Hiro didn't know what she was more angry at- her father for keeping secrets from her, or the new disruption in her life.

On one hand, she had always wanted a younger sibling, but on the other, her tranquil life coexisting with her dad was suddenly gone. No doubt that with a child on the way, Kurenai would want to move in, not that Hiro blamed her.

In fact, Kurenai seemed like a genuinely nice person. She'd have to be nothing short of amazing if she had Asuma this smitten. Sarutobi Asuma never seemed the type to be interested in love. Hiro had never heard him compliment a woman, much less look at one in a way that was other than platonic. She had always chalked it up to him still not being over the death of her mother.

Hiro hadn't realized until she was several blocks into the south side that she had no phone and no clue where she was at. Taking a closer look at her surroundings, she recognized the run-down houses and rejected lawns as being on the very edge of the neighborhood, though it wasn't a savory place to be. It had a reputation for its shady dealings and high crime rate after dark, but it was barely past noon and there wasn't a soul in sight. The ne'er-do-wells must be in bed for the day.

Looking around, she spotted a dilapidated park, complete with an abandoned, rusty swingset. Great, a place for children to play in a city with no children. The park itself was comprised of old metal equipment that looked like it would fall apart from a strong gust of wind. The swing wasn't in much better shape but it held her weight as she nestled down onto the hard wooden seat. It gave a creak as she shifted her legs but it stayed put.

Maybe life wouldn't be too different with Kurenai and a baby around. Maybe Hiro could actually experience some semblance of a 'real' family. Not that her family wasn't real… But Hiro had never had a mother, so perhaps she could really bond with Kurenai… If all went well once she returned home to talk to her dad.

She didn't realize how much time had passed since she had sat down but the metal chain supporting the swing was beginning to burn her hand. Hiro began to stand up as a voice sounded from behind her.

"Hey-"

Hiro yelped and jumped, spinning around to confront the intruder.

Before her stood a man who had to be at least six and a half- no, seven feet tall. "Holy-" and he was blue. "Shark shit," Hiro gasped stepping back.

The man looked offended at first but cracked a grin, revealing a row of sharp, pointy teeth.

"Are those real?" She asked, lurching forward. "Your teeth?"

He looked so confused for a moment but snapped out of it with a boisterous laugh, "Yes, these are my real teeth." He snickered. "What about you, are those your real teeth?"

Hiro nodded meekly. "That was a dumb question on my part, man. I apologize if it came off as rude, I just think sharks are really, really cool."

The shark man nodded sagely. "I concur. I'm Kisame by the way."

Hiro stuck out her hand to shake Kisames and gaped at his large paw. "Hiro. Dude you're like… Huge."

Kisame snorted. "And you're tiny. Lets be friends so people will see us hanging out and think, 'what an odd pair, I wonder what their story is'."

Hiro felt a laugh rise from her throat. "Alright, lets be friends."

Kisame looked around the street. "It sure is a ghost town during the day in these parts."

Hiro shrugged. "I don't know, I got lost and saw this park so I just sat down."

"You got lost?" His voice took an incredulous tone.

Hiro shrugged. "More or less."

Kisame cracked a grin, "Where do you live? I can point you in the right direction."

Hiro shook her head, a few loose strands of brown hair falling to the sides of her face. "I'm kind of... at odds with my dad right now, we had an argument."

"And you just took off, huh? Don't you have any friends you could have gone and seen instead?"

Hiro thought of Deidara momentarily, but she shrugged. "I don't really have any friends, plus the one guy I do know lives in this crazy house with a bunch of crazy people. The last time I was there, I think one of them was sacrificing a goat."

Kisame's face dropped as she spoke, a grimace growing on his pale features. "...So you met Hidan."

Hiro gaped. "You live at New Dawn?"

Kisame nodded slightly, stepping back. "So which one of my roommates do you know?"

"Deidara-san. We've met a few times. He's nice, but a bit odd." Hiro said, "B-But I didn't want to bother him. Konan-san also intimidated the crap out of me the last time we met."

