Naruto was sprawled across the couch like a piece of thrown clothing. He sighed with boredom, his eyes focused on the ceiling as if it would give him the answers to his problem. Ever since yesterday, Sasuke had been the only thing on his mind. He'd hardly seen Sasuke since then, had he really pissed him off that bad? "Having trouble with your pet?" A voice cut into his peaceful thoughts, making him tilt his head to look up at Kurama as the elder stood over the couch. Naruto blinked once.
"What?" Naruto asked intelligently, having been a bit zoned out when his brother had spoken. Kurama rolled his eyes, taking a seat in a chair in front of the couch. Trust Naruto to start going deaf.
"I said, are you having trouble with your pet?" Kurama repeated, a little slower. Naruto shook his head with a roll of his eyes upward. He never liked Kurama's attitude towards people he considered to be below him, but he usually didn't say anything since his brother would only storm away in anger.
Kurama had a problem with his temper; not that Naruto was any better when he was mad, but it took a lot to really infuriate him. And even then, he wasn't violent like Kurama was. "He's not a pet. He's a person." Naruto muttered, folding his arms. Kurama snorted at the pacifistic reply, leaning back and putting his feet up on the table.
"Right. He's a dirty little Uchiha, they aren't good for anything but running." Kurama said with a hint of bitterness in his voice. Naruto opened his mouth to say something, but Kurama cut him off. "Don't you dare argue with me, Naruto. They're the reason the war even began those years ago." Kurama said, eying his younger brother warningly. He wouldn't stand for Naruto siding against him over something he knew hardly anything about.
"Naruto grit his teeth in anger; there was no talking to Kurama about some things. Naruto wasn't going to stand around and listen to Kurama spout insults about innocent people. "Fine, Kurama. Then don't talk around me if it has anything to do with them. I don't see why you hate them so much." Naruto said matter-of-factly, sitting up. Kurama growled in irritation, tempted to knock Naruto upside his head. "You're not helping me either!" Naruto exclaimed, folding his arms with a frown.
With an exasperated sigh, Kurama sat up with an expression sober of his earlier teasing. Fine, Naruto wanted help? "All right brat, what's wrong?" The redhead asked. Naruto's mouth twisted to the side in thought, trying to figure out the right words to what his problem was.
"I don't know… Sasuke doesn't talk." Naruto said slowly, shrugging in frustration. He knew he'd made the neko mad, but to fix anything he had to figure out how to reach Sasuke. He wished he could read minds; that seemed to be the only way he would ever get a direct answer from Sasuke. He didn't want to push the raven, but it wouldn't kill the guy to act civil.
"So make him." Kurama said nonchalantly, standing up. That was a simple problem; if your pet wasn't obeying you, then you made them. "Control him. The little wretch shouldn't disrespect you." Kurama put a hand on his hip as he looked at Naruto.
Naruto glared balefully at Kurama, disgusted with what he'd said. Why was violence always the answer with Kurama? It only brought more problems most of the time. "That won't solve anything! I'm not gonna treat him like he's trash, Kurama! They don't deserve this, they haven't done anything wrong!" Naruto's voice rose in anger as he stood up, meeting Kurama's glare full force.
"They're scum, they're our slaves. Why do you insist on treating them as equals?" Kurama hissed. "The Uchiha began this war, their clan is cursed. Don't defend them as if you know what you're talking about!" Kurama clenched his fists, struggling to keep his temper in check.
Naruto shook his head in annoyance, looking away from his older brother. "They're the same as us, they're living beings! Slaves aren't any less a person! I fucking hate it, there's no point in forcing people to be slaves! It's horrible how they're treated!" Naruto shouted, rage lining the words as he glared toxically at Kurama. He hated slavery with all of his heart; he had seen some of the things that happened to slaves. Why did people hurt one another so much? Naruto thought Sasuke and Itachi had both been through enough.
Kurama stormed away then, leaving before this turned into a serious fight. "You don't get it. Maybe you should soon, and then you'll understand why they're hated so much." He hissed back at Naruto before he left the room. Naruto folded his arms, considering chasing Kurama down and demanding that he explain what he meant. He didn't like all these stupid secrets!
