Title: Speak Up
Disclaimer: I'm not entirely sure if Sasuke and Hinata have even officially met in the series.
Rating: PG-13 ( T ) – Cause it's about to turn pervy.
Spoilers: Umm...I guess I've given away that Sakura becomes a medic-nin, does that count?
Summary: Naruto shook her off and confronted Sasuke again, "Not until he apologizes and promises to leave Hinata-chan alone!" SasuHinaNaru.
Back on schedule.
Chapter 12: Tell Me Everything
Hyuuga Neji was in a rare towering rage. It was more anger at himself than anything; his plan to sit back quietly and allow his ANBU and unwitting spy to take care of this whole Uchiha mess was a massive failure, due in great part to the miscalculation of his enemy's capabilities.
Neji stood in his favorite spot, glaring out his high office window at the crowded Konoha streets, awaiting an answer from his slow to respond secretary (who he, in his temper, felt was not earning her minimum wage at all).
After a few more seconds of undisturbed silence, Neji shouted for her again, allowing his voice to rise higher than he usually found acceptable. "SUZUKI-SAN!"
There was a loud rustling of heavy fabric outside his door and a quick clattering of wood upon track before Suzuki-san made her presence known. "Yes, Hyuuga-sama. How can I be of service?"
He turned to see her crouched against the floor in a low, servile bow. She was hiding her intimidation at his outburst rather well, which was at least one point in her favor.
"Suzuki-san," Neji said, adopting his usual quiet, commanding tone once again. "Page Sakura-san at the hospital. Immediately."
"Yes, Hyuuga-sama," Suzuki-san agreed readily, dipping lower for an instant so that her forehead grazed the floor. "Immediately, Hyuuga-sama."
As she made to close the door behind her, Neji grabbed her attention again. "Suzuki-san."
"Yes, Hyuuga-sama?" Suzuki-san paused in sliding the door closed, her hands clasping the bamboo edge of the shoji in a tight grip. Her hands trembled, causing the door to rattle slightly in its track.
Neji could see by the sickly pallor of her skin that she was afraid he was going to yell at her again. Uncaring and unamused by her lack of nerves, he continued on as if he hadn't noticed at all. "Once you get Sakura-san on the phone, you may take your lunch. You have two hours to use as you wish."
"Yes, Hyuuga-sama." Suzuki-san bowed again, dusting her dark, spidery bangs against the tatami matting. She closed the door behind her and, as her silhouette indicated, scrambled to her feet in a manner that lacked her usual amount of grace. Neji watched her shadow as it strode quickly across the paper screens and disappeared around the corner.
As he waited for Suzuki-san to connect him to his contracted spy, Neji began to pace his office. He wasn't used to being restless and wasting time simultaneously, however, and soon found himself sitting at his desk looking for some kind of paperwork to keep him occupied until Suzuki-san alerted him to his anticipated phone call.
Just as Neji was about to settle down with a boring mission report detailing the attempted assassination of the Water Hokage's great-great granddaughter, an unobtrusive buzz sounded from his phone. Dropping the file as if it were on fire, Neji reached out and depressed the button labeled "intercom" before speaking. "Yes, Suzuki-san?"
Suzuki-san's soft voice spoke to him through the intercom, warped and distorted by the device. "Sakura-san for you on line one, Hyuuga-sama."
"Thank you, Suzuki-san," Neji replied, vaguely wondering if he sounded as relieved as he felt. "You may leave now. Thank you."
The intercom line disconnected and – though he was anxious to continue with his business – Neji waited a couple of minutes to give Suzuki-san enough time to physically leave the office. Leaning over to the right in his desk, Neji watched the warped, oblong shadow that was Suzuki-san rustle around in her desk and then leave through the main entrance to their suite.
Satisfied that his secretary was finally gone, Neji picked up the phone receiver and pressed the button labeled "Line One" on the base. "Hyuuga Neji."
Haruno Sakura's voice answered his curt, business-like reception. "This is Sakura. You wanted to speak to me?"
"Yes, Sakura-san. Thank you for getting back to me so quickly," Neji said, continuing with the mocking facade of his usual formalities. "I received a...disturbing phone call from the Main House a few minutes ago. I don't suppose you know what it was about."
The line was quiet for a moment before Sakura answered. "No, I don't," was her simple answer. The lack of queries about the mentioned call was suspicious in and of itself, but sources of Neji's inside Ichiraku's Ramen Shop made her guilt all the more conspicuous.
"Tell me, how did the surveillance go this afternoon? Do you have anything to report?" he asked, giving her another chance to absolve herself of responsibility.
This time, Sakura's answer was immediate. "No, nothing to report. He didn't even show up."
"Really?" Neji snapped, his patience wearing thin against his nerves. "Then why do my sources tell me that, not only was Uchiha Sasuke at Ichiraku's Ramen Shop at eleven-thirty this morning, but he also made two phone calls?"
Sakura was silent on the line.
In the absence of her commentary, Neji continued. "Additionally, I've had word from the Main House that Hinata-sama received a phone call at eleven-thirty-seven that quite frightened her. She was apparently so upset that the housing staff was forced to give her a tranquilizer to calm her enough to reveal what had happened. Do you have anything to report now?"
After a moment, Sakura admitted "Okay, Sasuke-kun was there. But I only saw him make one phone call; after the first, he started complaining to the management that the phone was suddenly out of order."
"You don't expect me to believe – "
"But it's true, I swear!" Sakura interrupted, anger seething from her voice. "After he hung up the first call, he started muttering to himself and deposited change for another one. But he picked up the phone, dialed, and then started banging the handset against the wall! He scared the waitress so bad I wouldn't be surprised if she'd wet herself."
Neji's eyes narrowed as a new suspicion entered his mid. "Tell me; did he put a finger in his ear?"
"Just answer me; did he put his finger in his ear between phone calls?" Neji snapped, frustrated at Sakura's apparent inability to answer a simple question. His ANBU soldiers never gave him such trouble; they always answered promptly and with due respect toward their superior.
"I think...yeah, yeah he did, actually. I remembered thinking that I had Q-tips in my purse if he needed th – "
"Yes, thank you," Neji interrupted. "That will be quite enough."
"Sorry," Sakura replied, though he could tell she really wasn't.
"Indeed," he said, sniffing disdainfully. After a moment of quick thought, Neji came to a decision. "You are officially no longer spying on Uchiha Sasuke."
"What? Wait! I can – "
Cutting her off mid-sentence yet again, Neji continued. "I have a new assignment for you. This one will require far less...stealth."
Authors Notes: Wow, not only did I update again, but I've posted twice in twenty-four hours! I believe that's a record...
Anyway, this is where the plot thickens for our little group. Expect a couple more chapters of half-baked espionage and humor sometime this week or next. In the meantime, I really need to get ready for work! Enjoy!
Oh, and I hope that this chapter was far more satisfactory than the last.
Still un-beta'd, but cleaned up a little since its initial post.
PS: YAY! I no longer have to use text files to upload here n.n This makes me so obscenely happy.
. ( . Ms. Videl Son . ) .
– Love can be black and white. SasuHina.