This was one of the few classes that had mixed years of students, anywhere from sophomore to junior and senior, as elective courses were a seemingly easy grade. Ms. Kurenai Yuuhi was the instructor of one such class, she was a brilliant art and music teacher. And she was just about to drop the bomb on her first class. It was a project she developed that she would be trying out for the first time, the inspiration brought on by…well, she couldn't exactly recall, perhaps it was some movie.
"Good morning, quiet down now. Now that I've had some time to observe your individual talents, we're ready to move into the project I talked about on our first day…."
Hinata could barely focus, she always had a hard time in this class, even though she loved music. But it was because she was also in this class, she as in Sakura, the girl who hurt her so badly at the end of last school year. Just to think, it was months ago. Here she was, a junior now, and of course her first and only class with Sakura would be bright and early in the morning.
"Alright, based on your different talents, you'll be placed into four groups of five students. You'll each have the rest of the semester to figure out the roles of each member, write the music and lyrics, practice, and perform your best piece at our assembly in January. Yes, Sakura?"
"Wait a minute, I thought you said that this was all voluntary?"
Kurenai Yuuhi grinned at her brilliant pink-haired music student, "You can look at it that way, I'll put it like this…half of your grade this semester depends on your performance." She took in the shocked faces of her students, she really wasn't sure why they were so surprised, it was described in their course definition when they signed up for this elective class. "Alright, you're group will be responsible for picking a name to go by, private time has been selected for each group to practice in the auditorium. Okay, the first group is…"
They were group number three, consisting of five girls. A mixture of three juniors and two seniors, and two of those girls were pretty much quiet and to themselves allowing the other three to totally dominate their arrangements and placement in the so-called 'band assignment'.
Ino Yamanaka, Sakura Haruno, Temari Sabaku, Hinata Hyuuga, and Tenten Tanaka.
Five girls. Five different personalities. They were doomed to fail.
"Okay, so we'll need someone on drums, two guitarists, someone on the piano, and a lead singer," Sakura initiated.
"Not too mention back-up singers to the lead vocalist and the violin would be helpful," smarted Ino.
"Why don't we figure out what each of us is good at and go from there?" Temari suggested, looking at the under class girls as though they were stupid.
"Great idea Temari, I can sing and play the guitar," Sakura jumped in with excitement. Even though, she felt extremely uncomfortable being anywhere near her boyfriend's ex.
"Whatever Forehead, I can actually sing…"
"Yeah right, don't you mean snort like a pig?"
Ino glared at the pinkette and continued on, "and I can play the violin and bass."
Temari sighed, "Drums for me, I can't carry a tune to save my life. Okay, and you two?"
"Piano," both Hinata and Tenten replied before glancing at each other.
"We will only need one of you on the piano, so…do either of you have anything else to offer?"
Both shook their head no and then looked down. After blinking, Temari asked if either could sing.
"Um…well, I s-sing, but…I'm not any…any good," Hinata said turning red.
"I think we should just let ALL of us sing and decide then, because there is no way Sakura is going to be the lead vocalist."
"You only wish you could sing as well as I can, Piggy."
Temari sighed, "Enough, I need a good grade on this project, so stop acting like little children."
"You're just pissed cause you're not on Shikamaru's team," sassed Ino.
After getting in her face Temari growled and said, "You want to start something little girl?"
"Please stop," Hinata mumbled.
Rolling her eyes, Temari motioned for Sakura to sing first.
Pleased that she was chosen first, she broke out by singing a tune familiar to her…which was Happy Birthday.
"Oh how original Bilboard-Brow," Ino said sarcastically.
"Shut up and listen," Temari demanded.
Sakura's voice was good enough, maybe a little too nasily at times, but overall it was nice and wouldn't sound too bad accompanied by music. Ino decided to go next and hers was actually a little worse than Sakura's. As in it was scratchy and she sounded almost raw, no one but her knew that it was because Chouji had his hands wrapped around her throat the night before, hence the turtleneck she wore. She made the excuse that she had a sore throat. Temari decided to go ahead and go next since the other two weren't volunteering. She was right, she really couldn't carry a tune. Tenten sang, but her voice was way to light, as in she had no force behind it. Finally it came to Hinata, the shy girl.
