Naruto is appointed Rokudaime. A party is thrown in his honor. His most important person comes to congratulate him--personally. [older!SasuNaru, lime]
Nukenins - missing nins
Sake - a Japanese rice wine (strong alcohol...I have low tolerance, so this stuff nearly killed me)
Yukigakure - Hidden Village of the Snow
Kirigakure - Hidden Village of the Mist
No matter how many times Naruto looked in the mirror, he still couldn't quite believe it. Finally--/finally/, the Hokage robe rested on his shoulders. Even though he didn't think beige and crimson were his best colors, he still thought he looked pretty damn good. It felt great. Heavy, too. The inside was inlaid with a thick layer of silk; it felt like cool water against his skin. And the outside fabric was a rough and expensive cloth; scratchy to the touch and austere in appearance. Yep, definitely nice.
But, ehh, overall, it was a bit too fancy for Naruto's taste.
Tsunade's gonna kill me if she finds out I spilled ramen on it... the blond thought as he bit his lip, fingering the light stain. And how the hell am I supposed to fight in this? Doesn't silk catch fire easily? I would burn to a crisp if Sasuke ever--
"Naruto?" knock-knock. "Are you ready yet?"
"Ahh, yeah! Almost! Just tell them they can start without me, Sakura!"
Naruto heard an exaggerated sigh. It was Kiba, who was recently appointed lieutenant of the Hokage's personal squad. "You idiot, the party can't start until you get your ass out here--which means we can't start drinking till you do! So hurry up!"
"Alright, quit your yappin', just give me a sec!" Naruto hurriedly shoved some random congratulatory cards into his drawers. The blond continued to organize his desk until his hand fell upon his well-worn Bingo Book. The edges were soft and many pages were torn out or folded. Naruto hesitantly picked it up and flipped towards the end; that's where all the most dangerous nukenins were filed.
He stopped at a dog-eared page and studied the black-and-white photo of a 13 year-old Uchiha Sasuke. Of course, the picture was almost 11 years old. But the Bingo Book couldn't provide a more recent photo of the Uchiha since no one could find/ /him, much less get the chance to take a portrait shot.
Uchiha Sasuke--Konohagakure--hair: black, eyes: black, blood type: AB, bloodline lineage: Sharingan--S-Class
Naruto smirked softly as he continued to scan the page of fine print. There wasn't much information since the bastard was so damn hard to track. Not even Kakashi's nin-dogs could trace him anymore. Some actually believed (or hoped) Sasuke was dead. After all, even though there had been sightings of Uchiha Itachi in various villages, no one had caught a glimpse of the younger Sharingan user for the past eight years or so.
No one except Naruto.
I wonder if you heard the news yet... Naruto studied the picture as he idly adjusted the Hokage hat on his head. The blond suspected Sasuke, wherever he was and if he was still alive, must have heard of Tsunade's resignation. And if he heard the news, then maybe--
"Okay, /okay/, I'm coming!"
- - o - -
The ceremony party in honor of the recently recognized Rokudaime, Uzumaki Naruto, wasn't as proper as it should have been (which was expected). Ceremonial parties usually did not have young men dancing on tables with cups of tea (spiked with alcohol) in their hands nor did they have women (who should have been dressed in kimonos) pulling at each others' hair and shrieking inappropriate names. Most ceremonial parties also didn't have fireworks exploding indoors, sand splashing out of nowhere, green-clad men running laps, wooden puppets terrorizing the guests, bugs flying around in loud swarms, or nin-dogs and pigs howling in musical unison.
But Naruto was extremely happy with this arrangement; happy that all his friends were here, alive and well, drunk and dancing; happy that they were happy he was chosen as Hokage; happy that he finally attained his dream after all those years of hollering about it. He was so happy--
"You wish he was here, don't you?"
Naruto turned his head and his innocent gaze fell upon pink hair and green eyes. "Oh! Sakura-chan! Finished with Ino already, huh?"
