If I made money off of these things, I would spend an awful lot more time on them.
Come Away With Me
"Yes you are, what did I do?"
"I'm n-not upset, please, I need to get this done for tomorrow."
She was lying. She was nibbling at her cuticles, that was her tell, and Naruto was ever observant to her behaviors. Hinata turned away from him and went back to her tablet, adjusting the backlight to her computer screen, she had been in front of it for too long and her eyes were stinging from the abuse.
"Hinata, please talk to me." There was a catch to his voice. He was sorry but she was still upset. He didn't even know why he was sorry and that made her bite down too hard on her left index finger, drawing blood. Sighing, she put her tablet aside.
"It's just… we had a meeting with the wedding planner this afternoon. You must have… forgotten."
"Shit. Hinata I'm sorry. Tsurenai chewed me out today because I turned the wrong paper work for this case we had been working on and, Hinata, I am so sorry. I'll make it up to you I swear." He hated the way she was looking at him, those doe eyes looking sadder with each utterance of 'I'm sorry,' he felt like he had just kicked a puppy.
"I just… I mean." She took a deep breath, taking up her tablet again. "I wish you'd take this more seriously… the wedding is-"
"In less than two months, I know. You don't think I'm taking this seriously?" He bit. The rage building within him was unfounded, but everything about this was egging him on. He felt satisfied when he saw her wince at his tone. He was a sick bastard.
"N-no, that's not what I meant-"
"Then what did you mean?" She was working at the image before her mindlessly. He knew she'd have to go back and fix whatever mess she was making during this argument. He kept on. "What did you meant then, huh? Hinata I love you, why the fuck would I be marrying you if I didn't?" He was shouting at her, he should hate himself, and he did, after he noticed the tears shining in her eyes. She pushed her tablet away from her and stood up.
"Well you certainly don't act like it."
Hinata turned and hurried in to their bedroom, door slamming behind her and lock clicking loudly in her wake. Naruto sighed.
The couch was becoming his new best friend.
Sasuke didn't care much for red heads, in fact, he found the color to be too loud for his liking and detested anyone who was proud to stand out in such a way. But he wasn't complaining now as he was fisting that detested color hair now, dragging the woman before him closer.
She was chanting his name softly against his neck as he rocked her hips on top of him.
He hated her. How easy she was, how she acted around him in the office, essentially throwing herself at him, but he could not help himself. He was a man after all, a good looking one at that, and she was there and willing and he needed some stress relief.
When they were through, she hastily gathered her discarded panties and slipped them over her legs and back under her skirt. She was flustered and her hair was mussed. Sasuke sat back in his office chair and watched her depart. She muttered something about his brother requesting some paper work for the upcoming meeting with the Hyuuga's. He slumped further down his chair, adjusting his slacks before zipping himself back up.
He watched his door for a few moments before turning to his computer to get back to work.
"So you guys fought. This won't be the last time, trust me." Ino sat at her desk opposite from Hinata, rubbing her nose furiously where she had accidentally gotten some ink on it. "No big deal."
"I suppose…" Ino huffed, giving up on rubbing off the ink and digging in to her purse for her concealer.
"You suppose? This different from the other times?" Hinata pushed an eraser around her desk. They were supposed to be working, but they had just gotten through a deadline and for some reason things always slowed down a little bit when they finished a deadline.
"It's different because I feel like he's blowing me off… and it's not a good time to be blowing me off."
"Well, no one is forcing you to marry him Hinata. You know what they say-" Ino was dabbing concealer on her nose, squinting in to the tiny mirror of her compact. Hinata tapped her fingers on her desk impatiently. "Oh, right. People say that planning a wedding is the hardest thing you can do as a couple. Like a make it or break it type thing."
"Oh you know, I saw it in some movie where these two women booked their wedding on the same day. One woman found all the problems in her relationship and the other found how perfect her's was. A real chick flick." Ino snapped her compact shut and dropped her purse under her desk. She smiled, exaggerating her lips over her teeth and making Hinata giggle just as Asuma walked by their shared cubicle.
"Ladies, please, this is a work place. Aren't you supposed to be drawing or something of that nature?" Asuma was hopeless when it came to be taken seriously. Ino stretched out in her chair.
"We're working, see? I drew a tree." She gestured to her paper and he offered her a lop sided smile, cigarette balanced on his lips.
"Get to work blondie. You too Hinata, I heard you giggling." He wiggled his eyebrows at her before walking away. Ino slumped over her desk, blowing a raspberry.
"Anyway, if you want to break up with him go for it. I'm just now going to nonchalantly remind you of how much of your life you've invested in him and now go back to working on this forest in silence." She snickered in to her paper and Hinata sighed, looking down to her own work.
