Disclaimer: Kiba, Hinata and Sai are owned by other people

Author's note: un-beta-ed sequel to the sequel. Not as good as the original, but possibly fun anyway.

Beyond Cinnamon Rolls

The two week mission was almost over. A B-ranked protection detail for a politically powerful family on a diplomatic trip was a relatively easy mission. It didn't warrant two chunin and a former member of Root. But Tsunade had anticipated that it might become an A ranked mission and decided on the team. Three assassination attempts and one almost successful kidnapping, proved the Hokage correct.

The water shimmered as Hinata released a thin whip-like burst of chakra. Three fish beneath of the surface of the water were killed instantly. Hinata reached down into the river and pulled her team's dinner out of the cold water.

The young Hyuuga heiress quickly made her way back to camp. It was a successful mission, but Hinata was happy to be heading home. She wondered if the new herb hybrid she cultivated was still alive. She sensed a surge of chakra followed by the distinctive sounds of a fight. She sighed and continued her walk back to camp.


Akamaru barked. Kiba sniffed the air and broke his crushing hold on Sai's wrist. Sai took his elbow out of Kiba's gut and quickly walked over to grab his dirtied Konoha head band.

Moments later, Hinata arrived carrying three wet, dripping fish. She frowned as she observed that someone had thrown someone else into the campfire. The burning firewood was scattered and smoking wherever it touched wet leaves or dirt.

Hinata worried silently. 'That's not good. Fire could cause serious damage.'

Kiba took the fish from her, while Sai rearranged the sticks and logs and rebuilt the camp fire.

Hinata pulled out additional food items for dinner from her pack while Kiba prepped the fish and set them up to cook. Akamaru barked to notify them that he was off to hunt for his own dinner and to patrol the area around their camp.


They had established a strange routine. In front of the clients, during the mission, they were very professional. Hinata, Kiba and Sai worked well together as a shinobi team.

But whenever Hinata left Kiba and Sai alone, she returned to find them fighting. The first time, Hinata had been really upset and demanded they stop. She went so far as to get in between the two shinobi. Hinata didn't mind the near misses which almost caused serious injury. But her teammates didn't give her any reason for fighting.

Kiba growled. Sai shrugged.

The second time, they stopped as soon as they noticed her return. She had fussed over a bite mark that Kiba had given Sai. Kiba had scowled continuously the rest of the night.

The third time Kiba and Sai stopped before Hinata returned. They pretended nothing had happened. Kiba had a bad bruise on his ribs and Hinata helped him wrap it.

By the fifth time, the two young men had realized that the guy most hurt would receive the most attention from Hinata. After that, they both toned down the level of damage.

This was the seventh time and Hinata was sick of it. "Accidentally" throwing a teammate into the fire was not acceptable. It had to stop.


By the time they were ready to clean up for the night, Hinata had decided what to do. She simply would not leave them alone.

"I-I am going to the river to wash up." She said quietly. Her teammates nodded their acknowledgment and eye'd each other warily. Kiba grinned in anticipation of a good fight with Sai.

Actually, Kiba had developed some respect for Sai over the past two weeks. Sai was quick and tough and would not back down. But Kiba could not tolerate Sai's not-so-innocent intentions toward Hinata-chan. She was his teammate and she deserved better then a nut-case like Sai.

Kiba could smell the attraction between Sai and Hinata and he didn't like it. Everyone was nice to Hinata. But Sai…Sai really noticed her. He helped her with small things without a word. Sai drew sketches of her and showed them to her. Strangest of all, Sai looked at Hinata's mouth and fingers whenever they ate together. Sai didn't stare, but he studied her. Hinata blushed if she noticed. Once he heard Hinata mumble. "It was just the cinnamon roll." Whatever that meant.

Kiba was pretty sure he didn't want to know. He just wanted to warn Sai off. But Sai wasn't taking the hint.

