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"You're losing."

"I am not fucking losing, you're absolutely cheating. This is bullshit, you—see! Right there! What the fuck was that?!"

There's a rough note to Naruto's voice, a chord of anger that makes Sasuke smirk as the other boy flings his hand out to gesture at the screen, quickly pulling it back to his controller when Sasuke's character unleashes his ultimate move.

"That," he seethes, eyeing the health bar on his side of the screen edge towards zero, "is garbage. That's garbage, Sasuke, fucking admit it."

"I'll admit that I'm more skilled than you," Sasuke deadpans, hammering one button to push Naruto's character back against the edge of the scenery.

"Skill's got nothing to do with it! It's not even fucking luck, either, or RNG. Your guy needs to be fucking outlawed, he—no, no no no no fuck fuck what the fuck—" Naruto's shouting now, effectively cutting off Sasuke's snort of victorious laughter as the blonde's character flies across the screen with a garbled yell.

"Winner!" the game announces, and Naruto all but throws his controller on the table with disgust.

"You must love the taste of defeat." Sasuke's smile curls up the corner of his mouth, and he meets Naruto's glare with amused eyes.

"Oh, eat it, asshole, that shouldn't even count. Fucking—no, sit the fuck back down right now and accept my rematch."

Sasuke hums noncommittally, uncapping the marker in his hand and drawing a mark under his name on the whiteboard beside their entertainment unit.

"42 to 31. Maybe we should just make you a sash that says 'loser' on it for you to wear. What is this, 4 months in a row?"

"Fuck you, I won in February," Naruto pouts, and Sasuke rolls his eyes at him.

"You cheated in February, idiot."

"Distraction is not cheating, dick."

"You threw my phone across the room and then started the tie-breaking match."

Naruto's grin could light city streets, and Sasuke finds himself shaking his head as he makes his way into their kitchen. It's small—their whole place is, really—but neither of them has ever complained. It was the only option available for joint student housing, and there was no way Naruto could afford a place on his own. When Sasuke got the housing application forms, he took one look at the price for a single unit and promptly wrote both of their names down under the "shared unit" section, tossing the papers at Naruto to sign the next time he saw him.

"Hey, what's"

"Sign your name. We're living together."

Naruto had blinked at him for a minute, confusion plain across his open face about why on earth Sasuke would willingly live with anyone. He'd grinned from ear to ear in the next moment, a glint in his eye that made Sasuke regret his decision immediately.

"You'd be lonely."

"…Excuse me?"

"You'd miss having someone around all the time, that's why you want to live together! The stone-cold Uchiha Sasuke is scared of living alone!"

Sasuke remembers rubbing the bridge of his nose in a move so familiar, a move he'd done almost weekly in the 6 years of knowing the other boy, that he'd been mildly surprised he hadn't worn permanent grooves in his skin.

"Jesus, just shut up and sign before I change my mind and kill you instead."

"'I'm Sasuke and I'm not afraid of anything,'" Naruto had mocked in the absolute worst mimicry of his voice that Sasuke had ever heard. The warning look he'd shot the blonde had only succeeded in getting him to smile and hum The Sound of Silence while he finally put pen to paper.

He'd been positive he'd gotten away with his ploy, the mental math of how much Naruto could possibly make in a month on minimum wage being just over the monthly rent—not including textbooks or, god forbid, food—, but missed the smile the other boy gave him after he snatched the papers back from him with a second-nature, heat-less nickname.

Naruto would never accept a hand-out, but Sasuke could still find a way to make sure his parents' money went to good use, even if he had to get creative about making sure the blonde didn't starve.

"Whatever, I still won. Wait, where're you going? Are you seriously not gonna fight me again after that? That barely qualified as a real match!" Naruto's voice follows him into the kitchen as Sasuke opens the fridge door to frown at its contents.

"I'm hungry, dumbass," he replies, glancing up at their grocery list—another white board attached to the freezer door that Naruto has scribbled along the edge of with fire, various mythical creatures, and a cartoon Sasuke head with a stern face and the words 'Stick Up My Ass Sasuke' scrawled underneath—with a sigh. "We need groceries." It's mused more to himself than the other as Naruto continues to complain about the game, citing everything from celestial alignment to 'a strange dip in the couch cushions, seriously it felt as if my ass was being sucked into a fucking vacuum' as possible reasons for his defeat. Sasuke walks past him, stopping briefly to grab his keys and wallet from the table beside the door before leaving. Naruto follows, still chattering, and Sasuke locks the door behind them as they begin their walk to the store.

It's an easy routine, one they've gotten used to over their 3 years of living together. The streets are familiar and calming, and Sasuke casts an eye around at the late-afternoon glow as Naruto moves onto other topics, crossing his arms behind his head. Sasuke puts in responses only when necessary, opting instead to let the other boy ramble on as normal. He figured out long ago that Naruto didn't take much to continue a conversation, a 'hn' here and there or a quirk of his lips doing the trick just fine without him having to actually verbalize a response every few seconds. It was just that Naruto seemed to be talking more often than not, and Sasuke simply couldn't be bothered to always formulate responses to a seemingly endless stream of consciousness.

It was sixth grade when Naruto first started talking to him, three weeks after his parents' car crash. They'd been in every class together since grade 1, but Sasuke had never spoken to him. He'd rarely spoken to anyone, really, preferring solitude before everything else. He was eating lunch alone—just as he had been for 6 years, rebuffing or ignoring anyone who'd tried to sit near him—as the blonde took up the seat beside him, and Sasuke pointedly turned his stare from his sandwich to the other boy. The other kids continued to whisper around them, but Naruto's smile didn't falter as he glanced between the dark-haired boy's vacant eyes and his own paper-bagged lunch.

"Did you not get a drink?" Naruto had asked, motioning with his head at his food. Sasuke remained silent, turning back to his untouched lunch with his hands loose in his lap. He couldn't seem to make himself care about anything since the accident, only bright flashes of rage at anyone who'd looked at him with those pitiful eyes.

"Poor Sasuke," they'd said. "Can you even imagine, losing your parents that young? I just feel so bad for him and his brother."

He'd hated them all, even if they never actually said anything. He saw it on their faces, in the way they tried to put a hand on his shoulder. He didn't need their pity, their help, their words so thick with honey, like talking to a sick animal. He hadn't said a word to anyone – not even Itachi – since the night of the crash. Their teacher didn't call on him in class anymore, and Sasuke wouldn't reply to roll call in the mornings.

But his silence didn't deter Naruto, who barrelled on without pause about which drinks were his favourite to have with which lunches. When that still didn't garner a response, he moved on to what his favourite food was, then colour, then class, then movie. The bell rang for their next class, and Sasuke found the other boy following him, telling him with vigour about what superpower he'd pick if he could choose one—the ability to talk to animals, he said. At the end of school, Sasuke found Naruto beside him again, continuing on as if never having been interrupted for 2 hours.

"I just think it would be cool, y'know? Think of all the stuff animals see that we don't, they could tell us all about stuff from their level! Like, what does everything even look like to an ant? Are we, like, gods to them?"

Sasuke remained quiet. Naruto followed him out the school doors, down the steps, along the sidewalk. He followed him the whole way to Sasuke's house, jumping from topic to topic like he had a set of queue cards in front of him. Naruto said goodbye as Sasuke turned onto his front walkway, and Sasuke had a brief thought that the silence that followed seemed odd.

It continued for a week.

Naruto would sit with him at lunch and talk, sometimes through a mouthful of food. Sasuke would stare at the table without uttering a word or touching his own lunch. The bell would ring, Naruto would trail after him to their class, and pick back up when the final bell rung and Sasuke walked home.

Part of Sasuke wanted to be angry. He'd even settle for vaguely annoyed, but on the few occasions where he actually raised his stare to Naruto's face, he saw no trace of pity. There was no resignation, no hint that he was talking to him out of some sort of obligation. The rage in his heart was strangely quiet when Naruto spoke, and Sasuke couldn't seem to understand why. He should have hated this boy, the same as all the rest, but the whispers of his fury—the only thing he'd felt in weeks—stayed as quiet as he did.

It was the following Tuesday at lunch when Sasuke finally spoke.

Naruto had been in the middle of an in-depth dissection of their teacher and whether or not she led a secret life of crime after school hours. He'd been gesturing with one hand, sandwich held in the other, growing more animated by the minute.

"—looks like she fights in an underground boxing ring or something. Doesn't she? I mean, no one gets muscles like that without having hit a few"

"Do you ever shut up?" Sasuke's voice was smaller than he remembered it being a month ago—had it really been a month?—and rough with disuse. He'd turned to stare at Naruto as the other boy fell quiet immediately, looking at the dark-haired boy with his mouth open.

"I—oh," he'd said quietly, lowering his hand and mustering up a smile that Sasuke watched not meet his eyes. "Sorry. I know it's, ah…it's annoying." Naruto's lips pressed firmly together, and he looked down at his lunch in silence.

The rest of the world came back into a proper volume then, like the dial being slowly turned up on a radio, and with the murmurs of their schoolmates around them, Sasuke heard it again.

"Poor Sasuke."

"Poor Sasuke."

"Poor Sasuke."

He blinked.


He hadn't heard that since Naruto had started speaking to him a week ago. The blonde boy had drowned out everyone else with his voice, chattering on and on and filling his ears with words that didn't sound like pity or condolences or flourished lawyer-speak.

He tuned out the world for him.

Like a signal blocker, Naruto was keeping the outside world firmly outside for as long as he kept talking.

Sasuke blinked again, realizing why he hadn't been able to conjure up any anger at Naruto, at this perfectly normal boy who spoke to him about perfectly normal things.

"It's…" Sasuke cleared his throat, swallowing whatever rage had been trying to crawl up his windpipe at the whispers he could still hear bouncing around in his head, "it's fine."

Blue eyes stared over at him, and Sasuke found himself unable to tear himself away from their scrutiny. The next smile Naruto wore was different, shy and pleased.

"Just don't choke on your food while you talk. I'm not giving you mouth to mouth."

"Oi, come on! Not even if I was really dying?"

