A/N: Warning, this fic is rated 'M' for a reason! There will be mentions of lesbian, heterosexual, and gay sex, menstruation, masturbation (female), rape, child abuse, drug abuse, excessive swearing, self-mutilation, and teenagers wanting to go to school. If any of the above offend you, please do not proceed on to reading this fic.
My name is Haruno Sakura; I am seventeen years old and am in my last year of high school. I am a straight-A High Honors student and am eligible for a scholarship to the top university in the country. My name is Haruno Sakura and I live in a cardboard box.
I don't remember my parents. Red flashing lights is my earliest memory. Once, in one of my foster homes, I asked what happened to them. I was told that they died in a car crash. Which probably means they were in a gang, involved with drugs, or something unsuitable for a young child like me to know. Some of my foster brothers and sisters who also didn't know their parents came up with stories about them. They would draw pictures, write stories, and even sing songs about them. I had no such fantasies about mine. Personally, I couldn't care less, about my parents. They weren't here with me and I doubted they'd ever be. So what did it matter?
My various foster parents thought I was abnormal. I am abnormal, but for some reason they seemed to have a problem with it. Instead of playing with the other children or even with dolls, I would spend my time reading the household dictionary or encyclopedia. I love to read. I'll read practically anything. I also love to learn, which is the only reason I attend school in the first place. My foster parents, as I said before, thought I was strange and a bad influence on their other children. I was shuffled from foster home to foster home most of my childhood. At nine, I got sick of it. I got sick of changing schools every few months, I was sick of being whispered at behind my back, sick of being ostracized by my 'siblings.' And so I ran away. Just like that. It was March 14 at 10:38 pm when I decided to run away. I planned my escape carefully. I packed food, money, clothes, and a map and left the next morning. Looking back, I realize that it was quite a foolish choice and a million things could have gone wrong, but I never regretted running away. I don't care that I live on the streets, or pickpocket, or don't have nice clothes. I'm free and that's all that matters.
The first two years were hard. I learned to grow up very quickly. There were all sorts of tricks I came up with to get food. For example, I would use a phone at the local library ("Excuse me, miss, can I call my parents using your phone? They were supposed to be here an hour ago.") and order a pizza. I would order one with all the grossest toppings I could think of and when they couldn't sell it they would throw it straight into the garbage can where I would wait (1). I also learned to pickpocket. You wouldn't believe how many women leave their purses open, or men have their wallets sticking out their back pockets. I would usually sleep in the subway station, or in a public bathroom. In all my years being a 'homeless person' no one ever tried to take me to a police station or contact my parents. Not that I wanted them to. When most people think of 'young girl' and 'homeless' they always think it would be especially dangerous. Oh yes, all those old, starving, homeless men out to get me. Sure, once and a while a drunk will get a bit touchy, but I'm fast and I hit twice as hard as any boy. Seriously, most people on the streets are more worried about finding their next meal, not satisfying sexual urges with ugly teenage girls like me.
I know, I'm a bit blunt, but that's because being subtle is for everything else in my life besides my thoughts.
Another thing that helps is that I have a very boyish figure. I have no chest to speak of (wearing sports bras doesn't help), thin hips, very long legs, and an oversized forehead. My hair is short and shaggy, from the lack of baths I take, and is a strange pink color. I don't dye my hair (what a waste of money) and I have no clue why it's pink of all colors. I hate pink; I'm more of a red person. My best friend thinks my strange hair color is beautiful and exotic. I think it's a genetic defect.
I'm also freakishly tall. Only one girl in the entire school is taller than me, but I'll talk about her later.
After two years on the streets (sleeping, eating, pick-pocketing, sitting in bookstores for hours on end…etc.), I must confess, I actually got bored. There really isn't much to do around where I live. Then one day, during the fall, I saw a bunch of kids walking home from school. They looked so…happy. So normal. Something I could never aspire to be. And that was when I decided I would go to school again. Now that I think about it, those kids were probably happy that they just got out of school, but I didn't care. Now when I ran away, I wasn't stupid enough to decide live in the same city as my previous home. I actually took the trains and buses to almost 100 miles away from that home, just to be sure. I knew that I wasn't going to be accepted among my peers at my new school, but I didn't care. It was something to do and besides, I love to learn. It didn't occur to me until I was about thirteen, but going to school was the best choice I ever made. The only problem was getting in to the system. I never finished elementary school, but if I could figure out how to hack in the main school system and add myself in…bingo, I win.
It was depressingly easy. I'd had some experience with computers before, but I'd never hacked into anything before. With a little practice I added myself in as 'Haruno Sakura' an average student with mediocre grades. I didn't want to be too behind. What a mistake. Screw being modest. I should've put in all A's.
