AN: A few people mentioned Hinata's sudden change of character in the last chapter. I probably should've made it clear that she at least consumed a little alcohol. And anon reviewer, Angst, mentioned how she saw Hinata as someone who would be scared of Sasuke. I didn't see a reason behind it, because though Sasuke is intimidating I don't think she would fear him.
And here we reach the
end of my oneshot. Thank you all very much for all the reviews. I hope
you enjoy the last part.
By: Naito Kiseki
It had all been but three days since the drinking incident, and after sporting a rather painful headache for most of Saturday, and reluctantly dragging his carcass out of bed on Sunday for food, Sasuke was fine if not dandy to go back to work on Monday. Being at home was almost suffocating because left to his own devices, Sasuke thought a lot. His thinking more often than not for the past week or so has revolved around his dislike for a particular blond and the existence of said person's girlfriend. Obviously it was not jealousy, because as Sasuke said before, he did not get jealous.
Regardless, thinking was bad, and lead to ideas and emotions that he'd rather not acknowledge that apparently exists in his bitter and twisted soul. Random train of thoughts reminded him of how long ago it was the last time he had just meaningless sex with someone. Of course, his abhorrence for people invading his personal space outweighed the want of engaging in acts of fornication.
The very thought made him curl his lips in distaste. He didn't like people touching him. Ever.
However, a small part of his mind enjoyed arguing with him about this part, and since meeting her, brought up how he wouldn't mind Hinata touching him. But he was not going to go there, because innocent contact in his mind would no doubt lead to something else that was probably not as appreciated on anyone's part.
It was best to bury himself in work. But the moment he got to his desk, a folder was already waiting on his desk with instructions to write a report on the latest progression of a bull project that Sasuke could care less for.
Sasuke was unfortuntely unable to concentrate on his report.
Ceasing his typing the report for that stupid bastard boss of his, Sasuke glared at the flat screen monitor, almost willing it to melt under his scrutiny. His blank walls were the next to subject to his unexplainable mood. He pondered for a moment why his cubical was so plain. It was a little sad, and so impersonal. Then again, it was almost a perfect reflection of how Sasuke felt about having to come into the firm every day.
"You should decorate." Sasuke swiveled around and glared into the face of the bushy hair blonde woman, who shrugged before walking away. "Just a thought."
Sasuke snorted. The brunet had not been working there for the last two years for the sake of decorating. To be completely honest, he hadn't thought he would be working there for that long. In his mind, the job started as a temporary access to money. Had his life become so meaningless that it revolved only around work and sleep?
That was almost pathetic. What was the point in living if that was all he was going to do with his life; it made no difference if he killed himself right then and there.
When Sasuke thought about it, he was a little... pensive.
"Sasuke, where is that report I asked for yesterday," his dear boss came up to him and asked, looking over the brunet very critically. The man did not ask for it yesterday, he asked for it a bleeding hour ago, and Sasuke was currently typing it. "It is imperative that I get it by noon."
Sasuke bit back the "Fuck you" that threatened to fire him and grimaced what he hope was a smile. By the displeased look on his superior's face, he probably failed. Breathing evenly, he decided that all he needed to do was please the jerk and not get himself fired. "Well, sir, you didn't tell me about it until an hour ago, and I'm typing it as quickly as I can."
"I told you about several days ago."
Sasuke glared at his monitor and gritted, "I'm sorry I misheard the date."
Because the jackass was lying.
"Sasuke, I understand how difficult your job may be, my firm would be lost without you." But the only thing that Sasuke thought was that his boss was a patronizing bastard. "But in order for this company to run well, we all must understand each other. Now, if you don't pay attention, it would raise inefficiencies to the firm, and that can be detrimental to the employers, employees, and investors. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
Detrimental to you maybe, so you have one million less in your fucking pocket, slimy asshole, Sasuke thought venomously.
"Good. I'll be back for that report."
Life was depressing. Sasuke's life was depressing. He should've had a life of some sort, even a hobby, but just doing work for a job he didn't like and locking himself at home was, even he had to admit, a little sad.
