Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or its characters because I'm not that amazing. However, Aya, Mori, and the plotline (along with whatever other OCs I decide to throw in) are all my ideas and thoughts. I listened to Almost by Bowling for Soup and Absolutely [Story of a Girl] by Nine Days (yes people, that is who sings it…).

I had one name on my mind as I lay in the darkness of my newest room. The fan and Fallout Boy were the only sounds in my house. My petite cat slept silently, and no one else roamed my house.

The breaths I took were sharp and shallow, barely audible. Still not in a good position, I rolled over. Tonight, even my favorite blue futon failed to comfort me. With a sigh, I gave up on sleep and picked up my cell phone. The clock read 12:53. Great, one in the morning and I still couldn't sleep. Damn.

Another round of vibrations went off. Twelve unread messages. All of them from two people: five from my best friend Mori and seven from a number I really should forget. I would not be using it any time soon. Reluctantly, I opened Mori's first message.

R u ok?

The others that followed were either telling me to 'pick up the fucking phone' or begging me to tell her if I was all right. Of course I'm not, Mori, I thought. Nevertheless, I dialed her number.

Knowing Mori, I was not surprised when she picked up on the first ring. She gasped, and turned whatever music she was playing down. "Are you okay?" The music, still palying softly in the background, sounded like Flyleaf.

I wanted to tell her flat out no, I was not. Instead, I stayed silent. Hoping my best friend had over-the-phone telepathy, I settled for wearing a smart-ass, 'what-do-you-think' look on my face. Mori sighed over the phone's connection. "You're giving me that 'well-what-the-hell-do-you-think' look, aren't you?"


"C'mon, Aya. I'm trying to help."

"I know," I said sadly. "I appreciate it. And I'm really sorry, Mori-san. It is just… That wasn't supposed to happen." A bitter laugh escaped my lips. "We weren't supposed to happen in the first place, so maybe this all makes sense to someone. Maybe I should've seen it coming."

"Aya, don't be like that. He was just a freakin' jerk."

"A freakin' jerk I loved," I muttered.

"Oh, Aya-chan…"

"I know; there's nothing more to say. I'm just going to head to bed. See ya at school tomorrow. G'night Mori-san. Love ya, sis."

"Love you, too, Aya."

A click sounded, and she was gone.


Ah. My first day of a new school. What fun... Not.

Straightening the black and silver plaid skirt they force us to wear, I slipped on my knee-highs (which were non-regulation because they had a white bow with black skull-and-cross-bones instead of being plain black). Hopping on one foot while slipping on my stupid 'school-girl' shoes, I made it to the coffee pot. Quickly, I poured a cup, adding creamer and plenty of sugar – I would need it. Then managing to juggle my now-lidded coffee and a chocolate-chip granola bar, I tied the tie-slash-neck-bow thing we wore. With a last tug on the silver material under my black collar, I grabbed my black-and-red checkered backpack and gave my granite-gray kitten Bast a goodbye head pat. Locking the door, I backed out my house and stuck my keys in my bag.

I took a swig of my caffeine and large a bite of out my granola bar. "Erg," I said aloud – to no one really, "I seriously need a car. Or at least one of those Moped things!" Hurriedly alternating between coffee and food, I walked to the new school I would be attending as fast as I could without spilling. I silently thanked my aunt for helping me get an apartment only a few blocks away from the school.

If anyone in all of Kohanagakure knew what it was like to be the new girl, it was I. When I lived with my parents, I transferred schools after a half or full year because they moved around for business. After last year though, I told them I wanted to live in Kohana, because Mori (my best friend from about three schools ago) had moved there and thought it was great. Well, and I couldn't handle living at home because my sister was evil and my brother declared missing. They saw no problem with it, since I was now fourteen and could easily live in an apartment on my own with only three hundred dollars extra – all housing bills covered. My aunt was within walking distance, and my family had many friends. The only one who had objected was my boyfriend at the time.

Then he had gone and cheated on me with my sister of all people. So… No worries about people from my past village missing me.

'Jebus, November is not my month,' I thought.

Pulling myself out of my thoughts, I dumped my granola bar wrapper and disposable coffee cup in a trashcan on campus and looked up to my new school.

The giant, two-story building was red brick, and it lay sprawled out on an even bigger green lawn; sports and out-door lunch areas were accounted for. A large sign declared the name of the facility and showed off the recent grant money I heard they fought hard to get. With the gray sky and swirling mini-tornadoes blowing leaves and whatnot around, it seemed somewhat menacing. On the other hand, maybe it was just my nerves…

With a final deep breathe, I walked to the building and threw open a door. Immediately, I was overwhelmed with the scent of Axe and used socks. I attempted not to gag. The door and been right beside the boys' locker room. That was just my luck… Fleeing the hall, I turned and entered a very official-looking room.

The main office was actually what I ran into. I beamed, having made it to the office without searching for ten minutes. For once, I wasn't lost! This was a great accomplishment for me.

After smoothing my clothing again, I approached the slight woman with graying hair and blue eyes at the front desk. I cleared my throat to call attention to myself.

