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Disinclined Adaptation

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"Mr. Uchiha, we have arrived." 

Lifting his face from the palm of his hand, the man blinked away his blurred drowsiness while forcing back a yawn. The prolonged trip was utterly exhausting. First a seven hour flight, then right afterwards they switched to transportation by vehicle for another three hours. Sasuke reached for the car door handle, eager to get out and stretch his limbs from being cramped up for so long with little movement.

What he didn't expect was for his nostrils to be immediately bombarded with the pungent scent of precisely grass and shit. Squinting his eyes, and not just because the car's windows were tinted and the evening sunshine was near blinding, but because what he saw was a vast farmland, acres of vegetated terrain as far as the eye could see. Sasuke slammed the door to the Bentley Mulsanne shut, facing his old butler with an un-amused expression. 

"Hilarious. Now take me to the correct destination." 

"I'm afraid this isn't a joke, sir. You are at the right location." The other man insisted, popping the trunk as he made his way out of the vehicle.

Sasuke sat in the back seat for a long moment. He had to be joking. Building up the courage to torture his nose once again, he stepped out of the car. Christ. It was just as bad as the first time, if not worse. He tried to hold his breath, but that only made his eyes water. Distracting himself from the awful redolence, he took to looking around. Eventually, that stygian gaze landed upon a large yet simple wooden structure about a hundred meters away. 

The house fit with the scenery to say the least. There were many cracks, paint chips, holes, and discoloration. It went perfectly with the rest of this ramshackle lot. Not three minutes in, and he was already missing the long yet luxurious jet ride. Sasuke remembered he was going to need to stay here two weeks. Two fucking weeks. He fought the urge to crawl into the car's open trunk and pretend to be dead right then and there. 

About to question his trustworthy butler for a second time, he was stopped before he could even start by the sound of an obnoxious squeaky door flying open. Appearing out of that old wooden house was a man and he hurriedly approached them. Sasuke blinked a few times as the other came within conversing proximity, thoroughly befuddled. 

This particular individual had quite prominent blue eyes and a bright blonde head of hair, which in some parts were visibly a dirty inky color. In fact, his entire exterior had said substance all over, as if he just got done rolling around like a damn dog in a pit of charcoal before their encounter. The blond man had an equally dirty towel draped over one broad shoulder and wore raggedy blue jean overalls, the straps disregarded, hanging uselessly at either side of his waist.

Talk about appearances.

Unlike Sasuke's pale pigment, this mans skin was naturally tan which seemed to glow bronze in the afternoon lighting. One might even find such appealing if it weren't for the black splotches of.. motor oil or whatever the hell that shit was that covered him. There was even a smudge on his cheek, and he made it worse by rubbing his face with the back of his palm and offering a crooked, goofy smile. Idiot. Just an idiot. That was all Sasuke could think of in that moment. However despite such, he was going to be working with this moron for the next fourteen days. Unfortunately.

Clearing his throat, he adjusted his tie while standing up a little straighter, formal as ever. "Mr. Uzumaki? Greetings. I'm Sasuke Uchiha, your assigned financial adviser." 

Chapter Text


"You can call me Naruto." The farmer grinned again, the dopey expression seemed to be a normal thing for him.

Sasuke shook the mans hand -which was a noticeably firm grip- though instantly regretted that decision, briefly peering down to inspect the small smudges of black powder left behind on his palm. Sure, it would've been rude not to, after all he had to keep to appearances and maintain a formal demeanor. However, he could've waited till the idiot at least washed his hands. Naruto seemed to notice this and simply chuckled nervously, mumbling an apology.

"Wow, you really do look like a smaller Itachi." 

After wiping his hands on a cloth given to him by his butler, Sasuke arched an eyebrow at the statement. He had almost forgotten this moron knew his brother. That was the entire reason he was here in the first place. He was mildly surprised Itachi would associate himself with someone like... this. Then again, the his brother was quite unpredictable and somewhat insane, he shouldn't be too taken aback. 

"Is that so." He replied flatly.

"Oh!" Sasuke watched the others bright blue eyes light up after his exclamation. "I nearly forgot. Let me grab those for you."

In an instant, Naruto was at the expensive vehicles trunk and began hauling his luggage out. Sasuke was about to intervene until his butler stepped forth, lightly tapping the blond on a single broad shoulder. "Mr. Uzumaki, you needn't worry about Mr. Uchiha's bags." He assured, offering a small smile. 

"No no, I don't mind. You guys are helping me big time, this is the very least I can do in return. Follow me, I'll take you to where you can put your stuff away." Naruto insisted, crouching down to grasp the stacked bags from the bottom.

Sasuke noted how the man almost easily lifted all of his luggage, knowing for a fact that each one weighed a considerable amount. A twinge of amusement flooded throughout as he glanced over at his butlers face while he watched Naruto walk in the other direction. The old man was standing next to the open, now empty trunk looking completely lost and dumbfounded. Sasuke suppressed the urge to snort.

"I.. that's my job.." The man murmured almost inaudibly, slowly closing the trunk.

"It's alright, he's too far away now anyways. I will keep you updated every two days and forward you any new important information. I assure you'll take good care of my office and alert me if there's any issues as usual." 

"Yes sir, of course. Will that be all Mr. Uchiha?" 

Sasuke nodded dismissively, and his butler gave a formal dip of his head in farewell before turning back towards the black Bentley He watched the vehicle drive off out of sight, and turned to face the rugged wooden house once again. That was his temporary living arrangement for two weeks. He was going to kill Itachi. Sasuke followed after the blond idiot, making his way across the yard and stopped on the porch. 

There were many deer antlers leaning against the side of the wall, along with a couple small empty bowls that appeared to be left out for some sort of little animal. A classic little porch swing to the left faced the vast expanse, giving an absolutely perfect view of the oncoming sunset. The audible jingles brought him to notice the multiple wind chimes present as a small breeze passed by. 

The smell would take some time getting used to. Though even Sasuke could admit the place was quite peaceful. Sasuke looked down at the doormat which displayed in big bold black letters, 'Wipe your Paws' along with a picture of a paw print. He nearly jumped when the door suddenly opened and the farmer who once again wore that goofy smile looked down at him. 

"You coming in?" Naruto asked, gesturing with his head.

Sasuke merely gave a hn as a response and stepped forwards into the wooden home. He was mildly surprised to find the interior much more appealing than what outside presented. It was warm, not humid or an uncomfortable sweltering heat, but a more welcoming temperature. Instinctively taking off his shoes out of habit, he carried them in one hand and continued looking around.

It was very simple, completely the opposite of what the Uchiha was accustomed to. He followed Naruto upstairs and down the hallway, turning a corner to walk into a medium sized room. There was a bed on the far left, a dresser, a small closet, a little wooden reading chair next to the window, and a rug. As country-classic as it could get. Sasuke looked at his luggage neatly stacked away in a corner, and silently wondered how the man managed to carry all that up the stairs so quickly.

"Sorry." He heard the blond speak up. "I know its probably far from what you'd call nice, but it's the best I have." 

"It'll do." He replied plainly, fixating his gaze on the mans dirty tan features. "How does eight am sharp sound for getting started?"

"Eight? Sure!" Naruto soon looked elsewhere, anywhere but his own eyes. He gnawed briefly on his bottom lip, lost in thought. "Um, well the bathroom is all the way down the hall to the right and if you need anything else just give me a holler. Er.. yeah, uh, that's pretty much it. I'm guessing you're tired from your super long trip so I'll stop bothering ya and let you rest. Oh if you get cold there's plenty of extra blankets in the closet, it's warm during the day but it can get pretty chilly at night here." 

Sasuke nodded, watching the other man briefly linger and sway on his heals before he then give an awkward goodbye and shut the door, leaving him be. He stood in the middle of the room for a long moment, closing his eyes and releasing a long sigh. Finally deciding to move, he opened his eyes and set his shoes neatly down, beginning to unpack his belongings and organizing his clothes. 

It took roughly an hour for Sasuke to get everything perfectly situated as best as he could to his liking from what was provided. When he was finished, he took a peep out the large window, the sun was beginning to set and the sky was that beautiful milky orangeish pink color. Sasuke's eyes moved elsewhere and he soon spotted the idiot blond. How late did he normally stay out there?

The man was walking an enormous jet black stallion, leading it to a post in which he tied the reins to. He silently watched Naruto brush the animals dark, ridiculously long mane which looked soft to the touch even at this distance away. When he found himself staring longer than necessary, Sasuke turned his attention towards the bed, running his thin, long fingers across the comforters plush surface that seemed to consist of some type of animal pelt.

Well, it wasn't silk or satin.

Sasuke set aside his stuck up thoughts, it could've been worse after all. He finally clambered into the bed, sinking down into the softness with another heavy sigh. After setting his alarm, it didn't take but a moment for the jet lag and other travel exhaustion to catch up to him and within a few minutes, he drifted off into sleep.




The following morning, Sasuke woke up approximately twenty minutes before his alarm went off. In the back of his mind, he half expected to have his sleep interrupted by a morning rooster or something stereotypical like that. Though awakened, he remained laying down for a while longer, blinking away the sleepiness from his eyes. He made his bed, washed up, fixed his terrible dark mess of bed hair and changed into a grey button up shirt with slacks. 

Sasuke almost put on shoes, then he realized he wasn't going anywhere besides downstairs so there wouldn't be a damn point. Setting a timer on his wrist watch for noon for lunch, he snatched up his overly expensive leather bag containing a dreadful amount of paperwork and made his way out of the room. Sasuke paused on the stairwell, looking around at the multiple pictures on both sides of the wall near the railings. 

They all contained animals, or the blond idiot himself with the animals and of course he had that stupid grin on his face in nearly every picture. Some he could distinctively tell were much older by the quality and the fact that Naruto was much smaller-looking in the photos. Sasuke looked at a particular picture of the farmer as a little boy, he was holding out his hand while a huge bird of prey of some sort was snatching the food from his palm in it's sharp beak. The birds wingspan was bigger than the kid himself in the picture, and Sasuke wouldn't have been surprised if the winged beast decided to have the moron as a snack instead. 

A small frown made it's way to the mans pale features as he turned around in a full circle, dark gaze flicking between each and every picture hanging on the wall. It didn't take Sasuke long at all to realize that all these photographs had one obvious thing in common. Naruto was alone in all of them. Well, besides the various different animals of course. Did his family not share his passion for animals as well? Or were they the ones taking the photos? Then again, it wasn't hard to hire a cheap photographer to take the pictures if he was indeed alone.

"Hm." Sasuke hummed aloud, continuing down the staircase.

He waltzed into the kitchen, not surprised to find Naruto nowhere to be found. The moron seemed like the type to not arrive on time, even to simple things. Judging from the mess of the mans dining area, he could only guess how disorganized other things were, especially his important information. Stifling a sigh, Sasuke set his bag on the wooden dining table, blinking at the multiple empty cups of instant ramen on the other side. 

Sasuke opened his bag and began going through the loads of paperwork, assuring everything was there and begun to prepare everything for when the idiot finally decided to arrive. The sound of rapid footsteps followed by a familiar squeak of the front door and Naruto appeared in sight. Speak of the devil. 

"Sorry!" The farmer exclaimed, breathing heavily. "I had to give everyone breakfast."

Sasuke blatantly looked the man up and down, it was barely eight o' clock in the morning and he was already a complete mess. How early did he wake up on a daily basis? Naruto seemed to read his mind, and began chuckling awkwardly, scratching the back of his head.

"I guess, I should clean up and come back huh?" He said rhetorically, retreating to the staircase without giving Sasuke the chance to reply. "I'll be back in a jiff!" 

He sat in silence for a long moment, not exactly knowing what to do besides wait. After a while, Sasuke glanced at his watch. Around twenty minutes had passed, and he was beginning to become impatient. Sighing, he tapped his fingers against the wooden surface, glancing around the area. Sasuke did a double-take, startled to see a pair of slitted, rich orangeish-reddish eyes staring directly at him.  

Sitting on the other side across the wooden tabletop was a fluffy orange cat. The feline had a very poofy tail, almost unusually big pointed ears and black eye markings that made it look like a miniature fox. Sasuke frowned, he could deal with some animals but he really hated cats. All they did was meow all day and tear up shit with their annoying claws. 

"What're you staring at." He said through gritted teeth at the small animal who kept it's bright gaze fixated on him.

"Shoo, shoo." Sasuke grumbled, waving a hand in the cat's direction. 

However, the animal refused to move an inch, no matter how many angry faces he made at it. Eventually the pair ended up having a staring contest, as childish as it was. Just as Sasuke was about to set aside his pride and ignore the feline, approaching footsteps had alerted him of Naruto's return. Tearing his eyes away from the annoying cat, he glanced at Naruto who walked down the stairs.

"Uh-oh." The blond said, his bright blue eyes moving towards the feline seated on the table. "I hope Kurama wasn't bothering you." He chuckled slightly. 

Sasuke watched the man scoop up the feline in his arms, frowning when the cat gave an affectionate nuzzle of his cheek against the farmers face. Naruto set the animal on the floor, and it trotted away out of sight, not without a glance back in Sasuke's direction. He opened his mouth and almost scoffed, that cat was definitely mocking him.

"No." Sasuke muttered quietly in response.

"He can be a handful, but he's a good kitty. Sometimes." The other chuckled again. "Wow. This is the first time I've felt under dressed in my own home." 

Sasuke took another brief scan of the man who for once didn't look like a fucking catastrophic disaster. His blond hair was still slightly wet from his shower, which dripped a few droplets of water on his orange and black t-shirt. From that along with his irritating pet cat, Sasuke instantly assumed the idiots favorite color scheme was no doubt, orange and black. He also wore dark blue jeans which had a few holes in them. Holes that he was sure weren't there when the man bought them.

To say the least, the moron looked a whole lot.. different when he wasn't covered in shit. Literally shit. A better kind of different nonetheless. Of course, Sasuke wasn't going to comment that out loud, especially not when that crooked grin was once again spread across the idiot's face. He silently wondered if Naruto's cheekbones ever hurt or gotten sore from smiling so widely all the damn time.

"Do you want some coffee?" The blond spoke up after a prolonged silence.

"Sure." 

"Great, two cups of coffee coming right up!" 

Sasuke once again settled his dark gaze on the other man, wondering how an individual could have this much energy. Especially in the early hours of the morning. How in the hell did he ever get to become friends with Itachi? He almost snorted while noticing a hole in the back of Naruto's shirt, it looked like a rip caused by something quite sharp. Probably that damned cat and it's claws, he always knew felines were up to no good, no matter how friendly they seemed. 

"You take care of all these animals completely by yourself?" He asked, needing to get the question off his mind.  

Sasuke could've sworn he saw a brief ripple of tension pass across the mans back, and he thought perhaps he could've waited to pop the inquiry. Although, it was too late now, he had already said the words. 

"Mhm!" Naruto answered cheerfully. Sasuke narrowed his eyes, almost sure the grin on the blond's face seemed somewhat strained this time, as if he was forcing himself to maintain the happy expression. "I'll admit it's a ton of work, but it pays off. I get to see the animals happy, and that makes me happy." He said, setting the mug of coffee next to him. 

"Cream or sugar?" 

"A little of both, please." 

Sasuke mumbled a thanks, stirring up the coffee with a small spoon before taking a sip. The liquid immediately spread warmth from his throat and all throughout his stomach, and he sighed contently into the cup. Setting the mug down, he reached for his leather bag and pulled out a folder, doing a brief scan of the stack of papers and pushed them towards Naruto. 

"Review all of these, fill out your information and sign or initial when necessary." He instructed, sliding a pen across the table.

The blond haired man looked at him as if he just sprouted antlers. His mouth hung open, and his prominent blue eyes flicked from the stack of papers, to Sasuke, and back again multiple times. "Are you serious?" 

"What's the problem?" He frowned. 

"This stack of papers is thicker than two of my fingers, it's gonna take forever!"

Sasuke simply rolled his eyes. "Then you'd better get started."

He probably shouldn't have enjoyed the look of despair on Naruto's face as much as he did, but little did the man know that stack was only the beginning, not to mention puny compared to the others inside of his bag. This situation might prove to be entertaining after all.

Chapter Text


Sasuke glanced down at his wrist watch. 11:43 AM. It's been around three and a half hours, and the idiot was only one-third finished with just the beginning of his paperwork. Aside from the multiple useless, self explanatory questions Naruto asked, he remained relatively silent aside from the occasional hum or groan of frustration. More than a few times he caught the man just sitting there zoning out into space while chewing on the pen. His pen. 

A sharp snap of his fingers, or a purposeful bump against the table leg would have the blond's attention snap back into focus, and he'd then continue his reading and writing. Sasuke rolled his eyes so many times this morning, he wouldn't be surprised if by the end of the day they had popped out of his skull. He reviewed each piece of paperwork Naruto finished, assuring he didn't skip over anything or fill the lines with complete bullshit, this was important after all. 

He squinted at the man's handwriting, it was absolutely atrocious. Then again, what did he expect from this moron. The random flashes of orange in his peripheral vision only added to his increasing aggravation. That damn cat, Kurama or whatever his name was kept popping by unexpectedly, casually laying on the table and hopping off, walking underneath and weaving in and out between their legs, seeking attention that Sasuke damn sure wasn't about to give.

As he continued inspecting the work, Sasuke noticed the complete lack of... social connections. For each space regarding relatives, relationships or siblings, there was always a 'N/A' or a simple cross out on the area. Sure, he understood solitude, loners or people who kept mostly to themselves, but this was ridiculous. He frowned, recognizing the only name besides Naruto's that was added on any of the papers.

"It appears your emergency contact, matter of fact, your only other contact is a Shikamaru Nara." 

Naruto looked up from the pages and nodded a few times. "Yeah, Shikamaru's a great guy. Known him for years."

Sasuke noticed the smile beginning to form on the mans lips, and took a wild guess and assumed he was Naruto's friend of some sorts. "I see. Aside from him, you haven't any other contacts?"

He watched Naruto's smile fade, and those radiant blue eyes flicked in another direction. "Uhm.. Not really, no. Well, I mean Itachi but we haven't seen each other in a long time so that wouldn't exactly count." 

"Any known living relatives, other multiple year long friends like Mr. Nara, perhaps a separated spouse or girlfriend of some sorts?" 

Naruto frowned for what seemed like the first time ever in his presence. "Why? What does it matter anyways?" 

Sasuke fought the urge to sigh. "Mr Uzumaki-" 

"Naruto." 

"Naruto." He hissed through gritted teeth. "I am not trying to bombard your personal life, this is simply a business protocol. It is imperative we collect this information on our customers since we are dealing with finances lest we risk attempted fraud or losing money which would ultimately run the company into dirt. We need to identify as many connections to people as possible to assure guaranteed success for both ends. After all, people know others better than that person knows themselves sometimes. If something drastic were to happen and we had no idea whom to contact for assistance, it would make us look bad while you'd be left in a sticky situation, or worse. And judging by what I know so far, you don't want to dig yourself into an even deeper hole than you're already in. So, I ask again. Are there any other personal connections we are able to contact besides Mr. Nara?" 

For a second he thought the man would argue with him, going by the harsh frown twisted on his tan features. Sasuke wasn't sure if he preferred that expression or his accustomed goofy ones. After a long moment, Naruto's broad shoulders slumped and he seemed to sink down into his chair, his frown alleviating. "No, there's no one else." 

Sasuke temporarily sat in silence, his dark stare boring into the other. He appeared almost sad after saying that, like it was a confession. His curious side wanted to question more on the topic, but he decided to spare him. He updated the following information onto his laptop, scrolling through the man's file and making a checklist on the things that have been completed thus far. Reading more, at first he thought his screen glitched, and he had to slowly scroll back to make sure his eyes were functioning properly.

"It says here you have a criminal record." Sasuke spoke in a questioning tone, looking up from over his screen with an arched brow. 

The blond's somewhat depressed expression quickly disappeared, and there came that usual toothy grin as he let out a loud nervous cackle. "Ha! Oh yeah haha, um, almost forgot about that." He laughed, awkwardly rubbing the back of his head. "It was a few years ago. Nothing to be worried over, a simple misunderstanding." 

"Hn." Sasuke couldn't bring himself to imagine this individual to be a lawbreaker. He was simply too.. what was the right word. Goofy? Innocent? Perhaps a little bit of both. There weren't details on it, but he didn't have a warning red alert on the idiot's profile, which meant he wasn't a serial killer, bank robber, drug lord or anything of the sorts. So with that, he passed it on with a shrug and continued.

A loud beeping noise caught both their attentions and the source came from his watch. Sasuke switched the device off and pushed his laptop away, sighing deeply somewhat relieved. "Break time." 

"Finally!"

Naruto shot up out of his chair faster than he could blink, reaching his long arms above his head in a stretch while the bottom part of his shirt rose high enough to reveal a small section of the man's toned stomach. Sasuke couldn't help but catch a glimpse at the little trail of blond hair beginning underneath his belly button and disappearing underneath the lining of his boxers. 

"Man I'm starving!" Naruto huffed loudly, "I bet you are too cutie." 

"What-"  

Sasuke's eyes snapped upwards to see the blond idiot holding Kurama in his arms. Oh. His body relaxed once he realized the man wasn't speaking to him. He would've had no fucking clue as to what to respond to that if he was in fact talking to him. Naruto disappeared around the corner and returned with a large bag of cat food, walking outside to most likely fill up the little bowl on the porch.

"One down, ninety nine to go." Naruto joked as he walked back inside, putting the cat food away with his mouth twisting up into that wide grin for the umpteenth time.

"How many animals are here?" He questioned, genuinely curious.

The other gnawed on his bottom lip, deep in thought. The action seemed to be a habit he had. Eventually, he shrugged. "I honestly have no idea." 

"Hm." 

"You hungry?" 

"It is lunch, isn't it?" 

"You're so sarcastic. Just like Itachi, maybe worse." 

"Hm." 

"Hm." Naruto mimicked, and Sasuke frowned. 

"Let's see, there's... uh. Huh, well whoops." 

"What's the problem?"

"I completely forgot to go shopping." The blond admitted, rubbing the back of his head with an innocent grin. "There's only instant ramen and dumplings." 

Sasuke rolled his eyes.

"I guess I could head to the store, but it would take me over an hour and a half, not sure if you want to wait that long to eat." 

"Do you not have any means of transportation?" 

"Nah, I walk to the store in town." 

"And might I ask how far away that is?"

"Ehh, around five miles, maybe a little more or less." 

"So, you travel approximately ten miles every week just to gather groceries and other necessities." 

"Yep!" 

He couldn't comprehend why the man seemed happy about that. "What do you carry it in?" 

"I wear a carrying pack on my back, but also these." Naruto held up both his arms, playfully flexing. His biceps temporarily bulged, protruding out visibly on his tawny skin from the action. 

Sasuke blinked, maintaining a bored expression at the display. He pretended not to notice the veins running along the others muscles, it was no surprise he was in good shape, taking into consideration of all the shit he did on a daily basis. 

"What do you do in the winter?" He pressed on. 

"Ah, I stock up on everything late fall. Kinda like a bear getting ready to hibernate." Naruto made himself giggle at the comment. What a moron. 

"Hm." 

"Soooo.. instant ramen or do you want me to head to the store?"

"That won't be necessary. I'll have the ramen." Even someone as cruel and snooty as himself wouldn't make the poor idiot walk ten miles just for his sake, he'd feel lazy. Plus the man had enough on his plate. 

Those crystal blue eyes lit up with excitement, shining even brighter than before if that was even possible. "Great! Two orders of ramen coming right up." 

Sasuke was intrigued on how good the instant noodles actually smelled and looked when they were finished. It had to have been years ago he had ever eaten anything so... simple. Wealth brought him to grow used to eating various different expensive foods. He took a sip of his drink, cringing and setting the cup down while forcefully swallowing. 

"Heh, I guess I have to work on my tea making skills." 

"No kidding." 

Before he could even pick up his chopsticks, Naruto was slurping up the last remains of his ramen, and he soon slammed the empty dish down on the table with a loud clank. Sasuke stared at him, mouth partially open. What the hell? Apparently the blond caught his expression, and a hearty laugh filled the dining area. 

"I'm used to eating fast." He chuckled. "Now I gotta go serve everyone lunch and take the horses out into the pasture, and re- yeah, you get the point. Stuff to do. Feel free to join me afterwards. There's some extra boots in the closet near the front door if you do decide to come, don't wanna get your nice shoes dirty. I'll be back later!" 

The man slipped on a pair of boots and was out the door, leaving Sasuke still sitting there with his chopsticks in one hand. Join him? What could he possibly do? He had little to no experience with dogs or cats, let alone farm animals, he'd only get in the way. Plus they had work to finish. He looked down at his ramen, the steam creating a little white cloud above the surface. He still couldn't comprehend how that moron was able to shove all that down his throat so fast, not to mention while it was still piping hot. He must've had no gag reflex or something. 

"Hm." Sasuke mumbled aloud, beginning to eat his lunch at a normal human being speed. 




It was around an hour or so later. Sasuke had finished his meal and put his dishes away, unlike the blond idiot who simply left his remains on the table. After cleaning up and reviewing things on his laptop, he found himself sitting at the table with absolutely nothing to do. He thought back to Naruto's offer on joining him outside, but soon thought against it. Sasuke and animals simply didn't mix. Then again.. what else was he supposed to do? 

He couldn't go ahead and continue the work, after all he needed the other man to be present as well. If this was going to go on every day and he'd have to wait for Naruto to finish with the animals, the papers would take forever to finish, especially with how slow the man was going. Stifling a sigh, Sasuke got to his feet and looked around, remembering the instructions given. 

Finding the little closet Naruto mentioned earlier, he blinked a few times at how cluttered it was when he opened it. Sasuke glanced over all the items, there were multiple pairs of shoes, boots, jackets, scarfs, gloves, and a few hats scattered everywhere. Grabbing the cleanest pair of boots he could see, he inspected the shoe for a moment before hesitantly slipping a foot inside. It didn't really fit like he thought it would. His foot was smaller than Naruto's, his toes were nowhere near the top of the boot.

Well, you know what they say about big feet. 

Sasuke shook his head at the thought, putting the other boot on and glancing down. He looked fucking ridiculous. The nice clothes he wore didn't fit at all with the large dingy black boots that went up to the middle of his shins. He couldn't imagine himself in a million years clashing with his normally good fashion so badly. Walking out the door, Sasuke scrunched up his nose, preparing for the near overwhelming smell of shit and grass, but it never came. 

Perhaps he had already gotten used to the scent without even realizing it. Sasuke glanced around, not exactly sure where to begin to look for the blonde idiot until he heard that familiar laugh. It sounded like a small distance away, so he began walking in the direction he heard the laugh in. He passed by a barn which was filled with moo's, no doubt a bunch of cows were inside. 

Sasuke followed a worn trail next to the barn that opened up into a huge grassy field surrounded by a tall wooden fence. Sure enough, there Naruto was inside of the pasture, along with five other horses which were grazing on the plush grass, including the black stallion he saw the previous day. He quickly noticed Sasuke, and his grin seemed to widen even more as he made his way over to the gate, followed by the large hooved animal.

"I knew you'd come along." Naruto said cheerfully, his happiness shifting into amusement once giving Sasuke a look over. "Nice outfit." 

"Shut up. I just came to remind you that there's work to finish." Sasuke lied smoothly, well. It was a little bit of the truth, he wanted to remind him so the moron didn't forget. Along with the fact that he was bored out of his mind and somewhat curious, the mans lifestyle was just so different than his own he couldn't help but observe more. 

"Mhm." Naruto hummed, not believing his excuse. "Well what are you waiting for? Come into the pasture." 

"What? No way." Sasuke blurted. 

"Why not?" The blond laughed out loud. "It's just horses, they don't bite. Much." 

"No." 

"Please?" 

"No." 

"So you're just gonna stand there?" 

"If it'll make you come inside and get this paperwork done faster, then yes." 

"You're more stubborn than my mules." 

Sasuke snorted. 

The black stallion's nostrils flared, audibly blowing out a loud puff of air in equivalent to a snort of its own. Sasuke's eyes widened at the boisterous noise, and Naruto's laugh soon followed suit, and he pet the side of the large animals neck. "Right back at ya." He grinned cheekily. "Okay tell ya what, if you at least come into the pasture, I'll stop procrastinating." 

"I'm not here to bond with animals, I'm here to help you." 

"Awe come on." Naruto practically begged. "We got two weeks! What's the rush? Live a little. Honestly, how many of these animals do you see on a daily basis back where you live?" 

Though he didn't want to admit it, the idiot was right for once. Not to mention the way he was staring at him, it somewhat unnerved Sasuke. Those big, prominent blue eyes had gotten even bigger and were now two glistening oceans, silently pleading. Naruto had somehow mastered the puppy-dog stare, as irritating as it was. Knowing there was no other way to convince the moron, Sasuke groaned. 

"Fine." He muttered through gritted teeth.

And there it was yet again, that stupid grin. 

Naruto quickly opened the gate, ushering him inside the grassy area before any of the horses could get the idea to try to leave while it was briefly open. He stood awkwardly next to the taller man, taking a couple glances at the large black animal that was now grazing on the fine grass adjacent to them both. 

"Wanna pet him?" He heard the others voice speak up.

"I'm alright." 

"Oh would you stop being shy already." 

Next thing Sasuke knew, a large hand had grasped him on the wrist and pulled him forwards. Before he could protest, his palm was lightly placed on the hooved animals back and underneath Naruto's own appendage. He tensed, the mans skin was alarmingly soft to the touch, he would've assumed he had all kinds of dry skin problems on his hands from the work he did, but it was just the opposite. 

As soon as it was there, it was then gone, and Sasuke was left with only his hand placed gently on the stallion's back. He stood still as a rock, waiting for something, anything to happen. When nothing did, he began moving his hand across the surface of the horses nice fur. It had a very shiny and healthy coat, even someone as inexperienced with animals as he was could see this creature was well taken care of and loved.

"His name is Yamiyo. It means Dark Night." The blond said, and Sasuke nodded in acknowledgement. 

Dark Night, how fitting. The stallion's head lifted from the grass, and Sasuke froze again while looking into its big dark eyes. Yamiyo stuck his face near his own, and he moved his hand to run across it's nose then mane. Thin, pale fingers combed through the long and soft black tresses, secretly enjoying how pleasant it felt treading between his digits.

"I knew it. You're a natural." Naruto spoke up again, cheesing like always. 

"Natural what?" He arched a brow, removing his hand from the animals mane. Yamiyo gave a flick of his thick tail and returned back to grazing. 

"An animal lover. It takes one to know one." Naruto stated simply, his grin widening.

Sasuke simply shrugged not commenting further. Even though he didn't exactly agree with the mans statement, he knew Naruto would argue till' the sun came up to get his point across.

"Wanna ride him?" Naruto asked, a newfound glint in those crystal blue depths. 

"Wha-" Sasuke looked between the large hooved animal and the blond idiot a few times. "Not a chance."

"You're no fun." 

"I already got into the pasture like you said and petted him. Now come on, it's time to go back to work we've wasted enough time and you have a lot to finish."

"Blah blah blah, alright Mr. Boring, we'll have it your way." 

Sasuke rolled his eyes and began heading towards the gate. Thirteen more days with this moron. He was going to need a miracle. 

And then some.

Chapter Text


To Sasuke's bewilderment, the other man had actually been quite productive in finishing his paperwork the following afternoon and evening. With mild distractions aside from assuring the animals were good for the night and despite how slow of pace he was working at, it was proving to be relatively efficient. They had finished the first stack by midday, pausing for dinner and only to have small breaks because Naruto claimed his butt was getting numb from sitting for so long.

He reluctantly agreed to have ten minute intervals every hour or so at the blond's request. Sitting for an extended period of time was something Sasuke had gotten used to over the years with all the business meetings and such, so he cut the idiot a break. Dark iris's flicked towards the window, just now realizing the sun had set and it was already dark outside. 

Sasuke looked at his watch, it was a quarter past 10 o' clock. They were nearly finished, so he wouldn't mind pressing on to the early hours of the morning in order to have everything completed. After reviewing over the paperwork Naruto was doing again, he became so fed up with the idiot's near incomprehensible handwriting that he decided to change the process of which they were doing things. 

It might've been somewhat illegal for Sasuke to read what was written on the pages and write Naruto's response himself, but he was sure the other officials wouldn't be too happy with the important details almost unreadable. Plus, this way was much faster since the moron appeared more cheerful on answering the questions as apposed to reading them and writing his reply's. 

But now, it was quiet. Too quiet. Normally Sasuke would've welcomed the tranquility, but such a word didn't exist around the presence of this talkative idiot. He peered up over his laptop screen to find Naruto had dozed off. His elbow was on the table, cheek leaning against the palm of his open hand, a tiny line of drool forming at the corner of his mouth while a few locks of his blond hair fell forwards over his forehead.

Sasuke looked over the mans tan features, it was almost weird to see him so... calm. That face which was normally occupied with a grin or another one of his hyperactive expressions was now completely relaxed, peaceful even. He quickly returned his eyes back to his laptop after noticing he was staring longer than absolutely necessary. Reaching for a blank piece of paper, he crumpled it up into a ball and launched it in Naruto's direction.

The paper bounced off his nose, and soon afterwards those bright blue eyes flashed open. Naruto made a funny noise, stretched, then mumbled an apology after yawning and rubbing his eyes. Sasuke simply sighed, looking down at Kurama who was now pawing at the paper ball which rolled onto the floor.

"Let's see.." He mumbled aloud, flipping through folders. "Maxed out on every single credit card, your personal information is completely disorganized to say the least along with the fact that you don't have your birth certificate or social security card. Technically self employed, your only other known job status was at a local bar, never had an actual career nor attempted to peruse any other higher education, multiple payments long overdue, your savings account holds less than enough money to vacation across the street let alone help you. And yet, you have an acceptance recommendation letter for me to work with you to get you out of this disaster. WTF to that."

"Thank Itachi for that letter." Naruto cheesed sheepishly.

"Yeah, you'd better thank him. If it weren't for that letter along with the fact that he called me to accept this as a favor to him, I wouldn't be here right now, and you'd be stuck in an even bigger mess."

"I guess old friends are good to have after all." The man chuckled slightly, rubbing the back of his neck.

"This is no laughing matter Mr. Uzum- Naruto. At this rate, you're liable to lose the farm. We d-"

"No!" Naruto abruptly shouted, his hand expeditiously flinging downwards to have his fist collide against the tabletop with a loud slam. 

Sasuke involuntarily tensed, the loud clunk seemed to echo in the quiet room, and he saw a flash of orange fur dart up the stairs as Kurama ran, abandoning the paper ball.

"I mean.. no." Naruto corrected himself, mumbling the words while looking down at the floor. "The farm will be fine." 

There was a long pause as Sasuke stared at the blond man, thoroughly taken aback by his outburst of anger although he kept his face straight like usual. "As I was saying, we don't have time to goof off. We need to work quickly and efficiently so we can get closer to making what you just said a reality. To start things off, I will submit the completed information in the morning, since it is too late tonight. Tomorrow you will also gather all your overdue payment stats and record them so we can have a general idea on where to begin. Sound good?" 

The other man nodded silently, still looking down at the ground. 

"Now." Sasuke continued. "I'm already aware you sell crops, the foals both your mare horses have, your chickens eggs, goat and cow milk, sheep's wool, and occasionally meat from some of them. Do you receive any other forms of income? Regularly or irregular, anything helps." 

Naruto finally lifted his head, and there was a faint tint of red visible on his cheeks while he fidgeted in his seat. Was it something he said? Sasuke frowned, he couldn't think of a reason for anyone to become flustered over a simple question like that. Unless.. Oh. Perhaps if he answered along the lines of a male stripper, or worse. An escort or something. Though, Sasuke just couldn't see the fool doing something so lewd, no matter how nice of body he had. 

Not that he was admitting he had a nice body or anything. 

"What?" Sasuke finally asked when he was still met with silence. 

"Oh just I.. uh, occasionally er.. make bets kinda." Naruto answered in a quiet tone. 

Relieved he wasn't an undercover prostitute or anything, Sasuke simply snorted. "So you're a gambler too." He stated bluntly, crossing his arms. "I see Itachi's ways have rubbed off on you." 

His older sibling was a hardcore gambler. He'd spend hours upon hours of his time in big city casinos and arcades and such, wasting his money away like an idiot even though he was as equally wealthy as Sasuke. Sometimes it paid off when he lucked out and got a good lump of cash, but the addiction was so strong he'd pull risky moves and almost lose it all. It annoyed Sasuke to no end, but there was no steering his brother's path in another direction, he'd probably make a final bet on his deathbed, all or nothin'. 

"Maybe a little bit." Naruto confessed, but quickly put his hands up when Sasuke glared at him. "Don't worry! I don't go absolutely insane like Itachi does, it's a rare thing, sometimes I earn a few hundred bucks and I leave it as that because I hate losing." 

"Hm." He mumbled, shrugging his shoulders. "Anything else?" 

Naruto rubbed his chin, his blue eyes which appeared an almost a silvery grey color in the dim lighting temporarily lost in thought. "I'm alright with mechanics, so sometimes I fix up people's motorcycles and cars if the damage isn't too bad. They come to me when they don't want to pay that ridiculous amount of money to insurance for fixing something so trivial but it can't be left unattended to." 

That would explain all that black shit smeared on his clothes and skin during their first encounter. "Ah, I see." 

"I'm also in association with the towns kindergarten. A couple times during the school year and sometimes during the summer, they take a class vacation to my farm. The kids can interact with the animals and learn more about life here and such. The pay is meh, but the kids are funny and they love the animals so I'm okay with it." 

Sasuke nodded, typing down the details on his laptop, pausing when the blond idiot made a loud noise, his eyes getting big. 

"Oh! Speaking of that, oh my gosh. One of those field trip days is tomorrow. I almost completely forgot!" Naruto pushed his chair back and shot up to his feet. "Thanks for reminding me, I gotta go get ready for tomorrow and sleep. Those kids can be absolutely insane. See yah!"

"You.." Sasuke trailed off when the man disappeared up the stairs, leaving him sitting alone. "Alright then." 

He remained sitting there for a few minutes longer, putting the last important details on his laptop before closing the screen. Organizing the papers and putting them neatly into folders, Sasuke set them next to his laptop and pushed in his chair, leaving his temporary work space tidy as always. Sasuke scoffed after looking at the other mans spot which had a few empty cups of instant ramen, a half drunken cup of tea, a few scattered papers and envelopes.

Rolling his eyes at the disgusting sight, he began clearing away the mess for both their sake. After throwing away the trash and pouring out the old tea, he put the dish in the sink and began tidying up the cluttered papers. Sasuke paused mid-movement when he noticed an indentation on the tabletop that wasn't previously there. He then remembered in a flash Naruto's sudden spike of anger, and his fist striking the wooden surface. Sasuke stared at the dent for a long moment, unblinking. He made a side note to never get on the morons bad side and finished up making the table look decent then headed upstairs for bed.




The next morning Naruto informed him that the children would arrive at the farm around 9 o' clock. While the other man got an early start like always and began preparing the animals to interact with the kindergartners, Sasuke sat at the kitchen table sipping on a cup of coffee. He casually watched the blond run back and forth in and out of the house multiple times, completely unprepared even though he had gotten up earlier than him. 

He silently wondered if Naruto wen't through this process each and every field trip. A small part of him wanted to offer help, then again it was mildly amusing watching Naruto struggle. The man was completely hopeless, the fact that he ran the farm and kept all the animals healthy and in good shape would forever remain a mystery. Something brushed up against his legs, and Sasuke peered down to see Kurama. 

The orange feline's reddish hued eyes looked up at him and he gave a meow, walking in circles around his legs. When Sasuke ignored him, he jumped up onto the tabletop and laid down in front of him, pawing at his hands. Naruto appeared in the house again, zooming up the stairs and running back down with a couple of wooden stools lodged underneath his arms. 

"Hey Sasuke, can you feed Kurama while I finish up outside? Thanks!" He said without waiting for a reply, disappearing out the door.

So that's why the cat kept bothering him, he was probably hungry. Sighing, Sasuke finished the rest of his coffee and put the mug into the sink. Now where did that idiot keep the cat food. He began looking around, opening different draws and cabinets until he finally found the same large bag Naruto used the previous morning. Sasuke underestimated the weight of the animal food and nearly dropped it onto the fucking floor trying to pick it up with one hand. 

"Jesus." He huffed, repositioning the giant bag so he could hold it in both hands.

That moron made it look light as a feather yesterday. He made his way across the kitchen with a little struggle, opening the door by pushing down the handle with his knee and moved onto the porch followed by Kurama. He filled the little metal bowl up with food, closing the bag and looked down to see the fluffy orange feline already beginning to eat.

"You're welcome." Sasuke muttered towards the cat, snatching the bag of food back up in his arms, returning into the house to put it away. 

The sound of vehicles caught his attention, and he looked out the window to see two yellow school buses pulling into the large gravely parking lot. Great. Kids. He wasn't a big fan of them, but he'd rather deal with hyper youngsters rather than snarky teenagers who thought they knew everything. Sasuke walked outside, catching up to Naruto who was standing in the lot with that big grin on his face. 

The doors to both bus's opened, and Sasuke could hear the excited voices of the kids yelling, squealing and screaming inside before they all spilled out of the vehicle's like a swarm of ants. He shuttered, not without Naruto noticing because the man gave a small chuckle at him. 

"Don't worry, they're good kids." He assured. 

Yeah right. 

"I wanna take home a sheep!" Some child squeaked. 

"Me too!" 

"Yeah same!" 

"Let's get some wool and make fluffy blankets for our families!" 

"Ooh I'd totally make a winter coat out of one. You'd never see me shivering!" 

"That's a good idea!"

"I wanna get a chicken so my momma wont make me walk to the store every week for eggs." 

"Stop being lazy!" 

"Single file everyone!" A woman's voice was heard above the obnoxious noises of the kids. 

The little bastards however, didn't listen at all because they were just a huge disorganized clusterfuck. At least none of them went randomly running off into the cornfields, it would take hours to find them if they did. Exiting lastly out of the bus, were the assumed teachers or field trip supervisors. A total of three women all together. They made their way through the crowd of gleeful kids and up to Sasuke and Naruto. 

The first one was somewhat plump, an old lady with grey hair, age wrinkles and a kind face. The second one was a more middle aged woman, long dark hair that resembled Sasuke's and striking hazel eyes that almost seemed red. The third one was significantly younger than the other two, presumably around the same age as himself and the farmer. She was kind of short, dark blueish colored hair with bangs and pale eyes, quite pretty actually.

"Hello Naruto!" The old woman's raspy tone spoke up over the chattering kids. "I hope ye have been fairing well. We've got quite the handful of kids today as ye see, hopefully they won't be too much on your poor animals." 

"Haha, they'll be alright Granny." The blond man responded with his usual grin. "Oh! I almost forgot. This is Sasuke, he's uh- visiting for a while." 

Mildly shocked that Naruto had introduced him, he gave a polite dip of his head to all three women who looked over at him.

"Pleased to meet ye', I'm Akane. Granny works too." The old woman said, offering a smile. 

"I'm Kurenai." The black haired one spoke after. 

"Hello. I'm Hinata." The youngest of the three said lastly, her soft voice hardly audible.

"Now!" Naruto said, clapping his hands together. "Let's get started." 

"Of course." Granny nodded, turning towards the kids. "Alright, ye' all listen up now!" Once all the children took a minute to stop their yapping, she continued. "We will be splitting up into three different groups. After the groups are arranged, we'll all go to different sections of the farm and rotate places every thirty minutes until lunchtime. Don't wander off anywhere, don't go into the animal's pen unless Naruto approves, and please behave yourselves." 

"Yes Granny Akane!" All the children spoke up simultaneously.

After the groups were properly established, they moved to different parts of the farm like Granny said and began the adventure. The morning ticked by and everything was going quite smoothly, none of the children decided to be disobedient so far thankfully. He had followed Naruto who switched between the three groups every fifteen minutes or so, explaining the area and allowing the kids to pet the animals. 

They were now approaching the horse pasture with Hinata's group of kids who were all bubbling with enthusiasm from wanting to ride them. "Everyone get into a line! Boy girl boy girl to keep it fair." The woman instructed, and instantly the kids began shoving each other at the gate's entrance. 

"Troubles?" Naruto spoke up, laughing. 

"O-oh! Naruto, it's you." The teacher's face immediately became red and she started stuttering uncontrollably. "I- they're just, I was g-going to-" 

Sasuke subtly arched an eyebrow, she was just being authoritarian with the kids not five seconds ago until they showed up. Well, more specifically, until she noticed Naruto. 

"Don't worry Hinata." The blond farmer grinned, turning towards the children who were damn near beginning to riot. "Okay! We're gonna get into two groups since only two of my horses you can ride." He said loudly. "Whoever has ridden a horse before stand to the left, and whoever hasn't, stand to the right." 

The kids quickly followed instruction, and the man separated them into two even groups, each group having at least three kids who have ridden a horse. He gave a brief overview of the horses grazing in the pasture, telling them what to do and what not to do. After calming them down, Naruto made sure they remembered their group then let them past the gate after giving them each a piece of a carrot or apple to feed any of the horses.

Sasuke was mildly impressed how good Naruto was with children, considering the fact he acted like one himself. Of course, he did mention he's had this side job for a while now, so he probably got used to it. He quickly noticed the teacher, Hinata, staring at the blond idiot with big, googly eyes and along with a red tint to her cheeks. It didn't take a genius to see she was obviously crushing on the man. 

"Ms. Hyuga! I wanna ride this pretty black one with long hair!" One of the kids said from inside the pasture while feeding the stallion her piece of apple. 

"Me too!"

"Yeah so do I." 

"You'd have to ask Naruto, dears." She responded politely.

"Sorry, can't allow that. Yamiyo's a sweet boy but he's a little too wild for any of you guys to ride." Naruto answered.

"Aweeee." The little girl and a few other kids pouted but didn't argue. 

"Wait." Sasuke said, frowning while turning towards Naruto. "You say he's too wild to ride, yet you were going to let me ride him yesterday?" 

"Yep." The blond grinned. "Sure, it would've been kind of rough at first but I knew you'd get used to it." 

He couldn't stop the darkest part of his mind from turning that simple statement into something dirty. "Oh." Sasuke mumbled.

The children got their chance to ride on the horses, rotate, repeat with the other two groups, and soon enough lunchtime had arrived. Everyone ate outside, they sat on a grassy slope underneath the shade of some tree's on top of blankets and had a picnic. Sasuke didn't want to admit it, but he was enjoying himself. The time spent outside and connecting with Mother nature was a nice change from being cooped up inside claustrophobic offices or meeting rooms. 

Afterwards, the kids got to go see their favorite animal on the farm, take some pictures, then spend a little more time exploring the vast area before they needed to depart back to the school. After lots of protesting, whining and complaining, the teachers finally managed to get the students onto the bus.

"So no one got lost this time." Granny chuckled. "I thank you again for the visit Naruto, we'll be seeing ye' again sometime. Take care of yourself, and it was nice to meet you Sasuke." The old woman said, making her way back to the bus. For her age, she had quite the pep in her step still. 

"Yes, thank you very much, we appreciate you dealing with all these noisy kids." Kurenai said smiling. 

"Mhm!" Hinata agreed. "Thanks so much Naruto." She said softly, her cheeks tinting red once more as she twiddled her fingers awkwardly.

"Awe it's really no problem. Come back anytime guys, see yah!" The man chuckled, waving the three women goodbye as they hopped on the yellow school bus's. Multiple little arms were stuck out the windows, waving back at Naruto while yelling their farewell. After a few minutes, the sounds of the children grew fainter and fainter until it was just the two standing in the parking lot. 

Naruto let out an over exaggerated exhale, wiping his forehead of invisible sweat. "Well. After all that, I wouldn't mind a drink."

Sasuke frowned. "We still have work to do." 

"I know, I know. Damn, you and work. I know you're exhausted after that too even though you weren't in charge."

"Hn."

"Come on, it's already the afternoon. Plus while we're in town we can get some groceries because I know you're probably sick of eating instant ramen already."

He had a point there. 

Sasuke groaned. He didn't know why he kept letting the man convince him to procrastinate on important work. Maybe it was because he felt sorry for him. Maybe it was the fact that even though Naruto was stupid, he sometimes said some things that even he could agree with. Maybe it was those annoyingly pleading, bright blue eyes that could persuade a fish to climb a tree.

"Whatever." He grumbled.

"Great!" Naruto grinned, heading towards the house. "I'm gonna shower and change, you can too then after that we can start walking. I know a few shortcuts." 

"Walking?" Sasuke repeated, following after him with a scoff. "We're not walking, especially with groceries to carry. I'll call a taxi."  

"I don't uh know if there's e-" 

"I'll pay for the ride there and back."

"Really?" 

"Mhm." 

"Awe, thanks."

"Hn."

"Ya know, you act all harsh, but you're actually a big ol' softie." 

"Shut up." 

Chapter Text


"It's almost hard to recognize ya, you look like a different person when you're wearing normal people clothes instead of all those fancy outfits." Naruto commented while going through the kitchen cabinets. 

"Normal people clothes." Sasuke repeated aloud while rolling his eyes, he would hardly call it that. All he did after taking a shower was switch to dark denim pants with a leather jacket and matching black boots. He was nearly positive even his most simplest of outfits costed more than the farmers entire wardrobe. 

"Mhm, it makes you look more like Itachi." The blond added, and even though Sasuke wasn't looking directly at him, he could hear the grin in his voice. 

"I wish you'd stop comparing me to him, we're nothing alike." 

"If you say so." 

Sasuke frowned, glancing over at the man who's entire upper body was hidden inside of a bottom cupboard. "Would you hurry it up already, we need to be standing outside ready for when our ride comes." 

"Hold your horses, I was just double checking the pantry to make sure I didn't forget to add anything to the shopping list." 

"You literally have nothing besides instant ramen, dumplings, and tea. Just get everything besides those three things." 

"Well that's one way to put it." Naruto laughed. 

Beaming headlights were visible out the window, and Sasuke double checked to make sure he had his wallet and everything before following Naruto out of the house to the lift. "You don't lock your door?" He questioned, tilting his head to the side. 

"Honestly, who's going to come ten miles into the country just to rob me. And what's there to rob?" 

Checkmate.

Sasuke found the drive into town annoying, since the taxi driver insisted on engaging in small talk, probably for a tip. Of course the garrulous blond idiot went right along with him, the two chatted the entire way there and he barely got by drowning out their voices and glaring out the window. After paying the driver once arriving at the supermarket, he walked behind Naruto who grabbed a shopping basket and immediately went into the noodle isle.

"Really?" He muttered.

"What?" The blond nearly pouted. "You can't go wrong with ramen!" 

He was convinced the man ate ramen at least six times a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner judging from how many empty cups of the instant noodles there were scattered around his kitchen along with the fact that he filled nearly half the basket with more. Sasuke didn't argue, if the moron wanted to go on a ramen diet for the rest of his life, he couldn't care less.

That being said, it didn't mean he was going to eat it for the next week and a half along with him. He dropped his own items into the basket which included a few different meats, vegetables, seasonings, and healthy snacks. After catching Naruto's slightly worried glance down at the shopping basket with the increased items, he merely waved off the expression with a gesture of his hand. 

"I'll pay for it." 

"But- um. I mean don't get me wrong I appreciate that but I'm not sure when uh, I'd be able to.. give you your money back." 

"Don't worry about it."

"I'd feel wrong if you bought all my groceries." 

"I have an unnecessary large amount of spending money, it wouldn't hurt me financially whatsoever." 

"Yeah but-" 

"I said don't worry about it." 

"Fine, but I'm buying our drinks and there's no changing that." 

Sasuke only shrugged in response. When they had gathered enough groceries for the following week and went to checkout, he noticed Naruto conversing with the cashier, both of them laughing like old friends. Either the moron was so talkative he had the audacity to start a conversation with any random person he encountered, or he actually personally knew all of these people. Yet he still only put down one emergency contact name. Interesting. 

They decided to walk to the bar since it was in the relative vicinity, and it would only take longer to wait for another ride. Sasuke found himself curious, attentively surveying the towns area silently, only nodding or giving a simple response to Naruto who walked beside him, asking random questions or just constantly blabbing. It was quite a large town, perhaps not as big as the city he was from, but it was a comfortable size that seemed quite appealing.

Arriving at the bar, Naruto was able to take their groceries and put them safely back in the employee section until they left since he used to work here. They sat at the main counter, the blond's usual grin seemed bigger than normal and Sasuke was slowly regretting his decision to come here by the second. If the man was so hyperactive without the consumption of any alcohol, he could only imagine would he would be like completely wasted.

Hopefully the idiot wouldn't go overboard with the drinking tonight, they still had work to do after all. 

Sasuke's worries suddenly became a reality once Naruto flagged down the bartender with his first order. "Two shots!" 

Shots? So the moron did plan on getting fucked up, great. "I'll take a beer." He said quickly.

"Two shots and a beer, got it. Wait- Naruto?" 

"Oh!" The blond turned away from Sasuke, facing the bartender with a bright smile on his tan features. "Shikamaru, I didn't know you worked today. What's up?" 

"Not much honestly, and yeah they recently changed my schedule." The other man said boredly, throwing a towel over his shoulder. "I'd much rather be at home right now, it's such a drag." 

Shikamaru? He instantly remembered that name on Naruto's paperwork, the only name in fact which he had listed. So this was the guy. Sasuke peered up at the bartender who was now chatting with the blond sitting next to him. The man was fairly tall, dark eyes and equally dark spiky hair that was put up into a high ponytail with a monotone voice that made it seem like he was uninterested in everything.

"Haha, I can see why." Naruto chuckled, turning back towards him and began the introduction. "By the way, this is Sasuke. Shikamaru meet Sasuke, Sasuke meet Shikamaru." 

He nodded in greeting towards the bartender. "Nice to meet you."  

"Likewise. Also, Sasuke as in Sasuke Uchiha?" The dark haired man asked, interest glistening in his gaze.

"Yes, that would be me." 

"Wow." Shikamaru's eyebrows raised, and he turned back to his friend. "Naruto do you have any idea who you're with? He's an Uchiha, their family line is one of the biggest accomplished investors and financial advocates in the entire country. Their success rate is absolutely ridiculous."  

The blond rubbed the back of his head, letting out an awkward chuckle. "Yeah, I know who he is. At first I expected him to be like a sixty year old dude with a white beard long enough to braid."  

Sasuke glared at Naruto, narrowing his eyes when the idiot simply laughed out loud.

Shikamaru's face was enough to tell what he wanted to ask, and the blond looked down at his hands, his smile quickly fading. "He's er.. staying for the next week or so and uh, helping me out." 

"Really? If you have one of the main Uchiha's assisting you, it must be pretty serious. Damn it Naruto you never ask for help when you have a problem. How is anyone supposed to-" 

"Actually," Sasuke cut in, sitting up a little straighter while focusing his gaze on the dark pony tailed haired man. "I was going to contact you about this sometime in the near future. Do you think we could plan a meet up soon? You'd help me a lot, and I'll let you know all the details about everything that's going on." 

"Yeah, we can do that, I'd be more than happy to help. Though more people just showed up, it's a drag but I do have to get back to work now. You can get my contact info from Naruto. Here's your drinks." Shikamaru said, skillfully pouring the two shots and sliding them across the glossy wooden surface followed by an ice cold beer.

The blond's eyes lit up and he snatched up one of the shot glasses, sliding the other towards Sasuke with that goofy grin returning to his face. 

"No, I'm only having a beer." Sasuke grumbled, taking a sip of his drink. 

"Where's the fun in that?" Naruto said, wiggling his eyebrows. 

"No." He repeated stubbornly. 

"Just on-"

"No."

"Suit yourself, more for me." The blond shrugged, downing the two drinks in an instant. 

They remained in the bar for some amount of hours, going well into the night much to Sasuke's displease. Though he had to admit, a few times Naruto did or said utterly random things that were slightly humorous. Not humorous enough for Sasuke to break his unwavering seriously straight expression and laugh, but enough to bring forth a few roll of his eyes, or the occasional snort.

Though that amusement soon died out as the other man simply became drunker and drunker. The little conversations they did have were complete nonsense, and Naruto's extra loud talking and laughs weren't making things any better. They caught the attention of two girls sitting at a table nearby, and Sasuke noticed them staring more than a few times along with subtle high-pitched giggles.

Sasuke fought the urge to groan as the two eventually made their way over, sitting down next to both of them on the stools of the bar. They both were young, friends it appeared as they constantly exchanged glances and laughs between themselves. One had long blonde hair that draped down her back nearly to her butt, green eyes, dark eye shadow and an irritatingly squeaky voice. The other was slightly taller, short brown hair, hazel eyes, and a small face with freckles. Both of them were dressed like they just worked the pole or something.

"Mind if we join you guys?" The blonde one spoke up. 

"Nope!" Naruto chimed in.

"Yes." Sasuke grumbled at the same time, but the morons loud voice overpowered his own.

Both girls giggled, and he suddenly wished he had the powers of invisibility. 

"Your friend here is pretty cute." The one with brown hair commented, poking at Naruto's spiky blond hair. She laughed when he made an incomprehensible slurred response, his cheeks red from the alcohol and probably because he was blatantly staring at her large chest. 

"You're not so bad yourself." Scooting closer to his seat was the other girl, and Sasuke inwardly groaned. "I don't think I've seen you in town before. Are you new here?"

"What are you two doing after this? We should totally hang out!" The brown haired one squeaked. 

"Thasss a great plan!" Naruto slurred, his grin reappearing. 

"Sorry, not today. We actually have to get going." Sasuke said.

"Aweeee." Both women whined simultaneously, and he could've sworn his ears were bleeding from the high pitched noise.

It took a dreadfully long time to get rid of the persistent girls, but luckily Shikamaru took notice of their problem and saved the day. He allowed Sasuke to take Naruto around to the employee's area, claiming the blond was about to throw up and the normal men's bathroom was out of order so he had to use the only other one nearby. Somehow it worked, and they escaped out the back door to wait for the cab home. 

When their ride arrived, Sasuke was glad the driver didn't question on why he was picking them up from around back instead of the front door. Putting the groceries in the trunk was easy, but getting a stubborn drunken Naruto inside the vehicle was nearly impossible. After quite literally having to manhandle the blond into the car, Sasuke soon regretted not moving to the front seat because the idiot was all over him.

"Yo, if he pukes, that's fifteen bucks." The driver spoke nonchalantly, as if he's said that a thousand times before.

"Got it." Sasuke mumbled, hopefully that wouldn't be the case.

"Weeeeeeeeeeee!" Naruto said laughing as they went around a sharp turn, his body leaning against Sasuke's. 

"Ugh." He growled, pushing him back into his own personal space with one hand. At least now he knew the idiot couldn't handle alcohol very well. Though it could've been worse, he could've been one of those violent drunkards who wanted to go on a riot and light everything aflame. Sasuke would've been more satisfied if he was one of the people who simply passed out when they reached their limit. Then again, that would mean he'd have to carry him inside. Either way there was suffering on his part.

His thoughts were interrupted by a sudden heaviness on his lap, and he glanced down to see the blond's head resting comfortably on top of his thighs. Sasuke shot a glare down at those prominent crystal blues, the expression immediately shifting into an alarmed one when Naruto's skull turned, his face pressing directly against his crotch. Eyes widening, Sasuke quickly shoved the mans head away.

"Idiot."

Naruto let out a muffled laugh, sluggishly repositioning himself to lean against his shoulder. "You sir, have pretty eyessss hah." 

Ignoring whatever other nonsense the man continued to speak after that, Sasuke simply forced his eyes to stare out the window for the rest of the ride back, pretending not to feel a slight burning of his cheeks. Sincerely thanking the cab driver for his patience on waiting for Sasuke to get the groceries inside, then get Naruto out of the vehicle, he gave him a hefty tip. The man didn't seem too bothered, especially not when the money was pulled out.

He was glad Naruto could still walk. Sort of. Even though his steps were staggering and uneven, he could at least stay up on his two feet even if it was to a small extent. Sasuke wouldn't have a clue what to do if he had to drag him inside, because the idiot seemed pretty fucking heavy just by struggling to get him in and out of the car. 

"You're hopeless." He groaned, yanking Naruto's sleeve once he began walking in the wrong direction.

Once they got inside the house, Sasuke began putting the groceries away so none of the food that needed to be refrigerated would go bad. He ignored the random thumps and crashes after a few times, realizing the sound was coming from Naruto who was walking into walls and furniture while trying to get around. The shit he went through. He felt like a College student taking care of his failure of a roommate.

"Sasukkeee!" Naruto yelled. 

"What." He snapped, turning around with a frown of disapproval. 