Sakura gestured to a corner where her blonde-haired rival was apparently playing a vicious game of tug-of-war with Temari...using Shikamaru's body as the rope. Naruto grimaced, concerned for his lazy strategist; his arms were going to be ripped off at this rate. But Naruto, being 23 years old (and having one too many past experiences), knew better than to get between two highly-trained, angry females. He just became Hokage. He didn't want to die yet.
"You wish he was here, don't you?"
Damn. Sakura could be persistent when she wanted to be. Naruto mentally sighed; he figured it was because of his own bad influence.
"Sakura-chan, I'm /happy/!" Naruto assured sincerely, patting her shoulder. Then he stood up to greet some honored guests from Yukigakure.
"I didn't ask if you were or not..." Sakura murmured knowingly as she watched the blond Rokudaime converse with the group of officials.
As the party approached midnight and showed no signs of stopping, Naruto decided to leave. He loudly proclaimed that he had to go home because he was very drunk, very happy, and was due for a very important meeting tomorrow morning. The Rokudaime took his leave, stumbling out the door as he sang good night to all his guests. Kiba was about to follow his blue-eyed friend to make sure he arrived home safely--until a silver-haired jounin blocked his way.
"Maa, maa, you don't have to follow him," Kakashi's eye curved and he patted Kiba's shoulder reassuringly. "He'll be fine. Go on and enjoy yourself."
"But he's, ya know...totally drunk! It's my...um, what do you call it...my, uhh...oh! My duty to protect that idiot. He might, I dunno, get himself assassinated or run into a wall and die and then everyone's gonna yell at me and..." Kiba drawled and hiccupped.
Kakashi just slowly directed the Inuzuka to a nearby table, poured him a cup of sake, and the brown-haired lieutenant continued to rant and rave about all the dangerous things that might happen to the Rokudaime if he walked home alone this late at night. The silver-haired jounin just urged him to talk out all his troubles and continued to refill Kiba's cup generously.
- - o - -
Naruto leapt from rooftop to rooftop with the grace and speed of someone that certainly was not inebriated. The blond sighed, wishing he was indeed drunk, if only for a few minutes. But Kyuubi (/ya damn fox, I hate you!/) disliked moments of weakness; the demon would never let alcohol get the best of Naruto. The jinnchuriki soon landed in front of a small, quaint house, whose front door was painted a glossy, shameless color of orange. He picked out this house and, needless to say, proudly painted it himself. He pulled out his keys, grabbed the doorknob--and froze. His eyes widened slowly.
Naruto, forcing himself not to rush, unlocked the front door and closed it behind him. He decided to leave the lights off. His heart pounded furiously and it urged his feet to move faster. He walked down the hallway slowly, stepped over cardboard boxes, and slipped into the kitchen. He surveyed the area with sharp eyes.
But no one was there. No chakra signature sparked. Not one single shadow stirred. Nothing.
I could have sworn... Naruto trailed off. His shoulders slumped, just a bit.
Then he shook his head with a short laugh. Whatever. He was tired and going crazy, that's all. He just needed some sleep. But first he had to water his plants. Naruto went to the sink as he took off his Hokage hat and tossed it on the kitchen countertop. Glass of water in hand, he walked into the dark living room.
And came to an abrupt halt.
A dark figure was standing beside the window; a slender hand was reached out and touching the curling vines of a hanging plant. The figure's identity was silhouetted by the moonlight peering through the glass, but the spiky hair was enough of a hint. And there was only one other person in the whole ninja community that could get past Naruto's chakra detection skills.
"Don't touch that, teme. That one's really delicate," Naruto continued to cross the room and yawned loudly. He poured some water into one of his nine potted plants, starting with the one farthest away from his uninvited guest. "Jeez, take your shoes off, will you? And why the hell do you smell like seawater?"
"I came from Kirigakure."
Naruto paused. He moved on to the next plant. "I heard Itachi was last seen over there."
