Day One

"Another month, another move."

Sixteen-year-old Yamanaka Ino shifted the backpack on her shoulders and sighed. She stared up at the title sign of her new school – Konoha High. It wasn't easy for her, you know, being the daughter of a naval officer. Every few months they had to move to a new base, always uprooting the family so they can stay together. She really, really hated it. Sure, she'd been to some wonderful places. Sure, she'd met some interesting people, and even got to see them a second time if they ever returned to that base again. But this place was new. She hated new. New was an awful thing.

Her mother had assured her it wasn't technically new… Konoha had been where she was born, after all. But they moved when she was two! There begins the wonderful life of the ever-moving Yamanakas.

People stared at Ino as they walked inside the school. Was that girl just going to stand there and stare at the sign all day? She must have mental issues.

She groaned, might as well get it over with, and stepped inside. The instant, loud noise of chattering teenagers startled her. The morning crowd, figures, Ino inwardly groaned, every school has one.

She looked around, a little confused, "Now where's the principal's office…?" She frowned, and then sighed heavily, "Crap." Ino hated talking to people she didn't know. New people weren't her favorite kind. No, not at all. She looked around, trying to find someone relatively nice that could help her out. Someone who also didn't look like they had much else to do, who couldn't say no…

She spotted a black-haired boy sitting on the ground, looking to be half-asleep. His hair was tied back, making him look like a pineapple. He didn't look busy, no, not at all! Ino grinned and took action.

"Hey, you!" Ino stood right before the boy. He grunted, opening one eye to look at her. When he didn't reply, she continued, "Can you show me to the principal's office?"

He still didn't respond. She frowned, disappointed, "Please?"

"School hasn't even started yet," He mumbled, not moving or showing any interest of helping, "Have you really already gotten in trouble?"

"I'm new here."

"Bah," The boy shifted a little, but still didn't seem to want to help her, "Find someone else."

"Please? I'll be your best friend!" She kneeled in front of him to make better eye contact. He opened the other eye, glaring at her. She put on a pleading face, "It won't be much work at all! I just need to get to the principal's office, after all."

The boy groaned, "Fine," Ino squealed in delight and jumped to her feet. He took his time standing up, grabbing his bag and swinging it over his shoulder, "Follow me, and don't get lost. These crowds can separate people easily." He turned and started to go, but Ino grabbed his arm. He turned back and raised an eyebrow.

"I don't want to get lost." She laughed.

"Right," He turned back and shoved through the crowd, Ino in tow. When they got into the main hall, the crowd had lessened. "You can let go of me now, you know." Ino did, and caught up to walk by his side. "What's your name, anyway?"

"Yamanaka Ino." She smiled, "Call me Ino. And you?"

"Nara Shikamaru."

"So, Shika," She smiled at him, "Which way to the office?"

"First off, don't call me Shika," he growled, "I wasn't given a long name just so people could slaughter it. Second, it's right there." He pointed to the door beside him.

"Thank you!" She smiled at him, "I appreciate it."

"Yeah, yeah."

She stepped into the office and instantly lost her smile. He's cute, I guess. Attitude's a little messed up. Doesn't matter though, right? I'll move before anything will ever happen.

Oh, how Ino hated new.

First period: Chemistry. This would be exciting. Science wasn't really one of Ino's best subjects. Yes, she could pass it, and yes, she did just fine in it. Actually, she was wonderful in biology. Chemistry, though, was a whole different matter.

The class was all the way on the far end of the school, and the bell had just rung. Ah well, she had a pass from the principal anyway. It didn't really make that big of a deal… she'd just have to make that dramatic new-kid entrance into the class, like she had already done so many times before. She hated that entrance.

She soon reached the class and sighed, may as well get this over with quickly. She swiftly pushed the door open and walked up to the teacher's desk. She wasn't busy, really, just taking attendance. She placed… well, no, more like slammed her pass onto his desk, and he looked up at her and raised an eyebrow. He sighed, then took the pass and asked, "And you are?"

