And it's another chapter! I bet you weren't thinking that I'd update again so quickly (shut up, two or so weeks is quick for me, considering my attention span); neither did I, to be honest. Well, here's the chapter, I hope you like it! ^_^
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or the Sound of Music. Or any of the songs included in here. Or any of the TV shows; my roommate is a corruptible influence, is all I have to say XD
Since that time, a few months had passed. August turned into September, which slowly crept into October; Halloween came and went, along with a string of pranks around the neighborhood. The popular opinion was that it was one of the kids from the Uchiha mansion, however with them having been remarkably well behaved (for the teenagers, that is) even the most hard-headed skeptic had to admit that there was a remote, one in ten thousand chance possibility with the full moon's influence (and the fact that it was around Halloween, too) that the Uchiha children might possibly be innocent.
However, after a particularly interesting prank that involved a watermelon, a kumquat, a monkey (don't ask), a pogo-stick, superglue, chili powder, glow sticks, and random soundtracks to 80's cartoon shows at an elderly lady's house (coincidentally, the same old lady who now drove the bus to town) combined with self-satisfied looks on Naruto's, Kiba's, and Kankuro's faces, Sakura couldn't help but wonder if they might have something to do with the pranks after all.
The fact that Suigetsu now worked at the local joke shop didn't help matters much, either.
At any rate, the holiday season ended soon and the social season for Konoha's elite was just beginning. This meant that for the first time in years, the Uchiha mansion would play host to some of the season's most interesting parties.
One of these parties was intended as a welcome-back-into-the-spotlight party for Sasuke who was going to be re-joining the social scene for the first time since his wife had died. Apparently, she loved these kinds of parties and the only reason why Sasuke even hosted them in the first place was for her. Ever since her death, Sasuke had even more reason to stop attending them, along with the fact that he wasn't very partial to them in the first place.
Another reason for this upcoming party was to announce the engagement between Captain Sasuke and Baroness Karin.
Sakura was blown over by this news, though luckily she hid it well. She always knew that she wouldn't be able to have a relationship with Sasuke, but now that he was officially taken it hit Sakura hard. As Sakura sat alone in her room while the children were 'congratulating their father and Baroness Karin on their upcoming engagement', she had a moment to think to herself in quiet. Or about as quiet as it got with an extra voice in one's head.
So he's getting married…
Come on; we always knew we couldn't have him.
Yeah, but it hurts to have it thrown in your face like this.
Sakura silently mused to herself for the better part of an hour, before she was called (quite loudly and just a little bit rudely) down to supper by one of the kids. By then, Sakura had decided; she was going to be happy for the captain and his new fiancé. She was going to try her best to support the two. After all, that was what Kami-sama wanted, right? It went against her principles to interfere with someone else's love like that, after all.
The night of the party was a huge success; many people came, from many different elite families from all around Konoha. The women were beautiful in their fancy dresses while the men were handsome in their tuxedoes. The music was at once lively and beautiful, majestic and joyful. The men, ever the perfect escorts, led their partners into many of the traditional dances that are always at such parties such as this. Truly, nothing could be more perfect; everyone was having the time of their lives.
Except for the Uchiha children, that is.
All of the activities that had been listed earlier were pretty much things that only stuffy adults would be interested in, as Ino explained. Even if the teenagers had been interested in such things, there was no opportunity for them to join in on the activities themselves, as the adults would usually shoo the teens out of their way and for some reason Sasuke didn't want them to socialize with the guests too much, either.
As he put it, they would most likely (they being the guests) bore his kids to death with all of their pretences and ulterior motives on top of their oppressive etiquette. Sakura thought he was protesting a little bit too much, but then again she didn't really know much about these high society types; besides, it's not like she could really go against her boss.
All that left for the kids is to stand outside and watch as the party went on, and watch the adults have looks of enjoyment on their faces. Whether this was real enjoyment or not they couldn't say, but it didn't really matter.
In the meantime, they could at least make their own comments about the guests.
"Ohh, isn't that dress that that lady over there's wearing gorgeous?" Ino gushed. Tenten and Hinata agreed with her, while Temari was looking over at the dancers.
