Chapter Six: How to Befriend an Outcast
Naruto wasn't exactly sure how to approach Sakura after what happened.
Honestly, he NEVER knew how to approach Sakura...ever.
After running half the period in gym (because he lost to Sasuke again - mainly due to distraction), Naruto finished a quick shower and headed straight to Asuma's class. He didn't know why, but he was actually a little...anxious to get there.
The whisker-tattooed boy turned to see a familiar face.
"Oh." was his first response out of shock. "Hinata, what's up?"
The purple haired girl hesitated for a moment, not sure if this was the right thing to do. "We're in the same math class."
"Riiiiight." Naruto threw her an odd look and attempted to walk away.
"Maybe we should walk together since we're going the same way." she felt a little tense.
Even more shocked, Naruto stopped trying to walk away. He carefully examined her expression for a few seconds, which unsettled Hinata. "You don't have to force yourself, you know."
Hinata blinked. "W-What?"
"I know you don't want to walk with me, so why...?" Naruto eyed her skeptically.
"I just figured since you're dating Sakura..." Hinata paused when she saw Naruto fidget uncomfortably. "I-I don't know. Maybe we should be...friends."
Naruto didn't quite know how to answer. Her suggestion threw him into a bigger shock.
"Is that okay with you?" Hinata stared him down.
"Uh, sure. Yeah, I mean, okay." he shrugged, unable to fully comprehend what had just happened.
It was extremely uncomfortable walking side-by-side with the famous Hinata Hyuuga. Naruto found the situation somewhat awkward. He wasn't bothered by the fact that one of the HOTTEST girls he's ever seen wanted to befriend him...
...just look at his situation with Sakura. Now THAT bothered him.
He was, however, a little bothered by the fact that she was constantly keeping an eye on him.
"Er, what?" Naruto wiped his cheeks with his hand, thinking he had something on his face.
Hinata looked away. "Nothing. Actually, I have a confession to make."
Naruto had been prepared for insults long ago. "Okay, lay it on me." he sighed.
"Promise you won't laugh?"
Okay, now Naruto was really confused. Being confused didn't really surprise him, though. Nowadays, he's ALWAYS confused. "Yeah, sure, I guess."
"I'm glad you're dating Sakura."
Hinata noticed he wasn't going to speak anytime soon, so she continued. "The truth is, I've always wanted to be your friend. I just couldn't find a reason."
Naruto frowned. "You don't need a reason to befriend someone. You just...go for it." All this time, they could have been friends, but she needed a reason? "Why me, though?"
Her fair skinned cheeks were immediately tinted red. "W-Well, I actually had a crush on you in the first grade."
Why was this happening now? First, pink-haired-hottie forces him to be her boyfriend. Next, white-eyed-hottie confesses old feelings for him. What's next?
"Oh." How could Naruto possibly respond to that!
Flashing back through her memories, Hinata smiled sadly. "You see, when Sakura declared you an outcast, I had to force myself to, well, stop liking you and start hating you."
Naruto only nodded his head, understanding her well.
"She was my only friend back then, and I really didn't want to lose her, so I pretended to hate you."
Naruto rubbed the back of his head and grinned. "Sakura was a real witch back then, huh?"
The two of them chuckled softly together.
"I have to admit, she was a pretty cruel kid." Hinata mentally shook her head at her best friend's foolishness. "But she's different now. I mean, just the way she was looking at you this morning."
Naruto abruptly threw Hinata a startled look. "The way she was looking at me?"
Hinata smiled and nodded. "I can tell she really likes you."
The blue eyed boy snorted silently and looked away embarrassed. 'Heh. Who knew Sakura was a good actress.'
"Isn't it obvious? She's dating him out of guilt."
"Hmm, that does make sense."
"Of course it makes sense! Can you think of any other reason besides that?"
"Still, I wouldn't date someone like him just because I feel guilty. If I, oh I don't know, burned his family alive, then maybe, just maaaybe I would."
"Yeah, same here. Or not. I'd probably just say sorry and run away."
"Oh, whatever. Let's just ask her for ourselves. Who knows, maybe she actually...likes him."
"DON'T YOU DARE, TENTEN! DON'T YOU DARE!"
"Gosh, Ino! Would it be the end of the world if she did?"
There was a pause. Both girls looked at each other with indifference. "Yes it would." they replied together.
Right on cue, Ino's eyes caught Sakura and Hinata walking toward their usual lunch table.
"So, got any gossip today, Ino?" Sakura sat herself down next to the blond.
