Author's Note: Woooo! We made it to 500 reviews. I'm so excited you guys and I'm glad you're enjoying the story. I've got to admit, this was probably the hardest chapter to write. Especially the second half. I hope you enjoy this chapter! XD
P.S. Remember that bit in chapter five where I have Ino screaming because her party was ruined. Well I cut that bit out. Just thought I'd let you know. Anyways, enjoy!
Part One. Chapter Seven
Can't run away (No, no, no)
It's gonna get ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Don't ignore it (No, no, no)
It's gonna get ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
You can't run away (No, no, no)
It's gonna get ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Don't ignore it (No, no, no)
It's gonna get ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Ain't no running from
Karma, and no running
Ain't no running from
Karma, and no running
- Karma by Black Eyed Peas
Five Years Ago – October 2008; Seventh Grade
"You have to do something for us. We don't just let new members in for free," Suigetsu says with a shark like grin.
Karin looks at him with a feeling settling in the pit of her stomach. Something like dread, maybe.
What are they going to make her do? Are they going to make her strip naked? Tie her to a lamp post? Make her cut off all her hair?
You've seen too many movies, stop being ridiculous, she thinks to herself. But that uneasy feeling just won't go away.
But she'll do anything. Anything, if it meant Sasuke Uchiha would make her one of them. If it meant that he would finally notice her.
"Okay. What do you want me to do?" Karin asks, resigned to her fate.
Naruto is minding his own business. He's perched in his favorite spot, underneath the tree that faces the water.
He has his nose stuck in a book. The tales of a gutsy ninja. The first thing that made him enthralled by the book at all was the fact that the main character had the same name as him which was cool.
Just as he's getting to the best part of the book, he feels a presence above him. Naruto holds back a sigh, expecting it to be Sasuke, or Neji, or Sakura.
But instead when he looks up he sees the new girl. He remembers her being introduced as Karin.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" And she's practically sneering at him. He doesn't quite know what he did to piss her off.
He ignores her, thinking that she might go away. That's not the case at all. Just as he's turning the page, she snatches the book from him. She snatches it so roughly that in the process a page gets ripped. Naruto feels his blood boiling.
He gets up, both hands clenched against his side.
"You give that back," Naruto orders. But she's nimble on her feet. They're about the same height, so really, it shouldn't be all that hard to get one book from one little girl.
Just as that thought crosses his mind, he finally notices them watching. Suigetsu. Sakura. Neji. And Ino. Sasuke is nowhere in sight.
He sees Sakura urge her on.
Then Karin does the one thing that tips Naruto over the edge. She throws it into the water. He can hear them laughing in the background.
Naruto sees red. And instead of going towards the water to salvage what he can of his book, he's marching right towards Karin and he pushes her until she falls hard onto the grass.
He knows his mother and his father told him to never touch a girl in such a manner. But at this point common sense is completely thrown out the window. Naruto's not much of a rational person when he's angry.
That is, until Karin starts crying. At the worst possible time too. Because ten seconds later Naruto hears,
Naruto tenses, turning around to see Sakura guiding their seventh grade teacher as she gesticulates at Naruto. And it doesn't take a genius to realize that they set him up. To make him look like the bad guy.
"Naruto Uzumaki, what on earth has gotten into you?"
"I didn't…they….my book….water," Naruto can't seem to get out a coherent sentence. And the teacher doesn't look like she's having any of it though as she says,
"You apologize this instant. To think that you would put your hands on a girl. Shame on you."
"I'm sorry," Naruto mutters. Bitch, he wants to say but doesn't.
"Say it like you mean it? Go on."
Naruto huffs out a breath.
"I'm sorry I pushed you," Naruto says.
Then she's dragging him away. Oblivious to the smirking faces.
"I'm going to call your parents. And I'm giving you two weeks' worth of detention. That'll teach you not to do something like that again. Who knows what would've happened if I hadn't shown up?"
"Not bad, Red," Suigetsu says. He's been taken to calling her red. Karin doesn't like it. Doesn't like him either. Karin assumes he's the annoying one in the group.
They all watch Naruto and their teachers' retreating back.
Karin gives them all a smile, turning red to match her hair under their appraising gazes.
"Where did you get the chops to act like that?" Ino asks.
"For a minute there I thought you were actually hurt," Neji says, impressed.
Karin was beginning to feel all warm and fuzzy. Never has she felt this accepted. Her thoughts stray to Sasuke. What would he think? Would he be just as impressed?
Would Sasuke smile at her? The thought brings a smile to her lips.
It isn't until she finds them all staring at her expectantly that she realizes they said something.
"Huh? What was that?"
"Welcome to the group," Suigetsu says.
It isn't until they're walking to class that Karin asks, "Was there a reason why you had me pick on that Naruto kid?"
But before either of them can respond, they're being ushered to their seat. Class commencing with no Naruto in sight.
"The nerve of them," his mother says as they walk home. Dad had taken the car so Naruto and his mother had no choice but to walk home. "They didn't even let you tell them your side of the story."
Naruto makes a face at that. They never do. It's like Sakura and them are invincible or something. It was driving Naruto up the wall.
"You wouldn't even hurt a fly so you must've been provoked into doing such a thing," Kushina says. And Naruto's surprised by how well she's taken it. She seems more pissed off for his benefit than she actually is at him.
"She threw my book in the river," Naruto says.
Kushina turns to her son, startled.
"Why on earth would she do that?" She asks, as if the idea was truly mind boggling.
"Because Sakura and them were there to egg her on. Just like any new kid I'm pretty sure she wanted to fit in," Naruto says with a roll of his eyes.
"Was Sasuke there?" Kushina asks. The questions sounds innocent enough but Naruto knows better.
"No but Sakura was," Naruto says. Naruto shivers to think what would've happened if Sasuke had been there. Would Karin have taken her prank further just to impress the raven?