A ring jolted him from glaring a hole through his LCD monitor. Sighing inwardly, he plucked the phone from the its cradle and answered driedly, "Eric Christianson's office."
Hesitantly speaking, a familiar voice echoed through the wires, "Erm... Hello, I'm looking for Sasuke Uchiha?"
Registering owned the voice, Sasuke almost wanted to hang up because he had a few more lines to finish on the report. Not that he was in any hurry, but he wasn't one to half-ass his work. And she... she had a future didn't she, if not, at least she was doing something she enjoyed.
"Oh! This... this is Hinata... Uhm... how are you feeling?"
Leaning against the backrest of his chair, Sasuke glanced over the wall of his cubicle and shrugged, even though she couldn't see him.
"If you're talking about Friday, trust me, I'm over it. Nothing ibuprofen and coffee couldn't fix." Besides, it was a little late to be asking considering that it was Monday, dumb wench.
Picking a pen from his pen cup and twirling it around his thumb, Sasuke's mouth quirked at the distraction, even if it was a waste of time that he could use to finish the report, the interruption was more than welcomed. "What did you want?"
"Uhm... well, I just... well... we missed dinner... the other day."
He thought he could hear her fidget over the phone. "I'm... are you... free tomorrow evening?"
"I see. That's fine... a few of the other student aides suggested... we go out to celebrate anyway... I just thought that... we could've... gone to an... early dinner before. But that's okay too..."
"I'm glad. Maybe we can reschedule some other time."
"Oh... well, that's... that's okay." And Sasuke found that the sincerity in her voice made him uncomfortable. She actually meant what she said, when she sighed into the phone. He wasn't sure why, but he thought surely that he was not supposed to be affected by her. "I-I mean... don't think I'll have... have time. I'm leaving the... the day after..."
"I see... well then, perhaps I'll see you again someday." Sasuke's voice sounded hallow and distant even to himself. The man found that didn't really want to hang up on her, despite his vendetta against the phone, and couldn't help but think he just botched everything.
"We probably will." A pause. "Is... is there something you want to say to me, Sasuke?"
The brunet didn't know why, but his heart quickened its pace. However, there was really nothing left to say. Nothing that he could admit to himself let alone her. "No. Tell Naruto I said hello."
He heard her laugh. It was probably the first time he'd heard that. She sounded slightly hysterical, and it sounded almost... forced? But that couldn't be it; she wouldn't need to force something like that.
"I will. Maybe... you can visit me... in Japan, that is... the next time we meet."
"Yeah, maybe I will."
Sasuke knew that was a lie. He would never go to Japan just to see her. That would be an utter waste of a plane ticket and a few hundred dollars. Besides, she was just someone whom he knew as an acquaintance. She didn't matter to him. She didn't affect his life. Sasuke would never allow a woman to affect his life. Never mind the fact that he called her without realizing it. Never mind that she was on his mind once every ten minutes.
"Good... goodbye, Sasuke."
"Bye…" He most certainly did not feel guilty, even though she was in a figurative way walking away from him. Not that he wanted anything from her to begin with... he didn't need anything from her.
Even a week later, he didn't acknowledge the sudden emptiness in his life, neither did he question why it suddenly felt so much quieter at work and home. It took a month to ponder that in the two weeks he knew her that he got used to her interruptions in his life. It took another month for Sasuke to deduce why he even cared. But he was Sasuke Uchiha, and he resolved that as long as he concentrated on his own life, he would forget anything that happened during those two weeks, and the reason he cared.
One month turned to two, which in turn became four. Four became eight, and suddenly, a year and a half went by, and not once did he touch the phone to call her.
And then, early one morning, the phone rang.
It was 4:30 in the morning when Sasuke's phone's shrill ring came to life. He knew it was 4:30 because that was what the bright green lights on his alarm clock read. Calls at this time of the night just meant trouble, but if his brother had mysteriously died, Sasuke still wanted to know. Besides, he was much too asleep to really do anything about being angry... for the most part anyway.
