Author's Note: I have been thinking about this story for awhile and decided that I couldn't wait any longer to post it. Please R&R to tell me what you think so far. :)
Disclaimer:I don't own Naruto.
"Out on the tar plains, the glides are moving
All looking for a new place to drive
You sit beside me, so newly charming..."
~"The Chauffeur" Duran Duran~
Sakura laid in her bed and slowly lifted a drowsy eyelid open to check the time on the clock, groaning with dissatisfaction at the bright red numbers. She smothered her face into her pillow, letting it caress her features with a tempting offer to fall back to sleep. With an over-exaggerated sigh, she tossed her covers to the side and shuttered when the temperature of the room suddenly changed. Under her comforter, she was completely warm and her room was ice cold. She blocked out the chilly feeling and arched her back to stretch her body. It was part of a routine that she did every morning and she found that it actually helped her stay awake throughout the day.
She followed through her usual morning pattern by getting ready in the bathroom and putting on her Konoha High navy blue uniform on. She hated the plaid skirt that the school had required all female students to wear, especially in the weather they were experiencing now. The end of January was not the best time for somewhat short skirts like hers.
Hoppling down the stairs, Sakura managed to tug her knee-high socks up both of her legs while juggling her cellphone and unfinished math homework. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee filled up her nose. She smiled as she placed the cellphone and papers on the island counter and poured some into a pastel blue mug. As she took a sip, she mentally thanked her mother for waking up so early to make such a much needed element in Sakura's mornings.
She looked at the clock on the wall, seeing that she had a good chunk of time before she had to leave for school and decided to complete what homework she had neglected to finish. Meanwhile, her breakfast was being made in a toaster close by and dinged to alert its owner with the completion of its task. The rosette spread a massive slab of butter on two pieces of toast and sprinkled an unholy amount of cinnamon sugar on the slices. Her mouth melted with contentment as she took a bite off the corner of one of them.
Her phone buzzed and she rolled her eyes at the text message on the screen. Ino, her best friend that she prized and sometimes had an estranged friendship with, demanded to know if her friend was up and realized what time it was. Ever since Ino's little accident with her parents' car, the blonde was forbidden to be behind the wheel of any vehicle. Of course it was Sakura's duty as a cherished friend to act as Ino's taxi until her parents relieved her (and Sakura) from her punishment. There were only a few weeks that Sakura had left of driving Ino to and from school plus other wanted destinations and it was a much awaited deadline for her.
After replying to the message on her phone that she was going to leave in five minutes, Sakura scribbled an answer to her last homework problem and prepared herself for the cold outdoors. She flung her messenger bag over her shoulder, poured the remaining coffee into a thermos, and headed outside with her unfinished toast in hand.
A blast of cold air hit her frame and she had goose bumps crawl up her body. The remaining bits of snow mounds covered dull brown lawns and atop parked cars on iced driveways. She made her way over to her small silver car and turned it on. The vehicle roared to life and she leaned against its exterior so that she could wait for the heater to warm up. Munching on the same piece of toast from before, she looked down at her watch and then back up at the doorway to the house next door. Surprisingly enough, this was also habitual for her to do before heading off for school.
Next door was the ever-so famous Sasuke Uchiha. The most of the girls at their school were obsessed with him. They flocked to his locker in the mornings and followed him from class to class unless he managed to find a way to slip away from them. The teens would stalk him when he went to his baseball practices and were at almost every game. As much as they loved him, some probably not even knowing why they find him so attractive, they knew very little about him. The mysterious Uchiha did not speak to those that he didn't know personally and had a demeanor that kept most onlookers at bay.
The girls at Konoha High each had a theory about him. The one that a bulk of them liked to believe was that he was rich beyond compare. He drove an expensive car to school and lived in a mansion with a butler, a horde of maids, and a personal chef. Sakura laughed at these assumptions of Sasuke. Unlike the girls at school, she knew the truth about the Uchiha youth. Because she was indeed his neighbor, Sasuke did not live in a mansion nor did he own a classy car. In fact, Sasuke drove what most would call a clunker car that liked to stall in the extreme cold and even less dire arctic conditions like today. Sakura would have to move her car over to his driveway and help revive up his "antique".