Kushina lets out a sigh.
"I wish you guys could just be friends again."
Naruto has to stop himself from rolling his eyes.
"It's complicated, I already told you," Naruto says, hoping that she'll leave it at that. She does, luckily.
Just as they make it onto their street Naruto's phone buzzes. He digs it out of his pocket, and his heart begins to beat wildly in his chest when he sees that he's received a text. From Sasuke.
Sasuke: Want to meet at our usual place?
He knows he should say no. But Naruto's never been as smart as his mother claims him to be. Especially where Sasuke is concerned.
He sends a text right back.
- See you in fifteen.
If someone had told Sasuke he'd find another boy dressed in drag a turn on, he'd have them committed. But as it were, Nawaki in a dress was a definite turn on.
He opens the passenger side door.
"Such a gentleman," Nawaki teases before getting into the car with as much grace as he could muster.
Sasuke just smirks before slamming the door shut.
"I can't believe I'm doing this," Sasuke hears Nawaki mutter the minute he slides into the driver's side of the car. Nawaki is then giving him a sly grin. "But it's all worth it, if I get to see you in a dress."
Sasuke makes a face as he starts the car. Nawaki seems to notice.
"What's with the face? Thinking of chickening out?"
It was probably the stupidest idea Sasuke's ever had. Call it a lapse of judgment. Sasuke scoffs though.
"Good," Nawaki says with a nod.
"Want to listen to music?" Sasuke asks.
Not waiting for an answer, he puts the radio on, twisting the dial until he finds something at least halfway decent.
"This good?" He asks.
As they get closer to the club, from the corner of his eye he notices Nawaki practically twitching. As he slows to a stop at the red light he looks over at Nawaki, arching an eyebrow.
"Are you alright?"
"No, the person behind you," Sasuke retorts back with a hint of sarcasm. Nawaki doesn't seem to notice though.
"Oh, yeah I'm fine."
The light turns green so Sasuke has to turn his gaze back to the dark road ahead.
The country club is in view. And as Sasuke drives further up the slope, he notices the cars lined up. At least Ino doesn't have to worry about the guests being absolute no shows.
"Okay, fine, I'm not. People can't seriously fall for this crap. They have to realize that I'm not Ino, right?"
"Half of these people barely know who Ino is. They'll be none the wiser."
Sasuke already suspects that there's more to this than meets the eye. That Sakura has something more up her sleeve, i.e. humiliating Nawaki. Of course he won't let her resort to such tactics.
He slides into one of the parking spaces reserved for Ino and her party. Suigetsu and Sakura following shortly after.
Sasuke takes the key out of the ignition before looking over at Nawaki who seems to be staring into space. Sasuke's lips twitch.
His voice seems to break Nawaki out of whatever trance he's in because he turns to look at Sasuke and says, "Huh? What?"
"Are you ready?"
"As ready as I'll ever be," Nawaki says before letting out a chuckle to indicate his nervousness. And before Sasuke realizes what he's doing, he's putting his hand on Nawaki's thigh. For a split second Sasuke waits for Nawaki to freak out. But he doesn't. He just stares.
So Sasuke keeps his hand on Nawaki's thigh and says with as much of a soothing voice he could muster, "There's no need to be nervous. I'll be with you every step of the way. If you fall, I'll be there to catch you."
How corny. The words leave a bad taste in Sasuke's mouth. Nawaki sends Sasuke a weak smile before saying teasingly,
"You sure know how to make a lady feel better."
Sasuke's lips twitch.
Nawaki opens his mouth. But before he can get a word out there's banging at the window. They see Sakura's face. And she mouths something at them.
Nawaki rolls down the window.
"We don't have all night," Sakura is saying. Then her mouth turns grim when her gaze lowers. Both Nawaki and Sasuke follow her gaze to Sasuke's hand resting on Nawaki's thigh. Sasuke snatches it away as if he's been burnt.
Nawaki stumbles his way out of the car, almost tripping over the dress but manages to steady himself. Of course Sakura is of no help and she's only standing a centimeter away from him.
"I just texted Fu, told her you'd be arriving late. So she should be here already. And there's still no sign of Ino. I'm not sure how much longer until she turns up, sorry."
She doesn't sound the least bit sorry at all.
Nawaki doesn't seem to be listening. In fact, he looks like he's about to faint so Sasuke quickly comes to his aid.
"Just remain calm," he whispers into Nawaki's ear as he wraps an arm around his waist.
"What if they notice?"
"But what if they do?"
Sasuke has to refrain from letting out an annoyed sigh.
"You look absolutely gorgeous. They will be too enthralled by your beauty to pay attention to detail," Sasuke says. He kind of wants to puke. It's like he's one of those male characters from the romance novels Karin likes to stick her nose into.
Nawaki lets out a weak laugh.
"You're such a charmer."
"I try," Sasuke says with a shrug, repeating his words from earlier. "Now, do you think you can do this?"
"It's too late to turn back now," is Nawaki's response.
They're walking towards the main entrance of the club. Sakura and Suigetsu following behind as they quietly bicker. About what, neither Nawaki nor Sasuke know, not that they care. Nawaki is too wrapped up in keeping up this façade. And Sasuke's too busy trying to calm Nawaki down.
"Ready?" Sasuke asks.
Nawaki looks up at him and it feels like the wind just got knocked out of Sasuke as he finds himself staring into wide blue eyes. How hadn't he noticed just how blue Nawaki's eyes were? Were they always this blue?
Nawaki's wide eyed expression soon morphs into that of confusion.
"Are you okay?" Nawaki asks.
Sasuke gives Nawaki a strained smile.
"Of course, why wouldn't I be?"
"You're looking at me as if you've seen a ghost."
Sasuke waves it away. He also tells himself that it can't be. That the idea of him being Naruto is preposterous. After everything, Sasuke's certain he isn't stupid enough to return. The tightening in his chest loosens somewhat as he gives Nawaki a smile.
