Title: Mushy Feelings
Disclaimer: I own Naruto like I own the changes in the seasons.
Rating: G ( K ) – girls will scream, but only because they're wussies.
Spoilers: None! This occurs pre-series. Sasuke et al are approximately six or seven-years-old.

Summary: OneShot. Oh, Sasuke was in love. SasuHina.

For this contest, I'm pulling out the big guns. That's right, folks, this is a kiddie SasuHina fic!

April contest entry for DateMe.

"Eww...I got mud on my new boots!" Ino complained, lifting her sky blue rainy day footwear out of the muck. She gave it a hearty shake, sending the sopping wet dirt particles flying in all directions. They clung to everything within their range, including Ino's pink-haired friend, who squealed as she was assaulted by the chunks of mud.

"Ino-chan!" cried Sakura, flinching her entire body away from the splatter. "You're getting my coat all dirty! Stop it!"

After a few squishy paces, Ino had extricated herself from the mud puddle and reestablished herself on firmer ground. "Oh, don't be such a crybaby, Sakura. It'll wash off."

The formerly timid girl muttered something quiet and spiteful under her breath that Ino didn't quite catch. Sakura was getting bolder, but was apparently still not brave enough to say what she meant to Ino's face.

"What was that?" the blonde demanded of Sakura, leveling a glare in her friend's direction.

Flushing a resentful pink, Sakura replied, "Nothing."

As she gave her pink-haired friend the once over, Ino still wasn't convinced that "nothing" was exactly what had come out of Sakura's mouth, but was willing to let it go. To prove it, she said, "Whatever...I hate rainy days, don't you? They're so icky."

Nodding emphatically, Sakura jumped on the change of subject like a ravenous wolf. "Yeah, totally gross! I especially hate how there are worms everywhere."

As if on cue, something wet and slimy collided with Ino's face and stuck there like undercooked spaghetti. "Aiiieee! Get it off, get it off!" was her immediate and visceral response, quickly followed by a lot of wild flailing and wordless screaming.

After finally managing to get whatever it was off of her person and flinging it away, it was Sakura's turn to panic. "It's in my hair! Eee!"

"Stupid girls!" Sasuke declared, wheezing a little as his laughter at Ino and Sakura's expense finally abated. He clutched at a stitch in his side and coughed a couple of times to clear out his lungs before saying, "It was only a worm!"

Sasuke's mean-spirited glee was always at its peak on rainy days. After all, that was when earthworms were forced to surface from the depths of the Earth or suffer a watery death in their tunnels, making them easily available for a bit of revenge against the girls in Sasuke's life who never seemed to take a hint. They brought it on themselves, really.

Sasuke's mother had warned him many a time to cease and desist this disgusting form of torture on the premise that, by the time he finally became interested in taking one of those squealing harpies as a love interest, no girl would have him. As far as Sasuke could see, none of them were deterred even in the slightest from their infatuated ravings, so he somewhat doubted that this would be the case. Besides, there was no way that any girl he ever so happened to like that way would ever be so pathetically afraid of harmless annelids. No, Uchiha Sasuke would never settle for a girl who hated worms. He'd only date the ones who liked them as much as he did (thereby giving him a fail-safe excuse that would enable him to stay single forever).

Okay, so who would he victimize next? That obnoxious Ami girl was usually hovering around somewhere...

Looking around, Sasuke inwardly cheered when he spotted a more convenient target. Up ahead, as if a gift from the rain gods, sat Hyuuga Hinata with her back turned to him. She seemed to be preoccupied with one of the local park's flowerbeds, completely unsuspecting of what was about to befall her...perfect!

Sasuke did his best to tiptoe quietly in the squelching mud off to the side of the walking path while he picked out his new partner in crime. He glanced up at Hinata every so often just to make sure that he hadn't been discovered, but was overall confident in his stalking abilities and utilized most of his attention on deciding which worm to use in his next attack. Capturing one that was inching its way over to the safety of the sidewalk, Sasuke was ready.

"Okay, Yoshi," the Uchiha boy whispered to his newest friend immediately after taking cover behind a conveniently-placed tree. Only a few yards on the other side, Hinata sat, humming to herself as she puttered around in that little garden of hers. "Do your best to land on her head."

Taking careful aim, Sasuke wished Yoshi godspeed and chucked him at his unsuspecting classmate and ducked back behind his tree. Any second now, Yoshi would land on his target and the screaming would begin...Sasuke couldn't wait!

"Eh?" was the only sound heard from Hinata's direction. No squeals. No crying. Not even a panicked "Get it off, get it off!" for his troubles. Had he missed?

Both confused and curious simultaneously, Sasuke leaned around the tree trunk to take a peek at what was going on behind him. Hinata still had her back turned to him, her fingers probing through her short hair as if searching for something.

Oh, so she hadn't found him yet. That made sense.

When she finally pulled her hands away from her head, Yoshi was clamped between her right index finger and thumb. She turned her head to better observe Sasuke's wormy friend and the hidden boy's mischievous grin widened as her eyes grew round and big.

"Worm-san!" she cried, leaning in until Yoshi was practically touching her nose. "What are you doing back there? You belong in the garden with the pretty flowers..."

After Hinata had finished this gentle scold, she lowered Yoshi down to the soil plot before her and placed him on a spot that wasn't completely submerged in rainwater. Such concern for his friend's welfare caused Sasuke to feel all weird and mushy inside.

"Okay, Worm-san," Hinata said as she pulled her hand back, smiling down upon Yoshi during her pause. "Be m-more careful from now on..."

Oh, yeah, Sasuke was in love.

— — —

Author's Notes: I think this concept was cuter in my head than on paper...alas.

Admittedly, I'll be really ashamed of myself if I don't place in the fanfiction portion of this contest, but...eh. I suppose it can't be helped if/when I loose n.n; Wish me luck anyway!

. ( . Ms Videl Son . ) .

Love can be black and white. SasuHina.