[UPDATED AS OF SEPTEMBER 2017]

::

Tempest

- Chapter Three -

In Which First Impressions Are Everything

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Aidou Hanabusa hummed under his breath as he rested his chin in his hand, eyes following the five distant forms as they traveled. From his view through the window in his room, he could look out across the water to the other bridge which led to the Sun Dorms, the path bathed in the light of the lampposts. He watched the three unfamiliar members of the group with idle curiosity, fingers tapping on the windowsill absentmindedly.

His gaze followed the pastel pink, bright gold, and pitch black heads as he pursed his lips, thinking back to a few minutes prior. It had taken him mere moments to return to the Moon Dorm and travel back up to his room, intent on watching the strange exchange students from his vantage point and his mind buzzing with both curiosity and excitement. Something sparked in his half-lidded, icy-blue eyes and he ignored the sound of Kain entering the room, eyebrows furrowing ever so slightly.

There was something strange about those three. The girl, those two boys... There was some sort of odd aura around them. Different. Powerful. A delicious aroma that he'd never quite come across before.

It had made him hungry.

He found himself imagining what their blood would taste like. That powerful feeling... He imagined that it ran though their veins as well. He'd never had such an urge for a taste before.

Aidou subconsciously licked his lips, eyes on the bit of pink that quickly disappeared out of sight as the group of Day Class students passed the final gate to the Sun Dorms.

He'd had quite a bit of trouble controlling himself from taking a bite of that girl. She'd been right there in front of him, her scent tantalizing and oh so tempting.

But, it wasn't just the presence of the Prefects that had made him restrain himself.

That powerful aura had kept him at bay.

He had been able to feel it so well. The way it spiked from the two boys when he touched the pretty girl. The way it settled when she was near them. The way it grew and raged from her when she met his eye.

Like some sort of powerful and dangerous storm.

Yet so enticing.

He was both captivated and worried by that feeling.

Who were these people?

His fingers – the ones that had taken her hand, touched her cheek – brushed his lips and his tongue darted out without a thought, chasing the wanting memory of a taste.

"What are you staring at so intensely, Hanabusa?"

Aidou was snapped out of his thoughts and he looked over to his cousin with a grin. Kain sent him a raised eyebrow and crossed his arms, leaning against his bedframe. The blonde laughed and turned away from the window, running a hand through his hair.

"Oh, I'm just thinking to myself. I had the pleasure of meeting those Konoha representatives - the one's we had heard about - earlier. They're quite interesting."

Kain sent him a questioning look but merely sighed, not bothering to inquire further. He went about his business in the room and left Aidou to his thoughts, not too interested in what was going through his cousin's mind.

Aidou grinned to himself and turned back to the window, hand cupping his chin. The three new faces flashed through his mind, lingering on the scrutinizing, amusingly annoyed expression of the girl.

Yes, very interesting.

Those boys would be a nuisance, but he'd have to keep his word and get better acquainted with her.

He chuckled under his breath, feeling Kain's questioning glance on his back, and repeated her name in his mind – Haruno Sakura. Lips quirking, his eyes momentarily flashed red, chilling blue melting into crimson.

This would be fun.

::

Yuuki was a pleasant hostess.

The moment they had arrived at the Sun Dorms, the boys separating to head over to the half of the building for the male students, she had made a point to let Sakura know where everything she could possible need was and had even pulled out a map of the school to offer to her, just in case she needed it.

"Even with the tour, it's pretty easy to lose your way in the school." Yuuki had said, taking a seat on her bed of their shared room as Sakura began to unpack. "Luckily, since tomorrow is the first official day of school, there should be plenty of other students getting lost around the campus."

Besides occasionally asking if she needed any help, the brunette had politely left her to unpack her belongings, straightening up her own half of the room. When Sakura was done, the girls had chatted for a bit to get to know each other before they were ready for bed. Yuuki gave her a brief rundown of breakfast times, reminded her of when classes began and ended, and wished her a goodnights sleep, curling up in her own bed.

However, Sakura was fully aware of Yuuki getting up and leaving the room when she must thought that the rosette was asleep, barely an hour later. She was also aware of the brunette returning to the room sometime around dawn the next morning. Sakura pretended to be asleep and, when Yuuki's alarm went off a couple hours later, she feigned confusion when Yuuki woke up with an irritated groan.

That had been strange.

But, she ignored it and went about her morning routine.

Which brought her to where she was now.

