From Day One

Chapter 7

By Catrina

A/N: Next chapter is the last one most likely, thanks for the reviews. AS ALWAYS I OWN NOTHING.

00-00-00-00

Neji could remember the day; remember the day when he lost his friendship with Hinata. They had still been young and it was when he finally learned that while they came from the same family they were very different.

"Neji, you must remember it will not always be like this." Neji looked up at the tall man. "You guys will not be like this."

"What do you mean, Father?"

"Hinata comes from a different world, she will grow into a different world and forget about you."

"Father, Hinata would never…"

"As she grows she will learn, she will never have to want for anything. You Neji will grow strong though hard work and inner strength. She will never learn that."

That conversation with his father had changed everything. When you were ten and you heard your dad talk like that you just believed. At ten your dad knew all and could see all, and Neji was sure that his dad had seen the future.

"Neji, Neji," Hinata yelled for him climbing the fence to his backyard, then walking to the tree climbing up the latter to his tree house.

"Go away." Hinata pulled herself through the hole and into the plat form that made his 'tree house.' It wasn't much to the tree house, a plat form with post on each of the corners with wood running around framing the area in. It was his safe place.

"Neji, look what I got today." She held up her tiny wrist showcasing a small but expensive looking bracelet.

"I don't care." He was sitting with his back to the tree trunk. With his knees pulled up to hic chest.

"Neji, what's wrong?" She asked coming closer to him.

"I said leave me alone!" He jumped up and looked at her and the words that his father had said rang in his head. "Why didn't you tell me that it would change? That you would grow up and forgot about me." She backed away scared by his anger.

"Neji… what are you talking about. We'll be together forever." She had said it with the nativity of a ten year old who thought the world would never change.

"Dad told me the truth, that you would change and it wouldn't be like this anymore."

"Neji…"

"Liar," he didn't understand all he knew was that his anger was bright and a force that a ten year old boy would not understand. He hands pushed out before he knew and she was stumbling back, her pale grey eyes wide when she realized that she had hit the post and that she was tumbling over it.

She had broken her left arm that day. And after that she never looked at him the same. It had taken her a year to even look him in the eye, and that day when she had touched him in the club he had been more surprised then she.

Then her call yesterday, showed him how much she still feared him. That bothered him much more now then it did eight years ago. But now he was 18 and this was a joke, when he was a boy and she was a young girl that was nothing that could be done about it. But now he was closer to be his own man then he was back then.

And he could solve this.

He leaned against the wall watching as all the students came in. Even though she had the first period free she would still show up early, to study. He watched as Naruto walked in and slammed his notebook against his chest then moved on not saying a word. He looked though the pages and let out a small smile when he saw a smiley face on the last page sticking its tongue out. The bell had just rung when she walked in. He took a moment to really look at her. Sometimes he couldn't believe that they came from the same family. She was so beautiful, and tentative, while he was so abrupt and average. If it wasn't for his eyes he would be nothing special. He wanted to stand out. He really did, he wanted to be someone that people noticed. But he realized that that was not as important as it once was. What was important right now was seeing if Hinata and he could move past what happened 8 years ago.

She moved past him, not really looking up, but following the path that took her to her locker. Tentatively he stuck his hand out catching her arm. He let go when she jumped and turned his way.

"I didn't mean to scare you." He said softly, part of his mind called himself weak, asking him what his future had to do with this girl. They were on two separate paths. There was no reason for him to go out of his way like this. But part of his heart disagreed, telling him that this was important.

Hinata looked at him, and then tilted her head down. She pulled her arm away placing her other hand over the part of her arm that he had grabbed.

"That's fine, I'm always jumpy." She turned and took a step before he caught her again. This time she just looked back at him, those shy eyes questioning.

"Do you have a minute?" She tilted her head to the side and studied him a moment before nodding. Before now, he never realized how little she said. She used to talk all the time.

"Neji-nii-san…"

"Yes, Hinata?"

"Do you love me?"

"…"

"Cause I love you…forever and ever."

She used to tell him that all the time when they were kids, it was something that he had always taken for granted. He had never really told her back, but he had loved her as much as a child could. She had always been the brightest part of his day, seeing her had made any bad day go away. She just had always had that effect on him.

This was going to be a hard conversation if she didn't say anything.

And right now she was just watching him…waiting.

He didn't have any idea where to start.

The idea was there floating in his mind, but he just didn't know the words to work with. He was never good with words, he never knew for sure what to say, and while his dad called that 'weak' he called in nervousness… at least in this case.

"Neji?"

