Hello everyone (if there's still any of you reading, that is). First I've got to apologize for taking this long to update this story. Time passed by so fast, I was shocked when I checked and realized it's been 5 months since I posted the first chapter of this.
I've had the first quarter of this chapter written for months now, but had never felt inspired enough to finish it, I was blocked. But this Wednesday I came across the file, re-read it and decided it was about time to work on this again. By Thursday night this was finished, but I was not able to post it because I needed to re-read it for spell-checks and stuff. I did so today, so voilà.
I hope the extra-long chapter, spawning for all of 22 Word pages will (kind of) make up for the extremely long wait. Summer is just around the corner, so even though I'm completely showered in exams I should be able to write more freely fairly soon.
Special thanks for those 14 persons who took the time to review the previous chapter. Also, to those 11 that placed this in their alerts and those 6 that favorited it even despite there being so little of the story out there. I'm really thankful for all of your support, so this one goes out to you; I hope it's not a let-down.
Always what you meant, never what you said.
Passing over me, like a book you've read.
But I let it fall, valet every wish.
Take my hands and eyes, but I beg you this,
Offer me one kiss.
AWAY FROM THE LIGHTS,
By the times classes ended that day, only one thing was in the minds of most of the campus population.
Party at the Hyuuga's!
The rumor first reached their ears at lunch break, and after hearing it Neji spat out the apple he was eating. The whole thing seemed ridiculous; there were only two Hyuuga around. One of them was Neji, who had lately become more active in the partier's faction, but still would never willingly agree to lend his house—mansion—for such matters.
Are you out of your mind? Who's going to clean up the mess later? If there is a mess to clean, that is. They'd probably steal even the carpets. Not to mention my uncle would kill me.
He'd say, every time Naruto or Kiba even dared to suggest crashing his house. So from the start, Neji had been out of the question. Which left only one option: his younger cousin, Hinata. But if Neji lending the mansion was improbable, Hinata doing so was downright impossible.
Through his whole life, Sasuke had never, ever seen someone as shy as Hinata. Ever. The girl was so shy, that it was a miracle if she managed to at least form a coherent three-worded sentence. So shy, that she was almost like a wallpaper. So shy, that if it weren't for her huge breasts and the weird color of her family's eyes she'd pass unnoticed.
Sometimes, Sasuke had the feeling that she probably would like to pass unnoticed. Maybe that's why she always tried so hard to come dressed as if she were some kind of nun and wore her bangs so long. Yeah, that had to be it.
And that didn't help explain why she had agreed to make a party in her house.
By the time Neji caught up with them, they were on their way to Biology class—and by then, apparently the only thing everyone could talk about was the party. In just a few minutes, more than fifteen persons had approached to let Sasuke know the deal, each one saying different hours and meeting places and leaving with the same masked deception at being regarded with the Uchiha's blank and disinterested stare.
"Indeed, she wasn't the one who suggested this insanity"
"So, what happened then?"
Neji frowns, and for a moment it seems he's deciding whether to go and kill the campus. Or just Hinata. Or himself.
"Some idiots approached her, started talking to her—and before she knew it, they had all the basic details about the Mansion. Including at what hour her father wouldn't be there. Then out of nowhere they stood out and screamed—"
"PARTY AT THE HYUUGA'S TONIGHT!"
Sasuke flinched, glaring at the skinny red-head who was currently standing atop of the table with his hands around his mouth, like an amplifier while every idiot around him cheered and whooed, some even clapping in excitement—from Sasuke's right, a particularly loud and wolfish cheer was heard.
Naruto hit Kiba in the back of the head before Sasuke had the chance to do so.
"—Just that." Finished Neji as if he wasn't interrupted at all, carelessly pointing a finger in the general direction of the red-head and deliberately ignoring Kiba's intervention.
"Why didn't she deny it, then?" Asked Naruto, puzzled.
Neji's eyebrow started twitching. Sasuke couldn't help but roll his eyes, knowing the answer already.
"… She said that after seeing everyone so happy, she'd feel bad if she ruined their joy."
It was obvious how miserable each and every word made him, but Neji did his best to keep an impassive face.
"Is there going to be a party or not? I need to know so I can call mom and tell her to wash my dirty clothes. I thought we had nothing to do tonight, so I didn't wash at all this week—OW! What was that for?!"
"Just shut up, Kiba"
Neji stopped glaring at the Inuzuka, closed his eyes and sighed instead.
