Lean on Me Chapter Fourteen
Chapter wise this is the largest fiction I have written between my two accounts, not in word count though. Special thanks this time goes to The King in White who can be accredited to making me write despite being sleep deprived from over studying. This should be the final part of this chapter which has gone on longer than expected.
Job and Education (Part Three)
As Sasuke sat in the waiting room, Naru and Rei arrived at one of the many pre-schools that were on Sasuke and Naru's list. This didn't mean that Naru would check every single one out. Instead she decided that she'd let Rei decide, after all it wasn't serious education. If anything it was more like a play area if she remembered correctly from her pre-school days, granted the memories were quite blurry, having occurred nearly 20 years prior.
As she climbed out of the car and walked around to Rei's passenger door she spotted a few children playing in front of the building which made her smile softly. She had always been fond of children, they were innocent and rarely judged others like adults did. As she looked through the car window she noticed the clear excitement on the little girl's face which forced her to smile at her as she opened the door and helped her out of the car.
Now that she was out of the car Rei started to feel nervous, this was clear in her body language as she clutched her red and white polka dot dress. Naru spotting this gave her a reassuring smile and extending her hand to her, something which Rei took appreciatively. "Remember it'll be fun!" Naru exclaimed enthusiastically to ease the girl's nervousness.
"Un" the pink haired girl replied softly, not as upbeat as usual, but clearly soothed by Naru's presence. As she clutched Naru's hand firmly she smiled before returning her gaze to the floor and allowed Naru to guide her through the front gates.
As they took in the sights a middle aged woman approached them from behind. "Can I help you?" she asked in an even tone, shocking both Naru and Rei who didn't hear her approaching.
As Naru turned around she took in the sight of the woman. She had long, untamed shoulder length black hair and unique red eyes. However that wasn't the only thing she noticed. "Ah, we're here for a visit" Naru began before directing her vision to the woman's stomach. "Congratulations" Naru added making the woman smile softly.
"Thank you" she replied before turning her vision to Rei. "And you are?" she asked the little girl who backed away and hid behind Naru's leg shyly making the woman laugh softly.
"R-Rei" she stuttered with half her face visible from behind Naru, at that the woman knelt down rather uneasily to meet her at eye level.
"Nice to meet you Rei" she said with a motherly smile which seemed to wash away Rei's nervousness. "I'm Kurenai Yuhi, but you're free to call me what you like" she informed the little girl who edged outwards, standing at Naru's side again. After this the woman gingerly stood upright, Naru lent her a hand gaining a small thank you from the woman.
"Hm and you are?" Kurenai asked Naru who froze for a moment. "Wait you look familiar... I've seen your face somewhere" she stated as she stared at Naru intently. "Ah you look like that Idol... uh" she said unsurely. "Sorry I don't follow recent musicians" she finished apologetically making Naru laugh.
"My names Naru" she said with a smile before looking side to side and leaning over to whisper to the woman. "And yes I am 'that' idol and I'd appreciate if you didn't tell anyone" she added before pulling back away.
"Ah I understand, mostly" she said with a smile. "Don't worry I won't tell anyone" she then added, gaining a relieved sigh from the famous idol. "Well let's not just stand around, how about I show you and your daughter around" she offered making Naru cough erratically. "I-is everything okay?" she asked making Naru nod her head.
"It's nothing" Naru replied as she looked down at Rei who didn't seem to be denying the claims, much to her surprise. "You just caught me by surprise this all" Naru replied, not refuting the claims to avoid the needless conversation that would follow.
"Ok then..." the woman replied as she guided the pair into the building which looked, at least from its exterior like the stereotypical day-care centre image. Down to the play area out the front, to the laughing happy children.
The interior didn't stray too far from the day-care like image, which was basically what pre-school was like. Toys littered the inside area which made Rei's eyes light up. Small low tables for children to sit at were situated at the far end of the room. The walls showcased hand-drawn pictures by the students most of which were crayon based works of art.
