Title: Bittersweet
Author: Lisea18
Rating: M
Pairing: SasukeHinata
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, I'm making no money from writing this

A big thank you to Eriloca who is my Beta for this story.

Author's note: English is not my first language, so please forgive my mistakes.

This is my very first het-lemon, and I have never read one lol so please be kind. It's long because I wanted to make it seem plausible since SasukeHinata isn't a couple one will naturally think off when reading Naruto.


In the nice cool evening Konoha village was bubbling with laughter and chatter as never before. Joy and happiness radiated, almost palpable, as it showed clearly on people's faces and in their behavior. The whole community, from the smallest child to the oldest ancestor, had gathered in the main square, where wooden tables with white tablecloths had been installed. Multitude of flowers had been arranged on them, around them, truthfully everywhere, in pots or hanging. Splendid drapes complemented them, giving an eerie feeling as they gently floated about.

Empty plates and cups were scattered around, people randomly leaving them behind as they went from table to table, stealing empty seats to chat and gossip about everything and nothing at the same time. Parents vainly tried to reign in their kids only to have them go back to their mischief seconds later. Everyone was waiting impatiently for dessert, which would end the meal and open the dance.

At the center of it all a huge round table stood out, the loudest by far. Wooden arches surrounded it, the drapes and the flowers particularly beautiful, as if to make it even more evident that this was the main table, the important one. All the rookie nin with their teachers, Yamato and Kakashi, Tsunade, Shizune, Suigetsu, Karin, Juugo, Gaara, and his siblings were gathered here. Orange and pink were the standing colors everywhere but especially here, a strange pairing that oddly fit just fine. It was the Hokage's wedding, something no one would have missed for the world. Naruto was marrying Sakura, surrounded by all his friends and village, as had always been his dream.

Uproar shook the whole village as the pyramid-shaped arrangement of cream puffs appeared, followed closely by smaller ones that were distributed to the other tables. Naruto made a show of cutting the pyramid, until Sakura stole the knife from him and saved the day. Everyone was craning their necks and fidgeting, trying to see what was happening at the main table. People were laughing and screaming until a clear, distinct sound made everything fall nearly silent: a spoon lightly hitting a glass.

All eyes turned to the best man, none other than Uchiha Sasuke, Konoha's beloved Anbu leader and the Hokage's right arm. He was dressed in a formal dark-blue Kimono that outlined his natural beauty but was simple enough to look almost casual. He looked at Naruto and smirked. His best friend, in his best Hokage attire, nearly shriveled in his chair, looking scared shitless at what Sasuke might say in his best-man speech. He didn't trust the guy one bit. As pale lips parted, Naruto stopped breathing and Sasuke elegantly and eloquently said: "Hn."

There was a startled silence, people obviously expecting something else, but Sasuke sat down as if everything was perfectly normal. Stunned people were still glued to his closed lips until Sakura, in her white frilly occidental dress, started laughing. Then everyone followed, totally amazed by Sasuke's nerve.

"Teme! You could at least say something else at your best friend's wedding!" yelled Naruto, pointing accusingly at his friend, grinning like an idiot.

"You want me to comment on how you served ramen, ramen, Naruto, at your wedding?" purred Sasuke, lifting one delicate eyebrow.

Naruto huffed, crossing his arms on his chest and lifting his chin in defiance.

"Or about your first kiss, or should I say our?" added Sasuke, smirking even more as Naruto literally jumped out of his chair.

All their rookie friends started laughing heartedly at the memory, Sakura giggling madly.

"Oh just shut up already, you bastard!" surrendered Naruto throwing a flower pot at Sasuke, who gracefully caught it.

This was the moment Sai took to stand up, clattering his spoon on his glass loudly. Naruto's eyes zoomed on him, dread clearly showing in the blue eyes. He didn't have time to protest when Sai was already speaking.

"I will make the speech, Naruto! I read in a book that it's the moment close friends have to remind the married couple of all they should have known before promising to stay together for a lifetime," Sai turned to Sakura smiling his best fake smile, "are you sure, Sakura? He has such a small dick!" he managed to say before Tenzou clamped his hand on his mouth seeing Naruto's murderous attempt at jumping across the table to get him.

"Enough for the groom!" exclaimed Ino, tissues close by since it was after all, her best friend's long awaited wedding.

She launched into a heart filled speech that no one listened to, still laughing at Naruto's friends antics or too busy eating the dessert to care, as was the custom during weddings. After a little while, Naruto took Sakura's hand and opened the dance. People gazed dreamily at them until it was time for them too to get on the dance floor.

Sasuke activated his Sharingans as the moronic couple, as he lovely called them, went over with the visible intent to drag him onto the dance floor. Naruto looked ready to take on the challenge but Sakura caught his ear and dragged him away, complaining that she didn't want a huge fight starting in her wedding. Suigetsu and Karin were too busy teasing Juugo, or fighting each other, to come bother him. And so Sasuke was left peacefully and blissfully alone at the main table. Or so he thought.

A few places from him sat Hinata in a high collar, long sleeved lavender dress. She was looking at Naruto, from afar, as usual. She felt his gaze on her and turned to him, smiling brightly, just as Kiba reached her and took her away to the dance floor. Sasuke drowned his champagne in one gulp because in that smile he had seen more tears than if she had been crying.


The Anbu leader's desk, right next to the Hokage's office, was as meticulously spotless and tidy as its owner. Nothing was out of order but for some pens and office supplies left lying on the desk. Papers were organised in neat piles with wooden nametags above them indicating what they were if someone needed to find a paper, or wanted to add one. Folders were ordered on the shelves, names easily spottable. Important secret papers were protected by visible seals that just served to warn of trickier ones hiding behind so curious people wouldn't poke around. Or maybe it was simply because Sasuke had gotten tired of Naruto triggering the secret seals while poking his nose around his stuff without reading the labels.

Sasuke was looking at the new applications for Anbu. A paperclip kept together the medical, psychological, and mission evaluations and the motivation letter (if there was one) for each file. Sasuke was doing a pre-selection and would later ask Naruto for his opinion on the one he chose before making his final decision. He had three piles in front of him: yes, no, and maybe. Currently he was staring at the application in his hand with a lifted eyebrow. The name having caught his eye: Hyuuga Hinata.

She was a Jounin, not the best, but a good one nonetheless. She had worked at the academy, had completed plenty of missions, mainly group ones, and was still training young recruits but had refused to take a genin team. Puzzled, Sasuke took her psychological evaluation; nothing rang an alarming bell in his mind, even if it was evident that she lacked self-esteem. He sighed, his eyes glancing at the picture of Naruto's wedding glued to his desk, courtesy of the latter. It had been two weeks since then...

A knock on his door made him smooth the paper down as he allowed whoever it was to enter. He kept a poker face on as the subject of his current thoughts entered the room: Hinata. She looked her usual self in her long parka that covered all of her body, her long hair and fringe still framing her face, clutching papers tight against her breast, as if they were the last rampart between her and the world. She fidgeted a bit until he nodded for her to enter.

She bowed and gave him the papers, some mission reports and boring things like that. He watched her eyes widen slightly and a blush darken her cheeks as she saw what lay on his desk. She didn't mention it, simply pulling back once he took the papers and getting ready to leave. He eyed her as she got to the door, her shoulders slightly bent forward. His eyes glanced at the picture again.

"Are you aiming to die?" he asked as her hand lowered the handle but right before the door opened.

She turned to him, visibly surprised. Sasuke didn't know he was the first one to dare mention Naruto's wedding, because it was clear he was talking about that. Even Neji hadn't dared brushing the subject, even if he was one of the few who had clearly known and saw how broken she was.

