Sand Trails Ch 12: Ring that Doom Bell one more time!

Shizune sighed and set down the last of the paperwork, then smiled at the boy and his adoptive father sitting across from her. “All done!” she said cheerfully. “Welcome back, Hozuki-kun!”

The white-haired boy shrugged, and smirked. “Yeah, sure, whatever.”

His adoptive father gave him an amused look, and then smiled at Shizune. “You’re Tsunade-chan’s friend, aren’t you? Does she still live in town?”

Shizune nodded carefully. “Yes, Orochimaru-kun, she does.” Her gaze turned to the teenager. “You’ll be starting classes tomorrow morning. I hope you’ll enjoy being back.”

“Oh, it’s already real nice, Shizune-san!” he replied cheerfully. “I can’t wait to see all of my old friends again.”

“I’m sure that’ll be great!” she said. “Oh, you should see Sakura. I’m sure she hasn’t seen you in a while, Hozuki-kun. She would probably love hearing from you.”

The boy smirked. “Heh! I bet! And please, Shizune-san, it’s just Suigetsu, huh? That’d make me more comfortable.”

“Of course. Did you need anything else?”

Orochimaru stood, and Suigetsu did the same. “No, Shizune-chan. Do tell Tsunade-chan I’m in town, mm? It’ll be lovely to hear from her.”

She smiled and watched the two walk out. Tsunade was going to be pissed.

xXx

Art class was always interesting. Near the back of the room, Sasori, Deidara and Sumi Sai were arguing over forms of art. The project of the day was surrealism, and Deidara had promptly sketched out an explosion.

Sasori was arguing that an explosion, being an actual physical occurrence, was not surreal. He had drawn a puppet. Deidara was arguing that that wasn’t surreal either, and no, it did not matter what the puppet was doing (climbing upside down stairs), it was still a damn puppet.

The only reason the argument hadn’t gotten worse was because Deidara was bandaged up in various places and didn’t want to get even more injured.

Sai, of course, was the only one that had actually done the project without any oddities. He’d drawn a creature—perhaps a shark—transforming into fellow student Hoshigaki Kisame. … Okay, maybe ‘without any oddities’ was the wrong term…

Luckily, Kisame did not have art class.

After three solid minutes of arguing, Deidara screamed that Sasori was an idiot and then started drawing on his paper again. Sasori made a face, decided arguing with the lunatic was a waste of his time, and turned to put the finishing touches on his paper.

Sai smirked and added a bulge to his shark-Kisame’s pants.

xXx

Meanwhile, Calculus was just as entertaining; Kakuzu—no longer in a bad mood—had complained twice about his lab partner—Tobi—before stuffing the boy in the trashcan.

He had then turned in his paper—it would go on to get a 100 percent grade—and walked himself to the principal’s office.

Tobi was later escorted to the nurse’s office.

xXx

Second period Calculus was par for the course—Itachi’s homework was turned in, and Kisame failed spectacularly at trying to skip class. He was brought to the principal’s office and quirked a brow at Kakuzu. “What’re you doing here?”

“Ten bucks.”

“Oh forget it,” the shark boy retorted, and sat down. Kakuzu was shortly called in.

xXx

In Geometry at that moment, Sakura was putting every scrap of patience she had to the test in a group with Naruto, Aburame Shino, and Inuzuka Kiba. The only things that kept her from losing her temper were the facts that she was in school, and that Shino was really trying to help out.

“No, you retard!” she hissed at Kiba. “Squares don’t have circumferences, got it?!”

Kiba paled and wondered why Sakura-chan was so much more violent than normal. It must be her new posse. “Yeah…” he mumbled.

“Eh, Sakura-chan, I don’t get this,” Naruto said two minutes later.

Sakura’s head hit the desk, and Shino calmly stated, “She just explained it.” Sakura held up two fingers, and he translated. “Twice.”

xXx

In Japanese at that moment, Taka Karin was talking Sasuke’s ear off. “…so I told her we shouldn’t have to, but she never listens to what I say…”

Sasuke was trying desperately to ignore her, but with only the teacher and Shikamaru for distraction (the latter of which was sleeping on his desk), it was turning out to be a failed effort. And then she said something that caught his attention.

