Title: Rules of Popularity 2/2 Pt. 1
Genre: Humor/Romance
Rating: R (it's worth it now, I suppose)
Summary: "...and of course he was the football team's quarterback. Who else would the captain of the cheerleading squad be going out with?"
Warning: Smoking and symbolism.
A/N: Writing unpredictable things is bad at times, as sometimes people don't read up to the explainations and drop the fic in the middle - "What a cliche!". What's left? Beg to read past the middle? I put up a hint in the very beginning. If it doesn't ring a bell, I don't know what does.
Sorry for the wait. But no need to shout at me! In excuse I can say that I'm reading a book that'll undoubtedly become one of my favorite - a sci-fi novel "Tomorrow is war" by A. Zorich.

Rules of popularity, part 2

"And that's why everything,
Every last little thing,
Every single tiny microscopic little thing
Wil go...
According to plan!"
Danny Elfman "According to plan" (Tim Burton's Corpse Bride OST)

A week passed since Sasuke's 'break up' with Naruto. Did his life change? No. And yes at the same time. Evil presence of fangirls wasn't any more noticeable than before, when he had had Naruto as a girlfriend. On the other hand, now the whole Konoha – both High School and University – was nagging him about what a beautiful pair they had been! And what an idiot he was to let go of such a girl as Naruto… Even those who knew that Naruto was no girl; who knew about the truth, gave out a couple of comments…

He realized how wrecked his life was Friday night, after the game with Oto Ninjas, game full of unexpected twists… and afterwards he, like a knight back from battle, ignorantly expected his Lady to greet him… And when nothing came, everything became clear.

Yes, there was no need to lie to himself. For God's sake, he had snapped the week before, let the rush of victory overcome the cold attire, dive into forbidden pleasure… and lie, squint, attempt to wiggle out of the trap he got himself into. And in the end – ruin everything.

With a sigh Sasuke fell out of his stupor and picked up the receiver, a tired "Hello?" sounding even harsher than usual.

"Hello, Sasuke-kun…" Sakura, a girl with passion for chemistry and dyeing her hair in acind colors.

"No, Sakura."

"Eh? 'No' what, Sasuke-kun?" he could hear her blink and sighed tiredly, reaching out for an ash-tray and cigarettes, promise to himself not to smoke in the house completely forgotten.

"Whatever you have to propose, the answer is 'no'." he lit up a cigarette and inhaled the poisonous smoke, the receiver slipping out of his hand.

"Wait! There was nothing like that! I just thought," Sakura, knowing Sasuke well enough to predict his reaction, was babbling fast to shove the message into his head before he put up the receiver. "You'd like to go and see – Naruto's school is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its foundation and they're making a play – like, Shakespeare's "Richard III" and Naruto's the lead – we're all invited – and I thought you'd like to go – in the end, even if you broke up, you're still friends?"

Sasuke watched the smoke drift away. If his parents found out about him smoking – and smoking in the house nonetheless, he'd be so dead…

"It doesn't interest me, Haruno."

There was a distinct pause after his reply before she said, unnaturally coldly and harshly:

"If you really think so, you really are an idiot and don't deserve him in the slightest."

The ash from his cigarette fell right on the expensive carpet. Sasuke smirked weakly, imagining his mother's reaction.


They met at a festival, Naruto's school making a play – for some reason the whole student body was obsessed with Shakespeare and his plays, though logic says they should have been rather performing ballets based on them – some reverse version of "Twelfth night", where Naruto was playing a cross-dressing boy… Which actually gave Sasuke the idea of getting a 'girlfriend'.

But that came afterwards, as at the time he was whirled in tornado of barely familiar faces and when they were finally introduced to each other, not even a hint of interest sparked in Sasuke.

Only weeks later, when Naruto came to Konoha Salamanders as a cheerleader, Sasuke, usually an arrogant bastard, melted.

Naruto was his savior. Not only in meaning of fangirls – God screw them, Sasuke had been ignoring them for year by that time and was still alive. He was the person who somehow, in an instant, managed to get close to him, shamelessly enter his heart and innocently ask whether it was wrong. Oh no, it wasn't.

Sasuke liked Naruto really much. Maybe, he was even in love with him. Maybe. Probably. Eighty percent. Ninety. Ninety nine and nine tenth. Screw it, he was.

People tended to divide Naruto into two parts – Naruto-the-boy and Naruto-the-girl, completely missing the fact that Naruto-the-girl never existed. Uzumaki was Uzumaki, be he clad in a skirt or in pants. And Sasuke loved Naruto as he was - in a skirt, in pants or without any clothes at all.

"But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days

"Couldn't they find a better person for Gloucester? Naruto is by no means ugly!" Sakura whispered loudly, frowning at the stage, where the said boy was "proving a villain". Ino hushed at her, but nodded nonetheless.

Sakura secretly threw a glance at Sasuke and then stared back at the stage, words now flowing past her, as her mind was occupied by other problems. He pretended not to notice that the frown on her forehead deepened and went on with watching the play. Something… something – and those weren't his worries – didn't let him concentrate. Hadn't he been so pragmatic, he'd say it was a premonition.

But he forcefully diverted attention to the stage.

"Sasuke! Hi there!" Naruto smiled widely and then went on with shaking hands with all his friends from Konoha. At his side were Sabaku Gaara and his elder sister Temari, both wearing something indescribable, but obviously punkish. "Glad that you came! Now – I think you all know each other? Then let me leave you for a while, I've got to help the old ha- the principal with something. I'll be right back!" and he stormed out of the hall the school guest were now at, leaving his confused friends alone.

