For ShadowedSolace. u.u

Laundry Emergency

"Then wear whatever's left in the house!"

Sakura stomped out with her basket full of dirty laundry, leaving Naruto standing naked as the day he was born in the playful breeze coming from the open window.

Naruto quickly retreated to the most shadowy corner he could find, which wasn't very shadowy at all in that cheerful summer day. The problem there was that the drapes were currently drying on the lawn. Going to lower the blinds meant exposing himself for a full two minutes as he twirled the crank thinger, and their neighbors had all gone to the Yamanaka school of gossip.

"SASUKE!" he yelled. No answer; but then again he didn't expect one right away. Getting his male teammate to heed his calls demanded more effort. "I KNOW YOU'RE THERE, YOU SELFISH BASTARD."

Sasuke thumped on the ceiling -- his ceiling, Naruto's floor -- with, presumably, the handle of a broom or something. He'd been in the kitchen when the Sakura tornado hit. "Stop yelling, I'm not deaf. What the hell do you want?"

"Get me clothes!"

Sasuke said something that was too quiet to be heard but that Naruto suspected had been "fuck that" or "yeah right" or something equally unhelpful.








There was a pointed, total lack of answer. Naruto fumed, naked in his corner.

Oh damn him, he'd asked for it. Naruto's hands joined into a seal. Two seconds later, a very naked Uchiha Sasuke was racing past the wide-open french doors and stomping down the stairs like an avalanche of small elephants.

"Hello! I am Uchiha Sasuke and I am a selfish, unhelpful bastard!" he sang as he raced down the corridor, in Sasuke's own voice.

The living room was also empty of anything that could have been construed as clothes, including the couch pillows' pillowcases. The tablecloth was actually see-through plastic, to show off the wood. It might cut down on breeze-related shrinkage but Naruto couldn't put that on without showing the goods.

Granted, at the moment they were Sasuke's goods. He gave himself a little squeeze. Ehh. He was totally thicker, he didn't know what the asshole was on about.

"Take your hand off that and get away from the window right now," Sasuke's cold, cold voice ordered from behind him.

Naruto blinked over his shoulder, seeing only a door, cracked open. Aha! There was the traitor's hiding place. He stomped toward the kitchen, pretending he didn't feel his skin crawling from the no doubt dozens of binoculars the neighbors probably had pointed at his backside right now. "Gimme your shirt first! And I'll handle my junk if I want to."

"Not when it's my junk," Sasuke snarled from some corner of the kitchen.

"I'll handle your junk if I want to, too!" Naruto proclaimed, and then he stepped inside and realized it was gonna be a bit hard to shake him down for a shirt. Because Sasuke currently wasn't wearing any. Naruto could see cloth at his waist, but since he was sitting at the other end of the table it was hard to see more.

"There's napkins in the closet," Sasuke growled. "Make yourself a skirt or something."

Naruto started snickering. "She got you too, huh?"

Sasuke let out a long, long sigh. "...Yes. Now close the door already."

Naruto did. The kitchen windows were frosted; he felt a lot safer there. He made his way to the cupboard and peered inside. Urgh. "Think if I make a kind of rope out of them I can make myself a fundoshi?" He'd seen a few drummers at the last festival with those traditional g-string things; maybe he could replicate that. Would be nice not to have his Little Naruto dangling in the breeze, though he wasn't too sure about the butt-rope.

Sasuke grimaced faintly. "So long as you burn those towels afterwards, yeah."

"Cool - oh, crap, they're all from Sakura's mom. Never mind then. I don't think she'd like if I made myself a nutsack sling outta her embroidered shit."

Sasuke rolled his eyes. "Thanks for the mental picture. Will you stop looking like me already, it's disturbing."

Naruto sighed sadly, made the most horrible, ridiculous grimace he could think up -- it involved the inside of his eyelids, his index fingers, and his nostrils -- and only then, let go of the henge ... just in time to catch the oven mitt Sasuke had thrown at his head.

