Through the first half of the day, I could not focus at all on the lectures. Every word my teacher uttered went in one ear and out the other, never clinging to my mind to be processed into sense. In literature class, I barely got to read past the first page of our text because I had to read some sentences over and over again.
I was in a really, really, really distressing predicament. Tomorrow, the med exams would come... ah, what a horrifying thought!
Well... at least I didn't have to worry about the scrapes anymore. The minor wounds had dried up thanks to Sai-kun's medical knowledge, and I no longer needed to use the bandages.
"Hyuuga-san," The biology teacher , Mitarashi Anko, called from the front of the room. Standing beside her was my smiling homeroom teacher, Kakashi-sensei. "This man wants to speak with you." Anko-sensei said, marking her page and closing the book.
And all eyes were directed toward me.
I wish Niisan was here to give me some confidence, but because he was an eleventh-year student and I tenth – our classes were different.
Swallowing my anxiety, I quickly rose from my seat and briskly walked to the front of the room.
Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.
"I'll only need him for a minute," Kakashi-sensei said assuringly to Anko-sensei, and I was led out into the hallway.
Shrinking slightly, I looked up at him and began to fidget with my fingers. "A-am I in tr-trouble?"
He seemed to find my question funny and chuckled. "Of course not." Sensei said to my relief. "I just wanted to tell you that you'll have a special examiner tomorrow..." He trailed off and became serious-faced.
I couldn't tell if Kakashi-sensei was done speaking or not, because he kept opening and closing his mouth. It was really odd.
"I just can't believe that you're a..." Sensei paused momentarily, then finished in a really hushed voice, "Girl."
I couldn't help but feel the heat rise to my cheeks.
"I guess it's kind of exciting to know that I have a female student." He laughed.
Knowing that I was probably blushing two shades darker than usual, I bowed my head to cover the evidence of my shame.
"I didn't mean it like that, Hyuuga-san." He patted me on the head. "But... I might be tempted to sexually assault you."
I gaped at him with wide eyes.
"I'm just kidding!" He laughed even harder. "...even if you do look very tempting, bishoujo(1)."
Oh, boy... my stomach's doing flips...
"Anyway," Kakashi-sensei said in a more serious tone, "You're to go to the back of the gym tomorrow – where the exams will be held. You'll see a tent marked with a blue flag. In it will be your examiner, she'll be taking care of you. You don't need to worry about your secrecy around her, got it?"
"Hai," I nodded.
"Alright, then. See you around, kiddo." He patted my head again before walking past me.
My eyes followed him as his retreating figure traveled further down the hall, until he disappeared around the corner.
Kakashi-sensei's definitely... frightening. Despite his young age.
He sure knows how to scare a boy-pretending girl.
I didn't tell Niisan about my conversation with Kakashi-sensei. I knew he'd want details, and I'd probably tell him about Kakashi-sensei's joke without even thinking about it
That would make Niisan one unhappy Neji.
I shuddered at the thought.
"Oi, Hyuuga Hi-kuuun!" A cheerful voice caught my attention. I whirled around and wasn't expecting it to be Naruto-kun.
"Aah... Naruto-kun!" I smiled, giving him a small wave as I tried my hardest to maintain cool.
"Me and a whole bunch of other guys are going downtown." He said, grinning widely as he stood millimeters away from me. My heart was thumping so hard, I was sure he'd be able to hear it. "You're coming," He said; not really a suggestion or a plead, but a command.
"I- I am?" I squeaked.
"Yes, you are." He encircled his hand around my wrist and began to drag me away from the dormitories.
"B-but Niisan will worry!" I reasoned, trying to escape from his rather tight grasp.
"Nah, he'll be fine." Naruto waved off my concern and proceeded to exit the school grounds.
"...b-but I- I have homework to do!" I came up with another lame reason to try and get out of whatever Naruto-kun was dragging me into. I'd only end up embarrassing myself if I was around him. It'd be like accepting death with open arms. Willingly (sort of).
Well, my reason managed to stop him for a second. He turned and looked me in the eyes, "Hi-kun, I'm in all your classes. And none of our teachers assigned us homework today."
I began to melt under his gaze, and my conscience – the part of my mind that was actually concerned about Neji – faltered.
It'll only be for a little while... Niisan won't mind.
"A-alright, then." I sighed.
"Yes!" Naruto-kun cheered. A little too happily. "YOSHI! Let's go have fun!" And the dragging ensued.
"A-ano, Naruto-kun?" I called, trying to gain his attention through all the enthusiasm. "Wh-what will we be doing?"
"Hee-hee!" There was a certain mischief in his voice, and when he glanced over his shoulder, I noticed the mischief in his aquamarine eyes as well. "We're going to drink sake like there's no tomorrow!"
I squeaked at his answer, remembering my horrifying incident with alcohol last year. I accidentally drank father's alcoholic beverage while he was away.