Sakura didn't hate Sasuke. On the contrary, they were kind of friends if someone wished to call them such. She would talk to him occasionally and if she was lucky, he would answer. They shared a few things in common like classes, a lunch period, and a loud-mouthed blonde friend named Naruto who was more so Sasuke's friend then anything.
However, it was the school mornings that Sakura looked forward to before having to leave to get Ino. Everyday since sophomore year, she would wait outside and say hi to him as he got ready to leave in his car. He would respond back and casually tell her that he would see her in class. On rare occasions, she would find their roles reversed although he was never the one to say hi first. She didn't know why they followed this routine every morning, but she liked it. It gave her something to look forward to.
The pinkette looked down at her watch again and saw that she really had to be leaving to get Ino soon. Sighing and figuring that Sasuke was ill, she was about to climb into her warm vehicle when the door to Sasuke's house swung open. The raven-haired teen calmly went over to his car and turned the key in the ignition. Sakura watched as he struggled to get the car to start and saw his shoulders slightly slum with disappointment.
"Would you like me to help start the battery up?" she called over, holding her coffee thermos close to her mouth so that the steam could run over her cold lips.
He slammed the door close and started heading in her direction. She furrowed her brow when he didn't answer her and took a sip of coffee. Sasuke went over to the passenger side of her car and leaned over its roof, staring at her with dark eyes.
"Could you just drive me today?" he asked.
Sakura, taken aback by his unique request, replied, "Sure, is your battery completely dead or something?"
He nodded and climbed inside the vehicle. "I forgot to get a new over the weekend."
She smiled and backed the car out onto the road. The car was filled with a pregnant silence except for the sound of the heater blasting hot air around them. Sakura was not accustomed to the stillness and tapped her fingers against the steering wheel. Ever so often she would glance in his direction to see what he was doing and each time he was staring out the frosted window. Sighing, she tired to think of something to talk about. She found it strange how she could talk to him normally when surrounded by friends, but alone, she couldn't strike up a single topic.
Out of desperation, she turned up the volume on her radio and let the rhythmic tunes flow through the silence. Sasuke fidgeted in his seat and sent a mental note to Sakura that the music was either too loud or really annoying. Begging for a more melodic and calmer song, she brought the volume back down and leaned against her seat.
The car signaled right and the rosette turned into a new neighborhood. Sasuke made a slight groan, rubbing his brows with anxiety.
"Sorry, but we're making a quick stop," Sakura explained, heading towards a cul-de-sac. "I should have warned you first."
"I suppose so," was the reply.
"It's just that I have to drive Ino to school and I apologize in advance if she bothers you," Sakura added.
She could understand why he did not want to come this way. Ino was very much a gossip queen and Sasuke was trying to hide certain aspects of his life. He was mysterious for a reason and if Ino found out that he lived near Sakura, then word would get out. Sasuke fan girls would cover his lawn with their silliness and the quiet home life that he was familiar with would be over. Sakura was going to do her best to keep his private life just that.
They pulled up to a typical blue-shutter home and Sakura told Sasuke that she would be right back. Leaving the car running, she hustled to Ino's door and knocked roughly on it. Immediately, it opened to reveal an impatient blonde with a bag slung over her shoulder. She tapped the face of her watch and narrowed her eyes at the rosette.
"You're late, Forehead," Ino stated, holding the door open.
"Well, excuse me Pig. Let's see if I drive you to school ever again or anywhere else as a matter of fact," Sakura retorted.
Ino snorted and stepped outside to lock her front door. As she turned the key, she asked, "Have all your dance equipment?"
Sakura nodded. Everyday whenever Sakura would come to pick up Ino, they would both ask each other if they had grabbed everything so that nothing was left at home by accident. The ritual question was quite helpful for hectic mornings because at least one of them would remember the stuff. For Sakura, it was her dance class equipment while Ino had to remember her cheerleader garb.
"Before we get to the car, I have to tell you something," Sakura said. "And you'll have to be completely mature about it."
Ino rolled her cerulean eyes. "Please, I can be mature."
"We have a guest in the car," Sakura explained.
The blonde began to jump up and down in excitement, clapping her gloved hands.
"Who? Who!" she enthusiastically asked. "Do I know them?"