"Yamanaka Ino, new student." She rushed, and the teacher nodded. He threw her pass in the trash can beside him, and then scanned the classroom for an empty disk, "Ah, there, sit behind Temari. My name is Iruka, by the way."

Ino nodded and walked to her desk, dropped her book bag beside her and fished out her things. She briefly looked up when she bent down towards her bag, and noticed who she sat beside.

"Well, well, look who's here." Shikamaru mumbled.

"Oh, hey…" Ino sweat-dropped. Shikamaru extended his hand, wiggling his fingers in a "give me" gesture. She cocked an eyebrow.

"Your schedule?"

"Oh, right!" She reached for a bright yellow paper sticking out of her purse on her desk. She had shoved it in there quickly once she had found her first class. She handed it to him and returned to pulling out her chemistry binder.

"English… PE… Webmastering? Man, you've got the same schedule I do…" He groaned, "What a drag."

Ino brightened, "I guess you get to show me around, huh?"

Shikamaru looked at her, scanned her up and down then thought of how she coaxed him into showing her the principal's office that morning, then groaned again, "I guess it does."

"I'm home!"

Ino slipped off her shoes at the door and threw her bag onto the ground. The apartment was new to her, like so many of the other ones, but apparently not to her parents. This was the apartment they lived in when she was a baby, apparently. They had rented it out themselves, she supposed, so it'd be theirs one day again. It was a shame that took fourteen years to happen, right?

"Over here, honey, I want to show you something!" Her mom called from her chair, waving a hand. Ino sighed and walked up to her, leaning on the back of the chair to look down at book she was holding.

"I found this picture album in one of the moving boxes. You know, one of the ones packed with books I never unpack? It's full of pictures from when you were a baby, when we lived here."

She skimmed through it, letting Ino only briefly see each page. One particular picture stuck out to her, and she asked her mom to stop flipping pages and if she could see the book. Her mom nodded, mentioning a need to start cooking dinner anyway, and handed her the album before she stood up to leave.

Ino took the album and crossed the room to the couch, plopping down on it and flipping pages until she found the picture she was looking for. It was of three small children, age of two, she guessed. The girl in the middle she recognized to be her, but the two on either side she wasn't sure of. The boy on her left had short, spiky, auburn hair, and looked to be eating something, probably a snack given to him just before the picture was taken by his parents. To her other side was another boy, this time with longer black hair in a pineapple-style ponytail, who looked like he was half-asleep. Underneath the picture was written a caption in elegant script: Ino-Shika-Cho, friends forever!

Shika… like Shikamaru, then? Were we all really good friends back then?

"Mom!" She carried the album into the kitchen and dropped it on the counter, pointing at the picture, "Who are these two?"

"Oh, them," She grinned, "That's Nara Shikamaru and Akimichi Choji. They were two of your best friends back then, mainly because all your dads were already such good buddies; they'd all take you three to the park some days so the three of you could be friends too. Well, that and their moms and I forced them to so we'd have a break." She laughed.

Ino studied the picture, "I met Shikamaru today."

"Oh? Did you?"

"He has all my classes, actually." She laughed. "And I think I have one or two with Choji too. I'm pretty sure I saw Shikamaru hanging around with someone by that name… anyway, I have homework. I'll get to work on that."

Day Two

Ino walked into her 2nd period English class the next day in the worst mood. She already had a ton of homework from chemistry, and the idea of having even more from English didn't sound exciting in the least. She sighed, at least the school here worked out with only four periods in the day in order to lessen the homework load. But guess what that means? The teachers assign twice the homework!

She plopped down in her seat and groaned inwardly. Across the classroom, Shikamaru slumped in his chair, ready for the day to be over already. Choji, or at least who she assumed to be Choji (he fit the description enough: chubby, spiky, auburn hair) whispered something to him and laughed, the Shikamaru snorted and said something back. The whole time she felt like he was staring at her. Choji laughed again, seeming to be sneaking chips without their teacher noticing. She shook her head and rested it on her desk.


