A/N: I woke up one morning a few weekends ago, finally wanting to pick at the little bits of chapter 7 of "Onegai, Senpai" I had written here (yeah, believe it or not, I actually had something), only to realize that it was gone from the Doc Manager thingy... I found out these things had a 60-day lifespan and I've been missing for a smidge over 7 months? I know, I'm stupid. Even stupider was the fact that I deleted MS Word from my laptop when I first bought it (I STILL don't know how I did that) and this was the only place I was keeping a majority of my story ideas and partial chapters. FML.

For those of you who've actually liked my stories (thank you for your reviews~) and have been patiently waiting for updates to my other chapter fics, I am sincerely sorry for being such a douche-bag. I know several people have expressed their interests in adopting my stories and continuing them, and I apologize for not responding, but I have some semblance of hope that I'll finish them.

Seriously, though, oneshot fics are the way to go. They're 'wham, bam, thank you ma'am'!

This was something I wrote at work during my rare snippets of spare time (can you blame me if I like to take my lunch breaks to shop or eat?) so I hope you'll enjoy this little offering. I'm in the process of poking at two more one-shots, so you'll probably be seeing those soon.

Oh yeah, "Naruto" and affiliated characters are the property of Masashi Kishimoto. Must I disclaim the obvious?


"A Taste of Something Better"

When Naruto stopped Hinata during her morning run and asked her to join him for lunch later that noon, the soft-spoken blunette turned several shades of red, sputtered a strangled cry of "Y-Yes!" and watched him retreat to his team's training grounds before collapsing against a nearby tree for support. Funny, her knees always turned into putty whenever he was around.

'A date! Naruto-kun asked ME out on a DATE!'

It was only 8 in the morning and already it was the beginning of a wonderful day. She happily jogged back home, entered the compound gates with a skip in her step, uncharacteristically giggled and greeted her father with a kiss on the cheek (bringing a small, just-as-uncharacteristic smile upon Hiashi's face), and jumped into the shower. She emerged minutes later donned in a soft pale blue terry robe and sauntered into the closet for something pretty to wear.

Twenty minutes after twelve, Hinata was sitting in a restaurant booth across from her longtime crush. Everything about that moment seemed absolutely surreal.

Of course, there was nothing remotely romantic about the atmosphere (a newly opened 50's-inspired burger joint), and she certainly wasn't expecting to see Kiba or Sasuke there, for that matter.

Her shoulders sagged dejectedly. 'It wasn't a date after all.'

Lifting the remaining half of her cheeseburger to her mouth, she took a small bite, nearly choking in the process when the blond called for her attention.

"Hey, Hinata-chan!"

She took a sip of her peach iced tea to clear her throat. "H-Hai, N-Naruto-kun?"

"Gimme a sec." Looking to his left, he said, "Kiba- pass those over, will ya?"

Kiba leaned across the table, grabbing Sasuke's plate of ketchup (much to the Uchiha's annoyance) and a nearby pepper shaker and pushed them over towards the blond.

"Did you know," the Kyuubi-vessel began, as he sprinkled pepper onto the ketchup, "that if you mix ketchup and pepper together, they heat up?"

Naruto took his fork and quickly stirred the pepper/ketchup hybrid while Kiba stifled his laughter. Placing his hand over the plate, he looked Hinata in the eye and feigned amusement.

"See? I can feel it getting warm."

Sasuke rolled his eyes. Like anyone would believe that.

Hinata looked at her crush in amazement. "H-Honto, Naruto-kun?"

Sasuke stood corrected.

"Yeah! See for yourself!"

The moment Hinata reached over and placed her right hand over the peppery ketchup, Naruto quickly pushed it into the plate. The tomato concoction coated her hand and splattered onto the table and the front of her new blouse. Naruto and Kiba broke out into raucous laughter. Sasuke appeared dazed.

Naruto howled. "HAH! I knew she'd fall for that trick!"

Hinata's heart broke. What an awful joke! Trying hard not to cry, she reached over for a napkin only to have her wrist intercepted by Sasuke.

"P-Please let go Sasu-ah!" Before she could speak further, the Uchiha surprised everyone by holding Hinata's gaze and lightly dragged his tongue across her palm. Slowly, he inserted her thumb into his mouth, thoroughly cleaning and releasing the digit with a soft, 'pop'.

"Mmm. Delicious."

Kiba was pissed. He stood up and slammed his hands on the table. "Oi, you perverted bastard- what the HELL do you think you're doing to Hinata-chan?!"

Naruto followed suit. "Yeah, Teme! Hinata-chan isn't like that!"

The sounds of clattering tableware or various curses did not snap Hinata out of her stupor.

Instead, she stared dreamily at the Uchiha and wiggled her remaining ketchup-covered fingers.

"A-Ano... W-Would you?"

Sasuke obliged and polished the rest of the ketchup. Hinata lowered her eyelids in bliss, blushing heavily when the heartthrob's dexterous tongue lightly flicked the tip of her pinky finger.

Naruto and Kiba fell back in shock, gawping and gaping at the two.

Eyeing the blobs of red on her neck and chest, the Avenger gave Hinata a moment to follow his gaze and look down.

"Sasuke-kun. I don't like being... dirty."

"My place is nearby. We should get you cleaned up, Hinata-chan."

Sasuke stood and paid for his and Hinata's share. He then took her hand and pulled her towards the exit.

"Bye, Kiba-kun, Naruto-kun!" she rushed.

Sasuke cocked an eyebrow back towards their table. "Thanks, morons. I mean it."


Ten hours later, a numb Uzumaki and stunned silent Inuzuka continued to stare blankly at the door.

An aggravated pimply-faced 16 year-old approached them. "Um, are you losers gonna sit here forever? We're closed."

The End.


Thank you for reading. Your support throughout all my years here has really meant a lot~!!

-Jules