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Kaizen

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He’s been staring for the past few minutes, his mind racking up all the ideas where this strange new red-haired man came from, because he’s never seen him before, and Sakumo practically knows nearly every shinobi in the village, active or retired.

A hand sticks out in front of him and he blinks, before looking up to see dark eyes filled with the colour of blood. A canine smirk curls itself on the stranger’s lips, amusement glimmering through his sharp, sharp features. Sakumo can only gap at him with an open mouth, at the shock that he didn’t notice him approach.

“You might want to keep your mouth shut to keep the flies out,” the stranger advises, tilting his head to the side as he holds his gaze. He closes his mouth, taking the advice, and takes the hand within his own in a firm grip.

His hand is warm, and Sakumo smiles. “Hatake Sakumo,” he introduces himself, letting go. “You are….?”

“Uzumaki Kurama,” the stranger– Kurama, Sakumo reminds himself now– says. A sharp grin appears on his lips, and Kurama looks smug, blood red eyes dancing, lowering themselves down and back up into his eyes. “I hope we work….. Well together.”

Sakumo’s breath hitches in his throat at that, and he stumbles over his words. “As do I,” he tells him, letting out a breath of relief he didn’t know he was holding after saying his piece. At least he wasn’t stuttering.

“I’ll take you up on that, I usually don’t like idiots.” Kurama’s eyes sweeps through the other jōnin and chūnin chattering inside the lounging room. “Or doofuses. But then again, idiots and doofuses always dragged me into the most trouble that I ever experienced in my life.”

Shinobi near them lifts their eyes towards Kurama, staring questioningly as he stares back. Bares his teeth and they immediately turn back to whatever conservation they were having before, and respect for this new stranger builds up even more inside Sakumo.

“Show you around?” Sakumo offers, and Kurama blinks at him in confusion. He must of worded it wrong, correcting his previous question. “Around the village, I mean..”

“Sure, let me tell my landlord about it, and we can make plans for tomorrow.”

“.... Landlord?” he echoes.

“Kushina,” Kurama answers, and Sakumo winces. The female Uzumaki may be on good terms with him, but she’s a very sly and clever prankster, especially with the Namikaze by her side. “She’s my cousin.”

That…. Explains. A lot.

“Ah,” is all Sakumo says, and Kurama flashes him a sharp smile. “I can wait.”

“I bet you can,” Kurama snorts, glancing at the clock in the room. “Give me tonight and I promise you can have me all tomorrow.”

Is Kurama flirting with him?

“Ah, y-yes, alright,” he stumbles with his words this time. Damn, Sakumo’s pretty sure he’s going to die from the amount of blood loss he’s going to have tomorrow.