Staring in distaste at her reflection.

This uniform was ridiculous.

Sakura turned slightly to view herself at different angles and her scowl only darkened. Who on earth had designed this uniform? The jacket she had no problem with and she could tolerate the silly bow but the skirt.

Why was it so short?

She groaned and tried to pull the end of the much-too-short skirt down without fully pulling it off of her hips. But she had no luck. The pleated black skirt only reached about mid-thigh and even the knee-high stockings left her feeling incredibly exposed.

Students at Konoha Academy weren't required to wear the uniform – black slacks, white button up, and a green blazer for boys and the same for the girls with a knee-length skirt in replace of the pants - unless it was for an official academic event because some teachers tended to surprise the students with sudden survival training. Most students wore casual clothes that were comfortable and easy to move around in - clothing that didn't get in the way or leave too much skin exposed.

This skirt was impractical.

Sakura sighed and brushed her fingers through her waist-length hair, taking a moment to braid two small plaits at her temples and tie them off behind her head before giving the skirt in the reflection one last irritated look. Turning away, she grabbed her belongings - her bag packed with supplies for the day and perhaps a couple of kunai hidden expertly on her person - and slipped on her shoes.

Old habits die hard.

Yuuki soon returned from the bathroom, dressed in her own uniform, and led Sakura out of the dorm room with a smile. There were a few other girls in the hallway and Sakura could feel them glancing and staring at her, sure that they must have realized that she was new to the school. Noticing her discomfort, Yuuki struck up a conversation about the school's cafeteria and food and they were soon at Sun Dorm's dining hall, their breakfast in hand.

There were a total of three cafeterias in the entirety of Cross Academy. The individual ones stationed at the Sun and Moon Dorms served both breakfast and dinner (or, in regards to the Night Class, meals before and after classes), while the slightly smaller dining hall in the academy proper served a meal during the school day, so that the students need not travel back and forth from the dorms to eat.

Again and again, Sakura could feel eyes on her and she was greatly relieved when Naruto and Sai entered the cafeteria. The blond was grinning and talking enthusiastically while Sai followed after him, occasionally replying to the cheerful boy and making comments to Zero, who walked with them with an air of nonchalance.

Yuuki noticed them and waved the three over after they had gotten their own breakfast and all five were seated at a table as more and more students entered the large dining hall. Giving the boys a once-over, Sakura noted how good Sai and Naruto looked in the boys' uniform and mentally nodded in approval. It really suited the two, she realized.

She felt her cheeks heat up and she quickly looked away as Sai looked up at her, a slice of toast in his hand. She pretended to look around and noticed that quite a few other students were staring in their general direction. Most of everyone seemed to avoid the table and Sakura wasn't sure if it was because of them or the Prefects.

Inwardly shaking her head, she turned her attention back to the table and put on a happy smile.

"So, how'd everyone sleep last night?"

As if on cue, both Yuuki and Zero yawned, the latter trying to hold it in more than the former. Sakura raised an eyebrow at the two and guessed that wherever Yuuki had gone last night, Zero must have been there as well.

Naruto grinned and stuffed a muffin into his mouth, quickly washing it down with a glass of milk.

"The beds here feel just like the ones back home, but the rooms seem a little bigger."

Sai hummed and meticulously tore the crust off his toast, nodding in agreement. After a moment, he looked up again and made pointed eye contact with Sakura, his expression indecipherable.

"Naruto snores."

"I do not!" He immediately replied, turning to his friend with a look of indignation. Zero's lips quirked in a smirk as the Naruto began to insist that taller boy sleep-talked and Yuuki gave a giggle when the blonde threatened to pour milk in Sai's juice when he brought up his drooling problem. Sakura smiled and muffled her laugh behind an apple, quickly growing comfortable with their little group but just as excited to get the first day at the school started.

They made idle conversation until breakfast was finished and headed out of the Sun Dorm with the rest of the Day Class, traveling across the bridge to the main campus and into the large building. Similar to Konoha Academy, a majority of the classes were held in one room for each class of students, only changing rooms for certain subjects, with the teachers coming and going between periods. Sakura's mind was already buzzing, anticipating the start of class and getting a chance to meet her classmates.

They walked through the hallways of the main building, following after Yuuki and Zero before they finally arrived at their lecture hall. Assuming that the First Years of the Day Class had been attending Cross Academy since Junior High, there was a pretty good chance that all of the students would know – or at least recognize – one another, making Sakura, Naruto, and Sai the odd ones out. It was something she wasn't really looking forward to, but begrudgingly accepted as unavoidable.

