Comrades, Coming Out and Cows

For Adi ( book_people)


Sasuke had given himself five dates to get over his irrational distaste. Sure, he hated women who clung to his arm and shrieked, but who didn't? Sakura had outgrown it. Other would have, as well. He was a ninja; he was mentally flexible, and that prejudice wasn't helpful anymore. Mission: find a woman he could date, rebuild the clan with.

Five would be enough; he worked better under pressure.

The first was, as expected, a wash. He hadn't expected to find his match on the first try. He didn't even bother remembering her name. She was bland in just about every way possible.

The second reminded him of Naruto, complete with sleek, thigh-length ponytails. Which would have been fine except that no one was allowed to be Naruto but Naruto. Also she couldn't take a punch, so nevermind.

The third -- Makaru Umiko, that one he remembered -- asked him out first, but in a bold, confident, non-giggly way that he could respect. She was twenty, a jounin, and too ambitious to settle down to raise children anytime soon. The date ended by mutual agreement after thirty minutes.

The fourth was a soft-spoken civilian with a slightly sarcastic sense of humor, which he could appreciate, and actually wanted to be a housewife, which would work fine. She also expected him to save her from spiders, and the way she twirled her short curls left him utterly cold.

By the time he escorted Hyuuga Sachiko home, he already knew his fifth and last attempt was another total failure. Sachiko was quiet, a competent ninja, well-mannered, her hair was glossy and long, and he had about as much of an interest in touching her breasts as taking up macrame.

He could have given himself a delay, though making allowances for his own failures irritated him. He could have... but it wouldn't have changed a thing.

When he held open the garden door for her he was already thinking of test tube babies, and the relief he felt ... he resented it, resented failing, but it wasn't to be denied.

Damn it.

"It was nice," he lied, knowing she could tell.

On the way back he almost knocked Hyuuga Neji down. The sparring match they got into was utterly unplanned, utterly vicious, and left him utterly aroused.

Panting, bruised, disheveled, Neji arched an eyebrow at him, his challenging scowl, and his tented pants, and then shrugged.

"I propose a mutually beneficial arrangement," he said, cultured sarcasm in every word.

Sasuke didn't purr, but it was a near thing.