Hanabi said I tried to assault Niisan and touch him in appropriate places. Of course, I didn't believe her. But I woke up naked the next day, with my head throbbing endlessly, and vomited all over my bed.
Now that I think about it... it's since around that time when things between me and Niisan became a bit awkward.
Because I was too busy remembering my unpleasant incident, I failed to notice the group of boys standing by the gate from the distance.
"Hey, guys!" Naruto suddenly yelled. "Look who I brought!"
They all fell silent when he made our arrival known.
Ah... the intensity of their stares.
I timidly looked up and gave a small smile. "Hey, uh... guys."
The dense feeling slowly dissipated, actually – it was all my imagination. They weren't really all that bad.
"Yo," One boy greeted, lifting his hand in my direction with acknowledgment. He had this aloofness to him, it was radiating like an aura. But I could tell that he possessed wit. "Name's Shikamaru."
"Hey, transvestite." I knew that voice. The heat began to rise to my cheeks again as my eyes darted to the not-very-nice person. As expected it was one of my roommates.
"Mou, Sai-kun!" I whined.
A series of laughter broke out; they all were laughing at my expense.
"I- I don't look that feminine, do I?" I twiddled my index fingers, my eyes glanced over Sai's face – where I could see his lips being tightly pursed. He was refraining.
"Actually, Hi, you kinda do," Naruto patted me on the back, I supposed he was trying to be comforting. But I didn't need to be comforted. I took his honest answer as a compliment, in fact.
But with the circumstances at hand, I pretended to sulk.
"Y'know, you could probably sneak into the girls' academy without being caught." Kiba mentioned, thinking in a way that made me kind of anxious.
I heard a scoff several yards away and noticed that it was the boy who sat next to me in homeroom.
"Are we going or not?" He scowled, beyond irritated.
"Sasuke-teme?!" Naruto suddenly exclaimed. "When did you get here?!"
"I've been here, dobe." There was a visible scowl on his face, it slightly marred his rakish handsomeness...
Ah! No! You can't seriously be liking that jerk! You like Naruto-kun, Hinata! NARUTO-KUN! NOT SASUKE-KU... NOT SASUKE! HE-
I lifted my head and noticed the concern on each one of their faces, especially Sai's.
"You... were hyperventilating." Sai drawled, furrowing his brows and narrowing his eyes as if he were scrutinizing me.
"I- I- I- ...w-was?" Oh, geez. I started to laugh nervously, but stopped myself when the first couple of giggles sounded high-pitched.
Sai gave me a solicitous look and a subtle shake of his head.
"Ahem!" I pretended to clear my throat loudly. "Yes! I'm fine!" Overconfidently, I strode frontward, with an extended arm and a pointing finger. "Let's go!"
"Oi, Hi!" Someone called from behind me while I continued to walk (like a robot, mind you). I glanced back, over my shoulder to see it was Naruto-kun with a bright smile on his face. The others were snickering (except for Sasuke of course, because he rarely smiled). "You're going the wrong way."
Well, that was embarrassing. Once again, I managed to make a fool of myself.
How will I survive with these guys? Neji-niisan, doushiyo?! Tasukete(4)!
Gah! I really needed to pee. Ever since we left the school grounds, my bladder felt like it was about to burst. No lie.
When we arrived at the restaurant we all agreed to, the feeling abated for a little while... until the ordering came and Naruto mentioned drinks. Of all things to order first, why drinks? Why not appetizers or something?
"Where's Sasuke?" Naruto had inquired, "if he doesn't get his ass here soon, he doesn't get any! What do you guys want? There's plenty of good drinks!"
Drinks, drinks, drinks.
Eeeee... I really need to pee!
In a frantic motion, I stood up and squeaked, "Be right back! Bathroom!" I talked so fast I wasn't sure if I sounded coherent.
Confirming that it was the men's bathroom I was about to go into, I bolted through the door, hysterically knocking on each stall door to hurry those inside. I didn't even notice Sasuke standing at one of the... stand-up toilet things. I didn't know what they were called.
"Do you need to take a dump or something?"
At the painfully familiar voice, I froze suddenly, no longer doing the frantic pee-dance. "N-no." I answered, a bit too quickly.
"Then why not use one of these?"
"Aa...(5)" Still holding my groin, I shuffled towards the last of the things – far away from Sasuke and unzipped myself.
Will it go everywhere? Oh, goodness! I don't even want to-
I heard one stall door open.
"YES!" I triumphantly shouted and scuttled into the available stall, pretty sure that I freaked both Sasuke and whoever just went out of this stall.
"Hen na baka(6)."
Yes, that was no doubt Sasuke.
I disregarded him as the relief of my emptying bladder washed over me. Kind of in a euphoric state, I exited my stall and washed my hands before venturing back out and ridiculing myself again.
When I reached my seat, the first I saw was Sasuke's death glare. Involuntary shivers ran down my spine and I couldn't help but cast my eyes down.
