Note: Hi friends, ForgetMeNot09 so very sweetly requested a fluff fic to be submitted to NaruHina Fluffy Day this May, so this cheeseball story came to fruition. Watch out for paranoia, all caps subject lines, winky smiles, a child's game meme, and marital teamwork ahead.


Against Policy

It started when the cup noodle packaging gradually disappeared over the course of three days. The clutter followed suit, then the shambles of paperwork started to sort, the outgoing mail tray overtook the inbox.

Though the improvements were subtle as the week went on, Shikamaru attributed it to a most fortuitous alignment of the heavenly bodies— thusly affording Naruto a few less committee meetings to oversee, a rare lull in crises, fewer media appearances, and so on. With the chance to catch up on work and streamline his agenda, perhaps it was only natural for Naruto to organize the parts of his workspace that often went neglected. Who wouldn't? Shikamaru liked the neat look for a change.

But it was the briefings for missions and responses to administrative requests that seemed…off. The way that Konohamaru was addressed so fondly and given assignment specs prior to a day-long mission with Boruto's team…and how the annual Medical Corps presentation was its usual sort of bland, but Naruto had a few too many compliments for their work…

Was it hay-fever? The heightened summer heat? Positive affirmations? It churned Shikamaru's stomach to watch this perked-up version of Naruto tackle objectives. He wasn't dog-tired or…weary enough to get a pass, even for the unusually clear timetable they were working with.

The Hokage's perpetually jam-packed schedule and disordered office space were looking oddly clear and ordered this week, Shikamaru noted. Just when did Naruto develop first-rate time management? He was like a new person. Or perhaps that was the ruse…

He was getting laid, that was it. That must be it. It was a logical conclusion to draw, Shikamaru told himself. Naruto had been going home on time, and sometimes even heading home early with nothing urgent that needed his attention. And surely Hinata had noticed this remarkable schedule as well, since her husband came home to her well before dinner was prepared and evening routines started. Naruto could get home in a flash and spend a few short, glorious hours with Himawari and Boruto. Then the night was his. The lucky sod, Shikamaru thought as he crammed a few atlases back onto a shelf with a touch too much force.

Even he'd been getting home on time, though Temari hadn't had much to say about it. Shikadai had been out with friends on most of these summer nights, up to who knew what, so they hadn't gotten many games of shogi in despite the extra free time. Pft. He needed a coffee before disappointment made him curl into a ball for a melancholy nap. In the third floor break room, he poured the hours-old swill into a cup, tumbling through his thoughts as he tried to work out just what was off-kilter about this week. Sure, it'd been beneficial for multiple parties, but there was an itch in the back of his mind that he couldn't seem to get at. Something distinct and dissimilar from workplace drudgery that taxed the Hokage and himself…

"Shikamaru…"

Glancing over his shoulder at Naruto, he tried not to scrunch his face with suspicion too obviously.

"You're pouring that all over the counter." Naruto observed.

Galled, Shikamaru ceased his hare-brained attempt to pour the brew into a cup he'd missed by several centimeters. A pool of brown coalesced and stilled before it could drip off of the bar top. Since Shikamaru's reaction time was lacking, Naruto gave his advisor a look of concern as he went ahead to contain the mess with a stack of paper napkins, "Do you need to go home or something? I've never seen you this out of it."

"I was having an internal debate that left me momentarily distracted. Hey, quit it. Let me." Slightly abashed, Shikamaru took over the mopping process.

"Alright." Naruto gestured to the well-worn sofa of the break room, "If you need some time to get back on track, just take a nap in here. The Academy Board committee doesn't meet for another hour and a half, then that's about it for the day."

"Yeah, not much going on otherwise." Shikamaru chucked the rubbish in a trash bin and toddled towards the sofa.

"I'll take lunch in my office."

"Check for those communications with Suna. You were copied on the email." He wanted to impart a reminder before he crashed and rebooted.

"I already did. Take it easy." Naruto saw himself out.

No sooner had Shikamaru's backside touched the weathered cushions of the sofa, it occurred to him that he had been utterly hoodwinked.

Oh no.

How could he not have realized it? How could he have let this slip past him for so long? Days of it.

Shikamaru hopped up and raced out of the break area, down the corridor, and stormed the Hokage's office without so much as a knock. There he found Naruto frozen with a piece of mackerel oshizushi hovering just below his mouth in chopsticks. A bento. He had a homemade bento box for lunch. That sold it. Shikamaru clicked the door shut behind him and approached the desk.

