“Hey Sasuke. Have you seen my socks? I can’t find any pairs,” Naruto called out. Kiba watched as his friend up-ended everything from his sock drawer. At this rate they were going to be late to class.
“Check the drying rack. I washed some the other day,” Sasuke called back. Kiba raised an eyebrow at this but said nothing. Huh. They do each other’s washing?
Naruto did as instructed and much to both his and Kiba’s delight found that there were indeed pairs of socks on the drying rack. He grabbed a pair, putting them on with great speed before grabbing his backpack. Kiba checked the time on his phone — they would make it in time if they ran. Naruto dashed past Sasuke — who was sitting on the couch with a book in his lap — but not before squeezing his shoulder first.
“Thanks, babe,” he said, putting his shoes on at the front door of their apartment.
Sasuke hummed in response, not bothering to look up from his book. “Have a good day.”
“We will. Come on, Kiba,” Naruto said. Kiba followed after him, not sure if he had heard correctly. Did Naruto just call Sasuke ‘babe’? And did Sasuke really not react to it?
When they got to class, they found the professor was running late. Kiba seized the opportunity; he turned to Naruto.
“So you and Sasuke, hey?” he said, wiggling his eyebrows, but Naruto was too busy looking at his phone and typing something.
“What about us?” Naruto said, after he pocketed his phone.
“When did you get together?”
Naruto tilted his head. “As roommates? Is your memory really that bad? First year, of course.”
Kiba frowned. Was Naruto really this dense? Or— Oh. Maybe they weren’t ready to announce their relationship. That was cool. Kiba could respect that. He could wait.
“Uh.. yeah. Sorry. I’m getting old,” Kiba said.
Naruto raised an eyebrow. “You’re 21.”
Kiba just laughed but was quickly silenced when their professor walked in.
Naruto and Sasuke were together huh? About time.
Sakura had just bought some snacks to take to Naruto and Sasuke’s and was on her way there when she received a text from Naruto himself.
let yourself in. the door’s unlocked
Random, but okay she would do that.
Sakura first met Naruto when he had visited Sasuke at the music store they worked at three years ago. Naruto had crushed on her immediately and they tried dating only it didn’t go so well. Despite that, the friendship she had built with him and Sasuke since then meant a lot to her.
When she finally arrived at their apartment and spotted them on the couch, she could see why the text was sent. Sasuke was fast asleep on the couch, curled into Naruto’s chest. It was kind of adorable, actually. Though it looked far too intimate to be something between just friends. But she supposed Naruto and Sasuke’s friendship had always been.. special.
“Babe. Sakura’s here,” Naruto said, gently nudging Sasuke. And wow. Sakura didn’t know Naruto could speak so softly and fondly. He hadn’t even been like that to her when she dated him.
Sasuke slowly woke to peer up at Sakura, but didn’t move from his curled up position on Naruto.
“Hey Sakura,” he said before pulling the blanket off himself. In doing so, he revealed that he and Naruto were holding hands.
They truly were ridiculous, she thought. They acted more in love than she did with Ino— and that was hard to top considering her and Ino were actually in a very loving relationship.
“Do you guys have something to tell me?” she asked, placing her bag of snacks on the coffee table and sitting on the adjacent sofa. A superhero film was playing on the television.
Naruto frowned. “Like?” he said.
“Your love lives?”
Naruto and Sasuke shared a look and then Naruto burst out laughing. “What love lives?”
Sasuke sat up. Sakura noted that while they had separated to either ends of the couch, Naruto’s legs were in Sasuke’s lap. “Two single guys watching Black Panther together on a Saturday night. Clearly we have very active love lives,” Sasuke said, chuckling.
Oh my god. They don’t even know. Sakura didn’t know how this level of obliviousness was even possible.
“You guys are hopeless,” was all she said. But she would leave them to it. They would figure it out in time, or so she hoped. She grabbed a bag of chips from the bag she brought and ripped them open. “Let’s watch Stranger Things after this.”
It was Itachi’s birthday. Sasuke had invited him around to celebrate with a homemade dinner. Itachi thought this was peculiar; normally Sasuke sent him a card and a novel he recommended, which he had also done this time but the invite had been included too. Sasuke didn’t tend to deviate from traditions, so there must have been another factor.