Sasuke almost smiled—though it would be another month until he did that again—and carefully picked up an apple slice from his open container. It was a few seconds before he'd even realized he'd bitten it, chewing thoughtfully while he tried to figure out what this meant. He'd blinked and looked over at Naruto again, but the other boy was watching him eat with an almost thrilled look, beaming at him through those blue eyes, and Sasuke had to look away again.

But he kept eating, and Naruto kept talking.

"—beat you at the racing games, but I'm still pretty fucking convinced that you're cheating at the fighting games. I mean, no matter what new game we get, you manage to grab a controller, pick the best fighter, and mop the floor with me. It's nonsense, Sasuke, just admit that you do research before we play anything." Naruto reaches forward first and grabs the door of the grocery store, holding it open as Sasuke steps inside with a snort.

"You think I look up cheats before we start playing a new game? You really just can't admit that I'm better than you, can you? Your fragile ego knows no bounds." Sasuke says, smiling slightly at the scowl aimed his way.

"Eat a dick, you smug bastard," Naruto grumbles, grabbing a cart and breezing by the dark-haired boy with a clearly intentional bump against the side of his knee. Sasuke chuckles under his breath and follows.

They shop in easy synchrony, weaving through the aisles as Naruto continues to mutter about fairness and food, filling up the empty space between talking with soft humming to the store's radio system. Sasuke picks up most of the items, nodding when Naruto points out additional things they need. They're down the cereal aisle when Naruto grabs a box of Lucky Charms with a grin.

"Oh man, this—" he blinks as Sasuke plucks it from his hands with a roll of his eyes. "Hey, fuck you, I wanted that!" His protests cause the woman beside them to shoot a stern glare in their direction, ushering her child away from the two boys. Naruto aims another grin at their retreating forms, winking when the child turns to wave at him.

"They're terrible for you, no." Sasuke's dry tone pulls Naruto back to the other boy, and he sticks his tongue out at him. "What are you, 6?"

"'What are you, 6?'" Naruto mocks, throwing his voice low and slapping an exaggerated scowl on his face.

"Mature, idiot." Naruto makes another face as Sasuke continues down the aisle, grabbing the box quietly and sneaking it into the cart when the dark-haired boy's back is turned next, covering it with a bundle of spinach and a bag of coffee.

Sasuke rolls his eyes and quietly puts it back onto a shelf when Naruto doubles back to grab honey.

It isn't until they're at the cash that Naruto notices, pawing through their items at the self-checkout and frowning. "Sasuke, did you—"

"Hn." Sasuke rings through the rest of their items, glancing over briefly to see the other boy bare his teeth at him.

"Why are you such a pain in my ass?" Naruto hisses, and Sasuke levels him with a bored stare.

"Do whatever you want, then, moron. Enjoy the stomach ache when you eat the whole box at three in the morning to try to keep yourself awake while studying at the last minute. Again."

There's a pause as they wait, Sasuke with a look of haughty, unshakeable indifference and Naruto with an annoyed tint to the slant of his mouth, fingers twitching with the effort to not throttle the other boy.

It almost makes Sasuke smile.

It's that twitch of the lips that does Naruto in, reaching into his pocket for his wallet with a muttered curse and slapping his card on the machine with more force than strictly necessary to pay. He practically tears the receipt out before it finishes printing, snagging two bags on his way past Sasuke towards the door. Sasuke follows calmly, grabbing the other bags.

"I'm sorry you're such a joyless robot, asshole," Naruto grumbles at him as they leave, shooting him another look.

"No, you're not. You're sorry I'm always right, which is even stupider."

"Jesus, why do I even let you talk?"

"You don't, usually. You just barrel over everyone else," Sasuke drawls, switching his grip on the bags.

"Yeah, gee. I wonder why that is, if this is the extent of your sparkling personality," Naruto snorts.

"You're the one mad at me because you wanted a cereal made for children."

"'Made for' and 'marketed towards' are two different things. Lucky Charms is marketed towards kids. Trix is made for kids. Shit, Sasuke, don't you remember the rabbit?" He's grinning suddenly like he already won, and Sasuke almost considers moving the bags to one hand just to grab the bridge of his nose.

"You're an idiot," he mutters at him instead, and Naruto laughs.

It takes no time at all for Naruto to pick back up their earlier discussion (or his earlier discussion, at least, as Sasuke's quiet through most of it), adding in the fact that "you're a total fucking buzzkill, Sasuke, I really have no idea why you don't just have a permanent black cloud following you daily" to his argument about why all of Sasuke's victories in their games are hollow and meaningless. It gets them through their walk home, Sasuke's look of mild annoyance seemingly only spurring the blonde on.

"—which is why, really, I'm the moral victor. All I'm trying to do is eat my favourite cereal and live my life. I'm the underdog, Sasuke, and everyone roots for the underdog." Naruto declares as Sasuke opens their door, stepping inside and toeing off his shoes while he locks it behind them.

"That might be the dumbest thing you've ever said. Congratulations." Naruto just rolls his eyes at him, padding barefoot into the kitchen to put the groceries away. Sasuke follows, opening the fridge to place items inside that Naruto hands him, the practice easy and worn.

"Whatever, Skeletor, I'm just telling you—as a friend—that you're the bad guy, here. And I know you love competition, which means I know you love winning, and the bad guys never end up winning in the end, so—"

"I don't love competition," Sasuke corrects automatically, a slight frown pulling at his face as he tucks the milk away on the shelf.

"You also love being a contrarian," Naruto sneers, tossing an orange at him as Sasuke's frown deepens.

"I do not—" Sasuke's teeth click together with the sudden closure of his jaw as he drops his argument, realizing the trap too late. Naruto's smirk is too smug, and Sasuke scowls into the fridge for the second time that day. "I'm surprised you even know that word. I didn't think you'd hit 'c' in the dictionary, yet."

"Give it up, Uchiha," Naruto's tone is pleased, ignoring the insult. "I've got you pegged, I know you too well.," He smiles, grabbing the newly purchased bag of chips and sauntering out of the kitchen.

"Right," Sasuke mutters sarcastically, balling up the bags and storing them under the sink before exiting after him. He finds Naruto paused in front of the dining room table (an old, weather-worn beast that Naruto found online and somehow convinced their friends to help him lug up the stairs to their apartment), turned to look at him with a gleam in his eye. Sasuke makes a face at him. "No, th—"

"I accept your challenge!" Naruto grins, and Sasuke's lip pulls back at the idea of listening to Naruto dredge up strange facts about him, an old self-consciousness trailing sticky fingers along the insides of his ribs like glue. The last thing he wants is to be dissected, opened up and bared like an insect. The very idea starts to make the skin crawl between his shoulder blades, but Naruto continues before he can voice another complaint, or turn around to leave. "I know you don't swear too often."

"I call you a 'dumbass' at least six times a day,"" Sasuke tries to counter, pulled into responding despite himself, habits for arguing with Naruto already flicked on and ready to go.

"That doesn't count, you don't really mean it."

"Of course I mean it, you're an idiot—"

"And I know that you can't look me in the eyes when you get emotional." Naruto's eyebrows are raised in bait, a fact Sasuke only knows because of the hole he's staring into the centre of the other boy's forehead. His jaw sets and he snaps his eyes down to meet the other's, a sparkling blue that only furthers the fight or flight response to stay pinned on 'fight'. He's opening his mouth in a slant to snark a reply when Naruto speaks again. "It's actually pretty cute."

Sasuke freezes, lips slightly parted, breath halted somewhere behind his vocal chords, and flicks his eyes down to watch the smile sprawl across Naruto's face. The sensation of being at a loss for words is new to Sasuke, and he finds he doesn't like it too much as the other boy speaks again. "I never know how much of what I say you actually listen to, so sometimes it's good to test the waters."

Sasuke's brow furrows a tick, and he meets Naruto's gaze with narrowed eyes. "You're testing my response time by calling me cute?"

"Got your attention, didn't it? Like I said, I know you probably don't actually hear most of what I say, so—"

"I hear everything you say, Naruto." Sasuke realizes belatedly that he didn't agree to saying those words, sliding out past his lips while his brain tried to pin down why exactly he was suddenly so annoyed. He's still trying to decide if he's being toyed with, and being given no time to think before Naruto opens that never-closing mouth of his is only serving to push more of his buttons.

This time it opens to give a low whistle as Naruto eases himself up to sit on the table. "Wow, you even used my name there. Must've really hit a nerve." Those blue eyes are scrutinizing him now, cataloguing him in a way that makes Sasuke want to fidget and frown, scowl and snap at him to stop trying to read him like a book. The momentary silence is strange in that Sasuke's never spent this long looking at another human being before, and the experience leaves him wanting to jam spoons into his eyes.

This was exactly why he didn't want Naruto to start listing things he knew about him.

"Well, that bit doesn't count because I started it by saying I didn't know how much you actually listen," Naruto hums, opening the bag of chips with a casual shrug of his shoulders that grates on Sasuke's already fraying nerves. "But I'll say this: I definitely know more about you than you know about me." There's a strange something passing through Naruto's eyes as he pops a chip in his mouth, keeping that calm gaze on Sasuke as he drops the challenge down.

Sasuke tries to let it go, he really does.

"Excuse me?" It's more of a breathless seethe than he would have liked, and he takes a step closer as his mind churns, latching onto this indignant, age-old need to win instead of being uncomfortable. A small thread runs through the back of his head to tell him that Naruto was right, and he tilts his chin up as he ignores it. "I was wrong, that was the dumbest thing you've ever said. How could I not know things about you when you never stop talking?" Sasuke's anger is bright, burning things away until he's left with only it, the need to prove this other boy wrong. Naruto's smile is patiently indulgent, and Sasuke doesn't remember a time he's ever looked so calm when they argue.

He really should have caught the trap sooner.

"Ok. Tell me, then." Naruto shrugs again, reaching back in the bag for another chip. Sasuke huffs at the goading, surprised when it works and he begins talking without thinking, the second time in as many minutes.

He's even more surprised to find that he can't stop once he starts.