Ino jumped in her seat, and then looked to the person beside her. A girl with pink hair grinned in the desk next to her, and waved slightly, "Yamanaka Ino, right? New kid?"

"Yeah…" Ino stared at the girl questionably.

"Haruno Sakura," She extended a hand to shake, "I would've said hello yesterday, but you seemed really out of it… new surroundings, and all, I guess."

"Whatever," Ino shook her hand and sighed, "I'm used to it. Dad's a naval soldier, we move all the time." She scanned the room, then thought of something and smiled at Sakura, "Hey, mind telling me about some of the people here? So I'm not lost, and all."

"Yeah, of course! Like who?"

"How about…" Ino scanned the room again, then pointed at a boy with black, spiky hair, "Him. He looks hot."

"Hey!" Sakura half-glared and half-laughed at her, "Don't get any ideas! That's Uchiha Sasuke, and he's mine."

"Oh, don't worry…" Ino laughed along, "I might flirt with him if I get the chance, but I'm not interested." I'll probably move before anything could happen.

"Saskue's the most popular guy in school. He's like a god! He's on the varsity football team, a president of the junior class, member of the National Honor Society, and he's salutatorian."

Ino whistled deeply, "Wow. If he's salutatorian, who's valedictorian?"

Sakura burst into fits of laughter, a tear coming to her eye. "Oh, you're going to die when you hear this one."

"What?" Ino asked, confused.

Sakura wiped her tear and settled down, "You should know him, I saw you two hanging out yesterday. His name is Nara Shikamaru."

Ino's jaw dropped and she froze. Sakura laughed again, and Ino finally regained mobility and forced out: "That lazy bastard!? There's no way he could be first in the class!"

"Two words," Sakura held up two fingers, "His mom."

"…Yeah. Definitely explains it."

"Apparently his mom is so freaking strict, she couldn't stand to let him slip by the easy way even once, no matter how much he wants to just sit there and do nothing. But yeah, sure he's a genius and all that, but he's got no extracurricular activities. That's probably why he can put it all into his grades, since he doesn't have to waste the time with anything outside of school hours."

"Don't mind my asking, but what about you? What's your rank?"

"Me? I'm third, right behind Sasuke." Sakura shrugged.

"Wow, you're pretty smart too." Ino laughed lightly, "I've never really been around anywhere long enough to see how well I was ranked. I've got my GPA, but never a rank."

"That sucks."

"Yeah, I suppose."

Ino and Sakura talked for a while more, Sakura pointing out most of the other people in the class, until about ten minutes past the bell when their teacher finally walked in. They all stared at him.

"You're late!" The entire class (save Ino) yelled in unison.

Their teacher blinked, "You rehearse that?"

"You're late every day!" Sakura yelled at him, slamming her fist into the desk, "Gosh, Kakashi-sensei, get some punctuality!"

"I'm sorry," He scratched his head, "I have first period conference, so I sleep in…"

"Aren't you supposed to spend that at school!?"

"Eh," Kakashi shrugged, then walked to his desk, "Is everyone here? Good. Let's start the lesson."

So this story was originally going to be just a one-shot, but then I had idea after idea pop up in my head, so I decided to extend it into a multi-chapter story… no idea how long just yet, but yeah.

A point I would like to make in this story: I'm basing the school system off of mine, where we have four periods a day, so you would have four classes one semester and a different four the second semester. Some things, like sports/band/choir/orchestra/etc last the whole year, and some are only half a semester, and blah, blah, blah. Don't worry about it, really. Just think four classes a day!

(I will not get ahead of myself… I will not get ahead of myself… grumble)

So that was kind of a dull chapter, but I promise that the next one is really going to kick it up between Ino and Shikamaru. Just you wait!


Save the ponies, kids.