Summary: When Naruto “earns” his cash to spend it at the best brothel in town, he expects good service. However, he gets more than he paid for. NaruSasu, AU. Part two of three.
Notes: Bet'd by the lovely Calamus. I'm very indebted to her for making this more readable! The next update shouldn't take me another month. All criticism accepted (yes, I do mean that)
Sasuke's breath came out in pants and he nearly thought he'd crack under the strain. The exertion was painful: he'd been running at a seemingly fast-as-lightening pace for long minutes now and felt extremely tired. His lungs were aching, his body felt sore and, to top it all, he felt dizzy: the rooftop, along with its glowing surroundings, shimmered and twisted like a circling piece of cloth or a dangling rope. The lights coming from the houses danced around him like fireflies – all luminescence and dazzling brightness under the dark veil of the night.
Sasuke considered himself quite lucky that he hadn't managed to kill his precious self yet so far – this was such a crazy undertaking. He was pretty sure that the founder of his clan, who was as dead as a doornail, was turning in his grave.
However, stopping wasn't an option. Sasuke wasn't someone who gave up easily. Besides, being an Uchiha meant that you had to be ready to fight tooth and nail for your life; this was a doctrine that he'd been immersed in ever since he was a toddler. Failure was a disgrace and Sasuke wasn't ever going to be one. He would succeed at any cost. He'd prove everyone that he was worthy of being an Uchiha; he wasn't going to allow anyone to stand in his way. Especially not losers like that perverted moron from earlier.
That idiot might be following me. I didn't cut down the rope.
While running along the rooftops and jumping from one to the other, he cursed under his breath. He hadn't forgotten what had occurred back at the brothel. Then again, he hardly could have done so: it'd been a mere hour ago since that foul-smelling idiot had kissed him forcefully. Oh, the man had been quite foul-smelling and vulgar indeed, tasting of rum and all the filth of someone who didn't take hygiene too seriously. Or, at least like someone who wasn't all too particular about it.
No, he hadn't smelled horrendously, but it had not been a wonderful experience either; it had pretty much felt like kissing a fish, which he didn't think anyone would consider a sensuous experience. But Sasuke didn't claim to be all-knowing. Perhaps, there were people who got off on that. He didn't belong to that sort.
It was dark – something Sasuke was glad for. It wasn't a black entity of nothingness, but he was certain that his silhouette was as nondescript as a creeping shadow, which spared him the trouble it would mean being detected by somebody. Then again, he doubted that anyone in their right mind would be looking for people jumping on rooftops way past curfew.
His agile and well-trained body found it relatively easy to jump from one rooftop to the other – the distance between them wasn't far. Each time he jumped, a gust of wind accompanied Sasuke and swept through his hair, which made him swear again. He really did hate his hair, even though he'd tied it into a ponytail. It always got in the way.
He'd reached a dead end – there wasn't anywhere he could jump to now. If he did, he'd meet his certain death or, at least, break a couple of bones. Sasuke wasn't feeling suicidal nor did he wish to spend the next few months of his life confined in a bed. By that time, Orochimaru would have left this town and he'd never get his chance to kill the bastard. And Sasuke had every intention of doing so.
All of a sudden, there was a rustle of material behind him – a rattle of metal and the squeaking creak of leather; Sasuke was surprised, even though his instincts had forewarned him. Still, he couldn't believe that the fuckwit from before had truly followed him all the way. It really took a special brand of idiot to be that persistent.
"Well, well, well. I've caught up with you, bastard," the guy's voice behind him drawled; it made sparks of anger go off along Sasuke's spine. Sasuke gritted his teeth, fist clenched and nostrils flaring. Hadn't he given the idiot enough hints?
Naruto, meanwhile, was just too happy for being given another chance to confront this interesting bloke. He'd run after him like a madman, all the while anticipating that fantastic second fight that awaited him. He loved the fact that his very presence was making the blood in Sasuke's veins boil.
