Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. How many times do I have to TELL YOU?!
Special Thanks to 01Trycia-chan01 for being my brainstorming partner on Rule 3! ^^ Also thanks to all my lovely readers/reviewers for being so wonderful! I love you all!
BTW: Long chapter, cuz I like flashbacks... Most of this chapter is a flashback... ^^; I got a tad carried away...
*whew* I almost forgot to update today! XD
At a quarter til noon the next day I stomped into Itachi's office. Sakura looked so nervous sitting at my desk, she was actually shaking like a small dog, her face permanently bone white. Itachi glanced up at me and turned away again, "Doesn't my brother have something for you to do?" He asked dully. I slammed the paper I was clutching in my fist down on his desk, "Yes. Sign this please. Itachi-sama." Itachi raised an eyebrow at me, I could tell he was extremely amused with the situation, and pulled the paper closer so he could read it. He blinked, the only sign of surprise I was going to get out of him, and turned to me, "This is a restraining order against you." Sakura choked behind me, but I ignored her. I glared at Itachi, "Yes, I am aware. Sign please." I growled. Now Itachi looked intrigued, "Why does my brother want a restraining order against you?" He asked, his hands folding in front of his mouth. I snorted and crossed my arms, "Who said it was Sasuke-san who issued the order?" I snapped. I could tell that my temporary second boss was trying not to laugh. He took the restraining order and ripped it in two. He shook his head as he fed the two halves to the paper shredder at his feet, "Go back to work, Ichigo. Getting a restraining order against yourself won't work." He said calmly, all the while looking extremely amused. I snarled and stalked out of Itachi's office, slamming the door to show my anger.
Sasuke glanced up when I stormed in, "And where were you?" He asked. I glared at the younger Uchiha brother, "Talking to Itachi-sama, Sasuke-san." I snapped and sat down at Sakura's desk. Sasuke's dark eyes narrowed and he opened his mouth. I glared at him, "Before you start on that rant of respect again, I'm not changing for the little time we're working together. Get. Over. It." I growled. Sasuke inhaled sharply through his nose and snapped, "I am your boss. Do not tell me what to do." "I have seniority against you, shut up." I retorted. Sasuke was starting to go red with rage, "Seniority holds no grounds here! I am the boss, not you!" I smirked at him, "What are you going to do if I don't obey you? You can't fire me, I have tenure and a contract that only Itachi-san can void, in court no less, which will cost millions. Plus I know he won't anyway, since I've dedicated almost half my life to being his assistant!" I had Sasuke there, and he knew it. I could tell by the way his lips thinned and his onyx eyes, so much colder than his older brother's, narrowed.
Suddenly the anger was gone from the younger Uchiha's face and he smirked, "Yes... you've been very dedicated to my brother. Ever since you started working for him." I stiffened and glared hotly at the Uchiha. "Don't think I've ever forgotten one thing you did to me, Uchiha-san." I snapped. Sasuke's smirk grew wider, "I didn't expect you to... Strawbatty." I growled at the nickname Sasuke had pegged me with in high school, "I hope you get run over by a bus." I snarled. Sasuke was grinning almost as widely as Naruto would, "I seem to remember a joke about a bus... you were in it if I remember correctly, something about being flat." I threw my stapler at him then, but the infuriating man dodged it. At least his grin was gone by now. Sasuke returned fire with his wireless mouse.
The war was on. Although, I don't think it ever really stopped.
Konoha Elite- middle school and high school together. The best private school in Tokyo, some said in Japan. Anyone who graduated from there became millionaires, guaranteed. Those who didn't become millionaires were billionaires. The brightest and smartest people came from that school; and they came from the richest families, who most likely were former Konoha Elite graduates themselves. It took thousands to pay the tuition, families were said to have put their children on the waiting list YEARS before they were born. So you can imagine my surprise when I got the letter of acceptance into that private school. It turned out my parents had heard about a scholarship poor people could apply for so their children could go to Konoha Elite for free, but the kid had to have an IQ of genius. I still don't know how I got in, I'm not that smart.
It was my first day at Konoha Elite today; and by the first class, I wanted to leave. It's obvious I don't belong here, everyone could see it. It wasn't because I wore hand-me-downs from Kayo and Seimei, nor the fact that I wasn't completely and totally full of myself, it was just a feeling that everyone got. I was poor and obviously out of my league. So what do the nasty little students at Konoha Elite do? They didn't ignore me like the kids at my old school did, hell they didn't even tease me. They tortured me. In one hour I had suffered through trash being thrown at me from all angles. Harsh laughter seemed to be the only thing that filled my ears. I was hopeless. I was trash. I was worthless in their eyes.
