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sne_mod ([personal profile] sne_mod) wrote in [community profile] sn_exchange2010-08-22 04:11 pm

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For: [personal profile] orin
Title: Pyretos
Rating: NC-17
Summary: "Sasuke came to stand closer. Naruto watched him, taking in the easy strides and the way Sasuke’s face remained devoid of expression as he took in Naruto’s wounds."
Warnings: Violence, explicit adult situations
A/N: Erm. Hi orin, I hope against all odds, that you enjoy this ^^; Dear beta-person, I apologise for traumatising you ♥
Mod note: Reminder for the author/artist of this submission, please do not reply to comments signed in, if you want to reply anon commenting is enabled.


“Ready?”

Naruto looked up from where he was crouched, his back pressed to the wall and a kunai in his hand. He met Sakura’s eyes, took a split second to notice the cut that had been sliced up her cheek. She was in the exact same position he was except she was on the other side of the corridor. Naruto’s ribs hurt like a bitch from where one of the asshole guards from the roof had run into him with a well aimed elbow.

Getting inside had been the easy part. Now they had to get out. And they had to pick up Sasuke on the way.

The light from halfway between them was swinging. Probably from the last paper bomb they’d tossed in there. The yellow circle of light slashed became distorted as it continued to swing, side to side, side to side in the dark halls. Naruto could hear the squeaking of it and it was setting his teeth on edge. The dry heat they were in was pushing itself down his throat and making him wish for some water but they’d already finished off their supplies. To get more, they had to get out. And to get out they had to get to the room at the end.

Sakura mouthed ‘on three’ at him. Naruto nodded and when she lifted her hand he pinned his eyes to her fingers. Watched them go from three, to two, to—

He shot up and into the corridor. The shinobi that jumped out at him didn’t waste any time. Naruto ducked and heard Sakura grunt and then the crunch of her fist hitting the man’s face. He didn’t look back though—couldn’t when another one was coming at him. He side stepped but it wasn’t fast enough to avoid the katana aimed at him. Naruto felt it slide through his clothes as the metal skimmed past his skin, just nicking him. He gripped the man’s free arm, jerked him around; he covered man’s mouth and hit his temple with the side of his kunai.

The man crumpled to the floor and Naruto ducked again as Sakura sent another one flying over his head. Another dropped down from the ceiling and Naruto caught it, just at the corner of his eye and sent his last kunai flying.

By the time he was faced forward again, Sakura was putting the last of the paper explosives on the door. She thumped her fist on it twice. “If you’re near the door, move back!” She called, and then ran back towards Naruto. Naruto caught the limp as he started back himself. He reached back for her, locked his hand around her wrist and pushed her into a faster run.

They swept back out of the corridor in a heap just as the bombs went off, shaking the building and filling the hall with smoke and debris.
They stayed there for a few seconds, breathing hard. Sakura’s knee was digging into his stomach and his cheek was pressed against the wall, Sakura’s arm pushing it there since her whole weight was slumped against the opposite side.

“Sakura...” or that’s what he meant to say; only it came out more like ‘Saaahkuwaah’.

Sakura looked down at him and her eyes widened before she moved off of him. “Oh sorry.” She gave him an apologetic grimace and got up, wincing as she put her weight on her bad foot.

Naruto rubbed at his face still feeling as if it were pressed against the wall and got up too. He peeked around the corner of the wall and through the smoke saw the door that had been blown open by the paper explosives. “Let’s go.” He said and started moving back down the corridor. They stepped over the bodies, waving the smoke out of their faces and trying not to inhale it.

Naruto glanced behind them. No one there. Yet.

They walked into the small room, avoiding the pieces of door lying about everywhere
.
Naruto stopped and Sakura stilled at his side. Against his will Naruto's mouth twitched as he stared through the bars at Sasuke. The door to the small prison was open but he obviously hadn’t been able to penetrate the one he and Sakura had just blown to pieces. Still, it was impressive. He was lying on his back on a bed pushed against a corner and there were three guards knocked out on the floor.

“Enjoying a nap, Sasuke?” Naruto taunted, felt his smile falter at the blank look Sasuke sent his way but recovered it quickly — only this time his smile had a bit of a meaner edge to it. “After going through all that trouble you better have the—”

Naruto stopped talking when Sasuke sat up and pulled something from one of the front pockets of his vest. A scroll.

Naruto shut his mouth. Sasuke stood up. “You took your time,” Was all he said as he walked out of the prison and towards them. “Let’s go.”

Naruto glanced at Sakura feeling more than irritation welling up quickly.

Sakura gave him a small smile and patted his shoulder with a gentle hand. “Let's get out of here.” She said and tugged at him.

Naruto dipped his head in acknowledgement and followed. He glared at Sasuke’s back all the while.

~


“Shit, shit, shit—” any other profanities that would have left his mouth were cut off in favour of letting out a long pained hiss as Sakura helped ease Naruto onto the floor.

They’d been on them the second they’d stepped out of the building and they hadn’t managed to get away unscathed. Naruto especially when the explosion had caught him full on his right side. He’d crashed into the building opposite with enough force to make Naruto a little unsure if the teeth in his mouth were loose or if he was just feeling sensitive. And what the fuck was with the arrows?

“You’ll have to let me take a look at it. Were you hit with any of the arrows?” Sakura asked. She already had the vest unzipped and was pushing up the hem of the shirt beneath to get a better look at his ribs.

Behind her, Sasuke was looking around the landscape, scanning the woods for any signs that they were still being tracked. Naruto hoped not since it’d taken hours to lose them and find an obscure area deeper in the forest.

“Naruto?”

Naruto glanced back at her, noting that at Sakura’s sharp bark of his name, Sasuke had turned back to face them. “Er—yeah,” he stretched out his leg in front of him and motioned with his chin at the neatly cut fabric of his trousers which revealed the deeper cut on his skin underneath. Naruto peered at it when Sakura did and noted it had started bleeding.

Sakura’s mouth was a grim line. She reached up to twist her hair into some kind of knot thing at the back of her neck and then started pulling off her pack. She looked over her shoulder at Sasuke. “Do you think they’ll get to us soon?”

Sasuke came to stand closer.

Naruto watched him, taking in the easy strides and the way Sasuke’s face remained devoid of expression as he took in Naruto’s wounds. And Naruto wouldn’t have let the anger simmering under the surface bubble up. He really wouldn’t have. Except Sasuke let his mouth curl downward and glanced away with a sigh that Naruto didn’t need to hear. He narrowed his eyes on him, noting with a mixture of resentment and deep down, relief, that the bastard hadn’t even been nicked.

“We'll be fine for the night. The genjutsu will keep them disoriented long enough for us to rest.” Sasuke replied.

Sakura started tugging supplies out of her bag, turning back to Naruto. “It’ll have to do.”

Sasuke’s looked down at Naruto. Their eyes met and then he looked away. “We can stay the night but as soon as morning hits we’ll have to double our pace to the border. They’re probably sending the rest of their people there right now.”

Sakura’s face remained grim as she lifted Naruto’s shirt up again and flicked up a look at him. “You shouldn’t have been hurt this badly.” She got her bottle of water and poured it onto one of the cloths she’d removed from her pack. “We weren’t meant to have been in that situation at all.” She continued. Her voice was strained, as if she was trying hard not to snap at someone. It was more than what had happened at the Tower. Naruto knew it and Sakura knew it.

Naruto flinched, sucking in his breath when she touched the cloth to the purple that had spread at a faster pace than Naruto had expected. There were definitely broken bones rattling around in there and he had to grit his teeth when she started wiping the area clean. He wasn’t about to whine. And especially not in front of him.

“We were doing fine; we slowed down at the barriers when we should’ve been moving. The explosives could have been avoided.” It was left unsaid that it wasn’t because of him that they hadn’t been avoided but that didn’t make much difference to Naruto.

“Yeah, Sasuke?”

Sakura lifted her head, her hand stilling against his skin at the sharpness of his tone. Naruto didn’t pay attention to it though, to the silent warning and plea for him to keep quiet. Not now is what she was trying to say.

