Sasuke had never liked smiling. Smiling meant being happy, which meant showing emotion, which meant he was weak. Prodigies never laughed or smiled. They brooded and thought about why they would make better shinobis than the other useless fools who considered themselves ninjas. They thought about their crummy family (or lack thereof in Sasuke's case), they didn't waste time liking things, or even pretending to like things.
This suited Sasuke just perfectly, he had never liked anything with a passion before, until that seemingly uneventful day where Kakashi had yet again had neglected to show up…
"Where is he this time?" Naruto whined and snapped his stick that he had previously been using to draw bowls of ramen in the sand with.
"Shut up, Naruto! He's probably on important Jounin business that he forgot to tell us about!" Sakura smacked Naruto harshly across the top of his head. Normally she would have agreed with the irritating blond, but she didn't want to seem too whiny in front of Sasuke.
"Why did you hit me Sakura?" Naruto whined loudly and clutched his throbbing head.
"I said shut up, Naruto! Can't you tell that Sasuke-kun is trying to sleep?" Sakura smacked him again, making Naruto howl in pain.
Sasuke did nothing except twitch his eyebrow, he wasn't exactly trying to sleep, just resting (and plotting several different and gruesome revenge plots for his older, dearest brother). But if that kept the two idiots quiet, he would happily lie there for an eternity as if he were dead.
"Sakura, why are you so mean to me?" Naruto complained noisily, earning him yet another bruise for his already outstanding collection.
"Stop talking, you're such an idiot!"
Sasuke's eyebrow twitched yet again, the noise level the two other ninjas on his team created was at such an amazingly excessive level that he couldn't help but wonder why they didn't just get it all over with and start dating. To him they seemed like a perfect couple, they were both unnecessarily loud, they were bright (in both attitude and appearance), showed off--to the point of extremity--for their objects of affection, and Sakura seemed like the only kunoichi capable of handling (though not necessarily tolerating…) Naruto.
Finally after much bickering between Sakura and Naruto, Sasuke abruptly stood up from where he was lying and began walking away from the training grounds, startling the two squabbling ninjas.
Sakura was the first one to speak up, "Sasuke-kun, where are you going?"
"Ichiraku's." This was an outright lie, he just didn't want to have Sakura and Naruto following him to his real objective.
"'Ichiraku's'?" Naruto shot his hand up into the air, "Yes! I will most definitely come with you!" He bounded away from Sakura and towards Sasuke, grinning like the blissful moron he was.
"M-me too!" No way was Sakura going to give up a chance to hang out with Sasuke when it had absolutely nothing to do with training or missions. Hell, it was almost like a date. The thought of a date with Sasuke almost made her swoon.
"I never asked for you two to come." Sasuke seethed through gritted teeth, couldn't they take a hint? He wanted to be alone, dammit. He didn't even want to get ramen. Yet, Sakura and Naruto were still caught up in their little fantasies about ramen and Sasuke, totally oblivious to what he had just finished saying.
"Fine." That got the two's attention, Sasuke agreed to them tagging along with him? "You guys go get your ramen first, I have to take care of something first." He quickly ran off in the exact opposite direction of Ichiraku's before either of them could object.
He wasn't quite sure where he was heading, he could possibly grab a bite to eat, he hadn't had breakfast that morning because of Kakashi's early morning call to the training grounds. Which he had of course forgotten to show up for.
He finally arrived at a small teahouse he had been willing to try out earlier, but had never been able to due to Naruto always dragging him off to Ichiraku's. It had a cozy, traditional feel to it, small low set tables were scattered about in the tiny room, separated by plain paper screens.
"Hello, may I help you?" A young waitress no older than seventeen smiled down at him, "Is there a certain table you'd like to sit at? It's a rather slow time for us right now, so we just let our customers sit where they want and----"
Sasuke just walked past her mutely towards a table, leaving her standing there open jawed and mumbling to her co-worker about rude little kids. But seriously, did he ask for her life story? No, he didn't. After ordering up something to eat and a cup of green tea, he sat in silence, slowly sipping his tea.
A loud clatter was heard from behind the screen next to him making him almost spill the tea all over his lap.
"Ah! I'm so sorry, Hinata! Did I burn you?" That seemed to be the dog boy's voice, what was his name? Siba? Kima? Kiba. That's right.
