AN: Okay so basically I'm uploading this early because I was beginning to feel like a jerk keeping you all hanging. It really was a rather messed up cliffhanger to leave you.

This be the final chapter and no, there's no lemons here. Actually in the last few fics I've done I've kind of avoided doing that. *shrug* In any case, I am seriously considering expanding on the 'Ruby Slide' fic but I'm not entirely sure how I want that to go(maybe I'll make that one a lemon, I dunno, my inner perv is telling me I've done so with every couple except ItaHina and I find ItaHina sexier than SasuHina. I mean seriously). I do have some idea or something but we'll see. It probably will only be like an extra chapter or so. I dunno.

I really like how this chapter came out due to the events that transpire. This chapter is rather light hearted for the most part. Thanks to everyone who commented and faved this fic, I started out not really liking how it came out but I think I've changed my mind about that.

xxxxx

7

xxxxx

Who the hell…?

Why was it that now that he had the woman he loved in his arms, very close to picking her up and taking her into his bedroom, someone out of the blue moon decides to drop by for a visit. He hasn't had a visitor since Hinata left a year ago. All intelligent thought ended with "What. The. Hell." as he seriously debates not answering the damn door.

He does not voice his frustration. Instead, he gently puts her bra back on and pulls down her shirt. She looks as disappointed and frustrated as he feels and tries to sit up. His buzzer goes off again.

"Itachi?" came the voice of Uchiha Mikoto "Are you there?"

"It's mother." He deadpanned and seriously wished that she had picked a better day to stop by for a surprise visit. Closing his eyes briefly he helps her to her feet, smoothing out her hair. "Answer the door for me, Hina. I'll be out shortly."

Since there was absolutely no way he could face his mother almost half naked and quite visibly aroused, he went into the bathroom and turned on the cold water in the faucet. Sighing, he splashed his face a few times before grabbing a towel. After drying his face he found a spare hair tie and pulled his hair back into its trademark ponytail. Then he stood there, leaning on the sink, head down until his body managed some semblance of calm. Lifting his head he pulled his bangs back a bit with his hand, looking at himself in the mirror. He looked exasperated and annoyed, which he was. His head turned towards the door where he could hear his mother and Hinata chatting. Mikoto made a comment about the red marks on Hinata's neck and he lowered his head again, fighting back a sigh. Not only was she here at the most horrible time imaginable, she was going to embarrass the hell out of Hinata as well. She was probably as red as a tomato right now.

Well, I can't just leave her out there with mother, if she keeps it up Hinata might end up fainting or something infinitely worse.

Besides, she was his now, he couldn't leave her out there alone to suffer his mother's insanity. Itachi mentally paused at the thought while buttoning up his shirt. It was strange, knowing that she was now, his best friend, girlfriend and, barring no further interruptions later, future lover. He had even confessed that he loved her. More than likely, his mother would bring up marriage and children. All he wanted to do was marvel in the fact that he actually had her in his life now. He wanted to enjoy his time with her, not jump into all sorts of legal and emotional responsibilities.

Finally walking out he gave his mother a 'what are you doing here?' sort of look while Hinata was serving her some tea. "Mother," he began "to what do I hold the honor of this visit?"

She gave him a happy/sly look as he sat down very close to Hinata on the couch they had just been making out in, putting an arm around her shoulders.

"Oh," she began "Sasu told me that Hinata was going to call and maybe come over so I wanted to stop by to see if you two had talked things out." She gave her son a look "But I can see you two are getting along just fine."

Poor Hinata flushed and leaned against him. He responded by leaning over to murmur in her ear "Forgive me little Hime," he purred, too low for his mother to really understand him "it would seem that I allowed myself to get a little carried away."

She made a happy little sound at her new nickname and looked embarrassed at his comment. Inwardly, he smiled.

He also made a note to get back at Sasuke for telling his mother, knowing that she'd do something like this. 'Playing Dirty' indeed, that brat. It was his own fault for spoiling him so much, he supposed.

"Well," Mikoto began "since you two are already starting the process do you think maybe I could see some grandchildren in the near future?"

