For the next several days Hinata was on edge. Had Itachi been serious about meeting her again? What on earth had her teammates gotten her into?
"He was p-probably just being polite..." she told herself, pacing in her bedroom. She had, since turning eighteen and attaining rank of Jounin, taken up her own private residence in the Hyuuga compound. Thus, she could worry out loud all she wanted without her little sister or father overhearing and making comments. "After all...what on earth could he want to spend time with m-me for?"
She paused, however, as there was a tap at her window.
Turning, she saw a small messenger bird sitting upon the sill. Its large eyes blinked at her softly, clearly not the type of bird to be used for shinobi business. It was likely a private message.
Hinata's heart began racing. It couldn't be!
She approached the window hesitantly, still refusing to believe what her brain had immediately assumed. But the bird did not flee as she opened the window, instead fluttering inside and offering an obedient leg. Around the thin limb was a tiny note, upon which oddly-pretty handwriting had scrawled a message:
If you have time,
please meet me at
the ice cream parlor.
I'll assume you know
Hinata's face went utterly red. "I'm dreaming..." she murmured to herself. "This is..."
The bird gently pecked at her hand, making her jump. Konoha's birds were trained with treats, and every shinobi kept a small stash for the loyal avians. "O-oh! Hold on..." Taking a small piece of stationary, she scribbled a reply and had to pout as she saw that her own scrawl wasn't nearly as neat as the Uchiha's.
I'll be there in
half an hour!
Satisfied, she clipped the note to the bird's leg and offered its reward. "Thank you," she murmured, glee building within her and bringing a smile to her face.
Cooing, the winged creature took its leave to deliver her reply.
Konoha was in the middle of summer, and the idea of a sweet frozen treat had Hinata glad Itachi had thought of it. Opening her closet, she tried to decide what outfit would suit the situation best.
"Not anything fancy..." she murmured. "I don't want to look like I'm t-trying too hard...hm...something c-cute, and suitable for the weather..." Digging around, she eventually settled on a light blue dress that swished around her knees. The sleeves were short, the waist drawn in by a white sash that matched each hem. Matching sandals of white were carried to the door where she adorned them, doing her best not to hurry.
The middle of the afternoon saw the village busy, and Hinata politely avoided fellow passersby. If there was anything her training was good for, it was dodging people in crowded streets. The sun was beating down on her pale skin, and she felt slightly flushed as she made it to the corner building, within which the ice cream parlor was located. Hesitating, Hinata glanced in the windows to see the room devoid of the eldest Uchiha brother.
Squeaking slightly, Hinata spun around and glanced wide-eyed at Itachi. A plain black tee covered his chest, a small Uchiha crest clinging to his sleeve cuff. Khaki shorts were loose around his very tanned legs, plain sandals of tan upon his feet.
Hinata blushed. "Ah, y-yes! I was afraid I'd come too early..."
"My apologies – Sasuke held me back a few minutes. I hope you were not waiting long?"
The girl shook her head, hair swishing. "No! I j-just got here." Smiling, she added, "This was a g-good idea – it's very warm today!"
"It is," Itachi agreed, mirroring her smile. "Shall we go inside?"
Shyly, Hinata let him open the door for her, sighing contently as the air-conditioned breeze hit her skin.
"Irasshaimase!" the man behind the counter greeted, looking jovial. "What can I get the young couple?"
Sputtering, Hinata was unable to answer first as Itachi supplied, "A moment to look, please."
"Of course! Take your time!"
Highly embarrassed at the man's assumption, Hinata was rooted to the spot as Itachi approached the coolers in which the ice cream was kept. Only once he glanced at her curiously did she move. "Hinata san?"
Swallowing her uncertainty, Hinata approached the counter and glanced shyly at the flavors.
"See any that catch your eye?"
Glancing at the man, she asked, "Um...w-what are you having?"
"Green tea," Itachi replied, smiling. "It's one of my favorites."
Blinking owlishly, Hinata turned her face back to the selection. Her eyes widened, however, as she spotted a particular flavor.
"Oh, t-that one please!"
Chuckling, the server asked, "Ah, cinnamon bun! In a bowl, or a cone? One scoop or two?"
Drooping at having more decisions to make, Hinata mumbled, "U-um...one scoop in a...c-cone, please."
"Of course! And you said green tea, sir?"
"Yes – two scoops in a cone, please."
Clasping her hands behind her back, Hinata watched as the man gathered their treats, handing over the glistening ice cream as Itachi traded him for money.