Ino had a point.
Itachi pushed his hair away from his face, shooting a questioning glance in his younger brother's direction. He read over the final draft of the contract that would be formed between their families PR firm and Hyuuga Pharmaceuticals. He cocked an eyebrow.
"Do you think this is a good idea Sasuke?"
"Do you think representing Hyuuga Pharmaceuticals is a good idea, from a legal stand point?" He shrugged.
"It's what father had intended. I'm not the one for these business moves." He shrugged again. Itachi snickered.
"You're right. He knew what he was doing. Are you going to be there for the meeting?"
"No I don't think-"
"Tough. It's at three. See you then."
Neji was gripping his suit case handle too roughly. Hinata winced at the white knuckle grip and did her best at seeming not to notice as she shifted her weight from foot to foot in the elevator. Neji was tapping his foot impatiently. This was to the same affect as her biting her cuticles. He was nervous.
"Have you looked over the paper work they sent you?" Hinata asked tentatively. Neji looked over to her as though he had just remembered she was standing next to him.
"Is everything okay?" He sighed and the grip on his suitcase relented.
"It is, I'm just nervous. Uchiha has a good reputation but… I don't know. I don't know how I feel about handing over our family name for someone to take care of. It's something precious, something our fathers worked together to build and this is important to them… to me… to us." He offered her a tentative smile. "I was very happy to hear you were willing to help with the company again Hinata."
"I could not let the burden of my father's half of the company fall on Hanabi alone. She's still in school…" She shook her head but returned his smile. "I suppose I should be grateful to be back in her life. Despite the circumstances."
Neji looked as though he were going to say more but the elevator pinged as the door slid open. He snapped his mouth shut, the grim mask of business replacing the warmth he had shown Hinata. She steeled herself and hoped she hadn't forgotten anything in her time away from Hyuuga Pharm.
A woman with bright red hair and thick rimmed glasses smiled at them as they stepped through the glass doors with the Uchiha emblem. The distant sounds of ringing phones and sliding office chairs brought on a wave of nostalgia Hinata had not been expecting. Of course she had heard these noises in her own work place, but the context was different. Her palms began to sweat.
"Welcome Mr. Hyuuga. They're already expecting you, if you'll please follow me." The woman before them pushed her glasses up her nose, causing a glare to hide the color of her eyes. The pair followed, their steps muffled by the grey carpet of the hallways.
The red head stopped before another large glass door, the main conference room, Hinata assumed, judging from its' size and central location. She opened the door for them and smiled sweetly, announcing their presence.
In the center of the room was a long, fancy looking table, the surface polished to perfection and shining under the light fixture above. At the head of the table was a very tired looking man, skin pale, hair long but tied back to give off the air of a professional. His gaze was steady and the way he trained his eyes on her and her cousin made her want to revert to her old childish ways and cling to Neji's shirt tail and hide behind him. To his left was a younger looking man, similar to the tired man in many ways, including his eyes, and she was sure if the tired man had cut his hair it would it in the same unruly fashion as the younger man. She drew confidence from the depths of her character and followed Neji, seating themselves opposite to the pair.
"Mr. Hyuuga, good to see you again." The tired man spoke, his voice was gentler than she had anticipated. Neji nodded, shaking his hand responding politely then turning to Hinata, indicating she introduce herself.
"Hinata Hyuuga. I'm here in place of my late father." They shook hands and he frowned.
"Itachi Uchiha, a pleasure. Please accept my condolences to your family."
"Thank you." The younger man was watching her closely, a look of almost confusion coming over his features.
"Excuse my brother's stare, he is just captivated by Ms. Hyuuga's beauty." Itachi said after an awkward beat. This earned the two brother's a pointed glare from Neji, a slight blush from Hinata (that she tried so desperately to fight off), and a jolt from Sasuke.
"Hn, Sasuke Uchiha. I'll be dealing with your company's name." They settled themselves at the table and Itachi and Neji immediately went to work on outlining the plan that Sasuke had drawn up as to how the image of the company should proceed. It didn't seem too different from how Hinata's father had represented them towards the end of his life. There was an emphasis on the damage control concerning a certain under the table scandal involving Hinata's late mother...
When they started touching on the subject, she turned towards her notes and started doodling. Her eyes caught sight of one pale hand resting above a blank sheet of paper, a pen gracefully perched in the crook of his thumb and index finger. She couldn't help herself. Hinata started drawing Sasuke's hand, distracting herself from the subject at hand as she tried to capture the elegance in which this man held himself.
After a pause that was too long to have just been for breath, she knew she had been discovered. Neji's mouth was set in a grim line, Itachi looked amused, and Sasuke sighed.
