Disclaimer: Naruto does not belong to me.
Author's Note: This story is based off the book called Playing James by Sarah Mason. Therefore, the original story line is not my own. But I thought the idea would work well for a SasuNaru fic, so here we are. Please read and review and enjoy. Yours, SilverRose88.
"Back already, Naruto?" Shizune greeted the blonde who'd just walked out of the elevators.
Uzumaki Naruto, age twenty-five, just smiled guiltily and ran his uninjured hand through his hair. "You know me, accident-prone to everything and anything," he said with a laugh as he approached the counter.
"What happened this time?" Shizune asked, as she handed him the usual forms to fill out and a pen.
"I was just cleaning around the house, you know, normal stuff, trying to get from my bed to the door, and cut my hand on a giant piece of glass that I swear came out from no where!" Naruto exclaimed.
The nurse laughed as he handed her back the forms; it took him only five minutes to fill out since he was there so much. "Well, take a seat and the doctor will be here soon."
Naruto said his thanks and took a seat by the wall with a sigh. After checking to make sure the shirt he'd used to wrap his wound was still secure, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone. He dialed a number and waited for the explosion on the other end.
"Brat! Where the hell are you? You're late for work!" a loud female voice filled his ear.
Naruto pulled the phone away from his ear and let it rest on his leg, covering the end where his boss's voice was shouting from. He let her carry on for a while before picking the phone back up and saying, "Geez, Tsunade, that tirade was much longer than last time."
"Shut up brat! Where are you?"
"Are you okay? What happened?" It was amazing, really, how someone could switch in a millisecond from outraged to concerned.
"Got this huge gash on my hand from a piece of glass. It's deep and hurts like hell and it's oozing blood right now and everything," he said and then grinned when he heard a faint 'thud' on the other end. Tsunade had successfully fainted; she never could stand the sight or thought of blood.
"Tsunaaadee!" Naruto called. "Helllooo? Yo, old hag, get up, I know you can hear me."
"Don't call me an old hag, brat!"
"Then don't call me brat, old hag!"
Both sighed and a silence settled over the phone before Tsunade said, "Well, since you're at the hospital, think you could check up on a story for me? There was a robbery and an injured party. See if you can get a story for the paper. There should be some cops lingering around."
"Isn't this Shino's job? He's the one who has these kinds of articles," Naruto said.
"Actually, that's something I've gotta talk to you about when you get back. And don't worry about it, okay, brat? Just do the assignment and get better. See you back here later," Tsunade said.
The blonde sighed. "Fine, hag, I'll get to it," he said before hanging up.
He glanced around the waiting room and deciding that there seemed to be quite an amount of people who'd been there before him, he figured he wasn't going to get called any time soon. So, with that decided, he got to his feet and began snooping.
"If I were a policeman, where would I be hiding?" he said to himself.
His question was answered the second he turned the corner. Naruto reached into his back pocket for his notepad and pencil and approached the three men; one was obviously a doctor if his white lab coat was any indication, one was decked out in the usual police uniform, and the other was in rather formal street clothes. Naruto surmised the last was a detective; he'd watched enough T.V. shows to know that detectives didn't need to be in uniform.
"Excuse me, sirs, but could I have a word?" Naruto asked in his best dignified voice.
The three men stopped talking and turned to him.
"What do you need?" the doctor turned to look at Naruto.
"Actually, I need to speak with the officers, doctor," he said. The doctor nodded at Naruto, and then at the officers before taking his leave. Naruto turned his attention to the officers and gave his signature grin. The one in uniform smiled back, but the other just turned and glared.
A bit taken aback by the annoyed vibe that came in waves from the detective, Naruto stared at him and suddenly found himself feeling a bit more surprised, but for a different reason. This man had the most blackest eyes he had ever seen; they were a deep penetrating onyx that seemed fathomless. And not only were the eyes attractive, but the rest of the man was as well. Naruto felt himself blush slightly but was brought back to real life when the attractive detective barked at him not so attractively.
"What is it?"
Getting his head on straight, Naruto replied, "I am Uzumaki Naruto from the Konoha Times. I'm here regarding the robbery that occurred earlier this morning and to see if I can find some information."
The detective stared down at the blonde as though deciding if he was telling the truth. "What do you need to know?"
