Special thanks to Elsie0o0 for beta-reading this chapter. :D
Chapter Eight –The Abysmal First-kiss
"You're being weird today," Ino said. By the time Neji heard that, he already knew that it wasn't a statement that she'd been carefully thinking, nor was it an intentional insult to him. It was just a crude comment.
"I have never claimed to be normal," he retorted.
Her reply was quick. "Yeah, but now you're becoming more and more faraway from 'the normal Neji. Since now you're not lingering around that Hinata girl anymore."
He craned his neck to look at this big-mouthed blonde. She was looking at him, and still, her face didn't show any malice. But even after acknowledging that fact, Neji couldn't help feeling slightly offended by her unfiltered words. He gave her a quick glare and then stroked the rolling ladder she'd been holding on to, which rewarded him a suppressed squeak from her.
"Stop doing that!" she shouted at the top of her lungs, and a second later, Ibiki shouted back at her to be quiet. She promptly put a hand to cover her glossy mouth, but then she glared at Neji to hiss. "You bastard."
"I advise you to work on your crude mouth and learn to make some subtle euphemisms, Yamanaka." He replied nonchalantly, still holding the ladder which he then squeezed at it a little. "You have insulted me in one of the most grotesque ways."
"I didn't mean to!" She then let out another suppressed squeak as she embedded her polished nails around the bookshelves in a death-grip. "It just felt weird not seeing you stand up for her again."
He stopped what he was doing and looked south, where he found Hinata helping Naruto to shelf the encyclopedias. Apparently, Hinata's weight was no match for the thick books and she tumbled over dropping the books to the floor. He was prepared to run to her place and help her, but Naruto jumped down from the bookcase first and quickly offered his hand to her.
Realizing his loss, Neji clenched his eyes shut and sighed. "As you can see, Uzumaki and Uchiha are already there to assist her."
She tilted her head as she climbed down the ladder. "And you're not feeling angry at all?"
He narrowed his eyes. "Are you trying to provoke me?"
"No, no, of course not!" Ino held up both her hands and shook them wildly, and even she shook her blonde head too. But he still maintained his cold countenance, and thus, made her feel annoyed. "Gee, it's always extremely hard to talk to you, you know. I always end up looking stupid and feeling confused."
When she was near enough, he took her hand and helped her to jump down. His eyes never left hers when he said, "If that is so... then why bother at all?"
It still amazed him that he hadn't lost his temper to this slow girlyet. "Talking to me."
Ino's smile was genuine. "As well as happiness, unhappiness is contagious, Neji."
"And you think by talking toyoumy unhappiness would disappear?" Was it amusement that he sensed inhistone?
She nodded in enthusiasm. "Yep, besides, I'm always happy. Maybe my happiness would contaminate your unhappiness if I talk to you." She grinned so widely, and practically pirouetted to his side while humming a cheerful song. "Don't you think?"
He couldn't hide his glee anymore. A vague twitch was on his lips before he had a chance to suppress it . "Ino Yamanaka, you are a retard."
"Thanks. By the way, how does this halter suit me? You haven't comment on it." She twirled around to show off her new pink clothing item.
Neji found that he was amused by her childishly sassy behaviors.
"You look good." He said honestly. A moment later, he mentally kicked himself, like a girl liked Ino Yamanaka could ever look ugly with that lustrous blonde hair and translucent sky-blue eyes!
"I know, right?" She tilted her head up and tossed her hair cheekily, posing as if she was a model. Then she studied his figure for a while. Imperceptible blushes appeared on her cheeks when she spoke, "Although you have a very poor sense of fashion, you look good too."
He smiled genuinely for the first time in the whole day. "Thank you, Yamanaka."
"This book should be in here, and this one in there… and that one should be…" Hinata murmured to herself as she shelved the books. Sasuke had said that she didn't need to work at all, for he would do her part. But heck, she couldn't just stand there and do nothing. After all, it was she who became the culprit. Sasuke and Neji-nii fought because of her, and she really didn't like it if she couldn't do anything to give herself a penance.
She walked around the bookcases and finally found the right shelf, then she carefully positioned the book in its place.