When he arrived at the apartment, he discovered that other factor. It was Naruto.
Itachi and Naruto got along really well, despite only officially meeting at the beginning of Sasuke’s third year at university. But Itachi could see right through not only his brother, but his roommate too.
As they sat at the dining table, Naruto said, “Sasuke’s really glad we could celebrate your birthday like this.”
Sasuke stiffened as he dished out the dinner — it was a satay chicken curry. “Yeah,” he said but it was a moment too slow.
Itachi smiled. Perfect opportunity to fluster them a bit. “I’m glad too. I must say, the invite was a surprise, Sasuke. What led you to invite me here?” He pierced a piece of satay chicken with his fork.
“Your birthday, obviously,” Sasuke said.
“I’ve had many birthdays, Sasuke. Why is this one any different?” Itachi said and brought the food to his mouth.
Sasuke sighed and took his seat. “Fine. Naruto insisted.”
That was more like it.
“Ow! What did you do that for?” Sasuke said to Naruto.
“You weren’t meant to tell him that!” Naruto whispered, but it was well within Itachi’s range.
Naruto rubbed the back of his neck.
They spent the next ten minutes eating in an awkward silence. It wasn’t until Naruto stole a piece of chicken from Sasuke’s plate that Itachi’s interest was piqued. Sasuke had just let him. This was obviously a common occurrence. When there was only one piece left, though, the two of them eyed it up. Sasuke got to it first. Naruto just stuck his tongue out at him. How old were they?
“I’m actually full. I just wanted to beat you,” Sasuke said and held his fork up to Naruto’s mouth. Naruto gladly accepted the offering and took the fork in his mouth.
After eating the last piece, Naruto grinned. “Thanks, babe.”
Well. That was new — or at least new to Itachi. Were they always this close? Not only had Sasuke went along with Naruto’s idea of inviting Itachi over, he had fed Naruto. Naruto stealing from his plate hadn’t been new, but the fork feeding was. Plus the babe? Oh this was going to be fun.
“How long has it been since you were in a relationship, Naruto?”
Naruto scrunched up his face. “Probably a few years.”
“Same with you, Sasuke?”
Sasuke frowned, clearly more reluctant to divulge this information but he eventually nodded.
“You both must miss being in one,” Itachi said.
“Not really,” Naruto said, shrugging. “Not when I’ve got a best mate like Sasuke to keep me entertained,” he said, throwing an arm around Sasuke with a grin on his face.
Sasuke rolled his eyes, but not even he could hide his fondness.
He turned to Itachi. “What are you getting at, brother?”
He wondered how much longer it would take these two to come to terms with their relationship. They had been roommates for nearly three years, after all.
Itachi stood. “Nothing. Dinner was pleasant. Thank you very much.”
“Eh? You’re leaving already? We got you cake!” Naruto said.
Itachi smiled at him. “Sorry. Work calls. Please do enjoy it for me, though.” He grabbed his coat from the hook by the door and slipped it on. “Bye Sasuke. Naruto.”
It was a good thing Neji was used to sleeping on Sasuke and Naruto’s couch. They had been at Kiba’s party, celebrating the end of exams, and Sasuke had actually lived a little and drunk more than he usually did. Neji had a few — the same as Naruto. Fast forward a few hours later and Sasuke could barely walk properly. It took the combined efforts of Naruto and Neji to walk him home to the apartment.
Once they got into the apartment, they dropped Sasuke onto his bed. Naruto turned to Neji. “Thanks, Neji. You can stay in my old room if you want. We converted it to a spare bedroom.”
Neji furrowed his eyebrows. “Wait. Where will you sleep?”
“In here,” Naruto said like it was obvious. He got to work on taking Sasuke’s boots off, followed by his jacket and jeans.
So many questions were running through Neji’s head, but it was too hard to process those thoughts while drunk. He would rather just sleep.
“Okay,” he said.
“Night,” Naruto said as he tucked Sasuke into one side of the bed.
“Night,” Neji said and headed to Naruto’s old room.
Neji was the first to wake that morning and without a hangover too, he mentally cheered. As he went into the kitchen for some water, he recalled Naruto saying his bedroom was now the spare bedroom. That he and Sasuke shared a bedroom now.
Strange. Since when had they become a couple?
As if his thoughts could be heard, Naruto woke up and joined Neji in the kitchen.
