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It's a Swivel Chair

By Sassafras

It's a Swivel Chair

The black leather chair, with the ramrod straight back and lumpy but comfortable seat cushion, with its many visible cracks on the arm rests and even more visible stuffing coming out of its seams— swivels.

It's a swivel chair.

Of course it swivels. There are just too many things Sakura has to focus on, too many things vying for her attention and needing to be looked at over the course of her busy day to be seated in a chair that doesn't swivel.

The chair on her side of the desk needs to swivel. It is most definitely a requirement.

The chair on the opposite side of her desk swivels. This is a critical design flaw in the decor of her office.

The swiveling potential of the visitors chair in and of itself is not a problem. It is an odd, unnecessary choice— the visitor need only look at Sakura when he or she is seated in her office. But it had been what was immediately available to her when she took the office. There would be time later to redecorate. The switch over to make Sakura Haruno Konoha Hospital's second in command was very sudden— from her perspective, anyway —and the paperwork and office decor decisions all happened very, very quickly.

Tsunade, after stepping down as Hokage and having more than enough free time on her hands now, had mulled over for some time before telling Sakura anything about her intentions. Everyone seemed to be aware and ready for the change before Sakura herself was. Tsunade had been thinking about her legacy and to whom to trust her name and life's work when she was gone.

She had not been thinking about furniture.

Case in point, the annoying squeak that accompanies another half turn.

The chair swivels. This is a problem because Naruto fidgets. A lot.

Quarter turn to the left. Quarter turn to the right. Mostly he spends his time looking at the clutter on her desk or the doo-dads on her shelf than he does making eye contact.

Sakura likes the doo-dads. Even if they're really not all that pretty to look at and don't have any sort of back stories. The doo-dads give off the feeling of someone who spends a lot of time in their office and put forth the effort of making said office look nice and presentable. That theory of course goes right to shit when the next thing the visitor sees is all the paperwork, all the pens strewn about, an empty bottle, a tissue or two, more paper, and hair ties here and there and, there, and oh, Sakura-chan, won't that poor table just buckle under all the weight?

On second thought. The doo-dads can go suck it. Who needs stupid wooden figurines to tell you the office is occupied when the desk is doing a more than excellent job anyways?

Sakura has always had an office. When she was the former Hokage's assistant, it was right next door. When she was working for Shizune in the Lab briefly that one summer, it was a closet of a thing but, dammit, it was an office.

Of course, being the once assistant to a once Hokage, it didn't much require sitting behind a desk and pushing pencils. Sakura did a lot of scolding her sensei for falling asleep on important documents, or bribing her sensei with a bottle of saki to get her work done... Which lead to the sleeping. A vicious cycle, really.

No, Sakura didn't have much use of her office back then. Her old office had a plant once. It died.

They are trying to have a conversation about their third. With a big emphasis on trying because Naruto seems more preoccupied with something far away and conversation, if it could even be called that, stops when he suddenly discovers the chair moves. Side to side, to side to side. Back and forth and sideways and —oh god! He's discovered the lever that makes the chair rise and fall.

A critical design flaw, indeed.

"Sasuke," Sakura says, hoping to sway Naruto's interest back on topic and away from the damn lever. "You wanted to see me about Sasuke?"

"Uh-huh." The sound of the chair's mechanics mimics that of air escaping a balloon.

"What about Sasuke?" Sakura's voice is neutral, but inside she's seething. If Naruto goes for that lever one more time...

"He seems... Different. Happier."

"...Why are you telling me this?"

He shrugs. "I wondered if maybe he'd gotten into your cabinet. You know, the one that contains the happy pills?"

"Oh my..." She shakes her head in disbelief. "You're the one who's always yapping on about how he should be more open and happy. And when he finally is, you still manage to bitch about it. Make up your mind, idiot."

"I'm your Hokage now. That's Idiot-sama to you."

"Moron," Sakura scoffs. "Now, is there anything else? If not, as you can see, I am very busy with... Hospital stuff."

