Title: Love is a Given
Disclaimer: Do you remember Sasuke and Hinata interacting in the series? Me 'neither.
Rating: G ( K ) – as long as you ignore the bleeped out word immediately below the summary, that is. I hope the kiddies in the house don't know how to fill in the blanks.
Spoilers: None that I didn't create myself.

Summary: Part of the "Lifelong Love" series. TwoShot. Flinging the baby blue teddy bear out in front of him with both hands, the blushing boy stammered, "H-Hello, Hinata-san. M-My name is Uchiha Sasuke. Happy B-B-Birthday." Mild/one-sided SasuHina.

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack...at least for this ^^;

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Though Sasuke would never admit it to anyone, he was excited. Thrilled, even, about getting to see the Hyuuga heiress again now that his father had business with her father again. Not that he made a habit of wanting to visit girls; oh no, far from it. Hinata was simply a special case.

"Is it time to go yet?" he asked his mother for the umpteenth time since noon. It was now four-thirty and she was beginning to show signs of strain.

"No, Sasuke-kun," she replied with forced patience. Though her lips were pursed, she managed to take a sip of her oolong tea before continuing, "We won't be going to the Hyuuga compound until dinner time. That's an hour and a half from now. Please stop asking."

"Sorry," the youngest Uchiha muttered, wandering over to their sitting room window to look out upon the delightfully sunshiney day. He heaved a great, frustrated sigh and wished earnestly that he could tell time already (Itachi had learned when he was three, but Sasuke hadn't gotten the hang of it quite yet; it was a "work in progress," as his mother would say).

His eyes were unfocused on the blissful weather as Sasuke allowed his mind to wander back to the Hyuuga heiress' third birthday party. While the adults had sequestered themselves inside a large room full of gross snacks and hateful sneers, he and Hinata had ventured into the depths of the house to play.

They'd wandered silently into her bedroom to put her new teddy bear away, – "F-Father doesn't ap-prove of toys," she had explained with a soft pink blush upon her pale cheeks. "H-He says that they don't p-promote focus." – bashfully avoiding each other's eyes. Had her elder cousin Neji not appeared shortly thereafter to lighten the mood, the shy pair might not have spoken a single word to each other for the rest of the evening. With a third playmate available, however, some of the tension was lost and fun was had by all (though, admittedly, Sasuke would have preferred that Neji had left after awhile; it was hard to keep Hinata's wandering attention all to himself with another person in the room).

This next encounter between the two clans promised to be even better than before, in Sasuke's opinion. Though he didn't quite understand the particulars of the matter, he did know that Neji wouldn't be around this time and that he'd have Hinata all to himself. His father and brother had both tried to explain what the whole business had been about, but all that stuff about "Main Families" and "Branch Families" made Sasuke's head hurt. All he knew for sure was that it all sounded really stupid and pointless and, when he'd said so, Fugaku and Itachi had both smiled knowingly to one another. In the end, however, both of the elder Uchiha males had been satisfied with Sasuke's promise not to mention anything about Neji's new "situation" (as it had been so politely put by his father) to any of the Hyuuga's. Since none of it made any sense to him and he didn't really care in the first place, it was an easy promise for Sasuke to make.

Well, whatever was going on within the Hyuuga family, it didn't ultimately matter. All that Sasuke cared about was getting to see Hinata again.

"Mama, is it time to leave yet?"


One long hour after being ejected from his mother's sitting room, the Uchiha family was finally ready to make an appearance at the Hyuuga family compound. Sasuke had practically skipped all the way there – "Hurry up, 'Nii-san! We're going to be late!" – and they made it to the heavy iron gates a little earlier than expected. Stopping dead before the stern guards that had greeted them the last time, they were all informed that the Hyuugas were not yet prepared to receive visitors and that they were to proceed directly to the foyer where they would be met by a servant.

Sasuke released a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding when they were finally within the gates and away from the guards. Those guys really needed to smile once in awhile. Or maybe they'd been making that face so long that they couldn't anymore (his grandmother had once warned him that such things could happen).

Either way, the obstacle had been bypassed with little to no difficulty and he was one step closer to seeing his new playmate. Only one remained before them, and this one seemed a little nicer than the first.

