing with me!? Do you think they understood you with the way you threatened everyone not to touch me!? You're really a bastard! I want to just disappear from this spot forever and hide!

I want to tell him all those things, really. But I was speechless as I stared wide-eyed at his onyx orbs. I can't even control my blush as I feel his warm hand on my cheek. I opened my mouth to argue my side, but nothing came out. I can see his subordinates' shocked expressions. Sai isn't smiling anymore and his eyes are wide. Karin keeps on wailing in the background together with some girls. Some even fainted on the spot. Many girls are squealing excitedly for some unknown reason though. Some guys look disgusted while many have sparkly eyes, again, for some unknown reason. My friends are no different. Kiba looked in between shocked and shocked. Meaning he was really shocked. Shikamaru looked lazy as always, but his eyes are also wide. Chouji froze on the spot.

"W-What are you saying, you bastard!?" At last, I finally found my voice. "I'm not yours. You just forced me into things!" I blurted out in indignation, but then I think it sounded wrong. Or is it just me?

But they way they all gasped and then looked at Sasuke with accusing eyes indicated that my words came out wrong after all. Now I don't know what to do anymore. I can feel my cheeks coloring up even more and that's making me more self-conscious and embarrassed.

"I didn't force you. You let me in." Sasuke crossed his arms over his chest and looked at me with his annoyed expression again, though there's a hint of amusement in his eyes as he stared at me. I know he's pertaining to the way he just showed up in my house and was invited by my mother. But it wasn't me who let him inside the house! It was my mother!

But for some reason, the students just got even more curious and many let out more gasps of surprise. They looked at me then, as if waiting for my reply.

"What do you mean I let you in!? You came on your own!" I voiced with a huff. But I was surprised when many students squealed again, much louder and livelier this time. I looked at them with confused expression and I actually didn't know what the hell got them so ecstatic. At least I didn't know until Shikamaru pointed it out to me.

"Naruto, please stop talking about your private sex life in front of the whole school." He voiced quietly, but still enough for me and the people close to us to hear.

Sasuke smirked for some reason and I immediately blushed harder as I tried to explain to him that he merely misinterpreted everything. Kiba looked at me with a flabbergasted expression while Chouji congratulated me with teary eyes. Shikamaru merely shrugged, though I know he didn't believe a word I said.

It seems talking to them is no use. They're not listening at all.

I glared at Sasuke then. "Why the hell did you have to say it like that?" I hissed at him.

He shrugged, as if imitating Shikamaru, and it annoys me a lot. "I'm not the only one at fault here. Your wording is all wrong too, dobe."

"Whatever, Sasuke." I growled and started walking away from all of them.

"Namikaze, come with me for a bit." I heard Sasuke's voice but I didn't heed him. He's always so arrogant. All I want is to sleep and get away from all of them and their misinterpretations. "Oy, dobe!" I looked over my shoulder and glared at him.

"Woah, lover's quarrel immediately after they went out?" I heard Sai's voice in the background and I growled in irritation but I kept my glare on Sasuke. Sasuke seemed to have understood what I meant by my glare and I immediately saw his subordinates' curious expressions when the bastard chose to just follow me silently without talking.

"Don't follow me." I voiced, thick with annoyance and coldness.

And not only did he not heed me, he even chose to walk beside me. "You're too sensitive, dobe."

I sighed and glared at him. "Why did you have to humiliate me in front of everyone, bastard?"

"I don't remember doing that, dumbass." He also glared at me now. "What I said back then was the truth. It is true that I consider you my subordinate now, making you mine. It is also true that as your leader, I will never forgive those who dare hurt you."

I want to say something, anything, to counter him. But I found out I couldn't talk. I'm speechless. For him to say those things so straightforwardly without blinking an eye is really something. I can feel my heart thumping fast inside my chest for some unknown reason and I find it disturbing, especially since it means Sasuke also treats all of his subordinates in that manner. I'm not a special case… I'm not special at all.

Somehow, those words made my chest ache. It's really annoying. I don't even know why I feel so annoyed at the fact that everyone misunderstood. It's not like me to be this affected over something like that. If it affects me greatly, it means that I find it worth worrying over. Now, the only question is 'why?'

"Naruto," and there he is again with the way he calls me so differently from normal. It's warm and affectionate, so unlike the Sasuke that I know.

I looked at him sideways, eyebrows still furrowed because of annoyance. "What?"

"You'll have to eat lunch with us." He said.

"I don't remember agreeing to those things, bastard." I scowled at him. We stopped walking and faced each other now. We walked quite a distance from Sai and the others and we're now in some forested area, away from everyone's prying eyes.

Sasuke crossed his arms over his chest as he leaned over a tree trunk before he looked at me with those dark and unfathomable eyes. "Naruto, I did tell you that you're now mine. You don't have a say in that." And I can't help but gulp in the way he said the words. I can feel goose bumps all over my body for no apparent reason and I even held back a shiver.

