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Pulling Pigtails

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It took Naruto the whole morning to do his hair. Long and limp at the front, sticking up ridiculously at the back- how did the bastard do it every day? And how could a weird style like this look… (good) effortless?

“It can’t be natural,” Naruto muttered to his reflection. He adjusted the lens-less black-framed glasses, grinned brightly, then assumed a blank expression.

“Hn. You look ridiculous. Loser,” he said in a flat, bored voice. Then, in his usual cheerful tone: “This is gonna drive him nuts. Heh.”

 


 

 

“Good morning,” Naruto greeted his rival.

“Hn,” the bastard grunted without sparing him a glance.

Naruto booted up the ancient PC and squinted at the screen theatrically.

“A little blurry,” he commented before donning the glasses, “That’s better.”

The bastard shot him A Look before resuming his rapid typing.

“Dobe, you’re being extra stupid this morning. Did you get another concussion?” Naruto drawled after a full minute of silence.

“That’s my line,” Sasuke muttered absently, still focused on work. Nothing new there. Naruto drummed his fingers impatiently. How was that jerk still not getting it?

Fine. Time to take out the big guns.

Naruto fought the urge to loosen the damnably tight tie or unbutton the itchy sleeves constricting his wrists. He took a deep breath. “Question: what kind of snake is best?”

The typing stopped. Sasuke sighed, removed his glasses to rub his eyes, then turned a heated squint-glare at Naruto.

“There are basically two schools of thought-“

“False,” Naruto smirked, “Sand snakes.”

“There’s no such thing as-“

“Sand snakes, salad, Suna Strangler,” The blond continued lazily, listing an alliteration of Sasuke’s favorite topics.

“What are you-“ He shoved his glasses back on and gasped when he finally, finally got it “-This is not funny, usuratonkachi-“

“-usuratonkachi,” Naruto said at the same time, struggling to keep a neutral expression. Sasuke flushed and damn, wasn’t that just adorable?

“Imitation-” the Uchiha forced through clenched teeth. Naruto interrupted again.

“-is the sincerest form of flattery, isn’t it, dead-last?”

“You- I’m- I am the top salesman in this company.”

“If you say so,” Naruto shrugged. He unzipped his bag and pulled out a box of baby tomatoes.

Sasuke’s mouth hung open. Naruto made an exaggerated moaning noise as he slowly chewed, savored, and swallowed the (fucking horrible, sour, nasty) vegetable. Fruit. Whatever. It was hard not to make a face at the taste. Still, he kept his cool.

“What are you-“ the bastard licked his lips. His eyes glazed over. Naruto watched him swallow and tried really, really hard to keep focused “-Where did you get those?”

“Hn. They’re out of season, but I have sources,” the blond answered smugly. Hey, he didn’t become the second best paper salesman at Senju-Hashirama Paper, Inc. without making a few friends on the way. The same could not be said for number one.

“Sources,” Sasuke breathed, “What kind of-” he shook his head “-Never mind. I don’t care.”

“You’re a terrible liar,” Naruto provoked in his most arrogant bastardly sneer.

“…Whatever.”

Just like that, Sasuke went back to ignoring him. Naruto spent the day drinking black coffee, hn-ing at every opportunity, and loudly discussing Star Wars with Sakura.

“That guy, Duke Slystalker.”

Sakura giggled. “His name is Luke Skywalker, Naruto.”

“Hn. Anyway, it’s strange. He made out with his sister, Lila, at some point. Now if this were Game of Thrones and he was one of the Bannistar Triplets…”

“Lannister twins,” Sakura supplied between bouts of laughter.

“Same difference.”

He heard a thump, a rustle, and a dull smacking noise, like skin slapping skin. Naruto tilted his head backwards and watched through the corner of his eye.

Sasuke had taken his glasses off again. He rubbed his eyes furiously, pinched the bridge of his nose, and nearly knocked his chair over when he got up to go to the break room. Ha! So he was listening. Naruto covered his mouth to hide the grin.

He didn’t break character until the end of the day.

When the clock struck five, Naruto yanked violently at his tie and practically flung the cheap glasses off his face.

“Shit bastard, how to you do it?”

“Easily.”

A pause, followed by a glance from curious black eyes.

“But what exactly are you referring to?” Sasuke asked, once again typing at an inhuman pace and staring at his monitor.

“Eat vegitables-“

“Tomatoes are fruit, dumbass.”

“-drink coffee without creamer-"

"Ever heard of diabetes?"

"Anyway, here," Naruto procured the box of tomatoes from inside his desk, "They taste like dog shit-"

"You'd know."

"Hardy-har, smartass. Take them. I don't like wasting food."

Was that a trick of the light, or did that bastard just smile.

"If you insist."

Thank you, Naruto read between the lines. He grinned like a maniac the whole drive home.