"…Yeah, I guess there is. But—" the grin that had started to draw itself across Naruto's face halted momentarily. "I'll need your guy's help. I know they'll make a mess, but I want to keep track of the stuff at the very least. If there's something missing, my uncle will notice for sure when he gets back, and Hinata's head won't be the only to roll"
"Sure! You can count on us, Neji! With me on the lookout, there's no way they'll take anything!"
Even though said words were coming from Naruto, Neji felt his spirits lifting up—at least a little bit. Sure thing, Naruto was kind of clueless and easily diverted, but when he put his mind and heart to something there was no one who could beat him—except, perhaps Sasuke, but that wasn't the point.
He was about to nod in agreement and—in his own way—appreciation, when Naruto spoke again.
"Or at least, anything too important!"
The small smile that could have curved his lips disappeared without leaving a single trace, just like the hope that he had been naïve enough to allow himself to feel. With an annoyed and resigned roll of eyes, Neji settled with staring out of the window.
All around them, there was ruckus still. Kurenai-sensei was nowhere to be seen, while the girls were already planning what clothes they'd wear and the boys sharing private jokes and laughing loudly.
"Maa… how troublesome"
Sasuke wasn't sure about what, exactly, was Shikamaru complaining about this time. How retarded their classroom was, or feeling obligated to go to the party to lend a hand to a friend in need. Perhaps it was both.
Whichever it was, he couldn't help but agree with the lazy genius.
"Oi, teme, I'll drop by your house later today and we'll go to Neji's from there, 'kay?"
Naruto was leaning on his desk, a grin curving his lips as his blue eyes laid on the Uchiha, who nodded.
"We should get to Neji's earlier than the rest of the crowd, if we are really planning to help him at all"
Naruto parted his lips to answer, but his words were lost to Sasuke as a pair of cheerful laughs echoed through the room, his eyes automatically directing towards the source of them, the mere sound making his heart skip a beat in recognizance.
Indeed, Yamanaka Ino was making her way through the classroom. She was late, something that wasn't so unusual on her, but from how carefree she and her friend were being it was apparent that they were both aware of Kurenai's whereabouts and knew they had no reason to lay low.
Sasuke's expression didn't change as he watched her; laugh, give flirty smiles to a few selected people, playfully hit her pink-haired friend on the shoulder, and then finally take her usual sit in the third seat of the row right in the middle of the classroom—his eyes never left her, not even as the only thing he could see was the back of her long ponytail. Still, her eyes didn't meet his. Not even by mistake did they move towards his general direction. Not even once.
If one knew Sasuke well enough, they'd have been able to notice the bitterness only slightly hinted at by the firmness of his set jaw. But in truth, only one person in the classroom would have been able of noticing such a small detail, and in that moment said blonde was too busy taking a nap on his seat. And just like that, as always, the unnatural attention he paid to the feisty Yamanaka passed unnoticed—just like it has been from the start.
As he swallowed, he felt his throat ache with sourness. It just didn't make any sense, no matter from which side he looked at it; she was the most popular girl in the whole campus, and the same could be said about him. They went to the same parties, they spoke to the same people, they bought their clothes at the same malls, hung out in the same places; it was practically the natural order of things what was supposed to bring them together in the first place. Ino's own nature, even. But regardless of all that, regardless of all the obvious things and wasted opportunities, Ino had never shown any kind of interest in him.
He just couldn't understand it. His ego couldn't find a single explanation for the obvious disdain the gorgeous blonde had for him. He had seen her hook up with guys that didn't even reach the sole of his shoes. Had seen her flirt with many with whom she had never spoken, and whose looks in the best cases couldn't even be compared with his.
So then, why? How come she ignored him each and every time they were in the same room? How come she had never tried any of her moves on him?
As he looked out the window, Sasuke weighted his options. He could either stay like this, and allow things to continue the way they had been until now or, he could make a move. It went against his pride and stepped all over his ego, but was there anything else he could do? He was getting sick and tired of waiting for things to come around on their own. So if he had to step up and give them a push, he'd do it.
"Sorry for the lateness, everyone. Had a personal business to attend to, but everything is taken care of now. So, where were we last class? Anyone care to enlighten me?—Yeah, Sakura?"
He used the excuse to once again redirect his eyes towards the blonde, sitting directly behind the speaking girl and now lazily twirling her blonde lock of hair with her finger.
Yeah, he would.
He definitely would. It was worth it, after all.
