Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto, not me. Also, this was written for fun and no money was made. Co-written with Lost to the Hoping.

This story takes place in the Sand Trails universe just before chapter 25, but it's not necessary to read that first.

Yes - This is a blatant distraction tactic. No - Sand Trails is NOT being dropped. I just got my new computer parts tonight and Win7 is only NOW installing. So you get this to tide you all over for another 24 hours.

Call out to Clumsy!

-x-

Ch 1: Call the Pocket

Hyuuga Hinata, heir to the Hyuuga technological empire and all of its fortune, was much looked after, doted upon, and driven up the wall by a ceaseless stream of attendants. Occasionally, Hinata would be able to escape, and when she did, she made a bee-line for that dingy bar down in the back roads of town.

It was quiet, and best of all, nobody knew who she was. Occasionally, she'd play a game of pool, or let a guy pick her up to dance to the jukebox music. No one ever asked her for an ID, but then she never ordered alcohol anyway, so they didn't need to.

This place was where she often angsted after an unsuccessful attempt at talking to Naruto, or after having a run-in with her obstinate, irritating cousin. And sometimes it was just nice to pretend she was nobody special. Maybe she'd play pool tonight…

"HOO YA! EAT THAT, FUCKER!" a voice screamed as she entered. It was Hidan, a guy from school, and his best friend. They were there almost every time she came, plowing through opponents like there was no concern for loss.

"Oh, man! Not again!" his current victi—er, opponent, moaned.

Kakuzu had swiped the man's money up and was counting it. "Care for a rematch?" he asked with a smirk.

"Hell no, I know a lost cause when I see one," the much older man complained, and stalked toward the bar to get a drink.

"Any other suckers man enough to play me?" Hidan asked, leering around at the semi-crowded bar.

Hinata narrowed her eyes. It would be nice, she mused, to shut him up. There wasn't anyone in the bar who welcomed Hidan. He was nothing but a nuisance and a braggart.

It took her a moment to realize she was already stepping forward, lifting her chin and letting a completely daring smirk drift across her lips.

Today, Naruto had brushed her off completely. He had been too busy talking to Sasuke to notice that she had greeted him at the doors of the school. Her blonde crush had walked right past her even though Uchiha had turned his head as they passed to give her a pitying look.

The same pitying looks that several of the bar patrons were giving her now.

She stopped at the other side of the table, eyelids lowered, one hand propped up on her hip, cool gaze on the albino across from her.

"Those were men," God, she felt fearless, "let's see how you are against a woman."

Hidan looked surprised for half a second (he couldn't tell what size her boobs were!) before he grinned evilly. "Bring it on, bitch."

Kakuzu elbowed him. "Use some respect for the lady. After all, she's about to go broke."

"True, true," Hidan said with a sage nod. "Well, in that case…" He finished putting the pool balls in the racket and lifted the plastic triangle. "Ladies first." He smirked, eyes raking up and down her. Ha, nice ass.

The blue-haired girl lifted a single brow, picked up the pool cue, and broke the balls. And from there, systematically put every single one of her stripes into the pockets. With style.

With each strike of the cue, Hinata took note of where the cue ball stopped, what angles she needed, what positions she needed to take around, and on, the table, and called every single shot.

Hidan, by the end of the game, was nearly spitting with fury. "Oi! I want a rematch, you fucking sleaze!" he yelled angrily.

And Kakuzu was nodding, a strange look on his face. "Yes. A rematch would be preferable." He eyed the small girl across the table. Did he know her from somewhere…?

Thoughtfully pocketing the fifty that she had received, Hinata pursed her lips. Her luck was good; that had been a really good break and she had accomplished what she wanted… "I don't see why I should." She shrugged at the two of them. "I only wanted the one game."

Kakuzu smiled at that. "It's probably wise," he agreed. "That had been a fluke, after all…" He paused a beat, and then let the ball drop. "How else could a woman win against us?"

She couldn't help it; she laughed. Despite her earlier calm words, adrenaline was still thrumming through her and she was grinning like she didn't have a care in the world. A far cry from her usual demure little smile at home.

"How indeed," Hinata replied with a smirk. Then she tilted her head to the side and pretended to listen for a moment. "Actually, maybe later. I think I'll go dance for a bit." And she turned towards the dance floor.

Hidan watched her walk off, jaw hanging open and hands frozen midway between his mouth and the table. Kakuzu quirked a brow. What a funny expression. Boredly, he reached over and shut his mouth. "You'll let a fly in."

