The apartment really was cramped. He had no fucking clue how he had worked out so much while he was on house arrest. He was currently jump roping in the middle of the kitchen so his jump rope wouldn't snag of anything while he was working.

"So, did you decide if it was okay to do it at Choji's?" Hinata asked, sitting on the loveseat, facing him, going through a pile of mail she had picked up before coming home.

"Did Choji realize that a thousand dollars is way too cheap and he's being unreasonable." Naruto countered, not breaking step in his jump.

Hinata smiled, looking up at him. "Of course he didn't."

After deciding to make their wedding an understated affair, and just have their friends and Hinata's small family celebrate with them in an intimate dinner setting, Choji volunteered his restaurant space. But a thousand dollars wouldn't even really cover the food for that many people, let alone the labor and all the money that he would be missing out on closing it an entire evening to the public.

Yes, he was Hinata's friend. But to a certain point, it just felt rude to accept that amount. Especially because they had enough to pay him a decent rate. They had both been putting away, expecting a much more expensive affair. They could pay him a catering and rental fee.

Naruto just shook his head. He wasn't the guy that stole shit and took advantage of people anymore. He'd pay a real price or not have it there. Simple as that. He couldn't say that as insensitively to Hinata though, who seemed to be always looking for any hidden animosity that Naruto had managed to keep secret about Choji.

There wasn't any. She didn't need to worry about it. But telling her not to worry was like telling Choji that they'd be paying full price.

"Well, everyone's going to be let down when we don't get Korean barbeque then." Naruto sniffed, starting to feel the strain in his calves.

Hinata looked up at the stack to glare at him.

"Anything good, or just bills?" He asked.

"There's no Victoria Secret catalog, if you're wondering."

Naruto rolled his eyes, smiling the laugh but not being able to actually do it, he had to keep his oxygen level. "Shut up."

"No I don't think there's anything-" She paused, getting to the last piece. "Um,"

"What is it one of those old medical bills?" He asked, feeling the heat in his legs.

Story of his fucking life. He used to ignore those bills until he'd get those damn past call collections before they threatened to sue him. At the time it was laughable, sue him? For what? Now he actually had stuff he wanted to keep.

She didn't answer it right away.

"What?" He finally stopped. He took a deep breath in, going up on his tiptoes and back down to try and stretch out the tightness that accumulated in his calves.

"It's your birth certificate."

Oh. Okay. "So we can make our appointment now."

The courthouses here were way too congested to just show up. They had to schedule a time and date. That was also when they were planning the dinner. Hinata had family from California that would be coming. Even though their wedding was going to be a smaller affair, it still required planning and logistics.

"Do you… want to... Look. At it." Hinata asked, painfully tentative.

He shrugged. He wasn't trying to be difficult. He really didn't know if he wanted to or not. He still wasn't sure what he actually felt about it. Would he be sad if there was nothing on there. Would he be mad if there were. How would he really react. He had a handle on most of his emotions nowadays but he could still be a wild card.

"Do you want to?" He asked instead.

"I mean, yeah. Kind of." She admitted. "But only if you're okay with it, course."

Naruto looked down at the envelope in her hands. "Knock yourself out."

She looked back at him, not moving. It wasn't some kind of trick question. He meant it.

She nodded before turning it in her hands, and carefully peeling it open. He stood in the kitchen, his heart pounding in his chest, not from the light aerobics. His hands felt sweaty and shaky, like he was having a dip in blood sugar.

What if this was a mistake. What if there was something bad on it. What if-

"What is it?" He asked before he could stop himself.

Her gorgeous, pale eyes of course gave away nothing, still scanning the small piece of paper.

His fingers drumming on his pant legs but it wasn't enough of a distraction.

"Is there something on there?"

Finally, her eyes looked up to his, and she nodded.


That opened a thousand more different questions. His mom was on there? What happened to her? Was she alive? Did she have her own family now? Where was she? What did she look like?

"They're both on here."

His dad? He had a dad? He had always thought that whoever had impregnated his mom wasn't really a real person. Not that he was fake, just that maybe he was some piece of shit that fucked her and bounced or something. Or maybe he was one of those assholes that were married and fucking on the side and that's why he didn't want anything to do with him.

"Do you want to read it?" She asked, standing up from the loveseat.

He had to physically stop himself from stepping back away from her. "I don't know." It maybe wasn't the most eloquent answer, but he thought he should at least tell her what he was feeling.

"Don't you want to know?" She asked.


He wasn't some LifeTime movie kid, pinning after his parents that abandoned him. Yes, he thought about them sometimes. Especially his mom. When he was little, he thought about it a lot. Where she was at. What she looked like. If she was ever going to come back and get him, like what would happen to the other kids in foster care. But she never did. He aged out and she still never contacted him. He had decided that he didn't need her if she didn't need him.

"No." He decided.

Hinata paused, almost deflated. "Are you sure?"

"They don't really mean anything to me."

She looked back at him, shocked.

"Sorry." He ducked away quickly. "If that makes me a bad person. I'm sorry. It's just… they weren't there. When I needed them. So they don't really mean anything to me now. They're just names on a piece of paper."

"That doesn't make you a bad person." Hinata promised.

It felt like it did. Life he was being ungrateful, or something. Some people hire P.I.'s, spend thousands of dollars and years to find their parents and his were right there, in Hinata's hand. And he didn't want them.

"You don't want to know anything about your family though?" She asked.

"You're my family."

Hinata dropped all the mail down onto her seat and crossed the room, wrapping his sweaty body up into a hug. "I am." She whispered her promise against his chest.