Summary: The Book. Capitals. People wrote everything in it, from what they thought of people to who they liked. And it was all anonymous. But is Sakura prepared for what one message has in store for her? SasuSaku, AU. R&R!
A/N: Yes, another oneshot. I swear, I'll update Cindersoot, I just haven't had the inspiration as of late. I'll get around to it, I promise. For now, read this!
Naruto does not belong to me, but to Masashi Kishimoto.
"Psst! Sakura! Here." Ino thrust the little black diary into the palm of my hand. I took it from her and snuck at look at Kakashi-sensei. He was still droning on about word equations. I made sure that he was busy before opening the little ledger and quickly scanning the front page to make sure it was what it was.
Ever had feelings for someone, but just couldn't tell them? Ever hated a person so much that you simply had no words? Well, this is the book that has it all. Record your secret thoughts today! You never know what might happen!
I smiled at the message and quickly flipped the page to the disclaimer.
Warning: Contains extreme language, and detailed desriptions of violence. Not to mention the confessions, secret thoughts and other offensive incendia. Do not open if you are easily offended.
I grinned and picked up my pen. The Book. The perfect way to express your feelings without being persecuted for it. It was a genius idea, and I would have kissed the person who had come up with it if there wasn't so much stress about anonymity. It had been around since our freshman year, circulated secretly during class hours, lunch periods and study sessions. It was the perfect solution to everyone's problems. Everybody had secrets that they just had to get out. The only rules were that there were no rules. Everything went. It was at the sole discretion of the person to record what they wished. Whatever responsibility landed on their head, they would have to endure.
People wrote everything. And I mean, everything. It was all fair game. Everything from what they thought of people, to who they liked. And it was completely anonymous, as I said before. I had personally had my fair share of messages directed towards me, of course. Everybody did. It was just how things went. Complete honesty was something that was rarely seen these days, and this was a nice way to exercise it.
My pen poised over the book as I flipped through it. It was a thick book, already half filled with messages. I giggled at the lamentations of the girl who had gotten pregnant. Call me cruel, but it was her own fault (my bets were that it was Karin). I frowned at the particularly bitchy message directed toward Ino. I darted a look at her, and her lips curled up into a smile. No doubt she knew about it, and intended to take revenge.
Ino. My comrade. My best friend since preschool. We'd been together through thick and thin, and we certainly weren't about to stop now. Not until we both got our apartment at some hotshot city and were sipping pina coladas, dipping her toes into the pool. Probably at Milan, maybe Paris. New York didn't sound terrible either. I turned my eyes back to the book and flipped a few more pages, trying to get to a clean page. I had things to vent about myself (especially about this lesson on word equations. I mean, what the hell is up with that?), but one message quickly caught my eye.
It was written in copper plate script, a handwriting I had never seen before in any of the previous editions of The Book. The heading was neatly written and underlined twice with red ink and the date was recorded at the top left corner. My heart stopped beating as I read the message.
I think I'm in love.
How else would I explain what I feel at this very moment? Everytime I look at this girl, my heart begins to beat wildly in my heart. I wonder if she feels the same way about me. What am I saying? Of course she does. Every single girl in the whole damn school feels that way about me. But she's different.
Even if she does, she doesn't act upon it. She doesn't chase me down like some of the girls. She doesn't harangue for my e-mail, my address, my phone number. She doesn't write her name and phone number in my arm using lipstick during parties. As much as I want her to.
She's the only girl whom I can always speak to, yet never speak about.
My jaw dropped as I read the last line, and I nearly shrieked. Someone was in love with me, and I planned to find out who it was.
"Stop laughing!" I hissed at Ino. "This isn't funny! It's serious business! I mean it!"
"Okay okay." Ino said, giggling. "But I'm sorry, this person is such a sap! I mean, really. Have you read what they've written?"
I grit my teeth out of pure frustration and shot her one of my patented glares. She stopped laughing and her gaze was directed towards the little black diary that sat upon our lunch table. "Let's look at this, one line at a time." she suggested, sweeping away a lock of blonde hair. "I'm curious too. I mean, who on earth would love you, little Forehead?"
"Sorry, I couldn't resist." Ino said, smiling at me. I pulled my pink hair into a ponytail and sighed with annoyance. "Open the book, and let's take a look at this."
I flipped it open to the last page. The message was still there, the black ink contrasting against the whiteness of the paper. Ino frowned as she read it, and then pointed to the second line. "Take out a piece of paper and write all this down, okay? We might need it later." I did as she said and uncapped my pen.