He couldn't help but smirk. It seemed he now had something to look forward to in that annoying party.
If it's her you want, this is what it takes…
If it's her you want, this is what it takes…
"Oi, oi! Be careful with that! There's plenty of free space over there, so why don't you move already?"
Sasuke and Naruto had lived up to their word and arrived earlier than the rest at the Hyuuga compound. By then, Neji and the maids had already properly secured and placed away most of the fragile decorations and valuable items displayed everywhere through the mansion, but still, a good full hour of work was required to put the finishing touches and lock away the remaining objects.
Afterwards, they just had to sit and wait for the guests to arrive.
Usually, only a few retards would arrive right on time; and those retards were fewer and fewer with each passing party. Regardless, this wasn't an 'usual' time. For years the Hyuuga compound had been on the eyes of every single person with at least a small fraction of social life; Sasuke himself had entertained the thought of hosting one in there, the spaces were just absolutely perfect for it. So now that they had finally achieved their common goal, it seemed everyone had the same thing in mind: enjoy it to the fullest.
As such, when the door finally rang a quarter before nine o'clock and a group of more or less fifty people found their way in, they weren't surprised. Neji was horrified, a squeak could be heard from the second floor and obviously belonged to Hinata who was probably having a nerve-attack, Shikamaru, who had arrived a mere fifteen minutes ago let out an annoyed sigh, while Naruto grinned and coolly walked up to meet the people he knew, Kiba being at the head of the crowd.
Sasuke though, Sasuke merely did a quick scan of the multitude; scan that confirmed the suspected scenario.
Ino was not going to be arriving any time soon.
As he sipped his drink, he couldn't help but to smirk and close his eyes with resignation; it was just so Ino-ish, to arrive exactly at the moment where the parties started to heat up. For a moment, Sasuke had actually dared to think that it would be different this time; that Ino would also be influenced by the awaited-factor of the occasion and arrive perhaps not on time, but at least at an acceptable hour.
Alas, he should have known he would be wrong. Ino didn't move with the masses; the masses moved with her. That was the way it had always been, and from the looks of it that wasn't going to change anytime soon.
He sipped his drink again.
It seemed he'd have to wait.
And wait and see, if you choose something like me.
If you just open your eyes, you could get out of this,
But you're such a success, you're just not built for it.
And wait he did.
It was well past eleven; exactly a quarter before midnight that Ino and her followers made their way in. Of course, it took Sasuke almost a full minute to recognize any of them, his attention and thoughts being sucked in by the blonde's presence as soon as she stepped in the hall.
Dressed to kill and showing as much skin as she ever did in an extremely short purple dress that tightly-hugged her figure and highlighted her many assets, Yamanaka Ino entered the party as if she owned it; confident, head held high, her preposterous laughter and taunting smirk present as she shared an intimate joke with the friends who accompanied her; she didn't have the air of someone who had just arrived to a party that had started hours ago; instead she behaved as if she had been there all along.
Those who weren't completely smashed by then started to turn their attention towards the group of people, whispering among each other—the boys giving appreciative whistles and wolfish grins that made Sasuke sick but that had the opposite effect on Ino, who bothered to throw a suggestive wiggle of her thin eyebrows and a mischievous wink in their direction.
Which was, of course, more than Sasuke got. Or had ever gotten, for that matter.
The same sour feeling started to swell in the pits of his stomach, darkening his expression and fouling his mood; he swallowed his drink in one go, loudly placing the empty glass on the table and asking for another with a gesture of his fingers.
"It should be a crime to be that hot," Commented Kiba, sitting on the stool besides his and ogling the blonde shamelessly.
Sasuke rolled his eyes, turned his back on the spectacle and sunk a bit further on his seat, sipping his newly served drink with much fervor.
At his other side, Neji—who had finally given up on trying to force the crowd to behave a bare fifteen minutes ago—arched one eyebrow, staring at the blonde for reasons that differed most of the reasons that the rest of the guys in the room had to do so.
The blonde had made her way to Hinata, the girls standing loyally behind her. The Hyuuga had blushed a deep crimson as soon as the blonde gave a step towards her, and wasn't even trying to hide the fact that she couldn't believe she was being spoken to. Even from the other corner of the room, Neji could see her predicament and could almost hear her desperate struggling.