From Naru's angle she could the area behind the pre-school due to a see-through door where children were also playing, but instead of being on swing-sets and playing in a sandbox like area they were running around on a field of grass. In general it was quite a large facility, which felt very welcoming.
"This is where the children have their midday nap" Kurenai told the pair as she led them into a side room which had a lot of sleeping mats in, Naru knew Rei wouldn't be pleased at the thought of napping, but it was unavoidable for little children.
"Bleh" was Rei's response making the older woman giggle slightly, embarrassing the little girl ever so slightly.
"Rei sweetie, don't be rude" Naru chided making the little girl look away guiltily. "Sorry she's not a big fan of naps" Naru informed the woman who nodded her understanding.
"You'd find that most kids aren't" she informed as she led them out of the room. "In fact I'd think it strange if they didn't want to continue playing" Kurenai added with a chuckle as she smiled at Rei who nodded her full support.
"Yeah!" Rei chimed as she let go of Naru's hand, no longer feeling any nervousness. In fact it got to the point where she was walking a few steps in front of Kurenai. Naru did note however that there were no children inside at the time which may have attributed to her confidence.
"She's so adorable" Kurenai whispered to the red head who fervently agreed with the woman. "And that pink hair, I assume she asks you to dye it?" she asked curiously.
"Actually it's natural" Naru informed the woman who gave her a shocked look.
"A hubby with pink hair?" she asked jokingly making Naru laugh slightly.
"Ah no it's actually her mother's colour" Naru said reluctantly making the woman give her a strange expression.
"You're kidding right?" she asked Naru with an expectant tone, but when the idol shook her head Kurenai put a hand over her mouth. "I'm so sorry for insinuating" she apologised, something Naru waved off with her hand. "I just thought, you know, you get along so well" she continued bringing a smile to Naru's lips.
"I really don't mind" Naru informed her. "To be honest I'd go as far to say I am honoured that you'd think that" Naru said softly, making Kurenai give her an odd expression, as if she understood something that had yet to be said.
"Y-you can't have children can you" Kurenai whispered as Rei ran towards the end of the room to explore.
"No" Naru replied calmly, it hurt to admit it but she couldn't. "It's physically impossible" Naru added, knowing there was not much point in hiding the fact.
"I won't push the matter" the black haired woman replied with a small sympathizing smile. "Though with a kid like that" she said as she looked across the room to see Rei examining the pictures. "I'm sure you won't miss that much" she finished, confusing the idol.
"What do you mean by that?" Naru asked as she followed Kurenai across the room.
"Well she clearly see's you as something more than an older sister-type" Kurenai added much to Naru's delight, though she didn't show it because she doubted it as much as she loved the sound of it. "Well let's cut this subject short, the children should be returning inside soon and I need to sort a few things out" the woman told the red head before pausing for a moment. "Would you like to help out?" she offered.
"I'd love to" Naru said with a smile "just give me a minute" she said as she ran over to the little girl who was still surveying the pictures with childish delight.
From Kurenai's viewpoint she watched a scene what in most cases looked like normal mother, daughter interaction. She saw the red haired woman seemingly lecture the little girl who shook her head with a look of dismay on her face. However that quickly shifted to happiness, she guessed whatever Naru said to her pleased her.
Afterwards Naru walked over to Kurenai with a small grin. "What did you tell her?" Kurenai wondered curiously as Naru hummed a little.
"Well first of all I told her that I'd be going to help 'Miss. Yuhi' and then told her the other kids were coming inside and she didn't seem to take that well" Naru began as she turned back to look at the little girl. "Then I promised her that they will all love her because she is so cute, luckily she doesn't lack much confidence" Naru informed the woman.
"That's nice" Kurenai stated before motioning to one of the play areas. "Shall we get to work then?" she asked gaining a nod from the idol as they got to work.
