Author's Note: I thought of having some kind of April Fools ' Day Chapter like pranking you guys with a fake update but, I got too caught up with more important things.
Again, I want to thank you for tuning in to this story with its snail-like pace.
On another note, counting the votes on the reviews and the votes from the poll in my profile. Here's the tally so far:
Who should Sakura end up with at the end of the story?
Shisui – 1 (Wow on this. He's not even in the story... yet!)
Itachi – 1
MultiSaku – 1
Just keep on voting. The story is still a long way to go, trust me. Anyways, I won't dillydally any longer. Here's the chapter that you guys have been waiting for, the supposed April Update turned supposed May, now turned June Update.
Visions / Voices
Chapter V – When the Scarecrow Was Reminded and Mr. Sandman Gets Excited
It was only more or less two days since Sakura got her horrible punishment from that hell-spawn of a teacher. Did the sweets start getting their revenge after she ate most of their world from that dream the other day? Misery seemed to have followed her a lot after that happened.
But, currently, that wasn't the real thoughts that distracted her at the moment, they were just diversions from the real situation. She could think about the sweets later since there were more important things at hand here.
YES, far more important things.
And those include three things.
One, she was fucking wet. AGAIN. Two, she wondered who made her fucking trip into the pond. Third, she also wondered just who the fuck is this guy, hugging her out of nowhere?!
Sakura heard a thump and groan soon after. Hopefully this guy who took advantage of her has medical insurance, because, Sakura was so sure he's going to need the hospital when she's with finished with him.
Or so she thought.
Taking in the person's looks, Sakura felt a chill on her spine. She could recognize this man. Who else wears a weird silver hair in a crooked style?
"K-Kakashi-sensei?!" Sakura panicked. She just punched almost the lights out of a teacher. Well, her former teacher.
"Ah, Haruno-chan. You sure do pack a punch," Patting the back of his pants as he slowly stood up, Kakashi winced at the immediate sting on his cheek when the wind blew, "Did Tsunade-sama influence you that much?"
"Are you okay, sensei?"
"Better than you, I hope? Why were you dripping wet, Haruno-chan?" Kakashi gave her a teasing eye-smile, "If you wanted to take a dip, you could've used the school's pool instead of the pond."
"I… don't really want to talk about it. More importantly..." Crossing her arms, her emerald orbs observed him, as if judging him, "Are you into high school girls, sensei? Suddenly hugging me like that."
'I didn't think she'd brought that up. Changing the topic is a fail.'
Kakashi laughed nervously before quickly changing to his serious face, staring back at her eyes intently, 'She's an exact copy though…'
"And if I say I was interested into high school girls, particularly a pink-haired female high school student?"
There was a long silence as Sakura was caught off guard, 'He… what?!'
Opening her mouth as she tried to give a supposed smart-ass reply, she found herself not being able to. She couldn't find her voice. Sakura's brain was trying really hard to comprehend everything that was happening when in an instant, she spontaneously combusted.
If you thought her face was red awhile ago, that wasn't even enough of a red compared to the red on her face right now.
Kakashi chuckled in amusement.
"I was just kidding, Haruno-chan."
"Sensei!" She huffed, "Hmph, good thing you're a teacher."
"Now, now. Before you beat me up like you intended to awhile ago, what were you really doing in the pond?"
"Honestly, I don't know either," Sakura sighed, "I was just making a shortcut to buy some groceries listed in the paper for the whole dorm but, all of a sudden, I felt a yank on my foot and fell into the pond."
"Yeah, it was really weird."
"I suppose that paper's forever a goner, huh?" Kakashi took note of the paper's existence missing from the girl's hand.
"I guess so. I was about to go to the payphone though to give them a piece of my mind and order them expensive take out when I saw this pressed cherry blossom," Sakura opened her hand, "Uh, I don't see anyone else here. Is this yours?"
"You can have it."
"Why don't we go to that payphone to make do of your plans?"
"Are you sure, sensei?"
Kakashi simply nods his head, "So you were talking about buying food for a dorm?" Starting with a single step, the silver-haired teacher put his hands in his pockets, leading the way to the payphone, gesturing her to follow him.
