He had been walking back from work, right past the college campus UC Santa Barbara , and there he was. He was tripping over the sidewalk in all his collegial glory, features as smooth and well-set as the photo, hair a smidge neater, clothes a thick hoodie and a pair of cargo pants, a heavy backpack on his back and a particularly dark disposition. His lower lip was curled into a snarl and his eyes, even more tired than the last time Naruto had met them, were glaring at the sidewalk as if it had personally affronted him, insulted his honor, and spit on his face.
Naruto had stepped right in his path, his screaming feet demanding of him relief and the feeling of exhaustion be damned, and held out his hands to stop the man from leaving. He needed his muse and just the sight of that face made his entire body relax, like a warm meal after an grueling day. Just seeing him was like art, even in such a terrible mood. The blonde wished he'd brought his camera. Rudely sharp bastard, Naruto thought, but he was going to let most anything slide, seeing as it had been his brilliant idea to stop the angry college student on his way across campus, and he was in fact, wearing his work clothes, which sort of announced that he was going to try to sell something.
Also to make sure his muse didn't actually think he was out to sell something to him. Arms crossing, the college student glared up at Naruto, "You," special emphasis on that for some reason, "took a photo of me?
Not the normal reaction to that, Naruto knew, having hunted down quite a few people, and overly hostile at any cost. Resisting the strong urge to either punch him repeatedly or insult him, his family, and possibly the honor of his family's nonexistent horse he would call a cow merely on principle, Naruto instead scratched the back of his head and pulled out his phone, found The Photo, and showed it to him.
Of course. I remember that. You were doing nature photography or some happy tree hugger hippy shit and I got in the way. Naruto grinned weakly, trying not to get angry, which was still way too easy to do, "You remember that? Anyway, so I've sort of been looking for you since then! Not his proudest moment Rushing to fix his mistake, "Because I didn't get your permission to take it and I wanted to, ya know?
Everything was just right! The sunset, the ocean, everything! His muse gave him a look dark and bitter like straight expresso, but definitely something that would taste good a little sweeter , then, "I will accept that your intentions are innocent. I won't sue you, out of the sheer kindness of my heart. Destroy that photo and we'll be even. I won't sue for that, so destroy the photo and pretend I don't exist, and I won't reconsider that suing thing," His muse side-stepped him, and walked right back out of his life.
Naruto watched him leave, numbed from bitter rejection, pocketing his phone again as an afterthought. Dick, he thought, before thinking of that photo again. No, he wasn't ever going to destroy it. It was too perfect. No matter what his mulish muse wanted. Now that he knew his muse was in college, he stopped by the campus and blended right in, very aware that he had been a college student only a two weeks ago and would definitely still look the part.
Summer classes were in session so the less crowded campus made it easy to find his muse, and also helped Naruto's people anxiety. He'd never manage to pull this off during the fall semester. He'd panic.
He got a good glimpse of dark hair running across campus on Monday overburdened with a mountainous pile of grey sweaters, a paint-covered muse with an easel and a smock tripping past the art building on Wednesday, and a view of him eating a teriyaki bowl for dinner on Saturday whilst sketching in his considerable sketchbook.
You're stalking me," his muse pointed out on that warm afternoon, sliding into a seat next to him at the student union building, where Naruto probably shouldn't even be, really. Like, watching! Or maybe, like, ninja tracking arts! Anyway, whatever, it is what one does when they have found their artistic muse," Naruto pointed out, grinning at him. Naruto never would've pegged him for an art student, but he had seen his muse running around campus with bundles of fabric, easels, and covered in paint, so he was quickly proven wrong.
I'm not your muse. And don't even act like I'm suddenly your friend," his muse grunted, pencil flying in his hand. Naruto leaned over, smiling, eyes scanning the fantastical swirls on a robe clearly meant for Dumbledore.
One of those brain functions was clearly common sense. The pencil resumed its sketching. Naruto frowned, "First it's no photos then no flirting! Soon talking is gonna be off limits too. What, can the lowly peons do nothing in your grand presence? I don't hook up," his muse flashed him a flitting glimpse of those dark eyes and Naruto could've sworn he saw the hint of a tongue between white teeth.
Naruto was definitely hard under the table. Anything was better than coming in his pants. Black hair fell forward from the ear it had been tucked behind, "My name, it's Sasuke.