"No," replied a cold, clipped, low voice. "It was Kisame, disguised as Itachi. He was acting as a decoy. He's dead now."
"You killed him?"
The blond sighed quietly. Well, at least that's one less missing-nin to chase after. He couldn't complain about that. But Naruto didn't know how to react or feel toward Sasuke's victory; he was both concerned and relieved. With Kisame out of the way, Sasuke was one step closer to Itachi. One step closer to fighting Itachi or becoming Itachi. Naruto wasn't sure which one it would be. But both options filled him with sopping, cold dread.
"Why did you move out of your apartment?"
Naruto slightly jumped at that voice. Of course, it was still just Sasuke--the only other person in the room--but his smooth, baritone voice almost sounded...different. His tone was currently devoid of its ever-present anger and ice. Naruto truly missed that /voice, /that Sasuke. He felt a flurry of shivers run down his spine, but he concealed it by bending down to water some bigger plants he left on the floor.
"I just wanted more privacy. Plus, I got a good deal. I moved in about...mm...six months ago, but I still didn't get around to unpacking everything yet. How'd you find this place anyway?"
"No one but you would paint their front door with such a hideous color."
"Hey! What's that supposed to mean!"
"Tch. Figure it out. Shouldn't be too hard, even for you."
Naruto could hear a carefully concealed undercurrent of humor in those gruff words. He raised his head abruptly and his blue eyes immediately locked with velvety black ones. The blond didn't even realize he, himself, was smiling. At that moment, he only realized that Uchiha Sasuke was here--right here--still alive. Still human. He wasn't some snake bastard or a carbon copy of his brother; he was neither possessed by another nor blindly controlled by his own emotions.
Now he was just a jaded, vengeful, stubborn bastard. Even though he was hardened with the years of solitude spent as a missing-nin and cold with the hatred of an avenger...his Sasuke-teme was still alive in the dark, forbidding man before him.
Naruto couldn't restrain himself any longer.
He stood up, slammed the glass of water on the windowsill, and reached out, violently pulling the dark-haired nukenin into a tight embrace. The blond felt hot tears on the verge of spilling and he stubbornly shut his eyes, angry with his overwhelming happiness. He was so happy that it fucking hurt. He pressed his face against Sasuke's worn cloak in an attempt to hide his weakness; he could feel a hard collarbone and the promising warmth of body heat underneath the rough cloth.
Strong hands grasped Naruto's shoulders and slowly peeled him away. The blond opened his eyes, surprised and hurt by the other's action...until pale, slender fingers gently swept the tears from Naruto's cheeks with quick efficiency.
"Don't cry, dobe." Hands cupped his damp cheeks, encasing his face in a deep, feather-light warmth that he wanted so much more of. Naruto closed his eyes and leaned into those callused palms. He slipped his own arms past the heavy cloak to wrap around the waist hidden beneath. The blond swallowed down a few pitiful sobs before trusting himself to speak.
"D-don't tell me what to do. I'll do whatever the hell I want, teme."
Velvet laughter. "Oh, I almost forgot. You're the Rokudaime now."
"Then...I should congratulate you properly." And the Uchiha moved forward.
Naruto could see Sasuke's face clearly in the moonlight. Blue eyes softened and a small smile soon followed. Naruto trailed his fingertips along the strong line of a jawbone and the fine curve of a pale cheekbone. Those dark eyes watching him suddenly flared deep crimson and Naruto felt himself falling or being pulled forward.
Either way, he found himself in familiar territory; hot, moist lips pressed desperately against his own; smooth, milky skin blended with moonlight salty-sweet against his tongue; thick, sleek hair melded with shadow between his fingers; the unique smell of smoke and fire on the coldest winter's night. It was familiar; it was comfort; it was needed--it was Sasuke.