For a moment, he considered making his way towards them. Just in case they wanted to mess with his cousin, though he saw no reasons for them to do so; but teenagers these days were insane—himself excluded—and that Yamanaka girl was dangerous. He had seen her, how terrifying and devastating she could be when she wanted to; how she could easily tear someone's ego without even showing her claws.
Alas, whatever wariness he felt took a different edge when he saw the way the blonde grinned, patting his cousin's shoulder with a gesture that could have passed for affectionate; a gesture that made the Hyuuga stop stuttering, her shoulders relax, her lips curve up in a small smile.
Now that was unexpected.
He furrowed his brows.
"I don't want my cousin near them," he announced, not caring that everyone around him was busy on their own stuff and no one would pay any attention to his solemn words. "They have bad customs, they're bad company. They'll only taint her."
"Come on, Neji, you sound like her dad" Mocked Kiba, who had somehow heard him through the ruckus and all the alcohol and dirty thoughts swimming in his head.
"Like her grandpa, you mean" Naruto grinned, approaching them from the back and linking his arms on Sasuke's and Neji's shoulders; both boys frowned in protest, but otherwise did nothing to push him away.
"I do not" Neji denied.
"You sooooo do!" Kiba and Naruto chorused.
"Tch, whatever. You two can think whatever you want, I know I don't sound like her father"
"To be honest, you do" Shikamaru intervened, not even raising his eyes from the half-filled glass he was absent-mindedly fiddling with.
Neji's eyes widened, "Not you, too."
Shikamaru simply shrugs as answer, finally taking the glass to his lips and taking a sip, only to grimace afterwards. "It's too warm."
"If you don't like it, then drink it when it's still cold" Said Naruto, who chuckled amusedly at his friend's antics. For someone who supposedly was so smart, he sure lacked common sense sometimes.
Shikamaru frowned, "I hate drinking in general."
"Then why do you still do it?" Questioned Kiba, leaning forward in his seat in order to take a look at the other boy, who was blocked from his view by Sasuke's back.
Once again, Shikamaru merely shrugged. "Is there anything else to do in here?" And with those words he swallowed down the rest of his drink in one gulp, grimacing all the way as the sour taste made its way down his throat.
Naruto grinned, playfully leaning towards Shikamaru until his breath was brushing the boy's cheek, "Well, maybe if you weren't such a boring guy you'd have more stuff to do—"
"Oi, Naruto! Get here! Lee's about to drink his beer upside down!"
"Shit, I gotta see that!" In less than the blink of an eye Naruto had detached himself from Sasuke and Neji, and was making his way towards the guy who had called him and the crowd of people circling Lee. "BUSHY BROWS! DON'T YOU DARE DO IT UNTIL I'M THERE TO WATCH!"
"Wait, me too!" Yells Kiba, almost tripping over himself in his hurry to catch up with the blonde.
"And they call that something to do? Thanks, but no thanks" Shikamaru rolls his eyes with disdain, before placing his arms on the counter and leaning his head over them.
Neji looks at him with incredulity for a moment—was he seriously going to take a nap? With this much noise around?—before deciding that it was just not worth his time. So, he turns towards Sasuke instead.
A look at him caused the Hyuuga to arch both eyebrows.
"You look even moodier than usual, Uchiha"
Neji looked at him for a moment longer before shaking his head; that was not worth of his time, either.
Let's get this over.
Discuss and deny, soon we simply just lie.
"Sasuke-kun seems to be in a bad mood tonight" Whispered Sakura over the loud music, her green eyes set on the back of the raven-haired boy, a coy smile lifting the corner of her lip.
"Huh?" Puzzled, Ino turns around to stare at the Uchiha as well. True enough, instead of smirking at his friend's jokes or enjoying all the attention he got as he usually did, the hottie was simply sitting on the bar; slouched on his seat, emptying one drink after another viciously.
The blonde arched one elegant eyebrow, was just about to speak when the other blonde in their group beat her to it.
"Maybe he just needs someone to lift up his spirits?" Temari suggested, a predator smirk curving her lips. Ino's expression immediately changed into one that matched hers.
"My, indeed! Why don't you go, forehead?" Ino teases, leaning towards Sakura and whispering on her ear, "While you're at it, you could lift up other things, too"
Sakura backed away from the blonde laughing loudly, a soft blush covering her cheeks. "Pig! Get your mind off the gutter for once!"
"But it's such a fun place! Isn't it, Temari?"
Both blondes lean on each other as they share a good laugh, Sakura rolling her eyes at their antics but grinning all the same.
"You guys really think I should do it?"