"I don't see what's so great about some old lady's dress," Kankuro said from the side. He, Kiba, Chouji, Lee, and Shino were crouched down and playing with some left over candles from Halloween. Shikamaru was making shadow puppets for them for entertainment, and Naruto, Neji and Gaara were also looking out into the party as well. "They all look alike, after all.
This was the wrong thing to say, as immediately Ino and Tenten turned on their brother to give him a lecture on how the dresses are not all the same, as that one over there is purple (Ino's favorite color) while that one over there is in a very different style that the other, though it is not a flattering style for that woman's figure. This comment came from Tenten of all people; apparently Ino watching Say Yes To The Dress and What Not To Wear rubbed off on her. Hinata giggled at this, and pointed out a dress that she liked, a billowy white one, and Naruto, slightly red in the face though it wasn't noticeable in the poor lighting, told her that it would look good on her.
At around this time, Gaara noticed that Temari wasn't with them anymore. Looking around, he noticed Temari walking a few feet off, before seemingly talking to an imaginary person, though she wasn't actually saying anything out loud.
"Temari," Gaara asked, drawing everyone's attention to their sister and eldest sibling, "what are you doing?" By now, Temari was moving about in a circle with her arms out as if they were around someone they couldn't see.
"Dancing," Temari replied as if it was the most obvious and natural thing in the world.
"Yeah, but with whom?" Kiba asked.
"Nobody, can't you tell?" Temari said back, sarcastically.
"But, you can't dance properly without a partner, can you?" Lee asked innocently. Temari paused for a minute, before dragging Shikamaru over to dance with her.
Shikamaru blushed at this and stammered out, "Te-Temari, I don't know how to dance to this song, troublesome woman," he added on as an afterthought.
Sakura had come to find her little demon's—I mean, charges—and came in at this time. After giggling a bit at the teenagers' antics (they were now starting to cheer on their dancing siblings, of which Naruto and Hinata and Tenten and Neji had joined, though it no longer looked like any kind of identifiable dance), she made her presence noticed by clearing her throat.
"Ah, Sakura-chan! I was wondering where you were, dattebayo! Did you come to watch me and Hinata-chan show everyone what real dancing is?" Naruto asked happily, still holding Hinata's hands; by now, the poor girl's face was beautifully stained with red.
"Well, that depends; when are you going to show me your dancing?" Sakura teased. Naruto (and quite a few of the others who were dancing as well) pouted at this, making Sakura laugh even more.
"Well then, why don't you show us how to dance?" Shino asked quietly. "If you're so good at it, of course."
"You did teach us how to sing, why not teach us how to dance as well?" Neji added.
Sakura was taken aback at first, having not really danced since she was even younger than they were, but she couldn't let them know that. At least I know how to do a simple waltz…
"Okay then," Sakura said, starting to feel a bit more confident in herself. "Is anyone going to volunteer to be my dancing partner?" Lee enthusiastically took up this job (or 'honor', as he said) and he and Sakura went to the designated make-shift dance floor.
"Okay, so do you know where to put your hands?" Sakura asked Lee. Lee blushed a little, but nodded in the positive. Sakura positioned their hands and then gave instructions for when and where to move their feet in time with the music that was flowing out of the dance hall.
Sakura and Lee were started on a simple waltz; they waltzed in little circles, in squares, and even tried to turn while their arms were still holding onto each other. However, there was a bit of a height difference so that part was more than just a bit awkward.
At around this time is when Sasuke decided to come and check up on his kids and their governess. Seeing what it was that Sakura and Lee were doing, Sasuke smirked before cutting in for Lee. Sakura didn't notice at first, until she turned around and saw Sasuke standing there.
"I thought you might want a dance partner that was actually your height," Sasuke said in explanation. "Also, this way they can see how real dancing is supposed to be like."
"No fair, Father Sasuke-teme!" Naruto pouted. "You stole my line!"
Ignoring him, Sasuke started in on the next dance with Sakura. Sakura was surprised (and just a little bit embarrassed) when Sasuke came to dance with her.
