Title: Used to You
Pairings: Many, probably mostly SasuNaruSaku junk.
Disclaimer: Narutoverse belongs to Kishimoto Masashi.
Synop AU Highschool – Naruto, now 17, is the best soccer player his school has to offer… until someone named Uchiha Sasuke moves into the neighborhood. All characters properly assigned to their appropriate cliché.
Fore notes: This is all ochiba-sama's fault. I blame her, deny everything and apologize ahead of time.
Title taken from a song by Ani DiFranco, "Used to You:"
I'm still here because
I've got nothing else to do
You're an asshole,
but I'm getting used to you.
You like me so
you try and make me feel like shit
I think it's kind of funny
yeah, I kind of enjoy it
And for all your talk
you don't say much that's real
I think I know more than you
about the way that you feel
I understand your anger and your apathy
I think if I was you, you're just who I'd be - - -
Chapter One: The New Boy
Despite our artistic pretensions,
sophistication and accomplishments,
we still owe our existence
to a six-inch layer of topsoil
and the fact that it rains
- Attributed to a Chinese text
(via Susan Todd)
"Reality continues to ruin my life."
- Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes
- - - -
Konoha College was the most esteemed senior high school the state had to offer, and considering the average grade-point average was a 3.7, it was nothing short of a miracle the boy Uzumaki Naruto made it inside. It wasn't that he wasn't intelligent enough, and he was anything but unmotivated; Naruto was just the opposite of anything you'd expect to find in a highly acclaimed institution. Loud, obnoxious, untidy and rambunctious, Naruto had attitude of a typical five year old and about three times as much energy. If not for the obvious favoritism displayed by one of the faculty and their power on the admissions board, Naruto would probably be attending some middle-class high school somewhere downtown.
Naruto really didn't care. School was school – somewhere you went at ungodly hours in the morning, were preached at for seven long hours, ate alien mush for food and ran away from when the bell of freedom rang. In fact, Naruto cared so little for school, that if it wasn't for soccer practice everyday (and halfway decent grades to stay on the team), he probably wouldn't have gone at all.
There was one other reason, however, that Naruto didn't mind school all that much.
Haruno Sakura was in the same year of school as Naruto (and, that said, in most of his classes) and it couldn't have made her more miserable. He seemed to be particularly obsessed with her; out of all of the pretty girls in their class, why her? She thought she was average in everything, looks included. Her grades were perhaps the only exceptional thing about her, and she had a good guess it wasn't her intellect that was demanding Naruto's attention.
Maybe it's my hair, she thought dully. Doubtful, but if dying her hair some normal color (even if pink suited the essence of her name) would make him go away, she would have done it in a heartbeat.
"You're so loud. I'm right beside you, you know," she remarked briskly, quickening her pace.
Naruto had to trot to keep up. He didn't seem to notice.
"Heh, sorry. Anyway, um, you know that homework for history? See, I had this accident on the way to school today and I--"
"No, Naruto, you can not copy mine. Do your own homework!"
"I did! I told you, I had a run-in with--"
"I don't care if the Devil himself ate your homework, you are not looking at mine! Shoo!"
A bit pouty but not nearly as discouraged as Sakura would have liked to have seen, Naruto stopped trotting and Sakura disappeared behind a crowd of people. Well, that went better than yesterday… Grinning and no worse for the wear, Naruto turned around and headed back towards the lockers. If he was lucky, Mr. Whats-his-name would forget that they even had homework today. Naruto had to briefly appreciate school uniforms, though; granted, he hated wearing his, but seeing Sakura-chan in a short skit everyday was more than enough to improve the worst of moods.
If he had been looking instead of thinking about skirts, Naruto might not have walked into Hyuuga Neji. The boy was a senior, one year above him, and had a severe attitude problem. Or perhaps lack of one. Naruto wasn't sure, but he was sure of one thing: the guy was a prick.
"Watch it, loser."
"Screw you, egghead," Naruto shot back, only to be disappointed once again. Neji may have been a prick, but he was a damn boring one. Naruto tried and tried and tried to provoke the bastard into a fight, just to prove his worthlessness, but Neji remained unbaited. He didn't seem to care enough to fight anyone, or date anyone, or even socialize with anyone. Yet somehow he was one of the more popular guys in school (so very unlike the blonde), but that was probably due to poor tastes of girls and the fact that Neji was, perhaps, the 'second' best player on his team. Neji played goalie, though, which presented Naruto with very little competition – he did all of his work out on the field where he knew everybody could see him.
"Why don't you just hit him and get it over with?"
Probably one of Naruto's best friends and not bad with a soccer ball himself, Inuzuka Kiba was also a junior, loud, hyperactive and about as thrilled about schoolwork as any other seventeen year-old. He also had a weird fixation with canines. A small runt of a dog named Akamaru had followed him home one day to a house already full of animals and had subsequently became his companion, and continued to follow him to school everyday. Kiba would go outside and eat lunch with him and always brought him to soccer practice. Akamaru had recently taken to running around behind the goal net and barking at Neji during their warm-ups.
"What? Then take the blame? I spend enough time in detention, no thanks."
"Well maybe if you two would shut up and learn to sleep through class instead of yack, you wouldn't get detention."
Shikamaru was easily summed up into one word: lazy. Naruto still couldn't understand why – when Shikamaru had any reason to be motivated (which was about as common as girls asking Naruto out on a date) he was easily the smartest person in the school. He was brilliant. His test scores were the highest in the school, yet his grades continued to droop because of lack of participation and his tendency to never turn in homework. Whenever counselors and teachers tried to ask him why, they all got the same answer:
"It's too troublesome."
