by Bullwinkle's Lady

Chapter 4

Sasuke sat uncomfortably in an armchair across from Kurenai, watching him.

His cheek twitched. "You called the dobe, right? clothes?"

Kurenai stared at him. "How could I have possibly called him? We don't have telephones."

The Uchiha raised his eyebrows. "But the telephone came out before the television. And I distinctly remember seeing a television in my apartment – episode 109."

Kurenai continued to stare as he shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

"Do you want to talk about it?" the woman asked.


"C'mon, let's chat, girl to girl."


There was a knock on the door. Sasuke heaved a sigh of relief as Hinata's strange sensei rose.

"Excuse me," she said, and exited the room. As soon as the living room door closed behind her, Sasuke dashed for the window and desperately attempted to pry it open.

Locked...from the outside. ...the hell!

His blood ran cold when the door opened again. Sasuke turned around just as someone collided with his chest.


He gasped, his eyes wide, and face heating.

"I'm sorry, Sasuke-kun!" his girlfriend cried into his dress. It seemed she was getting used to the touchy-feely stuff. "My father can't keep us apart!" she declared, wrapping her arms around him and squeezing him tightly as possible. Sasuke released an undignified "Eep" as he watched Kuranai smile from the doorway.

"I'll give you two some privacy," she said, leaving the room.

That evening when the duo left, a pink-faced Hinata had purple lipstick on her cheek, and Kurenai asked no questions.

It was Sasuke's birthday, and she had gotten him a bouquet of blue roses. She knew he'd love it!

When she went to the training grounds where she would be meeting him that afternoon, she noticed several boys gathered around a large cardboard box, including Kiba, Neji, Naruto, Lee, Shikamaru, and that Garfield fellow. The boys chuckled to themselves, Lee's arm slung around Garfield's shoulders as the redhead cackled and playfully punched Neji in the arm. It was odd to see them all being so friendly with one another, considering the chunnin exam finals were only a week away.

Nervously clutching her bouquet to her chest, Hinata approached the group of boys. "W-what's going on?"

The boys looked up in surprise, but quickly calmed down upon seeing that it was only her. Naruto offered a smile. "We all pitched in to get Sasuke a birthday present." The blonde motioned to the box. It had a number of holes on the cover. Hinata gingerly approached, watching the others nod in approval. She peeked into one of the holes – and immediately withdrew.

"A s-sk-skunk!" she squeaked.

Lee was grinning wildly. "We're gonna tell him it's a cat!"

"No, no!" piped in Naruto. "A ninja cat."

Hinata stared as everyone burst into laughter for a good five minutes, slapping their knees and clutching their guts. Neji hyperventilated and collapsed to the ground unconscious.

"That's not funny guys! Sasuke-kun is b-b-boyfriend," Hinata said, her face catching fire.

Everyone paused.

"You're twelve," said Naruto dismissively.

Hinata paled as everyone quieted down, for Sasuke was entering the clearing. He cautiously approached the odd group, the white-faced Hinata, and the unconscious Neji, one of his hands sliding into his shuriken pouch.

"Happy birthday Sasuke!" Naruto exclaimed. "We got you a present!"

The group cleared around the box, which Sasuke eyed suspiciously.

"It's a ninja-cat," Kiba whispered, and everyone watched Sasuke's eyes light up (with joy!). He swiftly uncovered the box, reaching into it, and withdrawing-

"Sasuke, no!" Hinata cried, shoving him out of the way. Blue roses scattered everywhere.


Which is how Hinata got skunked.