Chapter Twenty
Round I

Is this the thanks that I get
For putting you bitches on?
Is it my fault
That all of you bitches gone?

Should've sent a thank you note,
You little hoe!
Now I'ma wrap your coffin
With a bow – Nicki Minaj; Roman's Revenge Feat. Eminem

The cute Honda pulled up into the parking lot smoothly, taking its regular spot next to the blue Mercedes in the front parking lot by the school. For a school full of irresponsible kids who wrecked other people's stuff and fought and tried to kill each other over the smallest things, Tenten had to admit that in the short time she'd been there already, there had been surprisingly no damage to her car. The students might have tried to kill her, ruined her relationship with Neji once, and tried to jump her or fight her over the smallest things, yet they hadn't inflicted any damage to her car, and for some odd reason, she appreciated that.

She could only imagine the mess she'd have to clean up if they smashed the windows and scratched up the paint. The simple thought of shattered glass made her shudder, seeing as it reminded her so much of all the broken China she'd had to clean up the other night. It reminded her of all of the DVDs she'd thrown around that she had to pick up and all of the things she had to turn back over. She shook her head. "I really need to learn to control my anger," she said, almost inaudibly, to herself. She grabbed her book-bag out of the backseat of the car, took her key out of the ignition, and stepped out of the car, closing the door behind her.

She made her way out of the parking lot and toward the front steps where she knew for sure that her friends were waiting with huge smiles on their faces, already knowing the news that she and Neji were on again. The simple thought made her smile as she reached the front steps. "Hey, guys," she said, giving them all a kind smile. The girls simply grinned back, not bothering to say "hi" back. The guys all gave a nonchalant wave. Tenten raised an eyebrow at all of her female friends.

"Uh, what's up? Why are you all grinning like idiots?" Even though she already knew the reason, their grins were kind of creeping her out. All except for Hinata, whom she was sure could never be creepy in any way possible in her entire lifetime. Sakura was the first one to speak what was on everybody's mind. "You and Neji are back together, right?" Tenten blinked for a few seconds, and then shook her head.

"Um, no; who told you that lie?" She sent Neji a hateful glare with a silent message, 'Play along' and she hoped that he would take the hint. "Did he tell you?" Tenten shook her head in "disgust" and crossed her arms over her chest. "Honestly, I know you're a bit obsessed with me but lying and saying we go out? What the fuck is wrong with your life?" The girls all looked up at her, shocked beyond belief at how Tenten was acting. She fought down what had to be the wildest impulse to laugh of her life and continued on. "See, this is why I can't stand you! You always aim to fuck up my life because yours is so fucked up! Just because you aren't happy with your life doesn't mean you have to mess it up for everyone else!"

With that, she pounded up the stairs and into the building, slamming the door open so hard that it hit the wall inside the school and immediately starting closing behind her from the impact. As soon as the door closed, however, she burst back out, laughing like a young child being chased by a little crush in a game of tag. She walked down a couple of steps and wrapped her arms around Neji's neck, blushing a light pink across her tan cheeks. "Oh, I'm kidding; Neji's my baby."

She kissed his cheek softly and let out a cute giggle. Her friends all seemed to have the color rushing back into their cheeks as they all let out small sighs of relief; all except for Hinata, who'd known the truth. She smiled at the couple softly, and gave them a small thumbs up, to which Tenten grinned and Neji blushed lightly.

Tenten sat down next to Neji on the steps and leaned her head against his shoulder, getting herself comfortable with a small smile on her face. Neji, in turn, turned his head and kissed her lightly on hers. Her smile broadened the slightest as she closed her eyes for a second, savoring the moment. He made her feel protected and safe then, something she hadn't felt since her parents had been murdered and she'd been shot.

She hadn't necessarily known she'd wanted to feel safe, nor had she known that she needed it as well. Neji was her safe haven, her home. Wherever he went, she could lay her head down to sleep. It didn't matter whether they were in a million dollar mansion or a run-down shack. Neji was her comfort. She lifted her head to look at his profile for a minute as their friends let out their little "I knew it"s and "Finally"s. His chiseled jaw and straight nose were still, his face emotionless – save for a light blush across his cheeks.

His eyes though. They killed her. There was a sweet emotion showing deep inside, one intertwined with a happiness and joy that resembled that of a five year old getting candy, presents, and a new toy. She couldn't stop herself. She put her hands on his cheeks and pulled his face to hers. Their friends were still going on happily, barely noticing what Tenten was doing until she brought her lips to his.

He reacted automatically, instantly. He didn't think twice about kissing her back just as much as she was kissing him. The chatter around them stopped, and all of their friends turned to look at them with their lips pulled up into slight smiles. Tenten was in perfect bliss then. Her heart soared and her lips smiled. Her eyes, although closed, could see him right in front of her; his own eyes closed, the long lashes black against his pale cheeks. His arm wrapped around her neck and pulled her in closer. She felt his other hand come up and stroke her own cheek, and the feeling in her chest grew. The warmth in there exploded, and suddenly he was the only thing important in their world. It wasn't necessarily like no one was there – she knew damn well they were – but more like they were there, but didn't matter. All that mattered at the moment was Neji, and her and Neji, and the fact that they were there, together as a couple, lips locked in a testament of their love.

