Pairing: NaruSasu oneshot
Warnings: Language, mild violence. OC's POV.
Note: Set in the future when Naruto is rokage and Sasuke his ANBU captain - because there aren't nearly enough fics like that.
Theme taken from the original theme table of lemontreeparade , before that whole table idea was scrapped.
The daimyo of Fire Country was exactly like one might expect after having met his cat-obsessed wife. He was a short, unimpressive man that tended to take out his marital frustrations on the people around him in the most ridiculous ways, and so infiltrating his staff was laughably easy for a well-trained jounin—especially when said staff had a high turnover due to work-related stress and nervous breakdowns.
So it was that the jounin simply calling himself Nanashi had been able to quickly manipulate his way to being one of the daimyo’s personal guards without suspicion. Now he was bowing respectfully to the rokage of Konohagakure, deep within the heart of the Village itself. He kept his eyes lowered, only glancing around the small company through his eyelashes. He was protected by his humble identity of a mere bodyguard in a meeting of politics, but he had known before ever sighting his targets that there were very dangerous men and women there.
The daimyo and his entourage were seated along one long edge of a table, the kage Uzumaki and his nin facing them along the opposite edge. Nanashi kept half an ear on the talking as he surveyed the other nin; there were the distinctive pale eyes of a Hyuuga, the marks of an Inuzuka, and the unusually strong kunoichi that his sources claimed had been trained by one of the legendary Sannin. But those three and the few others were eclipsed by a dark figure kneeling with perfect aristocratic form by the kage. Uchiha Sasuke, of course; Konoha’s tragic little story of betrayal and redemption. He was dressed in the skintight green-and-black uniform of an ANBU, a feline mask hanging from his belt and the swirled leaf tattoo on his bared upper arm.
Uzumaki Naruto was animated, gesturing with his hands and smiling cheerfully at the daimyo. He wasn’t at all like what Nanashi’s sources had claimed. There were no fart jokes or inappropriate outbursts, no awkward fumbling in the conversation, and if he hadn’t known better Nanashi might have thought that Uzumaki displayed manners worthy of a powerful clan without losing his renowned easygoing cheer. And really, anyone who could face the daimyo’s passive-aggressive behavior without wanting to kill the man had patience in spades…or was just used to it.
Nanashi almost felt bad about his plan.
While Nanashi watched the kage his eyes flickered briefly towards the Uchiha, and a slight tremor went through him when he realized that he was being pinned to the spot by a dark, lidded stare. Uchiha hadn’t said a word throughout the introductions or the meeting itself. Only the violent chakra Nanashi could sense coiled just beneath the surface gave any indication that something was going on behind that pale face.
Getting past him was going to be difficult. All three students of the Legendary Sannin in the same room…Nanashi would have to be fast, because he would only have one chance to strike before the other ninja killed him.
“What do you think, Ryu-san?”
The sound of his pseudonym almost startled Nanashi. He hadn’t expected to be noticed as anything more than another bodyguard, let alone be addressed by Uzumaki himself, but he simply bowed low at the waist.
“I’m sure that the conclusion reached by this meeting will be the best course of action, Rokage-sama,” he demurred.
Strangely enough, the kage pouted. Pouted. “Ne, Ryu-san, that’s a lame answer. What do you really think?”
With the daimyo visibly glowering, Nanashi nearly made up something that would placate both lords. But with the purpose behind his mission at the forefront of his mind, he decided to take a risk.
“If I may be so bold, Rokage-sama, I do not think that changing the country’s borders would be wise.”
“I agree,” Uchiha said suddenly, finally breaking his silence. His voice was as flat as his expression, giving nothing away, but Nanashi was sure he didn’t imagine the brief glance he received. “Fire Country has been at peace for more than twenty years. Expanding its borders would change that.”
“With all due respect, Uzumaki-san, I don’t think these two men are qualified to make such judgments about matters of State,” the daimyo interrupted with an angry flush to his lined cheeks. The kage blinked at him in honest surprise.
