Upgrading Ch 2: Breaking Walls

Green eyes widened when, after hearing a knock on the door and opening it, one Uzumaki Naruto latched onto her and dragged her from her room.  To his left, Sasuke smirked and went to grab her purse and lock the door.  “O-oy!” she protested.  “What the hell?”

“We’re going out for lunch, damnit,” the blond told her immediately.  “Choji, Shikamaru and Ino are meeting us at McDonalds.”

“But I still have unpacking to do,” she said, nonetheless letting her best friend march her down the dorm hallway.  She’d gotten most of the unpacking done the day before – and even some after Konan returned and tried to molest her – but had been forced to stop due to plain exhaustion.  She’d gotten up early, started once more, and now it was around eleven.

Her blond friend snorted.  “Yeah, uh huh,” he said.  “Sure.”

Laughing, she knocked her hip into him. “It’s true! But okay, what’s the big plan? You can’t just be taking me out for fast-food burgers.”

“We are!” the blond claimed, all innocence and wide cerulean eyes.

Hurrying to catch up to them, Sasuke overheard and snorted.  “Even I don’t believe that crap,” he said, smirking.  He grabbed the pinkette’s arm, sliding it through his with a faint smile.  “We’re kidnapping you before niisan and his friends manage to steal your attention for the day.  Hence why we’re hiding out at McDonalds.”

“At McD’s.” She levelled a disbelieving stare at him. “For how long?” Normally, Sasuke wouldn’t go near the place much less stay there longer than necessary. Things must have gotten critical. She grimaced. “I guess I have been spending most of my time with the guys.”

Naruto let out a loud, dramatic sigh (and stole her other arm; Sasuke was still holding her purse).  “You have!  So much that they’ve been entitled ‘the guys’!  You’ve replaced us, Sakura-chan!” he wailed despondently, though there was a playful twinkle in his eye.

Swinging around, Sakura gave Naruto a shocked look. “I have not replaced you!” She snugged both arms in tightly and grinned. “I’ve upgraded.”

“Ouch,” Sasuke said.  “What, niisan for me and Deidara for Naruto?”

“OY!” the blond protested loudly.  He released her arm long enough to nudge open the door in the lobby, leading out into the grassy campus of Konoha College.

“Actually, Kisame for Naruto. They both enjoy pranking.” Which was a understatement. Sharky had told her about the pranks Naruto had in the works when he saw the plans in the attic hide-out. Camaraderie didn’t cover his tone; competitive though, just might.

Naruto claimed her arm again as they walked toward the parking lot, ignoring the few students milling around.  “Seriously?” he asked mournfully.  “I’m not blue.”

“Well, not until someone kicks you in the balls,” Sasuke muttered under his breath.

“True…” Sakura snuck a look at her blond friend. “You don’t have the muscles either, but that’s okay, because you have a wonderful sense of humour. Right Sasuke-kun?”

Dark eyes regarded her with an odd mixture of exasperation and amusement.  “Is that a trick question?”  He snickered when the blond in question shot him an evil glare.  “Yes, wonderful sense of humor. Like laughing gas.”

Naruto sniffed.  “So!  Sakura-chan, guess who’s gotten their license?  And before you say teme, it’s not him.”

She actually stumbled. “No!” Wide green eyes swerved over to black. “Before you?!”

“I lost the money I was going to use to get mine to him,” the black-haired boy nodded to their friend, “in a game of slap-jack.  Don’t ask.  Anyway, I’m taking a test next week.”

Naruto grinned.  “I’ll be driving us to McDonalds.”

“I’m almost afraid,” Sakura said, “but I think the opportunity to see my best friend’s driving skills is too good to pass up. Shotgun!”

“Uhg, I should have seen that coming,” Sasuke complained.

Naruto snickered, and lead them to a familiar beat up truck.  “Now that I actually have a license to drive it…  Cause I was gonna help Hinata-chan, but I think she was nervous about me not having one…”

“No, she’s just a smart girl,” his other friend quipped.

“Bite me.  Anyway, like the paint job?  Jiraiya gave it to me when I passed the test, and said I could do whatever to it.”  He patted the raised wall of the bed fondly, grinning.  Whereas the truck was clearly the same as the one Jiraiya had often picked him up with, it was now sporting a bright, eye-damaging coat of orange paint.