"I keep telling you not to say it in that way, bastard!" I glared at him harder despite the fact that my cheeks are starting to warm up again.

"Hn." He closed his eyes and I can't help but watch him. The way the strands of his hair sway with the soft breeze is kind of alluring. The way his lips are pursed in a thin line is also nice, though the way he smiled yesterday was infinitely better. I also find his stance cool for some reason and I shudder to think that I'm actually checking him out. NO! I wasn't checking him out! I'm just really observant. That's all!

I tried to calm myself down before I explode here and humiliate myself even more. "…Ne, Sasuke. Why do you really want me to join you?" I asked in a calmer tone, even shy tone, as I looked at his immobile expression. This has been grating my nerves ever since yesterday, when I learned that his reason isn't what I thought it was.

But I think he'll evade the question again and mess with me. I silently huffed at that. To my surprise, however, he opened his eyes and gazed at me with eyes darker than normal. I remember it as the same expression he had yesterday when he told me that we'll go for a date on Saturday.

"You really want to know that badly, Naruto?" His expression is serious and cold as he slowly approached me and I was afraid for a second that he'd hit me or at least say some really nasty things. But to my surprise, again, he didn't do any of that. What he did do shocked me a lot more though.

I stiffened when he stopped just mere inches from me. But then he started walking again and I was forced to step backwards. I felt my breath hitch some notch when my back hit a tree. I then looked at him in confusion when he leaned both his arms on both sides of my head, effectively trapping me in between him and the tree I'm currently leaning on. "S-Sasuke..?" I know my voice quivered, but just a little though.

I stared at him with a confused expression before that very expression vanished when his face slowly leaned closer to mine. I immediately stiffened at the close proximity between our faces and the way the distance keeps narrowing. My eyes are wider than earlier and I know I'm very awake now, not an inch of sleep can be found in my system anymore. "Sasuke..?" I called again, afraid to move since a single move might cause our l-lips to… to… bump… And yet, he's still leaning closer.

Is Sasuke actually… going to kiss me..?

All of a sudden, Sasuke suddenly leaned his forehead on my shoulder, immediately ending the tension and awkward position earlier. For some reason, I feel both relieved and… disappointed. "You're messing with me again, aren't you?" I growled.

I felt his shoulders tremble before I heard it, just like a singsong sound. He's… he's chuckling? It seems he can't keep it anymore and he started laughing out loud, forehead still leaning on my shoulder.

"I wish you saw your expression earlier, dobe. You're blushing." He voiced with much mirth, much to my annoyance. "Is that how you look like when you and that ex-boyfriend of yours kiss?"

"…Once a bastard, always a bastard." I immediately scowled at him before I pushed him off, or at least tried to. His stance is stronger than I thought and he refused to budge. "Sasuke! Get off!" I feel so embarrassed right now, so pained somehow and so disappointed – both in myself and in Sasuke. I want to get angry and shout at him, but all I can do right now is bit my lower lip so the tears won't fall from my eyes.

I know I'm being childish, girly, or whatever people want to call me. But I can't help it. That prank was way overboard. It hurt me a lot… and I don't even know why. It might be because he suddenly involved Yahiko in it, or maybe just because he made fun of me and my gender. But not even Yahiko managed to make me cry in front of him. And I refuse to let Sasuke do that to me.

"Are you doing this because you know I'm gay, Sasuke? Are you messing with me because you know I'll be affected?" I asked him quietly, voice barely steady. He immediately stopped laughing at that. My fists are clenched tightly on my either side and I'm barely holding back the sudden surge of anger. I really want to stop the quiver in my voice, as well as the tears, but it's harder than I thought. I felt the warm tears fall down my cheeks one by one and I want to wipe them so badly but I can't find the strength to lift my trembling fists. "This…this prank of yours… it's way too overboard, Sasu–"

And I wasn't able to continue what I was saying anymore. My mind went blank the moment I felt those warm and dominating lips on my own. The kiss was forceful and yet still gentle at the same time. I stared at him, wide-eyed, as he cupped my cheek with one hand and wiped the tears for me while his other hand held my nape and pulled me closer. I was so shocked I didn't even move until the kiss ended.

The last set of tears fell down my cheeks, even though I'm not crying anymore, and he wiped them off for me as well.

"I'm sorry then. The kiss… was my apology." He voiced as he looked at me with those unfathomable eyes of his again.

My lips quivered before my whole face turned red. I can feel the rush of blood up to the tips of my ears and I feel my breath hitching at our proximity. "W-Why did you do that!?" My embarrassment knows no bound now and I averted my eyes from his. "Y-You–! Just–! Just words are enough of an apology!" My voice almost squeaked in embarrassment and it made me even more embarrassed.