Sakura fell in step with Kakashi quickly, "Yeah, I was buying food for the F-Class Dorm since I'm their dorm manager now."
"With your own money?"
"Oh, Kakuzu-san gave me the budget for it. Pein-san told me he handled all the budgeting in the dorm, " she blinked in wonder, "He was a bit reluctant in giving me the money though."
"By Kakuzu, you mean Akatsuki's Kakuzu?"
"Ah, nevermind," the silver-haired teacher stopped beside the payphone booth, 'Careful, Kakashi. Now's not the time to slip up.'
Blinking her eyes at the man in front of him, she wondered for a moment why he stopped walking when she noticed they were already at the payphone, 'Oh.'
Walking to the booth herself, she was about to pick the phone up when the wind passed by. Sakura was reminded of what happened moments ago. She almost forgot that she was fully drenched in water, which was the reason why in reaction, she embraced her own frame and shivered a bit.
"Are you not going home yet, sensei?"
On the other hand, Kakashi was looking into his own thoughts about the girl in front of him when he was awaken from his deep thinking with her question, "Pardon?"
Sakura shook her head and finally continued her action of picking up the phone, as she punched in the numbers, "It's ringing."
"Are you sure you want to order expensive takeout with someone like Kakuzu in the dorm?"
"What do you mean by that?"
"I gather from the looks of things. They don't like you, huh?"
Sakura had put down the phone, cutting off the other line, "Well, I don't like them either, so we're even."
Kakashi patted her head, "Do you really want to fight fire with fire? You may have that temper of yours," as he gave an eye smile, "but, only a calm and gentle water can douse a raging fire."
Removing his hand off her head, the girl gave a glare at him, "I'm not a kid."
"Hm, it's getting colder. I think…" Kakashi removed his blazer, covering Sakura up. Of course he'd notice her shivers, he's Kakashi after all "…you'll need this on your way home."
The intense glare disappeared as she was surprised yet again by her former teacher. His behavior was quite odd. As far as she could remember, this teacher in front of her was quite different from the teacher she knew before. He was far more distant and would always look at her with something akin to sadness. Not that Sakura could remember much since she was only in grade school at that time.
Now, he seems more caring and looks at her differently. It was like he's looking at her yet at the same time he's not.
Strengthening her grip on the blazer that covered her shoulders, Sakura called out to him upon noticing that he was already a few good meters away from her.
"Where are you going, Kakashi-sensei? What about your blazer?"
"I'll see you tomorrow, Haruno-chan."
Well, that was eventful. The day was so eventful that she could feel her soul leaving from her body already. What was she supposed to do now with dinner?
Looking around, she saw through the corner of her eye a part of convenience store's name's light blinking, threatening to run out of electrical power. Maybe, she'd have a bit of luck there?
'Hmm, hopefully there's something I could buy in there for dinner.'
'And ice cream, gotta have some ice cream.'
Oh sweet tooth Sakura, let's just hope you know what you're doing eating an ice cream after being doused with tons of cold liquids all day.
Clinks and clanks distracted some of the males in the dormitory with a few of them approaching the dining area. Someone was bustling around the kitchen they concluded.
Seeing some empty plastic lying around the dining table and a hanging blazer on one of the chairs, a guy with a similar hairstyle as the current dorm manager's best friend looked more confused than ever at a red head who was holding a wood-carving tool, "Oh, so she actually came back, un? I thought you were getting rid of her, Sasori-danna?"
Gripping the tool on his hand tighter, the red head responded with an annoyed tone as he misunderstood the blonde's question as smug sarcasm, "Shut up, Deidara. It seems like the doll was not as fragile as we thought."
"Who told you she was?" Sasori looked at his left and saw the other red head in the dormitory, who looked similar to him with the tattoo on the other's forehead as their most noticeable difference between them.
"Uzumaki?" Another blonde, who broke the tense atmosphere in the dining area, was added in the fray.
"Don't be stupid, dobe." And of course, tugging along with him is his best friend, who sat down immediately.
"I was not being stupid, Sasuke-teme! —Wait, is that ramen I smell from the kitchen?" At the word 'ramen', a complaint from another male who had just arrived resounded loudly.
