Jade hung her head as she heard the ringing of the doorbell. "Godd***it. What now?"
Deidara poked her shoulder, urging her to get up. "Maybe clothes, un?"
"Stop poking me, Deidara." Jade stood up, pausing for a second to crack her back before heading to open the door.
"But… it is fun, un!"
"Shut up." Jade stalked out of the room and into the entryway, opening the door with a rather displeased face.
She gazed down at the cardboard box on her front step, completely unsurprised. As was by now the usual, there was a note on top, written in a messy scrawl.
Yeah… no. But don't worry, we did some adjustments to play around with the, er, appendages we gave Naruto. It'll be fine.
This was mostly Opal's doing, really, though I helped out for a few things. Girl's got a strange way with clothes. So does Di, for that matter, but we don't really trust that she'd do this without some of her personal flair.
So… yeah. Here's some clothes. Have fun. And… yeah. That's all.
Jade picked the box up, weighing it in her hands after she noticed a slight irregularity. "Well, I guess it's not as heavy as the others due to the lack of an Akatsuki cloak. Makes sense… I guess."
She turned around and immediately bumped into someone. Jade glared up at Deidara's smirking face, and shoved the box toward him. "Either get out of the way, or carry the box."
Deidara frowned. "…Either, un? What does—?"
"Oh, just move." Jade tried to push past him, and felt a sense of mild gratification as the man moved for her quite easily.
She didn't bother to look at Naruto as she reentered the room, just handed off the box to Deidara and politely asked (re: ordered) him to help Naruto figure out what he was supposed to be doing. "I, on the other hand, am going to sit down and keep playing music in hopes that something comes up."
Jade didn't really care all that much what happened, actually, so long as it didn't cause her trouble. Of course, she'd be angry if they damaged her property, or if they did something that would get Carlos on her case again, but overall… well, she didn't really care.
Jade let her head fall back and groaned. "C'mon, Dei. Do you really have to bug me like this?"
"Irritate me. Purposely try to get a rise out of me. Make me angry. Any of this getting' through to you?"
"Good. Now, either got back to kitten form or sit down and shut up." Jade slouched slightly further down.
"Er…" Deidara slowly sat down, looking slightly confused.
"What now?" Jade rolled her head to the side, looking down her nose at him.
"What does 'either' mean, un?"
Jade narrowed her eyes at him, but got ready for another round of 'explain the word' nonetheless.
Naruto… wasn't quite sure how this had happened. He wasn't planning on it, certainly. All he'd wanted to do was hold and pet Sakura-chan, and then he decided to do the same with his other precious people, like Jiraiya, and Kakashi, and baa-chan, and even Sai and Sasuke.
Sasuke had tried to his and scratch him, but the others had put up with it, and a few glares from various people, along with some urging from Itachi, had lead him to allow Naruto to cuddle and coddle him like the rest of the Konoha nin in his lap.
Then Sai decided to go and sit on his head, which was weird, but Sai was weird, so it was okay. And Jiraiya got bored or something, and went to sit on his shoulders, but Jiraiya was weird too. Then Jiraiya was saying something that Naruto didn't understand to Tsunade, and then Tsunade climbed up to his shoulder too. Then Naruto felt Sai batting at his ears, and that was weird and a little annoying, so he told Sai to stop. Then Sakura started purring and yawning in his lap, and Naruto decided he wanted to take a nap too.
Then… something happened. He guessed that Taka had probably followed Sasuke, and so had Itachi, who'd pulled along Kisame, probably, and the Ame trio had probably followed Jiraiya, and he thought that maybe Deidara had put Sasori there, but…
Most of the kittens were asleep on him at the moment, and he wasn't quite sure why. Kakuzu wasn't there, and neither was Orochimaru (for which he was thankful), but other than those two, all the kittens were curled up on his chest, head, or most popularly, his tail. Even Tobi and Zetsu, though he didn't really know why.
Apparently, the fur was warm, soft, and extremely comfortable.
And Deidara was taking a picture.
Jade was standing next to him, smirking. Well, it was half a smile, half a smirk. She probably found it cute, but funny… or something.
"Nanda?" Naruto would have rubbed an eye and sat up to look at them, but he could feel a kitten on his head and more on his chest, so that probably wasn't the best idea.
"You're adorable." Jade stated bluntly.
Naruto stared at her without comprehension, causing Deidara to translate for him.
His face then started burning. Not literally, but when the embarrassment hits, teens are prone to blushing, particularly in manga, anime, and copious amounts of fanfiction.
Jade started laughing, startling more than half the kittens out of their sleep.
"Even if the rest of this has been time-consuming and worthless," She took a deep breath. "This scene, right here, was totally worth it."
"What about my birds, un?" Deidara frowned at her. Well, it was really more of a pout, but seeing as Deidara was an S-rank criminal, Naruto didn't want to risk annoying him, even if he didn't know what they were saying.
