Divergent (4)


Well, it seems like a month,
Since I kissed my baby good-bye.
I could have a lot of women,
But I'm not like some other guys.
I could find one to hold me tight,
But I could never believe that it's right.

-Dave Dudley



He’s kinda cute…your typical twink…


Naruto scrubbed his chest with the sponge, glad to be finally rid of the weird paste – though he made a mental note to thank the landlady for the treatment. He wasn’t really sure what the paste had been made of, but damn if his chest didn’t feel a hundred times lighter. His congestion was gone. His voice no longer sounded like a drunken frog’s, and whatever fever he had experienced was now non-existent.


Hmm…what did he say his name was again? Sai, wasn’t it?


He squeezed his eyes shut as he felt the soapy suds threaten to enter them. Blindly, he searched for the basin of warm water – almost knocking it over – before lifting it to pour its contents all over himself. He shook his head with a low groan of satisfaction. Man, did it feel good to have a proper bath.


He was giving me signals. I know he was.


He could feel the heat creeping up from his toes as he recollected the definite heated (and knowing) look the pale-skinned man had given him earlier. It was embarrassing in more ways than one, because first, there was the fact that it’s been quite a while since anyone has looked at him in such obvious fashion and two, Sai just had to do it right in front of Sasuke – who might or might not have noticed his covert invitation.


However, it was one thing to assume that Sai was interested in him and to act upon it, but then there was the fear that it had been nothing more than his overactive imagination running wild again. After all, hadn’t he just been ready to hightail it to the bathroom to spend a few quality minutes with his hand and some kind of lubricant earlier? Is it any wonder the idea of having sex with someone (anyone!) at this point was causing his hormones and brain cells to think of the unimaginable? What if he dared make a move? What if Sai hadn’t been giving any signals at all? What if he went there and made a fool of himself, returning with his tail between his legs (almost literally), and wishing he could just curl into a ball and die somewhere at his major mistake. So no…there really was no point in -


(so how do you explain the way he caressed your hand? And that offer to do ‘anything’ we wanted and the way he looked at you just before he left. If that’s not a big flashing “I want to fuck you so bad, stranger-who-just-happened-to-come-to-my-inn” sign across his forehead, I don’t know what is! Just go for it and see what happens!)


He moaned and twiddled his toes on the wet tiles. He tried hard to ignore the roaring voice within, and it wasn’t until he heard the loud scrape of a stool across the floor, did he finally jerk out of his reverie to notice that his companion was already finished with his bath.




So deep in his thoughts about Sai, Naruto had almost forgotten he was with someone else. He could feel the sudden rush of blood to the head as Sasuke padded across the room to snatch a towel from the rack. His taut physique (ass to be exact) teased the blond; tantalizing glimpses of that pale (though not as ghostly as Sai’s) skin peeking through wisps of steam circling the room. The towel was wrapped around lean hips efficiently (and pitifully ending such a great peep show) before he turned to face his staring audience.


“Ready to find the damn hot springs?” he asked, while throwing a towel over his head. If he had noticed Naruto’s gawking; he made no attempt to acknowledge it.


“Oh…right…gimme a sec,” came the stammered and flustered answer.


Naruto hurried with the rest of his bath and grabbed a towel as well, barely catching up with Sasuke who was already leading the way out of the bathroom. Maybe it was just his imagination, but he was getting some rather ‘hostile’ vibes from the salesman. Why? Was it something he said or did? Was he upset that he hadn’t started up conversation during their bath? Not that he could understand why Sasuke would be perturbed by that since it was clear the salesman liked his peace and quiet for the most part. So what was it then? What happened between the time they left the room and now -




“Shit,” he muttered beneath his breath as he slowly put two-and-two together.