The five entered the classroom and Yuuki paused to speak with the teacher who was rearranging papers on his desk. Sakura waited at the steps to the auditorium seats and was vaguely aware of Naruto talking about how huge the school was as he made his way up. She noticed the teacher glance over at her and her boys when Yuuki was done speaking with him and she felt a bit of apprehension wash over her.

She gave a mental groan, lips twisted slightly. 'Please. Please don't single us out. We'd rather just blend in with the crowd – I have no idea how much these students might hate us for being from K.A.' she thought to herself, forcing a smile at Yuuki as they ascended the stairs to the upper rows. Despite her mental wishing, she knew that, as representatives of the exchange, they'd probably have to be formally introduced to the class, but she didn't have to like it.

She noticed Sai, Zero, and Naruto sitting together in the highest row (though the blond was mostly talking aloud to himself, not that he really cared). Sai was watching the students enter the room with attentive, calculating eyes, his hands clasped together on top of the desktop and his head occasionally inclining in Naruto's direction. Zero's eyes were closed with this arms crossed behind his head, though he seemed comfortable enough with his new companions – or, well, at least the quieter of the two.

Sakura smiled to herself, happy that Sai had managed to find a friend that seemed just as socially inept.

"Yo, Sakura-chan!" Naruto called, making the rosette jump and grimace at the many pairs of eyes that looked over to her. He was on his feet, having realized that she hadn't followed them up to the topmost row. "Come sit by me!"

Sai's gaze moved to her, looking thoughtful for a moment before he reached up to grab Naruto's elbow, pulling him back down into his seat.

"We're here to socialize with other students, Di-" He cut himself off quickly, catching himself at the last moment. Quickly recovering, Sai sent the blond one of those empty smiles of his. "Leave Sakura be."

Naruto pouted at him and huffed, sending Sakura a longing look before reluctantly slumping back in his seat. She laughed under her breath and sat down beside Yuuki, right in front of Naruto as a way to make amends. Taking Sai's advice, she greeted the shyly smiling girl that sat down next to her and started idle conversation until the teacher called for everyone's attention.

"Welcome back students, I hope you all enjoyed your break." The teacher drawled, a bored tone in his voice as he gazed at the class over the rim of his glasses. "As I'm sure you all know, we have three representatives from Konoha Academy who will be spending the school year here with us as part of the Cross-Konoha Exchange Program."

Sakura inwardly groaned, though she had expected as much.

He looked to each of them and adjusted his glasses, standing in front of the rows of seats.

"Would you three please stand and introduce yourselves?"

She suppressed a sigh and was about to do as the teacher asked when she heard movement behind her and glanced over her shoulder just in time to see Sai stand. Pleasantly surprised, she inwardly applauded him and smiled.

"Hello," He began, posture perfect and his arms crossed behind his back, "I am Shimura Sai. I look forward to the year ahead." He bent slightly at the waist for a small bow and sat back down, gaze briefly flickering to Sakura, as if for approval, as the other students eyed him curiously.

Naruto was quick to introduce himself next, jumping up and planting his fists on his hips. "Alright! I'm Uzumaki Naruto, 'ttebayo! It's cool to meet you all!"

Sakura laughed to herself, smiling fondly as she watched the various reactions around the room. Naruto sat back down, a wide grin on his face and she took her turn, smoothing out her skirt. She stood, hands clasped behind her back as she let her head bob to the side slightly and she smiled brightly, eyes closing.

"And I'm Haruno Sakura! I hope we can all be friends."

She sat back down and sent a quick glance back at Naruto and Sai before waiting for the other students' reactions.

It was silent in the room until one of the girls, it wasn't quite apparent who, suddenly squealed.

"Kyaa! They're so handsome!"

And then the room was buzzing with conversation, some hushed and some not, as the boys and girls all began discussing the three.

Sakura could pick out bits and pieces of the conversations and felt her eyebrow raise as a sheepish smile appeared.

"Those boys look like they could be in the Night Class, they're so attractive!"

"The girl too! She looks like a model!"

"Shimura-san is so proper – like a nobleman!"

"Uzumaki-kun seems like such a happy person! He's so cheerful!"

"Haruno-san has such a pretty smile!"

"Maybe they're supposed to be in the Night Class?"

"I'm glad they're not!"

