Summary: Class is dead, darling. It died out along with the dinosaurs, exchanged its pearls and diamonds for MySpace and corona. Welcome to the twenty-first century; would you like fries with that?
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer applies.
Chapter Five: Confrontation
"Ino. Wake up. Wake up, Ino-pig. Come on now, it's already four in the afternoon and — oh my god, is that Shikamaru with that Temari girl?"
Ino's eyes snapped open at Sakura's words. In one swift motion, she grabbed a butter-knife from under her pillow and leapt out of her bed from under the covers, looking wildly around her (cluttered) room.
"What?" she all but shrieked. "Where's that little bitch? I'll rip her to fucking shreds and—ah, shit!" she cried, dropping the knife and clutching her head. She collapsed back onto her bed and buried her head under her blue pillows.
Sakura blinked and slowly inched towards where her friend had dropped the knife. She picked it up, and walked to the other corner of the room, where she set it down far, far away from the blonde.
"Ino, what the hell are you doing with a butter-knife in your bed with you?" Sakura asked incredulously, poking her friend in the ribs.
"I'm currently having the mother of all hangovers, Forehead," Ino groaned, her voice muffled by her pillows. "The least you could have done was let me sleep for five more minutes."
"It's your fault for having too much to drink. Here, I brought you some medicine to help with the headache," Sakura said, handing Ino a glass of suspicious-looking substances once the blonde had sat up.
"Thanks," Ino mumbled. She scrunched up her face and downed the contents of the glass. When she was done, she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and stuck out her tongue at Sakura. "That was disgusting," she said.
"I know." Sakura sat down on the bed next to Ino. "But it works. You can't have your cake and eat it, boar."
"I really don't get that saying," Ino said. "I mean, what's the point of having the cake in the first place, if you can't eat it? Anyway, has your day been more productive than mine?"
"Infinitely so. I actually got out of bed before noon, for one thing. Then I went over to Sasuke's, had lunch with his folks, and after, I went shopping with his mother for ball-gowns."
"Did she pay?"
"I hate you," Ino said spitefully, grabbing her bolster and throwing it at Sakura's head.
When Sakura stepped into her classroom on Monday morning, she found several strewn chairs lying around with people quivering under their respective tables and Inuzuka Kiba rampaging around the room throwing dog biscuits at Nara Shikamaru, who was artfully dodging them.
"Why the hell didn't you tell me?" Kiba roared. "Do you know how… how disturbing that was for me?"
"I can only imagine," Shikamaru drawled, flinching slightly as a bacon treat hit him square in the forehead.
Kiba ceased fire and scanned the room for Ino.
"Oi! Blondie! Why didn't you tell me?"
Ino looked up from her homework (which she was supposed to have done over the weekend, Sakura noted dryly), and shrugged sheepishly.
"Hey, I was piss-drunk," she said. Then, she brightened up. "Why, what happened?"
Kiba let out a frustrated sigh. He didn't seem to notice Sakura had just entered the room, which suited her just fine, and she watched on in amusement as he pounced on his next victim — Aburame Shino.
"Shino! What the hell, man? You're supposed to be my best friend! How could you let me do something so stupid?" he demanded.
"… I wasn't there."
"What?" Kiba asked, puzzled.
"No one invited me," Shino said, folding his arms in front of him and staring straight ahead at the blackboard.
"Whoa man, sorry, we totally forgot—"
"You forgot about me?"
"No!" Kiba shouted, raising his hands in defence. "It was… was… It was all Shikamaru's fault!" he exclaimed, pointing an accusatory finger at Shikamaru.
Shikamaru ignored him, having noticed Sakura standing in the doorway, hand over mouth, trying her hardest not to burst out laughing. He shook his head at her with a hopeless expression on his face before greeting, "Yo. Sakura. How was your weekend?"
Kiba whirled around.
"Haruno Sakura!" he howled, leaping over a few fallen chairs and bounding over to her.
"Hi, Kiba," she said, smiling. "How was yesterday?"
"Oh shit, do you even have to ask? Did you know that the girl I was chatting up was actually a guy?" he asked, grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her.
"Um, kind of?" she said sheepishly, trying to pry his hands off of her.
"What? And you still made me go through all of that?" Kiba yelled.
"Shikamaru told us to leave you alone and said you would find out eventually!" Sakura confessed, shielding her arms across her face. A few feet away, Shikamaru, who had been watching the conversation take place, groaned and muttered a "Troublesome" under his breath before ducking, as Kiba threw the whole box of biscuits at his head.
"Calm down, Kiba," Kakashi, their homeroom teacher, said, appearing just behind Sakura. "Now everyone, pick up a chair and take it. I'm not even going to bother asking who trashed the classroom. Kiba, sweep up your dog's food once we're done. I wouldn't want him to starve because you were to busy throwing it at people."
Outraged at being the first to be accused, Kiba took his seat at the front of the classroom, right in front of Kakashi's desk, feigned a wounded expression and declared, "Why, Kakashi-sensei, I am hurt that you think it was me who did this!" He placed a hand over his heart and continued. "Just because I have Akamaru, it does not mean I made this mess! I didn't, by the way," he quickly added. "It was all Shikamaru's fault!"
Shikamaru, by this time, had not even bothered to sigh or roll his eyes in response to the accusation. He merely sat at his desk, chin propped up on his arm and watched the clouds go by outside the window.
