Author's Note: Why is it in my stories, Naruto never seems to be doing his job right? Oh well, here is another Men in Uniform Challenge piece. I swear that challenge has overtaken my brain…. Or at least has converted all of my muses for its nefarious purposes. One of the two. Or perhaps, a little of both?
Summary: Naruto's first thought was that the girl was rather pretty. His second thought was that Sasuke was going to kill him when he found out.
Warnings: Some swear words
Betareader: Maerchen Freunde
Late Night Encounters
"So, you remember the rules?"
Blue eyes rolled in exasperation but Naruto obediently repeated the information. "No inviting guests. Make rounds every half hour once Kiba gets here. If not on a patrol, stay at the desk and monitor the cameras."
"You forgot one."
Naruto blinked as mentally reviewed the list. "No hookers?" he guessed.
"No fucking this up."
"Ah," he said in understanding, "got it."
Sasuke eyed him carefully, but Naruto just grinned innocently. With a sigh, Sasuke handed him a keycard to let him get through the various doors of the building. Originally, Naruto wasn't supposed to start working at the company until the following week but plans had changed. "My replacement will be at midnight. His name's Kiba. Check for an ID."
"Yeah, yeah. You told me that already."
"I've learned to repeat things for morons."
Naruto pretended to be offended but he knew in Sasukese he was just being worried.
"I'll be fine," he said, "so go to the hospital already and watch your baby be born."
Sasuke nodded and began to gather his things from the desk.
Naruto sat down in one of the chairs by the monitors. The three screens showed four cameras each and flipped to a different angle every couple of seconds. Naruto had no doubt his eyes would be completely exhausted by the time his shift finished.
Fortunately, working as a security guard did have some advantages.
For one thing, the pay was higher than what he used to make in the Army. Not to mention, he avoided working in some close-quarters cubicle. Watching monitors was mind-numbing, no doubt, but he at least got to do patrols every so often to alleviate the boredom.
"One last thing," Sasuke said pausing in the doorway.
"Yeah?" said Naruto, turning.
"If you run into a guy named Neji, just shut up. If you give him any crap, you better believe your ass will hit pavement quicker than you can say fired."
"Play nice with the other kids," Naruto summarized, "got it."
He drummed his fingers against the desk as he thought something over. "Hey, Sasuke."
Naruto struggled with the words. He had been out of work for so long and getting this job was a godsend. "I won't screw it up," he said. Those weren't the words he wanted but he figured Sasuke would understand.
"Course not," Sasuke smirked, "because then I would have to kick your ass."
Naruto grabbed the nightstick as if to chuck it at him, but Sasuke was already heading down the hallway.
Naruto jumped to his feet as if to follow.
"Don't forget to name the baby after me," he called down the corridor.
Sasuke scoffed. "Idiot, like that would ever happen," he called back before disappearing down the hallway.
"I get to be the godfather though, right?"
Sasuke didn't respond, but Naruto chose to interpret the silence as a maybe.
Whistling, Naruto plopped back down in his chair to work. After awhile he developed a system. Starting on the left, he would scan each monitor for 15 seconds before moving to the next one. When he finished, he would stand up and stretch his legs before starting over again.
He managed to do this for 20 minutes before the boredom set in.
By the end of the first hour, he swore he could hear his brain cells dying off one by one.
By the end of the second hour, he realized Sasuke's help in getting him hired by the company was secretly part of an evil plot to rid him of his sanity.
After the third hour went by, Naruto no longer cared.
It was just so utterly boring! There was no one in the building except him. Kiba wouldn't arrive for another hour so he had no one to talk to. Nobody even loitered around outside. The most movement he saw was a stray sniffing around the front steps for a few minutes before scampering off.
Groaning, Naruto buried his face in his palms and completely missed the movement on the monitor recording the top floor.
Hinata stifled a yawn as she pressed the button summoning the elevator.
She had fallen asleep in her office again.
That was the third time this past week.
She swore that one day she would leave at a decent time but every time 5:00 p.m. rolled around, some new emergency demanded her immediate attention.
This last time she had to hold an impromptu conference with her associates in Japan. Unfortunately the radical difference in time zones always meant that one of the offices would be working either really late night hours or very early mornings. As the newly appointed heir to Hyuuga Enterprises, she felt that the responsibility fell directly on her shoulders and willingly committed herself to the erratic schedule.
After the meeting concluded, she stayed to personally draw up the agreed revisions. At some point, she must have fallen asleep because when she awoke it was already past 11:00 at night.
When the elevator beeped announcing its arrival, Hinata smiled and boarded. She pressed the lobby button and waited for the doors to close. Stifling another yawn, she resisted the urge to glance at her watch. She didn't need anymore reminders about how late it was. She could feel the lateness in her tired body.