As Naru helped out, a few children entered the building spotting the newcomer almost instantly. Whilst a few ignored the small pinkette, much to the little girls relief a few, mainly girls made their way over to her slowly.
At first Rei found herself backing off slowly, kind of stealthily but eventually she stood her ground as if it was some sort of challenge. Over the space of what seemed to be five minutes, she finally came in contact with one of the 'pursuers' returning her nervousness in the process.
"Play?" a little girl with brown hair and brown eyes asked Rei cutely.
Rei who was extremely nervous only managed to nod softly signifying that she'd like to play as well. In response the girl smiled brightly and grabbed her hand dragging her against her will towards the other children.
As she reached the other children who seemed to surround her with childlike curiosity shining in their eyes she looked at the floor shyly. "H-hello" was all Rei could muster causing at least two young boys to look away flustered.
As Naru turned around to see Rei swarmed by the children she smiled, thinking back on her blurry pre-school memories.
-Naru 5 years old, Flashback
"Why doesn't anyone play with me?" Naru asked curiously to nobody in particular with a doll in hand. Whilst most of the other girls played outside, Naru found herself feeling left out, especially since none of them would play with her.
So instead she found herself playing with a lone doll. It didn't bother her too much, but she did wish that the other girls would let her join in. As she continued to play a few boys laughed at her and walked off, once again this didn't bother her, boys were stupid after all.
As she spotted a few girls run past her, she decided that today would be her day, today they would let her join in. So after gathering her courage she stood up and walked over to them and as usual they gave her the same strange expression as always.
"What are you doing here?" one of them asked Naru who merely smiled in return, trying the friendly approach for a change.
"Can I play too?" Naru asked them, each one gawked as if she was an alien or something, this upset Naru but she kept it to herself.
"No!" the leader of the group said cruelly before turning around, not even gracing Naru with eye contact.
"But why?" Naru asked childishly as she waved one of the pre-schools dolls. "I want to play too!" she whined making a few of them laugh, this was highly confusing for Naru.
"Because you're different" they all said in unison, it was actually kind of spiteful, children were brutally honest after all.
"No I'm not!" Naru screamed back angrily, causing a few to laugh and a few to scream in shock. Before Naru knew it they had all run away, leaving her on her own once again.
After a few hours of playing on her own once more, her mother arrived to pick her up. "Mummy!" Naru screamed happily diving at the woman clutching onto her leg happily.
"Hey Naru, did you have fun?" she asked making Naru stop to think for a moment as she weaved her hand into her mothers.
"Hmm" she finally murmured once they got outside. "Yeah, but none of the other girls let me play with them!" Naru said childishly making Kushina turn to look down at her child.
With an odd expression, similar to what the pre-school girls gave Naru, Kushina chuckled. "Well I'm sure they'll let you play with them one day" she told her child.
"Really?" Naru asked excitedly.
"Really, really" Kushina replied as she guided Naru into the car.
As she came back to reality Naru chuckled. "Well at least now I know what was so different" Naru joked to herself. "If only I had come to such a realisation earlier" Naru murmured before walking off to help Kurenai, noting that the place was perfect for Rei.
"I think we have a winner on the first attempt" Naru thought in regards to a pre-school placement. "I think I'll discuss things with Kurenai" Naru finished, before getting back to work.
Meanwhile, Sasuke was still waiting. Over an hour had past and he was starting to seriously lose his patience. However as luck would have it, the woman he'd been waiting for walked into the waiting room personally. "Finally" he thought in relief instead of expressing it vocally since it would be a stupid move to make.
"Ah Sasuke" the spectacled woman said with a sultry smile, making Sasuke's skin crawl slightly. He was right in his assumption, he didn't like this woman. "You have no idea how long I've been looking forward to this" she continued with a glint of mischievousness shining in her eyes. "Now if you'll follow me" she finished, somehow spinning on the heels of her high-hell shoes and walking off, leaving no room for Sasuke to change his mind.
