Title: Sexy no Jutsu
Rating: PG ( K+ ) – for pervy pubescent thoughts and brief mentions of nudity.
Spoilers: How can I spoil anything that hasn't actually happened?
Summary: Part of the "Lifelong Love" series. "The purpose of this week's assignment," Iruka began, standing before his class of Cadets with a straight back and a smug expression. "Is to learn how to disguise yourself as the opposite sex." Implied SasuHinaNaru.
Yes, another one.
Part One: Partners
"The purpose of this week's assignment," Iruka began, standing before his class of Cadets with a straight back and a smug expression. "Is to learn how to disguise yourself as the opposite sex."
"Ehhhhhhhhh?" was the collective shout of awe and confusion from the students.
"That's so stupid!"
"Why would we have to change genders on a mission?"
"That's really gross!"
"I'm telling my parents..."
Instantly, the Cadets ceased chattering amongst themselves and returned their attention to the front of the room where their teacher remained standing, his eyebrow twitching with barely suppressed irritation. His patience had already slipped a little, but he was reigning it back admirably and maintaining his professional facade.
Iruka inhaled a deep breath and released it slowly before resuming his speech. "I assure you, this will be a worthwhile exercise to everyone," he continued, eyes roving along the aisles of raised seats surrounding him on all sides but one. "However, I understand that there might be some concerns – Yes, Sakura?"
Attention turned away from Iruka and focused on one of the students. Despite the large number of Cadets in the room, she was easy enough to spot amongst them thanks to her cotton candy-pink hair and wildly waving hand. "Sensei, I don't understand why it's important for us to know how to change genders on missions. Isn't it enough that we know how to disguise ourselves as someone else?"
"Very good question, Sakura," Iruka said, emphasizing his compliment with an approving smile and a nod. "As I was about to explain before I was so rudely interrupted," – a large portion of the class gulped and sunk down into their seats – "a ninja must be capable of disguising themselves as anyone, including members of the opposite sex. What if you, Sakura, needed to infiltrate a club that only allowed male members? Or what if you needed to disguise yourself as a specific person, but they happened to be a man?"
Sakura replied without missing a single beat. "I would use Transformation Jutsu to take on the appearance of a man."
Iruka smiled at her again, this time with a superior look that stated that he knew something she didn't. "Yes, but accuracy is important when attempting to fool adversaries, especially when they are unknown to you. Men and women each have habits specific to their genders that are not so simple to imitate.
"For instance," Iruka held up a single finger to emphasize his point. "What if Naruto" – Naruto's snores were interrupted for a second when his name was mentioned – "were forced to transform into you in order to complete a mission and completely failed to grasp your sense of feminine delicacy? It would be quite a sight to see him acting the way that he usually does while in your form, Sakura."
Sakura turned two shades darker than her hair and beat the unfortunate, sleeping Naruto on the head. Naruto jerked awake with a start, shoving the book he had been hiding behind off the edge of his desk.
"Ouch!" Inuzuka Kiba complained, rubbing the spot at which the book had made contact with his skull. "Watch it!"
Naruto was confused and defensive as his senses began to return to him. "Wha – ? I didn't do anything!"
"You hit me on the head with a freakin' book, moron!"
"I did not! It fell!"
"Alright, alright!" Iruka commanded, materializing between the two boys before a fist-fight could break out in the classroom. "That's enough of that."
As the two boys struggled to get around the bracing arms of their much stronger teacher, the clock tower bells chimed to announce the end of the school day.
Iruka glanced at the clock above the classroom door and sighed. "Alright, class. We'll continue this tomorrow. For homework, I want each of you to reflect upon the differences between boys and girls and write a one-page summary about them to be read aloud tomorrow." As snickers and covert giggles emerged from several members of the class, Iruka rolled his eyes and amended his instructions. "The psychological and social differences between boys and girls, that is."
Sasuke stood as the rest of the class rose to leave, thinking back on Iruka's words with a derisive snort. 'The only difference between boys and girls is that girls are more annoying.'
As he reached the end of the aisle, Sasuke stumbled. Regaining his balance against the desk nearest to him, he turned to admonish the person who had so rudely gotten in his way and faltered his grace. The menacing scowl he had procured for the clumsy idiot melted away as he realized who it was.
"I'm s-so sorry, Sasuke-san!" Hyuuga Hinata stammered, bowing so low that she nearly touched the desktop with her forehead. Her bangs brushed the knuckles of the hand he had left resting there for a brief moment before she rose slightly to apologize again. "I w-wasn't watching where I was g-going! I'm s-sorry!"
Tightening his fist until his nails dug into his palm, Sasuke snorted and pushed the stuttering Hyuuga out of his way. "It's fine," he said, taking the steps downward as fast as he possibly could without causing suspicion.
— — —
"...and they smell funny, too. The end."
