Teach Me Love

I glanced at myself in the mirror.

My face was its usual, pale, pallid tone, and my expression was calm.

My eyes, though, betrayed me.

The lavender swirling in the milky pools told of my stress, and my bitten nails, which I had nearly chopped off last night, was another indicator.

Neji would so know. "Hinata, breakfast is ready!" Said cousin called from downstairs.

I lifted a finger and nibbled on its gnawed tip.

I hadn't made breakfast.

Another, blatant, indicator.

I always made breakfast. Since I was the best cook out of my family, which consisted of my sister, me and Neji, I was the one who prepared the meals.

Hanabi was the one who cleaned the apartment.

And Neji was the one who paid the bills, for all our parents were dead.

Ever since yesterday, I'd been worrying over Sasuke.

Why did he ask me to kiss him?

Was he just messing with me or is he sick?

Should I tell him what he did was wrong, or should I avoid him?

I'd never dealt with such a dilemma before, mostly because I didn't associate with the opposite sex. After I bolted from the library yesterday, I'd steered clear of Sasuke at lunch, and ignored any of his teasing glances in class. Luckily, he hadn't made any attempt to confront me.

I'd contemplated in sharing details of my "tutor session" with Tenten, but I still wasn't so sure. What if Tenten told Neji? My cousin would kill Sasuke, and I didn't yearn to instigate a fight. Yet, I needed someone to confide in.

Hanabi was out of the question, since she'd tattle on me the moment I'd ticked her off.

One thing was for sure; I needed a new tutor. I didn't care if I had to beg Shikamaru, who had commented that it was too troublesome to tutor me when I'd pleaded for his help during my hunt for a tutor.

Haruno Sakura, who was a whiz, was also Queen Bee of Konoha High. The pinkette would never even consider the idea of associating with a loser like me. Someone that high on the popularity scale wouldn't even liked to be seen with me.

Besides, how about if Sasuke told her he tried to kiss me? I doubted it, because he didn't seem to care about Sakura from what I'd grasped from yesterday, but why couldn't I be wary?

There was no choice. Today, I'd grovel to Shikamaru Nara.

Sure, Sasuke was a great tutor. However, we'd negotiated a deal.

One I never thought included acting scandalously. If I didn't find a new tutor fast, my junior year didn't look so promising.

Brushing my teeth and rinsing myself with a splash of cold water, I strode into our soft-carpeted hallway, strolling to the kitchen. Once I peeked inside, the kitchen in its usual sorts, with the scraped counter-tops and dishes filling up the sink, I saw my cousin in a white apron, sucking on a burnt finger and flipping pancakes with a wobbling spatula.

"Neji-niisan, are you okay?" I questioned, a tad worried.

Neji gave me glance, his somewhat agonized expression softening "I'm fine, Hinata. Breakfast is on the table " He smiled gently, though I detected the suspicion twinkling in his pale pupils.

Striding by him, I exited the kitchen to the dining room, where our wooden table was sparkling with a varnished sheen, and three plates, piled with pancakes, were situated on top of it.

A bottle of maple syrup was perched on the centre of the table in reverence, and I slid back a chair, sinking into it.

As I hogged a plate for myself, I grabbed the bottle, popping the lid off and licking traces of the sweet substance off of my fingers after I smothered the rolls of dough it in. "Hey, Nee-chan!" Hanabi carolled in, plunking down and feasting ferociously on her pancakes.

I wrinkled my nose in disgust, reprimanding her for her lack of manners, in which she snorted in reply. After witnessing Hanabi devour her pancakes, I lost my appetite.

"Can I have those?" Hanabi pointed at my plate, syrup dripping down from her teeth. Grimacing, I pushed it towards her, and she happily continued her method of "eating".

"I'm going to school." I tottered out, bidding Neji farewell, and hopping to my small room, where I opened my closet and slipped into a comfy, white sweater and a pair of black jeans.

I slung my backpack over my shoulder, giving myself a once-over in the mirror and then charging out of my apartment, taking the back door so I'd avoid having to intrude on Neji in the kitchen and Hanabi in the dining room.

As I skipped down the floors of my apartment building ( mine was on the sixth floor), taking the stairs, since the last time the elevator was fixed was when I was a baby.

As I meandered out of my apartment building, I jogged on to the side-walk, gliding over the chipped fragments of the cement. My high school was a thirty minute walk from my apartment.

