Name: Static (subject to change)
Rating: M for language, mature themes, and sexual content
Pairing: KakaSaku, implied InoShika, AsuKure, and GenShizu
Author's Note: For the first time ever, I have planned out an entire story on notebook paper, scene by scene. Whether or not all of it was necessary or whether or not it will all be effective, I actually know EXACTLY where this story is going. Now, knowing that the story is rated M and that it's about movies that Sakura finds, one may be led to a certain conclusion… but that's false. They're not sex tapes. I'm not sure what sort of update schedule I'll be going with. The actual chapters will be longer than this.
A great cloud of dust flew up as Sakura ruthlessly brandished her feather duster. She had been waging war on Kurenai's living room for half an hour now and was one dusty table away from being finished. The surface itself was no problem for a woman of Sakura's caliber, but the tight space between the table and the wall was testing her patience. With several wild twists and a final flourish, Sakura stepped back from her work. A grin spread across her face as she wiped the sweat from her brow; the living room was spotless. Pleased with her success, she congratulated the feather duster for its contribution and hung in on its hook in the kitchen.
After washing her hands and face, she cautiously approached Kurenai. The dark-haired woman was scrubbing at her dirty dishes with an unheard of ferocity; she had made a lot of progress in the past forty minutes, but there was still a teetering pile of plates and bowls waiting in the sink. She was issuing expletives under her breath as she worked; she had returned home from a month-long mission to find that her son had managed to make a complete mess of the apartment while she was gone. As most of her friends were out of town, she had recruited Sakura to help with the "cleaning", although that term seriously understated the gravity of their task.
"Hey," Sakura said, leaning against the frame of the kitchen door. "I finished the living room."
"Great," Kurenai said distractedly. Soapsuds were flying wildly from where she stood bent over the sink, landing softly in her ebony hair. "I've still got a lot to do here…" She sighed. "Do you mind doing my closet?"
"Closet?" Sakura asked.
"Yeah," Kurenai said, "the one in my bedroom."
Sakura raised her eyebrows. "He ransacked your bedroom closet?" Kurenai's frustrated sigh was answer enough for Sakura, who pushed herself off the doorframe and headed towards Kurenai's room. The apartment was rather large; Asuma had been the Third's son, so Kurenai had received a rather large sum of money in compensation for his death. Raising a child alone was expensive, but Kurenai had managed to save some of that money for a nice apartment. Sakura was quite fond of the place, although at times the toys littered on the floor made it hard to walk around.
Kurenai's bedroom was simple and neat; she had cleaned her own room first. The bedspread was a pale pink and a photograph of her and Asuma sat on the nightstand beside it. The most notable feature of the room was the shelf of movies against the wall. Kurenai's life was usually dominated by either her son or her job; films were about her only indulgence. Sakura often borrowed movies from Kurenai, whose collection had grown to be quite extensive.
Tearing her eyes away from the array of films, Sakura instead turned her attention to the closet. The door stood ajar, inviting Sakura to dull forty-five minutes of organization. Flipping the switch on, she began to sift through the scattered papers and boxes.
There seemed to be no end to Kurenai's closet; Sakura was half-convinced she had been caught in some strange warp of space. Clothing had been tossed into piles and documents had been lodged into every nook and cranny, but that wasn't the worst of it. Sakura was sure that if she had to sort through one more godforsaken box she was going to chuck it through the roof. She had never pinned Kurenai as a packrat, although she had some understanding for Kurenai's desire to keep anything of Asuma's. Judging by all of the stuff he had jammed into boxes, the man had never thrown anything away. She suddenly felt bad for Ino; cleaning up after Shikamaru had to be something like this.
She pushed aside the clothes she had just finished folding to reveal yet another cardboard box. Groaning, she tugged open the flaps and peered inside. This one was filled with VHS tapes. Why aren't these with the others? Curious, she took the top one off the pile. She turned the tape around in her hands, looking for a label. She found a slip of paper taped to the front. Written in an unfamiliar scrawl was the word Kakashi.
Sakura blinked in surprise. Kakashi's name was the last thing she had anticipated; she had been expecting to find some sort of softcore porn Asuma had wanted to hide from his fiancée. She noted that the tape was fully rewound and wondered who had watched it last. Was it a long-forgotten tape of Kakashi's he had lent out to Asuma? Or maybe a film of Kakashi? Intrigued, Sakura put the tape carefully to the side. She was about to search the box further, but was interrupted by a loud "Sakura-saaan!"
With a start, Sakura turned to see a young, black-haired boy standing in the doorway to the closet. The automatic smile was on her face before she could remember to be angry with him.
"Hey, Akio," she said cheerfully. "What is it?"
Having gotten her attention, Akio relaxed; he only shouted when he had to. "Mom says you can go home."
"Really?" Sakura asked. She twisted her head to look at the part of the closet she hadn't even touched yet. "I don't know, there's still a lot to do here…"
Akio rolled his eyes; he never had much patience for adults. "She says you've done enough. The rest…" He interrupted himself with a sigh of resignation. "The rest is for me."
Although he was a young boy, Sakura couldn't hide her sadistic smile as he sourly handed her her bag. "Have fun, Akitchan," she said, standing up. Akio crossed his arms, turning his head to the side and grumbling mutinous. Noticing that he had looked away, Sakura took the opportunity to swipe the video from where she had placed it and stow it in her bag. She passed Akio, giving him a condescending pat on the head, and headed towards the door.
"Thanks for all your help," Kurenai called as Sakura turned the knob to leave.
"Whenever you need me, just call," Sakura said; Kurenai responded with an appreciative grunt and Sakura left the apartment. She hurried down the steps and out into the cool November air, buttoning her coat hastily as she went.