"I'm fine. It's nothing."
Nawaki gives him a doubtful look but doesn't push any further as they come to a complete stop at the entrance.
The music is loud. Sasuke can hear voices talking over other voices, trying to be heard. But the voices soon simmer down as Sasuke and Ino's name are being called, announcing their grand entrance.
Sasuke unwraps his arm from around Nawaki's waist before interlocking his arm with Nawaki's.
"Ready?" Sasuke asks repeating his earlier question.
"As ready as I'll ever be," Nawaki replies. Then they're entering the country club.
There are a litany of curses going on in Naruto Uzumaki's head as they're entering the country club, greeted by the sounds of cheers.
Shit! Shit! Shit!
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!
Has his cover been blown? Does Sasuke know? He knows Sasuke isn't stupid, but it's too early. He can't know, right? It's impossible.
Okay, it's not impossible. But still, it's too soon.
He braces himself. Waiting for the accusations to be flung his way. Something like, 'you're Naruto!' or something like 'It can't be!' or a whispered 'I know who you are.'
But nothing like that comes out of Sasuke's mouth. But then again Sasuke is the type of person who would keep something like this to himself. And then use it to his advantage.
Feeling a tap on his arm, he looks up to see Sasuke staring down at him. But there doesn't look like there's any animosity there. But Sasuke's always been good at hiding his feelings.
"Smile. This is supposed to be your party," Sasuke says.
Oh right. He's supposed to be Ino. Maybe he was overreacting. Maybe Sasuke was just getting used to him being a girl. Naruto couldn't blame him. He was still getting used to it himself.
But whatever worries he's having now, he can worry about tomorrow. Tonight he had a mission to finish. Kiba was around here somewhere, lurking in the background. Just waiting for his signal to strike.
Not only that but he had to make sure that the guests were none the wiser. But given the awed looks they were giving him, none of them were.
What idiots, was Naruto's first thoughts.
"You look absolutely amazing, Ino!"
Compliments were being thrown his way. He had to steady himself a couple of times, still trying to get use to the heels.
He smiles at them as he welcomes them to the party. His voice comes out abnormally squeaky as he tries imitating that of Ino. An imitator he is not. But nobody seems to notice, especially given the loud music playing in the background.
Already ten minutes in and Naruto is ready to sit down. His feet are aching from the constant pressure of the heels on his feet. And he's already regretting his decision. Not that he wasn't regretting it thirty minutes ago.
"What are you doing?" Sakura asks, grabbing at his arm. Naruto can tell that Sakura's enjoying this immensely. He's a little weary of her at the moment. He's expecting her to do something like pull down his dress, or trip him.
"I'm sitting down," Naruto says, as if that weren't obvious enough.
"You're supposed to be the birthday girl. You're supposed to go and mingle. What do you think they'll think when they see the birthday girl sitting down looking like you'd rather be anywhere but here?"
I don't care, Naruto wants to say but doesn't. Instead he keeps his mouth shut. He just lets Sakura drag him onto the dance floor.
"Where's Sasuke?" Sakura yells, trying to be heard over the music.
"Went to get drinks," Naruto yells right back.
"Well, mingle. Act like you enjoy being here," Sakura orders. Just as she turns on her heels, getting ready to leave him to the wolves he grabs her wrist.
"Did you hear from Karin and Neji?"
"No," Sakura says before shooing at him as if he were some kind of dog. "Now, go and mingle."
Naruto doesn't even bother feeling affronted. He lets go of her, watching as she gets swallowed up into a sea of people.
He knows Sakura will probably be watching him like a hawk. Great.
In a way, he can't help but think that this is his fault. Okay, in all honesty, it is his fault. If Kiba and he hadn't gone overboard, they wouldn't be in this mess to begin with. For some reason Naruto had believed that Ino was made of tougher skin than that. Guess not.
He just hopes Karin and Neji can talk her into attending her own party so he doesn't have to waste another minute wearing this stupid wig, or this constricting dress, or these stupid heels.
"This is so amazing," a voice says behind him. He turns around to see two girls standing behind him. Both wearing dresses that look too tight, practically making their breasts spill out.
Naruto tries on his best Ino smile. A smile that says, 'I don't know who the fuck you are but I'll amuse you anyway.'
"Thank you," Naruto says in the best Ino voice he could muster. "Enjoying the party?"
"Tots," Thing 1 says. "I can't believe you were able to score a party at the country club. That's so cool."
"I didn't realize it was this nice," Thing 2 says. Thing 1 nods in agreement.
"Thanks for inviting us," Thing 1 says. "This should be like the best party of the year."
Thing 2 nods.
It takes all of Naruto's willpower not to strangle them. He can feel a migraine coming on.
With the smile still in place he says, "Well I hope you enjoy the rest of the party."
Then he's gone before he can hear their responses.
Aching to get some fresh air, he makes his way through the throng of people. Of course not without getting stopped along the way.
"Yo, this music is dope."
"Dance with me!"
"You look hot!"
"What do you say to me and you, going somewhere private?"
It takes Naruto all of his willpower not to run and make a fool of himself after that last one. Especially when the guy smells like cheap beer and Cheetos. Gross.
He finally makes it outside without running into Sasuke, Sakura or Suigetsu. Just as he steps onto the grass he hears a whispered, "Psst."
Naruto startles. He turns around, wondering where that noise came from and wondering if he only just imagined it.
"Psst. Hey, Nawaki!"
"Kiba?" Naruto asks, recognizing the voice.
"Down here," the voice whispers back to him. It takes Naruto a few more seconds to spot Kiba stooped behind a bush. Naruto arches an eyebrow.
"What are you doing hiding behind a bush?"
"Shhh, not so loud," Kiba whispers, his eyes wandering around frantically. Naruto winces. Right. "I'm trying to be stealthy."
