Sasuke was still sitting where Naruto had left him when he heard the voice call to him.
He looked up to see Kakashi sitting on the tree above, eyes roaming over a page in his perverted book.
Sasuke groaned and looked down, not wanting to be left alone with this man.
Kakashi seemed to sense his irritation towards his presence, so he got closer.
He jumped from the tree and landed behind Sasuke, book still propped perfectly in his hand.
“That was hard to watch,” Kakashi commented dryly and Sasuke rolled his eyes at him.
“Yeah right. I bet you were enjoying it,” Sasuke sneered and looked away.
Kakashi shrugged, “I have been in desperate need of entertainment lately. Luckily, I have you.” He flipped to the next page.
“Fuck you,” Sasuke said easily as he looked down at the dirt. A snail was crawling close to his foot, and he toyed with the idea of crushing it.
Kakashi continued on, “By the way, if you two are going to keep going at it at night, would you mind letting me know? I could hardly sleep with all the noise.”
Sasuke cleared his throat and forced himself to appear as unfazed as possible. After a second to collect himself he grumbled, “Disgusting old pervert.”
Kakashi shrugged again, “Naruto does have a quick temper, doesn’t he? But he’s more frustrated with himself than he is with you.”
Sasuke froze, having fully expected Kakashi to say something in his usual irritatingly teasing manner. He hadn’t expected him to change gears so suddenly. When he looked up to face the older man again, Kakashi was still scanning over his book as if nothing else could be bothered with.
“If it were me,” Kakashi continued, “I’d give it some time. He’s hardheaded, but easy to come around if you give him the chance. But you would know that, wouldn’t you Other-kun?”
Sasuke scoffed, “Apparently, I don’t know anything. I’m not like your Sasuke.”
“Sasuke,” Kakashi said, sounding less carefree. “I’m telling you that if Naruto pushes back, the best thing you can do is push harder.”
Sasuke thought about this, understanding exactly what the old pervert meant because he’d experienced it first hand, in his own world. Naruto was a fighter to the core. It was true for both worlds.
After a moment, Sasuke said with a tone of disbelief, “That... oddly sounded like you were comforting me.”
Kakashi chuckled at that. “Maybe I am. Maybe I’m helping the Sasuke who will eventually come home. Who knows?”
Sasuke snorted out a cynical sounding laugh, even if he did feel a little better.
“Come on,” Kakashi nudged him with his knee. “We’ve got to keep moving.”
Sasuke stood and looked around, “What about Naruto?”
Kakashi smiled behind his mask, “Don’t worry. He can sense our chakra. He’ll catch up once he cools down a bit.”
Sasuke stared at him for a moment, turning the words over in his head before he finally nodded in agreement.
In a second, they jumped up onto the nearest tree and were back to making their way towards Otogakure.
“I think I’m getting the hang of this,” Karin said, her hands hovering over a fish Sasuke had just gutted with a knife. The blue light seeped from her hand into the fish, and slowly, the wound began repairing itself.
Naruto was crouched beside her, forgetting their rivalry and staring in awe as this “magic” was being performed before his eyes.
Itachi couldn’t hide his disbelief either, but Sasuke had plans for him as well, so he wouldn’t let him dwell for long.
He hobbled with only one crutch under his arm away from Karin towards his brother. He shocked Itachi by holding up his gun and presenting it to him.
“When did you take that?” Itachi asked, patting around his holster where his gun was usually secured.
Sasuke ignored the question. “Teach me how to use this.”
“Teach you?” Itachi asked while relieving Sasuke of the weapon.
“It’s powerful, like shuriken. I don’t want them to have the upper-hand.”
Itachi gave Sasuke a weary look before he said, “We can’t do that here.”
“Then where?” Sasuke said, eyes narrowed with determination.
They were lucky Karin lived out in the mountains. Itachi didn’t think he’d ever have a thought like that in his life. But, it came in handy when his not-brother was demanding Machinery 101. In this case, it was a nine-millimeter hand gun.
Itachi led Sasuke out back through the spread of trees. They didn’t go too far because of the crutches, but far enough.
Naruto, having been beckoned by Sasuke to follow, was lagging behind a few feet. When they’d made it to some sort of clearing, Itachi stopped and turned to face them.
They were standing apart, Naruto looking up at the sky and obviously avoiding any chance at meeting Sasuke’s gaze. And Sasuke was looking directly at him, completely determined and appearing unbothered by Naruto’s apparent attitude.
It was odd to see Naruto and Sasuke like this. Before this strange swapping, he’d rarely had the chance to see Sasuke at all. If he did, Sasuke was at Itachi’s neck, especially after their parent’s passing. If they weren’t, Naruto and Sasuke would be making yet another disgusting display of affection towards each other. Itachi was convinced Sasuke was doing it because Itachi found it distasteful. Now, the way they looked together felt… odd.
“Why are we just standing here?” Sasuke growled and Itachi snapped out of his thoughts.
“Hn. Right,” he held gun out by its barrel and passed it to Sasuke.
Sasuke limped over and quickly grabbed the handle. Itachi pointed over to a faraway tree and explained, “Only aim at the enemy. Don’t bother aiming at all if you’re not prepared to pull the trigger. It’d be too easy for someone inexperienced to shoot at the wrong moment. You probably know by now, but these things are deadly.”
Sasuke let his crutches fall to the ground and nodded sharply. Disregarding the condescension in Itachi’s words, he aimed at the indicated tree. He was locked in on his target and listened as Itachi raddled off how he should stand, breathe and when to pull the trigger.
It wasn’t until Itachi said, “Take your shot,” that he did.
The bullet flew past the tree so far away from the target that Sasuke went slack at the sight.
Itachi chuckled, “It’s not as easy as it looks.” Sasuke turned and glared at him and Naruto, who was covering his ears with both hands.
“I aimed at the tree,” Sasuke snapped at his brother’s amusement.
