A/N: Hey there everyone! I was reading back on this fanfic, six years after I first published it- and I was so terribly embarrassed at my writing that I just had to rewrite ALL of it. So if you've read it in the past, I suggest you read it again, because I expanded the story much more! And if you haven't read it already, THANK GOD because I'd just dying of shame. So enjoy! (1/6/12)
SWEET SUMMER SLUMBER
She was born to create trouble, thus landing her in that dump of a summer school which would turn out to be the place with the best memories of her life.
The office was deadly quiet, save for the sound of a pen being nervously clicked over and over again. With his other free hand, the bald headed man continuously dabbed at his sweaty forehead with a dark red handkerchief, his eyes darting from side to side as he looked at everything save for his very source of anxiety standing right before him. His office felt smaller than usual today- he had never felt so suffocated in his own lair.
"Haruno Sakura, you have been called into my office today to be informed that you will be immediately expelled from this school due to reported violence and disrespect within the school rules."
He winced. He hadn't meant for his voice to come out so shakily- he was the principal, the very pillar of his school, the man in charge for god's sake! He had tried to make his voice sound convincingly strong and powerful; yet he couldn't help but feel vulnerable before the petite girl standing so innocuously in front of his desk.
"Right." Her answer was short and curt, her tone devoid of any amusement or interest. He had to grab a hold of himself to stop his body from shuddering- his mind briefly wandered as he tried to contemplate how a high school girl could make his nerves turn into jelly. Her light, smooth voice pulled him out of his trance as she spoke once more. "Someone reported me?"
"Indeed." The principal answered, avoiding her intent gaze upon him as he pretended to be interested in a couple of stray papers scattered around his desk. "I see... you have been expelled from six different schools already. I am truly sorry, I was hoping that we would be the one to be able to help you." He usually hated delivering bad news to his students because he hated to see their crestfallen expressions- but in this case, he hated to be the one to break the news simply because this was no ordinary student standing in his office.
She shrugged her small shoulders, her face betraying no particular emotion. "Seven including this one, to be honest. I wasn't aware that you were so...informed on all your students."
He felt the dread wash over him as he realized that he would now have to deliver the bad news that was sure to infuriate the girl. He uncrossed his legs and wiped his sweaty palms on his trousers, wishing that he had a stronger hold on himself than he did- he hated this feeling of being emasculated, especially when he was sitting in a seat of power.
"Along with your removal from this school, you will be required to take a mandatory two-month summer course at Konohagakure Academy, starting in early June." He blurted out, wishing he could disappear on the spot as soon as the words left his mouth. Her impassive face finally broke as an elegant pink eyebrow slightly twitched- this time he could not stop himself from shuddering. At that moment, he just wanted to quit his job, go home and curl up underneath his covers. He could've sworn her bright emerald orbs had flashed a shade of dark green as they slowly narrowed.
"...what?" Her voice was menacingly low this time.
The elderly man swore under his breath, thinking that this was absolutely not what he had imagined when he had taken up this job as school principal. He had encountered his fair share of troubled students throughout his career, but never had he met such a threatening, hopeless case.
"You're going to a boarding school for the summer." He summarized in a small voice, his eyes darting towards his office phone as he wondered if he would need its use. He was momentarily tempted to call for help when he remembered that he was the man of this school as he straightened up, squaring his shoulders. He would not let his persona be undermined by a student. He pretended to ignore her as her small and delicate looking hands curled up into a fist, a dangerous look overcoming her face.
"You have expelled me; therefore you have no business left with me anymore." She answered icily, her sharp tone piercing. "You have no right."
"On the contrary, Haruno-san. We have recieved your mother's consent." He tried to make his voice convincing, and winced as it came out disgustingly smug instead. "As an educational facility of this city, we are obligated to take responsibility for our students. Your mother is very concerned, Haruno-san- she was quite eager to agree." As he said these words, he was quite sure she had let out a snarl- but chose to ignore this as well, for his own well being.