“…and oh! Did you know that Suigetsu’s returned? I couldn’t believe it! It…”

Sasuke was rapidly paling. Only three people knew about the connection between Sakura and Suigetsu, and he was the third.

xXx

Third period was interesting. Ino and Choji got into a sing-off in Choir, which was scary. No one knew what to think of Choji singing like that.

Well, the sing-off turned into a duet and the teacher gushed over them both, saying they should be the main singers for the Fall show.

xXx

Third period English wasn’t boring either. Hyuuga Hinata finally got the courage to say more than five words to Naruto.

“Hello, Naruto-kun. I hope you have-”

Naruto turned to look at her with a bright smile. Hinata fainted. But, the rumor would be that she’d broken her record; she’d said six whole words!

xXx

Sasuke, in third period Calculus, was nearly asleep in his seat. Well, until Hatake-sensei whacked him upside the head with a rolled up newspaper.

“Sasuke-kun, please go up to the board and solve the problem,” Kakashi said cheerfully, tucking the newspaper into his back pocket.

Sasuke shook his head to clear it, and got to his feet. Once he stood before the whiteboard, he peered closely at the problem. X to the third power minus one, over parenthesis X minus one to the second power.

After a beat, he picked up a dry erase marker and scrawled down his answer. Parenthesis X minus one, parenthesis X to the second power plus X plus one over parenthesis X minus one parenthesis X minus one.

Kakashi gave him a blank look, then smiled. “Very good! Now sit down and pay attention.”

Sasuke smirked and sat down. That was the nice thing about math; you didn’t generally need to pay attention.

xXx

Hidan, fourth period, sat in the nurse’s office, peering at Tobi. He knew Kakuzu’s work when he saw it, and wondered what the other male had done to piss the sadist off.

Then he hissed in pain as the nurse pulled the last staple out of his hand. “Honestly, how do these things happen to you?” the woman muttered irritably.

Hidan looked at the bad-tempered blonde. “Eh. It was an accident?”

“Idiot.” She would have hit him upside the head, but she’d been informed of his concussion. Honestly, she didn’t even know why he was here. Or Toji. Luckily, Uchiha had been smart enough to stay home. His friends didn’t appear to share his brain capacity…

Hidan opened his mouth, but thankfully (for his health), Tobi fell off his bed and distracted them at that moment.

He would live to see another day.

xXx

For fourth period, Sasuke had Chemistry, and in his class was Karin (again), as well as his old friend Suigetsu. He hadn’t talked to the boy since Sakura and him broke up and Hozuki moved away.

Now the guy was just being annoying.

“…been so long since I’ve seen those knockers, Karin. You know, they’ve gotten bigger,” Suigetsu was saying to the bespectacled redhead.

She twitched and scowled at him. “Do you have no survival instinct, Suigetsu?” she demanded irately.

Suigetsu made a face. “You still have a horrible personality, though.”

Rolling his eyes, the black-eyed boy leaned back and threw an eraser at white hair.

“Hey! What was that for?”

Sasuke looked into guileless violet eyes and snorted. “Shut up.” He turned back to his books.

Suigetsu glowered at Sasuke and flipped him off behind his back, only to have Karin, who’d seen it, smack him hard enough to send him toppling out of his chair.

“Hozuki, Taka, what are you two doing?” Kurenai-sensei demanded from the front, where she was grading papers (while they were supposed to be doing a paper).

Both looked up at her with wide eyes. “Nothing!” they chorused sheepishly.

Suigetsu climbed back into his chair, scowling at Karin, as Kurenai-sensei sighed and went back to work. “Oi, watch the abuse, wouldja?”

From the far side of the table, the younger Uchiha brother snapped the lead on his mechanical pencil—for the fourth time. Grinding his teeth, he clicked out more lead and tried again to focus on the paper in front of him.

“I’ll show you abuse, you belligerent little pain in the—”

“Taka,” Kurenai-sensei snapped, as Karin’s voice had been slowly raising as she spoke. “Cool it, or go out in the hall!”

Karin grit her teeth and looked pointedly down at her paper. A brief moment of silence followed, then, “Hey, y’know, last night, I found this really soft—”

Whack! Somehow, Karin managed to be innocently looking down at her paper when Kurenai-sensei looked up at the soft sound. Suigetsu was holding his head on one side, around the area of his ear, and Karin was scribbling down on her paper furiously. Kurenai-sensei, without any proof, went back to grading.