So doing as she wanted, Sasuke stood up and followed from behind, noticing how Karin swayed her hips as she walked, he did this involuntary after all she was walking in front. He had a slight suspicion that she was exaggerating her movements, but he wouldn't let that be known to the woman since he was desperate to get a job.
After what seemed like forever Karin stopped in front of a mahogany coloured door, which had Karin's name on it. "As you can see Sasuke, this is my office" Karin told him with a smile. "Usually we conduct our interviews with a panel of three, but this time around I have been given the exclusive offer of interviewing you on my own" she told him with a devilish smile. "Now come inside" she said in a tone that almost sounded sexual to Sasuke as she opened the door and entered the office.
As he walked in he was met by a bright sunlight. The office was like something a company executive would work in. A few bookcases, an expensive looking desk in the centre with a thin laptop placed on top of it, a water dispenser in the corner of the room, a small leather sofa, a TV perched in the top right corner of the room from where he entered and more importantly, full glass panel windows which showed a superb view.
Though he didn't intend to whistle he couldn't help himself, he was just so impressed at the sight. Karin attributed the whistle to an appraisal of herself, which gained Sasuke a bonus smile, which he didn't appreciate as much as the office view.
"Please take a seat, Sasuke" she said pointing to the sofa as she walked around her desk and sat at it.
As Sasuke approached the sofa he had to note that Karin was talking to him way too personally for his liking. "At all the interviews I've been to the interviewer has always called me Mr. Uchiha or something along those lines" Sasuke thought as he frowned.
"So what's going on here?" Sasuke asked, unable to contain his thoughts.
"Oh whatever do you mean, Sa-su-ke?" Karin replied as she placed her elbows on the desk, resting her head gently on her hands in the process. The smile she wore showed that she was more amused than anything else at Sasuke's question.
"This, all of this" Sasuke said as he near enough pointed at Karin, "the exaggerated movements are a little bit of a giveaway" Sasuke said moodily before biting his lip. "Shit lost my temper and blurted out something stupid" Sasuke inwardly scolded himself at his outburst.
"Fu fu" Karin laughed uniquely making Sasuke raise an eyebrow in confusion. He was expecting her to kick him out for his outburst, not to laugh as if it was of no consequence. "I'm glad that you noticed" she added making Sasuke's right eye twitch. "I wore this just for you today" she claimed; in reference to her skirt which clinged to her just right to show off her 'assets'.
Once again Sasuke twitched. "This isn't an interview, it's more like something you'd hear on a cheap porn flick" Sasuke thought angrily. "Whatever" Sasuke said as he swallowed his anger. "Can we just get on with the interview" he said coarsely. "...Please" he added, correcting his rude tone in the process.
"Why of course" she said as she removed her glasses and leant back in her chair. "But first of all, I must ask you" she said with a suspicious gleam in her eyes. "How much do you want this job?" Karin asked surprising Sasuke who sat rather stiffly on the sofa.
"What?" was all Sasuke could say, especially since by how Karin sounded it was as if she was mocking him.
"Well you haven't turned up with anything, no CV, no picture of yourself to show you can actually model, I was expecting a little more" Karin said 'disappointedly' making Sasuke frown. "Don't tell me you didn't know how we do things in this industry" Karin stated the obvious, just to watch Sasuke squirm.
"Erm..." Sasuke mumbled lamely.
"And that's why I'm asking you Sa-su-ke" she added again now leaning forward. "How much do you want this job?" she said in a firm tone. "Or more specifically, what are you willing to do to get this job?" she added as the firm tone melted into something more seductive and sultry and by the smile on Karin's lips, Sasuke could tell the woman was genuinely posing him the question.
"How exactly should I answer such a question?" Sasuke thought to himself, leaning back slightly to actually think about what Karin was asking him. "The reasons for wanting this job are providing for Rei, for Rei, so I can provide for her... alone" he thought as he brought a hand to his chin. "Let me ask you this" Sasuke started, interesting the young businesswoman.