 


 

 

Jiraya, for all his perverted antics and slacker reputation, always came in early. For once, Naruto beat his boss to the office. He’d been up since four in the morning to plan and execute his latest prank.

So what if he spent the rest of the day struggling to keep his eyes open? Okay, it wasn’t even nine in the morning before he started nodding off. The blond would have fallen asleep if not for his voice.

“Jiraya,” Sasuke hissed.

Oh, this is gonna be fucking awesome!

“What’s the problem, kid?” The perv shouted from the watercooler.

“He put my stuff in jello again.” Sasuke yanked the bottom drawer of his desk open to reveal a stapler covered in jiggly, translucent goo.

“Naruto.” Jiraya strode to their cluster, struggling to maintain a glare.

The blond flashed his trademark shit-earing grin. “Sup, geezer.”

“Don’t call me that. What do you have to say for yourself?” Said old man crossed his arms and tapped his foot.

Naruto chuckled around the spoon in his mouth. “I don’t know what the bastard’s talking about.”

Sasuke’s forehead vein grew to epic proportions. Who would have thought that a guy with such tiny (perfect) features could sport such a huge -for lack of a better word- thing? Naruto took another bite of jello, stifling the urge to poke it –Sasuke’s vein, that is, not his own cup of jello.

The corner of Jiraya’s lips quirked upward. He tried to remain stern. “Naruto.”

“Have you considered that the bastard’s just jelly-ous of my epic success?”

Sasuke’s eye twitched.

“You’re pudding me in an awkward position, ya know.” Naruto chuckled at his own pun. Jiraya stifled a snort. Sasuke got a cute little line between his eyebrows, like he always did when he was extra, extra flustered. His cheeks were puffy and pink. Naruto wanted to pinch them, but that might be taking things too far. He needed his fingers to fill out excel spreadsheets, press buttons on the copier, forward e-mails… Ya know, all the boring crap this job entailed.

Still, part of him thought it might be worth it.

“Jiraya, you have to discipline this idiot,” Sasuke snapped, jabbing a finger at Naruto.

“Look, kid-“

“My name is Sasuke. I am not a child.”

“-Right. It’s really not a big deal, my man,” the perv waggled his eyebrows for emphasis, “The brat’s just pulling your pigtails, like boys do when they don’t know how else to get attention.”

“What the hell,” Sasuke squinted, “why.”

Jiraya shrugged and jabbed his thumb at the offending blond. “Ask him.”

“Naruto.” Sasuke crossed his arms.

Shit, shit, shit. This was not how he wanted it to go down.

“Don’t listen to that crazy old pervert,” Naruto forced a laugh, “I’m not- this isn’t- He… Eto…“

Why was it so hot in here all of a sudden? Naruto pulled at his tie and rolled up his sleeves. He shot a glare at Jiraya before returning to his afternoon snack.

“Apologize,” Sasuke sighed after an eternity of awkward silence.

“What?”

“Say you’re sorry. This is a waste of time, energy, and company resources. Apologize, and I won’t file a complaint with HR.”

“Uh…”

“Well?”

“I’m sorry, or whatever.”

Sasuke rolled his eyes. “Just don’t do it again, usuratonkachi.”

For such a surly bastard, he could be a surprisingly forgiving.

 


 

 

Naruto leaned back in his computer chair, lacing his fingers behind his head and humming tonelessly. He his gaze moved lazily from the flickering fluorescent light on the ceiling, down to the messy shuffle of paper on his desk, then subtly sideways to-

He hated his job. It was boring. Naruto sold paper to pay the bills, nothing more. Under different circumstances, he’d be sprinting out the door at precisely five p.m. every day.

Unfortunately, a certain sexy deskmate was a notorious workaholic. Those precious minutes shortly after the end of the workday was the only time Sasuke willingly stayed in a room with Naruto, alone.

Yeah, yeah, he knows it’s pretty fucking pathetic.

That’s why, after three full years, Naruto decided he was sick of his own pussy bullshit.

It was time to make a move.

“Ne, Sasuke.”

No response.

“Sasuke,” Naruto sang.

Still nothing.

Fine. He drew a deep breath, preparing to shout-

“What do you want, dead-last?”

Victory!

“A few of us are going down to Ichiraku’s for ramen and, uh, drinks. Later. Soon.”

“Good for you.”

“Okay… I was wondering if, um, you…”

The bastard was sucking on the tip of his pen, using his tongue (for fuck’s sake!) and making an obscene wet smacking noise. Naruto was only human. Scratch that, he was a human man with an overactive imagination and filthy, filthy repressed urges. Not to mention, he hadn’t gotten laid in months. Possibly more- shit, has it really been that long?

So. Anyway. Try to understand. There’s a damn good reason he couldn’t finish his sentences.

“Spit it out,” Sasuke muttered as he fellated the writing utensil.

