Sand Trails Ch 16: The Death of Enthusiasm

The gym was a loud, chaotic, chattering, scraping, bumbling, disgusting, shifting sea of students. Kisame had a bet going with Hidan to see who would snap first, Kakuzu or Konan. It had only been five minutes of the stupid assembly and already Konan had threatened a ninth-grader with a plastic fork. Things were looking up.

Eventually, everyone was seated. Those who had escaped had been dragged back by either Gai or Ibiki. Kisame had been half-way to that new hideout of Naruto’s, Hidan on his heels, when Gai had tackled them at the top of the stairs. The fucker had actually tackled them and then yelped when the three of them crashed down the stairs. Hidan had kept up a pretty steady list of ‘fuck’s and their variations ever since. The freak of a teacher had fucking hugged them!

Kisame yawned loudly and was elbowed in the ribs. Ow! God fucking damnit! He twisted around and glared.

A mirror image of Gai, only younger, turned slightly. “Oh! I apologize, Hoshigaki-san!” Lee cried. “I did not mean to hit you!”

“Lee, watch what you’re doing!” Tenten hissed from beside him. “C’mon, hurry up and get to the next seat!”

They were being filed down the rows of hard metal chairs by class. Iruka’s first period Biology class sat directly behind Kisame’s first period English class. Somehow, Neji was with them—he had free for the first period of school—and was glowering at Kisame.

He still remembered that cock-blocked comment from the party. Oops.

“Oh, right you are, Tenten!” Lee gasped and quickly shuffled along.

Three seats to Kisame’s right, Shikamaru yawned. The World History class shared this row, since it was significantly smaller in size than the English class. And then, ahead of them in the next row down, Deidara was bitching to Sasori.

“… coulda been doing something fun, but noooo, we’ve got a stupid assembly, un!” He sat down directly in front of Kisame and tossed a glance back at him.

Sasori rolled his eyes. “Shut up, idiot,” he replied, sitting down next to the blond.

Kisame smirked and flicked a finger at the blond’s head. Hearing the resulting yelp, he sat back and waited for the show.

Which was not to happen, because further to his right there was a scream of outrage and a series of crashes then the students in a certain section were standing and trying to back away. Some of them were tripping over chairs while others fell into the laps of the oblivious neighbours.

Oh, there goes Ibiki, Kisame noted amused. And Tsunade. Anko… He grinned wide as all three teachers converged on the raging girl that was stabbing a student. At least he was assuming it was Konan. Kakuzu was somewhere to his left.

When the teachers finally surfaced, marching a stiff-backed, blue-haired girl from the throng of jittering students, Kisame stood up. “Hidan! Forty bucks cock-sucker! You owe me!”

“SUCK MY COCK!!” Hidan yelled back… from the other end of the row. He flipped Kisame off, annoyed, and then stood and rapped Shikamaru on the shoulder. The lazy boy just about jumped out of his seat, somehow dozing despite the ruckus, and looked at the albino. Hidan grabbed his hand, put some bills in it and motioned toward Kisame while muttering something.

Shikamaru blinked and then stretched out without bothering to get up.

Deidara snatched the money before Kisame could, standing and backing out of reach. “Whoo! Lookie what I got, Sai!” he crowed to the boy sitting on Sasori’s other side.

Kisame smiled at Dei. “I told Kakuzu that half of that is his cut.” He tilted his head back to indicate the other teenager a few rows and classes away. “How much do you wanna bet he just heard you steal his share?”

Deidara yelped and glanced over, spying the bad-tempered money monger getting up. Hurriedly, the blond handed the money over, cringing away as Kakuzu approached. Kakuzu glared at him but stopped at the end of the row and held out his hand.

“Money. Now.”

“Oi! That’s fucking cheating!” Hidan protested, looking pissed. “You fucking cheating ass motherfucking—”

Thankfully, Pein, sitting right behind him, grabbed the albino and forced him back into his seat, glaring. He looked annoyed about the situation in general. “You were betting about my girlfriend?” he growled in the masochist’s ear.

“Yeah? What the fuck about it?” Hidan retorted.

Pein growled, but as he was being eyed by Gai at that exact moment, withdrew. “I will be speaking with you later.” His gaze turned on Kisame. “Both of you.”

Deidara whistled. “Who’ll win that one, un?”

