Vanilla

ARIGATO MINNA-SAMA! I'll still stick to humor since many were satisfied on it. To all who expected a scene in the hot spring, gomenasai but there wouldn't be any. And PKW, I wholeheartedly thank you for such a great review o still, I think I'm not that good to deserve such praise.

Naruto and the copyright belongs to Masashi Kishimoto and if by any chances we meet, I'll force him to give Akatsuki to me and once and for all Itachi, Deidara and Hidan would be mine all mine! evil laugh

Chapter VI – Rejection

"Nee, Sa-suke?"

He turned around, both hands on the pockets. He pulled up one hand and let his fingers brush away the overlong dark locks that trespassed his sight "Hn" The way he replied paired up with his recent action was too much of him. Yes, the cool demeanor every female had grown a desire. His action could even fool himself because deep inside he was the hungry monster with his jaw opened ready to devour the pray any moment but still can't snatch the life away. If he wasn't an Uchiha, he would have been more than obliged to approach her. But no, he was an Uchiha. Hinata was there on the farthest Sakura tree. Even if the white kimono she wore had camouflaged with the tree trunks, her hair was of no escape. It glistened under the blue clear sky. She was hiding, doubting that it would be appropriate to join the peaceful ambience he had made with the nature. Of course for the past fifteen minutes she was having this second thoughts, he knew he was there even when she had only four steps on the stair.

"H-Have you seen the o-others?"

For a moment, he looked devastated "Ie, I haven't seen Naruto"

Hinata blinked then blushed. Did she just mistaken to say the word 'Naruto' instead of 'others'. If she did, well her mouth felt like it doesn't connect with her brain. Sasuke turned and looked away.

Naruto, Naruto, Naruto. He's so sick of the name always running from her mouth can't his name fit in even once? Just thinking that her sight could only distinguish the color of orange and not blue, the sway of bright tresses and never the dark locks, the turning of bright cerulean eyes and not once, the averting of dark cobalt orbs made him want to ran on her and—

Actually, when Hinata came, wasn't the first word she summoned was his name. Nevertheless, love makes someone paranoid.

"Hinata…" Sasuke started. If he can't get any idea of how to make her his, he wasn't left much choice but to get some from her. With his eyes looking on a wild Cosmo there was no reason to look her way "When you love someone, are you aware you're making him feel that way?"

Hinata's eyes flickered in surprise. Her lips opened then closed again. Fully aware that she was gutless and in front of her was a daring type, she thought there was no reason to restrain the true answer "There would be no yes or no" Hinata softly said, "I wouldn't want to make him feel I love him"

"Why?"

"Because I'm afraid to be rejected"

A mild wind passed by and as it did, some pink petals blotted his view of the Hyuga. Rejection, wasn't that his reasoning too? If both of them were like that, could it be possible that one day when one of them turned around, one would recognize the other? Sasuke swallowed back air. If things remained that way, the only thing that could possibly happen was that Naruto would appreciate Hinata as he would appreciate Sakura.

"I…"

The wind blew by and Hinata tucked her hair back, unpredictable of what the next thing the Uchiha would say.

"I do love you"

It seems the air had thicken. Jaded eyes grew wide.

He held the door and with the amount of force, flung the door open. It was in the darker stage of twilight that had drifted on his eyes "Man, can't we just return tom—"

Before he could finish that, someone had already kicked him out of the door "Don't stick your ass on the doorway, idiot!"

"You—!" Naruto got on his foot and with his pointing finger, started his outrage "Have your business on your own distorted butt!"

"Damn it, Naruto!" Kiba raised a brow "Mine is never distorted!"

Another exchange of insults came from each party. Hinata was beside the entry of the house waiting for Shino and Sakura who had gone for a moment to give their sign of gratitude for letting them stay. Sasuke was already outside, leaning by one of the post in the terrace of the house. Cobalt eyes were fixated on the Hyuga who had Akamaru on her chest, absorbing herself by playing with the dog.

"Arigato, Sasuke-kun demo…" Soft words under innocent eyes "I'll learn how to wait"

"Tsk" The sound escaped from his lips and exactly it was when the wait had ended, Shino and Sakura stepped in.

"Let's go?" Sakura asked smiling dearly to Sasuke but as always, it was Naruto who replied "LET'S GO NOW!"

………………………………………….

