Just one measly kiss. It’s not as if I fucking raped him! Why the hell did he have to run away like that for?
But then again…who was he kidding? As angry as he tried to be, Sasuke was still floating on air and considering it was a Monday - his least favorite day of the week - he was feeling less irritated than he normally would. All weekend, he had spent as much time reliving those precious few moments with Naruto. He still had to pinch himself to make sure the entire thing hadn’t been a dream, but no, he had woken up the next morning to find the same video games he had played with Naruto still on the floor, a few tufts of his tell-tale blond locks still left on the couch, and Mikoto reminding him of that ‘nice-young-man-who-did-leave-in-quite-a-hurry’ while having breakfast.
As he slipped into his school shoes and closed his locker, he wondered if things would be awkward between them now. There was no doubt that Naruto had enjoyed it…or at least had been getting into it. The boy had responded. Sasuke had felt it and damn, had that done a number on him. He just couldn’t get over how sweet Naruto had tasted or how hard that toned body had felt beneath him…and let’s not even talk about when Naruto had thrust his hips…
Shit. Not a good time to get an erection, Uchiha Sasuke. Classes are about to…
“Sasuke? Sasuke! It’s you!” came the excited cry as Karin all but threw herself into his arms. He suffered her embrace, not really having the heart to shove her off due to all the stuff she’s done in the past few days. She could prove to be useful when she put her mind to it.
“How do you feel now?” She pulled back to eye him, noticing that the thick bandage once on his left cheek was, thankfully, now reduced to only a smaller band-aid. His color had returned and he wasn’t limping anymore which was a good thing.
“Looking good, captain,” Suigetsu hailed as he and Juugo arrived soon after. “Less road kill and more human.”
“Shut the fuck up,” Sasuke muttered, as began to lead the way to class. “My weekend was spent trying to get this damn body back in shape.” Among other things. “You try forcing yourself to run on the treadmill for hours on end to strengthen it again.”
“But at least you’re doing better now, that’s the most important thing,” Juugo said quietly, a small smile on his face. “I saw Uzumaki Naruto earlier. He looks okay too.”
At the mention of the blond’s name, it was all Sasuke could do not to falter in his step. He was doing a fine job maintaining that look of casual indifference, although his heart was currently doing the tango. If his need for Naruto had been on his to-do list before, the tantalizing sneak peek of how amazing they’d be together, on a physical level at least, was definitely not making things any easier for him. His awareness of the blond was even more heightened and the memory of those broken words whispered in the quiet of his room – a confession he was sure Naruto had never revealed to anyone else – gave Sasuke a glimmer of hope that maybe…just maybe Naruto was beginning to open up to him.
I want to know everything about you, Naruto. What makes you tick. What makes you happy or sad or …
“Earth to Uchiha Sasuke,” came the sing-song voice next to his ear, which forced him to look up and into the smiling visage of Haruno Sakura. What the hell did she want with him?
“We’re taking pictures of school teams, Sasuke,” she said, holding out a writing pad and a pen. “So, you’ll have to get your club members to show up on Wednesday afternoon after school…in their uniforms for the picture. It’s going to be in the senior yearbook, okay?”
He gave a light grunt in response as he signed on the paper before noticing he’d have to write down the names of all the teammates to show up. Once done, he handed the pad over. “That’s it, right?” he asked, impatience laced in his tone. “I don’t have to…”
“Eh? Naruto?” came the incredulous tone of disbelief from the pink-haired girl as she read through the names. “He really is a member of your club? That slacker? Haahaaha…” She faltered as she noticed the cold look that now filled Sasuke’s eyes, shivering as a feeling akin to murderous intent overwhelmed her. “What?” she said defensively. “I’m just surprised he’s in any club, that’s all. You know how lazy and irresponsible he is. You said so yourself the other day.”
“So what?” Sasuke replied in a voice that seemed devoid of emotion.
