Chapter 16, Friendship

[Sakura's Diary]

I wasn't trying to be rebellious when I skipped drawing class. I didn't have intentions that grand; I had just become lost in thought, and honestly, I wasn't really concerned about class in the first place. Out of all the things on my mind, improving my drawing skills was the absolute last. My father's the owner of the camp, so it wasn't like I would get in trouble, after all. So instead of being a proper young lady and going to class, I sat on the roof of the camp and looked out at the sky with a melancholy sigh.

I'm not sad or anything. I convinced myself, remembering my first childhood crush. This is nearly as bad as when I fell for Sasuke… At least we'll still be able to stay friends. Like Ino would say, there are more fish in the sea! I just have to be patient and wait to meet the guy of my dreams… I mean, it's not like he's just going to pop up right in front of me…

"Sakura." At the sound of another person's voice I jumped, nearly falling off of the roof. I would have, if not for the fact that Sai had grabbed my arm and pulled me back from the ledge. "It seems I was correct, Deidara, see? She was going to jump off the roof and kill herself."

"She wasn't killing herself, you idiot. Your freaky face scared her, yeah." Deidara stood behind Sai, rolling his eyes at the socially-ignorant teenager.

"Deidara's right, Sai! I wasn't trying to kill myself!" I pulled my arm away from him, "I was just clearing my head… What're you two doing here?"

Sai tried to explain, but was quickly cut off by Deidara, "I read in a book that-"

"Not that again, urgh! You weren't in class and we just wanted to see how you were doing." Deidara told me. "Besides, I'm more of a sculptor than a pencil-work specialist; it doesn't matter if I skip a drawing class or two." Deidara sat down on the roof, looking out across the sky peacefully. "I can understand why you'd like it up here, yeah, the view's great…It would be prefect to shoot some fireworks off of…"

"Fireworks?" I blinked.

"I think he's a attempting to create a comfortable environment by avoiding the topic of your depression and hoping that you'll address the issue when you're comfortable." Sai said, putting a hand to his chin. "Then again, I didn't think he was smart enough to come up with such a complex plan."

"Yeah, well, I can't do that if you point it out! This is why I said you shouldn't come alone! I might not be 'smart enough to come up with a complex plan'," He mimicked Sai's voice, making it higher and more obnoxious, "but I'm a hell of a lot smarter than you when it comes to people, yeah!"

I giggled slightly. The two were like a comedy team, Sai the perpetual "straight man" and Deidara the easily frustrated "funny man". They went through all this trouble to make sure I was alright… Deidara's really a nice person, even if he gets irritated easily. It looks like you've found yourself a keeper, Sasori… I'm happy for you. I thought as I watched them happily.

"Hey, why are you laughing?" Deidara asked.

"Well, we're doing something right if she's laughing, aren't we?" Sai looked over at him.

My reply was to step over and sit next to Deidara, Sai sitting down after me. I shifted my ankles slightly, wrapping my arms around my knees as I looked back on the incident only a few days prior when I had dragged a begrudging Sasori to the roof and helped him figure out how to deal with his feelings. And now his boyfriend's here talking to me about my feelings. I guess everything's cyclical, huh? As they say, 'what goes around comes around'. I thought, running a hand through my hair.

"Sakura," Sai looked over at me, his expression unreadable.

"Yeah, Sai?" I asked, expecting him to offer me some meaningful advise or something of the like.

"You shouldn't sit like that. I can see your panties." He told me bluntly.

"You ass!" I swung my fist forward without thinking, about to hit Sai right in his insensitive mouth. He stumbled back on his hands, losing his grasp on the roof tiles and slipping towards the ledge. "Idiot!" My bawled fist turned into an open hand in a blink second, wrapping around the collar of his shirt and pulling him back on to the roof.

"I'm an idiot? You're the barbarian that was going to punch me off the roof." He told me apathetically, fixing his disheveled collar disinterestedly.

"Sai, you don't come to cheer a girl up, point out that her underwear are showing, and then call her a barbarian. In fact, I'm pretty sure those are all the things you're not supposed to do to do when consoling someone."

"It didn't say not to in the books I read." Sai countered.

"I'm pretty sure even those stupid books of yours assume the reader has the common sense to figure that part out on their own!" Deidara gestured with his hands as he scolded at Sai, as animated as ever.

"Well, I almost fell off the roof when you first showed up, and you caught me… and now it's my fault you almost fell, and I saved you… so why don't we call it even?" I suggested with a smile, holding my hand out to him for a truce. He stared back at the gesture uncertainly; I think he knew what to do in the situation, but was paralyzed in an awkward moment of wondering how to apply his knowledge. I don't think anyone's ever reached out to him like this before... I thought, reading his almost indecipherable expression. I parted my lips slightly, about to urge him on, but he beat me to the punch and grasped my hand firmly. A new phony-as-ever smile was plastered on his face (but maybe... I'd like to think there was a little sincerity behind it). His grip was firm (he probably learned how to shake hands from those books he reads, it's always polite to give a strong handshake), but his skin was icy to the touch.

"Alright, Sakura, we're even." Sai smiled.

"Even? We came here to cheer her up, we shouldn't be even with anyone..." Deidara roled his eyes.

We sat a few minutes longer, nothing but the whistling breeze and the faint but cheerful chirp of birds in the distance. Even from the roof I heard the faint buzz of the camp's old bell, signaling that the first block had ended. I exhaled, feeling as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. "Well come on, you hooligans. We can't ditch class all day, right? Keep this up and I just might report you to my father!" I joked, standing up and stretching my arms towards the vast blue sky.

Deidara smiled and stood next to me, "Alright. Master Sasori is probably worried." He chuckled, "No, I should rephrase that. He's probably just getting impaitent because I've been gone for so long."

Deidara was the first one down the latter back into the camp. I followed after him, pausing when I was half way down and looking up at Sai. He was waiting for me to step down so he could enter after me, the bright blue sky forming a brilliant backdrop to his pale figure. "Hey, Sai, how did you know I was upset? Was it that obvious?"

"It was." Sai confirmed. "Your smile was fake."

"Yeah, yours too." I replied, jumping off the later and landing back on the hard wooden floor next to Deidara.

My situation wasn't perfect, but I couldn't say it was bad, either. I had good friends, and I made even more thanks to Sasori. In the end, everything would work out.

A/N: So, I have to admit, this story is nothing like going to a real summer art camp. I took an interview for a summer art school a few days ago, and it's all so formal; nothing like the cute, quaint little camp I image Sakura's dad owning! It all sounds so much more serious than I imaged! Well, I started writing this story 2 years ago (damn, it really doesn't seem like it's been that long!), so I guess it makes sense that it's so different from reality XD.

Next chapter: more about Konan's intentions are revealed!

Please review and tell me what you think! Sorry for the short chap!