Author's note: First of all, it is most important to note that Sasuke's very biased opinions do not represent my own. Second, I shall instert character disclaimers here. Third, I apologize for the OOCness, but my intention wasn't to keep them in character as much as tell a story. I started this about a year and a half ago, and I never got around to finishing it. Well, I finally looked at it again, and decided I was mostly done, I just needed a conclusion, so as a late holiday gift I present, Snapshot Moment. I've broken this into three installments of approximately 3000 words each. Posted approximately a week from each other. Here's part one; enjoy.
AU: Attraction only takes a moment to happen, most of the time, you don't even notice it. Falling in love, however, requires thinking and alcohol. In which Sasuke was not happy that a pale eyed Japanese girl showed up at his apartment and shoved a mobile in his face.
"Naruto-kun, I got the scholarship," Hinata exclaimed into her cordless phone as she scanned and rescanned the letter to make certain that her eyes weren't deceiving her. Maybe she needed new glasses? But unless she misread the words 'congratulations, Hyuuga Hinata,' several times, she was going celebrate by telling every person she knew.
"That's great, Hinata-chan. When will you go to America?"
"In two months," Hinata bubbled into the phone before she fell onto her couch and laid the piece of paper on her coffee table, which was really the only table she had in her little apartment aside from her desk. "I'm so excited!"
"You're going to study at the Academy of Arts right? You know what, you should meet my friend! It'd be great! He lives in there, you know. His name is Uchiha Sasuke."
Really, that's how the story began. A few months prior to that phone call, Hinata told Naruto that she applied to a photography scholarship in the United States. She was supposed to spend a month learning from a teacher at the Academy of Arts, and really, Hinata waited for such an opportunity for a very long time. Some chance to just leave Japan for a while, and change a bit of herself.
By: Naito Kiseki
It was eight in the evening when Sasuke's phone decided to ring. It wasn't that he was too tired to answer the phone, but rather the fact that the phone never brought any good news. That was why he never contracted himself to the technology of evil known as mobile phones. The blasted things were just asking for the owners to be constantly bothered.
Aside from the fact that Sasuke didn't like phones, the last time he'd answer the evil machine it was that annoying guy who worked with him at the firm, bowl-cut guy. Sasuke hated that guy; he was always bothering him with his cheery 'good mornings' and 'have a good nights.' One would think the latter got the hint after the first hundred times that Sasuke gritted and/or hissed the greeting in return. Sasuke learned from that mistake of answering the phone; he remembered all too well the pain he suffered the last time, and swore that he was never going to live through another nightmare like that one.
Answering the phone was a bad idea. All Sasuke wanted was to eat his peanut butter and banana sandwich in peace.
That was why he bought an answering machine with caller ID. Since he owned such a machine, he was going to sit back and let it do its job. Not a moment later, the machine sprung to life and Sasuke heard his voice echoed on the machine, 'Leave a message and I might get back to you.' The tone that followed just dared the caller to leave one. It only took a pause before the caller spoke.
"Uhm, H-hello. Erm- m-my name i-i-i-is Hinata Hyuuga. I... I'm sure Naruto's already contacted you... a-about m-meeting you during my s-s-stay in this c-city?" There was a pause, "Yes... uhm... I'd appreciate it if... if you'd g-get back to me and we... we can schedule a meeting? M-My phone number is xxx-xxxx. Thank you very much for your time, I... I hope to meet you soon."
Sasuke gawked in disbelief when he heard the click and his answering machine stop whirling. Of course, he thought nothing of it because if the caller did not get through to an actual person therefore nothing will happen. However, neither did the fates or people ever seem to like him very much, and he never would have thought that the next morning he would swear that he would behead Naruto the first chance he got.
Sasuke Uchiha was not a patient person, nor was he a morning person. Really, it wasn't as much as being patient or morning person as much as him not really being much of a people bothering people person. Even then, it was mostly Naruto who was the epitome of person bothering person. Sasuke half thought that were a club of those people exist, they would all strive to be the blond, but that was besides the point. At that moment, he disliked Naruto with a passion; on good days, he hated just about everyone. However, due to special circumstances Naruto was going to die a very slow and early death, the little twit.
