The door pushed open, only to stop short. Karui sighed in the hallway outside of the apartment. It was probably that box that the idiot had forgotten to put away this morning.
The red-headed woman gave a small shove, hoping that whatever its contents weren't fragile. Upon entering her new home, moving boxes were strewn all across the space. Many were in the living room that opened up to her immediately. There was still so much to unpack and find proper places for.
"Why did I suggest this again?" She mumbled to herself as she threw her jacket onto the back of her couch and hopped over it. Once she was seated onto the cushioned furniture (or rather laid out), her eyes drifted to where a television would someday be. Karui stared at the empty space before she felt her eyes closing slowly. She was rather tired from today. Maybe she had been taking adapting to this new environment too lightly.
Before her lids shut completely, though, a sudden whirring noise caught her attention. Her hand reflexively went to the holster on her hip. She rolled off the couch with ease and inched over to the kitchen. Her first guess was that her blonde idiot of a cousin was up to something, but it never paid to assume anything. Karui knew that well first hand, having thought she'd easily melt into her new department.
One the case of who the kitchen culprit was, her prediction had been correct. Spiked blonde hair protruded from the male's head, his back turned to her while he wore a black tank with an orange spiral on the back and orange sweats. He was using her blender, various teas and coffees displayed on the countertop beside of him. Also, she then noticed, one of her bulletproof vest was out next to the drinking ingredients. What the hell was he doing?
Karui lifted her hand away from her gun to cross her arms over her chest.
"You do know she's going to kill you for touching her tea without her permission, right?"
She smirked as he jumped at the sound of her voice. Just how intensely was whatever he was trying? She moved to his side, peering over her shoulder.
"What're you doin', Whiskers?"
The look of surprise shifted into excitement almost instantly. His ocean blue eyes sparkled as he glanced between her and the blender.
"Learnin' how to make iced coffee."
Now Naruto since they were kids always toed around things whenever he was excited. Karui gave a roll of her eyes, leaning her back against the island in the middle of the space.
"Okay, I'll bite. Why are you making coffee?"
There it was. That full blast grin he did so well. He always had flashed as kids it when he saw her and her brother Omoi coming in the distance towards Uncle Jiraya's house for a sleepover. Guy hadn't changed at all.
"I got a job."
Karui stood in a stunned silence for several minutes. Had she heard him correctly? Naruto had stopped the device, giving her grim frown. The face look so unnatural on him that she laughed.
"I'm sorry! I thought you had you just told me you found a job. On our second day here no less."
Naruto narrowed his eyes and pouted before scoffing and continuing his blending. Karui laughed again.
"So how exactly did you manage that, Whiskers?" Naruto's bad attitude towards her teasing melted away as he shrugged.
"The old Uzumaki luck, I guess?"
He had been exploring the streets of Konoha. He was hoping to get this place memorized-not that he was planning to continue his "heroic" delinquency. He had promised not to cause trouble for Karui (there may or may not have been the blade from their family's sword against his throat when gave his word). Besides, here he was nothing but a passerby. Who was going to notice a disruptive yet well-meant attempt to help someone?
So there he had been roaming about, taking as much as he could of his new surroundings. It was then that Naruto passed a coffee shop and happened to peer into the glass.
Now all the customers were on the floor, which Naruto thought was weird. That is, until he saw the gunman pointing his weapon at one of an employee's face. The blonde's eyes widened at the sight. Now protocol, as Karui had attempted to drill into him, was to contact the authorities. But then again, by the time they got here the deed would be done and someone would either get hurt or the culprit would get away. She was going to kill him.
He backpedaled to the door and entered with a 'ding' of a bell. The robber turned to see who was stupid enough to intrude. Naruto grinned.
"What's a guy gotta do to get a coffee in this city?"
"-And I'm sure you can probably figure out the rest. I saved the day and they offered me a job. As of tomorrow, I'm an employee of the Toad Sage Tea and Coffee House."
Karui stared in disbelief. She wasn't sure if that burning sensation was pride or anger. Either way, she knocked him aside the head.
"That was for pilfering my gear and getting messed up before I got a chance to use it."
There was no point for chiding him for his actions. He'd only do it again just to rile her up and because of his stupid need to help others while being outside the law. "We're not in Kumo anymore. I don't need you cause me with your 'heroics'. The nickname of Kitsune is to stay home, got me?"
Naruto winced in pain, nodding. Karui headed back the living room, all the mysteries at home. There was one question on her mind tho.
"Where's Robin?" Karui asked, again using a nickname for their other cousin.
"Haven't seen her all day. I checked her room but she wasn't there."
"That's weird," Karui replied plopping on the couch again, this time upright. It wasn't like Karin to leave the house unless it was absolutely necessary. Now she couldn't help but wonder what their Uzumaki luck had gotten the other redhead into. As if to give her an answer, there was a click of the door.
