I am really sorry for the long, long MIA status. It's difficult to go to a high school while taking college classes too. I hope this makes up for it.
"It's still early for a Saturday," Sakura noted as they exited the café. It was only 10 A.M. and she was still walking with Itachi at the moment.
"I assume that you have nothing important to do today?" he glanced down at her while they strolled to god-knows-where. She nodded, slightly blushing that she didn't have friends to hang out with on the weekends. "You wouldn't mind accompanying me today, would you?"
"Ah, no it would be a pleasure to spend time with you, Sir," she quipped, even adding a curtsie-like move.
"Well, Miss," he turned to her and bowed, extending his hand in a offer, which she took, "I'm thankful for your presence."
They looked at each other for a second to gauge the person's reaction before Sakura broke the moment with a series of laughs. Itachi straightened his posture and released a few chuckles himself.
"I'm planning to take an additional class to add to my schedule," she stated. "I'm rather indecisive between track and weight training, or both. Although, I have three periods since I completed my necessities already."
"Take both," he suggested. She looked at him in confusion, slightly cocking her head, which he took notice to explain further. "Track is beneficial for the cardio needed in exercising, but it's also fun and competitive. With cardio, you need the muscles and precautions to decrease the possibilities of getting an injury.
"That's where weight training comes in. Weight training strengthens the muscles and increases your balance while also boosting your metabolism. That's how many people achieve a fit and toned figure," Itachi finished.
"….That's the most I have ever heard from you," she smiled innocently while he sent her a glare, "I see your point, so it's decided – I'll take both classes, so thank you for the advice."
He paused hesitantly, "Are you doing all this because of someone's opinion about you?"
Her eyes widened at his assumption, which had hit right on the nail. She thought she wasn't that obvious with the impulse of beginning to exercise and changing her diet. She mulled over what to say, nervously wringing her hands.
"I've gotten bigger from puberty, which everyone goes through, when middle school began. I noticed it, of course, but I didn't take any action. Then, I heard those boys making those inappropriate noises while I ran pass them that day. In the locker room, I heard the girls' opinions of me and my size, which was very negative and insulting," Sakura stared in front of her, a frown marring her face. "That's when I decided to do something. I want to change for the better, become faster, become skinnier and have muscles along with the strength. That's why I was running this morning and quite literally bumped into you."
"I see," Itachi nodded in understanding. "I just want you to take in consideration of my advice: do it for yourself, no others."
"I pink promise," she stuck out her pinky towards him. He stared at her weirdly. "What? That way I promise and I can't break it."
He shrugged and wrapped his long finger around hers and made a motion of a handshake before he removed his appendage. They continued on their path, enjoying each other's company and the environment. They entered a nice neighborhood before stopping at a two-story house equipped with a patio and a beautiful front yard.
The raven-haired teen unlocked the door with his key while she wondered why he brought her to his house. She automatically took off her shoes and felt awkward since she felt misplaces. She was sweaty and probably smelled unpleasant while she was in a tidy, spotless house. He motioned her to sit on a white couch before descending up the stairs, resulting in her to doubt her presence here along with the possibility of dirtying the furniture.
"You won't," he called out as if reading her mind and she relaxed slightly, "and no one's home, so don't worry. I'll be done in ten minutes."
She sat there until she heard footsteps from the stairway. Itachi entered the living room wearing a white v-neck and denim jeans. His black and white converse gleamed in the sunlight that was filtering through a window and he plucked a pair of keys from a glass bowl. They exited the house, Itachi locking up after, and sat in his Audi. Sakura stared in awe at his car because she knew about car brands and had a slight liking to them.
"Where do you live?" Itachi asked as he reversed out the driveway. She rattled out her address, realizing that she didn't live too far away, and soon they arrived at the location. "Freshen up."
She nodded while he took a seat at the dining table. While refreshing herself from a quick shower and change of clothes, many questions filtered in her mind.
'Where's he taking me? He's not asking me out for a date is he? No, that's not it. Maybe he has an errand and wants me to go with him,' she thought. Sakura exited her room with her messenger bag and her water bottle to keep her hydrated. She wore a loose, blue button-up shirt and tan shorts. Blue and gold gladiators adorned her feet and she tied up her hair in a ponytail with her bangs framing her face.
"So, where are we going?" she questioned him as they drove off again.
"You'll see," he answered, clearly ending the conversation of the location they were going to.
30 minutes passed and she was bored out of her mind from no talking. She pulled out her ipod and saw an aux plug. She glanced at the other teen for permission, earning a nod before plugging the cord to her device. A song filled with upbeat violin music filtered through the speakers and Sakura immediately began drumming her fingers to the beat.
"Lindsey Stirling," Itachi nodded in approval as they listened to the music. An hour passed before they stopped and parked in front of an outlet.