Fuck not now.

Naruto pushed her hand away and with some effort pushed to his feet, using the tree to support himself so he didn’t have to add too much movement to his middle. When he was finally standing he looked right at Sasuke. “If you hadn’t defected, we wouldn’t have had to avoid anything. If you’d stayed with the team, we would’ve gotten out of there just fine.” The anger was there, clear and ready to be spat out. He’d been looking for a trigger since the moment they’d been sent on this mission. God knew there was barely any other opportunity for him to be able to yell at the idiot standing in front of him. Sasuke had made sure of that.

It stung.

“I didn’t defect.” Sasuke said calmly.

Naruto snorted. “You’re such a bastard. Yeah, you defected. Maybe working in the ANBU division’s made you forget how we do things.”

Sasuke’s mouth tensed, his chin tilting back just a little but it was enough to make Naruto feel like he was looking down on him. “Maybe you’ve forgotten that ANBU work in teams too. And stop shouting it out for everyone to hear.” Sasuke said, coming to stand closer. “If you’re still serious about taking a role of leadership within the village, you should learn to control yourself. You should’ve done that by now.”

The pain on Naruto’s side flared as he moved but it was worth it for the satisfaction that flooded him when his fingers curled into Sasuke’s vest, jerking him close. “Shut up.”

“Naruto.” Sakura’s voice was sharp. “Wait—don’t—!

Slim fingers were locking around Naruto’s throat, a quick push; a squeeze and Naruto’s head was pressed to the wooden bark of the tree.

Naruto stood motionless, his hand still fisted in Sasuke’s vest.

“Don’t touch me.” The words were monotone.

For a moment Naruto could was able to ignore the pain radiating through his side. The adrenalin was pumping fast and Naruto curled his fingers a bit tighter, tugging Sasuke just a little bit closer. The effort made him breathe hard but it was okay because Sasuke’s breath was puffing, light and controlled, just brushing Naruto’s mouth.

The impulse was there, under his skin—to do something else. Plant a fist on Sasuke’s face, or his gut, shove him off and encourage the fight that he knew would help him get it out of his system. Frustration that had been boiling since the first time it had dawned on Naruto that no, things wouldn’t just go back to normal. Sasuke would never let it.

His gripped Sasuke harder and Sasuke's hand flexed, as if in answer, around his throat before it went back to the previous pressure.

Naruto leaned his head forward a bit more, saw Sasuke’s lashes lowering to cover his eyes. Deceptively calm. Something clenched in his gut, blending with the pain of his midriff and Naruto’s breath came out a little bit faster.

He caught the flicker of Sasuke’s eyes; the thumb at his throat pressed a bit more—

Naruto knocked the hand away and pushed him away.

Sakura was looking from Sasuke to Naruto, her shoulders down, hand resting on her hip. “Are you guys done with the testosterone display?”

~


Sasuke stood back. He heard Naruto’s steps, hard and anything but careful as he left him and Sakura alone in the small clearing. His own hand—the one that had just been wrapped around Naruto’s neck was fisted at his side. He could still feel the lingering heat from Naruto’s neck.

The forest was quiet, as if Naruto’s raised voice had scared all the living creatures in it into hiding. All that could be heard were the rustling leaves that were dancing along with the dry breeze; it did nothing to help with the heat that they’d been dealing with since they’d reached the main city.
It was Sakura’s sigh that finally made him look up.

She was on her knees and gathering the things she’d taken out. Quickly she tidied the wrappings she’d gotten out to use on Naruto’s ribs, started rolling it into one before grabbing her bag and putting them back in. She kept her head down, her hair falling in front of her face as she worked. Sasuke noticed there was a burn on the back of her hand which seemed to slide over into her palm and he frowned. She hadn’t said anything.

“Shouldn’t you heal that?” He asked.

Sakura shrugged and stopped what she was doing to look at her hand. Her mouth twitched down she flexed her fingers. Then she gave him a quick look before resuming her task. “I’ll put something on it but it’ll be fine as long as I make sure it doesn’t get infected. It’s better for the body to do what it can for it before I mess around with it,” She said as she finished packing and then stood again. “So, we’re staying put for tonight then?”

“Yes.” Sasuke looked around them. The trees were tall and there were enough of them to help his genjutsu along. “I think we’ll be fine for the night but we’ll have to take shifts.”

Sakura rested her hands on her hips and took in their surroundings. “You know...” she reached up to brush her hair back from her face and glanced at him, “we haven’t been on a mission since before... since before you know.” She dropped her eyes to the floor and gave a small hitch of one shoulder.

Sasuke glanced down at the burn.

“What with you in ANBU and Naruto in the running for... well. I just didn’t think it would happen—so I was surprised when Tsunade-sama put us together,” She gave him a small smile. “I thought it’d be something good for us,” Her smile faded. “I think maybe she’s trying to give us a chance to change how things are at the moment.” She rubbed at her arm. “I can’t say things have gone exactly as expected since the war but... we won’t have much time to make changes later Sasuke. I know Naruto’s hot headed but... what happened back at the city won’t help anyone. At least for this assignment, just—be part of the team again, okay?”

Sasuke slid his hands back into his pockets and glanced down the way Naruto had taken just a few moments ago.

Then Sakura stooped to pick up her bag and motioned to where Naruto had disappeared. “I’m going to go wrap up his wounds.” She gave him another quiet smile and then set off after Naruto.

Sasuke watched her go until she disappeared between the trees. He stayed motionless for a few more seconds, felt that air current brush at his face and ripple over him before everything fell still again.

Then he dropped his own bag to the floor and sat down, leaning back against the tree where Naruto had been before.

He rubbed his hands over his face and let his breath out.

It had been a while since he’d felt so riled up.

Something else he’d miscalculated. Right behind the surge of irritation at Naruto’s reaction and his words, right behind that, was relief.

Sasuke leaned his head back and closed his eyes.

His hand had remained curled in a fist.

~


When Naruto woke the next day, Sakura’s sleeping bag was already in its neat roll and propped up against a tree.

There was no light coming from above the trees, dawn had barely touched it and the only light came from the fire at the centre of their camp. It tossed tall shadows over the grounds and tress around them.

Sasuke looked up from the map he’d settled in front of him. The flames threw an orange glow over his face contrasting sharp shadows covering his eyes and his neck. He sat with his wrists balanced on his knees, his body curled forward. His vest was off and he’d rolled his sleeves up to the elbow. He sat up straighter, his attention on Naruto now.

Naruto pushed back the flap of his sleeping bag and propped himself up on his elbows, movements slow and experimental. He flinched, mouth turning down as it felt as if he were getting kicked in the ribs by loads of tiny, but well aimed feet. Taking a deep breath, he steeled himself and pushed himself up.

His mouth fell open and he pulled in quick sharp breaths to help him just breathe through it until he was sitting up with his back against the tree he’d moved next to the night before.

It should have felt good to have the sleep bag off of him, the air should’ve been cool on his skin but it wasn’t. His skin was going from hot to cold every five seconds and his forehead was sticky. Naruto reached up to brush the moisture away with the back of his hand and looked at Sasuke again. His gaze had slid from Naruto’s face and was focused on Naruto’s exposed side. Not that he could see all that much of it considering how Sakura had wrapped him up.

“Where’s Sakura?”

Sasuke's dark eyes lifted and met Naruto’s, their colour almost blending in with shadows covering them. “She went into the village in the east.”

Naruto scratched his head. Right now he just wanted to stand under a shower for a while and just not move. “Are we moving after she gets back?”

Sasuke stood up.

Naruto looked up at him and watched as he circled the small fire between them and walked over to where Naruto was.

Above them there was a touch of purple creeping into the sky, visible only in small glimpses between the shifting leaves.

Sasuke crouched down on the ground beside Naruto and leaned forward to examine the bandages around Naruto’s chest a bit more closely. Too close.

Naruto pressed back against the tree a little more. “What?”

Sasuke pointed at the bandages.