"Really, after being sent outside to buy groceries for dinner, is that all she can cook? I'm better off eating Akamaru's dog food. This is like the third ramen dinner this week." It was Kiba with his dog, Akamaru.
However, soon after his complaint, in came a plump looking boy with swirls on his cheeks as he immediately sat down on one of the chairs answering to Kiba's complaint, "What's wrong with ramen? It's still food. I just wish the food would come here faster."
"Yeah, Chouji's right! What's wrong with ramen, Kiba?" Naruto, who as everyone knows was a ramen maniac, was ready to argue with Kiba and teach the wonders of his beloved ramen when he was interrupted by none other than Shikamaru.
"Before you give us a rant about ramen Naruto, why don't we all sit down and wait quietly?" The pineapple-haired genius scratched behind his head as a habit, "I have a feeling that anymore word from any of you will cause a world war in the dining room, which means another mess. How troublesome."
"Then, let her clean it, Nara." Shikamaru turned his head to Sasuke.
"I'm sure the principal would appreciate our gesture of torturing her so much in one day, Uchiha. Judging from the wet hanging blazer on the chair, I assume some incident happened when she was out."
Just then, Shikamaru felt a slight vibration from the ground on his right side.
"You're acting quite odd, Nara."
It was Neji, dragging out a chair from the table. With grace and etiquette like any Hyuuga, he sat down with no unnecessary movements as he set his table napkin, "I never pegged you to be the talkative type."
"Hmm, the correct word for that, Neji-chan, is probably love according to this book I read. Lazy-ass was the first person who met the dorm manager after all and it was love at first sight. That is why he's currently protective over her."
"L-Lazy-a—your nickname-giving hobby never ceased to take me by surprise, Sai," Shikamaru puts his head on the table, "Your conclusion is totally wrong, but, I won't bother giving you any explanations. Too troublesome."
Chouji crossed his arms, showing a bit of impatience for the food, "The reason is actually a name, Sai. It's not a word."
"Oh, and who is this reason?"
The plump boy shook his head, as if trying to get rid of a threatening image of a certain blonde girl from his head, "Ino."
"Wasn't that girl a fangirl of yours, otouto?" With the same grace and long hair as Neji, Itachi also sat down on a chair, getting ready for dinner.
"Shut up, aniki."
While in the midst of their small talks and arguments, unknown to them, Sakura can perfectly hear them from the other side of the wall inside the kitchen, which was why after she was done preparing dinner, she had busted open the door loudly to make an interruption and gave a reply to the last small talk she heard from them while pushing a tray cart.
"Ino was a former fangirl of the Uchiha. Just to make it clear," Sakura puts a bowl of tomato soup in front of Sasuke, "And I would appreciate it if you guys won't talk about my best friend badly."
"Now, for those gentlemen who are still standing, please take your seats and for the gentlemen who just arrived, please take your seats as well," Sakura took a glance at Sasuke, "And if you're wondering as to how I knew about the tomato soup, I did say that Ino was a former fangirl of yours."
Hidan, who had just arrived, was a bit pissed at her for ordering him around as soon as he got to the dining area, "Who the hell are you bossing around, bitch?! I'm a fucking-"
"Asshole?" Sakura glared at him, "It's either you take your seat or you'll not be getting any dinner."
"Clearly, I am not in the mood for any of your bitching, because, my day wasn't exactly fucking rainbows and unicorns," Removing the plastics she left on the dining table, Sakura placed more food and had set up the plates, spoons, chopsticks and glasses for everybody, "If you're not satisfied with what you guys have, then you might as well blame the culprit who gave me a fake list of groceries and tripped me by the pond."
"I mostly bought food from the convenience store since I was drenched in water from head to toe and combined them with what are left in the kitchen."
The males who have been keeping quiet on the table after she arrived, which was a rare occurrence, stared at the displayed food in front of them as if asking themselves if it was possible for a food from a convenience store to look so good. It was a bit of variety, really.