"Everything," the blonde said. "But I'll take whatever you can tell me."
"If you want information, then I suggest heading to the PR department at the station is your best choice," he said coldly.
"But, isn't there anything you could tell me?" Naruto demanded, getting a bit annoyed by the man's irritating behavior. He hadn't done anything wrong! What was with the attitude?
"I said, the PR--"
"--Department is my best choice, I heard," Naruto interrupted. "I'm a reporter, not deaf."
The detective's eyes flashed dangerously.
"Now, can you please get off the pedestal you're standing on, and talk to me?" Naruto asked. "Sure, you're a cop and all that, but I haven't got all day."
"Well, neither have I," the detective said. "Now, sir, I'm sorry, but you're going to have to leave."
"Like hell I am!" Naruto exclaimed. "I want some answers! You haven't even let me ask the damn questions!"
The man narrowed his eyes, the dangerous glint still in the black orbs. Who did this little reporter think he was? He grabbed the blonde's hand to drag him out of the building, but then immediately let go when Naruto let out a loud yelp of pain.
"Ouch! Dammit, and it wasn't hurting me anymore!" Naruto exclaimed, clutching his injured hand to his chest and in the process dropping his notebook and pencil.
The detective stared at the whimpering blonde for a second before saying, "You're hurt."
"Well, you solved the case on that one!" Naruto exclaimed hotly. "That is why I'm in the hospital, you know. To get treated."
"I thought you were here to gather information," the detective said coldly.
"That too," Naruto said, but gave no more information. "Now, if you say sorry, I might just forget about all of this and be on my way."
"Say sorry for what, may I ask?"
Naruto stared dumbfounded at the man in front of him. "You're kidding right? You just grabbed my hand and crushed it with your brute force!"
"I did no such thing!" the man shouted. "I didn't even injure you! You injured yourself!"
"Yeah, but it stopped hurting until you grabbed my hand!"
"How the hell was I supposed to know you were hurt in the first place!"
"Because I was in the hospital!"
The detective crossed his arms and glowered at the furious blonde before him. "I am not apologizing. For all I know, you faked that injured just to come in here and snoop around for some answers."
The blonde's jaw dropped at the unfounded accusation. "I most certainly did not! If you must know, I woke up this morning and cut my hand on a piece of glass!"
"A likely story," the detective said. "Well, if you don't mind, Mr. Reporter, but I must be on my way. It was such a pleasure talking to you."
And before Naruto could even say another word, the man walked away with a smirk on his face. It was a moment's time before the blonde called after him, "Bastard! You didn't apologize!"
The blonde's statement was met with the entire floor turning to look at him. He laughed guiltily before picking up his dropped belongings and taking his seat again. A few minutes later, Shizune came up to get him, but it was hard for her to even get Naruto's attention, as he was a bit wrapped up with the detective he'd just met.
"Stupid, despicable bastard, slimy prick, retarded jackass…"
"Pretty boy asshole, thinks he can show me up…"
"Arrogant, narcissistic, bastard, bastard, bastard…"
"Naruto!" Shizune exclaimed.
"What?" Naruto said, jumping up.
"The doctor will see you now. Just go on ahead," she said.
"Thanks, Shizune. See ya later," Naruto said, as he headed down the hall, still mumbling to himself about the detective.
"Good morning, Naruto."
The blonde looked up from his desk and grinned. "Heyya, Neji! Long time no see!"
Hyuuga Neji, age twenty-six, rolled his eyes at his best friend. "You saw me last night, Naruto."
"Yeah, but it feels like a long time," he said. "What's up? Got anything interesting to write about today?"
"Not yet," Neji said. "I read your horoscope for you today. Want to know?"
"Oh, yeah!" Naruto said. He read his horoscope every morning like clockwork (with the exception of today since glass was stuck in his hand). Neji never really understood why he was so obsessed with it; they hardly were correct most of the time anyway.
"Your horoscope for today is that you'll have a rough start. You know, some injuries getting into arguments, stuff like that. Then it said that you shouldn't worry because you will be rewarded by the end of the day."
"Hey! It was right for once!"
"It was?" Neji asked, surprised.
"Yeah! I have had a tough morning," Naruto said. "I cut myself on a piece of glass, see?"