Itachi shook his head, “No, you aimed at that space between those two trees over there where the bullet went.”
Sasuke huffed and turned to hold the gun out for Naruto as Itachi had done for him. “Here,” Sasuke said and Naruto slowly pulled his hands from his ears. “You’ll probably need more practice than me.” Naruto blinked as he slowly accepted the gun.
Itachi was looking like he wanted to laugh, and Sasuke narrowed his eyes at him because he didn’t see what was so funny.
Naruto pulled the barrel, dumping the empty bullets, then went into a stance that was distinctly different than how Sasuke had held the weapon. The air around him oozed with confidence, and Sasuke felt a weird bit of anxiety heating up his chest at the way Naruto looked with his eyes steeled and his body as still as a rock.
Naruto took a slow breath before he fired three shots in succession, all hitting the tree barely an inch apart.
Sasuke clenched his jaw to keep from letting it fall slack.
He whipped around as best as he could to glare at Naruto, who shrugged and said, “I used to go hunting with my dad. You’d know that if—,” he stopped himself, biting his tongue and looking away instead of saying what was really on his mind.
Itachi chuckled and Sasuke turned his disbelieving eyes on his brother again. “Naruto’s almost as good as me,” Itachi explained. “He could possibly teach you better than I can.”
Sasuke grit his teeth, not liking that this Naruto was one-upping him just like the other Naruto had in the past. He wouldn’t let it get to him, even if his pride was feeling badly beaten.
Sasuke huffed and said, “Fine. Show me.” He was asking Naruto this time, who was looking away again with his hands deep in his pockets. Sasuke wondered when the man would stop sulking.
Naruto returned the look and walked around to stand behind Sasuke.
Sasuke wanted to push him away, because Naruto was suddenly way too close, and this wasn’t exactly what he’d meant. But, Naruto was warm, and smelled good even if he was a little sweaty. A strange heat rose up his neck, and Sasuke straightened, forcing it back down.
Naruto reached around Sasuke with the gun and held it out for him. “Here,” he said in a low voice. Sasuke took it, ignoring the way he could feel Naruto’s breath on the back of his neck.
Naruto gently grabbed Sasuke’s wrists and lifted his arms until they were at eye level. He made Sasuke grab the handle with both hands, and said, “Hold onto it tightly.”
Sasuke nodded, and Naruto leaned a bit forward so that he could see over Sasuke’s shoulder.
“You see this here,” Naruto pointed at the piece that stuck up on top of the barrel. “Use this to guide you, your target should be leveled.”
Sasuke nodded again, palms sweaty now.
Naruto pulled away, and Sasuke let himself breathe again just as Naruto commanded, “Pull the trigger.”
He did, and it wasn’t nearly as accurate as he would’ve hoped. It did, however, hit the tree, close to the edge, but close enough to fully penetrate the bark.
Sasuke sighed, almost compelled to smile, but he held back the urge.
“Better,” Itachi said, and Sasuke had nearly forgotten that he was still there.
“Hn,” Sasuke grunted, and lifted the weapon again to take another shot. He followed the same procedure and was happy that the bullet landed not far from the last.
Itachi let Sasuke empty the clip and looked over at Naruto who was giving the tree a look like he’d wished it were him taking a pounding.
He took this opportunity to approach the blonde while Sasuke was distracted.
As Itachi stood beside him, Naruto was the one to speak first, “You’re sure he didn’t just hit his head or something?”
Itachi looked at him, eyes searching Naruto’s face while Naruto kept his on the tree. “What do you mean?” Itachi asked and Naruto finally looked at him.
“It’s just...” Naruto huffed. “Doesn’t this all seem a little crazy to you?”
Itachi shrugged, “Of course it does. It’s not easy to accept different realities or ninjas or...” Itachi trailed off, indicating Sasuke with his eyes.
Naruto groaned, “But you are? You believe him?”
“Don’t you?” Itachi challenged, looking back again.
“I do but...” he wrangled a hand through his hair, looking more frustrated now. “He just spat fire out of his mouth. Karin’s in there doing fucking witchcraft on a fish. We’re training him to use a gun and Sasuke hates guns. What if...” Naruto trailed off, sounding weak by the end of his spiel. He said in a small voice, “What if he doesn’t come back? What if this Sasuke is here for good?”
Itachi winced, having thought of that scenario more than once since Sasuke told him. He swallowed and said after a stretch of silence accompanied by Sasuke’s piercing gun shots, “If there’s a way to do it, then we have to see if there’s a way to undo it.”
Sasuke fired the last shot and tried for another, getting an empty click instead. He turned around, eyeing them suspiciously before he said, “It’s empty.”
Itachi walked over and held his hand out. Sasuke gave him back the gun, then reached down to retrieve his crutches. Itachi walked with the gun over to the tree to examine the damage. “Not bad,” he said, brushing his hand over the bullet holes.
While Itachi was far enough away, Sasuke turned to Naruto. “What were you two talking about?”
Naruto scoffed and looked away, “Wouldn’t you like to know.”
Sasuke grit his teeth, “Yes, I would. When are you going to stop acting like a baby?”
“I’m not acting like a baby,” Naruto hissed.
Sasuke glared, “You are.”
Naruto didn’t say anything to that, and Sasuke sighed.
“Look. What I said...” Sasuke stopped himself to think over his words. He hated this, but something in him was pulling at his heart. So, forgoing his pride, he pushed the words out, “What I said to you in the bedroom, about being smarter than your Sasuke. I’m sorry.”
Naruto turned to him, eyes wide. He let out a shuddering breath and choked out a simple, “Thank you.”
Itachi walked up to them after that with his gun holstered. “You two ready to head back?”
Kakashi wasn’t kidding about Naruto catching up. Thirty minutes after leaving, Sasuke spotted Naruto a few yards ahead of him. He wondered how he’d gotten so far up without Sasuke having even seen him.
He supposed he might have appeared in a cloud of smoke. They tended to do that a lot in this world.