Naruto swallowed and willed his blood to stay in his head. The head on his neck, not in his- ya know how people joke that guys have two heads and now, that beautiful bastard was moving the Bic ballpoint in, out, in a little deeper-

Fuck it. Just, fuck everything, but especially this guy.

“You got any plans after work?” Nice. His voice only cracked twice.

At least this got Sasuke to put the damn pen down and actually look –well, glare, but he’s gonna take what he can get- at Naruto.

“Why, so you can make fun of me for my supposed lack of a social life? Because I assure you, I am perfectly-“

“No, stop,” the blond held up his hands in surrender, “It’s not like that. I just thought you could… Come with us. To Ichiraku’s.”

Sasuke stroked the pen absently (sensually) and chewed the inside of his cheek. “What are you playing at?”

“Geez, paranoid much.”

Sasuke raised a brow.

“Fine, fine, so I’ve been kind of bad...” there was probably a more sophisticated word for it “Not nice-” Ha! Great use of synonyms to showcase that superior Uzumaki vocabulary “-or whatever in the past.”

“That’s what you call it? The persistent harassment, endangering my life-“

“It was one time Sasuke! I didn’t know you’d-“

“And worst of all, you’ve been a constant distraction, always in my personal space, putting nickels in my phone, jamming my desk drawers-“

“Okay, okay, I get it. You hate me. You’ve hated me since day one. You’ll hate me to your dying breath. Your life would be infinitely better if I transferred to another branch or quit or got run over by a truck or trapped in a coal mine. So, are you coming or what?”

No response. No eye contact. Not even the slightest hint that the jerk even heard what Naruto said. Why, oh why did he bother? And why did it have to be him?

“Fine,” the blond snapped, practically knocking his chair over when he stood and slapped the desk, “Sue me, curse me, call me an idiot, but never say I didn’t try, Sasuke.”

The Uchiha’s monitor flashed blue, then faded to black. He pressed the power button, shrugged into his jacket, and rose to his feet. “Okay.”

“Huh?” Naruto blinked.

“And don’t say ridiculous things. I don’t hate you,” Sasuke adjusted his glasses, “much.”

“What?”

“You drive a truck. My bike should fit in the back. Let’s go.”

“Wait bastard, did you say- You’re actually gonna- hold the elevator, damn it!”

Chapter Text

 

They were the first to arrive at Ichiraku’s. How? Simple: speed limits are actually just suggestions so long as the cops aren’t around. Sasuke clung to the handle above the door for dear life. His knuckles went white, and his face was adorably scrunched up in fear.

“Next time,” Sasuke hissed through clenched teeth, “I’m driving.”

Next time, huh?

“But you ride a bicycle.”

“I have a car, dead-last. Biking is better for the environment.”

“Okay, ya hippie freak,” Naruto laughed, “I’ll take you up on that sometime.”

“That’s not what-“

Rather than give the bastard a chance to take it back, Naruto rapidly shifted to fifth gear and stomped on the accelerator. The truck lurched forward with an angry, thundering roar.

Sasuke clutched his seatbelt in one hand. He squeezed his eyes shut and prayed under his breath, and didn’t even open them when the truck stopped.

“Okay, we’re here. You can look now, scardy-cat.”

“I should report you.”

They bickered as Naruto parked his Toyota. They bickered in the parking lot. The bickered at the entrance of the restaurant. Sasuke was so immersed in said bickering that he didn’t even notice Naruto holding the door open, until he walked through.

“I’m not a girl, usuratonkachi,”  he snapped.

“Coulda fooled me,” Naruto flashed his trademark shit-eating grin.

Sasuke glared, immediately claimed the nearest barstool, and ordered four shots of vodka.

Ichiraku’s was a quaint little restaurant that served both ramen and alcohol. Naruto didn’t know heaven existed, much less ten minutes from his apartment, until he first set foot in that fine establishment and tasted the comestibles of the gods. Best of all, the whole place was painted orange and covered with novelty pictures of frogs.

It was fucking awesome. Believe it.

 


 

 

By the time the rest of the office arrived, Naruto had to cling to the bar counter because the room did not stop spinning, and Sasuke…

Well, he seemed totally unaffected. That jerk just had to be so cool, with his perfect bone structure, impeccable balance and… Shit. Naruto blinked and rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn’t seeing things.

No, it was still there.

Sasuke was smiling. His cheeks were pleasantly flushed as he chewed thoughtfully on his bottom lip.

“You,” Naruto slurred, “Are sho- so drun… Drunk. You’re fuckin’ wasted, man.”

Sasuke raised a brow. His smile –not smirk, but a sweet, playful, honest to god smile- almost bubbled into a laugh. “No, you are,” he said.

“Nice-” Naruto swayed dangerously “nice come back, bastard.”

Sasuke’s eyes crinkled at the corners. “Likewise.”

