Disclaimer: If you're wondering whether I own Naruto yet… your fruitless efforts have not been in vain.

I may not own Naruto right now, but I have finished the next chapter of 恋仲翰林院 (Ai Gakuen).


Sakura's been here for a week and she still hasn't started attending school yet. It was odd to the emerald eyed beauty because she would usually busy herself with school at this time of year. She had to keep up her Honors streak after all, and being behind in work was something she's rather not dwell on. She had met the other members of Akatsuki the day after she landed in from Taipei and found them to be one of the best and weirdest friends she had ever had in her life. She supposed it was because she didn't really concentrate on being peoples' friends when she was living outside of Japan.

~***~

The constantly loud beeping was all that was heard throughout the house as an elegant hand reached out from under the dark covers of the futon mattress on the floor of the bedroom. The pretty silver device flashed multi-colored numbers as it read the time – 5:45 am.

It really sucked sometimes, being in high school. Your school started at 7:25 in the morning and you didn't leave until 3:30 in the afternoon. And to get to school on time you had to leave at 6:30, it was quite tiresome.

Digging through her closet to find her entirely new stash of clothes, she found her 'edited' version of the school uniform she had received two days earlier. After brushing her teeth and taking a quick ten minutes shower she slipped into the uniform.

The uniform itself wasn't so bad – the blouse was a white silk button-up shirt with short sleeves and a collar, while the skirt ended at the top of her thighs and was solid black. But of course, seeing as this was Haruno Sakura we're talking about, she had to fix it up a little for it to meet her standards. She spent two days mending it and embroidering it – and in the end, it turned out pretty damn awesome in her opinion.

The back of the shirt was embroidered with a black rose and down the sides were designs of vines intertwining with cherry blossoms. The bland white plastic buttons on the shirt were replaced with black metal buttons with the design of a spiral in red on them. The solid black skirt was covered in thin miniature chains and little charms hung off of a couple of the chains.

Walking over to her vanity she sat in the chair and pulled out a bottle of mango and strawberry scented lotion, a curling iron, black and silver eyeliner, blood red lip gloss, a pair of silver chandelier earrings that had a star design on it, black and red nail polish and her nail kit, a black silk ribbon, a large amethyst pendant on a white gold chain, and a silver ring with an onyx in the shape of a rose.

Deciding to leave her elbow length bangs straight and curling the rest of her hair she got to work, finishing it within ten minutes. With twenty-five minutes left she rushed to finish in time, doing her nails and applying her make-up, putting on her jewelry and wrapping the ribbon around the invisible divide between her bangs and her freshly curled hair.

Finally finished and with five minutes left before she had to leave, she rushed through her things to find her tie, it was a black and red plaid tie that she tied loosely around her neck underneath the necklace. Walking over to her desk she picked up her cell phone, her wallet, iPod, keys to her house, and her MacAir. [[A / N: It's the thinnest laptop ever made in case you didn't know.]]

Stepping into her low-rise worn and faded cherry red converse and strapping her hand-made anklet on her left ankle she walked down the hallway and into the kitchen – grabbing a to-go V8 strawberry-banana smoothie she walked out the door with a bored look on her face.

Every step she took brought her closer to the place she had been dreading to go to since she arrived in Tokyo. The only reassurance she has is that Konan and the others go to the same school. Over the week that she's known them Sakura became quite close to the blue haired female and often talked to her on a daily basis. The rest of Akatsuki, as that was the name they preferred to be called, had also become relatively close to the new girl as well.

Rounding the corner Sakura came upon the large structure that she had visited days before – its size still not failing to surprise her. Still finishing her smoothie, she walked up the steps to the school, trying o ignore the looks of lust and interest aimed at her by males, and the jealously heated looks sent by females. She stopped in front of the large table set outside the entrance of Konoha Gakuen and looked at the junior that responded to her stare by sending one back.

He was quite cute in her opinion – shoulder blade length white hair, his bangs tied in the front with red ribbons and red outlining on his eyes which were a pretty close match to the green color of her feline eyes as well. He was wearing the same white button up dress shirt as all the other males, the top three buttons undone to expose some of his muscular chest and the shirt wasn't tucked into his pants either – though he did choose to wear a pair of dark black converse, that was an okay in her book.