What felt like hours was mere seconds, and what felt like years was mere minutes. Yet it was those mere minutes that felt like an eternity of loving and being loved by Neji. It was then and there that she knew she loved the guy more than words could explain.

Neji himself was thinking the same thing, feeling the same thing. He felt as though an old part of him had been awakened, a part of him that had been at the point of coming back when he and Tenten first got together, a part of him that died the day his father did. It was love, pure and simple, filtering into his body. All the love that had disappeared from his life when his father had died was slowly being added back, the empty, dark hole being replaced by Tenten's affection.

Their lips parted, and the rest of the world crashed back into place around them. That was when Neji made his decision.

Tenten, who was rather empty now that their kiss had ended, was suddenly aware that more than just her circle of friends had been watching them kiss. There were students all over campus who had been staring in their direction. She blushed a slight shade of pink in subconsciousness and let out a small laugh that reigned along with the silence of her friends. They were all smiling, almost grinning, from ear to ear.

"Glad to have you guys back," Sakura said, rolling her emerald eyes, the smile still plastered on her face. She patted Tenten lightly on the knee before she leaned back against Sasuke's muscled arm. His response to this was a simple, "hn" and a smirk.

"Even though," Ino chided in, "Neji's sitting there acting like nothing just happened." Tenten, in pure curiosity, glanced over at Neji. He shrugged his shoulders as he leaned forward, elbows on his knees, hands together, covering the mouth of his famous expressionless façade. His girlfriend let out a sigh and shook her head side to side. "I swear Neji, you and the lack of emotion." She smiled softly though, and threw an arm around his shoulders, leaning her head against him as he thought. She could tell he was pondering something big, but didn't bother or pry. She was just happy to be there, leaning against his warmth. For someone so cold, he's considerably warm.

"So, yeah, have you guys seen those new Uggs they have down in the mall in the Shoe Superstore?"

Ino's question broke everyone's focus on Neji and Tenten, particularly the females. Temari nodded as a response. "I've seen them. They're so cute! I swear, I love how they actually sell them in stores now! It just makes it so much easier to get a pair!" Her voice was punctuated with actual enthusiasm. She was a boot fanatic. The price didn't matter. Temari's closet happened to be full of collections of Uggs, Ed Hardy boots, Stiletto boots ("For those Saturday nights at the club" as she would tell anyone who knew), and even the cute little nameless boots that anyone could find at the department stores.

Sakura quickly joined the conversation, being a general shoe fan herself. "I haven't seen them! Oh God, where have I been? I have to take a trip to the mall."

The conversation carried on between them, with Hinata making small remarks and comments on Uggs and how she thought they were cute. Tenten just watched them with a smile on her face until the bell rang. When it did, she collected her things and headed to class, with Neji walking beside her the whole way there.

xXOXx

She was bubbling with happiness. They were back together. A smile slid over her face at the thought of it. It was such a beautiful thing when one thought about it. There was a love between them that was irreplaceable; it was evident when they kissed. The feelings would radiate from them just as the sun radiated heat. Everyone around them would feel the warmth within themselves; they couldn't help but smile. Karin shook her head back and forth and tried to focus on what was happening, on what the teacher was saying, but what he said went in one ear and out the other. She was entirely too unfocused on his lesson to even begin to comprehend what he was talking about. She was vaguely aware that she was in her homeroom, which was Honors Anatomy and Physiology.

Karin was, by no means stupid. She actually intended on becoming a nurse. She was no Sakura, who planned on going the whole nine yards and becoming a surgeon. However, she was not dumb, as most people believed her to be. Hanging with Ami had benefits, and yet so many negative consequences. People assumed that she was an easy little tramp; that was not the case either. Yes, she worked at a strip club, and she was sure that there were people beyond Ami and her new friends that knew that. However, that was for money; it wasn't like she went home with any of the guys. She wasn't that stupid. She actually protected herself very well considering her line of work, strapping guns to her stomach and knives to her thighs, as well as keeping a bottle of pepper spray handy in her purse in case anyone from the club got too fresh.

She was paid to pole dance and strip as well as give personal strip teases; the men could look, but not touch. It was a strip club, not a prostitution business. They might have been similar in most people's book, however those were mainly the people who had never been to a strip club themselves and experienced the way things were. They were utterly clueless.

The little redhead was bright in her own respect, street and book smart. She also was quite gifted with common logic as well as fashion. She was a multi-talented girl. When she looked back on it and reflected, it almost made her sad that she had wasted so much time with the likes of Ami. Even when her teachers couldn't stand her, they had believed in her potential. Now they were seeing the real deal, even if she couldn't focus at the moment.

She just barely heard the words muscle contraction. They slipped through her mind so quick she just barely caught hold of them and realized that they were discussing the muscular system in the human body. She smiled softly to herself. This was one of the parts she had secretly been most anxious to learn about and yet here she was not even paying attention. She was too wrapped in her thoughts about Neji and Tenten.

