Sasuke Acts Tough - Gaara Does the Tango:


Mumbling all sorts of things to do to Kakashi and Sasuke once he caught up with them, Naruto stomped down the street; completely oblivious to the glances he was beginning to receive from most of the villagers. It wasn’t as if they were afraid of him as they had been in the past after all Naruto was quite able to control his chakra now. All thoughts of the kyubi going loose had been eased off the elders’ minds. Uzumaki Naruto was now an outstanding citizen to the village and many were grateful for his contributions over the years.


As of this moment, however, the local hero was anything but cheerful. For years he had had to deal with Kakashi and Sasuke disappearing at various times for ‘special’ trainings or meetings. Damn it! So what if he had been trained by pervy sennin? It still didn’t account for feeling left out from the couple. And he wasn’t blind; Naruto had seen the way Kakashi had the tendency to look at Sasuke in a way that was anything but innocent.


That pervert!


He would bet that they weren’t training at all. Or better yet that they were training, but in a way that was bound to cause even pervy sennin to blush.




/Sasuke! Today we are going to begin our special training. /


/Our special training, sensei? /


/Yes. It would require you to remove all of your clothes, Sasuke. Skin to skin contact is very important in this type of fighting. /


/Yes, sensei. /


/Hmm…looks like you have been…eh…developing quite a kurenai there, Sasuke. /


Blush. /Thank you, sensei. /


/And now it’s my turn! /


Even deeper blush. /Oooh, sensei. You are so…well equipped. What do you intend to do to me with that? /


Wicked smirk. /Why don’t you lie down right there and we will find out, my dear precious student. /


A shy smile. /Ooh, sensei. Your weapon is so hard and long and aaaaaah…it feels so good. Faster! Faster! /




Naruto’s face by this time had gone so red that he had to slap his hands to his cheeks to stop his wanton thoughts from going any further. He was ashamed to find that his vivid imagination had only done more to make him feel hot. And cursing out loud, he shook his head rapidly and tried to get his mind back on focus.


Yes, he was going to find Kakashi and stop him from violating his teammate! And once Naruto found him, he would…he would…


He would what? He wasn’t even sure he would know what to do. He stopped abruptly and bit his lower lip. He would have to go about this cautiously. In as much as he wanted to catch them both in the act – whatever that might be – Naruto still didn’t want to risk exposing himself so readily. He didn’t want Sasuke to think that he was acting all jealous over him. It would only do more to make the dark-haired genius get even more bigheaded.




What kind of plan would he have to cook up now? What dubious, conniving little trick could he think up?


“Ah, Naruto! There you are!”


The blond lifted his head with a ready smile on his lips for the only man he could ever look up to…besides the late third Hokage.


“Ohayo, Iruka sen…sei….aaaaaaaaaaah!” He pointed towards the bored looking jounin standing beside his beloved and first teacher. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!”


“Standing, Naruto,” came the equally bored reply. “What does it look like?”


The blond shinobi shook his head and tried to get the words, that were threatening to get stuck in his throat, forcibly out. “You…you…”


“Is everything alright, Naruto?” Iruka asked in concern as he placed a hand against the flushed boy’s forehead. “Hmmm…you might be coming down with a fever…”


Naruto slapped the other man’s hand away, his blazing blue gaze fixed firmly on the gradually bemused Kakashi. “You were on the roof!” he accused angrily. “Now where’s Sasuke?!”


The two jounin eyed each other for a moment before Iruka replied softly. “We haven’t seen Sasuke anywhere, Naruto. Have you tried searching his house?”


The kyubi wasn’t buying it. “He came up to the roof where Neji and I were and asked for Sasuke! He said they were having a private meeting!”


Kakashi smirked. “Oh?”


Naruto growled and clenched his hands into fists. “Oh! You wanted him for something so where is he?!”


The mischievous teacher leaned closer to his heaving and quite furious student. “Hmm…if I didn’t know any better, I would think you were jealous, Naruto.”


A dark flush filled the blond’s cheeks. “I…I…I’m not jealous! I was just…just…”


Iruka chuckled. “You were just what, Naruto?”