"I wonder if Haruno-san is dating anyone?"

"I wonder if Shimura-kun is dating anyone!"

"Uzumaki-san is so much cuter!"

"I hope I can be friends with all of them!"

"Maybe Konoha Academy isn't so bad if such cool people go there."

Sakura sat back dazedly, lips parted slightly before they quirked upwards in a pleased smile.

Well, this was going much better than she had expected.

::

"So Haruno-san, what kind of hobbies do you have?"

Sakura blinked in surprise as the girl in front of her grinned, resting her elbows on the edge of the table and peering curiously up at her. The day had gone by surprisingly quickly with most of the classes dedicated to going over the syllabuses and a few light lectures. At the final teacher's direction, the class had spent the final free period setting up sign-up sheets for various clubs, quickly burning through the last hour and a half of the day. Now, with just ten minutes until the end of the Day Class' school day, the students who had stayed behind had been left to chat amongst themselves. Everyone had been extremely pleasant and it left Sakura feeling very welcomed and at ease, hoping to make a few new friends before the end of the day.

She paused and put a finger to her chin, thinking to herself for a moment before she smiled.

"Well, I really enjoy reading and listening to music, but who doesn't?"

The girl giggled and the other two girls smiled, nodding in agreement. If Sakura remembered correctly, the two girls in front of her were Shashin Tobari and Fujimoto Kasai. The girl sitting next to her was Shindo Nadeshiko and she'd been quick to make friends with Sakura once class had begun, though she had seemed rather shy at first.

"I suppose my favorite hobbies are collecting bookmarks and solving puzzles. And, please, Fujimoto-san, call me Sakura!"

Kasai smiled, tucking a stray strand of her curly, charcoal-black hair behind her ear as she nodded.

"Only if you call me Kasai, Sakura-san!"

"Do you like cute little boutiques and café shops?" Tobari asked after a moment, blowing a few light-blonde strands of hair out of her hazel eyes.

Pink eyebrow raised, she gave her a crooked grin, twirling a pen between her fingers. "So long as I get to go with friends, yes! Are there any interesting ones in Okunote?"

Tobari and Nadeshiko squealed in delight, the latter playing with the ends of her light brown pigtails as the former spoke.

"Oh, you must come with us into town this weekend! We'll show you all of our favorite shops and stores!"

Sakura smiled slightly and nodded in agreement, excited at the prospect.

"Alright! It sounds like fun."

She glanced over to Yuuki, who had fallen asleep some time ago, and supposed that she didn't need to constantly rely on the Prefect while she was at the school. It would do her some good to make a few friends and relieve the tired girl of having to look after her. Lips quirking, she glanced over her shoulder to see how Naruto and Sai were faring.

The blond was positively delighted with all the attention from the various students. The girls were fawning over his sunny disposition while a few guys were asking him what sort of sports he played. Much like back at Konoha Academy, he seemed to brighten up the room, his grin dazzling and his cheerful attitude rubbing off on those around him.

Sai on the other hand was answering his mob to the best of his abilities, paying painfully close attention to his tone and words. It wasn't until someone asked about his hobbies and the conversation turned to the subject of art that he seemed to fully relax. Most of the students surrounding him seemed to edge away from the apathetic Zero, occasionally sending the boy worried glances and trying to keep out of his general area.

It looked like he was sleeping as well.

A few minutes later, the bell signaling the end of the free period rang and, suddenly, the room was filled with the excited squeals of the girls. They all quickly gathered their belongings and flooded out of the room, sending farewells to the stragglers.

"Finally, it's almost time!" One of the girls shouted from out in the hallway, "I've waited all break for this!"

Sakura's eyebrows furrowed and she turned to her new friends questioningly as she gathered her supplies. They all broke into a round of giggles, their own belongings in hand as they quickly packed. Nadeshiko stood first, adjusting her glasses before she took Sakura's hand.

"C'mon Sakura-san! We need to get good spots!" She tugged her along, pausing for her to finish dropping her notebook and pen into her pack before she quickly led her down the steps. Tobari and Kasai skipped ahead, giggling to themselves, and Sakura looked back over her shoulder frantically.

"B-but Yuuki-san!"

"Oh, just leave Cross to sleep. She's such a spoil-sport anyways!"

She squeaked in surprise as they quickened their pace and she managed to send one last weak smile back at Naruto and Sai, who watched her disappear around the corner in shock.

"Eh? What was that all about, 'ttebayo?"