Naruto looked down, and then back up. “What?” He repeated.

“They’re coming loose.”

Naruto glanced back down and it took him a few seconds to see where it was that they were coming loose. Where Sakura had knotted it at the side it was sagging slightly and as a result the last wind of the bandages around his torso was also a bit softer.

“I didn’t see—”

He cut himself off when fingers reached for the bandages and Sasuke allowed himself to kneel down so he could reach it better. Naruto went still. Sasuke’s head was down though and all he got was a view of dark hair as Sasuke worked the knot loose with patient hands.

“How does it feel?”

Naruto shrugged one shoulder and had to dig his teeth into his bottom lip when it caused another flash of pain. “Okay.” The word came out on a croak that made Sasuke lift his head and give him a look. It made Naruto stare at him. Sasuke didn’t do these things anymore.

When the knot fell apart, Sasuke touched a hand to Naruto’s shoulder, a small request for Naruto to lean forward.

“Lean so I can fix it. I have to go check our surroundings.” Sasuke watched him, expecting Naruto to just do as asked. The place where his hand brushed Naruto’s skin was warm from the heat of Sasuke’s palm and it seemed like the only place where that flush of hot and cold wasn’t working over him. The sweat on him sealed Sasuke’s palm to Naruto’s skin.

Naruto swallowed and leaned forward. “Thanks.” The word was just a mumble but he saw that it made Sasuke pause in the act of leaning closer again.

Naruto felt Sasuke’s fingers, skimming over his back, his ribs, his chest—tugging on the material, making it stretch taut over him until it felt like it was constricting him; a case holding his lungs and heart together. He felt Sasuke’s breath stream out, warm against the curve of his shoulder. In the heat—in that weird rush of hot and cold, Naruto felt something akin to goose bumps but not quite the same, slide up over the back of his neck and into his scalp. And although the bindings that Sasuke was fixing felt constricting. The touches became soothing and Naruto relaxed. His shoulders sank as his breathing evened out, his eyes half closing in that state of cat-like sleepiness.

Then it stopped and there were no more fingers chasing away the fluctuating temperature of his body.

Naruto frowned but he couldn’t quite bring himself to open his eyes. He knew—there was something wrong with the way he was reacting. Kyuubi should have healed his ribs by now, or at least gotten along the process enough that Naruto didn’t feel pain every time he attempted to move his upper body. And he definitely shouldn’t be on the brink of sleep after he’d just woken up a few moments ago.

“Naruto.”

Naruto forced his eyes open, pushing against the heaviness drawing down his eyelids.

Sasuke was in front of him, peering into Naruto’s face with eyebrows dipping low over his eyes and an expressionless mouth. His pale skin looked really cool in the shadows dancing over his face and Naruto held very still when his fingers twitched; quick and small, in a random urge to touch it and wait for that coolness, that cold to spread from his fingertips to his entire body.

Sasuke’s eyes narrowed on Naruto and he leaned towards him. “Naruto.”

This time the sharpness of his tone made Naruto jerk up, eyes widening as he snapped off the pull of sleep. Except the sudden movement jarred his side and set thousands of pin pricks of pain off. Screw pinpricks. Fucking needles stabbing into his side more like.

Naruto curled forward, air leaving him in a rush. He pulled up his knees; resting his head on them as he tried to out breathe through the pain. “What is it?” He managed to bite out. He had bitten into his lip again and this time tasted the metal tang of blood when he soothed it with his tongue.

For a moment Sasuke was silent again. Then he spoke. “The genjutsu should hold for a few more hours. Sakura wants you to stay still for as long as possible so don’t move from here. I’m going to check our perimeters. We’ll wait for Sakura here.”

Taking a deep breath Naruto pushed himself into sitting straight again and couldn’t help the scowl he aimed Sasuke’s way. It was half pain and half irritation. He hated being told to stay put.

“Fine,”He gritted out. “But don’t take too long or I’ll be up and looking for you, got it?”

Sasuke just arched an eyebrow at him and then pushed to his feet. “One hour.”

Naruto leaned his head back against the trunk. He was really starting to appreciate this tree.

When Sasuke didn’t move right away, Naruto looked up at him. Sasuke was just staring down at him.

The sky had gotten a little lighter, traces of pink appearing now in the cracks between the leaves. Behind Sasuke the fire crackled and spat but Sasuke was blocking out the majority of the light it provided. Even with what Naruto considered to be acute night vision, he wasn’t able to decipher the expression was on Sasuke’s face.

“Just stay put.” Sasuke said finally and then he was gone.

Naruto let his head thunk back against the tree. He grimaced.

That hurt.

~


The trees were getting further and further away from each other, allowing for the light from the sky to fall on the woodland around him. The sun was already starting to touch the sky and the effects were a little eerie. The woods still looked too empty for the first touch of brightness that dawn had fused with the pink glow of the fading night.

Sasuke wanted to get back before the sun had the chance to make it to more than a few shifts up into the sky.

Although he hadn’t had a problem leaving the others before—he’d just carried out the plan—he found himself pushing himself to go faster. Naruto’s face, pale under its naturally darker tone stuck to his face. His skin had been wet and the bandages that Sasuke had re-wrapped around him had been soaked through too.

The poison maybe? Sakura had mentioned she didn’t know the nature of it but suspected it could be slowing down Naruto’s healing and attacking his defences.

He’d seemed a bit tired, easily persuaded back into sleep but he’d understood everything Sasuke had said just fine.

His mouth firmed and he put on a larger burst of speed.

The sooner he checked out their situation the sooner he could get back.

Maybe they’d just have to meet Sakura halfway.

~


Naruto's smug grin of satisfaction stretched across his face practically from ear to ear. He looked up at the three clones standing around him and they were grinning right back at him. All three of them were drenched to the bone but they all looked in a lot better shape than Naruto felt.

The fire that they had set up the night before had lasted through dawn. After Sasuke had left Naruto managed to get a few pieces of wood to keep it going and he had been about to sit down and keep himself warm by it when his stomach had grumbled.

Hence the reason why now there was a whole bunch of fish flopping uselessly on the floor in front of him and three shadow clones mimicking the grin on his face.

“Hmm,” he murmured to himself, tucked the blanket he had dug out of Sakura’s supply bag closer around him, “maybe I could make you guys cook them for me too...” that sounded like a great plan considering he wasn’t too keen on moving around with his bad side. But then he got a mental picture of Sakura showing up and seeing him ‘wasting’ his energy on clones for menial tasks when he needed to preserve it blah, blah, etc. etc.

Naruto sighed and rubbed a hand over his face. His hand came away covered in moisture. It really was getting bad if his body couldn’t even seem to be able to let him use his chakra without rebelling.

He looked back up at the clones. “Sorry guys, guess I won’t be testing your cooking skills after all.” The he quickly dispelled them. With the three of them gone, it left Naruto staring at the small pile of fish and wondering which would be the best way to go about gutting and cooking them with the least amount of movement on his part.

He was about to get up and that’s when he heard it.

He stilled, one knee on the ground and his head down. It was quiet again, but as he tried to listen out, to see if he really had heard something, the trees around him seemed to awaken because he was suddenly aware of all the noises that they made. The gentle crackles of the branches as they shook the leaves, quiet ‘shhhhs’ that came and went with the breeze. The flaps of wings; the quick and high birdsong that disappeared fast.

Then he heard it again. A step; the prickle of feet on dried leaves and twigs.

His head jerked up and he pushed the pain back and stood up, lunch forgotten. Sakura and Sasuke wouldn’t be that careful when approaching him. Not if the genjutsu was still in place and they knew he was there.

And then he became aware of the breathing, loud and too different from a person’s breathing. That he could hear it meant they were too close already. They didn’t bark of course. Nin-dogs would be too well trained for that.

Shit.” He pushed to his feet a bit too fast, had to brace his hand on the tree, rough bark scraping his palm as his body swayed without his say so. The hot and cold was returning and he was breathing too fast. Fuck. How long was that bastard going to take?

The rustle of steps came closer; Naruto could tell they were animal steps now.