"I...I'm... I'm not... that weak," she whispered, her white eyes briefly catching Sasuke's dark ones.

He smirked at that and she gave a curt nod before leaving.


Naruto was gulping down a bowl of ramen when Sasuke knocked and entered, not waiting for an answer since he was always welcome. He rolled his eyes as Naruto had obviously tried to hide the ramen under his desk, even though the room stank of it and one noodle was still poking out of his mouth.

"I'm not Sakura," sighed Sasuke.

"Well you do kinda lack man's two best friends," said Naruto cupping two imaginary breasts.

Sasuke snorted at that and dropped the 10 files he had brought with him on Naruto's desk, smirking as the blue eyes zeroed in on them and Naruto let out a loud groan.

"Yes you have to," replied Sasuke even before Naruto could open his mouth to whine.

"I hate you," grumbled Naruto, poking the files as if they were going to eat him.

Sasuke simply grabbed a chair, placed himself in front of Naruto and glared at him, arms crossed until he started to read and put his Hokage stamp on the papers. He made a show of it, slamming it extra hard, maybe hoping Sasuke had dozed off and would wake up with a start, which never happened of course.

"Seriously, why do I even bother? I always agree with you and if I don't you always manage to convince me," whined Naruto grabbing the last file and freezing dead.

He looked up at Sasuke, who didn't move or twitch. He looked hard, extra hard, persuaded that Sasuke was going to smirk and make a witty comment to tell Naruto it was all a joke. It didn't happen. But then again Sasuke rarely cracked jokes so it was to be expected, but still... Naruto frowned, shook the file, checked the name and picture again, scratched his head, sighed and finally looked at Sasuke questioningly.

"You've got to be kidding, Sasuke. She's not up to it! She's far too sweet and gentle, not to mention too shy and insecure to be Anbu!" assured Naruto, flabbergasted at seeing that his friend was truly serious.

Naruto couldn't fathom what had crossed Sasuke's mind to even put her into his "maybe" list.

"She wouldn't have applied if she didn't think she could do it," pointed out Sasuke, knowing Naruto knew that she had refused to take a genin team because she didn't feel ready for the job yet.

"She will get killed," said Naruto, his blue eyes darkening in gravity, his usual uncaring expression wiped from his face.

Sasuke watched his Hokage closely, trying to decipher if he realized why she might want to get herself killed. Even if she had told him she wasn't aiming for that. He had even asked Neji his opinion on the matter as one of his best Anbu and as Hinata's cousin.

"Neji agreed it would change her and the Hyuuga are always valuable as Anbu. We could test her with a few missions and see. After all, most of the people I put in the maybe list end up leaving Anbu after a short while," reasoned Sasuke.

"Change her? Why the hell would she want to change? I don't get it! People like her just don't suddenly enter Anbu... something must have happened! Did Neji talk to you about it?" exclaimed Naruto, standing up and pacing as he spoke.

He missed how Sasuke's eyes dilated in astonishment and then anger. Sasuke was always amazed at how Naruto could catch small things really easily, helping people as if it was second nature to him and yet still be so dense about other matters. It made him want to bash Naruto's head against the nearest hard surface.

To think that he still didn't get that Hinata had been, and still was, in love with him was beyond Sasuke. The girl had been stalking him for years, had even confessed her love when she saved his ass from Pein, or so he had heard, and he still didn't get it?

"I will talk to her about it or maybe ask Sakura to do it," muttered Naruto thinking out loud, "she's good at that. She's a really nice right hand, more tactful than you," chuckled Naruto.

That was all that was needed for Sasuke to see red and punch Naruto, his head turning at the impact.

"The fuck Sasuke!" yelled Naruto, startled, wiping blood from his cracked lips.

"You understand nothing!" hissed Sasuke, eyes blazing in rage.

Naruto hadn't understood his need to leave the village for Orochimaru. He hadn't understood his drive for revenge, what he had gone through nor how bad he took Konoha's betrayal of Itachi. He hadn't gotten why Sasuke didn't want to come back either. Yet he had always pretended he did and that drove Sasuke crazy. Even now, when all that was in the past, he still didn't get how Sasuke felt about his marriage with Sakura. He still was that insufferable moron.

As usual, they dealt with their problems using their fists. Because Sasuke didn't know how to talk to Naruto when he was like that and when he himself was so damn pissed. So, it was no surprised to see them leave, kicking and punching, to reach the closest training ground. Anbu didn't even bother to stop them. They were more than used to it; some even came to watch since it was always spectacular and entertaining to see the best two ninja fight. Even if Naruto was the Hokage, it was well known that both had the same strength and would die in a real fight without a winner being pinpointed.

One hour later it was Sakura and Suigetsu who had to pull them apart, Naruto still clueless as to why the hell Sasuke was so pissed and how they had gotten from talking about Hinata's enrollment in Anbu to kicking each other's ass. He had mumbled about grumpy bastards and their mood swings and ability to twist a subject into something completely different. The last point was true since they hadn't fought about Hinata at all.

"Seriously, at your age," scolded Sakura, hitting Naruto on the head for good measure even as she was patching them both up back in Naruto's office.

Naruto huffed. Sasuke glared. She sighed.

"What was it about this time?" she asked knowing full well she couldn't do anything about it.

"I never know with that bastard!" pouted Naruto, "it all started with Hinata's application," he growled, spotting the file on his desk and glaring at it as if all the responsibility fell on it.

Sasuke said nothing, his lips thin. At least Naruto knew it wasn't really about Hinata, even if it had started it all. Naruto glanced at him and grinned sheepishly giving him a playful kick on the chin. Sasuke glared at him but let a small smirk grace his features showing Naruto that everything was alright even if it wasn't true. It was always like that between them.

"If you're so adamant about it, Sasuke, go ahead. I trust you after all," said Naruto locking eyes with him to show how true his words were, as if Sasuke didn't know it, "but under one condition: you have to take her under your wing, ok?"

Sasuke had never retreated from active duty even if he was the Anbu leader and had to deal with all the paperwork that went with it plus any other Naruto gently pushed into his hands. He was the best and they couldn't afford not to use him. Even Naruto had had to agree with that, especially since he too did some missions, but never solo ones, unlike Sasuke. Taking Hinata under his wing meant that he would have to do some easy missions for a change.

"Hn," agreed Sasuke, standing up and pushing Sakura away even if she wanted to keep healing him.

She started to protest but Naruto's hand on her shoulder stopped her. She kissed him and started to pamper him asking if he had eaten, if he shouldn't get some rest. Sasuke, feeling out of place, closed his eyes and just left, waving them goodnight with a dismissive gesture that didn't require him to turn and see them.

When Sasuke reached the apartment he shared with Juugo he was still wondering why he had pushed so hard to have Hinata enter Anbu. He knew he wouldn't have taken it well if he had been refused to enter Anbu in her place, but could that be the sole reason? He didn't care about her. He didn't know her. Maybe it was because he could relate to her situation... to Naruto not having a clue about how she felt; to Naruto being a total dick head about things sometimes, without even knowing it.


Hinata was blowing on her freezing hands as she gathered wood for a fire. She had been in Anbu for two whole months now and was proud to say she hadn't been a failure. She hadn't shamed her family or her owl mask. Most of her missions had been in groups, supervised by Sasuke himself, which tended to stress out new recruits.