Sasukes brow twitched and his lips thinned, but he kept his eyes down on his own paper as he stubbornly wrote out the answers. Oh crap… that answer didn’t make sense. He traced up the equation and found the missed step.

The pale boy sighed. He’d have to erase half of the steps. He reached for his eraser and placed his hand on empty counter. Where… Oh. Sasuke closed his eyes and called himself three types of stupid: Naruto, Lee, and Suigetsu. Fuck, he had thrown his eraser at the latter.

Karin suddenly glanced at him and saw him glaring at the counter like it had offended him. “Sasuke-kun?” she whispered. “You okay?”

A long string of offensive language came muttering out of the usually calm boy’s mouth. Sasuke lifted his head, continuing his irritated litany, and aimed a furious glare at the boy on the far end.

After a few more seconds of wide ranging and improbable suggestions of sexual nature, Sasuke broke off and muttered out, “Suigetsu, I need my eraser back.”

Suigetsu smirked and waved the little white rubber square. “What, this?” he asked innocently.

“Yes, that.” Sasuke’s gaze turned flat.

Suigetsu eyed the eraser thoughtfully. “I thought you didn’t want it, since you threw it at me and all…” he mused, almost as if just to himself.

Karin was twitching between the boys.

Uchiha calmly let one eyebrow rise. “Karin.”

Suigetsu only had time to squeak before she abruptly smacked him, snagged the eraser, and held it out to Sasuke like gold for a king. She smiled sweetly. “Here you go, Sasuke-kun.”

Gifting her with a slight smirk, the smug boy took the eraser back. “Thank you, Karin,” he said softly. “Now think up something good.” He then began to eradicate part of his problem, using the eraser.

Karin blinked at him, then noticed Kurenai-sensei was frowning straight at them.

“Crap,” she squeaked, watching the teacher narrow her eyes and start to get up.

“Taka,” Kurenai-sensei said as she approached. “Hozuki? Care to explain?”

Suigetsu opened his mouth, but Karin was immediately sinking into her role. “Oh, Kurenai-sensei! I’m so sorry. I may have overreacted…” she mumbled, looking down in shame, but then she looked back up again, gaze pleading. Though not ridiculously so.

“You see,” she said, and paused to bite her lip. Her gaze slid accusingly toward Suigetsu. “The boys didn’t bring erasers, so I was sharing mine, and Suigetsu was using it… But then Sasuke-kun asked to use it and I was like ‘sure’ and turned to Suigetsu… But he was being mean and wouldn’t let me have it!”

Kurenai-sensei’s brows arched and she turned to look at Suigetsu. “Hozuki-kun?”

“Arck…” was all he managed, as Karin was leaning her weight on his toes behind the table.

Kurenai-sensei looked at Karin, who was frowning at Suigetsu, and then Sasuke. “Uchiha?”

Sasuke slowly lifted his head and gave the teacher a steady gaze. “He is being a nuisance,” he stated, and dropped his attention back to the problem he had just about finished with.

Kurenai-sensei frowned even more. That didn’t actually tell her anything, really… She sighed, and as Suigetsu was declining comment in favor of looking guilty (though it could have been pain, she mused), she decided she still hadn’t much proof and turned away. “Leave her eraser alone,” she tossed over her shoulder.

Karin let up on Suigetsu’s foot and he whimpered. She stuck her tongue out at him.

Problem solved, Sasuke thought smirking down at the paper. Now if he could just finish this equation…

“Karin, you’re a bitch,” Suigetsu hissed, holding his foot.

Karin growled, opening her mouth to yell at him… and spotted Kurenai-sensei peering at her through her lashes. Karin growled again and subsided, leaving Suigetsu looking shocked. He prodded Karin in the side, brushing her breast, and she reacted like an erupting volcano.

“SUIGETSU, YOU JERK!” she screeched, grabbing her text and bringing it down on his head.

Behind her, the lead on Sasuke’s pencil broke again.

