Sorry for the lack of update last week. But here is the last part of this story, and with that, I can finally say I've completed one! Yay.
I haven't worked on the other stories, but we'll have to see how things go in the coming weeks. School is on the verge of kicking my butt, but graduation draws ever closer!
Anyways, here we go, last part!
Disclaimer: don't own
"Oh, god, I've been tricked," Naruto muttered for the thousandth time.
Sasuke sighed, but otherwise ignored the traumatized blond sitting with his forehead on the table. "No one tricked you, idiot," he said at last, finishing up the concoction he had been making to serve as dinner. "And shouldn't you be doing this? You're the 'wife'."
"I'm not your wife, asshole!" Naruto shrieked, his head shooting up to glare at Sasuke.
Naruto's stomach was still in knots over what he'd just done, and looking at the boy he had done it with wasn't helping. Because Sasuke was still just as gorgeous, just as tall and lithe and nonchalant, and he was still making those butterflies party like crazy in his stomach. He didn't think he could eat, he didn't think he could move at this point (his backside was slowly starting to hurt like hell), and he couldn't believe he was actually still feeling attracted to the bastard.
Sasuke glanced back at him, a brow elegantly raised in amusement. "Who was on the receiving end again?"
"Bastard!" Naruto shrieked.
Sasuke turned back to what he was doing and ladled a heaping pile of whatever on a plate, setting it down in front of the irrational blond.
"I can't believe this. I can't believe Shinobi-baa would do this to me. I'm a boy. I'm super masculine. I'm brave and dashing and manly," Naruto continued to mutter. "I don't bend over for other guys. I don't look like a girl, I don't act like a girl. I. Am. Not. A. Girl. Damnit~!"
"Keep telling yourself that, idiot," Sasuke replied, sitting down at the table with his own plate.
"I don't wanna hear that from you, asshole! I can't believe you'd agree to this whole crazy scheme! Was Shinobi-baa seriously out of her mind?"
Sasuke cast him a slightly disbelieving look. "You should know the answer to that for yourself, shouldn't you? After all, you spent more time with her than anyone. She adored you. Why else would she be so insistent that you marry her favorite grandson, even if we are both male."
"Look," Sasuke sighed, "What's done is done. And you obviously don't hate me as much as you claim, considering how willingly you let me do you."
"But you tricked me~!" Naruto whined.
"For the last time, no one tricked you. Kami, you're irritating. If anything, I'm the one who was tricked into this whole thing."
Naruto paused in his complaining to stare at Sasuke. "What the hell is that supposed to mean. You could have backed out of this at any time. You understood the whole situation way more than me."
Sasuke frowned and looked away, his dark gaze fixated out of the window, in the direction where Shinobi-baa's house stood.
He sighed. "I really had no intention… of going through with this. As much as my grandmother favored me, I can't honestly say I felt the same. I visited occasionally when I had spare time, but it was mostly out of a feeling of obligation. She was alone in that house, and she was making me heir to it. I don't know how much you know about the Uchiha family, but we used to be large, extremely wealthy and well-connected, and tremendously proud and well-regarded. But gradually the family began to spread out and lost some of its clout. Several members made bad choices, both in business and their personal lives, and we've lost a lot of our power.
"My grandmother was married to the head of the family, my father is her only child, and once my grandfather passed, he became the head of the family- what's left of it. He made the decision long before my brother was born to move the center of the family away from here, but my grandmother refused to leave her home, a house which had been the residence of the main family for generations.
"But no one could be bothered to come back and visit her, and she was all alone. For some reason, she took a liking to me, and every chance she could, she'd manage to get me to come here. I never enjoyed it. Being here didn't interest me, and I wasn't particularly interested in being alone in that house with an old lady. She was smart; I'm sure she knew I didn't want to be here."
Naruto frowned, and Sasuke heaved yet another sigh, then glanced briefly at Naruto. "The last time I visited her, she was different. Before, it was like she was resigned to the way things were, to how everything had turned out. She wanted to spoil me, but she didn't want me to hate her. We both knew I was only here out of obligation. But the last time… she was really, genuinely happy. She talked more than usual, wasn't bothered by my usual antisocial ways… She was more alive than I could ever remember her being."
Naruto pursed his lips, familiar tears stinging his eyes again.
"When she started talking about you, it all made sense. Still, when she brought up the idea of me marrying you, I told her no. She wouldn't let up though, so in the end, like I told you before, I told her I'd meet you, and nothing more."
He sat back in his chair and was silent for a moment, Naruto lightly picking at the pile of white rice and beef before him.
"And then I actually met you."
Naruto blinked up at him.
"It might sound ridiculous, but everything changed. I can honestly say, I've never met anyone more beautiful."
"Eh?" Naruto nearly dropped his chopsticks, grains of rice and bits of beef falling on his pants and onto the floor.
