It started a month after he'd become a part of Team Seven. Waking up he was instantly hit with a bout of restlessness the likes of which he had never experienced before. He had always been rather energetic – too much so, some people would state – but this level of restlessness was unusual even for him.
A quick look at the clock informed him it was still way too early to get up and he laid there for a moment, scowling up at the ceiling. It was still quite dark outside and there was only the faintest light of the moon peeking through the gap in his curtains. He kicked off the blankets, figuring that perhaps he was just feeling too hot, but that didn't doo anything except for make him even more antsy. Sitting up, he tugged at the blanket until it loosened completely, pulled from underneath the mattrass. He started pushing it around, turning it into a crumpled ball at first before shaking it loose again and shoving it to the edge of the bed.
The blanket laid there in the shape of a half moon for a while as he squinted at it; the shape of it barely visible in the darkness of his room. He turned his attention to his pillow next, but fluffing it up somewhat and pushing it into the right corner of the bed was all he could do with it and it made him scowl. Should he go to a shop after training today and see if he could buy a second pillow? But they tended to be rather expensive and he had to make sure he could make it through the month with enough money to buy food. Perhaps he should just wait until they went on sale, but had pillows ever gone on sale? He couldn't remember it.
Turning his attention back to his blanket, he straightened out one part and crumpled the rest, messing around with that part until it formed some kind of makeshift wall in the form of half a circle. He grabbed his pillow next and propped it up against the blanket before lying down again; his hand coming up to clutch the corner of his pillow.
His restlessness was tampered slightly now. He was still feeling somewhat antsy for reasons he couldn't figure out, but the need to get up and start messing around in his apartment was less pressing now, a bit easier to ignore.
Still, even though sleep claimed him once more, it wasn't exactly the resting sort.
"Naruto, will you quit messing around!" Sakura growled dangerously.
Naruto jumped and immediately stopped fiddling around with the straps of his bag. "Ehehehe sorry, Sakura-chan," he smiled sheepishly. "Just can't sit still for some reason."
"You're going to tear a hole into that strap if you don't stop pulling at it soon," she warned him; her own bag resting on her lap.
He pouted, pushing his bag to the ground and stepping away from it. Sasuke glanced at him, before turning his attention back onto the road. Kakashi was supposed to have shown up here around an hour ago for their latest mission in the Land of Snow. Of course after seven months it had become clear to all three of them that their sensei's sense of time was complete and utter shit and if he would show up within the next hour, it would be early.
They were supposed to retrieve a couple of scrolls hidden somewhere in a cave. Their mission could take up to a week so they had been advised to pack enough warm clothes and a decent tent to protect them against the cold. It was a small mercy that for once Naruto had thought to pack his bag the night before, because he'd woken up this morning feeling restless as hell again and it had left him scatter-brained enough to nearly forget to put on his forehead protector.
This feeling of restlessness had started popping up every month since the first time it had happened to him, usually lasting a couple of days and still remaining a mystery as to why he felt this way. No matter how he messed around with his pillow and blanket nor how many times he did sit-ups and push-ups, hoping the exercise would drive away the agitation, it just didn't work. For those couple of days each month he was doomed to feel restless, even more than usual, and he was worrying how he was going to get through this mission if he wasted so many hours trying to get his blanket and pillow to lie just right. Or well, right enough that he could catch some sleep at least.
He had debated going to a doctor about this, but how was he supposed to explain himself? That he felt restless a couple of days each month, more so than usually, and that no matter what he did, he couldn't shake off the agitation? Yeah, that would go over well, especially when none of the doctors at the hospital would be eager to see him.
Maybe this was something normal and had to do with growing up? But neither Sakura nor Sasuke seemed especially agitated, though Sakura did have a tendency to snap at Naruto more than usually during certain times in the month. Still, they didn't seem to feel as agitated as he did, so maybe his body was just wired stupid this way?
"Good morning, I'm sorry I'm late; I was helping two kids retrieve their ball from a roof," Kakashi greeted them cheerfully, jumping down from one of the tree branches.
"That's a lie!" Naruto pointed at him accusingly while Sakura crossed her arms and Sasuke scoffed. "Retrieving a ball doesn't take two hours!"
