Oh, Sasuke. How funny you are when frustrated. Enjoy!
Sasuke drummed his fingers on the counter, waiting as the pimply teen boy in the green smock jabbered away with another costumer on the phone.
"No sir, we no longer sell that style of kunai at this location… yes, you can still order it from our catalogue… You can pick it up here, or for an additional fee we'll mail it straight to your house… I'm not sure how many are in a box; let me ask the manager."
The boy, whose nametag read Noro, put the phone down on the counter and sat in his beat-up swivel chair. He pulled a magazine from somewhere behind the counter and began to flip through it. Sasuke noted it was a sports magazine featuring an article on women's beach volleyball.
"Ahem," Sasuke cleared his throat. Noro didn't budge. "Excuse me."
Noro gave an exasperated sigh and looked up from his magazine. "What?"
"Aren't you supposed to be working?" The boy just stared at him. Sasuke tried another tactic. "I have a complaint to make."
"You'll have to talk to the manager about that," said Noro and went back to his magazine.
"Where's the manager?" Sasuke asked, making annoyance clear in his voice.
"Oh, he's in the building somewhere," Noro didn't even look up from his magazine. Sasuke gritted his teeth.
"Can I speak with him?"
Sasuke stared at the boy a moment to see if the meaning of that statement would reveal itself. "Who," he said carefully, "is the manager?"
"Well, I am," Noro said as he rolled his eyes. "I'm pretty sure I just told you that."
Sasuke could feel an eye spasm coming on.
"Then I would like to make a complaint to you, manager-san," He said slowly, rubbing one hand against his temple in attempt to mitigate the oncoming eye anomaly.
"Can't." Noro licked his thumb and turned a magazine page.
Sasuke's eye twitched, and he began to rub his other temple as well.
"And why ever not, manager-san?" he asked through clenched teeth.
"I'm with another costumer at the moment," said Noro and vaguely gestured at the phone he had left sitting on the counter.
Sasuke refrained from slapping something– he wasn't sure if he wanted to slap his forehead or the ever-so-competent manager– and tried again. "Well then why don't you actually help the costumer?"
Noro peered up from his magazine yet again. He looked at Sasuke, then at the phone. Then back at Sasuke. Then he stared at the phone for a good thirty seconds. Then he looked back up at Sasuke. Sasuke was gripping the hilt of his sword with white knuckles. Sighing, Noro slowly picked up the phone.
"Yes, hello… Sorry about the wait… There are twelve kunai in a box… yes… Thank you for shopping at Ninja Depot." Noro hung up the phone and went back to his magazine.
"Excuse me," Sasuke snapped.
Noro ignored him.
"Excuse me," repeated Sasuke, unsheathing his katana.
Noro looked up warily. "Yes?"
"I would like. To File. A. Com. Plaint," Sasuke annunciated. A spark of blue electricity danced down his blade, glinting in the artificial and slightly yellow light.
"You'll have to talk to the manager," Noro said blandly. Sasuke activated his sharingan and his eye twitched a few times. "I am the manager," Noro went on hastily. "What can I do for you?"
Relaxing slightly, Sasuke put away his sword, but kept the sharingan activated. "I have a complaint about a sign a purchased recent– don't you dare."
Noro's face had started to slowly turn back down to his magazine. He glanced back up guiltily. Sasuke continued.
"I purchased a custom-made sign for the purpose of uniting my team under a new name: Team Taka."
"Team Hawk? We sold a sign with that on it a few days ago. Custom made."
"I know," Sasuke hissed. He took a deep breath and resumed his explanation. "I requested a two-by-eight banner with the team name written in uppercase romaji–"
"Romaji? Like A, B, C, not the Japanese alphabet? We made a sign like that a few days ago; actually, it was more a banner…"
"I know," Sasuke nearly screamed, "because that is the sign I ordered."
"Oh." Finally, something seemed to have gone through to Noro's brain. Unfortunately, it was not a shuriken.
