(AU Note: I don't own any of the characters used for this fic. Rated M for a mature audience. Cursing, violence, and such - no lemons included.)
To Be Valedictorian
Ino chewed on the end of her pencil as she mentally worked through her trigonometry work. It was an assignment she was supposed to do at home, but since her English professor had decided not to attend class she failed to see the harm in busying herself with other class work. The rest of the class, minus Hinata, had been throwing pencils at each other and cursing loudly about previous shenanigans. These said shenanigans had taken place in the alumni cafeteria around twelve thirty and had ended at approximately twelve forty five, yesterday. It had seemed as though their upperclassmen had quite the disagreement and things had quickly gotten out of hand.
She hadn't known either of them personally and had refused to make any kind of statement to insinuate that she was at all interested in the recollections of the violent conflict. There were other ways to resolve issues , physical violence should have been a last resort. Before she knew it, she was floating off into space and far, far away from the actual task at hand. She groaned inwardly and shifted in her seat.
The classroom door sprang open and Jiraiya stepped in with the usual grin on his face. Ino inwardly wagered he had been peaking inside the girls locker room again. "Alright! Everybody shut up!" The large man jumped and held his hands out dramatically. "I was caught up in some... important business and we wont be able to have functioning class today! Sorry, not sorry." Ino registered a few groans, along with some excited squeals around her. She personally hadn't cared one way or the other. "So, get outta' here!" As everyone had started for the exit, Jiraiya gently took Ino by the arm with one of his large hands, "Ino, can I ask you a favor?"
Reluctantly, she nodded and stilled herself before him. "I'm sure you've heard about the tussle in the cafeteria yesterday and as you know this isn't my only class, I teach upperclassmen as well. I cant afford risking Inuzuka getting left behind. So, I've scheduled after school and weekend tutoring sessions for him. I was wondering if you would be interested?"
Ino paused for a moment, "Me?"
"Yeah, you're ahead of this class as it is and you really should be promoted to a superior grade. You're right up there with that Nara kid. There is extra credit up for grabs for it and I'm sure it's what you need to graduate with high honors next year and possibly even be our Valedictorian."
Ino hadn't particularly been fond of tutoring others but Jiraiya had a point- the credit would be just what she needed. Ino inwardly sighed in defeat before nodding, "Okay I'll do it."
"Alright, come with Kurenai and me after school today and we'll give you the run down on the situation and set you up." She smiled and nodded to him before dismissing herself.
Ino would be lying if she said having her teachers buy her dinner hadn't made her feel slightly uncomfortable, but both Kurenai and Jiraiya had insisted. Especially Kurenai, who raved about how Ino was apparently eating improperly and hadn't been matching her required weight for her height and blah blah blah, food pyramid, blah blah blah...
Don't be mistaken though, Kurenai was actually Ino's favorite teacher- aside from Asuma. Coincidentally the two were married. Kurenai taught Health and Sexual Education while Asuma taught History. "We just want to prepare you and make sure we provide you with all of the materials necessary for Inuzuka to pass his upcoming exams."
"I understand." Ino nodded while Kurenai just smiled and sipped her soda, "I would also like to add that Mr. Inuzuka is a young man and you're a young woman, please do take precaution. I'm not trying to insinuate that he is that type of young man, but I just want to go over all of the stops while we're here."
"Right." The food had finally arrived and they all shared a meal and continued their conversation about the materials she needed. "Aside from all of that, I want to make sure you know about the trouble he is facing at this point with the school and disciplinary system. A fight occurred between Kiba and Rock Lee yesterday in the cafeteria. We have a no tolerance policy which was obviously violated, not to mention the excessive aggression and use of force used from both boys. Both Kiba and Lee are expelled until a week before graduation."
Ino paused before sipping on her drink, "One week before their graduation? But we just started the year..that's an entire school year worth of material..."
"Yes, well, it was a tough fight to break up.." Jiraiya added and Ino nodded in understanding as she took notes on all of the materials she needed to gather.
