People asked me multiple times, everyday and any time, if I tried to stand out. Let alone be so stubborn. Some concluded that I wanted attention while others respected me for it. I didn't answer them though just shrugged, "if that's what you think. Then go ahead." I didn't try to make things hard or difficult, but bad luck liked to sneak up on me. People describe bad luck as well…bad. But I view it as another door trying to open, yet choosing the wrong time to appear. I greet most bad luck with open arms, but with the luck I've been having. Lets say it and I have been playing dodge ball, but bad luck was the only one able to throw the balls. I either had to catch, dodge, or get hit…Dodge ball was my least favorite sport, and this is because I always got hit.


Monday, Seventh Day of School

My eyes were glued to the lone podium on the school's stage. The crude iron chair I was sitting on was uncomfortable. The floor was sticky with soda from last night's dance. I could smell it too. It was coca-cola with liquor mixed in. The scent was faint but enough to make me want to scrunch my nose, Liquor was the top five grossest smells in my mind, yet instead I felt myself shuffle in my seat. I was too focused on the beginning of the school assembly. The students were filtering in the narrow doors and randomly sitting down. They too were oddly quiet and fully focused. Memories started flashing through my mind of the previous week, it was chaotic and fast.

The ceiling lights began to dim, signaling the start of the assembly. The few talking students became silent instantly. The auditorium sounded vacant, except for the occasional creaks of the chairs or shuffling of bodies. I hesitantly glanced around to see everyone's eyes forward, searching for any movement behind the red curtains on the stage. I turned back while licking my lips, what a dead crowd. Sadly, my attempts at humoring myself were in vain. My eyes returned to the stage again. They were heavy from the lack of sleep last night. My mind replayed the dancing students, the encouraging music, and the smell of deodorant. I washed myself longer than I should've this morning.

"Where were you last night?" A worried voice called to me, I lazily peered over to see TenTen. Her facial expression was mixed with worry, annoyance, and relief. If someone else looked at her face, it would look like she was tired. Her eyes were dull from stress, or something similar. It was hard to tell her emotions, but after a few years you learn to decipher her poker face. I gave her a casual shrug. I didn't want to break the silence of the meeting. She quickly took a seat beside me and averted her attention to the stage. I did so as well.

As if on cue, the president shambled across the stage to the podium. A different silence loomed over us. It was filled with anticipation and suspense. What caused this silence? It was the beginning of the year, which meant this assembly is for the newest expectations of every student body enrolled in this prestigious school. Each year there were new rules to back up old ones, or new ones to follow by. It got so tight and strict in this school that no one could show their individuality here.

The president's eyes were frantic and lacquered with hesitation. What was she waiting for? Let's get this thing over. We don't have all day Ino.

"Don't stare so hard Sakura," TenTen joked quietly, "you might make Ino burst into flames."

I didn't retort back to her because the blond began to speak. "Welcome e-everyone," her voice cracked noticeably. She flinched inwardly, somebody coughed in the crowd while a few laughed at her. They were instantly silenced once more when she shuffled her papers, trying to regain her usual calm composure.

"This year we'll be experiencing some dramatic changes, that all of us may not be accustom to," she began slowly with an un-sure voice. What was Ino doing? Surely she knew she was making a fool out of herself, which was beyond peculiar! She was usually full to the brim with confidence and calmness. Yet here she was, stuttering and tripping over her words like a bashful child. Her shimmering blue eyes scanned the room, like she was looking for someone. It was only until she met mine that she inhaled sharply, I continued to stare. She flinched before coughing and looking away. Silence claimed its victory in the assembly for ten seconds.

"Sorry let me continue," her voice was still edgy. Her eyes landed on me again, yet this time she didn't avert her gaze. A new found exuberant gleam shined in her beautiful eyes. Her confidence leaped along with composure. There you are, my thoughts cooed when the usual Ino returned.

"Like I said a little awhile ago, we will experience something new this year." Her voice was musical and fluid, no bumps or nervous cracks. My memories started flooding into my head again, reminding me of this previous week. Reminding me why I was here, and why I've kept an eagle eye on Ino.