"I'm sst-stuck." The man was trying to get out of his jacket, but instead of unzipping it like a human being with basic intellectual capabilities, he tried to pull the whole thing over his head. It got mixed with his undershirt and both fabrics were now a tangled mess at the sleeves, his arms stuck in a funny upward position. 

"You're such an idiot." Sasuke groaned, walking into the living room to help him. 

He grabbed a hold of one of the sleeves, grasping the material in both hands and giving it a pull. When it didn't budge, Sasuke grabbed one of the mans arms and moved it around his head, rolling his eyes when Naruto complained his shoulder was about to dislocate. Moving around some of the tangled material he gripped it again, this time from by collar area while putting more of his might into the second yank.

Both tops came off, and Naruto staggered forwards from the force of the action. Sasuke was thrown back by his own momentum, he cursed at himself for doing that a little harder than needed but thankfully the couch was right behind him so he wouldn't land on his ass on the floor. He collapsed on the plush cushion, suddenly weighed down when the idiot stumbled partially on top of him.

For the second time that night, Naruto's face was pushed against his groin. Unfortunately, this time it sort of hurt since he literally fell on it. Sasuke made a defeated noise, partially in pain partially in frustration with the entire situation. That very noise became cut off as he gasped when that moron chuckled, the low noise vibrating against his crotch.

Naruto lifted himself up, both arms placed on either side of his body as he chuckled again. "Oopsssorry." He slurred with a grin.

Sasuke shot his meanest glare at him, his face on fire. 

"I can make it feel better." 

He nearly choked on air at the comment. Not only did Naruto's speech somehow lose all drunkenness in that single sentence, but his goofy expression had disappeared and he said it in a way which should've been illegal. Sasuke's hands harshly pushed against the blond's bare chest, the movement sending the man tipping backwards to land on the floor with an audible thump.

He swiftly got up and nearly ran upstairs, slamming the room door shut behind him. Sasuke stood there, heart rate embarrassingly quick and not from the steps. After regaining his composure, he changed into comfortable sleeping clothes, silently opening the door to dart across the hallway into the bathroom to brush his teeth and splash cold water onto his face.

Sasuke returned to his room with a heavy sigh, of all people he had to be stuck with this moron. He tried to fall asleep after it got quiet and he heard Naruto's faint snores from downstairs, but couldn't bring himself to. He was wide awake. Sasuke snatched up a pillow and put it over his face, reminding himself to contact Shikamaru tomorrow and to never have the words Naruto and alcohol in the same sentence again.



Sasuke woke up feeling like his body weighed a ton of bricks. Even though he only had a couple of beers yesterday and was nowhere near drunk, he still felt like he went through hell and back. Forcing himself to sit up, he kicked his legs over the side of the bed and glanced over at his watch, his eyes widening. 1:36 PM. He had overslept, and wasted nearly half of the day away already.

"Fuck." 

He hurriedly got dressed, not bothering to fix his hair and made his way downstairs. As soon as his foot hit the last step, he felt something around his ankles and looked to see Kurama. The feline meowed at him and followed Sasuke into the kitchen, continuing to brush up against his legs and around his feet as he prepared coffee. He frowned, the cat was acting persistent like yesterday morning when he was hungry.

Sasuke walked around over to the living room and paused mid-step when he noticed what was on the floor. Well that explained it. Sprawled out on the ground in the very spot he pushed him in yesterday was the one and only Naruto. The moron probably passed out and just slept through the night after he fell over. Sasuke glimpsed over his exposed upper body, the defined muscles of his chest and stomach region gently rose and fell with each breath he took.

Nobody that stupid should own a physique that attractive, it simply wasn't fair and it was downright wrong. He stepped forward, about to wake Naruto up until he stole another peep at the mans uncovered golden flesh. Sasuke noticed a few faint, but definite scars along the blond's chestal area and around his stomach. He frowned, it looked like Naruto had to get stitches from a few of them. What could that have been caused by? 

Deciding his examining was borderline creepy, he placed a hand on one of Naruto's broad shoulders, shaking him less than gently. "Hey, moron. Wake up, you overslept." 

Slowly those bright blues opened, wide and unfocused as his pupils adjusted to the new lighting. Naruto groaned, slowly sitting up while rubbing his forehead. 

"Want some coffee?" Sasuke suggested. 

The man nodded a few times, and he walked back into the kitchen, preparing two cups of the caffeinated beverage. When Sasuke returned back to the living room, Naruto was standing up, looking down at one of his arms in confusion. Written sloppily in black sharpie on his left forearm were two phone numbers with a bunch of hearts and X'O's, he remembered the girls at the bar and snorted.

"I wouldn't suggest calling those numbers, they were from random girls at the bar yesterday who were hitting on us."

Naruto also snorted, his long arms reaching above his head while he arched his back, stretching. Audible pops and clicks were heard as his bones cracked and joints adjusted from lack of movement, and he let out a strained noise that sounded borderline sexual. 

"Ah.. fuck." The man groaned, rubbing his back.

Sasuke felt the fine hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Naruto's voice was a few octaves deeper than usual, somewhat gravelly and husky in pitch as he was still getting rid of the remains of sleep. 

"I do not suggest sleeping on the floor. Ever." He let out a low chuckle. "Uh, Sasuke?" 

"Yes?" Sasuke inwardly slapped himself for sounding so timid.

"Can I have my coffee?" 

He realized he was still holding both coffee cups, knuckles white from gripping the mug handles so hard. Sasuke handed Naruto his mug and turned away, taking a sip of his own drink.

"I didn't uh, say or do anything weird last night did I?" 

Sasuke swallowed the coffee hard, eye twitching when the words echoed in the back of his mind. 

I can make it feel better.

"No." He said as flatly and casually as possible. "You did get stuck in your jacket though, that's why you have no shirt on." 

"Oh." Naruto chuckled, scratching the back of his head. "Anything else?" 

Yes idiot, your face was shoved against my dick, twice. "No." Sasuke replied quickly. 

The blond squinted, pursing his lips in thought. "You sure?" 

"Erm." He thought quickly, staring into his coffee cup. "You said.. I had pretty eyes." Well, it wasn't a lie.

Naruto's blue gaze widened, and there was a small red tint to his tan cheeks. "Oh, I did? Heh... sorry about that."  

A loud meow thankfully interrupted the awkward encounter, and Kurama walked in between the two men, rubbing up against both of their legs, attempting to gain attention. "Don't worry boy, I'll feed ya." Naruto smiled at his pet, downing the last of his coffee in a few big gulps before setting the mug on the table and walking into the kitchen. 

"Don't think just because you have a bit of a hangover we're not going to do any work. We already wasted yesterday because of the kids then you decided to get drunk." 

"It's not my fault I had to take the first two shots alone, someone didn't want to have fun." 

"I'm not here to have fun." 

"Oh lighten up."

"Hn."

"Were they cute?" 

"What?"

"The girls from yesterday, were they cute?" 

"They weren't completely ugly, not my type though." 

"What is your type?" 

"None of your business."

"You're so boorrrrinnng." 

"You're so stupiiiiiiiid." 

Naruto frowned before he burst out laughing, and Sasuke suddenly felt like the stupid one for actually mimicking the idiot's childish ways. When the blond returned from feeding Kurama, he was already sitting at the kitchen table scrolling through his laptop. 

"Does Shikamaru work today?" He questioned, reading through the update his butler left him. Everything back home was doing alright, that was good news at least, he couldn't say the same for here though.

"I don't think so." Naruto answered through a mouthful of apple.

"Good, see if he's available to come over around six this evening." 

"Got it. I'll be a little while since I got a late start today, don't wait up on me." 

"If you intentionally procrastinate again I will find you and drag you by your ankles back to this table." 

"Is that a challenge?" 

Uh oh.

Chapter Text


"Man, look at all those papers. I could tell it was a drag going through them, especially with Naruto."

"Oh you don't know the half of it." Sasuke responded, shaking his head.  

The bartender had the rest of the day off, meaning he was thankfully able to come over and work a little bit with him and Shikamaru was actually proving to be more useful than Sasuke expected despite how much he always complained how much of a drag everything was. It didn't take Sasuke much time at all to figure out the mans favorite word. Since they weren't at the bar, he was able to thoroughly explain in detail all the different problems at hand along with giving a brief overview of the paperwork to full extent.

"This.." Shikamaru trailed off, flipping through the provided billing statements Naruto had gotten as requested from the banks and other agencies he owed money to. He rubbed his eyes a couple of times, as if he couldn't quite fully read what was printed. "This default absolutely ridiculous." 

"That's lightly putting it." 

"If I'm adding this up correctly, this is over two million in debt and loans and increasing with accumulating interest every month." 

"And the overall APR will only continue to skyrocket considering his bad credit and young age." 

"There's three foreclosure notice warnings. Honestly with these stats, I'm surprised he's still here at all, he's losing more money than he's gaining." 

"Me too. Though he does make a living providing for towns marketplace and other local food operations which have been thriving for the past few years it seems. If the people keep buying that food, the Government keeps making that money too." 

"That may be true, but it's only one small portion considering everything he owes, so ultimately it's going downhill regardless even if the pace is somewhat decreased."

"Yeah." Sasuke ran his fingers through his hair, resting his elbows on the table with a sigh. "It might be too little too late. If he would've came forward with this problem earlier this could've been a whole lot easier." 

"And that's what I was saying yesterday." Shikamaru crossed his arms, leaning back against his chair while closing his eyes. "Naruto never knows when to ask for help, he will try to solve anything and everything on his own, no matter how big or small of problem." 

"He doesn't seem that cocky, so I don't believe it's a pride thing. Trust issues perhaps? You were his only emergency contact on the paperwork by the way."

"That doesn't surprise me." The other man sighed, rubbing his temples before fixing his gaze on Sasuke. "Naruto is just.. very different. I known him for a while now, he's always been this way. He thinks he has to do everything alone and doesn't realize people are willing to help him because he's truthfully a good guy with a big heart." 

Sasuke nodded slowly, remembering the pictures on the staircase from a few days ago. "Is he an orphan?" He questioned, unable to contain his curiosity any longer. 

"Yeah." Shikamaru replied, his brows creased in a frown in deep thought. "Hang on a second." The taller man stood up from his chair, walking across the kitchen and out the front door. When he returned, he had a few envelopes in his hand and set them down on the table. "I knew it. With all that debt and foreclose warnings, there had to have been a scheduled court date sooner than later." 

Sasuke blinked, mildly surprised. He was impressed with the bartenders intellect, the man was actually very smart and it was much easier communicating with him than he would've imagined. He didn't even think about checking Naruto's recent mail, that probably would've been a good thing to do when he first arrived, but the entire thing just slipped his mind. 

"Good thinking." He commented, taking one of the envelopes and inspecting it through narrowed eyes. Judging from the date, it had to have been sitting in the mans mailbox since at least last weekend. Was he really that stupid or was the idiot intentionally ignoring his mail?

"So, like." Shikamaru began, returning to his seat as he put his arms behind his head while slouching against the chair. "How in the hell did Naruto manage to get you of all people as his assigned financial adviser? It's one thing to get an employee from the Uchiha work-line, but to actually have one of the two family named CEO's working with him personally? Psh. I know for a fact your services aren't at all cheap, and sure your quality is great, but wouldn't he just be putting himself in even more debt by working with you?" 

"It's funny actually." Sasuke said, letting out a small snort. "He got a certified acceptance recommendation letter from our other CEO for me to assist him." 

"What?" The other man's eyes widened as he sat up, completely attentive. "How?" 

"Apparently, he's friends with my brother. And since Itachi's status is right up there with mine, he got the request approved and called it a favor." 

"Ah, that's a good reason to stick around I guess. Otherwise, I'd be surprised if you stayed with the case, it's probably going to just lose you money and frustrate you."

"I know, but that doesn't mean I wont try."

"Let's say the court goes in your guy's favor, at the bare minimum they're going to allow him to stay for a small period of time to immediately pay the bills off. They're not going to stand by and continue to wait with all his sketchy late, half payments with or without the food services included even with someone as good as you helping."

"That is true. As fairy-tale as this is going to sound, I guess the only option would be to gather approximately 2.3 million dollars by this court date then so we could have the money up front." 

"And how do you propose to do that?" 

"Your guess is as good as mine." 

"Wait, you're a multi-millionaire. I know you and Naruto aren't best friends or anything but couldn't you just like, do it yourself?" 

"Even if I wanted to, I can't just yank 2.5 million out of my ass and hand it to him like I'm buying him an ice cream cone. It's shared money throughout the whole organization. I'd have to schedule a meeting and consult with the board of officials of the entire financial and investment business. Those meetings alone take sometimes months to schedule. And.. well, as harsh as it sounds, someone with such a terrible financial reputation and even worse credit history like Naruto, they wouldn't allow me a giveaway or even compromise a loan of five dollars let alone 2.5 million."

"Damn." Shikamaru sighed, leaning against the table. "What a drag, that means we're forced to start from scratch. Have you considered putting together a fundraiser?" 

"Fundraiser?" Sasuke repeated curiously. 

"Mhm. I'm sure you know Naruto works with the kindergarten on occasion. Maybe if we could get a few of the teachers to sit down with us and let them know on his situation, they could put up flyers and shit around the school, or have the kids participate in activities that would raise money but also be fun for the little brats. Ya know?" 

"That's not a half bad idea. Though how much do you really think a local kindergarten could make?" 

Shikamaru's shoulders moved up in a small shrugging motion and he yawned. "You may be surprised. Plus, that's just a start, I'll try to dig up some more stuff later on to help. Talk to Naruto, I'm sure there's other things he could think of too, he's been managing this long after all."

"Come to think of it." Sasuke started, looking around the kitchen and living room for the blond idiot who was nowhere to be found. "Where did he go anyways? Didn't he say he was going to meet us inside in twenty minutes?" 

"That was over an hour ago." The other man said while taking a look out the window. 

"Really?" Sasuke shifted his eyes down at his Rolex and sure enough it's been around an hour and fifteen minutes since Naruto said he would join them inside. Knowing that moron, he was probably procrastinating again. He thought back to what he said earlier on how he would find him and drag him by his ankles and sighed.

"Yeah." Shikamaru said while he stood up, pushing in his chair. "I gotta get going now, they put me on another late night shift. It's a-" 

"Drag?" Sasuke cut in, amusement in his voice. 

"Exactly." The taller of the two chuckled, grabbing his wallet and keys off the table. "Let me know if anything else happens, I'll do my best to get some more ideas."  

"Thank you, I appreciate it a lot." 

"Yep, no problem." Shikamaru gave a farewell hand gesture and disappeared out the door.

After sitting in silence staring at all the envelopes and papers for a little while, Sasuke sighed, shoving them all into a folder and dragged his hands across his face. What the hell was he going to do? Sure their company was great, but they were going to need a miracle to get through to this. Deciding it was time to find Naruto, he got up from his seat, slipped on his shoes and opened the front door. 

Standing right in the doorway was the blond himself, and Sasuke blinked up at him in surprise. "Oh, well that saves me a lot of time. Look while you were outside, me and Shikamaru went over t-" 

"You don't need to tell me." Naruto cut in, his voice quiet. 

Sasuke arched an eyebrow at the man, his face was uncharacteristically dejected. 

"I heard everything you guys said." He continued, his bright blue gaze drifting off like he was looking into space. Sasuke froze for a second, he heard everything? He silently regretted asking that nosy question regarding the mans childhood.

"I see." At once he understood, Naruto must've been on the front porch the whole time and hid when Shikamaru left. "So.. you know just how difficult the situation is. Look we're going to do everything we can, but even I can't guarantee things will turn out for the better. Our time window is just so short and the fac-" 

Sasuke's speech was interrupted yet again, however not by words but by the sound of a blunt crash. His eyes twitched shut, the equivalent of a flinch since the rest of his body remained perfectly still. Naruto's fist had struck the door frame inches away from the side of his face. He even felt the small gust of wind from the force of the rough action. Sasuke recalled the blond doing something similar not two days ago, apparently he had a bad habit of punching things.

"Please." Naruto said, his voice sounding like it was breaking along with his heart.

The blond man stepped forwards, both his hands grasping Sasuke's shirt tightly while bit of blood was smudged on the fabric from Naruto's bleeding knuckles. All he could do was peer into those wide, intense blue iris's which glimmered and sparkled as if they were about to shed tears. Sasuke felt his stomach twist up in some unknown emotion at the expression. 

"You have to help me." Naruto continued, pleading. "There's nobody else, nobody. I don't know what I'm going to do. I can't lose this place, I just can't."

"I don't want to make a promise I can't keep." He said, clenching his teeth together when the blond's eyebrows slightly creased. "But I will do everything I can to try." 

Naruto stared at him for a moment longer, an indescribable appearance etched on his tan features before he released his now bloodied shirt. Nodding without another word, the man walked over to the porch swing and sat down. Sasuke briefly remained standing there like his body was glued to the spot, noticing his heart was beating rapidly in his chest. He let out a shallow breath he realized he had been holding and turned around to go back inside the house. 

Sasuke went into the bathroom, opening the cabinet to get some peroxide, wipes, and gauze then made his way back out onto the porch. He slowly sat next to Naruto and lightly grabbed the mans forearm, allowing his large hand to rest on his lap while he gently began dabbing a bit of the disinfectant on his cut knuckles. Naruto's hand twitched, but he didn't protest or turn away. 

He peeped in the other mans direction, the blond had his head turned and was peering off into the distance with a bleak look on his face. Sasuke didn't like the expression one bit, he found himself already missing that idiotic grin and those cheesy smirks. Sasuke focused his attention on wrapping up his damaged appendage in a thin layer of gauze but paused once inspecting Naruto's golden skin further. 

It was impossible to notice at a distance, but all along the man's hands were faint scars and slight discoloration of his skin from where the previous lacerations had healed. There was an exceptional number around his knuckles, indicating he was right about his habit of punching things when frustrated. It took Sasuke longer than he would've liked to notice those crystal blue hues staring inquisitively at him. 

His eyes widened when he realized he still had Naruto's oddly soft hand still held in his own palm, and he quickly finished wrapping the gauze and snatched his arms away. Sasuke ignored the heat building up in his cheeks, even though he was now looking elsewhere he could still feel Naruto's bright unblinking gaze boring into him like a laser. 

"Stop punching shit." He ordered, setting the medical items off to the side while crossing his arms.

Sasuke side glanced in the blond's direction once he heard a snort. Fully turning his head, he noticed Naruto's signature grin had returned. A twinge of relief flooded over him at the sight, he didn't like seeing the moron so depressed, it didn't suit him at all. With a content smile, he situated himself more comfortably in the chair and focused his gaze on the approaching sunset. 

"Woah." Naruto's voice spoke up after a few silenced moments. 

"Hm?" 

"Well, it's just this the first time I've seen you actually smile."

Sasuke snorted.

"You should do it more often." Naruto added. 

He blinked a few times in surprise, turning his head again to look at the other man. As the evening reached it's peak and the sun was beginning to decline over the horizon, the entire farmland was filled with a dazzling yellowish luminescence. It caused Naruto's naturally tan complexion to seem to glow in the lambent vicinity, giving it an appealing honey-golden appearance. 

Sasuke's mouth opened, but no words uttered from his lips as he continued to dumbly stare at the blond. He felt the heat return to his cheeks when Naruto laughed and playfully nudged him with his elbow on the side. 

"Well don't look so surprised, I was only telling the truth." 

"I.." He felt something on his legs and nearly jumped, looking down to see Kurama standing on his thighs. The cat gave a soft meow, walking in a circle before setting down and curling up into a ball on his lap. It wasn't long before Sasuke could hear and feel the animals soft purring, and he arched an eyebrow. 

"See? I told you so. You're an animal lover, just like me." Naruto smiled, reaching over and petting the orange cat behind it's pointy, black marking ears.

Sasuke stared down at the fuzzy animal, hesitantly reaching his hand forwards to pet it after the blond. His thin fingers ran across Kurama's soft orange fur, secretly enjoying petting the feline and soon after his smile involuntarily deepened. They continued watching the sunset in silence, all the way until it was barely a faint yellow glow over the hillside, and the temperature began dropping.

Naruto stood up with a heavy sigh, his blue eyes shifting to peer at Sasuke. "Thank you." He said sincerely. 

"For what?" 

"For this." The blond said, holding up his gauze covered hand with a laugh. "And for you know, just being here. You didn't have to accept it ya know."

"Oh, yeah, of course." Sasuke cleared his throat, avoiding that scintillating cerulean gaze.

"Not sure about you, but I don't plan on freezing out here, let's go in." Naruto chuckled while making his way inside. 

Sasuke lightly picked up a purring Kurama and followed after the man, his lips unknowingly upturned in another soft smile.


Chapter Text


"Sasuke!"
A faint voice echoed nearby. 

Who was calling his name? He tried opening his eyes but was greeted with a swirl of different colors mixed with darkness, and he soon realized someone or something was roughly shaking his upper body, furthermore tearing him away from his once peaceful slumber.

"Sasuke, sasuke!" The voice was now significantly louder and easily distinguished as Naruto's. 

Blinking the sleepiness away from his vision, Sasuke squinted and turned his head towards the man who so rudely interrupted his rest. Naruto's blurred form soon came into focus as his eyes readjusted, and he was standing next to his bed hovered over him, still repeatedly shaking him by the shoulders. "Sasuke!" 

"Jesus, I'm awake stop it!" He yelled back at the blond, pushing his arms away as he sat up with a frown. 

"Wow, you're so grumpy." Naruto chuckled, standing back and allowing him his personal space once again. 

Sasuke leaned against the headboard rubbing his red eyes and looked over at the clock. 3:53 AM. "Why the hell did you wake me up so early?" He demanded, his voice still groggy from sleep.

"Mikuru's giving birth!" Naruto shouted while running across the bedroom and out the door in a flash. "Hurry up let's go!" He called while running down the stairs. 

Now fully awake at the sudden exclamation, Sasuke quickly got out of the comfortable bed and snatched up his jacket from inside the closet. What? Mikuru was giving birth? Who was that? Did Naruto have some sort of pregnant hidden girlfriend or mistress he had kept secret all this time? Confused, he followed the man downstairs, hurriedly putting on his shoes and rushing out the door after him. 

"Where are you going?" Sasuke said loudly, jogging behind the man who turned direction and was heading for a barn. 

"To the stables of course, I isolated her yesterday and kept the rest of the horses in the pasture for just tonight." 

Oh. 

So Mikuru was an animal, not a human. That made a whole lot more sense. Thank fucking God. The idea of Naruto having a lover or girlfriend let alone a pregnant one seemed pretty unrealistic and quite ridiculous. Just the thought of someone as childish and idiotic as that man having his own kid to take care of.. he didn't want to think of it. Sasuke laughed out loud, actually relieved.

Naruto looked back at him in the midst of his quick jog, his bright blue eyes which almost glowed a silver grayish hue in the moonlight had widened. "Did you just laugh? I'm never going to wake you up early again, you're creeping me out."

They soon entered barn, and immediately a loud noise filled the wooden structure. Naruto's hurried jog turned into a slow walk as he approached the large animal who was laying on it's side, stomach contracting. From the wet ground it was clear the horse's water already broke, and it gave another strained whinny. Sasuke watched the blond crouch down and lightly stroke the animals light mane between his tan fingers, murmuring comfort even though it couldn't understand him.

Within fifteen minutes or so, the foal was finally born. Naruto allowed them space and stepped away from the mare, standing next to him while leaning against a stack of hay with a happy look on his face. Sasuke looked between the horses and the blond a few times and soon felt that familiar twisted feeling in his gut. He didn't want the man to be separated from this place he was obviously so dearly fond of.

"Why did you bring me along?" Sasuke asked, genuinely curious. 

Naruto looked at him as if he was surprised by the question but it was soon replaced by a warm smile. He felt his muscles tense at the expression and Sasuke looked away while biting the inside of his cheek, heat rising to his face. He was prepared for the mans idiotic grin or lopsided smirk, but not a pleasant smile like that. In fact, he couldn't recall Naruto ever making such a face at him. 

"I didn't want you to miss this." The blond replied simply. "You probably won't get another opportunity to see a new baby horse back where you live, so I thought you'd like to see. Plus, he's your favorite, Yamiyo's offspring."

"Is he?" He said while moving his eyes over to the foal who was now pretty much dried. It's fur was a nice bronze, tawny color, a few shades darker than it's mothers cream pigmented coat. With a black mane, tail, and stockings he could see hints of the majestic midnight stallion in it for sure. 

"Mhm." Naruto's grin returned. 

"Hey look." Sasuke commented while gesturing towards the foal who was awkwardly shifting on the ground, wobbly pushing itself up to begin standing. 

"Woah, would ya look at that." The blond said in slight astonishment. "That has to be record time any one of our foals have gotten up after birth. He's gonna be a feisty one, I just know it. Might even be bigger than Yamiyo someday." 

"Are you going to sell it?" 

"Yeah, as cute as they are, five horses is enough for me. Plus the foals are probably the most expensive animals I sell here. Matter of fact this little guy is already sold, his new owner will come for him within a few months after he's weaned from his mother." 

If this place is still going after a few months. 

Sasuke pushed that thought to the back of his mind. He didn't want to be a party pooper, especially in a moment like this so he decided to save the trouble talk for later the next day. Well, later today since it was like four something in the fucking morning. Leaving the mare and her newborn to bond in peace, they retreated from the barn and returned back into the house.

"Jesus Christ." He frowned, yanking off his jacket while walking inside, suddenly bombarded with a gush of warm air. 

"Damn." Naruto grumbled, mirroring Sasuke's actions and hung his jacket up on a wooden rack while letting out a quick puff of air through his nostrils. 

It felt as if they both had just walked into a sauna, the temperature of the house drastically increased in the time that they were away. It was similar to the feeling of opening an oven to check on the food, and the heatwaves just blast right in your face. Alright, maybe he was somewhat exaggerating, but it was still hot as hell. No pun intended.

"Why did it get so hot in here?"

"Kurama." Naruto answered knowingly, a hint of annoyance in his voice. "He likes to hang around the area where the heat can be adjusted by a little switch thing, super old house, and when he paws at it, he sometimes accidentally activates the heat. First time it happened I thought a fire started in the house, I was terrified." The blond chuckled.

"See I told you, cats are always up to no good. He may be cute but he's still a cat." 

"So you admit he's cute." 

Sasuke rolled his eyes while ignoring the man's grin, taking off his shoes and setting them neatly beside the door unlike Naruto who just kicked his off in random directions. He waltzed into the kitchen and grabbed two bottles of water from the refrigerator, enjoying how the cool air from the fridge temporarily drafted over him. Just when he turned around preparing to give the extra bottle to Naruto, the blond himself was standing directly behind him.

"Hey thanks." Naruto said while taking one of the water bottles from Sasuke's now slack hand.  

His dark eyes instantly met with the mans bare tan complexion, somehow in that extremely short amount of time Naruto had changed clothes. All he wore was a pair of crow-feather grey comfort pants along with bright orange socks. From that looks of it, that was all he wore taking notice of how loosely the dark bottom garments clung to his toned hips, molding to the shape of his v-line which showed no indication of underwear beneath the fabric. It really didn't leave much to the imagination.

Sasuke was beginning to respond to his gratitude, but the words simply dried up in his throat. Background noises and gestures from the other made it clear he was saying something else, but all Sasuke could hear was his own heartbeat which drummed in his ears and filled the rest of the atmosphere with a deafening white noise. Naruto's small motions caused his muscles to subtly coil, rolling gracefully underneath his smooth tan flesh. Gods..he just wanted to trace his fingers across every-

"Sasuke." A firm voice snapped him out of his trance. 

"Hn?" 

"You okay?" The blond laughed, playfully tapping him on the forehead with the cold water bottle. "I know it's pretty hot but man, don't zone out on me now, you might pass out. I turned the heat back to normal temperature and opened a few windows, we should be good in a little while." 

So not only did he successfully change his outfit, but managed to do all that too? He must've had hidden superpowers of teleportation Sasuke didn't know about or something. 

"While it cools off, you might want to stay down here. Upstairs can get really stuffy since it's smaller so I wouldn't recommend trying to go to sleep up there yet, it might feel like you're suffocating." 

"Mhm." Was all he could utter, Sasuke blamed his post sleepiness for making him flustered.

He watched Naruto reach in the freezer for something, his gaze trailing across his powerful back and brows furrowing once noticing a few more faint scars along the tawny surface. Itching to question on such, Sasuke pursed his lips in thought. He knew everything about the man, yet nothing at all. His job allowed him access to all his personal information, living situation, and more, yet Naruto remained a complete mystery. 

"Eating ice is bad for your teeth." Sasuke finally formulated a proper sentence once he noticed the blond gathering a small bag filled with ice cubes.

"Who said I was gonna eat it?" Naruto quirked an eyebrow, shutting the freezer and returning to his spot in front of him. "I'm just going to suck on it." 

A rush of heat found it's way to Sasuke's face and he quickly looked down. Suddenly the floor became the most interesting thing on planet Earth. Naruto chuckled and he felt the other leave the kitchen and retreat into the living room. After standing there and exhaling deeply, he followed after the man and sat on the couch next to him, the unused middle cushion in between the two.

Sasuke's eyes trailed to the tv which was on low volume, some random game show on the screen. "I didn't take you as the type of person to watch this sort of stuff." 

"Yeah." Naruto chuckled, his tan fingers working their way through his blond locks. "Shows where people win money always interested me. I guess that's kinda how I got into gambling a little bit, Itachi just gave me that extra push to actually do it."

"Hn." 

"Ya know what." The blond said, a thoughtful look on his face as he turned towards Sasuke, his oceanic gaze suddenly lighting up with excitement. 

"Don't even think about it." He muttered before Naruto could form the words. He knew exactly what he was going to say next, the idiot wanted to try gambling to help save the farm. 

"Awe come on!" Naruto protested. "We could practice with local casinos just betting small amounts, and once we find a good system and pattern we can put in the big-bucks and make well over enough money!" 

"No." 

"Sasuke." The other man practically pouted. 

"No." 

Naruto groaned, slouching into the couch. He opened his mouth again but was instantly cut off. 

"No." 

"Fine. Let's rob a bank." 

"I don't think you're even capable of stealing a bag of chips from a gas station let alone from a guarded federal building."

"Hey! I'm totally sneaky when the times needed." 

"Uh huh. Did you contact Ms. Hyuga like I asked and inform her of the fundraiser suggestion?" 

"Yeah, she was quick to reply like always and told Granny and Kurenai, they're working stuff out with the school board. I'm actually surprised she was so eager to help out after I told her of the.. situation." 

Sasuke rolled his eyes, crossing his arms as he leaned back comfortably onto the cushion. "What do you expect moron, she's obviously head over heels for you." 

"What?" 

"Ms. Hyuga, she is obviously crushing on you hard."

"Hinata? No freaking way." Naruto laughed. 

Sasuke almost groaned, how could one be so damn dense. It was insane. "You're just oblivious. I was with her for one day and I could tell." 

"You're imagining things, she's just shy around everyone." 

"Uncontrollable stutters, that googly-eyed stare, her face was redder than a tomato while talking to you." 

Naruto snorted, taking a swig of his water bottle. "Whatever you say." 

"Do you not think she's attractive?" He asked, arching a dark brow. 

"Don't get me wrong Hinata is downright gorgeous, friendly too. Just not really my type."

"What is your type?"  

"That's none of your business." Naruto mimicked his voice, copying Sasuke's response from a few days ago when he asked him regarding the girls at the bar. 

Sasuke scoffed, and the blond laughed. 

"Now we're even." Naruto smiled, finishing up his water bottle and launching it across the room. He terribly missed the trashcan and the plastic item bounced on the floor, a flash of orange followed suit and Kurama appeared out of nowhere, pawing at the disregarded bottle.

"That explains all the trash around here." Sasuke muttered. "You must suck at basketball, any sport for that matter." 

"Actually." Naruto started, a grin spreading across his face. "I could've gotten a scholarship in football during high school and played for college, but my grades were so terrible they dismissed the opportunity almost instantly."

"Not surprising."

"Oh be quiet. Not everybody is an intelligent, suave, successful, handsome, multi-millionaire who needs to work on happy facial expressions." 

"Handsome?" Sasuke echoed, his dark gaze flicking towards the blond. 

"Well yeah." Naruto chuckled. "If I looked half as good as you along with a small percentage of your success, maybe I'd have a girlfriend or even a wife by now, she could've helped me organize my checkbook and bills and I might not even be in this mess right now."

He snorted, shaking his head in amusement. The fact that Naruto had actually considered him visually appealing was more than enough to bring forth an unknown yet pleasing little warm feeling in the pit of his stomach. "I'm flattered. Though I'm a little surprised you're still single." Sasuke said, taking a glance over the blond's muscled tan physique before quickly uttering. "It's not like you're ugly or anything."

"That's probably the nicest thing you've said to me." Naruto laughed, popping an ice cube into his mouth. An audible crunch caused Sasuke to cringe before he could reply, and he frowned over at the other man. 

"I thought you said you weren't going to bite them." 

"So I like to use a bit of teeth sometimes." 

Sasuke's nostrils flared and he looked elsewhere, a blush creeping onto his pale cheeks. "You're doing that on purpose."

Naruto laughed again. "I know, but you're hilarious to tease." 

"Is that so?" 

"Yup!" The man said cheerfully, grabbing another ice cube to munch on however the small frozen block slipped out the blond's hands. From his slouched positioning, the cube rolled down his broad chest, gliding across the tan surface of his skin and leaving behind a small glistening wet trail. Sasuke bit his tongue as he witnessed Naruto's toned abdominal region twitch at the cold contact, his muscles briefly constricting in a small spasm as he yelped then giggled.

Sasuke's mind began zoning out once more, his dark eyes glazed over with deep thought. He pondered other situations of which would also cause the blond to squirm and tense so delectably like he had just done. A slight reposition of his legs would adhere to the sudden constraint on his lower regions, ultimately snapping him back into reality. Two mesmerizing cerulean hues stared in his direction causing Sasuke to jolt, his blush returning more furiously than ever. 

He realized he was gawking, and quickly thought of an excuse. "What're all those scars from?" 

Naruto gave him a thoughtful sideways cock of his head, some blond locks of his hair following suit with the movement. "Mostly glass." He answered flatly, returning his gaze to the television. 

Well that only urged Sasuke's curiosity. "Did you like, jump through a fucking window or something?" 

"Something like that." Naruto laughed, though said nothing further.

He frowned, obviously Naruto didn't want to dwell on the topic. Sasuke decided to leave it for now, but he was nosy. This definitely wouldn't be the last time he'd bring it up. They did a little more random chit chatting before eventually dozing off on the couch. The sound of a doorbell woke Sasuke up, and he yawned while rubbing his eyes. Somewhere in the early hours of the morning Naruto had slumped over, his head resting on his legs once again as he used him as a human pillow.

Sasuke glared down at the slumbering blond, why did he always end up being the pillow? He first tried poking him, then nudging him, then shaking him, but the moron slept like a dead body. When the doorbell rang again, he groaned and tried to shift himself out from underneath Naruto's form. It took a lot longer than he would've liked considering the fact that the idiot seemed to weigh a bag of bricks. Giving a half assed attempt to fix his bed hair, Sasuke blinked away sleep a few times before opening the front door.

He did not at all expect to see two men fully geared up in SWAT team uniforms along with a large white dog. One of the men had fairly tan skin, dark eyes, spiky brown hair, and unusually sharp teeth Sasuke could see by his smirk. The other man was taller, skin even paler than his own with lightcolored eyes. He had a head full of stunning brunette hair that draped down his back and would infuriate most women who bear witness to it's silky tresses.

"Greetings." The pale one soon spoke up. "Is Naruto around by any chance?"

Uh oh. 

What did the idiot do to have two fucking SWAT officers at his doorstep?

Before Sasuke could respond, a large hand was placed on his shoulder and the blond himself stepped forwards. "Neji, Kiba!" He said happily, glancing down when the large white canine barked. "And Akamaru." Naruto laughed, crouching down to pet the animal behind it's ears. So it appeared he knew them after all. That was good, Sasuke was able to pull a lot of strings, but if the man was somehow in trouble with something as high ranked as the SWAT, he wouldn't know what the hell to do.

"It's been a while Naruto." The one called Kiba chuckled when Akamaru licked the blond's face. 

"Indeed." Neji agreed. "Who might this be?" He questioned, his pale almost lilac tinted gaze focusing in on Sasuke. He didn't know why but something about the man slightly creeped him out, no mater how annoyingly beautiful his hair was.

"I'm Sasuke Uchiha. Naruto's financial adviser." He introduced himself.

"An Uchiha? Woah." Kiba stated, his eyebrows raising.

"I'm surprised you're working with the likes of Naruto." Neji said monotonously. 

"Still blunt as ever Neji." Naruto snorted, shaking his head. "Sasuke's been helping me out big time, he's a good guy. Anyways, I know what you guys came for, they're getting so big! Slightly nippy, but I'm sure Akamaru here will put em' in place, wont' ya boy." 

The white canine gave a loud bark, it's tail wagging and Kiba reached down and pet him on top of his head with a grin. "Great." He said, flashing another toothy smirk. "Can we go see them?" 

"Yeah! Follow me." The blond stepped off the porch and began walking towards one of the barns. 

Sasuke happened to have no idea what in the fuck any of them were talking about, but he decided to just follow along instead of asking for elaboration. Naruto led them to one of the smaller barns, this building he hadn't yet explored. He pushed opened the doors, walking inside accompanied by the trio who all stopped at a little wooden gate. Moments after, there was an audible bark, and not from the white dog Akamaru. 

Running from the stacks of hay was a border collie and right afterwards a long haired German Shepard. Naruto had dogs? He didn't even know that. Either their barks were drowned out by the other sounds of the farm, or they were trained only to bark when necessary aside from greetings. The man probably had more animals Sasuke had yet to discover. He wouldn't be surprised to find a fucking Ostrich or something along the way in the future. 

Naruto opened the small gate and went inside to greet both dogs with enthusiasm, giving them ear scratches and belly rubs. Not much time passed until little audible yips were heard, and approaching from the shadows were seven hyper puppies. The little fuzzballs were absolutely adorable, and Sasuke found himself slightly smiling at the sight. 

"You were right!" Kiba stated, giving a small chuckle as he stepped into the pin and was immediately playfully attacked at his feet by a few pups. "They have grown so much. Nippy too." 

"Are they weaned?" Neji questioned, his thin, long fingers gently petting one of the pups small head. The cute fuzzy animal yipped, taking the mans pale appendage into its small jowls, slobbering all over it. Naruto, Sasuke, and Kiba chuckled when Neji made a face then sighed.

"Yep they are. They'll be six months old next week." 

"That's perfect." Kiba smiled, picking a couple up and laughing when they licked his face. 

"There's seven of them, so you guys can take six and I'll keep the runt of the litter?" Naruto offered. 

"Sounds good to me." Neji nodded.

The four remained in the barn for a while longer to play with the pups and converse a little until Neji and Kiba needed to leave. Kiba was a K9 Field Officer assisted by his teammate Neji, the two worked with advanced dogs on the force, teaching them to sniff out drugs, properly attack a criminal, obey complex commands, and more. Naruto's dogs provided the litter for the next generation on the force and they had come to get them to begin their training. A bittersweet moment. After bidding farewell, the two returned inside the house. With everything taken care of, they needed to get down to business and pronto. 

"Alright, get dressed. We're going into town." Sasuke ordered, making his way towards the staircase. 

"What for?" Naruto arched a golden brow.

"We're going to make you some money."



 


Exactly one week had passed. The set court date was non-negotiable to be postponed, which made matters even worse. What Sasuke had dreaded most unfortunately became a devastating reality. It was so easy, yet so difficult. The distressing feeling of being able to see a goal however not reach it despite how close it may be was essentially agonizing. In the back of his mind, Sasuke partially knew the percentage of this happening was high, but he simply didn't want to believe it.

Throughout the past seven days, the two men worked day in and day out, sleep unimportant. The kindergarten had put an agreement for the fundraiser, generously making the entire week dedicated to raising money all while simultaneously providing education for the little ones. There was only so much one could gather in a week and few days time, though. The results were no doubt impressive, a staggering 16K was earned by the children alone, added with the adults input was around 20 thousand.

It was probably a new record for most money raised by a kindergarten in such a short notice. While considered a lot, from what the debt was, it was barely anything to make a substantial difference. Even with having recently sold the litter of puppies, the foal, sacrificed a few more animals along with other products the farm provided, a few more donations from friends, and Shikamaru helping, they were still much too short.

Sasuke did his best to plead or postpone until further notice. He even threw in his successful business boast that seemed to sway some people's minds but the system was relentless. He was too late, there was nothing he could say or do that could persuade the judge in any other way shape or form. He had never lost a case this tragically, and of course it wasn't his fault for it, everything just happened to fall into place at the wrong time. Of course he still felt guilty and one hundred percent responsible.

"The property will now be underneath sustained foreclosure until Mr. Uzumaki is able to pay off his accumulated debts. All the farm animals will be temporarily confiscated and there will be another seven day period in which they will be held. After that holding week has ended, if the payments are still not returned they shall be sold elsewhere as pets or marketplace food. Any animal which does not fall under either of the two categories will be euthanized. You have twenty four hours to relocate. Court Adjourned." 

The sound of the judge's gavel slamming profoundly against the little piece of wood caused a subtle flinch to pass across Sasuke's form. The look of complete dread etched on Naruto's face adjacent from him couldn't have caused a tighter knot in his stomach to form even if his intestines decided to have a war within his body. On the ride back, the blond didn't utter a single word or even pick his head up. 

Sasuke tensed, the lump in the back of his throat preventing him from speech. Naruto stood still after walking a few steps inside the house, his face blank. Those crystal blue eyes which used to shine so vibrantly seemed to be empty. Once two vast oceans, rippling with titlewaves and tsunami's of expressive life had subsided into nothing but stilled ponds, abandoned of all known existence. 

He clenched his teeth together so harshly, his jaw began aching. They stood in silence for a long time, Naruto un-moving aside from the occasional slow blink of his lids. Mustering up enough courage to talk, Sasuke inhaled slowly, shakily letting out the air through his nostrils.

"I'm not trying to make matters worse." He began slowly, curling and uncurling his fingers, knuckles cracking. "But, we can't stay here. We have to get packing, I have a flight booked for us to leave early tomorrow morning and we need to be ready." 

At the lack of response from the other, Sasuke grew evermore nervous, somewhat desperate. "Look, Naruto. It's not over. We just hit a bump. I am not going to let it go that easily, you of all people taught me to never quit. Something will eventually work out in our favor, I just know it."

He studied the other carefully, searching for something, anything to go off of. A slight indentation on Naruto's jawline indicated he was smashing his teeth together, and Sasuke pressed on, his voice growing louder. "I won't give up. But I can't do it alone, I need your help." 

Naruto's upper lip twitched. 

"Please." 

Still silence. 

Not knowing what to do, Sasuke stood there, his brows furrowed. Finally the man moved from his spot, and began making his way across the house. "Where are you going?" He asked, following after the blond. 

Naruto opened a side door and rummaged through some junk before pulling out an old suitcase. 

Sasuke sighed, slightly relieved. "Ah. When you're done packing please try to get some rest, it's been days since you've been asleep."

The following morning came in no time. Giving one final look at his temporary room, Sasuke made his way downstairs while dragging his luggage behind him. Rolling the suitcases into the kitchen, he glanced around to find the blond sitting on the couch. He could tell by his tired, defeated eyes that the man hadn't gotten a lick of sleep. Those same eyes proceeded to widen as the sound of loud trucks and multiple people suddenly filled the vicinity. 

Naruto shot up from his seat, opening the front door to stand out on the porch, his face twisted in absolute horror and shock. Sasuke trailed after him quickly, his dark eyes scanning around the land. Littered throughout the property was a bunch of large trucks specifically designed to carry animals along with men dressed in dark clothing equipped with some devices he could only guess were for the animals. 

They had already begun the confiscation. Sasuke wanted to leave before so the blond didn't have to bear witness, he didn't know how much heartbreak Naruto could take. The men obviously didn't give two shits about the creatures whatsoever, as was displayed by their graphic manhandling of the poor animals. They drug, kicked, and rudely escorted them to the trailers on the back of the many trucks, disregarding comfort. 

The sound was not something Sasuke would've liked to hear in his lifetime. To hear so many different creatures in distress at one time along with ruthless men barking orders like no tomorrow was truly unnerving. A familiar, jet black stallion rose up on it's hind legs, kicking furiously at the intruding humans who attempted to grab him. They launched many ropes around the creatures thick neck, furthermore continuing to drag him into the trailer back. Some went as far as to grab a hold of it's mane, silky obsidian fibers being torn mercilessly from the horse's body, floating briefly in the air before falling onto the earth as it's distraught whinny's filled the atmosphere.  

Seeing that was the last straw for Naruto apparently. In a flash, the man was off the front porch, sprinting towards the nearest worker with a speed that would have a track athlete reconsidering his or her workout routine. Sasuke, late, darted after Naruto while yelling his name multiple times, but nothing was stopping the blond. The man was moving like a machine, targeting in on the nearest man with predatory speed. Sasuke would have a better chance calming a bull while bathed in blood. 

Naruto's hand flung outwards, his large fist directly impacting one of the men's face with a collision so rough, Sasuke was able to hear the noise even over all the commotion that was currently unfolding. At once, the guy's nose was pouring blood and he groaned in pain while falling onto the ground. The blond however, was just getting started. He watched Naruto snatch one of the mans arms which previously held a rope, bending it in an improper direction until an audible cringe worthy snap was heard. 

Sasuke froze mid-stride, his gut clenching and dark eyes widening as he felt the blood in his body run cold. It wasn't until the worker's screams of agony which were cut short by Naruto's fists repeatedly connecting with his face were heard, followed by his other hand wrapped firmly around his neck, cutting off his air circulation and some others finally took notice. He quickly ran over to him, gripping the blond by the back of his shirt and trying to pull him away from the other. 

"Stop! Naruto stop! Let him go!" Sasuke shouted.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" One man yelled.

"Is he crazy? Get him out of here!" 

"He's fucking deranged, take him down!"

"Let go now! Or we're calling the cops." 

"We're going, we're going!" Sasuke snapped back at them, giving another forceful pull on Naruto's clothing. "Get off of him, now!"

The blond suddenly released his death-hold on the other man and whipped around to face him, and Sasuke ceased all movement. There were droplets of blood on his face that had splattered from his violent beating, and his expression was eerily calm. That look in his eyes, the sadness and sorrow had disappeared and was replaced with something else. Something.. frightening. In that moment, Sasuke knew for a fact that Naruto had every intention on killing that man right then and there.

"Let's go." He forced out, his voice hoarse underneath that unsettling icy glare.

Sasuke rushed to get both their bags, along with Kurama in a traveling crate and met up with Naruto at the end of the parking lot. Shortly after, his butler arrived with their ride to the airport and after putting their luggage in the trunk, they got in the backseat. He cast one last look out the back window, seeing an ambulance pull into the farm to help the broken, beaten man still laying on the ground screaming in pain.

Feeling his heartbeat a mile a minute, he cast a hesitant glance at Naruto who was sitting ominously silent to him. The man still had blood splattered on the front of his clothes and face, though it had partially dried up now. Sasuke made eye contact with his butler in the rear view mirror, and subtly shook his head as a silent way of telling him not to comment. Sasuke clasped his hands together in attempts to get them to stop trembling as he looked out the window, preparing for the long drive ahead.


Chapter Text


The sheer silence of the drive was overwhelming, almost unbearable. Aside from Kurama's occasional meow of displease from being trapped in a cat-carrier riding shotgun and his butler's notifications regarding their trips status, it was utterly still. Sure, they could've switched on the radio and had some tunes play in the background to make the suffering a little more tolerable, but Sasuke wasn't in the mood to listen to music. 

Neither was Naruto, he could assume. Every five minutes or so he couldn't help but peer in the other mans direction. Each little movement the blond next to him made, even if it was a subtle shift of his arm or leg it caused Sasuke's body to instinctively tense. He wasn't the apprehensive type, yet that nerve-racking knot in his stomach still remained and refused to leave. 

He wasn't sure why he was so jittery all of a sudden. It's not like he hadn't seen much worse violence unfold before, Sasuke even witnessed someone get shot mere yards away from him and somehow he was more fraught now than he was back then. It was just alarming to see the cheerful, zealous, silly, and energetic Naruto transform into an almost sinister assailant. 

Everything had happened so fast, like a switch went off in the other mans brain. Sasuke recalled those ferocious ultramarine eyes, unblinking and narrowed, a deadly glare that could burn through somebody's being and disrupt their very soul. The quietness ended as a resounding crackle split the heavens above, momentarily filling the surrounding area with a blinding flash as the lightning passed. 

Following suit was a tremendous roar of thunder, the abyssal noise seemed to reverberate the entire Earth, the aftermath vibrations even felt in the moving vehicle. Kurama hissed in his carrier, and Sasuke looked over to see the blond had sank down in his seat a little bit. All the fine hairs that covered Naruto's tan complexion bristled with goosebumps and he began to appear uncomfortable. 

"We should pull into the nearest rest stop." Sasuke told his butler, raising his voice over the loud clatter of raindrops as it began pouring outside.

"Excellent idea, sir." 

They managed to make it a motel before the storm could become worse and turn their driving situation evermore dangerous. The building was absolutely packed, other nearby roadside travelers took shelter at the place to wait out the bad weather as well. It was a miracle they were even able to get one room let alone two. Sasuke granted his trusty butler with a room of his own, the old loyal man deserved it at the least. 

He did that not only for the fact that it would be extremely awkward putting the blond with him, but because he wouldn't trust Naruto by himself if he roomed with the old man instead. In the short amount of time it took them to run into the building, they had gotten absolutely soaked by the merciless downpour, freezing cold droplets splattering against them from every direction. 

The room they got was small, simple, like any other motel. Two beds, an old television, and a cramped bathroom. It was no five star establishment, but at least it wasn't disgusting and roach infested like some other ones were. Naruto opened Kurama's cat carrier, and the orange fur ball swiftly darted underneath one of the beds. And there was that silence yet again.

Sasuke shifted, curling his toes which were wet because his socks were damp and shoes were soaked from running in an unavoidable puddle of water that accumulated near the motel's entrance. After a while, he gave in to the tormenting silence. 

"Would you please say something." 

Naruto's head turned, and that oceanic blue gaze rested on him. 

"You haven't spoken since the court date." Sasuke continued, taking off his ruined shoes and placing them on a mat near the door.

"I have nothing to say." The blond finally replied, his voice low and monotone. 

Nothing to say? He could almost scoff. This was Naruto Uzumaki, one of the most talkative and hyperactive people on this planet. And he claimed he had nothing to say. Sasuke called bullshit, and crossed his arms together. He soon regretted the action as his shirt clung to his body, stretching uncomfortably as the soaked fabric rubbed against his cold skin. He shuttered. 

Unfortunately, they couldn't grab their luggage out the trunk because more people were filling in the building and they might not have gotten these open rooms if they would've delayed their sprint to the doors. Sighing, he began stripping the dripping pieces of clothes from his body. Naruto looked mildly confused, and for some reason Sasuke found relief in the small expression. 

His face had finally, finally changed from that bleak lifeless appearance to actually have some sort of emotion. "What're you doing.." Naruto spoke up again, his words trailing off almost suspiciously instead of questioning. 

Sasuke snorted. "Why taking off my wet clothes, of course. Our luggage is still in the car so we're gonna just have to air dry these until the storm calms down. I think there's a flood and tornado warning as well, we might be stuck here for some hours." It took him an unbelievable amount of time to take off his pants, considering the fact that they were jeans. Wet jeans was a big no no. 

"That being said." Sasuke continued, wringing out both items of clothes and hanging them on a rack spread out to begin air drying. He crossed his arms, turning back towards the blond who snapped his eyes away once taking a glance at him in his boxers. Sasuke almost grinned, so this is how Naruto felt all those time's he randomly stripped in his presence and got him all flustered. "Passing the time with conversation seems like the way to go." 

Naruto's shoulders rolled upwards in a simple shrug, and he sighed through his nose. Suddenly Sasuke felt as if their roles had switched. He was now the one talking non stopped, he was the one undressing in front of the other, he was the one that wouldn't sit in silence, and he was the one trying to break the other's blank features in hopes of seeing a happy expression. Is this how Naruto felt when he mentioned he needed to work on his mood? 

It was very frustrating to say the least, and Sasuke regretted giving the blond such a hard time when he was only being friendly towards him. He got a taste of his own medicine, and would need to immediately change the prescription. Sasuke watched the man fidget in his wet clothes, clearly not comfortable. 

"Why not let them dry?" He suggested, taking the soles out of his shoes and setting them out to dry as well. 

Naruto made a noise from the back of his throat. "There's one problem." 

"What's that?" Sasuke turned, meeting that pretty blue stare. 

"I'm not wearing underwear." 

He blinked a few times, not expecting that. Sasuke was surprised again when he saw a slight upturn of the blond's lips. That faint yet visible smile instantly made his day. How he longed for the mans euphoric ways once more, the overhanging grief that clung to the blond like a virus was rather gloomy. The fact that Naruto was able to muster a smile, no matter now small, gave him a small beacon of hope. 

He still wouldn't give up. 

"Since when have you ever been shy?" Sasuke countered, attempting to keep the lightened mood. 

Naruto's blue gaze stared for a moment longer then he shrugged as if agreeing to the statement. Sasuke's eyes widened after the blond got rid of his shirt and undid the button on his pants, pulling the zipper down. 

"Wait!" He stopped the man just before he could yank his pants past his tan waistline, waving his hands back and forth almost frantically. "I.. I was just kidding." No he wasn't. Sasuke let out a nervous chuckle, he definitely wouldn't have known what to say or do with a butt naked, dripping wet Naruto laying on an open bed feet away. That would've been an extremely.. interesting situation.




For the 43 hour duration in which the terrible storm had lasted, Sasuke made his best efforts to socialize with the blond in a feeble attempt to cheer him up. It didn't really work at all, though he figured as much. All Naruto did was shrug, shake his head, or nod in response to his inquiries, never uttering more than a couple words when needed. It's been less than two days since everything he ever knew was literally torn away from him, so Sasuke decided to stop pestering the blond into conversing.

Their flight which had been temporarily postponed due to the weather was now rescheduled in just enough time for the trio to make it, otherwise they would've had to wait another six hours. Sasuke forced the blond to throw away the outfit he beat up that animal handler with. It would be incredibly suspicious if security somehow found bloodstains on Naruto's clothes, along with the fact that he was leaving the area and not talking to anyone. 

If Sasuke recalled correctly, the man had never been on a plane before, or even inside an airport for that matter. Hell, he might've never even left the town in his entire life. He took a glance at the blond who was walking slowly alongside him. Though Naruto's face continued to uphold that downhearted expression, his eyes gave away all his emotion. There wasn't hiding anything in those crystal blue depths. 

Those same eyes flicked around the airport, watching hundreds upon hundreds of people move around with suitcases being dragged behind them, children screaming, pairs arguing or yelling, some sleeping on benches or even the floor awaiting their next flight. It was honestly on the brinks of chaos, especially since today was extra busy because all the flights had been previously held up by the storm so everyone was pouring back in.

"Don't worry." Sasuke reassured, offering the blond a small smile which was not returned when Naruto peered in his direction. "The plane ride is much more peaceful." 

"I second that." His butler spoke, continuing to lead the way. 

Sasuke grew slightly nervous while watching the man go through the metal detector, only to have it beep and the security proceed to pat him down. His face suggested irritation, and that made him all the more worried considering he grew to realize Naruto might have slight anger issues at hand. When they let the blond through, he was stopped on his way back to regroup for a second time. 

"What, why?" Sasuke heard the man say once he got within proximity of the two. 

"It's standard procedure. Gosh, like, everyone knows this." The young worker said, rolling his eyes at the blond as he chewed his gum loudly.

"You're not taking Kurama." Naruto growled, hostility in his voice. 

"Dude!" The other man said exasperated, gesturing towards the metal flat kart he was rolling, a few small metal cages stacked on top. "All animals are put in these and in a safe place on the lower level of the plane. He's fed a little meatball with a drug that'll make him sleep pretty the whole way there." 

"You're going to drug him too?" Naruto's hand tightened around the cat carrier, and he stepped away from the other. "No way." 

"Oh my god. Look man I get paid 9.50 an hour to roll around a cart of drugged up cats and dogs to the plane, this sentimental shit wasn't on the contract." 

"I don't care. Go away." 

"Naruto its-" Sasuke cut in, but stopped his words once he saw a small, delicate hand come out of nowhere and place itself on one of Naruto's large shoulders. 

The blond twitched at the contact, whipping around to face the owner of said hand. A short woman with a small pretty face was now at the scene. She had pale eyes, fair skin, and long blonde hair fastened in a loose pony tail, the pigment lighter compared to Naruto's. To easily describe her, she looked a lot like Hinata only with different colored hair, slightly darker eyes and.. a smaller chest. She even had the forehead bangs and two little strands of hair that hung on both sides of her face.

"Everything is going to be okay." The woman's soft voice intervened and she smiled despite Naruto's unfriendly frown. She crouched down to be level with Kurama's carrier, sticking a finger past the metal blocks. An orange paw was soon visible, lightly batting at her appendage and she giggled. "What a handsome little fellow you've got there. I'm sure he'd get along with my two fuzzbuckets as well." She commented, holding up her own cat carrier, a couple meows heard from inside. 

When Naruto continued to stare at her, she giggled again, holding out a small hand in his direction. He looked at it for a moment before reluctantly taking the offer and shaking it. "I'm Shion." She cheesed happily. "Listen, I've been traveling since I was a little kid and taking animals along with me for years. They don't get stressed from the flight because they're given a little bit of food that makes them fall asleep, but afterwards when they wake up they're a little drowsy but always safe! Your little poofy orange fellow will probably be kept next to mine, you got nothin' to worry about, kay?" 

The blond stood there for a long moment and Sasuke thought he was going to protest and turn away. Thankfully, the woman's words got through that dense mind of his, and he slowly nodded his head in agreement. Naruto slipped a couple tan fingers past Kurama's cage wires, giving him a final scratch behind the ears before he placed him on top of the metal cart. Shion smiled, setting down her cat carrier next to Naruto's. The worker rolled his eyes and said something sarcastic but then wheeled the felines away without another word.

"Hey, thanks for that." Sasuke said, turning towards the short woman. 

"Yeah, it's no problem, I was stubborn the first time around too. They're g- hey, wait a minute aren't you Sasuke Uchiha?" 

"The one and only."

"Woah! That's pretty awesome, I'm meeting one of the main bosses himself. You're always so busy people never see you in person but I recognized your face just now from the business promotion page image. I'm an intern at the investment company, my father is a hardcore investor and has been putting money into your successful organization for years, oh man he's going to be so exited when I tell him I met you in person." 

"I'm flattered, but really it's not all my doing. There's many workers that assist on keeping everything stable."  

"But you're so young working a tough career, that makes it all the more interesting! And oh by the way, are you headed back home?" 

"Yep, returning to the city. We're on the next flight actually." 

"Really? Me too! I'm riding second class though haha, probably wont see little ol' me. Hey I've got a question.." Her pale eyes looked past him towards Naruto who had walked away from their conversation, sitting on a nearby bench looking thoroughly drained. "Is your friend alright?" She questioned, her voice dropping into a lower tone. 

"He's.. going through some stuff right now. I apologize if he came off as rude to you, he's normally a firecracker of positive energy so don't take any mind. His name is Naruto." 

"Naruto." The woman repeated, testing the name on her tongue while humming in curiosity. "Well then, tell him I said feel better soon. I'll see ya on the plane maybe, fun travels to you both." With a smile and simple wave, she turned back around and left.

Eventually they boarded their plane, and he was seated next to Naruto while their butler was behind them. Sasuke was glad for once that first class was their location, because this was the blond's first flight experience and he wanted him to be as comfortable and happy as possible. He expected a giddy and excited man, but what he got when he looked over was the complete opposite. 

Naruto was blankly looking at nothing in particular, his hands resting slack in his lap. If anything, he looked rather sick. That twisted feeling returned in Sasuke's gut, he absolutely hated seeing the other like this even if he only knew him for almost a month. After the take off and during mid flight, the blond was finally beginning to look alive again. The mild turbulence caused those wondrous blue pools to widen, and Sasuke chuckled. 

"You know, we're moving over 600 miles an hour?" He said, trying for conversation a second time. When interest peaked the others face, Sasuke felt somewhat accomplished. Naruto and him had small talk the rest of the flight, he seemed to loosen up a little at least. His reply's were still short, he lacked his usual bubbling enthusiasm and didn't laugh, or hardly cracked a smile, but it was still progress from the motel. Sasuke was determined to make him like his usual self soon, or at least as close as possible.

