Suigetsu sneers, he’s sitting on the top of the wall, feet dangling, makes a circling motion with his index finger, “On the other side of the river, remember?”
Kiba is the one who speaks, Sasuke keeps his gaze upwards, tossing the pebble in his hand into the air, it’s their turn to guard the post, and most days this part of the job is uneventful. Unless, of course, they get company from the neighboring village.
“Don’t you have innocent humans to prey on, Hōzuki? Fuck off, why don’t you,” Kiba snarls, he’s got such a loud voice.
But his counterpart is even louder, even if his lilting vowels rasp as he speaks, “They couldn’t find anyone else to guard the gates?”
Sasuke turns on his side and flicks the smooth stone at the men—more specifically, the blonde, “Oi! What the hell? Watch where you’re throwing that thing!”
“Or?” Sasuke prods, balancing his head on his palm. “What are you going to do Uzumaki?”
“I’ll tell you what I’m going to do—” he fusses towards the stream, but Kiba catches him by the arm, “Screw them, man, we’re supposed to be heading to Suna!”
“They’re sending you out for convoy again? Didn’t they learn their lesson with the gnome attack?”
The blonde’s face turns a bruising red, and Sasuke would be a better man if he didn’t relish in the very outward reaction he receives. Suigetsu chimes in, “Better get going or who knows what you’ll find in the woods.”
Kiba’s face whitens, and he tugs on Naruto’s arm again, “C’mon, man. You know those spider things like to roam at this time of night.”
“Aw, he’s scared,” Suigetsu jokes.
Naruto’s cheek swell and he whispers which isn’t much lower than his normal range, “Dude, can you be cool for once—just once—”
“Oh, shut up! You’re scared of them too!”
“Want me to hold your hand, Naruto?” Sasuke says, voice billowing down in a sinuous wave, “I don’t mind.”
Naruto glares, imperiously blushing, “Eat shit.”
Sasuke laughs at the retreating backs, Suigetsu mimics a howl, and calls out, “Stay safe, boys~”
The rest of the night goes by smoothly. When it’s nearing sunrise, they decide to abandon post, Suigetsu climbs down first, and stretches.
“Man that tired me, I’m going to sleep for the rest of the day,” he scratches his stomach, and Sasuke reminds him, “We’re supposed to go to a village meeting tonight, don’t forget about it.”
“Aye, aye,” he salutes, and starts walking, but stops near the open clearing towards town, “Aren’t you coming?”
Sasuke pushes a thumb over his shoulder, “I’m going to go for a hunt.”
Suigetsu gives him a peculiar look, eyes darting towards the purple cottoning the sky, “At this time?”
“I like racing the sun,” the words are out before he can stop himself, and to be honest he would be embarrassed if he had a single shameful bone in his body. But.
Suigetsu’s brow does a squiggle and he shakes his head, “Yeah, whatever that means. Have fun.”
Sasuke waits until the man has disappeared down the neat road and walks backward to the outside of the village. Thereon it’s like muscle memory, cutting through dirt paths that are imprinted into his mind he winds through the thicket of the surrounding forest towards his destination.
The innocuous treehouse sits on top of a very large, very tall, redwood with a fat trunk, and robust branches. Sasuke leaps over the lowest one until he reaches the ladder and climbs into the tiny alcove.
Inside the treehouse, he finds everything as it had been left; blankets were haphazardly thrown over the futon, a corkboard that’s got pictures and mementos tacked on and looped with yarn and stickers, hoodies hooked on the wall and empty water bottles on the small desk.
Sasuke finds a trash bag in the drawer, and tosses the empties into it, straightens out the bedding, and aligns the books on the small shelf in order. He goes to unlatch the window, the floorboards creaking and sees the sky turning into a frenzy of escaping blues, and swelling yellows.
Arms come around his waist, and he naturally leans back, “I’m not really afraid of spiders, you know?”
“You aren’t?” Sasuke turns, and Naruto pouts, “Okay, only the one that lives in Jōren, but Sasuke that thing is huge! And legend says she eats rookie mages for breakfast.”
“Damn then you’re exactly her type,” Sasuke hums.
Naruto’s eyes widen like an owl, he hoots, “Fuck off! Don’t say that! I even used a transport spell today, so we didn’t have to cut through her territory.”
“Coward,” Sasuke jests, and Naruto punches him in the shoulder. He laughs when it barely perturbs him eliciting another pitiful expression out of Naruto. “Sucks for you because Madam Tarantula loves me.”
“Alright, you nyctophile,” he grunts.
Sasuke’s brow rises, “Did Sakura teach you that word?”
“I learned it during a potions lesson, thank you very much,” Naruto shows off, and then quickly shoves him, “I should’ve taken the long way home.”
Sasuke pulls him back before he has the chance to leave his circle of arms, “Nooo then the Jorōgumo would’ve eaten you. What will I do then?”
Naruto’s cheeks fill with a puff of air, “Keep saying that and it’ll happen, bastard!”
“Nah, I’ll find you before it does,” tips forward and lightly presses his mouth to Naruto’s lips. The man loses fight temporarily, “No Tarantula is allowed to eat my boyfriend.”
“Well, that’s true,” Naruto returns the small kisses in kind, arm curling over Sasuke’s back to pull him even closer, “I’m still mad at you for—”
“Mhm,” Sasuke fiddles with Naruto’s belt, tugs it out of the loop, and mumbles through kisses, “Tell me about it while I blow you.”
Naruto giggles, nudging his nose into the side of Sasuke’s nose. Drags their faces up at an angle so he can lick under Sasuke’s top lip, “Okaaay.”’
There was no point fixing the bed because they end up messing it up anyway.
Sasuke’s life wasn’t always this convoluted. There was a time he didn’t have to jump through hoops, and hurdles, to keep secrets. But it’d be nice if he could remember that time because honestly the last time, he wasn’t actively lying to his whole village was about some ten plus years ago.
He bounces on his feet pulling on his pants as Naruto watches in rapt attention.
“Don’t go,” he pouts, turns on his stomach, the sheets are scrunched around his waist in a twist. “I have nothing to do for the next two days do you know how bored I’m going to get?”
Sasuke searches the room for his shirt, finds it haphazardly thrown over the spine of his books, and says, “Sorry, village meeting tonight. I can’t skip.”
Naruto pulls a face, and Sasuke ducks down to steal a kiss from those swollen lips. The blonde moves towards him easily, fingers clutching a fistful of his hair, and other hand tugging on his collar, “Are you sure?”
Sasuke pulls back, albeit it takes hesitance on his part, and Naruto stands on his knees, hand rubbing Sasuke’s thigh, “I can think of a million better things you could be doing.”
“Yeah?” his thumb catches the punctured points at the base of Naruto’s neck, “Would they involve you?”
“Of course!” Naruto beams.
He’s so cute, fluffy hair and sleepy eyes. Sasuke can feel the sun turning away outside, and he gets down one more time to kiss Naruto. Lips on lips. There is a fluttering of breath, and Naruto hums, “See, I’m already keeping my word.”
