Title: If

Summary: [SasuHina] "He's a traitor and a rival. He doesn't deserve you, and doesn't love you, Hinata," the head Hyuga said coldly. Sasuke clenched his fists, "Everything you said is true, except for what you said last."

Rating: T (or PG-13)

Genre: Romance/Drama

Pairings: SasuHina duh...

Disclaimer: Nope. Not a chance of owning Naruto

AN: It's so great to see so many old faces, and new faces...err names. Thanks to: Mangekyoprince, Nyancat, Kiritori, littlewitch88, sKyLaR KnIgHt, ImCutePoison, FallenRaindrops, 1, Saki-Hime, Emeryald, Park hye lin, Gaaramino, Shinari, lol, sasulover, Riokudragon, MeltYouWithOneKiss, and the sage.

You guys made me smile, laugh and cry. I dedicate this chap to all you committed readers out there.


Chapter 4: He Offered

"Ma chere Mademoiselle, it is with deepest pride
and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight.
And now we invite you to relax, let us pull up a
chair as the dining room proudly presents - your dinner!"

~Be our guest, Alan Menken/Howard Ashman


The first rays of Sunlight filtered through the bay windows of the bedroom, providing an inviting glow to the Uchiha's bedroom.

Beep!

A hand slapped the alarm, allowing it to drop with a clatter by his bed. The prince yawned, running his fingers through his bird-nest hair. Peeking at his clock, he was thankful it wasn't a school day. For one, he wasn't ever a morning person, the only time he would do something as absurd as waking before dawn was for missions.

Once he finished breakfast, consisting of several energy bars the blonde had brought him and a glass of water. After scrambling his fridge for signs of edible food, it didn't surprise him that there was in fact nothing he could peel open without releasing putrid odors into the kitchen. A Mars bar wasn't much, but it was better than nothing. He concluded and shut the double oak doors.

Once out in the warmth of the sun, he caught a glimpse of a white parchment engraved undoubtedly with his name in cursive letters. Odd. he raised an eyebrow. Since when did the postman work on Saturdays? Never.

Neatly removing the flap, his eyes breached over the contents at lightning speed, but stopped and re-read to make sure he wasn't in fact half-asleep.

When he finally grasped the full message, he smirked while shredding the flowery letter into halves, then quarters, then eighths.

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

Hinata was recovering fast; faster than any of the doctors had predicted in fact Within days, she had passed her complete physical, not with flying colors, but passable which allowed her to leave for sporadic walks in the vicinity of the hospital.

"I can walk you know," the blue-haired beauty beamed.

"I know…But are you sure?" A concerned Sakura knitted her eye-brows. After hearing the kunoichi's return, she had offered to reschedule her part-time job as an assistant nurse to watch over her injured friend. Hinata was thankful beyond belief, after all, the resonant circles around the pink-haired woman spoke enough of her busy part-time job at the hospital.

"Positive," the heiress replied.

"Um Hinata.." he began. "May I ask you something?"

"Of course," the girl replied. "Don't act like we're strangers."

Emerald eyes blinked twice began commencing.

"I was just wondering...Did Sasuke say mention me before you returned?" she quickly added. "Anything at all?"

There was an uncomfortable silence as images flashed through Hinata's mind; images of her waking up to the smell of blood, waking up in the middle of a nightmare for five months. Five. Torturous. Hopeless. Endless. Months.

But each time, there was someone watching her. At first with distain, but then with concern, giving her a vague sense of…communion.She had wished she could tell her friend from the beginning, but couldn't find the strength to recount the memories without feeling sickened to the core. The last five months had made her feel tainted.

"I'm sorry, but he didn't say anything."

The pink from her cheeks faded as she moved her bangs to one side. Hinata wish she knew the right words to say, but found none. Perhaps taken at face value it had meant very little, but she was sympathetic to her friend's childhood crush.

"Look" she patted her shoulders timidly. "Once I leave this place, let's celebrate at Ichiraku with the others. It'll be fun."

"Hinata, haven't you heard?" Sakura replied wearily. "Your father's planning your return ball on the day you sign out from the hospital."

The heiress tilted her head in confusion.

"From what I've heard, it's pretty exclusive too, with your whole extended family coming..." her voice trailed off.

But why would he schedule anything for me? She asked herself; especially after his piercing remarks less than a week ago. What was the meaning behind this?

"And Neji's been busy handing out invites as well." The pink-haired woman retrieved a flower parchment from her satchel and handed it to her friend.

Still overwhelmed with the novel information, she scanned the contents quickly, eyes widening with disbelief.

"Seven o'clock? At a hotel?" she exclaimed almost to herself. "Why didn't I hear anythingabout this?"

Sakura shrugged, "A surprise?"

"But he would never..."

That part was true. After all these years, whether it was birthdays or anniversaries, Hinata was always the first to know, being the future heiress to the clan. After all, her father was not exactly the one to keep secrets; he was as blunt as a hammer when it came to dealing with the clan's affairs.

"Come to think of it, Neji's advertising wasn't exactly secretive," Sakura nodded in agreement.

Somehow the pieces of the jigsaw just didn't fit. She couldn't find a plausible reason for her father to do this. But again, she knew her father well enough to know that nothing was without a purpose, let alone something this grand.

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

He found her returning from her walk on the second floor, and ambushed her.

"Wha-" hands immediately silenced her lips as snowy eyes met charcoal. It was inevitable she'd find him here, she surmised. After what his father said, she almost forgot what it was like to be in his presence, because whatever happened in the months before were fading in the rear view mirror. Fading not because she wanted to, but because she was a Hyuga, and he was an Uchiha. If those names were ever engraved in something called fate, they would never be tangent to one another.

