For ph34r_t3h_qu33n.

Crowd Pleaser

"Right!" Sai said with a bright, fake grin. "Sasuke-kun, please hold still!"

Sasuke had held his ground in front of Madara and Kabuto and who knew what else without flinching. He didn't gut Sai with the wakizashi he had stashed up his kimono sleeve. But when the other young man put a hand on his knee and leaned in, suddenly Sasuke found himself thinking of all the times he'd refused to flinch before Orochimaru.

Because Sasuke was pretty sure those veiled eyes and that parted mouth weren't preludes to stabbing. For one thing, if Sai had wanted him stabbed, he'd have done it a while ago. But it would make Naruto and Sakura sad, so he hadn't.

"Explain," Sasuke hissed whisper-soft against Sai's lips. Sai's fake grin briefly turned real, cutting.

"We need a distraction, of course."

By the way the courtiers and servants were starting to slow down and glance their way instead of going their ways through the castle's courtyard, they seemed distracted alright. But in a way that got the two of them a bit too much attention.

Neither Sasuke's nor Sai's kimono was all that clean, or new; they were patched up, threadbare in places, barely knee-length as they went without hakama and barefooted, as befitted a pair of refugees. Nevertheless Sasuke knew what they looked like, the both of them. Classical traits, dark eyes, dark hair, the palest skin. And now Sai was on his knees and one hand, leaning into him like...

Like they were destitute samurai, maybe run away from some faraway, war-torn place, that had been the original mission briefing, but now there was another layer on it.

Like Sasuke was Sai's elder in the ways of Shudo, but by a year or two only, both beautiful youths to be taken in hand by an older master to be taught warcraft and poetry, the arts of the blade and the bedroom both.

Sasuke let his own eyelids drop, shadowing his eyes, so they looked pensive and slightly inviting instead of the glare he wanted to use, and then he kissed back, cupping the back of Sai's head (I could break your neck) even as he slowly, steadily deepened the kiss, a sempai both teaching and reassuring his kouhai.

He broke away after a few lazy, tender seconds, pressed their foreheads together, whispered tenderly, "Do not improvise on me that way again."

"Not much of a choice," Sai replied with a bright little laugh, one that didn't warm up his eyes any. "I meant that Kitsune needed a distraction. But the fox has fled now, so I guess all is well!"

Sasuke caressed the back of his head, down to his neck, gave a little squeeze. (So easy to kill you.) Sai chuckled and sat too close, his head on Sasuke's shoulder, so that Sasuke's hand slid across his shoulders and his sleeve draped on Sai's back, warmth and protection, so that Sai's hidden hand rested on Sasuke's heart from the back where one needle would go right through the ribs.

When they looked up the Daimyo himself stood before them, decked in rich layers and intricate armor, two swords at his belt, watching them with a hunger Sasuke could have recognized blindfolded, the way it tainted the air all around. Even as he was hurrying into a low bow he didn't miss the faint, satisfied, real smile on Sai's face at having successfully harpooned the target's interest.

Sasuke had a feeling there would be a lot more mutual kissing in their immediate future.

"Ugly will be furious that her stupidly colored hair barred her from this mission," Sai mused under his breath as they were ushered through the last gate, into the inner sanctuary. Sasuke refused to ask. Not even when Sai caught his hand and laced their fingers together like a younger boy scared of the dark.

The Shudo thing did mean they had a lot of leeway to whisper intel to each other under the guise of cuddling. Sasuke made note to burn Sakura's books when he came back, because Sai didn't know quite enough yet about human interaction to come up with it with no prompting on the spot, and sure as fuck this trick was copied straight from The Samurai And The Kunoichi.