This is the first chapter of what I hope will be a multichapter story. Enjoy!
He was on his way to work, sitting in his car and going through the new proposals in his mind. He had been in a meeting with one of the company's clients just a few minutes ago, and the thoughts swirled around in his head. There were so many things to take into consideration, so many details that had to be just right.
At least he had the little time alone in his car to go through it all without getting disturbed or interrupted like he would, had he been in the office. He stopped in front of red light. It was the third red light in a row and on any other day he would have cursed under his breath. God, did he hate driving in the city. Stop, drive, stop, drive, stop, stop, stop all the damn time. Luckily he had escaped the morning chaos, and at this point most of the busy office drones hurrying to work, had been replaced with elderly people, kindergartens on trips, and people walking their dogs.
Totally lost in thoughts he drove forward as the light turned green, and drove past a long line of kids holding hands. He didn't think much of them until one of them suddenly ran out on the street.
Fuck, fuck, shit, no this is not happening.
He knew the three year old toddler didn't stand a chance against the front of his BMV. As he hit the brakes with all his might, he remembered his theoretical driving lessons. At that time he had found it ridiculous that kids on the street had been treated as if they had a suicide wish involving his car. Which means with the utmost cautiousness, as if they would purposely try to get run over. Now he couldn't really see the humor in it anymore, because it finally seemed to come true.
The moment didn't go in slow motion as it does in movies. One moment he saw the kid, the next something came flying in from the side and he felt the light bump of a body colliding with the bumper. He barely heard the loud screech of the tires or yells from people, because his heart was thumping so hard. He threw open the door and ran out to help.
Did he manage it? Had he slowed down just enough? One of the caretakers had already run to the crying child that, strangely enough, only seemed to have scraped his hands. When he looked down in front of his car he saw why. The "thing", that had come flying in from the side was actually another kid, though quite a bit older, probably in his mid-teens. He was lying face down with his hand covering his blond head. Sasuke cursed and turned the boy over on his back to access the damage.
"Ow, ouch, easy there I'm fine!" The boy hissed and scrunched his eyes together.
"Where does it hurt? Did you break anything? Open your eyes, can you see my hand?" Sasuke asked frantically. He was not good at dealing with hurt people, comforting and all that was way out of his comfort zone. The boy opened his eyes and looked at him with his bright blue eyes. "Told ya, I'm fine…" he muttered and tried to get up.
"No wait!" Sasuke didn't let him get further than sitting up. "How many fingers do you see here?"
"Huh? Are you kidding me?"
The look Sasuke answered with was enough to cut him silent. "Two." Sasuke changed the number of fingers and when satisfied with the answers said; "Good, now follow my finger with your eyes."
The boy did as told and almost ended up going cross eyed, when the finger came a little too close to his face.
"Okay now look up". As the boy looked up Sasuke could see his pupils react to the light and become smaller. Did this mean he hadn't gotten a concussion? Actually Sasuke didn't really know if he was doing this right, but as every other person who had watched tv, he had somewhat of an idea, of what should be done. And if there was one thing he had learned working as a leader at his office, it was that if it looked like you knew what you were doing and that you had the situation under control, most people would follow you. Most of the onlookers had calmed down, and the kindergarten kid had stopped crying. He gave the blond teen another look, and took his hand to help him up. The tanned palm was warm, dry, and just a tad bit smaller than his own.
"I'll drive you to the hospital just to make sure. Besides you need to get those cleaned up." He said and gestured to the teen's knees and elbows where the fabric of his close had torn and he had gotten some nasty abrasions. The boys eyes widened, he almost looked panicked for a moment.
"Uhh thanks, but that's really not necessary. I-I live just around the corner, and this is nothing! Easily taken care of! No problem. No. None whatsoever. And the little kid is more important anyway! " He babbled and turned around, only to see the child grinning from ear to ear with a huge lollipop barely fitting in his tiny mouth. The blond's expression fell and he looked back and forward between Sasuke and the child, then at an old plastic watch on his wrist.
"Oh see what the time is, I really have to go!" He said and turned to leave. It was only then that Sasuke noticed how he was dressed. He wasn't dirty per se, but his clothes were old and baggy. Ah I see the problem. He grabbed the blond's arm and pulled him towards the car.
"Look, you don't have to worry. This was my fault, and I'm just glad that you saved that kid. I'll make sure to pay for your hospital fees, so come on."
"No seriously, it's nothing! I'll be…" Sasuke gave him a stern look, one of the milder kind, but still a proper Uchiha one, which promptly shut the kid up again.
"Why don't you come with me, then I'll drive you home, to the hospital, the pharmacy or wherever you want to go. We can decide in the car. Okay?"