She found it strange how all of their friends had love in their lives and yet they were all so ecstatic about Neji and Tenten getting together. They were a good group of people. Had it been Ami, she would've spat in the face of such things. She hated the idea of love – she lived in lust – and her thing with Neji was mere obsession. She tended to find herself with strange college men a lot. Karin knew these things simply by being in Ami's group. She'd come in some days bragging that she did a college guy, about how he kept saying that she was the best he's ever had. This happened at least once every two weeks. It was like she reveled in having sex with men she didn't know. Ami wasn't an idiot, she used both birth control and condoms, however she had sex so often that Karin was pretty sure she knew where she was headed.

She couldn't help but think about what would happen when Ami found out that Neji and Tenten were back on, because it was surely inevitable. Ami would find out sooner or later, and Karin was sure that she would be coming back for a hearty serving of Tenten's fists - and Neji if she managed to tie him down and molest him.

Karin adjusted her glasses and folded her hands out in front of her. She mentally smacked herself and forced her mind to pay attention. She promised herself that she was now going to focus on the lesson for the remainder of the hour instead of daze off in her thoughts about love and lust and past friends that might as well have become old enemies.

xXOXx

Neji was fighting down smiles again. It was one of the few times in his life that he had actually wanted to smile. His pride didn't allow him to – it would hurt his ego so badly that he was sure he'd never be able to live it down, especially with Sasuke sitting right next to him.

They were in second period by now, which just so happened to be the period that Neji and Sasuke, although in separate grades, had Advanced Placement Chemistry together. They were currently dealing with a bunch of three molar hydrochloric acid, so it was in both of their best interests to focus on their assignment so as to not acquire any unnecessary burns. Neji was not in the most focused mindset in class for once in his life. His thoughts were solely on Tenten.

She was plaguing his mind yet again, only this time it was only considered plaguing due to the simple fact that he was in such an advanced course and really should be focused on his work. She kept skittering through his thoughts; it was absurd, and yet he enjoyed it. Every single time an image of her cherubic cheeks and chocolate eyes popped into his head, he felt a warm tingle somewhere deep inside of him. It seemed childish, it was childish, but it was true. The fact that he was able to cup that chubby-cheeked face and kiss those soft pink lips she possessed made him feel entirely too elated to be focused on anything but her at the moment.

He couldn't help himself; he smiled.

Sasuke caught him as soon as he let it slip. "Oy, Hyuga, quit thinking about Tenten being naked and whatnot and get focused. If you spill any of this I'll make sure some of it happens to land on you, understand?" Neji merely nodded, although he still didn't come into complete focus again. He merely raised his eyebrow and stared at the amount of hydrochloric acid in the graduated cylinder he was holding, absentmindedly scanned the same sentence on the page a good four or five times to let what he read sink in about half way, and then poured the substance into the appropriate container. It was enough to throw Sasuke off for a few more minutes, at least until what Sasuke said sunk in.

He looked at his lab partner and took note of the bastard's cocky smirk as he worked, as if to say, "He's so distracted he didn't even notice." He cleared his throat once and gave the boy before him the rudest glare he'd ever given anyone. "What the hell did you say about Tenten being naked?"

The kid before him let his smirk grow wide at his response. "It took you long enough, Hyuga. You had me worried you weren't ever going to come back from picturing Tenten naked. Is it really that nice?"

Neji automatically swung out to punch his lab partner, who simply evaded it and let out a deep rumble of a chuckle. He gritted his teeth, tightening his fist. "Uchiha, you'd better not make another crack like that while I'm around all of these dangerous ass chemicals. I will kill you."

The Uchiha before him only let his smirk widen as he responded easily, his onyx eyes holding Neji's own white ones steadily. "Not if I tell Tenten that you're threatening me first." Neji narrowed his eyes. "And how the hell do you propose to do that?"

Sasuke raised an eyebrow at his lab partner and pointed behind himself with his thumb. "Are you really that out of it, Hyuga? She's in this class."

Oh yeah.

He'd completely forgotten about that. She was – in fact – in his class, and she was – as a matter of fact – looking over at where he and Sasuke were standing, an eyebrow raised at the way Sasuke was pointing back at her with his thumb. "Can I help you, Sasuke?" She pursed her lips as she looked over at the boys, sloshing the contents of the beaker she held in her hand lightly. Her chocolate eyes were filled with curiosity.

Neji simply shook his head no as he mentally cursed the instructor for giving him such an asshole for a partner.

Imagine, Neji Hyuga calling someone an asshole.

Sasuke, on the other hand, spoke over his shoulder as soon as Neji shook his head. "Actually yes, Tenten, you could help me." He turned and pointed his thumb over his shoulder at the long-haired Hyuga behind him. "Your boyfriend here is threatening to kill me with hydrochloric acid."

At this, Neji himself raised a perfect eyebrow, nearly mimicking his girlfriend. "Actually, Uchiha," he stated, "I wasn't threatening to kill you with hydrochloric acid. I was threatening to kill you with any of the chemicals that are lain out on the table. If need be I'd grab anything and just dump it on your head."

The Uchiha glanced over his shoulder for a moment before turning back to face Tenten. "You see? He's threatening to kill me with dangerous substances. You should stop him before he commits murder and lands himself in prison."

