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“Sasuke!” announces Ino, striding forward with all of the swagger her nine-year-old body can muster. She slams her hands down on his desk and he stares at her in shock. They’ve literally never spoken before. The entire class holds its breath. “You and me. We’re rivals, now.”

“What,” says Sasuke.

“Hey, hey, hey!” pipes up Naruto. “Sasuke’s my rival!”

“What,” says Sasuke, again.

She rounds on the other blonde. “Sasuke’s my rival cause Sakura likes him and I like Sakura, duh!”

The pink-haired girl quietly buries her face in her hands as Naruto puffs up. “Well- Well- I like Sakura, too! So we’re rivals, too!”

“Fine!” Ino announces. “Sasuke, me, and you! We’re all rivals now for Sakura’s heart!”

“Sakura,” Lee says, giving her a thumbs up. “Will you go out with-”

“GET IN LINE!” Ino roars. “You’ve got three rivals to deal with, first!”

Quiet, little Hinata, half-hiding behind Kiba, pipes up. “F-Four…”

Ino’s eyes flash. “Four rivals! I’ll fight you for her heart!”

“Yosh!” announces Lee, grinning. “Let us battle!”

Naruto waves his hand. “Ooh, me next! And then the bastard!” He slaps Sasuke on the back, who actually seems intrigued by this entire conversation.

No one paying attention to her, Sakura quietly sits next to Chouji, who offers her a chip. She takes it gratefully. He was always one of the sane ones in the class.