"You know, it's not gonna hold on unless I get, um, creative," Naruto said as he contemplated the padded hole, eyebrows waggling happily.

Sasuke sighed.

After a moment, Naruto sighed, too. Okay, it was a little funny. The prank war that had escalated all through the day had been really funny too. Up until Sakura came home and told them all the wood would be fine but the walls would have to get repapered and if she didn't wash the textile stuff right now the stains would never ever leave. Like... ever. But she would totally make them attempt to get them out anyway, if she couldn't, until the cloth disintegrated completely.

He came around the table and slumped on the wooden bench Sasuke was sitting on. It was narrow, but all the other chairs were guaranteed to freeze his bare ass and he wasn't in the mood. After a companionable exchange of nudges via half-hearted elbows to the ribs, they settled down together, shoulder pressed to shoulder.

Sasuke was wearing a very fetching skirt made out of two aprons tied together, but Naruto didn't have the heart to tease him about them just yet.

"We're in the doghouse, huh?"

Sasuke gave him a long, cynical look. "It's not even the doghouse at this point; it's the kitten sack, last stop before the river."

Naruto made a face. "Maybe not that bad..."

"We got her brand-new blouse she bought especially for Ino's party."

"... Okay, yeah. That bad."

He eyed Sasuke's handmade skirt in speculation. Sasuke arched a questioning eyebrow.

"So, if you had to choose between a couple of weeks in the kitten-sack and a small evening of total humiliation...?"


Sakura came home late, lugging a whole wheelbarrow of mostly-dry linens and about half her wardrobe. Sasuke's and Naruto's would have to soak until tomorrow.

Goddamnit, she was exhausted. Exhausted. More mentally than physically, though her medic-nin status couldn't entirely fix the soreness of muscles she rarely used in that way, and for so long.

She walked through the front door, scanning the living room with a jaundiced eye. It was dark inside, all the blinds closed. At least they'd righted all the furniture and scrubbed the floors; she didn't think she'd ever seen them so clean since the day the three of them moved in.

A heavenly smell was rising from the kitchen. She hesitated. She was hungry, but she really wasn't sure if she wanted to see their faces right now.

That sudden burst of hurried whispering needed investigation, though. Frowning in a forbidding way, Sakura made her way to the kitchen door.

Sasuke's hair was gathered in a tiny, poofy ponytail at the back of his head with one of her sparkly hair ties. It underlined the clean line of his cheekbones, bared his nape in a surprisingly delicious way.

Naruto was wearing one of her Alice bands. She didn't think she'd ever seen him looking so cute, which should have looked kind of out of place on his much broadened shoulders. It very much didn't.

Granted, the frilly, delicate shoulder straps of the apron he was wearing didn't help much. It had been a gag gift from Tenten when they moved in, something straight out of a maid fantasy. The lines of Sasuke's apron were much simpler -- it had more cloth, as well. She actually used that one, from time to time.

That didn't change the fact that neither of them was wearing anything else. Apart from some of Sasuke's spare arm-warmers, which she had never hidden her attraction to. Naruto's were more like fingerless gloves, stopping just under his elbows; Sasuke's went up to mid-biceps, and only underlined the fine musculature there.

They were also kneeling on the floor, looking up at her, with very fetching blushes on their faces, even Naruto's more assured one.

"Welcome home, Mistress," they chimed, one with slightly less enthusiasm than the other one, but just as dutifully.

... She could bet she knew what the argument had been about now.

She couldn't help it -- she burst out laughing. It was hot as hell, but also totally over the top. "You two are ridiculous."

Sasuke gave a snort of rueful agreement. Naruto looked hopeful. "Does that mean we can get dressed?"

With deliberate slowness, Sakura sat down at the table, swung up her feet, and placed a booted heel on the edge of the table.

"Dream on, Maid-chan."