“Tadaa,” Naruto announced with a flourish, even though his cheeks were flushed with heat. It wasn’t his first time inviting anyone to his bedroom – after all Shika and the others had spent many days and nights here. It was knowing that Sasuke was now walking around and eyeing his things, with what looked like interest… that made him feel funny inside. Probably the same way he would have felt if he brought some hot babe to his room for the first time. Never was he more grateful that his room wasn’t in its usual state of chaos. He blessed Ms. Fuyutsuki with a quick prayer of gratitude.
“Not as big as your place,” Naruto said aloud as he shut the door behind them…and promptly wished he could re-open it. Heart pounding harder, Naruto was beginning to doubt his earlier decision. Maybe it was a bad idea inviting Sasuke up here. The intimacy level was…
Argh! Focus! Focus! This is for studying only! No games! No fun…just…
“For such a big house, your room is pretty cozy,” Sasuke observed as he walked up to the landscape windows and pulled aside the heavy, blue curtains which showed a gorgeous view of rolling lawns and gardens behind the house. Naruto’s room was definitely smaller than his, but the blond had given it his unique touch, and everything just about screamed ‘Uzumaki Naruto’.
For all his sullen nature, it seemed like Naruto liked bright and colorful things. His bed, which Sasuke had done his best not to stare at for too long - as the sinful image of Naruto sleeping in the buff had filled his mind immediately - was King size, and neatly made with cotton sheets in hues of white and navy lines/polka dots. Two large beanbags in neon yellow and orange took up another portion of the room. There was no couch, but who needed that when you had those two bright monstrosities in here. The flat screen plasma T.V. was hooked up to a video console that any gamer geek would have loved to toy with, while an entertainment center with his CD and DVD player completed the hi-tech area. There was a desk with a computer whose design looked like something out of a sci-fi novel. Naruto must have customized it himself. Besides the computer, the desk was as clean as it could possibly be…if you counted all the gamer magazines and cheat sheets scattered all over the place. Naruto had even put a sign for Ms. Fuyutsuki (DO NOT TOUCH!) and she apparently kept to that rule. His bookshelf housed the necessary books, and Sasuke was surprised to find most of them were made up of contemporary and classic literature…although a part of him wondered when last Naruto opened any of them.
Some anime figurines had been added for decoration as well as the famous doraemon mask which loomed at the top of the shelf like an evil demon watching over the room. There were also frog references here and there. Two intricately designed and rather large frogs (about knee high) sat like sentry at each side of Naruto’s bed. Sasuke’s sharp eye noticed an oddity of sorts as he reached out for a large stuffed keroppi doll, which had been sitting on the floor beside Naruto’s bed. He couldn’t help the small smile that came to his lips at how childish and yet cute the whole thing was. On closer inspection, Sasuke could see that it looked old and worn…obviously well- loved.
“My parents gave that to me on my fifth birthday,” Naruto explained as he shrugged out of his blazer. “It’s old but…I like it.” He shrugged and gave a small smile before walking into his closet as if to excuse himself for revealing something so personal.
Sasuke held the doll tighter against his chest at the realization that this must be one of the few things Naruto had to remember his parents by. His gaze, eventually, fell on the picture on the nightstand next to Naruto’s bed. He lifted the silver-framed portrait of the handsome grinning blond man and his beautiful red-haired wife. Between them sat a chubby Naruto (who must have been about three or even younger) at the time. Their faces looked so happy and full of life…filled with promises of what the future would hold for their little family.
Sasuke swallowed the hard lump that filled his throat. It just didn’t seem fair for their lives to be cut short so soon.
Naruto…I’m so sorry…
“What are you doing standing there for?” came the rude interruption. “Let’s get this thing started before I lose my interest.”
“Shut the fuck up,” Sasuke mumbled as he placed the picture back as well as the doll. “You should be begging me, asshole.”
“I am begging you,” Naruto huffed. “Begging you to hurry up and get this over and done with.”
“You don’t have to make it seem like you’re about to get a root canal,” Sasuke retorted as he plopped on a beanbag and promptly cursed in surprise at how deep he sank into it. “Maybe I should just sit on the floor.”
“Maybe you should.” Naruto was trying hard not to laugh as he watched Sasuke struggle to escape from the clutches of the beanbag. Finally, and with another muttered curse, he extricated himself and sat beside the grinning Naruto, trying to glare in frustration as the boy raised his hand and waved it with exaggerated enthusiasm.
“All ready for your teaching, sensei!”
