In Pursuit

Sasuke wasn't quite sure how the hell he got himself into this mess. In fact, the way Hinata's body moved as she gracefully walked from table to table at her waitressing job made him wonder how on earth she managed to do it so well. She poured the tea casually, watching as the browny looking liquid seeped into the tea cup of one of her customers.

"Thank you my dear," an elderly woman who was one of her regular customers chirped, quite happy to see Hinata. Her faint blue eyes shined as they always did, and she couldn't be more grateful.

"You're welcome." Hinata bowed out of politeness and handed the lady a serviette, and saw Sasuke watching her out of the corner of her eye. What did he want? Every day, she saw that he was always in the same seat, watching her intently from afar. He never approached her. Never even talked to her.

Her hand trembling, she ducked back inside, just as an order came from a table outside. Another one! Boy the cafe was busy today and that was for sure. Normally on a weekend, the cafe struggled to keep up with the demands of its customers as many people popped in and out of Konoha in their daily business, and today, was no different.

Though Monday had a certain flare to it, that Hinata couldn't quite put her finger on, but it was for certain that a new start of the week would get her through the year. The pay was average, but she was just glad it could take her mind off things, for the moment anyway.

She wiped the sweat off her brow and went to the table that requested an order and her heart sunk. It was him. Sasuke Uchiha was holding up the small, glittering and golden bell, tinkling as he shook it from side to side lightly. "Hello sir," she said, grinding the words forcefully through her teeth, trying not to stutter like she usually did when she was nervous, "did you want to order something?"

Hinata was taken aback when Sasuke grabbed her crisp white sleeve, pulling her down to his eye level. She flushed, embarrassed that people were staring at them, and tugged at her sleeve to get away, but her persisted in the chase. "I want to order you," he said matter-of-factly, his smug smile holding no lies about his intentions. "Is that alright with you?"

"Would you like fries with that, sir?" she retorted sarcastically, he eyebrow twitching. Man, he was really starting to get on her nerves.

His smile widened as he stared at her, amused. She really was something. "Fries?" he thought for a moment. "I think you'll do fine," he replied.

He let go of her sleeve, and Hinata narrowed her eyes dangerously at him. She peered down at her page on her clipboard to have an effect. "I'm afraid that that doesn't come in your favour," she replied hotly, proud of her comeback. She scribbled something on her page, and Sasuke, activating his Sharingan, saw that it was a note to the manager. She wanted to get rid of him, did she? Too bad. He was having way too much fun as it was.

As soon as she looked up, he deactivated his bloodline limit, not wanting her to see him peering through her mistake. "Oh, what a pity," he drawled, leaning back, crossing his legs. "Hmm. Well then, just get me a coffee-black, two teaspoons of sugar and milk." He clicked his fingers, bringing her to attention. "And make it snappy," Sasuke ordered, grinning.

"I am not your slave sir," she snapped, her tongue clicking in disapproval.

"I understand that."

"Sure you do," Hinata muttered under her breath as she prepared the coffee inside, her teeth grinding together. How dare he? He had some cheek to come and not only demand that she get him a coffee, the jerk, but to want her, just like she was some morsel to nibble on? Oh she would teach him a lesson alright. Then maybe Sasuke Uchiha wouldn't be so arrogant and he would treat her with some respect that she deserved!

In no less than the space of five minutes, (a record for Hinata,) she came out, and handed his coffee to him. Sasuke, interested, took a sip and his face cringed in disgust. "I don't like it," he said nonchalantly. "Please make some more."

"What?" she asked, startled.

"I said please make some more, because it tastes terrible."

Hinata couldn't believe her ears. Did it really taste that terrible? She knew that she had put the right amount of sugar, water and milk into it as well as the coffee beans, but to have him say that it tasted terrible was such a letdown to her. "T-there's no way it could taste terrible!" she cried out, wringing her hands together nervously, her heart pounding. She stared back at him defiantly. "I put the right amount of sugar, and coffee and also-"

"That's not the underlying problem," Sasuke said intellectually.

