Im back, as promised, if not a bit late. Sorry bout that. Anyhow here's this next chapter, I hope you can get with it!
Please excuse the grammatical and spelling mistakes I've made, I type this stuff up on my phone so it's not always the most accurate keystrokes. There's definitely ganna be some shit I missed, but I've read through it like three times so it should be at least readable.
Anyway, let's get on with it!
Disclaimer: I literally own nothing.
Naruto woke up feeling like a million bucks, still feeling fresh off the win from the previous night. He separated himself from the cozy bed the hotel provided and went to the bathroom to wash-up. The teen gave his reflection a long stare, before splashing some cold water across it.
His face was still red and slightly bruised from the small amount of punches he did take. Santiago may have been shorter, and may not have been as fast as Naruto, but the man had certified bricks for hands. The cool water soothed the minor throbbing and he groaned in pleasure.
As he did his morning rituals, a knock sounded through the room. With a toothbrush hanging out of his mouth, Naruto peeked through the peephole.
Recognizing who it was he swung the door open, "Yo! Whatcha got for me?" He asked, though it didn't come out so clear.
The old man chuckled and handed him an envelope, "Your check."
Naruto tossed it on the table. Quickly, he ran to the bathroom and spit out the toothpaste before racing back to the table. "Don't rip the check trying to open the envelope!" The old man teased.
Naruto gave a sarcastic laugh, before tearing the end open and sliding the check out. Taking a look at the check amount a disappointed expression painted his face.
"Two grand? That's it? No performance bonus? That was easily KO of the night right?" He asked Hiruzen.
The old man nodded, "That includes win bonus kid. It was 500 to show, another five to win, and then you got an extra thousand as performance bonus."
The sight of the check, had visibly brought his mood down. "Well, if I spend it right, it should be ok. Thank god plane tickets are already paid for. Hopefully this hotel won't fuck me over though… I need money for rent, groceries, and I still need to pay the Garza's for watching Sara..."
Hiruzen clapped his shoulder in comfort, "Well, you've always got a place at the gym. There's a room in the attic that's always open, for you and your sister." The old man knew he wouldn't take the offer. Naruto was just too prideful, but he'd always let him know there was a place for him.
"I'll keep that in mind Old Man. I should probably go deposit this, they've got American banks here don't they?" He inquired
"I'm pretty sure I saw a Bank of Americas somewhere." Hiruzen shrugged and then walked to the door. He opened it, but turned back to say one last thing, "Hey, don't worry about the money right now. Keep putting in your work and I'm sure it'll all pay off! I promise you." With that said, he shut the door and let the fighter sit with his thoughts.
"How can I not worry, this is prize fighting isn't it?"
With a sigh, Naruto dropped that line of thought. He knew that things would be fine, he just had to be smart with his money.
Having made a plan for the day, Naruto leisurely got dressed. He wore a simple black long sleeve with the word 'Killa' printed in yellow across his chest, with casual blue jeans and orange Nike sneakers.
Picking up his check, he put it in his wallet and slid it into his pocket. He grabbed any other necessities and was off to start his day. Hopefully it'd be easier to find a bank than he thought.
He woke up feeling like a million bucks, but now he felt more like two grand.
Naruto scratched his cheek as he looked over the map he asked for at the service desk. He hadn't the slightest clue what he was looking at. He didn't know any of the street names, and he doubted he'd remember. Why not take that map, one may ask? Unfortunately, they wouldn't let him leave with it. It was 'hotel property', according to the front desk at least.
"Damn, I'd take a taxi but I don't have any pounds or form of payment besides my card…" he'd lucked out that this particular hotel took USD as well as British currency. Unfortunately that wasn't the case everywhere.
So, with a sigh Naruto returned the map and left the hotel. Hopefully the bank wouldn't be too hard to find. The teen straightened his shirt and walked out of the building.
He hadn't taken three steps before he was swarmed by a crowd of people.
"Naruto Uzumaki?! That fight was nuts! Would you mind signing this for me?" A man asked.
Naruto was frozen for a second. He'd signed the occasional autograph every now and then, but he'd never had a crowd for him. London seemed to be a hotspot for him.
Quickly recovering, he smiled and grabbed the pen and poster, "Sure! Who do I make it out to?"
The man responded and Naruto finished his signature, before moving onto the next person and then the next. It was all fairly similar, except for a photo every now and then.
The crowd seemed to be never ending, and while Naruto certainly appreciated the love, he did have things he needed/ wanted to do. The only problem was, he didn't know how to disengage without seeming like a douche.