The boy stared at the equation on the paper. Then slowly put his pencil down. He stood up, pushing the stool back with a dull scrape. He looked the red-eyed Kurenai in the eye and clenched his jaw.

Sasuke stiffly gathered his papers, books, pencil case (and eraser), and moved himself to the empty spot next to Sai.

Kurenai stomped over to Karin and Suigetsu, then dragged them both from the room. Silence descended, and peace. Beside him, Sai glanced over, notably toward the Uchiha’s crotch.

“Say… I heard from a girl that you’re rather large… care to pose?” the boy asked, empty smile in place.

The newly self-relocated student swung a flat stare at his new table mate. Then he looked at the door Kurenai had walked out of. “Will you shut up for the rest of the class?”

Sai perked, not having expected even close to a positive answer. “Yes, yes I will,” he said, and eagerly dug a sketch pad from his bag.

Sasuke sighed and stood up again. He turned to face the back wall, quietly unzipped and reached in through the opening. “The things I have to do to get a decent education,” he muttered before pulling his soft length out and holding it in his palm.

Sai peered over his shoulder (the other side of the room, a fangirl happened to glance over and fainted). “Hmmm…” There was a few seconds that passed filled only with the sounds of Sai sketching. Then he tapped Sasuke on the shoulder. “Done. Naruto’s bigger,” he mused.

Carefully tucking himself back in, the model smirked. “Not when I’m hard, he isn’t,” he replied smoothly. “You should take up sports.”

Sai leered as Sasuke sat back down. “I’m big… on football,” he said, pausing just long enough to be suggestive. He eyed Sasuke a beat, then smirked. “If you want, I could totally help you with your erectile dysfunction problem.” He wiggled his brows.

Sasuke sighed and thudded his forehead down on the table. “One, fans do not get into the showers. Two, you are the wrong sex to even suggest that. Three, you said you would shut up.”

“Didn’t say ‘when’,” Sai replied, but subsided. He was sketching some more. … It appeared to be some evolved form of his Kisame shark.

xXx

The current of student bodies pushed Sakura down the hall and she simply followed the students in front of her through the halls. Beside her, Tenten was chatting excitedly about some talent show coming up, while behind her a male voice belonging to a rather tall guy was complaining about the prices at the cafeteria.

The two girls were trotting down the West Left Wing staircase when a hand belonging to the other side of traffic reached out and hauled her bodily out of the flow.

“Hey!” Sakura gritted her teeth and took the abuse and the complaints that erupted as she was pulled through the moving students and shoved into the corner of the staircase landing.

Wincing at the glare she was levelling on him, Sasuke let go of her wrist. “Suigetsu’s back,” he said, in placation.

She blinked. “I know,” she replied, then frowned. “Karin and Ino have been gossiping all day.” She sighed and shifted her shoulder sack to the opposite shoulder. Really, she couldn’t stay irritated with Sasuke, since he’d only wanted to make sure she knew. Make sure she would be alright… “I’ll be fine, Sasuke-kun. Don’t worry,” she assured him, and smiled.

“He may talk, you know,” Sasuke warned. Suigetsu wasn’t exactly one to keep his conquests to himself. Frankly, the Uchiha was amazed that it wasn’t already out.

Sakura bit her lip at that, but she knew he was right. “I know,” she repeated, pinching the bridge of her nose. Would Itachi-san get upset? Probably not. But still… he might have mixed feelings… and then Naruto… “Make sure that if Naruto finds out, he doesn’t go looking for another fight, okay?”

Her friend snorted and, as Tenten pushed her way over to them, he said, “As if I can stop him. He probably already knows. He went after Itachi because the bastard was interested in you. Suigetsu—” he cut himself off, eying the other students.

Sakura sent a glare toward a lingering freshman, satisfied when the gawker hurried on. “Yeah, I know.” She seemed to be saying that a lot. She smiled at Sasuke. “Well, if he starts talking about it, tell him to come talk to me first, hm?”

Sasuke flashed her a fierce grin. “Definitely.” He shrugged his bag up higher on his shoulder, nodded to the brunette, and then stepped back into the rush of students.

Sakura waved as he left, then smiled at Tenten. “C’mon. Sensei’ll be annoyed if we’re late,” she said cheerfully.