Monday, First day of school

The halls were flooded with early students, enlivened with excited chattering. It was only expected of the first day of school: Greeting friends, being early to get prepared, roaming, and summer gossip. But for me, it was the first day of the IR meeting. Individuality Rebellion is the club I'm in, president to be exact. We're the club that tries to keep personality and school hand in hand. Unfortunately for the last few years, school has been winning. The school has a line of presidents: Either from Yamanaka, Uchiha, or Hyugga family. This dates back ever since the founder of the school, Mandara Uchiha, started enrolling students. He conceived two girls and one boy, each having a certain right to the school. The two girls got their maiden names changed, and the boy carried on his legacy, thus creating the weird school system which works miraculously. This doesn't allow fresh ideas or new faces to lead the students. Instead, it's the same old boring strict presidents. They all follow to make the school 'better', yet they go cutting away the student's freedom each year. The last three years the Yamanaka section ruled the President section. Deidara was the first to begin, he was a good guy and tried to work on arts section, but he didn't last two months. His sister, Ino Yamanaka, took over and followed the elder's orders loyally. Ever since this reign, everything was the same. The bathrooms were grey, classrooms were white (even art), and students wore the black, silver, and dark blue uniforms. Everything had to be 'normal'. I even got attacked once for my pink hair, until my parents proved it was natural.

I continued my stroll to the IR meeting room; it was at the end of the building in a small room. I had around one hour to talk about this year's expectations. The school even posted big posters of them in every hall way. I quickly averted from my determined course to one of the large dull posters. A few kids were gathered around it, shaking their heads and complaining quietly to each other. I butted my way through their tiny throng before ripping down the paper. I didn't wait for their reactions before rolling it up and continuing down to the meeting. I would need it to show my fellow club members.

After many minutes of avoiding big crowds and weaving around people, I entered the room. It was dull, like the rest of the school, only thing standing out was my pink hair. Hell, it probably illuminated the whole school with a heavenly pink glow. Though it isn't that fabulous to start with, it would give the cultureless school some color.

"Hello Miss President of IR," TenTen said formally with sarcasm dripping on each word. I gave a bright smile with a casual wave. She smiled back with a small giggle. We go back quite some time, ever since middle school in 6th grade I think. We met by her almost falling in the fountain at the middle school. Ironically, I accidently caught her and lost my lunch into the water though. It was a weird and awkward start, but bloomed into a good friendship.

"Sakura, I've missed you over the summer!" Naruto piped from the corner he was in. Yes, Naruto, the football player, was in the club. Even if he doesn't have much of a brain, he had solid heart of gold to make it up.

"Hey Naruto," I quietly greeted while going to the empty wall and tacking the poster up. Once done I began to read the content. I never took the time to read it before I snatched it from the hall, but it wasn't like it would've been missed.

Expectations of the year '09

No hats or sunglasses allowed

No 'flashy' hair styles

Grades of B and higher only allowed

Sport uniforms being changed

Grade point average of 4.0 for honors

No laptops or cell phones at school

No I-pods

The list continued with more detailed rules. The reasons why these rules were posted was stupid. Who listened to music in class during a lecture? I continued to read the bulletin. What was in the Elder's heads? To destroy everyone's personality and school spirit, if so they were doing a good job at it. It ticked me off more that Yamanaka would allow this to happen! She was a stuck-up, haughty, conceited, self-centered thing. She didn't talk to any one, she did nothing special except get good grades and play Tennis. Everyone believed she was a monster with a beautiful body. Personally, she was quite gorgeous and I'm open-minded to most things if you know what I mean.

"Wow they sure have out-done themselves this year," Kiba came in with a frown. He always has been quieter without Akamaru, his dog. The school's rules of no pets on school grounds really angered Kiba when he tried to bring Akamaru. Ever since that first day of High school he has been quiet and hard working. It might've been a dramatic improvement from the Kiba in middle school, but he wasn't the same.

"Yeah, soon we probably won't be able to talk," Kiba mused while TenTen nodded in agreement. I rolled my eyes. We were all pessimistic, except Naruto of course. The rest of us wouldn't be able to imagine rainbows and sunshine worth shit.