He gritted his teeth and scanned their small camp—he didn’t know how many there were and the dogs would track him. He wouldn’t have time to get anything.

Cursing under his breath, Naruto moved in the direction of the stream. At least they wouldn’t be able to track him through the water. At the moment that was the best he could do.

~


Sasuke knew before he reached their camp that they had already gotten there before him.

He landed on a thick branch, the tree limb creaking ominously under his weight and peered down at the small clearing that they’d used last night.

The contents of their bags had been emptied and even the sleeping bag had been torn into. They’d left the things scattered all over the place, not even bothering to disguise that they’d been there. Sasuke skimmed his eyes over everything else, taking in every detail. There was no blood though, no signs of a fight having taken place. So—where was Naruto?

The hand he had on the tree fisted. He’d been in bad shape but not bad enough that he’d let them get to him. This was Naruto. Worst case scenario he’d come up with an idea that was in extremely bad taste but which would most likely work and give him enough time to get moving.

The problem was that they’d made it past the genjutsu and were onto them.

With a tsk under his breath, he quickly went through the motions of the summoning jutsu, turning quickly to the small snake that appeared. Its body was glossy in the light as it curled around the branch. It lifted its head and flicked a tongue out, waiting for Sasuke to speak.

“Go to Sakura and tell her to stay put. We’ll have to meet her there. Tell her they’ve been tracking us with nin-dogs. That’s how they made it past the genjutsu.”

The tongue flicked out again before it moved, body uncurling from around the branch as it slid past Sasuke.

Sasuke looked back down at the wrecked site. It’d take him a little longer to track them.

His fist slammed into the tree once. Then he leapt.

~


Naruto was dripping all over the place and shivering badly. It was amazing that his teeth weren’t chattering but Naruto was grinding them hard enough that he was sure he’d be feeling cracks there the next time he poked around with his tongue.

He would’ve thought the cave he was in was kind of cool but as pissed off and numb as he was, he didn’t really have it in him to appreciate the scenery.

It was cool though.

Outside the mouth of the cave there was a cascade of water, beating into the river beneath. It was why it had been even harder for him to swim upstream; the current had been strong and pushing against him every inch of the way. He’d swam long and far enough to keep his scent from being traced and to keep them from finding him again. Climbing up into the cave hadn’t been pretty either. The surface of it had reminded him of when Jiraiya had tossed him down that stupid crack of land to force him into summoning.

Despite his situation, the memory made his mouth quirk and his shoulder shake in a smothered chuckle. It went hand in hand with a sharpness in his chest that had nothing to do with his damaged side or the sagging bandages.

The sound of dripping water echoed out from behind him and Naruto looked over his shoulder. After some distance there was nothing to see. It was all pitch black. It looked deep and the small soft breeze that would brush against him now and then assured him that there would be an exit on the other side. Although where it would lead to he wasn’t sure. Even though Sakura had practically forced him to study the map, he really couldn’t recall anything about it at the moment.

Well, at least there weren’t any bats. Naruto wasn’t sure how he felt about bats. He looked up at the ceiling, wary, but saw nothing but the lumps that formed the uneven ceiling.

Either way bats were the least of his problems. The fact that his entire right side had gone numb was what he should be worried about. It was nice that he couldn’t feel much of the pain anymore but he’d rather have it back than feel like a bite had been taken out of his body.

Naruto stayed crouched down as he looked at his side, touching a tentative hand to it and feeling nothing but a dull ache that seemed like it was coming from under a layer of ice. He closed his eyes and leaned his head back. His hair was still dripping into his face. It was odd that the little drops still felt like they were at a freezing temperature even when Naruto was already that cold.

Maybe if he went into sage mode he’d be able to balance out the chakra and the weakness of his body but everything in him felt too unstable. The place where the arrow had cut into his skin was surrounded by a purple colour which had been spreading at a fast rate. It was probably what was throwing his chakra off balance and slowing down his healing. Naruto was so going to break their bones.

Naruto opened his eyes and looked at the thick curtain of water crashing down. For a second he wasn’t sure if he could really trust his eyes. There was no way they would have found him so fast. But there it was. He could see it. The outline of the person standing there. They had to be good if he hadn’t even heard them coming. Even in his state he would’ve noticed something.

They were standing on the river and watching the waterfall.

With the darkness of the cave behind him they shouldn’t be able to discern him.

Never the less, he slid his kunai out until the steel was gripped in his hand. He scooted a bit closer to the mouth of the cave, making sure to keep his body plastered to the curve of it so that he wouldn’t become a separate shape to the person on the other side.

They were approaching the water now. Naruto saw the face become a more distinguished blur and saw an arm lift to break through the water.

He was ready to slice it off when that face became just a little bit clearer and familiar.

Cursing, he reached forward and curled his hand around the wrist that had pushed through the water. He yanked hard—and wasn’t entirely sure about what happened because the next thing he knew, his back was crashing onto the ground and a weight settled hard on his chest with the point of steel pushing right against his Adam’s apple.

His side wasn’t so numb anymore.

His head hit the ground as the pain came back full force.

Fuck, Sasuke—I swear I’m going to kill you,” He groaned out.

The tip at his throat pressed in more for another second before withdrawing.

Naruto felt drops of water falling faster onto his face and opened his eyes to see that it was from Sasuke’s hair. It was hanging limp and drenched. Sasuke was staring right down at him and this time Naruto saw the flash of something odd crossing his features. Then Sasuke was settling back—weight planting solidly in Naruto’s stomach for a few seconds before he moved off him, sitting next to him and putting his hand on Naruto’s shoulder to help push him into a sitting position.

Naruto scowled at him and knocked it away before he sat up on his own. “Prick.”

Sasuke shrugged and re-sheathed his kunai. “It’s your fault. You were careless.”

Naruto gave him the finger and then wished he could get the numbness back. Sasuke was watching him and Naruto tried to get the shivering under control. It didn’t really work but he kept trying.

“I wasn’t careless.” And this time his teeth did chatter which made him glare at Sasuke harder. “They’re trying to track me and they’ll be here soon.”

“Then why are you still sitting here?”

“Fuck you.” He moved to get up but the pain had come back full swing after having Sasuke friggin sit on him.”

“Hmm.”

Then Naruto’s arm was being tugged around Sasuke’s shoulder and an arm was going around his waist and dragging him up. He really didn’t like that but then again what else could he do. Realistically he wasn’t going to be able to make it very far.

“I’ve sent a message to Sakura to stay put and that we’ll meet her there. They can trace her scent out of the forest but it’s further away and she can blend in there.”

Sasuke was warm against his side. That was nice. “Okay. But we can’t go back that way.”

Sasuke looked up and at the wall of water. After a few seconds he just adjusted his grip on Naruto.

Naruto pointed towards the back of the tunnel. “There’s an exit back there I think but I’m not sure how far away we are from it. Earlier there was a breeze coming through though.

“Let’s go. The sooner we get there the better. Sakura might have something to counter whatever it is you got hit with.”

Yeah, Naruto hoped she did too.

“Okay. Let’s go then.”

~


It went on for longer than they’d expected.

When they finally stopped Sasuke managed to keep a small ball of fire in his hand. The problem was that they had nothing to set alight and it was an on and off threat. He leaned Naruto up against the wall. The shivers had progressed to outright shudders after even the novelty of using Sasuke for warmth didn’t help out all that much.

Sasuke left one hand on the wall in case Naruto slid down it, but from what he could see Naruto had locked his legs into place and wouldn’t fall down in front of him out of sheer stubbornness. In the little light provided he could see a sheen on Naruto’s skin, small drops of it sliding down the lines on his cheeks and sliding down onto his neck.

“Hey,” he said, he looked down at the bandages which were now all but trailing on the ground, “I’m going to lose the light so I can wrap those around again.”

Naruto’s eyes were barely open but Sasuke could see the sliver of blue in the bad light. They looked a deep blue just then, a dark blue. He wasn’t moving much. “What’s the point? They’re ruined by now and they’re just going to keep on falling.”

