Um, thanks for clicking on the story, I hope you enjoy, please leave a review, and no, this is in no way related to my other Naruto one-shot (although you're welcome to go check that one out, too).

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto and company. If I did...oh, if I did...cue evil laugh.


"Kisses Lead to Death"

How many years had he spent chasing Itachi? Tracking him down? Dreaming of nothing but the day he would kill his brother, his only family left in the world? Then, it had all ended. His mission was accomplished: his brother was dead, and he could return to Konoha a hero if he wished.

But it wasn't that simple. Life was never that simple. Madara-sama explained everything—why Itachi killed the clan, why he had pushed Sasuke so hard before allowing himself to be killed. Itachi paved the path for a potential future of peace and happiness, the kind of life his actions had denied his little brother for so long, but Sasuke couldn't take that path. That was the easy way out, and Sasuke never chose the easy road over the right one, except for that little incident with Orochimaru.

Right now, the right road led to the destruction of Konoha, of all those who had hated and spurned his clan, whose prejudice had forced Itachi to suffer the ultimate dishonor. His brother deserved vengeance, even if his dying wish seemed to be the opposite.

Sasuke had killed his brother, the murderer of his clan, but he was still an avenger—this time, an avenger of the very man he had slain.

Now, after all this time, he was ready to strike, ready to decimate the proud village of Konoha once and for all.

_________________________

The fire crackled menacingly in the silent forest with a blood red moon glinting through the dark clouds. Team Hawk sat around the blaze in quiet contemplation. Tomorrow was the big day when all their careful planning and training would be unleashed. Konoha would never know what hit it.

Sasuke looked around at his teammates. Even the most talkative of them knew that now was not a time for merriment and chatter. They understood the danger of his venture, but they knew that in the end, they would be victorious. He smirked in satisfaction. Alone, apart from any village, he had formed the most dangerous force in the ninja world. Not even the newly appointed sixth hokage and his demon fox power would stand a chance.

A twig snapped loudly from the shadows just outside Hawk's camp. Everyone scrambled to their feet, weapons at the ready, except for Sasuke who instead trained his piercing gaze on the direction from which the danger emanated. Who in the world could have gotten so close without being detected? Who would have known where to look for them in the first place, for that matter? Their campsite for the night was fairly close to Konoha, but far outside the realm of village patrols.

"Show yourself," Sasuke ordered, his sharp voice ringing through the trees.

He looked on in wonder as the petite form of a kunoichi casually stepped out from behind a trunk not five feet from him. She was obviously a kunoichi, simmering chakra held in tight check and weapons pouches strapped to her legs. She looked oddly familiar with her short, dark blue hair, identical long strands framing her face, but the bulky trench coat she wore obscured any other defining features that might have lent clues to her identity. She stood before the avenger carelessly, eyes closed, head tilted, and a broken twig in one pale hand. So she had revealed her presence on purpose? Sasuke wasn't sure who he was dealing with, but he intended to find out. Anyone who could infiltrate his patch of the forest so perfectly deserved remembrance.

Noticing that his team was waiting for instructions while the newcomer showed no signs of moving, Sasuke demanded, "Who are you?"

Keeping her eyes closed, the woman stood a little straighter and dropped the twig, moving her hands to unzip the high collar of her coat, revealing a Konoha hitai-ate around her neck and, if Sasuke wasn't mistaken, the top of an ANBU uniform. She then slowly pulled a small envelope out of her pocket, extending the paper in Sasuke's direction.

"Hokage-sama sends a message to you, Uchiha-san," she explained, her voice quiet but firm.

Sasuke took the proffered letter and slit open the seal. While perusing the note's contents, he remarked indifferently, "I thought ANBU were required to wear their masks on all missions."

Blue bangs shifting as she chuckled, the woman replied, "This is isn't a mission, Uchiha-san—just a last minute request from the hokage that left no time to change."

For some reason, Sasuke felt as though he should remember this girl. Her smile reminded him of someone, but he couldn't place the memory at all. Resigned to his own forgetfulness, he instead continued in his usual arrogant manner, "Open your eyes." Her smile, much to his surprise, seemed to widen at this command.

"I apologize, Uchiha-san, but I believe you to be a man who performs Tsukuyomi first and asks questions later."

Sasuke's smirk was back in place, and he gave his team the signal to scatter and scout. This kunoichi was proving to be a very interesting woman indeed. It was almost a shame he was going to destroy her home tomorrow.