Hidan blinked and looked at him. Then, a slow, sinister smirk spread across his face. "Sorry, dude, but I have a chick to fuck."

Kakuzu shrugged. "Whatever. We made a profit tonight, so I'm going home."

"Yeah, sure, okay," Hidan said, already walking toward the girl on the dance floor. "Hey, wait! You look familiar, have we met?" he asked, consciously keeping the swearing down. He came to a stop next to the girl.

Hinata blinked once, and then looked up at Hidan. He was taller when he was standing right friggin next to her. "Nope."

"Oh." He blinked, then shrugged and smirked at her. "You know, that's a nice outfit… But do you know what else would look great on you?" he asked, eying her up and down.

Her eyebrows rose and Hinata just managed to keep herself from gaping. He wasn't actually… Hidan? Her? Really? Good God, maybe Neji did have it right; the man was an imbecile.

Taking control of her motor skills, she shook her head and decided that the best course of action was to just walk away.

But as she started to move, his hand reached out and grabbed her elbow. Not hard, but enough to make her stop again. "Aww, c'mon, at least gimme a name? And maybe a time and place?"

He is so lucky Neji isn't here, she thought immediately, then scowled at the shifting crowd ahead of her. No, she was glad Neji wasn't here. She was fully capable of dealing with… this.

Turning, Hinata frowned up at Hidan. Like hell she was giving him her name. She didn't even think about his other requests. "No," she said firmly, and twisted out of his grip.

"Oh, c'mon, I won't bite," Hidan protested, following as she moved away. "Well, not unless you ask. I mean, if you're into that, it's cool. But I swear, I'll make every minute like sleeping with a god! After all, I'm named after one." He grinned.

Back at their table, Kakuzu shook his head. This was doomed to fail, and Hidan would crash and burn. … After all, he was an imbecile.

Hinata had stalled halfway to the jukebox and spent a few minutes blinking at the floor. She didn't know what was worse, the blush she felt creeping up her neck or the fact that Hidan just would not stop. And his pick-up lines were horrible!

Sighing, she turned and looked at him, and really looked at him. Ignoring the smirk that he had going, he actually was rather handsome. If you liked pale skin. And red eyes. But she didn't really have grounds to point since she had lilac eyes and ivory skin.

He dressed decently at least. She snorted, flicking her eyes back up to his. A sliver of advice from Ino surfaced and Hinata actually gave this situation a thought.

"Can you dance?"

Hidan blinked. He'd honestly expected more resistance. Oh well, point for him. "Yeah? Kakuzu and I frequent his club." He pointed at his friend, who somehow psychically knew he was talking about him (even though his head was lowered and his back was turned) and flipped him the bird. "Got a lotta practice. Why, you wanna dance?" he asked, holding a hand out. It was almost civil. Almost.

"Hmm," Hinata stalled. The little image of Ino had started to jump up and down in glee. "If I dance with you, will you leave me alone for the rest of the night?"

He thought about it. Thought about it very hard. He opened his mouth to ask if—at the end of 'rest of the night'—he would get to fuck her. Stopped. Narrowed his eyes at her. "Is that a trick question?"

Hinata let out a sigh in frustration. "No, it isn't." She raked her fingers through her hair and glared at him. "Look, I don't want to leave right now. But I don't want you tailing me for the rest of the night. You're decent, I'll give you that. So, we dance, and then we go our separate ways." Watching his expression, she held up a hand. "Or I stonewall you until one of us leaves."

Hidan eyed her. He wasn't particularly worried about the bouncer. If he really wantedto make an issue of it, then he could have Kakuzu deal with the guy. But he didn't feel like making an issue of it. "Alright, fine," he said. "Guess I'll take whatever the fuck I can get." He smirked.

"That's the idea." She grinned right back at him. "I'll even let you choose the song."

"Oh, fuck yeah!" he cheered and turned toward the jukebox.

"I'm gone, Hidan. Don't get yourself arrested; I won't bail you," Kakuzu said, passing through toward the door.

Hidan waved a dismissive hand. "Yeah, yeah, fuck you." He flicked through the songs and picked a rap metal song before turning and grinning. "Okay, sexy, get your ass over here and let's fucking dance."

She was really glad Neji wasn't here. Hinata glanced at Hidan's smirk and travelled the length of his body and back up again. This might actually be enjoyable…

xXx

Stretching out, Kisame grinned at the makeshift shelter and sighed, content with the world. Since finding the hidden spot in the bushes, he and Hidan had hollowed the space out enough to be comfortable. As long as it didn't rain or snowed or… well did anything to add water to the caked dirt below him.