She really needed to consider putting a futon or something in her office so that if she needed to sleep here she could. She already kept changes of clothes and the necessary toiletry items on hand. Then again, it might be a bit eccentric to actually live where she worked even if she was the boss.
Besides, she really needed to find a way to leave early, not make plans on spending all her time here. She couldn't even remember the last time she saw any of her friends. The only reason she managed to keep in touch with her old college roommate, Tenten, was because she worked in the building.
Hinata clearly needed to get out more.
If only she could find the time.
Hinata sighed as she tried to rub one of the knots out of her neck. She had cancelled her masseuse appointment the last two times and her neck and back were beginning to feel the strain. She resolved to reschedule an appointment for the upcoming weekend.
When the elevator chimed announcing her destination, she blinked her eyes wearily.
Finally, it was time to go home.
As she waited for the doors to open, one hand began tugging at some tendrils of hair that had escaped her bun as she slept. Sighing, she pulled the pins out and shook her hair loose. No point in keeping it up now.
Opening her eyes, she stepped forward. Straight towards the barrel of a gun.
Instinctively she screamed.
She briefly noted a man's expression of panic before her vision blackened entirely.
Naruto swore as noticed the girl's body began to sway as she lost consciousness. He quickly holstered the gun and tried to grab her before she hit the ground.
He managed to save her from a nasty crash but the folders she had been carrying weren't so lucky. They splashed across the floor like a dropped bucket of paint.
Swearing again, he lifted her body out of the elevator and carried her to one of the nearby walls. He carefully propped her up, eyes briefly scanning to see if she had any injuries.
Her face looked exhausted but otherwise she seemed fine. A hand went to brush back some of her dark bangs before he snatched it back. Pretty or not, he had a mess of papers and folders to clean up. Still, he couldn't believe he managed to scare a girl into fainting.
He had been waiting for Kiba to show up when he heard the sound of one of the elevators moving. Snapping to attention, he quickly scanned the monitors.
Unfortunately, none of them were located within the elevator itself. In fact, most of the security cameras were focused on the outside of the building. A rather large flaw in the design plan but most likely the company feared that cameras within the building would give away some of their trade secrets.
After giving one last look at the monitors to verify there were no people or suspicious vehicles waiting outside the building, he resolved to head to the elevators and confront whoever was inside.
Grabbing his security cap and attaching the nightstick back to his side, he hurried to the elevator. He watched the floor numbers light up over the doors, counting down as it moved towards the lobby.
When it reached the third floor and continued its descent, Naruto pulled out his gun. He kept it at a lowered position, his finger purposely set away from the trigger. If this was indeed an intruder he would be ready. But if this was some poor overworked secretary, he could holster the weapon before anyone even noticed.
But when the doors opened, he found he wasn't prepared for what was inside.
Dressed in a stylish but snug business suit, the woman on the elevator was stunning. Her eyes were closed as one hand tugged at her dark hair. Her long hair fell past her shoulders and cascaded passed her waist. It was an intimate movement that caused his throat to tighten and his heart rate to quicken.
When the woman opened her eyes, he noticed with complete fascination that they were the softest shade of lavender he had ever seen.
And then she screamed.
Which was around the point in time when he realized he had forgotten to holster his gun.
Cursing himself for no doubt terrorized the poor woman, Naruto rushed to explain. But before he could, the girl lost consciousness. Now she sat propped up against the lobby wall, while he cleaned up the mess he made.
Swearing again, Naruto kept trying to gather up her scattered papers. Unfortunately, the elevator kept making matters worse by continuously trying to close the doors and then beeping at him since he knelt in the way.
Already a few of the papers had been crumpled by the door before he grabbed them, but he got the rest of them in relative order.
He hoped, anyways.
At the very least, they were all facing the same direction again.
He sighed. Either way he was probably going to get fired for this little stunt. Sasuke was going to murder him when he found out.
"Who are you?"
The voice came from behind him and his hand instinctively went to his side for his weapon as he turned.
When he realized that the woman had woken up, he jerked his hand away from his gun and rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. He couldn't believe he almost pointed a gun at her again.
"Naruto Uzumaki," he said awkwardly, "security guard."
Hinata woke up to a slow confusion.
She kept hearing a high pitched beeping noise but it didn't sound like her alarm clock. Not to mention her body felt uncomfortable.
Had she fallen asleep at her desk again?
With a muted groan, her heavy lashes sluggishly opened. Looking around she realized she was indeed still at the Hyuuga building but not in her office. Instead, she was propped against the wall in the dimly-lit lobby. A beeping sound to her right drew her attention.
There was a man kneeling in the doorway of the elevator. He seemed to be scooping up papers while muttering swear words under his breath. His clothes were a dark blue color and matched the standard uniform of the security guards her family employed.
But what was she doing on the floor?
She frowned as her mind searched for the answer. She was leaving for home. She remembered getting on the elevator. And she remembered someone looking panicked or worried.
