Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. Otherwise, less people would have died. :'(

Summary: This is basically a prequel to Snapshots: Black and White; an unintentionally long fic on how SasuHina came to be. :)

A/N: I won't lie to you. This actually started as, and in its entirety is a one-shot. Yes, that's right a one shot. Single chapter and all that. But notorious as I am for coming up with obscenely long fics, I figured that having plonking a good 10,000 words into a single file and uploading it would be too much for both this site and my patient readers to ingest. :) Hence, I've chopped it up into not-so-little pieces and will upload one part at a time. Don't be fooled by the length of this chapter - it's just a little teaser to whet the appetite.

And by the by, I know I promised the prequel to Strange Meeting (henceforth to be known as Fallen Leaves), but I decided to start with this instead as it will become totally unfeasible the way the manga's going. Fallen Leaves won't be up for a while yet, until I manage to iron out some kinks in the original story in order to make it compliant with the manga.

So... on with the story!


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OKAERI

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Part I

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She felt his fist connect with her stomach and went crashing down to the ground, barely having time to register what was happening. She lay still for a second, winded, but seeing him bearing down on her, she rolled to the side before he slammed his fist into the exact spot where she had been the moment before. He meant business.

This was not how Hinata had planned the start of her day.

It was supposed to be a day like any other, with her waking up at an unearthly hour before any shinobi would be up (she automatically excluded Gai-sensei and Lee-san) and going to train at her designated training area before her official training schedule. She liked the place – it was secluded and quiet, and the surrounding overgrowth of trees and shrubs ensured that she would be away from prying and judgemental eyes. Hinata could be relatively sure that no one would intrude upon her early morning training regime.

So she was surprised and mildly annoyed to find that someone else had beaten her to it. When she saw who had appropriated himself of her own corner, her feelings turned to apprehension and more than a little reluctance to make her presence felt. Hinata had turned to leave, deciding that for today she would find another place, when the sound of someone calling her, arrested her in her tracks.

'Fight with me.' She had turned, gawping unattractively at Uchiha Sasuke as he looked impassively at her, wondering if she had taken leave of her senses or if he had. She most certainly did not want to fight with him, and couldn't think of any reason why he would want to fight with someone like her. Not to mention the fact that they barely knew each other, that Neji-niisan would not approve and that her father would be even less pleased that she was training with the Uchiha, and she didn't want to…

'Well?' The sound of his impatient voice cut through her frenzied thoughts and she nodded mutely and slipped into her fighting stance before she knew she was doing.

There was no way that she could possibly measure up to him, as was patently obvious now that she was being beaten up unmercifully by the newly reintegrated ex-missing-nin.

Sasuke had been back in Konoha for well over a year, most of which had been spent in prison and under house arrest . The reason why he had not been executed was the fact that he had fought side by side with his former team-mates in the final battle of Konoha, and much as it jarred with the Council, had held a pivotal role in saving the village. Restraining seals had been placed upon him as a pacifying gesture to appease those sceptical of his loyalties, reducing his ability to tap fully into his chakra reserves, but quite frankly, that only made her feel more humiliated by the fact that she had barely managed to graze him.

This was nothing like training with her team; she felt as though she were fighting for her life.

Hinata froze as he caught her arm and twisted it behind her, forcing her to the ground. She was trapped. 'W-well fought, U-Uchiha-san,' she stuttered nervously.

'It was a waste of time,' he said impassively and let her go, turning and walking away. Hinata stared at his retreating back and tried to ignore the burning feeling of déjà vu. It was her father, her sister and cousin all over again. Humiliation rose like bile in her throat.

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The next day, she went again. Sasuke was already there and she walked slowly towards him, forcing herself not to turn and run away, especially when he stopped and glowered at her. Something stronger than her fear and timidity pushed her towards him.

Her voice was hoarse as she tried not to drop her gaze. 'P-please… Fight with me.' He looked at her and snorted.

Hinata attacked.

Even she had her pride.

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Way to go, Sasuke-kun... Hinata will totally fall in love with you. :p Ok, I admit it, I'm stressed out, and when I'm stressed I tend to babble. Alot. So, any comments? Like it? Hate it? Tell me what you think!