They arrived in his home city and got in another car, beginning the drive back to where Sasuke lived. Naruto poked his head out the car's window like a dog, unable to contain his awe as he looked around the new passing surroundings while they drove. It was entirely different than the man's hometown, Sasuke could only guess he was quite surprised. The buildings were ten times as big, reaching into the clouds, clutters of people as far as the eye could see, so much noise and commotion, vibrant with culture and life.

"This a five star inn?" Naruto spoke up for the first time since getting off the plane, grabbing Kurama's carrier as he got out of the car and glanced up at the enormous building they had stopped at.

"No, it's my house." Sasuke replied simply, helping his butler with the bags as he walked around the round-a-bout fountain towards the ridiculously sized front doors. 

Naruto's jaw dropped and he halted mid-step, dumbfounded. Returning from setting the bags inside, he gave an amused snort to see the blond still standing at the bottom of the stairs, his mouth still slightly open and eyes huge. 

"Well, if you're gonna become one of my statues out here for the garden, I will kindly ask you to remove that dumb look on your face." Along with your clothes. Sasuke wanted to say, but held the words back with a smirk.

Naruto's glare made his smirk widen, and he let out a low chuckle. "Come on, let's go inside."

Chapter Text


"Welcome home, Mr. Uchiha!" 

A pair of excited feminine voices greeted simultaneously as the trio walked through the gargantuan front doors. They were the manors housekeepers, both of them dressed in the same somewhat raunchy outfit which consisted of the basic short black and white maid dress with dark stockings. Sasuke half expected the blond to be gawking at them, but having cast a side glance at Naruto he was otherwise occupied.

The other mans skull had tilted backwards, allowing his cerulean eyes to travel up the high-rise ceiling in which a massive chandelier draped overhead. Naruto continued to survey the interior of the ground level as far as he could see without moving, his eyes enormous from taking in all the unfamiliar surroundings. Sasuke inwardly chuckled, he was going to look forward to giving him a tour later.

After the housekeepers took his luggage and departed, he let out a long exhale. It felt nice to be finally back at home. The trip was absolutely exhausting, not to mention overwhelming since it ended on a bad note. Though Sasuke wasn't in any position whatsoever to complain about his distress, he could only imagine what was going on in Naruto's mind at the moment. 

Sasuke settled his gaze on the blond who was still quietly standing in the same spot after he walked in, scrutinizing the huge building. Despite his curious staring, his shoulders were slumped, posture no longer upright and there were visible bags underneath those ocean blues. He suddenly realized he couldn't recall the last time Naruto had been to sleep, the man refused to sleep at the motel during the storm and he stared out the window the rest of the plane ride after their little chit chat ended.

"Gen'ichi." Sasuke addressed, turning towards his sole butler who immediately gave him his direct attention. 

"Yes, sir?" 

"Please have the cooks prepare dinner, include noodle stir fry."

"Right away sir." The older man walked in the direction of the kitchen and was soon out of sight.

"Follow me." Sasuke instructed, grabbing the blond's one and only suitcase and began towards the double spiraled grand staircase. He was surprised how light Naruto's luggage was, it felt like there was barely anything in there. Kurama inside his carrying crate probably weighed more. He kept peering behind him a few times to assure the man was still following, since every once in a while Naruto would stop and stare at a decorative piece or painting on the wall. They eventually entered a room on the second story and Sasuke wheeled the suitcase to the middle of the floor and stopped.

"This will be your room." 

"This?" Naruto said quietly, setting down Kurama's cat carrier and walking around in a full circle taking in all of the room.

"Yes, this."

"It's very..." The blond paused, walking over towards the large bed and running his lengthy tan fingers across the dark silky sheets. "Large." 

Sasuke snorted. "The bathroom is to the right and the closet over there is walk-in. There's a small button near your bed stand that's a pager, it automatically connects you to Gen'ichi if there's any sort of problem or if you're in need of anything. Don't be afraid to push it, even if it's trivial because that's his job, you can trust him, he's very efficient." 

The blond slowly nodded in response and Sasuke cleared his throat. "Well, that's pretty much it. Dinner will be ready in abou-" 

"I'm not hungry." 

"Bullshit. I haven't seen you eat anything since the morning before the court date so don't pull that card." 

Naruto's radiant blue stare lifted to meet his eyes, and he held the mans gaze despite the knot returning to his gut. There was a typhoon of emotions swirling around in those ultramarine depths, and Sasuke tensed while trying to read it, trying to understand it, trying to uncover what his face or voice didn't tell but eyes revealed. After a moment the blond's lips parted and he let out a small audible exhale, his gaze traveling towards the cat carrier. 

"I'll inform the cooks to also make Kurama something to eat, when he wakes up from the medicine he'll be hungry too." 

"Okay." Naruto agreed, his voice hardly above a whisper. 

Sasuke left the man to get unpacked and become acquainted with his new living quarters as the food was being made. Around thirty minutes later, he went to retrieve Naruto from upstairs and they were seated at the colossal dining table with enough food to have a buffet. The blond's long yellow eyelashes fluttered as he blinked rapidly, his line of vision scanning across the various different foods presented before him. 

"The cat upstairs has been fed, sir. Is there anything else I can get for either of you?"

Naruto glanced up from his food trance looking mildly embarrassed and shook his head.

"No, that'll be all. Thank you." He replied to the server who nodded and departed back to the kitchen. 

As expected, Naruto went for the noodle-related dish. Sasuke once more tried engaging in conversation in attempts to furthermore break that icy barrier that had constructed around the blond after that devastating court date. He knew it was still fresh on the others mind and the overwhelming grief was making him distant, but he didn't want him to be consumed by that sorrow. One could only hold so much in before they completely fell apart.

He noticed Naruto giving him an ugly face, and he arched an eyebrow in his direction. "Something wrong?" 

"You're eating a plain tomato." The man said it like he was doing something otherworldly. 

"Of course. Tomato's are good and good for your body too. Want one?" 

Naruto's upper lip curled in disgust and he quickly shook his head, mumbling something inaudible under his breath. 

"What was that?" 

"I said that explains why you're so thin." 

Sasuke snorted, rolling his eyes. He wasn't that skinny, was he? "Then how is it you eat all that junk food and manage to..." He trailed his words off, taking an extra long drink of his tea.

"Manage to what?" Naruto asked.

To have such an infuriatingly enticing body. 

"Nothing." 

After dinner was finished and he had cleaned up, Sasuke decided to let the other man know that in the morning he could give him a tour of the mansion and afterwards they could go to the store and gather some necessities. It seemed like the smart thing to do since Naruto really didn't have anything besides his tooth brush, a few pairs of clothes and Kurama, plus it would be good to get him more familiar with the general area.

Sasuke knocked on the blond's door, and when nobody answered he knocked for a second time. Once again, nobody answered so he slowly reached for the handle and peeked inside. "Hello?" He called out quietly, hesitantly walking inside the room. Kurama was laying on the enormous bed busy grooming his soft orange fur and only simply twitched his black marking ears. "Naruto, you in here?" 

"Uh, Sasuke." A familiar voice spoke up from the bathroom.

Huh, that's weird. Naruto sounded really confused just then. Frowning, he made his way across the room and pushed the partially cracked door open. If Sasuke would've been holding something just then, the item would've crashed onto the tile floor. His body stopped in the doorway, dark eyes wide and unblinking at what was presented right before him. 

Standing next to the fancy shower was a very lost and very naked Naruto. The man was loosely holding a white dry-off towel in front of him, just enough to cover the goodies while his other hand scratched the back of his head. "How do you work your shower?" He asked, looking mildly embarrassed but for all the wrong reasons. "I'll admit I've been standing here for a while." 

Why. 

Just why. 

Why did he have to be such a clueless tease? 

"You p-pull the-" Since his voice decided to fail him, Sasuke instead slowly walked towards the shower for a demonstration. It took every last fiber of his being to keep his eyes locked on the shower handle in which he silently displayed how to turn on and off along with hot and cold, a few stray droplets splashing on the side of his face. 

"Ohhhhh." Naruto said in understanding. 

He nodded while standing back up, feeling his throat become dry from the close proximity. The blond was only a foot away from him now, he could just reach out and.. Christ. Why did his skin have to look so soft? And those scars, Sasuke wanted to run his fingers across each little bump and ripple of the previously wounded flesh, know the story behind all of them.

His gaze gradually declined, a newfound curiosity arising once glimpsing at that little line of blonde hair on Naruto's perfectly sculpted lower abdominal region. He wondered was it blonde all the way down there like his head? Or was the hair a slightly different color? Sasuke realized that the man had said something else, and he quickly snapped his eyes back up to peer into those blue abyss's. 

"What?"

"I said you look a little feverish Sasuke, your face is all red, you doing alright?"

"I'm fine." He said quickly, cursing his pale skin for giving away even the slightest hint of a blush. 

"It was probably the tomatoes." Naruto mustered a small chuff of amusement. 

Oh so now he laughs. 

All the time he's been cracking jokes or trying to make a funny conversation to put the man in higher spirits proved to be unsuccessful.

But yet he laughs at his suffering.

"So.. did you need something?"

Naruto had shifted his stance, adjusting his grip on the towel that covered himself and nearly dropped the fabric on the floor with his movement. Sasuke swallowed dryly, his heartbeat pounding in his chest and he swiftly turned in the opposite direction. "Uhm. It can wait till tomorrow, try to get some rest." He rushed the words out his mouth almost as fast as he walked out the door.





Sasuke's fear had come true once returning to the blond's room the following morning. What he was going over in his mind yesterday at the dinner table while trying to converse was unfortunately unfolding right before his very eyes. Naruto was sitting on the large bed breathing quickly and heavily, as if he were in the beginning stages of hyperventilation. He had managed to repress most of his despair the following days, but like a ticking time bomb, those emotions finally caught up to him.

"Naruto? What's wr-" 

"I shouldn't be here." The mans voice was hoarse, like it was a difficult strain to produce words at all. 

"What do you mean?" Sasuke said quietly, making his way over to the bed and sitting on the end. 

"They're gone." Naruto choked, his face shifting into a mortified expression. "All gone."

He assumed the man must've had some sort of bad dream, but then again from the looks of it, it seemed he went another night sleepless. Though before he could question him on the subject, Naruto spoke up again. 

"I shouldn't be here." He repeated. "There's just.. there's nothing left. It's over, it's all over. There's no reason for me to keep living at all I-" 

"Stop!" Sasuke interrupted sharply, his stomach forming knots again at the man's words. "Don't.. don't say things like that. I told you we were going to fix this one way or another. We just need a little time to sort things out, get situated and make a plan. We can't rush in without a strategy first." 

"It's been almost four days!" Naruto shouted, his voice crackling through the room louder than the lightning from a few days ago. 

"Look. I know that was hard for you to see, and they were very wrong for treating the animals so cruelly like that, but there's always room to grow. When we get your farm back, you can reconstruct, rebuild and expand. We can make room for twice as many animals as before and who knows there may even be-" 

"No, Sasuke." The blond cut in quietly, lifting his blue gaze from the bed to look at him. 

Sasuke felt an overwhelming feeling of regret stab him in the chest like a knife once peering into Naruto's eyes. He could see the other mans heartache in those icy voids which glistened and sparkled on the very brinks of tears.

"They weren't just animals. They were my friends. My best friends. They didn't judge me, look down on me, hate me, or stare at me with that look in their eyes like I was some sort of freak. They held no ill feelings towards me whatsoever, but considered me a comrade, a companion, an equal. They accepted me for who I was. I have no family, they became my family. Without them I'm nothing. Nothing at all. We saved each other, we helped each other. They had rescued me from my loneliness, and I had rescued them from inevitable suffering and death. They trusted me, and I let them down. They believed I would always be there for them, and I let them down." 

He was at a complete loss for words. All Sasuke could do was sit there listening with his mouth partially open, watching the tears continuously roll down the others tan cheeks while he continued. 

"You see, when I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul. And it's all my fault those very souls are suffering right now if not dead already. So now you see why there's no reason for me to be here anymore. I don't deserve it, any of it. I don't deserve for you or anyone else to be helping me when I let them all down. I had one thing to do, and couldn't even do that. I-I failed them all.. I failed." 

Sasuke didn't know what was breaking his heart more, Naruto's words, his voice, his eyes, or his tears. A combination of all four sounded correct. By now the clear, salty liquid was streaming down the individual's features and dripping off his chin onto the sheets. He swallowed the lump in the back of his throat, scooting forwards onto the plush mattress to sit face to face with the blond. 

"Naruto, look at me." 

He peered into those leaking cobalt orbs which had obeyed and glanced at him, like two overflowing pools of aquamarine. "You do deserve to be here. You deserve anything and everything good, Naruto. I've known you for a bit less than a month now, but anyone who meets you can tell within seconds what kind of person you are, and that person is not a failure. What you do for your friends, all the hard work and dedication, they knew how much you cared, how much you still do. Even if things didn't end up how you foresaw don't think for one minute that you let any of them down, because even if it was just for a short time they got to be with you, around you, in your welcoming and unique presence."

Sasuke watched the others expression shift to something similar to shock as his eyes widened and jaw fell slack, though he didn't say anything or interrupt. It was Naruto who was at a loss for words now just like he had been mere minutes ago. With that, he continued. 

"I know it hurts, to feel like you've lost everything, that nothing will be right ever again. But it will, this is just another step to change your life. Everything will be looking up soon, and how do I know that? Because like I said before, it's not over. We're not done. There's way more than just Shikamaru, Hinata and a few other people who are willing to help you. Naruto you need to fully open your eyes and realize you're not alone here and see that people care, how much they care." 

How much I care. 

"Now, until we get everything figured out, I don't want you to say anything like that ever again, okay? I need you to just have a bit more faith and patience, endure a bit longer, no matter that hard that may be. Good will come, and I want you to remember this. You can still start a fire, even if it's just one ember. And let me tell you something; that ember just withstood the storm." 

Sasuke lightly jumped once long, strong arms were suddenly wrapped around his torso. Naruto pulled himself forward, face pressed against the chest of his shirt as he sobbed while nodding his head vigorously in agreement, mumbling an apology with his words muffled. Sasuke briefly froze at the embrace but soon moved his arms and hugged the other back, the tight knot in his stomach finally, finally loosening. 

Soon enough the crying stopped, and he looked down to see a peacefully sleeping Naruto between his arms. Sasuke smiled, gently leaning backwards to move the other into a laying position, only those powerful arms which were still fastened around his middle refused to let go as he tried to leave. Well, looks like he was going to become Naruto's pillow.

Again.

Chapter Text


Somewhere in the midst of waiting for Naruto to let him go or wake up, Sasuke himself had apparently dozed off. He could only remember taking glances at the exhausted man, wondering how someone could look so peaceful and innocent while sleeping despite his occasional snores or drooling. A ripping noise tore him from his nap, and his dark eyes flashed open to see across the room Kurama standing up on his hind legs with his anterior limbs outstretched, clawing at the curtains. 

Fuck.

"Stop that!" Sasuke whisper-yelled at the feline, not wanting to disrupt the blond who was still fast asleep. 

When the orange animal didn't listen, he looked around and quickly grabbed a small pillow. Sasuke launched the soft object in the cat's direction and it hit him on the butt. Immediately Kurama hissed and let his claws be freed from the expensive drapes, scampering across the room elsewhere. Sasuke put a reminder note in the back of his mind for when they went outside to take a trip to the pet store before the entire place could be torn to shreds. 

Something touched his leg and he shifted slightly, moving his arm that was closest to Naruto downward to scoot whatever had prodded him away. What was that? Television remote? Only, when Sasuke's fingertips grazed across the hard object, Naruto released a small low noise from the back of his throat, and instantly he realized that the object was not an object at all. Sasuke snatched his hand back into his own personal space, his face reddening. 

Naruto had one arm draped over his chest, his face next to his shoulder while he basically used Sasuke's entire left side of his body as a large snuggling pillow. The blond's hips subtly moved, the action causing his stiff manhood to rub against his upper thigh. Sasuke froze, his blush traveling to the tips of his ears, Naruto's thin pair of sleeping sweatpants really didn't cover much and the fact that he was shirtless didn't help at all. 

He tried to sit up, but the tan appendage on his upper body suddenly became weighty as the other held him down in his sleep. Sasuke swallowed, nearly choking on his spit when Naruto continuously rolled his hips upward again, effectively grinding his erection on his poor thigh. It wasn't difficult to tell he was very.. well endowed. The thought alone made him fidget and Sasuke quickly grabbed the blond's arm, using more strength than he would've imagined to pry the limb away from him and roll off the side of the bed. 

Exhaling a deep breath, Sasuke ran his fingers through his messed up dark head of hair trying to get rid of the flustered feeling he had. Naruto stirred on the large bed but thankfully didn't wake up yet and he exited the room silently. He made his way downstairs into the kitchen, preparing a cup of coffee as he leaned against the counter top and checked his phone.

There were a few missed calls, texts, and a bunch of unread work emails. He'd have to go back to work in approximately two days and was not looking forward to it at all. Annoying meetings that lasted way longer than they should, stuck up secretaries, overly enthusiastic and ass-kissing receptionists, clueless interns or newbies, not to mention the building was bright as fuck. 

Like, seriously. 

After waking up early in the morning then walking in there, it was like someone blindfolded you, threw you in a trunk for an hour, then suddenly you're let free in the middle of a desert midday aside from the blistering heat. Sighing, he grabbed his cup of coffee and sat at the table while opening his laptop. Naruto's file was the first thing that was still on his screen, and Sasuke was about to close the tab until he looked at Shikamaru's contact information. He completely forgot to update the man on their situation, he was probably worried for his best friend. Sasuke took his phone out again and dialed the number, tapping the side of his cup as the phone rang. 

"Hello?" The bored voice answered, and without a doubt he knew it was indeed the right number.

"Shikamaru? It's Sasuke." 

"Sasuke? Holy fuck. What happened? I couldn't visit because of work but I was trying to get a hold of you though I forgot to take down your number and Naruto doesn't have a cell phone, and when I called his house phone it said the number was no longer available." 

"Yeah, sorry about that I was meaning to contact you earlier but got caught up with traveling, we just got back to my city yesterday evening." 

"So, I guess that means the court date didn't go in your favor." Shikamaru's voice lowered in an apologetic tone. "How's he doing?" 

"He's.." Sasuke leaned back in his chair, twirling around the small spoon in his coffee cup. "Getting better. At first Naruto wouldn't talk to me at all, it was difficult to communicate, he barely ate, and he was awake for more than 48 hours if I remember correctly. Finally earlier he sort of.. broke down, he cried and talked about how he failed and didn't deserve to live anymore." 

"Damn. He's never.. been like that before." 

"It definitely caught me off guard too, it was a little scary I'll admit. Afterwards I talked to him for a long time and got through to him. He apologized and cried himself to sleep, I think he'll be good now though." 

"Man, I wish I could've done more, maybe he wouldn't have to had suffer so much." 

"No, no. Shikamaru you helped me a lot so don't take any sort of blame on yourself it was just all bad timing. Though like I told Naruto, this isn't over, we aren't done yet." 

"What do you plan on doing?" 

"In all honesty, at the moment I'm not quite sure, I don't have a fully developed plan. But to start out, I'm actually going to need your help again." 

"Yeah of course, anything you need to help Naruto, just tell me what to do." 

"Alright, first things first I need you to see if you can get an acceptance note to legally go on the property. This will allow you to enter his house in which you'll look for any information on the home that was left behind. Background, letters, previous owners, statements, agreements, contracts, you name it. Once you get all those I want you to mail them to my work office, can you do that?" 

"Yeah I can do that. Though, what if they decline my permission note request?" 

"Then you'll break into the house." 

"What? Are you serious?" 

"Does it sound like I'm joking?" 

"That's.. I mean.." 

"I can't do this all alone Shikamaru, you're my main source back in that town so please, I need you. Naruto needs you." 

He heard the man sigh heavily on the other end. "Such a drag.. fine. I'll do it if necessary." 

"Thank you. I promise it'll pay off in the end." 

"Yeah, yeah, you just make sure Naruto continues eating and sleeping properly. And don't.. well just, be careful." 

"Careful?" 

"At times he can get a little.. angry." 

Sasuke's mind flashed back to the blond furiously attacking the animal worker, his fists repeatedly connecting with the mans face, bruising his flesh, splitting open his lip, blacking his eyes, dis-forming his nose and breaking his arm from the elbow down. 

"Shikamaru." 

"Yeah?" 

"Naruto has a criminal record, but on the profile I was given it didn't elaborate since it was classified as a misdemeanor." 

Shikamaru went silent for a second and he could feel the tension through the phone. "He was charged with involuntary manslaughter a few years ago. His record before that was otherwise perfectly clean so the judge went through with mitigating factors and he spent only eight months in minimum security prison and eight more on probation." 

A tight feeling formed in his chest and he forced the next words out lowly. "So.. you're saying he killed someone." 

"Involuntarily." The man on the other end corrected firmly. 

Sasuke felt the hairs on the back of his neck raise, and he nearly jumped once hearing footsteps from upstairs. Naruto must've finally woken up now. "I have to leave. Text me once you submit your entrance permission request." He hung up the phone without waiting for the other mans reply and took a drink of his coffee. 

Naruto walked down the grand spiraled staircase and into the kitchen looking a little lost until his vibrant blue eyes landed on him. Sasuke immediately noticed a change in the mans appearance, he looked much more exuberant than the previous days. The blond even gave him a goofy smile as he approached, and he simply couldn't fathom this humble, silly and loving individual to murder someone. 

No. 

Not murder. 

It was involuntary manslaughter, meaning accidental. 

Still, he couldn't shake the slight uneasy feeling he had in the back of his mind. Naruto had asked for a cup of coffee and he nodded in silent approval, trying to stop his brain from creating bad thoughts. What had happened? How did it happen? Sasuke shook his head dropping the topic for now, taking another sip of his caffeinated beverage while closing his laptop. Naruto got his own cup and sat a couple seats away from him, his spiky blond hair messed up from his slumber.

"Sleep well?" Sasuke asked somewhat sarcastically.

Naruto looked up from his drink almost innocently. "Yeah, actually I did." He chuckled, sipping his drink.

"Dream at all?" 

The mans face turned thoughtful and soon afterwards there was a tiny red pigment on his tan cheeks. He had guessed his dream was probably something relatively explicit judging from how he basically dry humped his leg in his sleep. Sasuke absentmindedly ran his free hand along that very same thigh.

"Umm, not that I can remember." Naruto said quietly, tapping the side of his mug with his long fingers. "Oh, what were you going to say yesterday?" 

"What do you mean?" 

"In the bathroom, remember? You walked in and helped me with the shower, then you said you came to tell me something but left and said it could wait 'till the morning." 

"Oh-" Sasuke cleared his throat loudly. "Right, that. I was going to tell you we're going to the store today to get you some things, the pet store to get Kurama some.. cat stuff, and also to give you a tour of the mansion." 

Naruto's eyes lit up with excitement, and he sat up straighter in his chair. "Tour of the mansion?" He echoed, a grin spreading across his face. "Awesome! I can't wait." 

He was beginning to act like more of his old self already, and Sasuke couldn't help but smile lightly. It was good to have him back, even if he literally shouted every word like a freight train was in the background drowning out his voice if he dare speak normally.

"Good, because we're leaving very soon since you slept in, so go and get dressed once you're done with your coffee." 

Naruto nodded, bringing the mug to his lips and chugged down his remaining drink. Sasuke blinked a few times, he almost forgot how fast the man ate and drank, it was really insane, he wasn't even halfway done with his cup yet. The blond pushed himself out of his chair and stood up to stretch. 

"Oh yeah, Kurama kind of... Er.. like-" 

"Tore apart your rooms curtains? I noticed."

"Heh, sorry about that." Naruto chuckled while rubbing the back of his head. "He was just full of energy from the long flight and drive. I'll bring his harness and leash so he can get some exercise when we leave." 

"I'm sorry, what? Harness? Leash? Last time I checked, Kurama was a cat." 

"Yeah! You can walk a cat, I do it all the time. I'll even let you walk him too." 

"I think I'll pass on that." 

"Aw come on, try something new for once." 

"I'll walk Kurama if you eat a tomato." 

"Nevermind." Naruto mumbled swiftly and darted for the stairs.

 




At first Sasuke felt quite stupid walking next to Naruto midday in one of the biggest cities in the world while he walked his cat. First of all, he didn't even expect Kurama to get in the harness and go along with the leash, but the fuzzy orange feline complied and went right ahead with everything like he was a trained dog. He'd never understand animal-lovers, even if Naruto so strongly claimed he was one himself. 

They parked around five or ten minutes walking distance from the pet store since it was always so crowded, and he was thoroughly surprised and somewhat impressed by how many random women passing by stopped them in their tracks to pet Kurama. There were at least six, and nearly all of them were attractive. One started a small conversation with Naruto and even dared to flirt, but the man was clueless as ever. It was no wonder he didn't have a girlfriend, Naruto couldn't take a hint even if it hit him in the face.

When they arrived in the large pet store, there was the sound of a few dogs barking, some birds chirping and a couple other animals making some weird noises. Sasuke glanced at the blond who for a split second appeared sad, most likely thinking of his farm animals. The appearance was soon replaced with awe as he took a moment to look around the store, his eyebrows lifting. 

"Is everything in this city huge? Houses, buildings, stores, food places." 

"Hm, sort of. You've only caught a glimpse of it, there's so much more to explore." 

"Hello! May I help you two today?" A worker said cheerily while approaching them.

"Yes, where might your cat supplies be?" Sasuke asked. 

"It's gonna be to your far left, I'll take you over there." She said and led them to the large isle filled with multiple different toys, beds, and other feline accessories.

"Thanks!" Naruto said cheesing.  

"Mhm! Not a problem, if you need anything else I'll be around front, there's also a sale going on for all pet beds if you'd like to take a look at those. Also such a handsome little guy you got there." She smiled at Kurama who was now in one of Naruto's arms before taking her leave.

"What should I get for him?" Naruto asked, turning his bright cerulean stare on him. 

"Get whatever you'd like. Just make sure it includes a litter box and scratching post. I'd prefer not to have cat shit everywhere as well as shredded furniture." 

Naruto snorted, glancing around the extensive isle. "I don't.. want to spend your money like that though." 

"Don't worry about that. I may not have been able to grant you 2.5 million but I can use my own personal spending money how I please. So as long as your cat supplies don't exceed the price of 34 thousand, you're fine."  

The blond's eyes widened and he blinked a few times. "So.. you're just casually carrying around 34 thousand dollars as we speak." 

"On one of my credit cards, yes." 

"Jesus Sasuke what are you doing walking around with that sort of money? What if you get robbed?" 

"There's bodyguards following me every time I publicly walk about the city, they remain inconspicuous yet close-by. You haven't noticed, but there's two in the store right now. Plus, I make that sort of money every 45 minutes, so go ahead and feel free to pamper Kurama." 

Naruto stood there dumbfounded, his mouth slightly open in disbelief. Those prominent icy depths took a peek in both directions of the store as if searching for the guards he just mentioned. Sasuke chuckled, the noise drowned out by a soft feminine voice nearby. 

"Sasuke? Naruto?" 

Down at the end of the isle was the short woman with long blonde hair from the airport they encountered a couple days ago, Shion was her name if he recalled correctly. She too also had harnesses and leashes for her two cats, and Sasuke fought the urge to roll his eyes at the sight. Cat people were weird, that was for sure. She quickly scooted down the isle, a bright smile on her face as she looked between them both.

"Wow! What a coincidence, I never would imagine running into you two again. Shopping for this little fellow?" She asked, looking down at Kurama and reaching to pet his ears. 

"Yeah." Naruto chuckled, his face shifting into confusion after a brief moment. "Wait, how do you know my name?" 

"I told her." Sasuke added in nonchalantly. "You always introduce me so I returned the favor." 

"Oh." Naruto grinned sheepishly.  

"I'm Shion." The woman held out her hand towards the blond, and Naruto accepted the handshake. 

"What are their names?" The man asked, gesturing towards her two felines who were sitting next to each other on the floor bound by the leash the woman had wrapped around one of her arms.

"Kinkaku and Ginkaku, they're brothers even though they don't really look alike." She replied happily. "The bigger blonde tabby is Kinkaku and Ginkaku is the smaller silver tabby." 

"They're cute." Naruto smiled, tilting his head down towards Kurama. "Wanna meet them?" He asked, lowering the cat onto the ground in front of the other two. 

Kurama was larger than them both, and as soon as his paws hit the ground, his fluffy orange tail poofed out while the hairs along his back spiked upward. He let out a loud hiss and charged forward a couple of steps threateningly, the other two cats hissed in return, moving behind the woman's legs with their ears back. Naruto quickly yanked on Kurama's leash, pulling him back up into his arms. 

"Uh, oops. Sorry, Kurama is normally docile with other animals I don't know why he's being mean." 

The woman crouched down, petting both her felines reassuringly as they started to calm down. "It's alright, probably because they're all boys. Maybe you should find Kurama a nice lady cat." She chuckled, winking playfully. 

Sasuke pretended to be looking at the cat supplies, he couldn't really interact with their conversation since he didn't have his own cat. He strolled up the isle a little bit as the two began talking more about cats. After a few minutes Shion stated she would need to head back to work soon, and he walked back over to them, picking up the last traces of conversation. 

"Say, if you're going to be in the city for a while, I know you're friends with Sasuke but he's busy all the time so like.. I could maybe show ya around?" The woman asked shyly, her pale eyes looking at her feet as she talked. "There's some really cool places and hangout spots we could visit, there's also a little park where I like to take Kinkaku and Ginkaku that I'm sure Kurama would love." 

"Really? That sounds fun! I wouldn't mind going, you'd just have to let me know a day and time." Naruto answered with a grin. 

"Awesome!" Shion said excitedly then realized how loud she was and her face tinted red. "Uhm.. then could I maybe get your number to text you a time later?" She said quietly, twiddling her fingers.

"Oh.. you see, I don't really have a cellphone." The blond chuckled slightly, his long tan fingers gently petting Kurama who was still glaring at the other two cats seated on the floor, his pointy black marking ears high and alert.

"Oh. Well I uh, could give you m-mine? And if you happen to get one sometime soon you can just.. shoot me a text o-or something." She stammered, her cheeks getting even redder. 

"Sure! That can work, go ahead." 

"Okay!" The short woman dug in her purse, tearing off a small piece of paper from a grocery list and scribbled down her name and number. She handed the little paper to Naruto who put it in his pants pocket and gave her a thumbs up. 

"I'll see you later then. It was nice running into you two!" Shion announced, giving a small wave and left from the isle and out of sight. 

Sasuke looked over at the blond with an arched eyebrow. He was intently looking at a cat bed as if nothing had just happened, normally guys would be excited to get a girls number and make plans.

"You do realize that was basically a date." 

"What? No way." He laughed, letting Kurama down onto the floor.

Sasuke sighed while rubbing his face, how could one be so clueless. "You must be blind when it comes to people flirting with you." 

"Shion wasn't flirting with me, she was just being nice." 

"And so was that lady jogging from earlier, she didn't even like cats it was clear she stopped her exercising to talk to you."

"You're imagining things." 

"You're so oblivious, how can you not see these girls trying to get with you?" 

"Oh stop acting like women never go after you, I see it all the time." 

"They're just after the money. Plus none of them are my type." 

"You never did tell me your type, care to share?" 

"No."

"Pfft, so dense." 

"Your mind is dense. You can't even see simple advances." 

Naruto laughed out loud, turning towards him with a shrug. "Maybe you're right. It's all backwards in my eyes, I'm blind when it comes to girls but I can see a guy coming onto me from a mile away even if he's being lowkey about it, no idea why." 

Sasuke sucked in a sharp breath. "Is that so." He couldn't decipher why that new piece of information suddenly made him nervous, so he quickly changed the subject. "Well it seems like I need to get you a new phone now, we can do that after getting some clothes." 

"What? You don't need to buy me a phone, those things are expensive now days it's-" 

"It's no problem. Plus I'll need to be able to communicate with you once I'm at work anyways, and also you can get in touch with Shikamaru and others back in your hometown if you want, not to mention to text your date." 

"It's not a date! It's a simple exploration around the city." 

"Uh-huh. Whatever you say." 

"Uhmm Sasuke." 

"What."

"I accidentally let go of Kurama's leash somewhere in the middle of our chat." 

Fuck.

"You've gotta be kidding me." 

"Hehe, oops." 

Chapter Text


Throughout the entirety of the late morning and afternoon, the duo made their way to multiple stores and emporiums all around the city. Or at least one part of the city, specifically the West side since that's where Sasuke resided and was most familiar with. It was easy explaining the best of the landscape, scenery, and buildings to the blond since he was so accustomed to the area, it was nothing new to him but to Naruto it was like stepping foot on another planet.

If the blond wasn't excessively blabbing on how 'cool' or 'totally awesome' everything was, he was silently gawking at the many magnificent structures which surrounded them. For a few seconds every once in a while, there was an almost remorseful appearance on his tan features. Sasuke could only guess he was thinking of back home. However, the expression never lasted more than a few moments because Naruto's face would quickly shift to excitement once something new or interesting caught his eye. 

Sasuke felt like he was taking a little kid on his first vacation, the sheer amount of awe the man displayed was amusing, not to mention kind of cute. He'd never admit that though. He would just occasionally inform Naruto to close his damn mouth before a bug flies in it, or something along the lines of 'stop looking dumb'. Of course, the blond would just flash him with his unbelievably straight pearly white teeth in that dopey grin. 

He insisted on walking or carrying Kurama after the pet store incident, it took over five employees and the both of them to track down the orange bastard who had run off exploring. Naruto teased him for it and told him his reason for doing so was because he actually loved the little floof ball and wanted to spend quality time with him. Sasuke denied it obviously because that wasn't the case at all. Okay, maybe the cat looked pretty adorable in his brand new purple vest but he had his reasoning.

If the little orange idiot decided to bolt again, they may not find him especially since they were no longer in a store. It takes only one second of broken concentration to lose a pet, or even a kid in the overly populated area. Sasuke didn't want that to accidentally happen, because Kurama was Naruto's only remaining animal from his home, and if he happened to suddenly disappear, the man might sink into another heartbroken breakdown. 

Sasuke did not want that to happen again, for the blond's sake, and his own. Seeing the other cry was indescribably painful and he couldn't figure out why. Sure, he's dealt with other failures and has had a few past customers in debt so far like the blond that they too lost everything and went homeless. Somehow, Naruto was different than the rest. He couldn't put his finger on it, but something about the man was incredibly unique and special. 

That's exactly why he wouldn't let his case be another disregarded unsuccessful file in the company's storage. It was also why he was taking him in the city and prepared to give him a tour of the mansion. He wanted Naruto to simply enjoy everything, to ease his mind of all that accumulated stress from the past two weeks, and years before that. Naruto had requested his help, and Sasuke would oblige as promised. He would do the all necessary work, and didn't want the other to worry about a thing. 

And better way to have no worries than to spoil someone rotten and go on a shopping spree in one of the richest cities in the world? 

Of course, every time Sasuke suggested he get something, the blond always shied away and told him he didn't need to waste his money on him. For the thousandth time that day he informed him it wasn't a problem. He was beginning to feel the need to grab Naruto by his head and yell the words 'I'm rich' in his ear until he got the point. Though, as dense-minded as this guy could be, even that probably wouldn't work. 

As they arrived to another clothing store, Sasuke seated himself on one of the benches next to the large window, Kurama on his lap. Despite the other mans protests, he wouldn't have it any other way because the guy literally only packed like five outfits and two pairs of shoes. He watched Naruto reluctantly look around, eyeing the different outfits. When he finally did see something he liked, he always hesitantly checked the price tag, put the item back and walked away quickly. Sasuke then told him to turn around and get it. 

That process repeated a few times, and when he looked at the small stack of items on the bench next to him he raised an eyebrow. The mans favored apparel was very.. orange. Literally everything he grabbed consisted of an orange or black top with different shades of blue jeans or a simple pair of sweatpants. Sasuke sighed, shaking his head when Naruto plopped another orange sweatshirt onto the pile of clothes. 

"Why don't you..." 

"What?" The blond said, looking up from from the rack of items.

"Pick out something a little less.. orange." 

"What's wrong with orange?" 

"Nothing! Nothing.. just. Maybe go for something a little more dressy?" 

"Dressy." Naruto repeated the word like it belonged to another language. 

"Yes. You know, brand name, designer, a bit formal but not over the top. Something maybe with buttons instead of hoodie strings. That sort of thing." 

"Ohhhhh." The blond nodded, though it was clear he didn't understand a damn thing. 

Sasuke sighed, but luckily a worker was passing by and he flagged him down. The man was tall, thin, wore tight expensive pants and an equally pricey short sleeved dress shirt with a pink bow tie. His light brown hair was slicked back with jell and he walked quickly with a bounce in his step. 

"Well if it isn't Mr. Uchiha himself. Glad to have you in today! My name is Reiji what can I do for you?" The worker spoke in a high pitched girly voice. 

"Ah yes, my.. friend over there is in need of some experienced stylist help, and as you see I'm stuck in the waiting area watching this cat since I'm unable to bring him near the clothes. Would you be so kind as to assist him for me?" 

Reiji turned his head over towards Naruto who gave a crooked smile and an awkward wave. "Would I ever!" The man giggled excitedly. "Leave him to me." He said and made his way over to the blond. 

"Oh honey." Reiji clicked his tongue once he approached Naruto, eyeing his current outfit with disapproval. "Let's see what we got here." He hummed, tapping a finger on his chin while looking the other man up and down.  

"Uhmm." Naruto stood there dumbly. 

"I think I got it!" Reiji said, taking one of the blond's arms in one hand and drug him towards a changing room. "First let's get you measured." 

Sasuke watched in bubbling amusement as Naruto was carried away, a look of fright on his face like he had just been kidnapped. He chuckled, running his hand along the soft fur of Kurama's back who laid relaxed on top of his legs, pointy ears twitching every once in a while. 

"What? Why do I have to take off my shirt?" He heard the blond's loud voice from the dressing room. 

"Because that's how it works!" Reiji retorted exasperated. 

"Whatever." 

"Now hold out your arms."

Naruto's abrupt giggle was then heard.

"Would you quit moving!" Reiji shouted, "I can't get a good measurement on your torso." 

"Then stop tickling me!"

After a few minutes the worker came trotting out the dressing room, a big smile on his face as he went straight for an isle of shirts. The man snatched about five tops from the hangers along with a few ties, draping them neatly over one of his forearms and pranced back to the room where Naruto was still in. Sasuke didn't even need to strain his ears to hear because both guys talked unnecessarily loudly.  

"These are weird." Naruto complained. 

"Oh would you just- gosh! Stop being stubborn, try them on now." 

"But-" 

"No but's! This is a request from Mr. Uchiha, you should be happy he's taking the time to help you out of this God-awful clothing." 

"Hey! There's nothing wrong with my clothes. They're just a bit.. old." 

"And ugly." 

"Orange is a great color, excuse you."

"For a little kid perhaps. Are you a little kid?" 

"Sasuke says I act like one." 

"That's not surprising." 

There was around ten minutes of Naruto's protesting and complaining along with Reiji's persistence before the two finally emerged from the changing quarters. First to walk out was the worker who had a large proud grin on his face and he stepped to the side, allowing Naruto to come into view. Sasuke's dark eyes widened and his eyebrows slightly raised at what was presented before him.

He almost looked like a completely different person from the waist up. Naruto was fitted in a rich, chrome grey colored long sleeved dress top which was quite slim in style. It wasn't so tight as if he were to make one wrong move, the clothing would rip but it was snug enough to hug the defined muscles of his chest, arms and broad shoulders. Accommodated with the shirt was a black tie in which he was almost positive Reiji did because he wouldn't put money on the blond's tie skills. 

"Wow. You look..." Sasuke began, searching for the right words. 

Like a snack.

Tantalizing.

Like someone who could definitely get the di-


"Ridiculous." Naruto grumbled, interrupting his thoughts.

"Nonsense. I was going to say different. Very different." 

"Isn't it exquisite?" Reiji bubbled happily, moving over towards Naruto to fix the collar of his shirt. "Although for tanner skin I normally would've went for a primary white, I tried a double dark contrast of colors for him. The metallic chrome pigment blends with the raven tie perfectly, no mention how the darker shades bring out his hair and eyes especially, it's exemplary if you ask me." 

Sasuke continued eyeing Naruto, nodding his head slowly at Reiji's words. He was still taken aback by how formal the man appeared, he had never got a glimpse at the blond in nice clothes, even during the court date the man stubbornly stayed casual while he himself wore a suit. It would be a bold faced lie if Sasuke said the appearance didn't look good or fit him, because it looked great and it suited his body flawlessly.

He actually looked more mature from one simple outfit change if that was possible. Sasuke noticed he was staring and quickly cleared his throat, shifting his gaze to Reiji as he stood up from his seat. "Excellent. We'll take two." 

"What!" Naruto shouted. "Have you seen the price tag on these things? And you wan't two?"

"Yes." He answered simply, standing up with Kurama in one arm. "In fact, let's get more. Reiji? Fit this kind fellow for some pants now, would you." 

"Oooh! You don't gotta tell me twice." 

"I'm starting to think you're enjoying watching me suffer." Naruto mumbled. 

Sasuke only shrugged then smirked. He had persuaded the blond to allow him to purchase three different dressy outfits, much to Naruto's displease. The blond claimed he looked like an 'office worker' or some type of 'nerd' or a 'wannabe lawyer'. Really, the guy had the mindset of a 16 year old it was absolutely unbelievable. They continued making their way through the entire store, stopping to get some basics such as socks and underwear. Of course Naruto picked out orange fuzzy socks.

At the boxer briefs section, he suggested one of his favorite brands and led Naruto over to the isle, pausing for a moment to think. Sasuke's eyes briefly wandered downward towards the mans crotch and he was swarmed with the memory of the not-a-television-remote incident early that morning. He immediately retreated his gaze and turned to the large section and Naruto made a funny noise. 

"Hey! You trying to say I'm fat or something?" The blond laughed.

"No, no, no. Not at all. Just taking a wild guess based off your c-...current height. Don't want to be uncomfortable." 

"Hmm, yeah I guess you're right." 

That was close. 





When they returned back to the mansion late in the afternoon, he allowed Naruto a little while to properly organize his room and situate everything to his own liking before they would begin the tour. Sasuke rolled his eyes as he watched the blond nearly trip himself from moving down the spiraled staircase so quickly, a pair of bright orange fuzzy socks on his feet that gave little to no traction on the glossy floor's surface.

Sasuke realized he never really formally gave anyone a tour of his mansion before, sure there were a few business people every once in a while who wanted to take a look around here and there, but never to this extent. He started with the ground-level floor, going over things as easily comprehensible as possible to avoid any random unnecessary questions. He should've known that wouldn't last. 

"Why do you have so many statues?" Naruto questioned, poking at one of the stone pieces with a finger.

"One, don't touch that. Two, it's art." 

"Kinda creepy if you ask me." 

"Then don't walk around at night." 

The blond shuttered like he'd seen a ghost, and Sasuke snorted. They continued through the upper levels of the grand house, ignoring Naruto's insignificant comments on how the furniture was weird, or why he had so many fireplaces. He showed the other man one of his favorite areas, it was a secluded quiet place great for reading or working on important business stuff with little to no distraction and that if Naruto somehow couldn't find him, he'd most likely be here.

They continued for a long while considering the sheer size of the building, and while Naruto was busy ogling everything in his line of vision, Sasuke was beginning to grow bored. He lived here after all, as nice as it was he was used to seeing everything daily for the most part. Though there were a couple of areas he hadn't visited in a moment, and took the time to examine the place like it was brand new all over again.

"Are those your parents?" Naruto asked out of nowhere. 

Sasuke turned, following that aquamarine gaze to a picture hanging on the wall. He long forgotten that photograph was there, it was one of the few that he actually had of his birth mother and father. It was a classic husband and wife photo, both smiling happily shoulder to shoulder, the black and white contrast making it seem much older than it actually was. 

"Yes."

"Wow, your mom is very pretty." 

"Was." 

"Oh.. I'm sorry I didn't mean t-" 

"It's alright. They both died in an accident a long time ago." 

Naruto nodded silently, his eyes flicking back up at the photo, to Sasuke, and back again a few times. "You look like her." 

"Does that mean I'm pretty too?" Sasuke teased. 

"Very." Naruto answered, matching his sarcasm. Suddenly those bright blues widened, and a baffled expression elapsed over his tan features as he looked out the window nearest to them. "You have a pool?" 

"Yeah, and a hot tub. Why?" 

The other didn't even answer but simply ran in the direction indicated. Sasuke raised an eyebrow, slowly but surely following after the exited blond. By the time he walked outside the back stretch, Naruto was already standing in front of the pool. His unbelievably blue eyes twinned with the water belowhand, rippling with enchantment, cerulean waves of purity in the form of two iris's which looked straight at him. Sasuke could almost drown in that gaze, it was like he was being engulfed into a whirlpool which sucked him into an abyss of azure.

"This place would've made one hell of a party house back in the high school days." Naruto chuckled lightly. 

"Hosting parties is terrible." 

"Yeah, you've got a point there. Something always gets stolen, broken, and you always find people sleeping on the floor in the weirdest of places."

"Sounds like you have quite the experience." 

"Oh don't pull that card on me Mr. 'perfect businessman who thinks casual clothes are too mainstream' I'm sure you're not so innocent."

Sasuke genuinely grinned at the ridiculous comment and his shoulders moved up in a quick shrug. "Maybe, maybe not."

Naruto snorted, crouching down and letting his long tan fingers graze across the surface of the water which lapped at the designer stone edges of the pool. "Before I leave we need to go swimming at least once." 

"You make it sound like you're departing next week or something. I already told you, you may stay as long as you need. Even when you do get back the farm and still need a bit of help getting things going again, you're still welcome to stay."

A small frown made it's way to the others face and he stood up from his crouched position. "Sasuke.. why are you being so nice?" 

"What?" He didn't really know how to take the question. 

"Like.. you're letting me stay in your home, you bought me a bunch of stuff I never would've dreamed of getting in thirty years, and you're still working to get my old home back. You don't have to take pity on me y'know." 

"I'm not, it's not pity. It's just.. I mean of course I feel bad after what happened to you but there's more to it than that." 

"Well what is it? What differentiates me from any of your other customers in the same situation? If it's that stupid note from Itachi you can forget about it, whatever sibling rivalry you guys have going on doesn't need to be your reason to continue doing this." 

"No it's not the note, it's.. difficult to explain. Every case I had, there's never been so many others aside from my customers family members try to restore their problems. You may not have blood relatives, but Naruto, you got a whole community of people who helped and supported you through that tough time and they raised thousands just for your sake and asked nothing in return. It's obvious many people love you for who are as a person, how you effect them, and what you do. You just have too much.. heart for me to give up on your case and let it end like that." 

Naruto looked like he might cry, and he stepped forwards while placing a hand gently on one of his large shoulders as the blond spoke up. "I.. I guess I can understand that. But I just don't want to be a burden. Y'know. You're doing all this great stuff for me and it's going to take me literally years to repay you." 

"You're not getting in the way, Naruto it's a fucking mansion. Anyways, seeing you as stupidly happy as you were the first day I arrived is enough repayment. Not to mention when this case proves successful in the future, it'll be my biggest one completed yet; to return from almost 2.5 million, man that's gonna go great on our stat records." 

"Ohhhh okay, so you're just using me to make more cash, I see how it is." Naruto teased, grinning while he playfully shoved him away. 

Sasuke stumbled a little less than gracefully, not expecting such a force even if the man was just joking. Frowning while fixing his shirt collar, he shoved the blond back equally as rough, the impact of his hand against his chest made a hollow noise. Now, he knew for a fact he wasn't weak whatsoever. Sure, he might've fucked up his workout routine from being busy so much in the past month, but pushing Naruto just then felt equivalent to slapping a brick wall. 

When the other laughed, it didn't make it any better. Being the sore loser he was, Sasuke caught the blond off guard and landed a gentle yet firm blow to the others stomach. It wasn't enough to hurt, but it was enough to catch Naruto off guard and have him recoil backwards a little too far and he tipped into the pool with a loud splash. He didn't even have time to be satisfied and let out a laugh until a hand connected with his pants leg, yanking the fabric and causing him to tumble into the water right after him. 

Sasuke furiously thrashed around in the cool liquid, his clothes uncomfortably sticking to his body and he let out a displeased grumble. Naruto however only laughed, swinging one of his arms to cause a wave of water to plummet against his face. Childish, so childish. He flipped his wet hair out of his face, swimming towards the edge of the pool while mumbling insults underneath his breath. 

He put his hands on the cement, preparing to hoist his body upwards until strong arms suddenly wrapped around his waist and drug him back down into the water. Sasuke's limbs flailed and he let out a surprised noise, closing his eyes when he was temporarily submerged underneath the depths. When he resurfaced and spat water from his mouth, he fixed his harshest glare on the cheesing moron. 

"You're lucky this four hundred dollar custom shirt I'm wearing is water resistant." He growled out through gritted teeth. 

"Four hundred do-" Naruto choked like he had just inhaled water. "There's a simple solution for stuff like that." 

"Oh?" 

The blond's hands suddenly grabbed him, fingers clasping the soaked fabric of his top and pulling it up. Sasuke moved his arms up in compliance only because Naruto would most likely tear his poor shirt if he kept them at his sides. When the clothing was off, the blond chucked it onto dry ground and faced him with the same grin. Though his grin soon faded into a confused expression. 

Naruto's eyes boldly wandered across his exposed upper body, not attempting to hide his blatant staring in any shape or form unlike Sasuke who took quick secretive peeks at the other whenever he was lacking a shirt. He suddenly felt somewhat shy underneath that intense blue stare and he swatted one of his hands out, effectively splashing the blond in the face like he had done to him earlier. 

"Stop looking at me like that." Sasuke ordered, though he couldn't stop the burning of his cheeks despite the cold water.

"Sorry, I just didn't expect you to be.. in shape. I mean, sure you're thin but it's actually all lean muscle. You use that workout room on the second floor?" 

He scoffed, mildly offended and amused at the same time. "Of course idiot. What, you think I just sit at an office, file paperwork, go through documents, do cases, spend money, eat tomatoes, and repeat that process?" 

"Pretty much." Naruto chuckled.

"Sir, dinner is being prepared." Gen'ichi addressed from the fancy glass doorway a few meters away from the pool. "Would you like it to be served outside?" 

Sasuke's dark eyes glanced over towards the blond who nodded vigorously at the question. "Yes, thank you Gen'ichi." 

"Of course sir." The older man bowed his head and took his leave.

"Let's have a breath holding contest." Naruto declared, a challenging look in his eye. 

"No." 

"Aw man, why not?" 

"I already know you would win." 

"How so?" 

"Because you don't breathe when you shove all that food down your throat at once every time you eat."

Naruto only gave a hearty laugh in response while Sasuke pouted to himself, still angry over his wet shirt.



Miscellaneous

I got bored and drew cat Kurama via 3 in the morning lmao enjoy. (That sunset is copied, pasted and majorly edited bc I can't draw backgrounds to save my damn life so original credits to whoever made that background.) 

Chapter Text


Eight years ago...


Although the streets were unfamiliar and potentially dangerous, Naruto -being the reckless and naive individual he was- strolled down the dirt road without a single care in the world. He glanced up at the bright evening sun, remembering Shikamaru's specific orders to return to the hotel before it got dark since they didn't know the area and could get lost. The blond shrugged his shoulders, putting his hands behind his head as he continued walking.

Mah, whatever, that guy needs to learn to loosen up a bit.

Plus, what was the point of traveling if there wasn't a little fun to have? He was accompanying his best friend who needed to journey to the next city for potential jobs because making the travel by himself would've apparently 'been such a drag.'  He laughed at first, Shikamaru was so lazy he couldn't even believe he was making an effort for employment but Naruto still happily obliged, not only did he want to see more of the world but he could use a break from all the farm work. 

While his friend was busy with interviews, job shadowing and other lame stuff, Naruto took the initiative to go exploring. Cerulean depths wandered over the multiple different food stands and stores which were connected to each other in long strips that ran down the dirt path he was currently walking on. A sign snagged his interest, crooked and faded but no-doubtably a casino. 

Excitement ran through his body and Naruto fiddled with the hundred dollars in the form of two fifty dollar bills stuffed inside of his left pocket. He could potentially change this hundred into two hundred, or three, maybe even a thousand! He was no blackjack, pool, or poker expert, but he knew the basics and had enough confidence to walk inside. Not to mention he turned ten dollars into seventy dollars one time at a party, so that count's for something right? 

"You lost or somethin' kiddo?" 

A raspy voice spoke up after a few moments he had entered partial casino partial pub. Naruto looked towards the source, it was a big chubby guy holding a pool stick who looked like the leader of a motorcycle gang or something with his classic Harley Davidson vest and black boots. Following after his question a few other rough-looking men chuckled deeply, the noise filling the small area. He laughed right along with them, and that seemed to shut them up. 

Grinning, Naruto made his way over to the group situated around a pool table who all silently stared at him through narrowed eyes. "No, not lost." He started, reaching into his pocket and slamming the two fifty dollar bills on the edge of the game with a loud slap. "I'm here to play." 

The group of men looked between themselves confused for a moment then all simultaneously burst out in a fit of laughter that was much louder than beforehand. Naruto stood, arms crossed and still smirking with confidence as the guys slapped their knees, leaned back in their chairs, and buckled over hysterically as if what he just said was the funniest fucking thing on planet Earth.  

"You?! Here to play?" One of the men finally said, still chuckling as he wiped a tear from his eye from laughing so hard.

"Oi! He ain't nothin' but a wee lil' brat." Another added. 

"Bet he ain't even old 'nuff to go an' buy me a wiskey ay!" 

"Look at em'! He gotta' be joking." 

"The lad's got guts I'll give 'em that." 

"Oh will ya'll knock it off." A feminine voice spoke up from another direction and Naruto turned his head. His eyes almost bugged out of his skull as a tall, curvy woman wearing a waitress outfit approached him. She had long curly brunette hair, big beautiful green eyes, and a big.. chest. 

"Awe we just a teasin' Sayumi." 

"Yeah, just messin wit' the kiddo don't get your panties ina bunch."

The pretty waitress shook her head and stood next to him, putting a delicate hand on the side of his chest while facing the group of men. Naruto tried not to grin when she did. "Let him play if he wants to. Tell you what, if ya'll are so good like you say you are and can beat him by 7:30, I'll give everyone a free round, on me. But, if he wins, ya'll doing my clean up duty tonight. Deal?" 

The blond's eyebrows raised and he tilted his head down to look at the woman called Sayumi. She was.. defending him? He had a pretty lady on his side! He couldn't wait to tell Shikamaru about this later, of course his friend probably wouldn't believe him. She met his gaze and offered a friendly smile and he grinned goofily in return. All of the men exchanged glances, laughed again, then agreed to the proposition.

"You're on girly." 

The first game Naruto had won, he was a little surprised at how on-point his mediocre skills were but didn't complain because watching the infuriated, confused, and disbelieving looks from the group of men was absolutely great. He knew he should've took that satisfying victory and left the place, but his cockiness and daring nature got the better of him, and he agreed to a rematch with money involved. 

Another won game got him well over two hundred dollars, and enraged they demanded more. What was only supposed to be one game ended up being many, for the first part of the night everything was going in his favor and he thought he was absolutely unstoppable. Though, eventually the blond's luck ran out, and he found himself in a bad spot. After one final bet of double or nothin', he lost, and couldn't pay up like he so claimed. 

"Ohh, you know what.." Naruto began, stepping away from the group who all glared in his direction. "Darn it, I completely forgot I put a down payment on a car earlier and there went my other seven hundred... heh, funny how stuff works, right?" 

"We want our money." The assumed leader of the group stated, walking right up to him. 

The blond's nose crinkled, the man smelled of alcohol and cigarettes and stood only about a foot away from him. He backed up only to bump into another guy and swiftly turned around, his eyes widening. Naruto let out a nervous chuckle, his azure gaze flicking rapidly around the room for escape exits. The only door in sight happened to be the entrance, and it was being blocked by two more guys with their arms crossed. 

Well, fuck. 

"Listen fella's, can't we compromise?" He suggested sheepishly. 

"I'm listening." The leader said, running a hand through his long, rough-looking beard. 

Naruto grinned while staying still for a moment until he suddenly lashed one of his arms forward. His fist connected with the old goon right in his jaw, and while the fat man recoiled in pain he darted past him and for the counter to hopefully escape in the employee's section and lock the door behind him. 

"Get that fucking brat!" He heard the man yell from the ground who clutched his jaw, his mouth dripping blood.

Nearly home free, he was mid-jump over the bar's counter top until a rough pair of hands snagged him by his shirt and yanked him backwards. Naruto lost all momentum and yelled as he crashed into a stool, then onto the floor with a loud thud. The blond groaned, not having time to register pain before another pair of hands grabbed him and pulled him to his feet. 

"Nowhere for you to run boy." 

Naruto was dragged back over to the pool table by two other big guys and he kicked and thrashed around in their strong grip but to no avail. "Let go of me!" He snarled. 

"You broke ma' filling." The leader who stood on the other side of the game table said, one hand holding a rag on the side of his mouth which was soaking with blood.

"Give us our money." One of the men who was holding him demanded.

"Fuck you." Naruto grumbled through gritted teeth.

A heavy force was suddenly applied to his back, and the blond's torso was abruptly slammed against the pool table while they bent him forward. There were a couple glasses of half-drunken alcohol that broke underneath him, and he felt some of the shattered pieces lodge into his chest and stomach. Naruto screamed in pain, feeling the big shards of glass dig into his flesh which caused a terrible burning sensation.

"You gon' pay up, one way or another." Another man said, and Naruto felt a pair of hands at his waist. 

"Get off me!" He cringed as soon as he yelled, the glass embedded in his stomach shifted when he spoke. Someone snagged his hair, tilting his head back until something cold and sharp pressed against his neck, instantly recognizing the object as a knife. 

"Shut your mouth, brat." 

"What a nice lil' face, wouldn't want it all cut-up now would we." 

Another pair of cold, rough hands slid underneath his shirt and he felt the presence of many looming over his back. Naruto tensed, his eyes widening and his heart pounded in his chest, too much fear and adrenaline to feel the pain of the glass any longer. Just as he was about to kick his legs in attempts to land his foot on one of their crotches, he heard a door slam open and all the men's head turned to look. 

The hand holding his hair tightly suddenly let go, and his forehead bashed against the pool table with a dull thud. "What the fu-" His words trailed off as Naruto turned his head, squinting at the mysterious man who just stepped foot into the dingy casino. All the blond could remember before there was a ringing in his ears and his vision became blurry was the faint murmur of voices and the darkest pair of eyes he had ever seen in his life looking right at him.

 

 




A bright, nearly blinding light struck his eyes as soon as he opened them. Naruto squinted, his gaze readjusting to the brightness of the room he was in. Wait a second, bright room? Last thing he remembered was being inside of a poorly lit casino-pub stuck in a particularly nasty situation. Naruto shifted, it took his brain a minute to register he was on a soft surface. 

Those oceanic blues glanced down, realizing he was laying in a bed. The sheets were simple, thin and white and he noticed he was clothed in some sort of gown thing by the feel of it. Was this a hospital? How did he even get here? What happened after he blacked out? Naruto groaned, his head was pounding. He tried sitting up despite the numb feeling his body had. 

"Awake already." A deep, even voice commented out of nowhere. 

Naruto flinched, his head turning adjacent to where the voice came from. Standing next to the hospital window with his back turned was an unknown man, all he could see besides the guy's dark leather coat was a straight raven head of hair fixed in a low pony tail. 

"Who are you?" He asked, his voice somewhat hesitant. Had this guy saved him? 

"Someone passing through the right place at the wrong time." 

The blond laid there puzzled, he wasn't exactly sure what the man meant by that. Without another word the mysterious guy turned around, leaning against the windowsill. Naruto looked up, his heartbeat almost skipping once meeting those unforgettable dark eyes. He was the one who stepped in and caused the group of goons to let him go? He never expected his random savior in to be so...

Good-looking. 

Aquamarine depths lingered over the mysterious man's features, he looked so calm and collect standing there. Naruto found himself lowering his gaze to the guy's nose in false perception of eye contact, unable to meet that nearly black stare for some reason. 

"I um.. guess I should thank you for uh.. saving me." 

The nameless man simply continued looking at him, and he fidgeted underneath the thin hospital sheets. Naruto's eyes flicked over to the window, and he did a double-take to see sunshine leaking past the partially closed blinds. "Woah! Wait hold on, how long have I been here?" 

"Twenty one hours." 

"What!" Naruto shouted in disbelief, he was passed out that long? 

"You needed to undergo a small surgery to remove the embedded glass in your torso, a few of which required stitches not to mention you lost a great deal of blood and needed a transfusion. It just so happens we're both O negative." 