Tenten raised her eyebrow slightly higher before she cleared her throat and responded to all of this. "May I ask why exactly he's trying to kill you?" At this Sasuke narrowed his eyes and furrowed his brow. Like Tenten, he cleared his throat before going in to respond. "Uh, about that – you know this is advance placement chem., and he was being all distracted and thinking of you naked and whatnot so I calmly told him to snap out of it and focus on what we were doing so that he wouldn't spill anything and injure someone. Well he ignored me and kept right on thinking about it for a while longer until he realized what I'd calmly told him and started bitching out about it. Then he started threatening to kill me with the supplies."

Neji scoffed as Tenten calmly placed her free hand on her hip and gave Sasuke an "are you serious?" face. "Seriously? You expect me to believe that Neji is sitting here in class picturing me naked?"

The class went silent, entirely focused on the end of Tenten's sentence. She noticed this and removed her hand on her hip to quickly place it over her mouth, blushing a deep red. Neji simply closed his eyes and cast his unseeing gaze downward. Fucking Uchiha bringing up the topic. Sasuke was simply more than amused. His eyebrows were furrowed into the smirk that was deeply planted on his face as he looked over at his humiliated genius friend. "Oh look, Tenten, now you've gone and let the whole class know what Hyuga was thinking. Tsk, tsk, tsk; after I tried so hard to keep it discreet for the guy."

Tenten sent him a glare that could kill any immortal. "What's your vision of discreet then, Uchiha? You told me across the classroom." His smirk twitched for a moment before broadening in the slightest. "And why is it that I spoke to you from across the classroom but the class quieted down when you said it." Her blush increased in the slightest. She looked down at the set of chemicals next to her on the table, thinking of how tempting Neji's idea of spilling the nearest substance on Sasuke's head seemed at the moment. "It's only because I said Neji's actual name and naked in the same sentence."

There was the sound of uncomfortable shuffling in the classroom, although some students boldly looked at her and nodded, not bothering to hide their interest in the topic. Most of those students, however, were fangirls, so it was a wonder they wanted to hear about Neji naked. Although hearing Tenten say it was another key reason as to why they nodded their heads somewhat defiantly; they disliked that it came from her mouth.

She easily ignored them as she waited for Sasuke to respond, placing her hand back on her hip and raising an eyebrow easily. Said boy cleared his throat again and looked her straight in the face. "Or maybe it's just because you said the word naked in general out loud – and across the classroom no less." She laughed a bit, but rolled her eyes. "Trust me, it's because I said Neji and naked in the same sentence; it doesn't matter how low or how loud I said it. These horny ass fangirls would've picked it up and dropped dead silent anyway."

There was more shuffling from the females in the class; some went as far as throwing Tenten a couple of glares. "Anyone would go silent at hearing the word naked."

"You didn't go silent."

"Because I know what the conversation is actually about."

"Speaking of that conversation you still haven't answered my question, Sasuke."

He raised a brow back at her, his smirk dancing from one side of his face to the other side easily. "I haven't answered because you should know the answer to that question yourself." Tenten only raised her eyebrow higher at his response before letting out a small sigh. "Sasuke, you might think I know the answer, but I know damn well that I don't, and we could easily spend the rest of the class period talking about it and trying to resolve this but I have a lab today – one that I don't feel like not finishing and getting a bad grade on. So if you don't mind. . ."

With that she turned back to her own lab and continued working as if nothing had happened, despite the glares she was getting from the fangirls – both Neji's (especially Neji's actually) and Sasuke's. Just like before she easily ignored them, mixing the needed chemicals the way the procedure mentioned they needed to be mixed nonchalantly. Her own lab partner merely stared at her herself, blinking at her as if expecting something else. Tenten ignored her as well, deciding that she could finish the lab without her assistance.

She'd fallen really far into focus with her work, going into an almost trancelike state even – mixing substances almost as proficiently and accurately as an expensive model-of-the-year machine made to do that specific job. A small smile befell her lips as the solution she'd created started bubbling. It was a smile that was wiped off her face all too soon as one of Neji's fangirls spoke out.

"Uh, why were you talking about Neji-kun being naked?"

Another one chimed in easily. "Yeah, I thought you guys were over a month ago already!"

Her face fell into a deep scowl, her hand tightening around the beaker that she was holding ever so slightly. Her teeth ground against each other softly, her brows coming down into a scowl. She placed the beaker down on the table lightly, taking a deep breath.

"Are you really that desperate for him?"

"It's useless. You know he doesn't want you anymore, right?"

She grabbed the edge of the table tightly, feeling the anger rising within her, slowly transforming itself into actual rage as the fangirls continued on with their unwise words. Each one that interjected their own words got braver and more reckless as they spoke, considering who they were talking to.

"Get over him already, desperate tramp."

"He's been over you for a while now. I mean hello, he broke up with you after being with you for what? A day? How much more obvious can it get?"

She could feel the vein popping out on the side of her head already as she tightened her grip on the corner of the table. She ground her teeth together a bit harder now, the rage bubbling, gradually raising its way up. Her breathing was coming a bit quicker.

She could feel all the eyes in the room on her, save for Kakashi – the teacher of all people – who appeared to be completely engrossed in that book he was always reading and, as a result, completely oblivious to the situation at hand.

"Seriously, are you that obsessed with him?"

"Yeah, are you that stuck on his dick?"