"Why are you scared of me?" His voice sounded cold and unemotional to his own ears, that was most likely not the way to start the conversation. He realized that he was right when she jumped slightly. "Hinata-sama…" He made a point to soften his voice and call her the name that he had called her as a child; she was indeed the heir to a fortune. "Why are you scared of me?"

"What makes y-y-ou think th-that?" She stuttered a little surprised by the question and the sudden interest in her.

"I can tell by the way you aren't comfortable around me. Like on the phone last night." He smirked a little when he saw her blush; she knew that she was caught. "I'm not going to hurt you."

"I know." She was looking down; she just wouldn't look at him. It was making Neji just a little aggravated.

"I never mean to hurt you."

"You pushed me out a tree house, how could you not want to hurt me?" Her voice was calm and she was looking straight at him. He wasn't prepared for her bluntness. It was more then he was used to. He looked up and realized that they had drawn a bit of a crowd. He took her hand and led her out the door. He went to the tree where they usually ate lunch. There was a bench there that was usually neglected when they ate on the ground in a circle. He sat her down on the bench then sat down beside her. He had yet to let go of her hand.

"Did you ever wonder what happened Hinata?" Neji asked her and he took a chance and looked over at her. She was looking at him curiously.

"You made it clear that that was none of my business."

That left Neji stunned. True, he had made it so that their lives were separate, they really never saw more then a passing glance of each other for years, until they some how fell into the same group of friends. Now here they were.

"I don't like the idea of you being scared of me."

"I'm not scared of you." She turned her face away, not really looking at him, "You just make me nervous."

"Nervous."

"You know, I used to think when I was young that you and I would get married. And that we would live happily ever after and have our own happy life, but I was foolish to think that. After you learned what money was, you thought that nothing else was important. All you wanted was stature. You think that I didn't realize that." Hinata pried her hand from his and stood. "Neji, I learned a long time ago that you placed money and politics above me. I know exactly what made you hate me."

"I don't hate you." Hinata let out a sarcastic little laugh and Neji found that he hated the sound. "Think back to the club, a week Hinata, that was jealousy. Whether or not I want to I care about you."

"I'm not forcing you to care."

"I know but I do, and you being scared…being nervous, bothers me. So answer me this….do you care about me?" Neji looked up at her, stared into her eyes not letting them drop away from him. He needed this answer and he needed the honesty.

"I will always care for you." She sighed and looked away seeming to gather her resolve. Neji knew that she was going to say something that he didn't want to hear.

"So then meet me tonight, we'll have a study date, catch up on the missing parts of our lives and go from there. If you'll forgive me I want to have you back into my life."

Hinata blinked, the confusion across her face could almost be considered comical. She was unable to make any words out. This was what she had always wanted. They had always been together growing up, he had been the one constant in her life and she never wanted to give that up. But she had been forced to, he hadn't wanted her in his life so she had no choice, she simply moved on. This was a conversation that she had never even dreamed of having. This was impossible.

"I forgave you a long time ago." The words slipped out before she even knew what was happening. The relief she saw cover his face surprised her. "While you may have hated me Neji, I never hated you." Before she could even understand what had happened his lips had pressed against hers, and then they were gone as she was enveloped in his arms.

"So that's a yes to tonight then?"

Hinata couldn't help it, for all cockiness he was still insecure. She giggled as she said yes.

00-00-00-00

Naruto worked that night, but Sasuke said that it would be okay. He didn't need him to be there for the reading of the will. There was really no reason for him to be there. But still he worried a little bit about his would-be lover. There was simply nothing that he could do.

He didn't have a phone so he couldn't call.

He was working so he really couldn't just drop everything to be there.

And he knew that he would not be welcome at that house.

So really all he could do was wait.

It was around 10:00 when the phone in the restaurant rang. It had been a very busy night and Naruto was close to just ripping the phone out of the wall. Instead he answered it in the fakest voice ever.

"Naruto?" Instantly he recognized Sasuke's.

"Yeah, how are you is everything okay?"

"Yeah…fine, I just wanted to say goodnight."

"Oh, goodnight." To Naruto, Sasuke sounded tired and emotionally rung out. It took a moment for Naruto to realize that he was listening to a dial tone.

Naruto pouted comically while looking at the phone. While he knew that Sasuke wasn't coming back to his place tonight he was a little disappointed in the phone call.

Then again it was better then nothing.

Sasuke didn't show up at school the next day either. But there was really no idea how to track him down without just going to his house, and with how busy the restaurant was it was impossible to get over there by midnight and that seemed rude especially when he knew that Sasuke's brother would be there.