"Follow me," Kiba orders. Then he's stepping from out behind the bush, wiping the leaves off his clothes.
Naruto's eyes wander around, making sure they aren't being watched. But luckily Kiba picked a good place to hide and Naruto picked a good place to escape to.
He turns to follow Kiba, only to find that Kiba's staring at him like he's grown three heads. Oh right, Kiba still hasn't seen him in a dress, or with a wig on for that matter.
"If you hadn't texted me with the exact details of what you were wearing, I wouldn't have recognized you. Who knew you'd make such a hot chick?"
Naruto just rolls his eyes.
"Just take me to your car."
By the time they get to Kiba's car, he opens the back door.
"Holy shit," Naruto chokes when Kiba pulls out two cages. One cage with tarantula and the other hosting a coiled snake. "They're not poisonous, right?"
"What do you take me for? Of course not."
"Just checking," Naruto says.
Kiba then slides the cages back onto the back leather seats.
"Did you also get the sweets?"
Kiba slaps Naruto's arm playfully.
"Of course. They're chilling in the front seat. Luckily that guy owed me a favor because otherwise it'd have cost me a fortune."
"Alright, I'll text you when it's time. Remember those guys," Naruto says, pointing at the cages, "they go last got it?"
"Okay," Kiba says rather quickly. Making Naruto's eyes narrow in suspicion. What Naruto has learned so far about Kiba is that he's rash. And at times he doesn't think before he does something. Especially where Sasuke and the others are concerned.
But then again Naruto wasn't any better. But he needed to keep a rational head for the both of them.
"Yeah, yeah, I got it. Sweets first. Snakes and tarantulas last."
"Okay," Naruto says, once he's certain Kiba understands. "I'm gonna head back to the party before they wonder where I went off to and decide to gather a search party."
Naruto gives him one last look before he's turning on his heels (literally) and stumbling his way back to the club.
Naruto gives him the finger.
Kiba just laughs. His laughter soon drowned out by the music.
The moment Naruto walks back onto the dance floor an arm snags around his waist, startling him. No sooner is he being pulled back against a hard body.
"The birthday girl should be dancing," Sasuke says in his ear. Naruto doesn't shiver. He doesn't. And okay, if he does, it's because it's getting chilly.
"I don't – Sasuke what are you doing?"
Before Naruto can so much as protest, Sasuke's dragging him onto the dance floor. They're pushing through a throng of people. And when the guests realize just who it is pushing them, they all create a path.
Naruto's cheeks redden.
They redden even more when he realizes that all the guests who were on the dance floor before are now standing on the edge leaving Sasuke and Naruto the only ones.
Sasuke turns him until Naruto's facing him. Then Sasuke's sliding his hands down until they're resting on Naruto's waist.
"I can't dance," Naruto says, slightly panicking. It's bad enough that he's dressed in drag but now these people are expecting him to dance.
Fuck, how has this become his life?
Oh right, this became his life when he decided, along with Kiba to get revenge on the assholes who think they're better than everybody else.
"Just move to the music," Sasuke says.
The music in the background is fast pace.
"Easy for you to say. You're like good at everything," Naruto says pouting. It's the truth. Even when they were little. Sasuke was good at everything. He was good at baseball. At basketball. At playing the piano. At drawing.
He was like the Renaissance man. No scratch that, he is the Renaissance man.
"Just move your hips," Sasuke says, his hands now on Naruto's hips. "Like this."
Naruto tries moving even though a part of him is itching to get off the dance floor. He continues moving his hips, Sasuke moving with him.
Then suddenly there's cheering. The crowd egging Sasuke and Naruto or more specifically Ino on.
Naruto's arms move up Sasuke's arms until he's hooking them around Sasuke's neck.
"Even with the heels, I can't believe you're still taller than me," Naruto blurts out the moment the thought crosses his mind.
Naruto knows he's grown taller over the years. But not tall enough.
Sasuke just smirks.
"Why don't we give them something to talk about?" Sasuke asks, pulling Naruto closer, their hips swaying to the music. This time it is Naruto's turn to smirk.
"Somebody's happy to see me," Naruto said, arching a suggestive eyebrow at Sasuke who doesn't look the least bit ashamed.
"What do you expect? I'm a guy."
They dance for a few more minutes, grinding up against each other. Naruto still feels awkward on the dance floor. But they both must be doing something right because the crowd's cheering.
Suddenly feeling bold, he turns around until his back is pressed against Sasuke's front, his ass grinding against Sasuke. Then he's shimmying all the way down before he languidly moves his body back up.
Sasuke's staring at him, lips parted. Naruto smiles.
What happens next, Naruto doesn't see coming. Even with the music he can sense the crowds' surprise. Because suddenly they're kissing.
Or more like Sasuke's kissing him and Naruto stiffens, overcome with shock.
It isn't until Sasuke's pressing him closer that he realizes he's kissing back. Butterflies soaring in his stomach.
He knows he should probably push Sasuke away. No, he definitely should. But his mind doesn't seem to be communicating with his lips.
Fucking Sasuke and his kissable lips. Just because he was kissing back didn't mean he liked Sasuke. In fact, Naruto pretty much hated him. It took him two years to get to that point. But that didn't mean they couldn't kiss. Because Sasuke was a good kisser. He forgot how good of a kisser Sasuke was.
So caught up in the kiss they don't notice the figure walking onto the dance floor until it's too late. The music screeches to a halt. And then there's yelling and complete chaos.
Naruto and Sasuke break apart. Naruto's eyes wander around the room, to realize that they're all staring at him like they've never seen him before.
At first Naruto think it's because of the kiss. Maybe they went a little bit too far.
Then he notices the wig lying on the floor.
"Oh shit," Naruto says, panicking as he brings a hand up to meet with short hair.