"You are too troublesome, you never want to do anything," Kiba said, shaking his head. "How do you live, Shika? Everything bores you. That would drive me insane, being bored and sleeping all the time."
They were eventually joined by a short boy slightly on the portly side known as Chouji. Shikamaru was closer to him than either Kiba or Naruto was, but he was still a good friend to everyone in the group. All four troublemakers now gathered they wandered idly down the hall heading towards their first class.
"I hate math," Naruto grumbled.
"Math hates you," Kiba said, grinning at him.
"Math isn't so bad," Shikamaru said, "It makes more sense than anything else they teach here."
"That's why it SUCKS," Naruto gagged, looking grim, "I can't ever prove it wrong or that it's completely useless and therefore not worth learning. That damned Iruka-sensei always gets around those."
"That's because you're full of shit, Naruto."
"That's not a problem as long as nobody can prove it; which is again, why I hate math."
"That's rich," Kiba was laughing at him now, "You know we have a test today, right?"
Naruto almost tripped and fell over. "WHAT?!"
- - - - -
Sakura sighed in relief as Naruto gave up his chase. When would that boy get a clue? Sure, he was kinda cute… not to mention the best soccer player in their district… but he was Naruto. And blonde.
"Oi, Sakura! You're going to be late again," Ino remarked from inside the classroom door down the hall, "That head of yours too heavy to carry or what? Hurry up!"
Sakura hated blondes.
"It was Naruto," she gasped, trotting inside. Ino raised and eyebrow. "You know how stupid he is, trying to talk to me when class is about to start. Something about history homework…"
Ino followed her to their seats, which were side by side near the front and situated in the middle of the room. "He just really likes you. I don't know why you're so mean to him. He's actually kind of—"
"Cute?" Ten-Ten was sitting down already, in the other seat beside Sakura, "Yeah, everybody thinks so. He's kind of cute -- until he opens his mouth."
"Exactly," Sakura sat down, grateful to have someone on her side. "Besides, I'm saving myself."
Both girls looked at her with raised brows. "Oh? Who?"
The girl shrugged. "Dunno. Definitely not Naruto, though."
The girls' conversation came to an end as the said blonde and his pack of three buddies piled into the room earning a glare from the teacher for almost being late. Sakura winced inwardly as Naruto winked at her on his way past, making Ino grin at her sideways in mock empathy. The four of them took their respective seats by the windows in the back of the room.
"Now that we're all finally here," Iruka-sensei cast another dagger in Naruto's general vicinity, "I would like to make an announcement before I hand out the tests. Due to the recent 'incident' at a residential private school, many students are being transferred into neighboring colleges until further notice. We've been lucky enough to become the host of several of these students, one of which will be joining your class today."
Sakura raised an eyebrow. A new kid? School had only begun two weeks ago, but it was still odd… she had never met a transfer student before.
"As long as it's male and cute, I really don't care," she heard Ino mutter under her breath.
Amen, Sakura thought.
"So in other words, I want you all to be on your best manners and welcome him like any other peer," Iruka-sensei waved inwards to the door.
A tall boy entered the room, and Sakura's immediate thought was, wow, he's pale.
When he turned around to face the class, nearly half the girls dropped whatever it was they were holding and stopped in mid-chatter to gape.
Sakura's second thought (which came less than 0.3 nanoseconds later) was: he's mine.
- - - - -
"Uchiha Sasuke will be joining us for the remainder of the semester. Please see that you all make it a good semester," Iruka's last remark seemed to be directly in particular to a certain blonde, who blinked stupidly at the dark haired boy in the front of the room.
"Who's the pretty boy?"
"The new kid."
"I don't like him."
"You haven't even met him yet, Naruto!" Kiba shook his head, "Or is it because your girl is eying him?"
"Huh?" Naruto looked at the back of Sakura's head, then narrowed his eyes when he saw where she was staring, "Oh hell no."
Shikamaru sighed and laid his head in his arms, "Here we go."
Uchiha Sasuke must have been lacking instinct, because instead of sitting somewhere up front and out of Naruto's reach, he came right past them and sat in the very last seat behind him.
Naruto turned around in his seat, "Who invited you?"
"Your mom," Sasuke didn't even look at him, and gazed out the window, looking very bored.
"You wanna say that to my face, you—" Before Naruto could get up, Kiba held him down and stepped on his foot. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to keep Iruka-sensei from noticing them.
"Naruto, what is it now?" Noticing where Sasuke had taken a seat, Iruka mistook the blonde's intentions and smiled happily. "I'm glad you're trying to be friendly, but please save it for after class. With the temporary dismissal of his school, Sasuke's soccer activities were also put to a halt – but our principal has been kind enough to instate him onto our team for the time being as a temp—"
"—You will have plenty of time to get to know him at practice, I'm sure. So please be silent and put all of your books away, it's time to begin the exam."
…to be continued.
A/N: I know, it's barely 2,000 words… just sort of a teaser, I guess I plan to keep this one much shorter and simpler than Memory Yields, but hopefully at least 3,000 words a chapter after this. This spawned after a talk to collab with Ochiba-sama about making an AU Highschool SasuNaruSaku fic… her idea was MUCH different from mine, so I agreed to do both X3 This one is solely my own work, she just served the initial inspiration. Look forward to her (much EVILER, may I add ) version soon, as well as Chapter Two of Memory Yields.
Please visit http:bakadotyondaimedotnet for the completely unedited (ie, the NC-17 chapters that will be edited for FFnet) version of all of my works