(he noticed)


Sasuke must have noticed Sai’s actions and Naruto’s dumb/helpless response to it. He bit his lower lip hard; worried about Sasuke assuming that his little moment of weakness was ‘disgusting’ after all. However, as Sasuke led them through the door – with the wooden sign above it saying ‘Hot Springs This Way’ – and out into a brisk and still dark morning, Naruto kicked himself inwardly for being doubtful or concerned. So what? So what if he had feelings – however shallow – for Sai? Who was Sasuke to dictate who he chose to sleep with? He thought he had already made it clear to the salesman the difficulties in forming relationships let alone finding anyone who wanted to share said relations with you. So now that he’s finally found ‘someone’, who was Sasuke to –


“I think this is it,” came the quiet words that jarred Naruto from his spiraling thoughts. “Doesn’t seem like there’s a men or women’s section so…”


They both looked around, but there was no one  in sight besides them and the mysterious sounds of nocturnal creatures just beyond the tall wooden fence surrounding them. The hot springs was about as large as an Olympic-sized swimming pool, though in its natural habitat, it was filled with boulders and rocks which gave it an awkward kidney-like shape. The roar of the waterfall was much louder here, but instead of being a distraction, it created a rhythmic lull to the trickling of water from the rocks surrounding the springs. Steam, in gentle clouds masked the surface; the sulfuric smell already working its magic as Naruto inhaled greedily. He joined Sasuke in removing the towels and wading into the welcoming depths, sighing with pleasure as the waters licked his cleaned flesh gently and seemed to make it whole again.


(this is heaven)


For a while neither man said anything, and Naruto - who had covered his face with the small wash cloth - removed it to eye his silent partner. Sasuke was in the same position, about an arm length away, but cradled between clusters of rocks to give the illusion of being shielded in a cocoon. His face was still covered with his washcloth, and from the steady rise and fall of his chest (and even breathing), Naruto wondered if the salesman had gone to sleep already.


(should wake him up just in case…not a good idea to doze off in here…)


“Is this doing anything for you?” came the sudden drawled question, Naruto practically jumped in surprise at the sound of another human voice. For a second the meaning of the question was lost on him until Sasuke finally removed the towel to throw him a side glance. “Well? How do you feel?”


“Feel about what?” came the slightly panicked query. What the hell was Sasuke talking about? Was he onto him about Sai after all -


“The hot springs,” Sasuke replied with a raised brow. “The landlady claimed it was supposed to heal you. How do you feel?”




“Huh? What was that sigh of relief for?”


“Nothing! Just…thought you were…” Naruto cleared his throat and straightened up a little more. “Well, the weird paste must have worked because I feel fine and now…even better -”


“Good, because we’re leaving first thing tomorrow…I mean after breakfast.”


Naruto was just about to blurt out “What’s the rush?” but decided it best to shut his mouth. There was a rush. Noshiro had set them back two days. They should and would have been in Yokohama by now if not for that detour and time was rapidly running out.


(if I don’t get there on time…)


He must have sighed again because Sasuke threw him another glance. “What’s wrong now? And don’t tell me ‘nothing’ either.”


“Damn. You’re a bossy asshole, aren’t you?” Naruto grumbled beneath his breath. He didn’t doubt that Sasuke must have heard him anyway, and God knew he had been ‘behaving’ himself so far just to remain in Sasuke’s good graces and make sure he got to his destination. Otherwise, he really would have let Sasuke know just a few home truths about some of his uppity attitude –


“If you must know,” he began again as he covered his face with the washcloth and closed his eyes. “I’m kinda worried about what’s waiting for me back home.”






Sasuke raised a brow. “You mean…you were born there?” Figures.


“I don’t know if I was born there, but I grew up there.”


Sasuke dipped his washcloth into the waters and swirled it around slowly. “So you’re saying…?”


“I was adopted,” Naruto finished quietly. “I only got to know that when I was around thirteen…and I guess  you could say my real rebellious streak started then.”


“How come?”


“I was unjustifiably angry that they kept something like that from me for so long.” He shrugged. “And the only reason I knew about it was because I discovered some old files my father had hidden in his garage. Apparently, I was child number 1854 at some orphanage where I was picked up on a bright sunshiny day October 10th.” He paused; recalling the gamut of emotions that had coursed through him as young fingers had caressed the certificate over and over again as if to try to make sure it was actually real. What made it worse – at the time – was believing the birth certificate his mother used to show him claiming Naruto was their real son. He had to wonder who they had paid to forge that thing.


“The other day you asked me about my scars,” he continued quietly. “And I told you I was probably born with it and my parents didn’t have any. Think about how my childhood was, Sasuke, having to grow up being singled out for looking so different from everyone else. Knowing the truth…it all made sense.”