"Ah…n-no, Kiba-kun…" The quiet voice of the Hyuuga heiress sounded through his ears. What would they be doing here? Couldn't the heiress find somewhere more…classy than this teahouse to eat?
"Be more careful next time, Kiba." A sigh was heard, "Geez, you're far too hyper. Did he get your coat stained, Hinata-chan?" Sasuke recognized this voice as Yuuhi Kurenai, the other jounin that he suspected that Kakashi had a crush on.
"N-no, it can be sent to th-the drycleaners'." The Hyuuga again.
"Hinata." Shino, that was…the bug boy, right? "I apologize for this, but my father's just sent me a message saying I have to get home as soon as possible, it's urgent." A small bug flew past Sasuke, frightening him so badly he began to choke on his tea.
"Oh…of c-course, I understand." Shino silently got up from his seat and for a moment commenced a short glaring contest between him and Sasuke as he walked past the young wannabe avenger towards the exit.
Several minutes later, another loud clatter was heard, "Shi--er…I mean, shoot! My mom had told me she was going to make me clean all thirty-seven of the kennels at the vet's if I didn't get home on time for lunch, I'm so sorry, Hinata!" Damn, that kid was almost as loud as Naruto.
Hinata giggled, "I-it's okay, I understand th-that the kennels aren't a ve-very pleasant place…"
"Thanks, Hinata. Come on, Akamaru!" A bark was issued form the small dog that had jumped out in front of Sasuke's table to wait for his owner who ran backwards, bowing and shouting, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Over and over again.
"Hehe, I guess it's just us girls, eh Hinata?" A small, uneasy chuckle was heard from Kurenai.
"I-I guess so…"
A whizzing sound flew passed Sasuke's nose, missing him by centimetres and scaring him so terribly that he actually did spill his tea all over his meal. It was a kunai that flew right through the paper screen that separated Sasuke from Hinata and her sensei and embedded itself right between the two kunoichi.
"Hmm? What's this? There seems to be a note…" Sasuke watched through the tear in the screen caused by the kunai as Kurenai untied a small scroll that was attached to the kunai. Her eyebrows were starting to knit together as she finished reading through it, "Oh, Hinata, you don't know how much I hate having to say this, Kakashi just summoned me to his place to gather for a meeting concerning our next mission. I'm so sorry." So Sakura was right, that little bastard actually was working…
"I-it's fine. It's for the g-good of our v-village, right?"
"Hinata-chan, you're too kind. The boys and I will try to make it up to you, okay?" Kurenai wrapped her arms around Hinata, then disappeared in a miniature whirlwind of leaves.
FINALLY. They all left, leaving Sasuke with a deep feeling of relief, he could finally eat his meal in peace. Well, after he had ordered a knew meal, his current one was still soaking from his tea. At least the Hyuuga was quiet enough to leave him alone.
Sasuke looked up to see Hinata wringing her hands together nervously. Please, please, please don't say that she was going to turn into a rabid fan girl and confess her undying love to him, she was one of the very few girls in Konoha didn't dream about being Mrs. Sasuke Uchiha, "What?" he barked rudely at her.
"I--um, I was w-wondering if it w-would be okay with y-you if I sat w-with you…?" She seemed more like she was questioning herself rather than him.
She gave him a confused look, obviously she thought he was going to give her a straight yes or no answer, "Well, b-because I w-want to be a-able to sit and eat with s-someone…today."
He realized she had said 'someone' instead of 'you', so stared her down for a second. She didn't seem like she would suddenly attempt to hug/touch/kiss/ him, so just put up three fingers, "Three conditions. I am not paying for your meal. Don't bother me. And stop stuttering."
Her face broke into a grin, she was almost…cu--no. Prodigies never thought that girls were cute. And no, prodigies did not think that guys were cute either, "Thank you very m-mu….very much, Sasuke-san." Her voice was very soft, almost melodic.
He made no response except a loud slurp of tea, so much for wanting to be all alone today. It went for like this for several minutes, Hinata would almost say something to, but would back off at the last moment and fiddle with her napkin while Sasuke kept drinking endless amounts of tea. His bladder must have been larger than the ocean.