The chuunin glared at the two laughing men feeling himself getting even more embarrassed by the minute. “Stop laughing at me!”


Iruka sobered up quickly and smiled warmly. “Sorry to disappoint you. But Kakashi and I have been with Tsunade all evening. We were just on our way to Ichiraku. Do you want to join us?”


Naruto gaped at the teacher before turning his bewildered gaze to a shrugging Kakashi. What the hell was going on here? Iruka wouldn’t lie to him and as much a liar as the sharingan-wielding teacher was, Naruto knew Kakashi wouldn’t lie about something so trivial. So if it wasn’t Kakashi on the roof…


“Who the hell was it then?!”






‘Kakashi’ darted into the dark alley and transformed quickly, revealing the slightly panting teenager who had a smug grin of satisfaction on his face. It had worked out just perfectly after all. He knew it was a lousy method of doing things, but his curiosity and downright jealousy had gnawed him to the point of stooping to such sneaky tactics. But he had gotten the answer he wanted…or had he?


“So it was you.”


He froze, his hands already reaching for his kunai. He refused to turn around as a small smirk came to his lips. “Sorry to break up your loving moment back there, Neji-kun. How did you guess it was me?”


The Hyuuga genius grit his teeth and narrowed his eyes as he glared at the unyielding back of the younger boy. “I knew it had to be you. I can sense any enemy of mine approaching for miles away. However, that was a cheap and dirty trick, Uchiha and if Naruto finds out, how do you think he’ll react?”


“He doesn’t need to know, does he?”


“You fool. He’ll find out,” Neji retorted icily. “You seem to underestimate him, Uchiha and that is going to be your downfall someday.”


Sasuke’s jaw worked silently as his fingers tightened around the weapon. “What do you know about anything, Hyuuga?”


“What do I know? What do I know?” the older boy spat out bitterly. “I know that I have feelings for Naruto but that they are never going to be returned because he has a fixation on you!”


There was the undeniable surge of chakra and Sasuke didn’t need to turn around to know that Neji was about to attack him.


Damn. He hadn’t intended to start a fight with anyone tonight. It was just his luck that he had been caught and by a boy who looked like he was ready to eliminate him at any minute. This was so not good.


“Die, Uchiha!”


He barely had the time to dodge out of the way of several shuriken, but he managed to leap into the air just in time. He felt a sear of pain in his left arm and realized to his chagrin that one of the weapons had grazed him. He growled softly and whipped out his own arsenal, dodging and darting out of the close-combat fighter’s range.


What the hell was this? He didn’t want to fight and over Naruto for that matter. He had a feeling that if he really went all out on Neji and the blond found out about it, he would never be forgiven.


Curses! Since when did he start giving a damn about what Naruto thought of him?


“Aaargh!” He was thrown roughly against a wall, his entire body throbbing with pain as he tried to get back his bearings. Losing his concentration had cost him precious time and before he could even think of moving, Neji’s fingers were pointed squarely upon his chest effectively holding him prisoner. One false move and the older shinobi was bound to blow a hole right through him with that infamous Hyuuga Taijutsu.


“I know that once you allow your sharingan to come forth, you will be capable of doing the very same thing to me, Uchiha,” Neji began softly, but still in that deadly calm voice. “But as of right now, I have the upper hand and you are going to have to listen to me.”


Sasuke remained silent.


Neji didn’t seem fazed by the glare as he pinned his own narrowed pale depths at the younger chuunin. “Do not think I am willingly letting you have Naruto because I want to. I am giving him to you because he assumes it will make him happy. He is confused and not sure of how he feels and anyone who had common sense…unlike you…would have been decent enough to guide him through this period.” He lowered his voice to a dangerous tone, which clearly promised instant death if Sasuke did not comply. “Do not underestimate or tease him, Uchiha. If you hurt him, I swear I will hunt you down and make sure you pay. Got it?”


Sasuke smirked and managed a small nod. “Got it, Hyuuga…unless there is something else you wish to tell me?”


The fingers pressed tighter against his chest and he hissed in a sharp breath. “Don’t screw around with me, Uchiha,” Neji warned again. “I mean it.”


