Title: Orchestral Infatuation

Authoress: Ira Vehementi

Warnings: eventual yaoi (I'm sorry, it might take me a while to get to the yaoiness you all love and cherish), OC who does not hook up with any of the series characters but shows her face from time to time, AU, and some OOCness that I'm apologizing for in advance. And language.

A/N: Yes, this is yet another high school Naruto fanfiction. It's also my first, yay! I'll do my best to keep it uncliché, as long as you promise to review after you read, thank you very much. I'm also going to semi-apologize in advance for this, but I've already planned out half of this story, and it might seem to progress slowly. For that I'm sorry, but that's the only way I'm going to get anywhere, so you'll have to deal. : D Oh, and uhm... I realize, this chapter has hardly anything particularly bad in it. This is rated M because eventually, I'll get to the parts where I can't have it rated like, T, and I'm not into changing the rating unless it's reall necessary...

Please note: In my world, review means "constructive criticism", not you telling me how you would have written my story better. I don't necessarily have to tolerate that, but you're not going to like me very much if you grind my gears. You might not live in this world of mine, but sadly you must follow its rules when you read my fanfictions.

o0o

In Which Bombs Are Detonated And Life Is Ruined

"We have reason to believe that Uzumaki Naruto caused the pipe burst last week." Naruto swung his legs back and forth and imagined that the principal of his school had devil horns. Next to him, his foster father Umino Iruka fidgeted nervously.

Of course Naruto's genius plan, codenamed 'Down the Drain' by Kankuro, had worked. Why wouldn't it have? Naruto had spent days poring over the plan. The idea was simple, really. Naruto had gotten a hold of some self inflating balloons. the balloons were pretty thick, because the 'self-inflating' mechanism was acutally inside the balloon, and all you really needed to set it off was some pressure on the sides. Well, Naruto wanted to do the greatest prank ever with said balloons, so he got his friends together and ended up deciding that he was going to flood the bathrooms or even better-- burst a water pipe so that no one had to come to school. He just hadn't really thought of any excuses in case he got caught. And now here he was in the principal's office. The shades were up, casting the principal's shadow across the room. The principal himself looked smug, his beady old eyes poring deep under Naruto's skin. The old man was going to do something that Naruto would regret, he was sure.

"But…how?" Iruka queried, looking over at Naruto, then back at the principal. "I mean, how do you know? What makes you think it's Naruto?" Naruto deleted the horns from his mental picture and imagined his principal chained to a rock in the middle of the sea.

"Well," The principal cleared his throat until Naruto looked up, pulling a face at the principal's overly smug expression, "the pipes were blocked off by balloons. Self inflatable balloons, the kind that you can buy at Party City." Iruka paled considerably. "I know that last week you bought many of those balloons, Mr. Umino. If I remember correctly, that Monday you had a big celebration for some reason. What was it again?"

"…Naruto's birthday… October 10th." Iruka mumbled, setting his dark eyes on the heavy wooden desk that the principal sat comfortably behind. Naruto added hungry seagulls to his mental picture.

"And the colors of those balloons were orange, weren't they?"

"Yes," Iruka agreed faintly. "They were."

"Well," The principal said, nodding his head. "Then it's safe to say that Mr. Uzumaki could have been the one to plant all of those balloons, isn't it?"

Naruto opened his mouth to retort, but Iruka got there first, "Even if he did plant them, how could they all inflate at the same time? It took me forever to get one to inflate by itself, never mind…uh… how many were there?"

"Sixteen."

Iruka looked sick. "Sixteen, all at once? It couldn't have been Naruto."

"We believe that someone helped him in the end, and we'd be much obliged," Here the principal gave Naruto a very stern look, "if you would tell us who, Mr. Uzumaki."

"Dunno what you're talking about," Naruto retorted, giving the principal a cocky smirk.

"Are you sure, Mr. Uzumaki?" There was the snarky grin that Naruto had expected. In his vision, a seagull came flying down and ripped the principal's lips off. Naruto smiled.

"I'm positive." He said, nonchalantly.

"Naruto," Iruka said firmly, "did you put those balloons in the pipes?"

"I swear I didn't!" Naruto said. And that was true, since Gaara had done it. Naruto was too squeamish to put balloons into pipes, and Gaara had owed him, since Naruto only barely saved Gaara from being expelled the previous year.

