This was just a random idea... came to me as I was eating dinner. And subsequently, I couldn't get a wink of sleep until I got this fic out of my head! I'm going nuts! MS Word says this story is 30 pages long (double-spaced)! Woot woot!
Disclaimer: Yeah, I know, I know. Characters belong to Masashi Kishimoto. Kishimoto-sensei, must you rub this fact in our FACES? Meanie!
NOT a Sasu/Saku piece. No likey, no readie!
'Irony Of Love'- Sakura wants Naruto to leave her alone so she can spend the rest of her happy life with the Uchiha of her dreams. Her plan: to hype up the qualities of one of the girls in the village and make Naruto fall in love with her. Will 'Mission: Uchiha Sakura' be a total success or will it go down in history as a miserable failure? Pairings: SasuHina, NaruIno… I guarantee one crack pairing- Pakkun x ?
"Sakura-chan, are you busy today?"
"Oh, Sasuke-kun! What a wonderful surprise! No, I'm not busy! What can I do for you?"
He procured the beautiful long-stemmed red rose he was hiding behind his back and handed it to her. She gasped, shock clearly written all over her face. "Sasuke-kun!"
"Go out with me tonight."
She looked across the table at her date. She couldn't believe it; she was on a date with her Sasuke-kun.
'HAH! Take that, Ino-Pig!' her Inner self screamed.
Sasuke was so handsome in his black Hugo Boss suit and dark blue silk dress shirt. She wasn't looking too shabby herself in her deep red Christian Dior silk georgette floor-length dress. The restaurant patrons couldn't stop whispering about the gorgeous couple. Sakura beamed with pride.
"Oh, Sasuke-kun," she said, roving her eyes over the entire menu at the new French bistro that had just opened in town. "Everything sounds so delicious, but these items... they're so expensive!"
"My dearest," Sasuke purred, covering her hand with one of his own and giving it a gentle squeeze. "Nothing is too good for my little flower. Please, order whatever you want. Money is no object. You deserve only the best."
"Oh, Sasuke-kun," she whispered, her eyes sparkling with love.
Dinner had been fabulous. It had consisted of Sakura eating and Sasuke admiring her beauty amidst the soft glow of candlelight. "I am so amazed that you are able to eat so much and not gain a single ounce!" he said, as his loving gaze roamed over her flawless skin and the soft curves of her body. "And you have a beautiful forehead."
"Oh, Sasuke-kun," she blushed prettily.
For dessert he had spoon-fed her raspberry mousse. After each bite Sakura took, Sasuke would lick the spoon clean. It was so... wow! Was that... a direct indirect kiss? She wanted to swoon!
"Oh, Sasuke-kun..." Sakura wanted to tell Sasuke what a wonderful night she was having. This date was so surreal... why couldn't she say anything besides his name?
"Hush, my love," he said, bringing a finger to her lips. Sakura almost kissed the perfectly sculpted digit and pouted when Sasuke pulled it away, looking dramatically to the side. "Do you hear that?" The sounds of a string orchestra playing softly in the background could be heard. Sasuke looked at her with hooded eyes. "Koibito, let us waltz under the stars..."
The night just got better as Sasuke took her by the hand and led her to the open-air dance floor. She melted into his strong embrace as Sasuke gazed into her emerald orbs and fingered her soft tresses. She felt as if she was floating in air. Finally, he let her go and reached into the inside of his suit pocket, revealing a baby blue velvet box. He kneeled before her.
Sakura gasped as Sasuke looked at her with shining eyes, presenting the pink-haired kunoichi with the one thing she had been waiting for her entire life.
Finally Sakura had found her true voice. "Sasuke-kun... is that what I think that is? I mean, is that a 3.5-carat brilliant cut diamond Tiffany engagement ring? Oh, Sasuke-kun!"
'Wait a minute...' She grimaced... that wasn't Sasuke-kun's voice... She looked into her love's eyes...
"Sasuke-kun? Your eyes are... so...blue..." The restaurant was disappearing right before her eyes, and tanned chubby fingers replaced the pale, elegant hand holding onto her diamond ring...
She was shaking. Or being shaken...
"Sakura-chan! Sakura-channn! SAKURA-CHANNNNNN!!! WAKE UP! WAKE UP, SAKURA-CHANNNNNNNN!!! WE'RE GOING TO BE LATE FOR PRACTICE!!!" the Uzumaki cried, trying to get his crush's attention.
Sakura blearily opened her eyes, blinking slowly and looking down. "What the... where's my fancy red dress... my ring…" she mumbled. She looked around, her mind still muddled by her state of sleepiness, and then brought her blanket up to her chin when she realized she wasn't with her #1 rookie of lurve.
"OH... MY... GOD!!! AAAAAAIIIIEEEEEE!!! NARUTOOOOOO!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN A GIRL'S ROOM?!! GET OUT!!!"
With a strength that was one day going to rival the current Hokage's, Sakura punched her teammate straight through her bedroom wall, not caring that the poor guy fell down two stories.
"WAAAAHHH!!! AND THAT WAS MY FAVORITE DREAM, TOO!!!" she said with gnashing teeth.
'DAMN YOU, NARUTO...' cried Inner Sakura, her jade hued eyes ablaze with fury.
She reluctantly tore out of bed, quickly took care of her bathroom regimen, got dressed, fluffed and perfumed her hair (since she had no time for a shower), and went outside, completely ignoring the orange, yellow, and blue heap that lay crumpled in front of her apartment building. She 'hmmmpff'-ed past Naruto with her nose in the air and raced off to the training grounds hoping to catch a few minutes of alone time with her crush before everyone else showed up.