"Your favourite colour is orange. You hate onions on pizza and you take your coffee with more sugar than is strictly necessary. You'd put cheese on everything you could get your hands on if you had your way. You'd talk to animals if you could, you like winter the most because everything is quiet, and you only ever refer to your mother as 'mom'. When we were 13 your favourite animal was a dragon—which was ridiculous, by the way—but it changed to foxes when we were 16 and stayed that way ever since. You've never told me why. You don't sleep well when it rains because it reminds you of the group home when you were 9, but the rain makes you tired. You said it was 'a sick fucking joke', and laughed. You said that when Jiraiya took you in, you cried the minute you got to his house because he had a photo of him and your parents when they were all younger hanging on the wall. I don't respond to everything you say because it's completely unnecessary, and we'd frankly never get anything done if two people spoke as much as you do, but I've heard every single thing you've ever said to me."

It's so quiet when his mouth finally closes, pressing on his ears in an uncomfortable way. Naruto's watching him with that same strange look in the back of his eyes, and Sasuke finds that he can't lower his gaze away from it. Whatever anger he felt seems to have burned up, cast out from his lungs with all his words—he can't remember the last time he spoke that much—and leaving him with a vaguely too-light feeling in his bones. A few more seconds pass before Sasuke realizes he can't stand the unnatural silence, and his tongue begins to move again. "So no, you do not know more about me than I do about you. I don't even know how you function when I'm not around, I take care of you so much. I turn off the stove when you always forget, because otherwise you'd burn the place down. I pull you back at crosswalks because you'd walk into traffic without me. Jesus, last January it hit twelve below and you fell asleep in just shorts on with no blanket. If you got sick and got me sick, I would have killed you."

Sasuke notices too late the faint buzz in the back of his head, a little warning to stop talking four sentences ago. His eyes flick down when Naruto looks away with a small smile, and the audacity of Naruto being so calm while Sasuke's insides are trying to rebuild themselves makes him vaguely want to hit him.

After a few more seconds of silence, Naruto looking down at the floor with his eyes lidded and Sasuke's breath returning to him with a soft huff, he decides to leave. While he's not sure if he's 'won' this or not, his brain is trying to reassert itself by suggesting his exit before he can 'lose'. It's as he's turning that he hears the voice, softer than it was before.

"Three weeks."

Sasuke stops, turning back to see Naruto look back up at him, his smile smaller, sadder.

"…What?" Sasuke's voice is rougher, a new lowness in it that he notices makes him sound a bit curt, makes him clear his throat but not repeat himself.

"In sixth grade. You hadn't eaten lunch for three weeks. I had no idea if you were eating at all, I don't think anyone did, but you just looked so…" Sasuke has the odd sensation of feeling the bottom of his stomach start to open, threatening to drop him out into nothing, and with a lurch he feels the old fear and rage crawl up through the hole. He can't be about to pity him, too, he can't be. He almost wants to shake his head or shake something or scream or sharpen his teeth into fangs or whisper no no not you too don't say it don't say the words—"…dead. You looked like you were already dead. I actually figured if I sat beside you and kept talking, you'd yell at me. I thought if you had something to yell at, it'd distract you. Y'know? Then you could get back to eating and living and ignoring everyone. But you never yelled at me, never told me to leave. So I never did." Naruto shrugs, the movement more careful than before as he watches the boy in front of him, and Sasuke wonders if he can shutter his eyes fast enough to prevent Naruto from spying the ghosts. "It wasn't pity, because I know you're thinking that." Sasuke manages to blink at him in response, blithely aware that he's unsurprised by Naruto knowing that. "I just knew what you felt. Kind of. I mean," Naruto jerks his eyes away suddenly, fidgeting slightly on the table in a show of nerves. "I mean, I didn't have a brother, right, and obviously it wasn't the same at all, or even the same circumstances, that's not what I meant. My dad was already—it was just my mom that—that died, not…shit. I didn't—jesus, this isn't coming out right at all, what the fuck—"

It's the oddly familiar image of Naruto running a hand through his hair, eyes a bright shade of panic, that makes Sasuke remember the time he really did pull the blonde back onto the curb so as not to be hit by an oncoming car, and decide to do it again. "Stop talking, I get it." His voice is less animalistic, his body remembering how to be a boy and dutifully tucking away its knowledge of becoming that creature defined by rage and an all-encompassing silence. Naruto's looking at him again, a grateful smile tilting his lips lopsided, and Sasuke has to flick his gaze away. "You shouldn't have been worrying about me. I would have been fine." Sasuke's not sure why he says it, but he glances up to see Naruto sigh and take the words as the closest thing to a 'thank you' he's likely to get.

There's another silence, but Naruto's still watching him with a scrutinizing gaze, and the skin on the back of Sasuke's neck prickles. "Stop doing that," he mutters, and what he means to come out as a low command, a normal tone for him, comes out instead as a tired request. Naruto rests his forearms on his knees but complies, settling his eyes somewhere around the hollow of Sasuke's throat, and he feels the prickling continue in a strange way.

"I know you, Sasuke," Naruto starts again, and Sasuke feels a weird tug behind his heart, forcing him to stand straighter even as he frowns at the continuation of their argument. "You're argumentative and standoffish and pretty much an asshole."

Sasuke raises an eyebrow at him, and Naruto flashes a quick grin. "You keep a photo of your parents in your dresser, under your socks. You hate the smell of cinnamon, and you get extra cranky during the holidays when it's everywhere."

Sasuke opens his mouth, eyes narrowed, but Naruto waves a hand. "Yeah, yeah, I know. It smells like death to you because the first caregiver your uncle appointed to you and Itachi used to light cinnamon candles. You take your coffee black, and I think you'd say "like my soul" if you'd let yourself, but I also think that pole lodged firmly up your ass seems to be near-fatal, so you don't. Beside the photo of your parents is a photo of us the year Jiraiya made us go trick-or-treating. You buy the creamer I like, even though you make a face when I use it, and make sure there's instant ramen in the cupboard when finals roll around and I stay in the house to make sure I don't fail."

Naruto's eyes are soft again, his tone lower and soothing. The comparison to being treated like a spooked animal sets Sasuke's teeth on edge, but Naruto's words have a cadence to them that makes him keep still and listen anyway. "Every year, on the anniversary, you get a nightmare. For 2 years you tried to just stay awake the whole night, but then you fell asleep in class and had it during the day, which was so much worse. You're pretty much a genius, Sasuke, but I know you've got no idea you have feelings for me. You buy the most boring socks I've ever—"

"Wait, shut up. Go back," Sasuke barks out, world stilling around him.

Naruto looks altogether too smug as he leans back on his palms. "Told you."

Sasuke stares, brow furrowing until he's sure he's glaring at the other boy, but Naruto just reaches for another chip, calmly wiping a crumb from his shirt. As before, the seemingly unshakeable neutral air that Naruto's putting on only serves to incense Sasuke further, and he feels his hands curl into fists at his sides.

Naruto nods his head at him, one eyebrow raised thoughtfully. "Do you want me to leave while you sort your shit out? You've got that annoying look on your face that comes when you're trying to figure out some math problem, or something equally as soul crushing, but you also look like you might be about to try and knock my lights out."

"Shut up," Sasuke's reply is automatic, face stony, as his brain runs through options and answers. He's taken too long at this point to try and deny the claim, he knows, but he can't figure out why he didn't say anything earlier.


It's ridiculous, the idea that he could—

You could always lie.

The idea forms in the back of his head and he blinks. Why would it be lying to say that he didn't like Naruto? Why wouldn't it be?

Sasuke scowls suddenly, feeling like a child on the schoolyard, and scoffs. "This is stupid."

Naruto snorts, speaking around a mouthful of chips. "Uh huh. Just let me know when you're back to being a real boy with real emotions, Pinocchio. Or as close as you can ever get, really."

It's something of a miracle that Sasuke doesn't throttle the other boy, he thinks, and forces himself to stand taller and straighter, angling his head to look down his nose at him instead. "And how, exactly," he drawls, "did you come to that conclusion?" He's trying for a mocking tone, any defense he can throw up to make it feel less like Naruto's reading him like an open book. He feels exposed, unguarded, vulnerable, and it tastes like acid in his mouth. It makes him agitated and angry, makes him want to bury everything inside himself in tundra and ice, makes him want to spit poison and snarl.

He hates it.

Naruto continues to look unfazed, though, as he rolls his eyes up to the ceiling and kicks out a foot rhythmically. "Hmm. Well, I suppose I guessed when you told me we were living together for college, no questions or nothing, because I know you thought it was because I couldn't afford to live on my own—or that maybe I'd burn the place down with no supervision—but it was also because you really didn't want to be that alone. I realized later that it was your way of telling me you didn't hate my company, which was really the highest form of flattery I've ever received from you." Naruto's smirking, sure of himself, and continues before Sasuke can snap.

"And then I guessed again last month when I went home to visit Jiraiya for the weekend and you kept the T.V. on in the background the whole time just to have another voice in the apartment, even though it wasn't the same."

"Not while I slept," Sasuke objects, as though it makes a difference, mind too busy with having been caught for him to veto the words.

Caught with what? You did have the T.V. on while he was away.

Naruto laughs, eyes bright and alive. "Oh, my mistake, Sasuke."

It's the use of his name, oddly, that makes Sasuke meet Naruto's eyes, makes him face how the other boy seems so pleased, so steadfast and sure in the wake of Sasuke's brain trying to solve the most complex puzzle he'd ever thrown at it.

Is it really a puzzle? Everything he's said so far has been true.

The eye contact doesn't last as Sasuke slides his glare over to a spot just above Naruto's shoulder, too busy fuming to wonder if the noise that came out of his throat was a growl.


The conversation in his head leads him nowhere, and Naruto fills the silence again. "Plus," he muses, popping another chip into his mouth with a crunch that sounds to Sasuke like a gunshot, "you just proved you pay all this attention to me."

"Isn't that just what friends do, moron?" This time Sasuke's sure it's a snarl, just like he's sure he's finally remembered how he normally sounds when he's mocking the blonde. It's not like this, where he spits out the words like they burn him, but it seems to be the closest he can get.

