Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto...


Stop, Rewind, Play

Sun was brilliantly shining, clear blue sky stretched out as far as the eyes could see, and the smell of grass was hard to ignore as it occupied the air around her. She could see the park with its swing sets, playground big enough to fit dozens of kids, and benches scattered everywhere. She hummed as she carried her novel in her hand. Today was peaceful day after all and she could use the extra time to read her new, long-waited book. Just when she was about to make her way across the park to her spot under the tree, a voice called out, making her freeze in her step.

"Where are you going?" a low, gruff voice spoke out.

Hinata turned her gaze to the man behind her, only turning her neck to acknowledge him. "Oh, just nowhere," then she asked, "What are you doing here?" She could see from her peripheral vision that he was taking few steps toward her.

"Just passing by." His short answer further aroused curiosity in her, making her turn around fully to Sasuke, clutching her book to her side. He stood there several feet away from her with his left hand shoved in his pocket and his right hand holding a plastic bag.

"Well, I'll go ahead and head over there to read. Is there anything I can do for you?" Hinata questioned him.

"Yes, you can. You wouldn't mind if I joined you, right?" Sasuke deadpanned, leaving no room for her to refuse.

She sighed. "Fine." She did consider him as her friend. He seemed to tolerate her and they spent occasional time together during short breaks in-between classes or even lunches. It was mostly composed of short conversations involving just limitless topics that seemed to run back in full circles over and over. Either that or it was the silence, which to them was fine, too. They first met when they were in starting out in high school then that fragile bond lasted until now when they were few weeks away from high school graduation.

From the way he gazed straight at her with seriousness and calmness, she never could refuse his requests or offers because it seemed that he wouldn't take no for an answer.

They sat down, side by side, under the shade of a tree, with their backs against the tree trunk. He handed her a can of cold orange juice. When she looked at him questioningly, he rolled his eyes and shrugged.

"Thanks." Her dry throat welcomed the cold juice and relief washed over her face. Hinata relaxed against the tree with both of her legs in front while Sasuke settled next to her and stretched out, setting his head on his jacket that he laid out on the ground.

"So, what's the real reason for being here?" Hinata asked him again, glancing at his calm face.

"I just wanted to see you," Sasuke replied back, turning his eyes on her instead of the cloud.

"Hmm? Why?" Hinata was surprised but not because he wanted to see her, but because the last time this happened, Sasuke had lost one of his cousins, who had been his best friend. Hinata had let him stay by her, all the while thinking of how to cheer him up. But she knew it was futile and instead, she gave him a hug, and a promise to stay until he felt better. She ended up leaving late in the evening but she accomplished what she was aiming for. Before he left, he told her he felt better.

"Nothing," Sasuke responded, still keeping his eyes on her.

"Did anything happen?" Hinata was insistent, looking back at him with firmness.

"No," he answered.

"Okay then." Hinata went back to her reading. But her eyes stopped processing words when she felt fingers tug on her long strand of hair. She immediately switched the gaze to Sasuke. She let the unspoken words hang in her mind, 'What are you doing?'

"Prom is coming up. Are you going to go?" Sasuke asked, nonchalant expression setting in.

Hinata thought about it. Originally, she was planning to go with her friends, but her friends already had dates, so she had to reconsider but failed to come up with a decision yet. "I don't know."

Sasuke sat back up, his back against the tree trunk, leaving several centimeters of space between them. "But it's the very last one," he stated, like he was some kind of teacher enunciating a fact.

"I know. You going?" Hinata asked him, turning to him, curious as to what he will say. He was popular after all. Hinata was sure he already got asked more than five times already even though the school announced the prom just few days ago. She was sure that he had said yes to at least one of those pretty girls. She took a big swig of her orange juice, attempting to finish it.

"I'll only be going if you're going with me as a date," Sasuke said.

She spat her orange juice out quickly on him, full in the face. "WHAT?!"

Sasuke was amused on the inside but put on his annoyed face on at having to be splashed by the orange juice. She realized her mistake quickly and got her handkerchief out from her pocket and started to wipe his face. "D-Don't joke like that!" Her face was flushed in embarrassment for accidentally spitting out her juice on Sasuke.

Sasuke was a bit confused that she misunderstood his seriousness for a joke. Usually, she was much more sharper than this. He licked some orange juice from his lips. 'It tastes sweet.' He absentmindedly looked at her lips. He leaned into her warm touch but then snapped out of his reverie when she looked at him worriedly. He remembered what he was about to say before he got distracted. "I wasn't joking."

"Are you sick?" She touched his forehead then felt her own forehead. The temperature felt about the same but she wasn't sure so she asked, "What can I get you?"

"Your answer. Either yes or no to the prom," he said then added, "with me."

Hinata froze still with one hand on her handkerchief, which was resting on his cheek, and her other hand on his shoulder for support. Inside her mind, she panicked. 'What do I do? What do I do?'

"Eh…I need--" She stopped in mid-sentence as she felt herself being pushed back to the tree. He lied down with his head plopped down on her thighs. He looked up at her, smirking. "Well, that's better than a no. I'm willing to wait."

'What kind of situation is this?' She asked herself over and over in her head. She was pretty sure her face was burning red.

"What made you decide?" Hinata asked as she felt her head cool now that he wasn't staring at her so intently anymore.

His closed eyes opened to look at her. "You never noticed? And I thought you were smart. Why do you think I stayed by your side even if the girls asked me to join them? Why do you think I acted strange when you hung out with Kiba and Shino? And what about the time I almost beat up those guys for attempting to touch you?"

"Oh." Everything made sense to her now. She was dense when it came to these emotions, she admitted.

"And you have to repay me now that my favorite shirt is ruined and I have to take shower again," he smirked playfully.

"Oh…Wait!!" Hinata was caught off guard. "Since when did you get to decide what I owe to you?"

"Well, weren't you going to pay me back with something? It's called manner and I'm sure you've heard that word more than thousand times by now." Sasuke rolled his eyes at her weak glare.

"So what do you say?" Sasuke questioned her.

"To what?" Hinata countered. Sasuke resisted the urge to smack his own forehead.

"To the prom and your repayment," he stated, seriously. But before she could respond, he continued, "Well, for your repayment, I get to decide and…" He got that challenging gleam in his eyes, which made her want to run away and hide. "…I want either: A) a kiss on the lips or B) yes to the prom."

"NO!!" She yelled and tried to break free but he held her back firmly.

"If you don't answer in three seconds, I'm assuming you're doing both," he warned.

"One." 'Wait, don't I get to pick how to repay him? He isn't supposed to give me choices!!'

"Two." His eyes looked so serious. 'Grr…pick prom. It's better. It saves me some embarrassment. I can't kiss him!!'

"Th--" His final count was stopped by her voice.

"I pick prom," she spoke out quickly.

He got up from his position and dusted his pants. When he turned his back on her, he spoke, his voice full of amusement. He turned his head to look at her from corner of his eyes. He let out a small smile. "I'll be looking forward to the kiss on the midnight of the prom. You do know that everyone is doing it, right?"

'NO!! That's what I was trying to avoid…' She looked at him with blank expression.

"It's a final event that everyone have to participate. They have to kiss their partner at midnight," Sasuke added. He started walking without looking back and put out his right hand. "See you."

Hinata felt her world crash and she wallowed in her misery.

'Outsmarted again…'


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