Sand Trails Ch 14: Rumours Abound

Hidan stretched out in his chair, grinning. “Oh, so you’ll never fucking guess what I heard,” he said.

Deidara, carefully going over the blue prints from Advance Metal class, glanced up. “Eh? What, un?”

Kakuzu ignored them, busy doing his Calculus homework.

“I heard that fucking Pinky isn’t an innocent little virgin.” Hidan grinned, and Kakuzu looked up curiously.

Deidara gaped. “She acts like one, un! The way she was blushing at the party and all…”

Hidan shrugged. “I dunno, but that new kid, what’s his damn name, Sui-somethin’… he’s slept with her. Was spouting off at the fucking mouth all through lunch; Uzumaki got pissed the fuck off.”

Deidara shook his head and looked back down at the blueprints. He hesitated, then put them away. “So… What happened, un?”

“Well, that Lee guy—the one that was at that fucking party—and some kid named Inuzuka managed to keep Naruto from shredding Sui to motherfucking pieces. Barely.” Hidan smirked. “I’ve never seen that motherfucker so pissed!” He cackled gleefully.

Kakuzu snorted. “So what? He’s spreading lies.”

Hidan drew up importantly, grinning like the cat that caught the canary. “I asked Uchiha,” he said, grinning. They knew he was talking about Sasuke; he didn’t call Itachi by his last name. Generally, it was Itachi or bastard. “After school, he told me it wasn’t my fucking business what Pinky did, and to keep my nose out of her fucking shit. That was a pissy bastard. Heh.”

Deidara shook his head. “Wow, rumors huh? That’ll be annoying, un.” And he dug in his bag for his French homework. Man, it sucked not having Itachi around to help him with this dumb shit… “Oi, Kakuzu, you took French last semester, right?”

Kakuzu shot him a glare. “Why?”

“I’ll pay you twenty bucks to help me with my homework,” the blond replied, pulling out a twenty and waving it around.

Kakuzu got up, put his Calculus homework away, and dragged his seat over to Deidara at the card table. “Fine. What are you working on?”

xXx

Naruto was fidgeting again. Itachi’s eye twitched and he restrained himself from throwing the binder at the kid.

Twenty minutes ago, Sasuke and Naruto had walked in through the front door and had immediately sat down around the coffee table. Sakura’s Japanese class had let out early and she already had her homework spread out over half the table.

The older Uchiha brother sighed and peered down at the papers in his hand. It was no use. With the two boys here, his focus was continuously distracted by the blond’s constant shuffling and Sasuke’s reprimanding hisses.

Leaning back on the couch, Itachi let his eyes close and rubbed a hand over his brow. Then he snorted. Sakura had brought back an interesting story.

Apparently, one of her little friends, one that Kisame had dubbed Dog, had seen his best friend haul Shikamaru out of class. Something about cafeteria food?

Itachi smiled, wondering what Kisame was up to, then bit back a snarl when Naruto tore yet another sheet of paper.

“Na-ru-to,” Sakura growled, right on cue. “What is your problem?!”

The blond immediately turned to look at her, then down at the table. “Hey, Sakura-chan… Well… I heard… at lunch… something about Sui-”

The moment he mentioned hearing something, Sakura panicked, and she covered his mouth. “Naruto! Not a word!”

He dragged her hand from his face. “But Sakura-chan! Don’t tell me it’s true!” he said, looking heart-broken.

Sakura snarled and climbed to her feet, grabbing him by the ear before hauling him out of the room. She pushed him along and into the kitchen. Mikoto looked up, and Sakura smiled sheepishly. “Oh, we’ll just go outside then,” the pink haired girl said.

“I was going to go do the laundry actually,” Mikoto replied with a beam. “Don’t mind me.” She stood, waved and left.

Sakura rounded on her blond friend as soon as the Uchiha Matriarch was out of earshot. “Naruto, what is wrong with you?!”

“Suigetsu said that he’d—”

“I know what he’s been saying, Naruto,” she sniped. “What are you doing?”

