A F T E R . C L A S S
Kiba released a low whistle; dark hues fixated on a point over her left shoulder.
“Who,” He asked, his voice taking on an appreciative tone. “Is that?”
Though she was curious, Hinata didn’t glance up from her math homework. If she didn’t finish this worksheet by the time the bell rang, she wouldn’t be prepared for her next class.
From the corner of her eye, Hinata noticed Shino lift his head from his novel, shifting his gaze to observe whoever their brunette friend had been leering at.
“She’s an upperclassman, judging by her tie,” The bookworm drawled. After using an index finger to push his glasses further up his nose, Shino continued, “I think she’s friends with that Uzumaki kid. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them together before.”
Kiba tilted his head to the right; a wolfish grin breaking out on his face as he drank in the sight of his subject from the new angle.
“Still doesn’t explain why a junior is in the freshman common room…not that I’m complaining,” The tattooed male impishly stated. “I mean, just look at those legs.”
It was only after that comment did Hinata finally look up from her paperwork, peering at her classmate from under long, dark lashes.
“Kiba,” She scolded, an embarrassed flush dusting across her cheeks due to his insinuations.
Black eyes regarded her sheepishly. “Sorry Hinata,” Kiba apologized hastily, though the tone he used suggested that he really wasn’t all that apologetic.
Pale violet eyes pinned him with a slight repremanding look, before Hinata gave a small huff, turning her attention back to her homework.
“Ignore him,” Shino cut in. “It’s not like that girl would give him the time of day, anyway.”
“And how do you know that?!” Kiba snapped, glaring at the side of Shino’s head.
“Well,” The Aburame hummed, turning a page in his novel. “If her pink hair is anything to go by, I’m almost positive that she’s Sasuke Uchiha’s girlfriend.”
Hinata’s pen stopped moving at the mention of the subject of their conversation’s hair color.
Suddenly, she snapped her head in the direction the boys had been previously staring, dark hair bobbing with the movement. Sure enough, across the room stood Sakura Haruno. The pinkette was scouring the freshman common room with interest, seemingly intent on finding someone in the vast crowd.
Hinata blanched, releasing a tiny ‘eep’ before abruptly turning back around. Homework long forgotten, she dropped her pen on the table, burying her face in her hands, shoulders slumping as she slouched forward.
The odd reaction caused Shino to close his book, both males sharing a curious, sideways glance before Kiba reached over and gently tried to pry her hands away.
“What’s gotten into you?” Kiba asked after he was finally successful in ridding Hinata of her hiding spot.
The blue-haired woman tried – and failed – to fight against the rising blush that warmed her skin.
“I…I-I just…I know her,” Hinata stammered out, pulling her hands out of Kiba’s grasp.
At her vague explanation, both brown-haired males simultaneously raised a single, questioning brow.
Trying to ignore their curious stares, Hinata glimpsed, dropping her hands in her lap. After a moment of silence, when both boys realized that their female friend wasn’t going to explain any further, Shino broke the small, awkward tension that had encompassed their table.
“I don’t think I’ve seen you this flustered since you had that crush on that…Yamanaka…girl…” As his words trailed off, realization dawned on all of their faces.
“Oh, Hinata!” Kiba exclaimed, choking on his own laughter. “You sly dog.”
Shino put an end to the Inuzuka’s jesting with a swift elbow to his ribs. Though Kiba’s chuckles were cut off, he still stared at Hinata with unrepressed amusement, lips twitching as he bit back his smile.
Black eyes peeked out from over the rim of dark glasses as Shino regarded Hinata with a small tilt of his head. Someone or something behind her must have caught his attention because before he could continue with his line of questioning, he peered back over her shoulder.
Shino once again tossed open his paperback and ducked his head behind the cover before he quietly murmured, "She's making her way over here."
Kiba’s posture immediately stiffened, mirth long forgotten, as onyx eyes glanced past Hinata.
“He’s right,” The brunette confirmed, leaning back slightly in his seat, trying to look inconspicuously nonchalant.
Hinata could feel the color drain from her face as her stomach bottomed out, “What do you mean she’s coming over here?!”
Shino offered her a small, half-hearted shrug, turning another page in his book. “Better pull it together,” He muttered. “She’ll be here in three…two…one…”
“Hinata-chan!” Sakura chirped in greeting, right on cue.
Twisting in her seat, Hinata lifted her head to stare up at the older woman. “S-S-Sakura-chan! I..um…hi,” She finished lamely.
“I’ve been looking for you everywhere!” The pinkette exclaimed, reaching into her bookbag, digging around for something within its depths.
“Y-You have!?” The Hyuuga squeaked, her neck and chest now blooming with the same pink hue that was painted across her cheeks.
Sakura tittered at her stutter and at the sound of her giggle, Hinata’s flush grew tenfold.
“Yes, I have.” Finally finding whatever it was she was looking for, Sakura gave a small triumphant cry, before extracting a large, manila envelope from her handbag, holding it out towards Hinata.
Hinata hastily grabbed the package. Her eagerness to please the pinkette caused Kiba to release an amused snort, and in retaliation, Hinata expertly kicked his shin under the table, causing him to jerk in his chair.
If Sakura noticed their little transaction, she didn’t acknowledge it.
“Could you give that to your sister?” The emerald-eyed woman inquired. “I’m going to be a little late to the session tonight, so could you just ask her to start on that paperwork and we’ll go over it when I arrive?”
Hinata gave Sakura a nod, accompanied by a shy smile. “Of course.”
Sakura beamed at the younger woman’s acceptance. “Thank you so much Hinata-chan! You’re the best. I’ll see you later on, okay?”
Hinata gave a tiny nod, hugging the envelope to her chest. Sakura offered her a small wave before she turned on her heel, crossing the threshold of the room and disappearing out into the hallway.
Only when she heard Kiba’s gruff voice did Hinata finally turn back to her classmates.
“So, let me get this straight,” The tattooed male murmured suddenly. “You’re crushing on a girl that, not only is your little sister’s tutor, but also, potentially, has a boyfriend?”
Hinata pursed her lips, a small frown marring her bow. At her curt nod, Kiba reached across the table to clasp his hand on her shoulder, giving it a reassuring squeeze.
Shino closed his novel once again. "Don't worry," He promptly assured, "We'll help you any way that we can."
Hinata graced them with a warm expression, a broad grin playing on her lips.
Their moment was broken by the sound of the bell, signaling the impending start of the next class period. It was then that Hinata realized her predicament
“Oh no!” She groused with a note of panic in her voice. “I never got to finish my math homework!”