Title: Shrinking Violet
Disclaimer: I lie on the stand.
Rating: G ( K ) – for a slight bit of creepiness, but nothing worth a higher rating.
Spoilers: Anything after Chapter 281 (Volume 21).

Summary: Three parts."You...," he laughed again, unable to finish his own thought without interrupting. It was amazing how easily she could distract him. "Are...so...incredible." SasuHinaKiba.

Theme: Flowers

Dedicated to MyAibou, who complains when I switch fandoms on her n.n


"Tch," the last Uchiha snorted, kicking at a stone in his path with harsh intolerance. "Always watching me...like I'll escape again..."

Sasuke's temporary absence in Konoha had caused his well-meaning teammates to shadow his every move, follow his every step, and generally deprive him of a single moments peace and quiet. Only a convenient distraction – some asinine display of overly-enthusiastic affection between Lee and Master Gai involving pushups, youthful stamina, and a river of tears – had allowed him to finally slip away from them and into the forest, far away from their scrutiny. Their devotion to his well being was touching, he supposed, but Naruto and Sakura had crossed a line by setting up nightly shifts for surveillance outside his apartment. Had he not known they were there from the beginning, showering would have been quite awkward considering that Sakura kept her nose pressed against his window.

Knowing that they wouldn't catch up to him for a few hours gave Sasuke the confidence to take his walk at a leisurely pace, absorbed in his mutinous thoughts. The breathtaking contrast between light and shadow within the treetops wasn't lost on the wandering teen as he slowly progressed through the forest, no destination in mind and preoccupied with his own solitude. It was quiet. Peaceful, even. Not a single, noisy distraction...

Crack.

The audible, out-of-place snap of a twig brought Sasuke's defense back up, but not in time. He was only halfway through his turn when –

"Augh!"

"Oof – " the air was forcefully expelled from Sasuke's lungs upon impact, forcing him to stumble backwards and drop to his knees for balance. Whatever had crashed into his chest rebounded a few feet away from him, sprawled out in a position far less composed than his own.

The air moved erratically with their rapid panting as they each fought their own battle to regain necessary oxygen. The Uchiha – sensing no danger from the tangled lump of clumsy ninja spread eagled in the dirt before him – made no moves in defense of himself, assuming that any harm meant for him had already been done.

Sasuke's unlikely adversary in grace remained on the ground as if the crash had been debilitating. Hardly so, was the Uchiha's opinion, but to each weakling his own.

"Ow...," the human bulldozer sniffled, barely twitching otherwise. Sasuke was surprised at the pitch of the voice; whoever had knocked him down was female? Reevaluation of this clumsy kunoichi was in order.

Still, it was just like a hair-brained girl to run into him by 'accident' in the forest. If he thought Sakura would actually wear the clothes this girl was outfitted in, Sasuke would have suspected that it was his pink-haired teammate in disguise for another round of spying. Of course, Sakura wasn't the only fangirl lurking around Konoha...Sasuke had to remain wary of this female, no matter how delicate and helpless they seemed. (The fact that she was still on the ground after nearly two minutes was suspicious in itself, actually.)

Well, Uchiha Sasuke wouldn't bow to the will of a wily kunoichi. If she was hoping to be revived and then compensated with dinner and a few candies, she was quite mistaken, indeed. "You should watch where you're going," the irrate Uchiha hissed, sure to lower his voice to a deadly octave. "You can go ahead and die if you want to, but don't drag others into it."

The girl on the ground tensed for an instant before bounding upward into a sitting position, obviously alarmed at the presence of her victim.

Her hueless eyes were wide and sparkling beneath her thick lashes and her normally pallid skin was flushed, but Sasuke somehow got the impression that this reaction wasn't induced by potential romantic interlude. Not Hinata, who was more scared of approaching Naruto than her own shadow.

"Sa-Sasuke-s-s-san!" Hinata shrank back into herself, hiding from his displeasure in a bow. The Hyuuga heiress' shoulders trembled while she collected words into her mouth, exhaling them in a rush of breathless stammering. "I-I-I'm so s-sorry! I should h-have b-b-been w-watching where I was g-going!"

Could he trust in her explanation? Certainly, she was a member of the prestigious Hyuuga clan and had never once expressed any desire to kidnap him and force-feed him love potion-laced onigiri, but she was still a girl. He didn't trust any other girl as far as he could throw her (which, admittedly, was quite a ways), but there was nothing overtly threatening about Hyuuga Hinata. If anything, she was more of a threat to herself, considering that she couldn't even maintain her balance after collision.

Sasuke's lips were twitching in an unusual manner, almost as if they were itching to form a smile. He licked them, but the feeling didn't go away. "With the Byakugan, you should have seen me from at least a couple of miles away."

"I'm s-s-sorry, S-Sasuke-s-san...I'm such a k-k-klutz," she stuttered, lowering her head until it connected with her chest.