When she got to Team Seven's meeting place, Sasuke wasn't there. She frowned. Still incensed by Naruto ruining a perfectly good Sasuke moment (even if it had all been a fantasy) she began to think of a way to get her teammate out of her hair once and for all. She knew he still had feelings for her, despite the number of times she shot him down. She ungracefully slumped down the base of a tree and began to think to herself.
'Since it's always the three of us, someone's always going to be left out. If Sasuke and I start dating, Naruto will only get in the way and try to ruin things... unless... unless I find Naruto a girlfriend!'
The idea was quite brilliant, really. All she had to do was hype up the good qualities of one of the girls in the village and divert Naruto's affections on that person, instead! The 16 year-old gave herself a pat on the back just as Naruto's limping form came into view, aided by someone. However, Sakura failed to notice the stranger standing right beside Naruto.
'Ugh... but who would want him though? Who can stand a too-loud, obnoxious kid in obvious need of Ritalin?'
Sakura thought for a moment... who was the most tolerant girl in the village? Who could she dump Naruto on?
"Sakura-CHANNN! Why'd you hit me like that?" wailed the battered hyperactive teen in an overly climactic fashion. His screaming broke her concentration. She snapped her head up and just as she was about to give the loud blond a tongue lashing, she saw...
The perfect girl for her plan.
Supporting Naruto's frame had been none other than Team Eight's Hinata Hyuuga who came upon the injured Hokage-wannabe on her way to her own team meeting. Noticing the severity of the injuries he had sustained she wanted to escort him to the hospital, but he insisted that he had to get to practice to beat up a certain Sasuke-bastard.
Hinata smiled fondly at her stubborn friend and one-time crush. 'No matter what condition Naruto-kun is in, he'll never miss out on practice!'
'Oh, this is going to be so EASY!' Sakura thought, remembering that the timid girl often blushed whenever the loudmouth was present.
"Ohayo, Hinata!" Sakura said brightly.
"Ohayo, Sakura-san," she said softly. The stuttering problem had long since been gone, but it was still hard to hear the blue-haired girl speak at times. "Well, I must get going. Naruto-kun, please be careful next time. Sakura-san, it was nice seeing you again," she said, bowing. "Have a good session!"
"Bye, Hinata-chan! Thanks again!" waved the overactive Kyuubi vessel.
"Ja ne, Hinata!" waved Sakura. Once Hinata's retreating form was naught but a mere speck in the distance, the wheels in Sakura's head were turning at a rapid pace, trying to recall everything she knew and heard about Hinata.
Now it was time for Sakura to set her plan into motion. Unbeknownst to her, however, Sasuke had just arrived and hid quietly in a branch high above them, not wanting to attract his audible teammates' attention. At least not until their lazy-ass teacher of a Kakashi came.
"Hey, Naruto- what do you think of Hinata?"
"Doesn't she have a great personality?"
Naruto stood up quickly and made a nice guy pose. "Well, yeah, of course! Hinata-chan's the best!"
"Don't you think she'd make the best girlfriend, ever?"
"Huh?" He scratched his head, confused. That look went away in a millisecond when he reddened bashfully and turned in her direction, twiddling his thumbs. "I think that YOU would make a great girlfriend, Sakura-chan..."
Inside he had given himself a big thumbs up. That sounded so romantic! HAH! That answer HAD to have passed 'Sakura's Love Test of Faithfulness and Devotion'! (A game he had obviously conjured up in his mind. Obviously.)
'Oi! Take THAT, Sasuke-Teme! He-he,' he thought, rubbing his finger under his nose proudly as he imagined Sasuke crying over Naruto's greatness.
Sasuke rolled his eyes. 'What a dumbass.'
She flinched, resisting the urge to pull her hair out, or giving her teammate another beating. 'Calm down! I must complete Mission: Uchiha Sakura!' She took a deep breath and quickly unfurled her fist.
"I think ANY GUY would be lucky to have Hinata under his arm," she declared rather loudly, causing Sasuke's ears to ring slightly. "Hinata's pretty, she has a nice body," or at least that's what Sakura thought, though she wasn't too sure what was lurking beneath that bulky jacket of hers... She pushed that stray thought aside. "…polite, caring, she can cook, clean, she's patient, determined, a good listener, a good fighter…" That was true. Hinata, like the most of them, was a Chuunin now. "…she's from a noble clan, her family is totally rich, kids love her, she knows how to treat injuries, she's responsible, she always smells nice..."
In the distance, a blue-haired, porcelain-skinned ninja of Konoha sneezed.
"Bless you, Hinata-chan," said Yuuhi and the Aburame in unison.
"Ah, arigato, Kurenai-sensei, Shino-kun."
"Hey, Hinata-chan, you know, they say when you sneeze, somebody's probably talking CRAP about you!"
"EH?!! Honto?" Shino quietly laughed behind his collar when Hinata realized Kiba was joking with her. "Mou! Kiba-kun!" She reddened profusely as the Inuzuka playfully pulled at her cheeks.
"Kidding, kidding!" chortled her rambunctious teammate as she batted at his shoulder with her small fists. Akamaru barked happily.
Her nose tickled again. "Ah-ah-choo!" she wheezed adorably. She brought her hands to her flushed cheeks as another wave of laughter rushed through Team Eight.
Sasuke listened as Sakura continued to rant on and on about the Hyuuga. From what she was saying, Hinata was quite a catch. And since Sasuke thought he deserved to have the best and not let a good thing go to waste on Dead Last, he decided he would investigate these claims about the Byakugan-user himself.