Sure, Naruto's hidey hole in the ceiling was near fool-proof, but nothing beat lying outside in the sun.

Too bad the quad was filled with noisy little brats though.

"Heh, I shoulda done this fucking months ago," Hidan snickered, and shot another spit wad at Ino, who yelped and glanced around furiously. But she couldn't see him, since he was safely hidden behind a bush, peering through a hole at the quad proper.

"As long as she doesn't figure out it's you," sharky replied. "At some point Ibiki is going to come through here."

"Yeah, yeah, shut the fuck up," Hidan retorted and searched the group of kids for his next victim. Shikamaru was too lazy to duck, so no fun there. He'd already gotten Ino. Choji was too far away. Sasuke was brooding—okay, Sasuke it was.

*Plat!* The younger Uchiha brother jerked as something hit him on the temple and fell into his lap. What the fu—He blinked. A spitball? His hand immediately came up to wipe the slime from his face.

Jerking his head up, Sasuke glared around before settling his ire on the bushes nearby. Fuckers! He brushed the gooey ball of paper from his lap and picked up a pebble. Which he whipped at the heart of the older teens hiding spot. Take that!

Hidan ducked, grinning, and the rock sailed over his head. Then he straightened and pulled out some more paper. This exchange went on for a while before Hidan went still. Normally, this would be attributed to the bell ringing and signaling the end of lunch. But that couldn't account for the wide eyes and slow grin. Before Kisame could ask what was up, Hidan had darted from the bushes and nearly bowled Naruto over.

"Blondie!" he yelped as Sasuke and Shikamaru came to see what was happening. Hidan pointed toward a girl who had exited the cafeteria proper with a handful of others, going toward a corner of the quad with an obento box. "Who's that?"

Naruto blinked and followed his gaze. "Eh?" He tried to follow the older male's gaze, only to fail in a flood of confusion. "Who?"

By this time, Kisame was standing up too and peering over at where Hidan was excitedly pointing. What the hell was up with him? They were gonna get seen!

On the other side of the quad, Hinata lifted her face and closed her eyes for just a bare second. The sun felt so good after being locked up in the classroom for hours. Normally, Neji would sequester the two of them elsewhere for her lunch period, but today she had pleaded the need for air. He had even softened up enough to indulge her cravings for a slushy from the cafeteria.

Today was a good day. She opened her eyes and smiled warmly at her cousin. He wasn't so bad some days.

"Where do you want to sit?" Neji asked, ignoring the look in his usual cool fashion.

"The girl, the one with that Neji bastard," Hidan insisted, fingers tightening on Naruto's shoulders.

Naruto blinked and looked again. "Oooh, Hinata-chan! She's in my year, I think… Kind of quiet, weird… wait, why do you wanna know?" he backtracked, blinking at the albino.

Who was letting go of him with a strange leer on his face. "Thanks, see ya around, kid," he said, heading toward the Hyuugas.

Naruto frowned. "Okay…"

Trying not to roll her eyes at Neji's attitude, Hinata shrugged. She pointed at a table nearby. "Is there okay, Neji-kun?" Some other teens had just left and thankfully they had taken their garbage with them.

"Fine." They took their seats, and Neji had just taken a bite of rice when someone sat down across from them. He blinked and looked up, somewhat surprised to find Jashin Hidan there.

"Hey there, Hinata-chan," he said, as if making some sort of inside joke between them.

Neji's eyes narrowed, but his mouth was full. He looked at his cousin to find her pale.

No… She shouldn't have danced with him. She shouldn't have beaten him. She shouldn't have stepped up. Hinata stared at Hidan for all of ten seconds. How did… Who told him?

"Fuck!"

It took her another second to realize that dear, proper Neji was blinking at her. Oh crap, I said that out loud didn't I? This day officially sucked.

Hidan was grinning like the cat that swallowed the canary. "Well, I'd like to, but you keep saying no."

Neji's gaze darted back to Hidan's face, then Hinata, then Hidan again. Silvery eyes narrowed. He swallowed his food. "Care to run that by me again, Jashin?" he asked, a threat to the words.

Hidan eyed him, then looked at Hinata. "Aah, family. Hyuuga Hinata, then. Nice." He smirked. "What are you two, siblings? Cousins?" He looked at Hinata, clearly wanting her to answer.

Flicking a glance down at Neji, Hinata took a fortifying breath. Hidan, you asshole."Cousins," she gritted out. This was bad… so bad…

"Cousins. That's fucking awesome. You look like siblings," Hidan said conversationally.

