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Kyoko-Li's Profile Picture
Kyoko-Li
李京子
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
Current Residence: in my home
Favourite genre of music: rock, but can listen to most anything
Favourite anime characters: kagome, sakura, syaoran, izumi, rin(male), rin(female), edward elric, hawkeye, and...yeah too many. lol

You can find me at these places:
www.youtube.com/user/sakura818…
www.kyokoli.tumblr.com
www.kyokocreates.tumblr.com
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As the semester went by, Sasuke and I started to only really see each other during class time and clubs. At home, we didn't really get much time to hang out with each other. We almost completely stopped doing homework together. We still had the time we took to go to school and go home, but it wasn't the same. My grades started suffering, but not to the point that I was failing. I was mostly just struggling that much more to keep track of the classwork and to understand the material. Every now and then Sakura and I would hang out during break time and she would help me on smaller assignments. Sasuke was usually off on his own if he wasn't eating lunch with us. I figured he was working on his art to get into more contests.

It wasn't long before summer vacation came around. Sasuke spent most of his time at Orochimaru's house, so whenever he came home he was in a bad mood. Karin and Suigetsu had also been accepted into the program, which meant a lot of his time consisted of having her around. She must be very annoying and obnoxious, in his mind anyway, for him to come home in such a horrible mood. Itachi worked six days out of the week; when he was at home, he really just relaxed and watched TV or read a book, unless there were chores to be done. Sasuke and I were pretty good at keeping up with chores so that Itachi wouldn't have to do so much.

Me? I was with Jiraiya. From the moment I woke up in the morning until nightfall, my time was spent with Jiraiya. Every now and then I would spend just the afternoons with him. The first month or so we were in his office at home, working on research for his novels. I had to go through countless articles to find specific details or some of his old drafts. It was so much reading...

“Hey, Naruto, have you started taking those photos we discussed?” he asked, snapping me out of my thoughts.

“I have a few of them, but I haven't been able to really do anything with them yet.”

“All right, try to have those by tomorrow. I think it's time to experiment!”

“Yeah?”

“Yes. I think I've tortured you enough with so much reading. I want to know what you're capable of,” he said, smiling.

I grinned, feeling giddy. Jiraiya was finally going to give me a chance. It was about time!

When I got home that night, I sought out Sasuke. Itachi was in the living room, watching some drama. “Hey, Itachi, is Sasuke home yet?”

“Sasuke got home a few hours ago. He said he was tired and went up to his room and hasn't come down since. If you're going up there, ask him if he's hungry, okay?”

“Yeah, I will. Oh yeah, do you mind if I take pictures of you?”

Itachi turned around to face me, with a questioning expression. "Whatever for?"

"Jiraiya-sensei asked me to take pictures of people, whether I knew them or not, and to play around with those. He wants to start working on my talents," I explained.

Itachi smiled. "I see. He's finally giving you a shot. To answer your question, I don't mind, Naruto. Please don't take any of me sleeping, though."

I chuckled. "No worries, I won't! Thanks, Itachi."

He nodded and turned back to the television. I raced upstairs to Sasuke's room. I was about to barge in when I remembered that Itachi had said Sasuke had come home tired. I knocked a few times. No answer. I slowly opened the door, making sure to not be too loud in case Sasuke was sleeping. Not that I expected him to be sleeping, but it was possible.

I quietly swung open the door. Sasuke was lying in bed, sleeping. What the hell did Orochimaru make him do that Sasuke couldn't wait until nighttime to get his sleep? I walked over to him and leaned over the bed to get a look at his face since his back was turned to me. I wanted to make sure he was actually sleeping and not ignoring me.

Slowly I placed my hands over him onto his bed and hovered over him. Sasuke really was asleep. I rarely saw Sasuke actually sleeping, so it was strange how different he looked when he slept. There were no traces of his usual smirk or his seriousness or even his smartass attitude. Sasuke looked like a kid. There was a softness to his face I wasn't used to seeing. Or maybe I just never realized it had always been there. Once I again, my thoughts strayed to thinking about why the girls liked him so much even though he constantly ignored them.

Shaking my head, I made myself focus so I could get off the bed without waking him up. As I was about to start moving, Sasuke knit his eyebrows together. I thought maybe he was having a bad dream. I leaned down and kissed his forehead. Moving away, I saw Sasuke sigh and his brows smoothed out. I moved back further until I was off his bed. In that moment, I realized what I had done. My cheeks grew warm and to keep myself from making any noise, I slapped my hand over my mouth and quickly took steps backwards out of his room, closing the door with me.

I kissed Sasuke.

I. Kissed. Sasuke.

I had kissed Sasuke!

Again!

