The Victorian Lace Café
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, never have, and never will. It belongs to Masashi Kishimoto.
Warnings: Probably a lot of OOCness and some slight inaccurate information. And for a side note, the characters will be much older, say around their late teens, early twenties?
There may be character spoilers if you aren't up date with the Manga. But heck, I mean it is an AU... but still, just a small warning :P
Summary: He didn't know why he ended up like this. Cross-dressing as a female, and working in one of those oh so famous Cosplay Cafés dressed in Lolita. But what he really didn't get was why a certain Raven-haired man chose him to be his Hostess. SasuNaru. AU.
The Victorian Lace Café
Chapter One: Irashaimasu Shukun!
Beep! Beep! Beep, beep! Beep!
Another day, another morning… It was just another thing for a certain blonde haired youth to complain about. He never liked working there. But he didn't know why he had always ended up coming back to that place. Maybe it was because all of his close friends worked there? Or it could be because of the nice pay?
Either way, he didn't know. So he continued to grimace and work his way until the end of the day, where he can finally relax and enjoy himself.
The blonde scrambled out of his warm bed and was then surrounded by the cold autumn air that had slipped into his bedroom. He pressed his alarm clock off and walked over to his closet and managed to pull out a couple of clothes and a long blonde wig.
Whenever he pulled out that wig, one word would always pop in his mind: Cross-dresser. Why did he do this? Why did he dress as a woman? On top of that, he was straight; which was another mystery on why he does what he does.
Umino Iruka, the youth's guardian, had told him a couple years ago that his mother had run a famous Cosplay Café within a largely popular district in Tokyo. But after an argument with her and his father, they were both killed. His mother was shot by his father, and his father committed suicide.
So from the age of eighteen until the age of twenty-nine, Iruka had taken care of his mother's Cosplay Café, The Victorian Lace. Iruka was happy that he could take his mother's place in running a famous café and he was happy that he had someone that supported him all the way. No, Iruka did not take part in the cross-dressing and the cosplay, but what he did was manage the entire café, make sure everything was in tip top shape, and all the costumers were all satisfied.
Now when Iruka's ward, Uzumaki Naruto had entered his life, things started to change. Iruka had occasionally brought Naruto to the café and it grew on him. Naruto had actually enjoyed the workers' cosplay costumes and eventually ended up working there. First as a busboy, and then one of the Hostesses themselves.
But after working there for many years, the now nineteen year old boy was slowly growing tired of it. Sure, he did love the entire atmosphere of the café and he really enjoyed the friends he had made there, but what he was tired about was all the men that drooled and fell head over heels over him. Also he was a straight man working as a female cosplayer, it didn't really seem right to him.
Naruto was flattered that the customers liked him even if he did look pretty feminine, but he just didn't roll that way; plus part of his conscience wanted him to take engineering or some other manly occupation there was, instead of this one.
Naruto had finished gathering up his supplies for another day of work and headed into the bathroom in the rather large apartment Iruka had rented out for him not too long ago.
He took his morning shower, brushed his teeth, and combed his hair. He didn't want his spiked blonde hair to irritate him under the wig. So after a couple of his daily routines were finished, he put on his cosplay costume: a very Lolita mixed-maid styled uniform. It was like those regular maid uniforms Naruto would occasionally see in those Anime he used to watch with his younger neighbors; but this type of uniform Naruto had to wear, had a corset, laces and more accessories adorned to it. Naruto always liked laces and the accessories the Hostesses wore at the café. But being seen wearing them, kind of irritated him.
When the blonde placed out the entire facial cream and makeup his good friend, Haruno Sakura had recommended and bought for Naruto on the bathroom sink, he carefully applied them on his sun-kissed face. He never tried to cover up the whisker-like marks on each side of his cheeks; he thought it added more of spice to the costume.
'If I keep this up, I as might as well be a female…,' Naruto thought as he finished putting on moisturizer and was now adding on his makeup, which was nothing but eyeliner, blush, eye shadow… and his favorite: chap-stick. He never liked putting on lipstick, it always made him feel like he was wearing tape layered with crayon shavings over his mouth.
