A/N: Hello people! Welcome back to Plaid Skirts and Skateboards!!! Last time we left off, Sakura got into some trouble with Karin and her friends. What will happen next???
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of its characters….. ENJOY!!! =D
Silently, I walked through the park alone, thinking about nothing in particular, trying to ignore the pain that riveted through my body with each step. What would my friends do if they saw me like that? I'd never been jumped before, but one time when I had fallen off my board and broken my ankle, Kiba basically threw me over his shoulder and carried me all the way to the small clinic ten blocks away. The whole time he was carrying me (against my will), he kept telling me to shut up, that I needed to be more careful next time. I've never forgotten that day…
As I walked further down the path, the skating zone of the park came into view. The grinding rails, the bowl, the ramps- it was my second home. But by then, I was just ready to go to my actual home, to crawl into my own bed and sleep the pain away.
Just as I had expected, Kiba and Tenten had already made it, and so had Temari. They were standing there, looking around in the opposite direction I was coming from. Would they be able to figure out what had happened just by looking at me?
Suddenly, Temari glanced in my direction and grinned. "Hey," she called to me, "there's our girl! What took you so…" She trailed off as she looked me up and down, and then looked at me with a mix of horror and anger in her eyes.
Kiba and Tenten had turned by then, and were taking me in, too. "What happened to you?!" Tenten shrieked, jogging over to me.
"Did what I think happened to you, happen?" Kiba growled out.
"If you're think I got jumped on my way here, then yeah," I said, miserably.
"Who did this?" Tenten asked, her hand resting gingerly on my arm. I looked at her, remembering, preparing to tell them all that had happened.
Through the first rain of blows, I screamed at them to stop. I hollered for help. Then I couldn't help but think- No one but that old man can probably hear me. I curled into the fetal position so that they wouldn't kick me in my face.
After a few minutes, the kicking and hitting stopped. Karin spoke, here voice dripping with malicious satisfaction. "You're just lucky that my gang here is only four people big, otherwise you'd have been done for." Her friends cackled around me.
You bitch, I hope you die, I thought at her.
"What'd you say?!" She shrieked at me, making me inhale sharply. I had spoken aloud??
She took a handful of my hair and lifted my head up so that I was forced to look at her. She looked like the most evil being on the planet I had ever seen. Even monsters had nicer expressions. "I hope you do realize that I actually do have the potential to kill you right now, Haruno," she hissed at me.
I tried to not look at all fazed by this, but she was right. She smiled slowly at me, the smile of a grinch. Karin forcefully pushed my head back down on the ground, actually hard enough for light to flash behind my eyelids. I bit back my cry.
"Alright, let's go before anyone comes around and sees us," Karin commanded. I heard her footsteps leaving away from me, and another set of feet. Before the other two left- and before I thought to get back into the fetal position again- they both kicked me one more time each. One managed to kick me in my face, the blow landing right on my left cheek. The other attempted the same, but I was quick to get back into that position, and she only managed to get my hand with her last attempt. After that, they left with Karin.
And then I was alone, in shock- the pain hadn't hit home yet. I didn't get up, just quietly kept going over the whole scene in my head over and over again.
I don't know when the only few tears I'd cried in a long time fell. They just did. Where had everyone been? Why hadn't that old man called for help? Why did Karin do that to me? It was only eighty dollars- I could've paid her back easily if she had given me the chance. Was all of that really worth eighty dollars. What the hell could beating the shit out of me do to pay her back? Ino would still be pissed at her, regardless.
After I finally stopped crying, I tried to bring up one of my arms to wipe my face. I cringed. It hurt. I assessed my limbs- my arms, my legs, and everything else I could move. Everything hurt. Even my cheek was beginning to hurt by then- it's slow throb of pain escalating as the muscles worked in my face.
Despite that, I slowly got to my feet, gasping every time a slice of pain cut through me like a hot knife. I had to get to the park, to my friends, and not wait for anyone to find me here. After all, what would be the odds of finding someone to help me around there. I'd more likely find a hobo or a rapist. And even if I did somehow find a policeman, what good would that do? I'd get questioned for hours, my parents would get called, and then I would be questioned by them- when I really would want to do is crawl into bed and sleep. So what good is that, really?
Silently, I began the painful walk to the park, where my unsuspecting friends were. Pain rang through my body with each step. It was going to be a long walk.
"So Karin… is in a gang?" Temari asked, incredulous.
"Apparently," I said simply.
"And she did this to you… because you ran into her and ruined all her easily replaceable beauty crap?" Kiba asked, his voice filled with rage.