"Look, I told you I don't have time for this. Go away – just leave!" Sasuke called out to the man angrily, hoping that the stubborn asshole would finally just let him be; he'd given him enough trouble for tonight. Sasuke really didn't want to be forced to do something they would both regret.
Naruto weighed his options, scratching the stubble on his chin again. He shook his head and drew out his sword, not wasting a minute to attack Sasuke. He wasn't too fond of wasting time, as he had demonstrated countless times before. Besides, he still hadn't got lucky and this was mostly this moron's fault. He'd really wanted to get laid tonight.
He'll pay. Though fighting with him is better than having sex with some dirty wench.
Sasuke was prepared and countered the attack by throwing shuriken at Naruto, which the man quickly evaded. Sasuke groaned and rolled his eyes; he should have prepared himself better, but he couldn't do anything to amend the situation now.
It was quite a feat to watch that man move. He might have been all rags and dirt, but the way Naruto moved was nearly graceful; his body swung back and forth like a pendulum. He was fast as well: his legs were extremely flexible and he was capable of bouncing around, not unlike a human pinball.
"Like hell I'll just leave," Naruto announced fiercely while he noted how the other man's eyes were on him. He wasn't a coward and wouldn't even dare botching his chance of having another fight.
Why, he thought, slowly tracing his tongue over his upper lips, the party's just getting started.
Sasuke threw another bunch of shuriken at him – he seemed to have an infinite amount of them stacked away in his pouch. Not slow on the uptake, Naruto skidded backwards, but as soon as he caught his breath, he dashed towards Sasuke again.
"Man, this is kind of no fun. I can't fight someone who doesn't have a sword," Naruto complained, lowering his blade. He pouted and let out a huff; he had been looking forward to cutting through some flesh and bone – especially Sasuke's. Yet, like this, he couldn't do much.
No, he wasn't into justice or honour, but Naruto liked challenges; it wasn't much of a challenge to fight with Sasuke like this. As strong, agile and swift-footed as Sasuke was, he only had to wait for the right opportunity to pin him down and slash through one of his critical points. No, this wasn't entertaining at all. Having Sasuke die fast wasn't his intention.
"We'll have to end this. I can't use my sword against you."
"Good. You've finally made a wise decision."
Sasuke sighed in relief. He heard the sword being put back into the sheath and the clapping of hands against moth-eaten material. He was glad the other had seen the light of reason; he would be gone soon now and Sasuke would be free to pursue his goal.
And Father will finally acknowledge me.
Unfortunately, lost in thoughts like he was, Sasuke had failed to pay attention, had failed to notice that Naruto wasn't by any means giving up on this. He noticed quickly, though.
"Doesn't mean I can't attack you with my fists and legs," Naruto muttered determinedly, already in an appropriate fighting stance. He was crouching and Sasuke's own instincts were – once again – running high. He'd once heard that fighting was not unlike floating underwater: you felt like losing yourself. Well, he was certainly losing himself.
"You never do give up, do you?" Sasuke inquired, also crouching and waiting for the signal, the sign to attack.
"No. You can bet on your soon to be dead body I don't," Naruto responded, smirking all the while. There was a look of pure ecstasy and unbridled passionate blood-lust playing on his features; he looked vicious and ruthless, like the Vice character from the morality plays. Meaning that he wouldn't have any scruples when it came to finishing Sasuke off, robbing him of his money and making a run for it.
"I won't die. Not by your hand."
"I'll fight you until you're bloody and beaten, moron."
That was enough small talk for Sasuke. He understood that he'd met someone with the same iron will as his – and this meant that neither of them would quit. He was perfectly fine with that; he'd forgotten about the urgency of his mission. All that mattered was to show this guy who was boss.
Sasuke dived at Naruto, aiming for his stomach; however, his attack was avoided once again and he found himself clutching his cheek. He'd been hit right there and, had he been weaker, this would have knocked him out cold.
"Is that all you've got?"
