Chapter 12- Getting Lost
Kiyoko leaned against the door. "What had just happened?"
She thought back over the last hour. She had arrived at the Hokage's office to meet Raido and move into her new place, only Raido hadn't been there. Instead Genma had helped her while making some lame sounding excuses for Raido. Then Genma had acted like he couldn't leave her place fast enough. She thought about last night and groaned.
Raido had kissed her, at her request, and it had been the most unbelievable experience. But now that she thought about it, he'd make a pretty quick exit and he hadn't wanted to hang around this morning either. Then his unexplained absence and Genma's discomfort. He must have hated the kiss and told Genma, and Genma was afraid she'd hit on him too. Kiyoko could hear reason, faintly, in the back of her mind telling her she was jumping to conclusions but she ignored it.
She shook her head to clear it and took stock of her new home. It was a single room with a small bed in one corner and a sofa and table on the wall opposite it. There was a bathroom with a shower in it off to one side and a counter ran a short distance along the wall with a sink, a small refrigerator and a two burner cook top. She decided it would be fine.
She spent the next hour unpacking her stuff, and generally settling in. She had a little money left and she knew she needed some groceries so she decided she'd pick them up before she met up with Iruka.
She left the grocery store with two bags and found her way to the ramen stand. Iruka was already waiting for her.
"Sorry I'm late. I thought I'd pick up a few things first since I have nothing at my new place and the store closes soon." She smiled up at her new coworker who was smiling back at her.
"No problem. I just got here myself. Shall we sit?"
They chatted over their ramen discussing plans for the academy and books she wanted to read to the kids. And when they were done Iruka said "Can I walk you home?"
"Oh. I'm ok. Thanks for the treat. I owe you one."
"I don't mind. I could even carry your groceries."
"No really. I have a lot on my mind. The walk will help clear it up."
Iruka shrugged. "Ok. I'll see you in the morning then." He waved good bye as he left for home.
Kiyoko sighed, it was her first night alone and she had just sent away companionship. What was she thinking? She picked up her bags and turned down the street. As she walked her mind wandered to Raido, and she wondered what he was doing? Should she stop by and see? She could at least thank him for his help. She decided against it. She was sure she'd see him soon and she wanted to seem more independent and less clingy to him. So she headed towards home.
Suddenly she looked around her, not recognizing anything she saw. Exactly how did she get to her apartment from here? She couldn't remember how she'd come and now she was all turned around. Her heart started to pound and she started breathing fast, she could feel the panic rising inside of her as she tried to figure out which way her apartment was. She was about to give up trying to be brave and just cry when she heard a calm voice behind her.
"Do you need help?"
She spun around and was face to face with that ninja that had been with Sakura the other morning, she wished she could remember his name. "Umm I think so." She blushed and hoped he couldn't see it in the twilight. "I'm sorry, I can't remember your name." She felt completely defeated, her shoulders slumped and she wished that she could just melt. This was so embarrassing.
"Kakashi. And how can I help you?"
It looked like he was smiling, well his eye was smiling, anyway. "Right. I'm so sorry. I can't find my place." She was officially mortified now.
"Excuse me?" He looked confused.
"It's ok. Never mind. I'll find it eventually." She was starting to feel very awkward.
"I just thought I misunderstood. Did you say your place?"
"Yeah. I moved in this afternoon. Genma helped and showed me where it was. And then I met Iruka for ramen and now I don't know how to get back home." She wondered how he would react to tears. She really wanted to cry. Raido had never minded her crying but she didn't know where he was.
"Oh. That's easy. Do you have the address?"
"Yeah. I wrote it down but since I don't know my way around the address isn't very helpful." She laughed. He took one of her grocery bags while she dug in her pocket for the slip of paper and handed it to him. "Here."
"Well you did get yourself turned around didn't you? Konoha is a easy place for that to happen. Here, it's this way." And he turned and walked in the opposite direction.
"I can't thank you enough. I might have wandered all night."
They walked along in a comfortable silence for a bit. "You were Sakura's sensei, weren't you?"
"I was, I like to think I still am in a way."
"She's amazing. So strong and pretty, and smart." She realized she was starting to babble and shut up. She tried again. "Do you know Raido well?"
"In a manner of speaking. Our paths don't cross often but when they do I consider him a friend. He brought you here, didn't he?"
"Yes. He did. Rescued me is more like it."
"It's a long story, I don't want to bore you." Or really talk about it at all. She wondered why she had even brought it up.
"That's fine. Maybe some other time then. Here we are." They had arrived at her building and he started up the stairs.
"You don't have to carry my bag up for me." But it was too late, he was up the stairs and heading down the walkway. When they arrived at her door she looked at him questioningly "How did you know?"
"The address? And I had a friend who used to live here so I'm familiar with the building."
"Ahhh." She opened the door and took her bag from him. "Thank you again."
"You're welcome. Is there anything else?"
"No. I'm good. Thank you again."
"No problem. I'll see you around then." He waved as he walked down the walkway.
She shut the door and thought that living in a village full of friendly ninja was weird. She wondered, again, where Raido was. She put away her food and then set to making her bed with the sheets that were provided, and, as she did, she let her thoughts wander to him.
Really she had no right to be upset. She had known him for three days, if he had a life that didn't involve her it was none of her business. She'd just expected him to be different. With a sigh she plopped on the bed and promptly fell asleep.
She woke up in the morning with a start. She must have been really tired last night. She was glad that it was still early and she had time for a shower so she collected what she needed and went into the small bathroom to wash up. When she was finished and was picking her clothes for the day she heard a knock at the door. She threw her shirt over her head and went to answer it with hope in her heart.
Her heart fell, it was just Sakura. "Oh hello Sakura. How did you know where to find me?"
"Genma asked me to help you this morning and told me where you lived now. He'd seen Kakashi-sensei-"
"And found out that I got lost last night?" She finished the story. "Well, I suppose that's to be expected."
"Oh no! Don't be embarrassed. It's happened to all of us."
Kiyoko wasn't sure she was telling the truth but she was sweet and that helped her relax. "So did Raido drop off or something? He just disappeared yesterday."
Sakura suddenly looked very uncomfortable. "Oh no. He's just...busy. He'll be by in a few days, I'm sure. Shall we go?"
Kiyoko had finished getting ready while they were talking. She couldn't help but feel that Sakura wasn't telling her the whole story. "Sure!"
The two girls chatted all the way to the academy and when they got there Sakura said "It's been nice to visit. I have to report to Milady now for my training. If I can help later please let me know."
"Thank you Sakura." And Kiyoko turned to go in to the academy. When she got to the classroom where Iruka taught she sat down and huffed.
Iruka looked up from his desk "What's wrong Kiyoko? You seem sad."
"Not really sad, maybe more confused."
"Want to talk about it?" He offered.
"I don't want to burden you."
"I wouldn't have offered if I wasn't willing to listen."