Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, although if someone felt like giving me the rights I wouldn't complain

Pointless fluff ahoy! Set before the chuunin exam fiasco.

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It couldn't have been a conscious decision.

No one, absolutely no one would even think of doing what his idiotic, stupid, total moron of a teammate was suggesting.

No one who valued their life anyways.

And what in the world would even give Naruto that completely ridiculous notion of his? It was a preposterous thing to say and even though Naruto has been known to say some really moronic and surprising things ("My pants are on fire!"), this comment took the cake.

In Sasuke's opinion, he hadn't been acting out of ordinary. He didn't speak to his teammates and showed no signs of emotion because that was normal for the stoic teen. He did nothing that would call Naruto to make his unexpected statement.

Team 7 was returning to Konoha having successfully completed their assigned mission. It was supposed to be a C-rank mission: escort some orphaned brat to his new home in the next village.

So what if this kid was the sole survivor of a family massacre? So what if he had been too young, and weak to do anything about it? So what if the kid lost everything in one night? None of this bothered Sasuke at all.

They took out the man who brought this tragedy upon the boy because they just wouldn't be ninjas of Konoha, wouldn't be Team 7, if they didn't. The man was a deranged lunatic who killed for sick pleasure. He also happened to be a missing-nin which made fighting him that much more difficult, but simultaneously more satisfying to watch his body crumpled and hit the floor.

The rest of the mission went off without a hitch as they traveled to a different village and delivered the boy to his only remaining relative, his elder brother. The brother had heard the news regarding his family and was anticipating his younger brother's arrival. When they reached his house, the silent child tore his hand away from Sakura's and rushed into his brother's open arms crying his little heart out.

The brother and his wife insisted that they stay the night before trekking back to Konoha. Kakashi agreed and so Sasuke watched as the young boy attached himself to his older brother like a shadow. He saw the way the elder one would lovingly ruffle his younger brother's hair while the boy pouted, and the gentle way the man carried his brother when he fell asleep on the couch. All this he watched in silence.

Sasuke was sure that he acted normally and gave no reason for anyone to suspect that this mission had affected him in any way.

But maybe it was the fact that Sasuke had kept his eyes closed when the boy recounted the night of terror.

Maybe someone noticed that he attacked the missing-nin a little more viciously than normal or that the sharingan was slightly more blood red.

Maybe it was the way his body stiffened when they arrived and met the client's brother.

Maybe it was the blank, empty look his eyes took as they spent the night or the clenching of his fists, avoiding other's eyes too much.

Whichever the reason, it caused the rest of Team 7 to observe him carefully the next day as they prepared to leave. The family walked them to the gates, and sincerely thanked them. With parting waves, the ninjas left and headed home.

By afternoon, they were almost at the gates of Konoha much to Sasuke's relief. True to the Uchiha name, he endured the probing azure blue eyes and refused to let it get under his skin, but his patience was quickly wearing thin. If he was subjected to anymore staring, he'd stab a kunai through those eyes. It didn't help that Sakura and Kakashi-sensei were also watching him, but at least they were more discreet about it. He could feel Naruto blatantly studying him with his big blue eyes.

Without warning Naruto suddenly stopped and made his declaration.

"I think Sasuke needs a hug."

Throughout the day, he'd been avoiding the gazes of his teammates but that caused him to snap his head towards Naruto and freeze. A look of shock briefly overtook Sasuke's features before he narrowed his eyes looking annoyed and snorted.

"Were you hit in the head dobe? You're being more stupid than usual."

"No…" Sasuke received his second shock as he turned to face Sakura. Her cheeks were tinted with a light blush, but her jade green eyes met his dark ones confidently. "I think Naruto's right."

The water must have been drugged. There could be no other reason why his two teammates would suddenly decide he needed, of all things, a hug. He'd recently begun to respect Sakura for her intelligence, but she was obviously insane if she was agreeing with Naruto.

"What -" But Sasuke never got to finish his sentence because he was attacked from all sides.

He was being hugged. He was being group hugged.

"What the hell! Let go of me!" he cried indignantly. Forget cool and aloof, he was being hugged. Sasuke tried to wiggle out of their grasp but that only caused their holds to tighten.

"Kakashi-sensei! Do something!"

The silver haired man sighed as he shut the little orange book he'd taken out when Naruto called an unexpected stop. "Fine, fine," he mumbled and sauntered over to the fuming Sasuke trapped between his two obliviously happy teammates. But instead of prying Sakura and Naruto off of him, like Sasuke expected, Kakashi joined in the hug wrapping his arms around Sakura and Naruto pushing them even closer to the angry brunet and drawing all three of them to himself too.

….

Why was he surrounded by morons?

As if on cue, all three of his "attackers" hugged him more closely and sighed contently.

"Awwwwwww!"

Sasuke's right eyebrow was threatening to jump off his face. He struggled vainly against this sudden show of affection and tried to free his arms but his efforts were proving futile. Maybe it was the soft orange glow of the setting sun or the warmth of the bodies around him, but Sasuke finally gave up and just let them hug him.

Dimly, his mind registered that it felt…nice. Right now, there were three people, whom he didn't particularly hate, holding him and sheltering him from his old memories. There was no ulterior motive, it was a simple act of comforting (not that he needed comforting).

He felt annoyed.

He felt warm.

He felt secure.

He felt cared for.

He felt loved.

And that realization made something that he thought was long dead twist in his chest.

Naruto might have been right in his evaluation after all, but Sasuke would rather rip out his own tongue and eat it rather than admit that aloud so he silently bathed in the warm feelings that washed over him.

For several moments, Team 7 stayed in their tight knot. Sasuke could only tell the limbs apart because of the different materials covering the arms. Slowly, one arm began to slide away and soon they were detangling themselves.

No, Sasuke didn't miss the warmth his team had provided. He didn't miss it all.

Sasuke crossed his arms and glared at the nothingness in front of him, trying to maintain whatever dignity he had left after being mauled by his supposedly "trustworthy" comrades.

An awkward silence descended on the team. Sakura drew circles in the dirt with the tip of her sandal. Naruto was absentmindedly rubbing at his arms like he was trying to regain the lost heat. Their teacher scratched idly at his mask.

The hairs at the back of Sasuke's neck suddenly prickled. A feeling of dread grew in the pit of his stomach when he noticed the looks the rest of his team were sharing.

"Oh for the love of –"

"Awwwwwwwwwww!" the three chimed in unison, happily snuggling with their new favourite hug toy.

If anyone saw the small smile on Sasuke's face, they didn't mention it.

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A/N: Hope you liked it! Criticism would be much appreciated! I felt in the mood for Team 7 fluff when I wrote this. Hope it's not too OOC.