A/N: My, it's been awhile! And for that, I apologize. It was a long break for me, longer than usual, at least. What I can say with confidence is that my KakaHinaShika muse hasn't died out at all :) It's just been living in AU land for awhile, hence why this is set in AU modern universe. This pairing needs more love in my opinion :/ It's definitely got potential, at least in appeal. Again, I apologize for taking what, four months, to update again.
Please regard this kindly :)
And, no, I do not own.
Right Man For the Job
Hinata's head snapped up as her steady rhythm of endless typing was interrupted. She hovered in her seat, wondering if perhaps she should be the one to answer the cell phone vibrating on the precarious edge of her desk. Her hesitance vanished when the phone suddenly cut off; Hinata released a short sigh, thanking the heavens that she didn't have to be the one to receive that call. Who knew who was calling the president and for what?
Her cheeks flushed faintly as she recalled the last time she'd answered; a silky tone had offered what they'd assumed to be their buyer a discounted throw-in item with the purchase of the full boxed set of Icha Icha that would "go great with nightly readings, if you know what I mean." Hinata had never known a person could hear winks and laviscious grins, but after that disturbing phone call, she wasn't about to dispute it.
"…so he's not here. How troublesome."
Hinata swiveled in her chair to face the uninvited person, disguising her shock at having not heard the visitor's approach with a practiced smile. "I-I'm sorry, sir, but may I ask—"
Her words lost their way off her tongue as she scanned the person's appearance, surprise being replaced with surliness as she took in the man, hardly older than herself, and his nondescript clothing, tightly pulled up ponytail, and most important of all, the suspicious bag resting on his shoulder and the thin journal in his hands, characteristic of all reporters and journalists.
"You don't have permission to be here."
Dark blank eyes rolled to the side as the man rubbed his neck and yawned, his lax posture not reacting to her attempt at driving him away in the slightest. Hinata bit her lip, knowing that she should be calling security at this moment, because there was no interview scheduled today, at least not in her knowledge, and this man didn't seem like he was going anywhere anytime soon.
"There's not a couch in sight," grumbled an annoyed voice. Hinata blinked when she realized it came from the brown-haired man standing at the door.
"Um, e-excuse me?" she asked, confusion now taking its part in the onslaught of emotions rankling her on her last hour of her last workday of the month.
"You guys don't have a couch," said the man, finally looking directly at her.
Hinata noted the dark pitch of brown in his eyes before frowning at his words. "This isn't normally a w-waiting room," she told him, repressing a short sigh near escaping as she realized her last day wouldn't come to a close as easily as she'd hoped it would.
The man just shrugged and, with an uncaring toss, threw his stuff on the floor beside the plotted plant in the corner. He followed his belongings and settled on the ground beside it in a snug sleeping position. Hinata gasped at his actions; surely he wasn't going to sleep there!
"Please! W-what in the world are you doing?" she nearly yelped, her business persona losing heat in the presence of this strange man.
She received an indiscernible grunt in reply.
Hinata's mouth dropped at the… the… blatant rudeness and disregard for her. She spent a few more moments gaping like a lost fish at the man before shakily reining herself in.
This… is my last day. I… I don't need to get worked up over… this.
So, with a mute sigh in relent, Hinata dragged her face down to the sleek counter of her desk, her cheek pressing against the cool mahogany of the surface. Her thoughts distracted from work that wouldn't be finished before closing hours anyways, Hinata found her eyes trailing towards the large glass doors that displayed her employer's office. She roved over the clean surface of the desk (she had been the one keeping it clear all these months, she noted with a pang), the single picture frame sitting on the corner of it (the one he spent hours just staring at; the one she knew only for the beaming smiles of three people next to a young and silver-haired teen), and the cactus sitting on the shelf behind his chair (it had taken days of debating between a tie and a cactus until she finally decided on the quirky, but definitely fitting, gift for the president's birthday).
It was only after a faint smile played across her face did Hinata realize that she would miss it here.
Hinata snapped up, hissing at the reluctant pull her cheek felt from parting from the desk surface, and rubbed her abused cheek thoughtfully. Thinking of the president had reminded her that the enigmatic man hadn't shown up at all in the past few days. Her eyes lowered, blinking back hurt tears.
It was strange how the man who had teased and taunted her relentlessly during her few months here was absent from his last few opportunities to do so.
Hinata's gaze landed on the black planner she'd bought yesterday, intending to give to her rather absent-minded president. She'd filled it with the many duties he often neglected to do, underlining and circling the ones most important with fervor. She bit back a sigh, because she'd failed in giving it to him in person; she'd hoped that her being the one to hand it to him would enforce the importance of following through with the black-felt pen circled instructions.
The inkling suspicion that he'd purposely avoided her these past few days for this very reason nagged at her. Hinata slumped forward, covering her face with her hands in despair.
