AN: Welcome to "Red Storm". It is the sequel to "Cloud Cover". However, I will be attempting to make this story readable as a stand-alone too if you are new and can't be bothered reading the long, angsty novel that the first one became. This story is rated Mature. Warnings are in place for strong language, mild violence, references to past sexual abuse as well as possible character deaths, physical/sexual abuse and so on. Basically, everything that could torture these poor characters.
Chapter 1: Denial
"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."
~ Mark Twain
A juggernaut of blond hair and orange hoody crashed into the room, slamming the door into the wall and dashing over to Sasuke who sat at his desk. It was Friday. It was also the last class of the day, and Sasuke, like all the other students was packing up his things to go home. He'd had a later school day than most, making up a bit of extra credit for his grades which had amounted in no end of mocking from Naruto, who had stated that if he studied any more he would turn into a human encyclopedia - dull and square.
The brash teenager in question stopped in front of Sasuke, slamming his hands down on the desk and leaning forward. His pearly white teeth were set in a manic grin as he beamed at his friend.
Sasuke looked up reluctantly from the notes he had been checking over for mistakes. Of course, there were none.
"What?" he said to the excited teenager.
"Guess!" repeated Naruto. His shaggy blond hair stuck up in spikes, only exaggerating the excitement which shone from his tan features.
Sasuke relaxed back in his chair. It looked like he wouldn't be getting any peace today.
"There are a million possibilities, so if you want me to know, you should tell me. I can't be bothered guessing for the next hour."
His bored reply did nothing to dampen Naruto's spirit. If anything his grin widened.
Sasuke let slip an amused smile. "Once more in English, please?"
Naruto stood back and took a deep breath, ignoring the people that stared at him as they filed out of the classroom. He shouted it for the world to hear, raising his hands in the air.
"Sakura agreed to go on a date with me!"
Sasuke's smile faded and he froze. "What?"
Naruto didn't notice, his blue eyes shining. "Isn't it awesome? I mean, you know I've been asking for ages and ages, but today she said she'd give it a chance and-"
He blabbed on, but Sasuke's didn't hear him, his thoughts drifting off.
Naruto had been asking Sakura out for almost a year, every few weeks, on every special occasion. Even on Naruto's 16th birthday (when he'd hoped to garner a special birthday treat) she had said no. She always said no. It was…it was…a universal constant. And a cold, dark sensation settled on Sasuke as he realized Naruto's perseverance had paid off.
Sakura had finally said yes. For some reason, this made a heavy cloud of anger descend in Sasuke's chest.
"That's great." said Sasuke, cutting him off. He stood and began gathering up his notes and pencils.
Naruto's grin faded slightly and he moved back from the desk. "Well, no need to look so happy for me. You'd think the sky had fallen judging by your face."
"No, I'm happy for you. Really." said Sasuke in a flat voice, not looking Naruto in the eye, The expression on his face settled dark as thunder.
Naruto raised a brow. "Okaaay…"
Sasuke shoved his papers in his bag. "I mean, if you want to waste your time and money on a shallow girl who doesn't even like you, that's your choice."
Naruto just gaped for a couple of seconds. "What the hell, man?"
Sasuke shrugged. "A lot of shallow girls agree to date people they're not interested in."
Naruto closed the gap between them in a flash, only obstructed by the small wooden desk, and grabbed Sasuke's collar roughly, making him drop his bag.
"Call her shallow again, and I'll punch you in the face, asshole."
Sasuke found himself staring into two deep blue eyes swirling with rage. He wasn't sure why but this gave him a feeling of was angry. Good. Fucking good. He was glad he was angry.
Sasuke smirked, not even trying to pull away.
"So you're saying this is a pity date? She feels sorry for you?"
Naruto's brow furrowed in confusion and Sasuke went in for the kill.
"Because we both know if I asked her out she'd drop you faster than you could blink."
Sasuke didn't see the fist coming. He should have, considering the reddening color of Naruto's face, the eyes that screwed up in anger, the growl that escaped from his throat, but he didn't, so when Naruto's fist connected with his face, he was caught completely by surprise, and he stumbled back in pain almost falling over his chair. He straightened up, staring at Naruto in shock. Ok, so maybe he'd deserved that a little, but hell if he was going to admit it.