Sasuke shook his head and dug into his backpack for his textbooks. “All right, Naruto. Let’s see what we’ve got to work with here…”
A half-hour later, Sasuke gawked at the scores before him in growing dismay. He looked up and into Naruto’s indignant expression, wondering how to put this without sounding too…
“You suck, Naruto.”
“You got only one question right, for God’s sake! Were you even trying?!”
“Of course I was trying! You saw the effort I put into it!”
Yes, there was effort all right, as Naruto had been gnawing both fingers and pen while trying to work out the ten questions from the homework Iruka sensei had given them. “Naruto…” Sasuke opened and then closed his mouth again, before saying, “All right. Why don’t we try it again, okay? How about…” He pulled out ten basic questions from the beginning of the text book. “Let’s see you work these out.”
He listened to the grumble and hid a small smile, trying to focus on his History assignments even though his entire being was attuned to the boy sitting beside him. Naruto’s features were scrunched up in concentration, his lower lip caught between his teeth as those amazing blue eyes darted back and forth across the paper. Sasuke noted the blond’s way of writing…how he seemed to lean into the notebook, his strokes strong and yet careless. He shook his head and turned to his work again. This was no time to be admiring every little bitty thing about Naruto. He had work to do himself.
Twenty minutes later.
“Hmmm…what?” Naruto huffed, ready to explode if Sasuke tried to say he was stupid.
“At least you got five right this time, so there’s hope.”
“What do you mean I got five?” Naruto snatched the paper from Sasuke and eyed the other boy’s red marks. “What? You’re sure that’s not the right answer?” He pointed towards a question. “I could have sworn it was the right one. Check it again.”
Sasuke worked out the problem step-by-step, trying hard not to blush as Naruto had moved closer to peer into the paper he was writing on. Damn his awareness of every single thing! Naruto’s warm breath tickled his cheek and ear, and his torture was made worse as Naruto suddenly reached out for Sasuke’s hand…well not really, just to take away the pencil to work on the rest of the problem himself.
“I get it now,” Naruto mumbled. “Shit…and I really thought it was…”
“See? You’re not so dumb after all,” Sasuke said quietly, his stomach muscles clenching with nerves and growing need. He had promised not to do anything – no hanky-panky and to keep his damn hands to himself, but …man! Why the fuck did Naruto have to look so damn good?!
“Of course I’m not dumb!” Naruto argued and then sat back with a heavy sigh. “Studying gives me a headache.”
“Maybe you should just go about it the right way, that’s all. Studying can be… fun.”
Naruto’s face seemed to flit with conflicting emotions, before he finally muttered softly. “Fun…huh?”
Sasuke leaned back as well, and they fell into companionable silence for a while, before Naruto spoke quietly. “I stopped having any real fun the day they died…”
Sasuke remained silent, aware that Naruto was revealing a part of himself again to him. He wanted to hold on to this moment of vulnerability, to peel apart the thick layers of toughness Naruto had covered himself with over the years.
“They dropped me off at the nanny’s that evening…they wanted to go out for a date night. It was raining pretty hard on their way back…the police said they must have been trying to swerve out of the way of an incoming truck, but my dad couldn’t move fast enough and crashed over the embankment and fell…and…” He took a deep breath and rubbed his forehead. His gaze looked distant yet vacant as he continued. “Their bodies were barely recognizable. Burned pretty badly…but they did manage to salvage one thing.” With surprisingly steady fingers, he undid the top two buttons of his shirt to reveal what lay beyond the narrow black cord that was usually seen around his neck. It was a crystal prism – about a finger length - flanked by two smaller spheres. It seemed to glow against his pale skin, but on closer inspection, one could see the tiny smudges of soot that would never go away. A macabre reminder of what had transpired and where it had been found.
“It was my mom’s,” Naruto explained as he caressed the jewelry. “Dad gave it to her the day I was born. She used to wear it all the time…said it brought her good luck. Fat load of good that did.” He redid the buttons and shrugged lightly. “I remember the police standing at the door that night…how the nanny had held on to me, crying and saying she was so sorry. I didn’t get it. I wanted my mom and dad back and they were taking too damn long to get home. I think I kept asking her when they were coming back over and over again. I’d stand by the door or the window…looking out and wondering how long their so-called date night was supposed to take. Even though I was moved from place to place…even though I must have attended the funeral…it just didn’t sink in, you know? Whose funeral was I attending? Why were my mom and dad’s picture up there in that sea of flowers? Why were all those people wearing black and crying? What the fuck were they crying for? My parents were going to come back. They just had to! We still had so many things to do together, goddamn it! They had no right to leave me alone like that! None! It just wasn’t…!”