“Ugh, hangover,” he said before pouring himself some water and reaching for the paracetamol at the top of the pantry.
Neji sat at the barstool and watched his friend down the painkillers. “Since when did you and Sasuke start dating?” Neji asked.
“Huh? We’re not,” Naruto said.
Huh. “But you share a bed? And converted your old room to a guest bedroom.”
Naruto nodded. “Oh that. Yeah, it’s no big deal. We figured Sasuke’s bed is big enough for the both of us. We’ve shared it many times before. This way we can rent out my old room.”
Interesting. Neji didn’t think they were short for rent money. They had made it work for three years already. But who was he to know.
Sasuke emerged from the bedroom and walked into the kitchen in just his underwear. He wrapped his arms around Naruto’s waist and hooked his chin over Naruto’s shoulder.
“Morning, babe,” Naruto said.
Babe? And what was with the intimacy? Sure, they’d always been close, but this took the cake.
“I’ve got the worst hangover,” Sasuke said.
Naruto refilled the glass he had used with water and popped two more painkillers from the packet before turning in Sasuke’s arms. “Here,” he said, offering the medicine and water to him.
Sasuke took the proffered items, downing them quickly. He put the glass down and wrapped his arms back around Naruto. Neji watched as Sasuke’s hands brushed just under Naruto’s shirt. “You feel so warm,” he said.
Naruto grinned. “Probably because I was little spoon for once last night.”
Neji refrained from reacting, his face remained as passive as ever. Now they were just taking the piss. Did they honestly expect Neji to believe they weren’t a couple?
He finished his glass of water and gathered his wallet, phone, and keys from where he had left them on the coffee table.
“Thanks for letting me crash last night. I better head out,” Neji said.
“No worries! Thanks for helping me lug this one home,” Naruto said.
Sasuke rolled his eyes. “I was fine.”
“Yeah, yeah. Keep telling yourself that. Doesn’t change the truth.”
Neji just shook his head and headed for the door. “See you later,” he said.
Neji wasn’t fooled by Naruto’s words. They were clearly in love. They were either very deep in denial or just making a fool of Neji. Neji assumed the former; they were his friends, after all. Just very oblivious ones at that. He hoped they got their shit together before either of them ended up heartbroken.
5: Date Night
It was time for the monthly date night Naruto and Sasuke organised with their friends. They usually had dinner together somewhere cheap but nice. It was called date night because it was all couples who went, save for Naruto and Sasuke — the only ones not in a relationship. There was Ino and Sakura, Kiba and Hinata, and Neji and Gaara.
Tonight they had chosen a Korean barbecue restaurant. It was a fairly popular place and it was their second time going there as a group.
Naruto and Sasuke were last to arrive and found everybody already seated at the restaurant. “Hey!” Naruto said as he and Sasuke brought two chairs over so they could sit at the end of the booth.
“Hey! What kept you guys? We’re starving!” Kiba said.
“Just Naruto being his usual unorganised self,” Sasuke said while looking at Naruto, hint of a smile to his lips.
“Yeah, yeah. Blame me,” Naruto said, poking his tongue out at Sasuke. He turned to the rest of the table. “Let’s order some meat!”
They ordered both beef and pork and the waitress brought it all over to them about five minutes later.
Everyone got to work on cooking their meat. They laughed over everything, from Rock Lee’s latest attempt at woo’ing Sakura to Naruto and Kiba’s eccentric English Lit professor. They always had a good time.
Naruto finished cooking a third piece of pork and picked it up with his chopsticks and proceeded to feed it to Sasuke. When Sasuke finished chewing and finally swallowed he picked up a piece of beef with his chopsticks and returned the favour. The chatter died down and Naruto turned to see everyone at the table was staring at the two of them.
“What?” Naruto said, swallowing the beef.
“Ugh. When are you just gonna come clean and admit that you’re dating?” Ino said.
Naruto and Sasuke looked at each other, twin confused on their faces. “Huh?” they both said.
“Sakura told me how snuggled up you two were together the other week.”
“Ino!” Kiba said. “Let them announce their relationship when they’re ready.”
Naruto chuckled awkwardly. “Uh, there is no relationship to announce?”
Kiba looked taken aback. “Yeah, right. You do each other’s washing! You come to ‘date night’ together, and you call each other babe!”
“So?” Sasuke said.
“You cuddle up on the couch together as if you were a couple and you were even just feeding each other!” Sakura said.
“Everyone,” Neji said, all the attention turning to him.
Yes, someone who speaks some sense, Naruto thought.
Neji wiped his mouth with his napkin. “You’re forgetting the most crucial fact: they share a bed now.”
All the eyes at the table widened and simultaneous cries of “What!” could be heard.
“Are you guys banging?” Kiba said.
Naruto’s face turned bright red. “No! We’re sharing a bed so we can rent my old room out and make some extra money. It’s as simple as that.”
But no one looked convinced.
“We’re just friends!” Naruto insisted, flustered.
It was Gaara who intervened and suggested they change the topic. Naruto was relieved but couldn’t help but feel awkward the remainder of the night. He wondered if Sasuke felt the same.
After they left the restaurant, Neji whispered something to Sakura. Sakura came up behind Sasuke and wrapped her arms around him and hooked her chin on his shoulder. Naruto frowned, finding himself irked by the movement. He wasn’t sure why.
“Uh.. What are you doing?” Sasuke asked, pulling away from Sakura. Naruto raised an eyebrow. Everyone knew Sasuke wasn’t a touchy-feely person.
“You wouldn’t mind if it was Naruto,” she said.
Sasuke’s cheeks lit up. “That’s different,” he said.
And that’s when it hit Naruto. Oh. It is different. It had been such a gradual development over the course of their friendship that he had failed to notice.
Naruto stopped walking. “Because I’m in love with him,” he said, looking Sasuke square in the eyes. Everyone else stopped in their tracks. “And he’s in love with me. I hope?”
Sasuke beamed. A sight that was rare and often reserved for Naruto’s eyes only.
“You two are such idiots,” Sakura said, but she was smiling.
Naruto launched himself at Sasuke. Sasuke happily welcomed him into his arms and captured his lips in a kiss.
“Save it for the bedroom,” Kiba said, but he was grinning.
“I think it’s sweet,” Hinata said.
“Took long enough,” Gaara said.
Naruto and Sasuke separated to walk side by side with the rest of the group, but their fingers remained intertwined.
Kiba was growing frustrated. He had messaged Naruto an hour ago and the guy had left him on read. It wasn’t anything major — just confirming they were still going to study together in the afternoon — but Naruto always replied to messages as soon as he read them.
Given everything that had happened at the restaurant the night before, though, Kiba really wanted to hear from him and make sure everything was okay.
“I’m sure they’re fine and enjoying their newfound relationship status,” Hinata had tried to reassure him.
Kiba sighed. She was right. “I know.” He read the message he’d sent once more and was about to lock his phone when a new message came through from Naruto.
Sorry. Can’t make it. Raincheck?
Kiba frowned. Naruto didn’t normally type so formally. He sent a response.
are u okay?
When Kiba didn’t get an immediate response he was about to call Naruto, but Hinata stole his phone from him.
“Let’s go out for coffee,” she said.
Kiba smiled. Hinata always knew how to distract him. “Okay.”
When Kiba checked his phone a few hours later, it would appear his worrying was for nothing. Sasuke had composed a group message to everyone who was at dinner last night and attached a photo of him and Naruto shirtless in bed. It was captioned yeah, we’re banging.
Kiba was the first to respond. tmi!!!
Ino: You were the one who asked them last night.
Kiba had no clever response.
Sakura: Congrats guys. But never send me a cursed image like this again.
Neji left the group chat without even responding.
Gaara: what Sakura said.
Naruto turned to Sasuke in bed after putting his phone down. “Maybe we shouldn’t have sent that,” he said.
Sasuke snorted and let Naruto wrap himself around him. “It serves them right for being so nosy. Besides, they’ve subjected us to many incidents that I would like burned from my memory.”
“Yeah. But still. I’m grateful they knocked some sense into us,” Naruto said, rubbing circles with his thumb on Sasuke’s hip.
“We would’ve figured it out.. Eventually.”
“All these years we’ve wasted.”
Sasuke turned in Naruto’s arms and pressed their lips together. They parted and Sasuke rested their foreheads together. “We have plenty of time to make up for that.”
Naruto smiled. “Yeah.”