DISCLAIMER: 'Naruto' is by Masashi Kishimoto. 'Missy, I'll Make a Girl Out of You' is by Ruru Kitsuneko.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Finally. After a year and a half of not updating, I am finally putting up chapter 10. Yay. I'm usually long-winded, but for this long-awaited chapter (I hope…), I'll get to the point: thank you to the readers who will still be reading this chapter even after such a long time. I haven't gotten to read all your reviews since putting up chapter 9, and I don't know if I still can, but… I'll try… And we can now proceed directly to:
CHAPTER 10: GIRLS' NIGHT OUT?
"Sa-ku-ra-cha-n!" a very cheerful voice called loudly from the now open doorway. Yamanaka Ino sailed into Sakura and Satsuki's dorm room early the next day, but stopped dead in her tracks upon intercepting Satsuki's very unfriendly glare. "Uh…" Ino began nervously. "Hi… Satsuki-chan. How yah doin'?"
"Very badly," Sasuke said thinly, giving Ino an it's-all-your-fault glare before slamming out of the room.
Ino stared bemusedly at the closed door before whirling around to face Sakura, who sat cross-legged on her bed. "Did I just imagine it, or did Satsuki-san just give me an 'it's-all-your-fault' glare just now?" Ino asked her friend.
"If you ask me," Sakura began, flashing Ino a wintry smile, "Satsuki is the one who's at fault here right now. She clearly needs an attitude adjustment."
"Like you don't?" Ino countered dryly.
Sakura slammed her pillow against her bed in frustration. "I cannot believe she actually had the gall to give me the third-degree treatment on my state of undress! I mean, is it a capital crime to walk around in your underwear?"
"Uhm… Yeah…?" Ino answered literally.
"It was a rhetorical question, Ino," Sakura hissed, furious at her friend. "And besides, I wasn't even walking. I was in a perfectly acceptable place for any undressing acts I'll have you know."
"You mean there was supposed to be an encore?" Ino muttered with bland sarcasm. "What did you have in mind: your shirt off as well?"
Sakura glared indignantly at Ino for that wisecrack.
"What's the bid deal?" Ino muttered. "So you guys had a fight. Now, is that anything to get snippy about?" She turned to look at Sakura only to find her friend baring her teeth like a rabid animal. "OK, so it might be something to get mad about." 'She's the one who needs an attitude adjustment,' Ino thought to herself.
"If there was anybody who needs to be embarrassed about the whole thing, it would have to be Satsuki," Sakura announced, her green eyes glittering with righteous indignation. "I mean, whatever happened to knocking?"
"Whatever happened to locking your door when you do your business," Ino muttered under her breath.
"So is it my fault now because the lock doesn't lock?" Sakura snapped.
"Argue with the lock why don't you," Ino shot back irritably. "Quit taking it out on me. Like it's my fault you got sick."
Ino finished her annoyed tirade only to meet Sakura's narrowed green eyes. 'Oopsie,' Ino thought a little light-headedly. 'Yep. It was my fault. I can't believe I actually got her drunk…'
Sakura rolled her eyes, dismissing the thought that crossed her mind. She wasn't aware yet of Ino's part in her "illness", since Ino still hadn't plucked up the courage to 'fess up to what really happened. Though, she probably should get a move on, or else Hinata would spill the beans and Sakura would just cheerfully kill her—after Satsuki had her turn.
"Hey, Sakura," Ino began, trying to change the subject (but found herself blurting out the first thing that came to mind), "What kind of underwear do you think Satsuki-chan wears?"
Sakura's head snapped in Ino's direction, and her mouth fell open in shock. Utter silence prevailed for a few intense minutes.
'Oh, God!' Ino thought in abject dismay. 'Why don't I just take a bottle and bash myself on the head with it? Maybe then I'd stop running my mouth all over the place. Of all the things… why did it have to be underwear, for God's sake?'