A small 'eep' came from Hinata and he fought the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose. Sasuke was definitely going to pay for this one. He understood the joy and merit of pranking one's brother but this…

"Mother, we have been in our relationship for five minutes, I believe some time should pass before there is any discussion of reproduction."

Mikoto raised an eyebrow "Only five minutes?" she looked back at Hinata and then at him "You move fast."

Okay. He walked into that one, he could admit that. It didn't make it less irritating. It was very difficult to be intelligent when there wereplenty of other things he'd much rather be doing than talking to his very nosey and embarrassing parental unit. All of them, of course, involving himself, Hinata, and his bed. With the way his mind was currently going, the 'bed' portion wasn't even entirely necessary at this point, he would be willing to improvise.

"Mother," he began "if you are only here to tease Hinata and myself then –" Leave so we can finish what we started.

"Actually," she cut in "I wanted to know if the two of you would have dinner with us tonight. It's Sasu, Ino-chan, your father and myself. Having you two there would be wonderful."

Itachi kept his face neutral. If Fugaku was going to be there either he'd piss off Sasuke, who'd react horribly and possibly make a scene, or he'd annoy him personally, which was also not an interesting prospect. "Mother,"

"He promised to behave Itachi." She insisted "Just light conversation, nothing more."

He was going to regret this. He knew he was. Whenever the entire family was in one room together horrible things happened. Hinata would be used to it, Ino probably not. The Uchiha heir tried to think. If he said no, Hinata would try and convince him to go, because she always took his mother's side. If he said yes he would have to hope and pray that he didn't have to become damage control between Sasuke and their father. It was a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' scenario. After a moment he concluded that it wasn't anything he couldn't deal with.

"I will leave if he starts trying to fight with one of us verbally." He informed his mother "I deal with him enough at work."

Mikoto sighed and gave them a tired smile. As much as she wished it otherwise, her sons would never get along with their father. It wasn't that he was a horrible person he was just…insensitive. Extremely. It didn't help that Fugaku had shared the same opinion concerning Hinata that the Hyuuga had. He had made her cry a few times from his callousness and neither boy had taken it well.

Unfortunately, he still held that opinion. She was going to do her best to keep him from saying anything too insensitive, otherwise her two sons might seriously cease to have anything to do with him. Itachi could easily strike out to go run his own company if he wished, he had both the money and the intelligence. He was patient and he was tolerant, but even he had his limits.

"Um, where is the dinner going to be held?" Hinata came in. Despite having known the two people in the room her entire life she was currently shy, practically burying herself against her new boyfriend. Itachi didn't seem to mind, in fact, he seemed to secretly enjoy the attention. They made an adorable couple.

"The Silhouette." Mikoto answered for her "The reservations are for seven thirty."

The girl paled "I…" her expression became nervous "That's um, a very expensive restaurant."

Both Itachi and Mikoto looked at her as if she had grown a second head. Mikoto was the first to respond with a small laugh.

"Sweetie, you're going with Itachi," the Uchiha matriarch reminded her "usually men pay for the tab on a date. At least, that's how I raised my sons."

"We're aware of your financial situation Hina," his hand moved up and down her arm soothingly "If you don't have anything to wear, we should perhaps leave a little early so that you can pick something out."

Hinata bit her lip "B-but…" her voice was soft and uncertain "I don't want to impose…"

Turning to her, he took his free hand and tilted her chin up so that they made eye contact "Hinata," he looked and sounded serious "I want to make something very clear and I will only say this once. You are with me now, we are together. As long as you are with me there is not a need or a want that you will go without. I suggest you get used to it now because I will not be swayed otherwise. That includes your financial situation."

"Are you going to let her move in with you then?" his mother asked. "That tiny awful apartment is no place for Hinata-chan."

He blinked. What? "This is a one bedroom apartment."

Mikoto raised an eyebrow "I'm sure that's not too much of an inconvenience, considering."

He sighed "I suppose not. In any case, if Hina did wish to live with me, I would get another apartment the two of us could live in. Two people living in this apartment would be uncomfortable." He did not ask Hinata if she wanted to actually do that, mostly because they really had just started their relationship. Even if they knew each other extremely well it still seemed a little fast.