Sasuke smiled and shook his head. This time Naruto was the one to lunge at him, but Sasuke sent him flying backwards by landing a well-placed kick into his stomach; Naruto grunted out in pain and his body fell on the heavy metal rooftop with a thud.
But he got up again and Sasuke advanced towards him once more; this time, they fists met each other – repeatedly, as if all this were part of a complex dance routine.
"What, is that all you've got?" Sasuke spattered out, clutching his throat. He was completely exhausted.
"I can't – you completely drained me out. As if you'd been riding me all night."
Sasuke's eyebrow rose at that – the dirty implications of the statement didn't pass by him unnoticed. Working at a brothel had made him more than well-acquainted with sexual innuendo; he had been forced to listen to various sleazy compliments and jokes that would have made his father blush a beet red. And his father wasn't the type of man who lost his composure easily.
"You're really just into fighting and sex, aren't you?"
"There's not much else a man can do," Naruto admitted, absent-mindedly scratching his back; he wasn't embarrassed at all and his eyes twinkled mischievously when he remembered how much fun he'd had over the years.
Sasuke wasn't impressed, it seemed. His notion of a swordsman's life differed substantially from Naruto's.
"Never heard of honour, fighting for the sake of doing the right thing?"
Naruto spat, chuckled and then started to laugh heartily – he spilled out his mirth in waves and his laughter was contagious. Sasuke would have laughed, if his repressed nature had allowed him to do so. However, he was tongue-tied because his well-breeding was too deeply ingrained in his brain. Therefore, he could only watch how Naruto laughed with tremendous exuberance; he hadn't expected a man of his status and character to be like this. He hadn't thought it possible that a bandit, a dirty vagabond, could laugh in such an innocent manner.
"Are you fucking crazy? What's honour got to do with fighting? You either kill or get killed, that's all."
The fastest ticket to dying is being a ninny harping and whining about honour. Seriously.
If Naruto had paused to think about honour, he would have been a goner by now. Honour had no place in his life; he didn't have the time to be a hero and he couldn't care less about authority – they hadn't ever done him much good. While children – skinny, brittle-boned children with haughty and withered faces – starved on the streets, the leading figures of authority drunk themselves silly and cared for nothing but power, glory and riches; there was no place for compassion or charity in these decadent existence of theirs.
Naruto wasn't an embittered man, though: he had accepted his fate readily. However, he couldn't help laughing and he continued to laugh even though he felt like his insides were being torn apart.
Sasuke could only stare at him, still startled and stupefied. Suddenly, he felt something like curiosity surging inside of him; there was something about this guy that made him want to know more, more about the person lurking behind the façade of whiskered cheeks.
"Say, what's your name?"
Naruto stopped laughing and, for a brief moment, looked at Sasuke. He wasn't shocked, but mildly surprised. People rarely bothered to ask him what his name was: names were for people who signified something. Naruto's existence was of little meaning to this world; he was just a rogue and – as a rule – rogues had no identity really. Usually, men like him were filed under philandering, throat-cutting and women-raping assholes; there wasn't anything in-between.
"Naruto. Don't bother asking me about my last name – I don't have one."
Sasuke just nodded, understanding what Naruto – that was a weird name – meant.
"Mine's Sasuke Uchiha."
There was no flicker of recognition in Naruto's face and Sasuke was a teeny bit disappointed; he'd hoped that the name "Uchiha" would ring a few bells.
"Shame, I thought Sachiko fit you much better."
Sasuke decided that responding to this would be a waste of his precious time. He had one objective now: find himself a bed for the night. What the poor soul didn't know was that Naruto had the same thing in mind – and he was resolved to not let go of Sasuke.
After all, he still had a debt with him.
The hostel was as dingy and shoddy as could be; it was an age-old building that could only pride itself of being inhabited by the rats and cockroaches filling the earth-smelling and mouldy halls: one could hear them skittering and squeaking. The echoes of the skittering-squeaking intermingled with various other sounds – cussing, the banging of pots, breaking bottles and loud snoring.
