And Time Goes On
"Temari! You're late!" Sakura yelled out to her as soon as Temari was in range of sight.
"Sorry, got caught up in conversation." Temari explained when she had approached them.
Tenten, Hinata, Ino and Sakura were sitting in a circle like they used to before joining the boys.
Hinata and Tenten moved to the side so Temari could sit in between them.
"So what's so urgent?" Temari asked when she finally sat down.
"Well I've got a big announcement to make!" Ino tried to restrain herself from squealing, "I have officially gained the title to be the head organiser for the formal coming up!"
The girls, besides Temari, gave out a little cheer.
"Of course, I almost forgot about our formal!" Tenten mentioned.
'I didn't know the formal was such a big deal...then again, I guess if you're no longer the 'ice queen' in a snobby and academically serious school, it's probably fun.' Temari thought to herself.
"What's wrong Temari, you don't look that excited." Sakura asked.
"Ah," Temari paused for a moment as she was out on the spot, "I guess I've never really experienced a formal before."
"WHAT?!" Ino exclaimed in confusion and fright, "How is that even possible?!"
"Well the school I'm from is a private school that's owned by my father. It's really serious and rather snobby, so they focus all their energy on grades. If an event doesn't involve improving grades, or may even hinder them, then we don't do it."
"Oh my god, that sounds terrible." Tenten gasped.
"That's it girls! We must make this the best formal ever just for Temari. I want you guys to help me out and be my committee."
"Sounds like a plan!" Tenten agreed.
"I'm in!" Sakura responded.
"M-Me too..." Hinata added in.
"Uh, I don't know..." Temari started bracing herself for the complaints.
"Come ON Temari! You have to join us! You need to see for yourself how fun formals are." Ino whined.
"I can experience plenty by just attending..."
"Temari~" They all cooed together.
Temari gritted her teeth, "Ugh, fine whatever..."
The girls cheered.
"This is going to be so much fun! Alright girls, after school, my house. We must discuss this further and get started as soon as possible. We only have a month to get everything together in order!" Ino announced.
The bell then started to ring signalling the end of lunch break.
The girls got up and walked to their respective lockers together.
'I must be getting weak...' Temari thought to herself as she realised she allowed the girls to convince her to participate rather easily.
She entered the classroom and sat next to Shikamaru heaving a sigh.
"What's up with you? Ino asked you to wear a bikini again or something?" Shikamaru smirked.
"Just as bad, I'm now a part of some committee for the formal coming up or something..."
Shikamaru chuckled, "I almost forgot that it was coming up...or I chose to try to forget. Either way, you're getting weak at saying no Temari."
"Tell me about it" Temari grinded her teeth.
"Maybe I should take advantage of this..." Shikamaru continued to chuckle.
"What has gotten you so giddy all of a sudden? I thought you were gonna turn into a crybaby again."
Shikamaru grinned, "I guess time just makes us keep moving."
Temari raised an eyebrow, but before she could say anything further, Asuma walked into the room.
"Attention class! Today Kurenai is away, thus I will be filling in for her. She advises to complete questions from last class and continue do the questions in the next chapter. She will check next class, so you must complete them by then. If you have already done so, then it's free study. Any questions?" Asuma informed the class.
"Geez Asuma, already gotten her pregnant?" A kid from the class exclaimed.
"Did you skip sex-ed class or something?" Another kid called out.
Asuma's face went bright red, "She's just got a cold. Shut up all of you and get onto your work!"
"Ohh, he's blushing!"
Giggles filled the class, but Asuma ignored them and sat down at the teacher's desk in front with a serious expression, but still flushed.
Eventually the class calmed down and started to do their work and chat.
"Asuma and Kurenai are together?" Temari asked.
"Yeah." Shikamaru answered as he lowered his head to lay it on the table on top of his crossed arms.
"Taking a nap?"
"Mmhmm" Shikamaru grumbled, "So when are you going to organise the formal thing?"
"We're all going to Ino's house after school today."
"She works fast."
"Tell me about it."
"If only she worked on her grades with the same manner. She could even score better than me."
They continued with the rest of class in silence as Shikamaru started to lull himself to sleep and Temari speedily tried to finish her work as she knew she wouldn't have time to do it tonight and probably won't over the weekend either.
School was finally over and Temari helped Shikamaru move around to the car park as he was getting picked up.
She waved to Yoshino as they drove off.
Temari then walked to the front gate and met up with the girls there.
They were picked up in Ino's chauffeured car and taken to her house.
"Alright; first things first! We need a theme~" Ino spoke when they arrived and settled in her room.
"Should we do a Gatsby theme?" Sakura asked.
"Nah, so overdone after the movie came out. I want a fresh and new kind of theme."