Behind the safety of the washcloth, he hid the downcast expression that had come to his visage. “It was hard to fit in, but I managed to stubbornly get everyone’s attention the only way I knew how…by being as obnoxious as possible.” He chuckled weakly. “But in the end I made some pretty good friends…at least I did until I lost a couple of them after…you know what. Anyway, that was the least of my issues.”


“How do you mean?” came the quiet question.


“Oh, just the reaction my parents had when I came out to them.”


“You told them?” Sasuke gasped in disbelief.


“Well…yeah. I felt they had a right to know that they might not be getting a grandson or granddaughter – at least not in the way they’ll expect – in the future. So after high school, I came out to them and boy…was that a scene.”


Sasuke studied the covered profile for a moment. “They didn’t accept you?”


“Nope. So there was the trifecta; no plans for college, wanting to bail out of the boring family business, and the granddaddy of them all…having feelings for only members of the same sex. You can imagine the destructive effect this had on everyone…well on both of them at least.”


He cringed as the memories began to trickle in ever so slowly. The raised voices, the angry expressions, the accusations, the tears, the wails, the unjust insults, the slamming of doors and banging on tables, the hurled anguished cry of “You can’t tell me what to do! You’re not even my real parents!” ricocheting off the walls and stumping them all into painful silence. He left after that; unable to look back and vowing never to return. They had loved him for seventeen years, but somehow all of that was evaporated with just one fateful decision; a decision that had kept him awake for nights on end. He hadn’t expected them to accept him immediately, but damn if it hadn’t hurt to see the two people he had most hoped for their blessings, reject him so vehemently. The disgust on their faces…


“So why are you going back?” Sasuke asked. “I can tell that you were really hurt by what happened -”


“My mother’s dying,” Naruto explained with a slight edge in his voice. “Pancreatic cancer.”


Silence descended like an anvil; both men allowing themselves a moment to digest this new information/revelation. Sasuke stared blindly into the rippling waters surrounding him; the sudden image of his mother coming to mind. He was more than aware that he had not seen her, in person, in over three years; the last glimpse being on television as she was escorted by his father during their oldest son’s funeral. What would he do if he learned that she was dying as well? How would he react? Or deal with it? With Itachi’s death, he had managed to hold in his grief for a while until it gushed out in a torrential flood when he least expected it. Would he even go back home to pay his respects? Did he have the strength to put the past behind him – like Naruto planned to do – and to at least pay homage to the woman who brought him into this world?


“I guess you’re wondering why I’m going back home after everything,” Naruto said softly.


“It did cross my mind,” Sasuke confessed. “Why would you go back?”


“Because she’s my mother…even if she isn’t biological and even though she treated me horribly the last time I saw her.” He reached up to lower the washcloth from his face; a small wry smile on his lips as he glanced at his companion. “Call me a softie or an idiot, but…I can’t completely hate her even if I want to. She and Pops rescued me from that damn orphanage and raised me as best they could. They were pretty good parents, and whenever I think of the good times we spent together…it sort of cancels out one night of them losing their damn minds. I know my Pops still upset about the whole thing and kinda blames me for giving Mom the disease-”


“Huh? Why?”


“She started drinking more after I left,” Naruto admitted after a moment’s hesitancy. “She was so distraught over my decision to leave, she turned to the bottle to drown her sorrows, but I didn’t know all that until Pops somehow tracked me and called one day out of the blue a couple of weeks ago. For five years I never saw or heard from them and the first phone call I finally get…it’s to hear him just about accuse me of killing my mom.” He laughed bitterly and shrugged his shoulders again. “So I told him I was going to come back home and settle down. Take care of Mom, help with the family business – he’s a fisherman by the way – and just…stay there I guess.”


“Give up your dream of becoming a rock star?”


Naruto threw him a smirk. “I told you, didn’t I? Where I’m going from here on out, being a rock star is the furthest thing from my mind. I really want to make things right with my parents especially my mother. Maybe Pops and I will eventually become friendly again, but I’m not holding my breath for that miracle.”


“You never know…miracles can happen…”


“Like with you and your old man eventually?”


Sasuke stiffened at the irony of it all. He shook his head and leaned against the rocks again. “Now that is going to be one major miracle, Uzumaki Naruto.”


Naruto chuckled again and flicked some water in Sasuke’s direction. “Tell you what. Why don’t we make a deal. Whoever gets to reconcile with his Pops gets a…eh…hmm…”


His brows furrowed in thought, while Sasuke eyed him with a barely controlled smile. “Forget about it, Naruto. I’m not about to go crawling to Uchiha Fugaku for anything. Pigs will fly before that happens.”


