Chapter 9:


She laughed with him as they washed dishes. Though his hard exterior never let on, Sasuke was rather funny, and he liked to smile. In fact, Hinata knew she liked his smile the moment it graced his features and didn't disappear. She closed her eyes as she wiped off the plate he'd handed her and listened to him tell her that Tsunade-sama had, in fact, given him the Uchiha estate.

She grinned at him teasingly when he dropped a cup and squeaked upon it's impact with the floor, only to find out it was plastic.

He sighed gently and sat back on the counter, listening to the soothing drip of the faucet. He couldn't help but feel a little different around her, considering the fact that she seemed more lighthearted than the pink-haired girl that insisted on holding his arm. Feeling eyes on him, he opened a lid and smirked at her.

"What?" he asked, teasingly curious?

"I don't know what to do…." she mumbled. Being alone with him and without many subjects to talk about could be a bit unnerving. She bit her lip and looked away. She obviously didn't do 'unnerved' well.

He wiped his hands on a dishtowel and walked towards her. "You try to hard," he sighed.

It didn't bother him that she did this; went quiet and began to blush, stammer, poke her forefingers together, all her nervous habits tossed at once. It didn't bother him, and that confused him. He had no problems with her faults, like speaking clearly or ceasing to speak. It intrigued him, actually; drew him in like a moth to a flame.

He smiled gently and took one of her locks of waving hair into a hand, wondering why, whenever he'd seen her before, her hair was always so straight. He curled it around his finger and twirled it until the hair was tight against his flesh. He leaned forward, pressing his chin against the crown of her head. "Don't try, just be," he said into her hair. He pulled his finger from her hair, watching as her hair formed a perfect ringlet. A brow rose. Maybe her hair did whatever it was told. He looked at her blushing face.

With a sigh, he placed a hand on either of her shoulders and pressed a kiss to her forehead. She moved her hands to his waist and hooked her thumbs into his belt loops. Her eyes caught his as he pulled from the press of his lips to her skin. She smiled gently and, using her grip on his hips, propelled herself upwards to kiss his cheek.

"Thank you, Uchiha-kun," she said, releasing her hold on his shorts. She walked away, hair whipping along with her movements. In a dream-like state, she began towards the sitting room once again.

He followed after her, curious. "What are you doing?" he asked her, leaning against the doorframe.

She bit her lip, searching the room for an explanation. "I thought… we'd go out."

"Like last night?"

Her laughter lingered in the air as she shook her head. "Iie, Uchiha-kun. To train, or to just…" she paused a loss for words, "go out."

"A date?" he asked, amused.

"P-possibly," she stammered quietly, curling her hands to her chest. She'd jumped to conclusions.

He smiled a little and nodded. "You, Hyuuga Hinata, are taking me, Uchiha Sasuke, on a date without permission?" he asked, teasing her a bit.

Her lower lip quivered a bit. "If… you'd go," she tried, her lips clumsy.

"Hn. Sounds good to me," he said, shrugging his shoulders uninterested.

Catching on, she creased her nose a bit before heading off to her bedroom. "Uchiha-kun?" she called after a few moments of her alone time. Being a naturally curious, hormonal teenaged boy, he obliged and stepped into her bedroom.

She had a drawer open with a set of men's clothing. He wondered if she'd had relationships like this during the time Naruto was gone. She seemed to put two and two together and blushed brightly, shaking her head. "Neji-nii-san stays here sometimes," she explained. "I thought… maybe you'd want to bathe," her blush deepened at the thought of a naked Uchiha in her home, "and change before… we left."

Sasuke picked up the pair of shorts and tee shirt she'd set out for him. "It might work," he said with a few nods. He glanced at the dark-haired girl and smiled. "Thanks, Hinata-san."