But Naruto didn’t look at him, let alone speak. He led the way with Kakashi at his tail and Sasuke lagging a short distance behind.
Sasuke stared at Naruto’s back, unable to mask the longing in his eyes, especially when there was no one around to judge or question him for it. He wondered what his Naruto was doing, if he was getting along with the other Sasuke. If they were...
He closed his eyes without thinking, an ugly feeling bubbling at the pit of his stomach. He shouldn’t have, he realized, because he’d hopped from a tree branch and landed on... nothing?
He quickly opened his eyes and saw that he’d missed a step. He went towards the ground at a horrifying speed.
“Ah! Shit! Naruto!” He’d instinctively called out as he went down.
Naruto must have heard him even at his distance. A second later he was jumping up and catching Sasuke.
His blue eyes were laced with worry and masked discomfort as he examined Sasuke, making sure he hadn’t hurt himself.
They landed slow and soft onto the ground, and Naruto almost immediate placed Sasuke on his feet.
“You have to be careful. Keep your head up,” Naruto said, voice tense and sharp, before he hopped up to a tree near where Kakashi stopped to watch. He took off immediately after in the direction they’d been heading.
Sasuke huffed. His chest felt tight. He hated when Naruto acted like this. It’s happened more than a few times in his world. Sasuke would say something insensitive or do something that Naruto would overreact to and Naruto would shut him out, speaking to him only when necessary, and avoiding all eye contact and touch. Naruto had told him once that he’d acted like that because it was too easy for him to forgive Sasuke. So, if he stayed away, Sasuke could suffer for just a little bit longer before Naruto caved. He wondered if this Naruto was any different.
“Come on, Other-kun!” Kakashi called and Sasuke replied with a middle finger.
Kakashi looked pleased at the reaction, jumping to another tree to catch up with Naruto. Sasuke crouched and jumped up, following behind as fast as he could manage on these strong legs.
They stopped when the sun was coming down. He’d made it much farther this time, taking their advice to think more about the amount of chakra he let out while they moved. Kakashi even looked a bit impressed that he wasn’t doubled over by the time they’d stopped.
He stood by Sasuke and they both watched Naruto turn into the forest. He was likely gathering wood and any nearby supplies as he had the night before, but it irritated Sasuke that he hadn’t even said anything, not even to Kakashi, as he went.
Sasuke huffed, blowing a bit of hair from his face as he watched Naruto disappear.
He returned only a half an hour later. By then, Sasuke was settled in the tent (likely set up by Kakashi), and the old man was sitting by a tree. Naruto stared at the closed tent, knowing Sasuke was in there possibly thinking about what had happened between them, and the argument that followed in the morning. Naruto’s heart squeezed at the thought.
He set the wood down and worked on starting a fire to take his mind off the thought. It was when he’d finished that Kakashi spoke up.
“Naruto, come here.” Naruto looked over to see Kakashi beckoning him with a lazy wave of his hand.
Naruto sighed, rubbed the back of his head tiredly, and walked over to plop beside him.
“You’re not making things better by avoiding him,” Kakashi said almost immediately once Naruto settled.
Naruto bristled, but kept his eyes on the fire instead of rising to the bait.
Kakashi went on, “He probably thinks you hate him. Poor Other-kun.”
Naruto didn’t comment on that, even if it made his stomach stir with an uncomfortable amount of guilt. Instead he asked, “You heard us?”
Kakashi shrugged, “You two weren’t exactly quiet about it.”
Naruto closed his eyes and sighed. He looked worn out, more so emotionally than physically. “He’s confusing me with someone else,” he decided, likely over the past few hours that he’d kept to himself as they traveled.
Kakashi’s eyebrow rose curiously, “Who exactly is he confusing you with? You?”
Naruto opened his eyes to glare at him, “He’s not Sasuke.”
Kakashi thought about that. A moment later he said pointedly, “He is Sasuke. And you are Naruto.”
Naruto gave a dry laugh and shook his head, “No, it’s not right. It’s not him.” He sounded frustrated now, but Kakashi didn’t waver. He just stared quietly until Naruto calmed down on his own.
When he did, Kakashi said, “I never took you for someone who gave up so easily.”
Naruto shook his head, “I’m not giving up. I’m stopping myself from doing something incredibly stupid.”
Kakashi laughed at that, “Never took you for a man of logic either.”
Naruto couldn’t help but laugh a little, a real laugh, and when the chuckles died down, he gave Kakashi a look. “I hope you’re not trying to convince me to leave my wife.”
“And why would I do that?” Kakashi asked, voice sly while he pulled his book from a pocket that was designed to be used only for storing deadly weapons.
Naruto answered after a moment, sounding more like himself, “Because you’re evil.”
Kakashi laughed again, but answered calmly, “I would never.”
Naruto rolled his eyes, more playfully this time, then focused them on the brimming fire. He said after a moment, “I can’t leave her, Sensei.”
Kakashi didn’t miss a beat, “Because you love her, or because she’s your wife?”
Naruto snapped his head to look at his old teacher. His mouth opened to retort, but nothing came out. It just opened and closed, then opened and closed again. After a while, he gave up with a long huff. His eyes turned back to the flame, and he thought hard about his answer.
An answer that should have come much easier, but didn’t.
As soon as they’d walked in Karin rushed to the door with a bowl of water in hand. She brushed past Naruto to eagerly present it to Sasuke. “Look! I did it!” she cheered.
Sasuke looked down into the bowl and saw the previously mutilated fish back in one piece. It floated lifelessly, but the cuts Sasuke’d inflicted were gone. He reached into the water and lifted the dead fish, pulling a dreadful look from Naruto that resembled one like he might throw up. Sasuke ignored it as he held the fish close to his face, twirling it with his fingers to examine its body.
“Not bad,” he decided as he dropped the fish, sinking it to the bottom of the bowl.
Karin lit up, holding the bowl over her head and shouting, “I did it! I did it! I’m like one of those healers in Harry Potter!”