"It was a really tall roof," Kakashi said after a pause.
"Mah, let's leave, shall we? We don't want to waste daylight."
"WHOSE FAULT IS THAT, YOU THINK?"
Naruto realised how screwed he was the moment he tried to set up his tent. Tried to, because not only was one of the poles broken, but there was also a giant tear in the middle of the fabric. With no thread and needle it was impossible to mend and he could only stare down mournfully at what was supposed to have been his shelter against the snow. What was he supposed to do now?
"What's wrong?" Kakashi asked when he noticed Naruto being the only one of the three not putting up his tent.
Plopping down on a nearby rock, Naruto sighed, tugging uselessly at the tent as if that would make the fabric miraculously repair itself. "My tent's ripped and one of the poles is broken."
"And you didn't notice that when you packed your bag?" Sakura asked in disbelief.
"It was fine when I packed it!" he defended himself, pouting, and started half-heartedly shoving the tent back into its bag. Maybe he could try to find some shelter in one of the trees around their little camp? Although the branches didn't look that comfortable … "It must have ripped somehow when my bag got caught onto that rock back then."
In fact it was only because of the bastard's quick intervention that he hadn't lost his balance completely and smacked with his face against those rocks.
"Well, in that case you're going to have to share a tent with someone," Kakashi announced, scratching the back of his head. It started to snow; some of the little flakes catching his spiky hair, making it glisten weakly. "Can't have you freezing to death; I don't want to have to explain that to the Hokage."
"He's not going to share with me!" Sakura instantly stated. "Don't want him stinking up my tent!"
"Hey, I bathed this morning!" Naruto protested.
Kakashi sighed. "Mah, I suppose you'll just have to - "
"He can share my tent."
Sasuke's abrupt and entirely unexpected comment had all three of them staring at him. Sasuke raised an eyebrow and sneered. "What? He needs a tent to sleep in, he can share mine. It's big enough anyways."
"Sasuke-kun!" Sakura gasped and looked torn between being awed and upset.
Naruto could only stare at him, befuddled at the offer. The bastard never liked it when one of them got too close to him – not that that stopped Naruto from swinging his arm around his neck or tugging him along by his wrist so they could go eat Ichiraku's – and now he was offering his tent? What was up with that? Blue eyes narrowed in suspicion while black eyes simply stared back blankly.
Kakashi clapping his hands startled them all. "Well, that's settled then! Naruto and Sasuke will share a tent for the remainder of the mission. Please do try not to kill each other in the meantime, that would give me too much paperwork, thank you."
"I'll shove that paperwork up your arse," Naruto muttered darkly, but grabbed his bag and scuttled over to Sasuke's tent which of course was completely erected already.
Sasuke gestured for him to enter first and Naruto's instinctive reaction was to refuse and insist he went in first, but it was really cold, the temperature dropping by the second it felt like, and he wanted to be somewhere warm immediately. Quickly he crawled inside, taking note of the thick sleeping bag already spread out across the bottom of the tent on the left side. There was a small pile of extra blankets put right next to the bag and Naruto eyed them longingly, thinking back to the blanket he had left behind at his apartment. He could have taken that one with him, he supposed, especially when his own sleeping bag wasn't nearly as thick as Sasuke's was, but truth be told, it wasn't as if his blanket would do much to keep out the cold either way.
As he started rolling out his own sleeping bag, his belongings pushed into the right corner of the tent, Sasuke entered as well, zipping the tent shut. He had a torch in his hand, which he placed right in the middle of the tent, the bright beam widening from a pinpoint to a broad one, offering enough light for Naruto to see what he was doing. They already had had dinner, so all that was left to do was get settled and go to sleep. They had to walk at least two more days to reach the area in which the scrolls had been hidden, maybe even longer if the snow piled up too much.
While he normally didn't mind snow at all, now Naruto was hoping that it wouldn't snow too badly, because he had no desire to wake up as a popsicle in the morning. He should probably keep his mittens, his scarf and his woollen hat on to retain some heat while he slept. His jacket would be even better, but he discovered quickly that the zipper of his sleeping bag wouldn't even close when he wore the jacket, so with a regretful sigh he shook it off and folded it up, using it as a pillow instead.