Sasuke noticed that Sakura had left out that Hinata was a fairly quiet person and spoke whenever it was absolutely necessary, unlike every other girl in the village who never seemed to shut their yap. Maybe she thought it wasn't a good quality. But then again, what could she possibly know about the art of silence?
Sasuke appreciated quiet. It was a rare commodity these days, especially when there were loud dobes and rabid fan girls always vying for his attention and approval.
Silence was truly golden.
Bah, he had sat in that tree for the last 10 minutes now and he couldn't stand hearing his teammate speak any longer. He decided to ditch Team Seven for today. Kakashi was either going to be late for practice or forget about it altogether. He decided his time would be better spent doing his research and left to go search for one particular pale-eyed kunoichi.
Sasuke found Hinata sparring with Shino. He had been surprised. She was much quicker and more aggressive than he had last remembered (their then-Genin teams once had a joint training session after Kakashi had flaked on them for an 'Icha Icha' Book Release Party) and was holding her own quite well against the bug nin. Minutes later, their instructor, followed by Kiba, came by to take away her partner, leaving Hinata alone to enjoy a quick water break before heading over the other side of their training area to beat on some training posts.
Hinata paused. "Sasuke-san, can I help you with anything?" She didn't even look in his direction. She knew he had been watching and it unnerved her a bit.
Sasuke jumped down from his perch and approached the reticent heiress. "I've been looking for you," he said, not beating around the bush. Her eyes widened slightly as she turned to face him. "Fight me."
"... and she has very neat handwriting." Whew! Sakura needed some water for her parched throat. She grabbed her canteen and took a long sip of the refreshing liquid. She had gushed about the girl for the last 45 minutes! Where the heck was her Sasuke-kun and Kakashi-sensei? "So, isn't Hinata the greatest? That's why you should date her and not me. Did you get all that down, Naruto?"
There had been no response.
She was answered by a light snore.
She looked to the side and an angry vein appeared on her forehead. NARUTO HAD FALLEN ASLEEP!!! Inner Sakura began to howl in misery. 'DAMNIT!'
Sakura began to throttle him violently, startling Konoha's number one loudest ninja out of his peaceful slumber.
"NARUTO!!! HAVE YOU LISTENED TO A SINGLE WORD I'VE SAID?!!"
"NNA-A-A-NNA-A-A, SA-A-AKU-U-R-AA-CHA-A-AN!!! S-S-STOP I-I-IT!!! YOU'RE HU-U-URTI-I-ING M-E-EE!!!" the poor teen wailed!
Sakura had anime tears streaming down her face as she threw the bane of her existence onto the floor. Why did Naruto have to be such a grade-A blockhead?
She brought her face down towards his and whispered menacingly. "Listen up, and listen good, NA-RU-TO!!!" She had poked him hard in the chest for every syllable in his name. "I don't want to have to repeat myself after this, YOU GOT THAT?"
Naruto shivered, rubbing his new injury. 'Sakura-chan is so scary...' He shook his head furiously. She sighed and tried to calm her frazzled nerves.
"Hey, Naruto- what do you think of Hinata?" She had to force her voice to sound saccharine sweet.
'Here we go again... Oh boy, this is going to be a long day...' she groused, rubbing her achingly large forehead. 'The things I'll do in the name of love...'
Sakura took a deep breath. "Any guy- THAT MEANS YOU, AND ONLY YOU, NARUTO!!!" she screamed, "- would be lucky to have Hinata as their girlfriend! Hinata's pretty, she has a nice body..."
Hinata's Byakugan proved to be a good challenge to Sasuke's Sharingan. The two found themselves equally matched, though Sasuke had sort of won in the end when he unintentionally slipped forward on a moss-covered rock and pinned her to the floor. She squeaked in surprise. He quickly leaped off of her, both teens blushing heavily and turning in opposite directions. Sasuke muttered a quick apology, running his hand through his sweat-dampened hair.
The Uchiha had to admit- Hinata had some nice curves, or so he thought in the briefest moment his body lay flushed against hers. And oh yeah. She smelled real nice, too. Nothing overbearing, unlike one person he knew who probably bathed herself in perfume this morning.
Okay. He took a deep breath. Through his research he had established that Hinata was indeed quite pretty (and that was all based on preference, anyway), was a skilled fighter to boot, had a really nice body indeed (he had to wipe his slightly bleeding nose in acknowledgment of that fact, damn his hormones), he already knew about her family and its prestige... So far his teammate's claims had checked out.
Hinata looked to the floor, wondering about her impromptu training partner and why he had come. Not to mention the tingles she felt when Sasuke's body was pressed against hers. She began to chew on her lower lip nervously.
Sasuke glanced at his watch and noticed it was almost noontime.
She looked up blushing. Dang, she shouldn't have had that last thought! It made her realize how really cute Sasuke was!
"Hai... Sasuke-san?" That nearly came out as a whisper.
"Make me lunch." He smirked.
"EH?!!" she cried.
ONE HOUR LATER...
"... and blah, blah, blah, neat handwriting," she rasped. Sakura was EXHAUSTED. Not only was her throat dry again, but her neck hurt like crazy, too. She had to keep whipping her head to the side to make sure Naruto wouldn't fall asleep on her again!
"Ne, ne, Sakura-chan... why do you keep talking about Hinata-chan?" He stifled his yawn. He didn't want to give Sakura another reason to introduce his face to her fist!
"Naruto," she said, looking deep into his eyes as she grasped his shoulders. He visibly gulped. She looked so serious! Was she... was she going to confess she loved him instead of Sasuke-teme?
"I want you..." Naruto was in heaven! "...to date Hinata-chan!" And then back in hell again!
