Title: Kiss Away the Pain
Disclaimer: If I owned Naruto, Sasuke and Hinata would actually have a bit of interaction in canon. As it is, they don't, so I guess I don't own Naruto.
Rating: PG ( K+ ) – for a bit of cursing and Sasuke being a meanie.
Spoilers: If you haven't read past the first volume of Naruto, you're in for a few surprises. Additionally, you're a total idiot for reading fanfiction in the Naruto section. Shoo!

Summary: ThreeShot. "N-nothing heals w-without a k-kiss..." SasuHina. (Prequel to "Speak Up")

Written in honor of Riceesquared, my newest accomplice.


Part Three: Heartache

After a few moments of frozen time, the Hyuuga girl's clenched eyelids relaxed and eased open. A shy sliver of silvery-white peeked through the heavy veil of eyelashes that threatened to overwhelm her vision, cautiously bringing the girl back into the flow of time.

Sasuke's heart thumped in his throat as those opaque orbs of hers rolled upward to look at him, the lightest touch of color spread across her cheeks. She blinked once and the strawberry-pink hue spread to her ears.

The Hyuuga girl in his arms quivered like a frightened rabbit, but didn't move to pull away immediately. If anything, she clutched the handfuls she had of his shirt with more tenacity.

In a mere ghost of a voice, she whispered, "Thank y-you, Sasuke-san..."

A warm, heavy fuzz had settled around Sasuke's brain, making his usually sharp intellect dull. Briefly, he wondered if this was how it felt to be Naruto. "Huh?"

The Hyuuga girl's face burned a brighter shade and she looked down, breaking the spell she had cast over her savior. "I s-said, t-th-thank y-you, S-Sasuke-s-san."

Her reaction was contagious and Sasuke felt his cheeks warm a couple of degrees. The strange quivering in his stomach wasn't helping, either; if anything, it was making him nauseous and dizzy.

Were these the early symptoms of what Sakura called "Spring Fever"?

With the same reflexes he had used to catch her, Sasuke thrust the Hyuuga girl away, gulping down his fluttering heart. He held her by the shoulders at arms length, face averted, and pulled his composure together. "It was nothing," he grunted, coughing away the unnatural squeak that had disrupted the usually smooth timbre of his voice.

"R-right...," she replied softly. Sasuke could almost picture the meek, disheartened expression that he was sure she was wearing. Could imagine those omniscient eyes cast to the side in an attempt not to see through him...

The young Uchiha chanced a quick glance at the Hyuuga and saw her exactly as his mind depicted her; curled in on herself, frightened of looking at him, and at a loss for what to do next.

To spare her (not himself) the awkward moments that were surely to follow, Sasuke deemed it time to take his leave. Sakura and Ino were probably searching the opposite end of Konoha by then, anyhow.

With firm decision, Sasuke pulled his hands away and stood up, forcefully breaking his own stare. "I'm gonna go now. See ya."

Stuffing his tingling hands deep into his pockets, the Uchiha avenger spun around to leave the way he came. He had only managed a few steps when a timid shout compelled him to pause.

"W-wait!"

Tha-thump!

Sasuke tilted his head toward the girl to show he was listening, but was reluctant to turn and allow her to observe his expression. He couldn't account for what she might see. "What?"

"A-ano...," the tremble in her voice revealed that she'd lost her confidence and, thus, forgotten what she had meant to say.

Tha-thump!

Sasuke waited a few impatient seconds before snapping, "If you don't have anything else to say, then – "

"Y-you can't leave y-yet!" she interrupted. The Uchiha could hear a rustle of thick fabric and a sharp creak of wood. "I haven't f-finished c-cleaning your hand."

Sasuke craned his neck to get a full view of her; she was standing, looking for all the world like she would rather have let him go, but determined to stop him all the same. He very nearly respected her reluctant courage and allowed himself a barely perceptible smile.

"Fine," Sasuke said, forcing his cool demeanor back in place. Momentarily, at least.

The Hyuuga girl's face brightened with a sweet smile as she stooped to pick up her first aid equipment. She approached him quickly with the soft patter of sock-feet. "I'll be d-done soon, I pr-promise," she said, waving a hand to indicate that he take a seat.

Sasuke responded obediently to the silent bidding by dropping himself to the lacquered floor and dangling his legs over the side of the porch. She took her place beside him with a bit more demure caution in respect for her traditional dress, her box of healing aids in her lap.

Sasuke held his hand out for her and she immediately accepted it, dabbing a bit of salve on his crusting wound. "Wh-what caused you to fall and h-hurt yourself?" she asked, keeping her eyes solely on his palm.

"Sakura and Ino," Sasuke shrugged. He caught her eye, noted her confusion, and elaborated, "They were chasing me."

"Why?"

Again, Sasuke shrugged. "I don't know. They think I'm playing hard to get, I guess."