"I've never been here before," Sakura admitted as she observed the bustling outlet; she was awed by the building's design. Thank god she brought her wallet because she was going to buy a few things here. They entered Nike and were instantly greeted by an employee.
"Hi, my name is Karin and if you need any help, you can come to me," a red-haired woman grinned, eyes roaming over Itachi's clothed form. She brushed her bangs away and bit her lip in a flirtatious manner. Itachi nodded and walked away with Sakura in tow.
"You should get some fitness clothes since you'll be doing a lot of exercise," he advised and left to the shoes section.
She immediately browsed through the racks, searching for the best clothing suitable for her. She picked out two sports bras, since she had a few at home already, three track shorts, and a jacket for colder weather. She held the clothing in her hands and walked to Itachi's location. She soon spotted him and stood next to him as he held a pair of shoes in his hand.
"What is your shoe size?" he asked while looking through the shoe sizes and grabbed a size ten in men.
"Eight, why?" Sakura questioned him as he nodded and grabbed a box of shoes similar to his own, but just smaller.
"To run you need the proper shoes," he said and handed it to her. "Are you done?"
She nodded and they both made their way to the cash register. Karin ushered them to her direction with a wave of her hand. She scanned Sakura's items first and the pink-haired girl paid for it; then she waited for Itachi. After getting through his items, Karin scribbled something on the back of his receipt before handing it to him.
"Come back any time!" she called out as the duo exited the store. As they got out, he crumpled the receipt and threw it away.
"Why'd you do that?" Sakura asked confused by his actions.
"Her number," he simply answered.
"Oh, okay,.' She nodded and saw Barnes&Nobles," Wait, I want a new book."
He trailed after her and sat at a table near the store's Starbucks as he waited for her. After a long period of time, she returned with a plastic bag of books.
"I thought you wanted one?" he smirked.
"I couldn't decide, so I got all of them," she shrugged and her stomach took that as a cue to growl at her companion while he stared amusingly. "I guess it's lunch time!"
They sauntered to the food court and ordered their meals. Itachi ordered them shrimp tacos that had tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar cheese, and some avocado to substitute for the cream cheese. She thanked him and they sat at a table to eat. Itachi and Sakura returned to the car as they made their return to home. She fell asleep in the car, but Itachi didn't mind. It was slightly dark as they moon was out already. He gently nudged her awake and walked her to her doorstep.
"Thank you for today, Itachi," Sakura smiled genuinely.
This was the first time that she spent a day with a person at school. She wondered if they were friends now, but she just mentally shrugged.
"No problem and I'll see you tomorrow," he bid goodbye and walked away only for Sakura to stop him.
"What do you mean 'I'll see you tomorrow'?"
"For our morning run, of course," Itachi smirked before finally leaving an astounded Sakura on her own doorstep.
'Huh,' she thought after she shook off her daze.
The next day, their morning run was identical to yesterday's. They went at the same pace, but they ran longer. To say Sakura was tired was an understatement. She was dead-exhausted to the point of fainting and her legs felt like they were on fire. Her breathing resembled as if she sprinted a whole mile when it was windy too. Sweat made her clothes cling to her skin and her feet burned from constantly running. Her earbuds kept slipping out of her ears and her ipod that was strapped to her arm caused a unnecessary amount of sweat in one spot. The fortunate part though was she kept up with Itachi without slowing down and having breaks.
Itachi looked labored too, but not as bad as her though. She glared resentfully while he gave her a smirk. Sweat trailed from the side of his head and fell from his chin and he had sweat showing on his clothes too. The only reason they stopped was because Itachi always stopped at the park and completed a few exercised. She copied him in her routine, leaving her more exhausted and sore than before. She ended her workout with stretching to cool down.
He walked her home before heading to his own. On Monday morning, Sakura woke up sore everywhere and she silently cursed her workout partner. How did he expect her to do this every other day? As she finished dressing up for the morning run, the doorbell rang. She slipped on her running shoes and grabbed her ipod and keys before locking the door while Itachi leaned against the wall.
He explained that on weekdays they run for a hour and return home to get ready for school. Thus, she woke up at 6 A.M. and got ready at 7:20 A.M. Luckily, school started at 8:30 A.M., giving her plenty of time to prepare for the day. They completed their soon-to-be routine and got ready for school. Thankfully, track was only on Fridays and weight training was on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Sakura was excited, but also nervous for her first day in weight training. She had asked to be entered in the classes yesterday and was approved by the principal.
She wore a pair of denim shorts and a white v-neck. Covering her eyes were aviators like the one which bikers wear and she wore black open-toed sandals. She packed food for lunch and had it in her backpack. On her shoulder was a fitness bag filled with her workout clothes and shoes. She walked to school and the place was packed with students. As she walked to her locker, two guys ran past her; one of them was the same person that bumped into her. She fell again and the people present laughed at her. Her face reddened in embarrassment when a pale hand appeared in front of her.
