Oh yes, I DID go there. It has sports, and fangirls, and the infirmary, and scary overprotective best friends, and plaid skirts, and the honor brigade. I went through a pile of high school shoujo. Why do we love helpless girls so much? At least I didn't throw vampires at you. Not that there weren't more than a few supernaturals looking to score with high schoolers on mangafox.
I am trying
Not to tell you
But I want to
I'm scared of what you'll say
So I'm hiding what I'm feeling
But I'm tired of
Holding this inside my head
Falling for You, Colbie Caillat
The High School Story (SasuHina)
It's the second day of junior year and she doesn't want to go to school today. Today is 'shared learning' at the Institute. It's kind of like charity, only with a better cover story and more immediate effects. Of course if a private school for the wealthy… gifted, and a public school are in the same city, teachers would much rather take a job with more zeroes. And of course, because education is such an important part of the community, the positions of power in the school system belong to politicians. Well. Their stay-at-home spouses. So naturally, the teachers who come by with their woefully short resumes, only one degree, less than a year of experience, all of those quickly find other places of employment.
It means the private school is generous enough to share its facilities with the public school, to make up for its shortcomings. Latin, dance, home economics… half their course catalog is off campus. All of the honors and AP courses are held at the Institute.
It means the smart people, the people who are going places, the ones who want rich boyfriends; they're all over her school, Tuesdays and Thursdays, sometimes for a couple hours after seventh period if they need the computer lab.
She doesn't care about it. They don't bother her, even though she wears the fancy blazer and little plaid skirt, even though she's in all the top classes, even though everyone knows she's Hyuuga. She doesn't flaunt being elite.
Even if she did, she couldn't top the public school girls, who have no uniforms and a half-assed dress code. They can flirt with whoever they want; they don't need to worry about daddy's business.
Ten minutes to first period. Ino and Sakura are squabbling playfully at the front of the lecture hall. Hinata thinks they save it up just for the Inmates. Not that they should, since the object of their affections goes to their school.
He should have been next to her. It's not his fault he lost his family, but he should have been in her classes, in her school, in her life. Hinata believes it so strongly she's afraid to talk to him because she might actually tell him so and oh god he'd hate her.
There's pages of margins filled with his name and disconnected dreams and faceless fears. Even if this faculty had the option of teaching at Harvard, they're teaching high school, and the spoiled sons and daughters of money.
Hinata has already had the private tutors shove all this information down her throat. She doesn't need to pay attention. It's not like she gets called on. Only the paper knows that she's hopelessly in love with Uchiha Sasuke, that he's all that fills her thoughts and dreams and notebooks. She isn't cramming for the diagnostic test. It's just calculus. No one else is either.
"Haruno, get your lowriders out of my face."
"Hey, until your mommy buys you a timeshare on my ass, don't tell me where I can't sit."
Kiba doesn't look too impressed with her logic. Hinata supposes he's allowed, since the girls did put themselves on occupied desks.
"You know, the chairs are for sitting, the tables are for books," is Shino's dry comment.
"Get over yourself, Aburame." Sakura might say more but hottie alert at 9 o' clock.
Hinata bends to pull out her pencil case.
"You're in my seat."
Her heart is palpitating fit to burst, but she obediently stuffs her things back into her satchel and stands up.
"I think you said the same thing to me in third grade," she tells his chin coolly, even though every inch of her wants to look into his eyes and demand he remember that. Her father raised her better.
She claims a desk in the other corner, still trying to convince herself she's alive and no one cared enough to note she was sassing Sasuke. It's not like Sasuke does.
There are sparkles all over the room. Sasuke doesn't like being stared at, so all the girls have their compacts angled at him. It means the rest of the back row has to deal with wayward sunbeams. At least they waited until after the quiz.
Bells are so déclassé, so all teachers are synchronized to a clock somehow. Nor do they announce the beginning or ending of class. If a student doesn't realize it, it's on their head. Hinata spends all the time she's not thinking about Sasuke checking her watch, waiting for fourth period.
She loves that taking ballet is considered a class, and she needn't worry about the public school students. Sasuke is taking fencing, after all.
She warms up with barre exercises near the others, absently wondering why it sounds like a crowd is behind the building. At this point, it should only be the mistress, four girls and the one boy taking advanced ballet. The studio was meant for twenty couples to learn ballroom dancing, but no one dances in ballrooms any more, and even though they could spread out more, it's a sort of unspoken support for each other. The ballet mistress enters with her stereo and practically drops it next to the socket. It's very clear Madame is not amused.
"It seems we must share the studio; imbéciles incompetents have made a scheduling error for the main gymnasium." Madame looks ready to lead a crusade against administration but is holding back by the thinnest of threads. "At least they didn't put those horrible noisy karate children in here. Hinata, have you chosen your piece yet?"
Hinata nods, holding up a CD of the music she found after carefully searching the library.
"Ah, Raymonda, you will do the prima's solo of course? A good piece to show your skills, but not your romance. How much have you learned? Non non, don't tell me; you must show me."