Neji frowned. "Is there a particular reason you're harassing my cousin, Jashin?" he demanded irately.

Hidan's brows lifted and he looked at her again. "He doesn't know?" he asked, in mock surprise.

"Know what?" Neji asked, looking at Hinata questioningly.

Hidan spoke again before she could. "We met the other day. Arcade. She totallytrounced my ass."

Glaring at him hadn't shut him up, but he hadn't outed her either. Yet. Hinata nodded cautiously for Neji's benefit, hard eyes never leaving Hidan's red ones. "It was fun," she said blithely. "Did you want to talk about something, Jashin?"

"Aww, c'mon, just Hidan. I insist," Hidan replied, still grinning.

Neji was glaring at him, but it was mostly in confusion. He was missing something.

Suddenly, a shadow loomed over the table. They all looked, and Hidan huffed. "Get your fucking big ass out of my sunlight, cocksucker!" he snapped.

Kakuzu narrowed his eyes and sat on the other side of the albino, before driving a sharp under-cut into his side. "Watch how you talk to me, asshole," the bigger boy snapped, and then went to his cafeteria bought food. The tardy bell rang, but went ignored by those sitting at the table.

"I don't know you that well, Jashin," Hinata said sweetly. Like hell I'm going to call you by first name in front of Neji! I'll never get out of the house. Then again, if she never got out of the house, she wouldn't ever have to deal with this loon at the bar. It was almost worth it.

"If you say so," Hidan wheezed, grimacing. "Fuck, Kakuzu, whose shit did you step in this morning?"

"Shut your mouth," Kakuzu snapped. "Have you eaten."

"Nah, not hungry. Well…" He smirked at Hinata. "Not for lunch."

Beside her, Neji went stiff as a board. She glanced at him startled as he stood abruptly from his spot at the table. "Hinata, we are leaving," he announced as he gathered their lunches.

"O-okay, Neji-kun," she replied, honestly surprised.

Kakuzu glanced at Hidan as he got up too. Was this idiot serious? "Hey, how do you get off telling her what the fuck she can do?" Hidan asked, annoyed with the Hyuuga bastard. He told himself it was because he was having fun. "Who fucking died and made you king, bastard?"

For the second time in the past five minutes, Hinata froze. Oh, Neji... This time, she rose from the bench, leveling a glare at the albino. "Enough," she commanded, earning a flicker of a glance from her cousin. "He's just looking out for me. That's all."

Neji watched as his pale, younger, smaller, female charge, collected their obentos and turned away from all of them, back straight. She was already a few steps away when Neji realized he was supposed to follow her. Absently, he noted that she hadn't stuttered.

After they'd left, Hidan sighed. "I fucked that up." It wasn't a question.

"Idiot," Kakuzu muttered. "Twenty dollars for my silence."

Hidan blinked and looked at him. "Huh?" he asked, surprised. "What the fuck are you talking about, bitch?"

"Your crush on the Hyuuga girl," Kakuzu deadpanned, and then added, "Cunt."

"WHAT?!"

xXx

A few days later, Hinata flicked on the desk lamp and tried to focus on the textbook below her nose. But she was so tired.

She had stayed up late last night, wavering back and forth between running off to the bar and finding Hidan and shoving his face into the pool table or staying home and calling Tenten.

The doe-eyed girl knew exactly what Neji was like and what limitations Hinata dealt with at home. In fact, Tenten had been the one to teach her how to play pool and poker.

In the end, Hinata had called her.

"Hello, Tenten?"

"Hey, Hinata! What's up? Is Neji being an ass again?" Tenten asked enthusiastically.

"Ahh," Hinata paused. "Not Neji. One of the guys at school caught me at the bar." Hidan's smirk and the memory of them dancing flashed through her eyes. "Oh crap, Tenten. I'm in so much trouble!" she moaned.

Tenten paused. "Okay, hon. Back up and tell me everything from the beginning. Who caught you at the bar?"

Locking her door, Hinata huddled in the furthest corner. "A guy named Hidan. I beat him at pool." The last part came out in a whisper.

Tenten frowned. "Hidan…? Isn't that one of Itachi's friends?" she asked, thinking back. "He was at a party Neji took me to a while ago… wait, so what's going on? Is he harassing you? You can tell Lee, he'll go to your rescue any time! Or I could kick Hidan's butt too!"

"No! No, well, yes, he's harassing me at school, but I should have thought of that first. So, that's my fault," she hastened to say. "No, it's just that, with Hidan noticing me there, he found me at school. And—I—he—" Hinata let her head rest on her bend knees. "He doesn't see me the same way that everyone else is supposed to. And, I want to stand up to him, but not there. Not at school with everyone watching. Do you see?"

