The shrill sound of the alarm clock had a hand snaking out to knock it off its position on the nightstand. A muffled curse and a loud yawn heralded the awakening of a teary eyed blond shinobi from the warm confines of his sleep. The familiar black nightcap lay askew on his shaggy locks and as he stumbled out of bed (almost falling to the floor in his haste), he stared at the large calendar with a small smile breaking out on his visage.

There was no denying the large red circle and the big X that marked a certain date.

It was his birthday!

And Iruka-sensei had promised to take him to buy some ramen. Heh, even Pervy-senin had promised to do something good for him today. He just hoped it wouldn’t have anything to do with them going to spy on women in another bathhouse.

“Ah, it’s going to be an awesome day! I had just better give myself a good shower and get ready to face them.”

And humming softly to himself, he made his way into the shower to get ready.

Iruka eyed the money in his hands. It should be enough to buy Naruto ramen and a gift or two. With his brows furrowed in thought, he began to make his way down the street and toward Naruto’s house. He was so lost in them that he hardly noticed the boy that was now standing before him.

“Ohayo, Iruka-sensei,” came the polite greeting.

The chuunin lifted his head quickly and could only gawk at the genin in surprise. Had the boy actually…? “Sas…Sasuke?” he asked in confusion. What could the genius shinobi want? “Is there something you wanted?”

Sasuke shifted his foot from one side to the other, a movement that sent Iruka’s brows quirking in even more surprise. Was Sasuke actually feeling nervous about something? If so, this was a definite first.

Sasuke kept his gaze firmly fixed on a spot above the older man’s face. He couldn’t look into the chuunin’s eyes or he was sure he would lose the nerve he had been working up all morning to do this.

“I was just wondering if you could let me take Naruto to the ramen shop instead,” Sasuke finally muttered quickly. “I know you take him there every year but…I just thought that…”

Iruka smiled warmly and was already giving a nod of approval. “That would be fine, Sasuke. And besides, I think it would be better for you to share it with him instead of me all the time.”

For a moment, Sasuke looked surprised at the fact that his request had been accepted so quickly. He wasn’t sure of what to do for a while as a shameful pink hue filled his cheeks. But giving a quick bow of gratitude, he replied softly. “Thank you, Iruka-sensei.”

“No problem! You two have fun, okay?”

The flush on his cheeks got darker as the boy began to walk away. “I…eh…I hope so.” And giving the teacher a light wave, he began to make his way toward his rival’s house.

His heart rate was pounding much faster than he would have liked.

Naruto hummed softly to himself as he fixed his headband carefully on his head.

Ramen! Ramen! Ramen! He thought with a wide grin. And not just any kind, but it was going to be served with yakisoba! The kind he had always wanted but never really gotten after all these years.

Iruka-sensei had promised to be waiting for him outside by…

“Aiee!! It’s time already!”

He shoved his feet into his shoes quickly, before giving his apartment a quick look over for anything that seemed out of place. Patting his pockets for some spare change, he grinned in satisfaction and quickly dashed out of the room. He locked the door and almost screamed in surprise at the boy that was standing right outside said door.

His hand flew to his chest, his eyes widening in shock before bellowing out angrily. “What the hell do you think you are doing, Sasuke? Why are you here?!”

“Shut up, Naruto,” Sasuke whispered back angrily as several people had begun to look at them with curiosity. “Just follow me, okay?”

“And why would I want to follow you?!” Apparently, Naruto had no plans to keep his voice down or give Sasuke the benefit of the doubt. He was supposed to be meeting Iruka-sensei and not his nemesis. Why was his birthday already off to a bad start?

Thinking that his well-thought out plan was going to be foiled by the stubborn blond, Sasuke hissed back in growing irritation. “Damn it! I’m only taking you to the ramen place, so shut up already!”

At the sound of his favorite word, Naruto perked up in pleasure. “Hey, hey! Why didn’t you say that earlier? Are we going to meet Iruka-sensei or Pervy-senin? Eh? Eh?”

Jealousy, like a hot flame, seared through his body at the fact that Naruto could only think of those two as possible candidates for ‘eating partners’. Well, it wasn’t as if he had ever invited Naruto to a ramen shop before, so it really shouldn’t have surprised him that much. With a groan, the dark-haired shinobi nodded softly.

“Yeah, we are going to meet Iruka-sensei there.”

“Awesome!” Naruto cried out in pleasure as he began to lead the way towards said shop without really giving the situation much of a second thought. As long as Sasuke was taking him to a place of good food and happy memories, he could manage to remain in the presence of the dark-haired boy a little longer. He placed his hands behind his head and continued to walk a bit faster.

"Hurry up, Sasuke," he called out impatiently. "By the time we get there, Iruka-sensei might have given up and gone back home."

The lone survivor of the Uchiha clan gave a non-committal snort and continued to walk at his own pace behind the vivacious blond. He stuck his hands deep into the pockets of his pants and kicked at a stone on the ground absently. He felt miserable inside. Naruto didn't really care about him, it seemed. He was sure that if the blond's brain was dissected for further investigation, they would only find the words 'ramen' stuck all over it. Didn't Naruto ever think of anything else? Well, there was Iruka and Jiraiya, whom had somehow become the blond's best friends. The jealousy he had felt earlier came roaring back again as Sasuke eyed Naruto silently. He had thought this opportunity would be the best time to tell the blond just how he felt. But now...he wasn't so sure.

"We're here!" Naruto screamed in glee as he reached out to place a hand on his silent companion's arm. Tugging the unresisting boy into the small street side shop, he blinked in confusion as only the owner greeted them with a wide grin.

"Ohayo, Naruto-kun! Ah, and you too, Sasuke! Have a seat, both of you!"