"If that's not Ino, then where is she?!"
"Why is he wearing a dress?"
"What is this?"
"You've got to admit, he looked pretty convincing."
Their voices begin to reach Naruto's ears. And Naruto is about two seconds from running away. This was not supposed to happen.
When they were kissing, did Sasuke accidentally pull at his wig too hard? But no, that can't be right, Sasuke's hands were on his waist this whole time.
As that thought crosses his mind he finds himself locking eyes with Sakura, who's chilling in the corner nursing a drink with a smirk painted upon her red lips. The smirk is wiped off though when she notices Naruto looking.
No, that's not right, she's looking over Naruto's shoulder. At Sasuke.
And Sasuke seems to have the same idea Naruto has.
"I'll handle her," Sasuke says with a hand on his arm. "Don't let the crowd get to you. Own the situation."
Just as Sasuke is about to walk away, Naruto's the one to stop himself this time.
"That kiss, it's never going to happen again," Naruto says while putting on what he hopes is his serious face.
Sasuke just smirks.
But before Naruto can say anything else, Sasuke's already off like a man on a mission. He stares at Sasuke's retreating back for a minute before he returns his attention to the crowd. Giving them a strained smile.
"Everybody calm down! I can explain everything! The reason why I made you think I was Ino was because," Naruto stops, trying to rack his brain for something. Anything that they could believe.
Fucking Sakura, putting him in this position. Fortunately he's learned to BS his way out of about anything.
So he feeds them some BS. Naruto's not even sure if he understands what he's saying. All he knows, as he looks at them, is that they're buying it. But then again, these people will believe whatever the hell they want to believe.
"So continue to enjoy the party," Naruto finishes before gesturing at the DJ to start the music back up.
Sasuke grabs Sakura's arm before she can even think to escape.
"What was that?" Sasuke hisses as he leads her out into the hall.
Sakura turns to him, feigning innocent as she struggles to release herself from Sasuke's grip.
"I have no idea what you're talking about. Now let go," Sakura says.
Sasuke gives her a look of disbelief.
"You expect me to believe that?" Sasuke says. "I knew I should've kept an eye on you. Knew you were up to no good."
Then he's mimicking Sakura, "Oh why don't you dress up as Ino? Oh, nobody will expect a thing."
Sakura's cheeks redden.
"You never do anything without an ulterior motive."
Sakura doesn't say anything.
"So what did you do? Tell someone to pull off his wig?"
Sakura's cheeks redden even more.
"I'm right aren't I?"
"Okay, so maybe I was a little angry," Sakura blurts out.
"Or jealous," it comes out more as a statement than a question.
"That too," Sakura admits. "When I saw you guys dancing and kissing, I just sort of snapped. I didn't think. All I know, is that I wanted him to be as humiliated as I felt."
"Looks like your little prank backfired," Sasuke says as the music comes back on.
Sakura looks away.
"Jealousy is an ugly color, you know?"
Sakura doesn't say anything.
"You and me, it's never going to happen," Sasuke says rather bluntly. "We tried last year, it didn't work."
Sakura's still silent.
"Do you want to know what I find funny?"
He doesn't wait for Sakura to respond as he continues, "What I find funny is that you're jealous over absolutely nothing. Nawaki and I, it's only a bit of fun."
Sakura looks at him doubtfully.
"I've been with other people before and you've never been this jealous."
Sakura looks away at that.
"This is different," she mutters.
Sasuke arches an eyebrow.
Sasuke rolls his eyes.
He doesn't have time for this. Dealing with Sakura and her jealousies. It was all ridiculous.
"Whatever," Sasuke says.
Just as he's heading back to the dance floor Sakura says,
"Karin and Neji finally found Ino. They should be here in about twenty minutes. Neji's coming with an extra tux for Nawaki."
Sasuke just nods before leaving her behind.
"I'm sorry," Sakura says over the music as she stands beside Naruto at the refreshment table. He turns to look at her.
Then he's talking loudly, hoping to be heard over the music.
"Did Sasuke tell you to say that?"
Naruto wouldn't put it past him.
"No, I'm doing this on my own free will," Sakura responds.
When Naruto doesn't say anything, Sakura continues.
"Look I realized what I did was shitty and childish. I was…" She then stops, as if trying to search for the right word.
"Jealous?" Naruto supplies.
Sakura makes a face.
"Yeah, that. But there's nothing between me and Sasuke. He made that perfectly clear. So if you want him, have at it."
Naruto almost chokes on his own spit.
Even in the poorly lit room Naruto can see Sakura roll her eyes.
"You obviously like him. He obviously likes you."
"It's not like that. Besides, I'm pretty sure Sasuke wants me for one thing and one thing only."
Sakura is now looking at him doubtfully.
"Seriously. I told him that that kiss was a onetime thing. Of course he didn't believe me but that's just because he's full of himself. Sasuke may be attractive, but I'm not that desperate."
Sakura just continues to look at him long and hard. Then she's smiling.
"I don't like you," she says rather bluntly. Even taking Naruto aback. "And I don't trust you."
"I could say the same," Naruto replies calmly.
"But since you don't seem to be going away any time soon, we'll just have to learn to get along, now won't we?" Sakura says, outstretching her hand. "Truce?"
Naruto stares at her then down at her hand. His lips twitch.
Then he's taking his hand into hers. They shake.
"Truce," he says.
45 Minutes Earlier…
Ino's lost. She has no idea where she's at or if she's even still in Konoha. When she had left the group, she didn't have an exact destination in mind. She didn't want to go home because no doubt Sakura and the others would follow soon after.
She just wanted to be left alone to her thoughts. She didn't want to deal with Sakura harping into one ear, Karin harping into another and Suigetsu making bad jokes that he somehow thinks would make her feel better.