"WHAT?!!" he cried, jumping up and down while flailing his arms wildly. "But..."
"No buts, Naruto!" she said matter-of-factly, crossing her arms and turning her body away. "You and Hinata make the perfect couple, and that's FINAL!"
Before Naruto had the chance to argue the reasons why that was the most absurd idea EVER, Pakkun, Kakashi's comical tracking dog appeared before them in a puff of smoke.
"Your sensei sent me over to tell you guys he couldn't make it today. Training has been cancelled. By the way, Sakura-chan," the pup said, directing his lazy eyes her way. "Love that shampoo." Before Sakura had the chance to make mincemeat out of the annoying pup, Pakkun left the way he came.
"Ooh, I HATE that dog! Why does that DOG have to use the same brand of shampoo as I do?!!" she muttered heatedly, effectively knocking Naruto out when she unknowingly punched him in the head instead of the tree they had been sitting under.
"Come on, Naruto, stop dilly-dallying! We're going to look for Hinata so you can confess your feelings," she said as she dragged the unconscious Uzumaki from their training spot.
'And once we find her, I'm going to dump you in her hands and find Sasuke-kun so we can make wonderful memories together! SHANNARO!' said Inner Sakura emphatically.
Hinata wondered how she got into this strange predicament. First she had to fight with Sasuke. Then of all things, he fell on top of her, and she thought it was nice. And now she was playing Susie-Homemaker for him? What the FRICK?
She shook her head at the absurdity of it all. Perchance she was dreaming? What was she doing with the dark haired Avenger, anyway? He didn't even hang out with her circle of friends, despite the fact that they were both members of the Rookie Nine.
She took a good look at herself. No, she wasn't dreaming. Here she was, inside Uchiha Sasuke's kitchen, of all places, alternating between rolling onigiri with umeboshi (pickled plums) in the middle and frying potato croquettes in a pan. She had made some side dishes consisting of pickled radishes and daikon, agadeshi tofu, and prepared a fresh pot of genmaicha (sencha green tea with roasted brown rice).
This was such a weird day.
Sasuke had stolen a few glances at Hinata while watching TV. He had to admit- she looked pretty darn sexy wearing the frilly blue apron that had once belonged to his mother. He kind of liked the fact that Hinata knew her way around his kitchen. And the smells wafting through the house... he could feel his mouth watering in anticipation. Sure, he received numerous bento lunch boxes from nearly every one of his fan girls, but he'd never risk eating from any of them... for all he knew, they could've been laced with some sort of love drug or something. He shuddered.
The sounds of tableware being set snapped him from his reverie. He turned off the television set, then walked over to the small dining table and sat down, pulling apart a pair of chopsticks. Hinata followed suit.
"Ittadakimasu," they both said.
Hinata watched in anticipation as Sasuke reached for one of her croquettes and took a small bite. Sasuke's eyes bugged out of his head.
"Oishii…" he whispered, amazed. He quickly grabbed a rice ball, tried the pickled side dishes and took a nibble of the tofu. All the while Hinata sat patiently, reveling in the small amount of praise she had been given for her culinary talents.
Sasuke stopped eating for a moment, slightly embarrassed that he was pigging out on his lunch, in front of company, no less. He swallowed his food, took a sip of his hot tea, relishing in its smooth and refined taste and asked, "Hinata- why aren't you eating?"
"Oh! Um… Ano…"
He cut a small piece of the croquette sitting on his plate and reached over the table to feed it to Hinata. "Ahh, Hinata." Not wanting to seem rude, she took the pro-offered bite and plucked it off his chopsticks with her lips.
Chewing slowly, the two nearly choked once they realized what had just transpired.
Sakura was having a hard time finding Hinata. First she had scoured Team Eight's training grounds and discovered that no one was there. It was then she realized that it was well past lunchtime and most likely everyone had gone home.
"Sakura-chan," moaned Naruto. "Can we stop for lunch? I'm so hungry..."
Before Sakura had a chance to retort, she took a good look at the blond and felt a little pang of sympathy for him. Truthfully, she was pretty starved, too. "Okay, Naruto. Let's have lunch," she said, with a small smile.
"YEAH!" cried the teen exuberantly as he grabbed Sakura's hand leading her to his beloved ramen mecca, the Ichiraku, completely unaware that his frog coin purse had fallen to the ground sometime in the midst of his sprint. He quickly placed an order for 5 seafood-flavored ramens, 2 miso-flavored ramens, 3 chili-flavored ramens, 3 chicken-flavored ramens, 4 pork-flavored ramens, and 2 beef-flavored ramens.
"Sakura-chan, what are you going to have?"
She sweat dropped at his penchant for noodles. "One small miso ramen, please."
Hinata and Sasuke quickly and quietly finished their lunch, neither knowing what to say after that awkward moment. The shy Hyuuga took the opportunity to gather the dishes and place the uneaten portions of the meal into containers. Earlier, she had noticed that Sasuke had a limited food supply, and felt bad that he had so little to eat (probably because of his rigorous training schedule he had no time to prepare his own meals) and made as many other side dishes as she could with what she could find in his refrigerator.
Next she had wiped down his table with a damp rag. Now she was filling his sink with soap and water and washing his dishes. Sasuke watched from the corner of the kitchen as Hinata managed to do all of these things without complaint. It probably had to do something with her upbringing. He turned red as the idea of Hinata being the perfect housewife came to mind.
Hinata yelped in pain as the blade of a knife hidden beneath the sudsy water pierced her hand. Sasuke ran to her side in the blink of an eye and helped staunch the flow of blood by grasping her wrist. Hinata's uninjured hand glowed a bright green as she placed it over the cut and effectively sealed it.
