Wiritten 12 June 2007
“I never thought I’d say this,” Iruka smiled, “but those two seem to have really grown up.”
Sakura and Ino, their arms full of the hitai-ate they were delivering to the Academy for the approaching genin graduation, stared at him quizzically. “Who?” Sakura ventured. For a moment she thought he was referring to the newly graduating genin, or perhaps Kiba, whom they had sent to fetch Naruto so he could help set up the passing exam.
(That last irony was not lost on any of them.)
The chuunin had picked up a hitai-ate, freshly engraved with the Konoha leaf, and was looking at it nostalgically. “Naruto and Sasuke. They’ve both had such a hard time, it’s wonderful that they’ve finally—what’s so funny?”
The two women were leaning against one another and laughing hard enough to make tears brighten their eyes.
“N-Naruto and Sasuke?” Sakura managed.
“Grown up?” Ino gasped, and they devolved into helpless giggles all over again. Iruka blinked owlishly at them and wondered what he was missing.
“Say it, teme!”
“Fuck you, dobe.”
Naruto glared down at an equally pissed-off Sasuke. When the brunette shifted to try and throw him off, the blonde tightened his legs around the other’s waist and refused to move.
“Get off me, Uzumaki,” Sasuke snarled.
“Not. Until. You say it!” Naruto leaned down until their noses were scarcely touching, narrowing his eyes threateningly when Sasuke pursed his lips and remained stubbornly silent. There was a moment of silence in which blue eyes ferociously stared down black ones like they were alpha bulls fighting for dominance…and then Naruto slowly smiled.
“If you won’t say it, then don’t move,” he smirked in a way that was patently stolen off the other young man. Sasuke’s brow furrowed slightly in confusion that quickly gave way to disbelief.
“What are you—“
A glob of saliva was sliding past Naruto’s lower lip, hanging from a thread of moisture that made Sasuke’s stomach turn. He immediately stopped talking when the spitball quivered on its thread, directly over his face, making Naruto’s blue eyes shine with amusement at his expense.
“Do it and I’ll kill you for real this time,” Sasuke whispered flatly, feeling his gaze super-glued to that small sphere of spit and phlegm. It was like having a fat, juicy horsefly in front of your face; annoying and gross and generally unwanted in every way, but unless you wanted horsefly guts all over your hands there was nothing you could do. The Uchiha’s muscles were frozen, a rock digging into his back that he did not dare try to shift, and Naruto’s solid weight on his abdomen was starting to feel vaguely painful.
The wad inched lower, its support string thinning dangerously until it hovered just over Sasuke’s nose, close enough for him to see his own reflection distorted like a funhouse mirror. His eyes finally wrenched themselves from the morbid sight and glared at Naruto, who was visibly struggling not to laugh. (Not even the blonde was stupid enough to drop the spitball while he was vulnerably straddling an ever-more-furious ninja with a history of bloody, single-minded vengeance). Sasuke was just beginning to entertain the thought that even proclaiming the superiority of the great Uzumaki Naruto—who had won this round of sparring, he admitted grudgingly—would not be so bad as this sticky globe of Kyuubi-infected germs and bodily fluid.
Kiba’s sudden yell was startling. Surprised, Naruto twitched—
—and time slowed as his eyes widened with horror, mirroring Sasuke’s, when the thin thread of moisture…snapped…and splattered directly between two Sharingan swiftly darkening to fresh-blood-red. In Naruto’s head was a small voice whispering oh shit oh shit I hope the old hag will find enough of my corpse to have a decent burial.
Sakura and Ino had finally recovered themselves and were bidding Iruka a pleasant afternoon when the floor shuddered under their feet, and something brilliant flashed outside through a window.
“What in the world—“ Sakura started.
“Ne, ne, Sasuke-teme, it was—SHIT—a joke! Fuck! You son of a—OW, SHIT—damn it, did craziness run in your clan or something…? FUCK!”
Sakura sighed long-sufferingly, already steeling herself to act as peacemaker between her errant teammates.
“The only thing that’s grown up about them is their language,” she muttered to a rudely disillusioned Iruka.
Ino patted her shoulder sympathetically and silently thanked fate for putting her on a decidedly less volatile team.