Disclaimer: I don't own Masashi Kishimoto's manga/anime Naruto, nor do I own any of William Shakespeare's plays, poetry, or words.
Genres: Humor, romance, drama
Rating: PG13/T to R/M
Warnings: Boy/boy, boy/girl, girl/girl, profanity, intimacy, mild mature themes
Summary: Falling in love after divorce is one thing. Falling in love with your ex-wife's new boyfriend is another.
Author's note: Oh-my-god. I will go shoot myself for starting this nonsensical piece.
Walking down the hallway to my apartment with the mail in my hands, I can hear literature wafting out of apartment 7B.
"From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life…"
That's my neighbor, Kakashi Hatake. He lives in the apartment next to mine, and he's thirty-something years old. Usually, you only see his right eye, because he likes wearing a mask all the time. He likes dogs, too. And, oh yeah-
He thinks he's the reincarnation of William Shakespeare.
I think he's insane.
Crazy, cuckoo, loony, something wrong upstairs, nuts… all that good stuff.
I'm completely serious, too. And that's not often, because Naruto Uzumaki? Serious? If you told Kiba that, he might break his diaphragm laughing.
But Shakespeare, one-eyed, insane and all, Kakashi is one of the most important people in my life. He's a good guy, quirks aside. Or quirks not aside.
In all honesty, Kakashi is a great neighbor to have, mostly. Kakashi's fairly friendly, funny, and he really would help you if you showed up at his door, say, bloody and bruised with radioactive goo leaking from your ears. I mean, at least he'd dial 9-1-1 and give you a sponge to mop up that goo. If he likes you, he might even make you coffee.
He makes damn good coffee.
He was also my high school Lit teacher in my junior and senior years, but that doesn't really change anything. Because you know, I thought he was crazy back then too. My class also thought that maybe Mr. Hatake did drugs too, but hey, we were young.
Now we know he did drugs.
Nope, nope, I be kidding you. Kakashi isn't an addict. Not to drugs anyway. No, Kakashi was addicted to something else. Something more… organic.
"Kakashi!" I hollered. "They put your porn in my mailbox! Again!"
I poked my head through Kakashi's doorway- his door was open- and waved the Icha Icha Monthly at Kakashi. He didn't see me, mainly because he was quoting his literary masterpieces out the open window. Remember, he thinks he's Shakespeare. So instead of standing here waving his dirty magazine at him until he notices, I took action.
Read: I took careful aim and chucked the magazine at his head.
Target- Kakashi. Eliminated.
No, I didn't kill him. But I hit him. Yep. I'm that cool.
Kakashi was probably going to throw a fridge at my head one of these days, but I think he'll be distracted enough by his fresh porn today. And sure enough, Kakashi picked up the projectile that so unceremoniously smacked him straight in that head full of silver hair (don't ask me if it's natural, I have no idea)-
And his eyes- okay, one visible eye- lit up, like, I don't know. Lit up like a bunch of light bulbs. And not like those fluorescent light bulbs Sakura insists on buying. Like what I call real light bulbs. By that, I mean… bright. Kakashi with porn is like a kid during Christmas.
His sex fascination isn't limited to porn, either. He likes the physical, and when I say physical, I mean physical.
Kakashi is a sex fiend.
But I'd rather not get too deeply into that. Let's just say… his bedroom wall? Yeah well, my bedroom wall is the other side of that same wall. I just know, man, I just know.
So Kakashi with a dirty mag was relatively tame in my book. I even wished him good luck with it as I left.
"Uh, have fun with that," I told him, but he was lost to the world. He was already flipping through the pages. He made a vague 'mhm' sound and crossed his legs and sat down on the floor, waving a hand at me.
I guess that's thank-you.
I closed the door for Kakashi on my way out.
Then I walked into my own apartment.
(Okay, you know how I keep saying my apartment? It's not strictly true. I mean, it's half mine, and I live here, but-)
Meet Sakura Haruno, another integral part of my life. She's brilliant, beautiful and she thinks I'm the cutest thing since Hello Kitty. Okay, I lied on the last one.
(In actuality, Sakura has a personal grudge against Hello Kitty. Knowing her, if Sakura ever found a Hello Kitty doll in the apartment, the poor stuffed cat would be viciously dissected with the sharpest scalpel that Sakura could find. And Sakura's a doctor.)
But I know she loves me in her own-
"NARUTO, there's something ALIVE in the damn refrigerator!"
I winced. That would probably be my dear old buddy Fungus, from my college days when I had Kiba for a roommate. Back then, we not only had Fungus, but we were on good terms with Bacteria and Blue Alien Fuzz. Kiba still gets sentimental over them, sometimes.
"Get your ASS in here! NOW!"
Yeah, she loves me.