Sasuke kisses his cheek, sneakily reaches behind the blonde to grab his hoodie, and pushes into his chest when deft fingers start straying to the raven’s jeans, “Dress up, Uzumaki.”
“Bleh,” Naruto whines, “You’re no fun!”
Sasuke gives a two-finger salute before climbing down the treehouse, Naruto calls out from the open window, “Don’t forget Saturday! It’s date night!”
“Yes, darling,” Sasuke calls back.
He arrives in the nick of time. Sidles up right next to his father who gives him a quick nod, and very audibly sighs, “He’s going to start again.”
“What’s it this time?” Sasuke folds up the sleeves to his elbows, “Did he pick another fight with the Iburi clan?”
Fugaku releases a grating sound, his father stands taller than most of his siblings, certainly his eldest brother who’s lived a hundred some years longer than him, but it isn’t only his stature that’s intimidating. He’s direct, no-nonsense, believes in living by the set of rules their family propagated eons ago, and rarely participates in anecdotes.
Again, except when it comes to his oldest brother, he says with a blank face, “He’s gone senile. If Tajima wasn’t ailing, we wouldn’t be here. But, alas, here we are listening to this man’s rambling—”
As if on cue, Madara wags his finger, brusquely pointing east, “Those Uzumaki’s are leeches. And they’ve corrupted my good Hashirama.”
“Did he call the sellout good?” Sasuke squints.
Fugaku snorts, there is a smile pulling across his face, “Where’s your brother?”
“Deidara and him decided this wasn’t worth it,” Sasuke shrugs.
Fugaku’s face falls into a tepid scowl, “He’s still hanging around that wannabe artist? Does he even have a job?”
Sasuke can’t recall correctly if the man works for the communication department of the village, or if it was the guy Itachi was dating before that. Though from what he knows about Deidara he can’t imagine him actually succeeding at landing a somewhat normal job outside of his eccentric tastes.
After all, when he says artist, he means it in the loosest definition of the word. So far stretched from the actual meaning that it’s kind of lost its way.
Madara speaks in a passionate manner, his vernacular shifts between different decades, but he gets the point across, and ends up on the widely acknowledged opinion of his village.
“The point is the Senju and Uzumaki’s stole our land, and they keep stealing our trade, we must fight back.”
“He doesn’t expect us to go out there with pitchforks, does he?” Sasuke asks.
His father shakes his head, and says, “No, he just does this to keep the resentment alive. Empty barbs.”
Suigetsu corners him afterwards, shoulder knocking into his, “Where have you been? I went to your place and couldn’t find you.”
“I had errands,” Sasuke lies through his teeth, his family is circled up front, and in between the people filing out of the town square towards their homes and/or resuming their day’s activities, he sees his mother signal him.
Suigetsu falls in step, and Jūgo finds his way to them too, “Are we going to go out tonight?”
“Sasuke already went this morning,” Suigetsu has hands crossed behind his head, “You think you’d be up for another round?”
“Maybe,” Sasuke wagers, his mother hugs him by the waist, “Don’t you look handsome? Where have you been?”
“No point in asking auntie he’s being all secretive,” Suigetsu snickers, but Jūgo elbows him, “He doesn’t mean that.”
Mikoto looks at him confused, “I have been noticing you spending all your free time away from the village. Running away from us, hrm?”
“It’s not that, mother,” he cruises through the subject because out of all the people he considers near and dear he hates lying to his mother the most, and in fact he’s yet to do it where he could look her straight in the eyes. “I’ve just been busy doing the grunt work since Itachi’s jumped ship.”
She laughs, “He said he’ll join you guys tonight. It’s been a while since you all went out, right?”
Sasuke nods, “Yeah.”
They choose the forest clearing at the base of the Kita Mountain, and normally they travel in groups of four, but today Itachi joins his brother alongside Jūgo and Suigetsu. The trees weave together paths and having footfall that deafen against the earth beneath them they’re able to approach the tiny lake that is surrounded by elks and red deer. Suigetsu slings past him, fangs reflecting the pale moonlight, “One on the right is mine.”
Jūgo gruffly says, “I take the elk.”
Sasuke trails back, heels of his boot light, and right before Suigetsu catches the animal off-guard he turns away. Only to be appraised by his brother, Itachi stands near the canopy of the redwood, and intones, “You’ve always been soft when it comes to animals.”
His brother has a knack of sounding like a complete douche no matter what he’s saying. The man could be giving directions and still make it sound patronizing and obnoxious. Sasuke believes it’s a talent—a useful one? The jury’s still out on that.
Itachi brushes past him and points at the rabbit that’s chewing on a leaf a few ways from them, “How about that?”
“I’m good,” Sasuke frowns. The rabbit has a tawny coat and really big eyes. Sasuke immediately develops an odd kinship to the little thing, and Itachi laughs, “Did you feed earlier?”
“Yeah,” he replies, honest. Something must pass across his face because Itachi’s features cinch minutely, he starts, “Sasuke did you—”
Suigetsu whistles, “Sas, come here?”
Sasuke is thankful for the sudden interruption and responds, “What did you do?”
Naruto slams into his side while Sasuke’s crouched behind shrubbery stalking their—well, their target.
“Hey, baby,” the blonde croons, giving him a sloppy cheek kiss. Sasuke pushes him, “Get off, idiot.”
“Are you drunk?”
“A little?” Naruto blinks pinching his fingers together. “It’s Sakura’s fault!”
Sasuke rolls his eyes, “You wanted today to be date night. And now you show up shitfaced. We’re screwed.”
Naruto laughs, wrapping his arms around his neck, and biting his cheek, “No, we aren’t! Anyway, did you find him?”
Sasuke jerks his head towards the cave, Naruto now mirroring his crouching position and pointedly serious expression. He looks like a fucking idiot.
Naruto shuffles closer, clutching onto his hoodie, and whines, “Sasukeee, you know that I don’t like caves!”
“You don’t like anything,” Sasuke glares, but Naruto kisses the perpetual frown he knows he’s got on, and cheers, “I like you!”
Sasuke pushes him hard enough to fall on his ass.
“Sober up, we’re going in,” Naruto nods obediently, twirling his finger so that a potion bottle appears before him. He chugs down the purple elixir, and blinks, gets on his knees and scopes out the cave. “Okay, so, you sure you saw it with him?”
“Yep, the same shield from the picture,” Sasuke pulls out a crumpled paper from his back pocket and splays it out, “See, it’s this one.”
Naruto gets excited at the knowledge, and says, “Then let’s go.”
Retrospectively, breaking into a chimera’s dwelling isn’t the smartest thing they’ve ever done. But they’re twenty-two, and between the two of them very few magical beings can hold off against them. Besides this Chimera is notorious for his unpalatable nature, and terrorizing efforts in keeping this side of the forest unoccupied. They’re merely doing the rest of the community a favor.
Sasuke vacuously realizes his rationale has started resembling Naruto’s and that’s a thought to ponder and most certainly to worry over.
But for now, they’re going to steal back the shield the Chimera stole a couple years ago from Naruto’s great-uncle.