"We could do something out there, maybe like a jungle or under the sea theme?" Tenten suggested.
"Us girls should still make a grand entrance when we enter the room. Dressing up as a monkey or jellyfish won't create such a reaction."
"Wh-what about a broadway theme; or movie stars? Or a timeframe like the 80s or 90s." Hinata proposed.
"Hmm, no that's been done too many times too..."
"What about you look it up on the internet or something?" Tenten advised.
"If it's on the internet, it's been done enough. I don't want anything too complicated where everyone has to go out and find props to construct an outfit. It's already hard enough on the girls to find a suitable dress and the guys would probably just get lazy and not dress to theme; or worse, they start being stupid and make themselves a reason to wear as little as possible. I want this to still be classy."
At this time the butler came in and brought everyone their drinks of iced raspberry lemonade.
There was silence in the room as everyone thought to themselves of a possible theme.
Temari blankly stared at her glass, swirling it around so the ice clinks to the side of the glass.
That's when it came to her, "What about a fire and ice theme?"
The girls all looked over to her simultaneously, "What?"
"Like, the girls wear red and the guys wear white. That way the girls are a standout, also the guys may only have white tux to wear, but girls have a lot more variation in dress or top and skirt wise."
"Oh~ I love guys in white tux!" Sakura squealed.
"It is a new kind of theme, I've never heard about it before." Tenten thought about it out loud.
Ino rushed over and hugged Temari, "It's perfect! You're a genius Temari!"
"A-And maybe we should put up a website where the girls can upload a photo of their dress and where they bought it from; t-that way no one will show up in the same dress. There would be a higher risk since everyone would be buying their dress around the same time and it has to be red."
"Fantastic idea Hinata." Ino quickly got out her mobile phone, "I'll call someone in I.T. to organise this now."
"So the decorations should all be in red and white as well."
"We should have a large ice sculpture too."
"Oh! I wonder if the school will allow us to hire a fire dancer."
"Even if we could, wouldn't that blow the budget?"
"I have a cousin who can do it and he'll charge much cheaper too!"
The air of excitement started to grow in the room as Temari remained silent and observed.
She couldn't help but smile as she never imagined this kind of scenario to happen to her ever.
A bunch of girls giggling together over girly things in a bedroom, like those scenes she would see in television shows and movies.
"Oh! Another idea! We should make it a huge romantic couple's event!" Sakura cried out.
"What about if every guy is given a white rose, which can be pinned on their suit jacket, and they give it to the girl they like." Tenten recommended.
"I like that! It's romantic in a possessive sort of way, and it pushes the guys to get out there and ask their crush out. I'm getting really excited now!"
"We should write this all down." Hinata grabbed Ino's small laptop that was sitting on her bedside and quickly typed up all of the ideas.
"Ah, but wouldn't it make the girls who don't get a rose feel bad?" Tenten asked.
"Like you or Temari would have to worry about that...so jealous..." Sakura murmured.
"Doesn't matter Sakura! This is our chance for some romance! If we don't take the risk and step up, we will remain single for the rest of our high school lives and we can't have that. We are second year high school students now and this is our prime moment to take risks and get out there!" Ino responded in a speech like manner.
"Well I know not to bother arguing with you..." Sakura sighed.
"Anyway, we have to start writing up a shopping list too so we can look up pricing and approximate the overall cost on the decorations. Then we need to look up a catering company, DJ and run auditions for a band to play too. A band from the school would be ideal, that way it's cheap, if not free. Tenten, check up with your cousin on how long his fire dancing show goes for and at what cost. We need to figure out our overall cost ASAP so we can make adjustments early if it happens to be over."
"Make sure to leave some extra funds in the budget just in case something comes up..." Hinata noted.
"Again, would we even be allowed to have a fire dancer?" Tenten asked hesitantly.
"Temari, you and Shikamaru go and see Tsunade and convince her to allow us to do this!" Ino ordered.
Temari who was silent this whole time woke up from her daze, "Uh, I guess we can try..."
"Shikamaru is the top student of the whole school, and probably the smartest in school history since his own father. He should be able to persuade her."
"And who is going to persuade Shikamaru? He might go, but he couldn't care less if it happens or not." Temari raised her eyebrow.
"That's why you're going to go with him and make sure he does. I'm sure you have ways to convince his lazy ass."
"It's pretty annoying to try though."
"Come on Temari~"
"Ugh, alright I'll ask but I won't promise anything."
"YAY!" Ino cried out.
'Again, I'm becoming too easy to persuade.'
The girls continued on chatting, brainstorming and listing their night away until it had gotten really late and they headed home.
The new week of school started again and Temari entered the school in the morning.