“Hairy what?” Sasuke questioned as he struggled past her on his crutches. He settled on the couch, followed by the exuberant redhead.
“Doesn’t matter,” Karin said, dismissing Sasuke’s question, but still looking overly excited as she settled beside him.
Naruto walked over to take a seat at the armchair, while Itachi stood with no intention of sitting.
Sasuke couldn’t care less about this hairy-whoever. He focused on tearing at the fabric of his pant leg, exposing where it was wrapped from the bullet wound.
They all stared as Sasuke undressed the wrappings next. Both Naruto and Karin grimaced when it was completely undone, staring wide-eyed at the dried blood and mangled skin where the sutures forced the hole closed.
Sasuke turned to Karin, face passive, and asked her, “Are you ready to put your skills to the test?”
Karin gasped, but before she could answer, Naruto intervened, “Okay, hold on. No. No way! Are you insane?!”
Sasuke glared over at him, “What?”
Naruto scoffed, “Look, I’ll give it to you, that fish thing was cool. I mean, really fucking scary and weird, sort of like the whole fire breathing thing, but definitely cool. This?! No fucking way. There’s no way she’s doing that magic shit on your leg. I mean—Sasuke… you’re still healing.”
Sasuke disregarded Naruto’s rambling, saying in a matter-of-fact tone, “And this will speed up the process.”
“Or she could make it worse!” Naruto flapped his hands, getting even more riled up by Sasuke’s nonchalance.
Itachi cut in, “Naruto’s right. Who knows what could happen if she tries that on you.”
“I know what could happen,” Sasuke said, hands balled into tight fists. “You need to just trust me.”
“Maybe in your world, but this is different. This type of... science or magic or whatever doesn’t exist here,” Naruto reasoned weakly.
Sasuke rolled his eyes, “No. Obviously it does. Your people are just too closeminded to see what’s right in front of your face.”
“Or too smart to know that trying to close a fucking bullet hole could turn someone’s leg inside out!”
Sasuke didn’t have anything to say to that right away. He just glared up at Naruto and breathed heavily through his nose.
“Um, I don’t know about this, Sasuke…” Karin cut in through the tense silence, sounding more than a little apprehensive. Sasuke turned to her and she went on, “I only did it once. What if I blow up your leg or something?”
Naruto stood quickly and gestured towards her, “Exactly! What if she blows up your leg?”
She glared over her shoulder at him and flicked him off.
Naruto sucked his teeth and rolled his eyes, “Oh, fuck you too.”
Karin opened her mouth to snap back, but Sasuke silenced her by grabbing the hand she was holding up and pulling it towards his leg. They locked eyes, and Sasuke spoke calmly, “Just trust me.”
Karin stared into those dark orbs, and gulped. Her cheeks were becoming red, and Naruto sneered at her for it.
After a moment to gather her resolve, she nodded slowly, clenching and unclenching her fingers in anticipation.
Itachi shook his head at the interaction. “This is insane,” he mumbled.
Sasuke ignored him, and nodded to give Karin the extra reassurance she needed.
She looked down and focused on the injury, holding her hands out at it like how she’d practiced on the fish. Sasuke closed his eyes, waiting for it to come.
And when it did, and that blue light emitted from her hands, he started screaming.
Karin pulled back, shocked by the pain in his voice. Both Naruto and Itachi moved towards him, but Sasuke held a hand out to stop them from getting any closer. When he spoke, it was through tightly clenched teeth, in a voice full of agony and determination, “Don’t! Just stay where you are,” he said to them. Then to Karin, “Keep going.”
She gave him a long look, obviously unsure about continuing after receiving such a harsh reaction. But, despite her reservations, she slowly put her hands back over the hole, now oozing with blood from the strain.
The light came again, and so did the screaming. Itachi and Naruto could only watch with mixed looks of horror and discomfort.
Sasuke shot up at the intrusion. He’d been lying on his side, trying hard to sleep instead of mulling over his conversation with Kakashi earlier.
He hadn’t expected for his running train of thoughts to be interrupted. And when he’d hurriedly sat up and turned over to see the intruder, he saw Naruto standing halfway in the tent, looking nervous, but not enough to avert his eyes.
Sasuke didn’t say anything. He just looked up and watched Naruto squirm.
Naruto ran his bandaged hand through his hair and blew out a calming breath before he managed to speak. “I’m sorry for lashing out earlier. I was just—.”
“Scared?” Sasuke offered.
Naruto stared for a second, then laughed and nodded helplessly. “Yeah, I guess so.”
Sasuke nodded and looked away, thinking it over while trying hard to ignore the heat that rose from his belly to his throat.
Naruto walked the two feet it took to get beside Sasuke, and sat next to him with his legs crossed. When Sasuke looked back, he continued, “At some point you’ll go home.”
Sasuke snorted out a laugh, “If I don’t get killed first.”
“You won’t,” Naruto said seriously, and Sasuke couldn’t find it in him to laugh anymore. The look in Naruto’s eyes was so intense, so earnest, he couldn’t help but believe him. “I won’t let anything happen to you. I made a promise.”
Sasuke swallowed thickly, but didn’t have anything to say. Same old Naruto, he thought both bitterly and lovingly.
“When you go back, my Sasuke will return too. And this thing between us,” he paused, treading carefully now. “It won’t matter anymore.”
Sasuke nodded, “But until then…you’re still the man I love. You’re still Naruto. Even if you’re not the one I fell in love with. I can’t help but think you two are the same.”
Naruto made a noise like he’d choked, but quickly righted himself. His face was getting red and he looked away as if continuing to stare into Sasuke’s eyes was too much of a challenge.
Sasuke found it to be the most endearing thing he’d ever seen. Naruto flustered always made his heart beat twice as fast. He couldn’t help himself. He reached up, and ran his fingers through Naruto’s short hair.