"She's my step-mother," She spat out with as much vile she could muster. The principal visibly shrunk back, all the thoughts about manning up disappearing out the window.
"I'm sure y-your father will agree as well. Konohagakure is a school for the disciplined. I'm sure you'll pick up something along the way." He dabbed at his forehead once again, not able to prevent the stutter that took over his words. He secretely thought that it was far too late for a girl like her to learn anything about discipline- but he decided to keep his opinions to himself.
"Discipline my ass." She shot back crudely, and the old man winced at her vulgarity.
He pretended to be extremely interested in his papers once again. "It's too late Haruno-san," He finally spoke, after choosing his words carefully. "We have already sent in your application and enrolled your name. Your plane flight details have been handed to your parents, and they will take care of the rest for you. If you choose not to attend, there will be bigger consequences in the future." He replied, trying to look as nonchalant as possible. "If you have no more questions, you may leave my office." He made it sound like an option, but in his head he was pleading for her to leave immediately.
She looked like she was about to explode for a moment, as a death glare overcame her face. Then, her expression suddenly changed, as she eyed him mischeviously with a small smirk hanging on her plump lips.
"Before I leave," She started, quietly cracking her knuckles behind her back, "I would like to show you why you do not screw me over."
He wondered why on earth he had agreed to accept her into his school merely a month ago. The fact that she had been expelled by six different school beforehand should have been enough of a warning for him- no, it was more like a big fat neon red sign with the word NO stamped across.
He was definitely getting way too old for this.
The Summer Sends Its Love
"The summer sends its love to you,
The same as every year…
But this year I will send mine too,
And wish that you were here."
If there was one thing that the seventeen year old Haruno Sakura hated doing, it was waiting.
She impatiently shifted around in her small, uncomfortable airplane seat, briefly wondering why on earth she had decided to wear a pair of tight jeans for a long flight. She frowned- if they were going to send her far away for some ridiculous summer course in some random academy, the least they could have done was to send her away in first class or something. The plane hadn't even departed- hell, all the passengers hadn't even boarded the plane yet, and she was already sighed, giving up on making herself more comfortable, shoulders sagging as she sank down into her small seat. At least it was a window seat, she thought to herself with amusement. She entertained herself with the thought that the poor principal of her latest school would have to spend much of his time and money on repairs on his office, a smirk gracing her lips.
"Excuse me, is this yours?"
A cheerful voice interrupted her thoughts, accompanied by the sounds of quiet whimpers. Sakura looked up to see a boy with messy, unkept brown hair, his sharp brown eyes observing her carefully as he held up the handbag she had thoughtlessly put in the seat next to hers. Her eyes immediately were drawn to the strange red markings on his cheekbones (were those tattoos?) and canine teeth peeking out of his mischevious grin. It took her a second to realize that he probably had to sit in the seat next to hers.
"Oh yeah, sorry about that." Sakura muttered the apology under her breath, taking the handbag from him. "I didn't think anyone would be sitting in that seat."
"No problem really," The brunette replied, shrugging his shoulders, and grinned again as he took his seat, She did a double-take as the unusually large handbag in his arms moved- she briefly amused herself, thinking that this summer course hadn't even started and she was already going insane.
His eyes followed her wide, curious gaze towards the object in his lap. "Oh yeah," He said, his eyes lightening up. "No need to worry, Akamaru usually gets a bit restless pretty easily- it's his first time on an airplane." He gave the bag a shake, and this time was answered with a muffled bark.
"Can I see him?" Sakura asked automatically, her expression brightening up. She wasn't usually this friendly with strangers, but she couldn't help herself this time around- she had a natural affinity for all animals, especially dogs. He shrugged his shoulders, looking more than pleased to show off his partner.
