June 29, 2014: For this chapter, I had to write the chapter from scratch. I actually lost my hard copies. There are some chapters that I successfully recovered. The rest, I better re-write according to how I remembered it. How long has it been, 8 years? Hah, I just thought that it's unfair for you guys to be left with this unfinished work. I know I already managed to complete this before. It just that, I had been careless and deleted the chapters.

I promise to add some of the missing chapters within the week.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto

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==XX==Meaner Than Mean==XX==

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Chapter 3: Lucky yet Unlucky

Despite today's excessive death glares that Sakura received from the female population…..

All is well.

Or so she thought.

It was just a matter of minutes until she finds out.

Their last subject would be literature. Their sensei, Satoshi Mikan, was a very fine lady. At the most, she is cool, calm and collected. A sweet person that knows exactly how to handle herself. Moreover, a very efficient sensei so to speak. Sakura looks forward to seeing this lady every day.

Well, perhaps, not anymore after this one.

The class went on as usual. Satoshi-sensei discussed the topic unfazed. She was really good at what she does. She made literature seem like it was the most interesting subject in the world.

Sakura looked around her surroundings. Everyone seemed to be concentrating on the topic. Or they may be pretending that they were.

(Note: Inner self, "bold italic" font. Sakura's thoughts "italic")

And you should too

I am trying!

What a pathetic attempt that is.

Oh yeah! Oh come I'll hit you square in the face

I would like to see you try. Remember, I am YOU. Hohohoho

Darn. You're right

You bet I am

=End of Sakura's mental argument with herself=

Sakura was so busy arguing with herself that she didn't notice that her sensei was already done with today's lesson.

"Ahem." Satoshi-san cleared her throat.

The simple gesture made Sakura snap back to reality.

"As I was saying," the sensei continued on "I am going to ask you to do a literature review. It doesn't matter what piece of literature you might want to pick. What I want to see is how you will rate and comment on what you will read. Plus points if you get to research the author's inspiration in writing their work."

Almost all of the students smiled. With the exception of Uzumaki Naruto. He really detested the idea of reading. Typical Naruto. Everyone thought that it was just one of their usual literature activities. It was just that this time, she decided to make minor changes.

"Well, for a change, I would ask you to review 5 books. I'll expect three weeks from now." She added

"WHAT?!" Naruto incredulously exclaimed. "I can't even bear the idea of reading 1 book. And you are actually going to make us read 5."

"Dobe, it's not like she's asking you to kill yourself." Sasuke commented.

Naruto glared.

Sasuke glared back.

Satoshi-sensei just chuckled.

How ironic those two claimed that they were best of friends. One could barely fathom how it was humanely possible.

"Uhm, don't worry Naruto." Satoshi-sensei finally broke the silence. "I'm not going to let you go through this harsh ordeal alone. I will let do your task in pairs."

Naruto's demeanor instantly changed from gloomy to slightly hopeful upon hearing those words. He was already planning on teaming up with his buddy Sasuke. Well, their sensei has a different plan as well.

"With that said, I would like you guys to have a random selection of partners. Please line up and pick your paper from this fish bowl to find out." A mischievous glint was evident in her eyes.

Well, what to expect from the lady. She may be sweet as Sakura put it but she could be very manipulative. Unfortunately for them, today is the day she decided to be that person.

Satoshi-san pulled out a fish bowl full of papers. In it, there were a series of numbers. Whoever gets the same numbers will pair up. The idea wasn't so bad. The idea of the unknown possibilities is what bothers almost every one of them.

A series of groan, pleas, nags and petty protest was heard. In the end, they were force to comply. They knew they were fighting a losing battle. Satoshi-san always get what she wants.

"Isn't it exciting?!" She chanted as the students started lining up.

In a matter of minutes, everyone had their turn. It was now time to face reality.

"Feel free to search for your partners." Their sensei encouraged.

Everyone started going around the room. Well, except for Sakura. She was still busy contemplating about something. She was able to take note of the number she picked. She could care less. She just left that piece of paper lying idly on her hands.

"Who's got number 13?!" Lulu Kizuno, started shouting the number that she got.

Unbeknownst to everyone, a certain Uchiha Sasuke stiffened on his spot. He looked at his paper and saw the number '13' scrawled on the piece of paper he's holding.

Not her! Anyone but her. That annoying Kizuno. Of all people

Sasuke may never admit it but he detested this clingy fangirl. Regarding her looks, she's okay. Trashy but okay. Attitude wise, well…. Besides, that girl sure knows how to give a person a headache. Her and her shrilly voice.

Something has to be done. He instinctively grabbed the nearest passer by in the room. The poor lot's name was Nemi.

"Hey, what's wrong?" Nemi croaked.

"Give me the number you picked." Sasuke menacingly hissed. "You better not tell anyone we switched."

Without further ado, the poor guy handed his number.

What you don't know won't hurt you.

Sasuke's friends just watched that scene with utter amusement. It seldom happens that their buddy is frantic about something. Realizing that it was because of a would-have-been partnership with Lulu Kizuno made them understood clearly. No wonder their friend chose some random guy to do the switch instead with any of them.

Neji gave Sasuke a congratulatory tap on the back.

"Good thinking." He said

"Hn."

While everyone was so absorbed with the pair up commotion, Sakura was left rooted on her spot. She was still busy thinking about something. She was too engrossed with her thoughts that she didn't notice that someone already took the paper from her hands.

That Uchiha Sasuke already took it from her hands.

And that The Uchiha was staring at her now.

"Hey."

Silence

"Hey."

Silence

"Hey."

Silence

"Harada-san."

Sakura finally snapped back to reality. And lo and behold, her ultimate crush stood dangerously close in front of her. In his hand were her paper and his.

"Seven." Sakura finally read out what was written on both papers.

"Oh, you're so lucky Sakura-chan. A one on one moment/s with Him." Ino taunted her.

"Stop it." Sakura fumed.

Deep inside, Sakura was celebrating with this sudden turn out of events. She has been daydreaming that Sasuke would one day approach her for a little chat. Well, wish granted. Nothing romantic, really. But hey, it's progress. At least she no longer needed to look at him from a distance. Sasuke made sure they will work on their project first thing this coming weekend.

It would have been perfectly fine for Sakura. But the minute that the girl's in their class heard that Sasuke is willing to spend the coming weekends working with Sakura, a hint of jealously and adamant violence surrounded the air.

Right now, Sakura was starting to feel paranoid. She could feel the tension brewing up. Perhaps, the girls considered the idea of being near the Uchiha a great privilege. Hanging out with him (regardless of the reason) means so much more. It is The Uchiha afterall.

It just so happened that it was her that was destined to work with him.

How lucky

And unlucky for her.

The Next day…..

Sakura has still not recovered from yesterday's events. How could she if the news already spread in the entire campus. There were the news of an 'unworthy' gal given a once in a lifetime chance to be with Uchiha Sasuke. Some members of the We-Love-Uchiha-Sasuke Club didn't fail to make her feel unwelcome.

The class was about to start. Sakura just went out for a bit to go to the washroom. She definitely need a few minutes away from the Sasuke-admiring female populace. Her friends decided to stay inside the classroom. Sakura insisted that she could go out on her own and that they should act as normal as possible. That they should ignore all of it.

"Well, time to go back to class." She finally said.

She made way back into the class

Another normal, peaceful day coming up!

She slid the doors open and went into the room…..

Just to be greeted by a flying book.

A flying Algebra book.

She saw the aghast look from her friends' face.

What did I do to deserve this?!

Then everything went black.

To be continued…