"I've got to say you've been rather clever about this. I am impressed." Shikamaru began to pace, cocking a hand on his hip, "But I needed to remind myself that I don't live in a fantasy world, and as such I would never be encouraged to nap by the Hokage since he knows my naps are time-destroyers of epic proportions."

Shikamaru planted a plainly distrustful look on Naruto, who was now slowly chewing his lunch as he listened intently. He seemed riveted.

"Strike two: you never notice emails you are copied on without me first telling you to look. Not even when they're flagged for priority." Shikamaru pressed on with the prosecution, "So don't sell me this I've already seen it stuff and expect me to buy it. I don't care how much the chaos has slowed down lately— you don't check your emails, Naruto."

"Isn't that kind of unfair? Assuming I can't form good habits?" Naruto was visibly heartbroken by the insinuation.

"You didn't give me this job for fairness. I'm your top advisor because you need effectiveness. Insight. Criticism. Even if you're the one in my crosshairs."

"True, true." No arguments there.

"Strike three: lunch." Shikamaru topped off his accusations, "Naruto has a metabolism that works to support two, so he wolfs down his homemade bento just about as soon as he walks into this office. Then he scrounges around for cup noodles around lunch time, either in the break room or his desk, bottom right drawer. Since that won't satisfy him for long he asks me for my extra rice ball; Temari always sends me with three. Then he sends the downstairs analysts for a snack run in the afternoon." He stopped pacing and pointed a finger at the fraud, "I knew something was off this week. You're not eating. That's because you're not Naruto."

He continued chewing slowly as he listened to Shikamaru.

"Don't try to pretend like you haven't been caught red-handed," The man thumped his hands down on the desk, "Hinata."

There was a surreal moment in which the look on Naruto's face was astronomically bewildered and it cowed Shikamaru. It was convincing. It was genuine. Had he gotten it wrong? Was this indeed THE Naruto? Diet, time management, and all? If so, he'd grossly overstepped with his deductions.

But of course there was a puff of smoke as the transformation was released, and Hinata appeared before him and paused her lunch to bend in a minuscule, contrite bow, "I've been bested."

"Bested?"

"I'm sorry, Shikamaru. I worked hard to fill in for Naruto-kun, since we formulated our scheme."

"Scheme!" Should he be panicking?

"Yes! Naruto-kun and I had an idea; to study each other's habits, routines, and work environments so we could fill in for each other, bit by bit. Just for a while." Hinata explained, "He misses the children so much, you see. And he trusts me! He knew I could handle anything that he can, and so I started to take over for a few hours…then days…"

"Hinata…"

"He said I could consider it a mission."

"This is—"

"—forgive our audacity, but I think it's been wonderful!" Hinata balled her hands into fists, passionate about the deception and its benefits, "Boruto and Himawari have enjoyed spending so much time with their father! With the weather so nice, they've gone out to play almost every day! Every appointment has been kept, the house is in order, and Boruto hasn't been nearly as dour…"

"Hinata, you aren't the Hokage." Shikamaru tapped his fingers on the desk, "You. Can't. Do. This."

"But I did." She smiled.

"It's against policy."

"It hasn't been so difficult. If there were an emergency that required more force and skill than what my own abilities can contain, I'd make sure Naruto was here immediately to handle it." Hinata held up a necklace upon which a charm had been equipped with the formula for the Flying Thunder God technique. Her husband could reach her in instant, no doubt about it.

Shikamaru palmed his face and sighed, heaving his shoulders. Even if many security issues had been buttoned up, that still didn't rectify the overall problem. Uzumaki Hinata had not been approved by the Village Council or the Fire Country's daimyo to act as a village leader. Not to say she'd been dogshit at the job, really quite the opposite, but still! How could they put him in such a compromising situation as an advisor? As if he wouldn't notice!

"I don't even know how you kept up with some of the material from committee meetings, which can get incredibly convoluted on a good day…" Shikamaru tipped his head back to recall the past weeks' worth of conferences, "It was pretty seamless when you sat in on those. Made some great judgement calls too..."

"Naruto-kun took the time to explain to me what I should expect, and the best practices he uses for decisions. We prepared for almost a month."

"You planned all of this for a month?!"