"Okay, so what?" I asked her.
"The first line." she began. "We can deduce from it that this person is a very sensitive person. They are aware of their feelings, despite being confused about it." I wrote down what she said quickly.
"So you think that if we write down all the characteristics about this person, we'll be able to find out who it is?" I asked her.
She nodded. "Yup." she said. I sighed yet again and reread the message.
"Look at the last line of the first paragraph. It looks like a lot of girls are in love with our mystery man." I said, quickly jotting the information down. "He's got rabid fangirls. I mean, who else would chase him down and harangue him?"
Ino took a bite out of her sandwich and swallowed quickly before saying, "Add giant vocabulary to the list. If they uses words like harangue, then they must be intelligent."
"And he goes to parties." I pointed out. "Plus, he's poetic. Read the last line."
Ino nodded an affirmative, and I quickly wrote the last point down. "Okay, so we just have to find the person who fits this description and then we know who it is!" she said cheerfully. "We need a copy of the message too."
I sighed and ate my salad. "Are we taking this too seriously?" I asked her.
"Maybe, but still. This is very interesting. This might revolutionize our entire lives!"
I just hoped that she was right.
She's been trying to find out who I am. I don't know how far she's gone or how hot she is on my trail. I want to leave clues, but I rather like this chase. It's different. It's unconventional.
It interests me.
Best of luck to you, Sakura. I hope you find me. I also hope that I don't have to reveal myself to you. That would suck all the fun out of everything.
I furiously slammed the book closed. Unconventional, huh? I'd give this person something unconventional to think about. I picked up my pen, ready to flame the guy for saying such a stupid thing, but Ino stalled my hand.
"Don't," she said. "You might turn him off. Anyways, I've asked some people for some help."
"You did WHAT?" I cried. "Ino! Confidentiality!" I reminded her.
She waved away my fears. "Re-lax." she said. "I asked Tenten to see if she can find someone who matches the handwriting in the message. I only gave her a small sample of it, and it's perfectly safe for her to know. Besides, Neji would be pissed off if I tried to find someone new for her. I also asked Temari to give me a list of people who use big words. Oh, and Naruto agreed to help me narrow down the amount of people chased by rabid fangirls."
"NARUTO?!" I shouted. "Why would you ask him!? He can't keep his mouth shut for five seconds!"
"I threatened him with a ramen ban, and told him that I won't tutor him for the finals. That sobered him up pretty quickly about any plans to reveal this." she smirked at me. I shook my head.
"You're a real piece of work, Ino." I said admiringly.
For the next few days, I couldn't concentrate. After being put in three sucessive detentions, I finally decided that some homework would help me take my mind away from things. Sighing, I put my bookbag on the chair in the library and sat down. Math. Perfect.
I had settled down into my homework when I heard a voice that could melt chocolate. "Sakura." he said, tapping me on the shoulders. I turned to meet the eyes of Uchiha Sasuke.
Be still, my beating heart.
Sasuke was the one male in the entire school that all girls were after. I'd known him since the first grade, ever since he'd accidentally tripped me and made me spill my cake. It wasn't that that had me in love with him though. It was the fact that he'd made up for it by giving me his own piece, and thereby going cakeless.
Heck, it wasn't even that. There was just something about Sasuke, you know what I mean? I mean, besides the gorgeous looking hair (Naruto was just jealous), and the beautiful black eyes, I just knew that there was a kind streak in him. If there wasn't, he wouldn't be such good friends with Naruto. He wouldn't be so posessive about his tomato plants in the Greenhouse Program. If he wasn't, he wouldn't have given me his cake.
I heard giggling and turned my gaze to his fangirls. They glared at me for a moment and turned to whisper to themselves.
"Sakura?" Sasuke asked me again.
"Yes, Sasuke?" I asked him, wondering frantically if I stank, or if I had something on my face. Sasuke didn't say anything, just handed The Book to me. I blinked and accepted it.
"This is for you." he said solemnly. "Naruto asked me to give it to you. I understand that it is a slam book(1) of kinds?"
"It's more than that." I replied, holding it. "Er, you could have given it to me a little more discreetly you know." I glanced at him. He raised an eyebrow.
"Oh? Would you prefer it in a place where we are all alone, Sakura? With no one around? Perhaps, in an empty classroom or a dark alleyway?" his voice dropped to a whisper. I held the book up in front of me, and opened my mouth to reply.