Sasuke eyed the way he fiddled around with the jacket, but he looked away before Naruto could demand what his problem was. He was the one who had offered to let Naruto share his tent! It wasn't as if Naruto had begged him for a place!
"All right, lights out and don't let the bedbugs bite," Kakashi called out cheerfully; the snow muffling his footsteps slightly as he walked past the tent, setting himself up for the first watch.
"Idiot," Sasuke muttered darkly.
Naruto could only silently agree with that as he wiggled down into his sleeping bag. That annoying itch underneath his skin was there again, the one that urged him to get up and start moving around his stuff until he was satisfied – but he never was satisfied, no matter how many times he changed the positions of his pillow and his blanket – but he forced himself to remain still. He already had had Sakura on his case earlier today because of his inability to stay composed, he didn't want to annoy Sasuke as well, especially not when that might mean getting kicked out of the tent.
Sasuke clicked off the torch, turning the tent dark instantly. There was a light shuffling noise as the dark haired boy turned around in his sleeping bag, presumably lying down on his side. Naruto turned on his left side and rested his hand underneath his cheek, wondering how long it would take this time to fall asleep. This wasn't really the first time he'd fallen asleep in the proximity of Sasuke, but this was the first time they were actually sharing a tent, thereby decreasing the distance between them a whole lot.
Sasuke's natural scent seemed to be soaked into the tent entirely and Naruto couldn't stop himself from taking a discreet sniff. Because he was just an absolute bastard like that, of course Sasuke had to smell really nice too. His scent was rich and warm with a woodsy undertone and unwillingly it seemed to soothe the itch underneath Naruto's skin a bit, like a cool balm against a burn. Man, the dickhead just really had to have it all, huh? Pretty, smart, strong, popular, and now smelling really good too. It was really quite unfair and it had Naruto scowling into the darkness even as he kept breathing in the scent deeply.
Actually now that he thought about it, Sasuke's scent was paradoxically soothing him and worsening the restlessness at the same time somehow. How was that even possible? Well, he was a bastard, so it made sense that his scent would give Naruto such conflicting sensations. It really was quite soothing, however, and his eyelids started to become heavy; his eyes taking longer and longer each time to open again.
Could he really fall asleep this closely to Sasuke, though? What if he started kicking in his sleep or moving around too much or just in general being a nuisance to the other boy? Considering the state of his bed every morning, he felt it safe to say that he was quite the restless sleeper, even during those times when he didn't feel especially restless. Like tonight, but he wasn't going to think about that. Because thinking about that agitating feeling was just going to make it even harder to fall asleep and he really couldn't afford to keep lying awake for so long, not when they had the mission to fulfil and …
"What are you doing?"
The deep voice shot straight through his dream, breaking up his sleep, and Naruto shot up, disoriented. When he regained his bearings, it was to see Sasuke sitting up as well, the torch on again but on a lower stand this time, the beam a lot smaller. Naruto felt his cheeks burn when he realised why Sasuke had woken him up. In his hands he held one of Sasuke's blankets, already halfway crumpled and dragged right between their sleeping bags, forming some sort of fluffy bridge. He had actually been in the process of pulling away the second layer, he noticed to his horror, and he dropped the blanket as if it had burnt him; his cheeks positively on fire now.
He cleared his throat uncomfortable and shuffled hastily back to his own sleeping bag, trying to ignore Sasuke's heavy stare. "Sorry, guess I was having a weird dream, haha," he chuckled weakly, too embarrassed to even look up. "Maybe the snow's messing with me; I mean, it is really cold, don't you think so? Or well, maybe you don't, given all those layers, but yeah, I mean, I think the cold might just be messing around with me. Man, am I going to be glad once we're back home." Abruptly he shut his mouth and closed his eyes, fruitlessly hoping the ground underneath him would open up and swallow him whole.
Goddamn it, couldn't he just be normal for one freaking night?! How did he mess up simply sharing a tent with somebody?