The pink-locked girl nodded and pointed her thumb behind her. Ino rose up onto her tiptoes and glanced over her friend's shoulder. Her eyes grew wide and a bright smile crept up her lips. She covered her mouth in shock, and then pointed at the car only to cover her mouth again. Ino looked to Sakura, asking with her eyes if who she was seeing was not a mere illusion. Sakura nodded and the blonde squealed.
"Sasuke Uchiha!" she shrieked gleefully. "Sakura, how did you get Sasuke Uchiha in your car?"
"He asked for a lift and I let him in," Sakura casually answered. "This is a one time thing and please don't drool over him."
"Come on Sakura, like I would do that!" Ino exclaimed. "I have Shikamaru, I wouldn't dare drool over how hot Sasuke is or how his uniform is conveniently snug in all the right places."
"You're doing it right now!"
Ino waved her off and laughed. "Fine, let's head to school."
They stepped into the car and Sakura headed towards Konoha High. Ino was doing really well, behaving exactly like Sakura had told her to. She kept a civil conversation with the rosette while in Sasuke's presence only asking his opinion on serious subjects. In a way, Sakura was a bit jealous of Ino in how she was able to find a way to include Sasuke in a discussion while she failed to do so. Ino wasn't even that much of a friend to the young Uchiha. But despite envious feelings, Sakura was grateful that the silence she was experiencing was now gone. Ever so often she would look through the rearview mirror and see Ino twirl her hair as she talked. Her purple nails twisting in the sheer locks that Sakura wished she had.
Sakura turned into the entrance of the high school and headed towards the student parking-lot. Her silver car hummed as she attempted to squeeze it into her assigned spot after seeing that the cars parked around her spot had shifted over into her own. With an exasperated sigh, she cut the engine. Ino and Sasuke removed themselves from her vehicle, throwing their belongings over their shoulders. Sasuke grunted, placing Sakura's attention on him, and he tipped his head to salute her. As he walked off, Sakura felt an arm wrap around one of her own. It was obvious to her who it was since Ino's lavender fragrance was never something to go unnoticed. She tugged at the rosette to walk with her and they entered the school.
"Well then," Ino voiced, pushing her way passed students. "I did not expect that."
"Excuse me?" Sakura asked looking up at her taller friend.
"Sasuke, duh!" Ino exclaimed. "That was rude of him."
"What do you mean?"
The blonde sighed and poked the other girl on the forehead. "He didn't even thank you for taking him to school!"
Sakura rolled her eyes and kept walking.
"Ino, he thanked me in his own way. He wasn't being rude," Sakura explained.
"You are obviously ignorant about how a man should act towards a woman," Ino professed. "A gentleman is always respectful when encountering the opposite sex, meaning that they express their gratitude with actual words instead of head nods."
Sakura just stared at the blonde, her jade eyes looking at her in wonderment. She shook her head as the two of them ended up at their shared locker.
"Where do find stuff like that Ino?" Sakura said, putting in the the combination to the locker. "It sort of sounds like you made it up."
The blonde huffed and pulled a science text book from the now opened locker.
"Earth to Sakura: you are not the only one who reads," Ino informed her. "Besides I already told you that you are uneducated about this type of stuff."
"Whatever you say Ino," Sakura sighed, taking a thick novel from the locker. "But I still don't think he was being rude."
The blonde rolled her eyes as the bell rang. She patted the rosette on the shoulder and told her that she had to go. Shikamaru was apparently waiting for her by the school library and was to take her to her next class. They would have to continue their discussion during lunch, the only period that they shared. However, Sakura knew that her friend would more than likely forget about the conversation by displaying a bulk of newly discovered gossip that would have evolved over the next couple of periods.
She shut the door to the grey locker with a slight slam (the thing tended not to close all the way sometimes) and pressed her class material against her chest with a sigh. Glancing up at the clock on the hallway wall, she headed off towards her first period class of the day.
Author's Note: Mostly just an explanation of what Sakura does in the morning, but I promise it will get better. Each chapter will have a song with it that may (or may not) conicide with what the chapter is about. Have a favorite song (well of course you do, everyone has at least one)? When/ If you review, tell me what it is. I will possibly put them in future chapters. Just a friendly request. Anyway, I hope that you liked the chapter. If you see anything wrong with it, let me know. Thanks for reading. :)