Kisame slapped a twenty into Kakuzu’s hand and both boys turned back to their seats, the blue boy shrugged at Dei as he sat down. “When it comes to money? Probably Kakuzu.”

The blond gave him a skeptical look before sitting back down, just as the lights dimmed (but noticeably did not go out). Sarutobi-sensei stood on the stage, beaming at the crowd.

“Thank you all for attending!” he said into the mike, and politely ignored the grumbling that followed. “Now I know you are all eager to get back to class—”

“Damn straight!” Deidara hissed petulantly.

“—but this is an important assembly, as I am informed, to keeping today’s youth safe.”

As he rambled on, Deidara turned around in his seat to scowl at Kisame. “No flicking my head, either, un!” he added, as if he’d just remembered. “Or I’ll switch seats with Sai and see how he likes it!”

“Ooh, let’s do that!” Sai said, grinning. “I have business with Hoshigaki-san anyway.”

Deidara rolled his eyes but shrugged and got up. Sasori hissed angrily, only to get Deidara’s middle finger in reply. The redhead looked like he was about to break said finger, but luckily (for Deidara) the boy had sat back down already, and Sai was sitting in Deidara’s old seat with a grin.

“Idiots,” Sasori muttered. “Shut up and pay attention. This is already enough of a waste of my time; I don’t want you morons making it worse.”

Leaning forward, Kisame rested an arm on the back of Sai’s new chair and grinned at Sasori. “I don’t think we can make this worse, Sasori. Do you even know what this,” Sharky waved his free hand around, “is for?”

Blue boy leaned closer, daring the red-heads ire, “We’ve seen this already, dickhead. Last year. This exact month.”

On stage, Tsunade moved to the front.

Kisame hissed, “Think man!”

Sasori glowered at him, then glanced at the front. The line up… was… familiar. “This is such a humiliating waste of time,” the redhead growled, and thunked his head on the back of the chair in front of him.

The boy sitting there turned around, mouth open to protest the interruption, but then just as quickly pretended it hadn’t happened. Akasuna Sasori was sitting behind him! Holy shit, he was gonna die.

Deidara snickered at his fellow artist’s reaction. “Beep… beep… DING!” he said, mimicking a microwave. “He got it, un!”

“Shut up,” Sasori snarled, voice deepening with his irritation to the point that it sounded completely unlike him.

Onstage, Tsunade stepped up to the mike and Sarutobi left the stage. She smiled at the students, obviously trying to keep from killing someone. “Alright, as I am the leading expert on medicine in the school, I will be talking to you guys about STDs,” she said.

Boo!” someone who sounded suspiciously like Hatake-sensei cried.

Tsunade glowered around, in search of the culprit, but no one seemed to stick out. “… alright…”

Sai turned around in his seat. “Hoshigaki-san, you have a minute?”

Snorting, the silver-eyed teenager gave the boy a flat stare. “Kid, I’ve got hours.”

Onstage, Tsunade had gone on. “… is the most frequent way to contract the most common STD, known as—”

“Don’t kill their youth!” the voice from earlier said. Gai perked at the mention of youth, and there was a brief clamour from where Lee, Neji and Tenten sat.

Tsunade twitched.

Sai beamed at the answer, ignoring the stage. “I was researching those water-pressure jets you asked about,” he explained, “and I came across something similar, but which is designed with sculpting in mind.”

“Oh ho?” The larger boy perked up and grinned. “Fucking about time. Hidan never did get back to me about his boss’ machine. So? Fill up the hours, buddy, because we have a few.”

And as Sai started to outline the basic functions of the machine, its capability, its price, what would be needed for it to work, etc., Tsunade was still talking.

“… AIDS, which stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV…”

“Sex is great! You shouldn’t be so negative about it!”

Tsunade scowled and stopped mid-sentence. “Alright, where are you, you little…” Whatever she’d been saying had degenerated into mumbles as she stalked to the front of the stage and searched for the culprit.

Nothing, and she looked pissed about it.

And over between Kakuzu and Tobi… Kakashi glanced up at the two. “She still looking?” he hissed. “Ten bucks.”

“No,” Kakuzu replied. The only reasons he hadn’t ratted the man out was because A) Tsunade had nothing he was interested in, and B) Kakashi had offered him fifty bucks to keep his mouth shut.

Tsunade had finally given up and gone back to her speech.