"Now, my complaint is," Sasuke explained, "there was a misprint on the sign. Instead of TEAM TAKA, it reads TEAM TAKO."
"Team Octopus? Well that's a silly name for a ninja squad."
"Yes," Sasuke agreed with irritation. "That's why I'd like to return it. What did I tell you about doing that?"
"Hey!" Noro whined as Sasuke snatched the magazine away from view and tore it to shreds. The irate shinobi dropped the ripped pieces to the floor. He started to make the necessary hand seals to katon no jutsu the damned magazine bits to hell, but was rudely interrupted.
"No jutsu inside," Noro said automatically. Sasuke paused and sent him such a powerful glare that Noro visibly gulped. "Store policy," he said in a small voice.
Sasuke turned slowly back to the counter, still maintaining the intensity of his glare. He pulled the tightly rolled up banner from the purple rope around his waist, where he had been keeping it next to his katana. He unfurled it and smoothed it out across the length of the counter, allowing the TEAM part to become wrinkly as he draped it over the phone and cash register. The TEAM part wasn't important, the TAKO part was.
"Hey, I remember this sign! But I thought it said Team Taka?"
This time, Sasuke's entire left side twitched.
"That's my point! It's supposed to say Taka, but it says Tako."
"Like octopus." For some reason, Sasuke was breathing quite heavily. "That is why I want to return this."
"Hmm," said Noro thoughtfully. "Wouldn't it be easier to draw a line in to make the O an A?"
"What?" Sasuke was grinding his teeth now.
"Here, look." Noro took a marker from under the counter and drew a line across the O.
Sasuke had to pinch the bridge of his nose, take a another deep breath, and count to ten before it was safe for him to answer.
"That is not an A. That is the Greek letter theta. If you wanted an A, you'd have to put the line along the left side. Regardless, I am returning this sign."
"You'll have to talk to the manager about that." Sasuke looked like he was about to breathe fire, so Noro skipped ahead in his usual protocol. "Do you have a receipt?"
Sasuke produced his receipt from his kunai pouch, not trusting himself to speak, lest he actually breathe fire. Because that line before? That was most certainly NOT hyperbole; Sasuke really can breathe fire.
Noro examined the receipt quite thoroughly, reading all the text and even inspecting the back of the flimsy paper for some reason. "Hmmm," he said. "Yes, I guess this is legit." He cleared the banner to the side of the counter in a neatly crumpled pile. "Would you like cash or store credit?"
Sasuke finally opened his mouth to answer, when the phone rang. Noro held up a "just a moment please" finger and answered it.
"Welcome to Ninja Depot; how may I help you?"
Sasuke promptly smashed the telephone with a kunai. Noro blinked at him.
"You're going to have to pay for that," he said.
Sasuke grabbed the front of Noro's smock and roughly pulled him over the counter. He scowled into the poor manager's face, sharingan glinting dangerously.
"Look, you," he seethed. "I just want a refund for the sign. In cash. Right now, no distractions. Do you understand?"
Noro nodded dumbly, wide-eyed.
"Good." Sasuke released him and pushed him back across the counter. As Noro steadied himself, leaning against his swivel chair, a watch beeped.
"Oh look," said Noro weakly. "It's my lunch break." And with that he darted through a door directly behind him and slammed it shut. The click of a lock was heard.
Sasuke counted to fifty to prevent a vengeful rampage. Then, fuming, he grabbed his TEAM TAK-THETA sign from the counter and stormed out of the store. A few innocent displays of gloves and senbon were chidori'd on the way out.
In the back room's closet, Noro had found another magazine and was quietly attempting to calm his nerves by eating his lunch while perched on an overturned bucket.
Noronoro means "slowly; sluggishly" in Japanese. I'm hilarious.
I'm considering making another chapter with the rest of Team Taka: Karin, Suigestsu and Juugo. What do you guys think?
Also! Blooper found on my livejournal: felicitypi (dot) livejournal (dot) com (slash) 789 (dot) html. Haha, look at that—seven eight nine. Um, anyway. Link also on my profile. :D