Whatever else he would have said was muffled against Sasuke’s chest as his breath hitched in pain. Without thinking much about it, Naruto clung tightly to the boy’s shirt, eyes burning as the tears fell hard and fast. His raw cries were buried against the white cloth, soaking through as the warmth of Sasuke’s body made him even more despondent. He sagged in defeat within Sasuke’s strong arms, more than glad the other boy was saying nothing, but simply allowing him to let go of all the emotional baggage he had stored up for so long. He was faintly alarmed at how much this hurt…never imagined that crumbling down like this would be so painful. Not even Ms. Fuyutsuki had been able to break through the wall he had erected over the years. Jiraiya had tried, but Naruto had been quick to resist all attempts to be ‘healed’ from the emotional scars, preferring to mask them away with helpless fury and false joviality.
Twice. Twice now he had given in to Sasuke. What the hell kind of power did this guy have to make him want to confess everything? It wasn’t as if Sasuke had asked him to open his mouth, and yet, each time they were alone like this, Naruto wanted…no needed to tell all…to let Sasuke know just what he was really made of. Perhaps he secretly wanted to prove he was a whole lot more than just a piece of meat for his appraisal and wanted so badly to be accepted for his other faults. He had to let Sasuke know he wasn’t a complete tool. He was human too…he hurt just like everyone else…
What do you really think of me now, Sasuke? Why don’t you reject me?
“You promised not to touch me,” he finally whispered, sniffling and pulling away slowly, now embarrassed as he was unable to look into the, no doubt, pitying dark eyes before him.
“I know,” came the hoarse response, which would lead one to believe that Sasuke was doing his damn best not to get too emotional himself. “I won’t…anymore. I’m sorry…I just…”
“You’ve made me cry twice,” Naruto muttered as if accusing him.
“I didn’t mean to, Naruto…but…”
Naruto flushed at the sincerity in those two words and stole a quick glance to see just what Sasuke was trying to pull. What he saw had his heart skipping a beat. Those dark eyes were too bright with unshed tears, but there was a small smile on the boy’s lips.
“I’m glad you told me about yourself, Naruto. Even though I know you still hate me…somewhat…”
“I don’t hate you,” Naruto said quickly, and then lowered his gaze again, kicking himself inwardly for that admission. “I just…don’t like the way you go about doing some things, I guess…”
God, that sounded hella lame.
Sasuke’s smile widened. “So you like me…?”
“Don’t get too happy, moron.”
“But at least you don’t hate me, so there’s a chance that…”
“I’m not sleeping with you, goddamn it!”
“Is that all you think about?! I just spilled my guts to you and all you can think about is having sex with…mmmpff!”
This time, Sasuke had wrapped his arms around Naruto’s neck – his intention, a quick hug - but the move was so sudden that it had them both falling to the floor.
“Get off me,” Naruto argued albeit weakly. The warmth and feel of Sasuke above him was something he realized he enjoyed…more than he ought to. He didn’t know what shampoo or soap Sasuke used, but whatever it was, the boy smelled great.
Fuck my mind and where it tends to wander off to. Grief!
“I want to have more than sex with you, Naruto,” came the breathless whisper against Naruto’s neck. Sasuke smiled as he felt the rapid pulse beating in the hollow of the blond’s neck, and the undeniable swell of awareness below the belt. “I want to know everything about you. I want to make you smile and laugh and…”
“Are you saying you’re in love with me?” Naruto asked in a voice that trembled, holding his breath and wondering what the answer would be. If Sasuke said yes….
Oddly enough, Sasuke’s face went a bright beet red, and before Naruto could blink, he was on his feet. “In…in love with you? Hell no!”
Well this was a surprise…
Naruto sat up, a frown on his features. “You’re not?”
“Why…why the hell would I be in lo…love with you?”
“So what’s all this for? You’re just doing it to have sex with me after all, you pervert!”
“I want to have sex with you, yes, but…I want it to mean something to you as well, for fuck’s sake!”
Naruto rubbed his temples. “Oy, Sasuke…I’m beginning to wonder if you even understand the concept of love.”
Sasuke rolled his eyes. “Look who’s talking. You wouldn’t know if someone was in love with you even if they had a neon sign saying ‘NARUTO! I LOVE YOU! ‘ written all over it.”