Here Sasuke was having been woken on a Sunday, his day off mind you, at eight in the morning by some creepy Japanese girl (if her speech was any indication) with ghost-like eyes was standing at his door, Sasuke, with very persistent rings, surely abusing his doorbell and possibly door.
When Sasuke wrenched the door open, he tried his best to look angry and intimidating, but the sheepish Asian girl only muttered into her mobile, "Uhm, he opened the door. I don't really want to… He... he doesn't look very happy."
There was a pause and Sasuke was about the slam the door in her face, but the girl pushed the door wider and stepped inside before shoving her mobile into his hands and stared at the floor as if she were embarassed to be there. "He wants to talk to you."
It was all Sasuke could do to refrain from screaming bloody murder when he read Naruto's name on the screen of the phone. He settled for growling viciously into the object, but Naruto seemed unaffected, the tolerant asshole.
"Hiya, Sasuke! Hope I didn't wake you; if I did, what the hell are you still doing in bed?"
"What do you want?" Sasuke gritted, just with-holding himself from either crushing the poor phone in his hand, or smashing it against the wall so that it was easier to kill it.
"I keep missing you, and you never answer my calls!" And Sasuke scathingly muttered, "You think that's an accident?" But Naruto continued to whine as if he hadn't heard Sasuke. "I've been trying to get Hinata to bug you about it, but she didn't want to disturb you; since you never seemed to return her calls either, she thought you were busy. I just told her to continue bothering you until you caved and it looks like it worked."
"I'll kill you," Sasuke growled into the mouthpiece. He glanced at the girl to make sure he wasn't doing anything and was satisfied to find her settled at his table, staring into space. … Wait, no, he wasn't satisfied! He wanted her out of his apartment! "Naruto, you sneaky little bastard…"
Sasuke was far from pleased. In fact, he was so un-pleased that he decided that indulging himself in a rather unhealthy breakfast would solve his problems; if not all his problems, like the irritating girl sitting at his table, he would at least be more awake.
"She's my girlfriend. Take care of her, he says; I'll kill you, he says," Sasuke mocked his so-call friend's voice as he narrowed his eyes at the cellular phone. He tossed the phone to the girl who looked apologetic, and... was that amusement? She was not supposed to be amused. She was supposed to be miserable like he was. But he didn't have the will to yell anymore, so he ignored the fact that there was a cute but annoying girl in his kitchen.
Rummaging through his cabinets, he found a box of Special K and pulled it out before looking into his refrigerator. Finding a half empty half-gallon carton of milk, he poured it into his bowl; his other hand idly turning on his coffee machine and pouring a large glass of water into the machine. Finding the sugar, he proceeded to pour spoon after spoon of sugar in his food. And then he heard a nervous and nettling giggle.
Glaring at the producer of the offending noise, Sasuke hissed, "I thought you'd left." The pleasant smell of his drugged coffee wafted through the air as Sasuke deadpanned. "What do you want from me? Haven't you already ruined my Sunday?"
The stoic voice was probably the only reason she ceased her anxious chuckling.
"Mr. Uchiha; do... do you mind if I... uhm... call you Sasuke?" Not waiting for the protest because Sasuke was about to say that he did mind, the girl continued in a timid fashion, "I really... hate to bother you like this, but... but my professor was called out of the state due to... uhm an emergency, and I am uh... without a guide. I'm due to return to Japan in two weeks and I haven't... really... gotten pictures. I was... well, uhm, am... erm... hoping that you'd guide me." There was a moment's pause, and as if she finally remembered to introduce herself between the broken sentences she bowed her head. "E-excuse me... I... should've introduced myself... I'm... that is... to say... my name is Hinata Hyuuga. I'm a photographer in training."
Sasuke stared at her as if she'd grown another head. This was preposterous, and certainly not happening to him. No. Some Japanese girl did not just waltz through his door, into his kitchen and propose for him to take her around the city. If it was true, he was sure as hell going to deny it from existence. With that conclusion, he ignored her and continued to eat.