Seeing some edible vegetation and fruits, Hinata took some for the meal. This time it was a two person mission, just her and Sasuke. Everyone had bid her good luck; all of them convinced that she would have a heart attack to be left with the scary, severe, and awesome Uchiha. But to tell the truth she wasn't scared at all. She had been watching Naruto since she was small, and so she had watched Sasuke too. She could tell from those last months that even if he was colder and even more guarded than when younger, he hadn't changed all that much.

She reached the already lit fire, a very small one, made with wood from nearby and fed most of her gathering to it, leaving the rest next to it for later. She noticed that her blanket had been put next to it, close enough to be warmed but not burned. He really hadn't changed.

He still cared for his team mates in his subtle manner. He was a hard leader, blunt with his criticism, sometimes even hurtful with well aimed teasing that would make people give their best just to prove him wrong. But he also gave compliments when needed, lifting people's spirits with a mere sentence. And he was always watching out for his team mates, ready to put his life on stake to save them, even if it was their fault that they were in a tight spot.

She lifted her gaze as Sasuke joined her with freshly caught food. He nodded to her as he spotted the fruits and vegetables she had brought back. They cooked in silence, Sasuke being a man of few words. He had pulled out some rice balls and she noticed that he was waiting for her, the broth and meat being ready. Hurrying slightly she grabbed her bag and pulled out a cup of instant Ramen. She smiled timidly as Sasuke lifted an eyebrow at her.

"Naruto gave it to me, as good luck," she explained, her eyes clouding briefly.

She didn't bother to put up a mask with him. He would see right through her anyway. She hung her head as she felt his intense dark eyes focus on her. It made her want to fidget. He wasn't prying like some others would. He didn't try to know. But, something in the way he looked at her was perturbing. Maybe because he seemed to understand her, to sympathise without pitying and she wasn't used to it. She nearly jumped out of her skin when Sasuke's deep voice broke the silence.

"He's so insensitive sometimes."

She smiled fondly at the remark, seeing the same expression of anger and affection in Sasuke's eyes and discreet smirk. He was the only one who ever talked freely about Naruto with her. It did her good, because she didn't want her first love to become a taboo subject. She wanted to bask in the few memories she had, even if they were always one sided. She wanted to keep treasuring them. Maybe it was because it was the same for Sasuke's memories of Itachi? No one dared talk to him about it either.

"He doesn't notice what relates to him," she whispered, knowing full well she wasn't stuttering.

Just like with Kiba, Shino, and recently Neji she didn't feel judged with Sasuke. She wasn't scared of simply being herself.

"Indeed, I can't believe he didn't notice your feelings," sighed Sasuke poking at the fire.

He wasn't blushing or evading her gaze, but she couldn't help but have the feeling he was being shy. Maybe it was because he was opening up to someone other than his usual teammates. Even if he was more social, he was still rather introverted. Or maybe it was because he was sharing something he never ever shared with anyone else? But why with her of all people?

"He did," she assured smiling sadly, her hands closing on the cooling ramen cup. It was giving her the warmth Naruto never would.

Sasuke raised his head, his dark eyes puzzled, silently urging her to explain. And she knew then why he had chosen her: he too was misunderstood by Naruto. Now that she thought about it, it made sense.

He hadn't come back to Konoha. He had come back to Naruto, Sakura, and Kakashi. He was the closest person to Naruto, his best friend, his brother, his right hand, his rival and suddenly Sakura took that place, bringing them apart. If it had been any other girl it would have been different, but it was the one girl that had loved Sasuke more than anyone else for years. He was the one that Naruto would always see as a rival, even in Sakura's heart.

Now he had to make sure that he wasn't coming in between them. It hurt them. It hurt him. But he knew that he had to do it. Of course he wasn't going to cut ties with them, not that Naruto would let him anyway, and that could also destroy their relationship. Naruto dating Sakura had broken the fragile balance in team seven's relationship. Now it was the two of them and Sasuke alone.

Sasuke had to distance himself from the very people that had made coming back worthy and Naruto still didn't see it. He didn't understand this withdrawal, even resented him for it, and still managed to drop stupid lines about how close Sakura was to him and about how close Sasuke and Sakura should be. She and Sasuke were looking for a form of acknowledgement from Naruto that they would never have.

"He's just pretending he didn't because he doesn't know how to deal with it. It's a mental defense I guess," she elaborated seeing understanding dawn on Sasuke.

"That moron," snorted Sasuke. "He understands love only when it hits him in the face, literally," chuckled Sasuke obviously referring to Sakura and her violent tendencies, "he's not used to being loved, is he?" It was more a statement than a question.

She laughed quietly, agreeing wholeheartedly. Sakura would be the one to teach him, to show him the love of a lover. Iruka, Kakashi, and Yamato would show him the love of a father; Tsunade the one of a mother, Neji, Gaara, and so many others the love of a friend, and Sasuke the one from a brother, a best friend.

"I'm sorry for your loss," Sasuke apologized.

Hinata closed her eyes, tears running down her cheeks. She kept crying, hiccupping softly into the night, even as Sasuke wrapped her into a blanket, leaving her to her grief. Those simple words were bringing her the closure she had never gotten.


Juugo and Sasuke were on their way back from grocery shopping. They had decided to live together to placate the giant man, who didn't quite trust his second self to not act up and become murderous. It didn't bother Sasuke; he loved Juugo's silent and caring company. They were a good match. Karin and Suigetsu lived in the same building, wanting to be close to their leader in a village they didn't really know at the time. Fortunately they didn't live together, however that didn't prevent them from screaming and yelling at each other all the time.

They passed the old decrepit Uchiha estate on their way. Sasuke had left it behind only when Naruto had turned it into a memorial of Konoha's actions. A stone had been placed at the entrance with all the names of the murdered innocent, Itachi's name first. Now Sasuke could let the ghosts rest. He would never forgive Konoha because some things just weren't forgivable, but he had come back because the new generation wasn't to blame for the tragedy and because he wanted to make sure that it would never happen ever again.

"Sasuke?" gently probed Juugo.

Sasuke blinked, realizing that he had been spacing off, staring at the dead district that had been his home for so long. He glanced up as he felt Juugo's large hand squeezing his shoulder lightly in support.

"Hn," acknowledged Sasuke, letting his friend know that he was fine and he shouldn't worry.

Juugo squeezed one last time and let go. Sasuke didn't miss the way he glanced to the side. They kept going, Sasuke walking a tad bit briskly. He had seen them too, but he always pretended he didn't. It was the fan girls, because really, there was no other way to call those women who pursued him. He had tried the fight, the run, and finally settled for the ignoring, it had proven the most effective way. The first two only made things worse.

When he came back, his background story and the truth about his clan had made him a martyr for some. His broken self, his mystery, his beauty, his strength, his power, everything was a pretext for those women to love him. Even the young ones loved him, hence why he had always refused to teach. He didn't want students falling at his feet like flies. Not that it ever prevented them from doing so, but at least it was from afar.

The ones he hated the most were those driven by the desire for power. They wanted to be the Anbu leader's wife, the Hokage's best friend's wife. He despised them to the point that Juugo had had to play the pacificator for once because when one of them had told him that it was his duty to revive his clan by impregnating her, he had lost it. The ones that bothered him less were the ones that didn't act at all, simply content to daydream. Closely followed by the ones who only wanted a bit of fun, he had had a few one night stands with them, no strings attached, just a bit of fun and relaxation. He was a man and despite being mostly asexual, his body still had needs and he still wanted some form of human contact from time to time.

But the one girl stalking him right now, with a horde of cheering friends, wasn't one he looked forward to. He could see that she played innocent but something in her gaze told him she was one of the power hungry ones. He nodded to Juugo to just go. He couldn't escape and he didn't want to have her follow him home and try to force him to invite her in.