Karin Uzumaki knocked the door into the same box from earlier.
"Naruto! I swear to kami! I asked you to move this box before you left this morning!" She cried.
"I'm busy okay! I, unlike you, have a job!" He shouted back.
"For your information, I'm also employed as of an hour ago." Karin huffed as she pushed into the apartment.
The whirring stopped, Naruto peeked his head into the living room to look at her.
Karin pushed her glasses up to check them back onto the bridge of her nose.
"Computer security. Luckily it's something I don't have to leave the house for."
Karui didn't want to know how, because she knew that the answer was something she didn't want to hear. But her curiosity was getting the better of her.
"How exactly did you get your position?"
"I hacked into-"
"You finish that thought and I'll arrest you here and now."
Karin rested her chin atop of Karui's head.
"Don't you think it's a little for the threats? If you pull them out so soon, your first day must have gone swimmingly. What happened?"
Karui gave a tired sigh and closed her eyes. How was she going to phrase this?
"I'm fine. Today went swell." She practically felt Karin roll her eyes in the same fashion she had done earlier. Naruto's light steps retreated back into kitchen, the machine making noise again. Her two family members went silent. Goosebumps went up Karui's arm at the quiet. The three of them had learned that if the needed information from one another, nothing grated their nerves than being quiet. It just wasn't natural for any of them to not make a sound.
Karui caved in quickly.
"Will you two stop it! It's so frustrating not hearing your obnoxious voices. I'll tell you what you wanna know, sheesh. So today I meet the other new recruits-"
"What were they like?" Karin interrupted walking around to sit next to her cousin.
"I first one I ran into was a guy. I think you'd like him, Robin. He was a pretty boy by the name of Sasuke-"
"Sasuke?" Naruto then shouted, peeking his head in again, "Guy sounds like a bastard to me."
"It was a bit of a stick in the mud, I'll admit. Apparently he comes from a long line of cops, tho. And just between you and me, I think he might be a little messed up in the head. He wasn't all too friendly."
"Alright, uppity cop with a possibly troubled past. That's nice and interesting but I wanna hear about what other crazies you have to work with!" Karin's red eyes shining with curiosity. Karui mirrored Karin's crossed legged stance.
"Okay, okay. So there were these other two guys. One name was Nara something, and he looked like the laziest chump I have ever seen. But according to his huge buddy Chouji, guy has an IQ of 200." Karin laughed, not truly believing it. Something like was really rare!"
"There was this other guy who didn't say much. I think he's name is Shino? The last three seemed as if they were really close and they aren't exactly new recruits. One guy's name is Lee and looked like an exercise nut. He's listed as one of trainers for our martial arts and god help me if I ever have to take a lesson from him. The other's Neji Hyuuga."
"He's a kind of quiet guy, seems really into the job. And, thankfully, I'm not the only woman on this squad. Really sweet girl from the chat we had, reminds me of how Naruto a little with how bubbly but determined she is. I think she and that Neji guy are an item."
Karui noticed. Karin had been counting off. Seven fingers for seven new people.
"So what made it today rough?" Karin questioned, tilting her head slightly not finding the problem. Karui shrugged in response.
"Dunno, really. It just feels as if I'm not going to fit as easily as I thought."
"Well why wouldn't it be? You left all of your Academy friends behind and all of these guys know each other one way or another. Of course you're the odd woman out"
"Thank you for that uplifting summary of exactly what I'm thinking and feeling."
"What I meant," she continued as she got up to head to the kitchen. "Was that eventually you get to know them and feel right at home among them. These things take time, Karui, and shouldn't be taken so lightly. As you're prone to do with many things. Listen, you'll-"
Karui caught her pause and got up slowly.
"Karin, it's not as bad as you think."
"Naruto," The anger in her voice seemed to lower the temperature of the whole apartment,
"What the hell are you doing with all of my tea?!"
Karui arose the next morning before the sun was up. She rolled out of bed, yawning well she stretched. Her stomach growled loudly now that she was no longer asleep. The rest of her outfit for the day could wait, she decided, as she walked towards the living room in her boxers and tank top.
Now normally she was the first one to greet the day, but to her surprise Naruto was already making breakfast.
"Morning," he said to her as she entered, cutting an eye in her direction.
She yawned again, this time covering her mouth.
"Mornin'" She mumbled, taking a seat at the island. Not too long after, a plate of pancakes sat before her and a mug of fresh coffee steaming next to it. Karui took a small sip, savoring the flavor as her brain started to wake up.
"Mhmmm. You used my favorite creamer. Why are you up so early? It's not like you at all." She asked as she cut her eye at him.
"I figured I'd head over there early to get used to the equipment. Besides. I thought you loved my cooking?" Considering how far had come making just microwave ramen? Yeah, she did.