"Only if you can handle him," He warned, as he opened his handbag. She was immediately attacked by a white bundle, letting out a delighted gasp of surprise as the object in her hands was determined to lick her face clean. "Whoah, down Akamaru! Sorry, I think he's a bit excited." The boy apologized, and she shook her head in response, her grin growing even wider as the pup let out another bark. "I'm Inuzuka Kiba, by the way." He added, taking the opportunity to make a new friend to entertain him during the long flight. She let out another laugh as Akamaru licked her face once again.
"I'm Haruno Sakura." She finally answered, handing Akamaru back to his rightful owner. "Nice to meet you," She hastily added, trying to remember her manners for a boy who had graciously let her mandhandle his puppy on their first encounter.
"So what's a pretty lady like you doing travelling alone to a boring city like Leaf?" He flirtaciously asked, a smug look decorating his face as he put Akamaru back in the bag before any of the other passengers around them could complain. "Leaf isn't exactly tourist-attraction material, y'know?" She inwardly rolled her eyes, getting an exact idea of what kind of boy she was dealing with. So typical, she thought to herself, but at the same time, a bit of company wouldn't hurt, and Kiba really did seem like a genuinely nice guy.
Her pretty face scrunched up into a frown as she remembered why exactly she was on this plane. "I'm off to summer school," She answered disdainfully. "As if being expelled for the seventh time wasn't enough." She muttered the last part to herself.
"Really? I'm being sent to summer school as well, because of bad conduct or something like that." He answered with a light laugh. "I wasn't expelled though. I mean, I would've been expelled but I was given another chance, only if I agreed to take this stupid summer course. If it was up to me, I would totally just skip it and be expelled, but my mom was downright angry, and man, you do not want to ever see my mom mad." He chuckled as she smiled amusedly. "Going to some school called Konohagakure... what kind of academy has a lame name like that?" He snorted.
Her eyes lit up as she heard the familiar name. "Konohagakure? No way, that's where I'm going!" She exclaimed, delighted at the coincidence.
"You kidding?" Kiba asked, an incredulous look in his eyes. She looked just as surprised as he did, as they both burst out laughing. "I guess there would be no other reason for two good lookin' teenagers like us to go in a dump like Leaf." He added, looking quite pleased.
The two of them didn't even notice the plane depart, both too absorbed in the delight of having found a new friend so early on in their journey for the summer.
"So... a welcoming committee of employees is supposed to meet us here?" Kiba asked, nervously looking around at his surroundings. Sakura chuckled at her new friend's antics- she had found out that he had a fear of new places, much like his fellow canine companion. They both did not like the sensory deprivation that came with going to unknown, new locations.
"Well, it's an academy for discipline right? I doubt they would leave a bunch of troubled teenagers alone in an airport for long," She said sarcastically, trying to calm his nerves.
He glanced at her, realizing that Sakura had not been quite informed about their new home for the next two months. "Sakura-chan, Konohagakure isn't really for troubled kids, don't you know?" His statement was met with an extremely confused look. "I mean yeah, troubled kids go there- but it's not an academy specifically made to reform troubled kids. It's a prestigious academy where only really disciplined and rich kids go to, and parents send their children there, hoping that they'll learn something from the super genius students that go there already." His nose wrinkled in disgust as he said the last part.
"So we're stuck with snobby rich kids for the rest of summer?" She asked, her face looking unamused. "That's my idea of fun right there."
"Hey do you think they're all going to Konoha?" Kiba quickly changed the subject, sensing her mood shift. She followed Kiba's gaze towards the group of teenagers standing a bit farther apart- kids with handbags that were so full of textbooks and other studying materials that they were unable to close. Sakura was quite disgusted at how dead they looked, how their eyes held no life at all.
Leading the group was possibly the most anal looking boy Sakura had ever seen. His unnerving pearl white eyes were blankly staring at something- Sakura didn't quite know what. His chocolate brown hair would have been beautiful if it wasn't tied up into a neat ponytail, and his plain outfit simply screamed out "Hello, I don't know what fun is" to the rest of the world. Her eyes swept over the rest of the boys standing behind him, as she noticed several bizarre people, such as a boy with rebellious, spiky hair which looked like a pineapple in the way it was currently tied in, another boy covered with a high neck raincoat despite the fact that it was summer, and red head boy with an extremely grim expression as a group of giggling girls followed his every move.