Naruto blinked a few times while processing the given information, he then allowed his eyes to trail back up to the mans face. "Why did you help me?" 

Stygian eyes met cerulean ones for a long moment until the other man looked away, his gaze returning to peer out the window. "Say, kid, how old are you?" 

Naruto frowned, that was like the third time this guy ignored what he said. He hated having his questions answered with a question, but decided to respond anyway. "Seventeen, why?" 

The man made a noise with his nostrils, along the lines of a snort. "You got balls, kid. Showing up in the roughest part of the city in a place like that, not even old enough to legally drink yet you gamble with them." 

"Yeah! They didn't think I could do it, but I was winning! Well.. at first anyways." 

"You proved yourself after winning the first game, why stay?" 

"Well.. I wanted to see how far I could go." He paused, looking down at his bandaged chest and grinning. "I guess I went a little too far." 

It was faint, only for a fraction of a second, but Naruto could've sworn he saw a slight twitching upturn of the mans lips as if he were about to smile but his body suddenly cancelled the action before it even could properly form. 

"That's why I helped you." 

"What?" 

"You remind me of myself back in the day. Courageous, arrogant, daring, naive. It's such a foolish hobby to make, yet nearly impossible to quit because it'd be like giving away a piece of your soul. The thrill of the unexpected, the anticipation of betting, there's truly nothing like it. Everyone starts out bad, that's how you learn, there's no natural talent to gambling, you need experience and luck. There's no way to gain further experience if you're dead though, right?" 

"That's one way to put it." Naruto chuckled, scanning over the mysterious man's facade once again. "You say 'back in the day' like you're somebody's grandpa or something. I know some people look younger than what they are but honestly you can't be but a few years older than me." 

The other man only hummed in response, and Naruto huffed, this guy really was difficult to talk to. Before he could ask any questions, the room door opened and a nurse stepped inside with a small smile on her face. 

"Oh good, you're awake already." She said, walking over to the side of the bed and checking the IV hooked up to one of his arms. "Now you're a lucky one, three of the larger glass shards were dangerously close to some of your main blood vessels and vital organs, if they had cut through you might've died. It was nice of your friend here to help with your blood transfusion too." 

Friend? Naruto arched an eyebrow towards the raven haired man who only nodded towards the nurse.

"Now, you're a surprisingly quick healer. The glass removal surgery went perfect, your blood is properly circulating again and everything's looking all good long-term besides a few scars. You are free to leave today, remember drink a lot of water and try not to exert your body too much because you may disrupt some of the stitches or reopen a wound. Take light warm showers, no baths, swimming pools, or hot springs for two weeks, change your gauze twice a day for the first week, wipe it with a dab of disinfectant before putting on a new layer and you should be all healed up by the end of the month." 

No hot springs? Damn it. Naruto mumbled in acknowledgement, slowly moving his legs over the side of the bed to stand up. The nurse placed a hand gently on his shoulder, helping him even though he felt fine besides a little numb in the upper body area. 

"Also, your clothes were completely torn and bloodied up so we threw them away aside from your shoes." 

"I'll take care of it." The man spoke up and the nurse nodded, handing him a baggy of supplies for the gauze changing.

"Okay, I'll walk you out." 

Naruto was a little confused while leaving the hospital with the nameless individual, but he didn't protest. The guy couldn't be all that bad if he took the time to save his life and donate blood to him. He felt a little stupid walking across the hospital parking lot in an ugly blue gown and soft white socks that were getting dirtier with each step he took. They stopped in front of a shiny black Rolls Royce and his eyes slightly widened and he nearly dropped his shoes he was holding in his arms.

Was this guy rich or something? 

"I'll take you home, where do you live?" 

"Um." Naruto gripped his shoes a little tighter in his arms, blinking a few times. "You see uh, I'm not from here. I'm only visiting for a week with my friend and we're staying at a hotel somewhere.." 

"Do you not know the name of this hotel?" 

"No. Well, sorta. I mean, I think I wrote it down on a piece of paper but that paper was in my shirt pocket which got... destroyed heh." 

"Why don't you call your friend and tell him the name of the hospital we're at then." 

"Uhhhh." Naruto chuckled in embarrassment. 

"What is it?" 

"I don't really have a.. cell phone." 

"You're a seventeen year old kid in a foreign city without a phone." 

"I'm not a kid! Seventeen is almost an adult." 

The other man reached in one of his pockets, pulling out a cell phone and slid it across the hood of the car to Naruto. He picked up the sleek device, inspecting it curiously for a second before fixing his blue gaze on the other. 

"You don't know your friends number, do you." 

Naruto slowly shook his head, watching the raven haired man sigh yet his face continued to remain straight, free of irritation or any other emotion for that matter. 

"Well, where was the last place you were with your friend?" 

"Uhhhhh, I think it was a ramen store..." 

"There's over fifty places where you can eat ramen in just a ten minute range in any direction." 

"Maybe it was a dumpling shop actually." 

The other man rubbed his nasal bridge with one hand and exhaled deeply and Naruto stared at him silently. That was the first sign of any expression he ever showed. Part of him was glad he broke that emotionless demeanor, but the other half of him was guilty because he was the one causing the guy's aggravation. Naruto chuckled nervously, rubbing the back of his head. 

"Whoops, sorry." 

"Alright, hop in the car." He instructed, opening the drivers door and getting inside. 

Shikamaru would surely kill him once he told him he went gambling, got beat up, hospitalized, then got in a car with a complete stranger who he didn't even know his name. Though, what could he say? He didn't mind a little adventure. Naruto opened the passenger door, getting in the car after the raven haired man, looking around the nice interior with an approving nod of his head. This guy was definitely rich, either that or the car was borrowed, or rented. 

Or stolen. 

He set the other's phone on the dashboard, twiddling his long fingers awkwardly when the car started and they began driving in silence. Naruto peered out the window, watching the different buildings, stores, and people pass by as they drove. Eventually he shyly sideways glanced at the unknown man and nearly jumped out of his seat when those dark eyes tore from the road to look at him. 

"Recognize anything?" The strangers deep voice finally broke the quietness of the ride. 

"Uhhmm." Naruto mumbled, taking another peep out the window. None of the scenery they passed rang any bells, he couldn't decipher any specific structures that he would know. Shikamaru and him must've been staying all the way on the other side of the city or something. Just how far did he wander around yesterday? He scratched the back of his head, clueless. "No, sorry." 

The other mans fingers which were littered with multiple rings tapped against the steering wheel. "I guess we'll just go back to my hotel until we can figure out a way to get you back to your friend." 

"Hotel?" Naruto repeated curiously.

"Yes, I'm also visiting this town for a little while. I live in another city." 

"Man, if you decided to leave early or visit another time I may be dead right now." Naruto chuckled but the noise died down into something similar to a whine. He really owed this guy his life, wow. 

They drove for a little longer until they reached a tall, cool-looking building with a lot of bright lights and signs at the entrance. Getting out of the car, Naruto tilted his head back to stare up at the gargantuan structure, his mouth open. Okay, this hotel had to be like five fucking stars or something. This guy was most definitely rich as hell, he had to be.

While walking in the main doors and to the front counter, Naruto kept his head down and moved closely behind the other man. He felt absolutely ridiculous in the hospital gown with no shoes, and more than a few people glanced in his direction. What, like they've never seen someone freshly out of emergency care or something before sheesh. 

"Uchiha, room 304, checking in with a guest." The dark haired man stated, and the lady at the desk nodded and typed something on the computer. 

Uchiha?

Well, he figured out his last name at least. That was a start. 

The two got on an elevator, the ride was quite long so he could only assume this Uchiha fellow's room was on one of the very top floors. The doors opened and they walked down the large hallway, stopping at room 304 like he said downstairs. He watched the man reach into his pocket and pull out an activation card, a little beep was heard and soon afterwards the door opened. 

Naruto's mouth fell open when stepping foot into the hotel room. It was absolutely enormous. The window covered like, half of the wall and gave a perfect view of the city down below along with other tall buildings that were scattered across the vicinity. Shikamaru was never going to believe him now once he met up with him again, he'd probably say he was dreaming the entire time. 

Maybe he was. 

Perhaps he actually died at the casino-pub last night and this was some sort of weird afterlife dream that felt so real. The other man disappeared around the corner, and Naruto began walking around the fancy area. His tan fingertips grazed across one of the seats, feeling the soft surface. He and Shikamaru's hotel was like a fucking tragedy compared to something like this, it was literally perfection here. He could only imagine how much it costed for a night.

"Here." 

Naruto jumped at the deep voice and turned around. The raven haired man held a simple black shirt and a pair of pants in one of his hands. Naruto looked at the clothes confused for a minute but silently accepted them. 

"You can take a shower and put those on, it's about time to change your gauze anyway." 

He nodded, taking the small bag of medical supplies for his wounds from the man and padded towards the bathroom. As the nurse instructed, Naruto took a relatively quick, warm shower, careful not to wash his torso too hard. When he applied the disinfectant, it stung his skin and he hissed underneath his breath, gently putting a new layer of gauze on afterward. 

Naruto eyed the clothes provided, arching an eyebrow. He held the basic black t-shirt up in his hands, examining it like it was a foreign object. Well, the Uchiha man was only a little bit taller than he was so they should fit alright. He slipped on the top and pants, looking at himself in the mirror. He was wearing a complete strangers clothes, inside of a complete strangers hotel in a city he didn't know and he was stuck with that complete stranger.

His mom would be so proud. 

Naruto grasped the collar of the shirt in one hand, bringing it to his face. He blinked a few times, taking another inhale of the fabric. It smelled.. surprisingly good. He couldn't really properly describe the scent, it was unique, sort of musky, yet sweet, and with a hint of faded cologne. He walked out of the bathroom, feeling more refreshed now that he got the dirty smell of alcohol and cigarettes from his body, not to mention that chemical smell from the hospital.  

He walked over to the couch the man was sitting at and hesitated before sitting down one seat away from him. On the table in front of the couch was a bowl of rice with pork along with a glass of water. Had he prepared that while he was in the bathroom? Naruto looked over to the one called Uchiha and he gestured towards the substance by tilting his head. 

"Go on, you haven't consumed anything for almost a day and a half and you just finished getting out of surgery, you'll be lightheaded if you don't eat."

Naruto nodded, gingerly taking the glass of ice cold water in one hand and stared at it. He didn't realize how long he was staring until the raven haired guy's deep voice spoke up again. 

"It's not poisoned or anything. If I wanted you dead, I would've left you at that casino." 

He had a valid point there. Naruto snorted and took a sip of the water, the cold traveling down his throat and to his stomach caused him to shudder. He then set down the glass and reached for the bowl of food, not realizing how hungry he was until he took the first bite. Within no time at all, the food was gone and he turned back to the Uchiha with a toothy grin. 

"Thanks for that." 

The man's face had shifted from his blank look into something that could only be described as puzzlement. His mouth was a little open, and those dark eyes stared at him along with a slight furrow to his brows. "Perhaps.. try chewing next time." 

Naruto genuinely laughed, leaning back against the soft couch. He cringed, realizing he did the action a little too fast as a small tremor of pain struck his core. Once recovering, he let out a deep breath, bright blues focusing in on the mysterious Uchiha man. 

"What brings you to this city?" He asked curiously. 

"Business." The man replied simply, fixing the collar of his shirt. "Yourself?" 

Jeez, could this guy get any more vague? "Well I'm just tagging along with my friend, he's the one who's here for some job stuff. He didn't want to go alone so I was like yeah, sure I'll go with." 

"Are you not looking for a job yourself?" 

"Nah, I have a farm back home. That's full time employment right there, heh. A few people I know are taking care of the animals' till I get back, I taught them how to do basic feeding and grooming, and call the vet if any of them showed signs of being sick."

"You don't strike me as a guy who owns a farm." 

"And you don't strike me as a hardcore gambler." 

Finally, finally, the other's bleak conduct cracked and showed some emotion. His features twitched, a crooked smirk etching across his face. It was wide enough to have his cheekbones raise, but not enough to show any teeth. In actuality, it was probably one of the most attractive expressions Naruto ever witnessed in his entire life so far. His face felt warm, and he looked away from the other, taking another sip from his glass of water. 

"What is your name?" He could still feel the other's eyes on him. 

Naruto set down his glass, swallowing the water a little harder than necessary and faced the man with a big, ear to ear grin, meeting those wondrous dark eyes. "I'm Naruto!"

"Naruto." The raven haired man repeated, his smirk never fading. "I am Itachi. Itachi Uchiha." 

. . .

Chapter Text


Sasuke drummed his thin fingers on the cars steering wheel, unable to shake away his antsy feeling this morning. He glanced down at the shiny black Rolex on his left wrist. 6:18 AM. He knew he didn't need to be at work until around 7:30, but he needed a little extra time to go through his office after being absent for two weeks, there was surely a load of paperwork awaiting him. 

Alright, maybe that wasn't the entire reason. Sasuke just wasn't able to be around the blond for any longer than necessary at the time. Not after what happened the previous night. After waking Naruto up early to give him a brief yet strict lecture on what to do for later today, he rushed his morning routine and quickly skedaddled out the door.

Today was the day the blond would go on his date, or as he called it, 'friendly meet-up' with Shion and tour around the city. Sasuke had immediately gotten his new cell phone activated and put his number as the first contact. He informed Naruto to call or text him if anything were to happen, and he would send his trusty butler Gen'ichi to help since he'd be stuck at work.

He also briefed Naruto on not to talk to strangers, accept any offers from random people on the street, stray away from Shion, or go too far into the city. The blond complained he was acting like a paranoid parent or something, but Sasuke ignored him. He ordered Naruto to send him a text every thirty minutes or so to assure things were going accordingly, and stayed put till the man reluctantly agreed. 

Sasuke did it for the blond's own protection, he knew how curious and foolish people could be in a new area, especially people like Naruto, and the last thing he wanted to come home to was finding out his friend had been kidnapped or something worse. Wait. 

Friend? 

He never really processed in his brain what him and Naruto actually were. Sure, he started out as just a random customer who needed help from his financial business and somehow got a recommendation letter, but after everything they went through together Naruto was more than just another client. They had only known each other for a little over two weeks, yet he couldn't recall a time where he bonded with another individual so quickly.

Sasuke remembered the mortified, painful look on his tan face once everything started to fall apart and there was a slight aching feeling in his chest around his heart. He then remembered Naruto's genuine smiles, goofy grins, and devilish smirks after he begun cheering up and a subtle smile tugged at his lips while the pang died down. Sasuke lifted one hand from the steering wheel, absentmindedly tracing two fingers over his pale lips. 

Last nights memories flashed into his mind again, and he tried to swallow the dry feeling in his throat. He still couldn't wrap his mind around it, why it happened, how it happened. But it happened. The traffic light turned red, and when he slowed car to a stop Sasuke exhaled a deep breath, momentarily closing his eyes as the memories flooded his mind.

 




"It's customary you wait at least twenty minutes after you eat before hopping in the water again."

Sasuke didn't even know why he had bothered attempting to warn the blond, it's not as if the man even considered for one second to listen to him, he almost never did. He barely got the last two words to utter out of his mouth until Naruto jumped into the deep part of the pool. Even though Sasuke sat comfortably on one of the cushioned expensive lounge chairs, he could still feel a few droplets of water splash him from that distance away.

Considering the fact earlier that he was already wet from being dragged in the water, he went along and agreed with Naruto's little request of them eating dinner outside and spending the evening unwinding in the pool area. At first Sasuke was hesitant because he had work in the morning, along with the fact that Naruto could be rather unpredictable at times. Though, he couldn't say he wasn't enjoying it.

There was a short period of time before dinner and after the two changed into appropriate swimming shorts that they simply relaxed. Sasuke would call it no less than a little slice of heaven. To simply bask in the late afternoon's sunshine while laying atop the luxurious surface with a cool drink at arms reach was satisfying as it is. He couldn't recall the last time he actually allowed himself to simply 'chillax' as Naruto said, it was good to have as a final vacation day before work in the morning.

In fact during that time he'd almost forgotten the other man was present, the blond had been unbelievably silent throughout the whole session. There had been no snoring, so the factor of him accidentally falling asleep had been eliminated which compelled Sasuke to lift his head and take a peek at the other man. He'd never forget that image of a sunbathing Naruto so long as he lived.

Never before had the Uchiha witnessed such a tranquil demeanor coming from the other individual aside from when he slept. He didn't even think it was physically possible for Naruto to stay quiet for more than thirty seconds at a time unless he was tired or sad. To watch the golden waves of sunshine gently veil over the mans tan complexion, elapsing the surface and giving the illusion of naturally bronzed skin with a caramel tint was quite a sight. He looked absolutely stunning overtly serene, like a Greek God relishing in glorious repose.

That unfortunately didn't last for too long. By now, the sun was beginning to set and the normal pool was getting a little too chilly for Sasuke's liking so he relocated to the fancy hot tub that was connected by a slight upper level. When the warm water hit his flesh, he instantly exhaled and let his body sink down into the refreshing liquid while he sat on the cement seat.

Sasuke closed his eyes, feeling his muscles relax as his body was eased of tension in the hot tub. He activated the bubbles and jets by a simple click of a button and let out a content exhale, slouching further until only his neck and head was above the heated waters surface. Sasuke almost forgotten how amazing it felt to simply rejuvenate his body since he'd gotten caught up with work.

A splash then a squeal caused him to open one eye. Naruto, less than gracefully had clambered into the hot tub. Sasuke opened both eyes only to roll them as the blond squirmed around, huffing loudly. 

"Oohhhh man. This is super hot!"

"It is a hot tub." He retorted sarcastically. 

Naruto shot him a smirk, but soon enough he sat down on the underwater seat across from him and sighed, getting used to the temperature. There was a faint reddening of his tan cheeks that could be seen, and his long arms outstretched while resting against the cement on both sides of him. The mans skull lolled back while he relaxed, exposing his smooth neck and defined jawline. 

Sasuke's dark gaze bore into the blond from across the water and he almost flinched when Naruto's head suddenly moved back upright, those bright blues connecting with his own eyes. 

"More wine?" He asked hopefully. 

"No." Sasuke grumbled. 

"Pleeeasse? It would be so good right now." Naruto cheesed. 

"No. Two glasses is enough. In fact, I think you're a little tipsy already, the wine here is much stronger than what you're used to." 

"Nuh-uh." The blond protested, moving his arms to cross over his chest as he pouted. "I am great at holding liquor." 

"Yeah right." Sasuke snorted, recalling when he had to practically drag the guy in and out of the cab.

"Pretty please?" 

"No." 

"I'll just go walk around until I find the alcohol then, who knows maybe I'll come across something better than wine." 

"You wouldn't dare." 

Naruto's eyes gleamed, and he began pushing himself out of the water. 

"Okay, okay. Jesus. Stay put, I don't your soggy ass dripping water all over the floor anyways."  

The blond simply smiled, and Sasuke grumbled underneath his breath. He didn't know how Naruto could always convince him to do shit, that jerk. After hailing down Gen'ichi, they were brought two more bottles of the fine, expensive wine along with some glasses. Sasuke only had a little bit more, he needed to remain mostly sober not just for the fact that he had work in the morning, but because Naruto would most likely drown in the fucking hot tub without him. 

"What the hell are you doing." Sasuke demanded, his eyes narrowing suspiciously over at a tipsy Naruto. The man was slightly elevated from the water, most likely standing on his knees on the cement seat lining while his body was pressed against one of the walls of the hot tub. He had a weird look on his face, and not just from the wine. The blond's cerulean eyes flicked towards him, glinting with mischief in the dimly lit area.

"Your ah- hehe. Your hot tub jets are.. powerful." Naruto cheesed. 

Sasuke frowned, trying to comprehend what the jets had anything to do with it. His vision moved down to Naruto's current position, and it only took a second for it to click. Exactly where Naruto's crotch was, a water jet would most likely be. 

"You're a perverted bastard, y'know that?" Sasuke commented harshly, though his face was twisted with amusement. 

Naruto cackled loudly, moving to sink his full body back into the hot tub. There were a few splashes and giggles here and there from the blond fooling around, and he simply paid no mind except with the occasional glance to assure the idiot wouldn't accidentally drown himself even though the water wasn't that deep.

"Hey, Sasuke. Heyyyyy. Sasuke. Sassukee!" 

"What." 

"Check this out." 

Naruto gathered a large amount of frothy foam from the hot tubs bubbles and covered it on his bottom jaw, making it look like he had a white beard while he stupidly grinned, waiting for approval. 

"How fantastic." Sasuke said in a monotone voice, smirking as the other man pouted.

"Let's see what you look like in a beard!" Naruto stated, grabbing more froth between his hands as he started making his way across the water towards him. 

"No no no. That's not necessary." He said quickly, backing away from the advancing blond. 

Unfortunately, there was only so much distance he could cover before Naruto caught back up to him with a wicked grin. Before he could threaten him, the man's large hands slapped across his face simultaneously, smashing the soft foam against his skin which dripped down his chin and on the sides of his jaw.

"You don't look good with a beard." The blond stated in a disappointed tone of voice.

Sasuke glared at those wondrous blue depths, a grumble forming in his throat. Naruto laughed again, slurred an apology, then brought his hands up one more time to wipe the foam from his face. The other's warm hands continued cupping his face long after the foam had dissolved, and he found himself frozen while staring into Naruto's impossibly blue eyes. 

Naruto's mouth slightly opened, and his dark gaze almost instantly flicked down to those parted pink lips which seemed to have gotten closer in the last five seconds. Sasuke could now feel heat burning his features, and the added warmth from the hot tub made it feel like his skin was literally set aflame. All he knew is when those delectably soft lips made contact with his own, his heart stopped beating for a couple of moments.

It was like a pulse of electricity shot throughout his body and tingled his flesh, causing goosebumps to arise on the pale surface despite the heat of the hot tub. He didn't even realize he kissed back until somewhere along the line he opened his mouth, and Naruto's tongue was now ravishing the inside. The fresh taste of the wine on the other's mouth made Sasuke's head spin even further.

The man's hands shifted from his face to grip his hair, tan fingers entangling themselves in his messy dark locks while tilting his head back for better access at his mouth. Sasuke's heart pounded, almost causing his ribs to ache. Naruto was a good kisser. When they finally pulled apart for air he was flushed and breathing heavily, the combination of heat from the water and the Naruto's body caused him to get lost in a blur. 

Next thing Sasuke knew there was a sensation on his neck that caused him to gasp. Naruto's mouth had traveled down to his nape, his slick tongue rolled along the ivory surface of his skin followed by a small nibble of his oddly sharp teeth. Sasuke almost moaned when he felt the other suck at his nape, and he instinctively leaned into the touch while tilting his head to the side. 

Naruto's well muscled body then pressed against his own, and Sasuke's hands moved on their own accord. Thin, pale fingers glided down the man's smooth chest, tracing across the taut ripples of his abdominal region. Sasuke bit back a whine when the blond's mouth moved to his collar bone, hips moving in an upward motion. His half hard cock brushed against Naruto's groin, and Sasuke's eyes immediately widened. 

The hands which were just exploring the mans physique roughly pushed him away, and he fell back with a loud splash. Sasuke was finally brought to his senses, his entire body burned from head to toe and he took in quick breaths. He heard Naruto make a noise in disappointment and mumble something and he quickly shook his head back and forth, pulling himself out of the water with one movement.

"I-th- y..you're drunk." Was all Sasuke could stammer out before quickly grabbing a towel and making his way into the house. 

"Gen'ichi!" 

"Yes, sir?" 

"Please make sure Naruto makes it out of the hot tub without drowning, he's drunk. You can call a couple guards to help you if it proves to be difficult. I must get ready for work in the morning." 

"Right away, sir." 

Sasuke was glad his voice didn't give away his shock as he gave out orders. He hurriedly made his way upstairs to his room after drying his feet and went into the large bathroom, shutting the door behind him. His heart raced, face flushed not just from the warm water. He couldn't believe that just happened. Naruto was drunk. He didn't know what he was doing. Sasuke repeated those two lines in his head over and over, rubbing his forehead as it begun to ache.

He ran a shower, wanting to rinse the chlorine from the pool and the weird feeling from his body. Sasuke peeled off his wet swimming shorts, setting them aside and glanced down at his now fully erect member with a sigh. He hopped in the shower, relaxing as the warm clean water hit his skin and began gingerly washing himself, attempting to ignore his erection.   

When he was done washing, shampooing his hair, rinsing and cleaning, he noticed his arousal still refused to go away. Sasuke grumbled underneath his breath. He rarely masturbated, and when he did it was only to relieve some built-up stress. He wasn't some sex-crazed teenager or college student, he had priorities and never had enough time for such tasks. Not that it didn't..feel good, he just didn't really see that many benefits. 

However, now was one of those cases where he'd set aside his pride and give into the temptation. Attempting to sleep like this on a night before work wouldn't be the best idea anyways, he'd probably wake up more turned on. So, why not get it over with? Sasuke's slim fingers wrapped around his hardened length, gritting his teeth together while drawing in a sharp inhale at the contact. He began slowly stroking himself from base to head, the water from the shower providing more than enough wetness to make the motion fluent.

As much as he tried not to think about him, Naruto kept popping in his mind. He couldn't shake the feel of those impossibly soft lips pressed against his own, and his tongue sliding over his flesh gracefully. Sasuke softly groaned, pumping his cock faster in his palm after giving the girth a light squeeze. He envisioned being underneath that tanned, toned physique while pinned down by strong arms holding him at his wrists, writhing in ecstasy. 

A surge of heat began building up in his lower abdominal region, and Sasuke gnawed on his bottom lip, his hips gingerly twitching upward with the now quick movement of his hand. His imagination continued wandering, vividly picturing various different lascivious scenarios of himself with the blond. He visioned Naruto's attractive face, twisted and frowned with immense pleasure and that brought him over the edge. 

Sasuke started to moan loudly, but instantly clamped his mouth shut even though he was pretty sure nobody would hear his lewd noises in the large building. His free hand slapped against the expensive, fogged glass pane of the shower for support while his body trembled with his release. Thick white streams spurted from his throbbing length with each wave of pleasure striking his core and Sasuke's fingers squeaked against the glass as he drug his hand down the glossy surface. The indecent liquid soon after washed down the drain, leaving no trace.

He stood there breathing heavily for a moment, regaining his composure from his heightened pleasure. Sasuke couldn't remember the last time he came that hard, his knees felt weak. He'd been depriving himself of basic needs for far too long, he realized. Turning off the shower, he stepped out and grabbed a fluffy white towel. He dried himself, changed into pajamas, set his alarm, then clambered into his comfortable bed with a sigh. It didn't take long for his exhausted body to drift off into sleep afterward.

 




A loud honking noise snapped Sasuke from his daydreaming flashback, and he was abruptly brought back into reality. Wide, dark eyes peered ahead, looking at the bright green traffic light. He cast an apologetic glance in his rear view mirror at the angry driver behind him and continued on his way to work while trying to ignore his rapidly pounding heartbeat. 

Sasuke sat in the drivers seat of his car inside the building's parking garage for a long time. He could still feel a ghostly illusion of soft, peachy lips against his own and he licked the surface. He knew he would have to address the topic sooner or later, but he had no idea where to even start. What would Naruto reply? In fact, would he even remember what happened? Last time he got completely hammered, he only remembered vague details of what he did. 

Hopefully he forgot. It would be so much easier to never bring it up again rather than have an awkward conversation. Sasuke flinched when there was a knocking at his window, and he looked out the tinted glass to see one of his bodyguards standing next to the car. Relieved it wasn't a random person, he sighed and rolled down the window, looking up at the large man inquisitively. 

"Everything alright, Mr. Uchiha?" 

"Yes.. sorry. Just gathering my thoughts." 

"Sir you've been out here for over thirty eight minutes." 

"Wha-" Had he really been spacing out that long? Christ. So much for getting an early start. "Understood." 

Sasuke got out of the car and made his way into the familiar, giant building. The brightness strained his eyes, and he squinted while walking down the path towards his office. Multiple different 'good mornings' and other formal greetings were thrown his way, and he dismissed them with a quick nod of his head or a simple wave of his hand. Sasuke sat down on his chair with a huff, leaning back and spinning around in a couple circles before there was a faint knock on his metal door frame. 

"Good morning, sir. Great to have you back with us." A female voice filled the room, happy in tone.

Sasuke spun around in a final circle to face one of his workers that he couldn't remember her name for the life of him. She had two coffees in one hand, and made her way over to the front of his desk and set one of them down with a wide smile, showing off her pearly white teeth. "Minimum sugar, just how you like it."

"Thanks." He managed out in the nicest tone possible, though it was halfhearted. Not that he didn't appreciate kind gestures, but they happened way too often. Countless women would disrupt their own sleeping schedule just to arrive to work early in hopes of bringing him morning coffee, or even a bit of breakfast. It got annoying quick, they were all trying to either get into his pants, a raise, a promotion, or all three. 

Every single last one of them did so with their own little flavor. Some would attempt to defy the dress-code and wear skirts or dresses that Sasuke knew wasn't appropriate. Others would attempt to engage in small-talk, or brag about how they just finished a really good case. Others were just blunt about everything and really didn't get meaning of the word 'subtle.' 

Kiss asses they all were.

He sighed, nodding a few times to the dark haired woman who blabbed on and on about something he wasn't paying attention to. When she finally left, he tapped his fingers on top of his desk, gnawing on his bottom lip in thought. Sasuke wondered what the blond was possibly doing, it was his first day without him after all. Hopefully he wouldn't get too bored or lonely, he made a mental note to buy the man an Xbox or something.

Unable to get his mind off him, he reached in his pocket and grabbed his phone, scrolling to texts and clicking Naruto's contact name before typing a message. 

:: Remember what I told you about stranger danger. And don't consume any alcohol on your first day touring the city, she could be a psychopath for all you know. ::

Sasuke nibbled the inside of his cheek when no response followed, but then he remembered he had abruptly woken Naruto out of his sleep to lecture him before he left despite not wanting to interact with the man. Around that time it was no later than five thirty in the morning so the blond most likely went back to bed due to the ungodly early hours, not to mention his hangover he probably had when Sasuke had rudely snapped him from his sleep. He sighed, setting his phone aside and looked at his organized desk that was surprisingly free of dust, someone must've been keeping his space tidy while he was away. 

Another knock at his door and Sasuke beckoned them in without even lifting his head. A loud slam almost made him jump and he looked down at the massive pile of files placed on his desk. His mouth opened, and he soon let out a long groan, already missing the short amount of freedom he had. 

"Stop moping. You've only been back five minutes." The familiar voice said, and Sasuke glanced up from the abundant paperwork to see one of his co-workers, Suigetsu. The light haired man was sucking on a water bottle, like always. There was never a time where Sasuke didn't see him drinking the clear liquid, it was like he was constantly dehydrated or something. 

"Shut up. I had a long two weeks." He grumbled, slouching in his chair. 

"Do tell?" The thin man said, sitting casually on his desk. 

Others would've gotten kicked out or fired immediately, but Sasuke had known this man for years and he was comfortable enough with him to allow such antics. He sighed for the hundredth time, running his hands through his dark hair and glanced up at those curious pale eyes. 

"So, there's this one guy-" 

"Ooooh!" Sasuke was interrupted by the mans excited squeal as he turned to face him. "Is he cute? How'd you meet him? Where does he-" 

"Suigetsu." 

"Sorry, continue." 

"He's one of my cases. It's a long story but let's say things didn't turn out too good. He's staying at my place but-" 

"What? You know we aren't supposed to do that, Sasuke." 

"I know damn it. I just felt bad for him, he's so... nice it was hard to just leave him in the dirt like that. Anyways-" 

"You like him, don't you?" Suigetsu's eyebrows wiggled as he cut him off yet again.

"He's one of my client's." 

"But you're not denying it." 

"Not like that. I like him as a friend, and you know how much I hate people so that's why I really want to help this guy out." 

Suigetsu hummed, twirling his straw around on his tongue. "Well what's the status? What're we talkin? Twenty thousand, thirty, fifty maybe?" 

Sasuke cleared his throat, looking away. "Around two and a half million." He mumbled under his breath. 

"What!" Suigetsu yelled almost at the top of his lungs, earning a couple stares from workers passing by. 

"Shut your fucking mouth." 

"Sorry. But oh my God. How the hell are you gonna help with that? You know they won't let you distribute a loan to him, even if you want to do so from your own pocket it'd still be going towards the housing source and you can get in a fuck-load of trouble." 

"I know that." Sasuke hissed, drumming his fingers on the desk again. "That's why I need help." 

"You should just abandon the case. It's not worth your time, money, or effort." 

"I can't. I don't want to do that, and I'm not going to." 

"Hmm. Well how are you going to fix that? Have you gathered any money sources?" 

"Yeah, we fun-raised about twenty thousand at his old hometown. I know it's not a lot but it's a start. You think you could help me too?" 

Suigetsu sighed, rolling his shoulders. "Man, it sounds like a real pain in the ass. But you're my friend, and my boss, so, how can I say no?" 

Sasuke smiled, playfully shoving the man off his desk. "Thanks, I'll let you know more details later. Now get out of here before I fire you." 

"You wouldn't dare."

"Try me."

Chapter Text


. . .

"Damn it!" Naruto whined while dragging his hands down his face.

"Again."

He shot a halfhearted contemptuous glare over towards the source of that irritatingly calm and deep voice. Standing but a few feet away was his one and only 'savior'. Naruto realized within the short amount time he's come to know the man, Itachi was a very cool and composed individual to say the least. His utter nonchalance rivaled that of Shikamaru's lazy and apathetic demeanor. 

Though, Itachi's laid-back conduct was much different than that of his spiky ponytail haired friend. Sure, it was still infuriating and made Naruto's blood boil, however the wealthy man was also quite mysterious. Naruto couldn't place his finger on it, but his very presence was exhilarating, even if he wasn't doing anything particularity interesting. Like right now. 

Itachi moved from his spot casually leaned against the counter top and stood next to him. Littered on the surface of the hotel kitchen's island were a bunch of cards, dice, a few papers, booklets, makeshift games of Blackjack, Roulette, and more. After learning the other's name, they engaged in a bit of small talk which took a turn for the better, much to Naruto's bewilderment. 

If he was being honest, no matter how attractive or charming a stranger seemed at first, they're still a stranger. That being said, a little suspicion kicked in the first few minutes of their chat and Naruto kept his responses limited and short. He was assessing based off poor internet websites if Itachi was some kind of psychopathic maniac who only helped him so he could hold him hostage and sell his kidney's.

After loosening up, Naruto quickly dismissed such thoughts and slightly regretted even taking that into consideration. From the basic information the man provided, he could already somehow sense they were going to get along. Itachi Uchiha, 22 years old, rich because his family ties, they were apparently very successful in business, and that just happened to fall oh-so perfectly into his gambling problem. 

Naruto couldn't blame him, if he had parents that were fucking loaded and he received a fat-stack of money for an allowance, he'd definitely sacrifice a few bucks to test his luck in the casino more than often. Ever since that one faithful night at a high school party where people set up a gaming house stimulation area he was secretly hooked. Of course, the prize was alcohol back then instead of money, but the concept was still thrilling and stuck to the blond like glue until he finally dared try it for real.

He still had a lot of work to do, obviously. The glass wounds would serve as a lifetime reminder to not be arrogant ever again. At least, not until he gained more experience. And he just so happened to be stuck with Itachi, a skillful gambler despite his young age. After barely hearing one of the mans story's, Naruto practically begged him to teach him his tricks. 

There was some hesitation, but eventually he got the man to agree. How or why? Naruto didn't have a clue, all he knew is that he was so excited he could hardly contain his energy. All eagerness evaporated when Itachi led him to the kitchen and proceeded to make all the fake diagrams and displays of the games. To top it off, Itachi went into some detailed lecture, 'the art of gambling' or whatever the hell he called it. 

Naruto fought multiple yawns through the boring descriptions and forgot or didn't understand nearly everything the other said, passing it off with a few nods of his head and hums of agreement. When it was finally time to play the makeshift games, he found himself instantly failing and scanning over the instruction booklets like he was revising a college essay. 

Itachi leaned against the island's surface with his arms, and Naruto's eyes flicked over to the expensive watch fixed on his left wrist, and the multiple shiny rings which decorated three fingers on both his pale hands. Rich bastard, one of those rings probably costed more than his mortgage. 

"You're forgetting what I told you." Itachi's low voice commented frankly, and his eyes lifted to meet that dark stare.

"How could I not? It made no sense and you were blabbing for ten minutes straight, I can't even wrap my head around one thing you said." Naruto huffed, flicking one of the dice with his fingers. The cube rolled a few times and landed on the number three. 

"Overthinking can and will lead to a severe downfall." Itachi began, pausing a moment to reach for the dice without even looking. He snagged the small item with his thumb and pointer finger then held it up in front of Naruto's face who in return, quirked an eyebrow. "The basics skill sets is all you'll ever need. You, just like many others dismiss the very things provided. You try to jump into a higher level, without even mastering the post-intermediate stages. How do you expect to run, if you've only just learned to crawl and you skimmed a manual on how to walk?" 

"I..." Naruto couldn't come up with a good response and simply bit the inside of his cheek as the man continued. 

"Three steps." Itachi twirled the dice in his fingers before letting it roll back onto the table. He grabbed the sloppy deck of cards and began shuffling them expertly in many different styles, his hands moving a hundred miles an hour.

"Woah." Naruto's eyes widened as he leaned forwards while watching. 

Itachi pulled two cards from the shuffled deck and dealt them to the blond, one faced down one faced up, the revealed one being a King. He did the same to himself, the visible card was two of spades. "Now, this is where you see." 

"See what?" Naruto frowned, snagging up the mystery card which turned out to be a seven of diamonds. 

"You're looking, but you're not seeing." 

"Isn't that the same thing?" 

Itachi shook his head, reaching his hand out and taking his card. "You cannot play the game if you fail to see. See as in the three steps I mentioned earlier. Search, Evaluate, Execute. Now, if this were a real Blackjack game, I'm assuming you would've wanted me to hit you with another card, correct?" 

"Yes.." Naruto admitted sheepishly.

"And that is why you continue to lose. You simply take action after getting a brief overview of things which is essentially skipping to the Execution phase. I will be in your shoes, listen closely. Step one, Search. You have a King, and a seven which leads to a total of seventeen. There are no other players, let's assume you put down a low amount of money, and yet you make your executive decision so quickly to risk another card. Step two, Evaluate the situation. There are four Kings in a deck and you're already equipped with one, so the chances of a dealer drawing another king are slimmer by 25 percent but that does not eliminate Queen, Jack, or Ace. Remember, you are the only player here, so those other 10 value cards couldn't have possibly been distributed out, meaning the dealer has the upper hand when it comes to a greater number benefit. However, that also does put them at an disadvantage because as you can see by their open card, it is a two. More than likely, the dealer will draw again, twice in fact. We know this because even if their other card was a 10 value, the probability of them getting another lower number is higher given the lack of people along with the fact we're hoping the cards are shuffled properly. Even if they drew the second largest, a nine, they would still have the upper hand because if that hypothetical 10 was real added with the two, that's twelve. Twelve plus nine is 21, and they win the game. That leads to step three, Execute. Giving the provided information of your fortunate higher starting number, low amount of money put in, and the card advantages of the dealer, your best decision had this have been a real game would be to stay and put in your seventeen. Are you beginning to understand?"

Naruto could swear there was smoke coming out from his ears as the gears in his brain began turning. He realized his eyes were watering because he forgot to blink the entire time he was watching and listening to Itachi. Don't rush into action, see everything first. Search, Evaluate, Execute. He repeated that in his head a thousand times and more before nodding slowly. 

"You said don't overthink, but, that sounds like a lot of thinking to me." He chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck.

A flicker of amusement was visible on Itachi's features and he set the cards on the table while standing back up to his full height. "Trust me, these three steps are absolutely nothing at all compared to the extent of what some people go through while trying to win. Countless hours of studying, books, documents, web pages, stats, videos, even cheating. This will be your bread and butter for any game of any concept. Once you master seeing, you will notice your winning rate increase, and that is when you can begin playing with the grown ups." 

"Grown ups?" Naruto repeated, a frown appearing on his face as he crossed his arms. "I'm not a kid you know!" 

"Last time I checked, under 18 is in fact, still not an adult." 

"Oh shut up, my knight in shining armor barely exceeds the legal age limit to purchase alcohol." 

"Is the Princess mad because she got glass lodged in her chest?"

"Asshole." 

 




After leaving Itachi's hotel later in the afternoon, the duo only had one idea as to where to begin looking to reunite Naruto with his friend. That happened to be the very place where he was rushed to the hospital from. To say he didn't feel anything once passing by that familiar building would be a lie, a small trickle of uneasiness tingled Naruto's spine despite the glare he cast towards the wooden door.

"Anything?" Itachi inquired curiously. 

"No, sorry. Nothing but bad vibes." Naruto admitted defeated, sinking down into the car's seat. 

They had returned to that casino-bar in hopes of him possibly remembering what direction he came from to even get there in the first place that one night. Unfortunately, at the time it was dark outside, and Naruto wasn't paying attention at all to where he was going. Itachi drove into a random grocery store's lot and parked the car, tapping his fingers on his thigh. 

"Well, honestly if you're this lost your last resort would be to go to the police station." 

Naruto physically cringed. Just the idea of going to the authorities because he got separated from his friend in a city was utterly pathetic. He should've known to memorize the name of the hotel, he should've known to have Shikamaru's cellphone number at all times, and he definitely should've known not to go wandering around alone at night in a city he was unfamiliar with. They were going to think he was a complete moron.

However, it could've been worse. He could've been chopped up into little pieces, put in plastic bags and been sailing across the ocean to God knows where.

"Though," Itachi continued, "if your friend already went to the authorities it takes three days to officially file a missing persons case. If that is true, then you have a little over one more day to find him before they step in. People go missing all the time in cities, especially large ones. They're going to do the same procedure they always do." 

"Yeah, you're right about that. Shikamaru's a smart guy, he knows that too. I don't think he would've went to them right away. I mean after all this.. heh.. This wouldn't be the first time I've gotten lost while traveling with him." 

The raven haired man shot him a look, and Naruto chuckled nervously underneath those dark eyes. Great, Itachi probably thought he was a moron now too.

"Plus, we're here for another few days." He said changing the subject, turning his gaze to peer out the window. "I think I'd like to see more of the city and have a little fun before Shikamaru confides me to the hotel room after we meet up again."

"Is that a suggestion?" 

"It's a request." 

Naruto could see Itachi's smirk from the corner of his eye.

 




The following evening went by in a complete blur. Somewhere in the midst of their touring, the two had become three, three to five, five to eight.. he lost count after that. The sleek black Rolls Royce which the blond came to absolute adore in the short time he rode in it suddenly became inferior to the set of limos in which the large group was now traveling in. When the early hours of the night hit is when the real fun began.

Naruto was lost in a timeless thrill.

Lights, there were plenty of those. Various pigments, flashing and strobing, obscuring his vision into a multicolored haze. The combination of alcohol and marijuana only added to that. What was supposed to be one shot turned into many, one hit of the blunts being passed around turned into the double-digits. Music, can't forget music. Speakers loud enough to believe the noise was being projected from an international satellite.

The sunroof became his temporary best friend. Standing up in the long vehicle- with the support of someone unknown holding his legs and either intentionally or unintentionally brushing against his crotch- brought the high to elapse over his very soul. Gusts of wind whipped blond tresses carelessly in any direction they pleased, incoherent whooping to the outside city world whilst glazed, bright blues took in the blurred passing by skyscrapers would declare his rapture.

When the ecstatic limousine trip ended, they arrived at an enormous building. Naruto didn't recall feeling his legs move, but he was indeed walking, flowing with the large group which had made a grand entrance into the palace. Somewhere in the mix a game room was introduced, and ever since that is where they remained. Within the hour, their flock overtook Craps, Itachi being the centerpiece to it all of course.

As bets were placed, commotion increased, and games were won, more individuals began gathering around the large game table to witness the master dominate in action. It was hard not to, watching the raven haired man work was an art, and Naruto had the privilege of standing right next to the masterpiece. He was seemingly in a trance, and not just from the intake of substances.

Glazed over cerulean pools fixated intently on the man before him, half-lidded yet completely attentive despite their glossy appearance. All Itachi's movements were in slow motion. The subtle twitch of his lip, the shifting of his stance, his thumb grazing against his closed fist before his arm flung out to roll the duo of dice across the green Craps table which seemed to bounce for an hour before stopping.

Naruto remained thoroughly captivated, relishing in the glory of witnessing firsthand of what was considered a deity of gambling put his skills into action. Even the blistering screams and acclaims from the audience surrounding couldn't advert his enchantment, and the dull sounds of palms full of money being slapped on the tables surface as bets were placed once more drowned into the distance like he was being sucked away into space itself.

All breath was drawn from his lungs when those focused amazingly dark eyes snapped in his direction. In spite of his hypnotic state Naruto managed a crooked smile in return to the devilish smirk thrown at him, and he downed the drink that had somehow made it's way into his hand. There was pressure on his shoulders, and he soon registered it as Itachi's arm draped across him, and in that moment is when his body, soul, and mind became enveloped in blissful oblivion.

Lost, again.

. . .

Chapter Text


More than once Sasuke would find himself zoning out into space, or sitting idly with his pen slack in his hand while stuck on the same page of revision paperwork for ten minutes straight. He was by no means a procrastinator and normally worked quickly and efficiently. However today was one of those days where he found himself a little more than mildly distracted. All of his straying thoughts had been in some shape or form associated with Naruto.

It took him this long to realize just how much the blond was impacting his life in just the short approximate month he knew him for. Sasuke was irritated at his own brain for bringing Naruto into his thoughts so frequently. It was hard not to, though. The man was quite indefinable in more ways than one. While others would probably automatically define Naruto as goofy and enthusiastic -which he was- Sasuke found him relatively mysterious, as humorous as it sounded. 

Perhaps it was the multiple scars, or his parent-less childhood, or his questionable criminal record, or something different entirely. Whatever the reason, Sasuke couldn't pinpoint exactly, but it intrigued him. Which was why the blond kept popping into his mind, because he usually didn't take an interest to people so quickly. Especially people as obnoxious, absentminded, and frustrating as Naruto. 

"Hn," Sasuke mumbled aloud. 

Setting down his pen, he reached for his laptop and clicked open a new Google Images search tab. Sasuke's fingers hesitated while hovering above the keyboard for a long moment, watching the small blinker flick on and off before he typed in the search bar 'Naruto Uzumaki'. What appeared was like any other Google search after putting in somebody's name which was a bunch of random unrelated shit.

Sasuke scrolled down, his gaze scanning over the pictures that were displayed. It consisted of a bunch of random people, some objects, pictures of ramen, other food, trees. What the fuck did a tree have to do with a name? He shook his head, continuing to scroll down. After a little while Sasuke sighed heavily, what did he expect? He was just being a stalker now. 

He was preparing to exit the tab and return back to work until a yellowish pigment snagged his attention towards the bottom of the page. Sasuke immediately moved his mouse and clicked the image, freezing when it came into full size. There was a front view and side view, a mugshot. The individual had a head full of spiky blond hair, caramel skin, and unmistakable striking blue eyes. 

It was no doubt Naruto. 

Sasuke felt his eyebrows crease in a concentrated manner as he studied the picture closely. So this was the official mugshot from the incident Shikamaru told him on the phone a couple days ago. His dark gaze trailed across Naruto's features, amazed at how.. calm he appeared in the photo. Normally when people were receiving mugshots about to head to jail or prison, they looked angry, sad, or scared. Some were even on drugs, but Naruto clearly wasn't. He didn't seem phased at all. 

In fact, the picture was almost difficult to believe it was even a mugshot, it could qualify as a model entry photo for Christ's sake. Naruto's simple black tee shirt had a low collar, exposing the dips of his defined collar bone and neck of which a small golden chain hung from, the color nearly matching his hair. Sasuke didn't recall seeing such a chain on him. The mans cerulean eyes that were fixed on the camera held such a cool and composed appearance it was almost captivating.

Involuntary manslaughter. 

Shikamaru's words echoed in the back of his mind while he continued staring at the picture. Sasuke still simply couldn't believe it. He just couldn't. The Naruto he knew and prison were two words that just didn't belong in the same sentence, even if it was only for eight months. He hummed in thought, misdemeanor classification or not, eight months was still a super short time, even for-

"My oh my, who's that?" 

Sasuke nearly jumped out of his chair at the voice that had suddenly spoken up next to him. He whirled around to see his co-worker Suigetsu leaning over his desk, twirling his water bottle straw around on his tongue as his pale eyes scanned the screen. Sasuke swiftly slammed his laptop closed, earning a scoff from the other man who put a hand on his hip and shot him a look. 

"Well?" 

"Nobody," Sasuke muttered while drawing in a slow breath. "How many times have I told you not to just wander in my office whenever you please?" 

"Oh give it a rest." Suigetsu rolled his eyes, leaning on the desk's surface. "And if it was nobody, why were you staring at the picture like you were getting ready to fuck the screen?" 

Heat rushed to Sasuke's face, though he dismissed the feeling with a harsh glare in his workers direction. "I was simply observing for work." 

"Uh huh." Suigetsu shot him an unconvinced look while sipping his water. "Because going through paperwork requires ogling blonde hunks on the internet." 

"It's him." 

"What?" 

"He's my client I'm having the money troubles with." 

The other man nearly spit out his drink. Suigetsu's pale eyes widened and he fixed Sasuke with a baffled look. "You're joking, right?" 

"No. That's him." 

"Well what the hell, Sasuke. You could've fucking told me your client was hot. I mean come on that's not-" 

"It doesn't matter what the customers look like, its our job."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like you wouldn't fuck the living daylights out of-" 

"Suigetsu." He snapped, voice dropping to a threatening tone.

"Okay!" The man put a hand up defensively while shrugging. "I'm just sayin. Though what's up with the mugshot? It's always the pretty ones who are crazy. What'd he do?"

"Why did you sneak into my office?" Sasuke asked, intentionally ignoring Suigetsu's questioning. 

"I didn't sneak in here, you were too busy gawking at that screen to notice me. Anyways, I was going to say it's lunchtime so do you want to go get food or continue sitting in your dark office creeping on your hot client?" 

Sasuke grumbled something underneath his breath, snatching up his phone and keys from his desk while standing up, ignoring Suigetsu's smirk. "Let's go." 





"Welcome back, Mr. Uchiha." Gen'ichi's familiar mannerly voice greeted as he walked in the door. Sasuke was glad to finally be home again. Even though it was only his first day back from work, he had to stay much later than he wanted to catch up on his missed paperwork from the previous weeks. He felt completely exhausted and longed to simply relax somewhere comfortable.

"Thanks." Sasuke said, half turning as his butler took his jacket. "Where's Naruto?" 

"Ah, Mr. Uzumaki has yet to return." 

"What?" His eyes darted down to his watch. 6:53 PM. Naruto should've been back by 5 o clock at the absolute latest. It was getting into the colder months soon which meant daylight faded faster, and Sasuke didn't want Naruto outside in the enormous city past dusk even if he was with another person. 

"Shall I send guards to locate him?" Gen'ichi inquired, seeing Sasuke's beginning stages of worry morphing into panic as his mind went all over the possible tragedies that could've happened to Naruto. 

"I will give him until 7:45, if he's not back by that time then you will send two of our best trackers to find him." 

"Yes, sir." Gen'ichi gave a nod of farewell and took his leave. 

Sasuke forced himself to pipe down, he was getting worked up and it was probably for no reason. Naruto most likely went ahead and had dinner with Shion because it'd seem like something she'd suggest. He tried to ignore the sliver of jealousy working it's way to his nerves and made his way upstairs. Sasuke went into Naruto's room and pushed open the cracked door, giving a thorough look around the slightly messy area. Kurama was nowhere to be found, meaning Naruto had taken his cat with him. Relaxing a little, he shut the door and went to his own room. If Naruto had Kurama he knew the man would at least be more responsible with his favorite and only remaining pet. 

When the 7:45 mark passed and 8:28 read on the clock, Sasuke's slight concern turned into dread. He had Gen'ichi send out two guards to search for the blond and even though it had only been around a half an hour, he still expected a response. Sasuke paced around the first floors entryway area, elegant dark brows furrowed in a deep frown. He kept stealing glances at the door, heart pounding in his chest and working his nerves and negative feelings furthermore. Why was he so worried about Naruto? Sure, he was silly and sometimes a moron but that was a twenty-something year old man, he was perfectly capable of taking care of himself. 

That logical thought was eradicated when the handle to the door turned, and that easily recognizable blond head of hair stepped inside. 

"Naruto." Sasuke forced his voice to stay even though despite his efforts there was a hint of anger underneath his tone. 

Naruto, who apparently sensed such an aggravation, glanced up at him with wide unknowing blue eyes. "Sasuke? What's the matter?" The man said while setting down Kurama who was in one of his arms. The orange feline trotted forwards, wrapping its body around Sasuke's ankles before padding away somewhere.

"Don't play dumb with me." Sasuke hissed, his dark eyes scanning over Naruto's body. His gaze lingered on the mans neck, instantly searching for hickies for reasons unknown. "We clearly went over everything this morning. I understand being a bit late but almost three and a half hours over? Along with the fact that you didn't so much as think to send me a text, that's the entire reason you have a cellphone now, to communicate." Sasuke didn't mean to have such an edge in his voice, but all his pent up anxiety for the blond had spilled out in unintentional fury. 

The other mans deep aquatic eyes briefly widened and he seemed to shrink while standing, obviously guilty. "Oh.. yeah. I'm sorry Sasuke I wasn't trying to ignore you, I'm just not used to having my own phone and just completely forgot about it."

Naruto's low, apologetic voice was too damn innocent, and Sasuke suddenly felt guilty he was angry at first. Though, before he could speak up Naruto had continued again, his energetic demeanor returning in an instant. 

"But we did have fun! We toured this side of the city for a while, walking around and looking at the general area. There's just so many things to do! So many places to go, stuff to see, it's so.. different. Oh! We also took the cats to the park Shion mentioned in the store, and man that place was more like a forest than a park! Like, honestly someone could get lost in there, it's freaking enormous. Kurama and the other cats had fun there even if they don't get along. There also was an artist at the park drawing some of the landscape and we talked to him for a little while, then he asked if he could paint a picture of me and I agreed. So uh, that's probably what took so long, he took like over two hours but man he was talented."

Sasuke nodded along to the blond's excited rambling, his anger fading away as Naruto explained his day. He was glad the other man had fun, and his lips began subtly curving in a small smile. When Naruto mentioned the artist, a thoughtful look replaced his previous expression, and he let out a small hum of curiosity. 

"How did he manage to paint a portrait of you when it was beginning to get dark outside?" 

"Oh we went to his private studio. Gosh this guy really knew how to stock up on supplies, I never seen so much artsty stuff in one-" 

"Private studio?" Sasuke repeated like he had heard incorrectly. "You went with a stranger back to his place?" 

"Well.. he was an artist and wanted to paint me, I didn't really mind, in fact the idea sounded fun. Plus it's not like I could've undressed in the middle of the park." 

"Naruto what if the guy was just claiming to be an artist? You would've fell right into his trap. Do you even use your head at times? What was- wait.. Undressed?"

"Yeah," Naruto chuckled, flashing his pearly white grin. 

Sasuke stood there baffled a moment, wrapping all the information given around his mind. "So, let me get this straight. You meet a random guy in the park, the guy says he's an artist, he wants to paint you naked so you agree and go back to his place? Does that not sound like a setup to you? Honestly Naruto at times I don't think you use your brain at all." Sasuke wasn't sure if he wanted to be pissed, confused, or astonished.

"Sasuke not every person on the street is a maniac. He seemed cool, I guess he was a little weird and socially awkward but he reminded me of you. Actually, he looks a lot like you too now that I think about it." 

"I'm not socially awkward." Sasuke said quickly, averting his eyes to the floor when Naruto laughed aloud. 

"A little bit, but this guy was much worse don't worry. He's super talented though, I'd show you the picture but uh, he liked it so much he wanted to keep it for himself." 

"A complete stranger has a naked portrait of you now." His jaw clenched, and Sasuke didn't know why he stated that fact out loud but putting it into words somehow brought a weird feeling he couldn't describe to form in his gut. 

"Well.. when you put it like that." Naruto chuckled slightly, rubbing the back of his head. "His name is Sai, he's actually around our age and his studio isn't too far from here. I'm sure he wouldn't mind if we stopped by again if you wanted to meet him or see the picture." 

"Why would I want to see the picture?" Sasuke snapped defensively. 

"You're right." Naruto's voice had dropped to a lower octave, and he snapped his eyes up to meet that astounding blue gaze. "The real thing is better anyways." Naruto purred, tongue swiping over his lips as he made a suggestive motion of his body. 

Sasuke swallowed dryly, feeling goosebumps creep along the pale surface of his skin as he froze to the spot underneath that intense cerulean fixation. After a few silent almost unbearable moments, Naruto cracked up laughing. 

"I'm kidding!" The blond cackled, extending a long arm forwards to pap him playfully on the shoulder. "Man Sasuke you're funny."

All he could do was chuckle weakly in response. 

"Well I'm sorry about being late and not texting you again. Next time I will be sure to use the cellphone and let you know everything we're doing." 

"Next time?" 

"Oh yeah Shion wants to hangout again, she's like my designated tour guide around here now, and with a big city like this it's gonna take us like a week just to tour one part of it!" 

"Yeah." Sasuke mumbled, that twinge of jealousy returning. He wanted to do some wandering around the city with Naruto too. Sasuke quickly dismissed the thought from his head, the blond was currently living with him after all, there would be plenty of opportunities to spend more time with him. Of course that fact didn't stop his stubbornness. "Tomorrow, seven sharp, be ready." Sasuke instructed simply.

"What's happening tomorrow at seven?" 

"We're going to a restaurant." 

"Oh uhm..." Naruto twiddled his fingers, and Sasuke arched an eyebrow at him. 

"What is it?" 

"I never really uh, ate at a fancy food place before." 

"Who said it was fancy?"

Naruto's face held enough expression for him to remain quiet and still get his point across. Sasuke let out a small chuckle. 

"Don't worry, I'll make sure its moderately fancy. And as long as you don't shove all the food down your throat like your life depended on you clearing your plate, you should be fine. Oh, and wear that new outfit."

"Agh. Fancy clothes are so weird." Naruto complained, his golden brows furrowing up in a frown. 

"They're not weird, they're classy."

"Why are we going? I mean the food here is what I'd qualify as fancy already." 

"Not only will it give you a chance to get out into the city more, but I have a hunch you'll really like this place. Plus, it's about time we talked." 

"T-talk? About uh what?" 

Sasuke was momentarily taken aback by Naruto's sudden stammering, along with the fact that his eyes slightly widened and there was a rosy tint to his tan cheeks. He pondered what could've made the blond react in such a way then recalled what had happened the previous night in the hot tub. Sasuke drew in a sharp breath, did Naruto remember that after all? 

"Your case, idiot." Sasuke responded, keeping his voice even like usual despite the frantic thoughts in his mind.

"Oh." Naruto seemed to relax now and he let out a low chuckle. "That makes sense. I'm going to go wash Kurama now, he got tree sap all over his fur and paws from climbing earlier in that park." 

"First you put a harness on your cat, then you walk it, and now you're washing it. Next you'll probably teach him to roll over. Are you sure you're not a dog guy?" 

The blond flashed him with his signature toothy grin. "If I had to say, I personally like foxes. You seem to like cats yourself though, why not get one? Or two?" Naruto cast a quick glance around the large area. "Or ten." 

"I'll have that many cats when you eat a whole tomato." 

"Got it, no pets."





Sasuke lay stretched out on his bed, laptop resting on his thighs as he got busy responding to his neglected email inbox. He didn't even realize he had begun to doze off until his cellphone rang, the loud noise startling him out of his drowsiness in an instant. He grabbed his phone from his nightstand and blinked away his remaining sleepiness once looking at the caller ID.

"Shikamaru." Sasuke cleared his throat as his voice cracked.

"Hey." The other man greeted, sounding monotone as always. "Sorry, I would've called you earlier but they had me do some overtime and work into the early hours of the night shift today." 

"It's alright, I just went back to work today too and already had to stay later on my first day back." 

"Such a drag."

Sasuke chuckled, he knew the mans favorite phrase would be spoken sometime sooner than later. "Did you get a response?" 

"Yeah.. unfortunately they denied the request." 

"I figured as such. Oh well." 

"Sasuke, are you really going to make me break into a seized property? I mean there has to be an easier solution."

"We went over this last time, Shikamaru. You're Naruto's best friend and that makes you my number one reliable source back in Konoha. I don't even know if they'd let Naruto himself back there to retrieve them, and even if they would allow it I don't want him to see the place. Not yet at least, not like that. Not while its..." 

"Empty." 

