Practically all of my fics have been AU.

So I decided to just get this canon-ish story out of my system.

(It takes place after Itachi and Kisame paid a visit to Konoha, and Sasuke is still bed-ridden from Itachi's Tsukuyomi illusion.)

I tried not to make it too terribly cliche, but should I continue it...?

Please Read and Review! Arigato! ^_^

Hinata's POV

Hinata Hyuuga knelt before her father, Hiashi Hyuuga. His menacing, white eyes glared down at her while she studied the delicately woven mats on the floor. She shifted her weight from one knee to the next, uncomfortable under her father's gaze. The rest of the Hyuuga council stared at the two on either side of them. That didn't help her nerves either.

"Hinata, you will be accepted back into the Hyuuga clan as its heiress," Hiashi stated.

She held her breath, soaking the information in. She remembered how her father accused her of being weak and pathetic. He deemed her unfit as heir to the clan, and he named her younger sister Hanabi the new successor.

Hinata failed in other aspects of her life too. Her teammates had to constantly rescue her, costing the outcome of their missions. Kiba and Shino acted like they didn't mind, but they were ninjas. Ninjas carried out missions, and that was the whole point of their hard work. Not only did she suffer whenever she tried to help, she usually brought her teammates down with her.

She also wasn't even good enough for Naruto Uzumaki, the love of her life. He now made out with Sakura Haruno behind Ichiraku's every day at 4 o' clock. Hinata knew this as a fact; she still stalked him. Of course, Naruto had been oblivious to her crush on him since their academy days. So he wouldn't notice the shy girl watching every time he stuck his tongue down Sakura's throat.

Worthless, that's how she felt… Unless her father really was accepting her back into the clan as heiress. Maybe her effort in the Chuunin Exams impressed Hiashi...

"However," he added, "you are still weak. That is why you must find a husband to help you lead the clan. The council has decided that you are to marry Sasuke Uchiha."

...or not.

Hinata immediately gasped, all the wind knocked out of her. Hinata was only 13 years old, way too early to think of marriage. She hadn't even been ready to reveal her crush on Naruto.

"An arranged m-marriage?" she squeaked. "With S-sasuke Uchiha?"

She had already lost Naruto; she didn't want to lose her freedom to love another person of her choosing either.

"No, it's not an arranged marriage. As you know, Uchiha doesn't like to be told to do anything. He himself doesn't know of our plans," Hiashi explained.

She didn't point out that she didn't like to be forced to marry people either.

"Then how am I supposed to marry him?" Hinata asked, confused.

"You're going to have to get him to fall in love with you. If you play your cards right, you may marry at Konoha's legal age of 16," her father commanded. "If you don't, you won't be accepted into the Hyuuga clan. We would also have to give you the cursed seal since you wouldn't be living in the Hyuuga manor anymore."

So that was the catch to her title as heiress. She wanted to slap herself for thinking that Hiashi was capable of loving her.

"I-I understand, Father," she whispered, trying not to cry.

For the next three years of her life, Hinata would be condemned to trying to get Konoha's heartthrob to fall in love with her.


"Seduce Sasuke? Are you serious?" Kiba laughed.

Kurenai-sensei was called to be part of an emergency back-up team, and Shino was attending a top secret Aburame clan meeting. That left Hinata and Kiba to be practicing in their training field by themselves that day. Of course, the both of them slacked off a bit without adult supervision. They took their fifth break that hour, and Hinata brought up the subject of the Hyuuga clan's latest meeting.

"I have t-to if I want to be a Hyuuga again," Hinata said quietly.

"If you marry him, you won't be a Hyuuga. You'll be an Uchiha," Kiba pointed out, flashing a teasing grin.

"K-kiba-kun, this is serious! I'm only 13! W-what am I going to do? Why Sasuke-san?" Hinata panicked.

Out of all of the people in the Village Hidden in the Leaves, the clan picked Sasuke Uchiha. He had a reputation for being stoic and serious, the opposite of her beloved Naruto. Tears started forming as she bit her lip.

"Don't cry, Hinata. I'm sure old Hiashi was just joking with you," he grinned again.

"Well, it wasn't f-funny!" she mumbled.

"Are you sure you want to be a Hyuuga again? I mean, they pretty much treated you like crap," Kiba asked, blunt but concerned.

"I really w-want to make a difference, to prove I'm not worthless," Hinata explained. "I've always d-done things wrong, even by being born. I wasn't the son that my f-father wanted me to be. He hated me because I was t-too soft even for a girl, and he hates me now because I r-remind him of my mother. I've always b-been a burden to the Hyuuga clan. N-now I have a chance to redeem myself, and I'll do a-anything to make my dream come true."

"Hinata, you don't need to become heiress to prove your worth," he said.

"T-this is important t-to me, Kiba-kun," she said softly. "Will you help me? P-please?"

"Fine," he sighed then thought aloud, "but I don't really know much about seducing guys."

Hinata blushed and squeaked, "I'm n-not going to s-seduce him!"

"Then how are you going to get him to marry you?" he inquired.

"I d-don't k-know," she admitted, blushing and looking down.

"As I was saying," Kiba continued, "I'm not good in the seducing department, but I think I might know who is."

"W-who?" Hinata asked.

"Ino Yamanaka," he stated, as if that was the logical answer.

"Ino-chan l-likes Sasuke-san," she pointed out.

Kiba grinned, "Not anymore! Shikamaru finally got off of his lazy ass and asked her out. They're officially a couple."

"K-kiba-kun!" Hinata gasped. "S-swearing isn't g-good!"

"I know, but it's fun!" he laughed. "We'll go visit Ino tomorrow. I promised my mom I would clean my room this evening. Ugh."