In a few minutes Naruto had placed on his wig and headdress, and glanced at the clock that was on his nightstand. It read 9:15 A.M. The blonde smiled. That gave him plenty of time to grab a light breakfast and walk to the café.
He shut off the hallway light and entered the kitchen. He snatched a random bun from the fridge, placed it in the microwave and punched in 20 seconds. Naruto grabbed his wallet, keys, and cell phone and placed them in a black hand-knitted bag he received from another good friend of his, Hyuuga Hinata at a Christmas party.
When the microwave dinged, Naruto strolled over and took the bun out and began to eat it. He slipped on a pair of black high heels and walked out the door. Another day of work waited for him.
Bells chimed when Naruto entered the doors. There weren't any customers yet which meant he had made it on time.
Naruto sighed to himself before walking towards the back of the café.
He passed by numerous amounts of pastel colored marble tables and their leather cushioned chairs and sofas, a wall full of anime drawn maids, an entire large glass cases of maid costumes, and a whole second floor full of private rooms filled with tons of manga, electronic magazines, and more decorations.
"Ohayou Sakura-chan," Naruto greeted with a small wave.
Haruno Sakura was nineteen, just like Naruto and had started working in the café for two years. Like the other Hostesses, she knew that Naruto was male and has kept it a secret ever since. Sakura wore a similar outfit like Naruto's minus the corset, and with more bows than laces. Her amazingly genuine bubble-gum pink hair was curled and it cascaded down to her shoulders.
"I'm glad you finally made it on time, Naruto," She said in a semi-joking manner while poking him, "How's the apartment so far?"
Naruto rubbed where Sakura had poked him and placed his bag on an empty chair, "It's nice, except that landlady is very intimidating…"
Sakura laughed, "Anko can be scary sometimes, but she seems like a good person. I bumped into her on the way."
"Eh, I guess so," Naruto said before lazily sitting down on an empty chair.
Sakura smiled before pointing to the telephone.
"Iruka-san called before, he just wanted to remind you to not reveal your actual name like last time, and that he'll see you tonight."
"I won't forget," Naruto said trying to white out what had happened a few days ago.
Sakura sighed, "You better Naruto."
Before Naruto could retort, sounds of bells were heard.
"Hm, looks like we've got some customers," Sakura said quietly, "I hope there's going to be some good looking guys this time."
Naruto scoffed at Sakura's boy-crazed ways before standing up and began to set up the bar table.
As an hour ticked passed, more and more costumers entered the café. The Hostesses were all busy serving the customers and politely greeting each one that entered the double glass doors.
Naruto was still busy cleaning up and rearranging the alcohol and wines that were stashed in the cabinets of the table before someone spoke up.
Naruto looked up automatically. He knew whoever called him Naruko-chan was usually Hinata, Sakura, or Iruka when customers arrived. The other Hostesses would simply call him Naruko.
"Yes, Hinata?" Naruto asked, wiping up a wet wine cup and looking up to the dark-haired girl.
Hyuuga Hinata was also the same age as Naruto and Sakura, and has worked in the café for two years as well. Hinata wore more of a Lolita styled-maid uniform than the other Hostesses excluding Naruto, with darker fabric and more laces than bows. Instead of a headdress, she wore a pair of black cat ears and tail that complimented the entire outfit.
"W-would you mind a-assisting some of the c-customers? I'm needed at the back," She asked softly and occasionally stuttering.
Naruto placed the cup down and smiled, "Sure, just tell me what table and what they need."
Hinata slightly blushed, "I-it's table twenty-two on the second floor. The b-brunette would like s-some Rice Fragrance Baijiu and the spiked h-haired one would like some Bourbon w-whiskey."
"Got it. Thanks Hinata," Naruto said before whipping up the said alcholoic beverages for the two customers.
Hinata nodded and walked towards to the back room of the café with an empty tray in hand.