If you're going to be persistent, we might as well know each other's names. If I thought you were worth it, I'd give you my number too, but a week of stalking doesn't quite cut it. I'm not that easy. No honors really, average GPA, but I've got my degree and no complaints. Even someone like you should have something better to do. I pass out at like, 7 pm, like clockwork. No late night parties here. It's ten bucks an hour, just about.
It pays my rent, not much else. Really, Naruto had been scared to live with someone else, even if his anxiety and social issues had faded over his college years, and now he worked with gazillions of people around him fairly normally. It didn't hurt that none of them lingered. Prolonged exposure would probably kill him. What were Sasuke's living conditions that he had such a rancid tone? He didn't actually, live all too close to the college, but Sasuke had a point.
His parents' inheritance was large, not bottomless. A roommate was a good idea. Sasuke checked his watch, a clunky plastic thing from the 90's, it looked like, and the grabbed his things, "I have class soon. See you around, stalker. Sure enough, the roommate thing paid off. Kiba Inuzuka looked to be the average college student, but just by how he demanded a fist bump and not a handshake allowed Naruto to get how cool this guy was.
The tattoos underneath his eyes and the huge "puppy" waiting in his car screamed trouble, but Naruto could barely believe how easily he got along with the brunette. A previous frat boy, Kiba had left his fraternity when he got into a row with the president over his puppy that his family flat-out refused to keep another year.
Naruto knew that Kiba would have to pay a non-refundable pet fee to keep Akamaru, but Naruto loved dogs and didn't mind sharing his space with a furry friend as well. This, Kiba appreciated greatly. Sure, on top of Sasuke and his work, they never really did more than play a couple rounds of whatever first person shooter game they had where the disk wasn't scratched.
Sometimes they caught a bite to eat together for dinner. Naruto took Akamaru out for walks occasionally because the puppy was adorable and shit if he left that poor thing inside all day. Kiba once asked why Naruto got back so late in the day if his shift got off at AM, and Naruto had no real excuse, so. I haven't told you, but I think it'd make me seem creepy. I'm kind of stalking this guy until he agrees to submit to me," Naruto paused for greater emphasis, "and my camera.
Perhaps for the rest of his life. I'm sorry that this chapter is disappointing. I already know. All I can write is soap operas. However this chapter has been written for ages, and I can't see a way to fix it without changing the rest of the story, so soap opera chapter you get. My apologies. This update was quick, because I actually got some writing done, but it's also because I figure there's no point in waiting to give you it when waiting will only raise expectations of quality.
Sasuke did not appreciate the stalking as he made clear by stomping by without so much as a glance back or a return wave. Still, Naruto was all for a challenge. A lot of comedy and fiction functioned on the forcing of people into new and uncomfortable situations. And Naruto supposed, all things considered, he was doing exactly that by observing Sasuke in the first place. But the college student had never protested. And perhaps, Naruto could've sworn, Sasuke had smiled at him once.
His heart had stopped. And then restarted with a fury. That far off maybe smile made his blood throb and his head spin, and the memory of it wasn't enough.
Naruto had to have it on camera. So really, he liked seeing Sasuke on his home turf, not only because it made the young man even more beautiful and unobtainable than before, but because he could learn new things about Sasuke.
While everything Naruto wanted from him was purely aesthetic, it would be an upward battle to have the dark haired man agree to him. This could uncover the footholds he needed to win, and a few close observations allowed Naruto to really consider some more things he hadn't thought of. A fashion student like him knew everything about the ins and outs of the cut, where to taper, the hem, the print, but Naruto had taken a psychology class once with this bizarre professor and once they did a project based on what a person's clothing conveyed.
Color was a biggie. Yellow was the color of self-esteem, truth, prosperity. Orange, Naruto's favorite, was opportunities, the ability to overcome challenges, happiness, to remove feelings of abandonment. While black was a color usually for chaos, negative feelings, it also meant inward self inspection, protecting oneself.
And white, while it usually meant purity and good will, it could also mean freedom. Blue was much the same, the meaning of wisdom and fidelity overshadowed by the meaning of wounded pride, for healing.