"We don't need that much secrecy." I said. "I mean--" I stopped. Had he just been flirting with me?
Sasuke laughed aloud, then tapped my head. "You're so painfully oblivious Sakura. To a lot of things." he said, and walked out of the library. I stared after him, and then at The Book.
Could it be...?
Nah. It wasn't possible.
She's certainly something beautiful alright. With nice, short-cropped pink hair and those green eyes. People talk about her forehead, but I stare blankly at them. I think it looks endearing, really. It always has looked endearing on her. Especially when she was a child.
Speaking of which, she's childish. Watching her yell at her best friend today for stealing her soda would have made many a man rethink why they love her.
Not me though.
I'd love her even if she wore rags to school. Because she's just that beautiful.
"UGH!" I grunted, slamming my head onto the pillow. "This is getting stupid, Ino! I just want to find out who the hell this person is! I mean, why can't they just tell me?!"
"You heard them," Ino said calmly, applying lipgloss. "They love the chase. The unconventionalism. The fact that you could wear rags and still look so beautiful." she smirked. "Like I've said before. Sap."
I glared at her, then sat up. "You're not helping." I said, angrily. Ino sighed.
"Maybe not, but whatever." she rolled her eyes. "We've narrowed the list down to how many people?"
"Three." I replied. "Inuzuka Kiba. The only problem with him is that he lacks the vocabulary. Then there's Hyuuga Neji, but he likes Tenten, remember? And lastly, there's Sai."
"The Creeper." we both chorused.
"But it would suit him." Ino mused. "I mean, he's got the personality for it. At any rate, it's not long now. This person hasn't stopped writing yet, and trust me, it won't be long before they let something slip. We'll find out who they are."
I hoped so.
The dance. How many people have asked me to it so far? The sheer amount of rabid fanfemales has gotten alarming, yet the one I want is nowhere in the fray. I feel slight despair at this, but I digress.
Perhaps I'll tell her at this dance. In the middle of the dance floor, where the light shines the brightest and people never think to look. Or will they? I am expected to dance at the middle of the dance floor, as a kind of tribute. Geez. I wish people would just stop expecting so much of me.
Anyways, prepare yourself, Haruno Sakura. You never know when I shall tell you. Or who I shall be.
My eyes bugged out at this declaration. I shoved the book in my bag and hurried home quickly. The dance was tonight. Which meant I had only a few hours to figure out who the hell it was.
Spare me the pain, please.
I opened the door to my house and ran upstairs and quickly called Ino. I pulled the outfit out of my closet and displayed it upon the bed and quickly went to take a shower. By the time I came back out, Ino was sitting on my bed, reading the lastest message.
"Oh my gosh, Sakura!" she squealed. "He's going to tell you!"
"Yes! But I have to find out who he is!" I cried. I didn't know what had come over me, this need to be one step ahead of this person. I had to know who it was. I had to.
"Let's go over the basics." Ino suggested. I began to dress as she recited the many things we knew about this secret admirer. "He's sophisticated, let's say. He's handsome. He's got hoardes of girls after him, and he loves you. He's known you for a long time." she flipped her gaze to me. "Who could it be?"
"I don't know!" I said, putting up my hands in desperation. "The only person I can think of is Sasuke!"
Ino's eyes widened considerably at the revelation. "Sakura...you might be right!" she said. "He fits everything! But, why would he write this stuff in The Book?!"
The Book. The thing that had started all of this. I sighed with irritation as I brushed my hair and teased it into a ponytail above my head. "He's antisocial, remember? Anyways, I don't think it could be him. He's got plenty of girls to choose from." I put my hands down and smoothed my dress over. "I'm ready." I said, quickly getting into my black heels. My dress was a blue colour, with purple streaks. I applied the last bit of makeup I would need and quickly went downstairs and bid goodbye to my mother. We were ready to go.
I wasn't sure I was ready to find out who it was though.
Sasuke...could it be?
I didn't bother to think of it. I would just end up heartbroken. I frankly had no expectations of this person I was going to meet today; if I met him that is. I knew that if I made a picture of him in my mind, I would just end up disappointed.
But still...Sasuke. The image of him floated to the front of my mind as I saw him hold out a single rose to me. I watched him confess to me in my minds eye, and then shook my head. What was I thinking? I wasn't going to end up disappointed, remember? I made a small noise of frustration as my mind refused to leave me alone. But the thoughts quickly flew out of my head as I stepped out of the car in front of my school. The lights were on and the faint sound of music clearly heard. I smiled to myself. It was party time.