"Are you sure?" asked his friend, worried, even as he took Sasuke's packages.

"Hn," grumbled Sasuke.

He had work to do anyway, so he would just head back to the Hokage tower hoping she would drop it and let him be. She wouldn't follow him in, but he had to pray she wouldn't catch up to him before. He jumped on a roof and sped up, intent on losing her.

Of course, he wasn't so lucky. The little bugger was clever and she had been waiting for him in front of the Tower and latched onto his arm, pushing an overly perfumed letter in his hands.

"I've loved you forever Sasuke," he bristled at her easy use of his name, "please give me a chance. I'm not like the others," she went on.

"I'm not interested," he replied, shaking her off roughly.

"I want to help you revive your clan!" he froze, and she mistook that for an opening, "together we will make it shine again! Itachi would be proud!"

He turned slowly feeling his eyes bleed Sharingan as his temper got the better of him. How did she dare use Itachi's name for her poor little pitiful plan? He saw her step back and shiver under his gaze, a mix of fear and arousal from his power.

"Sa-sasuke-san!" called a familiar stuttering voice.

Hinata reached him in seconds, placing herself between him and the girl.

"I-I have an ur-urgent me-message for y-you," she whispered, sending an apologetic glance to the fuming girl behind her.

Sasuke took the opportunity to extricate himself from her, even if he was still itching to give her a piece of his mind. Naruto wouldn't be pleased; he didn't like when Sasuke fend off people who bugged him because they usually came from proud families that would go whine in his ears. Not that Sasuke cared.

"What is it, Hinata?" he asked, annoyance not yet completely gone from his voice, but he knew she would understand it wasn't directed at her.

Stomping her foot, his unnerving stalker left with her dignity rumpled. He smirked and saw a hint of a smile grace Hinata's face. He lifted an eyebrow.

"I never got the chance to thank you for your... attention," whispered Hinata.

It took a moment for Sasuke to understand that she was referring to their mission together a few weeks ago. She had become full Anbu soon after. Naruto had had to admit she had done well. Of course, Sasuke still kept an eye on her. It was usually after a year or so that people in Anbu had a huge crisis. Until then, Sasuke was charged with keeping her under his wing, as Naruto reminded him all the damn time. They hadn't really had the chance to be alone afterwards, always in group missions, or Hinata in solo ones (under close surveillance from one of Sasuke's snakes without her knowledge).

"Hn," replied Sasuke, dismissing it. "What was the message?" he asked turning on his heels toward the Tower, mechanically opening the door for her.

Hinata giggled slightly. "There was no message, I just knew that would drive her away," she explained, blushing slightly at admitting she had played dirty, "I'm used to people courting me for my family name, they can be such a pain," she added, sharing a look of complicity with Sasuke.

"Isn't Neji fending them off for you?" wondered Sasuke, smirking.

"When he's around, he does. He's pretty efficient at it too," she agreed, laughing quietly at memories of her cousin scaring her pursuers.

"I bet he is," chuckled Sasuke.


She watched as Sasuke's eyes followed a young man and who had to be his little brother as the older one wrapped his scarf around the youngest one's neck, sharing it. She didn't talk until their image had left the window from which Sasuke was watching them. They were seated at a peaceful inn in a small village. It was once again a group mission, but they had had separated into two groups.

"Target number one is going to bed," she murmured, her Byakugan hidden by thick makeup and her pupils turned brown by contact lenses.

Sasuke nodded but his eyes were slightly glazed over, not looking at the hot tea in front of him but behind into the past. She remembered her thoughts about how Sasuke couldn't speak of Itachi without people getting edgy and trying to kill the conversation before it even started. She could talk freely about Naruto with Sasuke and that meant a lot for her.

Hinata fidgeted a bit, her fingers naturally touching each other in her nervous state. She worried her lip with her teeth, her eyes lowering down on her lap until she finally worked up the nerves to speak.

"D-did Itachi u-use to do th-that too?" she murmured.

She took in the creases of her navy blue napkin, how it was neatly folded on her legs, and a trace of her lips on its right corner. She marvelled at the dark wood of their table, polished but with chinks age and use had done to it. She admired the salt and pepper shakers, small, delicate, made of glass in an easy to pick shape. A menu was stuck between them, dark with red letters, simple but elegant. Her cup of tea was a real work of art; cute little rabbits running free in the grass were engraved on it, matching the teapot. She was looking anywhere but at the Uchiha.

"Yes... he did... He was always a very caring brother," said Sasuke finally, his deep voice low, thick with tightly controlled emotion.


Hinata let her eyes retract to their normal blank color, the veins on her face disappearing. She glanced at the snake slithering away from her team. She wasn't worried, it was an ally.

"A problem, owl-san?" asked one of her team mates.

"No," she replied focusing back on their already ended mission.

They were coming home and she had only been checking that no one was following them. It was a habit of hers. It had already proved to be useful.

"It's hedgehog-shishou's snake?" asked bear-san, their leader, laughing quietly.

They never used names to refer to people during missions. She nodded. It was indeed Sasuke's snake; she was used to it following her around. She knew it was at Naruto's command.

"Don't tell him I said that, but he's always sending a snake to watch over young recruits, for at least a year, then he stops," whispered the man, fondness tinting his voice, as he confided that to his four man team.

"He also sends it to people he believes have a hard time in Anbu. A friend of mine got one," added spider-san.

"It saved my life once," divulged diodon-san, raking a hand through his hair, "at first I was pissed at hedgehog-shishou, I thought it meant he didn't trust my abilities... but later on, I found it was in fact really comforting to have the snake around. I miss it sometimes," he admitted, his mask hiding any discomfort he might have felt.

Hinata smiled to herself, adjusting her owl-mask and making sure it was still tightly knotted at the back of her head, against her bun. Sasuke was a much respected man and he was a kind soul behind his cold appearance. She had already known, but found it truer as more proofs were given to her. She was happy that other people saw it too.


Sasuke cracked his neck and wondered if he could talk Karin into giving him a massage without her having a fangasm. He would have asked Juugo or Suigetsu but both were on a mission, so he had no one available to help him with his sore muscles. Feeling better now that he had popped a few joints, going against Sakura's warnings about arthritis, he went back to his task at hand: reading all the reports he had had on Hinata Hyuuga.

He had been totally right about her. She could stand Anbu and was a valuable member. All the people who had worked with her said she did her best and held herself together well. He was going to rub it on Naruto's face. She did seem pretty weak at first glance and too timid for her own good, but she had willpower. Naruto should know the power of that particular trait since he was the one who had inspired her. And Sasuke could swear that the blonde made his non existent brain work only with pure will. He smirked.

A knock on his door broke him out of his mental bashing of his best friend and he grunted an "enter." Hinata entered to give him her first solo mission report. Her eyes naturally fell on all the papers about her on his desk and she dropped her gaze immediately, turning red.

"Naruto was worried you might not make it in Anbu," stated Sasuke tapping the papers, "I will gladly prove him wrong," he chuckled.

"He's always so nice. I remember when he promised to make Neji taste dust because he had hurt me at the Chuunin exam," she recalled, raising her head.

"You impressed him greatly back then. I'm sure he will remember that when he gets my report on you," replied Sasuke putting the papers together and linking them with a paperclip before putting them in their proper file.

"I gave him a healing cream that time," she remembered fondly, smiling.

Seeing as she didn't seem to disturb him she started talking about Naruto, happy she could share such a topic without being pitied.


