A/N: Hi everyone! Sorry if anyone was expecting me to update Déjà Vu, but I've stumbled across the dreaded writers' block as to how to continue it and link it, because I have another section already written out. So this is just another story I really couldn't get out of my head, and that I really had to post. Hope you all like it!
Gaara: You know you made me a lot worse in this story than I actually am. And a lot taller.
Me: Don't you like being tall?
Gaara: To be honest… yes. It's weird to have a short mass-murderer. I don't know why. It just is.
Me: Yay! Now disclaim or whatever it is I'm paying you to do already!
Gaara: Go screw yourself.
Me: That's it! I'm docking your wages!
Gaara: You're not paying me. And you don't own me either.
Me: Or anyone else in this story, unless an OC pops up, dattebayo! –whispering to Gaara– see, you did it! It wasn't so hard, right?
Gaara: If you don't feel like being eviscerated right now, you will run like hell.
Me: Oops. –runs like hell–
"Oh, you have got to be kidding me," a busty blonde with almond eyes muttered as she heaved a sigh. She sat up a little straighter and pushed the empty sake bottle behind a pile of textbooks while frowning at the vice-principal.
The principal of Konoha High was having a headache. A huge, screw-the-world-I-want-my-alcohol headache.
"Well, I did tell you to check his profile," Shizune said smugly. Tsunade glared at her brunette assistant and thought (for the fifty-second time that day) that if she weren't so infuriatingly efficient, she would have fired her a long time ago.
"Let me see," she demanded just because she could, and snatched the slim folder from Shizune's hands like a little kid having a tantrum. Shizune rolled her eyes and quickly scampered out of the office. She leaned against the wall and counted down slowly, knowing that Tsunade's eyes would flick straight to the problems section.
On cue, the principal's loud voice could be heard through the flimsy wall. Flinching, she slapped her hands over her ears and silently pitied her other colleges still in the office. Especially that intern who wouldn't know the danger signals as well as the others.
"YOU'VE GOT TO BE SCREWING WITH ME! THAT'S HIS PROBLEM? ANTISOCIAL FUCKING PERSONALITY DISORDER? AND THE CURE? ANGER MANAGEMENT? I'LL MANAGE HIS ANGER FOR HIM, THE LITTLE BASTARD!"
Shizune counted (again) to ten, hoping that Tsunade would've remembered what her aide told her. Count to ten, take a deep breath and run through it again. Then she crossed her fingers and her toes and debated the merits of crossing her hair as well, before opening the door slightly. "Tsunade-sama? Are you… are you alright now?"
Breathing heavily a little like a bull, Tsunade nodded and then smiled a smile that could have made the prime minister forget his next sentence.
The brunette frowned, remembering her weird mood swings. Really, Tsunade-sama was the one who needed an aide. Well, she did have one, but then she requested for danger money and was promptly fired on the grounds that Tsunade was perfectly fine now, thank you very much.
Speaking of aides…
"Shizune, how much do we have left in the school fund? Apparently, he doesn't come with an aide and we have to provide one."
Gulping, Shizune wondered if running out of the office right now and hiding in a safe, dark little corner till kingdom come would get her fired. It was a pity she left that Kevlar vest in her car, she really could have used it now. Or one of those plastic police shields they used to keep back the crowd. Of course, they weren't as effective as Kevlar vests.
She should know. She'd tried them both on the principal already.
"Spit it out! I can't imagine why money makes you tongue-tied."
Here goes nothing, she thought.
"Ah… w-well, we d-d-don't a-actually h-h-have the f-fu-funds f-for an a-aide," she mumbled and stuttered like one of her Health Ed students. Hinata was her name, right? Well, now she knew how the poor girl felt.
She was never, ever going to make Hinata stand in front of the class and read out embarrassing lines ever again.
"We don't h-have the f-funds f-for an aide!" Shizune almost cried and then cowered under a handy file, expecting an explosion. But what she got was a slightly confused look and a dumb-sounding 'huh' from the principal. "I don't get it – we had a fundraising right before school ended! Where did all the money go to?"