Sasuke and Sakura danced much more smoothly through the dance, twirling around to the music as if it came naturally to them. The teens were in awe (and even said a few aww's at how cute it was) at how gracefully they moved around. Sakura was getting caught up in the moment when she remembered her new vow to not interfere with the Captain's and Baroness Karin's relationship.
Sakura stumbled to a stop suddenly, and at Sasuke's questioning glance muttered, "Th-that's a-all that I-I remember of the d-dance."
Chouji came over and looked at Sakura, commenting that her face looked red. Sakura quickly brushed her hand against her cheek, and feeling that it was warm said that it was because of all the dancing that she had done, having not danced like that in years.
Before Sakura could be embarrassed any more than she already was, Baroness Karin came over having wondered where her fiancé and his children were.
"Come back to the dance, Sasuke-kun," Baroness Karin said, gently taking him by the hand. "You're neglecting your guests."
Sasuke sighed, before relenting. Sakura remembered suddenly that she and the teens had planned something for later that evening. She asked him if it was okay for them to show the guests. Sasuke glanced back and agreed before being pulled back to the dance by his fiancé.
Sasuke and Karin were mingling around the ballroom, talking politely with their guests. They had to answer the same questions over and over again, saying that they were doing fine, yes they were very happy with the engagement and thank you for asking, yes, the children are a handful but thanks to their new governess they are just perfect delights (Sasuke internally gagged at this, but had to save face in public), no, they hadn't decided where to go for a honeymoon, but they were sure that it would be somewhere marvelous (here Karin internally gagged slightly at this, but had to save face for Sasuke-kun), and of course that they hoped everyone would enjoy themselves at the party.
When Sasuke and Karin had finally made their rounds to everyone, they stopped over by Kakashi who was leaning against the far wall away from where everyone was dancing. Dosu, Kin, and Zaku were walking around serving the guests refreshments, and chatting every now and then with each other. As Sasuke passed them, he told them all to get back to work, he wasn't paying them to stand idly by and do nothing. The three grumbled before going back to serving the guests.
"At least someone's having fun at this thing," Sasuke said as he and Karin reached Kakashi.
"Then why do you throw these parties if they annoy you so much?" Kakashi asked reasonably, glancing at Sasuke from his book.
"Because I have no reason not to now," Sasuke grumbled silently. Karin and Kakashi still heard him, though; Karin giggled while Kakashi gave Sasuke a level look.
Sasuke didn't see this, though, since Sakura walked over to tell him that the teens were ready to say goodnight, and they wished to say it to everyone.
"Why would they want to say goodnight to everyone?" Sasuke asked. "They don't even know these people, and I remember distinctly hearing them talk bad about the guests when we were outside earlier."
Sakura blushed a bit, though barely noticeable except to the keen eyes of Karin, and gave as a response, "Well, really it's just a chance to show off their singing, if you don't mind."
Kakashi immediately closed his book and told Sasuke that this would be an excellent dress rehearsal for singing in front of a crowd. Luckily the masks had arrived the day before yesterday so it could be a real dress rehearsal for when they perform at the music festival next year. Karin was also intrigued, and secretly enjoyed listening to Shino sing (Me: who wouldn't?), so she also asked Sasuke to let them sing.
Since he was outnumbered Sasuke had no choice but to let them, as he pointed out. Sakura clapped her hands happily, smiling largely before running off to go and get the kids into their masks and tell the guests about their present.
"Ladies and gentlemen, if I may have your attention please," Sakura said loudly, gaining everyone's complete focus on her. "The Uchiha children would like to wish you all a pleasant goodnight, if you would please enter this way into the hall." With that, Sakura led the way.
Interested in what would happen, and looking forward to some good gossip material if the Uchiha teenagers really were well behaved or not, the guests followed Sakura into the hall.
Standing on the stairs that led to the upper floors, the teenagers were lined up according to age and height, with the youngest being at the top and the eldest in front.
All of a sudden, music came out of nowhere (though really it was from the musicians that were hired from the new music store where Suigetsu worked at now), and the teens started to sing.
"There's a sad sort of clanging in the clock in the hall, and the bells in the steeple, too. And up in the nursery there's an absurd little bird that's popping out to say cuckoo."
