“And what are you planning to do with that? A giant omelet?” Naruto asked, his nose frowning at the sight of dozens of watermelon-sized eggs floating in massive test-tubes, the whole room crowded with them.
Orochimaru stepped by his side and into the weird laboratory, smiling crookedly as one of his pale hands reached out to caress the glass of a test-tube as if it were a pet.
“Actually, I was planning on making babies,” he deadpanned, as if it was the most natural answer in the world.
Taken aback, Naruto turned to look at him so fast that his neck snapped, raising both eyebrows at the statement. Part of him thought the Sannin was trying to mess with him, but the serious, sort of creepy expression on the man’s face suggested otherwise.
“Has anyone told you your genes would make for perfect progeny?” the scientist added with a mocking smile.
Naruto decided to make a point by not stepping away and he glared at his face, though he was internally cringing.
“I thought it didn’t work like that?” he tried to sound reasonable, confused and uneasy under the Orochimaru’s interested gaze.
“Oh? So you do know how that works, then” the Sannin added teasingly, with a slight implication Naruto didn’t like at all. He decided it was smarter not to dwell on the subject.
“Stop messing around, snake guy, and just tell me why you called me here!”
Orochimaru paused for a second, a smile stretching his thin lips and making him look even more similar to a reptile.
“I am working on something revolutionary and, although it doesn’t please me, I.... happen to need your help.”
Naruto scratched at his shoulder, trying not to shiver at the sound of the man’s voice.
"Revolutionary my ass," he mumbled under his breath, ready to bet his (recently reacquired) right arm this was but another creepy project. Though he’d been mandated by the Hokage in person, so he did not have much choice but complying.
“What is it about?”
Orochimaru stepped further into the room, gesturing in the direction of the watermelon-sized eggs floating around and the various-shaped liquid-filled devices.
“Procreation. More precisely, the bearing of a human life without the need of a human body to do so.”
“What? Uh…” Naruto’s eyes creased. “So ya weren’t kidding about babies earlier, uh?”
Orochimaru’s eyes found Naruto’s again, and they still held that predatory glint that made Naruto feel uncomfortable.
“I’m not making babies with you!” Naruto shouted defensively, feeling cornered. “No way, uh-uh!”
He was this close to break into a fighting stance.
Orochimaru raised his arms in a pacifying gesture.
“That won’t be necessary,” he was clearly trying to sound soothing, but only managed to freak Naruto out even more.
“All I need is a sample of Uzumaki genetic material.”
“I’m not giving you my… anything!” Naruto retorted, thinking how his genes were the last reminder of his mum and dad, and that he didn’t want any part of them to fell into that man’s hands.
“Shall we tell that to the Hokage, then?” Orochimaru asked in a fake tone of concern. He chuckled lightly in the light of Naruto’s disgruntled face.
“It won’t be too painful, I promise…”
When Naruto eventually exited Orochimaru’s laboratory some time later, he was fuming. His arm hurt where the creep had removed a sample of skin, and his mood had dropped under his soles.
He rubbed the small wound angrily, damning the fact that Kakashi in person - that shady traitor - had sent him into the clutches of the Sannin.
He was about to run by the Hokage’s office to give him a piece of his mind when he inadvertently picked up a familiar chakra.
He closed his eyes to concentrate better, his mood lifting up suddenly when he could confirm the chakra signature.
“That bastard…” he smiled, his unpleasant encounter with Orochimaru already forgotten as he was jumping towards the chakra source.
He reached the abandoned Uchiha district in a short time and crouched down on a half collapsed roof to take a look at the surrounding area. He had half in mind to surprise Sasuke (the jerk hadn’t even taken the time to tell him he was coming back to town!), but the unexpected sight of a giant bird perched beside his friend and dwarfing him put that thought on hold.
From his advantaged position, he watched as Sasuke affectionately petted the massive hawk, his hand smaller than the piercing eyes on that humongous beak, before the bird nimbly took off toward the sky. The summon glanced at him once more before leaving, and Sasuke turned his gaze in the same direction while hiding something under his cloak.