Humming, Kisame ran through a few calculations, but each time he did, the numbers ran short. He scowled, this new machine was going to be a bitch of an investment. “Any ideas if there’s a fucking shop that already owns one?” Kisame growled, disappointed. “Even if I did work up enough to buy one and its fuel, I won’t have the cash to buy materials.”

Sai pouted slightly, ignoring the occasional irritated look from Sasori, and tilted his head. “Well… No. I could help, though. I mean, I have a part-time job after school, and I sell art on the side as well. I could take care of the materials and you could take care of the machine and fuel. Sound fair?”

“… next is Hepatitis,” Tsunade was saying.

Sakura leaned over to frown at her best friend, eying her aunt. “You know, she looks stressed.”

Ino snorted. “Whoever it is yelling like that is probably the reason!”

The pink-haired girl nodded thoughtfully. “It… sorta sounds like Kakashi-sensei,” she said slowly.

As if on cue… “…chronic hepatitis often leads to—”

“You’re killing their desire!” the same voice interrupted once again.

Not even forty minutes into the lecture and she wanted to kill someone. And that someone read dirty books, written by another someone she frequently wanted to murder. “If you don’t shut up, I’ll show them a real reason not to have sex!”

Deidara squeaked. “What?” he yelped, at the same time as Kakashi.

Kisame all but fell out of his chair. “Oh HOLY fuck,” he swore as he massaged his jaw where he had banged it on Sai’s chair. “I do not want to see what the over-sized broad has in her pocket for scaring the balls off a man.”

Ugh, this was going to bruise. Just from ducking out of sight of Tsunade. Or rather, so he couldn’t see her. He liked sex. Sex was great. Wear a damn condom, check the girl out first, no problems. Simple.

Still hunched over and staring at his shoes, he nudged Sai. “She’s not actually showing anything, is she?” If the fucking nut up front was going to post up a goddamn poster, he would stay on the floor facing the wrong way. And watch all the other kids shrivel and die.

Kinda like watching the reactions of the poor fuckers tricked into watching the ‘two girls and one cup’ video on Youtube, he thought grimly.

Sai shook his head, but Kakashi was talking. “You can’t do that!”

“The hell I can’t, you little—”

And she was dragged off stage by Gai and Ibiki, to go relax somewhere where she wouldn’t be endangering the mental health of the students.

Sarutobi cleared his throat and stepped up to the mike. “Please, those of you young gentlemen that are cringing on the floor, Tsunade-san has agreed to leave to collect her temper, so you may return to your seats.”

Several men, including Shikamaru, Kakashi, Naruto, Neji, Kisame and Sasuke, climbed slowly back up into their seats. Sarutobi sighed once everyone was settled again. “Our next speaker is Shiranui Genma, who has agreed to speak with you about the usage of condoms.”

The Metal Class teacher stepped up and gave an awkward wave. “Yo.”

There was a mumbled reply.

Genma cleared his throat and said, quite simply, “Boys and girls, and Kakashi, should there be any interruptions, Kakashi, I will write the interrupters up, or in Kakashi’s case, kick his ass. Good, Kakashi?”


“Good! Now, condoms…”

Shikamaru shook his head. “Troublesome.”

“Useful.” A few heads swiveled to jeer at Kisame, but he shrugged. They were. Babies were a fucking nuisance. Sai was looking at him for a completely different reason though. Oh right.

“Uh, yeah. If you get the materials, that’s a fucking load off my mind,” blue boy said to the pale one. “You sure though?”

Sai nodded. “Actually, I’m more interested in getting to a point where I can use it again, with permission, than with what it’ll take. The future benefits far outweigh the cost.” He smiled.

“He’s gonna kill me,” Kakashi was whimpering over in his seat. “Not to mention Tsunade. Ohh, and when she finds out about him…”

“Him?” Tobi asked curiously.

But Kakashi only nodded miserably. “Yeah…”

Kisame snickered. “All I need to know is that I can use it eventually and for a good long while. No point buying the fucking bitch if you can’t ride it a few times before it runs into the ground.”

A few glares swung his way. He shrugged at them. “I’m talking about a fucking machine here. Piss off.”

Sai was nodding. “True. Hm…” He tapped his chin thoughtfully. “We’ll have to get one with a warranty, then.”