She swung her gaze at Sakura's direction and found that her friend's mouth was still unhinged from her brain. It was like she still couldn't comprehend the question. 'Well, why not?' Ino thought to herself, suddenly irritated. 'It's only underwear. What's wrong with that? Ah, ha!' —she suddenly perked up— "It's the perfect form of revenge, Sakura-chan," Ino told her friend, in an extremely I-just-got-a-great-idea tone of voice.
"Wha—" Sakura mumbled, blinking rapidly, as if just waking up from a long nap that she didn't realize she had taken.
"It's like this—" Ino started, "Satsuki-san just saw you in your undies, right?"
"Uh-huh?" Sakura replied slowly, cautiously nodding.
"Well, then it's settled! Let's raid her underwear drawer and take a peak at hers," Ino squealed excitedly, clapping her hands. "Of course, she won't be in them, but well, you just have to take whatever revenge you can when you can—"
"What in the world are you talking about?!" Sakura shouted, her brain finally snapping back into full and complete working order. "How can going through Satsuki's underwear drawer—wait! Ino! Stop it!" Sakura scrambled to her feet after Ino, who had shot straight through Satsuki's clothes drawer and started pulling them open.
"Hmm…" Ino murmured, looking critically at the pieces of underwear she managed to pull out of the drawers. "They're kinda… sporty… Don't you think?"
"I don't wanna think," Sakura moaned horrified, her fingers digging in her scalp and tugging at her hair as if to pull out certain mental pictures that she really didn't want to be picturing.
There was nothing embarrassing or incriminating about dear Sasuke's choice of underwear (no briefs in the drawer—thankfully), but Ino actually holding them was…
"For God's sake, Ino!" Sakura muttered somewhat panicky. "If she ever finds out that we actually looked through her things… I don't know what—"
"What's the harm in finding out about your roommate's habits?" Ino asked breezily. "It's not like you're actually gonna steal her stuff. You're just checking it out. This stuff doesn't look very blood resistant to me," she muttered decisively, raising an eyebrow at the material of the current clothing item she was desecrating, and before Sakura could even take a breath after that outrageously audacious statement, quickly followed by the curiously asked question: "Do you think she uses napkins or tampons?"
Sakura just looked at her in utter stupefaction. She had so much information overload; her functioning brain capacity just did five mental somersaults and ten mental cartwheels: she seemed to be forgetting how to breathe during the duration of this conversation. "You expect me to ask her that?" she asked in a strangled whisper. Heavens! What would Ino come up with next?
Ino just shot her friend a baleful look and continued violating dear Satsuki's underwear drawer (somehow I can't seem to call it lingerie…). Sakura just hoped to God that Satsuki didn't walk in on them while Ino was still at it. She really, really did…
Sasuke took a deep breath as he walked along the dormitory hallways of Saint Blossom Academy. He didn't have any particular destination in mind; he just wanted to walk off the steam he was keeping under tight lid ever since his fight with Sakura yesterday.
Ideally, it would have been better for him to walk outside and take a breath of fresh air in order for him to clear his head more effectively, but judging from the people he always seemed to meet whenever he went for a walk, namely: Naruto, his idiotic friend (whom he kissed and claimed as his "boyfriend"); Itachi, his sadistic brother (who didn't seem to have enough to do with his life); the nameless pervert—Orochimaru (who had the nerve to not only cop a feel, but who wanted him exhibited for the delectation of the perverted masses); and Rock Lee, Sakura's overeager suitor (with the most awful hairstyle he had ever seen in his life—and really bad poetry skills), and the unpleasant events that seemed to directly follow their appearances, he really didn't think taking a walk where he might meet someone was conducive to his sanity.
His mind was so full of rioting thoughts that he didn't notice that he had walked right into the Bara (Rose) area of the students' dormitory—which was the seniors' wing—of Saint Blossom Academy, until a sweet and calm voice greeted him from the shadows.
Sasuke turned around and came face-to-face with one of the most beautiful girls he had seen in his life. The gentle, Madonna-like quality of her features combined with her doe-brown eyes and straight raven-black hair made her a major knockout. He looked curiously at her as she gave a small smile and added, "I didn't expect to see the hot new freshman of Saint Blossom Academy wandering around in the seniors' area of the dormitories."