“Do you want to deal with Sakura over this?”

Naruto’s eyebrows came down but he didn’t say anything else. His eyelashes lowered and he sighed, body sinking against the wall of the cave a little more. Sasuke leaned forward a bit more, placing his foot between Naruto’s.

“Then just stay still, and stay standing while I get this done.”

He let the flame he’d been cradling in his palm go.

As soon as it winked out, the blackness of the cave swooped in. It was amazing how absolute darkness felt like a stop to the senses. It was as if it became a buffer to everything else and for those first few seconds of it, he to adjust to it, flicking his other senses back on one by one.

The first thing he became aware of was the sound of Naruto’s breathing, fast and rasping in the cave.

“Naruto?”

“Yeah?”

Sasuke didn’t reply. He had to feel around nothing for it for a few seconds, fingers clasping at air—one brush against sticky skin. Then he found it and Sasuke curled his fingers around it and had to use his other hand to feel for the rest of it.

Not as easy to do in the dark as it had been to do earlier that day with the fire for light. Naruto wasn’t still beneath his fingers as he started tugging and straightening the material as best as he could in the dark. He heard Naruto’s breath huff out as he gave a particular sharp tug. Sasuke flattened a brief hand against Naruto’s side in apology, hand spreading over the toned muscle of his side.

Sasuke felt soft hair brush against the side of his face and realised that Naruto had leaned forward. That was confirmed when strong fingers curled around his upper arm and he heard the scrape of something against the wall. One of Naruto’s thighs was now pressing his knee and he realised he was sliding down.

“Naruto—stand up straight,” he said, shifted his hand so that it was pressed to Naruto’s hip and heave him bodily so he was against the wall, straighter than he would’ve been standing if Sasuke had just left him to it.

Except now Naruto’s face was pressing against the side of Sasuke’s neck and his body was slumped against his instead.

He felt the chuckle Naruto let out rumble against his own chest and swallowed. Despite the way Naruto was shaking, his skin was hot all over and it seeped in even through Sasuke’s clothes.

“You’d suck at being a medic-nin Sasuke.”

“I’d probably make a better medic-nin than you.” If Naruto was okay enough to try and goad him then it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. And Sasuke didn’t mind indulging him a little if it would make him more lucid. “Just stand up straight or I won’t be able to finish this and we’ll just waste more time here.”

Naruto sighed against him, long and deep and it fanned over Sasuke’s neck. Naruto gripped Sasuke’s arm harder and lifted his head from his shoulder. Sasuke felt the lack of co-ordination in him, his weight got heavier as he relied on Sasuke to help him stand straighter and his cheek rubbed against Sasuke’s as Naruto attempted to take on his own weight.

“Stay there. That’s good enough,” Sasuke said, and reached around him, practically hugging him to fix up the bandages on his back too and finally be able to it off at his side.

Except Naruto’s breath was falling against his face, soft and warm and he was still pressed against Sasuke. It was getting a little distracting. His fingers fumbled in the dark, uncharacteristically slow and clumsy.

Naruto hissed as Sasuke tied the knot.

Sasuke let it go, his hands moved over Naruto to make sure the bindings were right and then slid them lower until they were both resting on Naruto’s hips. It was okay to let him stand on his own now. But he didn’t move and neither did Naruto.

“Naruto?” He blinked in the dark, a part of him expecting the blackness to clear a little, just enough for him to get an outline of Naruto’s face but it didn’t.

“Hmm?”

Sasuke felt the brush of skin against the side of his face again and stilled. Was Naruto just delirious? At this point it wouldn’t surprise him.

Then he jerked, body going stiff and his eyes opening wider in the dark—even though it didn’t help, even though he still couldn’t see—when soft dry lips, cracking from what was definitely a fever pressed against his. His fingers tightened on the hips they held, tips pressing deep into the slick skin there and biting into bone and muscle. Warm air brushed over his mouth, followed by the wet of what he assumed was Naruto’s inner top lip as Naruto’s mouth dragged lower over his, folding over Sasuke’s bottom lip for just a second before moving away completely.

Sasuke was quiet for a second and it didn’t register that his heart was beating hard in his chest.

“What are you doing?”

Naruto pushed his weight off of him and Sasuke heard the dull thud as he hit the wall a little too hard. His hands were still on Naruto, not even realising he could let go now.

“I think I have a fever,” Naruto said and the words were followed with a loud chuckle that echoed in the walls around them.

Sasuke nodded in the dark even though he couldn’t see and licked over his bottom lip, as if expecting the lingering warmth there to translate to taste on it.

He lifted one hand, slid it onto the back of Naruto’s neck, fingers just pushing against Naruto’s scalp.

“Okay,” He said.

Naruto came willingly, a little too obedient.

“Let’s go.” He wrapped his arm around him again and throat dry—not understanding why he wanted to do it back. He found Naruto’s mouth in the dark and pressed a kiss there. It was quick and he barely felt it himself this time. He let his hand drop and took a few more steps forward. Naruto followed, steps stuttering a bit.

It was a minute of careful steps before Sasuke brought his little ball of fire back to life in the cave again.

By that time the heat had faded from his cheeks and Naruto was too focused on walking to comment on what had just happened.

~


“Oh my god.”

Sasuke stood in the door way and Naruto really couldn’t remember how they’d gotten there.
There had been a lot of walking and maybe a little dragging. But he really couldn’t remember much of it. The cave had stretched on forever and everything else in comparison seemed like it had lasted minutes. But there she was, standing there and gaping at them. Or maybe gaping at the fact that Naruto was practically being carried by Sasuke.

He didn’t like that much.

“Don’t like what?” Sasuke asked.

Naruto was cursing Sasuke in his head when he looked up at him. A laugh gurgled in his throat and Naruto smiled at him. Sasuke was kind of looking like a drowned rat—the funny part was that the hair at the back of his head still seemed to be sticking up. Naruto wondered for a second if Sasuke kept it under a jutsu or something.

Sasuke gave him a look that clearly told Naruto he thought he was an idiot and faced Sakura.

“It’s worse now.”

She swung the door wide and peered around them. But it was night again. Naruto wondered if it was still the same night—if dawn had just gone straight into it or if he’d just missed the daylight in the cave. Everything was too blurred together. “Get in before someone sees you.”

Naruto made his feet move. The numbness had come back and now he was smart enough to appreciate it.

“The scroll?”

Sasuke grunted, helping Naruto to the bed. It felt good, really good when Naruto fell back on it and closed his eyes. More than good. Like sex. The best sex of his life couldn’t compare to this bed right now.

“I have it.” He heard Sasuke say.

“Alright. Go take a look at the gates and let me know what you think. I think we should just wait a few hours and go then. I’ll see what I can do with Naruto. I don’t have any supplies here...”

Naruto heard her sigh and cracked his eyes open a little.

Sakura was standing with Sasuke by the closed door and they were both looking at him. He grinned at them. Well, he thought he was grinning but they were probably seeing the smile of a maniac, half pained and half out of it. “I’ll be okay Sakura-chan.”

Sakura snorted. “Of course. Don’t take too long.”

Sasuke looked at Naruto one more time then moved to the door. Naruto watched the door open, kept his eyes on Sasuke’s back even as the door started to close on it. Then Sakura was blocking his view.

“Okay, let’s see what we can do with you.”

Naruto smiled again. “Sakura-chan, I never knew you wanted to take advantage of me. It’s okay, I won’t think you’re dirty.”

Sakura scoffed and knelt by the side of the bed, already reaching for his bandages. “I can’t believe they’re making you Hokage.”

~


Sasuke dropped the man to the ground, grimacing at the feeling now staining his trousers. His eyes eased back into black, all signs of red disappearing and he looked up at the walls from where he hid behind the slanting roof.

At the moment there were about twelve of them just monitoring the border. If they made it past the fortress and over the woods separating it from Fire Country they wouldn’t be able to touch them without setting off the delicate truce they had with Konoha at the moment. And since they were on the losing side at this period of time, Sasuke was sure the enemy wouldn’t venture after them beyond that.