"Well, so far Sakura's our best bet. Let's see what you got Hinata," Temari said.
She gulped and then closed her eyes. They waited patiently; well, a little patiently while she gathered her nerves. She started off soft and way high-pitched, but her voice evened itself out and…and she lost herself as she usually did and with her eyes closed blocking everyone and everything out, she let go. The raise in her pitch fluctuated beautifully as she sang an old Konoha summer lullaby. To say the least when she finished, her eyes opened to see the others all with wide eyes and open mouths.
"Woah. That was…that was amazing girl, I had no idea you could sing like that Hinata," Ino complimented, "My votes on her."
"Yeah. Yeah, I agree," Temari said.
"Oh please, she's way too high-pitched…" Sakura said while rolling her emerald eyes.
"She's our lead vocalist, we'll need you on the guitar anyway…" interrupted Temari with a small glare.
"Who died and made you boss?" she retorted with hands on her hips.
Temari placed a hand on her temple, "Seniority, got that Junior?"
"You think just because you're a Senior it means you can make all the decisions?" Sakura said smartly.
Taking a step towards the fiery pink-haired girl, Temari frowned, "When it makes logical sense then yeah, what are you going to do about it?"
"Just shut up Sakura, she's right okay."
"Whatever Ino," Sakura said crossing her arms.
"I…I don't want to sing," Hinata said quietly.
"There, see? She doesn't even want to do it!" Sakura announced.
"Oh my, I'm going to end up MURDERING all of you!" Temari yelled. "Just shut up and let's stop wasting time!"
Tenten sighed, "Temari on drums, Sakura on guitar, Ino on bass and violin when needed, Hinata to sing, and me on the piano." They all stared at her as that was the most any of them had ever heard her talk.
"Fine, whatever," Sakura huffed.
For the next half hour they each performed a little of their roles for each other. Temari was pretty talented on the school's drum set, she played both a fast-paced tune and a slow-paced one. And Sakura ripped it up on the guitar, apparently she had been taking lessons from her father since she was a young girl. Same for Ino, though she really rocked on the violin more than the bass. And Tenten surprised them all with her fluent and flawless tones coming from the piano, even if it seemed as if she was forcing the music. Now, they just needed to orchestrate how to bring all of their individuality together to form one unique sound. And that was going to take a long time and a hell of a lot of practice. But it was for a grade, so it had to be done. Thankfully they had practice three times a week, just like the other teams, the only problem was on Fridays, when Sakura and Ino could only participate for a short time because of their cheerleading duties before the game started.
The five girls departed, of course all but Tenten made their way to the field to wait for the boys football practice to be over with. Hinata went straight to her corner bleacher seat and put on her headphones, she pulled out her homework and went away at it. That is until a shadow fell over her. She looked up and found herself staring into the darkest pair of eyes she had ever come across, that and the purple pencil that he was holding up for her.
Cue the blush. She removed her headphones, the music still blasting out, and shivered just the slightest from simply being in his presence. "Oh, um…"
"Your pencil," he said indifferently.
Her blush deepened, and she swallowed nervously, "Thank-thank you."
He barely nodded before moving away from her to sit in the same spot as yesterday. Five feet from her on the same bench and this time he had his own pencil. Her body shuddered but she placed her headphones back on and silently went back to work. The time must have flown by, because before she realized it, Neji and Sasuke were both on their way to them. She stood and started putting her books and homework away appropriately, not wanting to be caught in another conversation like yesterday. Neji stopped midway, as did Sasuke and both waited for them to come down. She rushed to meet him, the aluminum bleachers nearly blinding her. The sun was quite bright today, and just as she turned to make her way down, she nearly tripped. Luckily, a warm hand around her waist stopped her from doing so. Wait…what?
To her absolute horror, she was right. There was a warm hand…make that an arm around her waist…Itachi's arm. The Uchiha prodigy was basically holding her. Her wide lilac eyes took in the face that was so near to her own, his eyes were staring directly into her. Heart beat accelerating, eyes widening and jaw dropping just slightly, Hinata couldn't look away from him to save her life.
He straightened her out and moved in front of her, not saying a word. All she could do was stare at his retreating back as he walked down the steps. She had just made a mental comment of how strong his shoulders seemed when her eyes caught Neji's, and boy did he look annoyed. She watched as he shook his head at her and then proceeded to walk the rest of the way to her side.