Tenten hummed and then fell silent for a tick. "Okay, let me get this straight… Hidan treats you like a person, an equal? Or he treats you badly?" she asked, confused.

"Both?"

A pause. "That's crap," Tenten said bluntly. "It's one or the other. And it sounds to me like it's one, but you wish it was the other. The question is, which way does it go? How does he actually treat you, Hinata?"

Hinata cringed. How does he treat her? "He… Well, he doesn't… Wh-what I'm trying to say is—Ah crap. He knows I can beat him at pool and he wants a rematch. He thinks I'm attractive enough to dance with, both on the dance floor and off. He actually…" she trailed off, eyes widening as she went over their past interactions. "He respected my wishes and didn't force me when I told him no. He accepted a compromise on my terms. And while he went behind my back to get my name, he told Neji off for ordering me around…"

The pause was longer this time. "Uh, wow. I didn't know he was capable of civility. Well, alright, then. So what's the problem, Hinata? It sounds like he isn't as big an issue as you made it sound to begin with. I mean, is all this so terrible?"

"But he confronted me at school!" Hinata hissed. "He approached me while I was with Neji. He near flirted with me while Neji-kun was sitting right next to me! And then when he told Neji off…" She paused. Hidan couldn't have known her uncle had died a few years ago. It was an unfortunate phrase, nothing else. "Nevermind that, but, if Neji finds out that I go to a bar, I'm doomed!"

"I see…" Tenten fell into a thoughtful silence. "So, facts. Hidan isn't afraid of Neji. Hmmmmm. Meaning Neji won't scare him off. Mm! And he isn't a pushover! Wondrous. … And he knows your deep dark bar-going secret… but didn't tell Neji. Did he give you the impression he was going to use that as blackmail?"

Hinata choked. "You're—What do you mean by wondrous?! Not happening, Tenten! I can't believe—He swears! All the time!" Her friend couldn't possibly be voting for Hidan! Could she? Why?!

"Malicious swearing? Calling people names in anger? Naruto swears a lot too, you know. And you didn't answer my question."

Uncurling, the Hyuuga heir stretched her limbs and paced up and down her room. Did he do it in anger? It was kind of hard to say, since she really didn't know him. At all. "He does it automatically, I think. Habit. The swearing, I mean. Sometimes he uses it when he's annoyed, but even then, it's to his friends." She sighed. "He did say a few lines to me without swearing though… so he does have restraint." Yeah sure, though once the swearing stopped that idiot had started spouting pick-up lines!

She flopped down on her bed and stared at the ceiling. Tiny globs of glow-in-the-dark dots littered the entire space. Her own private patch of sky. "He covered for me, Tenten," Hinata admitted. "Neji wanted to know where we met and Hidan said an arcade."

Tenten's voice was surprised. "Wow, really? I didn't expect that, girl. And you're sure you really don't want this guy? He sounds like an okay guy to me, if a little rough around the edges. But then again, is that really such a bad thing, Hinata?"

Groaning, Hinata turned over and hid her face in a pillow. "But… Naruto-kun…"

"Yeah, Naruto. Naruto that ignores you. Naruto that's never noticed you a day in his life, unless he wanted something from you. Naruto that doesn't even talk to you on a day-to-day basis, or try to. VERSUS Hidan, who apparently not only knows you exist but really wants you to know it. I'm not saying give in, 'cause he's probably just aiming for a lay— Don't blush, Hinata, it's true. Just make him work his ass off to get you, and you could have yourself a prize that won't let your family scare him off, and won't ignore you. What the hell could be bad about that?" She stopped, sheepish, but didn't take any of it back.

Would Tenten be angry if she just smothered herself with the pillow and ended the call that way? Or would the down-feathers burst into flames? Her cheeks were certainly hot enough. "I am NOT sleeping with him!" she squeaked. "And… Naruto-kun… " And again, Hinata fell silent, feeling a deep resentful frustration as her eyes misted over, but then thought of something else. "Father would never accept Hidan," she stated, not sure whether it was in triumph or in a plea.

"I know," Tenten replied, her phone-filtered tone saturated with smug satisfaction. "And that's a big reason right there to go out with him. Go out there and hook that boy like a fish, and use you as the bait." She laughed. "I'll come with you."

"B-but—why—father!" Hinata sat bolt upright in her bed. "Tenten! You're not making sense!"