He looked up at the female in front of him, why hadn't she asked his name yet? Or for his number, or tried a pick-up line, or fainted, or… or… something?! Instead she looked bored out of her mind. The boy inwardly smirked and thought, this girl is going to be different. He went back to business mode after that and looked at her straight in the eye, completely aware of their growing crowd of spectators. Apparently they thought she was going to be like every other girl and ask him out without even so much as a name from his lips.

He smirked a little, "Name?" She kept that bored look, also entirely aware of the crowd a ways behind her. "Haruno Sakura," Was all she said as raised an elegant eyebrow at him. Somehow that look made him feel funny and an almost inconspicuous blush crawled across his cheeks. Seeing the blush a corner of Sakura's mouth twitched upwards in an amused smirk. He quickened his pace a bit; he hurried to find the strange new girl's schedule and class information.

Turning around and leaning against the table quickly made work of her smoothie, chucking it into the trash can on the other side of the large stairway. The stares turned away but she could still sense the interest pointed at her as the white haired boy handed her the piece of paper with her school information on it. Nodding to the boy she turned to large grassy space in front of her to find a spot to sit in before school started. Finding a nice tree with a table underneath it she put her bag on the seat and sat on the table, taking her iPod out and turning it to Kizuna by Kamenashi Kazuya and leaned her head back and closed her eyes…

Only to open them again seconds later when she was abruptly strangled by a hug from her blue haired best friend. Gasps were heard as the new girl was found to be associated with the Akatsuki. People backed away in fear as the rest of the gang walked through the throng of students to reach the two females sitting on the bench in front of the tree.

A certain group of sophomores on the other side of the lawn watched with interested eyes, some were mixed with hate and others with jealousy – the new girl obviously didn't know her place. The sad part was that they knew Akatsuki ruled the school with an iron fist, and if she was associated with them in that kind of way – the outcome was bound to be negative. So they'll let it go for now and target her later, when there was no Akatsuki to defend her.

Konan had released her hold of the almost suffocated Taiwanese new girl. Deidara and Sasori sat on the grass and Sasori leaned against Sakura's legs, comfortable within her presence as she played with his hair. Deidara fell asleep as soon as he sat down and was snoring lightly. Kisame sat at the table and started talking to Itachi. Obito, whose nickname was Tobi, sat without his mask on and was doodling on the cover of his notebook – listening to whatever Itachi and Kisame were saying. Madara sat in between Konan and Pein, the first of which was talking to Sakura – who still had her iPod in – and Pein was doing some last minute homework. Hidan was laying flat on his back on the ground, his music blaring in his ears through the large headphones on his head.

They were completely aware that there were still stares as they got up to go inside because the bell had rung – obviously they didn't hear it, because if they did they would've gone in as well. Sasori and Deidara walked standing next to Sakura; the three had gotten quite close as well during the week Sakura had been in Tokyo. Comparing schedules the three realized they had lockers next to each other, and five classes together.

Name: Haruno, Sakura

Address: 739 Orchid Field Lane

Age: 16

Telephone: 774 – 310 - 8729

Grade: 10th

Homeroom: Orochimaru

Locker Number: 313

Locker Combination: 3 – 41 - 37

Schedule

Homeroom: Orochimaru – Room 308

1st Period: Math – Morino Ibiki – Room 213

2nd Period: Art – Yuuhi Kurenai – Art Room

3rd Period: History – Sarutobi Asuma – Room 403

B Lunch

4th Period: Chemistry – Orochimaru – Room 308

5th Period: English – Umino Iruka – Room 726

6th Period: Drama – Shiranui Genma – Music Room

Break Period

7th Period: Gym – Mitarashi Anko – Gymnasium

It was actually a pretty decent schedule in Sakura's opinion. Homeroom was with Orochimaru, but she didn't have any friends in that class – that was kind of a shame. She had math with Konan, Itachi, Sasori, Deidara, and Madara. She had art with Sasori and Deidara, which sounded like a lot of fun to her right now. She was sad that she didn't have anyone from Akatsuki in her History class, but that was fine she could handle herself well enough. Chemistry she had with Sasori, Deidara, Madara, Obito, and Itachi. English she had with Hidan and that was it, she was sad she didn't have any of her other friends in her most hated class but Hidan was nice enough. Drama she had with Itachi – oh she couldn't wait for that – Konan, Deidara, Sasori, and Pein. And gym was a class she had with everybody, that was bound to be an entertaining class.

