Inspiration came to me in the night, as it so often does…

Happy Easter!

Uchiha Sasuke was in love with Hyuuga Hinata.

He could remember the very moment he'd known.

She'd been four, and he'd just turned five. They'd been at his birthday party. Sasuke hadn't spoken a word to her, because he was smart for his age, and she had been staring at Naruto and trying to share her gummy bears, so obviously she wouldn't want someone like him. He was nothing like Naruto. Naruto was cool, not that he would ever admit it out loud.

Naruto had given him a little beast of a puppy named Kurama. Apparently Naruto had picked it out himself at the pet store and had presented Kurama to Sasuke with the best of intentions, but the orange-ish dog had been bent on attacking Sasuke with reckless abandon.

Hinata had been staring at Naruto when Kurama ran past intent on torturing Sasuke some more. She had blinked those humongous grey eyes and punched Kurama on the nose.

She punched his puppy, and then she began to cry and apologize, and Sasuke had known that he was in love with her and probably always would be.

No one knew.

She didn't know.

And he wasn't about to tell her.

He'd given the puppy back to Naruto, and he'd tried not to laugh at how Naruto had blubbered like an idiot at the returned gift. Well, considering the fact that old Kurama hadn't died yet, and he and Naruto were next to inseparable, it had been a good gift to give.

It wasn't really fear that held Sasuke back. Really, it wasn't. He was a smart guy, that was all. It was obvious that she never really noticed him; not in that way at least. It was obvious she was hung up on Naruto, who was hung up on Sakura, who was hung up on Sasuke, who was hung up on Hinata. It was all a mess, but it was a mess he knew.

He wasn't a coward. Not really. Just… if he upset the balance, strange things might happen. Also, he knew the worst thing that could ever happen to him would be that he had to watch Hinata struggle to find the words to let him down easy.

He would rather pretend to ignore her. He wouldn't try to pretend he hated her, lest he accidentally hurt her feelings or something. No, he would pretend he didn't see her, even though she was all he really thought about.

He saw her now, though.

Here she was again, at his birthday party, just like fifteen years ago. Fifteen years he'd loved her silently from the sidelines. Fifteen years he'd watched her from hooded eyes and waited for her to get over Naruto.

The blonde in question flung an arm over her shoulders as she approached Sasuke with a wrapped box in her hands. Sasuke, through force of habit, kept the scowl from rising to his face at the gesture, but he still felt that all too familiar twinge of jealousy squeeze his chest.

"Hinata-chan," Naruto said loudly, ruffling Hinata's glossy hair with a tanned hand. Her face went bright red.

"H-Hi, Naruto," she almost whispered, stuttering over the greeting.

"I thought you weren't coming!" the blonde continued, oblivious to Sasuke's feelings. Naruto was the only one that didn't know how much Hinata liked him, so when the dark-haired girl sent a frantic look in Sasuke's direction, he gave a token sigh and got up to go to her rescue.

"Piss off, Naruto," Sasuke muttered, pushing his best friend out of the way. "Is that mine?" he asked dryly, his eyes dropping to the parcel in Hinata's hands. She nodded mutely and ducked her head.

"H-happy birthday, Sasuke-san," she said softly, and Sasuke blinked a little longer than necessary so he could focus on her voice.

"Thank you," he said simply, taking the gift from her hands. The noise level of the party jacked up a notch as Naruto got everyone hyped up with his sheer presence. Naruto was internationally loved. Sasuke… wasn't. Theirs was the type of friendship that no one really understood.

In the concept of the classics, Naruto was the Bingley to Sasuke's Darcy. He couldn't help liking Naruto. He couldn't help it. It wasn't because Naruto was the only one save Itachi that was fiercely protective of him. Naruto was the only one that seemed determined to stand with him. No matter what he did, Naruto always forgave him. It sucked, but there was no helping it.

That was another reason Sasuke had convinced himself that he shouldn't confess to Hinata. Because, she wanted Naruto, and what if Naruto manned up and realized it, and wanted her back? He was the best thing to happen to Sasuke, and Sasuke couldn't deny his best friend a girl like Hinata.