"There's no need to feel so embarrassed. You've kissed a lot of males in the past, right?" Sasuke's voice was filled with annoyance and I now don't know if I want to disappear at this very moment or if I just want to punch his face again.

"I've never–! Yahiko was the only person I shared kisses with!" I shouted at his face before I blushed again, feeling embarrassed at my own words. For me to suddenly blurt out my private life like that was a little…

"I see." He voiced. And I blinked at that before I looked at him. His voice suddenly sounded so cold and distant, and I don't even know why. He's looking at me with an annoyed expression now and I don't remember doing anything that can offend him. It was actually the other way around if you ask me. He's the one who should be receiving my wrath right now! "Naruto," I saw how he smirked at me with those cold eyes of his. "Just watch. That Yahiko of yours… I'll make sure to pummel him to the ground at the Sentouki Tournament."

The sudden words that came out of his mouth shocked me a lot and I wasn't able to react until after he already walked away. I blinked and furrowed my eyebrows as I watched his leaving figure from the distance. "W-What the hell was that about..?"

I stayed in my position even as I saw him disappeared from my sight. I don't know what just happened and I doubt I'd know any time in the near future, unless of course the bastard would tell me.

But really, for Sasuke to suddenly act like that…

I looked down as I heaved a deep sigh. I touched my lips with my fingertips and I blushed at my own action. I can still feel the tingling sensation left by the kiss and I honestly don't know how to feel about it. It shocked me beyond belief and I don't know how to react… yet. For Sasuke to suddenly do something like that… Does he always do that to everyone? Or maybe to his subordinates..?

Somehow, I don't feel good while thinking of that. Argh! Stop thinking about it! It's not even my first kiss anymore! But still… the fact that he stole a kiss from me didn't change…

I heaved another sigh as I tried to think of what he meant earlier. He said he'd pummel Yahiko to the ground… But why? I don't understand that guy's reasoning at all. Or maybe he just felt like it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I was in a bad mood the whole week because of what happened last Monday. Not because of Sasuke anymore but because of the fucking students who think that we're actually going out! Ugh… of all things to think about!

First, they'd greet me in the hallway, in the lobby, in the classroom as if I were Sasuke's lover – meaning they'd sometimes giggle at the sight of me or even bow while saying 'Naruto-sama' or something of the sort. Some girls are even glaring at me and saying foul words for actually 'stealing' their Sasuke-sama from them. The nerve of those fans… I'm just glad that Sakura and Ino just gave me some 'girly' advices *ugh* on how to deal with Sasuke's burst of arrogance instead of joining in the mob of angry fans.

I'm thankful it's Friday afternoon now and I'm currently with Shikamaru, Chouji, and Kiba in the arcades. Sadly, I'm with Sakura and Ino too. I'm just glad that my friends already know that Sasuke and I aren't like that at all. Sakura and Ino, though, are not listening at all. They think I'm just shy so I'm hiding it. Ugh.

"I told you not to fire at the people we should rescue!" Kiba shouted at Ino when the latter shot the victims once again, making them lose a life in the arcade game. The two were standing beside each other, holding a gun and shooting at the monitor where several zombies appear and try to eat their characters.

"It's not my fault that they look a lot like the zombies!" Ino argued heatedly.

Sakura is currently busy trying to cheer Ino's character up while Chouji is watching them, eating his snacks as usual.

"Naruto," Shikamaru called quietly from behind me. I looked at him with an arched eyebrow and he gestured for me to come closer. When I did, he continued, "Why are those two fan girls here?"

"Eh? Err…" I scratched the back of my head as I laughed sheepishly. "Sorry. I kind of told them that we'd go to the arcade today and they kind of… well, they think I might betray Sasuke or something by hitting on some guys here so they're currently 'guarding' me." I sighed in embarrassment after that. Anyway, what kind of guarding is that? They're not even looking at me and are currently busy with their little arcade game.

Shikamaru actually stifled a laugh and I quickly gave him a weak glare. "Well, not that I'm against them being here. But you know that Ino, Chouji, and I were previously friends, right?"

Oops. I already forgot about that. Now that I think about it, Ino never actually talked to Chouji and Shikamaru yet. The only one she talked to until we got here were Kiba, Sakura, and me. I now looked at Shikamaru with an apologetic look. "Sorry, I kind of forgot…"

Shikamaru merely shook his head. "No, it's fine. I guess we still have to work things out. But the fact that Ino agreed to come here together with us meant something." He smiled at me then.