It was the annual Anbu integration day. It was a custom so that the new recruits that had been with Anbu one or two years could find people to relate to. It was also a nice way to let go since it was a party with food and alcohol offered by the Hokage. The Anbu leader and a few Anbu team leaders were there to keep an eye on the whole thing and eventually spot people with problems so they could help out. Hinata hadn't been looking forward to it.

"Hey Sas'ke, isn't that the little owl you're chaperoning?" asked Suigetsu tilting his head toward her.

She fidgeted a bit, but Sasuke waved her over. He was leaning against the counter, a mixed drink in hand, his hedgehog mask safely tied to his belt, as was customary so people knew who you were. Even if for Sasuke it wasn't really necessary. Suigetsu coughed on his water as Sasuke ordered Hinata's favorite drink without even having to ask her. He was even more surprised to see them talk good naturedly and wondered when they had gotten so close without him noticing.

"Do they never learn?" groaned Sasuke, after glaring away a man being a little too insistent with the obviously not interested Hinata.

"I can cut off their limbs if ya want," teased Suigetsu, grinning toothily at the half glare he received.

"They don't. Father congratulated me for befriending you," giggled Hinata, her tone clearly conveying how stupid she found it, "it's the first time he's ever complimented me," she added, as an after thought.

Her hands distractedly tugging at the hem of her vest betrayed how in fact it did affect her. Suigetsu snorted. It was always like that with big families and their power struggles.

"My father only acknowledged Itachi. I was always second for him, but according to my mother he still cared. He just didn't know how to show it," offered Sasuke, twirling his glass between his fingers.

"Really?" asked Hinata suddenly hopeful.

Suigetsu watched as Sasuke eyed Hinata for a moment before he started telling her stories of his childhood. Hinata also shared hers with him so the both of them could shine a new light on those events. Slowly the conversation shifted to Naruto and how he had wanted Sasuke's recognition without knowing he already had it, then about Hinata and how she had wanted Naruto's recognition without him ever noticing.

Suigetsu simply listened, dropping a sentence here and there, mostly enjoying what was going on in front of him. The two hadn't even noticed it yet. It seemed they shared more in common than what first met the eye. They talked freely with each other about subjects they obviously couldn't share with other people: Naruto, Itachi, starving for acknowledgment. They had to undergo the same endless courting, even if Sasuke had his plate fuller than hers.


Sasuke barged in Naruto's office, scaring a council member and gaining the blonde's whole attention with just a simple look.

"Akamaru's back, but not Kiba," said Sasuke sliding on his Anbu gloves, his hedgehog mask dangling from his fingers.

"Fuck!" cursed Naruto.

That was all the permission Sasuke needed, with his mask on he hurried out. Moments later, he was knocking on Kakashi's door, requesting his assistance to track Kiba and help bring him back. They couldn't bring Akamaru with them. The dog was exhausted and injured, but with his information they knew where to start.

It took them two days and fighting off a bunch of ninjas, but they brought Kiba back, alive. As Sasuke came back with Kiba thrown over Sasuke's back, Hinata was sick with worry and broke down crying. Kakashi had promptly collapsed on the closest bed as soon as they had reached the hospital. Sasuke watched as Kiba disappeared with Sakura into an emergency room, nodded to her tiredly, and started walking away.

At first he walked, slightly slouched, but with the unique presence he had, then slowly his shoulders started getting closer to the wall, until he started resting his weight on it. He kept advancing even as his whole body now leaned on the wall and was slowly but surely sliding down until he coughed up blood, turned the corner, and collapsed.

She had been too taken aback to react at first, wondering if he didn't want to show his weak side. Then she had wondered if he was just trying to not add to her worries. Finally she had run to him as it was clear he wouldn't make it, but she hadn't made it in time to catch him.

Sasuke hadn't been on the ground for a second when the medic nin sprang into action, checking his vitals, putting him on a stretcher, everything being rushed around her. Hinata however, felt like she was out of her body, watching from afar. She looked at herself running after the stretcher, whispering his name as if to call him back, and more tears staining her cheeks before he disappeared into a room where she wasn't allowed to go in.

He had slipped between her fingers just like Naruto had. He had gone where she couldn't reach him, just like Naruto.

It was then that Hinata understood that she was just as worried for Kiba as she was for Sasuke, hence why she had been looking at Sasuke's retreating back rather than at the door behind which Kiba was being taken cared of. It dawned on her that something in her heart had changed.

She already knew she had moved on from her love for Naruto. She just hadn't noticed someone else had taken his place. It had been so different she hadn't realised it. Naruto still had a major place in her heart; she would never forget him, what she had learned from him. She would always admire him and strive to be like him, but it wasn't love anymore. Now she loved Sasuke.

Sasuke wasn't motivating her like Naruto did, but unlike him, Sasuke understood her, listened to her, saw her. She was acknowledged. He trusted her, gave her chances to prove herself. She loved all the scars that littered his soul and what they had made of him. This apparently cold-hearted, distant, and severe man, in fact had a unique dark sense of humor, an understanding of people, his own subtle way of caring, and shy kindness. A gentle soul hurt into hiding behind thorns, strong, proud, harsh, dangerous... human.

Just as Hinata had put a name to the closeness she had felt to Sasuke, her wish to share more time with him, to the calm she had felt in his presence, she had to simultaneously resign herself to another one sided love.


Hinata had always been shy, emotional, and insecure but never a coward. She didn't outwardly declare her feelings but she didn't hide them either. With Naruto she had looked from afar, offered little gifts with hope and fear of being noticed, she had helped when she could and in the end she had even made a confession.

With Sasuke it was trickier because she was friends with him and didn't want to lose that. It was clear that he would catch on much sooner than Naruto, and reply, certainly very clearly even if with tact, leaving no opening for hope in case of a refusal. But she wasn't a coward. Even if it meant hurting her feelings, even if it was one sided until she received an unquestionable no, she wouldn't drop it.

That's why she came to visit him at the hospital where Sakura had insisted he stayed at for at least a few days. Normally people brought flowers, fruit baskets, or apples cut into little rabbits to convalescent people; she had chosen to bring tomatoes instead because she knew that would truly please him. Right now she was fidgeting in front of the door, basket full of tomatoes in hand. Naruto had left not long ago; she hadn't wanted to interrupt their time together but she still hesitated to enter, her mind providing many good reasons not to.

"Enter," said Sasuke, even if she hadn't knocked.

She timidly pushed the door open, poking her head in to see Sasuke seated on his bed, a scroll on his lap. She turned bright red because he was shirtless, even if most of his torso was covered in bandages. It wasn't the first time she had seen him, but now that she was conscious of her feelings, she couldn't help herself. He lifted a delicate eyebrow then spotted the tomatoes and she couldn't help but giggle discreetly at the hungry light in his eyes.

And just like that, Sasuke was just Sasuke, even if her heart thundered loudly in her chest. She could still mostly act like herself because this was the person she had become friends with. She gave him the first tomato, watching him bite into its ripe flesh and nearly moaning in pleasure at the taste.

"Thanks for saving Kiba," she said, bowing.

"Hn," he grunted waving her remark off.

He didn't like being thanked or being told he was gentle, even less handsome. It was as if he was ashamed of it. She wondered briefly who was to blame for that, his father? His brother? So many reasons came to mind and it was certainly a mix of them all. But in truth, it was because he was scared of showing people he cared and of losing it all.

She sat in the chair meant for visitors and watched him eat his tomatoes, and he let her do it. It gave her the confidence to believe not in love but in friendship. And so, she started inviting him for tea and training, giving him tomatoes, bringing him scrolls from the Hyuuga library that he had no other way to ever access and other small details. Truthfully it was just a way to reinforce their friendship and it was Sasuke's call to see it as more than that or not, and ask her to leave him alone if he so wished.