Sasuke looked startled for a moment before rallying with a response. "I'm sorry if I'm where I'm not supposed to be. I was just walking around to clear my head. I'll go back to my room now. It was nice meeting you, though…"
"Haku," the girl said still smiling, "Sanada Hakuhi."
"Sanada-senpai," Sasuke said politely. "It's very nice to meet you. I apologize for being in your area of the dormitories—"
"Please," Haku said putting up a hand. "There's no need to be so formal around me. If you must call me 'senpai', I'd appreciate it if you used my first name instead of my last name. And as for you wandering around the seniors' area, you have no worries that I'll tattle. I know for a fact how important it is for people to be able to clear their heads once in a while. Besides, the two of us have a lot in common."
"Really?" Sasuke asked a note of challenge in his voice.
"We're both new here at Saint Blossom Academy, right?" Haku said brightly. "So let's try and be friends, alright."
"If it wouldn't inconvenience you, Haku-senpai," Sasuke replied blandly.
Haku gave a little laugh. "You're so funny, Uchiha-san. I suppose I'll see you around. Don't think too much. It'll give you migraines."
Sasuke kept his gaze on the pretty senior as she walked away, and an odd shiver danced up his spine. He had a slight foreboding feeling that this wouldn't be the last time they would meet, and that the other new student at Saint Blossom Academy would be more involved in his life that he ever wanted…
"Alright people: settle down now!" Ruru-sensei announced loudly to her homeroom class after calling the roll call—only Sanada Hakuhi was absent. "You'd think that after a month of constant classes you'd all be more sedate and ladylike, but you all seem to get rowdier the day… And you're all supposed to be seniors. The kind of example you girls are setting…"
Most of the students in Class 4 Section Momiji (Maple) rolled their eyes at their sensei, as she flicked a sheaf of papers in her hands and made another announcement:
"Extracurricular activities for the upcoming month will be geared towards this year's cultural festival. Talk to your club officers on what specific plans your clubs are planning during that time. Now, onto the main event for the cultural festival on the month after next: Saint Blossom Academy and Konoha High will jointly co-produce a major play, which will be shown on the last night of the three-day event."
A loud outburst of murmurings could be heard all over the classroom at this exciting piece of information. Though Saint Blossom Academy and Konoha High often celebrated major events, such as festivals simultaneously, each school independently planned and executed their own entertainments and events. This was the first time in the history of both schools that they would jointly plan the major event for the cultural festival.
"Well," Ruru-sensei continued, "the actual play that we're going to be doing isn't decided yet, we've decided to leave that choice up to the students, since they're the ones who'll be performing and producing the play—"
"Sensei!" a student called with her hand up. "Are the seniors going to be in charge of the play?"
"Actually," Ruru-sensei clarified, "this play is going to be a cooperative effort by all the year levels in both Saint Blossom and Konoha, which is why we're being very selective on who will be the student director."
Another loud burst of murmurings erupted all over the class once again. Now this was way interesting. An excited tension flowed through the whole class at this piece of news and everyone was jabbering away animatedly to each other, speculating on what kind of play they should perform, just as Ruru-sensei once again attempted to maintain order in her raucous classroom.
"OK! That's it! We'll discuss the cultural festival and the play in more detail in our next homeroom class." Ruru-sensei placed the sheaf of papers on her desk and picked up a piece of chalk. "Time to move on to English literature, and since you're all looking so bored—from not reading your assigned readings, I don't doubt—I've decided to liven up things for you: pop quiz!"
Everyone—except Ruru-sensei—erupted into a frenzy of moaning and groaning.
"Sensei!" the student who previously raised her hand called out, "You're so mean!"
Yep. She was mean alright. And this was one of her better days… You can just imagine the horror of the exams if ever she made them in a bad mood...
"Are you sure about this?" a soft cool voice inquired into the telephone receiver.