They keep quiet as they enter the damp, mildew smelling cave. There is moss growing on the walls, and the floors seeps out the rainwater with each step they take. Once they’re completely inside, darkness shrouding the dainty flicker of torchlights, they hear a gruff grumble. Naruto startles, completely scared, and folds his hand in Sasuke’s.
Another loud growl, and he faces him, fear etched on his skin. Sasuke puckers his lips in a kissing motion, and Naruto dissolves into a small smile.
They keep walking, exploring the crevices of the cave, it’s huge, and deep. Winds down beneath ground level, and the passage is long and endless until they stumble upon a bright flash of light. An outpour of light coming from the end of the cave, and they both jut out their neck past the molded walls to see the beast fast asleep on his belly.
Sasuke squeezes Naruto’s hand, and whispers, “Do you see the shield?”
Naruto scours the space, and perks up, “It’s behind him!”
Sasuke follows where he is pointing, and nods, “Okay, I’m going to go get it. You stay put.”
“Why do you get to go?” Naruto’s brow furrow, “I want to get the shield.”
“Because, Naruto, you walk like you’ve got bells strung on your feet—let me do this,” Sasuke begins to move.
“Hey! I can be quiet,” Naruto yells, and the sound bounces against the walls. The Chimera grumbles in his sleep, shifting on the flat earth. Sasuke who is now cupping Naruto’s mouth grits out, “See?”
Naruto’s words are muffled against his palm, “That was a mistake! I can do better.”
Sasuke narrows his eyes, and uncharacteristically—or if he’s keeping track thanks to the tiny voice at the back of his mind then this isn’t too out of character, all he has to say is it’s quite hard saying no to those big blue eyes—says, “Fine, but silent as mouse. Okay?”
“Roger that,” Naruto salutes and skids out of his grasp.
To be honest, he expects what happens next. In a flurry of a moment, Naruto drops the shield with a loud clank and the Chimera rises to its full height. Anger flaring its nostrils and claws protruding.
“Oh, shit,” Naruto shouts, and in a moment of dumbassery mounts the fucking beast.
“What the hell are you doing?” Sasuke yells.
Naruto has one hand wound tight in the beast’s mane and the other ready to throw the shield like a boomerang, “I don’t know! But catch!”
Sasuke catches the shield and where the Chimera was unaware of his presence before it surely isn’t anymore. The beast must forget for a parched second that Naruto is still clinging to its mane because it gallops forward in Sasuke’s direction.
The Uchiha runs, and runs, and thank god he was born a vampire in this life—and all of eternity—because it would be a bitch of a time to outrun a fucking mammoth of a beast like the Chimera.
He makes it out of the cave and tosses the shield behind an unsuspecting bush, the Chimera roars piercingly, finally shaking off Naruto from his back, and rushes towards Sasuke. The raven jumps out of the way, and asks, “You okay?”
“Yeah,” Naruto gets up, grinning.
“Good,” Sasuke dodges a wide set of claws, and warns, “Because I’m killing you if I get out of here alive.”
Naruto laughs, and that further pisses off the beast who now aims for the blonde. He good-naturedly tries to bargain, “C’mon, Mr. Lion, we just wanted a souvenir!”
“Naruto,” Sasuke calls, and motions to his left. Naruto gets what he means because Sasuke uses the jagged stone jutting out of the ground to give leverage, and when Naruto summons a rope, he throws the end in his direction. Sasuke loops it around the beasts back who struggles, but Naruto casts a spell that bears the Chimera into stillness. They tie around his legs, grab the shield and book it.
At the cusp of the steep hill, Naruto summons a gust of wind that they use on the shield to surf down. Sasuke wraps an arm around his waist when Naruto grins into his cheek, “And you said to sober up.”
Sasuke smacks him upside down on the head.
Sasuke pushes Naruto into the wall. The shield clatters on the ground as his fingers push under the hem of Naruto’s shirt, scratching the planes of his stomach, “Thought you were going to kill me.”
He sounds absolutely wrecked and Sasuke isn’t even done with him, “Later, right now, I’m going to kiss you.”
Naruto laughs into his mouth, nibbles on his bottom lip, “Fuck that was so much fun.”
He grins, it’s enough of a sight to get Naruto to kiss him fully, open-mouthed and desperate.
Sasuke deftly unbuttons Naruto’s jeans, and feels him through his boxers, “Next time, we can go up north.”
“Yeah?” Naruto’s dark, dilated eyes circle back to him. “Like a trip. Just us?”
“Just us,” Sasuke confirms, kisses down his neck and presses the flat of his tongue to Naruto’s very alive, very sinewy neck. He can smell the blood running through him. But instead of sinking his teeth in, he simply peppers kisses down the brown span of skin.
Naruto jerks his hips up to push into his hand, urging for more. Sasuke decidedly slips his hand into his boxers. Gives the hardening cock a few tugs, and feels his boyfriend breathe heavily, “Go faster.”
“Mhm,” Sasuke pulls him into a searing kiss. Rubs up and down the shaft, jerking in the way he knows the blonde likes and presses his own erection to the base of Naruto’s.
He hisses, “Ssk—Don’t tease.”
“Am not,” he pulls back his hand spits into it and then pulls himself out of his own jeans. They maneuver around so Naruto can prop against the desk, using it as leverage to push himself up, and opens his legs. Sasuke fists both of their cocks and Naruto moans right after him, “Shit—fuck.”
“We can do that too,” Sasuke feels the sweat pooling around his own hairline, and licks the drop trailing down Naruto’s neck. Thrusts up so they’re rubbing against one another.
Naruto keeps kissing him, keeps pulling him closer, the friction that builds between them reaches its climax.
They come all over Sasuke’s hoodie.
“Yikes,” Naruto laughs, breathily, “Want me to clean it?”’
“Do you even do your own laundry?” Naruto crosses his legs behind Sasuke, and tugs him closer, a soft hiss escaping them both when their sensitive cocks touch. The blonde goes to pick at the smear but Sasuke bites his chin, effectively stopping him, “Don’t be gross.”
Naruto pouts, “Don’t act like it doesn’t turn you on.”
Sasuke laughs, kissing him. Naruto curls arms around his neck and asks,
He’s not, not really. But the adrenaline rush combined with what he’s feeling right now, the imploding pulse that’s unnatural for his kind, makes him say, “Starving.”
Naruto smiles, genuine and soft.
They kiss clumsy, too caught up in each other to make it into something more sensual, it’s mostly a point of connection. To touch and keep touching. The man pulls back to bare his neck, tilts his head sideways, and slaps right over his pulse, “C’mon, partner. Let’s go.”
Sasuke sighs, “You’re an idiot.”
“Who feeds you on the daily, bastard,” there is no bite in that. Sasuke feels his teeth lengthen, it’s something he’ll always be actively aware of because even for them it is unnatural to have them protruding at all times. In fact, if they’re out too long it starts hurting, his whole jaw aching, which proves they’re only designed for one function.