Fumi gives her a sympathetic look and she smiles back. The smile falls when she catches sight of mats and foils in the mirror. Then, the piano starts.
She only gets a minute into the music before Madame stops her.
"What are you afraid of? You traverse the stage, petits pas, why do you think you will fall off? Port de bras good, carriage like princess, but tell your feet this whole room is yours!" She waves a hand dismissively at the fencers.
"I'll try, Madame."
"Do not try, do."
She has no time to think of Sasuke, or that he might be watching. She wants to peek at him, but it's in her best interest if she doesn't.
Once Madame tires of reaming her out, she returns to the barre to practice while Fumi and Ken attempt, in Madame's words, Harlequin and Columbine.
Madame blames the clanging for ruining the concentration of her dancers. Mr. Saunders says the music is throwing off his fencers. Hinata studiously avoids looking at them in the mirror. She doesn't know why she hides; it's unlikely that Uchiha Sasuke even knows she exists. But why take that chance?
Even so, her eyes flicker open while she perfects a pose, and she catches Sasuke looking at her with an unreadable expression. Probably thinking Bugs Bunny is a better ballerina; which is true, since physics plays no part in toe-flapping flight. The other boys on the team are staring at her for more obvious reasons. She wishes the leotard didn't stretch so tight over her chest and that she could wear something over it, but Madame disapproves of t-shirts.
There's a snap. Everyone turns. Sasuke has his arm in front of his face and blood is dripping onto his jacket. The broken foil tip gleams innocently from the floor.
She's the only one done with her set, so she cringes in anticipation.
"Hinata. First-aid on the filing cabinet." Madame is probably upset about blood on the hardwood. She curtsies and drags Sasuke to the office, trying not to look at him. He pulled up his shirt to press it against the cut, and he should look like an idiot with a sock puppet but he's a gorgeous idiot. A gorgeous idiot flashing midriff.
She sits them on the floor and pours hydrogen peroxide into the cotton.
"You still like to dance."
She spills disinfectant onto his wound and he hisses. She is busy staring in disbelief.
"Dammit, Hinata, that hurt."
She shakes herself out of her stupor and focuses on wrapping his arm.
"I-I… Sorry," she finishes lamely. She peers at him through her lashes. "You remember that?" she asks hopefully.
"That you didn't walk, you floated around in those fairy costumes? Better memories than your sister insisting I wear them."
"She had a crush on you," she reminds him with a little laugh. So do I. She looks down and hurriedly starts repacking the kit. When she looks up, he's gone. She doesn't go back to the studio.
She can't admit she has a problem. As plebian as it is to have a brownbag lunch, she does bring her own food to school. Except Tuesdays and Thursdays, when the school allows a sharp drop in the quality and price of cafeteria food. If it weren't for catching a passing glimpse of Sasuke, she wouldn't suffer through crowds of ill-mannered, pushy, rude teenagers for assembly-line luncheons. Only a few people complain about the switching grades of meat two days out of the week. Most of the noveau riche spawn couldn't tell the difference between macaroni and macaroons anyway. The cafeteria is a disaster waiting to happen.
Of course, it doesn't wait for very long. The junior varsity quarterback bumps into the wafer mogul's son, who for some reason ordered soup and steak for lunch. All she knows before the shallow soup bowl makes first contact is that it's not real Wedgwood. She tries to take a step back, but her foot slides in the new puddle, slams cookie boy in the ankle and sends her ass to the ground, hard. She can feel the broth seeping into her skirt and her unmentionables, but she's too dazed to remember how to get up. The sudden imbalance of his tray and the little kick for good measure are enough to send the steelware careening off the tray in a kamikaze attempt to gun down the heiress.
He looks more pissed about ruining his subpar lunch than an entire tailored uniform; that is until from somewhere in the excited hum of speculation and scandal, someone she might know yells a slightly concerned, "Hyuuga, you okay?" and half the room realizes what exactly this might mean for the entire baked good industry. A couple practical students are realizing she might need some first aid when blood wells up in the scratch the steak knife left in her leg. A hand digs fingers ruthlessly into her shoulder while its mate takes her hand as genteelly as her father could ask for. She doesn't make the connection that he is trying to help her up until he growls low in his throat and scoops her up like one of those festival goldfish.
She'd been hoping Madame's office had made up for all the other days with no Sasuke-interaction.
The nurse used to be in the army or something; she doesn't take nonsense from students, staff or even the Headmistriss. She has no qualms about peeling off Hinata's soaking blouse and tutting over the reddened skin. She doesn't care she practically stripped the Hyuuga heiress, or that some teenaged boy with questionable libido control has witnessed it. She's clearly not particularly concerned with anything at all, since she walks out of the room to get ice all the way from the cafeteria. Hinata can't bring herself to complain, she's too busy trying to figure out how to optimize the modesty of a wet towel that isn't the right dimensions at all. He's not looking away, but he's not looking down either, which either speaks very well of his discipline or very poorly of her décolletage.