“So do I.”


The older boy raised a brow of confusion. “What…?”


It was too fast for Neji to follow and he cursed inwardly as he felt the fingers against his own chest. He didn’t need to know that the famous sharingan were in Sasuke’s eyes now as the dark-haired boy’s long hair was covering them from view. Neither boy moved much, but they knew that one false move could have them both blown to smithereens.


“If I ever see you near Naruto again,” Sasuke muttered thickly. “I will make sure you don’t live to see the next day. You will not touch him unless I say so, got it?”

“You don’t own him, Uchiha.”


“Not yet, I don’t. But I will and you know it.”


Neji growled. “What makes you think you deserve him? What makes you so special?!”


Sasuke remained silent for a moment before replying softly. “Maybe I don’t deserve him, maybe I do, who knows? But what I do know is that…”


He lifted his head and Neji Hyuuga, for one heart-stopping moment, felt his breath catch in his throat at the small but beautiful smile on the younger boy’s face.


What the hell…?


“Naruto is a part of me, Hyuuga. It’s something I can’t explain and I won’t even begin to attempt to explain it to you.” He lowered his head again and removed his fingers gently. “So, forgive me if I sound possessive. But without Naruto in my life…I don’t think I could bear it.”


The older chuunin was left speechless as his own fingers dropped to his side slowly. Such pure honesty from the other boy was a bit embarrassing, but it was good to hear…wasn’t it?


He turned his gaze away with a sinking feeling in the pits of his stomach. Naruto’s angry glare as he had left earlier had all but solidified Neji’s initial thoughts. Naruto and Sasuke liked each other. Despite all their hateful words and denials, the attraction was there and undeniable.


He felt his eyes burn.


Kami, I am such a fool.




“What is it?” he asked a bit too roughly.


Sasuke opened up his mouth to say something but snapped it shut. “Nothing.”


The older shinobi gave a curt nod and lifted his gaze to stare at the evening sky. Tiny stars had begun to twinkle above him as he struggled to get his emotions in check.


“Don’t be a fool, Sasuke,” he finally said a bit shakily. “You had better show him how you feel before…before you lose him. But my warning still remains.” He turned back to stare at the other boy. “If you ever hurt him, Uchiha… I will kill you.”


And hardly waiting for a reply, he leapt out of sight and into the night. Once certain that the boy was gone, Sasuke finally let out a groan of pain and slumped to the ground in a dead faint.






Meanwhile, Naruto, still pondering on who could have sunken so low as to disguise himself as Kakashi to interrupt he and Neji, came to a halt as a shinobi appeared before him.


It was Kotestu. One of Tsunade’s many messengers. Naruto made a face. The jounin still had that rather annoying bandage over his mouth area. Was that supposed to be cool or something?


“Tsunade requests your presence, Naruto,” he announced quickly. “She says we have guests and would like for you to show them around.”




“Oi, oi, what kind of guests are they…?”


His answer was left unanswered, as the jounin had already made himself scarce. Cursing softly, Naruto began a steady jog towards the Hokage’s Tower. He wondered if Sasuke or Sakura had been called to entertain these so called guests? And speaking of Sakura, he had hardly heard from their pink-haired teammate in a while. He hoped that everything was alright with her.


Or maybe Sasuke had already told her the bad news about now liking her in that way. Naruto shook his head slowly; he wouldn’t put such blatant tactics from the other boy as an impossibility. Sasuke really had no tact at all.


He finally got to the designated floor, trying hard to control his breathing. Sure enough, the blonde and very voluptuous Hokage, Tsunade – one of the legendary sennin - sat behind her desk with a smug look on her beautiful features.


“Hello, Naruto. Long time no see.”


The teen couldn’t help blushing a little at the smile. Whenever she wasn’t being obnoxious, the woman could be quite engaging and almost acted like a big sister towards him.


“Hi, Tsunade,” he greeted with a respectful bow. “You wanted to see me for something?” He wondered why Sasuke and Sakura weren’t here.


