Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto

Avoiding the Issue

by sadieko 5 reviews

[Naruto/Sasuke] In which Sasuke has issues and no one else is surprised. Except maybe Naruto.

Category: Naruto - Rating: R - Genres: Humor, Romance - Characters: Naruto, Sasuke - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2006-03-15 - Updated: 2007-08-12 - 2534 words - Complete

Avoiding the Issue
By sadieko

Pairing: Naruto/Sasuke
Notes: this feels horribly incomplete, because every time I get Naruto and Sasuke within shouting range of each other, they won't shut up, so I'm sure I missed something major in this. Rawr.


The shirt sat untouched on his floor for nearly three weeks.

More specifically, it sat in the center of his room; a wadded up double handful of black mesh and lightweight cotton that he had to step over every time he went to the bathroom. He didn't understand how the hell both of them missed it. No matter how madly they'd rushed to get dressed before Kakashi came home and found them naked and tangled up together, they should have spotted it. The shirt was perfectly visible, lying right where even a half-blind idiot could see it.

Especially that half-blind idiot. The one who owned the stupid thing. Of course Naruto hadn't come back to get it. Sasuke wouldn't have let him in or talked to him even if he had shown up, but that wasn't the point. Naruto wasn't going to come over because he just wasn't that considerate. He probably expected Sasuke to return it to him.

Ha. Like that was going to happen.

So Sasuke got good at pretending the shirt didn't exist. Ideally he'd be able to ignore it long enough for it to disintegrate and get absorbed into the carpet.

Kakashi did notice when Sasuke started vacuuming around the item rather then touch it, but he didn't do more than dully ask if Sasuke had any laundry he wanted to add to the load. Because of this Sasuke spent four days experiencing acute paranoia over whether or not his former teacher/current babysitter knew what happened. Kakashi, for his part, was too used to Sasuke's moods to be terribly moved when the teenager took to glaring at him suspiciously and searching the house for surveillance equipment.

By the start of the second week after the Event, Sasuke felt like the shirt was mocking him. Sneering at him. Reminding him of what happened. Showing up in his dreams.

Or at least, Naruto taking it off would show up in his dreams. Which was usually followed by Naruto kissing him and then Naruto pushing him down onto the bed and then Naruto tugging open his pants...

His paranoia came back when Kakashi dryly asked if he would be better off using the neighbor's bathroom since he could never seem to get into his own.

In attempt to distract himself, Sasuke spent his free time cleaning the house. The scrolls were alphabetized, the weapons were mounted according to size, the top shelves were dusted, and the curtains were washed.

It didn't help.

In a last ditch effort, Sasuke decided to completely redesign his bedroom. Maybe he could put a table or rug over the shirt.

This turned out to be a mistake as Kakashi caught him in the middle of going through interior design catalogs and color swatches and decided this was his cue to sit and stare incredulously. It ruined the experience. Especially when Sasuke explained the importance of matching your curtains to your wallpaper and caused Kakashi to have hysterical giggle fits.

The next day Sasuke went to the Hokage to request a replacement. Tsunade pointed out that defectors who try to kill their teammates don't have much right to complain about their guardians. Sasuke pointed out that it wasn't like Naruto had actually died. Tsunade mentioned that it was the thought that counted. Sasuke mentioned that she wasn't one to talk about killing teammates. She had her Anbu escort him out. They did this about once a month.

By the third week, Sakura had come over twice to ask what he and Naruto were fighting about this time, because the idiot was insisting that Sasuke was avoiding him again and making her life miserable because of it. Sasuke said he didn't know and ignored her. She was immune to this.

On her second visit, she fixed them dinner. Since they'd been looking forward to End Of The Month Surprise prior to that, Sasuke was something approaching grateful for the favor. Unfortunately, she decided that her efforts gave her leave to follow him into his bedroom and be "helpful" by picking up the shirt lying in the middle of his otherwise completely spotless floor. This of course exposed the bright yellow spiral pattern on the front leaving no question as to the original owner. Sasuke fielded her questions with his usual "I am above answering to you" attitude and eventually succeeded in chasing her off. (Which annoyed Kakashi who'd been hoping to get her to cook the next night too.)

