Disclaimer: Somewhere! Over the Rainbow, I will own

A/N: So short for such a long wait. I know, but I have trouble with this story. And I can't just drop it, I could never do that. procrastination is my only solution.

Alright, just to clear a few things. I'm basing this slightly off of the Japanese culture (basing, and being) which mean a few things. The driving age in Japan is 18 (don't argue, I live here). Most Schools don't allow jobs (students are almost always to busy anyway). Naru is tall because in Shippuden, Naruto grows (But she's still shorter than Sasuke by a bit). He was only short before because he hadn't reached puberty yet. Alright, some people have been asking about Neji. He'll be more involved as the story progresses.

Finally, I just want to give you Naru's image. She's basically a diamond in the rough. She wears baggy and rather ugly outfits. She doesn't wear makeup, or trim her eyebrows (or anything to do with image). She still has her whiskers. She's tall, rather skinny but has a nice fingure (If she'd let it show). Hope that helps.

Chapter 10: Those Who Stand and Those Who Fall

Naru hadn't bothered to listen to the lesson that morning. She was too conscious of all the suspicious stares that followed her every movement.

Lunch hadn't been any better. As she and Sakura walked down the halls, Naru heard girls whispering amongst themselves.

"Slut."

"Gold digger."

"Bitch."

They were only a few of the names she had been called. And that was when she was around. Naru hadn't felt this hated since she was called a demon child and was blamed for the death of her parents. If she were any weaker, she would have bent over and start crying shamelessly. But she wasn't.

Surprising, Sakura had stayed by her side the entire time. The talk they had the day before had really made Sakura to change into a more trusting friend. However, the rumor did make the pinkette a little more edgy towards Naru than usual.

As they walked to outside for lunch, Naru kept her head held high. If people were going to make her the infamous school slut, then she was going to take the publicity with stride.

And the other half of the rumor was no where in site. Sasuke had disappeared as soon as the bell rang, looking much more distraught than usual. Naru thought it might have been because the rumor but she highly doubted it. Sasuke wouldn't be receiving verbal abuse from jealous people, so he had no worries in the rumor department.

"N-Naru?" whispered a familiar sweet voice. The said girl turned to where the meek sound had come from, the brunette with frailty.

"Hey Hinata." Naru said, smiling. She let a chant o through her head. I won't be broken…

"Um, well, I was wondering," she said as she looked to the floor.

"Eye contact." Naru commanded.

Hinata obeyed, letting her pale eyes meet Naru's vibrant orbs. Sakura cocked her head confused. She hadn't been inform of Naru's operation to turn Hinata into a kick ass and confident girl.

"I was wondering if I could eat with you today." Hinata said, although her eyes meeting Naru's, she still spoke quietly.

Sakura furrowed her brow. "But you eat with us everyday." Most of the girls in their school ate together in various cluster of groups.

Hinata's face turned into a depressing state. "The girls," she started ruefully, "they've been saying mean things about Naru. I didn't want to sit with them."

Sakura sighed with annoyance. Naru just shook her head. She was taking this surprisingly well. "That's fine, let them say what they want." Naru said as she started to walk. The other two followed her. "I have better places to be than around a bunch of gossip mongers."

"And where would that be?" Sakura asked, befuddled by Naru's nonchalance.

"The roof," replied Naru with a smile. "Let's go!" She said with new enthusiasm, punching her fist into the air. Sakura rolled her eyes with fondness while Hinata laughed nervously.

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"Well, well. If it isn't the school slut," piped a teasing voice as Naru came through the door.

"Stuff it, dog boy." Naru quipped in return, though she knew Kiba was just playing. Still, she would not be called such undignified names. She walked forward, Sakura and Hinata in tow.

"Twice in a row," Shikamaru muttered from his spot on the ground, "how troublesome."

Naru stuck her tongue out in reply, knowing the lazy teen meant nothing by it. "And I bring company too," she step aside to reveal her female friends. "Play nice," she teased as she sat down unceremoniously next to Kiba.

The remaining girls kept where they were. Hinata was uncomfortable and embarrassed to intrude while Sakura just made a face at the crowd her best friend associated herself with. Kiba smiled up at Hinata and Naru swore she could see his tail wagging in excitement (she took this opportunity to steal a bite of his sandwich). "Come on, sit!" he said, patting the spot next to him.

Hinata gave a nervous glance at Naru, who gave her a 'thumbs up' in reply. Hinata then proceeded to stumble over next to the dog loving boy, sitting with a nervous elegance the shy girl possessed. Sakura still remained standing.

"Don't worry Sakura, we don't bite," Chouji said after he swallowed what he had been eating.

Sakura gave the overweight male a deadpanned look. "I doubt that…" she muttered, but reluctantly sat on the other side of Naru. "The things I do for you," Sakura continued, sighing dejectedly. Sometimes she missed the old days when she was the selfish Queen B.

"Heard the rumor escalated," Chouji commented as he started on his pudding. Sakura looked grossed out, being the diet freak she was.

Naru laced her fingers in her long blonde hair, then pulled in frustration. "Sometimes, I wish I was a guy. I probably wouldn't have to deal with the half the shit I'm dealing with."

"Maybe," Shikamaru commented, watching the clouds take different forms, "But there's still other things you'd have to deal with. If you were a guy with this situation, there'd be the rumor of you being gay."

Naru nodded. Trust Shikamaru to lift her spirits by shedding wisdom on the situation. "Yup! No point on dwelling on the 'ifs'." She stretched her arms up, a comfortable smile on her face.

Lunch became the high point of the day. Despite Sakura's reluctance, she warmed up to the three boys, arguing with them as she would with Naru. Hinata kept reclusive, only to be pulled back in by either Naru or Kiba. Chouji had gotten Sakura to eat something, having Shikamaru bait her with the fact that she and Ino were alike.

Naru smile had brightened considerably since the free period had started. She would never expect things to work out so horribly, yet perfectly, at the same time. She took a moment to stare off behind her, through the fence (which had been added after the falling incident) she leaned against, and into the parking lot. There, she stopped, finding a familiar conceited male speaking to someone in a car.

After a short time, the car sped off, living Sasuke alone. From such a distance, Naru couldn't see his expression, but could feel the anger that oozed off him. Naru winced as the Uchiha punched a near by wall. The male then walked off, completely ignoring the blood that trailed down his fingertips and stained the ground.

"Naru!" shouted Sakura into said girl's ear to grab her attention. Naru winced and turned to the pinkette innocently.

"Yes?" She asked, trying not to look suspicious. Sakura would freak knowing Naru had just zoned out while watching Sasuke, of all people.

"The bell rang, blondie," stated Kiba as he pushed himself off the floor. He then helped Hinata stand, being the 'gentleman' that he was.

"Whoops!" Naru said, laughing at herself as she followed Kiba's example of standing. As soon as she was up, she turned her gaze back to the parking lot, which was now empty (sans cars).

Sakura was already advancing toward the exit when she ushered Naru to follow. "Come on, you get me in enough trouble without making me late." Naru quickly followed, not wanting to irritate the already irritable girl.

What had Sasuke been doing in the parking lot, talking to some person who gave him such an intense reaction? Naru shook her head, it was not her place to know. But still…

She would check to make sure Sasuke had treated his hand properly once they got back to class, friend or not.