The blonde nodded. “Don’t worry about your team mates, Naruto,” she said around a chuckle as she watched him gasp in shock. “Sakura will not be able to make it, but Sasuke was brought in here injured…”


“Injured?!” Naruto’s eyes widened in growing panic. “How…when…why?!”


“Now, now, now, calm down. It’s not a life-threatening wound. In fact, he is healing quite nicely.” She dismissed the conversation with a wave of a hand. “I need you to help out our guests anyway. Do you think you can do that?”


“Who are these guests?” he asked a bit petulantly, even though his mind was still worried over a certain boy’s welfare.


The sound of shoji screens opening up somewhere on his left, had Naruto blinking in disbelief at the two smirking people in the room. He gasped and turned back to face an unrepentant Tsunade.


“But…but…what are they doing here?!”


The Hokage grinned and tapped his nose gently. “They are going to be patrolling the village with us for a while. It’s just common courtesy to exchange good will with our neighboring countries…”


“Yes, but with…them?!”


Tsunade’s sunny grin turned into a tight smile. “You are going to show them around town and take care of them, Naruto. Do I make myself clear?”


“Yeah, yeah…” the kyuubi grumbled. “So…eh…where’s the other one?”


Tsunade seemed bored as she closed her eyes and replied wearily. “Oh, him? He went in search of Sasuke and I told him where he could be found. He’s in the…”


The sound of someone darting out of the room, caused her to open an eye in surprise. She eyed her bewildered companions before shrugging lightly.


“Goodness, I wonder what that was about.”





The chill of being watched seeped through his consciousness slowly. It was a familiar gaze. A dark, penetrating, sometimes hostile look that could send the weakest of men to their early graves. It was a look that could only belong to…




Sasuke opened up his eyes quickly and tried to sit up, but was unceremoniously pushed back to the comfort of the soft sheets below him. He bit back a wince as his throbbing arm protested his sudden movement. Dark, nearly frantic eyes darted around the room before settling upon the impassive features of the boy they had come to know only so well.


Slightly taller, but not by much, he was still the same as they remembered him five years ago. His dark red hair was still cropped short. The kanji tattoo on his forehead still prominent and those once hateful pale green eyes now staring blankly at him. Although, it wasn’t red but now black, he was still dressed in his usual garment that somehow still held that damning gourd of sand on his back.


Gaara stood beside his bed as silent as a ghost, watching him intently. Sasuke wondered why that gaze was more than disconcerting.


What was Gaara doing here?!


“You were hurt.”


Sasuke eyed his bandaged arm and gave a light snort at the dry comment. “Yeah, so?”


“Would you like me to take a look at it?”


The chuunin eyed the badger with a wary look. “What could you possibly do that Tsunade hasn’t done already?”


Gaara smirked. “Give me your arm.”


Sasuke smirked right back. “So you could break it off?”


“Much as I would like to, I am under strict rules to control myself around here.” He held out his hand. “Let me see it.”


The Leaf shinobi narrowed his eyes before slowly lifting his arm up. “Don’t you dare try anything funny…aaah!”


It was a gasp of surprise and shock as he felt the other boy’s lips upon the bandaged flesh. Was Gaara actually kissing his arm?! Was that some form of healing he didn’t know about? Sasuke’s face went a bright shade of red, but it soon got even darker as the door to the room flew open to reveal the panting and stunned figure of the shinobi behind it.


“Naru…to…” he croaked out weakly as he watched the blue eyes widen by the second with emotions that ranged from surprise and shock to dismay and then blankness.


Please, Naruto! It’s not what you think!


/If you ever hurt him, Uchiha…I will kill you…/


Damn it!


Gaara lifted his head slowly to smile softly at the boy who had taught him so much in one memorable fight.


“Naruto,” he began but was stumped into silence at the cold words that spilled from the blond’s lips.


“I just came by to see how you were doing, Sasuke,” Naruto said curtly. “I am glad to see you are in safe hands.”


And without waiting for any of their responses, he closed the door none too quietly behind him before taking a deep breath and running away as fast as his legs could take him.


It seemed like he had finally gotten the answer he had been looking for.