"I'm positive," the voice at the other end of the line answered back. "There's no mistake. It's all here in the records. Do you have any idea what's the deal behind this?"
"I honestly don't have a clue myself," was the somewhat confused reply, "I don't know how this is going to affect our plan, though."
A snort sounded from the other end of the line. "Trust you to still think about the plan after something like this."
"Actually," said the speculative reply, "this just might work out to our advantage…"
Sakura heaved a huge sigh just as the bell for the final class of the day sounded.
"S-Sakura-chan?" Hinata inquired worriedly, "A-Are you alright? You seem a b-bit down?"
"Well," Sakura sighed. "It's been a month now since me and Satsuki-chan had that fight and things haven't been the same since. I mean, we still talk and stuff, but it's sort of—stilted—I guess. I feel like I have to watch every word that comes out of my mouth." 'It didn't help that Ino made that mess the day after my fight with Satsuki-chan,' she said to herself as a disheartened afterthought. 'That mess she made took forever to clean up.' It was really lucky that Sasuke seemed preoccupied when he got back to their room (after meeting up with Haku).
"Oh, come on now, Sakura-chan!" Ino said in upbeat impatience. "There's no need to be all glum about it. It's not like she's giving you the silent treatment. I mean, like you said: she's still talking to you, right?"
"Well," Sakura hesitated, "It's just that—she's so—polite!"
Hinata and Ino blinked at that.
"I-Is b-being 'polite' a bad thing, Sakura-chan?" Hinata inquired perplexed.
"She's polite to everybody!" Sakura wailed teary-eyed.
Ino and Hinata sweatdropped at that understatement.
"We-ell," Ino drawled thoughtfully. "It's true that she was really nice to us when she first got here. I mean, just because she got into all sorts of trouble with being accused of 'lesbianism' and all…" she trailed off when both Sakura and Hinata gave her half-accusing, half-disbelieving looks, "Why are you both looking at me like that?"
"Why not?" Sakura asked with the same look still on her face.
"Oh!" Ino huffed. "You both know that I didn't have anything at all to do with 'that'!" At the looks Sakura and Hinata were still giving her, she finally plunged ahead to the real point of her somewhat long-winded monologue: "If you want to improve your friendship—or at least bring it back to the way it was before you threw up at her" —Sakura threw her a dirty look at that statement— "then there's only one surefire way to do that."
"And that is?" Sakura asked with an eyebrow raised.
"What else? There's nothing that lets girls bond together than a 'girls' night out'!" Ino announced triumphantly.
"Huh?!" Sakura and Hinata exclaimed in disbelief.
"Flight B19-S86 from USA to Japan is now disembarking. All passengers of Flight B19-S86 please proceed to the Immigration Offices for entry clearance. I repeat: All passengers of Flight B19-S86 please proceed…"
"I'm finally back," an excited feminine voice laughed aloud to herself, "I hope they're both doing well. I can't wait to see them both! I hope they haven't missed me too much…"
People have absolutely no idea of what they're capable of until they're actually put in a situation where they find themselves doing things that they would never have thought of doing even under normal circumstances.
A person like Uchiha Sasuke who was living a lie throughout his school days never really thought of living that sort of life, let alone doing the horrendously feminine things that required him to pass female muster among the inhabitants of Saint Blossom Academy.
He had never really thought of himself as a good actor, and he never really thought he'd last as long as he did without anybody at the school busting his chops, but he never even dreamed that there would be anyone "insane" enough to actually do what he was doing of their own free will…
"Uchiha-san!" a serene voice greeted him, rousing him out of his doze underneath one of the trees in the grounds of Saint Blossom Academy, "It's so nice to see you again after such a long time. How have you been doing this past week?"
Startled and slightly disoriented, Sasuke blinked awake to find himself staring at the face of senior Sanada Hakuhi, who was giving him a sweet and sedate smile as she stared at him with a twinkle in her dark eyes.