“Aww come on. Maybe he misses you!”


“Misses me? Hah!” Sasuke couldn’t help the burst of laughter to escape his lips at the sudden image of his father sobbing and running toward him for a hug. That really was something to be left in the realm of fantasy. “That would be the day.”


He stretched his arms over his head and tried to stifle a yawn. Damn. He was tired already? Not that it would have been surprising. He did have a fitful night.


“Come on,” he ordered gently as he rose and began to wade out of the water. “We’ll soon turn into prunes if we don’t get the hell out of here.”


“All right.” Naruto splish-splashed after Sasuke – and just in time too, for as they wrapped the towels around their waist, the sound of voices approaching and the sudden appearance of a young love struck and giggling couple – was a signal that the rest of the inn was rousing for a new day.


It wasn’t until they were dressed in their yukata and heading back to the room, did Naruto finally come to a decisive conclusion. He had spied Sai in what might have been the laundry room, and there was now definitely no mistaking the come-hither smile thrown his way. Maybe it was the bath or the hot springs or finally sharing his fears about going home to Sasuke, but whatever it was, he felt more ‘liberated’ than he had in days and had to channel this new surge of energy somewhere. No strings attached, no need for the promise of eternal love. This was purely for the physical gratification and Sai would do just fine. Besides, if he had to deal with another minute of fantasizing about Sasuke and not having that come to fruition in this lifetime, he was going to go insane.




The salesman stopped and glanced over his shoulder. Naruto had stopped a few steps behind him; those blue eyes aglow with an expression that was not lost on Sasuke.


“What’s wrong?” he finally asked with a raised brow.


Naruto took a deep breath and cleared his throat. “I think I lost something in the bathroom. Do you mind?”


Dark eyes narrowed for they seemed to understand what those bright (and almost defiant) blue eyes were saying. He tore his gaze away as he noticed the man – with a pile of folded towels in his arms - just disappearing into another room behind Naruto. He contemplated reminding Naruto about his ‘issues’ with other men, but realized how hypocritical his actions would be. Hadn’t he just slept with a random woman last night? Who was he to stop Naruto from finding his pleasures wherever he could get them? The man deserved it…just as long as he knew what he was getting into.


“Sure,” he finally said aloud with a small smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. “Take your time and…I hope you find what you’re looking for.”


He spun on his heels and walked away; leaving Naruto to stare after his striding figure until it made the turn. Unaware of the breath he had been holding; for he was sure Sasuke might have disapproved for some reason, Naruto rubbed his hand nervously down his yukata and made his way toward the room he had last seen Sai in.


(just a quick blowjob…that’s all…)


Heart pounding at a mile a minute, he quickened his steps and would have walked right past the room, when he was suddenly tugged by someone into a much smaller space, where the door was promptly kicked shut and he was thrust hard against the wall.


(what the…?!)


Before he could even get a word in (or his bearings straight), his lips were seized in a kiss so passionate, it was all he could do to remain standing. Knees weakening, stomach muscles clenching, heart and pulses racing, boneless fingers eventually dropped the plastic bag full of his toiletries to the floor as he wrapped his arms around Sai’s neck and allowed himself to be drowned in wanton feelings.


(God, how I’ve missed this)


That close intimacy; the touch, the feel, the sensation of another human being upon him, this unholy communion between males that was frowned upon by others who felt justified in their claims for morality. For now, all he cared about was wanting to satiate his lust; their judgmental eyes be damned. This was his life, and he was going to ‘own it’ as someone had once eloquently advised him to.





Curiosity killed the cat.


Sasuke worried his lower lip as he buttoned his shirt slowly. He deliberately avoided looking at his reflection in the small mirror, for fear of what he’d see etched on his features.


It’s not like I care what they do…


And yet as he glanced at the clock (for the umpteenth time it seemed), Naruto had been gone for over fifteen minutes…sixteen now. He clenched his jaw and tucked in the shirt with motions that seemed forced; hating himself for allowing these petty emotions of curiosity - and something else he wasn’t quite sure of - to plague him.


Does it take them that long to have sex? he pondered in disbelief when the twenty-minute mark was reached.