Instead of answering, she kept eating the bento she had made since it was too good to waste. Maybe if things had not worked out so marvelously, Hinata would feel more remorseful over her actions. But she couldn't regret the quality time her family had been getting recently. Their happiness was worth it!

"Hinata, I have to ask you to leave and send Naruto back. If any of the upper echelons learned about this our heads would roll."

"Please, please just let me work here for another week!"

"There is no way that is happening—!"

"I'm good at this! I want my family to have some time together!"

"Don't we all?"

"It'd mean so much to Boruto…don't you see how strained things can be between him and his father—?" She pleaded.

"Ack!" Shikamaru spun in a small circle, "You wanna talk about unfair? Why'd you pitch that one at me?"

"Because it's only six more days after today, and you know it'll be fine. Please just let us do this?"

His eyes must've been bugging. This was nuts. None of this was sanctioned. Curse his tender heart and fatherly empathy. If he let Naruto have this precious time with his family, then there had better be substantial compensation for Nara Shikamaru in the near future!

"You…just keep this up and don't let the beans spill." Shikamaru warned, "I'm not gonna step on your toes since this is temporary and all. But don't let him forget that I don't appreciate being duped."

"I understand, Shikamaru, thank you!" She cheerfully resumed her transformation of Naruto to finish up her lunch. The advisor sighed like a long ocean wind and trudged out of the office.

A message notification blinked onto the computer screen, and Hinata quickly opened the correspondence with the subject line: HOW IS MY BEAUTIFUL WIFE DOING?! The body text read:

Hinata! This is the best! We went swimming! :D :D :D

Naruto had attached a photo of himself, Boruto, and Himawari from earlier in the day, all in swimsuits to take a dip in the local pond.

That was just what the doctor ordered on a hot day! Make sure you go for a swim too before the summer's over. Tazawa Pond is never busy because it's harder to reach, see all of those steep rocky slopes? The kids made it up no problem, but I was watching them just in case. Oh boy, do I wish I could see you in a bathing suit though…

She blushed and chewed her sushi rolls ferociously.

Actually, maybe we should be going for a swim together sometime soon—just the two of us! It's been so long since we've done something like that. Sorry to bug you, I've just had you on the brain all day.

And I am happy to report that Boruto seems to have had a good time! Who woulda thought? I know you're sending him on a short mission later, but I think this loosened him up and will keep him cheerful. He even let me throw him off a ledge into the water, what a good sport! Himawari made that jump like a hundred times. She's Daddy's little bottle rocket. :D

What do you say to a hotpot tonight? I'm cooking. We can boil up some sukiyaki and have it with lettuce wraps, or heck, if you just want to eat cinnamon rolls tonight let me know. Whatever you want! Himawari is going to help me with some chores now and she wants you to know that we love you to the moon and back! Well for me that's literal. I have definitely loved you to the moon and back already.

See you later ;) Naruto

Also attached was a more recent photo of Naruto and Himawari blowing kissy faces.

Hinata covered her mouth to softly squeal to herself. She KNEW this switcheroo had been the right call.


As the sun sank on the horizon that evening, Hinata discontinued her transformation when all office work was done, then hustled home. She kicked off her shoes in the genkan and scurried through the house, approving of the state of it, 'All looks to be in order! He's done so well.' In the kitchen she discovered a hotpot simmering on the stove. Beyond the sliding glass door of the sitting room she spotted her husband's blond head outside. Hinata merrily ventured out into the backyard.

Naruto was plucking dried garments down from the laundry line one by one, dropping them into a basket. To keep Himawari entertained, he had manifested one of Kurama's chakra tails so she could skip it like a rope. They quickly noticed their visitor.

"Mama!"

"Hinataaa!"

She folded into the group hug, "I'm home! I missed you! Did you have fun today?"

"We did, Mama! Daddy took us swimming today!" Himawari skipped up the back step into the house, followed by her parents, "Did you see the pictures?"

"I did! They made me smile and work harder." Hinata paused at the threshold, feeling Naruto wrap a free arm around her for another brief hug, "Naruto-kun…"

"I missed you. I appreciate you doing this for me." His lips skimmed the back of her neck.

She fought a tremble, "And I…appreciate what you're doing for me…and for the children."

Indoors they prepared the evening meal and settled down at the table, lamenting that Boruto had to miss such a delightful dinner while out on a mission. Naruto noted, "I did pack him a bunch of snacks before he left, though."