"This is low- even for her," Tenten sat me down on a nearby bench. I winced. Even the simplest movements hurt like hell. "Do you think Ino knows about this?" She asked, looking at me with an intense expression.
"Of course she knows!" Kiba exclaimed. "It's practically her job to go after Sakura, and us! I wouldn't put it past her to be in the mix herself!"
"But Karin said her crew was only four strong, and there were only four girls- including her- there," I clarified, my cheek still throbbing.
"So you're saying Ino has nothing to do with this?" Temari asked, her foot rolling her board on the ground back and forth.
"No, I'm not saying that she doesn't know. But she's not part of it. At least, that's what Karin implied." I leaned against Tenten. I was tired, all I wanted to do was sleep.
"Hey, no sleeping yet," Kiba said, walking over to me and touching my shoulder very gently, "we've got work to do."
"Work?" I mumbled, "What kind?"
"Well first off, we've gotta clean you up before your parents see you… unless you want them to see you like this."
"I look that bad?"
"Well, you don't look too good right now, honey," Tenten said, putting an arm around me. She shook me gently. "Come on, let's go to my place- no one's home, so we won't be bothered or anything."
Oh my God, I thought, I do look horrible.
In the comfort of Tenten's bathroom, I gazed into her large, full-body mirror that was on the back of the bathroom door. They were right- I didn't look good at all.
Where I had been kicked in my face, my cheek had started to swell up, and a faint purplish-blue bruise was starting to bloom there. Bruises were appearing all down the length of both my arms, and I found a few lacing my legs after I lifted up my pants legs. When I took off my shirt, I gasped. There were a lot of bruises back there too. "Shit," I breathed.
Tenten walked in without knocking, with a few small jars in hand. She stopped short when she saw me, almost fully exposed. "Those bitches," she breathed out, giving me a sympathetic look. She put all of her materials down on the sink counter top.
"What's all that stuff?" I asked her, inspecting the small plastic jars and tubes.
"Concealer, creams, pain killers- the works," she answered simply. "Come on, wash your face- you'll regret it if your skin's not clean first. Then sit down so I can apply this stuff."
Obediently, I washed my face as thoroughly as I could, running my hands gently over the tender spot on my cheek. Then I sat down on the closed toilet seat. Tenten kneeled down in front of me and unscrewed a cap to the first jar.
"What's that?" I asked, leaning back an inch or two. If there was one thing I would never be comfortable with, it would be people getting too close to my face, especially with an unknown substance.
"Chill," Tenten said, sounding offended, "it's just some cream to soft up your skin. Then I'll slap on some concealer that fits your skin tone, and after that-" she looked me over, "- then we're gonna go find some clothes to cover up those bruises on your arms, like a jacket or something."
I sat there quietly as she applied the cool liquid to my face. It felt good, all cool and gentle. The only sound that could be heard was our quiet breathing.
After Tenten put down the jar of softener, rinsed off her hands, and picked up the next one to apply it, she asked, "What's up with you?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, what happened back there?"
I frowned. "I told you guys the story already."
"No, not that," she waved toward me impatiently before she unscrewed the cap to the concealer, "I mean- why didn't you call somebody? Call for us? We would've came running, you know- especially Kiba. You're like a sister to him."
"I did call for help," I clarified, "but no one heard me. And the more I screamed-" I gestured to the darkest bruise on my arm, "-the harder they hit me."
"Oh," Tenten said, going silent. "Well, don't worry," she said, rubbing concealer on my face, "we'll deal with them later- somehow…"
Later, after I had enough concealer to cover up the bruise on my face and Tenten had found a jacket for me to borrow, the both of us -with Temari- sat on the couch in Tenten's living room, Kiba pacing in front of us.
"He's been like this for ten minutes," I whispered to Tenten, "should we stop him?"
"Nah, you know how he is when he's thinking- he'll stop soon, I'm sure," she whispered back.
Kiba continued to pace, and mumbled, "what? What?"
"Yes- what?" Temari asked, clearly annoyed at sitting still for so long. "I got a class to get to, remember? So now what?"
Kiba stopped pacing, and looked up slowly, a grin on his face. "What?" I asked.
"It's perfect," he said.
"What the hell is 'it'?!" Temari said, irritated.
I expected Kiba to snap at her, but instead, he just kept grinning. "C'mon, what is it, Kiba?" I asked him, getting a little impatient myself.
He smiled at me. "The perfect revenge plan."
A/N: Ooo, wonder what Kiba's plan is?! Will it work? Is it even legal?! Why am I asking you all of these questions??? Stick around for the next chapter of Plaid Skirts And Skateboards!! Till then- see ya! =D