"O-Okay" The boy looked down in defeat and followed Sasuke to the passenger seat. Sasuke shut the door closed after him and went over to the kindergarten teachers to make sure everything was fine. He gave them his business card just in case. The drivers getting stuck behind him were getting impatient and he heard several honks.
The little accident had stopped all traffic and now that he was assured that nothing serious had happened, he needed to get moving. He went back into the car, put it in gear and then realized he didn't know where they were supposed to go. He looked over at the kid, who was sliding his hand over the inside of the door appreciatively. It probably wasn't an everyday occurrence for him to be in such a car.
Sasuke cleared his throat to get his attention."So… If not the hospital, then the pharmacy?" The boy looked him straight in the eye, then nodded.
Sasuke headed for the pharmacy closest to their location and watched the boy let his fingers run over the interior of his car. "I really like your car." the boy said "It's like, so fancy and shiny. Must have cost a lot" The last part was only a mumble, barely audible.
"Hn." Sasuke answered and turned his eyes to the road again. One accident was more than enough for him. "What is your name kid?"
"I'm not a kid!" he protested. "And my name is Naruto."
"Okay Naruto. I think you will need a little more than just a visit to the pharmacy."
"What?! Why? You said I could decide where I wanted to go!"
"Calm down. Look at yourself. Your clothes are pretty much ruined. I'll take you to get some new."
Naruto looked at him suspiciously, obviously not sure whether he should trust this strange man. Then he looked down at his clothes and sighed. Sasuke smirked. For some reason it felt just as good winning in the small disagreement with the boy, as it did getting a big deal though at work. How odd.
"Hey. What's your name?" Naruto asked and looked at him, again straight in the eye. It was almost a little unnerving.
"Sasuke" He didn't feel the need to mention his surname. The difference between them was big enough already. To tell the poor kid that he was rich, would have been a little cruel.
He pulled into a parking lot at a supermarket, and went into the pharmacy across from it with Naruto in tow. He let Naruto explain his injuries to the cashier and called his secretary while they found the items. He just told her that he would be late, not wanting to explain everything and then having to deal with her worry. She could be a little dramatic at times, and if he told her about the car accident she would probably get the police and an ambulance to come get him, not to mention calling his brother. Today had been plenty stressful, and getting his brother involved would be the icing on the cake.
He paid for the disinfectant, cotton pads, huge band aids and gauze, and they went back to the car.
"Sit down" he ordered and took out the stuff needed to clean the wounds.
"Yes sir." The boy replied sarcastically, and plopped down on the car seat sideways, so his legs were sticking out. Sasuke looked at him too surprised to respond. How long had it been since anyone had dared use such a tone with him? He honestly couldn't remember.
"Lift your up the legs of your pants, so I can get you cleaned up." He went down on one knee to be at the right height.
"Okay, OW! Stop! That hurts you bastard! " Naruto yelled as Sasuke tried to apply the disinfectant.
"Sit still! You almost kicked me in the head!"
"That's because it hurts! Are you trying to kill me?! I shou- OW!" Naruto tried to bat Sasuke's hands away, but to no avail. After a bit of a struggle Sasuke managed to get the wounds cleaned, but not before Naruto had cursed at him quite colorfully.
"Are you done being a baby?" Sasuke asked the now glaring Naruto, who was holding his right arm protectively to his body.
"You are a mean man." Naruto said with a pout.
Sasuke snorted in amusement. "How old are you anyway? You should be able to handle this much." He said and began putting the gauze on.
"I'm 16, a-and this is nothing! It's just you who are old and insensitive."
"Wha- I'm not old, you brat!"
"Hn." He absolutely refused to take part in this childish argument. When had he decided to become this kid's babysitter anyway? Oh yeah, the guilt. He was after all the one to run him over. Damn, no way out of it.
"Jeez we must look really weird." Naruto said. "I mean look at you, are you trying to propose to me or take my pants off, or both at the same time? Perv."
Sasuke looked at him incredulously and felt his eye tick. "Hn." A non responsive answer was the only appropriate answer in this situation.
"So, all done." He said and rose, quite proud of his work. Naruto looked at the gauze now covering his knees and arm.
"Pfft. What the hell? It looks really weird. And why did you cover like my entire left arm? Haha I look like a half mummy." The blonde laughed at Sasuke. Now that Naruto mentioned it might have been a bit of an overkill to use that much gauze. Not amused, he ordered the boy to get his legs in the car unless he wanted another injury added to his collection.
"Yes sir!" Naruto answered cheerily.
"The blue one."
"Of course, I'll bring it to him" the saleslady answered politely.
Another struggle had broken out when Sasuke had tried to get Naruto into one of the stores he usually frequented, and this time the brat had won the argument. He said Sasuke must be crazy, if he thought they would let someone like Naruto set foot in their fancy stores. So now he was caught in a run of the mill store for teenagers. Great.