Squinting, Sakura made a show of lifting a hand to shield her eyes. “I retract my earlier statement. I’m afraid to not be inside. If I stay out, the glare might blind me.” She laughed at his instant pout and hugged Naruto. “I’m kidding. I’m kidding. It looks well done.” And it was. Smooth, even, and without any discolouration that she could see.

He grinned excitedly.  “I spent five hours making sure this was perfect,” the boy claimed.  “C’mon, let’s get to the McDonalds.”

“Any last words, Uchiha?” she murmured, leaning close to Sasuke.

“‘Oh shit!’ handles are there for a reason.”

xXx

Dry cool air washed over her as she stepped into the cheerfully bright restaurant. Sakura took two steps before seeing another blonde friend. Three steps took her towards the padded booth and Ino’s arms wrapped around her. Customers all around cringed as the two girls reconnected.

With a lot of squealing.  And jumping.  And words that were technically too quick for coherence.  Naruto made a face as he skirted them and plopped down next to Shikamaru (Choji took the other spot of that side of the booth).

“Um, so…  I thought they saw each other yesterday?” Choji asked, blinking at the display.

Ino finally detached with a loud giggle, and dragged Sakura over to sit, sliding in first so Sasuke wouldn’t get touchy.  “I did!  But so much has happened!” she said excitedly.

“You went home, took a shower and went to bed,” Naruto deadpanned, baffled.

“And there was the phone-call, and the-”

“Nevermind!  I don’t need to know!” he added quickly.

Taking pity on the poor fool, Sakura beamed at Shika and Choji. “How are you two? And what’s going on between Ino and Sai? She refuses to tell me anything!”

“Oh, he finally asked her on an actual date,” Choji said with a shrug, and nibbled on a fry.

Ino flushed.  “Yeah, and then he took me to a friggin’ art museum.  It was… actually really anticlimactic.  I swear I expected a porn show.”

Grinning from across the table, Naruto pointed at her accusingly.  “You’re disappointed he didn’t try to feel you up.”

“What!  NO!” she shrieked, shocked.  “No!”

And that’s when Sakura pounced. “So what are you disappointed about? Naruto’s right, you’re not impressed.”

The blonde cringed under the mass attention of everyone else.  “W-well… I’m not disappointed… really…”  When a pink brow just quirked, she slumped.  “I dunno!  I guess I just expected something else!  He was a perfect gentleman.  I mean, what’s up with that?  That’s just not Sai!  I-I like Sai for Sai, not… not that guy with the suit that showed up on my doorstep.”

“In other words, you accepted his invitation out, because you like him as a pervert and how he’s been acting at school. And then when he is polite you don’t like it. Is that right?” Sakura asked, carefully enunciating each word. “Did you tell him that? He must have gone through a lot of effort to hold himself back. That’s a lot of respect for you.”

“Augh,” Ino groaned, and rubbed her temples tiredly.  “I know what you’re thinking.  I’m awful for not liking it.  And, I mean, I kind of did like it a little… but it was just so awkward and… surreal.  It was like those dreams some people have, where they wake up naked at school.  You just… want to wake up.  The art was nice, I think, and the people were nice… but I spent the whole time prepared to fend him off but he didn’t do anything.”

Naruto nodded slowly, and as one of Sai’s closest friends, felt that his input was needed.  “He probably felt nervous.  Once, when we were in like middle school, he had this huge crush on some girl in our grade, but she just ended up screwing around with him.  So he tends to get very cautious.”

“I totally screwed it up, didn’t I?” Ino asked, looking like she wanted to pull out her hair.

“Nah.  He’s probably just moping somewhere, but if you actually tell him you like him back, he’ll bounce back like a puppy,” Naruto said, and snickered.  “On that note, I’m hungry.  Teme, let’s go get lunch for us and Sakura-chan.”

Frowning slightly, Sakura nudged Ino with her shoulder. “What do you mean by ‘screwed it up’? Did you tell him off or something?” Most of Ino and Sai’s interactions did involve the blonde screaming bloody murder.

“No, I just sort of… acted disinterested,” Ino muttered, sighing as the two boys went off.  “Okay, let me explain.  He took me home, and we stood there on the steps for like ten minutes… but I didn’t move forward to get a kiss, and he didn’t attempt to get one, and so I eventually just said my dad was expecting me and went inside.”