Ino shot her a glare and crossed her arms. "Oh yeah. There's a nasty rumor going around. Just horrible."
"Horrible." Tenten repeated, also shooting Sakura a glare.
Hinata and Sakura looked at each other raising an eyebrow. "Oh, I know what this is about." Sakura nodded her head in realization.
"Ah ha! So it's true!" Ino pointed an accusing finger at her pink haired friend.
Sakura scoffed. "Of course it's true. Ebisu-sensei is secretly having an affair with Shizune. I saw them making out in the janitor's closet."
"What! No way! Is that true? How could I not know that!" Ino exclaimed, disappointed in her recent lack of gossip.
Tenten sighed annoyingly. "That's not what we meant by horrible, Sakura."
The emerald eyed girl shrugged. "I thought that was pretty horrible."
"No, Tenten's right! We know about your little relationship with Uzumaki." Ino sneered at her.
"Right. Because I told you this morning." Sakura threw them a bored look.
"NO! Well, yeah. But we know why you're really dating him."
"Because he has a really cute butt?"
"STOP FUCKING AROUND! It's because you feel guilty!" Ino trashed her arms in the air, frustrated.
Sakura paused for a moment, and pretended to take her friend's statement into full consideration. "Nope. I'm pretty sure it's because he has a really cute butt." she smirked, loving how Ino's face burned furiously.
"Shut your dirty mouth! That's not true!" The blue eyed beauty wanted to slap some sense into her.
"What can I say? Naruto's a very cute boy." Sakura added. "And funny, and an amazing prankster-"
"Oh, stop it!"
Sakura was actually surprised at herself. She never thought she would ever compliment Naruto as much as she just did...or at all.
Quickly shaking out of her thoughts, she checked her watch and pulled herself up. "Ready to go, Hinata?"
"Right behind you." the white eyed girl answered.
"Whoa, wait, where are you two going?" Tenten's chocolate brown eyes followed them.
"We're supposed to meet Naruto by the teacher's lounge. He said he can get us free ice cream there." Sakura simply told them.
"And Hinata's going with you, why?" Tenten raised a suspicious eyebrow at her purple haired friend.
"And exactly how does he get free ice cream?" added Ino, just as suspicious.
Hinata smiled bashfully. "N-Naruto-kun and I are friends now."
Did she just say Naruto-kun?
Oh hell no.
"WHAT!" Tenten and Ino simultaneously exclaimed.
"Yeah, I was surprised too." Sakura giggled. "It's actually not a bad idea. You two should get to know him. Then we can all hang out." she suggested heartily.
Like that's ever going to happen.
"See you girls later." Sakura and Hinata waved as they walked away, leaving two very troubled friends behind.
For a while, they sat there, ignoring the food on their plates.
Tenten slowly picked up her fork and stabbed a carrot. "What do you think we should do, Ino?"
The blond girl only stared out into space. "How am I supposed to know?"
"He is Sakura's boyfriend. That much is true."
"Dammit of all people!"
"And we should try to get along with whoever she decides to date...even if he is the biggest loser ever known." added Tenten furiously.
"Oh god, no."
"That's what friends do, right?"
Ino grumbled under her breath. "I guess."
They looked at each other, horrified.
The rain poured heavily on a Friday morning, and Tenten cursed for the hundredth time wondering why her parents couldn't just buy her a damn car.
"Ugh!" she groaned loudly when her foot fell into a puddle. "Could this day get any worse?" she uttered to herself as she made a pit-stop to shake her wet shoe off.
Glancing up for a second, she happened to lay eyes on a blond haired boy leaning against a brick wall in solitude. Tenten immediately knew who it was and quickly looked down at her shoe. She wasn't surprised to see Naruto there at this time. He was always there by himself, just staring off into space, apparently lost in his thoughts. Tenten usually ignored him and walked straight pass him without a care in the world.
'But not this time.' she sighed uneasily, forcing herself to walk near him.
Tenten had finally made it at least a few feet in front of Naruto, and she mentally patted her back for a job well done. The only thing that irritated her was the fact that he didn't seem to notice she was there.
Dammit, she was standing right in front of him! Not to mention he's crazy for ignoring such a beautiful girl such as herself...
"Ahem." she coughed loudly enough to shake him out of his thoughts.
Naruto blinked and look at her a little alarmed. "Oh. Sakura's friend..." he scratched his head, obviously forgetting her name. "What's up?"
Tenten punched him in the face in her deepest, darkest thoughts. "It's Tenten. We've actually known each other since the first grade." she let out an irritated breath. She couldn't believe he forgot her name. NOBODY forgets Tenten.