She never planned to confess because she didn't want to lose the previous bond they had. She was ready to let him go when Sasuke found someone to love, even if she knew it would be even harder than with Naruto, who had never been close to her. She was content with simply being with him until she had to fade back into the background.

It seemed Sasuke didn't mind it either. He let her get closer, never seeming to notice she loved him. She smiled at how Naruto and he shared that in common. But then again, Sasuke had never had a female friend without said girl being head over heels for him. Compared to them, Hinata didn't look in love at all.

Months went by and she fell deeper and deeper for him.


Her father angrily told her that she was worthless, a shame to his family and that Hanabi, younger by many years, was more capable than her and would become the head of the Hyuuga since she was such a failure. Hinata just stood there, silent and submissive. He had then simply turned his back to her and she had taken that as her dismissal.

She smiled at Neji but brushed past him even when she saw that he wanted to comfort her. Her feet took her to her usual place, her old training ground that no one ever used. She trained for hours, her body aching under the abuse, but she kept repeating the same motions as if trying to beat out her father's words. She should be used to them by now, but it still stung. It hurt so much.


She swirled around surprised to be met with a familiar Anbu with a Hedgehog mask. Even if she couldn't see them, she knew his eyes were taking her in, her dishevelled appearance, her exhaustion, her dirtiness, and the fake shy smile she put on.

Gloved nimble fingers went behind his head to untie his mask. Sasuke then shook his head to put his bangs back in place as he tied his Anbu mask to his waist. He was obviously coming back from night patrol. After all it was already past midnight, even if she hadn't noticed it before. They stayed like that for what was barely a minute but seemed like hours to her, those dark fathomless eyes locked with her white creamy ones, both of them unmoving. She knew he knew that she wasn't feeling well.

"I have a mission for you," he stated bluntly.

She blinked, clearing her mind, and nodded.

"I will give you the scroll tomorrow. It's a mission only you can do," he added, his voice neutral.

She bit into her lower lip, trying to blink back tears only to have them flow freely. A mission only she could do? How had he known? And why was he so nice? She hiccupped and clamped her hands on her mouth, trying to stifle the sounds. She didn't want to look so pathetically weak in front of him.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," she apologized red faced, unable to look at him anymore.

"Itachi used to tell me that, even if father didn't acknowledge my abilities, there were things that I alone could do," explained Sasuke, closing the distance between them to take her mask, hidden inside her vest as was regulation and placed it in front of her, so that the owl's eyes seemed to stare straight at her. "This proves that you are a valuable ninja, one of the best, and I wouldn't keep you here if you weren't up to the task."

She knew he was speaking the truth because even if he was nice, Sasuke wasn't a liar, and he didn't indulge people, ever. She had meant to nod her understanding but as she heard the clatter of her owl mask hitting the ground she noticed that she had instead grabbed his waist, hugging him. Then his scent assaulted her nostrils as she buried her face into the white material of his Anbu uniform.

He tensed, obviously not used to being touched that way, then relaxed and awkwardly wrapped his arms around her. She mumbled another sorry for her weakness and he snorted.

"It's not weakness. It's being emotional," he stated and she knew those were Naruto's words, "and Naruto's worse than you."

She giggled between sobs and allowed herself to cling harder just this time.


Sasuke kicked Naruto in the stomach before punching him in the face. Naruto gave a loud yelp as his nose broke; Sasuke smirked.

"Teme!" hollered Naruto as his nose fixed itself.

Sasuke didn't grace him with an answer before they were back at each other's throats, both littered with injuries, broken bones, dislodged members, and the like. One pissed because he felt his best friend was slipping away and the other one because his best friend didn't get why he had to lessen their contact and made everything harder.

"Don't be an antisocial asshole!" growled Naruto, not understanding why him innocently asking Sasuke to join he and Sakura to celebrate their one year anniversary had ended up in a fight.

What the hell was wrong with that? Naruto was happy, so was Sakura, and he just wanted to share it with his closest friend. It was a great idea!

"I'm not being antisocial you dickhead!" hissed Sasuke, wincing as one of Naruto's hits landed on an already sensitive spot.

"Then come celebrate with us!" insisted Naruto before being harshly sent flying onto the nearest tree.

"What, you also want me to jump her while you're away too?" sneered Sasuke racking a hand through his hair, a clear sign of his unrest.

Naruto stayed rooted on the spot, back to the tree, little splinters poking his abused flesh. His blue eyes blinked owlishly in utter astonishment as the words and what they implied registered. Sasuke huffed, crossing his arms on his chest, feeling twelve again and so uneasy at having bared his feelings to Naruto like that. That is until Naruto opened his mouth.

"You're in love with Sakura?" he blurted out, clearly puzzled.

That was the last straw for Sasuke. He had just opened up to Naruto, trying to make him understand that he didn't want to break up his marriage by coming between the one that had chased after him for years and the one that had loved him since childhood. And what did the moron have to say to that? He asked if he loved Sakura!

Not even bothering to hit his best friend again because at this point he was seriously considering just strangling him to death, he stomped away, pissed to a point he hadn't reached in years. Naruto yelled after him, aware that he had messed up badly but Sasuke ignored him, speeding and running to escape the stupid blonde. If he caught up, he knew he would seriously beat the shit out of him.

He needed to pull himself together, to calm down, and to get away from Naruto for a while. Going to his home wouldn't stop the blonde so he went somewhere he knew Naruto might follow but wouldn't dare start a fight in: the Hyuuga estate.

The guards' eyes nearly popped out at seeing the Anbu captain enter, stomping, and fuming. They didn't even know if they should stop him or not, and started to run to warn a higher up only to see Hiashi-sama freeze as he received a curt nod from Sasuke when he reached Hinata's private quarters and knocked with suppressed anger.

"Did she do something wrong?" asked Hiashi, before stepping away at the venomous stare he received for an answer.

Nothing more could be said as a surprised and perplexed Hinata opened the door, spotted Sasuke and the state he was in and simply stepped back to let him enter with a, "I will make you tea and give you tomatoes."

As Sasuke disappeared inside, Hinata nodded to her father and smiled at Naruto as he came rushing into the estate screaming Sasuke's name. Then she closed the door on both their faces with a simple "I will take things from here."

Both men stared at each other before sneaking to the window to peek. Sasuke was walking like a tiger in a cage, visibly explaining something to Hinata, who was gently sitting in front of tea and tomatoes, listening quietly, piping a few words here and there. Within a few minutes Sasuke was back to his collected distant self, munching on a tomato and giving Naruto the finger when Hinata went to close the curtain and shoo them away.

From then on, it was common occurrence to have the Hokage and the Anbu captain argue with their fists and then have Naruto go to Sakura to whine and Sasuke go to Hinata to calm down.


Their first kiss was one very awkward moment but reflected perfectly their uneasiness, their doubts, fear, and their clumsiness.

Hinata had been clearing up the dishes after a nice evening with her and Sasuke's friends. They had decided to gather from time to time like this, taking turns hosting, pushed by Naruto's insistent nagging. Everyone had left but Sasuke, who was helping her out. Hinata also suspected that their friends had noticed her crush on Sasuke and were trying to get them together, but she wasn't going to point that out.

She was gathering empty cups, fussing about that and the fact that Sasuke hadn't tried to drive her away when a cat rushed past her legs, making her stumble and fall. She had the reflex to save all the china but ended up falling face first, only to be caught by Sasuke, who had rushed forward a little too fast and they both collapsed on the floor in a mess of tangled limbs and locked lips.

