AN- I know. The last thing I need to be doing is posting something new when I have SO many unfinished works I need to be working on. But, this idea has been in my head since KakaSaku Month 2018 prompts were announced. I could have did a one shot but why do one chapter when I can do many, many chapters of modern KakaSaku goodness? Anyway, I'm mostly writing this for me, so it won't be updated that regularly (but, who am I kidding? Nothing of mine is updated regularly anymore) Well, I hope you enjoy this as much as I've enjoyed writing it. And be sure to check the tags ;)
Measuring a summer's day, I only finds it slips away to grey,
The hours, they bring me pain.
The shrill ring of the alarm clock echoed through the darkened apartment, piercing through Sakura’s skull. Whose bright idea had it been to take shots of tequila the night before they were set to leave so damn early? She reached out from the blankets on her bed, fumbling her way across the bedside table until she found the irritating device. With a swift smack, the ringing stopped, the silence that followed was absolutely beautiful. And far too short lived.
Sakura’s bedroom door was thrown open, letting in the stream of light from the hallway, nearly blinding her in the process. Before her vision was completely burned away, she had caught sight of a familiar figure standing in the doorway. Her best friend pounced onto her bed excitedly, the springs beneath them shrieking loudly from the impact. “Wake up, sleepyhead!” Ino shouted, tugging the blankets away from Sakura’s head despite her desperately trying to hold onto them.
“It’s too early for this, Pig!” Her shouts were muffled behind the pillow she pulled in front of her face to block the light once her covers had been taken. It soon joined her blankets on the floor and Ino crawled on top of her, pinning her to the bed. Sakura groaned and tried to throw her off but she was freakishly strong. “Get off me, you weirdo!”
“Not until I know you’re awake and ready to start our amazing journey.” Ino beamed happily, the light from the hallway making a glowing halo around her head. How could someone look so angelic and yet be the spawn of Satan at the same time?
“How am I supposed to do that with your fat ass on top of me?” She snapped, her hangover fueling the anger she was feeling. But, it wasn’t fair. Ino had taken twice as many shots as she had the previous night and was clearly not feeling the affects at all. The girl wasn’t human. She was some alcohol driven creature, hellbent on disrupting Sakura’s life from the moment she first entered it. Now, after a decade, Ino was still bullying her into her stupid plans, like this massive, two month road trip they were supposed to be starting today.
Ino hopped off the bed and flipped the overhead light on, the brightness immediately making Sakura’s head pound. She threw an arm up to shield her eyes but it was no use. It had done its job and there was no way she could go back to sleep now that she was blind and half crushed from having the devil’s spawn sitting on her. Groaning, she sat up and swung her legs over the side of the bed. The room shifted slightly and she grabbed onto the bedside table to keep herself from tipping over. “Why did I listen to you last night? It’s never just one shot of tequila with you.”
Ino’s laughter flitted down the hall as she slipped into her own bedroom. “You have free will, Forehead. No one forced you to drink that much.” From their shared wall, the sound of the blonde rummaging through her drawers reached Sakura’s ears. She didn’t move yet, though. Her stomach was still struggling not to dispose of all the alcohol and pizza they had eaten only 4 hours ago. God, 4 AM was an evil hour. Why had she ever agreed to go on this stupid trip?
Sakura scoffed and scowled at the silver picture frame that sat on her bedside table. It was nearly hanging off the corner from her flailing earlier to smack her alarm clock. She righted it and let her finger slip down the glass in front of the photo. Seeing her own happy face smiling up at her with Sasuke’s arms holding her tightly made her heart ache. It had been over a month since he had broke off their engagement, not giving her an explanation past ‘ it’s complicated’ . Forty three days since she watched him pack his things from her apartment and walk out of her life. Thirty nine days since she had spoken to him and not even a whole minute had passed that he hadn’t been in her mind in some way or another.
Sure, she put on a happy front for her friends and family, not letting them see how miserable she truly was. But, some days were harder than others. Some days she didn’t even want to get out of bed and face the day without him. And most nights, she would lay away, afraid that he was laying beside someone new.
He was half the reason she was going on this trip. Not because she wanted to forget about him, but because if she didn’t get out, didn’t do something different, she would go insane waiting for him to come back to her. Spending the summer with friends, seeing new sights and places would do her a world of good no matter how badly she wanted to just lay back down and sleep until the Fall semester started.
Around the corner, Ino’s bright, cheery face popped up and Sakura groaned. “Okay, okay. I’m getting up.” Despite the pounding in her head, she pushed off the bed and trudged her way to her closet where two duffel bags sat open, half filled with various items. “Hey, how much are you packing?”
“Not much, actually. There won’t be any room in the car for all of us to bring a ton of luggage,” Ino said, dropping her own bag into the hallway. For someone who was always dressed in the latest fashion, and always had her hair styled, she wasn’t packing too much. It concerned Sakura to see such a small bag and she looked down at her own. “Besides,” Ino continued, stepping into the bedroom. “We’ll be roughing it most of the time. Just bring a few changes of clothes and we’ll do laundry when we can.”
Roughing it? This was the first time Sakura was hearing about this. She had signed on for fun and adventure, she did not sign on for roughing it . With a sigh, Ino marched to the closet and scooped out several pairs of shorts and shirt and kicked the now empty second duffel bag to the side. “There, just get plenty of undies and you’re good to go.”