Sakura huffed. “Why would you want him on your team? He’s…”
“Perverted? Rude? Lazy? Dumb? Anything else I’m missing?” Sasuke replied with a sneer. His features suddenly darkened as he leaned closer to whisper into her ear. “You see what your eyes want you to see, Sakura. I see something else you will never see.”
And with that enigmatic response, he brushed past the stunned girl and into the noisy classroom, now wondering if he could catch Naruto sometime before practice this afternoon. They really did need to talk, even though he had the feeling that he was the last person the blond wanted to see anytime soon.
It wasn’t as hot as the other days, and Naruto basked in the sun’s warm rays as he lay on the rooftop, skipping his Math and Literature class before lunchtime. He closed his eyes, arms beneath his head as tendrils of smoke escaped his cigarette to mingle with the breeze. He had received an apologetic text message from Amaru, where she hoped Naruto wasn’t too upset with her for getting drunk or saying things that might have made him upset. A small smile came to his lips as he thought of the brief conversation they had this morning. Gone was the brazen gal with the leopard print bra and over the phone lines, Naruto could almost envision the ‘pure’ Amaru of his dreams, with her shy and slightly breathless voice. Won over, he had accepted an invitation to take her to the park this Saturday.
All that wasn’t enough to distract him from the events of last Friday night, no matter how hard he had worked on doing his best to forget about it all weekend. He had spent his Saturday hanging out with the guys at Shikamaru’s baseball game (Konoha won by two runs in the seventh inning), and later squandering their money at arcades and at the movies. Sunday was spent at the temple with Ms. Fuyutsuki and then his monthly pilgrimage to visit his parents’ graves. For some reason, that particular visit had been more poignant than the others, as he sat before them in meditative silence, asking them all the questions he couldn’t say out loud.
He knew he couldn’t be gay. He still liked girls and enjoyed everything about them (he was more than relieved to know he could still get a boner from a good porn scene as evidence from the flick they had watched in Chouji’s house Saturday night) but how else could he explain his freaking response to Sasuke’s kiss? Was it simply the enormity of the moment that got to him? That had to be it. Naruto had felt overwhelmed with his confession (and he was still kicking himself for opening up like that), so he figured he would have done the same thing if anyone was in the room with him at the time. It didn’t matter if it was Sasuke or Kiba or Amaru or anyone else. He had been vulnerable and goddamn Sasuke had taken advantage of the situation.
He turned on his side and tried to block out the sudden image of the way Sasuke had looked at him in the heat of the moment. Now he had an idea of why girls would throw themselves at his feet. Those dark eyes, which were usually expressionless, had come alive that night in his arms. Naruto couldn’t explain it, but hell…if looks could set a person on fire, Sasuke would have roasted him to a crisp easily.
Shit. Shit. Double shit!
Well, there really was only one thing to do now and that was pretend as if Friday had never happened. There was practice today at the dojo and short of acting like Sasuke didn’t exist, Naruto figured he’d have to play it cool and act like it had meant absolutely nothing…well because in all honesty it had meant absolutely nothing. He definitely wasn’t in love with (or lusting after) Sasuke and Sasuke only wanted his ass. Pure physical attraction was all they had between them, so no harm done.
“Howdy, fuckface,” came the familiar greeting as Naruto lifted his lashes to stare at his friend.
“All done?” he asked as Kiba sat beside him, reaching into Naruto’s pocket to bum the pack of cigarettes for himself.
“Finally,” Kiba grumbled. “Chouji’s still working on the lockers though. Geez. I mean you’d think we stole the guy’s money or something.”
Naruto snickered and sat up to lean against the wall, like Kiba, offering his friend a light. “Well writing ‘Shithead Fukurada’ on his desk wasn’t exactly a bright idea, moron. Of course you’d get caught!”
“That’s what he gets for giving us an F,” Kiba protested as he took a long drag and the lowered his head with a groan. “I’m beat. Man, and I thought that would be the class I’d at least get a C in. Guess, we just weren’t meant to be the smart ones, Naruto, eh?”