Falling into step beside her pink-haired friend, Tenten leaned in and half-whispered, “So who is Suigetsu? I’ve been hearing rumours all morning!”

xXx

What is this stuff? Shika forced a plastic fork into the congealing mass of pasta. The lady at the hot food counter had called it linguine and left it at that.

He lifted the tangled, clumpy knot of… green… and peered at it. Pasta was supposed to be pale beige, maybe yellow or white… not pale brownish green. The sauce was normal, a regular white alfredo powder mix, but it didn’t mask the fact that the entire thing looked like something a cat had puked up.

“Ugh.”

Ino had brought a bento and was sitting there eating it, a period late, while Choji was munching away on a bag of chips to her left. She glanced across the quad and perked, watching Sasuke approach with a tray in his hand. “Hi Sasuke-kun!” she chirped cheerfully, getting a noncommittal grunt in reply.

“Anyone want my ‘linguine’?” he asked, the quotation audible.

Even Choji shook his head and Ino snickered. “Why do you guys even bother?” she asked, motioning toward the trays in front of them, then her obento. “It’s probably better to bring your own…”

Sasuke scowled and sat down next to Shikamaru who was still morbidly studying his lunch. “Sometimes they have decent food,” the Uchiha said grudgingly.

Shaking his head, the Nara boy frowned down at his lunch. “You’d think we’d have figured the system was flawed when the hot food counter has solid metal instead of the clear glass other schools have.” He sighed. “Troublesome.”

Ino snickered. “Use your brain, Shikamaru,” she replied, and took a bite of her rice.

“Home-cooked food is better anyway,” Choji said with conviction, pulling another chip from his store-bought bag.

The irony was not lost on the blonde, who nearly choked as she fought to swallow and giggle at the same time.

Sasuke rolled his eyes.

Meanwhile, Shika had coaxed a single strand of pasta on to a fork and grimaced. It was a sad looking noodle, over cooked and bloated, it was covered in gunky sauce that was more of a cottage cheese texture (when was powder mix supposed to be chunky?) than anything else.

Eh… odd things sometimes tasted okay, Shika reasoned. He slurped up the pasta. The others at the table had stopped talking and were staring at him expectantly. He obligingly chewed.

“It’s… okay. I guess,” Shika announced. Then blinked. He looked at the pasta in his plate again. Paled, and said in a faint voice, “Or maybe not. No, don’t eat it.”

He stood quickly and walked over to the garbage can and dumped the whole plate in.

As he was turned to walk back, Kisame came staggering out of the same bushes he was in the last time they were in the quad.

Red faced and holding his sides, the blue teenager wrapped an arm around the disgruntled Shikamaru’s shoulders. “I love you, man,” he gasped, tears coming out of the corners of his eyes. “But damn… that was disgusting.”

The younger boy paled even further and muttered, “You don’t know the half of it.”

At which point, Hidan could be heard cackling in the bushes. “Tentacles! Oh my fucking god, Kisame! You’re messed up!”

Ino blinked. “Eh? What about tentacles?” she asked, confused.

Seeing the pasta in a whole new light, Sasuke slowly pushed it away with one finger. “I’m… not hungry,” he decided, making a face.

Ino rolled her eyes. “Oh, honestly,” she grumbled. “What are you guys doing here anyway? Aren’t you supposed to be in gym? Gai-sensei’ll come looking for you again, you know.”

Hidan had crept up behind her and now covered her mouth. “Not a fucking word, blondie,” he said, grinning.

She turned red, out of a mixture of embarrassment and anger.

“Ehh…” Choji ate another chip, and refrained from further comment.

Sasuke wasn’t paying attention. He stood up and looked around the quad. “Hey, where’s Naruto?”

Shikamaru frowned and looked at the normally calm Uchiha. “He knows we were meeting here today.” He shrugged. “Maybe he saw the food and went to beg lunch from Iruka-sensei.”

“Actually,” Ino said slowly. “I saw him heading toward East Wing earlier, on my way here. He’s got first period Chemistry there, so I figured he left something behind and would catch up…” She pouted. “Obviously not.”

Hidan popped his neck and leaned back, yawning. “Doesn’t that Suigetsu fucktard have Chemistry this period? Or was that last…?”

