Just a small oneshot that has been laying around my computer for awhile now. It's sweet, mushy, a little romantic and all that stuff.
And, of course, nothing is mine, I'm just borrowing.
After three long months, the mission had finally been a success. The assassination of six missing-nin wrecking havoc in the country of Wave had taken five weeks longer than anticipated, and the Hokage was probably not very pleased. They were late, even by his standards. The missing-nin had once been ninja of the Leaf too, hence why Kakashi had accepted the S-rank mission at all. The hefty paycheck which included ten novels of questionable nature was only a small added bonus, of course.
The four ninja on the mission in question made their last camp before the final destination; home. Konoha was only not even a full day's trip from where they were currently settling down for the night. Even though they all could have traveled the whole night just to come home as quickly as possible, they had chosen not to. Traveling for more than 24 hours straight was only done when absolutely necessary, and homesickness didn't really qualify. Didn't stop some of them from complaining though.
"Man, this sucks!" Naruto Uzumaki, the great war hero, vessel of the feared nine-tailed demon fox, the man rumored to become the next Hokage, the ninja who single handedly defeated Madara Uchiha and managed to get the self proclaimed Avenger and Konoha-hater Sasuke Uchiha back on the right track, was feeling slightly cranky and oddly pubescent for a twenty year old. "It's barely thirteen hours left if we just pick up the pace a little! Don't you want to get home already?"
He threw a couple of sticks at the fire they were all gathered around. None of his companions answered him. He wasn't that surprised, three months with aforementioned avenger, stoic Neji Hyuga and the lazy, but brilliant Shikamaru Nara had taught him to decipher their different silences. This was one of annoyed agreement. They all wanted to come home. Sleeping outdoors was only fun the first few weeks, tops.
In the end it was Shikamaru who broke the silence amongst them with a small snort. "Ino would go ballistic and decapitate me if I finally got home unscathed from a dangerous mission, just to end up in the hospital from a meager exhaustion. I'd never hear the end of it!"
Snickers were heard from the three others, no doubt recalling the fierce blonde and her quick temper.
"You are so whipped!" Naruto was more or less laughing out loud now.
"I am not!" Shikamaru defended himself, annoyed at the accusation. "I just don't want to worry her, that's all!"
"Which in your case means you are whipped!" Naruto continued to laugh at the genius with the oddly shaped hair. "Just admit it. It would make Ino so pleased to hear you admit it after all!"
"No," Shikamaru was already growing tired of this argument and considered giving up, but that would make him an object for taunting for months to come. In his mind he started weighing the pros and the cons.
"Really?" said Sasuke with an ill-bidding smirk that promised doom and destruction. "Then why did you eat nothing but cheap energy bars for a full month last year, again?"
.: It was a beautiful early summer day. Warm, with not a single cloud in sight. Which was the only reason Shikamaru agreed to go shopping with Ino instead of doing the usual cloud gazing, in the first place. That, and the fact she wore her hair down for once and a flimsy summer dress. And had casually placed her hand on his knee when asking him what he was up to. And bit her lower lip, all at the same time. To be honest, he didn't have a clue how they got from under the tree he was leaning against just a moment ago to here, strolling in Konoha's shopping district. She with a strong hold of his hand. But it was… Nice, he concluded and smiled slightly at Ino who walked at his side, retelling something about a costumer at her parents flower shop who had bought ten red roses, and then asked where he could buy chocolate and condoms.
Suddenly she gasped, let go of his hand and pressed herself to a window displaying shoes.
"I love those!" she exclaimed and gazed longingly at a pair of, in his opinion, very ordinary-looking black shoes.
"Them try them on," he said exasperated. This would take a looooong… He blinked surprised as Ino latched on to his hand and started walking again.
"Where are we going?" He was thoroughly confused."What about the shoes?"
"Don't be silly!" Ino said with a small laugh and a wave of her hand."If I wanted shoes that expensive, I would have married someone rich, like Sasuke or Neji, a long time ago! It's no problem, the shoes I have is just fine."
"Thank you so much, sir Ninja. I hope to see you again soon!"
Shikamaru only grumbled at the troublesome sales lady and handed the bag to a stunned Ino. Inside laid a pair of ordinary-looking black shoes, which had cost him more than all his monthly expanses put together. His mood had dropped considerably. He never knew male pride had such an expensive side effect. It was official: women were nothing but troubles-...
Then Ino let out a small shriek and threw her arms around him, repeating thank you's in between kisses all over his face and neck.
Shikamaru sighed and mumbled troublesome under his breath for good measure, knowing he'd probably do it again if he ever got the chance. :.
Shikamaru gritted his teeth as he fought the blush threatening to engulf his entire facial area. He was too old to blush like a genin, dammit!
"Yeah, well," he drawled, desperate to divert the unwanted attention from him to someone else. "At least I never repainted the whole Hyuga compound by myself..." He looked pointedly at Neji, who only crossed his arms with a blank stare.
.: It was moments like these he lived for. Laying on his back with Tenten curled up next to him in the early morning before anyone else was up. Nothing could disturb this moment of peace.
