Naruko: The Story Retold
A/N: So my first chapter is doing better than I first thought it would. Thank you to everyone who has read and favorited it. If you come across anything you would change, please feel free to let me know via PM. I do mean it when I say thank you. It feels incredible to see my story has gained even one new follower.
Prologue 2: Kushina
Naruko is still 3 at this point.
Kushina used the first month to get used to her new job. She learned everything that she could; including the make-up and wardrobe differences between the Flowers, as well as what she was responsible for doing. She chose to take on the roles of a Lily as well as a stand in Daffodil. As a Lily she was supposed to be sitting with customers, pouring them drinks, talking to them. Ultimately her job was to drive male customers into hiring one of the Garden's lovely Roses for the evening. As a stand in Daffodil Kushina had to learn the songs that people were likely to request as well as improve her singing, something that Minato would have agreed she needed if he was still around.
Learning how to do the make-up was difficult at first but she caught on. Poppies where supposed to be kept innocent and clean, so the most they had would be soft colored eye shadows. Daffodils needed to draw more attention on stage than Poppies, so they tended to have on more vibrant eye shadows as well as lipstick that matched the color. Lillies had to be sultry, this affected their make-ups by having them use more mysterious, and usually darker, colors such as midnight blue and almost royal shades of purple. Lotuses were more formal dancers, to reflect their traditional dancing they did a full white face with eye shadows and lipsticks that matched their kimonos. Roses, who were the bedroom workers, use a more lusty color scheme of pinks and reds.
"Hitomi-san, I need some help. I have a couple of customers in the next room, but I can't get rid of the guy in the corner booth." At this call Kushina looks up from counting her latest tip, not a bad tip but could have been better for how much that guy drank. She looks over at her fellow Lily, who sometimes works as a Rose, Ai to see her pointing towards the corner booth where she is just able to see the back of a man's head and his shoulders. The man seems familiar from what Kushina can see, long wild white hair, green haori under a red vest. This is more than enough to worry Kushina so she happily agrees and walks towards the other room until she hears the man laugh. That is what gets Kushina moving. That laugh could only belong to Jiraiya, one of the last people she wants to run into here at the Golden Garden.
"Hey Ai-chan, where did you go? I'm feeling lonely with you over there, talking to that black haired babe. Is she new? Invite her over," came Jiraiya's voice right as she luckily turned away from him. Kushina had to fight every one of her instincts to keep herself from hitting him. Ai turned back to Jiraiya and shook her head before walking back to the table. "No, she needs to go take care of a group in the next room. Maybe next time you are in town Jiraiya-sama." Kushina could actually hear the false smile in Ai's voice and laughed softly as she opened the divider to the group room and stepped inside.
Thirty minutes later and Kushina was ready to call it a day. The group that Ai had pawned off on her had to be her least favorite type. They were perfect gentlemen to her and the other Lillies at first but this was their first time in the Garden, so they thought that if they flashed some Ryo they could get the type of attention they wanted from any of the girls. Once they started to drink they got worse. Hands wondering and lips getting a little too close. "Come on Hitomi-san, let's go find somewhere a bit more private." The man on her right begged, his hand wondering up her thigh and face a little too close to her ear for her comfort. She gently removed his hand and put it back on his lap.
"I've already told you Daichi-sama. All the girls here are Lillies, if you want to have some private fun then you need to talk to one of our Roses. I would recommend Emi, she is a very beautiful woman who is willing to do almost anything." Kushina happily told him as politely as she could. It was after she stopped talking that Daichi's hand found its way further up her leg. He was rubbing her thigh, slowly working his way towards her womanhood. Again she moved his hand back to his own lap and was about to walk away, strictly to "get more sake" for the rest of the group. She was actually going to call on Zabuza to remove Daichi from the building. After only getting one step away her wrist was grabbed by the rude customer, who pulled her back into the seat.
Once she was back in her seat Daichi's hands worked their way over her body. She was really starting to get angry now. This was the exact reason she hated these types of customers. She could deal with him easily, over 100 non lethal ways and exponentially more in lethal methods. However she could not allow her cover to be ruined, or to ruin the reputation of the Golden Garden. As Kushina was going over what to do she saw Naruko walking by the window and chose to call out to her daughter, "Naruko-chan, can you please go get Zabuza-san and let him know that there is a nasty Weed (the Garden's term for undesirable patrons) in the back room?" Naruko looked over at Kushina and nodded after giving an angry look at the man trying to touch her mother.