“Oi, bastard!” Naruto hopped next to his friend with a huge grin. “Why didn’t ya tell me you’d be back?”
Sasuke almost startled at the other’s shout. Almost .
“No need to yell, idiot,” he greeted back in a low voice.
Naruto giggled, crossing his hands behind his head.
“Aww, I know you missed me!” he grinned, pulling a knowing face. “How long will you be staying this time? Where are you staying? D’ya wanna crash on my couch? Oooh, let’s eat ramen tonight, I have free coupons!” he barely breathed through the excited stream of words flowing from his mouth.
Naruto could tell his friend was amused as he failed to conceal a smirk. But he rejected him nonetheless. “Not tonight. I am busy.”
“What?” Naruto deflated a bit, but his smile came back full force just as fast. “Okay then, tomorrow!”
“Not tomorrow either. I’ll be busy for some time. I’ll contact you.”
“Why d’ya have to sound like a lawyer?” Naruto complained noisily, pouting a bit.
“Why do you have to sound like a moron?” Sasuke replied, giving his back to an openly sulking Naruto. At the same time, he was carefully handling something massive under his cloak, but the thick material made it impossible to guess what.
“Such a jerk,” Naruto muttered, already moving to follow Sasuke wherever he was going.
“No. You go home,” Sasuke demanded, tilting his head to pin him with a menacing glare.
Naruto stopped dead in his track. “But…”
Naruto was taken aback. Sasuke had always showed his appreciation in a very Sasuke way, but this time Naruto actually felt like his friend was actually trying to push him away.
“So cold…” he mumbled, dejected. “Will you stay in town for a while, at least?”
“Yes. But, as I said, I am busy so I won’t have time to deal with you.” Sasuke narrowed his eyes at him to get the point across.
Naruto pouted. “At least tell me where to find you, bastard” he replied, convinced Sasuke could still find some time at night to see him.
“I just said I’d be busy,” Sasuke answered. He didn’t wait for Naruto’s own reply and jumped away.
However, his friend was fast on his track.
He stopped and repressed a sigh.
“I’ll be at my parents’ house. Now leave me alone, idiot.”
“I said to leave me alone.”
This time, he disappeared in a poof of smoke.
Naruto wasn’t happy. Sasuke wasn’t the warmest person on the planet, but he was normally content to see him, and not as...icy-cold. Plus, the jerk was clearly hiding something, which obviously was extremely suspicious. That thought had nagged at him all of the following day, not letting him sleep at night. What if his friend was in trouble again?
He scratched at his arm, where Orochimaru had hurt him to take his precious sample.
He couldn’t let Sasuke deal with issues alone… right? He sort of promised. At least he should make sure he wasn’t in a mess! Sasuke was such a proud bastard that he surely wouldn’t tell him. Just… would it hurt if he dropped by casually and checked on him? Wait, no, Sasuke would probably gut him. So… Maybe he could just… keep an eye on Sasuke’s old house to make sure he wasn’t in danger. Take a peek incognito, ninja style!
Comforted in his decision, Naruto decided to celebrate with a big bowl of Ichiraku’s ramen before heading for the Uchiha compound again.
He waited for the favor of the darkness and completely concealed his chakra before daring to approach the old Uchiha house. Naruto knew that Sasuke inherited all the land when his clan was slaughtered, but the whole compound had been inhabited ever since, and the villagers generally avoided it.
With his expertise as a nin, Sasuke would be able to detect any intruder very easily, so he was more careful than ever in approaching his home. He liked each of his remaining limbs in place, thank you very much.
Stealthily crawling towards an isolated, lit window, he prudently peeked an eye in.
At first, he didn’t notice anything out of place, the house appearing quiet and sparsely decorated. He noted he was looking into a lived-in bedroom, which he supposed belonged to Sasuke.
The room was tidy except for the bed itself, which seemed more like a big pile of messy blankets and bedsheets.