At this point in her career, she wasn't going to try to defend her president and whatever went on in his mildly brilliant mind—she knew better.
She sat there for awhile, listening to the gradual slipping away of minutes from her secretarial job and the soft snores emanating from her sleeping companion, until she was once again surprised by the incessant vibrating of her president's phone. Hinata picked it up by the fingertips and inspected the front cover, noting the odd number on the screen. Inhaling in prayer, she answered it.
The line was silent before a familiar voice filled her right ear.
"Hinata? Hmm… Did I leave my cell phone there? …No wonder I haven't seen it in days..."
Hinata blinked. Once. Twice.
"Kakashi-sama?" she asked dryly. "W-where have you been?"
Her eyes narrowed, something she'd never dare when actually facing him, at how he'd deflected the question. She opted for the direct approach.
"You h-haven't shown up to the office in days."
"Ah, well..." The sheepish chuckle of her president filled the ear piece. "I was lost on the path of life."
His characteristic excuse left her in ill-felt nostalgia. She fluttered her hand over her eyes in exasperation and gave up on trying to get a straight answer from the president.
"Oh, Hinata," spoke the man, "Can you bring me my cell phone? I'm waiting for an important phone call."
Hinata's brow furrowed, recalling the phone call from earlier. "Is it from…" She quickly checked the phone's call history, "…from a Nara Shikamaru?"
"Eh? Yes, it is. Hmm, guess we missed each other then." Hinata bit her lip, knowing that she was partially to blame for that. "If you see him come in, can you take him to the usual place?"
Hinata nodded, then realized that she was on the phone, and gave a quick reply. "Yes, Kakashi-sama."
"Ahh, what would I do without my cute, blushing secretary, Iruka?" Hinata's face drained of color as the amused chuckles of her president spilled over the phone's receiver and she realized he was on speaker phone.
The call met a prompt end as the phone was snapped shut and thrown into her desk drawer.
"Nara Shikamaru," mused Hinata as she readjusted her dress shirt that had rode up in her frustration.
A gagging sound suddenly erupted in the room, coming suspiciously from the sleeping person on the floor. Hinata peered over her desk and stared. The person rolled over, causing his cell phone to slide out of his pocket. Mental calculations instantaneously took root.
Call… plus strange man… plus Kakashi-sama's request equals…
Bleary eyes blinked open and a sandpaper voice rasped out,
"S-sorry," murmured Hinata, rubbing her arm from where a distressed woman had run into her.
"It was her fault."
"W-wha—" Hinata flushed under the dark stare of the man she was accompanying and bowed her head to conceal her cheeks. "I—well, yes."
The man's gaze lingered on her a few seconds more before he sighed and turned his head away. "…Troublesome," she heard him mutter.
Cheeks enflamed in heat, Hinata wove her way through the thick crowd of people waiting for a seat in the highly coveted restaurant, making sure Nara-san was following her. She dove under a flailing arm and emerged at the front; Hinata smiled at the pink-haired waitress, and the woman greeted her just as warmly.
"Welcome, Hinata-san! The VIP room is ready for you."
Hinata nodded her thanks and approached the flight of stairs leading to the second room. She paused and looked at her president's guest in dismay when she realized that he was leaning against the stair well and was dead on his feet.
A soft snore escaped the man's mouth. Hinata blinked and covered her lips to conceal her growing smile.
"Nara-san?" Hinata shook his shoulder gently. "Please wake up. We're almost ther—"
"…I'm up," groused the man as he rubbed his forehead in annoyance.
Nodding her head, she led the way up the stairs with practiced ease. When they finally reached the door to the president's personal dining room, Hinata knocked.
She received no response.
Hinata repressed the urge to roll her eyes and opened the door. The dim lighting of the room took a few moments to adjust to, and Hinata pulled the man in and closed it shut behind them. Blinking to clear her sight, she took a seat on a couch in the furnished sitting area out looking the bustling city and the darkening sky overtaking it.
"Your president likes to make people wait."
Under the man's bleak glare coupled with his astute observation of her president's strange habits, Hinata found that she couldn't speak. Instead, she simply nodded, hoping that would suffice as an apology. The man looked like he didn't care for a response anyways and plopped his journal on the glass table before settling into the recliner, asleep within seconds.
Hinata admired the man's ability to sleep no matter his surroundings in slight envy, leaving her unprepared for the sudden slamming open of the door.
"Yo, sorry I'm late," apologized a sheepish voice. "I saw a black cat on the way and had to change direction. By the time I realized it, I was lost."
Hinata answered his well-exercised excuse with a deprecating sigh. Really, what had she expected besides that? Nara-san shifted in his recliner but otherwise dozed away.
Kakashi-sama seemed slightly put-out at the lack of response but recovered with ease. "Since we're all here, then, let's discuss business," he said with a cheery grin to the room's two occupants.
