A.N. - The long coming chapter 4. I know. I suck. Thanks for everyone encouraging me to continue writing. Every once and a while my inferiority complex kicks in and I feel like I'm crap, that no one cares and that my writing is pretty much lame. I not exactly sure it's not true yet, but oh well.
The three ninjas sat down to an early dinner at the noodle shop after their most strenuous mission of picking weeds from all of the village elders' gardens. From what Neji could tell, all they grew were weeds. That was probably a contributing factor to why he got yelled at so much throughout the day. But as far as he was concerned, if the elders could tell the difference between regular weeds and so-called "herbs" then it was all the more reason for them to do the work themselves.
However, it's not that Neji couldn't do the mission correctly. It's that the just-realized Hyuuga heir had a lot on his mind, for instance, how on earth he'd become the Hyuuga heir when yesterday he was certain he was a member of the Branch House. Neji also pondered the ramifications of other curiosities, such as being on a team with Naruto. Naruto, on the other hand, was less concerned about being on a team with Neji and more concerned about how to smoothly steal Neji's untouched bowl of ramen. Pointing off into the distance behind Neji, Naruto began to make a big show of being surprised.
"Neji look! Tsunade-Obachan is running around half naked!"
Forgetting that Neji could actually see behind him without taking his eyes off the ramen, the blond-haired ninja quickly switched bowls with the Hyuuga boy. Neji, who was lost in heavy thought, noticed the poor excuse of trickery but paid no attention to it. Naruto took Neji's lack of concern as a sign of his success and attributed the win to the great ninja skills that would one day earn him the title of Hokage.
Staring off into the empty bowl, Neji finally came out of his thoughts to give his mind a break. He started taking in his surroundings, first looking to the left, watching as Naruto inhaled the stolen noodles. Looking to his right he saw Sakura; the pink haired-kunoichi sat quietly, slowly and politely eating her ramen. It wasn't the first time that Neji saw the girl, but it was the first time he'd really notice her. Neji knew that she was part of the Sasuke fan club, if not its president, and that the girl supposedly had some of the most efficient chakra using skills around.
It was only after he noticed her blushing that Neji realized he was staring.
Really though, she was a rather cute girl, Neji could admit that. He was sure that she could be a really nice girl if it wasn't for the whole, evil inner-personality thing. He was also sure that he'd never thought things such as a girl being cute or even nice before. For a second, Neji wondered if he was the crazy one and if everyone else was just normal. Whatever this reality was, Neji knew it was having an affect on him.
But no matter how where he was, Neji was starting to realize some things about the new world he was living in. He realized that he'd come home the night before and accidentally groped Hinata's chest, only to be caught by, literally, every Hyuuga Branch member and their mother. He realized his old team now thinks he's just a snobbish brat, and wants nothing to do with him. Lastly, he realized that his new team is comprised of a ramen eating boy with a demon in his stomach, and a blushing girl with her own "demon" that comes out when she's mad at Naruto.
The difference between this life and hell, Neji surmised, was that hell was rumored to be warmer.
"I think I'm going to go home now."
"Ah! Neji, um... do you mind walking me home tonight?" Sakura became very quiet and turned a shade of pink just lighter than her hair color. She was bold, and yet shy at the same time.
Neji looked at her half finished bowl of noodles before looking back to her. "Don't you want to finish eating your dinner?"
"What? Oh no, I'm on a diet."
Sakura paled slightly as her stomach began protesting her forfeit of food with an audible growl. After a second of continued stomach grumbling, she offered up a nervous chuckle to cover the noise. Meanwhile, Naruto's eyes had become fixed on acquiring another bowl of free noodles now with the added bonus of those noodles having belonged to Sakura.
"I-i-indirect… k-kiss…" muttered Naruto quietly under his breath as he started unconsciously making kissing lips while grabbing Sakura's bowl.
Neji winced and ignored Naruto slowing pulling the dish towards his mouth in preparations of a make out session. Rather than argue with Sakura and be forced to witness Naruto's obsession first hand, he agreed to walk the girl home.
Strolling down the silent streets of Konoha with Sakura actually happened to be quite relaxing for the Hyuuga boy. Instead of the annoying chatter that he expected from Sakura, their walk was rather quiet. Under Neji's soul-piercing stare, he started to learn a lot about the girl. While the girl did have a smaller amount of stamina and chakra, he could tell that she was a very determined person with a very strong spirit. He also saw, that each time he'd look at her, whether it was a glance or a gaze, the girl would start blushing uncontrollably. It actually came to the point where he found it to be humorous; the ability to have such power without doing anything at all.
Previously, he never had time to really consider other people as, well, people. He had soaked up so much of his time proving to people that he was a genius and working hard to fulfill his passive aggressive vengeance against the Main House. Now that he was the Main House, a new life had been opened up to him.
"Well, this is where I live."
Sakura stopped suddenly in front of him before turning around to face him. Her quick twirl spun her dress up into the air playfully as she looked straight into his silver eyes. That's when he understood what was going on. It was a mix of Sakura's determination and blushing that made him realize just what thoughts were playing through that intelligent head of hers.
She had set it up all along. Giving up dinner when she was hungry, not caring if Naruto did weird things with her bowl, and the unusual amount of quietness where all clues that Neji carelessly dismissed. She was going to do something drastic!
"Well Sakura, I should be g-"
"Neji-kun," Sakura started as she cut him off, "thank you for walking me home."
"It was nothing…" Neji was already backing up, trying to leave the caustic situation.
"No, I should pay you with something nice to thank you."
The fact that Sakura's face was redder than her hair was an interesting combination. But that was beside the point. Any and all thoughts that Neji had during his walk about this reality being a nice one, he regretted. Not only did he regret those thoughts, but in his soul he also atoned and repented for them. He then made a quick promise to himself to not think those thoughts again until he was back to the real world.
Sakura took a nervous step forward and closed her eyes. She leaned forward on the tips of her toes to compensate for their height difference and reached out with her lips for his. After a second of holding her body in that position, of waiting for Neji to meet her half way, she opened her eyes. Sakura realized that next time she should probably start off with hoping that Neji would actually stay with her rather than running away. With her hands cupping her cheeks that were on fire, she let out an innocent yet clueless sigh.
"Neji-kun is so shy."
"Ah! There you are bastard!"
Naruto jumped down from a tree branch in front of Neji ready to fight. Neji saw the short, blonde-haired ninja standing directly in his path to the Hyuuga Estate and without pause quickly adjusted his direction to walk around the boy.
"Hey! Don't ignore me! You can't just go off walking my girlfriend home without me paying you back."
Uponhearing that, Neji raised a hand to Naruto; a make-shift signal of "quiet please". Silently, calmly, Neji made sure not to make any sudden movements infront of an angry and growingly perplexed Naruto. Reaching into his items pouch, Neji double checked to make sure that his ninja pills had not been replaced by hallucinogens. One could never be too sure about these sort of things.
Putting his items back away, Neji sighed. It seemed that there were no easy answers in this world.