Here, Tenten, Ino, Chouji and Lee stepped away from the others to the side and started singing "Cuckoo! Cuckoo!" They kept this up for a bit as the others continued singing.
"Regretfully they tell us, but firmly they compel us to say goodbye!" The teenagers sang, starting to hit the high notes perfectly. They spread their arms out as if to encompass the crowd as they sang, "To you!"
Here, the teens split down the middle to stand on opposite sides of the staircase, before Temari, Neji, and Kankuro came down the stairs.
"So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night!" With that, the three stood in front of the crowd, bowed to them and their father before marching (yes, marching, Sakura coached them) up the stairs and almost out of sight. Halfway up the stairs though, Temari turned around and sang prettily "I hate to go and leave this pretty sight." Luckily the guests were so entertained by the music that they didn't notice Temari, or a few of the others, rolling their eyes at that part.
Lee, Shino and Gaara stepped up this time for the next part. The guests were a little surprised and weren't expecting much to come from this rag-tag group of singers, but when they opened their mouths and sang, the audience was taken aback by the beautifulness of their singing.
"So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen adieu," the boys sung respectfully, also bowing to their guests before heading up the stairs. Lee was left in front of the audience when he sang, "Adieu! Adieu! To yieu and yieu and yieu!"Here, Lee bowed once more, but this time for Sasuke and Karin, Sakura, and Kakashi before heading back up the stairs. The rest of the teens moved down a few stairs as the song went on and more of their siblings left.
Naruto, Kiba and Chouji came forward this time with perfect smiles on their faces. Sakura, with her practiced eye for the children, noticed that they had small smirks on their faces mixed in with their perfect smiles. Sakura smiled to herself, too, knowing what they were going to say next.
"So long, farewell, au revoir auf wiedersehen!" Aswith their siblings earlier, Kiba and Chouji left for up the stairs while Naruto stayed behind.
"I'd like to stay and drink my first champagne! Yes?" Naruto asked Sasuke hopefully. Sasuke flatly refused, and Naruto started to whine about why he should be allowed to drink alcohol as it's a party before Sakura pushed him back towards the stairs. Naruto went sullenly, and the guests shared an amused chuckle at how just darling the Uchiha children were. Luckily for them, the only ones who heard this comment were the children's father, his fiancé, and their 'uncle' and governess.
Shikamaru's turn was up next, though he walked lazily towards the front. The guests took it as his being tired and ready for bed; while they weren't wrong, they weren't exactly right, either.
"So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen goodbye," Shikamaru sung out lazily, though still managing to sound just as good as his siblings before him. To Sasuke's and Sakura's delight, he didn't even manage a troublesome anywhere in his singing. "I leave, and heave a sigh and say good bye. Goodbye." With that, Shikamaru made his way back up the stairs to where his siblings were waiting for him; Sakura could have sworn she heard a muttered 'troublesome', though it could have been her imagination.
Here, Ino and Tenten made their way gracefully down the stairs with Hinata trailing along behind them. Ino and Tenten started doing ballet-style dancing as they sang "We're glad to go, we cannot tell a lie. We flit, we float, we fleetly flee we fly!" The two girls curtsied for their guests and father before making their way up the stairs as well.
All that was left was Hinata, who stood their shyly before singing in a loud enough voice that the guests could hear easily (which many of them thought she wasn't capable of) "The sun has gone to bed and so must I." After politely curtsying for the guests, Sasuke and Sakura, Hinata quickly made her way back to her siblings. The guests cooed at how cute she had been, and were immediately making up their minds that the Uchiha children were all well behaved little angels. Yeah, Sasuke, Karin, Sakura and Kakashi had to check themselves so that they didn't start laughing.
The teens weren't done yet, as when Hinata joined them again they all turned as one to sing in perfect harmony "So long~, farewell~, auf wiedersehen~ goodbye~. Goodbye~. Goodbye~. Goodbye~." As the teens were singing this, they were subtly moving so that by the time they said their last goodbye they were already out of sight. The guests, who were still mesmerized by the singing sang back "Goodbye!" When they realized what they had done, the guests started looking around and asking each other if they had really just answered them. They were curious as to how they had suddenly done such a thing, and all together, too. Sasuke knew better, though, and turned to Kakashi with a raised brow.