"Neji," Tenten whispered, tracing some kind of pattern on his bare chest with the tip of her fingers. Very distracting to say the least. He cracked open one eye and peered down at her as confirmation he was listening. Kind of listening. She was still doing the pattern thing after all.
"Aren't these walls kind of..." she hesitated, searching for the right word, as she looked around the room with a critical expression. "Drab."
He raised his left eyebrow in questioning.
"I mean, they're just so depressing!" she scrutinized the gray walls with almost disgust now. He noted she'd stopped her pattern tracing.
"There's nothing wrong with the walls, Tenten," He reasoned, hoping she'd turn her attention from the goddamn walls back to him again. Instead she sat up suddenly, looking down at him.
"Can't we, please, paint them in another color?" She smiled impishly. "Besides... They're kind of a turn off, you know?"
"..." He looked at her blankly with absolutely no idea what she was talking about. How could a wall be a turn off?
He sighed and closed his eyes in defeat. "Fine, I'll tell the decorator to take care of it."
"The decorator?" Now it was Tentens' turn to adopt a very blank look. "But I thought maybe we could do it... You know, together."
Neji frowned slightly. He did not like the sound of this...
"Besides, it's only one small room," she reasoned. "It's not like I'm asking you to repaint the entire compound!"
That was true.
"And I know how skilled you are with your hands..." Her voice trailed of seductively.
He smirked. That was also very true.
"It would make me very happy," she kissed him lightly with a huge grin on her face.
It couldn't hurt, could it?
"See" Tenten said and spread her arms out to draw attention to the newly painted walls. "This blue is so much more soothing then whatever was here before!" she shuddered and Neji had to give her right. This was better.
Tenten winked at him and walked slowly to the bathroom connected to his bedroom. He watched her with hunger as she slowly undid her two buns on top of her head, the hair cascading down her back. She half turned in the doorway, her hands dangerously close to undo the buttons on her shirt. Neji stalked after her, his mind in the gutter.
"Wow, I never really noticed how boring the walls were in here until now..." Tenten's musings brought Neji from the gutter back to reality. Oh no...
"Comparing the hall to your room... It's depressing!"
"Hanabi wonders if we can do her room too while we're at it, Neji."
"Is this really were you bring the important guests? Yeesh, no wonder everybody's afraid of you!"
21 colorful days later.
"Wow," Tenten threw herself down on Neji's bed. "Who would have thought we'd end up actually repainting the entire compound?" She sighed content with what they'd accomplished.
"No, who would have thought." Neji replied, ice evident in his voice.
"And it's so lucky we're not at war right now and the missions are only minor ones! Imagine how long it would have taken us otherwise! It would have taken ages! So long we'd have to start over when we were finished!"
"Yes, imagine that." There was practically a blizzard in cased within his words.
Finally she picked up on his mood, and stopped her ramblings. "You know what?" She sat up on the bed. "What do you say to having a week of training? Just the two of us away from other people who can disturb us?"
She really knew him too well. He sat down on the bed with her and drew them down so she could snuggle up to his side.
"And when we get back... I kinda promised we'd repaint the Uchiha Mansion too.."
He groaned in defeat.
"I was kidding," Tenten laughed and leaned up for a kiss he readily returned.
He'd never admit it, not even under Ibiki-induced torture, but he'd gladly repaint every single house in the village for her. :.
Naruto was now laughing so hard he had to hold his stomach. "She tricked you to spend a month painting... Like civilians do!" He was omitting strange gurgling sounds now. Shikamaru was snickering and even Sasuke was smirking, apparently very much amused. Neji could not see what was funny at all.
"Sasuke," He interrupted. "Why is your bedroom pink?"
A twitch in Sasukes left eyelid was the only sign betraying his usual cool.
.:Not even after way too much sake would Sasuke let it slip, but he was actually very content with his life as it was right now. He was walking with Sakura on the way to pick up furniture and the likes to their home. Their home. The rebuilding of his clan was more a reality then a dream now. Sakura had agreed to move in with him in his mansion – on the condition they refurbished and replaced more or less everything. Something about a fresh start... And Kami knew he needed one.
"Okay, so we only have the bedroom left," Sakura was chatting away at his side. "I know the perfect store! I've always wanted my bedroom to be very romantic but at the same time reflect its owners, meaning us."
He listened with only half an ear, inserting one-syllable answers when appropriate. He was so far in the dreams of his future (they now had four sons and two daughters, and was celebrating their fifteenth wedding anniversary) he didn't even notice when she led him into a store bearing the name Pink Wonderland, if he had, the outcome might have been different. Might. But probably not.
"I want this exact bedroom!" Sakura suddenly proclaimed, bringing him back to the present none too gently. Her eyes was practically glittering with joy.
Sasuke on the other hand didn't know what to say. The room on display they were looking at were...
"I know! Isn't it romantic?" She sighed wistfully. "Just look at that bed!"