With just the two of them left in the clearing, he persisted, "If I wanted to hurt you, Kunoichi-san, closed eyes would not help you."

"Perhaps," she replied succinctly, and Sasuke was sure that, if her eyes had been open, he would have seen a giant glint of mischief in them.

Long since done reading the hokage's letter, but wanting to extend the conversation, as it was the most entertainment he'd had all night, Sasuke carried on with another question that was nagging at his brain. "How did you find us?"

Smile back in full force, the mystery woman answered, "Hokage-sama said he could smell you."

That rotten dork always did have the nose of a bloodhound, Sasuke thought sourly. Still, at least he had sent an attractive messenger, probably to insure that the temperamental avenger didn't kill the bearer of such a lousy note.

Used to long stretches of silence in which no one dared interrupt his thoughts, Sasuke was jolted out of contemplation when the woman intruded on his peace. "Will there be any reply for Hokage-sama?" she asked.

Crumpling the hated paper, on pink stationary no less, Sasuke immediately reverted to his normal "moody avenger" persona. "Yes," he spat. "Tell Naruto this: tomorrow, he dies."

Her posture immediately transformed into that of a disciplined ANBU operative. The smile was swept away in one quick motion and replaced by a perfect mask of indifference. She re-zipped the top of her trench coat and turned around, ready to leave.

"I am sorry to hear that, Uchiha-san," that voice wafted back to Sasuke with no inflection or variation, in an almost bored tone.

Not anxious to return to his pre-war brooding, but unwilling to admit to wanting company, Sasuke tossed out, "Not staying for tea?"

She turned back towards him, eyes still closed, and walked over to within a foot of his person.

Intrigued by this new, closer proximity, Sasuke wanted very badly to force the girl's eyes open, to see what she was hiding. He held his impulses in check for the moment, straining to hear what she would say next. Naruto had unwittingly given him a wonderful present on the eve of Konoha's destruction, and he was going to drag conversation out of her for as long as he could. Killing would not be necessary: she would die tomorrow with all the others.

Tilting her face up towards his, she stated, "I am shinobi. I have learned to move past relying on my kekkai genkai, but you—no matter what you accomplish or what you destroy—when your eyes burn out and you can no longer see, you will be useless."

She sounded sure of herself, but Sasuke wished more than ever that her eyes were open. So much more could be ascertained from a person's gaze. He was willing to bet that she was trying to pull a "Naruto rescue" that would bring him back to the village. When did Konoha find out about Itachi's eye issues, anyway? Amused to a certain extent by her impudence, Sasuke pointed out darkly, "Losing most of his eyesight didn't stop Itachi from being a great shinobi."

The woman's frown deepened. She reached up, laid one small hand on the side of his face, opened her eyes, and stared intently into his. "You are not your brother, Sasuke." The hidden plea for a change of heart that didn't involve slaughtering everyone he had ever known was evident, begging the man to forget his evil intentions.

He was drowning in the bottomless pearl depths staring up at him, but had the presence of mind to counter, "No, I'm not my brother. I'm my brother's avenger."He made his choice. There was no turning back for him, not now.

And then he was leaning down towards her. Why couldn't he remember her name? How did he ever manage to forget someone whose presence he craved after just a few short moments? Sasuke didn't stop to think about the ramifications of what he was about to do; he just leaned down, zeroing in on the lips he was dying to taste. Konoha ANBU kunoichi or not, this woman had amused, angered, pushed, prodded, and intrigued the avenger, and he had been traveling in the wilderness with an annoying team of misfits for too long for goodness' sake.

Then, she was gone. There was no jutsu smoke residue or indication of her ever having been there at all. Sasuke almost would have thought her to be a ghost, a figment of his imagination born from an overabundance of alone time, if he didn't still clutch Naruto's pink note.

Sasuke returned to his seat by the fire, royally ticked off. Not only had he received yet another letter from Naruto begging him to come "home," but he'd finally met an interesting girl for the first time in years, and she just had to be someone he'd most likely kill tomorrow. Not to mention, she left before he could get so much as one lousy kiss! Did the world have something against him that night?

Well, the world couldn't be completely against him. After all, Sasuke had met an angel, even if she appeared and disappeared like a phantom. Her pupil-less eyes were so striking, but, he recalled, not singular in Konoha. No, in fact, there was an entire clan of shinobi with eyes like hers- the Hyuuga. Putting his superior intellect, at least over Naruto's, to good use, Sasuke quickly determined that there was only one Hyuuga girl without a curse seal close to his age who could have possibly become an ANBU operative—Hyuuga Hinata. It made perfect sense, and no sense at all. Apparently, Sasuke hadn't been the only one training his butt off during the past few years.

