|the grad fad
Author: ohwhatsherface PM
AU. SasuSaku, NaruIno. So this is your last year, is it? Well, round up those reference letters and try not to botch up your courses because this is actually your Last Chance to boost that GPA! Study hard and tie up those loose ends because fact: things don't get any easier.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Friendship - Sakura H. & Sasuke U. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 5,391 - Reviews: 67 - Favs: 67 - Follows: 92 - Updated: 01-27-13 - Published: 01-21-13 - id: 8933300
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Note: Thanks for all the reviews guys! I hope you can find some way to relate to this thing. Personally, I felt terrified asking my profs for letters last semester, even though they'd already told me in earlier years that if I ever needed one, to come to them. But it's just so… daunting, I suppose.
Warnings: AU, my Thanksgiving falls in October, I may have lied when I said "plot"
Pairings: SasuSaku, NaruIno – sorry to the anon who wants them switched around. They would never ever ever ever get together in an ohwhatsherface fic. Like ever.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. Or my favourite line from A Very Potter Musical which I threw in here without proper context.
Edit - To the lovely "Ryuken" and "Katsurogii" who are so concerned for my flame count (such darlings they are!):
Oh my, I never realized that ffn was so tumblr-esque with this "don't put anti-x in x tag." Firstly, a non-romantic story can certainly go under the Naruto and Sakura category because funnily enough, a story can be about Naruto and Sakura and not be romantic. No, this isn't NaruSaku. Likewise, that doesn't make it anti-NaruSaku. Secondly, I don't understand how you confused a story blatantly labelled as "SasuSaku, NaruIno" in (1) its summary, (2) its first chapter, and (3) its second chapter as NaruSaku. Maybe be more observant next time you read something to save you the horrors of having to read, gasp, a platonic Naruto and Sakura relationship? And lastly, on the note of being observant, maybe consider key words given in, again, summaries and author's notes, so you won't have to find out mid-read that the story is a university-AU, and worse, "not your thing."
Sadly, since neither of you - assuming you are separate people - were kind enough to leave a return address of sorts, I can't help you out a little in these lessons of common sense and observation, but I do wish you good luck in your future readings. Perhaps, maybe next time, don't assume? Especially when "Friendship" is a genre? Maybe you won't make an ass of "u" and "me" (but, of course, mostly you).
However, yes, I might as well move over to the SasuSaku "tag" to avoid silly blind ones like the two of you. Cheers!
i need reference letters
So it was October.
October came to mean a lot of things to Naruto: midterms, essays, Thanksgiving a.k.a. Turkey Day, pumpkin spice everything, breaking out the awesome orange scarf Sakura knitted for him years ago, pretty leaves, and so much more.
Now the boys didn't usually maintain their house unless someone was coming to visit. Fine, the tiny front lawn would see a mowing every other week or so, and the backyard was only managed if there was going to be a party. And then the inside was divided that every man would take care of his own place, the kitchen would always be cleaned by whoever made whatever mess, and the bathroom would go through a weekly cycle of sorts. But things like the broom and the vacuum were only broken out for special occasions.
In the living room, Sakura was sketching silly outfits on the bare bodies in her anatomy textbook in lieu of studying, while Naruto made his own efforts to procrastinate pretty obvious as he made a tower of all the novels and plays and poetry anthologies he had to read for the semester. So far, his stack was balancing at a rather noteworthy twenty-two. Shikamaru, on the other hand, was making paper balls with his notes and throwing them at Naruto's tower.
They all looked up at Suigetsu's frantic shout.
"What is it?" Sakura asked. She had the grace to look annoyed by the interruption to her 'hard work.'
"Sasuke's mom is here!"
Immediately, Naruto and Shikamaru rose, their eyes wide and their arms near flailing. Sakura raised an eyebrow when Naruto shrieked. His book tower had fallen over when he stood up so fast.
"Clean that up!" Suigetsu yelled, pointing.
Naruto anxiously did so by pushing all of the books under the couch. At the same time, Shikamaru was taking all the randomly strewn about mugs and plates and – oh god – beer bottles and hiding them in the video game drawer. Suigetsu was keeping a careful eye on the driveway from the window by the stairs.
Sakura could only frown. "What are you guys doing?"
"Sasuke's mom is here," Shikamaru pointed out.
Sakura looked at the boys like they were idiots and, for the most part, they returned the look. Suigetsu finally sighed. "Sakura, have you ever seen Sasuke's mom?"
"Yes," she said. "In fact, I—"
Naruto shushed her. "Sakura, haven't you heard? Sasuke's mom has got it going on!"
Sakura did not look amused, but that didn't stop Naruto and the other boys from opening the door and yelling their hellos. They all ignored Sasuke's knowing glare as they took his bags from him and all warmly greeted the lovely Mikoto Uchiha. They exchanged pleasantries and thanked Mikoto wholeheartedly when she graced them with a whole turkey for the house – her little Thanksgiving present to them.