"Senpai," Sasuke greeted belatedly. "It's nice to see you as well." In the interests of conversational etiquette, he decided to sit up in order to keep his mind on the thread of their conversation.
Haku looked at him closely for a minute before remarking, "You seem to be more relaxed than the last time I saw you."
"Perhaps," Sasuke answered closing his eyes, which was unfortunate because otherwise he'd have seen the gleam in Haku's eyes as a warning that whatever she chose to say next, he wouldn't like it.
"You don't seem to be spending much time with any of your classmates outside of class time," Haku remarked perceptively. "Is it because you just prefer solitude on principle, or is it because you're afraid they'll find out that you're not the girl you're pretending to be?"
All the air seemed to have been leached out of Sasuke's lungs. His head snapped sharply in Haku's direction, and though his expression remained impassive, the depths of his eyes reflected the shock he felt at the very accurate question. 'There's no way she just guessed this,' he thought hollowly.
"Don't worry," Haku assured him with a kind smile, "I'm not going to tell anybody your secret. After all, we share the same secret, too."
Even after all these weeks, Sasuke still had a hard time believing it. He had tried his utmost to avoid encountering Sanada Hakuhi in any manner after that, but fate—or rather, Yamanaka Ino—decided otherwise…
"Satsuki-chan!" Ino greeted brightly before class one morning. "How are you this beautiful morning?"
"What do you want?" Sasuke asked coldly, not allowing Ino to beat around the bush.
"Me and the girls are going on a 'girls' night out' next Friday," she answered cheerily.
"Good for you," Sasuke remarked offhandedly, not caring in the least.
"You're coming with us, of course," Ino said dropping her bombshell. Before Sasuke could open his mouth to argue, Ino overrode his unspoken protest with a bright: "Excellent! We'll fix you up after school next Friday, and then we'll all leave together for a night of fun! Isn't it great? Aren't you glad you're coming?" And without further ado, she skipped towards Sakura and Hinata, and announced loudly, "She said 'yes'," which caused all three of them (Sasuke, Sakura and Hinata) to sweatdrop at the blatant lie of that statement.
That wasn't the only lie Ino told in the course of her endless machinations. Sasuke glanced at Ino from the corner of his eye, and saw Sakura shooting fulminating glares in her friend's direction. From Sakura's and Hinata's reactions, it seemed to have slipped Ino's mind to inform them all of the true nature of their so-called "girls' night out."
"Satsuki-san?" Haku prodded gently. "Are you alright? You don't seem to be enjoying yourself?"
"Of course she's enjoying herself!" Ino said brightly, without giving Sasuke any chance to either confirm or deny the curious comment. "How could anyone not enjoy themselves when surrounded by such cute guys?"
The full blast of Sasuke and Sakura's glares would have felled a lesser individual, but Ino, of course, was made of much sterner stuff, which was quite evident when the presence of the so-called "cute guys" in their "girls' night out" was properly put into context…
"Ino!" Sakura yelled at her friend. "Why do you keep looking all over the place?"
"Oh, y'know," Ino replied airily, "just waiting for the other girls to get here."
"H-How many did you in-vite over, Ino-chan?" Hinata stammered.
"Oh," Ino laughed. "Just a couple of the seniors and some—others…"
"Seniors?" Sakura exclaimed, rounding on her. "Which 'seniors'?"
"I believe those would be them," Sasuke remarked coolly as he pointed his finger towards two familiar figures—Haku and Temari.
He was in a very testy mood at being made to undergo a second makeover session, which was decidedly more torturous than the last. Not only did they make him wear a skirt (which wasn't actually that bad since he was already pretty used to it because their school uniform consisted of a skirt) and covered his face in that irritating substance they called makeup (which was kinda bad since this was more than he wore last time—he was actually wearing eye shadow and blush in addition to the mascara, and—horror of horrors—he was actually wearing lipstick instead of just gloss), they also made him wear stockings (which he wore with knee-high lace-up black leather boots that belonged to Sakura) and a halter top (which he absolutely refused to wear—he opted for a purple sleeveless turtleneck shirt of Hinata's instead—how it fit him is anybody's guess), which he hid under a blue denim jacket that belonged to Ino.
