A/n: For Hitsugaya's Green Eyes. I'm sorry it took so long! And for Pip, who gave me two prompts about porn in as many days.
No smoking, no pets and no music from artists under the age of 20.
Individual bedrooms, shared bathroom, kitchen and living room.
To submit application, contact the landlord, Kakashi Hatake: 657-4367
Sakura glanced down again at the flyer to make sure that she got the right address. The price on the paper was way too low for a building like this one. It was a nice building; relatively clean (something that had been outside her price range for, like, ever), it didn't have an elevator, but the stairs had mats (she was clumsy. She had no doubt that those mats would save her life some day) and you needed to be buzzed in to get into the building (she'd promised her paranoid aunt Tsunade that she'd pick somewhere relatively difficult to be broken into).
Maybe it was just Tsunade's suspicious tendencies rubbing off on her, but she didn't quite trust the convenience of what just might become her home for the next few years she was going to spend at Mt-Sinai hospital fulfilling her residency. Although, no one ever claimed her instincts were always spot on.
The landlord buzzed her up and she began her trek up four flights of stairs, only to arrive in front of the door where she was expected. This door, unlike the others, had half its paint chipped away and what looked like nails protruding from the other side. The apartment number (4a) hung lopsidedly, dead center. She shivered as an ominous feeling of dread and nausea, that she vaguely knew to be because of some bad sushi she ate for lunch, washed over her in waves.
Sakura knocked feebly on the chipped plank of wood.
Moments later, the door swung open to reveal an affably cheerful man with heavily gelled gray hair and a medical mask covering half his face. His eyes crinkled in what she assumed to be a smile. Instantly, her unease was put to rest in the basking wake of his apparent good humor.
"Yo," he held out his hand to shake, she grasped it tightly and shook firmly, just as her aunt had taught her; she'd said that a firm handshake made a good first impression, "I'm Kakashi Hatake, the landlord. The other tenants are waiting inside." She smiled charmingly and walked past him, into the apartment.
She missed his wince of pain once her back was turned.
The apartment was spacious, crowded with random crap and looked so warm and inviting with its quirky contents that she was ready to sign the lease right then and there. The two very cute men sitting on the mushy, beaten up black couch were also just another added bonus.
Sasuke and Naruto both looked her up and down with varying degrees of interest.
It occurred to her that agreeing to live in this fabulous apartment would entail living with said two very cute men.
Who were males.
"They won't rape me will they?"
The blond one winked and said "Only if you want me to babe," while the other one looked thoroughly insulted.
Without missing a beat Kakashi cut between the trio, "Probably not, neither have criminal records. At least none pertaining to sex crimes." This was not as reassuring as she suspected he thought it was. "I think," he added under his breath.
"Free internet." The dark haired one, looking bored in an exaggerated way declared.
He truly knew that the way to a woman's heart was through her wireless network connection.
"Where do I sign?"
Sasuke paused and gave her another suspicious once over, "Can you cook?"
He shoved a post-it marked ream of paper under her nose, "Pages 2, 4 and 7. And Initials at the bottom."
X x X
Sakura hadn't really thought through her new living arrangements until the first morning she woke up in her new apartment to find the sink peppered with blond and black stubble. She also found a clump of noodles clogging up the drain in the shower/bath. Sakura was not pleased. She'd completely forgotten the whole 'one bathroom' thing.
On her way out the door she tripped over a bird's nest of tangled black and yellow wires as well as three separate piles of books on Steampunk, Cyberpunk and the Life and Times of an Amish Stripper, priest and donkey shit shoveler, respectively.
Later she posted this series of events on My Life Is Average from which she got more sympathy than her boss.
X x X
It was another week in the apartment before she figured out how those noodles got into the tub.
She came home from a 42 hour long shift to find Naruto sitting on the toilet (with his pants up, thank goodness) holding a set of chopsticks in each hand, getting ready to dig into what was one the most incredible and ridiculous things she'd ever seen. It was a bathtub full of ramen.
She promptly sat down next to him, stole a pair of utensils out of his left hand and began to eat. No need to let such a ridiculous quantity of edible goodness go to waste.
Sasuke came home an hour later to join them, acting as if this was completely normal.
It took her another week to learn that it was.
X x X
It wasn't long before Sakura learned what her two roommates did for a living. It didn't exactly take Sherlock Holmes to figure out the general idea based on the fact that she couldn't put a coffee cup down on any surface without it almost tipping over because she'd put it down on a bundle of tangled copper wire meant. Or the unintelligible math equations written on the glass coffee table in erasable marker. (Once, she'd smudged some by accident when she'd put her feet up to watch TV and when Sasuke came home he looked like he was about to cry. Really. Scout's honor.)
As for Naruto? Well, she'd accidentally taken a fantasy novel or two to work instead of a textbook. One of these had Naruto's name printed in precise gold lettering right under the title.
An Engineer and a writer respectively.
The three professions could not have been more different.
They were also very different people.