Hinata turned beet red, her heart thundering in her ribcage and hurried to pull herself up with her arms, avoiding Sasuke's eyes and stuttering apologies. But a hand grabbed her nape and pulled her back down, her breasts pressing against Sasuke's chest, her face into his neck.

"Sa-Sasuke?" she asked, breath short.

She turned her head to the side, her hair slipping between Sasuke's fingers, his hold loose, and she met dark eyes watching her, guarded... afraid? They were so close Sasuke's breath was fanning her and then soft lips pressed to hers in a chaste kiss. They had kept their eyes open, as if neither of them could believe the other was fine with what was happening. Hinata was the first to close them and lean for another kiss, a deeper one as Sasuke cupped her cheek.

They had kissed a few more times, getting bolder until someone knocked on the door making them part hurriedly, as if they had been caught with their hands in the cookie jar. It was none other than Naruto who had forgotten some important papers. He had babbled, grinning foolishly as he gathered his papers, totally clueless at what he had just interrupted. They had laughed about it when he was gone.

Their relationship hadn't changed much but for stolen kisses here and there. People had started to notice, mainly because Sasuke didn't let any suitors come near Hinata, his glare freezing them long before they could even take the first step toward her. They danced around each other, neither knowing what to do, how to act. Hinata had never had a boyfriend before; she had always had eyes for Naruto only. And Sasuke wasn't used to human interaction, even if he had dated before. It had always been after being hit on by the woman and it had never lasted.


Sasuke nodded to the Hyuuga guards, now used to his visits, and entered the estate walking a little too slow. It was pitch black, midnight long past and the guards were wondering what was going on, but didn't say anything since he was in full Anbu gear, hedgehog mask on.

Hinata, wearing only a loose T-shirt and pants, opened the door and gasped quietly before letting him immediately. As soon as the door closed behind him, Sasuke dropped the pretence falling in Hinata's arms, wincing in pain.

"What happened?" she urged worried, "why aren't you at the hospital?" she inquired, helping him to the bathroom where he could clean up.

"Trap, Naruto mustn't know," he mumbled before groaning in pain as he pulled something out of his flesh.

Hinata sighed, understanding that meant he wouldn't go to the hospital because Sakura would tell Naruto. She didn't know about the mission but she trusted Sasuke's judgement. He certainly wanted to keep Naruto in the dark to protect him.

As the water started to run, she rushed to get the first aid kit she had as well as her medicine jutsu scrolls. She had had Sakura teach her the basics and it proved useful. As an after thought she grabbed some men clothes she had for missions (changing sex could be really useful). She placed the dark pants and white shirt on the couch because she knew she would have to treat Sasuke's injuries first.

She took a deep calming breath. He wasn't in life threatening danger. She wasn't going to have a heart attack by cutting his shirt and pants open to heal him. Rationalization didn't help much, especially not when he joined her in the living room, in nothing but underwear. Her hands were shaking and she made a point to stare at the floor.

She didn't comment on the fact that he used an Anbu cover to protect the carpet as he settled on it, back resting on the couch. He wasn't particularly self conscious but her constant fidgeting was making him slightly uneasy, so he cleared his throat and started to disinfect what he could reach of his injuries. She smiled, finding him rather... well, cute.

They worked in silence, cleaning the wounds, using justsu to close them and make them disappear. It was a good thing his Sharingan had helped him learn many of those. In the end it was as if nothing had happened, even if Sasuke felt rather drained. He put on the clothes she had given him and sat back down, checking everything was alright.

"Thank you," said Sasuke bending down to help Hinata clean up at the same time that she turned her head to answer him and they sat a breath from each other, frozen on the spot. They were almost kissing, their lips a hair's breadth apart. The light was dim giving the situation a peculiar ambiance of secret, danger, and romance. She could see Sasuke's pale face, curtained by his dark hair, making his onyx pupils stand out even more.

Hinata felt her heart thunder against her ribs, a bird desperately wanting to get out certainly to jump inside Sasuke's heart cage. She could feel his breath ghosting on her dry lips; her own caught in her throat in a mixed feeling of surprise, terror, and anticipation. Time was doing its unnerving trick of suddenly going awfully slowly, so that seconds seemed like hours. Her eyes met Sasuke's dark ones, eyes that could kill but were actually kind and reassuring, and she felt herself melt.

He smirked then smiled a real but cautious smile as if showing too many teeth would make him look predatory and scare her away. Slowly his hand lifted and found its way to her cheek, cupping it. Warmth washed over her, making her skin tingle where his fingers touched her. Her whole being was now concentrated on this part of her body, taking in the lukewarm feeling. It was so different from her attempt of warming her hands on her tea cup.

Hinata's heart skipped a beat as a thumb began to gently stroke her cheek, sending shivers down her spine. Sasuke stopped smiling, his eyes remaining as gentle and reassuring as they could be to prevent her from panicking, and he closed the distance between them. It was chaste, it wasn't anything special, just skin on skin but it meant so much. She shook, as if crying, and her hands found their way around Sasuke's chest, clinging for dear life. Making sure this wasn't a dream or that he wouldn't suddenly pull away and say it was all a mistake.

Instead she felt moisture on her lips, a timid tongue asking for entrance. She gasped, parting her lips ever so slightly. Sasuke's hand that wasn't stroking her cheek tilted her chin and slowly he invaded her mouth, sliding against her tongue and gently mapping her mouth, caressing her palate then tangling with her tongue, coaxing her to reply to his kiss.

Her fingers dug in his shirt pulling him closer, anchoring her to the present. He was kissing her and it felt wonderful, so full of tenderness. They parted and she realized that she had closed her eyes. She blinked a few times only to close her eyes again as he kissed her once more. This time it was more demanding. He pulled her to him, her breasts intimately pressing against his chest. His hands were in her hair, making her shiver as she had always been so sensitive to such contact. Then his arm was around her waist as their lips parted again, leaving her breathless and a dark blush coloring her features.

Maybe they should have talked, but it was as if words would break the spell, distance the raw feelings and leave place for useless questions and over thinking. It would scare her away for sure, thinking about what was happening, what was to comeā€¦ so she welcomed this blissful oblivion and trusted Sasuke to do the same and guide her.

She didn't protest even if her heart, ever faithful, was beating so fast it was a wonder it hadn't burned out already, when Sasuke coaxed her onto his lap. He kissed her again, this time more like a peck and then kissed the corner of her mouth and she automatically closed her eyelids. She moved her arms from around his waist to his shoulders, holding him tightly as he nibbled on her neck. She moaned and froze at the sound, embarrassed, until he too grunted in pleasure as if allowing her to do the same.

Sasuke reached the collar of her large comfortable T-shirt, biting, and licking gently at her visible collarbone. Hinata shivered, arching under his touch as he glided his hands on her side, moving up from under her shirt. It would usually tickle her but right now it only made her shudder, her breath quickening. She leaned on him as he caressed her back still kissing her neck. She hadn't noticed how her shirt was riding up, letting her creamy skin show more and more.

Sasuke was kissing her again but broke it as he lifted her shirt, Hinata's arms moving up on their own to allow him to undress her, leaving her in only her loose pants and underwear. He didn't look at her; instead he immediately kissed her shoulder, his hands mapping her back, massaging her shoulders, her sides, her hips. She was thankful for it because his gaze on her heated skin would have made her self conscious.

Trembling in apprehension she reached for his collar and she fumbled with the buttons, her cheeks burning red. She nearly snatched a button when she felt his hands on her breasts, cupping them gently. Their eyes crossed his smoldering gaze and she shuddered at the raw power and desire. He could break her as if she was a twig and yet, here he was, forcing a half smile, not a smirk, on his features to appease her. Reigning in his natural wild fiery nature to tame the terror in her and awaken her desire.

