It's late, I know it, you know it, but whatever. Happy Birthday (the Belated Version) Joshua, Happy Christmas, Happy Boxing Day, Happy 2007.

Around Again

It was the snow that started it. The snow that drifted about the cityscape, softening the hard unyielding lines into something you could put on a postcard and actually expect someone to buy it. The snow was entirely to blame. It turned cheeks and noses pink, turned everything else white, turned houses into display cases, children into angels and the young and lonely into parasitic masses, determined to find the perfect gift. And stock up on mistletoe. The only good plant… was one that had nothing to do with him. At all. Ever. Not in coatrooms, not in hallways, not in any kind of public thoroughfare. He'd been late to several meeting trying to find alternate routes around known pit traps. Did the girls gossiping around the water cooler not have jobs or was their sole purpose in life really just to lock lips with Uchiha Sasuke? Thankfully Christmas was over, now he could focus on actual work. And thankfully it was Friday, a three day work week wasn't so bad.

"Watch it!" The snarl was somewhere in the vicinity of his shoulder. He could almost swear he heard the tiny being utter something like 'ham handed prick' but no one ever said that about him, surely the… he wasn't quite certain what it was, it looked like a large cardboard box that had sprouted jeans and Chinese Laundry, was referring to something else. Whatever it was was determined to get past him and into the cafeteria. He amused himself by trying to be helpful, and still pissing it off all the more. The box was muttering more swear words than a bunch of tinsel boas ought to know. He finally let it go when they were safely inside the cafeteria. Mostly because the cafeteria had been red and green and gold and some place he had avoided for the past few weeks, and now it wasn't. The Christmas-y decorations had been taken down, and were in messy piles in various places on the floor. The box relieved itself of its carrier, who fixed him with a pale lavender glare of death.

"Um Hanabi?" The midget turned her stare up to the woman on the ladder, who was staring down at her, with a hand over her mouth. "I haven't taken down the mistletoe. You might want to do that."

Hanabi slowly registered that the mistletoe had in fact been hanging from the doorway she had just entered, next to the clumsy idiot. If her sister was suggesting that she actually…

"Oh no, no, no, I'd sooner eat the thing." She snapped. From the little gasping noises coming from her sister, Hanabi surmised she was being laughed at. Clumsy idiot in question was perusing the drink selection, and quite obviously not paying them any attention.

"Oi, Sasuke!" Blue eyes twinkled with something that was very close to malicious amusement. Just great, another witness.

"What, dobe?" Sasuke didn't bother to turn around, he was feeding his money to the machine, so he missed the devious look the blonde threw the woman up the ladder, holding half a boa of tinsel.

"You do know Lee's mistletoe is still hanging from the doorway, right?"

Flowered toes tapped the linoleum dangerously. "If you think for one second I'm going to—"

"You want me to kiss a box?" Sasuke asked blandly. He bent to fish his drink out of the slot.

Hanabi threw her sister a dirty look. She was just watching them all from above, green tinsel glinting as she shook with repressed laughter.

"I transfer the box's and my kissing rights to the blonde. I'm going to get the rest of the stuff out of the car." She stalked out of the room, jangling the keys angrily.

Sasuke looked at Naruto grinning cheekily at him, with what he supposed was a parody of a sexy pose. He noted the sparkles out of the corner of his eye that said Shizune's secretary was still laughing at them all very quietly.

"Screw this. If the midget can do it, so can I. Hinata, he's all yours. Catch you later." He took his soda and his leave, and retreated to his office.

He came back much later, after, he assumed everyone had had their late lunch and gossip and left. Unlike them, he had actually had things to do. He was surprised to see the box still on the table, though the assorted messes on the floor were gone. He couldn't resist approaching the box that had snarled at him, and found that it had spawned several more boxes around the table. In them were assorted decorations celebrating the new calendar.

"It's not going to attack you, you know."

"Shut up Naruto."

"Although you have to admit it would be funny to see an over-amorous box and contents molest the untouchable Uchiha Sasuke." Naruto joined him in perusing the insides of the box. The masses of tinsel were gone, blue and purple and silver having taken the place of the red and green on the walls, but it still contained banners for a 'Happy 2007!', table cloths, and disposable flatware.

"Like any one wants a New Year's party at the office." He muttered to no one in particular.

"Well, you can't exactly celebrate Christmas Day here either, it being a declared day off. I guess management just really wanted to throw us a party. Boost morale, have an excuse for champagne during the daylight hours; has boss-lady written all over it."

"You boys going to help, or were you just pretending to be garden gnomes here?"

The box slave driver was back, complete with older sister. And the pair of them had been taken over by plastic bags.

"That's a lot of food." Naruto commented.

"Thank you, Captain Obvious. We were just stocking up for the dogs and the pig and we thought maybe we ought to get some stuff for the party."

"What do you care? You're not on payroll; you just steal the company wireless and all the dark chocolate out of Hinata's candy dish."

"Hanabi, the fridge door, if you don't mind." Hinata suggested mildly as she began taking bottles of soda out of the shopping bags.

She found another set of hands taking the packages she had unearthed and taking them to the fridge for her.

"Thank you, Sasuke. I cleaned the fridge earlier, so we should have enough room for everything."

Hanabi left her bags on the counter and began digging around in the boxes for the banners and the means to attach them to the wall. She was unsurprised at how quickly Naruto took the staple gun out of her hands.

"Why don't I help you with those?" He muttered unconvincingly.

"If you think it'll give you good karma, sure."

Hanabi had taken off, saying she wasn't needed, and she had after Christmas eBaying to do. Naruto had pled impending doom should he fail to complete the quarterly reports. Hinata was surprised Sasuke hadn't taken the opportunity to leave, but was properly grateful nevertheless. Further rummaging in the boxes found spiraling cutouts that Hinata explained were supposed to go in the doorway. For some reason she turned a tad pinker at the mention of the doorway. He had been delegated to cutting pieces of tape and handing them to her as she fixed the glittering curlicues to the doorframe.

They were done; all that was left was the hors d'oeuvres that would have to be bought the morning of the first, and the actual party itself. Sasuke had gestured her to go first, his hand on the light switch. She hadn't been expecting her foot to land on a trailing decoration, hadn't been prepared to have it fall down on her as her foot slid on the lack of friction between shiny plastic and floor. And she certainly hadn't been expecting to feel Sasuke's hands on her shoulder and lower back. He helped her right herself slowly.

"When I said I'd catch you later, this wasn't really what I meant." He remarked casually, making no move to remove his hand from her shoulder. She looked surprisingly cute and childlike, more so than the brat who'd been around earlier, though the image was helped by the purple streamer caught in her hairpins.

Hinata could feel herself blush hard, and wondered if it was possibly to give oneself a suntan through embarrassment alone. His free hand went to her hair and began gently disentangling the exuberant sheet of plastic. He reached up and reattached it to the door. He indicated the door again, exit stage left, take two.

She was still blushing prettily, and he was very not unpleasantly startled when she kissed him full on the lips.

"Naruto gave you his mistletoe rights by proxy." She explained hastily.

"Remind me to thank him."

Uchiha Sasuke, New Year's Resolution number 1: Come up with cunning plan to repeat kissing Hyuuga Hinata. Several if possible.

Tada. All the unbelievers who didn't think I'd write something SasuHina for the year's end... were kind of right.

I'm just promoting realism!! Belief in miracles is all well and good, but do try to be reasonable.