He had no idea the routine gay couples went through, though he doubted they were under the same pressures of performing (sometimes) tedious foreplay with women who were picky about activities in the bedroom. He would assume that men simply went straight to the point, got it over and done with and moved on. Just what the hell were they doing anyway? Taking turns to take it up in the ass? Giving each other lingering and thorough blow jobs? Or were they simply having a deep dialogue that only gay men could appreciate? Was Naruto spilling his guts to Sai because Sai would ‘understand’ better?




Sasuke stiffened and felt an ache that was unexplainable sear through his chest. What if that was it? What if Naruto opened up more to Sai than he had to him? What if Naruto had been guarded with Sasuke all this time because he was straight when, in reality, he felt more comfortable being with Sai? Something about that bothered the salesman more than he cared to admit. He wouldn’t categorize it as being possessive of the intimate details of Naruto’s life, but it had genuinely felt good to hear more about Naruto’s childhood and family. The conversation in the onsen had meant a lot to him and he had assumed the same for Naruto as well. Sasuke had vowed then to reveal more of his life to the blond should he pester. He had discovered he wanted to talk…and talk…and talk; to spill his guts to Naruto and to make him understand what kind of a life he had led and what plans he had for the future. He had felt Naruto would listen, be non-judgmental and would probably sympathize with him.


But can I truly do that? he wondered morosely as he stepped out to the veranda to watch the dawn break over the mountains in the horizon. I’m not a part of his world and there are some things I might not be able to relate to. We’ll always be alienated from each other because of that.


He sighed and promptly stiffened as there came a light knock on the door. His first thought was that Naruto had returned (though he had to wonder why the blond would even knock in the first place), and his heart and stomach seemed to leap with nervous butterflies. How would Naruto look? What expression was he going to have on that face? Satisfaction? Satiation? Still aglow from the rigors of sex? Disappointment? The latter Sasuke hoped for desperately, but to his chagrin, the knocker was only one of the landlady’s daughters seeking the tray from last night and wanting to know if he was ready for breakfast.


“In about ten minutes,” he replied with a polite smile; as he glanced at the clock again.


Ten minutes was all he was giving those two and if Naruto didn’t show his face here by then, Sasuke was going to hunt them down and break up their activities no matter how embarrassing the situation was.





He unrolled the used condom slowly; their panting and heavy breathing still filling the room from the intense nearly ten-minute fuck session. He briefly admired the translucent glow of his semen within the white rubber before tossing it into a bin in the corner. Let Sai take care of that since that was his job anyway. He was allowed to have another view of the now reddened ass (thanks to Naruto’s tight grip), before Sai lowered the yukata to cover himself. He turned around; his features flushed and wet with sweat (for there really was no air conditioning in this closet of a room), but with a smug smile of satisfaction on his lips. The stains from his orgasm were evident on the front of his robe and the wall where Naruto had pinned him for the duration of their antics. He tried to reach out to kiss the blond, but Naruto was already pulling away, while tying his yukata.


“I should be going,” he said with what he hoped was regret. It wasn’t as if he had hated what happened, in fact, he would dare say it was one of the best experiences he’s ever had so far. Sai was obviously good at what he did, and the blowjob was so expertly performed, Naruto was sure his cock was going to continue throbbing – in a good way - for the better part of the day. Watching Sai go down on him had been a lesson of concentrated self-control; for when that head had begun to bob back and forth (where each time that mouth and throat seemed to take more and more of his cock into it), Naruto could swear the slicked black tresses suddenly seemed to develop the familiar spikes that could only belong to one person. It got so bad, he had to actually slap a hand over his mouth – just as he was about to explode – when the name ‘Sasuke’ had threatened to slip past his lips. It got no better during anal; and it was his suggestion that Sai use the wall as leverage for he was sure if he had the twink lying on the floor, he would have been unable to look into that face without giving away his emotional conflict.


Imagining it was Sasuke below him and wondering how that now familiar deep voice would moan his name over and over just as he came…


(fuck…I’m getting hard again just thinking about it!)


“You were wonderful,” Sai was saying as he wiped himself with a towel from one of the many piles in the corner. “I wish you were staying for more than a day.”


“Me too.” Lie.


“That man with you…” Sai began, causing Naruto to stiffen. “Is he a tough trade?”