That'd done it. She'd reached her point. Her knuckles cracked dangerously as she removed her powerful grip from the table to raise her fists at the group of fangirls that had all begun surrounding her. Her scowl had deepened into a glare full of rage, brown eyes full with killing intent.

"I'm the one stuck on his dick?"

Her voice was dangerously low as she spoke, taking a step toward the particular fangirl who'd said the words that'd finally set her off. She sauntered over with about as much grace as a truck, stomping down on the tiled floor of the classroom, her shoes making soft scuffling sounds despite crashing into the floor as hard as they did.

"I'm the one that's obsessed with him."

She took a look around to glare at the girl who'd said those particular words before continuing to the last one who'd spoken. Her face was contorted into one of defiance, eyebrow quirked upward in challenge, lip curled in disgust as Tenten approached her. Her arms were crossed over her chest haughtily, as if truly daring Tenten to do something about it. Oh she was in for it.

Tenten latched a hand onto the front of the girl's shirt, easily lifting her off the ground. "I'm the desperate tramp?" She ground her teeth in the face of the girl before turning and pushing her up against the nearest wall, still supporting her only with the one hand.

Her back made a harsh thud noise as a small squeak of pain escaped her. Tenten saw the fear slowly settle onto her face. Her lips twisted upward into a cruel smile.

"I'll have you know you desperate bitch," she began as she removed the girl from the wall and slammed her up against it again, "that Neji-kun, as all you whores put it, is not 'over me' as you guys say." She removed her from the wall yet again and then slammed her against it a little higher this time. The girl winced as she looked back at Tenten, attempting to remove her grip.

"As a matter of fact, Neji-kun and I are back together." She ignored the gasps and upset moans of the fangirls around her as she leaned in to the girl, bringing her down so that they were eye level. By this time, she could see the absolute horror in her eyes.

Good. She deserves to be scared.

She took the girl out from against the wall for the last time and held her up in the air just above where her feet were able to touch. Said girl leaned her head back slightly, although she did not remove her gaze from Tenten's face. Her teeth clenched in fear at the absolutely murderous look the brunette holding her had across her face.

"So you'd better fucking watch what you say, you dumb bitch." That being said, she turned and tossed her into the aisle between the tables. She landed on her back with another thud although this one was louder than the ones from when she'd been slammed against the wall. A soft cry of pain escaped her as the tears began to fall.

Mortified, she picked herself up, adjusting her gray ruffle mini as she did, and bolted out of the door before anyone could say a word. Tenten didn't remove her gaze from the girl until she was down the rest of the hall. She spun to face the rest of the group, settling her angry glare on them all.

"And for the record we weren't discussing Neji being naked. How would that look considering the fact that I was talking to Sasuke of all people?" She raised an angry eyebrow at them all, allowing her breath to escape her in a rather loud huff. "You guys really should learn to mind your own business, or at least learn to get the facts straight if you try and be nosy. I didn't say, 'Neji was naked' or 'picture Neji naked'. I said 'You expect me to believe Neji is sitting here in class picturing me naked?' so get the fuck over yourselves, or you'll all end up like that girl back there." She gestured behind her back toward the doorway. She knew they all caught her drift. "Let that be my first and final warning to all of you stupid ass whores." She made sure to remember their faces. "Now, anyone else wanna go?"

No one made a move to answer. Her smile was cold and dangerous as she assessed them, eyes narrowed in malice – for her rage hadn't yet dissipated entirely. "Well?" She prodded them, raising an eyebrow in challenge much in the same way the girl she'd just attacked had done to her. "I asked a question; I expect an answer."

Slowly, the girls in the group all shook their heads. Her smile broadened into a deep, cruel smirk as she placed her hands on her hips.

"Good."

And with that, she stepped over to Neji, gave him a small peck on the lips, and returned to her work station to record her observations of the lab on the lab report sheet they'd been handed at the beginning of class.

She had been beginning to fall into it when another fangirl spoke.

"Is it just me, or did it look like Neji-kun didn't want to give her that kiss."

The cold, dangerous smile reappeared.

xXOXx

Sakura let out a small yawn as she made her way down the hall to the cafeteria, a small, content smile adorning her face as she raised her hand to muffle it. Her green eyes watered the slightest in response to the yawn as she pushed open the metal doors and walked into the full, loud room, making her way over to the lunch line. She quickly picked up a green apple, a chocolate chip cookie, a bottle of mango juice, and some French fries before making her way over to the table where she usually sat. Naruto greeted her with a short "Hey Sakura-chan" as he gulped down another chunk of his pizza. Hinata smiled sweetly and simply waved at her. Sakura waved back equally sweetly.

Ino gave her a lazy flick of the hand in greeting as she spoke to Kiba animatedly, blue eyes practically sparkling. Sakura smiled at the sight of them; they were so cute!

They were the only ones from their group at lunch so far; Karin didn't have the same lunch period as them and the rest were simply not there yet.

Sakura picked up a French fry and began to nonchalantly eat her lunch, checking the cafeteria doors every so often to see if her friends were arriving at all. A few minutes after she'd begun eating her lunch, she saw Shikamaru walk in with Temari out of the corner of her eye, fingers intertwined and arms crossed. She smiled slightly at the sight as she picked up another salted fry and dipped it in ketchup.

