Tact and Respect

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.

A/N: This isn't a spin-off of Reliance; I'm not going to do Naruto/Hinata fanfic. This was just a fun idea that came into my head and so I wrote it down.

Sakura was at the dinner table of her apartment, on her laptop, typing up passages, which would eventually become a published medical journal. She, under the training and guiding hand of the current Hokage, had become a very talented medic nin, rivalling the skills of Tsunade, herself.

She sighed, and rubbed her eyes tiredly, time for a break. She got up from her chair, and looked over at her 'other' half. Yep, she had another half. Sasuke.

Their history was a long one. Though to put it plainly, Orochimaru was dead and Itachi was still running around, the pitiable creature he was, and Sasuke was in Konoha, not hell bent on revenge. It had been a windy road, but amazingly they all made it through in the end.

She watched Sasuke, lazily stretched out on the couch, reading a book. He turned a page with a raised eyebrow, aware she was watching him. She grinned, knowing he knew, and walked over to the couch, sitting beside him and putting herself, over him, blocking his view of the book.

"You're bored." He said.

Placing an arm, either side of his head, she smiled, "Aw, don't you want to play?"

Sasuke, dog-eared his book and tossed it to the floor, folded his hands in his lap and focused on the woman in front of him. "Don't you have work to do?"

"I'm taking a break," she said, moving closer.

"To annoy me?" he said raising an eyebrow.

"I don't see you stopping me," she said leaning in, and placing light kisses along his jaw.

At this he smirked, "Well, if I benefit from it…" And he turned his head toward hers, so his mouth met hers. She laughed, softly into his mouth, as her lips moved over his, responding to his actions, knowing he would give in eventually. She adjusted herself, to sit on his lap, one leg either side of his, her arms supported her as she leant down and deepened the kiss. Sasuke, was incredibly lazing, only moving what he had to, to get what he wanted. His hands rested on her legs, barely moving his head, letting Sakura do the work.

Then there was a knock at the door, Sakura, growled, into Sasuke's mouth and broke away, lifting her head toward the noise, "Who on earth…"

Meanwhile Sasuke, pissed off he'd lost her mouth, started on the closest thing to him, her throat. He moved over her neck teasingly, nipping his way down lightly.

Sakura, turned to him, and kissed the tip of his nose, "looks like play time's over." He sighed as she got off him and went to answer the door. Sasuke looked at his book on the floor, which wasn't nearly as interesting as it had been. It was all her fault.

The door swung open to reveal, the dobe.

Oh joy.

"Hey Naruto," said Sakura, as he walked in to sit on a chair near the couch.

"Hey guys," he said dully, slumping down in his seat.

"Don't you have a home of your own?" asked Sasuke annoyed.

"I love you too teme," said Naruto in the same tone. Usually, he would have said his quip with much more energy.

Sakura walked out of the kitchen, tossing a tomato at Sasuke, who caught it without looking and carrying two cups of tea, one for her, the other for her depressed friend.

"What's up?" she said, sitting cross-legged on a cushion and to a sip of her tea.

"Ah, I dunno," he said, leaning forward on his elbows, staring down at the warm cup in his hands, "I think I'm lonely."

This unexpected answer was met with silence. Then Sasuke spoke, in what he considered an attempt to cheer him up, "Well, I think you're stupid. So who's right?"

To both Sakura's and Sasuke's utter astonishment, Naruto didn't even respond. Just continued staring at his drink, Sasuke raised his eyebrow at Sakura, and she returned it with a worried expression. What was going on?

"What do you mean, lonely?" asked Sakura, tentatively.

"I mean I wish I had someone. Like you two do." He said, sadly.

Sasuke and Sakura shared another look, was he sick or something? This was really out of character for the dobe.

"Don't worry, you'll find someone." Assured Sakura.

"Yeah, dobe, even someone like you, should be able to manage something…" added Sasuke.

Sakura glared at him, while he only smirked. You're not helping.

"You think?" asked Naruto, unsure.

"Yeah, absolutely," said Sakura, "I mean it's not like you haven't got anyone to choose from."

Naruto looked confused, "Huh?"

"You know, you're fan-club." Explained Sakura.

"I have a fan club?" asked Naruto.

"I passed the torch on." Supplied Sasuke, amused by his own comment.

Sakura, ignored, the voice of wisdom and continued, "Yeah. Didn't you know? Granted some are a little young, but then there's older one's too, like Hinata."

Naruto looked shocked, "Hinata?"

"Yes!" said Sakura, exasperatedly, "Hinata! She's been in love with you for ever. She faints whenever you're near her. Surely you've noticed?"

Sasuke, still lying on the couch, now with his eyes closed and hands folded behind his head, "You're awfully hopeful. This is dobe, we're talking about."

"Hinata likes me?" asked Naruto again; expecting someone to tell him it was a joke.

"Yes!" shouted Sakura. 'For the last time, Hinata likes you."

Grinning, at this new information, Naruto jumped up from his chair, re-energised. He downed his drink in one go, stating, "Right. I have a girl to find."

Sakura, went wide eyed, "What now? You're going to talk to her now?"

"Yeah. Why not?"

"Maybe, you should think about what you're going to say before rushing into something," suggested Sakura, carefully.

"You're assuming he can think," drawled Sasuke.

Naruto threw a pillow of his chair at Sasuke, who caught it and tossed it away and waved a hand at Sakura, "Nah, it'll be alright."

Sakura took in a deep breath, "Alright. Just remember to go easy on her. Be tactful."

"And talk in full sentences, dobe," added Sasuke, smirking, "she won't understand 'Ug Ug.' "

Naruto gave Sakura a grin, Sasuke a rude hand gesture and was out the door in a flash.


He found Hinata with Neji, outside a market stall, look at kunai. Naruto took a deep breath and repeated to him-self, "remember, be tactful."

He walked up to the pair and said, "Hi Neji, Hinata."

Hinata let out a squeak, going bright red, when she turned around and saw who it was. Neji, gave him a levelled glance and said politely, "Naruto. What brings you here?"

"I wanted to talk to Hinata if that's cool." Said Naruto, slightly nervous.

Neji noticed this and gave him a scrutinising look. "I'll be over there," he said and walked away, leaving them alone.

Hinata was avoiding Naruto's gaze, looking anywhere but him. Naruto shifted, slightly then asked, "So is it true you faint around me because you like me?"

So much for tact.

And he didn't get an answer, because she'd already crumpled to the ground, out cold.

This could be a problem.


A couple of weeks later, a beaming Naruto could be seen in Sakura and Sasuke's apartment, eagerly retelling the story of how he and Hinata had started going out.

"Naruto, that's brilliant. I'm so proud of you!" congratulated Sakura.

"Thanks," he said grinning.

"Dobe, you're growing up so fast." Quipped Sasuke.

Naruto just grinned even more, "Ah teme, you can keep trying, but I'm not going to bite. I'm taking the higher path."

"Good, for you," said Sakura.

Sasuke only smirked, "Must be a short path."

Naruto ignored him, "She's so awesome though! I know she's shy, but when she starts talking, she's brilliant," he said, happily.

"I'm glad you're happy," said Sakura, genuinely.


Later, when Naruto had left, Sakura was still happily reminiscing the afternoon, and how nice it was that Naruto had found someone.

"Isn't it great!" said Sakura.

"Superb." Deadpanned Sasuke.

Sakura, sighed, "I don't know why I put up with you."

Sasuke smiled arrogantly, "I think we both know why you do."

"You know. Maybe Naruto could teach you some tact." She said.

Sasuke, smirked, again, and approached her, whispering in her ear, "Maybe I should teach you some respect."