A leisurely sigh escaped Neji's lips as he flopped back against the satin of his bed sheets. Today had certainly been…interesting so the opportunity to relax came as a welcome relief. He let his eyes slide shut, hands tucked behind his head as his mind wandered freely over all the most prominent aspects of his life... There was the possibility that he would soon inherit the business, his newfound independence, and that fiery waiter he was using as a distraction from everyday stresses.
The corners of his mouth curled up at that last thought. Neji had always had a certain sense of entitlement as a result of a spoiled childhood and he was used to everyone and everything being constantly available to him. The stubbornness of that one boy was not only intriguing to him but also frustrating, causing him to be even more aggressive and flirtatious then he normally was. Even with that amount of determination Gaara had remained completely obstinate, refusing to cave in to Neji's undeniable charms.
The Hyuga rolled onto his side, idly studying the expensive artwork covering the walls of his penthouse. Finally his eyes came to rest on the full length Victorian mirror he'd set up in the corner of the room. His own reflection stared back at him with unforgiving intensity. Neji turned his face from side to side, examining himself from all angles before smiling contently.
"What is wrong with that kid?" He wondered aloud, sparing one last glance towards the mirror. "How can he resist this?"
Neji flopped back on the bed, now staring at the ceiling as he mulled over his last words to the redhead.I'll see you tomorrow
He hadn't really been thinking too clearly when he'd made that statement, it was merely another attempt to get some sort of reaction out of the brat. But now he supposed he would have to go back to the restaurant, he didn't want to be known as one who would make idle threats. The only question was how he could make it look natural?
'I suppose I'm long over due for a lunch date with my cousins.'
He grimaced slightly thinking about Hanabi. It wasn't exactly at the top of his list of priorities to spend time with the obnoxious girl.
'Maybe I'll just take Hinata…'
Gaara closed the door to his apartment firmly behind him, being careful to secure every lock before removing his shoes and heading to the room he shared with Naruto to change into some more comfortable clothes. He had the apartment all to himself tonight, Haku had gone out somewhere with Zabuza after work and Naruto had gone down the hall to hang out with Ino and Sakura.
Gaara's nose crinkled with disdain as he thought about the two girls. Naruto had had an epic crush on Sakura ever since they'd first moved to the building and it was apparent to everyone but him that the girl loved the attention but did not care for him at all. In short terms she was leading him on for her own amusement at the expense of his feelings. Gaara had to force himself to stop thinking on the subject, he had enough problems of his own, he didn't need to deal with Naruto's.
Once he'd changed out of his stuffy waiter uniform and into a pair of black sweats and a baggy gray t-shirt he promptly headed to the kitchen, pulling out a container of cold fast food and heading to the couch for an evening of peaceful vegetation. The way he figured, he needed all the rest he could get because tomorrow that annoying Neji guy was surely going to bother him again.
He brought a heaping forkful of cold noodles to his mouth and chewed thoughtfully as he mulled over his meeting with Neji, attempting to break down his odd character the way he always did when meeting someone new.
The man certainly had some sort of superiority complex, a classic sense of entitlement and arrogance that would normally drive Gaara insane. The key word beingnormally because try as he might he couldn't deny that there was just something about this guy that wouldn't let his mind rest. Sure he was annoying, Gaara really didn't like the way he touched him so openly and the whole threatening him with going to Orochimaru really pissed him off. But at the same time he was also fascinated by the Hyuga, maybe it was the way he walked with such confidence, the apparent intelligence he displayed, or maybe it was his undeniable attractiveness but a small part of Gaara was looking forward to seeing him again.
He groaned, leaning his head back against the worn maroon couch. He wanted so badly to just be able to hate that arrogant rich prick but his hormones didn't want to let that happen.
The next morning Gaara had to literally drag himself out of bed, he'd only gotten about two hours of sleep. His anxiety over Neji was bringing back his long forgotten plight of insomnia. Haku shot him a sympathetic look as he came trudging into the kitchen.