There was ramen, not just your daily instant ramen but a real home-made ramen, a pyramid of onigiris with different types of fillings, but it wasn't also your convenient store type of onigiris, it was remade with freshly cooked rice mixed with the reheated onigiri rice bought from the convenient store, and pan-fried pork belly, which she found from the freezer, drizzled with curry sauce.
"Geh, I guess the little shrimp can do a little cooking," The blue giant in the room grinned at Sakura, showing his sharp teeth in an attempt of a little bit of intimidation, "I wonder if the food will taste as good as how it looks."
"If you don't want it, don't eat it," Sakura crossed her arms together.
"How much was the total cost, kid?" From her left, she received a stare from the masked man before. Since he was concerned with money, Sakura concluded that Kakuzu truly has an obsession with money.
"If you want the receipt, here," Sakura reached from her small pocket and gave a small piece of paper along with the leftover money from the budget that was given to her, "And the change, too."
"Are we just gonna talk or can we start digging in?" Chouji, who couldn't wait any longer, grunted.
"Actually, Chouji-san, I still have something to tell everyone here," Sakura braced herself and bowed down in 90 degrees, "I apologize for my sudden intrusion in the dormitory and for messing with your privacies. However, despite my apology, I am not admitting defeat. Even if you had plotted something against me like Akasuna-san, I will never admit defeat."
Just how loud were they earlier for Sakura to hear and figure out the person responsible for the grocery-pond incident? Putting that question aside, the female dorm manager stood up straight.
She looked directly at each one of them without hesitation, "I will gain your acknowledgement as the dorm manager."
"And I will start this by reintroducing myself properly this time."
"My name is Haruno Sakura, your dorm manager."
"Sabaku," Not expecting anymore response, Sakura was startled to hear from Gaara, who had been quiet like the rest of them, just when she was about to take the blazer from the chair to leave the dining area.
"Sabaku no Gaara," Sakura could only assume that this was the soft spot that Temari was talking about?
The only guy with a face paint could only smile a little at his little brother, as if understanding the inner workings of his brother's mind, "Sabaku no Kankuro."
"How troublesome. Nara Shikamaru."
Naruto, who was getting it, reintroduced himself happily to Sakura, "Uzumaki Naruto! Future Hokage, -ttebayo!"
"Nice to meet you, Sakura-chan!"
The hyper blond nudged the dark-haired boy after his introduction. Sasuke had been staring at his soup for quite some time, "C'mon you too, teme!"
"Shut up, dobe," Intensely looking at the still shocked pink-haired girl from their responses, he smirked in amusement, "Uchiha Sasuke."
"I must say from your short temper, you seemed to have cooled down a bit, Haruno-san. I'm Uchiha Itachi and thank you for the food."
"It's impossible to cool down when you were soaked to death the whole day, Itachi-san," Sakura glared at him a little, expecting for a comeback when she had received none except for an amused stare.
"But, it looks like you haven't cooled down enough, little doll. Akasuna Sasori, artist."
"Iwa no Deidara, un!"
"Deidara-senpai, let me have a turn! Hi there, Flower-chan! I'm Tobi!"
"Tch, Inuzuka Kiba and this guy here's Akamaru. Don't touch him, alright?"
"I really don't get why we have to reintroduce ourselves, Ugly, but, since dickless did it, I might as well do it. I'm Sai."
"Hyuuga Neji. If you're looking for Lee, he's out and staying over at Gai-sensei."
"I'm Hidan. Better remember my fucking name, bitch!"
"Kakuzu. Good work on the money, kid."
"You could've at least served us tea as well, Haruno-san. I'm Pein."
"Akimichi Chouji! Are we done? I really really want to eat right now."
One by one they had reintroduced themselves to Sakura and Sakura who was shocked by their responses, didn't understand what they were thinking. She had only reintroduced herself for the purpose of clearing up the terrible incidents from their first meeting to now so that she can start again with a blank slate. Well, if they could get that, she guessed that it was probably their way of making a blank slate with her as well.
It was a bit helpful she supposed, but, she had a feeling of an impending headache coming her way soon. What happened a while ago might've also been the signal for the start of the bet they had agreed with. Sakura should be careful from this point on.
"Ne, Sakura-chan," Naruto paused for a slurp of ramen. "Aren't ya going to take a seat yourself and eat with us?"