He debated following after her. She couldn't have gone far. In the end, Sasuke remained where he was, staring sullenly at the flames dancing in the darkness. He didn't like not getting his way, but he also knew that tonight was no time for gambling: he had a village to destroy in the morning.

When the team finally returned, a quick look told Sasuke that everything was quiet, too quiet. None of them had seen anyone, including the Hyuuga on her way out, which either meant that she had more skill than most ANBU shinobi, or she hadn't left yet. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Sasuke knew he was hoping very much for the latter. If she didn't go back, she wouldn't be in Konoha tomorrow when the slaughter began, and he wouldn't have to kill her.

Empty, dark minutes turned into hours. A few of the others dozed, but Sasuke stayed alert. Something wasn't right. Naruto had never been one to give up so easily, especially when the stakes were set so high. Naruto may have been a dumb blonde, but he had also become Hokage against all odds. Sasuke was sure the idiot knew what he had planned, and quite possibly when he planned to do it. He was going to strike. Sasuke could feel it.

The moon reached its peak, and the chill night air suddenly became heavy, oppressive. Something was coming.

Sasuke stood and reached for his sword.

Then, suddenly, they were upon them. A verifiable fleet of ANBU flew down from the trees and rained their wrath upon Team Hawk, kunai and shuriken and senbon slicing through the air.

Grasping his sword handle, ready to lay waste to these Konoha fools, as their dress and hitai-ate clearly identified them, Sasuke prepared to deliver a devastating blow to the whole attacking army. But he stopped: he couldn't move. His hand remained firmly situated on the sword's handle, his body poised for attack, but he was frozen, paralyzed.

His eyes darting back and forth, the mangekyou sharingan beginning to spin rapidly, Sasuke took in the massacre around him. Team Hawk was the best of the best, but they had been caught completely unawares, and it didn't look good. Naruto had held nothing back on this attack, and Sasuke knew his team needed their leader with them if they were to stand any chance of surviving, let alone winning.

But he still couldn't move. Karin went down in a rain of blood and the others weren't faring much better. Sasuke willed his body to break free of whatever jutsu held it, searching for the source of a genjutsu with his sharingan swirling madly, but to no avail. His eyes were just as useless as everything else.

Then, she was there. In the midst of the shouts of ANBU, the murderous cries of Team Hawk, and the slicing of weapons through the air, Hyuuga Hinata strolled up to Sasuke, her eyes open and staring directly into his, not at all deterred by the rage, fury, or sharingan. Paying no attention to the madness surrounding them, Hinata stopped right in front of the Uchiha and just stared up at him, waiting.

Comprehension dawned on him, and the realization of how easily Naruto had played him made Sasuke want to hurt someone even more than before, if that was possible. Hinata, the letter: it was all a giant distraction, and he fell for it like…well, like Naruto. It was a sad night. Sasuke could just imagine all his Uchiha ancestors turning in their graves.

Finally able to move his mouth, Sasuke demanded of the petite woman in front still standing nonchalantly in front of him, "What did you do to me?!"

Her face caught somewhere between the blank ANBU stare and impassive Hyuuga glare, not that either one was readable, Hinata replied very calmly and quietly, considering the circumstances, "I stopped you from moving."

Despite the background shouts and sounds of battle from fights which had migrated into the surrounding forest, a beat of silence seemed to pass. Sasuke couldn't tell if the girl was mocking him, answering him seriously, or had spent too much time around Naruto. No matter the reality, the Uchiha was royally ticked off.

Still, he attempted to maintain what little dignity and composure he had left. "I'm aware of the fact. How?"

The ANBU and Hyuuga masks tossed aside, Hinata tilted her head to the side, regarding him curiously, before answering, "I touched you."

She knew time was running short, but Hinata couldn't resist seeing what it was like to push the Uchiha Sasuke's buttons. She'd spent too many years living on the safe side, never taking risks. It was all about to end, anyway. This seal was foolproof and deadly. Why shouldn't she get some enjoyment out of her last few moments alive?

Since Sasuke's face was approaching an unhealthy shade of red and his eyes were spinning so fast she was afraid they'd pop out of his head, Hinata figured it was about time to put him out of his misery. "It's a forbidden jutsu, courtesy of Tsunade-sama," she divulged. "When I activated it, you froze."