"Of course, duh! You look almost as hot as me tonight, there's no way he'll be able to resist!" Ino cheered, wiggling her eyebrows.
"Jeez, thanks, Pig" But despite her disdain, Sakura is smirking. She takes one more look at Sasuke's back, and that's enough for her to make her decision. "Alright girls, see you guys later tonight. Or then again," The look in her eyes darkens, "Perhaps not"
With a wave of her hand, the pink-haired girl starts making her way towards the bar, her hips swaying alluringly as she did so.
"So," Temari starts after a moment, turning towards Ino "You think she'll be able to do it is this time?"
"Why wouldn't she?" The other answers, finally detaching her aquamarine eyes from the back of her best-friend, and turning around to reach for her drink instead.
"Indeed. But you don't think she'll do it, anyway"
"Who said such a thing? I don't remember giving you the right to read my mind, Tema-chan" Ino gives her a lopsided grin, but Temari just rolls her eyes.
The arrival of the only other blonde who could match Ino in loudness was the only thing that prevented her from pursuing the subject.
Temari nodded in acknowledgement, while Ino's grin widened at the sight of the approaching boy. "My, if it isn't Naruto! And looking hotter than ever, if I might say so myself!"
Naruto's grin matched Ino's as he spoke, "And you look as shaggable as always, Ino-chan!"
"Don't you just know the perfect words to say to a girl?" With mischief shinning through her eyes, Ino shortens the distance between her and Naruto to just mere inches, "Maybe I should let you shag me tonight?"
Naruto's grin acquired a different edge, never one to back down from a challenge. "Dunno, I might be a bit too much for you, Ino-chan"
"Shouldn't I be the one saying that?"
Both blonds erupt into a fit of cheery laughing.
"Besides, the rooms aren't available. Neji would throw a fit if we use them" Naruto adds, after a moment.
At that, Ino looks visible dejected. "No way! And I was looking forward to that so much, too! They probably have silk sheets, and feather-pillows!"
"And water-beds! Don't forget the water-beds!" Her companion helpfully adds.
"Shit, isn't there anything you can do? You're his friend! I'm sure you could convince him to lend you one!"
"I don't know Ino-chan, Neji is stubborn. Why don't you convince Hinata?"
"… That'd be so easy, that it'd be shameful" Ino sighs, Naruto following suit.
"You're probably right"
Temari slips away, unnoticed, as the two once again erupt into a fit of laughing.
I never knew (I never knew) how much it takes to accept...
I never knew (I never knew) how much it takes to accept
That you're a fake.
With every drink he swallowed, he felt his mood and will to change things drowning deeper and deeper. The only traces left behind of the anticipation he had felt earlier through the day was bitterness, and an uneasy feeling in the pit of his gut that caused his eyebrows to knit together in a slight frown.
The frown only increased when the empty seat to his right was taken by a loud girl.
"Give me one of what he's drinking!" The girl demanded, and he could picture her pointing a finger in his direction without even having to turn around.
He really felt like drowning in his drink. At least until all this fiasco of a party was over and done with, and he could leave without falling his promise to Neji and stop the false pretense of not being increasingly more bothered by life and the injustice—bullshit—it was full of.
"Hey, Sasuke-kun! How are you doing?"
Great, now the girl was actually talking to him. Just peachy.
He remained silent. Perhaps then she'd get the hint.
No such thing happened, though, and the girl merely leaned a bit closer, thinking that her question had been lost over the loud music; or perhaps just using that as an excuse.
"Sasuke-kun! How are you doing?!"
Sasuke hides the grimace behind perfectly trained features; it was just his sort of luck, really. Everyone around him seemed to take the hint that he wanted to be left alone and was in no mood for anyone—hell, even Naruto, who'd usually refuse to leave and push and push until Sasuke gave in, was nowhere to be seen. Off to do god knows what with the devil knows whom—but there just had to be someone who refused to do so and didn't fear the verbal slap that could come her way.
And of course, that someone just had to be one of his fangirls.
If he could, he would give a kidney to trade his followers for Neji's. Those girls at least knew what the world 'respect' and 'personal space' meant. Plus, they had something apart from sex engraved on their brains.
"What do you want?" He refrains himself from screaming, but the look in his eyes as he finally turns to look at her delivers the message well enough. The girl's eyes widen, and she backs away slightly, her eyes shaking.
It's only then that he recognizes the pink-hair framing her pretty face.