Making it to her locker was bad enough, try having to run away from Deidara and Sasori's band of fan-girls. It seemed there was a killer intent in the air when she walked in the school holding both of their hands; it was all in a friendly nature… at least she hoped so.

She hugged Deidara and Sasori goodbye and told them that she'd see them later as she walked down the hallway to her homeroom class. Reaching room 308 she was ecstatic, she had thought that it was him – but you never know. When she caught sight of him and his glossy black hair she ran and jumped on his back – surprising everyone in the class. Wide eyes and whispers were heard throughout the class.

"Is Orochimaru-sensei a pedophile?"

"Is she one of his concubines?"

"She's too hot to be a concubine."

"I already hate her."

Sakura only ignored them and proceeded to hug her godfather. "Ootoji, I didn't know you were a teacher here! You could've told me first, I thought I was going to be all alone in this class because Saso-kun and Dei-chan had homerooms with other teachers…" there were more whispers after that comment.

"I didn't know Orochimaru-sensei had a niece! Did you?"

"No, I didn't even know he had a family!"

"Come on now guys. Aren't you being a bit mean?"

"No."

"What I want to know is - why did she call Sasori-kun and Deidara-kun 'Saso-kun' and 'Dei-chan'? She's got to be one hell of a whore if she calls them that."

"Everybody knows that Sasori-kun and Deidara-kun belong to us, right girls?"

Sakura was fed up with this, these people were so irritating! Turning to them she cleared her throat loud enough to the point where it could be heard amongst all the whispering. "I know I'm new here, and I don't know any of you. But I know that people usually have more manners than that. So would you do me a favor and, oh, I don't know, shut the hell up?"

The look she gave them was bored and pissed off at the same time; the look on everybody else's face was different. There were faces of awe, hatred, more interested ones than any others, and those of heated lust. The last one was because, if you were in the presence of a very attractive person – who was standing in a slightly see-through shirt with a short skirt, hip jutting out to the side and a fist on it with her bright emerald eyes in an icy glare, you'd be tempted too.

Three girls stood up in the back left side of the classroom, one was blond with blue eyes – like Deidara, but he was nice, this girl looked bitchy – the other was a red-head with red eyes and glasses, and the last one had purple hair and green eyes. Paired with the way they were wearing their uniforms…

Made them look slutty. The first one, the blond, put her hands on her hips and glared at Sakura. "And who the hell do you think you are? You're a new girl, you don't know anything." The other two laughed as Sakura kept her bored and pissed off expression while raising a single eyebrow at them and smirking… the guys got a nosebleed from that one too. "Oh, I know more than you think I know your royal pain in the asses." Sakura looked to her uncle who was smiling proudly. "Ootoji, I'm going to sit down now. The empty seat is in the back on the right, isn't it?" When he nodded she smiled a little and walked to the only empty seat left in the class. It was beside a red haired boy with green eyes and a tattoo that said 'love' in kanji on the left side of his forehead.

When the three girls saw where she was sitting they got even more pissed off at the new girl, she had a lot of arrogance, sitting next to Gaara-sama like that. Sakura noticed with amusement that they were fuming because of where she sat. For some odd reason, Sakura got a kick out of making people mad.

Taking out her laptop and a pair of earphones she turned it on, completely aware of the stares on her form. How the hell do you fit a laptop in a school bag? Was that thought running through everyone's minds; it was obviously a very small laptop so they found the answer rather quickly.

When the laptop was fully booted up and ready a picture of two people came up. One was obviously Sakura who looked about twelve; the other one was a boy with long brown hair and brown eyes who looked twelve as well. Turning on iTunes on her computer she started to play One Love by Arashi and turned on Word and a program that allowed her to make music and type down music notes. Opening a file named 'Niji' she started to work on it. By the notes and lyrics it was obviously a piano song, she had started it before she moved to Tokyo and she still was not finished. It was quite hard to compose music when you know you're being watched and plotted against by stupid people. Ah, troublesome.