Sasuke didn't have enough money to afford anything more luxurious though. Naruto was broke again by now; he'd spent all his money on Sasuke, or, better said, the illusion of Sachiko.
And that money was completely wasted. Fuck, should have just bought myself sake instead.
Naruto, however, wasn't put off by that. He'd been through worse, having slept in beds that weren't beds at all and spent half of his life on the streets. You did lower your standards considerably after such experiences. Besides, Naruto really didn't care where he slept as long as no one disturbed him.
"Hmm, we'll have to share a bed," Sasuke noted and the anger building up from before flared in him again; he was cursed, it seemed. First, he'd been forced to work in a brothel of all things and now he had spent the night in such a sleazy place. Additionally, he'd managed to find himself a companion. Naruto had simply come along, not caring whether Sasuke wanted him to or not; however, he was too tired to protest. His aching limbs just couldn't handle another fight.
Itachi would laugh his ass off if he saw me now.
"As long as I don't have to kiss you again, all's fine with me."
"Heh, as if I'd kiss you, moron. Besides, you were the one who started it."
"I thought you were a whore. Pardon me for thinkin' it belonged to a prostitute's business to kiss their clients..."
Sasuke bit on his lips nervously and nearly started developing a tick; the last thing he wished to hear about was the whole brothel affair. In fact, Sasuke never wanted to think about it again; the whole mission had been a joke, indeed. He had wanted to prove that he was strong and mature enough to handle missions on his own, that he was equally talented as his genius brother and not to be underestimated. Well, Sasuke's illusions had been shattered.
"Don't remind me of that."
Naruto, however, couldn't stop himself from rubbing salt into the wound.
"You know, I'm curious. What were ya actually doin' being a whore?" he asked while he plopped down on the bed; he didn't even bother kicking his sandals off. Sasuke watched this whole action with poorly disguised disgust and interest. Naruto didn't care.
"It's part of a mission. I'm a ninja."
Naruto's interest was awakened; he'd heard tons of rumours about ninja and it had always encouraged his over-active imagination. He'd thought Sasuke was some sort of samurai, but this was more intriguing.
"Oh, so you're one of those creepy guys dressed in black who kill people past midnight? Never thought I'd meet one of your kind."
Sasuke's jaw hardened. He hated those clichés and he wasn't going to allow his family name to be tarnished by the likes of such a mercenary moron like Naruto. He was probably a throat-cutter or some swindler, but this didn't give him the right to make wrong assumptions.
"Look, I'm from an ancient clan – one of the most dist-" Sasuke started in an arrogant tone, which promptly aroused Naruto's rage.
If he hated something, then it had to be conceited prigs.
"I don't fucking care where you come from or who you are, princess. That's about as interesting as the soddin' wallpaper here," Naruto interrupted, waving his hand in an impatient manner, as if Sasuke were an annoying insect.
"How dare you insult me! I'm Sasuke-" Sasuke started, his lips pouted and arms folded.
Naruto restrained the urge to kick something. Instead, he let his emotions run wild and vented out his frustrations on Sasuke.
"I grew up on the fucking streets. I don't know who my father or mother are. And even if I did, it wouldn't have mattered. On the streets, it's about survival, not whether you're descended from this family or not!"
An uncomfortable silence settled over the motel room, lingering and then stretching until it seemed to enshroud them, like a stifling cloak made out of thick cotton. Sasuke swallowed audibly and took his sandals off; he decided to just forget about it and go to bed. The sooner he and Naruto parted ways, the better. Before he could go to bed though, Sasuke found himself forced to break the silence that reigned over the room.
"Could you take those sandals off, please? I don't want to sleep in such filth."
