The sake had gone around a couple times, and they were getting to the stage of competitive gossip and confidences that might have been embarrassing later if they hadn't had a firm pact never to speak of Girls' Night Out in the cold light of day.
"So come on, Sakura." Ino leaned forward precipitously over the table of their booth at Shushuya while Tenten giggled and Hinata blushed. "The three of you are practically inseparable, no matter how many solo missions any of you take. It's totally the three of you together in bed, isn't it?"
Sakura leaned back with a smug smile. "Of course it is." At the squeals of glee, she waved her sake cup. "Not that the two left behind don't keep each other company, but it just feels best when it's all three of us. Besides," she grinned into her cup, "Sasuke's got amazing attention to detail, and Naruto is just unstoppable, and I'm a fantastic strategist; the field isn't the only place that's an advantage." More squeals. She took another sip, thoughtfully. "Though I gotta say, I really think Sasuke was showing off on purpose when he took Naruto to bed the night I got home last time. It was a really nice view to come home to." Squeaks this time. Sakura laughed and nudged Tenten's knee. "So what about you?"
Tenten held out her cup for a refill. "We're not as, you know, committed as you three, but yeah sometimes it's all of us." With a glint of challenge in her eye she went Sakura one better on detail and added, "With us it's mostly just mouths and hands, you know. Lee's got amazing fingers, you should give him a try some time, Sakura." Everyone laughed and Sakura toasted Tenten's score.
She couldn't help asking, though, curious, "Do Lee and Neji ever...?"
Tenten nodded, eyes sparkling. "Mm. Sometimes, especially if Neji thinks Lee was taking a stupid risk and Lee keeps trying to justify it with Gai-sensei's ideas about youthful passion. Sometimes I really wonder if he does it just so Neji will snap and kiss him to shut him up." She laughed. "But then, sometimes when we're back from a mission and Lee just won't stop bouncing, Neji actually hits the pressure points to make him sleep." Her smile softened as everyone laughed. "And then he puts Lee to bed. It's really sweet to see."
Softly, looking down at her drink, Hinata said, "Neji-niisan is a kind person."
Sakura could see the speculation behind Ino's faintly narrowed eyes and pursed lips; they'd both wondered a bit about Hinata and Neji lately. But what Ino actually asked was, "So, is your team in bed at all, Hinata? I have to admit, the three of you never struck me that way." She gave a delicate shudder and slugged back the rest of her sake. "And I know it has to work out somehow, but seriously--sleeping with an Aburame?"
Hinata turned red as a rose. "It's not...! I mean...! Um..." Her fingers tangled together and she looked down at them.
"Hey, hey." Sakura wrapped an arm around her. "You know Girls' Night rules; you don't have to say if you don't want to."
Hinata actually laughed, soft and breathless. "Actually it's... they hold me." She peeked up at Sakura with a tiny smile. "Kind of like this. A lot."
"Yeah?" Sakura smiled and turned toward her, drawing Hinata closer and cuddling her. "Like this?"
Hinata blushed some more, but nodded and leaned into her, and Sakura settled her close. Ino turned a little more to face the room, leaning an elbow on the table, watching Sakura's back as casually as ever. Sakura grinned across at her.
"Um," Hinata murmured, unexpectedly. "Shino-kun and Kiba-kun do. Sometimes." She peeked up from Sakura's shoulder with a furtive sparkle in her eyes. "I think Kiba-kun likes it a lot when Shino-kun holds him down."
Tenten squeaked breathlessly and Ino looked just as wide-eyed as Sakura felt. "I think Hinata is winning this round," Sakura declared, and laughed when Hinata ducked back down against her, blushing deeply but also triumphant. "So, what do you say, Ino? Got anything to top that?"
"Hmmmm." Ino took another drink. "You know," she said, more thoughtful than salacious, "Chouji and Shikamaru are a little like that too. Only with them, it's all in their heads. But Chouji always looks to Shikamaru, even now we're all chuunin. And when Shikamaru takes him to bed..." she looked down at her cup. "Well, it's just really sweet. He takes really good care of Chouji." She smiled wryly. "When they get like that, I just go flirt with Anko-san until she tackles me onto the couch; I always learn something new from her."
Sakura laughed and Hinata squeaked. Anko had taught the week of "female sexual physiology" for their year at the academy.
"I'll tell you this, though." Ino shook off her serious mood and grinned. "When I am in bed with Chouji? His tongue can go for hours."
Everyone squealed over that, and the contest dissolved into laughter and another bottle of sake.
As they were leaving, though, Sakura touched Hinata's shoulder and said softly, "If this is none of my business, just tell me. But... it sounded kind of like you don't really go to bed with anyone." Hinata blushed, and Sakura hurried on. "And, really, you can totally tell me if this is a 'no', but..." she touched Hinata's cheek gently, "would you like it if I showed you how it goes?" The easy way Hinata had cuddled into her was really making her think Hinata needed another woman to figure this out with.