As if that was what she was truly worried about. As the blonde sauntered from the room, humming softly to herself, Sakura watched her leave with a dumbfounded look across her face. She grabbed the duffel bag and peered inside it, her stomach aching from something besides alcohol now. It was much too late to back out now. Ino would probably murder her for merely suggesting it. Great. She snatched all the underwear she could from her drawers and stuffed them down into the bag, pulling the zipper shut over her clothes.
She stood and watched her best friend bounce down the hallway, grabbing the things they would need for the road. In that moment, Sakura figured she had only two choices she could make; either she could lay around all summer and be miserable at home, or she can be miserable surrounded by friends in a car for two months. Either way, it wouldn’t make much of a difference to her.
An hour later, their friends slowly began to join them outside the apartment Ino and Sakura shared. Tenten was the first to arrive, clearly buzzed from too many cups of coffee. The two girls watched their friend hop from one foot to the other while her mouth moved in a blur as she talked excitedly about all the random places they could stop during their summer journey. By the time Sai and Shikamaru came up, Sakura was thankful.
“Hey, guys!” Tenten said excitedly, both of them giving her a raise of their eyebrow, clearly not in the mood for her chipper demeanour.
“So, there’s some bad news,” Shikamaru sighed and shoved his hands in his pockets. “Hinata can’t come.”
Ino’s jaw dropped. “What?! Do we still get to use her car? She’s the only one of us who has a vehicle!” The volume of her voice raised with each word she spoke until Shikamaru was wincing, holding his hands out to calm her.
If she was going to be completely honest, Sakura was a little relieved to hear that their plans were ruined. Now, she could lounge by the pool, drink her sorrows away, and spend the next two months mentally preparing for her new life as a single woman. Sakura took a seat on the curb outside of their apartment building as Tenten suggested they pool their money and rent a car to which Sai reminded her that it would be thousands of dollars to rent one for two months.
“ Relax ,” Shikamaru said, stepping between the three of them before an argument broke out. “I’ve got it covered. I know a guy with a van who owes me a favor. I called him last night and he said he’d drive us if we pay for gas and his food.”
“Great, Shikamaru. You hired us a bum,” Ino said as she crossed her arms over her chest and rolled her eyes. “Is he a serial killer as well?”
“It is way too early for you to be a bitch right now. It’s either this guy, or we don’t go.”
The tension stretched between them, thick and palpable and everyone turned to Ino, waiting for her reaction. Either she was going to explode and this whole idea would go belly up, or she would concede and let it go. When she sighed with a roll of her eyes, Sakura felt her shoulders slump. She was hoping for the explosive side of her best friend to rear its ugly head. Unfortunately, Ino was hell bent on this trip happening.
“Fine. But, if he ends up killing us all and burying our bodies in the desert, I’m going to make the after life pure hell for you.” She dropped her duffel bag on the sidewalk beside Sakura and blinked at the two guys in their group. “So, when does he get here?”
It turned out that Shikamaru’s friend didn’t give a shit about schedules and by the time the black van rolled around the corner, the sun was shining high in the sky and Sakura was furious. Luckily, Tenten had packed them all granola bars for breakfast so they wouldn’t starve but it was incredibly rude to make people wait two hours. Even from down the road, they could hear the music pounding from inside the vehicle and Sakura glared with her arms crossed over her chest as he pulled up to the curb. The black, tinted window rolled down halfway to reveal the top half of the guy’s face. His silver hair defied gravity, standing up and sticking out above his head. Sakura shared a glance with Ino who looked just as curious and pissed off at the guy as she was.
“You guys need a ride?” The man said, a mischievous twinkle glittering in his eyes. Shikamaru and Sai snatched up all of the bags and hauled them to the back doors of the van, leaving the girls to stand at the curb, warily watching the guy who never took his eyes off of them. Actually, he was focused solely on Sakura. She felt her face flush beneath his scrutiny and she shifted uncomfortably on her feet.
Beside her, Ino snickered and nudged her with an elbow before she and Tenten went to the back to join the boys. Sakura stared after them, unsure of what to do. She didn’t want to get into this strange man’s car and travel thousands of miles with him. What if he was a serial killer, or a pervert? Crossing her arms over her chest, she cleared her throat and narrowed her eyes on him. “How old are you?” She asked.
“Old enough. You coming?” He raised an eyebrow as the van door slid open to reveal a bench seat along the back with a large, empty space in the middle. There was a pillow leaning against the other side and Sakura wrinkled her nose. God, she wasn’t actually about to climb into some random guy’s shaggin’ wagon, was she?
“Sakura, come on!” Ino said with one foot in the van and the other still on the sidewalk. All eyes turned to stare at her, waiting for her to make a decision.
Her head swirled with thoughts of Sasuke, of doubts about what she was about to do, about this strange man who was still staring at her with what she could only guess was a smirk behind the tinted window that blocked most of his face. And as he winked at her, Sakura felt the urge to whine and pout. Instead, she dropped her hands to her side and followed Ino into the back of the van, choosing to sit on the bench seat next to Tenten. The door slid shut behind her, sealing the fate of her summer along with it.
In the rear view mirror, she caught sight of the mysterious man driving them across the country. His eyes lifted to hers, the corners wrinkled with mirth as he chuckled and put the car into gear, pulling away from the curb. Well, this was it. This was the first day of a summer to remember. She just prayed it would be one she wanted to remember.