"Oh, Mrs. Uchiha, you didn't have to do that," Suigetsu told her sweetly.
But the older woman just smiled and waved the matter off. "Oh, but you boys need to be properly fed!"
Sakura could only pray she had that kind of decency when she was older and sending her son off to live with his fellow cavemen. Sakura eyed Mikoto Uchiha's beautiful cashmere sweater and her form fitting skirt and could actually kind of understand why her friends were all salivating like dogs. She suddenly felt incredibly insecure in her yoga pants and the sweater she ninety percent belonged to Shikamaru. God, she was such a mess, Sakura realized. At least she wasn't wearing her UGGs…
"Sakura Haruno, is that you!"
Sakura blinked. "Huh?"
Finally, the boys got out of the way and Mikoto rushed over and hugged her. "Oh, darling!" Mikoto let go enough to look Sakura over and frown disapprovingly. "You've lost weight!" she pointed out gravely. "Why haven't you been eating, missy? This better not be over some stupid boy, because let me tell you—"
Sakura flushed. "Nope!" she interrupted. "I just…" Sakura laughed awkwardly and took a step away from Mikoto. "I just, um, have been busy and haven't really been sleeping properly…"
Mikoto immediately turned around to face the boys. "And why haven't you all been making sure Sakura is eating correctly? Hm? Shikamaru? You're the responsible one!"
Shikamaru froze for a moment with the attention on him. "Um." He chuckled. "Well, I haven't really been around either, Mrs. Uchiha. But I'll definitely make sure our little Sakura eats three square meals a day."
"Yes, you better!" Mikoto took her turkey out of Naruto's hands and deposited it into Sakura's despite the blond's protests. She winked at Sakura. "Eat up, sweetie."
Sakura smiled. "Thank you."
Mikoto gave her son one last kiss on the cheek before saying her goodbyes to everyone. When she was finally gone, Naruto let out a low whistle and made some flattering but inappropriate comment that led to Sasuke punching him in the stomach and stomping away. Still wincing, Naruto hurriedly stole the turkey away from Sakura and brought it to the kitchen.
That was one last thing October meant to Naruto: Mikoto Uchiha sending over a whole turkey for their little house of broke students.
But the gesture of turkey-giving didn't arouse the same happy feelings in Sakura. As Suigetsu thoughtfully took a bag of Sasuke's on his way upstairs, Shikamaru volunteered to walk Mikoto to her car, and Naruto took the turkey for some "alone time," Sakura went back to her anatomy textbook and suddenly felt incredibly lonely.
Sakura had spent Thanksgiving dinner with the Uchiha family once, back when she and Sasuke were still together. She got along with them all to the point that Mikoto would literally text Sakura at least every other day just to make sure she was okay or to talk. Ino thought that was weird, but Sakura justified things with that Ino had never been in a real relationship – not one that included bonding with your partner's parent. And when Sasuke dumped Sakura, Mikoto immediately asked Sakura if she was okay. But Sakura soon began to distance herself from the woman, mostly out of propriety, and seeing her in person today made her feel horrible.
Sighing, Sakura picked up her mug of sangria and whined when she realized it was empty. She grudgingly went to the kitchen and took the bottle out of the fridge. After a moment of consideration, she decided to learn from past mistakes and drink from the bottle and skip the mug.
"Well done," she told herself after a sip.
"Sakura, it's ten in the morning."
She joked and spun around. Sasuke was leaning against the counter with a cup of tea and judgemental frown.
"Um." Sakura lowered the bottle and reconsidered her mug. "Hey."
He then took an economics textbook out of his backpack and went over to the couch, sitting beside her scrawled dresses and flower hats. She cringed, but he didn't seem to notice her doodles. Sakura slowly made her way back to her book and sat as close to the edge as she could, at this point gulping down the sangria.
Seriously? Sakura thought. That was how he wanted to go about things? He wanted to ignore what happened three weeks ago that essentially set the shroud of awkward that hung over them whenever they saw each other in the kitchen or the hall or the living room?! What the actual fu—
When the silence became too much for her to concentrate in, she turned to Sasuke and found him already looking at her.
"How was your break?" she asked. Granted, KU didn't really offer a "break" so much as one single day.
"What did you do?"
"Helped my mom cook," Sasuke said.
Sakura grinned. "Since when do you cook?"
"Excuse you, but if I recall correctly, I'm not the one who set off the smoke alarm from boiling water." Her eyes widened and he smirked.
"THAT WAS ONE TIME!" Still blushing, she kicked him, but he only grabbed her ankle to steady her. "Hmph. Well, what did you cook?"
Sakura raised an eyebrow. "Oh, and that's just such a feat. Look at you Top Chef Wonder." She giggled at her own not particularly funny joke and told herself it was way too early in the day to already be tipsy. But from what she could remember, Sasuke actually was a great cook. "Is that all you made?" she continued.