Hinata's eyes got very wide, and Sakura prepared to backpedal if necessary. "You..." Hinata's hands were clasped tight together again. "You wouldn't mind?" she whispered.
Sakura had to stifle a fast flare of anger at how timidly Hinata asked that, and reached out to hug her close again. One of these days, she swore, she was going to give Hyuuga Hiashi a piece of her mind, and he wasn't going to enjoy the experience. "Of course I wouldn't mind!" She cupped Hinata's face in her hands and said softly, "Hinata. You're a beautiful woman. Your heart is strong enough for any two people. I truly respect all of your work. And I would be honored if you want to come home with me tonight."
Hinata was flushed, now, pink and shy and breathless. "I... I'd like that, please. Yes."
Sakura cuddled her close for another breath before managing to let her go, and took her hand. "I'm glad." She kept hold of Hinata's hand as they wandered back through the evening streets, which meant Hinata was still pink-cheeked when they reached Sakura's apartment. It was really awfully cute, she thought privately, and pondered the possibilities for whacking Naruto upside the head with a clue about Hinata's crush on him.
"Oh, hey," she said, struck by a sudden thought as she unlocked her door, "is your clan going to panic if you don't come home? I mean, am I going to have Neji breaking down my door at three in the morning?"
"Oh, I'm sure he wouldn't break it down," Hinata answered with every appearance of earnestness. "Neji-niisan trusts your team."
Sakura paused for a breath to contemplate the implied alternatives of Neji picking her lock, or possibly camping outside her window, and shook her head. The noble clans were their own thing all right. "Well, if he's still here in the morning, I suppose I'll just make breakfast for three," she sighed, and led Hinata inside.
She didn't bother to turn on the lights. There was plenty from the windows, for tonight.
When she turned back in the middle of the room, though, Hinata was still hovering by the door and Sakura reminded herself firmly that Hinata was a lot shyer than most shinobi. Most shinobi who were interested in sex to begin with, anyway. She came back and cupped a hand around Hinata's cheek, kissing her softly. "Still good?"
Hinata nodded, pale eyes wide in the dimness.
"Here." Sakura eased off the soft, lavender coat Hinata favored and hung it by the door. Without it, in only her mesh shirt and dark pants with nothing hiding her full figure and sleek muscles, Hinata looked older, stronger, considerably more dangerous. Sakura paused, head tilted. "Is there a need," she asked softly, "to hide what you are, here in Hidden Leaf?"
Hinata didn't pretend she didn't understand, biting her lip and looking aside. "I suppose... not any more. Not really. But I was also so cold for so long--it got to be a habit."
Cold. Frozen out of her own family, given what Sakura knew of Hyuuga politics, and she had to take a long breath for calm. It was bad enough that Hinata suffered physical effects from it, she didn't need to also be alarmed by Sakura throwing things at the wall.
Maybe she'll just tell Naruto about this, and let him work on Hiashi for a while. And then she could put in her two cents once the man was already pounded into the ground a little. By this point in his medical training Naruto would know exactly what it meant, that Hinata had been physically cold. That kind of effect on a shinobi's chakra was sabotage, pure and simple. She could explain that calmly and sensibly to people while Naruto was discussing the issue with Hiashi.
And then they would let Sasuke have him.
That was for later, though. For now she just gathered Hinata close, one hand rubbing slow circles over her back. As Hinata relaxed again, she smiled and bent her head to brush a soft kiss against the curve of Hinata's neck. She half expected Hinata to squeak, but instead she gasped, soft and breathy, and the sound went right down Sakura's spine to curl low and hot in her stomach. "Bed?" she suggested, husky. Hinata nodded.
Sakura took her hands and coaxed her step by step across the wide room to where she'd spread her futon before going out tonight--it was easier than doing it very drunk later if it turned out to be one of those nights. The analytical corner of her mind observed that it was likely a good thing she'd acquired a taste for older style bedding from Sasuke; she imagined it would be more familiar to Hinata, too.
And it wouldn't creak, the way Naruto's bed did under two or more.
She took her time undressing, and helping Hinata undress, pausing with every garment to kiss the uncovered skin. She wanted to give Hinata as much time as she needed to be comfortable, of course; she also really wanted to hear more of the little sounds Hinata made. By the time she'd stripped off their underwear she was flushed and warm, herself, just from listening. When she traced a line of open-mouthed kisses up Hinata's stomach and between her breasts, Hinata's soft moan made her shiver.
"You're incredibly sexy, you know that right?" she murmured against Hinata's shoulder. Hinata gasped a small laugh.