"You didn't sleep too well?"
Gaara offered only a sluggish shake of his head before grabbing a mug and promptly filling it to the brink with coffee, no milk or sugar for this sleepy teen. Haku sighed softly, cracking an egg into the frying pan. It landed with a satisfying hiss, and it wasn't long at all before the enticing aromas of breakfast started dancing around the kitchen. Gaara thanked God everyday that Haku lived with them; neither he nor Naruto could cook worth a damn.
The feminine brunette prodded the bacon with the edge of his spatula before turning back around and leaning casually against the counter.
"Naruto told me about your creepy customer, I'm really sorry I couldn't be there." A faint smile graced his delicate features. "I was busy with Zabuza."
Gaara took another sip of coffee, studying his friend over the rim of the cup with wary eyes, Haku was known for getting into far too much detail when it came to his personal life. Thankfully the boy didn't get a chance to start in on his ramblings as a near frantic Naruto came bursting into the room wearing only the bottom half of his uniform.
"I can't find my shirt or my vest!"
Haku rolled his eyes, skillfully removing the eggs from the pan and onto the three waiting plates.
"They're in the closet."
Without so much as a second glance Naruto went tearing to the other side of the tiny apartment, arriving back in the kitchen fully dressed moments later.
"What the hell were they doing in there?"
"When I came home from my date I nearly tripped and broke my neck because you left them right in front of the door again."
Haku looked rather annoyed but he still didn't miss a beat as he loaded up bacon onto each plate and handed them over to their respective owners. Naruto looked sheepish.
"Yeah, sorry about that I was out really late at Sakura's house and…"
"Say no more."
Haku cut him off with an impatient wave of his hand. Neither he nor Gaara really wanted to think about the pink haired nuisance this early in the morning.
The redhead's eyes trailed over to the large clock hanging above the stove, noting that the minute hand was about fifteen minutes past where he'd like it to be.
"Hey, you guys?" All eyes shifted to him. "I think we should leave now."
Thankfully the three made it to work only ten minutes late and no one seemed to notice or care. They gave one another their standard goodbyes before rushing off to their assigned positions, Naruto being the greeter, Haku working the front tables, and Gaara at the back.
The beginning of the day passed pretty normally, customers came in and out for late breakfasts or brunches, it was a very manageable amount of work. Then noontime rolled about and the pace really picked up. This is when corporate leaders would bring in potential buyers to discuss deals over lunch, the environment was normally tense and it was Gaara's least favorite time to work.
It didn't help improve his mood in the least when Neji and two young girls came walking through the door at about one o'clock.
Naruto trounced brightly over to trio, very excited to have his chance to meet the infamous Neji. Suddenly though he halted in his tracks, staring with confusion at the older of the two girls.
She looked up, a dark blush immediately covering her face.
"N-Naruto? W-What are you doing here?"
He looked equally surprised as she was.
"I work here now."
The girl rubbed nervously at her arm, barely able to make eye contact as she attempted to stutter out another sentence.
"E-Everyone at s-school want to know where you w-went."
Naruto tossed his head back, running a hand freely through his hair.
"I was tired of that place, so I came here." He beamed, looking quite proud of himself." Now would you like me to show you to your table?"
Hinata nodded and the group started shuffling after the blond as he led them to a secluded table on the other side of the room. Hinata kept stealing nervous glances at the boy and then quickly looked away, blushing madly. Neji noticed this, raising an eyebrow with amusement, it wasn't hard to figure out what those looks meant.
The second the three were seated Neji leaned intently forward.
"I'd like to request a specific waiter."
Naruto rolled his eyes.
The brunette nodded, obviously the boy's friends would be aware of their situation.
"Okay, I'll bring him right out. But I can't guarantee he'll be happy to see you."
"I'm not expecting him to be."
Neji leaned back in his seat, looking content.
As expected, it only took a few minutes for a rather peeved Gaara to come shuffling over to his customers.
"May I take your order?"