"So tell us Sakura, what ideas do you have to start a debate?" Shikamaru called from the corner. He was a quiet boy that always had his I-pod on max volume like no tomorrow. Funny thing was that he only listened to a few rock songs and the rest were nature clips. He said it soothes his brain and mind. I don't really care, but I suppose it would be more calming. It was a pity that I-pods were on the '09 ban list. I actually wonder why he's in the club to start with, but I don't complain. We need all the people we can recruit.

"I'm not sure, this year I'm quite stumped. Last year we pulled all the strings to get the hair styles allowed to be varied than just normal colors. Yet we still failed, I'm thinking that we should wait until later after the announcements next week before working." Shikamaru nodded while thinking it thoroughly. TenTen opened her mouth to give her in-put before Naruto's boisterous voice yelled, "But Sakura! Let's not give them a head start!"

I shook my head while grabbing a spare chair and looked around the room. When I first came here Deidara was the starter of this. The room was full of students, chairs, and had colorful posters up. But after we were discovered, the posters were ripped down and the extra tables and chairs were confiscated. They only left us our rudimentary chairs and one tiny table that had one leg shorter than the rest. The walls were a dull white. How can we possibly win with so few people?

"They've been winning for four years Naruto. They've got the biggest head-start than ever. All we can really do is just wait and watch what they do before we can start." I said while tapping the crude table with my index finger. It was impossible to tell what we could try to debate over, or where to start to be exact. Should we continue with the hair style rule, or move on to a new more important rule?

"I need a few days to think about this before we start work," I told my loyal friends. I gave them all the title of my friends, they practically were. If they weren't, then I was alone from the very beginning. Though TenTen is my best friend, we actually hang-out with each other after school.

"We don't really have time to free-think things over Sakura. But I suppose we don't have any other option," Shikamaru grumbled before grabbing out his I-pod. He quickly turned it on before heading out the door, Naruto and Kiba followed without comments.

"Yeah, like Shikamaru said, please make it quick." TenTen smiled softly before leaving out the door too. I didn't reply, instead I was already thinking of my ideas. There was practically nothing we can do. We never got any new members yet for fresh ideas. I was loosing my touch to say the truth. It was my last year in school and all I wanted to do was float along. I already had perfect 4.0 average, and played Soccer twice. It was a good enough for me and any college I wanted to go to.

I left a few seconds later with my mind blank and a frown. First day of school never was a fun thing for me, or anybody I think. I only got a few feet down the hall before I felt someone tap my shoulder. I turned around quickly. I wasn't fond of being touched. Neji Hyugga was erected behind me with a frown.

"You have violated one of the-," before he could finish I began walking away. "My hair is naturally pink, even ask the president." I could feel Neji watching my retreating form with a glare. He hated being told wrong. People like him annoyed me, the ones that made conclusions fast. I turned around to make a retort but he was gone, maybe I was just imagining that he was watching me.


Like I expected, the first day of school was a drag with just introductions. In Calculus we got our first homework sheet, and in English we're going to be reading a book. Something about the main character being a greaser named Ponyboy or some other retarded name. I was the last one out of English class which was my last class, Iruka was whistling to himself happily. I was surprised whistling was allowed. I bet they would soon ban that too.

I dragged my feet out the door and started heading towards the nearest exit. Everyone already left to the buses or was walking home. No one ever wanted to stay after school, the place sucked the life right of you. It's no joke seriously.

A noise reached my ears, and I stopped. It was a noise that shouldn't be here at all. I waited longer and it didn't come again, maybe I was daydreaming. Before I could take another step, I heard it again. Ok, this time I knew what direction it was coming from. I scuttled down the opposite way of the exit, and stopped briefly.

Me!

There it was again, ok I wasn't going crazy! I quickly walked down towards the Janitor's closet and I heard it again, but even louder. It must be around the corner. I rounded the corner and there it was, just as I expected, a kitten. Ironically, it was stuck in a window with its paws jammed by the window. It shot its head to the side and noticed me. It was all black except its white paws. The kitten had the biggest blue eyes I ever did see, it was cute. That's saying something from a person who doesn't like cats.

"Aw you poor thing, how'd you get in here?" I started reaching towards the pitiful thing until it started meowing louder, and going berserk. Its head was going side to side. Its legs were clawing the paint off the white walls.