They pierce Naruto’s skin, a splotch of blood running free before Sasuke’s lapping every drop into his mouth, sucking where the blood escapes. He feels Naruto’s sigh in his own chest, and for a moment he can feel as alive as the other man. Or the terms of living which the humans have defined creatures like him by.
Even so, right this second, he feels alive, blood gushing through his body.
Vampires no longer drink human blood. It’s not exactly forbidden, but is heavily frowned upon, and with how human beings are deeply integrated in every village they’re forced to live with those set of rules. However, it’s due to the misinformed notion that they drink blood in exchange for a kill. That hasn’t ever been true for most of his kind especially in regard to human blood.
Where elk, goat, cow, or even rabbit blood they drink in full, with human they only need a little to be sated and function at max capacity. However, due to a variety of unfortunate instances at the hand of fledglings they’ve stopped looking for blood in humans.
But there is another group they’ve never dabbled drinking from.
Mages that have human in them. That breathe, live, function exactly like a regular non-magical human does.
And that’s because most mages hate vampires. And vice versa.
He just seems to be the exception.
Naruto’s hand folds into his, it brings Sasuke back to reality, eyes circling red, he laps the last of the blood. Kisses the bite mark and kisses it again.
“You good?” he asks, trailing up to Naruto’s jaw who hums, contentedly.
“A bit woozy.”
They tangle under the sheets on the futon, Naruto feels a lot more active than his previous lethargic movements and sits up on an elbow. Brushes his thumb over Sasuke’s fangs, “What’s your fascination with my teeth?”
“They’re sick,” Naruto positively gleams, “Ooh! Ohh!”
He snickers like he’s got the best idea, keeps running the pad of his thumb down the bone, “You should totally give me a blowjob with them out.”
Sasuke slaps his shoulder, “I knew you were going to say something stupid.”
“Oh, come on, it’ll be hot,” he laughs not taking himself seriously. Rests his chin on Sasuke’s chest, and massages his jaw now, “Do they still hurt?”
Sasuke softens under the attention, pulls Naruto up by the neck for a kiss, and it’s a tad awkward due to his fangs but still infinitely tender, “Not so much when I’m kissing you.”
Naruto fully climbs on top of him. Starfish style spreads, and mumbles against his shoulder, hands now intertwined, “Let’s sleep.”
Sasuke crushes under the weight but doesn’t complain. Sleep comes easiest this way.
Sasuke should’ve known someone will notice.
The thing is drinking human blood. Human blood running a mage’s magic can have its affects. Sasuke’s able to perform three times the task of regular clansmen, goes on missions more than anyone else, can stay in the sunlight with no discomfort, manages to even herd in more blood for the rest of the village than any of the other hunters in his age bracket. He still doesn’t like killing animals and avoids that portion of his duties the most, but otherwise he’s able to outperform everyone.
He’s faster, stronger, and is thriving.
Mikoto asks him to get old comforters out of the storage, some nomad friends of her are visiting and although vampires don’t sleep other magical beings do. He reaches up to lift the bundle, and looks at his mother, “This?”
She’s been staring at him since he walked into the house.
“Mother?” he tries again.
She startles, and nods repeatedly, “Yes, that.”
Sasuke sets down the pile and lifts the other one she directs him to. Carries both into the living room, and when he gets up, she reaches for something around his neck.
“This is….” The necklace hanging from his neck shimmers when the overhead fixture reflects off the crystal, “Isn’t this a protective charm?”
Sasuke clamps his mouth shut. He had rushed over when he received the word of his mother needing him that he didn’t get a chance to take off the thing.
He could lie, but settles for a simple, “Yes.”
She turns the ruby in her palm, and says, “It’s supposed to protect you from evil spirits.” Looks up at him, “Why do you have this?”
“A friend gave it,” Sasuke replies. “It’s not a big deal.”
“Your friends’ a high-level mage then,” Mikoto’s lips set in a firm line. Sasuke has an odd inkling he’s either worried her, or worse, disappointed her. “Are they not?”
Sasuke sighs, and admits, “Yeah, he is.”
“Sasuke, mages hate vampires,” she reminds him as if the lesson hasn’t been drilled into him since the beginning of time. But how is it his fault he was allowed free reign at age six which included threading into the forest and finding a lost mage being chased after a troll?
“I know,” he steps back, and if the effect of it means more than it should then she understands because his mother’s expression wears into an earnest one, “Oh, my love, what did you do?”
“The troll was going to kill him,” Sasuke stupidly says, then scrubs a hand over his face in a foreign emotion—embarrassed, only a pigeonhole worth. “Mother, the mage, we’re together.”
“Oh,” Mikoto looks at the necklace again, “oh my.”
“It’s not as bad as it seems,” he tries to regale her into the mess of a story that’s spun with himself and Naruto.
She laughs, hand on her stomach, “If possible, your uncle will have a heart attack.”
“He won’t find out,” Sasuke insists, “He’d make it miserable for us. We already don’t get along with Naruto’s village.”
“Naruto?” she echoes back, “As in Naruto Uzumaki?”
He grimaces, “Yes, that one.”
“You’ve been picking fights with him ever since you were little!”
Sasuke clarifies, “Technically he picks fights with me. I simply go with it.”
She gives him an unimpressed look.
“What are you going to do? Stay in hiding?” Mikoto shakes her head, “Your father wouldn’t mind.”
“He wouldn’t?” Sasuke’s confused now, “But he hates—”
“Yeah,” she drags him into a hug, and cups his cheeks, “But we love you more so.”
Naruto is lounging on the futon, one leg crossed over his knee, and bowl of popcorn balanced on his stomach watching TV.
Sasuke stops short at the entrance and says, “How’d the fuck did you get cable out here?”
Naruto grins cheekily, spreading his arms and snaps his fingers, “Magic, baby.”
“You’re the worst mage to come out of your village,” Sasuke shoves him to sit next to him, and through an episode of whatever sitcom Naruto’s obsessed with now, Sasuke declares, “My mother knows.”
“Knows what?” Naruto belches, placing the beer on the desk. Sasuke rolls his eyes, and explains, “About us.”
Yeah, it’ll take a minute to process. When it does the blonde yells, instantly upturning the bowl, spilling popcorn everywhere, and flattening his back against the wall, “What!?”
He touches his mouth a little dazed, “Oh my god, your family is going to kill me.” Then looks up completely horrified at his next thought, “Oh my god, my family is going to kill me!”
“Calm down, she’s not telling anyone,” Sasuke waves him off. And Naruto makes a small sound, “What do you mean? Our clans have been warring for over a century Sasuke no way they’ll let this slide.”
“Yeah, but my mom cares about me more than some dumb feud which no one can remember why it started.”
Naruto shrugs, “Hashirama stole your land.”
Sasuke says, “So, you do admit that land is ours?”
“Yeah, there is a huge Uchiha monument there too. I don’t know who my uncle thinks he’s fooling.”
Then asks after a moment, “By the way, how’d she find out?”
Sasuke pulls out his necklace and dangles it in the air, “Thanks for branding me.”
“First of all, it’s to ward off evil spirits,” Naruto says, nose crinkling cutely. Sasuke doesn’t have the heart to tell him that by the standards of morality vampires definitely don’t lie on the good scale. “Secondly, I wear one too! It’s a protective measure.”