"Yeah, his broken heart is just now healing and his mood is lightening, I don't want to destroy that all over again." 

"What if I get caught? I'm pretty sure they locked the doors and windows, plus even if I manage to get inside it's not like I know exactly where Naruto keeps things on the home. He probably doesn't even know, have you seen his office area? It'd take me a good amount of time to find it, that'd be pushing my luck."

"Shikamaru, you're not going to get caught. You want to know why? I did a study up of you after Naruto filled out his paperwork and added your name. Your intelligence is out of this world. I know you'll take the time to properly strategize and assess the situation before leaping into action. Your superior mindset is quite astonishing and I'm actually baffled you're working in a mere local bar. Matter of fact when this case is over I would be more than happy to offer you a job to my company, I know you'd excel quickly here." 

"Woah, are you serious? I mean, I'm really honored to hear that. I have gotten offered multiple jobs in the past, some I even traveled to another city for interviews or to take a look at the area but none of them really.. clicked. I guess I was just so used to being home that I got a job here and just stayed, I'll think about it though. As for Naruto's situation, I guess there's no other choice. Man, this whole thing is a drag." 

"Good, I do hope you'll take the proper time to think and make a final decision, our company could use some new faces. Anyways, yes. I know it's a bit of a pain, but this is like no other, you're not just helping me with a client, we're trying to get our friend's home back." 

"Couldn't have said it better. On my next off day I'll begin mapping out a plan, but I'm going to need a bit of time, there's information I have to gather from the outside too." 

"That is fine, take your time. I still need to figure out all the details of what I'm going to be doing here as well, this isn't an easy one. Send me another call when you've got a basic idea of your plan." 

"Sounds good, talk to you later." 

"Bye." 

Sasuke set his phone back on his nightstand, shutting down his laptop and putting it away. He leaned back into his comfortable bed, melting with the pillows and soft blankets with a heavy, relaxed sigh. Just as his eyelids drifted shut, his phone rang again. Groaning, Sasuke snatched the item from the stand once again, answering it with a loud, angry puff of air through his nostrils. 

"Sasuke?" Naruto's nervous voice spoke up from the other end. 

"Yes, what is it." He said through gritted teeth.

"Uhmm, so like when I was uh.. the.." 

"Spit it out already." 

"Kurama's fur clogged the shower drain." 

Sasuke's eye twitched.

Chapter Text


. . .

Naruto's eyes cracked open, stinging immediately despite the low lighting that greeted him. Squinting, he rolled over on the plush surface he was laying on, letting out a low groan from the effort because his body felt like it had gained three hundred pounds. There was a small decorative table next to him which had a bottle of water, a napkin with some pills on it and a little sticky note. 

He reached over and grabbed the note, waiting a long moment for his eyes to adjust before reading the writing in pen which consisted of two words. 

'Take these.' 

Naruto eyed the pills, soon recognizing them as Advil for his hangover. He didn't even realize how much his head was pounding until he grabbed the two little tablets, untwisting the cap on the water bottle to take a sip and down them both in one gulp. Deep blue eyes scanned around the unfamiliar room hesitantly, Naruto hadn't partied that hard since High School got out, he couldn't even remember how he ended up here.

It was a secluded area, no windows, presumably in some sort of lower level of a building. The area was dark, but not creepily dark, more of a relaxing sort of setting which was encompassed by neon blue LED lights all over, pulses steadily humming to the bass of the chill background music he just realized was playing, his headache already alleviating. There was a pool table across the room, and a huge flat screen hanging from the wall above it.

Where exactly was here? 

He remembered being in a casino, but this room was new. Naruto glanced down at the surface he was laying on, it was a big couch-thing that wrapped around half the place with a comfortable top layer of what he presumed was memory foam or something similar because it molded to the touch of his hand as he pressed down on it. He didn't quite know what it was, but it was clearly expensive.

Naruto looked at the tangle of black silk sheets which were wrapped around his legs and partially hanging on the floor. He grabbed the sheet and pulled it back up towards him, pausing once he got an inhale of the fabric. Naruto instantly distinguished the scent belonging to Itachi from when he borrowed his clothes, the sheets had the same masculine, pleasant fragrance with a hint of fading cologne.

Where was Itachi anyways? Naruto took another look around the area, he was completely alone. He squinted at a dark pile of fabric on the floor some feet away and recognized the item as his pants and in that moment noticed his shirt was also missing. In fact, the only thing he wore was his boxers and one fuzzy sock, the other one M.I.A. He ran his fingers through his hair, jumping once he set his hand back down and something touched it. 

Naruto half-turned to see a large pile of money in stacks of hundreds scattered next to him and his eyes widened. What the hell? How did he not notice that? Normally he would've jumped for joy at the thought of waking up next to thousands of dollars, but in actuality it was mildly alarming. Who's money was this? He hoped it was Itachi's, otherwise he had a real problem on his hands.

The sound of a door opening made his gaze snap up from the cash towards a corner of the room which had a hallway leading to what was most likely a bathroom. Stepping forth from the shadows was the master gambler himself, and Naruto felt relieved to see a familiar face in the unfamiliar area.

"I expected you to sleep in more." Itachi said, making his way across the room to him and standing at the foot of the couch.

Naruto's face felt warm in the beginnings of a blush when he realized the other man was topless. He couldn't stop his eyes from trailing over Itachi's built frame, he was in excellent shape. Naruto's gaze widened once he noticed some red marks on the others chest, and a thought swarmed to his mind which caused him to fumble out his next words.

"Uhm- did.. I mean I-I don't re-" 

"We didn't fuck." Itachi commented, chuckling deeply when Naruto shy'd away from his gaze, cheeks hot. "You don't have a shirt on because the one you were wearing got blooded up. We were partying for so long you forgot to change your gauze for a second time and I had to take you here to do it, the other bathrooms were hectic. As I got rid of your blood soaked shirt I believe you got a different idea of my intentions and took off your pants and proceeded to try to undress me, which led to you scratching at me. Eventually you passed out and I changed your gauze for you." 

Embarrassment flooded over Naruto when the other man explained what happened, and he let out a nervous chuckle. Itachi's face suggested amusement, but he still couldn't help but feel bad for all the trouble he put him through. It was enough he saved his life already, and now he bothered him in his out-of-mind state. "Sorry." He mumbled sheepishly.

"Don't worry about it." Itachi hummed while moving over to the pool table. 

"What's uh, all this money for?"  

"That's your money." 

"Mine?" Naruto practically shouted in disbelief, his eyes nearly bugging out of his skull.

Itachi chuckled again, his back still turned as he focused on whatever he was doing at the pool table. "Yeah, you earned it yesterday. Apparently you're a better gambler when you're drunk, somehow." 

"H-how much is this?" 

"Around thirty eight thousand. It isn't much, but for a beginner like you it's not half-bad, good job kid." 

Naruto's mouth fell open in disbelief and he slumped back against the soft surface. Thirty eight thousand dollars. Thirty eight thousand fucking dollars. This could pay off his overdue monthly rent, repair the tractor, fix the roofs, buy those two horses that were on sale back in town, and much more. Itachi peered over his shoulder at the blond's silence, a small smile quirking his lips. 

He didn't even notice the other man walking back across the room and sitting next to him until the couch slightly shifted from the weight. Naruto blinked a few times after spacing out, his eyes moving towards Itachi's hands which were currently finishing rolling up a blunt of weed. His nose twitched at the familiar, pungent redolence which filled the room once Itachi lit the end and took a hit.

Naruto silently observed the raven haired man, watching the way his lips gently came into contact with the blunt as he inhaled the natural drug, thick smoke soon exiting from his mouth and vanishing into the atmosphere and leaving nothing but the strong scent. What was that, pineapple express? It smelled good. Naruto soon found his eyes absentmindedly moving further from the cannabis and across the other's toned physique. 

"Hm?" Itachi murmured quietly. 

"Huh-" Naruto's vision flicked back upwards to peer into that impossibly dark gaze. Did he even have pupils? He looked at Itachi's hand which was extended forwards in an offering and smiled, reaching to grab the blunt. 

"What are you going to do with your money?" 

He hummed, exhaling a cloud of smoke through his nostrils before coughing more than once. "Damn, this shit is strong." Itachi only chuckled in the background while Naruto caught his breath and replied while handing him the smoke again. "I'm going to do some much needed repairs on the farm and my house. There's also a couple horses that this nice woman is selling for a good price, one of them's a pretty black stallion, I saw the pictures. And I'm also going to have the... uhm.. m-my uh.."

Naruto's words slowly trailed off as movement from the corner of his eye made him look back over towards the other man. Itachi was adjusting his body into a more comfortable position suitable for conversation. He had relaxed back against the couch, somewhat slouched while his elbow leaned on the armrest and his legs spread in a rather inviting fashion. 

Biting the inside of his cheek, Naruto felt warmth rise to his face while watching the muscles roll gracefully underneath Itachi's pale flesh. His gawking didn't go unnoticed, because it took him a long time to realize Itachi's hand was held out in front of his face for probably more than a minute. Naruto stammered out something incomprehensible, taking the smoke and giving it another couple hits before returning it back to Itachi. 

"You alright? The stuff we had last night was much stronger than this." 

"Yeah!" Naruto blurted, flashing the man with a wide grin in spite of his flustered state. 

Itachi merely gave an amused hum, tapping the end of the blunt into an ashtray next to the couch. "Where did you get those other scars?"

That wasn't a question he expected to hear, or at least from Itachi. Naruto glanced up at the raven haired individual who at the moment wasn't looking in his direction. "It's.. it's a long story." He finally replied, not particularly feeling up to part to elaborate.

"I see." Itachi said, setting down the drug on the nearby ashtray and fixated those inky iris's on the blond. "May I?" 

Naruto paused a moment, unsure as to what the other was asking until it clicked. "Oh- uhm. Sure." He shifted himself on the plush surface of the couch, sitting up with his legs tucked underneath him while his back faced Itachi. 

His breath caught in his throat when he felt warm fingertips ghost over the bare skin of his back and Naruto couldn't stop the twitch that passed along his upper body. Itachi halted his movements for a second then continued. The mans warm fingers dragged across the healed lacerated flesh of his back, running across the slight bumps of scarred skin. 

Naruto involuntarily tensed, his shoulders tightening and stomach clenching as he remembered just how painful it was to receive those marks. Almost as if sensing his distress, Itachi's hand wandered well past the scars and simply lay idle against smooth tan flesh. Naruto felt his heart beginning to pound in his chest at the touch, and he clamped his teeth down on his tongue when Itachi trailed up each vertebrae of his spinal column, causing the blond to physically squirm. 

His hands squeezed shut into fists, the fine hairs along the back of his neck spiking up. It didn't quite tickle, but Itachi's touch drew out some sort of tingly effect that he couldn't stop himself from reacting to. Naruto felt his cock twitch in the blue boxers he wore and cursed underneath his breath. Damn teenage hormones, he couldn't get away with anything they always found a way to haunt him. 

Like, actually. 

He could be doing literally nothing but eating a bagel and Naruto Jr decides to come alive. Itachi only made it worse, he had really tried his best to ignore the mans devilishly handsome looks, focus on learning from him and appreciating his help, but the guy was making it really difficult, especially right now. All those suppressed urges got the better of the blond and he let out a low groan, partially in frustration partially from his increasing arousal. 

Naruto pondered Itachi's sexuality for a moment, thinking back to what he could remember from some of his peers they met up with the previous night. Before he got completely wasted, he did remember another blond guy with much longer hair than his own that was pretty comfortable with being within Itachi's personal proximity. Of course that could've just been his best friend. 

Well, only one way to find out. 

The blond turned, repositioning his legs as he now faced the raven haired man who looked absolutely alluring laying so relaxed, so open. Naruto's hand moved forwards, sliding over the hard surface of Itachi's stomach, his fingers moving up and down against the ripples of his abs. He felt Itachi's muscles constrict underneath his touch and soon afterward the man grabbed his wrist, stopping all motion. 

"Naruto." Itachi said firmly. 

"Yes?" The blond purred in response, half lidded gaze meeting that unblinking dark stare. He was already high as fuck.

"What are you doing?" 

"What's it look like?" Naruto's free hand snaked towards Itachi's jeans, groping him from outside the black fabric and excitement pooled through his body once feeling the other was already somewhat hard.

"No." Itachi's other hand snagged that wrist as well, bounding both his arms in a semi-tight grip.

The blond pouted at his restrained hands but persisted, leaning forwards to plant his mouth on the others neck near his collarbone. He could've sworn there was the beginnings of a groan working its way in the back of Itachi's throat, but the man forcefully rolled a large shoulder, pushing his face away. 

"No." He repeated, his voice less convincing than the previous time. "You can't do this." 

"Why not? It's clear now I'm not the only one who wants to." Naruto licked his lips, enjoying the way Itachi's skin felt on his tongue.

"You're too young."

Gathering up strength in his forearms, Naruto wrenched his hands away from the others grip, slapping his palms on both of Itachi's shoulders which effectively pinned the mans back against the large couch. He blinked up calmly at him, and it took everything the blond had not to ravish his glorious face right then and there. 

"It's not like I'm an actual child. I already graduated High School, I'm seventeen fucking years old." Naruto growled out, letting the other's shoulders be free.

"Seventeen doesn't mean eighteen." 

"My birthday's in a month and two weeks."

"Then I will find you in a month and two weeks."

"Fuck a month and two weeks." 

Naruto brought his mouth down on Itachi's, their lips colliding in a heated, carnal kiss which immediately deepened. Not a few seconds passed before his tongue was grazing across smooth lips, seeking entrance which was granted by the raven haired man. The scent of the marijuana was potent, but Itachi's own taste could be detected in the natural drug and it drove Naruto on the brinks of insanity. 

He parted the kiss for air, only to instantly attack Itachi's neck in a swarm of nips and swipes of his tongue, finding a suitable spot before sucking roughly on the pale skin which would leave a prominent mark along the light surface in no time. Naruto continued moving downwards, leaving licks and subtle kisses on his journey to his prize which was visibly straining against the mans now tight jeans.

When he groped Itachi through the black fabric, the other's hips twitched up in response. Naruto allowed his body to slide between Itachi's legs, plopping on the floor and dragging half the silk sheet with him in the process. His hands moved up the mans thighs to stop at his groin, undoing his belt buckle, fiddling with the button on his black jeans before unzipping them altogether. 

Naruto moved the fabric down just enough, pleased to find Itachi wasn't wearing boxers. Long, tan fingers wrapped firmly around his cock and began to stroke the impressive sized length at a painstakingly slow pace, his thumb smearing the accumulated precum around the tip. Itachi inhaled away at the blunt he picked up again, dark lust clouded gaze locked onto the blond. 

Scooting his body closer, he settled comfortably between Itachi's legs before letting his tongue drag up the veiny surface while meeting that stygian stare, maintaining eye contact while his lips parted and slowly sank his mouth down onto the tip of the other's stiff manhood. Itachi let out a strangled noise, the blunt falling slack in his hand to the point where it dropped on the plush surface.

Itachi quickly snatched it back up and swiped at the ashes and embers before a fire could start while Naruto had to refrain from laughing. The blond slid more of Itachi's cock in his mouth, tongue flicking and swirling against the underside of the thick length, causing the other man's hips to jerk again.

"You little shit." Itachi breathed out deeply, smoke following after his words from the large puff he took.

At the words Naruto lifted his skull so he could speak, letting Itachi's length slide out of his mouth and into the open air, a thin line of drool connecting his bottom lip to the shaft. "And here I thought you'd be one to last." He commented in a snarky tone, a smirk edging the corners of his mouth while he licked his lips. 

Itachi's dark brows creased into a frown but before he could make a snippy remark to the sneering statement, the blond dropped his head back down. In one fluid movement, Naruto took in every inch of his sizable cock until his nose grazed against coarse black hairs, the cold metal of Itachi's belt buckle pressed against his cheek. Itachi's breathing hitched and he coughed after inhaling too fast, his length twitching inside the blonds mouth.

"F-fuck.." Itachi exhaled roughly, his bottom lip snagged between his teeth.

The man's back slightly arched from the comfortable seat when Naruto's warm throat muscles constricted around his cock as he began tight suction, his gag reflex nowhere to be fucking found. Something along the lines of a growl ripped from Itachi's esophagus when Naruto nonchalantly hummed, the low vibrations inside his mouth almost stimulating him to climax right then and there but his will power held him out longer to bask in the pleasure.

Itachi dropped the nearly finished blunt in the ashtray and brought a hand forwards towards Naruto's head, pale fingers intertwining with thick blond tresses. Those oceanic spheres which seemed to glow in the dim lighting flicked upwards, causing raven eyes to meet azure ones, the sight alone otherworldly. Itachi's hips began gradually rolling forwards, ringed fingers firmly gripping those golden locks as he slowly fucked the blond's face in addition to his sucking. 

It only took Naruto's sinfully skilled mouth a few more long moments of firm sucking along with bobbing his head to the motion of the other's hips before Itachi's composure crumbled like a broken cookie. His body spasmed with his intense orgasm, head thrown back against the seat, elegant dark strands of hair flying backwards from the movement while he let out a long, low groan which filled the small room.

Itachi's cock pulsated and throbbed, releasing inside the blond's hot throat who in return took everything that was given to him without the slightest peep. Fucker. Itachi hissed between gritted teeth when Naruto continued, milking his cock for everything it had while his overstimulated body involuntarily racked with twitches and shutters as he panted heavily, clawing at the couch below.

"Fuck!" The raven haired man yanked on Naruto's blond locks which made the younger man pause his actions, lifting his skull and letting Itachi's member slide past his lips for a second time while breathing heavily.

"Where in the hell did you learn to do all that?" Itachi's voice was ragged from pleasure as the waves of his peak began dying down.

Naruto blinked up at the panting man, pleased to find his efforts had indeed paid off and he gave an honest answer. "Well, I just sort of pretend it's a popsickle that-"

"I'll just stop you right there." 

Naruto laughed loudly, his grin never fading even when the cackles ended. "Awh. Looks like I made you end the fun early." 

"You underestimate me, that was only a warm-up. Now, go over to the pool table."

"What, why? I don't think this is the right time to be playing g-" 

"And bend over." 

"Oh."

. . . 

Chapter Text


After double, even triple checking his belongings to assure he had everything, Sasuke left his room. Phone, keys, laptop, wallet, briefcase, and an extra pair of clothes because ever since that one faithful day of a newbie attempting to carry too much coffee in his arms led to Sasuke getting splashed with the hot liquid, it became a habit. He almost chuckled remembering that day, the poor guy had been so terrified for his job and his life after spilling coffee on one of his bosses, not to mention ruining an expensive suit. 

Shutting his door, Sasuke threw his laptop carrying strap over his shoulder and began walking down the grand staircase while adjusting his tie. He sauntered into the kitchen, seeking a light breakfast of some sorts. He reached above the glossy dark speckled granite counter top and opened a large cupboard, eyes partially narrowed due to the darkness of the early hours of the morning while scanning across the multiple different boxes of healthy granola bars. 

"Hey." 

Sasuke was in mid-reach of an oats and honey bar when the low voice spoke up out of nowhere. If he were a cat, the fur along his spine would've been spiked up and his tail poofed out, though he remained still for a long moment before finally turning around towards the source. Sasuke made out the figure who spooked him sitting at the bar area of the kitchen and distinguished it as Naruto in a heartbeat even if it was just a shadowy outline.

He reached for a light switch, flicking it on with a snap of his thumb and slowly regretted the decision when his eyes stung. Sasuke let his pupils adjust, snatching up the granola bar and walked over to the blond who was now furiously squinting from the sudden change of light. Sasuke frowned once seeing a glass partially filled with some dark orange-ish liquid on the surface near the mans hands.

"That better be apple juice." 

Naruto glanced down at the glass and a small smile tugged at his lips while he nodded slowly. "It is don't worry. Taste it for yourself if you don't believe me."

"Hn." Sasuke walked up next to him, leaning against the stool while arching a dark brow at the man. "Why are you awake so early?" 

"Couldn't sleep."

He did a thorough look-over of Naruto, lips thinned in observation. The other man was slouched, his broad shoulders sagging while he leaned forwards, supported by his elbows on the surface. His eyes were half opened, appearing tired yet there was a typhoon of emotions whirl-pooling around in those azure depths. Even though it was really early, Sasuke could still tell the man lacked his usual energetic and cheerful demeanor. 

"Homesick?" The words flowed out of his mouth before he could process it. 

Naruto turned his head to look at him, a small glimmer of surprise etching his features but it quickly faded into an almost remorseful expression.

"Sort of," The blond said, swirling around his drink in his glass. "I guess I feel more guilty than anything." 

"You don't need to take any blame for what happened, that-" 

"No, no. Not that." 

"Oh?" 

"It's just.. well. I mean I haven't made an effort to try and contact anybody from back home, not even Shikamaru. I guess I just got caught up being here, getting used to the new area and trying to forget what happened- well not forget but put it past me, but that's not going to happen. I know some of them are probably worried and wondering where I disappeared off to, and now that I have a phone it's easy to call and talk. Just.. I don't know what I would say to them or do, they did so much to help me and it still.. I- I don't know. Plus I don't want them to feel guilty and give me an entire speech on how they're sorry, it'll just make me more frustrated than before. I don't need to be swarmed by everyone's pity even if the intentions are good." 

Sasuke rubbed his chin briefly, fingers snaking over an imaginary beard as he thought. "Why don't we organize a trip where they can come and visit you here?" 

Naruto's bright eyes widened and he said his next words much louder than Sasuke's ears would've liked to deal with at 6-something in the morning. "What? I mean wow, that would be something, but you don't have to do that. Everyone misses their friends when they go away, it's no big deal. Plus with everyone's jobs and different schedules it would take so much planning and money."

"Hn, good point. Then I'm buying you a laptop." 

"What!" 

Sasuke sighed, squeezing the bridge of his nose with his thumb and pointer finger at the blond's exclamation. "You heard me. Later you're getting a new laptop. If you don't have everyone's numbers, it'll be easy for us to set you up with Skype and have Shikamaru get your other peers set up with it too. That way, you can physically see them through video call, they can know that you are safe and recovering from the incident as well as talk about anything without having to worry about traveling either. Plus, as good as it is meeting new people and venturing around the city to take your mind off things, talking to connections back in your hometown will help bring you much needed closure. Feel better?" 

Naruto was silent for a long moment while staring off into another dimension, but soon enough a small smile spread across his face. "Yeah. You're adorable." 

"What." Sasuke's eyes widened and his stomach clenched at the unexpected comment. 

The blond laughed, turning in his stool to face him while his smile extended into that signature grin, his pearly white teeth glowing in the light. "You put on this cool, rich-guy-with-no-worries act, but like I said before you're a big ol' softie who actually cares about things other than himself and likes cats." 

"I am not a softie, I care about a very small amount of things, and I certainly do not like cats." Sasuke crossed his arms, his cheeks and ears burning.

"Uh huh. So I was just imagining Kurama snuggled up on your lap while you read a book when I walked past your room a couple weeks ago too." 

"That can be explained. I simply did not feel like making an effort to get him to move." 

Naruto snickered and Sasuke glared at him. "Admit it, you're just full of love. Like a big ol' teddy bear that's not as hairy or chubby." 

"You're insane." 

The blond chuckled at the comment, shaking his head. His face alleviated into a more serious expression after the amusement died down. "Call me what you want, but I know a good person when I see one, trust me. Sasuke, even if it was simply for your job, you've helped me so much in the past month more than I can think anyone has ever done in my entire life. I'm not even sure where I'd be right now if it weren't for you, and I just wanted to say thanks again. For everything. Anyone is lucky and should be very grateful to call you their friend, I know I am." 

Sasuke gulped on air when the other finished talking, a weird emotion spreading through his chest that he couldn't particularly distinguish. Why did Naruto always evoke unknown feelings from him? Was it like this with everyone who encountered the blond? Or was he the only one experiencing this? The guy was just so... strange in so many ways. He found it very difficult holding that intense, vibrant blue gaze and Sasuke was quite good at maintaining eye contact.

"Thank you." He internally cursed at himself for not thinking of anything better to say than that.

"Mhm." Naruto smiled warmly, taking a sip of his drink. 

"Right." Sasuke cleared his throat, adjusting his tie that somehow begun to feel tighter around his neck. "I need to head out for work now. Don't forget, be ready by seven sharp."

"Sir yes sir." 





There was a slight yet unsettling nervousness working its way through Sasuke's core that only seemed to increase as time went by and 7:00 on the dot was drawing nearer. He couldn't understand why exactly he was feeling a bit anxious because there was literally nothing to be anxious about. He was simply going to go with Naruto to a nice restaurant to eat food and talk. 

That wasn't a date or anything.

Even if they were dressing nice that still didn't mean anything, the restaurant simply called for it. Sasuke took a glance at his Rolex, 6:56 PM. He had gotten home from work around five thirty, showered, got prepared and was now waiting at the main door for Naruto. What if the idiot took a nap? Or left? Or simply forgot? Sasuke would no doubt give him a piece of his mind, maybe even make him clean an entire floor of the house just for being stupi-

Speak of the devil.

Footsteps snapped Sasuke out of his contemplative state and he turned his attention towards the figure walking -more like stomping- down the double spiraled staircase. Naruto, properly dressed in the mandatory attire for tonight's destination, made his way over to Sasuke in a few brisk strides of his long legs. By his rather stiff-legged and militant gait along with the crease of his brows, it was completely obvious the man was not at all happy with dressing up. 

Though, Sasuke couldn't care less if the blond liked it or not, because he looked good. Damned good. Too good. It was almost aggravating, Naruto has so many personas yet they all fit his personality to a tee. A caring farmer with raggedy clothes and one hell of a tolerance for the smell of animal shit. A goofy drunk college student who wasn't able to hold his liquor good no matter how hard he declared. And now, he looked like someone who could simply waltz into Sasuke's work building without even getting carded by security.  

He was fitted in the same long sleeved chrome grey shirt and black tie purchased from the clothing store some days ago, along with darker pants and shoes to set the entire outfit off. Everything was perfect, aside from his frowned face and scrunched up nose in a display of disagreement to the nicer clothing. Sasuke didn't know why but to see the blond appear so professional almost turned him on. 

Well, not almost. 

It did. 

"Stop making that face." 

"You're right." Naruto almost sneered while adjusting his collar, which ultimately messed it up. "I look like you when you first walked onto my farm." 

Sasuke glared, feigning aggravation. "That had a valid explanation, you're only in a new change of clothes. What's your excuse?" 

"They're ugly and weird." 

"They're not ugly, they're formal." He countered, reaching his arms forward to fix the other mans dark grey collar. "You only think it's weird because all you've ever worn is hoodies, sweatpants, or overalls."

"Still weird." Naruto grumbled stubbornly.

"I don't even want to know what you wore to your past job interviews." 

"Interview, not plural." The blond corrected as if that was a good thing. "And it was a bar, I got hired on the spot in jeans and a button up, also because I'm attractive." 

"You're not wrong there." Sasuke mumbled under his breath, letting his hands fall from Naruto's neck now that his shirt was fixed.

"Huh?"

"Nothing. Shall we?" 

"Sir yes sir." 

"Stop calling me that. You're not Gen'ichi, and do I look like a Drill Sergeant to you?" 

"Is that a trick question?" 

Sasuke glared again, ignoring the other's mischievous chuckle as he began walking towards another set of stairs. He led Naruto down a level into the extensive parking garage which had multiple vehicles stationed around the cement area, well lit by bright lights surrounding. One side had many black SUV's and Escalade's of which his guards drove, another side was equipped with newer everyday cars that Sasuke normally drove to work, but they were going towards neither of those two. 

The duo continued walking to another section, passing by a neat line of various different motorcycles. That seemed to snatch the blond's attention, because Naruto's steps suddenly slowed down and his head whipped in the direction of the bikes. 

"You ride?" Naruto asked, his voice an octave higher in disbelief. 

"Yes, dumbass. You think I'd just buy them to walk down here every once in a while and look at them?" 

"Seems like something rich people would do to me." 

"I'm not like every other rich person on the block." 

"Riiiiight, you're Sasuke Uchiha, he who casually carry's around thirty four dollars to a fucking pet store." 

Sasuke punched one of Naruto's large arms, who in return gave a hearty laugh that echoed in the wide cement area. "We should go riding sometime." 

"You ride?" Now it was Sasuke's turn to ask the dumb question out loud without thinking.

"Mhmm." Naruto grinned. "Those motorbikes I use to fix up also needed a few test runs, let's say I may have gotten carried away a couple of times." 

"Hn. I don't know if I trust you with an eighteen thousand dollar Harley in an immensely populated area."

"Only one way to find out." The blond's grin widened from ear to ear, and Sasuke rolled his eyes. 

"Pass. Let's go." 

Naruto made a whining noise like a puppy who didn't receive a treat but nevertheless continued following. Sasuke couldn't stop the small smirk twitching at the corners of his lips when the other man gasped aloud once they reached yet another cluster of vehicles that happened to be sports cars. He finally stopped at one of his favorite cars, a custom blue chrome Maserati Quattroporte with diamond black exterior including matching forigato rims.

"We're driving in that?" Naruto said like they had just stopped in front of a private jet- which Sasuke did have. 

"Yes. Problem?" 

"No no, not at all." The blond trailed off, walking around towards the front of the car. Those prominent blues which were strikingly similar to the car's shiny hue flicked up towards Sasuke, excitement swirling around in their depths. "You ever race?" 

"Street racing? Really?" 

"What? Don't tell me you have all these ridiculously fast cars and bikes and never raced once in your life." 

"I'd prefer not to get arrested, or be paralyzed from the neck down thank you very much. Now get in." 

Naruto laughed, hopping in the passenger seat as instructed. Sasuke flicked open the sun visor, the keys falling down into his lap and he put it in the ignition. As soon as the car started, the powerful engine roared to life, rumbling throughout the entire vehicle and nosily echoing within the parking garage. He glanced over at Naruto who's big blue eyes glistened with mischief, and he buckled in his seat belt, fidgeting in excitement. 

Sasuke couldn't stop the devilish grin etching on his features when they drove out of the parking garage and onto the open street. He could've been a civil person and took the normal route to the restaurant, but where was the fun in that? They were a bit early, meaning Sasuke could take a few back-ways which were much less populated. He gripped the steering wheel tighter, casting a sideways glance at the blond from the corner of his eye before slamming on the gas pedal. 

The car sped forwards, causing the other man's body to be instantly pushed flush against the seat, his hands snatching onto whatever they could grab in that moment and his eyes became as big as saucers. Sasuke cackled at Naruto's reaction, expertly taking a sharp left turn into an alleyway to avoid people walking across an upcoming crosswalk. The sudden turning motion caused Naruto to sway, almost bashing his head against the tinted window. 

Bubbling amusement swarmed over Sasuke, and he shifted gears yet again, revving the engine and speeding the vehicle up even further, violating the speed laws though their current path left nobody to witness. A visible crowd of people ahead at the end of the ally where the street connected back to the main roads, and Naruto made some sort of stuttering noise, pointing towards the civilians. 

"Sa-sasuke?"

"Hn?"

"There's people."

"Mhmm."

"Sasuke. There's people. Sasuke! There's peopleeeeeeeeee!" 

Immediately, Sasuke pressed down on the breaks, causing the vehicle to skid on the pavement leaving black tire marks in their wake as it came to an abrupt stop a few meters away from the alleyways exit. A few people glanced in their direction, some moved, others didn't give it a blink and continued about their evening. That sort of thing happened on a weekly basis, some young reckless drivers even ended up hitting people unfortunately, luckily Sasuke was quite an exceptional driver and knew his limits. 

He put the car in park, letting out an over-exaggerated sigh and turned his head to peer at Naruto. The man was visibly shaking as he clutched the seat belt for dear life, one leg propped up on the leather surface which hid part of his face. It took Sasuke a lot of his composure not to laugh at the sight.

"Man," He fake yawned, reaching his arms forward in a stretch. "After all that I'm hungry. Good thing we're going to get food."

"You are a cruel person." 





When they arrived at the restaurant, Sasuke gave his car keys to the awaiting valet, a short man with greased back hair and a classy suit that matched the restaurants interior. They walked inside, greeted by a receptionist who Sasuke gave his last name to, already having seats reserved from the previous day. He was able to squeeze a spot in without much trouble because he was a regular customer, and for the obvious reasons.

"Right this way, gentleman." Their waiter said, a thick accent lacing his polite tone of voice as he led the duo over towards their table where they were seated. "My name is Nozomu and I will be serving you tonight. Any drinks to start you two off with?" 

"Mm. Domaine Ramonet Montrachete Grand Cru please." 

Naruto looked at him like he had just ordered a serving of live grenades. 

"We serve that by the bottle, is that alright sir?" 

"Yes." 

"Right way." Nozomu wrote the name down on a little notepad and walked off. 

"What?" Naruto whispered from across the small table, his brows creased in confusion. 

"It's a white wine. And you don't have to whisper, just don't talk loud." 

"This place looks expensive, I told you I don't know how to do the fancy thing." The blond nearly pouted and crossed his arms over his chest.

"It's not even five stars, would you stop complaining." 

"Yeah but I still-" 

"Your wine, sir." Nozomu returned with the bottle, rolling it expertly between his palms before popping the cap off with a cork screw and poured them both a serving, leaving the bottle in the middle on the table. "What can I start you two off with tonight? Or would you like some time to think?" 

"I'll have my usual, and he'll have this weeks special." 

"Of course Mr. Uchiha. Anything else?" 

"That'll be all for now." 

Nozomu gave a small bow and departed for a second time. Sasuke's eyes moved from the waiter over towards the blond who was looking rather dumbfounded. 

"Where's the fricken' menu?" Naruto said exasperated, his wide blue gaze flicking around the dimly lit area. "I'm so confused. What even-" 

"I wouldn't have ordered for you if I had the slightest doubt you wouldn't like it." 

"And what if I don't like it?"

"You will."

"You're super bossy, y'know that?" 

Sasuke smirked, reaching for his glass of wine and swirled the liquid around for a moment before taking a small sip. "Anyways," he paused, setting the glass back down on the table and neatly clasped his hands together. "Simple terms and conditions of your residence at the mansion." 

"Terms and conditions?" Naruto repeated, clearly lost. 

"Mhm. After the court date your case was technically classified as flunked, or failed in the company's eye and they likely expect it to be one of the few disregarded files somewhere in the bowls of our storage. However, since I refuse to let that happen, it means you're still around, and you're staying with me. So, I guess to put it simply, that's not something that's supposed to happen. As long as you're still in the mansion and continue to wander about the city, try to keep your profile to others.. low, or at least the part where you're receiving help from me because if my business's authorities were to somehow find out about that, I may perhaps be facing a bit of jail time." 

Naruto's eyes widened. "What?!" He said much louder than a quiet tone of voice. A couple people from nearby booths and tables glanced in their direction, and the blond shrank down in his chair, casting an apologetic look. "I mean.. what?" He whisper-yelled to Sasuke, face frowned up. "You're breaking the law to help me?"

"More or less." Sasuke hummed, taking another sip of his drink. 

"I- I don't.. I mean. Please, you don't have to risk getting into trouble just to help me. You've done so much already and you know I'm grateful. I'll find a job and get an apartment nearby-" 

"Not a chance." 

"But I-" 

"No but's. I told you before and I'll tell you a thousand times again, I'm not giving up. You're not going to exert yourself anymore from now on, you worked so hard these past years that some people wouldn't even do in a lifetime, and that is why I'm taking the burden off your shoulders. It's not only my job now, it's more important than work because I'm helping out a friend."

The mans long yellow eyelashes fluttered as he blinked rapidly a few times, his eyes sparkling wider than before. "Friend?"

Sasuke nodded slowly. 

"We're really friends?" 

"Yes, idiot." 

A grin broke out across Naruto's face, but it was soon replaced with a confused expression. "Why did you take me to a fancy restaurant to talk about this stuff?"

"Because I knew you'd start talking loudly and argue back and forth; here you're forced to remain silent and civil." 

"You sneaky bastard, wait until we get b-" 

"Gentleman." Nozomu addressed as he returned, two plates held on his hands and forearms.

The waiter set down their food in front of the two, asking if they needed anything else and left once Sasuke informed them they were good for now. He looked past his usual dish which consisted of white rice balls, lean and well seasoned meat with salad that of course had extra tomatoes over towards Naruto's side of the table. The blond man had a bowl in front of him, piping hot piled with noodles and other toppings neatly arranged on top of the simmering broth. 

"Woah. Is this-"

"Gourmet ramen." Sasuke hummed, smirking when the blond licked his lips. 

"See? You like it." 

"Oh be quiet, I haven't even tasted it yet." 

"Well, what're you waiting for? Just remember not to wolf your food down like it's the last meal you'll ever eat." 

Naruto shot him a glare, grabbing his chopsticks and snagged a small cluster of the noodles before giving it a sniff. Sasuke rolled his eyes as the other man took forever to finally put the food into his mouth, and when he did, Naruto made an awe-stricken face and gulped hard. 

"This is..much better than the instant noodles." 

"I told you so." 

The blond glared at him for a second time, but the expression was halfhearted since all his focus was on his bowl in front of his face. Sasuke could tell it was taking a lot of will-power from Naruto not to inhale the food like he normally did, and it was amusing watching him take normal bites and eat at an actual human beings pace, even if it was agonizing for the other. 

"Now." Sasuke began again, taking a bite of his rice ball. "Let's discuss curfew." 

"Curfew?" Naruto said in disbelief. "Sasuke, what the hell, I'm twenty five fucking years old."

"My mansion, my rules." 

"Dickhead." 

Chapter Text


 . . . 

Yawning, Naruto stretched his long limbs out to their full extent on the comfortable surface, rubbing his watering eyes with the back of his hand. He drowsily rose, his upper body leaning against the couches back while cracking his neck. Reaching over to the little nearby table, Naruto grabbed his water and gulped down the cool refreshing liquid, setting the now empty bottle back onto the surface and poked at his bandages.

A deep, content sigh was emitted from his nostrils, and he turned his head to focus his half-lidded gaze on the man sprawled out next to him. Itachi was laid on his stomach, the silky black sheets covering only some parts of his naked form; the contrast of his pale skin against the dark fabric was absolutely enthralling, he looked like a fucking royal God. Naruto's eyes moved towards the man's hair which was no longer fastened in the low pony tail it normally was.

Luxurious raven strands flowed gracefully down Itachi's sculpted back, some tresses falling along his shoulders and covering his face. Compelled, Naruto reached a hand forwards, taking a small chunk of the obsidian hair between his lengthy tan fingers, feeling the healthy locks weave smoothly in-between his digits. He settled comfortably against the sumptuous couch, content with simply allowing his fingers to stream through Itachi's dark head of hair for however long. 

Eventually, as expected, the man stirred from his petting, and Itachi's skull slowly lifted from the sheets as he turned his head adjacent to peer sluggishly at him. Naruto quickly moved his hand away, grinning shyly when Itachi's half lidded stygian gaze fixated on him with a languid, somewhat confused expression. 

"Oops, sorry." He said sheepishly as the other man brushed his dark bangs away from his forehead. 

Itachi only hummed in response, though there was a small quirk to his lips that the blond did not miss.

"That was fun." Naruto cheesed when the other man quirked an elegant dark brow at him. "I bet you're glad you didn't wait a month and two weeks now, huh?"

There was a low, reverbrant chuffing noise, Itachi's version of a chuckle as he turned and sat up. The man attentively glanced around the expensive couch area, probably looking for his hair tie that was nowhere to be found. Naruto couldn't blame him, as lovely his hair was, it probably got annoying after a while once it was let down considering the length. He almost felt bad for teasing his friend Neji all those years, that guy's hair was even longer than Itachi's, Naruto now knew why he always carried extra hair ties with him no matter how 'girly' it seemed.

"Agreed." Itachi hummed. "Though I can't say I wasn't nervous about you being or working for some money-crazed maniac seeking the perfect opportunity to sue me. I'd rather not check the little box that says 'registered sex offender' on every piece of paperwork given to me."

Naruto laughed out loud, bubbling over in amusement from the ridiculous -but not too far fetched- statement. "I would never do that. But I can't say I'm not money crazed." He added with a smirk, glancing over towards the stack of cash now scattered about the room.

The other man's phone rang from somewhere across the room, and Itachi let out a long sigh before peeling away the sheets covering his body and scooted to the edge of the couch, standing up. Naruto's attentive gaze wandered across every inch of his backside, watching the lengthy dark strands hair fall gracefully down the other man's chiseled back, eyeing his round pale butt that he found amusing for some reason. Probably because it was sort of girly and Itachi got mad at him when he tried -and succeeded- to give it a squeeze.

Itachi disappeared around the corner, reappearing in a pair of grey sweatpants along with his phone in one hand. "Yeah, still here." The man said, his dark eyes flicking over to Naruto briefly. "Can you confirm? Uh huh. Alright, we'll be there in thirty, send me the address." 

The blond tilted his head sideways curiously, looking at Itachi inquisitively as he hung up his phone, stuffing the item into one of his pockets and began tying up his hair. "That was one of my guys, they've found your friend Shikamaru."

"Oh." A slight trace of disappointment was heard in Naruto's voice. He knew what to expect; it's been nearly three days since he was with Itachi. After they had fucked two, three, maybe even four -however many times- there was a short period of which the two discussed Naruto's situation before dozing off. At the other man's request, he had given Itachi a detailed description of Shikamaru, along with as much information as he knew about the job interviews his friend was going to. Itachi informed him that his 'guys', whatever that meant, were quite skilled in tracking and they'd probably be able to find his friend with the facts provided.

Of course, Naruto didn't expect them to actually find Shikamaru, and he certainly didn't expect them to be so effectively quick with it. Tough, he should've known. Itachi was filthy rich, all of his 'workers' or whatever the hell he wanted to call them were probably some illegally hired secret agents that helped him with anything he pleased at a ridiculous fucking price.

He was actually enjoying himself far more than he would've originally guessed after getting lost in a foreign city. Naruto knew he probably should have been happy his friend was located after being separated from him, but he couldn't bring himself to be too happy about the situation. Being with Itachi the past couple of days made him temporarily put his life problems aside, he couldn't remember ever feeling this good aside from a few crazy High School parties and a couple of other times. 

It was all a real life fantasy, a fantasy of which he'd soon have to come back into reality. Though, that didn't mean he wouldn't try to make his stay a little bit longer and bask in the glory of no worries. 

"Are you sure it's him?" Naruto asked, his voice high-pitched with a smudge of hope. 

"You tell me." Itachi said, grabbing his phone and scrolling through a few things before putting the device in front of his face. Naruto leaned forwards while squinting at the slightly blurry picture, and even though the quality was somewhat bad, he'd recognize that spiky pony tail, tall figure, bored face and dark eyes anywhere. Sighing, Naruto leaned back against the couch in defeat. 

"How'd your guys even find him that quickly?" He asked, icy gaze moving from the phone screen up towards Itachi.

"They pin-pointed the locations of which you mentioned Shikamaru's job interviews were or might be and separated that into sections of the city of which hotels were since you guys were currently staying in one. After that, they searched around the same quadrant area which you first ended up at that Casino-pub, assuming you didn't walk further than a ten mile radius from your hotel that night. Put two-and-two together, and he was found." 

"Wow."

"Same thing the cops would have done. Only they would've taken you into custody and we wouldn't have gotten the chance to.." 

"Bond?" Naruto grinned. 

"Yeah." The corners of Itachi's lip twitched upwards. "Bond." 

Taking a moment to stretch, Naruto pulled the silk sheets off of his frame, hardly able to contain his devilish smirk as he felt that inky gaze intently watching his every move. He stood up from the comfortable couch, groaning while cracking his neck and other joints and stood before the other man casually despite his complete lack of clothing. 

"I guess I should get dressed now." He mumbled nonchalantly. "We have thirty minutes to get there, right?" 

"Uh huh." Itachi's eyes were everywhere but his own, and the man's tongue briefly wafted across his lower lip. "But by all means, take your time." 





They probably could've gone without the quickie, but who knows, he may never see Itachi again after all of this. Plus, Shikamaru waited three days, he could wait ten more fucking minutes. Naruto tried to appear as least suspicious as possible, but that was a bit difficult considering the fact that he was wearing Itachi's clothes along with carrying a black duffel bag full of cold hard cash.

Itachi drove him back to the hotel which Naruto immediately recognized once they pulled up to the front. He internally cursed at himself for not remembering it earlier, it had such an easy name. Like actually, it was called 'Crown Hotel' for Christ's sake, how'd he forget that? Shikamaru was standing outside of the front doors, and as soon as he stepped out of the passenger seat of the car his friend's dark eyes snapped to him and he all but ran across the lot.

"Naruto!" Shikamaru's voice raised above the city noises and the chatter of people nearby. 

"Hey." He grinned cheekily, waving at his best friend who looked less than pleased to see him.

"You're such a fucking moron." Shikamaru playfully punched him in the chest, and Naruto did his best to refrain from doubling over when pain struck his torso from the action. He couldn't let Shikamaru know he was hospitalized for almost 24 hours, the man would throw a fit. Naruto caught Itachi's slightly worried look out the corner of his eye, and he forced himself to chuckle despite how strained it sounded. 

Shikamaru however, was no idiot. In fact, he was the furthest thing from it. His friend arched a dark brow, looking him up and down. "You alright?" 

"Of course!" 

"Mmph. What's in the bag?"

"Uhm-" Naruto cleared his throat, his grip on the duffel bag's handles tightening. "Not important. Anyways how'd your job interviews go?" 

Shikamaru's eyes narrowed into two dark slits, and his gaze flicked between Naruto and Itachi a couple of times. Thankfully, he didn't speak what was obviously on his mind and answered the question with a shrug of his shoulders, stuffing his hands into his pockets. "Eh, they wen't fine. A couple of them wanted to hire me on the spot, but I refused." 

"What, why?" 

"Heh, I think I might actually just take a job back home, less work that way. I think the bar's hiring there too."

"You're so lazy." Naruto chuckled. "So basically this trip was a huge waste of time is what you're telling me."

"You could put it like that. Besides the interviews, I had a good time. Can't say the same for you though." 

"Oh I had fun." Naruto grinned again, the expression widening when Shikamaru looked confused. 

"Whatever. Anyways, we'll be heading out tonight so we gotta get all your shit packed." Shikamaru's eyes moved towards Itachi and he gave a small nod of his head at the taller man. "Thank you, Itachi was it? That's what the guy on the phone said. Naruto can be pretty dumb, and you wen't out of your way to help him so for that you have my gratitude."

"No problem. Best of luck with your future job and safe travels." 

"Thanks." Shikamaru turned and began towards the hotel doors, peering over his shoulder to look at Naruto who still stood in the same spot. "You coming?" 

"Yeah, I'll meet you inside in a sec!" 

The spiky haired man simply shrugged, continuing his walk towards the hotels entrance. After a couple moments, Naruto peered up at Itachi while awkwardly shifting his stance. "So, uhm. Thank you. Again. Er.. I had tons of fun, except for being impaled by glass. That part wasn't so fun." 

A crooked smirk made it's way to Itachi's features. "No, that doesn't sound too thrilling at all." 

Naruto chuckled, glancing down at his feet while chewing the inside of his cheek. "Will I ever see you again?"

"Maybe." There was a long pause before the man added. "Probably."

"I see." He mumbled while staring at his shoes harder, unable to decipher if those one worded responses were a good or bad thing.

"A month and two weeks, right?" Itachi asked out of the blue.

"Huh?" Naruto blinked a few times, snapping his eyes up to meet Itachi who in return widened his smirk into an almost toothy grin.  

"Your 18th birthday. A month and two weeks?" 

"Ye-yeah, why?" 

"Mm. You'll see."

"Ooh a surprise? Awesome! Wait-what? But I don't have a cell phone- how will you know where I'll be? Or what time? Or if I'm even in-"

"Don't worry about it, I'll find you."

"But h-" 

"October tenth, be ready, dress casual. Then again, its not as if clothing will matter."

A mischievous smirk spread across Naruto's tan features, and he stood up straighter than before while meeting that dark, intense stare. "I look forward to it." 

. . .

The End.

Chapter Text


Sasuke probably could've went through dinner without revealing the piece of information regarding Shikamaru and the break-in. Though, he really wanted to help the other man since he couldn't physically be there himself to assist. Even though Shikamaru told him Naruto most likely wouldn't know where he kept his important home paperwork, it was worth a shot to at the least ask.

Bad move on his part. Sasuke had stretched the truth about bringing Naruto in a relatively serene restaurant to discuss business because if the man so happened to get upset he'd maintain a composed appearance for the sake of avoiding necessary publicity. It would make talking about some particular things easier, since no yelling would be involved to avoid argument.

Though that wasn't the only reason, he simply liked the idea of eating a nice dinner in an appealing setting with the blond. Naruto didn't need to know that though. Unfortunately, Sasuke's strategy of keeping the other man calm when he brought up sensitive topics didn't quite go as planned. As soon as Naruto learned of his best friends 'assignment' back in his hometown, he went ape shit. 

The blond's voice easily raised over everyone else's in the quiet area, and Sasuke's attempts to calm him down only seemed to enrage Naruto more. Immediately, stares were earned as the people who once enjoyed their dinner in peace got to witness firsthand Naruto shout at Sasuke before loudly standing up and storming off, leaving the restaurant. Containing his frustration and embarrassment through years of practiced meditation, he was able to uphold a perfectly straight face while apologizing, paying for the food along with a hefty tip, getting his keys from the valet, and leaving as if nothing had happened.

Sasuke tried calling Naruto, but the man either had his new phone off, or left it back at the house because it went straight to the female computer voice that stated this caller had not yet setup voicemail. Sighing, Sasuke walked in the crowded lot, weaving through multiple expensive vehicles before finding his own. Sure enough, there Naruto was, leaning against the hood of the car with his arms crossed and a profound scowl on his face when he approached.

"There's no reason to be mad." He stated simply, unlocking the car with a click of his keys. 

"How can you say that?" Naruto snapped. "You put my best friend at risk." 

"Shikamaru is very intelligent, the risk is minimal." 

"You're talking like it's no big deal!"

"It's not."

"It's not? Really? What if he gets caught?"

"He won't."

"What if he does though? He'll be arrested! He'll be fucking put in jail Sasuke." 

"He won't get caught, and you have to look at the bigger picture, this is the first step in helping you." 

"Well then I don't want to be helped anymore if you're going to make my other friends suffer." 

"They're not-" 

"Who else?" Naruto interrupted, his bright blue eyes narrowing dangerously.

"Who else, what?"

"Who else, as in besides Shikamaru, who else have you contacted to help do your dirty work?" 

"Dirty work?" Sasuke repeated with a scoff. "You make it seem like I'm doing a bad thing here. Sure, parts of this shit are illegal, yeah, I'm not going to fucking sugar coat it. I'm looking at a lot of jail time if something happens to go wrong, but that's why it's taking all this time, all this planning, and more than just my own participation. You seem to keep forgetting that not only me, but other people are doing this for your sake, and you want to make it seem like I'm intentionally attempting to put your friends in danger for no reason at all."

Naruto's mouth opened, no words flowed however and his scrunched up features alleviated while he broke away from his gaze. The blond stared at the ground for a long time, a slightly regretful appearance making it's way onto his tan facade. "I.. I wasn't trying to make you the bad guy. It's just if something happened to you or the other people involved that are trying to help me, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself because they didn't have to do it, and neither do you, Sasuke. I told you before and I'll tell you again, don't feel like you're required to do this for work or because we're friends or anything." 

"I told you before and I'll tell you again. I'm not giving up, no matter what you say to me."

A warm smile curled at Naruto's lips, but the expression quickly vanished and was replaced by something similar to horror. "Oh fuck- oh my God I'm so sorry I just wasted all that good food and caused a scene back there.. Shit."

Sasuke squinted his eyes and fake-frowned, giving a false interpretation of an angry appearance. "Yeah, you did. Three weeks sleeping in the dungeon, and mop and sweep every level of the mansion when we get back."

The way Naruto's already large eyes widened even more made him almost snort, and what the blond said next Sasuke nearly lost it.

"Do you really have a dungeon?"

"No you fucking idiot." 

Naruto grinned, playfully punching his arm and both men laughed, Sasuke's cut short from the dull pain now shooting up his bicep.





When the two returned to the mansion, they both agreed to have dessert since their dinner had been cut short. Sasuke wasn't particularly fond of sweets, in fact he never ate candy, or cupcakes, or cookies, or anything of the sort, but a bit of strawberry flavored ice cream once in a blue moon couldn't hurt anyone. He had taken his in a small, leafy shaped glass bowl while Naruto made a large cone that looked like it would fall at any given second. 

Sasuke found his eyes constantly wandering towards the blond's tongue that aesthetically rolled along the frozen treat, lapping up the strawberry goodness. He stabbed his silver spoon in his ice cream a little harder than necessary when Naruto licked his lips, those unbelievably bright cerulean iris's lifting to meet his own ogling gaze. Sasuke cleared his throat, quickly thinking of something to fill the silent void.

"Since you're no longer mad, now would be a good time to let me know of where you keep your home documents so I can inform Shikamaru as soon as possible." 

Naruto rolled his eyes. "It's always business, business, and more business with you." 

"Don't answer that." The blond continued when Sasuke opened his mouth, about to retort. Naruto chuckled lightly, tongue swiping out to take another lap at his cone. "Like, really. We're friends now and I wouldn't be able to tell anyone shit about you besides the obvious yet you know everything from my social security number to how I sleep at night. Is that fair?" 

"Don't blame me, I needed all that information for work, that wasn't just me deciding to collect all intel regarding anything and everything there is to know about Naruto Uzumaki. If I had a choice, I-" 

"Wouldn't bother?" Naruto interrupted, arching a golden brow. 

"-Would get to know you myself and not through work." Sasuke finished, frowning slightly at the assumption.

"Oh. But still, since it's confirmed I'll be staying with you for a while, why don't you let me know more about you?" 

"Hn. What do you want to know?"

"I don't know." The blond's broad shoulders jerked upwards in a quick shrug. "What's your favorite color?" 

Sasuke breathed out a loud puff of air through his nostrils. "Honestly, are you twelve? Try asking an adult question." 

Naruto stuck his tongue out at him, and now it was Sasuke's turn to roll his eyes in response. 

"Fine. What's your type? I asked you three weeks ago and you still never gave me a proper answer." 

Gulping quickly, Sasuke shivered as a large lump of ice cream went down his throat slowly and he broke away from Naruto's intensely curious stare. "Why do you want to know so badly?" He countered, prodding at the strawberry flavored treat with his spoon.

"At first it was a simple question, but now I'm dying to know because you made it all exaggerated with the long wait. Hmm, come to think of it, you never gave any of those girls a second glance as we walked through the city, even the ridiculously hot ones jogging by in short-shorts and sports bras. You must have high standards." 

"I...That's not something you ask your financial adviser."

"Oh come on." Naruto groaned, leaning back in his seat exasperated. "You're so complicated."

"I like unique people." Sasuke stated bluntly after a quiet moment. To refrain from specifically saying 'guys', he gave a more broad approach. It wasn't a lie, he did like them unique. He also wasn't afraid or ashamed to admit his sexuality or anything, but he wasn't too sure how Naruto specifically would respond. Plus, it was fun watching the idiot suffer in the unknowing sometimes.

"Unique people, huh. So, like, foreign?" 

"Not necessarily." 

"What do you mean?" 

"Figure it out." 

Naruto pouted in defeat, and a crunching noise alerted Sasuke he was already at the cone part of his ice cream. Christ, he ate all of that already? When? He was only about halfway done with his bowl. "To answer your question from earlier, I'm guessing the home papers are somewhere in my room stuffed in one of the desk drawers. But it's pretty messy in there, they could be somewhere else."

"Ah, well that's better than nothing at all. I'll let Shikamaru know tomorrow." 

The other man simply hummed a reply, and Sasuke took another spoonful of his strawberry ice cream. The once frozen treat had been melting during their conversation and since he ate relatively slow, it turned most of it into a drippy light pink mess. Some of the liquid slid off the side of the spoon, landing on the inside thigh part of his expensive dress pants.

"Fuck." Sasuke growled while scooting his chair back away from the table. He was about to wipe the spill off but thought better of it, he didn't want his hand sticky. "Naruto, will you pass me a napkin?"

"Napkin? How dare you." Naruto said with a light scoff of disbelief, pushing himself to his feet. Sasuke frowned in confusion when the blond strolled in his direction before promptly dropping in front of him, large tan hands simultaneously slapping him on the kneecaps. Jumping from the sudden action, Sasuke's eyes widened when Naruto's skull declined and his lips parted.

Naruto's tongue moved past his mouth, sliding over the spilled ice cream located on the upper inside part of his thigh, narrowly missing his groin. Sasuke could feel the damp warmth of the slick muscle even through the fabric of his pants, and immediately there was a spark of arousal igniting in his stomach which caused his abdominal muscles to constrict at the touch.

"No ice cream is going to go to waste. Not while I'm here." The blond stated, lifting himself back up to his feet before wandering towards the fridge in search of more food, even though he just ate. Twice. 

"This is the biggest fucking refrigerator I have ever seen."

Sasuke hadn't moved an inch even after Naruto was no longer crouched before him. All he could think about is how that warm wet tongue would feel if his pants weren't in the way. Speaking of pants, his were beginning to feel a bit tighter. Sasuke quickly scooted his chair all the way in, hiding his lower body underneath the massive table while letting out a breath he didn't realize he was holding.

Okay, it was one thing to tease someone and goof around or whatever the case, but Sasuke was nearly positive a straight man wouldn't willingly lick another man's thigh, aside from a stupid dare or being intoxicated. He'd be damned if Naruto told him it was for the sole purpose of 'not wasting ice cream.'  Which ultimately led Sasuke to once again, ponder the blond's preference.

He obviously liked women, judging from their previous conversations and encounters, he yet didn't appear to peruse any. Shion seemed to be dropping some obvious hints, and he knew the woman was not at all ugly, so what was it then? Confusion? Well, the moron was quite oblivious, maybe he wouldn't know anything after all. Sasuke had half a mind to ask, but he didn't want to be so blunt with it. 

"You never informed me of your type." He said nonchalantly, twirling his spoon in the now completely melted ice cream.

"Oh?" Naruto half turned from the fridge, an amused look on his tan features. "I like them.. different." 

Sasuke scoffed. 

"What? Now you know how it feels to be given such a vague response." The blond chuckled, shutting the wide fridge doors with his body and sauntered back over to the table, sitting down empty handed.

"Hn." He deserved that. Taste of his own medicine volume two.

"But, I'm not like you, and I don't have a problem sharing." Naruto continued, slouching back in his chair. Sasuke would've commented on how he was wrinkling his nice clothes though he was too curious to change the subject at the moment and leaned forward slightly to show he was listening. 

"For girls I guess I like the whole cute face with big eyes look and sweet personality, height or body type doesn't really matter. For guys, I'm super picky. I'd say taller, muscled but not too buff or bulky, but also not too skinny. Kind of mysterious yet not too distant. Nice hair or dark eyes on both really gets me, though."

The corner of Sasuke's lip briefly twitched, so Naruto wasn't completely straight after all. The new information on learning of the blond's bisexuality had made him satisfied, even though he knew he shouldn't be. It was completely against the rules to have any sort of relationship with a client aside from business, unless the bond was there beforehand. 

Still, Sasuke couldn't stop the inquisitiveness coiling his every nerve. So, he was picky with men huh. That made his chances at an all time low, yet Naruto mentioned he was a sucker for dark eyes. He had dark eyes, so did that mean- wait. Fucking hell, he was acting like some giddy schoolgirl. 

"I see." He hummed casually, letting go of his silver spoon and standing up while walking over to one of the many sinks. Sasuke ran warm water, setting his bowl of ice cream there and letting it rinse down the drain. 

A shrill gasp made him pause, and he glanced over his shoulder to see Naruto staring at him in horror. "You monster, how could you?"
 
"What-"

"Wasting all that ice cream like that!"

"Really. The fucking ice cr- Naruto it was melted."

"Ice cream is ice cream, no matter what form." The blond said while wiping a fake tear from the corner of his eye.

"You're so dramatic."

"I'm not the one who flips out over being a bit late after exploring the city." 

"Three hours is a bit? And that had a valid explanation. The population here is immense, you could've easily gotten into trouble. But instead you strip naked for a complete stranger and allow him to paint you."

"Still salty you didn't see the painting yourself?"

"No." 

"Mhmm." Naruto hummed, rising to his feet. "Like I said before, the real thing is better anyway." The blond then began promptly unfastening the buttons of his dress top.

"Don't tell me you're going to get naked in the kitchen right here right now."

"Actually, I was just getting ready to go upstairs." Naruto cackled. "But, if you want me to I wouldn't decline."

"And why would I want you to do that?"

"Who wouldn't?"