"MEOW MEOW MIIIIAAOOOOWW," the kitten kept screaming louder. I jumped and quickly opened the window to release it from its hanging prison. I brought it to my chest and held it like a baby. I wasn't sure how to hold it, I never held a cat, and it was fuzzy and soft. I examined the paws that were caught in the window. They lost the fur on them from the friction, one paw was bleeding. The cat meowed pathetically.

"How the hell did you achieve this?" I questioned to it, though I didn't expect any answer. It continued to stare at me with those icy blue eyes. I looked around, searching for its owner. Who dare would bring this to the school, only if they wanted a suspension that is. There was nobody around. They all left once the bell rang. I averted my gaze back to the kitten that was still staring at me. I wonder what it's expecting from me. I brought up my spare hand and poked its nose. Quickly it swatted my hand away, yet it ended up hurting itself again and meowed louder. I gritted my teeth, for a small thing it sure had a big whine!

"Stoner! There you are!" A very infamous voice called, but before I could react the cat was snatched from my hold. "Are you ok? I'm sorry, oh so very sorry!" The kitten began meowing in response. I turned towards the person with a frown.

Ino Yamanaka was cradling the kitten like a baby in her arms. She gasped when she saw the kitten's paws damaged. "What you do to Stoner?" She shrieked while glaring at me with accusing blue eyes. Her hair was disheveled and her cheeks were tinted red, was she running? Sadly, I took action to retort.

"Stoner is your cat? Well there's a policy for no pets in this school!" I was quite proud I could catch the perfect president breaking a rule. She would instantly be replaced within two days with a different pompous ass. It would probably be an Uchiha, and Yamanaka's line would be forgotten due to two failures. No offense to Deidara though. I was quite surprised that Ino broke a rule, she had no excuse either! This would help my debate perfectly.

Ino gritted her teeth in anger while the kitten meowed again. Her body stiffened before she spoke, "Stoner isn't a pet!" She swiveled on her heel to stomp away. Not a pet? It was small, furry, a weird name, and being treated like a baby, so apparently it was a pet. I could feel myself lift an inquiring eyebrow. "Well then Yamanaka, what is it?"

She didn't go far before stopping, her body remained perfectly still. The halls remained ghostly silent. I put my hands on my hips. I finally cornered the 'perfect' student. The silence was long and stretched for probably thirty seconds. I started tapping my foot against the tiled floor. I was about to speak up when I noticed Ino was moving, her shoulders shivering and her breath became ragged. It was only till then did I notice she was crying. I never thought someone of her caliber would cry in front of a normal student body, especially a secret rival (I believe she wasn't informed of the IR). She seemed way too full of pride to cry. I was actually disappointed that she started crying, it ruined her perfect image.

"He isn't a pet, he's my friend," she whimpered while wiping away her tears. A friend, that didn't make sense. She identified my confusion fast before crying out again. "My only friend," her lip began to quiver while she tried to get me to realize. Her only friend, if I remember right I never did see her with anyone. Let alone doing anything fun in her leisure time except Tennis or homework, but I never noticed her much. This made a new opinion on her. She was actually a loner-cry baby, though I shouldn't make assumptions so fast. Actually to be truthful, it probably was lonely. TenTen may be my only friend, but she was always there for me, especially when I started my period. That was the best time she helped probably, and she doesn't go un-appreciated. So I guess I shouldn't be talking, I wonder if she has any friends at all.

"Well I'm not going to blow sunshine up your ass, but that is still considered a pet to most." I felt some pity towards Ino, but I'm not the completely sympathetic type. I was still disappointed that Ino wasn't as great as I thought she was. It was upsetting actually, how can we have problems debating with a person like her? I'm not trying to sound rude, but seriously, we're more stable with emotions. Then again, this might be her first emotional break down.

"You just don't understand," she croaked while walking away. I could still see her shoulders shivering and the kitten kept meowing. I must've gotten her quite worked up, though I still thought that she was being melodramatic. I watched her retreating form until it went around a corner. I wondered why she was so sensitive about the whole kitten thing. Ok, maybe I said it in a cold tone but she should've expected it, well, at least be somewhat resistant to my words. She was probably obsessed with her cat. She was an old-granny-living-alone-with-ten-cats in the making. I wouldn't be quite surprised since she was way too haughty for any boys. Unless they're only aiming to get in her pants, which would never happen still.