That was just plain weird.
"They scare me." Sakura whispered to Kiba, pointing towards the girls who immediately glared at her all at once. Kiba quietly nodded in agreement as he purposely looked in the other direction.
"Oh look, new trash."
Emerald met white as Sakura'e gaze incredulously snapped onto the boy who had just spoken. The boy who stood at the front of the group glared at the unusual pair standing a few feet away from him. His glare was met back with a fiercer one as Sakura chose not to budge, returning his sentiment full-heartedly. "I don't understand why trash like you have to come ruin our academy's reputation every year. Your lot brings nothing but trouble." He continued, not once taking his gaze off of her. She gritted her teeth in anger, and it took approximately one second for her to decide that this boy standing across from her was decidedly dead.
Kiba stepped out, his canine teeth flashing dangerously as he snarled. "Is that how you treat girls in this stupid place?"
"I wouldn't even call that a girl." The white eyed boy answered, not even bothering to look at the other boy. "Nothing else but trash."
Sakura was a second away from punching the boy in the face, when Kiba sighed, grabbing her arm and leading her away. "Not now, Sakura-chan." He warned her. "Just ignore him for now. People like that think they're so much better than us- prove that you're the better person and just walk away from it." She sighed in frustration, tempted to ignore her newfound friend's advice. She took a deep shaky breath- patience had never been her strong point, but Kiba's grip on her was painfully strong and deep down she knew he was right. She would just give into their satisfaction by charging at the rude boy.
Her thoughts flew out the window when the most beautiful man she had evern laid her eyes upon walked in front of her line of sight.
"Naruto you dobe, slow down."
Uchiha Sasuke was quite frankly tired of warning his hyperactive 'friend' for what felt like the thirtieth time that day. The blond boy next to him jumped up and down, running in circles as Sasuke proceeded to look even more irritated than before. The four hours spent on the plane had felt more like three weeks with Uzumaki Naruto sitting next to him- sometimes he wished that the blonde hadn't taken it upon himself to make Sasuke his best friend. Naruto had all the best intentions, but sometimes Sasuke just wished that the boy knew when to draw the line.
"Ne Sasuke-bastard, I can't believe we're actually teachers now." Naruto sniggered at his friend, who just scowled in response. "I mean, we're not really proper teachers, because we're just teaching summer courses and not a real school... well I guess it is a real school, just that we're just here for the summer courses and we'll be teaching kids. Does that make us real teachers? Or just part-time teachers? Or trainee teachers? Or do you think..."
"Naruto, shut up."
Naruto listened to his friend as he abruptly shut his mouth for a minute, before he opened it again, much to Sasuke's chagrin.
"Why are you working anyways? It's not like you need the money, not with all that family fortune you have."
Sasuke sighed, mentally giving up on the thought of making Naruto shut up. "Father thought it would be a good learning experience." Sasuke answered, shrugging his shoulders. "And I agree. I won't live my life depending on my family's wealth." He briefly thought of his father, who had never been satisfied enough, proud enough of his youngest son. He pushed the thoughts out of his head as he realized Naruto hadn't been listening to his answer, the blonde's gaze fixated upon a girl who was quietly arguing with a brunette boy.
"Hey do you think her hair is natural?" Naruto voiced his thoughts, as Sasuke's gaze shifted to the unusual shade of pale cotton candy pink that decorated her head. She certainly did not look like an everday person- and her pink hair was only the beginning of it. Her eyes were a curiously breathtaking shade of green, one he had never seen on a person before. He glanced at her porcelain-like face one more time before averting his attention elsewhere.
"Not that I really care, but yes Naruto, despite it's unusual hue it looks natural." Sasuke answered his friend's question, hoping that he would shut up now.