Sasuke stared at her incredulously. How in the world did she get that by him? He hadn't sensed or seen anything? And when had she touched him? Ah, the hand on his face. And to think, he'd actually wanted to kiss her.

He averted his eyes from hers, deeply ashamed of his oversight, but far too proud to admit it. "So, what now?" His team was good, but they weren't expecting an ambush. The winner of tonight's mini-war was anyone's guess, and even if his teammates did win, Sasuke was still a prisoner.

Hinata's eyes darkened and clouded over. She turned to stare off into the trees. "Whether your friends are killed or not, tonight, Hokage-sama has decided that you cannot be allowed to live..."

Sasuke's eyes shot back to Hinata's. She couldn't be serious. It couldn't end like this, not now when he was so close to his goal.

"…which is why we will both die."

It was so quiet, Sasuke almost missed the end, but no, there it was. Why both of them? The Hyuuga had him at her mercy. Why in the world did she need to die with him? Could it be that she…loved him?

Seeing the shock evident in the Uchiha's eyes, Hinata explained, "That forbidden jutsu I used to immobilize you—it has a price." She sounded almost sad, but without the bitter tone that might be expected. "It linked my soul to yours. I can exact a death sentence on you at any moment, but I die with you.

"I'm good, Sasuke, easily one of Naruto's strongest ANBU agents, but I couldn't take the chance that you'd win if we fought; not with the fate of Konoha on the line."

In typical Sasuke fashion, he scoffed, though the effect was somewhat lessened by the fact that he was still frozen in a sword-drawing pose. "What do you owe that village? The way I remember, they treated you almost as bad as Naruto."

All traces of grief disappeared from Hinata's face. She was ready to end this. "You remember incorrectly, Uchiha-san. That was my family's job. Even so, I would still give my life for any one of them, and if my one life is the price to be paid for the safety of my village, I gladly give it."

Too much time had been wasted already. Hinata lifted her hand, ready to place it back on Sasuke's face, ready to complete the forbidden jutsu.

"Wait."

Hinata stilled her hand barely a inch from his face.

"If you're going to end my life like this, you're going to do it with a kiss, Hyuuga," Sasuke informed the pale-eyed woman.

Hinata blushed brighter than a ripe tomato. So much for her professional appearance. Oh well, she was about to kill the guy, so she supposed she could grant him his last request, even though he hadn't asked very nicely. "Fine," she mumbled, withdrawing her hand.

Gathering up her courage, and ignoring the mood-killing screams of agony in the surrounding woods, Hinata rose up on her tippy toes and lightly pressed her lips against her captive's, blushing the entire way.

Sasuke unexpectedly found himself in the agreeable situation of being un-paralyzed the moment Hinata's lips touched his, and he wasted no time in pulling the stunned woman into his arms, pressing his mouth more forcefully against hers. If he had to die, he might as well die with a good kiss.

He had about three seconds to enjoy it. Abruptly, everything went black, and Sasuke knew no more.

___________________________________

The first thing Sasuke noticed when he woke were voices—loud voices.

"I hope you're happy, Old Hag. They've been out for a week straight! I thought you said this whatever-it's-called jutsu was temporary!"

"Relax, you loud-mouthed idiot, will you? They'll wake up soon enough. Shizune, get me some sake! Just be grateful I saved your village for you, brat!"

His eyes wouldn't open, and his body was too heavy to move, but unfortunately, his ears were in full working order and receiving every harsh shriek and shout.

"You should have told me about this jutsu, Sensei. I could've done it instead of—"

"No, you couldn't have! You're already married to me!"

"Shut up, Naruto!"

"Both of you shut up! You're giving me a headache. Where is my sake?!"

From the sounds of it, Sasuke knew he would be dealing with Naruto, Sakura, and Tsunade-sama the moment he managed to regain control of his body from whatever stupor had overtaken it. They seemed to have done something naughty for which he would need to hurt them.

"I wonder which one of them is going to be angrier? After all, Hinata-chan thought she had volunteered for a suicide mission."

Hinata? Angry? Things really had changed in Konoha since he had left. Although, she had been uncommonly assertive when killing him, so he supposed anything was possible. Did someone just say Hinata volunteered to die with him?

"Hey, look! Sasuke twitched!" Naruto yelled at the top of his lungs.

Sasuke inwardly mused that his "twitch" was probably the idiot's fault in the first place, but at least he now had a chance to find out why he wasn't dead.