It's funny, I got so used to being 'Haruno Sakura,' I forgot my old name. Most people think it's impossible to forget your name, unless you have amnesia, but I did anyway.
I bought a P.O. box, for mail (that was expensive) and for my address. My parent's names are 'Haruno Ken and Satsuki.' My 'father' is a plumber and my 'mother' is a cleaning lady. Nope, no fantasies about them, because fantasies unrealistic. Besides, their lack of high-paying jobs explains my…interesting attire. Unlike most girls at my school, I don't spend all my money on designer clothes. I wear cheap, black or white men's shirts and baggy jeans. Every single day. I don't really have any friends at my school, because supposedly I'm a 'teacher's pet.' Well, you know, if you work your ass off on every single assignment and participate in all the class discussions there are benefits.
My best friend's name is Tenten. She lives around where I live and she's a year older than me. She never went to school, no matter how much I tried to persuade her. She has long black hair, which is always pinned to her head in two perfect buns. I want her hair; it doesn't attract so much attention.
I met her when I was twelve and we got along famously. I taught her how to read and she guards my stuff sometimes while I'm at school. When not at school I spend most of my time in an alley, living in a cardboard box. I call it living because that's where all my stuff is: my books, my clothes, everything that I own (except my money, I keep that on me at all times). I don't sleep there (bad experience), but I do all my schoolwork there. My 'parents' don't own a computer, so I handwrite everything.
Tenten's mother abused her and she ran away when she was seven. I am determined not to live on the streets as long as she has. I'm going to win that scholarship, go to university, get a job and then take care of us both. But more about that later.
My school is called Konoha High School (don't ask, just don't), three thousand students attend there, but I know less than twenty of them by name in all my two and something years there. Our principal is insane. She has a horrible temper and no student who ever enters her office for a disciplinary reason ever wants to return there (I don't know from experience). Despite being insane, I think she's awesome, though I have yet to talk to her.
The only person who stands up to her and still lives to tell the story is named Uzumaki Naruto. He's in my Japanese class, though even if he wasn't I'd still know his names. He is the school 'prankster,' which basically means he does juvenile stuff usually involving glue, spray paint, and rotten eggs and gets away with it. Sometimes his pranks are quite funny, but other times, like the time he glued all the papers (my paper included) to the teacher's desk, was not so great. He, coincidently, lives with my English teacher, Umino Iruka.
Another person who I would know even if he wasn't in any of my classes (which he is) is Uchiha Sasuke. Konoha's 'heartthrob.' Hey, I didn't come up with the name. I swear half the girl population of Konoha is obsessed with him. Every time I walk down the hall, I'll hear 'Sasuke-kun' at least four times. Alright, Uchiha's good-looking, but seriously, after two years of constantly turning down girl's offers for a date, you'd think they'd realize that he's not interested.
He's an interesting one, though. Rumor has it that his elder brother went mad and killed his entire family. I usually don't believe rumors, but I wouldn't be surprised if this one was true. It would explain why he's always so damn moody. Interestingly, enough Uzumaki and Uchiha are best friends. Or as the new gossip states today, a bit more than friends, if you get my meaning.
So right now I'm standing at my locker trying to ignore a bunch of heartbroken girls who are telling their friends that last Friday (today is Monday), Uzumaki and Uchiha were caught making out in an empty classroom. I didn't believe it at first, but in homeroom, everyone was glaring at Uzumaki. Their blushing faces (Uchiha is in my homeroom as well. Unfortunately.) I guess it must be true. I have to say I'm not really surprised. Personally, I don't give a damn. I'm not homophobic and even if I was, it's really none of my business what they do on their own time.
Unfortunately, for them, the rest of the school doesn't have my sentiments. Every time the teacher turns around at least someone will whisper 'fag' at Uzumaki or making crude gestures at him. I can tell Uchiha is about to pop a blood vein. It first I found it amusing that everyone only seemed mad at Uzumaki, like he seduced their dear 'Sasuke-kun,' but after two periods and passing periods filled with angry students calling Uzumaki a fag and trying to beat him up it got a bit annoying. I feel a bit bad for them now. I don't know them that well, but in middle school I had to do a science project with them, so I know a little bit about them. That memory is not my fondest memory, because that was back when they still hated each other and all they did was fight, which resulted in me doing the entire project by myself. Not that I would have trusted them to do any of it anyway. I know, I'm a control freak.
Anyway, I'm in the library. Unfortunately, so are Uchiha and Uzumaki. It's not that I don't want them around; it's the bunch of homophobic 'popular kids' that have taken to following them around. They're sitting with all their other friends: Nara, Akimichi, Inuzuka, Aburame, both Hyuuga, and Rock. A weird group if you ask me, but then again who am I to talk?
"You fag!" Cries one of the girls; blond, of course (my school has a lot of foreigner's kids,) "Get out of here and leave Sasuke-kun alone."