"Hello," she said nervously.

"How's your wound?" His gaze fell to her abdomen, shielded underneath a long sleeved, hospital shirt. He couldn't make out the details, but knew couldn't have miraculously healed on its own.

"The nurses said I should be fine with some rest and narcotics," she explained trying to ease the concerned look in the Uchiha's eyes. It was as if she was a transparent piece of glass whenever he stared at her. There was nothing to hide. If there was one thing he was born with, it was detecting lies.

In reminiscence, she really had not felt any adverse symptoms…until now. Her head was spinning, while her eyes were experiencing mild black-outs. Nothing like this had ever happened. She blamed it on her sleep-deprivation. This had got to be the worst timing possible and before she knew what was happening, her hands clutched onto Sasuke's arm for support.

"I'm- fine."

"Dammit Hinata!" Ever inch of muscle on his body tensed. She was clearly not fine. It was only a matter of time before the narcotics did any physical harm. Irritated, he lifted her up in his staunch arms and headed out the door.

"Hey-" The girl oddly had the energy to protest. "I said I was fine. Put me down!"

They headed down the corridor, through a crowd of nurses who giggled at the pair with fascination. She could feel heat rising to her face as words such as 'cute' and 'couple' floated through her ears.

"No," he said nonchalantly.

For once, he was slightly concerned with her leaving the hospital unattended. What if he wasn't around next time? What if she was reckless enough to fall not into his arms, but a cement wall? He pictured the possibilities and found them disturbing to say the least.

"Sasuke..." she pouted her lips, just enough to make him reconsider putting her down.

But by all means, he wasn't about to let her attempt something stupid…again.

So he resumed a smirk and said, "Nice try princess."

He could've laughed at the way she was pouting in his arms if he forgot that they were in a hospital.

Once he returned her to her room, he sat at the edge of her bed.

"Sasuke you..." he could feel her heart-beat increase since they left the room.

"Me...?" he repeated, watching her cross her arms. He could have sworn this was the only woman bold enough complain being picked up by an Uchiha. Some would have done anything to be swept off their feet by the man in question.

"You..." she said breathless.

"Yes?" he tilted his head mockingly.

"You...are despicable," she finished; her navy hair slightly tussled from struggling with Sasuke's iron-like arms.

"And you are the most reckless person I've ever met." He shook his head. "You never cease to amaze me how you get through the day without bruising yourself from head to –"

The heiress slapped his arm gently. Too bad, live with it. She thought. Of course, not everyone was as perfect as the prince, in any way, shape or form.

The abrupt opening of the patient room door dissolved her thoughts. Two doctors in lab coats bolted through the door.

"My Apologies, but there have been an emergency." The older, spectacled man began.

"There was a serious incident with the ANBU mission to Mizugakure yesterday. They've been targeted by foreign rogue shinobi. We have four jonins currently in a coma, and…" he hesitated briefly.

"Because of the lack of room in the intensive care units…."

Sasuke answered for them, "You would like to relocate some patients."

Both doctors nodded in unison. Having eavesdropped on their conversation, one of the older patients across the room cursed at the idea of being relocated.

"If possible, we would like to know the address of who you will be staying with."

Hinata felt Sasuke watching her carefully, but couldn't meet his gaze. She was about to reply when a voice beat her to it.

"She can stay with me."

Her heart stopped, as she turned toward the man next to her. Was she dreaming? Did she just hear him say what she thought she did?

Everything around her seemed to fast-forward at a pace that disallowed her to think. She watched as the prince followed the doctors through the door to complete the paperwork. What she couldn't understand was not what Sasuke had said, but her own hesitation.

How hard was it to tell them where she lived? The home she had lived in for her entire life? She bit her lips in frustration. Was it because there was somewhere else she'd rather be?

Before she could ponder, an outstretched hand appeared before her.

"Ready to go?"

Still dazed at the idea of living with the prince, she found herself sitting in the front leather seats of his Black Porsche.

Once Sasuke pulled up through the drive way, she let out a shriek of exclamation causing the man beside her to step on the brakes a little too harshly.

When he discovered the object of her concern, he raised an elegant eyebrow.

But Hinata was too shocked to care. A massive marble building loomed before them, with Classical Ionian Columns leading to a front patio adorned with an assortment of flowery shrubs. Beyond the patio, she could make out the silhouette of an open garden to the rear of the building, with miniature fountains cradled by lush emerald grass.

Was this what fortune brought you?

With her jaw still open, she was even unaware when her side of the car door opened, and Sasuke was standing outside wearing a bored expression.

"You…" Her mouth had suddenly gone dry. "You live here?"

"Hn." He said casually, wrapping his arms around her shoulders as he guided her up the stairs.

The double swinging doors unlocked by themselves, as a formally-dressed maid greeted them.

When the day was over, Sasuke mentally noted to thank the blonde for arranging maid services that morning, so the house wouldn't be too much of a disaster by the time he returned by dusk.

"Take her upstairs," he instructed. "And find her a room to stay in."

The maid nodded, and led her by the hand up the spirally marble stairs.

"When you're hungry, come down for dinner," Sasuke advised.

"Actually," she said. There was a rumbling sound in which both the Uchiha prodigy and the maid stopped to listen leaving the kunoiichi's cheeks to resemble the color of a raw tomato.

"Dinner sounds great right about now."


AN: I was really inspired by this review by "the sage"

What I love about your story is that it makes you feel like you're part of the plot.

That's exactly what we hope to do. Readers out there, don't be a spectator, you're part of it, so share your thoughts.