“Sure thing,” Sasuke says.
“Besides, I think a little bit branding is totally acceptable,” Naruto stupidly nods, arms crossed over his chest, “As long it keeps lechers away.”
“Are you talking about Suigetsu?” Sasuke teases, he’s had a rollercoaster of a day it’s only fair he gets to rile Naruto up to. Especially on a topic that he knows gets him going.
The blonde falls for the more than obvious bait, “Why’s he always in your space! Huh?”
“Maybe he wants to suck face,” Sasuke hums.
Naruto dashes forward and Sasuke always underestimates his ability to catch him off-guard because next thing he knows he’s being decked. Sasuke rolls them over, the crunch of the popcorn loud under Naruto’s back, “You’re a dick.”
“I like sucking your face, dumbass,” Sasuke kisses him to prove a point, and it’s enough to squeeze a laugh out of Naruto, “I already know.”
After a bit he wonders out loud, “Do you want to meet my friends?”
Naruto’s face flushes, “Really?”
“Yeah,” he falls back on his back, “Can’t say anything about the rest of the family, but I know my friends will love you.”
Naruto hugs him tightly.
It’s under the guise of a hunt that Sasuke arranges the meeting.
Suigetsu sniffles at the damp air, “Where are we going? Shouldn’t we head west?”
“No, just right here,” Sasuke stops near the mouth of the stream, and waits. Turns to Jūgo and Suigetsu who stare at him in confusion, “I need to tell you guys something.”
Jūgo looks at Suigetsu who gives him a strange same wavelength type of look, and says, “Well, that’s good.”
“What?” Sasuke narrows his eyes. “What do you mean that’s good?”
Jūgo clears his throat, and there is a light flush on his cheeks, “It’s good that you’re finally ready to tell us.”
“What are you—”
Suigetsu’s patience must run thin because he blows air, and casually strikes, “Bro we know you and Naruto are fucking. Now can we go eat?”
Sasuke is completely and utterly stumped.
“How did you know?”
Jūgo and Suigetsu exchange another look. Sasuke’s about to snap them both.
“Well…..” Jūgo stretches his vowels, “You tend to get this really cute look on your face when you’re around Naruto.”
“We’re always bickering,” he blankly puts. “I never speak to him outside of chance meetings at the gate.”
“Yeah, and you’re grinning every time, literally I’ve never seen you smile so much unless we’re posted at the gates and you’re picking on blondie.”
“Also, your excuses to leave the village started making less and less sense as time went on.”
Naruto chooses then to jump out of the tree he’s been hiding in, “Surprise!”
Jūgo has the courtesy to smile, but Suigetsu just starts laughing. Naruto elbows him, “Why aren’t they surprised?”
Sasuke is mortified.
“Please don’t speak to me,” Sasuke grimly says.
Naruto quacks, “Huh? What! Sasuke come back!”
He hears Suigetsu sidle next to his boyfriend, “Ever been on a hunt with a vampire?”
“Wait, I can come?”
Sasuke feels a headache coming. Jūgo comes beside him, and squeezes his shoulder, “Thanks for telling us.”
He shakes his head but feels good about his decision regardless.
By extension Sasuke has digested a lot of terrible books, and shows, and media related things in regard to vampires. When he was younger, he didn’t understand why people thought a species of onion would somehow render his people powerless. Like if it were up to him every meal would have garlic in it. Then there was the popular believe that he’d burn to crisp in sunlight. Now that one held a little weight. Vampires could maneuver easily during daytime, but they were nocturnal creatures, and sunlight was just not pleasant. That too could be solved if they regularly drank human blood.
Which brings him to the last ridiculous notion for his kind: their bloodlust for humans drives them to insanity. Sasuke can count on one hand the amount of people he knows that would be categorically fit the term ‘insane’ and sure his uncle Madara fits in it somewhere, but it has nothing to do with bloodlust more so their aging bones.
There are other things that are truer. He doesn’t age like the rest of magical creatures, he most certainly doesn’t need to sleep, and he is faster than nearly every other living being. Cheetahs, included. At his max strength he can pull any person apart limb from limb, and his eyes do turn red when he’s near a prey, but they turn red out of other emotions too—anger, excitement, love.
The last one wasn’t taught to him, but he learned himself.
He’s finishing laundry—another weird assumption that vampires only wear tunics and flowy blouses, it’s dumb, and Sasuke certainly doesn’t live in an abandoned cathedral nor does he live with cobwebs and bats with a coffin fitted to his size—when Suigetsu bursts through the door, “Sasuke.”
“This isn’t why I gave you a key,” he reminds him, he’s not that bothered though.
“Uh, you have to come outside.”
Suigetsu looks amused and sounds urgent which could only be a cause for trouble. Unlike Jūgo their friend is a bit of an instigator who takes joy in chaos. Sasuke abandons the last load and makes his way out to find Madara in the town circle ready to attack.
“What’s going on?”
Suigetsu points at the small centaur hiding behind Naruto, the blond has an open stance, completely ready in case he’s struck.
“That Centaur is from the other village, it’s young so I think he lost his way, but Madara found Naruto snooping village grounds trying to recuse him back.”
Sasuke inwardly curses and approaches his uncle. A crowd has gathered around the circle, and he can hear his father’s voice bellowing over the people to ask what’s going on. Madara replies, “This one says he accidently crossed the line into the village.”
Naruto insists, “He did! He’s a kid, don’t you understand, old man?”
“He’s a centaur,” Madara states as if that would mean anything to Naruto. “Haven’t they taught you about them, stupid boy?”
Naruto glares, “I don’t care what happened in the past. Right now, he’s separated from his nest. Let me do my job to get the foal home.”
“You think I was born yesterday?” Madara spits.
Naruto’s lip curls in a barely restrained laugh, “Trust me I have no qualms about you being ancient.”
“Watch your mouth,” Madara raises his voice, and the vibration of it knocks Naruto to take the situation more seriously. About hundred or so years ago their two villages drew a border between their towns. Crossing it was forbidden and came with a lot of hefty consequences especially since what happened with his late uncle Izuna. “You come to my village and act as if you have the right to speak to me like this? You should be grateful I haven’t skinned you alive yet.”
Naruto bristles, inevitably causing the baby centaur to cower in fear. But the blonde is undeterred and carries on, “What is wrong with you? What did I even do?”
Madara shifts forward. With the given distance he can hardly see but there is a passing emotion on his face and Sasuke is convinced he has lost the last semblance of patience he once possessed. Except something completely unexpected happens, the man turns his back and breathes, “Leave! Before I change my mind.”
Naruto, too, is shocked at the sudden change in mood, but doesn’t look the gift horse in the mouth. He trails back to the gates, completely missing Sasuke there, and that’s fine because he’s more curious what put a lid on his uncle’s infamous temper. The older man grazes past him, giving him a sideways glance that is followed by a long-tired sigh. He tells his brother, Sasuke’s father, “I’m retiring to my quarters. Send Shisuui if you need something.”