“What are you guys talking about?” a voice demanded from behind Kisame. It was Suigetsu, looking an odd combination between curious and annoyed.

“Who said it’s any of your damn business, un?” Deidara retorted, glowering at the white-haired boy.

Arching a brow, Kisame swung around and regarded the skinny-assed kid behind him. “Tch, you can piss off too.” He turned back to Sai, “We gotta find out if the extended warranty is sold only when I buy the thing, or if I can buy it later separate,” he grumbled. “If I can get it later I will. Power tools usually have a year-long warranty like anything else.”

Sai hummed thoughtfully. “We’ll see what we can do…”

“Oi, that’s no way to treat a friendly guy just wanting to conversate,” Suigetsu persisted.

Sasori growled softly, but no one seemed to hear it.

Kisame rolled his eyes, and without looking, pointed a one finger salute at the ass. He was still going through numbers, including Sai now, and the equation nearly matched what was possible. However, if that kid disrupted his line of numbers again, he was going to put a chair through his torso. Feet first. Then possibly put the student who had sat in that chair through the fucker as well just to make a point.

Grinning widely now, Kisame tweaked the numbers again, adding in a few debts that he could call in… Almost…

Sai blinked. “What is ‘conversate’?” he asked, curious.

“You know,” Suigetsu said, motioning vaguely. “Like have a conversation. With a couple more guys.”

Sai grinned. “Oh! I see!”

Sasori drew a breath in through his nose and gritted his teeth. Deidara glanced at him and shifted away.

“Shit!” Kisame yelped grinning widely. He just needed Itachi! A few poker games, and the numbers would match up! “Sai! I think we’re in business!”

Sai beamed brightly. “With what?” Suigetsu persisted nosily.

Sasori ground his teeth together, and Deidara looked about ready to spring away.

Sai lifted a brow. “It is—”

Kisame’s eyes snapped over to Dei’s motion, then finally noticed Sasori’s jaw. “Oh Fuck,” he muttered. “Sai, move!”

Sai blinked, but was already scooting off of his chair. And then Suigetsu opened his mouth again. “What the hell is—”

“SHUT UP!” Sasori screamed and lunged over the chairs at the boy.

Deidara had barely avoided getting smacked, and Sai was a few shades paler than normal. Sasori was banging Suigetsu’s head against the floor when Ibiki, Gai, Genma and Tsunade arrived, hauling the redhead off the younger boy.

Sasori thrashed, eyes such a dark red that they almost seemed demonic. “You pathetic waste of-” Gai covered his mouth, and cringed when Sasori bit him.

And then the redhead was hauled away.

There was a cough. “Ah, please correct the seating and sit down again, ladies and gentlemen,” Sarutobi said calmly, as if a raging redhead had not just nearly killed another student. “Who was the one attacked?”

Suigetsu vaguely raised his hand, though as he was on the floor, only those hovering could see. Calmly, and without comment, Aburame Shino leaned over and propped the boy up, then carted him away in search of Tsunade.

“Ah, glad that’s taken care of. Seats please,” Sarutobi-sensei repeated.

From down on the floor, Kisame rolled his eyes and growled, “Next time, I’m teaching Sasori to end his kills in the first five seconds. Goddamn twerp can’t finish anything.”

He rolled to his feet and yanked his chair up. “Fuck! The ass got out!” he groaned and slumped back into his chair. “Not fair.”

He looked up as the next teacher stepped up to the mike.

Or rather, instead of a teacher… Sarutobi-sensei stood beside a little-known man in a pair of slacks, a white shirt and an out-of-place red haori. He had long white hair that was tied up in a braid, the bangs left to hang around his face messily.

“ERO-SENNIN?!” came a surprised shout from closer to the front. Uzumaki Naruto had stood from his seat and was now pointing accusingly at the stranger. “WHAT?! WHY ARE YOU HERE!!!”

Sarutobi sighed and let the man with him take the mic, rather than try to out-shout either of them. “Heeey, Naruto! I’m a guest speaker!” he said enthusiastically. “And let me tell you, I’m kinda thankful to that redheaded guy, for distracting Tsunade… ooh, she’s gonna kill me later…”

Naruto looked like he was going to say more, but Sakura bashed him on the head, forcing him back into his seat. “Pay attention, idiot!” she was berating the blond.