Naruto  drummed his fingers on the rim of his shot glass and pouted. So much for that plan. Yes, he had an ulterior motive behind inviting the Uchiha to happy hour. Something along the lines of ‘get Sasuke drunk enough to admit his secret love for Naruto and maybe, maybe make out… Just a little.’ Ya know, totally reasonable, realistic shit like that. Yeah.

Laugh all you want. A guy’s allowed to dream.

“So…” Naruto drawled after a long, long silence. He propped an elbow on the table, resting his cheek in his hand.

“So?” Sasuke raised his eyebrows.

“I was thinking…” Naruto stopped when he caught a familiar flash of pink, “Sakura-chan!”

“Naruto, there you are.” She squealed, inadverdently shoving the blonds face into her breasts as she hugged him. Naruto flushed and sputtered. “Sasuke-kun!” Sakura immediately released Naruto and forced Sasuke’s face to be intimately acquainted with her chest. Seriously, Naruto glared, what was up with that? “I can’t believe you’re actually here.”

Sasuke gently extracted himself from her vice-like grip and nodded politely. His smile faltered, but lingered as he watched Sakura babble excitedly into Naruto’s ear.

Apparently, someone pre-gamed.

“Like hell I’m paying an arm and a leg to get a decent buzz,” Sakura said, “when I have a wedding to save up for. That shit doesn’t come cheap. Do you know how much the flowers alone cost?”

Naruto chuckled. “That makes- makes sense. Wait, where’s the guy. Um. Lee?”

“You know he can’t drink, silly,” Sakura laughed, “Hey! Wanna dance?”

“I would but, but, I don’t think I can even stand, Sakura-chan,” Naruto whined.

Sasuke coughed. It sounded suspiciously like a laugh.

“Fine, be that way,” she pushed him lightly. The blond would have fallen off the stool if not for Sasuke’s lightning-quick reflexes. Seriously, what is up with that guy?

“Idiot.”

“You are- are- not drunk enough.”

“What are you gonna do about it?”

 


 

 

Don’t ask how. Naruto had no fucking clue what happened between then and now. But he was laying back on the hood of his truck, watching the stars, with Sasuke. And he was… No, they were both wasted.

“Where do you live?” Naruto asked, unable to suppress his curiosity any longer.

“Che, like I’d tell you. You’d probably-” hiccup “-probably TP my condo. No, egg it or-” hiccup “-break in wearing a Scream mask. Re-organize my DVD’s by alphabetical order instead of genre. Put flax milk in my carton of almond milk so I’d think I was going insane.”

“Those are lots of great ideas, Sasuke.”

Of course they were. The guy was a certified genius. Naruto had no clue what a smartass like that was doing at a mid-sized paper supply company, when he could be anything he wanted to be. Before he got too far into that depressing train of thought, something else occurred to him: “Are you lactose intolerant?”

Sasuke scoffed. “No.”

“Then, then why the fuck are you drinking almond milk?”

Naruto rolled onto his side and propped his head on his hand, facing Sasuke.

“Why would you drink cow’s milk?” Sasuke glanced at him before returning his gaze to the stars, “Are you a baby cow? No. Nothing good can come of that. There’s a reason for the ridiculous cancer rates and rampant obesity in this country.”

“Heh. Weirdo.” Naruto chuckled, before he resumed the blatant moon-eyed staring. Good thing Sasuke was too hammered to notice… Or care.

“Anyway, don’t break into my place. You’d end up in the hospital, and that’s if I don’t accidentally kill you."

Naruto rolled onto his stomach and rest his head against his arm. “That so?” He smiled. Drunk Sasuke was talkative and so, so unintentionally amusing.

“I have weapons stashed everywhere,” his rival slurred.

“Why?”

“My uncle’s the Suna Strangler,” Sasuke said like he was commenting on the weather, “He killed my parents. One day, he’ll come for me.”

Naruto burst out laughing. The other man glared as well as anyone could while being drunk off his ass.

“Wait, you’re kidding. You have to be. That’s a joke, right?”

“I wish.”

“Shit, Sasuke. What the fuck? Should you be in witness protection or something?”

“How do you not know this, idiot? The Suna Strangler is named Madara Uchiha.“

“Uchiha!” Naruto shouted, “No way! But I didn’t think-“

“You never think.”

“Ha ha, bastard. Real original.”

“It’s not a common surname.”

“Damn. No wonder you’re so… You.”

“What, an ass?”

“No. Well, yeah. But just… I mean, you know that’s part of the reason everyone likes you so much. They think you’re so cool.”

“Everyone?”

“Not including me. Like, duh.”

“Why’s that?” Sasuke murmured.

“You could say I have, like, powers.” Naruto lied. “Super, super special psychic powers. I can see right through your shitty bastard act to the sweet, soft, dorky real person underneath .”