Something soft touched the side of his hand and he jumped slightly; his eyes flying open to see a blanket resting on his lap. As he watched stumped, Sasuke shoved the remainder of the blankets to his side before dragging his sleeping bag closer to him. There was still a small distance between the two bags, but Sasuke was undeniably closer now and his presence so near him created a funny sensation in Naruto's chest.
"Erm, Sasuke?" he croaked out, horribly confused by now. He'd expected Sasuke to slap him and tell him to stop being so annoying and to stop stealing his blankets. He definitely had not expected the other boy to actually hand him the blankets! What was going on here?
"You're on edge, right?" Sasuke asked abruptly. He clucked his tongue when Naruto only stared at him and waved impatiently at the pile of blankets. "Go on then, place them how you want them, so that we both can go back to sleep."
Wait, Sasuke knew about the restlessness? Did he experience the same thing then? But unlike Naruto, Sasuke wasn't making any moves to mess around with the blankets. Instead he was sitting up in his sleeping bag, his clothes rumpled, and hiding a yawn behind his hand while he kept the torch airborne with his other one.
"Come on, I don't have all night," Sasuke grumbled.
That spurred Naruto into action immediately, the thought of actually having multiple blankets to mess around with now making him excited for some strange reason. He didn't try to discern why that was, instead taking full advantage of Sasuke's odd kindness and started pulling and tugging at the blankets, trying to be as quick as he could before Sasuke's patience would run out. Even so, he couldn't help but pause at times, admiring the softness and thickness of the blankets he was allowed to handle. He squeezed the fabric multiple times, marvelling at the silky warmth emanating from them.
A strange sort of haze descended over him as he fussed around with the blankets, pushing them into this corner then into the other one, crumpling parts of them before smoothing over the rest. A pillow ended up in his hands and was placed against one of the thickest blankets, a second one following suit, forming some sort of soft headrest. His sleeping bag was dragged towards the middle of the whole pile, softened up with one of the blankets.
When he finally straightened up, he first became aware of just how satisfied he felt now; that strange sort itch actually entirely gone now for the first time ever since it had appeared! He felt so happy about that, that it took him a bit to realise that he had dragged all the blankets into some sort of wonky circle and –
Naruto's cheeks abruptly felt on fire again when his gaze landed on the two sleeping bags pushed against each other, not even an inch of space left between them. Oh crap, had he really done that?
"You done?" Sasuke asked, cutting straight through his growing panic.
"Erm, yes, I'm done," Naruto squeaked and right as he was about to apologise for messing around with Sasuke's sleeping bag – oh god, why had he done that? Why had he taken that one as well and why had the bastard let him do that?! – Sasuke promptly laid down into his sleeping bag, looking for all the world as if nothing was amiss.
He opened his eyes again when he felt Naruto gaping at him. Peering up at him, he nearly blinded Naruto – the jerk did that on purpose! – with the torch when he aimed the light straight at his face.
"If you're done, get back into your sleeping bag and go to sleep," Sasuke sighed. "We still have a couple of hours before we have to get up."
"Erm, all right," Naruto said cautiously and tentatively he crawled towards his own bag, expecting a slap or a kick any second now once Sasuke fully realised just how closely they would be lying together.
The slap or kick never came, though. As soon as Naruto laid back down, Sasuke clicked off the torch, allowing the darkness to settle in once more. Naruto laid there, listening to Sasuke's breathing turning deeper, gaining the rhythm it always did when the boy fell asleep.
For the first time in seven months the restless itch was completely gone.
The mission ended with Naruto and Sasuke beating the absolute crap out of two men who had been intending on stealing the scrolls in order to sell them for profit. Naruto had no idea what was so valuable about a couple of old scrolls, but like hell was he going to let two old coots get the better of them!
"That's what you get!" Naruto taunted triumphantly, knocking out the last thief with the help of one of his clones.
He panted harshly, the back of his neck prickling uncomfortably warm now in spite of the cold air due to all the fighting they had just done. There were smudges of blood covering his knuckles and he wrinkled his nose, rubbing them off on his trousers. Eugh, he was going to have to use extra detergent to get all the blood out of his trousers.
"Hey, Naruto, you ready to go?" Sasuke called out to him while Kakashi took the time to tie up the two thieves with some rope.