"My sweet honeybear-" I started, heading into the kitchen, "Holy SHIT!"
And once again, old buddy Fungus had taken over the fridge. I swear, it was gurgling. Sakura was valiantly waving a spatula from the kitchen counter at good old Fungus creeping out onto the floor, and I was standing there goggling like an idiot.
"Naruto, the next time you forget to get the groceries and clear out the old stuff, don't forget for months at a time!"
"Umm… umm… don't panic, honeybear," I said, picking up the broom by the kitchen doorway. I brandished it at our houseguest- err, fridge-guest. En guarde! I started beating the brown gurgling mass into the refrigerator, yelling, "Be vanquished, vile creature!" I thwacked our friend a couple extra times for good measure and then slammed the fridge door shut.
Sakura quickly pulled a chair over to where I was holding the fridge door shut- just in case, man, just in case- and propped the chair so the fridge door wouldn't open again. Our fridge gave a final rattle and then it was still. With that done, we looked at each other, and slid wearily down to sit on the kitchen floor.
And she smacked me upside the head.
"I'm not your sweet honeybear, you moron."
"Just because we're not married anymore doesn't mean you're not my darling-"
"Shut it, Naruto."
And this, this is the lovely Sakura Haruno. For everyone who thought I was a lucky guy for living with such a beautiful girl, well…
Sakura Haruno is my former classmate, best (girl) friend, and…
She's my ex-wife.
"And Naruto, if I ever see Mr. Fungus in our refrigerator again, I swear I'm going to surgically detach your balls and feed them to Kakashi's pet dog."
Yeah, real lucky guy.
After a silence, she asked, very softly, "Do you think the freezer's safe? I think… I need… some Rocky Road… ice cream."
Oh god, there's only one reason for Rocky Road-
They called it 'boy troubles' in high school. Today, I call it, 'Naruto's-got-a-new-punching-bag'. I'm a little protective over my darling honeybear.
"I knew he was a jerk. Do you happen to have his address, because you know, somebody's going to get the crap beaten out of them-"
She glared at me.
I sighed. "I'll get the ice cream." I placed a kiss on top of her forehead and stood up. I helped Sakura up as well, and told her, "Go turn on the TV, or something. I'm sure the freezer's safe, and if not, I'll brave it for you, honeybear." I grinned. She threw the spatula at me.
Yeah. She loves me, I can tell.
My name is Naruto Uzumaki. I'm twenty-six years old, and I live in an apartment in an area of New York City called Konoha.
I share apartment 7A with my beautiful ex-wife Sakura Haruno, who means the world to me. If she wanted me to jump out of the window from our seventh floor apartment, I'd do it for her. Of course, I'd prefer a valid reason for jumping, but I'd do it all the same. Our marriage was a bit of a mistake, but not one I regret particularly. Sakura is my family, and for an orphan like me, that means a lot.
I'm a history teacher who sometimes teaches Lit at Konoha High School, much to the delight of my (best) neighbor (in the world) Kakashi, who thinks he's Shakespeare's modern incarnate. I sometimes get Kakashi's porn magazines in my mailbox, which is next to his downstairs in the lobby, and on those occasions, I will throw it at his head, and I will usually not miss.
Sometimes, Sakura's boss at hospital, Tsunade, comes to visit us, and as Tsunade has all but adopted me, she hits me around just like Sakura does. She's the mother that didn't disappear on me, and she comes around for dinner at least once a month.
My boss Jiraiya, head of the Social Studies department at Konoha H.S., pops in from time to time, too, but those times generally involve a good amount of beer and Sakura hits me every time I bring one of those visits up.
Other times, my junior high school homeroom teacher Iruka Umino, who kept in touch with me all these years, feels some sort of parental-like love for me too, and is the closest thing I have to a father, visits us. Iruka comes by every other week and he makes sure Sakura and me are all right.
Once in a while, Tsunade, Iruka, and Jiraiya show up at the same time, and then we all have dinner together.
As for other friends, I have plenty. Plenty who would give me the shirt off their backs, and plenty who I would do the same for without question. I used to be so alone in the world, and now I'm not.
And as for love, Sakura and I hadn't found the right kind with each other, but we're okay with that, really. She's been dating around lately, and I really hope she finds The One. Capital 'T' and 'O' and everything.
And me, well, this was my life, and I didn't think it would change. I was happy.
My name is Naruto Uzumaki, and I thought I was happy. Until Sasuke Uchiha came along and blew 'happy' out of the water.
Author's note: It's short, it's terrible, but it's a beginning. If you made it here, if you liked it, please drop a line. Please, someone tell me what I'm doing.
And if you're a Jim steele reviewer… I love you people. Just, really.
Thanks for reading. Comments would be very much appreciated.