They nod in unison.
Sasuke goes to the treehouse later that night and finds Naruto reading through a frayed old book.
He settles next to him, peering at the spells that the man is learning by heart, and nudges him with his elbow.
Naruto shuts the book, and declares, “Your Uncle is insane.”
“Butsuma killed his youngest brother, he’s allowed to be a little insane,” Sasuke naturally defends Madara’s position in this whole debacle. “You have to understand where he’s coming from.”
Naruto takes a deep breath, and says, “That’s Senju history. Why does he insist all mages are like that? My mother my family would never.”
“Yeah, but your clan creating an alliance only further isolated us, and the vampires that sought refuge with our village. No one is right in carrying this ancient feud to this day, but where Butsuma has died and passed on, Madara is still alive. He doesn’t get the satisfaction of death.”
Naruto frowns, “Hashirama says him and Madara used to be really close.” He looks at him, “We should get them to be friends again!”
“No,” Sasuke says sternly.
“Why not?” Naruto asks, “C’mon, those old men need to sort out their differences or else how will—”
“How will?” Sasuke tugs on his train of thought.
Naruto blushes, and picks up his book again, “Nothing, I simply out of goodwill want some old friends to make up.”
Sasuke snorts, “Is that what you want me to believe?”
“Yes, now shut up, I have to study this before my training with Yamato-taichou tomorrow.”
“You never study, why start now?”
“You’re a terrible influence,” Naruto imposes, rolls until he’s on his stomach and lazily skimming through the pages.
Sasuke leaves him to his own devices and settles against the cushions and thinks maybe it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to get the grumpy old man a friend.
Madara joins him on a hunt. They leave the compound close to midnight, the moon hangs bright in the sky, and the weather has started wearing a thin layer of frost. Sasuke rolls the sleeves of his flannel, and asks, “Where to?”
The older man looks eastward and decides, “We’ll go to the hippogriff territory.”
Sasuke grimaces, “The Hyūgas oversee that area.”
“Hiashi is a spineless man, Sasuke,” his uncle details, “He’s never bothered to do anything himself. He’ll send that nephew of his if he doesn’t like our intrusion, after all, the forest belongs to no one.”
Sasuke’s boot roughen against the jagged terrain, they leap through the rocky hills, and through the foliage arriving at a small embankment. Hippogriff are rather milquetoast creatures, they stick together, and startle easily much like deer. Their imposing build—part-owl, part-horse—doesn’t correctly show off their demeanor.
Madara flicks his hand, and no matter how many jokes his friends and he crack about this man being old with one foot in the coffin, he proves to be ridiculously strong, moves in a lithe, soundlessly tactical manner. He’s the strongest vampire currently alive on the eastern hemisphere and you can undoubtedly see that when he boldly approaches the animal.
“Now, now, come here,” he smoothly intones, eyes dissolved in red, and the bird has no choice but to follow his voice. Sasuke’s seen older vampires persuade with simple words, it’s a rare ability that can be grossly misused. Has been before.
Innocent to its own inevitability as prey, the hippogriff canters forward, snout nuzzling into Madara’s palm, “Have you ever drank from one, Sasuke?”
“No,” he replies. “Is it different from a deer?”
“Much different,” Madara’s fangs come out, he coiled his hand in the feathers and pulls. The animal neighs in pain. Teeth sink into the thick coat, and a viscous stream of blood pours out of the hippogriff. The small body of water is empty minus them and the animal tries to struggle out of the strong grip. Sasuke makes a quick move to end its suffering.
Madara speaks in a way that his words curl at the corner of his mouth, “You’re faster than your brother. Itachi was never this good at hunting.”
Sasuke doesn’t dwell on the compliment if it can be considered one. He’s offered a drink, and even though he should be good for a few more days he goes along with it. He’s never had a drink from a creature like this.
The taste is bitter, sits heavily on his tongue, and he’s rethinking his uncle’s decision of coming out here in enemy territory to drink stale, coagulated blood like this.
“Not as good as human is it?”
Sasuke freezes. Did his face give away his distaste? It can’t be because he kept the neutral mask, Madara continues as if reading his thoughts, “Do you think I’m stupid, Sasuke? The rest might have forgotten but I know exactly what a vampire looks like when he’s been feeding from a human.”
He stays quiet. There isn’t any need to say unless he’s being prodded. Madara laughs, a hollow sound that sinks into an unheard emotion, “You’re going to be the next head of the clan.”
“What?” At this he does look up, and Madara stands to his full height. Sasuke’s got a handful of inches on him, but that doesn’t lessen the man’s intimidating aura to others. To Sasuke he’ll always be Madara: the old crazy man with too much anger to put aside.
“Not right now, but eventually,” he relays, “You’re stronger than the rest of them, it’s only fitting.”
They’re tracing back into the forest, Madara offers sagely, “The human will eventually pass on. Don’t get too comfortable.”
Sasuke knows this in the back of his mind but hearing it from someone as old as Madara makes the statement settle more soundly.
Being undead allows you to forget how life doesn’t hold the same meaning as it does to others. He’ll be here until the end of time—barring a threat to his existence by others like him—, however, that doesn’t everyone else will too.
He tosses the thought in his head and files it away until further notice. This isn’t something he has to deal with for a long time.
Fate has a funny way of showing you exactly what you don’t want to face.
Sasuke’s at his parents for tea, legs pushed under the kotatsu when Hikaku and Baru show up at their doorstep. They’re all congregated in the veranda, but the open doors of the living room allow him to eavesdrop.
“There has been a group of Tengu’s terrorizing the small towns near the coast,” Baru informs, “They sent messengers to all the villages, the one for us just got here in the morning, but apparently they sought out Hashirama first.”
“Is it all sorted then?” Fugaku asks, he’s sitting on the deck.
Baru and Hikaku exchange looks, petrified, “They’re being helped by that serpent, Orochimaru, and no. Apparently, they sent a mage last night, but he got badly injured. He was basically ambushed.”
“Do we know who?”
“Someone said it was the kid that came here a few weeks back,” Sasuke’s already cold skin turns ice. He pads out into the veranda, placing a hand on one of the pillars, “Where’d you hear that from?”
“Some kids,” Baru shrugs. “What should we do? Send out people?”
Fugaku rubs his chin, “Let Madara hold a meeting. We can get volunteers.”
Sasuke crushes the swelling dread and moves back into the house. Suigetsu meets him at the post near the gates, and asks in incredulity, “You’re going to do what?”
“Go to Konoha,” Sasuke replies. “Do I look incognito?”
“You look like a fucking idiot!”
Jūgo hands him the backpack, and asks warily, “Are you sure this is the best idea? The last person who went there…..”
Sasuke glares not feeling the need to expand on his reasonings, but Jūgo’s always been a good friend so he discloses, “I need to know he’s okay. Also, they can’t hurt me.”
“Yes, the can,” Suigetsu sounds hysterical, “How do you not realize when Madara preaches about this every Friday instead of the sermon?”
Sasuke rolls his eyes, “Come find me if I don’t return by sundown.”