Her eyebrows creased. " you mean?" she asked slowly. "I'm not quite sure what you mean." He picked up the mug, studied it, and put it back down on the table.

"The problem is, that even though I asked for a coffee, your heart wasn't in it." He raised an eyebrow. "Isn't it in your best interests to tend to the needs of your customers? Don't you value your prestigious job? Or are you so sick of me that you are clearly lacking in your skills?"

Hinata started to feel her anger rising. He didn't. There was no way. He was questioning her and how she did her job! That idiot. "You don't know what you're talking about," Hinata replied hotly, her fists clenched at her sides.

People stopped eating and stared. "Oh, I don't?"

"Yes," Hinata snatched the coffee mug away from him and felt like she was going to burst into tears. This-this monster! He made fun of her, ridiculed her skills, and now he was challenging her! Okay, she could admit to herself that she wasn't the perfect barrister for making coffee, but so what? He had no idea what trouble he was stirring, and she was sick of it.

She shakily turned around, her eyes brimming with tears so he couldn't see her face. Trying to be composed, she gathered her skirt in her left hand and put the coffee mug back on the table inside the cafe, studying a picture on the wall-anything to distract her from the person sitting outside. Ever since she had seen him, Hinata immediately disliked him. Though she didn't say it, he saw it in her eyes.

The way they darted back and forth, and glared whenever she caught him staring at her. Around other people, she was a totally different person. She was willing to please her customers, always putting a smile on her face, and never forcing it. But around Sasuke...

Sasuke gathered his studying material off the table and watched Hinata hurry off into the female's toilets. Disappointment flooded through him. He hadn't really meant for her to be so upset. All he really wanted was to challenge her, to make her see that he really wanted the best for her, but it hadn't turned out that way. With a frown and his lips in a thin line, he went to the training grounds, thinking of a way to make her feel better. It was his foolish mistake, and it was his fault, after all. Now he just had to make it up to her somehow.

Mid afternoon, when Hinata had finished drying her tears with a tissue out of her pocket and people started to leave as the closing time drew nearer, she began to wash up the dishes stacked in the sink neatly. Why did Sasuke have to be so mean to her? Boys were, and always would be, in her eyes, cruel. They didn't realize the damage that they could do to someone. They were arrogant, mindless, egoistic freaks who only cared about how big their-

Hinata stopped.

'No,' she thought, putting a pretty china bowl on the rack after she had finished drying it, 'I shouldn't sink under his charms. He just wants to rile me up and to make fun of me. That's all.' She glanced outside, the tables now empty. Standing in the doorway was none other than the man that had made her upset, and his solemn face haunted her. "What do you want?" she said, agitated.

"I wanted to apologize," Sasuke replied quickly, almost afraid that he had crossed the line. "And I'm gravely sorry."

Hinata's head whipped around. "Oh, you're sorry now, are you?" she shouted, appearing in his face. He blinked, startled, his eyes wide. She was ferocious, but he wouldn't let that get to him. "Do you know how much you hurt my feelings? Saying such despicable stuff to my face, and in front of the customers, too! You're a lowlife Sasuke, and you always will be. Now just leave me alone."

"I'm afraid I cannot do that," he said stoically.

"Really?" she sneered.

"Yes," he said calmly. It would not do him good to get her mad. "Because I realize that what I did was reckless. I'm willing to apologize." Sasuke bent over and picked up an item at her feet. "Please open this."

He handed it to her and she shoved it away from her. Hinata's eyes softened, just a tiny bit, but there was hardness still to her voice, and Sasuke knew she was still upset. "Thank you for the present, but I cannot accept it."

"Hn?" And then, Sasuke placed his hands on the sides of her face and kissed her, brushing his lips against hers. He had her captured now, and he didn't want to miss a thing. Hinata struggled in vain to move away, and her hands scrambled against his chest to try and push him away, but Sasuke was strong.