But he knew that the cover had been blown. Sakura was going to ask Naruto about it and the dumbass never could keep a secret to save his life. He'd try to lie----badly----and just end up giving the whole thing away. Now Sasuke would have to talk with him, if only to drill the proper cover-up story into his head.

He cursed creatively all the way to Naruto's apartment. He was still cursing when he pounded on the door and realized after five minutes that no one was home. After ten restful minutes thinking hateful thoughts at a certain blonde who was still a moron no matter how right he'd been about the "strength from protecting people" bit or how good he was with his tongue, Sasuke left to do some shopping. Not because he really wanted to, but because damned if he was going to wait on Naruto of all people.

An hour and a half later he was back at Naruto's door, not much calmer for having refreshed the household supply of toilet paper and disinfectant. When he knocked a yell of greeting came from inside.

The second the door opened, Sasuke thrust his hand forward and as a result nearly stuffed the shirt---he'd brought it with him, despite an initial resolve not to--into Naruto's face. The blonde jerked back from the near-attack in time to avoid a mouthful of dirty cotton.

"You left this, you idiot, and now Sakura knows," Sasuke said without preamble.

Naruto was never very quick on the uptake, but arguments or accusations from Sasuke were processed faster in his brain than anything else. "You told Sakura?" he demanded, eyes and nostrils flaring in indignation, "You've been avoiding me all this time but you talk to Sakura about it?"

"I didn't tell her!" Sasuke snapped in frustration. What was it about Naruto that kept dragging him back? The boy was completely brain dead. "She found the shirt!"

"Shirt, what shirt? You asshole, what the-----oh, I'd wondered where that went," Naurto said in a different tone of voice, finally connecting what Sasuke was talking about with the item being held in front of his nose. Then the confusion returned to his features. "But how would she know from that?"

"Because it was your shirt on my floor," Sasuke explained slowly, gritting his teeth. He hadn't lowered his arm yet and if Naruto didn't take the shirt right now he was going to stuff it straight down the blonde's pants. "Its Sakura. She can see these things."

Naruto got an odd look from that. At least, Sasuke thought it was odd; a sort of almost smile, almost scowl, like someone who didn't know whether to be pleased or furious. "Okay, so she knows. We should talk to her."

He reached up absentmindedly to take his undershirt back. Sasuke released it with a sudden surge of relief, like he was dropping a twenty-pound weight off his shoulders.

"No, we aren't going to talk to her," Sasuke said, narrowing his eyes. He noticed that Naruto was wearing only the black leggings of his chuunin uniform and a tank top. He had nice shoulders. Sasuke could remember the feel of them against his palms. "We're going to figure out a cover-up to tell her for when she comes around asking questions."

For a moment Naruto stood staring, one hand on the door and the other holding his newly recovered shirt. Then his face scrunched up, his fists clenched, and his whole body vibrated. It looked like he was having an epileptic fit.

"But----you----argh!!" He made frantic hand and arms movements. Sasuke just folded his arms across his chest and watched the show. "You said she already knew! What would it matter if she----"

"She doesn't know all of it, stupid."

"But you said she knows! You said it, you!" He halted his exotic dance of frustrated confusion to squint uncertainly. "Unless you're talking about something else. This is about the----that day right? A month ago when we..."

Naruto's volume dropped on the last few words and suddenly they were having a completely different conversation.

Sasuke folded his arms the other way, uncomfortably aware of himself, of Naruto, barefoot and in that eye-searing orange tank that outlined the shape his chest. Of a soft mouth in a taunt line and the still full curve of a tanned cheek. Of the way overgrown blonde spikes fell into blue eyes that were looking at him in that way that made him feel like he was being flayed from the inside.

The silence was very loud, riding on a swell of words that should be spoken but never would be. Finally, Naruto reached out, knotted his fist in Sasuke's collar, and dragged him into the apartment.

Later, Sasuke would tell himself that he locked his knees to prevent from being pulled in. He hadn't, but it made him feel better to believe he had.

A noteworthy time later, after they'd gotten their breath back, Naruto turned his head on Sasuke's shoulder and said into his neck, "We should move in together,"

They sat on the floor of the entranceway, not having made it very far into the apartment, their pants around their ankles and Sasuke seated across Naruto's thighs. Sasuke shifted slightly, the back of his shirt catching on the door, and furrowed his forehead in confusion.