I shrugged my shoulders and started heading towards the exit. My curiosity shouldn't have gotten the best of me, curiosity killed the cat. Ha-ha maybe not Stoner, he was saved instead. While walking, I noticed the uniform made me look ghostly pale. It even clashed with my pink hair, the blue to be exact. Something I didn't quite notice for a few years, but it didn't bug me much. Yet even though Ino disappointed me, she was still beautiful in her uniform. Her features were complimented well with her eyes, and her hair looked more platinum blond than before. She had soft vanilla crème skin from the looks of it as well.

She radiated beauty. It was hard to think that no one approached her, though it wasn't impossible to think otherwise. I stopped to look outside before stepping out of the doors, it was drizzling. I straightened my skirt before continuing.


"Yeah then I left her alone. It was weird seeing her like that," I told TenTen over the phone. I just got done telling her the whole incident. I could image her nodding her head while she listened to me.

"You idiot," she blurted. I almost dropped the phone at this remark. My mouth was agape from the sudden reaction. Me an Idiot, I think not! "You should've befriended her," TenTen continued to bash me.

"Why would I want to do that?" I asked with confusion. I heard TenTen sigh from the other side of the phone.

"Must I spell it out for you Sakura," she question. I remained silent and she gave a bitter chuckle. "She said she had no friends, right? Well you should've became her friend and then got close enough to make her rule out the current expectations!"

The whole idea about made me fall backwards, it was so obvious! I was slightly embarrassed that I had a rock like head for not getting it sooner. It was brilliant and very stealthy, because Ino didn't know exactly who I was. It would've worked perfectly though I doubt it would've been a smooth ride.

"What are you waiting for woman?" TenTen sighed once again. I envisioned her getting ready to yell in the phone to get through my retarded head. It wasn't a beautiful image. I cringed, "what am I suppose to do TenTen?" I uttered weakly into the phone, preparing myself to get yelled at. I moved my ear from the phone, yet instead I heard her say something. Ok false alarm! I brought my ear up to the device again, "What did you say?"

"MAKE HER COOKIES AND GO TO HER HOUSE TO START A FRIENDSHIP," TenTen yelled before hanging up. My eardrums were ringing intensely, and I could feel every part of my body tense from the loud volume of her voice. I must've annoyed her for not thinking of her idea immediately for the situation.

"Bye," I murmured into the phone before clicking it off. I threw it on my bed while climbing off of it. I glanced at the digital clock, four o' clock, I might have time to make cookies and track her down. I walked down the hallway, before descending the stairs. I couldn't make cookies that well; I would need my mom's help.

"Mom, can you help make cookies with me?" I yelled in the house, un-aware she was already in the kitchen.

"Jesus Sakura, I'm right here," she scolded me while my mouth formed 'oh'. She smiled before nodding, agreeing to assist me with the cookies. I smiled after thanking her and started baking up a batch of sugar cookies.


"Who are these for Sakura?" My mom questioned quietly, but curiously. I continued to mix the cookie batter while she put one batch in the oven.

"Ino Yamanaka," I answered quickly. The cookie batter was done mixing, I sighed pleasantly.

"Oh? How did you get her to say hi to you," my mom questioned in disbelief and interest. I scolded my mom who started giggling like a child. My mom knew Ino from afar. She sometimes attended the monthly school meetings to see what was going on.

"She talked to me first, thank you. And I just wanted to give her cookies," I lied but my mom took the white lie with a smile.

"Newest object of affection," she mused. I shook my head in disagreement. I couldn't like Ino, it wasn't because she was a girl, but I don't think our chemistry would match. She's a pompous ass, ignorant about others, conceited, and slave to the elders. While I can joke, work for myself, hear everyone's opinions, be thoughtful, and don't fall under peer-pressure, though TenTen could persuade me sometimes.