Naruto’s lips quirked in a weak smile, wondering why Kiba’s words would have him concerned all of a sudden. There was only a few months to graduation and Naruto knew his grades weren’t the best. Hell, even hanging out here on the rooftop, when he ought to be in class, was a bad habit he was so used to, it was going to be hard trying to break. Shikamaru’s words of the way others perceived him was beginning to hit home. Memories of Ms. Fuyutsuki slaving over his homework and trying to get him to focus, made him feel queasy to his stomach. Even the rare times his uncle had tried to help him out, and he had done nothing but slack off (much to his uncle’s annoyance and subsequent spankings), had Naruto wincing inwardly at just what he really was becoming. He had to start taking things seriously if he hoped to make a change for the better. Oh, he wasn’t planning on becoming a saint anytime soon, but at least…
Show them my other side…the gardener…
“Hellooo, anyone home?” Kiba teased as he nudged Naruto gently. “What’s with the serious look all of a sudden?”
Naruto pursed his lips in thought, wondering how to go about this without sounding like he was selling out. “Hey…why don’t you join a club or something. I mean…get involved in some way, huh?”
He suffered the wary look thrown his way, and then the scowl that filled his friend’s features. “What club do you want me to join, Naruto sensei?”
“Ah come on,” Naruto said quickly, trying to smile and ease the tension between them. “I’m not saying you have to join, but…you know…just something you might want to consider…”
“Forget I asked,” Naruto mumbled and shrugged. “Do what you like.”
There was an uncomfortable silence and then Kiba crushed out his cigarette to mutter, “I’m thinking of joining the soccer club actually. I know it’s kinda late, but Coach Dan says I’ll make a great alternate if I wanted to see what it’s like…”
Naruto tried to hide his smile at the reluctant admission, feeling a swell of pride for his friend. “I’m glad to hear that, Kiba. I’m sure you’ll be great at it!”
“You…you think so?” Kiba asked, a blush now staining his cheeks as he tried to mask his embarrassment with a shrug. “I dunno…”
“Coach Dan must have seen something in you to court you, eh? How…?”
“I was just kicking the ball around in the field when I thought no one was there,” Kiba replied, still blushing although his eyes seemed alight with memories of what happened that day. “I didn’t even know he was watching me until I scored a goal and I heard someone clapping for me. Shit. it was hella embarrassing, man. I wanted to bolt, but he said he’d play one-on-one with me for a while and if he scored off me, he’ll force me to join the club.”
“I did. I couldn’t let him win…because I was trying not to get into the club, but hell…it was…fun,” Kiba said almost shyly. “For the first time…I felt there was a teacher who wasn’t laughing at me or making fun of me…but really wanted me to succeed, you know? Geez, I sound like one of those crappy romance characters or something.”
Naruto laughed and leaned his head upon Kiba’s shoulder, more than glad that his friend was finally being accepted in some way. Only he knew of Kiba’s struggle to fit in – how his ‘loudness’ masked the boy that was really cool and kind inside.
Aren’t we all the same?
“I’ll cheer for you,” Naruto said quietly. “I’m sure you’ll be the best soccer play when they put you in the field. Show those wussies just how it’s done, eh?”
He heard the slight catch in Kiba’s voice and looked up to see if his friend was all right. He was, however, definitely not expecting to see the heated look that had come into those piercing black eyes or how close Kiba was coming to him until he felt the warm lips pressed gently against his.
The…the hell?! What is he doing? What the fuck is he doing?!
Big mistake on his part to open his mouth as Kiba’s tongue slid in, sending Naruto’s body trembling at the intimate contact. With monumental effort, he managed to pull away…although not far enough, both panting in surprise at the way things were swiftly turning between them.
“What the hell, Kiba?” Naruto asked in confusion. “What are you…?”