"Oh, s-shoot! I forgot my m-money..." Hinata murmured. "I, I'm sorry..."
"Nonsense – a gentleman is happy to provide for a lady," Itachi replied with a warm smile. "Here – be careful not to let it drip."
"O-oh!" Accepting her cone, Hinata tentatively lapped at the concoction before humming in approval. "Mm..."
Itachi chuckled. "Do you wish to stay in here, or shall we go back outside?"
Blinking innocently, Hinata licked her lips shyly before murmuring, "Maybe...b-back outside?"
Itachi led the way, again opening the door and letting them back onto the sidewalk. By unspoken agreement they leaned against the building beneath an awning declaring the parlor's name.
"A-ah..." Hinata immediately regretted her decision as the heat began to eat at her ice cream faster than she could. It was soon dribbling onto her fingers, causing her to squeal and switch hands.
Laughing, Itachi gently took her wrist. "Such a mess," he lightly teased. And before she could protest, he enveloped one ice cream-covered finger with his mouth.
Hinata's brain launched into orbit as the heat in her cheeks combusted. "I-I-Itachi s-san!"
He glanced at her, seeing her mortified expression. But her thoughts locked up as his dark eyes met hers, finger still held between his lips.
That's it...I'm going to die fainting – right here, right now... Hinata thought as blackness enveloped her vision.
A short while later, Hinata began to come around. Stirring with a light groan, she tossed her head a bit and realized she was lying down, head slightly elevated. Lilac eyes fluttered open, seeing bright blue sky above her.
"Ah, you are awake..."
Freezing, Hinata squeaked as Itachi leaned forward into her field of view. "Are you all right?" His playful expression was gone, and Hinata realized that her head was resting upon her lap.
With a gasp she sat up, barely able to see that they were on a bench not far from the parlor before her head swam viciously. "O-oh my..."
"Easy!" Itachi warned, gently catching her as she fell back against his legs. "You nearly took quite a fall before I caught you...I'm afraid your ice cream did not survive the ordeal, however."
Rolling her head to look out to the parlor, she saw a small blotch of ice cream still on the sidewalk, though the cone was nowhere to be found. "Oh...d-darn..."
Itachi cleared his throat, and Hinata looked up to see him flushing, eyes glancing to one side. "I...apologize, Hinata san. My behavior was far from appropriate, and...I'm sorry that I overwhelmed you so badly."
Averting her own gaze, Hinata murmured, "It's...it's okay..." I...
"No, it is not. I acted without thinking, nearly causing you injury, and surely causing you dishonor. I will walk you home...and I will be sure not to bother you further."
Jumping slightly, Itachi looked down as Hinata made her exclamation.
Looking nearly on the verge of tears, the girl added, "I...I'm not upset! M-maybe a little embarrassed, but..." She sat up, holding her head slightly as her legs swung to hang off the bench. "You surprised me, is all...you were just...t-trying to...help..." Blushing darkly, she murmured, "Besides...I...I didn't mind. I just wasn't s-sure what to...d-do..."
Blinking, Itachi stared at her for a moment. "I...caused you no offense?"
Glancing at him shyly, Hinata shook her head. "N-no, Itachi san...you didn't..."
They sat in silence for a time, eyes locked in an awkward gaze. Eventually, however, Itachi coughed and rubbed the back of his neck. "Well...either way, I am sorry about your ice cream. Perhaps we should have stayed inside where it was cooler."
Putting a hand to her mouth, Hinata giggled.
Itachi's heart leapt at the sound.
"Maybe we should have..." she replied, giggles slowly fading. "But...I s-still had fun, though. Maybe next time we can get something that d-doesn't melt so easily."
The man's eyes lit up slightly. "Next time?"
Hinata shifted slightly, smiling shyly. "W-well, yeah...you do owe me another treat, hm?"
It was Itachi's turn to laugh, and Hinata felt her spirit rise. "I suppose that I do...well then, I guess it's a date?"
Smiling brightly, Hinata's eyes shut as she nodded. "Hai!"
Hey guys! :D
So, I finally got a chance to get a new chapter of this little story done for an entry in my challenge on deviantART. There's still room for more, but for now I have no idea when more will happen, or how far this fic will go. Probably no more than a chapter or two - it's not meatn to be too long. I have much larger projects on the brain!
Anyway, I hope you guys liked it! If you did, please take time to leave a review. They really are love n_n 3
Until later, lovelies!