"Yeah?" Naruto laughs, chest shaking, and Sasuke fights the urge to bare his teeth. "So then you'd know this much about any of our other friends?"

He really should have caught the trap sooner.

"Sakura's birthday."

"March," Sasuke seethes, automatically, because he does know that one. He remembers the party, Naruto dragging him by the arm to "socialize, because your only other friends are going to be books if you keep this up, you fucking hermit". It was still chilly, and he had to remind Naruto to wear a scarf or he'd catch a cold in time for finals—and he would not tutor him again on pain of literal death—but Naruto had whined about overheating and they'd bickered the whole way there.

"The day, asshole." Naruto rolls his eyes, and Sasuke realizes with no small amount of confusion that while he can remember all of that, the date eludes him.


Naruto's grin is all teeth, firing another question at him. "What's Kiba allergic to?"

"How should I know?" Sasuke's reply is cold, terse, clipped, but the twitch in his fingers gives him away as he works at keeping them unclenched.

"Mm. My blood type?"

"AB negati—" Sasuke snaps his jaw closed, noticing a slight ache in the joint from how often he's had to shut himself up in the past hour. A glance at Naruto shows the other boy carefully trying not to look too smug and failing, letting silence for once speak for him.

The idea that Naruto could be more mature than Sasuke makes him want to set fire to their living room.

He sorts through his memories with burgeoning fury, noticing how the ones with Naruto in them can be recalled that much more clearly. He can hear the way the other boy talks and yells and whispers, can see how his eyes crinkle when he grins and the way his smiles are lopsided when they're directed at him-

He pulls himself out of his head with a bodily jerk, and makes himself meet Naruto's eyes. "Whatever, who the fuck cares?" It's a furious hiss, something to hide the confusion that's running through his veins so foreign. Something to protect himself in case this is a trick, a trap, a joke. Something to keep him steady and strong in the face of something he's never encountered before—feeling unsure.

Naruto props his chin in his hand with an overjoyed grin. "Oh, good—Swearing Sasuke is here!"

"Fuck off," Sasuke shoots back, telling himself he didn't notice how one corner of Naruto's mouth pulled up before the other.

"Jesus, I knew getting you to confront your feelings would be difficult, but I didn't think it would be this fucking bad. Look," Naruto searches his face, and Sasuke makes sure not to act on the urge to step back, "this is one of the rare times you're unraveling and letting that super obnoxious control of yours slip, and I'm pretty positive you're gonna be ok, so forgive me for fucking with you a little."

It's that idea, coupled with the voice of his brother in the back recesses of his mind—"Uchihas are always sure." —and the unbearable knowledge that he has no idea what any of this means, that makes Sasuke finally snap.

"So what?" He flings out an arm, motioning at Naruto furiously. "What's the point of all of this? Are you just fucking with me? You know all this shit about me, what does that say about you?"

There's a strange, new kind of silence in the wake of his explosion, but where he expected a different kind of look on Naruto's face—contrite, sheepish, embarrassed—, he gets 'withering' instead.

"Who's the idiot now, dumbass?" Naruto snorts at him, and Sasuke freezes again.


The perfect imitation of still-life, for the first time throughout this whole conversation of theirs. This whole argument, this—whatever they've been doing. Something that's still working in the back of Sasuke's mind notes with interest that Naruto finally looks apprehensive, nervous. He watches a swallow edge down the blonde's throat and feels his eyebrows furrow, wondering why it's taking so long to get any of his synapses to fire.

When Sasuke doesn't immediately say anything—he wonders how long they've been quiet this time—Naruto speaks again. "Yeah, so…I'll just let your genius brain deal with that for a few minutes."

As he pushes himself off the table and walks past him, Sasuke's first coherent thought is panic, pure and blind and quick. The idea of Naruto leaving, leaving him here with all of this, leaving him alone, sets off sensors in his head that he'd thought had been buried long ago. His hand twitches out towards him just a bit as he passes by.

"Don't worry, I'm just getting a drink." Naruto's voice is soft, the words said on a sigh. "Want one?"

"No." Sasuke hears himself reply, still staring at the table.

Still trying to figure out what it all means.

"Well, at least you're responding to me. That's something, I guess." The sink turns on with a whoosh as Naruto fills a cup with water, and Sasuke flicks his gaze over to their game scoreboard.

When he was little, Sasuke remembers, Itachi taught him how to solve problems. "Let the scenarios run out as far as you can in your head," he'd told him, crouched down to his level. "Try and see things from different angles."

"And?" Sasuke had asked, frowning.

"And then pick the one you like best." Itachi had smiled at him, and Sasuke remembers scowling at his older brother.

So Sasuke does, this time, with nothing else to go on. He plays out two scenarios in his head, lets his imagination create dreamscapes for him to watch and choose between.

In the first one, Naruto does leave. Sasuke imagines the sound of the door closing, the echo of Naruto's words bouncing off the walls like phantoms in the empty space around him. He imagines the yawning maw inside of him coming back, cold and lifeless.

He imagines hating it, hating the way he'd actually miss the noise, hating the boredom of any kind of life without Naruto.

He shifts, turning to the kitchen to see Naruto leaning against the sink and watching him. That same apprehensiveness still sits on his face, in the corners of his eyes, in the way he turns the cup in his hands.

In the second one, Sasuke lets himself imagine catching Naruto's wrist as he walks by him. He lets himself imagine tugging him closer to feel if that warmth really does emanate from every inch of his skin like the sun sits just under the surface, lets himself imagine tucking his head closer and listening for that catch of breath—

Sasuke blinks the reverie away, and hears the catch come from his lungs instead. There's a strange buzz on the inside of his wrist, the same place he'd imagined grabbing Naruto.

When he finally does meet the other boy's gaze, Naruto's smiling at him. He puts the cup down on the counter before speaking softly. "Y'know—before mom passed—she used to tell me about my dad. She'd tell me the kind of person you wanted to end up with, someone you kept around. She'd tell me about opposites, about calming the other one down and bringing them back up, about how they'd do the same for you. She'd say that you wanted someone who remembered things about you, not just the big stuff. Mundane shit that doesn't need to be remembered, but they do anyway. She'd say 'keep those who chronicle your life because it's theirs, too'."

Sasuke feels the floor under his feet shift as he steps closer.

"And?" he'd asked Itachi.

"And?" he asks Naruto.

"Pick the one you like best."

"And I guess I'm stuck with you."

"Idiot," Sasuke breathes, eyes trained on the tilted smile Naruto's wearing.


Sasuke's first thought, as their lips meet, is a quick swear when the entirety of his brain comes back online with a sudden jolt.

His second is how easy it is, how each slide one of them makes is met with a mirror image, how pulling away just a bit to tilt his head a different way makes Naruto chase his mouth back.

His third is that he has no idea what he's doing. For the first time in a while, his brain is not prepared. It's throwing out strategies and hastily drawn x's on chart paper, rewiring itself and bypassing the way he'd taught it to ignore touch. He feels powerful and powerless at the same time, like walking on air only to look down and see how high up you are. The only thing he knows is that he can't stop kissing Naruto now that he's started, like he's desperate and starving for this boy.

It's when Naruto runs his tongue along Sasuke's lips with a soft noise he's not even sure how to describe that Sasuke snaps, moving forward to crowd Naruto back against the sink. He feels hands in his hair sliding through the strands, tightening when Sasuke runs his own hands up Naruto's sides, up the front of his chest, splaying out over his collarbone with his thumbs in the hollow. He hears the noise again—or maybe he made it this time, he can't be sure, not when Naruto's running his tongue along the backs of his teeth like he's trying to memorize them, slicking along Sasuke's own tongue—

He pulls back for a moment, he has to. His mind is too fogged up and strangely quiet, his breathing is too irregular and his heartbeat is so loud in his ears—or maybe that's Naruto's under his hands, his hands that are shaking to cover his blood that feels like lava in his veins and his—

"Sasuke," Naruto breathes up against his lips, hands down on his waist now and fingers spreading across his ribs to tug him back in. Sasuke groans before he really knows he's done it, trying to localize his shaking in a last-ditch effort for any of his old control, smoothing his fingers along Naruto's jaw to hold him as he kisses him again. He slides them into Naruto's hair, his thumbs under his jaw, and feels goosebumps erupt all along his spine when Naruto clenches at his hips with a firm grip.

This time it's Naruto who pulls away with a breathless laugh, peering at him with hooded eyes and licking at his bottom lip in a slow movement that Sasuke follows. "You look good like this—all manic and a little wild and not dickish," Naruto snickers, tucking his thumbs up under the hem of Sasuke's shirt.

"And here I was, enjoying the silence of you not talking for once," Sasuke replies, feeling his lips twitch up in one corner. The remark earns him a reproachful roll of eyes and a pinch to the skin of his side, and he wonders if his quick, surprised huff of breath can be considered a laugh. Naruto leans back up to kiss him again, and Sasuke tries to work at taking it slow—allowing his body to adjust to the myriad of new sensations—but his fingers are still holding Naruto's jaw, and they shift every time Naruto moves his mouth against his. He catches a stray thought of wanting to know what that feels like under his lips before remembering that he can with a zip along his neurons, and he tilts his head to mouth along Naruto's jawline. Sasuke trails it down, wondering if every noise Naruto makes sounds better when it vibrates against the swollen skin of his lips, rewarded with soft sounds, breathy hitches, and a full body shiver when he finds a particularly sensitive spot at the corner of his jaw.

Naruto doesn't stop moving, and Sasuke wonders if he knows that his hands keep clenching at his hips to bring him closer and then unclenching as if not sure he can ask for that much. It makes Sasuke smile a little into his neck, makes him thread his hands through the soft hair at the back of Naruto's head. "Idiot, stop moving."

"Fuck you mean, 'stop moving'? You're doing all the work—" Sasuke shifts easily to slide his hips against the other boy's, a strangely perfect fit he finds he can't focus on, and Naruto breaks off into a breathed-out curse.