“I can’t help it,” came the low moan. “I’m sorry, Naruto, but…I know you said I shouldn’t and that the pretend thing was over, but this…this isn’t pretend anymore. I really do like kissing you…”
“You have a girlfriend!” Naruto all but screamed in disbelief.
“So? I like boys…well not all boys, just you…” He moved in again, taking Naruto by surprise and pushing him back to the warm concrete ground, his lips getting bolder as he relished in the taste of his friend.
Naruto, for his part, was still in shock at what was going on. His body was still being a traitorous bastard as it responded to the physical contact, but his mind (and heart) screamed for rational thinking to take over. This wasn’t what he wanted…
…he didn’t want his friendship with Kiba to go down this path…
(Sasuke had a way of doing this thing with his tongue that…)
He jerked as he felt Kiba’s hand tugging his shirt to caress his naked torso beneath, finding and caressing a nipple before pinching it gently. He gasped at the feel of Kiba’s warm tongue and gentle scrap of his teeth against his neck.
With near desperation, he shook his head and tried to throw his friend off. However, a sudden loud cough had them both crashing back to reality and turning around to stare at the boy who had filled Naruto’s thoughts just seconds earlier.
“I brought the manga you wanted to borrow as well as the video games. You left in such a hurry that night you forgot them,” came the voice cold enough to freeze the pits of Hell.
Naruto finally pushed Kiba off him and wiped his lips quickly; unaware of how flushed and goddamn molestable he looked in his frazzled state. Trying to breathe evenly as well as gather moisture on his seemingly parched tongue, he rose to his feet on unsteady legs and eyed the black bag Sasuke was holding, feeling his cheeks darken even more at the memory of their last meeting. Why the hell did it suddenly feel like he was…cheating on the guy? It didn’t help that Sasuke looked as if he had just witnessed something disgusting and wanted it erased from his memory, and with the way his lips were tightening…it was clear the boy was not very happy.
“What does he mean by ‘left in such a hurry that night’,” Kiba was saying as he rose to his feet to eye the couple.
“Why don’t you tell him, Naruto?” Sasuke asked, a smirk now coming to his lips. “Why don’t you tell him where you were on Friday night?”
Naruto captured his lower lip between his teeth, struggling not to run up to Sasuke to punch his lights out for what he was trying to do.
“Did you go to his house?” Kiba asked. “Naruto?” he asked more incessantly when the blond refused to answer. “Did you go to his house?”
“Come on, Naruto,” Sasuke said, lowering his voice to a husky whisper. “Tell him, why don’t you? Tell him how you gave in to me…”
“Shut the fuck up!” came the roar. “Nothing happened!”
“Nothing happened?” Sasuke gave an exaggerated gesture of hurt, before taking a step forward with infuriation on his visage. “Nothing happened?! I don’t call that kiss nothing, Naruto! You sure as hell were getting into it!”
“You took advantage of me!”
“Oh, please! Like hell I did! You liked it! Admit it, you fucking hypocrite!”
“Hypo…” Naruto blanched at the insult.
“Yes, you heard right,” Sasuke continued relentlessly. “Jesus! You come here and you make out with Kiba, telling me you ‘don’t like boys’, crap! And when it comes to me, you act like I have some disease. I’m sick of your bullshit, Naruto. Why don’t you just admit it! You do like it, so if you can be with him, why the fuck can’t you be with me?!”
He cursed inwardly at how plaintive his question had sounded and disgusted with himself, he flung the bag towards Naruto, who barely caught it before it fell to the ground. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes and then opened them, his gaze now dark and as cold as it used to be.
“Practice after school. Don’t miss it or I’ll fucking kill you this time.”
“Don’t you fucking threaten him,” Kiba growled as Sasuke began to walk away. “You don’t own him, asshole. So back the hell off.”
The captain stopped and looked over his shoulder, a devilish glint in his eye as his lips quirked into a smug smile. “Enjoy him while you can, Kiba. I haven’t given up yet. Just waiting until he realizes who he really wants.”