He watched the new girl work, she hadn't even given her name yet, how was he supposed to talk to her now? He couldn't just go up to her and say 'Hey new girl, why are you sitting next to me?' now could he? It was quite odd though, watching her like this when he knows that she's completely aware of it and she doesn't care. Usually girls right now would be blushing if they were in her spot, but she acts as if she doesn't care. He inwardly smirked; she would be a fun one.

Sakura had noticed the red haired boy watching her since before she sat down. It was quite unnerving, having him openly stare like that. She ignored him and all the other stares from the people around her and continued her work. The one thing Sakura loves about homeroom is you don't do any real work and you can work on whatever you want. She had continued to do her work and ignore everybody else… that is, until she was approached by a brown haired girl with her hair in two twin buns on her head and the same chocolate colored eyes. She had a nasty sneer on her face and her arms were crossed across her chest.

"Who do you think you are? You can't just come in here acting like you own the place. Quit acting like a bitch." The sneer morphed into a smirk when she finished talking. I looked up at her for a minute with an eyebrow raised… again. After a couple of seconds just staring at each other – well, more like glaring – I reluctantly took out my earphones and saving my most recent project and stood up. I realized I was just a couple of centimeters taller than her and smirked back, I was suddenly grateful for my height – though I was still a head shorter than the majority of males.

"If anything, you're the one acting like a bitch." Was all Sakura said as she watched the girl fume, teeth grinding and eyes in a heated glare. The brown haired girls little friends came to back her up, but Sakura knew she didn't need any back up and if the situation got too out of hand Orochimaru would let her handle it. After all, she's untouchable – her grandmother owns and runs the school. "I'm only acting like this because you're here acting like you own the place! You're just a new girl, you don't know anything! And what's this about you hanging around with the Akatsuki, huh? Are you supposed to be their little whore or something? Don't make me laugh, like they'd ever spend time with someone like you." Sakura noticed that even though the girl was talking to only her, other people winced. It wasn't that bad in her opinion, actually it was quite weak. "For your information I do own the place." She paused then soaking in the confusion of the other students before continuing. "I know more than you think I do, as I've said before with the blond chick over there." She pointed to the blond girl with her chin before looking back at the girl in front of her. "The Akatsuki are my friends, and I am no whore – nor will I ever be. And they will never spend time with someone like you, ass-wipe. You're a disgrace to females." She packed her things then, leaving all the other students with wide eyes and gaping mouths.

~***~

Making her way to the art room she passed looks of awe and anger. It seemed her little 'show' with the brown haired girl - whose name escapes her at the moment - had finally gotten around the school. She walked with a sort of anticipation in her eyes, she couldn't wait to see the guys after her… well you wouldn't really call it eventful, but entertaining morning. Damn she would totally kill for a coffee right now.

Stepping into the art room she suddenly relaxed as the smell of oil paints and sculpting clay reached her nostrils and she breathed in deeply. This was home.

Taking a seat in the far back she dropped her bag and proceeded to the closet in the back to get a smock. Draping that over the back of her chair she walked over to the shelves in the back above the counters and took cans of paint and a box of brushes before taking a fresh canvas from the rack and placing it on the easel in front of her seat. She got there pretty early and as she was setting up other students started to walk in.

She recognized a few nameless people from her homeroom and ignored them when they looked at her and whispered to each other – well, it wasn't really whispering, it was more like talking… really loud.

"Did you see her this morning? How dare she do that to Tenten! I bet you Neji will come after her and kill her, we all know how he is."

"Yeah I know; did you hear what she said? God, she doesn't have to be such a bi- Excuse me." The two gossiping girls turned to look at Sakura – their conversation ultimately forgotten. One of them sneered, "What do you want?" Sakura punched the girl in the face so fast no one could see – it was hard enough to knock the girl flat on her ass – and then she was back in her seat again, as if nothing had happened. No one saw… except two very important people.

Gasping both girls turned to see Sakura sitting at her seat, brush on the easel gently tracing over her marks with black paint. There was a massive fist shaped bruise on the nameless girl's cheek that turned to address the teacher – Kurenai-sensei.