Said couple went up to get their lunch and sat down just a few minutes later, waving their hellos to everyone before settling down and beginning their lunch. No one said much after that – only the girlfriends to their respective boyfriends, which made Sakura ponder where hers currently was. She frowned at the thought and pursed her lips, resting her head against her fist in thought, the now empty tray placed before her on the table.

I wonder where Sasuke is.

Her curiosity only grew as time passed and the end of the lunch period began coming ever nearer. She furrowed her brow further and turned to speak to Temari. "Hey Temari, have you seen Sasuke?" Temari, who had been attempting to forcefully shove a fry into Shikamaru's mouth, paused and turned to look at Sakura, lips pursed in thought. "Um, actually no I haven't," she responded after a moment. Sakura sighed and another moment passed before Temari added, "Actually, come to think of it, I haven't seen Neji or Tenten either."

The pink-haired girl put a finger to her chin, her eyebrows raising a little as she took that into consideration. "Hmm, that's strange. Even when they were fighting, Tenten and Neji still came to lunch and talked to everybody." A small, reminiscent smile graced her features for the briefest instant before she fell back into her look of curiosity.

"Didn't they all have AP Chemistry today, Sakura-chan?"

Sakura raised her head to look at Hinata, eyes widened slightly in surprise; she didn't know Hinata had been listening. She thought for a moment and then nodded. "That's right, they did! So then why aren't they here?" Hinata's indigo eyebrows pinched inward at the question. She began toying with her fingers a bit, a habit that she'd developed out of embarrassment and now resorted to only when thinking. "Um, maybe something happened to them in class so they weren't able to come."

The pink-haired girl let out yet another sigh and threw her head back slightly, mouth twisting downward into a grimace. "What the hell could possibly go wrong? It's full of nerds." Hinata nodded and added, "That may be true, but both Neji and Sasuke are in that class as well. They might have some fangirls in there with them."

A pink eyebrow twitched slightly, a peach-porcelain fist slowly becoming visible on the table. Sakura tilted her head back down, keeping it level as her grimace became more apparent. One of her slim eyebrows arched up slightly as she tightened her fist. "Heh, I dare one of those damn fangirls to try and lay a hand on Sasuke. I'll fucking massacre them, heh-heh." Her aura flared violently, and the others around the table shifted uncomfortably as a response – at least until the three teenagers who had been missing in action walked into the lunchroom.

Neji and Tenten quickly took their seats in their usual spots with Tenten next to Hinata and Neji next to Tenten, who let out a rather loud huff as she sat. Sasuke simply placed an affectionate kiss on Sakura's cheek before taking his seat next to her and setting his notebook down on the table.

"Oh well look who finally decided to show up." The pinkette sent her boyfriend a dangerous glare along with those words. "Where the hell were you?" Sasuke merely let out a sigh as he placed an arm on top of his notebook and leaned his face against the corresponding hand. "I was stuck after class with Kakashi-sensei." Sakura raised an eyebrow for what felt like the millionth time that day. "And why would that be?"

A rather annoyed look crossed her boyfriend's features as he turned and looked at Neji and Tenten, who merely raised an eyebrow each themselves at him. "What?" They spoke simultaneously, Neji's deep voice shadowing Tenten's smooth and melodic one. "Kakashi kept us after class because Hyuga's fangirls wouldn't quit bugging Tenten."

She looked at her boyfriend with her eyebrow still raised and tilted her head to the side slightly, a questioning look on her face. "So? What does that have to do with you?"

Sasuke opened his mouth to speak but Neji cut him off. "Actually, it's all because of him. He was making fun of me in class and saying I was picturing Tenten naked when I really wasn't, so when I threatened to kill him with the chemicals we were mixing, he turned to Tenten to complain about it." He paused, causing Sakura to raise her eyebrow yet again in question as she looked at the couple that sat diagonally across from her. "Okay? So how does this lead to fangirls bugging Tenten if all he did was turn to her and say that Neji was threatening to kill him with chemicals?"

Tenten let out a huff, arms crossed over her chest, and picked up where Neji left off with a sharp nod. "Hmm, well you see, I was curious as to why Neji would want to kill Sasuke; I mean, there had to be a reason right? So I asked Sasuke what this reason was and he sold me the bullshit that it was AP Chemistry so Neji shouldn't have been distracted with thoughts of me naked or else he'd spill something on someone and hurt them without meaning to. Anyway, I asked him if he really expected me to believe that Neji was sitting there in AP Chemistry picturing me naked and the rest of the class just quieted down and started listening in on our conversation. Sasuke here tried to drag it on but I cut it off and got back to work.

"Anyway, I was working and was finishing up the actual lab part of the lab when those little bitches started off with their 'oh why did she say Neji-kun and naked in the same sentence! Doesn't she know that he's over her! Is she really that stuck on his dick?' and blah." She made a quick mocking face as she quoted the fangirls, sticking her tongue out in annoyance. "Anyway, naturally I got upset; I was trying to calm down but the little bitches wouldn't shut up, so I had to shut them up."