"I thought so!" Naruto exclaimed giddily. "Ne, she's really pretty isn't she?"
Sasuke rolled his eyes, starting to lose his patience. "You might want to wipe that drool off your face, dobe." He answered dryly.
"Hey, just because you're emotionally frigid doesn't mean I don't get to make up for it." Naruto complained. Sasuke raised an eyebrow at Naruto's statement, and Naruto sighed exasperatedly, as if his friend was the most frustrating person in the world. "Well everyone knows you haven't had a girlfriend all your life," Naruto explained, Sasuke's glare growing deeper with every word. "And don't act like you're not hot. Wait, that sounded totally wrong- I meant it as in don't act like you don't know that every single female in thie world thinks you're hot. I don't think you're hot, that's gross."
"Just because I never tell you anything doesn't mean that I am not in a relationship." Sasuke shot back, his irritation creeping into his voice. His words were met with Naruto's horrified gaze.
"Don't tell me you're in a relationship." Naruto whispered, his cerulean blue eyes growing bigger by the second. When Sasuke didn't answer him, Naruto looked (if possible) even more terrified. "Oh my god, you ARE in a relationship. Uchiha Sasuke is in a relationship."
"Shut up dobe, so what if I am?" Sasuke snapped, his patience starting to run thin.
"What's her name? How did you meet her? What does she look like?" Naruto immediately bombarded him with questions- Sasuke was reminded of why he had been hiding this from the blonde for so long. "And most importantly," Naruto added, "HOW LONG as this been going behind my back?"
Sasuke was now wishing he had never told Naruto about his summer job. Then, the blonde would have never tagged along.
"The most important questions are always the ones concerning you, aren't they?" Sasuke replied, rubbing his temples with his fingertips. He could feel a mild headache starting to settle upon him. "Her name is Akane, I met her through my father's masquerade ball for his fiftieth birthday. What she looks like physically is none of your concern. We have been seeing each other for a month now."
"The masquerade ball you didn't invite me to?" Naruto asked incredulously. "And a MONTH?" He shrieked, as Sasuke's words finally settled in. Sasuke winced as Naruto's loud voice earned a few curious stares from people passing by. Sasuke unconsciously noted that the pink haired girl and her friend were also curiously staring at them now.
If Sasuke had been any other person, he probably would have burst into tears after dealing with Naruto for so long. But he was an Uchiha, and Uchihas definitely did not cry. And honestly, Sasuke had dealt with Naruto for so long, that he knew exactly how to steer Naruto's attention elsewhere when their conversations took a turn towards a subject Sasuke was uncomfortable with.
"Naruto, I think the welcoming committee is here." Sasuke said nonchalantly, and just as he had predicted, the blonde immediately whirled around in excitement.
This was the start of a very long summer, Sasuke thought to himself tiredly as Naruto ran off without him, leaving his bags for his raven haired friend to pick up.
"Ugh, looks like it's time for us to go." Sakura said in disgust, as she observed the group of teenagers from before all crowding around a tall gray haired man who was holding up a paper sign with the word KONOHAGAKURE clearly printed on it. She briefly wondered if everyone at this so-called prestigious academy was insane. The lower half of the man's face was covered with a strange mask, his wild gray hair hiding one of his eyes. She was slightly disturbed at the thought of such a shady character being one of the supervisors for her summer course, but then she reminded herself that she wasn't exactly one of the normal ones either.
"Hello, I am Hatake Kakashi and I am in charge of your safe arrival to Konohagakure for our summer program. I will require for you to tell me your names, and then you can peacefully hop onto the bus waiting for us outside." The man cheerfully greeted them, and there was a very slight tone of sarcasm underneath all the fake cheeriness. Somehow, Sakura could deduct that the man wasn't exactly overly enthusiastic about his job here.
"Inuzuka Kiba and Haruno Sakura," Kiba said for the both of them. Kakashi's eyebrow raised humorously as he heard Sakura's name.