"We don't get female company often. She's too eager to make friends." Kisame offered with a shrug. "She just gets too intense, she really means no harm."

"Hm. Sorry I called you all crazy."

Kisame's grin spread across his face once more, "You spoke no lie. Besides, you really haven't seen crazy yet."

Hiro didn't want to know what he meant, so she didn't ask. However, she did let him lead her back into town, toward the ominous dormitory and the small store at its corner. Hiro let Kisame stalk up to the house while she went into the store and purchased a packet of peanuts and a lemon tea with the emergency stash of money she kept in her locker at work.

Steeling herself, Hiro walked up to the door and rang the bell. 'No turning back now,' she thought to herself as she waited.

Konan answered the door. "Hiro-chan from the convenience store is back!" She called up the stairs, and there was some shuffling around and an excited yelp. "They like you." She stepped back and let Hiro in. She slipped past the blu-nette and up the stairs.

"Hiro, when I said to come by and see us again, I didn't think you'd visit so soon. Or were you just so swept away by my devilishly good looks and manners that you couldn't resist-" Hiro had barely made it in the door to hear Deidara's welcoming speech, just in time to see a short, irate redhead tackle him from behind and put him into an armbar.

"Deidara, what have I told you about leaving your laundry on the bathroom floor-" He paused to look up at Hiro. "Ah, company. One moment please," he stuffed a sock into Deidara's open mouth and stood up, releasing the poor blonde from his hold.

"Er-" Hiro began, but Sasori circled the island and began scrubbing his hands.

"Seriously, Danna? That couldn't have waited?" Deidara spat, pulling himself up from the ground.

Tobi bounded into the room then, knocking Deidara back over. "Convenience-store-girl-chan is back! Hello!"

Hiro sweatdropped as she was wrapped in a big, tight hug and spun around in a circle. "Hello, Tobi. My name is Hiro."

"Yes, Hiro-chan! Tobi is glad you came back!" Tobi squealed, releasing her. "Did Hiro-chan come back to see Deidara-san? Is it..." He lowered his voice, "Love?"

Hiro flushed, shaking her head. "No, no… I just needed somewhere to go."

Deidara came to sling an arm around her shoulder, "You came to the right place, as this is 'somewhere'."

"Deidara, stop bothering the girl and go pick your laundry up." Sasori told him sternly.

The blonde sighed and disappeared down the hallway. Hiro had been so distracted by the chaos that she hadn't noticed Konan come in behind her and take a seat on the couch, casually watching the wanton violence with a content grin. She gave a small smile to the older woman, but turned to the redhead.

"I am Hiro Sarutobi, it's nice to meet you."

Sasori nodded his head, "Sasori Akasuna. Pleasure." He had begun boiling some water in a small kettle on the stove in the kitchenette and offered a mug to her now. "Would you like some tea?"

Hiro held up her can of lemon tea, "Thank you, Sasori-san, but I'm fine."

Sasori shrugged and set the mug on the countertop.

She turned her attention to Kisame, who came lumbering down the hallway with Uchiha Itachi.

"Hiro-chan! You decided to come by after all!" He cheered, patting her head in greeting.

"Against my better judgement." She smiled softly, then turned to bow to the Uchiha. "Uchiha-san, we have not met before. I am Sarutobi-"

"Hiro, yes. We have not met, but I do know of Asuma's daughter." Itachi's pitch black eyes pierced hers for a moment, then he bowed to her. "Welcome to our home, I hope Sasori-san hasn't been terribly rude to you, he seems to be in a sour mood as of late."

"Yeah, Tobi defaced his drawing with pink glitter unicorn stickers." Kisame cackled.

"First of all, Hoshigaki, it was not a drawing, it was a submission to the art gallery that I spend several houra on, second of all, fuck you, Uchiha, I've been perfectly pleasant to Hiro-" The rest of his tirade was cut off by Tobi's loud voice.

"TOBI MADE IT PRETTY, SENPAI!" The energetic man-child yelled from the floor in front of the couches, proudly holding up a clay statue littered with shiny plastic stickers. "Do you like it, Hiro-chan? Is it pretty?"