Ino turned toward him, shaking her head. “Nope. He had it last period with Sasuke-kun. Karin told me.”

“Eh, what the fuck ever,” the zealot grumbled.

Scowling and muttering to himself about pointless promises, Sasuke left the plate of questionable edibles and started to jog in the direction of the East Wing.

“Sasuke-kun?” Ino called after him.

The departing boy didn’t look back and sprinted through the entrance, dodging students as he went.

Blinking, Shika struggled out from under Kisame’s arm. “I wonder what’s with him?”

Beside him, Sharky shrugged. Hidan over by Ino opened his mouth. And there was a shout from a second story window over-looking the quad.

“Hoshigaki! Jashin!”

Both teenagers bolted the same way Sasuke had gone.

Ibiki came charging through twenty seconds later.

“Ibiki-sensei?” Ino gasped as he came to a halt before them.

“Where’d they go?” the counselor asked, scowling and looking around.

Ino opened her mouth to talk, but Shikamaru was about five steps ahead. “Ibiki-sensei,” he said, catching the man’s attention. “They ran off toward the cafeteria.” He pointed in the opposite direction that the others had gone.

The counselor nodded to him and took off for the cafeteria, and Choji continued munching his chips. “You think you’ll get in trouble?”

Ino rolled her eyes. “No. Those two are well-practiced in avoiding Ibiki-sensei. It’s legendary.”

Shika plopped down in his seat and sighed. “It doesn’t matter. Ibiki-sensei cannot make my life any harder than Kisame in Biology class.”

“You share a class with that psycho?” The blonde made a face.

“I didn’t know either until Sakura got noticed by Itachi,” he groused, drawing his knees up to his chest. “Then Hoshigaki showed up at class and made Kiba sit with Sasori.” Shika shoved his face into his crossed arms. “It was awful.”

Choji frowned. “Is ‘e mean to you?” he asked around a mouthful of food.

Ino grimaced. “Don’t talk with your mouth full!” she admonished.

The other boy groaned. “No, he’s friendly.” Shika mumbled into his arms. “So friendly that he talks non stop all period long: girls, sex, body parts, dating, hotels, porn…” He trailed off.

Ino looked at him in horror, while Choji just shrugged. “Least you don’t have Japanese History with Sasuke and Naruto.” He paused to chew and swallow. “I think Naruto is the only person capable of getting Sasuke to yell.”

Snorting, Shikamaru looked up and grinned at Choji. “Probably because Sasuke wants to let off steam. Karin sits next to him in second period and he can’t yell at her.”

“And fourth,” Ino inserted, grinning. “He really has it rough.”

“We have choir with her,” Choji mumbled. “So I don’t blame him.” He shuddered.

“Oooh, Ino-chan~” a familiar voice chirped.

They all looked up to see Sai wandering over, a big, fake grin on his face. “Guess what I drew?”

Lowering his head back into his arms, Shikamaru just barely saw Ino cautiously look at Sai’s sketchbook. His eyes were already closing as the blonde’s mouth gaped open. Whatever was in that book, he didn’t want to know.

“Sai!” yelped the blonde. “Did you peek at him in the showers during PE?!” she demanded, her face showing horror, though her cheeks were flushed. She stole another glance at the sketchbook.

Sai leered. “How’d you know it was his?”

Her mouth snapped shut, and her face got even redder. Choji, curious, paused in his eating. “What is it?”

Sai held out the sketch book. Choji blinked a few times. “Eh… issat… what I think it is…?”

Sai winked and held a finger up to his lips, smirking. “If you mean a di—”

“DON’T SAY IT!” Ino yelled, covering his mouth. “Not a word, you peeking pervert!”

Sai leaned back, and he was just tall enough that with the motion, she couldn’t reach his mouth anymore. “What, you mean di—”

“No!” she screeched, taking a half step forward and leaning over to cover his mouth.

This, of course, made it so that she was leaning against him, and his grin proved that this had been the point. “Not. A. Word,” she growled.

The pale boy stood very still and, under her pressed fingers, moved his lips. “Mi mmo mff mooo mmmaay mi mifff mm mm mimem mi momerrr.”

She glared suspiciously at him. “Don’t you dare say it, perv, or I’ll sic Sakura on you.” He merely blinked at her, so she slowly lifted her hand, about an inch, and let it hover. “Now what was that?”