Hinata stood in front of Kiba with a small towel, her toothbrush and other things. She wanted to talk with Kiba but didn't know how to start. He was her teammate and one of her best friends. She didn't want him to fight with Sai anymore. Training was okay, but random fighting would lead to one of them getting seriously hurt.

"What is it?" Kiba asked. He was used to Hinata's shy behavior and knew she wanted to talk to him.

"Kiba-kun, I…I don't want you to fight with Sai-san anymore." Hinata stated quietly.

"It's fine Hinata-chan, don't worry." Kiba grinned fondly at his friend.

"I'm serious Kiba-kun. I don't want you to hurt each other." Hinata said earnestly.

Kiba barked a small laugh. "I won't hurt him –much-. And HE can't hurt me." Kiba declared arrogantly. He ignored his bruised ribs and the ache from the gut punch he had received earlier.

Hinata furrowed her brow. "N-no Kiba. I-I don't want you to fight at all." She said more passionately.

"Hinata-chan…" Kiba began.

"Kiba-kun, if you won't stop fighting with each other, then I'm going to keep you away from each other." Hinata stated.

Kiba blinked. Hinata fidgeted. Sai sat on the other side of the camp sketching them. He wore his typical fake smile. Sai looked up from his sketch to Hinata. Kiba's sharp hearing picked up one word that Sai said quietly. "Tasty."

Kiba bared his teeth and growled.

Hinata took a breath and turned to Sai. "S-Sai-san, will you accompany me to the river?"

Before he knew what happened. Kiba was alone in the camp. Sai and Hinata had left.

Kiba cursed and called Akamaru back to him with a whistle. His white furred friend bounded back to his side within minutes. Kiba took comfort in his friend's presence and then asked. "Akamaru, what do you think of Sai-teme?"

Akamaru barked a few times in response.

"Yeah, I guess Hinata does seem happier around him." Kiba forced himself to cool down and ran a hand through Akamaru's thick coat of fur. "I guess he's not so bad." Akamaru barked and yipped a few more times. "Yeah, I know we can always rip him to shreds if he hurt Hinata-chan."

Akamaru barked again and this time Kiba laughed. "Yeah, that's right. It's not as if Hyuuga-sama or Neji will take it easy on Sai-teme." Kiba chuckled at the thought and suddenly felt much better.


"Is this why you taste so good?" Sai asked.

Hinata's eyes widened in her face towel and she blushed. "Wh-what do you mean?" She asked. Half of her did not want to know the answer.

"This is a different kind of soap. I have not seen it before." Sai replied. It was hand made and different from the standard soaps purchased in the stores or issued with shinobi gear.

Hinata blushed, "N-no, I make this soap with special oils from some plants in the Hyuuga gardens." Feeling the need to explain, she went on. "The soap and the lotion I use I…I think is enhances charka sensitivity. At least…that's…that's what I am trying to do with it." Sai looked at her curiously. She blushed harder at under his scrutiny. "You-you can try it. If…if you want to." She offered trying to distract him.

Sai looked at the small bar of soap. It was plain and simple. He wet the soap and washed his own face, neck and hands. He channeled a small amount of chakra to his palms and waited. The former root member had exceptional skills, but chakra sensitivity was not one of them. He waited a few more moments and nothing happened.

Hinata finished her nightly routine and saw Sai looking at his hands. She felt the small amount of chakra radiating from his palms. She smiled and reached over and lightly covered one of his palms with her own. "Do you feel that?" She asked.

Sai felt the warmth of her hand hovering over his. The light herbal scent of her unique soap and lotion teased his sense of smell. His face warmed at their close proximity.

And then he felt it. The energy from her palm tickled the surface of his skin. It was subtle, but he could feel it. He could feel her chakra swirling lightly between their palms. They were close, but not touching. It was as though he could feel her breathing through his skin.

With a sudden gesture, Sai grabbed Hinata by her wrist and pulled her forward. Hinata blushed as she felt the heat from Sai's face and the warm puff of his breath on her cheek.

"Hinata-san." Sai said quietly. "May I taste you?" He asked simply.