It forced their eyes to lock once again. His hand ventured further, down the side of Naruto’s face to his chin. His thumb brushed over Naruto’s bottom lip, and he could see the way the action made Naruto’s eyes drop down to Sasuke’s lips.
“It won’t matter once this is all over,” Sasuke said, his voice barely a whisper. “But we can make it count for now.”
Naruto gulped, and his eyes flickered up to Sasuke’s again.
He didn’t have to say anything, or maybe he didn’t have the chance. Sasuke swallowed whatever words would have come out of his mouth when he leaned over and crossed the distance between them.
Naruto stared in shock as Sasuke lifted from the couch and tested out his leg.
Itachi was no better. Naruto almost wanted to take a picture. He didn’t think there would ever be another day where he’d see Itachi with his eyes wide and his mouth hanging open.
Sasuke chuckled to himself as he applied pressure between each foot. “This is good work, Karin,” he said, and did a stretch to see how the muscles had healed. Not bad at all, he decided.
Karin clasped her hands together and swooned. “Oh gosh, did I do well? It looks healed, but does it feel okay?”
“It feels sufficient,” he answered, though the smirk lingering on his lips was undeniable. She squealed and got up to do a little dance.
‘Sufficient’ was an understatement, but he didn’t want to give her too much of a big head. He felt amazing. It worked. It fucking worked. If he were more of a moron, he’d dance along with her.
There was an exceeding amount of excitement that bubbled in his chest, pounding at his heart and making his blood burn just beneath his skin. It was the type of burn that he felt in battle, when just escaping impending death, danger thwarted, power achieved. It was magnificent!
Naruto still couldn’t take his eyes off Sasuke’s leg, the skin where the bullet penetrated now perfectly smooth like the rest of it, when just moments ago it looked like something out of Saw.
“Are you going to teach us how to fly next?” Naruto said with a dry bit of sarcasm in his voice.
Sasuke answered seriously, still flexing and kicking his leg, “That’s a type of chakra manipulation I don’t specialize in.”
Naruto gaped, “Wait what? People actually FLY where you’re from?”
Sasuke ignored the question, and the shock, choosing to address Itachi, “We should consider our next move.”
He’d expected some sort of affirmative, but Itachi just stared, his eyes unwaveringly locked on Sasuke’s leg.
Naruto snorted, “I think you broke your brother.”
Itachi snapped out of it then. He cleared his throat and sent a glare over to the blonde before focusing his eyes on Sasuke’s, “What are you planning?” He obviously didn’t have it in him to talk about what they’d just seen.
Sasuke walked over to the bag he’d left by the door, reached inside and pulled out the scroll. He held it up and said, “I’ve been thinking. Why have that man shoot at me, when he had this on him? Why even carry this around?”
Naruto settled back in the armchair to think about this. He asked, “I mean, if they’re ninjas like you, wouldn’t they use that type of thing?” He shrugged, “Maybe they always carry them around.”
Sasuke shook his head, “That doesn’t make any sense. You called it a gun, correct? How many incidents do you know of people using that type of weapon?”
Naruto shrugged, “Hundreds… thousands I guess,”
“Right. And how many instances before I came here have you seen anything about scrolls or jutsu or chakra or anything that I’ve shown you?”
“None,” Itachi answered, thinking over what Sasuke was suggesting. He pointed at him and said, “You think they planted that because they knew you’d find it?”
“Maybe,” Sasuke nodded. “Or they didn’t expect me to kill that asshole. If I hadn’t, I would’ve been taken, and he would still have it. Either way, that scroll is meant for me.”
“But you don’t even know what it says,” Naruto pointed out.
Sasuke shrugged, “I also don’t know what technique they used to bring me here. But I’m sure this scroll is the answer to that as well,” he dropped it back into the bag.
“So, how do you plan to lure them out with that?” Itachi asked, his arms crossed, and eyebrows bunched. Sasuke could bet that Itachi often looked like that when he was on cases, fighting crime in this world.
“If this scroll is apart of the reason why I’m here, then they’ll come for it and me. There’s no way to activate it without someone who knows the technique being present.”
“So, you suppose we wait for them to come to us? What about Shikamaru? Are we going to leave him to die?” Itachi asked and Naruto paled at the thought.
“They’ll keep him alive until they have me,” Sasuke started pacing now, thinking about everything that’s happened up until then. “I originally thought they’d taken him as bait. But, I don’t think that’s true.”
“You don’t?” Naruto questioned, “Isn’t that a bad thing?”
“Not necessarily. Think. Why even take Shikamaru? Maybe your Sasuke was close to him, but I don’t have any real connection with him on my world. I don’t particularly care whether he lives or dies.” He heard the way Naruto sucked in a breath, and how Itachi grunted unpleasantly, but he kept going, “The point is. Using him as bait would’ve been pointless. I would’ve gone after any sign of the ones who brought me here. It’s overkill.”
He allowed them a second to digest this.
Naruto was the one to eventually break the silence. “Basically you’re saying, they didn’t have to kidnap Shika just to get your attention.”
Sasuke nodded, “I suspect they took him for a different reason. It can’t be a coincidence. Shikamaru is high ranking ninja in my world. They’re planning to use him for something. I can only assume it has to do with why I’m here.”
Itachi thought about this. “What do you think they’re going to use him for?”
Sasuke flinched, but admitted, “I don’t know. Nothing good.”
Karin, who’d been watching with wide eyes until then, finally spoke up, “So, this jutsu-or-whatever brought you here, and you’re trying to find a way to reverse it? But, how are you so sure that there is even a way to reverse it?”
Sasuke’s eyes narrowed at the thought. He’d considered it more than once. Maybe this was permanent. Maybe there wasn’t a way back home. But, he couldn’t doubt the feeling that there was something, or someone, connecting him to Konoha. He wasn’t sure if it was the other Sasuke, or if it was his own chakra crawling its way back to him. Whatever it was, there was something that linked the two worlds, and that link had to be his way out.