Neji and I usually ambled towards it, together, but since I knew today my cousin would question me on what was bothering me, I had left early. Besides, I needed the extra time to grovel to Shikamaru.

If he came to school today.

As I shambled to school, I grew apprehensive. If I did manage to find a new tutor, what would I say to Sasuke?

What am I going to do? What if he says no? Or asks me why, even though he should probably know. God, why am I thinking of this now. Stupid Hinata. No wonder why you need a tutor so badly.

Berating myself, I was startled to realize I'd already arrived to school. My pondering had made the time fly by.

My high school, or prison as I liked to refer to it, loomed before me with its dull, silver paint and several building.

Konoha's flag, billowing in the wind, was planted on the lawn in front of the school, the circled leaf rippling like waves from the gentle breeze.

Students were being dropped off, some by parents, others already licensed and parking their vehicles in the parking lot.

Shifting my bag pack, I ducked my head down, trying to blend into the background.

I scrambled inside, my sneakers slapping against the tiled floor, the secluded halls more comforting when empty than crowded.

A few students were lingering by classrooms and lockers, but I knew I was super early.

As I tottered to my locker, combination memorized, I swung the square of metal open.

My locker was chaotic. Most people would be surprised to learn I was disorganized, but it was true.

Neji always rebuked me for it, though when I was compared to Hanabi, he couldn't say so much.

As I tossed my bag pack in my locker, retrieving my Math and - blah- Physics textbooks, I hoisted them higher to my chest to make it easier for me to lock my locker.

Since it was much too early for class, I'd decided I'd hit the library.

Shikamaru definitely wouldn't be here at this time.

I'd be lucky if he even showed today, or remained awake long enough for me to beseech him for tutoring lessons.

As I fumbled to the library, greeting the librarian, Kurenai, whom I was friends with. Not in the mood to chat with her, I collapsed on a chair, shoving my items aside and grumbling to myself.

I would simply inform Sasuke he wouldn't tutor me any more ignore any questions he might inquire of me, and then pretend he didn't exist for the rest of the year.

Yes. That's exactly how I handled it. I didn't care how cowardly or doomed-to-fail it sounded.

As I glanced at my cheap, plastic watch, patterned with flowers, seeing I had a good hour and a half before class began, I decided to put the time to use.

Thumbing through my textbooks, and checking my homework, I spent the next forty minutes buried in my thoughts, only to be awakened by the thump! of a bag hitting the surface of the table.

To make it quite clear, I was friendless.

Like, I had no friends.

It wasn't just my shyness, or the way I liked cowering from the spotlight, or the way I didn't share any of the interests of the girls in my grade.

It was a combination of them.

So, for someone to willingly talk to me, was a miracle unto itself.

Until I raised my head and locked my milky irises with pitch-black, onyx pools.

Sasuke, smirking, plopped down on a chair beside me, scooting to the side until his shoulder brushed mine.

Face flaming, I was speechless.

Should I tell him now that I don't want him as a tutor any more Or...or should I wait until I actually get another one? God, why is he sitting so close to me?

"Shouldn't you have invited me if you were going to study?" Sasuke coolly said, fingers joined together so he could rest his chin on the slender digits.

His stare was so intense, crimson flushed out all the paleness of my cheeks.

I tried to answer him, but my mouth wouldn't form any words.

I must have looked like an idiot, just sitting there gawking.

"What? Am I that attractive you can't speak?" He leaned forward, breath caressing the shell of my ear as I squeaked and fell from my seat ungracefully.

My skin was on fire, I was on the verge of trembling, and I was tempted to - as I did yesterday- run the hell outta there.

I wasn't sure why Sasuke was treating me the way he was; perhaps he was twisted and enjoyed teasing; perhaps he was having issues and was taking them out on me.

At the moment, blinking owlishly at the figure of him, who was clearly smirking in amusement, I didn't care.

Deciding to leave before someone spotted me with a flirting Sasuke I rose to my feet, piling my books in order, but this time Sasuke merely questioned, "Are you doing something at lunch?"

If he was about to ask me to sit at his table, the popular table, I was ready to take a knife and stab myself.

Fibbing, I said, "I do have something to do at lunch."

"Like what?"

"Um...eating?" Hey, at least I tried.

Sasuke even seemed more bemused. "I'm having football practice at lunch."

"Okay." I replied, unsure of where this was headed.

Snatching up his bag pack, Sasuke strode off, calling over his shoulder. "You better be there."