When Sasuke snorted, the blond broke out in a hearty laugh again. "Kidding, kidding. I'm gonna go shower, sorry about the whole restaurant thing again."

"Mph. It's fine, at least you didn't throw your food at me."

"Was thinkin' bout it." Naruto snickered while moving towards the end of the kitchen, pausing at the arched doorway and looking behind him. "Oh, and Sasuke." 

"Hm?"

"If you ever happen to spill anymore ice cream on yourself, just give me a call."

Warmth quickly slammed Sasuke in the face like he had just opened a pre-heated oven. 

Naruto smiled devilishly, disappearing around the corner before his voice was heard once more.

"Regardless of the area."

Chapter Text


The following week flew by for Sasuke, leaving him with minimal sleep and thus sabotaging his relatively good mood. With balancing his desktop work, papers, phone calls, email spam, and unnecessarily long meetings, he became more or less a walking zombie. Every day it was get up early, go to work, do bullshit, come home and do even more bullshit aside from Naruto's case, which ultimately deprived him of his free time by a depressing amount.

Any breaks he did happen to take, he was sure to spend them all with Naruto. Although Sasuke couldn't spare more than a couple hours at a time with the blond as he was getting caught up on everything back at the office, it still seemed to satisfy Naruto as he always greeted him with the same level of enthusiastic excitement. Not to mention whining like a child leaving a toy store every time Sasuke had to return back to work.

Their little sessions consisted of lunch somewhere, the occasional walk, sitting at a coffee shop, or simply some evening relaxation at the mansion by the fireplace in the reading room. That happened to be Sasuke's favorite. Not just because it was getting colder outside as winter neared, and a nice cup of hot chocolate by a fire was practically heaven on Earth, but simply being in such a serene setting tranquil enough to calm even the hyperactive Naruto into a mellow state always seemed to bring forth a smile on Sasuke's face.

Seven days didn't seem like much bonding time, but Naruto's constantly blabbing mouth and general openness made the week seem like they knew each other for months instead. As distant and unsociable as Sasuke could be, he found it pleasant genuinely getting to know the other man and not base his entire character off of some paperwork and a tragic incident. From that alone, most people would label Naruto as simply an annoying stubborn idiot with anger issues and an inhuman apatite. 

Actually, that was still true.

However Sasuke saw more than that. He already had before, but their increasing time together was making that even clearer now. Of course, there were still many mysteries to the man of which he had yet to uncover, but that was just another thing that made the blond so compelling, so different than everyday individuals which he came into contact with. It was what kept him so focused, so attentive while scrutinizing every detail on Naruto he could like a hawk examining it's prey, but in a less threatening manner.

One of those mysteries which still brewed in the back of Sasuke's head was the blond's previous prison sentence. He had never dared bring it up in any conversation, lest Naruto's cheerful mood suddenly changed. But it was always on the tip of his tongue, he just couldn't figure out how to properly word it. Asking Shikamaru -who would probably avoid the subject altogether- just seemed beyond nosy and a complete invasion of privacy.

At this point, Sasuke was practically dying to know. Though, he couldn't allow himself to become too distracted by anything if he ever wanted the man to see his home again. In fact, after he had finished the majority of his daytime office tasks, Sasuke stayed behind and once again got to working on making that dream become reality. He made a promise, and intended to keep it so long as he still functioned.

As difficult and frustrating as it was, the past week of overtime and sleepless nights had actually led to some progression at a slow, but steady pace. Sasuke was pretty sure he had consumed enough coffee to stop someone's heart, but that didn't matter. Not when he was finally breaking past that near impenetrable barrier of obstacles which was preventing him from helping the blond. He could endure many more weeks if need be, the suffering on his part was absolutely nothing compared to what Naruto withstood the previous month.

Shikamaru had prevailed in retrieving the old home documents per his request. Sasuke expected nothing less, the man truly was a strategic mastermind and it was a blessing he wasn't a criminal, for the feds would have one hell of a tough time catching him. The intricate plan which he had explained left even Sasuke baffled at every minor detail he took into consideration, and he had to remind himself that this man was working for a bar when he should've been assisting the CIA in drug busts.

As much as Sasuke didn't want to believe it was all for nothing, going over all the crumpled, torn, coffee stained and faded pages of Naruto's documents was a little more than disappointing. Attempting to read or retrieve information from them was next to impossible, but it was just another milestone he would have to climb. Luckily, Sasuke wouldn't have to, because his good friend Suigetsu was now assisting him during the week, and aside from his constant complaining of staying overtime without extra pay on a case he suggested to abandon, he was truly a helpful asset.

Suigetsu was excellent at retrieving long lost, yet important pieces of paperwork and getting down to the nitty-gritty of things which others didn't like, or didn't bother to do. He swept up and collected a lot of bullshit of which the company dropped and couldn't care less to bat an eyelash at. Honestly, the man could tell you the Dog's name who belonged to the 4th owner of a hundred and fifteen year old building without a problem, as trivial as that would be. He always found an answer to the 'I don't know's' and the 'Uh, oh I think I threw those away's.'

After letting his friend review Naruto's file and gather the needed intel, he had put his skills to use and retrieved fresh copies of the destroyed papers. After skimming the first couple pages, Sasuke learned the farm of which Naruto stayed was around seventy years old, and there was only one known previous owner that was documented before him, the one that in fact had the place built. Jiraiya. That was all that was displayed. No middle name, no last name, no spouse, no offspring, no relatives, no peers, no new address, no additional content.

Just, Jiraiya.

Well then. Who was Jiraiya?

Not only that, but according to the home statement documents, Naruto's lease agreement with his signature dated back precisely twelve years ago. Which, didn't make any logical sense. That would mean, Naruto would've had to have been thirteen or fourteen years of age when going into contract. As far as Sasuke knew, children, or anyone under the age of eighteen for that matter weren't able to have their own fucking place, let alone an entire farm with lots of creatures to care for.

So, that left another unanswered question. 

What the fuck? 

Frowning, Sasuke continued flipping through the pages while searching for spelling errors, something, anything to make sense of this. Perhaps Naruto's father was also named Naruto Uzumaki, and things just got mixed up, but from what he remembered the man was an orphan. So, how did an orphan gain ownership of a farm while barely old enough to finish middle school? Something wasn't adding up, and he was going to get to the bottom of it. Eventually.

Detaching his attention from the home papers to give his brain a break, Sasuke turned towards one of his many computer monitors and put his hands over his face. Sasuke groaned aloud, dragging his palms down his cheeks before slapping them on top of his desk. A slurping noise made him half turn, and he arched an eyebrow over at Suigetsu who stood in the doorway, sipping water through a curvy straw. 

"Confusing?" The man asked, strolling over to his desk and sitting on the edge. 

"Very." Sasuke sighed. 

"Yeah, this is a whacky one I'll tell you that. It wasn't easy finding those. Honestly Sasuke, I still don't know why you're bothering. You could be at home sleeping, snuggled up in nice comfy blankets with-" 

"Shut up. Did you get what I asked you?" 

"Yeah, yeah." Suigetsu reached in his back and dropped a folder between Sasuke's forearms. "It's a little brutal, but apparently this is a normal thing." 

Sasuke held his breath while taking the folder and opening it. He had requested to receive all data regarding the status of Naruto's animals, and after a long week of waiting the files had finally come through. Each one contained the animal, location, new owner, and a photo for proof of living. Sasuke's heart pounded when his eyes scanned the first page and the words 'black stallion' were displayed on the front. Quickly flipping the papers, a wave of relief flooded over him when he saw printed picture of Yamiyo, alive and well.

Four of the five horses had been bought by the same man who purchased Yamiyo's foal, and he began writing down the names and addresses of these people in a notebook. Sasuke continued flipping through the folder, cringing at some pictures of bloodied herds of sheep or cattle with some visible wounds that were left unattended to. He was pleased to see Hinata's contact information name regarding Naruto's three dogs, including the runt puppy that Neji and Kiba didn't take into the armed forces. 

Aside from thirty-seven sheep, fifteen cows, eighteen chickens, two mules, four ducks, one horse, and a few others that unfortunately were killed off for food or euthanized, the remaining animals had all thankfully been relocated to either sanctuaries or bought by new owners. A twinge of apprehension formed in Sasuke's gut when he thought exactly how he was going to break the news to Naruto, but he knew at the least the blond would be somewhat pleased to know of Yamiyo and his other favorite's survival.

"Suigetsu." 

"Mmm?" 

"Please make a copy of all these people's name's, addresses, and numbers. Tomorrow I want you to contact all of them and buy back all of these living animals but make an agreement to have them stay on their property until further notice. If they refuse, double the price. If they refuse again, triple it. If they still cause problems after that, have them contact me personally." 

"Triple the price? Jesus, Sasuke. Are you mad? What's the point in d-" 

"You heard me loud and clear." 

Pursing his lips, Suigetsu made a funny noise but then shrugged, taking the notebook of contacts and sliding off the table. "You're a real piece of work, y'know that?" 

"I expect to have those in the next twenty four to forty eight hours." 

"Do I get a raise?" 

"I'll think about it." 

"You're a terrible boss." 




"Welcome home Mr. Uchiha, tea?" 

Sasuke refrained from collapsing on the nearest comfortable surface once entering the mansion. His body felt weighed down, even though his leather work bag only contained papers, folders, and his laptop. Despite the bright lights of the chandelier's that greeted him, his eyes were heavy, and it took maximum effort to open his lids back up again after blinking. He nodded slowly at his trusty butler who like always, politely took his jacket and shoes.

"Yes, Gen'ichi. Thank you, I'll be in Naruto's room." 

"Of course, sir." 

The two flights of stairs it took to get to Naruto's room felt like a hiking expedition, and Sasuke groaned aloud once reaching the top step. It was in that moment he remembered this was indeed a mansion, and there was a god damn elevator. Sasuke lifted his left forearm, glancing down at the shiny black Rolex fixed on his wrist. It was a little bit past one in the morning. 

He had half a mind to turn back and simply go to his own room and sleep, bothering the man this early would be quite rude. Then again, he was going to inquire important things, not some random chit-chat. A quick glance underneath the door would bring his attention to the light seeping past the narrow crack, indicating Naruto was still awake or had fallen asleep with the light on. Whatever the case, he was already here, it was worth a shot.

Sasuke knocked on the large door, regretting not changing beforehand because he was now very uncomfortable in his work clothing and longed to relax in pajamas. A few moments later, the handle shifted and the door opened presenting that familiar tan face which shifted into a mildly surprised expression. 

"Hey Sasuke! What're you doing here so late? Jeez, did you just get back?"

"Yeah." He said while sighing. "May I come in?"

"Now?" Naruto asked stupidly, his eyes like two oceans, wide and curious.

"Yes, now."

Snorting, the blond stepped to the side, allowing him entrance. His eyes, although tired, inquisitively peered around the area. This was the third time he had ever been in Naruto's room since he moved in, and Sasuke could hardly believe what he was seeing. Did his vision deceive him, or was this room actually clean? He did a double-take, glancing over at the other man who in return, arched a golden brow at him.

As if reading his mind, Naruto let out a small chuckle. "Oh yeah, I did some tidying up. My messiness looked kinda funny in such a nice place, so I felt bad and cleaned."

"Hn." Sasuke mumbled, crouching to run his fingers across the soft fur of Kurama's back who had trotted up to him in the past five seconds and wrapped his fluffy body around his ankles.

"So, what did you want?" Naruto asked from across the room.

Sasuke looked up to see the man had sauntered over to the enormous bed and now lay sprawled out comfortably, legs wide and arms resting on the many pillows on either side of him while his striking blue gaze glued to his own inky one. If he hadn't been shit tired right now, the sight would've probably been quite arousing. Sasuke was too exhausted to even appreciate the blond's shirtless form. Sighing through his nose, Sasuke walked over to the bed, not bothering to pick up his feet and flopped down less than gracefully on the mattress.

"Paperwork discussion." He stated simply. 

Naruto's eyes rolled, and he let out a small scoff. "Really, you're doing this now? Why can't it wait until tomorrow? You really look like you could use some rest." 

"Because I need to go over it tomorrow with Suigetsu and I won't be able to do that if we don't do it now." Sasuke snapped, unable to stop his voice from raising slightly. 

"Okay, okay, jeez Mr. grouch." 

"Your tea, sir." Gen'ichi's voice spoke up as the older of the two appeared in the doorway.

Sasuke beckoned him over with a small hand gesture, and his butler handed him the fresh cup of tea carefully on a little plate. "Thank you." He said quietly, blowing and taking a small sip of the hot liquid that slightly burned his tongue.

"You're welcome sir. Anything else I can do for you? Would Mr. Uzumaki like anything as well?" 

"I'm alright, thanks." Naruto replied, and Sasuke shook his head dismissively. 

"If there's anything either of you need, I'll be happy to assist."

With that, the butler politely bowed before taking his leave. Sasuke took another quick sip of the tea and set it on the night stand next to the large bed, turning back to face the blond. "Anyways, as I was saying, we need to do this now. No more delaying things."

"Fine." Naruto let out an exaggerated huff. "I'm listening."

"Good." Sasuke sat up a little straighter, his eyes moving to meet Naruto's. He suddenly found it difficult to properly form sentences. How was he going to tell the man over a third of his animals were dead? On top of that, he was going to need to bluntly question him regarding his past, which most orphans didn't seem to keen on talking about. Sure, they had become closer over the course of a few weeks, but that didn't mean he could freely invade the man's personal life so he pleased, even if it was for business purposes.

"Well?" Naruto asked loudly.

"As I was reviewing the home documents, I noticed there were things that weren't making sense. Things only you could know." 

"Oh? Like what?" 

"Well for instance, the first signature dates back twelve years ago..." 

"Uh huh." 

"Naruto you're twenty five." 

"I know that." 

Sasuke rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Naruto, just think. Twenty five, take away twelve, that's thirteen. You were thirteen years old when officially signing the home claim. Preteens, last time I checked, cannot own their own home. You want to tell me why and how that happened? Or if this whole thing is just a misunderstanding and my sleep deprived eyes misread."

The blond's features went from confused to scrunched up in a fraction of a second, and a swarm of emotions lingered in those wondrous azure depths. "Oh.. yeah. I remember that."

Sasuke's eyebrows raise expectantly, and a lingering silence elapsed between the two. He studied the mans face unblinking, sleepiness temporarily disregarded for all his attention was now fixated on Naruto's response. Sasuke scooted a tad closer on the bed, leaning forwards and propping his upper body up on pillows.

"Erm. I lived in an uh, orphanage all through my childhood until I moved into the farm late thirteen." The blond said quietly, his voice low. 

"How?" He pressed, trying not to show impatience. 

"To make a long story short, it was their way of getting rid of me." 

"What do you mean?" 

"I wasn't the best kid." The man chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck while turning his gaze to peer out the open window. "In fact, I was the worst. I started trouble every single day just to.. get noticed. Everyone hated me. Especially Kazue." Naruto's voice turned bitter, and there was a slight crinkle of his nose when he practically spat the name. 

"Kazue. Who's that?" Sasuke knew he was asking a lot of questions, but he didn't want to miss any critical details. Plus, he was curious. 

"She was the orphanage's owner, the one and only. She worked her ass off to take care of all the kids, everyone loved her. I thought she was fake, I despised her, and vise versa. The kids all called her Momma Kaz, but I wouldn't dare call her that. She was the furthest fucking thing from a mom. A sick, twisted witch with a passion for making me suffer."

"I know some caretakers are shitty, but damn. She couldn't have been that bad. I mean come on, it's not like she beat you or anything." Sasuke chuckled. 

His chuckles soon died out into awkward chuffs when Naruto looked away, his jaw tightly clenched as known by the visible indentation on the side of his cheek. "Naruto?" He called out quietly. Wait a second, why did the blond react like that? It couldn't have been true. Did Kazue actually beat him as a child? Sasuke's eyes instantly darted towards the mans bare skin, scanning across the multiple scars that veiled his tan flesh. A rock was suddenly dropped in his gut, and Sasuke dragged his gaze back up to the other's face. 

"Naruto." He repeated, more firmly than before. "Is that where all those marks on your chest and stomach came from?" 

"No. That was glass." The blond stated, his voice flat. Naruto soon shifted on the plush mattress, moving to stand on his knees while he turned his back towards him. "These, are from Kazue."

Sasuke stared at the tawny, muscular back displayed before him with a frown. The discoloration was slightly lighter, hardly noticeable at a distance but within close proximity there were clear gashes in numerous amounts littered across the surface. He immediately distinguished them as whip marks. Almost on command, his hand involuntarily reached forwards, fingertips running across the lightly bumpy surface of the healed lacerations.

Naruto instantly tensed, turning away and returning to his sprawled position on the bed, only he looked less comfortable than before. Sasuke slowly brought his hand back into his own personal space and another silence filled the room. A small twinge of anger passed over him, and even though he didn't personally know this Kazue woman, in that moment he wanted nothing more than to give her a well deserved punch between the eyes.
 
"That continued for years, which is why some marks are still there despite receiving them as a child. My back got longer obviously as I grew, and some scars stretched out and vanished, but these are the remains." 

"I'm sorry you went through that." Sasuke mumbled out, hating how cheesy that comfort line sounded. 

"It's fine. It was a long time ago, that's all over." 

"No, it's not fine. Naruto this woman permanently scarred you, not only physically but I'm sure there's still mental hostility too." 

"Well what's dwelling on the past going to get me? Nothing." 

"That's not true. But this isn't the time to argue, how did you come into possession of the entire farm?" 

The man sighed, leaning further back into the multiple pillows as his eyes drifted off towards the ceiling, seemingly zoning out. "Kinda like how the kindergarten got to take trips to the farm, we went there a couple times as well. It was owned by old man Jiraiya at the time, and he had a few more animals than I did, including a toad farm which eventually died out." 

"You know Jiraiya?"

"Yeah.." Naruto's voice trailed off.

"That's great, the home papers have literally no information on this guy. Where is he now? Are you still in contact?" 

"He's dead." 

Sasuke slouched down at the words. "Oh." 

"Mhm. The guy was really great, he taught me everything I know now on how to care for, appreciate, and respect animals. He was the closest thing to a father I ever had. As for farm, like I was saying, we used to take those trips. That's how I met Jiraiya, and we clicked. It first started out as me staying later, him showing me his favorite animals, or teaching me how to do things the other kids didn't get to do at the visit. Then I began going there alone, learning more, getting a better understanding of his way of life. I was so captivated, I wanted my own farm when I got older. Kazue took notice of that, and started arranging for me to go there every week, even stay the night. Anything she could do to get rid of me, she did. And it worked. I was beginning to see the orphanage less and less. Of course, Jiraiya didn't have a problem. He was a bit of a pervert, heh, and as bitchy as she was, Kazue was attractive, so he went along with everything. After that continued for a few months, old man Jiraiya got sick.. and before he died Kazue came over and we all discussed what would happen to the farm, one thing led to another, and I was signing papers, putting the farm in my name. I wasn't supposed to gain custody of anything until I was eighteen and remain at the orphanage until then, but Kazue insisted I remain at the farm to care for all the animals unless they were to get sold. So, I stayed at the farm alone, visited by the orphanage every week just so it seemed like I wasn't abandoned. Then those visits became biweekly, then monthly, then once every few months before stopping altogether, then I was left alone. Well, not alone, because I had all the animals. All my friends. That's how I got possession of the farm." 

"That answers many questions I previously had. Thank you for this, it can't be easy going back to the past to describe those times." Sasuke commented, writing down details on his little notebook. "So, where did all the debt accumulate from?" 

"Jiraiya's farm was already in a bunch of debt. He kept taking out loans to redesign the whole place to make it more comfortable and suitable for the animals along with writing books. Neither of the two got completed since he died, but all of that along with the fact he wasn't very wealthy to begin with were factors of the debt that began. He was old, so add his years plus the ones where I too began taking out loans, they both added up to that ridiculous amount of which we're currently stuck trying to find a solution to."

Sasuke stopped writing, his pen falling slack in his hand. "Hang on. Not only did you sign home agreements underage, got unofficially abandoned, and abused, but the very same home was already falling underneath debt and you took that upon yourself at thirteen years of age?" 

"Yeah, pretty much." The blond shrugged a large shoulder. 

"Naruto." 

"What?" 

"Do you know how illegal all of this is?" 

"I mean I guess now that I think about it, it was weird. But I was a kid, I didn't know any better." 

"To think, you had the answer all along. You could've told me this earlier- nevermind. Anyway, that's precisely why this might help solve your entire case." 

"Wait, what? How?" 

"We're going to sue the orphanage, on more than one charge." 

"Woah. Are you serious? This was years ago, can that still work?" 

"It's a strong possibility, but it's our best hope yet. We're going to need a lawyer." 

"Oh man. Don't look at me, I have no clue how to go about that." 

"No need, I already have one in mind, but I'm going to need to pull lots of strings to make it work out." 

"Who is it?" 

"Kakashi Hatake." 

Chapter Text


A vague prickly feeling tore Sasuke away from his much-needed slumber. He drowsily cracked open his eyes, greeted with immense blurriness in the form of dark shapes and colors that were molded together in one big blob. His brows creased into a frown once the brambly sensation grazed his forehead for a second time, and once his vision readjusted all he could see were defined, tan collarbones inches away from his face. 

Startled, he blinked a few times in confusion. Sasuke's mind had yet to catch up to its awakened state, and finally after a few long moments of deadpanning he registered it as the upper part of Naruto's chest. Wait.. that meant Naruto was laying next to him. In a bed. In the same bed from yesterday. Shit. After they chatted for a while longer when the relatively emotional conversation ended, Sasuke must've accidentally dozed off while still in the blond's room and remained asleep the entire night.

Sasuke almost scoffed when lifting his gaze up; the side of Naruto's face rested against his own skull, and that scratchy feeling was distinguished as the man's thin stubble rubbing against his skin. It took him couple of minutes to notice how warm it was, despite not being underneath any blankets. Naruto's body literally radiated heat, Sasuke could feel it from a distance so it was no wonder he was borderline sweating with such a close proximity. Somehow their legs had become a tangled mess, and one of the blond's long arms draped carelessly around his side. For what seemed like the thousandth time in the past month, Sasuke had yet again become the other's human body pillow. 

It wasn't until Sasuke tried to move one of his legs which had gone almost completely numb that he realized he was hard. Painfully hard. Unfortunately, since he fell asleep in his work suit, his dress pants were not at all kind to his current predicament. His movement caused Naruto to lightly stir, which ultimately led to the blond's lower body to shift against his groin. Sasuke clamped down on his molars rather roughly, ignoring the stir of arousal. Of course the one day he wakes up with a nearly unbearable morning wood happened to be the day that he fell asleep in Naruto's bed.

Lifting his forearm which was somewhat pinned against the mattress from blond's body, he only needed a quick peep at his wristwatch to know he was late as fuck. 8:29 AM. God damn it, he had a meeting which he needed to be present and it started at 9:15. Sasuke snatched up Naruto's arm which fell uselessly over his side, pushing it back into the man's own personal space while almost frantically kicking his legs away, de-tangling himself from the pile of muscle and drool which happened to sleep like a corpse. 

Naruto only stirred a little bit, the occasional twitch or mumble but never fully awakening. Once freed from the other's clutches, Sasuke let out a quick puff of air. He debated grabbing his shit and heading out the door now, but showing up to a meeting not only late, but in the same clothes from yesterday which were wrinkled and sweaty, that would be highly unprofessional. 

He then remembered the extra pair of clothes he always carried neatly folded in the bottom of his leather bag after the coffee incident and quickly scrambled off the side of the bed to snatch the item up. Rummaging past his laptop, many folders and papers, Sasuke felt the fabric still safely tucked away and grabbed it, sighing with relief. A meow caused him to glance up and peer at Kurama who was perched on top of his cat tree Naruto bought him from the pet store, fluffy tail curled neatly around his paws as he stared at him.

"Oh shut up. You have it easy." Sasuke grumbled under his breath, deciding a shower here would save time. He made his way over to Naruto's bathroom and closed the door softly behind him. 

Flicking on the light, he nearly cringed at the sight of his terrible bed hair in the mirror which stuck up in multiple directions. Sasuke swiftly unbuttoned his shirt, undoing his tie and slipping both the items off and threw them on the floor. Neatness could be put aside for now, he was in a rush. His pants -which were still uncomfortably tight- took a bit longer to get off, and he glared down at his crotch through narrowed eyes. 

"Now's not the time." Sasuke hissed through gritted teeth, kicking away his slacks and peeling off his socks. 

Grabbing a clean wash cloth from the spares in a nearby closet, he hopped into the shower and began washing as fast as his hands would allow. Sasuke paused mid-scrub, taking in a deep inhale through his nose. Naruto's soap smelled really good, rather fruity actually- like oranges. Perhaps tangerine? Some type of citrus, that was for sure. Was it very manly? No, but it made Sasuke chuckle underneath his breath. 

After washing his hair and rinsing off, he grabbed one of the many fluffy orange towels folded on a rack and began drying. Sasuke realized that in his rush he dropped some pieces of his spare clothing out in the other room and cursed under his breath. Wrapping the fabric around his hips and holding it with one hand, he scurried out of the room and shivered once the cold air hit him, goosebumps arising on his skin.

Sasuke's eyes moved towards the floor where in a line he saw one of his missing socks, his undershirt, and his boxers. Crouching to snag them up with his free hand and tuck them underneath his arm, he did a final check in the bottom of his leather bag to assure he got everything before preparing to go back into the bathroom to get dressed. He turned around, eyes still locked on the ground to check for dropped items until he was stopped in his tracks by a voice.

"You're still here?" 

Not expecting the blond to wake up so fast, Sasuke was genuinely startled when the other spoke up out of nowhere. His heart skipped a beat in his chest from the small fright, and he accidentally opened his hands in a small flinch which led to him dropping all of his clothes at his feet. Including the towel. Sasuke's eyes snapped upward to meet those wondrous azure iris's which widened, briefly flicking down then back up again.

Redder than a tomato, Sasuke instantly reached down and snatched up the towel, covering his lower regions and tried to hide his embarrassment through anger. "Yes." He snapped, frowning despite his flustered features. "If someone would've woken me up, I could've been gone by now and not late for work."

Naruto completely disregarded his rage, lengthy yellow lashes fluttering as he blinked a few times. Sasuke even swore there was the beginnings of a smirk upturning on his lips, and he felt his face practically burning while captured in that brilliant blue stare. 

"I fell asleep too, you can't put all the blame on me."

"Whatever." He grasped the knot on the towel tightly while crouching down, grabbing his dropped clothes and pushed past the blond, going back into the bathroom and shutting the door.

Sasuke released a breath he didn't realize he was holding. Naruto had just seen him completely naked. Shaking his head, he dismissed the thought and began getting dressed as quickly as possible without wrinkling his fresh pair of clothes. Afterwards, he skedaddled out of the bathroom, grabbing his leather bag and stuffing every folder or paper back inside messily. He'd organize it later, it didn't matter. Taking his phone from a little pocket on the inside, he bit back a groan of annoyance once catching a glimpse of the many text messages displayed on the lock screen. All of them were from Suigetsu. 

:: -Hey, I got you coffee and banana bread. ::

:: -Where are you? :: 

:: -Sasuke we have a meeting in 20 mins :: 

:: -Sasuke :: 

:: -Sasukeeeeeeee :: 

:: -Sasuke wake the fuck up :: 

:: -Stop putting your phone on silent :: 

:: -You dumbass if you miss this meeting you're fucked :: 

:: -Sasuke :: 

:: -Sasuke :: 

:: -You're the worst boss ever :: 

:: -Karin took your coffee :: 

:: -Sasuke :: 

:: -I'm gonna eat your banana bread ::

Rolling his eyes, Sasuke put the strap of his bag around his shoulder and headed for the door, only to be halted by Naruto who moved in front of him with his arms crossed over his chest like a bodyguard. 

"What are you doing?" He grumbled, frowning up at the other man. 

"Take me with you." Naruto demanded. 

Sasuke blinked a few times, not quite expecting those words to come out of the blond's mouth. "You want to go to work with me?" 

"Uh huh." Naruto said quickly, shaking his head up and down while flashing a grin. 

"Why? Knowing you, you're going to get bored within thirty seconds and probably cause trouble." 

"Awe come on, I want to see where you work. Plus, Shion works today as well so I can't hang out with her like I normally do. You guys are my only two friends here so what else am I going to do? Let me come along." 

Sasuke lightly sneered at the mentioning of Naruto's other friend. It wasn't that he didn't like the woman, she was actually very nice and from what he could tell a great future employee, he just didn't like how she got to spend more time with Naruto than he did. 

"That's not such a good idea. You'll only distract me, and I have a meeting anyways and you're making me even more late." 

"Pleeeeaaase." 

"No." 

"Please please please?"

"This is not 'take your hyper friend to work day', Naruto." 

"I promise I'll be calm. Just this one time, pretty please? With a cherry on top?" 

Rubbing the bridge of his nose, Sasuke huffed loudly. "Fine. If you fuck up though, you're sleeping in the basement."

"Okay!" Naruto yipped, darting across the room to get dressed. 

"I'll get the car and pull around front, now hurry up." 

"Roger that." 




Sasuke hoped he wouldn't have to regret letting Naruto tag along with him today, because if the blond caused trouble he was going to get his ass handed to him, despite having such a high status in the company line. He had rushed into the building, urging Naruto into his office and closing the door after telling the man to stay put and not move a muscle. Praying the blond would listen for once, Sasuke was completely unfocused all throughout the duration of his meeting. 

He got a couple confused and slightly worried stares from Suigetsu, and when the hour-long session finally ended and the group of people began departing from the room, his friend stopped him before he could even take one step.

"What the hell happened?"

"I woke up late and forgot to set my backup alarms." Sasuke explained with a shrug. That much was indeed true. 

"Hm, you seem a little off, still." 

"You know me so well." 

"You're my boss and one of my best friends, duh. Now tell me." The lighter haired man insisted, slurping on his water through his twisty blue straw. 

"It's.." Sasuke trailed off, nodding farewell to one of the few people who still lingered in the meeting room, discussing topics that he couldn't give two shits about. "He's here." He said quietly, keeping his voice barely above a whisper. 

"What? Who's here?" 

"My case. Naruto. He's in the building." 

"What?" Suigetsu's voice raised, and Sasuke inwardly cringed. This guy couldn't be subtle if the word smacked him across the face. "Uzumaki? The blonde hottie came with you to work today? Where is he?"

"In my office. Now follow me and shut up. I swear to God if you act weird I'm dropping you from the case and finding someone else, not to mention lowering your pay." 

"Oh please. You know I'm the very best, you couldn't live without me." Suigetsu did an exaggerated hair-flip, taking another sip of his water and sauntered out the door.

"Right." Sasuke rolled his eyes, following after his friend.

He pushed past Suigetsu and opened the door to his office, ushering the other man inside before shutting it behind him. Naruto was in the midst of spinning around in his office chair, and from the blond's wide eyes, bubbly giggles and snorts, he was at it for quite some time.

"Naruto." He called out firmly. 

The spinning stopped, and the other man's gaze lit up once he noticed Sasuke was now finished with his meeting and had returned. Pushing back the chair and zipping to his feet, Naruto, -who looked mildly tipsy swerving for a second because of his dizziness- walked over to the pair with a bright smile on his face.

"Hey, you're back! Man Sasuke your office is awesome. You have such a cool view of the city from your window and there's- oh. Hi, I'm Naruto nice to meet ya." The blond flashed his pearly whites towards Suigetsu, holding out his hand. 

"Suigetsu. And I know who you are." His friend responded with a smirk, taking Naruto's much larger hand in his own to shake. 

"Don't be creepy." Sasuke muttered, and Suigetsu's smirk only widened. 

"You do?" Naruto questioned, his smile fading to be replaced by a confused purse of his lips.

"That's right. Sasuke over here-" 

"-Asked him to help me with your case, so he's seen your file and know's everything I do." Sasuke interrupted before his co-worker could say anything dumb.

"Oh." The blond's eyes darted elsewhere, almost as if he was shying away. 

"Don't worry, Suigetsu is a loyal employee and a friend of mine, he will only help us. I don't just go throwing your or anyone else's personal business out in the air like that." 

"Yeah, I'm the best of the best." The man said while sipping from his straw. 

"Uh-huh." Sasuke rolled his eyes.
 
Looking mildly reassured, Naruto gave a warm smile and Sasuke led the two over towards his desk. When he sat down in his chair, his eyes moved towards the blond's face which was now scrunched up in a frown that was directed towards him.

"What?" He frowned right back at those tan features. 

"I was sitting there." Naruto practically pouted. 

Sometimes Sasuke had to remind himself that this man was in fact twenty five years old. "This is my chair." 

"You snooze you lose." Suigetsu shrugged, taking his usual seat on top of Sasuke's desk.

"Stop taking sides, you literally just met him two minutes ago." Sasuke said. 

"What?" His co-worker replied innocently. "I can already tell he's a lot more fun than you." 

"It's true." Naruto grinned at the comment.

Sasuke glared at them both. "I work, not goof off, and I didn't know it was 'attack Sasuke's personality day'." 

"Awe don't be a soggy noodle, we're just teasing." A hearty laugh filled the room, instantly distinguished as Naruto's because Suigetsu's laugh was more like an evil cackle.

Sighing at the ramen reference, Sasuke booted up all of his computers and chose wisely not to respond.

"So I should have the list returned to you by lunch tomorrow." Suigetsu spoke up, slurping away at his water. "No complications so far, except the guy who has the horses. The others he was fine with re-selling and agreed to the terms, but he doesn't want to get rid of Yamiyo." 

"What?" Naruto said loudly. 

Sasuke froze mid-reach for his computer mouse. Shit. He fell asleep before he could tell Naruto about his animal's situation. Oceanic iris's locked onto inky ones as Naruto met his gaze, unblinking and demanding explanation. Deciding there was no easy way to work around it, he decided to be straightforward. 

"I requested a status update of your farm animals from the court last week and got the response yesterday morning." He replied coolly.

"And you didn't tell me?" 

"I was going to tell you but never got the chance. After we talked we both fell asleep, I woke up late, and now we're here." 

The blond sighed through his nose, breaking the eye contact to peer down at his feet. "The rest are dead, aren't they." 

"Actually," Suigetsu began, and Naruto's head instantly snapped up towards the light haired man. "The majority survived." 

"Mhm." Sasuke added. "Their condition varies, however." 

"Let me see." Naruto said quickly. 

Hesitating a few moments, he reached down into his expensive leather bag and pulled out the same folder from the previous day, sliding it across the table towards the blond. Naruto opened the front, his eyes scanning across the pages before stilling completely. 

"They cut his mane." Naruto announced aloud to nobody in particular, his voice flat and he continued.

Sasuke began twiddling his fingers when the man started slowly flipping from page to page, pausing to read and stare then repeat the process, tan features expressionless. He exchanged a glance with Suigetsu, who awkwardly sipped away at his water. Neither man uttered a word as Naruto read through the entire folder. When the blond finished, he lightly placed the item back on top of the desk. He was about to say something until he noticed Naruto's lips upturned in a small, warm smile. 

"Thank you." Naruto said. "I'm glad you showed me. Even if they had all died, I still would've wanted to know instead of having the question linger in the back of my mind forever. Having just one of them still alive brings me joy."

"Of course, you're going to see them again don't worry." 

"Yeah, we're going to get them back." Suigetsu added. 

The blond's smile got bigger, and he extended out both of his long arms in the air, beckoning with his hands. Sasuke arched an eyebrow, looking up at the other man curiously. "What are you doing?" 

"You deserve a hug. Both of you. Double hug time, now." 

"Naruto, we don't need a hug." Sasuke sighed. 

"I wouldn't mind a hug." Suigetsu smirked darkly, his eyes flicking towards Naruto as he slid off the desk to his feet.

"Come on Sasuke." Naruto said, draping one long appendage over his co-workers shoulder as his free one continued gesturing for him to get up.

"Fine." He growled through gritted teeth. Sasuke did so not because he gave into the begging, but because he knew he'd be moody for the rest of the day if Suigetsu got to hug Naruto and he didn't. 




Sasuke was mildly impressed on how good of behavior Naruto was displaying throughout the morning. He assumed the blond would get bored, request to go back to the mansion or cause trouble at work but in fact it was quite the opposite. He seemed interested in the entire building, inquiring on many things, even if some questions were pretty stupid.

He explained to Suigetsu on the info he acquired last night after the particularly deep conversation he had with the blond. After updating his co-worker on everything aside from some depressing details on the whole orphanage situation, they were now all on the same track.

"Found it." Sasuke said, leaning back in his office chair. 

Both Suigetsu and Naruto moved around the other side of his desk to view his computer screen. Displayed on the monitor was the official website all information regarding Kakashi Hatake could be found on. Yes, the guy had his own website. He was just as much, if not more of a business tycoon than his family name was. Only, except instead of financial or investing, his was all law enforcement.

Sasuke scrolled his mouse down the page which was grey themed, multiple paragraphs and links all over. They guy was insane successful, and he was ridiculously expensive to hire, even for Sasuke. But, he was perhaps the only man on Earth that could help them. In his entire career, Kakashi Hatake had only ever lost one case, and the details are unknown. 

People have attempted to label him as a fraud, but he always provides so much evidence and his intelligence that rivaled Shikamaru's was uncanny, he was so good they literally couldn't give such a label. Many hate him. More love him. It was difficult not to, honestly. Graduated at the top of his class, majoring in criminal justice. Not to mention, he also had a fucking PHD and he was only thirty-something. To top it off, Kakashi was also rumored to be a Master Martial Artist. 

So, not only could he outsmart you, but he could beat your ass as well.

Towards the middle of the page next to another description was a photo of the man himself from the waist up. He wore a cliche sleek black suit, white undershirt and black tie, the atramentous contrast against his ivory skin made it all the better. His hair was silver, which was odd because the man was in his thirty's and normally people didn't get a full head of grey or silver hair until much older. Lots of stress? Perhaps dyed? 

Whatever the case, it fit his face perfectly. His... alarmingly attractive face. The man looked too handsome for his own good, it almost appeared photoshopped. Maybe it was. It had to be. Those calm grey eyes peered right at the camera, half-lidded and serene, almost bored. Sasuke found himself staring at the picture silently. 

"He's fucking hot." Suigetsu commented out of nowhere, speaking his very thoughts. 

"Yeah." Naruto added in agreement after a small pause. 

"Mhm." Sasuke mumbled quietly.

"Well, make the call." Suigetsu ushered him, pointing towards the number at the bottom of the screen. 

"I am, I am." He said, reaching for his phone and dialing the number. "If either of you talk, I'll kill you." 

Both men thankfully shut themselves up, and the line rang a few times, Sasuke grew more nervous with each one. Just as he thought it would go to voicemail, someone picked up on the other end.

"Hello?" A velvety low, sultry enunciation answered. Christ. That voice.

Sasuke swallowed hard in the back of his throat. "Mr. Hatake?" 

"Speaking." 

"This is Sasuke Uchiha, calling to see if you'd be available for a case meeting sometime in the future. I'm aware you have a busy schedule, and would be willing to travel if you see fit." 

There was a long pause, and Sasuke grew anxious. He bit the inside of his cheek, ignoring the wide and curious stares from Suigetsu and Naruto nearby.

"Fortunately, I happen to be visiting the very city in which your company resides. How does ten sharp tomorrow sound?"

"That's perfect, thank you very much." He could hardly contain his smile. The Kakashi Hatake was going to consider their case. 

"Of course. I must head out for now though, I will call you back later and discuss location when I am finished. Farewell." 

"Goodbye." The line ended, and Sasuke's lips twitched into a grin.

Chapter Text


Sasuke did everything he could in the meager time frame that was provided to create a thorough file of Naruto's case to give to Kakashi. He ensured every single folder, document, or picture was categorized efficiently, even if that meant sacrificing some of his already minimal sleep. The last thing Sasuke wanted was to make a bad first impression and hand over a sloppy stack of papers to one of the best lawyers in the entire country.

Even when he had finished the task, he found himself quite restless. Sasuke set ten alarms for tomorrow morning. Literally ten. When he would finally go to sleep, he wanted to make sure he would actually wake the fuck back up and not miss this blessing of an opportunity. He sat propped up on a few of the many pillows on his bed, completely engrossed in one of his books despite his tiredness. Once Sasuke got to reading, he had to finish at least a couple of chapters before putting the book down.

The handle audibly turning at his door had his brows crease into a little frown. Gen'ichi didn't come into his quarters past ten unless requested, and the maids finished their cleaning around eight thirty, not to mention both parties always knocked. So, that only left one other person unless Kurama suddenly figured out how to open doors. Or a ghost. That too.

Sasuke's eyes flicked up from over his book, and he arched an elegant brow at the unmistakable blond head of hair peeping out from the partially open door. Naruto's entire body soon followed through after opening the door completely, and he stood at the entrance to the room looking rather hesitant. 

"I would say come in, but you already did that yourself." Sasuke stated, slipping his bookmark between the two pages and setting his book on the nightstand. 

"Sorry." Naruto mumbled quickly. "I just.." 

"Can't sleep?" 

The blond nodded in agreement, and Sasuke lightly smiled. "Me neither. Don't worry it's just nerves getting the better of us. We've come this far, everything will be fine." 

"I know that." Naruto returned his smile. 

"Do you?" 

"Mhm. You're the one saying it, so I know it's true. I trust you."

Sasuke looked away, cheeks growing hot at the comment. That was a bad idea on his part, because what he didn't see coming next was Naruto prowling towards his bedside with the stealth proficiency of a jaguar until it was all too late. The blond took a giant leap onto the extensive mattress, and Sasuke wheezed as Naruto's elbow came into contact with his ribcage when he landed next to him.

"What the hell are you doing?" He growled, rubbing his poor side with his palm.

"Your long and boring business conversations put us to sleep yesterday, so it should work again tonight."

"You are not sleeping in my bed." 

"Why not? You fell asleep in mine." 

"That was an accident." 

"Okay, but this has purpose. We both need rest, now get to talkin'." 

"No. Plus, you snore, drool, and I always end up becoming your body pillow." 

"And I've seen you naked twice, we have no boundaries now so stop complaining."

Sasuke's eyes widened, embarrassment burning to the tips of his ears. He then registered what the blond said and blinked in confusion. "Wait, you said twice." 

"Yeah." Naruto chuckled. "The other time you didn't see me and your back was turned so I guess it doesn't count." 

"When was this?" He said, unable to stop his voice from raising an octave in disbelief. 

"Eh, doesn't matter." 

"Yes it does, pervert." 

"Hey! It was an accident." 

"I'm sure it was." 

Naruto playfully punched him in the arm, and Sasuke had to remind himself to stop missing his workout schedule because each time the blond did that, it seemed to hurt more than previously. 

"Let's play a game." The other man stated, shifting himself to sit on his legs as he bounced excitedly like a child.

"It's twelve forty in the morning." Sasuke announced, rubbing his tricep tenderly after the blow. 

"Yeah, and we're both wide awake. So since you refuse to talk, let's play a game. Unless you have any other ideas that could tire us out?" 

He ignored the strong temptation to make a dirty response at the inquiry. "I do, actually." Sasuke started, making his voice sound hyped up as if he was actually going to suggest doing something fun. "The game is called you go back to your room, lay down, close your eyes, and fall the fuck asleep." 

The way Naruto's face shifted from happy to a frown so quickly was quite amusing he had to admit. He should've known the sarcastic reply would've rewarded him with another attack, because no more than a few seconds later, the blond had snatched up a nearby pillow, swinging it forwards rapidly. This time, Sasuke's acute reflexes couldn't save him due to his laziness, and the soft object plummeted against his features. 

"You seem to have a problem with hitting people and punching things." Sasuke commented, swiping a strand of inky hair away from his forehead. 

"Oh yeah?" Naruto said, tipping his head to the side curiously.

For the third time that night, Naruto once again had caught him off guard. Sasuke blamed sleep deprivation and his mind which was focused on a million things at once for his terrible reaction time. Naruto pushed off from the mattress and lunged straight at him, grabbing him by the shoulders and twisting him away from the headboard so he landed flat on his back.

Sasuke grunted from the expeditious movement, lifting his gaze up to glare at the tan figure which currently hovered above him. A charge of energy surged through his body, and his heartbeat steadily increased once realizing the position they were in. Naruto was directly between his legs, resting on his knees while his hands held him firmly at the shoulders, pinning him down. Sasuke had a perfect view of the mans shirtless, sculpted upper body but forced his eyes to remain locked on those brilliant blues. 

"What're you gonna do about it?" Naruto taunted, a low challenging tone in his voice that was borderline pornographic. 

Growling under his breath, Sasuke lurched upwards. He got to about half of a sit-up until Naruto applied more pressure, causing his body to fall back against the plush mattress for a second time. The arrogant smirk which crossed the blond's facade only probed at his pride. Naruto might've been physically heavier and slightly larger than he was, but Sasuke was far from weak or frail, even with his repeated missed days of workouts.

In terms of muscle mass, he was obviously leaner, more on the lithe and agile side. When it came down to sheer barbaric power, Naruto was exceptional, as he proved on many -some frightening- occasions. However, with that brawn usually came with a lack of speed, though from what Sasuke witnessed and not just in the past five minutes, the blond was nowhere near the word slow. That being said, in a serious match, he believed Naruto would made quite a worthy opponent, the victor unknown though whoever might lose would surely not be far behind.

Wrestling wasn't a very accurate way to test that theory, especially when taking into consideration his previous tiredness and missed workout routines. But Sasuke would damn sure try anyways, he wasn't about to look weak. No matter how late it was or how stupid and childish the act might be. Gathering the strength in his core, he pushed upward a second time, twisting his shoulders at an angle to falter the pin.

Naruto was forced backward, his grip loosening, and in that moment Sasuke sat up completely while he wrapped his arms around the blond's broad torso. His goal was to twist their bodies sideways and switch it so he was the one pinning Naruto down instead, but that plan failed. Naruto's body tightened as his muscles grew taut, hardly budging whatsoever and Sasuke was practically hugging him with no outcome. 

He let out a loud flabbergasted huff, letting his arms fall at his sides, feeling as if he just tried to move a block of cement that was oddly smooth to the touch. Naruto's low chuckle made him outraged, and Sasuke gritted his teeth together. In the same moment Naruto relaxed is when he tackled the other. The force of the sudden action made the blond fall back, and he successfully held the other man down at the shoulders like he had done to him just moments ago. 

"Cheater." Naruto exhaled, pouting slightly. 

Sasuke smirked down successfully, but the expression instantly dropped when Naruto's legs swiftly swung around his waist, thighs squeezing his lower body which forced him closer. The blond's ass pressed directly against his groin, and Sasuke's eyes widened when Naruto grabbed both of his forearms with his hands. He hardly registered the other man's grin before he was rolled over like a sack of potatoes. 

Both men were now on their sides. Naruto's legs still remained wrapped around his lower half, and his free arm quickly snaked underneath Sasuke's armpit, hooking upward to completely immobilize him. Sasuke strained against the odd pin, breathing heavily when his muscles screamed for a rest after a prolonged period of writhing around against the secure hold. 

"What the fuck." He breathed out harshly. "Did you just do a WWE move on me?" 

"Maybe." Naruto blinked innocently before laughing. 

Having rested for a moment, Sasuke got another spike of adrenaline and somehow broke away from the complicated pin. After that, the two continued their wrestling for a while longer, neither completely subdued, willing to give up, or admit defeat. Somewhere in the mix Sasuke's shirt had vanished, and more than once he found himself almost getting aroused by the whole situation, especially when he was temporarily stuck in one of Naruto's effective holds. 

It was difficult not to, honestly. Naruto was constantly in his clutches or vise versa; sweating, straining, grunting and panting against him, it wasn't surprising his body was reacting to it. His composure was luckily strong enough to save his dignity from being destroyed by an awkward boner mid-wrestle. If that happened -thank God it did't- Sasuke would have just blamed all the bloodrush getting the better of him.

The two laid sprawled out sweaty, tired, and breathing heavily on top of the large bed. The blankets and pillows which were scattered in every known direction looked they went through a hellstorm and back. From a different viewpoint, it could easily be mistaken that the two had done something else entirely, though the fact that they both still had pants on saved that option.

"Not bad." Naruto spoke up, grinning. "Though if that were real, I think we both know I would win."

"Uh huh." Sasuke rolled his eyes, stretching out his sore arms. "Stolen MMA or WWE moves shouldn't count." 

"I added my own flavor to some of those, I'll have you know. Trust me, if I was really trying you'd still be stuck in the first pin." 

"Right, right. I'm just out of practice from all my work, but just wait a couple of weeks, you'll be begging for me to stop." 

Naruto went silent for a moment, and Sasuke then realized what he just said, his face reddening.

"I can take whatever you give to me." Naruto nearly purred.

Sasuke opened his mouth, only to clamp it back shut and swallow, his throat feeling dry. He tried to come up with a response, but his mind was now a blank canvas. He sat up with a small grunt, the effort exhausting. At least he got his first good workout in after a few weeks of sitting on his ass and moving nothing but his pen or desktop mouse. He got to his feet and began doing light stretches, an idea popping into his mind. 

"Since you made me do your dumb wrestling, later on tomorrow we're going to do some yoga." Sasuke abruptly changed the subject, avoiding a potentially weird conversation.

"Yoga? Borrrrring."

"Yoga is very healthy and relaxing, we're going to do at least one session so stop your whining." 

"Do I have to wear tights?" 

"What? No that's-"

"I'm kidding." Naruto laughed while scooting to the edge of the bed and stood up, reaching his arms above his head in a stretch. "Well I don't know about you, but I'm totally beat. Gonna' have a quick shower and sleep now."

"Likewise. Remember be ready by nine fifteen, so if I don't see a text from you by eight forty-five, I'm dropping the entire case and putting you out on the street." 

Naruto's eyes widened into two giant blue spheres. "I'll be ready." He said so quickly, it was more like gibberish than any other language.

"Good." Sasuke smiled, the expression widening once noting the look of terror on the blond's face.




The following morning, Sasuke woke up before all ten of his alarms. It was probably his body's way of reminding him something very important was happening today, and it automatically snatched itself out of sleep at the correct time like a machine. He showered again and got dressed in one of his best suits, this was Kakashi Hatake they were meeting with after all, he would present himself to the best of his ability.

He did a check-over inside his leather bag, assuring all the files were still neatly arranged and there from the previous night. Satisfied, Sasuke pulled out his cellphone from his pocket which vibrated with a text a few minutes prior. At exactly eight forty-six, Naruto messaged him. 

:: -Omg please don't kick me out :: 

Sasuke actually laughed out loud at the message. The poor moron thought he was serious last night, and apparently feared for his life after responding literally a minute late. Shaking his head, he adjusted the collar of his undershirt, fixed his tie, sprayed a couple spritz of cologne, grabbed his bag and headed out the door. Sasuke papped his pants pockets on the way down the stairs, double checking for his wallet, keys, and phone. 

"Good morning, sir." Gen'ichi greeted him at the bottom of the stairs with a respectful nod of his head.

"Morning Gen'ichi. How do I look?" 

"Dashing as always, sir." 

Sasuke chuckled lightly. "Where is Naruto?" 

"Mr. Uzumaki is-" 

"Here!" Naruto's voice spoke up over the old man, and he came scurrying across the room right afterwards.

Sasuke gave the blond a quick up and down. "You actually did a decent job of dressing yourself. I half expected a sweatshirt and sweatpants."

"Gen'ichi may or may not have helped me." The other man admitted, flashing his pearly white grin. His expression then shifted into a slightly worried look. "I'm not gonna be sleeping on the streets tonight, am I?"

"No, you're not." Sasuke rolled his eyes. 

"Oh thank goodness. You had me scared when you didn't respond."  Naruto breathed, his shoulders slumping as if a weight was suddenly taken off of them. 

"Dumba-" Sasuke stopped himself and cleared his throat when Gen'ichi gave him a raised brow. "Silly goose." The old man was practically his father figure, and even though he was an adult with his own rights in his own home, Sasuke still always remained proper around his trustworthy butler. "Let us be on our way then."

Kakashi had arranged they meet at a local coffee shop after contacting him for a second time the previous day. Though the drive to the allocated Starbucks was relatively short aside from ordinary heavy traffic, Sasuke still left with more than enough spare time and they had arrived approximately a half an hour earlier. Both men sat at a booth next to the giant window, logo plastered on the polished glass.

They decided to wait for Kakashi's arrival before ordering any coffee. As the minutes continued to tick by, Sasuke nervously began constantly checking his watch. Naruto simply sat still, occasionally fiddling with the nearby napkin pile centered on the booth's surface. When nine fifty-seven rolled around and there was still no sign of Kakashi, he began looking around, bouncing his leg up and down rapidly, smashing his teeth together within his closed mouth.

What if they had gotten stood up? What if Kakashi forgot? Or even worse, what if the man changed his mind about everything and sent one of his employees to take care of the case instead? If so, this would end up being another failure, stored away in the depths of some file cabinet collecting dust, never to be opened again. Then what hope would they have?

No, it couldn't be. All three of those would be highly unprofessional and downright cruel. Sasuke was set on having Kakashi and only Kakashi. Anyone else he knew couldn't or wouldn't get the job done, he wanted -needed- one lawyer and only one. The very best one. A large soft hand placed on his arm made him jump, and Sasuke's eyes darted over towards Naruto's much calmer ones.

"Hey, you told me not to worry yesterday, now look at you, you're a mess. He's gonna be here, okay?"

Sasuke opened his mouth to reply, but his vision then drifted away from Naruto's oceanic gaze to impulsively peer out the window behind him. Whatever response he was going to say was now completely disregarded. Precisely on cue to the blond's words, a tall figure walking towards the coffee shop had him immediately register the person as Kakashi, even having never met the man before.

He was able to make out an outfit as the individual drew nearer. Black boots, jeans, and designer jacket that went down to his mid-thigh, button up and accompanied with a thick scarf that also matched the all raven clothing. The distance of the parking lot and Starbuck's main entrance was easily eaten up by the man's long legs which moved in a phenomenal gait. Sasuke was nearly captivated by the brisk, elegant strides which displayed formality and confidence.

Butterflies formed in his gut when that recognizable silver head of hair flashed past the window, and then there was the sound of a little bell that was attached to the upper part of the coffee shop's door that alerted everyone when a new customer had arrived. Sasuke scooted out of the booth and stood up, dusting off his suit while turning in the direction of the other man who now walked towards him. He fought nervousness coiling at his stomach with each step Kakashi took.

"Mr. Hatake." Sasuke addressed formally, fixing his gaze on that intense grey stare. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you." He said, holding out his hand.

"Ah," Kakashi's smooth, sultry voice swathed his eardrums like lavender. He hardly refrained from melting into the floor when the other man spoke his name. "Sasuke Uchiha, the pleasure is mine." Kakashi's sizable hand was cool to the touch, and his grip was noticeably firm, power lying dormant. Perhaps the rumors of this man being quite skilled in martial art's wasn't too far fetched after all. 

Naruto then stood up from the booth, and Kakashi's vision snapped over towards the other man immediately. It was for a fraction of a second, hardly distinct at all, but those half lidded, calm eyes seemed to widen in the slightest once focusing in on the blond. Sasuke wasn't sure if he imagined it or not, he was normally excellent at reading people's emotions but Kakashi was an entirely different story. 

The mans pale, stunning features had remained so stoic, he might as well have been wearing a mask this entire time. His shapely silver brows were lightly creased at the top as if stuck in a permanent minuscule frown, ultimately contradicting his calm eyes. Kakashi was overall quite intimidating, and not just by looks alone. The man gave off such an authoritarian and unperturbed aura, it was impossible to read him like other people. 

"Naruto Uzumaki." The blond happily greeted Kakashi next, stating his name proudly despite his situation. "A.K.A, the one who's in a heap of trouble." He grinned while shaking the silver haired man's hand.

"Is that so? Well, there's only one way to determine that." Kakashi replied, his eyes flicking back to Sasuke. "I assume you've brought the files." 

"Yes, of course." Sasuke turned, reaching for his leather bag and handed the item the other man.

"Excellent." Kakashi said, taking the bag and hooking it underneath one of his arms. "Let us all get something to drink, then we may begin." 

Following the taller man over towards the register, Sasuke exchanged a glance with Naruto who in return gave him a thumbs up and another cheerful grin. Sasuke wished he could share the blond's enthusiasm, but he was too antsy at the moment to muster anything than more than a weak smile in return. He felt immature and dimwitted for acting so skittish around Kakashi, but compared to him he was minuscule. 

And not just in terms of physical height, either. Kakashi had to be pushing at least six-foot-something but that wasn't it at all. In business success, conduct, accomplishments, style, intelligence, sophistication, and appearance, Kakashi was always two steps ahead. It absolutely infuriated and fascinated Sasuke at the same time.

He wanted to grab a little notebook and some oversized reading glasses and follow the man around like a typical geek, learning anything and everything he could in hopes of being similar or better someday. Sasuke also wanted to take the man by his shoulders and shake him silly, screaming in his face how can one possibly be so striking and masterly.

Kakashi stopped at the register, Sasuke and Naruto moving next to him on both sides as all three men lifted their gazes to peer over the menu displayed in colorful writing above their heads. A short, young-looking brunette woman with her long hair fixed in two ponytails hurried to the unattended cash register, a bright big smile on her face that reminded Sasuke of Naruto's grins as she dusted off her green work apron.  

"Sorry about that! What can I get for you three gentleman today?" 

"What are your specials?" Kakashi's velvety tone questioned. Sasuke couldn't believe how the man could make simple phrases sound so seductive.

"We-" The girl's voice trailed off as her hazel eyes widened once wandering over Kakashi. She seemed to instantly recognize the silver haired man, and her gaze only got bigger once moving towards Sasuke then Naruto. She looked between the three multiple times for a few silent moments. Suddenly her friendly demeanor vanished into shyness, and her face slowly turned a bright red. 

"Um.. specials? W-we have th-" She desperately gestured towards the menu. "Our uh, ahm, er.." 

Sasuke raised an eyebrow, and Naruto tilted his head to the side. Kakashi's face didn't change whatsoever as the young woman began fumbling over every single word. If Sasuke didn't know better, he would've classified the abrupt change in behavior as a seizure. Apparently three attractive, well dressed men lined up before her expectantly was too much. Poor gal. 

"Ugh, Rei!" Another female voice yelled from across the room, causing the brunette to flinch. Stomping over to the register was a taller, blonde woman with her hair put up into four puffy ponytails. She slapped the shorter girl with a towel, shoving her away from the cash register with her body. "You scatterbrained nut, go and get more coffee grounds from storage." 

"S-sorry Miss Temari! I was-" 

"Now." 

"Yes ma'am!" 

The younger woman scurried away in a flash, and the one called Temari let out a long exhale, shaking her head from side to side. "Forgive Rei, she's a classic inexperienced seventeen year old that just started working here last week." Temari's teal gaze then drifted across the three, her eyebrows slightly elevated. "Two of the busiest businessmen known nationwide, showing up at a random Starbucks at the same time. You guys sure know how to make an appearance." 

"We share a common interest." Sasuke started, shrugging his shoulders.

"Of caffeine." Kakashi added on.

Temari rolled her eyes, one hand on her hip. "Very funny. Anyways, Mr. Hatake, Uchiha, and blondie, what can I get for you today? Since it's Autumn, our specials consist of pumpkin spice and other related flavors." 

"Blondie." Naruto repeated with a small pout. 

"Don't take it to heart, everyone calls me that here and now I finally have the opportunity to say it back." The woman smiled, though instead of pleasant her smile leaned more towards terrifying. 

"I'll take a vanilla cappuccino, thank you." Kakashi answered, turning towards the other two. "Feel free to order whatever you'd like both of you, it's on me." 

"That's not-" 

"I insist." The silver haired man intervened, offering a small yet charming smile. The warm expression took place primarily in his eyes, as they crinkled upwards with the faint quirk of his lips. Now that was a pleasant appearance. 

"In that case, I'll take just a black coffee."

"Ooh, I will have a venti caramel frappuccino with extra whipped cream." Naruto announced, licking his lips excitedly. 

"Your total is eleven fifty-eight. Will that be cash or card?" Temari asked boredly, typing the orders into the system. 

"Card. Receipt not necessary." Kakashi said, pulling out his wallet from one of his coat pockets and handed the blonde woman his card.

"Alright, your drinks will be brought to your seats shortly."

The trio returned to their established booth, Sasuke sat next to Naruto and Kakashi across from them. Kakashi set the leather bag on the table, pausing to pull his scarf off. The dark fabric unwrapped from the mans nape in one smooth motion, revealing his long pale neck as he neatly folded the item and placed it in the empty space next to him. Instantly the pressure was on, and Kakashi's unreadable grey stare moved in-between him and Naruto. 