"There!" she beamed, apparently happy to see the fact that she had shelved more than twenty books. For once she considered herself lucky for always hanging around in library during her free-periods.
"Gee, you look so enthusiastic, Hinata." Naruto's voice came from behind her, making her flinched. Her heart started to vibrate wildly as automatic blushes suffused throughout her entire skin.
"N-N-Naru-ruto.." she stammered, then berated herself for being such a coward. Nevertheless, she couldn't do anything right when Naruto was around; and now that Naruto was so close to her, she couldn't do anything but hyperventilated. The hair on her nape went up as she felt his breaths brushing past her left shoulder.
"I thought nothing intrigued you at all, you always look apathetic on everything. So, are books the only thing that you love?" he asked as he tossed a young adult novel messily into a shelf located near Hinata.
"Oh, correction. Books and that Sasuke-bastard." He tipped his chin, his disapproval was obvious. "Never knew that he was your type."
His statement surprised her profoundly. She never knew that Naruto had been paying attention on her. She shyly lifted her head and saw as he smiled dazzling towards her. At that instance, she felt her stomach twisting, her throat seemed particularly dry, and she couldn't think about anything else but this particular blonde.
Naruto had been paying attention, he noticed her, he knew her, and he talked to her!
Maybe... he only wooed Sakura because he wanted to make her jealous? You know, like many other male-leads do in romance novels!
No. Definitely not.
Don't let the dreams consume you, Hinata!She rebuked herself. She shouldn't flatter herself like that. Because neither of those things were going to happen. She wasn't as pretty as Sakura, and the word 'popular' didn't really match with her. Besides, she was certain that she didn't have a knack for talking or could do anything that would entertain him.
In short, Naruto wouldn't have interest in her.
Life sure is harsh.
"Hey, Hinata?" Naruto called again, dashing her musings away. "You're all red, are you alright?"
"H-huh?" She raised her face to meet his.
His expression showed concern. "You're crying?" he cried in disbelief. "Hey, Hinata, what happened? Did I upset you or something?"
A teardrop slowly rolled down her face and to her chin, as she finally realized that she was indeed crying. Though, she quickly shook her head and rubbed her eyes as a sham. "I-it just… I—I have some-something… in my eye…"
Two big blue orbs widened as he took her fake reason in. Then a cute dimple showed in his face as he grinned. "Oh, good. I was afraid I had just offended you or something." He looked to Neji and Ino's place before he darted his gaze to Sasuke and Sakura's, later Hinata noticed that Neji and Sasuke were glaring at Naruto.
"You know, you have two annoying, yet dangerous bastards being overprotective of you." He pointed out, and was followed by Hinata's brisk nods.
He seemed unsatisfied by Hinata's quietness, but he shrugged it off anyway. A pretty long, uncomfortable silence was settled between them before Naruto asked again. "How's your eye? Feeling better?"
"A-ah, yes..," she smiled timidly to him.
"Bullshit, it's still red. Here, lemme blow it away for you." He outreached his arm and waited for her to cooperate. But she was too afraid to take even a step forward. Having Naruto this close took every ounce of her power to hold on, she was positive that if Naruto came even closer than this, her heart would likely explode.
Naruto pouted as when she remained passive, and then made an initiative to bent down to her. His arm moved from the empty air to her shoulder, holding her still.
"Don't move." He instructed. Hinata snickered inwardly, as if she could move in a position like this. It was the closest she ever been with Naruto, and she couldn't really decide if she liked it or not. His closeness seemed to make her brain freeze and her heart leap out from her chest. But still, she liked these sensations … they made her feel—
He parted his mouth as he bent down even closer and she instinctively closed her eyes.
She felt he was backing away, she couldn't feel his breath anymore. Anxiously, she opened one eye and saw him chucking.
"How can I blow on your eye if you close it?" he mentioned, eyes flickered in amusement. "I'm not that hideous, kay? And I don't bite. Don't need to be afraid of me."
"Cool." He said shortly, then leaned over again. "Now, be very, very still."