The gym was packed with people. The refreshments table was lined up against the wall, with cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and other delectable items ready for consumption. I picked out a table by the dance floor and dragged Ino to it, trying to keep a low profile.
Ino sighed with impatience at me. "Really Sakura, it's just a person who wants to tell you they love you." she said. "By the looks of what they've been writing, it seems as if they really care, you know?"
I stuffed a brownie I'd sniped from the refreshments table into my mouth and glared at Ino. "You don't understand. This is emotionally stressful for me, Ino! For all I know, it could be some ugly person who is just obsessed with me!"
"You're so shallow, Sakura." Ino said, reaching for my cupcake. I moved it away from her. "Anyways, I'm going to go dance. I'm tired of just sitting here." I watched her go with a pang of sadness, and stood up. The room was hot, despite the lights being off. I quickly took two more brownies and made sure no one was looking and exited the gym.
The hallways had a few stragglers. I glanced at them before heading up the stairs as far as they would go. The door opened out into the roof. A cool night breeze washed over me, and I breathed deeply. I had to think. I needed to make sure that my thoughts were straight before I found out who this person was.
Opening my purse, I pulled out The Book. I glanced at the pages, smiling as I read over everything. These were the inner most thoughts of people. No matter what others said about The Book being a waste of time or hurting people's feelings, it was not that. It was the equivilent of people venting on their blogs, except with the added anonymity. There was nothing that could beat the written word.
I came to the page with the first of the message directed at me. The Book hadn't left my bag for two weeks, and I doubted anybody knew about this certain update on my life. I reread the words, tracing them with the pads of my finger. It was a nice thing, I decided, to be loved.
"You still have it with you?" a voice asked. I looked up to see Sasuke standing there, smirking at me. "I wondered where that thing had disappeared. I'd missed it."
I raised one eyebrow. "You write in it? Aren't you one of those people who think it's a waste of time and ink?"
Sasuke smirked. "You'd be surprised at how much I've written in it in the past few days, Sakura." he said. My eyes widened.
"Hush," he said, putting his hand up. "Just hand The Book to me. I'll give it back to you."
I gave it to him without apprehension. He took it from my hands and turned to leave. I watched him go and then found the courage to speak. "Sasuke," I began, "the person who's been writing in the book. They said they loved me. I just want to know if it is true." I watched him for a moment.
He didn't say anything. Then, "You'll find out."
I smiled slightly to myself and turned to look at the view. It wasn't much, just the parking lot. But the stars shone brightly above me in a way that made me feel safe. Loved, I guess.
The dance was still going strong when I went back downstairs. I spotted Ino dancing with Shikamaru and smiled at her. She winked back at me. We had a lot to talk about tonight.
I pushed my way to the middle of the dance floor and gently swayed to the music, by myself. I was unaware of Sasuke until the song ended, at which point I felt a notebook being pressed into my hand.
"Read it," he whispered to me, and left the floor. I glanced down at it and smiled to myself. Flipping it open, I read the latest message.
She loves me. I love her. Hey, this could be the start of something new.
I know I'm terrible at speaking about my feelings, but really, I love Haruno Sakura.
And sometimes, it just takes a lousy Book to get that out.
I smiled and ripped out the pages containing his messages and stuffed them in my purse. Nobody needed to know about this. They would figure it out in time.
The next day, I sat upon the front steps in the morning, looking over my science notes. I spotted Naruto walking up the sidewalk, towards me. "Hey, Sakura..." he began, sheepishly, "you have The Book with you, right?" he asked me.
"Yes." I replied. "I do."
"Oh great, can I have it? I have a confession to make." Naruto said. I pulled it out of my backpack and handed it to him. He grinned widely at me.
"Thanks!" he said, and ran off inside the school. I stared after him, and smiled to myself. I hoped that whatever he had to say got into the right hands.
A/N: Well, this took a while to write, but it was fun. I understand that it's a rather weird piece, so I'm sorry if you don't understand some of the things I've written in here. Other than that, it was extremely fun to write! Thanks for reading this rather unique one-shot, even if I do say so myself. ;-)
(1) Slam book - A notebook passed around junior high/high school students. The keeper poses a question which everyone then has to answer. Everything is anonymous, and sometimes, the questions aren't exactly nice. xP