The worst of all my tormenters was a guy named Uchiha Sasuke. He seemed to be the leader of the pack, of the whole school really. I don't see what all those girls see in him. He's a genuine jackass, rude not only to me but everyone that doesn't have the 'honor' of being his friend, which is still only a select few. I want to go back to my old school! I'll take being like I was invisible to being trash!
It was lunch and I was busy trying to ignore the insults flung at me as I nibbled at my rice ball. "Hey." My head jerked up and I stared at a boy with a shock of red hair and bright teal eyes. I knew him. Raccoon, they called him, because of his seemingly permanent black rings around his eyes. I didn't know his real name. Still, he was the first person to talk to me since I came to Konoha Elite. A whole week and finally someone talks to me. It took my a while to find my voice, "H-hi..." I stuttered. I was never good with words. I always had a stuttering problem when meeting new people, especially in a hell like this one. The red haired boy seemed to take that as an invitation and sat down like it was nothing. "I'm Gaara." He said, teal eyes staring at me like I was a curious creature. It was very unnerving. "I-Ichigo." Gaara gave a tentative smile, the first hint that he was as nervous as I, "Want to be my friend?" He asked. I only nodded, not able to form words. My first friend since I came here. I was happy beyond words. His small smile grew a little wider, easing the sharp angles of his face. "I have two friends now. You and Matsuri." He said and turned to point at a girl a year or two younger than Gaara and I. She was standing a few feet away from us, I hadn't even noticed her. Cautiously she sat down beside me, a shy smile on her mouth. I returned it tenfold.
Over the months I became very close to Gaara and Matsuri. I felt that I could tell them anything, and I did. I told them anything and everything. We all laughed at my stupid jokes about the preps at Konoha Elite, most of them featuring Sasuke. I became eager to go to school again, ready to share with my friends another funny story about Hayaku and his day in high school. Hayaku was a class clown and popular in his year, so there was always something funny going on with him. I even started inviting Matsuri and Gaara over to my house. They never accepted the invitations, since they were always busy with their rich families, but it didn't matter. As long as I got to talk to them at school and didn't feel that much of a freak anymore.
I should have known it wouldn't last.
It happened a year after I first came to Konoha Elite. Gaara was absent, his father was making him attend some fancy function or whatever, I never understood rich people stuff. It was only Matsuri and me that day. She had been acting very nervous, all twitchy and kept glancing around nervously. I didn't blame her for it, she had recently explained that her dog wasn't doing well or something. I had never had a pet, my parents were too poor to have a pet as well as raise five kids, though Ryuu had already left the house. I could imagine what it was like to have a loved one sick, even if it was a dog, so I waved off Matsuri's nerves as worry. Matsuri glanced at me out of the corner of her eye, "Hey, Ichigo... do you like anyone here?" I blinked at the girl, surprised by the random question, then laughed, "Of course not. All the guys here are jerks and I only see Gaara as a friend." Gaara was a strange kid, but he was still my best friend. I knew Matsuri liked Gaara, though he seemed oblivious to it. I had tried to convince him to go out with her, but he just brushed it off, saying he didn't want to date just yet.
Matsuri didn't let the matter go, "Oh come on... there's gotta be someone." She teased, but her eyes were serious. That should have been a clue, but I was still under the impression that she was only kidding. I shrugged, "Nope. These guys are all jerks, they're going to die a lonely death. Especially the Uchiha!" I laughed a little at my joke, but Matsuri didn't join me. She was staring at me, her gaze focused and determined, "Well is there anyone who you think is cute at least? You don't have to like their personality." She probed. I shrugged easily, still unaware of the danger. "We're surrounded by guys that are cute. And they know it... that's the problem." I said easily, not really caring. My friend leaned in, "Who do you think is the cutest?" "Not Sasuke, I don't care what you say. His personality takes away any potential cuteness. He's just an ugly prick." I said, closing my eyes and leaning against the tree me and my friends sat under every day at lunch.
Matsuri was getting impatient, I could tell by the huffiness in her voice, "Come on Ichigo, there has to be some guy in this school who is cute to you." She whined. I sighed, starting to get annoyed with her pestering. Matsuri was like that, she didn't stop until she was satisfied. I named the first guy off the top of my head, "Suigetsu's cute, but he's more of a jerk than Sasuke." I said dully. I didn't even really think that Suigetsu was that cute. but he had teased me the most recently, so I guessed he was at the forefront of my mind. Matsuri didn't answer me. So I kept my eyes closed, guessing that she was going to shut up now that her curiosity was sated. But that wasn't the reason why she had fallen silent.
She had gone to tell Suigetsu of her findings.