"Yep, ready!" Naruto confirmed cheerfully and let Sasuke pull him back onto higher ground after he'd landed near the frozen riverbank.
"If you need to arrange the blankets again, do it before we go to sleep," Sasuke surprised him by murmuring, ignoring the furtive glances Sakura was shooting him.
"What?" Naruto's cheeks flamed an instant red.
Sasuke merely raised an eyebrow. "You heard me. Get that done before we go to sleep. I don't want to be woken up in the middle of the night again."
"Bossy bastard," Naruto grumbled, sticking out his tongue.
Secretly, though, he couldn't help but feel relieved that in spite of his weird habit, Sasuke was not treating him differently. And well, he couldn't deny that he hadn't had such great sleep since Sasuke had allowed him to mess around with the blankets. He wondered where Sasuke had bought the blankets from. Clearly that cloth was far superior to what Naruto had, for it to make him fall asleep so quickly every night.
When Naruto returned to his apartment after having bought a new tent and an extra bag just to ensure the new tent wouldn't rip so easily again, he was utterly baffled to find blankets stockpiled onto the foot end of his bed.
"What the …" Thoroughly confused and wary he approached the bed, dropping the tent onto the floor for the meantime. He poked at the cloth curiously before lifting each blanket, checking for anything hidden between them.
Odd. There were no explosive tags stuck to the blankets, nothing sharp or other things weapon-like. He took a cautious sniff at the first blanket, furrowing his eyebrows. None of the blankets had that new smile everything in the stores had, but they didn't smell dirty or nasty either. In fact, the scent clinging to it was vaguely familiar and really nice, having him bury his face into the first blanket, a dark blue one, before he realised what he was doing. Hastily he pulled his face out of it, embarrassed, but couldn't bring himself to drop the blanket either.
Where had these blankets come from? Had Kakashi dropped them off? Sometimes the older man would drop off baskets with vegetables and fruit in them, insisting that Naruto should eat more healthy, anything that wasn't considered ramen. Maybe he had seen the pitiful lonely blanket on Naruto's bed and decided to gift him some extra's? That would be a bit weird, but well, Kakashi was a weird guy.
Hm, maybe someone from the apartment building who wanted to get rid of some blankets and decided to drop it off here? Less likely than Kakashi doing it, but not everyone in the building actively hated him so …
Whatever, the blankets were nice and soft and smelt good and most importantly, nothing was attached to it that might kill him, so he was just going to accept this weird present! No point in worrying about blankets of all things, really.
Remembering how quickly he had fallen asleep after he'd been allowed to mess around with Sasuke's blankets during their mission, Naruto started unfolding the blankets, humming to himself as he set about putting them in the right position.
"Anything else you need to tell me?" Tsunade inquired briskly, pulling away her stethoscope.
Naruto blinked up owlishly at her. Since she had taken up the role of Hokage, she had insisted on having everyone go through a general check-up. Kiba had joked that that was the reason why doctors normally didn't become Hokage before Kurenai had ordered him to run three laps around the village.
Naruto didn't really get the sense behind these check-ups, but he hadn't seen a point in refusing them either, even though a check-up really wouldn't do much with him, considering how fast he healed.
"Nope, nothing," he told her, dragging his finger through the weird mini zen garden she had put on a table nearby. It was filled with little white stones and soft, grey sand and dragging his fingers through the sand was almost hypnotising, lulling him into a pleasant daze.
She sat down in the chair across from him, wheeling herself a bit closer. She'd forgone the Hokage hat for now, dressed only in a doctor's coat. "When did you present?" she asked out of the blue.
"Present?" He stared at her blankly, unsure at what she was getting at.
Well, he wasn't an idiot, he knew what Presenting meant. Everyone either was an Alpha, a Beta or an Omega, presenting when they entered their teen years, though the exact age seemed to differ from person to person. Naruto didn't know much about each Class, only knowing that Alpha tended to be stronger than average – and a lot meaner in some cases – while there was nothing really noteworthy about Beta. Omega tended to be softer than others, the counterpart to Alpha, though that didn't necessarily mean they were weaker. Just different.
