I Wonder What It's Like

Chapter 32

Hinata made her way down the stairs and found herself shocked to see her father was home and waiting at the dining room table. "Father," She stated softly as she made her way towards the kitchen. She poured herself a bowl of cereal, added milk and joined him silently at the table. "Is there a reason you're still at home, and not at the office?" She asked with a small frown.

"I told you that you were grounded. And that means from seeing him. So for the length of your punishment, I will be your ride to and from school. I can take care of all my office problems from home, so it won't be a problem to keep an eye on you during your punishment. Now hurry up, we're leaving in fifteen minutes." Hiashi stated without a second thought.

Hinata sighed. She found herself wishing that he had given her a timeline for the punishment the previous night. She finished her breakfast and made herself a lunch. She grabbed her things and followed her father out to his car and got in. She had a feeling it was going to be a long week.

Hinata walked onto the campus and glanced back at the car she had stepped out of. She waved halfheartedly, and headed for the front doors. She walked up to her locker and gave a small, fake smile to Kiba.

"What's wrong?" Kiba asked knowing the fake smile very well.

"My dad grounded me for being out later than he would have liked last night," Hinata stated with a glare towards the floor. "He didn't give a time line, so I have a feeling it's going to be for the rest of this year or until Gaara stops coming around or something," She sighed as she slammed her locker shut with more aggression than necessary. "I'm so sick of this."

"I don't know what to tell you, Hina, I mean my mom can be a bitch, but she's never had a stick up her ass like your dad," Kiba stated as he rubbed the back of his neck with a sigh. "Maybe you can make him think you and Gaara aren't going out anymore or something?"

"That's just going to make things worse," Hinata stated with a sigh. "If he finds out that I 'lied' I'd be in more trouble than I am now. I think he's just angry that I stood up to him last night. I actually told him off," She shrugged.

"You've come a long way from the stuttering, shy girl I knew in elementary school," Kiba smiled as he ruffled her hair to express how proud he was. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pushed slightly to get her to start walking. "Let's get you to class. No need to get into any more trouble. And don't worry, you only have to deal with him for a little while longer. In a year you'll be eighteen and can make your own decisions."

He stopped by the door to her classroom and took his arm from her shoulders. She looked up at Kiba and smiled brightly. "Thanks Kiba, you've grown a lot too. You're not still the kid who always gets into fights with Naruto to see who can be the most obnoxious," She stated with a teasing look in her eyes.

Kiba rolled his eyes at the girl in question. "Get to class before I show you just how loud I can be," He smirked as she laughed and walked into her class room. "Don't let the princess get you down," He called in after her referring to the pink-haired girl sitting at the desk in front of hers.

"I won't. See you at lunch," She called out to Kiba and made her way to her desk before the bell could ring.

After suffering through classes for the first half of the school day, it was finally lunch time and Hinata was thankful. Gaara was absent for the day and had sent her a text saying he had to be at some sort of event for his father's company and he'd be back the following day. She hadn't questioned it and had just told him she was grounded and her father would be driving her to and from school for the term of the punishment. She made her way to a table and sat down. Shino would be joining her soon and she wasn't sure who else would make their way up to her.

She cursed her luck when Sakura stopped by to talk. "So where's Gaara today? Finally figure out that you're not worth his time?" She smiled sweetly at Hinata.

"What does it matter to you, it's not like he'd waste any of his time on you." Hinata stated with a smug smile. "Besides, don't you have more important things to get to?" She gestured to the table where Sasuke and Karin were sitting and talking. "He seems really into Karin, so the big question should be, what does Karin have that you don't? I think Naruto's even taken a liking to her." Hinata stated with a smile as Naruto walked up and grinned at Karin and Sasuke and took a seat with them. "Has Karin taken your spot as one of their best friends?" Hinata asked with a fake smile that could rival Sai's.

Sakura was about to answer when Kiba and Shino walked up and sat on either side of Hinata.

"That's funny, I mean look…Ino is hanging out with Shikamaru and Choji, Kiba and Shino are here with me… You seem to be the only one who hasn't been able to keep best friends along the way," Hinata paused when she saw the hurt look in Sakura's eyes. "It doesn't feel good being put down, does it? Maybe you should stop being a brat to everyone and just be yourself. If they don't like you for you, they're not worth it." Hinata stated firmly and finally broke from her stare down with Sakura.

"She's right," Shino added quietly as Hinata looked over at Kiba and laughed at something stupid he had pointed out. "The Sakura I knew before I left for my project was nice to everyone, one of the few popular people that weren't stuck up and bitchy. What happened to her?" Shino asked and then looked away from her to join Kiba and Hinata in their joking.

Sakura stood there in shock. Shino had never been one to say many words, yet he took a moment to say all of that to her. She felt angry that she realized that both he and Hinata had been right. While her former classmates from elementary school were all having fun with the best friends they had managed to keep, she was the only one looking around trying to find a spot to sit and fit in with the groups at the table.

Hinata gathered her things from her locker and walked out front. She sighed at the sight of her dad's car and started heading for it when she felt a hand on her shoulder stop her. She was shocked to end up staring up into Sakura's bright emerald green eyes. "I owe you an apology," Sakura stated with a frown. "You were right. I let jealousy get to me, and I let my popularity get to my head. I'm really sorry for everything I did to you, and I'd like to be friends if there's still a chance for that."

Hinata stared up at the girl in front of her and thought about it for a minute. Was Sakura being honest, or was this all some joke to her? Was it some kind of scheme to get close and then be hurtful again? Hinata closed her eyes for a moment and thought back. Shino had been right with his words. Sakura used to be a caring person, was there a chance that caring person was still in her? Hinata shook her head and looked back at Sakura. "I'm only going to give you one chance, okay?"

Sakura nodded. "Sounds fair. Thanks for the chance, Hinata. I'll see you tomorrow." Sakura smiled gently and walked off towards the student parking lot for her car.

Hinata shook off her confusion and started walking for her father's car. Had one of the most popular people in school just apologized to her? One of the top nerds in school. One of the biggest outcasts? Hinata was in awe and found herself too speechless to speak when she entered her father's car and he asked the simple question of how her day had been.

That night had been tense. She did her homework at the dining room table like she would as a child. Her father was sitting at the head of the table, observing her. She finished her homework and made dinner for everyone. She had barely spoken throughout dinner. Neji was talking about his classes in college while Hanabi listened intently. Her father would nod and put in his input here and there but for the most part it had been a silent evening.

Hinata got up and collected the dishes and went back into the kitchen to wash everything and put it away. She walked back in and said her goodnights and made her way up to her bedroom. She closed the door and changed into her pajamas. She found herself smiling when Gaara's ringtone filled the silence in her room. "Hey, you're never going to believe this, Sakura apologized to me today." Hinata stated once she knew the phone had been answered.

"That's good," Gaara sounded distracted. "Look, when I was with my dad today, he said something about wanting me to move back to Suna. I don't know whether he's going to actually go through with it or not, but I wanted to tell you before you could hear it from anyone else." Gaara stated firmly.

Hinata's eyes went wide as she stared at the wall. She felt her eyes start to tear up and shook her head. "Oh," was all she could manage to get out. She hoped her voice hadn't sounded as shaky as she felt.

"I'm sorry. We can talk more about it tomorrow, I actually have to go now. I'll talk to you tomorrow. Goodnight, Hinata," Gaara stated quietly.


A/n: So I've been super busy with work and other things. I also had no idea what I wanted to do with this story. I got a couple of ideas from reviews, but now I just need to get back into gear and figure out what I want to do. The plus side, my document is longer than the last couple of chapters have been. Thanks for reading.

Please review and let me know how I did.