Ino also insisted on sprucing up his "hairstyle" to look more girly, and then proceeded to flatiron and to wax his hair into a more "becoming" style. The total effect was more horrifying than he had ever thought possible: he looked like a very attractive girl. For a brief moment of narcissistic objectivity, he decided that if he didn't know that the image he was seeing in the mirror was actually him, he might be tempted to go out with "her"—the thought of which nearly sent him into another fit of suicidal-homicidal psychosis.
Pushing the unpleasant thoughts of "her" appearance aside, Sasuke directed his gaze at the two seniors who had now reached their table. Ino, Sakura, and Hinata promptly greeted both senior girls after which, Haku offhandedly remarked, "I think I saw the others on their way here already, though I don't really know most of them."
"Let me make one thing perfectly clear," Temari interrupted abruptly before the other girls could be given a chance to reply to Haku's casual statement, "The only reason I am here right here, right now, is not to participate in any of your shenanigans, but to make sure you all behave like proper students of Saint Blossom Academy and don't get carried away and do something stupid that you'll regret later."
"I'm already regretting just being here," Sasuke muttered sarcastically.
"Now is that any way to talk to your friends, my dear little sister Satsuki?" a drawling voice that could belong to no other than Uchiha Itachi suddenly spoke, sending chills down Sasuke's spine. If he had thought that him seeing his image of himself in the mirror was bad, having Itachi see it was a hundred times worse.
Smiling brightly at Uchiha Itachi, Yamanaka Ino proceeded to very prettily flutter her eyelashes at him and say with equal brightness, "I'm so glad you could make it Uchiha-senpai. This 'group date' just wouldn't be complete without you."
Before anybody could comment on that outlandish statement, another voice added itself to the rising tension among the group.
"My God, Ino! You're such a liar," came the annoyed voice of Nara Shikamaru. "I can't believe I actually brought into the whole 'middle school reunion' spiel you were spinning all over the place. I bet you told your girlfriends this would be a 'girls' night out,' didn't you? Oh, man. This is so troublesome."
Ino laughed lightly at her friend's very accurate statement, and proceeded to run over all the objections that were now glaring in her direction. "Well, we're all here now, and it would just be so rude if we didn't introduce ourselves now, wouldn't it? So, I'll start: Hi, everyone! I'm Yamanaka Ino, a freshman at Saint Blossom Academy. This pink-haired girl over here" —she pointed at Sakura— "is my best friend Haruno Sakura, also a freshman at Saint Blossom. The shy dark-haired girl over there" —she pointed at Hinata— "is Hyuuga Hinata, another freshman at Saint Blossom, and this girl" —she gestured dramatically in Sasuke's direction— "is none other than Uchiha-senpai's dearest younger sister, Uchiha Satsuki, a new freshman at Saint Blossom."
"Lovely to meet you, ladies," Itachi said, smiling politely. "Allow me to formally introduce myself as well: I'm Uchiha Itachi, a senior at Konoha High." Gesturing to his companion, he announced, "This is my classmate: Akarui Sasori. He just returned from a foreign exchange trip in Brazil."
Glancing at Temari and Haku's direction, a peculiar gleam came into Itachi's eyes that went unnoticed by everyone, before he remarked in a friendly voice, "This lovely lady I happen to be acquainted with" —he nodded in Temari's direction— "The very responsible and engaging R.A. of Saint Blossom Academy: Subaku Temari-san, another senior just like myself. But this other young lady" —he glanced towards Haku— "I don't believe I have the pleasure of being acquainted with yet. Temari-san, would you do the honors, if you please…"
Promptly complying, Temari gestured towards Haku. "This is Sanada Hakuhi, a senior transfer student into Saint Blossom Academy."
"Please call me 'Haku'," she announced with a very respectful bow. "I'm very glad to make your acquaintance. However, I don't believe I've had the pleasure of being introduced to your other friends."