The Hyuuga girl giggled. Sasuke could feel the high-pitched treble deep in the pit of his stomach. "Well, you certainly don't like to be caught," she observed.

Sasuke raised an eyebrow at her and it was the girl's turn to elaborate.

"You don't seem to want to face your pain," she said, wiping a little excess salve from between his fingers. Her eyes were half-lidded and glazed over as she absentmindedly rubbed another glob of salve into his already slathered cut. "Even if it's for your own good."

Sasuke didn't know how to respond to that, so he didn't. 'At least she's not stuttering anymore,' he noted as they fell into a relatively comfortable silence. 'I guess I'm not so scary after whining about a little healing salve,' he winced.

The Hyuuga girl looked up at him through the strands of hair that fell haphazardly in her eyes from her barely contained bun. "S-sorry," she apologized, returning her attention to her task with a blush flooding her cheeks. She began to wipe off the extra ointment with a clean corner of the cloth she was using.

"Hn," the Uchiha responded, suddenly confronted with the crown of her head instead of her face. While they were talking about basically nothing, he decided to ask about something that had been bothering him. "Why did you pull your hair back like that? Kind of defeats the purpose of having short hair, doesn't it?"

The Hyuuga girl lifted her chin a little and Sasuke could see a bit of her face again. "Grandmother insisted. She said that it makes my hair look longer."

Sasuke snorted, "You should take it down. It's too much trouble to keep it up like that."

"B-but – "

"Short hair is better, anyway," Sasuke continued, finding himself strangely loquacious on the issue. He just couldn't stand it when people did ridiculous things to make other people like them, or some stupid shit like that. "It's low maintenance and stays out of your way during training."

The Hyuuga girl was looking directly at him now, the ointment-covered rag hovering above his palm. "I...I guess you're right, Sasuke-san. I'm sor – "

"And stop apologizing," he said, a firm edge in his tone.

"Y-yes. I'm sor – ," the girl stopped herself, shaking her head with a strange giggle. "I mean, thank you, Sasuke-san."

"You're welcome."

A few eternal seconds later, "There, all done." The Hyuuga girl was smiling again, this time with enough cheer to narrow her eyes. "Just give me another second and I'll bandage it for you."

She abandoned his hand for a few seconds to rifle through her first aid kit, procuring a roll of gauzy bandage and surgical tape.

Without bothering to ask his permission this time, the girl reached out and took possession of his hand, firmly pulling it forward to rest in her lap. With sympathetic manipulation, she twined the bandage around his palm and secured it with a well-placed piece of tape.

As a finishing touch, she lifted the bandaged appendage up to her lips and placed an innocent kiss in the center of his palm. "All finished, Sasuke-san," she declared with a luminescent smile.

-THUMP!

Sasuke jerked his hand away in a reflexive motion, his sense of self-preservation against all-things-female overwhelming the strange feelings kindling in the pit of his stomach. "What was that for?"

The Hyuuga girl's eyes were wide and horrified as she scrambled to beg his forgiveness. "I'm s-so s-sorry, Sasuke-san! I didn't – I w-wasn't thinking – "

Tha-thump – tha-thump – tha-THUMP – tha-THUMP...!

Sasuke edged away from the girl, holding his hand to his chest as if she had been the one to injure it. "What the hell did you kiss me for?"

"I – I – I d-didn't mean – I was j-j-just – "

"Spit it out!"

"It always m-makes m-me feel better!" the girl finally cried, burying her abashed face in her hands.

Sasuke couldn't tell whether the anger bubbling within his chest was directed more at the girl or his own lack of understanding. "What?"

"N-nothing heals w-without a kiss," the girl explained, chancing a timid peek at him from betwixt her fingers. Her eyes rose to meet his like the moon rises to greet the stars.

Tha-THUMP – tha-thump – tha-thump!

"Whenever I h-hurt myself, my nurse always k-kisses my injury so it will f-feel better."

Sasuke had to admit that he felt pretty numb after the kiss, though he didn't think that this effect was what the Hyuuga girl meant to cause. Not that he could really say for certain, of course; it had been a long time since anyone had tenderly cared for his aches and pains.

"Oh," was all he could think of to say. He swallowed a lump in his throat and chose to stare at his feet.

...tha-thump...tha-thump...

"S-Sorry..."

Without looking up, Sasuke growled, "I told you to stop that."

After a brief pause, he heard a giggle. Glancing up, Sasuke felt another hard knot forming in the vicinity of his Adam's apple; the girl was wearing the brightest smile he had seen yet, curling at the edges of her lips like a flowering vine, and laughing into a loosely-clenched fist. Her eyes were closed as she expressed her mirth, though the barest hint of milky white leaked through her eyelashes; a perfect contrast to the unrestrained hair that fell into her face.

THA-THUMP!