"...Stupid fangirls."

"Hm?"

::

"So, what are we waiting for?" Sakura asked, rocking on her heels as she watched the large mob of girls swarm and squeal outside the gate to the Moon Dorm. There were more than just girls from the First Year class here and Sakura had a sinking suspicion that the entirety of the female half of the Day Class had gathered at the gate. It had only been a few minutes since they'd left the classroom, the sun low in the sky, and her new trio of friends had yet to explain why they'd dragged her here. Tobari giggled and batted at her shoulder playfully, looking just as giddy as the other girls around her.

"The Night Class, of course, Sakura-san! None of us have seen them since before the break!"

She raised an eyebrow at her three companions as they nodded and squealed enthusiastically, their cheeks turning pink with excited blushes. She thought back to the previous evening and felt her lips twist in distaste, eye moving apprehensively to the large gate.

"What? That's all?"

Kasai gasped in surprise and Tobari managed a weak laugh while Nadeshiko smiled at her, shaking her head as if Sakura were a child who had just said something silly and cute. Sakura huffed and crossed her arms, not liking the present situation.

"You'll see Sakura-san! It's the absolute best part of the day."

Her pink eyebrows furrowed at the vague answer, but she simply sighed, gaze darting about as she searched for Yuuki.

Was she still asleep?

As if on cue, the shrill sound of a whistle was heard and Yuuki suddenly appeared out of nowhere, clutching the metal-work at the top of the wooden gates as she crouched on the brick ledge above the mob of girls.

"Alright! Everyone back!"

There was a loud collection of groans and whines from the girls and Sakura took this moment of confusion to back out of the crowd and into the open, slipping unnoticed out of the huddle of girls. Once out of the cluster, she retreated to the outermost part of the mob, leaned against a lamppost, and sighed in relief, vaguely aware of hearing Yuuki shout to the girls gathered outside the gates.

Emerald eyes scanned the scene, gazing back towards the direction of the main building as she noticed Zero, Naruto, and Sai approaching. Her two separated from Zero as he unenthusiastically moved forward to help calm the riot of girls, leaving the two boys to watch on in confusion. She waved at Naruto and Sai from her place on the other side of the wide cobblestone path, but ended up laughing weakly when they were suddenly pulled into the horde by a few squealing girls.

Taking a deep breath of the fresh air, she turned around to face the path that led back to the center of the Y-shaped courtyard, reaching behind her back in a stretch. She ran her fingers through her loose pink hair, gaze going skyward as she watched the colors of the sunset change from warm reds, oranges, and yellows to the colder colors of evening. The lampposts came to life and bathed the path in light, creating a false daylight that failed to reach past the trees of the thick school garden.

At precisely 5:45 PM, she heard the low whine of the large, double doors being opened behind her, but she didn't bother looking back, much more inclined to watch the leaves above her sway in the breeze. There was a flurry of footsteps and she was aware of the mob of girls changing shape behind her and, after a moment Sakura could hear muffled conversation. Catching a leaf that fell free of the canopy, she listened to the sound of Yuuki's distinct voice, but she stayed where she was, closing her eyes as she let her other senses sharpen and focus. The scent of the forest was overwhelmed by that of the lake that laid beyond the wall and Sakura frowned, preferring the trees and plants.

After a few minutes, she became bored with eavesdropping (someone was welcoming someone else and others were exchanging greetings – unfamiliar voices mingling with squeals from the girls behind her) and started to walk back towards the center of the courtyard, planning to return to the Sun Dorms. Her hand trailed over the bark of a tree as she passed, inwardly wondering if she'd be able to find a quiet place to train in the woods surrounding the dorms. The physical education class here at Cross Academy was nowhere near the level of activity she was used to at Konoha and she'd already figured she'd have to take up some personal workout time to keep in shape.

Lost in her musing, Sakura's eyebrows furrowed as she heard a collective gasp from behind her and the sound of someone calling her name.

"Haruno-saaan!"

She hadn't even managed to glance over her shoulder before she suddenly felt someone tackle her back and wrap their arms around her shoulders, clinging to and hovering over her from behind.

It purely was out of instinct that she grabbed their arm in an iron-tight grip, twisted her torso, and leaned forward, bodily flipping the person over her and slamming them into the ground with a loud "Chaaa!"