"Uhm… I can pay... pay for the expenses such as transportation; lunch and dinner, my treat?"
Sasuke gave her another look that made her wonder whether she should continue to ask, but she didn't really have much of an alternative except for wandering around the city herself. Not that she was incapable mind you; just that it was a city, and wandering to unknown locations sometimes gets you into trouble that you'd really didn't want to face in the first place. Similar to talking to strangers, barging into their homes, and giving unreasonable demands that you probably knew they were going to agree to however reluctant.
"I mean, you-- you don't have to help me if you don't want to... b-but I'd really appreciate it if... if you would? Still, you're not o-obligated to help me. I feel terrible about waking you… It's just, I don't really know anyone else in this city so…"
"Fine," Sasuke relented. Really, it was just to get her to stop talking. He hated the fact that he always, somehow, ended up helping people, even when he didn't want to do it in the first place. Pouring a cup of coffee, Sasuke let it cool on the table before telling her to not touch anything as he went to change.
When he emerged from his room in jeans and a T-shirt, he gulped the cup of black coffee and placed it in the sink with the empty bowl. Turning the faucet on, he quickly washed the dishes and put them in the drainer. Thinking it would be best to take the bus instead of attempting to find parking around the city, Sasuke went back to his room and grabbed his wallet, keys, and jacket.
"Let's go." Sasuke told her, stepping into his shoes at the entrance. He hadn't noticed earlier, but she'd brought a rather large bag, probably contained her camera or something. And thus they began a day of typical touring and random taking of photos, what fun…
He really detested Naruto.
The duo ventured to a rather slummish district that was rather desolate except for the cars, and the occasional hobo. And let us not forget the small groups of gangsters that loitered every few corners, but really that was it. Sasuke would've smirked if it weren't for the fact that the girl followed him so closely that she practically stepped on the heels of his shoes with every stride she took.
"Stop stepping on me," Sasuke gritted, glaring at the girl over his shoulder.
"S-sorry," she stuttered, glancing at their surroundings. She looked like she was about to break her camera gripping it so tightly. She allowed a little more space between them, but continued to walk as closely as she deemed appropriate. Or enough so that he stopped glaring at her.
"Hey, Sweetie," Sasuke heard a rough voice disrupt the silence between them. Walking by a man with a dirty graying beard, dressed in a worn trench coat and jeans, Sasuke thought it better to ignore the creepy man who was probably a pervet anyway.
"Hello," he heard the girl squeak from behind him.
Sasuke wanted to smack himself. Turning to the girl, he pulled her by the sleeves and quickly began to walk away from the suspicious man. Of course he caught the anxious grin on her face; she looked close to falling into cardiac arrest.
Finding the entrance to the subway, Sasuke lead her down the stairs, and not until he'd paid for their transfer and had her safely inside the waiting area did he let her go. She looked bewildered and slightly nervous, staring around the tunnels.
"What did you think you were doing?" He asked her icily, having reverted to Japanese so she understood his reprimand better. She avoided his gaze and stared into the floor, as if finding the stepped-on gum very fascinating. "You grew up in Japan, you should know that there are a lot of strange people who loiter streets like that. You're never supposed to talk to them. Did you want that pervert to follow you, possibly rape you?"
"N-n-no," Hinata stuttered as she brought the camera to her face to hide herself. "I… It was an automatic response. I'm…. sorry."
"What are you, stupid? What the hell were you even thinking? Control yourself. Better yet, don't say anything for the rest of the day," Sasuke yelled, attracting the stares of a few people who quickly pretended they weren't listening. Of course, it was not like many of them understood Japanese anyway.
There was the click of shutters before the voice speaker announced the M-line arrived. Sasuke took a deep breath and tapped his foot while he waiting for a small group to exit the train before taking Hinata's hand and stepping into the crowd on the train.
He could barely shove people away before he found a small, but adequate spot to stand. Pushing the girl to hold the metal bar, Sasuke leaned against the door that wouldn't open for the rest of the bus route and quickly surveyed his surroundings.