"Before we begin, is all the information provided up to date and not in any shape or form foraged, modified, or illegally apprehended?"  

"Correct." Sasuke said, tapping his foot underneath the table.

Kakashi nodded, reaching for the expensive leather bag and pulled out the large binder. The man then opened the front and began his reading, and that's when Sasuke's anxiety skyrocketed. He knew he triple -quadruple checked- every single last piece of paper, but he still felt as if he was forgetting or missing so many things. Even after their drinks came, Kakashi didn't utter a word.

Sasuke's suppressed his apprehensiveness as best he could, but he couldn't stop his fingers from repeatedly tapping against his coffee cup, or his wide stare boring into Kakashi's emotionless features, trying to get a read on anything the man was thinking so far. He took a glance at Naruto, who by now was finished with his enormous drink and also looking mildly nervous, but he hid it better than Sasuke did.

More than a few stares as customers came and exited were tossed in their direction. Sasuke told himself it was because all three of them were devilishly handsome and attracting attention was nothing out of the ordinary, but in the back of his mind he knew it was primarily because Kakashi. Kakashi the famous lawyer who was extremely picky on clients he accepted. 

Kakashi who was known to be particularly cruel, feared and envied for many reasons. Kakashi who was rarely seen in public from his busy schedule. Kakashi who was taking the time to sit down and actually consider their case. Kakashi who could simply decline everything at any given moment and walk out of the shop, unphased while he and Naruto would be thrown into another hole of problems.

Sasuke began chewing on the inside of his mouth, biting the soft flesh of his cheek until he tasted the familiar metallic tang of blood. Roughly twenty minutes had passed, and the silver haired man still didn't utter the slightest peep, nor look up from his reading. The only movements Kakashi initiated were his indecipherable eyes scanning left to right, and a couple slim fingers grasping the papers, turning to the next page.

Kakashi's arm then extended forward, and Sasuke's heart skipped a beat. Naruto also visibly twitched, and they both sighed when Kakashi simply reached for his caffeinated beverage, momentarily pausing to take a sip. Nothing got past the man's sharp eyes apparently, because Kakashi quirked a brow over his cup, picking up on both men's jittery behavior though he didn't comment on it, thankfully. 

Another good fifteen minutes of silence elapsed between the three. Kakashi was nearly done with the entire binder, and suddenly the silver haired man had froze mid-page turn. Sasuke's gaze snapped towards the Lawyer's face which shifted into a small concentrated frown. Kakashi leaned forwards, bringing the item closer to his face as he seemed to read the paper for a second time. 

Sasuke swallowed hard, twiddling his fingers in rapid circles. Naruto kneed him from under the table, and he shot a small glare at the blond who in return glared right back at him. A loud slapping noise caused both of them to flinch in their seat, and he and Naruto's wide eyes quickly redirected at Kakashi who had slammed the binder closed and clasped his hands together neatly on the surface of the table.

There was a suspenseful moment of silence as the silver haired tycoon took another dainty sip of his drink before those striking grey iris's snapped back up. Kakashi maintained eye contact as he reached into one of his pockets, pulling out a cellphone and brought the device up to his ear after clicking one number on speed dial. Sasuke briefly looked over at Naruto who's enormous blue eyes were laced with dread and anticipation, precisely what he was feeling.

"Yes," Kakashi spoke calmly over the phone. "Cancel my flight for this evening please, I've just taken on a new case."

Chapter Text


The drive back to the mansion was particularly ecstatic. In the midst of Naruto's extremely loud talking that might as well have been shouting along with the fact that he too could hardly contain his joy, Sasuke nearly crashed the car. Thrice. He couldn't recall a time, or at least recently where he smiled so continuously, his cheekbones physically became sore from the action.

It was difficult to focus on the road when out of his peripheral vision, Naruto was bouncing in his seat while blatantly yelling out his triumph. Sasuke couldn't bring himself to be mad though, the man honestly deserved to scream to the whole world after what happened as he was finally taking a giant step forwards. He was still baffled at how quickly Kakashi came to a final decision, Sasuke was almost positive the man was going to postpone to a later date if Kakashi's blank face was anything to go off of.

He wasn't fucking complaining though. Not one bit. They had the experienced Kakashi Hatake working on their side, and Sasuke would be damned if anyone or anything try to get in their way or screw shit up now. It was going to put a crater in his bank account, but it'd be nowhere near the size of one left in his heart if he abandoned the case completely. The moment he walked in the front door, his arms got pressed to his sides as his upper body was brought into a sudden tight embrace. 

"Oh man thank you Sasuke, you're the best." Naruto praised, holding him firmly from behind while lightly swaying back and forth.

Sasuke tried to talk but instead only wheezed, Naruto's hugs could literally collapse someones lungs. 

"Oops, sorry." The blond let his arms fall, and Sasuke let out a strained breath.

"Don't thank me, thank Kakashi." He huffed after rubbing his ribs.

"Well if I would've done that to Kakashi, I think he would've quit right away." Naruto grinned, rubbing the back of his neck.

Sasuke smirked, taking in a long inhale and momentarily closed his eyes. After what seemed like the first time in the past couple months, he could genuinely relax. Like, actually relax. The two weeks he missed at work was finally caught up and getting back on track, not to mention the excellent news on Naruto's animals and Kakashi's acceptance for their case.

He was broken away from his thoughts when a finger poked him on the cheek. Sasuke's lids flashed open, his vision instantly enveloped by two dazzling oceanic orbs, wide and inquisitive, inches away from his own face. Naruto's thick golden lashes fluttered as he blinked a few times, and Sasuke found himself captivated by those unbelievable eyes. He couldn't recall ever being within such a proximity -aside from Naruto being drunk- the man really could hypnotize someone.

"What?" Sasuke blurted dumbly, nearly cringing at how slow his voice uttered the single word as if he had just snapped out of a trance.

"I knew you were tired lately, but woah. Did you fall asleep standing up?" Naruto questioned, his nose and mouth beginning to twitch as if he was refraining from grinning. 

"No. I was just.. taking a really long blink." 

"That's what they all say." And there came those pearly whites, followed by a hearty cackle and a slap to his shoulder. 

"I take it everything went accordingly?" Gen'ichi asked, amusement in his voice as he approached the duo. 

"Yeah!" Naruto exclaimed, whirling around to face the old man who in return widened his eyes at the sudden expeditious outburst. "Kakashi accepted our case!"

"Forgive him, he's a bit riled up." Sasuke sighed, pulling his jacket off his body and handing it to his butler who neatly draped it across one arm. "But yes, Mr. Hatake did accept and he will be coming over later this afternoon with paperwork and more discussion." 

"Ew, paperwork." Naruto commented while scrunching up his nose.

"Extraordinary news, I look forward to his presence." Gen'ichi's normally calm and proper voice had raised an octave and his mouth stretched into a warm smile, his version of excited. "Shall I have the cooks prepare brunch?"

Sasuke glanced over towards Naruto who nodded eagerly, licking his lips. "I want ten pancakes." Naruto announced, rubbing his hands together. 

"You can't eat ten pancakes, the cooks here make pancakes twice the normal size you'll get sick." 

"Watch me."





"I hate to say I told you so but," Sasuke arched an eyebrow over his book at the blond curled up in a ball some feet away, laying on a large throw rug next to one of his many interior fireplaces with fancy decors surrounding the dark brick surface. "I told you so."

Naruto rolled around, frowning at him while those kissable peachy lips puckered out in a distressed pout. Sasuke only smiled in return, allowing his fingers to slowly graze across Kurama's fuzzy back who was laying on one of his reading chair's arm rests. "You want some painkillers?" He offered after a moment, giving into the childish face the blond was still making in his direction. 

"Nuh-uh." Naruto said, sprawling out on the large throw rug that covered nearly the entire floor of the room.

"Okay then, your tummy will keep hurting."

The other man frowned again before sighing and dropping his head on his hands, looking rather miserable. Sasuke almost felt bad. Almost. He placed his bookmark in after finishing the chapter, setting it on a nearby table. "Let's do that yoga now. I guarantee you'll feel better." 

Naruto lifted his head while arching a golden brow as he got up from the chair and took off his sweater, setting it neatly on the seat. Sasuke made his way over to the blond, standing in front of him with a hand out. Naruto's large palm clasped over his, and Sasuke had to ground his feet particularly hard on the carpet as he helped the man lift himself from the floor. 

"Oh come on, you have a bellyache you're not dying."

"I'm suffering mentally and physically, I won't be able to eat for hours." The blond retorted, crossing his arms. 

Sasuke rolled his eyes. "What an absolute tragedy, not being able to eat for hours? Oh gosh I couldn't imagine." 

He snickered when Naruto took a swat at him, only this time he gracefully sidestepped to evade the less-than-gentle blow. "Now, let's begin. First take off your sweatshirt, mobility will be easier with less layers." 

"Is that your coded version of telling me to strip?" Naruto's eyebrows wiggled, and Sasuke shot a glare at him. "Just teasin." The blond chuckled, pulling off his orange sweater and tossing it on the floor. 

Sasuke blinked a few times at Naruto's bare torso. "Do you just like, not own shirts?" 

"I do actually." Naruto laughed. "Maybe not as many as I should, but it's super comfortable wearing sweaters without a shirt underneath you should try it." 

"It's the middle of October I'd rather not freeze my ass off, thanks. Anyways, we're going to do beginner positions for your sake. Let's start off with Tadasana." 

"Who-the-what-a?" 

Sasuke hardly refrained from facepalming. "The mountain pose."

"Ohhh... huh?" 

"Put your feet together while spreading your toes apart and distribute your weight evenly. Let your arms rest at your sides, palms facing inwards and resting against the outside of your thigh. Draw your stomach in slightly as you breathe, lifting your chest and when you exhale draw your shoulders back, but don't force them, it should be a natural feel wile you're breathing out." 

"So in other words.." Naruto tapped a finger on his chin. "Just stand there and breathe." 

This time, Sasuke did drag his palm from his forehead down to his nose, pinching the bridge with a sigh. Though, what should he expect, it was Naruto he was trying to teach after all. After a brief explanation on the basics of yoga and how it was much more complicated than free-time stretching, Sasuke was actually looking forward to their session. Many people -especially males- find yoga a rather 'feminized' practice and wouldn't think twice of it. They also tend to not understand that it engages every muscle in the body, in addition to improving posture, balance, breathing, and focus. 

Least to say, it was quite amusing watching Naruto struggle with some positions. Whenever the blond toppled over onto the rug with a grumble of frustration, Sasuke couldn't help but chuckle underneath his breath. There were a few intermediate poses he added in, assuming Naruto wouldn't be able to complete them judging from his rough start. Of course, Naruto never ceased to impress or surprise him, even if it was just little things.

In the middle of the Dog Facing Upward pose, the blond's features scrunched up and he slumped forwards with a groan. Sasuke shot a concerned frown in his direction, breaking the position to walk over to the man and place a hand on a large shoulder. 

"Naruto, are you okay? Your muscles aren't cramping up are they?" 

"No I-" A loud, grumbling noise took place of the blond's words that seemed to come from his stomach and he hiccuped mid-sentence. "I just need to.." 

Sasuke removed his hand from Naruto's shoulder, taking a backwards step with his arms crossed. "If you throw up pancakes on my eleven-hundred dollar rug you're going to be scrubbing all night long."

Nartuo's body jerked and he drew in a sharp breath, moving a hand on top of his belly. Sasuke's eyes widened and he took another two steps back. "Please don't vomit on my nice rug, there's a-" 

The loudest burp Sasuke had ever had the courtesy of hearing in his entire life then sounded, filling the entire room with it's noisiness. Kurama jumped off the chair's armrest, darting down a nearby hallway and Sasuke swore if it had been any louder, the glass frames covering the many pictures on the walls would've shattered around them. Naruto then sat up, his eyes bright and energetic like they normally were. 

"Wow! I feel great now. I guess there was just a giant gas bubble in my stomach." He chuckled to himself. "I could even eat more pancakes." 

Sasuke fixed the man with a poker face, letting out a sigh through his nostrils. "You're disgusting." 

Naruto only laughed.

Despite a few difficulties in the beginning, as the minutes flew by, the blond was showing improvement at an stunning rate. Aside from minor corrections such as posture, or limb placement, Naruto showed a greater sense of balance and concentration than Sasuke expected. When the man decided to be serious and genuinely focus on something, he completed such tasks with excellency.

Something as relaxing and quiet as yoga didn't seem to fall into one of Naruto's activity categories, but if anyone naive to the blond's personality were to witness their current ongoing session, one couldn't imagine him being a hyperactive, borderline insane individual. It was during the Seated Forward Bend pose that Naruto's voice spoke up in the middle of their breathing count time.

"Damn Sasuke.." 

Sasuke turned his head while maintaining the position, quirking a perfectly arched brow in silent inquiry over towards the blond adjacent on the rug. Naruto had fallen from the pose and sat up with his legs crossed, radiant azures pinned to him as he blinked slowly, his face uncharacteristically indecipherable. "You're really flexible." 

The way Naruto's voice darkened with the statement along with his lids partially declining as he scanned over his form sent a rush of heat to Sasuke's face. There was no mistaking that tone, the feral curiosity in his unblinking eyes. A small part of him wanted to comment something along the lines of testing said flexibility, but he instead allowed himself to sit up, a minuscule smirk making its way to his features. 

"Thanks. Years of practice."

Naruto chuckled lowly, opening his mouth to most likely respond with something explicit but he was interrupted by a ringing across the room. Sasuke immediately got to his feet and rushed to his chair where he left his cellphone on, answering the expected call a bit too eagerly. 

"Hello?" 

"Hello Sasuke." That familiar velvety tone greeted, sending a tingle down his spine. "I should be at the address in approximately fifteen minutes." 

"Sounds good, we will be ready."

When the line ended, he glanced back over his shoulder at a pair of two curious bright blues. "That was Kakashi. He's on his way so our session is done for now, it's time to get ready."

"Agh, more boring paperwork." Naruto complained while getting to his feet, slipping his fuzzy orange socks back on. 

Sasuke shot a glare at the blond through narrowed eyes. "If you burp like that or act gross in front of Kakashi, I swear to God I'll-" 

"You'll what, Sasuke?" Naruto cut him off, golden brows raised in a challenging manner as he stalked forwards to stand face-to-face with him. "Make me sleep in the basement? Clean all levels of the mansion? Drop the case? Leave me outside to wander aimlessly for hours? Lock me away? You sure make a lot of bold threats, but never follow through with them. Is my supposed misbehavior made up for with my charm? Or are you too much of a softie to punish Little-ol-Naruto?" 

Sasuke crossed his arms, his glare deepening. "No I am not soft." He countered, his nostrils flaring in a rage when Naruto only smirked. "And you are nowhere near little, th-"

"Ya' damn right." 

This time, Sasuke broke away from that taunting aquatic stare, his cheeks turning a rosy hue. Any other confrontation would have him snapping back at the other person with swift, sneering remarks but for some reason he found himself unable to think fast enough to retort to Naruto's words. When the man took a step forwards and shattered the barrier of personal space, Sasuke gripped his bicep tightly in his hand which was still crossed over his chest.

Naruto only had a couple inches of height over himself -most likely from his spiky hair- however in that moment Sasuke felt diminutive standing in front of the mans looming form. He tore his eyes away from a broad, toned chest to peer defiantly into deep azures while holding his ground. 

"Something on your mind?"

"Yeah, since when did you become so fucking cocky? I've given you too much freedom." He growled.

"Oh, have you now?" The blond let out a low chuckle, the abyssal noise audibly rumbling through his entire upper body from the closeness and arising goosebumps on Sasuke's pale flesh. He then sidestepped, casually sauntering behind him while sighing obnoxiously. "I'll be getting dressed now. Wouldn't want to be late for Kakashi's arrival, then you'd really punish me, wouldn't you?"

Sasuke didn't get the chance to think of a response before a piercing slap seemed to echo around the walls. His body jolted from the abrupt noise, then he gasped as there was a sudden, sharp stinging sensation on his left ass cheek. Did Naruto just- Sasuke's eyes widened as he whirled around to see the blond walking away, and the man then raised one of his arms as he waved without looking.

"See you in fifteen minutes."

He didn't need to see the man's face to know that shit-eating grin was stretched across his features, because Sasuke could hear the expression in his voice.

"Bastard."





Sasuke shifted on his seat, attempting and failing to adjust himself to be comfortably situated. It was rather difficult though when one side of his butt was literally throbbing with a dull, numbing pain. When he had changed into more appropriate clothing for Kakashi's appearance, he took a quick glance at his backside in the mirror to see a large, bright red outline of a hand print on his poor ass.

Furious glares were shot in the blonds direction by the minute. Sasuke couldn't even focus on Kakashi's cool and collect voice along with the subject at hand because today of all days the moron decided to be an arrogant, shameless tease. Though, he did get a bit of revenge at one point. It was Naruto's mistake to not wear shoes and sit next to him at their table meeting, because as soon as Sasuke got the chance he was sure as hell to stomp his foot down on that bright orange sock.

Sasuke was infuriated at how the blond could change him so. Until he met Naruto, he dined on instant ramen instead of a professionally home cooked, or star-restaurant quality meal for the first time in years. He had interacted with animals for the very first time aside from looking in a zoo as a child. He discussed personal preferences, binge-shopped, went night swimming and drinking, awakened a sinfully powerful sexual desire that ceased to diminish. He had connected emotionally at a rate that still startled him to this very day that involved experiencing minor heartbreak when nothing critical happened to himself, provided comfort, talked down suicidal thoughts, and simply took the time to genuinely bond with another aside from simple co-worker activities. He even was brought down to indulge in childish activities such as wrestling, and footsie like they were now, something of which Sasuke would normally never, ever see himself doing. It was impossible to imagine doing any of those things with another person aside from Naruto. All of which happened in two months time. 

Why did it feel like years?

He just realized that all of those stray thoughts basically summed up from the time he first met Naruto back at the farm to precisely right now. Sasuke let his sight drift towards Naruto who was no longer fuming over getting his foot stepped on, but instead looking at him with an odd expression. A random twist struck his gut as he thought further along the road. 

When this was all over and Naruto had a place to call his own home again, what would happen? Would they continue seeing each other? Would he visit? Would they fall out of touch? After all he was his assigned financial adviser, their relationship was supposed to be nothing more than formal. Afterwards was another story, though. When the case was finished and everything was settled, they were free to interact however they pleased. 

But, would they? 

Sasuke knew the man was growing on him, but he didn't know it was that bad. Sure, he considered himself relatively anti-social and kept his friends group minuscule, and his best friend group even tinier, and it would absolutely suck losing Naruto as a friend. Or best friend. Well, what was he? Sasuke had felt more at ease and connected with the blond than he did with some people he knew from High School damn it. 

A knee to his own snapped him away from his thinking, and that was when he realized he had spaced out deep in thought while still looking in Naruto's direction. Sasuke couldn't see his own face, but judging from Naruto's slightly worried expression he must've been looking pretty serious just then. Sasuke cleared his throat, tearing his gaze away from the blond's now confused face to shift over to handsome pale features.

Handsome pale features, which happened to be staring straight at him expectantly. Sasuke's eyes widened as he noticed the elapsed silence. Kakashi had stopped talking somewhere in the midst while he was zoned out, and from the looks of it he seemed to have asked him a question. Uh oh, how long was Kakashi waiting? Sasuke twiddled his fingers, swallowing hard in the back of his throat.

"Uhm-" He side-glanced at Naruto who raised a golden brow at him. 

"Sasuke." 

He immediately sat up straighter in his chair, flicking his gaze back to those silver iris's. "Yes Kakashi-san?"

"Are you fit for this meeting today? If you're feeling unwell, we may reschedule." 

"Forgive me, I seemed to have lost myself in my thoughts for a moment but I'm fine. Please continue."

"As you wish. As I was saying, you did a pretty good job collecting all the needed files, but if we are to succeed with this case it's going to take a bit more work which might prove to be difficult. Instead of bombarding you with a list full of tasks, we're going to take it one at a time to assure we complete everything effectively and correctly. Understood?"

Sasuke and Naruto nodded as the Lawyer's piercing chrome gaze swept between them.

"Good." Kakashi flipped through a folder, taking out a piece of paper and pen. "First things first we start from the beginning. I'm going to need a signature from you, Mr. Uzumaki, and Mr. Itachi Uchiha." 

Sasuke froze mid-reach for the pen, gawking up at the silver haired tycoon. "Come again?" 

"Itachi Uchiha, if I am misinformed I do believe that is your older sibling? His signature goes underneath yours, and I need to be present for the signing. Legal work, no other options accepted lest they assume one of you has a false identity and or is attempting to plagiarize someone else. Once we get all the tiresome paperwork out of the way, we can begin forming our suing case and establish a court date."

"I don't believe he's in the city at the moment."

"I never said it had to be right away. These kinds of things take time. I had a case drag on for a year and a half before." 

Sasuke tensed, peering over at Naruto who's mouth opened though he didn't say anything.

"Excuse me while I make a phone call." Sasuke announced, scooting his chair back as he stood up and reached in his pocket, walking out of the kitchen while dialing up Itachi's number. 

He paced around one of many living rooms as the line rang, pausing his step when that pompous, sneering voice answered. 

"I thought you'd never call, little brother."

"I was busy." 

"Aren't we all." Itachi hummed on the other end. 

"Where are you?" 

"France." 

Sasuke physically cringed.

"The wine is absolutely glorious." His older sibling continued in an over exaggerated tone. "Oh I must bring you back a few bottles brother, I'm sure you'll love it."

"Yeah, yeah. Save the small-talk for when you come here." 

"Miss me already?" 

"No, you need to sign some papers, details will be explained once you arrive so get on the next earliest flight." 

"Tsk, you never just want to spend quality time with your sibling. Always work." Itachi faked a sad voice.

"It's hard to do that when your sibling is Satan himself." 

"Harsh. Want some souvenirs?"

"If they don't consist of items that are illegal in fourteen different countries, then sure."

"Still mad from last time? Poor thing. And it's only illegal if people know you have it."

Sasuke hung up the phone.

 

Chapter Text


It wasn't surprising at all for Naruto to fall asleep at the kitchen table in the midst of overviewing their future with their new lawyer, Kakashi. Sasuke recalled the other man doing the same thing when he was first assigned the two week stay in the blond's hometown. An apology to the other business tycoon along with a couple rough kicks to the shin underneath the table would have Naruto jolting back awake, only to fall asleep once again.

While he found it particularly rude to do so in the presence of Kakashi, Sasuke also find it somewhat cute. He'd never in his life admit that aloud though. Who knew the hidden stress and anxiety Naruto went through on a daily basis while he stayed at work for those countless hours, preparing his case in every way possible to make their outcome a success. Just because the man wasn't working alongside him in the office, didn't mean he didn't share his sleepless nights and fits of nervousness. 

Aside from signatures, some side-information here and there, the rest was really up to Sasuke and Kakashi. As the afternoon dragged on into the evening, Naruto complained on multiple occasions how he felt he wasn't putting forth effort or assisting. Sasuke simply told him curtly as he did before to not worry. Naruto had done his part, rather he thought so or not. The stress of becoming homeless, losing his beloved pets whom he considered family and abruptly moving away from his friends was enough. He needn't suffer extra stress of trying to fix all that for his own sake. How Naruto found the will to wake up daily and greet him with a smile this entire time still awed Sasuke.

He silently wondered if he had looked past those cheesy grins and humorous yet awkward sexual tension situations too quickly. Just because someone appeared happy, didn't mean they were happy. The last thing Sasuke wanted was for Naruto to be hiding his anxiety from him and replacing it with his outgoing and hyperactive behavior just for the sake of not having him worry. Sasuke stole a quick glance at that peacefully sleeping face which rested against the tables fine wooden surface on top of a notebook, drooling on a page.

Sasuke hated every minute of their final discussion with Kakashi. They needed to go digging into Naruto's not-so-great past to retrieve information regarding the orphanage to have enough supporting evidence to properly conduct a sue. Hours were spent probing at suppressed memories and long forgotten feelings. That brought forth nothing but negative emotion, as Naruto so obviously displayed by uncomfortably long pauses, shifting restlessly in his seat, or lack of eye contact.

When Kakashi finally decided he had enough information to do what he needed, they fell into step one. While Itachi was preparing to leave France and come here to sign the needed papers, he would make a trip to Naruto's hometown, Konoha. The silver haired man explained he'd use what he learned tonight to gather more necessary intel on the orphanage that they required for later steps. It was a smart plan indeed. It would kill two birds with one stone.

By the time Kakashi returned, Itachi would be here and ready for signatures. But of course, that mean't Itachi would have to stay here a few days. Sasuke shuttered, even though his brother very well had his own home in the city and could more than afford a nice hotel, he would give a never-ending speech on how they needed more 'brotherly bonding time' and stay in the mansion despite his protests.

He stood from his seat, walking over towards the coffee machine that beeped and poured himself a second cup. Sasuke half turned his body, spoon in one hand as he fixed his gaze on the silver haired man seated at the table, long pale fingers effortlessly typing away at what had to be a speed of at least a thousand fucking words per minute. Sasuke blinked a few times. And he had considered himself a fast typer. Psh. Kakashi instantly put that skill to shame.

"More coffee Kakashi-san?" Sasuke offered. 

"Yes, please." The other man replied politely, his fingers still typing at the miraculous speed while he took a brief glance upward from his screen.

Their session had dragged well into the night. Sasuke was a bit impressed that Kakashi had stayed so long, the man was so busy he expected it to be a quick pop-in. Though, he was their official assigned Lawyer now, it was only natural that they worked. Still, it was odd having a man of such high status in his own home, sitting at his own table, drinking out of his own cup. 

Teenage Sasuke would not have been able to contain his fangirling over such a thing. Kakashi really lived up to his name to a tee. Intelligent, suave, intense, formal, devilishly handsome. It was such a broad change switching to communicating from his co-workers and Naruto to the silver haired man. Sasuke found himself expecting cheesy jokes, or completely off-topic subjects to be brought up, but nothing of the sort happened. 

Kakashi was literally a working machine in human flesh. If anyone thought Sasuke of such, seeing this man in action would be similar to what he did daily, except tenfold. It was.. weird. One could almost consider it to be relatively robotic. The stoic demeanor, crisp words emitting smoothly and clearly. The perfection. It was even more weird when Kakashi broke that programmed exterior and did very human things such as yawn, stretch, crack his knuckles. 

They were the simplest of actions that shouldn't be brought to anyone's attention. Yet, after being in the presence of someone so.. droid-like and seeing them do those things, one couldn't help but stare. So, when Kakashi's face was no longer expressionless and replaced with an intense, almost predacious examination, Sasuke blinked in surprise. He followed the mans grey eyes which were no longer on his laptop screen but instead in the direct line of a sleeping Naruto.

Sasuke felt his stomach twist with slight dread. Why was Kakashi looking at Naruto like that? Had he done something wrong? Was he mad for falling asleep during their discussion? Though after looking closer, the silver haired tycoon appeared all but angry. His hawk-like scrutinization was as if he was trying to decipher a code. Like he couldn't quite make sense of what was a few feet away from him.

Sasuke gently set the cup containing the mans caffeinated beverage next to him. Kakashi murmured his thanks, but those intense chrome eyes still remained locked on his blond friend. Chewing on the inside of his cheek, Sasuke slid back into his chair and tapped his fingers against his cup. Finally, Kakashi tore his eyes away and took a sip of his drink, humming deeply in appreciation.

"How long have you known Mr. Uzumaki?" 

The question took Sasuke slightly aback. Of all things, he didn't expect Kakashi to ask him anything aside from his family's business, work, or their case. "Uhm, it's been a bit over two months now I believe." 

"Meaning, you have not known him prior to being his financial adviser?" 

Sasuke tensed. "No." 

"Hn." Kakashi murmured, taking another sip of his hot beverage. "So, you wouldn't happen to know if he's ever gone by the last name, Namikaze?" 

"Namikaze?" Sasuke repeated curiously, frowning at the unfamiliar name. "No, not to my knowledge sorry. Never heard of the name." 

"It's alright." 

There was a long pause afterward. Sasuke had so many questions brewing in his mind now. Why did Kakashi ask that? Why would Naruto have the last name Namikaze? Why did he seem to know someone with that name? Was he aware of something about Naruto that Sasuke wasn't? He took a relatively long gulp of his coffee, ignoring how he took too much in and the substance burned his tongue and throat.

"I should be heading off now." Kakashi announced, rising to his seat while closing his laptop and slipping it into a bag. 

"Oh- yes. Shall I see you out?" 

"That's quite alright. I apologize I couldn't finish my second cup of coffee."

"No worries." 

"I will set my travels to Konoha tonight, my estimated time of return is approximately five days. It may extend to a week, it may be shortened to three days. I shall text you upon arrival, and feel free to text or call me with any concerns or additional information." 

"Got it, I will." 

Kakashi nodded, slinging the strap of his bag over one wide shoulder. "Farwell, Sasuke." 

"Goodbye Kakashi-san." 

Kakashi's footsteps got quieter and quieter until there was the sound of the front door opening then closing. Sasuke remained seated at the table for a long moment, processing their earlier conversation. Why did the Kakashi Hatake seem to.. recognize Naruto? Where could the two possibly have any connections with each other? He had half a mind to jog after the man and bombard him with questions but instead sighed. 

Sasuke scooted back his chair, walking over to Naruto's side of the table and gently shook him on the shoulder. It was in that moment, Sasuke remembered the man literally slept like a dead body. Huffing, he shook the blond a bit more. Naruto stirred slightly, mumbling something under his breath before a light snore escaped him. Groaning now, Sasuke tried again, harder than before.

A low, almost erotic noise worked it's way past Naruto's lips and he froze when the blond chuckled deeply afterwards. "Mmn, you know I like it rough." 

Well then.

The man's words were much too groggy and a bit slurred for him to be awake. Sasuke blinked a few times while standing in place, not sure what to do with that information. He then extended out one finger and gingerly poked Naruto in the arm. Almost instantly the other's lids flashed open, and sapphire orbs were peering at his own. Sasuke eyes nearly bulged out of his skull and he all but flinched. Oh, so one measly poke awakens the sleeping rock but not when he was shaking him into oblivion. 

"Sasuke?" Naruto said sleepily, sitting up while yawning. He rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand, reaching his long arms above his head in a stretch. "Damn you, I was having a good dream." 

"Were you now?" Sasuke inquired knowingly, smirking when Naruto stared at him a bit flustered. 

"Uh- I mean.. well yeah." 

"Care to share the details?" He pressed, his smirk widening into a rare grin when the other man's tan features began darkening with a shade of red.

"Ummm.. okay. I uh, guess it was a little.." 

"Rough?" Sasuke interjected, much too satisfied with the way Naruto's eyes widened substantially. 

The expression however soon died out, replaced with another one that Sasuke couldn't quite put into words. All he knew was: he liked it. 

"Oh, you don't know the half of it." Naruto replied, his tongue briefly swiping over his lips.

Sasuke's gaze lingered on the mans mouth, suddenly aware how he was leaning forwards with one hand resting on the table in front of Naruto. "I know more than you think." He stated, voice quiet.

"Is that so?" Naruto asked.

A small gasp was torn from Sasuke as Naruto's hand flung forwards, snatching the collar of his shirt and yanking. The action caused him to buckle down to eye-level with the sitting man, their faces inches apart. The blond's fist was still tightly fastened on the fabric of his shirt, and all Sasuke could do was peer into that steady sapphire gaze. His breathing became uneven when Naruto leaned next to the side of his face, mouth dangerously close to his earlobe as he spoke his next words in a husky, hushed tone barely above a whisper. 

"I'd love a demonstration sometime." 

The hairs on the back of Sasuke's neck instantly rose and he let out a short breathless exhale. He wanted to respond, but his throat was too dry to form words at the moment. Throughout the past couple of weeks Naruto's subtle seemingly innocent hidden innuendo had roused to quite suggestive, sometimes physical sexual teasing. The large hand print on Sasuke's left ass cheek was proof of such.

He didn't quite know what to make of it. Naruto wasn't completely straight, Sasuke knew that for sure now, and the man made it pretty obvious that he was attracted to him. Sasuke was positive Naruto also knew how much trouble he could get in from developing any sort of relationship aside from business with him. Though, in a way that barrier was already broken considering they both regarded each other as friends now. 

Friends teased each other sometimes, right? 

No harm done. 

Friends also, on occasion, wanted to fuck each others brains out. Right?

Again, no harm done.

Still, it would be unwise to do such antics or display any type of closeness with Kakashi -a skilled and strict law enforcer- now as their lawyer and working alongside them. Even light teasing could be mistaken and get them in a world of trouble. It was already gracious enough of the silver haired man not to address Naruto staying in the mansion with him when he very well knew he wasn't supposed to.

However Sasuke couldn't deny that the teasing was getting to him. The more it happened, the stronger that feral desire became. He couldn't pinpoint it. The feeling was so unusual, such a raw and nearly possessive magnetic force that drew him to the blond. Sasuke blamed his terrible sex life. It had been a good amount of months since he had shared a bed with anyone, and even longer since feelings had been attached. 

Wait. 

Feelings? Sure, Naruto was un-doubtably attractive. Anyone in their right mind would agree. But, to say it was anything more than a lingering sexual desire left Sasuke somewhat nervous. He knew the other man had impacted his life greatly and bonded with him quicker than he ever would've imagined, though would he go so far as to say there was.. a developing crush?

Sasuke couldn't remember the last time he had a so called crush. College? Maybe even high school. It was still nothing in comparison to what he felt towards Naruto though. He could easily describe his exact emotions towards others like reading a book. With Naruto though, it was like trying to understand something that was written in multiple different languages. 

Even as the days ebbed on and he thought he was getting a better understanding, he still couldn't describe what this feeling was. All Sasuke knew is that Naruto was the one and only individual to trigger such a reaction from him. He hated it and loved it at the same time. He hated how the man could turn his normally domineering and composed exterior into a stuttery, blushing mess. He also loved the thrill and anticipation of his general presence, it was truly exotic in it's own way. 

This entire time Naruto had been staring at him keenly. Sasuke who had just come down from deadpanning with his mouth slightly open cleared his throat and sat up. If the blond had said anything else to him, he was too lost in thought to hear or comprehend the words. A smirk was splayed on the other mans face, and Sasuke frowned, crossing his arms. 

"What's so funny?" 

"Mm. Nothing." Naruto chuckled, rising to his feet. "You're spacey today. That has to be the third time tonight that- hey!" 

The blond stopped mid sentence to shout before scurrying over towards Kakashi's previous spot. Kurama had made his way into the kitchen and somewhere in the middle of their little encounter hopped on the table and began lapping at the partially drunken cup of coffee left behind. 

"Bad kitty." Naruto scolded, scooping the orange feline into his arms who meowed softly. "Sorry, I think I accidentally left my room door open."

"Hn." 

"I'm gonna take Kurama upstairs and head to sleep now." The blond commented, stroking his long fingers down the thick fur of his pet's back. "You should sleep in, you're off tomorrow too right?" 

"Yeah, I am." Sasuke confirmed, taking the two cups and emptying them into the sink. 

"Good." Naruto smiled warmly, the expression causing an unknown warmness in his chest. "Get some much-needed rest."

"I will." Sasuke smiled back. "Oh, hey, one more thing." 

"Yeah?" Naruto paused at the edge of the kitchen, scratching Kurama behind his black marking ears. 

"Does the name Namikaze ring a bell?" 

"Namikaze? Hmm.. never heard of it, sorry. Why?" 

"Ah, no reason. I'll see you tomorrow, have a good night." 

"Okay, night!"




Sasuke hadn't particularly been too truthful with Naruto earlier. After returning to his room, taking a shower and getting in bed he was nowhere near ready to sleep. His mind which had been wandering and zoning out so much today refused to die down and allow him rest. Kakashi's odd questioning still lingered, and Sasuke -being the nosy and relentless individual he was- wanted answers.

He flipped open his laptop screen which rested on his thighs, recoiling from the bright light while squinting. After adjusting his brightness, Sasuke pulled up Google search engine. He then typed 'Namikaze' into the search bar, hesitating only a brief moment before clicking. At once, multiple links containing articles or other sources popped up. Sasuke didn't even need to dig further because located at the right hand of the screen was now a biography of 'Minato Namikaze'.

Sasuke deadpanned at what was displayed. At first he had thought it was a picture of Naruto, but that wasn't the case. This man looked slightly older with a slimmer face, but there was no denying a shocking resemblance between the two. Natural golden blonde hair that was fuller and a bit longer in length. Relatively tan skin a few shades lighter. And those eyes. Those all too familiar magnificent blues.

He now understood why Kakashi asked earlier. It made sense, if Sasuke didn't know better he'd say Naruto and this man were related. Sasuke chuckled, pondering if to tell Naruto to sign himself up to the famous people look-alike website that everyone went absolutely crazy over. Sasuke wondered if Naruto even knew this Minato man existed. It was always fun finding someone who looked like you. 

Sasuke remembered the blond mentioning the artist he met with Shion, and how the man supposedly looked like him. What was his name.. Sai? He'd have to meet him someday and see if this was true. Sasuke then recalled the naked drawing and frowned, dismissing the thought. Deciding he had stared at Minato's attractive biography picture long enough, Sasuke took the time to actually read the text that was underneath. 

He gathered the following information from the small bio: Minato Namikaze, 'The Yellow Flash', was an MMA Specialist and Professional Martial Artist. He was famous worldwide in the fighting community for his unbelievable speed that no challenger could keep up with. Interesting. That was probably how Kakashi knew him, after all the man was a supposed Master Martial Artist himself. 

Sasuke clicked on a YouTube video link below; Yellow Flash's famous knockout. He was impressed with the number of views and likes. There were plenty of celebrities that people didn't know about, but Sasuke was still disappointed in himself for not knowing a lick about the fighting community or their participants. Judging from the shares, comments and likes, it was a good one. 

The video loaded, and in an arena were two figures. One obviously Minato from that unmistakable golden head of hair, the other probably some other famous fighter that Sasuke didn't bother getting to know. As the fight begun, the challenger bounced on his toes eagerly, moving left to right and circling around Minato. The blond man looked completely composed, unlike his attacker who was already sweating not fifteen seconds into the match.

There was a thump, and suddenly the opponent was on the ground, out cold. Awe-stricken screams and cheers blistered from the full crowd as the referee began countdown, and those cheers got even louder as the buzzer went off and Minato was announced winner. Sasuke paused the video, blinking rapidly. He was staring at the screen the entire time and somehow missed it. 

He re-winded it, starting a couple seconds from when he heard the thump. Sasuke's mouth fell open as the same thing happened. He re-winded it another time, sitting in disbelief. This video was not altered, nor edited. It was a real recording live from an official camera man at the fight that day. He shook his head, dragging his mouse across the video bar so that it would play in slow motion.

As the challenger reared to one side again, there was a puny moment of which his arms repositioned that left a big enough opening for attack. Minato's fist extended with a deadly accuracy at exactly that time. When Minato's hand connected with the other mans face, a trail of spit flew up in air, mouth guard falling from his loose lips as his eyes went crossed before he fell.

Sasuke blew out a puff of air through his nose. The man was called The Yellow Flash for a reason. He watched a few other videos before returning back to the main search page and paused at an article. Sasuke soon sadly found out that this Minato Namikaze fellow was no longer living. In fact he had been dead for quite some time. The article title caught him off guard, though. Sasuke frowned at the big bold words at the top of the page. 

Minato's mysterious death and newborns disappearance.

He quickly clicked the link, verifying the source being a credible one from actual news and not some made-up bullshit by journalists before reading it. The article was short, too short. It hardly provided any information at all. So, Sasuke looked onto the next. They were all basically the same, repeating things only in different words. None had any additional new information. 

After prying further, he still couldn't find anything more. It would seem neither could the police, as Minato's newborn child apparently disappeared from the face of the Earth without the slightest trace after he was found dead in his home. The autopsy revealed it was suicide by intake of substance, only there was absolutely nothing around Minato at the time of death, which didn't add up. They also couldn't find any trace of poison or drugs in his system.

It was a weird and unfortunate death for someone so young and talented. They couldn't question his wife on the matter either, because she had died shortly after birthing their child. Their child, which was never found to this day. Such tragic events, even if it all happened over twenty-five years ago Sasuke couldn't help but feel bad. He was a newborn himself or about one years old at the time of all this. A cruel world they lived in indeed. 

He closed all the tabs with a sigh, shutting his laptop and setting it atop the table next to his bedside. Sasuke sank into his blankets comfortably, allowing his body to relax into the soft comforters, shutting his eyes. A weight on his stomach had his eyes snap back open. In the darkness he could make out a small, fluffy figure standing with it's paws on his abdomen while slitted, orange-reddish optics stared at him. 

Kurama meowed loudly, and Sasuke sighed. "I knew you could open doors." 




Sasuke woke up naturally for the first time in what seemed like forever. Not having to awaken to the sound of an alarm blaring in his eardrums was quite refreshing. Sunshine spilled through his curtains and closed blinds, waiting to fill the room with their bright yellow luminescence. He wasn't quite ready to torture his eyes yet though. A steady, vibrating noise near his head caused him to turn curiously to the left. 

Laying atop one of his many pillows was Naruto's pet. The fluffy orange feline who apparently spent the night in his room was curled into a ball, purring away contently. Sasuke couldn't help a small smile. He had assumed himself to hate cats, but suddenly the blond's idea of owning one for himself didn't seem all too bad. He sat up and grabbed his phone, the time was 10:54 AM. 

Wow, Sasuke rarely slept past 8:30 and here it was almost lunchtime. At least his eyes would no longer be heavy and he wouldn't have to fight fatigue throughout the day. He scrolled through his notifications, swiping past emails that he proabbly wouldn't check until weeks later. A text message received from Itachi at 3:16 AM made him stop.

:: -Getting on the next flight, I should be there before dinner time tonight. I expect a fantastic welcome home present. See you soon little brother. Kisses and hugs. - Itachi. :: 

Sasuke scoffed out loud. "Kisses and hugs." "Welcome home present." As if. His sibling sure knew how to joke. The blatant sarcasm was so strong he was surprised his screen didn't crack. He set his phone back down while climbing out of the massive bed and yawned. Sasuke did some morning stretching routines, brushed his teeth, got in the shower, and put on a pair of black sweatpants and a sweatshirt. 

The outfit wasn't something of his normal wardrobe but it was getting colder. He didn't have to wear a suit or any other dress clothing for once. He had almost forgotten just how comfortable and loose the items felt on his body. After brushing his hair to a somewhat decent appearance, Sasuke trudged back in his room and frowned at Kurama. The feline was now sprawled on his side of the bed, leg in the air as he groomed himself. 

"It's one thing to sneak into my room at night," Sasuke began, walking over to the orange animal who continued cleaning it's pelt. "But now you're an unwelcomed guest. I don't want cat hair all over my damn sheets." 

Sasuke ended the feline's grooming session and scooped up Kurama in his arms who meowed in protest after being removed from the comfortable mattress. He walked out of the room, shutting the door with his foot and made his way up a flight of stairs. He knocked on the blond's door as best he could with the surprisingly heavy cat in his arms. When nobody answered, Sasuke faintly heard music playing from behind the door and decided to simply walk in. 

"Hey Naruto, we got a big problem." He said while turning the handle and stepping into the bright room. "It seems Kuram-" 

His gaze moved across the slightly messy room to where Naruto now stood completely still. And completely naked. The blond had a bright orange towel wrapped around his hair and a toothbrush jammed in the corner of his mouth. His only clothing was one measly black sock, the other draped in his hand. Who the hell put socks on first thing out of the shower? 

The other man was like a deer in the headlights - frozen to the spot and eyes enormous. He stared directly at Sasuke who in return stared right back at him dumbly, his mouth open as he cut off his speech. Kurama wiggled out of his arms with a small meow and trotted across the floor somewhere, disregarding the two. Naruto was still faintly wet, as was seen from the glistening droplets of water rolling down his defined collarbones and further to his chest.

Sasuke tried to keep his eyes on those bright blues. He really did. But even his immense willpower couldn't stop his vision from following the water droplets and dragging down that muscled physique and glimpse at the mans crotch. Sasuke's breath caught in his throat. He snapped his gaze back up to return to tan features which were stained with a slight shade of red at the cheeks. 

What was he saying about a big problem? 

Chapter Text


"Woah, Sasuke are you fucking serious?" 

"Yeah," Sasuke couldn't help but grin slightly. The sheer astonishment in Shikamaru's normally monotone voice was quite pleasing. "He accepted it the same day too. Imagine that?" 

"That's absolutely insane, getting Kakashi Hatake as your personal lawyer. He's ridiculously precise and has sent a shit-ton of people to prison. What the hell made him agree so fast? Those kinds of things can normally take weeks. You couldn't have bribed him with money either because he's already rich."

"In all honesty.." Sasuke trailed off, leaning back in his chair and placing his open book on his thighs. He thought back a couple days ago to their first interaction with Kakashi at Starbucks, and how the man's eyes immediately shifted over towards Naruto and appeared almost.. shocked. Did that have anything to do with how he came to a final decision so quickly? "I have no idea. Luck perhaps." 

Shikamaru snorted on the other end. "That's for damn sure." 

"Psh. How are things looking there? Any changes on the farm?"

"As far as I know the property is still seized, they've done nothing further aside from cut off the power and water. Though I don't know how long they intend to stay like that. There's a lot of land there Sasuke. Ten currently unused acres. My guess is if you guys don't figure out something fast, they're either going to re-sell the land or destroy the entire thing and build something else there."

"I know, we've actually just begun step one. Oh- fuck, that reminds me. I forgot to tell you, but Kakashi is on his way to Konoha as we speak. Matter of fact, he might be there right now or just arrived."

"Are you serious?"  Shikamaru asked a second time.

"Mhm. He needed to go to the orphanage Naruto attended as a child in person and probably discuss some things with the court back there too as well as maybe look at the house. I will give him your number and tell him that you've been our main source for helping us back in Naruto's hometown. So you may get to not only meet Kakashi, but help him too." 

"First I meet the second CEO and official family member of the Uchiha finance business, fifth largest and most successful in the nation. Now, I'm meeting one of the wealthiest, effective and prosperous lawyer's of this day and age too? Who knew becoming friends with Naruto would allow me to interact with such people."

"I wouldn't have imagined so either." Sasuke chuckled.

"What's he like?"

"Kakashi?" 

"Yeah."

"He's..hn. He's professional." 

"So, like you?" 

"Hn. Not quite. I've been actually slacking on my professionalism as of lately." 

"Hah. Naruto will do that to ya." 

Sasuke snorted. "Well, he's not necessarily mean, Kakashi is just.. hmm. Straightforward? Crisp? Direct? He's a little like a robot. Polite and proper, sort of exactly how he's displayed on videos and his webpage. Don't worry too much about it, I have a feeling you two will click."

"That's a relief. He'll probably think I'm some lazy fucker for working in a bar with an IQ over two hundred." 

"You are a lazy fucker Shikamaru. How do you even -wait what? What did you just say? You're kidding, right?"

"Nah." The man sounded bored on the other end. 

Sasuke sat in silence for a couple of moments. "Shikamaru. You have an IQ over two hundred. You do realize you have about superhuman intelligence levels that literally any high-paying job would love to have you in, yet you work at a local bar." 

"Eh, yeah I guess you're right." Shikamaru yawned on the other end, sounding like he was stretching.

"You're impossible." Sasuke shook his head, pinching the bridge of his nose when the other man chuckled over the line. "Anyways, I'll go ahead and message Kakashi about you tomorrow morning, so expect the possibility of a call. I may also mention this uncanny level of wisdom that you carry, people who work in federal government jobs love shit like that. You may have yourself an interview sooner than you think." 

"Sounds like a complete drag, but I'll be looking forward to his call." 

"Good. I'll talk to you later, and for the love of God find some enthusiasm." 

Sasuke hung up the phone with a small chuckle, sliding the item into his pants pocket while he placed his bookmark in his book and set it aside. Naruto was a clueless moron with limitless excitement and motivation, Shikamaru was an intellect prodigy with hardly enough desire to do basic everyday needs let alone go above and beyond. Yet they were best friends. If the two had switched personalities, man, wouldn't that be something?  




After the brief, awkward nude encounter with Naruto, Sasuke had retreated back to his favorite reading space. It was somewhere after he finished a few chapters of 'Of Mice and Men' did Shikamaru give him a call and he explained the events that unfolded with Kakashi a few days prior. When the call ended, Sasuke found himself continuously glancing down at his wrist, hoping time would slow down. 

He wasn't looking forward to Itachi's presence one bit. His big brother was the most sarcastic and irking person to ever walk the face of his planet. During some of their business hours when they happened to be on the same floor in the building Itachi would always pester him, crack terrible jokes or involve himself in pranks which would always somehow leave Sasuke embarrassed or explaining a weird situation to the company COO's.

But.. as annoying as Itachi was, they couldn't move forward with Kakashi unless they get his signature. Of course, Sasuke knew his brother would stay longer than for the mere signing of a piece of paper, which meant he was going to have to spend some time with the man rather he wanted to or not. So, to prepare for the arrival of his irritating devil of a sibling, Sasuke decided to read again to temporarily take his mind off of it.

When the reading ended quickly as he was unable to fully focus on the book, Sasuke instead tried to meditate in the quiet area to clear his head. Though, every time he closed his eyes and allowed his body to furthermore relax, Sasuke was angry at his brain for involuntarily bringing back the mental image of Naruto's naked body from an hour or so ago. Naked people was not something you were supposed to be thinking about when meditating. 

Meditation was meant to be calm and relaxing, not get your blood rapidly throbbing through your veins with every beat of your heart. And throbbing in other areas too. Sasuke groaned, kicking his legs out from their crossed position and leaned back onto the floor, staring up at the high-rise ceiling painted with art. Even on his day off he couldn't catch a break.

A loud burst of laughter echoing throughout the mansion's hallways caused Sasuke to arch an elegant brow. He sat up from the carpeted floor, pushing himself to his feet and opened the door while poking his head past the door frame. Another fit of cackles filled the building's interior, and he didn't need to think twice to know the loud noises were coming from Naruto.

With nothing better to do, Sasuke decided to follow the sound. He made his way downstairs towards one of the many comfort rooms equipped with a fireplace, rug, and a few leather reading couches. Sasuke turned a corner only to pause near the entrance to the doorway as more giggles sounded off. He partially tilted his head, peering inside the warm room to see Naruto sitting on the floor, his back to him as his laptop was open on the couch. 

Sasuke saw on the laptop screen Naruto's webcam was currently on, and once narrowing his eyes he could make out the outline of other video logs currently running on the app, Skype. He stayed out of view from the camera, but still stood close enough to be able to see the screen and hear the other voice on the line. 

"I knew the runt of the litter would grow the biggest!" Naruto laughed again, holding his sides. 

On one of the other video cams' Hinata was currently being jumped by an enormous, splotched fuzzy dog. Sasuke instantly recognized it as the puppy Naruto kept for himself after Neji and Kiba took the remaining six into the armed forces for training.

"It's not funny Naruto!" Hinata said, exasperated on the other end. "He chews my shoes, tears at the couches, and he wont even sit on command! He eats like an elephant too and is getting bigger every day. The kids want me to take him to school on Friday's but he's too hyper! Naruto he can knock me over already, he'd trample the poor kindergartners."

"Yeah, that sounds about right for a growing puppy." The blond snorted, leaning forwards till his face was practically pushed against the laptop screen. "Hi!" Naruto shouted on the other end to the fluffy mutt who in return barked at the computer. "Oh man what is he, about eight and a half months now? He's bigger than Snickerdoodle." 

Sasuke almost sighed out loud. Leave it to Naruto to name one of his dogs after a fucking cookie.

"What did you name him?" Naruto asked curiously, bouncing up and down like a little kid. 

"O-oh I haven't really given it much thought. He has a bunch of spots on his paws and forelegs so I've just been calling him Pebbles. You can change it if you wan't though." Hinata replied shyly, her face reddening Sasuke could see even from this distance away on the webcam display. 

"Pebbles? I love it! It's cute." The blond cheesed, causing Hinata's blush to deepen even more. "Oh sweet! Neji and Kiba are connecting again, hang on a second." 

Naruto clicked a couple things on his laptop, and next to Hinata's video camera the second one blurred into focus. Sasuke could make out they were in a large building with tan walls, and scattered around the area were K9 Unit obstacle courses. A shaggy head of brown hair bombarded the camera, blocking off every other view. 

"Is this thing working now?" Kiba's voice spoke up as he gave his webcam a few taps, shaking the lens. 

"Yes." Hinata said.

"Yeah, now move your bigass head!" Naruto shouted, laughing when Kiba glared on the other end before stepping back.

"You're one to talk, all I see is forehead." Kiba retorted, crossing his arms with a smirk. 

"Hey!" Naruto grumbled, slapping a large palm over the top of his head. 

"Will you two stop being childish." Neji growled, walking up to stand next to Kiba. His upper body was geared up in heavy padding and he wore a head guard with metal bars. "You should consider disciplinary school, cousin."

The young woman was currently in a tug-of-war match with Pebbles who had taken a hold of her scarf, tearing the purple fabric in his jowls as he playfully yipped and wagged his tail. Hinata made a defeated noise when the scarf tore in half, and the mutt ran off somewhere out of the camera view, leaving her standing with the slobber-covered item in her hand. 

"Good idea Neji-san." Hinata sighed, dropping the scarf and wiping off her hand.

"Do you want to see now? The camera seems to be working." Kiba offered. 

"Oh, yeah!" Naruto said, excitement clear in his voice. Sasuke didn't need to see his eyes to know from the tone that they were indeed wide and thrilled.

"Go and get Phantom." Neji ordered, tightening his face protector before walking out of view.

Kiba nodded, adjusting the camera to have a wider visual range then disappeared for a few moments. He soon returned with a chain leash, walking another particularly large dog wearing a vest that displayed in big white letters on the back: K9. It had thick black fur with some undertones of white and brown, hinting that it was also one of the mix-breed farm puppies. Neji stood a few meters away on a mat, his posture lowering into that of a threatening pose as if he were about to charge towards Kiba and the dog. 

The shaggy haired man then took on a defensive stance, yelling out a sharp order. The canine also known as Phantom immediately moved in-between Kiba's legs, commencing aggressive snarls and barks in Neji's direction. Every time Kiba moved back or forth, the dog sidestepped skillfully along with his movements, maintaining his position underneath Kiba's body while his attention was never drawn from the Hyuuga.

Kiba then shouted out another command, and Phantom began charging forwards only to be stopped by his metal chain which he continuously pulled on, snapping it's teeth loudly towards Neji, spit flying from his jaws. Kiba leaned back to keep from being flung forwards by the animal, and he continued hooting and yelling out orders while the dog only got more riled up.

The brown haired man then reached a hand forward, unhooking the chain leash from Phantom's spiky collar. The dark animal instantly sprinted at Neji, covering the distance in three seconds flat before jumping into the air, mandible's parted. Neji raised one of his heavily padded arms just as the canine was in mid-air, it's mouth locking on the thick fabric the moment it connected. 

Neji fell backwards on the ground, yelling and falsely swatting at the dog without actually landing a blow as he thrashed around in false-perception of being in pain. Phantom held onto the padded area of which his jowls were tightened on like a lifeline, tugging and snarling, shaking his head from side to side. Kiba soon ran up and made a clicking noise with his mouth, at once the dog dropped Neji's arm and returned to position between the man's legs as he re-attached the leash.

"Woah!" Naruto exclaimed, sitting up on his knees. Hinata's eyes were visibly wide and she mumbled something Sasuke couldn't quite catch. 

"Yeah." Kiba chuckled, petting the dark canine between the ears who in return, licked his hand. "Phantom is a quick learner. He's gonna be something else on the field." 

"Indeed, he's excellent. Top of the K9 class next to Akamaru." Neji added, taking off his face protector. 

"You should sign Pebbles up." Naruto joked.

"Oh no!" Hinata sounded almost sad. "Pebbles couldn't hurt a soul." 

"He could lick them to death." Kiba shrugged, laughing when Neji rolled his eyes.

"Just watch, Pebbles will be an amazing guard dog. I'll train him myself if I have to." Naruto said, sitting up straighter as he puffed out his chest. 

"And how do you propose to do that?" Neji inquired, arching a dark brow. "It takes a long time to master training, and even longer to apply that knowledge on puppies who have the attention span of toddlers."

"Have a little faith." Kiba said. 

"I believe you Naruto!" Hinata added enthusiastically.

Neji merely rolled his eyes. "The Command Sergeant Major will be arriving shortly, so we must unfortunately depart."

"Aweee, alright. It was great talking to you guys again, and keep me updated with pictures and videos of their progress!" 

"We will." Kiba grinned. "You keep in touch too, you worried us for a while without any contact, but it looks like you're doing good. Really good actually.. that's a nice hotel you're in. The statue in the background next to that table looks expensive as hell." 

"Actually," Naruto rubbed the back of his head, chuckling. "It's a mansion." 

"Mansion?" All three friends echoed at the same time. 

"Heh, yeah." The blond said, shrugging his shoulders. "I miss you guys and Konoha, but I'm also having an awesome time here with Sasuke. He's done so much I can't even begin to list off the number of things. You guy's don't have to worry one bit."

"That's very kind of Sasuke-san, give him our gratitude." Hinata said.

"Yes, that's quite refreshing to hear, and as long as you're well taken care of and progressing, we're all happy." Neji nodded. That was probably the nicest thing Sasuke ever heard coming from the Hyuuga's mouth regarding Naruto.

"Thanks guys." Naruto said, his smile obvious in his voice.

"We'll see ya later!" Kiba announced. 

"Farewell." Neji added. 

"Goodbye Naruto!" Hinata said.

A couple clicks on the keyboard, and the video logs disappeared from the screen before Naruto shut the laptop and yawned. Sasuke blinked, realizing he had been spying on the blond's entire conversation. Despite being nosy, Sasuke couldn't help the warm feeling in his chest when Naruto mentioned him, and how he was genuinely happy and enjoying his presence despite his situation.

He quietly retreated from the doorway, quietly making his way partially down the hall before opening a door and loudly closing it. Sasuke made his footsteps and every other movement blatantly audible to make it seem like he was just coming from another part of the mansion, and not recently spying on Naruto. 

"Hey, Sasuke!" Naruto's voice called from around the corner.

"Ah, yes?" He asked innocently, stepping fully into the same room to be met with that big, pearly white grin.

"You were right about that Skype thing. I just got off of a call, it's really the best thing next to visiting them in person." 

"I'm glad you're finally making use of your laptop." 

"Yeah." The blond chuckled. "I mean, besides doing that I really don't know what else to use it for. Hmm... oh! Do you have a Skype, Sasuke?" 

"Me? No." 

"You should make an account."

"Why?"

Naruto's grin got wider. If possible. "Because when this is all over, I still want to keep in touch with you. We can video chat each other!" 

Sasuke snorted halfheartedly, though there were faint butterflies in his stomach. He was even more pleased to find out his question regarding if the blond and him would fall off after the case was over had finally been answered.

"Is.. is that a no?" 

He looked up to see those impossibly big blue eyes had widened, and Naruto's smile faded into a small pout while he tapped his fingers together. Damn him and his perfect puppy-dog face.

"Of course I'll make one." Sasuke answered, sighing when Naruto's expression was immediately replaced with his signature grin. That faking bastard.

"Sweet!" 

"What is your username? I'll put it down in my phone to remind myself later to add you." He asked, taking out the small device from his pocket while opening the Notes app.

"FoxyBlondeBoy2000."

Sasuke's fingers wen't slack for a second before he clicked the lock button. "Nevermind." 

"Hey-" Naruto burst out laughing, falling back on the floor. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding!"




Sasuke got a notification on his phone telling him that the front gates had been opened, allowing a vehicle passage. Already?  Sasuke all but groaned when he looked out of his bedroom window, seeing a familiar jet black Rolls Royce pull up to the round-a-bout fountain in front of the mansion. He made his way downstairs, stepping into the open entryway to see his butler already at the large doors.

Gen'ichi reached for the handle, but the door instead opened from the outside and nearly knocked the poor old man over. Itachi -uninvited- waltzed into the large building, his trademark shit-eating smirk plastered onto his face as he dropped his bag onto the floor with a loud, echoing thud. 

"Gen'ichi! It's been too long." 

"It has been quite some time, hasn't it Itachi?" The old man chuckled, dusting off his suit before grabbing the disregarded bag from the floor. 

"Ah- there's my little brother." Itachi announced while walking forwards, opening his arms in an invitation. An invitation Sasuke was not going to accept. 

"You're early." Sasuke commented boredly, growling when Itachi brought his arms around his torso and pulled him into a tight hug.

"I did say before dinner time tonight, didn't I?" 

"Hn."

Sasuke broke free of the hug, fixing his shirt. Itachi then smirked and placed his pointer finger and thumb on his forehead, flicking back with his wrist.