All the others start to join in and Uzumaki is sinking lower in his seat and the rest of his friends look like they would like nothing better than to punch all they yelling teens into pulp. I'm actually quite surprised at their restraint. If it were me, well…let's just say I would probably be expelled. And maybe thrown in jail.
"You guys, c'mon let's just go," I look up once again from my work to see Yamanaka Ino, pleading with her friends.
Yamanaka Ino: the tallest, most gorgeous (not that I'd know) girl in the entire school. I envy her, I suppose. She's everything I'm not; she's pretty, popular and still gets good grades. I've wondered forever why she still hangs out with those losers, but then again Yamanaka Ino hangs out with everybody. Goths, Punks, Preps, Jocks, all the stupid cliques this high school has. I don't think she has a single enemy in the world, much less in Konoha High School. It's weird though, because she's loud and opinionated and isn't afraid to show it, but she always seems to get along with anyone. She has yet to try and become friends with me, though, which I am glad of.
Unfortunately, her stupid friends don't listen to her and if I don't act quickly there's definitely going to be a fight. I sigh. Sometimes I wish I wasn't the Student Council President. At first I wondered why they voted me, Haruno Sakura: the ugly, unsocial, nerdiest person in the entire school. But at the first meeting I realized that no one actually takes Student Council seriously. It's all a big joke. Or I should say it was. Because now they are seriously regretting voting me in because I actually make sure all the representatives get stuff done. In fact, the only reason I accepted the position was that the president can hand out detentions, with a teacher's signature of course. I'm almost out of slips and it's only the week after midterms.
I stand up and slowly make my way to their table. To tell the truth, I'm not a very good president, I only interfere with something unless it could directly involve me. Selfish much? Hey, you live on the streets for eight years and you'll put yourself first in everything too. Right now the only reason I'm interfering is that they're being noisy and I can't work. I couldn't care less if they were fighting out in the hallway and not distracting me. Now put that together with the fact that I'm almost out of detention slips or 'Dean Referrals' and what does that say about Konoha High School?
They don't notice me coming until I'm less than three feet away from them. There is an awkward silence.
"Would you mind leaving the library if you're not going to do any work," I say, "You're distracting everyone here."
One of them sneers, obviously he doesn't know that I can give him a detention or he doesn't care, "None of your business, you whore," he says, apparently pleased at his usage of the derogatory term, "Stop defending these fags and fuck off!"
Okay that did it. This guy, whatever his name is, has officially pissed me off…which is not a good thing. An interesting thing about me is that when I'm mad I don't yell. Oh, no, you make me mad I talk calmly and rationally, while inwardly I plot your demise. Tenten made me mad once and…let's just say it wasn't pretty.
"Alright," I say, a smirk evident on my ugly features, "You have ten seconds to get the fuck out of here or I will personally make sure that there are so many detentions on your record that any university you apply to won't even look at your grades," I slam my hand on the table; causing them all to jump, "Leave. Now."
I realize that I went a bit overboard when for the rest of the day people stare at me.
"Nice job, Haruno," I say to myself, "Just what I need people thinking Haruno Sakura is PMSing or something."
By the end of the day, however, I feel much better because I got full marks on a biology test. Which everyone else failed. If anyone in my science class didn't hate me before they sure do now. The funny part is the more people that hate me, the better I feel. What's wrong with me?
I take the bus and then walk a few blocks to that alley. Tenten is busy reading a book and doesn't hear me coming. I squat down and read the title of a book: Seduction in the Jungle. I groan and she looks up.
"Oh shut up. It's a good book," she says and goes back to her reading. Recently, she's become obsessed with romance novels, but that's not the worst of it, she reads those retarded paperback romance novels.
"Good afternoon to you too."
I flop down on the ground beside her and look at my watch. I rub the plastic on top, trying to make out the numbers. Actually, I'm surprised it lasted this long; I did buy it at a 100 yen (2) store.
"Uh…Tenten, aren't you supposed to be on a date right now?"
Yeah that's right, she has a boyfriend. When she told me I practically had a heart attack, well, after she convinced me she wasn't joking.It's some rich guy that she met at a club in the Red Light District where she works at. Yeah, she has a job, but she's in so much debt that it'll take years for her to pay it all off. I'm trying to find a job as well, but the place where she works at is the only place that'll pay in cash and without any identification and they have no openings. Anyway she has been obsessing over this guy ever since she met him and her obsession has doubled ever he asked her out a month ago.
"OH SHIT! Quick, Sakura, I need to borrow your hairbrush, wait, no, you don't have one…oh, I'm going to be late!"
"You're already late," I say helpfully.
"Oh, no, what am I gonna do? I look horrible, this is horrible-"
"Tenten!" I say sharply cutting her off, "You look fine."