They were going to trade people at four.

They’d have to move then.

~


Naruto felt better when he was roused by the shutting of the door. Better also meant worse since there wasn’t much numbness left anywhere anymore. It hurt. Badly. The fever still seemed to be there too although not as heavy as it had before.

He opened his mouth, tasting the cotton like feel of sleep in it and glanced at the light that was pouring in a smooth stream through the window. It lit on the bandage now been wrapped firmly around his upper thigh. At least there wasn’t any purple spreading into dangerous areas anymore.

“Feeling better?”

Naruto twisted his head on the pillow to find Sasuke standing beside the bed, arms crossed and eyes on Naruto’s face. There was blood on his trousers which hadn’t been there earlier. Naruto lifted an eyebrow and looked from the stain to Sasuke’s face.

“It was necessary.”

“I didn’t say it wasn’t,” Naruto mumbled and went back to looking at the ceiling. “How soon are we going to be moving?”

The bed sank and a quick a look showed him Sasuke’s back. He was leaning forward, arms resting on his knees and head handing down a little. He really did like that pose a lot. “An hour or so. We want to aim for the swap in duties, it’ll be less organised and we can slip through with minimum disruption.”

Naruto snorted and grinned when he saw the glare Sasuke sent his way. “You mean like how it went in the tower?” It wasn’t the thing to say though, because it brought back the differences of opinion that had pissed him off on the day of their attack and he just went back to looking at the ceiling. “Where’s Sakura?”

“Taking second watch.”

Naruto could feel his eyes on him though. Undivided attention from Sasuke. Naruto wondered if it had always felt like this. Like he couldn’t focus on much else when that attention was on him and he decided that no, that it had always felt this way. It had just been too long since he’d experienced it to remember it properly.

“I heard after this assignment Tsunade was going to officially take you to the council.”

Naruto shrugged. “She might change her mind after she sees me.” His mouth quirked up, he could just hear her bitching about not being able to take care of himself let alone other people. He’d probably get knocked around a few times too just for good measure. Sakura called it tough love. Naruto just called it unnecessary violence and abuse of power.

“Do you think it would have panned out the same way if you’d associated more with me in the last few years?”

Naruto blinked up at the ceiling. After a few seconds he went on his elbows to look at Sasuke. “What do you mean?”

Sasuke didn’t answer, instead he shifted on the bed, arms behind so he could lean back a little. His eyes though were in front of him now. He didn’t say anything else and Naruto didn’t feel like breaking the silence either.

He eased back on the bed and went back to staring at nothing in particular. If he were honest just this was nice. Despite the fact that they were thieving in a country they were still at war with—however subtle—and would probably be tortured and maimed if caught, it was the first time since Sasuke had been accepted back, acknowledged as one of their village again.

“Hey, Sasuke?”

Sasuke turned his head just a fraction.

“Back in the cave...”

He sensed the stillness from Sasuke more than anything. He didn’t move, just stayed as he was.

“You kissed me,” Naruto swallowed, suddenly feeling a little wary about looking at Sasuke. His skin was still feeling a little out of sorts from the fever and now with the words out his mouth, pinpricks of embarrassment covered his face.

Since Sakura had isolated the poison and more or less rid him of its effects, Naruto had been thinking about that. He wasn’t sure though. He hadn’t exactly been lucid at the time. Maybe—maybe he’d just dreamed the whole thing up.

“No.”

Naruto stiffened and despite feeling hesitant about looking at him just then, his eyes shot straight to Sasuke’s face and saw that Sasuke was looking right at him then.

“Oh.” Naruto wet his mouth and tried to sit up, mind blank at the straight answer he’d just recieved. He grimaced and bit down a groan. “Er...”

Sasuke twisted around, hiking one leg up onto the mattress, knee pressing against Naruto’s thigh. “You kissed me. Then told me you had a fever.”

Naruto blinked at him, hand frozen at his scalp where he’d been scratching self-consciously. The heat in his cheeks got worse.

“You were close to passing out by then.”

Naruto nodded—stopped when dizziness swept past him and left him a little more muddled—then when he felt like he wasn’t about to fall off the bed again he gave Sasuke a sheepish if disappointed smile. “Sorry.” Crap. He rubbed at his temples and ignored the disappointment in his stomach that he couldn’t quite separate from the ache on his side.

“Didn’t Sakura tell you to rest before we go?”

Naruto just glanced at the window.

Then the bed was dipping again and Naruto jerked back when Sasuke planted another hand on his other side, coming way too close. This close Naruto didn’t think Sasuke looked much like a drowned rat anymore.

Naruto stared at him, quiet and wary.

Sasuke remained silent too and just watched him. He was close enough that Naruto could lean forward and touch their mouths together again like what he remembered from the cave. It made him want to lift his hand and touch his skin. Naruto started to lift it off the mattress and then stopped mid-way as he remembered the cave again.

He’d wanted to do that before. Before the craziness of the cave but in the morning, when Sasuke had been doing up his bandages that first time. He’d wanted to touch him and feel his skin, to see if it really was cold and if it could make him feel better.

Naruto leaned forward, back curving as he lifted his hand, swallowing on a dry throat and feeling that still-too-hot of the fever on his forehead, on his back. He didn’t know why he was so aware of these things but they were there as he lifted his hand and touched his hand to Sasuke’s cheek. He met Sasuke’s eyes to make sure he wasn’t about to get decked in the face for it.

He didn’t see Sasuke move but then there was a hand on his nape, tugging him forward and rather than the brush of Sasuke’s mouth, he parted his lips when Sasuke tugged at his bottom lip, teeth insistent and nipping before the hand on Naruto’s neck slid up and pulled his head down, the touch firmer—and Sasuke slid his tongue into his mouth.

Naruto breathed in, sharp, before closing his eyes. Satisfaction and pleasure sank deep and fast and he slid his hand past Sasuke’s cheek and into his hair, cupping the back of his head and urging him another bit closer because he really liked this. He really did. His chest felt like it was constricting and he was breathing harder than he should.

Sasuke shifted and pulled away for a second as he got on the bed. It creaked under their combined weight and Naruto was already opening his eyes, narrowing them and getting ready to speak—but he was cut off. Sasuke made space for himself, nudging Naruto’s legs a little further apart, not so careful of the bandaged thigh but the complaint was never voiced because then both of Sasuke’s hands were on his face. He felt his thumbs ghosting over each of the three marks on his cheeks as Sasuke kissed him again.

Naruto reached for his waist and tugged him closer, humming into Sasuke’s mouth because yeah that felt good. A bit crowded but it was good anyway.

Then it was all happening as if on fast-forward, Naruto on his back and Sasuke breathing hard above him, lips a shade darker from kissing Naruto. From kissing Naruto. Yeah. A little smile slipped onto Naruto’s face and made Sasuke pause above him.

“What is it?”

Naruto’s smile widened. “Liar. You kissed me too.”

He caught the smallest twitch of Sasuke’s mouth before he dropped his head down until their foreheads were touching, pressed against Naruto as far as the he could with Naruto’s legs over his thighs and his ass on his lap.

Naruto reached lower and slipped his hands underneath Sasuke’s top, thumbing over the flat planes of his stomach and dragging one over Sasuke’s belly button. His eyes flicked up to Sasuke’s face when he did it because Sasuke’s eyes were half closed and a small groan slipped out from him which did more for Naruto than the occasional quick glimpse up Sakura’s skirt had. Sasuke’s skin felt really good under his hand and Naruto spread his fingers out as much as he could, to touch as much as possible with just two hands because this was Sasuke. This was Sasuke.

He slipped his fingers down a little, heart pounding as they pushed under the top of Sasuke’s trousers, it was a little tricky but Naruto got them in there. Sasuke didn’t seem to dislike it either because he bucked against Naruto, hips grinding down when Naruto’s hands slid over his buttocks and pulled.