"Oh, yeah. I knew that."
Psh. Yeah right.
"Anyway, do you mind if I...wait here with you?" Tenten grudgingly bit out.
Naruto found this situation a little familiar. "Did you have a secret crush on me in the first grade, but couldn't tell me because of Sakura?"
That was an incredibly weird thing to say.
"What - NOOO!" Tenten exclaimed, accidentally stepping into another puddle.
"Oh." was Naruto's smart response. "I'm waiting for Sakura, so when she gets here I guess we could walk to school together."
"Okay." Tenten didn't really know what to say after that.
The two of them leaned lazily against the brick wall and watched the rain fall peacefully.
"Why don't you have a last name?" he asked all of a sudden.
Tenten glared at him. "None of your bees wax."
"Seriously. What's the deal with that?"
Again, Tenten punched him (twice as hard) in her deepest, darkest thoughts. "I'm like Madonna. I'm too cool for a last name." she huffed.
Naruto only raised an eyebrow in confusion.
"So are you dating anyone?"
Tenten abruptly turned to face him. "What's with all the weird question!"
The boy shrugged.
"Why? Are you interested?" she snorted.
Naruto looked indifferent. "No. Just wondering why someone as pretty as you isn't dating anyone."
Tenten's face flushed. "It's none of your business!" she shouted, turning away from him.
For a while, they simply stood there in silence.
"You think I'm pretty?" Tenten looked up at him shyly, still very flushed.
Naruto threw her an odd look. "It's kind of obvious." he replied innocently.
Again, Tenten looked away, staring down at her shoes with a deeper shade of red painted on her face. "Um, thanks."
"Hey, I'm not trying to compliment you or anything! I'm just stating a fact, so don't go around thinking I like you." Naruto declared. "I'm sure a lot of girls would kill to date you."
Tenten snapped her attention yet again on Naruto. Her brown eyes stared at him wide with horror. "Y-You know I'm a..."
"Lesbian?" he raised an eyebrow. "Everyone in school knows." Naruto threw her a bored look.
Tenten looked absolutely horrified. "No! That can't be! The only people I told were Sakura, Hinata and..."
She growled. She honestly loved that girl. But her mouth could only keep a secret for so long...
"OHHHHH! I can't believe this!" Tenten cried, trashing her arms around, ready to hit anything (or anybody) that got in the way.
Naruto backed away, a little scared.
"It's not a big deal!"
"Yes it is! Oh, god! My life is ruined!" she stomped immaturely in the puddle of mud she stepped in earlier.
"Wait - hold on a second!" he grabbed her shoulders, hoping to stop her frenzied behavior. "You're gonna get your uniform dirty."
Tenten stopped and gaped at him.
"I thought girls hated getting dirty?" Naruto looked at her naively.
True. But Tenten couldn't care less right now.
Finally in a calmer mood, Naruto released his grip on her and sighed. "Like I said before, it's not a big deal. People don't care. We've known since our freshmen year."
She opened her mouth to say something, but couldn't quite find the words.
"Did you notice any changes in your life after that?"
He had a point. Nothing changed. People still acted normally around her. Did people really know?
"Geez, you're getting all worked up for nothing." he grinned, continuing to lean against the brick wall.
Still in a state of shock, Tenten quietly imitated his action.
"Look. There's Sakura." Naruto's eyes caught a pink haired girl walking in their direction.
The two of them watched as their pink haired friend came nearer in sight.
"Um, Naruto?" said Tenten, kicking the wall with her heel.
"Yeah?" he answered, still keeping his crystal blue eyes on Sakura.
"I'm actually bisexual..."
Naruto blinked, turning his head to face the brown eyed girl in confusion.
"Hey, Tenten. What are you doing here?" Sakura looked pleasantly surprised once she caught sight of her best friend and 'boyfriend' being unusually civil.
Tenten smiled and lifted herself off the brick wall. "Just thought I'd walk to school with my friends."
"Even Naruto?" Sakura beamed.
"I said my friends didn't I?" Tenten rolled her eyes when she saw the astonishment in their faces, especially in Naruto's. "What are you waiting for? Let's go." she walked ahead of them, laughing at the shocked expression on Sakura's face.
"R-Right. Come on, Naruto." Sakura tugged on his hand.
Tenten had no idea why she told Naruto she was bisexual. Truthfully, she didn't even know she was bisexual until just now. Tenten turned her head around slightly to see Naruto and Sakura holding hands and whispering in secrecy. Her eyes were then focused closely on a certain blue eyed, blond haired boy.
