Waking up with a blonde bombshell in his bed was the last thing Naruto had expected to experience anytime soon. That said, it was definitely welcome.
She had slept on her side next to him wearing a set of somewhat revealing blue night clothes. As she slept, she had pressed herself against his left arm with both of her arms wrapped around it. His arm was actually asleep still, though it was probably for the best. He had a feeling that Tsukiumi would beat him half to death if he was inappropriately touching her while she was asleep, after all.
After a few minutes, he reluctantly decided to get up. Slowly extricating himself from the bed, he moved over to his closet and quickly dressed himself. He was not the type that cared much about looking stylish. Sneakers, jeans, and a plain t-shirt worked well enough for him.
Once dressed, he headed to the kitchen and started making pancakes. It was a favorite of his, even if it was not a traditional Japanese breakfast. His mother was not the most talented woman in a kitchen, so she typically made pancakes for breakfast when he was growing up. They were rather easy to make, after all.
Just before the last pancakes were done, he heard footsteps.
Glancing over his shoulder, he saw Tsukiumi step into the kitchen, already dressed. "Husband, what is this?" She sounded confused, a fact that made Naruto quite relieved.
"I got up first, so I thought I'd make some breakfast," he told her before hesitating. "You do like pancakes, don't you? I probably should've asked before I started cooking."
"It is a wife's duty to cook for her husband," she told him, though her eyes lingered on the stack of pancakes that he had already made.
Surprisingly, Naruto did not feel the desire to point out that they were not married. The bond between Ashikabi and Sekirei appeared to be even stronger than that of husband and wife. At least as far as he was concerned. After all, he could actually sense her emotions through the bond.
That was not to say that he did not react to her words though. Instead, he found himself almost laughing. Judging by the look Tsukiumi shot him, he had a feeling that she could sense his emotions as well. "That might have been a wife's duty once, but things have changed. You don't have to do anything you don't want to. If you want to cook for me, I'm not going to complain, but I don't mind cooking for you either."
Picking up the spatula, he moved the last of the pancakes from the frying pan to the plate and then fixed a plate for him and Tsukiumi.
"You never did say if you liked pancakes though," he said, looking at her curiously.
"I have never had any," she replied, looking away. "I will overlook thy trespass into my duties this time, but do not expect it to continue."
As she said that, she took one of the places from him and moved to the table so they could eat.
That actually made him smile. She was definitely unique among the Tsundere that he had met before.
It was somewhat amusing to see Tsukiumi's confusion as to how to eat pancakes. The only reason he had forks in his apartment was to eat pancakes with, and it seemed that Tsukiumi had never used one before. Naturally, it did not take her long to figure it out since it was fairly obvious, but the short moments of genuine confusion on her face were cute.
"I guess we need to go looking for another place to live," Naruto said once they were finished. The apartment was great for a single guy, but it did not seem big enough if he was going to have someone else living with him. "I'll probably need to get a better paying job if we're going to get a nicer place though."
"You are proving to be wise, husband. However, it will not be necessary to obtain a new job," Tsukiumi said before showing him a black card. It said MBI Member on it. "All Sekirei were given one of these. They do not have a limit and therefore can be used to take care of all our expenses."
Naruto was not a prideful person. He did not once think to refuse her offer out of some misguided attempt to prove that he was a man or capable of looking after himself. He was more pragmatic than that. As long as he was not sacrificing his morals in the process, it did not matter where the money was coming from.
"Sounds good to me. Before we go looking for another place to live, I need to pay someone a visit though," Naruto told her. "One of my mother's friends runs this boarding house in the city. I wanted to stop by and see her today anyways, and she can probably help us find a place to live."
She looked at him curiously, and he instinctively knew what she was wondering.
"I wouldn't want to live at her boarding house though. She's best friends with my mother, so anything I did or said would get back to her. Since the Sekirei Plan is supposed to be a secret, it's probably best if we didn't have someone around that would pay attention to what we're doing."
He decided not to mention that the main reason he had no intentions of living there was because Miya had a strict policy on no illicit activities and he did not want to get in trouble for breaking her rules.
"Very well. I will come with you," she said, looking him firmly in the eyes.
He wanted to tell her that it would be best if he went by himself, but he knew that she would not listen. He would just have to come up with an explanation so that he did not get in too much trouble over the situation.
The pair's first stop after leaving Naruto's apartment was Izumo Inn. It was a fairly nice boarding house in the northern part of the city.
When they arrived, Naruto was met at the door by a beautiful purple haired woman dressed in a kimono.
"Naruto-kun, it is wonderful to see you again," she greeted with a smile. Looking at his companion, her eyes seemed to narrow for a split second. "And who is your friend?"
"This is Tsukiumi. She's my girlfriend," Naruto told her before Tsukiumi could say anything. His Sekirei was not happy about being referred to as such, but he had warned her that introducing her as his wife to his mother's best friend would have been a very bad idea.
"It is a pleasure to me you, Tsukiumi-san," Miya said. "My name is Asama Miya."
"Likewise," Tsukiumi said politely, though her tone sounded somewhat forced. "Naruto tells me that thou has been a friend of his mother's for years."
"Indeed," Miya said, not saying anything about Tsukiumi's way of speaking. "Kushina and I met through our husbands when they both still worked at MBI."
Her words seemed to surprise Tsukiumi a great deal.
"My husband has since passed on, but Kushina still visits at least once a month," Miya continued. "As her son and his girlfriend, you will always be welcome here."
She led them to the kitchen as she finished speaking.
For a while, the three engaged in idle conversation, not discussing much of anything. Miya had explained that she was having a few new tenants at the end of the week, but that was about the most exciting thing she had to say.
After nearly an hour passed, Naruto decided to broach the important subject at hand though.
"Miya-chan, do you know of any houses that are for rent in the area? My apartment's a little small for the two of us, so I was hoping I could find a small house to rent," Naruto asked.
"Oh my, you two must be serious about each other," Miya said, hiding a smile behind the sleeve of her kimono. "I'd offer to let you stay here at the boarding house, but Kushina would be very displeased if she learned I was letting you live together with a girl under my roof. However, I may know of a few places that you could rent in the area. But if I help you, you have to stop by more often and visit though."
"Thanks," Naruto said, genuinely thankful. "I'll be sure to stop by at least once a week."
"Thank you as well, Miya-san," Tsukiumi said, slightly bowing her head.
In the end, the pair found a nice two-story house within a half of a mile from the Izumo Inn. It was rather expensive, but they actually went ahead and outright bought the house with Tsukiumi's card.
They spent the rest of the day moving everything from Naruto's apartment to their new house and doing some shopping.
Overall, it was a nice day, despite nothing eventful happening.
Author's Note: Well, I can't say I'm happy with the way this turned out. It being so short is only one part of it. I was working on this chapter even before I posted the story, yet I just couldn't seem to get it to work right. So I ended up making it a fillre chapter to bridge the gap between the first chapter and what is happening next in the story.
Anyways, thanks for reading and reviewing. It is always nice to see that someone enjoys reading my work.