He paled, staring at her in shock. “I… I know you guys dated but… but you…”

Sakura sighed, leaning back against the wall. “Yes, Naruto. It was a long time ago, okay? Don’t let him upset you with his dumb rumours.”

“You have to tell Sasuke,” he said firmly, looking angry. Silence, and Sakura didn’t meet his gaze. His face drained of colour again. “… you already did? When?”

“Right after we broke up,” Sakura admitted. “I was upset, and Sasuke came over, and I cried a lot… I just ended up telling him everything…” She bit her lip. “Look, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, Naruto… I just… I was so damn pissed and…” She tipped her head back, thumping it lightly against the wall, and stared up at the ceiling. “It hurt… I didn’t want to think about it anymore.”

“Does Itachi know?”

The angry demand brought her head snapping right back down, surprise on her face. “What? No! I didn’t tell anyone but Sasuke. Uh… and Ino. But she dragged it out of me, and I made her promise not to tell anyone.”

Naruto stared down at his feet. “You should tell him. Since you’re dating him, and it should come from you, Sakura-chan, not the rumours.”

The pink-haired girl stared at him, and then slumped. “Yeah. You’re right.”

She bit her lip, then took a deep breath. “Would you mind dragging Sasuke-kun up to his room and finishing your homework there? So me and Itachi can talk alone?”

The blond hesitated, then nodded. “Yeah, but later, you gotta tell me everything, okay? I’m your best friend.”

She snorted, but shook her head. “Okay, I promise.”

Out in the living room, Itachi was again squinting down at the papers. With Naruto gone, he had read half the page in a matter of seconds. He would have had the entire thing memorized had it not been for the furious whispering that was coming from the kitchen.

He breathed out a quiet sigh. His vision was coming back slowly, but it still frustrated him, the lack of details. The inflections in the voice, and the shifts in the body language were able to convey much of what was going on around him, but being partially blind was still a handicap.

Tossing the papers back onto the coffee table, the teenager reached out a hand towards his tea.

“Hey, Sasuke,” Naruto said as they came back into the room. “Let’s go do the homework upstairs. These guys are boring.”

Sasuke gave Naruto a look, clearly not believing his lame excuse, but shrugged. “Sure,” he said, grabbing their work while Naruto grabbed their bags. The two disappeared down the hall.

Sakura sat back down, trying not to look at Itachi, but she was shaking a little. She didn’t touch her work, and she wanted to just tell him, but it wouldn’t come out.

Would he care? Sakura had to wonder that. Would Itachi even give a damn?

Now Sakura was fidgeting. Itachi sighed audibly. It had to be something in the school’s water. Taking another sip of lukewarm tea, Itachi reached out and pulled Sakura over the arm of the couch and into his lap. He didn’t spill a single drop.

Sakura squeaked in surprise, landing in his lap and flailing to keep herself from losing her balance. Her hands landed on his shoulders. She took a beat to steady herself and stared up into his eyes in surprise. “I… uh…” Her gaze slid to his tea.

… lucky.

Without a pause, Itachi took another sip, before leaning over the girl to place the cup back onto the table, and settled back into the cushions with Sakura nestled under his chin.

Aah… peace. He buried his face in her warm hair and hummed. “Hush.”

She turned red, but obeyed, allowing her body to relax. She sighed, closing her eyes. Oh, Itachi… What would she do without him sitting here, calming her down? Probably turn into a fidgety mess, she mused sardonically.

After a few minutes had passed, she opened her eyes and murmured, “Itachi-kun?”

He hummed and placed a hand over her mouth.

The boys would be down soon enough, and the fidgeting would begin anew. Itachi was determined to prolong the quiet as long as he could.

She blinked, then twitched and grabbed his hand, pulling it away. “Itachi-kun,” she deadpanned. “This is important. To me. Naruto and Sasuke will stay away for a while, I promise.” Even she could see how annoyed he’d been while they were down here. “So please let me talk.”