Haruno Sakura. Ino's friend.
It's the turn of Sasuke's eyes to do the widening, and he looks around him with a motion that shakes the one-too-many drinks he had drunk and sends his head spinning; he leans forward, growling under his breath, takes his hand to his forehead in an attempt to stabilize himself.
Ino had been nowhere to be seen.
"Sasuke-kun, are you alright?" Sakura asks with unhidden concern, apparently being taken aback enough to get over the hurt over his curt words had inflicted.
"I'm fine" Sasuke says, carelessly batting away the helping hand with which the girl had tentatively reached out to him with.
The girl takes her hand back and holds the spot where his had touched it, as if burnt. Her cheeks turn red. "I… Are you sure? Don't you think you've drunk enough already, Sasuke-kun?"
"I told you, I'm fine"
And I don't need you sticking your nose into my business, is what's left unsaid. Some part of his brain conserving the enough sense to be aware of the fact that angering this girl would most likely result in a very pissed-off Ino; and of all the things he certainly did not need in this world, Ino being pissed at him ranked fairly high on the list. She seemed to dislike him already, so no need to make matters worse.
"Alright, if you say so…" Sakura averts her eyes to the floor, falls quiet and thoughtful. But then there are words of encouragement and smiles and winks resounding in her ears and reproducing on her mind, and she curves her fingers into fists, raises her head and stares at Sasuke dead-seat; the adrenaline and courage surging through her veins. "Say, Sasuke-kun, how about you and me—"
He can't bite down the statement, and he curses himself inwardly as he somehow manages to hear the sharp intake of breath Sakura had drawn.
So much for being civil and not angering the girl.
"I-I'm sorry!" And with a low bow, that perfectly hid the tears behind her thick eyelashes, Sakura jumped off the stool and sprinted off, getting lost among the maze of people that flooded the room.
Sasuke stared after her for a long moment, before sighing and massaging his temples. Jeez, he couldn't even make himself apologize to her, or at least decline her own apologies. If the pink-haired girl went to Ino with a broken-heart, the blonde would hate him forever for sure.
Not to mention that she hadn't deserved getting the short end of the stick of his ruined-mood and volatile temper in the first place. She just… was in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Her worst sin had been being too naïve, and insistent.
For someone all the teachers praise for her smartness, she should have known better.
Pushing back the urge to sigh again, Sasuke absent-mindedly raises the glass to his lips, stopping just before the liquid entered his mouth.
He gives the glass and the translucent liquid inside a long, guarded look, before finally placing it away with a loud thud against the table.
If this experience had taught him anything, it was that Sakura was right; he had drunk enough for tonight.
If you just open your eyes, you could get out of this,
(If you just open up your eyes)
But you're such a success, you're just not built for it.
(If you just...)
Two rooms to the right, where the music resounded loudest of all, the people so tightly mingled together and the air so thick with moisture that it was hard to breath, two blondes shook against each other and swayed along with the rhythm.
"Look at those two," Ino yelled to her dancing-partner over the music, the movement of her head signaled a couple dancing a few feet to their right, an horrid mess of raising arms and shakes that weren't at all suitable to the music, "They dance like shit!"
"Come on, Ino-chan! Not everyone can have our amazing sense of rhythm!" Naruto shouted back, his lecturing tone being lost in his wide grin.
"Pffft" Ino snorted, playfully hitting his shoulder with a slim palm, "I'm not asking for much! Just not dance if you have two fucking left-feet! It's horrendous to look at, you know! They're contaminating the ambient!"
"Wow, and here I thought the ecologist was TenTen?"
"There are many things you don't know about me, Uzumaki Naruto!" The feisty blonde taunted, grinning before turning around, dancing with her back towards Naruto now.
Naruto's own grin widened a bit more, wondering how come she could make a statement like that sound so kinky with such an innocent face.
Ino leant even more towards him after a particular loud-beat from the music, her whole body pushed against his until every point of their anatomy that could possibly touch was doing just that. Her long ponytail tangled in Naruto's clothes, gold hair-locks brushing against his fingers and shin.
"Why don't you let your hair-down? I'm sure you'd look even hotter!"
He hears her laugh even despite the ruckus around them; is taken aback as her arms come and circle his neck, pushing his face towards the crook of her neck. Once there, she tilts her own face to the side, until her lips are massaging the lobe of his ear with each of her words.