It's sudden, the way Naruto ducks his head to find Sasuke's lips again, the way he ushers him backwards out the door of the kitchen until Sasuke feels the hallway wall behind him, thankful that his feet managed to keep him up while he was too focused on the way Naruto was sucking on his tongue in a languid roll. It's slow, the way the lips trail off from his to leave light teeth marks along the underside of his jaw, the way Naruto's nose pressing behind his ear makes Sasuke tilt his head a bit to give him more room—the action strangely immediate. He's trying to remember if there's something he should be remembering, but the drag of Naruto's finger pads up the skin of his back whites out the thought, and the soft hum of the other boy's lips against his skin tunes his ears to focus on just that.

"I had this whole plan," Naruto starts, hands inching further up Sasuke's shirt and tapping along his ribs in a toneless melody that makes Sasuke arch up into it anyway. He has the sudden memory of Naruto once telling him—after finding out that Sasuke played the piano when he was younger—that he never played an instrument, but that he'd always wanted to try. "I was...gonna make you deal with some of your shit—which did happen, so I get points for that." Sasuke snorts, moving one hand back into the mess of Naruto's hair. He feels the smile against his neck. "Then I—I was gonna kiss you—"

"I kissed you," Sasuke drawls, angling his head to meet Naruto's eyes, catching the tail end of them rolling at him.

"Technicality." Naruto flicks at a rib with his finger. "And…...well, and then I was supposed to—it was really more of a rough outline, right—"

"I don't believe you planned anything."

"Oi, fuck you, I did." Naruto pulls back enough to level their gazes, and Sasuke finds himself warring with the new and shaky urge to kiss him again. He swallows instead, jolting when the action prompts Naruto back to the column of his throat.

"And then?" Sasuke asks, shifting his legs just slightly to have the blonde resting in the cradle of his hips, not missing the way Naruto groans against his Adam's apple.

"And—and then I was gonna—hmm—" he trails off into another noise as Sasuke runs blunt fingernails over his scalp. He's still not sure how much of his brain is working, but the instinctual moves he's making seem to be going over well, and there's just so much warmth in his body that he finds it hard to think about it too hard. "—gonna see if things go well—and I think they are" That's definitely a flash of teeth against his neck, and Sasuke's breath hitches as his hips jerk just a little. "—and if they were, then I'd— – I'd think about moving us…to my bedroom—"

"Your bedroom?" Sasuke's voice is breathier than he'd like, and he's not sure if he emphasized the right word—the words themselves having set off some sort of chemical reaction in his body that's much too pleasant to ignore—but Naruto hums an agreement into the junction of his neck and shoulder, lips pulling at it in a light sucking motion before he remembers to continue.

It takes Sasuke a moment to remember what they were talking about.

"Yeah, it's—it's closer." Naruto's tongue laves over the area and Sasuke's hips jump up again, this time meeting against Naruto's. Sasuke bites down on his lip to dislodge the groan from his vocal chords, but Naruto's rings out into the air around them. "Plus, it—I really wanted to see how you'd look against my bed sheets, that's maybe the reason I bought them in—in the first place, months back."

Sasuke catches a brief thought—months?—before he feels the roll of Naruto's hips against his again, a little more insistent this time, and his breath leaves him in a whoosh.

"And pinning you under me is a great way to see that." Naruto's laugh is low, warm like the rest of him, but Sasuke feels his brow furrow even as his eyes slip closed.

"Pinning?" He matches him low tone for low tone, hand squeezing at the blonde's shoulder before sliding down his back.

"Yeah. Like—" Naruto's hands trail back down his chest, fingers sliding into the waistband of Sasuke's pants. The area feels too sensitive, and Sasuke can feel the skin under his navel jumping with his breaths. "—this," Naruto murmurs, moving them along both of his hips and around the back, pulling him off the wall just enough to press against the dimples there.

When he feels those fingers spread out and seek a little lower, Sasuke pauses. His hands still on their way up Naruto's shirt, and the hum in his mind shuts off into sudden silence.



There's a brief moment where Naruto stills, too, before he pulls back with a curse to meet Sasuke's eyes. "Um—wait, Sasuke, don't…don't get weird, it doesn't have to be—I mean it could be the other way—way around, I actually don't even care—or it could be, shit, it could be no way around—fuck, that was the wrong way to go, wasn't it—shit—"

Sasuke blinks at him, watching a similar panic from before creep into Naruto's blown-out pupils, and he opens his mouth as the other boy continues to speak.

"—I got too ahead of myself, I'm sorry—"

"Shut up." Sasuke presses a kiss to the corner of his mouth to get his lips to stop moving, and feels another warmth in his stomach when it works. "I can't hear myself think if you're rambling." It's a lie, but it seems to settle how panicked Naruto looks.

Naruto nods, a jerky thing, and keeps an eye on Sasuke's face.

What do you want?

It's an odd thing to consider—searching through any of his memories and old thoughts to figure out sex, of all things. It's just that all of this is so new, he'd never even thought about it before, not really, not in this regard. There were girls he'd try and think about, alone, but none of it felt like this and none of it really worked anyway (he understands why now, of course), and here Naruto was—asking him if he could lay him out on his bed, if he could roam hands over his skin, lower, down, following them with his mouth, lifting his hips up and—

Sasuke knows he makes a noise—something broken and embarrassing, he thinks—but he's too busy crashing his lips against Naruto's to care about it. He shivers at the groan of relief Naruto gives as his hands grab at him again, up against his lower back now.

"This time," Sasuke agrees, breathing the words out in the space between them. He remembers Naruto's words—'it could be the other way around, I actually don't even care'—with a smirk, hoping the blonde understands.

"This time?" Naruto echoes, confused, and Sasuke watches the moment it sinks in—the idea of a next time, how they could just switch—"Oh." And he's kissing him again, a little sloppy, Naruto's laugh sounding like a hiccup. "This time, yeah, that—that works, of course that works, that really, really, works—shit—" He's still laughing as he kisses him again, a breathless thing that gives Sasuke access to lick into his mouth, curling his hands in Naruto's shirt to pull him as close as he can.

He's not sure which one of them groans when their hips connect again, but Sasuke's positive it's his sharp intake of breath when Naruto ruts into him, pressing against Sasuke's erection with his own. "Yeah?" Naruto breathes over his lips, and Sasuke doesn't know what he's asking even as he nods anyway. Naruto grins, mouthing across his cheekbone and down under his jaw as he raises his hands to card them through Sasuke's hair. He rolls his hips forward again as he sucks on Sasuke's pulse, and the third time Sasuke meets him halfway. It earns him a delighted sound and a clench of those fingers against his scalp, and he does it again and again, not able to fully bite back the groan as he spreads a palm over Naruto's spine to feel the muscles work as he moves.

Sasuke's mind feels hazy, like there's a fog blocking him from any of his regular thought patterns, and he feels a warmth in his entire body that's focused on the skin Naruto's mouth is working at, and his cock underneath his jeans that are suddenly much too tight. He wants more—more of Naruto's skin and lips and tongue, more of this feeling like lightning in his blood, more of him. It's what makes him grip at Naruto's hips when one of them finds an angle that presses against Sasuke's zipper just on the right side of painful, that causes Naruto to whine out something that sounds like Sasuke's name—do that again, more of that

Naruto pulls back an inch—with Sasuke wondering if maybe that's the most he could make himself move away—and lifts his head to meet his gaze as Sasuke blinks at him, breathing ragged and uneven. "Okay," Naruto says breathlessly, "okay, that's—that's way too good and we have to stop because I—"

"—had a plan, yeah, I heard you." Sasuke leans in with a smirk to kiss him, shivering at the moan that lodges in the back of Naruto's throat. He's pretty sure he can hear Naruto mutter 'asshole' at him under his breath, but notices how quickly it breaks off into a gasp when he tugs at the blonde's lower lip. "So get to it, then."

Naruto's body stills briefly, and Sasuke takes a moment to go back through his memory and make sure he actually spoke and didn't just mumble incoherent nonsense from his brain stem. When he catches blue eyes and holds the stare, Naruto's mouth quirks up on the one side again and Sasuke feels an answering tug below his stomach.

"You're sure?" Naruto's words are soft but without weight or judgment, a simple question to make sure they're still in bounds. Sasuke resists the urge to roll his eyes, even as he feels warmth flood up to his cheeks while his brain tries to help by replaying his imagination from earlier—hands on his skin, lips on his chest and stomach and hips and—

"Scaredy-cat." Sasuke knows he can't help the rasp that he speaks with, too far gone enough to have lost at least some control over his vocal chords.

Naruto's eyebrows raise. "Really? You think I'm the scared one, here? I'm pretty sure you thought you had zero romantic emotions up until about 17 minutes ago." He trails a finger over Sasuke's hipbone for emphasis as the other boy swallows.

"That depends." Sasuke makes himself meet Naruto's eyes and hold them as he speaks, fighting urges to look away or get defensive or build more walls, fighting urges that'd been there for years all for the sake of the hands on his body and the blue eyes in front of him and the crooked smile he can see the beginnings of. "You didn't exactly answer my earlier question. Are you done messing with me?"

A corner of Naruto's mouth ticks up as his eyes soften. "For now," he teases, holding Sasuke's gaze. "But, uh—look, this isn't…" Naruto breaks away and Sasuke watches him bite at his bottom lip, watches the panic begin to leak into his voice again with confusion. "This isn't a joke, this isn't…it's not—" Naruto waffles a hand between them as Sasuke raises an eyebrow. "—a whim, yeah? Like it's not something I'm doing because I'm bored or lonely or too single or—" Naruto's next intake of breath shakes, and Sasuke counts how many times he has to swallow before continuing. "It's not—I don't want to just fall into bed with you, that wasn't really the—the point—"

"What happened to your plan?" Sasuke tries for banter, something to ease the boy in front of him back away from the nerves and the fear.

It only partly works, though, as Naruto flicks wide eyes over to him before ducking forward, resting his face against Sasuke's neck. "I really like you." The words are soft, so soft, and Sasuke has to spend a second leaning towards the sounds to make sure he heard them correctly. He takes another second to try and slow the staccato rhythm of his heart. "I didn't—I don't—" Sasuke hears the broken-off sentences that don't get said slide through his thoughts like wisps of air.