"It makes a lot of sense, and you know it," her friend retorted. "We can meet at that bar. Maybe he'll be there. I'll be with you every step of the way." Her tone was almost pleading. She had been looking for a way to get Hinata interested in someone else for years. The girl was too good for that blond idiot.

Now, a full day later, Hinata was struggling to get homework done and all she could do was think about going to that same bar tomorrow.

Was Tenten right? Was Hidan a good choice? Better than Naruto-kun?

Her head came down with a thunk on the thick layers of text. For today she and Neji had gone back to eating lunch inside, far away from the quad. And she hadn't seen Hidan at all. That was good right? Or bad?

Lifting her head an inch, Hinata let it fall back down with a softer thud. Then almost unwillingly smirked into the paper. He had been a very good dancer…

xXx

Hidan tossed down the rest of his drink (they knew the bartender, so he 'forgot' to check their IDs), then leaned down and aimed with his pool stick. A beat of stillness, then a solid hit that seemed to glance off the cue ball clumsily. However, that struck three more balls, knocking them into the holes, then the eight ball. His opponent groaned.

"Fuuck," he complained. "Man, that was a waste of money…"

Kakuzu snatched up the thin wad of cash on the corner of the pool table. "It's a pleasure to make your acquaintances," he said to the couple as they left. "Mm. Ten more bucks to the stash. I'll go get us some beer."

Hidan shrugged boredly and watched him trot off before turning and leaning half-seated on the edge of the pool table. His mind strayed to that pretty number, Hinata. "Fuck," he muttered. "What a waste of time…" But damn, she was hot. And fiery! Whooo!

Mmm, that perfect balance, C-cups, nice round ass… He would really like to tap that. Twice. Maybe more, if she was as feisty in bed. He was a fan of pain and pleasure, after all. Hm. Hell, he might even put up with that Neji bastard to tap that!

And Kakuzu could go screw himself. He was not infatuated, as the dick had called it. He just wanted to screw her like a bitch. And screw her… and screw her…

"Get your mind out of the gutter, cunt," Kakuzu growled, shoving a beer into his hands. "And stop thinking about her."

"I wasn't!" Hidan protested.

Kakuzu smirked. "The fact that you know whom I was referring to tells your lie."

"Fuck you."

At the entrance, Hinata and Tenten walked into a bar… the shorter of the two girls shook her head and sighed. That sounds like the start of a horrible joke. She scanned the bar and easily spotted Hidan and Kakuzu, though the albino had his back to them.

She turned to Tenten. "Well, how do we do this?"

Tenten smirked and pulled Hinata over to the jukebox. "Lesson number one; when dealing with a pervert, and catching said pervert, two chicks dancing is very hot." She turned to the box and flicked through the songs before choosing one. "Very hot."

"Heh." Kakuzu suddenly pretended intense interest in his money.

"What?" Hidan asked, blinking. He looked behind him… just as Tenten and Hinata started dancing. "… shit."

Hinata gave Tenten a giddy smile. This was actually rather fun. She leaned a little close. "Hey—bet you a box of Purdy's Hedgehogs that you'll blush before I will!"

Tenten smirked. "You're on; I deal with Lee and Neji on a daily basis." She turned around; putting her back to Hinata's front and danced slowly down.

Hidan was wide-eyed. Especially when Hinata leaned slightly closer to her dancing friend. Oh shit. "Ka… Kakuzu…" He pointed, but trailed off.

Kakuzu shut his gaping mouth with a finger. "Just shut up and enjoy the show."

Smirking, Hinata side-stepped around her dancing partner and grabbed a hand to pull her up, moving forward at the same time so that both their fronts pressed together. "Yes," she drawled. "But I," she grinned a wicked little smile, "danced withHidan."

That said, she winked and pulled Tenten even closer and wound her arms around the taller girl's waist. Then proceeded to gyrate.

Hidan gulped. "Oh sweet merciful god," he whispered.

"He's watching," Tenten said. "And tell me; was Hidan wearing green spandex in the middle of a crowded room? No? Didn't think so."

Hinata choked and sputtered and hid her face in Tenten's shoulder (away from Hidan) and tried to stifle her giggles. "Not fair!"

Tenten snickered, their chests pressing together with their combined laughter. "Oh no, the song's over," she said, grinning and pulling away. "Showtime, girly."

Letting out a mock sigh, Hinata giggled and let her friend step away. Then she lunged forward and wrapped an arm around the taller girl's waist. "I hope you know what you're doing!" she whispered as they walked haphazardly towards the pool tables, legs and hips getting in each other's way.