"Oi, Temari." A familiar voice called out.
It was Shikamaru still holding tightly onto his crutch.
"Hey, how you feeling now?" Temari asked.
"Eh, I'm getting better. One crutch is enough for support and I'm used to moving around on it too. What did you do this weekend? Didn't hear from you."
"Talking, well debating, with Dad again. He seems to be really wound up lately and he's starting to bug me because of it..."
Shikamaru gave her a concerned look and said nothing further.
"Hey Shikamaru, before I forget, I've got a favour to ask."
Shikamaru raised an eyebrow, "Eh? This can't be good..."
"Well it's actually an order from Ino. She wants us to try and convince Tsunade to let us have a fire dancer for the formal."
"A fire dancer?! What kind of formal is this? What crazy theme did Ino come up with now?"
"Actually...I came up with the theme."
"What?! You did? What the hell is it?"
"Well, I did make a 'pact' of some sort too keep it a secret until the announcement date, but you are helping out with it, so I'll tell you. The theme is 'Fire and Ice'."
Shikamaru did a half frown that meant 'not bad', "So like, do I have to dress up as a snowman or a bonfire or something?"
"No, just rock up in a white suit or tux."
"Good work, so easy."
"So should we go see Tsunade?"
"Yeah, I guess."
So the two walked over to the Principal's office.
"Come in." Tsunade greeted.
Shizune wasn't at the front like she usually was.
The two walked in, only to see piles of paperwork stacked onto her desk.
"What is it Shikamaru, Temari?" Tsunade's voice came from behind the piles of paper.
"Well it's about the formal..." Temari started.
"Yeah, yeah, hurry it up. I've got a lot of work to do."
"We want a fire dancer to be a performer for the event." Shikamaru added in.
"Sure, go ahead."
There was a pause.
"Do you want me to change my mind?" Tsunade grumbled.
"Uh, n-no!" Temari stuttered.
"As long as you draw a line for students not to cross around the stage and have precautions like fire blankets and water around just in case of an emergency, it should be ok. I assume you'll be hiring a professional...?"
"Yes, of course."
"Ok then, off you go then."
Thus the two left the room.
"Well, that was easier than I thought..." Temari sighed in relief.
"Tsunade isn't really that strict, especially with students like us who don't cause any trouble."
"Well, not that she knows of. Do you know how much we had to clean up after that Akatsuki event?"
"I wish I was there to watch you guys work cooperatively with the Akatsuki to clean the school."
"Not as cute as it sounds."
They walked towards the locker bay just to see Tenten and Ino approaching them from a distance.
"Good morning!" Tenten greeted.
"Mornin'" Shikamaru and Temari responded in sync.
"Have you spoken to Tsunade yet?" Ino asked immediately.
"Yeah, we got the good to go."
Ino squealed, "YES! Alright, we'll put up the posters to reveal the date and theme today all over the school."
Then she ran off with Tenten in an excited bubble.
By the time it was lunch time, the whole school had been plastered with posters all over every wall.
The days went by in a rush.
The girls were running around frantically trying to organise the whole event by calling up people, making appointments, setting up websites, advertising, setting up auditions, creating a time schedule for the stage and of course shopping for the whole event.
Due to the buzz of busy-ness, the excitement of the whole year level towards the event grew too as everyone started to anticipate the formal to come.
Even Temari got caught up in the pace and was sweating a bit as she ran around shopping for things they forgot to get as they were decorating the gym.
Luckily enough, they were able to get enough volunteers to help with the actual decorating; leaving anything that needed a ladder to do with the guys.
Somehow everything started to fit into place and the preparation ended up being a success. They kept well within the budget and the gym no longer resembled the gym.
It had a two tables for the ice sculptures in the centre of the room, tables and chairs along the wall for finger food and if anyone wanted to sit to rest.
They bordered off an area for the dance floor to be in front of the stage and the entrance has two large torch poles that will be fired up on the night.
The girls watched Tenten's cousin practice on the stage to have a feel for space and such as well as the band and listened to the DJ.
They knew it was going to be a good night.
Temari was sitting in her room when she received a call from her mobile.
"Hey Temari, we were wondering if you wanted to join us for dress shopping for the formal. We've been shopping for everything but our own dresses and the day is so close!" Sakura spoke
"Nah, I'm over shopping for the rest of my life. Plus, I already have a dress for the day."
Temari walked over to her closet.
"Oh, ok then, well, see you at school then!"
"See yah." Then Temari hung up.
She opened her closet and took out a red dress.
It was her mother's. She got Gaara to send it over to her by mail from home.
It's was a long gown with a slit on the side and had a timeless design.
It felt delicate and was really beautiful.
The one thing her mother left behind for her.