Standing, he began to collect the tray "We will be there on time, mother." He informed Mikoto "Hina and I should leave now if we wish to have enough time for her to actually browse for something she'd like to wear."

Nodding, she stood up and walked over to Hinata, giving her a hug. After putting the tray away he met the two women at the door and gave his mother a hug when she asked for one.

"Thank you for doing this, Itachi." She said genuinely "I know how much you and Sasuke don't get along with your father, but it means a lot to me."

His mother wanted them so desperately to be a family and while she didn't blame her sons for their estrangement with their father, it didn't make her happy either.

"I know." He gave her a small smile and a small wave when she left.

Following Hinata, he saw the apprehensive look on her face and pulled her close, her back facing him.

"I'm sure Fugaku will not say anything to you about our relationship." He reassured her

"But…he still hates me, doesn't he?" she sounded sad.

"He enjoys keeping on good terms with your family. That also means sharing their opinions. I am almost positive that he will say something to the side about me being with you due to your family disowning you, but he has never had control over who I could marry or not marry. I was in one arranged marriage and it was one I had initiated in the first place."

Turning in his arms her pearl-colored eyes widened in surprise "I didn't know you had been a part of an arranged marriage."

His smile was enigmatic "How else would I have been able to convince our fathers to allow you to live with us for four years?"

Her mouth dropped. He kissed her in response. "Yes, the arrangement was that you live with us for four years and I would marry you when you turned twenty-one. The two companies would merge, something the Hyuuga actually need as they are not as financially stable as you think they are." He made a small thoughtful noise and pulled her closer "Now that I think on it, Fugaku might not mind us being together. Once the Hyuuga find out they will probably try to take advantage."

Hinata sighed and he understood her feelings. It was hard knowing that your family would only want you as long as they could use you. Pulling some of her hair back he kissed her temple "We really should get going. Traffic only gets worse, not better, when venturing near the mall area."

Giggling, she moved out of his arms to grab her coat and put on her shoes. Right as he was opening the door for them to leave she put a hand over his, stopping him. He looked at her inquisitively.

"W-would you…about what you said earlier…about moving in together…" blushing, she smiled demurely, looking down.

"I wouldn't mind it." he said honestly "Don't let my mother pressure you, Hina, she means well but she is a meddler at best. Our relationship can go as fast or as slow as you wish although, contrary to what mother wishes, I believe that marriage while you are still in school trying to acquire your medical degree would not be beneficial." Not to mention that marriage wasn't something he was sure he wanted to pursue right now. He loved her, he wanted to be with her, but marriage just seemed…strange. And children. He was twenty-eight and she was twenty-three, to be twenty-four the end of the year. He did not want her to be distracted with married life and children while trying to become a doctor. It seemed a little too much.

These thoughts wouldn't even be in my head if it weren't for mother. He mused.

Taking his arm in hers she still avoided his gaze "Living with you," she said softly "I think I, um, would like that."

Allowing her to leave first the couple walked towards the car garage. "I will free my schedule next week so that we can look for something we both wouldn't mind living in."

Shyly she nodded along his arm. Smiling, he stopped for a moment to whisper in her ear "You are also more than welcome to stay in my apartment until then, little Hime." His smile widened as her face practically glowed red. He could get used to more intimate teasing like this.

xxxxx

They arrived just a minute behind Ino and Sasuke, who waited in the parking lot when they saw them. Hinata thought they made a beautiful couple. The blonde's hair was partially up with curls with the rest hanging down past her lower back. Her dress was a pale purple, short and sleeveless with the fabric crisscrossing along the back. Even though it was cold – In May! - she was only wearing a shawl to cover her arms. The matching pumps made Hinata's feet hurt just looking at them. The last time she tried to wear heels that high she had almost broken her ankle, much to the embarrassment of her family. Her date was wearing a dark purple silk shirt with a black blazer and pants. He looked very agitated.

Ino practically threw her arms around Hinata once they were close "Oh, Hinata-chan it's really good to see you!"

She gave the other woman a confused smile "You um, saw me two days ago Ino-chan."