Hinata gasped in surprise, which he took as approval. He pulled her hand up to his mouth and gently licked the tips of her fingers.

The darkness crept around the edges of Hinata's vision and she forced herself to breathe to prevent fainting.

"It's-it was j-just the cinnamon roll." Hinata whispered a little hoarsely. "Or maybe the soap." She continued desperately.

Sai looked at her thoughtfully. She stared blankly at him as he puts his own finger to his mouth. Hinata can't help but blush again as he pressed his lips and tongue along the edge of his finger. The intimacy of the gesture may have been lost of Sai. But Hinata was sure she would never do that in front of someone else.

"Hinata-san. I'm quite sure." Sai explained calmly. "It's you. I like the taste of you."

He pulled gently to bring her forward again and placed an open mouthed kiss on her wrist. The small wet spot was cool on Hinata's heated skin.

In a slightly panicked voice Hinata protested. "Sai-san, Sakura told you. You-you shouldn't do that with someone who is ...is not special to you!"

Sai looked into Hinata's wide pale eyes. "Yes. And you said I should ask first." Sai paused. "You are the only one I want to taste like this. Does that make you special to me?" He asked in a puzzled tone.

Hinata blinked at Sai's open expression. The former Root member looked nervous. And was he...blushing? "You...you don't understand, Sai-san. If you taste...err...touch me like that, it means that you really like me." Hinata tried to explain again.

"I...I wouldn't mind Sai-san...but I-I think this is just new to you." Hinata confessed to her confused sometimes teammate. "You have been very kind to me." Hinata said as she back away slightly and performed a small bow.

The time they spent together on this mission had convinced her that Sai was not playing games with her. Sakura-chan had also told her that Sai was "totally clueless" and therefore completely incapable of understanding the concept of "flirting." Hinata hid her eyes in a long curtain of dark hair.

She was happy that Sai noticed her and flattered that his took an interest in her fishing and hunting technique with her chakra "whip", her soap, her method for creating her own medicinal salves. She was happy that he would explain how he made special ink sometimes for his own form of ninjutsu. They didn't exchange a lot of words, but he listened to her and he acknowledged her. But she didn't want to assume too much. It was a cinnamon roll that sparked his interest. Next week, he might find something else of interest.

"I don't like cinnamon rolls." Sai stated suddenly.

"Oh. O-Okay." Hinata blinked. "I'm sorry?" She apologized uncertainly.

"No. Don't apologize. I'm glad I tried a 'cinnamon roll.' That is how I discovered something that I like." Sai smiled genuinely. Rather than pull Hinata forward a third time, Sai leaned toward her. He touched her face and brushed her hair away from her eyes. He could see she was flustered.

Hinata's eyes widened at the confession and her heart raced. Sai's normally serious and closed expression looked open, vulnerable, and...happy? Hinata was a Hyuuga and she could read truth in even blank expressions. What she saw in Sai's expression, both thrilled and scared her.

"Hinata-san. Do you want to...do you want to...?" Sai trailed off uncertainly. He wasn't sure what to say or do.

Hinata felt dizzy, but she was strangely comforted by Sai's small blush and nervousness. The gentle touch of his finger tips to her face brought forth a wave of heat of both embarrassment and excitement.

'I guess it wasn't the cinnamon roll.' Hinata thought absently. Finally Shino's comments and the small ways Sai had shown his interest made sense. Sai was strange and clueless. But Hinata...kind of...liked that about him. She didn't feel intimidated by him.

Through her skin, Hinata felt the whirl of uncertainty and excited chakra between them. Her hands found Sai's pale face and gently, intimately touched his lips with her finger tips. She could sense the chakra pulsing through his body creating warmth and moisture from his breath to her palm. And she felt braver then she had ever felt before.

It could be an experiment. Like her projects with her soap or her charka "whip." Painfully shy and totally clueless, they could learn together. Sai's almost question hung in the air between them, but Hinata had found her answer.

"This... is called... a kiss." Hinata explained as she gently guided her mouth to his.


Authors note: Please Review.