"How may I help you?" she asks with a soft smile.

I smile back, a half-fake smile. "I'm new here. My name is Hishiro Aya," I replied. Thankfully, my voice obeyed me quite well and stayed calm and clear, never betraying my nervous self.

The petite woman handed me a piece of paper, announcing, "Welcome to Kohana High."

I took my schedule, thanking the secretary, and slipped out into the hallway. Since my locker number and combination were with my schedule, I tracked down my locker. Turns out, it was about ten steps from where I had been. I threw my backpack in the locker, but only after retrieving an empty notebook and pencil.

Taking a closer look at my schedule, I merely shrugged when it didn't have the teachers' names. Each school had their own quirks I had come to learn. At least it had the room number. I shuddered at the thought of my last school. It had taken forever to figure out my classes. That was a total disaster I never planned to revisit.

At the top, it stated: Hishiro, Aya M. Locker Number: 189 Combination: 21-34-12 Date: 11/02/09

Then it went on to list my classes:

Period 1: Room 300, Study of Poetry, Adv.
Period 2: Room 305, Keyboarding Apps.
Period 3: Room 302, Careers
Period 4: Room - Lunch
Period 5: Room 206, Nature Sciences
Period 6: Room 108, Geometry
Period 7: Room 114, World History
Period 8: Room 300, Creative Writing

I could have danced from delight. Keyboarding, poetry, and creative writing all captured my interest. Nature Sciences and Geometry were sort of a downer, but I liked World History. Careers class was okay, depending on the teacher.

With a great schedule, I walked off to my first period class, Advanced Study of Poetry. Once I found the room (thanks to the easy layout of three main halls: 1st hall had the 100-something rooms, 2nd with the 200-something, and so on) I smoothed my uniform again and entered the room without hesitation. Immediately, all eyes were on me and silence fell.

The teacher had been holding a book, apparently reading it. He looked odd, with spiked gray hair though he looked about thirty, and a mask covering part of his face. I mentally shrugged; again, every school had their own special quirks.

Without a word, I handed him my schedule; then turned my eyes to my new classmates. I spotted Mori with no problem, being the only one with nearly blood-red hair waving frantically from the second row, next to an empty seat and a blonde guy. On the other side of the empty seat was another guy, this one with brick red, spiked hair and a bored look; his eyes closed and his head leaned back. This boy was the only one not watching me, so I already liked him.

"I'm Kakashi, no Mr., or Sir. Go sit by Mori, maybe you can get her to do her work," said the teacher, handing me my schedule, and shooting my friend a look.

"Shut up, sensei," Mori muttered.

Still silence, so I just laughed a little. Sadly, no one joined. I just walked over to my seat, my long black ponytail swishing against my lower back. With ease, I lowered myself into my seat and stared ahead at the silver-haired teacher.

"So…," Kakashi said. "I have no clue how to continue; you have a free day." With that, my teacher went back to his desk and picked up an entirely different book.

No one said a word. It was killing me.

"Mori," I stated, loud enough for everyone to hear, "you have freakish classmates." She burst into laughter while Kakashi seemed a bit amused. I couldn't really tell because of his weird mask. The blonde-haired person next to my best friend followed her example. After that, a lot of people were giggling, chuckling, or full out laughing. Next to me, the red head didn't even crack a smile.

The blonde held out his hand, and I shook it. "I'm Naruto. Hope you enjoy your freakish classmates at least a little."

I grinned at him. "Aya. And I think I may, but you never know." I winked at Mori, and she giggled more.

Naruto laughed again, and compared out schedules. While he and Mori discussed whom I had what class with, I turned to the boy on my other side.

He was now resting with his arms on his chest, eyes still closed. The boy's hair was delicately spiked, small and simple. The shade wasn't really brick, more like in between that and blood red, a little lighter than Mori's. It seemed natural, not dyed. Somehow, the boy seemed to be alert even with his eyes closed, dodging a wad of paper meant for the person behind him that had been aimed at nothing and everything. No one spoke to him and he returned the favor.

"Hey, I'm Aya."

The room got quiet again, everyone watching me silently. The red headed boy stayed silent, cracking an eye open at me. Inwardly, I flipped out. He had the most amazingly beautiful eyes I'd ever seen. They were an aqua, deep and clear. Outwardly, though, I just smiled sweetly.

When he still said nothing, I leaned closer to him and whispered, "This is where you say your name. Hurry, we have an audience."

Naruto immediately laughed upon hearing this, and Mori was hit with a fit of giggles. Other people laughed, and the boy shot them dirty looks to which they replied with immediate silence.

Still, he said no name.

"Fine, be that way." People shot me looks saying I had to be crazy, or that they were worried for my safety. When the gorgeous-eyed boy had no reply, I turned to the others. "Does this guy have a name or not?" To my annoyance, every one of my new classmates said nothing. So I spoke again, pronouncing everything carefully. "Do you speak the Eng-ah-lish?" I asked with slight annoyance. Some laughed, but others did not.

"Gaara," came a voice beside me. I turned to him.

With a giant smile, I replied, "Thank you, Gaara."

Then, the bell rang.