The man blindly groped for the cordless he knew was supposed to be next to the bed, or by his bed, somewhere. It seemed an eternity before he felt the cool plastic of his phone in his hand. Mostly guessing which was the 'talk' button, Sasuke rested the phone against his face as he felt himself drifting to sleep again.
"Four thirty in the fucking morning," he growled sleepily, his mouth on autopilot. "What?"
"I'm getting married," Naruto's voice announced in his ear, and Sasuke deemed that he's heard enough.
"Call me when I'm awake enough to care," the brunet grumbled before hanging up, throwing the phone against the wall, hoping that he broke it. Blasted thing never brought good news.
Not only did Sasuke not have a completely pleasant return to Japan on the plane, but his mother insisted on his staying at home, and jet lag caused him to be a little late to Naruto's wedding. Of course, Sasuke hadn't really wanted to be there in the first place, but it was a wedding, and... well, as much as he loathed to admit, he wanted to see the groom and bride happy.
So he quietly entered the church and sat at the pews in the back, feeling miserable for himself, trying to make himself seem as inconspicuous as possible which really wasn't that difficult. Watching the bride in her white dress depressed him a little, almost as if he lost something himself. But it wasn't like there was anything he could do about it. Hinata and Naruto looked the picture of a happy couple on the alter, at least from the back.
The soft squeaking of the side door opened, and Sasuke didn't feel bad because he wasn't the last person to arrive.
Looking to see who it was, the brunet raised an eyebrow seeing the woman he expected to stand at the alter quietly sitting not far from him, and definitely not in white if the navy dress and khaki jacket was any indication. This was certainly interesting, last he heard, Naruto and his girlfri-- well, Hinata were still together.
He slid on the pew closer to the woman, the movement caused her to tear her eyes from the alter to him. She looked surprised, but regained her composure and gave him a small if slightly wary smile before training her eyes to the happy couple, a digital camera swinging on her wrist.
Strangely enough, he felt a little relieved. Unable to help himself, a small twitch, half smile made its way to his lips before he too watched the proceedings. They could talk afterwards.
"What happened?" Sasuke asked gesturing to the empty alter but still maintaining his cool attitude. He wasn't dying to find out, not really, and if he was he wasn't about to let her know any time soon.
"Well, there was... a wedding," the woman explained, tucking her camera into her pocket, a smile on her face. "I have pictures... if you want to see."
That wasn't what Sasuke meant, and Hinata knew it. Though she was humoring him, it seemed she decided to give him an answer, "Things change; people... people change."
"When... After... I came back from the U.S.," she told him, standing to leave. The reception was waiting in another hour or so, and it Hinata was supposed to take pictures, which also meant that she had to get there before other people did.
She blinked at him, and shrugged almost carelessly as she moved toward the empty exit. "My business."
"So you're not," Sasuke couldn't even believe he was asking the questions. He wasn't supposed to care, and he didn't care. This felt like that stupid phone call incident from so very long ago that was supposed to be dead and buried in his memories forever. Standing and following the dark haired woman, Sasuke managed, "Not in a relationship with Naruto anymore?"
Chuckling, Hinata withdrew her camera and dangled it in front of him, "Would you like to see who's wedding we just attended?" That wasn't his question, he wondered if she realized that. But then, she gave him this look and met him halfway, "Naruto and TenTen's lucky; I unfortunately haven't found that special guy yet."
"Good," Sasuke muttered, sounding childish and spiteful. Of course, he hadn't meant to say that aloud, it just.. sort of slipped. Coughing into his hand, he added, "You're miserable."
Her eyes widened slightly, before her mouth twitched to a small half-frown, and almost shying smile. "I'm not; I'm... content. Are you miserable?"
Ignoring her question, Sasuke fell into step besides her as they entered the parking lot, "You don't stutter anymore,"
"Work doesn't allow me to stutter," she said training her eyes forward. They both fell silent just walking through the mostly empty parking lot. She finally stopped at a beige Toyota and looked at him with this look again. "Do you... need a ride?"