It wasn't a hard job for her, since she couldn't move any part of her body at all! Now, as he got closer and closer to her, she really couldn't think of anything else. His translucent blue eyes reflected her reflection, and she could see a dazed girl was staring back at her. Then he lifted his face, his lips were before her eyes. A moment later, he blew warm air to her right eye.
His breath smelled awesome.
"There! How's it? It isn't hurting anymore, is it?" he grinned; his hand was still holding her shoulder.
She only nodded truthfully, her mind was still disconnected.
They were staring at each other for a few moments. And before both of them knew it, Naruto's hands had already cupped Hinata's face.
"I've never realized it." he said rather absently. His head never stop moving to see every angle of her face while his hands tilted her head left and right.
"You're really pretty." He blurted out.
A pause occurred as both of them tried to take that in.
"What?" Hinata finally managed to come out with that.
"Naruto!" Sakura's hissing voice suddenly broke Hinata illusions, and Naruto suddenly backed away while stating some goodbye salutes. Hinata grunted in disappointment, of course those were all illusions, there was no way the real Naruto would say that she was pretty.
She cupped her own cheeks and felt that they were hot. And could still faintly smell Naruto's aroma.
So, that wasn't an illusion at all?
"I wasn't lying. You really are pretty." Naruto's voice came to her ear, and when she looked at the voice's direction, she really did see Naruto. She needed a few seconds to shake her head and tap her cheek a few times before she could decide that this was real. But even after she shut and reopened her eyes a few times, Naruto was still there. He tossed her a last grin before he his body got pulled away by Sakura again. Her nostril flared as she turned her head to Hinata, throwing the petite girl her most lethal glare.
"Sakura-chan…" Naruto smirked mischievously to Sakura. "You're jealous, aren't you? Because I called Hinata pretty."
"You idiot," was Sakura's reply before she took him to the corner of the library. Probably to scold him.
After both figures disappeared, Hinata felt her knee went weak. She let herself hit the floor softly, and then panted for breaths.
Oh God... this should be the best day in her life ever!
Hinata's smile had never vanished from her lips thorough the ride to Sakura's home.
Sasuke didn't really know what just happened to her. But somehow he had this assumption that whatever it was, it had something to do with that dumb blonde. He saw they were standing really, really close in the library back there. It brought little qualms to him, if Hinata and Naruto already had built a relationship; Hinata would likely break up with him. Not that he wanted to be with that girl, Hinata Hyuuga was interesting, indeed, but he needed her not to be a lover.
He needed her to be apseudolover.
He needed her to be introduced to her mother. And he could meet his mother again… next month.
"Did something happen to you? Why never stop smiling?" he finally asked. At least, he needed to know what Naruto had said –or done- to her. That way he could predict whether they were still distant or had already gone closer to one other.
She merely shook her head. "Nothing happened, Uchiha," she said softly, before the smile returned to her lips, now it was stretched from her left ear to right ear. Sasuke couldn't remember he ever saw Hinata smiled this big.
Something really big must have happened between her and Naruto.
"Really?" he pressed harder.
There was a hint of reluctance in her eyes when she answered. "R-really."
He knew she was lying, but he was somehow positive that no matter how hard he tried to get any information, she wouldn't give any to him.
They rode to Sakura's house in silence, and arrived shortly thereafter. It was hard to find any parking, since a ridiculous amount of cars loaded the roads around the Haruno's huge house –or he should he proclaim it as a mansion?-.
He finally found one decent place to park his car, but it pretty far away from the place. They would need to walk on foot for quite a long time. Sasuke was quite relieved to see that Hinata only wore flat sandals, had the girl been wearing high-heels, she would have bruises in her toes.
But even after not wearing any 'dangerous' shoes, Hinata still got stumbled often, both backwards and forwards. Thank God her reflex actions were pretty good, she quickly hold his arm whenever she started tumbling over.
After seeing her got tripped over nothing five times, Sasuke finally couldn't hold it anymore.
"Are there any needles in your foot or what? Why do you keep failing?"
She met up his gaze in wary. "I don't think Sa-Sakura will like it if I'm c-coming with you."