People heading out of the door had stopped to look, whispering to one another as they watched the scene unfold.
Sasuke touched his hand to his lip and pulled it back to see blood on his fingers. He shot a glare at the people in the doorway who jumped and turned away, hurrying out of the classroom as if they hadn't just been sticking their big noses in other people's business.
"What the hell is your problem?"Naruto was staring at him, confusion and disbelief written all over his face. "Why are you being such an asshole? You're supposed to say something like, 'Wow, congratulations, Naruto, you got the date you always wanted.', or 'Good luck, Naruto. I hope it turns out well.' I mean…the hell?"
He stared into Sasuke's eyes, searching for an answer. "You want to date Sakura now because she's finally off the market, is that it?"
Sasuke wiped the blood off his lip. He sneered. "Don't be an idiot. I have zero interest in Sakura."
"I'm being an idiot?"Naruto gave a harsh laugh and smiled around the empty room as if an imaginary audience was laughing with him."Oh, that's great. I'm the one being an idiot."
"Yes, you are."Sasuke set his pale lips in a thin line. "Have you even thought about why you like her? Do you even have a single thing in common?"
."That doesn't matter. I like…" Naruto frowned, a small crinkle forming between his blond brows, "…her." he finished lamely.
Sasuke rolled his eyes. "Of course it matters. You don't share any of the same interests. Hell, you don't even like doing the same things. You guys only hang out because you're in the same friend group. What're you going to do, go shopping for clothes?"
Naruto growled. "If I have to, yeah. It's called trying to make someone else happy, a concept you wouldn't know anything about, being a selfish assface!"
Sasuke glared. He wasn't being selfish. How was he selfish? Selfish would be to let Naruto run around like a sick puppy after that pink-haired girl for any longer. If anything he was being kind. This had obviously gone on too long. He was looking out for his friend. That was anything but selfish in his opinion. No, if Naruto was smart, he wouldn't date Sakura at all.
Sasuke sighed and raked a hand through his hair. "I'm trying to look out for you. You're being naïve, Uzumaki. You obviously don't know how relationships work, but if you want to get strung along that's your choice."
Naruto just stared at him for a moment before bursting into laughter. It wasn't exactly a happy laugh, more of a hysterical I'm-going-to-kill-you-once-I'm-finished-finding-this-so-funny laugh.
Naruto wiped his eyes. "And you do? The Ice Prince of Konoha High, the Lord of Heartless Rejections is telling me, I don't know how relationships work?"
He snorted. "I've never seen you show an interest in anyone. Anyone." He repeated the word slowly, emphasizing every syllable with a mocking smile on his face. "Hell, I was beginning to think you were asexual. Maybe you should try actually having a relationship before you go around giving people your oh-so-wise advice."
"Unlike you, I don't need to date in order to get validation."
The words were out before Sasuke even had a chance to think, and Naruto's smile completely faded then.
Sasuke swallowed. Ok, personal attacks were going a bit far. Backtrack. Backtrack!
"Wait, I didn't mean-" he started, but Naruto just shook his head, staring at Sasuke in disgust.
"Whatever, man. I don't need this. You could have just said congratulations, but no, it's too much for the almighty Uchiha."
The 'almighty Uchiha' avoided his eyes, choosing instead to look out the window.
Naruto walked away, but paused at the door. "Oh, and by the way?"
Sasuke glanced round to see Naruto flipping him the middle finger.
"Fuck you very much."
He exited the room as quickly as he'd arrived, slamming the door behind him and leaving the classroom drenched in silence.
Sasuke sank down into his chair, and touched his rapidly swelling lip. Well, that had escalated quickly.
He stared at the scuffed wooden desk, worn from years of use and covered in teenager's initials, carved into the wood as if it would actually make their time here at school more meaningful.
He suddenly felt extremely confused. He and Naruto hadn't fought in a long time. I mean, sure the usual arguments, insults, and so on -that was a given -but not…really fought.
He put his head in his hands.
What the hell had just happened?