Her leg moved reflexively in an instant and, with her foot locked under their jaw and pressing lightly against their throat, Sakura seemed to realize what had just happened, quickly looking down at the shocked blond laying sprawled on the ground under her, icy-blue eyes wide and surprised.

His name and face registered in her mind – Aidou Hanabusa, that weirdo from yesterday – and she quickly jumped back, all too aware that the courtyard had become unsettling silent.

"O-oh my gosh! I'm so sorry!" She quickly reached down and took his wrist, easily pulling him to his feet and she dusting him off, flustered and embarrassed. "Don't startle me like that, Aidou-san."

As much as the guy had peeved her off yesterday, she was supposed to be polite and nice while at Cross Academy, uphold her prestigious title as an exchange delegate and all that.

And that flip must have hurt.

He was still staring at her and she stepped back uneasily, looking away as she fidgeted with the strap of her bag.

She could feel the eyes boring into the back of her head.

Shit.

She was startled, however, to suddenly hear him begin to laugh. Eyes darting up to the taller boy, her eyebrows furrowed and she almost cringed unsurely, watching him with a wary frown.

"My, I've underestimated you, Haruno-chan!"

Her eyes narrowed at the honorific, flustered feelings dissipating.

Aidou grinned and smoothed down the front of his white uniform, eyes glimmering at her from under much-too-full eyelashes.

"I most certainly was not expecting that."

Her lips pursed and she crossed her arms, cordiality being pushed aside gracelessly. Something about this guy just irked her.

"Most people who underestimate me tend to find themselves on their back. I don't like surprises." She replied, chewing on the inside of her cheek. She was immensely irritated when he suddenly patted her on the head, chuckling to himself and leaving his hand there, resting on the crown of her head.

"I suppose I'll have to be more careful with catching you off-guard in the future."

She had to hold in her annoyed growl – was he implying he planned on doing that again? - as he ruffled her hair slightly before finally pulling away to join the passing group of white-uniformed students. Smoothing down her hair with a very pointed glare at the blond, she took a moment to assess them all, lips twisting as she realized a few were watching her as well. They were all incredibly attractive, gracefully walking in their loose group towards the main building as they held themselves with a regal aura, looking like passing parade of royalty.

She unexpectedly caught one of the boys' eyes as she watched them pass.

A tall, elegant young man with rusty-brown hair and garnet-colored eyes. For the split second they made eye contact, Sakura felt a very heavy presence wash over her. Pushing down on her, suffocating her. Time seemed to slow to a cliché standstill and she felt like she would be crushed under his gaze, black edging in on the corners of her vision and her senses both hyper aware and muted at the same time.

But then he looked away and she could breathe again.

However, the dark aura behind her was just as overpowering.

She wearily glanced over her shoulder and realized she had most certainly fucked up. The previously giggly and squealing mob of girls now stood together in an intimidatingly foreboding group, their sinister gazes directed at the nervous (shit, was she shaking?) Sakura.

Luckily, one of the girls pushed her way to the front of the crowd and shouted to Aidou, drawing the attention away from Sakura.

"I-Idol-senpai! Are you alright? Did she hurt you?"

Sakura actually flinched at the venomous glance several girls sent her.

Aidou looked over his shoulder at the crowd and turned to walk backwards, a wide grin stretched across his face.

"Ladies, ladies, please! Spare no ill-will towards Haruno-chan! It was completely my fault for surprising her." His grin widened ever so slightly as his gaze traveled over to her and Sakura was pretty sure he winked at her, but his attention was back on the girls before she was certain.

"Play nice, girls. After all, we're supposed to be the charming hosts for our Konoha friends."

And then he and the other Night Class students were gone, leaving Sakura to wonder whether the Day Class girls would take his advice or not. She was just about ready to make a run for it (fangirls were scary when pissed off, dammit), when someone from within the crowd spoke.

"Well, if Idol-senpai says so..."

Relief washed over Sakura as the dark-aura of the Day Class girls disappeared and they dispersed, heading back to the dorms. Some sent her glances of varying expressions – curiosity, attempted friendliness, contempt, envy? - as they passed by her, but she was too relieved to really notice. Her three new friends were soon at her side, though Kasai seemed a little peeved off, her blue eyes narrowed, and Tobari was laughing sheepishly. Nadeshiko rested a hand on her shoulder and sent her a semi-awed look.

"How did Idol-senpai know you, Sakura-san?"

Sakura sighed and rubbed the back of her neck, following after the three as they began to make their way back to the Sun Dorms.