"How are you and Sakura, by the way?" Kurenai asked with a sneaky smile on her face.
"We haven't spoken."
"Really? You two are so silly. I mean you're both mature young women as well as juniors in high school. Don't you think it's time to forget and forgive just a little bit?" Ino seemed somewhat ashamed and looked down at the floor. "It's hard to believe I used to be so mean, Kurenai."
"We all have to grow up sometime. And you're doing wonderfully! You have the chance to be Valedictorian of your class! That's an amazing opportunity and I know your father would be proud of how much you've grown and how well you've exceeded everyone's expectations." Ino smiled at the mention of her father and bowed her head slightly, "Thank you, Kurenai."
That evening Ino had, yet again, drove home to an empty house. There was a note on the counter from her mother stating that she had left early for a business meeting and wouldn't be home all week. She grumbled lightly and started doing her chores before even thinking about doing her homework. Unfortunately, the thought of tutoring an upperclassman had weighed heavy on her mind. She hadn't been quite sure if it was nervousness for lack of experience and knowledge, or just nervousness for the fact that he was a violent, short tempered, hormone crazed male. Either scenario had the potential to drive any respectable girl off as soon as she arrived.
Sure, she loved a challenge and needed the extra points, but was she biting off more than she could chew this time? As long as she kept her grades up as well, she decided giving it a try wouldn't be so bad. There she went again, day dreaming and over analyzing things when she should be focused on her trigonometry homework. Her small hands placed the calculator and pencil down as her large ocean eyes edged their way up the wall closest to her. They fell upon a fine, golden picture frame with her father's smiling face centered behind the glass. He had been holding her in one hand and her first academic challenge trophy in the other. She really didn't have to see the picture to remember his smile from that day, it was seared into the back of her mind. He was proud of her and he never left her wondering on that fact. When he passed, Ino was shattered. The only way she could feel satisfied was through her studies, she felt like if she focused there she would continue to make him proud- even in death.
She wiped he face clean of tears and decided to shower before going any further with her homework. No need to stress herself out when she had plenty of obstacles to do so for her- like this Inuzuka kid.
What if he was a total wash out? What if she didn't like him? What if she killed him? She couldn't afford to spend her life put away! Ino shook her head sharply and dismissed her childish thoughts. It was wrong to assume the outcome of a future situation by hear say. Besides, he could be a nice guy! Maybe he even had a reason for being the way he was and resorting to physical violence.
Or maybe not.
The following day, after school, Ino had found herself sitting in the driveway of a huge log cabin of at least three stories. It was secluded from town and pushed back into the woods for at least four miles. Someone could literally die in his driveway and rot and their stench would never even reach town.
She pulled a brush from her console and ran it through her hair that she always kept neatly on top of her head. Composure and first impressions were critical, the wrong impression and this guy could ignore every word from her and never graduate and all of her efforts would have been wasted. But at least she would still get the points..
She really needed to hide the cleavage. Ino noted as silently cursed herself for her carelessness and looked behind her passenger seat for an extra shirt. No way was she going in there with her boobs hanging out, his mother would probably flip out. The only conservative piece of clothing she had was a thick tank top she had washed the night before to take to the gym after the tutoring session. Sure it showed the arms, but what guy had ever gotten aroused from a little bit of arm fat?
Once her boobs were covered and she had officially dubbed herself appropriate looking, she stepped out of her vehicle- a red Eclipse. After she locked the car she took note of how it was the only vehicle in the drive way and silently wondered if anyone was home. Her small hand had knocked on the door as she silently prayed she was right and she could just turn around and go home.
"Come on in!" A rough yet feminine voice called through the door and she carefully opened it as not to seem rude.
"You must be Ino, right? Jiraiya called, said he sent you for my boy."
"Yeah, I'm here to keep him on track...?"
"Well honey, in that case, he needs a woman like you in his life." She gave Ino a knowing smile and walked to the door, "Well, my ride is here. My name is Tsume, by the way! Kiba is upstairs asleep just wake him up when you're ready."
