"So I still can't believe that stupid old Lord wouldn't allow you to come. I kept saying this mission would be a breeze if he'd allowed you to come. You're so great Sasuke."

Sakura continued to drone on but Sasuke did his best to tune her out. His attention perked up a bit when Naruto started describing some of the more eventful fights he had, but the Uchiha was getting the impression he was likely exaggerating quite a bit to make himself look good. Even with five hundred shadow clones, there was no way… He paused in his thoughts. Down the street, Hinata Hyuuga has just come into view.

"Hey, Hinata," he called out, giving the girl a nod. "Over here."

Hinata stopped in her tracks to look up. She'd been heading to the bridge in order to find Sasuke but had hoped that perhaps his team wouldn't be there yet. They were all looking at her as she blushed lightly and made her way towards them. "Oh, Sasuke. I, I was just looking for you."

"Hi Hinata." This time it was Naruto who spoke, grinning brightly from his perch on the railing. Sasuke watched curiously as the girl's face turned a bright shade of red and she seemed unable to focus her eyes.

"Na-Naruto! Hi."

Oh, don't tell me… he thought, looking between the two. "You said you were looking for me?" he asked, regaining the girl's focus.

The girl turned back to the dark haired boy, with a small smile. "Y-yes. I was, I was wondering if you would be home later today? So I could drop off your shirt." Sakura's mouth dropped. "I hope you don't mind but I washed it for you."

"You didn't have to do that," he answered with a frown. She was stuttering even more than usual.

"No, no, it was a real mess and I, I already owed you for it anyways."

If looks could kill, the one she was receiving from the pink haired kunoichi was certainly making its best attempt. But then, why did Naruto look mad, she wondered, looking between Sasuke's two teammates.

"Sasuke's shirt?" Naruto asked. "Oh I get it." It's always about Sasuke…

"No! Na-Naruto, it's not like that."

"Don't be an idiot," Sasuke said, crossing his arms and taking a protective step towards the girl. "It was for the mission."

Hinata got to be on a mission that involved Sasuke having to give her his shirt? Sakura was suddenly livid.

"Anyways," he continued on. "I have a mission today so I won't be around. But you can-"

"Oh! No you don't," Hinata interrupted, feeling her face heat up. "We have the day off."

"We do? Sweet," cried Naruto as he hopped down towards Sakura. "Hey Sakura, since-"

Hinata turned her face towards the ground. "I meant just Sasuke. You're teaming up with the others again to complete the D-rank we failed."

"You guys failed a D-rank?" Sakura asked incredulously and with the smallest of grins. Her eyes never left the Hyuuga girl's face.

Hinata dipped her head farther down, as though hoping to hide behind her hair. Sasuke glared at Sakura, who instantly shrunk back, seeing she'd somehow offended the Uchiha.

"We didn't fail, we quit," he told them all before glancing at Hinata with a smirk. "And Hinata actually got Kakashi back for making us take it in the first place."

"What? What do you mean?" Naruto asked, looking from Sasuke to the increasingly red faced girl at his side.

"I- I threw lemonade on him," Hinata whispered, just barely peeking her eyes up.

Sakura's mouth dropped again.

Before Hinata knew what was happening, Naruto's face and the rest of him were no more than an inch in front of her own, his head bent down oddly to try to get a look at her hidden face. "Wow, Hinata, you're even more amazing then I thought."

Naruto thinks I'm amazing?

Sasuke frowned at the boy with a feeling of unease. Hinata's breaths were starting to come in quick spurts. "Hey, would you give the girl some space?"

"I wish I'd been there to see Kakashi sensei's face when you did that," the blond continued on, oblivious. "This makes you like, one of the coolest people I know."

Naruto thinks… Naruto thinks that, that…

Sasuke was just able to move quick enough to catch the girl as she passed out. "Way to go, idiot. I just told you to give her some space."

"Oh, uh," Naruto stepped back, some what embarrassed. "Sorry, but she does do that a lot, doesn't she?"

Sasuke glared, still holding the girl up in his arms.

Sakura felt sick as she watched the scene in front of her. If I passed out, would he hold me like that?

Sasuke then turned and began to walk away from the group.

"Hey, where are you going?" Sakura called, unable to shake the queasy feeling she felt.

The boy just managed to incline his head back to them. "I'm taking Hinata home. You guys enjoy your mission."

Sakura stared after the boy as he disappeared to the roof tops, Hinata held tightly in his arms. She then glanced at Naruto who just shrugged in return and went back to sitting on the bridge's railing, waiting for their sensei to show up.

This totally sucks.



A/N: i guess this doesn't really feel like an epilogue but yet another chapter in what could be a sasu/hina full length. before we got Hinata's point of view, this is more to see how Sasuke's opinion has changed.