Edited by Obscure Omen.
Disclaimer: Naruto and the characters in it are not mine. This story does not have anything to do with any real person. Any similarities are purely coincidental. I apologize if somebody out there gets hurt from this story. I never intended to cause any harm.
Chapter 3: The Man with a Pride Bigger than Mt. Everest
Naruto was stealing side glances at Kakashi, who was sitting beside him, driving a white Ford. The conversation at Ichiraku's ten minutes ago and the agreement that they managed to achieve from it had began to loose their convincing traits the more Naruto thought about it. Heck, he was not even sure he should be in this car, since the grey-haired man had only one good eye. Granted, he had never learned how to drive a car himself, so he didn't really know for sure, but wasn't it supposed to be dangerous driving with one of your eyes closed?
That—and the work contract that Kakashi had insisted he sign just now—made him a little bit uncomfortable. He considered interrupting Kakashi's driving to tell him that maybe he didn't want to take the job after all and asking if he could please stop the car so that he could get off. He was about to tap Kakashi's shoulder when Kakashi took a sharp turn that made Naruto bang his head on the window; Kakashi just narrowly missed a motorbike.
So, Naruto decided to keep quiet. He better let Kakashi concentrate on the driving or else both of them might reach their destination faster—in spirit form. Kakashi was already a reckless driver, even without him intervening. How he was able to obtain his driving license was something that Naruto didn't want to know; he'd risk losing his innocence if he tried to find out.
All he had to do was wait. When they reached their destination, he'd tell Kakashi the doubts that he had, doubts that had begun to form the second he stepped foot in the car. Really, he shouldn't be so ready to agree with Kakashi's suggestions. He should've asked more about the details. For all that he knew, the pet could be a goanna (1). Well, who knew? Kakashi always pegged him as a person who enjoyed strange hobbies, like keeping a goanna for example.
Generally, Naruto didn't have anything against goannas, but he would be happier if the pet that Kakashi had was a cat, or a rabbit, or something cute like that. A fox would do, too. He loved to play with active animals; he could chase them around and cuddle with them later. But a goanna? All it would do is just sit and look at people with its 360-degree eyes. That would be super boring.
He really hoped Kakashi's pet was not a goanna.
Naruto was still lost in his musings of how to feed a goanna and not get a slashed by its tail when he noticed that the car had stopped. He looked at Kakashi in askance; was this his pet's house? And if the answer was yes, how big could the pet be—because the house was pretty damn big to Naruto! It was painted white all over and surrounded by green grass, kept tidy and short by a professional gardener, Naruto was sure of it. And if he peeked a little to his left, he could see a small, Japenese garden, complete with a small fountain, a koi pond, and a small wooden bridge. They gave the house a sense of traditionalism. He would have never had thought a house such as this existed in the middle of Konoha Metropolitan City. In the countryside, maybe, but not in the city.
And this kind of house must be owned by a family of a prominent name in Fire country; not necessarily super-wealthy, but still hold a standing in high society. Just look at the symbol on the brick gate—that must be the family's symbol. What kind of family still had family's symbol in this modern era? As far as Naruto was concerned, that was only practical during feudal Japan.
The kind of family with an influential name, of course.
Slowly, Naruto turned to look at Kakashi, astonished. Oh, he didn't know that Kakashi was in this kind of family. Who would have thought a pervert like him came from a very influential family? This had to be some kind of mistake. Naruto refused to believe it; Naruto just had to ask—there had to be some kind of explanation for this.
He hit the car's roof with his hand to gain Kakashi's attention.
/Kakashi-sensei, I didn't know that you are rich./ He flailed his arms around to indicate the house's size. /You should treat me more to ramen, you stingy-pot!/
Kakashi snorted at the accusation of being rich and stingy.
/Maa, Naruto-kun. I'm not rich. This is not my house. I've told you, this is my pet's house./
/Same difference. If your pet is rich, you're rich too./ Naruto pouted, playing along with Kakashi's lie, a bit cross that Kakashi preferred lying to him than admitting the truth. Really, what kind of pet had its own house this big? Did Kakashi think he would believe that?