"Are you okay, Hinata?" he asked.
"Y-yeah," she said, mouth still open in her surprise. The Uchiha brothers were already on the field by this point, thank goodness. As if she hadn't embarrassed herself enough in front of them yesterday, she had to go ahead and do it again today.
"Let's go home then," he escorted her down the steps and she followed behind him just slightly until they reached his car.
Sakura glared at her former friend, her anger growing to a new high as she watched the Itachi Uchiha rescue her from falling down. Hinata was clumsy, always was and always will be. He should have just let her fall.
"If you're trying to shrink your massive forehead Sakura, staring down Hinata is not going to work."
Sakura turned her glare on Ino, "Leave me alone you fat hog, I'm not in the mood."
"Tch," Ino responded with a roll of her eyes and flip to her gorgeous blonde mane, "Obviously, you're too busy obsessing and hating on Hina girl. Just get over it Sakura, she's a much better singer than any of us."
The boys finally came over towards them and overheard the conversation.
"Sounds like we have a potential catfight here," Chouji leered. "My bets on Sakura, she has one hell of a punch."
"Nah," Kankuro grinned at them, "Ino would take her any day."
Ino was both pissed and flattered at the same time, "I'm not the one she's pissed at." Shouldn't it be Chouji defending her, you know, her actual boyfriend?
"Could have fooled me," Naruto said doing his best to diffuse the tension by slinging an arm around Sakura's shoulders. He could feel her body tense up and he frowned down at her from the side.
Ino giggled as Chouji made his way towards her with a cheerful face, "She's mad at Hinata."
Naruto himself tensed his own body, "Why?" he asked staring at Sakura. Hinata was an exceptionally touchy subject when it came to the blonde football player. He knew how much misery he caused her, and remembered every punch to the face from Neji after everything was said and done. He knew he did wrong by Hinata, and that she didn't deserve what he, no they, had done to her.
"Why indeed." Everyone looked up to see Itachi and Sasuke standing on the outside circle. Kiba and Kankuro made room for them, as all eyes stayed on Itachi. "Or perhaps the Hyuuga girl being around a certain someone has angered you so."
She blushed and stuttered, "N-no." She waved her hands in front of her as if to dismiss the entire thing, "It's nothing, let's go Naruto."
His frown deepened, "I wanna know what happened between you and Hinata."
"Nothing Naruto, just drop it!" she threatened, her eyes promising a punch to the head.
Consciously, his gaze went to the pale blue eyes of Ino, silently asking her.
Ino sighed, "It's really not a big deal…" she trailed off as everyone watched Itachi leave, with Sasuke right beside him. Those two… "Are you ready Chouji?"
Ignoring her, Chouji yelled out after the two Uchiha brothers, "Don't forget about my party after the game!"
Ino frowned, "You're throwing a party?" why was this news to her? She thought Kiba was throwing the next bash.
In front of everyone, Chouji grabbed her harshly by the shoulders and glared down at her, "Why do you have to be in all my fucking business?"
Kankuro stepped forward, "Dude, she was just asking a question."
Furious eyes snapped towards the eldest Sabaku, "Last time I checked she was my girlfriend."
"Yeah," Kankuro was never one to back down, "well maybe you should treat her like it."
Chouji stepped closer towards him, "That's funny coming from the guy who treats all girls the same. Except for when it comes to mine!"
"Come on Chouji, enough is enough," Ino whispered knowing she was going to have to pay for it later. "Let's just go."
He hit her. He actually hit her. Right in front of everyone.
Not only did Kankuro pounce on Chouji, but so did Naruto and Kiba. Sakura pulled Ino away from the scrambling boys, checking her over. It was times like this when the two knew they were actually friends deep down. Not only did Ino back her up earlier, but now Sakura was caring after her.
But this, this was not good.
Tenten swiftly made her way home after practice. Instead of doing her homework right away like she usually would have, she dusted off the old piano that had been her fathers.
Lightly she played, hitting the keys softly. But it wasn't enough to keep her mother from sticking her head through the door that connected to the kitchen. Juujuu looked in at her only child playing her deceased husband's favorite instrument. It brought joy to her heart to hear music playing in her home once again.
But the best of all, was the slight pull indicating the makings of a smile on Tenten's face. Juujuu hadn't seen her smile once since that boy broke her heart. She had always liked Lee, he was a good boy. Always did have a flair for being flamboyant, it was just too bad her Tenten had her heart set on him. But her daughter was young yet. Maybe finally playing after two years is a step in the right direction. Smiling brighter, Juujuu went back to work in the kitchen, leaving her daughter be.
Tenten took her time, she hadn't played anything for the past two years until today. Two years ago, her father suddenly had a massive heart attack and passed away. She remembered Lee was the one to help her through it all, though now she wondered if he'd been seeing Gaara then too. It wasn't likely, but still, the doubt was there. Unconsciously, her hands played what her heart was feeling, while her thoughts stayed on her lost friend.
If only he would have told her.
Everything could have turned out so differently! She didn't care if he preferred men, didn't mind at all that he was homosexual. But she did care that he went behind her back, you just don't do that to someone. Maybe she was wrong, because that seemed to be what everyone does all the time. You always hear it on the radio, on tv, at school. So and so is cheating with so and so on so and so. It was ridiculous.
She grew up in a house where strong morals were instilled in her at a young age. When you give your heart to someone, you give all of it. To her, respect meant something. She thought it did to Lee too, but obviously not.
And why did he still have to call her every night! Why did he still want to be friends? Doesn't he get it? It's not that she's ashamed of him, she's still hurting! It still hurts! She loved him!
She was…she was angry.
Angry at herself, angry with Lee. Furious at the people who made fun of them.
Soon she realized how harshly she was pressing down on the keys, the loudness of her hands playing over the old keys vibrated throughout the entire house. Suddenly she stopped playing, shocked to realize that hot tears were racing down her cheeks. Practicing in front of the other girls today must have gotten to her, more than she ever may have realized had she not touched her father's piano.
It had been so long since she played on those old keys.
Shaking her head in disgust, Temari tapped her foot as she thought about adding a few more bruises to her stupid brother's stupid cheek.
"One more fight Kankuro! One more!" Temari warned him as the three siblings sat together at the dining room table.
Kankuro sighed as he removed the ice package from his bottom lip, "I know Temari."
The blonde-haired girl went back to shaking her head, "What the hell were you thinking!"
Kankuro pushed back into his seat and away from the table, crossing his arms over his chest, "That bastard slapped her! How was I supposed to just stand there and watch him beat on her! I won't do that again!"
Gaara's eyes narrowed at the reminder of their past, "No one will lay a hand on you again," he murmured coldly to Temari.
Temari herself couldn't help the slight tremble that ran up her spine. Bad memories do that to a girl.
"What was I supposed to do Temari?" Kankuro pleaded, "Let him beat her up?"
"It's not like you weren't the only one to jump in," she pointed out.
"Whatever. Look, I'm sorry that the fight happened on school grounds and I got suspended for three days. But I'm not going to apologize for standing up for an innocent girl against an abusive shit-hole like Chouji."
Throwing her head back, Temari closed her eyes, "If you get into one more fight Kankuro, that's it. You'll be expelled. We're seniors now, one more fight and you could lose everything. No football, no graduation and certainly no college."
Gaara remained silent, he always did during his elder siblings fights. Rarely did he ever contribute. Besides; right now all he could think about were sour memories from their childhood.
Kankuro stood up and threw the ice pack into the sink behind him and made his way out the door, stopping to say one last thing to his sister, "I'd rather lose all that than sit by and feel guilty for not stopping it. I have better morals than that. You should know, I learned them from you."
Temari watched with sudden teary eyes as her twin walked away from them. She didn't really blame him for attacking Chouji like that, hell she probably would have done the same if she had the chance. Still, she had a sinking feeling that Kankuro had more invested in the attack that what he was telling her. She just had that gut clenching feeling that…her twin had it bad for Miss Popularity, Ino Yamanaka.
Good Kami, help us all.
A/N: Alright, calling all creative geniuses! I REALLY need your help on coming up with the all-girl band name for this fic. I am seriously coming up with nothing – so if at all interested, please include a suggestion in a review, or you can PM me. I'll put up a poll when I get enough responses. THANK YOU SO MUCH! XD ~Lady Crack