“I am not soft.”

“Saw you feed a stray cat the other day.” Now, it was Naruto’s turn to smirk.

“So what,” Sasuke glared, “everyone who cares about animals is suddenly soft?”

“Geez, don’t be offended. I never said it was a bad thing.”

They fell into silence again. Sasuke looked at the sky. Naruto was content to look at Sauske. His was the only vehicle left in the parking lot. Everything was quiet, except the occational hum of a passing car and the soft chirping of crickets.

Time passed. Slowly? Quickly? Heck if he knew or gave a damn. It was just really, really nice.

Then, Naruto found himself ruining it. Again. As usual.

“Mom died in childbirth and Dad committed suicide when I was three. No one in my family would take me in. I think they think I’m bad luck or something. My preschool teacher adopted me.”

Silence. Was it his imagination, or were the crickets chirping louder?

“Sasuke? You still there?”

“I guess I should say something sympathetic. Honestly, I’m just relieved to not be the only ‘weirdo’ here.”

“Asshole!” Naruto laughed. He should have been offended, but it was refreshing. He hated pity.

“Loser,” Sasuke smirked.

“Sasuke?”

“Hm.”

“Do you think we could be-” Something. Everything. Twins, soulmates, lovers, joined at the hip for eternity. But that was way too much, and definitely too soon so for the first time in his life, Naruto compromised “-friends?”

“Why not.”

"Right on." This was a moment. A good moment. A critical turning point, and Naruto really, really should have just kept his mouth shut. 

Problem was, he had enough trouble doing that sober, and right then- well. He was dying to know.

"Hey Sasuke?"

"Hm."

"Are you into guys?"

 


 

 

Next thing he knews, Naruto is standing at his own front door, fumbling with the keys.

“Hurry up, dobe.”

“I’m trying. Could you just- no, don’t stop. Keep- ah-  keep doing that. There, got it.” Take that, door. You’re no match for the great Naruto Uzumaki. Especially when he’s too drunk to think straight and too horny to see past the end of his own dick.

Which was still, infuriatingly, miraculously, inside his khakis.

The rest of the night was a blur.

Naruto discovered that what Sasuke could do to a pen was no match for what he could to to a… Uh. Penis. Yeah, the Uchiha bastard really knew his way around a penis.

But so did Naruto. He made damn sure his rival was a moaning, whining, incoherent mess, covered in tears, sweat, and spunk (okay, gross, but also hot and totally true) before they passed out in a drunken heap.

Okay, things didn’t go according to plan. No feelings were admitted except-

“Shit Sasuke, you’re so hot. So cute.”

Sasuke pulled back with an obscene, wet pop. He licked his lips.

“Shut up moron,” he said, “you’re high.”

“So’re you.” The blond squirmed, tangling his fingers in soft black hair. Not a hint of gel, not even at the back. That answered his question about whether the weird-ass hairstyle was natural. He tugged at it impatiently. Don’t stop now.

Sasuke rolled his eyes. He pumped his fist lazily, keeping a loose grip. That fucking tease. “Whose fault is that?” A slow, smug smirk that nearly did him in. Naruto groaned.

“I don’t- ah, mmm- okay okay it’s my fault. I’m wrong and you’re right, now will you please just- jesus, fuck!”

Except it totally wasn’t. When they finally, finally made it into the apartment, Sasuke saw Naruto’s bong- that’s not a euphemism for cock- and remarked, “This explains so much.”

And in that moment, Naruto knew: he had to get his deskmate stoned. He just had to.

“Do it with me,” he had whispered against the smooth skin of Sasuke’s neck, “It’ll be really, really good. I promise.” He bit down lightly and sucked.

“Okay.”

Turns out, Stoned Sasuke had zero inhibitions and no gag reflex to speak of.

“God Sasuke, you know I’ve always-“ the other man made a noise of irritation. With Naruto’s cock down his throat, so. Game over. “-shit, I’m- Ah!“

And the Uchiha swallowed, because he never half-assed anything and was a pathological overachiever, a character trait that (apparently) meant that if he gave a blowjob, it would be the best goddamn blowjob in the history of everything.

“Anyway,” Naruto panted, “I was trying to say that-“

He didn’t give a chance to finish the sentence. What with Sasuke’s mouth smashing into his own, teeth tugging at his lip, and hands unbuttoning his shirt impatiently. Naruto couldn’t remember what he was going to say if his life depended on it. The weed didn’t help.

Besides, he was too… preoccupied… to form a coherent sentence for the rest of the night.

-those two (three?) times he tried, really really tried to say something or slow it down. He fully intended to take it slow. Like, fuck, you can’t just pine after a guy for years, finally get the balls to do something about it, then have a one night stand and nothing else come of it.

Like, yikes. That would suck big time, and not in the good way. Not like Sasuke’s-

Ugh.