Sakura cringed. “You must have watched through the peep-hole. How did he react?”

“By the time I’d closed the door, his back was already turned and he was going off… but I think that has more to do with his father than anything.”  She stiffened and covered her mouth with both hands.  “Forget I said that!  Don’t ask, don’t pry!” she squeaked around them.  “Don’t.”

“Okay, okay!” Sakura brought up her hands in a gesture of surrender. “I won’t. But, still. It sounds like you need to find Sai and talk to him. Naruto’s right–I can’t believe I’m saying that a second time today. He deserves to know what made you unhappy.” She hugged her poor confused friend. “And maybe another chance?”

Ino nodded, hugging her back.  “Maybe I’ll call him to come join us?”

“That would be a good start… but you didn’t answer my question. Are you going to give him another date? Maybe set this one up yourself to show him what you like.”

The blonde nodded again, tugging out her phone.  “Of course I’m going to go out with him again, Sak.  Really, you should know that,” she said, eyes rolling.  She put the phone to her ear, and the ring went half-way through before a familiar voice answered… from right behind her.

“Hello, Inooo, how are you?” Sai asked, grinning widely.

Blink blink.  Ino snapped the phone shut and twisted around as Sai tugged off the sunglasses he’d been wearing.  “Wha- you- I wa- SAAAAIII!” she shrieked, and reached out, swatting him upside the head.  Her face had turned completely red, but the boy took the hit, grinning at her the whole time.  “You eavesdropping, cheating, annoying pest!”

Snickering, Sakura vacated from the bench and slid over next to Shika and Choji. “That went well, I think,” she said to Nara who rolled his eyes.

Sai chuckled and got up, grabbing his soda and tray before skirting the seatback between them and scooting in.  “What?  It was reconnaissance,” he claimed, still smiling at her.

She crossed her arms and glared.  “It was eavesdropping.”

“Same thing, really,” he retorted happily, and nudged her over as Naruto and Sasuke returned.  “Thanks for not spilling the beans!”

“You two knew about him?!” Ino yelled, furious.

Sasuke gave her one long slow blink. “Hnn.” He sat down next to Sakura and slid a tray in front of her.

Naruto grinned and plopped down next to Sai.  “We totally did,” he said, amused.  “Hey pass the salt.”

“Get it yourself!” she retorted, but Sai reached past her and snagged the container of packets and slid it over to the blond.  “Uhg.  Whatever.”

“We can talk later,” Sai said, beaming at her.  “Okay?”

She flushed and nodded slowly, eyes wide as it finally sunk in that he’d heard everything.  “Okay…”

“Alright, folks. Now that that’s been smoothed over, what are we doing for the rest of the day?” Sakura stuck a fry in her mouth and waited. Because Naruto couldn’t possibly have been serious about staying here all afternoon.

Choji grinned.  “Movie, roller-rink, and then dinner,” he told her.

Ino perked up at that, and inserted, “And then we’re all getting back to Naruto’s place-”

“I thought we decided on Sasuke’s?” Naruto interrupted, then added, “Jiraiya,” pointedly.

Sasuke huffed. “Niisan, dobe.” Sakura was making faces like she wasn’t sure whether to laugh or scowl.

“Oh c’mon, it can’t be that bad!” the blond protested.  “I mean, he expects her to hang with his friends all the time!  Why can’t he hang with us?  I’m willing to make the sacrifice.”  He nodded.

Choji almost drooled.  “Uchiha-dono’s cooking…”

Sakura blinked. Itachi? Here? With Naruto? It was hilarious and bad. She cut her eyes at Sasuke who looked ready to murder their friend. “It’s not that he expects it… He just manages to grab me first,” she said slowly, “and besides, what would he talk about? He’d be left on the sidelines.”

Not that it would really bother niisan, Sasuke thought. He’d just snuggle up to Sakura and–Uggghh. “Are you out of your mind?”

“Nope!”  Naruto smirked.  “Anyway, he’ll probably be at the dorm.  You have more room, teme, and no Jiraiya, who’d be hospitalized after trying to feel someone up.”

“How about we compromise and go to Shika’s?” Ino inserted quickly.  “He’s got that huge house!  Passed down.  Right Shika?”  The dangerous smile was there, saying if he didn’t agree, she had blackmail.