"No but thanks for the encouragement dearest mother," I sarcastically joked with her. She knew that I wasn't fascinated with guys for awhile; surprisingly she was ok with it. She didn't question me why, instead she asked if it was TenTen. I sputtered and grew red before telling her a flat no. She only laughed away like no tomorrow. I truly do cherish my mom, without her I might've been a bottled up person.

She waved me off with a hand gesture while grabbing the batter from me. "Go and get ready for your date." I rolled my eyes but quickly took the opportunity to flee the kitchen. I wasn't very fond of baking, but TenTen had a good plan.


I stared at the intercom absently. The weight of the cookie basket was quite heavy, Mom surely baked up a storm. Ino lived in a spacey and luxurious looking two story house. I was expecting something more… extravagant but it was good enough to please my expectations. The drizzle was getting my hair damp, and Mom was thoughtful enough to cover the cookies.

I had to call around, look in two phones books, and get directions to reach the Yamanaka residence. After one hour of running around, and millions of phone calls, I finally reached her place. Now the only thing between me and getting to her was this steel gate, which was closed firmly shut.

I shifted my weight before clicking the button to talk, "Hello, Sakura Haruno here for Ino Yamanaka, please and thank you!" I removed my finger from the button, and awaited a reply. Twenty seconds went by before I got a reply.

"Affirmed, please come in," with that last word, the gate slowly creaked open. I watched it open fully before walking through, once I got far enough the gate slammed close. I jumped and turned around, feeling now like a trapped animal. If I wanted to turn back, my last opportunity just got slammed shut. I sighed before quickly scuttling to the door. Thankfully there was a roof above the door, to keep away the tedious drizzle from frizzing my hair too much. Don't want to look too horrible in front of Yamanaka and her perfect self.

I quickly but politely knocked on the wooden door. I could hear somebody talking; the voice drew near before the door abruptly opened. An old woman smiled at me, "ah please come in, it's raining and don't want to ruin anything!"

She ushered me in while offering to grab the cookies. "No thanks, I want to personally hand these to Ino." The woman nodded with the same smile before walking away. I looked around the house. It had that cozy home feeling. The fire was roaring nearby, the warm atmosphere was calming from being in the cold drizzle. I noticed an open door nearby, Ino was probably in there. I tightened my grip on the cookies and put on a fake smile, before walking toward the direction of the door.

"May I come in?" I asked while peeking in the door, sure enough Ino was sitting on the floor with Stoner. The kitten meowed playfully as Ino tapped on the floor to attract the kitty's attention. His little paws were wrapped in pink bandages, oddly cute.

"Yeah," she answered with a quiet voice. My smile faltered slightly before I made my way inside. I sat down opposite direction of her, not too far away or too close. I put the basket near her before smiling. She stared at the basket, probably un-sure what to think of it.

"I'm sorry for being rude earlier," I started with an apologetic tone, "it was un-called for and I was just having a bad day. Can you forgive me?" I asked with a small but warming smile. She glanced at me then again at the basket. She hesitantly took away the cover and eyed the cookies.

"You really shouldn't have," she whispered more to herself than me. I shrugged but continued to grin, trying to coax a smile or two from her. "It's the least I can do to ask for forgiveness."

She easily bought the bait, and smiled. She grabbed a cookie before breaking a small morsel off, and nibbling on it. "It tastes great, thank you."

I was pleased that she liked it. I worked my butt off for her to enjoy it. "I never got to introduce myself, my name is Sakura Haruno. Just call me Sakura." I greeted with a small chuckle, she seemed to enjoy that too. She was really soaking this all up.

"Ino Yamanaka, though you probably knew this," she introduced delightfully. Her blue eyes were big, round and beautiful, calm before the storm like eyes. I really never seen Ino like this before, it was quite strange but good at the same time. She was actually human.

I chuckled lightly, "Yes I knew that, but it's good to be personally greeted." Ino giggled softly at this before Stoner came between our introductions. He meowed, trying to claim his rightfully owned attention. Ino gleamed before picking him up, "and you should know this is Stoner!" That kitten just stared at me curiously.

"Hey Stoner, hope you're feeling better." I got closer to smile at the kitten only to be swatted by his injured paw. He meowed in pain while rubbed my nose, "apparently he doesn't like me much" I tried to laugh it off while Ino giggled.

