Chapter 11-First Day at Work
"Good Morning." Kiyoko stretched and sat up as she woke up. She had slept through the night without any nightmares and it felt good. She looked at Raido who was making coffee.
"Good Morning. You slept well, I see." He was glad, she needed a break.
"I did. I haven't felt so rested in ages. Raido," She blushed remembering that kiss. "I can't thank you enough. You've done so much for me."
He shrugged, "It's ok. That's what I do." Kiss little kittens and help them sleep he thought to himself. Watch yourself Raido he warned himself.
Kiyoko thought he sounded irritated with her but he was smiling and looked like his usual self so she told herself she was borrowing trouble. "Omelet?"
"We slept a little late. I think we have to settle for toast. You need to be at the academy in twenty minutes."
"Oh. I didn't realize. It won't do to be late my first day!" She rushed around getting the stuff she needed to go to work and getting dressed. As they got ready to leave she grabbed the piece of toast that Raido was holding out. "Thanks!"
He laughed at her, "You're cute when you rush around. I think you might have your own place tonight but you can leave your stuff here for now and collect it later when you know for sure."
"OK. And then when I'm settled I'll have you over for dinner."
"Sounds yummy." He liked her cooking, she was a good cook and he looked forward to spending an evening with her. Truth be told, he thought he might miss her when she wasn't around all the time.
They walked together to the academy and he dropped her off. Iruka greeted her pleasantly and told Raido that he'd walk her up to Lady Tsunade's office at the end of the day. They waved goodbye to him as they went into the academy.
"So how long did you teach in Iwagakure?" Iruka asked.
"I taught for two years, then my Mom died and I had to stay home and take care of my father and brothers and the house." She really hoped that this job worked out, she liked Iruka and the thought of working with kids again was exciting. "But teaching and working with the kids was the best job I ever did. I really enjoyed it."
Iruka showed her the classroom where she'd be working and helped her settle in. "In a little the kids will arrive. I always try to be here a little early so I'm ready for them."
"That makes sense. I'll do the same. That is, if you think I'll work out." She didn't want to assume.
"Kiyoko, I've already decided that you'll work out. I'm sure everything will be fine." Iruka liked this girl already. Tsunade had told him her story and he felt bad that she'd suffered so much. He wanted to help her.
They heard noise outside and Iruka said "Well, that's our cue. For today we will teach together so the kids can get to know you. Tomorrow you'll teach them the reading, and math portion of the day and work on handwriting with those who need it. We'll split the class up between us. Does that work?"
"It does. Should I be putting lessons together?"
"I have some lessons that I prepared, you can use those up and then you will have to make your own. But I don't mind helping you." Iruka led the way to the door as he said this and opened it to the noisy kids outside calling them to come in and quiet down. When they were seated he said, "Class, this is Kiyoko-sensei. She will be your new reading and math teacher. I want you welcome her."
The class had chorused their welcome and then dissolved into noise again, chattering about the new teacher. They had eventually calmed down and Iruka and Kiyoko worked with them the rest of the day. Kiyoko was impressed with how patiently Iruka worked with the kids and she decided she really enjoyed working with him as well. She reflected that, finally, something had gone her way, she couldn't wait to see Raido and tell him about it.
When the day was done and the children had left, they cleaned up and then Iruka offered to walk her to Lady Tsunade's office.
"Thank you. I thought Raido said he'd be here to get me. I'm a little nervous. Lady Tsunade said she'd tell me if she'd found a place for me to live today. It's been so long since things have turned out well for me..." she trailed off.
"I'm sure Lady Tsunade's found a place for you. You've been staying with Raido, haven't you? It will be nice to have a the privacy."
Kiyoko wondered if Iruka was implying anything but he seemed to be his usual smiling self so she dismissed it. Stop being so sensitive, she growled to herself.
When they got to the Hokage's office Iruka knocked on the door. There was a lot of noise going on in there and Genma answered the door.
"Well hello there kitten." He smiled down at her. "I'll be right out." And he went back in shutting the door before they could follow.
Iruka looked at Kiyoko and smiled. "I'm sure they're just busy."
Genma opened the door again and came out, closing it quickly behind him. "Shall we go check out your new place? Iruka will you be coming with us?"