"Would I sound like everyone else if I told you that your name was-"
"Fitting, I know." Sakura answered rolling her eyes. Kakashi's lone visible eye crinkled up in amusement. "I-"
"Uchiha Sasuke and Uzumaki Naruto." A low voice rudely interrupted her before she could get her sentence out. Sakura opened her mouth to insult the man who had cut her off when she set her eyes upon the gorgeous man who had walked by her earlier. All the words that were at the tip of her tongue disappeared for a moment before she swallowed heavily, shutting her mouth.
"I wonder if they were expelled like you." Kiba whispered into her ears. "They look like they're in their early twenties, don't you think? A bit too old to be attending an academy for high schoolers if you ask me." He abruptly shut up when the raven haired man turned his gaze to the canine boy, his eyes piercing. He couldn't believe what he was hearing- pulled back? Uchiha Sasuke had graduated high school two years earlier than the rest- he had definitely not been pulled back a couple years. He briefly wondered if he really did look like a student who had failed at several years, before Kakashi interrupted his thoughts.
"Now, now Inuzuka-kun, is that any way to talk to one of your teachers for this summer's course?" Kakashi inquired, nodding towards Sasuke and Naruto. "Uchiha-san, Uzumaki-san, I would like to welcome you to the city of Leaf. I look forward to teach with you this summer."
"Hn," Sasuke answered, ignoring Kiba's guilty look as Naruto enthusiastically shook the gray-haired man's hand.
"Hey, you're that cute pink-haired girl! I didn't know you were attending Konoha!" Naruto exclaimed delightedly. "I guess I'll be seeing you around alot huh?"
"Dobe, she's going to be your student. Haven't you learned that student-teacher relationships are prohibited in all educational facilities?" Sasuke warned his friend, aware that their future supervisor, Kakashi, was listening to their conversation. "Just take your job seriously for once."
A familiar voice interrupted their conversation before Sakura could even answer. The group looked up to face the white eyed boy from before, who was now glaring at the handsome raven-haired boy.
"Hyuuga," Sasuke replied coldly.
"I always knew that I'd find you working a lowly job like this." The Hyuuga boy's tone was menacing. The two boys obviously had some sort of past together, and it wasn't good. Naruto looked extremely nervous as his baby blue eyes darted back and forth between the two men, ready to jump in if a brawl started.
Sasuke opened his mouth to answer back when the petite pink haired girl stepped out in front of the Hyuuga. She looked so small and fragile compared to the white-eyed boy's tall and atheltic figure, but that didn't seem to affect her in the least. "Excuse me smartass, if you think he's taking up a lowly job, why are you attending the school he's going to be teaching in?" She asked with dislike lacing her words. The boy was a bit too pompous for her patience to endure.
"Did anyone ask you?" The Hyuuga boy looked down at the girl who was more than a head shorter than him. "I don't recall asking a bimbo girl who only cares about her looks. Your hair color is pathetic by the way, couldn't you choose a better color to dye your hair?"
Now if there was another thing that Sakura detested, it was people thinking that her hair was dyed.
"Listen up she-man, if you're going to be attending Konoha with me, you better remove that stick that seems to be cemented up your ass, or I promise you these next eight weeks won't be very pleasant." She snapped, her eyes narrowing threateningly. "And my hair is naturally pink. Go brush your hair or something, or better- drown yourself in a toilet." She was on a roll now, clearly irritated. His face didn't waver at all, and really, she should have stopped there, but who was she kidding? There was no stopping herself once she started. "And what right do you have to insult other people about their hair? I mean look at yours, it's prettier than any other hair I've ever seen, and trust me, it isn't a compliment. And your eyes! Are those contacts or are those real? If they're real, you've got some messed up genes, and if they're fake, then you have one sad life."
The look he was giving her was frightening now, but she didn't care. She felt satisfied with herself now.