That morning, when Naruto woke up (sticky and) alone, he knew he fucked something up.

Chapter Text

Sasuke wasn’t avoiding him.

When Naruto yawned and drawled out a muffled, “Morning, bastard,” as he always did, said bastard actually looked at him, nodded, and went back to work. It wasn’t much, but it was something

Right?

Maybe I was wrong, the blond thought to himself, drinking a Red Bull in the empty break room. And then, Damn, how does he still look so good? They were, ahem, at it until well past four in the morning. Naruto, being a mere mortal, woke up with the hangover of his life along with a bad case of cotton mouth.

And his breath! Good lord, maybe he was lucky Sasuke left. It smelled like- like-

“Anchovies,” he muttered to himself, shuddering.

Naruto was mid-sip, brooding on fish-related morning breath horrors, when a dull clang startled him back to the present.

Probably just someone getting a drink from the vending machine. He glanced up and yeah. There he was. Drinking one of those nasty-ass V8 tomato-juice-in-a-can things.

“You,” he cleared his throat and said the first thing that popped into his head (okay what else is new) “have horrible taste.”

Sasuke leaned back on the vending machine. He opened the can one-handed. How? Fuck if Naruto knew. It just looked hella cool. The Uchiha shoved one hand in his pocked, brought the V8 to his lips with the other, and quirked a brow. He said nothing, like he was waiting for Naruto to-

Well shit, I didn’t mean it like that!

“I-I didn’t mean-“ he stammered, feeling heat rush to his cheeks “-you have horrible taste in drinks, asshole. Not- not-” what, sexual partners? One night stands? Potential boyfriends? “Oh, stop looking at me like that. You know what I was trying to say.”

“Hn.” Sasuke swallowed. Naruto watched the subtle movement of his throat. A small, reddish mark was visible under the shift of the other man’s collar.

Nice.

What the jerk said next?

That was the exact opposite of nice.

“It was a mistake, was it,” Sasuke remarked in an ambiguous tone.

Ambiguous because for the life of him, Naruto couldn’t tell if it was a question or a comment. The wording was weird too. If he was a smarter man, he would have asked. It would have been so fucking simple: ‘hey Sasuke, are you asking me if it was a mistake, or are you telling me you regret it? Because for the record, I don’t. Regret it, I mean.’

See? Easy peasy. Like, there was obviously something between them. Right? The guy said himself. I don’t hate you.

But what if- what if-

“Uh,” Naruto said, stalling.

Sasuke rolled his eyes. “Don’t burst a blood vessel, usuratonkachi.”

“I’m not- Hey! What’re you, shut up, I was just- Just-“ he took another sip, too confused, too afraid to speak his mind. The liquid went down the wrong pipe.

“Anyways.” Sasuke’s gaze landed briefly on Naruto’s orange tie. The Uchiha wrinkled his nose, then made eye contact. “As far as I’m concerned, nothing happened. Are we clear?”

Naruto pounded a fist on his chest, trying to breathe so he could say something.

Apparently, Sasuke took that as a ‘yes,’ because he said “good,” shot an acerbic glare, and left.

“Fuck,” the blond wheezed when it was finally over. “Fuck.” He ground his teeth, chugged the rest of the drink, and crumpled the can in his fist. “Fuck!” Banged his head on the table.

What the fuck just happened?

 


 

 

Oh. Duh.

He was rejected.

That bastard slept with him and then flung him aside like a used condom.

Naruto had this particular epiphany at three in the morning. He bolted upright with a start.

Fucking Sasuke. Oh, he wished he could be fucking- Wait, no. Like, fuck that guy. Not the other thing. You get it. Naruto ruffled his own hair, agitated. He felt shitty, scummy. Unworthy. Okay, no one would ever be good enough for Sasuke but damn, didn’t he deserve a chance?

Apparently not.

“Fine, bastard,” he said to his empty bedroom, “have it your way.”

It was time to get to work.

 


 

Naruto was friends with everyone in the building… Well, with one exception. But he’s not gonna dwell on that. Not at all.

Naturally, he was on good terms with Yamato, the vending machine guy.  

“Sup Sasuke,” Naruto greeted around a mouthful of Pringles. He got up as if to leave the break room. It was a ruse.

“Hello,” the Uchiha replied cordially, followed by, “Naruto. Who put my stuff in the vending machine?”

Sakura walked in. “Oh, a fidget spinner! I didn’t know they sold those here. And a pencil cup! I love those. They’re really cheap, too. What a great deal.”

“Wait Sakura,” Sasuke sighed, “that’s-“

It was too late. The receptionist walked out with her prizes, shooting a wink at Naruto. The Uchiha fumed.

“Idiot, I’m not going to pay for my own stuff.”

