Characters featured (by no ranking whatsoever): Sabaku no Gaara, Kankurou, Temari, Hyuuga Hinata, Hyuuga Neji, Hyuuga Hiashi, Hyuuga Hanabi, Tenten, Yamanaka Ino, Inuzuka Kiba, Uzumaki Naruto, Baki, Deidara, Sasori, Yuuhi Kurenai and Yuura.
A/N: Hello :) I don't know how this one will turn out, but I'm trying hard to keep Gaara and Hinata in their characters and 'mould' them appropriately for this story. So do tell me what you think of it.. The setting for Rollercoaster is neither here nor there - more like a modern Naruto world. Yeah. 8)
Thanks for reading and reviewing!
Please heed rating.
Disclaimer: Naruto and all characters are created by Masashi Kishimoto
A black Lamborghini Gallardo came speeding into the driveway, its tires crunching the gravel beneath it as it slowed to a stop in front of a tidy house. The door to the driver's seat opened and a tall redhead got out. A pair of jet black Oakley Radar Range sunglasses shielded his eyes, but Hyuuga Hinata did not need the sunglasses to be removed to know that under them were a pair of intense jade eyes that left many women round the world weak in their knees.
She would like to say she was immune to it, but she was not.
Unfortunately, the captain of Suna's rugby team was not likely to remember who she was... and her love for him. Okay, it probably wasn't love, but the sight of him in person made her heart do somersaults and gymnastics, and her face would get all red. Then, her hands would start to feel really cold, but within her body, she was on fire. It was a miracle Temari and her friends still didn't know she had a thing for him.
The redhead was in Konoha this past few weeks or so because of his sister's wedding as well as the upcoming rugby competition held in Konoha.
Hinata forced herself to look away from the window and willed herself to say something neutral, like 'Temari, your younger brother's here,'. But for the life of her, she couldn't. Someone beat her to it though.
"Temari, Gaara's here!" Yasahi Emiko called excitedly.
Emiko was a year younger than Hinata. She had waist length, glossy mahogany hair that fell in curly waves, huge green eyes and a pretty face that made men on the streets do the occasional double take. She was slender and tall, yet not too tall. Just the kind of woman to be seen hanging on Gaara's arm. In other words, she was gorgeous.
Hinata glanced down at herself. She was wearing a white blouse and a denim skirt. Nothing fancy. Certainly not flattering or something that would catch his eye, given the kind of women who threw themselves at his feet after every game - models, actresses and gorgeous women like Emiko. The black haired woman glanced at Emiko and felt her self confidence plummet further. The brunette's attire was sexy, demure and accentuated her slender frame perfectly.
C'mon, if he really fancies you, he wouldn't mind your dressing...right?
For the umpteenth time, she wondered if holding a torch for Gaara was merely a temporary infatuation, or something that all women was bound to experience, especially towards him. She didn't like him because he was well known, good looking and rich. There was something else, but she didn't know what. Heck, she didn't even know if he was the man she thought he was.
Which was what? His good looks? Jeez!
It was stupid of course. She was a moron for pining after him when she was merely his older sister's friend. It made her all the more off limits for him.
"Hey Hinata," Temari said, grabbing her hand. Hinata focused on her surroundings, pushing her thoughts to the back of her mind resolutely. No more dreaming. Apparently, the blond had already acknowledged Emiko's remark, for she did not seem to be bothered by her brother's presence. Two years older than Hinata and incredibly at ease in her own skin, Temari oozed self confidence and had an air of assurance that Hinata greatly desired to emulate. She was the older sister of Gaara, the oldest in the family. Temari was about to wed Nara Shikamaru, a close friend of Hinata's. They had been dating for six years, and many of her friends had wondered when the lackadaisical Nara was going to pop the question. He had finally done it last year, much to the great delight of Temari.
"Yeah?" She asked, smiling at the soon-to-be-bride.
"Do you know where's Ino? I told her to be here at one, but she's late! We were supposed to have lunch, and then we were supposed to head over to the hotel for the rehears-"
"Relax." Hinata place a palm against Temari's back. "I'll give her a call, and ask her where she is. Okay? Don't worry." The Hyuuga rubbed the blond's back and smiled.