Tough trade, eh? It was a term reserved for hot men who were challenges to get into bed. Well, there was no doubt Sasuke fit into that category except for one little thing…


“He’s not one of us,” Naruto explained with a shrug, and at the pitying look he received from Sai, he almost felt like defending the salesman. “Look, we’re just traveling together. It’s not as if we’re in that kind of a relationship. We’re just… friends.”


(since when?!)


“Ooh? He looked like he was ready to kill me earlier,” Sai remarked with a chuckle. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he’s perhaps thinking of you as more than just a friend. The straight boys are always curious, don’t you know?”


Naruto eyed Sai; ignoring this little information about Sasuke’s potential jealousy though the gentle flutter in the pit of his stomach betrayed him. “Let me guess. You’ve managed to convert quite a few straight customers, right? Why else would this room…closet…come fully ‘equipped’ with condoms and lubes? Does your Mom know what you do in  your spare time?”


Sai smirked and licked his fingers slowly. “If you think I’m bad, you should see my sisters in action. Buuuut maybe you’re right. It’s always fun watching the alleged straight men realize just how good it can be with another male. You’d think they’ve never had sex in their lives, but then again, having it with women can be such a bore.” He made a face and rolled his eyes. “I think you should try playing with your little companion there.”


“Not going to happen,” Naruto interrupted with a firm shake of his head. “As I said, we’re nothing but friends.”


“So boring.”


“Yeah whatever.”


“But he wants it,” Sai cajoled as he moved in again to drape an arm over Naruto’s shoulder. “I could sense it. Does he know you’re -”




“Oooh? This makes things even more interesting.”


“Cut it out, and let me go. He’s going to get upset if I don’t show up soon.”


Sai shivered and looked positively ecstatic. “The perfect top. Domineering. Possessive though probably insecure about his place in your relationship and wouldn’t mind being a sub every now and then to keep you happy. Hmm… I wouldn’t mind having his meat shoved up my ass -”


“That’s enough.”


“Like you haven’t fantasized about that either.”


“What my fantasies are, are none of your concern! Now if you don’t mind I’d like to go back to my room.”


He withdrew from Sai’s grasp and made his way to the door when Sai slid in between them, so fast Naruto would hardly have the time to duck the incoming kiss that was merciless. He hadn’t meant to have his mouth open, but Sai took advantage; thrusting his tongue as far as it would go; sucking on Naruto’s and grinding his hips against a groin that was already beginning to throb again with desire. Naruto cursed beneath his breath and with all the strength he could muster, he shoved Sai away and wiped his mouth emphatically.


“Good bye, Sai,” he clipped tightly.


“Good bye, my blond Adonis,” came the breathy response as Naruto all but fled from the room. He’d be left with the lingering words “come back soon. You know I’ll be waiting” which seemed to mock him as his footsteps quickened across the wooden floor. It wasn’t until he was standing before their room, did he take a deep breath to calm himself.


“Okay, Naruto…you’re fine. It’s all over. Lust dealt with…just…walk in there and act like nothing happened and -”


“Took you long enough,” came the low drawl from behind, which had him turning a million shades of red and spinning around so fast, he collided into the screen door and nearly caused it to rip from its hinges. Sasuke, who had left to deal with the bill for their overnight stay, shook his head and stepped into the room. Naruto’s expression told him everything. The blond wouldn’t need to open his mouth to give him the play-by-play because that was clearly the face of a man who had thoroughly enjoyed whatever had transpired.


It sickened him.


“I think you need to take another bath,” he stated coldly as he sat before the tray set up with their morning meal. “You reek of sex.”


Naruto – who couldn’t blush any harder if he tried – got the none-too-subtle hint. He muttered something about being back soon and bolted from the room before Sasuke could say anything else.




How embarrassing, and what was worse? He was sure that things were definitely going to be awkward between them from now on. He could feel it.





An hour later, they were back on the road after a morning spent being as uncomfortable with each other as possible. Naruto spent quite some time in the bathroom; a part of him mortified to be in the same room with Sasuke especially after being ‘caught’ so easily and knowing now – without a doubt – that the salesman had not approved. It hadn’t helped that Sai had showed up to say his farewell just as they were leaving; his barely perceptible blown-kiss causing Naruto to blush and Sasuke to scowl.  He told himself that he was a grown man, and what Sasuke thought about his intimate liaisons was really none of his concern, and yet here he was…feeling dejected about the whole thing. Sasuke, for his part, hadn’t really gone out of his way to mention the incident or allude to it (besides the smell) and had even made his usual polite conversation where possible.