Sakura was right.
Naruto is a very cute boy.
Ino sank deep into her seat, wondering what she should do about the 'Naruto-situtation'. It's been on her mind since lunch period YESTERDAY! For goodness sake, she couldn't even dig up news on the latest gossip because of that friend-stealing jerk.
"Where the hell is that brat?" nearly everyone in class heard Iruka mumbling to himself.
The bell had finally rung, and everyone had been seated long ago. Iruka looked absolutely furious.
"Why does he always do this to me?" he muttered again, thinking no one could hear him.
Just when Iruka was about to start the lesson, he heard the door open...
And in walked a casual looking Naruto. The boy stopped in his tracks when he realized people were staring at him. He quickly sniffed his arm pits and knew it wasn't because he smelled. He was absolutely sure he took a shower this morning...
"Why are you late this time!" Iruka threw a piece of chalk at the boy's head.
Naruto dodged it just in time. "Dammit, Iruka-sensei! You could take an eye out with that thing!"
"Don't change the subject! WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS LATE!"
"IT'S NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS! - No! No! You know I'm just kidding, sensei." Naruto laughed when he saw Iruka's nose flare up angrily. "I was walking...someone to class." the boy dodged another piece of chalk flying at his head.
"I don't care who you walk to class, if you're late one more time-!"
"Okay, okay." Naruto reasoned with his hands, still laughing at Iruka's expression.
"Sit your late ass down and open a book for once. Then maybe I'll let it go." Iruka negotiated, still sneering at the blond boy who tried to look innocent.
Naruto sloppily sat himself down in an empty chair at the farthest corner of the classroom, and immediately attempted to fall asleep.
"Idiot." he heard someone trying to mutter secretly beside himself.
Naruto turned his head slightly and found a blond hair girl scoffing annoyingly next to him. He examined her head-to-toe and when he was through, he snorted softly.
"At least I know how to put on matching socks." he muttered to the girl, eyeing her feet. She wore a pink polka dotted sock on the right foot, and a blue sock with green frogs on the other. "Who's the idiot now?"
The blond girl known as Ino Yamanaka flushed angrily. "I'm making a fashion statement!" she muttered back, and loud enough to turn heads in her direction.
"And what statement is that? Look at me! My socks don't match!" he teased using a high, girlish voice, and funny expressions.
Ino steamed. "You are so immature."
"I'm sorry, who has little green frogs on their socks?"
"Argh!" Ino muttered curses angrily in her seat.
This caused Iruka to stop the lesson and stare at her with an irritated look on his face.
"Sorry." she muttered.
When Iruka continued the lesson, Ino snapped her head at Naruto (who looked very smug) and glared holes in his face.
"Hehe." he grinned. "Truce?"
Ino huffed and turned away.
"Oh, come on."
"No...you teased my socks." sure she was being a little immature too. Well, she's a teenage girl! She has an excuse!
She heard Naruto sigh. "I'm sorry."
"Hmph. Why are you apologizing?"
"Because I like your socks."
Ino raised a questioning eyebrow.
"I actually really like frogs. Your socks are, er, cute." he scratched his head, feeling a little awkward.
A boy who very well looked like he could be on the football team interrupted Ino and growled indignantly at Naruto. "Is that loser bothering you, Ino? Give me the word and I'll happily-"
"Did you just interrupt me? Shut up, I'm talking to Naruto!" Ino flipped her hair in the boy's face and focused her attention on an entirely surprised blue eyed boy. "So you really think my socks are cute?" her smile widened.
"Yeah." Naruto eyed the jock who looked extremely dispirited after being verbally attacked by one of the hottest girls in school.
Ino scooted her seat closer to Naruto. "What about the pink one? What do you think?"
"Er, well..." he shrugged. "I'm actually getting used to the idea of pink." he said, pink hair suddenly invading his thoughts. "So yeah, it's okay."
Ino inwardly squealed. Finally someone who appreciated her 'stylish' socks! Even Sakura teased her, that biatch.
"You know what? You're okay, Uzumaki." Ino smirked approvingly at him.
Naruto returned the smirk. "You're not too bad either, Yamanaka."
Ino paused to really look at him. This freaked Naruto out a little.
"What?" he eyed her suspiciously.
"You are cute."
"What was that?"
"Nothing." Ino silently giggled. She looked away, pretending to focus entirely on Iruka's lesson.
What an interesting guy.
A/N: Nearly hiatus time! Thanks for the reviews; i love you guys so much! OH AND HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! All you need is love :D