The Hyuuga looked down at Naruto's bandaged hand and concern swept over his face. "Are you okay?" he asked.
"I'm fine. I just cut myself on glass this morning and went to the hospital."
"That's why I didn't see you around. I was wondering why it was so quiet."
Naruto stuck his tongue out at the insinuation of being loud. "So, that covered the injury, and I also got into argument too!"
"With who? Tsunade?"
"Nope! A cop!"
"Naruto, you got into an argument with a cop? Are you insane?"
"Yeah, just a bit, I think."
Neji shook his head. "You're unbelievable. Why didn't the cop arrest you?"
"I'd like to ask him that too, but I wasn't doing anything wrong. I was just trying to get info out of him for an article Tsunade-baa-chan asked me to do. But the damn cop didn't tell me anything. He just got on my nerves."
"Well, you've got something good to look forward to today, whatever it may be," Neji said.
"Yeah, we'll see…" Naruto said. "But life doesn't usually work out for me."
Just then a woman with long blonde hair came up beside Neji and said to Naruto, "Tsunade's looking for you, Naruto."
"Hey, Ino! Looking gorgeous today, as always," Naruto said with a grin.
Yamanaka Ino, age twenty-five, blushed prettily and smacked the blonde's arm. "Quit being such a flirt, Naruto. Go see what Tsunade wants. I hear it's good news."
"Really?" Naruto said. "Doubt it. She's probably gonna give me one for not getting anything from the cops at the hospital."
"Well, she said to hurry up," Ino said. "Talk to you two later then."
"I'll be right back, Neji," Naruto said. "That is if she doesn't kill me."
"She hasn't killed you yet," Neji pointed out. "You never know, this could be your 'reward' for the day."
"It's never a 'reward' to talk to Tsunade," Naruto said before heading to the door at the back that had the word 'editor' on a plaque on the front.
"There you are, brat," Sannin Tsunade said.
"Nice seeing you too, hag," Naruto said as he shut the door behind him and took a seat in front of her messy desk.
"I told you not to call me hag," she snapped unnecessarily. No matter how many times they told each other to stop the name-calling, it still went on.
"So, what's up?" Naruto asked as he leaned against the chair, put his feet up onto the desk and his hand behind his head, relaxing.
Tsunade just let him sit how he wanted; not in the mood to get into an argument, just sighed and said, "You're getting a promotion, sort of."
Naruto's feet fell straight off the desk and he stared, slack-jawed at the woman before him. "WHAT?" he exclaimed loudly.
"You heard me, twerp," Tsunade said. "Aburame got a better job at some other paper, so I'm moving you up to take his position."
"But he works as crime reporter! That's like the top job at the paper, and you're giving it to ME?"
"Well, if you don't want it, I'll call up Neji--"
"PUT THAT PHONE DOWN!" Naruto exclaimed. "I want it, I want it!"
Tsunade smirked. "I thought so," she said. "I'll give you the weekend off, you'll start your new position come Monday. Have a good weekend, brat."
"Thank you, thank you, thank, you," Naruto gushed.
"I like you better when you're not grateful. Get out!" Tsunade said.
"Later, Tsunade-baa-chan!" Naruto exclaimed before bouncing out of her office with a big stupid grin on his face.
"Neeejiiii! Guess what? Guess what?" Naruto exclaimed as he bounced over to his friend's desk.
Neji took one look at the hyper blonde and said, "I take it you found your reward?"
"You're looking at the new crime correspondent!" Naruto said excitedly.
"Really? Has Tsunade lost her mind?" Neji asked. "You working with cops will only make them arrest you for being so annoying."
"Hahahaha," Naruto laughed and Neji raised an eyebrow. "Not even you can bring me down today. I rule the world!"
Neji rolled his eyes. "Get out of here before Tsunade changes her mind."
"Yeah, I'm leaving," Naruto said, finally calming down, but the stupid grin was still on his face. "Are you coming over tonight? We've gotta celebrate!"
"I'll be there," Neji said. "See you at seven."
"Later!" Naruto waved before heading out the doors to his car.
For once in his life, his horoscope had come out right, and his future was looking bright and clear and perfect.