"Go ahead Sasuke" she invited still smiling at him as she took in his visage with her eyes, enjoying the view in the process.
"How much can I make from this job?" Sasuke asked determinedly, needing to know how much of his pride he was willing to sell for the job.
"Let's just say, you could easily support yourself and a few others with money to spare" Karin replied as she took an interest in her nails, as if such amounts of money were beneath her. "That's if you're good" Karin added before smiling. "However I can assure you, take this job and you will be good, I'll make sure of it" Karin claimed confidently, clearly having faith in her own abilities.
"And what's the guarantee of this?" Sasuke asked.
"I've never been wrong, why do you think I have such an office despite being so young?" she said, highlighting the fact that she was young to him as if she was advertising herself to him.
"Personally I originally thought it was because you flaunted your way into that seat" Sasuke replied quickly before facepalming gently. "I can't control what I say in front of her, she's just so annoying" Sasuke thought as he removed his hand to see Karin grinning, as if she enjoyed the comment.
"Just keep going, I like people who don't hold back" she told him, once again sounding like she was trying to seduce him.
"As much as I'd like to tell you how much I dislike you, I won't" Sasuke directed his thoughts towards her, he knew that there were some things that you didn't say when someone told you such a thing. "Ahem" he coughed making the woman smirk. "So back to the point" Sasuke steadied the conversation. "Are you sure I will be able to support both myself and another?" he asked the woman.
"Most certainly" she replied. "I assume it's for both you and that precious little thing you had with you when we first met?" Karin asked, this time not laying on the 'charm' in her words.
"She's not a thing, she's my daughter bitch" Sasuke thought as he faked a smile. "Yeah you're right" Sasuke said hesitantly. "So about what I'm willing to do" Sasuke said shakily, he knew he'd be swallowing his pride.
"Yes?" she asked expectantly.
"Anything" Sasuke added.
"Excuse me?" she asked in a pleased tone with one arching brow.
"Anything, I'll do anything" Sasuke said through grinding teeth. "If it allows me to provide for Rei alone then I'll do anything" Sasuke thought as images of Naru and Rei flashed in his mind. "Alone, for Rei... and Sakura" he thought resolutely.
"That's exactly what I wanted to hear" Karin replied as she got out of her seat and weaved her way slowly over to the sofa, placing herself down right next to the man, causing him to stiffen instantly. "You do mean anything right?" she whispered into his ear making him shiver slightly.
"Y-yes" he said shakily, he had a good idea of what Karin was really getting at.
"So if I tell you, the job is yours, you'll do anything I want?" she whispered again as she pressed a hand against his leg.
"Y-yeah" Sasuke replied again. "But I sure as heck don't want to" he thought.
"Prove it" Karin ordered as her hand made its way up his leg slowly.
"How do you want me to prove it?" Sasuke replied, regaining his nerves. After all it wasn't like he was inexperienced at this.
"Hm" she said. "For now a kiss will do" Karin told him, making sure to emphasize the words 'for now'.
"Is that all?" Sasuke asked, that wouldn't be too hard for him, it was what she wanted afterwards that was potentially worrying. "I still don't want to even be close to you though" Sasuke directed his thoughts at Karin once more.
"Oh disappointed?" Karin asked slyly. "Unfortunately we can't have that meeting after this interview that I was hoping for. I have to go to entertain some executive at a business lunch instead. So as much as I'd love to do more, I just don't have the time to clean up" Karin told him confidently, clearly showing her long-term intentions of this deal.
"And I'll definitely make a lot of money from this if I agree?" Sasuke reiterated his previous questions.
"Definitely" she replied with a smile.
"Fine" Sasuke finished as he leaned over and furiously locked lips with the businesswoman, feeling no pleasure in the act as he felt a bit of Karin's tongue. "It's for Rei, for Rei" he thought as he mirrored Karin's actions, intensifying the kiss, pushing her down, much to Karin's enjoyment. The kiss continued too long for Sasuke's liking, which meant any time within the proximity of 0.1 seconds and onward. But when he tried to pull away, Karin wrapped her arms around the back of this head and pulled him back down. Eventually after what seemed like forever, Sasuke finally escaped his 'self-inflicted' torture.