Hinata blinked when his gaze fell on her; the president's smile seemed to slide off at the sight of her, and he shuffled to the seat farthest from her. Hinata bit her lip in consternation, wondering what she had done to garner that.
Nara-san shifted and opened his eyes with trouble. "Wha—? Have we finally started the job interview?"
Hurt feelings fell to the wind when those words registered; Hinata openly gaped, staring at the president in ill-concealed confusion.
"J-job interview?" Hinata licked her lips, testing her next words. "For… secretary?"
Kakashi-sama looked mildly surprised, pausing from his unabashed perusal of Nara-san's journal, and stared at her as if he had expected her to know beforehand. "Why, yes. Who better to interview my next secretary than for my former one?"
She hadn't expected that to sting as much as it did, but it had, and now she was at a loss for words or even comprehensible thoughts.
"When a problem arises with the printer, w-what would be the elementary procedures for repairing it?"
"A-as a secretary, what would be your first response to an unhanded insult in the p-press about Kakashi-sama?"
"Do you know what comes w-with secretarial duties? Respect for Kakashi-sama, first and f-foremost."
Shikamaru rubbed his temples in exhaustion and rolled his neck, relishing in the relaxing pops.
"That," he muttered, "Was more troublesome than it was worth."
The other occupant of the room only hummed happily, the satisfied smile on his lips belying where his true thoughts were.
"Who'd have thought Hinata-chan really didn't want to resign," mused Kakashi, tapping his masked chin thoughtfully.
Shikamaru nearly rolled his eyes, but stopped when he realized the effort it'd take—effort that he really didn't have much to expend at the moment. Weariness pulled at his eyelids, wooing him with seductive lines of "rest" and "sleep."
Instead, Shikamaru opted for the truth, suppressing a yawn.
"Who wouldn't, when they saw how incompetent their successor would be. She isn't the type of woman who would readily leave their job anyways. There would have to be outside reasons," stated Shikamaru with an accusatory glance in Kakashi's direction.
The silver-haired man raised his hands with a smile, pleading innocence. "She told me she wanted to leave. I told her she was a woman of twenty-two who didn't have to follow every whim of her father."
Shikamaru raised an eyebrow at that. "Evidence?"
Kakashi shrugged. "Just instinct."
He left it at that, but Shikamaru didn't doubt for a second that the industrious president of the flourishing Sharingan Corp. had men investigating the life of Hyuuga Hinata, both private and social aspects. Not the best of pastimes for the founder of such a high-end corporation, thought Shikamaru with a yawn.
Then again, for that particular woman, if he himself had the ability, would he…?
"Give me a job, Kakashi."
"No," came the swift reply.
Shikamaru rubbed his temples in agitation.
This was going to be a long night.
Hinata unpacked the last of her belongings on her desk, frowning at how packing in the first place had been a total waste of time. She sighed in frustration. Her desk was still her desk, her secretary job was still her job, her place secured as bouncing board for Kakashi-sama's bizarre antics was still her place.
She dropped her face to her hands glumly at the reminder of the completely incompetent man from last night. He had hardly responded to her rapid-fire questions and only just met the criteria for being a secretary, if one could judge from his skimpy portfolio.
…Just how could she leave the president in such hands? If work could be divided evenly between the two men, not even the end of the world hanging over their heads would have prompted them to complete it all.
"K-Kakashi-sama… Please, may I rescind my resigna—"
Hinata still couldn't quite shake off the feeling that she had been manipulated by minds far more brilliant than hers into keeping this job.
But… Hinata traced a finger in the familiar mahogany surface of her desk with a fond smile. It's not as if I had wanted to leave.
"…so you're still here."
Hinata's head whipped up at the dry tone—she knew this voice…
"Nara-san?" questioned Hinata while appraising the familiar gray uniform the brown-haired man was wearing.
"Shikamaru," said Nara-san flatly. "Honorifics are troublesome, Hinata."
Hinata blushed at his direct usage of her name and the permission he'd given her. Oblivious to her distress, he scratched his head and yawned, the actions so like him that Hinata had to hold back a giggle. His presence, though, was still an unknown factor to her.
"Are you w-working here n—"
She was just about to voice her question as to why a person would work where they didn't want to, but was distracted by another person entirely.
"Yes, you have a new co-worker, Hinata," said Kakashi-sama as he threw a janitor's cap on the suddenly sour man's head. The president gave him a once-over before chuckling. "I told you the uniform would look good on you, Shikamaru."
Aghast, Hinata looked between the president and her newly christened co-worker. Both sent her a quizzical glance before heading to their own duties—Kakash-sama to his office, and Shikamaru to what she presumed to be his janitorial job.
Did she really not want to leave this job?
Reviews are much appreciated :)