"Um…Sasuke-san, how is your team doing?" Sasuke couldn't help but twitch his eyebrow, had he not been a ninja with excellent hearing, he never would have her extremely faint voice.
"He--they're doing fine." He said curtly. He knew the real translation to her question was 'how is Naruto doing?'. It was a well-known fact that the Hyuuga heiress had an undying love for the stupid blond. Sasuke had never figured out why. Naruto was loud to the point of ear splitting, while Hinata was quiet to the point of mute, the poor girl would probably go deaf after being around him too long. He was also rambunctious and outgoing, while she was really quite…shy.
"That's good. Have you guys had any…missions lately?" Hinata asked politely, finally putting down the napkin that had by then ripped to shreds.
"Oh, is--is your sensei well?"
He shrugged, "I guess, if he had enough energy to wake us up at such an ungodly hour to train but never show up himself."
She let out a small laugh, "It seems your sensei is quite the character." Sasuke wondered why she didn't laugh more, she had a nice laugh. But just because it was nice didn't mean he liked it, of course.
"I guess." Sasuke wasn't one for small talk, in fact, he hated it. It was usually forced and awkward, making him feel slightly inadequate. He took a breath, "Listen, you don't have to force yourself to talk to me, I'd actually prefer if you just kept quiet." There, simple and blunt, she should understand that.
"Oh, I--I'm sorry, Sasuke-san." She seemed a bit taken aback, but remained quiet nonetheless. It was a rather awkward meal for Sasuke, he didn't really want to, or even know how to converse freely with other people. He guessed Hinata didn't either, but for some reason, she actually seemed to want to open up.
"Um…Sas--Sasuke-san, please excuse me, I have to go buy groceries. Thank you for having lunch with me." She stood up and bowed deeply to him.
Groceries? Groceries…right. He was in serious need of laundry soap, he had been neglecting to buy it all week. To him, the grocery store was hell. Girls were always 'accidentally' running their carts into his, or 'accidentally' brushing their hands against his when reaching for some food item. He shuddered, as much as he hated the grocery store, he also hating wearing the same clothes more than one day in a row.
He watched Hinata as she paid her bill to the waitress. Maybe she could…? Nah. Well…it could work…she could possibly pose as a…as a what? Definitely not$- a girlfriend. A friend? An acquaintance? It didn't matter, as long as she was there, girls would assume he was taken and leave him alone and he could get his laundry soap in peace. But he'd have to act fast, Hinata's retreating figure was getting farther and farther away.
"Ah…Hinata!" Sasuke quickly slammed some bills onto the table and ran out the door to where Hinata had turned around at the calling of her name.
"I--uh…" How was he going to say it out loud? Come with me to the grocery store so that I don't get raped by crazy fan girls? The whole plan had sounded so much better in his head, "I--I have to get groceries too."
She smiled brightly at him, "Y-you're welcome to come with me if you want." He nodded and gave her a grunt in response.
Sasuke blinked at Hinata as they exited the supermarket, the girl had piles and piles of bags heaped on top of her. It was almost laughable, this small, petite girl drowning in heavy, grocery filled plastic bags that looked like they were about to make her topple over.
"Well, I'm off." Sasuke flipped his small bag of laundry soap over his shoulder and began walking off in the direction of the Uchiha manor.
"W-wait!" Hinata called to him making him stop momentarily in his tracks. She put down a few grocery bags so it was easier for her talk, "W-would y-you mind---"
"What?" He snapped, he really hoped she wasn't asking for him to help take her grocery back to her house for three reasons:
1) He hated the Hyuuga manor, whenever he came within a fifty metre radius of it, evil glares would be sent his way, sending cold shivers up his spine every time.
2) The Hyuuga manor was located all the way on the other side of Konoha.
3) It was getting really cold out and his fingers were already freezing as it was.
"Uhm…n-never mind…S-Sasuke-san." She picked up her bags and began to stagger like a drunk off in the direction of the Hyuuga manor. Sasuke shrugged and began walking off to his house, it was time to wash those week-old clothes that were lying, hidden underneath his bed.
Hm….I was originally planning just a one shot, but it would be too long of a one shot, so it'll be a two or three shot.
By the way, this is NOT after the time skip, the whole gang is still about thirteen or so.