When he was finally gone with a loud slam of the door leading into the school behind him, a silence so thick, it could be cut with a knife, descended on the two boys. Naruto was still cradling the black carryall bag to his chest, his gaze lowered to the ground as if wishing it could open and swallow him whole. Just what the fuck had happened? How could his life be turned upside down in the space of a few minutes? Just who the hell was Sasuke to call him a hypocrite and assume he was automatically boy crazy just because of Kiba…and come to think of it, who the hell gave Kiba the right to manhandle him like that anyway?
“Naruto…Jesus, I had no idea you were…”
“…what the fuck were you doing at his house anyway? Since when…”
Shut the hell up…
“…and there he is acting like he freakin’ owns you. God, that guy….”
“Shut up, Kiba!” he finally bellowed and reached out to grab his friend by the scruff of his blazer, eyes dark with fury. “Just shut the hell up!”
“All right, all right,” Kiba wheezed, as Naruto seemed to be lifting him up the ground…and with only one hand too. Talk about the guy not knowing his own strength. “Put me down for fuck’s sake. I get it, okay? I’m sorry!”
He coughed and struggled to catch his breath as Naruto finally released him. He sagged against the wall and lowered his gaze, realizing now that he was fighting a losing battle here. If Naruto was so disgusted with the whole affair, what hope was there for him?
“It won’t happen again,” he said softly. “I just…I got carried away and I’m sorry.”
Naruto, who had paced away to gather himself, stopped long enough to take a much needed deep breath. “Kiba…”
“It’s okay, don’t say anything else,” the other boy interrupted with a light laugh. “It didn’t mean anything, okay? I’m…”
“I love you,” Naruto said quietly and firmly. “I love you…as a friend and only a friend. Do you understand? I want to be able to come to your house and hang out like we used to without any weirdness between us. I don’t want to lie on your bed wondering if you’ll rip my pants off and take advantage of me. I don’t want you ‘acting’ around me, get it? So please…please let’s just go back to the way things were. Before this whole mess started, huh?”
Kiba felt a ridiculous sting of tears burning in his eyes as he stared at the earnest and pleading look on his best friend’s features. He lowered his gaze again and nodded softly. “Sure thing, Naruto…whatever you say. I won’t touch you again…in that way. I promise. Still friends?” He looked up and gave a more genuine albeit shy smile, holding out his fist for their usual greeting.
Naruto smiled, relief washing over him as he walked up to complete the fist bump motion, “Of course.”
Kiba eyed the bag and nodded towards it. “So…what’s in the bag?”
Naruto unzipped it to reveal the manga collection…all 27 volumes, including two of the latest video games Naruto had badly wanted to play.
“Holy shit,” Kiba breathed in awe. “He actually….what the fuck did you do to him to make him give you these things?!”
Naruto could feel his cheeks burning, glad Kiba was still ogling at the video game to pay much attention to how much his question affected him. He was still pissed off at Sasuke for what he said, but still…if only a kiss could grant this, Naruto had to wonder how far it would go to have Sasuke do whatever the hell he wanted.
Best push that thought aside, he thought as he and Kiba sat down to begin reading the manga together. He’d deal with Sasuke and their weird relationship when the time came.
“Someone’s pissed off,” Suigetsu noted dryly as he watched Sasuke punching and kicking the heavy bags with a viciousness that did not betray his injuries from last week. “I wonder what happened now.”
Karin could only sigh. She could swear that Sasuke’s mood swings were either a sign of the greatest bipolar disorder ever diagnosed, or he was going through some form of male PMS she was yet to hear of. Either way, she was getting slightly weary of dealing with his attitude. Maybe all he needed was a good lay, but she had given him none too subtle hints in the past, and no luck so far.
Suigetsu, who was sitting on the floor, leaned back on his arms and looking upside down, noticed who was walking into the dojo. “Oy, Naruto. Wanna spar with me?”