Her cheeks flared before they returned to their natural color. She'd become better at preventing herself from fainting. He was rather impressed. Hyuuga Hiashi was obviously very wrong about how much Hinata had improved. He ruffled her hair a bit, causing a bit of it to stand up gawkily. He snickered as he left the room, leaving the Hyuuga girl flattening her hair against her head.

As soon as he'd figured out which room was the bathroom, the one with the door closed, he entered, closing the door and locking it behind him. He looked around. It was rather tidy and very simple; only necessities occupied it's corners and shelves. He looked at the deep tub. A deep chuckle resonated from his throat as he thought about how she'd probably been unable to cope with a smaller tub, having been spoiled by the Hyuuga estate's rather deep private onsen.

Once undressed and settled in the tub, he let his mind wander. First of all, he thought about his cooking. He'd improved a lot with the help of the white-eyed Hyuuga girl. He was really excited about it, though he preferred not to jump up and down with laughter or squeals as girls, and Naruto, tended to do. Secondly, he thought about what he was going to do after these lessons were finished. He could just leave and only speak to Hinata in passing, or he could start a formal relationship with her. Lastly, he thought about his emotions, which he found was really, rather, hard. He hadn't dwelled on that much since he was smaller and listened to the beating of his own heart to calm.

He groaned and laid a hand over his forehead. This was going to take longer than a thirty-minute bath to sort out. He pulled out the plug in the tub and stood. He looked over at where a clean towel hung, wrapping it around his nude waist. He had to actually think, in depth, about what he was going to do, how he was going to go about it, and actually follow through at this rate.

He dried off and pulled on his underclothes and Neji's shorts. They were a bit loose on his hips, but not so much as to ride dangerously low. He pulled on his shirt and found it felt snug around him. He looked into the fogged mirror and used the towel to wipe the steam from the glass. Sasuke… looked like he was wearing someone else's clothes. Shaking his head, he folded his clothes and set the towel into the dirty clothes hamper. He really didn't expect anything different; and he really didn't care about appearances.

Outside of the door, he took a glance at the back of Hinata's head, watching how her hair tumbled down her back in curls, in place of laying flat against her back. It was certainly different from what other girls did. He bit his cheek as he smiled. It was nice.

He stepped to the couch, setting his clothes on the arm of the furniture. He sat beside her, the thought of how to go about the whole situation still racking his brain for un-known answers. "What do you have planned?" he asked, flicking his towel-dried strands from his face and pushing the back up.

"Nothing," she replied brightly. She giggled a little and ran her fingers through the back, helping it stand on end. "Do you have anything in mind?

He sighed and leaned back against the couch. "Just one thing," he said, leaning forward and pressing a chaste kiss against her lips. Pulling away, he looked at over her face, eyes lidded lazily and mouth pouted.

She blinked and smiled bashfully at him. "I-is that it?" she whispered.

He smiled and shrugged. "For now. Of course, now we should probably go to my house to get some money."


"Yeah. This is going to be a date, right?" She nodded slowly, trying to grasp the concept. "Then, let's go." He took her hand in his and helped her off the couch.

Sasuke was unsure of how the rest of Konoha would rake their relationship, and though he hadn't told her right out, he was worrying how the fangirl-banshees were going to treat Hinata. In all honesty though, Hinata was waiting for the moment she could prove herself to be Uchiha Sasuke's g-girlfriend.

Of course, they were both nervous to go out in public together in case Ino had blabbed, which they didn't doubt. Neither really wanted to voice that nervousness.

Hinata bit her lip as they began their trek from her apartment to the Uchiha estate. He felt a little awkward in Neji's clothes, especially since he kept getting little looks from girls and the occasional boy. This kept him on edge, even though he got those sort of glances every day; he was desired, after all.

He didn't dare tug on the shirt or the shorts, for fear of how anxious and nervous he would look, but he did bite his tongue and acquire a bit of a scowl.

Her other hand, the one not nestled firmly in his own, came to rest on his forearm, causing him to flinch as he jumped in his skin. "Uchiha-kun," she began, "We're at your house." She tugged on his arm a bit, coaxing him to get into his home. Soon after they were in the house, she slipped off her sandals, following his example.