“Aw shucks,” Naruto rubbed his cheek, seemingly deep in thought, “that would be terrible. Good thing someone left a zip lock bag full of coins on that table. What a crazy coincidence.”

Sasuke looked from the coins to Naruto, back to the coins, and again at the grinning blond. The Uchiha’s cheeks flushed. He chewed and sucked on his lower lip for a few long seconds, before pouting ever so slightly. (Gods, Naruto lived for moments like this.) And here comes the yelling in three, two-

“Whatever,” Sasuke shrugged, picking up the bag. He started feeding coins into the vending machine.

That’s disappointing. What the hell? Naruto glanced back one last time before walking out. Something was strange about the curve of Sasuke’s cheek. Almost like he was…

Naw. No way that asshole would be smiling. Not now.

Except- he looked through the window* just to make sure- wow. Yup, there it is.

I don’t get it but…

The blond ducked his head, laughing softly. What a weird guy.

 


 

(The next day)

“Could you fax this to the Oto branch, Sakura?”

“Right away, Sakae.”

“Thank you,” Sasuke said, stifling a cute little yawn.

Naruto forced his eyes to remain on the expense reports. Wait for it.

“What did you call me?”

“Your name,” Sakura replied, shrugging.

“Oh,” the Uchiha murmured, rubbing his eyes, “Guess I’m just tired today.”

Then Kakashi from human resources called ‘Sakae’ to the annex. Ino from customer service forwarded complaints from a disgruntled client to ‘Sakae.’ Even Hinata, the quiet, shy head of Accounting, discussed a minor payroll issue with- you guessed it- ‘Sakae.’

Naruto chewed his cuticles bloody trying not to laugh.

At the end of the day, when they were alone, Sasuke took his glasses off and rubbed the little space between his eyebrows. That’s where his frown lines will be, Naruto mused, when he’s older. Yeah, he’d still be a total babe, which was so fucking unfair. Meh, that’s life for ya.

“How’d you do it?”

“Do what,” the blond replied, feigning disinterest.

“Naruto.”

“I paid them off.” He managed to keep a straight face somehow.

“You,” the Uchiha scoffed, “paid everyone in the office to call me by a girl’s name.”

“Heh. Just for today.”

Silence as Sasuke went back to work and Naruto tried to be more subtle about oogling his deskmate.

“How much did it cost?”

Trust that guy to come up with the right questions. The answer was embarrassing, so Naruto settled for a fib. “Less than you’d think.”

Sasuke shot him a Look. His glasses slid down his nose. “You’re ridiculous,” he smirked, pushing them back up.

“You love it.” Naruto stuck his tongue out childishly.

This little comment earned him another Look. Sasuke chewed the eraser-end of a no.2 pencil (seriously, that guy’s oral fixation was out of control) as he seemed to consider something. His eyebrows furrowed, not in the trademark Uchiha glare, but more like he was confused. This, in turn, confused Naruto.

I should say something, he thought. What’s he thinking about with that kind of expression?  But once again, he was too late.

“I’m leaving.”

“Now?” The blond glanced at the clock. It was barely past five.

“Soon.”

“Um. What?”

Sasuke cleared his desk and donned his jacket. “You should pay more attention in meetings, usuratonkachi.”

What do Jiraya’s pointless conference room ‘meetings’ have to do with anything? Naruto felt like he was missing something which, let’s face it, is nothing new. “Let’s agree to disagree.” He couldn’t focus on that crap if he wanted to.

“Suit yourself.” Sasuke shrugged, got up, and walked away.

“Yeah yeah, see you tomorrow, bastard,” Naruto spoke to the empty room, feeling. Well. Rejected. Again. And pretty unsettled, for whatever reason.

 


 

 

The weekend came and went in a haze. Of smoke. Because Naruto spent two days turning down invitations, getting high, and jacking off.

Okay, it’s official: he was wallowing big time.

“Maybe,” he mused to the glow-in-the-dark stars on his ceiling, “I could…”

 


Monday

 

“Naruto, what happened to my desk.”

“Hm?” The blond glanced up, then to the empty space to his right, “Holy shit, Sasuke! Where’d your desk go?”

“You-“ he narrowed his eyes and walked towards the kitchen. Probably to file another complaint with HR, though Kakashi clearly didn’t give a fuck.

“Warmer,” Naruto said, not looking away from his monitor.

“You.” Sasuke turned on his heel.

“Colder.”

The Uchiha backpedaled.

“Warmer,” Naruto sang, peeking from the corner of his eye.

Long story short: Sasuke worked from the woman’s restroom for the rest of the day. It wasn’t easy getting the phone and internet hooked up, but Naruto managed. Shortly after five, Sasuke returned to the common area.

“You’ll put everything back.”

There it was again, that infuriating ambiguous tone. Seriously, was he asking or telling? Naruto raised both eyebrows and blinked innocently. A silent question hung in the air: You’re not mad?