"You don't believe me, do you?" Kakashi gave his own mock-pout at Naruto's pouting face. "Then come. I'll show you. I want you to meet my 'pet.'"
They stepped to the front door together. After a few seconds of fishing the house's keys from his pocket, Kakashi managed to open the front door. Kakashi invited Naruto to step in and asked him to take off his shoes.
"You can use the house slippers there." He pointed at an array of house slippers near the shoe rack.
Naruto dutifully took off his shoes and slipped on the slippers. Done with that, he peeked inside. One peek and all thoughts of a goanna vanished. If he thought the outside was great, the inside interior was marvellous. Almost all of the items in the living room (Naruto assumed it was a living room) were white: The vases, sofas, the furniture, windows, curtains, carpet, and even the home phone was white. And, because almost all of the items were white, the black grand piano situated near the floor-to-ceiling glass window looked magnificent.
/Come, I'll show you around./
Kakashi's "words" interrupted his little observation, but he followed Kakashi nevertheless. Kakashi brought them to the living room; they were standing in the middle of it at the moment.
/This is the living room/ Kakashi explained. Yeah, I guessed that. Naruto nodded.
From the entrance, he wasn't able to see the full extent of the room. Now that he was in the middle of the room, he could see there were more of the floor-to-ceiling glass windows and more white vases and white furniture. Naruto could imagine, on sunny days, that this room would be so bright thanks to the sunlight shining through the big windows. One could observe the garden outside from here through the glass windows, too. It was really a nice living room. He didn't mind spending hours in here reading or taking a nap.
Kakashi touched his shoulder as a sign for them to move on. This time, Kakashi led him to an area that looked like a kitchen, not far away from the living room. Naruto looked at Kakashi to confirm that this was indeed a kitchen. It was too clean! The hot-spot stove was sparkling clean as well as the sink, the fridge, and the table-top. Ingredient bottles were lined up carefully in the open cabinet; they looked custom-made and exclusive. But then again, everything in the kitchen looked exclusive. For a kitchen, this area was impressive.
Beside the kitchen, there was the dinner table with five seats surrounding it. Every seat was carved with the family's symbol at the back. While the table didn't have any carvings, it was made from a solid, heavy wood, which looked amazing with the shining finish. It gave this impression that it could last at least a hundred years. Naruto bet that those things were antique.
From where he stood near the dinner table, he could see a large staircase that surely led to the second floor. The bedrooms must be upstairs.
Kakashi didn't have any explanations, even though he noticed Naruto was studying the staircase in awe; Kakashi gave him a knowing look instead. The first time he saw the staircase, he himself was impressed with the design: The handrails were spiral in shape and made up the image of a phoenix, while the stairs were a heavy wood that glittered in the light.
/We'll go upstairs after this. I want to show you just one more room downstairs./
Kakashi brought Naruto past the staircase and into a room. According to Kakashi, it was a reading room, but it looked like a library to Naruto; there were so many books! There was also a work table, settee, and laptop. Just like a study room.
But the reading room looked like it hadn't been used for quite some time: Dust coated the table, and the settee's cover looked untouched. Maybe the owner hates reading.
They were not there long, for there was not much to see. They left the room, and this time Kakashi led him upstairs into a room that made Naruto change his mind completely; he didn't mind taking the job even if Kakashi's pet was a goanna. Heck, even if it was a lion, he would take the job.
It was a bathroom! With a big Jacuzzi tub, no less. Naruto was a sucker for a good, nice soak at the end of a tiring day, and this Jacuzzi tub looked promising. In his excitement, Naruto gave Kakashi a thumb up and rushed to the big glass window near the tub. He looked down from there, and to his amazement, he could see the house's backyard.
This house has a river! Wow, it's almost look like a small forest down there, all green and peaceful. This is awesome!
Eh, what's that?
Naruto frowned for a second. He thought he saw black hair just now. Was that a person? Or Kakashi's pet? That reminded him: He hadn't met the pet yet.
/Kakashi-sensei. I want to meet your pet. After all, the point is to take care of the pet, not the house./
Kakashi gave Naruto a guilty grin; he touched his hair nervously.