His lips twitched left as he bit inside his mouth. Why do girls always worry about what other people think about them? He just didn't get it, if Sakura didn't like Hinata, then it was Sakura's problem, not hers. And that girl started whimpering again. He absolutely hated it if she did that, it made him feel as if he had just kicked a cute little puppy or so.
"Nonsense." His snap sounded harsher than he had meant. "Just stay close to me and everything would be alright. You know they won't do anything if I'm around."
It was already dark, but he could faintly see her shocked face.
"Sasuke..." she whispered his name. Sasuke couldn't really decide her intention doing that, nor could he solve the mystery in her tone. Was she scolding him? Or was she questioning him? The complication became worse when another part of his mind told him that she was admiring him.
One thing he knew was… she just called him by first name without him requesting it.
And it was the first time she did that.
But the worst part was he idiotically liked how his name sounded with her voice.
Gee, it was absurd. Utterly, completely absurd.
The situation became more catastrophic for Sasuke when Hinata touched his arm with her fingertip, before she bowed deeply towards him.
"Thank you, Uchiha." She murmured incoherently, but it was still in his ear-shot.
Oh no... this was.. almost beyond his control.
"Come on." He said, and without waiting for her had already started walking. He believed this to be the best option, since he didn't like showing his vulnerable side (aka blushing) to any girls, and especially to this petite little girl that supposed to not look attractive in his eyes.
He took a glance to her, and saw her trying to catch up with him.
Oh, no, no, no. Never let her see him get reddened.
A couple of minutes later, they already could see the mansion. Sakura had just moved into this bigger house about a month ago (Hinata heard the Haruno Corp. had just received a vast profit for its new fashion brand) and had been craving to show it off to everyone. Her parents were currently in foreign country now, and maybe were drinking some tea and smiled when they day dreamed that right now their daughter was sleeping soundly in her bed.
Sakura was standing at the front door, greeting everyone she considered popular and scowling everyone she considered geeky. She was extremely astonishing with her baby-blue tube top and an overly short mini skirt that barely hung on her golden-tanned thighs.
Hinata knitted her brows when she saw that Sakura's top kept sliding off her bosom that she constantly needed to wriggle up it. She cast a look around and saw some guys were checking Sakura out, to contemplate that she was deliberately giving them a good-free-view.
"Wee! You came!" The pink haired girl cried cheerfully when she saw Hinata and Sasuke were coming, and when they were close enough, she almost mechanically hugged Sasuke tightly, and in the process, she subtly brushed her breasts against his chest, making Hinata fidget even more.
Sasuke seemed reluctant when he pulled away. But after sighing a few times, he was back to his cold, untouched look. Sakura smiled really sweetly to him, and he reacted on it by put on his perilous expression.
"You don't greet my date?" he asked, although it sounded much more like a demand in Hinata's ear.
No matter how persistent Sakura was, she still knew when to withdraw. "Right. I'm almost forgot..." she hit her head playfully and stuck out her tongue a little. Not receiving any respond from the tall guy, she gave up and wrapped her arms around Hinata.
"Hinata, you also came!" she cried right into her ears when she hugged her, and when they parted away, Hinata was a bit dizzy due to Sakura's high volume which rang in her ears.
"Let's go." Sasuke said, and then walked in to the house. Hinata still felt unwilling to enter Sakura's place, especially when the hostess was now using every one of her chances to glare at her. The stamp 'FORBIDDEN FOR YOU. FUCK OFF!' was clearly drawn on her wide forehead. But Sasuke said she needed to stay close to him, and she really considered it as a very good idea.
Mustering her last courage, Hinata took a step forward.
"Don't. You. Dare." Sakura hissed.
Maybe it was better to stay outside.
As if Sasuke wasn't satisfied with the chaotic situation, he decided to make it worse by coming back to her place, and right in front of Sakura, grabbing her hand in a death grip.
"I vouch you." He soothed her, and when he saw Sakura's gaping face, he nodded. "See you later."
And just like that, he brought her in, intentionally drowning her to the sea of yuppies that hated her with all their hearts. It was an indirect death sentence for Hinata. One wrong step and she'd likely be burned with the girls' jealousy and hatred fire. They glared at her, watching at every step she took, maybe hoping she'd parted with Sasuke soon so they could murder her in the worst way. Whispers and unspoken swears for Hinata's horrible death were along the way they walked.