"Okay. Thanks. Alot. This is madness." Temari murmured. "I knew I made the right choice when I chose you to be one of my bridesmaids. The rest are crazy." Temari rolled her beautiful teal eyes. When she heard the doorbell rang amidst a squeal of excitement from the other bridesmaids, she glanced up at the ceiling and closed her eyes.
"There goes Gaara. As usual."
Tenten, a long time friend of Hinata and Temari, was seated on one of the cosy couches. She had just finished eating a piece of chocolate, and was currently licking her fingers. The brunette's warm brown eyes connected with Temari's in a knowing glance. Then they both grinned at each other. The blond's mobile rang at the moment, startling Temari.
"Oh shoot. Its Shikamaru. Hinata, do you mind getting the door? Even though they're really excited, they won't want to do it. Welcome him in, I mean."
"Uh. Okay." Hinata felt her cheeks heating up. This was it. A few mere seconds of getting a little alone time with Gaara. God, she was behaving like an awkward teen. Calm down. Just be yourself. Chin up, spine straight.
Smoothening her skirt, she made her way to the door and swallowed before gripping the doorknob tightly. Whatever happens next, you must not embarrass yourself.
She pulled open the door...and almost wished she hadn't.
Gaara stood on the threshold, towering over her. His sunglasses had been removed, revealing those jade eyes. The captain's short red hair was tousled, and some of its unruly strands fell into his deep eyes. A wave of attraction hit her squarely in her chest and weakened her knees.
"H-hello." Noo! She cleared her throat and stepped back for him to enter.
"Hello." He said politely, his deep voice sending a whole army of goosebumps marching up her arms. His eyes flickered across her and then darted somewhere behind her.
"Temari's on the phone." Smiling nervously, she gestured towards the interior of the house. It had suddenly gone a little quiet. There were only murmurs.
The redhead nodded and moved into the house.
"Gaara?" Temari appeared at that moment. Her mobile was in one hand - it appeared she had finished talking to her fiance. Her smile brightened and she slung an arm round his neck. "Yo, little bro! I'm sorry, but you're the only guy here for now." She laughed at Gaara's amused look.
Hinata backed away and smiled quietly to herself. She re-entered the living room of Shikamaru and Temari's house, where the two bridesmaids - Emiko and Kukichi Chie - were seated demurely and chatting to each other quietly while darting occasional, surreptitious glances at the doorway of the living room. It was such a comical sight. Tenten was laughing at them.
At that moment, Gaara stepped into the living room with Temari following closely behind. She elbowed him to the side and stepped in front of him. "Gaara, these are my bridesmaids - Tenten, Hinata, Emiko and Chie."
He shook hands with everyone quickly. When he reached her, he grasped her hand in his own warm one and shot one of those polite smiles.
"Nice to meet you." She managed.
"Likewise." He released her hand. His grip was strong, just as she expected his to be. Hinata strongly believed that firm handshakes were important whenever she met people she didn't know. But Gaara's firm grip made hers seem like a weak and puny one. At least that was how it felt to her.
"You're Hyuuga Neji's cousin." He drawled in his deep voice.
"That's me." She smiled and tried to picture him as one of her business clients, but failed miserably. He was too good looking. Gaara nodded and shoved his hands into his pockets.
"Yeah. Your eyes give you away."
She smiled weakly. "It always does."
And that was the end.
He moved off towards Temari and said something about going off to use the restroom (he was probably uncomfortable about being the only male in a room full of women). She was right - he did not know her name, even after Temari had clearly told him so. Why would he remember hers though? He had plenty of other female names to remember before her.
Neji got to know Gaara through Uzumaki Naruto, who was also a pro rugby player on Konoha's national team. Hinata knew that they met regularly and were a pretty close knit group. Shikamaru also knew Neji, Naruto and Gaara: they had been friends for almost a decade. The Hyuuga herself had been high school friends with Naruto and Shikamaru, as well as several members of Konoha's sports team.
Hinata noticed that Emiko appeared rather reserved and coolly aloof when Gaara first step into the living room. She sensed that it was a ploy to get the redhead's attention. The worst thing was, she didn't even know if the ploy was working.