Utterly unfazed, Shika in contrast raised one single dark brow. “And what’s wrong with your place? Your house is just as big as mine, and probably has more couches. Mine’s more of a big library. Don’t go volunteering other people’s homes just because your plans failed, Ino.” He smirked. “Besides, mother believes in forewarning. And she’s got her own guests there now.”

She pouted.  “Uhg.  But my dad is a total spaz.  He’ll start glaring menacingly at every boy in my vicinity.  Plus!  I don’t want to introduce him to Sai quite yet.”

Sai grinned at the undertone to that comment.  “My house is out, too.  It’s pretty small.”

Choji heaved a sigh.  “Guess that leaves my house.  We can use the den.”

“Hoo-yah!” Naruto cheered.  “Choji’s house after dinner, then!  Thanks Choji!”

The big boy waved a hand.  “Sure, sure.  Alright, well, the movie’s at 12:40, so you’d better eat.  It’s almost 12,” he said, and pointedly took a bite of his burger.

“Cool,” Sakura grinned. Blinked. “What movie are we watching?”

xXx

The only reason Hidan woke up was because he heard the faint sound of a door slamming, and his eyes popped open automatically.  Mostly since he was used to pranks from every which way, and closing doors were generally considered a warning sign.  Also, there was a weight on his side that wasn’t at all familiar.

It took him thirty whole seconds to realize what said weight must be, and then he turned his head.  Hidan grinned.  Score!

And she was still sleeping.  A part of him wanted to get up and go get something to eat, or make something and wake her up for it (just because he was cheesy that way).  However, he wasn’t too keen on the ‘getting up’ and ‘leaving the goddess’ bits.

Besides, the blanket had slipped during the night, so he had a great view to occupy his attention.  Which brought to mind another thought.  I wonder how long it’ll take to… ‘wake her up’?

Ice-white silky sheets were pulled tight around a slim waist, but sometime in her sleep, Hinata had slid closer, opting to cling to him instead of the fabric. Her skin was just as soft and smooth as he remembered. He had to smirk at the love bites scattered across her shoulder and down over her breasts. They weren’t deep, but it was amazing she had allowed him to mark her at all: a sweet stutter and a small nod. The startled gasp and the shudder at each nip had been intoxicating, but not as much as the taste and feel of her flesh under his lips, between his teeth…

Aw, hell, he thought, and reached out.  “Hey, wake up, sleepy head,” he drawled, brushing dark hair behind her ear.

Which only succeeded in coaxing her closer: one leg curling over his, the smooth thigh sliding up…

He groaned softly, and gave up.  One arm slid down, wrapped around her waist and he abruptly dragged her up onto his chest.  “Hey goddess, I’m just fine with being a pillow, but I’d much rather be a dildo.”

“Mmmph?” He caught the small scrunch of her brows before her hand came up and swept back the wayward strands from her blinking eyes. “Hidan?” Blink. “Where…” One, two, three, four… “OmiGAWD!” Those adorably sleepy eyes blew wide open.

The albino had to grab at her arms before she bolted, a chuckle escaping his throat.  “Calm down, calm down,” he said.  “Take a deep breath, and recall what has happened in the last twenty four hours.”  Though he was clearly amused.

Again, Hinata blinked, though this time she did so with bright red cheeks. Clearly she could feel the body she was draped over, certain parts in particular were pressing quite close. “Oh…” she breathed, the panic receding, but the blush darkening. “Omigawd…” And she hid her face against his throat. “Hidan?”

“Yeah, goddess, what’s up?”

“Can you find my phone? I think I need to call in sick today… Not sure I can walk.”

Hidan snorted, poking her in the side and smirking when she twitched.  “It’s Friday, sexy.  You don’t have to.”

“Oh, right.” Then she did the sexiest little wiggle and pressed in closer. “Mm, in that case.”  She turned her head and placed a kiss under his jaw. “Good morning.”

Aw hell, he thought for the second time that morning.  Wine-red eyes narrowed slightly, though a smirk quirked his mouth.  “Morning, goddess,” he said, sliding one hand up her side and into her hair.  Then he dragged her into a kiss.

When they finally separated, Hinata smiled down at him. “I could get used to this.” And then she initiated a kiss that was far less lip and more a full-body slide that had the albino gasping.

“So can I,” he finally managed, grinning up at her.

xXx

Chapter 1 | Table of Contents | Chapter 3

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