Tenten winked. "Yeah, don't worry!"

Hidan paled slightly. "They're coming this way. Fuck, what do I do?" He looked at Kakuzu and paused at the quirked brow he was getting. "Shit. I'm acting like a fucking girl. Who am I, Sasuke?" He shook his head. "Let's play a game. Act cool."

"Hm. You are an idiot," Kakuzu said, but moved to set up the pool balls.

Hidan had turned so his back was to the approaching duo. Tenten tugged Hinata to a stop three feet away. "Hey, Hidan, right? You were at that party!" she chirped.

He blinked and turned, taking a closer look at her. "Oh shit, you're that Neji bastard's girl."

Tenten quirked a brow. "Please don't call my boyfriend that." Then she pushed the comment to the side. "So! I didn't know you came here. Hinata, you come here a lot, don't you? How come you didn't mention him?" She blinked at Hinata, hoping she took the cue.

Shaking her head, Hinata stepped up to the pool table. It was déjà vu all over again, walking up to the lit table with both Hidan surprised and Kakuzu calculating.

Just being near the pool table gave her a boost of confidence though, she still remembered how much Hidan sputtered and how Kakuzu tried to rile her.

"Honestly Tenten, there wasn't a reason for me to mention him." She shrugged, not looking at either man. "We didn't really meet until a few days ago."

"Ohh, okay," Tenten said in an 'I got it' way. "So, were we gonna play pool? Oh! Right, did you guys want to play too?" She smiled at them, as if to cover up the fact that she'd dismissed them completely.

Hidan's eyes narrowed (and Kakuzu's rolled). "You're on, bitch!" he yelped. "Ten bucks says I trounce your pretty asses."

"Watch your mouth, or I'll wash your mouth," she said, and smirked. "You're on!"

Crossing her arms under her breasts, Hinata frowned at her friend. "And you said I couldn't complain about it," she muttered as she reached out for a pool cue from Kakuzu. "Are we doing two on two or two girls on one guy?" she asked after a moment, turning to look at the man who had given her the stick.

Hidan leered. "I don't mind a threesome…"

"But we're playing two on two," Kakuzu inserted, almost finishing Hidan's sentence. But it was closer to a verbal reprimand than anything else. "And that's ten bucks per person."

"Damn, you're greedy," Tenten complained. "Fine, I should have that." She tugged her purse off her shoulder.

"Oi, that's not how we do it, Kakuzu," Hidan snapped. "No more than ten bucks per group. You said it yourself!"

"Hyuuga's rich. She can afford it," Kakuzu replied, unrepentant.

A few feet away, Hinata nodded. She reached down into her right boot and after a bit of fumbling, she brought out a ten-dollar bill. "Leftover from the fifty from last time," she grinned at Kakuzu.

Tenten tugged a ten out and took Hinata's, folding them together and setting them on the corner of the table. "Let's go!"

Forty minutes later, Hidan was cursing up a storm as he stomped around in a circle. They'd just lost. Kakuzu frowned. "I should have listened to Hidan," he said, disappointed.

"You really should have," Tenten said, plucking up their money and dividing it between her and her friend. "Tell you what. Come tell me what you and jerk-face there like to drink."

And before anyone could protest, she dragged Kakuzu toward the bar… leaving Hinata and Hidan alone. He smirked at the girl. "You should make it up to me, Hinata," he said. "I'll make it worth your while."

Rolling her eyes, Hinata leaned over the pool table towards him. She motioned him to come closer.

Eagerly, he leaned forward.

With a smirk, the pale girl reached out and slapped the back of his head. "I will," she quipped as he jerked away, "consider it, as soon as you can say something original for once." And then she waited. Expectantly.

He blinked. Original? Was she… was she asking for poetry? He did NOT do that sappy shit! … but, he could say something original. "Alright, c'mere," he said, crooking a finger at her to lean forward so he could whisper in her ear.

She gave him a wary look. Nuh uh.

"I won't bite. Gimme a little credit. If I was gonna do a sneak attack, I'd tell you to expect it," he said, smirking. Amused. Laughing at her.

"I think I'm going to regret this anyway," Hinata muttered and she again leaned over, going as far as resting her elbows on the felt. "What?"

"A little secret, between you and me?" He smirked. "Life is short, you're hot. So let's get together and…" He smirked. "Have a lot of fun." He knew that haiku book would pay off someday.

She blinked. It wasn't quite a pick up line… Oh hell, yes it was a pick up line… but the cadence was a little familiar. Then it clicked, and her jaw unhooked.