"Then how did they get there?" The principal asked. Naruto shrugged.

"Maybe you've just got the wrong guy," He tried. The principal frowned as if to ask yeah, who do you think you're kidding?

"Mr. Uzumaki," The principal started, "We know it was you who had the balloons and you who probably planted them. Tell us who helped you and how you got them to inflate at the same time."

Naruto glared at him. "I told you, I didn't do anything."

"Then who did?"

"Well, how would I know?"

"Mr. Uzumaki. We did this all last year as well." The principal looked at Naruto over the thick rims of his glasses. "Time and time again you have said that you were innocent when you most obviously were not. What makes you think I'd believe you now?"

He needed someone to blame, that was all. Naruto needed someone else to pin the blame on. But not Gaara, since Gaara was on thin ice already and only helped in the plan because Naruto had begged him. And not Kankuro, who was the closet genius who designed the equipment that caused the balloons to detonate at once. If Sai was still around Naruto would've happily pinned the blame on him. Naruto shrugged and kicked his heels again, wondering what was on TV.

"Well, Mr. Uzumaki, you leave me no choice. You are expelled from Seishun High."

Iruka's eyes widened. "But," He started

"I'm sorry, Mr. Umino. But Mr. Uzumaki has instigated six incidents, not all of which were harmless. This was the last straw. Pack up your books and clean out your locker, Mr. Uzumaki. You will not be returning for another semester."

"That's not fair," Naruto whined, "I didn't do anything this time! You can't even blame me!"

"But we can. You can't tell me that those weren't your balloons, Mr. Uzumaki!"

Naruto cursed his love for orange and swore on his life that he would just like a normal color like blue henceforth.

The car ride home was long and quiet. Naruto counted the seconds it took for them to get home. Normally, it took about fifteen minutes roughly, which was about nine hundred seconds. But this car ride took a half hour, which was eighteen hundred seconds, and meant that Iruka was not in a good mood.

Naruto also counted how many times Iruka sighed (sixteen), how many times they stopped short at stop signs and stop lights, (twenty-seven), how many times Iruka gripped the steering wheel angrily and then released (sixty four) and how many seconds it took after they pulled into their driveway before Iruka dared to speak (two hundred, which was roughly three minutes).

"Did you do it?" Iruka asked, finally.

Naruto stared at him. Do I really have to answer? He moaned to himself, hoping maybe his guardian would just drop it.

"Did you?" Iruka asked. Naruto shifted his gaze to Iruka's scar, which ran across his nose. It wasn't really much of a scar anymore, just the dark imprint of what was a scar. "Naruto!"

Naruto moaned. "Not really!" He grumbled, crossing his arms and looking defiantly out the passenger seat window. Next door, the little blind girl who Naruto sometimes played with was walking about with her dog. Naruto desperately wanted to jump out of the car and run over to her and suggest they go to the park and play a guessing game.

Iruka snapped him out of his thoughts. "How long did it take for us to get home?"

"Nine hundred seconds." Naruto replied. He wondered what all his neighbors did for a living, and where they went while he was in school.

"You had something to do with it, didn't you?"

Naruto grumbled to himself. "What makes you think I had anything to do with it?"

"Other than knowing what color the balloons were and what type they were," Iruka said, slowly, "I know you. You only count and memorize things when you're worried, Naruto. And I think you're worried about being caught."

"I am not."

"Tell me what else you counted on the way home."

Naruto muttered, "You sighed sixteen times." He paused, seeing a pile of rocks by the end of the driveway. He almost started counting those too, but he pushed that urge aside. "And you stopped wrong twenty-seven times."

"What did you do, Naruto," Iruka asked calmly. Naruto was seriously ready to kick the door down. He stared up into the sky and counted seven cumulus clouds.

"I didn't do anything." He murmured. Iruka digested this, then unlocked the car doors. Thankful, Naruto jumped out the car quickly.

"You know you're grounded," Iruka said, from inside the car. "Until you tell me the truth."

"That is the truth!" Naruto whined. He considered giving Iruka a pleading look, but the dark haired man knew Naruto too well and would see right though it. "I swear I didn't do anything!"

