The Light in the Fifth Floor Bedroom
Chapter One: Morbid Curiosity
[Beta'd by AkizukiSakura]
The apartment wasn't very large. With one bedroom, one bathroom, and a living room that might fit a coffee table and television, if he was lucky. The space was definitely smaller than he was used to. The kitchen took up an equally tiny corner of the apartment, though he wasn't much of a cook so he wasn't too worried about it.
Naruto smiled. He finally had an apartment for himself. He was so sick of living with his grandparents who were not only perverted, but insisted they call him his stepparents. He had lived in their house since he was in middle school and had been treated like some kind of housemaid. His "stepparents" meant well, but they had absolutely no idea how to take care of a kid. During his time there Naruto was smart enough to save up for his own place, and now he finally had it.
The neighborhood didn't seem at all bad. There were many other apartment buildings, a few houses, many corner stores, and a number of restaurants. He'd asked the landlord whether or not violence was frequent in this area, to which the landlord said no, and Naruto believed him. The landlord didn't seem like a bad person; he looked like a timid man despite the large scar that bridged his nose.
The landlord lived on the top floor, Apartment 23G. "If there are any problems, you know where to find me", were his exact words. The rent was a safe deduction from Naruto's weekly pay. New residents paid rent every two months for six months. After the sixth month he would have to pay monthly like everyone else. Naruto thought the deal was a bit too good to be true, but seeing how nice the landlord was made him ignore his skepticism.
Naruto had all his belongings moved into the apartment already. All that was left to do was unpack and fix everything up. He didn't have any furniture so it wouldn't take too long. The blond dragged a heavy suitcase towards his room, plopped it gracelessly on the floor, and began to unpack. The apartment came with a closet with enough space for all his shirts and jeans. As for the rest of his clothes, he would just have to leave them in the suitcase until he had enough money to buy a dresser.
When he'd finished he looked around his room. It was at that moment he realized how different this place felt from his stepparents' house. He silently looked over the small mat that he would use as a make-shift bed for the time being. His gaze roved from the mat to the wooden floor, noting the mismatched array of planks and small cracks. There were some large, dark spots on the floor that could have been from a fire. He noticed that the walls had the same blemishes and frowned at them. He really needed to repaint his bedroom.
Naruto realized how terribly depressing his new apartment looked. His parent's house let out a confining aura but this place just shouted haunted.
He supposed that was because he was new.
Naruto's frown let up a bit when he saw the window of his bedroom. It was large compared to the other windows in the house. There were no curtains, of course, and the glass was a bit dirty, but it wasn't anything he couldn't clean. He walked over to the window and opened it. It creaked ominously but opened easily, to Naruto's surprise, so he opened it the rest of the way, revealing the darkness outside. The breeze that came in felt good. He closed his eyes for a second. When he opened them, he saw a light coming from the building across from him. There were many other lights as well, some brighter than the one he was staring at, but what made this light so special was that it was directly across from his own window.
Suddenly, Naruto became interested in what kind of person lived in that apartment. An old woman, perhaps? A mother of three? A cold blooded killer? Naruto chuckled at the last thought; wondering what kind of person lived across from him proved to be interesting.
Just when Naruto was about to close his window, a shadow appeared in front of the window across from his own.
No, not a shadow –
Man? Woman? The light was so dim he really couldn't tell. But then, as quickly as it had appeared, the silhouette was gone.
Naruto blinked. Who was that? Naruto blinked. More importantly, why did it matter? he thought, making a move to close his window. But it was stuck. He rolled his eyes in annoyance before he began to force the window down. He knew the apartment was cheap but it was a little early for him to be having problems. He paused in his pushing when he caught sight of something from the window across from him once again. The lights were brighter now, and he could see the silhouette clearly.
It was man. Definitely a man. The shoulders were broad, stature fairly built. Naruto was too far away to see the face, but he could see the man's bright hair clearly. What color was that? Blonde? Red? After a few moments the light in the room dimmed and the silhouette left again, only to appear seconds after.
That wasn't the same person. There was another person in the apartment. This one had longer hair. Darker hair? Naruto couldn't tell.
So there were two people. Two men. The other one's build was similar. Slightly smaller. But definitely a man.
Naruto squinted. He couldn't see this man's face any clearer than he could see the other's. The darker-haired one threw one hand in the air, seemingly in anger or exasperation, before he left the window once again. The blonde leaned forward, interested in the sudden angry gesture...
...And then Naruto felt guilty. Why was he so interested in what was going on between these two men? It wasn't any of his business. He tried closing the window again, but shamelessly abandoned the process when someone came back to the window again. This one pushed the blinds down a bit – but not completely.. It was a set of those cheap transparent blinds – the ones that only served the purpose of being decorative. Through them, Naruto could make out one man's body and his short, spiky hair.
It had to be the lighter-haired one. The taller one. Naruto thought his hair looked red from where he stood. Said redhead did something with his collar and then began to fiddle with his shirt. Another pair of hands – Naruto assumed they belonged to the darker-haired man – appeared and began to help with whatever the redhead was doing.
It took until the moment the taller man's shirt came off for Naruto to realize what was going on. The redhead was stripping.
Naruto shut his window.