A/N: I needed something funny to cheer me up. This fic's been in planning for upwards of eight months now. No major pairings, maybe a hint here or there. Also, there's petfox!Kurama. :D
Thank you again for betaing, Tomoyo-chan284!
Naruto Uzumaki was known as the friendliest guy in all of Konoha Flats.
Sure he may be a little loud, and occasionally he would annoy someone by popping up at the wrong moment or asking to borrow sugar or something at ridiculous hours of the morning, but there was one thing he had that made everyone in the apartment complex like (or at least tolerate) him.
Pure, happy-go-lucky charisma.
And a cute little pet fox to back it up.
Now, Naruto was well-known for being a bit nosy and overly friendly, so it usually took those less social a bit longer to get used to a loud mouthed blond with sky blue eyes grinning mischievously at them from their front doors as he somehow wormed his way into their new abodes with his furry orange companion darting about his heels.
On this particular morning, Haruno Sakura had been fixing herself breakfast and started at the sudden flurry of knocks on her door. She opened it curiously, only to find none other but Uzumaki Naruto himself grinning at her cheerfully. The uninvited blond raised his nose to the air much like the little fox curled in his arms and loudly exclaimed, "Wow, something smells great! Mind if I join you?"
And of course, Sakura, being a sucker for cute things and loudmouthed blonds, let them both in. It was a pretty normal routine since Naruto was also known to be incredibly pushy, but Sakura didn't mind; talking to Naruto gave her something to do.
Plus, he usually had all the latest gossip from his frequent home invasions across the complex.
"So, Naruto," Sakura began, her eyes sparkling with mirth as she sipped at her green tea. Eager blue eyes peered at her from above the rim of his own cup.
"I hear there's a new resident moving into your building," she hinted, hoping the blond would enlighten her.
To her surprise, he merely widened his eyes in interest, his mouth gaping open in shock. "Really? Oh man, that's great! I didn't know that! I gotta go get ready to greet them," he exclaimed, hurriedly stuffing the last of his rice into his mouth and chasing it down with the remains of his warm tea before scooping up his startled pet.
And like the whirlwind he was named after, Naruto disappeared from Sakura's apartment leaving her with a puzzled expression, an unanswered question, and a sink full of dishes.
Son of a bitch.
A pale green eye stared through the crack in the door and Naruto took this as a sign to start talking.
"Hi, I'm Naruto and this," he held up a small lithe red fox in his arms for inspection, "is Kurama, we stay next-"
"...door. Well fine, you big jerk! So much for being neighborly!" The blond haired man grumbled whilst his fox tilted an ear in his direction, seemingly nonchalant as it lounged in his arms.
"Sheesh, what an asshole, huh little guy?"
The fox in his arms ignored him, casually waving his bushy tail as it dangled near his master's chest.
"Probably right up your alley," Naruto grouched, but affectionately patted the orange furball on the head before making his way back to his apartment.
"Okay, round 2," Naruto said, and his fox companion stared in mild interest as a very delicious smelling pan of human food was picked up from the counter. Taking that as his cue, the small fox danced impatiently around Naruto's feet expecting his share.
"No, no, Kura! This is for my new neighbor!" Naruto shouted, trying his best not to trip over his fuzzy buddy's darting form. Kurama stared up at him, ears laid back in startled surprise before the fox huffed in annoyance and gave the pan a forlorn look.
Naruto ignored the fox before marching straight up to his neighbor's door and giving it a firm knock. There was an odd sound like muted clicking and Naruto glanced down to see his foxy companion tilting its head curiously at the noise with an ear cocked. Then the door was jerked open and pale blue green eyes are once again staring at Naruto with apathy.
The blond man cleared his throat before submitting his delicious offering to the other man's scrutiny. "I dunno if you remember me, but I tried to welcome you to the neighborhood the other day. I just wanted to drop this off and introduce myself. I'm Uzumaki Naruto, and this," he nudged his fox-who had been discreetly trying to sniff the stranger's bare foot-forward, "is Kurama. So if you see him around, don't freak out or anything! He's a licensed exotic pet," he said cheerfully.