“I do too!”
Sasuke’s scowl was even darker. Who the fuck was Naruto to twist things around like this and confuse the hell of out of him?
“I’m going home,” he suddenly announced as he reached for his books.
Naruto blinked. “But you haven’t taught me anything!”
“Maybe this was a bad idea. I can’t do this…I can’t…”
“Will this change your mind then?”
Sasuke wasn’t sure what was more surprising or shocking to his senses – the fact that he was lying on his back on the floor with Naruto pressed tightly against him, or the fact that Naruto was actually…kissing him with a passion that had his entire being springing to life again.
Holy…so this is Naruto being aggressive? I love it…!
Not to be outdone, Sasuke responded in kind, thrusting up and hard against Naruto’s hips as his hands clutched and gripped the shirt like a lifeline. There was a rough mash of tongues and teeth, both boys seeming to battle this one out to see who would have the upper hand. It was a heady sensation as Sasuke hooked a leg around Naruto’s to flip him over in a deft move.
“Aah…goddamn it….Sasuke…” Naruto gasped as his sensitive body flared up with heat. Sasuke’s teeth grazed against his neck and down to that pounding hollow of his neck where he dipped his tongue and licked gently. Naruto arched off the floor, squeezing his eyes shut and unable to believe that such a little act was enough to get him even more aroused.
The buttons of his shirt were slowly being undone and the sudden sensation of Sasuke’s teeth and then tongue against a nipple had Naruto slapping a hand over his mouth to control his cry of pleasure. Sasuke took his time tasting the hardened pink nub, a part of him wanting to erase the memory of Kiba doing this…wanting to stake his claim and to make the blond all his in every possible way. He spared a quick glance upwards and almost came in his pants at how sensuous Naruto looked. He had always had an idea of Naruto’s sensitivity to such intimate touches, but this was beyond his wildest dreams. There was now no doubt in Sasuke’s mind that Naruto was highly sexual, and anything was more than likely to have him melting with lust.
God, you drive me fucking wild, Naruto. You have no idea…
“Naruto…” he moaned, as he placed a tender kiss on the clenching muscles of the blond’s heaving torso. “My…Naru…”
“Oooh boys…” came the light knock on the door which had Sasuke sitting up with a jerk just as Ms. Fuyutsuki stuck her head in. “Sorry to interrupt your study session, but I thought you boys would like some refreshments. I’ll just leave it here by the door, okay?”
Sitting before Naruto, so she wouldn’t notice him, while frantically tugging the blond’s shirt together at the same time, Sasuke tried to smile and look less flustered. “Than…thank you, ma’am.”
“Is Naruto okay?” she asked, smiling warmly. From the doorway, it was hard to see Naruto lying on the floor beside the ginormous beanbags, so he was relatively safe.
“He’s…eh…fine…” Sasuke answered. “He just had to use the bathroom.”
“Oh, okay then…well enjoy the snacks and work hard, okay?”
“You bet we will.”
Once the door was shut behind her, Sasuke was knocked on the head, as Naruto rose to his feet on unsteady legs and tried to gather himself. “Don’t fucking touch me again, or I’ll kill you.” It was a pity he was blushing hard as he said this, while making his way to the tray of cupcakes and what looked like apple juice.
“You started it,” Sasuke replied with a smirk as he made his way to the tray as well. “That was a nice way of convincing me to stay, Naruto.” He leaned close to steal a quick kiss on Naruto’s cheek, only to duck as a fist came flying his way.
“I mean it, Sasuke. You promised, remember?”
Sasuke closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and then opened them with a firm nod and a serious look on his countenance now. “You’re right. Enough with the kidding. Why don’t we move to someplace other than the bedroom, eh?”
“Fine with me. Get the tray. I’ll get the books and show you the way to the library up here. We can work there and you promise you’ll keep your hands….”
“Yeah, yeah, I won’t touch you. Jesus. It’s not as if you don’t like it.”
“I never said I didn’t like it,” Naruto confessed, glad Sasuke couldn’t see his face as he muttered this. “I just can’t concentrate when you keep doing that and despite what you might think, I really do want to pass that test. To prove to everyone that I’m not as dumb as they think I am.”
He stopped and spun around to pin a look so intense that it had Sasuke’s heart racing in response.
“Will you help me, Sasuke? This time I’m begging you for real.”
“Sure,” came the soft whisper filled with an emotion Sasuke was yet to define. “I’ll help you for as long as you need me.”