"Really?" She asks timidly, which is strange for her.
"Yes. I think you should be more worried about what you're going to do tonight."
"Oh, no Sakura, not this again."
"Listen to me," I say seriously, "Just…just be careful, all right. I don't trust him."
"Sakura, you've never even met him."
I scowl, she's completely missing the point, "You know what I mean, I just don't want you to get hurt."
She smiles at me cheekily, "That's so corny."
I turn bright red and glare at her, "Shut up," I mutter.
"I'll be careful, relax," she picks up her bag, which, has practically nothing of value in it, in my opinion, and starts off, "You have fun doing your homework!"
"Don't I always?"
She turns around, suddenly serious, "Sakura, you know, maybe you should take a break once in a while."
I sigh wearily, "I can't, Tenten. You know I can't. I have to get us out of this and school is the only way."
She sighs. "You need a boyfriend."
I look up, shocked, my face hot, "Tenten!"
"Maybe I'll ask Neji, if he has any single friends…"
"No, you will NOT! I do not want a boyfriend! I don't need a boyfri…Neji?"
"Yeah, Neji. You know, my boyfriend."
I realize that I never knew the name of her boyfriend, she would always just refer to him as 'he.' 'Neji,' huh. Weird name, it sounds…familiar…though…shit.
"Uh, what's his last name?" I say, trying to sound nonchalant.
She grins at me, "Hyuuga. As in the company."
She frowns when she sees my face, "What's wrong."
"Your boyfriend is in my history class."
Her eyes bug out, "What? But he's eighteen, he can't be in high school!"
"Some people turn eighteen during the school year," I remind her, "Fuck, this is not good. You didn't say anything about me, did you?"
"Oh yes, that's what we do on our dates, just sit and talk about you," she says sarcastically, making me blush.
"Well, how am I supposed to know? I've never been on a date in my life and I don't plan on it."
"That's not something you want to tell people, Sakura."
"Why not? I'm damn proud of it!"
"Another thing you don't want to tell people."
"Don't you have somewhere to be?" I grumble.
"Yeah, yeah, don't stay up too late."
She scowls at me and then turns the corner.
Tenten really changed after she met Hyuuga. She became more cheerful, no matter how much I tried to deny it. I have to say, though, I wasn't expecting her too choose a guy like him. He seems like the type of guy who has better things to do than date girls. Especially a girl like Tenten. I wonder if she's told him she's homeless. Probably not.
I lean tiredly against the wall, forgetting for the moment that I have more than four hours of homework to do.
My bangs get in the way of my vision for the millionth time today and I groan in frustration. In my head I make a list of things I need to get done.
Get a new watch, cut my hair, drag Tenten to the public bathes, get a job, do my homework, talk to my stupid homeroom teacher. I stop and grin at this thought. My homeroom teacher is Hatake Kakashi. Who reads porn. In class. All he asks me is if I've found a boyfriend yet. Anyway, yesterday in homeroom he mentioned a school sponsored trip working at a soup kitchen and feeding the homeless for community service. I almost burst into laughter. Oh, the irony. Fortunately, no one seemed too interested about this idea so I didn't have to worry about being seen.
Yeah, I go to a soup kitchen once in awhile, but only if I don't have any money. You wouldn't believe how embarrassing it is to go there especially when the workers are younger than you. Tenten is the only reason I go there, otherwise I would not be seen in a mile of that place. And then there's the public baths. That's the one place that I always end up having to drag Tenten to, instead of the other way around.
When I first met her I didn't see her first, oh no, I smelt her. She hadn't taken a bath in almost five years. Talk about disgusting. Public baths are cheap and you can stay in for almost as long as you want.
I realize that I'm spacing out and reluctantly bring myself back to earth. I have a lot of homework to do.
(1) Just for the record, I did not make this up, a person who was at one time homeless came up with this trick.
(2) Equivalent of a dollar store.
A/N: Okay, first things first. Fortunately, I have never been homeless before and I don't mean to offend anyone who has been. So please excuse my ignorance. I have, however, worked at a soup kitchen and talked with some of the people there.
The setting of this is supposed to be in Japan and I probably have some anachronisms in here so I'm sorry about that.
This is my first romance fic and my first Yuri fic so please don't flame me. Also, there will be no lemons in this fic, because I can't write them, period.
This fic, like most of my fics, is something I could not get out of my head. It's also probably because I felt bad for editing Sakura out in my other fic, Shi no Me. This fic is Sakura-centric, but I might add Ino's P.O.V. in if I feel like it. I realize that Sakura is a bit OOC, but that can't really be helped. This is an AU fic after all. Also, please don't hold me accountable for whatever Sakura thinks or says, I don't want to offend anyone. Please review and tell me what you think! You know you want to.