Without taking his eyes off Nanashi (who, despite his years of training and level of skill, was growing unnerved), Uchiha turned his head slightly in his kage’s direction and stated, “The man doesn’t have respect for anyone who doesn’t scrape at his feet or hold much power.”
“How disgraceful,” the daimyo declared furiously, but Uzumaki was looking at his ANBU captain in confusion.
“What? But that’s stupid.”
“Uzumaki-san,” the daimyo started with thinly veiled temper, “I thought it prudent before to keep the thought to myself, but now I have to protest the presence of certain individuals in this room.”
“Told you,” drawled a nin that looked half-asleep. The other one that Nanashi thought must be an Inuzuka, judging from appearance, barked out a laughed, “Sucks for you, Uchiha,” but Uchiha didn’t give any sign that he’d heard. Nanashi had met many people, not all of them normal or sane, but he couldn’t recall anyone with Uchiha’s ability to remain perfectly still, only his narrowed eyes moving around the room watchfully. It was like the man was a hunting serpent, and all things considered that probably wasn’t far from the truth.
Uzumaki was the opposite, his own bright eyes crinkling with a lazy smile as he shifted nonchalantly on his cushion and idly picked a slice of lemon from the fruit dishes. “Sorry, Takeshi-sama, but Sasuke stays.”
He didn’t sound very sorry at all.
The daimyo’s lips pressed together into a thin line. “I don’t believe you understand the situation, Uzumaki-san. Uchiha is a known traitor.”
Nanashi was sure that the fang Uzumaki flashed in his smile hadn’t been there before, and it was a startling reminder that Konohagakure’s beloved kage was a jinchuriki. “We’ve all done stupid shit as kids. Sasuke stays.”
Uchiha had lowered his head so that the upper half of his face couldn’t be seen.
“Betraying the Village to Orochimaru and helping to plot its downfall is a bit more serious than a teenager breaking curfew.” Nanashi could tell that the daimyo was going to be using every one of his private masseuses and aromatherapy experts after this. “I refuse to discuss sensitive subjects with a boy whose loyalties are so easily bought.”
There was a very tense silence. Uchiha’s hand tightened around the katana hilt at his side. The Hyuuga was a thought away from activating his byukagan, and the pink-haired kunoichi appeared just as close to killing the daimyo. The rest looked between Uchiha and Uzumaki warily.
The kage’s eyes had turned violet.
“As rokage, the people within Konohagakure are under my jurisdiction and protection,” Uzumaki snarled icily, “and Sasuke is my captain of ANBU, my teammate. Mine. He’s not going anywhere.”
“Your people will never have the chance to get within striking distance of Naruto,” Uchiha interrupted suddenly, several tomoe beginning to spin slowly in his reddening irises. The previously leashed chakra was loosened, thickening the air with dark killing intent in stark contrast to his almost bored attitude. Nanashi could sense the suffocating weight of the ANBU’s skill and ruthlessness, focused on the infuriated daimyo.
Uzumaki himself was radiating the fierce heat of the Kyuubi. The quickly growing dangerousness within the room was making Nanashi grit his teeth, one hand slowly sliding towards the wide sleeve of his yukata for a kunai, but then the shinobi that had spent the whole time apparently on the verge of sleep stood up with a quiet mutter of ‘troublesome.’
“Takeshi-sama, please grant me the honor of escorting you and your men to the gates.”
The daimyo sputtered, but the kunoichi gave him the sort of smile that all men feared and took his arm gently yet firmly. “Boys can be so unreasonable, can’t they? Why don’t we give them time to calm down, and in the meantime Shikamaru can show you all the best shogi-houses.”
Unless he wanted to invite open conflict—and considering he was in a room full of the best ninja in his country, it’d be a fantastically bad idea—the daimyo had no choice but to follow Nara-san and Haruno-san out the door. His bodyguards trailed behind closely, casting nervous glances at the ninja.
When both Uchiha and Uzumaki were focused on the Fire Lord’s retreating back, Nanashi made his move. Throwing a kunai in-between the two men to force them apart, he pulled sharply on the wire attached to its hilt and jerked it towards Uzumaki’s throat. The force with which he had thrown the weapon and then yanked on the wire was strong enough to sever the jugular—if it ever connected.