So he thought that he should just wait but Friday morning when he got up he decided that he would go to Sasuke's house on Friday, maybe drag him out to Crazy with the rest of their friends.

But in then end he didn't have to.

Friday when he walked down the halls toward his locker he noticed a person standing by his locker. Naruto stopped for just a moment and took him in. His dark head was tilted down, hiding his dark eyes by his hair. He still looked pale, more pale then normal anyway and he was ignoring most of the looks sent his way. His uniform was on, but the tie hung around his neck untied and his shirt was still unbuttoned. He looked up as though he sensed Naruto's presence, the dark eyes warmed when they met his.

Naruto's feet started moving him to his locker without him even realizing. He didn't stop until he could smell the shampoo that he had used in the morning. He reached out a hand but stopped short of touching him realizing that they were at school in a busy hall way.

"Hey, I've been worried about you, I was gonna come and see you tonight. How are you?"

"I'm good for the most part. I had to meet with my brothers and a bunch of lawyers. I guess that my brother didn't like the conditions of the will that my parents left behind."

"But everything's okay right?" Naruto asked, a little worried.

Sasuke took in the edge in Naruto's voice and it took him a minute to realize that it was real concern. It wasn't something when that he heard very often. He couldn't really control the softening of the face, or the hand that he reached up to brush along Naruto's thigh before dropping it back by his side. "Don't worry so much. I have been dealing with Itachi for my entire life. But let's just say that I won't be welcome at home for a while."

"Really? It's that bad?" Naruto's eyes were almost comically wide and Sasuke wanted to laugh a little but it was actually touching to see someone so concerned about him.

"It will be for a while… which…" He was cut off by Naruto before he could finish.

"You can stay with me." Naruto blinked as his brain caught up with what he had actually said. The days and nights that he had spent with Sasuke felt very natural to him. It was like the two of them fit together like pieces of a puzzle and he wanted to spend more time with Sasuke to see how the finished puzzle would look.

"Would you let me get out the question please?" Sasuke asked and this time he did smirk a little and Naruto noticed that it drew the attention of the girls around him.

"Question…what question?" Naruto asked, he hadn't heard a question, his blue eyes looked puzzled. Sasuke brought a hand up and ruffled his hair and then dropped it again as his seriousness took over.

"Would you mind if I would come over and stay a while?" Sasuke asked knowing the seriousness of what he asked but also the question was a lot easier when he already knew what the answer to the question would be.

"Of course, I just offered idiot." Naruto laughed, but Sasuke just shook his head.

"I know but I still wanted to ask." For some reason it had felt very important to ask Naruto instead of just letting him offer. Naruto just shook his head.

"What ever, I don't have to work tonight… so…"

"The house staff are packing most of my stuff; they will bring it over in a car tonight. How does that sound?"

"Like not a lot of work for me. I like that." Naruto smiled a little brighter. "Will everything work out with your brother?" For a moment it looked like a storm cloud passed over Sasuke's features.

"Maybe, maybe not, what important is if everything feels right for me, and I realized that that doesn't work out with my brother's plans for me."

"Oh…well when you want we can talk about it."

Sasuke decided that if he didn't already love Naruto he did now. How could one person, who he had only known for weeks, be able to read him like this? Naruto could tell that he wasn't a huge talker, didn't really want to talk about anything right now, and Naruto just let him be that way. Other people had faked formalities, had tried to get him to open up and talk about this, that, or the other, but Naruto just let it lie.

"I'll be over around 5:00, is that okay?"

"That's great."

00-00-00-00

Naruto may be rude and brass at times, but he tried to be respectful, so just to make sure that it was okay, he as Tsunade. Of course she gave him a hard time, but she said that it would be okay, as long as he didn't make any noise.

The way that she said noise made it sound like a very dirty word.

So right after he finished school, he went home and worked on getting the apartment in order. He and Sasuke had talked at lunch and Sasuke stated that he knew Naruto didn't have a lot of furniture so he would at least bring a chest of draws and maybe and extra TV for the bedroom. He obviously didn't want to through the fact that he come from money if Naruto's face. But it wasn't like he didn't already know… he knew that going into this thing.

Could they call this thing a relationship now?

He shook his head in confusion, they had kissed, made out, almost gone all the way…now they were moving in together and Naruto still didn't know if he could call him his boyfriend.

He shook his head just a little and dropped down on the couch cleaning complete. He was started out of his reverie by a knock on the door. It was only half past 4, Sasuke shouldn't be here yet.