In Himawari's eagerness to begin eating, she scalded her tongue on hot broth. Both of her parents tittered worriedly over her until she overcame the pain, chattering about the day's highlights and activities. Hinata kept her daughter talking so her food could cool down properly.

After the meal, Naruto waved his wife away from clean-up duty and encouraged her to sit and relax. Hinata lingered at the table and gazed at his back while he rinsed dishes, sighing blithely. It was then Himawari set an item on the table in front of her, snapping Hinata's attention back, "Oh, what's this, Himawari?"

"It's a game Daddy bought me today. I saw it at the store." The girl explained as she arranged the pieces.

Hinata inspected the odd plastic figurine of a pirate in a rum barrel, "Have you played it already?"

"Daddy said we should wait for you to get home and then we could play together!"

"Of course." Hinata assisted her daughter in organizing colorful swords beside the barrel.

"See, Mama? It's a pirate and when you put the sword in the wrong spot he'll pop up! Then you lose."

"I see!"

"Don't peek with the Byakugan to see which one'll do it!"

"I won't, I won't. We all play fair." Hinata assured her.

After the conclusion of Naruto's task, he sat down with his family to play the silly pirate game. Himawari lost once and was agitated by the result, and thusly demanded four more rounds of which she won three. She didn't realize her parents had started to go easy on her. She reveled in the victorious feeling.

The table was a mess of small plastic swords afterward, but the three later huddled on the couch to read bedtime stories. By the dark of night, Himawari was soundly asleep when her father carried her to bed to be tucked in. Shortly after that, he and Hinata followed suit.

In the bedroom, Hinata snapped a nightstand lamp off as she heard Naruto mention, "I miss my old life."

Blinking curiously, she rolled over to fit against his side, "Your old life?"

"You know, the time before I was Hokage. That was when most of my living got done. It was like this." He gestured with a hand at the darkened room, "What we've been doing lately. It's great! I…just…"

Hinata snuggled in and smiled to herself when Naruto wrapped his arms around her, letting go of a deep sigh.

He went on, "I had that one dream in my head that I idealized for so long, and I…kind of ignored the fact that it was never going to be perfect. That there would be drawbacks. I never accounted for…missing you guys so much." Naruto nestled her beneath his chin, "The demands and responsibilities of the job are crazy, and I can never shirk them no matter how badly I want to. I definitely get why people look forward to retirement so much."

"I understand what you mean, Naruto-kun. Really, I do." She agreed, "When our children are older and more independent…I would like to start taking missions again." Hinata had to admit that she still longed for the career she had sidelined, "I miss taking pride in and serving my village. And I miss cooperating on teams too…"

"Mm-hmm."

"Not to say that I would ever trade my family life away to get those things back permanently! No, no…" Hinata clarified, "That's why this 'switch' is a wonderful change of pace, even if it isn't exactly what either of us want."

"Couldn't have said it any better myself, Hinata." Naruto concurred.

She began chuckling as she remembered her time at the office, "It felt so silly for me to assign a mission to Boruto, earlier. He took my order so seriously!"

"Did he really?" Naruto sniffed, "He usually scoffs or gets impatient when I'm the one assigning him missions."

"Ah. I suppose that's because he…" She could not help an impish grin, "Knows a real leader when he sees one."

Naruto took a long, inhaling gasp of offense upon hearing such a blasphemous assertion. He rolled on top of her and sidled down over her stomach, hiking up the bottom of Hinata's sleeping shirt. "Hinata, I'm insulted." He grinned up at her, "Though you may have a point…since I know for sure who my boss is."

The feeling of him there, hot to the touch and kissing his way up her stomach; it made her fidget and whine softly. She muttered that her previous comment was only a joke.

"Oh, it's no joke. Sometimes I really need someone to tell me what to do." He was still grinning, lips soft and traveling.

"If you n-need some…direction…" Hinata took a breath, her hands fiddling beside her husband's as he undid the buttons of her top. Naruto was the indulgent sort who would take his time and play, however, he was distracted by a single red plastic sword that tumbled innocently from his wife's cleavage. It must have gotten stuck while playing Pop-Up Pirate that evening, not that she'd noticed.

Naruto covered his mouth to prevent an uproarious howl of laughter. He could've woken the whole neighborhood if he didn't bite back on his mirth. All the while, his wife was half naked under him and not nearly as amused by his reaction to the stowaway toy-piece.