Sasuke looked all right, the bed was humongous in very pale wood with a white canopy, but the bedding was very much pink. As were the walls, even though, admittedly, there were some tiny white details on it. The wardrobe was white with pink handles. Everything was, in short, pink or white. It was absolutely hideous in his opinion.
"Excuse me?" Sakura narrowed her eyes, threatening him to repeat himself.
"I said no, as in no way whatsoever," He was not to be intimidated by her. Or her fists.
"And why not if I may ask?" Her hands were beginning to glow. Warning bells went off frantically in the back of his head. Well, if some bodily harm was necessary to escape this hell, so be it. No war was fought without casualties after all.
"And I want it!"
"I said no," Sasuke narrowed his eyes. "And nothing you say will make me change my mind!"
He waited for the inevitable punch to the head, stomach or arm. He personally hoped she'd go for the arm this time, he could use some one-armed training. It would do him good, fighting with a handicap.
She didn't go for any body part of his. What happened was worse. Much, much worse. Sakura stepped alarmingly close and peered up at him through her eyelashes. Just looked at him without saying a word.
When did her eyes get so big? He swallowed. And green? Her eyelashes quivered slightly. Ah, hell...! He cursed inwardly; this was bad.
"I... Hn..." Sasuke actually stammered. "Er... I said..." He never stammered!
Her long very dark lashes were trembling like a leaf now. Why did her eyes seem to glitter? Was that... tears?
He cursed everything he could think of, but most of all he cursed those damned cosmetic companies who had the balls to sell mascara to the pink haired girl calling herself his girlfriend, making her eyes seem unnaturally large and pleading.
"Fine." His face betrayed no emotion. "But no visitors allowed!"
A small price to pay considering the cost. He'd caused her enough tears as it was. :.
Naruto actually had to wipe tears from his eyes. "Is that why no one is allowed inside? That's hilarious!"
"Ino told me about it," Shikamaru was enjoying himself now when the spotlight had shifted far away from him. "She thinks it was so sweet of you."
Sasukes eye twitched again.
"You are all so whipped it's almost not funny! Except it is!" Naruto calmed down enough to stifle his laugh to a small chuckle.
"You shouldn't laugh," Sasuke said disdainfully. "You're the worst of us all."
Neji and Shikamaru smirked in agreement.
"You follow Hinata to all her gardening conventions and all the Hyuga formal dinners," Neji pointed out. "Even I lie occasionally to get out of those."
.: Hinata was really an absolutely amazing cook! Naruto could eat cartloads of her food, which he usually also did.
"Did you like it?" Hinata asked softly from across the table. "I know I shouldn't have used so much salt..."
"Are you kidding?" Naruto interrupted with a smile that could power a small city by its intensity and energy. "I loved it! You really are the most awesome cook I know!"
Hinata lowered her head bashfully and blushed a delicate pink. "It's not that good..."
"Yes, it is!" Naruto interrupted yet again, determined she'd stop putting herself down. "I'd do anything for just a bite of your food!" He put the chopsticks down on the table, leaned back and sighed content. "Man, am I full."
He felt that special drowsiness from eating just a little too much a little too fast settle over his mind. He relaxed and watched the girl opposite of him fondly. He could hardly believe his luck. To think such a sweet, kind and gentle girl could like, even love, someone like him. He knew there was still people (not many, but some) who hated him because of his furry little inhabitant (as he liked to call the demon fox inside of him nowadays), people who still glared at him when he walked past. People who had even tried to turn Hinata against him. He had never seen her as terrifyingly angry and beautiful as when she defended him passionately. She really was something...
"... don't have to of course, if you don't want to."
Naruto snapped out of his musings to find Hinata watching him hopefully. How could he turn her down when she looked like that? And... Was that his t-shirt she was wearing? How come he hadn't noticed before?
"Of course I want to! Anything for your food, right?" He grinned at her, more then a little fascinated to observe her in his clothes. It really suited her much better than him. She stood up to put away the dishes, and he got a pleasant surprise. She was only wearing his shirt, exposing her legs from mid thigh and down. How had he not noticed before? Her legs was, he decided, one of her best physical features.
"... my father."
"Your father?" Naruto repeated dumbfounded. What was she talking about? Why would she bring up her fathers' legs?
"Yes, he's inviting all sorts of important persons to this dinner."
Which meant it was another one of her fathers' super long, awfully boring political dinners she was talking about, not (thankfully) his legs. He really should pay more attention, even when he was in a food induced coma and Hinata was wearing nothing but his t-shirt...
"I'm so happy you're doing this for me," Hinata smiled gratefully. "It really means a lot."
Naruto smiled back and got up to help her with the dirty dishes. Who was he trying to kid? He'd have said yes no matter the circumstances . When it came to her, he always did. :.
The four elite ninja around the camp fire had all fell silent yet again. All lost in their own thoughts.
"I really miss her," Naruto said softly. "Three months is a long time..."
Silently they all rose in complete agreement, packed their few belongings and started the last of the journey towards home.
Tell me what you think, or don't tell me. Either way, I'm happy you stopped by.