Suddenly though a finger tapped his shoulder, "Excuse me, Mr. Uzumaki. You're ganna be late for a meeting, if we don't leave soon!"
Naruto turned, and made eye contact with a familiar face. "O-oh Emilia, right! Sorry you guys but I've really got to go, I'll see you around!" With that said he and his savior broke away from the crowd.
The two turned a corner, and Naruto took a breath. "Thanks for that, I was looking to deposit my check and then got swarmed. I didn't really have time to plan an exit strategy…"
"It's quite alright, things looked a bit intense back there."
"Yea, it was surprising. Really didn't expect it, if I'm honest!"
Emilia smiled, "Why not? You put on quite the performance last night, it may have been a round 1 KO, but it was easily the most entertaining fight of the night! I'm actually surprised that you look like you've been in a fight, that guy hardly hit you!"
Naruto blinked in surprise before he composed himself, "Oh! I'm glad you enjoyed it! And well, he may not have hit me much, but he hit really hard." The blond traces his hand over the faint bruises on his face.
Emilia hummed in response, the two settled into a short silence before she spoke again. "Would you mind if I asked you a question?"
Naruto chuckled a bit, before scratching his cheek, a nervous tick he'd picked up over the years. "Well originally, it was for the money."
Emilia blinked at the simplicity of it, it was really that simple?
"You see, it's been just me and my little sister for a while now. So it's always fallen on me to take care of her. I'd made money doing odd jobs or landscaping but, there was these guys that ran a, sort of, underground street fighting thing after school. There was a decent amount of money to be made there, and I'd been in more than my share of fights, growing up in a pretty shady neighborhood. I actually ended up making more in one night fighting, than I did an entire month waiting tables."
"Oh…" The actress didn't really know how to respond. She hadn't expected his history to be so somber and she couldn't really relate. Her family may not have been wealthy, but there was never a sense of poverty.
"Sorry…" The teen apologized sheepishly, "I didn't mean for this to come off like a sob story."
Emilia shook her and waved her hands, "No! Don't be, I asked… So that's it, it's about the money?"
Naruto smiled once again and shook his head, "Unfortunately, money doesn't seem to be as good here, as it was unsanctioned. Ass backwards if you ask me. I only made 2 thousand for last night, and that includes performance bonus. I thought this was supposed to be prize fighting?"
"Wow… that's not even half what I made on a small part of an indie film." Emilia thought. "Then why do you still do it? Surely there are other things you can do, maybe an office job part-time until you get your diploma?"
Naruto shook his head no, "I dropped out of school awhile ago. I've gotta pay for rent, food, and clothes someway right? School was taking my working hours."
Emilia stayed silent this time, not knowing if there was anything she could say to help his seemingly poor situation.
Naruto looked over and noticed her conflicted expression, "Don't be so down about it. Trust me, if I really didn't wanna be doing this, I wouldn't be."
Emilia looked back up to the taller teen, "It's true that I started this for money, and ultimately this is how I pay for mine and my sisters needs. But this has become my obsession, I'm in love with this sport. My pride won't settle for becoming anything less than the best now."
The actress stared at him in utter admiration. The way he spoke made her feel that it was only inevitable that his words ring true.
Naruto blushed when he realized that he was rambling, "Sorry, I didn't mean to preach…"
"No, I admire your confidence. I hope you won't mind if I steal some for myself."
Naruto smiled back, recognizing that she understood and respected where he was coming from. No doubt that she had similar dreams in her field of profession. Who knows, maybe his mindset could push her in new directions.
"Now, I heard you mention that you were looking to deposit a check? Do you even know where the bank is?"
"Ahaha, no… I, uh, I don't." He admitted awkwardly.
Emilia smile brightly, "Well you're in luck! I'm free, and just so happen to know the nearest bank! You do owe me lunch though!"
It had been roughly an hour and a half since Emilia lead Naruto to the nearest bank. As it turned out, he could just cash his check for USD and then deposit that via atm. Which luckily, his hotel had plenty of.
Not long after that, Emilia offered to be a sort of guide for the blond. He'd stated that in hopes of preparation for this fight, he'd forgone any kind of sightseeing. The young woman refused to allow him to miss any of the beautiful sights her country had to offer!
Currently though, the two sat comfortably in a small diner. Super friendly staff and the food wasn't half bad either. It was a very comforting atmosphere.
After that, the old man near lost it! Ever since then I've never been allowed in the gym unsupervised!"
Emilia erupted into a fit of giggles as she listened to Naruto recall the time he painted everything, including equipment, in his gym orange.
"Ahem-Forgive me, it's hard to believe that you had time to do all that!"