Said brunette sidled up to her and linked her arm through hers. "Hey Hinata. Come on, let's go grab some food. I'm ravenous!"
Temari had catered lunch for them - a buffet spread awaited them in the dining area.
"You go ahead." Hinata said, remembering that she had to phone Ino. "I've got to give a call to Ino."
"Oh. Well, come quickly, okay?"
Hinata smiled as she reached for her bag. "I will."
The Hyuuga dialled the blond model's number and waited while it rang.
"Hello, Hinata!" Yamanaka Ino answered on the other end.
"Ino? Where are you?"
"I'm on my way to Temari's house. I'll be there in fifteen. Tell her I'm really sorry! There was a little hitch during the photo shoot."
"Well okay. See you-"
"Wait Hina." Ino interrupted. "I showed your lingerie sketches to one of the fashion lingerie designers today."
"What?" Hinata's mind whirred and alarm bells began ringing. "You didn't! How did you get hold of my sketches?"
"I did. How I got hold of your sketches doesn't matter now. The designer didn't like some of them, but he loved the rest."
"But those were drawn haphazardly!" The Hyuuga protested. Her cheeks were flaming hot again. "Ino! Its embarrassing."
"It isn't." Ino declared. "We'll talk when I get there okay? Bye Hina!"
There was a beep. Shaking her head, Hinata ended the call too and realised that the bridesmaids were drifting off to the back yard slowly. Lately, she had taken an interest in lingerie - not that she wore fancy/sexy/colourful lingerie beneath her clothes though. Perhaps it was precisely because of this habit of hers - too much sensible white and brown panties for twenty seven years of her life - that triggered a never ending fascination with the myriad of colours, patterns and designs an underwear could take up. It had been one glorious Saturday afternoon when she started drawing ugly sketches of what she wanted her underwear to be like (if she could have them in reality), with outrageous, cute and naughty patterns. Ino had trespassed upon them without her permission and spent the entire afternoon oohing and aahing over it. Hinata, of course, had merely seen the sketches as some sort of perverse daydreaming and hadn't taken them seriously. Who would?
Ino apparently had. The blonde had probably snucked them out when she wasn't looking.
The Hyuuga groaned quietly and was moving off to join the rest when the doorbell rang again. She opened it.
"Hello," She greeted the trio at the door.
"Hey Hinata!" That was Kiba.
"Yo Hinata!" Followed by Naruto.
"Hinata." And finally, Neji.
"Where is everyone?" Naruto asked, blue eyes sparkling. "By the way, I'm famished. I hope there's enough food for the rest of you guys when I'm done," He joked.
"You are always hungry." Neji pointed out, rolling his eyes.
"Yeah." Kiba snorted.
"They're in the back garden." Hinata explained. "Gaara's here too. So is Tenten." She glanced at Neji. Her cousin gave her his version of a smile.
Together, the four of them trooped towards the backyard and the three men exchanged names, 'hellos' and 'nice to meet you's. Hinata got a glimpse of Emiko and Gaara speaking together while they helped themselves to the food before the redhead glanced up and took them all in his gaze. Under the afternoon sun, his hair was a crop of gorgeous fiery copper gold, and Hinata had a sudden urge to run her hands through it.
Would it be as soft as it looked? She wondered. Another wave of heat washed over her. Hinata watched as Gaara nodded his head and smiled a little at something Emiko said. They talked a little while more before Gaara joined Naruto, Kiba and Neji.
Hinata helped herself to the food, but found that she didn't have much of an apetite. She forced herself to think of men who weren't that good looking but who were true to their partners when it came to dating. Gaara probably wasn't one of them. He was a jock with many women falling at his feet - he was only attracted to pretty and gorgeous women who looked good on his arm, and had a different female companion every once a month.
Hinata's shoulders drooped. He was too far out of her league. He would never notice her and he didn't care a hoot about other people's feelings if the number of women he had dated was of any indication. The only thing he was serious about was his career, cars and nothing else.
See, he's shallow. She thought miserably. What do you see in him anyway?
I don't know that much about rugby, so do pardon me for any foolish errors/misunderstandings I have about the well loved sport. :D Thanks for reading!