There was a ping and suddenly the world spun around him, whirling briefly before the floor brought it to an abrupt halt. Someone shouted Sasuke! and Nanashi had the most surreal feeling of time tripping over its own feet.
“…Ow,” he muttered before he could stop himself. Someone was picking through his clothes while holding what felt like a sword against his throat.
“He was going to kill you,” he heard Uchiha say, much closer than he expected, and Nanashi managed to open his eyes without aggravating his sudden migraine too much.
“He was gonna try,” Uzumaki sighed in exasperation. The tone of his voice turned serious. “What’s a nin from Rice Country doing here?”
Nanashi kept his mouth shut even when Uchiha leaned a little harder on his chokutō, eyes blood-red and very, very cold. He’s a devil, whispered the rumors. His eyes reflect the blood of his victims.
The kage sighed again more gustily. “Sasuke, give the guy some air.”
Over the ANBU’s shoulder Nanashi could see Uzumaki’s face and the unusually serious expression it carried. But there was none of the anger he expected to see, just a mild irritation that was likely left over from the daimyo’s presence. A flicker of relief crossed the blond’s features when Uchiha leaned back a little and allowed his captive to draw a breath.
“Still in one piece?” the kage asked him dryly, making Nanashi blink in surprise.
“Um. For the moment.”
Uchiha didn’t allow him to forget that there was still a sword at his throat. Uzumaki snorted in amusement before growing serious once more.
“So why are you here, really? Besides trying to kill me, I mean.”
“It has to do with the subject of the daimyo’s visit.” The ANBU didn’t voice it as a question, and the intensity of his scarlet eyes didn’t have any tolerance for lying.
Nanashi smiled sadly a little.
“My mission was to assassinate Uzumaki-sama before Fire Country could finalize its plans for expansion.”
“Whuh? What I’d do now?”
“To throw us into chaos,” Uchiha concluded immediately, eyes narrowing in thought. “The daimyo wouldn’t be able to do anything as long as his forces were leaderless.”
“A short-term solution until we could find another way to protect ourselves,” the Rice-nin murmured. He felt no shame in sharing this information; he had done his best, and failed in an unfair fight against his opponents. Already he was bracing himself for the killing blow from the chokutō at his jugular.
“And here I thought the Leaf-nins would be my biggest problem in becoming rokage,” Uzumaki quipped. “Gah.”
“And you also thought paperwork was the worst part of the job.”
It took Nanashi a moment to realize that the Uchiha had made a joke, one that made Uzumaki snicker and purr with batting eyelashes, “It still is, because I know you’d never let anyone get within a fucking sports field of me.”
Despite the levity of his tone, Uchiha stiffened, and Nanashi had to suddenly take shallower breaths so that he wouldn’t impale his own throat on the blade. “You realize that the daimyo’s bodyguards were given orders to kill you if you refused to cooperate, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I do. It’s a fucking…what d’you and Sakura call it? A ‘catch twenty-two’?” Nanashi was once more stunned to see that as Uzumaki spoke, he firmly pulled Uchiha back so that the Rice-nin could stand up on his own and breathe. “Anyway,” the kage said to Nanashi with a wry smile, “I wasn’t planning on helping the daimyo with his craziness. I mean, geez, Fire isn’t exactly a small nation in the first place. So you can tell your daimyo that Takeshi won’t be fucking around with you guys as long as I’m around.”
“But if you try to assassinate Naruto again, then I will level your nation to the ground,” Uchiha murmured, ignoring Uzumaki’s protests. The neck of the ANBU uniform wasn’t quite high enough to hide Orochimaru’s infamous curse seal, black as pitch against the man’s white skin.
His eyes reflect the blood of his victims.
Nanashi was silent for a long moment, staring at the two ninja standing side by side. Then a rare smile quirked his lips, and he put his arms to his sides to give them a small, respectful bow. “I will tell my kage that the devil and his advocate can be trusted to keep their word.”