"Kurenai-sensei, did you see what the new girl did to Mao?! She punched her in the face! Look! Her bruise is huge! She might even have to go to the hospital for this." The other girl was spurting a whole shitload of nonsense and Kurenai-sensei looked skeptical, she hadn't seen or heard the new girl do any of the things Lei was saying. "Lei, stop trying to get people in trouble for things they didn't do. Haruno-san couldn't have done that, because she didn't even get out of her seat and you both were on the opposite side of the room. Now, please take Hasegawa-san to the nurses' office." The two girls left the classroom; they were so made steam would've been coming out of their ears had they been characters in a cartoon.

Sasori and Deidara looked at each other with a 'what-the-hell' face on and turned their gazes to the impassive Sakura. The latter was still tracing the intricate outlines of her artwork. Painting the background a dark black; the centerpiece itself was a magnificent red – the one you get when you mix the right amount of colors in the right order.

Sakura ignored them in favor of her art – that and her iPod was on. Xin Li You Shu was playing again, for some reason Sakura couldn't get over the fact that this song was amazing. Being out of Hsinchu for the second time in her life was really taking a toll on her. She missed speaking mandarin, and she missed her little flat, her school, and her friends.

Sasori and Deidara watched in confusion as Sakura's face contorted into a sort of accepting sadness. For some odd reason it hurt the boys very deeply, like that type of look wasn't ever supposed to cross her beautiful face… ever. "What's wrong Sakura-chan?" Deidara asked pulling out one of her earphones, she replaced the sad look with a smile as her music was set on full blast and was heard throughout the classroom as people got unusually quiet. The music was strange; it probably didn't register in everyone's mind that this was mandarin.

"I'm fine Dei-chan, don't worry about me. Sasori-kun, are you okay?" Sakura successfully evaded the topic as the other students lost interest and turned back around to do their work. Sasori looked up at Sakura, only to find her a couple of inches away from his face.

If you looked really closely, you could see a tinge of pink across the bridge of his nose. Holly-red eyes widened a fraction and the pink took a darker tint as she tilted her head to the left in a questioning manner. "Sasori-kun, are you sure you're alright?" Her eyes were seeing right through him and his blush turned darker again. What's wrong with me?! I have a girlfriend - that's cheating on me with some guy in college.

Deciding to leave the subject he answered the still waiting Sakura, who had backed up a bit and sat on Deidara's chair with the blond still working on his sculpture. "I'm fine; just get back to work Sakura." He smiled a small but sincere smile as Sakura narrowed her eyes at him but continued working.

Normally Sakura would've pried a bit more into a situation that involved her friends, but she could see the type of hurt Sasori was going through. She knows, because she experienced it herself – but that's a story for another time and another place.

The bell rang as soon as Sakura turned in her art assignment. The students who saw it were surprised she could do something so… so…dark.

The drawing itself was painted all black with a red substance dripping and falling into an already large puddle in the center. On the right side of the painting, there was a hand lying flat on the 'ground'. It was dead, that much was obvious.

Sasori and Deidara took the time to look at the picture before running off after their friend.

"Sakura-chan that was pretty."

"Thank you Deidara." She turned to look at Sasori, who shrunk back at the look on her face.

"Now Sasori, are you going to tell me what's on your mind? Or do I have to force it out of you?" She asked, turning on him fully. He looked like a trapped bunny with that look on his face.

Deidara also looked suspicious as he turned on him as well. Sasori visibly gulped and stared at them with wide eyes. It seemed those two could be scary when the situation calls for it.

Before he lost too much of his dignity, he stood straight and dusted invisible dust bunnies off of his uniform. "I'll tell you, I'm not ashamed to admit my girlfriend cheated on me."

Sakura nodded her head, while Deidara developed eyes of murder for the guy his girlfriend was cheating with. Sasori developed a questioning look as he saw Sakura's reaction to what he said.

"It's as I thought. Sasori, I know you're hurting more than this, don't hide it okay? If you need anything from me come and find me."

With that Sakura walked away, hiding the tears that threatened to fall with every step she took. Her mind was projecting images of the time they spent together and it made her want to throw up everything she had eaten in the past week. She missed him so much it was a physical pain.

Dammit, this was going to be harder than I thought.

With that in mind she made her way to her next class, unaware of the eyes on her form.