He sighed once he'd entered his territory and closed the door after her. She smiled gently at him, though she sensed a bit of a change in his mood. He closed the door behind her and began into the labyrinth of halls.

"If you'd like, you can wait in the living room or in the kitchen," he told her.

She clenched her lower lip between her teeth and shrugged. She'd assumed he was only going to go to his room and grab his wallet and then they were to leave. But, she guessed he was off to do something more personal so she decided to wait.

She sat in the lounge for a while before she wondered what was taking to long. Using her perceptive memory, she walked down a hall towards what used to be his room when they were children. A smile crept to her lips while she opened the door. She instantly recognized it from long past memories when their fathers always argued and exchanged empty threats.

She used to play with Sasuke's toys while he would be outside training. She never knew why, but she never minded and he rarely noticed. It was strange how close they were, but how far apart they were. Now, it seemed more like a distant memory.

She looked around the untouched room, not finding the last Uchiha in the room. With a gentle sigh, she mumbled her kekkei genkai and narrowed down the room he was inside of.

She bit her lip roughly as she took one last glance at the youngest Uchiha's childhood before she slid the door closed gingerly. She ignored the question of why it was closed and began down the halls where she'd seen his charka, four doors away from the room she'd just closed off.

She reached forward and slid open the door. As soon as she did, she slapped the door and covered her mouth. He was, to say the least, not decent. Her other hand touched her chest where her heart was pounding furiously. Had she thought it through, she would have realized, with her standing outside of his room after opening the door to reveal a scantily clad Uchiha Sasuke, he could tease her about being a peeping pervert.

She stood outside the door, sliding down the wall to the floor, allowing her hand over her mouth drift to her side. He slid the door open and stepped out, blushing and quiet and fully clothed.

She jumped up from the floor and followed him down the hallway, expecting at least a hint of teasing. She bent her neck as they entered the sitting room, feeling a bit ashamed from the previous embarrassment. She cleared her throat and voiced an apology.

"I didn't think you… I mean, I assumed… Well, if I'd thought it over… It was…" she rambled. She sighed softly and squeaked out an "I'm sorry".

He looked over his shoulder and wrinkled his nose with faux distaste. "To think you'd be someone that would sneak a peek at me while I was changing," he teased.

Her mouth fell open and she curled her hands towards her chest blushing furiously. "It w-wasn't like that!" she squeaked.

He shrugged softly and pulled out a wallet from the top drawer of a desk. "Sure…" he muttered. He smiled her, a soft rose dusting his pale complexion. He walked to the entranceway and slipped on his sandals. He smirked at her and held out a hand to her.

She looked at him and followed his example, pulling hers on. She wrinkled her nose at him, miffed by his teasing. "That wasn't very funny," she mumbled, words finally not stumbling over her tongue. "It was an accident."

"I know."

She pouted and looked at her feet, rocking back on her heels. "Tch."

He wrapped his arms around her waist and hugged her. "Sorry," he said half-heartedly. He leaned back and looked at her. She stuck her tongue out at him and turned away from him, grabbing his hand and walking out the door.

"Let's get out of here, Uchiha-kun," she told him, looking back at him with a slight smile. "You're buying lunch, ne?"


A/N: There's gonna be two more chapters to this, and maybe a sequel if I get enough screams at me. Oh, and I think I need someone to poke me with a pointed stick to remind me to write and post up my chapters. –hint- -hint- The more people I get on the 'get Hotari to write' bandwagon, the quicker I'll actually write. Go figure! So… PM me sometime, even if it is just to say 'Tari! Get off the computer, put down the manga and get your butt in gear! You have a chapter to write!'. Ahem… I'm not naming names on who said that… but you know who you are.

Anywhoosh! Reviews are appreciated, but unnecessary.

xoxo, Hotari-chan