His thigh was starting to hurt a little more than he liked but he really wasn’t going to stop. And he’d been dealing with his side since the day before so it was okay. Neither one of those things seemed to be stopping his dick from doing what it wanted to either. And when Sasuke was grinding down like that he could easily forget about both. They could shoot him with arrows again if they liked and he’d still be okay doing this.

And Sasuke was—Sasuke was sucking at his neck.

Naruto closed his eyes, nostrils flaring at the pleasure. His skin was getting hotter and he wished the sheets weren’t still over his lower half because they weren’t helping all that much. It was too hot for them to be there anyway.

But then Sauske’s hips were stopping their slow grind and his hands were back against Naruto’s face, his mouth left Naruto’s neck and for a second he just rested it against Naruto, forehead, nose and mouth brushing against Naruto’s skin.

“Sakura said to rest.”

Naruto snapped his eyes open and jerked up—regretted it when the pain made itself known again—and stared at Sasuke in disbelief. “What? Now?”

Sasuke rocked back, settling down on his knees and rubbed his hands over his eyes. “Naruto...”
Naruto spluttered, he looked down at himself then over at Sasuke’s crotch and lifted his eyes back to Sasuke’s face. “Now?” He repeated.

“You’re hurt.”

“That’s a bullshit excuse.”

“You’re just... really aaagh.” He wanted to flop back on the bed for the sake of making a point but didn’t think the consequences would be justified, so he just sank back into the mattress and threw an arm over his face.

Fuck his entire body was still there. If he’d thought it was hot before it was impossible now—only now there was nothing to distract him from it.

Then he heard a sigh and felt Sasuke’s weight against him again. Stifled a groan when that brush against his cock sent more blood boiling and let Sasuke pull his arm away from his face.

He opened his eyes with a sigh of his own. Then jerked back when he saw three black tomoe set it red staring right back at him.

“Sasuke what the fuck?”

Sasuke pressed a hand over his throat. His hands weren’t cool anymore, they felt just as hot as Naruto did.

He swallowed, feeling his Adam’s apple push up against the calloused palm as he settled his head back on the pillow like Sasuke wanted him to.

“Stop being a girl. If you don’t want to stop then stay still. We can’t do anything that way or Sakura will kill us both.”

Naruto waited, knowing nothing bad would come out of it but—there were certain things he didn’t forget. And the last time he’d seen the sharingan set on him, well, those weren’t a pleasant set of memories.

“Just... wait.”

It was odd, watching those eyes examine his face without threat or blood thirst. They were just watching him, the same as Sasuke would when his eyes were black.

“Okay.”

Against him, Sasuke seemed to relax. Naruto hadn’t noticed the tenseness really. He leaned down again and brushed his lips over Naruto’s, eyes not closing. “Keep looking...” he murmured.

Naruto wasn’t sure how it happened. Sasuke was kissing him, he knew that. He could feel that, he could see that. He felt Sasuke nibbling his mouth, reached up to touch Sasuke’s neck, his shoulders, his back—and Sasuke was thrusting against him again except that flush that had been taken over his body was enveloping him completely and the hands moving over him felt like they were leaving behind traces of the touch that lingered way too long and made Naruto arch up into them.

“Shit...” he drew in air when Sasuke pulled away and started nibbling on his ear. Or was it his ear he couldn’t tell because there were too many things happening at once. It felt like there were too many things happening at once.

His cock was hard and he couldn’t tell whether Sasuke was touching it or rubbing against it. He could hear the small sounds Sasuke made, just rasping breaths and the occasional smothered moans. Smother against his neck, his chest, his stomach. There were hands on his stomach at one point he thought but when he opened his mouth to ask he was kissing Sasuke again, mouth hot and wet and he groaned. He fisted Sasuke’s shirt but felt like he was touching Sasuke’s skin and then—

Fuck. He arched his back because something blunt was pushing in, it felt weird and he was panting. And Sasuke was there and he was looking right at him but that heat was washing over him and there was a hint of pain there but he was so steeped in sensation—the sheets underneath him were dragging across his back. And then whatever that was pushed deeper and Naruto strained his neck with how hard he was shoving his head back into his pillow, he felt Sasuke thrust against him and thought that maybe Sasuke was in—deeper, god it went deeper.

Sasuke thrust again, his mouth closing over Naruto’s and he pushed—

Naruto had his arms wrapped around Sasuke, his nails dragging over the back of Sasuke’s top as he came, bucking up against him and into whatever it was that was still there. Still deep and foreign and...

He slumped against the bed. His breath was leaving him way too fast and he was still staring up at Sasuke. Except now the red was fading and the tomoe were being swallowed up by the black and Sasuke was shuddering against him, breathing just as hard as he was.

He had one hand on the bed next to Naruto. And the other Naruto felt sliding out from underneath him. He blinked up at Sasuke when his body clenched involuntarily and almost jumped when he properly felt that there was—

“Hey is that—” he clamped down on the rest as he felt Sasuke’s finger sliding out of him, making his softening cock twitch and a soft breath leave him in a quiet rush.

Sasuke slumped onto his side beside him and closed his eyes, trying to control his breathing. He didn’t seem too bothered about untangling their legs.

Naruto looked away from him and stared up at the ceiling once more. His mouth was still feeling too dry.

“Hey Sasuke...” his voice came out hoarse.

“What?”

Naruto blinked a couple of times, body still coming down from its high. But wow. “Wow.”

Beside him Sasuke opened his eyes. Naruto wasn’t sure what he was looking out but he heard the snigger. “Yeah?”

“That was really cool.”

This time Naruto looked in time to see the small smirk before Sasuke stopped it. “Of course.”

Naruto scowled at that but there wasn’t much effort in it.

A few seconds later his breathing was evening out. He didn’t notice that as his heart had slowed down his eyes had shut of their own accord.

He fell asleep with Sasuke beside him.

~


They woke up to Sakura clearing her throat and a: “Er guys... if you’re done; we kind of need to go.”

Naruto had just groaned and Sasuke had pressed his face into the pillow.

Now Naruto and Sakura having trouble looking each other in the face but other than that they were fine. Sasuke didn’t seem to be having even that as a problem.

Naruto sent a disgusted look his way. Some people had no shame.

They were stomach down on the same roof Sasuke had been on earlier than night with one of Naruto’s clones crouched down below, eyes scanning the empty streets around them.

There was already one patrol man slumped against the wall next to Naruto. Despite everything he was feeling kind of relaxed. In front of them there were about eight ninja. The majority of which were standing and then there were two sitting on the gates—they looked like they were playing cards. It was quiet. The gates which were further along the wall were closed and there were guards stationed on the outside and on the inside.

“Think we can make it past them without too much trouble?” Naruto muttered, already knowing that wouldn’t be the case.

Sakura shook her head. Her hair was tied back already and her eyes were focused on the ninja’s guarding the doors. “No. Either way some kind of alarm will be sounded. The more of them we disable the less likely it’ll be for them to get to anyone else until we get out. Besides.” She gestured at the wall. “We won’t be able to just jump off it, there’s a barrier not letting anyone in. The only way out is through the gate.” She slanted a look at him and Sasuke. “I didn’t spend yesterday just... wandering around caves.”

Naruto glowered at her. “We weren’t just—" he shook his head and gave up, switched his attention back to the problem at hand. “Anyway. We’ll end up making noise.” He glanced first at Sasuke and then at Sakura. “I think maybe Sakura, you could go ahead on the ground, take care of the guards at the gates and the gate itself.”

Beside him Sasuke grunted. “And we’d go along the wall.”

“Yeah.”.

“Keep them off me?” Sakura asked.

“Yeah. There’s the two on the other side though—by the time you get the gates open they’ll be aware.”

Sakura tilted her head to the side as she considered. “Yes but, if nobody can leave over the wall, then it follows that no one can come in over it. Before they can get in, I can take care of them.”

“Alright, that’ll work for me.” Naruto said.

“Fine.” Was the only response from Sasuke.

“Okay.” Sakura flipped over and slid down the roof, dropping neatly on the ground beside the Naruto clone just as it disappeared.