Everyone also paused midway to hear her answer, with an exception of Chouji, though some of them was not as obvious with their pause and looked like they were still eating but in a more sluggish manner.
"Uh, No. Naruto-san," Was this a trap question? Was what Sakura wondered. She was after all unacknowledged for now so, eating with them never really crossed her mind.
"But, why? You made the food and all. –ttebayo! By the way, have you ever thought of becoming a ramen chef, Sakura-chan?"
"Can't you see you're bothering her, dobe? Clearly, she's not entitled to eat with us…yet."
Sakura took note of the 'yet' at the end of the sentence. Does this mean she can hope that she'll be acknowledged soon? But, that doesn't change the fact on what she thought of a while ago was correct. She wasn't welcome in the table.
"What the heck do you mean by that, teme? She cooked for us! She should be eating the food she cooked all by herself, -ttebayo!"
"It's okay, Naruto-san," Putting her hair behind her ear, she picked up the blazer from the empty chair, "I already have my own food to eat."
From the empty chair, Sakura raised a plastic bag with a gallon of ice cream and showed it to the ramen maniac with a smile, reassuring the kind boy. He truly was an ally like what her foster mother said, "See?"
"So I'll just be heading in my room now. Just call me if you guys are finished so I can wash the dishes, alright Naruto-san?"
"We can do the dishes you know, Sakura-chan."
"It's fine, Naruto-san. If I want to get acknowledged, I'd better do my duties, ne? I need to work hard for it," Sakura gave him a pat on his head and left to go to her room.
The blonde who was previously busy with his ramen, touched his head where she had pat on, taking a break from eating. That was the first time a girl other than his mother had touched his head like that. It felt nice.
"You okay there, dickless?"
Unknown to him, the people near him noticed the redness on his ears as Naruto continued eating but quietly this time.
Throwing the ice cream container to the only trash bin in her room, the pink-haired girl was quite satisfied at the moment. She managed to make a restart with the guys and she confirmed an ally. AND she just ate one gallon of wonderfully delicious sweet ice cream.
It was HEAVEN!
'So that's one people for acknowledgement down. How many more to go?'
Lying down on her bed, she turned to her side and faced the cabinet. Hanging on the hanger was the blazer that was lent to her.
'Looks like I owe, sensei for both that and the advice.'
'Speaking of sensei, why do I keep seeing him hanging around in the highschool department faculty room?'
'Come to think of it, I never knew what class he taught. Wasn't he supposed to be in the elementary school department though?'
Clearing her mind, Sakura heard a knock from the door. She assumed that it was probably time for her to wash the dishes so, she pushed herself upwards from the bed and gathered her bearings as she stood up and walked to the door.
'I wonder who was the unlucky bastard that was chosen to call me out?'
As she met clear pearl-colored eyes, Sakura automatically processed that the unlucky bastard outside the door was Neji. Who else has pearl-colored eyes in the dorm?
"Yeah, yeah I know," Sakura stepped out of the door, "Uh, so… how was the food?"
"If you want a compliment, go to Uzumaki or Akimichi."
"I was asking for your opinion, not theirs."
"If you really want to know, you'll never get my acknowledgement through food. I hope that much is obvious to you."
The girl sighed, trying to not let her temper get to her, "Then, how will I get your acknowledgement, Mr. High and Mighty?"
"Never. As long as you're friends with that pathetic and disgrace of a Hyuuga, I will never acknowledge you."
'That was a wrong answer, mister.'
Pulling a fast one on him, Sakura made use of his hair as she grabbed them with a forceful tug. She managed to pull him backwards when he was about to turn his back on her and leave and at the same time, move away to avoid falling down with him to the ground.
This was a great humiliation for the prideful Hyuuga. He was caught off guard and it was all his fault for forgetting the woman's inhuman strength. How could he forget that she was that monster principal's foster kid? Now, he was on the floor being looked down on by the same girl who he underestimated.
And to even mock him more, the girl pulled on his hair again towards her as she neared her face towards his own, glaring down on him with a smug grin before she whispered into his ear.
"Pathetic? Disgrace? Do you want me to bring you a mirror right now, Hyuuga-san?"