"Brought a bike," he told her, nodding to his motorcycle parked not too far from her car. Once again, the two were standing at crossroads, they probably wouldn't see each other after this again. "I'll see you around."
Hinata was still giving him that look, and he couldn't quite put his finger on what it meant. Then she echoed a question that he seem to recall her asking before, "Is... is there something you want to tell me, Sasuke?"
Blinking, Sasuke wondered what she meant by that, even that first time. He was almost tempted to say something but shook his head, casually remarking, "No."
There was a moment were they both stared at each other, and Sasuke couldn't tell what the woman was thinking at all, not that he could really sort through his own thoughts. She had that look in her eyes again. To say that he was surprised when Hinata pulled him down by the collar and just barely touched his lips with hers was a dramatic understatement.
"Erm... I-I-I didn't do that," she defended blushing wildly as she unlocked her car and moved to start the engine, leaving Sasuke's mind still blank.
Sasuke stared at her through the windows in the driver's seat. He probably should've moved because she was going to back up and out, she was going to hit him indefinitely. But he was still shocked not because he hadn't kissed a person of the female species for over a year, nor had sex for even longer (he chose that, it wasn't as if he couldn't have done those two things if he wanted), but because it was Hinata.
And she was going to leave for something as insignificant as a wedding reception right after a light brush?
Sasuke stomped to the side of her car and knocked on the window, the woman staring at him wide-eyed, face a disturbing shade of crimson, but Sasuke couldn't be bothered with trivial details. The window rolled down and he blurted before he could even think, "What the fuck was that?"
"I'm s-sorry. I'm-- I'm really, really, really, s-s-s-sorry," Hinata muttered bowing her head, sounding distressed and sick, "I w-w-wasn't thinking."
"That wasn't even a kiss," Sasuke stated, leaning close to her, but she kept her eyes trained to the front. "Look at me."
It took a long moment, but she turned to face him, and she looked sick. Sasuke didn't really care.
Tilting her chin up, he kissed her, slowly, deeply, savoring it, and not because it has been a long time, but because, he wanted to. His tongue ran along her lip and she gasped, but that moment was all Sasuke needed to gain full access to her mouth, his hand caressing her neck. They were like that for a minute, maybe two, Hinata didn't really know, and neither did Sasuke. Time didn't seem to exist.
When he finally pulled away from her, he said, "That... was a kiss."
"Uhm," she stuttered staring at him through half-lidded eyes. Sasuke realized that he was still close enough to kiss her again... if he wanted to. "Uhm... that was... uhm..."
"A kiss," he finished for her simply. "I'll see you at the reception."
Turning he sauntered towards his motorcycle, a small smirk on his face, confidence with every step.
Schooling his face to a calm, almost cocky smirk he turned to see what the woman wanted, only to see her standing next to her car, a camera covering her face. He blinked. She grinned, a blush still evident on her face.
"T-thank you," she bowed and then returned to her car, and backed up and out of the parking lot.
Sasuke stared after the car, his hand pulling his wallet from his pocket and withdrawing a worn business card. Looking over the phone number that she gave him so long ago, Sasuke smirked and set his helmet before straddling his motorcycle.
Still in Japan days later, Sasuke recieved a flat package at home, the name on the return address said Hyuuga Hinata. Tearing the packaging tape from the stiff cardboard envelope, he withdrew an 8 x 10 photograph. Staring, he recognized the suit he wore to Naruto's wedding, the smug smirk on his lips, his coat whipping about, some hair over his eyes, his face holding an expression not mysterious or angry, but almost michievous.
A letter floated to the carpeted floor, and Sasuke picked it up.
I got your address from
Naruto, hopefully, this will reach you before you return to the
A quick message: a picture may be worth a thousand words, but a moment is worth more.
He looked at the return address, and after much debate, picked up the phone.
Hello. You have reached Hyuuga Hinata. I'm unable to answer the phone right now, please leave a message and contact information and I shall get back to you as soon as I can.
"... This is Sasuke... I'm not going back to America for a few days; are you free some time for dinner?"