I didn't know about it until lunch ended. I had opened my eyes to the bell to see that Matsuri was gone, but I waved it off thinking she had already gone ahead of me. Her class was across campus so she had to practically run there. I had gotten better at ignoring the insults and trash thrown at me by the evil preps, so it didn't really click with me that they were all laughing at me instead of yelling stupid names. I was at my locker when I realized something was wrong. Sasuke and his posse were there, all smirking at me with delight, not that that surprised me. What did surprise me was Matsuri was standing behind them, smirking. I tilted my head, why was she smirking? Did she have something planned if Sasuke and his group messed with me?
"Hey, trash." Suigetsu called, bringing my attention to the albino shark boy. He gave me his toothy smile and I had to suppress the urge to shudder. "Ya think I'm hot, huh?" I blinked at him, then at Matsuri as it dawned on me why she was there. I stared at her, hurt filling my heart and overflowing into my veins. It was almost a physical pain. Matsuri... one of the two people who befriended me when everyone else treated me like dirt... she had just betrayed me. Suigetsu moved, bringing my attention back to him. He was walking towards me, "Geez, I don't know if I should be honored or disgusted that even trash like you thinks I'm hot. I mean I know I'm all that and everything... but to have trash want to date me too... I think I'll stick with disgusted." Suigetsu said in a haughty tone as he came towards me. I back up, fearful, "I-I didn't say that... Matsuri-" I tried to explain, my throat tight. Suigetsu snickered, "Ya know what? I don't care. You're precious little friend sold you out, ain't that sweet?" He asked. My eyes snapped to meet Matsuri. She didn't look so happy anymore, just guilty. Suigetsu grabbed my chin and forced me to look at him, "Hmmm... maybe I should judge you too hard. There might be something worthwhile under all that grime." He mused. And before I knew what was happening, Suigetsu darted forward and smashed his lips to mine. Just as quickly, he pulled away and spat like something nasty had entered his mouth. His saliva hit my cheek, "Ugh, nope. Nothing good there." He said, his face twisting up in disgust and sickening amusement. It hit me then.
Suigetsu had just stolen my first kiss. For a cruel joke.
My face grew hot and I tried to duck around Suigetsu, but he grabbed my arm. "Awww, don't tell me you're going to cry. I'll never lower myself to the level you're at, trash, but that's no reason to cry." He sneered. Tears started to leak from my eyes and I brought my foot down hard on his. Suigetsu yelped and let me go, hopping around comically on one foot, cursing loudly. I tore down the hallway, not bothering to look back. "Hey!" Someone called, someone who wasn't Sasuke or Suigetsu. I didn't slow down. It was probably one of the preps coming for revenge. It wasn't every day trash like me stomped on someone as popular as Suigetsu's foot.
I made it to the janitor's closet before I broke down and cried. This was all Matsuri's fault and I didn't even know why. We got along well, I never gave her any reason to hate me. So why did she do it? Did the preps pay her to betray me? And if so with what?! Matsuri was from a rich family, money didn't have value to her as much as it did to me. Or did Matsuri do it because she was mad at me for something? Did she ever even like me? Did Gaara? Someone knocked on the door before my thoughts could go down that road. "Go away!" I shouted, the tears choking my voice, making it break. Someone I didn't know waited for a moment before asking, "Hey are you alright?" I stayed silent. When it was obvious I wasn't going to answer the door cracked open. I turned my face away, not wanting them to see me and gather even more teasing material. "Um... Do you need me to go call someone?" The boy asked nervously. I shook my head fiercely. I wasn't going to look at him or speak. I sniffed and brought my arm up to wipe at the tears still coursing freely down my eyes.
"I'm sorry about that. I didn't know they were going to do something that mean." The boy started. I sniffed, "Why do you care?" I asked. "Here." I turned my head slightly to see what he was handing me. It was a tissue. My eyes darted up to the boy and I was surprised to see Naruto, best friend of Sasuke, squatting there, smiling at me. He grinned when he saw me looking at him, "Hey, you're eyes are really pretty, can't believe I've never noticed that before. I'm Uzumaki Naruto, by the way!" He stated proudly, as if we weren't on different sides of the popularity spectrum. I glared at him though my tears and snatched the tissue from his hands, wiping away Suigetsu's spit first before using another corner to dab at my tears, "I know who you are. You're with them." I snarled. Naruto blinked in surprise at my anger then shrugged sheepishly, "Well I'm friends with them... but I've never approved of them teasing you or Gaara in the first place." "But you never stopped them. That's just as bad as teasing us anyway." I retorted. Naruto looked shocked, like the thought had never occurred to him. Then he gave me a wild grin, "Alright! From now on I promise to stand up for you two! And that's an Uzumaki promise!" He said and gave me a thumbs up, showing all his teeth with that smile of his. I felt my own smile lifting the corners of my mouth despite my horrible mood. His smiles were very contagious.
Okay I'm having to cut this in half, cuz otherwise it'll be way too long...