Then he was gone.

Leaving me no room to argue.

My rice was as appealing to me as one of those rancid, sock puppets I have the misfortune of finding under Hanabi's bed.

It's not like the lunch is bad, but I have no appetite.

Why am I even here?

Oh, yeah, that's right. I was here, on the benches beside the football field, watching some the school's most athletic students sack each other like a bunch of wild animals, because I was too afraid of Sasuke.

It would have been easier to handle, had he not posed it as a threat.

The cheerleader team, in their skimpy outfits and pom-poms, were practising as well.

The three most popular girls in school, who were also best friends, were the leaders of the team.

Karin Uzumaki: rumoured to be Naruto's cousin.

Sakura Haruno: girlfriend of Uchiha Sasuke.

Ino Yamanaka: peppy blonde who's even closer with Sakura than Karin.

This trio dominated our school.

I never talked to any of them, because they intimidated me.

Not like anyone could intimidate me the way Sasuke could.

He was such an enigma.

I didn't understand him.

And the way his apathetic demeanour would shift to something else when he was around me, something that I didn't want to know, yet gave me this thrill.

I had never met anyone like him.

I wasn't sure if this was a good or bad thing.

As the football coach, Kakashi, blew the whistle, practice was over, with teenage boys chugging down bottles of water, wiping off perspiration, and some hitting the showers.

Sasuke strolled in the cheerleader's direction, and I thought for a moment he'd chat with Sakura, but then he swished right past them and marched towards me.

I gulped.

"Hey," he plunked down, straight across from me.
I fidgeted. "H-Hey." I was as nervous as hell.
"You came." He observed.
"You told me too, didn't you?" I snapped sharply.

I was bitter about it, about him intimidating me into obliging to his commands, about him making me sit here and watch him and his savage friends wrestle each other for some lump of pig skin.

I knew Sasuke could detect my fury, and my sudden hostility cracked a smile out of him. "I never knew you could be feisty."

Flushing scarlet, I protested, "I'm not feisty!"

"Right." He flicked the bridge of my button nose with his nail, and I pouted and rubbed it sore-fully.

"Why'd you do that?" I said indignantly.

Sasuke chuckled. "You're not stuttering."

Slightly stunned, I realized I wasn't.

Which was strange.

I never stutter around my family, unless I'm nervous, because I'm close to them.

I feel comfortable around them.

But, I barely knew Sasuke, and if I wasn't stuttering around him, did that mean I was comfortable around him?

I was contemplating this theory when a crown of blonde popped up behind us. "Sasuke, are you bothering Hinata?" Uzumaki Naruto, the boy I was crushing on ever since he had scolded a pack of bullies taunting me in my freshman year, flashed Sasuke a disapproving shake of the head.

We weren't friends, merely acquaintances, but Naruto always greeted me with a cheerful "Hi!" each time we saw each other.

"I was just talking, Dobe." Sasuke snorted.

Naruto stuck out his tongue childishly at Sasuke, which caused me to giggle.

This caught the blonde's attention.

Grinning, he settled down beside me, slinging an arm around my neck, and declaring "Hinata, tell me if this bastard ever bothers you, okay? I'll kick his ass!" Naruto pumped his fists gallantly in the air.

I barely heard a word he said.

My cheeks were flaming and I was only conscious of the fact Naruto was touching me.

Touching me.

Maybe I should have come to football practice more often.

"Hinata? Hinata, are you okay?" Naruto repeated this question, concern lacing his voice.

He was worried about me!

I nearly squealed, stars spinning all around me.

I wasn't about to faint, though.

I couldn't ruin this perfect moment with the man of my dreams.

I was snapped out of my joy when I heard Naruto calling, "Sasuke? Sasuke, where are you going?"

I hadn't realized he'd even left, but sure enough, there he was, striding off. "Anywhere but here," Sasuke shouted back, something that resembled hurt and anger in his tone.

Naruto retracted his limb from my shoulder, flashing me an apologetic look. "Love to chat, Hinata, but I got to get going. Bastard's getting all emotional on me. See you later!" Naruto hopped off, waving bye-bye as he caught up with the Uchiha.

Forlorn, my body slumped, missing the feel of Naruto's arm coiled around it.

Why did Sasuke have to ruin the one moment I had with Naruto?

However, I was lulled out of my sorrow when I saw emerald irises glaring at me.

My breath hitched.

Haruno Sakura looked like she was about to kill me.