Teamwork : Sum

Fandom: Naruto
Series: Teamwork : Prequel (before teamwork, Naruto is almost 14)
Pairing: none in here
Rating: PG
Genre: POV Naruto
Warnings: none


One day, he will have to tell them, he reflects absently as he watches Sakura sleep; but not today. Today is the anniversary of the day he half-killed Sasuke to save his stupid ass. Today is two days after they've been "discouraged" to re-take the chuunin test. Today is the day after the full moon. Today, he watches the sun rise, as he lounges up in a tree in front of her bedroom.

He feels the ebb of the night and its pull on his heart, lunacy fading into weariness. Maybe he should nap; he hasn't really rested tonight and he's sure Sakura's departure will wake him up anyway.

One year ago, he would have been scared to awaken in a place he hadn't fallen asleep in, and even more scared of the why. Now... well, it hasn't killed anyone yet and it's not that painful, or horrible, so he's gotten used to it. Besides, he dreams of the places they go to anyway. It isn't as if he had no memories of his sleepwalking nights at all.

Later, he will go to the bridge to meet his teammates, and he'll get into a fight with Sasuke. Maybe Kakashi won't get there too late to stop them before he draws blood. He hopes so. He's too raw to handle it well, raw from a night spent running through the streets of Konoha, his home, their territory.

Sasuke deals pain and blood so well. Sakura will scream, and he'll pretend she can hurt him -- because she can, just not with her fists, and he doesn't want to give her more efficient weapons -- and then he'll shrug it off and grin and ignore the dark impulse to show her her place, like he ignores the impulse to make her his. It's easier when she keeps her distance; it's harder with Sasuke, because they fight and push and test each other so much, and at the same time it's easier, because he's a rival and not a prospective mate. And yet they're both his, each in their own way. His rival and his girl, and at least Sasuke acknowledges it. Sometimes. Somewhat.

Sakura has softened for him after he brought her Sasuke back, but she still refuses to see him as anything more than a teammate; a friend at the very most. He'd do anything for her. Not that he wouldn't have gone after Sasuke on his own but... still.

He cannot stand the thought of losing them to anyone; a new allegiance, a new love interest -- not even each other, though that might hurt less than any other option. Anyway, Sasuke is a dick who cannot appreciate Sakura's commitment, her intelligence, her courage. He probably needs to be beaten up. He always needs to be beaten up before he'll even glance at a new idea twice. He's set in his ways like an old man about these things -- though not as much as a year ago.

It's quite the irony that a year ago Sasuke was encouraged to take the chuunin test, when he was so self-centered, and now that he has matured, now that he's seen the light and come back to Konoha, he's not allowed to climb ranks any longer. They said it would take longer than that before he was trusted again. Fools. If Sasuke leaves again, he'll just bring the idiot back again. It's simple, really. He wanted to tell them, but Kakashi-sensei stopped him. Said it wouldn't help. How ironic, that he's not trusted anymore either because of the very power he harnessed to bring his teammate home. Maybe it's even a bigger put-off than Sasuke's dubious allegiance.

Perhaps if he left the team, Sasuke and Sakura would be allowed to continue on, but the very idea is repulsive. Someone else training with them, going on missions with them, guarding their backs? No way in hell. There's no one he trusts that much; there's no place he'd rather be.

If they had proof of anything untoward, he would be locked up already, he knows, but it doesn't stop them from finding all the excuses they can to keep them at genin rank, where they can limit the damage to missions and Konoha's reputation, and have as much say in their lives as possible. With chuunin-rank come new responsibilities, but also new freedoms. They can't allow any sort of freedom for the demon or for the traitor. Poor Sakura-chan, caught between them, with them. She never did anything, and she's punished with the both of them.

He feels guilty for letting them both believe that this is all due to Sasuke's mistake, when he knows that it's as much due to the way he corrected that mistake. No one has ever pretended to like his tenant, but at least, before he gave a proof that they weren't so separate, they didn't have any grounds for their blatant distrust. But he's not really that different from when he was a kid.

He knows that they're supposed to be different individuals, Kyuubi and him, and they are... except when they aren't. But they're the sum of their parts, and so far his parts are always bigger, livelier, better anchored; predominant. Of course he worries sometimes, especially after nights like this one, but he can only fret so long while nothing's happening before he gets bored of it. When Jiraiya comes back, he'll ask him to check, make sure that he's not being lulled into a false sense of security. But right now, with the sun warming his tired limbs and Sakura sleeping peacefully a few feet away and the beginning of a day that promises to be just like every other day, he cannot find the energy to torment himself with what-ifs. When they run, when they dream, when they fight together, as one, he is still himself, and if sometimes he's a little more than just himself, well, what of it?

One day, he will have to tell them. But not today. Not today.