"Are you okay, Hinata-chan?" The words came out rushed, but Sasuke had been so worried about her getting hurt that he didn't realize he had added the suffix.
However, Hinata was WELL aware of the fact, and it only made matters seemingly worse when Sasuke hadn't let go of her wrist. She could feel the butterflies dancing in her stomach. She hadn't felt this way in a long time, not since the days she harbored feelings for an energetic golden-haired shinobi. Her natural response was to flee and hide from the situation at bay.
Sasuke couldn't ignore the spark of electricity he felt when her hand was cradled in his. He lowered his head to lustily graze his teeth and lick the spot where the cut used to be.
Hinata thought it was impossible to feel so hot and so cold at the same time. She shivered. "S-Sasuke-s-an... A-A-no... m-my h-hand..." Her nervous habit had come back in full force as she tried to pry her arm away.
"Not Sasuke-san, Hinata-chan," he said softly, liking the natural way it fell off his tongue. He leaned closer to her face, studying her mouth intently. "I want to hear you call me Sasuke-kun." He placed a warm hand on her soft cheek as she leaned into his touch, the sensation overwhelmed her yet she found it surprisingly comforting.
"Sa-Sasuke-kun," she said breathily as their emotions led them to breach the distance with their lips.
"AAAHHH! That was GREAT!" said Naruto, smacking his lips and rubbing his belly. Sakura couldn't believe he had such a voracious appetite.
Sakura reached into her purse to pay for her ramen, but Naruto chivalrously held her hand back, telling her that he would pay for her meal.
Sakura smiled warmly at her friend. Yes, friend. Despite what she normally thought of the guy, Naruto was someone you could count on through thick and thin. "Thank you, Naruto."
He reached into his back pocket to retrieve his beloved frog coin purse and felt nothing but the curve of his butt cheek. He began to sweat profusely. Sakura was waiting for him to pay!
Just a few blocks away, Ino had been walking through the street after visiting Chouji at the hospital. The poor boy had contracted food poisoning from one of his many all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ escapades and had been told that he'd have to go on a weeklong strict veggie diet until his system flushed out all the harmful bacteria.
At first, he had been okay with the diet when Shikamaru helpfully pointed out that his favorite potato chips were actually made out of a vegetable, and Chouji had been slightly pleased (and miffed at the same time) with his subconscious efforts to eat right (the logic Chouji came up with in his mind was Vegetables are Healthy. A Potato is a Vegetable. Therefore, Potatoes are Healthy. Remember, folks- Shikamaru has the 200+ I.Q., not him). Of course, when Tsunade restricted him from eating that particular starchy vegetable, the large chuunin had flipped out and the Godaime had been forced to sedate him with an elephant tranquilizer.
Just before she was going to set foot into her family's flower shop, an oddly shaped fuzzy green "stone" caught her eye. Upon closer inspection, she realized it was a fairly cute coin purse in the shape of a frog, busting at the seams. Opening it, she was surprised to see the large wads of cash and coins inside! Maybe if she was lucky, no one would claim the money! 'Then I can buy that pretty blue hairclip I saw at the store...'
She went inside her store and emptied the frog's contents. She felt instantly dismayed. The inner lining read: Property of Uzumaki Naruto- Future Hokage.
She groaned dejectedly, feeling increasingly upset at Naruto for teasing her with that hefty sum of money. 'I better find that loser and return this to him before I change my mind.'
Hinata couldn't believe it. Her first kiss had been with none other than Konoha's heartthrob Uchiha Sasuke. Never in her wildest dreams would she have imagined this ever happening, but it did and she didn't know what to think... her mind had turned into putty.
Sasuke was in the same frame of mind. He would have never thought his first kiss with a girl (damn the dobe for being his first kiss) would be with the Hyuuga heiress, no less, and he couldn't help but compare it to his favorite childhood treat- simply sweet and he couldn't get enough. He never experienced something that felt so good, so right, so... natural... so... meant to be.
The kisses they shared in the kitchen were gentle, at first, but eventually things got hot and heavy and the two didn't know how they made it all the way to the living room couch, but pretty soon they found themselves engaged in a tangled mess of limbs, disheveled clothing, messed up hair, and mashing tongues. Their kisses were fiery and desperate, like time would end for them at any moment.
Hinata decided to be a bit more bold and kissed her way down his jaw and finally settled her lips on his Adam's apple, alternating between licking and sucking lightly. The actions maddened Sasuke with desire as he crushed his lips to hers again, pressing her into the cushions. Pulling away slightly, he whispered desperately into her hair, "Marry me, Hinata-koi."
Hinata realized that everything was happening so quickly, but she couldn't shake off the feeling of contentment that came from being in this man's arms. Not to mention the fact that his mouth was addictive.
"Hai, Sasuke-kun, I will marry you!" she said, as she glomped Sasuke, flipping him onto his back
"Naruto..." asked Sakura between clenched teeth. "Why aren't you paying for our meal?"
"He-he... about that, Sakura-chan... he-he." He rubbed the back of his head thinking of all the ways he could escape, but Sakura was blocking the front exit (the only exit, really). "You see, I..."
"I-INO-PIG! What are you doing here?"
"I could be asking the same thing, but it's oh-so-OBVIOUS you're on a date with NA-RU-TO!"
"AM NOT! And you never answered my question!"
Ignoring her former best friend and current rival, she threw an object at Sakura's lunch buddy who caught it with much ease.
"I-Ino! Where'd you find this?" Naruto cried, clutching his beloved coin purse to his chest.
