"Listen up, you selfish little shits. You're going to serve the community, and you're going to like it" – Anko
Sakura stared at the bulletin board and attempted to reconcile herself to her fate. How had she, Sakura Haruno, 16-year-old junior at Konoha High, come to canvass the list of community service options outside her Health classroom five full minutes after the bell had rung?
Well, that was a long story.
"Since helping others is an important part of a person's emotional and spiritual well-being, everyone in this class will have to participate in a mandatory community service project counting for 40% of your final course grade," Iruka-sensei announced at the end of a long (and boring) Health class.
No sooner had the words left his mouth than the classroom was flooded with annoyed grumbling and vocal complaints.
"This is lame."
"Why do we have to do this?"
"What does this have to do with Health?"
The shrill sound of a whistle cut through the din.
"Listen up, you selfish little shits," their other sensei, Anko, threatened. "You're going to serve the community. And. You're. Going. To. Like. It!"
Everyone shut up.
"Community service options are posted on a bulletin board outside the classroom," Iruka called cheerfully over the bell.
… Or maybe not.
It wasn't that Sakura was a self-indulgent snob who hated the idea of community service on principle. In fact, she had previously participated in many community service projects at her local church. It was just that Konoha High's list of options left something to be desired…
Option #1: Working at the Inuzuka animal shelter. Well, that was out. Sakura was allergic to cats, and she wasn't particularly fond of big dogs, either.
Option #2: Participating in a charity basketball game with the proceeds going to Konoha Memorial Hospital. A soft option for the jocks. Sakura wasn't particularly good at basketball, nor did she enjoy getting hot and sweaty.
Option #3: Bake sale with the proceeds going to Konoha homeless shelter. Sakura was an awful cook. Anything she baked was liable to burn past the point of consumption.
Option #4: Watching the children at Konoha kindergarden. Sakura already had a part time job babysitting, thank you very much.
Option #5: Hand-addressing envelopes for Mayor Tsunade. Definitely not. Her hand was starting to cramp just thinking about it.
Option #6: Arranging flowers at the Yamanaka flower shop. Wait a minute, since when does working for a commercial business count as community service? This must be one of the perks of being popular, Sakura thought, slightly envious of Ino. Somehow the blonde had been able to finagle it so that her part-time job working for her family also fulfilled the community service requirement. Flower arranging actually sounded sort of fun, but Sakura knew she wouldn't be able to work alongside her ex-best friend. Ino hadn't spoken to her since she had declared her love for Sasuke in middle school, which Sakura thought was a bit unfair. How was she supposed to know that Ino also had a crush on the attractive Uchiha?
Option #7: Volunteering for the Peer Counseling Program at Konoha High. That was a possibility. Since the peer counseling program was held at school during study hall, she wouldn't have to worry about catching a ride. Sakura didn't have a license yet, and she was reluctant to ask her parents to drive her places, knowing how busy they were. Sakura flipped up the cover page to see who else had signed up. Her heart jumped to her throat when she read the first name on the list. Sasuke Uchiha.
Maybe this wouldn't be so bad, after all…
A/N: This was originally part of chapter 1.
Updated 11/7/10- Spelling errors fixed