He got up off his comfy position on the couch and went to the door, pulling it open he did a double take.

"Hello, Naruto, right?" Naruto looked at the man that was Sasuke's brother. This time he really got the chance to look at him. The man had Sasuke's dark hair and eyes, but he also radiated power and his eyes were eerily empty.

"Yes, I'm Naruto. Please come in." Itachi walked it but didn't close the door behind it, instead leaving it open just a little bit.

Itachi was taller then Sasuke by just a couple inches, so that put him taller then Naruto but, it was the man himself that creep-ed Naruto out.

"So what can I do to help you?" Naruto asked, "Can I get you something to drink?"

"No, I won't be here long. So this is where my brother has been lately." Itachi looked around the apartment in apparent disapproval before turning those cold empty eyes back onto Naruto. "You aren't good enough for him."

"Excuse me?" Naruto sputtered looking the man right in the eye.

"You heard me; I said that you weren't good enough for him."

"I really don't think that is a decision for you to make." Naruto stated insulted.

"Wrong, I'm the older brother, he is mine to…"Itachi seemed to pause looking for the right word to use, "protect."

"Sasuke is old enough to make his own decisions."

"Yes, but I must stop him from making bad decisions. And you see you are a bad decision that my brother has decided to make."

"Bad…" Naruto seemed to be stuttering a lot, but he had never in his live been so insulted in the span of minutes.

"Yes, this decision, to live with you, to see if you two have a future, which for some reason he thinks you do, and even more, he doesn't care about his future in the Uchiha empire, and that is not acceptable, that it was he was raised to do."

For Naruto pieces finally started to fall into place, about his parents, his brother, their deaths, and his inheritance. Everything was coming together and he could also see that Itachi did not like the conclusion that Sasuke had come to.

"I'm sorry, but I support Sasuke's decision in what ever he wants to do. Have you voiced your concerns to him?" Naruto asked on a growl, knowing damn well that his brother had tried to tell him what to do instead of trying to see it though Sasuke's point of view.

"Sasuke knows where I stand."

"And he stands with out your support I guess huh? What good are you as family? Have you hugged your brother since your parents died, have you cried with him, have you even mourned your loss?"

"That is all for the weak, the Uchihas are a strong family, we are not built around, one…or two people in this case."

"Do you have ice in your blood? Do you really? I have never heard any one talk so coldly about their parents, even if they didn't like them." Naruto was astounded and he was quickly learning to hate Sasuke's older brother.

"50 million yen." For the first time Itachi allowed anything in his voice, and that was disgust.

"I'm sorry, what?" Naruto asked eyes widen at the amount.

"50 million yen to leave my brother and never see him again."

Naruto's jaw dropped.

00-00-00-00

"You aren't good enough for him."

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me; I said that you weren't good enough for him."

"I really don't think that is a decision for you to make."

"Wrong, I'm the older brother, he is mine to…protect."

"Sasuke is old enough to make his own decisions."

"Yes, but I must stop him from making bad decisions. And you see you are a bad decision that my brother has decided to make."

"Bad…"

"Yes, this decision, to live with you, to see if you two have a future, which for some reason he thinks you do, and even more, he doesn't care about his future in the Uchiha empire, and that is not acceptable, that it was he was raised to do."

"I'm sorry, but I support Sasuke's decision in what ever he wants to do. Have you voiced your concerns to him?

"Sasuke knows where I stand."

"And he stands with out your support I guess huh? What good are you as family? Have you hugged your brother since your parents died, have you cried with him, have you even mourned your loss?"

"That is all for the weak, the Uchihas are a strong family, we are not built around, one…or two people in this case."

"Do you have ice in your blood? Do you really? I have never heard any one talk so coldly about their parents, even if they didn't like them

"50 million yen."

"I'm sorry, what?" Naruto asked eyes widen at the amount.

"50 million yen to leave my brother and never see him again."

Sasuke had stopped dead in his tracks when he heard his brother's voice coming from Naruto's place. He had stopped the movers and they were waiting patiently smoking as they waited for his go ahead to begin again. But he stood in cold shock as he listened to the conversation going on in the apartment.

He knew that Itachi had been upset.

He knew that his brother was a cold bastard.

But hearing this was making him more and more angry.

But then he froze as the money offer hit the table…and he heard Naruto stutter and he knew why.

That was probably why he let his shoulders drop. How could anyone, who had gone through life with so little money turn down an opportunity like that. That was more money then he had ever dreamed. He turned back toward the steps and started down them.