Sakura lifted herself up with the aid of another student and looked at them.
"You fall a lot, don't you?" the person asked, giving her a sense of déjà-vu. To even complete it, the person looked like Itachi.
"You know since you're always here when I fall, I think I should know your name," Sakura said with an eyebrow raised.
"Hn," the person grunted, jamming his hands in his pockets, "Sasuke."
"Sakura," she responded.
"I have a few classes with you," he stated.
"Really? I don't usually notice other people."
"History and Pre-Calculus," he listed.
"Oh, I see. Well, I'll be sure to give you a hello when I see you again," Sakura smiled and he nodded before walking away.
The classes passed by quickly and it was soon P.E. She jumped out of her seat in haste when the bell rang, excited to see her new friend again. She changed her clothes to her workout clothes and exited her locker room before she could accidentally overhear another conversation.
She spotted Itachi sitting on the bleachers with a few juniors and waved at him when he noticed her. He didn't wave, but beckoned her to come. She nervously sauntered towards him and the other juniors noticed her arrival.
"Oh, ho!" a tall boy with skin tinted blue and navy spiky hair exclaimed. He was very tall, taller than Itachi she notice, since Itachi looked to be 6'2 if she stood next to the raven-haird teen. "Wow, who is this lady? Is it your girlfriend, Weasel boy?"
"Hey, aren't you a sophomore?" a blonde that looked like Ino's identical sibling asked. She would have mistaken him as a female if it wasn't for the lack of feminine qualities and he had a deep voice.
"Pink and green? Hmm..interesting combination," a red-haired teen next to the blonde stared at her in interest.
"Sakura Haruno, sophomore and friend," Itachi emphasized the 'friend' while glaring at the first teen to talk.
"Kisame, my beautiful," the blue-haired teen grinned in a supposed shark-like way.
"Deidara," the blonde saluted her.
"Sasori," the red-head nodded.
"I heard from Weasel here you're joining track," Kisame said and Itachi kicked him off the bench.
"Oh," Sakura blushed since Itachi was talking about her. "Yeah, I wanted something to occupy me on my free period. So, what's better than track and weight training?"
"Hey, we're all in track, yeah!" Deidara grinned happily, "and Bruce here is also in weight training with you."
"Great, now I won't look like a total dork with no one to talk too," Sakura smiled.
"But you are a dork and you know you're pretty short," Kisame had a look as if he was thinking.
"Well, some of us can't achieve the Avatar look," Sakura bit back. "You're just missing the tail, ears, and facial structure, but you're exactly like them."
"Kitty got claws. Meow," Kisame smirked and everyone laughed. They heard a whistle and went towards their teacher.
"Today, youthful students, we will do a fun activity today. Basketball! Before we get to that, let's do our exercises."
After the class completed their exercises, they were split into four teams: two boy teams and two girl teams. They would compete against each other (girlvsgirl and guyvsguy) for the first round. When each team has won, the winning teams will go against each other.
Sakura was chosen to do the start-off against a girl named Ami. She stood in the circle opposite of Ami, who was preparing to jump. Gai held the ball waiting to throw it up and start the game. The guys already started their game across from them indicated by the yells and shoes squeaking.
"So, I see you acquainted yourself with Itachi and the other juniors," Ami began.
"Yeah, they're cool," Sakura shrugged, narrowing her eyes in suspicion.
"Just to let you know – Itachi is off-limits. He's mine," as she that Ami jumped in the air, catching Sakura off guard and slapped the basketball towards her own teammates.
Sakura cursed herself for getting distracted and ran towards the girl who had the ball. She jumped to block the ball, only for the girl to feint and pass it to Ami, which she shot and scored a 3-pointer. Ami's team cheered while Sakura's team groaned. They started the game and when they it halfway, a person threw the ball to Sakura. She ran while dribbling the ball, but Ami block her and Sakura was trying to find a way around her.
"Aww, is someone mad they can't get something they want," Ami taunted and Sakura understood her double meaning.
"Why when I already have what I want," Sakura smirked while Ami growled.
Sakura pretended to shoot, causing her opponent to jump. Taking the advantage, Sakura spun in a 360˚ twirl around her while Ami was coming down and shot a 3-pointer. It bounced against the backboard and fell in the net. This time it was Sakura's team to cheer.
After that it was a war between the two teams to show which team was better. Each person scored a shot and they were not in a tie. Currently, Sakura was trying to block Ami from shooting and winning the game.
"Why bother when you know I'm going to win?" Ami boasted, watching critically for any sudden movement.
"Don't be so sure," Sakura pointed out.
"A person like you can never be like me or beat me. You're short, geeky, weird-looking," she listed off, "and fat!"
