Upgrading Chapter 15

Somewhere out there, someone else was walking into work with the same kind of bone-creaking relief that Kankuro was experiencing, he was sure of it. He couldn’t be the only one seeing work as a refuge. Because home was certainly not safe. Not with his brother cooing at all the different spiders and the threat of Naruto showing up eminent.

It was a near thing though. He almost didn’t find a replacement for his shift yesterday, but Chizu was all too happy to switch for a Saturday off. Which left Kankuro with a full shift of constant dishes and a different shift manager.

For several hours, Kankuro blanked out. He roused himself out of the exhausted daze only when he realized someone was grabbing a dirty mug out of his hand. He blinked and made a half-hearted attempt to take it back.

“Sabaku-san,” the very tall manager said. “Your shift ended 15 minutes ago.”

Oh. Continue reading

Upgrading Chapter 14

At first, he didn’t know why he was awake. Hell, he wasn’t even sure what his name was, never mind what time it was. Then he heard the ringing of his cell and he rolled over, arm snaking out and silencing it.

For a moment there was peace, and he dropped back asleep.

Only for the ringing to drag him up again with a vengeance.

“Fucking hell.” Continue reading

Upgrading Chapter 13

Hinata had just walked into the kitchen when she saw the new hire’s elbow nudge the stack of plates. Unfortunately for Kankuro-kun, she was too far away to help as the stack crashed down.

“Crap.” Kakuro sighed as he stared down at the minor mountain of shattered porcelain. Out in the serving area, they heard several chuckles. “Sorry, boss!” he called out, nudging the pile with his foot.

“That’s coming out of your paycheck,” the owner sang out cheerfully. Continue reading

Upgrading Chapter 12

Kisame’s house was in the suburbs, which was both odd and enlightening at the same time. When Shikamaru had gotten the address, some of his disbelief might have shown because Kisame had laughed and asked if it was really that surprising. After seeing the guy’s back yard though, it wasn’t that hard to believe at all. Continue reading

Upgrading Chapter 11

Kakuzu was seated in the Junk yard office, waiting for Hidan to return from his rounds. He had called out of work for the day, but he had still attended his afternoon classes. Then he’d killed time with Itachi on campus for a bit, checked in on Sakura—she was great, and thrilled to see him already going stir-crazy. (She signed his cast, snickering the whole time.)

When Hidan swung by campus on his way to work, Kakuzu had willingly let the albino drive off with him. Hinata was apparently already at work, and he didn’t really want to pace around an empty apartment with nothing to do. And so, the Junk yard.

At least here, he had his best friend. Hidan was an idiot, but he was entertaining. When he wasn’t on his rounds.

Somewhere in the depths of his backpack, a Chinese tune—one of those cheesy jingle-like ones—made itself known. Kakuzu’s brow twitched. Dammit, Hidan, stop fucking with my ringtones. Nonetheless, he retrieved it to see that Tenten was calling. He answered. “Moshimoshi.” Continue reading

Upgrading Chapter 10

Public Announcement: Try not to wake anyone up if this is the middle of the night for you.

-x-

Genma walked into the room, held up his hands for attention, waited until Kisame and Kyuubi paused in their work, and then crossed his arms. “Kakuzu is taking a sick day. What the hell did I miss, Kisame?”

Continue reading

Upgrading Chapter 9

It was a different Hinata who bustled from table to table. Smiling at customers, reciting with confidence the specials and her recommendations. Living on her own suited Hinata. The regular sex probably helps too, Tenten mused, covering a grin with a hand.

Sitting in a corner, nursing a huge hot chocolate, she sighed and looked down at the notes spread out over the table. This late on a weeknight, she had an entire booth to herself. And she needed it.

Bad enough that I’m out days before a midterm. She couldn’t give up the valuable study time as well. And Hinata understood that. Which is why both of them were keeping busy. After midterms though, the two of them were hitting their favourite mall for some serious girl time.

Tenten was squinting at the tiny side bar in a textbook when a plate of muffins was placed down at her elbow. “Oh!” She looked up blinking. “Thanks, Hi—” That wasn’t Hinata. “Kakuzu?” Continue reading