He sighed again.

"Come with me," he said to Hinata. "It's getting way too loud and I want to open this." He watched, feeling the familiar ache in his heart and the well-known clenching in his jaw as her eyes trailed from Naruto's back to meet his eyes. Her sad grey eyes reddened and then she gave him a brave smile and nodded.

Sasuke would have given anything to take her hand.

He would have given anything to kiss her like he wanted to, right there and then, but…

He sighed.

Turning, Sasuke walked off, expecting that she follow him. Pushing through the throngs of people clogging his apartment, Sasuke led the way to his room. In the hallway, he passed a group of guests playing spin the bottle like a bunch of kids.

"Sasuke! The man of the hour!" Kiba, one of the guests grinned from his place on the floor. "Come on and join us for a spin! The birthday boy should get a kiss, yes?" Damn Kiba. The dog breeder's loud voice was overheard by everyone in the near vicinity, and a humongous yell of approval sounded. Suddenly, all eyes were on Sasuke.

He rolled his eyes.

They were right. Maybe a kiss from some random chick would take his mind off Hinata and the cleavage her dress exposed. He knelt on the ground, placed his hand on the bottle, and spun it.

He had not paid much attention to where Hinata was, but the bottle did.

It stopped right on her.

And what Sasuke had waited for for about thirteen years, since the last time he'd tried when he was seven, presented itself. He was to kiss Hinata.

Sasuke turned to face her, and raised one brow. Hinata's face went beet red.

"I-I… I wasn't really a part of the game, so-"

Sasuke kissed her. He wasn't interested in hearing her refusal. Not after thirteen years of waiting. No, he was a man.

It wasn't a peck on the mouth like the last time. No, this was a full grown, all inclusive kiss. This was his tongue sliding against hers. This was his hand clasping the back of her head to hold her close. This was his head tilting to the side to get a better angle. This was… this was heaven.

And then it was over. She pulled away.

The cheers were deafening, but Sasuke didn't hear them. He couldn't hear them over his thundering heartbeat.

He didn't even know how he got up. He didn't know how he steadied the gift in his hands. He didn't know how he gave all the guests a blank stare and continued walking to his room.

When his heart was beating so fast his stomach felt a little queasy. When he couldn't think anything coherent besides the fact that he never wanted that kiss to stop. When his mind was consumed with the feeling of her mouth on his. When all he could think about was how she had actually responded.

He pushed the door open to his room and let her in, then shut it behind him. He knew what the others thought; that he was bringing her in here to 'get some', and truth be told, he really wished that he was… but no… maybe he'd have to wait another fifteen years for another kiss.

He put the gift on the bed and sat down, willing himself not to think such thoughts, because the notion alone was excruciating. Then he saw Hinata's face. She looked pale and drawn and tired. She looked like she was about to cry.

"What?" he asked bluntly, squelching the urge to touch her somehow. Had his kiss made her… no, that couldn't be it. It had been a good kiss.

"I… It's nothing, Sasuke-san," she said, her voice tight as she tried to smile. But her eyes were shining with unshed tears. "Open your p-pres-pre…" She never got to finish the sentence, because she started crying.

"I'm sorry," she whimpered. Sasuke was gripping the sheets in his fists to keep from going to her. He said nothing, did nothing… he just waited. "I just… it's Naruto… I'm trying so hard, and I don't think he notices at all," she said on a pained whisper.

Sasuke knew the feeling… only he wasn't really trying to catch her notice… he just wished she saw him that way.

"Naruto's pretty blind," he said softly, dropping his eyes to the present, and beginning to peel at the wrapper in an effort to distract her. If he touched her right now, he would kiss her again, and then she would know.

"I'm sorry," she said again, swiping at her eyes. "I-I'm sorry…"

Sasuke stared at the contents of the package.

Studio headphones, nunchaku (nunchuks), and two packets of tomato seeds for planting.

The words left his lips before he could do a damned thing to stop them.

"Hinata, I love you."

I realize it's not my usual style, but was way too tired to come up with more... Review, plehz!