With very different glasses prescription.
Naruto wore inch-thick coke-bottle glasses that helped him read even the tiniest, most smudged script.
Sasuke was far-sighted, and because most of his work in computer engineering was on such a small, detailed scale, he wore sensible black frames.
Sakura, on the other hand, couldn't afford to have her glasses slipping down her nose, distracting her during surgery. So she wore contacts whenever she went into work.
One morning her alarm went off a half hour late. She dressed herself (unsuccessfully) in under ten seconds, set to brushing her teeth 3 later (after dragging Naruto by the collar out of it) and dropped a contact on the floor in her rush to put them in. She crawled around desperately, finally finding it (45 seconds wasted!) she stood up sharply, slamming her head on the underside of the sink. "KYA." She shrieked in pain and muffled her cries with her fist. Tears sprung to her eyes and she just gave up on the contacts altogether.
She passed Sasuke on the way out (WHO DARED WASTE MORE VALUABLE TIME THAT COULD BE BETTER SPENT STOPPING AT STARBUCKS ON THE WAY TO THE HOSPITAL) who gripped her shoulders firmly, searching her face, before demanding in a put-upon tone, "Why the hell are you crying, you stupid girl?"
"Ever the romantic!" Sakura shot acidly, muffling tears of hysteria.
She grabbed her glasses case off the counter and sprinted to her car.
Well…she'd thought they were her glasses case.
It turns out they were Sasuke's.
He, on the other hand, had taken Naruto's.
Who, because he had to misfortune of being the last to leave that morning, was stuck glasses-less.
X x X
Sakura was officially in love with Sasuke-
They were freakishly comfy. And she'd never gotten so many compliments in her life. And everything just seemed to have sharper edges and come in to focus a little easier. She decided that Sasuke was never getting them back, ever, and that was that.
Sasuke's experience was even better. Though he bitched and moaned about the inconvenience of such heavy spectacles, nonetheless, he found that they magnified everything far more than his usual eyewear did and that if he wore them on the very bridge of his nose they would be focused enough that he could see each individual wire satisfactorily.
His liking was not hindered either by Shikamaru and Neji, who laughed themselves silly as they watched him stare at his circuit board in completely concentration, tongue caught between his teeth, dark eyes squinting.
He finished long before they did.
Naruto's experience on the other hand, kinda sucked. He had to dig out some old contacts of his which burned his eyes and made everything farther than a foot from his face blur together. He was near-sighted, so he only needed the glasses for reading.
His research on his latest book had taken him to the basement archives of the local morgue. There was an urban legend surrounding a few unexplained deaths and he wanted to get to the bottom of it.
The darkness of the archives was cut only by the glow of his LED flashlight, the usual feelings of eagerness and the familiar shivers of anticipation were just the adrenaline rush he needed. This whole forbidden info thing had it's perks…
A clang came from upstairs as the door to the basement archives was thrown open and a pair of footsteps clomped down the steps.
Naruto panicked and ran for cover, but not before remembering to turn off his flashlight. Unfortunately, the contacts removed all shapes and made the world around him a blank slate of blackness.
He ran into a wall with a loud crunch.
X x X
"Hey Sakura, d'you think you could come bail me out of jail?"
"And if you could avoid mentioning this to the teme that'd be-"
"SASUKE," she was already yelling, "NARUTO GOT HIMSELF THROWN IN JAIL. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT."
X x X
While the boys are not exactly easy to live with, Sakura is no picnic either.
They are no longer allowed to lounge around in their underpants; the porn must (usually) be well hidden and neither have had the courage to bring a girl up yet.
Then there was the way she belted out emo rock music at the top of her lungs.
And…well… There were other feminine habits that caused even greater distress, although indirectly.
Sasuke didn't like to advertise is, but he was a geek. A ridiculous, obsessive comic-book, nerd-ragging, video-game playing geek.
He was also a certified level 78 Rogue Night Elf.
Hunched over his computer, he jerkily and efficiently jabbed at the keys, terminating his online enemies with enviable efficiency. Amaterasu was the terror of the online community; a loner with no guild. He was Sasuke personified and the man exalted in the fearful comments left in the chat window as he approached and his infamous name was read across internet connections everywhere.
He was just about to level up one final time to the highly regarded, ultimate, highest level: 80, when suddenly there was a thump, a whiz and a pop as his monitor turned black just as the lights when out. "NOOOOOOOO!"
"Sorry!" Sakura called from the next room, before running in, brandishing her hair dryer. "I am so so so sorry! Was that important?"
Sasuke twitched, his mind was gone, his expression vacant. When her words registered his eyes hardened into a would-be terrifying glare (if he hadn't been near bawling moments before) it seemed that they promised a thousand years of pain. "Yes. Probably only the most important thing I've ever done. Thank you." He guilted, shamelessly exagerating.
She put her hands on her hips and huffed. "World of Warcraft?"