Naruto shivered suddenly, eyes narrowing a bit when a familiar feeling nagged at his subconscious. He turned his head to look towards the hallway, but there was nothing there. He shook his head, clearly he was going crazy imagining things.
He wondered where Sasuke had disappeared to; the raven had made a serious attempt to avoid him. He was doing a damn good job of it too. Sasuke wasn't there when Naruto went to bed, but he was always asleep on the couch when Naruto woke up in the morning. Naruto smiled absently, Sasuke was peaceful when he slept. His eyes weren't set in a scowl and he wasn't frowning. Naruto was thankful he had persuaded one of the guards to help him move that couch into his bedroom so Sasuke would have somewhere to sleep, otherwise he was sure that Sasuke would probably have died from cold by sleeping on the ground.
Since he had turned into a stubborn jerk after that first night and wouldn't sleep on the bed. As if Naruto would kill him in his sleep or something else ridiculous. Naruto wasn't sure why it was so important, but he needed to have Sasuke's trust… Maybe to prove to Sasuke that not everyone was going to betray him. Naruto stood up and walked out of the living room. He had a feeling that only he could solve this problem. But Sasuke had to help…
Now that was the difficult part. But, Naruto was nothing if not determined.
Sasuke immediately melted back into the shadows when Naruto turned his direction, his eyes looking towards the ground. He quickly turned and silently padded down the hallway he had walked down in order to avoid being discovered. He had been wandering aimlessly in an effort to occupy his time before he died of boredom; earlier when he had walked down here and realized Naruto was in the living room, he had started to turn around then so he wouldn't have to deal with the blonde.
But when Kurama had walked inside the room and spoke, Sasuke's curiosity got the better of him and he chose to stay and listen to what they said. He was internally smug that they hadn't noticed him there for the duration of their conversation; they were so proud of their skills, yet they couldn't notice him so close by?
Sasuke regretted staying, however. He had too many questions, too many suspicions; his musings over the conversation ricocheted around his mind like a bullet fired. Kurama's obvious lack of compassion left him wondering about Itachi's well-being. Betrayal or not, he couldn't bring himself to completely disregard any care for his brother. Itachi was strong, surely he could withstand Kurama. Sasuke couldn't imagine his brother giving in to anyone without a struggle; but Kurama seemed just as strong willed. Sasuke felt guilt then, realizing he needed to find Itachi to make certain he was all right.
Sasuke had bitten his tongue when Kurama insulted his clan name. The Uzumaki's own clan was tied to the beginning of the war just the same, they had been just as much at fault! They were bonded by blood to the Senju clan; they were far from innocent. They were tied to his family's death, Sasuke knew it.
Sasuke should have stormed off then, but Naruto had spoken up and caused him to freeze. Naruto argued; in Sasuke's defense. Why? What reason did Naruto have to stand up for him? Sasuke hated the blonde with vitriolic force; he didn't understand the prince! For Sasuke's entire life, everyone had been predictable. He had known what to expect. Now he was faced with someone that didn't follow those standards; Sasuke needed Naruto to be cruel. He didn't know how to handle kindness, especially not from someone that was his enemy.
Naruto was his enemy. So why was he being so kind towards Sasuke, who wasn't anything but his slave? What game was Naruto trying to win? Had he known Sasuke was listening and tried to falsely gain his good side? No, Naruto wasn't that clever…
He had said he hated slavery. Itachi had even said he didn't think Naruto or Kurama had a choice in accepting the treaty and taking Sasuke and Itachi when all of this began; Sasuke thought that was ludicrous, but after what Naruto had said… No. There was no empathy between them.
Then what was it? Sasuke hated not having the answer to something. He couldn't pick Naruto apart like he could with everyone else, it irritated him. What was so special about him that he could confuse Sasuke like this? He wanted to put an end to it.
Similarly, curiosity was getting the better of him. He wanted to know why Naruto said what he had and why he acted nice when he didn't need to.
Curiosity killed the cat.