His kiss was demanding, passionate, but only in the slightest.

Once he was satisfied, he pulled away. Hinata was panting, her face flushed crimson. "I believe that that was the real thing I wanted," he said gently. "I hope you'll believe me."

Hinata wasn't sure what to say. She still felt mad, but holding a grudge against someone wasn't a good idea, so she let it go.

He spoke for her. "If you want, I'll taste your coffee again." He smiled, and it nearly melted her heart. Another grin. "It'll be my pleasure."

Hinata went around the counter as Sasuke sat on a stool, watching her curiously. She pulled out a mug and slid it across the shiny counter. She made up the coffee, still anxious because he was watching her, but she swallowed her nervous thoughts, oblivious to the way he was staring at her. She was beautiful, and she defiantly captured his attention.

Once she had done, she gave it to him, watching how he would react. He took a sip. A pleased growl came up from his throat, and he laughed. "You know," he replied with a wink, covering her warm, pale hand in hers, "your coffee is magnificent, when you're in the right frame of mind."

Hinata put her hand on her hips. "Oh? Is that a compliment from the Uchiha?" She rolled her eyes with a small chuckle. "I'm not sure whether or not I should be pleased, to say the least."

"Pleased?" Sasuke murmured, reaching over the counter top to take her lips in his, "pleased is the last thing I would expect you would feel."

Hinata sighed into his touch as Sasuke let go unwillingly. He moved his way around the countertop and ran his fingers through her silky dark blue hair, long and free, and untangled it from the loose pony tail she was wearing it in. "There," he whispered, making her shiver. "You look beautiful with your hair down."

Hinata blushed and embraced him softly, her nails digging into his white linen shirt as she hugged him tightly. When she didn't say anything, he became worried. "Hinata?"

"S-Sasuke..." Soft sobs came from the shy girl, and he stared at her sympathetically. She tried to wipe the tears away, but Sasuke held her arm still, firmly.

"What are you crying for, Hinata? I told you your coffee's good." Still, he didn't get why she was crying. She laughed bitterly, shaking her head.

"It's not that," she replied. Hinata blinked away the tears and kissed him. "I just wanted to know why you were watching me, waiting there all this time. I...I grew irritated at you because I couldn't understand why. But...but now I know."

Sasuke tilted her face up so he could look into her pretty eyes. "You do?" he asked.

"Yes. Because you love me, but you just couldn't find a way to say it, Sasuke."

She had read right through him. It was as if she stared into her soul that was naked, exposed for her to see everything. "You are interesting," he murmured with a smirk. "And I do love you. You're right." Sasuke blushed. "I couldn't also understand myself why you weren't responding. And I admit-" he grew bashful, "that my flirting wasn't having the desired effect on you."

She gave a long sigh, and he laughed. "Aren't you getting bored of all your smart talk?"

His eyes danced and sparkled at her comment. She was so cute! "No," he replied with a grin. "Because I love you."

Sasuke pulled her into another furious kiss, her back pressed against the bench top. She didn't find him irritating anymore. Because for once, Hinata found someone who loved her. Later that day, Sasuke convinced Naruto to try Hinata's coffee as he walked over to his friend's house. Naruto, only too eager to please Hinata, not only brought himself, but half the village to try her coffee.

Sasuke would strangle the blonde when he found out. Silly dobe. But he had to chuckle when he saw everyone lining up outside the cafe, all placing orders. There was a line of probably more than a hundred people at best guess, waiting for their delicious coffee. And being winter, it was delectable and warm, just what a shinobi wanted from coming home from a hard mission.

No longer was she working as a waitress, Hinata was working as a barrister. Her coffee was the best in the Land of Fire, and with a few tweaks, maybe even the best in the world. And Sasuke couldn't have been happier to hold her in his arms if it meant he could love her. He loved the attention she gave him, and she always had her eyes on him.