Shikamaru glanced cautiously at Temari, silently praising her outfit. Sakura snickered quietly beside him – that sly witch knew everything about his relationship with an "enemy". Well, - everyone in the room knew, except for Sasuke. But he wouldn't probably care.

"Isn't it nice, Sasuke?" Ino sang in a pleased tone. "Naruto doesn't seem to be angry at you at all!"

"Why would he be angry at me?" Uchiha looked down at her coldly, but that only made her smile falsely.

"Oh, I mean that incident the other week. You know – oh, you know, right, Temari-san, Sabaku-san?" Sasuke froze on the spot under Gaara's heavy glare, while Temari joined the conversation, poison dripping from her tongue.

"Oh, you mean that case, Ino-san? I thought he should have been angry about the other one…"

"Which one, Temari-san?" Sakura murmured, sending the male audience (except for Gaara, of course) into shock.

"Oh, the one when Naruto was attacked by a group of wild fangirls…"

"Saa, and I thought you meant the incident when Naruto was returning home alone from a late "date" and was robbed off his belongings…"

Shikamaru felt his mouth dry. Women were scary, even when they were your comrades.

Sasuke managed to fish Naruto out of a whirlpool of the party only several hours later. They entered an empty classroom on the second floor, far from the noise and music.

"Eh? What's the matter?" Sasuke rolled eyes, ordering Naruto to drop the pretence. No result – as he kept on staring at him innocently.

"Naruto… We need to talk." Uchiha managed to squeeze out of himself, even though all his insides were against even the thought of saying "sorry".

"Aren't we talking now?" Naruto blinked.



"I'm… really sorry…"

"Ah, don't worry, there's nothing to talk about. If you think I'll have to quit school, you're wrong! I saved up and will be able to pay for the last trimester by myself!" Naruto interrupted him and started babbling, but Sasuke, having made up his mind, went on with self-assurance of a submarine.

"…that I don't feel sorry for what I've done."

"Huh?" Sasuke looked down on the blond, noticing suddenly how close they were. When did he close the distance?

"And, actually, I'd like to repeat that."

The moment Sasuke's lips met Naruto's all light in the school went out, the two drowning in complete darkness. Uproar from the hall went unnoticed by them, as gentle, barely noticeable, even hesitant touch slowly deepened.

Naruto proudly counted it as his first kiss, dismissing all the previous encounters with the same partner as not genuine.

Sakura and Ino argued, saying that even when stolen, the first kiss was the first kiss. Temari who had gone with Shikamaru further than kisses long, long before only smirked knowingly at these talks, while Shikamaru himself was lucky enough to never participate in them.

Gaara once and for all closed the discussion, having said that setting things up for Naruto was already more that could handle.

Everything was simple. Naruto, whose name could have never been used in the same positive sentence with word "smart", still managed to spurt the idea of asking for help. The first person that got into his mind was Gaara. Gaara, not wanting to dive into love matters no matter that Naruto was his one and only friend, sent him to Temari. Temari, smart Temari asked Shikamaru for help. Shikamaru thought a little, called Ino and Sakura and altogether they set a huge trap for Sasuke. And everything – during the weekend between the fateful kiss and not any less fateful break up.

Classical tactic of driving the opponent mad proved itself useful one more time. In case Sasuke didn't confess, there was a back-up plan, one, including fake girl- and boyfriends, cross-dressing (again!) and various scenarios of raping Sasuke's brain.

But the guy appeared to be not as tough as everyone thought and gave up almost immediately. Yatta!

Shikamaru congratulated himself and went on with his twisted life with Temari.

Ino and Sakura continued studying and searching for boyfriends.

Gaara was as happy about his own loneliness as a person with homicidal tendencies can be.

Sasuke and Naruto… well…

That time Hinata was smart enough not to go to the stadium and wait for cousin Neji at a nearby park. Even though she enjoyed the cheerleaders' company, she wanted to neither distract them from the game, nor to watch the game.

And yet cousin Neji had to forget his bag in the club's office! And moreover – send her to fetch it!

Inwardly fuming angrily, but unable to refuse, Hinata went back to the University building and searched our the club's room – one at the farthest corridor or the always empty sixth floor.

When she entered the office (which actually appeared to be a chain of rooms), she immediately started to suspect something was wrong.

But despite that fact, she crossed the first – administrative – room and entered the second, where a wall formed by lockers barred one side of if from the other. Cousin Neji's bag was lying on a bench at the door and Hinata reached out to grab it when she heard a loud moan.

Her first thought was that someone was hurt and she even opened her mouth to ask what was wrong, when her glance fell on the mirror on the wall, which reflected what was "wrong".

She immediately recognized the couple as Uchiha Sasuke and Uzumaki Naruto and even smiled for a second, remembering now that the two got together again. But then, when she realized what they were doing her smile fell.

Sasuke was leaning against the wall, sweaty and still in his American football uniform – at least partly, while Naruto, fully-clothed – if cheerleader's uniform could have been actually called clothes, was standing on her knees in front of him and… well…

"Na-Naruto!" Sasuke hissed, fingers entangled in Naruto's hair, as he brought her head closer to…

Oh, God!

Hinata ran out of the club, having forgotten about the bag.

When irritated Neji asked her why she didn't bring it, she could only blush.