Tsunade walked strolled over to join Naruto at the limp Uchiha's bedside, Sakura nervously flitting in her wake. She found all his vitals to be normal, and the slightly deeper grimace on his face indicated that he could indeed hear them. She shot a tiny bolt of chakra into his body, just a little jumpstart.

Eyes immediately flying open, Sasuke all but sprang up into a sitting position, his whole body thrumming with the painful force of Tsunade-sama's chakra. Logically, he knew it wasn't much and he was just a little weak at the moment, but that didn't make it hurt any less. As it was, he barely restrained what wanted to be a yelp of pain and changed it into a low growl at the last second.

Three pairs of eyes looked down warily on the disgruntled Uchiha. A week of unconsciousness in the hospital had done nothing for his looks and everything for his temper.

Mustering the little strength he had left at his disposal, Sasuke demanded, as fiercely as possible for an invalid, "What did you do to me?!" He was surprised to hear his voice echoing through the small, white room with a higher-pitched overtone mixing it into an ethereal, angry harmony.

The curious four looked over to the now open doorway where a very unhappy Hyuuga Hinata stood, veins popping out around furious Byakugan eyes, her threatening presence not at all lessened by her strange outfit of hospital gown and wrinkled capris.

"Very interesting," Tsunade noted. "It appears that the after-effects on the jutsu user are less severe."

Naruto snorted, tempting Sasuke to throw him out the window. "Yeah, that, or Sasuke's just turned into a real wimp since he left."

Hinata stomped over to the bedside and eyed Tsunade with the most evil glare she could muster. "What did you do to me? You said that was a suicide jutsu that would kill us both! Why are we still alive?"

A little perturbed that Hinata was up and about while it required effort for him to sit up in bed, Sasuke nonetheless watched this exchange with rapt attention. The old lady had some trick up her sleeve, and as it was bound to affect him, he was rather anxious to know what it was.

Sighing loudly over how the world seemed to hate her at that moment, Tsunade trudged over to the door and shouted a quick, but loud, "Shizune, SAKE NOW!" before slamming it shut and turning to face the room's four occupants with a serious, level gaze.

"What I say now does not leave this room," she instructed.

Naruto performed a quick jutsu to insure privacy from eavesdroppers, and Sakura tossed a few paper seals onto the walls for added security.

Satisfied, Tsunade explained, very slowly for Naruto's sake, "The jutsu I had you perform, Hinata-chan, was not, as you've found out, a suicide jutsu: It was a bonding technique.

"You and Sasuke have been irrevocably connected."

Sasuke coughed out what might have been a bitter laugh if his throat wasn't so dry.

Tsunade didn't appreciate the skepticism. She grabbed Hinata's arm and twisted it behind her back, eliciting only the slightest reaction on the Hyuuga's blank face. Sasuke, on the other hand, his body only just starting to recover, gasped in shock as a cold, icy feeling spread through him. His body didn't hurt, but he felt like it should because he knew someone else was…Tsunade looked at him meaningfully before releasing Hinata.

Convinced that her audience was ready to listen, she continued, "Congratulations, Hinata and Sasuke. You two are officially soul mates, with a few added features on the side, like being able to sense everything about one another twenty-four/seven. Isn't this great?"

An awkward silence met her announcement.

Unfazed, and unwilling to shut up, Tsunade just had to ask, "So, when do want the wedding?"

A few minutes later, Shizune entered the room, slightly out of breath, panting, "Tsuande-sensei, I found your sake, but I don't think you should be drinking with…" She trailed off into a stunned silence.

Inside the small, cramped hospital room, Naruto was laughing hysterically in a corner over Sasuke's forced attachment to a woman, Sakura was attempting to revive Tsunade, who had been the unfortunate recipient of a surprise gentle fist attack, and Hinata and Sasuke were sitting on opposite ends of the bed, eyes averted to the window.

Hanging her head in defeat, Shizune muttered, "I told her this was a bad idea."

After the laughter and screaming had ceased, and Tsunade's still unconscious body had been relocated to a separate wing of the hospital, Hinata and Sasuke found themselves alone, still sitting silently on the bed, the fading rays of twilight shining in through the wide window.

Sasuke couldn't believe it. His head was still ringing with the full implications of Tsunade's concise description on the bonding jutsu's effects. The interrogation session would resume once she woke up and they made sure she was sober, but in the meantime, Sasuke had more than enough to ponder. Bonded to Hyuuga Hinata? According to Tsunade's little demonstration, he would know whenever she was in danger, trouble, pain, or anything else. It probably worked both ways, too, so she must be feeling the steady thrum of his heart forcing blood through his sore body. What a weird thought.