She was suddenly quiet again, face obscured by the thick veil of dark hair that was much longer than he remembered, oh-so-long ago during their first attempt at the Chuunin exam. Though disheveled by their collision and her blind sprint through the woods, it was well cared for, shining in the random flecks of sunlight peeking through the thick foliage above. A stream of light illuminated the crown of her head, reflecting off the healthy azure mass of hair that grew from her part, giving the wistful illusion of a halo surrounding her dark head.

It was...mesmerizing, Sasuke decided, basking in his own shadows a few feet apart from the shivering Hinata. As much as he detested girls in general, he couldn't deny being...attracted to one once in awhile. He surmised that the most attractive thing about Hinta, naturally, was her ability to keep her mouth shut for more than a few seconds at a time.

The brightness diluted the shade of her hair and bathed her shoulders in a wash of violet. She was curled in on herself, fingers twitching in nervous habit, and Sasuke was struck with the impression of a flower not yet bloomed. Timid and withdrawn, small and bowed down, she was a shrinking violet.

How magnificent she would be when she finally blossomed. Quiet and unassuming, but confident and full. Just like the violet wildflower that she resembled.

"It...," the Uchiha was, for once, unsure of his words. He averted his warming face and glared a the most convenient object in his new line of sight; the squirrel quivered and leapt for cover behind a thorny bush of deep indigo blooms. "...wasn't your fault."

There was another moment of silence before Hinata answered. Sasuke shifted in discomfort and attempted to force the color in his cheeks to subside.

"I'm s-sorry?" He watched Hinata through the corner of his eye as she tilted her chin up a fraction of an inch, chancing a peek up at him with pearly eyes through her bangs.

Sasuke fixed his impassive mask into place before gracing her with full attention. Her milky cornea were tinted the barest shade of purple in the influence of her bright halo. "It wasn't your fault. I should have stepped out of the way," he fought the urge to move closer to her. "And stop apologizing," he scolded, as an afterthought.

"S-sorry!" Hinata murmured, casting her gaze downward again. A split-second later, she flew into a panic of flailing arms and inarticulate words. "Ah! No, I'm sorry for apologizing again! W-wait, oh...I-I'm not sorry! Well, I am, but n-not – "

Sasuke had the decency to be shocked for a moment before the humor of the situation got the better of him. Hiding his own face this time, the Uchiha pressed his palm to his forehead as an odd quiver of laughter vibrated within his chest, escaping from his partially-open mouth. He leaned on his knee for support as the tremors of amusement grew stronger, throwing him off his usual graceful kilter. "Ah...ha ha...ha!"

He was more accustomed to scoffing at the ridiculous antics of women, but, somehow, that didn't seem appropriate in the presence of a girl so eager to please that she would stammer apologies for her apologies. Yes, Hinata was definitely an exception.

Besides, if he were to be too harsh, his little violet would wilt.

"You...," he laughed again, unable to finish his own thought without interrupting. It was amazing how easily she could distract him. "Are...so...incredible."

"Eh?" Hinata was colored more brightly now and practically glowed under her own influence. "N-no! I'm not, r-r-really!"

"Yes, you are," he insisted, forcing back his remaining chuckles to address her properly. The aching smile on his face simply wouldn't disappear, though. "Quite incredible."

"I-I'm not incr-cr-credible." She attempted to hide her face again, forefingers pressed against each other in an attempt to alleviate her obvious discomfort. With the blood rushing to her face, she practically glowed without help from an outside source.

Without even bothering to consider the action first, Sasuke rose from his knees and closed the distance between himself and the quivering Hyuuga heiress before dropping back down again, this time in close enough proximity to feel the bashful heat radiating from her face.

A slight breeze rustled through the trees and caught a few strands of her hair, wafting her scent to her grateful admirer. The Uchiha closed his eyes and absorbed the fragrance, which had no quantifiable classification. It wasn't exactly sweet, nor was it musky, it wasn't even reminiscent of violets as he had imagined; it was purely Hinata.

Sasuke decided that this was better. Perfumes tended to give him headaches after so many years of having eu d'flores-soaked handkerchiefs forced upon him by hordes of fangirls, so the absence of artificial fragrance was refreshing.

Hell, Hinata herself was refreshing.

"So you're saying I'm wrong?" his voice rose from the very depths of his throat, thick with desire that the Hyuuga wasn't aware that she inspired. It wasn't sexual, exactly, but he lusted after something about Hinata. Something that he didn't dare attempt to put a name to.

Hinata practically tripped over herself to recant, seemingly frozen in Sasuke's shadow. "N-no, Sasuke-san!"

The next step seemed easy to Sasuke, especially from his position perched over the object of his desire. All he needed to do was lean back a little, then lean in again a bit more, and –

"OI!"