He opted to get straight to the point, not bothering with any of the standard politeness. Hinata answered him immediately, seemingly grateful for the minimalist amount of human contact.
"My sister and I will both take the soup and salad combo."
The redhead nodded, expertly jotting everything down before turning to face his enemy expectantly. It was no surprise at all when the Hyuga leaned his chin on his hand staring up at him coyly.
"What would you suggest?"
Gaara lowered the notepad he'd been using to shield his face, glaring daggers at the smug brunette.
"I believe the Salisbury steak with a side of mashed potatoes would be an excellent choice."
Neji looked to the side contemplatively and Gaara was certain he was trying to come up with something "witty" to say. His jaw tightened with annoyance, but before the Hyuga had a chance to utter a single word a high-pitched giggle cut through the tense silence.
All eyes turned to a little girl, seated proudly at the table. She looked almost identical to Hinata except her eyes glinted with a devilishness the older girl didn't possess.
"Neji-san has a crush," she snickered.
The elder Hyuga's eyebrow twitched.
"Hanabi, be quite."
His obvious display of annoyance served only to encourage the girl, who started rocking back and forth in her chair.
"Neji and Gaara sittin' in a tree, f-u-c-k-i-"
"HANABI!" She was cut off by a red faced Neji. "Where did you learn that?"
The girl looked quite pleased with herself as her older sister hacked nervously into a napkin.
"Well never repeat that again! It's crude, and crass, and just so-so un-Hyuga like!"
Gaara chuckled lowly, Neji sure looked funny with a beet red face.
"Do you find this funny?" The Hyuga spat, for the first time looking at Gaara with something other than lust or amusement.
"No, sir." Gaara bit back his smile tauntingly.
"Hm," Neji glared at Hanabi as she began rhythmically kicking his seat, "just bring me the Salisbury steak." He practically threw the menus at Gaara's head. Fortunately the boy caught them, turning on his heel and quickly marching to the kitchen before he outright laughed in his customer's face.
It took the chef awhile to cook up the trio's orders and Gaara used that time to recline against the back wall and observe the amusing scene before him. Hinata was quiet and spent most of her time staring dreamily at Naruto while the other two family members bickered relentlessly. It was quite funny. Hanabi threw a napkin at Neji, knocked his silverware off the table, dipped his tie in his water, and giggled maniacally each time he yelled. It was almost cute to see the Hyuga looking so frazzled…
When Gaara did finally deliver their food Neji hardly spared him a second glance, he was far too busy trying to get Hanabi's bracelet out of his hair.
Gaara considered himself very lucky. Neji was too busy to be a prick and he had run out of customers. For twenty whole minutes he got to hang out in the back of the restaurant and watch his enemy be abused. It was even more amusing than daytime television.
'I can't believe I was ever worried about today…'Jade eyes gleamed with happiness as Neji and his group got up, heading towards the door. 'It has been a good day. A very, very, good day. In fact I might go so far as to say it has been a-wait a minute... Why has Neji stopped walking? Why is he talking to Naruto? Why is he patting him on the back? Why is Naruto looking at me like that? Why is Hinata red? Why is Neji laughing?
The Hyuga slowly turned around to face a bewildered redhead. A familiar smirk was painted across his face accompanied by a wicked glint in his eyes. Gaara gulped nervously when he winked at him before swaggering out the door.
"This is not good," he murmured, making his way quickly over to a near frantic Naruto. "What did you do?"
"I-uh, um…." Naruto trailed off, briefly considering making a run it as his roommates unforgiving gaze bore into him. "I think I just agreed to a double date…"
I'm back from the dead! I'm so sorry I disappeared like that but I had a lot going on and my stories suffered for it, with any luck I still have a few readers left…
This big gap in writing has total screwed with my creative flow so I need reviewers! Tell me what you think about this chapter (I know it was short) and what you want to happen later because I've forgotten what the plot was going to be…feels dumb
Next up I'm going to try to finally finish Save Me…