"Hospital stuff. Tch. Sounds like a bad made-up excuse on the spot." He snorts.

"Don't you have a village to run?" Because the squeaking has started up again and if she doesn't make him leave soon, she'll have paperwork and a dead body to worry about.

"But, Sasuke..."

"Is doing fine. So what? Door," she says and points.

He can't see her computer screen from where he sits, so he doesn't know Sakura is ordering a new, non-swivel chair online at this very moment because she can't take it anymore.

Naruto is going to lose this argument. He knows he is going to lose this argument. She knows he is going to lose this argument. He fidgets. He swivels. He watches her doo-dads in all their doo-dad glory.

Naruto Uzumaki isn't really the sort of person to gracefully accept losing, so rather than willingly give up, he tries to change the subject. His official word for this is 'deflection' and is best accomplished when he can subtly steer the conversation in another direction without his conversational partner catching on until it is too late. Naruto has become very good at this over the years. He has had good deflection teachers like Kakashi and Pervy Sage to teach him. It has done wonders for his public image as Hokage.

His attempts at changing the subject are, however, bizarre non-sequiturs, and soon, Sakura looks away from her computer screen and levels a particularly annoyed look at him. It's not the good annoyed look, either. It's the bad one. It's the one where he honestly might be in trouble. The good annoyed look, in addition to it being kind of hot (don't tell Hinata) is also really easy to defuse with a stupid joke or a promised box of sweets. That's the one where he is just barely on the wrong side of Irritating vs. Eccentric, Yet Adorable. This look Naruto's getting now is the one where Sakura is about to kick him out on his ass.

The way he sees it, Naruto has three options:

He could leave. He would no longer be participating in this argument, but the consequences would be many.

He could get thrown out. There are some positives with this one. The conversation would be over, Sakura would then feel guilty once she's had some time to process everything, eventually agrees to help Naruto into finding out what's up with Sasuke, and said man, well, becomes less creepy. Everyone wins! But there's no telling how long it will take for her to cool down and he doesn't really want to be thrown out of any place since he's now Hokage. That would just be plain embarrassing.

Or, he could make a big platonic gesture that defuses her anger, changes the subject to something more pleasurable and when he goes back to his office to finish up on paperwork, it can be quietly done without a big to-do. No one's dignity nor ego need be infringed upon.

Because Naruto is Naruto, he is drawn to the option that has the potential to yield the biggest pay-out, poses the biggest challenge, and frankly, poses the greatest risk.

If one was to chart his success rate with Big Platonic Gestures, the data would be a flat line.

Naruto doesn't like flat lines. He likes curves.

He likes, results.

So, he scoots his rolling swivel chair closer to her desk, plants his elbows on it, leans forward, and says, "Has anyone ever told you you're great with people?" Because he knows his teammates so well. And if there's one thing he knows all too well about Sakura, it's she can't get enough of people praising her for her work.

It gets the desired result. She's blinking more, loosening her grip on the mouse. Not letting go entirely but she has stopped clicking on, whatever it is she's looking at. He knows it's only a matter of time, so he bids her farewell and a good day.

He's so proud of himself that Naruto doesn't even notice the Wet Floor sign... And promptly falls on his ass.

She's quiet. Still. She's a wooden figurine herself.

It wasn't that Naruto is wrong about her people skills. After all, one needs good people skills to be a doctor and be able to interact with people all day long. It's a necessity, really.

What bothered Sakura the most was wondering if Naruto knew about her and Sasuke. About the time the usually-stoic man had come into her office late one night after a difficult mission to get his arm looked at and... Left with more than they both had bargained for.

About the many times after that night and the many things they had done on her chair.

Those nights she didn't complain about the swivel aspect of her visitor's chair. In fact, she quite enjoyed the benefits. It does, however, squeak. An insanely loud and head splitting sound.

Just another reason to get a non-swivel chair.

But she's working on it.



Inspired by none other than my very own swivel chair, and all its swivel-y glory :)

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-Sass

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