"We have no time for childish bickering." Sasuke commented, looking highly disinterested in the argument that was taking place in front of him. "And please, I do not need your help in defending myself." His reply was cold and straight to the point, directed at Sakura. "And if you don't mind, we are ready to go ride the bus to Konoha." Her bright green eyes widened, and a hurt look momentarily flashed across her face before she regained her composure. She opened her mouth, ready to run her mouth once again, when Kiba gently put a hand on her shoulder.
"Sakura, just let it go." Kiba whispered into her ear, and he felt her relax a little under his touch.
"You're right." She took a deep breath, shooting one last glare towards both the two men as she grabbed her suitcases. "They're not worth it." Her voice was calm and composed, but Kiba could sense the anger boiling underneath her words. Kiba gathered his things and together, they headed towards the bus that had pulled up in front of them.
The bus ride was long and quiet, and Sakura couldn't help but feel unnerved at how much Uchiha Sasuke's words had affected her.
Sakura was awakened by Kakashi's voice loudly calling "We're here!" as the bus slowly came to a stop. She looked around in surprise, wondering when she had dozed off, and found Kiba lightly snoring next to her. She shook him awake, rubbing her eyes as she took a good look at the campus- now she could understand why Konoha was known as a prestigious academy. The campus was breathtakingly beautiful. "You will be immediately escorted to your dormitories- each dormitory has the capacity of holding three people. If there is anyone you would like to be roomed with, please request it. If not, we will automatically assign you." Kakashi announced, and Sakura and Kiba immediately shot each other knowing looks.
"Do I even have to ask?" Kiba asked with a dashing grin. "Wouldn't want to end up with one of those snobs over there." He jabbed his thumb towards the Hyuuga's direction. She nodded happily, extremely relieved that she had made a friend on the plane ride. She didn't even want to imagine what would have happened if she hadn't known anyone and had ended up rooming with one of the snob kids. "But we need a third person. We either choose one or Kakashi-sensei assigns us a random person."
Sakura looked around, observing people running all over the place, trying to find their own groups of people to room with. "We need to find someone who isn't a complete asshole." She muttered under her breath, her eyes narrowing as they landed on the Hyuuga boy. She turned away in disgust, turning her attention to other people. She was about to give up when she spotted lone guy standing gainst the wall. He looked out of place amongst all the people who were frantically trying to make friends at the last minute, and she knew she had found their third member.
She remembered seeing him at the airport earlier- he was the one who had the unusual hair (and she knew it was ironic for her to think it). She giggled to herself quietly as she realized his spiky brown hair tied up into a high ponytail resembled a pineapple. He was quiet, but she could see his almond brown eyes filled with intellect as he quietly analyzed each person who passed by him.
"Hey!" She brightly greeted, holding out her hand. "I'm Haruno Sakura, and this is Kiba." Kiba gave him a sheepish grin. "We're planning on rooming together but we're missing a third person- and you seem pretty alright. We were wondering if you wanted to room with us... and I promise we aren't weird people. We're actually trying to avoid weird people."
"Nara Shikamaru," The boy introduced himself with a nod, shaking her outstretched hand. "I don't mind. I just don't want anything troublesome."
"Kakashi-sensei, we're rooming together!" Kiba announced loudly, raising one of his hands so he could catch the gray haired man's attention. "Haruno Sakura, Inuzuka Kiba and uh... Nara...?"
"Shikamaru," The other boy finished his sentence for him.
Kakashi nodded, scribbling a few things down onto his clipboard as he handed them a key. "Room 103," He said, shooting them a wary look. "Listen, this whole thing about girls and boys rooming together- it's a new system we implemented this year, and I don't want any trouble. First sign of trouble and I reassign each and every one of you."
"No trouble," Kiba promised, and Kakashi swore he saw an evil glint in Kiba's eye as the three of them disappeared behind the corner.
He sighed, realizing that this summer was going to extremely long.
Sakura had underestimated the size of the campus.
It took them twenty minutes to find their room- twenty minutes that felt like hours to Sakura. Of course, their journey had not been quiet at all.