He licked his lips for a moment and pursed them a few times, then cleared his throat. “I said, ‘I won’t if you stay like this for a little bit longer’.”

Silence, then, “‘Like this’?” She blinked, then abruptly realized that she was pressed against him, face inches away. Her cheeks flushed and she hesitated.… Well, what was a word? And she jerked back, slapping him hard on the cheek. “PERVERT!!!”

Shikamaru looked up to watch Sai smile, rub his cheek and say, “Thank you.” Then the artist took a seat on the cement next to Shika and started sketching.

Against his better judgement, the pony-tailed boy leaned over to look at the concentric circles Sai was drawing. “Are those topographic lines?” Both boys had taken geography earlier that year.

The lines were thicker around the outer edges of the large circle, then were spaced out further and then grew thicker at a point close to the middle.

Without pausing, Sai shook his head. “This is more of a pressure map.”

Still fuming, Ino perked. “A treasure map?”

“No, it’s a pressure map,” Sai corrected her.

“Well, what the heck is a ‘pressure map’?” she demanded, propping her hands on her hips to scowl at him.

Sai turned towards her and flipped the paper to show her the two circles. “A pressure map is to show how much pressure has been applied over a surface area. Each ring signifies a different degree of force that has been applied.”

The boy took his pencil and pointed to the tighter lines. “See here at the outer edges of your boobs? There they did not really press into me that much, but then over a surface of less than an inch, they pressed very firmly.”

Ino’s eye twitched. She drew in a breath, her hands shaking as she slowly lifted them, but he barely noticed and continued lecturing. Choji scooted back so his chips wouldn’t get ruined, and Shikamaru paled.

His pencil tapped the smaller cluster of rings near the center. “You must not be wearing a bra today, Ino-san,” he told her calmly. “Even with your boobs flat against me with all that pressure, your nipples were still noticeably—“

Ino made a sound, like that of an enraged animal, and lunged for his throat. Choji yelped and rolled away, Shikamaru mimicked him. And Sai plucked her right out of the air, one handed, and deposited her where he’d just been sitting.

“Was it something I said?” he asked, blinking.

Ino, momentarily surprised at how easily he’d dealt with her, growled. “I’m going to neuter you,” she snarled, and dove at him from her half-seated position.

He backed up a few steps, barely avoiding her fingers, with wide eyes. “Ino-san, you shouldn’t be so violent! You might injure yourself and damage the mercha—”

She growled again, scrambling to her feet and running after him. Sai kept backing up away from her, occasionally doing this little spin to get back towards his bag. “Ino-san, this is most unbeco—”

Her fingers snagged the collar of his shirt. “Oh shit,” he said, right before she dragged him to the ground and buried her foot in his crotch. He grunted, but appeared unfazed.

Choji, watching the display like a spectator sport, leaned over and said to Shikamaru, “I heard that after Sakura-chan got him there last year, he wears a cup.”

Snorting, Shikamaru looked at Sai with narrowed eyes. “He’s not stupid. I think, he just has different priorities than us.”

“Maybe he just likes to share and expects others to share as well?” Choji offered.

Shika shrugged. “Who knows?”

Sai rolled out from under Ino’s assault, jumped to his feet and caught her around the waist. Then he slung her over his shoulder and wandered idly over to the others, apparently oblivious to the hands pounding his back and the enraged shrieks.

“I have a wild one,” he quipped, smiling. “Maybe I should convince her to pose for me? She’s very hot.”

“No way am I posing for you, you freak!” she shrieked. “Put me down!!”

“As you wish,” he said, and dropped her onto the pile of their bags.

She let out an outraged shriek, but thankfully—for Sai—murder was prevented by the ringing of the bell. “Whoops,” Sai said. “Time for PE… with Sasuke-kun.” He waved, beamed and ran away before she could get up.

xXx

Chapter 11 | Table of Contents | Chapter 13

I’ve been posting ST to fanfiction.net. Yes, I’m a bastard, because that’s exactly what I’ve been doing all these months. And I’ve gotten a job! And what’s worse? I still haven’t finished editing chapter 13! XD I’m posting it up anyway!

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