Sasuke snorted, blowing his bangs up a little. (Jesus Christ, a grown man had no business being that fucking adorable.)

“It’s quiet there. Smells nice, too. Maybe you should move your own desk sometime.”

With that, he left.

And that feeling –that unsettling emptiness- returned.

 


 

Tuesday

 

Every time Sasuke typed his own name, the computer changed it to ‘Soulja Boy.’ He couldn’t figure out how to fix it. Naruto nearly pumped his fist in victory: the so-called genius was technologically challenged. Ha!

‘Soulja Boy’ called the IT guy, who couldn’t come in until Thrusday.

After work, Sasuke gathered his things. He walked past Naruto and smacked his head.

“Ow,” the blond whined, exaggerating his distress, “What’d ya do that for, asshole?”

Said asshole pursed his lips but his eyes crinkled at the corners, as if in amusement.

“Fix it usuratonkachi.”

Once again, he left without saying goodbye.

 


 

Wednesday

 

“What’s that noise?”

Naruto had his headphones in. No music played. He gave his deskmate a blank look.

“Never mind, loser.”

Sasuke bent to check under his desk. (Wasn’t that a nice view.) He got up, checked the first drawer of his desk, then the second, then-

Meow.

A small orange kitten with big, golden eyes peered up from the third drawer. Naruto felt Sasuke’s gaze burn the side of his face. He fought down a blush as he continued to bob his head to non-existent music. The Uchiha gently, carefully allowed it to smell him. The kitten licked his fingers. Sasuke picked it up and set it on his lap, where it remained for the rest of the day.

Sheesh, even animals fell in love with that jerk. Was he a Disney princess in disguise or something? Naruto chuckled. Now there’s a thought: Sasuke White. Heh.

“Does he have a name?” The blond asked.

“Kurama,” Sasuke stroked the kitten’s head, smiling softly. Naruto turned away to hide his blush. 

They shared a look. The room was ten degrees too hot. His tie was suffocating him. What was-

“It’ll be difficult, but I’m keeping him.”

“Oh. Good.” I’m glad, he wanted to say, but didn’t. Out of all his ‘pranks,’ this was the riskiest one.

But it was also totally, one-hundred-percent worth it. 

 


 

Thursday

 

Naruto finished his work for the day. It was barely noon.

Yeah, his job was boring, but it was also hella easy. That’s a small part of the reason he stuck around. The bigger reason-

He took another drag, enjoying the burn in his chest. The sky turned a bright, saturated shade of blue.

“Mamma mia, here I go again,” Naruto sang softly under his breath, “my my, how can I resist you.”

“Mamma mia,” he turned up the sound, watched the clouds, and drifted peacefully with them, “does it show again… My my, just how much I’ve missed you. Yes I’ve been broken hearted, blue since the day we parted…”

Oh look, there’s Sasuke. Crouching down in front of him. Is that a smirk or a scowl? Well, whatever. He’s even prettier than he was his morning. Maybe that’s the weed talking. Lips were moving. Such a cute mouth, shaped exactly like a cupid’s bow. Oh, he’s talking to me.

“What’d you say?” Naruto asked, pulling out his earphones.

“You put flax milk in my almond milk carton.”

Sasuke kept some of his vegan crap -tofurky, rice pudding, that kind of tasteless shit- in the office kitchen. This was probably not Naruto's most creative prank but-

“Well yeah, it was your idea. Remember that- that?” That night. The words were caught in his throat.

“And you’re doing drugs on company property.”

Naruto chuckled, holding out the joint. “Have a seat, bastard.”

Sasuke blinked. Tilted his head (seriously, too cute) and actually accepted Naruto’s offer. He leaned back on the railing beside the blond and took a long drag.

“You’re a bad influence.”

“Fuck you, I’m the best influence ever. Live a little, Sasuke.”

“You could get fired.”

“Who’s gonna fire me? Jiraya? Kakashi?”

“Fair enough,” Sasuke chuckled.

They talked. Naruto didn’t know for how long, and he couldn’t remember what either of them said. Just that like the other time, it was really, really nice. Maybe there’s still a chance for us.

Sasuke wasn’t going anywhere, and neither was he. They had plenty of time to work things out. I’ll tell him, Naruto decided on the way home. Tomorrow. I’ll tell him everything.

 


 

Friday

 

“Sakura-chan.”

“What is it, Naruto?”

“What happened to Sasuke’s stuff? I swear I didn't do anything this time.“

She giggled. “Baka. I know it wasn’t you.”

“So?” He rubbed the back of his neck, feeling queasy.

“We had a meeting about this weeks ago.”

You should pay more attention in meetings, usuratonkachi.

“Um.”

Sakura tapped her chin and sucked on the inside of one cheek. She seemed… Concerned.

“Naruto,” she took a deep breath, “he left.”