"Welcome, Fugaku-sama, to the house of Hyuuga," a pretty lady in the foyer greeted, bowing deeply in respect. The second servant in attendance, who had opened the shoji screen for them as they approached, now closed it behind them and quietly retreated into the depths of the house. "My name is Yoko. Please, allow me to show you to the drawing room."

"Thank you, Yoko-san," replied Fugaku, making a shallower bow in return. Yoko didn't seem offended, however, and immediately turned to walk down the adjoining hallway.

The Uchihas followed sedately behind her, winding through the darkened house in a serpentine motion without saying a single word. Sasuke could tell that, despite his own excitement, this was one of those occasions that required absolute obedience and silence. Thus, he tried his very best – he honestly did! – to hold his tongue, but he simply couldn't help himself. Before Yoko left them alone in the promised drawing room, he burst, "Is Hinata-chan coming out soon?"

"Sasuke!" His mother hissed in admonition, nudging him hard with her elbow. Fugaku didn't feel the need to verbally reprimand him, but instead fixed him with a stern, disapproving glare. Sasuke gulped and turned his eyes back to Yoko.

Yoko, – who he now distinguished as a Hyuuga family member herself; the milky-white eyes gave her away – unlike his parents, didn't seem offended. Raising herself a little out of her deep bow, her lips forming a mild smile, Yoko replied, "Hiashi-sama and Hinata-sama will be here directly, young master." She then bowed herself out of the room, closing the screen behind her.

As soon as the door clacked against its frame, Sasuke got an earful of remonstrances. "Uchiha Sasuke!" his mother began, turning to face him with her hands upon her hips. "I have never been so embarrassed! How dare you ask such a rude question? Why, if we were at home, I'd – "

Before Mikoto could fully form her threat, however, the door rattled and began to slide open. The Uchiha matriarch returned to her docile position next to her husband in an instant and forced a passable smile onto her face just in time; Hyuuga Hiashi and his daughter Hinata stepped into the room, prepared to meet their guests.

"Welcome," Hiashi said, bowing slightly to them all, Hinata following in his stead. The entire Uchiha family returned in kind and the civilities commenced.

"How are you and your family, Fugaku-san?"

"Very well, thank you. And yours? How is little Hanabi-chan doing?"

"She's quite well, thank you. Her mother apologizes for not being here, but the doctor recommends bed rest."

"Of course. Give her our best."

"I shall."

While the adults pretended to care about one another, Sasuke sneaked a look at Hinata. To his surprise and pleasure, he caught her eyes on him, as well. She quickly lowered her gaze once she had his attention, but the meek smile on her face told him that she was as equally pleased as he was to be found worth looking at.

Standing up a little straighter, Sasuke waited patiently for someone to say "go play outside."


Sasuke awoke with a start. Someone – or something – was rattling at the window.

The young Uchiha's first instinct was to bury his head beneath the covers and pretend that he hadn't heard anything. However, the slumbering bundle beside him – an adorable Hyuuga heiress wrapped cozily around her new teddy bear – made him think better of his cowardice.

Sasuke didn't know how or when it had happened, but he and his playmate had worn themselves out while the adults were still schmoozing each other in another part of the house. Yoko – who, amongst other things, was Hinata's nanny – was assigned to watch over them while they enjoyed each other's company, but they were given free reign of Hinata's large, if plain, bedroom. The two youngsters had proceeded to chase each other around, tickle one another, play tea party with her blue bear (that part Sasuke had willingly, if resignedly, put up with), and generally have fun the way children are supposed to. Sometime in the middle of a sleepy conversation about whether older brothers or little sisters were more stinky and annoying, they must have drifted off together.

Carefully extricating himself from the blanket that had been thoughtfully placed over them where they lay in the middle of Hinata's bedroom floor, Sasuke managed to leave the side of his host without waking her up. Before forcing himself to go investigate the strange noises, he even paused to rearrange the sheet so that she was completely covered in his absence. That was the nice thing to do, or so his mother said.

In his bare feet, Sasuke tip-toed over to the window, ducking low when he realized that whoever was out there could probably see him. He'd do his best to sneak up on them – yeah, that was the way. Very quiet-like...