"It's true." Sakura leaned up on an elbow and stroked a gentle hand down the line of Hinata's body. "For starters you're built like a work of sculptural art, but that aside..." she bent to kiss Hinata softly and nearly moaned herself at the way Hinata's lips parted for her, the little breath of sound that answered. "Mmm. Just the way you are, like this, would make anyone hot, trust me."
Hinata looked up at her, and even in the dim light she was blushing and bright-eyed. "Really?" she asked, and Sakura smiled helplessly back at the soft note of delight in her voice.
"Really." She stroked her fingertips along the curve of Hinata's breast. "Let me show you?"
Hinata's nod was more confident than it had been all night, and Sakura's inner strategist made a satisfied sound. She knelt over Hinata and slid both hands up to lift her breasts gently. Just that made Hinata arch a little, and Sakura was practically purring when she traced a slow spiral over one breast with her tongue to close her mouth on the nipple.
"Oh!" Hinata's hands flew up to catch Sakura's hips.
"Mmm," Sakura answered, stroking her tongue over Hinata's nipple, feeling the tiny shivers spilling through her, listening to her breath coming quicker. She cupped the other breast and circled her thumb gently over that nipple too. Heat curled tighter between her legs when Hinata moaned.
"Sakura," Hinata gasped.
Sakura drew back slowly, sucking a little, and the sound Hinata made when Sakura's lips pulled away from her nipple made Sakura's voice husky. "Starting to feel it?" she whispered, and slid her hand slowly down Hinata's body to cup lightly between her legs. "Down here?"
"Oh... yes." Hinata's eyes were half closed, lips parted.
"Will you let me show you more of that?" Sakura wasn't even trying to hide the want in her own voice. She thought that was what made Hinata smile.
Sakura kissed her smile, deep and slow, sliding her tongue through Hinata's mouth as she pressed her hand more firmly between Hinata's legs, kneading just a little. Good for increased blood flow, Anko leered cheerfully in her head, and Sakura had to shove the memory back down before she laughed. Hinata was making those breathless little sounds again, and Sakura couldn't help the husky sound she made in answer as her fingertips dipped into the wetness of Hinata's entrance.
"Here," she whispered. "Just let me..." She kissed her way down Hinata's body until she could settle between Hinata's legs. "I want to taste."
"Sakura...!" She could almost hear Hinata blushing, and rested her cheek against Hinata's thigh.
"Is it okay?" she asked, fairly sure that the tinge of shock in Hinata's voice was from excitement, but this was Hinata's first time with another person. There were rules among kunoichi about making very sure that went as well as possible. The rules were no less absolute for being unwritten.
Hinata's fingers stroked shyly through her hair. "Yes. I'd like... yes."
Sakura smiled. "Okay, then." She nibbled on the tendon of Hinata's thigh, just to hear her gasp, and gently spread the folds of her open. She made a pleased sound herself as she dragged her tongue slowly against Hinata, soft and easy, and felt the tense-and-release of Hinata's muscles.
"Mmm." Sakura lapped slowly at her, until Hinata's hips were moving with her and she could taste the salt of Hinata's wetness. That was when she slid two fingers into her, and purred at Hinata's low moan.
"Nn... Sakura, oh... yes." The sleek flex of Hinata's muscles made Sakura breathless herself, and she lapped firmly at Hinata's clit as she worked her fingers in and out. Hinata's hands tugged and pushed at her shoulders, and Sakura attended those cues with the concentration she'd give a new jutsu, working Hinata higher and higher until she gasped and her whole body pulled taut. "Sakura!"
Sakura drove her fingers in deep and sucked on Hinata's clit, and Hinata came apart with a shudder, hips jerking against Sakura. Sakura shivered, listening to her breathless sounds, and lapped at her softly until Hinata collapsed back against the bed. Sakura knew that her smile was smug, as she eased her fingers free and slid back up to lie beside Hinata, but she felt that was justifiable.
Hinata smiled up at her, flushed and damp and nearly glowing in the dimness. "Thank you," she murmured.
Sakura laughed, blushing just a little herself, and kissed Hinata lightly. "It was very much my pleasure." And then her breath caught as Hinata's fingers stroked a delicate line between her breasts.
"Can I try, too?" Hinata asked, and the mixture of shyness and mischief in the way she glanced up at Sakura nearly made Sakura melt.
"Of course." She kissed Hinata again, and made a soft, pleased sound when Hinata kissed back. "I'd like that very much."
As Hinata kissed her more boldly, and Sakura leaned into it with a sigh, she made a mental note to have a little talk with Neji, if Sakura and Ino's suspicions turned out to be right. Just to be sure that he'd treat Hinata with all the care she deserved.
Kunoichi had to look out for each other, after all.