She bopped him with her fists, pushing him back and hissing, "Naruto. It's not funny!"

"Hee hee…H-Hinata…it is so the funniest thing I've…ever s-seen…!"

Determination flooded her with strength, and Hinata flipped him to his back to pin him, disciplining Naruto's neck with kisses, "I'll show you who you're picking on…"

He melted under her.


And so another day passed at the Administrative Building without incident. Shikamaru tried his very best not to give Hinata any guff on her decisions as Hokage. The arrangement wasn't going to last much longer, and no one else had caught on to the "scheme," thankfully.

When Boruto's team returned that day, marching into the Hokage's office and chatting amongst themselves, it was Sarada who inquired first about the weird pirate toy on the village leader's desk.

"Oh, Himawari came to visit this morning and wanted to play a game." Was the Hokage's explanation, "I guess she left it behind."

Since Boruto was the only soul in the room aware that the Hokage was actually his mother in disguise, he was not nearly as sassy as he would've been while speaking to his father, "Uh…do you want me to bring it home?"

"No need. I'll bring it back later."

Konohamaru did not sugarcoat the mission report, mentioning a few near-misses and mistakes when it came to approaching a target. In summation, their task had been a success and the team's Sensei praised his students for their combined cleverness. "Naruto" was thrilled with the mission recap.

All the while, Boruto, Sarada, and Mitsuki had been distractedly playing with the pirate game to unwind, each taking turns in silence. No one had disturbed the temperamental pirate with the placement of their swords. After the briefing, the team departed to break for lunch, and Hinata maintained her disguise while eating a bento in the office.

There was a single knock on the door when a new visitor announced his presence, "Yo."

Kakashi moseyed in and was immediately conscious of the fact that he was looking at an imposter. He knew Naruto too well to ever consider it normal for him to politely eat a lunch bento and have such a neat desk. Too wise to attempt to fool a past Hokage, Hinata didn't pretend or role-play, and instead made friendly small talk, "Kakashi-sensei, have you been well? I've been giving Naruto-kun a break from his responsibilities."

"Looks like you've got the hang of it, Hinata-san." He commended her as he stopped in front of the desk.

"I think so too. Things have been rather peaceful. And I know Naruto will look forward to a meeting with the Kazekage next week."

"Yeah, I heard about that. It should be a conference to discuss a new and improved trade deal, but it's mostly for those two to catch up, I suspect."

The phony Naruto was smiling much in the way Hinata would. She replied to an email while Kakashi fiddled with the pirate game on the desk, adding, "I think…it's a good idea for him to have time with his family."

"Really?" Hinata squeaked, "I worried that you might find it deceptive and reckless…"

"In some respects I do see it that way, but Naruto spent much of his life in solitude with nothing of his own…so his teacher is very happy to see he has a spouse who would take on any challenge to secure his happiness."

She chirped her thanks.

"Will you miss the job?" Kakashi wondered playfully.

"I don't think I will. I…will only miss Naruto-kun, when this is over. This easy schedule can't last for long." Hinata admitted, "Maybe if you have some free time you can visit him and say hello? We only have a few days of this left."

"You know, I think I will." Kakashi was ordering the pop-up pirate barrel, inserting the last few swords into the toy, "I can catch up with him and tell him about a trip I took with Tenzo. There's a new luxury beach resort in the Land of Waves."

Hinata was about to inquire about the aforementioned beach resort when Shikamaru barged into the office with urgent correspondence in-hand, and his eyes zeroed-in on the children's toy on the desk…then to the Sixth Hokage who was playing with said toy.

Such frivolity pushed the advisor over the edge, and he pointed a finger at Hinata, "You…are mocking the integrity of the position you've assumed! This has gone on for long enough. No games! No neat office! Make everything go back to the way it was."

During a bewildered moment of silence, Kakashi triggered the toy's mechanism and popped the pirate out of the barrel.


Following two weeks of "vacation," Uzumaki Naruto had resumed his official duties. Though some things around the office got messier upon his return, he was able to keep some of Hinata's recommendations in mind. He was very much a refreshed man, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

He ran down a mental checklist, 'Okay…I've got to read up on the agenda for the Advisory Council meeting…check emails, sign off on the trade proposal, and then meet Gaara for a working lunch. Oh man, I can't wait for lunch…'

Naruto fiddled with a framed photo of his family on his desk, grinning at the sight of them, 'I had so much fun! I've really got to thank Hinata again.'