Sasuke glanced at him again. "I can't remember ever having as much fun before either. The Uchiha are cold and stiff, but teasing you and bantering with you has been fun and relaxing. Just meeting you for a few moments was enough for me to decide I was willing to go through with Obaa-sama's (1) request. And the more time we spent together…"
Sasuke shrugged. "I have no desire to go back to the Uchiha. I don't mind living here, away from them, for the rest of my life. And I wouldn't mind that being with you."
Naruto frowned. "But what about all that 'I don't care' crap you're always saying?"
The older boy huffed. "I'm an Uchiha. I wasn't going to admit I was enamored with you."
"So what, it was love at first sight?"
"Tch. I wouldn't go that far."
"But you wanted me," Naruto insisted.
"Sexually, at least."
Thinking about it, Naruto really wondered when he himself had started to want to be with Sasuke. Was it really just today that he had noticed it? If it had been, he wasn't the type of person to just go to bed with someone, even if they were married. So then, when? When he started coming over more frequently? When he first invited himself over to the house? Or maybe when Naruto had gone to Shinobi-baa's intending to refuse to marry him. Or maybe…
Maybe it had been love at first sight for him, too.
He bit his lip and looked away. He had to admit it, there was something extremely alluring about Sasuke. He'd heard a lot about him from Shinobi-baa, but he couldn't say he had really listened. But hadn't he always listened with rapt attention to everything Shinobi-baa said? And didn't he love her fiercely? And her eyes… he had always admired her eyes, the same eyes Sasuke had inherited.
He glanced at Sasuke again, who was eating slowly, his eyes only on his food. Sasuke was handsome; Naruto could still feel the partying butterflies, those butterflies who had never celebrated so hard, even at the height of his unreciprocated crush on Sakura-chan.
"Sasuke," Naruto murmured.
"Maybe… maybe we can try this marriage thing," he said, again picking at his food, this time a bit nervously. "I mean, we can always get divorced later, right, if it doesn't work out?"
"Like hell. You're stuck with me dobe. No divorce. I'll go crazy if anyone else touches you. Face it, you're mine, moron."
Naruto glared at him, but his lips curved upward, and soon he was grinning, then laughing. "Bastard. Guess I'll just have to get used to you then! Prepare yourself jerk, it ain't gonna be easy dealing with me!"
"Tch, idiot." Sasuke smirked, and Naruto only paused his laughing long enough for a kiss.
Sasuke was rubbing his head, obviously trying to alleviate the headache. Naruto and Kiba were arguing to the side, a cat haphazardly tucked under each of their right arms. Iruka was busy dutifully scrubbing the floor in the room Naruto had spent so much time in conversing with Shinobi-baa, the shoji doors opened letting in the fresh spring air as Sasuke stood by his tomato plants.
The cherry trees were blooming, pink petals cascading into the yard and into the pond, light pink dotting Naruto's blond hair.
"I'm telling you, blondie, you can't feed a cat ramen!"
"But cats like meat, and pork ramen has pork! It's a perfect combination, everyone's happy!"
"No, you're a moron. Cats can't eat ramen."
"Well they should. We should start a revolution, right cat! Ramen For Everycat! Cats Deserve Ramen Too! Real Animals Must Eat Noodles! Oh, but that doesn't have 'cat' in it…"
"Dobe, enough. Give the cats proper cat food."
"NO," Sasuke growled.
"Naruto, stop arguing and come help me. This is your house now, I'm not supposed to be doing all of the cleaning."
"Well why doesn't Sasuke help?" Naruto grumbled.
"Isn't cleaning the 'wife's' job?" Sasuke replied.
Kiba burst into laughter, and Naruto frowned. "Hey, asshole, that's sexism and discrimination and… Ugh, bastard, I'm not a girl!"
"Tch, you sure about that?" And Sasuke sent him a knowing smirk.
Naruto promptly went red, Kiba doubling up in laughter even more, the poor cat in his arm taking off and slithering into the house to find a safe hiding spot away from the crazy humans. Iruka just sighed and shook his head, returning to the floor.
"Jerk! Keep being mean to me and I'm so out of here," Naruto pouted.
The smirk died and a fierce, determined look came into Sasuke's dark eyes. "Like hell, moron. I'll chase you down wherever you go."
"That a threat?" Naruto grinned.
"A promise. And like a certain someone, I don't intend to break a promise."
Naruto blinked at him, his cheeks getting warmer, and a small smile came to his face.
He had kept his promise, in the end, and though sometimes he still wondered if it hadn't been a crazy lady joke on him, he was increasingly coming to the decision it wasn't such a bad joke after all if it was.
Though sometimes, he wondered if Shinobi-baa wasn't up there in heaven cackling her crazy old lady laugh- probably at Naruto's expense. But still, so long as she was happy.
And he had the feeling he could be happy as well.