Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto. I don't own anything.
Author's Note: I have to say, I've never been a fan of High School fics, but this one grew on me. Just a short oneshot about Gaara and Sakura.
Happy reading, and let me know what you think.
Since the very day she met him, Sakura had known that Gaara Sabaku was poisonous.
He was good-looking, that much was obvious. The first time she saw him, Sakura almost mistook him for a girl. Not because he appeared effeminate, but he was beautiful, angelic to a degree, and such things were associated with women far more often than men.
Naruto was the one to introduce them. Naruto, with his bright smile and warm blue eyes, had dragged Sakura over to Gaara, then announced to each who the other was, and left them to talk when Neji, Lee, and Tenten arrived. Neither Sakura nor Gaara had spoken, and although music pounded throughout the house, Sakura felt the need to fill the silence between them. But as she gazed into the icy blue eyes of Gaara Sabaku, the words died on her lips. His face had been completely blank, but his eyes expressed his sentiments quite clearly: he didn't care. He didn't care who she was, what she had to say, her relationship to Naruto, or even the cleavage showcased by her low-cut shirt, bought at a designer boutique in special preparation for this party.
Neither of them said anything. At her realization, Sakura stared at Gaara bleakly. Gaara gave her a look of disgust, and then pushed past her to go over to her longtime crush, Sasuke Uchiha. It hurt to see Sasuke, who had never so much given her a smile, greeting Gaara with such enthusiasm, grinning like he had just won a fabulous prize on a game show. And for a moment, Gaara's blank mask cracked, and he gave Sasuke a genuine smile in return.
Everything about Gaara bothered Sakura. His cold silence, his unfriendly demeanor, that damn eyeliner, and his wardrobe, which wasn't hardcore goth, but definitely was goth-esque and contained considerable amounts of black.
As much as she hated to admit it, his reaction to her botherd her as well. He barely knew her, and yet he acted as if she was trash. What had she done to merit such treatment? Sakura didn't know, and the question plagued her whenever her mind wasn't occupied.
Gradually, she stopped worrying about it so much, but whenever Naruto or another friend mentioned Gaara, Sakura would cringe at the memory. But luckily, she rarely ever saw Gaara. He didn't hang out with their group of friends very often; Naruto had once said this was because Gaara worked after school.
Unfortunately, Gaara became a larger part of Sakura's life when the new school year rolled around. Beyond her electives, she had all advanced classes, a reward of all the studying she had done during her high school career. And so did Gaara; in fact, he shared the majority of her advanced classes: organic chemistry, calculus, and literature studies. If Sakura had to choose one subject in which Gaara Sabaku was not in her class, it would have been literature studies, as eleventh grade language arts was referenced. Sakura was not willing to change her schedule completely, because she enjoyed eating lunch with her friends, and happily, Gaara had a different lunch hour. But this meant she would have to deal with Gaara all year long.
Regrettably, besides Gaara, there weren't many other people she knew in her classes. He was the only familiar face in calculus, and literature studies was mostly comprised of strangers as well. Tenten and Neji were in chemistry, but the two were always partners for experimental labs. In fact, Sakura had heard from Ino that the two were so close that Neji's girlfriend was horribly jealous, despite his platonic relationship with Tenten. Knowing she had no chance of working with either of them, Sakura partnered with a stranger more often than not. Gaara's partner usually was a thuggish-looking teen named Kinimaro.
Sakura had thought that because Gaara was now in her classes, she would have to speak to him, and it was a notion she met with anticipation and dread. It was a chance to show him how intelligent and profound she was, but it was also an opportunity for Gaara to mock her. Sakura often struggled with what she would do if she had to speak to Gaara.
But she needn't have worried. Despite now being her classmate, Gaara still ignored her. Even on the occasions when she stared at him, trying to decipher his behavior, he would turn and look at her flatly, no emotion in his icy blue eyes, and would gaze at her until she turned away. The first time it happened, Sakura had felt thoroughly unnerved, but then she wondered what Gaara thought of someone gawking at him. She wondered if he could sense her eyes boring into his skull when she stared at him. She wondered if he gave any thought to it at all.
On a happier note, the annual award ceremony was coming up. In the ceremony, the top athlete of every sports team and the top student of each grade would be rewarded with a medal of honor and a certificate of recognition. Sakura had earned the award for the top student in her grade for the past two years, and now she would receive the award again. It was a nice distraction from her worries over Gaara.
The day of the ceremony, Sakura filed into the auditorium with the rest of her math class, smiling with pride at the thought of her success. She spotted her two friends Ino and Hinata, and quickly worked her way through the throng of students to reach them.
"Hey," she said breathlessly, when she finally sat down on Ino's right.
"Hey yourself," Ino replied perkily. "It's good to see in school. I'm always worried you're up to ears in work and never get a chance to take a break."