What was wrong with me?! Wasn't I supposed to be past this? I hurried back into my room and shut my door. I fell face forward onto my bed with a sigh. If I was honest with myself, the dreams with Sasuke hadn't stopped. At least not completely. They were less often, that was certain, but I still dreamt of him every now and then. I stared at the wall ahead, still not believing that I had just kissed the teme's forehead.

"What am I thinking?" If Sasuke were to ever find out, he'd be furious for sure. He might actually beat me to a pulp.

Rather than sulking, I went back downstairs to Itachi, reported that Sasuke was asleep, took a couple shots of Itachi and headed back into my room to shower and work on my photos. Whatever had happened I could deal with it later. I had to get something done and ready to show Jiraiya. Even as I made myself work late into the night, my thoughts kept falling back to the moment when I kissed his forehead, the way Sasuke seemed to relax with the gesture. The worst part was that I fell asleep at my desk, thinking of the teme, so much that he'd starred in my dreams again.

"—ruto."

I groaned. I didn't know what I was hearing, but it was annoying.

"—ruto, Naruto."

I peeked through my eyelashes to see who was around. It was Sasuke. I instantly sat up and fell out of my chair. I wasn't even sure I how I'd managed that.

"Isn't a little early to be such a moron?"

I sighed. "Shut up, teme," I grumbled.

"Do you plan to stay on the floor all day?" he asked, glancing down at me.

"You know, if you're not going to help, shut up and go away," I snapped.

Sasuke stared at me for a moment. "What's got you in such a bad mood?"

I closed my eyes, remembering my dreams. Dammit. I pulled my legs off my chair and rolled over to stand. "Forget it. What time is it?"

"A few past eight."

"So early? Why the hell did you wake me up then? I don't need to be with Jiraiya-sensei until two."

"Don't you want breakfast? Or finish whatever you were working on?" he motioned toward the laptop.

I sat on my bed, yawning. I couldn't remember if I had finished with my photos or not. Taking a look at my laptop screen, I realized I'd fallen asleep on the saturation settings for the photo on display. I groaned again and went over to my desk to fix the problem. Much better. Now Itachi's shot didn't look horrendous.

"That's really good," Sasuke commented, leaning in beside me.

After another yawn I thanked him. "Jiraiya-sensei said he wanted to see some of my things, so I asked Itachi if I could take a few shots of him. I don't have very many pictures of people."

"You only asked Itachi?"

"I was going to ask you, but you were sleeping when I got home," I explained, completely not mentioning anything about the kiss.

"Hn. Sorry about that."

"What have you been doing over at that snake's place?"

Sasuke stood straight. "Yesterday Suigetsu and I had to bring in marble blocks to be sculpted. Then we had to clean them to make sure we had a clear canvas."

"Marble blocks?!"

"Hn. Orochimaru likes working with marble, so he's going to teach us with that first."

No wonder he was exhausted. Sasuke wasn't weak, but marble—and a block of it!—would be heavy for most anyone our age. Suigetsu couldn't have been much help, either. If Juugo were there with them, maybe it would have been easier. With a guy that big, it would have been cake.

"That must've been a lot of work, then."

"Karin didn't do anything to help and Juugo wasn't around."

Yep, definitely made sense. "Are you doing that again today?"

Sasuke sighed. "Who knows?"

"Ah well, I guess you'll see when you get there."

"Hn. Let's eat, dobe."

We both went downstairs where Itachi was already at the table eating. He didn't have to go into work until ten that morning, so he was able to have breakfast with us. Itachi asked me about my photos and if I was excited to show them to Jiraiya. Then he asked Sasuke about his tasks and sympathized with his moving of marble blocks. He knew how eccentric Orochimaru could get.

Right after breakfast, Sasuke finished getting ready and left to Orochimaru's place. Not long after him, Itachi left for work. Once again, I was left in the house by myself. I'd gone back up to my room to keep working on my photos. When I was done, I put them into a flash drive to take them with me. I was sure Jiraiya was going to like my work.

Jiraiya's place was a walk and a train ride away. It wasn't far, but it was outside the city. Jiraiya had explained that he didn't like living in populated areas. There was always too much noise and not enough space to think. He greeted me at the door and let me inside. He immediately asked to see the photos and our work began.

He went through each file, giving me some constructive criticism on each one. He was surprised that my only human subject was Itachi. I had to explain to him that Sasuke was asleep at the time I wanted to ask him.

"You should've taken some shots of him sleeping," he suggested.

"What?"

"Sleeping subjects have a very unique beauty about them. Whether it is an animal or a person, it's always very gentle, soft and calm. It's almost like you're staring innocence in the face," he rambled.