Because right now, she felt like shit. Today was supposed to be perfect. It wasn't supposed to be like…like this. Her hair wasn't supposed to turn green. Her dress wasn't supposed to be out of stock. Sharingan Hotel shouldn't have messed up her date.
And then the stripper? That wasn't supposed to happen at all. That was the lowest form of humiliation and now she'd be lucky if she was ever able to get reservations at Rasengan Palace ever again.
Now she's walking barefoot down a deserted road. To add to her misfortune, the heel of her left shoe broke off. Not only that but she dropped her cell phone into a puddle. Into a fucking puddle. So of course she couldn't call any one to come pick her up.
Ino kept on praying that a car would come. That she'd be able to hitch a ride. Under normal circumstances she wouldn't have dared do something like that. After all, what if she gets into a car and the driver turns out to be some kind of axe murder, or a rapist? But she was getting desperate.
She just wanted to go home, hide under her covers and sleep the night away. She just wanted to forget that any of this happened.
She perked up when a car came into view. Or to be more specific, a truck. She put her thumb up, praying that they'll stop.
Her heart sinks a little when the truck passes before soaring again when the truck comes to a halt.
"Thank god," she muttered to herself, running to the truck and opening the passenger side door. The relief was short lived though when she noticed who was sitting in the front seat.
The guy in the seat is the first to speak.
"Ino," he says with surprise.
"Never mind, I don't need a ride," Ino says slamming the door shut before walking away from the general vicinity of the truck. Just as she turns on her bare feet, she can hear the sound of the truck door being slammed shut.
"Don't be like that," Shikamaru drawls.
Ino whirls around, her arms crossed against her chest. She scowls.
"Like a child. We're both adults here. No need to run away."
"I wasn't running away," Ino denies vehemently. Oh gods, why couldn't it have been someone else's truck? Why did it have to be him of all people?
"No?" Shikamaru asks, arching an eyebrow.
Then they find themselves in some kind of stare off. Shikamaru's the first one to break the stare.
"Well then, if you don't need a ride I'll be on my way. Sorry to inconvenience you," Shikamaru says, his last words laced with sarcasm.
Ino's having an inner war with herself as she watches Shikamaru walk back to his truck. This is the first time she's seen an actual vehicle in a while. Who knows how long it'll be before another comes?
Just as Shikamaru's opening the door and getting inside Ino says, "Wait!"
For a minute Ino thinks Shikamaru will drive away but instead he sticks his head out the window and says, "Well, what are you waiting for?"
And that spurs Ino into action.
"Buckle up," Shikamaru says the moment Ino is seated.
Ino rolls her eyes but does as he says.
"What were you doing out there alone?" Shikamaru inquires, his arm hanging out the window as he uses one hand to steer.
Ino doesn't respond.
"You look like shit," Shikamaru then adds rather bluntly.
Ino scoffs but doesn't say anything.
"I would've expected you to be all dolled up for your birthday," Shikamaru says, not seeming the least bit bothered by Ino's silent treatment. "But then again, you've always been full of surprises."
"Will you shut up?" Ino blurts out, annoyed by his inane chatter.
"As the lady commands," Shikamaru drawls sarcastically. He begins playing with the radio. Ino stifles a sigh.
Shikamaru doesn't speak for the next ten minutes. And when he finally does again, Ino wants to kind of strangle him.
"What were you doing out there alone?" Shikamaru asks, repeating his earlier question.
"Does it matter?" Ino retorts before mentally smacking herself. She hadn't meant to respond.
"Not really," is Shikamaru's response.
"Then drop it," Ino says. She doesn't want to tell him just how shitty her day was. It was bad enough that he saw her like this.
She could only imagine his response if she said anything. He'd either laugh in her face or say something snarky like 'what goes around comes around.' Or both. She's already had a bad enough day as it is. No need to add salt to the wound.
"Can you turn the music off?" Ino asks, wincing at what sounds like wailing. She's surprised when Shikamaru does.
Then the car is silent.
It feels like forever when Shikamaru is pulling into her driveway. When Shikamaru finally stops the engine, Ino can't get out of the truck fast enough.
Without so much as a thank you or a goodbye Ino is slamming the door shut.
"A thank you would've sufficed," Shikamaru calls out to which Ino ignores.
As she's walking up the driveway, she stops short when she sees two figures sitting on the stoop. Neji and Karin.
"What are you guys doing here?"
"Was that Shikamaru just now?" Karin asks, ignoring her as she watches the truck pulling out of the driveway with curiosity.
"What are you guys doing here?" Ino asks more loudly this time.
"Waiting for you," Neji replies.
"So we can take you to your party," Karin adds.
"But of course we need to fix you up because you look like shit," Neji says rather bluntly.
"Luckily Haku is on his way."
Ino just stares at them. Then says, "Didn't you hear? The party's canc –"
She stops when she sees the look on their faces.
"Oh fuck, you're telling me Sakura didn't send a mass text."
At the shake of their heads she says, "I'm going to kill her."
"Not before you change out of that and when you actually have shoes on," Karin says, staring pointedly up and down.
"Fuck. She's making me look like an idiot. What?" She then asks at the looks they give her.
"You didn't receive any of our texts? You wouldn't pick up your damn phone," Karin says.
"I may have dropped it and it may have landed in a puddle. It's not working anymore."
"Oh my god woman, you have the worst luck ever. Somebody must really be hating you," Neji says, ignoring the glares from both girls as he takes out his phone.
He presses a few buttons before he's handing it to Ino.
It's a picture of a girl wearing a dress that looks somewhat familiar. Ino squints at it trying to place it but can't.
She looks up at Karin and Neji.
Neji and Karin are sporting grins.
"Nawaki," they both say in unison.
Ino's not sure if she heard right.
"It's Nawaki," this time it's just Karin who speaks up. "Sakura came up with this crazy idea to have Nawaki pose as you. Looks smoking hot doesn't he."
Ino's gaping at them.