Hiro grimaced. Deidara would surely try to beat the hyper Uchiha with the ceramic statue. "Yes, Tobi, it's pretty, but I don't think Deidara-san would appreciate you messing with his stuff without permission."

Tobi shrugged and resumed his task, planting more stickers on top of the ones that were already there.

"So, Hiro, what is it that brought you here?" Konan spoke up from the couch, amber eyes settling on the brunette.

Hiro didn't know if the inhabitants of the house were aware of his relationship with Kurenai, but if they didn't, she wouldn't be the one to inform them. Instead of telling them about the woman and the baby, she just said, "I got into an argument with my dad and since my phone got broken last night- it's okay Tobi-san- I got lost and ran into Kisame-san. He and I walked over here but I wasn't sure if I should bother you guys." She turned her eyes on the present men, then flicked her eyes over to Konan, adding, "And girl."

"Thanks," Konan said, smiling. "Parents get mad about the littlest of things. Asuma-sensei will come around, he's a really smart guy."

Deidara came back then, a toothbrush sticking out of his mouth. His eyes landed on Tobi and he dropped the toothbrush, leaping over the couch to throttle the younger man.

"Why did I decide to come here again?" Hiro asked to nobody.

Nobody answered.


Several hours later, Hiro crawled out of the New Dawn Dorm, dragging the shredded pieces of her sanity behind her. The further she got from that madhouse, the better she felt.

That is, until she remembered the uncomfortable conversation waiting for her at home.

By now, the sun was dipping closer to the horizon and the streets began to cool. People came outside to enjoy the waning daylight, and Hiro felt almost at peace.

As she reached her front door, she heard Kurenai's laughter and Asuma's low voice, saying something incoherent. She opened it gingerly, giving her father an abashed look.

Slipping her sneakers off, she crossed the living room to pick her cell phone up from the coffee table.

"Hiro, where have you been?" Asuma asked, standing up to wrap his arms around her. "I was worried about you."

"Obviously," Hiro's voice came out with venom, though she hadn't meant it to. Her eyes flicked over his shoulder to Kurenai and back to Asuma. "I'll just be in my room, then-"

"Now, wait a minute." There was that stern tone he never took, coming out for the second time that day. "Hiro, we need to talk about this, and I'd prefer to get it out of the way before it continues to hurt us more."

Hiro sighed. "Father, I accept your new relationship, and I support you in whatever you decide to do. I just wish you could have been for open and told me sooner."

"It all happened so fast, dear. If I could have told you before today, I would have." He sounded sincere. Hiro's brow softened and she laid her head on Asuma's shoulder. "I promise, my light, no more secrets."

Hiro nodded, stepping back. She felt a tinge of awkwardness knowing that Kurenai had witnessed all of that, but if she was supposed to get closer with Kurenai, then it was something that would happen eventually.

"No more secrets. Starting now." Asuma repeated, standing back and exhaling through his nose. "We'll need a bigger place. We can't keep the baby in the garage, and we'll need our own space..."

Kurenai chirped up then, "My place is out, I've got a one-bedroom on the south side."

Hiro grimaced, silent. What was Asuma planning to do? The market wasn't very forthcoming in Nonin City, with most larger homes being either too pricey or in undesirable areas of the city.

"I… I could move out." Hiro said, finally.

Asuma's head shot up, "Oh, no no no. Baby, you don't have to do that, I'm sure we can find somewhere in a good area with enough space."

Hiro's look of doubt betrayed her, and Asuma sighed.

"Dad, I'm a big girl. I have a decent job, it'll be much easier to find one room instead of a large home."

"I don't like it."

Hiro patted her dad's arm. "It's time. I'll have to move out eventually and make my own home. It's a good time to start now. I'll still be nearby, that way if you need help with the baby..."

Asuma sniffled. "I can't allow it."

The young girl shook her head. "You don't have a choice, papa." She offered a smile, giving her dad one last hug and bidding Kurenai farewell before slipping upstairs to the solace of her bedroom.