Itachi grunted and lifted his nose from her neck. Silence, apparently, could not be prolonged any further. He lifted both hands to the girl’s cheeks and traced her brows with the tips of his fingers. “Talk then,” he murmured, slitting open his eyes to search out her green ones.

She swallowed. “We have a new guy in school… well, he’s not really new, he just moved away for a while and then came back.” She wanted to pull away, look down… anything to escape. “Um… We dated… a long time ago… I had gotten over Sasuke, and then this guy asked me out. Had been, and I finally said yes.”

She closed her eyes, the pain renewed with the memories. “It was good, for a while. He was sweet.” She laughed, remembering the good times. “He bought me this ferret once, and he would totally spoil the thing whenever he came over…”

“Hnn, and what was the ferret’s name?” Itachi slid his hands down her cheeks and curved, kneading, into her tense shoulders. Break up stories, he mused, were almost all the same. They were fun, they were confusing, then it was either sad or angry. He wondered which route Sakura’s story would follow.

“Momo,” she said, and laughed. She looked down at her lap. “I was falling in love with the guy, and everything was happening so fast and… He said… that we should ‘confirm our love’.” She bit her lip, swallowed, and took in a shaking breath. “So we did. Everything was fine for a while, and we’d… y’know, sometimes.

“Then he met some girl at a cafe and started spending less and less time with me.” She closed her eyes. Swallow. Breath. “But he’d always show up if I told him I wanted to have sex. I was so desperate for his eyes to stay on me that I just did it whenever he wanted, where-ever he wanted.

“And then… He decided he didn’t like me hanging out with Naruto and Sasuke-kun anymore. Especially Sasuke-kun. Told me that unless I wanted to break up, I should stop talking to other boys.”

She gritted her teeth. “I did.”

Itachi frowned slightly, rubbing warm hands up and down Sakura’s back. The line about “confirming love” was an old one and it usually lead to Sakura’s case. Either the young idiots were so besotted with each other that they didn’t realise sex and love were separate or one of them wasn’t even trying for love.

Her phrasing either meant she had dumped the boy or she had stopped talking to Sasuke for a time. Neither scenario were relevant at this point. However…

“And now he is back,” Itachi lifted both hands from her back and folded them placidly between their two bodies. He canted his head and eased his frown. “Are you still in love with him?”

She snorted. “No. When I stopped catering to his whims and started talking to Sasuke-kun again, he dropped me like yesterday’s news. Sasuke made things difficult for him for a while, and then his father had to move because of work or something. I guess they just came back.”

She sighed. “He’s been talking though, now that he’s back. Telling everyone how he slept with me. I guess Naruto heard about it at lunch and got pissed.”

“Hnn, was he your first boyfriend?” He shifted further down on to the couch, and held out his arms in open invitation for her to cuddle.

She gladly accepted, relieved that he wasn’t upset with her. “No, I dated once before him. But that had been when I was twelve, and he wasn’t as interested in sex as he was in being an idiot.” She let her head rest on his collar bone, smiling slightly. “I wanted to tell you before you heard all of this from the rumor mill. Though it’ll probably be a lot worse-sounding by the time you get back.”

Itachi rubbed his knuckles down her spine, weaving back and forth between the vertebrae. He smirked, “Hnn, let’s see. The pink-haired girl, named after tree blossoms, was actually a sexual deviant. One who was willing to participate in any number of sexual play in any number of places, public or private.” His eyebrow arched up and he wrapped his arms around her back to keep her from jumping up.

“I think I’m rather lucky,” he said as one of his hands slid up to the nape of her neck and rubbed.

Embarrassed, she buried her face in his chest. “If you say so,” she mumbled. There was a beat of silence, then, “You’re not upset? Really?”

“Would you be upset to know that I’m not a virgin either?” Itachi asked her simply.

She laughed. “No. I’d be surprised if you were,” she admitted.

He nudged the crown of her head with his chin, and when she looked up, he softly pressed his lips against hers. “Then there is no problem,” he stated quietly as he withdrew. “Though, I do urge you to keep this from my father. He is… rather traditional.”