If there was one thing he hated more than Naruto was probably crowds. Damn Muni and the environmentally aware citizens. You would think people with cars would be a little more sympathetic towards Sasuke and drove to wherever the hell they were going, but really he was being hypocritical. He had a car; he just hated parking.
Scrutinizing the frightened girl, Sasuke looked away and tried to ignore her. She was really irritating, and she was not pressed against his side, trying to keep her balance with help from the pole. Nope; she wasn't silently flitting like a bird over her bag next to him, and she did not smell nice and soapy in the mass of disgusting body odor. And quite obviously, Sasuke was not thinking of her at all.
Sasuke frowned, trying to concentrate on Catcher in the Rye. Unfortunately, even Holden's supremely messed up head didn't keep his attention as he couldn't help but glance at the photo thrown onto his coffee table. Hinata had delivered it in his mailbox earlier, attached with a note: Smile more. You're attractive.
To say that Sasuke was surprised to find the note was a complete understatement. Hell, he hadn't even realized that she took a picture of him; not that it was bad. It was a tad creepy, almost stalker-like. Except he knew that she was a professional, so she probably knew how to stealthily take photographs. And Sasuke admitted, the photo wasn't half-bad.
He recognized the grass setting from the park when a black retriever ran up to him with a Frisbee. He'd thrown it, and played with it while Hinata did whatever the hell it was that photographers did. Apparently, she'd taken a picture of him, smiling when the dog returned the Frisbee. Wait... that wasn't correct because Sasuke didn't smile, he smirked, a small half smirk thing that didn't resemble a smile at all. It wasn't detectable, not really.
Not realizing what he was doing, he'd closed his book and picked up his phone. When he realized what was happening, it was already too late, and he'd punched her phone number; he didn't even question how he remembered her phone number. Eyes widening at his stupidity, Sasuke slammed the cordless phone down on its stand and stared in horror at the offending machine.
"Fuck. What the hell was I about to do?" Sasuke berated himself glaring at the hand that seemingly acted without his consent. Looking at the clock, he noted that it was 11:30 and he was due to bed in half an hour; coupled with having worked the whole day he came to one logical conclusion. "I'm sleep deprived."
Putting the book on his table, Sasuke stood and stretched making his way to his bedroom. Wrapped, in the warm silk blankets, Sasuke closed his eyes and prepared for sheep counting to sleep. It really didn't take long before he was barely coherent.
And then the phone rang jolting him awake. Reaching for the phone on his tableside, Sasuke hissed a scathing, "What the hell?"
"H-hello, Sasuke? You... called earlier? I'm sorry, I was... kind of... uhm... busy. Did you need something?"
"How…" Sasuke was about to asked how she knew he called before he realized that she must've used caller ID; damnable technology. "I dialed the wrong number."
"Oh. Sorry for waking you then."
There was a long pause… "Are you busy tomorrow evening?"
"Uhm… N-not in particular."
"Will you join me for dinner?" Sasuke's wanted to hit himself for even asking. His fuzzy mind was in a crazed state right now and seemed to ignore all his protestations of suggesting more activities that required human interaction.
There was a brief moment where she paused and Sasuke was hoping to any higher form of power that she would say no. "Uhm... okay?"
"I'll meet you at the Cheesecake Factory at seven. It's on the highest level at the Macy's across from Union Square." His mouth was on complete autopilot because although his mind telling, screaming at himself to shut up, it didn't seem to work. He had do say something, because it would sound like he was asking her to go on a not-date, dinner thing for no reason.
"I just want to see some of your work." And Sasuke mentally sighed in relief at having saved himself for not having a real excuse to meet her. It was not a date. She was dating his best friend for Christ's sake.
"I'll... erm... I'll bring my portfolio then. D-do I need to dress in... uhm... formal attire?"
"Semi-formal is fine." Sasuke was in absolute disbelief that he was even having this conversation… on a destestable phone no less!
"Okay. I'll... I'll see you then... I suppose. Uhm... G-good night."
"Bye," Sasuke said, hanging up. It took a full minute before he'd realize what he'd done and promptly began panicking. He knew he was not going to get a good nights' sleep.
End Part 01