"You know, Kiba," Kakashi-sensei said, looking amused, "it's pretty brave of you to lie so blatantly, seeing as how there are twenty six other eyewitnesses, who are currently trying their best not to piss themselves laughing at your bluff."
Kiba furrowed his eyebrows and looked bemused for a moment, before he turned around to see the rest of the class with their hands over their mouths trying to hide their laughter.
"Aw man, why can't I ever win?"
"So," Sakura said, "did you mean what you said the other night at the club?"
It was lunchtime, and Ino and Sakura were sitting in the corridors eating their lunches, backs pressed up against the lockers. It was deserted, as every other normal human being in the school was in the cafeteria sitting at tables.
Ino stopped poking her carrot-stick and shoved it into her mouth, chewing thoughtfully. When she had swallowed it, she said, "Sakura, I was completely wasted on Saturday. You're a smart girl, you should know better than to trust what I say when I'm like that."
Sakura wasn't happy with that answer. She persisted, "You said some not-so-nice things about my boyfriend and tried to bitchslap him."
"I don't remember that. I probably meant it, though."
Sakura sighed and leaned her head back against the locker.
"What do you have against Sasuke-kun, Ino? Why do you hate him so much?" she asked, looking up at the ceiling instead of at the blonde.
"I don't have anything against him, Forehead, seriously," Ino insisted. "I think you two are cute together, and you make a great couple—"
"Then why do you keep saying things like this?" Sakura interrupted.
Ino smiled grimly and got up. She picked up her box of carrot-sticks and walked over to the nearest rubbish bin, throwing them inside.
"Those things are disgusting," she commented as she walked back to where Sakura sat. "Diet or not, I am not eating them. I'd rather starve."
"Stop avoiding the question."
The blonde looked down at her pink-haired friend from where she stood. She exhaled and looked towards the heavens, as if asking for some guidance. When she received none, she let out another sigh and plopped back down next to Sakura.
"Look," Ino said. "I told you, it's not like I hate the guy or anything. Okay, Sakura? I'm really, really happy that you've found someone that you like as much as you like him, and I'm glad he feels the same way. Both of you are just so… so right for each other, you know? You're nothing alike, but you balance each other out. In a way, I'm really envious of you, Forehead," she admitted. "I'd rather have what you have, with your grumpy, imperfect knight-in-shining-armour than just one night with Prince Charming, knowing that his kingdom will call him away the next day." Ino frowned a little and tugged a lock of Sakura's hair before continuing. "You're my best friend Sakura, and I love you, you know that. But even though you dating Sasuke, it doesn't mean I have to be in love him."
"I should hope not," Sakura snorted, swatting away Ino's hand.
"Sakura, I just want you to not change yourself so much for him. This upper class stuff — I don't like it. The people you have to 'network' with aren't our type of people and I'm just concerned for you. I know you aren't happy, so stop trying to lie to me, because it's not working," Ino said.
Sakura fiddled with the hem of her skirt and didn't reply. Ino was just being honest with her, she knew that, and in that moment, Sakura hated her friend for knowing her as well as she did.
"Oi. Sakura. Get up."
Sakura looked up.
"Sasuke-kun," she greeted, an automatic smile already on her face as she took the hand offered to her.
Sasuke looked down at the person next to her.
"Ino," he said deadpanned.
"Sasuke," the blonde hissed in reply.
Sakura, sensing the tension in the air, stepped in between the two, partially blocking her boyfriend from Ino's death glares.
"So, Sasuke-kun. What brings you here down this lonely corridor?"
Sasuke merely shrugged and shoved his hands into his pockets.
"Nothing," he answered. "Sakura, I can't make it to the Academy after school. I've arranged for a driver to pick you up and drop you off there—"
"Whoa, whoa. Hold on right there for a second," Ino interrupted, leaping off the floor. She walked up to Sasuke and poked a perfectly manicured finger at his chest. "You mean to tell me that you're sending her." Poke. "Up there." Poke. "All." Poke. "Alone?" Poke.
Sasuke looked at the attacking object and frowned at it in disdain.
Sakura leapt in.
"Now, now, Ino," she said hastily, dragging the girl off her boyfriend. "It's perfectly fine. I'll be okay," she assured her friend, who wasn't paying the slightest bit of attention to her and was still glaring at Sasuke.
"Look," Ino said, addressing Sasuke. "I don't give a flying fuck who your family is. I don't care how much money you have or whether you can hire a hitman to off me anytime you want to."
Sakura groaned and scanned the corridor for any other students and for an escape route. She found none. She looked at Sasuke, whose expression was as neutral as ever, even if he had an eyebrow quirked up in bemusement.
"But, as soon as Sakura admits to me out loud that she's unhappy with what you've been putting her through," the blonde continued. "I will kick your pansy, rich-brat ass for doing that to my friend, who is such a doormat, I'm surprised she hasn't been conned out of both her kidneys yet. You got that? Good."
And with that, Ino grabbed her schoolbag, slung it over her shoulders and stormed off, leaving Sakura wide-eyed and mentally firing curses at her back, alone in the corridors with her boyfriend, who at the moment, was frowning deeply.
Sakura knew something was wrong from the moment he said her name. It was the first time he ever said it in a questioning tone.
"Yes, Sasuke-kun?" Sakura flinched.
Deep onyx eyes penetrated her. She fidgeted slightly, waiting for his next sentence.
"Is what she said true, Sakura?"