X x X
It was three months into the arrangement that Naruto proclaimed it the anniversary of the day their twosome became a threesome ("And not in a dirty way, y'know? I mean, like I might consider it if it were just you Sakura-chan, but the teme? That's just nasty.") and they became complete. "Let's go out for Ramen to celebrate!"
They compromised and went to a local place, 'Samehada' for sushi.
Their server had blue eyes and wore a disconcerting smile. Her two boys edged closer to her on each side of the booth as he began to leer menacingly at Sakura. She shivered and ordered the first thing she saw on the menu to get him to go away faster.
When it arrived, they trio looked down at the giant platter where a lump of green with what appeared to be spines growing out of it, sat.
Naruto later swore that he saw it move.
"What the hell is it?" he asked.
The blue haired waiter smiled, showing all his razor sharp teeth. "Blowfish with sesame seeds and chives."
They nodded simultaneously. Satisfied, Kisame (or so his nametag proclaimed him to be, Sasuke was very suspicious of him) walked away.
"Isn't that the stuff if it's not prepared properly its poisonous?" Sakura asked.
"Who's up for nutella and a pirated movie?"
They wound up watching a Halloween slasher movie, where the murderer was an axe wielding Cinderella whose victims were her stepmother, two sisters, boyfriend and pet cat.
Naruto hid behind the couch while Sasuke, more discreetly, edged closer to Sakura and half hid behind her shoulder.
Later, Naruto accused him of putting the moves on her.
Sasuke was then forced to decide which he'd rather Naruto would go on thinking.
X x X
In retrospect, leaving Naruto in charge of October's rent was a horrible, horrible idea.
"Great," Sakura threw her hands up in exasperation and paced the length of the living room, "he spent all our rent money of porn!"
"Again." Sasuke added helpfully.
"And not even good porn either-! Wait… did you say again?" she blinked her bottle green eyes at him, "Does this happen often?"
"Well, what'd you do last time?"
"Nothing, Kakashi was very proud and let it slide."
"Of amateur zombie porn?"
X x X
On one dreaded Tuesday, Sasuke, Naruto and Sakura all had the day off. However, tragedy had struck and they were all left in stasis.
Their internet connection was down.
Shizune and Genma, friends of Sakura's from the hospital, had come over and were witnessing the unpleasant scene the three addicts made.
"This is just pathetic," Genma muttered.
Shizune, although she wouldn't have voiced it quite so thoughtlessly, concurred.
Naruto was the first of them to pull himself together. "We have no other option," he said with a dramatic sniff while brandishing an unlabelled DVD, "Our last resort: Amateur zombie porn."
"Did he say what I think he said?"
"…Must be a Tuesday thing."
X x X
In November, Sasuke came home from Thanksgiving at his family's home in Halifax with a plastic bin the size of a laundry basket, filled to the brim with cheese ravioli.
That night, they sat around eating it right out of the bin while using other pieces as poker chips in their epic tournament of texas hold'em.
X x X
Sakura giggled at her friend's silence. "You know that ellipses don't really count as participating in conversation, right?"
"Would you prefer I ramble on like the idiot?"
"No," she murmured, quieter now. She looked up at Sasuke from under her eyelashes and something in her eyes sparkled in a way he'd never seen before, their eyes met and they both simultaneously held their breath, as if afraid to end the moment. Although neither were quite sure what was transpiring. She pushed his stolen glasses back up her nose and the spell was broken. She pressed herself further into the door of their apartment, as if to escape the man who was subconsciously leaning closer and the train of thought that has jumped the metaphorical tracks and headed straight for unknown territory. "No I wouldn't, because then you wouldn't be you."
"…" he opened his mouth then closed it.
With a triumphant laugh she pointed an accusing, mocking finger at him, "Aha! See? I told you; ellipses!"
Before he could respond she had twisted the knob behind her back and dashed into the apartment. With an indulgent smirk of his own, he followed her.
Only to find their apartment in one of the oddest states yet seen.
There stood Naruto.
All twenty of him.
Sakura raised an eyebrow at the closest one, and then turned to Sasuke with a look of utter amusement on her face. "He takes narcissism to a whole new level, doesn't he? And I thought you took long primping yourself in the morning."
Without even sparing her a glance, Sasuke ruffled her hair in mocking. "Where's the real idiot?"
"Standing right next to Sakura I should think?" One of the Narutos animated himself and strutted over to the confused pair.
Sasuke mimicked him under his breath, taking on a few nouns and four letter words that made Sakura snort.
"What? They mass produced 'em for my book tour."
"They let me keep these ones though; I think I'm going to have to kick you guys out to make room for all this awesome."
Sakura rolled her eyes and chose to ignore the statement; Sasuke concurred wholeheartedly, smirked condescendingly and followed her into his bedroom. "Idiot," was his parting shot.
"Sorry!" he called back, "I can't hear you over how awesome I am!" The door slammed.
Naruto wiggled his eyebrows at the cardboard cutout of himself, "Heya handsome."
a/n: I wish I had a better punchline.
PS: review please? :D