"I'm going to kill her," she promises.
"You're not killing anyone. In fact, Sakura's doing you a favor."
Whatever, Ino was still going to kill her. She unlocks the front door, leaving it open for Neji and Karin to follow her inside.
"Stop fidgeting, you look amazing," Karin says forty minutes later when she's looking decent again. All thanks to Haku, who promised to come over first thing tomorrow to fix her green hair. Which was a good thing.
They're now sitting in Karin's car with Karin in the driver's seat as they make their way to the country club.
"I'm not fidgeting," Ino retorts.
"You're fidgeting," Neji says from the backseat.
"Everything's going to be fine," Karin says as the country club comes into view. "Look, practically the whole school is here."
She was right. There were cars lined up everywhere. That thought cools her nerves somewhat. But there was a feeling in the pit of her stomach. A feeling that Ino was willing to ignore because Sakura wouldn't fucking listen to her.
Karin pulls up next to the familiar jaguar. Stopping the engine she looks up at the rearview mirror, her eyes on Ino. She gives a crooked smile.
"Whatever," is Ino's response as she pushes the car door open. She would've fallen flat on her face if Karin wasn't there to catch her as she tripped over the hem of her dress.
"Relax," Karin says once she lets Ino go. She then links an arm under Ino's as she leads them towards the entrance of the country club. Neji walking on her other side.
"Just enjoy your party. Don't think about whatever bad shit has happened today," Karin advises.
Ino knows she right. But at this point it'll be hard to enjoy her party when she's waiting for something to happen. Something bad.
"Right," Ino says.
"Now smile," Karin says as they enter the country club. She has to practically yell over the music to be heard.
It takes a good two hours for shit to hit the fan.
Two hours later…
The party is in utter chaos. A good kind of chaos. People are dancing on tables. There are people doing handstands. There's a weird game of twister going on in one corner and a drunken game of pin the tail on the donkey going on in another. Everybody's having the time of their life. People are getting down and dirty on the dance floor. Ino's having a blast, her previous worries long forgotten.
Nawaki's finally back in his tux. And everything just seems to be going great. Until it isn't because of course it isn't. Ino was right to worry. Ino knew she should've listened to her gut feeling.
Everything's going great until an argument breaks out on the dance floor making the music grind to a screeching halt.
"What the fucks your problem?" Rings out. The guests gathered on the dance floor step away until there's only two people in the center.
One is identified as Suigetsu. Good old Suigetsu. The other, Ino doesn't quite recognize. She vaguely wonders if he even goes to their school. Did she even invite him? Oh, what did it matter? If this went on any longer, Ino knew for sure that a fight will break out. Maybe it was already too late.
"I don't appreciate you hitting on my girl," Suigetsu responds, pointing at Karin.
"I didn't realize she was your girl. If I did, I would've backed off," the other boy says. He doesn't look as ready for a fight as Suigetsu. In fact he looked like a sensible enough guy to know a lost cause when he saw one.
"You expect me to believe that?" Suigetsu asks, looking ready to pull some punches.
"Listen man, I don't want to fight," the boy says.
"Why, you scared?" Suigetsu taunts.
Then suddenly Ino's appearing on to the dance floor, looking at the two of them wildly.
"No fighting. I don't want any fighting," Ino says, annoyed. But Suigetsu doesn't seem to be listening.
Ino's eyes zero in on Karin.
"Do something. They're fighting over you."
Karin just looks at Ino with wide eyes and a shrug. And before Ino can say anything else, Suigetsu is throwing the first punch. The boy stumbles back, touching his sore jaw in surprise.
"Are you kidding me?!" Ino screeches. Then she's looking around wildly. "Where the fuck are the security guards?"
When nobody seems to be making a move, Ino makes the dumbest move yet hoping that somehow she'll be able to stop it before it escalates any further.
It all happens so fast. One minute she's trying to stop the fighting by getting in between the two (bad mistake on her part) and the next a hand is reaching out and there's the sound of ripping.
She looks over at Suigetsu who's holding fabric in his hand. Fabric that resembles her dress. She looks down to see that the top half of her dress has been ripped off, showing her bra.
Before she or anyone else can so much as react, there's the sound of a blood chortling scream. Followed by another scream.
"Snake! There's a snake!" Someone's yelling.
Forgetting her current wardrobe malfunction she turns, startled along with everyone else to find that sure enough there's a snake slithering on the floor. Everybody starts to panic.
It becomes chaotic. This time, it's not the good kind of chaos. Chairs are being turned up. The refreshment table is being knocked over.
Ino tries to yell. Tell everyone to calm the fuck down. But nobody's listening. Everybody's too busy trying to get out.
"Aah, a spider. A spider. Get it off me, get it off me!" Ino hears someone screaming frantically.
Ino can only look around with a lost expression. What was going on? Where did the snake come from? Where did the spider come from? Why was this happening to her?
Ino knew she shouldn't have let her guard down. She just kind of collapses amidst the chaos. She has no idea how long she stays there, it's all one giant blur until Sakura crouches down. A look of pity on her face.
"Ino I –"
"Just leave me alone," Ino says. The others are standing closely behind Sakura. She looks at each and every one of them as she tries to stand up. Neji moves to help but Ino stops him.
"I said leave me alone," Ino repeats as she finally gets to her feet. She no longer cares that her dress is ripped or that her bra's showing.
"Fuck off," is the last thing she says to them before she's stumbling away, feeling their piercing gazes on her back.
The moment she gets outside, she collapses onto the grass. She screams. And screams.
It starts raining.
Monday morning Ino wakes up to the sound of knocking.
"G' away," she mutters before pulling the covers up and over her head.
Then suddenly she feels a rush of cold air.
"Fuck," Ino cries out, opening her eyes to see Sakura standing at the foot of her bed. The comforter bunched up in her hand.