Sasuke maintained his composure, but the impromptu shout had startled him out of any ideas bout "the next step" he had been considering. Hinata's flee from the shelter of his arms was what had truly caused his heart to jump, however. She had backed away from him by a good three feet, looking for all the world like a terrified rabbit in the sights of a rabid predator. Sasuke tried not to take it personally, but he was more accustomed to girls flinging themselves into his arms, not out of them.

He couldn't blame Hinata, though. Her nature seemed to dictate a challenging timidity that prevented her from forming bonds of any sort with others. Well, he wouldn't be an Uchiha if he didn't enjoy a challenge.

Without being able to place the accountability with Hinata, Sasuke leaned back on his haunches and turned to share a glare with their interruption. Ah, the Inuzuka and his overgrown mutt.

"Ki-Kiba-kun!"

Kiba's eyes shifted from Hinata to Sasuke. "What's going on here, eh?" he asked, voice strained through his teeth. His slitted pupils were barely visible beneath his narrowed eyelids, issuing a silent threat to the receptive Uchiha.

Sasuke smirked. "We were having a tryst," he replied, an amused lilt to his voice. He flashed the Sharingan at Kiba. 'I dare you.'

The dog at Kiba's side snarled and started to move toward him. Sasuke tensed, but didn't rise to meet the new challenge.

"No! I was...we were just...it was an a-a-accident!" Hinata suddenly cried, causing all involved parties to jump. Sasuke looked to her, very nearly concerned with the way she was swaying in the breeze. "I c-c-crashed into S-Sasuke-san because I w-wasn't looking where I was g-g-going."

The Inuzuka – showing some sense of self-preservation – held out his hand to his monstrous dog, preventing him from attacking the Uchiha. Unwillingly, Sasuke relaxed his muscles and conceded to a truce.

A physical truce, anyway. Neither looked away from the other as their battle of wills continued.

"Hn," Kiba finally snorted, maintaining his glare with his nose wrinkling in distaste. He didn't even look at Hinata as he addressed her, "Come on, then. You're so late for training that I had to come looking for you."

"Y-yes, coming, Kiba-kun...," the Hyuuga heiress acquiesced with a jittery smile. Kiba finally broke his eye contact with Sasuke to return a frightening, toothy smile of his own.

Hmph.

Sasuke rose to his feet and took a step toward the distracted Hinata. "Here," he extended a hand to her.

She seemed to have forgotten that he was even there, not something that Sasuke wanted to encourage. With large doe eyes and a pink stain on her cheeks, she placed one of her hands in his and tightened the muscles in her arm to give the perfect amount of resistance. Sasuke pulled her up without exercising a single muscle, finding her exceedingly light beneath her heavy clothing.

When she was upright, their bodies only centimeters away from touching, their eyes caught. Sasuke did what he was best at and masked his pleasure of the almost-sensation behind the dark miasma of his eyes.

Her eyes were open and forthcoming with information, however. She was frightened, nervous, and...interested? Sasuke hoped that his interpretation was correct.

Hinata retrieved her hand and stepped back. "Th-thank y-y-you."

"You're welcome."

The Inuzuka's dog barked in the background, but Sasuke paid neither it nor its owner any heed. He was far too involved in Hinata.

"H-h-have a good d-day," she bowed, her hair falling around her face again. "I hope to see you soon."

Sasuke's stomach clenched at the thought. "I look forward to it."

"Um...yes, w-well, goodb-bye."

Without even looking at him again, Hinata made her departure with quick steps. Kiba accepted her gladly, helped her mount his gigantic mutt, and they were gone. Not even the dog tamer spared him a glare before they disappeared into the thick foliage surrounding them.

For several long minutes, Sasuke stared in the direction that Hinata had left in, willing her to return with some convenient excuse. He felt the tingle of her invasive Byakugan and knew she was looking right back.

The thought gave him a thrill and a smile.


Authors Notes: Contrary to popular belief, this fic is NOT going to turn into an epic fic n.n; So sorry to disappoint you all, but three oneshots are all you get out of this plot. Not only am I HORRIBLE at updating things, but...well...that's pretty much the gist of it, actually. So, again, sorry, but there wont be anymore to this aside from Sasuke and Kiba's POV's (which I hope will be enough to satisfy your curiosity, anyway).

Btw, I tried to add a bit more Kiba this time since there's more room to interpret him from a rivals standpoint. Hinata is a little oblivious to everyone but Naruto, so I figured she wouldn't notice any sparks flying between Sasuke and Kiba.

All editing will be completed within the next few days, but I wanted to go ahead and update now so I don't forget. Be sure to leave your comments now so that I can incorporate them into my beta-ing n.n And try to be polite about them; I'm terribly nervous about posting this since I haven't really gone through it myself yet.

Another entry in sunnyday love's May contest (note the pun in my story title, which obviously doesn't match either of the oneshot's n.n )

Up Next: Kiba's POV...expressing my feelings.

. ( . Ms Videl Son . ) .

Love can be black and white. SasuHina.