"You god-damned bastard! Get the hell out of my house right now."

Naruto's angry yell stopped Sasuke in his tracks.

"Did you not hear me? You come into my house, insult me, tell me that I am not good enough for your brother then try to buy me off? Let me tell you something Mr. I'm-So-Great-Uchiha. You want to know why your brother is here? Take a look at yourself in the mirror. You are a cold and evil bastard and if you think any amount of money will get me to leave your brother you can kiss my ass."

As the words sunk in Sasuke was fighting the urge to laugh. He had a feeing that no one had ever talked to his brother like that before. He turned around and this time took the courage to actually peek through the open door, standing in the door frame completely missed by the two actually standing in the room.

"You call yourself a brother. You're a…a… monster. You are wishing your brother pain…no buying your brother pain and you think this is justified?"

Naruto's voice seemed to get louder and louder actually scaring the birds out of the alley and away from the dumpster.

"You are not good enough for him…"

"Not your decision to make, now did I not make myself clear. Get the hell out!"

"Yes, I happen to agree with both statements there. Our lives are not your decision and please get the hell out." Both men in the room and turned to look at him Naruto's surprise as apparent as his anger, and Itachi's surprise in the widening of his dark eyes.

"I thought that you had decided not to interfere in my future, brother, and I would not interfere in the company."

"You don't belong here." Itachi looked at his brother, but knowing that he had already lost. The boy, this blond boy that came from nothing really really loved his brother. There was nothing that he could do here.

He could say that they were still in high school… that they knew nothing of the real world… but he knew just like Sasuke knew that Naruto had most likely seen more of the real world then they ever had.

He had known when Orochimaru had planned this that it wouldn't work. He had had a feeling that money really meant nothing to Naruto. Itachi looked back and forth between the two and just knew that he was going to fail here. That Sasuke had found something real and was smart enough to grab it with both hands.

"This isn't over…" he looked at Sasuke then moved past him and out the door not even giving the pair a glance over his shoulders. Sasuke looked at Naruto…took a close look at him and realized something. He was still mad. His cheeks were rose his breath was choppy, and his eyes burned blue fire.

"The nerve of that man…can you believe that?" Naruto pointed past Sasuke as the other boy looked at him and smiled. Actually really smiled. "How…how can you be related to that man?"

"I must be an illegitimate child and my father was an angel in disguise…" Naruto turned his glare on Sasuke blinked then blinked again.

"But you look exactly the same…" Sasuke let out a laugh then walked across the floor bringing his hands up to Naruto's face and drawing the boy into a deep kiss. Naruto kissed back opening his mouth allowing Sasuke to taste him and allowing him to taste the man that he hoped to be spending the rest of his life with.

"That was a lot of money." Sasuke stated his breath brushing against Naruto's lips.

"I've never had money…don't know why I need it now." Naruto stated looking in Sasuke's eyes and all the dark-haired boy could see was honesty.

"Don't worry, then I have plenty for both of us."

"I don't care."

"That's why I want to share it with you."

"I think I love you." Naruto's eyes widen at his own admission.

"It's okay….I think that I might love you too." And to stop the conversation he kissed him again.

"Hey…are you moving or not?" The voice came from the alley and it was Naruto that yelled down to the men.

"Bring everything up!" Sasuke winced as he smiled. Everything was going to be just fine.

00-00-00-00

"Is this seat taken?" Temari looked at the table that gathered every Friday and knew that somehow the dynamic had changed for one… the annoying blond was gone which prompted her question in the first place. There was a free space by Shikamaru.

"Aren't you working?" He was the one that asked the question as well. She looked him up and down, hoping that maybe he would figure out that she was interested. By what she had heard the man was almost a genius…but he could be pretty stupid too.

"Not tonight." She stated and then raised a brow in question. He made a welcoming motion with his hand and she took a seat by him. "I'm Temari." She introduced herself.

"I know…I'm Shikamaru." When they shook hands, she decided that there were sparks…He was so going down.

As she looked around she realized what had changed at the table. All the questions…all the tenseness was gone. As Shikamaru introduced them, Lee and Sakura, Neji and Hinata, Shino and Kiba, and Sasuke and Naruto, she realized that they all had found there place. Not only were they with each other…they were with the person that they were meant to be with. And when she felt an arm come around her shoulder she knew that she would fit in just fine.

00-00-00-00

THE END

Thanks for reading…I hope that you enjoyed my fic… I may try and Naruto fic that isn't AU…I guess we will see what my curiosity creates. Thanks for reading and again thanks for all the reviews.

Cat.