Purple was justice, forgiveness, peace, serenity. Like that big black cardigan obviously meant for women--the size of the item meant it was for hiding, and in it, Sasuke did hide. The high collared shirts showed that Sasuke was afraid of being seen as submissive, afraid of bearing his neck around others.
The loose cargo pants, a strange splash of grey in his wardrobe, allowing for quick movement, for fight or flight. Naruto still wanted him in his studio. Preferably soon. Aesthetically he was perfect. But to know underneath all that, he was human-- Naruto's stomach was yanked out from under him. He fell. Naruto knew this fact already. He moaned, "It's been two weeks and I want him worse than a horny teenager wants sex.
I want him to be happy and I want to do things stupid like just hold his hand for hours! Share an umbrella? I have fantasies about it! Stop teasing me! Naruto blushed even harder, if it was possible, and he knew Kiba was snickering at him from the couch.
I barely know him. He's totally attractive and into art but I don't know enough about him to marry him! I want to date him first! I also think that if it bothers you that you don't know him all that well, just ask him out and get to know him! It's worked great for me in the past. Like, if I see some wrist I'll fucking lose it and cry indecent exposure.
They should make him wear a bag over his face! I'd've hooked you up if I'd known! I failed you as a friend. Who was? He had this bad habit of falling too hard. He'd known her during high school, and she had thought he was some sort of bad boy. When he finally tried to get out of his shell, and started talking more and proving he very much was not a bad person, she admitted to having been crushing on him for forever.
Even when she found out about the social anxiety, things had been going better than great. Naruto had thought they'd get married. Then her super crazy traditional Chinese family told her of her arranged marriage to a wealthy super crazy traditional Chinese man's son in order to further business partnerships between the two companies run by the families, and that pretty much ended that.
Naruto had not had it easy to pick up the pieces of his shattered heart. Worst of all, Hinata had known of the arranged marriage was probably going to happen before they even got together. Naruto didn't blame her but, she had had years to remind herself it was only a cute relationship never going to go anywhere. She was fully resigned to serving her family properly, and didn't even look back.
That's it! You are going to walk into a bar tonight and walk out with someone willing to ride your dick all night long, so help me God! Naruto glanced at Kiba, who was sniffing the crotch of an old pair of jeans to see if they could pass that week's laundry mat run. They chatted a little more, before Naruto realized if he wanted some sleep that night before his job, he wouldn't have much time for clubbing left, and had to hang up.
Scooching over to his roommate, who'd gotten through most of his dirty clothes and decided entirely with his nose their probable condition, the blonde put on what he hoped was a friendly but vaguely pleading face.
My bestie Sakura says I have to go try and get laid, and I need someone to corral all the good ones to me. Naruto knew if Kiba said no, there was no way he wouldn't just forgo the clubbing altogether. Despite feeling like he didn't have any hang-ups for having a sex drive, it made Naruto deeply uncomfortable if he indulged in it. He could not just hook up with guys or girls--he was always constantly afraid they would misunderstand him.
Really, if he was going to have casual sex, his partner s had to approach him. He wasn't expecting to get laid tonight, despite the fact Sakura was right and it probably would make his life better. Sighing, Kiba shrugged and stood up, "What can I say? I'm a giver.
Wait, you after dudes or chicks? They ended up at a club known for its reputation as a college hotspot. Nothing like young collegian boys and girls grinding up on one another like tomorrow the world will end and they'll all be as dead as disco.
Naruto didn't even have any clothes that would fit the occasion, so he admitted he looked a bit silly in Kiba's leather jacket with the faux trim collar. His regular jeans and a t-shirt satisfied the rest of the wardrobe, so it was Kiba who was the one all pruned up to party, having pulled out a nice pair of leather pants "From the good ol' high school days," Kiba had said fondly and a v-neck shirt that made his roommate look inviting to even Naruto, who'd caught him sniffing pants' crotches just half an hour earlier.
In fact, he'd be playing Kiba's wingman if things all went as they usually did when Naruto was in a club. He'd go into a friendly only zone and no man or woman had any chance of getting in his pants.
Blondie with the big titties? Kiba wandered off to the land of big titties and a blonde that looked to have forgone any dye job, with a midriff bearing purple piece of work that looked almost pornographic hippy gone wild. Naruto wasn't morning the loss too much. As long as he knew where to find Kiba at any time, then he would be fine. No social anxiety here. Looking around, he saw a lot of faces.