“Hi, Naruto,” Karin greeted as she drank from her water bottle. “Good to see you.”
Naruto nodded at the friendly welcomes, including Juugo’s shy wave and Sai’s nod…although Naruto had the feeling Sai was staring at him with something close to irritation, but he couldn’t be sure.
“Finally here, Naruto,” Kakashi said as he stepped out of his office. “Good. Stretch out with the others for fifteen minutes…and that includes you, Sasuke,” he said in a louder voice, as the dark-haired boy had been doing a good job of ignoring everyone so far. “Once done, I want Sai and Naruto to go first. Call me when you’re ready.” With that he disappeared into his office, leaving the fighters to make their way to the middle of the dojo to begin their warm ups.
“I’ll help you,” Sai offered, causing Naruto to blink in surprise.
“First, you have to do the split,” Sai explained as he sat before Naruto and spread his legs apart as wide as they could go, while holding out his hands. “Hold on to me and pull as hard as you can and I’ll do the same, go it?”
Doing as he was told, Naruto fought back a wince as Sai seemed determined to pull out his arms from his sockets. Not wanting to give in to the pain, Naruto reciprocated the gesture, reluctantly admitting that the stretch was loosening up his leg and arm muscles all the same, and considering how tense he was from all the drama on the roof earlier, this was definitely helping.
“Feels good, doesn’t it…when you get over the initial pain,” Sai said quietly.
“Sasuke and I do this all the time,” Sai added, watching the blond’s face for any reaction to this.
Naruto…not really sure why Sai was telling him the unnecessary information, shrugged. “Okay.” What the fuck does he want me to say?
From his peripheral vision though, he caught sight of Sasuke and Juugo stretching out together and noticed the thick wad of bandages still around Sasuke’s waist as he lifted his arms above his head. Lowering his lashes, he stared at the wooden floor, trying to erase the memories of the fight from his mind.
“Huh?” He looked up as Sai rose to his feet, motioning for Naruto to mimic a position that Karin was currently doing. It looked like she was lying between her legs and Suigetsu was happily sitting on her back, forcing her to go even lower. Ouch.
“I’ll sit on you,” Sai offered and Naruto groaned inwardly, not sure he was willing to allow his back to suffer the extra punishment.
Naruto hissed in a sharp breath, realizing that Sai was deliberately sitting too hard on him. He could literally taste the wood polish and he grunted in response, unwilling to give the other boy the satisfaction of knowing he was in pain.
“Time,” Sasuke suddenly called out, forcing Sai to get off Naruto (much to his inner relief), and to fall into place with the other fighters. For a brief moment, Naruto caught Sasuke’s dark look and he shivered, remembering the threat of Sasuke not giving up on him yet.
“We’re ready, sensei,” the captain called out, forcing Kakashi to step out of his office again.
“All right then…Sai and Naruto?”
“Yes, sensei,” came the simultaneous cries from the students as they rose to their feet and made their way to the middle of the dojo.
Naruto could feel his chest tightening and a sliver of fear and worry inching down his spine as he fell into his stance. He tried to control his breathing, to remind himself that this was only a spar and not to let his emotions get the best of him. He could feel all their gazes trained on him, as if they were on the ready to pounce should he decide to go nuts again. His body tingled in awareness, especially knowing that Sasuke was watching his every move with that rather disconcerting intensity.
Calm down…calm down…calm down…
“I won’t let you have him,” came the sudden quiet words – said so quietly that only Naruto could hear it, for Sai had moved towards him with a speed he had not anticipated. This, in turn, completely threw Naruto for a loop…and subsequently off balance.
He fell to the floor with a painful thump, his chest burning with the blow given to him by his opponent. Holy fuck! For such a seemingly quiet guy, Sai had the punch of a beast.