Her eyes widened as she remembered what had happened. He had been holding a gun when she exited the elevator.
As soon as she had saw that flash of metal in his hands everything had shut down. She hadn't even bothered to check to see if it was even aimed at her or if he was on the security team. She must have accidentally startled the night guard. And it turn gotten spooked herself.
No doubt the lack of sleep and too much caffeine had no doubt contributed to her jumpiness and the shock of encountering someone else so late of the building didn't help matters.
But usually the security guards stayed holed up in their office except when making rounds. Not to mention, she knew most of the late night security guards by name. And the blonde didn't look the least bit familiar.
"Who are you?" The question popped out before she thought to censor it.
At the sound of her voice, the man whirled around in a defensive crouch. Judging by the way his hand instinctively went to his weapon, he was former military.
But soon his guard dropped and he began to fiddle with the hair that poked out from the bottom of his hat.
"Naruto Uzumaki, security guard."
The rough tenor of his voice widened her eyes and sent a flush to her cheeks. She prayed he didn't notice. When she continued to stare at him, his bright blue eyes began to dart around somewhat nervously.
"It's my first day," he added.
"I see," Hinata said carefully. The absurdity of the situation was making it difficult not to laugh.
"I won't hurt you," he assured her, "I tried to get your papers together. A few got smashed by the doors but the rest are okay."
The doors in question beeped at him again in annoyance.
The man, Naruto, rose and moved out of the way, finally allowing the doors to properly close.
"So," he drawled out awkwardly.
She looked at his nervous posture and fought back a smile.
His guilt and anxiety was a deceptively cute combination. But she didn't need to let it go to her head. It was embarrassing enough to have fainted in front of him; she didn't need to find other ways to make a fool of herself.
Yes, what had happened was a misunderstanding and huge embarrassment on both of their parts. It would be best to forget that the matter had ever occurred. Not to mention, if word got out that the head of the company had fainted from shock, rumors could spread about her leadership abilities.
She pushed herself up from the floor and brushed off her skirt. She was a professional and she needed to act like one.
"May I have my papers back, please?" she asked quietly.
She wasn't sure, but it looked like a slight blush dusted his cheeks as he gave her back the papers.
"Sorry about that whole," he gestured as if to convey something deep and profound. In reality, it looked like his right hand was trying to fly away from his body. "Mess," he finished finally.
She fought back another smile and nodded politely, "I understand."
Naruto sighed, hand fiddling once again with his cap. When she turned to leave, she was surprised to see him walking beside her. Although her pace didn't slow, her head turned to look at him quizzically.
"I'll walk you out," he explained nervously.
She nodded and inwardly sighed in disappointment. No doubt he thought she was going to fire him and he wanted to plead his case. Sometimes it was frustrating being a member of the Hyuuga family.
When she neared the front door, he opened it for her, something that earned him yet another curious glance.
Was he trying to win her favor by acting chivalrous? She paused for a moment to see if he would speak, but he continued to remain silent. How strange.
Just before she passed through the door, she felt a light tug on her sleeve. Her violet eyes found his.
"I'll repay you," he said suddenly.
Here it comes, she thought with a resigned sigh. But she simply shook her head, "That's not necessary."
He made a frustrated noise deep in his throat, "Look, I nearly gave you a heart attack. I gotta repay you somehow."
Hinata paused and looked at him carefully once more. She had expected groveling, desperate pleading for her not to terminate his job.
And although this man did seem genuinely regretful for his actions, he didn't seem desperate for her forgiveness. Something wasn't adding up.
"Do you know who I am?" she asked slowly, as she shifted the jumbled folders from one arm to another.
At his blank stare, she began to smile slightly in understanding. No wonder he wasn't pleading his case, he had no clue who she was. Well, he had said he was new at the company.
"Forget about it, Mr. Uzumaki," she said dismissively, "it'll be our little secret. I won't tell anyone."
He made the frustrated noise again. "I'm not worried about my job," he said, with a particular tone of disgust that sent her lips twitching into another smile, "I'm worried cause I scared the hell out of you."
She looked at the strange man before her and eyed him speculatively. His blue eyes were completely sincere and his tone suggested that he had no ulterior motives behind his words.
The fact he had no idea about her position or the lush privileges it provide was an unexpected bonus.
The normalcy of the situation was almost refreshing. It was as if she was simply Hinata again instead of Madame Hyuuga. It was a nice feeling.
Combine that with the fact the man before her was rather cute….
She bit her lip as she struggled to push aside her nerves. She was the president of a large international corporation. She could handle something like this.
"Chocolate," she squeaked, fighting back a blush.
"Chocolate?" he parroted.
"Next time," she said shyly, unable to look him in the eye, "you repay me in chocolate."
His responding grin was wide and contagious and sent a strange sense of warmth into her stomach. When he leaned in closer, her blush intensified tenfold. "You've got yourself a deal."