Okay, so maybe he had a point. After all, seeing Sasuke's sleeping face the day before had me thinking about why girls liked him. Again. Maybe Jiraiya was onto something. Maybe.

"All right, time to go out. We need to get you a camera of your own, but for now we'll use mine," he said, standing from his seat. I followed after him.

The rest of that afternoon, we spent our time outside, taking pictures of the trees and flowers around his home, of stray animals, of clouds, of the sun when it set. He gave me guidance on which angles worked best for different subjects, which filters worked best for different types of lighting, when to expose the shot, when to maximize or minimize the contrast, and several other things. I didn't realize there was so much more to photography than just taking a picture. Jiraiya made it sound like it was a whole other language.

"You need to remember that your subject needs to shine and pop. You need to make your subject more beautiful than it already is," he commented.

"More beautiful?"

"Yes. Naruto, kid, everything has beauty in some way shape or form. There is no such thing as true ugliness. You just need to train your eye to find it and make it stand out."

Words of wisdom. Confusing ones, but words nonetheless. He really was a writer if he was able to spew out this nonsense out of thin air. When we went back to his home, we uploaded all my photos and played with shading and more filters and adjusted them until we were satisfied with the outcomes. Before I knew it, it was already ten at night. Jiraiya had called Itachi to pick me up so that I wouldn't have to walk home by myself so late at night. I didn't even know when he'd disappeared to do that.

My ride home with Itachi was nothing but chatter. I explained to him everything that Jiraiya was teaching me. He agreed with Jiraiya's thoughts on beauty. I wondered what Sasuke thought about it. I wanted to ask him, but when we arrived, he was already sleeping. It must have been another hard day at Orochimaru's.

I sat on the floor beside his bed, staring at Sasuke. Jiraiya was right. It was like staring innocence in the face. I couldn't help but think about the little happy Sasuke from the family albums. Is that what Sasuke was really like? Happy and giggling? This Sasuke was at peace, but when he woke he was always serious with few smiles and even fewer laughs. Would I ever be able to change that?
Chapter Forty
All right everyone! I've gotten this far, but I just wanted to let you know that I might have to take a hiatus from this story to work on another project.
Rather than taking a super long break, I will try to post one or two chapters at least once a month. 
If I have to take the hiatus, well then, I'll have to. Which makes me sad, but my school life and work beckon me!
My other project could potentially be published, so I would like to invest more time into that. 
We'll see how it goes. 

For now, enjoy!

Previous Chapter
Chapter Thirty-Nine: You are hur
Next Chapter: soooooooooonn.....

All characters belong to :iconkishiplz:
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The next week was torture. I was eager to find out whether or not I had been accepted into the understudy program with Jiraiya. Sakura and Ino both interviewed with Tsunade. I didn't know anything about Ino applying, but Sakura had said that her interview had gone well. She felt sure she was in. Sasuke had interviewed with Orochimaru, too. Orochimaru didn't waste time in announcing whom he was accepting. I was the only one left. I had not heard anything from this teacher.

Sasuke and I were called out during break time to meet for the soccer club. Kiba and Lee were in it, too. The club officials were all upperclassmen and wanted to fill out more paperwork with our information and availabilities to figure out when it would be best to have club meetings and practices. Sasuke and I mentioned that we had applied to the understudy program, so we didn't know with certainty how our schedules would look like. The president said to simply let them know as soon as we know so that he could create some slots during the week for us.

Sakura and I went to talk to Ten-Ten and Lee after classes were over for the day to ask about the club. She said she'd have all the information and dates drawn up soon. Sasuke waited for me in the courtyard under one of the larger trees whose shadow covered part of a row of benches. As girls walked past they fawned over him, but Sasuke ignored them all with a book. He didn't bother reacting to them, saying anything or glancing their way. The teme had girls following him all time, but he was always to indifferent to them.

I was halfway across the yard after saying good bye to Sakura when a man came from out of nowhere and put his hand on my shoulder, stopping me. I looked up at him. He was an older man with long white, spiky hair. He was grinning.

"Hey, kid."

"Uhh, hi," I answered.

"Uzumaki Naruto, right?"

I took a step back from him. It was him. "Ah yeah."

"Nice to meet you. I'm Jiraiya. I have decided to take you on as my understudy," he announced. "I'd like to meet your parents before I do anything else. Where do you live?"

I was about to give him my answer when Sasuke showed up. He bowed to Jiraiya. "Sensei," he said.

"Hey! You're the youngest Uchiha, right?"

"Hn."

"How's Itachi doing?"

"He's well, thank you."

"That's good. Last I heard he got hired at a large corporation."

"Yes, he did."

"That's good, good. Well, what about it, Naruto?"