At this, Sasuke let out a cough that sounded something like "Ahem, almost kill them" before Tenten could continue. Said brunette merely smirked evilly for a moment before dropping back to a nonchalant face and continuing. "Anyway, after I finished shutting them up I got back to work with the lab and started on my lab report, but not before I went over and kissed Neji to prove a point. Not even five minutes passed before another little bitch had the nerve to say 'Is it me or did it look like Neji-kun didn't want to kiss her?'" She stuck her tongue out again, arms still crossed in annoyance.

"So in conclusion," Sasuke said, bringing his girlfriend's attention back to him, "Tenten kicked her ass to Kingdom Come and because both me and Neji were involved in some way, shape, or form, we had to stay after and speak with Kakashi. Apparently he was okay with Tenten fighting, but our supposed 'loud antics' had distracted the rest of the class and prevented them from doing their work, so he made us stay after and finish our labs plus go around and clean up everyone's stations while everyone left."

She looked at her boyfriend with a look of confused puzzlement. "Wait, so let me get this straight; you guys didn't get in trouble because you brought up a topic that consequently led to Tenten fighting, yet you were accused of having conversations that were too loud so they distracted the class and as a result you had to stay and clean up everyone else's mess?" Her own words confused her for a moment, up until her boyfriend nodded.

"How in the living hell does that make sense?"

He shrugged his shoulders and shook his head, eyes never leaving her gaze. She let out a soft sigh. "Well damn it; he just made you miss your lunch period."

Tenten and Neji shrugged their shoulders in a sort of 'I don't care' type of way while Sasuke threw an arm around Sakura's shoulders. "It doesn't bother me. At least I made it before the period actually ended." His girlfriend pouted in the slightest. "But you don't have enough time to eat. That's not good; you won't have energy for the rest of your classes."

He placed a hand on her head and ruffled her hair slightly, causing her to let out a rather annoyed "hey!" He gave a sly grin at her embarrassment. "You worry too much, I'll be fine. It's not like I'll pass out or anything. I had that big breakfast you served me this morning anyway." His grin widened slightly as he caught sight of the light blush that began to tint her cheeks. She could've sworn she saw a small, mischievous twinkle somewhere in the depths of those pools of onyx. He'd obviously meant to throw a double meaning in his words.

As a matter of fact it was his words that caused Ino – who had surprisingly stopped talking with Kiba to listen to the whole ordeal about the AP Chemistry class – to immediately take on a sly grin herself and speak up to tease Sakura. "Gee, Sakura I wonder what kind of breakfast you served him." She gave her a slight wink and then laughed when Sakura's blush deepened.

"It was nothing like that, I swear!"

Ino raised a blond eyebrow in challenge, a smirk adorning her pale face. "Oh really? Then what is it? I mean if I do remember correctly, you walked into the cafeteria today looking pretty content about something."

She felt her face grow ever hotter as she replied, despite the fact that she and Sasuke really hadn't done anything. "I was just smiling like that because I had been thinking of Neji and Tenten finally getting back together! And anyway I really did make him breakfast. I cooked him some eggs and toast and bacon and whatnot and then I force-fed him some oatmeal and orange juice."

Her blond best friend didn't lower her eyebrow at all. "Oh really? Then how come he was hinting that you two actually did something?" Her smirk broadened as Sakura's face began rivaling that of any fire truck. "It's just because he grabbed my arm this morning and pulled me in to a kiss while I was force-feeding him. That's it."

There was a long pause in which everyone at the table looked over at Sakura amusedly, reveling in her embarrassment – all save for Hinata, who knew what it was like to be under such embarrassment at times and had blushed just as dark as she was at the moment at others. Sasuke chuckled at his girlfriend's embarrassment and brought her in to lean against his chest. She 'eep'ed in surprise, her blush deepening as her head landed on his torso. "Sasuke!" He ruffled her hair yet again, causing strands to fall into her face over her eyes. Out of sheer habit, she began trying to resist.

"Oh relax," he said. "You'll live. Just because your hair's been displaced doesn't mean much. You're still beautiful."

His words made her freeze against him, completely stopping her resisting as she tilted her head back to look at his face. There wasn't a single glimmer of malice in his eyes, nor the slightest hint of a lip quirked slightly upward in sly cockiness; he was absolutely serious.

The blush that had quieted down when she'd begun resisting him appeared on her face, although at a much less loud volume, tinting her peach-porcelain cheeks a light pink as she averted her gaze with a soft smile before pulling Sasuke's face down into a kiss.

It was odd; they'd never actually kissed in front of their friends before – at least not on the lips as they were now. She'd kissed him plenty of times on the cheek, and they'd held hands to and from particular classes, especially ones that they happened to have together. They'd at times even stand with his arms wrapped around her waist and her head leaned against him but that had been as far as their public displays of affection would go. She was sure that such a sight would completely freak out the student population that was currently in their lunch wave, including their friends, who she was absolutely positive that for the past month had been dying to see something such as this.

She smiled against his lips, her hands slipping down from his cheeks to his neck, her thumbs brushing the spots where his cheek met his strong jaw. The kiss was entirely chaste, and lasted no more than a few seconds, but when she pulled away she felt her beating rapidly in her chest, not to mention the wild butterflies fluttering around in her stomach. She found it absolutely amazing that after knowing him for so long and finally having him that he could still manage to make her feel that way. She could feel the warmth and happiness radiating from her own body in the form of an intense blush as she looked up into his onyx orbs. They appeared to hold a smile despite the fact that he had absolutely no expression whatsoever.