“We should be in Yokohama by tomorrow morning,” Sasuke was saying as he fidgeted with the settings on his GPS. “Try to get some sleep if you can because you might be driving through the night.”


“Okay…” came the listless reply.


Sasuke glanced at the blond, who seemed to be tucked within himself; the black wool hat nearly covering his eyes as he stared at the window. He sighed in exasperation and tapped his fingers restlessly on the steering wheel.


“What the fuck is wrong with you now? You’ve been acting so…weird since whatever happened between you and that guy. Didn’t you enjoy it?”


Naruto closed his eyes as a rush of heat flowed through him. “I’ve not been acting weird. It’s you. You’re the one who…who -”


“I haven’t done anything, Naruto,” Sasuke said tightly. “Your paranoia about my feelings regarding your sexual activities are unfounded. Why should you care what I think anyway? You’re no longer a child, and I’m certainly not your father, so you’re free to do whatever the hell you want.”


“Yeah? But you said I smelled like sex when I came back,” Naruto huffed as he lifted his lashes to pin accusing eyes on his companion.


“Well you did,” came the incredulous reply.


“You don’t say stuff like that -”


“You expect me to eat with you smelling of Sai and semen?”


“Jesus, Sasuke! You come too, don’t you? You know what cum smells like! You didn’t have to make it sound like it was gross!”


“It’s gross because it’s filthy,” came the heated reply. “You should at least have the decency to wash up before being in another’s presence.”


“Oh forgive me for not being clean enough for Your Majesty,” Naruto sneered. “Next time, I’ll be sure to wash my ass or even have one large enema before being in your pristine presence!”


“Don’t be stupid,” Sasuke hissed.

“And don’t look down on me,” Naruto growled.


“I am not looking down on you. I don’t give a fuck if you decide to sleep with every other man from here to Yokohoma, but as long as you’re with me, you’ll respect the fact that you’re in my car and you’ll abide by my rules until I drop you off.”






The deafening silence after their outburst was only interrupted by the sounds of their rather ragged breathing; neither man aware their voices had been raised that high during the argument. Restless (and still upset for some reason), Sasuke changed the radio station with more force than necessary. He finally settled – reluctantly – for the news station, but Naruto was obviously not interested because he was already plugging into his iPod again; effectively tuning both Sasuke and the radio out.


“Are we too boring for you?” he asked bitterly before he could control himself.


Naruto spared him a cold glance. “What the hell are you talking about?”


“I’m talking about you listening to that damn thing.”


“You’ve got a problem with my music now?” He removed the earphones and turned to completely face Sasuke. “All right. That’s it. Start talking. It’s clear that you’ve got something to say about this whole thing and you had better say it or the next several hours are going to be extremely difficult for us. We’re almost to the finish line and here we are acting like we’ve got the plague!”


“There is nothing to talk about. It’s your paranoia -”


“I am not fucking paranoid! Stop saying that word!”


“Then why do you insist that there’s something bothering me regarding your personal affairs?”


“Because you’re acting like even more of a dick than usual! Go on, Sasuke! Say it! Say how revolting this all is to you. Tell me how you never really understood just how homosexual relationships work and now that you’ve seen it up close and personal, you can’t stand it!”


“Oh, get over yourself, Naruto,” Sasuke rolled his eyes. “You think you’re the only gay person I’ve hung around with?”


“Well congratulations on having a few extra gay friends,” Naruto sneered. “I’m glad you could add me to that list. What should I do next to make you stop looking at me like I’ve got some incurable disease?”


“Naruto -”


“Or maybe you really are just jealous like Sai said.”


“What?!” For a second the car nearly careened off the road before Sasuke could compose himself enough to straighten the wheel. He threw a furious glance at the smirking blond unable to believe what he had just heard.


“Don’t flatter yourself,” he finally gritted through clenched teeth. “I feel absolutely no such attraction for you whatsoever, Naruto.”


He failed to see the flash of pain come across Naruto’s visage, though it was masked with another sneer of derision. “Whatever you say. Denial is the first stage of acceptance.”