“So you do have some defects, you jerk” he muttered with a smile, pleased to find a flaw in the apparently perfect Uchiha.
He couldn’t contain a small gasp of surprise when a pale arm rose from under the pile of blankets, and Sasuke shook some of them off his body to raise in a sitting position.
It was a tad early to sleep, so maybe his friend had just been tired or worn from the journey? Naruto exhaled in relief. He may not have any reason to worry after all.
He probably should have left then, as he had come only to confirm Sasuke wasn’t in trouble, which seemed to be the case. But somehow he couldn’t bring himself to tear his eyes away from the view.
He allowed himself a few, precious seconds to revel in the evidence that Sasuke was there, alive and well. And that’s when Sasuke moved, displacing the blankets and revealing an ovoid, watermelon-sized shape near him on the bed.
Naruto squinted his eyes, his already high curiosity peaking. The white, spotted thing looked polished and solid. He knew he had seen something quite similar very recently, but right then and there he couldn’t exactly recall where.
It didn’t click until he saw Sasuke casually bring the object closer to his curled up body, pressing it gently against his stomach.
Naruto’s eyes widened in surprise at the unfamiliar familiarity of the gesture.
Was that an egg ?
Clasping a hand against his mouth to avoid shouting in shock, he moved his face closer to Sasuke’s window, squishing his nose against the glass to take a better look.
That was definitely an egg! A human-sized, laboratory-made egg! Sasuke was incubating ! Like a… a… a hen? But a human, egg-laying hen! With spiky hair!
Naruto rubbed his forehead. He was still slightly confused about it, but recently Orochimaru had told him it was actually possible! Though… Sasuke was too young to be a dad, right? Especially an egg dad, even though he wasn’t sure about the difference. But he remembered his twelve year old friend stating he wanted to revive his clan and...maybe he had meant it literally?
He didn’t remember Sasuke showing romantic interest for a girl either. Maybe he’d chosen to lay (or, uh... whatever was the word) an egg rather than pursue a relationship? Sure as hell it sounded way easier, especially considering that Sasuke wasn’t in bad terms with his former psycho-teacher.
Though he could have told him! They were best friends, after all. It wasn’t fair that Sasuke would make this kind of life-changing decision without even mentioning it to his best friend!
He pouted childishly, as if that could make him feel better.
Inside the bedroom, Sasuke was still laying among the covers, cuddling the giant creepy egg affectionately.
Among his confusion, Naruto wondered how he was supposed to react. Should he ignore the whole ordeal and fake ignorance when Sasuke would show up with a kid? Ought he to protect his friend’s… nesting so no-one would learn his secret? Damn, why did Sasuke never tell him anything, it made things so much harder!
Plus, he looked so peaceful, sleeping around that huge egg in an equally impressive nest of blankets, his hands cradling the thing quite protectively.
Wait a minute.
Naruto blinked a couple of times, suddenly remembering a relevant detail.
Orochimaru had needed his DNA to make the egg-baby thing work. Did… did Sasuke know that? Did Sasuke know that his… child would be partly, uh.
Sasuke’s kid would be partly Uzumaki.
Naruto felt light-headed for a second. He was going to be a dad too! An egg’s dad! With that bastard!
Luckily he wasn’t Hinata, because he would have fainted at the news. He also wanted to punch both Orochimaru and Kakashi-sensei for putting him in this position without asking him first. He wasn’t ready to be a dad! And what would Sasuke do when he learnt about it? He would definitely freak out!... in a cool, cold-headed way, but freak out nonetheless.
He hesitated, clenching his sweaty hands.
He couldn’t tell him, could he? Reviving the Uchiha clan was important to Sasuke and… and Naruto didn’t want to make him feel bad about unknowingly using his genes to achieve that. Knowing the bastard, he could even bring himself to break the egg before kicking Orochimaru’s ass (and maybe Kakashi’s) for using Naruto this way.
“What are you doing here?”
Sasuke’s clone was glaring at him from the roof and he didn’t look pleased.
Then Naruto got his ass kicked.