For a long moment, the man practically bored a hole into Naruto's face with the sheer force of his warily suspicious glare. Then his nostrils gave the faintest twitch and he glanced at the warm pan in Naruto's hands.
"I'm Gaara," he said in a low, rough voice, as if he didn't often get to speak to others. "Is that...for me?"
Naruto shivered at the sound and Kurama ignored his master in favor of the odd, musky, fur ruffling scent coming from the open doorway of their new neighbor's place. Kurama gave a wary sniff and warbled uncertainly, prompting Naruto to hastily use his foot to herd the fox away from the crack in the door before he could try to slip in out of curiosity.
"Yep," Naruto confirmed with a nod, pushing the pan forward insistently. Just as he'd planned, the man opened the door a bit wider to reach out and wrap his hands around it. It gave him the briefest opportunity to catch a glimpse of blood red hair, pale, unblemished skin, and a fancy kanji tattoo on the other man's face before the pan was yanked forward and the door abruptly shut once more in one smooth motion.
For all of ten seconds, Naruto sat in stunned silence, then his face twisted into indignant annoyance. He'd just been smoothly and efficiently thwarted from executing his most favorite method of bogarting his way into someone's apartment.
"Hey! That's rude, Gaara! You could've at least said, 'Thank you,'" the blond shouted, giving the door a bleary stare. When there was no response, Naruto threw his hands up in exasperation and reached down to scoop up his little buddy Kurama, who had been startled by the slammed door into coughing growls.
"It's ok, he's a bit of a jerkface for that, but maybe once he's full he'll be happier," Naruto said, soothingly rubbing his fuzzy buddy's ears. Kurama's aimed a displeased copper stare at his owner, then gave a final warning huff at the door before Naruto turned to leave.
If he'd stayed a bit longer, he would heard the faint, "Thank you," from behind the door of his neighbor's apartment.
"God, it pisses me off! I slaved over a hot stove to make a nice meal for the guy and what does he do? Slams the door in my face without so much as a thank you or anything!"
"Mhm," his friend said disinterestedly, calmly flipping a page in his newspaper.
"I even introduced Kurama too him! No one can resist his foxy charm! It's just not done!" Said fox glanced up with an ear perked as his master's voice called his name. When there was no further mention of him, the fox chirruped in annoyance and laid his head back onto his fluffy bed.
"I don't get it! Did I do something wrong, Sasuke? Or maybe it's some weird cultural taboo to come to a stranger's house without being invited wherever he's from-"
"Oh god forbid no one wanting a stranger in their home," Sasuke said with great sarcasm, before closing his newspaper with a sharp flick. "Or it could be...I don't know...he just isn't a very social guy? Did you ever think of that, moron?"
Naruto scowled at his best friend, ignoring the implied insults. They just washed over him like water anyway. "Still! I just wanted to say hi, what's so bad about that?"
"Idiot," Sasuke murmured semi-affectionately. "Not everyone you meet will be annoyed into being friends with you."
"Like you were?" the blond asked with a smirk, his sapphire eyes dancing with smug mirth.
Sasuke pointedly ignored him as he began gathering his belongings. He refused to give the idiot any kind of credit. "See you later, moron."
"Sure, Sasuke-bastard," Naruto returned with a grin, knowing he'd won this particular match.
The dark haired boy paused in the doorway. "Try finding something in common with the guy; he might warm up a bit if he isn't feeling awkward."
"Sasuke...did you just give me advice on how to socialize?" Naruto asked incredulously. "My god, I have to tell the cat lady in 603 that she might be right about you not always having a stick shoved up your ass."
The Uchiha grunted and didn't bother to answer as he slammed Naruto's door behind himself.
So what if he had to fight back a smile on the way back to his apartment?