"Actually, I live with Sasuke and Itachi," I finally answered.

His face went from a grin to wide eyes. "You don't say."

I wrapped an arm around Sasuke's shoulders. "Yeah! They adopted me over a year ago!"

Jiraiya stood there just staring at us. "Well, then, I would like to talk to Itachi first, if that's all right."

"Sure it is! Itachi won't mind!"

Sasuke pulled out his phone and started to text Itachi. He replied within a few seconds. "Itachi says he's available tonight after dinner time. He also said you're welcome to join us for dinner at seven," Sasuke informed him.

"That sounds like a good time. Tell Itachi I would love to come over for dinner."

Sasuke nodded and texted Itachi something else.

Jiraiya patted my shoulder and smiled. "I guess I'll see you two tonight!"

"Uh, right," I answered. "Thank you, Jiraiya-sensei!"

Jiraiya eyed me for a moment longer before turning and walking away. Sasuke put his phone in his pocket and watched Jiraiya leave. He raised his eyebrow.

"What's up?"

"He's weird," he commented. He faced me with a smirk. "You two should get along well."

"Dammit, teme! Quit making fun!"

"Hn. Come on, let's go home."

We walked home, stopping along the way to get some chips. It was beyond me why Sasuke liked salt and vinegar chips. They were so gross. Then again, he couldn't understand why I liked sweet things like chocolate and ice cream. Sasuke was silent the entire way this time. I wasn't sure why. He normally chatted with me on our way home or he'd show me something on his phone. This time he walked staring straight ahead, hands in his pockets.

"You okay?"

"Hn."

"You sure?"

He sighed and rolled his eyes. "Yes, Naruto. I'm fine."

"You're positive?"

A small smile broke onto his face. "Quit being a moron, dobe."

"Stupid teme! I'm just asking if you're okay, dattebayo!"

"I already answered and told you I was fine."

I let out an exasperated sigh. Sometimes he was such a pain in the ass. Not bothering to say anything else, I entered the gate and dashed for the house when I saw Itachi's car in the driveway. I hurried inside to find Itachi up in his office, leaving a mess of shoes, jacket and backpack at the door. I greeted him with a smile and told him that Jiraiya wanted me to be his understudy. He smiled and congratulated me as he continued to pack his briefcase. He told me he'd be back later in time to make dinner and receive Jiraiya. He greeted Sasuke on his way out and left.

Sasuke took off his shoes and hung up his sweater without a word. He pulled out his phone as he walked into the kitchen to rummage through the fridge. He pulled out a bottle of tea and a package of cherry tomatoes. Then, he headed upstairs.

"Ne, Sasuke, want to play some video games?"

"Maybe later. I'm going to study."

"Oh, then let me get my stuff and we can study together!" I told him, running back to the door to fix my mess.

"Hn. I'll be in my room."

"All right, I'll be right up."

Sasuke left. I grabbed my pack and sweater. I figured I could leave my sweater in my room on my way to Sasuke's room. It was a little strange that he wanted to study in his room. He normally brought his things down to the living room to study. He probably didn't want me to get distracted with the television the way I normally did. I tossed my sweater onto my bed and headed into Sasuke's room. He was sitting at his desk with an open notebook and textbook above that.

"Can I do my homework on your bed?"

"Hn."

"Hey, Sasuke, can I ask you something?"

"What?"

It was now or never. Hopefully he didn't think I was being too nosy. "Do you like Hinata?"

"She's a nice girl. I've known her for as long as I can remember," he replied, not bothering to turn around.

I spilled my books out onto the bed and sat down with a sigh. "That's not what I meant."

Sasuke paused, let his pencil fall and swiveled in his chair to face me. "Then what did you mean?"

"I meant if you liked her, you know?" I stared at him, waiting for my meaning to dawn on him.

His eyes widened for a moment, before they rolled. "Do you ever use your brain for anything useful?"

"Hey! You don't need to insult me! I'm just asking a question, dattebayo!"

He bent his arm up and leaned his cheek on his fist with a small huff. "A dumb question."

"How is it a dumb question? Come on, don't you have someone you like?"

"What? For example, how you're hopelessly infatuated with Sakura?" he asked, sounding bored with the conversation.

"Gah! Forget I asked anything!" I yelled at him. "There's no point if you're going to be an asshole, dattebayo!"

Sasuke closed his eyes and sighed. "No, I'm not attracted to her."

"See? Was that so hard?"

He opened his eyes half glare at me. "Excruciating."

"You're such a jerk."

"Hn."

We were silently doing homework for about an hour when I decided to speak up again. "You excited about the understudy program?"

"Not particularly."