Sasuke could hardly believe the drivel that his classmates were spouting about each other. It seemed that Iruka's homework assignment had been taken as an opportunity for a battle of the sexes, giving each student the ability to bask in the superiority that their sex supposedly awarded them. The commentary had been getting steadily worse as each person took the front of the room to read their essays, the need for rebuttal growing more intense with each veiled insult. For the last five turns, no one had even glanced at their papers but launched directly into immature mudslinging that left half the class glowering at the speaker.
Yamanaka Ino's turn was over, but she apparently felt the need to amend – as all the other girls had before her – one little detail of her overall point; "Except Sasuke-kun, of course," Ino said, holding a demure hand up to her cheek as she fluttered her eyelashes in Sasuke's direction. Sasuke sneered back, but the blonde girl hardly seemed to care. "He's much too cool, handsome, sexy – "
"Alright, alright," Iruka interrupted, sighing heavily. He waved her back to her seat with little hearts pulsing in her eyes. "Next up is...Uchiha Sasuke."
Sasuke rose and slumped to the front of the room, shoving his hands deep within his pockets and scowling about the room. Hardly anyone else had bothered to read from their papers, so Sasuke had decided to simply give an overall summary of his insights and be done with it quickly.
"Girls are annoying."
Having said all he wanted to say, Sasuke walked back to the stairs that ascended into the stands of desks, ignoring the vacant stares of his classmates as he passed. Their eyes remained fixated on the spot on which he had stood for those few brief seconds while he had delivered his report. A rogue breeze carried a few leaves past their stunned, frozen faces.
Blinking a few times, Iruka came back to himself. "Ahem...yes, well...next up is Hyuuga Hinata."
Unable to contain the urge, Sasuke shifted his eyes to the end of his row to observe Hinata as she prepared to take her turn in front of her peers. She hesitated in her seat for as long as she reasonably could, shaking as she pretended to search through her folder for her assignment. Sasuke could see it sitting right on top of her small pile of papers, ready and waiting at her fingertips.
When she could stall no longer, Hinata picked up her paper between both hands and, excusing herself as she passed Sasuke, descended the stairs to position herself in front of the class. Sasuke could both see and hear the paper crinkling between her trembling hands as she stood in the spotlight she tried so very hard to avoid.
"Um...I-I d-don't know m-many b-boys," she began; Sasuke could tell that she was stuttering worse than ever. "W-well, I d-do, b-but not p-p-personally. I m-mean..."
Hinata squeezed her eyes shut and took a deep, steadying breath. Even after two more of these she still looked as if she were going to be physically ill.
"I think th-that everyone is d-different, n-no m-matter what their s-s-se – " Hinata flushed bright red as she attempted to force out the taboo word, but ended up admitting defeat quickly in favor of a convenient synonym. "g-gender is."
Gulping, Hinata lowered her paper and stood shivering on the spot. She bit her lip as if fighting to keep her mouth shut, making Sasuke wonder – maybe even worry ever-so-slightly – that she really was going to be sick. Not that he really cared about her all that much, he just didn't want to see someone vomit so close to lunch period was all. She could come down with a deadly, flesh-eating disease for all he cared as long as he wasn't about to eat in four or five hours.
Iruka placed a concerned hand on Hinata's shoulder, leaning down close to her ear to ask softly "Hinata, are you okay?"
Hinata nodded, keeping her jaw firmly locked into position.
"Do you need to see the nurse?"
Hinata shook her head from side to side.
"Are you sure...?"
Again, she nodded.
"Alright...please take your seat."
Hinata ascended the stairs and, without issuing a verbal apology for sliding past Sasuke this time, sat down quickly. Her assignment was crumpled and twisted in her shaking hands.
"Okay, next up..." Iruka continued with the oral reports, but Sasuke had ceased to find the immature bantering of the students interesting long ago. Ignoring the class proceedings, he reached into his school bag and withdrew a small, individual-sized carton of milk that he had been saving for lunch.
Sasuke stared hard at the label for a few seconds, squeezing the carton in his hand with indecision, as he considered the repercussions of what he was possibly about to do. On the one hand, assuaging Hinata's nausea would be best for the class (himself, in particular, considering he was sitting right next to her) and could possibly elevate his "always prepared for the worst" reputation.
On the other, showing any sort of kindness toward a girl (even if he had known her for practically all his life so far) would send the wrong message to everyone around them and could potentially incite a riot amongst his fangirls (not that he was bragging, or anything; it was simply a possibility).
Glancing over at Hinata, Sasuke became alarmed (for lack of better term) at how much she was swaying in her seat. Her eyelids drooped low over her pearly-white cornea, which were more pronounced than usual against the greenish pallor of her skin. In short: she looked worse than ever.
Just as Sasuke was about to pull his hand decisively out of his bag, he stopped.