Sasuke didn't know what possessed him to blush over something he'd seen a hundred girls do a million times, but he couldn't seem to hold it back.

"I'm sorry, Sasuke-s-san," she laughed, stuttering between breaths. "I just...can't...seem to...stop..."

'That's alright with me,' Sasuke decided, taking advantage of his opportunity to watch her openly while she wasn't paying any attention. Everything inside him was squirming and, while he didn't think this symptom was particularly healthy, he couldn't say he wasn't enjoying the sensation.

"Ah, my stomach hurts...," the girl moaned, leaning against the pillar he had swept her behind at their earlier meeting. She clutched at her stomach with the arm not pressed between her body and the wood, but she was smiling through the pain gladly.

Her lips, still stretched across her face in merriment, drew Sasuke's attention into a more narrow focus. They looked plush and shiny from her constant nibbling and so very, very tasty.

Tha-thump – tha-thump – tha-THUMP – tha-THUMP...!

Licking his own lips, the Uchiha wondered absently if the kiss-and-make-it-better rule applied to stomachaches. And, if so, did it matter where he kissed her...?

Horrified at his own train of thought, Sasuke shook the idea out of his head with a reprimanding flinch. His aloof, loner reputation aside, the Uchiha prodigy couldn't afford to go around kissing girls for practical reasons. They tended to get the wrong idea when he so much as passed papers down his row in class so he shuddered to think what might happen if he actually went out of his way to show one genuine affection.

It was most definitely time to be going. Scrambling to his feet, Sasuke stepped around the squatting girl with long, quick strides, throwing a brief explanation over his shoulder as he went. "I need to go train. See you."

"Ah, wait! Sasuke-san," the girl's voice, confused and slightly panicked, brought him back to her a second time. "Did I offend you?"

Sasuke hopped down two steps before answering, "No."

"T-then could I ask you a f-favor before you l-leave?"

Unable to deny her request outright, Sasuke paused on the porch steps to listen. He inclined his head to catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of his eye. "What?"

The girl fidgeted, poking her fingers together as she plucked up courage for what she was about to say next. Her cheeks were the brightest shade he'd seen so far. "N-Naruto-kun is on your t-team, r-r-right?"

'What's she blushing for?' he wondered silently, roving his dark glare over her crouched form. Whatever her reasons were, Sasuke was sure he didn't like them. "Yeah. What of it?"

"A-ano...c-could you t-tell him that H-Hinata says 'h-h-hello,' please?"

Tha-THUMP!

The hairs on the back of Sasuke's neck rose as the pit of his stomach dropped. So her sudden case of nerves was the dobe's fault, then?

Sasuke's eyes narrowed and flashed red for a brief moment."No."

And then he was gone.

Fin...?

— — —

NOTE: This story was plagiarized yesterday. I kid you not; someone actually copied my story, verbatim, and posted it under their penname. Luckily, Blue Quartz Foxy and CWolf2 were both kind enough to alert me to the problem and -- through a bit of strongly worded "suggestion" -- the "author" (I use the term loosely) eventually had no choice but to take the offending post down. However, I'm not quite finished with her; she will know my wrath for far longer than necessary. I'm not about to let her forget me or what she did; from now on, I have her on my alert list and will be checking up on every story she posts, just to make sure that it wasn't ripped off from somebody else. She messed with the wrong author this time.

Btw, since her name is already of public record on LiveJournal, I'll go ahead and post it here, as well: TheFirstTime.

Proof of this alleged crime against me can be found on both my own LJ profile (megaminoeien) and sunnyday love (a Hinata group on LJ). Though you can no longer find MY story in HER profile, you can always see the remnants of last night's events to know that I'm telling nothing but the truth (unlike some unscrupulous persons I could mention).

Be sure to keep a lookout for your own works in duplicate on you can never be sure of other "author's" intentions. Hopefully, you'll be as lucky as I was in this situation and someone (possibly even a few people) will come to your rescue. Even more hopefully, you won't have to deal with this at all.

Thank you for your attention. Please scroll down for some happier news and that surprise I promised in the first chapter.

Authors Notes: What could possibly be better than SasuHina fanfiction? Why, SasuHina DOUJINSHI (fan comic), of course! Incidentally, there just happens to be such a doujinshi inspired by this fic, as illustrated by the fabulous Riceesquared. I know that some of you already know of this dojinshi (some of you actually found my story through it, after all), but I hope that a few of you, at least, found a pleasant surprise in your stocking this morning n.n

Link: http // www . deviantart . com / deviation / 43547042 / (Don't forget to take all the extra spaces out!)

Be sure to shower her with positive reviews! Her art is amazing (and far better than mine n.n;)

Parts two (More) and three (Heartache) of the doujinshi will be up soon. Patience is a virtue (and this Riceesquared's art is certainly worth the wait)!

. ( . Ms Videl Son . ) .

Love can be black and white. SasuHina.