“Oh, hell no!” Suigetsu yells, “This is you choosing your death for some dick! We’re not part of this! Right, Jugo?”
Sasuke flips him off.
Konoha is tucked between forests at the cusp of the ocean, the air is salty and Sasuke can see how massive the port town is. There are boats, and ships anchored on the beach, and workers milling the area carrying out their duties. He grumbles, “Land thieves.”
Finding Naruto’s house is easy to spot because truth be told Sasuke’s been here once. A long time ago when Naruto insisted, they go to the fireworks festival happening that summer. It’s a two-story house, a staircase winding outside the entrance, and the eaves a pale-yellow color. He discreetly climbs to the window of what he assumes to be the blonde’s room, his guess is correct because through the gap he can see the man struggling to put a shirt on. One arm bandaged near the shoulder area.
“You need help with that?”
Naruto startles, trips, and falls on his ass. The neck of the shirt still stuck around his giant melon head. Sasuke climbs inside and drops the bag on the bed, crouching down to his boyfriend who hisses, “Why are you here?”
Sasuke tugs down the shirt so Naruto’s head can pass through, messy hair and flushed face staring back at him, “How’d you even find this place?”
“We came here once, remember?”
“We were ten!” Naruto is shocked.
Sasuke shrugs, “I have a good memory. It’s a vampire thing.”
Naruto’s face crumbles into a horrible realization, “No, no, no, you need to leave. If they caught you….Listen Hashirama might be complacent but the rest of these villagers aren’t. Danzo has it out for you guys.”
“What happened to your shoulder?”
It’s enough to distract the blonde from his distress over Sasuke’s predicament, totally incensed over his injury, he answers, “I was attacked! They said there will be only a few tengus, and I was already running a fever that day—and—”
“You took on a herd of demons, and the strongest serpent on this side of the country despite having a fever?”
“Okay, I would’ve won if that small one didn’t jump me!” Naruto seethes, “Wait till I get him next time. I’m Uzumaki Naruto who does he think—”
“Alright, calm down, dumbass, how’s the wound?” Sasuke really was worried for no reason. This idiot was relentless and the only thing that’ll kill him is his own stupidity if anything.
Naruto pushes aside the shirt pooling around his neck, and brandishes his wound smugly, “Pretty sick, ne?”
“Yeah, I’m leaving,” Sasuke gets up, but Naruto hastily crawls to pull on his joggers, “No, wait! Did you come because you were worried?”
He hesitates for a fraction of a second. Naruto cackles, clapping his hands like a seal, “Wow, you really were worried.”
“Hikakau said you were severely injured,” Sasuke loftily lifts a shoulder, “I had to check.”
Naruto blushes, looking everywhere but him until his eyes land on the backpack. “What’s that?”
“Snacks,” the blonde unzips the bag and pulls out the content, eyes gleaming and face bursting at the seams with his smile, “It’s the ones you like from our village. I told Jūgo to collect them while I figured out how to take down the tengus.”
Naruto perks up at that, still on the floor, stupidly clutching the backpack and all his snacks, “Dude, we should go together.”
“You’re injured,” Sasuke deadpans.
“This thing?” he tries to be smart but when he rolls his shoulder it must hurt because his face immediately pinches as if he’s sucked on a sour lemon, “Okay, noted. But I heal fast! And the healing spell Karin put should start doing its magic soon.”
Sasuke weighs his options, “Alright, I’ll stick around then.”
“Are you hungry?” Naruto asks, they’re on the bed. The blonde is perched against the headboard, sitting upright, while Sasuke’s got his head in his lap.
He plays with Naruto’s fingers, “I’m fine.”
“You sure? I don’t need you passing out on me mid-fight—”
Sasuke pinches him, “Shut up and eat your rice cakes.”
Naruto grumbles, and halfway through his bag, he assures, “You don’t usually worry.”
Sasuke feels caught, but doesn’t keep up the pretense, sighs where he turns into Naruto’s thigh, “Madara’s inane speeches might’ve gotten into my head.”
Sasuke jokes, “The mortality of life.”
Naruto remains uncharacteristically quiet. The moments last long enough for Sasuke to glance up. The blonde frowns, pushes his thumb along the swell of Sasuke’s bottom lip, “We don’t have to worry about that right now.”
Sasuke nods kissing his thumb, Naruto laughs, lightly. An airy rasp between them, “Besides Uzumaki’s age slower than everyone else and basically live forever.”
“Yeah,” he clutches Naruto’s wrist, “That’s true.”
True it might be, but it still not a promise of eternity. Not the way Sasuke foolishly thought himself to have.
The tengus are taken care of with the help of Jūgo and Suigetsu. Afterward, they’re joined by Karin, one of Naruto’s cousins, to help remedy the injured townsfolk and create protective spells for future instances.
“Tell me again why we have to get those bags of bones to be friends?”
Naruto happily inputs, “Because it’s the right thing to do.”
Suigetsu stares at Sasuke, “Since when did you care about that?”
“I don’t,” he replies, “But I’m tired of Madara picking fights and getting us involved.”
“Fair,” Jūgo adds on, “I really would like to be excused from the Friday meetings.”
“See?” Sasuke replies, “All we have to do is find a way to get them in one place.”
“What about the full moon?” Suigetsu suggests, “We’re all going to go for a hunt, we can just distract Madara from the rest of the group. Hashirama should be out then too, right? To make sure no one breaks the rules and whatnot.”
“Isn’t that too risky?” Jūgo asks, “Most packs are out then. Not just our clan. Even the werewolves are foraging at that time.”
“Actually, it might be perfect,” Naruto sketches a picture for them, “No one has broken the rules of hunting in nearly half a century. Everyone minds their boundaries; we just need a little time so they can talk to each other.”
Sasuke evaluates how risky this can be, but decides, “I can always monitor things in Madara’s stead.”
“I’ll takeover Hashirama,” Naruto nods, “This could work! Especially if you guys help us.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Suigetsu waves his hand, “Why not. Sounds like fun.”
Things don’t quite as planned. Madara and Hashirama do end up speaking, but what they don’t anticipate is Orochimaru attacking right before the men get a chance to sort things out.
Sasuke dodges the snake zipping through the air, attacking him, “Naruto!”
“I’m here!” the man calls back, golden urns of light spilling from his palms, “You good?”
“Yeah,” Sasuke stomps his boot on the basilisk’s tail earning a shrieking sound out of him, Naruto who is on the other end slices at it’s with a wind blade. The creature’s scaly body shimmers under the full glow of the moon, it pulls back to dodge the next attack, but Sasuke pierces the other side of its neck with his nail, digging them deeply.
“How the hell are we supposed to kill this thing?”
The serpent effortlessly tosses them to the side, Sasuke’s aware of Hashirama and Madara working together on the serpent’s twin on the other side.
He steps back into the open clearing, the snake flutters forward, and Naruto tries to put a motion spell on it but fails, “Why won’t it work?”
“I think Serpents are immune to those types of seals,” he remembers reading that once and notices the way every time he speaks the scales near the snake’s eyes flutter. “I have an idea.”