/Aaaa, yes, you're right, Naruto-kun. Let's go meet him. I think he's outside. But are you sure you want to meet him now? I haven't finish showing you the whole house. There is a lot more to see./ Kakashi tried to stall time. For some reason, he knew Naruto would not like his "pet" very much.
/Nah, it's okay. I can explore the house later. It's not a goanna, is it? Please tell me it's not a goanna./
Kakashi raised a confused brow. What is this kid talking about? He decided to ignore it.
They climbed down the stair and headed to the back of the house. There were more rooms along the way, but Kakashi didn't stop to explain. When they finally reached the back door, Naruto noted that it was not a door at all. In fact, the door to the backyard was a big sliding-glass door that allowed people from the inside to have an open view of the outside.
Just outside of the house, facing the river, there were tables and chairs. And sitting at one of the chairs was that guy named Sasuke that Naruto had the un-fortune of meeting the other day. He just sat there, as if looking at the peaceful scene in front of him, doing nothing with his eyes closed. If Naruto didn't know better, he would have thought that the Sasuke-guy was sleeping.
"What are you doing here, Kakashi? I told you, I don't need your help. Get lost!" Sasuke said without looking at Kakashi. He knew Kakashi was there because he heard footsteps, and only Kakashi had a house key other than him. Also, Kakashi seemed to make it his business to visit Sasuke every two days; he must have thought that Sasuke needed help to manage a day-to-day routine and felt pity towards him. F-- him! Sasuke didn't need help and surely didn't need anyone's pity.
Naruto knew that Sasuke had said something even though he couldn't see his mouth, because Kakashi replied back to him. How does he know we are here?
"Maa, maa, Sasuke. That's no way to treat your guests. Naruto-kun here was kind enough to visit you today," Kakashi lied through his teeth.
/Hey, Kakashi-sensei. What's going on? I sure as hell didn't come here to visit this jerk./
Kakashi grinned that guilty/nervous grin again.
/But you see, Naruto-kun, you did come here to visit him. He's my "pet."/
/Your what?! But he's not a goanna!/
/Goanna? What are you talking about, Naruto-kun? Nevermind. Well, haven't I told you that Sasuke-kun here is my only relative left? I'm his guardian. Kind of. Owner, guardian, same difference, right?/
/No. Those two terms are totally different./
/Says you. Anyway, he's your responsibility from now on. The contract, remember?/
/No way! You tricked me, you liar! I don't want to be friendly with him!/
/Maa, maa, Naruto. It's not my fault if—/
"Kakashi, who are you with?" Sasuke finally asked when he realized Kakashi was silent for a long while.
Kakashi ignored him.
/—you were being careless and got tricked. A contract is still a contract./
Kakashi was grinning, but his body language indicated that he was serious. He was silently challenging Naruto to defy the contract, and Naruto knew that if he was brave enough to pull out from the contract, Kakashi would cheerfully carry out the penalty.
/I'm gonna kill you after this is over./ Naruto had no choice. The penalty would be severe; Kakashi was a bastard to blackmail him like this.
/Ahh, I knew you would agree with me, Naruto-kun. Don't worry—/
Bang!! A chair crashed to the floor. They looked at Sasuke, who was now standing angrily; apparently he was the one who had pushed the chair down violently.
"Damnit, Kakashi!! I asked you something, didn't I?! Who the hell is with you?! Have you gone deaf?! Answer me!!"
Uh-oh. He's angry. Again.
Kakashi let out a tired sigh. Sasuke had been like this since that happened. His temper would flare at a slightest mistake or discomfort. He had tried being understanding and patient, but for how long could he keep it up? Sasuke's behaviour really was grating on his nerves. One of these days, he would explode, so before that could happen, he had to find a new alternative.
And Naruto was a good choice. If it was Naruto, Kakashi sure he could handle Sasuke; they both had matching tempers. Sure, they would fight and maybe hurt each other if they lived together, but at least…
Yeah, at least what, Kakashi?
At least Naruto would understand. He must. He would understand Sasuke's behaviour because he had been through it once himself. Sasuke was somehow similar to Naruto. They both had lost an ability, and they both were lonely people.