But there was some glaring part of Naruto's conscience that told him this was the most opportune time to capture the S-Class nukenin Uchiha Sasuke; to finally cross his name from the Bingo Book ranks; to finally end his selfish schemes. After all, it was Naruto's duty to protect the people of Konohagakure. It was an honor he had been waiting to uptake for so many years now. The Uchiha was a danger, a potential hazard, that the Rokudaime could not afford. Naruto knew he should stop Sasuke now, right now.
"Shh. Not now, Naruto."
The blond faltered at those words because he, guiltily, had been waiting and wanting this too. And he hated himself for it. Being Hokage should have been enough...but it wasn't. He needed Sasuke. That's why he forced himself to wait in Konoha with the hope that the Uchiha would return someday and stay. But Naruto hated living with the possibility that Sasuke could be killed before then or become a living fragment of Itachi and lose himself completely--
He won't. He won't! He'll come back as himself! /Naruto thought fiercely. Suddenly, he captured Sasuke's mouth and forcefully thrust his tongue through the seam of those pale lips. Naruto felt the Uchiha become stiff with surprise and it thrilled him. If Sasuke needed another three years, another nine years, then so be it; Naruto would wait. /But you better come back to me, teme.
Naruto, clumsy with haste and want, blindly unlatched the black cloak from the taller one's shoulders and slid his hands into inky-black hair. The cloak's heavy weight collapsed to the ground like a sheet of rock. Sasuke sighed deeply; it felt like his sins and burdens were lifted, all because of this blond who unwittingly possessed the power to do so. Some deep, vicious part of Sasuke told him that he should kill this clear-eyed boy who held the last few threads of his humanity. If Naruto were gone, there would be nothing more to lose, nothing to return to, nothing to hold him back.
It was at the end of those thoughts that Sasuke would kiss Naruto and claim him with feral ferocity; he would hold him close and listen to the blond's sweet gasps and pleas. The Uchiha shoved off the Hokage robe and it fluttered to the floor in thick ruffles.
"W-what did ya think?" Naruto asked with a light laugh between pants. "Did it look good on me?"
The blond felt the other respond with a smirk against his ear before whispered words caressed his skin. "It suited you, /Hokage-sama/..." Naruto shivered as his shirt was tugged away. "But I prefer you without clothes."
The blond felt himself falling again and he clung to Sasuke, dragging him along into a moment's sanctuary.
- - o - -
Naruto woke up to the sweet sound of ruffling cloth.
He smiled contentedly and rolled over, expecting to see pale skin and inky hair. But instead, he saw his bedroom window open...blue curtains flapped softly with the morning breeze. He sat up quickly. The bedcovers slipped down his bare chest and pooled around his waist. His smile faded. No black cloak, no lingering warmth, not even a black hair left behind. Naruto pressed a hand to his forehead and his eyes dimmed to a mournful shade of dark blue.
Had it all just been one of those hopeless, countless dreams? Just another haunting illusion cast by moonlight and shadow?
But the light soon returned to his clear eyes when he caught sight of his Hokage robe neatly folded over a chair. Naruto could never fold his things with such care and precision. His eyes flicked over to his bedside table; he spotted a special brand of sake that could only be bought from the coastline bars of Kirigakure. And there was a note attached to it. Naruto reached over and plucked off the delicate white paper tied around the neck of the bottle. He recognized the neat, small scrawl:
It's about time you became Hokage. Took you long enough. Don't screw it up, dobe.
Before he could re-read the note, the delicate paper suddenly burst into flickers of pure white flame. His fingers were speckled with silver ash. Naruto smirked, his eyes soft.
I won't, teme.
Yay, my first SasuNaru one-shot finally done! If you think this story makes no sense or their relationship seems totally out of whack...then throw something at me (something preferably not too sharp)! I'm in desperate need of constructive criticism, so please leave your thoughts behind. And if you have no thoughts, then a hug would also be greatly appreciated. ;) I expect this story to remain a one-shot...but I think I hear plot-bunnies squeaking in the distance.
And if any of you were wondering if Kakashi and Sakura suspected anything...well...I'll leave that up to you to guess. ;)
Thanks for reading, folks!