"So," Hinata interrupted his inner turmoil, "what are we supposed to do, now?"

Sasuke gave her a mild glare, his face easily conveying, "How should I know?"

Nonplussed by his helpful advice, Hinata sighed deeply. "I think Tsunade-sama was right."

He almost snorted, but the Uchiha was far too dignified for that, while people were watching. "About what?"

Hinata fixed him with a firm stare. "We're going to have to get married."

Silence reigned until the faint footfalls from the hallway echoed like earthquakes.

Regaining his mental composure, Sasuke ventured, "And what makes you think that?"

"Don't play dumb with me," she instructed. "I know everything you feel, and you know everything I feel. Everything."

Sasuke's eyes widened slightly in sudden realization. She was right. If they tried to ignore the bond and go their separate ways, neither one of them would ever have a moment's peace. The only way to live their lives without going completely insane was to live one life together.

Tsunade was going down as soon as he got out of this hospital bed.

Seeing the Hyuuga's expectant face, he realized she wanted some verbal confirmation. Like he would do that. Sasuke flashed her a very small smirk.

She got the message and smiled back. At least they were successfully communicating. Maybe they wouldn't end up killing each other. But still…

Sasuke unexpectedly found one chakra laden finger poking his stomach very painfully.

"What was that for?" he demanded.

"That," Hinata growled, "was for kissing me on our first date."

Her finger still painfully pressing against his sore muscles, and possibly organs, Sasuke tried to reason, "You kissed me first."

The finger was removed, but the smirk Hinata was wearing was not comforting in the least. It reminded Sasuke a little of one of his own more sadistic grins.

"That's no excuse," she stated. Hinta stiffly rose from the bed, her own body still recovering from the jutsu's aftereffects, and headed for the slightly open door. She pulled on the knob and was about to leave the recuperating Uchiha in peace, but then she turned around with a wicked gleam in her eyes. "No matter the circumstances," Hinata elaborated, "you should never kiss a Hyuuga girl on the first date. It could get you killed."

She left, Sasuke looking after her retreating figure with a stoic expression masking his utter confusion. He closed his eyes and shook his head. Was he ever going to understand women? He didn't think so, particularly in the case of his new "soul mate" or fiancée or whatever she was supposed to be now.

His silent meditation was interrupted by several loud, heavy footfalls nearing his bed. Slowly opening his eyes, Sasuke found himself surrounded by a group of angry looking, male shinobi, all of whom were fixing him with terrible glares filled with murderous intent. Inuzuka Kiba was vaguely recognizable with a giant growling Akamaru by his side, and Aburame Shino's sunglasses did nothing to hide his displeasure. Most of the others were complete strangers to him, but he caught glimpses of ANBU tattoos on most of their arms. Hinata's teammates, perhaps?

Unfortunately, Sasuke also quickly recognized one man in particular who looked as though he was barely restraining himself from pounding the Uchiha into a pathetic pile of applesauce—Hyuuga Neji, Hinata's once hateful cousin turned protective older brother. Of course, he just had to be there, and Sasuke would bet money that the unhappy Hyuuga boy had heard every word on the tail end of that dialogue.

"Uchiha, did I hear rightly that you stole Hinata-sama's first kiss?" Neji inquired, attempting to sound bored. He failed miserably on the "sounding bored" part.

Sasuke's worst fears were confirmed. However, being the proud Uchiha he was, he refused to cower, even though, in his current condition, these guys really could kill him. Wait a second: first kiss?

"As I told your cousin, Hyuuga, she kissed me," he said.

The killing intent within the room surged, and Sasuke was sure they were going to attack him right there in the hospital.

Thankfully, Naruto walked in at that moment and appeased them with offers of free ramen on him. The new hokage was also, miraculously, wise enough not to mention the bit about the "getting married" business. If Neji had been eavesdropping during that part of the conversation, no amount of ramen would keep him from murdering the traitorous, and apparently forgiven, Uchiha on the spot, witnesses or no.

Sasuke was going to have to tread very carefully from here on out. He was more than a little curious to test out this new "bond." He wanted to know just what Hinata felt when he kissed her. It's not like he could walk away afterwards or anything, but with that crowd of menacing brothers looking out for her, one wrong kiss could lead to his death…again.


Well, major thanks for reading, and please leave a review to let me know what you thought! Oh, and if the mood strikes you, I'll post a link to the artwork that inspired this Hinata on my profile. Happy Halloween and Merry Juice Box Day!