"Advanced courses aren't that hard," Sakura replied casually. "You just have study more, that's all."
"Neji doesn't seem to have much trouble," Hinata added quietly, brushing a strand of her long black hair behind her ear.
That's 'cause Neji is part of the Power Trio," Kiba declared, he and Naruto joining the group, and flopping down into seats beside them.
Sakura exchanged glances with Ino and they both smirked. "The Power Trio" was a nickname they had given Lee, Neji and Tenten, because along with being inseparable as friends, they all succeeded at anything they tried, be it sports, academics, or some other activity. Secretly, Sakura sometimes envied them, but most of the time she wondered what they were trying to prove by joining every sports team possible.
"Where are they, anyway?" Naruto looked around, then brightened as he spotted them, and then became disappointed. "Too bad, it's too crowded over here for them to move."
Sakura followed his gaze to the upper right section of the auditorium seats. Sure enough, the Power Trio was sitting by the end of the row, but they had been joined by none other than Gaara. Sakura grimaced with distaste at the sight of them laughing together, and couldn't help but feel slighted at the sight of Lee, who had once expressed feelings for her, getting along so well with sullen Gaara.
The chatter of the students died down as Tsunade, the principal walked out onto the stage. Although a reasonable woman, she had quite a temper, and none of the students wanted to earn her wrath.
Tsunade began the ceremony, starting with the MVPs of the sports teams first. Unsurprisingly, the Power Trio won awards, Lee and Tenten for cross country, and Neji for lacrosse. What no one saw coming, however, was Gaara as the MVP of the boys' soccer team. Although Sakura knew that Kiba and Naruto had been hoping for the title, both stood and cheered for Gaara as he walked past their row, expressionless as always. Ino and even Hinata shouted victory chants for him as he accepted his award, and stood with the Power Trio onstage, all of whom sincerely congratulated him.
Then, it was time for the academic awards. Sakura trembled in anticipation, butterflies fluttering in her stomach as she listened to the names of the freshman and sophomore class top students.
"And now," Tsunade said, smiling, "Our junior class representative is . . ." she glanced at the note card in her hand. "Gaara Sabaku!"
Stunned, Sakura sat frozen in her chair, an unpleasant churning in her stomach. She stared straight ahead at the stage, unable to tear her gaze away from the sight of Gaara, now looking somewhat annoyed, accepting yet another medal from Tsunade. She knew her friends had turned to stare at her, even Shikamaru opened his eyes briefly from a couple rows away from where he sat with Chouji, Shino, and Sasuke to glance at her.
Outrage and shock surged through Sakura. Why should Gaara get this award? It was her claim to fame in the first place! How had he managed to wrangle the award in the first place? Was he honestly that good of a student?
"I'm sorry, Sakura," Hinata said softly, when the awards were over and they stood to leave along with the rest of the student body.
"Don't worry about it," Sakura replied, shrugging her shoulders. "He won it on a matter of grades. He was just better than me."
"You gotta wonder, though," Kiba mused, stretching his arms over his head. "How many teachers did he sleep with to get those grades?"
"Kiba!" Naruto looked at his friend angrily.
"What?" asked Kiba, running his hand through his hair. "I love Gaara, but you have to admit that he has a reputation . . ."
Sakura muttered goodbyes to them all before slipping into the crowd of people moving out the door. She trudged to her locked, heart heavy with disappointment. At least she only had one more class till the end of the day. After fumbling with her locker combination for a few moments, she pounded her fist into the metal into frustration. This was just so not her day.
Sakura whirled around to find Gaara standing there staring at her. He glanced from her to her locker. Sakura's eyes were drawn to the duo of medals hanging from his neck.
"No," she snapped, furious that Gaara had caught her in a moment of weakness, after he had already stolen the award that practically had been hers.
Gaara looked at, very faintly annoyed, and continued on his way down the hall. Sakura finally managed to open her locker.
"Yes," she hissed in victory, as she pushed her books back into her locker, and removed her chemistry notebook. Then it occurred to her that she had forgotten what the calculus homework was.
In desperation, Sakura looked down the hallway. "Gaara!" she called.
He turned to look at her, evidently annoyed at this point, and Sakura realized that this was the most emotion she had ever seen him display. "What?" he demanded impatiently.
Distracted by her observations, he had caught her off guard. "Um, what, ah, is our homework for calculus-"
"Page one hundred twenty-seven and twenty-eight, questions five to thirty," Gaara replied curtly.
"Thank you," Sakura responded, none to gratefully.
"You're welcome," Gaara replied, in a tone that didn't welcome a single thing.
Sakura stood at her locker and watched him go, then round a corner and disappear. It was then that she decided.
Gaara Sabaku wasn't worth her time.