"Ms. Hyuuga, if you really wanted to be wasting our time by doodling while this meeting took place I would have hoped for a warning." Sasuke bit before moving the hand she had been sketching and pushing up from his chair. Itachi shook his head. Itachi shook his head but didn't say anything when his younger brother left the room.
"I apologize, he hasn't really been himself lately. I assure you, he'll behave professionally when it comes to your company." Neji sighed.
"No you shouldn't apologize, it was not his fault. I suppose we're done now?" The two men nodded and Hinata felt like she wanted to cry.
She should have never come back.
"That was very rude of you."
"That was rude of her, she should have been taking what you two were saying more seriously. What kind of impudence is that? Showing up to a meeting and doodling?" Sasuke was pacing his office. Itachi leaned on the far wall, tongue pressed to the roof of his mouth as he watched his brother fume. "I just don't understand them. Why are they asking for our help now? Their father basically stopped their family's name to the ground with what he had been doing, unsalvageable!"
"He was trying to fix things… towards the end."
"A lot of good that did him… How can you stand to be in the same room as them? She looks just like her too…" Itachi shook his head.
"You seriously need to grow up little brother."
Hinata had felt defeated before.
She remembered the first time she had gotten a C in chemistry freshman year of high school. Her father refused to look at her for a week.
There was the time she and her sister had gotten in to an argument over who should hold their mother's hand when they unplugged her ventilator. Hinata couldn't deal with the pain, Hanabi was still rather young and needed her sister to be there for their mother, but in the end it was Hanabi who stroked her thumb over their mother's pale hand as she took her last shaky breath.
When she first met Naruto in college and found out he had a girlfriend.
When she discovered the hidden file over the experimental drugs their mother had been taking for her illness that had ultimately led to her speedy decline. She had thrown the papers on her father's desk and stormed out of his and her sister's life.
She sunk into the bathtub with a grateful sigh, she didn't know who to thank for the fact that Naruto was not home, she didn't feel like dealing with him.
'Though he might have left me. I hope not…'
That's when she heard the door open and her name being called out.
"I'm over here." She sighed in to the water and sunk further beneath the suds. Naruto was at the threshold of the bathroom in moments. His eyes scanning the vanilla candles and the over amount of bubbles Hinata currently sat in the middle of.
"Bad day," he guessed.
"Just very… long." He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.
"I guess I didn't really help in that huh? I'm sorry about last night and the meeting and yelling at you… You don't deserve that. I promise I'll try harder."
It had gotten to where Hinata could no longer count the times he had uttered those same words to her on her fingers anymore. She sunk further in to the tub, blowing bubbles just beneath the surface of the water before coming back up.
She couldn't help it. Especially when it came to Naruto, Hinata had fallen too hard. She feared being unable to get up.
After a lot of contemplation, Hinata decided she needed to apologize to Sasuke Uchiha and promise to take her work with her family's company more seriously. She hoped he understood. She hated being on the receiving end of anger and frustration.
The red headed lady frowned a little when she had asked to see him and was about to dismiss Hinata when Itachi walked by with a mug of what appeared to be coffee in his hands. He smiled and told her to go right in, he had just come from there himself and knew he wasn't busy. He led her down the hall and gestured towards a door whose nameplate read:
Itachi excused himself and she stared at the name plate. She raised her fist but hesitated.
'No. No more fear. No more running away.'
Her knuckles rapped against the wood louder than she had intended but she stood firm. A deep tenor beckoned her entry and she turned the nob and stepped inside before she could convince herself otherwise.
Sasuke's office was all dark tones. The walls were a deep shade of gray, black and white prints in black frames hung along the walls. There was a heavy bookshelf behind the desk, filled to the brim with books, her eyes lingered there for a moment before turning towards the man behind the desk.
He had to admit she was the last person he would have expected call upon him and the determination behind her quicksilver eyes made his heart skip a beat. He almost forgot to stand.
Sasuke offered her his hand. "I didn't expect to see you so soon after… yesterday's exchange." Her hands were warm and she surprised him once more by the firmness of her grip. "It was unprofessional of me."
"Yes, well." She cleared her throat. "I really should have been paying more attention. You were right… I just… It's just been a while since I've had to deal with any of this. But that's beside the point. I'm not here to make excuses for myself, I'm here to make you a promise. I'm going to be present for my family and for this company and I need your help to rebuild the Hyuuga name Mr. Uchiha."
"Fine then, I suppose we'll be seeing quite a bit of each other." She nodded.
"I'll see you at the meeting with the researches next Monday. Until then."
Forgive me because... I couldn't stop thinking about it. I started working on SABA but this... snuck up on me and I had to get it down. It'll be short. Promise. Also, I've started using tumblr. Go bother me there. Feedback is welcome.