The bed was dirty enough already without Naruto's muddy, smelly old footwear; the material of the sheets looked scratchy and soiled; the "white" of the mattress was a murky yellowish-orange. Sasuke didn't even want to ponder over the meaning of that, but just go to bed and pretend that it was a nightmare. Perhaps, in the morning he would find himself back home again, instead of in this rotting hell-hole. All of this was horrible and Naruto wasn't making things any easier.
"Heh. You don't know what filth is, Sasuke-chan. Bet you've been spoilt all your life, but I won't namby-pamby you. "
Bastard. He thinks he's better than me. Well, I'll show him I don't bow down to anyone, least of all people like him.
"Look, just shut up and take those sandals off. Or I'll make you do it."
"Come on, make me," Naruto challenged, fixing Sasuke with an amused glance. He wouldn't mind fighting; the more he fought with Sasuke, the better he liked the guy. Here was someone he could call his equal, someone who as strong as or even stronger than himself. He had fun getting under Sasuke's skin.
Sasuke didn't wait another second; he was on top of Naruto in a flash and attempting to pull one of his bloody sandals off, found himself on top of the other man; however, he didn't realise it. He managed to pull one of the sandals off, which landed on the creaky wooden floor with a thud; the other followed soon.
"Why, you're more dirty-minded than I expected, Sasuke. You really want to ride me, don't you?"
Sasuke halted in his movements, confused. Naruto continued to look up at him with more than just amusement lurking in his eyes – there was something like hunger in them as well. That look wasn't unfamiliar to Sasuke; Naruto had looked like that back in the brothel right before he'd kissed him. Needless to say, Sasuke was horrified, dumbstruck and very, very offended: he couldn't believe that Naruto had the courage to behave like this. Furthermore, it angered him that Naruto had the audacity to call him "dirty-minded".
Naruto used Sasuke's mortified anger and ran his hands over the bare skin of one of Sasuke's arms; his touch tingled and Sasuke felt goosebumps running down his spine. But he repressed the excitement that it awakened in him. He didn't like it: this was getting dangerous.
"You know, I wouldn't be adverse to-" Naruto said, his fingers now reaching for Sasuke's shirt. He smirked. Perhaps, he would get laid after all – and Sasuke wasn't that bad-looking for a man.
"What are you doing, Naruto?"
"What does it look like, hmm?"
Sasuke quickly got off Naruto, gobsmacked.
"That's – you're a pervert!"
Naruto merely grinned. He wasn't hiding anything; plainer words had never been spoken. He was a shameless pervert all right and wasn't going to deny it.
"Now I get it: you worked at the brothel because you were desperate for roll in the hay."
"You're the greatest idiot I've ever met."
"And you're the most stuck up frigid asshole I've ever met. What's the point?"
"Just shut up," Sasuke ordered, his voice akin to a hissing sound.
Naruto, of course, feeling a major headache coming on – all this twisting and turning had not been good for him – was eager to comply. He didn't want to hear any more of Sasuke's eternal bitching; he was worse than some of the beggarly whores he'd had.
"Will do. 'Tis no pleasure talking to you anyway."
Sasuke didn't favour Naruto with answer, but merely growled. After this incredibly mature display of mutual respect and understanding, they went to bed. Whereas Sasuke was appalled at the fact that he had to sleep in those sweat-soaked clothes of his, Naruto was quite pleased; the bed, even though it was slightly creaky and a little too hard, was comfortable. And Sasuke – as he was forced to admit – was an entertaining guy. It'd been ages that Naruto had been that close to someone, and it felt good.
Sasuke was having a dreamless sleep, but – as was his custom – he twisted to and fro on the bed: it creaked under his movements, creating a creak-crack that resounded continuously. Suddenly something cold and chilly splashed over him – so abysmally cool that it quite tore him from his sleep. It had been ice-cold water. Consequently, Sasuke found himself drenched wet. Naturally, this didn't make him feel all too pleased.
Naruto was looking up at him – with a smugness that immediately sparked a feeling of indignation in Sasuke's breast. He didn't have to think twice about it – Naruto had been the mastermind behind this feat.