"Yes but Sasuke's very scary father wasn't there to make me feel like I'm three feet tall." She sighed and Hinata could empathize. Ino's family wasn't rich; she didn't come from an elite background or anything like that. Her family owned a successful flower shop that their daughter had every intention of taking over. It didn't really make her shine in Fugaku's eyes and Hinata knew that her father would have felt the same way. Blue blood married blue blood, they didn't mingle with 'commoners'.

"Who gives a damn what he thinks?" Sasuke snapped, edgy. He was only there at the insistence of his mother, otherwise he would not have bothered. The relationship between father and son for them was almost non-existent at this point. The youngest son would be guarded, ready to attack should he need to.

Still holding onto Hinata, Ino leaned in to whisper "The closer we got to coming here the more irritable he became." She looked worried for her fiancé.

Itachi walked over to his brother, hand in his coat pocket. He put a hand on Sasuke's shoulder and leaned in to say something only for him. There was a long pause and then the younger brother leaned back, laughing. The older brother did not look amused.

"It's not my fault you answered the door," Sasuke said as the four of them started heading inside "you could have pretended that you weren't home. Besides, I didn't tell mom to stop by, all I said was that Nata-chan was going to visit you and she got all excited. How was I supposed to know you'd –"

The two brothers were still a bit ahead so when Itachi leaned over to say something to Sasuke again this time he didn't laugh.

"Alright fine. That's a good point." This time Sasuke leaned over and by the time they reached the door Sasuke was grinning, Itachi's face looked blank but that more than likely meant if he was upset or pissed he wasn't going to show it.

Letting the hostess take her coat she looked over at her boyfriend while the other couple did the same. "What was that about?" she asked curiously.

"Nothing." He said flatly. That meant 'It was guy talk and it will probably offend the hell out of you so you really just don't need to know'. She had learned this painful lesson when they had all went through puberty – Itachi before them obviously – and Sasuke actually told her half of the things he spoke about with other guys because she wouldn't leave him alone about it. 'Scarred' was not a good enough word to describe how she felt afterwards. She had been a constant shade of red for an entire week. She hadn't been able to look Sasuke in the eye for a month.

A warm hand moved to her exposed back and she smiled up at Itachi as he pulled her close, guiding them to their table. She had opted for a turtleneck dress to hide the marks he had given her earlier. It was a dark blue, slightly form fitting at the top and hips, with a long slit on the side for mobility. Her date was also matching with her with a dark blue silk shirt and black pants.

Mother and father were already at the table and both stood to properly greet everyone. Mikoto hugged and kissed everyone while Fugaku gave a small, strained smile before sitting back down. Menus were handed out but none of the Uchiha moved to even look at it. Of course, Hinata was not disturbed but Ino looked a little confused. Since she was beside Hinata she decided it'd be safe to ask her instead of asking out loud.

"All Uchiha have photographic memories." Hinata explained "As long as the menu hasn't changed they don't need to look at it after the initial glance."

Ino was colored impressed "Wow, all of them?"

Sasuke leaned towards his fiancé "Yes, all of us." He responded, amused. It wasn't something they really thought about so whenever a new person came along it was always amusing to see their reactions. "Don't let Nata-chan fool you, the Hyuuga have their own freakish ability that cannot be explained by science."

"It's not freakish." Hinata protested, frowning "You're just saying that because you can't do it."

Now the blonde was curious "What is it Hinata-chan?" she wanted to know.

"Hina's family can 'sense' when someone is telling them the truth or lying." Itachi answered for her "It's mostly just their ability to pay close attention to every detail in something or someone. Keen observation on a slightly abnormal level."

Ino blinked "Wow, that's really impressive Hinata-chan." She blinked when the other woman's expression turned sad "Hinata-chan?"

"I um," Hinata sighed slightly "I don't really have that ability. Not like my family. I was never any good at it."

"That is an inaccurate statement." Itachi began but paused when the waiter arrived to take everyone's order. Picking up his now full wine glass, he regarded Ino once more "Hina is actually very skilled when she applies herself. There is not a lie Sasuke or I have been able to get past her all of these years."