I chuckled. "Why? Is it because you're stuck with Orochimaru?"

"He's creepy, but he is very knowledgeable."

"Yeah?"

I saw him nod.

That was that. We didn't speak again unless I got stuck on something. High school was somehow a lot harder than middle school. There was also the fact that Sasuke wasn't assisting me as much as he used to. He would give me hints rather than guide me on how to do something. I guess he felt the need to not teach me things after our teachers had already given full lectures. He said the fact that my notes were so sparse didn't help me retain any information.

He was always like that; he liked criticizing the fact that I wasn't the perfect student he was. My notes were never lengthy or detailed. More often than not my pages were covered with maybe three sentences and doodles. Okay, so maybe he had a point.

It didn't seem that long before Itachi came home and started cooking, preparing dinner. As much as I asked to help him, he didn't seem to mind making more than he normally did. Rather than letting me help, he sent me away and out of the kitchen. I couldn't understand what the big deal about this Jiraiya person was. He seemed to be like any other old man.

I went up to my room and sat at my desk. I pulled out my laptop and looked up Jiraiya. He had an official page and several fan pages. I clicked on his official one and looked through it. He had apparently won a few awards and was the author of quite a few books. As I was looking up the books, which were also sold on the site as well as other places, I realized that the titles were, well, they weren't very self explanatory. His most popular series was the Make Out books. Looking into one of them, I read a synopsis.

He was a pervert.

An absolute pervert! He wrote some disgusting books about people's love lives! I closed the tab and sighed. I was having second thoughts about being trained by a pervert.

Sasuke was in his room, not making any noise, not bothering to talk to anyone. That was normal, but considering Itachi was home pretty early, I thought it weird that Sasuke wasn't downstairs with him. Maybe he also knew the importance of having Jiraiya over?

Another half an hour passed before Itachi called us down for dinner. Just as Sasuke and I were heading down, the door bell rang.

"Naruto, could you get that?" Itachi called.

Sasuke didn't bother to come with me. He went straight into the kitchen. Rather than arguing with him, I went to the door. I opened it to find the man from earlier, Jiraiya. He was accompanied by Orochimaru. I was stunned for a moment before I welcomed them, moving out of the way to let them step inside. Both of them bowed, took off their shoes, and headed into the kitchen, Orochimaru in the lead. I figured he'd been here before at some point.

I followed them into the kitchen where Itachi and Sasuke were standing around the dining table we never used, waiting to greet them.

Itachi smiled and bowed. "Welcome, Jiraiya-sensei, Orochimaru-sama."

Orochimaru bowed, giving a small smile. Jiraiya grinned and waved. "Haven't seen you in a while, Itachi! How are you doing?"

"Well, thank you. How are your books coming along?"

"I'd say pretty good. I'm about to finish another one!"

"That's good to hear. Please, sit," Itachi invited them. He motioned for me to sit next to Sasuke, across from Jiraiya. I did as I was told, not wanting to argue with Itachi in that moment. Sasuke sat down without much noise and waited for Itachi's signal to begin eating. Once he nodded, Sasuke and I began, as did Orochimaru and Jiraiya.

Dinner was a quiet event, at least for the first few minutes. Orochimaru praised Itachi's cooking skills. Jiraiya was mostly making noise as he ate to show his approval of the food. Sasuke was as silent as a grave. I guess as long as other people were around, beside Itachi and me, he just wasn't willing to talk much.

"Naruto, tell me, how is it you came to live here?" Jiraiya asked.

"Ah, well, Sasuke found me."

"Found you?"

"Yeah, I used to live on the streets. Sasuke found me and he and Itachi brought me here. They adopted me a little while later."

"That's very generous of you, Itachi," Jiraiya said, nodded toward him.

"It was nothing, really," Itachi said with a smile. "I was glad to help."

"Don't be so modest. You did a great thing."

Itachi only nodded, continuing to eat. Orochimaru didn't say very much, which I thought was weird. Jiraiya ate some more and then turned back to me. "Well, then, Naruto, do you know what you want to do after you graduate?"

"Uh, not really, no. I thought I could just start working right after high school," I told him honestly.

"You don't want to go to college or university?"

"I don't know."

"What do you like to do?"

I was silent for a moment. As I thought about my answer, I felt Sasuke tap my foot. I glanced his way and he gave a slight nod upward without raising his gaze. He was hinting at something, but I wasn't sure what. He tapped my foot again, with more force. I was about to snap back at him, when it occurred to me. I looked back to Jiraiya. "I like photography, but I'm not that good at it."

"Oh, is that so? Why do you say that?"

"I don't know. I don't do it too much. It's mostly a hobby."