"Mmhm" Karin said hummed in delight. "You're as good as I was expecting, and just as forceful, oh I think we are going to get on just fine" Karin told the man excitedly as she got back upright. "For now though" Karin said as she brushed some of her red hair back into place with her hands. "I'll congratulate you on getting the job. I look forward to how this relationship is going to develop" she finished, extending her hand as if she was sealing the deal.
Sasuke looked at the hand and decided there was no turning back and took it in his own. "This is like selling my soul to the devil" Sasuke thought disgustedly. "Thanks" Sasuke replied, rather violently but Karin didn't seem to take offense.
"I think you should go now, but before you do" she said before rushing to her desk and fishing out a card. "Here's my personal number, call me so I can get your contact details, after all you're going to have work flying in left right and centre, Sasuke" she said as she handed him the card.
"Ok then" Sasuke replied so he could end the conversation. "I'll call you sometime later" Sasuke finished as he walked out the door and ran away from the office to look for a toilet to clean himself up in, after all he didn't want Rei seeing him in a compromising position, not again.
As 3:30pm arrived, Naru and Rei sat in the black sports car which was parked in Taka Modelling Agency's car park. Rei having enjoyed her time at the pre-school decided she wanted to go there, which was perfect for Naru, because she too found the place to be brilliant.
As the two waited and chatted from time to time Naru spotted the figure of Sasuke walking out of the main building looking rather out of it. "I wonder what's wrong with him, did he not get the job?" she wondered as she beeped the horn of her car to get his attention, winding the window down at the same time to shout out to him. "Hey Sasuke over here!" she shouted catching his attention.
In mere moments Sasuke was at the car door and entered the passenger side.
"So how'd it go?" Naru asked, with Rei repeating the same question in a hyper tone.
Sighing slightly Sasuke looked down towards his feet, Naru noticed something was off with him but before she could say anything he muttered. "I got the job" stunning her.
"Yay!" chimed Rei from the backseat. "Congratulations daddy!" she cried out making Sasuke smile gingerly, something what Naru noticed instantly.
"Thanks honey" he said with fake enthusiasm that could fool a child, but it couldn't fool Naru. "What's wrong with him?" Naru thought in worry as she leaned across to look at him, noticing that up close he was pale.
"Are you okay?" she whispered into his ear making him laugh.
"Of course" Sasuke said, but it wasn't convincing.
"You won't tell me?" Naru added, sounding slightly hurt, but at the same time surprising Sasuke, who thought he could easily lie to the red haired woman.
"...No" Sasuke replied as he looked out the window. "But I did get the job" Sasuke added relieving Naru slightly.
"That's good" Naru said with a small smile. "Rei's chosen a pre-school and I agree with her one-hundred-per-cent!" Naru exclaimed energetically, hoping to liven Sasuke up slightly in the process.
"Really?" Sasuke asked in an unenthusiastic tone. "That's great" Sasuke added, unsettling Naru who started the car up in response.
"I'll find out what's going on" Naru thought as she put the car into gear and pulled away. "For now though I'll let him think he's tricking me" she continued as she pulled away from the agency.
Hm so here's the final part to Job and Education, damn Karin you bitch. She just had to add to Sasuke's problems.
Just to let you know, if you are wondering about any of Sasuke's actions when he was making up his mind, all will become clear during this arc.
This is my second chapter in two days, amazing from me, but I am making up for the chapters that I didn't write earlier.
Just a quick point, I freaking hate writing kiss scenes with pairings that I don't support as you can clearly see by what I wrote :)
I hope you enjoyed and I hope that you leave me your thoughts in a review.
I'll try and update soon, however it should be noted The more Reviews, the faster the update.