"What?" He took a deep breath to calm his still racing heart and tried to work up some moisture in his dry mouth. His thighs and backside were sticky and the back of his head was sore from when he'd slammed it into the door at one point. "That's stupid."

"No its not," Naruto protested, settling Sasuke's weight more comfortably in his lap and lifting his head to look Sasuke in the face. "It makes perfect sense! That way we'll have more time to spend together and it won't matter where I leave my clothes and you can't avoid me like the jerk you are." He grinned and bucked his hips slightly. "We can do this more."

Sasuke frowned, staring at the sunlit expanse of Naruto's one room apartment over the other teen's shoulder. "If I'm going to live with someone for sex, I better be getting children out of it."

Because they were so close, Sasuke couldn't move fast enough to keep from getting his head bashed against the door again. "Ow! You dumb----"

"Its not just sex, you ass! Don't say crap like that," Naruto said with a glare, his hand pressed against Sasuke's forehead and fingers tangled the mussed black locks. Sasuke continued to stare past him, under the curve of his palm.

Of course it was just sex. Naruto made his heart quicken, his body tremble, and his breath come short with an excitement that surged up his spine in a way comparable only to using the chidori or facing a new, powerful foe. But it was just an urge, or hormones, or something equally stupid and it would eventually fade back into the otherwise acceptable desire to kick Naruto's ass. Then he could get married to some strong, quiet woman who wouldn't mind bearing and rearing half-a-dozen children, and he'd never again put up with a passion that could turn his brains into complete mush.

"I'm still not moving in you with you, stupid," Sasuke said after a minute of mentally organizing his future, and jerked his head out from under Naruto's hand, "We've only been together twice. It's not a declaration of everlasting devotion or anything. Besides, Kakashi would have to come too and I'm not doing anything like this with him in the next room."

"Bah, I'll talk to the old hag about that," Naruto assured him with his usual certainty, "She wouldn't even have him keeping an eye on you if you stopped leaving the village without permission and randomly leveling people's houses."

"That wasn't random, it was a mission and it wasn't my fault the foundation had rotted away." He squirmed, starting to feel the strain of being spread open across Naruto's hips. Naruto gripped lightly at his thighs and frowned stubbornly, obviously not intending to let him up yet.

"We've known each other for years. This more than just friendship, so why shouldn't we?" He titled his head, smiling slightly, and so obviously pleased with the idea that Sasuke wanted to punch him purely on principle. "We could get a big place with a garden! It'd be cool!"

"No it wouldn't," Sasuke growled, "You'd never clean up and fix ramen all the time and then I'd have to smother you in your sleep. Besides, people would know."

Naruto, of course, failed to see the importance behind this. "But you said Sakura all ready knows, so it shouldn't be too----"

Sasuke shut him up with a kiss for the sake of his sanity. "No, Naruto," he said when they separated. "Now let me up, you idiot, this is undignified."

For heartbeat, Naruto looked vulnerable and utterly confused in the way of someone facing a concept completely beyond their realm of reasoning. Sasuke went back to staring out at the apartment, noticing the way one of the legs on the kitchen table was at a different angle then the rest. The moment passed and Naruto's expression showed only determined annoyance as he muttered things about touchy, paranoid assholes and disentangled himself from Sasuke.

"Fine, but you're staying today, right?" he asked, scooting out of Sasuke's way and using the black undershirt to clean off the mess on his stomach. Sasuke scowled at it out of reflex. "I haven't seen you in forever because you're a dick. We should do something." His face flared up. "Something else."

Sasuke shrugged one shoulder and stretched the kinks out of his legs and hips. "I'll stay," he said like it didn't matter, "We need to work out what to do about Sakura anyway."

"Urgh, but Sakura----"

"Just shut up, idiot."


A day or so after leaving Naruto, Sasuke decided to go into hiding long enough for first Kakashi, and then a team of Anbu, to go looking for him. He slipped out of the village while they were distracted searching elsewhere. They swiftly tracked him down, but not before he led them on an insane goose chase throughout the forests surrounding Konoha.

It was wonderfully therapeutic, until one of them got him in the ass with a tranquilizer dart.

Then it just sucked.
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