Naruto came jumping out of the dressing room and exclaimed; "Tadaa! This one is great! So much more comfortable than your fancy-pancy suit." He grinned and hugged himself while twirling around, showing of a very orange, and definitely not blue shirt.
Where in the world did he find that one? It's horrendous, why do they even sell something in such a tacky color?
Naruto looked at him with stars in his eyes and said; "I love it! This is the one I want."
Sasuke shot him a disapproving glance and sighed. In the end he couldn't say no to those eyes. "Fine. This one and the pants." He said to the saleslady.
"Do you want me to put them in a bag or do you want to wear them now?"
"He'll wear them now, thank you."
When they left the store they went past a sandwich shop, and it wasn't until Sasuke was almost at the car that he noticed his smaller companion had gone missing. Looking back he saw the blond stand in front of the sandwich shop counting coins in his hands.
He walked back to Naruto and observed him trying to figure out which sandwich he wanted. He looked at his watch and decided that he might as well grab something too, it had been a long time since he had last eaten in such a cozy place. He couldn't believe that almost two hours had gone by since the accident, and that it was already time for lunch.
He went in and heard Naruto follow him, muttering something about ham and meat. As they ordered, he frowned when he heard Naruto's choice. When he looked up on the menu sign he could see that it was some vegetarian thing, only with salad and it was also the cheapest thing on the entire menu, except for the drinks. He felt a little pang inside, when he connected the dots. For a growing boy it was a sorry excuse for a meal.
"I'll pay, so pick the one you like the best." He said with a neutral voice.
"Yeah, I kinda owe you don't you think?"
"Food is no joke." He said with a disbelieving voice.
"Hn. Just choose."
They had to go back to the car since there was no available tables at the shop, and as Sasuke had predicted, Naruto had chosen something much more fitting than the tiny vegetarian sandwich. Now he was just unsure about whether he was alright with letting the brat eating in his car. A bench nearby saved him, or rather saved his car.
"Mmmf.. this is like the best food ever!"
"Chew before you talk, brat."
The insult didn't go entirely ignored. "Thank you bastard Sasuke. Maybe my new hobby should be running around in the traffic. This mmmfg.. is definitely worth it."
"There's something seriously wrong with your priorities…"
A sandwich is worth getting run over? Sure he wasn't serious, but still it let Sasuke to wonder how often he got fed. He wolfed down the sandwich like a starving man. As they ate he observed Naruto out of the corner of his eye. The kid was tanned, the way you're either born with, which includes dark hair and eyes, or in his case the way you are when staying outside all the time. At a closer look he could see faint scars running across his cheeks.
Another accident? Or... abuse? His shoes had gone unharmed and were much worn cheap plastic sandals. His new clothes made the contrast between his other belongings so much more obvious. It wasn't just old or baggy, even his bag was patched, and his hair wasn't just messy. It needed a good wash, of which the same could be said about his hands. The white gauze against the tanned skin made Sasuke wonder about how much of the dark color was tan and how much was dirt.
"Where do you live?"
"Uh, down the west end. You know near the accident."
I don't believe him for a second. He is wears his feeling on his sleeve, and that was definitely panic in his eyes.
"Who do you live with?"
"M-my family of course."
Yep he's getting nervous.
"Oh, do you have any siblings?"
"Um a…. a brother!"
"What's his name?"
He saw Naruto look across the street and followed the direction of his eyes.
"Pierre! His name's Pierre."
Sasuke looked at him with a dead-pan look. "Your brother's name's Pierre? That's a little unusual, isn't it? Especially compared to your own. And funny how there is a café right across from us called Pierre's bakery, huh. What a coincidence."
Naruto knew he had been caught in his lie and decided it was time for his exit. "You know what? You are a busy man, and I'm busy, and it's late and now I have to go. Nice to meet you. Bye."
"Tch. Not so fast." Sasuke said and grabbed his wrist. "Do you even have a place to live?"
"I just told ya, it's down at the west end-"
Naruto's mouth snapped shut and they stared at each other stubbornly.
If I push him any further than this he is going to bolt and run.
"Sit down and finish your sandwich." He ordered. They sat in silence as both of them finished their food. Then Sasuke got up and brushed himself clean of crumbs. He took a look at Naruto, who was standing awkwardly beside him. A little blob of butter had gotten on his cheek, which annoyed the cleanly Uchiha. He pulled out a napkin from his coat pocket to dry it off.
"What are you doing?!" Naruto flinched in surprise and scrunched up his eyes. "Arrg. You're treating me like a little kid again." He pulled the napkin away from Sasuke and finished the job on his own.
"Hn." Sasuke smirked. "Let's get you back to the west end shall we?"