The man on the stage gave Sakura a wary look, then grinned at the kids as a whole. “I’m here to tell you about the perks of sex… er…” He glanced back at Sarutobi. “‘Should-you-decide-not-to-heed-the-warnings,” he added, in a rehearsed rush.

Kisame grunted, and decided that the rest of the assembly would be best dealt with asleep. Flipping Sasori’s chair around, he propped up his feet, leaned back and closed his eyes. Fuck the speaker, he’d already read all the books.

“Lesse… how should I do this,” the speaker was saying.

“Introduce yourself!” someone – Kakashi – shouted eagerly. He sounded like a love-sick fan.

“OH! That’s right. Not all of your are perverts.” The speaker grinned. “Right. Well, I am a very well-known ero-romantic writer and manga artist, Sennin Jiraiya. Some of you may have heard of me, but don’t say so; your parents will likely be contacted.”

Sakura rolled her eyes. “I can’t believe this. Who invited this guy?”

Naruto cringed away from her accusing glare. “It wasn’t me!” he protested, loudly, just as Jiraiya was asking for a volunteer.

“Well, who better! C’mon up here, Naruto!”

Naruto paled and spun around to stare at his adoptive father. “What are you crazy?! I’m into girls!”

“THAT’S NOT IT, YOU IDIOT!” Jiraiya yelled, abandoning the mic to glower at his son. “GET UP HERE, OR I’LL MAKE YOU RUN LAPS!!”

“Yessir!” Naruto said, looking horrified.

Kisame groaned. Nap was not working. He cracked an eyelid open. “Hey Sai. Can you do dictations?” He tapped fingers to his head. “If this shit continues any further, I’m going to forget my numbers. Write it out for me?”

Sai leaned down by his ever-present bag and pulled out some paper and a pen. “Sure, name the figures.”

Naruto stood on the stage while several students snickered. His father patted his shoulder. “You see, this guy’s a chip off the old block, I like to say…”

“Yeah, the only sane chip in the block,” Naruto retorted, just loud enough that the mic caught it and amplified it.

Without missing a beat, Jiraiya’s fist landed on top of Naruto’s head. The boy stumbled and almost fell, though Jiraiya managed to keep him from tumbling off the stage. “Anyway… As I was saying. There’s a lotta stuff I’m supposed to be telling you about pleasure sensors in the brain-”

“Read from your latest book!” Kakashi again.

Jiraiya perked at the idea. “Hey, there’s a fun way to teach!” he said, reaching for his book.

Behind him, Sarutobi cleared his throat, and Jiraiya backtracked. “Uh… actually, not allowed to do that, but I’ll be signing autographs later…”

Sai was actually writing for a few words before he realised Kisame wasn’t saying numbers anymore, he was swearing. “- ass-wipe, cocksucker, mother fucker, fucking sunovabitch… aaarggh.”

Kisame gritted his teeth. Somewhere, he had messed up. Sharky slapped a hand over his eyes and groaned. The numbers Sai was diligently writing down would not match up to his final number.

“Damn.” He dropped his head back and closed his eyes. “Sorry man. Messed it up.”

Sai tilted his head and shrugged. “Recalculate then. Simple,” he said, looking unbothered.

Jiraiya was talking about the brain or something, but he kept trailing off about different sex positions, when the doors banged open. Jiraiya stopped mid word. “Ce- oh shit.”

He dropped the mic and ran for the side doors, Tsunade tearing after him. Kakashi had ducked as soon as he realized what was happening, so she missed him, barely.

No one bothered following them to see what had happened. Sarutobi returned to the front of the stage and picked up the mic.

“Go sit down, please, Naruto.” He ushered the shocked boy offstage and then cleared his throat. “Despite the numerous interruptions, we’re still on schedule. Thank you to Shizune-kun for calculating.” The woman off to the side bowed. “We have one more speaker and then you are all free to go about your day.”

“‘Bout damn time,” growled Deidara, scowling. “I’m getting hungry, un. Almost time for lunch…”

Kisame mumbled distractedly, but was concentrating more on the numbers that Sai had written. “Fucker. There!” he pointed at a number. “I don’t know why I spouted out twenty, that should be eighty. Okay, from there…” He muttered more numbers with Sai nodding as he wrote them down.

Most of the students, twenty minutes later, had already dozed off by the time all was said and done.


Chapter 15 | Table of Contents | Chapter 17

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