"Hm, you presented as an Omega, didn't you?"
"I did?" he asked stumped. Wait, was he actually an Omega? When had he presented? Why didn't he know this about himself?!
She gestured at the zen garden. "There are a couple of ways you can discern which Class someone is," she started and crossed her arms underneath her impressive bosom. "There's the scent of course, though it takes time to learn how to differentiate between the three different Classes, but there's also the simple trick of the zen garden."
"Hm. Alpha tend to mess around with the stones more, either throwing them in the air or trying to build something with them," she explained. "Beta either don't pay attention to it or use the mini rake to create designs in the sand, while Omega," she leant forwards and pointed at his finger which had been steadily pushing the sand to the edge, digging a little circle, "tend to draw circles in the sand, symbolising their instinct to nest."
"To nest?" he repeated horrified and instantly jerked his hand away from the zen garden. "I'm not a bird!"
"Of course you're not." Tsunade rolled her eyes. "You'd be a hell of a lot quieter in that case."
"It's just a term used to describe how Omega will design their beds to be as comfortable as possible. They often end up putting blankets and pillows in some sort of circle like birds do, hench their nest," she said and shrugged. "I already thought I could smell it on you when we first met, but the zen garden trick just confirmed it. So when did you present?"
"I don't know," he muttered and started fidgeting with the strings on his jacket. "Maybe nine months ago? I started feeling weird then, like really restless and started messing around with my blanket then."
She nodded slowly. "Are you dealing with those bouts of restlessness okay? If you need more blankets or so, the hospital can pro-"
"Nah, not necessary." He shook his head. "I got a bunch of extra blankets a while ago, so I'm good!"
"Don't go buying out the stores now," she teased amusedly.
"Oh, I didn't buy them. Someone gave them to me." He shrugged and scratched the bridge of his nose. "Still don't know who, but they're nice and soft, so I'm not complaining."
She raised an eyebrow and looked ready to say something, before she closed her mouth after a pause. Shaking her head she rose up and went to her desk. "Well, if you've got no other concerns, you can go. Nothing wrong with you, so off you go."
"You're the one who insisted on doing these check-ups, baa-chan," he reminded her cheekily and scurried out of the office before she could turn around and throw a file at his head.
For such an old lady, she still had a mean throw!
The moment Sasuke abandoned them in favour of going to the creepy snake, not even Naruto's pile of blankets – nest, whatever – could comfort him anymore. The soothing scent was still there even after several months, but instead of calming him down, all it did was agitate him even further. All this time sleeping in his nest had comforted him, making it easier to fall asleep and get rid of the antsy sensation within him. Ever since Sasuke left, however, the restless feeling had only grown worse and he didn't understand why.
He threw himself into the training with Jiraiya, determined to drag that jerk back from that creepy snake even if it killed him. He also hoped tiring himself out would help with the agitated feeling, but alas, of course he wouldn't be that lucky. Those couple of days every month were almost pure agony now; no matter how much he would fuss around with the blankets, it never seemed to help much and he was an irritated zombie during those days, quick to snap at Jiraiya. The older man had quickly figured out it was better to leave Naruto be during those days, but that only made the blond feel even worse. Kyuubi's taunting of him and his nest didn't really improve his mood either and at times only blasting things apart with his Rasengan would help reduce the restlessness somewhat.
He didn't know how, but he was sure this was all Sasuke's fault. He was so going to beat the crap out of him for being so goddamn annoying the next time they met again!
Foolishly Naruto had expected everything to return to normal after the war had ended and Sasuke had ceased trying to destroy everything. Sasuke was back, his best friend was no longer lost in the darkness, everything should be fine again, no?
He still felt incredibly agitated, however, no matter how many times he redid his nest and he just didn't understand why! It couldn't be because he was still worrying about Sasuke, because there was nothing to worry about! Sasuke was back, in all his stupid Alpha glory – because of course the bastard was an Alpha, why wouldn't he be? – so everything should be fine.
But it wasn't and after redoing his nest five times, Naruto left his apartment in a huff, ignoring the way his stump still ached underneath the bandages.
"You look miserable as hell," Ino greeted him casually when he was about to walk past her parents' flower shop.