"I, ah, met him yesterday when Yuuki-san and Zero-san were giving us a tour of the school." She replied before pausing, glancing nervously to each of the girls as she worried the strap of her bag. "Uhm, are you three angry with me as well..?"

They all seemed a little taken aback by her question but Tobari and Nadeshiko were quick to reassure her.

"Oh, no! Idol-senpai said it was an accident! We've no need to be mad."

"Of course not, Sakura-san! I'm actually just a little jealous that he hugged you like that!"

They both started squealing and Kasai's lips tilted upwards slightly as she crossed and uncrossed her arms.

"Everyone was so shocked when he suddenly took off after you!" Tobari continued, hands at her face as she giggled. "It's not often that he – or anyone from the Night Class – single one of us out, much less hug!"

Nadeshiko nodded enthusiastically in agreement and Sakura managed a weak smile, reaching up to tuck a stray pink hair away.

"I-it wasn't really a hug..."

"That look of surprise on his face was so adorable." Kasai added with a giggle, finally seeming to relax. "I don't think I've ever seen Idol-senpai so shocked."

All three squealed and Sakura couldn't help but smile, inwardly sighing in relief.

She'd have to be more careful, though, she thought with an inner frown. She couldn't afford to have over half of the school hate her for some silly mistake.

And avoiding the Night Class from now on would probably help, as well.

::

"Geeze, Hanabusa, you didn't have to go and ruin the Konoha-girl's life. You know how crazy the Day Class girls are." Kain said, an eyebrow quirked as he tossed a wadded up paper-ball at Aidou's head. The Night Class students were all lazing about in the large classroom, chatting idly with one another with their usual hushed voices.

"Well, I wasn't expecting her to flip me onto my back!" The blond countered, crossing his arms over his chest and huffing as he glared down at the tabletop.

Kain was actually surprised to find that his cousin seemed genuinely upset.

"Serves you right." Came Ruka's voice, cutting before Kain could reply. They both looked up to see her, arms crossed over her chest as she sneered down at Aidou, lips twisted into an amused smirk. "That's what you get for trying to associate with a human."

Aidou simply pouted, doodling furiously onto a piece of paper, hunched over the table and his eyes narrowed.

Ruka laughed to herself and continued, ignoring the glares the blond sent her as she brushed a lock of her toffee-colored hair over her shoulder. "I'll admit, that was pretty impressive for a human. It's nice to know that they aren't all brainless little weaklings. And that look on your face was priceless."

"She just caught me off guard!" Aidou whined, flustered from Ruka's teasing. "How was I supposed to know she'd react like that?"

Almost instantly, the conversations stopped and the room fell silent as Kaname entered, his expression indecipherable. They all moved to their seats, watching him with gazes filled with respect and slight apprehension.

He stopped at the front of the classroom and spoke, garnet-eyes traveling over each of them as he watched the other vampires with his usual air of indisputable power and regality.

"I'm sure you are all aware that Cross Academy will be hosting three students from Konoha Academy for this year. This is the first time Cross Academy has ever had someone from a different school stay for such a long period of time and I cannot stress the importance that we all be on our best behavior." Here, his gaze flickered to Aidou who nearly flinched and shrank into his seat.

"I suggest we keep our distance, but, if they approach you, I believe it's obvious how you should act. Give them no reason to be wary of you or raise suspicions." He paused as Senri, resting on the desk with his arms crossed in front of his face, looked up.

"Konoha Academy is notorious for being extremely paranoid, I've heard."

Rima plucked a piece of lent from his shoulder and nodded in agreement and the others all murmured to each other, offering the sparse knowledge they had of the other school. Kaname waited for them to settle down and continued, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Yes, and I have not yet confirmed with the Chairman if erasing their memories, should it be necessary, will be allowed."

His eyes flashed red for a moment, expression on the edge of thoughtfulness as his gaze turned to the window, watching as the moon appeared from behind the clouds and bathed the classroom with its pale light.

"Most of you have already felt it, haven't you? There's something strange about those three."

::

notes: 1500 more words and ruka is still difficult to write. as I mentioned in the old AN, kasai and tobari are ocs while nadeshiko is a canon vk character. idk why I cant break the habit, but ill probably keep referring to aidou and kain by their surnames oops

im sorry to those of you who wanted kaname/sakura way in the past. ill still try to fit it in, but its kinda difficult considering the only person kaname really cares about is yuuki,,

anyways, hope you enjoyed!