At least until his usual cocky smirk slid back into place. "Someone's having some odd mood swings. What, are you pregnant?" A false look of surprise came over his face as Sakura blushed profusely yet again. "And you didn't tell me we were expecting?" He changed his face to a more questioning look of disapproval – as if she really was pregnant and hadn't told him earlier – as Sakura slipped the notebook out from under his arm.

Before he could respond, she slammed the notebook down hard onto his head, causing it to make a loud whacking sound. She held it to the side angrily, the black cover seemingly matching her dangerously embarrassed mood. "Damn it, Sasuke! Quit making it seem like we've done things we haven't done!"

Said boy merely placed a hand over his head in annoyance, rubbing the abused spot as his blond haired best friend pointed a finger at him and laughed in absolute mirth. "About time Sasuke-teme could feel what he's been doing to me for years!" He spoke between uncontrollable bursts of laughter as Hinata fixed him with a worried gaze and a light hand on his shoulder.

"Shut up Naruto! She's only this upset because –"

"Because what?" She cut him off dangerously, voice raised angrily, brows pulled down into the deepest glare he'd ever seen on the pink-haired girl's face in the time that he'd known her. He opened his mouth to stutter out an ending to that sentence that would save him from his impending doom, however absolutely nothing came to mind.

It didn't matter in the slightest, however, because the bell rang just as his girlfriend began quivering in rage. He reached out a hand to touch her, but she quickly stood, grabbed her tray, dumped her trash and, tossing his notebook back onto the table, stalked out of the cafeteria before he could even come close to reaching her. He sat there dumbfounded at her actions, a facial expression managing to escape from his near perfect control of his expressions and showing his shock to anyone who walked by.

Neji caught sight of his lab partner and raised an eyebrow as he stood with Tenten, holding her hand in his lightly. He pulled Tenten over to Sasuke with him, tapped the raven-haired boy and the shoulder, and said in a neutral tone, "I think you might've gone a little too far."

The Uchiha turned and gave him the rudest glare he would ever give to one of his friends – one that verged on being full of honest dislike – and responded with, "Well no shit, Hyuga-Sherlock?"

Neji merely shrugged and said, "I'm not one to really tell you much, but you should go after her; it usually works." He cast his girlfriend a sidelong glance to which she returned with a bright smile after she noticed him looking at her. She nodded before chiding in. "It really does work." She sent Neji a quick knowing look as she continued. "She might be pissed at first – actually knowing Sakura she will be pissed at first – but going after her shows that you're sorry, or you know something like it." She smiled at him reassuringly as she placed a hand on his head and ruffled his raven hair. "That by itself will make her less mad or not-mad anymore."

Sasuke frowned and looked up at his now messily arranged bangs before blowing a strand out of his eyes and looking up at the brown-eyed girl he'd come to love as if she were his sister. The look in his eyes was just the slightest bit suspicious. "Oh really, now?"

She nodded, her smile brilliant and unwavering. He gave her a calm yet sly smirk. "How are you so sure that it'll work? Did Hyuga here do this?" He transferred his gaze over to her boyfriend, the knowing look in his eye growing as he saw Neji's emotionless façade come up like a hard stone wall. His smirk widened. "Interesting, Hyuga. I never knew you were the running-after-a-girl-like-it's-a-melodrama type."

Neji didn't respond, although Sasuke saw the beginnings of a bruise slowly forming on his ego. The satisfaction rose within him as he saw it, at least up until Tenten popped in with, "Damn it, Uchiha if you don't act in the same running-after-a-girl-like-it's-a-melodrama way then you just might lose Sakura."

He winced at the sting the truth of those words brought him, letting out a small sigh a short moment afterword. Tenten rubbed his shoulder reassuringly before withdrawing her hand. "Anyway Sasuke, you should do it soon, because knowing Sakura, she'll go off to class without a hitch. You know she hates being late."

Neji's grip on her hand tightened as the warning bell sounded. Now they had just three minutes left to get to class. She gave Sasuke one last supporting smile before she let her long-haired boyfriend pull her out of the cafeteria, leaving the onyx-eyed boy to consider his ultimatum.


And cue the nine billion eight hundred seventy six million five hundred forty three thousand two hundred and ten apologies I owe you guys for not updating this story for an entire effing year! I mean seriously, I didn't think I'd ever get so busy that I wouldn't have time for All is Fair in Love and War! I guess life throws too many curveballs because as it stands, my summer is practically over meaning I'm going back to the burden of AP classes, sports, and a shitload of schoolwork that makes me forget shit more than I learn it, so I'll have to fight my stories in some way. I felt really bad because this was at one point my most important story and look at me! I've resorted to taking this damn long to update! (Don't even get me STARTED on ABC's! I feel so bad for that story too, but that one has a separate explanation.) So once again, I'm so completely sorry you guys. I hope you don't virtually kill me or blow me to bits with all the shit on the internet for taking so long. Either way, I'm happy you came by to read again after all this time! So:

Thanks for reading, and review please?

_Xoxo, Kiki