"Well, I'm sure you'll be able to find something that sparks your interest during these next few years," Jiraiya said with a grin.

In that moment, Orochimaru decided to speak up. "What about you, Sasuke-kun?" he hissed in his usual manner of speaking. "What is it you wish to do?"

"Digital art. Graphic designing wouldn't be a bad job. Being part of an animation team or comic book artist group is the ideal job," Sasuke said.

"I'm sure I will be able to get you a few internships, if you'd like, Sasuke-kun."

"Hn." Sasuke went on eating.

"Jiraiya-sensei, do you plan to take Naruto with you any time soon?" Itachi asked.

"Not yet. I will set up a few meetings outside of class with him, but no trips yet. Probably not until summer time or next year," he clarified.

"I would appreciate being notified at least 48 hours in advance," he requested.

"Of course, I can do that."

The rest of the night consisted of Itachi talking to both Orochimaru and Jiraiya about Sasuke and me. It was like we weren't there. Every now and then we were asked about our classes or what we wanted to do, but it was never a long conversation. Both Orochimaru and Jiraiya seemed to be okay with the fact that Sasuke and I had more than one club to attend. Actually, Jiraiya encouraged me to be as involved as I wanted to be with classes and clubs, but when the time came to focus on my time with him, I had to pay attention and not be thinking about anything else.

When the night was over, Orochimaru and Jiraiya bid their good nights and left. Itachi cleaned up the kitchen, not bothering to ask us for help. Sasuke offered to help, but Itachi turned him away. Sasuke went up to his room and stayed in there the rest of the night. I went into the kitchen to help Itachi. He didn't turn me away, but he didn't say he wanted my help either. I stood beside him, dried the dishes, and stored them in their rightful place.

"Are you excited?" he asked.

"I'm not sure."

"Is there something you don't like about Jiraiya-sensei?"

"Not really. He just seems like a strange old man."

Itachi smiled, passing me a plate. "I'm sure once you get to know him you'll find something in common with him."

"Yeah, I guess."

We finished and Itachi sent me up to bed. Sasuke was still hiding in his room. That night I fell asleep thinking about Jiraiya and what I should expect in being taught by him. Right before everything went black Sasuke's face came into my mind. I had to thank him for pushing me to speak up about my photography. Even if it was just a hobby, it was a good place to start.
For that week and part of the next, if I wasn't doing homework with Sasuke, I was working on my letter of interest. I didn't want to have to ask Itachi or Sasuke for help. I wanted to do it by myself, but I kept getting stuck on what I should write to convince this Jiraiya teacher to take me as his student. I still hadn't met him, so I had no idea what kind of person he was. On the school's website, his name and picture were there, but there was nothing under the biography section, so that didn't help me very much either. It listed office hours for him, but they were in the morning. Of course, I had class at that time. I wasn't sure if my usual teachers would give me some leeway to go talk to him. I didn't want to risk Iruka-sensei's wrath. I cringed at the thought.

It was the middle of the week when Sakura approached me. She asked me how I was doing on my application. I was honest and told her I was struggling with my letter.

"You haven't asked Sasuke-kun for help?"

"Ah, no. He already helps me with homework. I don't want to ask him for this, too."

She nodded. "I could give you a few pointers if you'd like?" she offered.

"Really? Thanks!"

She read my letter, fixed a few errors and gave me a few ideas on how to improve and what more I should add. That night, I worked on it after dinner. Sasuke asked me several times if I wanted his help. I refused every time. He only shook his head and let me be. This was something I was going to do all by myself! Well, except for a little help from Sakura.

The next day, not sure I could do any better on my letter I chose to turn it in the way it was; I walked with Sakura to the student body office to submit my application for the understudy program and to sign up for other clubs. On the list, Ten-Ten had managed to get her club approved. She chose to base it on Brazilian martial arts. Sakura and I signed up for it. On the name list for soccer I found Sasuke's name already there. He must have already submitted everything earlier in the week. The teme never said anything about it. Although, maybe that's why he kept asking me if I needed help.

Back in the classroom, Sasuke was sitting as his desk, reading. I never saw him draw at school, only read books. I wonder if he just didn't want people knowing that he was really good at drawing. Whatever the reason, he never showed that side of him. The only ones who knew were Sakura and myself. Ino had some inkling, but I never told her anything. Sasuke didn't mind as much if I told Sakura a few things.

During our lunch breaks we always went to the same spot under the tree next to the pond where Sakura would be waiting for us or would eventually show up. Sasuke didn't seem to mind Sakura's presence the way he used to in middle school. I could only guess that was because she wasn't accompanied by Ino who was constantly ogling and drooling over him. Normally Ino was the one that made things a little uncomfortable. Still, Ino was a pretty cool person to be around. Of course, Sakura was as lovely as they came, even with her wicked temper.

