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Once Strangers

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Chapter 3:

A month had passed since Hinata’s last encounter with the Uchiha, she didn’t seem to understand why, but she spent a lot of time thinking about him. It was nothing like a crush or infatuation, more like… curiosity. It felt like a challenge talking to him; not being able to tell what his true emotions were, is that why Sakura used to have a crush on him? Then Hinata began thinking about how things would have gone had he returned to the village sooner. Would he had married Sakura if she hadn’t had so much alone time with Naruto? Sitting back up she shook her head furiously and rolled her eyes at herself. She really had no need to keep worrying and overthinking the past, it would cause nothing but an unnecessary relapse of emotions.

Standing up, Hinata gathered her things and made her way to the Hokage tower, Kakashi had summoned her to his office earlier that morning before she had to make her way to work at the hospital. A new mission, she supposed.

She made her way up the stairs at the Hokage’s tower, and knocked at his office door.
“Come in.”
Hinata entered the room and met eyes with someone she had not expected to see that day, or really at all anytime soon.

“Good morning, Hinata, I summoned you to speak about a mission that requires your assistance,” Kakashi said, looking more serious than usual.

Hinata felt awkward, in a room with two serious and well… unreadable men. She saw the man she had been thinking of for the past month, shift beside her to listen more closely to the orders of the Hokage.

“Sasuke, some of the elders are a bit,” Kakashi shifted a bit before looking at Sasuke again, “uneasy with you returning to the clan. They understand that you helped save us, but their trust is still not fully there and they don’t take my word for it. Not that they ever have with anything else in the past.” He said that last part with a bit of annoyance in his tone.


Sasuke looked away, but showed no signs of disrespecting the Hokage. Hinata shifted uncomfortably, biting his lower lip out of nerves. Kakashi then cleared his throat.

“There is a small village, about two nights away, I need both of you to go and investigate the disappearance of children. I would assume that you,” he looked at Hinata, “would be quite helpful in locating the children and then Sasuke, I would like you to take the culprits to the authorities of the village, they do know that I’m sending you and are expecting you both in two to three days, please meet at the gate and make your way there tonight.”

“Yes, sir,” Hinata said and bowed, Sasuke simply nodded and turned to walk out.
“Oh and Sasuke, please take it easy with your arm, I know it’s only been a few weeks that you’ve received it.” Kakashi said, genuinely concerned for his old student. He simply nodded and left, Hinata following a few steps behind. Hinata only walked behind him a few steps before breaking off and going to the direction of the hospital. She was not using her byakugan, but she felt Sasuke’s presence still behind her. She felt a bit anxious but said nothing and continued on her way to the hospital.

Walking in, she subconsciously held the door for the person behind her, forgetting that it was Sasuke. He held the door and she felt her face flush, ‘it’s only Sasuke,’ she thought to herself. She very quickly composed herself and made her way to the breakroom to put her things away in her box and punch in. As she walked out, she passed the waiting area and saw Sasuke sitting in a chair by the corner. She kept her eyes forward and stood by the desk, checking over her tasks and patients for the day, she couldn’t help but look for who would be seeing Sasuke. Soon she found his name under Sakura’s list of patients and sighed in relief.
A nurse made her way to the waiting area, “Uchiha Sasuke?”

Hinata saw Sasuke get up and walk toward the nurse who then led him to a patient’s office. A few moments passed as Hinata looked at her assignments for the rest of the day and was greeted by Sakura.


“Hinata!” Sakura waved and walked up to the desk.
“It’s good to see you, Sakura,” Hinata responded warmly.
“Did you see that Sasuke was going to be taken care of by me? It’s exciting!” Sakura seemed extremely enthusiastic about Sasuke being her patient. It left Hinata a bit puzzled. Sakura seemed to notice and giggled.
“Don’t think of it like that, Hina! It’s okay to look and not touch, besides, I’m over Sasuke and his mysteriousness, really it was exhausting, I can’t believe I let myself follow him around like a lost puppy for so long.” Hinata and Sakura laughed in understanding.
“I’ll see you at lunch though, gotta see what this man needs!” Sakura grabbed a clipboard and walked off to Sasukes assigned room.

“Hinata-san,” Tsunade walked up to her and said she spoke to the Hokage and has already rescheduled Hinata’s patients for the afternoon.
“I went ahead and gave your afternoon appointments to Ino-san, Kakashi asked me to let you know that it may be a bit longer than expected that you will be on the mission, it seems the group who is wanted is on the move. It’s extremely important that you both leave at sundown.”

“Of course, Tsunade-sama,” Hinata bowed, “thank you for giving me more time to prepare.”


Hinata finished her tasks at 2pm and then went straight home. She fixed up two bento boxes, she noticed on Sasuke's hospital reports that he doesn’t exactly eat protein heavy food often. That worried her as she’d seen him work his body the way that he does. It made her feel a bit like she was still at the academy, girls would try and make bento boxes for Sasuke all the time and he would reject them always. She hoped he would accept hers as they would be traveling for days and it’s also not like she had a crush on him, she thought.

Hinata went to the bathroom and showered before heading out later that afternoon. It wouldn’t hurt being there a bit before sundown so she packed her little satchel with the final things and grabbed the bentos before heading out.

“Hinata!” Hanabi ran up to her and hugged her from behind.
“As much as you say you love us you tend to forget to say bye,” Hanabi giggled. Their father standing at the doorway with his signature stern face.
“Return safety,” he said before walking back inside.
Hinata and her father made efforts to mend their relationship after she proved herself to him after the war.

“Sorry Hanabi love, I’ve just been a bit out of it these past days. I guess the missions worrying me a bit,” Hinata was more nervous about Sasuke but she wouldn’t tell Hanabi that.

“Hmm, well be safe okay! I don’t wanna see you come back with a single scratch okay?” Hinata nodded with a silly smile and they laughed.
“And don’t get too cozy with the Uchiha, hehe,” Hanabi winked at her oldest sister. Hinata couldn’t hide her slight blush.
“Don’t be ridiculous Hanabi! I barely know him,” Hinata tried to act natural but wasn’t sure how natural she would be if she wasn’t nervous talking about Sasuke.
Hanabi shook her head, “whatever you saaaaay,” she giggled and ran up to the door, waving her sister off.

Hinata shook her head and she walked away. She decided she would sit at the bench just at the gate of the village to wait for Sasuke. As she walked up she held her breath unintentionally.

White, almost lavender-like eyes met with a mismatched set just a few steps ahead. The sun had about an hour left to set.