"Che, Naru-DORK! I found it on the street! Take better care of your stuff next time! That's a whole lot of money to lose!"
"HAH!" snapped Sakura, pointing an accusatory finger in Ino's face. "Naruto, you'd better count and see if all your money is still there! Knowing Ino-Pig here, she's not to be trusted!"
Ino bristled. "Take That BACK, FOREHEAD GIRL!!!"
"MAKE ME, INO-PIG!!!"
Naruto couldn't stand it anymore. The two girls had resorted to pressing their heads up another in an obvious glare match. Finally, having enough of the unbearable silence, he spoke calmly in true Hokage-fashion. "Ne- I don't need to count the money. I trust Ino-chan. It's probably all there."
"YOU WHAT?!!" screamed both girls.
Ino quickly regained her composure. "You bet it's all there! Hey, thanks, Naruto! You're not such a doof after all. Hey, Forehead Girl- you should learn to be more like HIM," she said, pointing her thumb in his direction.
Sakura was beyond speechless. She was gaping like a fish! Since WHEN did Naruto take ANYONE'S side other than HERS?
Before Ino left the ramen house, she looked as if she forgot something. Fishing around the contents of her purse, she reached in and grabbed some pieces of paper and handed them to the other blond. "Here, take these, Naruto. I was going to give these to Chouji-kun, but he can't use them. They expire at the end of the week. Sore ja, Naruto! FOREHEAD GIRL! NYEH!" she jabbed, pulling down the skin beneath her eye and sticking out her tongue.
Sakura was still suffering from shock. Therefore she had failed to catch the goofy lovesick glance Naruto gave to Ino as she left.
Ino had given Naruto a gift more precious than any other (well, besides the Hokage-ship, of course).
Ino had given the gift... of RAMEN! Coupons for a WEEK'S worth of all-you-can-eat wholesome yummy noodly goodness!
In Naruto's ramen-obsessed mind, that was practically a marriage proposal!
He quickly paid for the ramen and decided he needed to properly thank Ino for her kindness.
Sakura watched in abject horror as Naruto DITCHED her to follow after Ino of all people! She fell to the floor in a dead faint.
Back at Sasuke's, the two teens had finally taken a breather. Hinata's lips were bruised and her neck was a bit splotchy from all of the love bites her new fiancé had given her. Fortunately, she would be able to cover the markings with the hitae-ite she usually wore around her neck. Wherever that was...
Sasuke, on the other hand... well, let's just put it this way: Despite his wife-to-be's genteel mannerisms, Hinata had nicely surprised the Avenger by ravaging him thoroughly. Most of him, that is. Sometime in between Sasuke nibbling Hinata's ear and her pleasurable mewling, he had asked Hinata her take on pre-marital sex. She stopped all her movements and pulled away from him faster than a speeding bullet, much to his chagrin.
The two sexually frustrated teens sighed. Damn their clan honor and whatnot, but it still lurked in the back of their minds.
Finally, it was Hinata who had broken the silence. She poked her fingers together. "Sasuke-kun... maybe we could get married today? Then we wouldn't have to wait so long to... you know..."
How could he say no when Hinata was sitting before him in nothing but her underwear? Who knew Hinata wore very racy, lacy underthings? Uncharacteristically, he began to nod his head uncontrollably in agreement.
The newly engaged couple got up from the couch and began to get dressed, then undressed, then dressed again, then undressed once more (and Sasuke had to scold Hinata for trying to remove his pants), and finally, when all their clothes were on and presentable enough, they straightened their hair as best as they could and covered their red spots with some of Hinata's medicinal salve.
It was decided that Sasuke would go to the Hyuuga estate to ask Hiashi for his daughter's hand in marriage.
Naruto was on Cloud Nine. He never realized it before, but Ino was a very cool girl. Smart, strong and pretty, just like Sakura-chan... and Sakura had treated him to ramen a few times (actually, he stiffed her with a few ramen bills), but what Ino had given him fell into the PRICELESS category. That's why he reasoned Ino was better than Sakura. That's why the kyuubi-container was searching high and low for the best possible thank you gift for Ino he could afford.
Flowers? In essence, that was a great idea, but the Yamanaka's owned the only flower shop in town. Candy? He liked the idea and then remembered the face-full of lumps Sakura gave him when he accidentally presented her with an empty heart-shaped box.
'Come on, brain! THINK!' His mind was blank. Sadly, he realized that he didn't know Ino all too well and spent way too much time fawning over someone who clearly had every intention to get rid of him every time his rival was nearby. 'Why else would Sakura-chan force me to date Hinata-chan when we're just good friends?'
He walked by several stores, pausing to look inside the windows for that special something that Ino might like. Traveling to the next display window, something bright and sparkly caught his eye. He raced inside the store, paid for the object and asked the storekeeper to wrap it nicely for him.
"A gift for a special someone?" the elderly woman asked.
"I hope so," Naruto replied thoughtfully.
"Good luck, child," she said tenderly. "You have a kind heart. You'll be quite a catch someday. Even break a few hearts."
"Really? Thanks, Granny!" He gave her his patented nice-guy pose.
Over at the Ichiraku, the ramen stand owner and his daughter, Ayame, were making a fuss over what to do with Sakura's prone body. She hadn't moved from her spot on the floor for the last half hour.
"Father... you don't think it was the ramen, do you?" she asked hesitantly.
He quickly admonished the young woman standing next to him. "Nonsense, Ayame! Naruto eats our ramen all the time and LOOK at him!"
The two looked at each other skeptically for a moment.
"I'll take her to the hospital."