"I made a pie, too, actually," he said. Then he pushed her leg off his lap and went back to the kitchen. The bounce of her foot on the cushion was what made her realize the Sasuke had actually been drawing nonsensical things on her calf andandand—
No. No, she told herself. This. Is not. Allowed.
Finally, he came back with a Tupperware and a fork, handing them to her.
"What is this?" she asked, drawing her legs in and sitting up straight.
"Pie," he repeated. "I made pumpkin pie. It's Itachi's favourite and I remembered that it's yours too so I brought a slice back for you." Sasuke shrugged and all but buried himself in his economics textbook.
Sakura smiled at the gesture. "Thank you," she mumbled, poking at the pie.
He glanced at her but saw her focused on the dessert. "You're welcome," he replied into his book.
And after finishing the slice, Sakura picked up her own book. The two sat on the couch for a few hours simply reading in a comfortable silence.
October also came to mean sucking up. October meant heading over to office hours (even the ones that started at 9AM) and making an impression and getting on your professor's good side so that at the end of the semester, when they were determining Naruto's participation grade, they would remember his bright hair and bright clothes at each and every lecture.
But this year, their final year, meant going to office hours would no longer just be about proposing separate essay topics or clarifying anything said in class.
This year meant reference letters.
Reference letters for grad school.
But those also meant office hours, which, with Naruto's luck, meant 9AM with Dr. Kakashi Hatake – which actually kind of sort of meant 10AM considering the man was always late…
Still, that was early considering said hours were on a Friday.
"Let's move, lazyass!"
"But I'm tired," Naruto whined, lagging behind Sakura. "Can't we just be death eaters?"
"Or we can just be homeless," he pointed out. They were on their way to the Humanities Building where Sakura was going solely as Naruto's moral support while he asked for letters of recommendation. Naruto Uzumaki was going to graduate school, but… well, he was sort of too much of a wimp to approach his favourite professors alone. Likewise, Naruto may or may not have treated her to slash bribed her with a delicious lemon poppy seed muffin and chai tea latte for breakfast.
"I have worked too hard all these years to be homeless," Sakura said between sips of her drink.
"Fine, not homeless, per se." Nevertheless, Naruto continued along to the Humanities Building. He stopped the oblivious Sakura from walking into the doors, knowing that for whatever annoying reason, the automatic doors weren't so automatic. He knew. He may or may not have walked into said doors before…
"We can live in a box," Naruto told her with a wink.
She rolled her eyes. "Just ask for your letters, Naruto."
"I don't know what to say!" But they were already in the elevator.
"You say 'Hey, Kakashi, I really want to come back to KU for another year to do more readings and write more papers and lead more seminars yada yada yada.' He'll love it." The sad thing was that Sakura wasn't joking. She'd had Dr. Hatake in her first-year "Literature for our Time" course with Naruto and from her own visits and talks with the man, she'd come to know what he was like.
And well… Naruto looked like he was considering.
"Do you honestly think that would work?"
"I have full faith."
She genuinely did.
Sakura herself had been going with the more formal approach of: "Dr. Whatever, would you be willing to write me a positive letter recommendation for X Med School?" Most of her professors were very familiar with her and her study habits and her amazing work, so Sakura didn't actually need to put the operative "positive" in her requests, but it didn't hurt to stay safe.
But with a professor like Kakashi, things would work out fine for Naruto.
They stood outside of Kakashi's office and Sakura gave Naruto a pat on the back. "Do you have any idea what you'd want to research though?"
Naruto nodded. "Gothic literature!" he told her eagerly, looking ready to actually tell her more. "I'd like to look at the late eighteenth century and then maybe at the revival of Gothic literature in contemporary times. I mean, Gothic work is just so prevalent nowadays and—"
"Don't tell me this stuff," Sakura interrupted. She pointed to Kakashi's open door. "Tell him!"
"Oh, right…" Naruto laughed awkwardly. "Okay. I can do this."
"You can do this."
Fed up, Sakura pushed him into Kakashi's office.
"Okay, so that went better than expected."
Sakura rolled her eyes. "I told you."
"Yeah, I know…" Naruto shrugged. "The entire asking-thing is just… nerve-wracking, I suppose."
The two were at one of their favourite off campus haunts that served Sakura's favourite sangria and made some of the greatest ramen Naruto had ever tasted. Sure, it was only noon, but it was never to early for wine and whining – at least, that was Sakura's philosophy. And well, it had served her well for the past three years so…
Besides, it was Friday. Why not get nice and day drunk?
"So what schools are you applying to?" she asked Naruto.
"KU, of course," Naruto listed through a grimace. "But… I don't think I'll get in. KU is so evil, Sakura-chan!"