“What the hell does that mean?”




He turned to look forward again, willing his heart to stop hurting at how cold and blunt Sasuke’s dislike…well un-attraction of him had been. But then again…why the hell should he be getting all worked up about it? Hadn’t Sasuke made it clear from the beginning that he was straight all the way? Had he just put too much stock in Sai’s ramblings to see the clear picture? After a tension-filled minute, he stole a shy glance at Sasuke, feeling his heart sink when that expression was as stony as ever. He wondered if he had really crossed the line this time and if Sasuke was this close to telling him to get off at the next stop. However, he definitely wasn’t expecting the next words out of the salesman’s mouth.


“…did…eh…did you and Sai…talk about anything else besides my supposed jealousy?”


“Huh?” Naruto blinked in confusion.


Sasuke could feel the dull flush of heat to his cheeks. He couldn’t believe he was asking this to begin with. “I asked if you and Sai discussed anything else. You two spent quite some time alone.”


Yeah, with my dick in  his mouth and in his ass. There was hardly time to actually have any kind of conversation, Sasuke.


Naruto shrugged lightly and decided to say instead, “We didn’t talk...much.”


There was an awkward pause before Sasuke sighed heavily. He ran fingers through his hair once…twice…rubbed his forehead before gripping the wheel again.  “If you must know…the reason why I was acting a bit…distant is because I was…” He stopped and cleared his throat. “…I was…uh…worried you’d find him a much better companion.”




“I mean someone who could understand you better,” Sasuke explained quickly. He couldn’t look at Naruto and he was sure his face was flaming. This was too much to admit. He could feel those blue eyes boring holes into his flesh. Damn it.


“He’s like you,” Sasuke continued; fingers tightening even more around the steering wheel until his knuckles blanched. “I don’t know the gay code or whatever, but I felt if you spoke to him, he’d understand you more than I ever could, and you’d probably get bored with me and no longer wish to…well tell me more about yourself.”


(oh God…Sasuke you are…)


Naruto could feel the smile tugging at his lips even as his heart began to skip a little at just how freakin’ cute Sasuke looked at this very moment. It was the way his hair looked a little more dishelved, the light twitch of his right eye, the rosy hue on his cheeks that dared to be kissed for they made him look even younger. It was the way his lips seemed to pout; the lower lip sticking out just a little before it was captured between strong white teeth in a nervous gesture. If Naruto had a cell phone, this might have been a good opportunity to capture this vulnerable expression for posterity, but no, he’d have to rely on his memory banks to hold onto this side of Sasuke for as long as he lived.


“Look, it’s not as if I’m saying you owe me your life story,” Sasuke added in a rush as if afraid he was upsetting Naruto. “But after all this time on the road with you, I felt…feel…I don’t know…like…he didn’t deserve to know you as I do,” he finished in a self-conscious mumble.


There. He had said it. And now he was terrified at Naruto’s answer; to be shut out now would be harder than he could ever admit.


“I told you we didn’t get to talk much,” Naruto finally said softly. He couldn’t stop the smile any longer and he trained it on the salesman, who caught the expression and really did turn adorably red in response. “Like I’d tell Sai anything about me anyway. It was just a one-night stand, Sasuke. It meant nothing. He means nothing to me, all right?”


Sasuke mouth opened to say something, but the words couldn’t come out. There was a rush of relief so great to sear through him, his vision seemed to waver for a moment.


“…can’t believe you were worried about that all this time though. Why didn’t you just say that in the first place instead of being such a freakin’ drama queen?”


It would take another second to realize that Naruto was mumbling this about him; causing his embarrassment to come full circle.


“Sh…shut up!” he stammered and forced himself to scowl. “I was just concerned about you being so open with strangers. I don’t care if -”


“Yeah, yeah whatever, Mr. Salesman,” Naruto cut in with a chuckle as he curled up against the door and raised his magazine to his face. His heart still seemed to skip a beat with every breath, but it was now filled with a warmth that made him feel fuzzy…and good…and ridiculously pleased.


So what if Sasuke didn’t find him physically appealing? Naruto was beginning to realize that he would gladly trade in a moment of passion with the knowledge that Sasuke actually cared about him as a person.


Sometimes, something that simple could really make all the difference.




Chapter 05

Naruto Home

















Web page layout designed and coded by {suser:ladyoz}