"Hai, Father. I'll close up shop."
Ino heard the door chime as a guest came into her store. She ran out from the backroom. "Yoku irasshaimashita (Welcome)! Oh, hey, Naruto. Here to waste your money on flowers for Forehead Girl?" She had intended it to sound like a joke, but for some reason the words came out sounding bitter.
"Huh? Um, actually..." Naruto began to nervously tap his zora sandal on the floor. "Actually, I wanted to drop this off." He placed the neatly wrapped box with iridescent ribbon on the countertop.
"What's this?" Ino asked.
"I wanted to say thank you... for finding my wallet. And for the ramen vouchers."
"Aww, Naruto," she chided kindly. "You didn't have to go through all that trouble." She opened the box, anyway. She gasped. Inside was the hairclip she had been coveting for so long but couldn't afford! For Naruto to be so willing to fork over all that money for a little trinket meant a lot to her.
Naruto began to sweat uncomfortably when Ino didn't say anything. It felt a lot worse than Sakura's bouts of silence. "Um, Ino-chan, if you don't like it you can exchange it for something else. I just liked the color- it matches the blue in your eyes..." He was babbling at this point.
Ino looked, really looked at Naruto for the first time and saw that he wasn't the hopeless person Sakura made him out to be. She began to see all the things Shikamaru, Chouji, Kiba, Shino, Neji, Hinata, Lee, Kakashi-sensei and Iruka-sensei saw in him all along. Naruto... was a really sweet guy. He had stood up for her in front of Sakura. And now that she thought about it, Naruto was kind of cute.
She walked over to him and placed her arms around his neck. Naruto was still chattering away.
"Naruto-kun... shh." And with that, she effectively ended Naruto's prattling with a tender kiss.
While Hinata asked one of the servants to summon her father, Neji and Sasuke had a little talk. Neji was wary of Sasuke's intentions towards his cousin, though he was indeed interested to see what the mix of gene pools would create. Uchiha's with pinkeye? What would they call the new fusion of Byakugan and Sharingan? Byaringan? Shakugan? He gave a quick snort in mirth.
"So, Uchiha," he said, narrowing his eyes. He didn't trust the former Konoha defector one bit. "Why Hinata-sama?"
"The truth?" Sasuke paused as Neji continued to look at him with a cool gaze. "Two words: Potato croquettes."
"Oh? Ohhh..." Yeah, Neji had to admit those things Hinata made were damn good. Of course, he also knew that wasn't the real reason.
"Hey, Uchiha- I can see your hickey."
"Which one?" Sasuke winced, realizing he had just walked into Neji's trap. "Damn."
"Just cover it up with your hitae-ite," the Jonin offered.
"I... can't. It's hiding the one that's up THERE."
Neji couldn't believe it. You could get a hickey on your forehead? "What the..."
"Yeah," Sasuke smirked, noticing his reaction. "Your cousin gets pretty freaky."
Neji placed his hands over both of his ears. His innocent little cousin... f-f-f-freaky? "LA LA LA LA, I'M NOT LISTENING, LA LA LA LA..."
"AHEM," said the servant, getting their attention. "Hiashi-sama will see you now."
The two #1 rookies were led to one of the many rooms in the Hyuuga's palatial grounds. Upon entry, Sasuke bowed properly to the Clan Head of the Hyuuga and seated himself on a traditional zabuton pillow right next to Hinata.
"Uchiha Sasuke- state the nature of your visit." Hiashi was staring right through him.
"Hai, Hiashi-sama. I wish to marry your eldest daughter."
"Hinata, is this true?" asked her father; his eyes betraying no emotion.
"Hai, Otou-sama." She saw the hand Sasuke extended to her. She grasped it confidently.
There was an unsettling pregnant pause as Hiashi mulled over things from behind his kotatsu table.
"ALRIGHTY!!!" he screamed jovially, totally OOC for the normally stoic Hyuuga who was acting more like Maito Gai at the moment. "Hinata! Pack your bags! You don't live here anymore!" He grabbed his new son-in-law and his daughter in a crushing bear hug. "Be happy and make babies! Eh, yo, Hanabi!" he yelled (in a strange Italian accent that seemed to have come out of nowhere), as he leaned towards the shouji screen door. "Good news! Looks like you won't be getting that cursed seal after all!"
After Hiashi and Sasuke signed the wedding papers (and Neji notarized them- being a Jonin has its perks) the Hyuugas and the newlywed Uchihas partied hard until 9 PM (because "Lost" was on that night) feasting on croquettes and warmed sake.
Needless to say, Mr. and Mrs. Uchiha went back to their home and had one HELLUVA wedding night (over and over and over and over again) where Sasuke discovered Hinata was a minx in the bedroom.
"Hey, everybody- shhhh! She's waking up..." informed Tsunade. The large crowd of people stopped whatever they were doing and turned their attention towards the woman lying in the hospital bed.
Sakura strained her eyes against the harsh fluorescent lights in the room. "Ugh... where am I?" asked a dazed Sakura. She was still feeling a little out of it.
Tsunade placed her hand over her former apprentice's head. "You're in the hospital, sweetie. You were in a self-induced coma for over eight years."
"I... WHAT?" she screamed. She looked around at all the faces and admitted everyone did indeed look a bit older (save for Tsunade who will forever look 35-ish). She first saw Sasuke, who was still totally handsome, and her eyes traveled lower to the glint reflecting off of his hand. A wedding band!
She quickly brought her own hand to her face. Waah!!! No ring?
