momentum - 1
A blast of the rich scent of coffee and sweet pastries assaulted him as he stepped into the cafe.
He spotted the boisterous table of seven in the corner - they were hard to miss in the small coffee shop, especially with Naruto’s blonde, messy hair and Sakura’s pastel pink locks. A few of the group caught his gaze and waved at him.
“Sasuke’s here!” Naruto exclaimed and a chorus of cheers followed suit.
man huffed in amusement and went to order his usual: black coffee with
a hit of dark chocolate. The fragrant drink was one of the few things
he looked forward to at the end of the week.
When he went to take his usual place at the table, he noticed that it was already occupied.
“Hey, Sasuke,” Rock Lee paused in his conversation with the stranger in his seat, “This is Hinata, she’s Neji’s younger cousin.”
She looked up at him with wide lavender eyes and offered a shy smile, “Hi Sasuke.”
He tilted his head at her in greeting and sat next to her, in the only open chair.
Sipping the smooth liquid, he discreetly watched the newcomer and pondered.
girl was a Hyuuga? He thought to Neji and Hiashi, who was acquaintances
with his father, and saw the resemblance in her pale irises and dark
hair. But the personalities definitely did not match. She was kind of
mousy and didn’t possess the frigid demeanor or casual detachment of her
She was currently complaining about one of her classes to Lee, a sports medicine major and upperclassman that had already
suffered through core courses.
“We just had our first
exam and there was so much on it!” She sighed. “The whole class was
there up to the last minute and I had to guess for the last five because
I ran out of time.”
Rock Lee nodded sagely, “I heard Dr. Morino’s exams were quite difficult, but he does offer a curve.”
“Physics two?” Sasuke asked.
She affirmed in a dejected manner, “Unfortunately…”
“I’m taking it this semester too.”
“With who?” Interest sparked in her eyes as she fully turned towards him; they could bemoan that cursed class together.
was excited because she had trouble meeting new people since she’d
entered Konoha University and it was like playing Tetris on hard mode
when trying to meet up with her best friends. Shino was taking
obscure entomology classes at unconventional times and doing research
that had him out in the field often, and Kiba was balancing classes,
helping out at his family’s kennel, and volunteering at the local animal
She was also kind of nervous because a lot of these people were new to her and her few usual acquaintances were busy. Gaara was studying for some big poli sci exam tomorrow and Tenten had work.
“Hatake,” he deadpanned.
was about to comment, but got pulled into another conversation by
Naruto, who boasted that he could beat the track star in a
Her cringe was apparent and she made a sound of sympathy. The silver-haired professor was notorious for being fashionably late to lectures and for being flaky in general.
“I take it you’ve heard of his excellent attendance?”
Her laugh was bright, pleasant. “I have.”
“Last week, he didn’t even show to administer our exam. The TAs had to and they were pissed about it - apparently he emailed them ten minutes before the test.”
Her mouth parted in shock. “That’s terrible! I feel bad for complaining about Dr. Morino.”
He chuckled at her reaction, “Well I did hear he was a hard ass.”
A slight nod in confirmation. “He’s… strict and his tests are near impossible but he’s great at teaching. Physics just isn’t my subject.”
She tucked her hair behind her ear as she lamented her less than satisfactory (in her opinion) performance in the course.
The blue-black strands seemed to subtly change in shade when they shifted and he wanted to observe the color closer, maybe run his fingers through the soft locks.
As soon as the idea struck him, he mentally recoiled from
it. What the fuck? That was creepy. Those kinds of thoughts were the
precursor to stalking her and later building a shrine out of her candid
He kept his hands clasped to his cup, as if he didn’t trust himself not to act of that stray thought.
“Physics isn’t my subject either.”
When the rambunctious group walked to the dorms to turn in for the night, Sasuke and Hinata were drifting at the back, as they tended to do.
“We should study together some time.” The stoic man was staring straight ahead, the image of cool with his hands in his pockets.
“For physics,” he quickly added for clarity.
‘Smooth, Sasuke, real smooth,’ he berated himself, sweating at the potential of rejection.
She didn’t pick up on his apprehension and looked at him with a hopeful gaze. “Really?”
He stole a glance at her, “Yeah.”
The glow from her phone illuminated her smile as she asked to exchange numbers.