It was Saturday when Sasuke and I returned from our morning classes. Itachi was home for lunch that day, so we found him in the kitchen. He was standing next to the stove, drinking a cup of tea, waiting for whatever he was cooking.

"Hello, boys. How was school?"

"Uneventful," Sasuke answered.

"Have you heard back from the understudy program?"

Sasuke shook his head as he sat down at the table, leaning forward on the table, resting on his forearms.

"Naruto?"

"I haven't heard anything either," I told him.

"Well, there's always next week. You boys hungry?"

Sasuke was silent. Since he didn't say anything I spoke up. "I'm starved! What are you making?"

"Fish and vegetables with rice. Does that sound appetizing to you?"

"Yeah! Dattebayo!"

Itachi added another piece of fish and more vegetables to the pan, stirred them and waited. I sat beside Sasuke to wait for my food. Sasuke straightened his back and sighed.

"Nii-san?"

"Yes?"

"May I get a tattoo?"

Itachi and I stared at Sasuke for a moment. Itachi set down his cup of tea and walked over to the table. I didn't know what to say to that. After Itachi sat down, he cupped his hands over the table and looked over at Sasuke who was watching his brother's every move.

"You want a tattoo?"

"Yes," he answered.

"You do understand that once you get it, it's permanently on your skin?" I could tell Itachi was trying to be as gentle as possible. His tone was very even and steady.

"Yes, I do understand."

"And you're sure of what you want on your skin?"

"I think so."

Itachi eyed Sasuke, searching for anything that would give him reason to deny Sasuke's request. Without looking at me, Itachi told me to go check on the food. I did. The food was ready, so I plated it and placed Itachi's share in front of him before taking my spot on the other side of Sasuke. The entire time, they were silent.

"Where?"

Sasuke pulled down the neck of his shirt and point at the patch of skin where the neck and shoulder connect, toward the back.

"You realize that is visible? The school will not be okay with that."

Sasuke cast his eyes down, releasing the neck of his shirt. "I know," he mumbled.

Itachi sighed. "Sasuke, maybe you should wait it out a little longer. Unless you can decide on a less noticeable spot, I would rather not have an hour long discussion with Tsunade-sama about students not having tattoos."

Sasuke nodded. "All right," he said, resigned. Not bothering to say anything else, Sasuke excused himself and went upstairs.

Itachi let out a sigh and pulled his plate toward him. "I wish I didn't have to say no."

I was about to fork some food into my mouth when his comment stopped me. "Yeah? Why's that?"

"He's wanted a tattoo for a while now, but the most I can allow are pierced ears or getting gauges. He can't get away with anything else at Konoha. Otogakure is a little bit more relaxed in that regard, but it still would have been a problem."

I looked down at my food, and then looked up at him. "Say, Itachi, if Sasuke gets a tattoo, does that mean I'll be allowed to as well?"

His eyes moved to mine. He was half smiling. "You want a tattoo as well?"

Grinning, I scratched the back of my head. "Ah yeah. I always thought they were pretty cool."

Before speaking again, he ate some of his fish and giving a single nod. "That depends, how long have you thought about this? Do you know what you want and where you want it?"

He had me in thought. I always dreamed of having a tattoo, but never really thought about what I wanted much less where I wanted it. "I've always wanted one, but I guess I don't know of what or where."

"Well, when you do, we can discuss this again," he said with a smile and continued to eat.

That was something I always admired about Itachi. He never flat out shot us down for what we wanted. Instead, he tried to reason with us to make sure that's what we really wanted. For the most part, Itachi would fold and let Sasuke do as he pleased, unless it was something Sasuke could possibly regret later. This time with the tattoo issue, Itachi just didn't want Sasuke to get in trouble with the school. I thought it made sense since students weren't supposed to have any tattoos. No piercings either, but from what I could tell, Konoha was more lenient with that aspect of body art.

We ate in silence. Sasuke didn't come back down. Itachi took my plate from me when we finished, asking me to go see if Sasuke was okay. I nodded and headed upstairs to the teme's room, where I knew he'd probably be sulking. The door was closed. I knocked a couple times before entering. Sasuke was on his computer. He wasn't drawing this time. He was reading some webpage. He minimized the page before turning to me.

"What, dobe?"

"Are you sure you're not gonna eat?"

"Hn. I'm not hungry." He turned back to his laptop and opened up the page again.

I went in, closed the door and sat his bed, letting myself fall back. "What kind of tattoo do you want?"

"The kind that goes on my skin, dobe."

"Gah! That's not what I meant!"