Naruto awoke Monday morning with a feeling of great excitement. It was his first day on the job as Konoha Times' crime reporter. As he got ready, the big stupid grin never left his face. He smiled in the shower, he smiled as he brushed his teeth, he smiled as he dressed, he smiled as he ate breakfast, and he smiled as he read his horoscope for the day, pleased to find that his day was to be fortunate and pleasant--he'd make new friends, and find someone who could be 'the one'. Naruto was a happy person by nature, but today was just different; he felt as though nothing in the entire world could let him down and besides, his horoscope had said so.
He drove to work with a smile on his face, but got yelled at by Tsunade for even showing up.
"You're supposed to be working the crime! Go to the police station right now and find out what the hell's been going on!" she yelled.
And, with a smile on his face, Naruto drove to the Konoha police station.
"Hello!" he greeted the desk sergeant cheerfully.
The man looked up at him and said, "Can I help you?"
"You could let me in! I need to go to the PR room."
"And you are?"
"Uzumaki Naruto, the new crime reporter for Konoha Times," Naruto exclaimed. Now didn't that just have a nice ring to it?
"ID please," the man said.
Naruto handed him the ID and the man nodded his confirmation before pressing the button that unlocked the door to the rest of the station.
"Thank you!" Naruto said, still all smiles, as he walked in. "Now, let's see…Where is the PR room?"
Glancing around the hallway for any signs, he sighed when he found none. However, he did see someone walking down the left hallway and Naruto immediately headed over to ask for directions.
"Excuse me, sir, but can you tell me where--" Naruto's sentence evaporated the second the man turned to look at him, and for the first time that morning, his smile fell flat off his face.
A pair of dangerously gorgeous onyx eyes stared down at him. "Ah, it's you."
"Yes, it's me!" Naruto exclaimed, his brain working again.
"What are you doing here? Don't tell me you joined the force?"
"In your dreams, bastard!"
The man looked a bit surprised at being addressed so coldly. However, the term he'd been addressed with made his surprise fly away, only to be replaced by anger. "Bastard?" he demanded.
"Yeah! What of it?" Naruto exclaimed.
"Do you know who you're speaking to?"
"No, I don't and I don't care, so don't waste my time with introductions," Naruto said.
Again, he was a bit taken aback. This man was very…odd, but somehow at the same time really amusing. The detective crossed his arms and replied, "Fine, no introductions. Now, what do you want?"
"How do you get to the PR room?" Naruto questioned.
"Down the hall and to the right. The Head of PR's office is there. Her name is Hyuuga Hinata."
"Hyuuga?" Naruto echoed.
"Actually, yes," Naruto replied. "She's a relative of a friend. Then that'll make my job even easier!"
The detective rolled his eyes.
"Well, thank you Mr. Bastard-Detective! I'll be going now!" Naruto exclaimed before turning and running down the hall to the PR room, leaving a cop torn between anger and amusement staring after him.
Naruto found the room easily enough, and knocked on the door and waiting for a response. When he heard a small 'come in' he opened the door and walked inside.
Seated behind the desk was a woman around his own age, who had short cropped dark hair and pale eyes that confirmed the blonde of her relation to Neji.
"Good morning!" he greeted happily.
"Hello," the woman said. She extended a hand shyly and said, "Hyuuga Hinata, head of PR, nice to meet you."
"Uzumaki Naruto, crime reporter for Konoha Times," Naruto replied. "Nice to meet you as well."
"Have a seat and we can talk," she said.
Naruto sat down but asked before she could say anything, "Are you related to Hyuuga Neji by any chance?"
Hinata looked a bit surprised, but smiled. "Yes, he is my cousin. You know him?"
"He's my best friend. We work together at the Times," Naruto replied.
"Now I think of it, he may have mentioned you before," Hinata said. "That's a rather odd coincidence, isn't it?"
"Yes it is," Naruto agreed.
"Well, I believe this isn't the reason you're here, is it Uzumaki-san?" Hinata said.
"No, just call me Naruto, okay? I don't like being formal with people, makes me feel old."
Hinata blushed. "O-Okay, N-N-Naruto-kun…" she said shyly. "So-So, what can I help you with?"
"Well I'm the new crime reporter and today's my first day, so I just wanted to know how things work around here and stuff," Naruto said.
"That's easy enough," Hinata replied. "Would you like some coffee first?"
"Nah, I'm good," Naruto said with a wave of his hand.