This was the clincher. If Shizune lived through Tsunade's reaction, she could live through the apocalypse.
"You kind of spent it on those bottles of sake," she whispered and then squeezed her eyes shut. She could see her life flash before her eyes and she knew death was coming for her.
"We could hold another fundraiser," Tsunade suggested almost calmly, admirably holding her anger in, even if the wood desk was splintering under her fists.
"We don't have the time, school's starting in a week," Shizune whispered again, eyes still shut. It was close now, and hungry for her.
"Then we'll get one of the pupils to do it," Tsunade said through tight jaws, oblivious of the broken desk at her feet. "See to it, Shizune, I need some air."
She stepped out of the office, her feet causing not a few cracks on the ground, and Shizune could hear the blonde fumbling in her jacket for another bottle of sake. Then the vice-principal looked at the mess on the floor and knew she was lucky to be alive. "Hello, could you please come and look at the floor of our principal's office? It seems to have fractured," she breathed into the phone (miraculously still intact), slumped on the ground.
Picking up one of the files, she fanned herself with it feverishly and thanked Kami.
After she had tidied the office and stacked the paperwork into a huge tower at the side of the room, she looked at the file in her hand. It was the one Tsunade had been annoyed (understatement of the freaking year) about.
Name: Sabaku no Gaara
Siblings (already in Konoha): Sabaku no Temari; Sabaku no Kankuro
Previous school: Akatsuki High for Juvenile Delinquents
Reason for transfer: Fighting on school grounds; causing of physical trauma; causing of psychological trauma
Problem(s): APD (Antisocial Personality Disorder)
Special needs: Aide
God, if he had been even kicked out of AHJD, she didn't know how Konoha High was going to survive with him around.
"Hyuuga Hinata? Do you want to explain?" –raised eyebrow–
"Well, she's the sweetest girl I know…"
"He'd chew her up and spit her out in twenty seconds. Are you serious?"
"Firstly, she's female and less likely to pick a fight with him. Secondly, she's Hinata and less likely to pick a fight with him, unlike some other girls we both know."
"Does the name 'Sakura' ring a bell? Or 'Ino'?" –exasperated voice–
"Oh. Right, yes. And?"
"Third, I'm hoping she'll rub off on him."
"Keep the dream alive, because that's not going to happen."
"Fourth, she stutters, you know? And he's going to have to learn how to put up with stuff like that, and what better example than Hinata?" –determined to ignore previous sentence–
"You want him to learn by punching her face in? Because that's what I'll bet he'll do."
"Well, this will work out perfectly then. When has your losing streak ever been broken, huh, legendary sucker?"
"I told you not to call me that in school!" –pissed off–
"And I told you I didn't care! Now, will you please fill in this form?"
"I still think this is a bad idea."
"She's got that innocent-little-kid vibe, you know? Like, when you look at her, you just don't want to hurt her? I hope that'll work with Gaara. I mean, if he doesn't want to punch her face in, he won't, right?"
"So you think he'll punch her too!"
"What! No!" –senseless, incoherent protestations–
"Wait. How are we going to get her to agree? How are we going to get her dad to agree? He'll never agree!"
"I happen to know Hinata's failing Health Ed." –sneaky look–
"Alright, so it was partly my fault for making her stand up in front of the whole class and read out the bit about unsafe sex. And how to unroll a condom. And –"
"I don't want to hear this. Just tell me what you plan on doing."
"Health Ed is compulsory, so she'll need to do something else for the extra credit. I mean, she can't exactly take remedial for Health Ed…"
"Whoever heard of Health Ed remedial?"
"No, I meant as in, she faints the moment she sees the word 'sex', 'sexual relationships', 'condom', hell, even the word 'intimacy'. Her dad obviously hasn't given her the talk yet."
"Again, I do not want to hear this."
"Yeah, so we'll make her an aide for extra credit. Her dad can't disagree, not unless he wants her to flunk out of high school."
"Do you know what you are under that efficient mask? A sadist."
"But I like your way of thinking."
She signed her name onto the papers with a flourish and a huge, triumphant grin.