"Hai kaa-san. Do you need anything else?" Naruko was already turning back around, about to run to the front while she asked, waiting for any other requests. She was in a new outfit that Kushina had bought her since they started living in Koriyo. It was a pair of shorts as well as a slightly roomie sleeveless shirt, both made of a black material meant to wick away body sweat. Naruko had begged for it so she could try and convince Zabuza to train her. Naruko had been asking the tall man daily since the first time she saw him kick out a group of 6 Weeds. They had happened to be a bunch of thugs who were causing trouble at a few of the other brothels for some guy named Gato.
"No, Naruko dear, just that." Kushina smiled happily as Naruko nodded and ran off. She continued to try and push Daichi's hands away gently while she waited for Zabuza. She was getting annoyed now, she could even feel some of the Kyuubi's chakra leaking into her system, not much but enough to cause her hair to start standing up. She inhaled deeply and closed her eyes, keeping herself as relaxed as possible. That was when Daichi broke the last straw, his finger rubbing her crotch through her skirt. Her eyes snapped open as she was about to back hand the Weed, just as Zabuza appeared behind him and lifted Daichi out of his seat and threw him out of the room. He then followed after the prone civilian, letting out a burst of focused Killing Intent.
"Get out of here you worm." At the low growling voice Daichi stood up and ran away. Zabuza then turned back into the room and cleaned up whatever mess he had made; a flipped table, three dropped sake bottles, and two smashed sake saucers. "Are you okay Hitomi-san?" he asked as gently as he could, his voice still holding his natural growl. Kushina smiled at him and knelt down to help him pick up the bits of smashed saucers. She took a napkin from one of the undisturbed tables and put the pieces on it, as well as taking the pieces from Zabuza.
"Yes, I am Zabuza-san. Thank you for always being here for us." Kushina replied, her eyes closed and voice gentle as she smiled. She meant it too. Originally she had been hesitant to trust him at all. However in her month of working in the Garden she saw how he was never malicious in his treatment of Weeds. He only did what he had to, and that may have been just how he worked as a ninja, but it had inspired her to get to know him better. So in that month she would often sit with him in the main room, both enjoying a single drink each for a couple of hours after the bar had closed, and talked. However she had never expected something to happen, she had honestly developed feelings for him.
She had still not told him the entire truth of her and Naruko's life, or even their real names but she had always focused on him. It was only about three nights ago that she realized her feelings. The thought of it had made her laugh at a very awkward time, Zabuza had been telling her about why he was now a missing ninja, or nuke-nin. She immediately apologized and told Zabuza that she had just realized something that had seemed impossible to her. At his less than polite prodding she admitted her growing feelings for him and even went as far as to kiss him. After she pulled away she blushed and apologized for her bold behavior this time before excusing herself to her and Naruko's room for the rest of the night. As she got up to leave, she heard the Demon of the Bloody Mist mumble something and immediately asked what he said.
He was looking right into her eyes as he admitted to having feelings of his own for her. "I like you too Hitomi. I can't really say when I noticed it but this feeling won't leave me alone. Every day when you get in for work in the afternoon I want to tell you that I hate the thought of you working here, throwing away your life in a fucking brothel. The only things that keeping me from breaking and trying to talk you into leaving here is that I know I will miss you, and that you are doing this for your daughter. Other than having been able to meet you, the best thing about you being here is that you aren't one of Orchid Ayame's damned Roses." He knew enough of her story to know that she was a widow, the widow of a ninja in fact, and that she was still trying to heal from that loss. That was why he had done his best to never let on about his feelings for her. That is why he never tried to force his emotions onto her, he didn't want to crush her with yet another burden. He stood up from his seat and looked her in the eyes , faces only inches apart before he leaned in and gave her a kiss of his own.
They both took a step away, collecting their breath after the kiss. Kushina had tears in her eyes as she took his hand in hers and thanked him. In his confession he had given her a new freedom she didn't know she had wanted. She wanted her feeling to be mirrored by another the same way they had been when Minato was alive. Even after those three years of traveling, the last words that Minato's clone spoke to her had stayed in her heart, Minato had wanted her to find love again, and she was sure she was working her way to exactly that.
Next chapter will probably take some more time. I want to use that one to explore Naruko's time at the Garden while expanding on Kushina and Zabuza's relationship in the background. I honestly couldn't help myself from writing this up. I have a few chapters like that in mind where I know what I want to do in them and I just can't help but want to get them on here.
Till next chapter folks, keep yourselves happy and healthy.