He grinned. "How's that for original, sexy?" he asked smugly.

Laughing helplessly, Hinata let her head rest on the table felt between her elbows. "There are no words, Hidan. None."

He grinned. "My name! There's an improvement!" He paused, grin softening. "You'rereally sexy when you laugh like that, you ever know that? Like a fucking goddess! I wanna paint you in gold."

Lifting her head, a single pale eye regarded him as she chuckled. With another soft sigh, Hinata straightened up from the table and leaned back a bit, one hand coming up to sweep her blue hair from her face. She was looking at him with a wry smile this time.

"Ah damn, thought I'd be able to hold out longer than that," she admitted, then a little quieter, "and no, I didn't know." And no comment about the goddess or the gold part—though it was original, she had to give him that. Dangerously flattering actually.

He gave her a fake frown. "That's a damn shame. How come you've never been told that before, huh? What kind of assholes you been dating?" A pause. "Granted, I'm an asshole, too, but at least I only screw with sexy ladies… and tell them they're sexy." He was irrationally irritated with this. And he shouldn't be. Goddamn Kakuzu and his stupid accusations!

One blue eyebrow was raised at the sexy comment, but Hinata was already thinking about the dating question and she muttered something under her breath. Casting a rather conspiratorial look Hidan's way, her lips lifted in another grin.

Sliding around the pool table, she hopped up to the edge just a foot away from him. "Look at it this way," she tilted her head to the side, giving him another wry look, "I'm a clan member. I'm supposed to marry within the clan. You've met Neji…"

She waited for his nod before continuing with a deadpanned look. "They are all that way."

He groaned, looking physically pained at the thought. "And with that in mind, you're a virgin, aren't you?"

Studying him for a moment, Hinata gave a slow nod. "Yes."

Hidan shook his head in mock horror. "Damn stick-up-their-asses Hyuugas… present company excluded," he said with a wink. "You've been denied a basic need of life! How have you survived?"

Blinking at him, Hinata shook her head. Did she really… "With toys and vibrators and lots of massage oil." She smirked. Who was she when Hidan was around? When she wasn't around her family? She certainly wasn't this bold! She was actually flirting!

He sniffled dramatically. "Barely surviving at all," he complained. "I should fix that. If you'll let me." He grinned perversely at her. "Oh, unless you're the date first kind. Is that the issue…?" He had been puzzling over the repeated brush offs.

"Definitely the date first kind," she answered. Her blue hair slipped over her shoulder as she tilted her head again, "and I'm still trying to figure out if I want to date you."

"Oh, I could help you with that," Hidan said, straight-faced. He reached out and placed a hand on her forehead, closing his eyes. "Hmmm…. 'What the hell is he doing', no, wrong thought. Uh… where is it… 'Neji's a jerk', can't say I disagree… 'Where's Tenten'… wondering that myself… Oh! There we go! 'I want to go out with Hidan for pizza'. I'll pick you up Sunday at seven. Deal?" He grinned and dropped his hand.

She couldn't help it, she was laughing again. "Where do you come up with this shit, Hidan?"

"Thin air," he said, grinning. "C'mon. Pizza? Soda? Just you and me?" He wiggled his eyebrows.

"Thin air," she drawled back at him disbelievingly. "Pizza sounds delicious. Soda would be wonderful. The last scares me a bit."

"Well, it's either that or you join me at the junkyard, and the guys are likely to be there with me," he said, only half-joking. He smirked.

Uh, retreat... Hinata sighed in defeat. "Okay, fine. How about I meet you somewhere?" Having Hidan show up at her father's doorstep may not be the best way of starting things… If there was a thing to start.

"Oh, sure, that's fine." He frowned thoughtfully. "I get off work at the junkyard at six thirty, so… Uh, meet me… Oh! Dominoes, down the road from the Uchiha company building. Is that good?" he asked.

"Yeah, sure," she said, just relieved it was a public place. Then Hinata blinked. "I just agreed to go on a date with you." Bemused, she shook her head. "Wow."

"Don't worry, Hinata. I'll make it good." He winked. "And believe it or not, that wasn't meant to be perverted." Do not spook the girl. "Anyway, as to your earlier question, where the fuck are those two?" He looked around and spotted Kakuzu accepting a handful of money from Tenten. Smirked and held his thumb up. Kakuzu swore and handed the money back.

xXx

A/N: For those new readers, this is based in the Sand Trails universe. That monster can be found in my stories.

PS - Lost to the Hoping is an inspirational being to write with! [Such a fangirl]