"Well yeah, don't worry he shouldn't bite." She then turned, opened the door, and yelled over her shoulder, "But if he does bite don't call me." With that being said, she closed the door behind her and left Ino alone in the huge, dark house. Talk about being uncomfortable..
Ino placed her bag on the table and composed herself. The house had been dark, all but the kitchen, and there wasn't an inkling of movement anywhere. How was she supposed to find his room in such a big house?
She had allowed herself to sigh, but nearly choked on her own saliva when she heard feet padding in the other room. Of course they weren't heavy enough to be human feet which meant these people had a dog- and dogs bite people they don't know. Ino turned her gaze to the kitchen entrance and froze. This dog was colossal. "H-hey puppy.."
Her eyes scanned the area for the best possible escape route, "W-what's your name?" The large hound trotted over to her and sniffed her legs, "Nice puppy.." She let him sniff her hands and felt a sense of relief when he started to lick them. The name on his collar read 'Akamaru'. "Ohhh you're such a good boy... Aka..Akamaru?" After she'd petted him for a few minutes she decided to grab her courage and go looking for her pupil.
"Kiba..?..umm..Kiba?" She called through the empty house. Akamaru looked at her and cocked his head to the side before running to the top of the stairs and looking back at her.
"Wha- Ohhh you're such a good boy, Akamaru.." Gracefully, she followed him up the stairs, down a long hallway, and up another set of stairs. At this point she hadn't been sure if he was leading her to the right place or not, but she couldn't necessarily argue with a dog.
Their march ended in an open doorway which lead to a once occupied, but now empty, room. "Umm..." She glanced down the hall to what, she had assumed, was the bathroom and noticed the light peaking out from underneath the door.
"I'll just..wait.. um.. here then."
After standing beside the bedroom door for ten minutes she crossed her arms and experienced, what felt like, annoyance for the first time in two years. Had she really taken the time out of her day to tutor such an unwilling, lazy, rude kid? And his mom just left, like it was totally nothing! How rude could people get?! Just as she had started to fume, the bathroom door opened and shoved her back into her metaphoric closet of shyness underneath her cloak of security once again.
Akamaru barked and jumped up twice before earning a scratch on the head, "Hey boy. Sorry, I had to shave. I guess you wanna go out?"
Ino couldn't really believe what she had been looking at. Who exactly was this guy and how could she not have noticed him before with eyes like those? His eyes were glowing from the other end of the hallway, a soft and rich chocolate brown. And his physique was so appealing to the eyes. He stood at about six foot one, with biceps larger than her head. Who would even want to fight this guy? He stopped in front of her with eyebrows raised, "Yo?"
Ino waved gently and smiled, "Oi, I'm Ino. I'm your tutor. Kiba, right? I was waiting on you.. I wasn't sure if I had found the right room, honestly." She scratched her neck nervously and his calm demeanor wasn't exactly helping her any.
"Ah yeah, that tutoring thing Jiraiya mentioned.. that's today?"
"Um, yeah." It took every ounce of energy she had to keep her eye from twitching.
"Oh, well that's okay I guess." He strode toward her casually and shrugged, "You in my class? I don't recognize you."
"Well... I'm actually a junior.."
"A junior, huh? That's cool. How'd you land a tutoring job with an upperclassmen? You that smart?"
"Well, I don't know about that... I'm only doing what Jiraiya asked of me. I'm sure there are a lot of things you know that I don't.."
"Yeah.. we'll see." He smirked, "So yeah, I'm Kiba and this is my dog, Akamaru. It's nice to meet you, I guess."
"Nice to meet you too.."
"Mom should be cooking or something if you're hungry.." Ino cringed, "Actually, she kind of bailed on me as soon as I came through the door." He groaned and scratched the back of his head, "Sorry, she's sort of always been like that. You want me to go get you something?"
"N-no that's okay.. maybe later or something. We should get started first, though."
"Alright, we can do that. Just let me take Akamaru out real fast." Ino nodded and retrieved her materials in preparation for the first lesson. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all..