"I hope you guys can make up soon." I voiced sincerely. Sakura and Ino are kind, I think, sometimes. They have their own merits too, just like others. You just have to really, really squint your eyes to see it. But they're nice people. Just… flirty and loud, but nevertheless nice…

I was actually surprised the first time Sakura and Ino started talking to me when they learned of my 'relationship' with Sasuke. At first, they got angry like the other girls. But then they started talking to me bit by bit, since they also want to learn new things about the bastard, until I realized that I was starting to talk to them without intending to offend. They would even glance at Sasuke from time to time in Math class to see if the guy was looking at us. And if he was, they'd giggle and tell me that I was so loved. Ugh. If only you two know the whole truth.

Not that I ever tried to hide it. I actually told them that Sasuke and I aren't like that at all, but then they asked the fucking bastard if it was true. And what do you know, he denied it. He said I was just playing coy, much to my chagrin. How are people supposed to believe me when Sasuke keeps on acting like that? He even gave me a smirk after he told both Sakura and Ino that I'm 'his'. I glared at him while blushing, again, much to my chagrin. All the while, Sakura and Ino only giggled. Ever since then, they started hanging out with me. But they only formally met with Shikamaru and the others now.

"Why don't we play too?" Sakura asked Chouji but the latter respectfully decline since his hands are full of snacks. Shikamaru was the one who agreed and I watched as they all settled into a not-so-silent fight against the zombies.

It's fun hanging out with my friends like this – just thinking of nothing except how to enjoy the afternoon. We're not exactly close to the girls yet but they're trying hard to get close to us so it's worth the try.

We spent all afternoon till night at the arcade before we all decided to have some ice cream even though it's already cold. After that, we split up and went home. Of course, Kiba and I took Sakura home while Chouji and Shikamaru took Ino home. We went our separate ways then said goodbye to one another. I just hope that the problem between the three of them would be solved soon.

I actually have an idea on what it was all about since Shikamaru kept on giving me hints. It seems Ino chose to ignore them when they entered middle school and befriended some cool and popular people instead. She told them she didn't want to be seen hanging out with the losers. It was an offhanded statement, but it did the job of breaking them apart. I just hope that she's changed now for the better and that she's willing to ask for forgiveness. Shikamaru and Chouji are both kind friends. They'd forgive her if she's sincere.

And so, I arrived home late thanks to the way Sakura's mother kept on making me and Kiba eat dinner in their house. Of course, I respectfully declined saying my mother would also like me to eat at home.

I was already heading up the stairs of my home when I heard my aniki's cold voice from the second floor. "Where were you?"

I furrowed my eyebrows. Was he actually angry at me? "I went to the arcades with my friends. Why?" I answered when I reached the last step.

He's currently leaning on the wall with arms folded in front of his chest, glaring at me for a reason I don't even know. "Naruto, I heard some rumors at school."

Oh, now I get it. But aniki, it's already Friday now. You're kind of late. Or so I wanted to say, just to tease him, but I'm afraid he might get angry even more.

I sighed as I entered my room, leaving the door open so he can enter. I sat on my bed as I waited for him to close the door and sit on the chair beside my bed. "You mean about Sasuke and I?"

"Yes." He answered without a second thought. Ugh. And he seems to be a little too angry too. And he's not even Minato!

"Aniki, that was just a rumor." I explained. "Sasuke kind of made some idiotic statement in front of everyone last Monday and said it in such a misunderstood way so everyone now thinks that we're actually going out."

His stance is still tense and I don't know why. Doesn't he believe me?

"Naruto," he heaved a deep sigh. "If he's not close to you at all, then I advise you to get away from him. But if you consider yourself one of his subordinates now, then I suggest you still keep yourself away from him."

And I blinked at him. "Ha?" I tried to process what he just said, but it only made me more confused. "Uh, if I may ask, aniki. Why?"

Now I wish I didn't ask. His aura suddenly turned a great shade darker than earlier. He's definitely fuming even though he still appears calm on the outside. "That guy is dangerous to you. Don't come near him."

"Like I said, why?" I really don't understand. Sure Sasuke is a bastard and will always be a bastard. But he's not that bad, is he?

He gritted his teeth as he stood up and looked at me straight in the eyes. "…Because he'll devour you in no time at all."

I gulped at that. What do you mean by that, aniki!? Sasuke isn't a monster! Or so I think. Maybe aniki saw him riding a space ship in the past.

"Er… Aniki?" I gulped again.

"What?" His voice stills sounds annoyed.

"I… I think I actually have a date with him tomorrow…"

"WHAT!?" And now his voice sounds like he's about to kill some raven tomorrow.

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.tbc.

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Ren-sama's Note:

Sorry, everyone. The date will be in the next chapter. That is, if there will still be a date and Sasuke will not be killed by Nagato. I look forward to your comments. ˆoˆ

Oh, by the way, everyone. I have a new Sasunaru one-shot fict entitled "Be My Lover" (Sasuke's POV.) You may look it up if you're interested. ˆoˆ