Hinata poured herself some coffee before sitting back down. "So, Naruto-kun," she said. "It's pretty basic being a crime reporter while you're here. The counter over there--" She motioned to her left, "--is organized with baskets for different reports for press releases that detail the crimes that have been committed. Whenever you need anything, just come on up and take a copy. Simple, no?"
Naruto nodded with a sigh. So far, so good. "I think I can handle that," he said. "But it's not very exciting is it? I mean, I was thinking it'd be cool to actually be at the crime scene and stuff. Guess life doesn't work like that, huh?"
However, Hinata didn't reply to his question. Instead, she looked like an idea had struck her in the face. "Naruto-kun, I-I've had an idea," she said quietly. "I heard from your predecessor in the job that the crime reports section haven't been exactly the most thrilling thing in the world. And that not a whole ton of people want the job."
"Really?" Naruto said. "When I heard I got this job I leapt for joy and grinned like an idiot for the rest of the day."
Hinata smiled at him. "Well, I mean, to him at least, this was the case. But-But I've had an idea that could change all that. It would make people interested in reading, and it'll give you some of this excitement you crave as well."
Intrigued, Naruto leaned close. "And? What is it?"
"Actually, I shouldn't tell you until I find out if it'll be approved or not," Hinata said. "Why don't you come with me and we'll go talk to the chief? I think he'll like the idea too, so I'm not really worried."
Naruto nodded and followed Hinata out the door and down the hall to the open-set large office area that was filled with desks and men and bursting with activity. Naruto's eyes suddenly found that there was too much to look at and not enough time to see it all. He watched as people raced around the rooms, stacking paperwork onto already over-flowing desks. He saw people yelling into phones and writing things down on paper, the handwriting barely legible. Only a few people were actually in uniform; most were in formal wear, buttoned shirts and ties. With the exception of Hinata, there was only one other woman in the room.
At the other end of the room, Hinata stopped and knocked on a door with a plaque on the front that read Chief Hatake Kakashi. Hinata walked inside only after telling Naruto to wait for a moment.
Feeling awkward, Naruto glanced around the room and found a chair next to the door. He sat down and waited impatiently for Hinata to come back. He was curious to know what this plan of hers was and he hoped that the chief agreed to it.
A moment later, Hinata popped her head out the door and beckoned him inside. Naruto walked in cautiously. His eyes roamed around the room; taking in the pictures and awards on the walls. He then turned to face a man with silver hair and an odd haircut and an even odder mask that covered half his face, staring at him from behind a polished red oak desk.
"Ah, so this must be Uzumaki Naruto," the man said, standing up. He held out a hand and Naruto shook it as he said, "I am Hatake Kakashi."
"Nice to meet you," he said before taking a seat beside Hinata.
"So, Hinata has told me of this plan," Kakashi said. "And, I think it'll actually be quite a good idea. It works in both our favors. You get the articles you need, making the readers interested and keeping you excited, and we get wonderful publicity. All we need is your consent."
"Uh, mind telling me what the plan is first?" Naruto asked.
"Oh, right," he said. "Basically, we're going to have you shadow one of the cops at the station and you'll write your articles based off what you witness. It's not the boring stuff like reading the PR reports in the office."
"Really? I can shadow a cop? That's so cool!" Naruto exclaimed, his adrenaline pumping with the thought.
"Glad to see you are excited," Kakashi said. "We can only have it run for about six weeks, though."
"How come?" Naruto asked.
"Because the cop we've assigned you to is getting married in six weeks. Because of that, he's on duty for the lesser crimes, you know, so he isn't shot or something before his big day," Kakashi said.
"I think six weeks is okay," Naruto said. "This is great! So, down to the big question, who's my cop?"
Kakashi nodded to Hinata who left the room to get the man. A moment later, she returned with someone following after.
Naruto got to his feet and turned, and his jaw hit the floor. Dark eyes looked pissed off, and arms crossed over a toned chest, and a smirk graced the man's lips. Naruto couldn't even form a coherent thought.
WHAT! He-Him-b-but-but….NO WAY!
"Naruto, meet your assignment. This is Detective Uchiha Sasuke, and for the next six weeks, he's all yours."
…And my horoscope said things were supposed to be good today!
THIS IS NOT GOOD!
A/N: What do you think? Please leave a review!