"Genjutsu?" Sasuke questioned. Kakashi shrugged, and said something about how it was for the teenagers before being pulled back into his book. Sasuke shook his head, before turning back to his guests.
"We'll be starting dinner soon, if you would all please head over to the dining hall. Dosu, Kin and Zaku will show you where it is." Sasuke told the guests, and adding the last part on pointedly to his servants, who were still talking amongst themselves. After sharing a glance between each other, Zaku headed over to Sasuke while Dosu and Kin led the guests to the dining hall.
Before he reached Sasuke though, Karin was already asking Sakura to join herself, Sasuke and Kakashi for dinner.
"Oh, I just couldn't," Sakura tried to protest. "I need to see to the children…"
"I'm sure they can get to bed themselves," Kakashi joined in, also wanting to talk to Sakura about how well the choreography for the song had been. Sakura still seemed like she wanted to protest, before Sasuke also said that she should join them.
"Only if you want to, though," Sasuke said quickly, having realized how it might have sounded. Sakura blushed, before noticing that she wasn't exactly dressed for dinner.
"Oh, that's no matter," Karin said, waving her worries away. "I have some extra dresses that should fit you, since we're the same size. I'll let you borrow one." With that, Karin started pulling Sakura to her room to change in.
Back with Zaku and Sasuke, Zaku had finally made his way over to his master through the thick crowd.
"There's an extra guest here to see you," Zaku whispered so that Sasuke and Kakashi could here.
Sasuke raised an eyebrow, wondering who could have come extra. If they had wanted to see him, they could have come some other time.
"Oh? Who is it?" Kakashi asked curiously. He glanced down at his book before sighing and deciding that he probably wouldn't get another chance to read it again that night and putting the book away.
"Kimimaru, sir," Zaku said stiffly, clearly not happy with the man he was talking about. Sasuke scowled at the news, and Kakashi looked over at Sasuke curiously, but with a hint of expectance in his look.
"What are you going to do about this, Sasuke?" Kakashi asked. Sasuke sighed, before saying "I'm going to talk to him," and walking over to where they could all see Kimimaru standing stiffly over by the far wall, looking at the group of people who were just talking about him.
"Kimimaru, what a surprise to see you here," Sasuke said calmly, reaching out to shake Kimimaru's offered hand. Kimimaru shook Sasuke's hand quickly, before whispering to Sasuke.
Kakashi and Zaku, who was just leaving, couldn't hear what was being said between the two men, but judging by the increasingly sour look on Sasuke's face, it wasn't anything good.
"Don't you think this dress would look just perfect on you?" Karin gushed, though Sakura had a feeling that it was forced. "It would match your hair perfectly."
"Do you think?" Sakura asked in an unsure tone of voice. She went over to the mirror that was in Karin's room, where they were, and held the dress in front of her. Sakura had to admit that it did look good on her, but she wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not.
It's not like I'm trying to catch anyone's attention, Sakura thought to herself as she held her hair up to see if it looked better up or down. Any more Inner Sakura added in an unwanted manner.
"I just know it," Karin said, before slyly looking over at Sakura. "I'm sure Sasuke-kun would think the same thing, too."
Sakura choked on air at that, before turning quickly to look at Karin bewilderedly. "Wh-what are you talking about?"
Karin casually walked around the bed, where there were multiple dresses that had been tried on before choosing the one Sakura still held. She went to stand next to Sakura in the mirror, fixing her makeup as she said nonchalantly "Oh, just the way that it seems that he can't keep his eyes off of you."
Sakura was feeling very confused. Her heart kept alternating between beating very fast and freezing to a halt, her mind kept alternating between 'does that mean he likes me?' and 'Oh no, what if he likes me? That's a bad thing, right?' Sakura was starting to have a little trouble breathing now, and Karin finally took notice.