Shikamaru passed by the office with what looked to be the third cup of coffee Naruto had spotted him with that morning. He seemed sulky and unenthusiastic. It was quite unlike the no-nonsense, go-getter attitude Naruto normally saw in his advisor. When Shikamaru came into the office, Naruto tried not to pity the man too much, "Hey, uh, thanks for…going along with my plan for the last few weeks. I appreciate it!"

"Sure." Shikamaru said joylessly.

Naruto blanched. Could things have really been that bad while he was gone? Shikamaru had never looked so worn down.

Moments later Sakura dropped by for her anticipated visit, making brief, cheerful small-talk while she handed over a request for updated hospital equipment. Naruto approved each order form for her, "Uh. Aren't these a little more expensive than you said they'd be?"

"They are." Sakura acknowledged, "But if we think about who they're benefitting, is this update still worth it?"

"Yup." He stamped the last document and handed the stack back to her, "Hinata said she ran into you and Sarada yesterday."

"That's right, and Hinata-chan told me about some beach resort she wanted to visit with you." She smiled wistfully, "I kind of want to take my family there too…"

"Kakashi-sensei said it even had water slides and stuff-!" Naruto's eyes drifted over to Shikamaru on the periphery of the room, and he noticed his advisor was staring at Sakura's exposed midriff. This unusual behavior was cause for alarm.

"I'll catch up with you later this afternoon." Sakura bade her old teammate farewell and gave Shikamaru a courteous parting wave.

When Sakura walked out of the room, it appeared that Shikamaru had switched to measuring the width and flatness of his own stomach. It appeared to be a self-conscious comparison. Naruto couldn't figure it, "Okay…what the heck is your deal? Why were you looking at Sakura-chan like that?" He gruffed, "And you're dragging your heels. Was it really so tough while I was gone? I know it wasn't. You're like a neurotic little dog today— one of those skittish ones that hates being petted or listening to commands!"

"Thank you for the critique, that's really going to put me in the right head space." Shikamaru replied.

"Suck-it-up, man! We've got an Advisory Council meeting to survive this morning, and we are way above budget on that festival coming up. They're gonna bitch about it and be total pessimists about planning, submit twenty proposals to me about how to make up for a possible deficit, and then whoosh! There goes my evening reading it all." As Naruto narrated the potential agitation to come, he'd been clicking his computer mouse furiously.

Shikamaru rubbed his temples and could only mewl, "Ow." In response to Naruto's concerns.

"Ow?" The Hokage's nostrils flared with impatience.

"You are just—" Shikamaru gesticulated wildly, "I don't know how he does it."

"Huh? How who does what?" Naruto sensed a disturbance.

"Shikamaru. How does Shikamaru do this job?" The one who obviously was not Shikamaru grumbled.

Right about then Naruto imagined that maybe his advisor had gotten a little vindictive about the whole Hinata-standing-in-for-him thing. And maybe Shikamaru had also used some silver-tongued persuasion to convince his wife that she too could get back at the unscrupulous Hokage for her husband's troubles by covertly standing in as an advisor.

But Temari dissolved her transformation with a huff, tossing her hands up, "I can't. He really minimized the amount of bullshit he puts up with. Why do you even have meetings like that?"

"Someone told me I had to when I took office!" Naruto realized how absurd the explanation sounded.

"That's because those counselors want jobs! That doesn't mean they have to have 'em!"

"You're not even my advisor, you can't yell at me like this!" Naruto defended, "Um. Where is he, anyway?"

"Snoozing in bed of course, because I'm the fool who took pity on him and agreed to this," Temari turned for the door, "But not for long."

Naruto gulped.

"I don't know how your wife handled your job for two weeks…"

"Well…did Shikamaru do any prep with you? Like, tell you what to expect and how to plan your day and task lists?"

"…no."

"Then he was just being lazy. He should've done that." Naruto leaned back in his seat and nodded sagely, "It would've made your time masquerading here way easier. Nice try, though."

Livid that she'd been gypped out of adequate transitional information, Temari marched home to give her husband a piece of her mind.

With some quiet restored to his work space, Naruto relaxed. He lifted the lid of the bento box he was about to eat, and was pleasantly surprised to find a printed photo wrapped in plastic, depicting Hinata and their children making the meal.

The back was signed: Your Loving Boss