Sasuke lowered himself to all-fours and crept up to the window as silently as he could. A creaking board nearly gave him away, but as the noises outside continued without pause, he figured that the culprit hadn't noticed.

Flattening himself against the wall, Sasuke slowly raised himself to his feet so that he could see outside. He took a peek and...

...sighed with relief. It was nothing but an old tree creaking in the wind. He felt a little stupid being scared by something so utterly non-scary, but he was glad that there was no real foe outside for him to confront. He would've had to have been brave for Hinata's sake and he really didn't want to. Not with his father and brother so far away.

Turning his face back to – WHAM!

Sasuke fell limply to the floor, his body colliding with the tatami with a heavy thud. Fireworks were popping behind his eyes and his brain was sloshing around inside his head, but he was still conscious. Somewhere in the background, he heard a scream – Hinata!

He tried to force himself up, but could only make it onto his elbows after a lot of strain. In the meantime, his playmates' struggles had been silenced in a lot of muffled movement.

When Sasuke peeled his eyelids apart, he witnessed a masked man lifting Hinata off the floor and whisking her away under his arm. This transaction only lasted a couple of seconds; by the time that the young Uchiha screamed for his father, the pair had disappeared.


"Allow me to call the family doctor for your son, Fugaku-san," Hiashi implored blandly, glaring down at the shivering boy being coddled by his mother on the floor.

Sneering, Fugaku replied, "No, thank you, Hiashi-san. We will seek our own medical help."

"It is...the least I can do," the Hyuuga head pressed sourly. "After all, the culprit might have gotten away had your son not raised the alarm when he did."

"True," Fugaku agreed. "However, if your physician is as...lacking as your security, I think we're better off with our own." There was a lot of silent glaring between the two men following this statement, but neither ventured to say anything else to the other.

In the meantime, Sasuke remained curled up in his mother's lap while she attempted to staunch his bleeding with the sleeve of her best kimono. The cut on his head wasn't as serious as it looked, he was informed, but it sure hurt a lot and the young Uchiha couldn't help but quiver as the adrenaline rushed throughout his small body.

Hinata, still a bit woozy from the drugs that had been used to subdue her, sat across the room in much the same condition. She was in Yoko's care and being tenderly stroked by her beloved nanny. Every so often, Sasuke caught her gaze from the corner of his eye, but pointedly refused to acknowledge her attention with a look of his own. It was the bad guy's fault, not hers, and he knew it, but he still didn't think he'd be paying her any visits in the near future.

"S-Sasuke-san," he heard her voice squeak.

Deigning to look up between his mother's arms, Sasuke fixed her with the stern glare he'd inherited from his father. "What?"

The young heiress, teetering unsteadily before him with Yoko behind her, seemed to loose some of her nerve at the tone of his response. "Um...uh...th-thank you. F-For what you d-d-did."

"Hmph," Sasuke replied, turning his face away.

Hinata remained where she was for a few extended seconds before Yoko said, "Come, Hinata-sama. Back to bed."

Once her shadow had abated and the door to the room had been both open and shut, Sasuke allowed his gaze to wander back to where she'd been standing. The only thing that remained of her presence was a tiny puddle of tears.

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Author's Note: Well, I know that in my last chapter I said that I'd make this one in Hinata's POV, but I figured it might be better to move the plot forward rather than simply going over the same stuff that had already happened. Besides, I recalled that attempted kidnapping from the manga and figured I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to involve Sasuke in it somehow. I know it's usually part of the NejiHina mythology, but I needed something...dramatic to make Hinata dislike Sasuke after having them get along so well in the previous chapter.

I did my best to keep the details of the kidnapping within the scope of what actually happened (ie, it occurs after Hinata's birthday party, it's at night while she's asleep, etc.), but if I've made a mistake or two I'm deeply sorry. Just point it/them out to me and I'll 1 ) fix it or 2 ) make some lame excuse about how I totally meant to do that all along, lolz.

Btw, this story is OVER. Might still continue the Lifelong Love series (ie, I hope to finish "Sexy no Jutsu" finally) with a few more stories, but we'll see. I'm thinking the next one will be from Hina's POV.


. ( . Ms Videl Son . ) .

Love can be black and white. SasuHina.