"Just as I implied during dinner. Don't ever talk badly about my friends again."
And like a burst of whirlwind, she disappeared from his sight. She went to the kitchen on her own.
"Dammit, Sakura. Can't you at least control yourself even once?" Scrubbing the plate on her hand even harder, she was trying to forget the exchange that had happened in the hallway outside her room. Sakura really tried her best yet that blank restart with that guy went to waste. He's totally going to hate her throughout this bet, which means she's going to lose even if the others will give their acknowledgement.
"But, he deserves it though for saying stuff about Hinata like that…" Sakura scrunched up her eyebrows, "I wonder what crawled up his ass, Hinata's such a nice girl. I mean they're even related and all!"
Halfway done with the dishes, she wiped off of her face a foam from the dishwashing soap with her right arm.
"It's still there."
"Huh?" Quickly blinking her eyes, she looked behind her to see Gaara standing behind her with his hands in his pockets. She was a bit dumbfounded. What was Gaara doing here?
"The foam… it's still there."
Sakura was about to reach again for the foam on her face when he went ahead and removed it for her. As a result, she was once again dumbfounded.
"I'll help you."
"Huh? Help with what?"
"I'll help you wash the dishes."
"Um, no. It's okay! I can finish this myself," With that, she began to reach for the sponge to start washing the other dishes when she was stopped by a hand on her wrist. Sakura scrunched up her eyebrows for the second time this night, confused at his gesture. 'Just what is he trying to do?'
"You have a fever. Go to bed."
"No, I don't! I'm perfectly fine."
Holding the back of her head, Gaara pulled her towards him and leaned his forehead on hers. She was already flushed from her starting fever but, now she was even redder than before and the girl could feel her burning cheeks. She didn't react like this when she had an encounter with the Hyuuga minutes ago even if they were in the same close proximity.
'Well, I was angry during that time, it's not like I had the time to get uncomfortable unlike now,' she reasoned in her head, 'Ugh! Sakura, focus!'
"Is that what you call 'perfectly fine'?" His eyes were intensely on hers. It was like that for a minute when Gaara started to pull away his forehead, but by the time he pulled away his forehead completely, he was pushed away by the flushed girl in front of him.
Out of discomfort, Sakura had clutched the end of her shirt before deciding to walk towards the door. She was curious though. How come he knew she had a fever? As a person who can't help but be naturally curious and brave enough to ask, Sakura stopped just before she grabs the doorknob.
"How'd you know?"
There was a small clang coming from the plate he was handling while putting it in its place.
"Huh?" Sakura didn't hear his soft answer.
"Your cheeks were unusually red during dinner."
"Oh." She blinked, 'He noticed that? Even I only found out about my own fever after I got mad at Hyuuga.'
'I guess he's not that bad. You were right, Tem.'
And with that, Sakura uttered a small word of 'thanks' to the younger red head in the dorm before she went out of the kitchen as a small smile was painted on his face with no one to see.
Author's Note 2: Finally done with this, ugh. I can't believe my humor ran away from me. Sadly, you might not see the next chapter anytime sooner. Pray for inspiration to come guys. For this story I suppose? I actually wanted to do a major overhaul for all the chapters. Somehow, I feel disgusted with the inconsistency in my writing, but the procrastination bug bit me.
But, in reality, I'm just actually planning to write in another fandom rather than go with the Shikamaru and Sakura psychological story I planned earlier, as what was mentioned in the "Tea in the Summer" oneshot I posted because, it's what I feel like doing these days. (YES, the SHAMELESS advertising.)
Sigh, Naruto Gaiden probably got me tired with all the trolling Kishi did.
Also, I guess from this chapter you can see what route I had for Neji in the story. Yes, guys. It was the pre-Chuunin Exam type of Neji. And as you can see there were also a tidbits of information lying around the chapter if you guys were paying attention, though it was really obvious in my case, ha. ha.
Anyways, hope you enjoyed the chapter. You'll see me around the Ansatsu Kyoushitsu fandom wandering around for a while. For the mean time, keep on voting in the poll or in the review and keep on suggesting for this story's new title in the review as well!