'Jeez, who wants to get drunk at this time of day?' Naruto thought sarcastically before pouring the now fixed drink into their respective glasses.
"Thank you for coming today. And thank you for waiting," Naruto said slowly and sweetly before bowing slightly.
The two customers blushed slightly before returning the bow. Naruto had a thing that charmed both men and women. He didn't exactly know why.
Naruto elegantly placed a cup mat with the café's logo inscribed on it on the Brunette customer's side of the table and gently placed the Rice Fragrance Baijiu on top of it. He then placed the other cup mat on the spiked-haired customer's side of the table and gently placed his ordered Bourbon Whiskey on top of the mat.
Naruto smiled and bowed once more, "Please enjoy your drinks and your stay."
The two customers blushed once more and returned the bow.
Naruto held the tray across his chest and headed down the stairs, he overheard the two men say how cute Naruto was but paid no mind and returned to the bar to reorganize the extreme varieties of beverages Victorian Lace had.
Hours and more hours of service passed and Naruto was growing bored again. It was around five, which was the café's busiest hour. He looked out of the large pink-tinted window at the entrance and noticed that the sun was setting. The window was reflected from the setting sun, and had reflected the pink shades into the café.
The blonde sighed. The customers were practically the same, the business was doing great, and everyone was all satisfied and pleased with the attention and the wall full of manga they received.
"Oyee, Naruko-chan," Sakura sing-songed, "Are you doing alright? You seem really bored."
"Huh? Yeah, I guess I'm kind of bored," Naruto said softly before yawning.
"Heh, why don't you do something productive and switch jobs with Hinata? She still needs to learn how to use the bar and you need to be more out there with the customers. So do your job as an actual Hostess?" Sakura suggested, as she placed a hand to her hip.
"Fine, fine Okaa-sama," He joked, "I'll go greet them."
"Thank youuu," Sakura drawled out, "I'll be upstairs in the conversation room, call me if anything happens."
"Got it, got it," The blonde said before walking towards the entrance.
It was one 'Irashaimasu Shukun!' to another, as Naruto and the other Hostesses greeted the customers that flooded into the popular café.
None of the customers had caught Naruto's eye and he was still growing bored by the minute. Something told him that he should really suck it up. Being a Hostess in a trendy, lively place shouldn't be filled with people with a bad mood like Naruto. He pulled himself together and continued to greet the customers and occasionally seating them down to the empty tables.
After the horde of customers got themselves seated, Naruto began to work more productively like the first time Iruka had granted him permission to work as a Hostess. He felt weird. One moment he was complaining his guts out to his conscience, and in the next moment, he felt like he was a newbie working in the café years ago.
It was very weird indeed. But Naruto liked it though.
Five turned to six, then to seven, and eventually ticked to ten at night.
It was an hour until closing time, and from all the walking around and chatting, Sakura, Hinata and the other Hostesses naturally grew tired.
"Phew, today was another successful night," Sakura breathed, turning down the heat from the thermostat.
"Y-yes it is, even for a Friday night, its s-still pretty busy," Hinata added.
"Are there anymore customers?" Naruto asked, stretching a bit.
"Well Karin is still upstairs in the conversation room. She said that the guy talked a bit too much for his own good when we were filling the customers' orders," Sakura said, eyeing the second floor.
Naruto and Hinata slightly chuckled, but before they could continue, bells were heard.
The three Hostesses turned around to see who was at the entrance, and to their surprise, it was no other than Tokyo's famous and wealthy family's youngest son, Uchiha Sasuke.
A/N: I had to cut it short from here -Yawn- It's like 1 in the morning, and I'm writing... bleh.
Eh, I'm currently infatuated over the Lolita fashion after reading Princess Ai and Cosplay Cafés since they seem so interesting.
Oh and for you people who don't know, Rice Fragrance Baijiu is an alcoholic drink from China, and Bourbon whiskey is just American Whiskey :)
Hm, what do you think of the story so far...?