"And we've tried." The younger brother came in dryly "We actually made it a point one day just to see what would happen."

"Even white lies." Itachi continued, smiling thinly at his blushing girlfriend "Those were interesting, as Hina would know that we were lying, but she couldn't separate the truth from the lie so she'd look at us funny for a while before giving up on us completely."

With the exception of Hinata, Fugaku, and Itachi, everyone at the table laughed at the mental image it brought.

"Wow Hinata-chan," Ino sounded a mixture of impressed and sympathetic "It sounds like you got the full treatment of 'brotherly love', including the annoying parts. Makes me glad I'm an only child."

"What they're not telling you," Mikoto came in, still smiling "was that if they made Hinata-chan cry from their teasing they would start coddling her."

"We didn't 'coddle' her," Sasuke defended.

"We merely gave her affection to show that it was merely a small jest. Well, Sasuke sometimes would yell at her because he'd be so flustered." Itachi finished, taking another drink from his glass. "Sasuke had a…phobia? I suppose you could call it that. He had a phobia concerning girls when they cried. He would make a few half hearted attempts and if that didn't work he'd get upset and start yelling at them to stop."

"So you were a jerk even when you were a kid!" Ino laughed and her fiancé shot her a dark glare. "Picking on poor Hinata-chan."

Sasuke snorted "Whatever. She's not as innocent as she likes to portray herself to be." He grumbled.

"Sasu-kun don't tell Ino untrue things about me." The topic of the conversation pouted "I was never mean to either of you."

"She got us in trouble with mom all the time." He continued to complain "Mom would always take Nata-chan's side, it didn't even matter if it was true or not." He shot Hinata a glare "I think it was once or twice that she actually lied to mom to get us in trouble. I know for a damn fact I wasn't the one who broke that glass egg thing and Itachi didn't do it either, so that left only one other person but she swore to mom that she didn't do it so she blamed us instead."

They were eating their food at this point and Mikoto gracefully took a bite of her food. "I knew it had been Hinata-chan who had broken that glass egg." She confessed.

Sasuke and Itachi stared at her at a complete loss for words. Even Fugaku looked a little surprised.

"But you should have seen the look on poor Hinata-chan's face!" Mikoto defended "It was obvious she was lying but she had looked so terrified that I –"

"Blamed us instead?" Sasuke sounded a mixture of shocked and annoyed "You could have at least slacked off on the punishment then."

"I agree." Itachi said calmly "That was a rather hellish month, to the point where even I was irritable by the end of it."

Mikoto waved it off "If I did then the punishment wouldn't have fit the crime. Anyway, you're boys, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Both Hinata and Ino giggled.

"Don't laugh." Both brothers told Hinata and she 'eeped', sliding down a bit in her seat. She didn't look at all apologetic, however.

"Well, considering how often you picked on Hinata-chan, you two probably deserved it." Ino insisted, giving her fiancé a look. He glared openly at her.

"You don't know what she made us do for that entire month." Sasuke growled at her before looking at his mother "I should go to the highest priced therapist in town just to forward mom the bill after hearing this." He looked at Hinata "And you." It was said darkly.

"Sasu-kun, that was a very long time ago," the pale-eyed girl said a mixture between nervous and amused. When Sasuke got revenge he got revenge and Hinata didn't really want to know what he'd come up with now that they were adults.

He ignored her and looked at his brother "Itachi?"

"Consider it done." Was the low monotone response.

Hinata looked up pleadingly at her boyfriend who was pointedly interested in his meal "S-surely y-you wouldn't get revenge o-on your own girlfriend, right?"

"Hn." He looked thoughtful as he took another bite.

She clinged on his arm "At least have mercy?"

"Absolutely not." He deadpanned.

The pleasant atmosphere remained throughout the remainder of their dinner. Mostly everyone talked a little bit about themselves; Ino was especially encouraged since she was new to the 'family'. It wasn't until everyone was leaving that Fugaku pulled his sons aside. Tension immediately rose between the three males although all three of them looked emotionless.

Fugaku turned to Itachi first. "So you two are finally together?"