So, he had to understand—Kakashi really, really hoped so. If he didn't...
No, he couldn't be so pessimistic. This just had to work—there was no other way.
#Hey, you jerk!# Naruto had caught Sasuke's arm and was writing something on it.
#Why are you so rude? What's your problem, really?#
Sasuke eyes widened a little when he realized who the other person was. He was that guy who kicked him at the park the other day. Sasuke almost let out a small grin. He didn't expect he would be lucky enough to meet this nuisance again, but that didn't stop him from plotting revenge for when he wouldmeet him again.
And now was time for revenge. He tugged at the hand that was still holding his arm so that the man was forced to get near him. When he was sure the man before him was near enough, he kicked him hard—he was aiming at his shin, but wherever it hit, it was good enough.
Naruto crouched down from the pain at his shin. Damn, that was a powerful kick just now. His leg would sure be blue in several minutes. How dare this jerk kick him? Did he think Naruto would let it go just like that? He better think again.
Waiting for the pain to subside a little, Naruto stood up after a few minutes. He was ready to punch Sasuke's smirking face, but Kakashi stopped him; if not for Kakashi's bigger frame, he could have not blocked Naruto's attempt to attack Sasuke.
/That prick just kicked me, Kakashi-sensei! Let me punch that stupid face!/
/Naruto-kun, your job is to look after him, not fight him/ Kakashi warned sternly.
This looked bad. It had just been five minutes, and they were already fighting. The future didn't look so bright right now. If this were to continue, his plan would not work properly. He had to reason with Naruto (trying to reason with Sasuke would only make him angrier).
/Don't do anything stupid, Naruto-kun. You have to stick to the contract, and I mean it./
Kakashi didn't really mean to threaten Naruto, but drastic times require drastic measures.
/You're not being fair, Kakashi-sensei. He kicked me first!/
/Yeah, I know, but that does not mean you have to hit him, too, right? Remember your purpose here: he is to be your friend./
Friend my a--! Naruto let out an indignant huff. Never mind. I have plenty of time to exact my revenge.
Kakashi was a bit worried about Naruto's mischievous grin but ignored it in order to speak to Sasuke—he was already sitting back at his previous seat like he didn't just kick Naruto several minutes ago.
"Sasuke-kun," Kakashi began.
"Naruto here is going to be your housemate from tomorrow on. Get along well with him, ok?" Kakashi tried to make his voice sound as cheerful as he could.
"'Housemate,' huh? Do you think I'm stupid? He's just another of those helpers, isn't he? How many times do I've to f--ing tell you, I don't need help. Get lost!!" The table was pushed to the floor with a loud crash. For a blind guy, Sasuke sure was strong.
Uh-huh. He sure doesn't want me here.
Naruto grinned. What wonderful news that was. If Sasuke was so against him staying here, he would stay just because that would make Sasuke mad. Wahahahaha… and how he loved to make that jerk mad—served him right for being so rude. Although Naruto knew it would be hell to live with that jerk, he wasn't the only who would feel that way; he would make sure of that.
(1) Goanna? Goanna is slightly different from iguana or chameleon. They are much larger and kinda look like crocodile sometimes. They are believed to have more than one life (like cats) – I know this because we (me and my dad) killed one but it came back to life the next day. And goanna –like my editor said – doesn't have 360 degrees eyes. But lets just pretend it have, ok?
I swear this story is getting harder to write. It's really hard to write a bad-mouthed Sasuke ('cause I don't swear), so if you found the swearing gets a little bit repetitive, pardon me—it's not my cup of tea.
Well, that's that, and I wanted to say that I love this story's readers better than my other story's. I'm aware that only a few read this story (I've the stat) but you guys seem different. A totally different audience—more mature or analytical maybe? Doesn't make sense, eh?
Well, just ignore it.
Before I forget, to A Kitsune's Light, I noticed you! I want to say thank you for your reviews, but you don't leave any emails for me to reply to. So here, thank you!
Chapter 4: War of the Upstairs and Downstairs Regime
ps: Hey dont you guys think formatting a bit off? I cant create space between paragraphs. The shift+enter keys didnt work too.