I didn't want this to be a one-time thing. I don't want to lose you.

"When did you get so bad with words?" Sasuke brings a hand up to rest on the back of Naruto's neck, and he feels more than hears the snort he gets in response. "I know all that, idiot." Sasuke murmurs, spreading his fingers to feel the soft tufts of hair.

He swallows at the silence that follows, even as he feels Naruto's body rest more fully against his. "I—" His voice comes out with too much rasp, too many nerves crowding around his tongue, and he frowns down at the blonde head of hair. He feels lips against his neck—a smile, he thinks—and then Naruto's pressing words into his skin.

"I know all that, too."

They both take breaths, calming and reassuring and easy, and Sasuke finds his tongue moving without his permission again when the quiet stretches too long. "So you're saying you don't want to 'fall into bed with me'?"

As his words echo out in the silence, Sasuke feels every muscle of his throat constrict and tighten.

Naruto pulls back, eyes lower and lips stretched out to flash his grin. "You are—" he laughs, and Sasuke feels the hand on his hip squeezing. "—you are such an asshole." He sways forward, laughter still bubbling up and pouring into Sasuke's mouth as he kisses him again. Sasuke lets himself fall into it for a minute—the way Naruto's tongue slides past his lips and curls against his own—before pushing against the blonde's chest to separate them. He raises his eyebrows at Naruto, trying to remember how to make his facial features sit in the sort of bored indifference he knows he perfected when he was nine, the sort that he knows Naruto counts as an immediate challenge.

It must work, because Naruto snorts and grabs his hand with that same grin. "Such an asshole," he repeats, tugging Sasuke behind him as he walks off down the hallway towards their bedrooms. Sasuke spares a glance at his own closed door before following the grip on his wrist into Naruto's room. Once inside, Naruto pauses in front of his bed and tugs his bottom lip between his teeth again. He turns to Sasuke with a sheepish grin, eyes bouncing around the room haphazardly. "Um—"

"I've seen your room before, dumbass. We live together." Sasuke rolls his eyes, his sigh managing to sound more normal. Naruto's cheeks dimple with mirth before he flicks his gaze down to Sasuke's lips.

"I think I liked it better when you weren't talking."

"That's my line." Sasuke pulls on his arm, watching Naruto step towards him with the tug.

"Really, Sasuke? You're gonna choose now to start lying about how much you definitely don't hate hearing me talk and how it literally isn't the reason you get up in the mornings and how you probably get a little turned—"

"Naruto." Sasuke tugs again, frowning at the laughing blonde as he tilts his face to meet Sasuke's own.

"Yeah, yeah, I got it. Impatient bastard," Naruto hums, and Sasuke can feel the leftover vibrations as he passes lips over Sasuke's cheek, trailing them across to smile over Sasuke's mouth.

It's easy—it's so easy to get back into it, as if Sasuke's brain has popped up and informed him its learned how to dance in the last twenty minutes, and he almost doesn't notice when his arms slide up to curl around Naruto's neck and drag him closer—wouldn't have until Naruto makes that noise, that rushed inhale that sounds like a gasp against his lips. Sasuke tries to suppress the shudder it causes, wondering if it's possible to have a favourite noise before fingers smoothing over the skin of his abdomen white out his thoughts like television static.

He takes a tentative step sideways, pleased when Naruto follows his body with a hum, and does it again and again until his legs hit the edge of the bed. Naruto chooses that moment to lick along the sensitive roof of Sasuke's mouth, and the noise Sasuke lets out is nothing short of involuntary.

"Shit." He hears the mumble—low and gravelly—against his lips, the hands skimming over his stomach clenching once and then nudging him gently backwards. Sasuke tries to fall with grace—he does—, tightening his fingers in the blonde strands to bring Naruto down with him, but the feel of the mattress under his back has him dragging teeth across Naruto's bottom lip as he lands. The reply is a moan, surprised and rough, and Naruto pulls away breathlessly to peer down at him with dark eyes. "Why d'ya have to be so—so fucking good at everything?"

"Someone has to be." Sasuke can feel his lips furling up in a smirk, tries to hold onto the feeling of smug satisfaction as Naruto narrows his eyes at him. He opens his mouth to reply before grinning with a sudden thought, and before Sasuke can let his mind focus on the knees pressed against the insides of his thighs, Naruto has his shirt off and tossed somewhere away from the bed.

Sasuke swallows.

He knows he's slipping, that whatever upper hand he'd gained—should he even be trying to gain the upper hand?—is sliding through his fingers like sand the longer he spends staring unabashedly at Naruto's skin, but he can't stop mapping out the planes of tanned chest in front of him. He's seen the blonde shirtless before, obviously, but always found himself looking away when his chest got too tight and—


Sasuke swallows again.

"You can touch me, you know." The voice is too smug, the scale tipped the other way, and Sasuke manages to force his eyes back up to meet Naruto's eyes—shining and bright— – and grin—blinding and wide.

"Generous," is his sluggish brain's only reply before Naruto laughs, ducking down to keep kissing him, sighing against his lips as if the moments apart were too much. Sasuke shuts his eyes automatically as Naruto's tongue slips past his teeth to curl against his own again, and instead slides his hands up from where they've fallen on the bed to press his fingers to the warm skin covering Naruto's ribs. He trails them up over the bumps, swallowing the soft noises Naruto makes with an eagerness that makes him shiver, and rests his thumbs on either side of his heart. Naruto's next inhale shakes in a new way, and Sasuke lets it wash over him before swiping his thumbs across the blonde's nipples.

Naruto's hips jolt down against his as he groans, the friction burning every thought from Sasuke's mind except more, more, more. He repeats his movement with jerky motions, groaning in the back of his throat when Naruto tugs at his bottom lip on his next grind. He can feel Naruto's hands clench into the hem of his shirt, and teeth press against his mouth one more time before pulling back.

"Your turn," Naruto whispers, and Sasuke opens his eyes just in time to watch him lean away and lick at his own swollen, pink lips. Sasuke's eyebrows pull together in a frown and Naruto slides his shirt up a few inches with a lopsided grin, removing his hands as Sasuke sits up to tug the rest of it off and cover his flushed cheeks for a brief second. He lobs it in the same direction Naruto threw his, laying back down before it hits the floor and listening to the hitch in Naruto's breath as he fixes his eyes on the middle of his chest, watching the way the blonde's body moves with each heavy exhale. "Fuck."

Sasuke looks up at that to see Naruto's hazy eyes roam over his skin, his bottom lip pulled into his mouth and his throat constricting as he swallows. Something warm blooms in Sasuke's chest at the knowledge that their reactions are the same, drizzling into his gut as he feels himself smirk. Before he can speak, Naruto's reaching towards him with a hand that shakes just slightly. "You look—" he starts, and Sasuke remembers how Naruto wanted to see him against his bedsheets, the memory setting off a sparkler at the base of his spine as his hips twitch involuntarily. "-you look…shit, can I—"

"If you ask me if I'm sure one more time, Naruto, I'm—"

He's interrupted by Naruto surging forward with a breathless laugh to kiss him with fervour, tongue licking along the top of his mouth with purpose and pressing searing hands to his stomach as Sasuke makes the same noise again, louder. He digs his finger pads into the meat of Naruto's shoulder when those hands push down firmer and drag across his skin, up, up, up, hips twitching up just the same as palms slide over his nipples. They chart over his collarbones and along his forearms before doubling back to complete the circuit, burning him up like the sun come to earth, and Sasuke ruts up against Naruto again when the other boy makes a needy sound into his mouth.

He breaks apart to lick along Sasuke's jaw and nip at the corner of it, surprising Sasuke into letting out a gasp into the open air as that mouth trails over his neck and makes him tilt his head to stretch out the canvas. Naruto runs his lips across Sasuke's collarbone, over the jut of his shoulder with biting little kisses, pulling at his skin with his mouth each time Sasuke rolls his hips up.

"Naruto," Sasuke mutters, his voice like sandpaper as he tries to get the attention of the other, too busy marking his skin to listen. The path continues back to the bottom of Sasuke's neck. "Naruto—" It's more of a rasp this time as a tongue runs into the hollow of his throat, sharp teeth quick to follow. "Naruto." He tugs him up by the hair, fingers tangled in the blonde strands as his chest heaves. Naruto's eyes are glazed over, lips parted and shiny, and Sasuke can see the tip of the other boy's tongue peek out to touch his upper lip.

"Sorry," Naruto laughs, flashing teeth and glancing down from Sasuke's eyes. He bites at his lip as his eyelids lower, and Sasuke feels his skin burn and throb where Naruto touched him, so warm and sensitive and good, and he pulls him in for a kiss with a soft shut up. "Hah, you do like it," Naruto gloats against his lips, the sound close enough to a purr to make Sasuke shiver. He bucks his hips up again with his fingers still wrapped in the soft tufts of Naruto's hair, and doesn't miss the pleased noise Naruto makes as his fingers travel down Sasuke's chest.

The button on his pants is open faster than he can take a breath, the zipper pulled down just in time for his shaky exhale to puff into Naruto's eager mouth right before the blonde runs a knuckle just along the underside of his cock through his underwear. His gasp startles him, hips chasing the touch immediately, and Naruto pulls back to look at him with raised eyebrows and a crooked grin. "Okay, wow," he hums. Sasuke's own eyebrows pull down to precede the snark he wants to reply with, the one that gets lodged in his throat the moment Naruto mimics his earlier action with the firmer pad of his thumb. "Cat got your tongue, Sasuke?" Naruto's voice is low and nearer than before, but Sasuke's eyes have slipped shut as the motion repeats again from base to tip.

And again.

And again.

His thighs twitch and he groans whatever retort he had before his brain short-circuits when Naruto's thumb catches just under his head, and he manages to yank the other boy down to try and muffle the embarrassing noises against his smiling mouth. "Cheater," Sasuke hisses.

"Yeah? You gonna go take a mark away from my name on the scoreboard?" Naruto's laugh is low, succulent—and much too smug—as he peppers the corner of Sasuke's lips with kisses. "Hm, we might need a new scoreboard."