Why does he hate me so much?
"Konnichiwa, mina-san!" A cheery voice came from behind us, and we all noticed that it was from a pretty girl. She had a slender figure, with sun-kissed skin. The most prominent of her features were her jade-green eyes and soft pink hair that went down to her shoulder blades. I could tell that all the guys at the table were ogling at her because everyone fell silent.
"Haruno Sakura desu(7)," She introduced herself, still smiling softly. "And I'll be serving you this afternoon."
"Waah... kirei...(8)" I ended up thinking out loud, but luckily it came out as a whisper. I hope no one heard that.
"Hey, you're pretty cute." My head snapped up out of reflex, and my heart throbbed painfully when I learned that it was Naruto-kun who'd said that. "Wanna take my order first, Sakura-chan?"
"I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that." The waitress said, but I could tell that her voice sounded a bit strained. "What did you say?"
"I said- -"
Naruto was about to repeat himself when Sasuke interrupted, his facial features forever trapped in that irritated fluster. He said, "We'll take the okonomiyaki special, the portions should keep all of us full. And sake, please. For the whole table."
As Sasuke ordered for us, Naruto seemed royally miffed. At first he was visibly baffled, then he gritted his teeth in apparent ire.
I noticed the waitress swoon a bit when she made eye contact with the dark-haired youth. "H-hai," And with that she gave a small bow and scuttled off into the kitchen.
"Ne-ne, Naruto. Calm down. I think you'd like what Sasuke ordered." Kiba said, trying to lighten him up.
"Sasuke-teme's a pain in the ass." Naruto muttered angrily, crossing his arms over his chest.
I only smiled a little at this. He was so handsome... and he was kind of cute when he was sulking.
Sasuke didn't seem to care about Naruto's insult, only scoffing and looking away from us.
"How troublesome..." I heard Shikamaru say from the edge of the table.
"I'm going to talk to her," Naruto-kun declared, standing up.
Of course, timid little me did nothing to stop him. What could I say? 'No, Naruto-kun. I'm really a girl and you'd be happier with me?'
While having a little inner conflict with myself, I didn't notice Naruto walking into another waitress. My reverie was broken when a loud crash whipped through the air.
"Hey! Watch where you're going!" The girl heatedly said, she was definitely irked.
We all looked up in awe, and did nothing because we were rendered stunned by Naruto's utter ignorance, well – the guys at least. I stood up and went to help Naruto up.
"Are you okay, Naruto-kun?" I whispered.
"Yeah- - oww." He slowly sat up, rubbing the back of his head while grimacing in pain. The blond seemed to still be in a daze.
"Gomen nasai(9)," I quickly apologized to the girl, as to not let her rage escalate.
She sighed and began to pick up the scattered pieces of the glass pitcher, and I started to help.
This waitress, she was pretty, too. But in her own special way. I speculated her features as I retrieved the broken shards. She had venetian red tresses that reached just above her shoulder blades, and her eyes were like sapphire orbs, her complexion fair.
"Ite!" I gasped, feeling a sharp pang at the tip of my right index finger.
"Daijoubu desu ka?" The waitress, no longer irate, asked in concern.
"Hi-kun!" Naruto immediately came to my side, gently grabbing hold of my wrist and bringing the index finger to his face for close examination. "You're bleeding!" Immediately he brought my finger past his lips and into the warmth of his mouth, I felt a sucking motion and my cheeks flamed.
"Please, Naruto-kun," I pleaded, "I'm alright. Don't worry, it's only a little cut..."
"...not again." I listened to Sai sigh, and he approached me and knelt on my other side. "This is the second time you've hurt yourself today, Hyuuga. What are we going to do with you?"
"It's just a little cut, it'll heal." I withdrew my hand to my side as Naruto slowly let go, making sure to conceal the cut well even if I could feel more blood oozing out of it. I stood up and quickly changed the subject, intending to finish my aid with the broken dish. "Do you still need help, Miss?"
She shook her head, a small smile on her face. She seemed to have been eyeing Naruto before I gathered her attention. "It's alright. Thank you. I'll just get a broom and clean this up myself. Thanks." Then, the waitress walked back into the kitchen.
"That was a quick attitude change," Naruto said thoughtfully. He dismissed the thought in a flash and dragged me back over to the table, where I had no choice but to sit next to him as he gently forced me into a chair. And guess who I had to sit next to, too.
Mr. Grumpy Sasuke.
1. Beautiful girl.
2. You okay?
4. Niisan, what do I do?! Help!
5. Oh, right...
6. Weird idiot.
7. (My name is) Sakura Haruno.
9. I'm sorry
A/N: I'm sorry I haven't updated in a while, my faithful readers. x.x But I hope you liked this one. Reviews would make me delirious. -hint hint- And do forgive me if you spot any grammatical mistakes. Please feel free to unload your comments/criticism on me. They're mostly helpful. n.n