Iruka shook his head. "That isn't the truth." He said, coolly. "There's something you aren't telling me."

Naruto turned his attention to the rocks again. There were ten.


If it was possible for Naruto to sit in his room all day without being bothered, he would have gladly sat up there until it was time for dinner, since his room was usually quite un-boring. But when Iruka seriously grounded him, he lost privileges on everything. For example, he couldn't listen to his music, he wasn't allowed to watch TV, he was banned from his computer, and most of his manga was taken away. He wasn't even allowed to have ramen (but he had a secret stash in case a time like this ever popped up). So at the moment, Naruto was very bored. He desperately wished he could invite Gaara over or go somewhere, but that was impossible. All he had left was the bookcase that was shoved against one of the walls, and he wasn't interested in Iruka's child psychology books or the science fiction books that Gaara kept stocked on Naruto's shelves for when the red head decided to come over, but couldn't be bothered with Naruto's yapping.

"Naruto?" He heard. Grumbling, he went to his room door.

"What do you want, Kaida." He glared at the dark haired girl who smirked back at him. Kiyohiko Kaida was the younger sister of a woman that Iruka worked with. She was a junior, one year older than Naruto, and every time he had been suspended the previous year due to his antics, the green-eyed vixen would show up to tutor him. She was tall and pale, and her hair was almost always down over her shoulders. She would have been pretty if she wasn't also inherently evil. Kaida had a way of smiling that made Naruto think she was Satan's right hand man. She heckled him about everything, and could have possibly been the most annoying girl ever to grace the earth, in Naruto's book.

"I heard you were expelled," She said, nonchalant as usual, waltzing into his room and sitting down at his computer desk. "Want to tell me about it?"

Naruto glowered at her and shut his room door, then flopped on his bed again. "No."

"Really." Kaida asked. Naruto knew she was smirking and he scowled at the ceiling. The ceiling wasn't very interesting, but it contrasted with the dark blue of Naruto's walls. Iruka had put his foot down when Naruto had begged to paint his room orange.

"Did you just come to annoy me?"

"No, I came because Suzuka came, because Iruka called her, because you got in trouble at school again. And I have to tutor you until you get into a new school, don't I? So why don't you just tell me what you did?"

"I didn't do anything."

"But Naruto," Kaida said, "You don't get kicked out of school for doing nothing." She spoke in her usual self-righteous voice, as if she knew everything, and Naruto wouldn't be surprised if she did. He was positive that she was some sort of vampire who sucked knowledge out of people's brains, because he always felt significantly dumber while she was around.

"Yes you can. And I did." Naruto declared. In the following silence, which lasted about three hundred seconds (or five minutes), Naruto tried to find some way to weasel out of his punishment. When Kaida interrupted him he shot daggers at her. "What?!" He complained.

"I said," She ran her fingers through her hair, "What do you plan on doing now?"

"I don't know!" Naruto grumbled. "I'll just go somewhere else!"

"Like where? The closest school is a Catholic private one, and they won't accept you."

"Shut up."

"Or, what, do you plan on me tutoring you for the rest of your life?"

"Shut up."

"Or maybe you just think that schools are just dying to have you as a part of their community."

"Kaida, shut the hell up!" Naruto snarled. Her green eyes lasered in on him, and the smirk she wore just pissed him off even more.

"Am I bothering you?" she asked sweetly. Naruto could think of a thousand good comebacks for that, most of which included him using language that would make Iruka gasp in horror.

"Fucker." He muttered.

"Now, now, Naruto." Kaida grinned and got up. "It's just so unfair that I have to tutor someone who's so adamant to not learn."

"Get out of my room."

She smiled and wiggled her fingers at him, as if she was saying good-bye and actually leaving the house when she was just going to go downstairs and talk with Suzuka and Iruka. "Of course, Naruto." She said.

Naruto waited until he heard her footsteps on the stairs before jumping up and locking his door, then kicking a book across the room. Damn that Kaida— damn Seishun High! He couldn't be expelled, it just wasn't fair! Okay, so maybe he did bring this fate upon himself, but that didn't mean they had to expel him! Naruto closed his eyes and slouched on his bed again. He knew that downstairs, Iruka was asking Kaida to tutor Naruto and that Kaida was agreeing.

He drifted off into a thankfully dreamless sleep.