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Naruto sighed as he walked down the streets of Konoha. He'd been looking for Sasuke for almost a half hour with no luck. "Damn him. Where the hell did he go?" He saw Kiba walking by on the other side of the street and suddenly had an idea. "Yo, Kiba!"
Kiba looked over to see Naruto running toward him. "Hey, Naruto."
"You got a few minutes?"
Kiba cocked an eyebrow. "Why?"
"Sasuke's in one of his 'I hate the world' moods and Sakura wants me to calm 'im down. Think you can sniff him out for me?"
Kiba considered this for a moment before shrugging. "I guess so. I got nothin' better to do." A smirk crossed his face. "But you gotta pay me."
Kiba held out his hand. "Five hundred yen, in advance."
Naruto grumbled under his breath as he fished Gama-chan out of his pouch. "Dirty, stinkin', no good..." He grabbed a few bills and forcefully put them in Kiba's hand. "Here!"
Kiba put the bills in his back pocket. "Nice doin business with ya."
"Yeah yeah. Just get movin'," Naruto said, pointing in a random direction.
Kiba smirked. "You got something of his?"
Naruto thought for a moment. "I got a pen he let me borrow yesterday."
"That'll work. Give it to Akamaru."
Naruto pulled the pen out of one of his pants pockets and put it on the ground. Akamaru sniffed it for a moment and then sniffed Naruto's leg. "Why's he sniffing me?"
"He needs to know which scent to follow, idiot," Kiba explained with impatience.
Akamaru sniffed the ground for a moment, looked up at Kiba, and barked.
"Alright, let's go!" Kiba said. He and Akamaru ran off and Naruto followed.
Sasuke opened the door to his bedroom, sat on the bed, and sighed. He regretted blowing up at TenTen, but she had hit a very big nerve.
Sasuke had laughed a lot with his mother and Itachi. After the clan was killed, laughing reminded Sasuke of the good times. It was so painful for him that he never laughed again.
Sasuke had been more angry with himself, than TenTen, but he'd be damned if he was going to admit to that fact. In his mind, he hadn't been around her enough for her to have the right to an explanation from him.
"Dammit," he said as he laid down. He stared at the ceiling of the dark, barren room and reveled in the solitude.
Naruto looked up at the building they had stopped in front of, pursed his lips in annoyance and held out his hand toward Kiba. "I want my money back."
"Hell no," Kiba said as his hand covered his pocket protectively.
"You didn't do what I paid you for."
"Akamaru's nose is never wrong," Kiba replied defensively.
Naruto pointed to the building with an incredulous expression. "THIS IS HIS APARTMENT! OF COURSE, HE SMELLS HIM HERE!" he yelled in frustration.
"Why the hell does he have to be so loud?" Kiba thought as he covered his ears. "Active smell is stronger than residual smell, you idiot!"
"Hmpf!" Naruto replied as he folded his arms.
"I don't have time for this. See ya," Kiba said as he walked off.
Naruto stewed for a moment and walked into the building.
Naruto knocked on the door to Sasuke's apartment. There was no answer so he knocked again. Finally to door opened and a very annoyed looking Sasuke appeared. "What?-! Geez, can't you let me sleep?"
Naruto looked surprised. "Since when do you take naps?"
"None of your damn business," Sasuke replied with irritation.
Naruto rolled his eyes. "Sakura wanted me to talk to you-Said you were pissed about something."
Sasuke let out a short growl. "Why the hell can't she mind her own business?"
Naruto shrugged. "No idea, but I'm not risking her getting mad at me."
Sasuke smirked. "I guess I don't blame you. Come in."
Sasuke and Naruto walked in and sat down on opposite sides of the couch. "So what pissed you off?" Naruto asked.
"TenTen," Sasuke replied as he stared at the floor.
"Yeah. I accidentally...laughed in front of her," Sasuke said with self-loathing.
Naruto's eyes snapped wide as he stared at his brother in shock. He pointed at him. "Y-y-you laughed?!"
"Make a big deal out of it and I'll kick your ass," Sasuke warned, his eyes narrowed dangerously.
"Okay okay. Yeesh!"
"Anyway, she was going to tell Neji, so I got pissed at her and she kicked me out of her yard." Sasuke left out the part about him choking the poor girl. He didn't feel like getting one of Naruto's over-righteous lectures.
"What's so bad about laughing anyway?" Naruto suddenly asked.
"Itachi..." Sasuke spat.
Naruto's face clouded over. "Oh..."
"After he killed the clan, laughing reminded me of when everything was okay. So I stopped."
Naruto suddenly understood perfectly. "I get it." He stood to leave. "I'll make something up to tell Sakura if you want."
Sasuke allowed himself a slight smile. "Hmpf."
Naruto gave a short nod and a smile, then left the apartment.