"You poor girl! Are you okay?" Karin asked in a caring manner, though with Sakura's tumultuous emotions she wasn't sure if Karin meant it or not. "Here, come sit on the bed." With that, Karin led Sakura to sit on the bed while Karin rubbed Sakura's arms in a soothing manner. "Now tell me, what's wrong?"
Sakura was starting to calm down now, and turned to Karin and said "Please tell me you're not serious! It-it's not possible for him to like me! He has you! A-and I'm just a-!" Here Sakura paused, gasping as she realized- I'm a nun. A nun in training, but a nun nonetheless (no pun intended). She shouldn't be feeling this way, and she shouldn't try to have the Captain-Sasuke! - to like her back. It was immoral of her, these feelings that she had. She had tried to deny them (not very well, but it's the thought that counts right?) but she couldn't anymore; she loved Sasuke, and it wasn't just some crush that she had tried to convince herself it was. No, it was much stronger than that, and that was what scared her.
"Sakura? Are you alright?" Karin asked in a worried voice. That was when Sakura noticed for the first time that she had been crying. Hurriedly wiping her tears away, Sakura stood up quickly, handed Karin her dress back and headed for the door. "Where are you going?"
Sakura paused at the door and turned back to Karin. "I have to go back to the convent," she said in a surprisingly calm voice; or, it would have been if it wasn't for the slight waver on the last word. "I fear I've over stayed my welcome." With that, Sakura headed out into the hall and towards her room.
Karin still sat in her room, shock of what had just happened on her face. Slowly, the shock turned into a smirk, and in a quiet voice Karin said to nobody in particular "Mission accomplished."
Sakura hurried to her room and started throwing all of her clothes into her suitcases. It took a few tries, and some of the precious time that Sakura wanted to use to get out of there but she was finally able to do it.
Sakura was almost to the door of her room when she realized that she should probably leave a note explaining, instead of just leaving without letting anybody know anything. Hurrying over to her writing desk, Sakura pulled out a pad of paper and a pen, and began to write.
It took a few tries but Sakura was finally able to write legibly and clearly without looking like she was as upset as she really was. She wrote:
Dear Captain Sasuke,
I'm sorry to tell you this, and in so short a note, but I'm afraid I can't stay here any longer. I miss the abbey dearly, and I believe that I have learned all that I needed to in the short amount of time that I have spent here.
I'm afraid that this will have to be my leave of absence note, though I'm sure you won't have any problems finding a new governess, if you even need one now.
Take care, and may Kami-sama bless you every day,
Sitting back to look over her note once more, Sakura nodded before hurrying to the door. When she opened to door to the hall, Sakura noticed that Kin was there as well.
Perfect timing! Sakura thought, as she didn't have to give the note to any of the children, or worse Baroness Karin, or even worse Sasuke himself now.
"Kin! It's a good thing I found you here!" Sakura said rushing over to Kin. Kin stopped to look back at Sakura and noted with some sadness and surprise that she was dressed for traveling.
"Is something wrong, Sakura?" Kin asked politely, already starting to guess from the packed full suitcases that Sakura carried in both hands.
"Yes, I'm afraid that something's come up," Sakura said breathlessly, handing Kin the note. "Could you give this to the captain for me? After the party, perhaps? I really have to be going now, you see."
Kin took the note and nodded swiftly, before hesitating a little and asking Sakura "Aren't you going to at least say goodbye to the brats?"
Sakura shook her head quickly, already making her way down the hall. "I don't want to wake them, and I really must be going!"
With that, Sakura quickly exited the mansion and headed back to the road which would take her back to the abbey, without ever once looking back.
The only person to see her leave was a tall man with white stringy hair who looked at her with as much curiosity as one could with an emotionless face.
And…done! Whoo! I'm finally starting to get things moving with this story once again! I'm glad I was able to update this so soon-ish. And with my laptop half-not working, too!
However, I'm not sure if I'll be able to update so quickly again. I'll try to, of course, but ever since I saw my midterms, I'm going to be focusing all of my time and energy (hopefully; old habits are hard to break, after all…) on school work. I'll just say this; double English, particularly when the two classes have almost nothing to do with each other, is a bitch. Seriously.
At any rate, please review! ^_^