“I’m not sure if there’s a way. But, I have to try,” he didn’t say more after that. They all felt the wave of determination that spread over the room and it spoke for him.
A moment passed before Itachi said, “I think that's enough for now. We’ll rest and start up again tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ll reach out to my unit and see if anything’s come up.”
Sasuke nodded and turned to Karin. “Where are the rooms?”
Karin straightened. "Ah, yes!" she said, looking gitty; still likely running off the high of her earlier accomplishment. With a swoop of her hand she said, "Right this way,” and led them towards the steps. Naruto grabbed the bag and the three men followed Karin on her mini-tour.
At the top of the staircase, there was a short hallway. She pointed out the rooms as she went by. “This is guest room number one. Itachi you can sleep here.” He didn’t need more than that. He simply pushed his way inside and began stripping off his police equipment.
Sasuke and Naruto followed her further down the hall. She pointed out the door to the left as the ‘toilet’, then to the right, “This is guest room number 2.” She paused, looking bitter as she said the next part, “The few” (eye roll) “times you two have come by, you slept here.” She perked up again and said sweetly, “And my room is right down the hall. If you feel safer with me, Sasuke, I totally understand.”
Naruto grit his teeth, fully prepared to offer himself to sleep on the couch downstairs when Sasuke surprised him.
“This is fine. Thank you,” he pushed the door open and walked in without another word.
Karin looked put out, but smiled the best she could. Through the doorway, she called out, “Okay, well goodnight! Let me know if you need anything Sasuke.” She turned to Naruto, her smile turned into a deep frown. “Naruto, don’t you dare do anything stupid.”
“Get a life,” Naruto grumbled, pushing past her into the room.
She rolled her eyes and walked away, thankfully leaving them to themselves.
Naruto started to pull clothes from the bag when he heard Sasuke chuckle. “What’s so funny?” He asked as he pulled his shirt over his head.
Sasuke shrugged, “I don’t know why you two don’t get along. You’re a lot alike.”
Naruto gasped, “I am nothing like that little weirdo!” He rolled his shirt and smacked Sasuke’s hip with it. He hadn’t meant to, it was a reaction he’d grown accustomed to with his Sasuke. But this one didn’t seem as annoyed by it as Naruto would’ve thought.
He just smirked and continued on, “In my world, you two get along just fine.”
Naruto scoffed, “Well I’m sure she wasn’t trying to convince you to bend her over twenty-four-seven.”
Sasuke shook his head, “She was. But she was only a friend.”
Naruto paused, letting that sink in for a moment before he asked, “A friend, huh?” He put on the clean shirt and unzipped his pants. He pulled them down while he waited for an answer.
“Yes, well... She was in my team. A valuable member,” Sasuke took off his shirt, only slightly aware of Naruto’s state of undress while he picked a fresh one from the bag and pulled it over his head.
Naruto asked him with a raised brow, “And you figured she’d be just as helpful in this world?”
Sasuke smirked and nodded, “And I was right. I told you to trust me.”
Naruto laughed a little at that and shook his head. He stood in his boxers and T-shirt with his arms crossed as he watched Sasuke pull on a pair of sweats.
After a moment, Naruto said in humored tone, “Cocky, just like him.” He walked over to turn off the light.
Sasuke snorted while he walked around to get into the bed. It was a queen, plenty big for the two of them. “I’m sure that’s what you liked about him.”
He hadn’t meant to say that. As soon as he did, he bit his tongue hard enough for it to sting. It was the euphoria from healing his leg that was getting to him. He was letting his guard down, and it didn’t help that this Naruto made it so easy.
Naruto didn’t seem to notice the pause, and maybe it was because of the darkness that he didn’t see Sasuke freeze like a deer. He instead nodded thoughtfully while he pulled back the covers on the other side of the bed. “Yeah, and his award-winning attitude,” Naruto joked.
Sasuke didn’t say anything in return, still thrown by his own lapse in judgement.
Why did this feel so familiar?
He tried to shake the thought while he got under the covers. He kept his back turned towards Naruto.
Naruto settled quickly, spreading his legs and lying uncaringly on his back. As if he’d been doing this for years.
And he had, Sasuke reminded himself.
He was suddenly thinking he should have taken the couch, but didn’t feel comfortable enough to get up and scurry out like some sort of coward.
He closed his eyes and tried to sleep. It came much more naturally to Naruto. It had only taken three minutes of silence for Sasuke to hear the long, drawn out snores emitting from beside him. Sasuke hated to admit that the sound easily lulled him into his own dreamless abyss.
He felt hot and sweaty when he’d woken up four hours later.
What had started out as a sleep full of nothingness, materialized into something far too real.
In his dream, Naruto was on top of him, thrusting into him, terribly erratic and desperate. It was nighttime, in some tent out in the woods. He knew those woods, because of a specific owl that chimed around the path towards Otogakure. He’d heard it dully in the dream, but only barely.
Much more vivid was the sound of his voice, echoing out while Naruto pushed into him. The way Naruto grunted and moaned and rocked against him like he was determined to fill every inch of Sasuke.
Naruto’s mouth was on his neck, sucking hard and making it bruise, and Sasuke... he was throwing his head back, letting Naruto have full access to the skin there, while he moaned these low, filthy, guttural moans.
The most frightening part, was that it looked like him. Not this Sasuke from this unfamiliar world, but from his own world, from Konoha, from home.
And in the dream, he remembered looking down and seeing that black seal on Naruto’s stomach that was absent in this world. And those marks on his cheeks that could have only come from the birth of a Jinchūriki.
It felt so real. It felt like he was being taken so thoroughly that when he’d woken up he was breathless and red. And so hard that he felt like he might die from the way his dick pushed against his sweats.
He must have been breathing too hard, too loudly, because Naruto had stopped snoring and had turned his head to look at him with sleepy eyes.
“You okay? Nightmare?” Naruto asked in a voice that was raspy from sleep. Sasuke hated how it made this treacherous body react to the sound.
