The Way of the Apartment Manager

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This series consists of two novels (the second currently unfinished) and several sidefics in the same AU continuity. The core idea is that when Naruto moves into his own apartment, the Third Hokage asks Ayakawa Yukiko, the building's owner and manager, to look after him rather than leaving him completely on his own. Yukiko is a mostly retired ninja until Naruto catalyzes her to change her life. Then those changes snowball out to other parts of Konoha.

ETA, 3/2/19: And we're back in business, with chapter 17 of "Guardian" now up! With a bit of luck, brickspace life will continue to be manageable and I'll get another two or three chapters done this year. :)


The AU conceit I am using is that in canon, Yukiko was one of the Kyuubi's many nameless victims. In this world, she makes a slightly different choice during that incident, and survives. And when she meets Naruto -- who is just as much of a catalyst here as in the manga -- things begin to change.

The other starting AU shift is Kakashi's age. When I began writing these stories, I'd never seen Kishimoto's official timelines, so I guessed people's ages based on their appearance and characterization in the manga. I was pretty close with Iruka, but four or five years off with Kakashi. Unfortunately, by the time anyone pointed that out to me, his age had become integral to several character interactions -- for example, Yukiko treats him as a contemporary rather than an annoying teenager -- so I decided not to go back and make wholesale changes.

For a pre-canon story starring an original female character with another original female character in one of the prime supporting roles, "The Way of the Apartment Manager" wound up ridiculously popular. I think it was one of those 'right story, right time' things that I could never duplicate if I tried.


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