It was getting late, the sun setting low, and one by one all the shops were closing up; the flower shop being no different. All the flower buckets and plants had already been placed inside and Ino appeared ready to lock up the whole shop.
"I feel like it," he mumbled, stuffing his hands into his pockets – only to realise belatedly that he only had one arm left for now. Right, still getting used to that.
"You want to talk about it?" she offered, slipping the key into her pocket after locking the door.
"Just … stupid nest not cooperating," he muttered and ran a hand through his hair.
She smiled sympathetically. She was an Omega just like him and knew how frustrating it could be when a nest didn't look and feel the way you wanted it to look and feel.
"You tried changing it?" she asked and they started walking away from the shop, no real goal in mind.
"Yeah, several times, but it's just not working," he sighed and tilted his head back, watching the sky turning purple and pink.
She hummed thoughtfully. "Have you always had trouble with it?"
"Not always. Some months are worse than others, but now …" he trailed off and frowned. "I don't know what's wrong, it's like something is missing and I don't get what!"
She abruptly came to a halt, making him stop as well by resting her hand against his arm. "You ever thought that that might actually be the case?" she asked cryptically.
"What do you mean by that?"
"Well, sometimes our nests might need the presence of someone else in order for them to actually be good," she explained and smiled. "Maybe that's why your nest doesn't feel right now."
Was that it? Was that the whole problem? The fact that someone was missing from it? Who could that be, though? He had always slept in his nest alone, save for those moments that he had shared it with …
Realisation hit him like a kunai in the face and he groaned loudly, dragging his hand down his face. Of course. Of course it had to be him. That goddamn bastard. He was so going to kick his arse!
"Guess you figured it out, huh?" Ino said amused; her smile widening a notch. "Well, don't let me keep you here. Go get them."
Immediately he jumped onto the closest roof and started running towards the direction where he had last felt him. Of course it just had to be him, because why wouldn't it be? He just had to be an annoying bastard like that!
The fact that you only figured it out just now is really astonishing, Kurama drawled; his tails idly waving through the air. How are you this dense?
"Oh shut up!" Naruto snapped at him. "Like this is my fault!"
It actually is your fault for not realising this sooner. It's also your fault for not having better taste than him, Kurama told him boredly. You couldn't find anyone else? Even the Ichibi holder would be better.
"You hate the Ichibi!"
Hate is a strong word. I just know I'm superior to him, Kurama grinned widely. It's not like the kid still has him in his possession anyway. He'd make a much more preferable fit for you than a brat who can control you with his eyes.
"Oh for fuck's sake, Sasuke never tried to control me!" Naruto said irritated and jumped over to the other side of the street.
Hm, your taste still sucks.
"Not talking to you anymore!" Naruto said in a sing-song voice and left their shared mental space before the fox demon could throw another quip.
Sasuke was waiting in front of his old family home, one eyebrow raised.
Naruto jumped down from the gate and stormed over to him. "You're such an annoying bastard, do you know that!" he yelled. "Can't even let me have a goddamn nest in peace, that's how annoying you are!"
"Took you long enough," Sasuke smirked and jerked his head to the house behind him. "I've got a bunch of blankets there and it's almost evening. If you want to make a nest, do so before we go to sleep, I don't want to be woken up in the middle of the night again."
"That was one goddamn time!" Naruto insisted, hissing and spitting like an enraged cat until Sasuke tugged him closer by his wrist, pulling him forwards until their bodies were pressed against each other.
"Come on, there's a nest waiting for us," Sasuke murmured; his dark eyes shining in the dying sun.
"You're a jerk," Naruto huffed, but couldn't resist and rose up on his tiptoes, pressing their mouths together in a clumsy but soft kiss.
He grinned when upon pulling back, Sasuke stared down at him with a dazed look on his face. He had done that, he had put that look on Sasuke's face, hell yeah!
His grin widening, he tangled their fingers together and pulled Sasuke towards the house. "Come on, I've got a nest to make for us."
And this time the nest would be absolutely perfect for sure. Because he had everything he would ever need for it right here, holding his hand and looking at him with soft eyes.