"Why, you – what did you do that for?"
"Good morning to you, too. Thought I'd finally wake you up. You were getting' quite loud."
Sasuke knew that he talked in his sleep; his mother and Itachi had commented on that often enough. Nonetheless, it didn't excuse Naruto's actions at all!
"With water? Cold water? Do you want me to get pneumonia?" Sasuke asked incredulously, getting out of the bed and preparing to strangle Naruto to death. But as angry as he was, he relented: he wasn't in the mood for a brawls. "
"Nothing else worked. You're a heavy sleeper."
"Naruto-" Sasuke started to say, but a hand against his mouth quite stopped him.
"Oi, I've decided to help you."
Sasuke slapped the hand away.
"I didn't say anything about needing your help."
"Ah, but it looks like you need it," Naruto commented offhandedly while he rubbed his head and counted the holes on the wall.
"Who says so? I don't need anyone's help!" Sasuke insisted, but he realised how empty and false his words rang. Of course, he needed help: his plans had been skewered. He couldn't work as a prostitute anymore – not without major trouble awaiting him.
"Hey, you should see this as a great honour – you get to work with Naruto The Great," Naruto said, grinning in that playful way of his again.
"Great with what? Bragging?"
"Oh sheesh. I'm not dead yet. You couldn't kill me. 'Sides, I'm one great fighter. Been through a lot of shit."
Sasuke pondered over it; it wasn't such a bad idea in the long run. His mission was to kill Orochimaru – by slitting his throat quietly and then slipping away into the dusk: he had to be as inconspicuous as possible. A loud-mouthed guy like Naruto, who was all for brawls and brandishing his sword, was just the type of man he required; he could serve as the distraction that Sasuke needed.
"Cool," Naruto said joyously and, in his euphoria, he shook Sasuke's hand, "But it's not for free, ya know?"
Of course it wasn't going to be free; Naruto wasn't the type who did good deeds without expecting to profit from them.
"And what do you want in return?" Sasuke asked tiredly; he was expecting something along the lines of "sake, you asshole."
"Oh, I'll think of something. Don't worry."
Whether it was to fight with him to death or being paid a good sum of money, Sasuke didn't care; he was glad that they had reached an understanding. Like this, he didn't have to worry about anything anymore. He'd found a compromise.
"So, I should tell you the particulars. I'm going to kill this -"
"I don't care. Just tell me what to do – that's all. I don't need a full hour lecture."
Sasuke was losing his patience; his head was hurting and felt like it was about to explode – it seemed to be growing bigger with every passing second. His very nerves were screaming, tingling in anticipation for an outburst. Naruto was driving him insane.
"Fine, but you should at least know something about it. Or we'll both end up being killed," he finally managed to choke out, trying his utmost to keep the anger from his voice. If he wanted Naruto to respect him, he had to remain as calm as possible.
"Man, Sasuke, are you always that high-strung? Loosen up, come on."
Naruto slapped Sasuke on the shoulder joyously – it was such a strong and lively slap that it nearly sent Sasuke to the floor. Naruto was quite a bundle of energy: he was brimming and bustling with strength, vivacity and zeal.
It was only now that Sasuke noticed that he was shivering; his wet clothes stuck to him like a second skin – they wouldn't dry fast enough either. Sasuke needed new ones and he knew the very person who could get him what he desired. Besides, it was Naruto's fault, anyway. Digging in his moist pockets for the few coins that he still had left, he hoped that the blond was trustworthy. Oh well, there wasn't anything else he could do for now.
"Naruto, take this money and buy some clothes. I can't go out with these."
"Oh, you want me to buy some women's clothes for you? I'm not sure I'll find any-"
"No. Quit being a fool. Go now!"
Naruto took the coins quite readily and put them into his pockets, grinning in that foxy way of his again. He let the coins jingle in his trousers and with an exclamation of "oh damn, is this good", he left, slamming the door behind him with an ear-splitting bang.