"I hadn't planned to. Do you need help?" Iruka was wondering what was going on but knew he couldn't ask here. If Genma didn't volunteer information there was a reason.
"Nope. Not at all. Lady Tsunade might want your report when it settles down in there."
Iruka nodded his head. "Kiyoko, did you have plans for dinner? You probably won't have any food in your new place. Would you like to have ramen with me?"
"Umm." She had thought she and Raido would have one last dinner together but she didn't even see him here, it looked like she'd been passed off to Genma.
Genma spoke up. "Ramen might be a good idea. I'll have to come back and work."
"Ok then," She sighed, she felt like she was missing something important but couldn't quite figure out what. "What time?"
Iruka looked thoughtful for a moment, listened to the yelling going on behind the door and then said "How about 7?"
"Ok." She smiled, "see you then!"
Genma offered her his arm and said "Do you want to collect your stuff and see your new place?"
She passed on the arm but replied "Sure. Where's Raido?"
"He's, um, busy right now. He said to say he's sorry he can't be here to help you. I'm sure he'll visit as soon as he can."
Kiyoko looked up at Genma, he wasn't telling her the whole truth but then she wasn't sure she wanted to hear it.
As they were walking towards the door that led outside they were passed by two ninja who were running and hollering for people to get out of their way. She looked back to watch them burst through the Hokage's office door without even knocking. "Well I'm sure that will end well for them."
Genma, looking thoughtful, watched them too and then steered her towards the stairs, "I'm sure they had a reason."
They had only made it a few steps when the same two ninja ran back past them with Shizune, Sakura and Tsunade on their heels. Tsunade was barking orders and asking questions as she passed people. All Kiyoko managed to understand was "how bad are his injuries?" and "Hurry!"
She looked up at Genma who was watching the procession race down the road with a look of concern on his face. "What was that all about?"
The look of concern left his face as he looked down at her. "Probably nothing. Lady Tsunade is amazing but she is a little strange."
Kiyoko still felt like she wasn't getting the whole story but she didn't want to annoy him. "I packed my stuff up but it's all at Raido's and I don't have a key."
Genma produced a key from his pocket and smiled at her. "I guess that makes me your friend then."
They walked to Raido's in silence, Kiyoko thinking about Raido and his absence, and Lady Tsunade's strange behavior, and Genma wondering about the flurry of activity as they had left the tower. When they got to Raido's he opened the door.
It felt so strange, almost wrong, to be here without Raido. Kiyoko felt like she was trespassing. She looked at the couch, she had been sitting there last night when he'd kissed her. She resisted the urge to touch her lips.
Genma cleared his throat. "Is this it?" He had the bags she'd packed up that morning.
"Yeah. I don't have much. I can carry some of it."
"No need. I got it. Lets go."
Kiyoko followed him out and down the road. "Umm. Where is my new place?"
"Oh sorry. It's been a busy day. Just around the corner here. Not far." He led her to a 2-story building that had a walkway all around the outside of it on both floors with doors for the individual apartments. They stopped at the managers quarters. "The manager lives here in unit one, so if you need anything you can just let him know. Lady Tsunade said to tell you that your rent is paid for the first month but you will have to take care of it after that. If you have trouble let me know, I'll help."
The manager answered to Genma's knock and they had a short conversation as Genma introduced them to each other and the manager gave him the key. Her apartment was on the second floor at the far corner of the building. Genma gave her the key and said "Welcome home, Kiyoko."
She opened the door and surveyed her new place. It was one room, and furnished, in the loosest sense of the word but she did have a kitchen area and a bathroom. It seemed unreal to her, just a few days ago she had been sold as a slave to Fumio and Kin and here she was starting a new life. "Thank you Genma. You can just put that stuff down."
Genma put her bags down and shifted uncomfortably. "Do you need help settling in?"
"No. I'm good. I have a little before I'm meeting Iruka, unless you want to visit. I can't make tea, I have no groceries."
"Actually, I have to go." Genma looked really distressed, like he didn't want to be there.
"That's fine. I understand. Will I see you again soon?"
Genma rolled the senbon pin in his mouth, "probably."
Kiyoko leaned against the door after he'd left. What had just happened?