"God damn it-" Sasuke took a couple steps backwards. "Will you stop doing that?" 

"Is this all of your belongings, Itachi?" Gen'ichi questioned, holding up the large bag that his brother had thrown on the floor. 

"There's two more in the trunk, don't bother though Gen'ichi, they're quite heavy. I'll get them myself a bit later." Itachi answered politely, as if he wasn't just nagging him.

"Of course, sir." His butler nodded, moving the bag to the bottom of the staircase before taking his leave.

"Where's my present?" Itachi asked, turning back towards Sasuke. 

Sasuke scoffed. "You staying here should be considered enough of a gift." 

"I'm staying? How gracious of you to offer!" Itachi slapped a hand on his shoulder.

"I-" Sasuke huffed. Asshole.

His brother's resounding chuckle filled the large room. "I did bring that wine, though. Chateau Latour. It's even in-" 

Footsteps caught the attention of both Uchiha brothers, and at the top of the grand spiraled staircase making his way down was Naruto. The blond had paused mid-step about halfway down the stairs once finally noticing their new guest. Sasuke expected Naruto to shout out or exclaim happily like he normally did when greeting Shikamaru, Neji, or Kiba. Him and Itachi were supposed to be old friends after all.

Then why was his facial expression the furthest thing from friendly?

Even at this distance, Sasuke could clearly make out a glowering display on the blond's normally happy face. There were faint wrinkles on the bridge of his nose as his upper lip was slightly upturned in what appeared to be the beginnings of a snarl mixed with a scowl. That was odd, Sasuke could've sworn back a couple months ago when he first met Naruto, him and Itachi were still cool with one another.

"A Princess in a palace. Fitting." Itachi's voice broke the silence.

"Fuck you." Naruto said, reaching the bottom of the stairs.

Sasuke's eyebrows slightly raised at the retort. Normally when Naruto said such phrases he was always laughing hysterically or making playful, sarcastic remarks. However, there wasn't the slightest trace of humor in the insult. When Naruto moved to stand next to him, Sasuke peered at him curiously. The tension was unmistakable, Naruto's short-sleeved shirt revealed his muscular arms which were clearly rigid and flexed unhappily, not to mention his golden brows creased into a fixed frown.

What the hell did he miss? 

"You look different." His brother stated, voice revealing no particular emotion. Unlike Naruto, Itachi was still perfectly calm and composed.

"You look drained." Naruto replied flatly.

"Business will do that to ya." Itachi chuckled dryly. 

"Hn." 

What? 

Hn? Fucking hn? That was his word. Naruto was the definition of expressiveness, he never gave such rudely short, unsociable responses such as hn. Sasuke was at a complete loss.

Naruto then turned direction before he could comment, disappearing around the corner before returning while putting on a thin jacket, a pair of Timberland's now on his feet. "I'm going for a walk." 

"A walk?" Sasuke echoed, glancing outside at the late afternoon. "It's thirty-four degrees and dropping." 

"Yeah." Was all Naruto said before opening the front door and leaving.

Itachi simply hummed, and Sasuke blinked a few times, standing in place. He had so many fucking questions. It'd have to wait, though.

"Well, let's get you in a room." He said, walking over to the stairs and grabbing his brother's ridiculously heavy bag. Wait- why the fuck was he carrying this again? Sasuke abruptly dropped it after walking up precisely two steps. "Get your own shit." 

His older brother made an amused noise but then followed. Sasuke did not miss the way Itachi's studying eyes never left Naruto as he departed. He suddenly feared going back to work tomorrow. If Naruto had looked at his older brother like that, Sasuke wasn't too thrilled at the thought of leaving them alone for over eight hours. Hn. That wine was beginning to sound really good right about now.

Chapter Text


"Ah- and the Princess returns from the ball."

Sasuke instantly snapped his eyes up from his expensive glass of wine of which he'd been swirling around for what seemed like hours. After settling Itachi in a room on the third floor, the Uchiha brothers relocated to the dining hall as the cooks prepared dinner. Sasuke insisted they waited for Naruto's return before serving the food, so he was left stuck at the table alone with his irksome older sibling.

At least there was wine.

Without it, Sasuke didn't know if he could make it through Itachi's constant blabbing about his business trips and how they relocated him to the most wondrous of places with excellent services. That much was expected. As annoying and sarcastic as Itachi could be, he was quite talented and always found a way to get investors and other powerful monopoly magnate's to agree to terms which led to profitable reforms for their finance company.

Still, Sasuke couldn't bring himself to be that proud. Not when he knew when his idiot of an older sibling was wasting half of his gains on stupid Casino shit like Poker, Craps, or Blackjack. Setting his glass of Chateau Latour next to his empty plate, Sasuke felt relief wash over him as Naruto entered the dining room. The blond had been gone for quite some time, and after the sun had set, Sasuke was beginning to grow a little stressed. Of course, he didn't let Itachi know that.

Naruto paused in the entry way while unzipping his thin jacket, eyes narrowing though he chose not to respond to Itachi's snarky remark. It probably wouldn't have been anything nice anyways. His tan cheeks were flushed from the late evening cold and his eyes looked slightly watery, no doubt the wind had been blowing pretty hard, Sasuke could hear the constant howling from inside of the mansion.

Sasuke gestured towards the seat next to him, and Naruto looked at him, the seat, then Itachi, then back at him before shaking his head. "Not hungry."

"Sit." Sasuke ordered, refusing to take no for an answer.

Naruto made a low noise before walking over, draping his jacket on the back of the seat before flopping loudly in his chair. A few minutes later after hailing down the cooks, their dinner was brought to them. Aside from a couple murmurs of business-related topics that him and Itachi exchanged, it was quiet. Naruto had remained silent, and for once didn't scarf down his food like a starved animal, but instead took puny, slow bites while his eyes constantly flickered around the room as if he was searching for something to look at.

"So." Sasuke began, looking between his brother and the blond a few times. "How'd you two meet?"

Naruto visibly tensed next to him, and Sasuke almost instantly regretted the question as a small but noticeable sinister smirk splayed Itachi's lips. 

"At a casino-pub." Naruto spoke up curtly after a small pause, tapping his spoon on the side of his bowl. 

"Hn." Figures. Sasuke would never understand gamblers. Just the thought of probably losing a bunch of money didn't sound thrilling whatsoever, even with the slim chance you might win more. His brows steadily creased into a contemplative frown after another quietness elapsed. Sasuke was no moron, he could see the tension in the air from a mile away, and judging from Naruto's obvious displease earlier, it was clear the two fell out of touch and were no longer buddies. 

So, that left one bigass question to mind. 

"Either of you two want to tell me how in the fuck this recommendation letter was established?" 

Bluntness was Sasuke's specialty, and he'd be damned if he sat here for the remainder of supper and acted like everything was all peachy perfect. No, he was going to address the subject straightforward, no matter how agitated Naruto appeared. Itachi had briefly stopped eating and simply sat in his seat, looking far too calm in comparison to their blond companion.

"I had it formed, submitted and approved." His brother answered honestly, sipping his imported wine. 

"Well duh, I know that much. I mean't how did-"

"Alone." Itachi added.

"What?" Sasuke frowned, eyes shifting towards Naruto. "You mean you didn't request it yourself?" 

"No." The blond growled through gritted teeth. "It was never my idea. I never went to him for help, he set it all up." 

"But, you still made the final call." Itachi countered swirling around his drink in his glass. 

"Like I had any other choice!" Naruto shot back angrily.

"Mm. You might not even be in this mess if you had called earlier too." His brother shrugged, taking another swig of his expensive beverage. 

The blond made a low noise that sounded anything but human. "I didn't want anything to do with you, or what you had to offer. And if you think that this is some sort of apology thing, you're dead wrong."

"I'm not apologizing, there's no reason for me to." 

"No reason?" Naruto's voice raised again as he stood up, simultaneously slamming both his fists on the dining table which caused all the plates and utensils to clack loudly. "You fucking got me put in prison, there's your reason!"

Hold the fuck up.

Hold. The. Fuck. Up.

Sasuke's mouth fell partially open, and he didn't even have time to blurt a dumb 'what?' because his older sibling soon replied.

"You got yourself put in prison." Itachi responded smoothly, dark eyes fixed on the blond. "You were the one that killed him."

Naruto's anger momentarily faltered, and he averted his gaze elsewhere while a regretful look crossed his tan features. "I.. I didn't.. I didn't mean to." 

"Mm. Did you now?" His brothers voice was overly-interested, almost condescending in tone as he arched a perfect brow.

Those impossibly radiant sapphires snapped back towards the older Uchiha, squinting dangerously. Naruto's fury then proceeded to erupt tenfold. Sasuke could barely register what was happening right before his eyes, his mind was already occupied racing to keep up with the conversation, so when Naruto lunged for his older sibling, his body moved on it's own accord.

Pain.

Immediate pain. That was the first thing Sasuke noted.

Sasuke's convenient reflexes had been even more expeditious than the blond's quick, aggressive advancement. Thankfully, he chose the middle seat tonight. Otherwise.. well let's just say it wouldnt've been pretty. He had intercepted Naruto on his pathway to Itachi by scooting back his chair and turning, putting himself in-between the two as a barrier. Naruto's body audibly collided against his own, and it was nothing short of facing a three-hundred pound linebacker in the midst of a championship game.

One of the blond's shoulders impacted the lower part of his collar bone, an elbow dug into his ribs while a fist slammed into his side with bruising force as Sasuke was shoved at least a few feet backwards. That punch happened to be aimed directly to where Itachi's head would've been had Sasuke stayed still in his seat. The obnoxious screech of his chair skidding against the glossy surface of the floor was minuscule to the furious snarl directly next to his ear; Naruto's warm breath on his neck came out in short heavy pants of rage.

He had just put himself between predator and prey.

Sasuke felt his feet continue to slide from the force the other man was applying, and he hurriedly dug his heels in the ground while pushing forward to keep himself from losing balance or allowing Naruto to gain distance towards Itachi. He curled his fingers tightly around a tan forearm, stopping a swing which had attempting to move him out of the way. Sasuke's heart pounded rapidly in his chest as he peered into narrowed, icy depths. 

Those eyes.. They weren't even looking at him. They saw straight through him, as if he were some sort of solid transparent mass stopping Naruto from getting to his target. Sasuke remembered that look all too well. It was the same one from months ago, back on the farm when the animal handler got his arm broken in two different places and face beaten into a bloodied mess.

There was a suddenly sharp, jolty sensation that caused a knot to twist in Sasuke's stomach and his heart to beat irregularly. He soon distinguished the rare feeling as fear. Genuine fear. That was an emotion that Sasuke was not familiar with whatsoever, but to be on the receiving end of that wrath, to have a small taste of such deadly power, it was absolutely..

Terrifying.

"Naruto, calm down!" Sasuke yelled, struggling to shove the blond away with his chest and side now aching painfully despite the adrenaline that raced through his body.

Naruto persisted for a few more moments, but then the rough pushing ceased and those murderous eyes diminished into two wide cerulean pools of horror. The blond stood there silently until his gaze slowly traveled down, and that's when Sasuke finally noticed his hand was still tightly gripping Naruto's forearm. He was also shaking.

A lot.

Sasuke released Naruto's arm, and the other man took a couple of steps back, blinking a few times and shaking his head as if he just snapped out of a trance. Naruto then opened his mouth as if he were going to say something, but then clamped it back shut and promptly exited the dining area with hurried steps. The blond's heavy footfalls were heard retreating up the stairs before disappearing altogether.

Long after Naruto's departure, Sasuke's fingers still trembled and he curled them into fists at his sides. His eyes dragged over towards Itachi who had somehow remained seated during that entire encounter. However, it didn't take a genius to see the older Uchiha was on edge. Itachi's hand was grabbing a hold of his fork quite harshly, as was displayed by his nearly white knuckles and visibly tensed forearm. His neck also looked quite stiff, as if was head was frozen in place to the direction of which Naruto just tried to assault him in.

Sasuke couldn't even form words. There were numerous emotions and questions running through his brain, so much he felt nearly lightheaded. He didn't know if he wanted to stay here and talk to Itachi, or run upstairs after Naruto. Deciding on neither, Sasuke abandoned the rest of his dinner and followed the path of the blond, only he escaped into the confines of his own room instead of heading up another flight to Naruto's.

It was when he shut -and locked- his room door, did the adrenaline fully fade and the pain returned twice as much. Sasuke took off his shirt, throwing it in a nearby laundry basket and made his way into the bathroom. He flicked on the light, walking up to the mirror and began eyeing his bare torso. His collarbone had remained unscathed, but on his side and just underneath his ribs the pale flesh was already beginning to turn a purplish blue hue. 

Sasuke lightly brought his fingers up to the contusions, wincing slightly once the sting instantly struck his nerves. Naruto had gotten him good right on the oblique where it was more meaty as apposed to the defined muscle of his abdominal or back, meaning the bruises came quicker and more prominent. Sasuke ran cold water, wetting a towel and wringing it out before bringing the damp cool rag onto his side, sighing as it instantly soothed.

He decided he'd allow Naruto the rest of the night to cool off and speak to him tomorrow after work. Sasuke would rather not go through another violent interaction with the man, especially if the next time he would be the primary target. He considered himself thankful for the bruises. They were just bruises, it could've ended up much worse after all.

Sasuke put the damp towel away, giving his discolored skin a final poke and retreated back into his room. He clambered onto his Californian King custom, sinking into the expensive, plush mattress and groaned as his body instantly melted to the comfort. A thought soon crossed his mind. What if he hadn't been sitting in the middle? Sasuke knew Itachi could hold his own in a fight without a problem, but Naruto didn't look as if he were up for a typical punching match.

It would've been a real nasty situation, that much Sasuke knew. He didn't want Naruto and Itachi to have a violent interaction, mainly because Sasuke wouldn't be too sure who to help if it came down to it. He had gotten closer to Naruto over the past months and considered him a true friend, but Itachi was his brother, annoying as he was. Sasuke shook his head, dismissing himself of the negative thoughts. 

Sasuke shot a quick text to one of the many guards, informing him to keep an eye on his older sibling and Naruto. The last thing he wanted was a fight to break out while he was out cold for the night. Sighing, Sasuke snuggled underneath the blankets more comfortably, sleep taking him almost instantly from the stressful evening.





A small piece of balled-up paper bounced off Sasuke's face, causing his head to snap in the direction it came from. Suigetsu was on the other end of the meeting table, looking straight at him. As soon as Sasuke made eye contact with his co-worker, the light haired man did some sort of weird arm gesture. Sasuke glared at his friend. This wasn't the time for a stupid game of charades.

Suigetsu then furiously pointed towards the table, and Sasuke slowly glanced down at the very same paper that hit him on the nose which was now resting his notebook. He had half a mind to throw it back, but thought better of the childish action and also because he noticed there was writing on it. Really? A note? What the fuck were they, twelve years old? Sighing, Sasuke opened the small crumpled piece of paper and narrowed his eyes at the writing in black pen.

'u look confused, u good?' 

Sasuke rolled his eyes before glancing back up at Suigetsu and gave him a halfhearted thumbs up. 

"I take it you approve of the suggestion to raise our stocks then, Mr. Uchiha?" 

"Oh-" Sasuke snapped his eyes away from his friend and glanced over towards one of the company's CFO's who happened to be in the middle of a presentation. A presentation of which he was not paying any attention to. "Ah yes, I do." He said, ignoring all eyes on him and Suigetsu's snicker from across the glossy black table. 

Sasuke also ignored whatever ugly faces his co-worker continued to make at him on the other side of the room and suffered through another hour or so of more boring presentations and proposals. When it was all over, he couldn't escape out of the room fast enough before one of the older, more cocky senior Executive Vice President's pulled him aside and began talking to him on his renovation ideas, and how his plans were 'the best' out of the rest of the board team.

He had managed to get away by providing a simple, "I'll think about it." Sasuke knew for a fact he'd actually never think about it. But, if it kept the greedy mongrels away from bombarding him with their 'awesome ideas that could benefit the company substantially', he'd say it a thousand times more. Sasuke had walked over to one of the many coffee stands lingering around on each floor, pouring himself a cup. 

It was shitty coffee, but it was coffee. One cup today wouldn't fulfill his needs, and his painkillers were beginning to wear off so his bruises started to dully ache which began getting on his nerves. Sasuke dumped a small amount of cream and sugar into the little cup, stirring it with a little plastic spoon and threw the item in a nearby trash. He glanced down at the steaming brown liquid, a small part of his mind wishing that somehow someway this cup of coffee could transform into whiskey.

Or vodka.

Or anything besides shitty coffee. 

Sasuke sipped his beverage, his dark eyes scanning across the main floor and nodding to whomever passed him and sent a polite greeting his way. A big crowd of people then entered the area, led by one of the company's RA's. From all of their young appearances, shocked faces and outfit choices, these were no doubt College student interns having their grand tour of the headquarters finance building of which they could potentially be working in give or take a few years time.

He almost rolled his eyes once catching a glimpse of one of the boy's outfits. The guy was wearing beat up skateboarding shoes, jeans with holes in them, and a DGK sweatshirt. What a great way to make impressions on a place that could be future employment. Really great. Sasuke was preparing to head towards the elevator to return to his floor until in the crowd of young interns he caught a glimpse of familiar long, pale blonde hair.

Frowning, Sasuke set down his cup of coffee and took a couple of steps closer. Short, petite body, big pale eyes, it was no doubt the same woman from the airport and pet store, Naruto's recent friend Shion. Though, what was she doing here? Sasuke pulled his phone from his pocket, looking at the lock screen. He wasn't misinformed, it was indeed Wednesday. 

On Wednesday's and Friday's, Naruto always hung out with the woman while he was at work because that's when she was off. At least, that's what Sasuke had thought. Sasuke walked over to the crowd of clueless interns, ignoring how lots of them immediately moved out of his way or stared at him with enormous eyes like he was some sort of wondrous deity. 

The RA who was leading the group stopped talking as soon as he approached, his eyes also widening as he obviously wasn't expecting his presence. "That's why they mainly consist of the- oh- uh, hello sir! Everyone, this is Mr. Sasuke Uchiha, one of the company's Managers, CEO's, and a direct blood line of the original founders. AKA: some of you guy's future boss." 

"Good morning Mr. Uchiha." The crowd said in unison, followed by some not-so-subtle whispers and murmurers among the students.

"He's gonna be our boss? Woah."

"Dude he's like, fifteen years old."


"Oh shit."

"Wow he looks kinda mean." 

"Forget mean, he's hot!" 

"What up with his hair, though?"

"Future boss? Mm, he can boss me around any day of the week."

"He looks pretty young to have such a high position." 

"Even better." 

"Ten bucks says he's an asshole." 

"Please pardon my interruption." Sasuke said formally, turning towards the group of babbling idiots. "I'll be stealing Shion away for a little while, any information that is missed please update her afterwords or contact me if there's a problem." 

The cluster of students all fixed their eyes on one short, pale-blond haired woman looking quite startled. She held her purple notebook tightly against her chest, looking in-between the RA and Sasuke a few times before finally walking forwards from the crowd. "O-oh...kay."

Sasuke gave a final curt nod and turned on his heel, walking towards one of the many open meeting rooms around the corner. Shion was right on his heels, her short legs making her need to practically run to keep up with his brisk strides, the constant clack of her heeled boots on the floor echoing throughout the large hallway. 

"Uhm, am I in trouble?" She asked, trailing him into the room and shutting the door behind her as he gestured.

"Sit." Sasuke instructed, ignoring her question. 

The short woman quickly found her way to a chair, dropping her notebook and pen with a fuzzy ball attached to the end on the table. Sasuke walked in front of her, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed. "What are you doing here?" 

Shion's pale eye's widened. "Y-you told me to come with you so I-" 

"No." Sasuke squeezed the bridge of his nose. Perhaps it was true all blonde's were morons. "I meant here. Don't you have Wednesday's and Friday's off?"

"Oh.. no. Wednesday's and Friday's I work." 

"Has that recently changed?"

Shion shook her head. "It's been like that since my Sophomore year."

"So you're telling me, every Wednesday and Friday you have not been hanging out with Naruto?" 

"What? No, of course not. My schedule is completely booked those two days, I wouldn't even have time." 

"Then why did he tell me you two hung out those days while I was at work?" 

"I-I don't know." 

"Don't lie to me." Sasuke hissed. 

"I'm not! I swear!" The woman's eyes grew huge. 

"Then what's he been doing?" 

"How should I know?" 

"You two seem to be pretty comfortable with each other, so I'd assume you'd know." Sasuke couldn't help the edge of sneering tone that seeped into his voice at the statement. "Are you sure he didn't tell you anything?" 

"I'm positive Sasuke, I don't know anything." 

Sasuke's eyes narrowed. She seemed to be telling the truth for the most part, taking into consideration her shock. If Shion was indeed busy Wednesday's and Friday's, and he worked those days as well, why did Naruto claim to be hanging out with the woman during those times? Sasuke was almost never on the bottom floor or ventured to the other neighboring twin buildings where the lower-status individuals worked, so he would've probably never crossed paths with Shion if it weren't for him staying after the meeting today and catching the arrival of the interns. 

Which meant, if Naruto was actually trying to avoid him on those two days, he would've had to figure out both parties working hours and learn more of where each of them went. That didn't seem like something the blond was capable of, not just because of the complicated time planning part, but the task itself overall was just.. sneaky. When would Naruto have even gotten the chance to learn of his weekly agenda and wh-

Oh. 

That day Naruto had begged to go to work with him. Sasuke had locked him in his office back then, which would've given the blond a perfect opportunity to figure out exact times. His office contained generally everything work-related, including his month's scheduled meetings, placement, and more. There was no way. That seemed like a highly sketchy scheme, and Sasuke simply couldn't bring himself to believe Naruto was a sly individual. He had to be over thinking things.

Sasuke pulled out his phone from his pocket, speed dialing his butler who answered hardly in the middle of the first ring. "Gen'ichi. Is Naruto currently in the mansion?" 

"Ah, Mr. Uzumaki left approximately one hour after you departed for work, sir." 

"Thanks." He hung up the phone, slipping the electronic devise back into his pants pocket. 

"Is.. everything okay?" Shion spoke up nervously. 

"If I find out that you've been hiding anything from me, I'll see to it your father's investment plan is cancelled and that you never work here in the future."

Sasuke then abruptly turned, exiting the large room while leaving behind a wide-eyed and confused Shion sitting alone in the chair.




He wasn't that surprised to find when he tried to call Naruto, the phone went straight to the automated female voice machine that stated this caller has not yet setup voicemail. Sasuke tried to come up with a different approach to the situation. He didn't want to believe Naruto had intentionally set this all up, but after earlier there was a brewing suspicion in the pit of his stomach. 

Was Naruto hiding something from him? 

If so, what was it? 

And why? 

Sasuke had left work, -which would probably backfire in his face and end up getting lectured- but he couldn't care less at the moment. As soon as he sloppily parked his Maserati Quattroporte near the fountain, Sasuke went inside the mansion and headed straight for the blond's room. He opened the door and shut it behind him, ignoring Kurama who had trotted up towards him and tried to wrap his body around his ankles only Sasuke kept walking, narrowly missing stepping on the cat's tail. 

He didn't quite know what he was looking for, he just wanted some sort of clue. An explanation, an answer to his questions. Naruto currently wasn't present to give him one -so he'd find one himself. Sasuke rummaged through the slightly messy area, starting with the most common place to find things: the closet. Aside from clothes and shoes and a couple other random cat-related items, it was empty.

Sasuke dismissed the fact that he was blatantly snooping. Invading people's privacy was something he didn't normally do, and soon the guilt washed over him enough to get him to stop. That was, until he saw a black strap barely peeking out from underneath the large bed. Sasuke crouched down, pulling on the strap only to drag out Naruto's entire suitcase. 

He would've put the item back, had it not been relatively heavy. As far as Sasuke knew, Naruto unpacked everything by now, and even if he didn't he especially remembered carrying the man's suitcase before and it was certainly no where near as weighty as it was now. Sasuke unzipped it, finding another bag within the suitcase and pulled it out and threw it onto the mattress.

Frowning, Sasuke unzipped the black duffel bag, his eyes widening and he froze in place once peering at the content. Inside of the bag was stacks upon stacks of money, clean and crisp, all hundred dollar bills neatly arranged. He grabbed the straps, tipping the item upside down and all of the cash fell with audible clumps onto the bed. Sasuke took one of the stacks, peeling apart a single bill and held it up to the light while squinting.

It was real. 

What the hell was Naruto doing with all this money? Better yet, where did he get it? Sasuke knew even if Naruto wanted to -which hopefully he didn't- he couldn't possibly rob him. All of his money was safely stored away in bank accounts or on cards, Sasuke never kept anymore cash on him than enough to buy a pair of shoes. Sasuke also couldn't picture the blond a thief, especially one to this extent. 

This would've had to been a fucking bank robbery, or a drug heist, or something big like that. There was at the very least a hundred thousand dollars right in front of him. That could only mean.. No. No way. Sasuke shook his head, dropping the stack of money in his hand back onto the pile as he sat back on the bed, suddenly feeling lightheaded. Almost on cue, the room door opened, and Naruto paused in the doorway, his big blue eyes instantly snapping towards him. 

"Sasuke-" The blond started, his face shifting from surprise, to confusion, to shock, to dread all in a matter of seconds. Naruto looked in-between him, the money, and back again multiple times. "I can explain." Naruto uttered out hurriedly, seeming to sense his rapidly increasing anger in which Sasuke was sure his face gave away.

"I'm listening." 

Chapter Text


"I said, I'm listening." Sasuke repeated, irritation seeping into his voice when Naruto stood there stupidly across the room for quite a long moment.

"Look," The blond finally began quietly, slipping his jacket off of his broad shoulders, allowing the item to drop to the floor. "I don't want you to get mad." 

"It's a little too late for that." Sasuke growled, glaring up at the slightly taller man who stood before him, chewing on his bottom lip nervously. 

"Okay, I-" 

"Why did you lie to me?" 

"I was-" 

"You deliberately deceived both me and Shion." 

"Sasuke, I-" 

"Sneaking around, doing whatever it is you were doing to get all this money, I should've known." 

"Would you just-" 

"Not even doing so much as to answer your phone." 

"It died! I came back to get the charg-"

"How could I be so stupid? Of course you were too nice to me. It was all just a mask so-" 

"Shut the fuck up!" Naruto shouted, a long arm extending forwards at rapid speed. 

The action was so quick, Sasuke couldn't even register or react to what had happened until one of his cheeks began stinging. Did Naruto really just.. slap him? Like, actually slap him? Sasuke's mouth fell open in disbelief, his left eye involuntarily beginning to water from the burning sensation though he suppressed the oncoming liquid with a few rapid blinks.

"I'm sorry." Naruto breathed out, his voice somewhat shaky. "I'm so sorry. But you wouldn't let me talk."

Sasuke only continued sitting dumbfounded on the bed with his mouth partially open, a thousand needles prickling at his reddening skin. 

"I did lie, Sasuke. I did go behind your back. I made it seem like I was with Shion while you were at work, when in reality I wasn't. I've been going to a nearby Casino, but not for the reasons you think! I'm not just gambling to gamble. Sasuke, you're here day in and day out dedicating the past two months of your life to helping me, and here I am lollygagging around in your house, providing no additional assistance aside from telling you a few things here and there. That's nothing in comparison to what you do! And now on top of that, you've got one of the most expensive and precisely effective lawyer's in the country along with the fact that we still have to pay back the previous debt. You're unable to receive a loan, so the very least I can do in return is to try and help you bring down that fucking ridiculous number so you'll have one less thing to worry about! I know you were trying to make me feel better, to make it seem like I didn't need to stress anymore and enjoy my time in the mansion but I can't do that Sasuke. I mean, I wasn't lying when I said I love it here and I'm having fun because I am, but I also can't completely relax knowing the stress you go through. I can't lounge around and act like everything's all good. I can't just sit back and watch you take on that burden and struggle because of my faults. It's my problem too. I believe you get out what you put in, so why should I deserve anything if I didn't do jack-shit to help?" 

He felt his expression slowly shift as Naruto explained, suddenly realizing he was in the wrong for accusing the blond otherwise. "You.." Sasuke uttered quietly after a long pause, averting his gaze away from those wondrous blue iris's he was now unable to meet. "You could have just told me from the start." 

"I.. I should've." Naruto replied lowly. 

"Yeah." Sasuke suddenly looked up, his guilt dissolving to be replaced with anger. "You should have. Do you know how bad this looks? Here I am thinking all I've done to help you has backfired into you using me for your own personal benefits." 

Naruto's eyes then widened. "You thought I would do that to you? Sasuke, do you not trust me?" 

He paused, clamping down on his molars while glaring up at the other man. "I don't know, Naruto." Sasuke said through gritted teeth. "Should I?"

The blond stood there looking mildly baffled, as if he couldn't believe the words that had come out of Sasuke's mouth. With that, Sasuke continued on.

"I know a lot about you, yet hardly anything at all."

"I could say the same thing about you." Naruto crossed his arms defensively, eyes narrowing.

"I'm not the one who lied to go and gamble." Sasuke hissed, the words exiting his mouth before he could think twice.

"I did it to help you! To help us!" Naruto yelled, his golden brows scrunched up into a tight frown. "You're being an asshole." 

"I'm being reasonably suspicious." 

"Then what do you want to know?" The blond was practically shouting at this point, his voice exasperated. 

"Everything." Sasuke replied. "Tell me everything."

"Fine."  Naruto growled sharply, his eyes furious. "You want to know everything? I'll tell you everything. Me and Itachi met when I was seventeen, we shared a common interest of gambling, partying, drugs, and fucking."

Sasuke's eyes widened, something in his chest twisting at Naruto's words. A common interest.. of fucking?  Naruto and his brother.. they had.. He couldn't even have a proper reaction before the blond proceeded.

"That's when it started. Parties, different cities, getting fucked up beyond recognition almost every week for nearly two years straight. How Itachi had managed to do that and balance business at the same time? I didn't know, and I didn't care. At the time, Itachi made me forget all my problems about the farm, about the animals, about the debt, about the fact that I was alone. We weren't dating, it wasn't love. I actually don't even think I even particularly liked him. I was so intrigued by his gambling, by his presence, and what he brought with him that I didn't realize I was hurting myself and hurting my friends. We would be gone for days at a time, and I was a reckless teenager who temporarily forgot what old man Jiraiya told me about respecting animals. I came to my senses when one day I returned and two of my horses were dead. Mother and her foal, she died having birth complications, their bodies already were decomposing while the other animals were beginning to starve and become malnourished. The farm was nearly taken from me, and I was so close to having ASPCA confiscate the rest of my animals. I had spent so much time trying to forget my problems that I had forgotten I had other lives to care for. I blamed Itachi for all of it of course, but it wasn't entirely his fault. If I had been less stupid they would still be alive.."

Sasuke's hands were balled into fists at his knees as he listened attentively, eyes glued to the floor. Naruto's voice began to shake towards the last part, and he didn't even need to look up to know the blond had tears in his eyes. After a few audible deep breaths to steady his trembling voice, Naruto continued.

"I don't know why or how, but Itachi convinced me to go with him on one last run, one final night of freedom, so I agreed. From the start, the entire thing seemed sketch. The people we were normally with weren't there, and the whole setting seemed a lot more.. serious than the usual party gambles we took part in. I figured out that Itachi had been in some sort of gang that he quit, and we were up against the previous members. Arguments started, accusations were made, one thing led to another, and it was complete chaos after that. Somewhere in the mix we came to a standstill, and I had one of the high ranked opposing gang members in a choke hold while someone else had a knife to Itachi's throat. They were talking about a truce or something if we let both of them go, and it seemed like we were going to go through with it until.. it.. th- I-I.." 

Sasuke glanced up from the floor with a frown to see Naruto's eyes were wide, staring at nothing in particular while he began stuttering. His hands were shaking and his lips were trembling as if he wanted to speak words, but his vocal chords wouldn't comply. 

"Until what?" Sasuke pressed, his fists tightening on his knees as he grabbed the expensive fabric of his dress pants.

"He.. h-he just.." Naruto's face contorted into what could be described as horrified. "His n-neck.. I.. it.. broke. It just... snapped. I d- I didn't- I didn't even.. I don't know how.. but he.. the noise was so loud.. so loud in the quiet room.. Everyone looked at me and.. he just slid from underneath my arm onto the floor.. dead."

Sasuke bit the inside of his cheek, his heart racing for some odd reason. 

"One of the other gang members yelled something, but my ears were too full of white noise to hear. I'm sure it was along the lines of 'kill Itachi' since I had just.. killed one of their own, but they didn't get the chance before sirens were heard outside. Apparently neighboring buildings had heard the commotion and called the cops, so everyone dipped. Except me. I couldn't.. move. I was stuck staring at the body at my feet, looking into those wide glazed-over eyes that stared right back at me. Itachi was long gone, that much was expected. I mean it's not like he had time to drag me away and risk getting caught. He's a business man, if the media knew he was involved with that kind of shit he'd be done for. The cops busted in, I was alone, dead guy at my shoes, I knew it was over. I headed to prison afterwards. It was a classified misdemeanor of involuntary manslaughter on the term of self defense because the guy I had been fighting fucked me up pretty bad, that much was obvious when I arrived bloodied, beaten, and shaking. They treated me for shock and trauma in my short sentence and had a nearby farmer look after my animals. After I got out, I focused on the farm and nothing but the farm and vowed to never neglect any of my animals ever again and protect them at all costs so long as I still walked and breathed. But, I couldn't even live up to that simple promise." 

A few streams of tears ran down Naruto's scrunched up features, and Sasuke felt his gut twist while he continued watching the other man spill his entire past right before his eyes.

"Itachi had tried contacting me years later after I was released from prison. I ignored everything he did and completely cut him out of my life. Somehow, he found out just how much debt my farm was in, and like you heard yesterday, he formed his own letter and had it approved. When I checked my mail one day and saw the envelope that contained acceptance papers for financial help, I would've jumped for joy had I not seen a 'Mr. Sasuke Uchiha' written on the front. I was going to throw it away. I really was. But what other choice did I have? I was facing the end. The papers sat on my kitchen table for nearly three months until I finally made the call. Itachi told me he had a brother before, and since he was pretty young to have such a nice job I thought you were the older sibling which is why I expected you to be some old man with a bad attitude and a crooked beard. Well- the attitude part stuck. But when I walked out onto my driveway that morning and saw the most beautiful-" 

Sasuke's throat felt dry as he stared up at the other man who's impossibly bright eyes still sparkled and glistened with tears that kept rolling down his tan cheeks, dripping off his chin. Naruto made a choked noise as he paused mid sentence, his lengthy golden lashes which were wet fluttered as he blinked the salty liquid away from his eyes while shaking his head.

"God, Sasuke, you don't even know. You were so perfect- you still are. As soon as I laid eyes on you I knew. I knew I would be in good hands, and look where I am as we speak. You just, I can't even describe it. There's something about you that just fueled me to not give up when I was so close to my breaking point, so close to letting it all go, and the day after the court date only confirmed it. I pretended to still be friends with Itachi at the time because if you found out I hated your brother I was so scared you were going to leave, leave the case, leave me alone. I didn't want that, I couldn't bear to have that happen- I can't bear to have that happen, not when I like you so much-" 

"Stop." Sasuke said, his voice hoarse. 

"I mean it!" Naruto exclaimed, stepping closer and placing both his hands on Sasuke's balled up fists as he crouched down to be eye-level. "I can't even fucking describe to you how much you've helped me, how much you've changed me, and I realize I don't want to be away from you-"

"Stop it." He repeated, more firmly.

"I didn't want you to think I was just mooching off you and all your money! Even if you were more poor than me it wouldn't make a difference on how I feel-" 

"Be quiet!" Sasuke shoved Naruto's hands off his own, causing the other man to stumble back. 

Naruto blinked a few times, his mouth open and eyes wide as he wiped his face of stray tears. "You.." The blond took a couple of steps back, his shocked features twisting into a dark expression. "You still don't trust me."

Sasuke didn't know what to say or do in that moment. Naruto told him practically his entire life story, shed tears while doing so, and then confessed his feelings. What could he say? Sasuke's body was a tornado of emotions. Anger- his older brother and Naruto had been involved sexually, and even though it was years ago and so blatantly stated non-romantic, it still infuriated him. 

Sorrow- because of the terrible past this man had to endure. Why did it seem the nicest people always had to suffer? Shock- his feelings indeed weren't one-sided, which was fucking amazing to find out. Naruto made it clear that he changed him in a way in which he couldn't even put into words. Sasuke wanted to so badly agree, to tell him he's been tormented by the same feelings for weeks, to tell Naruto that he was impacting his life in miraculous ways he would've never thought humanly possible, but he simply couldn't. 

Regret- the biggest one of them all at the moment. He had been dead wrong. Sasuke didn't know how someone could be so strong, so resilient; he knew many people -including himself- that would've lost hope long ago and left the farm. Yet, somehow Naruto managed to survive there. He somehow managed to not only keep his animals -his friends alive, but kept them healthy and happy as well while on his final tendril of hope. Most of all, Naruto somehow still managed to greet Sasuke with the widest, most genuinely friendly smile he had ever seen in his life from day one despite his hardships. And now, the blond was simply trying to help get back what was so mercilessly torn away from him.

How could he even allow himself to think for one second that this man had ill intent?

Naruto slowly began walking backwards, shaking his head while those two wide sapphire's which glistened with newfound tears averted elsewhere. He then turned and exited the room, his quick footfalls heard racing down the stairs before the front door was heard slammed shut. Sasuke sat silent on the bed, staring at the open door blankly. He didn't even know how long he was sitting there, because by the time he looked at his phone there were already 33 missed calls and 19 voicemail's from Suigetsu trying to notify him that there was another important meeting he had to attend. 

Sasuke glanced down at the large pile of money at his side, his heart wrenching in his chest. 

What had he done?




If Sasuke was distracted last meeting, he might as well have not been present at all for this one. Not one word was uttered from the Uchiha throughout the duration of the meaningless, dreadful power points and presentations. Suigetsu had wisely enough left him to bask in his thoughts when it was finally over. Even his annoying, snarky, and sarcastic friend could sense when he needed space.

Sasuke had tracked down the large group of interns shortly after the meeting, once again calling aside a very startled and fearful-looking Shion to speak to her privately. He then proceeded to apologize to the woman for his unacceptable behavior earlier, much to her surprise. For the remainder of his work day, Sasuke isolated himself in his office, disregarding any phone calls, texts, emails, and even his paperwork.

His mind kept replaying the events from earlier. Most of all, it was Naruto's wondrous blue orbs leaky with tears, and filled with pain. Pain he had likely caused. Sasuke realized it had seemed like he rejected the other man's feelings -which was the last thing he wanted- but he was afraid to accept them at the same time too. What if Naruto was just confused? 

What if Naruto had just thought he liked him because he seemed like a younger, better version of Itachi? Even if that wasn't the case, what could he provide? Sasuke didn't gamble or party, he couldn't share that common interest that his older brother could. He couldn't give Naruto the thrill of either of the two things. Naruto and him were polar opposites.

Then why did they click so well? 

Money was aside, he and Itachi were equally wealthy. They looked practically the same give or take a few features, so that couldn't be a factor. Naruto said he hadn't even really particularly liked Itachi aside from the fact that he made him forget his problems. So, what could Naruto possibly see in him? Sasuke was nothing like his older bother, but he also wasn't any more social or open.

He needed to know. He needed to hear from Naruto himself instead of coming to random conclusions in his head.

Sighing, Sasuke glanced out the window, surprised to see that it was dark outside. He peered down at his watch which read 10:18 PM. Did he really sit in his office all day and not do so much as a sniff of work? He was going to pay for that later in the week. Sasuke had returned back to the mansion about an hour later, mentally preparing himself for another deep conversation the entire car ride home. As soon as he walked in the giant doors, his butler was standing at the entrance, a slightly troubled look crossing his old features. 

"Gen'ichi, where is Naruto? I need to talk to him." Sasuke said, beginning to slip off his shoes. 

"I was hoping you would know, sir." His butler replied lowly.

Sasuke froze, one foot out of his boot. "What?" 

Chapter Text


Sasuke repeatedly scolded himself for allowing his brain to conclude the worst and tried to think otherwise. However, that was becoming increasingly difficult as the minutes elapsed into hours. He had contacted Shion -it was easy enough to find the woman's number in the company records thanks to Suigetsu- and asked her if she had heard from Naruto at all today, which was an unfortunate no.

Having nobody else to call, along with the fact that Naruto's phone was dead and he left it inside the mansion, Sasuke went old school. He accompanied himself with three of his best bodyguards and went searching for the blond. Sasuke knew his chances were minimal to zero speaking realistically. Honestly, they were in one of the largest, most densely populated cities in the world not to mention it was nighttime.

Sure, the many cars and beautiful city lights provided some illumination, but it would still be next to impossible to spot Naruto if he happened to be walking directly across the street from them even with his bright head of blond hair. Sasuke was thankful Itachi had left to their neighboring city on business-related obligations for two days, meaning he wouldn't have to put up with his brother's shit during his disheveled state.

Also, after Naruto's long story earlier, he wasn't sure if he could stomach the sight of his older sibling quite yet. Sasuke now understood Naruto's bitterness and aggressive behavior towards Itachi. Though, the violent interactions were still uncalled for; he would have to speak to Naruto about that as well. Of course, he'd have to actually find the blond first before any conversations could be started.

When 1:53 AM rolled around, Sasuke's moderate anxiety began forming into panic. Even though they were located in the 'nicer' or 'wealthy' part of the city, that didn't mean bad things never happened. There was still a very real chance that Naruto could've been kidnapped, robbed, beaten, or worse. Hopefully, that was not the case, and the other man was simply taking a walk. A long walk. A very long walk.

What if he was lost?

That seemed like the most reasonable option. Naruto didn't have his phone, though, and if he was actually lost, he'd likely be freezing his ass off. Even though the month of November was just around the corner, the temperatures were already a deadly cold at night and it was lightly snowing. It didn't snow many feet in the city like it perhaps did back in Konoha, but that didn't mean the cold here could be underestimated. 

To top it off, it was two-something in the morning, most buildings were closed. Sasuke hated to admit, but the ones that were open would likely kick someone out if they attempted to shelter from the weather. Living in the richer part of the city also meant living with insensitive snobs. As bad as it was, some restaurants and other associations wouldn't even allow some people to step foot in their door if they didn't look 'acceptable for their environment.'

After checking the West side of the city where he and Naruto did some binge-shopping a while back, Sasuke was beginning to dread every passing second that ticked on by. He had informed Gen'ichi to immediately call him if Naruto returned to the mansion, though his cellphone had yet to ring. He had to give up the drivers seat of his car because of his frenzied demeanor to find the blond as fast as possible -which led to him driving rather unsafely. 

"Mr. Uchiha, perhaps we should-" 

"No!" Sasuke snapped, glaring over at buff individual dressed in all black behind the steering wheel. "We are not going back until we find him." 

"Yes, sir." 

Sasuke continued staring widely out the window, his face close to the fogged up glass while his eyes scanned across every person they passed. A rush of excitement washed over him as soon as he felt the familiar vibration in his pocket. Sasuke all but snatched his cellphone out, shoulders instantly drooping once he saw the caller ID did not belong to his butler.

"Yes, Shion?" He asked, thanking whatever miracle it was that caused his voice to sound normal and mask his apprehensiveness.

"Any luck?" The woman questioned, nervousness evident in her own soft voice. 

"No. Not yet." Sasuke said firmly.

"Oh.." Shion trailed off, leaving the line silent for a short while. "I don't have any other ideas on where he could possibly be. Every time we hung out we either went to my house and played with the cats or just explored around the city- but not too far, there was no specific place that I think he'd remember." 

"Wait.. cats. Your cats. Shion, Naruto said you guys took your cats one day to a secluded forest area before it got too cold. Do you think Naruto might've gone there?" 

"Huh, that place? I mean.. I don't know, it seems like it would be kinda creepy to go there in the dark." 

"Send me the location over text."

"Oka-" 

Sasuke hardly gave the woman a chance to utter her final word before he ended the call and told his bodyguard to turn the car around. He put the location Shion sent a few seconds after the phone call ended into his GPS, sitting on the edge of his seat and gnawing the inside of his cheek in anticipation as they drove. When they finally arrived, he looked out the window to see a park, a field, and what appeared to be a trail that led directly into a small area densely populated by pine and oak trees.

There.

Immediately flinging the door to the black Escalade open, Sasuke started across the field in a sprint towards the entrance of the miniature forest, not even waiting for the vehicle to come to a complete stop. He ignored the shouts of protest and heavy footfalls of his guards behind him, running almost blindly up the little trail and nearly tripping on a few giant roots that protruded out from underneath the ground.

"Naruto!"

Sasuke's face stung the instant he exited the cars warmth, the nippy air forcing him to squint his eyes and caused his nose to burn every time he inhaled through his nostrils. His breath came out in short, quick pants as he made his way through the dense vegetation. The area seemed relatively small on Google Maps and at a distance, but once he was actually inside, it was much bigger than expected. 

Had he not been in a panic, Sasuke would've actually taken the time to appreciate the beauty of the area. It was very nature-like and peaceful, a rare combination when living in one of the largest cities in the country. All the trees around were absolutely towering, each one stood at the least forty feet tall. Their trunks and branches were thick and healthy, extending out high above in every known direction, blocking most of the sky but leaving just enough space for moonlight to seep through the cracks and spill inside the vicinity.

Sasuke's throat grew sore from calling out Naruto's name repeatedly at the top of his lungs in such dry, crisp air and he coughed a few times after bringing his sleeve to his face. Naruto had to be here. He just had to be. There was nowhere else for him to look after this. If Naruto wasn't here.. what would he do? What would he tell Kakashi after he got back from Konoha? 'Yeah, sorry 'Kashi, but our case disappeared, you're relieved from duty.'

A small opening between some thick bushes caught Sasuke's attention, and he quickly turned towards it. Pushing past the few sticks that jutted out and threatened to poke him in the eye, Sasuke crouched and squeezed through the tight space with little struggle. It opened up into a hillside, at the top of the hill there were a few trees and an absolutely perfect vantage point of the city below given the higher elevation of the terrain.

He didn't have time to admire the scenery because Sasuke's eyes were drawn towards one of the large pine trees, looking at a figure leaned up next to the thick trunk. He hurriedly made his way up the hill, his feet slipping ungracefully on the fresh snow and inclined surface. As he drew nearer, Sasuke distinguished the figure as a person curled up next to the base of the tree. If he didn't know any better, he would've assumed it was a rock had he not made out some humanoid features. Sasuke then ran faster, stumbling every few steps.

"Naruto?" Sasuke called out hesitantly, skidding to a stop in front of the curled up form while panting. Sasuke squinted, the person was covered with a thin layer of snow -which indicated they had been sitting there for quite some time- and he was just barely able to make out the color of orange.. bright orange. Wait. He thought back to earlier that day when Naruto took off his jacket, he had been wearing an orange t-shirt underneath. 

That could only mean.. Naruto had been out here in just a t-shirt. Outside. Alone. And it was almost November. Temperatures well past freezing at this point, not to mention the prolonged period of time of which the blond had obviously been there. Exactly how long was that, though? Sasuke left work around four-something in the afternoon, they talked for about an hour before Naruto stormed off. Meaning.. that was roughly nine hours. 

Nine hours. 

"Naruto!" He shouted, reaching a mitten covered hand forward, brushing off the snow off and taking hold of one of the other mans forearms.

Sasuke's heart stopped.

His arm.. Naruto's arm.. it.. it didn't.. move. Sasuke peeled off his mitten, ignoring how his hand instantly went cold and grabbed Naruto's forearm with his bare palm. It felt.. frozen. No.. it was frozen. There wasn't the slightest trace of warmth on his skin, and the flesh was no longer a golden tan color. No, not even close, it was even paler than Sasuke's own complexion, almost completely white with a hint of purplish undertone.

Sasuke yanked on the man's forearm, but nothing.. happened. It was like he had tried to move a block of ice. Sasuke instantly felt sick to his stomach, and he frantically began brushing the layer of snow off Naruto who's clothes didn't even shift from the action, his hands shaking violently. No. Sasuke felt something inside of him shatter when taking a look at Naruto's face. He could hardly recognize him, his face was so frost-bitten, so pale, so lifeless.

"Naruto?" Sasuke shakily placed his hand on the other's cheek, cringing when he felt how solid it was. "Naruto, look at me." The other man's eyes were closed, yellow lashes bumpy with what appeared to be frozen tears and his lips were slightly parted and completely blue. "Look at me!" Sasuke grabbed the other's stiff shoulders, trying to pull him up straight but he didn't budge in the slightest bit. No.. No. No. This wasn't happening. It couldn't happen. He couldn't be.. Naruto wasn't.. Was he.. dead?

"Naruto get up!" Sasuke shrugged off his own coat, disregarding the freezing wind that immediately shook his upper body and draped the long fabric over Naruto's curled up figure, attempting to give him another heave to his feet. Sasuke stumbled backwards onto his butt then crawled forwards while wrapping his arms around Naruto's ice-like body, desperately trying to warm him. "Why won't you answer me? Please get up!" Sasuke heard and hated how pathetic and whiny his voice sounded, but he couldn't bring himself to care at the moment.

Suddenly, strong arms had grabbed him by his torso, pulling him away from the seemingly lifeless form of Naruto. "No!" Sasuke thrashed around like a child being pulled away by their parents, completely falling apart in that secure hold which had just easily lifted him off the ground. "Let go of me! Fucking let go! I'm not leaving him! I'm not leaving!" He blinked furiously, his eyes suddenly very blurry. Why were his eyes blurry? Why couldn't he see properly? Wetness leaked down Sasuke's face and dripped off his chin, chilling his cheekbones to the core from the wind that gusted by in merciless howls that shook the massive trees.

"Boss." A deep, slightly accented and recognizable tone spoke up behind him, the voice belonging to one of his bodyguards that had finally caught up. Sasuke felt himself being lowered to the ground and he ceased his writhing, though couldn't get his body to stop shaking no matter how hard he tried.

"We have to- he's.. I-I can't get h-him to.. move. He's st-stuck t-there." Sasuke stammered pitifully, feeling a heavy trench coat being placed on his shoulders.

"We got 'em boss." A second rough voice spoke up.

"He's still breathin', we can see his breath near his mouth in the air."

"Just barely, though."

Sasuke watched in utter despair as two of his guardsmen exchanged looks with each other before both of them awkwardly grabbed a hold of the blond. Needles prickled at the nerves in Sasuke's face as tears continued to roll down his pale cheeks, stinging from the sub-zero temperatures of the atmosphere. He physically flinched as a tearing sound was heard, the noise caused by the two large men pulling Naruto free after two failed attempts. 

His eyes widened, face shifting into a horrified expression when he saw a large tuft of blonde hair and a few pieces of bright orange shirt stuck to the tree trunk which Naruto had been leaning on. The two guards both held Naruto in their arms and began to carry him carefully down the slope. Naruto's body had remained stiff, frozen in the same position he had been on the ground. Sasuke fell to his knees, his body robbed of all Uchiha dignity as he began sobbing uncontrollably while his bodyguards carried Naruto back the way they came.

"I'm sorry Naruto! I'm so sorry!" Sasuke wailed, his voice catching in his throat as he choked on his words. "Please, forgive m-me Naruto." His body which was now a weeping mess slumped forwards onto the cold, lightly snow covered Earth. The last thing Sasuke remembered before everything went dark is repeating those sentences until his voice gave out and he was simply mouthing the words over and over again. 

 

 




"Here, drink this."

"Thanks." Sasuke mumbled, taking the warm cup of tea from nurse Tsunade.

"You're really lucky your friend here is still alive."

The blunt words of the nurse cut through him like a blade, and Sasuke looked away from the big-chested woman to peer down into the steaming liquid held within his palms. During the time of which he had fainted from initial stress, Sasuke's guardsmen had gotten Naruto out of the forest and called 911 who immediately took him into emergency care.

Sasuke had woken up in a different med-room laying on a bed himself, and as soon as he recalled the events from earlier he panicked for a second time. He didn't care about 'causing a scene' or 'disrupting the peace' in the hospital, he just wanted -needed- to know if his friend was okay. Thankfully, Naruto still was alive, it was truly nothing short of a miracle. Sasuke wouldn't know what to do with himself if the blond didn't make it.

On more than one occasion, he feared that would be the case. The thirty-four hours of isolated urgent care was absolutely agonizing. No doctor or nurse would allow him to see Naruto during that time, and Sasuke would nearly have a heart attack each time he heard voices raised in the other room, or medical staff running back and forth while wheeling a cart of items covered by a white blanket.

Sasuke had waited the entire time at the hospital, refusing to go anywhere else. He had called off work for the following two days, putting in an excusal memo for a personal emergency. Sasuke had gotten just about as much sleep as the doctors and nurses who worked on Naruto. He had done enough pacing around the waiting room to cover the distance of a marathon, and had stared at the closed door long enough to dry out his eyes.

When the nurse finally, finally approached him and told him he'd be able to go into the room now that Naruto was mostly stable, he all but stepped on her heels while following her past the door. Sasuke had froze in the doorway once taking a look at his friend laying on the medical bed, a rock settling in the pit of his stomach. Naruto lay perfectly still, tubes up his nose, IV hooked to his arm along with a couple other gadgets Sasuke couldn't recognize attached to his fingers and his head.

His skin hadn't quite replenished it's natural bronze, but it damn sure looked a whole lot better than it did once he was found slumped against that tree trunk. The room was considerably warm -which was expected- and Sasuke instantly took off his jacket, draping it over the chair next to the bed before sitting down. He had sat in the same spot for hours, listening to the steady beep of Naruto's pulse on the heart monitor.

Sasuke subtly flinched when the door opened and in walked nurse Tsunade, a steaming cup held in one of her hands. After he took the cup and she spoke up, he stared into the dark, scalding hot substance for a long time. Eventually, the woman sighed loudly, and Sasuke took a glance up to see her standing on the other side of Naruto, looking down at him almost sadly. 

"It's been quite a while since we've had someone nearly frozen to death. I do apologize if my assistants scared you earlier with their frantic behavior, winter time brings in a lot of patients so we're short on staff at the moment. Shizune and Sakura are by no means incapable, they're just a bit younger and have yet to experience these sorts of things."

"No need to apologize. They kept him alive, that's all that matters." Sasuke said.

"Mm." Tsunade hummed, briefly fiddling with the IV on Naruto's arm. "If I'm being completely honest Sasuke, I'm not sure when -if ever- your friend here might wake up. After the third stages of hypothermia, the body begins to shut down, victims fall unconscious, and their internal organs start to fail. Now, he responded to our care better than we expected, his body is surprisingly quick to generate heat, even with his freezing state. We've warmed him enough to get his temperature away from life-threatening, and at the moment it seems his blood circulation is flowing normally but we can't be too sure until he actually wakes up. With the cold there's always a risk of tissue and brain damage, so even if he does happen to wake up from his temporary coma, there is the possibility he may not function properly." 

Sasuke's brows creased as the seasoned nurse explained the current situation. He was vaguely aware of his bottom lip shaking and eyes beginning to sting with that familiar feeling. He quickly blinked away the oncoming tears, clamping down roughly on his teeth. He had done enough crying the previous night as it was. Sasuke couldn't even recall a time he had actually cried that much aside from when his parents had died in that brutal multi-car crash which ended the lives of many other people.

"I'll be down the hall in room 104B, just knock if you need me." Tsunade got the message, nodding a brief farewell before turning and exiting the room while closing the door softly.

Sasuke scooted forwards, bringing his chair closer to the bedside as he grabbed one of Naruto's hands in his own. The limp appendage wasn't as warm as he remembered Naruto's hand normally was, but compared to the night before it was gratifying to even feel any heat at all. Sasuke lightly squeezed Naruto's hand in his own, bringing his other arm up to rest his head on as he shut his eyes, a single tear rolling down his cheek before being absorbed into the fabric of his long sleeved shirt.





Beep....

Beep...

Beep.. Beep..

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. 

What the hell? Was that? A microwave? Or...

A bomb? 


Sasuke quickly snapped awake, his eyes wide. He looked around confused for a moment, taking in his surroundings until it dawned on him he was still in the hospital. Ah, that made sense. Then the beeping had to be.. Oh fuck. He nearly broke his neck averting his eyes to Naruto's heart monitor, his own heart almost stopping once seeing the blond's pulse was speeding up at an alarmingly rapid pace.

"Uh-" He stood up from his seat, looking around frantically for a moment before darting for the door. "Tsunade!"

Sasuke ran down the hall, forgetting to knock like the woman asked and barged into the room 104B.

"Sasuke? What's wr-" 

"Naruto! He's- I- I don't know!"

At once the nurse was on her feet, pushing past him and running down the hallway. Sasuke skidded to a stop in front of the door, met with nurse Tsunade's backside that he had accidentally bumped into since the woman had also paused in the entryway. 

"What? What's wrong? I can't see! Get out of the way."

Sasuke not-so-nicely shoved the nurse out of his path only to come to another halt once meeting two bright, wide blue eyes staring straight at him. An unknown feeling struck his core, and Sasuke's mouth fell partially open as the other man blinked a few times in puzzlement.

"Naruto? You're.." 

"Awake." Tsunade finished his sentence, astonishment in her voice. 

The woman hurriedly walked over to Naruto, looking at the machines he was attached to before unhooking him from them. Sasuke shuttered as he watched the tube being slowly pulled from the other mans nostrils. That couldn't feel good. Naruto sat up, only to have Tsunade instantly place a hand on the middle of his back for support. "Easy, not too fast, you don't want to get dizzy." She helped him lean against pillows, grabbing a clipboard from a nearby table and began scribbling something down.

"Am I dead?" Naruto asked suddenly.

The nurse chuckled, shaking her head from side to side. "No, you're very much alive." 

Sasuke quietly walked over, almost stopping in his tracks when Naruto's gaze flicked over to him. "Naruto I-" 

"Whatever discussion you two have to go through, it can wait. First things first, we need to do some tests." Tsunade interrupted, stepping in front of him. The nurse pulled the covers from the end of the bed, uncovering Naruto's feet while holding a small metal stick in a now gloved hand. "Tell me how this feels." She instructed, lightly running the item on the bottom of the blond's foot. 

Immediately Naruto squirmed, laughter filling the room. "Hey!" He squeaked, moving away. "That tickles!" 

"Mhm. Nerve responsiveness looks good." Tsunade said and wrote down more things on her clipboard. Sasuke happened to take a peek at the papers and his eyes widened when all he saw was literal scribbles. Whoever had to read doctors and nurses handwriting needed a fucking medal. 

"Can you wiggle your toes for me? And curl your fingers one by one."

"Uh, okay." Naruto did as he was told, adding exaggeration to the movements while grinning. Sasuke's heart warmed to see the man still in such good spirits despite what had just happened to him.

"Alright, now if you can -slowly- stand up." 

"Sure!" Naruto practically jumped to his feet, wobbling only to be caught by Tsunade who frowned at him. 

"What part of slowly didn't you understand?" 

"Sorry." The blond chuckled sheepishly. 

"I might need to check your brain function after all." 

"No, he's normally this stupid." Sasuke said.

"Hey!" Naruto frowned, though there was a slight tug at the corners of his lips.

Tsunade had Naruto conduct a few more tests, writing the results down on her clipboard astonished. "Your motor control seems to be in tact, I didn't pick up any traces of muscle failure or any other defect. Your body heals at an.." She glanced down at her papers. "Unbelievable rate. It's almost abnormal how quickly you recovered, but at least you'll be alright it seems. Now, aside from using the bathroom -which you will do shortly, there's one more thing I need to check before I turn in the results."

"Do I have to spider crawl across the floor again?" Naruto asked.

"No." Tsunade chuckled. "To assure your blood circulation is actually functioning everywhere, you're going to need to get an erection." 

"An er-" Naruto's eyes suddenly got big before he glanced across the room directly to where Sasuke was sitting. 

Sasuke's gaze also got considerably wider when those brilliant blues focused in on him, and he felt heat rush to his face. "Why are you looking at me, dobe?"

Naruto then shifted his gaze to Tsunade, not-so-subtly peering at her enormous chest before flicking back to Sasuke. That repeated a few times before both Sasuke and Tsunade finally spoke up at the same time.

"What?"

"So," Naruto began, a wide grin slowly spreading across his features. "Which one of you wants to help me with that?"

Before he could think of a response, Tsunade's clipboard went flying forwards, loudly connecting with Naruto's face. The blow was so powerful, it sent Naruto stumbling back on the bed with a squeak while holding his now reddening face. Sasuke slapped a hand over his mouth to keep from bursting out in laughter, at least he wouldn't have to get revenge on Naruto for slapping him now.