No one jumped out at him like he'd thought. Really, Naruto wanted his camera. He felt the life and the youth and the stupid mistakes and could literally taste the underage drinking on his tongue and scorching his nose. He knew unless his camera could suddenly turn invisible that this was just one sight that could never truly be captured.
That was a problem for Naruto. People became fake in front of a camera. They got nervous. They acted, and few people were good actors. With that regret in mind, Naruto walked over to a pair of guys and a girl who were just chatting instead of grinding and he painted a too bright smile on his cheeks and introduced himself, determining that if he stayed where he was he'd only feel awkward and isolated quicker than if he actually tried talking to someone, and he didn't want to have a panic attack because he couldn't handle himself without his roommate next to him.
There were two guys, one looking much older and taller than the other, his bright orange hair looking quite fake and quite badly dyed. They introduced themselves as Juugo and Suigetsu. The girl had blindingly red hair, and she introduced herself as Karin. She had a look about her that Naruto awkwardly recognized as like his mom in the old photos he had of her.
So, any thoughts of hitting on her went away immediately. He turned his thoughts to the boys. Juugo looked way too old for him, like late twenties to early thirties, but older didn't always mean less available or less fun, so Naruto hadn't scratched off that option yet. Suigetsu was good looking, purple contacts and bleached white hair and all. Neither of them looked like Sasuke, which was good, because they felt like people he could actually touch.
He was irrationally afraid Sasuke would just spontaneously implode if someone touched him, because he was too good not to be a dream. He tugged at the leather jacket, trying to make himself comfortable, and somehow this must've pulled his face into a familiar position because outburst "Oh! Like, the votes out on it being Ino Yamanaka, but then again people think she could be your sister too!
Naruto scratched the back of his head, "I'm just a photographer. I like people watching, I'm not waiting for anyone. That's so cool! Suigetsu laughed so hard he snorted beer out of his nostrils.
Juugo pounded him on the back a bit. Naruto swore his face was overloading with red, "Uh, I haven't really I'd be really bad at it, so, uh, unless you want to let me do a few really shitty practice shoots, um Karin's smile grew evil, "Oh, I wouldn't mind. Bake for 45 minutes, and then pour over another one-third of the remaining tomato sauce over the meatloaf.
Bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes; the meatloaf should be no longer pink in the middle. Allow to sit 10 minutes before serving. Serve with the remaining tomato sauce on the side as a dipping sauce. Add a Note. More from:.
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But the beef liver…well, it still tasted like beef liver. Thank goodness the ratio of taters to sauce to liver was something like If you like beef liver, by all means, try this recipe! Micah and I tend to agree on most food-related subjects, but as we ate supper tonight, he said he would make this recipe again. Like, mids in early March hot.
Shorts and flip-flops hot. Summer hot. Except that now, summer will probably be keep-your-babies-and-elderly-indoors-for-the-love-of-God hot. Steak or pork chops? I let him pick, and he chose the steaks. Two big, beautiful 1-pound T-bone steaks from our pals at Moonshine Meats. These steaks were real purty.
Then there was the smell. But somehow, all the beef and pork that we get from Moonshine Meats has this intoxicatingly gorgeous aroma. It smells…well, meaty. A touch grassy, too, like you can smell the farm where that cow or pig lazily grazed before becoming your dinner. And when you eat this stuff, that meaty, grassy, farmy scent becomes a meaty, grassy, farmy taste, too.
Anyway, that mouth-watering steak scent burst from the vacuum-sealed package as soon as Micah slit it open last night. Undaunted, he decided to bring the party inside and pan-sear those shapely T-bones in a big cast-iron skillet. Because those suckers are going to smoke. Bhim Rao Ambedkar Result 0.
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What are the first four terms of the sequence defined by the following equation? What state does area code belong to 0. Which type of memory is used as the working storage area of the computer 0. What are examples of variables that follow a Poisson distribution 0.Stuff each date with a piece of celery and a piece of cheese. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with smoked paprika (a little goes a long way), salt, and black pepper. Our taste buds suitably tickled, it was time for the main event: a beef, carrot, and sweet potato stew that had simmered all afternoon, served over creamy polenta.