Sasuke's POV

It was exactly midnight when he had slipped out of his hospital room and snuck into the training grounds.

Sasuke Uchiha panted heavily as he struck his 465th shuriken onto the center of the target. He wanted to be able to hit 500 in a row, just like his older brother, Itachi Uchiha, could. Activating his sharingan, Sasuke pulled out five more shuriken, ready for another round. He tossed the throwing stars and then collapsed from exhaustion again. This time, he couldn't get up.

470 shuriken. That's all he could do.

Sasuke felt completely worthless, as if all of his training was a waste. He then thought of how Itachi merely flicked him away in favor of capturing Naruto. How could the dobe be more important than him?

After all, Itachi massacred the entire Uchiha clan, except for Sasuke, and he owed Sasuke a one-on-one battle. He even engulfed Sasuke into the memories of the past by using his Tsukuyomi, choosing to delay their fight.

Fuck Itachi. He would defeat him.

Anger flared up as he slowly got up and tossed another five shuriken. Whenever he thought about Itachi, he felt hatred boiling inside of him, giving him an extra energy boost.

Another source of energy was the curse mark on Sasuke's neck. Orochimaru had granted him this taste of power. It was like a bag of chips, it's impossible to eat just one. (No wonder Chouji constantly munched on them.) Sasuke craved the power that Orochimaru had to offer. However, this meant leaving Konoha, and that's something Sasuke would never want to do. After all, the Uchiha clan used to be in charge of the police force in Konoha.

"S-sasuke-san?" a small voice called out.

Without turning around, he immediately threw a shuriken at the unknown person. The training grounds were supposed to be vacant at night. Whoever had snuck up on him was probably up to no good.

"Who are you?" he asked with no hint of fear in his voice.

The person let out a small whimper, so he turned around.

In front of him was a mouse of a girl. She panted for breath, a tiny cut on her cheek that was probably from the shuriken. Sasuke barely recognized her as Hinata Hyuuga. She was probably the least threatening person in the whole Leaf Village.

"Um...," Hinata squeaked, "sorry I s-snuck up on you."

"A ninja waits until the time is right, when the enemy sleeps and drops his guard. When his weapons lie forgotten in the stillness of the night, that is the moment for a ninja to strike," he stated. "You tried, but I never let my guard down."

"I w-wasn't trying to attack you. I-I usually go to the training field next to t-this one every night, but that one was closed. So I c-came here," she explained.

This surprised him. She must have been serious about getting stronger, just like him.

"Are you strong?" Sasuke questioned.

Hinata looked startled, as if she didn't know what to answer. She started playing with her hands, poking her index fingers together.

" I-I," she stuttered, "d-don't know."

"Then I'll test you," he said coldly.

"Um...I'm n-not ready," she said softly.

"Tomorrow," he ordered, "at this time."

"I... o-okay," she agreed.

"Good," Sasuke smirked. "I'll see you then."

He turned around and pulled out five shuriken, ready to get back to his goal of 500. As expected, all five of them landed on the target. 480 shuriken, almost there. Sasuke was almost tempted to grin in satisfaction. He was about to make his goal, and the next day he would get to spar. This would definitely help him get stronger.

Hinata's POV

Hinata continued to watch Sasuke throw numerous shuriken at a target, five at a time. She held her breath at his precision and speed. She never had a chance to observe him before because she was knocked out during his battle with Gaara at the Chuunin Exams.

Sasuke was the prodigy of the Uchiha clan while Hinata was the failure of the Hyuuga clan. There was no wonder why the council had chosen him to be her husband. Well, IF he wanted to marry her. Without an arranged marriage, how could a cold guy like Sasuke love a shy girl like Hinata? She sighed, wondering what to do.

Maybe Kiba was right; maybe she didn't have to be part of the Hyuuga clan to prove her worth. Having the cursed seal wouldn't be too bad either. Neji had lived with one since he was four years old. She could also try to find another place to live besides the Hyuuga manor. Maybe she could rent an apartment next to Naruto's...

"Are you just going to stand there and stare at me?" Sasuke asked, breaking her free from her thoughts.

"S-sorry," she squeaked.

"You might as well train. You said you've been doing it every night, after all," he continued then turned around again.

"Y-you're right," she squeaked again, then activated her Kekke Genkai by doing some hand signs and crying out, "Byakugan!"

She tossed several kunai into the air, looked at the ground, and then dodged the falling blades. This was one of her newest exercises. It tested her speed, agility, and Byakugan vision. After barely avoiding the last kunai, Hinata took a short break.

"You need to work on your stamina," Sasuke noted as he hurled more shuriken at his target.

She knew that she still had a long way to go, but it hurt to have it pointed out.

"I k-know," she whispered. "How are you so p-perfect?"

"If I didn't know that you like Naruto, then I would've thought that was a compliment," Sasuke smirked as he threw his last shuriken.

Hinata turned a bright shade of red and protested, "I-I-I d-d-d-on't l-l-l-like N-n-n-n-aruto-kun!"

"Then why do you address him using 'kun' and with me you use 'san?'" he asked. "Why do you always go out of your way to watch him make out with Sakura?"

"Um," she barely managed to croak as her blush deepened.

Finally, he ended with a simple, "Why do you like Naruto in the first place?"

"H-h-he's strong," she whispered, barely audible. "H-he never g-gives up, and I… I want to b-be just like him."

"Hn," Sasuke grunted. "We better go now, before we get caught."

"Y-y-yes," she agreed.

They both left each other without a single goodbye.

Hinata wondered if she really wanted to go through the effort of getting Sasuke to fall in love with her. After all, he was right; she was already in love with Naruto, even if he enjoyed Sakura's lips over hers.