"Yeah, yeah, the birds were nice, too." Jade patted his head with a condescending smirk. Deidara seemed to take it in stride and turned to look at Naruto again.
"You really need to work on your English, un, kid. I mean, I'm not the best at it myself, un, but you need to at least study up a bit. You won't understand a thing, otherwise." Deidara drawled, self-important and arrogant.
Naruto made a face. Studying?
Sakura seemed to realize what he was saying, and slapped his cheek with one small paw. Unfortunately, seeing as she was the smallest kitten of all, and not using her chakra enhancement, her slap was… ineffectual.
No, not quite. Rather, she had a different effect than intended.
Naruto ended up thinking she was cute, rather than seeing her admonition, and started cooing over her, completely distracted.
Carlos stumbled down the next day, half-asleep and distracted by a sheaf of papers in his hands.
"Yeah, yeah…" Carlos yawned. "What's for breakfast?"
"French toast. You know where the plates, syrup, cream cheese, and cutlery are. Don't make anything sticky, or you're the one that's cleaning it up. Real food first, and then you can go for the sweet stuff." Jade was at the stove top, a bowl of beaten eggs and slightly stale bread next to her.
"Mm-hm…" Carlos got what he knew he'd need, and then sat back down at the table. "You're still acting like a miniature adult."
"Still acting like you're the older sibling and like I'm the younger kid that needs looking after." Carlos elaborated.
"Tch." Jade snorted, setting some more bread on to cook. "You're smart, but you're a little short on common sense. I can just see you, five years from now, when you're living alone, so focused on your work that you forget to feed yourself."
She laughed at that, jabbing the air in her brother's direction with her spatula. He shrugged, not denying a thing.
"Hopefully I'll have a girlfriend to live with by then to remind me." He waggled his eyebrows in Jade's direction. "¿Fuera tener una gordita para me, no?"
Jade rolled her eyes, and pointed at the plate holding all the toast. "Comete, Carlos."
"Si, si." He laughed her off and grabbed a few pieces, smearing on the cream cheese.
Breakfast passed in silence, the kittens all having been relegated to their smaller form and sent to eat elsewhere. It was a comfortable silence, not an awkward one.
"You know…" Jade started, "I know it's a bad idea to show them their own show, if only because some of them have secrets that they don't want getting out, but… well, it wouldn't be that bad to show them a different anime, right?"
"What are you thinking?" Carlos leaned back in his seat, hands behind his head. "I mean, I was still hoping this was a dream, but I'll deal with it. Still, what show are you thinking on?"
Jade shrugged. "You know One Piece, right?"
Carlos screwed his face up a little. "That's… the pirate show, right? The one that makes no sense whatsoever?"
"Yeah, that's the one." Jade chuckled. "It's a laugh and a half, but it's got some messages that I'm sure some of them would enjoy."
Carlos shrugged. "Well, it works for me. You're the one that knows this stuff, anyway. Not like it really affects me."
Jade laughed lightly and turned her stare on her brother, a strange smile gracing her face. "Oh, but it does. You're watching with them."
Jade only watched with a smirk as several of her guests, her brother included, bawled at the death of the Going Merry.
Just a week. They really had been obsessed. Sure, some filler had been skipped, but that was filler. Completely unnecessary.
Of course, finding out that Kakashi's cure had been a nice little nose full of Icha Icha had been… awkward.
A/N: I know, I know, another short chapter. But I have an excuse this time! I'm in the middle of moving (at the moment, I'm in a car), and most of the week has been spent cleaning to make sure we can get our deposit back. Feel sorry for me: I had to clean the same wall four times because of my brother and sister leaving handprints and footprints on it.
Also… I just suffered over a fifty percent drop in reviews in the last two chapters, and I'd really like to know why.
And… I'm discontinuing Kiriban review Omake prizes. I just don't have the time or drive. I'm finishing up this one and the one that I promised to Ttran2323, but that's all.
Ja ne, Phoenix
Omake for the 200th reviewer. Prompt: for Carlos to introduce the kittens to a sport and have them become obsessed fans, to the point of wearing the face paint and all.
…I went out of my way with this one. I also can't remember who suggested it, so…
"We're watching… Dodgeball?" Carlos frowned at the DVD box in his hands. "Why?"
"Because it's a funny movie that doesn't take itself too seriously." Jade answered, plucking the box from his fingers. "Come on, it'll be fine."
"If you say so…" Carlos sat back in his armchair, dreading what may come.
Fortunately, the movie itself passed without any incident larger than a few people throwing popcorn at one another.
Unfortunately, Carlos then decided to see what would happen if he showed them some actual competitive dodgeball.
There wasn't much, so he decided to see what would happen if he taught them the rules instead.
A word to the wise: don't teach powerful shinobi sports that involve projectiles, no matter how soft, particularly when there are already existing 'factions' for one reason or another.
It will end badly in nine cases out of ten.
Now, Tsunade needs to go back to healing Sasuke's broken femur and Sasori's concussion.