"Sakura-san?" That was Hinata. "Can I get you a glass of water? You must be thirsty," she offered, minutely diverting Sakura's panicky thoughts. Sakura took the moment to focus on Hinata. She looked... fuller. She saw Hinata was donning a medic-nin's uniform. Her name tag read U. Hinata. She took a while to think things through.
"Hinata-chan! You married Naruto and you're pregnant! I'm sorry I missed out on so much! Congratulations!"
Before Hinata had a chance to correct her, the Hokage spoke up.
"Actually, Sakura-chan..." said Naruto.
Sakura got a good look at Naruto, who was wearing the vestments of Hokage.
"Na-Na-Naruto?" she choked. "You're the ROKUDAIME?" 'Whoa, Naruto is so HOT!' Inner Sakura screamed. Indeed, Naruto had managed to top Sasuke in looks, looking much like the former Yondaime.
"AHEM!" That was Ino.
"Ino-Pig? Why are you here?"
"For your information, FOREHEAD GIRL, Naruto-kun and I are ENGAGED!" she declared happily, showing off her 3.5-carat brilliant cut Tiffany engagement ring. Collective oohs and aahs could be heard across the room along with one proud 'he-he' as everyone admired the size of that massive gemstone.
The room was spinning. Naruto and Ino-Pig? Engaged? But Hinata's name tag... She turned slowly towards Hinata once more, now noticing how close she and Sasuke were standing together.
Her breathing became shallow as she struggled for air. The heart monitor device was beeping erratically. Shizune cleared the visitors from the bed as Tsunade's hand hovered just over Sakura's heart. Sakura pushed the appendage away.
"U... Hinata..." she started calmly, as if she were in a trance, "stands for Uchiha Hinata?"
At that moment, a wave of children, 13 to be exact, rushed into the room with Neji and Tenten. Each had a different combination of white or charcoal eyes, and blue or black hair.
Sasuke explained the situation quickly. "Twins run in Hinata-chan's family. We've had two sets of triplets and three sets of twins. My wife is a baby-making machine! There's another two on the way," he added, rubbing his spouse's rounded belly. "Thank you, Love."
"Shh, Koi..." Hinata flushed at the endearment. "It wasn't all my doing. You were there, too, you know."
"Damn RIGHT I was!" guffawed Sasuke, remembering in every which way he was a VERY active participant. His nose trickled blood as he remembered last night's crazy romp in the hay. "Hinata was... Wow..." His wife blushed, though the entire village was probably aware of how devoted the Uchihas were in reviving the Clan. Sasuke was a very lucky man to have Hinata as his wife.
Sakura's eye began to twitch. She couldn't believe this! "Wha- what about your brother, the Akatsuki, Orochimaru, and the cursed seal?"
Hinata pulled a handkerchief from her pocket and dabbed at her husband's face. Apparently Sasuke spaced out like this often. "I killed Itachi-aniki, Naruto killed off the Akatsuki single-handedly, Orochimaru died from some weird strain of herpes and Hinata-koi removed the seal," he said, giving his wife a squeeze.
Sakura felt bad for ignoring everyone else in the room, but she couldn't help it. Her entire life had been devoted to Sasuke and someone else was living the life she craved to have!
"When... when did you guys get... mma-mmmmaaa-mmmarr..."
"Married?" Offered Ino quasi-helpfully.
Sakura threw her the nastiest look she could muster.
"Oh, um, well, we suppose it was probably around the same day you arrived at the hospital, but we had no idea you were here..."
Sakura's eyes couldn't get any bigger than they were now. 'They got together in one day?!!'
"We owe you a bit of gratitude, Sakura," said the former Avenger and former lone Uchiha... he was a happily married family man now.
She blanched. "WHAT?"
"I mean, if it weren't for all the great things you said about Hinata-koi under that tree, we wouldn't be the happy couple we are today!"
Sakura urked. That tick in her eye had come back in full force.
"Hai, Sakura-san! Thank you! Sasuke-kun and I wanted to show our appreciation by naming our first daughter after you."
"Say hello to Auntie, little Sakura-chan!" said Kakashi.
Uncle Kakashi lifted up his niece for Sakura to see. A cherub-faced toddler with her mother's pale eyes and her father's unruly ebon locks stared back at her shyly. "O-ohayo, Sakuwa-obachan! My name is Uchiha Sakuwa! I'm onwy fwee yeaws ode!" she stated proudly, waving up 3 chubby fingers.
Everyone cooed and awwed again. The Uchiha children were so adorable!
"U-Uchiha Sa-Sakura?" Her mission had been completed, but nothing had gone in her favor. True, Naruto had forgotten all about her and was now with Ino, of all beings, but now he was totally GORGEOUS! And sitting right beside her was the spawn of Hinata and Sasuke who had the namesake she had dreamed of for so long. The irony of it all caused Sakura to succumb to her dizzy spells and start making strange noises again. The commotion in the room stopped.
"Sakura-san, are you feeling okay?" asked Hinata. Sasuke grabbed his daughter from Sakura's bedside and set her on her two feet and asked his kids to follow Neji-ojichan and Tenten-obachan to the playground. The former Hokage kindly asked everyone to leave-the pink-haired kunoichi was most likely tired from the updates of everybody's lives and needed her rest. Tsunade injected a sedative into Sakura's IV to make her fall asleep.
When the door to her room was finally shut, Sleeping Beauty had one more surprise visitor.
"Pretty baby," Pakkun cooed, running his eager paws through the cotton candy pink tresses and lifted some strands towards his pug nose. He inhaled deeply, reveling in its heavenly scent. In truth, the dog had visited almost every night to gently wash her hair and comb it smooth with his paws.
"Aah, that's some great shampoo!"