“Whoa!” Naruto flipped out of the way as Sai swung an arm in his direction. He caught said arm and leaped above Sai, stretching out a leg to slam it into the boy’s lower back with a reverse spin. Landing to the floor on the balls of his feet, he charged for Sai, grunting as they met halfway in a stalemate, blocking each others blows with a force that knocked them apart soon after. For the next three minutes, they went at each other with a ferocity that had their audience watching in quiet awe. Naruto, who was doing a good job in keeping his head together, had the feeling that Sai was doing a whole lot more than just sparring. There seemed to be desperation in his movements, and he had to wonder if Sai was actually fighting for himself or for the benefit/approval of someone else.
“Gah!” Sai cried out as Naruto lashed out with another blow to his back, sending him to his knees. With an arm behind him to soothe the pain, he looked into the panting blond’s visage with something close to venom in his eyes. He would have risen to his feet to finish off the fight when the sudden,
“Hai!” from Kakashi brought it to an end. “Good job, guys.”
“Yeah,” Karin enthused as she and Juugo applauded in appreciation. “Very well done.”
Naruto blushed and sat beside her, accepting the water bottle she thrust at him. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome,” she replied with a warm smile, pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose and twirling a strand of her hair at the same time. She loved watching Naruto fight. He looked so…animal and raw and downright sexy as hell. Man, was she hot and bothered.
“Let’s see how well you’ve healed, Sasuke,” Kakashi motioned towards his captain. “You and Karin.”
Karin winced at the sudden decision to pit her against her ex-crush. “Eek! Sensei…”
Kakashi smiled in reassurance. “I know you’re worried about…”
“Come at me with all you’ve got, Karin,” Sasuke interrupted curtly. “I won’t break.”
To say he was still royally pissed off at the events on the roof, would be the understatement of the century. Sasuke still couldn’t get over the image of Kiba lying above Naruto…of those hands caressing Naruto’s stomach…Kiba’s lips all over Naruto’s skin…Naruto arched and writhing beneath Kiba like a slut. Jesus fucking Christ! If he hadn’t been seeing red at the time, Sasuke would have found the scene a goddamn turn on, but knowing it was Naruto…the Naruto that HE wanted, it was just too damn much.
“Maybe you should spar with Suigetsu,” Karin whimpered as she took in the thunderous scowl on the captain’s visage. “I don’t think I want to die yet.”
Kiba of all people…why?! What the hell did he see in that crazy bastard?!
He fell into his stance and waited for Karin to attack, his mind churning with distracted thoughts. On autopilot, he blocked Karin’s kicks and punches, already familiar with her fighting style and basically going through the motions.
Maybe he ought to speak to Kiba after all…maybe he’d know the secret to why Naruto liked him so much. But damnit! He didn’t want to speak to that moron! He’d rather eat a bowl of hot coals than stoop to Kiba’s level. Naruto could do better than that. Naruto HAD to see that he was ten times…no…a hundred times better than Kiba.
What the fuck do I do?
He dodged Karin’s attack by flipping over a few times. Two minutes later, and finally having enough, he finished the fight with a single solid blow to the back of her neck, sending her toppling to the floor in a slump.
What the fuck do I do now?
He barely acknowledged the well wishes from his teammates, although a reluctant tingle of pleasure filled his chest as Naruto gave him a small smile.
“Naruto,” he finally called out, surprised at himself for even daring to do what he was about to…well do.
The blond, who was having a lively chat with Suigetsu over the merits of H.A.L.O, looked over his shoulder, wariness filling his countenance. “What?”
“We’re going to the diner after this. Want to join us?”
Aware that his heartbeat was getting louder and louder, Sasuke held his breath and waited for the response. When it seemed like Naruto was going to refuse, he added quickly, but in a voice that maintained its even keel. “I want to talk to you guys about our opponents. You might as well get to know them.”
Blue and black clashed in a silent battle of wills before Naruto finally gave in with a light shrug. “Sure, captain. Why the hell not?”