Hinata fidgeted in her seat, twisting the pleated ends of her school skirt nervously between her fingers. She didn't know why she'd been called up to the principal's office, and she really didn't want to think about it. God only knew what her dad would say when he found out.
But it was kind of hard not to think about it, because Tsunade-sama herself was smiling stupidly at her like she'd just consumed a bottle of vintage wine by herself.
"Hinata, do you know you've been failing Health Education?" Shizune asked with a sympathetic face, which immediately got her guard up. Teachers were never safe to be around when they were being sympathetic. Plus, the words 'Health Education' made her think of that fiasco where she'd fainted before the whole class.
Bobbing her head, she felt the blood rise to her cheeks and prayed Tsunade was too drunk to notice.
"Well, you know you have to pass it to pass high school, or at least do something for extra credit, right?" the spiky-haired vice-principal continued, still with that smile plastered on her face. Hinata tried not to push her index fingers together and instead buried them in her skirt.
She nodded again, wondering what this had to do with, well, anything.
"So, we've come up with the perfect assignment for you!"
This was not good.
A group of three people were lounging in their home.
Well, not really a group, because that word implied relative closeness. Although they were blood siblings, the elder two were in fear of their lives everyday, thanks to the youngest boy. And that sounded like an exaggeration, but when your baby brother's name was Sabaku no Gaara, it was beyond true.
A brown-haired boy with face-paint (makeup, as his sister referred to it) hunched over a table, fiddling with parts and pieces of what appeared to be a puppet.
A blonde girl with four ponytails was by the window, soaking up the sun and fanning herself alternately. She hated the summer, and the fact that school started after summer was the biggest mistake ever.
A redheaded, pale boy was cleaning out his nails with a penknife while his piercings flashed under the sunlight.
Hmm. Not quite the picture of a happy family.
A flurry of letters dropped in through the slot on the door, paper white and methodically rectangular. Immediately, the blonde moved to get them, knowing that both her brothers hated disturbance. And even if she didn't, they'd just look pointedly at her with a face that said 'you're closer to the door'. So what if the window was further away from the door than the table and the couch?
"Junk, junk, junk, trash, bills, advertisements, junk, junk, more junk. What a waste of paper – oh, look. Hey, Gaara! It's from the school!"
She chucked it at her brother and quickly left the scene. The envelope hit his hair and he growled, before reaching up to take it. Stupid Temari. His hair was messy enough. He didn't need her help.
Slitting the letter open with the same penknife he was holding, his eyes flicked through it once. Twice.
A third time.
Another growl escaped his teeth and he balled up the paper, throwing it behind him carelessly as he rose from the couch and went right out of the door without a goodbye. It slammed behind him and Kankuro immediately bent to retrieve the paper ball.
Addressed to Sabaku no Gaara
Blah, blah, blah… what was this? He narrowed his eyes and squinted at the magic word.
"Temari, come look at this! Our baby bro needs an aide!"
"Damn! How much you want to bet he gets beaten up on the first day?"
Kankuro shook his head and pushed his puppet parts to the side of the table and then smoothed out the letter so that it lay flat on the wood. His finger pressed the side down, trying pointlessly to remove the wrinkles where the paper had crumpled against itself. Boy, Gaara sure could squash hard.
"It says here his aide is a girl… Some fool named Hyuuga Hinata. God, why would she sign up for this shit…?"
"Can you read, Kankuro? It says she's doing this for extra credit. I bet she's some preppy slut with a jock boyfriend. Or she's some loser who doesn't know how to… pass Health Ed? What the hell?"
"Guess what the best part is? He's not allowed to hit her. At all. Unless he wants to be transferred to some facility thing. And as much as Gaara is going to hate Konoha High, he's going to hate the Facility for Reforming Juvenile Delinquents even more. He knows that too."
"Oh my God. So he like, even slaps her, and he's out of here."
"And we have front row seats to this."
"I think I'm going to like senior year."
Before either of them could say anything else that could get them into trouble (they didn't know how Gaara knew they were badmouthing him. He just knew), the bell rung hesitantly, as if the person on the steps wasn't sure if he was in the right place.
