In a sudden panic, I felt all my blood rush to my face. I leaned quickly over the banister and swung my arms in a wide arc.
“No! No, no, no. It’s a practice session.” I gulped in a deep breath before I continued shouting. “No outsiders.”
He tilted his head to the side in a puzzled manner, but I could hear the smile in his voice when he replied, “You sure?”
“Yes!” I practically screamed.
Beside me, Fuku groaned in disappointment. Behind me, the two devils boys murmured something about the heat being too much for me.
I ignored them, keeping my eyes trained on the familiar blond below. For a second there, it looked like he was going to just ignore everything I’d just dictated, and come up to the roof anyways, but one of the construction workers next to him grabbed his attention and started leading him back into the building’s half-built infrastructure.
I sank onto the ground beside Fuku and let out a sigh of relief.
I brushed my bangs from my forehead, and murmured, “How would you guys like to leave, and go get some food?”
They all made wonderful sounds of approval.
“Good. Let’s scram.”
Training-wise, the day was a complete waste, but I do think I redeemed myself in the eyes of the boys by buying them a ridiculous amount of junk food. And I couldn’t help but splurge for myself as well. I needed comfort food. When it was time for the kids to go home for the day, I followed suit, and ended up passing out on the living sofa after vowing I’d never eat again in my life.
I was sent on a mission the following week – one that I could have done in my sleep, in all honesty. I was glad to be away that week, however, because it was the final stretch of days Fai would be in Konoha, and by the time I was scheduled to return, she’d be long gone, which was a thought that made me grin like the village idiot.
During the mission, when I wasn’t concentrating on the task at hand, I was either brooding over my feelings and wondering what the hell I’d gotten myself into or zoning out and daydreaming about him. It really was quite mortifying to be caught off in lala-land, thinking about Naruto when another member of the mission was calling my name or waving their hand in front of my face to get my attention. I was sure I’d heard them whispering about whether I’d walked into a tree or something and temporary scrambled my brains.
But while Naruto had been prevalent in my thoughts, I’d come to no conclusions and hadn’t made any decisions on what I was going to do with myself. I was still as lost as ever, wading uncertainly through an ocean of doubt and hesitation.
When my teammates and I arrived back to Konoha after our week-long mission, I’d made a beeline to my apartment to wash the accumulated dirt from my skin and hair. I honestly did like running amuck through the trees, but drew the line of enjoyment at looking like a mud monster with dried, caked mud flaking off every part of my body. It was hard to even tell what color my clothes were beneath the grime.
I avoided street traffic by sticking strictly to the roofs. I entered my apartment through the bedroom window after I finagled the glass open. With a heavy sigh, I had moved to peel off my shirt when I heard a knock at the front door.
I was so close to ignoring the person, but instead grumbled with annoyance as I trudged toward the door, leaving a trail of dirt flakes in my wake. I skipped looking through the peep-hole and whipped open the door with a scowl on my face.
I half expected it to be him, but I was surprised find absolutely no one. Scrunching my brow with confusion, I stepped into the hall, looked both ways, and still found nothing.
“Moron,” I mumbled under my breath at my phantom visitor.
It wasn’t until I turned around to go back into my apartment that I noticed the scarlet colored slip of paper attached to my door. With a frown, I snatched it and closed the door behind me.
My mood plummeted as I read the note addressed to me.