When he didn’t immediately get a response (because Sasuke felt sick from how hard he was, and was afraid that if he spoke he might not sound like himself), he sat up and blinked at Sasuke’s flushed face.
“Oh God,” Naruto said, waking up a bit more and putting a hand to Sasuke’s forehead. His skin prickled at the touch. “You’re burning up. Don’t tell me that spell, or whatever Karin did to you actually backfired...”
“I’m fine,” Sasuke managed to say through his tense jaw and gritted teeth. He shook his head, “Just go back to sleep.”
Naruto tilted his head, looking carefully at the red skin creeping up Sasuke’s neck and cheeks. It didn’t take long for him to understand, and Sasuke immediately groaned in frustration. Of course this idiot knew what he looked like aroused. He didn’t want to think too long about why. It took him too close to that feeling of Naruto’s dick pulsing inside of him, of his teeth on his neck, of sweaty skin against skin.
His dick twitched involuntarily, and he nearly bit off his tongue to stop himself from moaning.
Naruto’s eyes widened, and without permission, he lifted the covers to see the tent in Sasuke’s pants. He swallowed at the sight, looking suddenly like he was starved for a meal.
Sasuke couldn’t take the expression. He pressed his palm against Naruto’s face and pushed him away. “Go back to sleep,” he insisted, nearly pleaded this time.
Naruto grabbed the hand and pulled it away. He looked into Sasuke’s eyes and said, “Let me take care of you.”
Sasuke blanched, the color quickly draining from his face and leaving him sickly pale. “It’s fine. It’ll go away on its own.”
“Sasuke… it’s too late for that,” Naruto reasoned, sounding distant, like he wasn’t even there. The blood must’ve been rushing to Naruto’s head, because he was looking just as flushed as Sasuke had.
He didn’t wait for an answer, quickly slipping his hand under the cover and cupping Sasuke’s bulge.
Sasuke arched his back and hissed at the sudden treatment, unable to will himself to pull Naruto away.
Naruto stroked him through the fabric, and it made him shudder.
He bit his lip, feeling the way his throat constricted and forced a moan out that started at his chest and bubbled its way up.
His hips moved on their own, pushing upward into Naruto’s palm, urging him to stroke harder, faster.
It might have been eagerness that encouraged Naruto, but Sasuke didn’t expect him to slip his hand under the band of his sweats, into his boxers, until he was able to grip Sasuke in a tight fist.
“Ugh,” Sasuke ran a hand through his hair, the other covering his lips to stifle the noises.
Naruto maneuvered himself around on the bed, spreading Sasuke’s legs with one hand and settling between them. He kept on stroking, as if he were an expert at this. The way he pressed the pad of his thumb and rubbed it over the head of Sasuke’s cock was further proof of that.
Sasuke felt like he was losing himself. As if this were some genjutsu, pulling him into a trance or another dimension. He couldn’t remember ever feeling so hot, like his skin might catch fire with each stroke of Naruto’s hand. It felt too perfect. Too right. Like Naruto’s hand around his junk, pumping him harshly, and his darkened, blue eyes drinking in the way Sasuke melted because of it, was the only way to get off.
It was truly scary, the way he wanted this. The way he wanted the feeling to last. The way he wanted Naruto to take him and thoroughly consume him.
He thought he might cum when Naruto started to pump him faster, but it didn’t last long. Naruto stopped abruptly, and pulled his hand out of his pants.
Sasuke whimpered and writhed against the sheets. He would hate himself for it later, but at the moment he was too delirious to care.
Naruto sat back, and pulled Sasuke’s sweats and boxers until his cock was released from the constricting fabric. The way the cold hit his sensitive skin was enough to make Sasuke hiss.
Naruto licked his lips, staring at the organ like it was a prize. He ran one hand up Sasuke’s abdomen, pushing his shirt up to expose the skin there.
“What...are you... doing?” Sasuke asked, not realizing that he would be so out of breath.
“I want to suck you,” Naruto said, voice deeper and darker than usual. Sasuke felt his dick shift, as if it were begging to be taken by Naruto’s mouth.
Sasuke bit his lip, looking like he wanted to fight it, but far too close to even attempt it. He resolved to worry about the consequences later. Right now, his mind filled with the desire to have Naruto sucking him, licking him, fucking him. And that last part was too scary to touch, so he left it alone. He’d blame it on that dream, that bizarrely real dream.
“I miss you,” Naruto said, still stroking up Sasuke’s abdomen. But, this time Sasuke didn’t feel the pull of desire he’d experienced so intensely just a moment ago. This time, he felt sad. Naruto wasn’t looking at him anymore. His eyes were somewhere else, even as they took in his pale skin and pleading arousal. He wasn’t talking to Sasuke when he’d said it, and it was the first time in a long time that Sasuke felt this type of dull ache squeezing at his heart.
He didn’t know what it was that took over him next. He’d feel ashamed to call it jealousy. But he’d felt it before. When he was a child and fought for his father’s approval that had come so easily for Itachi. When he had resented Naruto for being so much stronger than Sasuke thought he had a right to be. And now, like a fool, he felt that same feeling, as if he had anything to prove, as if he wanted to be enough. At least for now.
He reached up without thinking, cupping a hand around the back of Naruto’s head and pulling it down so that he could kiss him. Not like those times they’d accidentally locked lips in his past, and not even like those times where the Naruto of this world had kissed him ignorantly. He’d done it with so much need, and so much want, it was bleeding out of him, into Naruto.
Naruto closed his eyes and sucked Sasuke’s lips into his, rolling his tongue inside easily like he knew exactly what to do, what to taste and where to find it.
He pressed down on Sasuke, letting him feel how hard his was in his boxers. He rolled it against Sasuke’s erection, devouring the sound Sasuke made when they’d rubbed together long and hard. He lifted one of Sasuke’s legs, ran his hand down his thigh to his ass and squeezed so hard Sasuke broke the kiss to whimper out another filthy sound.