"You might make the best barista yet."
Karui caught the corners of Naruto's grin. In a matter of minutes she devoured her meal, downing her coffee. Putting her dishes in the sink, she gave the cook a peck on the cheek. Once she was in her room, she shifted through her closest. Karui pulled out her favorite red button and her pepper gray striped pants, sliding into her vest after putting on her holster. Making sure her tie was perfectly aligned in her mirror, she called out to goodbye and left.
She had been smart enough to find an apartment that was a good twenty minute walk from the department. Not surprising, as she entered the building, she wasn't alone. The Uchiha was at his desk, working hard away at something. Tenten was talking to Neji, who glared at her as soon as she was in his line of site. A silver-haired man was reading a book as a man who looked a little too much like Lee somehow even more intense chatted loudly. Everyone else she didn't recognize.
Then the commissioner's door opened on the upper balcony. The room became eireely silent as they gave her their attention. Amber eyes just a shade darker than Karui's scanned the room, until her gaze landed on the redhead. She did a two finger jab in Karui's direction before motioning to come to the office.
Karui gulped wondering what she had done, quickly moving towards the room. Upon entering the beige suited woman sat behind her wooden desk, hands folded into each other. The title Commissioner Tsunade was printed neatly on a golden paperweight that was being used as a name tag.
"So you're Karu Uzumaki, eh?" Karui nodded slowly at the stern look she was receiving.
Then Tsunade's eyes brightened and her expression warmed.
"I'm surprised A would send us his most decorated recruit. From your files, you're remarkable talented for your age. Probably the best recruit Kumo's had in decades. You're a good a shot as an Uchiha, the master of various weapons to match Tenten, and an eye for detail like that Nara kid or the Hyuuga brat. Though it says you've got a temper and tend to take things too easily from time to time? This true?"
Karui flushed but responded with another nod and a "Yes ma'am."
Tsunade closed her eyes, clearly thinking of what she should do next with the new member to her force.
"I think patrol sounds good. 7 hour block watch via patrol car? With Tenten?"
Karui perked up at the name. Her first assignment was with the one person who seemed to like her? She was practically at the door, eager to start. Karui paused when Tsunade cleared her throat.
"Aren't you forgetting something, Officer Uzumaki?" What? What could she be-her badge! The newly made badge that carried the Leaf emblem glittered in the light. Karui clipped it to the hidden pocket inside her vest, grinning ear to hear.
"Now get to work!" Tsunade barked happily, "And may the Will of Fire be on your side."
Across town Naruto was hard at work. Despite being a little slow on the uptake, he had always been quick with his hands. Teach him something twice and he'd nearly master the task. His fellow co-workers looked in awe as he had seemingly take on the morning rush by himself. It was as if he was everywhere at once! It helped that the blond had a seemingly boundless positivity that was infectious. They had never gotten that many tips before in rush hour.
Once it had died down, Naruto gave a satisfied sigh. With the work he had done, an early break seemed possible. Before he could call out to his manager, a girl his age approached the counter. His blue eyes widened, taking in the sight before him.
The woman was conservatively dressed in a lavender sweater and blue jeans, but he was more distracted by her face. She had a cute button nose, pearly white eyes tinted slightly with violet, and long flowing hair the same color as the night sky.
"What can I get for you?" He said as he rest against his forearms, pressing them against the counter. He was hoping that stupid smile he had developed thanks to his Great Uncle was present. Naruto had gotten slapped one too many times thanks to that lecherous. By both the woman he talked to and his cousins. The woman looked up at the menu, taking a moment to decided. She opened her mouth to speak but was immediately cut off by another voice.
"It's really is her? The Princess of Konoha!" A young high school girl suddenly exclaimed, waving back at her table of friends. Sudden the group of girls swarmed her, giving her compliments and praise. Naruto raised a brow at the sight as the girls' thanked the woman, took a picture, and left the cafe. The woman turned back to him, quite flustered by the whole ordeal.
"Allow me to rephrase my question: what is it that you desire, your Majesty?" He gave her a cheeky grin, the girl turning two shades of red at her teasing.
She then crossed her arms over her chest and huffed at him.
"A double mint chocolate frappicuno with cream and two cinnamon rolls. Please."
"As you wish, milady," He replied cheerily, giving her a wink. As he stepped away from the micro-oven to make her drink, he couldn't help but ask, "So what's with the title, your Highness, if you don't mind me asking? I'm new around these parts and am about to go on my break, so I could use a nice story to pass the time."
He caught a glint in her eye, the embarrassed look all but vanished. Why was she smirking?
"Who do you think the other cinnamon roll is for?" She quipped, with an innocent face.
Naruto blinked in surprise. This place was going to definitely be more entertaining than he thought.
"I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name?"
"Hinata. Hinata Hyuuga."