"Precisely because of that, whiskers. If I do, I'd be too irresistible"
A shiver runs down his spine as she stretches out every syllable of that last word, his suddenly over-sensitive skin feeling even the smallest, most subtle movement of her full lips.
"Aren't you already?"
He whispers on her ear, his eyes already darkening with a veil of desire as he feels her shudder in his arms.
Ever so slowly, she pulls out of the intimate embrace the music had placed them in; turns around and faces him, is pushed up against his ear so fast that he doesn't even have the time to meet her eyes.
"And that's why I always say you have the best mouth ever"
She huskily purrs in his ear, before catching his lips in an open-mouthed kiss.
Everything around him spins as they kiss, a fierce battle of tongues full with overwhelming want and craving; no matter how many times he's tasted her, Ino always intoxicates him as if it were the very first time. Makes him forget about everything else but her, makes his body react with every little touch, every little brush of her hips against his.
"Let's go" He says, after they pull apart. Grabbing Ino's wrist and gently pulling her out the dance floor.
"I thought you said the rooms weren't available?" She wonders, but allows herself to be lead anyway. The want for the blond currently crawling under her skin and making the sensitive parts under her skirt tingle.
Naruto turns to give her a look over his shoulder; foxy-grin in place, eyes twinkling with something heavy and intense that only served to excite more every inch of Ino's body.
"But I didn't say anything about the pool, did I?"
It takes Ino an immense amount of self-control to not jump the blonde right there and then.
"Where could she have gone off to?" Sakura wondered under her breath; browns drawn together in concentration and confusion as she did her best to spot her best-friend through the crowds of smashed teenagers.
She had spotted Temari over at the pool-table, but Ino wasn't among the crowd of people accompanying her. The thought of stopping her search and going over to Temari hadn't gone through her mind; she and the older girl got along just fine, but right then what she needed was solely her best-friend. Nothing else.
She needed Ino's dry remarks about the Uchiha, needed her odd but effective ways of cheering her up; their silly arguments, their laughter, her contagious horniness as she checked out some guys.
She needed Ino. Needed her to get her mind off the failed attempt with Sasuke. Needed her to erase—at least for a while, his dark glare and annoyed voice.
Sakura couldn't stop the hurt from twisting her features as his words echoed on her head for the umpteenth time; hating herself as she felt yet again the insistent burning of tears behind her eyes.
God, where the hell are you Ino?!
In her hurry to wipe the unleashed tears away from her eyelashes, she almost missed the purple spot making her way through the crowd. Instantly, Sakura's face lightened up, her eyes widening and her legs moving forward before she could even think or make sure it was indeed Ino the one she had seen—
—But her steps halt as soon as notices the real extent of the picture.
Indeed, it had been Ino the one she saw; but the girl wasn't alone. She was currently being pulled by the wrist by none-other than Uzumaki Naruto, the blonde guy she recognized as being always with Sasuke.
It only takes Sakura a second to understand what the two were about to do. It was spelled all over the look in their eyes, the edge in Ino's smile, the quickness of their steps and the intimate air surrounding them.
A party without Ino scoring isn't a party, huh?
She almost wants to roll her eyes at how predictable her friend was. But then her eyes take in the way Naruto turns back towards the blonde with an impish grin and tells her something; something that causes Ino to grin broadly and burst out laughing. They quicken their pace afterwards.
Despite herself, Sakura smiles fondly at seeing the exchange, thoughts about Sasuke laying forgotten in her mind; for a moment, she thought she wouldn't have minded being in Ino's shoes right there.
If only to be made laugh like that.
Sometimes I think you just need some time.
Sometimes, I think I need some to get along without.
"Neji, have you seen Naruto?"
The Hyuuga, who had been distracting himself by half-interestedly watching how Rock Lee continued to do one mindless challenge after another, and lived to tell the tale each and every time, raised his head only to be met with one Uchiha Sasuke.
Neji arched one eyebrow.
"So you finally stopped drowning in your self-induced misery?"
Sasuke rolls his eyes, not amused. "Whatever. Where is Naruto?"
Neji snorts, smirking and shrugging as response. "I don't know, I haven't seen him since he left us two hours ago."
Sasuke frowned, "What about Shikamaru? Perhaps he knows where he is?"
"I doubt so, Shikamaru left to sleep in one of the guest-rooms; so unless he's sleeping with Naruto, I don't think he'll know anything"
"What about Kiba?"