Naruto took this chance to pull back and tug Sasuke’s shirt up until Sasuke was forced to lift his arms and let Naruto pull it over his head.
It was tossed somewhere within the darkness. Sasuke didn’t care, because now Naruto was kissing and licking his way down his chest, down to his hips, all the way to the head of his dick.
Sasuke didn’t even have the chance to look down, because when Naruto took him in his mouth, he took all of him in one go. The feeling was rough, hot and wet; so much so that Sasuke threw his head back and put both hands on his head to keep himself from going insane. Because he felt like now, more than ever, he just might.
This situation, Naruto sucking and rolling his tongue over his cock like a fucking popsicle, was nothing like Sasuke could’ve ever imagined in all his years. He couldn’t help but think of the Naruto from his world, the idiot who seemed to fail at any and everything until he’d proven to the entire village, and villages around the world, that he was the strongest, and best Shinobi to walk in the Hokage’s shoes. He was powerful and had a knack for battle that was, quite frankly, terrifying. And yet, he was still the same moron who laughed at corny jokes and poked at Sasuke’s nerves like it was a hobby. It was that Naruto, the dumbass who he’d cared for more than any other ally, that he was imagining bobbing his head hungrily around his cock.
The tent felt steamy and hot, nearly unbearably so, but neither occupants seemed to mind.
Naruto was coming down, his dick still perfectly nestled inside of Sasuke, while their lips worked together as they attempted to ease through the high of their orgasms.
Naruto didn’t think anything could feel so perfect. He’d wanted to believe that what he had with Hinata was the closest thing to it, but what he’d felt after getting this far with Sasuke was so much more than that. It felt horrible to think about, but it wasn’t something he could hide from anymore.
This Sasuke, he’d pulled something out of him that he’d never thought would become anything other than a silly crush. He’d even considered it irrational at times. Wanting Sasuke to come home so badly, that he felt like the only way he could rationalize his feelings was to call it love.
But then, this Sasuke came along, and loved him so much. He could feel it in the way that he moved his lips, as if he was content with simply rolling their tongues together until they passed out from exhaustion.
However, eventually one of them had to pull away. Naruto sat back, and Sasuke whimpered for him to come back. It made him smile, and he pushed Sasuke’s hair out of his face, not caring that the strands were sweaty.
Sasuke chuckled, “I could do that ten more times.”
Naruto blushed, mostly because he felt strangely excited, but also because he was still half-hard, buried deep inside of Sasuke.
Sasuke wiggled from the feeling, and Naruto dipped his head and hissed in return. Sasuke touched the back of Naruto’s head with his hand, running his fingers through the soft hair. He pushed Naruto further down, and kissed the top of his head.
The next time Sasuke moved his hips, Naruto couldn’t help the way his arousal swelled up again. He started moving without realizing, until his slow little jerks turned into full blown thrusts. Naruto’s head stayed where it was on Sasuke’s chest, mostly because Sasuke kept it there with his hand. He could hear how fast Sasuke’s heart was beating. But, what was somehow worse, was that he could hear the way Sasuke was whispering between each breath and moan, “I miss you... I miss you (Ah!) ... I miss you...”
When Sasuke woke up the next day, he was spread out on his back and alone in the bed. His head hurt, having passed out immediately after such an intense orgasm that it had left him lightheaded.
The last thing he remembered is when he’d came, and how he’d looked down with drool hanging from his mouth like some sort of idiot and saw Naruto looking back while he swallowed his fluids.
Sasuke groaned and slapped a hand over his face because he couldn’t believe he’d so eagerly let Naruto suck him off. Moreover, he couldn’t believe just how much he’d wanted it. Still wanted it.
He stopped himself there. Especially since apparently Naruto had only been gone for a moment. He came back into the room, still looking sleep tussled. He was scratching the back of his head when he looked up and met Sasuke’s gaze.
Naruto faltered for a moment, before going the extra few steps it took to get to the bed.
Sasuke sat up, trying to think less about how he’d came in Naruto’s throat just hours ago, and more so on, “What time is it?”
Naruto looked at him, then searched around for his phone.
He found it lying on the floor next to the bed.
He held it up and read out the time that displayed, “It’s just past six.”
Sasuke nodded, “We should get ready.”
Naruto nodded and sat down on the bed beside Sasuke. He looked like he wanted to say something, but shook his head, and settled on, “Okay…”
Sasuke stared, watching the way Naruto squirmed for a moment, before saying, “We don’t have to talk about what happened yesterday. Let’s just try to forget about it.”
Naruto blinked, his expression crestfallen and his shoulders sagged. He readjusted himself, trying to pull it together, cleared his throat and said, “Yeah, I mean… Sorry about that. I may have gone a little too far.”
Sasuke tried to look unbothered, though he could feel his chest warming up considerably. “Just don’t let it happen again.” When Naruto didn’t say anything back right away, Sasuke added, “I don’t want you getting distracted, or distracting me. Whatever it is you had with him, just forget about it until I leave this world. Got it?”
Naruto swallowed and nodded dully, looking like Sasuke had pulled back and smacked him right across the face. Sasuke hated that he regretted his words the moment he saw the way they’d stung. But, it had to be said.
Even now his body itched for Naruto.
“Sometimes you seem just like him, and other times you’re like a completely different person,” Naruto muttered.
Sasuke thought that was obvious. They were different people after all. He’d opened his mouth to say just that. But, there was something about the way Naruto was looking at him that made speaking seem impossible. It was the same look he’d given Sasuke the night before; like he wasn’t seeing him at all. Like he was looking past him at someone else.
By the time Sasuke’d managed to snap out of it, Naruto had gotten up from the bed. He groaned and scrubbed a hand over his face before turning to Sasuke and saying, “I’m gonna go take a shower.” He grabbed some clothes from the bag left on the floor and walked out shortly after.