notes - Long story short, I had to rewrite this, because tumblr ate the original. I'm not satisfied with it, but I don't want to make any regrettable changes. Ah, I may as well admit that Naruto will play a big part in the story. I plan to add the others soon. Thanks for reading, reviewing, favoring, and alerting!

She's entirely too nice.

Hinata's the type of person who'll go out of her way for someone, who'll put others before herself and not ask for anything in return - a people-pleaser, Sasuke concludes. She might even be a pushover; although, somehow, that doesn't seem to fit her, since the only people she ever seems to hang around are Inuzuka and Aburame, and the most Sasuke's seen her do is break up their fights and offer to make one (or both) of them a bento. If anything, they're the pushovers.

Likewise, Hinata's also the type of person who can easily be taken advantage of, and that's exactly what characters like Uzumaki Naruto do; although, Sasuke doubts she sees it that way, and Naruto is simply too dumb to realize that it's exactly what he does. It's a given that when the dobe needs to copy notes for class or turn in homework that he conveniently 'forgets' to bring to school the following day, Hinata is there to offer him a trembling smile as well as her notebook before he has the chance to ask Sakura.

Not that he pays attention to this or anything.

It's just that Sasuke's never seen anyone like Hyuga Hinata - someone friendly but not overly-friendly; someone who smiles and bows in greeting when she passes a teacher in the hall; someone who willingly erases the chalkboard and dusts the erasers, even when she isn't on duty; someone who's genuinely nice for no reason at all.

No one is that nice. Not unless they want something.

It has to be a ruse, Sasuke thinks over lunch one day, as he watches her exchange smiles and share her lunch with the obnoxious Inuzuka for what ought to be the fourth day in a row now, and he has absolutely no intention of falling for it.


It's raining again, and he forgets to bring his umbrella.

Sasuke stands at the entrance of Senju High with a hand in his pocket, face devoid of emotion as he wonders how he could've possibly forgotten something as important as today's forecast, especially since his brother was kind enough to remind him twice in the last two days. He has half a mind to take his fall and walk home anyway, but discards the idea completely once a wave of lightning decides to claw a path through the sky, a roll of thunder following closely behind.

A scowl frames his lips as he realizes that he has no choice but to wait it out. Great, he seethes, annoyed at the prospect of spending yet another hour at this accursed school. It's during moments like these where Sasuke doesn't mind having Naruto's incessant chatter around, but since he has club, he's left with no other option.

Unfortunately - or rather, fortunately, since Sasuke can't tell whether he's yet to value her presence or not - Hinata shows up holding a pure white umbrella, equally white eyes staring at the impending storm with a forlorn look. Sasuke side-eyes her for a small moment, thinking that perhaps he should break the silence since she doesn't seem too keen on moving forward, but decides not to press the issue. It's not as if the lull brings him any discomfort and, unlike during their first meeting, it's not terribly awkward. Besides, more than anything (sans fan girls), Sasuke loathes small talk.

It stays like that for awhile - Sasuke waiting, Hinata watching - before finally, someone decides to speak.

"Ano," Hinata mumbles, twisting the handle of her umbrella thoughtfully, "aren't you going home, Sasuke-san?"

Sasuke turns his head to gauge her expression, only to notice that her gaze, light and focused, is trained on the drizzle up ahead. What a stupid question, he thinks, crossing his arms over his chest, but he doesn't express this aloud. Instead, he remains placid in his spot as he faces forward again, opting to answer her question and return back to their silent bubble.

"I don't have an umbrella."

"Y-you can use mine," she offers, holding up said item in response.

Sasuke's quick to follow up with a reply, facial expression as blank as ever when he asks, "Then how will you get home?" Don't be an idiot.

"I have a spare," Hinata answers quietly. She gestures to her book bag with a light shrug of her shoulder, tilting her umbrella back to reveal a tiny smile as she peeks up at him from beneath her purple bangs. Sasuke pretends he doesn't feel the (increasingly annoying) spark trail down his spine. "I-I usually carry an extra, in case of emergencies."

"Hn," is Sasuke's reply, flat and thoughtless.

The words 'I don't need it' threaten to spill from his tongue, but he immediately swallows them back. Needless lies are exactly that - needless - and he'd rather feel guilty than be stuck in a thunderstorm at school. As Hinata hoists her book bag on her shoulder and prepares to take her leave, bidding him a meek farewell in the process, Sasuke bites back his pride and holds out a hand, coal eyes focused on everything but the Hyuga.

She spares him a look, milky irises blinking at him curiously. "A-ah, yes?"

There it goes again - that creepy-crawly feeling right at the back of his neck. It strikes Sasuke as odd that something as simple (and weird) as a look from this girl can send jolts of electricity coursing through his body when every other person he comes into contact with annoys him with just their presence alone. Not that she doesn't.

He sighs in exasperation. "The umbrella," he says, turning to meet her gaze.

"O-oh! Right," she squeaks, trying to balance her umbrella in her hand and dig into her backpack at the same time.

Sasuke tries his best to ignore his welling irritation as he watches her make a mountain out of a mole hill in her struggle for her spare. In the end, he scowls and rolls his eyes - is he really that scary? - as he reaches and grabs her umbrella, making sure their hands don't touch. If her eyes are capable of rendering him speechless and sending unnecessary shocks down his spine, then Sasuke could only imagine what her touch could do.

"I'll take this one, instead." He settles it above his head with a slight tilt of the handle, relieved that he can finally go home. Sasuke inches forward, taking his first steps into the oncoming downpour, and with one last backwards glance towards Hinata, he nods his head, aching to rid himself of her presence.

"Thanks," he mutters, somewhat stupidly, as he pretends not to see her steadily growing smile. Annoying girl, he thinks before finally venturing off towards home, ignoring the lingering smell of honey and flowers.