With a puff of smoke, the silver-haired jounin appeared "Yo"

"You're late!" Sakura and Naruto demanded as both pointed a finger. The man laughed sheepishly as for a moment his mind was deviated from the porn book. Sasuke turned around and leaned on the railings of the bridge sick of the usual scene every morning. He stared ahead where the abundant cherry-blossoms had started to loose out its petal, the enticing sight fading away. He sighed. Week had passed since his last encounter to Hinata. He heard Team8 had gone to a mission outside the village with their sensei and by now, they should be back.

His ego was demolished because of a certain shy girl.

"Uchiha Sasuke"

It worked pretty good to hear his full name summoned. He turned around to see it was only his sensei that was there "Where's Naruto and Sakura?"

Kakashi flipped the next page of the orange book as he moved on the railings of the bridge and sat on it "Lemme' see. I guess I sent them out and since you were spacing out—" He chuckled "you were left"

Sasuke stared. Something fishy, he thought, "Just tell me. A solo mission or another janitor-work"

He closed the book and tucked them back on his pocket. He massaged his lower jaw and after some time replied, "Actually, I don't know"

Knew he'll say that, Sasuke heaved out a desperate sigh, why did I ever wait? "Either way, the Hokage wanted you in the Tower"

"Hai, hai" He replied boringly and walked away from the jounin. What's with the old hag now? Another collaboration. Damn, he'll be paranoid if it was.

Cobalt eyes stared at those pure white orbs.

"T-Tsunade-sama, I thought…"

"Of course, sweety, I did promised to your father an elite to watch over you" Tsunade said and folded her arms on the table.

Sasuke tucked his hands on his pockets, finding now the reason of the sudden call "I'm not trained to be a bodyguard"

"But you're an Uchiha to be an elite"

"And to be an elite is not to be a bodyguard, isn't it Hokage-sama?"

A nerve popped out from Tsunade's forehead. One of these days, she'll really cut that sharp tongue of the Uchiha and make him wish he never had managed to outwit the Hokage.

She lost, she admits it but… "My village. My rule, isn't it Uchiha Sasuke?"

Damn, old hag! Sasuke glared at the satisfied smile on the face of Tsunade. His hands flung in the air "Fine!"

"D-demo…" Hinata stammered, afraid that she had ruined the life of the Uchiha. But Sasuke was walking out already and Tsunade gestured her to follow.

………………………………………….

The sky was an abstract of orange cast in pink, a rare color for heaven. As they walked on the street of the village, Sasuke suddenly decided to give up on his curiosity that had bugged him for the past hour. He looked back at her "Why do you need a watch anyway?"

Hinata stopped and started to play with her fingers. Looking away from the Uchiha, she reprimanded herself that Sasuke have all the rights to know the reason even if she didn't want to enlighten it. The fact alone would only prove she was weak "You see, a week from now, a ceremony proper will occur at the Tenken Shrine to affix the tension between Fire and Earth. M-My family was chose to be the representative. But recently, Tsunade-sama received a report from the Anbu squad. She hadn't said what it was about except that I need to have someone capable to p-protect me in case I-I was outnumbered," she stammered on the last phrase.

Very much like an ambush. Sasuke thought "Why not Neji?" he asked.

"S-She was appointed to Hanabi"

Sasuke sighed. A week of security service, huh? The new generation of Uchiha. Obliviously, a lost sakura petal found its way to his hair. Hinata stretched out her hand and picked it up.

He blushed as Hinata handed the pink petal "Here,"

"What's the relevance?" He said trying to look as annoyed as he could.

"Don't you know the story?" She asked softly, unaware that she exchanged words with him like the closest friend.

Sasuke stared at the petal while Hinata twisted it between her delicate fingers. If someone before had asked the same question, he would have answered he didn't know it. But since it was Hinata, Sasuke dug up from every detail of his past. And there he saw it! Four years ago, in Ninja Academy, he was sitting in the middle row, arms folded on the table while his head lumped on it threatening to fall on a slumber. He really was close to a doze but all the same, heard Iruka-sensei's story. There once exist the most beautiful flower. The god of rain, Tlaloc, came and one of its petals was taken leaving the flower to cry and eventually, desiccated. They said whoever man got the lost petal would marry a beautiful lady.

"It's only a fiction" Sasuke stood up and walked away. He didn't need an exquisite wife, he's beautiful enough to fill it up. All he wanted was another path for them. Maybe there could be another chance…

Rejection. An act that drives someone to find another way around.

A/N: I know, I know. A boring chapter. I've just taken my exam and my brain can't function quite well due to night study. Anyway, let's leave it there, I'm so happy now I've finished the chapter (and my test!).