Naruto and Sasuke stayed on the same spot a bit longer, listening to Sakura’s steps fade away.
Sasuke pushed himself onto one knee and glanced down at him. “I’ll try to take care of the majority.” He smirked then. “Then you won’t have to over exert yourself.”

Before Naruto could retort he’d moved. Really fast.

“Show off.” Naruto muttered as he caught the glint of light bounding off of Sasuke’s katana before it sliced through the first one. He felt a quick shift as he entered sage mode with a few quick breaths and felt for that one moment everything balance out within. He could probably keep it up this way for a few minutes.

Pushing the pain back, Naruto gathered the chakra into his feet and leapt up and into the air, sailing right over Sasuke’s head and shifting his body to parry the attack coming his way from the man beneath him.

Shouts went up straight away and everything became a blur of movement. Naruto landed an elbow on the man’s throat, crushing the larynx quickly and crippling the shout. A quick thrust with his foot sent the man over the wall and back into the village. Behind him there was brief slash of light and a man sailed over his head as another shinobi came running at him.

Needles came flying at him—probably laced with that fucking poison this Kiri ninja were so well known for. Fuckers. He dove, catching his own weight by locking a hand on the edge of the wall and vaulting back up behind him. The man was already sweeping a kick his way, catching Naruto in the ribs and forcing a pained grunt out of him. But in this state it wasn’t enough to weaken him all that much. It was just pain Naruto would be feeling afterwards.

The heel of Naruto’s hand to his throat knocked the man backwards just in time for Naruto to catch him off balance and jerk the man’s body towards him. The man jolted against him as the needles another one of his buddies sent Naruto’s way embedded themselves on his back. Naruto let him slump down onto the wall, body seizing at the amount of poison that was seeping in right then.
Naruto glanced around; saw Sasuke pulling his katana out of a body at his feet and already turning to counter the other ninja running his way. He couldn’t linger too much on it though because the guy who was crazy about sending out needles flying was getting close and now he was tugging out an arrow and bow, feet skidding to a stop in the narrow width of the wall.

It took him a second. He planted his feet and made the seals, under his breath he muttered, Fuuton.

The element swept up blowing the hair out of his face, backed up by the energy from his sage mode and swept forward, a big enough whirlwind that when it hit the man it swept the man off with his bow and arrow, carrying him onto the other side of the wall and further still until he smashed into the ceiling of a roof a little further away.

“Show off.”

Naruto looked over his shoulder and found Sasuke standing behind him, wiping off his katana against his trousers. Naruto grinned.

That’s when the wall they stood on shook, sending them off balance. And on the other side of the wall there was a huge billow of dirt that sent Naruto and Sasuke into coughs.

“What the hell are you two doing?”

Sakura.

“Let’s go.”

They leapt off the wall and hit the ground. There were two guards crumpled on the ground and Naruto flicked a look up at the huge hole that had been taken out of the giant gates and through them saw Sakura standing. Her hands were on her hips and her foot was tapping on the ground. “Well?”

Naruto glanced at Sasuke, found him looking back and couldn’t help smiling again, stupid and happy.

“Let’s get out of here guys.”

~


Naruto stared into his fridge, letting the cool air bathe his face but no matter how long he looked at it, there was no food popping up on the shelves. Just a lone carton of milk—probably expired—and a bunch of broccoli shoved right to the back. Something Sakura had brought over once. Many, many months ago. Naruto looked at it like it was going to attack him. He should really put those in the bin.

The heat had seemed to follow them all the way from Kiri country. They’d arrived in Konoha looking a little worse for wear and Sasuke and Sakura had dragged him over to the hospital despite his protests. Then they’d abandoned him in a room with Tsunade and beaten it out of there as soon as Naruto’s ass had hit the hospital bed. Assholes both of them.

He left his sad kitchen and made his way to the living room where the cheap fan he owned as blowing air way too gently for it to make any breeze. He plunked down on his sofa and stretched out, throwing an arm over his face and trying to decide whether or not he should just go out for ramen.

When Tsunade had finally stopped yelling and finished examining his cut and his ribs she’d fixed him with a knowing look and stood back, hands on her hips and a smirk playing around her mouth.

“What?”

“You’re looking a little too happy for someone who got his ass handed to him on such a simple assignment.”

“What? I didn’t. And it wasn’t just a simple assignment.” Naruto resisted the urge to shrink back when her eyes narrowed on him.

She shrugged. “Well. You’re not the only one it seems. Our lone Uchiha didn’t seem in such a foul mood.”

Naruto gave her an incredulous look. “How can you tell? He always has the same expression.”

Tsunade reached forward and gave his head a smack. “You’ve got a smart mouth.” Her look turned stern and she pointed a finger in his face. “Curb it. At least in front of the council. And I don’t want you out of your house until you can walk without grimacing like an old man. And for god’s sake, try your best to look passable for the meeting.”

“It’s a little rich you calling me o—”

All Tsunade had to do was stand a little straighter and Naruto’s mouth snapped shut. “As for,” she said pointedly, “your little friend making himself scarce. I don’t think you should worry about that anymore.” She leaned back against the bed opposite Naruto’s. “And since I don’t think he explained it to you,” she said when Naruto just continued to look puzzled, “I will. Putting some distance between himself and you and Sakura actually helped you out.”

“Huh?”

“The council weren’t all that pleased with your choices. Yes you’d saved the village, yada, yada. But you were standing up for someone they felt strongly they’d been wronged by. So even after accepting him back under their own terms—well. You associating yourself with Uchiha Sasuke wouldn’t have helped your standing with them at all.”

Naruto stared at her. When he spoke, his words were careful. “You’re saying...”

Her smirk widened. “He did it to help you out? Yes. Thankfully, that boy is a lot quicker on the uptake.”

“And you knew this?”

“It didn’t take much for one to notice no.” Then she was gesturing at his chest and his thigh, ending the opportunity for him to ask any more questions. “Now about those pathetic injuries.”

And that had been the end of that.

Naruto listened to the whirr of the fan and tilted his head up a bit more so the rush of air would blow against his face.

He hadn’t really had the chance to approach Sasuke about it. The day after he’d been told that Sasuke wasn’t in the village. It had been a week since then and if what Tsunade had said was correct, then Naruto couldn’t help wondering if maybe Sasuke still thought it would cause problems to be around him.

He hadn’t seemed to think so during the mission. Well. The second half of it anyway.

If he does I suppose I can just beat the stupid idea out of his head. Yeah, he could do that. Besides in a year or so he’d be able to order Sasuke directly.

His smile stretched, pride and warmth swelled in his chest at the thought.

He was jerked out of his happy thoughts by the quick rap on his door and it took him a bit to summon up the will to get up. Maybe he could con whoever it was into buying him some ramen.

The quick, loud taps came again and Naruto stood up.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m coming.” He picked his way over the mess of his floor made his way to the door.

He pulled the door open, balancing on one foot to scratch the back of his ankle with his other one.

His mouth fell open though, when he found Sasuke standing outside his door in dusty clothes and his pack still on his back.

“Er...Sasuke,” he looked him up and down, back up to Sasuke’s face and his annoyed expression, “You look like crap.”

Sasuke crossed his arms over his chest, making no eye contact. “You’re an idiot.”

Naruto rubbed the side of his face, rocking back on his heels a little. “Did you just get back?”

Sasuke nodded and still didn’t look back at him. Was that a muscle ticking at his jaw?

“And... you came here?”

This time Sasuke just pinned him with a blank stare.

Naruto didn’t particularly mind. He was trying to fight the urge to grin and losing. Maybe he wouldn’t have to order him around after all. “Want to come in? I was about to get some ramen—”

He cut off when Sasuke rolled his eyes—actually rolled his eyes—and lifted his hand to show Naruto a paper bag marked with the familiar symbol for Ichiraku Ramen.

Naruto stepped back and pulled the door open wider and Sasuke stepped through.

Tsunade had said he shouldn’t worry himself.

He saw now that he really didn’t need to.

Naruto closed the door and went to eat ramen.




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