What Matchmaking Could Lead To…
Will a guy adored by all women in their campus fall for a geek?
Well, that RARELY happens…
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Chapter Eleven: The Protégé
"Yo," Sasuke greeted Naruto and Hinata. Beside him is Sakura. She's smiling happily.
"This would be my first double date!" she giggled. Hinata blushed, and the boys just scratched the back of their heads.
"Ne, Hinata-chan, let's go!" Naruto's ever-cheerful voice said. He grinned at Sasuke. "Uchiha, I heard the school's varsity team would go to a basketball training camp this year and they're convincing you to come. Why don't you agree?"
Sakura cast a worried glance on him. "Is that right, Sasuke? You were invited by the team to train with them?"
He nodded. "Yeah. It's the 5th month they've insisting on this. I hope they don't tell my folks about it."
Sakura sighed. I guess if he goes, then I…I won't have him with me…
"Does that mean your parents don't know how good you are at the sport?" Hinata asked.
He shrugged. "They care less about me anyway. Aniki's always been ahead of me, and I'm always lurking behind his shadow. No matter what I do, I can't stand out."
"Don't say that!" Sakura exclaimed. "We all know that you and Itachi-san are born differently, though you are family."
Naruto and Hinata agreed. "It may seem like it; but, don't you even think that your aniki still has flaws? For example, he's not good in basketball. How about that?" Naruto said.
Sasuke thought for a while. "Hmn, nope. Aniki's the best. I simply look up to him."
"You don't feel jealous or anything?"
"Sometimes, I honestly do. Especially when dad praises him, and tells me that I should be like he is." Sasuke answered. "But whatever happens, we're brothers and we're on supporting each other at all costs."
Hinata smiled. "Uchiha Sasuke-san is really kind," she said. "Ne, Sakura-chan?"
Sakura blushed. "Aa…" she can't speak for she's flushed. But she regained confidence. "Yes! My dear Sasuke-kun is really kind and a handsome boy too! Hahahaha!" she grabbed Sasuke's arm and laughed.
Dakedo, I feel extremely sad when I can see you mumbling things to us like this. I know you're hurting inside.
Mikoto knocked on his door. He still wasn't answering.
"Don't you have school today?"
Itachi could hear his mother's worried voice. All his life, he's devoted to study, to be scholarly as the rest of the Uchihas. True to what he was led to believe, he became the best scholar of their clan. However, it didn't matter to him. Because of his studies, he lost the girl he loved.
It's been a matter of years since he lost affection for women besides their mother, and since that incident, he swore not to be affected by women: for losing the woman you love makes you concentrate on your studies more. You won't be swayed, and you'll achieve what you want most.
Before he met her, all he wanted was acceptance. To be recognized. Once he became a so-called genius, he gained attention. He never knew what love is, nor did he care for it at all. He vied his father's attention, he got it, and then he fell in love. His studies declined, he struggled again… but he lost her. He felt sorry for himself, decided to go on without love, having temporarily arranged relationships with several girls of his age.
When he saw his brother--- the deviant Sasuke--- having his way of life on his own, he felt envious. Still, he acted as he was supposed to: the admirable Itachi everyone loves.
"What is the real me, then? Am I always the pride of the clan? I'm sick of this thing. My father's frustrations are vested on me. What he did or he didn't achieve, it's still on me…" Itachi said to himself.
It took a while after his deliberation lasted. "Mom?"
She's still there, waiting for him to finally talk. "I'm here, son." She said with her kind expression. "Is there anything wrong?"
He finally opened the door and hugged his mother. "I'm sorry mom," he muttered. "I shouldn't have made you worry."
Her smile was something precious to him. He could not afford to see his mother hurt. Although he has this loathe for his clan, he never showed it to her.
She's fragile, like a thin glass that's easily broken when not handled with utmost care.
"Can you tell me what's wrong?" Mikoto asked blatantly. "I know you well, Itachi."
He smiled a bit, but then he shook his head. "With that, you also know I keep some things to myself."
Mikoto laughed. "I sure do. Come, let's eat together. Your otouto had left, and he told me he's going out with his friends. Isn't it surprising? Now, he has his friends."
"Your brother never made anyone his friend. It's a miracle, right? Is this what matchmaking could lead to?" Fugaku, their father, suddenly entered the scene.
"You better think of the future, Itachi. I know how well determined you are to your goals. You match make your brother, we know that well. How about yourself?"
"I'd do the rest my way. I don't need to have your opinion. Excuse me." He simply replied, still with the coldness. When his brother's around, he tries not to show it. Mikoto knew this, but she never spoke a word about it. Their family is in a state of odds, but Sasuke has the least knowledge about it…
The girls' laughter filled the air. Sasuke tried not to laugh as loud as them, but it seems Naruto's corny jokes and stories about their school's faculty are seriously funny.