"U-U-Uchi-chiha …" she didn't know why she called him, but she just needed insurance for her safety.
"Females…" he breathed instead, "-Are absolutely lethal when they're angry."
Not having enough power for nodding, Hinata only gulped a reply.
Sasuke shut his eyes and tilted his head up; his hands were rubbing each other uncontrollably as he sucked some breaths. Then he hesitantly asked her. "Is it okay if I hold you? I think it's quite easy for them to kidnap you without me noticing it."
On other situations, Hinata would say 'no' without thinking, but for today, however, she didn't have any other options aside from nodding and obeying. She said yes shortly and Sasuke quickly moved closer to her and wrapped an arm around her waist. He drew her closer to him then, and put his other hand on her shoulder; it made Hinata think that Sasuke had just jailed her, because she couldn't really make any other movements except walking.
Nevertheless, it was indeed much safer this way. And she had to admit that she rather liked how it felt to be held really tight like that, although she couldn't help blushing along the way.
"Let's move around for a while, then we go home," he said.
She nodded as they started to walk again. And the people, however, only widened their eyes even more when they saw how close their position was. Even one girl burst out crying and a few people rushed away from the house.
Finally, they arrived to the foyer, where most people were gathered there. In the center, there was Sakura and her girlfriends, along with her boyfriends and the populars. Hinata tried her best to avoid that group, since it was the most hazardous. But Sasuke thought the opposite, he walked toward it.
His voice was enthusiastic. "They spread gossip fast." And walked to them again, faster now.
"They hate me… they hate me... they hate me…" Hinata mused non-stop, trying to avert everyone's glares.
"They'll love you again when we're break up," Sasuke retorted simply.
Everything went pretty smoothly, to Hinata's surprise. Sasuke never let Hinata out from his arms, and she didn't stammer as much as before. They could smoothly answer the questions asked and Hinata even called Sasuke by his first name. Sasuke's act was undoubtedly good; he gave everyone an impression that it was him that madly in love with her—
Before that scary scream boomed.
A very furious Kin approached them, and before Sasuke or Hinata could move, she dumped her drink on Sasuke. On purpose. And not only one glass, she snatched away other people's punches around her and tried to dump him them too.
Sasuke, of course, reflexively released his hold from Hinata and ducked Kin's mad attacks. It took him a while before the guys could imprison Kin and bring her to the bathroom, where she puked out of her heavy drunk stage.
He was still gobsmacked with the incident, who would guess that a girl could go crazy like that just because of one icy, vicious guy? It flattered him a little, but it gave him more qualms that he'd get stalkers.
But that was why he needed Hinata, right? So he could convince them that he was taken.
He smirked then looked around; searching for the petite girl he'd been holding for. But strange, even after he had called her several times, she didn't appear.
Where did she go?
He tried to ponder all the possibilities. Maybe Hinata was in the restroom, or maybe she met up with her friends –okay that was almost impossible- maybe she was grabbing some fruit punch, or maybe-
-She was 'kidnapped' by those brutal girls. He remembered seeing a group of girls and some guys that were continuously tailing them and throwing them dangerous glares.
He finally realized what had just occurred. "Shit!" he automatically cursed out loud and quickly ran through the crowds.
He just couldn't let them harm her!
Chapter eight ended
I got two beta readers because of my last message. Thank you very much Elsie0o0 and for offering. It's an honor for me. :)
Thank you for everyone who have read and reviewed the story. :) New readers and old readers are both very appreciated. I try to reply all reviews but sometimes I miss people. I'm so sorry. :(
Aren't you all excited for Hunger Games, the movie? I watched it premiere, and I'm telling you, it's good IF you've read the books. Most of my friends don't even bother to read and a lot of them (the ones that I didn't explain everything thorough the movies) come out of the cinema feeling dazed and confused.
Anyway, do you know/own stories about Sasuke and Hinata that are set in canon universe? If you do, please tell me!