Sasuke pushes his head into the pillow to break away and stare at Naruto with eyes as big as he's capable of opening them through his current haze, furrowing his eyebrows in disbelief. Naruto laughs again, tilting his head to his own shoulder to swipe some of the sweat off his lips.

"Stop talking."

"Look—I'm just saying, a sex scoreboard is one of those things I'm sure people do to keep things fresh in the bedroom—"

"Oh my god." Sasuke tugs him forward again, cutting off his words and licking into his mouth when he notices Naruto's thumb has stilled, head titling with a groan to give Sasuke more access. He takes advantage—kissing him slow and thorough, tugging on his bottom lip and swiping his tongue along the underside of Naruto's to pull a moan from behind the blonde's vocal chords. He scrapes his nails along the other boy's scalp, moving one hand to cradle Naruto's head beside his ear when he hears his favourite noise. "Big words from someone whose whole body is shaking," Sasuke murmurs as he glides that hand down his chest in emphasis, feeling the way the muscles jump and twitch under his skin, and reaches Naruto's pants. He flicks them open with miraculous ease—throwing all of his focus into the task—and slips his hand past the waistband of his boxers to run fingertips over the base of him.

Naruto's gasp is broken and wet, and Sasuke can almost see the way his heart would be beating out past his ribs—reaches out his other hand to press against the spot just in case. Naruto's jaw falls slack, Sasuke taking the opportunity to fit their mouths together tighter, slicking his tongue along every inch to map it out. His hand continues its exploration along Naruto's shaft, brushing wetness at the tip and taking a moment to smear it across the head messily.

"Fuck —fuck—" Naruto's quiet moan is almost lost in the way his hips jolt forward to push himself into Sasuke's hand again and again, in the way his own hand drags back up to tug at Sasuke's underwear with a sudden urgency. "These need to go right fucking now—" And Sasuke finds he's never agreed with anything as much as he does that sentence, yanking on the hem of Naruto's boxers and breaking away so they can quickly divest themselves of the last of their clothing. The blonde rears back on his knees when they're done, chest heaving as he rakes eyes over Sasuke's prone form, and Sasuke feels the same self-conscious fingers from before trace up along the inside of his ribs, curl around his lungs and squeeze like burning ice. "Jesus christ." Naruto's voice cracks on the words, teeth pulling his bottom lip into his mouth as he stares. Sasuke's fingers flex in the sheets, and he resists every urge to move and shift.


"You're—what do you mean 'what', asshole? You're fucking—" The sudden movement of Naruto swooping down to kiss him tilts Sasuke's insides back into the lava below his navel, his hands flying up to tug on blonde hair in response to the hand holding his chin in place. "—beautiful, you're so fucking beautiful, what the fuck." Naruto mumbles the words like subconscious thought, a slipstream Sasuke's managed to find himself in as he shivers from head to toe.

"Shut up," Sasuke mutters, fingers tightening on the blonde strands when Naruto slides down to suck another mark into his collarbone. His breath hitches as Naruto leans back, levelling him with eyes much darker than before.

"You shut up, you have to have known this. You got hit on like crazy in high school."

"Naruto," Sasuke warns, frown forming automatically as his eyes drift down the other boy's body. "You did, too." The words are said without thinking, Sasuke too lost in the miles of new skin he didn't pay attention to before. He can see how far down Naruto's flush has spread, the red splotches from his hands and fingers and lips and teeth, the sharp curves of his hipbones like arrows pointing between them to the erection that juts up, thick and shiny with precum.

Distantly, Sasuke almost feels his train of thought burn up as the warmth from his gut flares up to press behind his ribs in a roar, hungry with an urge he's never known. The sound of Naruto's low laughter drags his eyes up to meet his again, swallowing at the lowered lids and crooked grin.

"So fucking beautiful," Naruto rasps, leaning forward for another kiss that leaves Sasuke aching. He concedes their argument only when hands glide over his chest and hips with a reverence that makes his legs shake faintly, deciding there are much better things to do with his mouth. Naruto slides his hips forward to line up their bodies properly, and the next roll has their cocks gliding together like nothing he's ever felt before.

"Holy fuck," Sasuke gasps, nails a blunt force on Naruto's tailbone to encourage the action again. Dots flash behind his eyelids with the delicious friction, and Naruto's hoarse groan falls against the skin of his neck as Sasuke tilts his head to give him more room.

"Made you swear again," Naruto's breathless laugh floats through his brain and he tugs him back up, sure the noise that escapes him this time is a growl as he slams their lips together hard enough to make their teeth clack. The whimper that leaks out of Naruto's mouth makes his hips jerk up, makes him slide his hand down between them to hold their cocks together until the fuse lights, but a hand catches his before he gets the chance and pins it beside his hip. Naruto pulls back, breath coming out in pants, and swallows as he opens his eyes to meet Sasuke's. He swallows again at whatever he sees there, and Sasuke bucks up once to connect them again. "You've—gotta stop," Naruto gasps, even as he returns the movement and grinds down.

Sasuke hooks a leg around one of Naruto's knees with his low groan, something in him emboldened by the chase. "Why?"

Naruto's eyes flash, and his next grin is all teeth. "Don't get cute with me, smartass."

"I thought I was beautiful." The word feels foreign and strange falling from Sasuke's tongue, as if such a word could ever be used to describe himself when he's staring at smooth, tanned skin and firm muscles, at a wide smile that blinds brighter than any light and eyes that reflect any emotion more easily than the clearest sea. As if anyone would notice Sasuke first when he's standing beside the perfect, human embodiment of the sun.

"So beautiful," Naruto breathes, face tucking back under Sasuke's jaw to drag his tongue and teeth across his skin once more. "It's fucking—it's fucking absurd, it drives me crazy." He latches onto his pulse to suck hard and Sasuke feels his body arch up in response, as if Naruto really does know how to play an instrument, so long as it's Sasuke. He suddenly understands Naruto's seemingly voracious need to claim and mark what he keeps speaking of so fervently even if Sasuke doesn't agree, and he doesn't think too hard about leaning up to place an identical mark to the side of Naruto's neck.

Naruto's moan comes out as Sasuke's name, reverberating through his Adam's apple.

It seems to take a Herculean effort for Naruto to push himself back away from Sasuke's body, if the shaking in his arms is anything to go by. Sasuke blinks up at him, a sense of strange smugness curling through his blood at the blown-out look in Naruto's pupils, the blush that floods down his neck and chest.

"If I'd've known how easy it was to distract you, I would've walked around the house shirtless more often," Naruto murmurs, and Sasuke feels his eyebrows draw down into a glare. The blond laughs and leans over to the left, opening the drawer on his nightstand and rifling through it. Sasuke takes the moment to properly inflate his lungs, the exhale shakier than he'd hoped when all it does is fill his nostrils with more of Naruto's scent. His cock brushes against Naruto's stomach as he leans over him, and Sasuke jerks slightly at the touch. When Naruto straightens back up with a small bottle and a condom wrapper, grin crooked and eyes dark, Sasuke doesn't notice the hand that sneaks its way back down low to run a thumb up the underside. His hiss is immediate, hips bucking up into the touch. "Sensitive? I might have to add 'eager' to the list of words I use to describe you."


"I already have 'impatient' on there."

Sasuke loses his reply as those fingers close around him and squeeze once, a quick test. His hips jump up again to try and get any kind of friction as his hands curl in the sheets. The opening pop of the bottle draws Sasuke's attention to Naruto's other hand, to the half-empty bottle of lube he holds, and he raises an eyebrow at their well-used contents, flicking his gaze to Naruto's sheepish expression.

"What? I've known I was gay for longer than twenty minutes," he mutters, swallowing once. Sasuke rolls his eyes and tries not to focus on what that means, on Naruto in the dark and on these sheets, thinking of someone else while he reached into that drawer, while he reached behind himself—

"And I've lived with you for like, three years, so…"


Sasuke meets his eyes again, watches that flush come across the bridge of Naruto's nose as he squirms just a little under the gaze, as Sasuke's brain topples the rest of its boundaries and runs away with thoughts of Naruto using that bottle by himself in quiet moments of solitude, imagining him thinking of Sasuke as he reached around himself with slicked fingers, as his mouth opened on a pant—

He can't stop the way he surges forward, shuddering against Naruto's mouth as he licks it open, greedy and holding back the groan in his throat. Naruto's hand slides up to clutch at his hip as he presses back against Sasuke with a choked noise, shoulders trembling where Sasuke grips him to hold on. He moves a hand to Naruto's jaw and holds him in place while he licks at the roof of his mouth, pulling back to a whimper from the other boy as he flops back to the bed.

"Get to it, then," he hears himself say, his autopilot somehow remembering cockiness in his oxygen-starved brain. Naruto's glassy eyes blink at him once before he shakes himself out of it with a muttered curse, and he pulls his hand back to spill some of the lube on his fingers. He glances at Sasuke once before lowering his hand back down between them, pausing for a second before tracing his rim.

Sasuke jolts, the sensation new and cold—or colder than he is, at least, which is new—and not unpleasant, despite his trepidation. His lips part on a gasp as those fingers circle again and again, nudging him gently, and looks up to find Naruto watching him raptly with a small smirk.

"Good?" Naruto's voice is soft, gravelly in a way he's starting to hear more often, and he furrows his brow at the question to disguise the shiver running up from his toes like sparks along his nerves.

"I thought I told you that you didn't need to keep asking me, dumba—"

The finger pressing into him is new, foreign, and his head tips back as it slips inside. He feels Naruto's other hand on his thigh, fingers smoothing along his skin to soothe the strange new burn, and hears the bed shift as Naruto leans forward to place open-mouthed kisses along the exposed column of his throat.

"Good?" He murmurs again, and Sasuke finds himself nodding as the finger retreats, only to push back in again. Sasuke closes his eyes and bites his tongue, hands flying up to grab onto Naruto's shoulders as teeth pull at his skin gently. "I've got you, Sasuke, just relax for me."

Hearing Naruto speak this close to his ear, feeling his lips on his skin and his hands on his body and in his body starts to haze out his brain and flood goosebumps down his spine like a tidal wave. He spreads his legs a little more and twitches his hips down when he feels that finger curl inside him.