"You get it, Kankuro," Temari said immediately, not wanting to deal with any door-to-door salesmen. She'd probably scream their ears deaf.
He rolled his eyes and yanked the door open.
"Damn…" he muttered, eyes never leaving the person standing before him. Temari's eyes were similarly occupied.
Enter their brother's aide, Hyuuga Hinata.
The first thing that came to Kankuro's mind was "Hell, she's hot".
The next thing that came to his mind was "I can't believe she's Gaara's aide. He gets all the girls".
Only after he felt a trickle of drool drip down his lip did he realize that he was still ogling her like crazy, and she was still standing nervously outside.
Normally, he didn't go for the sweet, innocent looking girls. They looked way too immature, or fake, or stupid. And he didn't like brats who pulled puppy-dog eyes to get whatever they wanted. He didn't like brats, period.
But Hyuuga Hinata was perfect. Hyuuga bloody Hinata had the limpid, guileless face of an angel, and the unbelievable body of a devil.
"Uh, come in?" he said, and he couldn't feel himself opening the door wider and ushering her in. He was floating. When she passed him, he could smell her lavender perfume (a scent he always thought was for old ladies but she made it smell… well, sexy) and he could feel a wisp of her long dark hair brush against his arm. Was it black or blue or purple? He felt that finding out the colour of her hair was the most important thing he ever had to do. It was one of life's great mysteries.
Thankfully, Temari still kept her wits about her and made the girl sit, got her a cup of tea and started apologizing for her brother's absence.
"O-oh, um, it's alright, I'm s-sorry for not calling b-before I came over…" Hinata whispered quietly, politely, as she sipped at her tea. Damn, she even got the whole stutter thing down perfectly.
"Are you here for Gaara?" Temari wondered, knowing full well she was. "Ah, um, yes. He's n-not in?"
"Nope," she answered, but slipping in a "so do you want us to find him for you?" casually.
Hinata's doe-wide, pearly eyes widened in horror and she quickly said that she didn't want to be a burden, but Temari brushed aside her protests and beckoned for Kankuro (still standing by the door) to show Hinata some of the places Gaara frequented.
"Try the den, maybe the club… Maybe he's at the playground," Temari rattled off.
Kankuro ignored her and walked out quickly; trying to subdue the raging hard-on he had gotten from seeing Hinata in her uniform (she'd rushed over from her meeting with the principal). That skirt should be illegal; it was short enough that if she bent over he would see everything…
Don't go there! This is your brother's aide you're thinking about!
Your brother's very hot aide…
Shaking his head, he made for the gambling den Gaara sometimes went to, forgetting about her presence behind him, trailing him like a lost puppy. "K-Kankuro-san? Are you alright?" her soft voice spoke, startling him.
He stopped mid-step, making her slightly stumble against him.
Breaking out into a deep belly laugh, Kankuro couldn't help but think they looked ridiculously stupid staring at each other's mortified expressions on the sidewalk. He would bet he looked the dumbest he'd ever looked (and that was saying something). This was also the best thing he'd ever done.
Although she started with looking at him questioningly, his laughter was terribly infectious and he soon had her giggling along, adding her bell-high voice to the noise.
"S-sorry, but you looked so funny I couldn't help it," Kankuro gasped as he doubled over, panting for breath.
"I b-bet you looked w-worse," Hinata giggled again and then continued laughing when he made a face of mock insult.
With the noise of their laughter hovering around them lightly, it was quite obvious neither of them were going to hear the redhead approaching them lazily. So both of them jumped and had near heart-attacks when the teenager said "Who's this?" to Kankuro, frowning mightily. It was a miracle he didn't have wrinkles.
"Oh! Gaara! Um, this is Hinata…your aide?" he ended with a question, knowing it was up to Gaara whether she could keep this post or not.
Frankly, both Kankuro and Hinata were expecting him to walk off, so that they could get back to their laugh-fest, and maybe sprain their diaphragms. After all, he didn't appear to show any interest in her.
It came as another heart-attack inducing surprise when he beckoned for Hinata to follow him.
A/N: I know, I know, the ending was lame. R&R please!