She smiled a little. “I know. Sasuke-kun used to complain about it a lot.” She grinned, then leaned up for another kiss.

Indulging in another sweet moment, Itachi hummed and lifted away. “Hnn, we know,” he smirked as Sakura frowned. In the same level voice, Itachi turned half blind eyes to the kitchen and smirked. “I believe Okaasan wants to sit with us.”

“Oooh, you caught me!” Mikoto said, peeking around the corner. “My clever little boy.”

Sakura blinked, then turned an embarrassed red. “M-Mikoto-san!” she gasped, moving to get up.

However, Mikoto waved a hand at her, even as Itachi’s grip tightened, and she was incapable of moving. “Oh, don’t sacrifice your comfort on my account, dear,” she said, walking over and sitting down in the chair Sakura had recently vacated.

The half prone teenager gestured to his tea. “Could I have my tea please? I seem to be rather pleasantly trapped.”

Mikoto gave him an amused look, but reached out and picked it up. “It’s cold,” she pointed out cheerfully.

Sakura stared at the woman, slowly connecting the dots. “Oh… You uh… you knew? About us? And you were… listening?” Briefly, she thought back over all of the things Mikoto could have eavesdropped on, and paled.

Smirking, Itachi wriggled his fingers at his mother. “I still want that tea Okaasan,” he replied teasingly and smiled even wider as his mother began to smirk herself.

“Oh, do you?” she asked slyly. “But surely if it were that important, you’d have gotten it yourself?”

Oh gods, that smile reminded Sakura eerily of Ino. She looked back and forth between the two smirking Uchihas. Oh gods.

Itachi rolled his eyes. “As I am currently pinned, I needed your help obviously.” He reached down and tickled Sakura’s sides lightly and chuckled at the resulting squeak. “You were the one to tell Sakura to stay where she was after all.”

“Ooh, I was, wasn’t I?” Mikoto mused, and sniffed at the tea. “Still… why would you want cold tea?”

Mikoto was teasing her son. Mikoto was teasing Uchiha Itachi. And Uchiha Itachi was teasing back. And tickling her. And teasing. Sakura’s mind may have just melted.

Buried in couch cushions and pleasantly warm under the wonderful curves of Sakura, Itachi smiled. “If I really wanted hot tea, Okaasan, I would have to either leave the two of you alone or send one of you away for tea.”

He adopted a tragic expression. “You can understand if I do not want to leave the company of two of the most important, the most beautiful and kind, women in my life.”

“Aww, flattery gets you everywhere,” the woman replied, and held out the tea for him to take with a wink toward Sakura.

The pink-haired girl groaned. “You two…”

Mikoto’s brows quirked at exactly the same time as Itachi’s. “Yes?”

“You scare me, I think,” Sakura ventured, dropping her head to rest on Itachi’s shoulder.

Mikoto grinned.

Itachi snickered and finished off his well-won cold tea. He frowned at the cup. “And now I need someone to help put it back on the coffee table…” he said grinning.

“Do you now?” Mikoto asked, not moving a muscle. “Aww, poor, put-upon Itachi-chan.”

Pouting, Itachi nudged Sakura. “She’s so mean!” he said with a trace of a whimper.

Sakura’s jaw dropped. “Oh gods.”

Mikoto burst into laughter. “Careful, you might shock your girlfriend,” she teased her son.

He shrugged. “She already knows that I can laugh,” Itachi nuzzled Sakura’s neck and turned his blurry sight towards his mother, “so she may as well learn the rest.”

The memory prompted Sakura to smile. Mikoto knew that smile, for she often wore it when she knew her boys were happy. She smiled back, matching Sakura’s grin. “Yes, I suppose so,” Mikoto said and held out a hand for the cup.

xXx

Chapter 13 | Table of Contents | Chapter 15

Chapter named as a nod to a Bleach fic that I’m reading right now.
Rumors Abound by kaotic312 (Retsu x Kenny)

Er… Please forgive the mistakes. Editing will be done at some point!

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