"Oi, Hinata, you don't look so good," Kiba observed, turning around in his seat to look up at the ailing Hyuuga. "Want some gingerale? I've got some in my bag..."
"I'm ok – " Hinata interrupted herself and clapped a hand to her mouth.
Whipping out his proffered can of soda, Kiba slammed it down on the desk beside Hinata and commanded, "Drink it. You'll feel better."
With a defeated half-smile, Hinata thanked Kiba with a shy nod of her head and accepted the drink. She carefully popped the mouth of the can open while the speaker down on the floor railed against girls with a loud, impassioned voice and took a small sip.
Her color slowly returned to normal as she drank the gingerale and Sasuke realized quickly that his own offering was no longer needed. With an irritated snort, he dropped the milk carton back into his bag, thinking that he would buy himself some juice from the cafeteria later.
"Last up is...Uzumaki Naruto."
From Sasuke's other side, Naruto snorted and jerked awake. "Wha...?"
Crossing his arms in front of his chest, Iruka narrowed his eyes in Naruto's direction. "Did you even do the assignment, Naruto?"
Naruto's face was dumbfounded. "...What assignment?"
A single drop of sweat slid down the side of Iruka's face. "I'll take that as a 'no,' then."
Smatterings of laughter broke out across the classroom as Naruto rubbed a sheepish hand against the back of his neck, grinning from ear to ear. If Sasuke hadn't felt that he knew better, he would have suspected that Naruto neglected to write his essay on purpose for the sake of attention.
"Okay, moving on," Iruka said, coughing into his closed fist to regain the attention of his students. "The next part of the assignment will involve breaking into pairs. I want each of you to find a partner – one girl and one boy to each team, please – and take a seat next to them while I explain the next portion."
The Cadets warily looked around the classroom, suspicious of each other after the hour of rousing boy-against-girl oral reports. No one seemed particularly eager to team up with one of their sworn enemies and their sluggish reaction to Iruka's orders illustrated just that.
His eyebrow twitching menacingly again, Iruka put his hands on his hips and addressed the class, this time with an air of carefree threat. "I could always assign partners, if you want. That would sure be easier..."
This time the movement was immediate; almost every student was out of his or her seat searching for an appropriate partner of the opposite sex that wouldn't be so horrible to work with, each of them terrified of being placed with someone they couldn't tolerate.
From the front of the class, Iruka was beaming once again. "Good! Once you've found your partner, raise your hands."
"Oh yeah? Well, I saw him first!"
"What? How could you see him first, you twit? You were across the room!"
"Distance means nothing to the eyes of love!"
Sasuke – one of the few students who still found themselves unmotivated to find a partner quickly before being assigned one by the teacher – slowly turned to the back of the classroom as a nauseating feeling of foreboding began growing in the pit of his stomach. Grouped along the last row of seats was a gaggle of bickering girls, twelve in all, each ready to fight at a moments notice. Sasuke's apprehension grew as he realized that a few of them were pointing directly at him.
"It's true!" Sakura, who happened to be at the center of the group staring down Ino, proclaimed, hands fisted down at her sides. "Just because you don't love him deeply enough – "
"I don't love him enough?" Ino countered, her voice reaching a pitch that made Kiba wince visibly. "I've had my eye on him since I was five! You didn't start liking him until you were, what? Six?"
"Time doesn't matter in love! It's all about feeling, Ino-pig!"
"Yeah, well, you're about to feel my fist right in your great, big forehead, you hussy!"
"Why, you – "
With a sudden feeling of panic spurring him on, Sasuke stood in his seat and raced to the end of his row, target in sight. She was almost out of range, reaching up to tap that dobe on the shoulder –
"Um...ah...N-Naruto-ku – "
Grabbing her wrist firmly in his hand just in the nick of time, Sasuke lifted it high above his head in victory.
Panting a little, Sasuke felt calming relief spread throughout his body as Iruka called out "Uchiha Sasuke and Hyuuga Hinata. You're team three."
Authors Notes: Okay, it's officially been decided that this story is going to be a FiveShot, not a ThreeShot as originally (hoped) anticipated. The chapter titles will include:
Part One: Partners
Part Two: Guidelines
Part Three: Step One
Part Four: Step Two
Part Five: Step Three
That should give you just the tiniest hint of what's to come (though, admittedly, that's still pretty vague). Everything else will be a complete surprise n.n
Anyway, the second installment is on the way. And, yes, this story is connected to "Stuck On You" and "'Till Death Do We Part," or my "Lifelong Love" series as I've come to call it. This story is a sequel to both, taking place not terribly long before the Rookie 9 graduate as Genins (making them about eleven, give or take a few months). It will become more clear how everything's connected by chapter three, I think.
Haven't started beta-ing again yet...
. ( . Ms Videl Son . ) .
– Love can be black and white. SasuHina.