"Oh my god, tell me SOMEONE kicked whichever asshole did this to you in the nuts. Hard." Enter, Temari, stage left.
"I'm f-fine!" Hinata squeaks. "Really! Don't tell your father!"
Temari gives her one of those 'you're shitting me, right?' looks.
"If you tell your father, somehow my father will know before dinner tonight," she babbles, "and then I'll have to explain that it was an accident, not an assassination attempt or a slur against the family or a bid to start political war without using the argument that your father is is is—"
"—Is paranoid, possibly psychotic and in desperate need of a better therapist. Got it." Temari notices Sasuke at last, and nearly blows a gasket. "You did this to her?" she demands angrily, "Because even if she's too nice to pull strings, I'm not and my dad is in a badass government organization and very high up in the chain of command and I can so—"
"Temari! It's fine." She flaps one hand nervously, forgetting about the towel she's supposed to be holding up. "Sasuke just helped me get here."
"So why's he still hanging around?" she asks suspiciously, pulling him up and pushing him toward the door. "Doesn't get enough from sneaking Playboys?"
"And miss out on the Forbes' 500 version of Girls Gone Wild?" he retorts before the door is slammed in his million dollar face.
"What a jerk," Temari observes. "Even if he is cute, why do you like him again?"
"I…really don't know," Hinata admits.
The nurse reenters scowling. "He's going to have at least twenty people infected before the day is out," she mutters.
"How do you know he's even sick?" asks Temari over the clatter of ice cubes.
"He looked like he was trying to cough up a chili pepper. Through his nose," she responds absently. "Start of the term, someone always brings back some bug or other from halfway across the world, and I'm always stuck dealing with an outbreak."
The blonde snickers. "Maybe he's just never seen real girl parts before."
Temari manages to scrounge up some extra uniform parts. The shirt is too big and the skirt too short, the socks too high and she didn't bother finding a spare blazer. Hinata decides, finally, she will not hide in bed and let the rest of the school talk. Rumors are usually much more damaging than any truth in her world. She puts on the mishmash. It's not as bad as she expected. The skirt rests closer to her hips than her waist and the hem is too far from her knees for comfort, but still has a modicum of decency. The sleeves go down to her knuckles; and even buttoned all the way up, a triangle of her neck is visible above the knot of her tie. And there are knee socks. Temari is laughing her fancy little garter-belt off.
"You wear back-seam stockings to tempt the chemistry teacher so he feels guilty come report time. What's so funny about knee-socks?" She mutters.
"It's not just the knee-socks. You look like the cover of a school girl romance, all wide-eyed and innocent and vulnerable. You walk out of this room you are going set off a potentially lethal spike of libido and stupid-male-syndrome. Sure you can handle it?" She doesn't mention Sasuke or all the wonders emotional castration has done for him.
Hinata sighs and fusses with her tie. "I'm a Hyuuga. I'll get over it. Or I'll mention it ten years from now in a boardroom and seal a deal because no one wants to be reminded they were a stupid teenaged boy."
She's trapped and alone because Temari has seventh period history, which was a cruel and unusually stupid maneuver from the admin, and Hinata had only been in the computer lab for five minutes to print out a coupon for buy-one-get-one-free sundaes. Now she has even more reason to begrudge Temari and her strange addiction to cardboard waffle cones and ice cream pretending it has real flavoring.
Two of them reach out to grab her or hold her down or even catch her attention she has no idea and doesn't want to; anything she might say or do dies with a startled squeak when the door opens again and Sasuke strolls in. She's probably the worst case of deer-in-headlights ever, but who knew Sasuke looking indifferent could be so intimidating? It makes the trio back off a step, but one step away is still making her eyes water. They all shift when he crosses the room. Hinata seizes the opportunity and weaves between two, snatching up her bag and bolts out the door.
She stops to catch her breath, back to a locker. When she doesn't hear anything she sighs in relief and lets her head fall back and knock against the metal.
"When did you become such a victim?"
She jumps, or at least tries too, but her hair is caught on something so she ends up in an awkward little hop-skip, complete with pained peep. Sasuke reaches over and combs through the tangle, something like amusement in his eyes.
"Where's your keeper?" he murmurs, closer than he should be considering he's only ever said twenty words to her in the last ten years, and most of them today.
"History class," she whispers, blushing hotly.
"Well that's useless." He leans in and her head spins. "You might want to get another."
"You have a resume on you?"
Through her lashes, she sees him run a hand through his hair and exhale heavily. His arms snake around her waist and he crushes her into his chest. She can't care about that when she's breathing aisle 4 deodorant and embarrassment and tasting lemonade and happy. She's probably getting her hair stuck again but it doesn't matter.
He actually smirks at her, because she whimpers when he pulls away.
"How long have you wanted that?" his voice is raspy with want. She buries her face in his neck rather than answer.
They stay there until chairs scrape inside every room and the seventh period crowds start to fill the corridors.
"See you Thursday?" she asks anxiously, peering up at him.
He kisses her again, and distantly she hears shrieking.