He turned around again to me. He was smiling. The bastard. "Then you should phrase your questions more carefully."

"Ugh, okay, what design do you want for your tattoo?"

"Come look."

I sat up and moved closer to him, not wanting to stand. On screen, Sasuke pulled up what he wanted on his neck. There were three tomoe marks with a circle around them. The circle looked like squiggly lines, but it was a pretty cool tattoo. I looked back at Sasuke's neck trying to imagine the artwork there. He was sure to pull it off, no problem.

"I like it!"

"Hn. I know Itachi doesn't really mind me getting tattoos; he just doesn't want me to get in trouble with the school."

Of course Sasuke knew the way Itachi thought. "Well, it makes sense, though, right? There's no point in fighting with them if you can wait."

"I can wait. That's not the problem."

"Then what is?"

"That I have to do this according to what other people tell me, not when I want it."

That was Sasuke. He liked doing things on his terms. He hated having to wait around for others. He was dependent on Itachi, sure, but even then, Sasuke found a way to things on his own so that he wouldn't have to wait. For someone who was pretty patient, he sure was impatient.

"Either way, you'll eventually get the tattoo," I told him.

"Yeah. It's going to happen."

"Say, what if we get matching tattoos!"

He lifted an eyebrow. "You want one?"

"Yeah, I always thought they were pretty cool."

"Okay, genius, then what do you suggest we get?"

I was silent. "I'll get back to you on that."

He smiled and shook his head. "That's so like you, dobe. You never think things through."

"Shut up! Stupid Sasuke," I mumbled.

"If you come up with something, I wouldn't mind getting matching tattoos."

"Yeah?"

"Hn."

"Sweet!"

The rest of that afternoon was spent looking up possible tattoo ideas for us to get. We decided that we'd get something on either our arms or our calves. At first I thought it'd be pretty awesome to get a stylized soccer ball since we both liked soccer, but Sasuke wanted it to mean something more than just what we liked. When I asked him about his tattoo, he only shook his head and told me to not worry about it. He obviously had some meaning behind it, but didn't want to tell me. I vowed to get it out of him one of these days.
Chapter Thirty and Eight
Ugh, sorry I took so long to update. I was having a few issues getting school things done, but now that that's set, I should be able to upload regularly again.
I hope. Sorry this chapter doesn't have very much, but I just wanted them to have a moment. :) Enjoy!

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All characters belong to :iconkishiplz:
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Hello everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your holidays and those of you who had/have final exams got what you wanted or at least passed the class. I am definitely enjoying being out of school for a bit. I'm finally sleeping. Haha.

I just wanted to do a quick update on my drawing project. In short, I failed. I really tried my best to draw every day, anything, but this fall semester just did not allow me that freedom of time with homework, work, and personal life kind of coming at me all at once. I had a couple other projects (for school, sadly) that required more of my time and attention. Once I get back home, uhh in January, I will upload that last few drawings that I did and that'll be the end of that. 

If you were following that series of drawings, I'm sorry to disappoint, but I hope to get other drawings done before school starts again. Also, I plan to post some other short stories that I have slowly been working on.

That's all for now. I wish everyone a Happy New Year! See ya in 2015!!!
  • Mood: Bliss
  • Listening to: Random music
  • Reading: fanfics, Dickens
  • Watching: Naruto Shippudden, SAO II
  • Playing: Fruit Ninja
  • Eating: ...food.
  • Drinking: Plenty of Water! ...and tea

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:iconanonimadelima:
AnonimadeLima Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2015  Student Filmographer
Happy birthday :D :D
have a nice day....

I just saw it on tumblr....
;) ;)
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:iconkyoko-li:
Kyoko-Li Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Aww thank you, hon!
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:iconanonimadelima:
AnonimadeLima Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2015  Student Filmographer
You're welcome
:D :D
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:iconvegeta-x-akira:
vegeta-x-akira Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks for the Fav :Portal: 
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:iconkyoko-li:
Kyoko-Li Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome, hon!
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:icondj-mika:
DJ-Mika Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hello, just wanted to thank you for the Llama! Appreciate it very much! :aww: :heart:
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:iconkyoko-li:
Kyoko-Li Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem, hon!!
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:iconanimaid101:
Animaid101 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2015
Thank you very much for the watch, dear! :heart:

I really like your Sasunaru fanfiction, but somehow I'm still caught on the first chapters and still have to read a lot more. You're so diligently writing. Please keep up the good work. :D
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:iconkyoko-li:
Kyoko-Li Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for the support! :iconbrohugplz:
I will keep doing the best I can!
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:iconanimaid101:
Animaid101 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2015
My pleasure, dear. :heart:
I have no doubts about that. :D
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