She nodded. "Oh, I know." While completing an undergraduate degree at KU was a magical feat in their humble opinions, to complete one and be accepted into the university's graduate programs would be hard considering the CGPAs most KU students usually escaped with. While Sakura knew she wouldn't have any problems, she did know that Naruto might. "Where else?"
Sakura raised an eyebrow. "What? Naruto, don't just apply to one grad school if you're set on doing your Master's!"
"You don't think I can get in?"
Sakura sighed. "It's not like that," she said, "it's just that these are competitive programs. You should at least apply to more than one. I mean, what would you do if you didn't get into KU?"
"…become a death eater?"
"You are so—so—" She sighed again and finished off her sangria. She poured another glass and sipped on that. "You're like Ino."
"What? I don't like Ino!"
"Huh?" Sakura laughed. "No, I said you're like her, not that you like her. That'd be weird." In her semi-drunken state that was starting to become Sakura's default state, she missed the red on Naruto's cheeks.
"Well, how is Ino, anyway? I haven't seen we had that kegger in September." Both of them cringed, remembering their own personal awkward mistakes from that night. Naruto made a face. "Yeah. Ino."
But Sakura snorted. "Who's Ino? Oh! Did you mean Ino, the girl who's apparently my bestie?" Sakura looked a little bit bitter. Maybe she was. Maybe she's been in dire need of a girlfriend for the past two months but Ino hasn't really been that great of a friend. "Yeah, she's studying. She basically won't have any human contact aside from lectures until she takes her LSATs in December."
"I see." Naruto noticed the sad look on Sakura's face and wasn't sure if she wanted a serious attempt at comfort or some kind of joke. "Well…" Naruto shrugged. "At least she has plans?"
"Yeah," Sakura said with a nod. "I guess I just miss her."
"What law schools will she apply to?"
"I DON'T EVEN KNOW THAT!" Sakura yelled. Her face crumpled and she took a long swig of her drink. "I miss her, Naruto. I know I'm being irrational and that my period is probably coming—"
"—but I mean it's like she just doesn't care about anyone right now!" Sakura refilled her glass and finished that in one go. Naruto subtly ordered another pitcher and Sakura continued: "I mean, I'm not trying to be clingy. I get it. She has stuff to do. But like, I'm living with Sasuke! HOW HAS SHE NOT EVEN ASKED ME IF THAT IS REMOTELY OKAY?!"
"Huh?" Naruto blinked. "I thought you said that you were okay with that… Sort of."
"What?" God. Why were women so confusing?!
"I don't care about Sasuke, Naruto!" Sakura looked at him like he was the one acting crazy. "What I'm saying is that Ino—my Ino—would have texted me the first night asking if I reacquainted myself with Sasuke, followed by an unnecessary amount of wink-faces! Current Ino responds to my text messages days late and never wants to hang out. Like I'm not even allowed to go to the library with her because she thinks I'll distract her!"
"…you kind of are a huge distraction." Which she was. As surprising as it was, Sakura was actually the one between the two of them that could be found not working (but still, unfairly enough, maintaining a 4.0 CGPA, so like what the hell).
"NOT THE POINT."
Their next pitcher arrived and Sakura's face lit up. "I'm just sad, I guess," she admitted forlornly. "Or tired. A bit of both." She sighed and suddenly looked a bit bashful. "I'm sorry. I've been ranting all this time. How are you and Sasuke doing?"
Naruto levelled her with a flat stare. "You make us sound like a couple."
She giggled and Naruto let her. Mocking his "bromance" with Sasuke was always something that could make Sakura smile so he let it go. But suddenly the smile fell and she adopted a serious look. A bad serious look.
"Hey!" she yelled, grabbing his hand on the table. "Are you single?"
Naruto felt very, very uncomfortable with her hand on his. "What?"
"I have this friend," she clarified. "She's seen you in a lot of my photos and has probably stalked you on every possible social network. She thinks you're really good-looking. She's a super sweet girl and I think the two of you would hit it off really well."
"Are you…" The words felt weird coming out of his mouth. "Are you trying to set me up?"
"No. Maybe. Yes."
"What?" Naruto laughed at the mere idea. "What's her name?"
"Hinata Hyuuga. Really smart, really sweet, really pretty. You'd like her." Sakura pulled out her phone and logged into her Facebook to find the girl's profile. She was about to show Naruto a picture but he covered the phone and placed it face-down on the table. "What?"
"I trust your judgement."
Sakura blinked, utterly astonished. "So… you'll go on a date with her?"
Musing over all the nothing that had been going on his life as of late, Naruto nodded. "Yeah, I'll go on a date with her."
Why was Naruto so agreeable over this date? What happened between Sasuke and Sakura? Will Naruto and Sakura truly just give up and be death eaters? Stay tuned!
Next Chapter: NOVEMBER a.k.a. "i need to go to sleep"