"Just like that." Naruto's voice sounds a little hoarse, the teeth nipping at the corner of his jaw sharper than before, but the groan that leaves Sasuke's throat unbidden is nothing to be surprised by any more.

It's easy to get lost in the motions like the tides, Naruto's finger sliding forward and curling like waves lapping at the shore as he murmurs jumbled encouragements and praise that would make Sasuke's blood flare up his cheeks if it wasn't all heading south, as one finger becomes two and the scissoring motion makes Sasuke's thighs shake. Naruto smears messy kisses across his cheekbones in between words, and Sasuke knows he lets out an embarrassing noise when he hears him whisper so good for me against his temple.

His body feels a strange mixture of loose and taut all at once, those fingers stretching him open in a way that's just not enough and his brain reacts on impulse to grind his hips and push down to meet Naruto's next thrust in, pulling a gasp from Sasuke's throat as they sink in deeper and a rough groan from Naruto as his palm cups Sasuke's skin. Sasuke repeats the motion again and again, Naruto pressing teeth into his shoulder as they both shake, fingers curling inside him and—

Sasuke's back arches off the bed with a wet curse, hips jolting in aborted motions towards and away. He feels his cock twitch against his abdomen and the roar behind his ribs comes back louder than before—more, more, more.

Naruto leans back enough to look at him, eyes blown out with the black of his pupils, grin spreading across his face to look feral and all-consuming. His lips part to speak, but Sasuke fumbles on the bed with the last of his brainpower and presses his open palm to the other's chest with the condom tucked between them, knowing how much he'd break open further at whatever Naruto was going to say. He watches the blue fade back into his eyes as he covers Sasuke's hand with his own and swallows thickly, eyes darting away and back.

"I know you said not to ask you again, but I don't listen to everything you say and—"

"Now, Naruto," Sasuke murmurs with as little wavering in his voice as possible, curling his fingers a little to coax the blonde down for a kiss and delighting quietly in the smile that presses up against his lips. Naruto slides his fingers out gingerly—though Sasuke's breath still stutters at the loss—and wipes them on the sheets before tearing open the packet with his teeth as Sasuke burns the image to memory. He can't tell if his legs are twitching with impatience or leftover shocks, though it can't be more than a handful of seconds before he feels Naruto bump up against him and fix him with his gaze, squeezing his heart as his grin tilts lopsided.

"I've got you," Naruto whispers again as he leans forward to brush their noses together, sliding in in the same moment and putting his weight on the palms on either side of Sasuke's head. Sasuke's lips part on a soundless gasp as the stretch and the burn punch everything out of him until he's raw and undone, gripping the sheets by his hips as the delicious feeling of fullness sets his nerves alight. It's so different than Naruto's fingers, thicker and longer and better, his brain scattering bits of thoughts like dandelion fluff until it's empty and pulsing with his heart beat—or is that Naruto's heart beat? He can almost feel it through his—

Naruto presses forward until he bottoms out with a broken moan, dropping his head onto the pillow above Sasuke's shoulder. His hair tickles his cheek and Sasuke can feel the heat radiating off the side of his face as he pants, breath ghosting along his skin and raising goosebumps in its wake. He keeps muttering the same word over and over as he tries to still his body and let Sasuke adjust, seemingly unable to fully stop the tremors that run through his frame.

"Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck—"

"Are you trying to beat a record?" Sasuke's voice sounds hoarse and tight even to him, and he closes his eyes to try and distract himself enough to just breathe, damnit, just breathe past all the pleasured signals his brain is shooting down his spine with each breath, and the pressure—oh my god, the pressure—and how unbelievably warm he feels before the match falls into his stomach and he explodes in a way he knows is going to burn him from the inside out.

"No, I—I, uh...I'm trying to concen—shit, to concentrate on not...on not moving so you can—jesus christ, 'suke—" Naruto breaks off into a whine, the sound so delicious that Sasuke opens his eyes, blinking up at Naruto's ceiling. "Holy fuck, you're so tight—I can't—"

Sasuke takes that moment to test the waters by shifting his hips up, a slow roll that leaves him gasping with sunspots in his vision and pulls a longer whine out of the blonde above him. Naruto lifts himself up on shaking arms and Sasuke curls his hands in the other boy's hair to sear their lips together, hard and unrelenting until they're both breathless.

"Move." Sasuke's order comes out rough, but Naruto just swallows and nods vigorously, a strangled laugh bubbling out of his throat.

"Thank fuck."

Naruto pulls out what feels like almost all the way, and Sasuke's eyes threaten to roll back in his head as he grips onto the biceps on either side of his head. The drag inside of him feels so good, Naruto having pulled back slowly, and everything south of his navel feels molten and exquisite. He clenches without meaning to when Naruto pauses, but the groan he gets to precede the quick thrust in makes his mouth fall open.

"Na-ru—" Sasuke's voice is all gasp as Naruto does it again, slow out and quick in to punch every breath Sasuke can manage out of his lungs.

"Hah, 'suke you—fuck—you—" Sasuke can feel the way Naruto's muscles shake as he digs his nails into his arms, and any attempt at words is thwarted when Naruto drops his head down to kiss him. Their lips slide together messily and Naruto's hips jerk back when Sasuke catches his bottom lip between his teeth, but Naruto's every breath is a pant and he pushes back just as hungrily. "You feel," Naruto finally manages, the words brushed against his open mouth as Sasuke opens his eyes, "so fucking good, I'm—" he shivers, Sasuke hitching a leg up around his hips to pull him in closer and faster, "j-esus, Sasuke, I'm gonna lose my mind."

"You weren't using it much, anyway," Sasuke hears himself whisper back, and smirks at the laugh Naruto ducks down to press into his jaw.

Each thrust feels better than the last in a way that winds a knot of something slick and hot in Sasuke's abdomen, and when Naruto moves a hand down to clutch at his hip and grind against him, Sasuke scratches at his scalp and matches the movements. Naruto groans against his neck, murmuring broken thoughts and praises that sear Sasuke's skin until he feels like he's going to combust with it all.

"So good, you're so good—Sasuke you feel so hot, f-uck—" Naruto gasps and the next thrust is off-rhythm, deeper and rougher than before to cause Sasuke's cock to brush against Naruto's stomach. The groan sounds in stereo, Sasuke sliding his hand down to claw at the blonde's back when he does it again and again and again, angle changing just slightly as the grip on his hip shifts him just so until—

Sasuke bows up from the shoulders, head thrown back with a strangled noise as Naruto pushes against that spot inside him harder than he did with his fingers. There's teeth in his neck, Naruto whispering a quick there and sucking another mark into his neck as he keeps the position and oh, Sasuke knows he can't take much more of this.

"Naruto—fuck, Naruto—" Sasuke's toes curl and he moves his other hand down to grip at Naruto's wrist before the other boy shifts and laces their fingers together, pressing them into the bed and nipping at his jaw with teeth sharper and less cautious than before.

"Sasuke—" What's left of Naruto's voice sounds wrecked to whatever mental faculties are still online in Sasuke's brain, the rest of him hurtling towards the edge each time Naruto pushes inside him and tips his head back with a pleasure so intense it feels like he can't breathe. "I can't—oh fuck you're—" The hand on his hip moves then, and when it curls around his cock and pumps in time Sasuke shakes with a whine drawn out of his throat. Close, close, he's so close, he—

He opens his eyes just as Naruto presses their foreheads together, and the murmured cum for me, beautiful sets him off with Naruto's name on his lips. Sasuke's body feels like it erupts as he's lit up from the inside, and he shoots across his stomach and Naruto's hand. The fire licks through him and the knot snaps, and he feels the stuttered rhythm stop as Naruto's hips press firmly into him with a shaking groan of his name and he twitches inside Sasuke with his own release.

It's another minute before the world fuzzes back in bit by bit, aftershocks running up and down Sasuke's nerves with each panting breath as Naruto crumbles on top of him to lay on his chest. He smoothes his fingers against Naruto's back and feels raised lines of skin where he must have scratched at him, Naruto shivering at the touch and lifting his head up just enough to peer at him under dark lashes.

"Hi," he murmurs, his voice rough and grin dopey. Sasuke resists the urge to roll his eyes and sighs instead with a smile, stopping abruptly when he feels the movement shift Naruto inside him with a jolt of electricity along his spine. Naruto's groan is much softer, and he pulls off and out of Sasuke gently. He winces at the retreat and Naruto shoots him a worried look before rubbing a thumb soothingly against his hip. "Are you—"

"I'm not a doll, Naruto," Sasuke snorts, using his freed hands to rub at his face as he carefully stretches out his legs. When he blinks his eyes back open again, Naruto's forehead is scrunched in a worry that makes Sasuke raise an eyebrow at him.

"So that, um—" he can hear Naruto's throat click as he swallows and watches him pull off the condom and tie it off, standing up briefly to dispose of it (Sasuke almost frowns in jealousy, his legs feel like Jell-O) and stopping back at the edge of the bed. His gaze flits over Sasuke's form before bouncing back and forth between his eyes. "We—"

"Come here, idiot," Sasuke interrupts, not resisting this time as his eyes roll and he reaches up with one hand to pull at Naruto until he's laying beside him. He turns carefully, muscles twitching and complaining in a kind of soreness he can't hate, until they're face to face and those blue eyes are finally on him properly. Sasuke's next blink is longer, a weariness settling into his bones that must be noticeable as Naruto smiles crookedly and slings an arm across his waist to bring himself in closer and tuck the other one under the pillow he's resting on.

"Asshole," he murmurs softly, his tone a mix of tired and fond, and Sasuke snorts again before tucking his head closer to kiss him slow and languid. Naruto sighs as they pull apart, and Sasuke finds it harder to keep his eyes open and focused on the boy in front of him. "I really like you."

"Mm," Sasuke hums, lips twitching a little with the beginnings of a smirk, "you talk too much."

The soft laugh makes Sasuke's eyes close all the way, and the last thing he hears before he falls asleep is Naruto's delighted whisper: