Chapter 10: Untitled



After school, Gaara and Shikamaru were waiting outside the school for Naruto, who had run back inside to grab something she forgot. Shikamaru was just leaning on the wall of the school by the door, looking at the clouds passing overhead. Gaara was watching the crowds of people, still persisting in his search of Sasuke.

"You know, he's not here today." Gaara flinched and looked over at Shikamaru. He was staring at the sky, but there was a smirk on his face. Gaara scowled.

"I know that. I wasn't looking for him." He huffed and crossed his arms. Shikamaru snorted, but let it drop. Right then Naruto burst out the doors, and flung herself on Gaara.

"Hooray! Another day done!" She grinned cheekily at Shikamaru, who looked slightly uncomfortable. "Does Shika want a hug too?" He smiled warily.

"No, I'm okay. Maybe another day. Thanks for the offer though." She winked at him.

"I'll hold you to it!" She turned to Gaara, and clasped her hands with a pleading face. "It's Thursday! Can I invite him?" She made the puppy dog eyes, and Gaara sighed.

"You might as well ask him, it's not up to me." She grinned, and turned to Shikamaru. "What're you doing after school today?" He frowned, and thought for a second. He shrugged.

"Nothing really, why?" She grinned and grabbed his hand and pulled him towards the gates.

"Because I'm hungry! Let's go!" He shot a look at Gaara who shrugged and followed along. After about five minutes of being tugged along, they stopped in front of Naruto's favourite restaurant. She breathed in the smell of food, and grinned as she pulled a reluctant Shikamaru -who she hadn't let go of yet- and a placated Gaara inside. Shikamaru looked at Gaara briefly and made a face that clearly said this was not his idea of getting something to eat. Gaara shrugged, and followed them to Naruto's favourite booth.

Naruto didn't bother looking at the menu, and Gaara seemed to only be looking at his for something to do. This was obviously something they did often. He was a little flattered that they invited him along. Obviously these two took making new friends to a whole new level, considering he'd only really hung out with Gaara today, and only saw Naruto at lunch.. and they were inviting him out for dinner? He broke from his thoughts as Naruto smiled and pushed one of the menu's towards Shikamaru.

"Choose something! It's on me this time!" She grinned at him excitedly. He stared down at the menu, trying to find something that seemed appealing. Ramen-based shops were something he steered clear of. He'd much rather go on Chouji's monthly buffet run then eat in such a place. He sighed and pointed out something to Naruto.

"This looks fine." She turned to Gaara.

"The usual?" He just smiled at her and nodded. She then turned and tried to get the attention of a waitress. Shikamaru sighed and Gaara gave him a sympathetic look.

"The food here is actually pretty good Shikamaru. Give it a chance." He let out a breath and nodded.

"I guess it won't kill me to try something new for once." Gaara smiled, and glanced to make sure Naruto wasn't paying attention, and whispered to Shikamaru.

"At times like this, just go along with what she does. Fighting will get you no where." Shikamaru sighed heavily. He glanced up at Gaara.

"So the food is good at least?" Gaara grinned at him, leaning his chin on his hand, as Naruto whipped her head around and smiled at him, as a waitress made her way over to take their order.

"Best ramen you'll ever eat!"


After they paid and left, Shikamaru and them went separate ways, Shikamaru stating something about hanging out with his dad. He thanked them both before he took off though, to Naruto's delight. As Gaara and Naruto walked down the street to his house, she grinned at him.

"I like him. He's fun. Can I invite him out with us more often?" Gaara winced inwardly at the 'I like him' part, but nodded. He then glanced at her out of the corner of his eye.

"You don't have to ask my permission, you know." She sort of frowned and looked down, and was quiet for a moment, then stopped walking. Gaara took a few hesitant steps before stopping as well. She wouldn't meet his eyes, and he started to worry. "Naru?" She wrung nervously and adjusted her bag strap on her shoulder.

"Well, you know.. After what happened with Sas.. Uchiha.." She fidgeted some more. "I didn't want to make you mad again." Gaara sighed, and walked over and hugged her. She wrapped her arms around him and hid her face in his sweater. "You don't have to worry about that. You didn't make me mad, Uchiha did. I was mostly angry because of how he pushed himself on you.." He trailed off, thinking. Sure, she'd freaked out when he'd walked in, and she apologized profusely.. This thoughts stopped as she mumbled something, and he asked her to speak up.

"I'm sorry. I didn't think quick enough to push him away.." She whispered. He hugged her tighter.

"If I have my way you won't have to make that decision." He muttered quietly to himself. He then pulled away from her. "Don't worry about it Naruto. And don't worry about inviting Shikamaru anywhere, it's cool. He's a nice guy. Even if I'm not around he'll take good care of you." He grinned down at her. She frowned.

"You always act like I'm some precious little collectible." She huffed and walked away. "Hurry up. It'll get dark soon." He followed her contently, rolling his eyes at her mood swing. He knew he wouldn't have to worry about her now. She'd taken a liking to Shikamaru, and that just made one more obstacle in the way of Uchiha getting to her. He hummed to himself, walking a bit quicker to catch up. She looked at him out of the corner of her eye and he made an apologetic face. Her lip twitched, and she moved a little closer to him and caught his hand and gave it a squeeze, then proceeded to look the other way as if he wasn't there. He smiled.

Yeah, things were going to be okay.


Shikamaru leisurely strolled down the side walk friday morning, sipping at his travel mug of coffee, thinking to himself. He was curious as to whether he had made a good impression the other day, and whether or not he indeed had someone to talk to today apart from his regular friends. He sighed. It was too cold out and way too early to be thinking so deeply. He pulled the scarf tighter around his neck and cursed the weather. He was startled out of his thoughts soon by someone shouting his name. He glanced back to see Naruto and Gaara down the street behind him, and paused for a minute so they could catch up. Obviously his thoughts hadn't been all that positive, but really. Being the smartest kid in school doesn't always give you the best reputation.

He smiled at them as they came closer and waved a bit. They both greeted him warmly, which was nice, though a little surprising from Gaara. He knew that Gaara was always kind to Naruto, but it was nice to not see him glaring 24/7. He smirked inwardly. Not that Gaara didn't still have an intimidating presence, especially when other people were around and he refrained from showing emotions, which Shikamaru didn't understand at all. Suddenly Shikamaru realized Naruto was talking to him.

".. later today?" Shikamaru made an apologetic face.

"Sorry, could you repeat that? I was miles away." She grinned.

"I asked if you wanted to hang out with us again later today?" Shikamaru shrugged, and made a vague gesture with his hand.

"As long as I don't have any plans by 3:30, then that sounds fine." He glanced at her warily. "What did you have in mind?" Naruto grinned at him and said in a sing-song voice;

"It's a surprise~!" Shikamaru raised an eyebrow and shot Gaara a look. He merely smiled and shrugged. He waited until they had gotten farther up the street and Naruto made a quick apology and ran up to meet Hinata, who was walking out of her house about half a block ahead of them. He then turned to Shikamaru.

"I don't know what's going on either. Though knowing Naruto, probably a movie night." He glanced at Shikamaru. "If you don't feel comfortable hanging out at our houses yet it's okay. I'll most likely get her to crack before the end of the day so you'll have some warning if you want to make an excuse." Shikamaru shrugged.

"I don't really care one way or the other. As long as I'm not imposing I'm fine with whatever she has in mind." Gaara smirked and nodded. They walked in silence for a minute, before Shikamaru's curiosity got to him. "So how are things with you and her?" Gaara gave him a look that said 'not now', seeing as they were drawing close to the girls. Shikamaru nodded and went along with it.

"Come on you guys, hurry up!" Naruto shouted at them, even though they were only a few feet away. Gaara glared at her.

"Oh shut it. You're the one who is always running late." She glared back and stuck out her tongue.

"Well, I don't know about you, but I don't want to get there later then Kakashi!" She huffed and walked off, leaving Hinata in the dust. She blushed and looked down when they guys both looked at her.

"Good morning." She mumbled timidly. They both greeted her back, and they continued on their way to school. She was trailing behind them a bit, not wanting to intrude, lest they started talking about something that didn't concern her. Soon enough though Gaara paused until she was walking beside him, then gently hooked his arm through hers and pulled her into stride with them. He smiled down at her.

"No need to be shy Hinata, we're all friends here." Hinata blushed and looked away, accidentally catching Shikamaru's eye. He smiled tentively at her, and she returned it hesitantly. After a minute she realized he was still watching her, so she gave him a questioning look. He grinned.

"You look really nice today Hinata san." She flushed and looked away, before muttering a quiet, but still meaningful 'thank you'. Shikamaru grinned, and tried to remember what else they had told him in the restraunt last night. You see, shortly through their meal, while Naruto had gone to the restroom, Shikamaru and Gaara had started talking about ways to get Hinata to notice him in the first place, because with how timid she was all the time, he wouldn't be able to just walk up to her and ask her out like any other girl. Shikamaru agreed, it made perfect sense. He knew Gaara was only being realistic, but was still a little miffed at not getting a date straight away. But if it was for Hinata, he'd wait.

Unfortunately, Naruto came back to the table without their notice, until of course, she asked loud enough for people three tables over to hear. "YOU LIKE HINATA?" Shikamaru, was of course, pretty embarrassed, but he let it slide, seeing as after Gaara tugged her down into the booth and hurriedly explained the situation, she jumped in with a few ideas of her own.


She gave him a serious look from across the table. "You have to compliment her." He nodded and she shook her head.

"I mean more then you might usually compliment a girl. You know the rivrialy between her and her cousin's family, right? Well whenever she loses to Neji at something her father really rips into her. She really needs a confidence boost, and I think you can give it to her." Gaara was nodding along with him now. Shikamaru rolled his eyes. Of course, what guy wouldn't want advice on how to woo a girl from the very girl they were after? Naruto saw his rolled eyes, but took it as a response to something she had said. "And make sure you only use compliments you mean. Never lie to her about something like how she looks or your opinion on something she's done. If you don't know any compliment to give her in regards to whatever, just be pleasant. It can't hurt."

Gaara cut in. "Try and give her a small gift here and there; just a little something to cheer her up, or something that lets her know you were thinking of her. Don't over do it, and try not to spend much money on whatever it is, unless you really think she'd like it." Naruto laughed, and Gaara looked a little ticked. "Hey now! That was good advice."

"Well, yes, but the spending money thing doesn't really matter. If you want to buy her some flowers, for instance, and you find that her favourite flowers don't bloom here at the time you want to get them for her, go to a specialty shop and buy her some. If you can find them growing wildly, pick a few instead. And mind you she's not one for extravagance. Three or four flowers is fine, don't go buying two dozen flowers or anything. Not only will you be wasting money, but she's bound to be suspicious and not accept it well." He gave her a look.

"Suspiscious of flowers?" She shook her head.

"Probably more suspicous of your intentions then anything else." He nodded, thinking. "And when you first ask her out, try and not make it feel too date-like. For instance, to a fair, where there are plenty of of people around, and you're bound to run into someone you know. Or invite her and a couple other friends to a movie, not too many, maybe four or five people in total." She winked at him across trhe table. "Me and Gaara here would be happy to escort you." Shikamaru laughed, and nodded.

"Sounds good." Naruto grinned.

"Sweet." They continued eating then, because if they waited much more their food would get too cold.

"Oh.." Shikamaru looked up. Naruto swallowed what she had in her mouth and took a sip of water. "When you do take her out seriously for the first time, don't make it too intense. Take her to a nice diner or something, not too expensive, and treat her. Then maybe take her to that park down on Watercrest, you know, that one that's near the forest? Take her for a walk through that, make sure it's not too dark out though. And walk her home, but don't get too serious on the doorstep mister." She shook her finger at him. "If you want to kiss her, feel out how the evening has gone. Did she seem uncomfortable? Did she like it? Love it? Say your goodnights depending on how she was, not on how pretty you think she is in the moonlight." She grinned at him cheekily. He rolled his eyes.

"I'm not that dumb." She shrugged.

"I never said you were. Just keep in mind what I've said, and you should be fine."


He nodded to himself. Step one; compliments. Easy as pie. And she really did look nice today. She had on a dark purple plaid skirt that stopped shortly above the knees, a dark shirt of some really soft looking material, and a cropped leather jacket on top, with some black flats. He thought she looked quite delectable, but thought it would be extremely uncomfortable for her if he would have said it aloud. ''Really nice' covers that though.. right?' He grinned to himself. It was close enough. Suddenly his thoughts took a different turn. Naruto wanted to invite him to watch a movie with herself and Gaara? Couldn't they just invite Hinata along, or would it be too soon? Then again, even Gaara wasn't that positive that movies were the plan for tonight. He sighed. 'I guess I'll have to play it by ear.'

It was about a block later that he realized Gaara was still linked with Hinata. He frowned inwardly, thinking. He knew that she had a crush on Gaara, and that Gaara was interested in Naruto.. But did they have something going on? He paused and contemplated it for a few moments. 'No,' He concluded. 'Gaara seemed like a guy who has a lot of honor. He wouldnt tell me that he was gonna hook me up with a girl if he was interested in her that way, would he..?'

'No.' He told himself more firmly. 'I have no reason to doubt him.' He mused silently for a while, and soon enough Naruto latched onto his arm and steered him into the schoolyard, seeing as he was too muddled up in his thoughts to noticed he had walked quite a bit past the gate. He vaguely wondered why she hadn't stopped him sooner.

"Really Shikamaru, I just don't know what I'm going to do with you!" She scolded in an authoritive tone. He rolled his eyes and subtley shifted out of her grip.

"Jeez, sorry mom. Won't happen again." She laughed and walked up the steps with him, and noticing he was looking around, assumed he was aware that Gaara and Hinata weren't around.

"They went ahead. Come on, or we'll be late." She shifted through the crowd, people making room around her. He slowly ambled along behind her, snickering when she'd huff and make impatient motions for him to hurry up. It was comforting, having someone act so relaxed in his presence. The only people he normally got that from was his parents and Chouji. His teachers and peers were usually awed by his 'genius' and mildly unconventional way of speaking (meaning that he usually used proper grammar and didn't talk like a fool), that they acted as if he were someone greater in years then he actually was. It was nice sometimes, having that bit of respect, but it usually left him with a feel of lacking in his emotional state..

"..sit with us again? Hello?" He broke from his thoughts to see Naruto standing in front of him waving a hand in his face. He scrunched his nose, but said nothing. She sighed, "I know you and Gaara both have the respected-genius thing going on, but at least give us a sign if you're going into robot-mode." He raised an eyebrow.

"Robot mode?" She nodded and made a vague gesture towards him.

"You know, when you zone out and it looks like you're contemplating the meaning of life? Robot-mode." He snorted, and glanced to the back of the room to see Gaara watching them attentively.

"And Gaara does this too?" She nodded.

"Sometimes. Not so much lately." She lowered her voice, "Not since.. you know.. Sasuke came." Shikamaru saw Gaara's eye narrow a fraction and wondered at his hearing capasity. He was obviously listening to the whole conversation. Talk about no privacy. He nodded and looked back to Naruto.

"Don't worry about him anymore. You havent even seen him lately, right?" She shook her head, and smiled.

"Right. No worries. So. As I was saying when you were off in the clouds.. Are you gonna sit with your friends, or with us again?" He opened his mouth to answer, but noticed Gaara stiffen, and stand up. He was curious as to why, when a voice rang out behind him, making Naruto pale.

"I'd love to sit with you Naruto. Thank you for the gracious invite." He turned to see Sasuke Uchiha standing a little ways away from them, staring at Naruto in such a way that could only be described as disgraceful. "Of course, I only know a few people at this school intimately, and seeing as you're one of them, I'd assume you would know I don't have many friends here yet.."Naruto stiffened beside him and give him a slightly worried glance.

"Uh, actually, I was talking to Shikamaru.. Maybe another time?" She proposed quietly, wringing her hands He grinned slyly at her and moved closer towards them, only stopping when it was clear that Gaara was about to explode. He gave a cheeky grin that was obviously directed at Gaara's fury, but kept his eyes on Naruto and kept talking as if it were nothing.

"Why, Naruto, I can see from here that there's an empty seat beside yours today. I'd love to sit with you, and perhaps have a chat?" Naruto looked flustered, and unsure of how to answer. Gaara made to walk over to them but Shikamaru shook his head minutly at him. Sasuke grinned wider, not noticing the exchange, but was noticeably reveling in Naruto's discomfort. Shikamaru took hold of her arm, and pulled her behind him, while talking to Sasuke, masking his expression into one of pure boredom.

"Unfortunately, I told Naruto I'd help her with some questions on the assignment from yesterday, so I'll be sitting beside her. Thank you though for your kind manners in requesting a seat with the lady." He drawled in the most dismissive tone he could muster. Sasuke just turned and glared at him, but Shikamaru promptly turned from him and walked to the back of the room. As they sat, Gaara only sighed and leaned forward to brush his finger tips against the back of Naruto's neck.

"I'm sorry." He mumbled quietly. "Couldn't do anything." She turned towards him and smiled, taking his fingers and squeezing them gently.

"Don't worry about it. The last thing I wanted was you two to start fighting and Kakashi to walk in on it. You don't need the trouble." He nodded, looking slighly angered still. He turned to Shikamaru and nodded.

"Thanks." Shikamaru gave him a nod and pulled out his binder, and spared a glance at Naruto.

"Might as well go over the assignment eh? As I recall you had quite a few words to say on how Gaara ignored you yesterday." She grinned.

"Thanks." As she rummaged through her back to get out her notebook, Shikamaru shot a look at Gaara.

"On another note, where'd Hinata go?" Gaara looked at him blankly for a second, thinking.

"Oh.. She said she had to go give something to a teacher. Something about being overdue. I always assumed she would be more organized than that. I told her we'd save her a seat though." Shikamaru nodded, and was quiet, except for the few comments to Naruto when she'd ask a question. Gaara just sat and sketched in his notebook. They heard the door open, and Hinata walked in and paused as she noticed people watching her. Naruto shot up in her seat, scaring the crap out of Shikamaru and a few students around her, and yelled to Hinata to come over. She started blushing furiously and stumbled her way to the back of the room. When Hinata walked up, timidly shuffling her feet, it was obvious she had wanted to sit beside Naruto. Gaara patted the desk beside him.

"I don't bite, you know." She flushed, but sat down anyways, though she refused to meet his eyes for a while. "Sorry, but Shikamaru's just helping her with the homework. Surely I'm not that awful?" Hinata shook her head.

"I didn't want to bother you." She mumbled quietly. Gaara frowned a bit, but smiled when Hinata looked up at him.

"I told you this morning. We're all friends here. It's fine." She smiled tentively at him.



At the front of the room, Sasuke sat down next to a skanky looking girl and ignored her attempts for his attention in favour of glaring towards the back of the classroom. He'd corner her soon, and that was what mattered. As soon as he had gotten rid of that redhead and that other bodyguard who seemed to have sprung up over night, he'd have a clear shot at getting her.

He glanced one more time at her sleek blonde hair and her long legs, before turning forward and pulling out a small note book, and jotting a few ideas down in it. His plan wasn't fool-proof yet, but soon enough she'd be hanging on his every word, displayed on his arm for all to see. He grinned maliciously to himself. And if she was still persistant after all that, he'd have to take some drastic measures. It didn't matter either way. He turned and looked over his shoulder and caught her eye and winked. She flushed and looked down. He grinned to himself.

'I'll have her in the end.'


Later in the morning, Naruto was walking down the halls alone. She had just left Gaara at gym, and was heading to the library to work for a bit in peace. He had warned her to keep an eye out for Uchiha, but she was honestly just hoping that he wouldn't show up around her at all today. She wasn't in the mood for his mind games. 'Even though he is really good looking..' She stopped and shook her head. 'No. I do not like Sasuke. He's an ignorant pig.' She scolded herself for even thinking that, and continued on. As she was walking towards the library, she got a prickling feeling on the back of her neck, the kind you get when you feel like you're being watched. She paused and looked behind her slowly. All she saw was a teacher heading in the opposite direction, and a blonde girl getting something out of her locker, speaking to a short brunette who looked pissed off. No one was even looking in her direction. She rubbed the back of her neck nervously, but shrugged it off and continued to the library. She turned the corner, and soon the hall cleared of people. The hall was silent for a moment, before Sasuke slinked out from behind a row of lockers and sauntered after her slowly.


When she got to the library she headed to the back to her favourite table by the history section. Since she was basically in the middle of the history section, it was usually pretty quiet here. Only the occasional history buff or sneaky couple came back here. She sat down, and pulled out her text and her notebook and got to work. After about ten minutes, she got stuck on a question (the first question), and sighed, putting her head in her hands.

"I'm so useless at doing my own work. Where's Gaara when I need him?" She grumbled. 'Not like he'd give me the answer, that stubborn jerk. He might be able to explain how the hell this is supposed to be relevant to the topic though.' She sighed again heavily, and jumped when she noticed someone sit across from her. She looked up into the eyes of Hinata.

"Oh!" She exclaimed, "You scared me!" Hinata smiled apologetically, blushing a little.

"Sorry Naruto. I just thought it looked like you needed some help." Naruto grinned and sigh.

"Yeah, this booklet we got today in biology is a killer." She passed the booklet over to Hinata to see. "And of course," She continued, sounding annoyed; "Gaara was halfway done by the time class ended. We don't even need to hand it in until the middle of next week!" She complained and shook her head as Hinata laughed. Hinata grabbed the biology textbook from Naruto and looked at where she was looking.

"Oh Naruto, this isn't even the same topic!" She laughed, and flipped to the table of contents in the front, then flipped about a hundred pages past where Naruto had been, much to her dismay. "Here, try this." She pointed to a paragragh halfways down the page as she flipped the book around for Naruto to see. "The answers for the whole first page are right there." Naruto dropped her head onto the table with a little thud.

"I'm a complete moron. Really." She pulled herself up and pulled the books towards her. Hinata clicked her tongue.

"You're not a moron Naruto. You just always have a lot on your mind and get distracted easily." She scolded her, making Naruto look down.

"Yeah, I guess so. Hey. What are you even doing here? I thought you had class?" Hinata shrugged.

"We're doing a project and my group came here to look up some information. I saw you and decided to come over and see what you were up to." Naruto raised her eyebrows.

"They won't mind?" Hinata shook her head.

"It's Shino and Kiba. Shino doesn't care much at all, and Kiba just made me promise I'd go over to his place this weekend at some point and help." She shrugged again. "So it's fine." Naruto just nodded and looked back down at her work as she wrote down some answers. When she finished the first page, she looked up to see Hinata just texting. She smiled.

"Hey, Hinata? What do you think of Shikamaru?" She wondered aloud. Hinata looked up at her for a moment, before looking back down.

"Why do you ask? Do you guys not get along good?" She asked, oblivious. Naruto rested her chin in her hand, and tapped her pen rythmically on her paper with the other.

"No, we get along okay. I'm just wondering if you mind hanging around with him. Me and Gaara kinda adopted him into the group without saying anything to you." She admitted, smiling sheepishly. Hinata shrugged, and put her phone away.

"It doesn't matter either way. He seems like a nice guy. Really smart too. Very quiet though." She said thoughtfully. Naruto raised an eyebrow at that.

"You're pretty quiet too you know." She pointed out. Hinata blushed.

"Well.. yes, but.." She trailed off. Naruto smiled at her, and she blushed harder.

"I'm just bugging you Hinata." Naruto assured her. Hinata smiled shakily at her, then glanced up over her head, and the colour drained from her face, before she narrowed her eyes into an expression she rarely made. Anger. Naruto paled as she realized who was probably standing behind her. She turned in her seat and looked up, coming face to face with Sasuke. He smiled down at her.

"Hello." He said, stickin his hands in his pockets. She just raised an eyebrow.

"Uhm. Hi Sasuke." He grinned wider. "What's up?" He shrugged, and looked down.

"I was wondering if you wanted to go over that history assignment with me? I'm a little lost, and I don't have all the notes to go with it. Kakashi sensei told me to find someone and borrow their notes." He explained awkwardly, and rubbed at the back of his neck. Naruto's eye softened for a moment, and she looked away from him.

"Uhm. I dunno. I can give you the notes if you want to copy them, but I'm not very good in history. I usually get Gaara to help me, to be honest." She admitted. "Sorry." He smiled gently at her.

"Well, maybe we can work on it together? My work is kinda piling up because the teachers are giving me all the major assignments from September to do. I can't keep up. It'd be nice to have some help." Naruto bit her lip. Hinata narrwowed her eyes at Uchiha. 'Obviously he can tell she's a perosn who loves to help others. This is seriously not going to end well.' She glanced at the clock, and noticed it was close to noon, and grabbed her bag as she stood up

"Naruto, we better head to the cafeteria if we're going to make it there before Gaara." When Naruto turned to look at her, Sasuke looked annoyed and pouted.

"Ah, yeah I guess so." She stood up and turned to Sasuke to say good bye. She looked up to see him staring at the table. He looked up at her.

"Naruto.. Do you think.. we can be friends?" She frowned, looking thoughtful. Hinata made a face of disgust. 'I hope he doesn't think she'd say yes.. I hope she doesn't say yes..' Hinata looked over at her worriedly

"I don't know." She seemed a little startled by the sudden topic change. He frowned at this, and he looked back down at the table.

"Well.. you know. I just moved here, and I know what I did the other day was out of line, but you seemed really sweet and approachable, and I.." He trailed off, looking kind of miserable. "I just don't know how to act around people alot of the time. When I was growing up I was homeschooled, and when my mother finally let me enter public schools, people tried to use me when they found out about my money." He paused and looked up at her. "But I thought you seemed different. I've heard around school how unapproachable Sabaku is, and you guys seem to be best friends. And well.. I was wondering if you would.. I've never had one.." She raised an eyebrow, curious.

"Never had what?" Sasuke looked down, not meeting her eyes.

"A real friend.." Her eyes widened, and she almost didn't believe it. Surely he was kidding. She thought about it though, and it kind of made sense. From what she'd heard, he was a child prodigy of sorts, coming from a very wealthy family. Makes sense people would see him for his money and not for himself. She frowned, thinking.

"I could be your friend." She said after a moment. Hinata face-palmed behind them. Sasuke lifted his head then to look at her, and was surprised by her deeply sad eyes. He had been expecting her to lash out and tell him to get lost, that she didn't believe him, but the look in her eyes was actually the one that he used to see in the mirror daily. "I know what it's like to not have anyone. I have a sister, and I have a group of friends here at school, but sometimes when you're surrounded by people that's when you feel the most lonely." He nodded, looking down. "Look. I'm not sure how exactly we're going to do this, because I'm really upset with how you've treated me so far." She held up a hand and stopped him from speaking.

"Gaara's really upset about how you treated me too. And you have to know he's my best friend, and his opinion is the most important to me aside from my sister's. Sometimes he's kind of an idiot when it comes to things like this, so I don't know how we're gonna work around his bias, but you gotta promise you won't keep acting like you have been." She paused, making sure he got the point. "If you can do that, then I'll promise you I'll try to be your friend, okay?" He nodded, looking up at her hopefully.

"So we can be friends if I smarten up?" She nodded.

"But, try not to act so.." She made a vague gesture with her hand. "I don't know.. like you did this morning. It made me really uncomfortable." He smiled kinda apologetically at her.

"Sorry. I guess I picked up some unhealthy habits from my father." She frowned at that, but brushed it off as something to think about later. "I promise I'll be a good friend Naruto." He grinned at her. He looked at the clock then, and noticed it was getting close to lunch. He nodded to Naruto.

"It's almost lunch time. I gotta go talk to Tsunade. I'll see you later, okay?" She nodded and started getting her stuff together. He waved to her and turned to head out of the library. Hinata just stood there gobsmacked. Naruto turned to Hinata, and jumped a bit, shocked to see her pissed off.

"What?" She asked, confused. Hinata's jaw dropped.

"What? WHAT? Did you seriously just ask me that? What happened to 'Why didn't I push him off me'?" She yelled at her. Naruto stepped back, shocked.

"Whoa, calm down Hinata. It's alright, I know what I'm doing." Naruto tried to placate her, walking around the table, but Hinata stepped away.

"Do you really? Do you know what you're getting into? Because I do. And it's not going to end well, that I can promise you." She growled in a dangerous voice, glaring at Naruto before turning and walking out of the library. Naruto fell into Hinata's chair, stunned that she had actually yelled at her. She'd never heard Hinata yell, not even once. She just blinked, and sat there, completely flaberghasted.

"What just happened?"


Hinata stormed down the hallway, hands clenched and teth grinding. She was madder then she'd ever been. Furious at Naruto for letting herself get manipulated like that. She was better then that! What was she thinking, saying she'd be his friend? He's obviously just messing around with her. After that display in the classroom the other day, she wouldn't be surprised if he was just trying to get into her pants. She made a disgusted face.

"I don't even know what to say to her right now.." She muttered under her breath. She paused, and winced. "Oh god. What's Gaara gonna say when he finds out?" She wrung her hands and took off down the hall. "Maybe I can head him off before he finds Naruto.. Ah, no. That won't work." She said as she stopped again. "He'll just end up yelling at her. They'll be fighting for a week at least." She put her face in her hands. "Oh gosh. What am I supposed to do?" She wailed.


Sasuke peeked out from behind the corner of the hall Hinata was standing in the middle of. He snickered, putting a hand over his mouth so she wouldn't notice. "This is brilliant!" He muttered to himself. "As long as she's distracted with this, I can get some time in with Naruto. I just gotta make sure that redhead and Nara kid stay out of this." He sneered. He watched Hinata fret for a minute before shaking his head. He turned and walked back down the hall chuckling, hands in his pockets. "Perfect."


A/N: Ahh. I almost forgot to upload this! I was busy today, and I was thinking I'd do it after supper, but after supper I had to go shopping and then I was out with my best friend, then spent all evening at her place. I got home, and I was gonna shower and go to bed, but then I realized that I'd forgotten this. Holymoley.

Haha, anyways. Here it is. Chapter 10, over 6000 words! :/ I hope you didn't get bored or anything reading this. Like, I wouldn't, but I love love love reading, and I'm a really fast reader, and this is the length I'd like to see an author putting out..

It's probably just me though..

Blah, blah, blah. I know. Get to the point, eh? I just couldn't cut this chapter down. Like, I probably could have, I just liked the way this flowed, you know?

Ah, I'll just go now. Might not upload for a few days, just letting you know. Got a lot of shifts in the next two weeks, and I'm helping my friend move, so I'll probably be tired, and not up to writing much this week. But I will not go and stop writing/uploading for months again like I used to. I seriously have like, 10 more chapters planned out vaguely, and I want this story completely posted by the end of July.

Anyways. That's it. Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, and Good Night!

Depends where in the world you live. Lol

Until Next time,

Naru Koi.