"And then it went like this. The test of courage ended up with Sir Iruka and Sir Kakashi spending the night together, finding for someone who isn't really lost! Then they heard rustling in the bushes, and Sir Iruka thought it was a bear. He cuddled to Sir Kakashi, and it was funny since it's just Sir Asuma at all! He was with an instamatic and then 'click'! Their embarrassment photo was then developed. From then on, Sir Kakashi cannot pick on Sir Asuma!"
Sasuke snickered. "Was that blackmailing?"
Naruto nodded. "Yeah!"
"I wish I was at your school," Hinata began. "You're school is so interesting!"
Sakura smiled at her. "Don't worry. We're heading for college! Let's all try our best to be at the same University!"
Sasuke and Naruto nodded. "I'm applying at Tokyo U." Sasuke said. "This time, I want to be like aniki. I'm hell bent in entering that school. I'll give it my best shot."
"Me too! Tokyo U shall be my school!" Sakura said. "Since my Sasuke-kun's planning to go there, I should follow him! He might cheat on me! Haha!"
Sasuke blushed. "What was that for? I know you can study there through your own decisions. Besides, you're so smart."
Naruto and Hinata laughed. "Hey, Sakura-san, aren't you over-possessive with your Sasuke? And that pretense relationship of yours, when will it actually be terminated?"
The two of them were suddenly quiet. It's been a while since they've talked about it with each other on phone. They need each other so they could coexist. Sakura being bullied and Sasuke chased after, they make a good pair. When one is not bullied, while the other one seems to have a girlfriend, no one will pester them.
I never thought about it as pretense at all… Sasuke thought. From the beginning, I planned to take her heart away from aniki.
Sakura smiled. "As long as he needs me, I'll be his loyal girlfriend!" she declared. "Ne?"
He nodded shyly. "I shall be loyal to you as well…" And I mean it.
"Why don't you two guys just keep it as a truth?" Hinata suggested. "In that way, you won't look like a couple of convenience."
Sakura sighed. "T-That's how it really looks like… ne?" she glanced at Sasuke. Inner Sakura: "I'm so upset! Soooo upset!"
(Inner Sakura does not appear that much in this fan fiction.)
"It would be nice if it were true." He just muttered.
"Eeeeeee?!" the three of them shouted.
Sasuke blushed. "Wha---"
Inner Sakura: "Hell Yeah!" she thought. Sasuke, the most sought after heartthrob likes me?!
"J-Just kidding?" he broke out.
Sakura's jaw-dropped. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
"Hahaha!" Hinata and Naruto laughed. "You two are peculiar about expressing what you really feel about each other!"
They both looked at each other and flinched.
Hell, this is getting complicated. I guess I need time to release all these tensions. I'm going to the training camp. Sasuke thought.
"Guys…" he began. "I've decided. I'll be on the training camp."
They were all shocked to hear that.
"What's wrong with your son?" Fugaku asked Mikoto. She was silent. She cannot understand him too. He's grown into a genius, and he's pretty special--- especially in conveying his true feelings.
Suddenly, their phone rang.
"Hai, Uchiha residence."
"Can we speak to Mr. Uchiha Fugaku? This is Meisho High's guidance office."
Mikoto trembled. I wonder what Sasuke had done? Oh my poor son.
"Dad, a phone call for you from Sasuke's school."
Fugaku instinctively got a hold of the telephone and answered coolly. "Yes, Uchiha Fugaku speaking…"
"Sir Uchiha! This is Hatake Kakashi of Meisho, remember?"
"Oh, yes, Kakashi! How's my son doing?"
"Well you see, we have a bit of a problem about him, I'm afraid this has been going on for months…" he said.
That boy! "What is it, tell me…"
"He… He continuously declines to join the varsity for basketball though it's obvious that he has this inner talent. This time, we want to have your personal decision. He always tells me it will be a hindrance for his studies and…"
Fugaku smirked. "That boy… what was he thinking?"
"I was just wondering why an ace player father hinders his own son: the protégé of his skills." Kakashi continued.
"Of course I don't mind!" Fugaku is feeling sheer happiness and pride. "That child--- I know that he's just obsessed on becoming his brother. But still, he hadn't talked about this either."
"Maybe you should talk it over. Let us know your family's decision on Monday."
"Hai. Thank you for that information." Fugaku hung up. He saw Mikoto's worried face.
"What has Sasuke done? I know that he's not a bad son!" she instinctively protected him.
Fugaku laughed out suddenly. "My, Mikoto. You sure treat him like a baby. Don't worry, I believe that too."
"What was it, then?"
Fugaku chuckled. "It seems now that I've finally known my protégé. All this time, I thought it was him."
Mikoto was confused. "What?"
"Sasuke, I'm proud of you. That's my boy!" he exclaimed, and then he was foolishly grinning to himself, which left Mikoto sweat-dropped…
To be continued