Hinata could feel the heat radiating from her face, her teeth biting into her lower lip. He kissed her again and the tension left her even as he started massaging her through her bra, her breath getting shorter by the minute, forcing her to part her lips. Each time his fingers brushed her nipples she gasped in pleasure, her body suddenly getting more and more sensitive. He was slowly exerting more pressure and she leaned her head on his shoulder breathing deeply giving his neck, half uncovered by her unbuttoning, small kisses and nips.

Sasuke hummed in appreciation and she barely noticed her bra come off. She did however notice when his fingers met her bare skin sending fire cursing through her body. She tightened her hold on him, nuzzling her face in his neck, feeling heat pool in her lower stomach. It felt so strange as if butterflies were flying inside, a tingling sensation, but oh so good. And only then did she notice she had started to move, pressing her breasts into his hands, undulating against him in abandoned longing.

She moaned as she felt Sasuke nibble the shell of her ear, sending cold shivers down her spine. Her hands linked behind his head, pressing him to her, threading through his hair. He sighed and she gasped throwing her head back and pulling Sasuke to her even more. It felt wonderful; she couldn't help shaking in his arms. She was so lost in this sensation that she didn't notice Sasuke stopping his caressing of her breasts to smoothly undo his shirt and discard it on the floor.

She nuzzled back inside his neck as a strong hand pressed her lower back, so she was flushed against him, her breasts pressing against his naked chest. This time she met his kiss, knowing it was coming to distract her. She moved up, shivering as her breasts rubbed against him, so she could cling to his neck when he started to lay her down on the plush carpet.

She trailed her hands in his hair as he kissed down her body. First her chin was adorned with small nibbles. Then he licked down her neck, kissing here and there to finally bite down gently on her collarbone. She pressed him down, a clear sign that she loved it. He obliged, biting a few more time before going lower. His hands were roaming on her sides, especially on her curved hips. He kissed her right breast, before giving a tentative lick to her nipple, making her quiver and stifle a moan. He continued until it became round and hard, alternating between kisses, licks and nibbles. Satisfied, he nuzzled his head between her breasts, taking in her scent before moving to her left nipple, giving it the same delicious treatment.

His bangs were ticking her oversensitive skin, making her quiver even more in its wake. As he kissed down her stomach, Sasuke's hands pushed down her pants, so they could map her hips and thighs, brushing her behind ever so slightly. He nipped, then gently sucked on the side of her navel and she arched a bit. Sasuke slid his hands to cup her ass in a soft caress before going back up to her waist. His lips went down again, biting the side of her hip and his hands tugged her pants to finally pull them down completely.

She let him lift her legs, her face burning up once again as she was now only in her panties. He paused, caressing her reddened cheek with the back of his hand. His gaze traveled down on her, taking in the milky texture of her skin, how her abundant breasts fanned on her chest, the curve of her waist, the roundness of her hips. He blinked and the visual embrace that had only lasted a second, stopped letting her breathe again.

Bringing one of her legs to him Sasuke kissed her ankle. His free hand caressed up her other leg, stroking her knee then her thigh. He moved his lips up to her knee, kissing and nibbling the sensitive skin there before kissing her thigh and letting go of her leg that gently dropped at his side. He was now between her legs, the position having come naturally.

He hooked his fingers on the side of her panties under the cotton fabric and glanced at her. She remained silent, evading his gaze. He pulled them down slowly, making sure his fingertips tickled her, and discarded them with the rest of their clothing. Once again he didn't take the time to admire her, knowing she would be flustered by it. He leaned down on her, holding himself above her with his arms and kissed her softly then more deeply.

Hinata wrapped her arms around his shoulders once again, enjoying their broadness and the hard feeling of muscle under her fingers, the way they rippled with each movement. She heard him unbuckle his belt and brought him down to her, kissing him to keep her mind off of what was coming. They both knew it was her first time. She wanted to forget it and he had to remember it. She took a deep breath as he reached for a seal on his wrist, pulling something from it. She knew what it was and was thankful for it. As he put it on, she avoided looking, knowing she would freak if she did.

Sasuke's hands were back on her, trailing on her sides, on her hips, inside her thighs, going back up to her breasts, rubbing and stroking. She was gasping again, her hands scratching his back ever so slightly. Hinata tensed up when she felt him against her most intimate part. He was nibbling at her ear again, his hands on her breast, teasing, leaving them from time to time to roam free on her sides and hips.

Sasuke was breathing hard as he moved slowly against her; she was shaking as much in apprehension as in pleasure. She could feel her body opening up to him, getting ready on its own accord as he slid up and down more and more easily, brushing against her entrance and the spot that would give her the best sensation. She consciously parted her legs, bending them at his sides, inviting him closer.

They were both panting and Sasuke looked so perfect, above her, taut muscles finely designed, his tanned skin covered on a thin shine. He was cut sharply, feline muscles, narrow hips, definitely manly, a body made of hard training. The way he looked at her, hungry yet gentle and loving, asking permission. She couldn't say no because she wanted it, and wanted to give it to him. Hinata nodded, dragging him down for another kiss, arms tightly around his neck.

He pushed inside slowly and she tensed at the pain, his hands teasing her body not quite managing to make her relax even if she knew it would help. Her nails were digging in his skin. That would leave crescent moon marks for sure. She opened her eyes that she had squeezed shut in pain, as he kissed her eyelids. He was inside her. It still hurt, but he was inside her and that thought only: that she was now his, that they were linked, was enough to have her nod again, allowing him to keep going.

He pulled out slowly. She bit her lips. He pushed back in and she felt it was already better. Then Sasuke started to nibble on her ear again, one hand caressing her breast. It helped too. She looked up at him only to see him deeply concentrated, brows furrowed, visibly doing his best to respect her rhythm. She smoothed her hands down his back, stroking him softly, a cue for him to let go.

Sasuke kissed her again, a bit clumsily, as he began to move freely, her body getting used to it. He was puffing in exertion now, moving inside her in languid movements. She moved in time with him now, welcoming him, her legs slightly up and bent for a better position. Hinata let her hands trail up and down Sasuke's back, scratching when he was deep in her, urging him gently. He kept kissing and caressing the best he could, slowly losing track, his movements more distracted, his breath quickening.

Hinata was moaning now, head thrown back, eyes fluttering close even as she watched Sasuke. All that power bent and control to please her. She stifled her louder sounds of pleasure as he started to lose his rhythm, moving faster, and finally as he kissed her urgently he came still deep inside her. As he went down from his high, he pulled out, stroking her gently, kissing and nibbling again, until she gave a gentle sigh of pleasure, her too reaching her peak even if a lower gentler one.

He shuffled in their clothes for a bit then came back to her, stroking her cheek and coveting her with his eyes. She smiled shyly, dragging him to her again, and he gently laid against her, wrapping his strong arms around her waist and his chin resting on her shoulder.

"I love you," he whispered in her ear.

"Thank you," she murmured her hands holding his.

He chuckled tangling their legs, pulled a cover down from the couch behind them and wrapped it around them. Then he took a cushion, making sure Hinata was comfortably installed. He snuggled back into their former position.

"You don't have to thank people for loving you," he admonished gently.

"Ah, you will have to help me with that one," she replied, teasing but hoping just as much.

He snorted, understanding that sentence for what it was.

"I'll show you," he assured and it was a promise.

oooooooooooooo End ooooooooooooooo

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