There was the slight twitch of the eyebrow, as if he had been about to raise it. "Yes." Was the simple response.

"I assume this is a permanent relationship?"

Itachi tilted his head slightly "Unless Hinata wishes otherwise."

Father turned to his youngest son. "You're getting married in six months." It wasn't a question.

He tensed in response, like a cat waiting to pounce "Yeah."

There was a moment of awkward silence. "Congratulations." And with that he walked away from his sons, Mikoto beaming up at him with pride as they walked to their car.

The brothers looked at each other with barely concealed surprise.

"Did that just happen?" Sasuke asked, honestly confused. He and Ino had been engaged for well over a year and not once had his father said anything pleasant in regards to it.

"Had I not been here to witness it myself, I would not have believed it." Itachi said honestly "I suppose after almost thirty years of marriage mother is finally getting through to him."

"We'll see how long it lasts." Shoving his hands in his pockets Sasuke walked over, putting an arm around Ino's shoulders. Itachi couldn't blame Sasuke for feeling that way because they mirrored his own feelings. He hoped that Fugaku was finally deciding to mellow out and simply accept his sons as they were, but it was difficult to honestly believe it. The man had simply waited too long.

"That went very well." Hinata said to him as they walked to his car. She gave him a soft and warm smile "I'm really glad we came."

He hesitated before responding "So am I."

xxxxx

He couldn't help the small smile that emerged while he watched Hinata practically dance around their new apartment, face flushed and eyes bright. She had loved it the moment she had laid eyes on it and he had to admit that it was rather nice. Their balcony overlooked a beautiful park that was well known for its abundance of flowers, something she had been pleased with. There was enough room for both of them to use one for his work and her school. The kitchen, Hinata's domain as far as he was concerned, was large and spacious with top of the line appliances. With furniture, the dining room and living room would look amazing. The apartment was actually the size of a one bedroom house and it felt a little strange to be living in such a large space after living in his small apartment for so long. There were two bedrooms; one was being turned into the study, leaving them with one bedroom and one bed.

They didn't mind.

Hinata seemed to fit in his life flawlessly. They were both busy, especially now that she was going to be starting medical school fall semester. When they were together it was a quiet and humble time. He made it a point to take her at least on one date a week just to get out but beyond that they were perfectly content just doing whatever they felt like doing. Sometimes he would read while she watched a movie – of course, she is laying on him as she does this – sometimes they would just talk. It didn't have to be about anything important, it was just another way to spend time together. He didn't really have to change much about his current lifestyle but he did feel the difference emotionally.

Around her he smiled more; they joked often, and were very affectionate. If he was stressed from work and she was home simply looking at her made him feel relaxed and at peace. Whenever she was home she would always cook dinner for them and if they were both home during the weekends she'd make breakfast as well. It was his old life with an extremely wonderful addition.

They did argue, although it was not often. If one were to ask them they would be able to count on one hand the amount of real arguments they had had over the months and then years as time would go by. In two years he would ask her to marry him, in four they would actually be wed. At thirty Hinata would give birth to a baby boy but would be unable to have any more children due to the unhealthy strain it would put on her body. Itachi would learn that it actually seemed to be a pattern with Hyuuga women, their bodies seemed to be unable to handle the burden of pregnancy. Instead they will adopt a baby girl a year later and be content.

But right now, he was watching her move around their new apartment and thinking about how beautiful she looked when she twirled happily, long hair flowing behind her. Right now he was thinking about how good it felt whenever he saw her smile brightly at him, as if he was her world. It was a good feeling, because she was his world as well.

And right now, he's debating on whether or not he wants to take her into their new bedroom even though there was only the box spring and mattress sitting in the middle. He makes his decision when she wraps her arms around his neck and looks up at him lovingly, her pale face flushed, eyes bright.

Inwardly he smiles when she cries out in surprise as he lifts her up bridal style and begins to walk towards their new bedroom. He does smile slightly when she starts wiggling as she realizes where they're going.

"B-but it doesn't even have the f-frame or any sheets or…"

"We'll make do." Was his response as he kicked the bedroom door closed behind him.