Naruto scoffed and smiled, "Oh, I've got pictures to back it." Naruto flashes his phone to the woman across from him teasingly. Just as he did so his phone lit up with a notification.
"Oh, you've got a message." Emilia told him
Naruto rose his eyebrow and flipped the phone around to face him, it was an Instagram notification. Sliding the little icon he opened directly to the notification. It was a tagged photo of him punching his opponent, from last night, in the face. The frame captured exactly the moment that his fist turned Santiago's head, it was humorous really. The caption read, 'Mates head nearly exploded. Great fight NUzumaki!'
Naruto smiled and liked the photo, looking up slightly he spotted Emilia's curious eyes.
"What was it, if you don't mind me asking?"
The blond shook his head and showed her the photo, "A fan tagged me in a post, normally I have notifications off but this is a new phone. I haven't really had time to set it all up."
"Aww, that's so nice! Well not the guy getting hit, but you know what I mean..." Her eyes wandered the screen, "So is this like Facebook?"
Naruto chuckled and hummed, "Kind of, except you don't have to be friends with someone to see their posts. It's really more similar to twitter, but it's focused on pictures, you can't just post words."
Emilia oh'ed and nodded, "Ah, so it's something of a blog then?"
"Exactly, you don't have one?"
The woman shook her head negatively, she'd never really been one for social media.
"Huh, wouldn't have expected that. You're super friendly and outgoing, I bet you'd gain a lot of followers fast. Not to mention, as an entertainer, it's probably a smart move to make."
The got her curious, looking a bit more interested Emilia questioned the teen, "How so?"
"Well considering as entertainers, what really makes us shine, are our fans. Using social media, you can grow a large and loyal fanbase. I imagine that looks good when you go in for an audition or your manager pitches you to a producer. Not that your acting skills won't matter, but I'm sure it's helpful to have numbers behind you. Not to mention, it's a great marketing tool."
Seeing the woman nod in understanding, but still looking slightly lost, Naruto decided to explain how it played in his favor, "Like, for me, the more tickets I can sell to my fights the more money I get. There's a link pinned to my profile bio and whenever I sell a ticket from there I get a piece of it. It's also actually how I got my first sponsorship!"
Emilia blinked owlishly, she never really thought that things like that could really be of much use practically. But here, she was proven wrong. "Wow! That sounds amazing, how much followers do you have?"
"Hmm, right now, 14K? It grows steadily, who knows, maybe one day I'll get a million?" He jokes.
"14 Thousand?! That's quite a lot already no?"
"Ehh, it's pretty good I imagine but there's plenty of people with more! Honestly, it'd be a good idea to look into. And I'll tell you what, when you make one, I'll be your first follower!"
Emilia smiled, "I think I'll take you up on that!"
The two lulled into a short silence before their waitress brought them their check, and as promised, Naruto took care of it. Or was it Hiruzen…?
"Hehe, sorry old man. But you did leave your card with me!"
"Alright! Now that lunch is taken care of what's say we go see some more sights, London's fantastic!"
"Oh sure, I'll show you my old drama school! It's actually pretty close to here, funny story how I got in though."
"Oh really? Story time then."
The duo left the diner, the chilly air not even bothering them as they lost themselves in conversation.
Ah… What a great feeling it was to have a friend. Naruto couldn't remember the last time he'd felt so relaxed. He had no worries at the moment, not about his sister, not about money. Right now he was just enjoying conversation and the beautiful architecture of London.
Right now he was sure, he loved it here.
Truly sorry for the long wait y'all. And for a chapter that's not even long. Believe me, I understand how frustrating it is to wait on a story and have it be short.
BUT, hopefully things can start moving along faster. Personally I find starting things off to be the hardest, so hopefully with the end of this I can really start to get into the swing of things. Next chapter starts with a small time skip so that I can get onto the next fight.
We'll have maybe one two more fights here before I move into the UFC and things start to REALLY roll.
Now onto something else… Naruto's got a sister? Whaaaat….? Originally I had Menma in mind as a younger brother by a couple of years. However, I really thought that a sister would help me out more in the long run. Didn't really feel like 'Naruko' was an appropriate name either, so I chose Sara which apparently means Fortune in Japanese. I'm not sure, I liked it so I picked it.
Also, i plan to have some characters from Naruto be in the gym. Not a whole lot, but just some familiar names to have around. And again, don't really have a pairing decided so don't be afraid to drop a suggestion in that review section. Never hurts to have a few ideas thrown my way.
That's about it y'all, hope you enjoyed this one! I plan to have the next one out in about a week or so, but don't quote me on that!
Catch you next time!