"Eh?! Anou-san, anou-san! Where is Iruka-sensei?" came the petulant cry as Naruto leaned over the counter to peer into the older man's face.

The man scratched his head slowly. "He hasn't been here yet, Naruto. So, why don't you have a seat and wait for him, okay?"

Naruto pouted and plopped down on an available stool. He turned to glare at Sasuke as if this was all his fault. "Where is Iruka-sensei? You told me he was going to be here."

The dark-haired shinobi gave a small shrug and sat down beside his teammate. "I don't know where he is. He just told me to bring you here, that's all."

He gave a small gasp of surprise as Naruto's face suddenly blocked his view. Feeling his cheeks darken with color, he tried to say something to get the boy out of his face.


"I don't believe you," came the astute observation as Naruto noticed the red flush on his companion's face. "Iruka-sensei isn't coming, is he?"


"No matter!" the blond cried out with a wide grin. "You are treating me to ramen and that's all that matters, ne? Ne?"

And giving Sasuke even more cause to blush in embarrassment, the blond gave him a crushing hug and promptly raised his hand to place an order.

"I'm ready to eat now! Sasuke is treating me today. Although, I won't say I'm not surprised!"

The owner of the store laughed heartily and gave the dark-haired boy a knowing look. The genius genin had come in earlier and had pleaded with him to make the shop empty for the evening. At first he had been skeptical of losing customers, but seeing the desperate look in the boy's eyes had made him change his mind. Besides, it was for a few hours and so it couldn't really hurt.

Naruto's cry of ‘Itaidakimasu!!’ broke his reverie and he smiled softly at the picture the two boys made. While the blond looked absolutely thrilled at the food before him (he was already slurping like a maniac), Sasuke remained quiet on his stool, his chopsticks swirling around the bowl of noodles slowly as if in deep thought. Deciding that it wasn't really his business, he turned around and continued to deal with the business of counting his earnings for the day, leaving the boys alone to their own devices.

/ have to do this now, Sasuke./

He stole a quick glance at Naruto. The blond had stuffed his mouth with noodles and had a glow of pure delight on his features, which had Sasuke’s heart beating a little faster. He wished he could be the one giving Naruto cause for that look instead of the food. His fingers tightened around the chopsticks as his gaze drifted to the tongue that had darted out to lick full red lips gently.

/Kiss...I want to…I want to kiss him. It will be quick...he won't even notice it.../

He wasn’t even sure of why he wanted to do such a thing in the first place, but Sasuke felt that perhaps it would be the perfect way to show the blond a hint of his true feelings.

And just as Naruto was about to fill his mouth with another pile of noodles, Sasuke moved closer to the blond and pressed his lips against the surprised parted ones before him. The first thing to cross his mind was just how warm, soft and delicious Naruto's lips tasted. It had to do with the noodles of course, but to Sasuke, that was furthest thing from his mind. And since Naruto's mouth had opened up in shock, the genin dared to steal a quick taste of the blond's tongue, before pulling away just as quickly as he had moved in.

Naruto looked comical with his mouth still opened in surprise and the noodles he had lifted with his chopsticks still hanging in mid-air. What had just happened? One minute he had been ready to eat, the next thing, Sasuke was...was...

Kuso! Did Sasuke just kiss him?! That good for nothing bastard!

But then hadn't been so bad. In fact, while his mind was still trying to register just how and why Sasuke had done that, he couldn't help thinking of how sweet and soft the dark-haired lips had felt against his.

He turned to glance at his partner, but Sasuke was staring at his ramen as if it was the most fascinating thing in the world. If it wasn't for the tell-tale hue of red on his cheeks, Naruto could have sworn that everything had been one big hallucination. He grinned and slurped his remaining noodles hungrily, before wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

"Aaah! That was good, Sasuke," he lowered his voice and finished quietly. "They...were both good." He could feel his face heat up as well as he suddenly felt a wave of shyness wash over him. "Ah...thank thank you, alright?"

A small smile came to the dark-haired shinobi's face as he finally lifted his gaze to look at his flushed friend. "Happy birthday, Naruto," he muttered softly, feeling a dull giddiness fill his heart as he realized that he had brought that color on his rival's face. It wasn't Jiraiya or Iruka he was thinking about now. It was him. Naruto was finally aware of him. "I didn't really know what to get you..."

The blond placed a hand over his mouth to silence his words, as his eyes sparkled with amusement and pleasure. "Just being with you is enough, Sasuke. Aaand the fact that you paid for the ramen," he added with a snicker.

Sasuke chuckled softly. "No problem. But...are you… eh...are you upset with me...for doing that?"

Naruto pursed his lips as if in serious thought, knowing full well what Sasuke meant. "Doing what?"

"Baka," came the insult that really had no venom in it. "Kissing you..."

"Ooooh, that..."

"Well?" Sasuke asked a bit impatiently as Naruto made no effort to continue.

"What about it?" came the teasing question as the kyuubi rose to his feet and stretched. He placed his hands behind his head again and began to make his way out of the shop. Sasuke growled beneath his breath, paid the money for the meal quickly and practically ran after the blond.

"Well? Did you like it or not?" he asked again, somehow needing to know the answer.

Naruto froze in his tracks and without turning around to face Sasuke, he finally replied quietly. " was alright." He cocked his head to the side and slid a wicked grin at his companion.

"But I think you need more practice, Sasuke. You kiss like a...girl..."

And hardly waiting for his companion's reaction, he took off like the devil was on his tail. He could hear Sasuke running after him and he laughed in glee. He might not have gotten the birthday he had imagined this morning, but knowing that the rest of the day was going to be spent in the company of his rival made it seem even better.

Thank you, Sasuke for giving me the best birthday gift...

~The End~

Naruto Fiction

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