Once upon a time, in a land across from Konoha Academy (where all the wealthy pretty boys and girls of Tokyo dwelled with their shiny Gucci bags and Rock & Republic jeans), lived a superficial (ambitious) girl who yearned to become just like them.

Of course, she could not change the fact that her family was too poor, too modest (and on too too many occasions would she watch with writhing envy as Konoha students waltzed by her store, adorning expensive jewellery and flawless makeup), and despite all the lectures she endured, she could not change the fact that she was just too stubborn, too shallow.

There she lived, working in her parent's small flower shop on all the odd days of the week, and at Staples on the even days (excluding weekends and holidays of course). There she (forever) envied, perched behind a cash register, eyes wide, index finger curled tightly around a strand of blonde hair.

And somewhere between begging her manager for a raise, and admiring the pretty little black Mercedes and Ferraris that zipped past her petty little flower shop, she learned a memorable life lesson. (And how to burp the alphabet backwards – a disgusting but entertaining feat).

On one particular fateful autumn afternoon, while (accidentally) hijacking an innocent bystander's car with a flyswatter; Ino Yamanaka learned the true importance of a good spray-on tan. (FYI, the dollar store was most definitely not a good place to purchase some).

And then with the reluctant help and guidance of four wealthy pretty (annoying, arrogant, shallow, stupid– oh, she was so stupid to even think-) boys, she learned the true value of life.

And that, was a fact that would change.


. . .

. . .

. . .

{ dirty cash }
o1. shut up & drive
by: babywhat.

Naruto (c) Masashi Kishimoto
"So not part of the Staples Employee Policy."
"Your face is coming off!"

. . .

. . .

. . .

I have to admit, it wasn't everyday you'd find me running out of Staples, a flyswatter in one hand and my cheap Coach knock-off in the other, screaming at the top of my lungs.

They say, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

I say, "Hell hath no fury like a chubby manager deprived of McDonalds."

What started out as another typical boring day wedged behind the cash register and an increasing pile of aisle returns (like Rapunzel in her tower, except instead of deadly thorns and vines, I was surrounded by a fat grumpy manager and sharp office supplies) and watching Konoha Academy students pickup random supplies and such, swiftly went haywire the moment I accidentally spilled half my Slurpee onto my manager's crisp clean blue dress-shirt.

A normal person would have bowed and apologized over and over again. But for some reason, my first instinct was to grab his mug of steaming hot water and pour it on him in hopes of dissolving the stain. Talk about a bad idea. My manager flushed a brilliant shade of red, then blue, and finally purple from pain and/or anger, while I grabbed the nearest weapon available (which just so happened to be the stupid flyswatter) and ran for my dear life.

And thus, leading to my current, um, (not so) little predicament.

"Ino Yamanaka, you better get your butt back here or else you're fired!" My manager yelled. The fat on his stout little body trembled back and forth in excitement (because really, when was the last time he exercised?) as he chased me down the street, waving his pudgy fist.

As I rounded the corner, the traffic light turned red and the stupid hand sign appeared on the crosswalk light, preventing all law-abiding citizens from crossing. Darn me and my good conscience! (Call me a chicken, but at least I won't ever die from being run over by a car. So ha.) My manager's persistent yelling grew increasingly louder as he was rapidly nearing my location. Panic swelled against my chest, beating to the erratic rhythm of my heart.

"You want to die?" He yelled.

I was sweating up a storm as my mind conjured up images of my final moments before I met my doom. Death by burning, skinning, gutting, beheading, decapitating, stapling, stoning with those damned annoying Easy buttons – need I go on? Oh god. Just imagine the headlines: "Teen Dies by Staples Manager, Choosing Flyswatter as Weapon of Defense."

(Talk about embarrassing.)

And then it happened.

Between bloody images of guts and paperclips, I conjured up the most brilliant idea ever.

Clutching tightly onto my flyswatter, I opened the door of the nearest car and hopped into the shotgun seat.

To say the guy was shocked would have been quite the understatement. He gave it his all – eyes wide, mouth agape and mumbling incoherencies – however, there was little to no time for such trivial details. I merely pointed my flyswatter menacingly at him and hissed, "Shut up and drive!"

. . .

. . .

. . .

He drove for a few minutes, weaving expertly between honking cars and angry pedestrians, before something finally clicked in his head and he pulled over, greeting me with a deep scowl on his tanned face. "Get out of my fucking car!"

I peered outside the window, taking in the small expensive boutiques and restaurants lining the street in shades of pastel pink, blue and yellow.

And then it hit me.

"Um, I kind of, um, can't." I mumbled intelligently.

He stared at me as if I had sprouted a head out of my ass or something. "Why the fuck not?"

"I have no idea where we are." I replied, truthfully.

He looked like he was this close to driving into the nearest lamppost.

"Does it look like I care?" He growled, tapping his fingers impatiently against the steering wheel.

He surveyed me with narrowed blue eyes. He had a mischievous type of face – one that wasn't easy to forget. He had a small nose and his full lips were curved into a sneer. His bright blonde hair contrasted nicely against his golden skin. And as my eyes trailed from his face to his chest, I noticed a familiar silver emblem imprinted on his uniform.

"You're from Konoha!" The words escaped my mouth in the form of an excited gasp.

"And you're going to get your ass kicked if you don't get out of my car." He mocked my chipper tone, rolling his eyes.

I swiped absentmindedly at the sweat on my forehead. (Damn, I don't even run this fast to a sale!)

"Your face…" He began, gawking at me. "Your face is coming off!"

"What are you talking about?" I arched dubious a brow.

"Look!" He pulled down the mirror.

Orange beads were sliding down my face and gathering at the bottom of my chin. We both wore similar expressions as we gazed into the mirror, fascinated by my melting face. And then I remembered. It was that cheap spray-on tan I bought at the dollar store yesterday.

(Damnit. How was I ever supposed to explain all of this to my mom?

"Oh, hey mom.
So um, I got fired from my job today because I gave my manager a free dye job.
With my Slurpee.
And by the way, my face came off after I hijacked some rich kid's car.
So when's dinner?")

At that moment we both glanced at his seats. To my absolute horror, every inch of the nice white leather material that was making contact with my skin was now stained a hideous shade of orange.

He stared at me.

I stared back.

And then I got the hell out of his car.