As she said those last few words, she prepared to shoot another 3-pointer to break the tie and win the game. Sakura put all her power to spring up, angered by Ami's insults who she barely knows. The ball left Ami's fingertips only to be snatched away by a pair of hands. Sakura landed on the tip of her feet before landing and sprinted to the opposite side, surprising everyone. With everyone a good distance away, she made her own 3-pointer.
Every one watched with their breaths hitched in their chests as the basketball soared through the air and into the net, nothing but net. Every person on the court was silent before Sakura's team cheered wildly. Ami, not taking this well, was cursing up a storm, which resulted in her running 20 laps around the field.
The boys' game wasn't finished yet, so Sakura's team watched at the side. Kisame used his height to his advantage and tossed the ball to Itachi, who ran to the opposite court and used his speed as an advantage. He weaved through his opponents, spinning and dodging through them like a snake. When he neared the net, he jumped up and pushed the ball in and held onto the rim of the net before falling to the ground. Kisame yelled triumphantly and slapped Itachi on the back. Deidara screamed in defeat, dramatically falling onto his knees and weeping while Sasori clutched his nose with two fingers and shoot his head in frustration.
That's when Sakura realized that she was going against Itachi.
'Damn it,' she thought in defeat.
This will end up very badly, she assumed. Her team chose her again to go against the other guy in the start-off, for some apparent reason. Bad choice since Kisame was chosen. 'Damn it again!' she cursed in her mind; she had to make a plan to not lose badly.
"Hey, Pipsqueak!" Kisame swung her around and she felt nauseous from the dizziness before he placed her down.
"How's the sky, Sasquatch?" she teased back.
"Very fine, although a few birds keep hitting me," he said nonchalantly.
"Earth is pretty down here too! Hey, can you tie my shoe, please with a cherry on top?" Sakura asked, noticing that Gai was going to begin.
"Since you asked so nicely - hey!" Kisame said when he kneeled on one knee, only for Sakura to choose that moment to hop on his knee and use him as leverage to jump and hit the basketball to her teammate.
A roar of protest erupted from the guys as they realized Kisame had been deceived. They recovered quickly when they saw the girls sprinting to score. Before they could block, a girl shot the ball and it went it.
"Point for girls," Gai said.
Tension was thickening when the guys learned how serious the game was. It soon ended up with the girls winning with 17-15. Sakura was blocking Itachi since this shot would count for a tie or a win. They stared at each other in silence, waiting for the other make a move.
"Sorry, Sakura," Itachi apologize looking very sincere before he twisted around her.
Everything was slow motion when Sakura noticed him breathing down her neck; she faintly felt his chest against her back and head before he finished turning and shot a 3-pointer successfully. It was 17-18 now and the guys won. Sakura was shocked at how they earned the points, but laughed at the outcome. Sakura walked to the women's locker room and took a quick shower. She dressed into her clothes and made her way to a bustling cafeteria. She spotted an empty table and unknowingly walked past Ami to get to it, who stuck her foot out and tripped Sakura.
She had almost face-planted, but a pair of arms caught her and she straightened up.
"Really? Now I think you're doing this on purpose," the person said.
"Shut up, Sasuke," she glared and stuck out her tongue.
People watched with baited breath to see what Sasuke would do to someone who disrespected him. They all gaped in surprised when he chuckled slightly and ruffled her hair before walking away. She continued towards the table and sat down only for a pair of hands to cover her eyes.
"Who is it that's awesome, handsomer than Itachi, and funnier than Sasori?" the person covering her eyes asked.
"Kisame, duh," she smirked when the person gasped in mock horror and pain.
"It's Deidara, yeah!" the blonde pouted and plopped down to her right.
"Your humor is just like cafeteria food – crap," Sasori inputted and sat to her left.
"Itachi is like chick magnet everywhere while you, on the other hand, are a girl," Kisame said and sat in front of her followed by Itachi.
"Hn," Itachi agreed somewhat with a shrug.
"Well, hello, my slaves," Sakura greeted them evilly.
"Your wish is my command," Itachi mocked and everyone laughed.
Sakura pulled out a medium-sized container and popped open the lid. Neatly organized were a chicken quesadilla filled with vegetables, a cut apple with a rubber band to hold it together and not to ripen, a little bowl of peanut butter, and almonds.
"Care to share?" Deidara asked, reaching out for the food when she slapped his hand away.
"Nope! Get your own," she shook her hand and began to eat while Deidara held his injured hand and grumbled.
Lunch went by quickly and the night found Sakura finishing up her homework. Her phone went off, which alerted her to a text message.
"Get enough sleep," Itachi Uchiha sent.
"How did you end up in my contacts?"
"When you fell asleep in my car."
"Oh, well goodnight."
"Goodnight to you too."