("Kiba-baka you got us lost again! I told you we were supposed to turn right, not left!")
("Sakura-chaaan that hurt…")
Sakura felt extremely relieved when they finally got the door open- and was pleased to see that their dorm was not bad at all. It was like a mini apartment- a joined living room and kitchen, one bathroom and a quite spacious bedroom with three comfortable beds. "Fancy," she commented, and Akamaru let out a bark of approval as Kiba finally let him out of his bag. Shikamaru immediately sat down on the couch, closing his eyes but not quite asleep.
"I've seen better," Kiba huffed, earning an exasperated sigh from Shikamaru. He had known the canine boy for roughly half an hour, yet he knew exactly what kind of person Kiba was- a stubborn boy who had a hard time admitting that anything was better than what he owned. Sakura giggled, taking a seat on the couch next to Shikamaru.
"We better start unpacking," Sakura said, looking around. "I didn't know we were sharing a room. I thought we'd each have our own bedroom." She looked a bit disappointed.
Shikamaru lazily opened an eye to look at her. "The school is prestigious, not filthy rich." He commented, as Kiba snorted in response. "This campus isn't nearly big enough to fit a dorm with three bedrooms each." Kiba commented something that sounded like 'nerd' under his breath, as he opened his suitcase and threw his clothes into the empty dresser.
"Kiba, if we're going to be roommates, you're gonna have to be neater than that." Sakura reprimanded, giving him a disapproving look as he sheepishly grinned at her. "I will definitely not be cleaning after you." Kiba sighed as he pulled his clothes back out again, messily folding them before setting them back into the dresser. It didn't look much neater, but Sakura figured that it was the best he could do for now. She would teach him to fold clothes over time. She smiled fondly at the boy and ruffled his hair on her way to her own suitcase.
"You two sound like you're pretty good friends," Shikamaru commented, hearing their bickering.
"We only met today," Kiba said, shrugging his shoulders. "It feels like we've been friends for ages doesn't it?" The pink eyed girl nodded with a soft smile.
Coming into this experience, Sakura had not been looking forward to it all. She hadn't planned on making any friends, and had wanted to spend the summer as unnoticed as possible but she was beginning to realize that it wasn't going to be easy. She found herself already growing attached to her new friend, and despite her unpleasant encounters so far, she was still looking forward to the rest of the summer. She had gone through school for so long on her own that she had almost forgotten what it was like not being alone. She hadn't minded much at the time, but now that she finally had company, she realized that it wasn't so bad at all. She was lost in her thoughts when a knock on the door interrupted them.
"Oh hey Kakashi-sensei," She greeted, opening the door. The man's eye crinkled upwards into a hidden smile in response.
"Hope you're settling in well. We'll be having a welcoming party tonight, if you're interested. It starts at seven in the main hall," Kakashi said, and before Sakura could give any kind of answer, he walked away. She looked after him with a curious gaze before shutting the door behind her with a shrug.
"Hey guys, there's a welcoming party tonight!" She called over her shoulder as she took a look inside their bathroom. "Are you guys gonna go?"
Kiba was about to answer that yes, of course he was going to go, when something in Sakura's almost emptied suitcase caught his eye. He glanced over his shoulder to make sure she wasn't looking as he quickly pulled out the simple binder and opened it, only to see many newspaper clippings hastily glued onto pieces of paper. "Hey Shikamaru," He whispered, and the said boy gave him a curious look before joining him. "What do you think these are?"
Shikamaru took a close look at the newspaper clippings, news that had apparently made the headlines in the past. Curiously, all of the clippings had a common theme: the Akatsuki.
"Kiba," Shikamaru solemly said, turning towards his new friend. "I think there's something Sakura isn't telling us."
"What are you guys looking at?" Sakura curiously asked, walking up behind them. Her face froze as she looked at the object of interest in their hands. "Oh," She said, her voice taking on a completely different tone.
Kiba's face fell as he finally added two plus two and realized what they were dealing with.