"Get the fuck up," Sakura orders. Then she adds, "Or you're going to be late. No, actually since I decided to check up on you to see if you were dead, we're going to be late."
"Leave me alone," Ino says grabbing for the blanket. "I don't want to go."
Then she lets out a whine when Sakura pulls the blanket off her bed and onto the floor, out of reach. Ino was too tired and drained for this shit.
"I'm not going in to school today. I'm sick."
"Bullshit. You're moping, and it's getting pathetic. We left you alone yesterday to give you some time for yourself. But now enough is enough."
"What are you doing?" Ino croaks out as she watches Sakura go through the top drawer of her wardrobe. Then something's being thrown in her face, and then onto her bed.
"Take a shower. Get dressed. I'll be waiting downstairs. If you're not downstairs in twenty minutes then I'm going to be forced to take action."
Then she's leaving, Ino staring at her retreating back with a scowl. She makes a face before sliding out of bed knowing that Sakura's good on her word.
So twenty minutes later Ino's entering the kitchen to find that Sakura's already made herself at home. She's sitting on the stool, a magazine in front of her. She looks up upon Ino's entrance.
Ino doesn't say anything as she rummages through the cabinets for a bowl and box of cereal before taking the milk out of the fridge.
As she sits down Sakura hands her a white envelope. Sliding it across the counter. She arches an eyebrow at Sakura in question.
"It was lying on your front door step," she says, flipping the page of her magazine.
Ino takes it, looking at it curiously. She expects to see her name scrawled on the front. But it isn't. It's just blank.
She starts to open it, but stops. Maybe what's in this envelope isn't for her. Maybe it's for her father.
"Well, aren't you going to open it?" Sakura asks.
She isn't fooling anyone. She looks just as curious as Ino feels.
"It might not be for me. It might be for my father," Ino says, biting her lower lip as she stares down at the envelope.
"Since when has something like that stopped you?"
Ino looks up, realizing that Sakura's right. Since when has something like that stopped her? Never.
So with that in mind she rips open the envelope and takes out the white sheet of paper. She unfolds the paper, and sees that it is in fact addressed to her.
As she begins to read, she starts paling. Bit by bit. Her hands begin to shake. Sakura's looking at her.
"What is it?"
"Huh? What?" Ino says distantly as she folds the letter and puts it back into the envelope. Then she's giving Sakura a forced smile. "Oh, it turns out it's for my father after all."
Sakura shrugs. Already losing interest.
Then Ino's sliding off the stool.
"Well, are we going or what?"
Sakura looks up, startled.
"I thought you were going to eat."
"I've decided I'm not hungry. Now let's go."
Sakura narrows her eyes at Ino suspiciously.
"What's got you in such a hurry? Minutes ago you were dreading the whole going to school thing."
"I decided that I'll just like to get the whole thing over and done with. So…are we taking your car or my dads' since mine is still in the shop?"
Sakura looks like she wants to say something more but seems to think better of it as she only settles for the word, "Mine."
Twenty five minutes later Sakura's pulling into their usual parking spot. And Ino's getting more and more agitated.
"Relax," Sakura says.
"I don't think I can show my face in there. After what happened on Saturday I'll probably be the laughing stock of the school," Ino whines before sinking low into her seat when a few students walk by their car.
Sakura rolls her eyes.
"Quit being so melodramatic. It's not going to be that bad."
Ino looks at Sakura.
"How do you know?"
Sakura heaves out a sigh.
"I just do. Now get the fuck out of my car."
"Alright, alright. Chill," she says as she opens the door before hopping out.
Sakura has to practically push her all the way up the steps until they're standing outside the double doors.
Ino braves herself as she walks into the school. Nothing can prepare her for the sight that greets her.
She turns to look at Sakura who's grinning.
"What…" Ino starts, confused.
She's half expecting to be hurled innocents. To be laughed at. But that's not it at all and suddenly they start clapping.
"That was the best party ever!"
"It was so cool!"
"Especially that bit with the snake. You so had us fooled!"
"That was a cool prank!"
"What…" Ino says again, looking at Sakura who leans in and quickly explains.
"I may have told them that it was a bit of a prank that went too far."
"But it wasn't a prank," Ino says, brows furrowed.
"I know, but they don't know that."
Ino stares at Sakura for a few seconds before breaking out into a grin.
"You're a genius."
Sakura practically preens under the compliment.
"I know," she says smugly.
Maybe today won't be so bad after all.
The letter she received earlier was a long distant memory.
In the end as it turned out their plan had the opposite effect of what they had hoped. In other words, their plan had backfired on them.
As one would assume, Kiba and Naruto were not happy.
Dear Spoilt Princess,
How'd you like your party? I find your tastes in clothes and venue to be a little boring so I changed it up for you, all the way down to that dirty blond hair you have. Hope you don't mind
Oh but don't think my generosity will stop there. This is just the beginning. For all you are and the pain you've caused others, I will get you. I will get you good.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Author's Note: Thanks for reading! Hope you guys enjoyed it! I have a few things I want to say.
First, some of you may be thinking that I'm having Naruto & Kiba go after them one by one. That's not the case at all. I'll be switching it up. So there'll be more to come for Ino, just not right away.
Second, for those who haven't, check out my new story Center Stage. It's based off the manga Love Stage! It has a crossdressing Naruto and an obsessive Sasuke. Who wouldn't love it!
Third, and finally, I do plan on trying to update UDNM as frequently as possible before school starts which is in the beginning of September. So hopefully getting the next chapter out won't take too long. Oooo and guess what, Itachi makes his appearance in the next chapter. Yay!
Gaara's appearance should be coming up soon too. Hopefully within the next two or three chapters.
Also, I can't forget to thank Yamaihime who wrote the letter at the end addressed to Ino. Oh and also, there's a possibility that there might be a few changes in pairings listed in the first chapter.