After that a silence fell between us, filled with awkwardness. Ino continued to finger the floor while kitten watched the finger with fascination. I soon joined in, and Stoner didn't know what to think. He became jumpy and edgy; he was soon bound to jump from the movement. It was only till Ino poked his side that he jumped in surprise. We both laughed again, releasing us from the prison of silence.

The laughter ended soon but I took the advantage to start a conversation. "So tell me about yourself Ino?"

She quickly looked at me like she was asked a hard question to trivial pursuit. She took a moment to over-think her hobbies. It really looked like she was having a hard time with it. "Well I never really have time to do anything except Tennis and play with Stoner." She answered honestly. I mused quietly on the idea for the briefest seconds. It would explain her lack of friends and outgoingness to other classmates.

"I see," I replied before continuing, "my hobbies are soccer, music, photography, and rights of-," I closed my mouth quickly. I about gave away my cover, but Ino looked interested.

"Rights for," she persuaded me to continue what I was saying. She looked eager to hear this last hobby. I had to think of something fast.

"Rights for gay rights," I blurted. Oh ouch, bad thing to say. Not many people were neutral with gays, let alone friendly. She had this awed look on her face.

"You don't care what other people think about you then?" She inferred that I was gay, but she wouldn't be wrong either.

"Yeah kind of," I answer truthfully. She nodded as if considering the answer. "Not even the whole world is like against you, and you might go to hell?" I winced at that, but she didn't seem that socialized enough to know bad conversations from good ones. Sure she was educated with public speech and debating, but she wasn't use of connecting with someone, to try and make friends. She was acted like making a conversation, without it being about the school, work, or tradition, was hard, like Calculus.

"Well… Live life to the fullest, no matter what, ever hear of that saying?" I questioned with some doubt. She nodded fast and it looked like it dawned on her. She was taking this quite well.

"I follow my own path, and if God does exist, he will deal with me with rationality." She was really taking this in deeply. She smiled at me, and I was scared of that smile, it looked too innocent.

"I like that you don't take orders from anyone, or go with the flow." I was taken back from her response. She understood it better than I thought she would, it surprised me. I smiled back at her. I noticed that her teeth were white as pearls, really attractive.

"Yeah it has its advantages for sure," I chuckled bitterly. She didn't seem to catch my uneasiness. I was glad that she was kind of slow. It would leave the making friends part easier. She was about to say something before the old lady came in again.

"Sorry to interrupt but Ino, your grandfather wants to talk about the newest expectations." She spoke formally with a monotone voice. Ino stood up abruptly, Stoner meowed but she didn't even glance at him.

"Yes, tell him I will be there shortly." The lady nodded before scuttling away. Once she was away, Ino turned around and gave a crooked smile. "I'm sorry but our small hang-out session has to end. My grandfather doesn't like me being late, I will see you around…right?" She asked, her voice hinting with hopefulness. I was quite surprised, once again on how fast her personalities switched.

"Yeah- I mean yes of course, thanks for having me over," I thanked, she nodded before walking away. I didn't wait before making my way out the door, but before I could the old lady stopped me by putting her bony hand on my shoulder. She was behind me but I could already feel the grandma-love emitting from her.

"Thanks for coming. You're the first person I've seen with Ino having a normal conversation. It's a good change of wind," I didn't exactly know what to say except nod. She let go of me and I could tell she was smiling. I quickly exited and started my long trek back home. The old woman made me feel kind of guilty. I wasn't exactly here to just be her friend. I-I mean we, the IR club, don't want to be friends. We wanted to win a campaign for our rights as a student just once! But I didn't fall under their pressure; I could decide what I wanted. I stopped. I wanted to know Ino more as a friend. She seemed so vulnerable and cautious now. It reminded me of a kitten caught in a storm. You just had to reach out and start something. I wanted to know Ino as a friend. I sighed before walking out of the open gate. The rain thankfully stopped and I didn't have to worry about getting soaked.


A/N:

This was going to be a one-shot, but it got quite long so I'll just put it in a few chapters. Hope it can interest people from Darkest Serenity for awhile, since like I said before, I'm trying to mold the story around for the outcome to be without question. So... Read and Review!