All eyes swung towards Shikamaru's group at that statement. Not one to stand on ceremony, Shikamaru abruptly performed the introductions: "Nara Shikamaru" —gesturing at Chouji— "Akimichi Chouji" —gesturing at Kiba— "Inuzuka Kiba" —jerking his thumb behind him with a slightly irritated look on his face— "someone who I've never seen in my life who just happened to be here."
"I see," Haku murmured blinking her soft brown eyes in slight bemusement.
The someone-who-just-happened-to-be-there abruptly spoke up drawing everyone's attention to him: "I'm Uzumaki Naruto! I don't know why I'm here either, but I'm not leaving because I have no idea how to get back by myself."
Everyone sweatdropped at that outrageously idiotic announcement, since there was really nothing anyone could say about it without feeling that their stupidity would rub off on them.
'Stupid Naruto,' Sasuke thought, completely embarrassed for his friend.
'I really can't imagine Satsuki-chan ever going out with him,' Sakura thought unkindly.
'I can imagine why Satsuki-chan broke up with him in the first place,' Ino thought equally unkindly.
'He's an idiot,' Shikamaru, Kiba, Temari, and Sasori thought extremely unkindly.
"Well… anyway…" Ino murmured trying to get back in the rhythm of things, "Let's all just sit down and get to know each other better, alright?"
That was a tall order as far as everyone was concerned. Ino flirted constantly with Itachi. Itachi smiled impartially at everyone, conducted a normal conversation with Ino and Haku and kept shooting smirking glances at Sasuke whenever no else would notice. Sasuke divided his ever present glower and murderous intentions towards Ino and Itachi respectively. Naruto and Chouji stuffed as much food as they could in their mouths while alternating between breaths. Kiba kept Hinata occupied with anecdotes about himself, while Hinata kept shooting glances at Naruto whenever she could. Shikamaru and Temari resorted to sniping at each other, with Temari throwing most of the barbs in Shikamaru's direction. Sasori spent most of the evening alternating between ignoring everyone and baiting Sakura. Sakura kept glaring at Ino while trying to ignore Sasori's verbal barbs in her direction and steal glimpses of Itachi at the same time.
Further into the evening and completely impervious to the fulminating glowers her friends were giving her, Ino beamed brightly at none other than Uchiha Itachi. It took all of Sasuke's self-control not to hurl at the table right then and there.
Itachi, correctly interpreting the myriad of furious emotions blazing in his younger "sister's" eyes in his impassive face, proceeded to do something he'd never done before in his life: he flirted.
Turning casually towards Haku—who looked questioningly at him from behind her long lashes—Itachi flashed a smile in her direction that would have sent the majority of Saint Blossom Academy's student population into fits of fainting and palpitations. Without even batting an eye at the stunned expressions of those who happened to see this unbelievable phenomenon, Itachi remarked nonchalantly, "You're pretty cute."
Needless to say, Itachi's casual statement would not have made more impact than if he had actually jumped up into the middle of their table and started stripping himself naked.
Sasuke turned shocked eyes towards his brother's direction, but Itachi wasn't done shocking them all speechless with his sudden Casanova act. Haku had barely got the words, "Thank you," out of her mouth, when Itachi detonated his second bombshell for the night. Without even waiting for everyone around the table to start breathing again, he promptly asked Haku: "Will you go out with me?"
If his first statement to Haku was a bomb, his second statement was a nuclear warhead. Everyone felt as if reality was just turned on its head, and slammed against the ground.
Smiling back brightly at Itachi, Haku sweetly answered, "I don't see why not."
Ino and Sakura's mouths dropped open in shock. Sasuke found himself reeling from certain information that Haku had previously imparted on him about the actuality of "her" sexual identity. Probably the only one impervious to the rapt atmosphere centered around Itachi and Haku, Sasori indifferently remarked as he popped a tamagoyaki in his mouth, "Good for you guys. You're guaranteed to make it front page news."