Naruto looks at him, and Sasuke points at the open gap that closes as soon as Naruto stops moving. Sasuke whispers, “Attack him there. It will destroy his sense of sight.”
Naruto tackles the right side while Sasuke takes the left, the serpent spits venom, long fangs nearly cutting Sasuke open, but he ducks at the last minute. Tears the fleshy pit organ. The blonde’s eyes widen at the gaping scales, jagged along the ripped fibers, “That was so cool.”
“Your turn,” Sasuke’s lips pull up.
When the serpent falls to the ground a huge thud reverberates throughout the area, Naruto climbs the dead skin to reach Sasuke and exclaims, “That was fucking amazing.”
Sasuke accepts the kiss, and tunes into Naruto’s excited bramblings. Amidst it the blonde asks, “What do we do with this guy?”
He kicks at the corpse. Distantly he can see a similar creature laid to rest by Madara and Hashirama, Sasuke advises, “We could always return them to Orochimaru.”
Hashirama stands on the other side of the spate river, “I’d like to thank your village for helping our own during Orochimaru’s attack.”
Madara who normally isn’t dragooned into imparting his gratitude stands next to Sasuke, his own father on the man’s other side, sharing Hashirama’s cloying sentiment, “Likewise. Without your help, we would’ve lost plenty of our own.”
Suigetsu hisses in his ear, “They didn’t do shit! We did all the grunt work. Pretty sure I saw Kiba piss his pants.”
Sasuke elbows him, “Shut up.”
“I think it’s time we end this feud Madara, we admit to our mistakes, and only wish to bridge the gap that’s been created between us.”
Sasuke sees Naruto yawn on the other side, Jūgo is the one who says this time, “why are they talking like this?”
“God, I refuse to turn old, I refuse,” Suigetsu huffs.
“Agreed,” Madara nods.
Hashirama nudges Naruto, and the bridge that’s been constructed over the river, the one that’s never really been used before, creaks under the blonde’s steps.
“As a peace offering, we present you with a gift,” Naruto’s hands crescendo slowly to the exhales of the river, a flute of golden and tangerine light threads his fingers, and a bonsai appears in his hands.
Madara leans into Sasuke’s side, “Go get that.”
Madara stares up at him, and he does go to the bridge. Meets Naruto halfway, the blonde wiggles his brow impishly, “Our gratitude, Uchiha-san.”
Sasuke gives a blank look, “You’re having fun with this, Uzumaki-san.”
“These old nuts have no idea,” he snickers and extends the plant into Sasuke’s hands. “Water it and trim it periodically. Do you got that, or should I write it down?”
“Get out,” Sasuke warns, and Naruto makes a puckering motion. Bows a bit, and Sasuke mirrors the movement to keep the pretense. Makes his way down the rickety wooden bridge. Hands over the tiny bonsai to Madara, “He said water and trim it.”
Mikoto laughs at his tone, and Sasuke shrugs.
They hold a celebration at the end of the night to commemorate the union of their villages, and finally putting aside the long-standing feud.
Karin who is wrapped around Sakura admits, “Wow, you two really orchestrated this whole thing and actually ended up doing something positive.”
“How did you know that Orochimaru was going to attack?” Suigetsu inquires.
“We didn’t,” Naruto beams, “That was just dumb luck.”
“Naruto!” a red-haired woman calls out to them, and Naruto looks between his cousin and Sasuke’s friends. “Excuse us.”
Sasuke’s brow knit together before he gets dragged from the fire pit towards the woman, her hair is braided and pulled back from her face, and Naruto positively shines when he introduces him, “Mom, this is Sasuke!”
He points at him with both hands. Sasuke awkwardly waves, “Hello…?”
“Sasuke,” she turns the name on her tongue before recognizing, face a complete copy of her son, “Sasuke! Of course!”
“Of course…?” he doesn’t get an answer because he’s pulled into a hug. “It’s nice to finally put a face to the name.”
Kushina talks almost as much as Naruto. Asks him far too many questions and only lets them be when Mikoto joins, who then picks and prods Naruto until he’s colored into different shades of red. They leave both women when they start bonding.
Naruto knocks their shoulders together, they’re slipping out of the crowd towards the forest, “Hey, hey.”
“Hey, hey,” Sasuke says back.
“Race you to the treehouse?”
Sasuke loses only because Naruto’s an asshole and turns the dirt to quicksand right as he’s about to reach the tree.
“You should know better by now,” Naruto tuts.
Sasuke knocks him out, and they both roll onto the futon. When they’ve spent a decent amount of energy, Naruto asks, “Does this mean we have to stop coming here?”
“Why would we do that?”
“I don’t know,” Naruto contemplates, “It isn’t like I can’t visit your village now.”
“Yeah, but this is our place,” Sasuke points out. “Besides now we can fuck legally basically everywhere.”
Naruto barks out a laugh, unzips Sasuke’s jacket, and kisses below his jaw, “Might as well get started.”
Sasuke has an arm around his waist, he grinds down Naruto’s cock, and the blonde is shaking in pleasure.
The sharp pointers of his teeth hurt, he presses them to Naruto’s neck and bites.
A loud, throaty moan escaping him, “oh.”
“Stay with me,” Sasuke licks the blood and moves his hips, Naruto cups his ass, squeezes and thrusts into him.
“This time it didn’t really hurt,” Naruto says, quickening his pace. Sasuke matches it in stride, grazing the puncture wounds on Naruto’s neck with his thumb once he’s done drinking, “Huh, maybe I’m turning immune.”
Sasuke licks his lips, and pulls Naruto in by the neck, laughing lightly, presses down harder, “What?”
“I read somewhere,” he racks his brain, and Sasuke sees the blushes decorating his cheeks brightening, “It hurts less when vampires take a permanent partner.”
That should be another bullshit book, Sasuke assumes. But the thought is oddly sweet, he doesn’t correct Naruto, “Maybe, could be.”
Naruto beams, a bit shy, and considering the position they’re in it's completely misplaced. But Sasuke can’t contain the endeared note braiding his voice, “It’s just you.”
In the moment of excitement, Naruto picks up his pace, and Sasuke meets his thrust with equal fervor. They fall into bed with sated limbs. Naruto says through a ragged breath, “You’re never cold to me.”
Sasuke looks at him through his bangs, chest rising, “What do you mean?”
“You said you don’t feel warmth, but,” Naruto curls into him, “You’re always warm to me. Even right now.”
Sasuke’s half-mast eyes study the blue eyes, the freckles on Naruto’s face, traces a lonely finger down Naruto’s back, “Am I?”
Naruto lifts up to hover over him again, and mumbles into a swollen kiss, “So warm.”
He feels his eyes flutter to their visceral red, and it’s an almost natural reaction at this point. He feels Naruto’s breath against his own neck, kisses that trail to his chest, and he learned plenty of things that come with the miserable shackles of immortality. Things he never chose.
Naruto looks at him, smiling cheek to cheek.
Perhaps no eternity, but for now this is good. So, very, very good. The rest? They’ll figure that out too. They always do.