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The Best Best Man

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It was a warm, cozy winter night.

They had nowhere to be—nowhere to go, and Sasuke had very little he had to do. He was happy to sit on the couch, feet sprawled over Naruto's lap, watching the fake fire (with very real heat) they'd only managed to set up a few nights ago. He'd stolen the blanket, too—the only one they had out here, with plenty of space for two that Sasuke was taking all to himself.

Sasuke was quite content.

Naruto, on the other hand…

"One of these," he said, staring helplessly at his hands, "is a casa blanca."

He turned to Sasuke.

Sasuke stared blankly.

Naruto held up the flowers—three plastic, but convincingly well-made white lilies.

"Are those meant to be three different types of flowers?"

"They are three different types of flowers!" Naruto laughed, ducking himself down. "I'm never gonna figure this out. I—"

"Let me see them," Sasuke said, tucking his feet under himself so he could shift closer. It wasn't the first time he'd offered to help—it wasn't even the second, or the third, or the fiftieth—

"No, no, it's okay!" Naruto waved the flowers at him. "I've got this. You get to relax. I like it when you get to relax."

And there it was—the same charming, happy smile that had utterly disarmed Sasuke every single other time he'd asked. It very nearly did this time, too. But then…

"I'll, uh, figure it out," Naruto said again, huffing out a breath. "Ino might kill me if it's wrong, but I'm sure—I—uh, Sakura will calm her down. Sakura will calm her down, right?"

Sasuke snorted.

"Perhaps they should have delegated a portion of their thousands of tasks to someone other than their best man," Sasuke, quite reasonably, pointed out.

"I'm not the only best man!" Naruto protested. "Shikamaru, uh—"

"Has done absolutely nothing."

Naruto wilted into a laugh.

"I—well—he's done some stuff," he finished helplessly, "but—"

"The title without any of the work. You really do treat him right."

Naruto laughed, ducking his face into his hands.

"Ugh," he groaned rubbing at his eyes, "okay. Okay. I can't get tired yet, I've gotta—okay…"

He heaved a breath, picking up the next vase—

"You're doing a pretty decent job so far," Sasuke offered.

Naruto threw him a grin and shook his head.

"Nope," he told him, picking up a piece of paper, "not even. I've got instructions for all of them. Ino drew it all out—see? All the tables have a different theme. I'm pretty sure I've gotten at least half of these wrong."

"Well, of course. Right. Coral ocean," Sasuke read out loud. "I understand perfectly. What could you ever find vague in that?"

"Wh—no! The flowers are under the titles, you ass—Sasuke—!"

Sasuke pulled the page back as Naruto reached for it, smiling softly. Naruto laughed his way into Sasuke's arms and collapsed, happily nuzzling his tired, helpless self right into the nook of Sasuke's neck.

"I'm," he sighed, "so tired."

"You are. Remind me why the brides aren't participating in this last minute chaos?"

"They offered!" Naruto said. "They were gonna—back when we thought we'd get all the flowers way sooner, Ino was gonna do them all herself, but—"

"But now it's the night before," Sasuke finished for him, "so they've gone to celebrate and left you with the grunt work."

Naruto laughed against his skin.

"No," he said, pushing himself back up. "No, I told them not to come. I'm not gonna make them stress out and stay up all night right before their wedding, c'mon."

"But you're fair game?" Sasuke asked, eyebrow raised.

Naruto grinned and ducked his head.

"At their beck and call, y'know. S'a best man's job."

Sasuke snorted and shoved them both up.

"You've already earned the title, you know," he said, grabbing the page for himself. "They aren't going to take it away from you."

"I know! But I—"

"I hope Ino knows we're going to do these wrong. Pass me a vase."

"Sas—you don't have to—"

"I never do," he told him, "and yet here I always am. Pass me a vase, moron."

Naruto's face slowly melted into a brilliant, sheepish grin.

"I—yeah," he laughed, finally obeying. "Um, here—you can do the midnight whatever one—"

"Moonlit flame?"

"That's it!"

Sasuke snorted.

"A sweetheart rose," he read, scanning the page, "which, I assume, is different from a standard rose?"

Naruto grimaced at him.

"Excellent," Sasuke responded, standing. "I'm getting my phone. We're finding out what these things actually look like."

"Wh—oh. Oh! Sasuke—you're a genius!"


"The—uh, no, not that one," Naruto muttered, his full weight squashed into Sasuke's shoulder, "it's...oh! Yeah, okay, that looks like—"

Naruto held it up.

"Looks right to me," Sasuke told him, and Naruto punched it into the air in victory.

"Hell yeah! Number eighteen—done. Next is—uh—"

"How many of these do we have left?"

"Ten, I think. Ten? Is it ten?" Naruto snatched the page. "Yeah, ten."

Sasuke scowled at the vases. Naruto burst out laughing.

"There is no earthly reason," Sasuke said, glaring, "these should be taking so long."

"We're not—Sasuke, I'm so sorry," Naruto said, laughing, "this isn't it."

"This isn't it?!"

"It's only part of the centerpiece—we have to make the whole thing, I—"

Sasuke groaned, and Naruto dissolved into laughter again.

"S—Sas—I can—" he said, in between breaths—

"You absolutely cannot. Give me the next vase. I'm going to start making my own fucking themes—"

"No!" Naruto laughed harder. "No, no—Sas—"

"I cannot believe we don't get help with these," Sasuke muttered, smacking a flower away. "Are we getting married? No one gets any centerpieces when we get ma—"

"Sasuke!" Naruto nearly laughed his way right off the couch. "You're—give me that—"

He snatched the paper back, barely able to catch his breath.

"Sakura can make all our centerpieces," he said finally, nudging a tired, amused Sasuke. "How about that?"

"Only if Ino joins her," he muttered, "with vague instructions neither of them truly understand. Don't you have to be up at six tomorrow?"

"Yeah," he said, failing to fight the yawn, "I have to go kidnap Sakura and then I'm on duty the rest of the day. Least I get to be beside you at the ceremony, though."

He threw Sasuke a dazzling grin.

"Yes," Sasuke deadpanned, grabbing another flower, "standing in silence is ever so romantic."

"It is! It will be!" Naruto laughed, shoving at him. "You'll see."

"Are you going to cry all over me?"

"No!" Naruto said— "or, um, well, maybe, but—"

Sasuke ducked into a laugh, ignoring the way Naruto sputtered and protested, grabbing at him in vague attempts to get him to stop—

"Stupid," Sasuke told him, and Naruto laughed.

"And I'll probably get to dance with you, too," he said, after a moment. "Probably. Am I allowed to drag you onto the dance floor?"

Sasuke snorted.

"Are you allowed," he mimicked, scoffing. "As if I've ever been able to stop you."

"I'd stop if you wanted me to!"

Sasuke raised an eyebrow, and Naruto ducked into a blushing laugh again. He was still steadily adding flowers to the vase in front of him, though, even with every bit of distraction Sasuke was adding to all this.

"We'll just call you convincing, then," Sasuke told him, and Naruto laughed.

"Oh, I'll take that. Okay—this look good?"

"Naruto, it's nearly midnight. If it doesn't look like a pillow, I'm not interested."

Naruto laughed, eyeing Sasuke with another fond grin.

"Aw, man," he said, smiling, "I love you."

Sasuke surreptitiously bit down on his smile. He felt Naruto's eyes on him, though, for at least a few more moments…

"You'd wanna get married if I asked, yeah?"

Sasuke blinked, glancing over at a Naruto who was…

He smacked him over the head with a flower.

"Wh—hey! I—"

"You want to plan even more after all of this? You've been fluttering off for months."

"I—!" Naruto stopped. "Well, I mean, yeah, but we could—we don't—Ino is like super into all this, so we could easily just not do anything like—"

Sasuke stuck his face in his, and Naruto stopped.

"No centerpieces?" he asked, squinting.

Naruto's smile slowly widened.

"Not a one," he agreed.

Sasuke utterly failed to fight the smile.

"You've got yourself a deal, Uzumaki."


The wedding was beautiful.

With a dazzling, arched glass ceiling, littered with lights and stars and snowflakes—it was really quite beautiful. Add to it all the snow that had just begun to flutter down, right in time for the photographs, and it really was something very nearly perfect.

And all of it, somehow, wrangled together by Sasuke's favourite part of the whole day.

"Moms, I need the moms, okay—hi, Mrs. Haruno, if you could make your way to the photo area, thank you—" Naruto spun around, eyes scanning the crowd between darts to the list, crumpled in his hand—

"Regretting this yet?" Sasuke asked, conveniently on the side Naruto hadn't looked over to. His suit jacket was nowhere to be seen, and his sleeves were up to his elbows, and he nearly leapt three feet in the air as he spun around—

"Jesus," Naruto said, hand over his heart. "Don't do that, how do you always do that!"

"Years of practice. Where are the brides?"

Naruto laughed, bouncing closer to him with a teasing grin and sparkling eyes.

"They're wives now, Sasuke. Where d'you think they are?"

Sasuke raised an eyebrow, snorting a little.

"Seems like an inopportune time to consummate your marriage."

Naruto laughed again, grinning at him—

"Yeah?" he asked, leaning in a little. "I hope that's not gonna be your attitude when we pull this off."

Sasuke let out a breath, looking away if only to pretend that it would somehow prevent Naruto from seeing what he knew was written all over his face—

Naruto laughed again, and Sasuke knew it was futile.

"Okay," he said, "stay nearby, okay? We're gonna do one with all of us soon."

"Another one?" Sasuke asked. "I thought we managed that after the ceremony."

"No, that was—" Naruto laughed. "Not like all of us, all of us. Y'know. The cool kids."

Sasuke snorted.

"Right. A perfect description for everyone at this event. Nice cape, by the way—"

Naruto laughed his way into Sasuke's shoulder.

"You're part of those that are attending this event," Naruto mocked, "asshole. And my cape is amazing, thank you, and it's only got caught on three doors—you're gonna be in the picture, right after the family one, right beside me. Got it?"

Sasuke laughed softly, ducking his head.

"Yes sir," he deadpanned, and Naruto laughed. "Do you have more family members to track down?"

"Yeah, actually. Have you seen my—oh! Dad!"

"Naruto," Iruka said, smiling wide and happy as he moved closer to them. "Sasuke. Stay there for a moment, will you?"

He held up his phone, and Sasuke had about one moment to prepare as Naruto dove into his personal space—photogenic and beautiful and not an inch weighed down by the fatigue Sasuke knew he had to be feeling—

"Perfect," Iruka laughed, and Naruto's hand squeezed Sasuke's. "I think this is the only time I'll ever see you two match in my life."

"I certainly hope so," Sasuke muttered, and Naruto shoved him.

"Hey! Don't be—Sasuke doesn't even have a cape!"

"Yes, yes, your best man cape," Iruka said, waving a hand. "It's very nice."

"It's the best," Naruto insisted, "because I'm the best, and because I'm the best man, I have to get you out of here, dad. Picture time."

Iruka blinked.

"Pic—just me? Why?"

Naruto's grin widened.

"You're in the family picture. Get outta here."

And Iruka's smile, if it was possible, grew even wider—

"Don't cry!" Naruto said, waving his hand in front of Iruka's face. "Keep it together, man—come on, game face, game face!"

Iruka blinked rapidly, turning away as he held up a hand—

"I'll be—I'll just, ah, head over now. Thank you, Naruto."

"Love you, dad!" Naruto called after him, and Iruka made a half-strangled noise, lifting a hand up in a makeshift wave as he scuttled away, other hand over his teary eyes—

"You put him through so much," Sasuke muttered, and Naruto turned those brilliant blue eyes back to him.

"Oh, yeah," he laughed, "right, 'cause none of that's been your fault—"

"Absolutely none," Sasuke agreed, and Naruto laughed.

"Okay, dickhead," he said, pressing their bodies together for a quick moment. "If you see anybody else, could you round them up for me? And—oh! Ino said that if anybody catches Shikamaru napping on her wedding day that they have to slap him awake on her behalf, so if you—"

"He's currently asleep in the coat check."

Naruto paused.

"I'll take care of it," Sasuke said, flexing his fingers.

Naruto laughed.

"God, I love you. Okay, uh," he laughed again, running a hand through his hair, "okay. I'm gonna track down Ino's dad. We're having one building, okay? So everybody doesn't run all over the place—"

"You won't be the one tracking everyone down," Sasuke pointed out, "but one building it is. What do you think—Iruka's backyard or ours?"

And Naruto laughed, then—a delighted, happy sound, and Sasuke found himself feeling like he'd agree to just about anything just to hear that sound again…

"I have no—okay, I have to run—hold that thought?"

Sasuke's lips twitched.

"Get out of here, best man."

Naruto pressed a quick, happy kiss to Sasuke's lips, and then he was gone.

(And Sasuke held, strong, onto the thought.)


"Because I was slapped," Shikamaru muttered, and Naruto ducked his head into Sasuke's shoulder. Sasuke's smirk only widened as Ino leaned back to throw them a smile and a thumbs up—

Shikamaru sat down on the ground.

"Stand up!" Ino said, pulling at him. "You—"

"We're still waiting on Chouji," Shikamaru grumbled. "Let me rest."

Ino huffed, but Sakura's arms slipped around her waist and she immediately settled.

"He can rest," Sakura said softly, resting her head on Ino's shoulder. Ino only smiled, relaxing into the touch.

"Not to side with Shikamaru," Sasuke said, leaning over to mutter softly in Naruto's ear, "but how long am I supposed to stand here looking presentable?"

Naruto ducked his head and squeezed Sasuke tighter to him.

"This is the longest I've gotten to be beside you since the ceremony," Naruto whispered in response. "Let me take advantage of it."

Sasuke snorted out a breath, leaning a bit closer.

"I'd prefer if you took advantage of it," he said, feeling Naruto's warmth closer to him than it had been since the moment he'd woken—he was so, so, so addicted to that warmth— "when we aren't standing in a group of people."

Naruto's grin widened.

"Yeah? What did you have in mind?"

Sasuke's hand slipped under Naruto's suit jacket, holding him firmly by the hip—Naruto's eyes darted down to Sasuke's lips and Sasuke saw him bite his own—

"I'm here!" Chouji announced. "Sorry, sorry, sometimes the cakes fall over in the car and all—"

"You let our cake do what?!"

"I'm ki—Ino, I'm kidding, don't kill me—!"

Sai took the photo.


Sasuke was, supposedly, sitting beside Naruto. Up at the head table, which Sasuke firmly believed he'd earned a place at purely through somehow managing to make Naruto fall in love with him. And their table had earned their food first, which Sasuke was very thankful for, but he'd eaten his way through half of everything he'd grabbed and his side still stayed stubbornly empty.

Stubbornly cold.

Not for trying, though—Naruto had swooped by about twenty times, but Sasuke had yet to see the idiot manage to stay seated at his specially-assigned-prettily-decorated-next-to-Sakura head table seat for long enough to take a single bite. Even now, he was jogging back from entirely out of the room, heading for the microphone instead of his food—

"Alright guys!" he said, and the room slowly quieted. "It's almost time for speeches, so get comfy! By request, I'm going last—grab as much food as you can in case I accidentally get us kicked outta here, eh?"

And with a grin and a wink at all the laughs that got, Naruto hopped off his podium and scurried back to the table, his smile unrelenting. Whatever Sasuke happened to be doing in that moment got him a kiss on the cheek on Naruto's way over, and he very nearly made it to the chair—

"Um," Sakura said, looking panicked, and Naruto paused, "I'm so sorry, Naruto—I—I can't find my phone. It has the notes that I—I swear I thought—"

"Relax," Naruto said, in the same soft tone of voice he'd been gently coaxing everyone along all day, "I've got it. We've been like four places. Have you had it since this morning?"

Sakura blinked at him.

"I...have no idea. I—"

Naruto laughed and pressed a kiss to the top of her head.

"I've got it. I'll be back in ten."

And he was off, giving Sasuke's shoulder a quick squeeze before he went, and leaving his bowl full of food...utterly untouched.

"I'm going to help him," Sasuke muttered, flicking his chopsticks between his fingers and making a point of grabbing the water, too—

"Oh, ah—thanks, Sasuke!" Sakura called after him, and Sasuke spared her a nod. He'd likely headed up to the dressing rooms, anyway, which was just up the stairs—Sasuke shoved the door open with his shoulder—

"Oh," Naruto blinked at him, "hey! What are you—"

Sasuke shoved him into the nearest chair.

"I," he said, plopping the bowl in front of him, "am going to look for a cell phone. You are going to sit and eat. I assume it's on silent?"

Naruto's grin was sheepish, and just a little bit tired.

"Thanks, Sasuke. Yeah, it is. I'm sorry, I kept being—"

"I know. You're off the hook for at least ten minutes," he said, a little more quietly. "And I know how much you hate it when your ramen gets cold."

Naruto ducked down to laugh, but dutifully settled a little more. Sasuke turned to the...mess of a dressing room, kicking pajamas and scarves and jackets—even those that had made to hangers had either fallen off or were just about to—

"Sorry," Naruto mumbled, slurping up the rest of the noodles in his mouth. "Everything got a little, uh, hectic, so—"

"Oh," Sasuke said, feigning surprise, "I just assumed it was your room."

"Oh ha ha," Naruto said, spinning around in the chair to fully face Sasuke's smirk, "very funny, asshole."

"You tend to think I am," Sasuke offered back, and it only took a moment longer for that brilliant smile to break Naruto's face again.

"Yeah," he said, and it sounded like a sigh, "you're pretty great..."

Sasuke immediately turned away.

"Eat your ramen," he muttered, face burning.

He heard Naruto laugh, but it was followed by enough noise for Sasuke to at least be sure Naruto had gone back to his food. Small mercies…

"Did Ino hate the centerpieces?" he asked, patting down the pockets of another stray jacket. "She hasn't said anything to me."

"No," Naruto laughed, swallowing, "no, she barely even noticed them. Her eyes haven't left Sakura since they put the damn dresses on. I could give my speech naked and they wouldn't even blink."

Sasuke snorted.

"Are you offering?" he muttered quietly, but from Naruto's loud, surprised laugh, he heard all the same.

"You—oh, n—hang on. How much time do I have? I don't want to miss—"

"Everything is being taped," Sasuke pointed out, "and you haven't missed a single second of a single thing for the last year. Eat."

"I still have to give a speech…" Naruto pointed out quietly, but Sasuke only raised an eyebrow.

"Last," Sasuke insisted, "which means you can wait until all the tears dry and still have plenty of time."

Naruto stuffed his face again, as if in protest. Sasuke snorted and rolled his eyes, turning back to the search again.

"I don't get it," he muttered, kicking aside another bundle of clothes, "why make such a huge deal about a wedding dress with pockets if she wasn't even going to use them?"

Naruto's bowl clattered.

"It's in her pocket," Naruto said, shoving the bowl away, "she totally forgot—I've gotta—"

Sasuke shoved him back into the chair.

"Eat, you moron. And keep looking, if you need to—I'll go check. Stay there or I'll kidnap you, I swear—"

"Okay, okay!" Naruto said, holding his hands up. "I'm sitting, I—you—text me?"

"Mm."


One phone, one sheepish Sakura, and several tearful speeches later, the lights were low and the music was high. Naruto had been called away about seventeen more times, but Sasuke had been forced to participate about as many toasts, so he'd really lost count around the fourth glass of champagne—

"Whew," Naruto said, sliding into the chair beside him. "I am...crashing."

"Aw," Sasuke mumbled, feeling...dizzy and dazed and not only because of the lights—

Naruto...turned to him.

"Oh my god," Naruto said, "are you drunk? Already? It—"

"You left me," Sasuke said, leaning—leaning—no, okay, he was straight, he was— "with the brides, and I had to—"

"Oh my god," Naruto said again, smile as wide as his eyes. "You're drunk! Sasuke, wasn't—there was a whole bottle of champagne here!"

Sasuke definitely didn't smile. He didn't smile at all. He wasn't smiling—

"You guys!" came a shout, and Sasuke glued himself to Naruto's side—

"Hey wives," Naruto said, laughing. "Surprised you two haven't snuck off yet."

"We have," Ino said, just as as Sakura said, "not yet!"

Sakura slapped her wife's arm, and Naruto ducked his warm, decadent laugh in Sasuke's direction.

"Uh-huh," Naruto said, kicking out a chair, "come sit down. C'mere!"

Sakura wasted no time in kicking her feet out over Naruto's lap—Sasuke surreptitiously dodged them—and lounging back against Ino's shoulder.

"How's the suit?" Naruto asked, swinging his arm around Sasuke.

"So much better," Sakura said, leaning back. "Thanks for convincing me, Naruto."

Naruto grinned with a small, "told ya," and Ino reached over Sakura's head to high-five him.

Sasuke snorted, sinking his weight further into Naruto's shoulder.

"Is he going to flutter around taking pictures this whole time?" he muttered into Naruto's ear—as Sai's camera flashed again—

"Yeah, sorry," Naruto mumbled into his hair, pressing a soft kiss to the top of his head. "You guys fixed your make-up, huh?"

"Oh, fuck you," Sakura said, kicking at him as he laughed, "you didn't tell me you were going to get so mushy—"

"It's your wedding! Of course I was gonna get mushy!" he protested. "I didn't expect Iruka to throw us under the bus thou—"

"We're not gonna talk about that," Sakura said, pointing right in his face. "Oh my god. I need another drink. Did we go through the wine, Sasuke?"

Sasuke twitched up, hearing his name—

"Are you trying to get my boyfriend drunk or something?" Naruto said, leaning forward as Sasuke heaved himself behind him—

"I absolutely am," Sakura said. "Told him so and everything. Isn't that right, Sasuke?"

"It's for the bride," Sasuke muttered, slipping a hand on Naruto's thigh as he passed the nearly-empty bottle to Sakura.

And Naruto laughed, then, a surprised, breathless sound—

"Didn't you say Sasuke is an affectionate drunk? I figured you'd love—"

"Sakura!" Naruto laughed, and Sasuke pulled back just about enough to lean all over Naruto's shoulder. He didn't bother moving his hand from Naruto's thigh, either, warm as it was… "Don't—"

"Yeah, whatever, sure," Sakura grinned, "thank me later. Don't forget pizza is coming at midnight."

"Oh, fuck yeah," Naruto groaned, "this is the best night of my life."

"I'll cheers to that," Ino said, and Naruto reached out to tap his glass to hers, laughing. Sakura's legs finally fell from Naruto's lap—or maybe Sasuke had pushed them, although he hadn't meant to—

"Okay. I'm better." Sakura let out a breath. "Back to dancing?"

Ino's smile widened.

"I'm a bride," she said, slipping to sit sideways in her chair, "I deserve to be carried as such."

Sakura laughed, and with a "you're a princess is what you are," she swooped her wife into her arms.

"Be careful!" Naruto called after them, but they were already gone—off, as they'd been all night, in their own world.

Sasuke could relate.

"They're nuts," Naruto laughed, leaning back to turn his sparkling eyes back on Sasuke. "How are you actually? Need water or something?"

"I'm fine, stupid," Sasuke told him, and the smile softened into that beautiful, blushing something… "Are you free yet?"

Naruto nudged him a little.

"Mm, I think so," he said, smiling. "I keep thinking so, though, and then things keep popping up. But there's not much left to put away, so...actually, I have no clue what I did with my bowtie. I should try to find it…"

"I have it," Sasuke told him. "You left it in the dressing room."

Naruto blinked—and then he laughed.

"Aw," he said, ducking his head, "all night I've been running around taking care of stuff, you've been taking care of me. Thanks, 'ske."

His head tilted, and Sasuke surreptitiously shifted so it could lean on him properly.

"That's no different from any other day," Sasuke muttered, and Naruto lazily shoved at him. "Are you tired?"

"Mm," Naruto hummed, slipping the hand that had pushed at Sasuke into his, instead, "I mean, yeah, I am, but I'm more just…"

Naruto bit his lip, looking up at Sasuke and then back at the dance floor.

"I dunno," he finished quietly. "Just...really content. I've been feeling like that a lot, recently. It's nice."

Sasuke swallowed, feeling his hand gently tighten around Naruto's. Naruto looked up at him.

"Don't let your ego get too big though, eh?" he said, grin wide and shining—

Sasuke shoved his laughing face away, but it was back in Sasuke's space only a moment later.

"Stupid," Sasuke told him, and the light in Naruto's eyes shone even brighter.

"You love it," Naruto shot back, and Sasuke just—Sasuke—

Just kissed him. Small and quick, like a burst of all that he'd been feeling breaking free—before he pulled back. Naruto didn't let him go far, though, unrelenting as he was—Sasuke barely had a chance to catch his breath before Naruto took it away again.

"Damn," Naruto sighed, as they broke apart, "that's what I've been missing all day. Remind me next time."

Sasuke snorted.

"I'll be sure to," he said. "Weren't you making noises about forcing me to dance?"

Naruto looked back at him.

Sasuke raised an eyebrow.

"I thought you'd hate it," Naruto said, blinking. "Would you...not?"

"We'll never know if you don't ask, will we?"

"You...d'you want me to ask you to dance?" Naruto asked, spinning around to face him fully. "You wanna dance, Sasuke?"

Sasuke's lips twitched.

"Only if you absolutely do not carry me."

Naruto's dazzling laugh echoed in his ears, and Sasuke let himself be pulled to his feet.


Naruto was starry-eyed.

Starry-eyed and smiling, with all former hints of fatigue nowhere to be seen anymore. The lights were low and the rest were relentless, flashing in every way that would have given Sasuke a headache if not for the way Naruto easily outshined them all.

Ino and Sakura had flung each other around them for a song or two—and Hinata and Kiba and all sorts of other people Sasuke easily could have recognized. He didn't much feel he needed to, though—it was getting later, growing darker, and the crowd that had once been hot and thick was growing just a little cooler, a little more sparse—

And slower. Naruto naturally drifted in, as the music slowed...although Sasuke may have had something to do with it. (Naruto was beautiful and magnetic, after all, and some days Sasuke couldn't manage to convince himself that there was any reason to resist any of it.).

(Today was, he thought, one of those days.)

"I love you," Naruto said, soft and yet loud enough to shout over the music, forehead pressed to his.

Sasuke kissed him. Again. Like he'd been doing ever since he broke—over and over and over again. His head was just...spinning. Thinking about the future—about his future, about their future, and there was some insane urge in him that had the words slipping up to the tip of his tongue.

The feeling settled, a little, when he occupied it with Naruto's mouth.

"—k," Naruto mumbled, pressing his face to Sasuke's neck, "I'm not gonna last much longer."

Sasuke ran a hand up his back.

"Tired?"

He felt Naruto's laugh against his skin.

"Yeah," he said, "but that doesn't have anything to do with it. C'mon."


Naruto dragged Sasuke around the room for the next half an hour. Turns out, saying goodbye to "a couple people" meant "literally everyone in the room", and Sasuke had ended up grabbing them both another drink out of pure resignation.

He snorted into his cup as Naruto laughed, knee-deep in another conversation that he couldn't have ever stopped himself from stumbling into. Naruto just...loved. He loved so freely, and so much—Sasuke couldn't even fathom it. Everyone was dear and important and loved

And yet, even with every other precious person in the room, here he was.

Leaving with Sasuke.

Sasuke watched him laugh again, watched those eyes turn back and soften into something warm and tender, watched the way his teeth ran over his smile and his eyes darted up and down Sasuke's body before forcing themselves to look away—

"Okay, I've gotta—Kiba, you—I've been up since six, you prick! I'm outta here."

Laughing and nowhere near as offended as he'd like himself to look, Naruto dragged an amused Sasuke away.

"I think that's—okay, we should be good. We can—"

"Coats, moron," Sasuke said, dragging him back. Naruto had been happily ready to barge right into the snow, apparently—

"Oh, whoops," Naruto laughed, "sorry. I—uh—oh, h—crap…"

Naruto finished in a whisper, stepping over a fully asleep Shikamaru, and slipping both of their coats back out.

"Think I should wake him?" Naruto whispered, stepping outside—

"I can slap him again, if you'd like," Sasuke offered, and Naruto shoved him out the door.

They stumbled out, laughing, into the biting, cold air. The snow that had started earlier hadn't yet seemed to stop, and it was probably a good thing that they'd chosen to walk the distance from the hotel, considering the hefty piles on top of the cars.

"Fuck me that's cold," Naruto said, huddling in on himself. His breath came in small puffs of steam, and Sasuke snorted, pulling the idiot close.

There was no sense in stuffing his hands into his shitty pockets if he could stuff them into Sasuke's, anyway.

"Thanks," Naruto said, smile glowing in the night.

Sasuke didn't answer. His words moved up on his tongue, though, even as he tried to swallow them back—

Naruto laughed.

"You're doing this on purpose, aren't you?" He nudged himself into Sasuke. "Are you doing this on purpose?"

"What am I supposed to have been doing?"

"Killing me, Sasuke," Naruto whined, spinning himself into Sasuke and then going around again. "Killing me. If it wasn't a douche move to propose at someone else's wedding, I swear—"

"Not if you clear it with the couple," Sasuke pointed out, and Naruto hopped in place.

"This! This!" he yelled, stumbling. "You are relentless today, I already love you so much—argh!"

He grabbed at his hair, and Sasuke laughed at him.

"Is the alcohol finally getting to you? Watch the ice, stupid."

"You're getting to me," Naruto muttered, dutifully hopping around the particularly slippery areas. "Hang on, lemmie—"

Sasuke grabbed his hand to stabilize him, and Naruto threw him a grin. Whether it was the cold or the blush that had his cheeks getting redder, Sasuke didn't know, but it made him look so…

"Thanks," he said, giving Sasuke's hand a soft squeeze.

"Your hands are cold," Sasuke replied, pulling Naruto's hand into his pocket again. He ought to have learned to just start packing gloves for the both of them by now...

"Hey," Naruto said, shuffling closer, "so I know we've been like—kidding around, but I wanted to just, um, say—if you did, ever, y'know, want to get married, I—"

"I haven't been kidding," Sasuke said, not looking at him. The cold was cutting through the alcohol and letting the nerves and the embarrassment break free—

"You—huh?"

"I," Sasuke repeated, now very distinctly continuing to Not Look at Naruto, "haven't been kidding."

Naruto's eyes could have bored a hole right through him. Sasuke turned and then turned a little more, but couldn't quite find it in him to continue walking until he heard the breathless laugh he knew so well—

"I—" Naruto breathed, running a hand through his hair, "we haven't—we haven't talked about any of this stuff, have we?"

Sasuke looked back. Naruto stared, looking something he had the day Sasuke had told him this feeling was so, so, so mutual—

"Do you want kids?"

Sasuke tripped over a bit of snow.

"You—" he let out a breath and it sounded like a helpless, disbelieving laugh, "I mention marriage and you go straight to kids?"

"Well, I—I—this is something I should know!"

Sasuke paused. Naruto continued to stare at him.

"...I'd like at least three cats," he offered, after a moment.

"Wh—we already have one! She's—"

"My mother's cat does not count."

"You know as well as I do she loves you the most," Naruto sniped back, but his eyes were still wide, shining with that surprised, brilliant happiness—

"I don't know," Sasuke answered quietly. Finally. "I hadn't...considered it."

He'd never thought himself capable of managing it on his own and he certainly hadn't thought he'd ever feel strongly enough about anyone else to even consider the option. But it was an option, especially now, because Naruto—as a father, more than anyone else, Naruto would be—

"You do," Sasuke continued more quietly, even as he tilted his head to look back, "don't you?"

And still, Naruto managed to look surprised.

"Well I—I thought—I," Naruto laughed a little, looking down at the way his feet shuffled along the ice, "thought it might be...nice. To, y'know, adopt somebody—who was like me. Like maybe an older kid. Um, especially an older kid, actually."

He paused, letting out a breath. His eyes darted up to Sasuke's for one, two, three nervous looks, before he—

"I mean," he said, looking down again, "I dunno how good of a dad I'd be, though. I'm not that responsible."

He laughed a little.

Sasuke grabbed Naruto's hood and slapped it over his head.

"Wh—hey!" Naruto said, stumbling—

"You built a business from the ground up."

Naruto laughed, shoving the hood back just enough to be able to see again—

"I'm pretty positive that was mostly luck, Sasuke."

"You single-handedly organized this wedding."

"Okay, Sakura and Ino did so much of that, you can't—"

"Moron," Sasuke rolled his eyes, "stop selling yourself short. I thought you dearly valued my opinion?"

"Wh—I—I do!" Naruto laughed, stumbling closer to him. "But I—what, d'you think I'd be good or something?"

Sasuke stared back at him for a long moment.

"I think you're an idiot," he offered quietly, "for thinking otherwise."

Naruto breathed in. And he stayed still, stayed standing and staring in the same place even as Sasuke turned to walk away—

"Then again," Sasuke continued, "I think you're an idiot every day anyway, so—"

"Asshole!" Naruto said, immediately jerking back into reality. Sasuke's smirk widened, but he said nothing, only letting Naruto's too-cold hand slip back into his. (And then into his pocket. He was never letting Naruto leave the house without mittens again.)

Naruto sighed softly, and Sasuke glanced over to see his smile even wider.

"So, um," Naruto said, the tips of his exposed hair dusted with snow, "no centerpieces?"

Sasuke snorted.

"If I'm not the one spending five hours making them," Sasuke said, "we can have whatever you want. Each table can be a different bowl of ramen for all I care."

Naruto stopped.

"Oh my god," Naruto said, eyes wide, oblivious to Sasuke's growing dread, "Sasuke, that's genius—"

"Naruto, I was kidding. I was kidding, Naruto, don't—"

"No!" Naruto said, waving his free hand at Sasuke. "It's genius! We're doing that, we're so doing that, you can't take it back!"

Sasuke caught it.

"You're going to have a million crazy ideas," Sasuke said, holding both of Naruto's hands hostage, "aren't you?"

It wasn't a question.

Naruto's grin still widened.

"Yeah," he said, laughing. "The craziest one will be marrying you."

Sasuke shoved his laughing face away.

"Idiot. Is this our hotel?"

"Oh my god, finally!"


"I can't believe," Naruto said, for the thousandth time, "they did that."

Sasuke snorted, leaning against the elevator wall. Ino and Sakura had, courtesy of Sasuke, very easily gotten wind of the room Naruto and Sasuke were staying in, and decided it really wasn't quite good enough—

"The top floor! This is nuts! I've never stayed anywhere this fucking fancy—"

"Language, Naruto," Sasuke deadpanned. "Our room might be able to hear you."

Naruto laughed, running a hand through his hair.

"But it's—they already spent so much on the wedding! I—and they—how did they know we'd be able to even stay for two nights?! I—"

"I told them we would," Sasuke answered easily. "And they did the math, Naruto. The amount they spent was far less than what you saved them."

Naruto...blinked at him.

"Stupid," Sasuke added, for good measure.

"You—don't distract me! You knew?!"

Sasuke's smirk widened.

"Sasuke!" Naruto shoved at him, and the elevator beeped. Naruto seemed content to gape at it, but Sasuke only pulled him forward, lazily scanning the signs until they finally found their way to the room that had been given to them.

"I can't believe you knew," Naruto said, voice thankfully lowered. "How long did you know?"

Sasuke's lips twitched.

"At least a week," he answered vaguely, and Naruto yanked on his hand again. It made Sasuke pause, just for a moment, to press a kiss to Naruto's lips—

Before his smile broke them, and they had to continue down the hall again.

"Evil," Naruto muttered, jogging after him, "evil, all three of you—"

"Mm, yes," Sasuke whispered back, "that's the word that describes this situation. This is us."

And with a tap of the card, Naruto was already stumbling in—eyes wide, pushing past the luggage that had been conveniently brought up for them, staring out the window only to rock back and flop himself right back onto the king-sized bed—

"Oh my god," Naruto breathed, head hanging off the bed, upside-down, to stare at Sasuke, "that's why you packed so much."

Sasuke's smile widened, but he stayed stubbornly silent.

For some reason, it made Naruto's smile grow even brighter.

"You want to marry me," Naruto said, still upside-down and grinning.

"You look like an idiot," Sasuke told him, but it sidestepped the statement just obviously enough to have Naruto laughing out his delight.

He rolled over, shoving himself up onto his knees and holding his arms out.

Sasuke, dutifully, moved forwards to catch them.

Marrying Naruto would be easy, he thought, as their lips finally met. It would be the easiest thing in the world. Even with all the planning and the flowers and the food and the centerpieces, Sasuke would push past anything and everything if it meant a lifetime of this warmth at his side.

Naruto's smile stretched against his lips.

No, proposing—and marriage and weddings and everything that came with it—would be the easiest thing in the world.

"You're so smile-y tonight," Naruto whispered, awfully hypocritical—

"You're one to talk," Sasuke muttered against his lips, and then they were happily occupied yet again.

The hard part, Sasuke thought, would be beating Naruto to it.

Naruto pulled him onto the bed.

(...He'd have to start planning tomorrow.)