Neji pointed with his thumb in the general direction of the room that was being used as dance-floor, "I saw him go in there half-an-hour ago. He wasn't with Naruto, though"
Sasuke fought back the insane impulse to raise his arms to the heavens in complain. He crosses them instead. "Great. Just great. If that moron left and leaves only the two of us with all the cleaning, I'll murder him. I swear I'll."
Neji would have snorted again hadn't he noticed a blur of blacks, blondes and orange move from the corner of his eye.
"Then you might want to do your homework and find yourself a lawyer already" He says, and confused, Sasuke follows the boy's eyes until his own also land on the pair of figures making their way out of the mansion right at that very moment.
His taken aback brain only has a brief moment to recognize the figure tagging behind Naruto before the wooden doors close behind them.
The last thing he saw was Ino's long ponytail swaying behind her.
If Neji thinks anything of the way he strides out of the room and back to the bar without a single word, his aura so ferocious that it makes the hairs on the arms of the Hyuuga stand on end, Neji says nothing.
Everyone's saying that they've got the answers.
But hope is deceiving and spreads like a cancer.
To get along without.
He would really, really, murder Naruto. Without a doubt. As soon as he got his hands on him, he'd strangle him. Dig out his eyes with his own thumbs, tear him up until he was unrecognizable.
Perhaps like that, he'd be even able to hide the crime.
Or maybe he should save himself the trouble and just castrate him. Yeah, castrating him would do the job. Teach him that one just doesn't mess with what Uchiha Sasuke has labeled as his. One just doesn't just go and fuck so shamelessly the one girl Uchiha Sasuke seriously wants for himself.
His own fucking best friend just doesn't go and get Ino to look at him, give him the time of a day, smile that brightly. Not when Sasuke himself can't even get her to glance in his direction.
…It just wasn't fair.
What did Naruto have that he didn't? Hell, what did every fucking guy in the campus have that he didn't? He just didn't get it. He still didn't get it.
He swallows his drink and ignores the sharp throbbing in the back of his head, any thoughts of stopping long-forgotten.
And he had thought tonight would be the day when things would change. He had dared to think that tonight, he could be the one walking out the mansion with Ino behind him.
He had been so stupid. So gullible. It just wasn't like him, to act like that.
Hell, it wasn't like him to act like this.
Fucking Ino and the things she did to him without even trying. Fucking Ino and her beauty and whatever it was she did to get inside and under his skin like that.
Fuck me, too.
Because for all his useless talk about changing things, for all his will to give the first step tonight, he hadn't done shit.
"Are you lonely, Sasuke-kun?"
The unexpected intrusion stops his musings short, and he turns only to find a black-haired girl with crimson-red eyes sitting on the stool besides his; in much the way Sakura had done earlier that night, with that seductive air that clearly spelled her intentions out to him. Her eyes, if possible, even more daring that her body language, and not as shy and self-conscious as those of her predecessor.
Sasuke doesn't quite know what is it that makes him do it.
It might have been those crimson-eyes and the waves of nostalgia and yearning they brought to him, waking up that familiar something he thought he had forgotten long-ago. It might have been that, along with the nerve-wracking frustration and impotence swelling up inside him like a timing-bomb along with the sheer quantities of liquor that made him smirk. Smirk and reach out a hand to play with one of her hair-locks for a moment before sneaking up behind her neck and pulling her towards him without even waiting for a response.
He answers against her lips, before crushing them with his own in a rough kiss that somehow tasted sourer than the liquor in the back of his throat.
And as his tongue tangles with her own, he almost forgets.
She was never perfect, oh, my friend,
Neither were you.
NaruIno? In my SasuIno? It's more likely than you think! More about the relationship and dynamics of these two will be explained through the story, as I plan to explore that. Also, Naruto probably won't be the only one to get a piece of Ino; when I said she was the school's slut, I said it because she is indeed just that. Though not exactly, of course. But she won't be an inmaculate virgin, either.
Finally. Not for the first time, I realized how much of a bitch English can be when it's not one's first language. My vocabulary is so limited when I write, it's ridiculous.
There are various hints all throughout the chapter; hints of plot-points that will come to play a part later in the story. Props to anyone who can get every single one!
With some luck, I should update this story again in less than a month. I've got a scenario in mind for the next chapter, and I really want to put it into words.
Also, the last two lines aren't from Miss Behavin', but rather from Can't Stop the Killer; both songs belong to Emery.
That said, thank you all for reading. Please don't forget to leave a review afterwards, they inspire me very much.
See you all soon!